Saturday, July 04, 2015

Colloquium XXV Wrapup

The CMAA Colloquium has finally reached its completion. Below, you can find a picture of most of the attendees of the 2015 CMAA Colloquium (some left to catch flights home), on the steps of Holy Spirit Chapel at Duquesne after the final Mass. For those looking for them, pictures of the last two day's Masses will be posted soon, including Friday's solemn requiem for the deceased members of the CMAA.

Photopost Catchup for June 2015

We are always glad to receive photos of your liturgies, even when we haven’t specifically asked for them for a major feast. Here are three sets from various events: a Pontifical Mass in Australia, celebrated by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, an EF Solemn Mass in Louisiana, and an OF First Mass of a newly ordained priest in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Maternal Heart of Mary Church, Lewisham, Australia
The Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana (Kazakhstan), recently came to Australia at the invitation of the Australia Catholic Students Association (ACSA). During his visit in Sydney, he offered a Solemn Pontifical Mass and officiated at Pontifical Vespers at Maternal Heart of Mary Church, Lewisham. A great friend to the traditional liturgy and a strong defender of the faith, he preached on the importance of the liturgy and Eucharist in the everyday lives of the faithful. More photos of these liturgies can be viewed on the facebook page of the Maternal Heart Parish.





Index of Antiphons for Dominican Rite Chant Books

Dominican Sisters Chanting the Office
I am pleased to announce that  Dominican Liturgy is  making available on our left sidebar an Index of  the Antiphons found in the chant books of the Dominican Rite.  This index will be useful for those seeking the Dominican music for antiphons to use in the new Roman rite, as well as those who want to compare the Dominican music with Benedictine, Roman, or other Latin religious order Rites.  The closest relative to Dominican chant is that of the Premonstratensians, both of which are derived mostly from Cistercian models.
Modern Roman-Benedictine chant books often have indices for the various chants, but the most important Dominican chant books for the Office—the Antiphonarium of 1863 (with night office), the Antiphonarium of 1933 (no night office, post-Pius X psalter), and the Matins book of 1936 (major feasts)—have never been indexed or the index is found in a separate, hard-to-find, pamphlet.  All the antiphons of these books are in our new index.  This index also includes all the antiphons found in the Dominican Processional, the Holy Week Books of 1949 and 1963, the Gradual, and the Compline book.
The links to the index are available at Dominican Liturgy on the left sidebar, under "Dominican Rite Texts—Downloadable."  One version is numbered straight through, the other formated to print as a double sided booklet.
Note: The Dominican cloistered sisters of Prato (the community of St. Catherine de' Ricci, O.P.) are wearing white veils and no scapulars because they were and are technically members of the lay penitents ("Third Order"), not nuns ("Second Order").

Friday, July 03, 2015

Fr Denis Coiffet FSSP - Requiescat in Pace

The website of the Fraternity of St Peter published notice today of the death of one of their founders, Fr. Denis Coiffet. Our condolences to his family and friends, and to all of the members of the Fraternity.

“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Denis Coiffet FSSP. Our confrere passed away peacefully to his eternal reward this morning at 4:50 a.m., on the feast of St. Irenaeus of Lyon, surrounded by family and accompanied by the prayers of the Church. Fr. Vianney Le Roux was at his bedside and gave him the apostolic blessing at the hour of death. Fr. Coiffet died at the end of the Litany for the Dying.

The funeral mass for Fr. Denis Coiffet will be held at the Cathedral of St. Louis, Versailles at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7.

His coffin will be moved to the FSSP house of Maison Saint-Dominique Savio, 14 rue des Moines in Versailles, Saturday at noon and the house will be open to those who wish to come to pray until Tuesday morning 8.00 a.m., July 7.”

Fr Coiffet (right) meeting His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, along with the Superior General of the FSSP, Fr John Berg. (Photos courtesy of FSSP Lyon.)
Deus, qui inter Apostolicos sacerdotes famulum tuum Dionysium sacerdotali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta quaesumus: ut eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

God, who among the Apostolic priests made Thy servant Denis flourish by priestly dignity: grant, we beseech Thee: that he may also be joined unto their perpetual society. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mass for Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel, New York

A Solemn High Votive Mass of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be offered according to the 1962 Roman Missal on Wednesday, July 15th at 7:30 PM at the Church of St James the Apostle, 14 Gleneida Ave., Carmel, New York. Full details in the flyer below: please note the date is July 15, not the 16th.

Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form at Pittsburgh's St. Paul's Cathedral

As part of today's liturgical life at the Church Music Association of America's 2015 Colloquium included a Latin Mass celebrated in the Ordinary form at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Eric Andersen. Also included on the bottom are a few pictures of vespers which followed Mass.

