Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

From all of us here to all of you and your families, wishing you a very happy Easter day, octave and season.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Missa Chrismatis in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Vaduz

Msgr. Wolfgang Haas, the Archbishop of Vaduz (Liechtenstein), has celebrated this year's Chrism Mass of the Archdiocese - at which traditionally the entire presbyterate of the diocese attends - according to the liturgical books of 1962. The liturgical service was provided by the FSSP. Here is a selection of photos (click for larger versions):

Pictures taken with permission from our friends at the excellent Spanish forum Ceremonia y rúbrica, where you can find more photos (and where in the same thread you will also find the liturgical texts from the Roman Pontifical).

Holy Saturday - The Pontifical Russian College in Rome

Βασιλεύει, ἀλλ’ οὐκ αἰωνίζει, ᾍδης τοῦ γένους τῶν βροτῶν· σὺ γὰρ τεθεὶς ἐν τάφῳ, Κραταιέ, ζωαρχικῇ παλάμῃ τὰ τοῦ θανάτου κλεῖθρα διεσπάραξας, καὶ ἐκήρυξας τοῖς ἀπ’ αἰῶνος ἐκεῖ καθεύδουσι λύτρωσιν ἀψευδῆ, Σῶτερ, γεγονὼς νεκρῶν πρωτότοκος.
Hades ruled the race of mortal men, but not forever; for Thou, o mighty One, when Thou wast placed in the grave, didst break apart the locks of death with the palm of Thy hand that ruleth over all life; and didst proclaim to those sleeping yonder from the ages a true deliverance, having become, o Savior, the First-born of the dead. (Third Troparion of the Sixth Ode of Holy Saturday Matins)
A book of Passion Gospels used at the Pontifical Russian College
The next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying: Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead; and the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate saith to them: You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting guards. (St. Matthew 27, 62-66.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Suffering and Death of Christ in 15th century Relief Carving

Following on from last week's relief carvings of the Entry in Jerusalem, here are some images relating to the Passion: two Western 15th century relief carvings appropriate for Easter - the crucifixion and a deposition; and late gothic painting of a deposition.

The carvings are English in a gothic style (where there was no Renaissance). They are carved in alabaster which was quarried in Nottinghamshire. What is interesting is that when painting in the same century, the Flemish artist Rogier Van Der Weyden painted his figures as though they were occupying a foot-wide space projecting out to plane of the painting. Employing, very clearly, a far greater degree of naturalism than the English sculptors did, he nevertheless painted a backdrop so as to eliminate the chance of the illusion of too great a depth.

All of this helps to ensure that there is a balance between adherence to natural appearances, which communicates visual realities; and stylization through some departure from strict naturalism, which lends a symbolic quality to the image and communicates invisible realities. Keeping the image to a space that doesn't deviate far from the plane of the painting and restricting the illusion of depth communicates the presence of the heavenly dimension, which is outside space (and time).

Roman Sacrament Altars, Holy Thursday 2013

One of the most beautiful things about Holy Week in Rome is the long-standing popular custom of visiting the Sacrament Altars (often called “sepolcri - sepulchers” in Italian) of seven churches on the evening of Holy Thursday, a practice to which is attached a plenary indulgence. Here are some photos of a few of the better ones. (The Italians traditionally put a lot of lights around the Altars, making things more difficult for a very amateur photographer like myself.) One of the things I like best about this custom is that one also sees a huge number of pilgrims from various nations participating in this; the Italian newspapers say that there are a quarter as many more pilgrims in Rome this year for the first Holy Week of a new Pope. I ran into a group of American students from Notre Dame, and of course heard a great deal more Spanish being spoken than usual. It is a true grace to see the Universal Church keep watch and pray with the Lord on the night of His Last Supper. Trinità dei Pellegrini, the Fraternity of St. Peter’s Roman Parish, before the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
and after
San Lorenzo in Damaso
Santa Maria Maddalena, the church of the Camillian Fathers (Order of the Ministers of the Sick)


Santa Maria in Vallicella, popularly known as the “Chiesa Nuova - the New Church”, the Roman Oratory.

