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Articles on this Page
- 06/14/17--08:28: _Tradition is for th...
- 06/14/17--19:41: _Photopost Request: ...
- 06/15/17--01:32: _The Marian Characte...
- 06/16/17--01:51: _Corpus Christi 2017
- 06/16/17--05:00: _Good News from Los ...
- 06/16/17--16:30: _Videos of the Ambro...
- 06/17/17--10:14: _2017 Issues of the ...
- 06/19/17--20:41: _St Thomas Aquinas o...
- 06/20/17--05:00: _Dominican Rite Sole...
- 06/20/17--13:53: _A New Feature on NL...
- 06/20/17--21:37: _Corpus Christi 2017...
- 06/20/17--20:09: _Opening Mass of the...
- 06/21/17--07:22: _Orthodox Holy Week ...
- 06/21/17--10:52: _New Book from Angel...
- 06/21/17--13:00: _NLM Quiz no. 19 - H...
- 06/21/17--20:44: _CMAA Colloquium Vot...
- 06/22/17--06:23: _Solemn EF for St Jo...
- 06/22/17--12:44: _Matins Readings Dur...
- 06/22/17--20:23: _FSSP Ordinations in...
- 06/23/17--07:49: _EF Mass for the Sac...
- 06/14/17--08:28: Tradition is for the Young (Part 7)
- 06/14/17--19:41: Photopost Request: Corpus Christi 2017
- 06/16/17--01:51: Corpus Christi 2017
- 06/16/17--05:00: Good News from Los Angeles
- 06/16/17--16:30: Videos of the Ambrosian Rite at Sacra Liturgia 2017
- 06/17/17--10:14: 2017 Issues of the Sacred Music Journal
- 06/19/17--20:41: St Thomas Aquinas on the Virtue of Religion
- 06/20/17--05:00: Dominican Rite Solemn Mass for Sacred Heart in Youngstown, Ohio
- 06/20/17--13:53: A New Feature on NLM: Catalog of Articles from 2005-16
- 06/20/17--21:37: Corpus Christi 2017 Photopost (Part 1)
- 06/20/17--20:09: Opening Mass of the CMAA Colloquium in St Paul, Minnesota
- 06/21/17--07:22: Orthodox Holy Week on CBS, 1961
- 06/21/17--20:44: CMAA Colloquium Votive Mass of St Paul
- 06/22/17--06:23: Solemn EF for St John the Baptist in Victoria, BC
- 06/22/17--12:44: Matins Readings During the Octave of Corpus Christi
- 06/22/17--20:23: FSSP Ordinations in England
- 06/23/17--07:49: EF Mass for the Sacred Heart in Brooklyn
... 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!
From last year’s third Corpus Christi photopost, adoration and procession at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, the FSSP’s parish in Rome.
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.
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|
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.
|Genaro Pérez Villaamil - The Corpus Christi Procession inside Seville Cathedral, 1835|
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Paradigm and the Practice | William Mahrt
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
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
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
Ministry | William Mahrt
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
Josquin’s Devotional Motet, Tu solus qui facis mirabilia | William Mahrt
Sacred Treasure by Joseph Swain | Trent Beattie
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.
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.
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:)
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.
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.
|St. Thomas Aquinas in glory among the Doctors of the Church, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1631.|
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|
…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.