Friday, February 29, 2008

A Brief Recounting of the Early History and Later Development of the Martyrology

When one thinks of liturgical books, one will no doubt begin with a consideration of missals, followed by breviaries, and then if one is more musically inclined, one will also think of the various chant books for the Mass and Office.

What is perhaps not so immediately thought of are martryologies, which, for some reason I have found myself considering this week -- no doubt in relation to the leap year and how that is reflected in the sanctoral. At any rate, I realized that this was a topic that really hadn't come up in any significant way -- other than passing mention -- here on the NLM. In view of that, I thought it might be of interest to review some of the historical aspects of the class of books known as "martyrologies" and place them in the life of the Church.

The word "martyr" comes from the Greek for "witness" and originally the martyrologies were just that, catalogues of the martyrs of a particular region. However, despite the name, it is not only "martyrs" (in the sense we understand it; those who died for Christ) who are found within martyrologies. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that early on bishops were included as well and eventually, this would expand further to include other saints.

Speaking of a fourth century local Roman version, it notes:

We still possess the martyrology, or ferial, of the Roman Church of the middle of the fourth century, comprising two distinct lists, the "Depositio martyrum" and the "Depositio episcoporum", lists which are elsewhere most frequently found united.

Early on it the history of the commemoration of the martyrs, each church had its own variant upon the martyrology. These expanded to gradually include some of those from neighbouring churches. Some martyrologies are of a type that are very brief, being quite literally a listing, whereas others are classified as "historical martyrologies" which include not simply the name of the saint, but also a short history. This is the type of martyrological account that we are mainly accustomed to thinking of today. For example, here is the reading from the Martyrologium Romanum for today's date:

Romæ natális sanctórum Mártyrum Macárii, Rufíni, Justi et Theóphili.
(At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs Macarius, Rufinus, Justus, and Theophilus.)

Alexandríæ pássio sanctórum Cæreális, Púpuli, Caji et Serapiónis.
(At Alexandria, the passion of the Saints Caerealis, Pupulus, Caius, and Serapion.)

Ibídem commemorátio sanctórum Presbyterórum, Diaconórum et aliórum plurimórum; qui, témpore Valeriáni Imperatóris, cum pestis sævíssima grassarétur, morbo laborántibus ministrántes, libentíssime mortem oppetiére, et quos velut Mártyres religiósa piórum fides venerári consuévit. (In the same city, in the reign of Emperor Valerian, the commemoration of the holy priests, deacons, and many others. When a most deadly epidemic was raging, they willingly met their death by ministering to the sick. The religious sentiment of the pious faithful has generally venerated them as martyrs.

Romæ sancti Hílari, Papæ et Confessóris.
(At Rome, St. Hilary, pope and confessor.)

In território Lugdunénsi, locis Jurénsibus, deposítio sancti Románi Abbátis, qui primum illic eremíticam vitam duxit, et, multis virtútibus ac miráculis clarus, plurimórum póstea Pater éxstitit Monachórum. (In the territory of Lyons, in the Jura Mountains, the death of St. Romanus, abbot, who first had led the life of a hermit there. His reputation for virtues and miracles brought under his guidance many monks.)

Papíæ Translátio córporis sancti Augustíni Epíscopi, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris, ex Sardínia ínsula, ópera Luitprándi, Regis Longobardórum. (At Papia, the transfer, ordered by the Lombard King Luitprand, of the body of St. Augustine, bishop, away from the island of Sardinia.)

Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. (And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.)

This quotation from the Roman Martyrology for February 29 shows quite clearly the "historical" type from which the Roman Martyrology is derived; it is also derived from the Dialogues of St. Greogry the Great, various patristic writings and the Greek Menologion according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Roman Martyrology in this form we now are so familiar with was first published in Rome in 1583 but it was the edition of 1584 that was approved and imposed on the Roman Church by Gregory XIII.

Since that time, one can still find some particular but minor variants upon the martyrology, which do contain commemorations of "local" interest. For example, the Dominican order has the Martyrologium S.O.P. (An English translation by the famed Dominican liturgist William Bonniwell can be found online here: Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers). There can be found commemorations for some of the Master General's of the Dominican Order who do not otherwise appear in the Roman Martyrology. Another example, which would likely be similar, is this 1670 edition of the martyrology from the diocese of Rouen pictured to the right.

Martyrologies as Liturgical Books

The temptation might be to think of a martyrology as simply a variant upon Butler's Lives of the Saints, but there is an important difference: while Butler's Lives of the Saints is a devotional book, the martyrology is a liturgical book.

In the ancient form of the breviary of the Roman rite, the readings of the martyrology occur in conjunction with the Office of Prime. (As an aside, this hour was suppressed in the breviary reforms which followed after the Second Vatican Council.) In the modern form of breviary, as of yet I can find no definite answer as to whether it has a new place in that context. That said, one place one will hear of the martyrology appearing in the modern liturgical context is Midnight Mass where a part of the martyrology might be sung -- a stirring custom that can be witnessed at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome each Christmas.

Beyond this liturgical context, it is also customary in many religious houses to hear the martyrology read from at the beginning of the evening meal -- a custom I have experienced a few times in one of the Oratories of St. Philip Neri and which is quite a profound reminder of the things of the soul as you begin to enjoy the fruits of creation.

Update on the NLM translation projects: French Language success and Italian need

Just an update and further encouragement on the NLM Translation Projects front that I mentioned a day or two ago.

I'm pleased to report on that on the French language side of things, one of our readers, an extremely competent translator, has come forward and offered to do a translation into English of the study of Dom Denys Buenner, O.S.B., L'Ancienne Liturgie romaine. Le rite lyonnais (Literally: The Ancient Roman Liturgy. The Lyonese rite.) -- pending the proper rights and permissions are in place of course.

(On another front, a friend of the NLM is also pursuing translation of an important French study of the Premonstratensian rite. Something else to look forward to.)

Italian Studies of the Ambrosian Rite

We are still in need on the Italian front as of yet -- and that is an important front as well, since these are significant studies.

Here again are the titles:

Il Rito Ambrosiano, Pietro Borella, Brescia, 1964.
(Pietro Borella, incidentally, is the former Archiepiscopal Master of Ceremonies during Blessed Ildefonso Schuster's time to give you a sense of the importance of these works)

Il Breviario Ambrosiano, Enrico Cattaneo. Milano, 1943.

Intendere la Messa. Dogma - storia - spiritualità nella liturgia ambrosiana della Messa, Ernesto Teodoro Moneta Caglio, Milano, Ancora 1939.

The general principle of good translations is this: a translator should be translating into their native language from another language. In other words, they should be a native English-speaker.

So if you are an English speaker and can work your way through Italian texts, that is actually ideal. In other words, one needn't be a fluent Italian speaker, or speak Italian as a first language to pursue this.

However, if you're still uncertain, please download this sample page from Il Rito Ambrosio and give your hand at translating these two pages. Nicola de Grandi has kindly offered to review your translation work. Please email it to me.

On the issue of rights, I am presently in the process of beginning the queries about the necessary permissions. Anyone who can help assist with that in Italy and France is certainly welcome to contact me as well. One never knows what issues will arise after all.

Clarity of Vision

I doubt many people are familiar with this weekend's communion chant. In the EF calendar it is listed as pertaining to a weekday Mass, but it comes up in the OF calendar for this Sunday for Year A. I'm so pleased to have met this pretty and imaginative, but very short, chant: Lutum fecit.

It is set in the major mode of VI, which gives it a certain brightness fitting to the day of Laetare. The text is from the 9 chapter of John. "The Lord spat on the ground and anointed my eyes: I went, and I washed, and I see and believe in God."

(As one person at practice said last night, it is so much nicer to sing ex sputo than "spat")

The text is broken into two clear sections, the first reporting on what our Lord did to prepare his miracle. The second reports the miracle of sight for the blind: "et ábii, et lavi, et vidi, et credidi Deo." I went, I washed, I see, I believe in God.

The music beautifully reflects the text. It is also split into two parts, as indicated by the full bar. The Lord prepares. This phrase ends with just a hint of doubt. Then we move to the bright moment, with Fa, which serves as the final or tonic note of the piece. The two phrases lavi and vidi are particularly charming, forming a gorgeously crafted phrase that masks a settled exuberance. It ends with the sound of clarity and full knowledge, a quiet rejoicing suitable to the day.

We haven't sung this before because it only appears when the readings are suitable. When I first saw what was coming, I was disappointed to not sing Oportet Te, but this is always a temporary feeling in the chant repertoire, for there always seems to be something more wonderful than the last.

You can download the chant here, or get the entire volume.

Whenever I post something like this, commentators ask if I have a recording. I don't. But if you stay on the white keys of the piano and start on F, you should have no trouble playing the melody just so that you can hear it for yourself. Much better: use do, re, mi to sing it to yourself (begin on Fa).

Modern Art and the Liturgy: The New Italian Lectionary prompts the Debate

An interesting debate is occuring over on Sandro Magister's site, Chiesa:

"The Pro's and Con's of the New Liturgical Lectionary. Two Experts Go Head to Head

"They are Timothy Verdon and Pietro De Marco. The former defends the works of the modern artists that accompany the passages from the Sacred Scriptures. The latter severely criticizes both the artists and the patrons."

At the centre of the issue is the new Italian language lectionary (we are speaking of the lectionary for the modern form of the Roman liturgy of course), where, in the tradition of the mediaeval illuminated manuscripts, local artists were commissioned to paint religious scenes related to the biblical texts.

Where the debate enters is that the artists who were commissioned paint in
"contemporary" art styles, so that their depictions are essentially semi-abstracted works -- meaning, they have a loose figurative dimension, not being completely abstracted such as the work of a Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and the like.

Magister has written on this matter before, and between that piece and this one, we see two examples of the art found within the volumes that make up the Italian lectionary:

(Possibly a Nativity Scene)

(The Blind now Seeing)

When the earlier piece came out on Chiesa, I had began the process of producing my own critical discussion of the basic question. However, I had put it aside for the time. Given that the debate has arisen again -- and now in the context of a debate -- I may yet finish that commentary.

2nd Usus Antiquior Training Conference in Oxford this Summer

Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Traditional Latin Rite at Merton College, Oxford, Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August 2008

The Latin Mass Society’s August 2007 training conference for priests was a great success with 47 priests attending. (It was opened by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and attended by Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma). Many of these priests are now offering the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Rite) or are far advanced in their preparations to do so.

The LMS now announces its second Priests’ Training Conference at Merton College, Oxford, which this year will accommodate over 60 priests and seminarians and will last for a full week. This reflects feedback from priests last year who asked for more ‘hands on’ training time.

The main features of this year’s conference will be:

● two training streams, one for complete beginners
● small training groups of about 5 students to ensure one-to-one tuition
● training in the Low Mass and the Missa Cantata
● training in all the Traditional Sacraments from baptism to funerals, and including Vespers and Benediction
● lectures in Traditional spirituality and the Usus Antiquior in a parish setting; Latin, and the Traditional Calendar
● Daily Mass, Lauds and Vespers – all in the Traditional Rite
● opportunity for all priests to offer their private Masses in the Traditional Rite with a priest ‘guide’
● More accommodation for seminarians.

To provide such intense practical training in the Traditional Mass and Sacraments and to ensure a daily high standard of liturgy, the LMS will have a large training, liturgical and music staff of about 25 – all knowledgeable in their fields. Priests will be charged a low fee of £150 to cover all tuition, board and accommodation. The LMS membership is generously paying the rest of the conference costs.

Julian Chadwick, LMS Chairman, said: “We know from the highest levels in the Vatican that our training conference last year greatly impressed the Roman authorities. It is with their approval that we are organising this second conference. We hope to make this an annual event which will roll out ever increasing numbers of priests briefed in the Traditional Rite and able to take it back to their parishes.

“The LMS’s aim is to ensure that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is freely available in all the dioceses. To this end we will step up our training of priests, seminarians, choirs and servers. We will liaise closely with the bishops and seminary rectors to ensure that all who wish to learn and worship in the Traditional Rite are able to do so.”

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A New Priest in 1951 - Part II

Continuing yesterday's post on the First Masses of Fr Joseph Ratzinger, his brother Georg, and their friend Fr Rupert Berger, this is how the local newspaper, the Traunsteiner Wochenblatt, reported on the occasion of the Primiz (for an explanation of that term cf. the first post) of Fr Berger on 1 July 1951, Feast of the Precious Blood (and you just have to love the good, old-fashioned tone):

Impressive already was the procession which conducted the young man of God to St Oswald's church. Lead by the city music-band, and the banners of the associations, followed by the high clergy, there then strode the Reverend Primiziant Rupert Berger, assisted by his confrères, the Reverend Deacons Joseph and Georg Ratzinger, in solemn procession, followed by the parents and guests of the family, headed by Dr. Hundhammer, President of the Landtag [Bavarian Parliament]. The cortège was bordered by confirmation children with garlands

There were so many people - the newspaper quotes the Bavarian saying "To attend a Primiz, you may walk down a pair of soles" - that not all fitted into the church, so loudspeakers had been deployed in the town square, which was richly decorated and had been specially illumined the night before.

Here now are the pictures of the Solemn Mass, including those I already included in the first post:

The epistle:

Celebrant and ministri at the incredibly lavishly adorned high altar:

The Primizen of the brothers Ratzinger took place on the following Sunday, 8 July 1951, but the celebrations really began on the evening before: About 1000 people came to the house of the Ratzingers in Hufschlag outside Traunstein, where the youth of the parish under the Regens chori Dr. Hogger sang canons and polyphonic pieces and the city parish priest, dean Els, delivered an address. The next morning began with the Primiz of Fr Joseph Ratzinger, who together with his brother had been led in procession into the town through the festively decorated main street and received in the city square by the clergy. The First Mass of Fr Joseph Ratzinger was celebrated as a community Mass with the special participation of the youth and youth Communion [remember that in those days, very frequent Communion was still rare, and at least in Germany it was common to have regular community Masses for various groups of the parish, at which all members of that group would, having made their Confession before, receive Holy Communion]. It began at 7 a.m.

At 9.30 a.m. followed the First Mass of Georg. This was held as a Missa Sollemnis, with Jospeh as deacon, and their friend Fr Berger, the celebrant of the Sunday before, as subdeacon. The preacher was the Religion teacher Studienrat Pöhlein [in those days there were so many priests, that many of them were Religion teachers at public schools; in fact, it was common to have a priest as Religion teacher in school]. The musical setting was Haydn's Nelson Mass.

After Mass, a festive dinner was had by all in the "Sailer Keller" [in case you would also like to eat there, have a look here; they inform us that larded roast veal was served]. After that, everyone went back to church for the afternoon devotion, and to receive the Primiz blessing:

Catholics losing to other groups, says new study

The Pew Foundation has released a report that should cause some serious thinking among Catholic Church leadership: "Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes. While nearly one-in-three Americans (31%) were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four (24%) describe themselves as Catholic."

[This post is a new version of one I put up earlier that was so unclear that commentators didn't understand my point. The moderator urged a clean start. I'll see if I can do better this time.]

For as long as I can remember, Catholic leaders have said that this trend, which they have long detected, should be addressed by attempting to copy the styles and approaches of their more successful competitors. Hence we should be warm and wonderful and have uppity music just like the evangelicals. Or maybe we should have long and inspiring sermons. Or maybe we should set aside a time in our services for personal testimonies and otherwise try to enhance that feeling of togetherness as a community.

This hasn't worked. Catholics do not do well at pretending to be protestants or evangelicals. We are bad at it. Rightly so. The Church exists for other reasons besides enhancing community feeling or giving people a civic outlet for meeting others and enjoying fellowship. These can be the results not when they are the primary intention.

Moreover, Catholic parishes are poor as compared with the competition. We don't have dazzling community centers, counseling services, educational opportunities, concerts, or cushy places to hang out. We are not the social elite. The Catholic Church is the last place you go if the desire is to hobnob with those in the fast lane or meet the right people.

By emphasizing all these values, however, leadership has led people to believe they are the most important part of Church life. Is it any wonder, then, that people have tried to seek out others who can achieve these ends more effectively?

In some social sense, all Catholics must sacrifice. But what do we get in return? Truth, beauty, salvation, the real presence among other eternal values. So the question from a purely marketing point of view is: where is our comparative advantage. The phrase comes from business. If your computer company were losing profits, the best approach is not to copy Dell but to offer something unique and attractive that Dell does not offer.

Or consider another analogy: let's say you had a product to offer that was very much bound up with a long heritage of service with a huge devoted following, something like Coke. Would it be wise to suddenly spring a New Coke on the market? The introduction of New Coke was a calamity, one of the most famous in the history of marketing. The introduction of New Catholicism that merely attempted to copy protestantism of one sort or another has fared no better.

Catholicism must be true to itself. This means excellent liturgy, strong doctrine, unfashionable moral teaching, and evidence of all the mysteries of the faith. This is the right approach, and it is also the way to recapturing market share.

Dom Gerard Calvet: R.I.P.

I was saddened to read on Le Forum Catholique just recently that Dom Gerard Calvet, O.S.B., founder and abbot emeritus of the famed abbey of Le Barroux in France, has died from a heart attack today.

Please pray for his soul.

NLM Translation Projects: Help Bring the Richness of the Western Liturgical Tradition to English-Speaking Readers

To our English speakers who are fluent in Italian and/or French:

The NLM would like to inquire with our readership as to who might be interested, could make the time in their spare time, and who is qualified to pursue the translation of one, two or all of the following important liturgical studies:

Ambrosian Rite

Il Rito Ambrosiano, Pietro Borella, Brescia, 1964.

Il Breviario Ambrosiano, Enrico Cattaneo. Milano, 1943.

Intendere la Messa. Dogma - storia - spiritualità nella liturgia ambrosiana della Messa, Ernesto Teodoro Moneta Caglio, Milano, Ancora 1939.

Lyons Rite

L'Ancienne Liturgie romaine. Le rite lyonnais, Dom Denys Buenner, O.S.B. (Originally published in the 1930's, reprinted in 1969 as well.)

Obviously a person could express in interest in only one of these projects, multiple projects, or they might only be willing to commit to helping translate a certain amount of the work in a team effort.

Not certain if you are "qualified"? Not a problem.

Some individuals who either have officially done translation work, or who are fluent in these sorts of works in both languages, having kindly put together a couple of "test passages" to help assess one's qualification for pursuing such translation work. So if you aren't certain about your qualifications, you needn't worry! This will be a good measure to test that.


I am also curious if we have anyone in our midst who is up on the legalities (copyright and otherwise) of the translation and publication of works of these dates?

How else to help?

To even pursue the translation of these works, it will be necessary to get either a hardcopy or, even better, digitized copies of these works in their entirety -- including illustrations. Digitized is preferable for it is easier to work with. So if you cannot translate, perhaps you can contribute in that way.

Why bother with all this?

For one thing, it is important that we rediscover our rich Western liturgical tradition. Each of these form a part of that important tapestry. How unfortunate would it be, for example if we didn't have Fr. Bonniwell's History of the Dominican Liturgy, or the summaries provided by Archdale King? Would it not be important, interesting and beneficial to have other Bonniwell like studies for the other Western rites? I for one think so.

In fact, learning about these rites becomes a way to even better appreciate the Roman rite which most of us worship within, as well as gain insights into matters like the development of the liturgy, liturgical tradition, liturgical theology and so forth.

One religious mentioned to me how this task of translating such liturgical or theological works is the equivalent in our day to the monks who transcribed the illuminated manuscripts in the middle ages, because by so doing, one is preserving and promoting these important things.

If you think you'd be interested in helping with any of these projects, do contact me and we can discuss the nature of your interest further.

A Critique of Sing to the Lord

Sacred Music has decided to release the following article ahead of publication, because of its timeliness and broad interest. It is a critique by William Mahrt of "Sing to the Lord," the new USCCB document on liturgical music. This new document replaces Music in Catholic Worship, the document that many regarded as legislatively preeminent in American Catholic parishes for 25 years, with results you can evaluate at your local parish.

The new document, notes Mahrt, is an improvement because of its incorporation of current and traditional Catholic teaching on music. However, it retains some drawbacks of its predecessor and introduces some new puzzles.

Here are some excerpts:

The problem, wider than the present document, is that the ultimate in Gregorian chants, the gradual, tract, and Alleluia, chants whose liturgical function represents a profound entrance by the congregation into the ethos of the liturgy of the word, have gradually been replaced by, at best, pieces from the divine offices, which were composed for quite different purposes—e.g., the antiphon with the three-fold Alleluia as a text from the Easter Vigil—or, worse, mediocre refrains, repeated too frequently. The congregation’s rightful participation in the liturgy of the word is the sympathetic and in-depth hearing of the Word itself. I have consistently maintained and continue to maintain that this fundamental participation is achieved in a far better and more profound way when they hear a gradual or Alleluia beautifully sung than when they are asked to repeat a musically impoverished refrain with similarly impoverished verses. I concur with the notion that these parts should be sung, but I maintain that their simpler forms are only an intermediate step in achieving their singing in the authentic Gregorian forms, where possible, or a practical solution for Masses where a choir cannot yet sing the more elaborate chants or does not sing at all.

Much discussion of repertory throughout the document passes over the facts that Gregorian chant sets the normative texts of the liturgy and that it uniquely expresses the nature of each liturgical action. A particular case in point has to do with the texts of introits and communions. The texts in the Graduale Romanum are not the same as those of the Missale Romanum, and it is those of the missal which are printed in the disposable missals used in the parishes. I have often been asked, “Where can I find the Gregorian chants for the introits and communions in the missal?” The answer is, you cannot find them, because they were provided for use in spoken Masses only. Christoph Tietze, in these pages, sets out the documentation of this issue: for sung settings, even to music other than Gregorian chant, the texts of the Graduale Romanum are to be used.[11] The present document says only that they may be used (¶77). The bishops were to have voted upon a proposal to amend the American text of the GIRM to prescribe the texts of the Graduale Romanum for all sung settings, but for some reason, this proposal was withdrawn. However, with the growing incorporation of Gregorian chants into our liturgies, missal publishers should now be persuaded to include both texts.

One is grateful that the place of the organ is asserted: among instruments, it is accorded “pride of place” (¶87). It is praised for its role in accompanying congregational singing, improvisation to accompany the completion of a liturgical action, and playing the great repertory of organ literature, whether for the liturgy or for sacred concerts. The recommendation of other instruments, however, raises a few questions. Instrumentalists are encouraged to play music from the treasury of sacred music, but what music for instrumentalists is meant? Is it the church sonatas of the seventeenth century, requiring an ensemble of string players and keyboard? One hopes it is not a recommendation that the treasury of organ music be played upon the piano or that secular piano music be played...

A curious omission from the document is that there is no mention of the special status of sacred polyphony, as stated by the Constitution on the Liturgy.[13] It mentions a general use of the treasure of sacred music among musics of various periods, styles, and cultures (¶30), and again, in a general statement about the role of sacred music in Catholic schools, music from the past is mentioned alongside other repertories (54), but with no hint that there should be any priority.

There are, alas, some more negative aspects to the document, most of which are survivals from Music in Catholic Worship. Perhaps the most pervasive of these is the anthropocentric focus upon the action of the congregation and its external participation, rather than being in balance with a theocentric focus upon giving glory to God. ¶125 states “The primary role of music in the liturgy is to help the members of the gathered assembly to join themselves with the action of Christ and to give voice to the gift of faith.” It must be acknowledged that this comes after having said that “the praise and adoration of God leads to music taking on a far greater dimension,” but the emphasis in the document is mainly upon what the congregation does, and how music expresses their faith; even the action of Christ is mentioned in the context of how the assembly joins itself to it. I would have said that music has three functions in the liturgy, to give glory to God, to enhance the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy, and to assist in the aedifcation of the faithful. But a quotation of the purpose of music from the council is even more succinct: “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.”[15] Both of these things are theocentric, the first focusing upon the object of what we do, the second focusing upon what God does for us. Neither focuses only upon what we do.

Related to this is an emphasis upon external participation. A good example is the discussion of music during the communion procession. “The singing of the people should be preeminent” (¶189). The purpose of the music is “to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the ‘communitarian’ nature of the procession to receive Communion.” It is recommended that they sing easily memorized refrains, “limited in number and repeated often.” (¶192) There is no mention of Who is received in communion or the possibility of singing praise and adoration of Him. The focus is upon the attitude of the congregation. There is no addressing of the problem that a devout person may not want to be providing the musical accompaniment to his own procession, but rather be recollecting for that moment when the Lord Himself is received. “Easily-memorized refrains . . . repeated often” is a prescription for triviality. A tendency to over-manage the congregation seems to be in evidence....

Music in Catholic Worship famously proposed three judgments: musical, liturgical, and pastoral, and even suggested by placing it first that the musical judgment was prior to the other two, though not final. It made a statement about the artistic quality of the music: "To admit the cheap, the trite, the musical cliché often found in popular songs for the purpose of 'instant liturgy' is to cheapen the liturgy, to expose it to ridicule, and to invite failure."

This statement turned out to be prophetic, for who has not heard the cheap and trite regularly performed in the liturgy? who would have thought that such a statement had been made 1972? The seeming priority of the musical judgment in the 1972 document was relegated to the dustbin before the ink was dry on it. So nothing will change, because the present document denies the priority of any of the three judgments, placing the musical judgment last, devoting the least attention to it, and giving the criterion of excellence no more than the statement quoted above, this in a document ostensibly about music.

The discussion of the musical judgment is concluded by a serious misquotation of the Second Vatican Council. “The church has not adopted any particular style of art as her own” (SC ¶123), concluding that the church freely welcomes various styles of music to the liturgy. There are two things wrong with this statement: it comes from the chapter on sacred art and was said about art and architecture. The church has not adopted Romanesque or Gothic or any other style as canonical, but when it comes to music, the church has acknowledged the priority of Gregorian chant and to a lesser degree polyphony. These are styles and they do have priority.

Similarly, even though the document regularly uses terms like sacred music and sacred liturgy, there is practically nothing about what constitutes the sacred and its role in the liturgy. This would be, of course, a controversial topic, since so many of the styles now adopted into liturgical practice are blatantly secular. It seems that as long as the texts are acceptable, no judgments from this document will concern the acceptability of musical styles, however secular—until it comes to weddings and funerals....

In spite of the fact that this is a document on music, there is precious little discussion of intrinsically musical matters. Only ¶124 asserts the affective side of music, as difficult to describe, even though it is very important and should be taken into account. So much more could be said about the intrinsic musical characteristics of chant, polyphony, hymnody, and instrumental music in a sacred context.... There is even less about beauty, a crucial criterion for liturgy, in my estimation. A couple of references in passing (¶83, 118) show tantalizing possibilities, but they are not realized.

An Inside View of the new Ordinary of Lansing, MI.: Bishop Earl Boyea

I asked Alex Begin, one of the M.C.'s at St. Josaphat's in Detroit, MI. to give us an "insider's" report on the recent news of Bishop Earl Boyea's move from being an auxiliary bishop in that region, to the ordinary of a neighbouring diocese. Given his role at St. Josaphat's, and given Bishop Boyea's activity there, this should give NLM readers a good sense of what the new Ordinary of Lansing, MI. is all about.

The NLM is also pleased to present photos after Alex's piece of the Bishop in question celebrating the usus antiquior at St. Josaphat's.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Earl Boyea was named the Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

Bishop Boyea has been a valuable friend of the Extraordinary Form Mass in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Detroit indult Mass began at St. Josaphat Church in October, 2004. Shortly thereafter, in December, 2004, Bishop Boyea celebrated his first Tridentine Mass there.

It was well-known that Bishop Boyea celebrated the Ordinary Form in Latin and already had a good grasp of chant. Rather than viewing it as simply a duty to be fulfilled, Bishop Boyea embraced the opportunity to learn the Tridentine Mass. He bought the 2003 edition of Fortescue right away. Realizing that a bishop should celebrate more than just a conventional Solemn Missa Cantata, he taught himself the rubrics for a Low Mass Said By A Bishop, which he did celebrate when a deacon was available. He acquired a Pontifical Canon, the special prayer book that takes the place of the center altar card for a bishop's Mass. He acquired a hand candle for a server to hold. He asked for music sheets to be made up for the Epistle and Gospel so that he could practice the chant beforehand. Despite his responsibilities of making Sunday visits to the vast number of parishes under his purview in the northeast section of the Archdiocese, Bishop Boyea set aside the time to celebrate the EF at St. Josaphat three or four times per year.

From this MC's perspective, it is unusual for a new celebrant to become even reasonably proficient in the rubrics of the EF Mass quickly. But Bishop Boyea must have been studying on his own, as his Masses were virtually perfect from the start. And he approached the task with enthusiasm and a smile, even encouraging his brother auxiliaries to celebrate the Mass, which they did, in fact, do. Just before Summorum Pontificum was published, he commented that he was looking forward to the day when any priest could celebrate the Classic Form of Mass without requiring permission.

When certain operational concerns faced St. Josaphat, Bishop Boyea offered to take the issues to the Cardinal, even though the parish was technically not in his assigned region. He made himself available for consultation to the pastor and parish leaders on short notice. It became clear that he believes the Extraordinary Form has a vital role, and that those who desire it should be supported as much as any other parish should be.

The Lansing Diocese, with Extraordinary Form Communities at All Saints Church in Flint and at St. Joseph Church in Jackson, is already reasonably friendly towards the EF. Bishop Boyea's predecessor, Bishop Carl Mengeling, celebrated Pontifical High Masses in Flint on multiple occasions. It would not be surprising to see Bishop Boyea get to know one or both of these communities in short order.

In summary, Bishop Boyea is a model of the kind of Ordinary consistent with the thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI: One who treats the Classic Form of Mass as a normal, mainstream part of today's Church.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Official IGS Ordination Photos

We've been fortunate to have been blessed with photos from the ordinations in the Lateran Basilica from the NLM's own Nicola de Grandi, who was present, as well as those of John Sonnen, also present and a good friend of the NLM, not to mention some video from the affair.

But now in addition, official photos from the IGS are finally starting to come out as can be found on the website of Centre St-Paul.

Here are some highlights:

(The four ordinands in the sacristy prior to Mass)

(Do yourself a favour and view the image above in full size to witness the full glory that is the Lateran Basilica; the cathedral of the Pope. This photo is looking back toward the main altar of the basilica and toward the nave.)

(The ordinands are called forward.)

(The chanting of the Litany of Saints. How profound it would be to hear and participate in this chant in this place.)

A New Priest in 1951 - Part I

We have recently - Deo gratias! - seen a fair number of beautiful photographs of Solemn Masses in the extraordinary form on the NLM. Some time ago I found a series of pictures from a solemn Mass of 1951, which while not perhaps as spectacular aesthetically and of no very good quality, I am sure many of you will find interesting nevertheless. The most salient reason for this is the person of the Subdeacon of this Missa Sollemnis:

In case you did not immediately recognize him, here is a portrait from about the same time:

Now, I am sure many if not most of you have already seen a photograph taken that day, viz. this one:

Looks familiar? These three new priests, who all come from the same city of Traunstein, were all ordained, together with about 40 other deacons, on the same day by the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, His Eminence Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber (already 82 at the time), in St. Mary's Concathedral in Freising, on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1951. They are, of course, no other but Fr Joseph Ratzinger, his brother Fr Georg Ratzinger, and their friend Fr Rupert Berger. Here are two pictures of the ordination Mass:

Now back to the first picture of subdeacon Fr Joseph Ratzinger. This was the First Mass (in German called "Primiz", from Latin "primitiæ", i.e. "first offering"; the new priest offering it is the "Primiziant") of their friend, Fr Rupert Berger. It was held on Sunday, 1 July 1951, Feast of the Precious Blood, in the city parish church of St. Oswald's, and the deacon was Fr Georg Ratzinger. I will leave you with a picture of the celebrant and the ministri at the sedilia; more pictures and a description from the local newspaper of the time in the next post.

Ambrosian Lent V: The Lenten Saturday Circle

Saturdays have a very special role in Ambrosian Lent.

As I mentioned in a previous post, in Milan it was forbidden to fast on Saturdays, because those days were considered semi-festive.

An early testimony of this typically Ambrosian custom is given by St.Ambrose himself, who wrote:

During Lent, we fast every day, except on Saturdays and Sundays. (De Elia et jejunio, 34)
A proud defense of this custom can be found in the Gospel read on Saturday of
the first week of Lent: Matth. 12, 1-8:
In illo tempore. Abiit Dominus Jesus sabbato per sata...

One Saturday, Our Lord goes with his Disciples through the cornfields, and the Disciples begin to glean and eat the ears of wheat. The Pharisees blame them and Our Lord answers:
Misericordiam volo, et non sacrificium: numquam condemnassetis
innocentes: dominus est enim Filius hominis etiam sabbati

Which is an indirect answer to the Romans, who blamed the Ambrosians, for not fasting on Saturdays.

The semi-festive character of lenten Saturdays is also evident from the structure of the Mass: in fact every lenten Saturday Mass has three readings (normal feriae both inside and outside Lent have only two) and has the Antiphona post Evangelium, which is normally missing on lenten feriae.

A final remark about the Gospel readings of Lenten Saturdays in the Ambrosian Rite: As I will mention in my next post about lenten Sundays, all Ambrosian Lent is very much Baptism-oriented. It is a long liturgical catechesis in preparation to the Baptism the catechumens will receive during Paschal Vigil.

On lenten Saturdays, according to the ancient discipline of the Church the scrutinia in preparation to the Baptism of the Catechumens were performed. An allusion to the scrutinia can be found in the respective Gospels for those days:

Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent: the imposition of the hands

Mark 6, 1-5:
Et non poterat ibi virtutem ullam facere, nisi paucos infirmos impositis manibus sanabat.

Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent: the unction with the oil of the Catechumens

Mark 6, 7:
et daemonia multa ejiciebant, et ungebant oleo multos infirmos, et sanabant.

Saturday of the 4th week of Lent: the imposition of the sign of the cross on the forehaed

Matth. 19, 13-15:
et cum imposuisset eis manibus, benedicebat eos

Saturday of the 5th week of Lent: the Traditio Symboli.

The Creed is solemny sung during the ferial Mass.

Music for Laetare Sunday: Bach's O Mensch, bewein' dein Suende gross

This coming Sunday, being Laetare Sunday, is the only day of Lent in which solo organ music is permitted. The temptation is to use something that fits with the character of laetare, such as Bach's Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, dass fuer uns gestorben bist. However, since this is the only day of Lent in which organ solos are allowed, it might be good to make use of other parts of the repertoire for the season of Lent. Bach's O Mensch, bewein' dein Suende gross is probably the foremost example. It's what I'll be playing this Sunday, along with, of course, Wir danken dir. See video below.

Quick note of thanks

A brief public note of thanks goes out to one of our priestly readers who sent along a nice donation. As always, most appreciated and highly useful.

Valle Adurni on the Sarum use

V alle Adurni is run by Fr. Sean Finnegan. Father Finnegan was on a sabbatical from blogging for a time it would seem, but quite thankfully, he now seems to be back into the swing of things.

Those who have an interest in the Salisbury use, more popularly referred to as the "Sarum use", will be interested to know Fr. Finnegan, who celebrated Mass in accordance with those liturgical books twice approximately 10 years ago in Merton College, Oxford, has started a series of commentaries on the Sarum use.

Beyond that however, many of you will know that there has been a clip on Youtube that has circulated for awhile, taken during the offertory of one of those Masses. You will be pleased to know that Fr. Finnegan has now made more video clips of this event available. In total, he so far has about five that are newly available off his blog. (The Mass occurred in the context of Candlemas so you will see those rites as well.)

Here is one of those videos, taking place just at the beginning of the Mass, following after the blessing of the candles and the initial procession:

Fr. Finnegan's commentary on this particular video can be found on his site, but here are some relevant excerpts:

The celebrant approaches the altar and changes into his chasuble. Only the biggest churches had sacristies, and normally vestments were kept in chests near the altars...

The rulers collect their note from the precentor and begin the Officium (Introit), Suscepimus, Domine, misericordiam in templo sancto tuo. In the singing, the antiphon is repeated after the psalm and after the Gloria Patri, making three times...

Meanwhile, the sacred ministers, at the foot of the altar say the 'collect for purity', Deus qui omne cor patet, Psalm 42 (Judica me), a very short Confiteor, with a longer Misereatur and Indulgentiam; then he exchanges the sign of peace with Deacon and Subdeacon (the rubrics say he is to kiss them...) and they ascend the altar.

All the servers then go to their places; the taperers set down their candles on the altar step.

The altar is kissed and the sacred ministers make three signs of the cross.

Incense is put in by the Deacon and blessed by the Priest, and the altar is censed. There are no very clear directions for the precise way to cense an altar, so we did it more Romano.

A Sarum altar normally has two candles (there were exceptions), but others might stand around. It should also be equipped with curtains at each end; these were not present in Merton College in 1997.

After the censation, the priest is censed and the Gospel book ('Text') is brought for him to kiss. This is a ceremonial book of the Gospels, and many examples still are extant; the Canterbury Gospels, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and even the Book of Kells are of this type; probably not really meant to be read from, but used ceremonially. The Text is replaced at the Gospel side of the altar.

The Kyrie is preintoned and sung. This Kyrie is a good example of a 'farced' Kyrie, with devotional texts included between the words Kyrie and eleison.

A Living Dominican Tradition

In response to fr Augustine Thompson's erudite posts on the Dominican Holy Week liturgies and to some of the comments that were left on the NLM, I thought the following photos and musical presentations might be of interest. Some have been posted on the NLM before.

In the Dominican priory at Blackfriars in Oxford, the Triduum liturgy still attempts to incorporate some of the distinctive elements of the Dominican liturgical tradition.

On the mornings of the Triduum, Tenebrae is sung albeit adapted to suit the psalmody of the modern Roman Office, but we have retained the pattern of three nocturns with readings and Latin responsories, and of course, the Tenebrae hearse with unbleached candles is used:

As fr Augustine has said, the Dominican use of Tenebrae ends with the Preces (in the arrangement shown below, with 4 Cantors) which is a short litany in Latin and Greek. At the end of the Preces, in the English Province, our custom is to sing the words "Mortem autem Crucis" a fifth higher than the intoning note, which makes a very dramatic end - far better than the 'strepitus' - and the Cantors fling themselves to the ground in a prostration.

Tenebrae Kyriale

Fr Augustine also mentioned the medieval practice of 'Creeping to the Cross' whereby three full prostrations are made as one approaches the Cross and this is done is three pairs:

Creeping to the Cross

During the course of the Good Friday liturgy, the Passion is sung using the traditional Dominican chant modes. Below, a moment after the Good Friday liturgy:

Good Friday

At Tenebrae on Holy Saturday, the Oratio Ieremiae is sung:

A translation of the text, which the entirety of Lamentations, chapter 5, is available here.

And finally, this culminates with the Paschal vigil at which the Exsultet is sung, again using Dominican tones:

Vigil light

This is followed by Solemn Vespers on Easter Sunday:
Incensed at the Altar

The liturgies are very well attended, and I believe we add a distinctive Dominican 'flavour' to the rich liturgical 'scene' in Oxford. NLM readers are welcome to join us, and times of the liturgies will subsequently be posted on Godzdogz.

More photos of our Dominican life at Blackfriars may be seen here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

IGS diaconal ordinations: exclusive NLM photos II - A final remark

A final remark: Abp. De Magistris celebrated this Pontifical Mass on the day of his 82nd birthday, and in the same place where he had been ordained deacon more than 55 years ago.

He shared with the attending clergy and faithful some very profound and moving thoughts about the importance to perform, many years later, the same sacred gestures Card. Micara performed at his diaconal ordinations, in the very same place, and with the very same rite. In a word, the importance of tradition, that is to hand over to the younger what one got from the older.

He ended his moving sermon asking the younger ordinands to pray for him, the older, and in particular for his final perseverance in fidelity to Our Lord when he will be in the last moments of his earthly life.

Let us all join the newly ordained deacons in prayer for His Excellency, and in particular for this intention.

First usus extraordinarius training in Spain

The first official training for priests, deacons and seminarians to celebrate Holy Mass in the extraordinary form in Spain - and possibly in the Spanish speaking world - will take place, from 25 to 28 March, in Spain's Primatial See, Toledo. For complete information (in Spanish) click on this link:

It is very encouraging to see that this workshop is co-organised by the Archdiocese of Toledo and the Institute of Christ the King. It is sponsored by the Spanish lay association for the TLM, Asociación Española Deo Gratias - Foro Benedicto XVI. The programme is very thorough, covering in detail all the ceremonies of the Mass, vestments, chant, Latin, an introduction to the Breviary, Masses for the Dead. Two talks, about precedents and content of "Summorum Pontificum", will be given by the Vicar General of the Cardinal Primate, Msgr. Juan Miguel Ferrer.

Another interesting papal vestment commission?

Father Zuhlsdorf noticed this piece on Petrus today -- and I'd like to note, Petrus has had a very solid track record for getting the inside scoop on such papal vestment matters in the recent past.

Here is an excerpt from Father Zuhlsdorf's translation of the piece:

On Palm Sunday, 16 March next, Benedict XVI will put on a series of sacred vestments which reproduce the fabric and coat-of-arms of the Medici Pope Leo X. This will be a damask of red silk and gold thread, with brocade details recalling the heraldic motifs of the family that governed Florence for centuries, namely, the three rings with the diamond point, united in concentric circles and contained within a double-lobed leaf....

Do head on over to read the rest of the piece on WDTPRS.

Music History for the Shy and Intimidated

People have funny attitudes toward the topic of music, especially serious music. The attitude is that it is like physics or metallurgy or something: you have to be an expert or you dare not speak out on the topic for fear of showing one's ignorance. I can understand this. For non-musicians, musicians seem to speak a foreign language, and they are passionate about disagreements. No one wants to make a misstep for fear of being blasted and humiliated. This is a special problem today since music (again, serious music) is not taught like it once was.

Well, I'm here to tell you about a fun workaround that I've recently read. It is called A Student's Guide to Music History, by R.J. Stove. The size is great: about 90 pages. The price is right: $8. More than that, I'm amazed at how much content and substance that the author is able to pack into such a small space and not have it read like a series of small biographies and program lists.

Most music history texts treat pre-Bach music almost as if it is pre-music music. This one is different. A major and very impressive feature is that the author is familiar with Gregorian Chant and the polyphonic tradition, so we get very nice and respectful treatments of the lives and works of Palestrina, Josquin, Tallis, Victoria and others. And by the time that we arrive at the Baroque, it is clear that it doesn't emerge out of nowhere: hundreds of years of great development precede.

The author has the right mix of repertoire, biography (always a fascinating anecdote about each composer!) and any historical data of the time that had an impact. I've learned so much about, e.g. how the Protestant reformation ended up nationalizing music styles, and the impact of the emergence of the nation state on music and culture.

This is not a religious work, but the author is not shy about telling the reader when a motivation of a performance or composition is religious. So in this way, the book is more complete than others, despite its size.

Another point about the subject matter: the author is writes unashamedly about Western music. His point is not that there are not great musical traditions that are part of India or China or Japan. There are but to cover all of that in a perfunctory way is more of an insult than a compliment. So he dispenses with all the multicultural pieties to write only about Western music. He also avoids the absurd cliche of all art histories in attempting to say that all things culminate in such and such famous guy who is alive today (and probably forgotten tomorrow). This book solves the problem completely: he ends in 1945.

I'm current using the text for a small class for young teenagers, and they love it, even though the prose is actually a serious challenge for them. To me, this is a plus: it never talks down to readers. He offers judgments on the music as he goes along but it is clear that his primary purpose is not to get the reader to believe what he believes; rather he is there to serve the main purpose of the volume, which is to educate.

While this book won't teach you to read music, it is guaranteed to make you conversant in the topic, so much so that you will be able to enlighten even people who think they are knowledgeable. And you will be better prepared to listen to music of the great composers, and imagine them almost as friends. I hope that some major publisher finds this work and commissions the author to write a large series. Until then, this little gem will serve as an excellent substitute.

IGS diaconal ordinations: exclusive NLM photos

I promised in a recent comment to post on the NLM some exclusive photos from the ordinations in the Patriarchal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the very core of this extraordinary week-end in the Eternal City.

So, here are some close up's for our readers.

The chant of the Litany of the Saints:

The Bishop's prayer on the ordinands:

The imposition of the Dalmatics:

Dominican Rite Lent III: Good Friday

Among the most famous ceremonies of Holy Week in the pre-1970 Roman Rite was the vigil service known as Tenebrae ("Shadows"). In the Dominican Rite, although it had been previously been "anticipated" and celebrated in the evening, by the late 1950s, we had restored Tenebrae to its medieval position, early morning. It consisted of Matins, with its nine psalms, and Laudes, with its four psalms, Old Testament canticle, and Gospel Canticle (the Benedictus). This made a total of 15 psalms and canticles. As the psalms of the Office were sung, a candle was snuffed for each psalm or canticle. In this picture you can see the great fifteen-candle "hearse" in use on Good Friday morning in 1958 at St. Albert the Great Priory in Oakland CA. A lay brother in cappa is snuffing the candle of the seventh psalm of Matins, which is the first psalm of the third nocturn.

The readings of the first nocturn of Tenebrae are from the Lamentations of Jeremiah and have, in our rite, a special and distinctive "funereal" chant. We also have a special, very elaborate chant for the Oratio Jeremiae, the "Prayer of Jeremiah," which was, and may still may be, sung at the service on Holy Saturday. The rituals of Tenebrae are well known to our readers, so I will restrict myself to mentioning only a few Dominican variants: we do not have a special ritual for the 15th or "Jesus" candle, it is neither left burning or hidden. We simply snuff it. And the famous "clamor" made by pounding on the choir stalls with books or other objects is not done. There was great variety in the medieval rite of Tenebrae, and our Office is typical of our Rite in its sobriety of symbols. I understand that in some places the Jesus Candle and the Clamor had been introduced into the Domincian service, but they are not in the Ceremoniale and we never had them in the Western Province. In contrast, however, we have a complex series of invocations and responses in place of the Preces on these days, which can still be used with the Liturgy of the Hours today.

The Dominican rite for Good Friday begins by the sacristan dressing the altar with a cloth and two candles. A cantor then chanted the prophecy from Hosea 6, during which the ministers entered and prostrated before the altar steps, as you can see in this photo. The priest is Fr. Blaise Shauer, O.P. (R.I.P), a well-known liturgist of the Western Province, who was substituting for the elderly prior, Fr. William Lewis, O.P. You can see that the ministers wear albs with black stoles and maniples. The choir sings the Tract from Habacuc 3, after which, the priest ascends to the altar to sing the Collect. After the subdeacon sings the lesson from Exodus 12, and the choir the Tract from Psalm 139 [140], three deacons sing the Passion from John's Gospel. Our melody for this differs from the Roman, especially for the section treating the Deposition from the Cross and Burial of Our Lord where we use the "funereal" tone of the Lamentations at Tenebrae. The Passion is followed by the Great Intercessions, which differ from those of the 1962 Roman Rite only in occasional choice of words.

Perhaps the most famous part of the Dominican Good Friday rite is the ceremony for the Veneration of the Cross. As the Intercessions end, two priests and two deacons (in alb, stole, and maniple) arrange themselves before the altar. The deacons will sing the Agios after each of the "Reproaches." The priests take up a covered cross from the altar on its Epistle side during the first Reproach and hold it up. The deacons and choir sing the antiphonally the Agios. The whole community and the ministers genuflect three times, once during each Agios. The Agios is then sung again in Latin, and the same three genuflections are made. This veneration ceremony is also repeated after both the second and third Reproaches. At each Reproach, the cross priests move the veiled cross a step closer to the center of the altar, until it is in the center at the last Agios. By the 1950s, however, in many places, this procession with the cross was restored to its original form. Beginning in the back of the choir (or parish church) the priests brought the cross up by three stages to the altar, a variant that made the procession of the cross more dramatic.

The prior or celebrant then went to up to the priests holding the still covered cross, took it, unveiled it, and turned to display it to the community. He then sang the antiphon Ecce lignum Crucis, in quo salus mundi pepéndit: veníte adorémus, during which all genuflected. As the cantor repeated the antiphon all rose. The prior then gave the cross to the two deacons who had sung the Agios, who then reclined on the steps of the altar holding it between them. The community removed their shoes and, in order of religion, came in procession, two by two, up the aisle of the choir to the cross, stopping to genuflect at the two places where the cross had been at each Agios. Finally, at the altar steps, each genuflected and prostrated on the floor to kiss the cross held by the two reclining priests. In this photo you can see the celebrant, Fr. Blaise Shauer, O.P., venerating the cross held by Fr. Eugene Sousa, O.P., one of the deacons of the cross. The other has his back to us.

This ceremony was choreographed so that each set of three pairs of friars in medio chori genuflected and moved at the same time. A series of antiphons and the hymn Crux Fidelis were sung during this rite. When the last of the friars had venerated, the prior took up the cross, mounted the altar steps, displayed it to the community and sang the antiphon Christus triumphávit, et mors mortem superávit in ætérnum. He then sang the collect Respice while holding the cross. After he had placed it in a suitable place (usually the altar), the veneration ceremony ended. I will not describe the Communion Rite of Good Friday as, after our reform of Holy Week in 1956, it was virtually identical to Pius XII's reformed Communion service.

This completes the series on Dominican Lent

As one commenter as already mentioned, I should note that the rite of veneration described above can be used by Dominicans with the Novus Ordo service as explained in the 1985 Proprium Ordinis Praedicatorum 2: Missale et Lectionarium. We have used this ceremony each year at our university parish in Charlottesville VA where I live. The people find it very impressive. Also, various elements of Tenebrae may also be used with the new Liturgy of the Hours as explained in the 1982 Proprium Ordinis Praedicatorum 1: Liturgia Horarum.

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