Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Paintings from Students in the Style of the Gothic School of St Albans - next class is in Columbus, OH in October

14 - 1 (1)And a review by Fr John Bambrick from St Aloysius, Jackson, NJ
Here are some of the paintings done by the recent' classes teaching the gothic style of art using the 12th century English illuminations of the School of St Albans (with one contemporary French image there as well). These classes took place in July in Kansas, Calgary and at Thomas More College in New Hampshire.
As usual what strikes me hear is the ease with which Catholics from the Roman Rite take to these forms which are closely linked to that Rite. I have taught many classes of Eastern style icons and there is a cultural barrier to overcome that means that the quality of the painting is not as high. Some who have been exposed to the prejudice against Western forms that you hear in some icon painting classes, are intially suspicious. However, once they accept that they are allowed to like Western gothic art and that it is just as authentically liturgical and worth of veneration as a Russian or Greek icon, then they seem to take to these forms very naturally.
Students always want to change things and interpret. In Eastern icon painting classes, you almost always have to say no because the changes suggested are not appropriate. I find that in this form the students quickly inhabit the gothic world and when they suggest changes they would like to make, they are in accord with the tradition and so, provided that it won't detract from the learning process, I usually them to do it.
 Fr John Bambrick, who attended the class at TMC in Merrimack NH wrote a generous review of the week in his parish bulletin and here is what he said:
"The Week of July 28th I took a class on Christian Iconography at St. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack New Hampshire.  It is a small liberal arts college with a strong traditional Catholic identity in New England.  Professors are called ‘Fellows’ at this College. To be honest I cannot draw a straight line; however through the skill of Fellow David Clayton I competed an egg tempera copy of an illumination from a Medieval Psalter.  The excellence of his teaching was apparent when the entire class completed their Icons.  If David is ever considered for canonization this could be considered one of his first miracles!  He has just published a very fine work on prayer for the family called, “The Little Oratory: A beginners guide to praying in the home”.  You can find this gem on Amazon.com.  He also maintains a blog on Art, Religion and culture called thewayofbeauty.org.   We also had a wonderful field trip to a Russian Icon Museum in Massachusetts.  One of the most reproduced Icons is the Mother of God under various titles."  The full bulletin is here.
Most of the students had never done a class before, although some were doing their second or third class. The image top left, which is shown again on a larger scale was done by an 18-year old who was attending his first class ever. The original images are from the 12th century Westminster psalter apart from the image of the Creator making the universe according to weight and measure and number, which is from a French manuscript of the same period.
I am receiving inquiries from about when the next class will be. So for any who are interested we will be running one in Columbus, Ohio running from October 20-24th. This will be the first one that comes with the option of continuing-education credit and, we hope, transferable college level credit (all accredited by Thomas More College of Liberal Arts). Full details will appear shortly in this blog, but any who are interested should email me giving me your email address which I will forward to Gina Switzer the lady who is organizing it so she can contact you.

The New Evangelist



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Pope Benedict Meets with Juventutem and Populus Summorum Pontificum Leaders

According to Zenit News, MessainLatino.it, and Vatican Insider, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI surprised Cosimo Marti, the treasurer of the International Juventutem Federation, with an invitation to visit him yesterday. Marti had asked some time back to meet with His Holiness, but had thought that the request was forgotten, only to be surprised by a letter from Bishop Gänswein inviting him to visit. On the visit, he was accompanied by Joseph Capoccia, one of the co-founders of "Populus Summorum Pontificum."

"Populus Summorum Pontificum" is the annual pilgrimage of people devoted to the extraordinary form of the Mass, now in its third year, while Juventutem is an international federation of chapters of young people dedicated to the sanctification of youth through devotion to the extraordinary form of the Mass, this year celebrating its tenth anniversary. 


High Mass and Veneration of Relics in Indianapolis

An NLM reader shares this announcement with us:
The Saint John Bosco Latin Mass Community invites you to the CENTENARY celebration of the Feast of St. Pius X

Wednesday, September 3rd
Saint Simon the Apostle Church, 7.P.M.
8155 Oaklandon Road, Indianapolis, IN 46236
Fr. Ryan McCarthy, celebrant
High Mass with Veneration of Relics to follow

Monday, September 01, 2014

Pontifical Low Mass with Raymond Cardinal Burke

Today, I'd love to highlight something that is not a common sight for many Catholics, the EF Pontifical Low Mass. I recently found pictures on Facebook of Cardinal Burke celebrating one very recently at Sacred Heart Church, Carlton, in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Astute readers will note that in addition to the two servers that you find at any typical low Mass, there are also two priest-attendants to the bishop that assist him, reminding us that a bishop retains the fullness of holy orders, and even when celebrating a simple Low Mass, there is additional ceremony, honoring the office of Bishop. You'll also note the use of the biretta instead of the miter, as well as the dual books: the missale and pontificale, just as at a solemn pontifical Mass.

