Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NLM Quiz no. 18: What Is This, and Why Is It On the Grounds of a Church?

It has been several months since our last quiz, so as a reminder of our regular procedure: Please give your answer in the combox, along with any and all details you think pertinent to it. To keep it more interesting, please leave your answer before reading the other comments. We are always pleased to hear humorous answers as well. The structure you see in the photo below is certainly old, but not broken, and not part of a ruin.

Prayers for Norcia and Environs

By now, I am sure that majority of our readers have heard of the major earthquake that struck central Italy last night, registering 6.4 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter close to Norcia, the birthplace of St Benedict, and home of the famous Monks of Norcia. Two small towns in the area, Amatrice and Accumoli, have been very badly hit, with over 70 fatalities, and a great many more injuries. Norcia itself was shaken up, but the damage has been fairly light, and the monks are all safe; many of the decorations in their church and the bell-towers were damaged. However, there have been so many aftershocks, some of them quite notable, that the community have just posted on their Facebook page their intention to temporarily transfer to Rome, until the condition of their buildings can be fully assessed, and necessary repairs made.

The Patron Saint of nearby Ascoli Piceno, St Emygdius, a bishop and martyr of the persecution of Diocletian, has long been invoked by the Italians against earthquakes, and was so renowned for this devotion that his feast on August 9th was also adopted by several Californian dioceses. These prayers from First Vespers of his proper Office would be appropriate way to ask that Italy be spared any further harm from this event; I have added the prayer against earthquakes from the Roman Missal.

Aña : Emygdius spiritu oris sui idolorum cultum et templa subvertit; quos in Christo genuit filios, illos fideliter a ruinis terraemotus servavit.
V. Amavit eum Dominus et ornavit eum. R. Stolam gloriae induit eum.
Oremus. Oratio Deus, qui beátum Emygdium, Mártyrem tuum atque Pontíficem, idolórum victória et miraculórum glória decorásti: concéde propítius; ut, eo interveniénte, malórum spirítuum fraudes víncere et coruscáre virtútibus mereámur.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, “qui respicis terram, et facis eam tremere”: parce metuentibus, propitiare supplicibus; ut, cujus iram terræ fundamenta concutientem expavimus, clementiam contritiones ejus sanantem jugiter sentiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Aña : Emygdius by the breath of his mouth overthrew the worship of idols and the temples; he faithfully kept the sons whom he had begotten in Christ from the ruin of the earthquake.
V. The Lord loved him and adorned him. R. He clothed him with a robe of glory.
Let us pray. Prayer O God, who didst honor the blessed Emygdius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, with victory over idols and the glory of miracles: grant in Thy mercy, that by his intervention, we may merit to overcome the deceits of wicked spirits, and shine forth with virtues.
Almighty and everlasting God, Who lookest down upon the earth and makest it tremble, spare those who are afraid, show Thy mercy to those who implore Thee; that we who fear Thine anger, which shaketh the foundations of the earth, may evermore enjoy Thy mercy, which healeth its commotions. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Society for Catholic Liturgy - L.A. Conference - Registration Deadline Sept. 6

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, September 6th

The Liturgy and the New Evangelization
September 29 - October 1, 2016

We hope you'll be able to join us for the Society for Catholic Liturgy's Annual Conference held this year at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, California.

Click here to register:

The conference schedule, speaker bios, and helpful travel information are also available at the conference website.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“Liturgical Life and the Priesthood” - A New Talk by Card. Sarah

Earlier today, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave the following address to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on “Liturgical Life and the Priesthood.” In it, he offers a beautiful series of reflections on the liturgical formation of the clergy, and their duty to impart both knowledge and love for the Church’s prayer to the faithful. We are honored and very grateful to His Eminence for sharing this talk exclusively with New Liturgical Movement.

Cardinal Sarah speaking last month at the Sacra Liturgia UK Conference
Your Eminence, Your Excellencies, dear brothers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ:

Firstly I must thank my brother, His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, for his kind invitation to visit your country and for his warm welcome to Colombo. It is a great joy to be able to spend some days here in your country—a country that has been richly blessed by Almighty God in its natural beauty and in the gracious hospitality for which your people are so well known.

It is a particular joy, and a privilege, to meet today with you, my dear brothers in the priesthood. For although I have been called to the episcopal ministry and serve also as a cardinal, in all of my life I continue to look back on the date of the 20th of July 1969: the day of my priestly ordination just over 47 years ago. Every day since then, even in moments of danger or of suffering, it has been a grace and a singular privilege to be a priest of Jesus Christ. Dear Fathers, dear brothers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, what goodness Almighty God has shown us! What graces has he given us! Never, ever forget the day of your priestly ordination no matter what trials come, no matter how impossible challenges you face may be, nor however illness or old age may weigh upon you.

Cardinal Ranjith ordains one of the 13 new priests of the Archdiocese of Colombo on April 11th of this year, in the Cathedral of St Lucia. (From the archdiocese’s website.)
Of course, the grace of priestly ordination would never have been possible if the day of my Holy Baptism had never occurred—and for me, in northern Guinea, that was not something that could be taken for granted: I was born into an animist family who first heard the Gospel from French missionaries of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, and to them I owe a profound debt of gratitude. To their missionary and priestly zeal I owe the fact that my family became Christian.

My brothers, let us never forget that before we are ordained, we are baptised. This may sound a little strange, but sometimes it is easy for us priests to think and behave as if we are a caste somehow ‘above’ those who are not ordained. That is not correct. We are first and foremost baptised Christians for whom all of the duties of Christian life apply. Let us remember the injunction of Pope St. Leo the Great (400-461) which is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1691):
Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.
St. Augustine (354-430), in his Sermon on the anniversary of his ordination, reminded us of this important truth:
This burden of mine, you see, about which I am now speaking, what else is it, after all, but you? Pray for strength for me, just as I pray that you may not be too heavy. I mean, the Lord Jesus would not have called his burden light, if he was not going to carry it together with its porter. But you too must all support me, so that according to the Apostle’s instructions we may carry one another’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). If Christ does not carry it with us, we collapse; if he does not carry us, we keel over and die. What terrifies me is what I am for you; I am comforted by what I am with you. I am a bishop for you; with you, after all, I am a Christian. The first is the name of an office undertaken, the second is a name of grace; the first one means danger, the second, salvation. In the first one, I am tossed about by the storms, as if in the open sea, but in the second, I enter a safe harbour by tranquil recollection of the one by whose blood I have been redeemed; and while toiling away at my office, I take rest in the marvellous benefit conferred on all of us in common. If, therefore, I find greater pleasure in having been redeemed together with you than having been placed in charge, then, as the Lord has commanded, I will more fully be your servant, grateful for the price which makes me worthy to be your fellow servant. (Sermon 340)
We cannot be faithful to our priestly vocation if we are not first faithful to our baptismal vocation! And, as reminded by St. Augustine, our priestly vocation is to be of service to the baptised, to minister to our brothers and sisters as an alter Christus, indeed as ipse Christus, as Christ himself, “who did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20,28). Today I would like to share some reflections with you about that particular ministry which is our privilege and duty as priests of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has often observed that the Church is not an N.G.O. It follows from this that we priests are not executive officers or social workers or volunteers trying to do good things in society. What then is the Church? What is a priest?

The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, teaches that Almighty God “planned to assemble in the holy Church all those who would believe in Christ” (n. 2) and that:
The Son, therefore, came, sent by the Father. It was in Him, before the foundation of the world, that the Father chose us and predestined us to become adopted sons, for in Him it pleased the Father to re-establish all things (cf. Eph. 1:4-5, 10). To carry out the will of the Father, Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of heaven on earth and revealed to us the mystery of that kingdom. By His obedience He brought about redemption. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. This inauguration and this growth are both symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of a crucified Jesus (cf. Jn 19:34), and are foretold in the words of the Lord referring to His death on the Cross: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself" (Jn 12:32). As often as the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed, is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the sacrament of the Eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 10:17) is both expressed and brought about. All men are called to this union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains (n. 3).
What then is the Church? It is the assembly—the ecclesia—of all who believe in Christ, to which all men are called by Almighty God. And at the heart of the ecclesia is “the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed...celebrated on the altar” which both expresses and brings about the Church’s unity. Please note that this “unity” is not a consensus formed amongst those present as at a human meeting. No, the unity of the Church is “union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.”

So the Holy Father is very right to insist that the Church is not an N.G.O. Rather, the Church is the Family of God (Ep. 2: 19-21) and the People of God called together by Him so as to be nourished by His Eucharistic Sacrifice in order that she might be a true light to the nations and realise her mission “to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church” (Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 1).

My brothers, we cannot underestimate the importance of this teaching. The very first words of St John Paul II’s encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia (17 April 2003) put it succinctly: “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church.” (n. 1)

In other words, the Church is essentially Eucharistic, which means that the Church is essentially liturgical. The Holy Eucharist and the Sacred Liturgy are not ‘extras’ added on to Christianity: they are part of its very fabric, they are of its very essence. One cannot truly be Christian without participation in the Church’s liturgical life of worship, at the heart of which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice. We remember the wonderful and touching testimony of the 42 African martyrs who died at the time of the Emperor Diocletian for violating the laws forbidding the celebration of Holy Mass. They clearly testified: “non poteram, quoniam sine Dominico non possumus”.

This, then, clarifies our second question: What are priests? The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Ministry and life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis (7 December 1965) states that they are men who, “by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head” (n. 2). The Decree continues:
[Priests] perform the sacred duty of preaching the Gospel, so that the offering of the people can be made acceptable and sanctified by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7). Through the apostolic proclamation of the Gospel, the People of God are called together and assembled. All belonging to this people, since they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, can offer themselves as "a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God" (Rom 12:1). Through the ministry of the priests, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect in union with the sacrifice of Christ. He is the only mediator who in the name of the whole Church is offered sacramentally in the Eucharist and in an unbloody manner until the Lord himself comes (cf. Eph 3:9.). The ministry of priests is directed to this goal and is perfected in it. Their ministry, which begins with the evangelical proclamation, derives its power and force from the sacrifice of Christ. Its aim is that "the entire commonwealth of the redeemed and the society of the saints be offered to God through the High Priest who offered himself also for us in his passion that we might be the body of so great a Head" (Roman Pontifical [1962] on the ordination of priests).
And so, if the Church is essentially Eucharistic and therefore essentially liturgical, so too it is clear that the priest is above all a minister of the Holy Eucharist, a man set aside for liturgical ministry. The priest is, therefore, first and foremost homo liturgicus—a liturgical being. Whilst this is also true of all of the baptised—to be a Christian is to be a liturgical being—I think that it is clear from what we have read from the Second Vatican Council, that this is true in a particular and specific way of those of us who, by God’s unmerited grace, have been called by the Church to the ordained priesthood and who have been set aside as ministers of Christ’s Word and Sacrament for the service benefit of all of Christ’s faithful.

Let us therefore take some time now to consider the liturgical life of priest.

EF Mass for the Exaltation of the Cross in the Bronx

On September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, an EF Solemn High Mass will be offered at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Holy Rosary in Northeast Bronx. This will be the first time an EF Mass is celebrated at Holy Rosary, and also a fitting way to mark the 9th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum coming into effect. Fr. Jean-Paul Soler of St. Clement-St. Michael’s Parish in Staten Island will be the celebrant. In addition to the chant Propers, music by Byrd, Tallis, and Morales will be sung.

Fr. Soler will give a talk on the EF Mass on the previous Wednesday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m., also at Holy Rosary. All are welcome to both events; the church would especially like to extend this invitation to youths and young families in the Bronx and the nearby suburbs. The church is located at 1510 Adee Avenue, Bronx, New York; the web address is The church has a parking lot, and is also accessible by public transit.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Basilica of the Assumption on Torcello Island

The large lagoon at the top of the Adriatic Sea which is called “Venetian” from its most famous site and city also contains more than 60 other islands. There are several hidden treasures among them, one of the most interesting of which is the island of Torcello, about seven-and-a-half miles to the northeast of the city. An episcopal see was established on the island in the 7th century, and although it was suppressed two centuries ago, its cathedral remains, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, whose octave is today. (The entire lagoon, including Venice itself, has suffered from a notable decline in population over the last several decades, and the group of islands which includes Torcello is now in the parish of nearby Burano.)

Our good friends of the Schola Sainte Cécile are currently wrapping up a pilgrimage to Venice, Italy, joined by our Ambrosian expert Nicola de’ Grandi, who took these photos of this wonderful reminder of Venice’s long association with Byzantium and Byznatine art.

