Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pontifical Mass at St. John Cantius Before the Relics of St Maria Goretti

Earlier this month, as part of the tour of the relics of St. Maria Goretti around the country, they made a stop in Chicago at St. John Cantius in Chicago, where Bishop Joseph Perry celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool. Confessions were abundant and the church was overflowing and people had to be turned away to participate in Mass from the street.

More fascinatingly for our musician readers, the propers were also newly composed for the Mass. Because of St. Maria Goretti's new status as a saint, the text of her propers had not yet been set to music. The music director of St Anne's in Charlotte, NC (a parish which received St. Maria Goretti less than a week before Cantius) had already set the Introit to an adapted Gregorian melody.  Deacon Ed Schaefer set the Alleluia, and Br. Matthew Schuster, SJC worked to set the remaining three propers (gradual, offertory and communion). Those who are interested can find the propers here, available for download.

As always, pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them

“Zeal for the Liturgy” - All Saints and All Souls in NYC, Naples, Italy, and Our Lady of Lebanon in Ohio

We have received and are posting a large-than-usual number of liturgical announcements for All Saints’ and All Souls’, with a lot of great music by composers like Victoria and Mozart. This was the case last year as well, when Ben noted à propos of this the words of Sacrosanctum Concilium, “Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church’s life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.” (no. 43) If only this had remained true longer than it took the ink with which it was written to dry! So it seems to me at least that these requests, which show a desire not only to do the liturgy well and beautifully, but also to share the experience with as many people as possible, are a sign of something very positive happening in the Church today. Of course, in far too many places good music is still the exception in church, not the norm, but events such as these are less rare than they were 30 years ago, and will continue to become more common. If you have the opportunity to go to such a liturgy this weekend, remember to say a pray for those who would love to attend something like it and cannot.

Holy Innocents in NYC - Victoria Requiem on All Souls’

EF Masses in Naples, Italy

On Sunday, November 1, at the Church of the Archconfraternity “del Soccorso all’Arenella” (piazzetta G.Gigante), 5:15 p.m, Eucaristic Adoration and recitation of the Rosary; 6:00 p.m., Missa cantata celebrated by Don Andrew Southwell.

Monday, November 2, at the Church of St Mary of the Souls in Purgatory (S. Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco, via Tribunali 39), 5:30 p.m. Missa cantata, followed by the Absolution at the Catafalque, celebrated by Don Andrew Southwell.

EF All Souls at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in North Jackson, Ohio

On the Commemoration of All Souls, Mass will be celebrated according in the traditional rite at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, 2759 North Lipkey Road, North Jackson, Ohio, starting at 7 p.m, followed by the Absolution at the Catafalque. Music will be provided by the Schola Basilicae and the Shrine St. Cecilia Chorale

Friday, October 30, 2015

EF All Saints and All Souls in Philadelphia

The Traditional Latin Mass Community of Philadelphia will celebrate the feast of All Saints at the church of St Edmond, where a regular EF Mass has been held every Sunday at noon since July. Click here for their website, and here for directions to St Edmond. In addition, for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, a Solemn Requiem Mass, followed by the Absolution at the Catafalque, will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter & Paul, (17th & Race Streets,) starting at 7 p.m. Details in the poster below.

Denis McNamara on Architecture, Part 4: the Importance of the Classical Tradition

And no, this does not mean that every building has to look like a Roman temple.

Here is the fourth in the series of short videos by Denis McNamara, Professor on the faculty of the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein; his book is Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy.

Before I sat in on some of his lectures this summer, I had been aware of Denis’ emphasis on the classical tradition in architecture. I have to admit, I did have half a suspicion that his ideal was a world of faux Roman temples - all domes and Doric columns.

As I found out, and as you can see in the video, he does not mean this at all - although it does include what most of us think of as classical style. He describes classical architecture as any style that is created out of a respect for tradition and which participates in the order of nature that “reveals the mind of God.”  This includes, for example, Gothic architecture.

Furthermore, he says that a respect for tradition does not mean that we look backwards. Rather, it provides a set of principles that will guide us as we go forward, employing forms that might echo the past closely, or creating styles previously unimagined. The potential range of styles is limitless.

Rather than painting a picture of people walking backwards, or walking reluctantly into the future while wishing they could head for the past, he is giving us one which is closer to the crew of a beautiful sloop that looks forward in optimism as it sails into the rising sun in the East, with tradition firmly at the tiller.

His reference to the mind of God is reminiscent of language used by Pope Benedict XVI in the Spirit of the Liturgy, in which he describes how the numerical description of the patterns of the cosmos give us a glimpse into the mind of the Creator. Even the beauty of this world as it is now does not reveal the divine beauty fully, for it is a fallen world. The question the good architect asks himself when designing a building is not so much, “How can I reflect the beauty of the cosmos as it is?”, but rather, “How can I reflect the beauty of the cosmos as it is meant to be?” For me, a critical point is that if we want beauty, we cannot escape this question, for there is no order outside the divine order, only disorder and ugliness. This is true of any building, or for that matter any aspect of the culture, that does not look forward to the heavenly ideal 

Onwards and Eastwards!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Photos from the Populus Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome (Part 2)

Here are some more photos from the Populus Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome celebrated past weekend, with our thanks once again to the photographer Mr François Nanceau.

