Friday, September 11, 2020

Fr Anthony Cekada, RIP

It was announced earlier today that Fr Anthony Cekada has passed away after suffering a stroke several days ago. He will be known to our readers as the author of Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI, and The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass, a study of the systematic omission of certain doctrines (such as miracles and hell) from the prayers of the post-Conciliar Missal. Fr Cekada was a sede-vacantist and believed that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid, positions which we reject without reservation, but this does not change the value of his work for the study of the liturgy. As Dom Alcuin Reid wrote in a review of Work of Human Hands which we published in 2011:

“Some will dismiss this study because Father Cekada is canonically irregular and a sede-vacantist. Whilst these are more than regrettable, ad hominem realities are not sufficient to dismiss this carefully argued and well researched work. We must attend to his arguments on their merits. ... Father Cekada’s great service is to flag the big question that we have not widely, as yet, been prepared to face. Whilst it is certainly better to celebrate the modern liturgy in a traditional style using more accurate translations, that is not enough. For if the Missal of Paul VI is indeed in substantial discontinuity with the preceding liturgical and theological tradition, this is a serious flaw requiring correction. It is high time, then, that we not only recognise, but do something about the elephant in the liturgical living-room.”

Deus, qui inter apostolicos sacerdotes famulum tuum Antonium sacerdotali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta quaesumus: ut eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

God, who among the apostolic priests made Thy servant Anthony to flourish with priestly dignity: grant, we beseech Thee: that he may also be joined unto their perpetual society. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Image from Wikimedia Commons by DizzinessOfFreedom, CC BY-SA 4.0 

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