Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Our Ambrosian writer Nicola’ de Grandi recently visited the Holy Land; our thanks to him for sharing with us these photos of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The main entrance, in the area known as the ‘parvis’, or courtyard, with the Crusader-era façade and bell-tower, the latter now half of its original height.
Next to the main door is the Chapel of the Franks, which dates from the Crusader period, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. This place is also the 10th Station of the Via Dolorosa, at which Christ was stripped of His garments.
Under the right window above the doors stands the so-called “Immovable Ladder”, which has been in its place since at least 1728, when it appears in a drawing of this part of the church. The agreement that governs the use of the Holy Places by the various Christian confessions specifies that none of them may move any of the furniture without the consent of the others, and the ladder has often been referred to as a symbol of the divisions among Christians, but in point of fact, it is just a useful way for the Armenians, who own the ledge on which it rests, to get to their rooftop garden.
Ethiopian pilgrims at a tiny chapel between the site of Golgotha and the Sepulcher.
The Stone of Anointing, said to be the place where Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body of Christ for burial.

The Old Evangelization: Sacred Music in the Hands of Jesuit Missionaries in South America

Episode 8 of Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast is here, in which we discuss with Lisa Knutson the musical heritage of the Jesuit Reductions of South America, imprinted on the hearts which the Jesuits converted to Our Lord in their work there.

We also discuss the principles of the Jesuit charism, which saw the use of instruments and training in the arts as a means of both catechesis and evangelization, and we touch on the work of Jesuits like Frs Anton Sepp and Domenico Zipoli.

We also talk about Lisa’s work in financially-challenged areas in Minnesota and Philadelphia to draw people to Christ through sacred music and music education.

For more information, check out these links that we also give on the show notes page.

The Zipoli Institute has a lot of great resources available for musicians, especially for those working with Spanish-language choirs and liturgies. Check out the work of Lisa and her husband Nathan at the Zipoli Institute here: https://domenicozipoli.org

This article from the New York Times on the legacy of the music education of the Jesuits in Bolivia is also an interesting glimpse into the continuing fruits of the work of the missionaries: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/americas/bolivia-baroque-music.html

And here are some great recordings of the music of Domenico Zipoli, SJ. Vespers for the Feast of St. Ignatius:
A sacred opera on the Life of St. Ignatius:
Listen to a bit of a concert sung by the sisters, brothers, and priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word:

Magnificat Institute’s Sacred Music Workshops in New Hampshire, June 24-29

I encourage all NLM readers to consider the sacred music workshops offered by the Magnificat Institute which are taking place June 24-19 in beautiful rural New Hampshire at the campus of Northeast Catholic College, in the town of Warner.

Headed by founder, the Catholic composer Paul Jernberg, the Magnificat Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the renewal of sacred music in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. We aim to help parishes and communities of humble means, as well as those with an abundance of resources, to recover the dignity, depth, and grace that have characterized the great traditions of Catholic sacred music.

The workshop is for clergy and church musicians, as well as laity who wish to participate in the renewal of Sacred Music in the Catholic Church, and will be conducted by Mr Jernberg. He will present an overview of the newly-formed Magnificat’s program for formation in Catholic sacred music and its renewal today, as well as a wide-ranging repertoire which can be used in parishes, with a special focus on those with humble or modest resources. This repertoire includes new works by Mr Jernberg himself, as well as beautiful traditional chant and polyphony.

For those who wish to know more about the workshops and the Magnificat Institute, their website is here. I have been talking to Paul about his insights and practical ideas for saving sacred music in parishes in a series of podcasts at thewayofbeauty.org.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Problems with Weddings and How We Might Remedy Them

Now that we are turning the corner into May, we are entering into the main season for weddings, most of which take place on Saturdays in the warmer months.

The Catholic Church has been known throughout the ages for the strong, unambiguous stand she takes on the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage and of the naturalness, goodness, and social priority of the family that emerges, by God’s blessing, from the union of man and woman.

