Friday, August 31, 2007

Bishop Galeone on the Latin Mass at Noon EST Saturday

Fr. Z has the details on an encore presentation of an interview with Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of St. Augustine which will be air at Noon EST tomorrow. Be sure to check it out.

The Four Seasonal Marian Antiphons

Lucy Carroll has a nice piece in the new Adoremus Bulletin on the four seasonal Marian antiphons and why you should know them and sing them.

History of the Dominican Liturgy: Section Two: Conciliar Adaptions, 1962-1965 [Part 1]

[Continuing with Fr. Augustine Thompson's series on the Dominican liturgy around the period of the Council and the adoption of the Roman rite, we move into the conciliar period. Fr. Thompson is now a contributor of the NLM of course, but it seems to make the most sense for me to simply continue out this series as I have been. This is the first part of this second section.]

Section Two: Conciliar Adaptions, 1962-1965
by Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P.

With the publication of the new Breviary and the Calendar of 1962, projects to reform the liturgy began to change. With the exception of the reformed Easter Vigil, the reforms of the 1950s had been relatively minor affairs, even the calendar reforms were noticeable principally to priests, not the casual layperson at Mass. As changes increased in quality and importance during the early 1960s, expectation that major reforms were in the offing began to spread and, in liturgically conscious circles, proposals for greater simplifications became common. Friars assembled at the General Chapter of Bologna in September 1961 produced a set of petitions for communication to the Congregation of Rites. Mostly these dealt with the distinctive aspects of the Dominican Solemn Mass. Proposed changes included having the Gospel read from the pulpit facing the people, instead of toward "liturgical north" (the left wall of the nave). They asked that the unfolding of the corporal during the Epistle be abolished and that the rite for incensing the friars be simplified. For Low Mass, they petitioned that the "Prayers at the Foot of the Alter" be said in a voice loud enough for the congregation to hear. Permission was sought also to write new prefaces (the rite at this time had only 16) and for dropping the "preces" at all hours except Lauds and Vespers.[56] An extraordinary General Chapter was held the next year at Toulouse in preparation for the Second Vatican Council.[57] It passed little legislation on liturgy, but heard reports on reform of the Missal.[58]

Changes in the posture of the friars in choir during Office did not require petitions to the Congregation of Rites as changes in the rite itself did, and, as requested by the General Chapter, such new norms were promulgated at the beginning of 1963.[59] These were extensive. The complex rules for raising and lowering the capuce at Mass and Office were reduced to raising it only when sitting. Abolished as well were the repeated uncoverings of the head at the Holy Names and at various verses in the Gloria -a practice that had paralleled the tipping of the biretta by secular priests. The profound bows at the names of Mary and Dominic became head-bows, and the (admittedly late medieval) head-bow at the mention of the Precious Blood disappeared entirely; bows by the choir at the blessing of the reader were gone. The rubrics did, however, preserve the bow at the Gloria Patri during the psalms and during collects up to "qui vivit" in the doxology. Bowing for the Confiteor at Prime and Compline was replaced by kneeling, which was considered more "penitential." At Mass, the ancient system of bows and prostrations on the forms by the friars in choir was replaced by standing facing the altar, sitting, and kneeling, using the same rubrics already used by lay people at High Mass. This had the effect of introducing kneeling during the Canon and erased the need to prostrate at the consecration. The elaborate medieval use of the body in prayer, so typical of medieval Dominican devotional works like "The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic," was now gone. Finally, rubrics for conventual Low Mass were codified on the Roman model and "dialogue format" became the norm.

In the document itself, the authors spelled out the logic guiding these changes. Four principles were observed: 1. Simplification and conformity to the general practice of the Church; 2. preservation, where possible, of primitive Dominican practice; 3. greater uniformity among ceremonies; 4. greater conformity with the Roman Rite.[60] In practice, norms 1 and 4 predominated, and norm 2 seems to have had no influence on the legislation at all. In this, the new choir rubrics were a sign of what was to come: from this point forward the effects of reform were to be to erase what ever was distinctive in the Rite and conform to Roman practice. The pastoral problems of a distinct Rite in the midst of near universal Roman liturgy as well as hostility from the secular (and some Dominican) priests at Dominican "difference" would slowly be removed.

Within months, approval from the Congregation of Rites arrived for revision of the rubrics of the Mass itself.[61] This document presented the old and new rubrics in parallel columns to facilitate the change over. The reforms removed much of what seemed "different" about the Dominican Mass, at least from the point of view of the Congregation. Among the most important changes, the priest no longer had capuce up going to altar; he prepared the chalice at the Offertory, not on arriving at the altar; the practice of bowing to the Crucifix was replaced by simple head bows; the very ancient practice of saying the historically late parts of the Roman Canon with hands folded is gone, replaced by the "orans" position throughout. In addition, the rite is simplified somewhat: Gone are the prayer "Actiones Nostras" on arrival at the altar, making the cross on the altar before kissing it, holding the chasuble up against the altar when kneeling, the distinction between the deacon's and priest's hand position when reading the Gospel; and finally the double sip of the Precious Blood at the priest's communion. Also gone is the practice of coming to the center of the altar for the genuflection during the Creed. The corporal is placed in the burse at the remaking of the chalice rather than having this postponed till after the Last Gospel. Positively, coherent rubrics are finally provided for the people's communion, and the Confiteor at that point is formally suppressed.[62] Other than the approval of new saints' days, the first part of the conciliar reform of the Dominican Rite was complete.[63]

Within six months of this legislation, Pope John XXIII died, on 3 June 1963. The Council was suspended for the papal election. It chose Cardinal Giovanni Montini of Milan as pope, who took the name Paul VI. These events interrupted the reform of the Rite underway in early 1963. The new pope was known to be sympathetic to the Liturgical Renewal and far less old-fashioned in his piety than John XXIII. The momentum of liturgical change, already strong, increased. This was capped by the promulgation of the Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium on December 4, 1963. Although in many ways a conservative document that called for the retention of Latin in worship (while allowing the readings in vernacular) and gave Gregorian Chant "pride of place" over all other forms of music, the document did propose simplification of rubrics and rites and revision of the Lectionary to provide for a greater selection of readings. It also called for extensive changes in the Office, in particular the replacement of the weekly psalter with a four-week one. In many ways more important in practice than the conciliar document was the motu proprio of the new Pope Paul VI, Sacram Liturgiam, issued on January 25, 1964.

Both documents were published in the Analecta in the spring of 1964.[64] On 15 March 1964, the new Master General, Fr. Aniceto Fernandez wrote to the provincials to clarify the meaning of the two documents for the Dominican liturgy.[65] In his letter he took pains to emphasize that Sacrosanctum Concilium had included the Dominican when it said that other rites legitimately recognized are to have equal right and honor" and that "it expects and wills that they be preserved in the future and in every way nourished." But, this did not exclude reforms.

The Order would have to find a way to assimilate these documents. To this end, a liturgical commission was created by the Master General on 24 June 1964.[66] Friars who lived through the period say that changes mostly were introduced as news of them appeared in the local Catholic press, much as they were made by secular clergy for the Roman Rite. Some priests acted more slowly, some anticipated future changes. Dominican liturgical experts such as Fr. William Bonniwell and Fr. Ansgar Dirks had, by this time, concluded that further attempts to preserve the Dominican liturgy and modify it to conform to the reforms affecting the Roman Rite had ceased to be worth the trouble. They urged the immediate adoption of the Roman liturgy.[67] But opinion was divided. Even before the Commission was established, the Master General had permitted the vernacular as it was used in the Roman Rite. Furthermore, Prime was suppressed and the celebration of Lauds and Vespers were to be emphasized above the other hours.

These acts marked a significant shift. Within the monastic tradition, the hours, whether major or minor, served to sanctify the day (and night) by regular breaks for prayer. The emphasis on morning and evening prayers above the other hours represented the liturgists' hypothetical "cathedral office" where these hours were supposed to have alone been celebrated for the laity and were considered sufficient to sanctify the day. Like the loss of Prime, part of the monastic office from before St. Benedict, this represents a move toward a spirituality intended for lay people and the secular clergy. A similar intent marked the Master General's decision to delegate the power to dispense from attendance at choir office to the provincials, thus making it easier to grant.[68]

These acts of the Master General prepared the friars for the publication of reforms in the Solemn Mass that were already in preparation before Pope John's death. These were published in the April-June 1964 fascicle of the Analecta.[69] Some of these changes involved the texts used at Mass and, to some extent, represent the desire to restore primitive Dominican practice. For example, the Mass propers of St. Peter Crysologus, St. Stephan, and St. Brigit in the 1933 Missal simply reproduced the Masses found in the respective commons of the Roman Missal. New Masses were now provided using Dominican propers and readings. Awkward Latin, perhaps the result of medieval copying errors, was corrected in a number of collects, and the Mass "Pro Infirmis," found in the ancient Humbert Codex, is restored.

