"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 17, 2016):
July 17, 2016 – Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Sacra Liturgía UK 2016 Conference Report
Though this was only its third conference, Sacra Liturgía has already become one of the can’t-miss events of the international Latin Mass convention circuit. Most of the credit goes to the top-tier talent organizing the conferences, led by Bishop Dominique Rey of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France and liturgical expert Dom Alcuin Reid. In each city where the conference has been held (2013 in Rome and 2015 in New York), Dom Alcuin has partnered with leading local figures. This year, Turning Towards the Lord author and London Oratory Parish Priest Fr. Uwe Michael Lang served as city coordinator.
Without a doubt, the top story from this year’s conference was the keynote speech by Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in which he asked priests to consider commencing celebrating the Ordinary Form ad oriéntem – facing the altar – on the First Sunday of Advent. The secular as well as Catholic press has been abuzz with chatter about this talk since then. Vincent Cardinal Nichols of the Archdiocese of Westminster, Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, and even the Vatican Press Office have rebuffed Cardinal Sarah’s suggestion, citing an arguably irrelevant and definitely mistranslated paragraph 299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as justification.
Cardinal Sarah went on to recommend a few other practices to restore reverence to the Ordinary Form, chief among those the restoration of receiving Holy Communion while kneeling. Notably, His Eminence has not withdrawn any of his statements, even after an audience with the Holy Father that was immediately followed by the Vatican Press Office rebuttal.
Some writers have pointed out that while this may seem like a discouraging, political response by liberal clerics, in fact we must look upon the fact that a conversation has begun on these most important topics as a sign of development. Who could have imagined in 1996 that top Vatican officials be would discussing ad oriéntem celebration of the Mass? Equally significantly, this debate demonstrates that efforts to restore reverence in the Sacred Liturgy will bear more fruit and meet with less resistance if they are focused on celebrations of the Extraordinary Form. Indeed, the tables have turned: It has become easier to advance the Extraordinary Form than to secure celebrations of the Ordinary Form incorporating traditional practices.
Additional talks were given on a broad array of subjects, liturgical, artistic, architectural, and musical. Of particular interest was a presentation of the creation on the Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy by Msgr. Andrew Burnham, an Ordinariate priest who served on the committee that authored it. Liturgical events began with Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form at the London Oratory on Tuesday, July 5 celebrated by Bishop Rey, with music provided by the Oratory’s professional adult choir. As this column has many times stated, the music for the Oratory’s Vespers services is of a level of excellence that is hard to describe. To show off the choir’s versatility, each Psalm in the Vespers was sung in a different style: Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony, and this writer’s favorite, fauxbourdon chant. Later on Tuesday, the Schola Cantórum of the London Oratory School (a boys’ choir) offered a concert of sacred music.
On Wednesday, July 6, the same Schola Cantórum, accompanied by a few adult singers, provided the music for a Pontifical Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrated by Cardinal Sarah ad oriéntem, as is always the case at the London Oratory. On Thursday, July 7, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool in the Extraordinary Form, accompanied by the Oratory’s professional adult choir.
On Friday, July 8, a Pontifical Mass according to the rite of the Anglican Ordinariate [pictured above; photos by Sacra Liturgía UK] was offered at Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory Church by Ordinary Msgr. Keith Newton. Though he is not a bishop because he is married, Msgr. Newton celebrated the liturgy with Pontifical rubrics. Celebrated ad oriéntem, the liturgy struck this author as a cross between an Anglican service (with various additional prayers) and a Tridentine Mass in English (Roman Canon, altar cards).
As if that weren’t enough, on the evening of Friday, July 8, there was a second major liturgical event on offer: at St. Mary Moorfields Church, Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, the Apostolic Nuncio to Switzerland. The latter event was organized by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and had no affiliation with the conference. London is truly Catholic liturgical paradise.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 07/18 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor)
- Mon. 07/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor)
- Tue. 07/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Vincent de Paul, Confessor)
- Thu. 07/21 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Laurence of Brindisi, Confessor & Doctor)
- Sat. 07/23 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr)