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  • 05/17/16--15:48: Pentecost Tuesday 2016
  • The perennial wisdom of St Augustine, from the homily on the Gospel of Pentecost Tuesday (John 10, 1-10) in the Breviary of St Pius V.

    “In today’s reading, the Lord set forth a similitude about His flock, and the door by which one enters the sheepfold. Let the pagans say, therefore, “We live good lives!” If they enter not through the door, what does it profit them whereof they boast? For a good life must profit a man for this purpose, that it may be given him to live forever; what does a good life profit him, if it not be given him to live forever? Nor indeed can they be said to live a good life, who either in their blindness do know not the purpose of living, or are puffed up so as to despise it. But no man has a true and certain hope of eternal life, unless he know the Life which is Christ, and by that Door enter the sheepfold.

    St Paul Preaching on the Ruins, by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, 1744
    Therefore, such men very often seek to persuade others to live good lives, but not to be Christians. They would fain go up some other way, and steal and destroy (the sheep), and not keep and save them like the Good Shepherd. There have been some philosophers who have treated many subtle questions about the virtues and vices, making distinctions and definitions, who have put together many exceedingly clever arguments, who have filled many books, and have proclaimed their own wisdom from their prattling mouths. These even dared to say to men: “Follow us, embrace our school of thought, if you wish to live a blessed life.” But these entered not by the Door; they wanted to destroy, to slaughter, and to kill.” (Tract 45 on the Gospel of St John.)

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    St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy is pleased to announce a list of speakers and topics for the Fota IX International Liturgy Conference to be held in Cork, Ireland, July 9-11, 2016, on the subject of the role of Scripture in the Liturgy, entitled Verbum Domini: Liturgy and Scripture.

    1. Joseph Briody (Boston): Rediscovering the Septuagint: Text, Reception, Significance, Canon.

    2. Sven Conrad (Germany): Observations on the Theology of the Liturgia Verbi with Reference to the Forma Extraordinaria.

    3. John M. Cunningham, OP (Dublin): The Oldest Christian Sermon.

    4. Gregory DiPippo (New Liturgical Movement): The Ambrosian Rite and the Reform of the Roman Lectionary.

    5. Bishop Peter Elliott (Melbourne): The Heritage of Israel in the Roman Rite.

    6. Stefan Heid (Rome): Function and Direction of the Ambo in the Byzantine and Roman Traditions.

    7. Mons. Michael Magee (Philadelphia): The Reform of the Lectionary: Evaluation and Prospects.

    8. Paul Mankowski, SJ (Chicago): Latet Novum in Vetere: Old Testament tributaries of Catholic Worship.

    9. Thomas McGovern (Dublin): The Eucharistic Liturgy and Scripture.

    10. Ann T. Orlando (Boston): The Unity of Scripture and Liturgy in Augustine's Homilies on John's Gospel.

    11. Kevin Zilverberg (St. Paul, Minnesota): The Neo-Vulgate as Official Liturgical Translation.

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    The annual Chartres Pilgrimage, which our founding editor Shawn Tribe wrote about earlier this week, departs from Notre-Dame de Paris on Saturday, the vigil of Pentecost, and arrives at Notre-Dame de Chartres on Pentecost Monday. Since the tens of thousands of pilgrims who attend each year are therefore in the middle of the countryside between the two cities on Pentecost Sunday, a Solemn Mass of that day is traditionally celebrated for them in a portable tent-chapel brought along for the occasion.

    Here are some pictures from the Facebook page of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, the entity that organizes the pilgrimage, reproduced with their kind permission. These offer us a perfect example of how even a liturgy celebrated in a temporary facility for a massive crowd can still be done with the beauty and dignity necessary to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I would encourage our readers to go look at the several photo albums which they have posted over there, with a very large number of beautiful photographs documenting all the major events (and a lot of the minor ones.)











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    The late 12th-century liturgical commentator Sicard of Cremona explains the texts of the Mass of Ember Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost, and why the summer Ember Day fasts are united to the solemnity.

    “The Office of Wednesday preaches on knowledge, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who even unto this day has enlightened the Saints. This gift grew in abundance from the five books of Moses, and the few writings of the prophets, as the Daniel foresaw, saying, ‘Many shall pass over, and knowledge shall be manifold.’ (Dan. 12, 4)

    The Gospel reveals this to us mystically in the story of the five loaves and two fishes, which were multiplied between the mouths of those that ate them; likewise, the Law and the Prophets are multiplied in the studies of those that contemplate them. … And note that two readings are done (before the Gospel), since two people are converted to the faith (i.e., the Jews and the gentiles), and because those who are to be ordained (at the Mass of the Ember Saturday) are instructed in the pages of both Testaments. Before these in the Gospel is set forth bread, that is to say, the Sacred Scripture.

    The Introit that comes before these (readings) is fitting: ‘God, when Thou went forth before Thy people, making a way for them, dwelling among them, alleluia, the earth was moved, the heavens dropped down, alleluia, alleluia.’ For through knowledge, God has gone forth, which is to say, He has become known; and because by meditating on the sacred expositions, (the Apostles) explained the Scriptures. Therefore, in the Offertory is sung ‘I meditated upon thy Commandments.’ And because they say the same thing, and there is no division among them, rightly the Communion antiphon adds, ‘I leave you my peace, alleluia, my peace I give you, alleluia.’

    Pentecost, from the San Piero Maggiore Altarpiece by Jacopo di Cione, 1370
    Understand that today’s Ember Day fast does not detract from the solemnity of the Holy Spirit, but rather illuminates it, because the delights of the Holy Spirit bring with them distaste for the delights of the body; and because, the Bridegroom being taken away, the Apostles had to fast, as the Lord had foretold, when He said, ‘The Bridegroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast.’ (Matthew 9, 15) Wherefore, being filled with the Holy Spirit., they began to fast of their own free will. For this reason, some begin the Lent of summer on the previous Monday, but others more correctly esteem today’s fast as the beginning of the fast of this period. And some put the end (of this fast) at the feast of St John (the Baptist), whether it have six weeks or not. Others include the feast of St John, fasting without a fixed ending point, until they fulfill the six weeks.” (Mitrale, VII, 9)

    Sicard goes on to note that the “summer fast” or “summer Lent” was known to St Jerome, but as a matter of choice, not of obligation like Lent before Easter. The Eastern churches still have an analogous observance in the “Fast of the Apostles”, which runs from the Monday after the feast of All Saints until the feast of Ss Peter and Paul on June 29. (The Byzantine All Saints is kept on the Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday in the Western rites.)

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    The Catholic faithful in southeastern Massachusetts will have two opportunities of celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi in the older, traditional Roman Rite. Solemn Mass will be offered at Good Shepherd Parish (St. Patrick's Church) in Fall River on Thursday, May 26th (see above). On Sunday, May 29th, at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis, Solemn Mass for the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi will be offered at 1:00 p.m. Both Masses will be followed by a Eucharistic Procession.

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    This article by Henri de Villiers was originally published in 2014.

    While in the use of Rome, the prose Veni, Sancte Spiritus is sung on the day of Pentecost and at all the Masses within the octave, the old use of Paris celebrates each day of the octave with a different sequence.

    Here is how Paris used to arrange the sequences during the octave of Pentecost:
    1. Pentecost Sunday: Fulgens præclara Paraclyti Sancti
      a subdivision of an old French prose for Easter, prior to the year 1000.
    2. Pentecost Monday: Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia
      by Notker the Stammerer (c. 840 † 912). 
    3. Pentecost Tuesday: Lux jucunda, Lux insignis
      by Adam of St. Victor († 1146).
    4. Pentecost Wednesday: Simplex in essentia
      by Adam of St. Victor.
    5. Pentecost Thursday: Qui procedis ab utroque
      by Adam of St. Victor.
    6. Pentecost Friday: Alma chorus Domini
      an anonymous French composition, prior to 1000.
    7. Pentecost Saturday Pentecost: Veni, Sancte Spiritus
      by Stephen Langton (c. 1150 † 1228).
    It is notable that three of these compositions are the work of the famous hymnographer Adam, who, before ending his days in the abbey of Saint-Victor, at the foot of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, was the precentor of the cathedral of Paris from 1107 until roughly 1134. The proses Adam composed for Paris crossed the border of the diocese, and his work quickly spread throughout Europe. Adam’s sequences have a wide vocal range, typical of the school of chant of the cathedral of Paris, a fact which suggests the high vocal art standards which then reigned in our French capital.

    Many other proses were subsequently built on the rhythms and songs of Adam; especially well know is the Lauda Sion for Corpus Christi, modeled by St. Thomas Aquinas on the Laudes Crucis by Adam of St. Victor.

    Today I would like to present the text and the chant of the Parisian sequence for Thursday in the Octave of Pentecost: Qui procedis ab utroque, by Adam of St. Victor.

    The liturgical texts dedicated to the Holy Spirit have become relatively rare in the Latin Church. It may be interesting to renew our acquaintance with this medieval hymnographic corpus of such high quality, as this magnificent repertoire is so rich, both spiritually and musically. Here is how dom Gueranger introduces this prose in his Liturgical Year:
    This great liturgical poet of the western Church has surpassed himself in what he has written on the Holy Ghost; and more than once, during the octave, we will select from his rich store. But the hymn we give to-day is not merely a composition of poetic worth; it is a sublime and fervent prayer to the Paraclete, whom Jesus has promised to send us, and whom we are now expecting. Let us make these sentiments of the devout poet of the twelfth century our own; let us imitate him in his longings for the holy Spirit, who is coming that He may renew the face of the earth, and dwell within us.
    Here is the chant of this prose, Qui procedis ab utroque, from the excellent Proper of Paris published in 1923-1925:
      Qui procedis ab utroque-1Qui procedis ab utroque-2Qui procedis ab utroque-3Qui procedis ab utroque-4Qui procedis ab utroque-5 

    Here is a metrical translation by Digby S. Wrangham:

    Comforter, from both together,
    From the Son and from the Father,
    Who proceedest equally!
    Eloquent our utterance render;
    With Thy splendour
    Bright engender
    In our hearts true warmth for Thee.

    Love of Father, Son, together;
    Equal of them both; with either
    One: the same in every part!
    All Thou fillest, all Thou lovest,
    Stars Thou rulest, heaven Thou movest,
    Though immovable Thou art.

    Light the dearest!
    Light the clearest!
    Off Thou scarest,
    As Thou nearest,
    From the heart its gloomy night:
    All the pure Thou purifiest,
    Thou it is that sin destroyest,
    And its mildew's baleful blight.

    Knowledge of the truth Thou spreadest;
    On the way of peace Thou leadest,
    And the path of righteousness.
    From Thee thrusting
    Hearts unruly,
    Thou all trusting
    Hearts and holy
    Dost with gifts of wisdom bless.

    When Thou teachest,
    Nought obscure is!
    Where Thou reachest,
    Nought impure is;
    And, if present Thou wilt be,
    Hearts in Thee then blithely glory,
    And the conscience joys before Thee,
    Gladdened, purified by Thee.

    Elements their mystic dower,
    Sacraments their saving power,
    But through Thee alone possess:
    What can harm us Thou repellest,
    Thou exposest and Thou quellest,
    Adversaries' wickedness.

    Where Thou lightest,
    Hearts are brightest;
    Gloom-enshrouded
    Clouds that brooded
    There, before Thee disappear;
    Fire all-holy!
    Hearts Thou truly
    Never burnest,
    But thence yearnest,
    When Thou comest, cares to clear.

    Thou the heart, experience needing,
    Languor pleading,
    Little heeding,
    Dost instruct and rouse to right;
    Speeches framing, tongues endowing,
    And bestowing
    Love all-glowing,
    Hearts Thou mak'st in good delight.

    Sustentation
    In dejection!
    Consolation
    In affliction!
    Only refuge of the poor!
    Give us scorn for things terrestrial,
    And to care for things celestial
    Lead our longings more and more!

    Comfort wholly,
    Founder solely,
    Inmate truly,
    Lover throughly,
    Of those hearts that bow to Thee!
    Concord, where is discord, raising,
    Ills thence chasing,
    Guilt effacing,
    Bring us true security!

    Thou, Who once by visitation
    Didst inform, and consolation
    To Thy scared disciples give!
    Deign Thou now to come unto us:
    If it please Thee, comfort show us,
    And all nations that believe!

    One excelling
    Greatness sharing,
    One as well in
    Power appearing,
    But one God three Persons are.
    Coming forth from two together,
    Thou co-equal art with either,
    No disparity is there.

    Such as is the Father Thou art;
    Since so great and such Thou now art,
    By Thy servants unto Thee,
    With the Sire, and Son, in heaven
    Our Redeemer, praise be given,
    As is due, most reverently! Amen.

    Some medieval Parisian manuscripts of this sequence may be seen in the French version of this post.

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    Our Ambrosian correspondent Nicola de’ Grandi provided these photos from a show currently going on at the Gallerie d’Italia in the Piazza della Scala of his native city of Milan. “La Bellezza Ritrovata - Beauty Rediscovered”, showcases over 140 artworks which have been recently restored in one way or another; art restoration is, not at all surprisingly, a field in which the Italians have a tremendous expertise and to which they devote enormous resources. The works in this show come from every part of the country, and cover every kind of art, brought from churches, museums and archeological sites, broadly representing the whole of Italy’s incalculable artistic patrimony. Paintings are well-represented in the show, but there are also the following very beautiful liturgical items.

    Processional Cross from the Abbey of Chiaravalle, the Cistercian Abbey of Milan, founded by St Bernard himself. (“Chiaravalle” is the italianization of “Clairvaux - Bright Valley.”) Like the Cross of Desiderius, which we wrote about in December of 2014, it is made of two pieces from different periods put together; the first photo shows the side made in the 17th century, the second the side made in the 13th. The older part was a gift to the abbey from Archbishop Giovanni Visconti, was also the founder of the Milanese Charterhouse at Garegnano; he died at the monastery of Chiaravalle in 1354.



    This ivory crook with silver inlay from the diocesan Museum of Fano in the Marches region is called the crook of St Pius V, to whom it was first given when he was made bishop in 1556.



    A blue silk chasuble of the 14th century, with a decorative cross in velvet added in the 15th.





    A miter from the end of the 15th century in white damask, and glove perhaps also of the 15th century, in white hide with metallic and red silk threads; from the cathedral of St Michael the Archangel at Sant’Angelo in Vado, also in the Marches.





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    Introitus Ps 70 Repleátur os meum laude tua, allelúia: ut possim cantáre, allelúia: gaudébunt labia mea, dum cantávero tibi, allelúia, allelúia. Ps. In te, Dómine, sperávi, non confundar in aeternum: in justitia tua líbera me et éripe me. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen. Repleátur...

    (Polyphonic setting by French composer Jacques Colebault, 1483-1559, generally known as ‘Jacques de Mantoue’ from his long career in the Italian city of Mantua. Gregorian setting below.)


    Introitus Let my mouth be filled with Your praise, alleluia: that I may sing, alleluia. My lips shall shout for joy as I sing Your praises, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. In You, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame, in Your justice rescue me, and deliver me. Glory be... As it was ... Let my mouth ...


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    The medieval liturgical commentator William Durandus, writing at the end of the 13th century, explains some of the richness of one of the year’s most beautiful and complex Masses, that of the Ember Saturday of Pentecost weeks, the last Mass of the Easter season.

    “On Saturday, the Introit is ‘The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, (alleluia, through His Spirit that dwelleth among us, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.)’ And this is appropriate for the Holy Spirit, who is charity, and fitting also for Saturday, because it will be poured forth most especially on the Sabbath of the future rest… there follows the Epistle, ‘Justified therefore by faith etc.’ (Rom. 5, 1-5), which speaks of this pouring forth. For, because the charity of God has been poured forth, Paul suffers it not to be restricted within the borders of the Land of Promise; rather he shows that the Holy Spirit was given not only to the Jews, but also the gentiles, saying to the Jews themselves, ‘To you it behoved us first to speak the word of God: but because you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we turn to the Gentiles.’ (Acts 13, 46)


    … therefore, because the Holy Spirit is given to the gentiles, there follows ‘Alleluia, praise the Lord, all nations.’ For on this fast, the songs of joy are not omitted, out of reverence for the feast. Nor do we bend the knee, in accord with the Council of Nicea, (which prohibited kneeling in the Easter season), but standing, we pray for the neophytes, rejoicing that they have risen up from their sins. … afterwards comes the Gospel ‘Jesus arising (from the synagogue, entered the house of Simon. - Luke 4, 38-44),’ about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, who signifies the synagogue, which by Peter was healed from infidelity, and by faith will be healed more perfectly in the future …

    The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law, mosaic in the Chora Monastery in Constantinople, 14th century.
    On this day ordinations are done, because the Holy Spirit descends upon those who are to be ordained, and also upon those who fast…. The first reading is from Joel, ‘I will pour forth my Spirit upon all flesh, etc.’ (Joel 2, 28-32), because just as the Holy Spirit descended visibly upon the Apostles, so he descends invisibly upon those who are to be ordained.” (Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, VI, 113)

    Diaconal Ordination celebrated on Ember Saturday of Pentecost, May 25, 2013, for the FSSP seminary in Wigratzbad, Germany, by Bishop François Bacqué.

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    As always, we wish to thank all our readers who sent in pictures of their Pentecost liturgies from all over the world. We received enough this year that I thought it best to split them up into two posts; the second will go up tomorrow. A reminder that a major photopost will be coming up soon for the feast of Corpus Christi. Evangelize through beauty!

    St Michael’s Russian Catholic Chapel - New York City


    Church of the Sacred Heart - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Celebrated by Fr John Hunwicke



    Church of the Holy Cross - Vilnius, Lithuania




    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine - Hsinchu City Taiwan




    Cathedral of St John Berchmans - Shreveport, Louisiana






    Our Lady of Victory - Santiago, Chile
    Sponsored by Magnificat Chile, the Una Voce Chapter of Santiago




    Mater Ecclesiae - Berlin, New Jersey
    The Vigil of Pentecost




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    Here is the second part of our Pentecost photopost, as always, with our thanks to the readers who sent them in.

    Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Legnano, Italy
    Mass in the Ambrosian Rite; as a side note, the Ambrosian Rite uses red as the liturgical color of the season after Pentecost, (even including the feast of Corpus Christi), as did many medieval Uses of the Roman Rite. (From the website www.ambrosianeum.net.)







    St Mary’s Catholic Church - Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Masses in the OF (red vestments) and EF (gold vestments); the parish priest, Fr James Richardson, celebrated the tenth anniversary of his priestly ordination.








    Holy Innocents - New York City





    National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon - North Jackson, Ohio




    Monastery of Annunciation Hermitage - Gilchrist, Oregon




    St Joseph Church, Mother of Divine Mercy Parish - Detroit, Michigan




    Santa Maria della Consolazione - Milan, Italy
    Mass in the Ambrosian Rite






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    The Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City will hold a Solemn Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi, followed by an outdoor procession in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, May 26, 2016, starting at 6 p.m.

    Since 2009, the traditional Mass community at the Church of Holy Innocents has celebrated Corpus Christi on its traditional date — the Thursday after Trinity Sunday — with a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. In 2009, the Mass was the first of a novena of Masses in the Extraordinary Form that concluded with a Pontifical Mass at the Throne for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The inaugural procession with the Blessed Sacrament took place inside the church followed by Solemn Benediction. Since 2010, every procession following the Solemn Mass has been outdoors.

    In the words of a Holy Innocents parishioner, “It is such a great act of faith to go in procession with the Blessed Sacrament through midtown Manhattan near Macy’s, Herald Square, and Penn Station.” Since 2010, the faithful members of the traditional Mass community at Holy Innocents feel tremendous joy at the occasion to make a very public expression of their Catholic faith in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

    For many years, Holy Innocents was the only parish in midtown Manhattan to have a procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Mr. Eddy Toribio, one of the regular servers at Holy Innocents, says, “Every year, this particular procession draws hundreds of faithful parishioners and visitors in solemn procession singing hymns in Latin, English, Spanish, and Italian. It is truly a splendid sight, which reminds the city that never sleeps that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Eucharist remains the same.”

    Before the 6 p.m. Solemn Mass, the parishioners will recite the Holy Rosary at 5:20. The Choirmaster and organist, Mr. Pedro d’Aquino, will direct the music (Messa a tre voci by Saverio Mercadante, 1795-1870). After the Mass and the outdoors procession, there will be a festive reception in the parish hall.

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    Now that we (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) are on the verge of summer and all the outdoor activities and traveling it makes possible, it seems worthwhile to discuss the phenomenon of outdoor Masses, which, if anything, seems to be growing in popularity as time goes on.

    To state the obvious, there may not always be a good reason for having an outdoor Mass. As we know, Canon Law specifies that the normative place for worship is a consecrated church or chapel. On the other hand, if you are a group of Catholics who are going on a fairly long-term wilderness trek and you will be many miles (and even mountains) away from civilization, or if you are undertaking a multi-day pilgrimage from one shrine to another, then packing the Mass along with you may be exactly the right thing to do.

    But it still must be done correctly — that is, reverently, with all essentials for the rite, and with no danger of profanation. In short, if one is going to have Mass outdoors, it must be done well; and if, for whatever reason, this is not possible, it would be better not to do it. Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873), a true apostle of the American West, once said that one of the hardest things about being a missionary was how many times he couldn’t celebrate Mass because conditions were too hard.

    I became interested in the question of outdoor Masses initially because of my involvement with Wyoming Catholic College, which features an intensive Outdoor Leadership Program that sends out all the freshmen on a three-week backpacking trip in the wilderness, with chaplains accompanying them for the first two weeks. Other outdoor trips, such as the freshmen’s week-long winter trip, have also been blessed by the presence and ministrations of our resident chaplains. I myself was fortunate to participate in a 12-day backpacking trip a few summers ago that was graced by the companionship of a Fraternity of St. Peter priest who offered the traditional Mass daily in the midst of some of the most breathtaking country I had ever seen. We even sang a High Mass for the Feast of the Transfiguration (I had packed a photocopy of the propers and ordinary).

    My purpose here is to gather in a single article a sizeable number of photographs and pointers about outdoor Masses. In my opinion, someday a priest of traditional sensibilities who is at the same time highly experienced in backpacking trips and other outdoor events should write a comprehensive and amply illustrated book on the subject. While we await that publication, however, at least we have some wonderful photos to look to for inspiration and guidance, as well as ten pieces of advice that Fr. Antony Sumich, FSSP, shared with me as I was drafting this article.

    Two Distinct Scenarios


    When celebrating Mass outdoors, there are two distinct scenarios:
    1. the “no holds barred” scenario, where, either due to the use of vehicles or a large number of people who can carry objects and don’t have to stay outdoors for a long period, one can set up the Mass with a certain fullness, including the use of tents, a portable altar, tall candlesticks, statues, chairs, and so forth, resulting in what might be called a temporary chapel; 
    2. the “pack as lightly as you can” scenario, where fewness and lightness of objects is key, because the priest and his companions will be backpacking a long distance and carrying on their backs all their own food and gear. 
    Of course, these two scenarios are not separated by a sharp line, and, in practice, one sees a variety of approaches and levels. The usus antiquior requires more items than the Novus Ordo, but, as the photos demonstrate, portable versions of everything have been developed with great ingenuity. (I suggest checking out St. Joseph's Apprentice, a company that offers many models, including the "Wilderness Altar." OnePeterFive ran a fascinating article by the carpenter who founded it.)

    (1) Scenario 1: A Temporary Outdoor Chapel


    Over the years, NLM has featured photos from many outdoor Masses that fit the description of the first scenario. Most notable, of course, are the Masses from the annual Chartres pilgrimage.

    Another great example is the Mass celebrated by Fr. Sumich on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent. Again, Father was assisted by lay Catholics who served as porters to carry up the table and other items seen in the photos.

    An additional photo that would belong to this category:

    Other good examples may be found here and here.

    (2) Scenario 2: Backpacking in the Wilderness


    NLM has not featured many photos in the all-out wilderness category. An exception would be the photos from a Wyoming Catholic College winter trip on which freshmen vied with one another to create the best snow altars and sanctuaries in January in the environs of the Grand Tetons.

    Here are some photos from the WCC faculty-staff backpacking trip for which Fr. Terence Gordon, FSSP, served as chaplain:

    (3) Hybrid


    A hybrid of the two scenarios would be the case where one is staying at a camp ground and has at one’s disposal various materials, such as a picnic table or large logs or boards, that would not be available in the wilderness.

    At a Game Park in Zimbabwe
    At Yoho Park, British Columbia
    Mass at 5 degrees Fahrenheit

    Ten Pieces of Advice


    Fr. Sumich shared with me the following advice, for the benefit of priestly readers of NLM.

    Saying Mass in these outdoor spots requires very good organisation and precise planning.
    1. Early mornings usually have the best chance for ‘no wind’ which is very important. Although I was saying Mass in the Namib Desert just before sunrise and a howling wind came up and I had to stop the Mass at about the Epistle!
    2. The linens will need either clips or stones to stop from blowing.
    3. The candles are difficult to keep lit. The storm candles worked quite well on Kilimanjaro, but still needed work.
    4. If carrying two sets of reversible vestments, they need to be able to fold up into one ziplock bag each (the whole set!)
    5. The altar that I used on Kilimanjaro was fantastic as it gave me another 8 - 10” height above a standard fold-out table. This helps to stop stooping to say Mass. But this only can be used if you have porters. In the bush, it would be too much to carry & you need to construct your own altar.
    6. You need a crush resistant (but very compact) & waterproof container for hosts.
    7. The missal needs (obviously) to be small, but too small can sometimes be too hard to read.
    8. Things will get dirty, but folding vestments and especially altar linens and albs very closely & tightly to a set pattern CAN keep them from soiling too bad. Zip-locks are fantastic.
    9. Depending on the numbers, either a very small ciborium or a pyx is best for numbers of hosts.
    10. It is possible to say Mass in the cold, but when the water cruet can’t stop freezing, you are in trouble. Keeping the celebrant’s hands warm is also difficult because the fingers are exposed and the chalice will be very cold. I have seen a photo of a Mass at the North Pole at an ice altar!
    The experiences of many people, as documented in the photos above, demonstrate that it is indeed possible to celebrate the sacred mysteries in the back country with great care, reverence, and attention to detail. I would like to thank all the priests who have done this well and who are therefore in a position to show others how to do it well.

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    The Society of St Hugh of Cluny is sponsoring an event in New York City, (details in poster below), which will explore the riches of English Catholic musical and religious culture under the Tudors. The lecture by Dr. Samuel Schmitt will describe the musical life of recusant Catholics in the time of Elizabeth, with live examples provided by Grant and Priscilla Herreid and Charles Weaver.

    The Mass which follows, in the traditional Dominican rite, features the Missa Regali of Robert Fayrfax, essentially in its original liturgical context, in the English Gothic Revival setting of the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer. The contrast in musical styles will serve to highlight what was lost and what was gained in sacred music in the tumultuous passing from the age of Fayrfax to that of Byrd.



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    When I decided I wanted to be an artist, I started to investigate the training that was traditionally given to artists in the past. This involved the study of a number of things: how the skills of arts such as painting and drawing were transmitted; the great works of Catholic culture from which the artist understands the tradition in which he is working; and a formation of the person, by which he can be open to inspiration, and can apprehend beauty and work beautifully.

    This article is an attempt to articulate concisely what I discovered (and describe in greater length in the book the Way of Beauty) - that a formation in beauty was not only part of a general Catholic education, but in fact was identical with what a general Catholic education ought to be, and so rarely is.

    The only difference between an artist’s education and any good general education was the vocational element, in this case painting. It occurred to me that this could change according to the particular calling of each person. Then the rest would benefit every person, regardless of his precise calling in life, and could complement all other study and human activity.

    I believe also, incidentally, that this is a program that can also form people as evangelists who can contribute to the New Evangelization, shining with the Light of Christ as they go about their daily business.

    The content of the syllabus, which I do not describe in detail here, is superficially similar to many humanities and liberal arts educations. However, in contrast to many of these existing programs (the ones that I have looked at, at least), its pedagogical method emphasizes more strongly what I see as an essential element, that of praxis - putting into practice what is learned, and thus developing the faculty of creativity by creating beautiful things.

    The other key element - perhaps the most important - is that of consciously ordering of everything to man’s ultimate end and relating it to the highest form of praxis - the worship of God.

    Teachers and students alike should be able to make the connection between any element of study and our purpose in life. When this is so, teachers know the answer to the question “Why teach?”, and students know the answer to the question “Why learn?” Teacher and student will thus be motivated all the more to fulfill their role.


    I will outline the pedagogical method first, and then articulate my understanding of what a Catholic education is. Finally, I will list some quotations from Church documents that emphasize the points that I am making in regard to the goal of a Catholic education.

    Pedagogical method

    1. Wonder - the appreciation of divine beauty. The first stage is to inspire in the student a natural and personal response to the divine beauty which is present in creation and in the beautiful works of man in both the culture of faith and the wider culture. This response should be a natural and joyful experience.

    2. Intellectual Illumination - imparting knowledge and understanding. This aspect examines how the good, the true and the beautiful participate in all that exists and are personified in God. The goal of this is just as much to communicate the subjects taught - e.g. the liberal arts, philosophy and theology - as it is to train people to think both analytically and synthetically, so that we set them on a path of lifelong learning which they can direct themselves. By thinking “analytically”, I mean the examination of the parts of the subject; by “synthetically”, I mean understanding the whole in the light of what we know about the parts. The broadest synthetic thought is that which places all that we know in the context of our whole human life and its purpose.

    3. Praxis 1 - creating a culture of beauty, first by imitating the most beautiful parts of the culture - e.g. the works of masters, with understanding, second, by creating original works in art, music, literature etc. and so contributing to the culture.

    4. Praxis 2 - participatio actuosa - active participation in the sacred liturgy: the realization of “liturgical man,” teaching people the practice of the worship of God and all it entails. When students take these lessons to heart, participation in the liturgy becomes the ultimate act of creativity, by which they enter into the mystery of the Trinity and by grace participate in the creative love of God.


    What is a Catholic education?

    The aim of all Catholic education is to offer students a formation that might lead to supernatural transformation in Christ, so that each may be capable, by God’s grace, of moving towards their ultimate end, and of contributing to the good of society.

    All other stated ends in education, for example, the re-ordering of society’s culture, of bearing witness to Christ in their surroundings, and the training in skills which enable the student to earn a living, while necessary, are nevertheless ordered to this ultimate end and achieved in their fullest measure by this supernatural transformation.

    It is common in the field of Catholic education to cite the creation of the virtuous person as a goal. This is true, and it is in effect another way of saying the same thing, for the highest virtue is a cardinal virtue, the virtue of religion. According to St Thomas (ST II-II, Q.lxxxi) it is a virtue whose purpose is to render to God the worship due to Him as the source of all being and the principle of all government of things. It is a distinct virtue, not merely an aspect of another.

    This supernatural transformation, made possible by baptism, is made real by an encounter with the living God. This encounter can happen in many ways, but occurs most profoundly and most powerfully in the Eucharist; by it we are made capable in a new way, through God’s grace, of loving Him and our fellow man. Love of our fellow man in all its forms is inseparably bound up with love of God; the encounter with God in the Eucharist renews our capacity for love of neighbor, and love of neighbor tends to deepen our participation in the worship of God in the Eucharist.

    So profound is this connection between love of God and love of neighbor that there is no authentically human activity - thought or deed, sacred or mundane - that cannot be formed by and ordered to the Eucharist for the better of each person, society and the Church. In this sense, the Eucharist is the form (as in guiding principle) of every aspect of the Christian life, including all those pertaining to a Catholic school.

    Any school or educational institution therefore should ensure that all that goes on is in accord with the end of all education. Accordingly, it should ensure that students are aware that their capacity to be educated, and every aspect of their lives as Christians, whatever their personal goals, will be enhanced when they participate actively in the Eucharist and live a liturgically-formed life. This knowledge will help to motivate students in their studies and order all their activities to their personal goals in life, which in turn are ordered to their ultimate end.

    Each student should be clearly aware of the profound desirability of a supernatural Christian transformation and, therefore, the need for grace in their education, as in all human activity; and that the Sacred Liturgy is the optimal encounter with Christ in this life that provides for this need. There are many ways that Christ can be encountered, and every activity of a school should be such an encounter in one form or another. However, each encounter, if it is real, points to and is derived from that optimal encounter in the Sacred Liturgy. Students should be aware that the fruits of such a transformed Christian life, which are promised to us, are precisely those that a Christian education aims to provide in the ideal.

    In addition to imparting an understanding of the primary importance of the Sacred Liturgy as the form of their everyday lives and in their education, students need to be given religious instruction so that each, in accordance with his personal situation, might develop a sacramental life that will make the transformation possible. This religious instruction includes principles by which they can develop a harmonious balance of liturgical prayer, both the Mass and the Divine Office, devotional and personal prayer, in which the non-liturgical elements are derived from and point to participation in Sacred Liturgy. By this instruction they should know, in theory at least, what is necessary to continually deepen their participation in the sacramental life, with the Eucharist at its heart; and to continually renew and increase their capacity for love of neighbor.

    While it may be appropriate for the instruction of what is just described to be given to all in the classroom, the actual participation in the liturgically centered sacramental life must always be one that is voluntary. We must respect each person’s God-given free will. Transformation itself can neither be taught nor enforced: it is derived from a personal and free response to God’s love for us. Such participation therefore, should be encouraged. Accordingly, the role of the school is to increase the freedom of each person to choose well by enhancing their knowledge of what is good in this regard, and giving them, where humanly possible, the power and opportunity to do so. In accord with this, it should always be a priority of the college to make beautiful and appropriately celebrated Sacred Liturgy available to the students in a beautiful place of worship. Ideally, the faculty will lead by example, so that their actions speak of the centrality of the Eucharist in a life well lived.

    All subjects included in the curriculum, while not all relating directly to the subject of the Sacred Liturgy, must nevertheless be consistent with these twofold and inter-connected aims of love of God and love of man, consummated in a freely chosen, liturgically-oriented piety. Each faculty member should be able to explain the reason for the inclusion of the subject taught in the light of these principles, and willingly direct the students to its liturgical end.

    Moreover, beyond the classroom the college should strive to encourage a culture in which any aspect of community life is in accord with and reinforces its ultimate goals for the students.


    Quotations from Church documents on education
    “A school is a privileged place in which, through a living encounter with a cultural inheritance, integral formation occurs.” (The Catholic School, 26; pub. The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977)

    “The proper and immediate end of Christian education is to cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is, to form Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism...For precisely this reason, Christian education takes in the whole aggregate of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ. Hence the true Christian, product of Christian education, is the supernatural man who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason illumined by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ; in other words, to use the current term, the true and finished man of character.” (Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, 60; Encyclical on Christian Education, 1929, 94, 95, 96)
    “The integral formation of the human person, which is the purpose of education, includes the development of all the human faculties of the students, together with preparation for professional life, formation of ethical and social awareness, becoming aware of the transcendental, and religious education. Every school, and every educator in the school, ought to be striving to form strong and responsible individuals, who are capable of making free and correct choices.” (Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, 17; pub Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1982)

    “No less than other schools does the Catholic school pursue cultural goals and the human formation of youth. But its proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism as they develop their own personalities, and finally to order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith.” (Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, 8)

    “For a true education aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end and of the good of the societies of which, as man, he is a member, and in whose obligations, as an adult, he will share.” (Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, 1)

    “First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.” (Benedict XVI, Meeting with Catholic Educators, Catholic University of America, Washington DC, April 2008)

    “The true Christian does not renounce the activities of this life, he does not stunt his natural faculties; but he develops and perfects them, by coordinating them with the supernatural. He thus ennobles what is merely natural in life and secures for it new strength in the material and temporal order, no less than in the spiritual and eternal.” (Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, 60; Encyclical on Christian Education, 1929, 98)

    “Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education. A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person as just now described, but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced to knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24); also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13) and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body; moreover, that aware of their calling, they learn not only how to bear witness to the hope that is in them (cf. Peter 3:15) but also how to help in the Christian formation of the world that takes place when natural powers viewed in the full consideration of man redeemed by Christ contribute to the good of the whole society.” (Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, 2)

    “Every form of catechesis would do well to attend to the ‘way of beauty’ (via pulchritudinis). Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and true, but also something beautiful.” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)




    From documents on the liturgy:

    “Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper.” (Sacrosanctum Consilium, 10)

    “A mystagogical catechesis must be concerned with bringing out the significance of the rites for the Christian life in all its dimensions – work and responsibility, thoughts and emotions, activity and repose. Part of the mystagogical process is to demonstrate how the mysteries celebrated in the rite are linked to the missionary responsibility of the faithful. The mature fruit of mystagogy is an awareness that one’s life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated. The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a ‘new creation,’ capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.” (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 64)

    “The Sacred Liturgy is not a hobby for specialists. It is central to all our endeavors as disciples of Jesus Christ. This profound reality cannot be over emphasized. We must recognize the primacy of grace in our Christian life and work, and we must respect the reality that in this life the optimal encounter with Christ is in the Sacred Liturgy.” (Sacra Liturgia 2013 conference, Rome. Opening address by Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon, France, published in the proceedings of the conference, p15, pub Ignatius, 2013)

    “We can thus understand how agape also became a term for the Eucharist: there God’s own agape comes to us bodily, in order to continue his work in us and through us. Only by keeping in mind this Christological and sacramental basis can we correctly understand Jesus’ teaching on love. The transition which he makes from the Law and the Prophets to the twofold commandment of love of God and of neighbor, and his grounding the whole life of faith on this central precept, is not simply a matter of morality—something that could exist apart from and alongside faith in Christ and its sacramental re-actualization. Faith, worship and ethos are interwoven as a single reality which takes shape in our encounter with God’s agape. Here the usual contraposition between worship and ethics simply falls apart. Worship itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.” (Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 14)

    “There is nothing authentically human – our thoughts and affections, our words and deeds – that does not find in the sacrament of the Eucharist the form it needs to be lived to the full.” (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 71)

    “The liturgy is a radiant expression of the paschal mystery, in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion. As Saint Bonaventure would say, in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendour at their source. (106) This is no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us towards our true vocation, which is love.” (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 35)

    “Many manuals and programmes have not yet taken sufficiently into account the need for a mystagogical renewal, one which would assume very different forms based on each educational community’s discernment.” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 166)



    All the photographs are from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where I did my undergraduate studies. We see the quadrangle, chapel, dining hall and library. This was established in the 13th century and was named after St Edmund Rich, also known as St Edmund of Abingdon (a town in Oxfordshire), or St Edmund of Canterbury. It is not the grandest of the colleges by any means, but nevertheless, the design of each building, the layout of the college and even today, the rhythms and the patterns of the educational year are all in conformity with a principle that places the worship of God as the highest activity of the student (although I’m guessing that most current students and faculty are unaware of this). For more detail read the Way of Beauty book.

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    On May 7, Solemn Pontifical Vespers in the usus antiquior were celebrated for the first time in Scandinavia since the liturgical reforms. Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen celebrated First Vespers for Sunday after the Ascension in the Catholic cathedral of St. Ansgar. The Gregorian proper chants were sung together with a polyphonic setting of the Magnificat by Tomas Luis de Victoria. Clergy from the diocese assisted together with visiting priests.

    Remarkably, the Vespers were part of the religious and cultural festival “Danish Ecclesial Days,” held every third year. Originally an event of the Danish Lutheran State Church, this year other denominations have been involved. It was the Catholic representative to the organizing committee, a permanent deacon, who asked the St. Charles Borromeo Group (which organizes the TLM in Copenhagen) to arrange for this celebration of Vespers; he himself served as Assistant Deacon. The cathedral was open for prayer and Eucharistic adoration throughout the three-day event.

    Mgr. Kozon has been very supportive of the older liturgical use and will celebrate an EF Solemn Pontifical Mass and confer Confirmation in St. Augustine’s Church, Copenhagen, on June 25. Thank you, Your Excellency!






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    The Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul, located at 1732 Race St. in Philadelphia, will have an EF Mass tomorrow for the feast of Corpus Christ, starting at 7 pm, and followed by a Eucharist Procession and Benediction.



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    Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, will celebrate Vespers and Benediction in the Extraordinary Form this coming Sunday, May 29th, starting at 7 p.m., with choral works of Messiaen, Bairstow, Josquin, Victoria, Hassler, and more. The professional choir-in-residence, Sola Stella, will lead the singing; the service will be accompanied by Annunciation’s vintage 1924 Pilcher organ, the only organ from that era left in the city that retains its original voicing. The oldest house of worship in continued use in Houston, Annunciation has been offering Vespers services like this in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms for about two years now. The church is located at 1618 Texas Avenue.



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    For the 16th consecutive year, at Mater Ecclesiae, where the Extraordinary Form is celebrated exclusively every day, there will be a Solemn Mass and Procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi on Thursday, May 26 at 7:30 PM. There is plenty of parking. Come join us for this "Feast of God."

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  • 05/25/16--10:00: A May Procession in Ireland
  • Thanks to Mr John Briody for sending in these photographs of a May Procession (followed by Benediction) held in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Kevin’s Church in Dublin, Ireland, home of the Latin Mass chaplaincy for the Dublin Archdiocese.














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