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Articles on this Page
- 06/23/17--11:00: _Speakers and Music ...
- 06/23/17--13:30: _First Vespers of th...
- 06/23/17--20:44: _Corpus Christi 2017...
- 06/24/17--05:54: _The Birth of St Joh...
- 06/25/17--13:50: _Closing Mass of the...
- 06/25/17--14:16: _Dominican Rite Sole...
- 06/26/17--14:32: _Guest Article: Musi...
- 06/27/17--05:00: _The Virtue of Relig...
- 06/27/17--06:57: _Reminder: Tonight a...
- 06/27/17--14:54: _Corpus Christ 2017 ...
- 06/28/17--06:59: _EF Mass for the Pre...
- 06/28/17--18:29: _Recovering the Chri...
- 06/29/17--04:13: _The Feast of Ss Pet...
- 06/29/17--15:49: _All-Night Vigil for...
- 06/30/17--09:58: _Liturgical Notes on...
- 06/30/17--18:40: _Enthronement of the...
- 07/01/17--18:59: _A Procession for St...
- 07/03/17--13:16: _The Long Shadow of ...
- 07/04/17--05:00: _A Commission for Ho...
- 07/04/17--09:00: _Summorum Pontificum...
- 06/23/17--11:00: Speakers and Music Program at Fota X
- 06/23/17--13:30: First Vespers of the Sacred Heart in St Paul, MN
- 06/23/17--20:44: Corpus Christi 2017 Photopost (Part 2)
- 06/24/17--05:54: The Birth of St John the Baptist, 2017
- 06/25/17--13:50: Closing Mass of the CMAA Colloquium
- 06/26/17--14:32: Guest Article: Musicians, Singers, and Composers Among the Saints
- 06/27/17--05:00: The Virtue of Religion and Hollywood: The Book of Eli
- 06/27/17--14:54: Corpus Christ 2017 Photopost (Part 3)
- 06/28/17--06:59: EF Mass for the Precious Blood in New York City, July 2
- 06/28/17--18:29: Recovering the Christian Psalter: A Talk by Dom Benedict Andersen
- 06/29/17--04:13: The Feast of Ss Peter and Paul 2017
- 06/29/17--15:49: All-Night Vigil for Life at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine in NYC
- 06/30/17--09:58: Liturgical Notes on the Commemoration of St Paul
- 06/30/17--18:40: Enthronement of the New Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Eparch of Chicago
- 07/03/17--13:16: The Long Shadow of Neoscholastic Reductionism
- Most importantly, the Roman Canon, its sole anaphora for 1,500 years, going back in its elements to the first centuries.
- The ad orientem stance. We do not know how early on this stance became universally normative, but we know that already in the first centuries of the Faith it had become universal in East and West, which could never have happened were it not apostolic in origin, as St. Basil the Great takes for granted in his treatise On the Holy Spirit. It belongs to the original configuration of all of the great historic rites of Christianity. Without it, a liturgy is no longer in actual continuity with apostolic tradition, however much it may enjoy a technical licitness of the reductive sort mentioned above.
- The liturgical “vesture” of the Latin chant, which is not a mere add-on or ornament, but the very liturgy-as-sung. The Proper and Ordinary chants articulate the shape of the rite, fill its content, sustain its spirituality, and guarantee its substantial continuity over time and space. Without them, we are not looking at the Roman Rite any more.
- The cursus of readings, namely, the set of Epistles and Gospels. This is a topic on which much has been written elsewhere; here it suffices to note that the Roman lectionary, almost as venerable in its antiquity and universality as the Roman Canon, was supplanted by the novelty of a multi-year lectionary constructed for the Missal of Paul VI. The old and new lectionaries have very little overlap at all.
- The calendar with its particular clusters of Roman saints and its rhythm of Sundays, Holy Days, vigils, octaves, Ember and Rogation days, etc. It is true that, as Dom Gregory Dix shows, the calendar had a lengthy development, but it did develop organically in certain ways distinctively Roman and always preserved until the revolution of the 1960s.
- In light of the principle of organic development, one may argue that the offertory (as in all the traditional offertory prayers), which developed in the Middle Ages and spread to all Western rites, had fused with the core of the Roman Rite. The offertory may be compared with a branch successfully grafted into a tree so that it loses all foreignness and becomes a major part of the flourishing organism. Its removal was not a haircut but the amputation of an arm or a leg.