There is, nevertheless, a monumental disconnect between this exalted doctrine and the disgraceful, if not sacrilegious, manner in which weddings are often conducted. [1] Experience, records, and anecdotal evidence suggest that far too many Catholic weddings are not conducted as befits a holy or sacred occasion, but rather, are turned into carnivals, with the officiant acting as ringmaster. At times, the giddy banter in the church before or after Mass is so loud that an organist playing at full volume can still hear it. Sermons can become the priest’s own version of a wedding reception toast or a sentimental fireside chat with the couple, complete with reminiscences, chestnuts, and down-home advice. “The kissing of the bride” can be a real performance, complete with whistling and clapping; needless to say, everyone goes to Communion! A beautiful and sacred space is turned into a sports arena and a fashion show.

One thinks in this connection of Ratzinger’s rebuke:
Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly — it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation. [2]
If we actually believe in the “sanctity of marriage,” this kind of Hollywood travesty has to be stopped, and if we do not do all in our power to stop it, we are effectively endorsing a secular redefinition of marriage and allowing the faithful to be formed by it and in it. Clergy should take as a model the Lord Jesus expelling the money changers from the temple: “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matt. 21, 13). He didn’t set up a Pontifical Committee for Relations with Thieves, or make a public apology about how badly thieves have been treated over the centuries; he simply drew a line between sacred and profane, and threw them out. God’s house is, first and foremost, a house of prayer. The prophet Isaiah says: “The Lord of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” (Isa. 8, 13). The prophet Malachi likewise: “The son honoreth the father, and the servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 1, 6).

Connected with the fear of the Lord and respect for His temple is the evangelistic opportunity presented by a beautiful liturgy. I do not mean, of course, that the liturgy should be turned into an occasion for catechesis or apologetics, but rather, that simply by being as it should be, dignified, expressive, and noble, it will touch the hearts and minds of at least some of the non-practicing Catholics and unbelievers present. To cite Ratzinger again:
If the Liturgy appears first of all as the workshop for our activity, then what is essential is being forgotten: God. For the Liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age. As against this, the Liturgy should be setting up a sign of God’s presence. Yet what is happening, if the habit of forgetting about God makes itself at home in the Liturgy itself, and if in the Liturgy we are only thinking of ourselves? In any and every liturgical reform, and every liturgical celebration, the primacy of God should be kept in view first and foremost. [3]
I remember a priest in Ireland telling me that when he offered a Novus Ordo funeral Mass in English, but merely prayed slowly, chanting the texts, and keeping silence at appropriate points, and generally acting as if he believed in what was happening and was earnestly praying for the deceased, a number of people said to him afterwards: “My goodness, Father, if every Mass was like that one, I’d start coming to church again.”

Has there not been an incredible failure to face the obvious fact that treating the most sacred mysteries casually and horizontally necessarily leads to the eclipse of God? I speak of the eclipse of His transcendent fatherhood and His right to our total homage, intellectual and moral, as well as the eclipse of man’s own nature, his need for redemption, his capacity for the infinite and the eternal, and his heavenly destiny, with all the self-denial and self-mastery it demands of us here and now. The use of such completely foreign imports as “the unity candle” or jars of sand to signify the uniting of two families or two lives exemplifies the stress on horizontality that, together with inventing ritual whole cloth, is one of the worst legacies of the general agitation for liturgical reform that afflicted all the Christian churches and ecclesial communities in the twentieth century.

There will never be a renewed acceptance of the full truth about marriage and family, an adherence to divine and natural law, if there is not a renewed acceptance of the full truth about the sacred liturgy: an adherence to the natural law of religious homage (the obligation of creature to Creator) and to the divine law of Christian worship (the sacrifice of the Cross).

Here are a few ways in which weddings could be improved in the context of the Novus Ordo. (Some of these suggestions would also apply, mutatis mutandis, to Tridentine weddings.)

1. The most important precondition for resacralizing weddings is that those who are to be married understand ahead of time something of the beauty, holiness, and lofty demands of the sacrament, not as described in some wishy-washy pamphlet, but by reading together, in segments, a robust treatment of the subject. In all my years of teaching, the best document I have yet found is Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical Casti Connubii, which has the benefit of being relatively short, frank, and challenging. I imagine that some couples would never do the reading at all, but some others would, and it could at least spark honest, difficult conversations that need to happen, such as the reasons behind the Church’s teaching on the good of abstention before marriage and chastity during it, the corrosive evil of contraception, the inherent ordering of married life to the begetting and educating of children, and the distinct but complementary roles of husband and wife in the family.