October 25 - Pontifical Mass for the feast of Christ the King at the FSSP’s Roman parish, Trinità dei Pellegrini, celebrated by Don Jean Pateau, Abbot of Fontgombeault, .
The Mass was sung by English ensemble Cantus Magnus, conducted by Mt Matthew Schellhorn. Click here to see more photos, and here to find them on facebook.

Photopost Request - All Saints - All Souls

Our next photopost will be for the feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of All Souls this upcoming weekend. We welcome pictures of Mass and the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours for both of these days. Please be sure to include the name and location of the church, and always feel free to add any other information you think important so that we can provide the most information.

Please send photos to:

EF High Mass for All Saints in Shreveport, Louisiana Cathedral (and More Mozart!)

The Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans in Shreveport, Louisiana will have a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, sung by members of the Cathedral Choir and also members of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Mozart’s Missa brevis in C-major (“Credo Mass”) will be sing, and selections from Charles Tournemire’s Orgue Mystique will be played. Click here for more details, and see the poster below.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Photos from the Populus Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome (Part 1)

This past weekend, the Populus Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome was celebrated once again, coinciding with the end of the Synod on the Family, and the EF feast of Christ the King. Mr François Nanceau has been kind enough to share links to his photo albums of the events with us, and give us permission to reproduce some of his pictures here, to which I have added to a video. More pictures tomorrow!

Friday October 23rd - Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, at the Church of Santa Maria in Campitelli.
The Mass of St Anthony Maria Claret was said, with music by the Schola Sainte Cécile, conducted by our own Henri de Villiers, singing Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Mass for Four Choirs. (The video with a recording of the Kyrie is below the third picture.) Click here to see more photographs, and here to find them on facebook.

Mozart’s Missa Brevis (“Spatzenmesse”) for All Saints’ in McLean, Virginia

The choir of the Church of St John the Beloved in McLean, Virginia, will sing Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major, KV 220 (“Spatzenmesse“ ”) with soloists and a small orchestra, as well as motets by Lassus and Victoria, at a Missa cantata on the feast of All Saints, starting at noon. Details in poster below; click to enlarge.

All Saints’ and All Souls’ Notice - Palo Alto, California

The Saint Ann Choir will sing the Masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 751 Waverley at Homer,in Palo Alto, California, for the feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed. Click here to visit their website for information about other upcoming feasts (OF Christ the King, Immaculate Conception.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Abp. di Noia on the Ordinariate Liturgy

We are pleased to present the audio of a recent talk on the forthcoming liturgical rites for the Personal Ordinariates erected under the auspices of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. The talk was given by Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia OP, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Chairman of the Interdicasterial Working Group Anglicanæ Tradtitiones, to the 2015 Ordinariate Festival of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Westminster, London. The paper is entitled “Divine Worship and the Liturgical Vitality of the Church.” It is presented here with an overview published on the blog Thine Own Service, republished here with the author’s permission.

“In his paper to the annual festival of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in London on Saturday 19 September 2015, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia OP, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented what might be understood to be the primary theological rationale for the liturgical provision of the personal ordinariates erected under the auspices of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus. Archbishop Di Noia is well placed to make these observations, both as one who was intimately involved in the evolution of the personal ordinariates (even before they came into existence) and latterly as the Chairman of the Interdicasterial Working Group Anglicanæ traditiones, which was formed in 2011 to compile the liturgical provision mandated by Anglicanorum coetibus III.

“His paper, which will be published together with other writings on this subject in a forthcoming edition of Antiphon and is available to listen to above, makes a number of significant points. I wish here to deal with the first, which I consider to be the most pressing and which, in a certain sense, must be addressed before all others. Subsequent points include the pastoral significance of the liturgical provision of Divine Worship as a sign of the Church’s solicitude and concern for the salvation of souls. We are also presented with the historical weight that must be given to the promulgation of liturgical texts forged in the crucible of the sixteenth century, by the Apostolic See, and the ecumenical importance of the Anglican patrimony, as it is to be lived out in the personal ordinariates. But before these can be effected and realized, a first principle—the subject of this post—must be understood.

“This is the fundamental and intrinsic connection which exists between the structural provision of personal ordinariates, and the liturgical patrimony which has been codified and promulgated for use by their members. As the archbishop says in his talk, the publication of Divine Worship: The Missal is ‘an immensely important event’. Indeed its importance is twofold: internal and external. Internal, because it establishes the true identity of the communities of the personal ordinariates, and external, because it places these structures in their appropriate context in the wider Church and offers the distinctive Anglican liturgical patrimony as ‘a treasure to be shared.’ (ACIII)

“With regard to this internal importance, Archbishop Di Noia says, ‘Just as it would be unthinkable to describe the Catholic Church without reference to its liturgical and sacramental life, so too it would in some sense be for every ecclesial body. The manner in which an ecclesial community worships uniquely expresses its inner life.’ This is important. Although there are certainly other elements of the Anglican patrimony, other than liturgical, it is this liturgical patrimony which provides the starting point for the consideration and authentic implementation of these other concerns. It is in the actual liturgical texts promulgated in Divine Worship that the personal ordinariates reveal their true purpose, and fulfil the desires expressed in Anglicanorum coetibus. If this is so, we must ask with real honesty if an ordinariate community or parish which does not celebrate the liturgical rites of Divine Worship as the very heart and soul of its existence, can be said to be living, in an authentic way, the ecclesial existence and vitality so generously extended to us by Pope Benedict XVI in Anglicanorum coetibus. Indeed, as I have suggested before, the provision of personal ordinariates as ecclesiastical circumscriptions, seems to make sense only with the full and unswerving embrace by their members of the Anglican liturgical patrimony, now codified and approved and promulgated by the Apostolic See in Divine Worship.