The two priest-attendants at the Low Mass were Fr Glen Tattersall and Canon Gilles Guitard. The full photo gallery can be viewed here on the website of the Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, taken by Chris Steward.

I also feel I can't finish without mentioning his chasuble. I think the design is beautiful (though possibly a bit busy), but as with anything that is less subdued, it can sometimes cause people to love the design or strongly dislike it. The first two pictures have clear views of the front and rear design. What do you think? Let us know below!






In this picture, you can clearly see the two servers in addition to the two attendants.




Celebration vs. Concelebration: Theological Considerations

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has often said that he believes concelebration should be “legal, safe, and rare.” Why are traditional Catholics generally so skeptical about concelebration? What could be the problem with it?

The sacrifice of the Mass is, first and foremost, Christ offering His atoning sacrifice through the ministerial priest. Objectively, therefore, two Masses are always greater in power than one, because the saving act of Christ, the main offerer, is once again applied to sinners—at least to those who are disposed to receive the effect prayed for.

Subjectively, the reverence of the one offering can obtain a greater or lesser reception of said graces for himself and for others, and to such an extent that the piety with which a Mass is offered by, for example, a Saint Philip Neri, may lead to the reception of more graces than many Masses offered by a less reverent priest. But although that is true, the overall state of the universe is better, one can say, due to the objective fact of many representations of the sacrifice of Calvary, than it would have been were there fewer. No amount of subjective devotion, which has to do with the reception of the fruits of the Mass, can ever equal the objective propitiatory and impetratory worth of a single Mass offered by Christ the High Priest through His minister.

When two priests concelebrate one Mass, a single act of sacrifice is made present through both of them together, acting in tandem as one instrument—as when several men pull on a rope together, there is one pulling of the rope, and one effect, e.g., that a heavy stone be pulled. In contrast, when two priests celebrate two Masses, Christ makes present anew, through each of them, His sacrifice to the Father; for us men and for our salvation, He has twice renewed His oblation at their consecrated hands. This multiplies the graces poured forth into the world from the Lord's most holy soul, the fountain of all gifts.

It is quite true that the concelebrants may have diverse Mass intentions and receive separate stipends, but it is no less true that among them there is no other consecration than the one that takes place on the altar at which they are all simultaneously present. Hence, there are not numerically many representations of the sacrifice of Calvary, and so there cannot be the same multiplication of the effects inherent to the offering of Mass. With separate Masses, the offering of Christ’s saving Passion is multiplied—in a sacramental way, yes, but one that is nevertheless real, not merely symbolic. As St. Thomas writes: “The oblation of the sacrifice is multiplied in several Masses, and therefore the effect of the sacrifice and of the sacrament is multiplied” (Summa theologiae III, q. 79, a. 7, ad 3).

In the encyclical Mediator Dei, Venerable Pius XII teaches that the essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass—that is, the sacramental representation of the Lord’s Passion—consists in the separate consecration of the two species of bread and wine, which makes present in a mystical way the death of Christ, when His body was separated from His blood. In a concelebrated Mass, there is only one consecration (one might say: una consecratio, multi consecrantes). Therefore, as compared with a series of private Masses, there are fewer representations of the one Sacrifice of the Cross and fewer applications of its saving power to the living and the dead.

According to the Thomistic school, of which Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange may be taken as representative, Christ the Eternal High Priest from Heaven actually offers each Mass offered through His priestly instruments on earth. The question with regard to concelebration would be, then: Does our Lord offer one hundred times when one hundred priests concelebrate, or only once? He offers only once, using the hundred concelebrants simultaneously as His instruments in effecting a single Transubstantiation and therefore a single enacting of the Sacrifice. It is like the difference between starting a single fire with one hundred matches or starting a hundred fires with as many matches: in the former case, those many matches function, essentially, as a single fire-starter, but in the latter case, they function as many fire-starters. If the Lord’s purpose in coming to earth was to set fire to it, as He Himself declared (cf. Lk 12:49), would we not want His ministers to be igniting many distinct fires every day? There is, after all, no limit to the need of the human race for this warming, illuminating, and transformative fire.