The Paschal moon competes with the lights of the city to be seen in the piazza outside Chiesa Nuova.

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, the former Carthusian monastery church of Rome, in the Piazza della Repubblica.

The same altar seen at a distance from the cavernous nave designed by Michelangelo.
San Martino ai Monti, one of the oldest parishes in Rome, originally a house church founded in the third century; now home of the generalate of the Carmelites of the Old Observance.
Santa Maria in Domnica, an ancient diaconia, i.e. church originally administered by a deacon as a center for charitable works, first built in the 5th century.
The table of the Plashchanitsya in the church of the Pontifical Russian College, or “Russicum”, which is dedicated to Saint Anthony the Abbot. Not of course a Sacrament Altar, but often mistakenly venerated as such by pilgrims unfamiliar with the Byzantine liturgy.
The same set up earlier in the day in preparation for the Matins of the Twelve Gospels.

Maundy Thursday from the London Oratory

Charles Cole provides some wonderful photos from Maundy Thursday at the London Oratory. Enjoy.

Photo credits: Charles Cole

Thursday, March 28, 2013

From Tenebrae, Maundy Thursday, Blackfriars, Oxford

* * *

Victoria's First Lamentation for Maundy Thursday

This post and our next for today are going to be musically focused as it seems a good way to enter into the Triduum. For the first such, we present Victoria's First Lamentation for Maundy Thursday, sung by the Tallis Scholars in the chapel of Merton College, Oxford.

Palm Sunday, Ave Maria University

Our final Palm Sunday considerations come from Ave Maria University where they celebrated a Missa Cantata. Here are a few photos from the event.

Fr. Robert Tatman, administrator of the Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria Oratory, celebrated a High Mass for Palm Sunday in the usus antiquior. The propers and ordinary were sung by the combined Scholae of Ave Maria University, directed by Dr. Susan Treacy, professor of music at the university. Approximately 250 people attended the Mass and procession.

The students of Ave Maria University are blessed to have three Masses in the Extraordinary Form per week: Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as well as Sundays. There are several Sung Masses per month, chanted by the men’s or women’s schola. In addition to weekly Masses, the Ave Maria music department sponsors an annual Solemn High Requiem Mass. This past year, the AMU Chamber Choir sang Mozart’s Requiem. There are currently efforts to increase the number of Masses celebrated in the usus antiquior at the Oratory.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Palm Sunday, Chicago (Canons Regular of St. John Cantius)

The Palm Sunday photos really seem to be rolling in now. Here are some from the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago.

Progress Report from Jeff Ostrowski on Campion Missal

by Jeffrey Mark Ostrowski

A grown tree looks different from a seedling yet remains the same tree. Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, there have been developments, but the fundamental dogmas never change. Pope Benedict XVI reminded us in a 2003 interview (without a translator): "We are today not another Church as five hundred years ago. It is always the same the Church. What is one time holy for the Church is always holy for the Church and is not in another time an impossible thing." Four years later, in the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict echoed his earlier statement: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

The Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566) had this to say about the ceremonies of the Mass: "The Sacrifice is celebrated with many solemn rites, none of which should be deemed useless or superfluous. On the contrary, all of them tend to display the majesty of this august sacrifice, and to excite the faithful, when beholding these saving mysteries, to contemplate the divine things which lie concealed in the Eucharistic Sacrifice."

It can be difficult for those of us living in the year 2013 to understand the precise way our ancestors in the faith participated in the Latin Mass. The Romance languages underwent long periods of development and instability. Latin, on the other hand, was quite stable and allowed priests from all over the world to communicate with ease. Furthermore, its clarity was helpful in codifying precise doctrinal statements. It might be helpful to remember that any literate man in the middle ages could read Latin. If a man could not read Latin, he could not read at all. Around the time of the Council of Trent, the Church had certain concerns about vernacular translations of the Roman Canon. As Fr. Giles Dimock, O.P., has written: "The Tridentine Fathers encouraged the printing of prayer books to follow the Mass as long as the canon was not printed." A century later, in 1661, Alexander VII would place rather strong restrictions on vernacular translations of the Mass, presumably out of a sense of reverence for the most sacred Canon (c.f. Joseph Jungmann, Missarum Sollemnia, Vol. I, 143).

On the other hand, Jungmann cites numerous early vernacular translations, such as Burchard's Order of Mass (1502) and a handbook on how to properly assist at Mass by Volusius (1660). He continues (p. 143): "Even in the late Middle Ages, translations of the missal, with or without the canon, appeared. Vehlen, p. 89, mentions two manuscripts and one printed translation from the century before Trent. The little exposition of the Mass published in 1480, Messen singen oder lesen, included the canon; later editions left out just the words of consecration." Many readers know that as time went on a desire arose for the congregation to participate with ever greater understanding at Mass, and Pope Saint Pius X was a major catalyst. This is generally referred to as "The Liturgical Movement."

It always struck me as odd that in the 21st century, with so many advances in technology, we could not do a better job of presenting participation materials for Catholics attending the Extraordinary Form. For this reason, Corpus Christi Watershed created the St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass (

We are grateful to our Saviour, because so far the reactions to our book have been overwhelmingly positive. As a matter of fact, we have received literally hundreds of encouraging comments. Here are a few examples:

"Greetings! About a week ago, I took a chance and ordered the St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal. I say, 'took a chance' because I couldn't imagine how it was possible to produce a book of this length for such a ridiculously affordable price, let alone one that would prove to be so well-made, sturdy and, most of all, beautiful! Your choice of a clear, large font is sure to make many an eye grateful! Thank you so much for all you do!" (Portland, Oregon)

"I had a lovely surprise last week when a friend of mine gave me a copy. It's a wonderful book, so beautiful to behold, a real labour of love and faith. Many congratulations on such an incredible achievement: you have given the Church a great gift." (England)

"We used it for the first time on the First Sunday in Lent; a wonderful expericence for all. Everything was sung from it. Asperges, Mass XVII first Kyrie, Credo IV, Throughout These Forty Days, Attende Domine, Parce Domine, Ave Regina Caelorum, Forty Days and Forty Nights. Thank you for this!" (Canada)

"I have just received your beautiful St Edmund Campion Missal. Sincere congratulations on a magnificent book. How you have produced this Missal at the price you are asking is beyond me. Best wishes!" (New Zealand)

"Got the hymnal. Just fabulous! And what a bargain. I'm putting an announcement in the bulletin and will mention it from the pulpit. A great achievement. God bless." (Rev. Fr. M.)

"I just received my two copies of this amazing and beautiful Missal & Hymnal. Every Roman Catholic should have the opportunity to experience the Mass in its Extraordinary Form, particularly a High Mass. This book not only allows the congregation to fully participate in the Extraordinary Form, it will make visitors feel less intimidated and learn about the rich legacy of their tradition." (R.G.)

The Campion Missal & Hymnal was designed for use by congregations, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of individuals who have purchased it for personal use. People have also written to us claiming the Campion Missal is a wonderful way to "evangelize" with regard to the Extraordinary Form. Not a few Churches have purchased additional copies for their bookstores and report that almost immediately they have completely sold out. A priest from another country told me, "Your book is so beautiful, it would be an insult to the contents to sell it for less than $50.00 each." He then ordered a whole bunch of copies and payed $50.00 each (instead of $17.99) because he insisted that anything less would be an insult. We've also had reports that people find the books so beautiful they are stealing them from the pews . . . but I'm never quite sure what to say about those instances!

Palm Sunday with the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, London

The celebration of the ceremonies and Mass for Palm Sunday in the Lord's Passion were presided over by the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Mgr Keith Newton. This was the first Mass celebrated by the Personal Ordinariate in the beautiful and historic church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Gregory, Warwick Street, which has been dedicated to the life of the Personal Ordinariate by the Archbishop of Westminster.

As the liturgy serves both the diocesan and Ordinariate faithful, the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite was used with propers from the Anglican Use Gradual, hymns from the English Hymnal, and polyphony by Palestrina and Guerrero"

Photos: © Mazur/

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