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- 06/04/16--02:16: _400th Anniversary o...
- 06/04/16--22:18: _Corpus Christi 2016...
- 06/06/16--02:00: _More Liturgical Tre...
- 06/06/16--07:34: _Seeking the Right R...
- 06/07/16--01:00: _EF Requiem for Moth...
- 06/07/16--12:56: _Procession with Rel...
- 06/07/16--22:44: _Corpus Christi 2016...
- 06/08/16--02:31: _The Basilica of St ...
- 06/08/16--22:46: _Year of Mercy Pilgr...
- 06/09/16--05:00: _Call for Artists fo...
- 06/09/16--22:49: _Books of Hours Online
- 06/10/16--01:33: _“Ars Celebrandi” Wo...
- 06/10/16--22:55: _Feast of St Mary Ma...
- 06/11/16--23:13: _Corpus Christ Photo...
- 06/13/16--06:00: _The Problem of the ...
- 06/14/16--08:18: _Another Call for Ar...
- 06/14/16--23:35: _Dominican Rite Mass...
- 06/15/16--05:00: _Reader Looking for ...
- 06/15/16--23:40: _“Liturgy in the Twe...
- 06/16/16--12:15: _Interesting Saints ...
- 06/04/16--22:18: Corpus Christi 2016: Second Photopost
- 06/06/16--02:00: More Liturgical Treasures from Northern Italy
- 06/06/16--07:34: Seeking the Right Relationship Between Internal and External
- 06/07/16--01:00: EF Requiem for Mother Angelica in London Tomorrow
- 06/07/16--12:56: Procession with Relics of St Norbert
- 06/07/16--22:44: Corpus Christi 2016: Third Photopost - Zeal for the Sacred Liturgy
- 06/08/16--02:31: The Basilica of St Maximin in Provence
- 06/08/16--22:46: Year of Mercy Pilgrimage in NYC This Saturday
- 06/09/16--22:49: Books of Hours Online
- 06/10/16--01:33: “Ars Celebrandi” Workshops 2016 in Licheń, Poland (Press Release)
- 06/10/16--22:55: Feast of St Mary Magdalene Upgraded to Feast
- 06/11/16--23:13: Corpus Christ Photopost: Special Ambrosian Edition
- 06/13/16--06:00: The Problem of the Dominant Low Mass and the Rare High Mass
- 06/14/16--08:18: Another Call for Artists - Please Learn to Draw!
- 06/15/16--05:00: Reader Looking for a Cerecloth
- 06/16/16--12:15: Interesting Saints on June 16
The relic, however, certainly came from St Louis, one of the Thorns from the Lord’s Crown, which was brought to Paris from Constantinople in the 13th century, and housed in the famous Sainte Chapelle. The reliquary shown here was made in Vicenza in the 14th century, but in several different stages. (For those who read Italian, a detailed description of the relic and reliquary, along with a wealth of information about their history, is available here.)
|St Louis presents the Thorn to Bl. Bartholomew|
My colleague Dr. Jeremy Holmes, professor of theology at Wyoming Catholic College, has written a response to my article from last week. We are happy to publish it here.
|Tissot, Jesus and the Pharisees|
Seeking the Right Relationship Between Internal and External
While I am sympathetic to his thesis, I would like to offer some thoughts on why this distrust (as it were) of externals arises in the first place, where it slips into error, and how we might think sympathetically about the concerns on both sides. In this way, I believe we can see, at least in a general way, what a proper relationship between and harmony of the outward and inward aspects of Catholicism would look like.
Someone needs reminding “not to get stuck on externals” to the extent that he or she actually falls prey to the belief that “just because you have the externals right, you are being a good Christian.” There are in fact Catholics who unconsciously assume they are very pious because they attend and support meticulously celebrated traditional liturgies. They go to a splendid Mass on Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon they return home to nag their children, gossip about their co-workers, and consume whatever the Internet has to offer. These people exist. And there are traditionalist Catholics who are suspicious of anything that smacks of social action — that stuff is for liberals!
