Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Liturgical validity and authenticity

In Banished Heart: Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church,T&T Clark Studies in Fundamental Liturgy (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, October, 2010), author Geoffrey Hull writes (p. 38):
One of the most pernicious consequences of the Latin West's downgrading of theologia secunda [systematic reflection on the lived mystery of the Church] is its concern for validity, the automatic product of doctrinal orthodoxy, to the neglect of authenticity, the natural fruit of orthopraxis. Differently put, this is making text all-important and context a matter of indifference. Indeed most Catholic debate about the liturgical revolution has centered on the question of whether the new official text makes the Mass and sacraments valid or not; the cultural packaging of the same rites is meanwhile relegated to the realm of relatively unimportant 'externals'.
Addendum: A number of readers have asked for clarification. Just a word now, and perhaps something more substantial in a later post. As a system of beliefs, Catholicism is propositional; but it is far more than that: it is also a way of life, the primary work of which is worship -- a fact indicated by the etymology of "liturgy" -- from Ancient Greek λειτουργία < λειτ-, from λαός, people + -ουργός < ἔργον, work (the public work of the people done on behalf of the people) (Wiktionary). Geoffrey Hull writes (p. 42): "... for centuries orthodoxia 'right worship' had been giving way, in the Western theological hierarchy, to orthopistis 'right believing', and orthodidascalia 'right teaching'."

An undue emphasis on one to the exclusion of the other results in distortion. Thus, the emphasis of existential theolgians (e.g., Barth) on "personal encounter" at the expense of downplaying or excluding the propositional content of revelation and Church teaching tended toward an irrational fideism in the last century; while an undue emphasis on propositional teaching to the neglect of the conventional habitus of Catholic devotional life, results in a disembodied doctrinalism lacking the necessary practical reinforcement to sustain it as a way of life. This, I think, is at least in part the reason for the phenomenon of Catholic converts from Protestant backgrounds sometimes reverting to their erstwhile Protestant communions. They may have been intellectually convinced, after having spent arduous hours in apologetic games of one-upmanship; but Catholicism never 'took' for them, since it remained a disembodied system of beliefs.

For some time I have thought that a good many of those Protestants who have been converting to the Catholic Faith persist in having an overly propositional 'take' on Catholicism, and that even major portions of the conservative wing of contemporary Catholic life exhibit something of this tendency. In this light, I found it interesting that the next paragraph following the one I extracted (above) in the original post, Hull writes: "this problem has been exacerbated by Protestant influence channelled through converts who apply to study for the priesthood and are accepted as ordinands by vocations directors, seminary professors and bishops typically unconcerned to scrutinize the candidates' mentality and cultural outlook which, far too often, are alien and antagonistic to Catholicity." He even goes on to refer to a "veritable 'Trojan horse' phenomenon," which occurs "when such convert-clerics who have recently acquired a Catholic mind but (through no fault of their own) have never had a Catholic heart" are received into the Church and elevated to positions of authority and influence (p. 38).

Cardinal Dulles, the Presbyterian convert to Catholicism, for example, once averred in the pages of the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, that he could imagine a Protestant convert to Catholicism never developing a Marian devotion -- never praying the Rosary, the Memorare, or even embracing the intercession of the Saints as part of his or her personal devotion -- and finding this quite acceptable as long as the convert did not explicitly reject Church teaching on the matter. Dulles, himself something of a minimalist when it comes to what he considered extraneous packaging of the Faith, once wrote: "If there be anyone who contends that in order to be converted to the Catholic faith one must be first attracted by the beauty of the liturgy, he will have me to explain away. Filled as I was with a Puritan antipathy toward splendour in religious ritual, I found myself actually repulsed by the elaborate symbolism in which the Holy Sacrifice is clothed" (Hull, p. 38).