Mosaic of the Virgin Mary in the main apse, second half of the twelth century; the Apostles in the band below are about a century older.
Many churches within the former Republic of Venice ignored some of the common changes in church architecture which developed in the Counter-Reformation period, such as the removal of rood screens.
Last Judgment on the counterfaçade, also twelfth century. 
To the right of main apse, the mosaic of this secondary apse shows Christ the Pantocrator, with Saints Ambrose, Augustine, Martin of Tours and Gregory the Wonderworker beneath; the presence of St Gregory is another example of the strong Byzantine influence in Venice and environs. 
The pulpit on the left side of the rood screen,

Traditional Liturgy Reflects the Dignity and Beauty of the Virgin Mary

On this octave day of the Assumption, we may meditate with profit on a remarkable medieval poem to Our Lady, "Ave rosa sine spinis," which (in typically clever and pious fashion) takes the words of the angelic salutation and weaves the remaining words around them:
1  AVE rosa sine spinis,
Te quam Pater in divinis
Majestate sublimavit,
Et ab omni vae servavit.

2  MARIA stella dicta maris,
Tu a Nato illustraris
Luce clara deitatis,
Qua praefulges cunctis datis.

3  GRATIA PLENA te perfecit
Spiritus Sanctus dum te fecit
Vas divinae bonitatis
Et totius pietatis.

4  DOMINUS TECUM: miro pacto
Verbo in te carne facto
Opere trini conditoris:
o quam dulce vas amoris.

Hoc testatur omnis tribus;
Coeli dicunt te beatam
Et super omnes exaltatam.

Quo nos semper dona frui
Per praegustum hic aeternum
Et post mortem in aeternum:

7  Hunc, Virgo, salutis sensum,
Tuae laudis gratum pensum,
Conde tuo sinu pia,
Clemens sume, O Maria. Amen.
As I studied this text, I was struck by the way in which everything it says about the Blessed Virgin Mary applies analogously to the traditional liturgies (Eastern and Western) of the Church.

1. HAIL, Rose without thorns, thou whom the Father by His majesty in heaven hast elevated and preserved from all woe.

The organically developed liturgies of the Church deserve our veneration; they are splendid roses, beautiful in their symmetry, lushness, color, and fragrance of holiness, without the thorns of rationalism, utilitarianism, anthropocentrism, and other baneful ideologies.

2. MARY, known as the Star of the Sea, thou art illuminated by thy Son with the bright light of divinity, by which thou shinest bright with all thy gifts.

Over the rising and falling waves of tempestuous centuries, the liturgy has been like a fixed star, immutable in its apostolic essence but growing, expanding, in its expression of that sacred core, so that the light of Christ may shine forth ever more clearly and illuminate the world. This shining is undisturbed by the caliginous machinations of committees.

3. FULL OF GRACE: the Holy Spirit perfected thee when He made thee into a vessel of divine goodness and of all mercy.

The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of genuine liturgy and its gradual development from age to age. By His gentle brooding the Church's worship of God is perfected as a vessel of divine goodness and of all mercy, precluding the acceptance of radical rupture. How privileged we are to drink from this pellucid font!

4. THE LORD IS WITH THEE: the Word became flesh in thee in a wondrous way by the action of the Creator who is Three in One: O, how sweet is the vessel of love!

Through the liturgy, the Word becomes flesh in our midst, and O, how sweet is the pure vessel of this Eucharistic love! As with Mary, the traditional liturgy echoes and magnifies the Word of the Lord, without human compromise, without omitting the hard sayings, without deflecting adoration from the Real Presence and the mystery of the sovereign Sacrifice.

5. BLESSED ART THOU AMONGST WOMEN: all peoples bear witness to this. The heavens call thee blessed and high above all others.

How blessed among women is the Virgin in whom the Lord has done great things -- the marvel of His Incarnation! Blessed, too, among prayers, high above all others, is the solemn, objective, and rational worship of the Church's traditional liturgy, which exalts those who partake of it by lifting them above the private limits, idiosyncracies, and opinions of their age or place. All missionized peoples once bore witness to this universal blessing. May God grant it to be so in a future age.

6. AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB: grant that we may enjoy Him always, as a foretaste here, and after death, eternally.

Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso . . . Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Victim, Altar, Thou givest Thyself to us in Holy Communion as the price of our redemption, the food of our pilgrimage, the earnest and foretaste of our eternal bliss! Canst Thou do anything more for us that Thou hast not already done? Thou art far more generous with us than we could ever deserve. We owe it to Thee to be faithful stewards of Thy manifold gifts, beginning and ending with the sacred liturgy, lest we be found unworthy servants who squandered Thy treasury.

