Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Recovering the Christian Psalter: A Talk by Dom Benedict Andersen

I strongly commend to our readers’ attention this excellent talk delivered to the recent Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America by Dom Benedict Maria Andersen OSB, a monk of Silverstream Priory in Ireland. It is entitled “Fulfilled is all that David told”: Recovering the Christian Psalter; by “Christian”, Dom Andersen here means the Psalms according to the Septuagint translation, which was used in the New Testament itself, and received by the Church from the very beginning for liturgical use. He offers a particularly interesting discussion of the importance of certain readings of the Septuagint for Christian theology and liturgy, also noting how the modern presumption in favor of the later Hebrew Massoretic text has led to a significant (and largely unjustified) break with tradition in the recasting of many liturgical texts for use in the Ordinary Form.

Listen to the talk at Silverstream Priory’s Soundcloud channel:

h/t to Mr Brian McCord!

The first page of a Psalterium Triplex, with the three versions of the Latin Psalms in parallel columns, plus glosses and commentaries. Paris BNF Ms. Latin 8846, ca. 1190.

EF Mass for the Precious Blood in New York City, July 2

On Sunday, July 2nd at 5:00 p.m., on the external solemnity of the titular feast day of the Church of the Most Precious Blood in New York City, the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of St George will sponsoring a Solemn High Mass in the traditional rite, accompanied by the Mass for Three Voices of the 17th-century Neapolitan composer Francesco Durante. The church is located at 113 Baxter Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Corpus Christ 2017 Photopost (Part 3)

As we have for a few years running, we got up to three photoposts for Corpus Christi this year. It is certainly encouraging sign that each of them has included Masses celebrated in the proper Use of a religious order: Premonstratensians in the first, Dominicans in the second and third, although the Dominican Mass in this post was celebrated on the feast of the Sacred Heart. I also include a Mass for the feast of St John the Baptist, the first solemn EF celebrated in the cathedral of St Andrew in Victoria, British Columbia, since the liturgical reform. As always, we are very grateful to all those who sent these in. Continue the work of evangelizing through beauty!

Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reminder: Tonight at St. Mary's, Norwalk, Lectures by Kwasniewski and Lamont

For our readers in the greater New York area:

The Virtue of Religion and Hollywood: The Book of Eli

As follow up to last week’s post on St Thomas and the virtue of religion, here is a description of a talk I heard recently on the film The Book of Eli. This is a film about faith which in some ways frustrated me because it wasn’t more Catholic. If the screenplay writer had known about Thomas Aquinas and the virtue of religion, it might have made it even better! I won’t give a detailed review - I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it - but I will try to give you just enough to see how I thought a reading of St Thomas might have added to it.

The film, starring Denzel Washington, is set in a post-apocalyptic time in which there is no Church, and he is the only man who has access to Revelation in the form of a single Bible. All bibles, except the one owned by Eli, have been destroyed. We see no other aspect of Tradition surviving.

Eli reads Scripture daily and absorbs what he reads, so that he becomes a man of faith who attempts to lead a virtuous life and prays daily to his Creator. In time, his faith is passed on to others, not by the words in the book or by his preaching, but by the example of his life. For example, he makes a sacrifice of love, and it is through this action that the one whom he saved becomes a believer too.

It is a fascinating idea, stylishly told, but I would have loved to have seen the Church re-emerging as he reflects on his faith, and with it, a ritual of worship. This would have been natural to him.

The review I wrote is here.

As interesting as the film itself is the story of its making. The screenplay is by an Englishman called Gary Whitta who says he is an atheist. Nevertheless this a film about faith, and Whitta clearly knows his Bible. It was a big budget movie, just under $90 million. During the making of the film, the directors tried, from time to time, to play down the scriptural content, but Denzel Washington, whose father was a pastor and who is himself a Christian, insisted on keeping the Biblical content in the dialogue.

When Warner Brothers saw the completed movie, they didn’t know what to do with it, and, feeling uncomfortable with the Scriptural element, didn’t put a lot of effort into publicity when it was released. It was presented as a futuristic and post-apocalyptic movie, marketed to the same people as might watch the Mad Max series. It didn’t succeed with this market, but began to gain ground in the “red states” in the US. Believing Christians, and especially Protestants, started to watch it, and eventually it made a clear profit with box-office takings of about $157 million.

The story of the making of the film says to me that well-made films with intelligently incorporated themes of faith will succeed at the box office. What dismays me, however, is that it didn’t have a stronger Catholic theme, as distinct from a broadly Christian theme. There is no direct reference to the Church, but one might, perhaps equate the villainous intentions of Carnegie, Gary Oldman’s character, with an erroneous Protestant view of the Roman church as an organ of state control, and one that moved away from the Church that Christ established.

A more Catholic version of this film, would perhaps see the persistence of the Church in such a way that the Apostolic succession would be unbroken. Through this, as the Faith spread, so would the desire to worship God, the natural inclination of any man who has faith.

This is where the ideas of St Thomas might come into the picture. St Thomas describes what he calls the “virtue of religion,” mankind’s natural propensity, when he reflects upon his faith, to worship God.

The assumption here is that the event which these people survived, though widespread and destructive to civilization, and in this sense “apocalyptic”, was not the final end. It was not the Apocalypse of the described in the last book of the Bible. If it had been, then of course redemption would have taken place in the Second Coming of Christ, and this would be a film about the bodily resurrection of all Christians.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Guest Article: Musicians, Singers, and Composers Among the Saints

I am happy to publish today a delightful table, with introduction, that was submitted to NLM by Isaac Olson, “a young Catholic, professional classical musician, and devotee of hagiography.” Mr. Olson’s goal was to compile a list of saints who were musicians in one sense or another. He writes that this list is not necessarily complete: there are, for instance, a Bl. Paula (buried in San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome) who played violin, and Marie-Anqelique of Jesus, OCD (Pontoise, France), who played the piano and violin and was a cousin of Mendelssohn by her grandmother. It may be that readers would like to add any names that are missing from the table. Thank you, Mr. Olson, for sharing this with NLM.

Musicians, Singers, and Composers Among the Saints

by Isaac Olson
Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) noted that “it belongs to the essence of human beings that they come from God’s ‘art,’ that they themselves are a part of God’s art and as perceivers can think and view God’s creative ideas with him and translate them into the visible and the audible.”

From the rich, Catholic theological understanding of God and art has grown a keen interest in the interrelatedness of my own line of work - as a classical and studio musician - and the work of God - holiness. Hence, I have recently compiled an initial list of Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, and Servants of God who were musically gifted. This includes instrumentalists, singers, composers, hymnographers, music teachers, choir directors, and more.

The topics of saints and music are mutually complementary, in that they each reveal “the beauty that is already waiting and concealed in creation”. I treasure how the form of created beauty takes its shape or matter in the lives of those who correspond to God’s diffusive love through their gifts to our rich heritage of music. Would that all musicians might join their intentions with that of the musical Servant of God, Rosa Giovannetti, who responded to the applause of men with the heartfelt cry, “It is all for Jesus! The cello, the concerts? I use this gift for You only, to sing your praises and to praise You. Not to me the honors, but to You, the author of all grace.”

Note on the chart below: the term “musician” is applied as a general term to those saints whose specific musical accomplishments are unknown at this time of research. The term “composer”, as a general term, encompasses the classification of hymn-writers.

Name Lifetime Contribution
Aldhelm of Sherborne, St. 640-709 harpist, fiddler, bagpiper, vocalist
Alphonsus de Liguori, St. 1696-1787 composer, harpsichordist
Amalia Streitel, Ven. 1844 - 1911 music teacher
Ambrose of Milan, St. 338-397 composer
Anatolios, St. 4th century composer
Andrew of Crete, St. 650-740 composer
Anne Catherine Emmerich, Bl. 1774-1824 organist
Bede the Venerable, St. 672-735 music teacher
Benignus of Armagh, St. 5th century vocalist, music arranger
Benildus (Pierre Romancon), St. 1805-1862 concertina/accordionist
Benno (Benedict) of Meissen, St. 1010-1106 musician
Caradoc of Wales, St. 11th century harpist
Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez Santiago, Bl. 1918-1963 pianist, organist, choral director
Catherine of Bologna, St. 1413-1463 musician
Charles Samuel Mazzuchelli, Ven. (aka Matthew Kelly) 1806-1864 musician
Colman of Cloyne, St. 530-600 musician
Columba of Iona, St. 521-597 composer
Dunstan of Canterbury, St. 909-988 composer, harpist
Edward Kazmierski, Bl. 1919-1942 vocalist, composer
Edward Poppe, Bl. 1890-1924 violinist
Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. 1880-1906 pianist
Ephrem the Syrian, St. 306-373 composer
Eugenius of Toledo, St. 7th century musician
Felix Echevarria Gorostiaga, Bl. 1893-1936 organist, choral director
Francis Solano, St. 1549-1610 violinist (lute)
Francisco Bandres Sanchez, Bl. 1896-1936 musician
Fulk of Toulouse, Bl. (known as the Minstrel Bishop) 1155-1231 minstrel
Fulton J. Sheen, Ven. Archbishop 1895-1979 organist
Gertrude the Great, St. 1256-1302 vocalist
Giovanni (Giovenale) Ancina, Bl. 1545-1604 musician, composer, music editor
Godric of Finchale, St. 1069-1170 composer (via miraculous visions)
Gregory the Great, St. Pope 540-604 collected melodies and plain chant
Grimbald, St. 9th century musician
Henry Garnet, St. 1555-1606 vocalist, lutist
Herman of Reichenau, Bl. 1013-1054 composer
Hermann Cohen, Ven. 1821-1871 pianist
Herve, St. 6th century vocalist, minstrel
Hildegard of Bingen, St. 1098-1179 composer
Hugh of Lincoln, St. 1140-1200 vocalist
Jarogniew Wojciechowski, Bl. 1922-1942 pianist
Jesus Mendez-Montoya, St. 1880-1928 musician, music teacher
John Damascene, St. 676-749 composer
John Koukouzelis, St. 1280-1360 musician
José Luciano Ezequiel Huerta Gutiérrez, Bl. 1876-1927 vocalist, organist
Jose Tapies y Sirvant, Bl. 1869-1936 organist
Joseph the Hymnographer, St. 810-886 composer
Leo II, St. Pope 7th century vocalist, musician
Louis de Montfort, St. 1673-1716 composer (used popular bar tunes)
Maria Climent Mateu, Bl. 1887-1936 vocalist, musician
Maria Crucified Satellico, Bl. 1706-1745 musician, vocalist, organist
Maria Orsola Bussone, Ven. 1954-1970 guitarist, vocalist
Maria Romero Meneses, Bl. 1902-1977 pianist, violinist
Marie-Elisabeth Pelissier, Bl. 1741-1794 vocalist, musician
Mechtilde of Hackeborn, St. 1241-1298 vocalist
Newman, Bl. Cardinal 1801-1890 violinist, composer
Nicetas of Remesiana, St. 333-414 composer
Noel-Hilaire Le Conte, Bl. 1765-1794 music director
Notkar Balbulus, Bl. 840-912 musician
Odo of Cluny, St. 879-942 musician
Paschasius Radbertus, St. 785-865 composer
Peter Julian Eymard, St. 1811-1868 pianist, violinist
Philemon of Antinoe, St. 4th century musician
Philip Evans, St. 1645-1679 harpist
Philip Neri, St. 1515-1595 developed musical style of oratorio
Rafal Chylinski, Bl. 1694-1741 harpist, lutist, mandolinist
Ranieri Scacceri, Bl. 1117-1161 minstrel
Raymond Lull, Bl. 1234-1315 troubadour
Robert Montserrat Beliart, Bl. 1911-1936 musician
Romanus the Melodist, St. 490-556 composer
Rosa Giovannetti, Servant of God 1896-1929 cellist
Solanus Casey, Bl. 1870-1957 violinist
Theodore Studite, St. 759-826 composer
Thomas Aquinas, St. 1225-1274 composer
Tutilo of Saint Gall, St. 850-915 composer, harpist
Venantius Fortunatus, St. 530-607 composer
Victor Chumillas-Fernandez, Bl. 1902-1936 organist, vocalist, choral director, composer

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dominican Rite Solemn Mass, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Portland OR

Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary
On Thursday, June 29, the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Fr. Gabriel Mosher, O.P., will celebrate a Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite, assisted by Frs. Augustine Thompson, O.P. and Vincent Kelber, O.P., as deacon and subdeacon, at the Priory Parish of the Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon, starting at 7 p.m.

