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    A solemn Mass in the Mozarabic Rite will be celebrated in the Roman Basilica of the Holy Cross ‘in Jerusalem’ (Santa Croce in Gerusalemme), on Friday, May 6th, starting at 6 p.m. The main celebrant will be Father Salvador Aguilera Lopez of the Congregation for Divine Worship, a priest of the arcdiocese of Toledo; the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, who have a regular Mass in the Basilica each first Friday, will be present. The Mass will be in Latin, and the Mozarabic chants will be sung by the cantors of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music. The Mass of the Finding of the Cross will be said, transferred from Tuesday the 3rd, an appropriate choice for the Basilica where the relics of the True Cross are still kept and venerated.

    The veiling of the ciboria and chalices during a Mozarabic Mass celebrated last year in St Peter’s Basilica.

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    St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy is pleased to announce that the ninth Fota International Liturgy Conference will be held at the Clarion Hotel, Cork City, Ireland, July 9-11, 2016.

    The conference theme is Verbum Domini: Liturgy and Scripture, and will examine aspects of the role of Scripture in the liturgy from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

    Among those participating in the colloquium are: Bishop Peter Elliott (Melbourne, Australia); Monsignor Michael Magee (Philadelphia); Joseph Briody (Boston); Sven Conrad (Germany); John M. Cunningham, OP (Rome); Stephan Heid (Rome); Paul Mankowski, S.J. (Chicago); Thomas McGovern (Dublin); Ann Orlando (Boston); Gregory DiPippo (New Liturgical Movement); Kevin Zilverberg (St. Paul, Minnesota).

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    Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer
    It feels easier to walk downhill than to walk uphill, but it’s much harder on the knees. It feels harder to climb uphill, but the beautiful view at the top is always worth the effort.

    As hikers often experience, you will be walking along on a narrow trail, perhaps in the midst of crowded trees, thinking the small thoughts that go with one step after another, and you turn a bend and suddenly the whole world opens up in a breathtaking vista that almost makes you feel dizzy, as if the beauty might subvert your muscles. That beauty was put there by God, not by you, and yet it took your effort to reach it. We make the trails, we walk on them, but the beauty is from above; it was there before we existed and it will long outlast our mortality.

    The same is true of the liturgical tradition: it is God’s gift to us, it comes before us and goes beyond us, but we must work hard to preserve it and to be worthy of it. What we absolutely must not do is think that it would be better to create an alternative “tradition” and attempt to rejoice in it — that would be like planting a giant flat screen at the end of the trail and looking at a filmed sunset.

    The notion that we need to make ourselves worthy of our liturgical tradition is one that is, I’m afraid, quite unfamiliar today, because of the decades-long bad habits induced by reformers, revisers, translators, and other committee members who place themselves over and above the tradition as its superiors, its judges, its improvers, its improvisers. This is not and cannot be the attitude of one who, conscious of his own limitations and of the narrowness of any age, people, or culture in and of itself, gratefully and humbly receives a noble inheritance, rejoices in its prayer-saturated beauty and stability, and delivers it integrally to his successors — perhaps embellished with additional signs of reverence and devotion, if he has been prompted to originate them.

    A Catholic who is aware of himself, who senses the smallness of his vision and the greatness of the tradition that precedes and carries him, is, in fact, relieved that he does not have to make things up as he goes along; he need not second-guess the river along which he floats. He lets himself be the ready instrument of a far greater actor, the mouth through which the same word continues to sound, the hand or foot that executes the head’s bidding. He does not fear messing up that which was whole and safe and salvific before he even came to be and which will continue long after he is gone.

    Nevertheless, there is something very important that the individual, the bishop, the priest, the deacon, the religious, the layman, must contribute in order that the tradition will not die out or shrivel up. True, he does not have to invent the tradition, but neither can he ignore it or treat it lightly. He must embrace it or else it will cease to exist.[1] In a famous interview published in The Latin Mass magazine, Alice von Hildebrand addressed this issue head on:
    TLM: I cannot end the interview without asking your reaction to a well-worn canard. There are those critics of the ancient Latin Mass who point out that the crisis in the Church developed at a time when the Mass was offered throughout the world. Why should we then think its revival is intrinsic to the solution?
    AVH: The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go.[2]
    The law of entropy states that, left to itself, any system will lose order, will devolve or unwind. The tendency of the material world is towards unraveling. If order cannot somehow be re-introduced, decay is unavoidable.[3]

    In the little universe of the liturgy, that necessary principle of order is reverence for traditional texts, music, rubrics, and decorum, sustained by Church authority properly exercised. These things can be contributed only by living human beings who correspond with the grace of the Holy Spirit. As long as they are supplied, and where they are present, the liturgy thrives and continues along its way, undiminished. Without them, however, it is doomed to disintegration.