- the Roman Canon is not used;
- Mass is said versus populum;
- liturgical texts are not recited or chanted, e.g., the Propers and Ordinary are absent, mangled, or delivered in a way inconsistent with their origins;
- that novelty of novelties, the multi-year lectionary, is employed;
- a severely reduced calendar is followed;
- the traditional offertory is lacking, de iure as well as de facto.
- 07/04/17--05:00: A Commission for Holy Name Cathedral, Steubenville, Ohio
- 07/04/17--09:00: Summorum Pontificum 10th Anniversary Event in Wausau, Wisconsin
|Card. Burke celebrating Pontifical Mass at Fota IX|
Dieter Böhler SJ : Jerome and the Recent Revision of the German Einheitsübersetzung Bible.
Joseph Briody : As He Promised: Davidic Hope Resurgent - the Message of 2 Kings 25:27-30.
Markus Büning : Panis animarum– The Eucharist in St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
Sven Conrad : The Christian Sacrifice according to St. Augustine: Prospectives taking into Consideration Joseph Ratzinger`s Approach.
Gregory DiPippo : The Patristic Sources of the Roman Lectionary in Lent.
Manfred Hauke : The Holy Eucharist in the Life and Work of Pope Gregory the Great.
João Paulo de Mendonça Dantas : The Eucharist in the thought of Nicholas Cabasilas
Johannes Nebel : The Paradigmatic Change of the Post Conciliar Liturgical Reform from actio to celebratio in the Light of the Latin Fathers.
Mark Withoos: “ad audiendum silentium narrationis eius” (Ep. 147): Silence and Liturgy in St. Augustine.
Kevin Zilverberg : The Latin Fathers-’ Daniel in Antiphons and Responsories.
The Lassus Scholars under the direction of Dr. Ite O’Donovan will provide the sacred music for the ceremonies to be held at Ss Peter and Paul’s Church in Cork City. The schedule is as follows:
Pontifical Vespers, Saturday, July 9
Magnificat (Tomas Luis de Victoria 1548-1611)
Salve Regina (Peter Philips 1560-1628)
Pontifical High Mass, Sunday, July 10
Propers from the Choralis Constantinus (Heinrich Isaac c. 1450-1517)
Offertory - Benedicam Dominum (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525-1594)
Ordinary: Missa Vinum bonum (Orlando de Lassus 1532-1594)
Te Deum and Ecce Sacerdos Magnus (Tomás Luis de Victoria 1548-1611)
Solemn High Mass, Monday, July 11
Ordinary: Qual donna (Orlando de Lassus 1532-1594)
The Introit of the Eight Sunday after Pentecost, sung by the Lassus Scholars from the Choralis Constantinus at last year’s conference.
|Tradition is for the young!|
A very nice recording of the famous Vespers hymn for today’s feast, and a clever English translation which preserves the Latin meter of the original.
Mira gestórum fámuli tuórum,
Solve pollúti labii reátum,
Nuntius celso véniens Olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nascitúrum,
Nomen, et vitae seriem gerendae
Ille promissi dubius superni,
Pérdidit promptae módulos loquélae;
Sed reformasti génitus peremptæ
Ventris obstrúso récubans cubíli
Sénseras Regem thálamo manentem;
Hinc parens nati méritis uterque
Sit decus Patri, genitǽque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriúsque virtus,
Spíritus semper, Deus unus omni
Témporis ævo. Amen.
O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.
Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story,
Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.
Thou, in thy mother’s womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their children’s merits,
Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
Ever resoundeth. Amen.
|Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary|
The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesiaunder the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Palestrina’s Missa “Tu Es Petrus,” with proper chants from the Dominican Gradual. Cantores will also be singing at the usual 11 a.m. Dominican Rite Missa Cantata the following Sunday. Holy Rosary is located at 375 NE Clackamas St, Portland, OR 97232, and there is ample parking.
Musicians, Singers, and Composers Among the Saints
From the rich, Catholic theological understanding of God and art has grown a keen interest in the interrelatedness of my own line of work - as a classical and studio musician - and the work of God - holiness. Hence, I have recently compiled an initial list of Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, and Servants of God who were musically gifted. This includes instrumentalists, singers, composers, hymnographers, music teachers, choir directors, and more.