But we have to remember that these people are only one side of a divide. I remember talking with a bishop once who complained that his diocese seemed divided between those who think liturgy is important and those who think social justice is important, and he couldn’t persuade either side to think in both categories. So alongside the “extrinsicist” traditionalists described above, there are other Catholics who are offended by any insistence on liturgical beauty, because they take it as a statement against caring for the poor. Surely an insistence on externals must be pitted against heartfelt love for others!
What’s more, we have to remember that this same divide cuts across all times. There were medieval peasants who thought that an external ritual or relic could absolve them of interior guilt without repentance, and there were medieval heretics who thought that the body and what we do with it makes no difference, so long as our hearts are in the right place. St. Paul had to deal both with Christians who thought that extrinsic laws were the heart of the gospel and with Christians who thought that the Cross had liberated us from all exterior obligations whatsoever.
The external/internal divide cuts across all populations, including the non-religious. There are and have been throughout history upper-class people who think that maintaining proper externals — the correct house and tableware and the best manners and tasteful clothing and everything else decorous — expressed their acceptability and even superiority, regardless of how they slept around, gossiped, and embezzled. And there are and have been throughout history lower-class people who think that their good hearts excuse them from and even exclude them from good manners and tasteful living.
The divide even cuts across each layer within the human person. There are people who believe that your salvation is assured if you walk through the motions described in the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether your heart is cold as stone. And there are people who think that good intentions are all that count in morality, so that the right intention excuses breaking any or all of the Ten Commandments.
Once we broaden our view and see this division of external versus internal in all its universality, we can see through certain fallacious “both/and” claims. To claim that it is wrong for a person to say he prefers one liturgical form over another (or wishes that others would come to prefer it, too) sounds like a plea for the “both/and” approach. After all, we let everyone have what they want, as long as they don’t exalt it into a matter of principle.
As so often happens, the extremes resemble one another in surprising ways. The extrinsicist rests secure in his beautiful exterior life even as he lies, cheats, and steals. The intrinsicist rests secure in what he perceives as good intentions even as he — well, lies, cheats, and steals. Hey, it’s for a good cause, right? If we don’t play hardball, the wrong party will get into national office, or the wrong man will be chosen as Pope, or those people will take over education in our district.
We should try to see both sides sympathetically. People do not usually end up on one or another side of the divide out of stupidity or malice but due to the huge difficulty of maintaining a correct balance. The temptation to internalism is real, for example, because the interior element truly is determinative: just read Psalm 49 . To love God with all our heart and mind and soul is, after all, the greatest commandment. But the temptation to externalism is also real precisely because externals are important. What could be more important than the flesh of the God-made-man, which we are commanded to worship and adore?
But when Mary Magdalene clung to the feet of Jesus after His resurrection, He forbade her to touch Him, because — according to St. Thomas’s interpretation — He did not want her attached to His human flesh over His divine nature. Mary was not tempted to cling to Jesus out of contempt for the love of God or neighbor: she was tempted out of reverence for the supreme mystery of Salvation History! And neither did Jesus mean that we have to “get over” the Incarnation. For all eternity, we worship the Trinity in and through the exteriorly visible humanity of Christ the Lord (Rev 21:23).
Similarly, we need to admit that the temptation to externalism in liturgy is real, but it is real precisely because liturgy — the external thing we do — is so terribly important.
A Facebook page dedicated to the various orders and congregations of Augustinian Canons Regular, including the Premonstratensians, marked the feast with some nice old photographs of the shrine in Strahov Abbey, and of a procession held in Prague with the relics of St Norbert; they are not precisely dated, but František Kordač, who was Archbishop of Prague from 1919-1931, is shown in the procession. They are here reproduced by the kind permission of Dom Jakobus, a canon of Herzogenburg Abbey in Austria, who administers the page; it is frequently updated with many interesting pictures, both modern and historical, of the canons and their liturgies.
Every once in a while, in the course of running NLM, something happens which strikes me as particularly indicative of the ways in which Catholic liturgy is (however slowly and cautiously) heading in a positive direction. I grew up in the most Catholic state in the Union, (percentage wise); the Mass of Corpus Christi was celebrated, but never presented as anything of particular importance, much less one of the greatest feasts of the year, and there was certainly no procession. The first time I ever saw a Corpus procession was on my first visit to Rome, in the summer of 1995, when I attended the one celebrated by the Pope, which is itself a revival brought about by St John Paul II after several years’ abeyance. The fact that, for the third year in a row, we have received enough submissions to make three full photoposts out of them, shows how this good example is still bearing fruit, and shows the growing zeal for the cultivation of the best in our Catholic liturgical tradition. Feliciter!
|The relic of St Mary Magdalene’s skull preserved in the crypt.|
|Legend has it that when the relic of the skull was translated, the piece now kept in this smaller reliquary fell off it, because it was the place where Christ touched Mary’s forehead when He said to her “Do not touch me.”|
|The retable of the altar at the end of the left nave, showing episodes of the Passion of Christ, painted by Flemish artist Antoine Ronzen, 1517-20.|
|The relic of St Sidonius’ skull.|
|Each choir stall has over it a beautiful carved panel showing a Dominican Saint; here is Pope St Pius V praying for victory at the Battle of Lepanto, a victory which he learned of supernaturally at the moment it took place.|
|The main altar|
|The back of the rood-screen seen from inside the choir.|
|The vaulting seen from inside the choir.|
|The parish priest celebrated a Votive Mass of St Mary Magdalene for the students and lecturers of Pro Civitate Dei.|
|The incomplete façade of the church.|
Once there, the parishioners will get a tour of the recent renovations and be led in prayer for the Year of Mercy. If time allows, there will also be a tour of the catacombs/underground cemetery. The parishioners will be there from 2:30 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m.
The group will then depart for to the Church of the Most Precious Blood where the Holy Doors of Mercy are located for those who want to obtain the plenary indulgences. If time allows, there will also be an explanation of the Neapolitan presepio (manger scene) that is now at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood.
Finally, at 4 p.m., newly-ordained Fr. Jon Tveit will celebrate traditional 1st Vespers of the 4th Sunday after Pentecost at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood. If you are interested in attending, please let Mr. Eddy Toribio know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on the requirements to obtain the plenary indulgence, please go here: http://oldcathedral.org/extraordinary-jubilee-year-of-mercy.
This year the juror is Dr. Denis McNamara, who will be known to many NLM readers as an architectural historian specializing in the theology of liturgical art and architecture, classicism, and sacramental aesthetics. His book Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy has become a standard for anyone who wishes to understand the theological underpinnings of sacred architecture and art.
Given that Denis is the juror, I would suggest that artists who are considering submitting works to this competition read his book and watch his videos on church art and architecture, especially the seventh, which is about sacred art in particular.
The Catholic Arts competition/exhibition was established in 2001 by the late Br. Nathan Cochran, O.S.B. (1957-2014). Br. Nathan set out to support artists who engage Catholic subject matter by providing a committed venue, notable jurors, a color illustrated catalog and prizes that include monetary awards, as well as exhibition display.
Artworks submitted must be iconographically recognizable and appropriate for liturgical use, public devotion or private devotion.
The juried competition will be held this summer; submissions should be postmarked by Monday, August 1, 2016. The exhibition will run from November 1 through December 2, 2016 at the The Saint Vincent Gallery.
Cash prizes to be awarded include the $1,000 Brother Nathan Cochran Award in Sacred Arts, $750 Second Place Award, $500 Third Place Award, and four Juror Mentions of $250 each. In addition, there will be a $250 People’s Choice Award presented at the conclusion of the exhibition.
For competition/exhibition details along with the submission form/guidelines, visit: http://gallery.stvincent.edu
While we’re on the topic, here are examples of two complete Books of Hours available for consultation on the web, examples which I have chosen because they are on pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum artistically. One is known as the Maastricht Hours, a manuscript made in Liège in the first quarter of the 14th century, now kept at the British Library. It contains the standard liturgical texts which are the basis of all Books of Hours: a liturgical calendar, the Little Office of the Virgin, according to the Use of Maastrucht, which is quite different from the Roman Use, as well as the Gradual and Penitential Psalms, and the Office of the Dead (also different from the Roman Use in several respects.) The last several pages contain a long series of invocations to the Virgin in medieval French, each beginning with the word Ave.
|Folio 256r of the Maastricht Hours (Stowe ms 17, British Library) - the beginning of the invocations in medieval French.|
|Detail of folio 240r|
|The Annunciation, and the beginning of Matins from the Hours of the Virgin; Library of Congress, Rosenwald ms 10.|
|The Suffrages of Ss Mary Magdalene (text begins on previous page), Catherine and Margaret.|
|The beginning of Vespers of the Dead; Christ Raising Lazarus|
Registration of participants has just started. Some 150 participants from Poland and abroad, a few dozen priests among them, will learn or better their knowledge of how to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, serve at it, or sing liturgical chant, both Gregorian and polyphonic, under direction of experienced practitioners. A number of lectures and encounters with special guests are planned.
Celebrations of read, sung or solemn Masses in the Roman or Dominican Rites, as well as the Divine Office will constitute the heart of the day during the workshops, enable the participants and staff to experience the workshops as time of retreat and spiritual growth. Those who wish focus on the time as a spiritual retreat can take part only in liturgical celebrations, and dedicate rest of their time to private prayer or meditation.
The Ars Celebrandi Liturgy Workshops are taking place under the honorable patronage of His Excellence Wiesław Mering, bishop of the diocese of Włocławek, as well as that of the 31st World Youth Day, to be held in Cracow in 2016. Una Voce Polonia Association is in charge of the whole event.
For more information, photo galleries of previous editions and registration form, see the website: www.arscelebrandi.pl
For any additional information, please e-mail our press department: email@example.com
The following video was released last year, with pictures and music from some of the many activities at the 2015 workshops.
In any case, the bulletin of the Holy See today published a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship, which raises the feast of St Mary Magdalene in the Ordinary Form from the grade of Obligatory Memorial to Feast, the rank at which the Apostles sit, apart from the Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul. A new preface is added to her Mass, which is otherwise not changed. (More on this below.) Her Office will be more noticeably upgraded, since there should now proper psalms and antiphons for the Office of Readings, and the day hour (Terce, Sext or None) should not be of the feria, as it is on Memorials. No reference is made to the Extraordinary Form, in which the feast is kept as a Third Class; perhaps the Ecclesia Dei commission will consider raising it to Second Class, by analogy with the new decree.
Fr Zuhlsdorf is certainly correct to predict that far too much will be made out of the fact that Pope Francis has raised the feast of a woman to a grade mostly occupied (as far as the general Calendar goes) by Apostles. Not only is this not a novelty, it is partially a return to the historical practice of the Tridentine Rite. In the Breviary of St Pius V, which predates his Missal by two years (1568), there were only three grades of feasts: Double, Semidouble and Simple. St Mary Magdalene’s feast was a Double, meaning that it had both Vespers, doubled antiphons at the major hours, nine readings at Matins, precedence over common Sundays, and had to be transferred if it were impeded. It is true that later on, as Double feasts were subdivided into four categories, she remained at the lowest of them (along with all the Doctors, inter alios). Nevertheless, the privileges of her liturgical rank did not even begin to be curtailed until late in the reign of Pope Leo XIII, at the end of the 19th century.
As I noted in 2014 in an article about her feast day, the Creed was traditionally said at the Mass of St Mary Magdalene in recognition of that fact that it was she who first announced the Resurrection to the Apostles. (This felicitous custom was removed from the Roman Missal for no discernible reason in 1955.) This is also why she was called “Apostles of the Apostles” in a great many medieval liturgical texts, such as the Benedictus antiphon in her proper Office sung by the Dominicans.
O mundi lampas, et margaríta praefúlgida, quae resurrectiónem Christi nuntiando, Apostolórum Apóstola fíeri meruisti! María Magdaléna, semper pia exoratrix pro nobis adsis ad Deum, qui te elégit.The newly promulgated Preface has been published in Latin, with the provision that vernacular versions be produced by local bishops’ conferences, and inserted into the next printing of the Missal. It cannot be ignored that the first part is grammatically correct, but orders the words in a needlessly clumsy way, which at one point or another will jar against the musical clauses of the Preface tone, should anyone try to sing it.
O lamp of the world, and bright-shining pearl, who by announcing the Resurrection of Christ, didst merit to become the Apostle of the Apostles! Mary Magdalene, of thy kindness stand thou ever before God, who chose thee, to entreat him for us.
“Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutáre, nos te, Pater omnípotens, cuius non minor est misericordia quam potestas, in ómnibus praedicáre, per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Qui in hortu manifestus appáruit Maríae Magdalénae, quippe quae eum diléxerat vivéntem, in cruce víderat morientem, quaesíerat in sepulcro iacentem, ac prima adoráverat a mórtuis resurgentem, et eam apostolátus officio coram apóstolis honorávit, ut bonum novae vitae nuntium ad mundi fines perveníret. Unde et nos, Dómine, cum Angelis et Sanctis universis tibi confitémur, in exsultatióne dicentes:”
Truly is it worthy and just, right and profitable to salvation, to proclaim Thee in all things, Father Almighty, whose mercy is not less than Thy power; through Christ our Lord. Who appeared in the garden to Mary Magdalene, as she has loved Him while he was living, had seen Him die on the Crossg, had sought Him as He lay in the tomb, and was the first to adored Him when He rose from the dead. And He honored her with the office of apostleship in the presence of the Apostles, so that the good news of new life might come unto the ends of the earth. Wherefore we also, O Lord, with the Angels and all the Saints, confess Thee in exultation, saying.
Prelatitial Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart - Here we can see in the 2nd photo an appareled amice, still used in the traditional Ambrosian Rite, and in the 4th the cappino, a kind of decorative collar which is attached to the top of a chasuble, dalmatic or tunicle at the back.
Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. “I look at him and he looks at me”: this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of his holy curé used to say while praying before the tabernacle. . . . Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the “interior knowledge of our Lord,” the more to love him and follow him. (Catechism, 2715)Sung Mass was — and, in a certain sense, still is — the normative liturgy of the Roman Rite. Even as Byzantine liturgies are sung as a rule, so too was the Roman liturgy, once upon a time; its sung form long antedated the development of the recited Mass, and it is still the ideal when circumstances warrant, as far as the Magisterium is concerned.
Unfortunately, the Low-Mass-as-norm mentality is very strong and holds people in its grip. A friend wrote to me that in her local TLM community, about 40 attend the Sunday High Mass, whereas the Low Mass is packed with faithful. They like the fact that it’s earlier in the morning, offers quiet time for praying privately, and doesn’t last too long. This reaction, in turn, could signify several things.
First, it cannot be denied that people of the Western world (perhaps especially Americans) tend to be impatient with ceremonial or religious ritual and would rather fulfill their obligation as efficiently as possible. Sung in full from the Liber Usualis, the great interlectional chants — I refer to the Gradual and Alleluia, or Gradual and Tract, or Paschal double Alleluia — would undoubtedly seem like a sojourn in Purgatory for some. The sung Mass is a feast for the senses and the spirit, but it definitely requires more work to pull it off and more leisure to appreciate it, and busy Americans are often unwilling to invest either the extra work or the larger leisure.
A second and related problem is the atrocious lack of musical education among clergy and laity, which discourages the attempt to sing the Mass. It may sometimes be true that the musical resources are simply lacking. But most of the time, the problem is a combination of unreasonable expectations and people who are a bit lazy. The chanted Mass does not have to sound professionally recordable. It is enough that all that should be sung is sung, with the correct texts and approximately the right melodies.
Third and most deeply, the clinging to Low Mass is a sign of human beings starved and starving for silence and a kind of solitude. Many are attracted to the traditional Latin Mass precisely because it is, and comes across as, an unhurried, earnest, intimate encounter with God, like Moses before the burning bush, a form of worship that is totally given over to Him and induces in the worshiper a filial fear, a hushed reverence before the Lord of heaven and earth. The very posture of the priest and the long moments of silence emphasize that this is all about Him, not about you, except inasmuch as you belong to Him. Indeed, this form of the Mass is so theocentric that it seems, in a manner of speaking, not to care what you think or feel — which is a tremendously liberating thing. How freeing it is to enter a church, kneel, and get swept away in the great prayer of the Eternal High Priest, an offering that is so much greater and loftier than you and your wretchedness, yet to which you are still invited to contribute your widow’s mite, knowing that Christ will accept it and multiply it!
One cannot help wondering, therefore, if those who, even on Sundays and Holy Days, strongly prefer the Low Mass and might feel a lack of enthusiasm for the High Mass may possibly not be praying enough outside of Mass, with the result that the Low Mass becomes a daily or weekly vitaminized dose of prayer, potent enough to make up for a way of life that is not sufficiently nutritious. In the life of one who is bound to the Lord by various cords of love — for instance, Lauds or Vespers or other shorter hours of the Divine Office, lectio divina, spiritual reading, Eucharistic Adoration, or the Rosary, to name the most notable — the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is free to be truly what it is: a pinnacle, the fons et culmen vitae Christianae, a time for “pulling out all the stops.”
As we know, the “four-hymn sandwich” that dominates almost all Ordinary Form parishes today is not a new invention of the rebellious 1960s but derives from the permission to sing vernacular hymns at Low Masses in the decades preceding Vatican II. In order to solve this problem of communal sentimentalism, which stood in tension with the liturgy’s public, formal, objective character and with the people’s genuine participation in the liturgy as given, the Council itself called for the use of Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and newly-composed music that would look to these great models and emulate their qualities. Tragically, we remained in the rut of the four-hymn sandwich, except that the schmaltzy Victorian style of yore was replaced by a pseudo-folk or light-rock style. No formal change occurred, merely a material substitution. All the underlying assumptions and expectations stayed the same, and the call to invest oneself in the liturgy as such, so that one could truly live a vita liturgica, went unheeded.
It is, of course, possible to outfit a Low Mass with music that possesses the proper qualities by singing chants (Adoro te, Ave verum corpus, etc.), picking the right organ music, and using tasteful hymns, but all this is still a far cry from the High Mass or the Solemn Mass, which is the liturgy-as-music and music-as-liturgy.
My son was recently reading the life of St. Hugh of Lincoln and shared with me the following striking passage:
Hugh indeed never lost sight of the fact that a bishop is first and foremost the chief liturgical minister. He would never permit the least slovenliness in singing the Office. Once he was assisting at Mass with another bishop, Hugh de Nonant of Coventry. They were then to dine with the King. Not to delay the royal dinner, the Bishop of Coventry wanted a Low Mass and began to read the Introit of a Confessor, Os justi, in his speaking voice. Hugh would have none of it and began to chant the Introit with all the notes of the Proper. Like St. Dominic who sang his daily Mass, Hugh seems to have followed an excellent principle, the reverse unfortunately of that obtaining today: don’t say Mass if you can sing it. One can imagine his judgment of the numerous parishes where the Mass is not sung, even on Sundays and great feasts.This article is not intended to be an argument against weekday Low Masses or “private” Masses, which have their place and their own meditative beauty. It is rather an appeal to elevate our communal worship on Sundays and Holy Days, so that we may observe these days in fitting solemnity, using all of our powers of body and soul, and drawing upon all the gifts of our faith.
 Note that I say “noble simplicity,” which cannot be manifested by a stripped-down liturgy that has substituted the simplistic, the superficial, and the banal for the purity, intensity, and “thickness” of traditional liturgy, which nevertheless speaks more forcefully of the numinous and the ineffable, and in this way reaches souls at a deeper level more successfully.
 Of course, having to take care of little children can distract us, but even parents do get to pray occasionally at the traditional Mass and appreciate how it orders, quiets, and animates the soul.
 See my series: (1) “Song Befits the Lover”: Understanding the Place of Gregorian Chant in the Mass; (2) Why Gregorian Chant? And Why Sung by the People?; and (3) How We Should Sing—And Why People Don’t Sing. In one of its unguarded moments, namely, chapter 6 of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council even held up the chanted Latin Mass as the ideal, but don’t tell the liturgists: they don’t like to be reminded of that earlier phase in the Teilhardian evolution of cosmic consciousness. You may be labeled a leftover Baroque primate.
 See Guardini's fine insights on this matter.
 I am not saying that 1950s Catholicism was not stronger and healthier than the Catholicism of today. Denial of this would be idiotic. But I am concerned about certain regrettable habits or patterns already in place in the 1950s that provoked some of the radicalism, indifference, and apostasy that followed.
 From the delightful book Neglected Saints by E. I. Watkin (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1955), 63–64.
 See this article for an appreciation of the silent Low Mass.
|St. Hugh of Lincoln (c. 1140-1200)|
July 1: Feast of the Precious Blood (Low Mass)
July 22: Feast of Mary Magdalene (Sung Mass)
August 19: Votive Mass of St. Dominic (Solemn High Mass)
There will be lessons by the friars explaining the history and the significance of the rite before each Mass, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the Mass itself 7:15 p.m. For more information, see the poster below, and visit the parish’s website, www.saintdominic.org.
From the old Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on Altar Cloths:
Besides the three altar-cloths there is another linen cloth, waxed on one side, which is called the chrismale (cere-cloth), and with which the table of the consecrated altar (even if part of it be made of bricks or other material, and does not form a part of the consecrated altar) should be completely covered (Caerem. Episc., De altaris consecratione). It must be of the exact size of the table of the altar, and it is placed under the linen cloths, the waxed side being turned towards the table. Its purpose is not only to prevent the altar-cloths from being stained by the oil used at the consecration, but also to keep the cloths dry. Hence it is advisable to have such a wax cloth on all altars in churches which may be, accessible to dampness.
According to the rubrics, this cloth is removed once a year, that is, during the stripping of the altars on Maundy Thursday; but it may be changed as often as the altar is washed. The cere-cloth is not blessed. It cannot take the place of one of the three rubrical linen cloths.
It is now available for pre-order; a special 20% discount is being given until October 31st when ordering through the T&T Clark website, as explained in the poster below; click the link for more information on the book, including the complete list of the essays.
This episode is famously represented in one of the side chapels of the church of Santa Maria Antiqua, built into a part of the imperial palace in the Roman Forum in the 5th century. The frescoes are from the mid-8th century.
|The church of Ss Quiricus and Julitta in Rome.|
(While it may seem incredible to some that a child so young confessed the Faith with such tenacity, there have been several reports of children, some of them just as young, refusing to renounce their Christian Faith in the midst of the horrific persecutions currently going on in the Middle East and Africa.)
Today is also the feast of St Benno, who was bishop of the German city of Meissen for 50 years, from 1066 to 1106. Very little is known of him historically, but popular legend makes him a model bishop in the age of the great reforms championed by his contemporaries such as Ss Peter Damian and Pope Gregory VII; to him is attributed, among other things, assiduous attendance at and care for the proper singing of the Divine Office. According to one story, when summoned to attend a council called by the Emperor Henry IV in order to depose the Pope, St Benno gave the keys to the cathedral to his canons, and ordered them to drop the keys in the river as soon as they should hear that Henry had been excommunicated. (The purpose of this would be to keep the supporters of the Emperor from taking possession of the church.) When the controversies between the Pope and Emperor had die down, St Benno returned to Meissen, and the keys were recovered by a fisherman who found them tangled in the gills of a catch, and brought them back to the Saint.
|A reliquary of St Benno in one of the side-chapels of Munich Cathedral; click to enlarge and see the fish in his left hand with the keys in its mouth.|
|Another representation of St Benno in Munich, in the church of St Peter.|