|The Resurrection; fresco in the apse of the parekklesion (mortuary chapel) of the church of the Holy Savior in Chora, in Constantinople. (Image from Wikipedia, by Guilhem Vellut - click to enlarge.)|
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Saturday, April 30, 2016
|Above left, Christ the Pantocrator; in the middle, above, the Angel appears to Joseph; below, the Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple.|
|The Divine Throne with angels to either side.|
|Above, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem; below, the Nativity|
|The Adoration of the Magi|
Friday, April 29, 2016
From the church’s website: When (St John’s) coffin was opened his body was found perfectly preserved even though it was never embalmed and is today enshrined in a glass casket above the altar at his parish Church in Ars. As was the custom of the time the heart was removed from the body and placed in a separate reliquary for devotion. This extraordinary relic on occasion leaves France to visits other Churches throughout the world.
Saint Mary Church is delighted to announce that the Bishop of Belley-Ars in France has given his permission for the relic of the incorrupt heart of Saint John Vianney to visit our parish from May 3 to 5! The last time the relic was in the United States was 10 years ago. Bishop Caggiano has requested that during this visit we concentrate on the mercy of God given us through the Sacrament of Penance as well as prayers for an increase in priestly vocations. The Bishop will join us for Mass during the visit and we will have many opportunities for Confession during the three days.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Thoughts about the Church and the Place of the Society of Saint Pius X in it
I. The Church is a mystery. She is the mystery of the one true God who is present among us, the saving God who desires not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. This conversion requires our cooperation.
II. The Church is infallible in her divine nature, but she is led by human beings who can go astray and also be burdened with failings. An office should be distinguished from the person in it at a given moment. The latter holds office for a certain time and then steps down—either through death or through other circumstances; the office remains. Today Pope Francis is the holder of the papal office with the power of the primacy. At some hour that we do not know, he will step down and another Pope will be elected. As long as he occupies the papal throne, we recognize him as such and pray for him. We are not saying that he is a good Pope. On the contrary, through his liberal ideas and his administration he causes much confusion in the Church. But when Christ established the papacy, He foresaw the whole line of popes throughout Church history, including Pope Francis. And nonetheless He permitted the latter’s ascent to the papal throne. Analogously, the Lord instituted the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar with the Real Presence, although He foresaw many sacrileges over the course of history.
Our Lady of the Mount Anjara, Jordan - New Icons of the Mysteries of the Rosary, and a Miraculous Weeping StatueDavid Clayton
It is funny how one story leads to another, or in this case two others. On my blog thewayofbeauty.org, I recently posted an article about my visit to the seminary of the Argentinian order Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) in Washington, D.C. In response, I was contacted by English icon painter Ian Knowles, who told me that order that had commissioned him to paint icons of the Mysteries of the Rosary for a church which they run in Jordan, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Mount.
I thought that this might be of interest to NLM readers, so I asked him for pictures and started to dig around for information about the church. Then I found out that it is also that it is the site of a miracle, validated by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in which a statue of Our Lady wept tears of blood in 2010. In 2014, IVE presented fellow Argentinian Pope Francis with an image of Our Lady of Anjara when he visited the site of Our Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan.
As to the original thrust of the story, the icons: there are some photos below at the bottom of the blog post. Immediately below is artist Ian with one of the panels in progress. (Incidentally I met him several years ago when we both attended a class taught by Aidan Hart!) .
I am so heartened to hear of IVE wanting to encourage “eyes-open prayer” through the commission of these icons. It shows, in my opinion, a true understanding of the New Evangelization, since, regardless of the miracle, the simple beauty of each one of them in the church will surely encourage a deeper prayer that engages the whole person. This will facilitate a supernatural transformation of the person in Christ and lead, in turn, to the transformation of the culture as each person contributes to it, gracefully and beautifully, by simply going about their daily business.
The same can be said of the statue. For all the headlines in connection with the miracle, (which I very happily accept as real), it is the supernatural transformation of mankind in Christ, the partaking in the divine nature, that is the truly astounding fact of the Christian faith. This is an extraordinary privilege that is open to every single human person, and leads to a life of such joy. Sometimes, exceptional, headlining events such as miracles are needed to inspire the prayer that will engender what I think are the greater, yet so often neglected and misunderstood truths of the Faith.
The account of the miracle is here at the National Catholic Register, and an account of the Pope’s visit is on the IVE site, here. The order is devoted to Our Lady with a special devotion to the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Lujan, a South American holy image. This photo is taken from the order’s website.
What struck me in the account of the miracle is how the Argentinian priest of the order who is at the Shrine, Fr Nammat, says quite matter-of-factly that he doesn’t know why the miracle should have occurred, except to remark that the “Arab spring”, which has led to the persecution of so many Christians (and Muslims) in the region began shortly afterwards, and perhaps there is a connection.
