Friday, September 13, 2019

Photopost Request: Exaltation of the Cross 2019 (And Why These Posts Are Important)

Our next photopost will be for tomorrow’s feast of the Exaltation of the Cross; as always, we welcome submissions of photos in either Form of the Roman Rite, any of the Eastern rites, and the Ordinariate rite, as well as Vespers and other parts of the Divine Office, veneration of relics, processions, etc. We will also be glad to include photos from the feasts of the Nativity, Holy Name, and Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. Please be sure to include the name and location of the church, and always feel free to add any other information you think important.

Since the feast falls on a weekend this year, I hope we will have more contributions than usual. I would also like to add a word about why these photoposts are important, and why you should make efforts to have pictures taken of your liturgies, and send them in.

From last year’s photopost for the Exaltation of the Cross: the first Mass in the traditional rite at the church of St Dominic in Brick, New Jersey, since the implementation of the post-Conciliar reform.
About 6 years ago, when Shawn Tribe passed the direction of NLM on me and others, Ben Yanke began adding the words “Evangelize through beauty!” to many of the photoposts, and we still do this on a regular basis. It expresses a truth told many times by our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict, that beauty in the liturgy has a real power to convey the truth of the Gospel. His Holiness was fond of a famous story about the French poet Paul Claudel, who “while he was listening to the singing of the Magnificat at Christmas Mass, felt God’s presence. He had not entered the church for reasons of faith, but to in search of arguments against Christians, and instead the grace of God worked in his heart.” And to this I would add that many people have written in over the years, or left remarks in the combox, to say how much they appreciate seeing these photos.

However, this is not merely a question of aesthetics, a word which is unfortunately often used to dismiss beauty in all fields, not just liturgy, as a thing of little or no importance. It is no secret that many Catholics have little or no access to beautiful liturgy; we know that the tide is turning in this regard, inexorably, but it is turning slowly, and in far too many places, much too slowly. I think it is of paramount importance to provide encouragement to such people, to let them know that many of their fellow Catholics see that there is a problem, and are doing yeomen’s work to remedy it, with no small success. While I was at Oxford last month with the Schola Sainte-Cécile, at one of the Masses I met an young American professor who was there for an academic conference, and who was just astonished to hear the kind of music that the Schola, which is not a professional ensemble, was capable of singing, and how well they did it. Afterwards, he said to me, “I am going to tell all my priest friends what I saw here, and tell them, ‘This can be done! I’ve seen it!’ ” Our photoposts are a way of spreading the word about this movement to recover the authentic tradition of Catholic worship, and remind everyone that it is indeed a movement whose success is greatest with the young, which is to say, with the future of the Church.

From a recent post on a Dominican Mass and Eucharistic procession in London, also part of the Schola’s pilgrimage; young parishioners of the Rosary Shrine carry the canopy over the Body of Christ.

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