2. The ceremony of betrothal should be restored as a sacred way of marking the period of engagement and preparation. Lest this suggestion be viewed as a form of throwback romanticism, it is worthy of mention that one sees betrothals happening quite regularly at the more traditional colleges listed in the Newman Guide. My wife and I were betrothed in a ceremony led by the priest who married us about six months later, and the idea occurred to us in the first place because we’d seen so many others doing it. However, the rite is still not known as well as it should be known, and the recent publication by the USCCB of a pathetic “blessing of engagement” could throw some people off the scent of the real deal. The traditional rite of betrothal is available in a number of places, e.g., here, here, and here. A Google search turns up a number of good articles on the subject.

3. The pastor or celebrant should insist on worthy music being utilized for the wedding: the Ordinary of the Mass and the Propers of the Nuptial Mass (perhaps in simple English psalm tones, if the choir cannot handle more) and additional pieces chosen from a list of suitable hymns and instrumentals.[4] A priest friend of mine told a delightful story. One day he was meeting with a lady to go over the plans for her wedding Mass. She listed off for him a number of popular songs she wanted to have performed at the Mass. The priest smiled and said: “I’ll let you have those songs, as long as you agree to one request of mine.” — “What’s that, Father?” — “That you play Gregorian chant at your reception.” — “But Father, that’s not appropriate for the occasion!” — “Right. Neither are these songs appropriate for the occasion of divine worship. Now let’s rethink the music for the Mass.”

4. Moving to the wedding itself, if one is working with Catholics who have a modicum of faith and open-mindedness, one could suggest holding a Holy Hour after the wedding rehearsal while the priest hears confessions, particularly those of the bride, bridegroom, and wedding party. Among other benefits, this practice would greatly increase the possibility of the bride and bridegroom marrying in a state of grace so that they actually receive the fruits of the sacrament of matrimony rather than being vowed to one another in a graceless state of mortal sin. (Theologians teach that when marriage is contracted in a state of sin, the parties are indeed indissolubly wed, but the grace of the sacrament is not actually received by the sinful party until he or she is restored, through absolution or perfect contrition, to a state of grace, and then the sacramental grace is said to be “revived.”)

5. At the ceremony itself, the priest should bring out the most beautiful vestments and vessels he has access to, chant his own parts of the Mass, avoid the pitfalls of showmanship, and see to it that the service is conducted with solemnity. Such an ars celebrandi, together with the aforementioned music and the Holy Hour and confessions of the evening before, would accentuate the sacredness of the great mystery being celebrated.

When I have discussed these matters with priests, I generally get two reactions (and usually from the same people): “You are right,” and “It’s impossible.” I think there is a lot of discouragement out there about weddings and funerals, because these occasions, more than any others, bring home to the clergy just how horribly lacking in basic Christian faith and morals most baptized Catholics actually are. Nowhere is the postconciliar collapse of the Church and the destruction of the liturgy more apparent.

Nevertheless, with St. Thérèse, I maintain that discouragement is a form of pride, and that Christ is looking for “a few good men” to make the strenuous efforts needed, “brick by brick,” to elevate the seriousness and beauty of all of our sacramental life — be it baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals, or daily and Sunday Mass. This is obviously a long-term project, but it begins with making whatever improvements we can, here and now. With all the care and goodwill in the world, we will sometimes offend people who do not know better, but let us strive to explain clearly and patiently the rationale behind all that we ask or propose to do.


[1] There is a similar disconnect between Catholic eschatology and modern-day Catholic funerals, which have degenerated into maudlin wakes of the Protestant “low church” kind. The primary purpose of the Mass for the Dead is to pray for the soul of the departed, that it may be saved and, if in need of purification (as the vast majority of saved souls will be), may be delivered soon from the fires of Purgatory. Hence the traditional Requiem Mass focuses all of its attention on the faithful departed: there is no homily; gone are blessings of certain objects or of the people; a special Agnus Dei begs for the repose of souls; the Propers are a continuous tapestry of prayers for the dead; and so forth. The way that modern funerals have been turned towards the emotional relief of the living and the “celebration” of the mortal life of the deceased is, in reality, a double act of uncharity: first, it deprives Christians of the opportunity to go out of themselves in love by praying for the salvation of their loved one’s soul, thus exercising a great act of spiritual mercy rather than being a passive recipient of an act of spiritual mercy; second, it deprives the departed soul of the power and consolation of collective prayer on its behalf. Of course, all of this presupposes an orthodox understanding of the Four Last Things.

