"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 20, 2015):
Are New Challenges Suggesting Different Directions Than Those Envisaged After the Second Vatican Council?
Fifty years after its conclusion, we keep hearing about carrying forth the vision or spirit of the Second Vatican Council. For the first ten or twenty years following the Council, one could make a plausible argument that certain changes in the Church may have been worth conducting. Let us put aside the longstanding debate over whether the Council had an agenda that was pushed forward by liberals; at this point it doesn’t really matter. What is more important is to ask whether the recommendations of a non-dogmatic, purely pastoral Council are still relevant today. Consider the major advances in technology and communications, the decline in morality, the vocations crisis, and the decline in religious practice over the past 50 years. Is the Church not facing a different set of challenges than it was in 1960?
The Church is ever-living, ever renewing. It must not be a slave to the past when the past in question does not serve immemorial tradition. In the present era, it is beginning to appear as though some in the Church are stuck in a vision of solving problems that may have been prevalent in the 1950s or 60s, but which are no longer pertinent now. To wit:
Then: Lax or hurried celebration of the Tridentine Mass suggested a need for reform of the Sacred Liturgy. Now: Most communities which celebrate the Extraordinary Form do so with love, care, and devotion to rubrics and music. Conversely, a large number of Ordinary Form parishes espouse a watered-down liturgy. Which bolsters the faith of the people better?
Then: Vocations were plentiful and Catholics knew the tenets of their faith. Now: There are fewer vocations, and formation in the Faith is generally lacking. Confession is one of many aspects of the faith which has been de-emphasized to the point where many Catholics do not partake of it regularly. How can we expect people to make a life commitment to a faith they do not sufficiently understand?
Then: A goal was to remove from the Liturgy concepts which might be a barrier to common ground with Protestants. Now: Protestants did not stream into the Church after this change. A greater challenge today is preventing Catholics from leaving.
Then: Most churches expressed the Faith through their sacred art and architecture. Now: Most new churches are built in a modern idiom, denuded of iconography and art which raise the mind to God. The Faith has not been strengthened by this stripping of visual aids to the spiritual life.
It is arguably time to examine the current challenges faced by the Catholic Church and consider which approaches are working today. Where are vocations and commitment to the Faith strong? Clinging to outmoded solutions while parishes close and people drift away from the Church is not the way to a healthy future. By analogy, the War on Poverty no longer guides U.S politics, though it was all the rage in 1964. The true “New” Evangelization is solving 2015’s issues, not 1960’s, using proven methodologies.
One of the most important prayers in the Catholic treasury is the Ángelus. Memorialized in a famous painting of a couple praying in a field, this prayer commemorating the Annunciation is the reason church bells are set to ring at 12:00 Noon and 6:00 PM, as one can gain a Partial Indulgence for praying the Ángelus at dawn, at noon, or in the evening. [The Regína Cæli is prayed in place of the Ángelus during the Easter season.]
℣. Ángelus Dómini nuntiávit Maríæ, ℟. Et concépit de Spíritu Sancto. Ave, María… ℣. Ecce ancílla Dómini, ℟. Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum. Ave, María… ℣. [genuflect] Et Verbum caro factum est, ℟. Et habitávit in nobis. Ave, María… ℣. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Génetrix, ℟. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi. Orémus. Grátiam tuam, quaésumus Dómine, méntibus nostris infúnde, ut qui, Ángelo nuntiánte, Christi Fílii tui incarnatiónem cognóvimus, per passiónem ejus et crucem ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.
℣. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, ℟. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary… ℣. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, ℟. Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary… ℣. [genuflect] And the Word was made flesh, ℟. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary… ℣. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, ℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts: that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 09/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist)
- Tue. 09/22 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Thomas of Villanova, Bishop & Confessor)
- Fri. 09/25 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Michael, Livonia (Ember Friday) – Dinner for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juventútem Michigan