Note the word "clothed" here; and then return to the distinction drawn in the original post between text and context. Text (propositional doctrine) is obviously critically important, but ignoring context is far from being an indifferent matter. True, a validly consecrated Host is the true Body of Christ whether I receive Him kneeling on my tongue at the altar rail or in my hand while lounging in a papasan chair with my other arm lolling over the side. But eventually the practical disposition and deportment is going to have its effect -- either to reinforce belief in Christ's true Bodily Presence, or to erode it in such a way as to spiritualize Christ's presence, if the conviction is sustained at all. One "language-of-the-body" says "I believe this is Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my Lord Jesus Christ." The other says ... or rather yawns, "Yeah, whatever."

Thoughts before Mass on Christ the King and the Blessed Sacrament

A reader sent me the following thought-provoking ruminations this past weekend:
A couple of thoughts while sitting in a pew awaiting the start of Mass this afternoon:

(1) What is the point of celebrating a feast like Christ the King? Christ the President, maybe? Christ the Team Leader? Christ the Speaker of the House? Given the rich blessings of having embraced liberal democracy as the ideal form of government on earth, and the model for ecclesial relations within the Church, what is “Christ the King” other than an embarrassing anachronism from dark preconciliar times -- from which we have thankfully evolved?

(2) There was a time, not so long ago, when communion was received with far less regularity than it is today. When I was in Catholic elementary school in the fifties, I was taught that frequent confession was crucial, for to receive communion with a mortal sin on one’s soul was itself a mortal sin and an insult to the Son of God, who kindly consented to bring His grace to that soul,only to find it soiled with sin. It was therefore far better to refrain from receiving communion if one had reason to think his soul was in such a state. Such self-control showed a proper reverence toward the transubstantiated substance of the host: our unconsecrated hands did not touch the host, and our corrupted souls did not pretentiously consider themselves entitled to His grace in their present state. That was the way it was, in the fifties and throughout the history of the Church -- prior to 1964. Today, however, when the only mortal sin left seems to be scrupulousness, we show less reverence toward the Holy Eucharist than ever before. How ironic then, that in this age, when we hold the Son of God in our grubby hands and pop Him in our mouths like a peanut – an age of diminished respect for, even of lack of recognition of, the sanctity of the host – even in such a tainted and diminished time, the Communio crew -- theologians from Ratzinger to Schillebeeckx -- have all put greater emphasis on Holy Communion than ever – notably more than did the Church of the twenty prior centuries. Is there a disconnect here? One that even our separated (decapitated?) brethren, whose kind regards are so important to contemporary Catholic self-esteem, could discern ? Could it be summarized as actions speaking louder than words ?
[Hat tip to Anon.]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Inconvenient Memoirs of Cardinal Biffi

Sandro Magister (www.chiesa, November 16, 2010) writes: "ROME, November 16, 2010 – In two days, Italian bookstores will be selling the new expanded edition of the memoirs of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, 82, Milanese, archbishop of Bologna from 1984 to 2003.

The first edition of the book, released in 2007, made a strong impression. During Lent of that same year, Benedict XVI had called Biffi to preach the spiritual exercises at the Vatican.

That first volume was striking for the judgments in which the cardinal criticized the naïveté of John XXIII, the negative results of Vatican Council II, the silence on communism, the "mea culpas" of John Paul II, and many other things.

This new edition is also certain to make a stir. In reviewing his life, Biffi has added new chapters and new reflections. As always, in his biting, ironic, anti-conformist style.

The additional pages number about a hundred, and three selections from them are reviewed further below: on the aberrations following the Council, on the Church and the Jews, on the ideology of homosexuality."

Like dat, Tamara Lowe


This is from way back in February (2010), but I've enjoyed reviewing it occasionally and saw it again at a colleague's home this evening. If you haven't seen it, enjoy!

Dr. Janet Smith clarifies Papal comment on condoms

First, it's sad that a Pontiff should be forced into an impasse where he's compelled to say anything about ... condoms. Second, it's sad that the media inevitably takes such comments out of context, as it recently did, suggesting that the Pope has moderated his position on condoms. Third, it's sad that clarifications inevitably have to be issued to prevent the massif misunderstanding of such comments; but they indeed have to be made.

