Articles on this Page
- 03/14/17--14:19: _Fota X Liturgical C...
- 03/14/17--16:03: _Vespers in Dominica...
- 03/15/17--02:51: _Mass for St Joseph ...
- 03/15/17--11:42: _The Byzantine Feast...
- 03/15/17--14:54: _The Feast of St Lon...
- 03/15/17--16:54: _Dominican Formulary...
- 03/16/17--05:00: _Call for Papers - S...
- 03/16/17--11:42: _Catholic Life in th...
- 03/16/17--14:42: _CWR Interview with ...
- 03/17/17--11:48: _Some Byzantine Even...
- 03/18/17--03:52: _The Penitential Psa...
- 03/18/17--12:10: _Solemn Mass for St ...
- 03/19/17--12:30: _Photopost Request: ...
- 03/19/17--13:00: _A Roman Pilgrim at ...
- 03/20/17--12:31: _“Samuel and Daniel,...
- 03/21/17--05:00: _The Feast of St Ben...
- 03/21/17--09:00: _Palestrina Mass for...
- 03/21/17--13:07: _St Teilo’s Church, ...
- 03/22/17--05:07: _Two Articles of Int...
- 03/22/17--13:12: _The Tomb of Christ ...
- 03/14/17--14:19: Fota X Liturgical Conference in Ireland, July 8-10
- 03/14/17--16:03: Vespers in Dominican Chant
- 03/15/17--02:51: Mass for St Joseph in Newark, New Jersey, March 20
- 03/15/17--11:42: The Byzantine Feast of St Benedict in Rome
- 03/15/17--14:54: The Feast of St Longinus
- 03/15/17--16:54: Dominican Formulary of Blessings Reprinted
- 03/16/17--05:00: Call for Papers - Society for Catholic Liturgy
- an understanding of the sacred liturgy itself,
- the celebration of the sacred liturgy,
- instruction on the sacred liturgy,
- participation in the sacred liturgy,
- preaching during the sacred liturgy,
- the celebration of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist,
- the Liturgy of the Hours and liturgical prayer,
- liturgical time and the memory of Mary and the saints,
- liturgical music,
- liturgical art and architecture,
- the sacred liturgy and the Christian life,
- the sacred liturgy and tradition,
- the sacred liturgy and ecumenism.
- 03/16/17--11:42: Catholic Life in the Colonies – A Lecture by Helen Hull Hitchcock
- 03/16/17--14:42: CWR Interview with Dom Alcuin Reid on Upcoming Sacra Liturgia Milan
- 03/17/17--11:48: Some Byzantine Events for Lent
- 03/18/17--03:52: The Penitential Psalms in Books of Hours
- 03/18/17--12:10: Solemn Mass for St Patrick in Dublin
- 03/19/17--12:30: Photopost Request: St Joseph, Annunciation and Laetare Sunday
- 03/19/17--13:00: A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2017 (Part 3)
- 03/21/17--05:00: The Feast of St Benedict 2017
- 03/21/17--09:00: Palestrina Mass for the Annunciation in New York City
- 03/21/17--13:07: St Teilo’s Church, Llandeilo Tal-y-bont
- 03/22/17--05:07: Two Articles of Interest, by Martin Mosebach and Stuart Chessman
- 03/22/17--13:12: The Tomb of Christ Reopened in Jerusalem
|His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke celebrating Pontifical High Mass during the Fota IX conference last July.|
This hard-back volume is ideal for Dominican communities and parishes who want to include Gregorian Chant Vespers according to the Liturgy of the Hours to their prayer schedule on a regular basis. If you are a Dominican friar or sister ordering more than 10 copies for your community's use, contact me by email for arranging a bulk discount. The volume may be ordered here.
Those who want to sing the Office according to the traditional Dominican Rite can download or order resources at Dominican Liturgy on the left sidebar.
I am also happy to announce that the newly revised Dominican Rite Calendar for 2017 now includes the local feasts for all American dioceses where there are priories or communities of Dominican friars. Previously it included only dioceses where there are houses of the Western Dominican Province. This calendar may be downloaded gratis here. If any friar notices a error or something lacking for his province, please let me know and I will correct it.
We invite readers to visit Dominican Liturgy Publications and see our other publications!
|An icon of St Athanasius. titular Saint of the College’s main church.|
|After the Little Entrance, there are two readings from the Old Testament, Genesis and Proverbs in Lent, Exodus and Job in Holy Week. The altar is then incensed from all sides, as the priest and choir sing part of Psalm 140, with the refrain “Let my prayer rise before Thee as incense, the lifting up of my hands as and evening sacrifice.”, accompanied with a series of full prostrations.|
|The deacon sings the Gospel from the pulpit.|
|If you click on this picture to magnify it, you can see a metal Eucharistic tabernacle in the form of a dove suspended from the middle of the baldachin.|
|One of the chapels within the college.|
|The bell-tower of the Church of St Athanaius, seen from inside the college.|
The chapel of St Longinus. The tomb on the left contains his relics, that on the right, some of the relics of St Gregory Nazianzen, given to Mantua by Matilda of Canossa. (Detailed photos below)
Dominican Liturgy Publications is pleased to announce the republication of the Forumularium Absolutionum et Benedictionum ad Usum Ordininis Praedicatorum, which contains dozens of blesssings, absolutions, and other prayer formula of the traditional Dominican Rite. Those who write me wanting to find, for example, the Dominican Blessing for Rosaries, or that for the Angelic Warfare Cord, may find these, along with blessing of meals, in this volume.
This volume is available in two versions. One version, is a 6 x 9 inch hardback version with red rubrics; theother version, is a smaller, inexpensive, pocket book paperback that you can carry with you.
We invite readers to visit Dominican Liturgy Publications and see all our other publications!
The Liturgy and Post-Modernity
2017 Annual Conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy http://liturgysociety.org/
The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
September 28-30, 2017
With post-modernity, reality and truth, beyond individual preference, do not have a defining source. In fact, relativism and individualism are radicalized to the point of enshrining plurality, diversity and tolerance. The celebration of the sacred liturgy as the primary expression of God’s truth and revelation for reflection and living the Christian life must negotiate post-modernity without forfeiting its nature and purpose. The 2017 Conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy will occasion academic and pastoral presentations on the topic of the liturgy and post-modernity.
You are invited to submit a paper proposal for a presentation at the 2017 Annual Conference on the topic of the Liturgy and Post-Modernity in terms of:
Paper proposals of approximately 250 words should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Reverend Gerald Dennis Gill, SCL Conference Coordinator, Office for Divine Worship, 222 North Seventeenth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Proposals must be received by Friday, May 5, 2017.
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 full conference and will be responsible for their own expenses.
Photo of the Stanford Memorial Church by Trey Ratcliff.
Helen Hitchcock, who passed away in October of 2014, was the editor of the Adoremus Bulletin, the monthly publication of the Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, which she cofounded in 1995 with Fathers Joseph Fessio, S.J. and Jerry Pokorski. She was also the founding director of Women for Faith & Family and editor of its quarterly journal, Voices, and published many articles and essays in a variety of Catholic journals, as well as The Politics of Prayer: Feminist Language and the Worship of God (Ignatius Press, 1992), a collection of essays on issues in liturgical translation.
CWR: So Sacra Liturgia Milan will feature the Ambrosian rite liturgy?
Dom Alcuin Reid: Yes, as at all our conferences the celebration of the liturgy is at the heart of what we do and because we shall be in Milan those celebrations, naturally, will be in the Ambrosian rite. The opening Solemn Vespers will be celebrated in the historic Basilica of Saint Ambrose; His Eminence, Cardinal Tettamanzi, has kindly agreed to celebrate for us.