7. O merciful virgin Mary, lay up in the holy refuge of thy Heart and mercifully receive this disposition to salvation and the pleasing duty of thy praise. Amen.

For us, the liturgy is a holy refuge, the heart of our Catholic life, where we raise up to God the sacrifice of praise and fulfill our vows to the Lord. By the Virgin's prayers may He graciously accept our oblation, which we offer in union with all the saints of the Catholic Church across the ages.

*          *          *
At least two composers set this poem to music: Ludwig Senfl (1486-1542), who set verses 1-6, and the much better known Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585), whose set all seven verses in a magnificent meditation that lasts some eleven minutes:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Assumption Photopost 2016

Thank you to all the readers who sent in their photos for our Assumption photopost! Starting at the top, I’d like to take special note of a Mass at Fort Hood, a US military base in Texas; according to the organizers, it seems to be the first High Mass in about 45 years in a US Military Chapel. Additionally, EWTN’s Extraordinary Form focused show Extraordinary Faith was also present and did interviews before the Mass with the chaplains.

Fort Hood, Texas

Mater Ecclesiae Parish’s Assumption Mass
at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia

Talk on Way of Beauty, Lincoln, NE, August 26th

For anyone within striking distance of Lincoln, Nebraska, next Friday evening there will be a talk on the Way of Beauty at the Newman Center in Nebraska at 7 pm. This is the opening event for a Diocesan Sacred Music Clinic, run by Adam Bartlett and Matthew Meloche, that will take place the next day.

The talk is by yours truly, and I plan to discuss how the past experiences of successfully establishing traditions in sacred art, such as the introduction of the iconographic style to medieval Russia, demonstrate principles that can be used to introduce high quality and beautiful sacred music to congregations that might otherwise be resistant.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Providence Diocese Soon to Have Another Parish Offering TLM Every Sunday

Solemn Mass, Feast of the Assumption, 2014
Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton, R.I.
For many years, the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Providence, Rhode Island, has offered Holy Mass in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms every Sunday and holy day of obligation — the only diocesan parish in the Diocese of Providence to do so. That will soon change, thanks to liturgical liberalism (the good kind). Beginning Sunday, September 4th, the Church of the Holy Ghost in Tiverton will likewise offer the traditional Latin Mass (Missa Cantata) every Sunday, not just on the first Sunday of the month (as has been the case since 2009), as well as on certain holy days (as announced). So, what does this have to do with the new liturgical movement? One connection is the “mutual enrichment” for which Pope Benedict XVI expressed desire in his Letter to the world’s bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum. To reiterate a point I made at the Sacra Liturgia USA conference last year: the process of mutual enrichment takes place, firstly, not at the level of the Holy See or the national episcopal conferences, but from the “ground up,” in actual liturgical celebrations, to people and communities who have experience worshiping in both the older and newer forms of the Roman Rite. It would be interesting to learn what, exactly, mutual enrichment has meant for parishes like Holy Name and Holy Ghost. But that’s a topic for another day.

St Sebaldus of Nuremberg

Today is the feast day of St Sebaldus, a rather obscure character who lived as a hermit in a forest west of Nuremburg, in the Franconia region of south central Germany. Various versions of his life put him in different periods, some in the mid-11th century, others in the 8th. By the middle of the 13th century, he was venerated as a Patron of Nuremburg, and an older Romanesque church dedicated to St Peter was rebuilt, now jointly dedicated to him as well; his shrine-tomb became an important pilgrimage center. At the Reformation, the church became Lutheran, but neither the shrine nor the relics were destroyed.

Our Ambrosian correspondent Nicola de’ Grandi recently visited Nuremburg, and took these photos of the church.

The earlier, Romanesque phase of the church is still visible in the apse and the lower part of the bell-towers. The upper parts date from the 13th century Gothic reworking, as does the nave seen in the next photo.

St Sebaldus was formally canonized by Pope Martin V in 1425. This marvelous bronze ark containing his relics was made by Peter Vischer the Elder in 1509-1519, and is considered one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance in Germany. The Gothic structure beautifully blends with the more Italianate elements such as the statues of the Apostles on the pillars.

The ark of St Sebaldus is not the only thing that remains from the church’s Catholic history. Unfortunately, the building was very badly damaged during World War II, and had to be extensively rebuilt.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Polyphony Summer School in Ireland

We choir directors have a duty to pass on the REAL treasures of church music to the next generation ... and impart the musical skills which will enable them to continue this wonderful tradition... It is their rightful inheritance. Musicians and liturgists of the Catholic Church throughout the world of the duty and responsibility we all have to pass on to a new generation the treasures of church music protected by Vatican II and by many papal documents. Let the young singers experience and come to love this music. They are the Future … they are wonderful and highly talented young people! Do not deprive them of their heritage by offering them less than the best!”

These are the words of Dr Ite O’Donovan, director of the Dublin-based Lassus Scholars, whom we have featured many times here on NLM. She writes this à propos of a program which she led last week at St Kevin’s Church in Dublin, (home of the Dublin Latin Mass Chaplaincy,) the Orlandus Summer School for Choir and Organ; she was joined by vocal coach, Dr Imelda Drumm, and organ tutor Dr Paul McKeever. The program is geared towards young people from ages 14 to 26, with a view to introducing them to the glorious treasures of church music when they were young; as Dr O’Donovan writes, too often the parents take their children out of choir when they reach age 13/14 for the sake of sports and other activities.

The teachers were assisted by some of the older and very committed members of the Piccolo Lasso (Little Lassus) singers, who could all read music but who had not yet been singing polyphony - the Lassus Scholars of the future! As you will see from the series of 4 videos they really did very well - they even sang Isaac for the Communio. On Thursday August 11th, they began work on ALL the music which they were able to sing only 4 days at Mass on August 14th, as you can see in this video; some singers from the outside had never sight-read choral music before, though most had some experience in playing an instrument.

Below are the videos for all 4 days of the summer school, (3-5 mins each) with a little commentary by Dr O’Donovan on what was done each day. These show the progress made from the very first session on Thursday morning to the performance at Holy Mass on Sunday. They also gave a concert - extra motets including Allegri Miserere - and organ pieces!

Day 1: Twenty-two young singers from many parts of Dublin, Co Meath and Co Louth gather together at the Orlandus Summer School 2016. While about half have them have had an excellent musical training as members of Piccolo Lasso, very few of them have performed polyphony before and almost all the repertoire is new to everyone. This video is taken from the very first session.

Day 2: Much progress was made in learning Palestrina’s Missa Brevis in the choral sessions. Other new pieces included Tallis’ If ye love me, Lassus’ Benedictus from the Missa Ecco amor colei, Panem de caelo from Isaac’s Choralis Constantinus and Allegri’s Miserere. Motets learned on day 1 were revised, including Pitoni’s Cantate Domino and Victoria’s Ave Maria. Many of the young participants availed of the opportunity of having individual singing lessons with Dr Imelda Drumm and organ tuition with Dr Paul McKeever. Excellent progress was made by all!

Day 3: All the participants had an intensive rehearsal schedule during the morning. One cannot praise them highly enough for their concentration and commitment which enabled them to bring 10 new pieces of polyphony to performance standard in 3 days. On top of that, the young singers had to learn to read/sing the Gregorian Chant Introit and Alleluia, short psalm-tone settings of the other Propers and regular chants such as the Asperges and Credo III. And to crown it all we were working on Allegri’s Miserere to sing at the Sunday afternoon concert. Amazing!

Day 4: The culmination of three days of rehearsals with two performances given by the participants at the Orlandus Summer School 2016 – morning Mass and afternoon concert. We have a saying in Ireland - “Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí - Praise the youth and he will come.” On Sunday Morning, August 14th, the Orlandus Summer School Choir gave stunning performances of Gregorian chant and Polyphony during the Mass for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost at St Kevin’s Church, Latin Mass Chaplaincy in Dublin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

American Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer Make Perpetual Vows

Two days ago, on the feast of the Assumption, two American members of the Sons of the Divine Redeemer, Brothers Peter Mary (on the left in the first photo) and Seelos Maria (on the right), made their perpetual profession of the vows of religion, Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, joining to it a fourth vow and oath of Perseverance in the Congregation until death, as has been done since the time of St Alphonsus. Our thanks to the order for their kind permission to reproduce these photos from their Facebook page, and our hearty congratulations to the newly professed, to their families, and to the whole congregation - ad multos annos!