[Photos: Charles Cole and Ben Yanke]








Thursday, July 02, 2015

Liturgical Notes on the Visitation of the Virgin Mary

The Visitation of the Virgin Mary is surely one of the most beautiful stories in the Gospels, the account of a younger woman’s act of charity towards her older kinswoman, at a time when both find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. It is the occasion on which St Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, speaks to the Virgin the words which form the second part of the Ave Maria, “Blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb.” Mary’s reply to her is the canticle which in the Western church is sung at Vespers every day of the year, the Magnificat. Despite the importance of this story, the Roman Rite originally read it only on the Ember Friday of Advent, in a Mass that makes no other reference to it, two days after reading the Gospel of the Annunciation.

For many centuries, the latter was one of the classic group of four Marian feasts, along with her Nativity, Purification and Assumption, which the Latin Church had received from the Byzantine Rite in the first millennium. At the end of the 13th century, the liturgical commentator William Durandus notes that some people celebrate a fifth feast, that of the Virgin’s Conception. This feast was the cause of some notable discussions and controversies, and was not received by the Roman Church until 1476, more than 200 years after it was first kept by the Franciscans. The Visitation, on the other hand, was officially embraced and promulgated almost a century before the Immaculate Conception, and properly ranks as the Latin Church’s first “new” Marian feast, a native creation of the Roman Rite, not a Byzantine important.

The Visitation of the Virgin Mary, by Giotto, in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, 1303-6.
It is traditionally said that the Franciscans adopted the feast, along with that of the Immaculate Conception, at a general chapter held in 1263, when St Bonaventure was Minister General. It is certainly true that St Francis’ order greatly promoted devotion to the Virgin and new feasts in Her honor, also adopting the feast of Our Lady of the Snows in 1302. Evidence for their celebration of the Visitation in the 13th century, however, is not conclusive, and the authenticity of the relevant sources is debated. The first certain attestation of the feast is found in Prague, where it was celebrated in 1386 at the behest of Archbishop John Jenstein, who composed a Mass and Office for it. Cardinal Jenstein was also present at a consistory held in Rome in April of 1389, as the Great Schism of the West was in its twelfth year, and it was he who suggested to Pope Urban VI that he extend the feast to the whole Church as a way of asking for the Virgin’s intercession to end the Schism.

Pope Urban did in fact agree to do this, but died before he could sign the necessary decrees; the official promulgation of the feast was one of the first acts of his successor, Boniface IX, by the bull Superni benignitas Conditoris, dated November 9, 1389. As is also the case with other liturgical bulls of that era, it is a supremely beautiful and spiritual piece of writing, elegant and learned in its Latinity; it was even read in the Divine Office in some places, despite the fact that its author was a notorious simoniac (and the reason why the name Papal name ‘Boniface’ has not been used since.)
The very Queen of heaven, in whose womb the Son of God enclosed Himself and became a man, from the height of that great honor proclaimed to her by the Angel, took unto herself no spirit of pride, but as a humble servant, though she had become the mother of the Lord, fulfilled the office of her humility, upon which the Lord had looked with favor, and arising went unto the mountains, … O great mystery, o wondrous commerce, and ineffable sacrament, that these mothers should know beforehand and even prophecy about the children which they bore in their wombs; and, as the sacred history of the Gospel reveals, the Queen of Heaven, who was pregnant, and would be consecrated by the birth of God, as an even greater mark of humility, should render service to the pregnant mother of Her Son’s Precursor.
The altarpiece of the Lady Chapel in Prague Cathedral, with the Visitation in the central panel. The events depicted on the wings are the other Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary: the Annunciation (upper left), the Birth of Christ (upper right), the Presentation in the Temple (lower left) and the Finding of Christ in the Temple (lower right.)
When the feast was first kept at Prague, it was celebrated on April 28; other dates are attested in other places, but Pope Boniface’s bull fixes it to July 2nd, the day after the Octave of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. This may seem an odd choice, since the Visitation comes right before the Baptist’s birth in St Luke’s Gospel. Wishing to keep the feast with the fullness of solemnity according to the custom of his era, Pope Boniface originally gave it a vigil and an octave; both of these were removed in the Tridentine liturgical reform, although the octave was retained by many religious orders, and all the dioceses of the kingdom of Bohemia. Vigils were not kept in the Easter season, and if the feast were set in May or June, its octave would continually clash with those of the Ascension, Pentecost and Corpus Christi. (The date of the Visitation in the Novus Ordo, May 31, will fall on the Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday or Corpus Christi 13 times in the current century; adding the vigil of Pentecost, its octave and that of Corpus, it will be impeded a further 42 times). By the end of the 15th century, the July 2nd date had been received throughout the western Church, even at Prague, and this is the date that would carry through to the Tridentine liturgical books.