There is, of course, a canonical limit, based upon reasons of fittingness, to the number of Masses a priest may celebrate on a given day, and there can be legitimate reasons for not offering Mass on a particular day (e.g., sickness, lengthy travel, a time of war or persecution). Apart from such circumstances, there is no compelling objective reason why each priest should not daily exercise the most sublime action of his own priestly power, his ontological share in the eternal high priesthood of Christ, to give perfect worship to God and advance the salvation of the world.

Appealing to the earlier distinction between objective merit and subjective disposition, one might attempt to neutralize this conclusion by stating that a devout concelebrant will obtain more graces from the Mass than a distracted or rushed celebrant will do from a private Mass. Although this is true, in theory, of the fruits of the Mass for the individual, it does not touch the earlier argument about the objective value of the renewal of Christ’s sacrifice, the moreso as it is more often offered. More to the point, given how much easier it is to be focused on the sacrificial action and prayers in individual celebration, the subjective disposition of two priests concelebrating is very likely not going to be equal to that of the same priests celebrating individually, so the question seems an academic one. A priest friend once joked that he could prove this claim with a video camera: the disposition of concelebrants rarely seems as intent and concentrated as that of a single celebrant. Thus, in practice, concelebration will almost always confer less grace upon its many ministers and win less grace for the people than individual celebration will confer upon its single agent and the people for whom he is offering it.

Ceteris paribus, it is better for the priest himself, for the People of God, and for the world outside the Church that each priest should celebrate Mass daily, if nothing beyond his control prevents him from doing so. In this way, he most fully actualizes the potential of his ministerial priesthood, letting the Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, make the maximum use of him as the instrument by which the fruits of His saving sacrifice will be poured out upon the human race from the rising of the sun even to its setting.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another Parish Moves East - Greenville, South Carolina

In Greenville, South Carolina, we find another parish that has made the jump to ad orientem, along with an excellent explanation of the situation from their parish website. I commend the pastor for the fantastic liturgical leadership in restoring the sacred!
1. Since 2008, most Masses at St. Mary’s Church have been celebrated with the priest standing on the same side of the altar as the congregation during the Eucharistic Prayer, a custom not widely seen today in the Catholic Church except for in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, commonly called the Tridentine Mass. This custom of priest and people standing together on the same side of the altar is called praying towards the East or ad orientem, and at St. Mary’s even the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite — the Mass of the Second Vatican Council — is celebrated ad orientem. Here’s why.

Our History

2. From Christian antiquity, priests and people celebrated the Holy Eucharist by facing together towards the Lord, which meant standing together on the same side of the altar. This ancient and universal practice was lost sight of in the last two generations by the new practice of the priest standing across the altar from the people during the Eucharistic Prayer, a custom almost never before found in the sacred liturgy except for rare instances of architectural necessity, and in the last few years, theologians and pastors have begun to review this innovation in light of the best scholarship and the experience of the Church since the late 1960′s.

3. Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was one of most thoughtful and respected critics of the unintended consequences which flow from the priest and people facing each other across the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. Ratzinger argued that this arrangement, in addition to being a novelty in Christian practice, has the effect of creating a circle of congregation and celebrant closed in upon itself rather than allowing the congregation and celebrant to be a pilgrim people together turned towards the Lord. And this closed circle, in turn, too easily renders the Eucharist more of a horizontal celebration of the congregation gathered than a vertical offering of the sacrifice of Christ to the Father. This flattening of divine worship into a self-referential celebration is, in part, why too many Catholics experience Mass as much less than the source and summit of the Church’s life, and the remedy for this malady is to open the closed circle and experience the power of turning together towards the Lord.

4. This can be done primarily in two ways: 1) return to the ancient and universal practice of the priest standing with the people on one side of the altar as together they face the East of the sacred liturgy, the place from which the glory of the Lord shines upon us, or 2) even when the priest and people remain separated on opposite sides of the altar, place a cross at the center of the altar to allow both celebrant and congregation to face the Lord. Pope Benedict, through his writing and by his example, encouraged priests everywhere to work towards these goals to enrich the experience of divine worship and free us from the danger of solipsism which is contained in self-referential ways of praying — a danger against which we have been repeatedly warned by Pope Francis.


What changed in the 1960′s and why?

