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Articles on this Page
- 02/19/16--20:50: _The Church of St Ma...
- 02/20/16--22:35: _The Second Sunday o...
- 02/21/16--23:47: _A Roman Pilgrim at ...
- 02/22/16--03:30: _CMAA Summer Chant C...
- 02/22/16--21:45: _Should Christians C...
- 02/23/16--09:50: _Colloquium 2016 - E...
- 02/23/16--21:52: _Magnificent New Rus...
- 02/24/16--11:08: _DSPT to Offer a Cat...
- 02/24/16--22:01: _An Interesting Fact...
- 02/25/16--06:39: _Making New Memories...
- 02/25/16--22:54: _Why is the Feast of...
- 02/26/16--05:00: _ Adult Coloring Boo...
- 02/26/16--09:00: _Lenten Exercises at...
- 02/26/16--23:16: _A Roman Pilgrim at ...
- 02/27/16--23:41: _How is Your Latin O...
- 02/29/16--07:00: _Exquisite Altar Car...
- 02/29/16--10:47: _St. John Cassian, F...
- 03/01/16--05:00: _Register Now: Confe...
- 03/02/16--00:43: _Some Ambrosian Musi...
- 03/02/16--03:11: _The Post-Vatican II...
- 02/19/16--20:50: The Church of St Maurice in Milan
- 02/20/16--22:35: The Second Sunday of Lent 2016
- 02/21/16--23:47: A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2016 (Part 2)
- 02/22/16--03:30: CMAA Summer Chant Courses, June 27- July 1
- 02/22/16--21:45: Should Christians Celebrate a “Seder Meal”?
- 02/23/16--09:50: Colloquium 2016 - Early Registration by March 1st
- 02/24/16--22:01: An Interesting Fact About Today’s Lenten Station
- 02/25/16--06:39: Making New Memories in the LeBaron
- 02/25/16--22:54: Why is the Feast of St Matthias Moved in Leap Years?
- 02/26/16--09:00: Lenten Exercises at Princeton
- 02/26/16--23:16: A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2016 (Part 3)
- 02/27/16--23:41: How is Your Latin OF Doing?
- 02/29/16--07:00: Exquisite Altar Cards from Notre Dame in Paris
- 02/29/16--10:47: St. John Cassian, Feb. 29
- 03/02/16--00:43: Some Ambrosian Music For Lent
- 03/02/16--03:11: The Post-Vatican II Reform of the Lenten Readings
The monastery was founded in the Carolingian era, and included a church building that was much older, but the current church was begun in 1503. It is divided into two parts, one for the faithful and another for the nuns, who were quite strictly enclosed. By 1509, the basic structure of the church was completed, and the decoration of the church and its many side-chapels began, mainly through the patronage of the Bentivoglio family, four of whose daughters entered the convent, and other families associated with them. The painting of the church would continue though the rest of the 16th-century; the result is an impressive, if somewhat uneven, collection of frescoes, beginning with the disciples of Leonardo Da Vinci, chief among them Bernardino Luini, continuing through the early Mannerists, and completed at the end of the 1570s with the façade, the frescoes on the counterfaçade, and the main altarpiece for the nave of the public church, by Antonio Campi.
|The altar of the public church, with frescoes by B. Luini surrounding the altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi by Antonio Campi.|
|Noah’s Ark by Aurelio Luini, Bernardino’s son, 1556|
|The nuns’ choir|
|The Deposition from the Cross, by Callisto and Fulvio Piazza, 1555|
|St Benedict, by an unknown follower of Luini,|
|Adam and Eve, also by Aurelio Luini|
|Ss Benedict, Maurus and Placid.|
|The Transfiguration, by Guido da Siena, ca 1270|
|The procession held before the Mass, which, as you can see below in the fourth picture, passed into the church’s atrium, and then entered the church again through the now-open Holy Door.|
|The church on Duquesne University’s Campus|
Results from our Colloquium survey last summer indicated that our membership is clamoring for more information and training about teaching children. Covering the topics in one-hour breakout sessions at a Colloquium, no matter how valuable, isn't sufficient time to allow participants to gain the skills needed.
In response, for the first time, we will be offering a beginning course in the Ward method concurrent with our Chant Intensive course.
The five-day course will be taught by Scott Turkington, providing training to allow participants to teach groups of children using these tried and true methods. Read the entire description at the CMAA Summer Chant webpage.
Gain the skills and tools you need to begin teaching the Catholic leaders of tomorrow to sing using Justine Ward's methods.
(The CMAA Ward course does not have any official Ward accreditation and is not affiliated with the Center for Ward Studies.)
The CMAA has offered Chant Intensive courses since 2008. Each year, new attendees take the knowledge home and use it in their home parishes, increasing their skill level and sharing the information with others. What has been a consistent request from CMAA program attendees has been more information and training on effective chant direction. This summer's Chant Intensive will do just that.
This course (Monday – Friday) will be taught by Wilko Brouwers, focusing on directing techniques for current and prospective chant directors.
Through the use of,
- General directing exercises
- Individual practice with the choir group (participants choose their own chant pieces), and
- Video analysis
participants in the directing course will gain knowledge and practical experience during the 5-day course. The class will have two sections -- for prospective directors and for singers -- see the complete description at our Summer Chant Course webpage.
The basics of chant will not be taught in this course, other than as illustrations for the directing course.
Because of the nature of our summer course offerings, we must limit class sizes to allow time for adequate interaction with the instructors.
So... if you have been waiting for the opportunity to study with a master director to gain the skill and confidence to direct your own schola or would like to gain the skills to improve the sound of your choir, please make plans to join us this summer in Pittsburgh.
REGISTER ONLINE NOW
The Last Supper was a Passover meal. The original Passover was celebrated during the exodus from Egypt, when the people slaughtered a lamb and put its blood over their doorposts so that the angel of death would “pass over” them. Because they had to leave in a hurry, they did not have time to let their bread rise, and so they ate unleavened bread. This became a yearly celebration for Israel — something done “in remembrance” of the sparing of the firstborn’s life, and of the consequent exodus. The Passover lamb had to be taken to the Temple and sacrificed, and then the people would eat of the sacrifice; it was a sacrificial meal, and made visible the fact that even the laypeople of Israel were a “kingdom of priests.”
Now that the Temple has been destroyed, Jews do not eat the Passover meal; instead, they eat the “Seder,” which is not a sacrificial meal. Orthodox Jews refuse even to eat lamb at a Seder because no sacrificial lamb is possible for them now.
The ritual by the time of Jesus involved four cups of wine, parsley or some other green, unleavened bread, and the singing of certain psalms. Jesus transformed the Passover meal into a new ritual — the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By identifying the bread as his own body and offering it to the disciples to eat, he pointed to himself as the new lamb of sacrifice (22:19): “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Before giving the Eucharistic bread, Jesus had already given them a cup of wine; this was the second of the four cups of wine. But after he gave them the Eucharistic bread, he identified the third cup as his own blood (22:20): “And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Each of the four Passover cups had a name, and the third cup was known as the “cup of blessing.” Note 1 Corinthians 10:16, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?”
Note that when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration, they were discussing Jesus’ “exodus” which he was to accomplish (Luke 9:31). Jesus’ passion and resurrection are the new exodus. Correspondingly, he gives his disciples a new Passover ritual to go with the new exodus. In this new Passover, Jesus is the lamb whose blood averts the angel of death; instead of Egypt, we are delivered from the state of sin and a heart inclined to evil (as represented by Pharaoh’s “hardened heart”).
In this way, the sacrifice Jesus offered on the cross founds a new ritual of sacrifice for us. As Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the history and mission of Israel, so the liturgy he gave us to commemorate and re-offer his death fulfills the Passover and the creation of Israel as a nation. The celebration of the Eucharist creates the Church as the new Israel, the kingdom of God. As Jesus’ death took the punishment for the sins of the whole world, so the Mass is offered for the sins of all of us. But there is more than sin and redemption. Jesus’ perfect offering to the Father was also the fulfillment of man’s mission as cosmic priest to bring all of creation back to God in an act of worship. There is a cosmic aspect to the Mass; it is the fulfillment of creation’s purpose. This is why John Paul II said that every Mass, wherever it is offered, is offered “on the altar of the world.”
On Holy Thursday last year, a colleague of mine gave a talk before an evening Jewish-style meal. He explained that it does not make sense to celebrate a Seder Meal as a way to “reenact” the Last Supper. Historically, the Seder Meal was invented as a way to make up for the lack of the Passover Supper because there was no longer temple sacrifice after 70 AD. In other words, the Seder as now practiced postdates our Lord’s institution of the Eucharist, and is, in part, an ongoing sign that the Jews do not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, the one Messiah and Savior of mankind, apart from whom there is no salvation. For these reasons, my colleague advocated a Passover-style dinner, not a Seder Meal. During this dinner, he commented on the different dishes at the tables, explained their Old Testament symbolism, and showed how their meaning was fulfilled in the sacrifice of the true unblemished Lamb, which is made present for us in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
So much, then, for why a Seder Meal would be a totally incoherent thing for Christians to do. There is, moreover, this theological consideration: separating the Jewish meal from the act of animal sacrifice, as the Seder deliberately does, fundamentally confuses the actual symbolism of the Passover supper, and therefore bars any understanding of how this supper foreshadows the Passion. Among other things, the anthropological significance of Jesus Christ replacing the sacrifice of another by His own self-sacrifice is lost.
Then, a practical consideration. A Seder meal is a currently practiced religious ritual for the Jews who do it. Hence, Catholics attending a Seder meal, even if no rabbi were present, would rightly be at a loss to know whether they were play-acting, going through an academic exercise, attempting to turn a Jewish custom into a Christian meditation, or even attempting to pray like Jews (as if we could momentarily function as people of a different religion). In short, it is not possible to simulate a Seder without implying that one is conducting a religious observance. In contrast, as we have shown, it is possible to serve a Passover-like meal for educational purposes, since the Jewish Passover, narrowly speaking, has not been observed as a religious ritual for close to 2,000 years. Such a meal can indeed be a welcome opportunity for sound catechesis about the Passion of our Lord and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
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Three Great venues: the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the Shrine of St. Joseph, and the Pro-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and Apostle.
|The Shrine of St Joseph, St Louis, Missouri|
Sing Mozart, Palestrina or a variety of motets in your chosen polyphonic choir. There is also a beginning polyphonic choir again this year, which will sing a motet later in the week. See all the details and begin making your choir selections now.
NEW! Repertory Listing Uploaded to our Website!
Questions about accommodations, schedule, or any other detail? Visit our webpage about Colloquium detail here. Read the biographical information about our faculty to help choose your choirs and breakout sessions.
Planning to apply for a scholarship? Don’t delay. Application and recommendation forms must be received by us by April 7, 2016.
For any other questions, don't hesitate to contact the CMAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below, the interior mosaics and exterior of the cathedral:
Contrast those with the interior and exterior of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily
I have only seen the photographs that are included in the article, but based upon these I would say that this is a model lesson in how to draw into your own tradition influences from outside without compromising core principles. It is fresh and exciting, and this is the mark of a truly living tradition. Furthermore, there is plenty of more conventional, Eastern style iconography here too, and the external appearance of the Church is clearly that of an Eastern church.
The Certificate program of studies is organized by the Academic Dean of the DSPT, Fr Chris Renz; readers may remember that I highlighted his excellent article on liturgy and culture recently published in Antiphon. Also involved will be Fr Michael Morris, art historian and professor of religion and the arts at DSPT, who is also well known as a writer on Christian art and culture. He and Fr Renz are both leading lights in the research institute for religion and the arts called the Santa Fe Institute, which has over 12,000 volumes in its library. This resource will be available to students on this certificate.
Anyone who has read any of my writings over the years will see why I am enthusiastic about this – these themes of inculturation, worship and fresh creativity are at the heart of my own ideas about the evangelization of the culture. I am thrilled, as you can imagine, when Fr Renz told me that he intends to use my book the Way of Beauty as one of the texts for the opening course of the Certificate program.
The first course of the four to be offered this coming Fall is called the Foundational Principles of Catholic Liturgy and Worship. To complete the Certificate in Theological Studies program with a specialization in Sacred Arts, the student must complete the four courses indicated below, typically over two or more semesters.
1. Foundational Principles of Catholic Liturgy and Worship (next offered Fall 2016)
2. Liturgical Piety: Anthropological Foundations of Catholic Worship (next offered Spring 2017)
3. One elective offering from any advisor-approved Religion and the Arts course. These are the courses that will particularly focus on practical elements, such as painting.
4. Christian Iconography (offered Fall 2016)
The format for all courses is once per week for just under 3 hours. They will typically offered during the weekday, which means that you have to be within striking distance of Berkeley, California in order to take it.
The named outcomes are to:
• imbue students with an understanding of sacred art and its relationship to sacred liturgy;
• provide students with the philosophical and theological foundations for the anthropological as well as the transcendent aspects of art;
• provide basic principles for using the fine arts as a vehicle for “preaching the gospel” to the contemporary culture.
Application ProcessApplicants must complete the DSPT Certificate of Theological Studies application (found at the DSPT website), including a statement of purpose, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation. Application is on a rolling admission process.
Tuition and FeesTuition rate for 2016-2017 academic year is $715 per semester unit (all courses are 3 units). For further information, contact Fr. Chris Renz, O.P. at email@example.com, or 510-883-2084. You can read about this course on the DSPT website at www.dspt.edu/sacred-arts
The Bona Dea was a goddess very much associated with female chastity, and therefore, anything to do with the goddess of sexual desire, Venus, was also removed from the house where the rites of the Bona Dea were held. This would include any statues and images of Venus, and most particularly the plant myrtle, which was woven into crowns and worn on the head by her worshippers at her principal festivals.
When the Lenten Station is held at the Basilica of St Cecilia on the Wednesday of the Second Week, next door to a shrine of the Bona Dea, the traditional Epistle is taken from the Deuterocanonical additions to the book of Esther, the only reading from that book in the Missal. (This reading was later borrowed from this day for the votive Mass “against the pagans.” It has been suppressed in the post-Conciliar rite.) In chapter 13, Mardochai is praying for the delivery of the Jewish people from their enemy Haman, who has arranged for the Persian Emperor to order the massacre of all the Jews in his dominions.
“In those days, Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying, ‘O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel. Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist thy majesty. And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have mercy on thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish thy inheritance. Despise not thy portion, which thou hast redeemed for thyself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to thee, O Lord, our God.’ ” (vss. 9-11 and 15-17)
This is the reading as it appears in the Missal of St Pius V, but before the Tridentine reform, it began as follows: “In those days, Esther prayed to the Lord, saying…” And this, despite the fact that it is Mardochai who offers this prayer in the Bible.
|A leaf of a Roman Missal printed at Lyon in 1497. The Mass for today’s station begins in the middle of the right column.|
In the Roman calendar, each month has three days which are called the Kalends, Nones and Ides; the first of these three is the first day of each month. In March, May, July and October, the Nones are on the 7th, and the Ides on the 15th; in all other months, they are on the 5th and 13th. These designations probably arose, like most features of most calendars, from some sort of religious observances fixed to those days, perhaps connected to a very primitive lunar calendar, but we know nothing for certain about their origin.
When the Julian Calendar was instituted in 46 BC, establishing the regular leap day every four years, the leap day itself was added by counting “the sixth day before the Kalends of March” twice. From this, the Latin term for “leap year” is “annus bisextilis”, meaning “a year in which the sixth day (before the Kalends of March) occurs twice.” This term for leap year is still used in all the Romance languages, as in Italian “anno bisestile”, and was even adopted by the Greeks, (“disekto etos” in the modern language), even though the ancient Greeks had their own very different calendar. (The Romans had an idiom “ad kalendas graecas – until the Greek kalends”, meaning “postponed forever,” since there were no kalends in the Greek calendar; it was a favorite expression of the Emperor Augustus, and also survives in the Romance languages.)
The backwards reckoning of the Roman Calendar is also relevant for the dating of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, one of the most ancient of all the Church’s feasts, as it relates to the Birth of Christ. Its date is determined by the words of St. Luke’s Gospel that John’s mother Elizabeth was six months pregnant at the time of the Annunciation. It is kept on June 24th, however, where Christmas and the Annunciation are kept on the 25th of their respective months, because on the Roman calendar, all three feasts are on the “eighth” day before the Kalends of the following months.
|St Matthias, by the workshop of Simone Martini, 1317-19. (public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)|
My brother sent me a link to this article on the MPR website. This story seems to be getting around - it was on the New Yorker website too! It seems that there is a new trend of adults buying coloring books for themselves. Within a couple of years this has gone from nowhere to sales of millions, yes millions, of books. The top sellers are based upon intricate line drawings of decorative arrangements, with flora and scenes from fantasies that stimulate the imagination.
Our pilgrim-on-the-scene Agnese has really outdone herself with some very beautiful images of the Stational liturgy at San Clemente this week. The procession before the Mass began as usual in the ruins of the ancient basilica below the current one, made its way upstairs and through the large portico, before entering for the Mass. San Clemente has been home to the Irish Dominican friars in Rome since the later 17th century, and we see them participating in the procession. Also notice in the 7th photo the custom of strewing greenery on the floors of churches during the station Masses. (Nobody seems to really know where this comes from or why it is done.)
|On the left can be seen some of the fresco work which survives in the 4th-century basilica.|
Traditionally, before the station Mass on this day there is a procession from the nearby Norbertine College, and the Mass itself is sung by the clergy and seminarians of the college. The first photograph shows members of the clergy exiting the main door of the college, followed by the procession though the rather narrow streets on the way to Santa Balbina.
|The Basilica of St Cecilia is home to a community of cloistered Benedictine nuns.|
|The famous statue of St Cecilia by Stefano Maderno, depicting her as her body was said to have been found when her tomb was opened in 1599.|
At the suggestion of one of our regular commenters, I would like to pose a second question in a similar vein, and invite all of our readers to sound off in the combox.
Since it was not even remotely the will of the Second Vatican Council that the use of Latin disappear from the majority of our churches, what is your church or apostolate doing to promote greater interest in, understanding of, and love for the Ordinary Form of the Mass in Latin, and is it working? And conversely, if attendance at your Latin OF is shrinking, why do you think this is happening, and what do you think could be done to change it?
Please read this before commenting: I realize that we need to define some terms here, before this question can be answered, since it is almost unheard of for any Mass in the post-Conciliar Rite to be said entirely in Latin. For the purposes of this survey, a Mass counts as “a Latin OF” if the Ordinary is sung or said in Latin, and the Canon is said in Latin.
As I wrote vis-à-vis the TLM survey question, I believe I can trust our readers to contribute to such a discussion in a constructive manner, without bashing people or airing grievances. If you want to report that your Latin OF is not doing well for whatever reason, DO NOT mention anything specific to identify it, such as the names of people (clergy or lay), dioceses, churches, congregations, choir directors etc. Comments which stray out of these boundaries will be deleted.
In the past, NLM has drawn attention to custom-made altar cards for the traditional Latin Mass and has recommended that people commission altar cards from artists or, at very least, search around for more artistic diversity than the standard cards that are reproduced in vast numbers, as useful as they are unquestionably are. When one is just starting up a TLM apostolate, the budget is usually tight and what matters is having an affordable set of altar cards available for Mass. As time goes on, however, and especially in the context of a stable community, a dedicated parish or a religious house, we may want to give serious thought to how we might augment the beauty of the furnishings of the altar and the sanctuary, and even, if possible, use the occasion for offering patronage to a promising Catholic artist. The fine arts will never take off again in the Church if we who claim to love beautiful things do not step forward and donate for this specific purpose.
It is no insult if a patron asks an artist to emulate an historical model, and no shame if an artist produces excellent copies of past models. So much great art of the past, particularly in the Middle Ages, was born in the midst of a well-defined system of apprenticeship, with successive artists able to achieve better work thanks to the humble discipline of faithful imitation. The modern cult of the artistic genius and his or her “originality” has led only to an accelerating debasement and derangement of art. If today’s artists start off by patiently and humbly emulating historic models, tomorrow’s artists, under the guidance, might stand a chance of producing something more brilliant and unique, while yet beautiful.
Today, I would simply like to share photos of a set of altar cards kept in the treasury of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Their exquisite calligraphy and ornamentation, set within the Baroque frames, elevates them above the realm of the everyday or the utilitarian. These are no longer mere textual prompts but works of beauty that give glory to God, the Greatest and Best.
|Icon of St. John Cassian the Roman|
A popular Russian legend tells how St. Nicolas and St. Cassian were upon a visit to the earth. On their journey they met a poor peasant who had got his wagon, with a load of hay upon it, stuck in the mud and was making fruitless efforts to get his horses on.
“Let’s go and give the good fellow a hand,” said St. Nicolas.
“Not I; I’m keeping out of it,” replied St. Cassian, “I don’t want to get my coat dirty.”
“Well, wait for me,” said St. Nicolas, “or go on without me if you like,” and plunging without hesitation into the mud he vigorously assisted the peasant in dragging his wagon out of the rut. When he had finished the job and caught his companion up, he was all covered in filth; his coat was torn and soiled and looked like a beggar’s rags. St. Peter was amazed to see him arrive at the gate of Paradise in this condition.
“I say! Who ever got you into that state?” he asked. St. Nicolas told his story.
“And what about you?” asked St. Peter, turning to St. Cassian. “Weren’t you with him in this encounter?”
“Yes, but I don’t meddle in things that are no concern of mine, and I was especially anxious not to get my beautiful clean coat dirty.”
“Very well,” said St. Peter, “you, St. Nicolas, because you were not afraid of getting dirty in helping your neighbor out of a difficulty, shall for the future have two feasts a year, and you shall be reckoned the greatest of saints after me by all the peasants of holy Russia. And you, St. Cassian, must be content with having a nice clean coat; you shall have your feast day in leap-year only, once every four years.”
We may well forgive St. Cassian for his dislike of manual labor and the mud of the highroad. But he would be quite wrong to condemn his companion for having a different idea of the duties of Saints towards mankind. We may like St. Cassian’s clean and spotless clothes, but since our wagon is still deep in the mud, St. Nicolas is the one we really need, the stout-hearted Saint who is always ready to get to work and help us.
The Western Church, faithful to the apostolic mission, has not been afraid to plunge into the mire of history. After having been for centuries the only element of moral order and intellectual culture among the barbarous peoples of Europe, it undertook the task not only of the spiritual education of these peoples of independent spirit and uncivilized instincts but also of their material government.
In devoting itself to this arduous task the Papacy, like St. Nicolas in the legend, thought not so much of the cleanliness of its own appearance as of the urgent needs of mankind. The Eastern Church, on the other hand, with its solitary asceticism and its contemplative mysticism, its withdrawal from political life and from all the social problems which concern mankind as a whole, thought chiefly, like St. Cassian, of reaching Paradise without a single stain on its clothing.
The Western Church aimed at employing all its powers, divine and human, for the attainment of a universal goal; the Eastern Church was only concerned with the preservation of its purity. There is the chief point of difference and the fundamental cause of the schism between the two Churches.
It is a question of a different ideal of the religious life itself. The religious ideal of the separated Christian East is not false; it is incomplete. In Eastern Christendom for the last thousand years religion has been identified with personal piety, and prayer has been regarded as the one and only religious activity.
The Western Church, without disparaging individual piety as the true germ of all religion, seeks the development of this germ and its blossoming into a social activity organized for the glory of God and the universal good of mankind. The Eastern prays, the Western prays and labors. Which of the two is right?
Jesus Christ founded His visible Church not merely to meditate on heaven, but also to labor upon earth and to withstand the gates of hell. He did not send His apostles into the solitude of the desert, but into the world to conquer it and subject it to the Kingdom which is not of this world, and He enjoined upon them not only the innocence of doves but also the wisdom of serpents. If it is merely a question of preserving the purity of the Christian soul, what is the purpose of all the Church’s social organization and of all those sovereign and absolute powers with which Christ has armed her in giving her final authority to bind and to loose on earth as well as in heaven?
The monks of the holy mountain of Athos, true representatives of the isolated Eastern Church, have for centuries spent all their energies in prayer and the contemplation of the uncreated light of Tabor. They are perfectly right; prayer and the contemplation of uncreated things are essential to the Christian life.
But can we allow that this occupation of the soul constitutes the whole Christian life? — or that is what we must do if we try to put the Orthodox East, with its peculiar character and special religious tendencies, in the place of the Universal Church. We have in the East a Church at prayer, but where among us is the Church in action, asserting itself as a spiritual force absolutely independent of the powers of this world?
Where in the East is the Church of the living God, the Church which in every generation legislates for mankind, which establishes and develops the formulation of eternal truth with which to counteract the continually changing formulas of error? Where is the Church which labors to re-mould the whole social life of the nations in accordance with the Christian ideal, and to guide them towards the supreme goal of Creation — free and perfect union with the Creator?
The advocates of an exclusive asceticism should remember that the perfect Man spent only forty days in the wilderness; those who contemplate the light of Tabor should not forget that that light appeared only once in the earthly life of Christ, Who proved by His own example that true prayer and true contemplation are simply a foundation for the life of action.
If this great Church, which for centuries has done nothing but pray, has not prayed in vain, she must show herself a living Church, acting, struggling, victorious. But we ourselves must will that it be so. We must above all recognize the insufficiency of our traditional religious ideal, and make a sincere attempt to realize a more complete conception of Christianity. There is no need to invent or create anything new for this purpose. We merely have to restore to our religion its Catholic or universal character by recognizing our oneness with the active part of the Christian world, with the West centralized and organized for a universal activity and possessing all that we lack.
We are not asked to change our nature as Easterns or to repudiate the specific character of our religious genius.
We have only to recognize unreservedly the elementary truth that we of the East are but a part of the Universal Church, a part moreover which has not its center within itself, and that therefore it behooves us to restore the link between our individual forces upon the circumference and the great universal center which Providence has placed in the West. There is no question of suppressing our religious and moral individuality but rather of crowning it and inspiring it with a universal and progressive life.
The whole of our duty to ourselves consists simply in recognizing ourselves for what we are in reality, an organic part of the great body of Christendom, and in affirming our spiritual solidarity with our Western brethren. This moral act of justice and charity would be in itself an immense step forward on our part and the essential condition of all further advance.
St. Cassian need not become a different person or cease to care about keeping his clothes spotless. He must simply recognize that his comrade has certain important qualities which he himself lacks, and instead of sulking at this energetic worker he must frankly accept him as his companion and guide on the earthly voyage that still lies before them.
Full details are now available online for the conference about sanctity, beauty and Catholic artistic expression taking place at St Rita’s Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas, May 19-21.
The first is an Ingressa, the Ambrosian Rite’s equivalent of the Introit, which is sung, however, without a psalm verse, doxology, or repetition; it is the first in a series of nine which are sung in rotation through the Sundays after Pentecost.
Incline, o Lord, thy ear, and hear me. Save thy servant, O my God, that hopeth in thee. Have mercy on me, for I have cried to thee all the day, hallelujah. (Psalm 85)
The second piece is also an Ingressa, that of the Second Sunday of Lent, which in the Ambrosian tradition is called the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let my enemies be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul. (Psalm 69)
The third piece is one of two litanies which are sung in place of the Gloria on the Sundays of Lent, except Palm Sunday. (It should be noted that the Ambrosian Rite does not have an equivalent of the Roman Kyrie, but does add three Kyrie eleisons to the end of a great number of things, including this litany.) The recording gives the second of these two, known from its first words as Dicamus omnes, which is sung on the Second and Fourth Sundays; the other one is the famous Divinae Pacis, of which we have written several times, which is sung on the First, Third and Fifth Sundays. This recording omits the invocations from V to VIII; click the link above for the translation. Both of these are included in various editions of Cantus selecti, and might very well be used as bidding prayers in the modern Roman Rite.
The 4th piece is Psalmellus, the equivalent of a Gradual; Oculi mei is the fourth in a series of nine, which are likewise sung in rotation through the Sundays after Pentecost.
As most people are no doubt aware, the 1962 Missale Romanum does not have weekday lections, except during Lent. This Lenten weekday cycle can be traced back over a thousand years, to the 8th-9th centuries, with the Comes of Alcuin and the Murbach Lectionary as its main sources.
One might have thought that the post-Vatican II reformers in the Consilium would have taken this ancient series of readings and merely augmented it. They could have kept the vast majority of the weekday readings in their traditional places, and, for the Sundays of Lent, kept the readings from the 1962 Missal as Year A (adding an Old Testament reading), while crafting Years B and C anew from 'neglected' parts/books of the Scriptures.
However, this is not what happened. Instead, just like the collects, offertory and post-communion prayers , the readings for the Lenten ferias were drastically reorganised and changed. The following table visualises just how different the two Missals are in this regard:
Comparison of Proper of Time for Weekdays in Lent (1962/2002 MR) (PDF)
In the past few years, there have been a number of books published that compare the proper prayers of the 1962 and 2002 Missals, and that also examine the Consilium’s process of reforming the Ordo Missae , although this scholarly work is only just beginning. However, in terms of comparing the readings of the two Missals, and looking in more detail at the work of Group 11 of the Consilium (who were responsible for designing the lectionary of the Ordinary Form), this work has yet to properly begin. The table above is provided in part to facilitate this sort of work. It would be interesting to see whether some of the observations made by, for example, Pristas about the Lenten collects also hold for the reform of the Lenten readings, as well as how Sacrosanctum Concilium 109-110 may have affected their reform.
 As well as the aforementioned work of Pristas, there is also Patrick Regan's Advent to Pentecost: Comparing the Seasons in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012). I found Regan’s book a little disappointing, though; I hope to explain why in a future post. Some direct comparisons of the 2002 MR post-communion prayers with their sources (for the Proper of Time and Proper of Saints) are available from my blog Lectionary Study Aids. Maurizio Barba’s work La riforma conciliare dell’« Ordo Missae » (Rome: Centro Liturgico Vincenziano, 2008, 2nd edn) reproduces the (Latin) minutes of Group 10 of the Consilium, who were in charge of the reform of the Order of Mass, and is thus absolutely vital reading for those who want to know more about that process.