“Furthermore, as Archbishop Di Noia points out, ‘The institutional importance of Divine Worship for the ordinariates is considerable. More than simply giving the ordinariates an outward distinctiveness that creates a profile for their parishes in a sea of Catholic parochial life, Divine Worship gives voice to the faith and tradition of prayer that has nourished the Catholic identity of the Anglican tradition.’ In other words, whilst other elements of the Anglican tradition are by no means insignificant, it is only possible to make sense of these if first we have attended to the liturgical life given us. If the liturgical life of an ecclesial structure ‘uniquely expresses its inner life’, how can it make sense, on the one hand, to downplay the proper liturgical rites attributed to the personal ordinariates whilst, on the other hand, seek to promote other elements of the Anglican patrimony? The liturgical rites and texts are a priority. Divine Worship is an essential element.

“Archbishop Di Noia’s important paper gives a clear roadmap for the successful establishment and growth of the personal ordinariates, according to the mind of the Apostolic See, and its starting point is Divine Worship. The liturgical books approved for the use of the personal ordinariates are the first principle in this project, and the source of all other elements of the life of the ecclesial communities which these structures embody. This provision will be available to the parishes and communities of all three personal ordinariates from the First Sunday of Advent this year. Let us commit ourselves anew to living to its fullness the gift of ecclesial vitality given us by the ‘prophetic gesture’ of our beloved Pope Emeritus in Anglicanorum coetibus, both ‘as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.’ (AC III)”

All Saints’ Day Concert Featuring Rare Organ Program in

On November 1, at 6:00 pm organist Richard Spotts will appear at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston, Maine, to perform excerpts from the seminal work L’Orgue Mystique, by French composer Charles Tournemire (1870-1939). He will be joined by the Saints Peter and Paul Schola Cantorum.

The concert, a musical Pilgrim’s Progress, will depict the life of a saint. Themes of divine love, redemption, grace, transformation, and rejoicing will be presented through the sounds of the Basilica’s magnificent Casavant organ, the largest church organ in the state of Maine.

L’Orgue Mystique, considered to be Tournemire’s magnum opus, was written over a 5 year period beginning in 1927. It consists of 253 movements and represents the fifty-one Sundays and feasts of the Roman Catholic liturgical year. Based on over 300 Gregorian chants, the piece is considered a pivotal movement in the history of organ music, bringing the ancient instrument’s sound into modernity. Unfortunately, because the work was written during the chaotic period following the devastation of World War I, followed by the Great Depression and World War II, this magnificent piece has been forgotten.

Acclaimed organist Richard Spotts, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, has performed excerpts from L'Orgue Mystique​ throughout the United States and Canada. He is currently writing a book on the subject.

 The concert is free and open to the public; it will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Fr Kyle Doustou, a priest of the diocese of Portland who sent us this information, writes: “Additionally I would like to note that the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul (pictured below) is really an epicenter in the Diocese of Portland, Maine for the dignified celebration of the Liturgy. In addition to Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which is offered every Sunday and Holy Day, the Basilica boasts of beautiful and reverent liturgies celebrated in Latin, English, French, and Spanish on a weekly basis, all of which are celebrated in the spirit of the new liturgical movement. The principal Mass on Sundays - which is the Usus Recentior celebrated in English and Latin - draws hundreds of people from around the state, including many young families.”

Follow-Up on Last Saturday’s Post about St Raphael

This past Saturday, I wrote a bit about an Ethiopian legend that St Raphael the Archangel once saved a church that had been accidentally built on the back of whale from being destroyed, by fixing the whale in place with his spear. This was accompanied by an image from the Walters Art Gallery which showed the Archangel driving his spear through the church, but the lower part of this image, where the whale was, is missing.

Here is a more complete representation of the story, depicted in a mural from a monastery in Ethiopia. This image is reproduced here by the very kind permission of Sara Genene, author of the blog About Addis Ababa. You can see more of her images from Ethiopian monasteries by clicking here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Hypostatic Union as a Marriage

Continuing my series of articles on aspects of the theology of marriage, I would like to examine a beautiful patristic comparison that is relatively little known today, but was much in the mind of the scholastics and frequently comes up in the work of the Angelic Doctor—namely, the comparison of the hypostatic union with a nuptial union.

Here is how St. Thomas phrases it in one passage:
Marriage before fleshly embrace signifies the conjoining of Christ to the soul by grace, which [union of grace] is indeed dissolved by a contrary spiritual disposition, namely sin. But by the fleshly embrace marriage signifies Christ’s conjoining [of himself] with the Church, as to the assumption of human nature in the unity of his person, which [union] is altogether indivisible.[1]
In his Commentary on Matthew we read this:
The fourth thing set out is that they “went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.” Who is the bridegroom, and who is the bride? It is explained in two ways, following two marriages. One, the marriage of divinity to flesh, which was celebrated in the womb of a virgin: “For he as a bridegroom coming forth from his bridal chamber” (Ps. 18:6). The bridegroom is the Son himself, the bride human nature; hence to go out to meet the bridegroom and the bride is nothing other than to serve Christ.
          Likewise, there is the marriage of Christ and the Church: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom” (Jn. 3:29). Therefore those who prepare the lamps intend to please the bridegroom, i.e., Christ, and the bride, i.e., Mother Church.[2]
In the Commentary on John, we see a wonderful synthesis:
In the mystical sense, marriage signifies the union of Christ with his Church, because as the Apostle says: “This is a great mystery: I am speaking of Christ and his Church” (Eph 5:32). And this marriage was begun in the womb of the Virgin, when God the Father united a human nature to his Son in a unity of person. So, the chamber of this union was the womb of the Virgin: “He established a chamber for the sun” (Ps 18:6). Of this marriage it is said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who married his son” (Mt 22:2), that is, when God the Father joined a human nature to his Word in the womb of the Virgin. It was made public when the Church was joined to him by faith: “I will bind you to myself in faith” (Hos 2:20). We read of this marriage: “Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rv 19:9). It will be consummated when the bride, i.e., the Church, is led into the resting place of the groom, i.e., into the glory of heaven.[3]
Nevertheless, St. Thomas is not entirely comfortable with the comparison of the union of natures to a marriage, because marriage requires two persons who consent to each other; a nature, as such, is not the source of consent. Envisioning the human nature and the divine nature as centers of action or volition begins to sound fishily Nestorian. Consider his response to the rather obscure question: Whether it is fitting that Christ should receive a dowry?[4]
There are two opinions on this point. For some say that there is a threefold union in Christ. One is the union of concord, whereby He is united to God in the bond of love; another is the union of condescension, whereby the human nature is united to the Divine; the third is the union whereby Christ is united to the Church. They say, then, that as regards the first two unions it is fitting for Christ to have the dowries under the notion of dowries, but as regards the third, it is fitting for Him to have the dowries in the most excellent degree, considered as to that in which they consist, but not considered under the notion of dowries; because in this union Christ is the bridegroom and the Church the bride, and a dowry is given to the bride as regards property and control, although it is given to the bridegroom as to use.
          But this does not seem congruous. For in the union of Christ with the Father by the concord of love, even if we consider Him as God, there is not said to be a marriage, since it implies no subjection such as is required in the bride towards the bridegroom. Nor again in the union of the human nature with the Divine, whether we consider the personal union or that which regards the conformity of will, can there be a dowry, properly speaking, for three reasons. First, because in a marriage where a dowry is given there should be likeness of nature between bridegroom and bride, and this is lacking in the union of the human nature with the Divine; secondly, because there is required a distinction of persons, and the human nature is not personally distinct from the Word; thirdly, because a dowry is given when the bride is first taken to the dwelling of the bridegroom and thus would seem to belong to the bride, who from being not united becomes united; whereas the human nature, which was assumed into the unity of Person by the Word, never was otherwise than perfectly united.
          Wherefore in the opinion of others we should say that the notion of dowry is either altogether unbecoming to Christ, or not so properly as to the saints; but that the things which we call dowries befit Him in the highest degree.[5]
And later in the same article:
Human nature is not properly said to be a bride in its union with the Word, since the distinction of persons, which is requisite between bridegroom and bride, is not observed therein. That human nature is sometimes described as being espoused in reference to its union with the Word is because it has a certain act of the bride, in that it is united to the Bridegroom inseparably, and in this union is subject to the Word and ruled by the Word, as the bride by the bridegroom.[6]
Not wishing, however, to jettison the comparison of the hypostatic union to a marriage, St. Thomas finds a beautiful solution, inspired by St. Bernard of Clairvaux and earlier Fathers: God asks Mary, through his messenger, to give her consent to this “marriage” on behalf of the whole human race. In this way we have two persons, representing (as it were) two natures, consenting to a conjoining which then takes place in a single Person. Here is how he formulates this elegant doctrine in the Commentary on the Sentences:
In Christ’s conception a certain marriage was sealed through the indivisible conjoining of the divine and human nature[s]. But requisite for a marriage is consent, which is both requested and brought back through the words of messengers. Therefore it was proper that God, through his angel, should seek out the consent of the Virgin, from whom he would assume human nature.[7]
In the Summa theologiae, Aquinas places it last among the reasons why “it was fitting that it be announced to the Blessed Virgin that she would conceive Christ”:
Fourth, that there would be shown to be a certain spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature. And so by the Annunciation the Virgin’s consent was besought in lieu of [=on behalf of] the whole of human nature.[8]


[1] In IV Sent. d. 27, q. 1, a. 3, qa. 2, ad 1.
[2] Super Matt. 25, lec. 1, n. 2014.
[3] Super Ioan. 2, lec. 1, n. 338.
[4] According to the scholastic definition, the dowry of the blessed is “the everlasting adornment of soul and body adequate to life, lasting for ever in eternal bliss.” There are three dowries of the soul: vision, love, and fruition; and four of the body: impassibility, agility, subtlety, and clarity.
[5] In IV Sent. d. 49, q. 4, a. 3.
[6] Cf. Super Ps. 18, n. 3.
[7] In III Sent. d. 3, q. 3, a. 1, qa. 1, sc 2.
[8] Summa theol. III, q. 30, a. 1.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Message of the Holy Father to the Populus Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome

From the pilgrimage’s website Una Cum Papa Nostro.

To His Most Reverend Excellency
Mons. Guido Pozzo
Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

On the occasion of the pilgrimage to Rome of the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, which keeps the ancient Roman liturgy alive in the Church, the Holy Father Pope Francis sends his warm greetings, along with his wish that their participation in this devout visit to the tombs of the Apostles stirs up their fervent adherence to Christ, who is celebrated in the beauty of the liturgy, which brings us to contemplate the Lord transfigured in the light of glory, and that it bring renewed energy to their witness to the perennial message of the Christian faith. His Holiness invokes abundant gifts of the Divine Spirit, and the maternal protection of the Mother of God, and, as he asks for that they persevere in prayer in support of his Petrine ministry, from his heart imparts to Your Excellency, to the bishops participating, to the priests and all the faithful present in the sacred celebration, the requested Apostolic blessing, in favor of a fruitful journey with the Church.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Pontifical Requiem at the Throne in Madison, Wisconsin for All Souls

On November 2, 2015 at 7:00pm, Bishop Robert C Morlino will celebrate a Pontifical Requiem Mass at the throne for the Commemoration of All Souls. Victoria’s Requiem á4 will be sung. The Mass will be offered for the deceased priests of the Diocese of Madison, and will be celebrated at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison, WI.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Very Curious Legend of St Raphael

The revised version of Butler’s Lives of the Saints, in the notes to the entry for the feast of St Raphael the Archangel, says that “In the Ethiopic Synaxarium... is a curious account of the dedication of a church to St Raphael in an island off Alexandria early in the fifth century.” A reference is given for an English translation of this Synaxarium, which is basically the Eastern version of the Martyrology, but no further information is given about the dedication or what makes it curious. In the marvelous age of the internet, I was able to track the text down at the following website, ( where I discovered what a spectacular understatement “curious” is in describing this legend.

“On this day are commemorated the glorious angel Raphael the archangel, the third of the vigilant, holy and heavenly archangels; and the dedication of his church, which was built to him on an island outside the city of Alexandria in the days of Saint Theophilus the Archbishop (385-412, the predecessor of St Cyril); and the miracle which was made manifest therein, and took place thus.

A certain rich woman from the city of Rome came to Saint Theophilus the Archbishop, and with her were her son and a picture of the glorious Archangel Raphael, and much money, which she had inherited from her parents. ... And Saint Abba Theophilus built many churches, and among them was the church, which was on the island outside the city of Alexandria, and was dedicated in the name of the glorious Archangel Raphael; and Abba Theophilus the Archbishop finished the building thereof and consecrated it as it were this day.

And whilst the believers were praying in the church, behold the church trembled, and was rent asunder, and it moved about. And they found that the church had been built upon the back of a whale... on which a very large mass of sand had heaped itself. Now the whale lay firmly fixed in its place, and the treading of the feet of the people upon it cut it off from the mainland; and it was Satan who moved the whale so that he might throw down the church.

And the believers and the archbishop cried out together, and made supplication to the Lord Christ, and they asked for the intercession of the glorious Archangel Raphael. And God, the Most High, sent the glorious angel Raphael, and he had mercy on the children of men, and he drove his spear into the whale, saying unto him, ‘By the commandment of God stand still, and move not thyself from thy place’; and the whale stood in his place and moved not.

And many signs and wonders were made manifest, and great healings of sick folk took place in that church. And this church continued to exist until the time when the Muslims reigned, and then it was destroyed, and the whale moved, and the sea flowed back again and drowned many people who dwelt in that place.”

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has a mid-19th Ethiopian painting in tempera on canvas which represents this legend, in which we see the Archangel fixing his spear through the church building. Unfortunately, the lower part of it, which would have shown the whale, is missing.

Victoria Requiem in Washington, D.C. for All Souls’ Day

On Monday November 2, the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at 7.30 p.m. at the church of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian, in Washington, D.C. The Propers and Ordinary of the Mass will be sung by the Washington-based early music ensemble Chantry, and will include the complete polyphonic setting of the Requiem Mass by Tomás Luis de Victoria, and the two motets, Versa est in luctum and Taedet animam meam, from the Officium Defunctorum of 1605. The pastor, Msgr Charles Pope, will preach; the Mass will be followed by the Absolution at the catafalque.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Podcast on the Upcoming Sacred Liturgy Conference in Portland, Oregon

The website of Mater Dei radio, based in Portland Oregon, has made available an interview with Fr. John Boyle, the pastor of St. Stephen parish in Portland, and with Dr. Lynne Bissonnette, the director of Schola Cantus Angelorum, in reference to the upcoming Sacred Liturgy Conference to be held next weekend at St Stephen’s. Click here to listen.

Denis McNamara on the Jewish Roots of Church Architecture

In this, the third of a series of ten videos, Denis McNamara discusses how church architecture reflects the roots of a church’s function in those of the Temple and the synagogue.

Prof. McNamara is on the faculty of the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein; and his book is Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy.

Drawing on St Gregory the Great and Pope Benedict, he refers to three eras in time: the pre-Christian time of the Jewish faith, the “time of shadow”; the heavenly period to which we all look and which is called the “time of reality”; and the time in-between, which we occupy, the “time of image”. The liturgy of the time of image both recalls the sacrificial aspects of the previous age, and anticipates and gives us a foretaste of our heavenly end. Having described time in this way, Denis then goes on to explain how good church architecture reflects this.

As I was listening to this, I was reminded of how in art, again according to Pope Benedict, there are three authentic liturgical traditions. The baroque “at its best” reveals historical man, that is man after the Fall, but with a potential for sanctity as yet unrealized. It occurred to me that this might seen also as the art of the time of shadow; it is after all characterized visually by deep shadows contrasted with the light of hope.

The art of eschatological man - man fully redeemed in heaven - is the icon. This is the art of the “time of reality,” and visually there are never any deep cast shadows in this form. Every figure is a source of light.

The art of the in-between time is the Gothic, which I always called the art of our earthly pilgrimage. Like the spire of the Gothic church, it spans the divide between heaven and earth. Its form reflects the partial divinization of man which characterizes the Christian who participates in the liturgy. This might then be called the art of the “time of image”. As before, anyone who is curious to know more about this analysis can find a deeper explanation in the book the Way of Beauty.

In contrast to the artistic forms, in which the form of each tradition focuses on one age, the form of the church building, regardless of style, must reveal all three ages simultaneously.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Leaves from an 18th-Century Cistercian Gradual

The website of the library of Clairvaux Abbey, famously the home of St Bernard, has a number of digitized manuscripts available for consultation; among them, this beautifully illustrated Gradual, which also includes chants for Terce and Vespers, from the first part of the 18th century. Other liturgical books from the collection, as well as a variety of Bibles, Patristics works, copies of the Rule of St Benedict etc., can be investigated by clicking here.

“Gradual and Antiphonal of the church of Clairvaux, on solemnities and feasts of sermons.” In point of fact, this particular book only includes a small number of major feasts. - Since the Cistercians, with characteristic simplicity, never doubled any of the antiphons in the Divine Office, the traditional Roman terminology for the grades of feasts, “double, semidouble, simple,” was not very useful to them. The highest grade of feast was therefore called “sermonis - of a sermon”, to indicate that a sermon was supposed to be delivered to the community on that day. The other grades were called “two (publicly sung) Masses”, “twelve readings (at Matins)”, “three readings” and “commemoration.”
Decorative page before Christmas
Decorative page before the Annunciation
The first antiphon of Vespers on Christmas Eve 

Solesmes releases new Liber Cantualis

Solesmes has published a new edition of the Liber cantualis - Gregorian Melodies (Latin-English). This small and convenient book contains Latin Chants for the Ordinary of the Mass & Chants for other occasions. The new edition uses the newer clearer notational typeface and also provides English translations of the Chants.

The Liber Cantualis was first published in 1995 and is designed for small parishes or schools. Amongst the Chants are seven settings of the Ordinary (Masses I, IV, VIII, IX, XI, XVII, XVIII), Credos I & III, four Alleluias, the Asperges & Vidi aquam, and Sequences including Victimae Paschali & Veni Sancti Spiritus. There are also chants in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady, chants for different liturgical seasons, selected Psalms and Canticles, and the complete office of Compline. It is impressive how much has been fitted into this slim little volume and I am sure it will be of great use in a variety of contexts. It is available directly from Solesmes for 15E.

Blessing of A Cornerstone for the Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer

It has been too long since we had occasion to post about the Fraternity of St Vincent Ferrer, a group of traditional-rite priests base in France who follow the Dominican liturgical and spiritual tradition. They are currently at the beginning of a project to build a new church for their community, a project which they are documenting at a separate website, (“Stones That Preach”) The following video was just posted a couple of days ago on the site, showing the Bishop of Laval, France, H.E. Thierry Scherrer, blessing the first stone of the church.

Extraordinary Form Requiem for All Souls in New Orleans

St. Patrick’s Church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans will be offering a Solemn High Requiem Mass for All Souls’ Day, with Mozart’s Requiem sung by the Choir of St. Patrick’s and a chamber orchestra, starting at 6:30 pm. For details of this and their impressive musical calendar see below. The website for St Patrick’s is here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Legend of Saint Ursula

The annals of Catholic hagiography contain many legends which are recorded in documents written long after the lifetimes of various Saints, but which per se present no particular challenge to the credulity of anyone who believes in a personal God and the reality of miracles. Many Saints have lived in such a way that we would not expect to find material proof of their doings, any more than we would expect to find a first-century shop with a sign over the door reading “Joseph son of Jacob, Carpenter.” For such as these, we must trust to Providence, the good faith of their biographers, and the Church’s tradition.

There are others, however, which even a very basic knowledge of history demonstrates cannot be accepted as reliable; such a one is the legend of St Ursula and Companions, Virgins and Martyrs at Cologne in Germany. The vast collection of hagiographical learning known as the Acta Sanctorum devotes 230 pages of small type to parsing out how their legend developed from a single inscription in a church in that city into a famously extravagant story. Here we can give only a brief summary of the case; a fairly thorough account is given in the relevant article in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Martyrdom of St Ursula, by Caravaggio, 1610, generally believed to be his last work. The Saint is shown at the very moment she is struck in the breast by an arrow, an example of the vivid realism for which Caravaggio was praised by many as the greatest painter of his times.
The inscription in question, made in the later fourth or early fifth century, states that a man of senatorial rank named Clematius restored a basilica in Cologne “in the place where the holy virgins shed their blood,” with no further details. The fact that it was “restored” should be taken as an indication that a martyrdom of some Christian virgins did take place before that period. Five centuries later, an anonymous sermon says that nothing was known of them for certain, but gives the local tradition that they were a large company, and their leader’s name was “Pinnosa”. They are absent from many early liturgical manuscripts where one would reasonably expect to find record of a martyrdom as spectacular as the later legend tells it, but an early Martyrology mentions Saints Martha, Saula and companions at Cologne on October 20th. Other documents give a variety of names and numbers, including “Ursula”; it is not known how she came to be thought of as the foremost among them, nor how the number 11,000 was eventually settled on as the size of the group. It is possible that an abbreviation such as “XI M.V.” for “undecim martyrum virginum – eleven virgin martyrs” was misunderstood as “undecim millia virginum – eleven-thousand virgins.”

The Clematius inscription, now in the Basilica of St Ursula in Cologne, built in the 12th century over the site where the putative relics of the Virgin Martyrs were discovered.
Their passion as told in the later tenth century is summarized as follows in the revised Butler’s Lives of the Saints. “Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king in Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a pagan king. She, desiring to remain unwed, got a delay of three years, which time she spent on shipboard, sailing about the seas; she had ten noble ladies-in-waiting, each of whom, and Ursula, had a thousand companions, and they were accommodated in eleven vessels. At the end of the period of grace, contrary winds drove them into the mouth of the Rhine, they sailed up to Cologne and then on to Bâle, (Basle in Switzerland), where they disembarked and then went over the Alps to visit the tombs of the apostles at Rome. They returned by the same way to Cologne, where they were set upon and massacred for their Christianity by the heathen Huns, Ursula having refused to marry their chief. The barbarians were dispersed by angels, the citizens buried the martyrs and a church was built in their honor by Clematius.”

The inherent logistic improbabilities of assembling and moving such a company are obvious, especially given the chaos of the mid-5th century, to which the medieval legend assigns their martyrdom at the hands of the Huns. In the year 1155, a large cemetery was discovered at Cologne, and the remains therein were accepted as the relics of the 11,000, notwithstanding the presence of many men and children among them. A later elaboration identified both the epitaph and relics of “Pope Cyriacus”, who, after receiving the future martyrs in Rome, abdicated the papacy in order to accompany them back north, where he shared in their martyrdom. This version goes on to say that the cardinals, displeased at the abdication, later expunged his name from the catalog of the Popes, bringing the story down to the grotesque level of the Pope Joan legend; but the story is even found in a breviary printed in 1529 for the use of the Franciscans.

Relics of the 11,000 displayed in the crypt of the Basilica of St Ursula at Cologne, known as the Golden Chamber.
Devotion to these Saints was very strong in the Middle Ages, despite the reservations of scholars who identified the incongruities and anachronisms in their legend. Among the Premonstratensians, who took their liturgical use from the area around Cologne, their feast was celebrated with an octave until the early 20th century. St Angela Merici gave the name “Ursulines” to the religious congregation she founded in 1535, the very first women’s teaching order, and before that, Christopher Columbus chose to honor them in the naming of the Virgin Islands. In the Tridentine liturgical books, however, they are treated with great reserve, kept only as a commemoration on October 21, the feast of the abbot St Hilarion; St Ursula is mentioned by name, but no number of her companions is given. It is supremely ironic that they should share their feast day with a Saint whose life is quite well documented, by no less a personage than St Jerome; however, neither feast was retained on the Calendar of the post-Conciliar reform.

Numbering as they do in the thousands, their putative relics have been given to churches all over the world. In 1489, the Hospital of St John in the city of Bruges received a portion of them, and commissioned the painter Hans Memling to make a shrine in which to house them, one of his masterpieces. The Gothic shrine has six panels on the two sides showing the story of the Saints.

The Arrival of the 11,000 at Cologne (left), Basel (middle), and Rome (right), where they are greeted by Pope Cyriacus. (Click image to enlarge) In the background of the Cologne scene is depicted the cathedral with its unfinished bell-towers; work on the towers was broken off in 1473 and not resumed until 1842, and the bells installed in the 1870s. The crane on one of the towers remained a landmark of the city for hundreds of years.
The company departs from Basel (left); the group is martyred (center); the martyrdom of St Ursula (right). (Click image to enlarge.)

All Saints and All Souls at St Paul’s, Harvard Square - Solemn OF Masses

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Good News from Juventutem London - A Weekly Sung Mass Starting Tomorrow

The London Chapter of Juventutem has recently announced a new, regularly scheduled weekly sung Mass on their blog. The first of these will be celebrated tomorrow.

“By kind permission of the Rector, we are delighted to announce that as of the 21st October, we will be having a weekly Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, just off Piccadilly.

Mass begins at 7, with confessions beforehand, from 6.30, and we’ll even have a stab at saying the Rosary beforehand too, since it’s October. We will then retire to some nearby hostelry to partake of some small libation. Do come along and bring your friends. All are most welcome, both the young and the young at heart. Obviously we encourage those aged 18-35 to partake in the conviviality, but we wouldn’t dream of excluding people from the Mass! Please note that this does not replace our monthly High Masses, but is a welcome addition! Further details may be found on our Facebook.”

On October 31st will be held the third annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of  Our Lady of Willesden, which Juventutem London is organizing for the first time, together with the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Details of the events in the poster below. Click here for more information about the shrine.

Rare Liturgical Books from Seminary Collection on Sale - Guest Article by Mr Samuel Howard

In an article last Thursday, the New York Times reported that St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is selling approximately 250 rare books at auction on October 27, through Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. The sale follows the auction of two dozen of the seminary’s books in an Americana auction last month.
Saint Charles Borromeo, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, made news last year when it offered a number of Thomas Eakins paintings for sale through Christie’s. The Philadelphia Enquirer reported at the time that the seminary intended to use the proceeds to “defray the cost of renovating and consolidating the Wynnewood campus from about 75 acres to 35, to serve an enrollment that is down 75 percent from its peak of 534 in 1960.”
The upcoming auction caught my eye on Thursday when listings from the auction catalog started showing up in my eBay feeds set up to find listings for Eastern Rite liturgical books.
Menologium Graecorum, 1727
The image above is a Menologium Graecorum, which contains proper texts for the Byzantine rite in Greek and Latin, edited by Cardinal Annibale Albani and published at Urbino in 1727. The auction also includes two Maronite books [1] [2], a Syro-malabar book, a number of other Greek Orthodox books, and many other Latin rite books, including a “near miniature” 1734 book of the day hours for the Canons Regular of the Lateran.
Breviarium Romanum, pars hiemalis, 14th century
One of the more valuable items in the auction is an Italian 14th century vellum manuscript of the Breviarium Romanum, pars hiemalis, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
Missale Romanum Slavonico idiomate. Jussu SS. D. N. Papae Urbani Octavi editum, 1741
Of particular interest to New Liturgical Movement readers, based on their past interests, may be this Glagolitic missal, published in Rome in 1741.
Lectionary for Mass, 1970 
At least one modern liturgical book is found in the action, a richly bound lectionary for the revised Roman Rite. The custom binding and slipcase was commissioned by the seminary from artist Fritz Eberhardt (1917-1997), described as one of the finest bookbinders of the 20th century. The catalog describes it as “brown morocco gilt- and blind-stamped to cruciform design with symbols of the four Evangelists surrounding red morocco center onlay with gilt alpha on front cover and omega on rear cover, red morocco onlays on spine, wide turn-ins gilt-tooled with irregular lines; gilt edges gauffered to ornamental pattern; contents clean; suede-lined linen slipcase with onlaid brown morocco spine panel blind-stamped with the Evangelists’ symbols.” The lectionary is the 1970 American version utilizing the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition.
Biblia Latina, 1477
Non-liturgical texts are also among those being auctioned. The New York Times article highlights a “vellum Bible published in 1477 (estimated at $10,000 to $15,000) [that] has a bookplate from a Bavarian monastery,” according to the auction house, “the Augustinian monastery of St. Nicola at Passau, Bavaria.” An article at Fine Books and Collections magazine notes what they see as some of the other important non-liturgical texts.
The New Testament of Jesus Christ translated faithfully into English, 1582
They include, a New Testament published in Rheims in 1582, the first Catholic version of the New Testament in English,
St. Antoninus Florentinus, Summa Theologica
St. Antoninus Florentinus's Summa Theologica, published in Venice in the 15th century,
Athanasuis Kircher, Prodromus Coptus sive Aegyptiacus, 1636
and Athanasuis Kircher’s Prodromus Coptus sive Aegyptiacus, which is described as “the first European grammar of Coptic.” It is one of two Kircher books from St. Charles in the auction and one of several early grammars or dictionaries of non-European languages. Particularly interesting to me is a 1502-03 edition of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius with “Latin translations by Marsilio Ficino and Ambrogio Traversari with commentary by Hugh of St. Victor, Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, and others; edited by Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples.” The complete catalog is available on the web site of Swann Auction Galleries
Colin Campbell Cooper's “View of St. Peter’s, Rome”
Saint Charles Borromeo’s efforts to raise money by deaccessioning parts of its holdings have not been entirely successful. When the school attempted to auction a painting of Saint Peter’s Basilica by Eakin’s student Colin Campbell Cooper at Bonham’s in May, the picture failed to sell. A seminary official told the Times it has been returned to the seminary.
Samuel J. Howard writes from New York City, where he sings at St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church and sings and serves at the Church of the Holy Innocents(Twitter: @Jahaza) Our thanks to him for sharing this article with our readers.

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