The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesia under the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Palestrina’s Missa “Tu Es Petrus,” with proper chants from the Dominican Gradual. Cantores will also be singing at the usual 11 a.m. Dominican Rite Missa Cantata the following Sunday.  Holy Rosary is located at 375 NE Clackamas St, Portland, OR 97232, and there is ample parking.

Closing Mass of the CMAA Colloquium

The final Mass of the CMAA Colloquium took place yesterday at St Mark’s Church, St Paul Minnesota. Solemn Mass for the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist was celebrated by the CMAA Chaplain, Fr Robert Pasley. Amongst the choir directors pictured are Jonathan Ryan, Mary Ann Carr Wilson, Jeffrey Morse, Wilko Brouwers, David Hughes and Melanie Malinka.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Birth of St John the Baptist, 2017

A very nice recording of the famous Vespers hymn for today’s feast, and a clever English translation which preserves the Latin meter of the original.

Ut queant laxis resonáre fibris
Mira gestórum fámuli tuórum,
Solve pollúti labii reátum,
Sancte Joannes.

Nuntius celso véniens Olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nascitúrum,
Nomen, et vitae seriem gerendae
Ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni,
Pérdidit promptae módulos loquélae;
Sed reformasti génitus peremptæ
Organa vocis.

Ventris obstrúso récubans cubíli
Sénseras Regem thálamo manentem;
Hinc parens nati méritis uterque
Abdita pandit.

Sit decus Patri, genitǽque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriúsque virtus,
Spíritus semper, Deus unus omni
Témporis ævo. Amen.

O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.

Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story,
Duly revealing.

Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.

Thou, in thy mother’s womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their children’s merits,
Mysteries uttered.

Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
Ever resoundeth. Amen.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Corpus Christi 2017 Photopost (Part 2)

Our first Corpus Christi photopost of this year included photos of a Mass in the Premonstratensian Rite, so our second starts with the Dominican Rite, and continues with a nice selection of churches from around the world, including a few contributers. A third photopost will appear in the next few days. As always, our thanks to all those who sent these in, participating in the work of evangelizing through beauty!

St Vincent Ferrer, - New York City (Dominicans)
Procession to the church of St Catherine of Siena

First Vespers of the Sacred Heart in St Paul, MN

Yesterday evening at the CMAA Colloquium, First Vespers of the Sacred Heart was sung at the St Thomas University Chapel in the Extraordinary Form. The choir, directed by Jonathan Ryan, sang a 17th century setting of the Magnificat attributed to Buxtehude, accompanied by strings. The celebrant was Fr Robert Pasley, chaplain to the CMAA.

Speakers and Music Program at Fota X

St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy is pleased to announce that the Fota X International Liturgy Conference, to be held in Cork, Ireland, July 8-10, will be opened by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. The subject of the conference is Resourcing the Prayers of the Roman Liturgy: Patristic Sources. His Eminence will deliver a paper entitled Early Sources of the Church’s Liturgical Discipline.

Card. Burke celebrating Pontifical Mass at Fota IX
The other speakers at the conference are:

Dieter Böhler SJ : Jerome and the Recent Revision of the German Einheitsübersetzung Bible.
Joseph Briody : As He Promised: Davidic Hope Resurgent - the Message of 2 Kings 25:27-30.
Markus Büning : Panis animarum – The Eucharist in St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
Sven Conrad : The Christian Sacrifice according to St. Augustine: Prospectives taking into Consideration Joseph Ratzinger`s Approach.
Gregory DiPippo : The Patristic Sources of the Roman Lectionary in Lent.
Manfred Hauke : The Holy Eucharist in the Life and Work of Pope Gregory the Great.
João Paulo de Mendonça Dantas : The Eucharist in the thought of Nicholas Cabasilas
Johannes Nebel : The Paradigmatic Change of the Post Conciliar Liturgical Reform from actio to celebratio in the Light of the Latin Fathers.
Mark Withoos: “ad audiendum silentium narrationis eius” (Ep. 147): Silence and Liturgy in St. Augustine.
Kevin Zilverberg : The Latin Fathers-’ Daniel in Antiphons and Responsories.

The Lassus Scholars under the direction of Dr. Ite O’Donovan will provide the sacred music for the ceremonies to be held at Ss Peter and Paul’s Church in Cork City. The schedule is as follows:

Pontifical Vespers, Saturday, July 9
Magnificat (Tomas Luis de Victoria 1548-1611)
Salve Regina (Peter Philips 1560-1628)

Pontifical High Mass, Sunday, July 10
Propers from the Choralis Constantinus (Heinrich Isaac c. 1450-1517)
Offertory - Benedicam Dominum (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525-1594)
Ordinary: Missa Vinum bonum (Orlando de Lassus 1532-1594)
Te Deum and Ecce Sacerdos Magnus (Tomás Luis de Victoria 1548-1611)

Solemn High Mass, Monday, July 11
Gregorian Propers
Ordinary: Qual donna (Orlando de Lassus 1532-1594)

The Introit of the Eight Sunday after Pentecost, sung by the Lassus Scholars from the Choralis Constantinus at last year’s conference.

EF Mass for the Sacred Heart in Brooklyn

Holy Name of Jesus Church in Brooklyn, New York, will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus this evening at 7:00pm. For those new to or curious about the Latin Mass, there will be a fully instructional program with cues and translations. The church is located at 245 Prospect Park West.

Here is a note from the choir director about the music featured in this Mass: Six singers, the best of the best that New York City offers, will sing chant and polyphony as the Church has so gloriously done in the past for the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Mass setting is by David Adam Smith, as well as the offertory motet. At communion the hymn Cor dulce in three voices will be sung, as well as appointed palms.

NLM Quiz no. 19 - How Old is This Stained Glass, and What Event Does it Show?

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. This photograph was taken by Fr Lawrence Lew; you can click it to see it in high resolution.

The Answer: This was obviously too easy; it is indeed St Aloysius Gonzaga receiving his First Communion from St Charles Borromeo. The window was made in the middle of the 19th century for the Lady Chapel of the cathedral of Lille, France. Stylistically, it is a very good copy of the medieval style, especially in the faces of St Aloysius’ parents. Judith Whitehouse correctly noted that the range of color is too great for medieval work, and Marko Ivančičević correctly noted that a medieval image of this would not have the tabernacle on the altar.
I must admit I thought people would be thrown off by the fact St Charles as shown here looks much more like the Curé d’Ars than himself.
Mag. Theol., you take the prize for Best Humorous Answer for “St Karl Rahner receiving communion from St Annibale Bugnini”, but it should really be the other way around, since Bugnini was 8 years younger.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FSSP Ordinations in England

Many of our readers have probably already seen that two members of the Fraternity of St Peter, Alex Stewart and Krzysztof Sanetra, were ordained to the priesthood at St Mary’s Shrine Church, Warrington, the first traditional ordination rite celebrated in England in decades. The FSSP’s LiveMass channel has now made  available a video of the entire ceremony, just a little bit shy of three-and-a-half hours long. The FSSP England Facebook page has also posted a link to an enormous flickr album with pictures of the ceremony. Our congratulations to the newly ordained fathers, to their families and friends, and to the entire order. Ad multos annos!

Matins Readings During the Octave of Corpus Christi

When St. Thomas Aquinas composed the office of Corpus Christi, he wrote not only the musical texts such as the antiphons and hymns, but also the sermon to be read in the first and second nocturns of Matins, according to the custom of his times. (Very few feasts had Scriptural readings in the first nocturn in the Middle Ages.) This sermon, Immensa divinae largitatis beneficia, is found in almost all pre-Tridentine breviaries. However, it is not long enough to provide readings for Matins on each day of the octave; other readings had therefore to be selected for the remaining days. The homily of the third nocturn is taken from St Augustine’s Treatises on the Gospel of John, commenting on the Gospel of the feast, John 6, 56-59.

St. Thomas Aquinas in glory among the Doctors of the Church, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1631.
In the 1529 Roman Breviary, the readings of the first and second nocturn on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are taken from the famous Decree of the 12th-century canonist Gratian, which was, broadly speaking, the medieval code of Canon Law. The third part, called On Consecration, is a long florilegium of texts from the Church Fathers and various other sources, and is quite suitable for spiritual reading, despite being essentially a law textbook. These readings include a fairly lengthy excerpt from St Ambrose’s book On the Mysteries, another from the treatise On the Sacraments traditionally attributed to him, and a fragments of other writers, principally St Augustine. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the readings are taken from the bull Transiturus, by which Pope Urban IV (1261-64) originally promulgated the feast; this was read in many medieval Uses, in some places, even after the Tridentine reform. The readings of the third nocturn continue from St Augustine’s Treatises on John. On the Octave day, all nine readings of the feast are simply repeated. This arrangement is typical of all medieval breviaries.

In the Tridentine Breviary, this system is changed, but not entirely. Scriptural readings are assigned to the first nocturn: I Cor. 11, 20-32 on the feast day and the octave, the lectio continua of I Kings on the days between. The readings from St Augustine in the third nocturn are almost exactly the same in the pre- and post-Tridentine breviaries, in response to the reformers’ pretenses that their teachings on grace corresponded to his. (Calvin once declared, even more absurdly than was his wont, “Augustine belongs entirely to us.”) On Wednesday, however, they are taken from St Hilary of Poitiers, and on the octave, from St Cyril of Alexandria.

For the second nocturn, the sermon of St Thomas is split into two parts, the first of which is read on the feast, the second on Friday. The remaining days are dedicated to the Church Fathers, Ss John Chrysostom (Saturday to Monday), Cyprian (Tuesday), Ambrose (Wednesday, part of the De Sacramentis also excerpted by Gratian), and St Cyril of Jerusalem on the octave day.

It is easy to see in this selection a Catholic response to the early Protestants, and their rejection of the traditional doctrine of the Eucharist. Papal bulls or medieval canon law collections would hold no authority with the “reformers” of the age, (Martin Luther burned both at Wittenberg), whether openly Protestant or uncertain Catholics, who were many in that age. The writings of the Fathers, on the other hand, were frequently appealed to as proof that Protestant teachings were in fact those of the primitive Church, and things like Eucharistic processions and Adoration later corruptions of the medieval era. In such a climate, the writings of St Cyril of Jerusalem in particular were a source of profoundest embarrassment to early and later Protestant controversialists.

“The teaching of blessed Paul seems of itself amply sufficient to make certain your faith concerning the Divine Mysteries; and you, having been made worthy thereof, have become, so to speak, of one Body and of one Blood with Christ. For he proclaimed that on the night He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take, and eat, this is my Body. And taking the cup, and giving thanks, He said: Take this, and drink; this is my Blood. Since therefore He Himself has proclaimed this and said, ‘This is my Body’, who will dare henceforth to doubt that it is so? And since He again has said so insistently ‘This is my Blood’, who would ever doubt, and say that it is not his Blood?

The Last Supper, by Simon Ushakov, 1685
Once, at Cana in Galilee, He turned water into wine, which has a certain similarity to blood; and shall we think him too little worthy of our belief, when He said He would turn wine into Blood? Being called to that marriage, by which two bodies are joined, He did this miracle, which none expected. Shall we not all the more firmly believe that He has given us His Body and Blood, to be our food and drink, and thus receive them with all certainty as His Body and his Blood? For under the appearance of bread He gives us His Body, and under the appearance of wine, His Blood, so that when you shall receive it, you may taste the Body and Blood of Christ, being made a partaker of the same Body and Blood. Thus indeed do we become Christ-bearers, that is, bearing Christ in our bodies, when we receive His Body and Blood into our members; thus, according to the blessed Peter, do we come to share in the divine nature.

…Wherefore I would not have you understand these things, as if they were merely and simply bread, merely and simply wine; for they are the Body and Blood of Christ. For even if your senses deny this fact, yet let faith confirm you in this belief. Judge not the thing by the taste thereof, but let faith assure thee beyond all doubt, that you have been made worthy to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (from the fourth Mystagogical Catechesis)

By including such a passage in a corpus of sermons that begins with a work of St Thomas Aquinas, the Breviary of St Pius V asserts a continuity of doctrine which reaches from St Paul to the Church Fathers, both Eastern and Western, and to the greatest theologian of the medieval, scholastic tradition.

Solemn EF for St John the Baptist in Victoria, BC

The cathedral of St Andrew in Victoria, British Columbia, will have a solemn High Mass this Saturday for the feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist, starting at 11 a.m., the first such Mass held there since the liturgical reform. The church is located at 740 View Street.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CMAA Colloquium Votive Mass of St Paul

Today's CMAA Colloquium Mass, a Votive Mass of St Paul, was celebrated by Father James Richardson at St Mark's Church in St Paul, MN. Some of the Chant and Polyphony Directors are pictured including Jeffrey Morse, David Hughes, William Mahrt and Melanie Malinka.