Dr. Janet Smith capably rises to the unenviable challenge in "Pope Benedict on condoms in 'Light of the World'" (Catholic World Report, Web Exclusive, November 20, 2010).


In memoriam: Massacre of Chaldian Catholics in Iraq

I post this memorial somewhat belatedly of the massacre of Iraqi Chaldeans gathered for Mass in Sayedat Al-Najat Church on Sunday, October 21, 2010. I do so for several reasons. First, the Chaldeans are a great and noble people of a lineage that can be traced to antiquity. I have come to know many of them through students I have been teaching at Sacred Heart Major Seminary; and they are among the most industrious and accomplished of students I have had. Second, like the Armenians in Turkey, they have been for many generations a people without a homeland who have been routinely persecuted, as the Turks persecuted the Armenians in the systematic genocide conducted against them in the early 20th century. And as the world has turned a blind eye to the plight of the Armenians, so it is now turning a blind eye to the massacre of Iraqi Chaldeans. What is happening is unconscionable.

In Metro Detroit we have one of the largest populations of Chaldean immigrants in the world. We have a home-grown Chaldean newspaper, The Chaldean News. New Chaldean churches are being built in the Metro Detroit area, and I was privileged to attend one for the ordination of two of our students to the deaconate. The church had upwards of a thousand in attendance, and when I inquired about the number, I was told that on Sundays there are typically several Chaldean Masses with standing room only with similar numbers.

Several of my Chaldean students recently attended a Chaldean protest march in the area to attempt to call media attention to the plight of their brothers and sisters in Iraq. I did see some coverage of it in the local news. What we need, however, if for the world to sit up and take notice. Remember the Rwandan genocide? Remember East Timor? Remember the Turkish Armenians? Maybe. Maybe not. It's time we remembered our persecuted Chaldean Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq.

Although there appears to have been some effort at sanitizing the scene of the crime before photographers arrived, and official statements regarding fatality statistics remain muted, word-of-mouth reports coming out of Iraq suggest that the number of those massacred may be upwards of 150 of those attending Mass on that fateful Sunday morning.

Michael Davies – Part 2 of 2 – Book Review: Pope Paul’s New Mass

Tridentine Community News (November 21, 2010):
Now that the stream of newsworthy events from the last several weeks is slowing down, we can return to the topic of pioneering Extraordinary Form apologist Michael Davies. [For Part I, see "Michael Davies - Part 1 of 2 - Background," Musings, September 26, 2010]

First published in 1980, Pope Paul's New Mass is part of a trilogy of books, the others being Pope John's Council and Cranmer's Godly Order. Its 663 pages are written in much the same style as, and share some of the content of, other Davies works. It is thus a good starting point for understanding his point of view. “PPNM” was one of the first books to detail the step-by-step liturgical changes that were enacted between 1964-69, the transition period between the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo. It contains chapters describing the evolution of various practices which have been well-documented elsewhere and which will not be rehashed here. More uniquely, PPNM discusses Vatican documents which eliminated the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, established the abbreviated formula for distributing Holy Communion, the option to receive Communion under Both Kinds, Concelebration, Children’s Masses, and so forth. It is enlightening to realize that the continual stream of liturgical change conditioned the faithful for the most major change yet to come, the imposition of the significantly modified New Rite of Mass in 1969. Approximately 40 documents not frequently discussed nowadays are analyzed, such as 1967’s Tres Abhinc Annos abolishing many of the genuflections and signs of the Cross in the Mass. In some cases, the entire document text is provided in an appendix.