5. The ritual forms and liturgical texts of Catholic worship have changed and evolved many times throughout the centuries, and the architectural arrangements for the celebration of the sacred rites have likewise changed. Ordinarily, this process of change is slow, deliberate, and incremental, but in the 1960’s the Church experienced an intense burst of change which dramatically altered both the ritual forms of our worship and the architectural arrangements of our churches. Because there were so many changes in such a short span of time, all of the alterations were considered by many people to be essentially connected to each other, but that is not the case. A good example is the use of Latin in the liturgical texts promulgated after the Second Vatican Council. Many people falsely believe that because Vatican II permitted the use of the vernacular languages in worship, the Council banished Latin from the modern Roman Rite. In fact, however, the same Council which permitted the use of the vernacular also insisted that all Catholics should be able to say and sing their parts of the new Mass in Latin. Celebrating the modern Roman Missal in Latin, therefore, is not in any way a rejection of the Second Vatican Council; rather, the regular use of Latin in modern worship is precisely what the Council Fathers called for.

6. A similar confusion exists with respect to the location of the altar and the place of the priest at the altar. From Christian antiquity, most churches had only one altar, and it was freestanding, meaning that the priest could walk completely around it during the celebration of the liturgy. This custom was retained in the Christian East by Orthodox and Catholics alike, but in the West the altar was gradually pushed back from the center of the sanctuary to the rear wall, in large measure to allow it to merge architecturally with the tabernacle. This change was later accompanied by adding additional altars to most churches, eventually yielding the custom of having three altars in each church. Even before the Second Vatican Council, though, pastors and theologians began to argue for a return to our own tradition of having but one altar in each church and insisting that it once again be freestanding. This was, in part, the fruit of the Liturgical Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries which reminded the Church, among other things, that the altar is the preeminent symbol of Christ in the liturgy. Accordingly, throughout the Western Church the old “high altars” found at the rear of the sanctuary were abandoned, changed, or replaced to allow the ancient and renewed custom of a freestanding altar. But just as this was happening, a novelty was introduced and attached to the newly detached altar: the custom of the priest and people facing each other across the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer — an innovation about which the Second Vatican Council said not one word. So, there is no essential connection between the liturgy of Vatican II, the freestanding altar, and the priest facing the people at the altar. In fact, even now the rubrics in the modern Roman Missal are written with the assumption that the priest and people are together facing liturgical East during the Mass.

Why face East?

7. Praying in a “sacred direction” is a feature common in many religions. Think, for example, of Muslims who pray facing Mecca — a practice instituted by Mohammed, who initially had his followers pray facing Jerusalem. Following similar customs in Judaism, the idea of a “sacred direction” has been a part of Christianity since the beginning. The first Christians expected the return of Christ in glory to occur at the Mount of Olives, from where He ascended to His Father, and so it was a common practice for them during prayer to turn towards the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This practice later evolved into the general custom of preferring to face Jerusalem during prayer, and as the Church spread through the Mediterranean world, this notion further changed into a connection between the light of the rising sun and the glory of the returning Son. The seeds of this idea are planted throughout Scripture (Wisdom 16:28, Zechariah 14:4, Malachi 3:2, Matthew 24:27 and 30, Luke 1:78, and Revelation 7:2), and the early Church placed great emphasis on this point. St. Justin Martyr wrote in the second century “For the word of His truth and wisdom is more ardent and more light-giving than the rays of the sun, and sinks down into the depths of heart and mind. Hence also the Scripture said, ‘His name shall rise up above the sun.’ And again, Zechariah says, ‘His name is the East.’” And St. Clement of Alexandria was even more emphatic: “In correspondence with the manner of the sun’s rising, prayers are made toward the sunrise in the East.” (For a much fuller explanation of this theme, I recommend the splendid little book Turning Towards the Lord by Uwe Michael Lang, published in 2004 by Ignatius Press and introduced with a forward by Joseph Ratzinger.)

8. For these reasons, since the building of Christian churches began on a large scale in the fourth century, they have literally been “oriented” to the East wherever local geography permitted this, and even when the building could not run on an east-west axis, the apse of the church and the altar within it have been understood as “liturgical East,” the symbolic place of the glory of the Lord. Moreover, because the entire Eucharistic Prayer is addressed to God the Father and not to the congregation, the normal posture of the priest has always been to face the East with his congregation and offer the sacrifice of the Mass with and for them to the Father. Accordingly, it is a simple mistake to think of the priest as “having his back to the people” when they stand together on the same side of the altar; rather, the priest and people by their common “orientation” show that they are together turning towards the Lord, a physical metaphor for the interior work of conversion which can be thought of as the “reorientation” of our lives. This is why in nearly every place and for almost all of Christian history, the priest has stood with his people on the same side of the altar so that, together facing the East of the sacred liturgy, they could offer the pleasing sacrifice of their lives (cf. Romans 12:1) while pleading the sacrifice of Christ.

How does the congregation participate in the celebration of Mass?

9. One objective of the liturgical reforms of the 1960’s was to encourage the active participation of the Catholic people in the celebration of the sacred liturgy, in part by reminding them that they are participants in, not spectators of, offering the sacrifice of Christ at the heart of all Christian worship. Unfortunately, in the years following the Second Vatican Council, the Church’s desire that all the faithful participate fully in the sacred liturgy was too often rendered a caricature of the Council’s teaching, and misconceptions about the true nature of active participation multiplied. This led to the frenzied expansion of “ministries” among the people and turned worship into a team sport. But it is possible to participate in the liturgy fully, consciously, and actively without ever leaving one’s pew, and it is likewise possible to serve busily as a musician or lector at Mass without truly participating in the sacred liturgy. Both of these are true because the primary meaning of active participation in the liturgy is worshipping the living God in Spirit and truth, and that in turn is an interior disposition of faith, hope, and love which cannot be measured by the presence or absence of physical activity. But this confusion about the role of the laity in the Church’s worship was not the only misconception to follow the liturgical reforms; similar mistakes were made about the part of the priest.

10. Because of the mistaken idea that the whole congregation had to be “in motion” during the liturgy to be truly participating, the priest was gradually changed in the popular imagination from the celebrant of the sacred mysteries of salvation into the coordinator of the liturgical ministries of others. And this false understanding of the ministerial priesthood produced the ever-expanding role of the “priest presider,” whose primary task was to make the congregation feel welcome and constantly engage them with eye contact and the embrace of his warm personality. Once these falsehoods were accepted, then in many places the service of the priest in the liturgy became grotesquely misshapen, and instead of a humble steward of the sacred mysteries whose only task was to draw back the veil between God and man and then hide himself in the folds, the priest became a ring-master or entertainer whose task was thought of as making the congregation feel good about themselves. But, whatever that is, it is not Christian worship, and in the last three decades the Church has been gently finding a way back towards the right ordering of her public prayer.

11. In February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published an Apostolic Exhortation on the Most Holy Eucharist entitled Sacramentum Caritatis in which he discusses the need for priests to cultivate a proper ars celebrandi or art of celebrating the liturgy. In that document, the pope teaches that “the primary way to foster the participation of the People of God in the sacred rite is the proper celebration of the rite itself,” and an essential part of that work is removing the celebrant from the center of attention so that priest and people together can turn towards the Lord. Accomplishing this task of restoring God-centered liturgy is one of the main reasons for returning to the ancient and universal practice of priest and people standing together on the same side of the altar as they offer the sacrifice of Calvary as true worship of the Father. In other words, the custom of ad orientem celebration enhances rather than diminishes the possibility of the people participating fully, consciously, and actively in the celebration of the sacred liturgy.

12. There is, of course, nothing intrinsically wrong in celebrating the sacred liturgy with the priest facing the people from across the altar, and that remains the way in most Ordinary Form Masses are offered throughout the world. At the same time, the celebration of Mass ad orientem is not in any way contrary to liturgical law, the mind of the Church, or the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, and no special permission is needed to celebrate Mass facing liturgical East, even in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This means that both postures are equally legitimate ways of celebrating the sacred mysteries, and both have a place in the life of the Church. The celebration of Mass ad orientem at St. Mary’s is meant to be both an example of true diversity in the Church’s liturgical life and a sign of the continuity of the modern Roman Rite with the Church’s most ancient customs. We invite all who join us in divine worship to enter fully, consciously and actively into the offering of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for the salvation of the world.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Sixtieth Anniversary of the Death of the Blessed Cardinal Schuster

Today the Church commememorates the 60th anniversary of the death of the Blessed Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, who served as Archbishop of Milan for just over a quarter of a century, from July of 1929 until his death in 1954. Born in Rome in 1880 to German parents, he entered the Benedictine monastery of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls at the age of 18, and was professed two years later, taking Ildefonso as his name in religion. Ordained priest four years later, he served as master of novices, prior, abbot, procurator general of the Cassinese Congregation of Benedictines, and president of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. Having made a visitation of the seminaries of Lombardy, Campania and Calabria from 1924 to 1928, in 1929 he was created Archbishop of Milan by Pope Pius XI, his predecessor but one in the venerable See of Saint Ambrose. He was made a Cardinal less than a month after his appointment, and consecrated bishop by the Pope himself in the Sistine Chapel a few days later.

During the difficult years of his episcopacy, the years of Italian Fascism and the Second World War, (in which Milan was one of the hardest hit cities in Italy), the Bl. Schuster showed himself truly a worthy successor of St Charles Borromeo, and shepherded his flock in much the same way, visiting every parish of the diocese five times (occasionally riding on a donkey to some of the more remote locations), holding several diocesan synods, and writing innumerable pastoral letters. He passed to eternal life at the seminary of Venegono, which he himself had founded in 1935.

We have had occasion to write of him several times here at NLM, partly in connection with our interest in the Ambrosian liturgy, of which he was a great promoter, but also as one of the most notable scholars of the original Liturgical Movement. His famous work Liber Sacramentorum, known in its English translation as The Sacramentary, was written while he was still a Benedictine monk of the Roman Rite, and although inevitably dated in some respects, remains an invaluble reference point for liturgical scholarship. Upon his transfer to Milan, he embraced the Ambrosian liturgy wholeheartedly, and as the ex-officio head of the Congregation for the Ambrosian Rite, strongly defended the authentic uses of the Ambrosian tradition. He also oversaw important new editions of the Ambrosian musical books, which are still used in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Rite to this day.

Our dear friend Monsignor Amodeo, a canon of the Duomo of Milan who was ordained a subdeacon by the Blessed Schuster, told us many stories about him over the years, among which one has always stood out in my mind in particular; in his lifetime, even the communist newspapers noted his continual presence in the Duomo at all of the most important functions of the liturgical year. Nicola de’ Grandi, our Ambrosian writer, once showed me a video of Cardinal Schuster giving Benediction from the façade of the Duomo, to a crowd that completely filled the huge piazza in front of the church.

When his tomb was opened in 1985, his mortal remains were found to be intact; he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996, and his body was exposed for the veneration of the faithful in one of the side-altars of the Duomo. My first experience of the Ambrosian liturgy was a votive Mass in the traditional rite held in his honor in 1998, at which Monsignor Amodeo and another canon sang the Ambrosian propers of a Confessor Bishop; after Mass, we processed from the altar of the left transept around the church to the altar, and sang the Ambrosian litany of the Saints at his tomb. The Ambrosian manner is for the cantors to sing the name of the Saint (“Sancte Ambrosi”) as in the Roman Rite; the choir responds by repeating it, and adding “pray for us.”

Beate Ildephonse. Beate Ildephonse, ora pro nobis!

The relics of Bl. Cardinal Schuster
His episcopal consecration
A pastoral visit
Preaching from the great elevated pulpit in the Duomo
Corpus Christi

The blessing of a church bell
Pontifical Mass in the Duomo

Surveying bomb damage to the Duomo during World War II

Friday, August 29, 2014

Abp. Cordileone Leading by Example

Back in January, we posted a guest article by Roseanne Sullivan about the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, newly founded in the archdiocese of San Francisco by His Grace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Fr. Samuel Weber, O.S.B. Ms. Sullivan has just sent us some excerpts from two new articles which she has published in the current edition of The Latin Mass magazine; we are grateful to her and to the editors of The Latin Mass for permission to publish these excerpts.  

The Summer 2014 issue of The Latin Mass magazine has an interview with Archbishop Cordileone titled “Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Leading by Example,” and an accompanying article titled “San Francisco’s Archbishop Cordileone and the Traditional Latin Mass.” The interview and the article give additional details beyond those that were previously available about the encouraging initiatives Archbishop Cordileone has been taking since he was installed, including steps to make the Extraordinary Form of the Mass more widely available in the San Francisco archdiocese and to improve the quality of liturgies in the Ordinary Form.

If you don’t subscribe to The Latin Mass magazine, you can read the full interview and article by clicking here. You might consider subscribing. As stated on their website, its editors are committed to “developing The Latin Mass journal into the intellectual arm of Catholics working for the return of the Church to tradition and authentic organic development.” It is informative, intelligent, and positive in its approach.