More extensive and less of a return to ancient sources were the changes in the rubrics of Solemn Mass.[70] Among the most important of these changes: the major ministers no longer recite the propers with the priest; kissing the priest's hand is suppressed; the deacon stops raising the priest's chasuble when he turns for the Dominus Vobiscum; servers leave their candles lighted for the whole service, rather than snuffing and relighting them repeatedly (a medieval wax saving practice); and the humeral veil is now placed on the credence table, not the altar, after its last use. Most of this involved suppression of what had become, for most, fossilized remnants of medieval etiquette. Nor did these reforms change the rite in its substance, but one further change, the introduction of the new communion formula ("Corpus Christi.") and suppression of the Sign of the Cross over the communicant with the host affected every congregant going to communion. They now had to respond "Amen" before receiving. In his comments on this, Fr. Dirks reminded the friars that the petition to adopt this form, already in use in the Roman Rite, was in accord with the "participatio actuosa" called for by the Council.[71]

Pressure to conform to the Roman use continued, especially now that dialogue Mass was becoming more and more common, and Dominican priests faced the issue of celebrating Mass in secular parishes where congregations (at least to some extent) had begun to answer the priest in the (Roman) Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. To address this problem, permission was granted in late 1964 for Dominicans to use the Roman Rite Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, even in the context of the Dominican Mass, if they celebrated in secular churchesB-a permission extended, within a year, even to Masses in Dominican churches "when people are present."[72]


[56] Acta Capituli Generalis Provincialium S. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Bononiae (18-24 Sept. 1961) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1961), n. 153-58, 165-173.

[57] Acta Capituli Generali Electivi Sacri Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Tolosae (22-229 Iulii, 1962) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1962).

[58] This originated with the commission to prepare a replacement for the 1933 Missal: Acta Capituli Generalis Electivi S. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Romae (11-17 Apr. 1955) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1955), n. 90; whose tasks were later expanded: Acta Capituli Generalis Diffinitorum S. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Calarogae (24-30 Sept. 1958) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1958)n. 162, to include reforming the role of the deacon at Solemn Mass.

[59] "Schema Simplificationis Caeremoniarum in Choro Servandum," ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 54-62 (this is the Jan-Mar. fasc. of 1963), issued in accord with n. 137 of the General Chapter of Toulouse (1962). The commentary of Fr. Ansgar Dirks is found on pp. 58-62.

[60] Ibid., p. 54 "Institutum Liturgicum proposuit schema simplificationis caeremoniarum in choro servandum, ita ut: 1. simplificationes legibus ecclesiasticis vel usui generali Ecclesiae non sint contrariae. 2. In quantum fieri possit, serventur usus nostri primitivi. 3. Augeatur cohaerentia inter caeremonias. 4. Augeatur conformitas cum usu generali Ecclesiae, id est cum Ritu romano."

[61] SCR, "Diversae Variationes in Missae Rubricis" (Prot. N. o.42-963--3 Apr. 1963), ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 171-180.

[62] Ibid., 178-79.

[63] The SCR approved these calendar changes: new feasts of blesseds: Bl. Peter Sanz et companions (3 June); Bl. Ignatius Delgado and companions (11 July); Bl. Joseph Melchior (27 Jul.) and B. Francis de Posadas (20 sept). St. Catherine of Siena raised to a Class I feast, Raymond of Penyafort to second class. See ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 296-97. Provision was also made for a Votive Mass of the Virgin and for the readings of St. Martin de Porres: ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 394-95 (readings on pp. 408-13

[64] ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 333-67.

[65] "Litterae de Sacra Liturgia," ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 404-05" "Sacrosanctum Concilium declarat se omnes ritus legitime agnitos aequo iure et honore habere eosque in posterum servari et omnimode foveri velle atque exoptat."

[66] Its members were Chrysostom Vijverberg (praeses), Joseph Bernal, William Bonniwell, Ansgar Dirks, Louis Gignac, Pierre-Marie Gy, Damien Govert, Leopold Jager, Paulinus Miller, Aimon Rouget, Antonino Silli, Antonin Vismans: "Commissionis de Re Liturgica Instituto," ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 661.

[67] Oral communications of Fr. Antoninus Wall, O.P. (ordained 1950), Fr. Samuel Parsons, O.P. (ordained 1957), and Fr. Albert Gerald Buckley, O.P. (ordained 1957), given 8-12 August 2005. All of the Western Dominican Province, U.S.A. Fr. Bonniwell describes decision that the Order should abandon the rite, and the consternation it caused Cardinal Browne at a meeting of Dominican liturgists to discuss that question during the Council: see Interview with Dominican friar Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P. (1886 1984) [Videotape],interview by Fr. Antoninus Wall, O.P., filmed by Gavin Colvert (1982), Archives of the Western Dominican Province and in personal possession of Fr. Wall.

[68] ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 309. To some extent the cutting down of the Office was also behind the abrogation of the reform which provided that antiphons be recited before and after every psalm: SCR letter (Prot. n. 117-960 -6 Aug. 1964), ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 653, although this also restored an older practice.

[69] SRC Decree (Prot. N. o.65-963--30 May 1963), SRC decree (Prot. N. o.11-964--19 Feb. 1964) p. 470-74, 477-84; with commentary by Ansgar Dirks, ibid., 474-77.

[70] Ibid., pp. 477-84.

[71] SRC rescript (Prot. N. o.11-964 -19 Feb. 1964), ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): "Quia decretum de nova formula in sacra communionis adhibenda valet pro solo Ritu Romano, superiorbius tamen opportunum visum est, ad actuosam et fructuosam fidelium participationem fovendum, ut nova formula pro Ritu nostro acceptaretur, Reve.mus Pater Procurator Generalis a S. Sede rescriptum petiit quo decretum S.R.C. ad Ritum nostrum applicarentur."

[72] SCR decree (Prot. n. o.104-964 -24 Nov. 1964), ASOFP, 37 (1965-1966): 61; extended to Dominican Churches in SRC decree (Prot. n. o.29-965 -8 May 1965), p. 165. Latin-English Sunday Missal

Title: Latin-English Sunday Missal

"As beautiful a Sunday missal for the old Latin Mass as has ever been published."

- Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, Rome

• 20 full-color, full-page illustrations by great masters
• Includes the ordinary of the Mass for Sunday and the full Nuptial and Requiem Masses—does not contain the full set of Sunday readings
• Sumptuously printed on quality stock with laminated full-color soft cover
• Bulk pricing available for parishes and traditional Mass chapels
• 180+ pages
• $8.95 (First edition only)

A large investment was made by Roman Catholic Books to publish this new and enhanced Latin Mass Booklet Missal. We’re asking for your full support and for donations to offset the costs of this and future printings. Our expectation is to print one million copies by 2015 so that this Tridentine Mass Booklet Missal is widely available throughout the English-speaking world. Thank you for all your support of our work!

Link to Product: Latin-English Sunday Missal

Thursday, August 30, 2007

English Usus Antiquior Varia

First, the BBC has this audio offering (Realmedia format):

From the middle of the 16th century until the 1960s Catholic mass was celebrated in what's known as the Tridentine rite - it was in Latin and it took its name from the Council of Trent where it was agreed. Then, when the Church tried to modernise at the Vatican Council in the early 60s, in came the idea of mass in modern languages - there were reforms to involve the congregation more in services too. But many Catholics remained passionately attached to the old way of doing things and Pope Benedict has now made it easier for people to hear the old-style service if they want to. The Latin Mass Society is providing training for priests who want to know how to do it. Alcuin Reid is the editor of the most recent edition of the standard manual for the rite.

Second, a statement from the Latin Mass Society at the start of their Oxford training conference:

Statement by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

For immediate release: Tuesday 28th August 2007

“The support and blessing that Archbishop Nichols of Birminhgam has given to our training school for priests to learn the older form of Mass is a tremendous encouragement not just for the Latin Mass Society but for the whole Catholic Church in England and Wales,” Julian Chadwick, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society said today.

Archbishop Nichols had, at his own request, opened the conference with a sung Latin Mass according the newer form. Preaching at the opening Mass, Archbishop Nichols enjoined the more than fifty clergy present to “remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living Tradition of the Church.” Present at the Mass were two other bishops noted for their support of the older form of Mass. Nichols also stated that clergy must “strive for improvements in the way the ordinary (newer) form of the Mass is celebrated.”

Chadwick said, “Archbishop Nichols has shown that generosity and welcome that Pope Benedict has asked all bishops to give to Catholics who seek to worship according to the older rites.”

A few more from Oxford

A few more Oxford shots. These are of good size and I didn't want to shrink them too much, so click on the thumbnail to get a nice, full screen view.

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Wild and crazy polyphony

Co-blogger Michael Lawrence is going to kill me for posting this but I found it funny and interesting enough. It is a video taken at the Friday night "coffeehouse polyphony" at the Colloquium this year - a half fun and half serious night of sight reading and singing of all sorts. You can tell by the exaggerated howls of laughter that people were pretty wound up!

Michael does the introductions and conducting. (I'm singing something here, though I don't remember what part.) The the music begins, and it becomes rather serious. Then it ends to fantastic applause. Maybe you had to be there! Yes, there are intonation issues but who knew this would be on a video for the world to see? Gravely irresponsible for me to post this!

The piece being read is Samuel Wesley's "Si iniquitates observaveris," which is for 3 voices. It is a wonderful piece, by the way.

Pontifical Mass at Oxford

Further photos from Oxford in addition to those presented by Dr. Shaw just a few moments ago (see the post below this one -- and incidentally, I should like to find for here more such video of the event; if you have it, or know someone who does, please let me know), from a Solemn pontifical mass offered by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma (click to see larger image):

'Faux bourdon' chant and Pontifical High Mass at the Oxford conference

I don't know anything about this, but I'm told the technique the Schola Sainte Cecile is using in this clip is called 'faux bourdon', singing the chant in harmony. I'd be interested to know more about it; Fr Conlon tells me he remembers it being done in Westminster Cathedral in the early 1960s.

This clip is from the Magnificat of the Solemn Vespers on Tuesday. It's a terrible video, taken with my digital camera, because it was extremely dark in Merton chapel, which was lit mainly by candles. It looked lovely, although I'd have preferred to follow Vespers with a booklet using larger type.

This schola is superb. Their singing at Pontifical High Mass today was quite wonderful. It is a great joy to hear chants which I know well, and have sung myself, sung to these standards.

Also singing today at Pontifical Mass was a polyphonic group directed by a local organist and school teacher, Andrew Knowles. They were really superb; their Kyrie (a Vittoria piece) took my breath away.

Bishop Slattery preached a sermon of great wit and profundity, noting the contrast in age between his diocese of Tulsa (forty years), first with St Rose of Lima (celebrated today), then with Merton College chapel (13th C.), but noting that the Roman Mass was famed for its antiquity centuries before Merton College was even thought of. He linked the authenticity of our celebration of Mass with the fact that the mystery we celebrate is the mystery by which we have been redeemed. Every one has been very taken by Slattery's charm; he was a splendid patriarchal presence in the sanctuary.

I note that I'm not the only one to have had trouble taking photographs of the chapel sanctuary; the light shining from the enormous window behind the altar makes things very difficult, and I hate using a flash during Mass. But here are some photos of Pontifical Vespers with Bishop Rifan; the conference banquet, with Bishop Slattery sitting between Julian Chadwick, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, and Prior Hugh Allen of the Canons of Premontre (Manchester) (Bishops Rifan was the other side of Mr
Chadwick); Bishop Slattery and Bishop Rifan processing out of Mass; and of Merton bar full of priests (on Tuesday evening), which I thought was amusing.

The Conference has been a great success. As well as the splendid public liturgies, the priests attending have been put in touch not only with their liturgical heritage but also with like-minded priests from all over the country. Everyone seems to be leaving with a great sense of conviction about the value of the Traditional Mass, and a great sense of optimism. The Latin Mass Society hopes to repeat the Conference next year, and in future years, to build on these exciting foundations.

A Goulden Anniversary

"I believe that the justification of art is the internal
combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its
shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The
purpose of art is not the release of a momentary
ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual,
lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity."

--Glenn Gould
from his essay, "Let's Ban Applause!"

Recently, in a wonderful used bookstore, I came across Peter Ostwald's _Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius_. Who could resist this? This week, I've been pouring over this book, and I've accomplished little else.

In the midst of reading this testimony on the life of one of the 20th century's most enigmatic musical geniuses, I did some Google searching on Gould and found out that, beginning September 1, the Glenn Gould Year commences. It marks the 75th anniversary of his birth and the 25th anniversary of his untimely death.

I first heard about Gould (originally rendered "Gold," hence the title), when, as a teenager, I was shown Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould [1], a set of vignettes which corresponds with the number of movements in J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, a piece which Gould brought to the forefront of the musical world. I was immediately intrigued, and over the years have only become more and more fascinated with this character, who was famous as a pianist but also played the organ magnificently.

Gould is one of those artists who seems either to be loved or hated. Some complain about his unorthodox musical interpretations. Others allege that his virtuosity is a fraud, that the light action of his piano gave him an easy way to achieve his trademark clarity, even as he employed extraordinarily fast tempi. Those who have played fugues on light action instruments know that this argument is a line of nonsense.

In any case, whatever one thinks of Gould's work, surely the fair-minded will admit that not only his musicianship but also his artistic ideas call us constantly to think critically about how we go about making music. This is important. It is not good enough to sit at the keyboard and pound out notes from the page, nor is it always healthy to play a piece the way we've always played it, or the way our teachers told us to play it. I find that even a short time spent with a Gould recording goes a long way toward dusting off the musical cobwebs that gather thanks to mundane routine--one of the most dangerous occupational hazards of the church musician.

A word about the quote which opens this post. This excerpt has a lot to do with Gould's desire to move beyond public concert settings. At age 32 (that seems to be a popular number with him), Gould played his last concert and spent the remaining years of his life playing for radio, television, and recording studios. He felt that the separation of the performer from the audience allowed him to serve the music better, more completely to ignore the demands of the taste of the public. This might come across as narcissistic, but really there is a lot of truth to what Gould is saying. He reports an episode in a concert in which he caught himself schmaltzing up the music just to try to reach every member of the audience. This is a most astute point.

Well, I've rambled on enough, and at a very Gouldian late night hour, so most likely the less I say the better off I'll be. Visit this site to learn more about Glenn Gould. Also, watch this video. Genius at work.


[1] I was going to link to Amazon here, so that interested parties could buy this movie for themselves. To my shock, these dvd's are selling for approximately 150USD. Apparently it's out of print now. I'll take note and guard my copy with my life. VHS copies seem to be available for a more reasonable price.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Alexy II Praises Letter on 1962 Missal

ROME, AUG. 29, 2007 ( Benedict XVI's move to allow for wider celebration of the Roman Missal of 1962 has received a positive reaction from the Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow.

"The recovery and valuing of the ancient liturgical tradition is a fact that we greet positively," Alexy II told the Italian daily Il Giornale.

Benedict XVI's apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum," published in July, explains new norms allowing for the use of the 1962 missal as an extraordinary form of the liturgical celebration.

"We hold very strongly to tradition," he continued. "Without the faithful guardianship of liturgical tradition, the Russian Orthodox Church would not have been able to resist the period of persecution."

When asked about the relationship between Rome and Moscow, the patriarch said: "It seems to me that Benedict XVI has repeated many times that he desires to work in favor of dialogue and collaboration with the Orthodox Churches. And this is positive."

Regarding a possible meeting between Alexy II and Benedict XVI, the patriarch said it must be well-prepared, and "be an encounter that truly helps to consolidate relations between our two Churches."

NLM Dominican rite expert

The NLM is pleased to announce that Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. is now a formal contributor to the NLM.

Fr. Thompson, as many of you know, is a Dominican who is professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. He is also extremely knowledgeable on the topic of the Dominican rite -- and is responsible, of course, for the continuing series examining the changes in the Dominican rite just prior to the Council and after it.

The NLM sees part of its mission not only to promote the usus antiquior and reform of the reform as regards the Roman rite, but also to promote the other liturgical rites and uses of the Church, particularly those in the Latin rite tradition.

In that way, we are all very pleased that Nicola De Grandi recently joined us as our resident expert on the Ambrosian rite, and now Fr. Thompson as regards the Dominican rite -- mind you, they are not solely limited to these topics of course.

Hopefully, with due time, more of these rites and uses will be covered, just as we have likewise sought to find contributors in various disciplines, and in various regions of the Catholic world. I think this can be enriching and enlightening for all involved.

More Oxford training session photos

Further to NLM's own Joseph Shaw who is at the Oxford usus antiquior training conference, the Schola Sainte Cecile also have some photographs of their own:

(Looking back from just before the sanctuary toward the organ. The screen you see there was originally intended to be the rood screen with the seating being part of the chancel. The mediaeval church never met its original aspirations, but makes a splendid venue for the celebration of the Divine Office and Mass -- with due Catholicizations of course!

The sanctuary and altar. It's amazing to me how this view of the chapel can become engrained so quickly. Seeing these photos reminds me greatly of the very same images I saw at CIEL Oxford last September.

Vespers: Bishop Rifan of Campos, Brazil

Acting as deacon is a deacon, the Rev. Dr. Laurence Hemming of the Society of St. Catherine of Siena

The Offertory: Some of you may recognize this vestment set from the Chartres Pilgrimage. They are one of my very favourite set of vestments.

To see all of their pictures, please visit their site via the link above and go through the various posts.

Oxford Priests Training Conference

A few quick images from Solemn High Mass today at the Oxford Priests Training Conference organised by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. The celebrant was Fr Anthony Conlon; the splendid vestments were on loan from Luzar Vestments. Bishop Slattery of Oklahoma is in the second picture; he will be celebrant at Pontifical High Mass tomorrow. This evening Bishop Rifan will celebrate Pontifical Vespers.

The canons with tonsures are American: they are Canons of the New Jerusalem, a new Traditional order. The singers of the liturgical schola are French.

The conference is going well, with 43 priests and seminarians attending to learn how to say the usus antiquior, the Traditional Mass. They are all ages and come from all over the country; interestingly, they include a number of convert clergymen from the Church of England.

Thank You

I would like to thank those readers who have been praying for a good start for our new schola in Philadelphia. Last Wednesday's turnout was pretty good, and it looks like we'll have even more people this week.

So, again, thank you, and keep in touch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Psalmorum et Canticorum

Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum, the predecessor volume to Communio, is available for free download.

Philadelphia Parish to Offer Traditional Latin Mass

Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Philadelphia, PA will begin offering weekly Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on Sunday, September 16 at 8:00am. This parish also celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Latin each Sunday at 10:00am, and this Mass will continue in addition to the 8am TLM.

Our Lady of Lourdes is located at 63rd St. and Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia's Overbrook section. It is only a few blocks from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. The church is accessible via SEPTA's R5 rail line.

May God prosper the work of this parish.

Sacred Music Colloquium: The Movie

We had this idea this year to make a video of scenes from the Colloquium. It's not everything it could be, and there are aspects we would all change in retrospect but it was the first time, and we live and learn. In any case, here it is, and we can only hope it does some good.

Notre Dame Motu Proprio Update

I was greeted this morning with excellent news from our friend the Sober Sophomore regarding the implementation of Summorum Pontificium on the campus of Our Lady's University.

After several weeks of promising rumors, Campus Ministry has determined on a very favorable course of action regarding the Tridentine liturgy: a regularly-scheduled recited mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated in the chapel of Alumni Hall dorm (it's generally considered one of the most beautiful on campus, and possessing a fine high altar, shown above) at 8 AM on Sundays, starting after September 14; and starting in second semester, missae cantatae will be offered once or twice a term on special occasions with music by the official university choirs. This is extremely promising, and also likely to spread interest in the rite among a wider section of the student body. You can find the official statement here.

In recent years, I have found Campus Ministry to be very responsive to grassroots requests for traditional devotions such as Eucharistic Adoration and the now-annual Procession, as well as sponsoring, I'm told, a trip last year to St. John Cantius for their annual All Souls' Requiem! This good news only further reinforces my impressions of this excellent trend.

Legendary Beauty in Sleepy Hollow

Yes, that Sleepy Hollow.

This past weekend, I skipped town before the Fall rush, and went to New York to visit some friends. On Sunday, I was able to attend the Traditional Latin Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Sleepy Hollow (formerly North Tarrytown), NY. This building had been an Episcopal church, built, if I understood correctly, with funds from none other than Washington Irving. It is one of many handsome buildings in this picture perfect town which is nestled along the placid pools of the Hudson River.

There were some things which stood out which I'd like to share with the readership here.

First of all, in keeping with Fr. Z's Rule Number 4, this traditional community (Una Voce Westchester) takes up a monthly collection that is given to the Immaculate Conception parish. A great number of this Mass's attendees are also registered as parishioners there. In addition, the pastor of the parish goes out of his way to make the group feel welcome. Caritas seems to be the operational word here.

Secondly, I was able to meet a number of people at the convivium after Mass. It really seems to be a trend that traditional communities are close knit, happy places in which people hang around for an hour or more socializing. I enjoyed meeting these most interesting people. They are full of energy and have joyfully offered their talents for the good of their community. Note well: They are not sitting around waiting for someone else to do the work; they're doing it themselves. It should also be noted that they're able to talk about subjects other than Catholic liturgy. This is a healthy thing. I detected not a trace of "bitter" traditionalism.

Thirdly, the schola at the Sleepy Hollow Mass is first rate. (Full disclosure: The magister musicorum, David Hughes, is a friend of mine. Nevertheless, I assure you of my objectivity.) Only the best music is used, and it is always well-organized and well-rehearsed. It is a model schola for others, and if the music at newer celebrations of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is like the music at Sleepy Hollow, the 1962 missal is bound to flourish. If lesser music is used in places where the motu proprio is implemented, the 1962 missal is bound to suffer the same fate it suffered in times past. The folks at Sleepy Hollow are helping to save the 62 Missal from 1962.

Sleepy Hollow is accessible via the Metro North railroad. Take it from New York to Tarrytown. From there the church is about a ten minute walk.

I would like to thank all of the good folks at Sleepy Hollow for their warm welcome on Sunday. I hope to visit again soon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Almost One Year Later, the Classical Use plays prominent role in Oxford Again

Fr. Finigan over at the The hermeneutic of continuity has the preliminary goods on the training conference in the usus antiquior which begins tomorrow in Oxford at Merton College.

He has two posts today related to this:

Oxford LMS conference

Tomorrow morning I have a funeral (please pray for the repose of the soul of Maud Nazer). Then I will be off to London again, to catch the bus from Victoria to Oxford for the Conference organised by the Latin Mass Society to introduce priests to the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Because of the funeral, I will miss the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Nichols in the morning but I hope to be there in time for Alcuin Reid's lecture at 3pm. I am looking forward to a couple of days in a City which brings back many fond memories of three years spent in the company of good friends.

My particular role, as well as giving one of the sets of tutorials, is to participate in the discussions with the experience of being a parish priest fostering traditional liturgy in a normal parish. Apparently there are over 50 priests attending. Many lay people will also be coming for the public liturgical celebrations during the conference (at the Merton College Chapel.)

Dom Daniel Augustine Oppenheimer (Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem) will celebrate the Solemn Mass on Wednesday 29 August at 11.45am

Bishop Rifan will celebrate Pontifical Vespers on Wednesday 29 August at 6pm

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma will celebrate the closing Pontifical High Mass in the Traditional Rite on Thursday 30 August at 11.45am.

There will also be traditional Lauds on Wednesday and Thursday at 8am and traditional Vespers on Tuesday at 6pm.

Assisting Bishop Rifan

Bishop Rifan was at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, this evening to celebrate a Pontifical Low Mass. I was scheduled to say a Missa Cantata but was happy to say a private Mass earlier in the parish and act as Assistant Priest for the great man. Mgr Gordon Read was the other AP. Neither of us had acted in this capacity before so we needed some prompts here and there. Fortunately, I managed to retain much of what is in Fortescue's mercifully brief chapter on the subject.

Bishop Rifan heads the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney, established in 2002 in the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, to which about 30,000 faithful are attached. At the end of Mass, after unvesting at the altar and kneeling to say a thanksgiving at the faldstool, he asked us two capellani to accompany him to the back of the Church where he remained to greet all those who had come to the Mass. Nearly all of the people knelt to kiss his ring in recognition of his office as successor to the apostles.

Over dinner afterwards, Bishop Rifan told us of a recently founded group of Franciscans with whom he is great friends. They work with the poor and have established 100 houses in ten years. One of their houses cares for 600 poor people. They have perpetual adoration, live an exemplary life of Franciscan poverty.

Speaking to me personally, the Bishop spoke of how important it is that traditionalists should always show charity to others and avoid bitterness and dissension. His concern was transparently genuine and pastoral. It was a joy to spend an evening assisting him and I look forward to seeing him again at other events this week.

[The NLM intends to provide coverage of this event of course, which is receiving quite a bit of press in England. We should have some of our own NLM eyes and ears there so to speak.]

Renovations and Counter-Renovations

We are blessed that there is much good work beginning to gain speed in the liturgical field -- which Summorum Pontificum has given a further shot in the arm -- not the least of which a re-birth of interest in the traditional ecclesiastical architecture and ornamentation.

A fact of this transitional period out of a transitional period, however, is that there still is the danger of further senseless and, indeed I should even go so far as to say, tasteless and ideologically oriented "renovations". This may be all happenstance -- the natural, even innocent, consequence of a still extant mindset of not so distant decades enacting itself -- though one wonders, at this stage of the game if perhaps this isn't also out of a desire to leave some lasting legacy in a time when the shift back toward our tradition is becoming more and more plain? A kind of desire to make the change (and really to enact a hermeneutic of rupture) "before its too late". We see such behaviour in other domains, so its not difficult to imagine in this domain either of course. Such is speculative of course and I put it out as a general consideration.

Regardless of the reasons, certainly by now it should be beyond a reasonable doubt that such revisions were certainly not mandated by the Council, and not at all necessary to be congruent with the modern Roman missal. In fact, pursuing such seems to only serve a congruence with a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture, which sees this as necessary to fit with 'the modern liturgy' as they define it in opposition to the tradition -- whether that be the liturgy itself or the architecture which the liturgy informs.

Of course, it must be said that not all revisions or renovations are beyond the pale, but what are the nature of the revisions/renovations? Are they truly necessary and by what standard do we say they are? Is the standard actually correct? Also, what solutions may allow a warranted renovation to occur, while maintaining a congruency with a traditional architectural and liturgical vocabulary and a hermeneutic of continuity with the same?

What raised this issue in my mind was this article about a renovation that happened in London a few years back, and which is apparently commented upon by author Moyra Doorly in her newly published book, No Place for God (published by Ignatius Press).

Here are the before and after pictures:



Even forgetting the "before" picture and taking that aspect out of this matter, there is a great deal to be critiqued from a liturgical level -- not to mention simply on the level of aesthetics. It's critiquable on its own 'merits', regardless of whether the church was built new or whether it replaced what was in the before picture; it is the fact that there is such a before picture, however, that makes the matter even more lamentable.

The good news angle on this sort of renovation is that it proves one thing: if a church or chapel can be taken from a very traditional state, to one such as this above, then likewise is the reversal of that process also possible. Chapels and churches subject to needless or less than desireable renovations can eventually be restored. Moreover, even those that were built new in recent decades can just as much be brought into a more traditional architectural and liturgical vocabulary as those that were taken out of it.

Black out has ended

My copy of Catholic Answers arrived and it has an article on the 1962 Missal, with a large color photo of a priest saying Mass ad orientem. It suddenly occurred to me: I haven't seen such a photo in a mainstream Catholic mag in ages. So this has inspired some reckless thought, which I now offer:

Isn't that strange that there would be such a historical blackout on our history, such that magazines would sense a taboo against publishing images such as this? I suppose you could say, oh, there was no taboo; it was just the practice. Actually, I don't think so. Most all Catholic publications adopted this practice. So too with Catholic publishers of books. All priests had to be facing the people; here was proof that you accepted the reform and that you had no sympathy for those bad traditionalists who regretted the losses.

In this way, and in a strange way, largely inadvertently, the prohibition on the free celebration of the extraordinary form tended to close off our history, to erect a huge wall at the year 1970. Now suddenly, it's as if the Pope has invited the whole Catholic world to observe the beautiful world of our past, in living color. And so, for example, even the NPM has published an article on the music of the old Mass, says Cantate Deo.

Is Baroque "Absolutist"?

One thing I frequently hear is that Baroque churches look too much like royal palaces, operahouses or governmental buildings. However, it is not that Rome's grand churches look too palatial, but that Versailles looks too ecclesiastical. The Baroque began in Rome principally as an ecclesiastical style, and was only after that taken up elsewhere as a fashionable symbol of legitimism and monarchy. Even then, there were distinctive differences between secular and ecclesiastical Baroque, just as there were differences between secular and ecclesiastical Gothic.

The question of how Renaissance classicism came to be applied to church architecture is a long and complex question; suffice to say that there were other factors in it besides a mere substitution of heathen classical for Christian Gothic. There were questions of classical magnificence versus Gothic simplicity, as well as the nationalist overtones of Italian classicism (and its Christian Romanesque antecedents, such as the Baptistery in Florence) in the face of "il maniere tedesco," the alien German manner of building. But that is a matter for another time.

In any case, Trent chose to retain the classical manner not simply on a modish whim, but because they saw in its antique precedent the potential for a return to the purity of the Constantinian church. Some frescoes of the period were even consciously modeled on Roman wall-paintings. While archaeologically somewhat dubious, it still reminds us of the immense significance that the Roman orders still held for the early Christians, who chose to retain them in a meaningful manner in their basilicas.

Trent's somewhat puritanical classicism in time developed into the triumphal baroque. The change can begin to be seen around the first, second and third decades of the 17th century, with the work of Carlo Maderno and, later, his nephew Borromini and his rival Bernini. A galaxy of luminaries great and small soon trailed after them--Cortona, Rainaldi, Longhi, Vittone, Juvarra--that stretched well into the following century. The proto-Baroque was a more humane, ornamental, and perhaps even more physically sacramental development of the simple classical Counter-Reformation aesthetic represented by the Gesu and the other churches of the new orders sprouting up in Rome.

In time it became more festive and sculptural, and eventually increasingly plastic and florid with its more roccoco offspring in Germany, Spain and Mexico. These charming outliers are exaggerated ornament are best understood against the backdrop of the Baroque heartland of Italy, and Rome in particular. While not detracting from their beauty, they do not necessarily constitute the central essence of the style, which, rather than plastering ornament wall-to-wall (as in many Spanish examples), is instead about a rich union of painting, sculpture and architecture, a clever use of perspective, of hidden light sources and contrasting forms, and an iconographic ideal that ties the whole building tgether as an intellectual whole. Versailles, and the Roccoco opera houses of Germany, are the imitators of this ecclesiastical style, rather than its progenitors. Indeed, the palaces of the Baroque era in Italy began out as rather severe Renaissance cubes, and as in France only took on the swags and cherubim of Bernini and the rest as the Baroque church became an established fixture on the architectural scene. Even so, it would be difficult, once aware of the period's conventions, to mistake a palace for a church.

Another confusion in this fact lies in the dome, that wonderful manifestation of heaven reaching down to earth. We see a dome in the U.S. and tend to think, automatically, of the capitol in Washington, D.C. The ubiquitous Baroque dome, the image of the heavens, thus feels more governmental and institutional than it was ever intended to be. In truth, the American capitol dome, completed in the 1860s, was modelled in part on St. Peter's in Rome, and very few royal buildings in Europe featured a dome before the 19th century, it being typologically associated with the Church. (The only outstanding example to the contrary, Castle Howard, lies in Protestant England). The pediment as well had a more strongly ecclesiastical connotation in the southern countries of Europe then than it does today. Only in America would we think it appropriate to house a legislature in a building modelled on a Renaissance church.

Of course, if it were the other way round, it would not be the first time we borrowed a royal or governmental image to represent the house of God. Much church ritual, especially pontifical ritual, derives in some real way from the civil ceremonial of the late Empire (indeed, "Ite, missa est," may have been the formula used to dismiss a civil proceeding); while the early Christian basilicas were closely related to Roman basilicas, which housed the judiciary or served as royal audience halls. Such royal imagery remains relevant today, even in an age of presidents and power-brokers, because Christ remains king even if there are no other kings to compare him to. Indeed, the royal dignity of Christ remains even more important today precisely because He is virtually unique, and because it represents our relationship to Him in a certain way that would be lost in any feast of "Christ the President."

That being said, it is not the Church that imitates the state in the Baroque, at least at its birth, but the state that imitates the Church, and once again in the case of the American capitol with its bloated Michelangelesque dome.

Dobszay and the most underrated book on liturgy of our times

Like many readers of this blog, I love books on liturgy, particularly those dealing forthrightly with the problems of the 1970 Missal, its relationship to the older Missal, and the problems of the transition back or forward to an integrated liturgical tradition.

When I first read Laszlo Dobszay's remarkable work The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (Church Music Associates, 2003) I was stunned and thrilled: finally a work that seemed to exhibit a comprehensive understanding of both the details and the big picture. I was just blown away by it completely, and marvel at how much time and investigative energy I might have saved had I read this book when it first came out. It is beyond me why it hasn't received more attention.

Dobszay, both a liturgical scholar and a brilliant musician, points out that many of the problems in the liturgy today come down to matters of music, or rather, it is not likely that a full understanding of the problem of today's liturgy can be acquired without an understanding of the issue of music. He discusses how the reform was undertaken without due regard for the treasures of inestimable value, and the missteps ended up unleashing every manner of profane art into the heart of the Catholic experience. His treatise is not merely a screed against this fact: it deals in details with role of the propers, the place of the Psalms, the effects of music on the liturgical structure, the relationship between the old and new Missals, the practical problems of co-exist, and the prospects for the future.

What I like most about this book is the stable, truth-telling, non-evasive, scholarly approach. The author is not taking up space merely trying to convince you of an agenda. Rather, he wants the reader to come to understand a new perspective on the reform. Nor does he avoid hot button issues: holy week, the Divine Office, the impact of the high/low cultural split on liturgy, and the endless confusion created by permission for the "Alius cantus aptus." The honesty of his whole treatment leaves you both pleased and realistically optimistic about the prospects for reform.

In any case, there is a persistent problem is actually getting the book, as many readers know. Thus do I bring very good news. Fr. Robert Skeris has the last remaining 80 copies in his office. He is pleased to send them to people at $20 per book, and that includes postage. So if you want this book, and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in Catholic liturgy to do so, send him cash or a check for $20 for each copy. Ask for the Dobszay book:

Rev. Dr. Robert Skeris
Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20064

Institut St. Philipp Neri - Assumption

The Institute of St. Philip Neri (a German based classical use priestly society) has new photos up of their Assumption Mass in the usus antiquior.

A sampling:

If you go through their pictures, it looks like they had quite a lovely parish feast following the Feast itself.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina

Via Le Forum Catholique comes this image and some information about the Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina:

This photograph is of a Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior held in the diocese of St. Jacques of Compostelle, at the House of the aforesaid Fraternity in Pontevedra-Spain. They describe themselves as a "community formed for diocesan priests, religious, and laity.

Is anyone familiar with this Fraternity?

Fifty Essential Catholic Hymns

The list of universal hymns of Catholic people has settled into a solid 50 chants that constitute an essential foundation of sacred music shared by Catholics in all places and times, the music that you will need to know to participate in international liturgies and the music that holds up over time, from season to season, to be sung by the people (schola exclusive chants are not in the list). They are all peoples' hymns, and though some are harder than others, none should be too difficult for non-musicians, provided they are heard and sung enough.

They also happen to be the basis of a vast amount of musical exploration in the 16th century and following and so constitute the basis of the modern Western musical tradition. Here is our real "folk" heritage.

There may be readers who know them all; most readers of this blog will know perhaps half. As a result of grave neglect and diversion for several decades, most American Catholics know none (I guess on my part). Is there anyone who would say that this is a good thing?

Adoremus Te, garage schola

This is just so incredibly charming. A schola in practice, singing Palestrina. Notice: no arm-waving director. I couldn't tell where the group is from actually.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Late Summer Diversions

It's summer, meaning it's both busy with projects and also a time, moreso than others perhaps, for leisurely diversions -- there is a certain irony in that.

As regards the latter, I've begun to read a rather interesting book from St. Augustine Press, On Hunting by Roger Scruton.

The title may sound like it is focused solely upon the matter of the hunt, but it is a much broader focus than that:

"To say that On Hunting is a book on fox hunting is like saying that Moby-Dick is a whaling yarn.

"Modern people are as given to loving, fearing, fleeing, and pursuing other species as were their hunter-gatherer forebears. And in fox hunting, they join together with their most ancient friends among the animals, to pursue an ancient enemy. The feelings stirred by hunting are explored by Scruton, in a book that is both illuminating and deeply personal. Drawing on his own experiences of hunting and offering a delightful portrait of the people and animals who take part in it. Scruton introduces the reader to the mysteries of country life. His book is a plea for tolerance toward a sport in which the love of animals prevails over the pursuit of them, and in which Nature herself is the center of the drama.

"Among the most dramatic and ironic discoveries that On Hunting offers the typical American reader is that hunting is about a love of and respect for animals, rather than a blood-thirsty hatred of them, and that the sport, far from being limited to an upper-class, old-monied aristocracy, is really one promoting an egalitarian meritocracy."

I'm only a bit into the book so far, but quite interesting and it seems like it may touch into some Pieperian sort of themes.

History of the Dominican Liturgy, 1946-1969 [The Pre-Conciliar Reforms - Part 3]

[Continuing Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P.'s history of the reforms of the Dominican liturgy.]

The reforms of 1961-1962 were the result of legislation from the General Chapter of the Order held at Bologna from 18-24 September 1961, which itself was responding to John XXIII's project to reform the Roman Rite rubrics and calendar.1 This chapter requested the Master General to transmit to the Congregation of Rites reforms prepared by the liturgical commission and others requested by the provinces during preparation for the publication of new liturgical books. Changes in the calendar, described in part above as the result of earlier legislation, went into effect on [39] January 1, 1961 in correlation to similar changes in the Roman Rite. This reform made official the new nomenclature for feasts and, in addition, reduced some old feasts of three readings to memoriae with just a collect. These feasts were mostly Marian feasts or occurred during the Octave of Christmas.[40] The logic here seems to have been to reduce the excess of Marian feasts and to rehabilitate the Christmas Octave. Eight feasts were abolished outright or merged with other feasts.[41] In that case, the goal seems to have been to remove duplications and purge the calendar of legendary material.

Much of this legislation was dedicated to restoring or simplifying the Temporal Cycle.[42] This work was necessitated by the drastic reduction in the number of octaves during Paschaltide and after, and by the need to produce ferial offices to replace them. Ascension Time was created for the days after Ascension and new Sunday offices (or rehabilitated old ones) were provided for the "Green Sundays" after Trinity. The loss of the Sunday in the Octave of Epiphany was remedied by moving the Baptism of the Lord to that date. Along with these changes came a series of rubrical reforms related to them. Holy Innocents, which Dominicans had always observed somberly out of respect for the sorrow of the child martyrs' mothers, now got a Gloria, and its violet vestments were replaced by white. The legend-filled readings of eight feasts’ second noturns were replaced by those of the new Roman Office. Assumption lost its medieval allegorical Gospel of Mary and Martha, and the collects against pagans and schismatics received new, more polite, titles ("For Propagation of the Faith," "For Unity of the Church"). Finally, a new collect for the civil authorities replaced the old one "For the Emperor."[43] Certain remaining medievalisms were also addressed: superiors received the rite to determine which little hour Mass would follow, thus solving the problem of penitential Mass after None.

In the middle ages, the responsories of Sunday Matins came in series known as "histories." Medieval piety considered these musical presentations of Old Testament narratives very important, and, if they were impeded by a feast overriding the Sunday, they were transferred to a day in the following week, lest they be lost. This practice was abolished as the histories had ceased to play a role in most friars’ liturgical piety, and they were usually just recto-toned rather than being sung with their ancient Gregorian melodies. On the other hand, the melodic antiphons of the psalter were now to be sung before, as well as after, the psalms. The Litanies of the Rogation Days could now be done in vernacular--a somewhat odd place to introduce the common tongue, as the Litany response of "Ora pro nobis" was probably among the easiest for laity to learn.[44]

These changes in the calendar and rubrics were so numerous and so complex, that the Order's liturgist, Fr. Ansgar Dirks, provided a summary of them (correlating them with changes in the Roman Rite) so that friars could more easily make the necessary changes in their books.[45] Six months later the New Calendar and its rubrics were printed in toto in the Analecta, in a format that was easy to copy or cut out and insert into the Missal. It was too large to fit in the Breviary, but this was less pressing since a new edition of that book would come out by the end of the year.[46] This new calendar included one addition, the feast of the newly canonized St. Martin de Porres.[47] Perhaps the single most useful item in this material was the Fr. Dirk's tables of concurrence and occurrence, which show which offices and Masses to use when there is a conflict of feasts.[48] This put a set of still very complex rubrics onto a single page in a convenient form.

One year later, Pope John XXIII's reforms of the Roman Rite Mass, issued in his decree Rubricarum Instructum (15 December 1960), were adapted for the Dominican Missal and put in force on January 1, 1961 along with the calendar by a comprehensive decree.[49] Aside from institutionalizing the changes made earlier for Holy Week and the calendar, which they repeat, these reforms are mostly fairly minor and mostly concern simplification of the rituals of the Solemn High Mass. The priest no was no longer required to read the Epistle and Gospel quietly while they are sung by the subdeacon and deacon, something he had done sitting (not at the altar), although he did continue to read quietly the Ordinary and Proper chants (nn. 477-78, p. 89). This restored the thirteenth-century practice. The replacement of the "Ite Missa Est" with "Benedicamus Domino" on minor feasts (when one of the minor hours followed immediately) was abolished, to be retained only if a procession was attached to Mass, as on Holy Thursday (n. 471, p. 87). Conversely, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were to be omitted when other rites preceded, as at the Easter Vigil or on Candlemas (n. 388, p. 75). And, most famously, the recitation of the Confiteor before the people's communion was suppressed (n. 467, p. 87). This rite, like exposition of the host at the "Ecce Agnus Dei" that followed it (which is even later), were elements from the rite for distribution of communion outside of Mass that had crept in after earlier reforms that placed the people's communion back within Mass. If the logic of omission was that the Confiteor was an "accretion," then it would have probably been best to omit both of these. But the “Domine non sum dignus” remained.

The rubrical changes promulgated were relatively minor, but two were quite radical. Now ministers who did not have the skill to sing the Epistle or Gospel could simply recite them without music (n. 479, p. 89--as in Rubricarum Instructum, n. 514). This went totally against the Dominican cultivation of the choral Mass as a purely musical expression of worship and was a big step toward the modern practice of the priest merely reciting Mass with (often extraneous) songs interspersed. Another provision specifically affected Low Mass: the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar might now be recited in pleno (loud enough for the people to hear). Although it was never mentioned in any Order legislation, this change is probably connected with the newly popular "Dialogue Mass," in which the congregation recited not only the people's responses but also what had previously been private dialogues between the priest and ministers. Dialogue Mass was first approved in 1958 by Pope Pius XII, but the practice was older and Dominicans had probably begun to use it by at least that date.[50] This change simply regularized the practice. In this change the distinct roles of the priest, his other ministers, and the congregation were becoming conflated and confused--in the name of participatio actuosa.[51]

It is of interest that the Dominican Rite, as in use in 1962, did not include the name of Joseph in the canon. As the liturgist Fr. Ansgar Dirks noted in his "Adnotations" to the Order's adoption of the new communion rite on 19 February 1964, it was only with the approval of that reform that the friars received verbal permission to include Joseph in the canon, a full two years after that change had been made in the Roman Rite.[52] Some, perhaps most, Dominican priests had already added the name of Joseph after the papal decree, wishing to conform to the practice of the Roman Church.[53]

The last item in the volume of the Analecta containing this legislation was a series of abstracts from "Veterum Sapientia," Pope John's directive that Latin instruction be improved and that seminary classes all be taught in Latin. It seems that, in spite of the rapid changes of the last few years, few anticipated abandonment the Western Church's liturgical use of the Latin language.[54] But even before that year was out, the General Chapter of Bologna (18-24 September 1962) was drawing up requests for the next extensive rubrical revision on the missal.[55]

[The series continues in the next installment, looking at the conciliar adaptations to the Dominican litury between 1962-65]


[39] Acta Capituli Generalis Provincialium S. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Bononiae (18-24 Sept. 1961) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1961), esp. nn. 147-175, pp. 95-101 "De Re Liturgica."

[40] "Variationes in Calendario," ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): nn. 6-7, pp. 94-95. Affected were: St. George, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, The Stigmata of St. Francis, Our Lady of Mercy, St. Thomas Becket, St, Silvester, and the Compassion of Virgin.

[41] Ibid., n. 8, p. 95: Chair of Peter at Rome and Chair of Peter at Antioch (merged), Invention of tbe True Cross (May 3), St. John before Latin Gate, The Apparition of St. Michael, St. Leo II, St. Peter in Chains, St. Vitalis, and the Discovery of the Body of St. Stephen.

[42] "Variationes in Officium de Tempore," nn. 18-32, ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 96-101.

[43] "Variationes in Proprio Sanctorum and Variationes in Communi Sanctorum," ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 102-105 (Matins readings suppressed for Conversion of St. Paul, Purification of Virgin, The Crown of Thorns, Vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul, St, Irenaeus, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Raphael; ibid., n. 43, p. 102 (Holy Innocents); ibid., n. 52, p. 104 (Assumption); ibid., pp. 105-06 (collects).

[44] ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962), nn. 174-175, p. 39 (antiphons); ibid., n. 212, p. 44 (responsories); ibid., n. 85, p. 19 (litanies).

[45] "Variationes in Breviario et Missali O.P. ad Normam Novi Codicis Rubricarum," ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 94-109.

[46] SCR, "Instructio de Calendariis Particularibus" (14 Feb. 1961), ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 213-225, is the promulgation; the new calendar follows on pp. 227-38, with its own promulgation, "Calendarium O.P. Iuxta Novas Rubricas" (Prot. Num. 8.88/961--14 June 1961) attached. The new Breviarium iuxta Ritum Ordinis Praedicatorum, 2 vols. (Rome: S. Sabina, 1962) had to be amended for last minute changes by Supplementum ad Breviarium Ordinis Praedictorum, Novis Rubricis et Novo Calendario Aptandum (Rome: S. Sabina, 1962) as soon as it was published.

[47] A third-class feast for Bl. Diana, Cecilia, and Amata (9 June) would be added by the end of the year: SCR decree (Prot. N. o.92-962), ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 649

[48] ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 91-92. This decree also provides that the requirement of reciting the antiphons before and after the psalms in the Office as required by the new Roman rubrics was dispensed until the new Dominican Breviary was published.

[49] ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 1-4, reprints "Rubricarum Instructum" (SRC Prot. N. O. 126/960--21 Jul. 1960). The Dominican adaption is "Rubricae Breviarii et Missalis Iuxta Ritum Ordinis Praedicatorum," pp. 5-106, which Brown sent for approval to the Congregation on 25 Jul. 1960.

[50] Experiments with dialogue Mass go back to at least the 1930s. Pius XII approved it in "Musica Sacra et Sancta Liturgia" (3 Sept. 1958).

[51] Fr. Dirks borrowed the phrase from the instruction "Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia (3 Sept. 1958), in ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 50: "fidelium actuosa participatione fusius actum est."

[52] ASOFP, 36 (1963-1964): 485: "Inde adhinc fere duos annos factum est nomen S. Ioseph Canoni Missalis nostri inserendum, sed tunc gratia 'viva voce' concessum est." St. Joseph's name was inserted into the Roman Canon by papal motu proprio on 13 November 1962. Joseph's name entered the Roman Missal issued on Nov. 13, 1962 in accord with the SCR decree "Novo Rubricarum Corpore" of 23 Jun. 1962--not a text never printed in ASOFP as no formal petition was made by the Order to adapt its contents.

[53] Oral communication of Fr. Albert Gerald Buckley, O.P., of the Western Province, U.S.A. (11 Aug. 2007).

[54] ASOFP, 35 (1961-1962): 657-82: reprints those parts of Veterum Sapientia (22 Feb. 1962) that would effect Dominican education.