New Book from Angelico Press: Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages

I am very happy to announce the publication of my new book with Angelico Press, which is now available on Amazon.

(Here follows the publisher's announcement:)

THE TRADITIONAL LITURGY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is a highly formal ritual unfolding in layers of elaborate gesture, rich symbolism, whispered Latin, and ancient plainchants. “Experts” after the Second Vatican Council were convinced that such a ritual was irrelevant to “modern man.” To the shock of some, the delight of many, and the surprise of everyone, the old Latin Mass (and much that went along with it) has tenaciously survived during the past half-century and become an increasingly familiar feature in the Catholic landscape. What are the reasons for this revival, especially among the young? And why is this development so important for the renewal of Catholicism?

Peter Kwasniewski offers a lively account of the noble beauty and transcendent holiness of the traditional Roman liturgy, which humbles us before the mystery of God, stirs us with its pageantry, carries us into sacred silence, and bears us to a world of invisible realities. He contrasts this priceless treasure with the rationalistic reforms of the sixties, which yielded a Catholic liturgy severed from its own history, inadequate to its theological essence, unequal to its ascetical-mystical purpose, and estranged from its cultural inheritance. His conclusion: if there is to be a new springtime in the Church, the widespread restoration of the traditional liturgical rites will be at the heart of it.

“Anyone who wants a frank, honest, and deep explanation of worship, prayer, and liturgy should get this book. Be prepared to marvel at the depth of the Mass.” — REV. JAMES W. JACKSON, F.S.S.P., author of Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great

“With a delightful variety of insightful angles, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness is an admirable contribution to reminding the Church how to move the world with her irreplaceable liturgical traditions.” — MICHAEL P. FOLEY, Baylor University

“This tremendous new book is an eloquent and erudite confrontation with the very root of the liturgical debate: whether the radical de-mystifying of the Catholic liturgy has been for the good of souls. It is a ringing affirmation that the kind of liturgy that pleases God, softens the hearts of sinners, and raises the pious towards sanctity, is the mysterious product of centuries of development.” — JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

“Peter Kwasniewski illustrates the total collapse of the hierarchy of values brought about by a modern world that has ‘turned its back to God,’ and man’s need for the Traditional Mass to spin him round to a recognition that all good things—temporal things included—flow only from aiming our attention firmly at the Creator.” — JOHN RAO, St. John’s University

“Dr. Kwasniewski has a genius for making a fresh case for Catholic tradition, with a blend of perspectives from the entire 60-year Catholic traditionalist movement. A unique reading experience.” — ROGER A. MCCAFFREY, President, Roman Catholic Books

PETER KWASNIEWSKI is a founding faculty member of Wyoming Catholic College, where he teaches theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and serves as choirmaster. He is a prolific writer and a composer of sacred music.

Order the book from or Available in paperback and hardcover.

Orthodox Holy Week on CBS, 1961

Normally, I would wait for the liturgically appropriate season to share something like this, but this video is just too interesting to wait until next year. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America has posted on its Youtube channel a video originally broadcast by CBS on April 16, 1961, on Light to my Feet, an ecumenical religious program which ran on that network from 1948-79. The Holy Week services were filmed at St George’s Church in Paterson, New Jersey, including parts of the procession of the Cross on Holy Thursday, the Lamentations of Holy Friday, and the Resurrection and Orthros Services of Easter. The celebrants are Metropolitan Antony Bashir (1898-1966), Fr Michael Simon, at that time pastor of St George, and Fr Gabriel Ashie, at that time pastor of St Anthony Church in Englewood. The program also credits Prof. Michael Hilko, a composer of sacred music in the Archdiocese, and Mrs Christine Lynch, who guided CBS in the television production and led the choir.

The notes on the Youtube channel state that a long-time member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, Mr Robert Andrews, was organizing the library of his home parish of St Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles when he came across the 56-year-old film. Since it “smelled like vinegar” when he opened the canister, he rushed to preserve it by having it digitized.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opening Mass of the CMAA Colloquium in St Paul, Minnesota

The CMAA Colloquium is now underway in St Paul, Minnesota. Today the opening Solemn Sung Mass in English was celebrated in the Chapel of the University of St Thomas. The Principal Celebrant and Homilist was Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, Moderator of the Oratory in formation in Washington D.C. and Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

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