Some excerpts from the article “San Francisco’s Archbishop Cordileone and the Traditional Latin Mass” are quoted below.
His Excellency Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was installed as Archbishop of San Francisco on October 4, 2012 at the relatively young age of 56. During the year and a half since then, the energetic, articulate, and personable Archbishop Cordileone has taken several encouraging steps to make the traditional Latin Mass more widely available in his archdiocese. The archbishop has also taken several other initiatives to promote more-reverent liturgies in the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite, which will also be touched on in this article.
As he expressed in a recent interview elsewhere in this issue (see “Archbishop Cordileone Leading By Example”), the archbishop hopes that educating clergy and laity and exposing them to the beauty and majesty of the traditional form of the Mass will help make it less of a contentious issue and help enable it to be restored to a regular place in the life of the Church. His goal is also to make sure that Catholics in the San Francisco Bay Area come to better understand their liturgical tradition so they will be able to worship well in both forms of the Roman Rite.
Behind all of his work on the liturgy is his belief what he called the Benedictine vision, which is a shorthand phrase he uses to refer to the teachings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on renewal of the sacred liturgy. .... 
Oratorians to Come to Star of the Sea
Archbishop Cordileone announced a few months ago that he was going to create an Oratory at a downtown parish. At an Oratory, parish priests live in community under a rule of life, and so the archbishop noted that the planned Oratory would need to be located in a parish with a large rectory. On April 25, 2014, the archdiocese announced that the St. Francis Oratory of St. Philip Neri would be established at Star of the Sea parish on August 1, 2014. Two priests will be the first Oratorians.
Fr. Joseph Illo, who will be leaving his current post as chaplain of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA, will take over as pastor. Like Archbishop Cordileone, Father Illo is quite familiar with the traditional Latin Mass, since he celebrated it regularly when he was a parish priest for 12 years at St. Joseph's Church in Modesto, California. After a six month sabbatical, Fr. Mazza will return to another assignment in the archdiocese.
In establishing the new Oratory, Archbishop Cordileone is responding to the Second Vatican Council’s call for diocesan priests to live a ‘common life or some sharing of common life.’ Father Illo described the Oratory life this way in a National Catholic Register article: The members of the oratory ‘will live together under a common roof, with a superior, and have a rule of life that includes common prayer, meals and activities for priests as they go out and perform their tasks in the diocese.’
Father Illo also said that ‘the oratory will not start in San Francisco until August, but he is already received inquiries from priests and seminaries all over the country.’
Fr. Illo made the following additional statement on his blog: ‘The Oratory is an Institute in the Church that allows “secular” (parish) priests to live in community under a rule of life. St. Philip Neri founded the Oratory in Rome in 1575 as a religious congregation of priests and brothers who lived in the parish of Santa Maria in Vallicella, now known as Chiesa Nuova, in downtown Rome. It provides a supportive rule of life for priests who desire a greater commitment to prayer in common. The most famous Oratorian Father for English-speakers is Blessed John Henry Newman, who brought the Oratory to England in 1848. Today there are 85 Oratories with 500 Oratorians in 19 countries. We would establish the first congregation of Oratorian Fathers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. ….
We would build up the parish through beautiful liturgy and lay apostolate, but focus on evangelizing young adults. The Archbishop has mentioned possibly establishing a Catholic center in one of the larger office buildings with daily Mass and confessions.

Helping Children Enter into the Traditional Latin Mass

At Steve Skojec's splendid new blog One Peter Five (to which fellow NLM writer Fr. Thomas Kocik is also regularly contributing), I have posted a couple of articles on how we can help our children enter more readily and more deeply into the usus antiquior or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The first part is more about preparations at home while the second is about things that can be done at Mass itself.

Part I
Parents today are sometimes worried that if they attend the traditional Latin Mass exclusively, their children will not know what to do with themselves during Mass and get so bored that they’ll hate going, or at least not come away from it with the spiritual goods they need. And yet, every child-saint we know of grew up in the ambiance of the traditional Latin Mass — there was no other for nearly the whole history of the Western Church. We wonder: How did the little Thérèses or Padre Pios of the world feel so drawn to the Mass? Was something different back then? Were children better catechized? Were parents more on the ball?  
Part II
The thing I recommend most strongly is that you bring your family to a High Mass (Missa Cantata) or even a Solemn High Mass (Missa Solemnis), if this is available in your area. It may seem counterintuitive — such a liturgy is longer and more complicated, and it is probably at a later time of day, when children are more likely to be tired and cranky. Still, if you can manage to work it out practically, the High Mass is a fuller celebration of the rite, with more going on to pay attention to and be shaped by. There is more activity happening in the sanctuary — processions, incensations, bows and genuflections, the carrying of this and that, vessels being handed around, the sacred choreography of the ministers — with the chanting of prayers and readings, and plenty of music along the way. When it’s done well, it is a feast for the senses that helps sustain interest and foster curiosity. A Low Mass, as beautiful as it is for adults who have learned the art of prayer or simply find comfort in the peace and quiet, is much harder going for little ones who, not surprisingly, find anywhere from 35 to 55 minutes of almost total silence a rather large bucket to fill. So, while a Low Mass almost cries out for following along in a book, at a High Mass (particularly a Solemn High Mass) one can let oneself go and just watch.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cardinal Cañizares Transferred to Valencia

It was announced today that His Eminence Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera has been transferred to his native diocese, the Archiepiscopal See of Valencia in Spain, the former archbishop, His Grace Carlos Osoro Sierra, being transferred to Madrid to succeed Cardinal Antonio Varela. Cardinal Cañizares’s successor as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has not yet been announced. We should all offer a prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide Pope Francis to choose a wise and worthy successor.

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

V. Fiat manus tua super virum dexterae tuae.
R. Et super filium hominis quem confirmasti tibi.

Oremus. Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Franciscum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Let us pray for our Pope Francis. May the Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth: and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

V. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand.
R. and upon the son of man whom thou hast confirmed for thyself.

Let us pray. O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou didst will to be the shepherd of Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Feast of Saint Augustine

The celebrated day has come, on which the holy bishop Augustine, released from the bond of the flesh, was taken up with the Angels; where he rejoices with the Prophets, is made glad with the Apostles; full of their spirit, he made clear to us what they mystically foretold; after them he shone forth as first in the grace that came after, to dispense the word of God. (The antiphon of the Magnificat at First Vespers, from the proper Office of St Augustine sung by the various orders of the Augustinian tradition.)
The Triumph of Saint Augustine, by Claudio Coello (1642-93), 1664; Museo del Prado, Madrid
Aña  Adest dies célebris, quo solútus nexu carnis sanctus praesul Augustínus, assumptus est cum Angelis, ubi gaudet cum Prophétis, laetátur cum Apóstolis; quorum plenus spíritu, quae prædixérunt mýstica, fecit nobis pervia; post quos secunda dispensandi verbi Dei primus refulsit gratia.

From the same Office, the ninth responsory, as sung by the Dominicans : R. Until the very time of his illness, he preached the word of God in the holy Church without ceasing, eagerly and mightily, being of sound mind and sound council; healthy in all the members of his body, his sight and hearing unimpaired. * Before his brothers, as they knelt and prayed, * he fell asleep with his fathers. V. He made no will, for as one of Christ’s poor, he had nothing to will. Before his brothers, as they knelt and prayed. Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. He fell asleep with his fathers.

The Funeral of Saint Augustine, by Benozzo Gozzoli (ca. 1420-1497), in the Church of Saint Augustine, San Gimignano, Tuscany, 1464-65.
R. Verbum Dei, usque ad ipsam suam aegritúdinem, impraetermisse, alácriter et fórtiter, sana mente sanóque consilio in Ecclesia praedicávit. Membris ómnibus sui córporis incólumis, íntegro aspectu atque audítu, * coram pósitis frátribus et orántibus, * dormívit cum pátribus suis. V. Testamentum nullum fecit, quia unde fáceret pauper Christi non hábuit. Coram. Gloria Patri. Dormivit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pilgrimage Churches in the Mountains of Ethiopia

The website of the BBC has posted some very beautiful photos from their correspondents’ visit to the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, a region which, as they note, bears no small resemblance to parts of the southwestern United States. High up in the Gheralta Mountains are a number of churches carved directly into the rock, many of which are frescoed, and well preserved because of their remoteness. The church to which the monk in the third picture here is making his way is a popular pilgrimage destination for new mothers to give thanks for the successful delivery of a child. You can see the complete photoset with commentary by clicking here.




New Facebook Page for the Society for Catholic Liturgy

Check out and "like" the Society's new Facebook page. There you'll find updates on the upcoming conference in Colorado Springs and other events, as well as information about the latest issues of Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal.

Assumption 2014 Photopost

We have another awesome photopost, showing many beautiful liturgies from around the world. Thanks to all those who sent in pictures!

Pontifical Mass at the Throne with Bishop Robert Morlino
Bishop O'Connor Center, Diocese of Madison, WI




St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Columbus, Ohio
Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos


Solemn Mass (EF)
Christ the King in Kansas City, MO


Birmingham Oratory

Solemn Mass (EF)
Church of the Holy Ghost, Tiverton, RI


Solemn Mass (EF)
Gesù Church, Miami, FL
One of the first solemn Masses celebrated entirely by diocesan clergy (the FSSP have been assisting in that area for some time)



High Mass (EF)
Holy Family Parish, Diocese of Cubao, Philippines



Saalbach, Austria

Solemn Mass (EF)
St. Ann, Budapest, Hungary


High Mass (EF) and Blessing of Herbs
Holy Innocents, New York City, NY


High Mass (EF)
St. Cecilia Church, Diocese of Brooklyn, NY


Diest, Belgium
Cathedral of St. John Berchmans