Monday, March 30, 2015
|The Ordinary Form at the Sacred Music Colloquium|
When this essay first appeared in The Latin Mass back in 2008, a reader at the time submitted the following critique:
Lack of solemnity isn’t the cause of the problem with the Mass. It is a symptom of the problem with the Mass. Kwasniewski lays out the alternatives well enough: either a “fault endemic to the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite of the Mass, that which follows the Missal of Paul VI”, or a “problem with the people and their shepherds.” He wastes little time deciding on the latter.
But not so fast. I cannot bring myself to believe that the problem is that for the past forty years we have been failing miserably the lofty standards set for us by Annibale Bugnini and his Mighty Fifteen. Kwasniewski is not saying that either, of course, but he is hewing to a course that leads us in that direction.
Briefly, human behavior does not change in a vacuum. Devotion to liturgy does not evaporate unless the liturgy has itself evaporated, or at least become so eviscerated that people no longer know what constitutes proper response.
The joy joy joy of participation theme comes right from Vatican II and its aftermath. It is most definitely NOT merely a failing of random weakly-trained priests, bishops, and laity. Joy and solemnity are note antipodes, as some seem to think, but neither are they compatible in any obvious way. We were exhorted to joyous participation, and we responded with pleasantry, diffidence, and informality—they call that being “welcoming.”
Unsolemnity grew naturally and inevitably from the lack of rubric, lack of a sense of the need for discipline, and the proliferation of one “option” after another. Don’t like chant? Howzabout a little strummin’ for Jesus? This gospel passage a little strong for you? Bracket it and omit it. Don’t like this canon? Too long? Too many saints’ names? No prob — try this one, or this one — or do what 99.9% of American priests do: stick with the real short one. Reception on the tongue a bit yucky? Take it in the hand. Want a little wine with that?
What you end up with is not a liturgy, but an anti-liturgy. That is, a “liturgy” which destroys itself by allowing so many options and so much innovation that there is little left to be solemn about.
In other words, to a large extent Professor Kwasniewski has put the cart before the horse. It is the Novus Ordo liturgy and its lack of rubric that invites bad behavior, much more than it is bad behavior which spoils good liturgy. A solemn, “proper” Novus Ordo is, at best, a cosmetic solution to a much more serious problem.
One point on which I wholeheartedly agree with my critic is when he says: “Unsolemnity grew naturally and inevitably from the lack of rubric, lack of a sense of the need for discipline, and the proliferation of one ‘option’ after another.” Only a priest classically trained, with deep religious sensibilities, would be able to approach a liturgy so formless, so laden with options, and manage to celebrate it with solemnity — or let us say, invest that ritual with the solemnity that the Mass ought to have, patterning his ars celebrandi after the pre-rupture paradigm.
The Novus Ordo does not require solemnity, it merely permits it. For example, the Propers of the Mass are not required but permitted; traditional sacred music is not required but permitted; worship facing eastwards, the stance of nearly 2,000 years of Christian worship, is not required but permitted (although seldom seen); communion on the tongue, kneeling, is not required but permitted; and so forth. In general, continuity with the great tradition of Catholic worship is theoretically permissible, but almost never mandated — and rarely witnessed on the ground. To paraphrase Martin Mosebach, the problem with the new liturgy is that it may be celebrated reverently. (There’s more to that statement than meets the eye...)
The revolutionary change in the liturgy in 1969/1970, no matter what one thinks of its particulars, gave a lot of people the carte-blanche excuse they were apparently waiting for (or, in some cases, not waiting for as they rushed ahead with unauthoriazed experiments): now everything is up for grabs and we can do whatever we want with the liturgy. This, surely, is contrary to the very idea of a Missal or of rubrics at all. In a healthier period not so hell-bent on self-destruction, among clergy still animated with the fear of the Lord, the Novus Ordo Missae, for all its admitted faults, could have been the point of departure for dependably reverent celebrations, as can actually be seen in such rare groups as the Community of St. Martin, the Oratorians, or the Church Music Association of America. One might perhaps say that if you do not bring to the Novus Ordo Missae the spirit of reverence (presumably developed elsewhere, e.g., from the usus antiquior or from private devotions faithfully practiced), you will not find that spirit in its slim modern profile and minimalist requirements.
It would certainly be mistaken, however, to claim that the “joy joy joy of participation theme” comes from Vatican II. Rather, Vatican II was content to transmit the emphasis on active participation (participatio actuosa) that one finds in the exhortations of St. Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII, themselves echoing the original Liturgical Movement’s earnest desire to have the people take rightful possession of the liturgy inasmuch as it pertains to them — following the prayers of the liturgy with understanding, chanting the responses and the Ordinary of the Mass, joining in public Vespers, and so forth. Having seen that the liturgy had become the specialized province of the clergy, Holy Mother Church rightly wished to remind the laity that the liturgy is theirs as well, the most sublime, pleasing, and sanctifying prayer for all Christians.
But this preconciliar program was premised on a fundamental truth: the liturgy is a gift to us from God through the generations that have preceded us, one that we must gratefully receive and enter into more and more fully. Participation thus meant entering into something already present in our midst, prior to our cogitation and volition; a transmitted body of symbols, cross-textured with words, melodies, gestures, actions, endowed with supernatural vitality and inexhaustible richness. It most definitely could not mean that we fashion something ourselves which, being in some way the image of our own mentality and our own age, we then “participate in,” as we create athletic games or board games that we then throw ourselves into.
The radical distortion of the concept of active participation is only slightly visible in Sacrosanctum Concilium, in the overemphasis on having people DO-SAY-SING stuff, as if this were always necessary at every step or as if, in and of itself, it guarantees true immersion in the liturgical act. Nevertheless, in most respects — including its insistence that participation is first interior before it is exterior and that the entire success of liturgical renewal depends on sound formation — this document is in continuity with the better tendencies of the Church-approved Liturgical Movement.
To return, then, to my critic, here is my agreement and my disagreement. The Novus Ordo is partly, but not exclusively, responsible for the loss of solemnity, and there is plenty of work that we can and should do, in regard to both forms of the Roman Rite, to intensify and elevate the solemnity of our liturgical celebrations. The ultimate solution, if we’re talking about a “Reform of the Reform,” can only be a Missal that is in deep and manifest continuity with the classical Roman rite. Indeed, as is generally acknowledged, even the Missal of 1962, as excellent as it is, already embodies the massive rupture of the post-1948 Holy Week ceremonies. Perhaps the distant path to liturgical peace and coherence will go by way of the 1962 Missal as the base text, with a restored pre-1948 Holy Week, and a few additional Prefaces, votive Masses, and saints’ feasts, so that the Missal is both up to date and manifestly Roman.
Ah, but now we are daydreaming. Our immediate work is somehow both simpler and more demanding: to offer the Sacrifice of Praise in both forms of the Roman Rite, as they now exist, with as much solemnity as possible, according to our circumstances, in continuity with the best of our tradition. Surely, in whatever capacity we serve our Lord, we may consciously strive, in all the ways at our disposal, for the “due solemnity” that befits the celebration of the Church’s sacraments and liturgies. Nothing less is worthy of our King to receive, nothing less is fitting for man to give.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
|The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, by Pedro Orrente, ca. 1620, now in the Hermitage in St Petersburg|
(Don't forget to send in photographs of your Palm Sunday ceremonies! email@example.com)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
A Call for Papers for the 2015 Meeting of the Society for Catholic Liturgy
The Liturgy: It is Right and Just
October 1-3, 2015
New York City
Keynote speaker: Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
At the Sheen Center and the
Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
The Society for Catholic Liturgy will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in the heart of Manhattan with a conference exploring how the Church’s sacred worship is dignum et iustum, right and just.
Questions arising from this topic may include but are not limited to:
What is the history of the phrase dignum et iustum in the Western liturgical tradition?
What are the principles of sound liturgical translation?
Issues surrounding the 2011 translation of the Roman Missal
Issues surrounding the translation of the Lectionary
Issues surrounding the translation of the Liturgy of the Hours
B. The Rightness and Justice of Sacred Liturgy:
What does it mean to say that giving thanks to the Lord is “right” and “just”?
Liturgy and morality are usually treated as unrelated subjects. How is liturgical worship “just”?
How does one “do justice” to God with sacred art, sacred music, or sacred architecture?
Dignum means “meet” or “right,” but it also means “appropriate, suitable, worthy.”
What is “appropriate” worship, or what is worship that is worthy of God?
What is “appropriate” in sacred art, sacred music, or sacred architecture?
Other proposals will be considered, but primary consideration will be given to proposals that are related to the conference’s theme.
+ + +
Proposals must be received by June 30, 2015.
Presentations will be 45 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Papers presented will be considered for publication in Antiphon.
Presenters must register for the conference and will be responsible for their own expenses.
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2015
In his Treatises on the Gospel of St John, St Augustine notes à propos of this latter Gospel, and the resurrection of the dead at the end of the world, “(Christ) raised one that stank, but nevertheless in the stinking cadaver there was yet the form of its members; on the last day, with one word He will restore ashes to the flesh. But it was necessary that He should then do some (miracles), so that, when these were put forth as signs of His might, we might believe in Him, and be prepared for that resurrection which will be unto life, and not unto judgement. For He sayeth thus, ‘The hour cometh, when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice. And they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.’ ” (Tract 49, citing John 5, 28-29)
|The Raising Of Lazarus, painted by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, 1304-06|
On the ferias of Lent, the Communion antiphons are taken each one from a different Psalm in sequential order, starting on Ash Wednesday with Psalm 1. The days which were formerly aliturgical do not form part of this series, namely, the six Thursdays, and also the first and last Saturday; the ferias of Holy Week are also not included. (See the table below; click for larger view.)
Communio Videns Dominus flentes sorores Lazari ad monumentum, lacrimatus est coram Judaeis, et exclamavit: Lazare, veni foras: et prodiit ligatis manibus et pedibus, qui fuerat quatriduanus mortuus.The Roman Mass of the day makes no other reference to the Gospel; in this sense, the Ambrosian Rite gives Lazarus much greater prominence. The First Sunday of Lent in the Ambrosian Rite is called “in capite jejunii – the beginning of the fast”; the following four Sundays are each named for their Gospels, all taken from St John: the Samaritan Woman (4, 5-42), Abraham (8, 31-59), the Blind Man (9, 1-38), and Lazarus (11, 1-45). On the Fifth Sunday, four of the seven Mass chants cite the day’s Gospel, and the Preface speaks at length about the Raising of Lazarus. The Ingressa (Introit) of the Mass is similar to the Roman Communion cited above.
Communio Seeing the sisters of Lazarus weeping at the tomb, the Lord wept before the Jews, and cried out: Lazarus, come forth: and he who had been dead four days came forth, bound by his hands and feet.
Ingressa Videns Dominus sororem Lazari ad monumentum, lacrimatus coram Judaeis, et exclamavit: Lazare, veni foras. Et prodiit ligatis manibus et pedibus, stetit ante eum, qui fuerat quatriduanus mortuus.The first reading of the Mass is Exodus 14, 15-31, the Crossing of the Red Sea, a passage which most rites have at the Easter Vigil. St Paul teaches in First Corinthians that this is a prefiguration of baptism: “Our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea: And did all eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.)” (chap. 10, 1-4) St Ambrose, in his Commentary on the Song of Songs, says that just as the children of “after the crossing of the Red Sea … were cleansed … by the flow of the rock that poured forth spiritual water, for the rock was Christ; and therefore they ate the manna; so that, as often as they were washed clean, they might eat the bread of angels… now also, in the mysteries of the Gospel, you recognize that being baptized … you are cleansed by spiritual food and drink.” (IV.5; PL XV, 1905A)
Ingressa Seeing the sister of Lazarus at the tomb, the Lord wept before the Jews, and cried out: Lazarus, come forth: and he who had been dead four days, coming forth, stood before him, bound by his hands and feet.
|The Crossing of the Red Sea, depicted in a paleo-Christian sarcophagus, a reasonably common motif in early Christian funerary art. The front of the sarcophagus has been sawed off and used as the front of an altar in the Cathedral of Arles in France.|
Psalmellus Occurrerunt Maria et Martha ad Jesum, dicentes: Domine, Domine, si fuisses hic, Lazarus non esset mortuus. Respondit Jesus: Martha, si credideris, videbis gloriam Dei. V. Videns Jesus turbam flentem, infremuit spiritu, lacrimatus; et veniens ad locum, clamavit voce magna: Lazare veni foras. Et revixit qui erat mortuus, et vidit gloriam Dei.The only other day on which the Psalmellus is taken from the Gospel is Holy Thursday, which in the Ambrosian Rite is much more focused on the Passion than on the Institution of the Eucharist. The first reading at the Ambrosian Mass of the Lord’s Supper is the entire book of Jonah, whose story Christ Himself explains as a prophecy of His death and resurrection; the Psalmellus which follows it is taken from the first part of the Passion of St Matthew, chapter 26, 17-75. The Ambrosian liturgy then makes explicit in the Preface this link between the death of Lazarus and that of Christ, in which our redemption is effected. (I here cite only the end of this beautiful text, which can only be spoiled in translation.)
Psalmellus Mary and Martha came to meet Jesus, saying: Lord, Lord, if Thou had been here, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus answered: Martha, if thou shalt believe, thou shalt see the glory of God. V. Seeing the crowd weeping, Jesus groaned in spirit, weeping, and coming to the place, He cried out in a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth. And he that had died came back to life, and saw the glory of God.
Praefatio O quam magnum et salutare mysterium, quod per resurrectionem Lazari figuraliter designatur! Ille tabo corporis dissolutus, per superni regis imperium continuo surrexit ad vitam. Nos quidem primi hominis facinore consepultos, divina Christi gratia ex inferis liberavit, et redivivos gaudiis reddidit sempiternis.
Praefatio O how great and profitable to salvation is this mystery, which is represented in a figure through the resurrection of Lazarus! He, being loosed from the corruption of the body, by the command of the Almighty King rose at once to life. Christ’s divine delivered us from hell, who indeed were buried by the crime of the first man, and restored us to eternal joy, when we had returned to life.
In the Byzantine Rite, the connection is made even more explicit; the Gospel of the Raising of Lazarus is read on the day before Palm Sunday, which is therefore called Lazarus Saturday. Bright vestments are used at the Divine Liturgy, instead of the dark vestments used at most services of Lent and Holy Week. The troparion sung at the Little Entrance declares the meaning of the Raising of Lazarus, and is also sung the following day, which is one of the Twelve Great feasts of the Byzantine liturgical year.
Troparion Τὴν κοινὴν Ἀνάστασιν πρὸ τοῦ σοῦ Πάθους πιστούμενος, ἐκ νεκρῶν ἤγειρας τὸν Λάζαρον, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ὅθεν καὶ ἡμεῖς ὡς οἱ Παῖδες, τὰ τῆς νίκης σύμβολα φέροντες, σοὶ τῷ Νικητῇ τοῦ θανάτου βοῶμεν. Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις, εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου!
Troparion Confirming the general resurrection before Thy passion, Thou didst raise Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God! Whence we also, like the children, bearing the symbols of victory, cry out to Thee, the Vanquisher of death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!
The Paschal character of the day expressed by the use of bright vestments also informs the kontakion which follows the troparion.
Kontakion Ἡ πάντων χαρά, Χριστός, ἡ ἀλήθεια, τὸ φῶς, ἡ ζωή, τοῦ κόσμου ἡ ἀνάστασις, τοῖς ἐν γῇ πεφανέρωται τῇ αὐτοῦ ἀγαθότητι, καὶ γέγονε τύπος τῆς ἀναστάσεως, τοῖς πᾶσι παρέχων θείαν ἄφεσιν.While the troparia and kontakia are sung by the choir, the priest silently reads a prayer called the Prayer of the Trisagion, but sings the doxology out loud. It is followed at once by the hymn “Holy God, Holy mighty one, holy immortal one, have mercy on us.” On a very small number of days, however, the Trisagion, as it is called, is replaced by another chant, the words of Galatians 3, 27, “As many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ, alleluia.” Among these days are certain feasts of Lord such as Christmas, Epiphany (i.e. the Baptism of the Lord), Easter and Pentecost, and also Lazarus Saturday.
Kontakion The joy of all, Christ, the Truth, and the Light, the Life, the Resurrection of the world, has appeared in His goodness to those on earth. He has become the image of our Resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.
As the Church prepares to accompany the Savior to His passion and death, and celebrate His glorious Resurrection, the Orthros (Matins) of Lazarus Saturday declares in several texts of surpassing beauty our salvation in Christ, who in His humanity wept for the death of Lazarus, the death He himself would shortly suffer, and in His divinity raised both Lazarus and Himself, as he will raise the whole of our fallen race on the last day.
Knowing beforehand all thing as their Maker, in Bethany didst Thou foretell to Thy disciples, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep today’; and knowing, Thou asked, ‘Where have ye laid him?” And to the Father Thou prayed, weeping as a man; whence also crying out, Thou raised from Hades Lazarus, whom Thou loved, on the fourth day. Therefore we cry to Thee: Accept, Christ and God, the praise of those that make bold to bring it, and deem all worthy of Thy glory.
O Christ, Thou raised Lazarus that was dead for four days from Hades, before Thy own death, confounding the power of death, and for the sake of one beloved to Thee, proclaiming beforehand the liberation of all men from corruption. Wherefore adoring Thy omnipotence, we cry out, ‘Blessed art Thou, o Savior; have mercy on us!’
Providing to Thy disciples the proofs of Thy divinity, among the crowds Thou didst humble Thyself, taking counsel to hide It; wherefore, as one that knoweth beforehand and as God, to Thy disciples Thou foretold the death of Lazarus. And in Bethany, among the peoples, perceiving not the grave of Thy friend, as a man Thou asked to learn of it. But he that through Thee rose on the fourth day made manifest Thy divine power; Almighty Lord, glory to Thee!
Friday, March 27, 2015
St. Theresa's Church, Trumbull, CT, celebrated its third Mass in the Extraordinary Form to mark Passion Sunday. The Rev. Shawn W. Cutler, parochial vicar, was the celebrant, assisted by the pastor, the Rev. Brian P. Gannon, S.T.D., as deacon, and Mr. John Pia as subdeacon. An estimated congregation of 200 attended the mass. The parish schola cantorum provided the music.
The website of the Hungarian Greek-Catholic Church has posted a very large number of photos of the installation of Metropolitan Fülöp; they are also available on the church’s facebook page, along with a number of links to various videos. Here is just a small selection, reproduced with their kind permission. (This post has been amended; thanks to Mr Samuel Howard for pointing out my original mistake in the combox.)
And here is a video of the complete ceremony; you can make it bigger by clicking the link at the top and watching it in a separate window.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Specifically, we are looking for photos from Palm Sunday, Chrism Mass, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Tenebrae, and Easter Sunday.
Evangelize through beauty!
A schedule of Dominican Rite Holy Week Services at the Carmel of the Holy Family in Kensington (north Berkeley) CA may be found here. This link will be reposed before the Triduum.
Posted Thursday, March 26, 2015
|Missa Cantata in the Premonstratensian Use. Note how right after the Consecration, the priest stretches his hands out in the form of Cross, a very common custom of medieval uses.|
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
|The Annunciation, from the Trebizond Gospels (11th-century)|
March 23, 2015 (New York, New York) – The Monks of Norcia, a monastic Benedictine community of men from Norcia, Italy, are releasing their first international album. As the monks sing nine times per day, it is fitting that, after years of inquiries, they decided to release a recording of their classic-style Gregorian chant. The album will be available in early June of 2015.
Photo credit: Christopher Owens (http://cdo.photography)