In the Ambrosian Rite, the Visitation is ranked as a Solemnity of the Lord, and as such, may be celebrated on a Sunday, which is not permitted even for the very greatest solemnities of the Saints, such as the Assumption or the feast of St Charles Borromeo. Nevertheless, the texts of both Mass and Office are essentially about the Virgin Mary. The major exception is the first chant of the Mass, the “Ingressa”, repeated from the Sixth Sunday of Advent, which speaks of the first meeting of the Lord and His Precursor as children in their mothers’ wombs.

Videsne Elisabeth cum Dei Genitrice Maria disputantem: Quid ad me venisti, mater Domini mei? Si enim scirem, in tuum venirem occursum. Tu enim Regnatorem portas, et ego prophetam: tu legem dantem, et ego legem accipientem: tu Verbum, et ego vocem proclamantis adventum Salvatoris.

Dost thou see Elizabeth discussing with Mary, the Mother of God: Why hast Thou come to me, o mother of my Lord? For if I had known, I would have come to meet Thee. For thou bearest Him that reigneth, and I the prophet; Thou the Giver of the Law, and I him that receiveth it; Thou the Word, and I the voice of him that proclaimeth the coming of the Savior.

The Byzantine Rite also keeps July 2nd with a feast of the Virgin, called “The Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Holy Mother of God in Blachernae.” Blachernae was the name of a suburb of Constantinople, later enclosed within the city walls, where in the mid-5th century the Empress St Pulcheria built a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary; this church would become the city’s most important Marian shrine, and among all of its churches second in importance only to Hagia Sophia. Shortly thereafter, two citizens of the imperial capital were said to have found the robe of the Virgin Mary while visiting the Holy Land, and to have brought it back to the city, where it was enshrined in the church at Blachernae; an ancient icon of the Virgin was also housed therein, of the type now called from it Blachernitissa.

The Synaxarion of the Byzantine Rite (the equivalent of the Martyrology) tells the story that when Constantinople was besieged by the Avars and Persians in 626, the patriarch Sergius processed various relics around the city walls, including those of the Cross, and the Virgin’s Robe. Shortly thereafter, the besieging armies were completely defeated by the much smaller Byzantine forces, and the enemy fleet wrecked just off the shores of the Blachernae region. The Byzantine tradition states that the famous hymn to the Virgin known as the Akathistos was first sung on this occasion, to honor the Mother of God for protecting and delivering the city. The Virgin of the Blachernae was believed to have delivered the city from at least three other sieges, twice by the Arabs in 677 and 717, and again by the Russians in 860; the icon and robe of the Blachernitissa came to be venerated as the palladia, the protecting talismans of the city.

The Siege of Constantinpole, in a mural of the Moldovita Monastery in Romania, painted in 1537. (Image from wikipedia; click to enlarge.) On the upper part of the city walls are seen the Blachernitissa icon of the Virgin, and the Holy Mandylion, the cloth with the face of Jesus on it.
Later Byzantine writers tell of a miracle which took place in the church so often it came to be known as the “habitual miracle.” This tradition found its way to the West, and is recorded in the rubrics of the Missal of Sarum, as an explanation of the custom of celebrating a Mass in honor of the Virgin every Saturday.
In a certain church of the city of Constantinople, there was an image of the Blessed Virgin, before which there hung a veil which covered the whole image. But on Friday after Vespers, this veil withdrew from the image, with no one moving it, by a miracle of God alone, as if it were being born up to heaven so that the image could be fully seen. Once Vespers had been celebrated on Saturday, the veil descended once again before the image, and remained there until the following Friday. Once this miracle had been seen, it was decreed that that day should always be celebrated in honor of the Virgin.
The rubric continues with a beautiful meditation on the Virgin Mary’s faith in the Resurrection.
Another reason is that when the Lord was crucified and had died, as the disciples fled and despaired of the Resurrection, complete faith remained in Her alone. For She knew that She had carried Him without distress, and born Him without pain, and therefore she was certain that He was the Son of God, and must rise from the dead on the third day. And this is the reason why Saturday (i.e. the day between the death and Resurrection of Christ) belongs more than any other day to the Virgin.
A 17th century copy of the Blachernitissa icon of the Virgin Mary, from the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The original seems to have been lost when the church of the Blachernae was destroyed by fire in 1434.

Looking for More from the Colloquium?

Looking for more content from this year's CMAA Colloquium? Hoping to get a bit more of a sense of what it's like? You may know that NLM is owned by the Church Music Association of America, but you may not know we also have a blog which is more music focused, called the Chant Cafe! Don't forget to be keeping an eye on things over there as well, because I will be posting videos of various happenings throughout the Colloquium over there.

Solemn Mass for the Feast of the Precious Blood - CMAA 2015 Colloquium

Today at the 2015 CMAA Colloquium, Fr. Jeffrey Keyes celebrated a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the Duquesne University Chapel. Don't forget to keep checking back this week for more pictures of the liturgies of the Colloquium, and also the Chant Café for videos throughout the week.

[Photos: Charles Cole and Ben Yanke]







Wednesday, July 01, 2015

FSSP: Ordinations in Lindenberg, Bavaria

This last Saturday, June the 27th, Bishop Brouwet, of Tarbes and Lourdes (France), ordained as priests 6 members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter:
  • Fr Joseph de Castelbajac (France),
  • Fr Louis Le Morvan (France),
  • Fr Jean de León y Gómez (Dominican republic),
  • Fr Xavier Proust (France),
  • Fr Côme Rabany (France),
  • Fr Elvis Ruiz Silva (Colombia).
These ordinations took place in Lindenberg, in a nice neo-baroc parish church not far from the International Seminar of Wigratzbad, in the South part of Bavaria, Germany.
Monition de l'évêque aux futurs prêtres. Litanie des saints & prostration des ordinants. Elévation du Corps du Seigneur. Après la messe, autour de Mgr Brouwet évêque de Tarbes et de Lourdes. More pictures here and here.

Tuesday at the Colloquium - Mass in the Ordinary Form

For the first public liturgy of the 2015 CMAA Colloquium, Fr. Robert Pasley, the chaplain of the CMAA, celebrated a Mass in English according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Keep checking back this week for more pictures of the liturgies of the Colloquium, and also the Chant Café for videos throughout the week.
[Photos: Ben Yanke]







New Commissioner for the FFI

The Italian website Corrispondenza Romana reports that a new Apostolic Commissioner for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has been appointed, following the recent death of the first Commissioner, Fr Fidenzio Volpi.

“The new Apostolic Commissioner of the Institute of the Francescans of the Immaculate is the Salesiano Fr Sabino Ardito, a well-known canonist, professor for many years at the Pontifical Salesian University, and collaborator with various dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Fr Ardito will be assisted by two coadjutors, a Jesuit and a Capuchin, who were also chosen as specialists in the field of canon law, which has been so little respected in the previous commissarial administration. Fr Ardito replaces Fr Fidenzio Volpi, who passed away on June 7 at the age of 75, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage on April 29 of this year.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Mass in Melbourne, Australia

On Saturday, June 27, in Melbourne, Australia, Rev Fr Francis Denton was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne in the local Cathedral of St Patrick’s. On Monday, Fr Denton celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman in Melbourne for the feast of Ss Peter & Paul. Bishop Athanasius Schneider attended the Mass in choir; the music for the Ordinary was Antonio Lotti’s Mass for Three voices. Attached are some photos from the Mass; more are are available at the Newman Parish website.





The Protomartyrs of the Church of Rome

At Rome, the commemoration of very many holy martyrs, who were falsely accused by the Emperor Nero, to turn away from himself the hatred incurred by having set the city on fire, and were ordered by him to be put to death most cruelly in various ways. Some were covered up in the skins of wild beasts and put to be torn by dogs, some were crucified, while some were burnt as torches to give light by night. These were all disciples of the Apostles, and the first martyrs whom the Church of Rome, a field fruitful in martyrs, sent to be with the Lord, even before the slaying of the Apostles themselves. (From the Roman Martyrology. Before the feast of the Roman Protomartyrs was added to the general Calendar in 1969, this notice was read on June 24.)

The Torches of Nero, by Henryk Siemiradzki, 1876
But all human efforts … did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration (which destroyed much of Rome in July of 64 A.D.) was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed. (Tacitus, Annals book XV, chapter 44)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two Books for Children — One New and One Classic Reprint

M. Cristina Borges. Of Bells and Cells. Illustrated by Michaela Harrison. N.p.: St. Bonosa Books, 2014. 44 pp., paper. List: $13.50. Purchase at Amazon.com.

Maria Montessori. The Mass Explained to Children. [Unaltered reprint of the original publication from Sheed & Ward, 1933.] Foreword by Rev. Matthew A. Delaney. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2015. i + 88 pp., paper. $9.95. Purchase at Amazon.com.

As parents know, the work of educating children in the Faith starts at the very beginning and never really ends. It might end formally when they leave for college or move out of the home, but that's still a good 17 to 20 years' worth of education. Those crucial years should be marked by exposure to good (as in: beautiful and reverent) liturgy, an introduction to orthodox theology, and an initiation into traditional spirituality. What I've seen in homeschooling families is that formation in the faith is happening more or less all the time, and this is a large part of the reason why the boys and girls know their faith, love it, practice it, and run circles around their peers. You simply can't put students with an otherwise secular mentality in a religion class for an hour a week and expect them to get anything out of it.

But parents, like all educators, need good resources to lean on. We can't be making everything up as we go along. After decades of relative drought, it is heartening to be witnessing a downpour of solid, traditionally Catholic books being published for children. Some of these have already been reviewed here at NLM (see here, here, and here). Recently I received two more that I can highly recommend to our readers.

The first is M. Cristina Borges' Of Bells and Cells. This book endeavors to present vocational discernment, religious life, and priesthood to small children in a way that they will understand, but without cutting corners, dumbing down the truth, or lessening the radical nature of the calling. Indeed, her strategy seems to be very much that of Pope Benedict XVI, namely, to present the reality in all its demanding grandeur precisely because this is when we can see most clearly how wonderful a gift it is, how worthy of Our Lord, and how appropriate to His holy Church. I do not know exactly which sources Borges is drawing upon, but her theology of vocation is both traditional and profound, yet clearly and simply expressed. She emphasizes the universal call to holiness while underlining the unique conformity to Christ present in religious vows and the priestly character.

Borges devotes several fine pages to the three evangelical counsels, which she explains with admirable simplicity but without the slightest hint of that wishy-washy embarrassment so typical of modern discussions of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In this book, the vows are presented as the ways in which men and women make a total gift of themselves to the Lord, rely completely on Him, surrender all to Him, and emulate, as perfectly as they can, His life and virtues. (Indeed, I cannot help thinking that this children's book would make a better introduction to the subject than many highschool and college texts out there.) I also appreciated her entering into how religious life is structured, its daily round, the steps of entering and making vows, the taking of a new name, the rationale behind wearing the habit (some of the best pages of the book!), the differences between religious orders, and the active and contemplative lives.

The portion of the book dedicated to the priesthood is equally luminous and inspiring. Once again, the fact that the author is willing to explain things like the difference between a secular/diocesan priest and a religious priest, why the clergy wear black (and, in particular, the cassock), how the priest is made "another Christ" through ordination such that he can then offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and forgive sins, sets this book in a class by itself.

An appendix contains brief accounts of the Benedictines, Carmelites, Carthusians, Conceptionists, Dominicans, Franciscans, Poor Clares, Missionaries of Charity, Redemptorists, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Jesuits, to give children some basic information about their founders, most famous saints, and characteristics. This is an especially nice touch, because it helps children to start thinking about how God has provided many different "realizations" of the Gospel and raised up many different kinds of saints who are all living out the baptismal vocation of holiness.

Turning to the reprint of a 1933 classic, The Mass Explained to ChildrenI doubt that Maria Montessori needs an introduction to readers here. This book saw many printings in the days before the auto-demolition of the Church, and we owe Angelico Press a debt of gratitude for reprinting it as a handsome and affordable paperback, now that so many in the Church are worshiping once again in the classical Roman Rite, for which Montessori obviously wrote this and all her other books on the liturgy. In its pages we find Montessori's remarkable gift for explaining objects, movements, texts, and other signs to children in a way they can relate to, bolstered by her conviction that children have a capacity for wonder, symbolism, and sacred action that most adult educators leave entirely untapped.

Montessori explains in her Preface that this book is not meant to be used at Mass, but before Mass, to help prepare children to understand what they will be seeing and hearing and doing. It serves that catechetical purpose admirably. It strikes me as an ideal religion text for somewhere in the grammar school years, depending on the aptitude of a given child. Again, I have placed a few photos below to give a better sense of it.

(Attention Montessori teachers and admirers: I've been wondering for a long time if anyone has developed a "Catechesis of the Good Shepherd" approach that fully comports with the traditional Latin Mass for which Maria Montessori originally designed her catechetical materials and approaches. If anyone has any information on this matter, I'd be grateful if you would write it into the comments below, or send me an email.)

Pages from Cristina Borges, Of Bells and Cells






Pages from Maria Montessori, The Mass Explained to Children
Look at the text: it's amazing how far we have fallen away from the sense of reverence!

Written in 1933, this deep reverence for the priesthood became almost unknown after the Council.

Note how Montessori lovingly explains the details rather than demanding their simplification.

The holding together of the fingers is connected with the awesome mystery on the altar.

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