[55] Acta Capituli Generalis Provincialium S. Ordinis FF. Praedicatorum, Bononiae (18-24 Sept. 1961) (Rome: Curia Generalitia, 1961), n. 153-58.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Catholic Herald on Pugin

Brace yourself for an outbreak of Pugin-mania

by the Abbot of Downside

A few years ago the name Pugin would have meant little outside a small circle of enthusiasts for the work of the great 19th-century Catholic architect or critics of the former Lord Chancellor’s expensive taste in wallpapers. With the publication of Rosemary Hill’s brilliant new life I suspect Pugin-mania will become endemic and a new Gothic revival may be just around the corner. One can only hope.

The biography comes at an ideal moment as far as the debate about the future of our historic built environment is concerned. The Catholic Church in England is rediscovering its rich artistic patrimony, in which Pugin played a pivotal role, which could have an important part to play in bringing the people of this country back to their cultural roots and to their senses. The headache inherent in the high maintenance of many of our great church buildings will always be difficult, but I suspect the lack of imagination shown by many in handling the future of these sacred places is the greater problem. Counsels of despair can become a mindset in our hostile secular world.

Pugin’s imagination ran riot in a blaze of colour and Gothic arches, “pointed” rather than Gothic as he preferred, but he was wonderfully visionary in seeing the way in which the building environment reflected the society which constructed them and the way in which good buildings could comfort and change men and women’s hearts. Pugin was no academic historian and lacked the professional’s grasp for dates and complications but he was a masterly social critic who contrasted the inhumanity of his own age with what he perceived as the superiority of the Middle Ages when it came to priorities and individual care. He was a revisionist who disdained the Victorian idea of progress and had no time for the Renaissance. His Catholicism reflected his dual French and English inheritance and owed nothing to Ultramontane models.

The concept of Medieval was a pejorative one for Pugin’s contemporaries as it for many of ours. For the early 19th century it was an irrational and superstitious epoch. In the early 21st century it can appear as undeveloped and pre-scientific. The idealisation of any past age, always a romantic construction based on limited evidence, can be a perilous model, but Pugin reminds us that architecture should be about quality building reflecting an aspirational quality of life. His Medieval model, as contrasted with industrial society, rated service above management, style above economy, care above control. His ideals have been seen as signposts not only towards the welfare state but to the developing social teaching of the Catholic Church which reached its first full maturity at the end of the 19th century.

Pugin’s sensitivity about the use of appropriate materials and traditional skills, taken up and developed by William Morris and others, has a contemporary ring in a world where environmental issues are becoming increasingly urgent and important. Modern architects are learning to be less wasteful in energy and carbon emissions a century and a half after Pugin pointed the way. More significantly, most of us are beginning to see how important it is that our living spaces respect our diminishing resources and our perceived obligation to be stewards of God’s creation. What we need perhaps is a new Pugin who can contrast our wasteful ways with those of an ideal, balanced, environmentally friendly world. We need someone with the passion, imagination and cheek of that great Victorian architect to move us towards a fully articulated Catholic understanding of the environment. In the Catholic desire to proclaim a culture of life the living world should not be ignored.

The Rt Rev Aidan Bellenger is the Abbot of Downside
Copyright, The Catholic Herald

Source: The Catholic Herald - Britain's leading Catholic newspaper

Full and open seminars for priests

The National Catholic Register is preparing a story on how priest seminars on training for the extraordinary rite are filling up. True. There is one seminar that is not yet full: St. John Cantius and the CMAA, Missa in Cantu, October 17-19, 2007. It is not exclusively for the old form. The purpose is to train celebrants of the Roman Rite to sing, sing, sing the Mass, as a means of ennobling the liturgy - English and Latin. It is about half full now, which is pretty remarkable given that it is two months away.

What is the universal music of Catholic people?

Yesterday, I spent some time accumulating a short list of music that Catholic people are likely to sing at Mass during the year, a core repertory that might be the foundation of a universal hymnal. Right now, no such thing existsm so far as I know. The Kyriale is wonderful but too limited because it excludes chant hymnody. The Liber Cantualis is also short on material in some way.

In any case, my point isn't to lobby for a new hymnal but merely to draw attention to what we might think of as a universal list of music of the people. It excludes chants reserved for the schola and music that people don't tend to sing (Sequences) and leaves aside Ordinary chants completely. Again, the criterion here is music for the people for the Roman Rite (old and new forms).

There are only 41 pieces here. Before you say that this is way too few, consider how many you can sing at the drop of a hat. I would guess that all but two or three are unknown to 98% of Catholics in the United States. Consider too that these tunes might also be considered the foundation of the whole of Christian music and even the Western musical tradition, insofar as they were the most frequently set during the golden age of polyphony and thereby served as the basis on which music was made in succeeding centuries. Is it too much to ask of Catholics to become conversant in the people's musical language of the ages?

Adoro Te
Alma redemptoris
Anima Christi
Asperges me
Attende Domine
Ave Maria
Ave Maris stella
Ave regina Caelorum
Ave verum
Christus vincit
Confirma hoc
Cor Jesu
Creator Alme Siderum
Crucem Tuam Adoramus
Crux Fidelis
Da pacem
Ecce nomen Domini
Gloria, laus et honor
Hodie Christus
Iste Confessor
Jesu dulcis
Litany of Saints
Maria Mater gratiae
O filii et filiae
O lux beata Trinitas
O Panis dulcissime
O Salutaris
Oremus pro Pontifice
Pange lingua
Panis angelicus
Parce Domine
Pater Noster
Puer natus
Regina caeli
Rorate caeli
Salve mater
Salve Regina
Stabat Mater
Sub tuum praesidium
Tantum Ergo
Te Deum
Te lucis
Tota pulchra es
Ubi Caritas
Veni, veni, Emmanuel
Veni Creator
Vexilla Regis
Vidi Aquam

In pace in idipsum

Every so often, you hear a piece of music and become obsessed by it and search and search until you find out more, maybe even getting the sheet music. This happens to everyone. Ok, it happens to me more than it happens to most people. In any case, this is what happened to me on Thomas Tallis In Pace in idipsum. It is nothing short of amazing. I could hear it 10,000 times.

The problem was that the file on CPDL was damaged. The library archives didn't have it. A friend on the Gregorian list sent me an ancient copy but it was not usable for moderns, and I had another friend do a Finale version, and then I did the neumes and stuck them in using Photoshop and so on and so on. The result result is that we now have the piece!

I hate to link a Midi because they are so dreadful, but here is one.

The words in Latin:

In pace, in idipsum, dormiam et requiescam.
Si dedero somnum oculis meis,
et palpebris meis dormitationem,
dormiam et requiescam.
Gloria Patri etc.


In peace, in true peace I shall sleep and rest.
If I give slumber to my eyes
and to my eyelids drowsiness,
I shall sleep and rest.
Glory to the Father, etc.

Not for morning Mass!

Sant' Agnese in Agone

Some photos, courtesy of a good friend and fellow Baroque enthusiast, Matthew Enquist, of one of my favorite Roman churches, Sant' Agnese in the Piazza Navona, built, I believe, on the site of her martyrdom and containing a relic of her skull, which is about the size of a large baseball, given she was still little more than a girl when she was killed.

Sant' Agnese is one of the most cleverly-designed Baroque churches in the Eternal City, taking what might be a liability--a peculiarly cramped site wider than it is deep, and making it an organic, even essential, aspect of the design. As you study these photos, note the church, while highly ornamented, is actually free of a lot of the Roccoco lettuce that is usually mistaken for Baroque architecture, and also the vivid use of polychromy and colored marble, evidence that classicism has a tradition of striking color as well-established as the Gothic. There is also a clear and well-defined system of iconography at work here, with winged putti playing in the higher, heavenly vaults just as one finds angels in the higher registers of churches from the earliest days of ecclesiastical art, as well as the use of the vegetal Corinthian order as a symbol of Christian triumph (and, also, probably feminine grace) common in numerous Roman shrines.


A brief post to suggest everybody interested in Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy (also at the highest level) -and with a minimum knowledge of the Italian language- to vist the Iter Liturgicum Italicum by Prof. Giacomo Baroffio, former director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, from the the website of the Faculty of Musicology of Pavia University, in Italy.

You will a find large, well updated collection of repertories mainly focused on codicology and liturgy (a small liturgical dictionary, a bibliographical collection of works about liturgical books, a list of liturgical calendars, a paper about readings for Easter Vigil, etc).

A special mention to a precious inventory of Italian liturgical manuscripts, and the Iter Liturgicum Ambrosianum with a full list of all manuscript sources of the Ambrosian Rite.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: