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    From generation to generation! This past weekend, a newly ordained American priest of the FSSP offered his first High Mass at St Mary’s in Annapolis, Maryland, the first solemn Mass held in this church in over fifty years...





    ... and in the Philippines, Mons. Joseph Tan, media liaison of the Archdiocese of Cebu, celebrated Mass in the usus antiquior at the Adoration Chapel of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Cebu City, on the day of his 26th anniversary of priestly ordination; this was his first time celebrating in the Extraordinary Form. Ad multos annos!





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    Our next major photopost will be for Corpus Christi, which is celebrated either tomorrow, Thursday, June 15, or this coming Sunday, June 18; please send your photos (whether of the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form) to photopost@newliturgicalmovement.org for inclusion. Of course, we are especially glad to include pictures of Eucharistic Processions, one of the major staples of this feast, but also those of celebrations in the Eastern rites, as well as Vespers and other parts of the Office. For the past three years, we received enough submissions to make three separate posts - let’s keep this tradition going! Please be sure to include the name and location of the church, and always feel free to add any other information you think important. Evangelize through beauty!

    From last year’s third Corpus Christi photopost, adoration and procession at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, the FSSP’s parish in Rome.




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    In the fourth and fifth parts of this article, Zachary Thomas reflects on the ad orientem posture in Christian worship as an expression of the Virgin Mary’s role as a type of the Church. I have therefore given them a slightly different title from the first three parts, (“Marian character”, rather than “priestly character”), but they are nevertheless the continuation of the same article. To read the first four parts, click on the following links: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. Our thanks once again to Mr Thomas for sharing this series, which is now concluded, with NLM.

    Recalling our previous discussions of the mediating role of the priest, I’d like to suggest that by embracing its proper ritual articulation as found in the old rites, we affirm a Marian, feminine aspect of the priesthood, one which the new rites often obscure in favor of an excessively masculine activism. In doing so, I am following the insights of David Schindler. (“Catholic theology, gender, and the future of Western civilization,” Communio 20 (1993), pp. 200-239.)

    Earlier we argued that dynamic ad orientem worship actualizes the Church’s posture of dependency and receptivity as it goes up to the mountain of God, while the static versus populum posture and the insistence on distributing clerical roles to laity seems to validate only the active part of the priestly ministry. This semblance has often been carried to extremes, when priests (encouraged by the rite’s casual ritual language) take it upon themselves to improvise liturgy and intrude their own personalities.

    Simone Martini, the Annunciation, 1333
    What does it mean to talk about the Marian character of the priesthood and of the Church? The Fathers have always identified Mary as a type of the Church, because her “fiat” sums up the Christian people’s fundamental disposition toward generously receiving the revelation offered in Christ. If there had been no Mary, there would be no Christ, and no Church. But Mary’s role is not just antecedent and preparatory, a necessary hurdle before the “work” of redemption goes on. Rather, her receptivity continues to be the foundation and paradigm for the Christian soul and for the Church’s own relationship to Christ the Priest. Even now, as “all of creation groans for redemption,” fallen humanity bears a Marian character in that it is struggling to give birth to Christ.

    The Church appoints sacred ministers to perform the active, Christ-like functions, preaching, governing, sanctifying, etc. But we should take careful notice that these active functions always presuppose the continued receptivity of the whole Church: in Baptism, the priest is born out of the womb of the Church, and his active role is predicated on the Church’s serene and unending acceptance of his sacramental works. In the spiritual life, the greater the openness and receptivity to grace, the more God can give. Even Christian works, so necessary to salvation, are understood by St. Thomas to be preceded by a gift of grace, so that our actions are carried out by a principle that we receive.

    Christ himself bears this stamp of duality:

    “As representative of the Father’s initiative, the Son is masculine; as receptive in relation to the Father from all eternity, the Son is feminine; finally, the Son, in generating the receptive womb of Mary in order then, as it were, to receive back his own (masculine) priesthood, is thereby—that is, in the act of receiving back his own priesthood in and with Mary—feminine. It is this distinction between masculine and feminine in Christ which founds the distinction between the ordained and the common priesthood” (Schindler, 217).

    We find these relations in Christ because their deepest source is the Trinity itself, where the persons each loves and receive from one another. These deep mysteries of Trinitarian life, which flow into Christ, and thence into the life of the Church and of every individual soul, ought to find their expression in her most solemn public rituals. And indeed, in traditional rites, they do. In the dynamic ad orientem posture, the priest turns constantly toward God: he is receiving from him, begging him to make the gifts fruitful with his spirit, and, like Mary, begging our Lord to help his people. Then, when he turns back to us to give the blessing, he stands in his Fatherly role, dispensing to the receptive, Marian Church.


    It could be argued that the new rite, in the various ways that it privileges “activity,” over-emphasizes the masculine role of the priest. The tendency today is to distribute “roles,” but the role of passive recipient—i.e., of a normal layman, of Mary—is never acknowledged, much less privileged. Priests read us the Gospel, priests read us the Eucharistic prayer, laymen read us the readings and psalms, laymen distribute communion. One of the liturgical reform’s main results was to eliminate all the ways the laymen traditionally received liturgy throughout history: gazing, private meditation, visits to side altars or icons, paging through the Missal, or just walking through the building, as still happens in Eastern churches; all this is eliminated in favor of a forced conformity to the “action at hand.” In its relentless attempt to eliminate fruitful silence and contemplative atmosphere, the culture of the new liturgy threatens the total domination of activity. Who is being receptive, when everyone must be “active”? In a truly ironic parody, the Novus Ordo has fallen into even worse clericalism than what it was trying to banish with its “reforms” of the Old Rite.

    Looking at the Church’s life more broadly, when are monastic forms of life, contemplation, more resplendent liturgies, or participation in the divine office, put forward as a solution to modern problems, as a complement to social action? In all of this “going forth”, we choose to emphasize the clerical, masculine, active role, and despise the quiet life of reception and interiorization. This is the opposite of what the modern world needs to hear!

    Precisely in ceding liturgical functions to the priest and the sacred ministers, delegating this specialized job to a few functionaries, rather than distributing them to everyone, traditional liturgy emphasizes the external, specialized role of the clergy in relation to the anterior, and primary maternal role of the laity, and of the Church as a whole. Just as in reproduction the male has a fairly straightforward, technical role, while the whole drama of life unfolds within the woman, so in the life of the Church, the priestly, active role of Christ is directed toward reception of the life of grace in the individual soul.

    In this light, entrusting all ministerial functions to specialized clergy, far from humiliating and debasing the laity, actually privileges their status. In some sense, everything is for them. The liturgy is by the clergy, but for the laity. The active ministers act, creating music and sacred choreography and sacrament, so that the laity are free to concentrate entirely on taking in the whole person of Christ inherent in these actions. (As any server or chorister can attest, a specialized role in liturgy can be more limiting than liberating, as it distracts attention from the larger action. The flautist can’t very well appreciate the whole orchestra, if she is properly concentrated on her score!) By limiting clerical activity, or rather circumscribing his activity closely in humble service to the Church, or hiding it under veils, it reveals the priesthood’s subordinate nature to the larger Church, and allows laity great spiritual freedom to truly participate.


    The best way to destroy this marital harmony of roles would be to make everyone priestly, to give everyone a job, or to turn the priest around so we can see his face. As long as we can see his face, he is not a specialized functionary, through whom we pass to the object of his function, to the life of grace and the reality of the living Church he makes possible; rather we exult the individual and make him opaque to these more fundamental realities. We tempt him to take control, by using every ritual indication to make him the center of attention: his seat in the center of the sanctuary, his voice in the canon, his personality in the sermon. The old rites cloak the priest in such a weight of symbolism and rubrical uniformity that (though we never forget he is a man), his reality in the liturgical drama passes over into his sacramental-symbolic identity of alter Christus.

    The glories of the Church’s liturgical life come to us through the active agency of the priesthood, but only if their active posture is conceived in proper relation to the anterior, privileged posture of receptivity of the laity, without whom all priestly activity is meaningless. The traditional rites, with their dynamic ritual of ad orientem ceremony, emphasize and lift up precisely the feminine, Marian aspect of the Church, Christ, the Trinity, and the priesthood. Re-emphasizing this feminine aspect is a crucial step in the battle to reclaiming our culture—both political and ecclesial—from an excessive masculinity of restless activity and technological manipulation of the created world. Ad orientem is therefore also the ritual posture most truly in line with true feminism against all false-clericalism and the arrogant abuse of human ecology.

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  • 06/16/17--01:51: Corpus Christi 2017
  • It is worthy and just that we give Thee thanks, Lord, holy Father, eternal and almighty God. Who devise Thy works in wisdom, and arrange all things in sweetness. Who ascended upon the West: the Lord is Thy name. Thou are the living and true Bread, who came down from heaven, to give food to the hungry; or rather, that Thou Thyself might be the food of the living, … for Thou dost satisfy Thy poor with the bread of heaven. To whom all the Angels and Archangels rightly do not cease to cry out every day, so saying: Holy, holy, holy… (The Preface of the Mass of Corpus Christi in the Mozarabic Rite.)

    Genaro Pérez Villaamil - The Corpus Christi Procession inside Seville Cathedral, 1835 
    Dignum et justum est nos tibi gratias agere, Domine, sancte Pater, aeterne omnipotens Deus. Qui paras adinventiones tuas sapienter, et disponis omnia suaviter. Qui ascendisti super occasum: Dominus nomen est tibi. Tu panis es vivus et verus, qui descendisti de caelo, ut dares escam esurientibus; imo ut ipse esses esca viventium. … Quia pauperes tuos cœlestibus saturas panibus. Cui merito omnes Angeli et Archangeli non cessant clamare quotidie, ita dicentes: Sanctus…

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  • 06/16/17--05:00: Good News from Los Angeles
  • A reader has written in, asking us to spread the word that St Anthony’s Church in El Segundo, California (720 E. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles County) has established a Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form, every week at 1:30 pm. As El Segundo is located in central LA on the coast (right next to LAX) travelers can easily attend Mass here, as can most residents of LA county, since several major freeways run to El Segundo.


    The community is currently working on building up a choir; for the time being, they have a High Mass only on the 2nd and 5th (if there is one) Sundays of the month, and the rest are Low Mass with organ. Some boy from the church’s grade school are learning to serve.

    It should also be noted that St Victor’s in West Hollywood now has a weekly Latin Mass with the FSSP at 7 pm. This past year, the LA archdiocese has gone from zero churches that say the Latin Mass weekly to two, while several others do the Latin Mass once per month, or on feasts like the Norbertines at Sts. Peter and Paul in Wilmington California. Good news from the city of Angels!

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    The Youtube channel Prigioniero di Zenda has just posted quite a large number of videos of the ceremonies held in the Ambrosian Rite during the Sacra Liturgia Conference in Milan last week. There are far too many to include them all, so here are the first in each of the four major ceremonies. If you click the title of each video and view it in a separate tab or window, the video that follows will appear on the Youtube sidebar on the right. (They are also numbered.)

    Solemn Mass (EF) in the Presence of a Greater Prelate, (His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke), at the church of Sant’Alessandro in Zebedia.
    Solemn Vespers in the Presence of a Greater Prelate (His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah) at the Basilica of St Ambrose.
    Pontifical Mass (OF) at the Basilica of St Ambrose, celebrated by the Mitred Abbot of Basilica, Mons. Ermino de Scalzi
    Solemn Vespers (OF) in the Duomo, celebrated by Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo, Archpriest of the Chapter 


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    The spring issue which arrived a few weeks ago in the mailboxes of subscribers will soon be followed by the summer issue of Sacred Music.

    Among other things, the spring issue contained a pair of articles on Messiaen, a pair of notable documents on the 50th anniversary of Musicam Sacram, and an article by Peter Kwasniewski on contemporary music.

    The forthcoming summer issue will contain a number of addresses given at the March 2017 conference hosted by St. Joseph's Seminary (Dunwoodie), "Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education."

    Both issues, as usual, contain particularly cogent and insightful editorials by the journal's editor, Dr. William Mahrt.

    The fall issue will focus on issues in Spanish-language music ministry.

    Don't miss out on the forthcoming issues! Sign up for membership in the Church Music Association of America; the membership includes valuable discounts on programs and books, as well as a subscription to the journal.