Below: Ian’s Sorrowful Mysteries, with detail below that.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, certain feasts which were traditionally celebrated on a weekday, such as the Ascension and Corpus Christi, may be permanently and entirely transferred to the following Sunday at the discretion of the local bishops’ conference; such is the case with both of these feasts in the United States. In such places, the Thursday on which the feast was historically celebrated simply becomes a ferial day, or the feast of a Saint. To give an example, this year, Thursday May 26th is in the United States the feast of St Philip Neri, an obligatory memorial, because Corpus Christi in its entirety is kept on the following Sunday.
In the Extraordinary Form, however, these feasts are not transferred; it is obligatory to celebrate both their Mass and Divine Office on the traditional days, which this year are May 5th and 26th. The “external solemnity” is a pastoral provision which may be made, but is not obligatory, in cases where a reasonable number of the faithful are unable to attend the feast on the day itself. The Mass of the feast is repeated, but the Office is not changed to match it; the rubrics of the 1962 Missal (numbers 356-361) describe it as “celebratio … festi absque Officio – the celebration of the feast without the Office.” Whereas on the feast day itself, a church may celebrate as many Masses of the feast as are possible, desired, or necessary, only two may be said of the feast on its external solemnity (number 360), and only one of them may be sung.
Further, it should be noted that according to this rubric, there are only two feasts to which an external solemnity is automatically granted, those of the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary; the former may be repeated on the following Sunday, the latter on the first Sunday of October, whether before or after its fixed date of October 7.
The original logic of the external solemnity, by the way, was that it applied to feasts which had octaves, and therefore corresponded to at least a part of the Office, namely, the commemoration of the feast in the Sunday within its octave.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
This post has been updated with a more accurate description of the use of the chant in question, and a video posted yesterday of a live recording of it at the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St George in Lviv. The new video begins with one of the best Alleluias of the Slavonic chant repertoire.
Behold the Bridegroom cometh in the midst of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Take care, therefore, oh my soul, lest thou be borne down down with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out of the kingdom. but rouse thyself, crying, Holy, Holy, Holy are Thou O God. * Through the Mother of God, have mercy on us!
Се Женихъ грѧдетъ въ полунощи, и блаженъ рабъ, егоже обрѧщетъ бдѧща: недостоинъ же паки, егоже обрѧщетъ унывающа. блюди убо душе моѧ, не сномъ отѧготисѧ, да не смерти предана будеши, и Царствиѧ вне затворишисѧ, но воспрѧни зовущи: Свѧтъ, Свѧтъ, Свѧтъ єси Боже, Богородицею помилуй нас.
Matins are traditionally anticipated to the evening of the day before, so that the first of the Bridegroom Matins, that of Holy Monday, is celebrated on the evening of Palm Sunday, the second, that of Holy Tuesday, on the evening of Holy Monday, and the third, that of Holy Wednesday, on the evening of Holy Tuesday. According to a Greek Holy Week book which I have, the troparion sung three times in a row, but the final words “through the Mother of God, have mercy on us!” as given above are only sung the third time. On Holy Monday, the first two times end with the words “by the protection of the Bodiless Ones”, on Holy Tuesday, “by the prayers of the Forerunner”, and on Holy Wednesday, “by the power of the Cross.”
Here is a another very beautiful version in Arabic.
From the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St George in Lviv:
Monday, April 25, 2016
The story of how I came by these books is quite interesting. My friends were visiting Jerusalem, and happened to enter a monastery called St. Pierre de Sion, otherwise known as the Ratisbonne Monastery. They somehow got up into the choir loft (which is exactly what I would have tried to do myself!) and found a stash of old chant books, covered with dust and in various stages of disrepair, and evidently unused. When they asked a person who lived there if they could buy any of the books, he shrugged his shoulders and said: "Go ahead and take them, no one's using them." When my friends got back to Austria, they gave them to me and said: "You should be the one to get these, you'll know what to do with them."
|One of the original books|
The three original copies appear to be hand-produced: the pages show obvious signs of having been printed, cut, and assembled in small batches; each cover is marbled in a distinctive manner, and each book has discrepancies of spacing and placement, not to mention pencil and pen markings. The one I dismantled for scanning was in good shape and had few extraneous markings. I am happy to announce the availability of a full-color facsimile edition identical in content to the original, with a new cover.
|An original copy (1903) and the new facsimile (2016)|
Two Dominican priests will lead the workshop, Fathers Vincent Ferrer Bagan and Innocent Smith, both of whom have studied chant and church music and have led church and school choirs in singing chant. They also collaborated in Ave Maria: Dominican Chant for the Immaculate Conception, a recent recording by the friars of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.
In addition to formal instruction time, the workshop will include singing chant in the Church’s liturgy as well as discussion about the place of chant in the churches and schools from which the participants come. The $150 fee includes room and board for the four-day retreat/workshop. For more information and to register, please contact Nicole Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.