Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tridentine Community News - EF Triduum venues, plummeting RC wedding & convert stats since 1965, new U.S. choir school plans, TLM Mass listings

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (March 22, 2015):
Tridentine Triduum Opportunities

The Traditional Latin Easter Triduum services are a profound liturgical experience. Each of the three days contains elaborate ceremony and ritual commemorating our Lord’s Passion. We are fortunate to be able to experience these services at multiple local sites. The below locations have announced Triduum services according to the Extraordinary Form.

Musically, the Triduum promises to be special: Wassim Sarweh will direct a full choir at the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Holy Name of Mary. Members of Windsor’s St. Benedict Tridentine Community professional choir will join in singing at the Academy.
Holy Thursday
Academy of the Sacred Heart Chapel, Bloomfield Hills: 7:00 PM
Celebrant: Msgr. Ronald Browne
St. Josaphat Church, Detroit: 7:00 PM

Good Friday
- St. Josaphat: 12:00 Noon
- Academy of the Sacred Heart: 1:30 PM
Celebrant: Fr. Louis Madey
- Holy Name of Mary Church, Windsor: 5:30 PM
Celebrant: Fr. Peter Hrytsyk

Easter Vigil
- Academy of the Sacred Heart: 8:00 PM
Celebrant: Fr. Louis Madey
- St. Josaphat: 8:00 PM
LMS Charts Weddings and Receptions into the Church

Following up on our March 1 column, in which statistics were published showing a precipitous decline in vocations to the priesthood in the United States from 1965 onwards, on March 10 Dr. Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, published charts showing the number of receptions into the Catholic Faith in England over the past several decades, as well as the number of Catholic weddings. Once again, 1965 proved to be a watershed year, with numbers dramatically falling thereafter.

Granted, society experienced significant upheavals in the 1960s, but one cannot escape the fact that 1965 also happened to be the year the Catholic Church began to implement major changes to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that had far-reaching effects in the life of the Church. It is not unreasonable to attribute some cause and effect. If one accepts that line of logic, is the solution to press ahead with yet more changes, or to return to the apparently more successful pre-1965 practices? Faced with an analogous situation, the Coca Cola Company took swift action in the 1980s, with one key difference: The reintroduction of Classic Coke was not restricted to a few selected retailers; every store that carried their product line stocked both the new and old formulas. The market decided which product would succeed.

Dr. Shaw offers the following suggestions to bring the numbers back up: Make the Church “serious, demanding, and holy”, and return to the clarity of pre-Conciliar teachings. In other words, raise expectations, and more people may just come to the table.

Third U.S. Choir School Planned

For decades, the United States has only had two full-time Catholic choir schools: St. Paul’s Choir School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an all-boys program; and the Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City, Utah, with both boys and girls. Plans have now been announced for a third, at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish in Topeka, Kansas. The parish’s [part-time] 45-member boys-and-girls Schola Cantorum will be integrated with the 400-member parish school, with the result being a [full-time] choir school-within-a-school. Though the parish does not (yet) offer the Extraordinary Form, the repertoire of the Schola Cantorum is predominantly Latin, much as it is at St. Paul’s Choir School.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 03/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Passiontide)
  • Tue. 03/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Feria of Passiontide)
  • Fri. 03/27 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Passiontide) – First Tridentine Mass of Fr. Stephen Pullis. Reception for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juventútem Michigan
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for March 22, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

1 comment:

Pertinacious Papist said...

I think it's interesting for those of us who were received into the Catholic Church since Vatican II to consider these statistics. I think MANY of us may assume that the reason we came into the Church when we did was because the Church after Vatican II was in some way more inviting or conducive to such conversions.

In some cases, this may seem to have been so. What do I mean? I know quite a few Catholic converts who have are now formally Catholics while remaining, in many ways, materially unchanged Protestants. "Sacramentalized Protestants," one might call them. What made reception into the Church easier for them was that they saw in the Catholics and parishes they encountered people much like themselves -- people who talked about experiencing Jesus, perhaps charistmatics, who shared a similar vocabulary and spiritual comportment -- and this made it quite natural to consider converting. In some cases, it was likely perceived as not a whole lot more than a change of "denomination."

On the other hand, even including those who have been received into the Church under such understandings, the statistics for Catholic converts today are vastly inferior to those before Vatican II -- and this despite the loudly advertised programs of "New Evangelization," "New Pentecost," and "New Springtime" in the Catholic Church.

Both Joseph Pearce and Dom Alcuin Reid note this significant fact in their Foreword and Introduction, respectively, to the new 2011 edition of A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes (Ignatius Press).

The elephant in the room is the question: WHY IS THIS?