[2] Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, trans. John Saward (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 198–99; also in idem, Collected Works, vol. XI: Theology of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014), 125.

[3] Joseph Ratzinger, Preface to Alcuin Reid, The Organic Development of the Liturgy: The Principles of Liturgical Reform and Their Relation to the Twentieth-Century Liturgical Movement Prior to the Second Vatican Council (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 13; also in Ratzinger, Theology of the Liturgy, 593–94.

[4] Fr. Samuel Weber’s book The Proper of the Mass for Sundays and Solemnities has several settings of the Nuptial Mass propers, ranging from psalm-tone to melismatic.

Visit www.peterkwasniewski.com for events, articles, sacred music, and classics reprinted by Os Justi Press (e.g., Benson, Scheeben, Parsch, Guardini, Chaignon, Leen).

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Low Sunday 2019

Dearest brethren: whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood; and it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son. (1 John 5, 4-10, the Epistle of Low Sunday.)

The Holy Trinity, from the Pabenham-Clifford Hours, ca. 1315-30, now at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. (Public domain image from Wikimedia.)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Good Friday 2019 Photopost (Part 1)

Our photopost series continues to demonstrate the richness of our Catholic liturgical heritage; here we have the ceremonies of Good Friday in both the pre- and post-Pian forms of the EF, as well as the OF, and Vespers of Good Friday in the Byzantine Rite. There will be at least one more of these before we move on to Tenebrae, the Easter vigil and Easter Sunday; we are always happy to receive late submissions (photopost@newliturgicalmovement.org). As always, with our thanks to everyone who sent these in!

Holy Innocents - New York City

The Byzantine Paschal Hour

In the Roman Rite, the minor Hours of Easter and its octave are celebrated according to a very simple and archaic form, which consists solely of the psalmody, the antiphon Haec dies, and the prayer, with the usual introduction and conclusion. (Haec dies is labeled as an “antiphon” in the Breviary, but it is identical to the first part of the gradual sung at Mass each day of Easter week, and is called a gradual in the liturgical books of some other Uses.) This is said from Prime of Easter Sunday to None of the following Saturday. An analogous form is used at Compline, which consists of just the psalmody, an antiphon of four Allelujas, the Nunc dimittis, the Haec dies and the prayer, again, with the usual introduction and conclusion.

The Byzantine Rite observes a very similar practice; from Prime of Easter Sunday to None of Bright Saturday, the minor Hours, including Compline and the Midnight Office, are all sung according to the same brief and highly simplified form, without varying any part of the text from one Hour to another. This form is meant to be sung by the choir, whereas normally, the minor Hours are done by a single reader, with the priest saying the opening and closing formulas, and the doxologies (e.g. “For thine is the kingdom…” after the Lord’s Prayer.)

After the brief introduction “Blessed is Our God …”, the Paschal troparion is sung three times. “Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death, and bestowed life upon those in the tombs.” Another hymn is also sung three times. “Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and we sing of and glorify Thy holy Resurrection; for Thou art our God, beside Thee we know none other, we call upon Thy name. Come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. In all things blessing the Lord, we sing of His Resurrection; for, having endured the Cross for our sake, by death He hath destroyed death.”

There follows another hymn called a hypakoë, which is sung once. “Coming with Mary before the dawn, and finding the stone rolled away from the tomb, the women heard from the Angel, “Why do you seek among the dead Him That liveth in everlasting light, as though He were (merely) a man? See the grave-clothes, run and proclaim to the world that the Lord is risen and hath slain death; for He is the Son of God Who saveth the race of men.”

A Russian icon of the Myrrh-bearing Women, painted in the first half of the 16th century, now in the Yaroslavl Art Museum. In the Byzantine Rite, the second Sunday after Easter is dedicated to these women; the Gospel is St Mark’s account of the burial of Christ, followed by their discovery of the empty tomb (15, 43 – 16, 8.)
Then the kontakion of Easter is sung. “Though Thou didst descend into the grave, o Immortal One, yet Thou didst destroy the power of Hades, and arise as victor, Christ God, calling out to the myrrh-bearing women, ‘Rejoice!’ and giving peace to Thy Apostles, Thou Who grantest resurrection to the fallen.”

This is followed by a series of three troparia, sung with the doxology; the concluding hymn of such a series is always about the Mother of God.

“In the grave bodily, but in Hades with Thy soul as God; in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou, o Christ, who fillest all things, uncircumscribed. – Glory to the Father…
How life-giving, how much more beautiful than Paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace was Thy tomb shown to be, O Christ, the source of our resurrection. – Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O sanctified and divine tabernacle of the Most High, rejoice! For through thee, o Mother of God, joy is given to them that cry out, ‘Blessed art thou among women, o Lady immaculate.’ ”

The Paschal Hour concludes with a slightly shorter form of the regular conclusion, which includes the text of the Paschal troparion. “Lord, have mercy (forty times). Glory to the Father… More honorable than the Cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Mother of God; we magnify Thee. Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen. Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death, and bestowed life upon those in the tombs (three times). Glory to the Father… Lord, have mercy (three times). O Lord, give the blessing. Thou that didst rise from the dead, O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind. Amen.”

Here is a recording of the traditional Slavonic version, sung by the choir of the St Petersburg Theological Academy in 2014. (There doesn’t appear to be a Greek version available on Youtube.)

Friday, April 26, 2019

Holy Thursday 2019 Photopost (Part 3)

The final photopost of this year’s Holy Thursday - two days down, only three more to go, plus Tenebrae and other parts of the Office. Evangelize through beauty!

St Gianna Beretta Molla - Northfield, New Jersey

Two Designs for Notre-Dame de Paris

In the wake of the fire which damaged Notre-Dame de Paris last week, and the subsequent discussion of proposals for its restoration, this drawing has appeared several times on social media.

This comes from the pen of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-79), who dedicated many years of his life to restoring Notre-Dame after the tremendous damage inflicted on it during the French Revolution, and in the many years of political and social turbulence that followed. It is supposed to represent his ideal way of completing the church, if he had had an unlimited budget; I have seen a few people comment on their relief that he didn’t. Here is another rendering of the same idea, apparently based on the cathedral of Rheims.

While we are on the subject, it should be remembered that well before the Revolution, in the 17th-century, French churches underwent a first wave of vandalism with the destruction of countless rood screens. Here is a drawing of what the sanctuary area of Notre-Dame de Paris looked like before its was taken down at the beginning of the 18th century. Note the two circular structures with staircases inside them at the bottom left and right; these were used to reach the ambos on top of the screen, one in the middle of each side, from which the Epistle and Gospel were sung. (Our friends at Canticum Salomonis published some translations of a interesting treatise in defense of rood screens by Fr Jean-Baptiste Thiers, originally written in 1688.)

Events: Dr Kwasniewski’s Lectures in Michigan, May 10–12

On the weekend of May 10–12, I will be giving four lectures in the greater Detroit area: one in Detroit proper at Old St Mary’s Church; two in Jackson at St Mary Star of the Sea; and one in Windsor at St Alphonsus. Each lecture will be followed by a Q&A period.

Happily, all three events start off with traditional Latin High Masses: signs of a new springtime, indeed! (A slogan comes to mind: “Taking the ‘Extra-’ out of Extraordinary.”)

Copies of my three books on traditional Catholicism (Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis; Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness; and Tradition and Sanity) will be available at each location.

I am looking forward to meeting many new people as well as friends and acquaintances who live in the area!

Details (dates, locations, and times) may be found in the posters below. Further information about the Jackson conference may be found here.

As a side-note: the lecture at St Alphonsus in Windsor will be the fruit of my researches on the question of the “laws” of organic liturgical development, which I adumbrated in my Melbourne lecture on Paul VI’s general audiences, published at Rorate Caeli on April 2.

At the bottom of this post will be found the chart that I distributed on that occasion, which will form the basis for my in-depth reflections in Windsor. Since a chart does not explain itself, allow me to make one simple point for the moment: the identification of 1570 as a notable line between change and stability does not rest on attributing any “magical” properties to the work of Pius V or the missal he authorized, nor must it ignore the small changes that have occurred since that time. Rather, the point is that the Roman Rite had developed element by element until it received what may well be argued to be its definitive form, a form that perfectly reflected the traditional faith and practice of the Church as authoritatively summarized by the Council of Trent. In other words, it had achieved (relative) perfection as a liturgical rite, just as the Divine Liturgy of St John Chyrosostom had done somewhat earlier.

This, and not ossification or fossilization as the progressive liturgists like to say, is the fundamental reason for its immense strength, constancy, and immutability for 400 years afterwards. It would and should have continued along the same lines until the end of time (as indeed one may safely predict the Byzantine liturgical rites will do), had it not been for Pope Paul VI’s erroneous conceptions of modernity and modernization.

My lecture will identify five laws of liturgical development that we can derive from history and theology, on the basis of which we will be able to conclude that significant ritual overhaul is ruled out in principle and constitutes a sin against the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as there is resistance to Providence and the gifts of grace. In like manner, maintaining and celebrating the traditional liturgy of the Church is a work particularly pleasing to God, more meritorious and efficacious, inasmuch as it receives humbly and gratefully from His hands what He has been pleased to bestow upon the Church in her pilgrimage through the centuries, and offers it back to Him in union with the countless host whose lips have formed the same words, whose hands have made the same gestures.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Holy Thursday 2019 Photopost (Part 2)

We continue with photographs of your Holy Thursday liturgies, today featuring several crotali and the stripping of the altars. There will be one more of these before we move on to Good Friday, so if you haven’t seen yours yet, they will be in the next one. Thanks as always to everyone who sent these in.

St Eugène - Paris, France
Listen to the complete Mass on the Youtube Channel of the Schola Sainte-Cécile
Mater Ecclesiae - Berlin, New Jersey

Rogation and Ember Days - An Illustrated Guide

April 25th sees the coincidence of three observances this year: the Thursday within the Octave of Easter, the feast of St Mark the Evangelist, and the Major Litanies, or Rogation Days. Traditionally, St Mark would be transferred to the next free day after Low Sunday, but the Major Litanies would be celebrated together with the Easter Octave, with a procession and a Mass. In the Breviary, the Litany of the Saints would be recited after Lauds by those who do not participate in a Rogation process. Our friend Fr Christopher Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina and one of the writers at Chant Café, put together an excellent illustrated guide explaining both the Rogations and Ember Days, with a number of very useful quotes from various liturgical sources. It can be downloaded from dropbox.

Summer Theology Program: St. Thomas on Galatians with Daily Latin Mass

Each summer brings with it a number of opportunities for further education in congenial Catholic settings. This August 12-16, the Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine and the Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies are partnering with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to offer a five-day theology program studying the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians with the aid of St. Thomas Aquinas's superb commentary.

Themes: Galatians as well as the commentary bring forward important considerations on the unchangeableness of sacred doctrine ("even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be anathema"), on the mystical identification of the Christian with Christ, on the setting-aside of the Old Covenant in consequence of its messianic fulfillment, and on the confrontation of Church hierarchs by their subjects -- all subjects under considerable discussion in our day. The daily schedule will include seminars as well as lectures. A highlight of the program is the formal scholastic disputation to be held on August 15 in honor of the solemn feast of Our Lady's Assumption.

Liturgy: The program will be held at St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, WI, a parish of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The 19th-century church, renovated in the first years of the 21st century, is considered one of the most beautiful examples in North America of German High Gothic. Canons of the Institute will offer daily Mass in the usus antiquior ("extraordinary form") as well as hours of the Divine Office. The Assumption will feature a solemn high Mass and procession.

Faculty: We are happy to announce the faculty:
  • Dr John Joy is Senior Theologian to the Bishop of Madison. He also serves as Managing Editor for The Aquinas Institute and President of the Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies. He has published on soteriology and ecclesiology.
  • Dr Alan Fimister is Assistant Professor of Theology and Church History at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and a Fellow of the Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies. He has published on European political history and Thomistic political philosophy.
  • Rev. Dr Thomas Crean, O.P. is a friar of the English province of the Order of Preachers and a Fellow of the Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies. He has published on apologetics, liturgy, and natural theology.
  • Dr. Taylor Patrick O'Neill is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University. He specializes in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic commentatorial tradition.
Course Book: Each participant in the program will receive a beautifully hardbound copy of vol. 39 of the Aquinas Institute's Opera Omnia series, a volume that has the commentaries on Galatians and Ephesians.

