Monday, August 03, 2009

In Utroque Usu: St. Joseph's, Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Readers may recall that I recently put out a call for parishes and priests who use both forms of the Roman rite. The response to this call was extraordinarily good -- though please, keep it coming -- which says much for just how much the use of both forms of the Roman rite is growing in parishes.

The hope is to both feature some of these parishes, as well as to be able to generally provide news and information from these and like places as we can, which shall hopefully also encourage others to take on the task both of celebrating the usus antiquior as well as pursuing the reform of the reform, which is, I think, an extraordinarily important and strategic part of Pope Benedict's vision for liturgical reform and reconciliation within the Latin rite.

One of the first priests to send in some direct photos was that of Fr. Michael Woolley of Rhode Island, pastor of St. Joseph's in Woonsocket.

Father Woolley tells me that he has been offering the usus antiquior on various schedules for the past couple of years now, including each Friday morning this past Lent. He reports the response has been very good, and there has been a great deal of openness to this and a good response in terms of numbers.

Father has also had his parishioners involved. It was a parishioner who made the green vestment set and antependium (altar frontal) in two of the pictures below.

For the modern Roman liturgy, Fr. Woolley not only has kept the presence of the antependium on his altar, but he also recently added "Benedictine" arrangement, which is an important aspect of beginning the project of re-orienting typical parish liturgies.

The frontal is quite well made and the proportions of the candles and cross are also quite appropriate to an altar of these dimensions. You will note these are different from those used when the altar is setup ad orientem.

Unfortunately Father did not have any photos handy of his Masses in the modern form of the Roman liturgy, but hopefully we shall be able to show you some soon.

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