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    Spring 2017

    Editorial
    The Paradigm and the Practice | William Mahrt

    Articles
    Olivier Messiaen on the Metaphoricity of Music | Michael Potts
    Messiaen’s “Musical Theology” | Jennifer Donelson
    A Critique of Contemporary Church Music in Light of the Characteristics of Sacred Music | Peter Kwasniewski

    Documents
    Address of the Holy Father Francis to Participants at the International Meeting on Sacred Music | Pope Francis
    A Statement on the Current Situation of Sacred Music

    Letters to the Editor
    Response to Wilfrid Jones | Edward Schaefer
    Daniel DiCenso’s Review of A Sense of the Sacred—A Response | James Monti
    News
    Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education: Conference Summary | Mary Jane Ballou
    Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education: Conference Welcome | Jennifer Donelson

    ****

    Summer 2017

    Editorial
    Ministry | William Mahrt

    Articles
    Sacred Music Renewal Fifty Years after Musicam Sacram | Jennifer Donelson
    A Pastoral Plan for Sacred Music | Rev. Jon Tveit
    Is Beauty Subjective? | Rev. David Friel
    A Sense of Solemnity in the Sacred Liturgy As a Means of Catechesis and Evangelization | James Monti

    Repertory
    Josquin’s Devotional Motet, Tu solus qui facis mirabilia | William Mahrt
    Review
    Sacred Treasure by Joseph Swain | Trent Beattie

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    Here is a series of eight short videos about St Thomas's understanding of the virture of religion, produced by two Dominican friars from the Western Province.

    I found them fascinating. The virtue of religion is what St Thomas calls the practice of the worship of God. It is an aspect of justice - giving to God what is due to Him - which is natural to man, and furthermore, it is the highest virtue, according to his teaching.

    You can see all eight talks, each a well produced video of about 10 minutes duration, on vimeo here: St Thomas Aquinas on the Virtue of Religion.

    I have heard it said before that it is natural to man to worship God. Benedict XVI talks of this in his writings; in this talk, the presenter describes how St Thomas says that there are no societies in which there is not worship, even if it is pagan worship.

    That might have been true in his day, it has occurred to me, but probably not now. There is a whole section of Western society that seems to feel no need to worship God. Benedict talks of other practices emerging that are a redirecting of this natural instinct, such as some manifestations of rock concerts; the exaggerated adulation given to pop stars and also sports teams comes to my mind.


    However, I was never totally convinced by these. While they represent an adulation of a sort, they don't seem to constitute anything like the complexity of ritual that we see in the liturgy of the Church or that existed in pagan rites. Furthermore, there do seem to be some people today in which this instinct is erased.

    An answer is provided in these presentations. It is explained that while it is natural for man to worship God, it is not an instinct that can be manifested without a faith in a God to worship. The virtue of religion, while still a natural virtue, arises when man reflects upon his faith. Therefore, if there is no faith it might be that there is no exercise of the virtue of religion at all.

    You can access all eight here, or watch the first one on the link below:

    Virtue of Religion - Part 1 (Introduction) from OPWest on Vimeo.

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    St Dominic’s Church in Youngstown, Ohio, will have a Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, followed by a procession, on the feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday, June 23, starting at 7 p.m. The church is located at 77 E. Lucius Avenue.


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    We have just added a new feature to our site, a catalog of articles which you can find on the left sidebar underneath the list of writers. Broadly speaking, the catalog includes all of our items about liturgy in general, specific topics, and scholarly articles, as opposed to news items, photoposts, event notices etc. It also includes a tag-cloud at the bottom; we hope this will be useful to readers who may be searching for articles about a particular topic. Our archive, which includes everything we have ever posted (currently just over 12,700 items) remains in place, and there is also of course the Google search feature at the very top of the right sidebar.



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    For our first Corpus Christi photopost this year, we have a nice variety of things, some from new contributors, some from regulars; also, the Premonstratensian Mass, a church which had its first solemn Mass in 50 years (Our Lady of Peace in Fords, New Jersey), and a procession led by the bishop of the Anglican Use Ordinariate. We are very glad to continue receiving your photos; as it stands now, we will definitely have at least one more post, possibly two. Evangelize though beauty!

    Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel - New York City





    Santa Maria degli Angeli - Civitanova Alta, Italy
    Currently hosting the community of the faithful of Summorum Pontificum of Tolentino (Sacred Heart Church) hit by the recent earthquakes.


    Ss Peter and Paul - Wilmington, California (Premonstratensian Use)





    St William the Confessor - Greenville, Texas



    Our Lady of Peace - Fords, New Jersey

    St Anthony - Calgary, Alberta (FSSP)






    Mater Ecclesiae - Berlin, New Jersey




    Our Lady of the Pillar Parish - Alaminos, Laguna, Philippine Islands



    Ottawa, Ontario
    Bishop Steven Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter led a Eucharistic Procession in Ottawa after celebrating Mass according to Divine Worship: the Missal. This was a joint celebration of three parishes, the Anglican Ordinariate Parish of Annunciation, the Roman Catholic Parish of St George, and the German-language parish St Albertus.


    Holy Innocents - New York City




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    The CMAA Colloquium is now underway in St Paul, Minnesota. Today the opening Solemn Sung Mass in English was celebrated in the Chapel of the University of St Thomas. The Principal Celebrant and Homilist was Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, Moderator of the Oratory in formation in Washington D.C. and Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.




















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    Normally, I would wait for the liturgically appropriate season to share something like this, but this video is just too interesting to wait until next year. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America has posted on its Youtube channel a video originally broadcast by CBS on April 16, 1961, on Light to my Feet, an ecumenical religious program which ran on that network from 1948-79. The Holy Week services were filmed at St George’s Church in Paterson, New Jersey, including parts of the procession of the Cross on Holy Thursday, the Lamentations of Holy Friday, and the Resurrection and Orthros Services of Easter. The celebrants are Metropolitan Antony Bashir (1898-1966), Fr Michael Simon, at that time pastor of St George, and Fr Gabriel Ashie, at that time pastor of St Anthony Church in Englewood. The program also credits Prof. Michael Hilko, a composer of sacred music in the Archdiocese, and Mrs Christine Lynch, who guided CBS in the television production and led the choir.

    The notes on the Youtube channel state that a long-time member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, Mr Robert Andrews, was organizing the library of his home parish of St Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles when he came across the 56-year-old film. Since it “smelled like vinegar” when he opened the canister, he rushed to preserve it by having it digitized.


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    I am very happy to announce the publication of my new book with Angelico Press, which is now available on Amazon.


    (Here follows the publisher's announcement:)

    THE TRADITIONAL LITURGY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is a highly formal ritual unfolding in layers of elaborate gesture, rich symbolism, whispered Latin, and ancient plainchants. “Experts” after the Second Vatican Council were convinced that such a ritual was irrelevant to “modern man.” To the shock of some, the delight of many, and the surprise of everyone, the old Latin Mass (and much that went along with it) has tenaciously survived during the past half-century and become an increasingly familiar feature in the Catholic landscape. What are the reasons for this revival, especially among the young? And why is this development so important for the renewal of Catholicism?

    Peter Kwasniewski offers a lively account of the noble beauty and transcendent holiness of the traditional Roman liturgy, which humbles us before the mystery of God, stirs us with its pageantry, carries us into sacred silence, and bears us to a world of invisible realities. He contrasts this priceless treasure with the rationalistic reforms of the sixties, which yielded a Catholic liturgy severed from its own history, inadequate to its theological essence, unequal to its ascetical-mystical purpose, and estranged from its cultural inheritance. His conclusion: if there is to be a new springtime in the Church, the widespread restoration of the traditional liturgical rites will be at the heart of it.

    “Anyone who wants a frank, honest, and deep explanation of worship, prayer, and liturgy should get this book. Be prepared to marvel at the depth of the Mass.” — REV. JAMES W. JACKSON, F.S.S.P., author of Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great

    “With a delightful variety of insightful angles, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness is an admirable contribution to reminding the Church how to move the world with her irreplaceable liturgical traditions.” — MICHAEL P. FOLEY, Baylor University

    “This tremendous new book is an eloquent and erudite confrontation with the very root of the liturgical debate: whether the radical de-mystifying of the Catholic liturgy has been for the good of souls. It is a ringing affirmation that the kind of liturgy that pleases God, softens the hearts of sinners, and raises the pious towards sanctity, is the mysterious product of centuries of development.” — JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

    “Peter Kwasniewski illustrates the total collapse of the hierarchy of values brought about by a modern world that has ‘turned its back to God,’ and man’s need for the Traditional Mass to spin him round to a recognition that all good things—temporal things included—flow only from aiming our attention firmly at the Creator.” — JOHN RAO, St. John’s University

    “Dr. Kwasniewski has a genius for making a fresh case for Catholic tradition, with a blend of perspectives from the entire 60-year Catholic traditionalist movement. A unique reading experience.” — ROGER A. MCCAFFREY, President, Roman Catholic Books

    PETER KWASNIEWSKI is a founding faculty member of Wyoming Catholic College, where he teaches theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and serves as choirmaster. He is a prolific writer and a composer of sacred music.

    Order the book from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Available in paperback and hardcover.

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    It has been several months since our last quiz, so as a reminder of our regular procedure: Please give your answer in the combox, along with any and all details you think pertinent to it. To keep it more interesting, please leave your answer before reading the other comments. We are always pleased to hear humorous answers as well. This photograph was taken by Fr Lawrence Lew; you can click it to see it in high resolution.


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    Today's CMAA Colloquium Mass, a Votive Mass of St Paul, was celebrated by Father James Richardson at St Mark's Church in St Paul, MN. Some of the Chant and Polyphony Directors are pictured including Jeffrey Morse, David Hughes, William Mahrt and Melanie Malinka.




















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    The cathedral of St Andrew in Victoria, British Columbia, will have a solemn High Mass this Saturday for the feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist, starting at 11 a.m., the first such Mass held there since the liturgical reform. The church is located at 740 View Street.




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    When St. Thomas Aquinas composed the office of Corpus Christi, he wrote not only the musical texts such as the antiphons and hymns, but also the sermon to be read in the first and second nocturns of Matins, according to the custom of his times. (Very few feasts had Scriptural readings in the first nocturn in the Middle Ages.) This sermon, Immensa divinae largitatis beneficia, is found in almost all pre-Tridentine breviaries. However, it is not long enough to provide readings for Matins on each day of the octave; other readings had therefore to be selected for the remaining days. The homily of the third nocturn is taken from St Augustine’s Treatises on the Gospel of John, commenting on the Gospel of the fast, John 6, 56-59.

    St. Thomas Aquinas in glory among the Doctors of the Church, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1631.
    In the 1529 Roman Breviary, the readings of the first and second nocturn on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are taken from the famous Decree of the 12th-century canonist Gratian, which was, broadly speaking, the medieval code of Canon Law. The third part, called On Consecration, is a long florilegium of texts from the Church Fathers and various other sources, and is quite suitable for spiritual reading, despite being essentially a law textbook. These readings include a fairly lengthy excerpt from St Ambrose’s book “On the Mysteries”, another from the treatise “On the Sacraments” traditionally attributed to him, and a few fragments from other writers, principally St Augustine. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the readings are taken from the bull Transiturus, by which Pope Urban IV (1261-64) originally promulgated the feast; this was read in many medieval Uses, and in some places, even after the Tridentine reform. The readings of the third nocturn continue from St Augustine’s Treatises on John. On the Octave day, all nine readings of the feast are simply repeated. This arrangment is typical of all medieval breviaries.

    In the Tridentine Breviary, this system is changed, but not entirely. Scriptural readings are assigned to the first nocturn: I Cor. 11, 20-32 on the feast day and the octave, the lectio continua of I Kings on the days between. The readings from St Augustine in the third nocturn are almost exactly the same in the pre- and post-Tridentine breviaries, in response to the reformers’ pretenses that their teachings on grace corresponded to his. (Calvin once declared, even more absurdly than was his wont, “Augustine belongs entirely to us.”) On Wednesday, however, they are taken from St Hilary of Poitiers, and on the octave, from St Cyril of Alexandria.

    For the second nocturn, the sermon of St Thomas is split into two parts, the first of which is read on the feast, the second on Friday. The remaining days are dedicated to the Church Fathers, Ss John Chrysostom (Saturday to Monday), Cyprian (Tuesday), Ambrose (Wednesday, part of the De Sacramentis also excerpted by Gratian), and St Cyril of Jerusalem on the octave day.

    It is easy to see in the choice of such readings a response from the Catholic Church to the early Protestants, and their rejection of the traditional doctrine of the Eucharist. Papal bulls or medieval canon law collections would hold no authority with the “reformers” of the age (Martin Luther burned both at Wittenberg), whether openly Protestant or uncertain Catholics, who were many in that age. The writings of the Fathers, on the other hand, were frequently appealed to as proof that Protestant teachings were in fact those of the primitive Church, and things like Eucharistic processions and Adoration later corruptions of the medieval era. In such a climate, the writings of St Cyril of Jerusalem in particular were a source of profoundest embarrassment to early and later Protestant controversialists.

    “The teaching of blessed Paul seems of itself amply sufficient to make certain your faith concerning the Divine Mysteries; and you, having been made worthy thereof, have become, so to speak, of one Body and of one Blood with Christ. For he proclaimed that on the night He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take, and eat, this is my Body. And taking the cup, and giving thanks, He said: Take this, and drink; this is my Blood. Since therefore He Himself has proclaimed this and said, ‘This is my Body’, who will dare henceforth to doubt that it is so? And since He again has said so insistently ‘This is my Blood’, who would ever doubt, and say that it is not his Blood?

    The Last Supper, by Simon Ushakov, 1685
    Once, at Cana in Galilee, He turned water into wine, which has a certain similarity to blood; and shall we think him too little worthy of our belief, when He said He would turn wine into Blood? Being called to that marriage, by which two bodies are joined, He did this miracle, which none expected. Shall we not all the more firmly believe that He has given us His Body and Blood, to be our food and drink, and thus receive them with all certainty as His Body and his Blood? For under the appearance of bread He gives us His Body, and under the appearance of wine, His Blood, so that when you shall receive it, you may taste the Body and Blood of Christ, being made a partaker of the same Body and Blood. Thus indeed do we become Christ-bearers, that is, bearing Christ in our bodies, when we receive His Body and Blood into our members; thus, according to the blessed Peter, do we come to share in the divine nature.

    …Wherefore I would not have you understand these things, as if they were merely and simply bread, merely and simply wine; for they are the Body and Blood of Christ. For even if your senses deny this fact, yet let faith confirm you in this belief. Judge not the thing by the taste thereof, but let faith assure thee beyond all doubt, that you have been made worthy to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (from the fourth Mystagogical Catechesis)

    By including such a passage in a corpus of sermons that begins with a work of St Thomas Aquinas, the Breviary of St Pius V asserts a continuity of doctrine which reaches from St Paul to the Church Fathers, both Eastern and Western, and to the greatest theologian of the medieval, scholastic tradition.

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  • 06/22/17--20:23: FSSP Ordinations in England
  • Many of our readers have probably already seen that two members of the Fraternity of St Peter, Alex Stewart and Krzysztof Sanetra, were ordained to the priesthood at St Mary’s Shrine Church, Warrington, the first traditional ordination rite celebrated in England in decades. The FSSP’s LiveMass channel has now made  available a video of the entire ceremony, just a little bit shy of three-and-a-half hours long. The FSSP England Facebook page has also posted a link to an enormous flickr album with pictures of the ceremony. Our congratulations to the newly ordained fathers, to their families and friends, and to the entire order. Ad multos annos!


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    Holy Name of Jesus Church in Brooklyn, New York, will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus this evening at 7:00pm. For those new to or curious about the Latin Mass, there will be a fully instructional program with cues and translations. The church is located at 245 Prospect Park West.

    Here is a note from the choir director about the music featured in this Mass: Six singers, the best of the best that New York City offers, will sing chant and polyphony as the Church has so gloriously done in the past for the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Mass setting is by David Adam Smith, as well as the offertory motet. At communion the hymn Cor dulce in three voices will be sung, as well as appointed palms.

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