So too, one of the conference Masses will be celebrated there in the modern Ambrosian rite by its Bishop-Abbot, Bishop DeScalzi, who has been very welcoming to us. His Eminence, Cardinal Scola, has facilitated our use of the beautiful church of St Alessandro for our celebration of Holy Mass in the ancient Ambrosian rite, and the conference will conclude in the Metropolitan Cathedral with Solemn Vespers, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and a statio at the altar of Blessed Ildephonse Schuster, the famous liturgist and Archbishop of Milan from 1929-1954. The Archpriest of the Duomo, who has also been very welcoming, will celebrate Vespers for us. ...
CWR: Robert Cardinal Sarah is once again a presenter; what will he be speaking on? Will his talk touch on the some of the matters he discusses in his new book, The Power of Silence?
Dom Alcuin Reid: His Eminence is speaking on “The Sacred Liturgy—Our Encounter With God: A Christological and Ecclesiological Perspective.” I cannot imagine that he would speak of our encounter with Almighty God without reflecting on the necessity of a fruitful silence and receptivity on the part of the Church and of each of us as we contemplate God’s saving action in the liturgy. But we shall have to wait and see what he says. Certainly the question of liturgy and ecclesiology is an important one and has been discussed quite a bit in recent years.
CWR: Another well-known cardinal, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, will be presenting as well. What is the focus of his address?
Dom Alcuin Reid: Cardinal Burke is speaking, ten years after its promulgation, about Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and is presenting an assessment of those ten years as well as a prospective view of the future of the usus antiquior, the more ancient form, of the Roman rite. It promises to be an important address both in its analysis and in its vision for the years to come. ...
CWR: In his address at Sacra Liturgia London last summer (link in original), Cardinal Sarah suggested that Catholics consider a return to worship ad orientem. Overall, in hindsight, what sort of response was there to those remarks? What did those responses indicate to you, as someone who has been studying liturgical reform for many years?
Dom Alcuin Reid: Well, as we know, the responses were many and varied. Some—including responses from people in authority—were incredible in their naivety and lack of understanding of what the Cardinal actually said and indeed of the relevant ecclesiastical regulations. Nevertheless his message was not drowned by the noise created by its ill-informed critics. It reached the ears of those whose ears were indeed prepared to listen.
I understand that Cardinal Sarah has received many, many messages of support from around the world and that these far outnumber any criticisms he has received. And one continues to hear of more priests and parishes adopting his proposal to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy ad orientem; I have even seen reports of priests commencing this at the beginning of Lent because they judged it necessary to take a longer period to provide the catechesis necessary in their parish. This seems very wise and prudent.
In spite of the “dictatorship of noise” that attempts to rule liturgical discourse at times, His Eminence’s calm and considered message has in fact reached many people who are quietly getting on with the business of enriching the liturgical life of the Church according to a hermeneutic of continuity and not of rupture. His “still small voice” (cf. 1 Kings 19:12) rings true in the hearts and souls of many, and in time it will bear more fruit.
|Vespers of the Presentation of the Lord, from our 2015 Candlemas Photopost.|
|From the cathedral’s Facebook page.|
The website of the women’s monastery of Christ the Bridegroom, also in Parma, has a notice that“A simple Lenten meal will be served 5:00-5:45 p.m., and the Canon will begin at 6:00 p.m. All are invited to come for part or all of the Canon, even if you are not physically able to participate in the prostrations. The duration of the Canon is approximately 3.5 hours. Please RSVP by Friday, March 24, to 440-834-0290 or email@example.com so the nuns know how much food and how many booklets to prepare.”
(Readers may remember that in December 2015, we posted videos of a priestly ordination in the cathedral of Parma and the first Mass of the ordinand, Fr Andrew Summerson.)
From the Maastricht Hours, 14th century (Stowe ms. 17, British Library): Mary Magdalene, the penitent Saint par excellence, meets the risen Christ in the Garden; a woman kneels before her confessor, as the hand of God absolves her from above. The bishop on the right is probably meant to signify that the priest can absolve sins only on the bishop’s authority.
their repertoire of strange and whimsical marginal images, most of which have no relationship to the text and are not religious in character. Here is an exception, a black bird accompanying the words of Psalm 101, “I am like a night raven in the house.”
Book of Hours according to the Use of Ghent, 14th century. (Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, 565, Bibliothèque nationale de France.) Christ in Judgment at the end of the world, with the dead rising from the earth, and a figure representing the mouth of Hell.
Book of Hours according to the Use of Paris, late 14th - early 15th century. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Latin 18014.) The Trinity in Majesty, with the symbols of the Four Evanglists. Below, David, the author of the Psalms, in combat with Goliath, a popular subject with the Penitential Psalms.
The Hours of Brière de Surgy, 14th century. (Bibliotheque Municipale de la Ville de Laon, ms. 243q.) King David as an elderly man in prayer.
The Hours of Chrétienne de France, 1470-75 (Use of Rouen, Latin and French; Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Ms-562 réserve, BnF.) The episode of the census of Israel and the plague which it provokes (2 Kings 24). King David kneels before the prophet Gad, with the Angel of the Lord above, whose sword symbolizes the plague.
Book of Hours of René of Anjou, King of Sicily 15th century. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 1156 A) The Trinity in Majesty.
The Hours of Louis of Laval, late 15th century. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 920.) This is one of the most fully illustrated Books of Hours ever produced; every single page has a Biblical scene on it. Here are the two which begin the series that accompanies the Penitential Psalms, the first being David fighting Goliath.
Book of Hours of King Henri II, 16th century, (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 1429). Job reproved by his wife.
Two more images of the Bathsheba story, first from a Book of Hours according to the Use of Rome, provenance unknown, 1524. (Library of Congress, Rosenwald ms. 10).
Second, from the Book of Hours of Anne of Austria, 16th century (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, NAL 3090).
|From last year’s Laetare Sunday photopost, taken at the church of St Joseph in Singapore.|
|The church is home to a community of Benedictine nuns.|
In front of the altar is the famous statue of St Cecilia by Stefano Maderno, depicting her as her body was said to have been found when her tomb was opened in 1599.
“And on no occasion whatsoever should age distinguish the brethren and decide their order [in the monastery]; for Samuel and Daniel, though young, judged the elders” (ch. 63).
“As often as any important business has to be done in the monastery, let the abbot call together the whole community and himself set forth the matter. And, having heard the advice of the brethren, let him take counsel with himself and then do what he shall judge to be most expedient. Now the reason why we have said that all should be called to council is that God often reveals what is better to the younger” (ch. 3).The saint’s advice seems all the more relevant in today’s Church, when it is clearly the young who are rediscovering Catholic Tradition in all its fullness, and who, at the same time, are bearing the full brunt of the resistance of their elders, who have been “sticks in the mud” when it comes to welcoming this stirring of the Holy Spirit. In this curious way, today’s older generations often seem like the Jews in the Gospels, who cannot receive the newness of Christ and his apostles (cf. Acts 7:51).
Of course, it need hardly be said that St. Benedict’s advice also applies perfectly to monasteries, convents, and other religious houses, where, let us be frank about it, revival or even bare survival is bound up with a recovery of traditional liturgy, in both the Divine Office and the Mass, and in the chant. It is no longer a secret that the most flourishing communities are the ones that have unashamedly restored the way of life that a foolish generation threw away in the name of aggiornamento. A certain Benedictine monk told me that in the late 1960s, when his monastery switched over to a liturgy entirely in the vernacular, a member of the community actually put all of the copies of the Antiphonale Monasticum into a wheelbarrow, carted them outside, built a bonfire, and burned them. Another monk, horrified, gathered as many copies of the Graduale Romanum as possible and hid them so that they would be spared a similar fate. How many precious volumes, repositories of the wisdom and beauty of ages, were destroyed in this barbaric manner? “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord (Deut 32:35; Rom 12:19); one can be certain that those who sinned against Catholic tradition have paid the last penny for it.
When I was being given a tour this past October of a famous Benedictine monastery near Krakow, the young monk who was my guide stated outright that the younger monks wish to have the tabernacle back in the center, wish to have Mass ad orientem, and wish to receive communion kneeling and on the tongue, while their elders are opposed to all of these things. It is not merely “generational dynamics,” as if we ought to expect the next generation to clamor for the opposite again. No. It is an awakening at last from the Rip van Winkle sleep of progressive liturgism — that weird coma between the ill-informed but thriving conservatism of the preconciliar age and the better-informed though struggling traditionalism of the postconciliar age.
We have heard and still hear a lot about the “charismatic movement,” but no one can explain how in the world it is supposed to fit in with the Catholic Faith as it has matured and blossomed in the miracle-rich lives of the saints, full of ascetical sobriety and mystical transcendence, which are perfectly mirrored in the liturgical and sacramental rites they knew and loved. Traditionalism is the real charismatic movement in the Church today, and it is high time that we stop thwarting the Spirit. Would that today’s shepherds and sheep would heed Gamaliel’s hard-nosed advice:
Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do, as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all that believed him were scattered, and brought to nothing. After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling, and drew away the people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as consented to him, were dispersed. And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. (Act 5:35-39)“If it be of God, you cannot overthrow it.” No member of the body of Christ, high or low, can fight against God and win. The traditionalist movement is here to stay and is growing. Its adherents truly believe that the Eucharistic liturgy is the font and apex of life, and act accordingly. Those who oppose this movement are not just setting themselves up for failure, but setting themselves up against the God who has inspired such a deep attachment to the means of sanctification He Himself bestowed on the Church. The sacred liturgy as well as the desire of the people to worship God through it are both of the Holy Spirit. As we know, the sin against the Holy Ghost is the only sin that can never be forgiven, in this world or in the world to come.
The stakes are high. Choose well. Choose with discretion and courage, as did Samuel and Daniel, who, “though young, judged the elders.”
St. Benedict, Father of Western Monasticism, Co-Patron of Europe, whose feast we begin to celebrate at First Vespers this evening, pray for us.
 Rule, ch. 63 (McCann ed.), p. 143
 Rule, ch. 3, p. 25.
 See Paul VI’s Sacrificium Laudis.
The Triumphal Way of St Benedict, by Johann Michael Rottmayr, 1722; fresco on the ceiling of Melk Abbey in Austria. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Uoaei1; click to enlarge.) - The pomp of the world is represented on the left side by a book full of alchemical symbols, two demons, one of which holds a censer, and a figure with a theatrical mask, being speared in the throat by an angel. (The censer refers to the pagan sacrifices which St Benedict found still happening on Monte Cassino when he moved there, and to which he put an end.) On the right, a figure with a Cross and a whip drives away two other female figures, one bare-chested, the other holding rich clothing and a crown; below them, a figure with thorny branches drives away another demon, a reference to St Benedict’s conquest of the vice of lust by rolling around in a bramble. Underneath St Benedict are angels holding a miter and crook, used by the abbot of Melk, a book with the opening words of the Rule, and a glass with serpent emerging from it; the last refers to an attempt by some very bad monks to poison St Benedict, who made the sign of the Cross over the glass, “which broke as if he had thrown a stone.”
St Benedict died on March 21 in the year 543 or 547, and this was the date on which his principal feast was traditionally kept, and is still kept by Benedictines; it is sometimes referred to on the calendars of Benedictine liturgical books as the “Transitus - Passing.” There was also a second feast to honor the translation of his relics, which was kept on July 11. The location to which the relics were translated is still a matter of dispute, with the Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy, founded by the Saint himself, and the French Abbey of Fleury, also known as Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, both claiming to possess them. This second feast is found in many medieval missals and breviaries, even in places not served by monastic communities. (It was not, however, observed by either the Cistercians or Carthusians.). The second feast was in a certain sense the more solemn in the traditional use of the Benedictines; March 21 always falls in Lent, and the celebration of octaves in Lent was prohibited, but most monastic missals have the July 11 feast with an octave. In the post-Conciliar reform of the Calendar, many Saints, including St Benedict, were moved out of Lent; in his case, to the day of this second feast in the Benedictine Calendar.
What makes this an even better example to study is that it has been renovated to look exactly as it would have in the 1400s, and I think this shows more than ever that this might be a style which is appropriate for the liturgy and would be feasible to create today. It would be simple enough to execute, and naturally lend itself to an adapted form of expression that would connect with people today. You can see many more examples online here.
I would look for a better quality of draughtsmanship than we see in these drawings. (Remember that it was the artist Matthew Paris who first inspired this idea, and his drawing skill is far higher than that demonstrated by the artist who did paintings). Nevertheless, I would look for the essential qualities to translate into modern form, with the right balance of naturalism and stylization/partial abstraction. These are, once again: form described by a line drawing; a simple color palette and simple washes for coloration, with minimal modelling and tonal work; the incorporation of geometric patterned work. For a canon of imagery and iconography, I would use that of the feasts and mysteries of the Faith as found in the Eastern Church as a core repertoire, with additions and subtractions appropriate to the West when necessary.
So, at the risk of inducing “St-Alban’s fatigue” in NLM readers, I am going to show these painting this week. These will be last for while...I promise!
This church was relocated from its original site to one near Cardiff in the 1980s and so is preserved as a museum piece in this form.
By Dylan Moore, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13597489
Looking at the squint above, I wonder if this was made as a way to view the Blessed Sacarament from the main body of the church. The only other place I have seen something like this was in Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, where the Blessed Sacrament was kept in chapel to the right of the main abbey, built in the 12th century; people in one of the transcepts who were not one of the cloister monks could look at the Blessed Sacrament, or if it was not exposed, the tabernacle.
“When Pope Benedict had the greatness of soul to issue Summorum Pontificum, he not only reintroduced the Roman Rite into the liturgy of the Church but declared that it had never been forbidden, because it could never be forbidden. No pope and no council possess the authority to invalidate, abolish, or forbid a rite that is so deeply rooted in the history of the Church.
Not only the liberal and Protestant enemies of the Roman Rite but also its defenders, who in a decades-long struggle had begun to give up hope, could barely contain their astonishment. Everyone still had the strict prohibitions of countless bishops echoing in their ears, threats of excommunication and subtle accusations. And one hardly dared draw the conclusion that, in view of Pope Benedict’s correcting of the wrongful suppression of the Roman Rite, Blessed Pope Paul VI had apparently been in error when he expressed his strong conviction that the rite long entrusted to the Church should never again be celebrated anywhere in the world.
Benedict XVI did even more: He explained that there was only a single Roman Rite which possesses two forms, one ‘ordinary’ and the other ‘extraordinary’— the latter term referring to the traditional rite. In this way, the traditional form was made the standard for the newly revised form. The pope expressed the wish that the two forms should mutually fructify and enrich each other. It is therefore natural to assume that the new rite, with its great flexibility and many possible forms of celebration, must draw near to the older, steady, and fixed form of the Roman Rite, which provides no latitude whatsoever for encroachments or modifications of any kind.
.... Whenever Pope Benedict spoke of a mutual influence and enrichment between the two forms of the rite, he surely did so with an ulterior motive. He believed in organic development in the area of liturgy. He condemned the revolution in the liturgy that coincided with the revolutionary year 1968, and he saw the connection between the liturgical revolution and the cultural one in world-historical terms, for both contradict the ideal of organic evolution and development. He regarded it as a serious offense against the spirit of the Church that the peremptory order of a pope should be taken as warrant to encroach upon the collective heritage of all preceding generations. After decades of use throughout the world, Benedict not only considered it a practical impossibility simply to prohibit the new rite with its serious flaws, but in all likelihood he also perceived that such an act, even if it had been feasible, would have continued along the erroneous path taken by his predecessor, one of reform by fiat. The correct path would be found, so he hoped, in a gradual growing together of the old and new forms, a process to be encouraged and gently fostered by the pope.”
And also this passage on this Reform of the Reform.
“It is with downright incredulity that one reads (the prescriptions of Sacrosanctum Concilium), for their plain sense was given exactly the opposite meaning by the enthusiastic defenders of post-conciliar ‘development.’ One cannot say that Ratzinger’s call for a reform of the reform intended in any way to go back ‘behind the council,’ as the antagonists of Pope Benedict have maintained. As any fair-minded reading of Sacrosanctum Concilium makes clear, the reform of the reform has no goal other than realizing the agenda of the council.”
|The west choir of Bamberg Cathedral, which is still quite splendid despite being vandalized by the King of Bavaria in the 1830s, and again after Vatican II. From an article published in 2009 by Gregor Kollmorgen.|
“As I entered the venerable church I found it already almost full. I pushed forward up to the main altar and waited now for the solemn scene. Oh! – truly I had not expected very much. Everything was new for me. The ceremonies, which every minute always changed, made an ever stronger and wonderful impression on me the more they were mysterious and unintelligible. I was standing among nothing but Catholics: men, women and children. Some were constantly reading prayer books; others prayed the rosary while standing, yet others reverently knelt right next to me.
Here I found proved so clearly what Nicolai relates: that fixed raising of the gaze in prayer, which suddenly blazes up to heaven without resting on earthly objects; the making of the sign of the cross in holy zeal; the heartfelt firm striking of the breast which, with expressive glances towards heaven and with deeply felt sighs, shows such special depth of feeling. …One is totally initiated into the Catholic faith here and almost driven to participate in all the ceremonies.”
Wackenroder would become one of the founders of German Romanticism, and Chessman gives a long quote from one of his books, the title of which almost summarizes the entire movement: “Outpourings from the Heart of an Art-Loving Monk” In it, his experience of Bamberg is transformed into a fictionalized account of a solemn Mass in the Pantheon in Rome, which ends with a conversion experience. “I could not leave the temple after the end of the celebration, I fell down in a corner and wept, and then passed with a contrite heart all the saints, all the paintings – it seemed that only now could I really contemplate and revere them. I could not resist the force within me – dear Sebastian, I have now crossed over to your faith, and my heart feels happy and light. It was art that had all-powerfully drawn me over, and I can say that only now can I understand and grasp art. ”
In the first article, Mosebach writes, “In a period such as the present, unable to respond to images and forms, incessantly misled by a noisy art market, all experimentation that tampers with the Roman Rite as it has developed through the centuries could only be perilous and potentially fatal. In any case, this tampering is unnecessary. ... The peasant woman who said the rosary during Mass, knowing that she was in the presence of Christ’s sacrifice, understood the rite better than our contemporaries who comprehend every word but fail to engage with such knowledge because the present form of the Mass, drastically altered, no longer allows for its full expression.” Likewise, Chessman concludes his article with the observation that in Wachenroder’s case, “... this Mass, so foreign to him, and that he could not ‘understand,’ had clearly communicated to him the most profound sense of worship and of the Divine. Such is the transformative power, both in 1793 and today, of this Mass – the Mass of Tradition!”
It is especially appropriate that this should take place this week, right after the Third Sunday of Lent, which the Byzantine Rite dedicates to the Veneration of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross. Here is a much more interesting video, excerpts of the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Patriarch on Sunday at the Holy Sepulcher, with the participation of some of the other Orthodox churches. (The Gospel is sung in Greek, Old Church Slavonic, and Arabic.) Very splendid, although rather chaotic at times; there are a lot of bells ringing during the Gospel, and at times it seems that there are other liturgies going on in different parts of the building.