Sunday, December 15, 2013

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (December 15, 2013):
The 12 Days of Christmas

It is often interesting to realize that some concepts that have gained traction in popular culture derive from traditional Catholic customs. One such example is the well-known English Christmas carol, The 12 Days of Christmas. While the lyrics speak of gifts being given, the notion of 12 days of Christmas relates to the Christmas Octave and the days afterwards leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Some traditions shift the twelve days forward one day, encompassing December 26 – January 6, however because the Catholic concept of an octave includes its starting feast day, and because the Feast of the Epiphany is such a high-ranking feast on its own, it makes more sense to think of the 12 days as December 25 – January 5. Excluding the overriding feasts which take precedence when these dates fall on a Sunday, the 12 days of Christmas are:
  1. December 25: Christmas Day
  2. December 26: St. Stephen, Deacon & Protomartyr
  3. December 27: St. John, Apostle & Evangelist
  4. December 28: Holy Innocents, Martyrs
  5. December 29: Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas, with commemoration of St. Thomas Becket, Bishop & Martyr
  6. December 30: Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
  7. December 31: Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, with commemoration of St. Sylvester I, Pope & Confessor
  8. January 1: Octave of Christmas/The Circumcision of Our Lord
  9. January 2: Feria of Christmastide
  10. January 3: Feria of Christmastide
  11. January 4: Feria of Christmastide or in the USA, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow
  12. January 5: St. Telesphorus, Pope & Martyr
Catholic Church Tours on Facebook

Chicago’s Catholic Church Tours ( is the only other organization in North America with a similar mission as Detroit’s Prayer Pilgrimages. Unlike the latter, which offers bus tours of historic Catholic churches both in and outside of metro Detroit, Catholic Church Tours concentrates on tours of Chicago churches alone. This provides ample material, as Chicago possesses one of the largest collections of beautifully maintained churches in North America. Those who go on Prayer Pilgrimages’ annual Christmas bus tour to Chicago can attest to the remarkable beauty of every church visited.

Of interest to fans of classic sacred architecture, Catholic Church Tours has started a Facebook page in which they present a continual news stream of architecturally significant church construction and restoration projects from around the world. News reports are posted almost daily. Even the recent sale of Windsor’s Our Lady of the Rosary Church made the news feed.

While not every article is traditional in nature, there is plenty of content of interest. For example, recent posts covered the restoration of a High Altar at St. John the Baptist Church in Marshfield, North Carolina, and the reopening of Ss. Peter, Paul, & Philomena Church in New Brighton, England as a Tridentine Mass parish staffed by the Institute of Christ of the King.

Matthew Meloche Named Music Director at Phoenix’s Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral

Former Windsor Tridentine Mass music director and St. Josaphat substitute organist Matthew Meloche has been named Music Director of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, Ss. Simon & Jude. An extensive search was conducted with candidates from across the continent before Matthew was selected.

It was only nine years ago that Matthew’s church music career was jump-started when one of our volunteers at our then-home of St. Michael’s Church asked him if he could substitute for our usual organist that Sunday. Today Matthew is not only one of the top “players” in Phoenix church circles, but he has also organized a Chant Workshop in Phoenix for the Church Music Association of America this coming January. You can watch Matthew direct the music for the diocese’s weekly televised Mass at: Our prayers are with this accomplished son of the Windsor Tridentine Mass.

Christmas Week Special Mass Schedule
  • Tue. 12/24: No Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor
  • Wed. 12/25 12:00 Midnight: High Mass at St. Joseph, Detroit
  • Wed. 12/25 12:00 Midnight: Solemn High Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (orchestral Mass; details here) 
  • Wed. 12/25 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Joseph, Detroit
  • Wed. 12/25 9:30 AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit
  • Wed. 12/25 2:00 PM: Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Subdeacon at St. Benedict / Assumption-Windsor - Choir will sing Michael Praetorius’ Missa a 8 and motets including Hieronymus Praetorius’ In Dulci Júbilo; - Deacon will be Deacon Joe Tuskiewicz; Subdeacon will be seminarian Jacob VanAssche from Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary
  • Fri. 12/27 7:00 PM: High Mass at Sweetest Heart of Mary, Detroit

  • Tue. 12/31: No Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor
  • Wed. 01/01 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Joseph, Detroit
  • Wed. 01/01 2:00 PM: High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 12/16 7:30 AM & 7:00 PM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop)
  • Tue. 12/17 7:00 AM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (Greater Feria of Advent).
  • Tue. 12/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (Greater Feria of Advent)
  • Wed. 12/18 7:30 AM & 7:00 PM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (Ember Wednesday of Advent)
  • Thur. 12/19 7:30 AM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (Greater Feria of Advent)
  • Friday 12/20 7:30 AM & 7:00 PM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (Ember Thursday of Advent)
  • Saturday 12/21 7:30 AM: Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto (St. Thomas; Ember Saturday of Advent).
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for December 15, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

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