At the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus. In many rites of profession, the religious not only prostrate themselves, but are covered as seen here, to symbolize that in taking on the burdens and responsibilities of religious life, one is dying and being buried to self in order to live in Christ.

Br Peter Mary confirms his desire to consecrate himself entirely to God for the rest of his life before the superior of the congregation, Fr Michael Mary.
Likewise Br Seelos Maria, whose name in religion 'Seelos' comes from Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, a German Redemptorist who died in 1867, and was beatified in 2000.
Kneeling before the Most Blessed Sacrament, the two brothers pronounce their vows, and with their hand on the Holy Gospel, they call God to be their witness.

Society for Catholic Liturgy Conference 2016 - Los Angeles Cathedral - Sept 29 to Oct 1

The Society for Catholic Liturgy is pleased to announce its 2016 annual conference, to be held at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles.

September 29 – October 1, 2016

We are especially pleased to host keynote and plenary presentations by Archbishop José Gomez (Los Angeles), Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan (Maronite Bishop of Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles), and Sister Esther Mary Nickel, R.S.M. (St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver), as well as an update on the liturgical activities of the U.S.C.C.B. by their representative Fr. Andrew Menke.

The conference will include sung liturgies in both the ordinary (pontifical) and extraordinary forms of the Roman rite as well as the Maronite rite (pontifical), along with sung vespers.

Saturday features a Spanish-language track.

Registration, more information on the conference venue, and bios of our distinguished speakers are available at the SCL's website:

Preliminary conference schedule:

Thursday, September 29
3:00pm Registration and Welcome Reception
5:00pm Sung Mass (Stational - Ordinary Form)
6:00pm Opening Banquet with address by Archbishop Gomez “Popular Piety, Liturgy, and the New Evangelization”

Friday, September 30
8:00am Divine Liturgy (Maronite)
9:00am Continental Breakfast
9:30am Keynote: Bishop Elias Zaidan, “The Liturgy and the Church Persecuted”
11:00am Concurrent Sessions
  • (1) Academic Track: James Pauley, Renewing Liturgical Catechesis: Towards the Cultivation of Desire for God
  • (2) Academic Track: Michon Matthiesen, “The Eighth Day”: the Evangelizing Potential of Liturgical Time
  • (3) Pastoral Track: Andrew Casad, Preparing the Uncatechized for Confirmation and Eucharist
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Concurrent Sessions
  • (4) Academic Track: Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, The Rites of Christian Initiation and the Baptized but Un-catechized
  • (5) Academic Track: Veronica Arntz, “This is a Great Mystery”: Sacramental Families Formed by Cosmic Liturgy
  • (6) Pastoral Track: Paolo Miguel Cobangbang, The Canonical Coronation of Marian Images as a Liturgical Revival: a Philippine Perspective
2:30pm Concurrent Sessions
  • (7) Academic Track: Sr. Moira Debono, R.S.M. The Church Shares Your Joy: Amoris Laetitia and the Order for Celebrating Matrimony
  • (8) Academic Track: Mike Nolan, Re-interpreting the Poetry of Robert Southwell within the Context of New Evangelization
  • (9) Academic Track: Alphonso Lopez Pinto, Visions of Heaven on Earth: Mystagogy, the Santo, and Modernity
  • (10) Pastoral Track: Fr. Daniel Cardó, The Homily and the New Evangelization: Saint Augustine and Some Lessons for Today’s Preaching
3:30pm Business Meeting
5:00pm Vespers
6:00pm Reception and Banquet, after dinner talk by Sister Esther Mary Nickel, R.S.M. and the screening of Prophet for our Times.

