Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary

For a fairly brief period, today was kept by the Franciscans as the feast of the Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary. As an expression of the Seraphic Order’s devotional life, it corresponds to the feast of the Holy Rosary, which began among the Dominicans, and the observance on September 15th of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin, which was originally the Patronal feast of the Servites. The principal contribution of the Franciscans to the Church’s cycle of Marian feasts is, of course, the Immaculate Conception, whereas the liturgical celebration of the Seven Joys is very late, and short-lived. It was granted to them in 1906, and at first fixed to the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption; when the reform of St Pius X abolished the practice of fixing feasts to Sundays, it was permanently assigned to August 27th. In the Calendar reform promulgated in 1961, which aimed at reducing the number of feasts, and especially the so-called “feasts of devotion” (as opposed to those of Our Lord and the Saints), it was suppressed.

The Altarpiece of the Seven Joys, by the anonymous painter known as the Master of the Holy Family, ca. 1480; now in the Louvre.
The devotion to the Seven Joys in and of itself, however, is much older; the story of its origin is told thus in the Manual for Franciscan Tertiaries.
About the year 1420, a young man, deeply devoted to Our Lady, took the habit of St Francis. Before joining the Order, he had, among other practices, been accustomed daily to make a chaplet of flowers, and with it to crown a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Having in his novitiate no longer an opportunity of making this crown for his Most Beloved Queen, he, in his simplicity, thought that she would withdraw her affection from him; this temptation of the devil disturbed his vocation, and he resolved to abandon the cloister. The merciful mother appeared to him, and gently rebuking him, strengthened him in his vocation by telling him to offer her instead of the chaplet of flowers, a crown much more pleasing to her, composed of seventy-two Ave Marias and a Pater after each decade of Ave Marias, and to meditate at each decade upon the seven joys she had experienced during the seventy-two years of her exile upon the earth. The novice immediately commenced reciting the new crown or rosary, and derived therefrom many spiritual and temporal graces. This pious practice spread quickly through the whole Order, and even throughout the world… St Bernardin of Siena used to say that it was by the Crown of the Seven Joys that he had obtained all the graces which Heaven has heaped upon him.
A traditional Franciscan Rosary of the Seven Joys, still worn as part of the Order’s habit.
The Seven Joys listed in the Manual are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, the Finding of the Christ Child in the Temple, the Resurrection and the Assumption, but other version of the list may be found. Two more Aves are added to make the number seventy-two mentioned above, and another Pater and Ave for the intentions of the Pope. The recitation concludes with a versicle and response, and with the Collect of the Immaculate Conception.

V. In thy Conception, o Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son thou didst bear.
Let us pray. O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, prepared a worthy dwelling place for thy Son; we beseech thee, that, as by the foreseen death of Thy same Son, Thou preserved Her from every stain, so Thou may grant us also, through Her intercession, to come to thee with pure hearts. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

V. In Conceptione tua, Virgo, immaculata fuisti.
R. Ora pro nobis Patrem, cujus Filium peperisti.
Oremus. Deus, qui per immaculátam Vírginis Conceptiónem dignum Filio tuo habitáculum praeparasti: quaesumus; ut qui ex morte ejusdem Filii tui praevisa, eam ab omni labe praeservasti, nos quoque mundos ejus intercessióne ad te perveníre concedas. Per eundem Christum, Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

(h/t Chris W.)

Third Anniversary Mass for the Anglican Use Community of St Gregory the Great in Massachusetts, September 3rd

The Anglican Ordinariate community of St Gregory the Great will be have a special Mass for its third Feast of Title and Dedication, to be held at St Patrick’s Parish in Stoneham, Massachusetts, on September 3rd. It promises to be particularly beautiful; see the poster below, or go to their website for more information, www.saintgregoryordinariate.org.


On a related note, some readers may remember that I featured the commissioning of a silver chalice and paten by the community; the original article was here. This set has just been given an award by the journal Faith and Form, in conjunction with the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture. The designer and maker of the set, silversmith Vincent Hawley, will be presented with the award at the May 2016 National Convention of the American Institute of Architects in Philadelphia, PA. His website is www.vwhjewelry.com. Congratulations Vincent!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summorum Pontificum Conference in Santiago de Chile

The first International Summorum Pontificum Conference in Chile was recently held in the city of Santiago from July 21-23 at the Nuestra Señora de La Dehesa retreat house, focused mainly on the implementation of the Traditional Roman Liturgy, in light of Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The conference was organized by Fr. Milan Tisma (Archdiocese of Santiago), Fr. Lucio Cáceres (Prelature of Illapel), Fr. Carlos Bolelli (Archdiocese of La Serena) and Fr. Marcelo Guzmán (Diocese of San Bernardo), with the support of Magnificat - Una Voce Chile ( founded in 1966), the Chilean Chapter of the International Una Voce Federation (FIUV), and of several generous benefactors. The conference was attended by priests and laymen from Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and France; Paix Liturgique was represented by Mr. Guillaume Ferluc, one of the organizers of the annual Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome.

The conference began with the celebration of Low Masses in the Extraordinary Form in two shifts at the side altars of the retreat house’s main chapel. Since one of the conference’s main purposes was to introduce the Traditional Rite to priests who were not yet familiar with its celebration, an altar for celebration of the Ordinary Form versus Deum.

The opening lecture was given by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (1998-2002), who focused his speech on the sacrificial meaning of the Holy Mass. The second lecture was delivered by Professor Augusto Merino, Vice President of Magnificat - Una Voce Chile, addressing the issue of the liturgical reform. In the afternoon, two liturgical training workshops were held for priests interested in learning the celebration of the Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and another for laypeople.

On Wednesday the 22nd, Professor Mario Correa Ph.D. addressed the issue of the juridical status of the Extraordinary Form in light of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The second lecture was given by Professor Luis González, organist of Magnificat - Una Voce Chile, regarding the nature, purposes and features of sacred music. Prof. González also gave suggestions for the interpretation of music in the context of the Extraordinary Form.

In the evening, Fr. Lucio Cáceres celebrated a Sung Mass at the church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, with the attendance of a considerable number of faithful.

The first lecture of Thursday the 23rd was given by Fr. Milan Tisma, chaplain of Magnificat - Una Voce Chile, who gave a testimony of his experience in the celebration under both forms of the Roman Rite, and gave some advice for the introduction of the Extraordinary Form in a Catholic community or parish. The closing lecture was delivered by Professor Julio Retamal Ph.D., President and founder of Magnificat - Una Voce Chile, regarding the history of the Roman Rite.

The conference concluded with the Blessing of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the singing of the Te Deum. The assistants expressed their wish to attend a new Summorum Pontificum conference in 2016.






In Memoriam

Today, August 26, marks the fourth anniversary of the death of Professor László Dobszay (1935-2011), a true Catholic gentleman and scholar. Many, perhaps most, readers of NLM will have heard of him and of his substantial contributions to sacred music and liturgical scholarship, two of his English-language publications being The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (Church Music Association of America, 2007) and The Restoration and Organic Development of the Roman Rite (T&T Clark/Continuum, 2010). I was blessed to have known him personally as a colleague in the “new Liturgical Movement” and as a friend. Please say a prayer for the happy repose of his soul. Requiescat in pace Domini.

Society of St. Dominic Announces Concert with Victoria Requiem

The Society of St. Dominic, based in Winnipeg, is pleased to announce a major undertaking in connection with the Camerata Nova. If you are anywhere near Winnipeg, make sure you get this in your calendar!

Tomas Luis de Victoria's 1605 Requiem

In honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, an evening of renaissance sacred polyphony performed by Camerata Nova
Saturday September 26th, 2015, 8:00 pm, St Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church, 315 Munroe Avenue, Winnipeg, MB.

Doors open at 7:00 pm; concert begins at 8:00 pm. Admission is free. Free-will offerings gratefully accepted.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Assumption 2015 - Final Photpost

As is often the case, we’ve had a enough late submissions for the feast of the Assumption to make a third and final photopost. I am also including a video of a procession in honor of the Virgin Mary’s mother, St Anne, a tradition revived by the Fraternity of St Peter after many years’ suspension at a church entitled to her in Ottawa.

Annunciation Catholic Church - Houston, Texas
Solemn High Mass of the Vigil of the Assumption, was followed by Solemn First Vespers of the Assumption, with antiphons and psalms fully accompanied on the organ. On Assumption Day, Fr. Paul Felix, the pastor, celebrated his first Solemn High Mass, and on Sunday afternoon, Solemn Sunday Vespers was sung coram Sanctissimo, followed by Benediction. All the liturgies mentioned here were in the Extraordinary Form.





Monday, August 24, 2015

A Talk on John Singer Sargent in Manchester, NH, Thursday, August 27

Paul Ingbretson is opening up his painting school, the Ingbretson Studios, this Thursday, to give a talk on one of the great artists of the naturalistic tradition, John Singer Sargent, and the movement that was inspired to a large degree by his influence, the Boston School of the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.

John Singer Sargent was not a religious man, and was not known for sacred art; neither was the Boston School. However, I recommend this talk for two reasons. First, because stylistically Sargent was an anachronism. Although he was trained in Paris in the 19th century, under the influence of his teacher Charles Durand (known as Carolus-Duran) he rejected the sterile neo-classicism of the French academy and its corollary, and the overly emotional portrayals of the Romantics, and strove to follow the style of the great Spanish master of the 17th century baroque, Velasquez. This was not a theological or philosophical decision, as far as I am aware, but based rather on his personal taste. He wanted to paint like Velazquez because he preferred his style. After training with Duran in Paris, he went to the Prado in Madrid, and taught himself further by copying every Velazquez on display in the museum. So, in his portraits and landscapes, he incorporates the essential elements of the baroque style, which is an authentically Christian style, and can be accounted for by a Christian worldview. This style is rooted in the religious art that grew out of the Catholic Counter-Reformation period. Therefore, anyone who wishes to understand the balance between natural appearances and idealization that must be present in all genuine Christian art could do worse than study the work of Sargent.

Idealized naturalism is as much about what you don’t show as much it is about what you do. The artist controls the focus, the intensity of color and contrast of light and dark, in order to draw your attention to the important points of interest, which must coincide with those which we would look at naturally if we were presented with the scene itself. We are made by God to be curious about important things, and uninterested in unimportant things, and the artist must understand this.


The other reason for highlighting this is to give a profile to Paul Ingbretson. One of the most important reasons that there are any ateliers teaching the academic style at all today is the group of young men trained in Boston in the 1970s under the guidance of almost the only remaining teacher of the academic style at that time, an octogenarian called Ives-Gammell. Paul was one of these young men who went on to devote himself to passing on to others what he learned.

Paul is not Catholic, but he is, as far as I am aware, Christian. Certainly, his strong libertarian views mean that he encourages people of faith to connect this with their art when he teaches. This is not true of all the ateliers around, which can be just as aggressively secular in their worldviews as any other modern art school. Some of you may be aware of the Catholic painter based in Virginia, Henry Wingate, who paints portraits, still lives, and sacred art, and is one of Paul’s star pupils.

The paintings shown here are by Sargent; the first is Gassed, which comes from his work as a war artist during the First World War, and shows soldier who have been blinded by mustard gas being led from the battle ground. The second is Venetian Interior, in which we can see how much Sargent communicates by his use of colour (or deliberate lack of it), focus and contrast.


David Clayton's book, the Way of Beauty, which contains a description of theological basis of the form of Western naturalistic art is now available from Angelico Press and Amazon.com.

On the Participation of the Clergy in a Non-Concelebrated Mass

Some time ago, a reader and I corresponded about a question that may be of interest to NLM readers more generally. The reader was a priest who had recently learned to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form and who, seeing more clearly that “the priest is ordained to offer sacrifice,” had arrived at a more critical position regarding concelebration. He wrote to me (and I quote with his permission):
In light of my preparation for the Traditional Latin Mass and in light of Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis, my attitude toward concelebration has shifted. Any Ordinary Form Mass with a bishop as celebrant is an appropriate time for concelebration because of the unique theological relationship priests have with their bishops. In addition, in parishes with more than one priest, the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Easter Vigil, primary Mass on Christmas, parish feast day, etc. could be concelebrated. Also for funerals. But not as a matter of course, like the daily community Mass in a monastery or seminary.
          I truly appreciated my week at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska. There the FSSP priests hammered home that “the priest is ordained to offer sacrifice.” Upon arrival, each of us student priests received a schedule for the daily private Mass, with time, altar, and seminarian server lined out for the entire week. (They have the Novus Ordo books on hand, and the server knows he will be serving Mass in the OF.) What was great was actually saying Mass each day. What a joy, too! I was not in front of hundreds “wowing” them with my eloquent homily; I was being genuinely and deeply priestly, and letting the floodgates of Divine Mercy flow upon myself, anyone living and deceased I included in the intentions, and any that the server had, and any that the Father in Heaven desired for the sake of His Son’s sorrowful passion as He “received the sacrifice at [my] hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.”
Instead of automatically concelebrating at a clergy gathering, he went on to say, he now prefers to attend in choro or in the nave, while making time elsewhere in the day for offering a private Mass. This, I gather, is the thinking and praxis prevailing among many of the clergy, especially the younger set, as they come to see the fallacious historical research and the superficial theology on which the “revival” of concelebration was based, and as they experience in their own lives the abuses to which concelebration so often leads as well as the spiritual fruits of individual daily celebration.[1] My correspondent continued:
What I am now moved to explore is the phenomenon of the non-celebrant priest present at Mass. Since with the priesthood of the baptized, every baptized person present at Mass offers, in a way, the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross as well as the sacrifice of oneself with Christ to the Father, does concelebration make any difference for ordained priests who are present at Masses they are not offering as celebrants? To rephrase the question, does a priest concelebrating at a Mass in the Ordinary Form exercise a higher level of efficacy or enjoy a greater access to sacramental graces than a priest assisting at a Mass in either form in the pew, in choir, or serving (in the EF) as deacon, subdeacon, assistant priest, master of ceremonies, etc.? The question amounts to this: Does a priest who merely attends a Mass rather than celebrating it participate in a qualitatively different way than a layman does?
I answered along the following lines.

It seems to me true that a priest is called to the altar of God every day, if possible, to represent and act on behalf of Christ the High Priest, and to offer the holy sacrifice for himself and for the people. Obviously, concelebration is not wrong in itself, and there are times when it seems to be called for, but to make it into a general or normative practice is certainly a deviation from the organic development of the Roman Church, and I am glad that so many are rethinking it and rediscovering how a priest may fruitfully pray “in choir” (though not in substitution for his daily Mass).

Concelebration is an exercise of the ministerial priesthood in a way that praying “in choir” is not, since the latter participation in the sacrifice is not essentially different from the way in which a layman participates—namely, by uniting himself spiritually with the priest who is actually offering at the altar, and in that way, uniting himself with Christ. The priest is ordained to offer sacrifice in persona Christi, but when he assists at Mass not as the offerer, he is not exercising this specific power, which is manifested and actualized in the consecration.

Serving as a deacon, on the other hand, is a distinctive way of participating in the liturgy which can neither simply be reduced to a layman’s participation nor made equivalent to a priest’s. The subdeacon presents a special case, because a layman can, in a pinch, serve as a “straw” subdeacon,[2] and also because the status of the subdiaconate is somewhat perplexing in these days when we are suspended between the OF world (where the ministry no longer exists) and the EF world (where it definitely exists). It is one among many questions for which a future solution will need to be found.

So, in short, I would say:
  1. The priest offering Mass (whether celebrating or concelebrating) is doing something unique, to which no other ministry can compare.
  2. The priest assisting at Mass as a deacon or subdeacon, or the deacon or subdeacon in their respective capacities, is participating in a manner subordinate to that of the priest but still with an exercise of major or minor orders that is distinctive to him and in which the laity do not share.
  3. The priest assisting at Mass “in choro” is participating in the Mass as the laity do, but with external marks of honor, such as cassock, surplice, and stole, to convey his difference in identity and his proper place in the hierarchical communion of the Church.
That is what I feel able to say, but it is a question with many interesting ramifications and implications to it. I would certainly value comments from any readers who have light to shed or further speculations on any aspect of the matter.

Hierarchical participation in the one Sacrifice
NOTES

[1] For more on the entirely non-Roman novelty of modern concelebration, see here; for more on how it differs from the Byzantine practice to which it is erroneously compared, see here; for more on its spiritual disadvantages, see here.

[2] Contrary to some reports, there is no definitive judgment from the PCED that the long-standing custom of the “straw subdeacon” may never be followed. It happens regularly in Ecclesia Dei communities and shows no signs of abating. It could have been officially stopped if that was thought to be necessary or important.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Assumption 2015 Photopost - Part 2

Here is the second part of our Assumption photopost, with our renewed thanks to all those who sent in images of their liturgies.

The next to last set comes from the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Garden Enclosed in Warfhuizen, the Netherlands. The person who sent the photos informs me that the hermit, who is seen here serving as deacon, will be ordained a priest on September 6th; let us remember to pray for him and his apostolate!

Cathedral of the Holy Rosary - Vancouver, British Columbia
EF Mass for the vigil of the Assumption 



Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
Candlelit procession from the Anglican church to the Catholic church then to the Anglican shrine grounds. (click here to see more photographs)




Epiphany Catholic Church - Tampa, Florida


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Assumption 2015 Photopost - Part 1

The best of our photoposts are the ones which show not only the beauty, but also the variety and the great richness of our liturgical practice, and the many submissions which we received for the Assumption this year are an especially good example of this. We have Masses of the feast in the EF and OF, as well as the EF vigil Mass, processions, Benediction, a new priest’s first Mass, three Pontifical Masses, the traditional blessing of the herbs, with a bit of the Eastern Rites. The photos have come in from all over the world, and we have enough to make two posts out of them; the second will appear tomorrow. Our thanks and best wishes to all those who sent them in - Evangelize though Beauty!

Our Lady of the Angels - Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Assumption Day Procession

St John the Baptist Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Blessing of the Herbs (note the traditional Marian blue vestments!) 


St Mary’s - Pine Bluff, Wisconsin
Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Madison, H.E. Robert Morlino 


St Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church - Odessa, Texas


A Course on Poetry Inspired by the Mystical Tradition of the Church

This is, as far as I am aware, a new liturgically centered approach to teaching literature, the first in a series offered by Andrew Thornton-Norris, Resident Poet of the Imaginative Conservative and author of A Spiritual History of English.

Pontifex University is offering a new online course of guided reading entitled The Romance of the Soul - the Mystical in Verse, Spiritual Approaches to Literature. This one is for personal enrichment, (and costs just $99) - a must for anyone interested in understanding what makes great literature, and especially those who wish to be creators of beautiful poetry and prose.


This is the introductory course to a planned series which will give a new exciting approach to teaching literature. The goal is to impart wonder at the beauty of the literary tradition which is derived from and points us to the words of the Poet - the Holy Spirit who speaks in the Sacred Liturgy, especially through the Psalms. The hope is that through this it will deepen our participation in the liturgy and help lead us to our ultimate end. Poets considered in this introductory course include Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dante, St John of the Cross, T.S. Eliot and John Burnside.

This particular course is an introduction to the poetry that arises from the mystical tradition of the Church. It is presented through the prism of Andrew Thornton-Norris’s general thesis on literature, articulated in his excellent book the Spiritual History of Literature. In this slim volume, Mr Thornton-Norris does for poetry and prose what I have been trying to do with art. He relates the actual structure of the writing and the vocabulary used to the worldview of the time. He shows us, for example, how even if the poet or novelist is sincerely Catholic and trying to express truths that are consistent with the Faith, he is at a great disadvantage if he is seeking to express those truths with the vocabulary and poetic form that reflect a post-Enlightenment culture. He takes us through a philosophical and literary journey from Bede through to the present day.

The true purpose of literature is to instill in those who read it wonder and a desire for God. It ought to
direct us therefore to the place where in this life we have the most profound encounter with God, the Sacred Liturgy. The poetry of the mystical tradition of the Church arises from the tradition of contemplative prayer. This is the prayer whereby we develop the faculty for the reception of God as He gives himself to us through his love. Its consummation is in the liturgy, and when written well it allows for an ever deeper and more active (in the true sense of the word) participation in the liturgy, where there is the most profound encounter with God. Contemplation itself is that reception of God and it can only be realized by the action of God Himself. All we can do is increase our readiness for him, until He chooses to give Himself to us. When He does so, we have peace and joy, but this is the heavenly state that is only fully realized in the next life. However, on our journey towards that point, we can have it by degrees, and some might experience temporary anticipations of that ecstasy.

Poetry is the work of mystics who specialize in this prayer, and it reflects their experiences and directs us to us, helping us in our own contemplative prayer and inspiring us to make the attempt. In the hierarchy of literature it might be considered the highest outside the inspired work of the Poet Himself, and especially the Psalms sung in the liturgy which direct us to Him.

Here is Andrew’s introduction to the course:

“The most profound meeting place between the spiritual and literature is where the mystical tradition inspires poetry. This course will introduce you to some of the key texts and principles of this tradition and the poetry it has inspired. We begin with an introduction to the central concept of mysticism, contemplation, and look at how this relates to the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Then we will consider the emergence of the subjective perspective characteristic of modernity, in the thought and feeling of the twelfth century. Then we look at the poetic tradition this inspired, from that of the time of Dante, through the English Renaissance, to the emergence of modern poetry at the time of Baudelaire and Eliot. Then we will consider two contemporary accounts of this meeting in the theology of John Paul II and Hans Urs Von Balthasar, which provides the spiritual context for creative activity today. The two further planned courses in this series will cover the same ground, but in greater detail. You can progress from one to the other, and have the cost of the earlier ones discounted from the later, or take any of them individually.”

For more details and to take the course go to Pontifex.University.


Friday, August 21, 2015

The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer Available Again

Quite a number of NLM readers were dismayed when it looked as if the new English translation of Bouyer's Memoirs had gone out of print. Happily, Amazon has the Memoirs back in stock again, ready for immediate delivery.

Apart from being a prime source of eye-witness information about how the liturgical reform was conducted (and, I assure you, the details are as unedifying as episodes from the lives of certain Renaissance princes of the Church), the Memoirs is, more importantly, a witty, engaging, and beautifully told story of a life spent in service of Christ and the Church. Now, more than ever, we need to learn from Bouyer and we need to emulate his virtues.

Link to product page.

Bishop Schneider at the “Ars Celebrandi” Workshops in Licheń, Poland

Our thanks to the organizers of the Ars Celebrandi workshops for sending us these photographs and the accompanying press release. I would call our readers’ attention particularly to the report in the second paragraph of Bishop Schneider’s words about the false opposition between the observance of liturgical norms and interior participation in the liturgy, and the “deep wound” in the heart of the Church caused by lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Most of the photographs below were taken at the Pontifical Mass, but the last one is of the blessing of new chalices, and the three before that are of Pontifical Vespers.

On 19 August 2015, at the Ars Celebrandi workshops on the traditional liturgy, Bishop Athanasius Schneider celebrated Pontifical Mass and Vespers, and gave a lecture on the proper renewal of the liturgy and due adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He also answered questions from participants in the workshops, and signed copies of his latest book Corpus Christi.

In a lecture entitled “The Renewal of the Liturgy and the Perennial Sense of the Church”, His Excellency pointed out that the essential feature of the sacred liturgy is the adoration of God. The Eucharistic liturgy is the most sublime realization of the first commandment of which Jesus reminded us: “You shall adore the Lord your God and worship Him alone” (Matt 4, 10). Bishop Athanasius referred to the liturgical norms of the Church and the importance which should be attached to them in accordance with the whole of Scripture and Catholic doctrine.

To establish an opposition between exterior norms and the attention of the heart would be against the Divine truth. Such a contrast was often established by heretical movements, by neglecting or refusing exterior norms, e.g. Christian Gnostics, Cathars and Albigensians, Calvinists, and some Catholic Pentecostals and progressives of various degrees in our days. He also pointed to some alarming data about an increasing number of profanations related to giving Holy Communion on the hand. Then Bishop Schneider went on to present a sublime model to be imitated in liturgical celebrations: the liturgy of the Heavenly Jerusalem described in the Book of the Apocalypse. It is characterized by seven elements: kneeling, deep inclinations, and prostrations; incense; sacred songs, not performing wordly or sensual music (“a new song”); freedom from concentration on oneself; praying and singing together with the Angels; a prolonged time for silence; putting Eucharistic Christ in the visible centre of the liturgical assembly (and not the seat of the human celebrant).

During the Pontifical Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Licheń, Bishop Schneider gave a sermon in Polish in which he said, “The true renewal of the Church begins in an area which is the most important and which is the heart of the Church: in the Eucharistic Lord. However, a deep wound appeared in the heart of today’s Church because of a horrible lack of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament, and numerous cases of unworthy reception of Holy Communion, without full belief and true contrition.” He also added, “Sinful man wants to put himself in the centre, even in church interiors, even during the Eucharistic feast; he wants to be seen and noticed. For this reason Eucharistic Jesus, who was made man, present in the tabernacle under Eucharistic species, is put to the side in many churches.”

After the Holy Mass, Bishop Schneider shared his feeling that it was one of the most beautiful ones in his life, praising the masters of ceremony and altar servers, as well as the musicians.

Before leaving Licheń, the bishop said a few words to the participants and organizers of the “Ars Celebrandi” Workshops on Traditional Liturgy.

I was deeply impressed by this Ars Celebrandi conference, especially as I met so many young people and young priests who seek to show real love for the holy liturgy and greater honor for Jesus in the holy liturgy. It was for me an experience of little piece of springtime of the Church, because this holy liturgy, the traditional liturgy, is a treasure for the whole Church, as Pope Benedict said, and this is a treasure which our forefathers handed over to us; so we have to love it and to pass it on to the next generation. This liturgy guides us closer to experience the presence of God, of Jesus, and the mystery of His sacrifice of the Cross, and the beauty, the majesty of God, and draws us closer to Him. Of course it is necessary that such beautiful celebrations influence our private lives, our Christianity, our moral lives. This should be a new force to give us new strength and new joy to live a real Christian life; and give an example of good Catholics. So I was favourably impressed and I hope that this Ars Celebrandi meeting will continue in the future and attract ever more young people, seminarians, young priests, to help them to live closer to Jesus, to live deeper this infinite, ineffable mystery of the holy Mass.






Solemn EF Mass in Vancouver Cathedral for the Feast of St Augustine

On Friday, August 28th, a Solemn Mass for the feast of St Augustine will be celebrated in Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver, British Columbia, starting at 7:30 p.m. The cathedral is located at 646 Richards St.


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