Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Reflection

It's time to update and recycle our annual Christmas Reflection, a moment to consider the reason for the season and the challenges offered by the drive-by "experts" of the day. Consider again the Biblical narrative:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another,
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pas, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter Two, Verses 13-20)

Here we are again, on the first day of the Christmas season. It has become something of a Christmas tradition for me to engage the following text from C.S. Lewis in connection with the above quoted Scriptures. The reason will be obvious.

Nearly every Christmas, it seems, NEWSWEEK or TIME or some television special will featre the "latest scholarship" concerning the "authenticity" of the Christmas story. The scholarly authorities cited are consistently and incorrigibly one-sided, usually including scholars like John Dominic Crossan who dissent from Church teaching, or more ostensibly mainline scholars like Raymond E. Brown (now deceased) who have been quite thoroughly corrupted by the Humean philosophical presuppositions of the historical-criticism of the biblical narrative. Several years ago we saw the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, call the Christmas story a 'legend' ("Archbishop says nativity 'a legend,'" London Telegraph, December 12, 2007). And more recently I've notice that About.com, a site which Internet browsers frequent to learn "the facts" about this or that, has taken up this partisan skeptical slant in Austin Cline's article, "Nativity vs Gospels: Are the Gospels Reliable About Jesus' Birth?" (About.com), suggesting that all the key ingredients of the Nativity story in the Gospels were concocted fictions of various kinds.

The lack of critical circumspection in all of this would be amusing if it were not so destructive. The upshot is always the same: that the Gospel writers are unreliable and not to be trusted, and certainly not to be taken at face value. Just how ludicrous this all is, however, can be seen by anyone with a bit of intelligence and familiarity with literature, mythology, and history. One of the best examples of a powerful antedote to this kind of foolishness -- and one I keep using because it is simple -- is a little essay by C.S. Lewis entitled "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism," which is available in a collection of essays by Lewis entitled Christian Reflections (1967; reprinted by Eerdmans, 1994). The following are some excerpts from Lewis' essay, which begins on p. 152 and contains four objections (or "bleats") about modern New Testament scholarship:
1. [If a scholar] tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavour...

I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one [of the stories in the Gospel of John, for example] is like this... Either this is reportage - though it may no doubt contain errors - pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative...

2. All theology of the liberal type involves at some point - and often involves throughout - the claim that the real behaviour and purpose and teaching of Christ came very rapidly to be misunderstood and misrepresented by his followers, and has been recovered or exhumed only by modern scholars... The idea that any... writer should be opaque to those who lived in the same culture, spoke the same language, shared the same habitual imagery and unconscious assumptions, and yet be transparent to those who have none of these advantages, is in my opinion preposterous. There is an a priori improbability in it which almost no argument and no evidence could counterbalance.

3. Thirdly, I find in these theologians a constant use of the principle that the miraculous does not occur... This is a purely philosophical question. Scholars, as scholars, speak on it with no more authority than anyone else. The canon 'if miraculous, unhistorical' is one they bring to their study of the texts, not one they have learned from it. If one is speaking of authority, the united authority of all the Biblical critics in the world counts here for nothing.

4. My fourth bleat is my loudest and longest. Reviewers [of my own books, and of books by friends whose real history I knew] both friendly and hostile... will tell you what public events had directed the author's mind to this or that, what other authors influenced him, what his over-all intention was, what sort of audience he principally addressed, why - and when - he did everything... My impression is that in the whole of my experience not one of these guesses has on any one point been right; the method shows a record of 100 per cent failure.

The 'assured results of modern scholarship', as to the way in which an old book was written, are 'assured', we may conclude, only because those who knew the facts are dead and can't blow the gaff... The Biblical critics, whatever reconstructions they devise, can never be crudely proved wrong. St. Mark is dead. When they meet St. Peter there will be more pressing matters to discuss.

However... we are not fundamentalists... Of course we agree that passages almost verbally identical cannot be independent. It is as we glide away from this into reconstructions of a subtler and more ambitious kind that our faith in the method wavers... The sort of statement that arouses our deepest scepticism is the statement that something in a Gospel cannot be historical because it shows a theology or an ecclesiology too developed for so early a date...

Such are the reactions of one bleating layman... Once the layman was anxious to hide the fact that he believed so much less than the Vicar; he now tends to hide the fact that he believes so much more...
For further reading:Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The rebellion of Korah

"Injustice! Why can’t men become women priests too?" (WDTPRS, December 17, 2012).


Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Daredevil feats of reckless bedazzlement

This may be the closest to 3D one can get on a 2D computer. Watch on a wide-window, preferably on a wide-screen. Pretty amazing.

Extraordinary community news


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (December 23, 2012):
Our Lady’s Prayer: The Magníficat

We continue our occasional series on the Church’s most important prayers today with a discussion of the prayer our Blessed Mother prayed at the Visitation: The Magníficat. Also known as the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this prayer is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke 1. 46-55. It is prayed as part of Vespers in the Divine Office. Two approved English versions, one traditional and one modern, are provided for your comparison and edification. Praying the Magníficat is enriched with a Partial Indulgence.

In a memorable music appreciation course this writer took in college, the professor opined that one of the most perfect pieces of music ever composed was the C.P.E. Bach Magníficat. He knew of what he spoke – highly recommended for one and all to hear.

Magníficat [Original Latin]
Magníficat: ánima mea Dóminum.
Et exultávit spíritus meus in Deo salutári meo.

Quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllæ suæ:
ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen ejus.

Et misericórdia ejus a progénie in progénies:
timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo:
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui.

Depósuit poténtes de sede:
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis:
et divítes dimísit inánes.

Suscépit Israël púerum suum:
recordátus misericórdiæ suæ.
Sicut locútus est ad patres nostres:
Ábraham, et sémini ejus in saécula.

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spíritui Sancto:
sicut erat in princípium, et nunc, et semper,
et in saécula sæculórum. Amen.
Magníficat [1913 Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook translation]
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

For He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid:
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done great things unto me,
and holy is His name.

And His mercy is from generation to generation:
unto them that fear Him.
He hath shewed strength with His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He hath sent empty away.

He hath upholden His servant Israel:
being mindful of His mercy.
As He spoke unto our fathers:
to Abraham and his seed forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Magníficat [1991 Handbook of Indulgences translation]
+ My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

[Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.]
New Year’s Day Mass at Holy Redeemer

There will be a Tridentine High Mass at Detroit’s Holy Redeemer Church on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1 at 2:00 PM. The celebrant will be Fr. Clement Suhy, OSB. Music will be provided by members of the St. Joseph Church Choir.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 12/25 Midnight: High Mass at St. Joseph, Detroit (First Mass of Christmas Day)
  • Tue. 12/25 2:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Third Mass of Christmas Day) [Choir will sing Johann Eberlin’s Missa Brevissima in C] [No 7:00 PM Mass at Assumption this Tuesday]
  • Fri. 12/28 7:00 AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto (Holy Innocents, Martyrs) [Dinner for young adults age 18-35 sponsored by Juventútem Michigan follows Mass]
The following are open to all to attend, even if not on the bus tour:
  • Thu. 12/27 1:00 PM: High Mass at St. Mary of the Angels, Chicago (St. John, Apostle & Evangelist)
  • Thu. 12/27 9:00 PM: Sung Vespers at Mundelein Seminary, Chicago – Residence Chapel
  • Fri. 12/28 7:00 AM: High Mass at Mundelein Seminary, Chicago – Main Chapel (Holy Innocents, Martyrs)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for December 23, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yawn . . .


[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mister Rogers vis-à-vis the Emmy Awards glitterati

"Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, 'All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence.'

"And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, 'I'll watch the time.' There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly 'May God be with you,' to all his vanquished children."


[Hat tip to Dave McManus, who wrote the two paragraphs above]

Anthony Burgess, the Pope, and homosexuality

Anthony Burgess, in his dystopian novel, The Wanting Seed(1962), portrays a bizarre world of actively-encouraged discrimination against heterosexuals, in which homosexuality was promoted as a governmental measure against overpopulation, precipitating a complete breakdown of the structure of society and government, the open practice of cannibalism in much of England, and repressive homosexual police running rampant, while targeted individuals with traditional sexual dispositions scurry away under cover of darkness like frightened mice.

Then, as reported in the article, "Pope says future of mankind at stake over gay marriage" (The Telegraph, December 21, 2012), we have Pope Benedict XVI weighing in on the heated debate over same-sex "marriage," criticizing revisionist views of marriage and family, seriously now (this is no longer fiction), as threatening the future of mankind and the very basis of what it means to be human:
The Pope spoke of the "falseness" of gender theories and cited at length France's chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

"Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper," he said.

He cited feminist gender theorist Simone de Beauvoir's view to the effect that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so – that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves.
But not to worry about overpopulation. We're now diverting your tax dollars toward killing off upwards of four thousand Americans per day while they're still in their mommies' nice warm tummies; and our State Department is sparing no effort in exporting its enlightened policies to all the other, less-privileged, less-scientifically-advanced sub-cultures of the world.

What's next? Stay tuned for ... Cannibalism in the Privacy of Your Own Home!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Interview with Archbishop Gerhard Müller


The indefatigable Mary O'Regan has just garnered an exclusive interview with the recently-appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller. The conversation is warm and personable, and politic; and may be of interest to some of our readers. The whole interview is published under the politic title of "Catholics ought to avoid extremes" (Catholic Herald, December 19, 2012).

Here are some excerpts I found interesting:
In 1977, [Müller] submitted a dissertation on the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s sacramental theology. In 1985, so that he would be eligible to be a professor of theology, he wrote a second doctoral thesis on Catholic devotion to the saints. The “Karl Rahner connection” is that Archbishop Müller’s doctoral supervisor for both his theses was Professor Karl Lehmann, who received his doctorate under Karl Rahner.

... One thing in particular from his priestly formation guides him to present day: he recalls that he read Joseph Ratzinger’s book Introduction to Christianity when he was a seminarian. “It was a new book at the time, and the concentrated theological insights are ever present in my mind to this day,” he said....

As Prefect of the CDF, Archbishop Müller is responsible for the implementation of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. He was keen to talk about the great benefits which have come to the Church through the inclusion of these communities of Anglicans, with their pastors, into Catholic life. Commenting on the ecumenical dimension of the personal ordinariates, he said: “It’s not only the will of the Holy Father, but it is the will of Jesus Christ that all the baptised are drawn together into full visible communion. In this way Anglicanorum Coetibus is both a fruit of the ecumenical dialogues of the last 40 years and an expression of the ultimate goal of the ecumenical movement.

“What we notice particularly from the clergy who are applying for ordination in the various ordinariates is that there has been a rediscovery in some Anglican and Protestant circles of the importance and the necessity of the papacy in order to maintain the authentic link with biblical Christianity against the pressures of secularism and liberalism. Many of those who have entered into full communion through the ordinariates have sacrificed a great deal in order to be true to their consciences. They should be welcomed wholeheartedly by the Catholic community – not as prodigals but as brothers and sisters in Christ who bring with them into the Church a worthy patrimony of worship and spirituality.”

One of Archbishop Müller’s trickier tasks is overseeing the reconciliation process with the Society of St Pius X. When I probed to get an idea of the current situation between Rome and the SSPX, Archbishop Müller answered pithily: “There remain misunderstandings about Vatican II, and these must be agreed upon. The SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith, and its practice.

“Disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ.

“The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”

... Focusing on a difficulty experienced by ordinary Catholics in parishes, I asked his advice on what to do when one is stuck in the middle between traditionalists and progressives.... Archbishop Müller responded: “Catholics must avoid these extremes, because such extremes are against the mission of the Church. In the world of politics, you have extremes of Right and Left. But the Church is united in Jesus Christ and in our common faith. We must avoid the politicisation of the Church.”
There is a great deal more, but I shouldn't wonder if here alone is sufficient grist for the mill.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Paul Harvey: "If I Were the Devil"


According to the editor of this clip, the original version of this speech probably originated about 1965. Snopes traces it to a newspaper column in 1964. In any case, the present version of it is probably (according to both the editor of this clip and Snopes) from about 1996.

Harvey's little speech is often credited with representing an amazingly prescient prediction. Rather, what it represents, in my opinion, is the discernment that nearly anyone would have with some degree of spiritual sensitivity to the cultural drift of the times.

It's amusing to hear expressions used that are no longer part of common parlance today, like "square," "dirty movies," and "swinging." But his points are direct and hard-hitting.

A more interesting question, perhaps, is why so many would likely find this kind of account unconvincing or downright offensive. Paradigm shift. Greased skids for hell.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Extraordinary community news


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (December 16, 2012):
Vatican Establishes New Office for Sacred Architecture and Music

On August 30, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI issued the Motu Proprio Quærit Semper, in which His Holiness transferred certain responsibilities away from the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Vatican department officially charged with administering the Ordinary Form of the Liturgy. He wanted to give the CDW “a fresh impetus to promoting the Sacred Liturgy in the Church...on the basis of the Constitution Sacrosánctum Concílium.” The first major step in that direction was recently taken: Ohio native and current Benedictine monk Abbot Michael Zielinski has been appointed to lead a new office of the CDW which will establish guidelines for sacred architecture and liturgical music.

Abbot Zielinski has studied Gregorian and polyphonic music and the history of art. He was formerly Vice President of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Architecture and Vice President of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. In these roles he had the role of advocate for preservation of historically significant treasures of the Church. In its new capacity, the CDW will have a more active role than the former departments in ensuring that new church construction and restoration, along with sacred music, authentically reflect the significance of the Sacred Mysteries.

The Web Site of Duncan Stroik

While we are on the subject of sacred architecture, we draw your attention to the updated web site of Duncan Stroik, Architect. One of the most accomplished designers of traditionally-appointed Catholic churches working today, Stroik has assembled a knockout web site, whose home page changes every few days and displays a full-screen view of one of his firm’s many works-in-process. There is also an impressive Portfolio section in which he shows both new construction projects and church restorations he has done. Below are photos from the restoration he conducted at St. Mary Church in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Artisans like Duncan Stroik give encouraging proof that it is indeed possible to construct, and restore, churches of traditional style, with all of the outfittings to facilitate both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms in a hermeneutic of continuity. Yes, Communion Rails and High Pulpits can still be built. After all, we have more advanced construction and design tools at our disposal now than our predecessors had, so why not use them to create the best buildings we can to give God glory?

Stroik has also debuted a new line of liturgical furnishings in partnership with Granda Liturgical Arts. A tabernacle, altar candlesticks and a Crucifix, a sanctuary lamp, and a chalice and ciborium are the initial designs on offer.

For some refreshing views of what is being built in our era, visit www.stroik.com.

The Economist on “A Traditionalist Avant-Garde”

“It’s trendy to be a traditionalist in the Catholic church” – So reads the opening line of an article published in this week’s edition of Britain’s The Economist magazine.

Two readers of this column were among a myriad of people interviewed over the past month by a journalist for this piece. Unusual for a mainstream, secular magazine, the article gave an upbeat and quite accurate assessment of the international surge in popularity of the Extraordinary Form, and in particular its appeal to youth. Juventútem, the London Oratory, and Fr. Z were mentioned, as was traditionalists’ effective use of the internet and blogs to educate and inform the faithful.

The article makes a point that can be difficult for defenders of both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms to discuss: Informal worship simply doesn’t appeal to everyone. No intellectual or theological argument need be made; we evangelize both newcomers and existing practicing Catholics by giving them reasons to want to worship in a Catholic church. Casual worship does not address everyone’s spiritual needs; fortunately, Rome has given us alternatives. Even Henry Ford eventually realized that not everyone wanted black cars.

This is not the first time that the media has characterized the Tridentine Mass as trendy. While that term might cause some to wince, it’s just a more colloquial way of pointing out that the Extraordinary Form plays an important role in the New Evangelization.

The article and reader commentary can be found on-line at www.economist.com. Search for “traditionalist”.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 12/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Greater Feria of Advent)
  • Tue. 12/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Greater Feria of Advent)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for December 16, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Extraordinary Community News


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (December 9, 2012):
The Laudámus Te Magazine/Missalette

Some of our readers may be familiar with Magníficat, a monthly glossy paperback publication that offers the Propers of the Ordinary Form of Holy Mass in English for each day of the month, along with some articles and spiritual reflections. Over the past decade, Magníficat has become an amazingly successful publication, with French, Spanish, German, and children’s editions; a second English edition for countries which use the Jerusalem Bible for readings; and Altar Missals. There is no question that Magníficat has become a phenomenon: in some parishes a substantial number of the weekday Mass attendees bring a copy of Magníficat with them. It is the most popular hand missal for the vernacular Ordinary Form.

Many good ideas tend to spawn imitators, and so we are pleased to bring to your attention a new Extraordinary Form equivalent: Laudámus Te. With a format and design unmistakably similar to Magníficat, Laudámus Te offers the Ordinary and Propers of the Tridentine Mass, along with articles and spiritual reflections. Both publications refer to themselves as magazines rather than missalettes, but it is nevertheless clear what the intent is.

There may soon be a local connection to this impressive enterprise: the editors had some difficulties assembling accurate Propers texts for the initial issues of Laudámus Te. This is a problem we have already solved, over years of creating the Latin and English Propers handouts distributed at Assumption, St. Albertus, St. Hyacinth, Ss. Cyril & Methodius, and numerous other churches worldwide. These texts have been proofread more thoroughly than any other set of digitized Propers currently available. While we do not (yet) have the full liturgical year completed, we do have enough Feasts finished to save the publishers from having to locate and proofread every single day’s texts. The editors will be performing due diligence to verify the quality of our work and may soon incorporate our Propers into their publication.

Further information about Laudámus Te is available at www.laudamus-te.com. A PDF with example pages from their Advent, 2012 issue is posted on their web site.

The St. Edmund Campion Missal/Hymnal

In our April 22, 2012 column, we drew your attention to the Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed’s new hymnal intended to serve churches which offer both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. After completing this work, CCW’s intrepid Jeff Ostrowski embarked upon a similar project more focused on serving Extraordinary Form congregations: The St. Edmund Campion combination Missal and Hymnal. The Campion Missal is the first book of its kind, one that fills a middle ground between the hand missals used by the congregation and traditional pew-based hymnals. The Campion Missal is a “missal for the pew” that incorporates approximately 150 hymns plus all 18 Mass Ordinaries. Color photos and retouched historic line-art drawings such as the one pictured below are included in the design. Even with such a limited collection of hymns, the book weighs in at almost 1,000 pages in length.

As with Laudámus Te, the St. Edmund Campion Missal needed a source for its English Propers translations. CCW embarked upon an ambitious project to key in and proofread the Propers from the Fr. Lasance Missal. Widely lauded for their traditional, florid language, the Fr. Lasance Propers are also unfortunately the most error-filled ones currently in print. Nevertheless CCW assures us that they have carefully corrected those errors.

While this book is definitely not for every Tridentine Mass site, it will find a home in churches where a broad range of hymnody is not needed, and where Propers handouts are not being prepared.

Other hymnal projects to serve the Extraordinary Form are also underway, including the long-awaited second edition of the Traditional Roman Hymnal, the blue hymnal used at Assumption and St. Josaphat Churches.

Christmas Day Tridentine Masses

This year there will once again be a Midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Detroit’s St. Joseph Church. On Christmas Day there will also be a Tridentine Mass with full choir at Windsor’s Assumption Church at 2:00 PM. Please note that there will be no Mass this year at St. Josaphat Church on Christmas Day.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 12/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Advent)
  • Tue. 12/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Damasus I, Pope & Confessor)
  • Sun. 12/16 12:15 PM: High Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side), Detroit (Third Sunday of Advent)

Related: "Laudamus Te -- the 'Magnificat' for the TLM" (Musings, November 28, 2012).
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 23, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Was there a new Pentecost after the Council?

Did Vatican II bring a "new springtime" in the Church, a "new outpouring of the Spirit," a "new civilization of love"? Some of us get a bit impatient with such language, not because we deny the active role of Providence in our lives and communities, but because we want some realism about what has been happening in the Church and in the world.


This graph was recently posted at Rorate Caeli (December 15, 2012) in juxtaposition with the second of the Advent sermons given in the presence of the Holy Father and members of the curia by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the pontifical household since 1980. You can read the entire sermon in English here: "Was there a new Pentecost after the Council? '-Yes, unreservedly yes! Just look at the Charismatics!'" (Rorate Caeli, December 15, 2012).

Fr. Cantalamessa, a charismatic, likes to contrast the "new Pentecost" with "Tradition wherein the Holy Spirit played no role at all." What is his argument? "When asked whether there was a new Pentecost [after the Council]," he says, "we should respond without hesitation: Yes! What is the most convincing sign of this? The renewal of the quality of Christian life wherever this Pentecost was received."

If what Fr. Cantalamessa means by "a renewal of the quality of Christian life wherever this Pentecost was received" is that the Gospel proclaimed by the Church is personally appropriated by the hearer, such that it is evidenced by growth in faith, hope, charity, holiness, a life of prayer and personal relationship with God and the saints, then we can say no more than that these are the virtues that Catholic Tradition has always sought to instill in the faithful.

If, on the other hand, this "renewal" is in any way uprooted and detached from the Sacred Tradition of the Church, in which alone it can find any enduring nourishment, there it can be little more than an ephemeral whim, or passing fancy. One cannot avoid recalling that Cardinal Suenens, a staunch supporter of the Catholic charismatic renewal, also championed the lifting of the Church's prohibition on contraceptives, going so far as to say that the Church needed to face reality and avoid another "Galileo case." (See Chicago Tribune obituary, May 6, 1996)

This is not the place and time for me to pursue the matter of the "new Pentecost" in any further detail. I have elsewhere offered some thoughts on the charismatic renewal and Catholic tradition (Musings, April 2, 2011). My only concern here is to reiterate the need for more realism in our language about what has happened in the Church since the 1960s.

Related: "The advent of Confessional Catholicism and the decline of Cultural Catholicism" (Musings, June 13, 2012).

There are "myths," and then there are "myths"


American Atheists want to "Keep the MERRY" and "Dump the MYTH" -- to keep Santa, Christmas presents, and Jingle Bells, and dump Jesus Christ, who in the fullness of time, entered human history as God incarnate, was crucified, died, and buried in atonement for our sins, and then raised again as the New Adam through whom we have hope of eternal life -- an indispensable basis for all merriment, happiness, and joy.

How hollow the hearts and how absurd the thoughts of American Atheists who strive so mightily to generate merriment and hope against the gathering shadows of night -- by their own reasoning a night of nothingness cloaking an abyss of despair.

Related:

"The trend is Trad"

Rorate Caeli (December 13, 2012) posts the following:
It has always been this way in the Church, since Tradition is by its very nature permanent (stat Crux dum volvitur orbis...) - but The Economist is right to particularly identify Traditionalist Catholics as the avant-garde of our age, while everyone else still seems to be in the rearguard, or surrendering, or joining the enemy in the wars of the 1960s and their consequences...

Rorate: trendy avant-garde since December 2005
"Some swings of pendulums may be inevitable. But for a church hierarchy in Western countries beset by scandal and decline, the rise of a traditionalist avant-garde is unsettling. Is it merely an outcrop of eccentricity, or a sign that the church took a wrong turn 50 years ago?"
Related:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Oh hell

Ralph Martin, who was invited to serve as an official consultant at the October Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome, has also just published a book that is apparently creating quite a stir in the Catholic world. In his book, entitled Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization(Eerdmans, 2012), Martin examines the documents of Vatican II, particularly Lumen Gentium 16, in light of the Magisterial tradition and Scripture, and argues that the recent tendency (reinforced by the writings of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar) to ignore the real possibility of damnation and to assume that most everyone is going to heaven is baseless.

John Lamont, who in 2004 wrote an article entitled "Why the Second Vatican Council was a Good Thing and Is More Important Than Ever," wrote a second article three years later, entitled "What was Wrong with Vatican II" (New Blackfriars, Vol. 88, 2007). In the latter article, Lamont basically concludes that the problem is not so much with anything that is stated in the Conciliar documents, but rather what was left unsaid. What was critically omitted, he suggests, was any unmissable statement, let alone elaboration, of the rationale for evangelization. In other words, the question left unanswered was: "Why evangelize?" The answer, of course, is that the world needs to hear and respond to the Gospel of Christ and His Church because of the very real possibility otherwise, as we put it in the Act of Contrition, of the "loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell."

What Martin points out, however, is that there are three sentences at the end of Lumen Gentium 16 that in fact do provide the needed rationale. They read as follows:
But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the Gospel to every creature",(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.
The Council fathers were quoting here from the clear statements of St. Paul in Rm. 1:28-29 and the Evangelist St. Mark in Mk. 16:16.

For much too long we have been subjected to a regime of catechetical ambiguity and theological double-speak. Enough. Yes, Virginia, there is a Hell. If we had any compassion as Christians, Francis Schaeffer used to say, we should all be wanting to share the Gospel of salvation with others ceaselessly. The Gospel, in other words, is one starving beggar telling another starving beggar where to find bread.

But from the responses Martin has received in some quarters, one would think he had called for the return of the Spanish Inquisition and the canonization of Tomas de Torquemada. Even the celebrated Fr. Robert Barron, whose good work one might justly admire in almost every other respect, bent over backwards in his article, "How Many Are Saved?" (CNA, December 3, 2012), searching for a way to deflect the magnitude of this threat of Hell. He cites what he identifies as precedents for the notion of universal salvation that appear to be present in the writings of Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Maximus the Confessor. He refers to the writings of Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, as well as the Pope's remarks in "Spe Salvi" (45-47). He adopts the now almost standard "liberal" interpretation of Lumen Gentium, and concludes by treating the matter at issue as though it were a debate over the moot point concerning the number of people of Hell:
It seems to me that Pope Benedict’s position – affirming the reality of Hell but seriously questioning whether that the vast majority of human beings end up there – is the most tenable and actually the most evangelically promising.
"Evangelically promising"??? But isn't this precisely the problem with the collapse of Catholic missions and the virtual disappearance of Confession lines today? Most Catholics are so oblivious to the reality of Hell they no longer "dread the loss of Heaven or the pains of Hell" either for themselves, their own families, or anyone else. What happened to the passion for lost souls that animated men like St. Francis Xavier, who dropped everything and hazarded travelling across the globe to win Catholic converts?

Ralph Martin's written response to Fr. Barron can be found here: "Comments by Dr. Ralph Martin on Fr. Robert Barron’s Review of Will Many Be Saved?" (Renewal Ministries, December 7, 2012).

Below is a video, entitled "The strait and narrow path of the new evangelization," in which Martin summarizes the thesis of his book:


There will doubtless be fallout from more than one side on this issue, especially in light of the continued mixed-messages one hears. Another of my colleagues told me today that he was offended by the way Michael Voris, in this connection, raises the question whether Protestants can be saved. My own thought is that I am more concerned at the moment with whether vast numbers of sacramentalized pagans who call themselves "Catholics" can be saved. Perhaps a better way for Voris to have formulated the issue would have been to ask whether there is any other Gospel than that passed down to us through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church by which we may be saved; and the answer to that question is no.

And, yes, one very good reason to care about these issues is that there is a Hell, and it's possible for us to go there. Nobody in the New Testament speaks more frequently and consistently about this dread fact of "everlasting punishment" and the "fires of Hell" and the "wailing and gnashing of teeth" than -- you guessed it -- "Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild" (Mt.10:28; 13:41-42; 22:13; 25:41,46; Mk. 9:44; Lk. 12:5; 16:19-31; etc.). And, yes, this possibility of our going to Hell is the question to which Christ and His Church and His Gospel are the answer. Too long have we heard vague chatter about God's love and how, somehow or other, "Christ is the answer," while nobody seems to have stopped long enough to ask: "What is the question?"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If you like Gary Larson you'll love this


Six animated cartoons. The medium works. Check it out!

[Hat tip to Ruth LaPeyre]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The cross of visiting the ordinary form

A reader and frequent commenter writes:
Although I am a member of The Confraternity of Saint Peter and although my heart and soul remains anchored in the Traditional Mass, I am trying (since Advent) to assist at daily mass in the normative [ordinary] rite but it is a veritable way of the cross to do so.

Tomorrow I will be trying the third Parish in my area.

The first Parish has video screens on each side of the Sanctuary and while the Eucharist was being confected, the screen displayed the word "Jesus" with bright yellow leaves shimmering as they were being lightly fluttered by a zephyr; and then the Hosanna flashed on the screen with the (mis)translation "Holy...Lord, God of power and might..." that all recited...

And then, in search of a less fractious Mass, I went to another Parish where there was a substitute Priest at one of whose masses I had assisted, sadly, once before. He has a habit of dispensing the last Blessing and then he strolls over to the lectern to tell a joke - giving me enough time to exit before his joke is completed. Today, as soon as he finished the blessing, he immediately launched into a joke as he stood behind the altar.

Maybe the third time/Parish tomorrow will be the charm.

Yours in Christ,

IANS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joyeux Noël and some “Nouvelle” Devotional Cuisine

By Joseph Martin

Typically when I think of French Catholic writers I think of Jean Danielou and Henri De Lubac and Louis Bouyer and Vatican II. But I have just also discovered Meditations for Advent,by Jacques Bossuet. I had not come across this author's name before, and now, rolling out as it does right alongside the Pope's new book on the Infancy Narratives, it is shaping up as a welcome addition to my updated canon of Christmas lit.

"Sonorous prose ... Lofty monuments of French style..." How often do you hear Catholic reading commended with such descriptions? And while it's seldom that someone entices by an exercise in name dropping that leaves me feeling woefully ignorant of an entire tradition, that's exactly the net effect former preacher to the papal household Romanus Cessario manages in his introduction.

Christopher Blum's uncluttered translation pays Bossuet the compliment of being straightforward and nicely accessible. Elsewhere our translator sets up Bossuet's preaching by explaining the latter's conviction that "God... is normally quiet. In the face of his reserve, our hardened hearts quickly become deaf to his goodness... Into the breach step [his] preachers. They are the 'clear and intelligible voice' of God, calling all Christians to repent..." Sounds almost reminiscent of the Protestant definition of an evangelist to me [not suggesting that's a bad thing].

Anyway, for a sample of Bossuet's style, here is his take on Mary's virginity, rather poetically realized:
Here then is a new created dignity upon the earth, the dignity of the Mother of God, which includes graces so great that thought must not attempt or even hope to understand them. The perfect virginity of body and soul is part of this high dignity. For if concupiscence, which since the Fall ordinarily attaches to the conception of men, had been found in this one, Jesus Christ would have contracted the primitive stain, He, the one who came to efface it... Chaste mysteries of Christianity, how pure we must be to understand them! Yet how much more pure we must be to express them in our lives by the sincere practice of Christian truth! We no longer belong to the earth, we whose faith is so exalted: “Our commonwealth is in heaven.” (Phil 3.20).[i]
Then there is this explanation of the dignity reflected in the profile of Joseph:
In my plan of basing the praise of Saint Joseph not upon doubtful conjectures, but upon a solid doctrine drawn from Holy Scriptures and the Fathers, [I present] this great saint to you as a man singled out to guard God’s treasure and to be his trustee here below… It is a simple matter to show you how estimable is this quality. For the name of a trustee is a mark of honor and testifies to probity; if, in order to confide a trust, we choose the one whose virtue Is most assured, whose fidelity is most proven, and finally, the one who is the most intimate and most confidential of our friends, then how shall we measure the glory of Saint Joseph? God made him the trustee not only of blessed Mary, whose angelic purity made her so acceptable in his eyes, but still more of his own Son, the sole object of his delight and the unique hope of our salvation. Saint Joseph he made the trustee of the common treasure of God and man: the person of Jesus Christ. What eloquence could equal the grandeur and majesty of that title.[ii]
And finally, if such snippets successfully pique you interest, here is Cesarrio’s complete introduction to Jacques-Benigne Boussuet, a Frenchman I suspect we may count ourselves remiss for not knowing sooner. His devotional is another addtion to the consistently good titles being reprinted over at Sophia Institute Press. Happy meeting.

“There is enough here for both heart and mind ...”

Every year our holy mother the Church invites us to make our way back to Bethlehem. And when we arrive, what is it that we see there? Nothing but “three poor people who love one another,” as the poet Claudel said, but three poor people who “will change the face of the earth.” [And] like the Holy Family, we too are poor. Yet we are poor in the very way that they were rich, and rich in the way that they were poor. And this is why we sorely need Advent as an annual occasion to listen to the prophet Isaiah, to marvel at the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the birth of Saint John the Baptist, to enter more deeply into the meaning of those two great songs of faith that frame the Church’s daily prayer, the Benedictus and the Magnificat, and to join Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin in silent adoration of the incarnate Son of God. For just such an Advent journey of contemplation, this slim volume is an admirable vade mecum. In it you will find a distillation of the doctrine and the piety of an eloquent preacher and a man of deep and weighty prayer.

The days are not so long ago when the figure of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) needed no introduction and when the very thought of translating his sublime French into English would have been considered an impertinence. But we no longer live in the world of Monsignor Knox and Mr. Waugh – and certainly not that of Mr. Belloc – a world in which it could be taken for granted that educated men and women read French and that educated Catholics read the right sort of French authors. And so there is another task of resourcement that must be undertaken, a reclaiming of an inheritance, one of whose central figures is the Eagle of Meaux, as the great Bossuet was called, after the name of his bishopric and for his clear vision and elevated style.

Born to an industrious and dignified Burgundian family, Bossuet labored mightily in the vineyard of the Word, as a preacher should. He knew the Scriptures by heart. He read and reread the Fathers, chiefly Saint Augustine. He made his own the doctrine of the Church, especially as transmitted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. With his inimitable craft, he put this solid learning to work, producing monuments of French style such as the funeral orations for the princess Henriette-Marie and the great Condé and becoming the schoolmaster not only of the dauphin, son of the Roi Soleil, but of generations of Catholics in la belle France and wherever the French tongue was read. His Discourse on Universal History and History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches cast a long shadow, shaping minds as varied as Joseph de Maistre and T. S. Eliot, Christopher Dawson, and Paul Claudel.

The work here at hand is a careful selection of forty daily meditations – sufficient to stretch from Thanksgiving into the Octave of Christmas – taken from a much longer work, the Elevations a Dieu sur tous les mystéres de la religion chrétienne. The first word of this title defeats easy translation, although its meaning is plain enough. These are texts meant to assist the Christian in the difficult task of lifting the mind to the consideration of God. The notion here is one common to the French School of spirituality that descends from Pierre de Bérulle: that the omnipotent and eternal God is not like us, but because of his infinite condescension in becoming man, we are apt to think that he is. And so, as an astute commentator on Bossuet has said, these meditations spring in part from the author’s conviction that “the majority of our errors in the Christian life and particularly in the life of devotion arise from our failure sufficiently to respect God, from our failure to esteem him highly enough.”

It is Bossuet’s lofty sense of God’s grandeur that gives us the sonorous meditations on the Creation, on the Word, and on the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Yet the same Bossuet who was heir to the austere theological vision of Cardinal de Bérulle was equally the follower of the mild Saint Francis de Sales and the charitable Saint Vincent de Paul. So here too we find stirring calls to poverty, silence, and simplicity of life within the context of reflections on the Blessed Virgin and – in one of the earliest and most celebrated examples of its kind – a sermon in appreciation of the holy patriarch Saint Joseph. The Father, as we are told by the Incarnate Word himself, seeks souls who will adore him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). There is work enough here for both heart and mind, and these gleanings from Bossuet’s harvest of the French School of spiriitua1ity are trustworthy help for the task.[iii]


--Romanus Cessario, O.P.
Joe Martin is Assistant professor of Communication & Graphic Design at Hampton University, where he keeps a watchful eye on students’ tracking and kerning as well as the Atlantic surf. His favorite Christmas song is Sergio Franchi’s "Buon Natale (Christmastime in Rome)."

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Perfect sushi


We ran the above trailer from the award-winning film by David Gelb entitled, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" some nine months ago (Musings, April 3, 2012).

The combination of Beethoven's music and the most exquisite culinary delicacy in the world is just perfect -- as I was again reminded when my son Christopher recently sent me the link to the same trailer, a guilty pleasure which I indulged yet again.

I have yet to see the movie. Hard to understand, I know. A little more exploration on the Internet has simply whetted the appetite for what I should call "I Dream of Jiro's Sushi":


Just imagine: a fifteen course dinner in twenty minutes, served one piece at a time, made to perfection, ingredient, technique, timing. Every item is served at the right time and temperature and stage in its preparation, and in the correct order, so that the flavors complement one another and don't detract.

Anthony Bourdain says at one point, "I'm ready to die now." I can remember thinking just that myself on occasion. It can be just that good. You can't touch this, Fr. Z.

Update: Just found the film on Amazon, where Prime members can stream it for free!

Why we like Carl Trueman . . .

In a recent post entitled "Five Fine History Books for Christmas" (Reformation 21, November 4, 2012), Carl Trueman writes:
When students ask me what they need to do to become good church historians, I always answer -- Read history, any history, as long as it is well-written. So here are five recommendations of new books in 2012 which some might want to think about asking for as presents:

...

Best new book to make it onto my syllabi:

Robert Louis Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity(Yale). I have been a fan of Wilken, a leading Roman Catholic historian of early Christianity, ever since I went to Princeton to hear him give a lecture on the secularisation of modern Christianity. When asked by a member of the audience -- and remember, this is Princeton we are talking about -- to give an example of selling out to the world, he declared (without taking a breath) 'Inclusive language translations of the Bible.' The place descended into uproar.
Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

"Quite magnificent," adds Trueman. Indeed.

He concludes: "This book is a superb tour of the first millennium of the Christian faith, written with his usual learning, wit and clarity. It will be on both my Ancient Church and Medieval syllabi from now on."

Magnificent indeed!

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Newman sighting

Referring to Newman Against the Liberals: 25 Classic Sermons,selected with a Preface by Michael Davies, a reader writes:
Reading these pages I am impressed anew by the faithfulness of Michael Davies, a layman and a high school teacher who had such a far-reaching impact through his long labors. Also renewed appreciation for Newman, who with Wilfrid Ward after him so acutely saw where modern thought was heading even as it was just emerging out of the gate ...

Catholics still like to laugh at the Episcopal Church. I cannot blame them, but I think we remain overly unaware of our own blind spot (is that redundant?).
"The devastation wrought by Liberalism within the Church of England in the 19th century has been magnified a thousandfold within the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council. It seems hard to believe that much of what is included in this collection ... was not addressed specifically to the contemporary situation within Western Catholicism..."
Our reader next refers us to William Doino's article, "The Real John Henry Newman" (First Thoughts, September 20, 2012), with the comment: "Fascinating dogged exchange in the comments." Fascinating indeed!

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Monday, December 03, 2012

The problem: not Obama, but absence of catechesis

Well, it's not as if Mr. Obama hasn't presented the Church in the USA with a problem. He has. But if this external threat becomes yet another pretext for ignoring the elephant in the room -- namely the internal failure of the Church to communicate its truth to its rapidly dwindling constituency -- then it's simply another distraction from the proper task of the Church in the world.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Hate speech against homeschoolers

Peter Baklinski, "CBC trashes homeschooling mothers as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible" (LifeSiteNews.com, November 29, 2012):
TORONTO, November 29, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homeschoolers are incensed after Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC’s The Current, decided to air what she called the “last word” on her show discussing homeschooling.

Following her November 14 show, a two minute skit cast homeschooling mothers as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible.

The home-schooled teenage male—who was cast as unchallenged, resentful, rebellious, and delinquent—suggested at one point that he would rather not have been created than homeschooled.

“OK, so I’m supposed to learn geometry from a lady who never graduated college and wasn’t smart enough to use condoms?” rants the teenager in the skit.
Tremonti also reportedly badgered a homeschool spokesperson over homosexuality.

Oh, I get it. The secular state-run schools have done such a stellar job, so that home schoolers are supposed to feel deprived and improverished? Let me see . . . John Stewart Mill was home schooled and read the Latin classics as a lad. Blaise Pascal was home schooled and discovered the Pythagorean Theorem on his own as a youngster.

Or is it that they can't abide the thought of kids being trained to actually use their brains to think for themselves instead of marching in lock step formation with their state-imposed totalitarian indoctrination programs?

Extraordinary Community News


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (December 2, 2012):
The Catholic Sanctuaries Photo Collection

Another impressive set of photographs has come to our attention: The “Catholic Sanctuaries” collection on Flickr. The work of an anonymous seminarian, this collection is indexed multiple ways: by church name; by church type (e.g.: Basilicas, Cathedrals, Eastern Churches); by geographic location (e.g.: Michigan, subset Detroit); and by architectural feature (e.g. “Naves”, “Organs”, and “Side Altars”).

Detroit’s St. Josaphat is one of countless churches that have been documented. The author has made a special effort to seek out striking architecture; the photo below of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota is an example.


We highly recommend that you take a few minutes and peruse the “Sample Pictures” and “Naves” sets found here: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/catholicsanctuaries/sets/

Beauty and Truth
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. – from Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
These words from a famous poem are words to live by in our Catholic faith. There is much talk nowadays about the need to evangelize the unchurched and the underchurched, non-Catholics as well as those Catholics lacking a thorough understanding of our Holy Faith. What better way to do that than using the diverse arsenal of beauty surrounding the Extraordinary Form of Mass? Humans are sensory beings, and what may be challenging to explain via words may be much easier to convey via imagery.

Within a Catholic context, beauty leads one to truth. The visual and auditory beauty of Catholic art, architecture, and sacred music can move one to learn more about the truths of our religion.

The Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass makes use of all of this artistic beauty. Indeed, it has inspired enduring forms of sacred art and music that characterize the classic designs we see in so many of our historic churches. The imagery and architectural features are all intended to move us to prayer and contemplation.

Keats’ words thus have a special resonance to those of us who have discovered the Tridentine Mass. We can use Beauty to bring people to appreciate the Truth. And well we should.

Yet something has been missing in this Beauty-Truth link. Something long overdue in this modern day and age. The wait is about to be over, however, and the Tridentine Community at Assumption Church will have a key role. Come to the reception in the Social Hall underneath Rosary Chapel after the 2:00 PM Mass at Assumption Church next Sunday, December 9, to find out what we’re talking about.

Masses at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side)

Two special Tridentine High Masses have been scheduled at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side): This coming Saturday, December 8 at 11:00 AM, there will be a High Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S. On Sunday, December 16 at 12:15 PM, there will be a High Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent. Ss. Peter & Paul is located at 7685 Grandville, north of Warren Ave., one half mile west of the Southfield Freeway.

Rules on Requiem Masses

A reader asked for clarification on the regulations for when Requiem Masses are permitted during the week. With a few exceptions that are too obscure for discussion here, the Daily Mass for the Dead is permitted on any Fourth Class Feria or Fourth Class Feast Day outside of Advent, Christmastide, or Lent. With regards to Assumption Church, there are seven such Tuesdays in 2013. There is a strong demand for Mass Intentions for Requiem Masses, so if you wish to have one said for your intentions, kindly submit a Mass Intention Request Form, available at the entrance to the church, as soon as possible.

As it happens, some of these days fall on consecutive weeks, which results in the occasional situation where we may have Requiem Masses on two successive Tuesdays. Let us recall that Requiem Masses offer a particular opportunity to pray for all of the faithful departed, not just the person(s) for whom the Mass is being offered.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 12/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Francis Xavier, Confessor)
  • Tue. 12/04 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
  • Sat. 12/08 11:00 AM: High Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side), Detroit (Immaculate Conception)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for December 2, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]