Saturday, October 1
8:00am Mass (Extraordinary Form)
9:00am Breakfast with Registration for the Spanish Track
9:30am Fr. Andrew Menke – USCCB “Liturgical Projects Undertaken by the USCCB”
9:30am Spanish Session: Fr. Daniel Cardó : Fuente y cima: La Liturgia y la Nueva Evangelización
11:00am Concurrent Sessions and Spanish Session
  • (11) Spanish Track: Fr. Daniel Cardó: Explorando los Misterios de la Misa
  • (12) Academic Track: Dom Benedict Andersen O.S.B., Benedictine Liturgical Values and the New Evangelisation
  • (13) Academic Track: Dino Marcantonio, Symbolic Architectural Form
  • (14) Pastoral Track: Michael Foley, Sanctifying the Bar: Liturgical Drinking and the New Evangelization
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Concurrent Sessions and Spanish Session
  • (15) Spanish Track: Fr. Daniel Cardó: La Homilía y la Nueva Evangelización
  • (16) Academic Track: Lisa Knutson, Principle and Foundation of Beauty in the Missionary Liturgy: The Jesuit Reductions as Model and Ignatian spirituality as Guide
  • (17) Academic Track: Steve Baker, Between Luminous and Numinous: the Coincidence of Opposites and Its Role in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Catholic Sacred Architecture
  • (18) Pastoral Track: Fr. Jamie Hottovy, Sacred Beauty: Evangelizing through the Images of Our Faith     
2:00pm Concurrent Sessions and Spanish Session
  • (19) Academic Track: Richard Nicholas, the Sacramental Ordo in Medieval Architecture as a Means for Evangelization in the Twenty-First Century
  • (20) Academic Track: Richard Bulzacchelli, There Are No Doors to Open if There Are No Walls: Maintaining Sacramental Discipline as a Prerequisite for Preaching the Gospel
  • (21) Pastoral Track: Fr. Nick Schneider, In My Heart and on My Lips: Proclamation in the Mass as a Model for Evangelization
3:00pm concluding Plenary Session (announcement of new officers)

Postscript to Yesterday's Post: Sketches of Thomas Marsh's Rosary Walk

Thomas Marsh, the sculptor, was kind enough to get in touch with me to tell me a little more about the Rosary Walk referred to in yesterday's post about his work. He even sent me some sketches he has produced in advance of creating it, along with a description of his intentions for the church, St Isidore the Farmer Catholic Church in Orange, Virginia.

I thought that it was worth a look to see how a sculptor describes his vision in advance, both in words and in preparatory sketches:

When completed, the Rosary Prayer Walk, with an over life-size statue of Mary and the Child Jesus at the high point of the walk, will span just over 75 feet. This sacred and beautiful space will beckon those who for the first time notice the statue as they drive by the front of St. Isidore on Highway 15. It will be a magnet for those who attend Mass at St. Isidore, and for those Catholics in the region who hear about this new sacred space. What will be this beckoning force, this magnetic attraction? 
In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI wrote of the “exitus-reditus” (movement outward and returning) character of worship. He likened this movement to man’s experience of God, of leaving and returning, and ultimately returning home to God forever. In this prayer walk, the Rosary is laid out before the prayerful person as an elliptical path, to descend down the gentle slope of the hill, and return upward, homeward. In the manner of Christ one climbs the slope of the hill, not only in sight of the Cross (held by the Child Jesus), but toward the sculpture of Mary, Queen of Heaven, and Christ, King of the Universe, a reminder of our heavenly home. As the high point and focal point of the design, the sculpture has a symbolic and representational power to draw us “…to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God…” (CCC 2502). 
The Rosary has the potential to be experienced as movement in a large space. Usually the “small scale” practice of praying the Rosary, the traditional beads with the very physical sense of touch, offers an intimate quietness, a quiet closeness. Yet Christ often went to the mountain, to the “high place” to pray. There is an expansiveness of sight and breath, and a special depth when there are great vistas surrounding one’s prayer experience. Our Rosary prayer walk will offer such an expansive experience. The rich and fertile beauty of the rolling rural Orange County vistas, with their seasonal colors and atmospheric variety, invite one to engage such a space in prayer. To wed the Rosary with this spatial beauty has the potential to provide a profound prayerful experience, a special path to God.
On a “practical” level, there are pressing contemporary issues which so often manifest in the assault of secular culture on Christianity. We know that praying the Rosary is one of our great strengths in combatting these assaults in our trying times. What a tremendous force for good would be the praying of the Rosary on this fully human scale: one decade, ten natural steps, repeated, culminating in petitioning the Queen of Heaven as intercessor to the King of the Universe! Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! And what a natural evangelization this would be for those who are not Catholic but notice this sculpture from the highway, and wonder, “What is this about?” 
Our Rosary Prayer walk with its sculpture of Mary and the Child Jesus will create a sacred site, filled with beauty, to add to the wonderful landscape adjacent to St. Isidore Catholic Church. Beauty will beckon, and the attraction will pull us closer to God. 

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