    Liturgical decadence, deviation, and disorder are, like the natural tendency of entropy, a downhill walk for fallen man. Left to himself, left without the guidance of the tradition willed by the Holy Spirit and the example of many saints who have shown us how to walk the often grueling uphill path of fidelity, fallen man will make liturgy conform to his own whims and wants, his own programs and purposes — something easier and more damaging. It is the uphill climb that leads to the magnificent vista, the glimpse of a vast and humbling beauty that can only come from the mind of the Creator.

    NOTES
    [1] Along these lines, see the superb article of Joseph Shaw, "Does Tradition preserve us, or we the Tradition?"
    [2] For the full text, see here; for some highlights, see here.
    [3] I am aware that there is a lot more to the concept than this simplistic layman's version of it: see here. But in the popular imagination, entropy means a continuing decrease in order, and that is the rough sense in which I am using it.

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    St. Albert the Great Chapel
    A Dominican Rite Missa Cantata celebrating the First Saturday of May will sung by the student friars of the Western Dominican Province on Saturday, May 7.  The Mass will be at Saint Albert the Great Priory, 6172 Chabot Road, Oakland CA, 94618, at 10:00 a.m. The Mass will be a Votive of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Visitors and guests are welcome; pew booklets with the text of Mass in Latin and English will be provided.  There is ample parking on the street and in the priory parking lot next to the chapel.

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    The parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, located at 156 Valley Avenue, will celebrate a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for on Ascension Thursday, May 5, 2016, at 7:00 pm. The celebrant will be Father Robert Sirico, the pastor of the church; Father Jason Catania of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter will be the liturgical deacon. Music for the Mass will include Mozart’s ‘Spatzen-Messe’ with orchestra; a reception sponsored by the ‘Authenticum’ lecture series follows.



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    The Liturgy and the New Evangelization

    2016 Annual Conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy

    The conference will be held at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral and Conference Center in Los Angeles, CA.

    September 29 – October 1, 2016

    Questions arising from this topic may include but are not limited to:

    A. Liturgical and Sacramental Challenges for Parishes in the New Evangelization
         a. Liturgical and canonical norms in evolving situations in American Society
         b. The Role of the Liturgy in the Healing of Marriage and Family Life
         c. The Rites of Christian Initiation and the Baptized but Un-catechized

    B. Preaching the Gospel of Christ in Post-Christian Societies
         a. Catholic Social Teaching and the Liturgy
         b. The Mass and the Bible in Popular Apologetics
         c. The New Evangelization and Liturgy in the Writings of the Popes

    C. Liturgical Art and Popular Piety in the Mission of the Church Today
         a. Sacred Images and Practices in Popular Piety and the Mass
         b. Sacred Architecture and the New Evangelization
         c. Liturgical Renewal, Contemplative Prayer and Apostolic Work

    D. Liturgy and Religious Freedom
         a. American Culture, Liturgical Prayer and the Public Square
         b. The Liturgical Life of the Persecuted Church around the World

    Other proposals will be considered, but primary consideration will be given to proposals that are related to the conference’s theme.

    Submissions: Paper proposals of approximately 250 words should be emailed to secretary@liturgysociety.org or mailed to Mr. Christopher Carstens, Board Secretary – Society of Catholic Liturgy, Diocese of La Crosse, PO Box 4004, La Crosse, WI 54602-4004. Proposals must be received by June 30, 2016.

    Presentations will be 45 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Papers presented will be considered for publication in Antiphon. Presenters must register for the conference and will be responsible for their own expenses.



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    Some of you might already be aware of the conversion of Chinese artist Yan Zu to Catholicism, as recounted on National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency. A Dominican friar from the Western Province who is from Taiwan originally recently brought this story to my attention.

    It was the study of European art history, and specifically of medieval illuminated manuscripts, that brought Yan to the Faith. She has a Chinese language blog from which these images of her own work are taken.


    This story is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, I am wondering if this is further indication of a natural affinity between Chinese and European figurative art, that allows for mutual influence to occur very easily. (I wrote about this in detail here.) The style of the traditional Chinese landscape is formed by a Daoist worldview in which the material world directs us through its beauty to heaven, which is a non-material realm of perfect order. Christian artists of the West might articulate just the same goal for their landscape painting, especially those painting in the baroque tradition. The difference is that for the Christian, Heaven is occupied, so to speak, by God and his Saints and Angels.

    Second, it seems to suggest that traditional Christian culture is as much universal as it is specific to particular times and places. If we were set the task in advance of dreaming up an art form that would convert Chinese people, many would say that we should adapt something that is of the Chinese culture into a form that speaks more directly of Christianity. I certainly think this approach has its place when done with discernment. However, it is clear that this Christian art form with no Chinese connection at all, and which originated in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, spoke powerfully and eloquently to this Chinese lady.

    While I do think that there are geographic and time-bound elements that characterize all aspects of the culture, I have never been of the view that these are the only influences. Christian culture also reflects the Faith, which is universal - that is, it is true for all people. So I would say that traditional Western European culture, for example, looks as it does because it is Christian and to a large degree would have looked the same if it had originated in the southern tip of Africa. This being so, and to the degree that any art form is Christian, it will speak to people in all ages and places. This means, therefore, that exporting Western European culture (or Christian Eastern European culture, or Christian Middle Eastern culture for that matter) to the rest of the world is not cultural imperialism, as some might suggest. Nobody forced Yan down this route, she was attracted to it and chose to follow. She is responding to a gift, freely given. It is called evangelization!




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    On Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm, a Solemn Mass for the Vigil of Pentecost will be celebrated at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena, located at 411 East 68th Street in New York City.

    The Mass will be an extended vigil, including the four additional readings and prayers added to the Vigil of Pentecost by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. The ordinary of the Mass will be the Missa “Veni Creator Spiritus” by Palestrina, sung by the Schola Dominicana of St. Catherine of Siena under the direction of James D. Wetzel. The readings will be chanted and accompanied by chants from the Dominican Graduale.


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  • 05/04/16--09:43: Liturgical Books for Sale
  • Fr Thomas Simons of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Comstock Park, Michigan, has asked me to post this list of liturgical books which he has for sale, hoping to find them good homes where they will be used and studied. The proceeds from the sale of these titles will aid several parish projects in need; you can contact him directly for more information about the books, and arrangements for purchase, shipping and handling at the following email address: frtsimons@holytrinitycp.org. There is a very wide selection of titles for both the EF and OF; be sure to click the “Continue Reading This Article” link to see the full list.

    Tridentine / Pre-Vatican II liturgical books

    1. Ritus Solemnis pro Dedicatione Ecclesiae (Pontificalis Romani)
    Frederic Pustet: Ratisbon, New York and Cincinnati, 1890, 147 pages
    large size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, good condition, $170

    2. Ritus Solemnis Impositionis Primarii Lapidis (Pontificalis Romani)
    Frederic Pustet: Ratisbon, New York and Cincinnati, 1892, 96 pages,
    large size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, good condition, $150

    3. Pontificale Romanum, Pars Prima, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1962
    163 pages, large size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, excellent condition

    Pontificale Romanum, Pars Secunda, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1961
    140 pages, large size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, excellent condition

    Pontificale Romanum, Pars Tertia et Appendix, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1962
    140 pages, large size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, excellent condition

    NOTE: The above 3 editions are sold as a set for $300

    4. Missale Romanum, Editio XXIX Post Typicam, Frederic Pustet: Ratisbon 1953
    large altar size, red leather, gold stamped and edged, tabs, ribbons, excellent condition, $250

    5. Pontificale Romanum, Casa Editrice Marietti, Turin, 1962, 355 pages,
    red leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons, slip case, excellent condition, $150

    6. Missae Defunctorum, Missali Romano, ex Rituali Romano, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1962
    79 pages, embossed black leather, ribbons and tabs, good condtion, $85

    7. Missae Defunctorum, H. Dessain, Belgium, 1887, 52 pages
    embossed black leather, tabs, some binding issues, $30

    8. Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae, Mame Publishers, France, 1956, 125 pages
    embossed red leatherette cover, ribbon and tabs, good condition, $65

    9. Canon Missae ad usum Episcoporum ac Praelatorum, Editio Septima, Frederic Pustet: Ratisbon, 1962, 202 pages, red leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons and tabs, slip case, excellent condition, $125

    10. Ritus Celebrandi Matrimonii Sacramentum, ex Rituali Romano, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1941, 45 pages, red leather, gold stamped, embossed and edged, ribbons, excellent condition, $40

    11. Rituale Romanum, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1944, 579 pages plus index, red leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons, excellent condition, $50

    12. Missae Defunctorum, Missale Romano, Casa Editrice Marietti, Turin, 1940, 53 pages, black leather, gold stamped and edged, tabs, slip case, excellent condition, $80

    13. Missale Romanum, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1944, green leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons and tabs, excellent condition, $175

    14. Pontificale Romanum, Pars I, II, III and Appendix (4 volumes), Frederik Pustet: Ratisbon, 1888, maroon leather, gold stamped, ribbons, slip case, good condition, $180

    15. The Sacramentary (Liber Sacramentorum), Ildefonso Schuster, five volumes, Benziger Brothers, New York & Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929 and 1930, good condition, $375

    16. The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (revised edition), Rev. Matthew Britt, OSB, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1936, 384 pages, excellent condition, $40

    17. History of the Roman Breviary, Pierre Batiffol, Longmans, Green, & Co, London, 1898, 392 pages, good condition, $60

    18. The Roman Breviary, Dom Jules Baudot, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1910, 260 pages, good condition, $50

    19. A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Catholic Laity, Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1930 (new edition), 832 pages, imitation leather, gold stamped and edged, excellent condition, $40

    Post-Conciliar liturgical books

    20. De Ordinatione Diaconi, Presbyteri et Episcopi, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1968, 132 pages, red leather, gold stamped, ribbons, excellent condition, $40

    21. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1984, 393 pages, red cloth, gold stamped, paper slip cover, excellent condition, $60

    22. Collectio Missarum De Beata Maria Virgine (236 pages) and Lectionarium Pro Missis De Beata Maria Virgine (231 pages), 2 volumes, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1987, red cloth, gold stamped, ribbons, tabs on Missal, paper slip cover, excellent condition, $125

    23. Ordo Missae, Missale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1969, 171 pages, red paper cover, excellent condition, $35

    24. Ordo Lectionum Missae, Missale Romanum, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, edition typical altera,1981, 545 pages, paper cover, good condition, $40

    25. Ordo Cantus Missae, Missale Romanum, edition typical altera, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1987, paper cover, good condition, $35

    26. Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1972, 185 pages, green leatherette cover, gold stamped, ribbon, $45

    27. Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1973, 92 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    28. Ordo Confirmationis, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1971, 49 pages, red leatherette cover, ribbon, good condition, $30

    29. Ordo Benedicendi Oleum Catechumenorum Et Infirmorum Et Conficiendi Chrisma, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1971, 16 pages, leatherette cover, ribbon, good condition, $20 

    30. Ordo Unctionis Infirmorum Eorumque Pastoralis Curae, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1972, 79 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    31. Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1969, 39 pages, paper cover, good condition, $20

    32. Ordo Paenitentiae, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1974, 119 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    33. Ordo Exsequiarum, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1969, 89 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    34. De Institutione Lectorum Et Acolythorum De Admissione Inter Candidatos Ad Diaconatum Et Presbyteratum De Sacro Caelibatu Amplectendo, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1972, 37 pages, paper cover, good condition, $20

    35. Ordo Professionis Religiosae, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis,1970, 126 pages, paper cover, good condition, $20

    36. Ordo Benedictionis Abbatis Et Abbatissae, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1970, 30 pages, paper cover, good condition, $15

    37. Ordo Consecrationis Virginum, Pontificale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1970, 64 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    38. De Sacra Communione Et De Cultu Mysterii Eucharistici Extra Missam, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1973, 68 pages, paper cover, good condition, $25

    39. Ordo Coronandi Imaginem Beatae Mariae Virginis, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1981, 35 pages, paper cover, good condition, $15

    40. Instructio De Institutione Liturgica In Seminariis, Sacra Congregatio Pro Institutione Catholica, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1979, 48 pages, paper cover, good condition, $10

    41. Directorium De Missis Cum Pueris, Sacra Congregatio Pro Cultu Divino, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1973, 20 pages, paper cover, good condition, $10

    42. Liber Cantualis, Abbatia Sancti Petri De Solesmis, Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, Desclee: Paris, 1978, 118 pages, hard cover, excellent condition, $30

    43. Liturgia Horarum, Officium Divinum, editio typica, 4 volumes, 1972, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, red leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons, each with vinyl slip case, excellent condition, $200

    44. Ad Completorium, Liturgia Horarum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1972, 48 pages, fexide cover, excellent condition, $5

    45. De Benedictionibus, Rituale Romanum, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1984, 539 pages, red leather and gold stamped, excellent condition, $50 Other Liturgical Titles

    46. The Sacramentary (chapel edition), For Use in the Dioceses of the United States, English Translation prepared by ICEL, Catholic Book Publishing Company: New York, 1985, red leatherette and gold stamped, tabs and ribbons, band new, $25

    47. Book of the Gospels (New American Bible text), Catholic Book Publishing Company, New York, 1984, 480 pages, red leather, gold stamped, gold edged, ribbon, brand new, $40

    48. Book of the Gospels (Jerusalem Bible text), Geoffrey Chapman/Collins, London, approved for use in England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and the United States (Supplement & Index included), 1982, 662 pages, green binding and gold stamped, ribbon, brand new, $50

    49. The Holy Gospels of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ (New American Bible text), Basileos Press, Stamford, CT, 406 pages, not dated, brand new, $25

    50. The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), Confraternity of Christian Doctrine text, GIA Publications, Chicago, IL, 1999, 118 pages, red leather, gold stamped, ribbon, brand new, $35

    51. The Prayer of the Faithful (liturgical book), Michael J. Buckley, Kevin Mayhew Publishers, Dublin, 1980, 448 pages, red leather, gold stamped and edged, ribbons, excellent condition, $25

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    The following description of the Rogation Processions comes from a canon of the cathedral of Siena named Oderico, who in the year 1213 wrote a detailed account of the liturgical texts and ceremonies used in his church.

    “Mindful of that promise of the Gospel, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive,’ (John 16, 24; from the Gospel of the Sunday which precedes the Lesser Litanies) St Mamertus, bishop of Vienne, in this week instituted the three days of the Litanies, because of an urgent necessity … days which are greatly celebrated by every church with fasts and prayers. The Greek word ‘litany’ means ‘supplication,’ because in the Litanies we beseech the Lord that he may defend us from every adversity, and sudden death; and we pray the Saints that they may intercede for us before the Lord. … The Church celebrates the Litanies with devotion in these three days, with (processional) crosses, banners, and relics She goes from church to church, humbly praying the Saints that they may intercede with God for our excesses, ‘that we may obtain by their intercession what we cannot obtain by our own merits.’ (citing a commonly used votive Collect of all the Saints.) ...

    It is the custom of certain churches also to carry a dragon on the first two days before the Cross and banner, with a long, inflated tail, but on the third day, (it goes) behind the Cross and banners, with its tail down. This is the devil, who in three periods, before the Law, under the Law, and under grace, deceives us, or wishes to do so. In the first two (periods) he was, as it were, the lord of the world; therefore, he is called the Prince or God of this world, and for this reason, in the first day, he goes with his tail inflated. In the time of grace, however, he was conquered by Christ, nor dares he to reign openly, but seduces men in a hidden way; this is the reason why on the last day he follows with his tail down.” (Ordo Officiorum Ecclesiae Senensis, 222)

    Oderico does not describe the dragon, but given that Siena is in Tuscany, still a major center of leather-working to this day, we may imagine that the dragon itself was a large wooden image mounted on wheels or a cart, and the inflatable tail something like a leather bellows. It should be noted that in addition to the processional cross, Oderico mentions both banners and relics as part of the processional apparatus. In the medieval period, it was considered particularly important to carry relics in procession; so much so that, for example, a rubric of the Sarum Missal prescribes that a bier with relics in it be carried even in the Palm Sunday procession. A typical bier for these processions is shown in the lower right corner of this page of the famous Book of Hours known as the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry. made by the Limbourg brothers between 1411 and 1416.



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    After His Passion, appearing to them over forty days, and speaking to them of the kingdom of God, alleluia: * and while they beheld, He was taken up, alleluia, and a cloud received Him out of their sight, alleluia. V. And, eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not leave Jerusalem, but rather wait for the promise of the Father. And while they beheld, He was taken up, alleluia, and a cloud received Him out of their sight, alleluia. (The first responsory of Matins of the Ascension.)

    The Ascension Dome of the Basilica of St Mark in Venice; mosaics ca. 1175-1200. (click to enlarge) The words written in a circle that separate Christ and the four angels around him from the Virgin Mary and Apostles are four hexameters, “Dicite quid statis, quid in aethere consideratis. / Filius iste Dei, Christus, cives Galilaei, / Sumptus ut a vobis abit et sic arbiter orbis / Judicii cura veniet dare debita jura.” (Tell us what you are standing and looking at in Heaven. This Son of God, Christ, o ye citizens of Galilee, being taken from you, goes; and so He will come as the judge of the world, with right judgment to give all their due.)
    R. Post passionem suam per dies quadraginta apparens eis, et loquens de regno Dei, alleluia: * Et videntibus illis elevatus est, alleluia: et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum, alleluia. V. Et convescens praecepit eis, ab Jerosolymis ne discederent, sed exspectarent promissionem Patris. Et videntibus illis elevatus est, alleluia: et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum, alleluia.

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    Solemn High Mass of Pentecost to Mark Silver Ordination Anniversary of the Rev. John Perricone
    Pentecost is always kept with special fervor by the Latin Mass community in Jersey City, New Jersey, since it was the feast on which the old rite was resurrected in 2003. This year the Mass will be moved from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm to permit it to be offered with particular care, in order to also mark the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the Rev. John Perricone.

    Fr. Perricone regularly celebrates Holy Mass for this Latin Mass Community which is now part of the parish of St. Anthony of Padua and also teaches his famous Aquinas course for the parish. He is a professor of philosophy at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, has spent his entire priesthood fighting for the integrity of the Faith and has been in the vanguard liturgical restoration. He also organized that watershed event when Cardinal Stickler presided at a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary form at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, about which a stunned New York Times wrote, on page one the very next day, that the crowd spilling out of the church onto 5th Avenue. (http://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/13/nyregion/the-faithful-welcome-back-an-old-rite.html)

    The resident choir at St. Anthony’s, Cantantes In Cordibus, will sing Mozart’s Missa Solemnis (KV 337) with orchestra under the direction of Simone Ferrarasi. The Propers will be sung by the Men’s Schola under the direction of Joseph Orchard, PhD. Motets will include Franck’s Dextera Domini, Biebl’s Ave Maria, and Desmet’s Ecce Sacerdos. (Click poster to enlarge.)


    A dinner will be held afterward in honor of Fr. Perricone; tickets can be obtained from Mr Dan Marengo. (danmarengo@aol.com).

    St Anthony of Padua, Jersey City, is a landmark historic edifice in the Victorian Gothic, located at 457 Monmouth Street. There is off street parking on 6th Street between Coles St. and Monmouth; the church is walking distance from the Grove Street PATH station.


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    Juventutem Slovenia, established in 2014, organised their first pilgrimage on April 30th, culminating with the first public Traditional Latin Mass at the National Shrine Mary Help of Christian at Brezje. The Mass was celebrated in the side chapel where an image of the Virgin welcomes pilgrims from all over the world. A low Mass was said, accompanied by traditional Slovenian folk songs, with many pilgrims coming from distant places for the occasion and experiencing their first Latin Mass. Here are some pictures.











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    We are only a few days away from the world premiere of the oratorio composed by Frank LaRocca about the life of St Rita, called A Rose In Winter. It has been commissioned by St Rita’s Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas, and will premiere on Saturday, May 21st at the church. There are still places available at the concert and at the conference that has been organised at the same venue to mark the occasion. The conference runs from May 19-21 and is entitled High Above the Stars; Sainthood, Beauty and Catholic Artistic Expression.

    For those who wish to know more about Frank’s story, here is an article by Mark Nowakowski on the blog onepeterfive.com about his conversion, and his approach to composition. It describes how the Letter to Artists, and his acceptance of the need for beauty in the culture, caused him to reject modernism and dissonance in music, and reach for the source of all beauty, God.

    I was luck enough to hear a wonderful performance of his work by the Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco in Berkeley, California, earlier this year. Here the same choir, recorded in 2014 performs his Ave Maris Stella:


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    This Saturday, May 7 at 5:15 p.m., the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago will celebrate First Vespers of the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Since the community observes the Ascension on its traditional day, Saturday’s liturgy will not be that of the solemnity itself but, as it falls within the Octave, the will feature elements which reflect the day’s traditional place in Ascensiontide.

    Schola Laudis will sing two motets by the early 17th century composer Sulpitia Cesis, a nun at the Augustinian convent of S. Geminiano in Modena, Italy. One of the earliest published female composers in Europe, she is known today especially for her eight-part Spiritual Motets. Palestrina will supply the setting of Veni Creator Spiritus, Lassus the setting of the Magnificat, and the monks traditional Gregorian chant. We hope that many NLM readers in the Chicago area will be able to join us!


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    John was both an Apostle, and an Evangelist, and a Prophet: an Apostle, because he wrote to the churches as a teacher; an Evangelist, because he wrote a book of the Gospels, which the other twelve Apostles did not do, apart from Matthew; and a Prophet, for on the island of Patmos, whither he had been banished by Domitian because of his testimony to the Lord, he beheld the Apocalypse, which contains such infinite mysteries of the future. And Tertullian says (De praescript. 36, ca. 200 A.D.) that at Rome, he was put into a vessel of boiling oil, but he came out cleaner and healthier than he went in.” (St Jerome in his treatise against Jovinian, the fifth lesson of Matins of the feast. In the homily on the day’s Gospel, St Matthew 20, 20-23, St Jerome explains the Lord’s prophecy to the sons of Zebedee that they will drink the cup of His Passion.)

    The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist, by Charles le Brun, 1641-42, from the church of St Nicholas du Chardonnet in Paris
    “The question arises how the sons of Zebedee, namely, James and John, drank the cup of martyrdom, since Scripture tells that only that James the Apostle was beheaded by Herod, but John died a natural death. But if we read the history of the Church, in which it is told that he also for the sake of his witness (to Christ) was cast into a vessel of boiling oil, and thence went forth as a champion of Christ to receive his crown, and was at once exiled to the island of Patmos, we see that his spirit did not fail at the prospect of martyrdom, and that John did drink the cup of confession that the three children in the fiery furnace also drank, although the persecutor did not shed their blood.” (Commentary on Matthew, book 3, chap. 20)

    The right wing of the St John Altarpiece, by Hans Memling, ca. 1479, showing the Apostle John and his vision of the Trinity.
    From the lessons at Matins cited above, one would reasonably assume that the principle object of the feast is the Apostle’s martyrdom. However, in the Pre-Tridentine Roman Breviary, different lessons were read which make no mention of it, although it is spoken of in the Magnificat antiphon, which carried over into the Breviary of St Pius V: “In ferventis olei dolium missus beatus Joannes Apostolus, divina se protegente gratia, illaesus exivit, alleluia. - Cast into a pot of boiling oil, the blessed Apostle John, protected by divine grace, came out unharmed, alleluia.” From its first appearance in the late 8th-century, it is known as the feast of St John “before the Latin Gate”, even though the walls of which the Latin Gate are a part were built 200 years after St John’s time. The feast therefore most likely originates, like many secondary feasts, as the dedication feast of the small church built in St John’s honor near the Latin Gate, and only later associated with the episode of the pot of oil.

    The church of St John at the Latin Gate is the station church of the Saturday before Palm Sunday, here photographed by our Roman pilgrim friend Agnese on that occasion in 2014. (interior below)    

    Next door to the main church is the small oratory known as “Saint John in oleo”, said to be on the very spot where the pot of oil was set up; it is attributed to Donatello Bramante, the original architect in charge of rebuilding St Peter’s Basilica in the early 16th-century.
    It is also unlikely a mere coincidence that the Byzantine Rite also keeps a secondary feast of St John only two days later. His principal feast is on September 26; since the Byzantine liturgical year begins on September 1st, he is the first in the year among the Twelve Apostles. On May 8th, a commemoration is made of a miracle whereby a manna-like substance came forth from his tomb in the city of Ephesus, which healed the faithful both physically and spiritually. This day was already occupied in the West, from very ancient times, by the feast of the Apparition of St Michael, and this might explain the slight discrepancy in the dates.

    An icon of St John the Evangelist “in Silence.” This manner of representing St John indicates that it is only though profound silence and meditation that he was able to understand the mysteries revealed to him by God though the angel shown speaking directly into his ear, and in turn speak of the divinity of Christ, for which he is known as “the Theologian.” Written by Nektarius Kulyuksin in 1679; from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. (Public domain image form Wikipedia.)

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    The latest issue of Sacred Music is making its way to mailboxes this week.
    If you’re not yet a member of the Church Music Association of America, click here to join. A yearly subscription to Sacred Music is among the benefits of membership.

    EDITORIAL
    Silence | William Mahrt

    ARTICLES
    The Hymns of Lauds | Edmund Lazzari
    The Unfinished Liturgical Work of Benedict XVI | Fr. Christopher Smith 26

    REPERTORY
    Falsibordoni by Orlando di Lasso & Antonio de Cabezón | William Mahrt

    REVIEW
    Two Missæ ultimæ of Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679–1745) | Erick Arenas

    NEWS
    Fr. Ralph March, O. Cist.† | William Mahrt

    THE LAST WORD
    The Adoremus Hymnal — Its Origin | Kurt Poterack

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    The Youtube channel of the Basilique Notre-Dame, the FSSP’s church in Fribourg, Switzerland, where their international headquarters are also located, has published a video of their Ascension Mass celebrated this past Thursday. The musical program includes, in addition to the Gregorian chant propers, Mozart’s Mass for solo organ in C-major, (K 259 - Mozart seems to be very popular in the liturgy these days!) Campra’s Jubilate Deo, Bournonville’s Accende lumen sensibus, and J.S. Bach’s Toccata in F-major (BWV 540).


    Here is their Mass for Easter Sunday.


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    Prof. Michael Alan Anderson of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester will offer a summer course called “Singing Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony” from July 25-29 of this year.
    The course will balance exposure to the genres and styles of traditional Western plainchant with the study and execution of Renaissance vocal polyphony. Sessions will center not just on performance but also on historical background, notation, and contemporary theory and practice. In a short concert at week’s end, students will present – as an SATB choir – an unpublished sixteenth-century polyphonic Vespers, which incorporates both chant and polyphony.
    This course is appropriate for church music directors, choral directors, and singers wishing to gain a stronger foundation in early music, and can be taken for credit.
    Prof. Anderson is also the director of the professional early music ensemble Schola Antiqua of Chicago, which has been an artistic resident since 2007 at the Lumen Christi Institute, a center for Catholic social thought. For details about enrollment and tuition, please visit this link to the Eastman School of Music’s website.


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    Modern thinkers — Charles Taylor particularly comes to mind — often write with a sort of melancholy fatalism about how modern man is irremediably cut off from his ancient and medieval roots. They write about how we have won great material and political gains at the expense of our spiritual and cultural life (it sounds, I must admit, like a devil’s bargain). Most of all, they speak as if we are doomed to the prison of the present, for, no matter what our desires and aspirations may be, and no matter how much they seem to harmonize with those of the great tradition that precedes us, “we cannot go back.”[1] It is as if the uncrossable abyss between Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom and the suffering rich man were transferred into the domain of history and culture.

    This, I submit, is a form of discouragement, and discouragement, as St. Thérèse of Lisieux teaches, is a form of pride. It is the language of those who are proud, not those who are humble. As G. K. Chesterton nicely puts it: “This wrong is, I say, that we will go forward because we dare not go back . . . to repent and return; the only step forward is the step backward.”[2] Dennis McInerny develops the same thought:
    Let us say that, with regard to this or that matter, where we presently find ourselves is not where we really should be. Somewhere in the past, distant or proximate, we took a wrong turn, and ended up on a road which led us to a rather bad situation.… We would need to retrace our steps, go back to that fork in the road where we took the wrong turn . . . .To continue to follow a road which has brought us to an admittedly bad situation would be only to bring us eventually to even worse situations.… There are times in life when the only responsible and rational way we can go forward is by going back, returning to the point where we became disoriented and started going in the wrong direction.[3]
    One cannot go back in the sense of re-living or re-creating the past as past, but one can and must always be reaching into the past for inspiration, for tried and true models, for a trustworthy way of life. One looks to the past in order to bring something of its fire and spirit into the present moment and into every future generation. To think that we are uniquely stranded in our age, cut off from the beneficent and fertilizing influence of tradition, is a peculiarly modern form of pride and even, perhaps, a subtle form of vanity. We want to view ourselves as different from every former age and therefore as freed from our obligations to our predecessors — the fundamental obligation of grateful receptivity that every Christian generation owes to its inheritance. To think that we must forge ahead on a new path that is not in continuity with the past is a pernicious error, actually a denial of our creaturely dependence on all the causes that made us what we are and continue to make us what we are.

    A certain vision of modernity becomes a kind of excuse for giving up on the arduous labor of preserving, cultivating, and faithfully passing on tradition. No doubt we are facing new challenges, new levels and degrees of rupture with our cultural and religious past. No doubt there are new human elements in the grand mixture of our times that require attentive judgment and a ready adaptability. Nevertheless, the basic ingredients of the Christian life are still those furnished by our common human nature, the apostolic deposit of faith, age-old theological discourse, ecclesiastical monuments, the capacity of reason in man to resonate with the truth wherever and whenever it is found, and, most of all, the yearning of the heart to belong to a family that has, and knows, its own proud history. Some of these ingredients can be held in contempt by some people for some time, but together they continue to exert their force, which is inherent in them, and always susceptible to awakening. It is the role of poets, philosophers, and priests, among others, to stir up this inherent force, to keep it brightly awake so that we can live truly human and divinized lives. Without a lively and ardent connection to the givens of our historical and metaphysical journey, individuals will be lost, wandering, perishing, seeking water where there is only wasteland.

    It is not without significance that, throughout the history of the Church, reform movements always look back: they look to the apostolic age (as when religious orders conscientiously model their way of life after the blueprint given in the Acts of the Apostles); they look back to the origins of monasticism in the desert or the wilderness; they look back to the spirit and rule of their founders; they appeal to the Church Fathers, the Councils, the annals of the saints. It is part of the very essence of Christianity to be looking both backwards and forwards — indeed, paradoxically, to look to the future only through the past. This is what is meant by “the binding force of Tradition,” which liberates those it binds from the fads and fashions of their own particular age and its blind spots or prejudices. For a genuine Catholic, it could never be legitimate to lay aside vast portions of inherited tradition—be it artistic, intellectual, liturgical, or what have you.

    Yes, it is possible to enhance the vast treasury we inherit, but we do so by augmenting it, not by suppressing, dismantling, or destroying its contents, or considering them impossibly distant and irrecoverable. There may be times when some component of our Christian life needs to be modified, but this will be done rarely, reverently, and conservatively. New things will emerge out of old things, in a manner that is gentle and organic, not violent or mechanistic or self-punishing.

    In my last visit to a certain Benedictine monastery in Italy, I saw a remarkable example of this peaceful and fruitful continuity with past tradition — such that it becomes vibrantly present anew in our midst, as our own and yet not merely our own. Living with the monks is a professional painter who is systematically painting the walls and ceilings of the monastic refectory, for the benefit of the monks and their table guests. His work is exquisite, as if the gap of centuries between us and the age of Giotto or Fra Angelico had dropped away by a miracle, and yet all the iconography in his work was requested by the community itself and appears nowhere else in just this combination of Old Testament, New Testament, and Benedictine narratives. The old, the new, the traditional and the unique come together harmoniously, as they are intended to do. Here are two photos of this artist's just-completed work:


    To problematize tradition, to imagine that our relationship with it has to be complicated, torturous, self-doubting, anxious and agonized — as if we have to make apologies or find excuses or plausible reasons to love it — is one of the gravest symptoms of modern man’s disease. He problematizes tradition to the extent that he wants it to be a problem, because he somehow thinks this will “free” him to live a more “authentic” life of his own. It is, in other words, a thirst for autonomy, for being free of precisely those bonds that perfect us as social and spiritual beings. Modern Western man often lives according to the opinion and feeling that “it’s all up to us.” But the beauty of tradition is that, fundamentally, it’s not up to us. We are in the position of receivers, not inventors or fabricators. And while we have to use our free will to receive, we can freely exercise humility and gratitude by choosing, again and again, to make good use of the treasures of theology, spirituality, and liturgy that have been handed down to us.[4] As educator Michael Platt says:
    Revolutions in manners and morals often start with just one or two or a few persons saying “no” to something. Human things are often like an army in flight that will never turn until one soldier stands and fights. It is sometimes said “you can’t bring back the past”, but you can, and strong ages, such as the Renaissance and the Reformation, do precisely that, revive and renew something lost, forgotten, and good.[5]
    In every genuine Christian society, the spiritual aristocracy of the saints, not the technocracy of the latest experts, will be in the ruling position. This is no less true of the Church of God and her sacred liturgy.


    NOTES

    [1] For more thoughts along these lines, see my post: “Backwards vs. Forwards”—What Does It Mean?

    [2] What’s Wrong with the World,ch. 3.

    [3] The full article is available here.

    [4] Or that should have been handed down to us; we might need to practice the asceticism of finding buried treasures, because they are beautiful and because they actually do belong to us by right of inheritance. Just as it is a lack of humility and gratitude to receive from our tradition, so it is a serious dereliction of duty to fail to pass on the content of that tradition. It, too, can stem only from inflated pride and a habit of ingratitude.

    [5] From his essay "A Different Drummer," available here. I don't know if Platt is saying that the Reformation, as such, revived and renewed good things, but certainly the age in which it took place was notable for having the strength to look to the past with confidence, although obviously, from a Roman Catholic point of view, not every attempted recovery was intelligently or appropriately done.

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