To Apply: The 2019 USA Session is open to all applicants 18 years and older. No previous university-level theological studies are required. Deadline for applications is July 15, 2019. A simple online application form may be filled out online here.

Location: The course will be held at St. Mary's Oratory, in Wausau, Wisconsin. Wausau is a city of about 40,000 people on the Wisconsin River in central Wisconsin. The nearest airport, Central Wisconsin Airport (code CWA), about a 20-minute car or taxi trip, has daily connections to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit. For those driving, Wausau is about 2 hrs by car from Green Bay; 2 hrs from Madison; 2.5 hrs from La Crosse; 3 hrs from Milwaukee; and 3 hrs from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Cost: Program fees are scaled as follows:
  • Option 1. Tuition only (for commuters): $250.
  • Option 2. Tuition plus accommodations in a shared double hotel room: $500.
  • Option 3. Tuition plus accommodations in a private single hotel room: $750.
Payment can be made by check or credit card. $250 deposit due upon acceptance of application. Remainder (if applicable) due by August 1.

Hotel: We have reserved rooms at the Jefferson Inn in downtown Wausau. It is a 3-minute drive or an 11-minute walk from the inn to St. Mary's Oratory. If choosing to stay at the inn, please arrange it through us rather than booking directly with the hotel, so as to avoid confusion.

Meals: Lunch will be provided each day on site for all participants. Breakfast is included at the hotel for those staying there. For dinner, guests are welcome to make their own plans. There is a restaurant in the hotel and many other local eating places are found in the surrounding blocks. If you have any special needs or requests, please contact us directly.

Easter Sunday
(For more information on the church and more photos, see the Facebook page or the parish website.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Holy Thursday 2019 Photopost (Part 1)

Time to begin moving the mountain of photopost submissions for the Sacred Triduum! There will be at least two more of Holy Thursday, before we move on to the others, so we are still glad to receive more (send to: photopost@newliturgicalmovement.org.) We thank everyone for their contributions, and wish all our readers a joyful Easter week. Evangelize through beauty!
Holy Innocents - New York City
St Gianna Oratory - Tuscon, Arizona (ICKSP)

Pontifical Mass at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans This Saturday

This Saturday, April 27, His Excellency Glen Provost, bishop of Lake Charles, Louisiana, will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool in the chapel of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, beginning at 8:30 am (CDT). The seminary is located at 2901 Carollton Avenue; the Mass is open to the public, and will also be livestreamed via the seminary’s Facebook page.

A Fire in a Cathedral? Why So Sad?

Only those who hate any sign of Christianity or the roots of Western culture will be pleased about the fire at Notre Dame. However, I can’t help but react to the response of some (but not all) Christians to this event.

I will begin by saying that I’m not pleased this has happened either. I am very glad that no one, as far as I know, has been hurt. But I don’t share the despair that some many seem to have expressed about this being a symbol of the demise of Christian culture. This is not a new or rare event. Cathedrals, as with all aspects of the culture, are temporary and we can’t expect any of them to last forever. They have burned down before many times and it will happen again. The only remarkable thing is how rare such an event is nowadays.

The response of Christians in the past was to see it as an opportunity. They rolled up their sleeves and tried to build a new more glorious church. As an example, St Martin’s in Utrecht is the equal of Notre Dame, Paris, and would not be there if the previous cathedral had not burned down.
Christians despair today, I suggest, because we can’t or won’t respond in a similar way. Instead, we whine about French government intentions for the rebuilding project. It is fair to criticize what we think is wrong, of course, but we should pause for a moment. It strikes me that perhaps the bitterness that some seem to display is the attitude that has caused so much of our current demise in the first place. Instead, let us follow the example of our forebears and work to rebuild the culture! It is silly to blame the French government or secular philosophies for replacing a Christian shrine with a secular one, if that’s what they intend. They are stepping into the space that we have vacated. Let’s look at ourselves before we blame others.

We can renew the liturgy, beginning with our own approach to worship, in our icon corner at home if we have no influence at the local church, and build a Christian culture around that.

Then we can have dozens of glorious churches more beautiful than Notre Dame, Paris.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: