Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tridentine Community News - Fr. Jake van Assche to Celebrate First Missa Cantata at Old St. Mary’s this Friday, August 4; Pontifical Missa Cantatas No Longer Allowed; Local TLM schedule

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 30, 2017):
July 30, 2017 – Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Fr. Jake van Assche to Celebrate First Missa Cantata at Old St. Mary’s this Friday, August 4

Long-time readers may recall that Fr. Jake van Assche has served as Subdeacon at Solemn High Masses for the St. Benedict Tridentine Community prior to his ordination to the sacred priesthood. Since ordination, he has celebrated Low Masses at St. Michael Church in Pontiac during Lent. Fr. Jake became interested in the Extraordinary Form when it began to be offered at his family’s parish, St. Stephen in New Boston, in 2008.

This Friday, August 4, Fr. Jake will celebrate his first High Mass at Old St. Mary’s. This is a homecoming of sorts for Fr. Jake, as he has received spiritual direction from one of the priests at Old St. Mary’s. We hope you can join us in thanking Fr. Jake for his willingness to offer the Traditional Mass.

Pontifical Missa Cantatas No Longer Allowed

In response to an inquiry from a Tridentine Mass choir from the Philippines, the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei has ruled that it is no longer permissible for a bishop to celebrate a Missa Cantata, that is, a sung Mass without the additional clergy and ceremonies that constitute a Pontifical Solemn Mass.

In 1962, the only options for a bishop were to celebrate Pontifical Low Masses or Pontifical Solemn Masses. The Pontifical Missa Cantata was authorized in 1964 in the document Inter Oecuménici, likely because even at that time it was becoming increasingly challenging to assemble the trained clerical entourage necessary to support a Pontifical Solemn Mass. In light of the fact that this document included instructions paving the way for the 1965 transitional missal, the PCED must believe that it did not strictly pertain to the liturgy of 1962, thus the permission given in it is not valid. While that viewpoint is understandable, the PCED has been given the authority to amend the 1962 rubrics when beneficial. For example, the PCED ruled that laymen who have been installed as an Acolyte may fill the role of Subdeacon at a Solemn High Mass. This is a logical adaptation to the needs of our time, when truly ordained Subdeacons are only found in the priestly communities that are granted use of the preconciliar rites of ordination. That makes it all the more puzzling why the PCED would not see a similar benefit to the faithful in permitting the Pontifical Missa Cantata. Furthermore, it is odd to think that a bishop – who has the fulness of Holy Orders – might have less faculties than a priest.

This writer has substantial experience organizing Pontifical Masses in our region. The few local bishops who have consented to celebrate the Traditional Mass, Bishop Earl Boyea in Lansing, Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon in Detroit, retired Bishop Eugene LaRocque in Windsor, and retired Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss in Detroit, have all celebrated Pontifical Missa Cantatas. That has been challenging enough to arrange. None of them has the interest to learn the Pontifical Solemn Mass.

This writer has also been involved in organizing or serving three Pontifical Solemn Masses: 1) A Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Faldstool for the 2010 Latin Liturgy Association Convention at St. Josaphat Church with Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, 2) A Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Throne at All Saints Church in Flint in 2005 with then-Ordinary Bishop Carl Mengeling, and 3) A Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Faldstool for the 2006 C.I.E.L. Conference in Oxford, England. All three required an outside Master of Ceremonies to oversee the complex rubrics, an experienced Assistant Priest to attend to the bishop, and extensive server rehearsals to prepare for the unfamiliar and elaborate ceremonies. The rarity and complexity of the rubrics place the Pontifical Solemn Mass outside the competence of even our most experienced local clergy and servers. A Pontifical Missa Cantata, however, is an organic development for our modern era that allows our bishops to offer the Traditional Mass in a solemn but not discouragingly difficult manner. We must not intimidate those whom we wish to involve in the Extraordinary Form.

Our next local Pontifical Mass – Bishop Hanchon’s Mass before Confirmation on October 1 at the OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart – will thus be a Pontifical Low Mass. We will, of course, make it the highest of Low Masses, with hymns and motets sung by the choir. There will, however, be nothing sung by the celebrant, no Aspérges, and no sung Ordinary or Propers.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 07/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Ignatius Loyola, Confessor)
  • Tue. 08/01 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Daily Mass for the Dead) – Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz will celebrate a memorial Requiem Mass for his mother, Virginia Tuskiewicz
  • Fri. 08/04 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (St. Dominic, Confessor) – Celebrant: Fr. Jake van Assche. Devotions to the Sacred Heart before Mass. Reception in the second floor parish hall after Mass.
  • Sat. 08/05 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major)
[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 July 30, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

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