Davies provides ample evidence that intense lobbying and electioneering by a handful of prelates from Germany and France, along with Vatican-designated point man for liturgical reform Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, pushed through these changes and particularly the creation and adoption of the Novus Ordo. This is popular knowledge among those interested in liturgical history, but Davies provides quotes from Bugnini and others proving that was actually the case. Davies also provides numerous quotes from bishops of the era, from the United States and England in particular, who had misgivings about the effect the changes would have on the faith lives of their flocks. The atmosphere was far from one of unanimity.

Davies cites evidence that the reduction, and in some cases the elimination, of language referring to the Holy Mass as a sacrifice was due to a push to make the Mass more palatable to Protestants. He presents a detailed analysis of Eucharistic Prayer II, the Offertory, and other reworded prayers and rubrics as examples of intentionally ambiguous language which can be viewed with acceptance by Protestants as well as Catholics. In conjunction he points out the vocabulary changes (e.g.: “celebrant” to “presider”) and the elimination of “negative” sentences within Scripture passages employed in the readings at Mass.

A chapter is devoted to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and its follow-on Foreword, the rubrics for and introductory section to the altar missal. There was a surprising amount of dissension over its language, resulting in significant modifications having to be made between the 1969 and 1970 versions. As Davies writes, “What precedent is there in the history of the Church for a sacramental rite needing to have a Foreword written to justify its orthodoxy within one year of its publication?” (p. 306)

The book is filled with memorable snippets such as the following: “The police did not need to be called to Catholic churches each Sunday to hold back the hordes of lapsed Catholics whose faith had been rekindled at the prospect of saying the Confíteor in English.” (p. 92) Nevertheless, PPNM should be judged primarily on the basis of the thought-provoking facts it presents. Regardless of one’s liturgical proclivities, PPNM’s plethora of quotes from Vatican documents, articles, and interviews, amply footnoted, make the reader wonder just what the actual motivations were to impose the changes. Was it true scholarship? This seems unlikely considering all of the changes imposed in such a brief period of time, in an era before electronic communication made collaboration and discussion feasible. Was it a power play to control the liturgy by pushy individuals in an era (the 1960s) where change of all sorts appeared good? Why was making the Mass more appealing to Protestants more important than, for example, appealing to the Orthodox? One is left with the impression that the liturgical changes, and especially their vernacular translations, were rushed through because a door was open that might not be open much longer. Consider how quickly the first English translation of the Ordinary Form appeared in 1969. A mere seven years earlier, Vatican II had not yet even begun. The same thing would be far less likely to happen today, when the Internet would make such a process, and its principal actors and motivations, public knowledge rapidly. Consider that the new English translation of the Ordinary Form has been under the public microscope throughout its entire, over-seven-year process of creation.

There is much to say about the Extraordinary Form that is positive in nature, and our editorial philosophy has been to draw that attractiveness to the fore. Pope Paul’s New Mass admittedly covers some controversial territory with a more negative tone than we like. However, we believe that knowledge of Michael Davies’ significant contributions to the repopularization of the Extraordinary Form, as well as his historical assertions, is an important part of arriving at an intellectually full understanding of the Tridentine Mass as it is celebrated in the world today.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 11/22 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Cecilia, Virgin & Martyr)

Tue. 11/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Clement I, Pope & Martyr)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for November 21, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"This is our work ..."

Vignette of the Norbertine Life at St. Michael's Abbey from St. Michael's Abbey on Vimeo.

[Hat tip to Arieh Ordronneau]

Tridentine Community News (February 4, 2007), includes: (1) "Tridentine Travelogue: Mission San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, California" and "St. Michael’s Abbey, Silverado, California"

Security screening for killer nuns

You'll rest a little easier on your next flight knowing that Big Sis Napolitano and your vigilant TSA officers are hard at work identifying every possible terrorist, including those especially scary consecrated virgins. One would almost think they're profiling ...

[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Progressive Solemnity

Tridentine Community News (November 14, 2010):
At a recent funeral, a reader asked a set of related questions: Why are there defined forms of the Extraordinary Form Mass (Low, High, Solemn High)? Why are the distinctions so marked, as opposed to in the Ordinary Form? Does one Mass type provide more grace than another?

The last question is the easiest to answer. It is an axiom of the Church that every Holy Mass is a font of grace. God does not need the Holy Mass; mankind needs it. Mankind’s thought processes are influenced by the senses, and thus it helps us, not God, that there are different forms of the Mass, reflecting varying degrees of solemnity.

Consider a fine dinner. That meal could be ordered for carry-out and enjoyed in very informal circumstances. Paper plates and utensils could be used. It could be served outdoors at a camp site. The same meal could also be had in a fancy restaurant. It is haute cuisine either way, but the environment of a fine restaurant and its high standards of service are more fitting for a major occasion. So it is with the Sacred Liturgy: The Holy Mass is the same Mass, offering the same supernatural graces, no matter how it is celebrated. Likewise, a wedding is still a wedding regardless of the level of solemnity of the accompanying Holy Mass.

Nevertheless, Holy Mother Church recognizes that we humans employ and benefit from ritual in our secular lives to distinguish special occasions such as graduation, anniversaries, and retirement. In a similar fashion, the Extraordinary Form Calendar assigns each Feast Day a Class from one to four. First Class Feasts are our most important days; Fourth Class our least. The Feast of Pentecost and the feast of a relatively obscure saint do not demand the same awareness on the part of the faithful.

A particular beauty of the Extraordinary Form is its definition of different types of Holy Mass: The formal setting of a Solemn High Mass (with Deacon and Subdeacon) is more fitting for a special occasion, presuming sufficient sacred ministers are available. A Missa Cantata (High Mass celebrated by a priest alone) is more typically feasible nowadays for feasts of above-average solemnity. We celebrate Missa Cantatas on weekdays at St. Josaphat and Assumption-Windsor on weekday First and Second Class Feasts when a Credo as well as Gloria are specified, to heighten awareness of the Church’s calendar in our daily thinking. The Low Mass is fitting for Third and Fourth Class weekdays, when time and resources are limited.

The concept we are describing is referred to as Progressive Solemnity. Not just the form of the Mass, but also the incidentals surrounding it, can and should differ depending on the importance of the occasion. For example, gold vestments may be substituted for every vestment color other than black or violet. Traditionally gold is used for more solemn occasions. Likewise, cloths used at the altar, such as the purificator that covers the chalice, come in varying degrees of decoration, from almost plain white cloths to fabric with gilded edging and sewn golden images. Chalices can vary from the relatively plain to jewel-bedecked, intricately patterned models.

Presuming that we had options in our inventory, we wouldn’t use our best gold vestment for a Fourth Class Feria weekday Mass. Nor would we use a relatively plain vestment or chalice for Easter Sunday Mass. Some of the chants of the Mass are also adapted to levels of formality: For example, the Prefaces are printed in Ferial Tone for less important feasts; in Solemn Tone for most Sundays and major feasts; and in a More Solemn Tone for the most solemn of occasions and feasts such as Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

The rubrics surrounding the Feast Classes and Mass types free us to focus on prayer and preparation, not on worrying how to make a particular feast’s Mass appear more significant. The High Mass rubrics set elevated standards and give us something to strive for. Without those standards, would we, for example, elect to chant the Holy Gospel? Or sing the Credo and the Mass responses? Those are enhancements to the Mass that might not be intuitive nowadays, yet once experienced, clearly add to the sense of sacredness.

The Ordinary Form does not demarcate differences as clearly between forms of the Mass. There are no clear definitions of Low and High Masses. A particular Sunday Mass, for instance, might have hymns, a sung Gloria, a recited Creed, but no sung Propers. Chapter VI of Msgr. (now Bishop) Peter Elliott’s Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite describes the elements which could constitute a “Solemn Mass” in the Ordinary Form, largely drawing on customs modeled on the Tridentine Mass, in an effort to supply details missing in the official rubrics. For instance, His Excellency suggests the use of two deacons, thurifer, torch bearers, master of ceremonies, and book bearer.

The Church does not limit graces depending on the form of Mass. For instance, nowhere in rubric, custom, or Canon Law is it stated that one must attend a High Mass in order to gain some sacramental benefit or Indulgence. At the same time, in 1998 then-Cardinal Ratzinger delivered a speech in which he urged Extraordinary Form Masses to employ music when possible, as humans are attracted by the more sacred atmosphere.

Again, God does not need this, we do. Anything that helps us focus our worship according to the mind of the Church can be good for our spiritual life. Thus while every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass conveys grace – even if our personal preference is not for a particular form of Mass or type of music used in the Liturgy – Progressive Solemnity fits our human need to distinguish certain occasions as more worthy of our attention than others.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 11/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)

Tue. 11/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Gertrude the Great, Virgin)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for November 14, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

Italian hierarchy rebuked for liturgical failings

Sandro Magister, "The Pope Rattles the Bishops: 'Learn from Saint Francis'" (www.chiesa, November 12):
ROME, November 12, 2010 – The last two popes, on numerous occasions, have pointed to the Italian Church and its episcopate as a "model" for other nations.

There is one field, however, in which the Italian Church does not shine. It is that of the liturgy.

This was made clear by the severe lesson that Benedict XVI gave to the Italian bishops gathered in Assisi for their general assembly from November 8-11, an assembly centered on an examination of the new translation of the Roman missal.

... The pope gave as an example of genuine liturgical reform the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which put into the hands of the priests the "Breviary" with the liturgy of the hours, and reinforced the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic bread and wine.

Those were the times of Saint Francis of Assisi. And Benedict XVI dedicated a good part of his message to illustrating for the Italian bishops the spirit with which that great saint obeyed that liturgical reform, and made his friars obey it.

... [St. Francis] was profoundly convinced that Christian worship should correspond to the "rule of faith" that has been received, and in this way give form to the Church. The priests, first of all, must base their holiness of life on the "holy things" of the liturgy.

Visualizing Obama's "budget cuts" (LINK NOW WORKING)

President Obama announced that over the next 90-days he is going to
work to cut 100-Million dollars of spending out of the Federal Budget.

A college student explains the facts and puts Obamanomics in practical perspective. Very, VERY well done!

This is worth spending one minute and thirty eight seconds to watch ...


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hermenuetic of Continuity Applied at a Local Wedding

Tridentine Community News (November 7, 2010):
Weddings in the Extraordinary Form are no longer a news item. St. Josaphat, Assumption-Windsor, Sweetest Heart of Mary, and St. Joseph Churches all host Tridentine Nuptial Masses on a reasonably regular basis. On Saturday, October 30, however, a different kind of Latin Mass wedding was held.

Many of our readers know Matthew Meloche. From 2004-2007, Matthew was the Music Director of the Windsor Tridentine Mass and the principal substitute organist at St. Josaphat. In 2007 Matthew was appointed the full-time Music Director at Holy Spirit Parish in Columbus, Ohio. Matthew and his bride Kathryn Kitzmiller chose Detroit’s St. Joseph Church as the site for their wedding. It was an appropriate location for Kathryn’s family from Ohio and Matthew’s family from Canada, and it had a pipe organ suitable for the music Matthew chose. St. Joseph also has a liturgical tradition which Matthew wanted to be a part of, that of Novus Ordo Masses celebrated in Latin, in the most traditional manner possible.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has on several occasions spoken of the need for a “Hermeneutic of Continuity” between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of Holy Mass. By this he means that the Ordinary Form should demonstrate a lineage to its roots in the classic Roman liturgy. This wedding did exactly that. Rubrics of the Ordinary Form were followed precisely as in the Missal. If something was unclear or unspecified, the Tridentine custom was maintained. While there were characteristics unmistakably from the new rite, such as the presence of a concelebrant and the inclusion of Prayers of the Faithful, it might surprise some of our readers to see just what is possible and permissible in the modern liturgy:
  • Celebration of the Mass ad oriéntem at the High Altar

  • Celebrant and concelebrant wore Roman “fiddleback” vestments, maniples, and birettas

  • Introit, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons chanted by the choir from the 1974 Graduále Románum

  • Chanted Opening Prayer, Prayer Over the Gifts, Preface, and Prayer After Communion

  • Chanted Kyrie, Glória, and Credo (the latter because Sunday Propers were chosen for the 5:00 PM Mass time)

  • Readings set to Gregorian Chant, one in English, one in French, and the Holy Gospel in Latin.

  • Eucharistic Prayer I, the Roman Canon

  • Holy Communion distributed at the Communion Rail

Fr. Peter Hrytsyk celebrated the Mass. Choir members and altar servers from Assumption-Windsor and St. Josaphat supported the liturgy. The music was directed by Matthew’s predecessor and successor in Windsor, Wassim Sarweh.

In 1998, then-Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned in a speech that the average Catholic would find far less difference between the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form celebrated as this wedding was, than between such a Mass and the Ordinary Form as typically celebrated in Western countries. Indeed, the experience, while in many ways different from the Extraordinary Form, was not all that different rubrically. If we exclude content differences in the texts of the Mass and focus on the externals only – which are what most people will remember from the Mass – there were many similarities. So many so, that a priest in attendance asked, “Is this what they call a ‘Tridentine’ Mass?”

All Souls Day Report

Thanks be to God, the special All Souls Day program at Our Lady of the Assumption Church this past Tuesday evening was the best-attended event in the history of the Windsor Tridentine Mass: Approximately 350 of the faithful turned out. Fr. Patrick Bénéteau celebrated the Second Mass of All Souls on the Sacred Heart side altar (pictured), Fr. John Johnson celebrated the Third Mass on the Blessed Mother’s altar, and Fr. Peter Hrytsyk celebrated the Solemn High (First) Mass on the High Altar, with Frs. Bénéteau and Johnson as Deacon and Subdeacon, respectively. Special thanks are due to Fr. Peter and Alex Foley for obtaining the new solemn black vestment set; to Barry and Susan Rafferty for preparing the church, refurbishing the side altars and obtaining and framing altar cards for them; to Sharon Moody for publicizing the event; and to Diane Begin for making three layers of altar cloths for the side altars.

St. Albertus Mass Tridentine Masses This Week

This Sunday, November 14 at noon, St. Albertus Church will hold its next quarterly Tridentine Mass. The celebrant will be Fr. Lee Acervo. A reception will follow Mass in the rectory.
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for November 7, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A most remarkable miracle

Got this from one of our resident faculty priests today, who writes: "There are lots of other links (including secular news outlets) to verify this if you do a Google search of the names involved."

Check it out. Pretty interesting.


More interesting still will be what the viewer's reaction tells him (and us, if he's willing to share it in a comment) about himself. Believers will forever appear to be a credulous bunch of fools to the unbelieving: "What won't these idiots believe!!!" On the other hand, the unbelieving will forever appear to be incorrigible knuckleheads to believers: "What will it take??? Does God have to smack you over the head with a two-by-four???" As Francis A. Schaeffer used to say at L'Abri in Switzerland, even if all the stars of the heaven arranged themselves so as to spell "Jesus saves!" there would still be those who responded by scratching their heads and remarking: "Wow! What a coincidence!"

[Hat tip to Fr. D.J.]


Paul Zummo, "The Day After" (American Catholic, November 3, 2010). A good synopsis by the Crank Conservative "in the aftermath of the best electoral night for the Republicans since the age of flappers ... a few reflections on some of the common memes that have sprouted up over the past 24 hours."

[Hat tip to C.B.]