The topics of saints and music are mutually complementary, in that they each reveal “the beauty that is already waiting and concealed in creation”. I treasure how the form of created beauty takes its shape or matter in the lives of those who correspond to God’s diffusive love through their gifts to our rich heritage of music. Would that all musicians might join their intentions with that of the musical Servant of God, Rosa Giovannetti, who responded to the applause of men with the heartfelt cry, “It is all for Jesus! The cello, the concerts? I use this gift for You only, to sing your praises and to praise You. Not to me the honors, but to You, the author of all grace.”
Note on the chart below: the term “musician” is applied as a general term to those saints whose specific musical accomplishments are unknown at this time of research. The term “composer”, as a general term, encompasses the classification of hymn-writers.
|Aldhelm of Sherborne, St.||640-709||harpist, fiddler, bagpiper, vocalist|
|Alphonsus de Liguori, St.||1696-1787||composer, harpsichordist|
|Amalia Streitel, Ven.||1844 - 1911||music teacher|
|Ambrose of Milan, St.||338-397||composer|
|Anatolios, St.||4th century||composer|
|Andrew of Crete, St.||650-740||composer|
|Anne Catherine Emmerich, Bl.||1774-1824||organist|
|Bede the Venerable, St.||672-735||music teacher|
|Benignus of Armagh, St.||5th century||vocalist, music arranger|
|Benildus (Pierre Romancon), St.||1805-1862||concertina/accordionist|
|Benno (Benedict) of Meissen, St.||1010-1106||musician|
|Caradoc of Wales, St.||11th century||harpist|
|Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez Santiago, Bl.||1918-1963||pianist, organist, choral director|
|Catherine of Bologna, St.||1413-1463||musician|
|Charles Samuel Mazzuchelli, Ven. (aka Matthew Kelly)||1806-1864||musician|
|Colman of Cloyne, St.||530-600||musician|
|Columba of Iona, St.||521-597||composer|
|Dunstan of Canterbury, St.||909-988||composer, harpist|
|Edward Kazmierski, Bl.||1919-1942||vocalist, composer|
|Edward Poppe, Bl.||1890-1924||violinist|
|Elizabeth of the Trinity, St.||1880-1906||pianist|
|Ephrem the Syrian, St.||306-373||composer|
|Eugenius of Toledo, St.||7th century||musician|
|Felix Echevarria Gorostiaga, Bl.||1893-1936||organist, choral director|
|Francis Solano, St.||1549-1610||violinist (lute)|
|Francisco Bandres Sanchez, Bl.||1896-1936||musician|
|Fulk of Toulouse, Bl. (known as the Minstrel Bishop)||1155-1231||minstrel|
|Fulton J. Sheen, Ven. Archbishop||1895-1979||organist|
|Gertrude the Great, St.||1256-1302||vocalist|
|Giovanni (Giovenale) Ancina, Bl.||1545-1604||musician, composer, music editor|
|Godric of Finchale, St.||1069-1170||composer (via miraculous visions)|
|Gregory the Great, St. Pope||540-604||collected melodies and plain chant|
|Grimbald, St.||9th century||musician|
|Henry Garnet, St.||1555-1606||vocalist, lutist|
|Herman of Reichenau, Bl.||1013-1054||composer|
|Hermann Cohen, Ven.||1821-1871||pianist|
|Herve, St.||6th century||vocalist, minstrel|
|Hildegard of Bingen, St.||1098-1179||composer|
|Hugh of Lincoln, St.||1140-1200||vocalist|
|Jarogniew Wojciechowski, Bl.||1922-1942||pianist|
|Jesus Mendez-Montoya, St.||1880-1928||musician, music teacher|
|John Damascene, St.||676-749||composer|
|John Koukouzelis, St.||1280-1360||musician|
|José Luciano Ezequiel Huerta Gutiérrez, Bl.||1876-1927||vocalist, organist|
|Jose Tapies y Sirvant, Bl.||1869-1936||organist|
|Joseph the Hymnographer, St.||810-886||composer|
|Leo II, St. Pope||7th century||vocalist, musician|
|Louis de Montfort, St.||1673-1716||composer (used popular bar tunes)|
|Maria Climent Mateu, Bl.||1887-1936||vocalist, musician|
|Maria Crucified Satellico, Bl.||1706-1745||musician, vocalist, organist|
|Maria Orsola Bussone, Ven.||1954-1970||guitarist, vocalist|
|Maria Romero Meneses, Bl.||1902-1977||pianist, violinist|
|Marie-Elisabeth Pelissier, Bl.||1741-1794||vocalist, musician|
|Mechtilde of Hackeborn, St.||1241-1298||vocalist|
|Newman, Bl. Cardinal||1801-1890||violinist, composer|
|Nicetas of Remesiana, St.||333-414||composer|
|Noel-Hilaire Le Conte, Bl.||1765-1794||music director|
|Notkar Balbulus, Bl.||840-912||musician|
|Odo of Cluny, St.||879-942||musician|
|Paschasius Radbertus, St.||785-865||composer|
|Peter Julian Eymard, St.||1811-1868||pianist, violinist|
|Philemon of Antinoe, St.||4th century||musician|
|Philip Evans, St.||1645-1679||harpist|
|Philip Neri, St.||1515-1595||developed musical style of oratorio|
|Rafal Chylinski, Bl.||1694-1741||harpist, lutist, mandolinist|
|Ranieri Scacceri, Bl.||1117-1161||minstrel|
|Raymond Lull, Bl.||1234-1315||troubadour|
|Robert Montserrat Beliart, Bl.||1911-1936||musician|
|Romanus the Melodist, St.||490-556||composer|
|Rosa Giovannetti, Servant of God||1896-1929||cellist|
|Solanus Casey, Bl.||1870-1957||violinist|
|Theodore Studite, St.||759-826||composer|
|Thomas Aquinas, St.||1225-1274||composer|
|Tutilo of Saint Gall, St.||850-915||composer, harpist|
|Venantius Fortunatus, St.||530-607||composer|
|Victor Chumillas-Fernandez, Bl.||1902-1936||organist, vocalist, choral director, composer|
The film, starring Denzel Washington, is set in a post-apocalyptic time in which there is no Church, and he is the only man who has access to Revelation in the form of a single Bible. All bibles, except the one owned by Eli, have been destroyed. We see no other aspect of Tradition surviving.
Eli reads Scripture daily and absorbs what he reads, so that he becomes a man of faith who attempts to lead a virtuous life and prays daily to his Creator. In time, his faith is passed on to others, not by the words in the book or by his preaching, but by the example of his life. For example, he makes a sacrifice of love, and it is through this action that the one whom he saved becomes a believer too.
It is a fascinating idea, stylishly told, but I would have loved to have seen the Church re-emerging as he reflects on his faith, and with it, a ritual of worship. This would have been natural to him.
The review I wrote is here.
As interesting as the film itself is the story of its making. The screenplay is by an Englishman called Gary Whitta who says he is an atheist. Nevertheless this a film about faith, and Whitta clearly knows his Bible. It was a big budget movie, just under $90 million. During the making of the film, the directors tried, from time to time, to play down the scriptural content, but Denzel Washington, whose father was a pastor and who is himself a Christian, insisted on keeping the Biblical content in the dialogue.
When Warner Brothers saw the completed movie, they didn’t know what to do with it, and, feeling uncomfortable with the Scriptural element, didn’t put a lot of effort into publicity when it was released. It was presented as a futuristic and post-apocalyptic movie, marketed to the same people as might watch the Mad Max series. It didn’t succeed with this market, but began to gain ground in the “red states” in the US. Believing Christians, and especially Protestants, started to watch it, and eventually it made a clear profit with box-office takings of about $157 million.
The story of the making of the film says to me that well-made films with intelligently incorporated themes of faith will succeed at the box office. What dismays me, however, is that it didn’t have a stronger Catholic theme, as distinct from a broadly Christian theme. There is no direct reference to the Church, but one might, perhaps equate the villainous intentions of Carnegie, Gary Oldman’s character, with an erroneous Protestant view of the Roman church as an organ of state control, and one that moved away from the Church that Christ established.
This is where the ideas of St Thomas might come into the picture. St Thomas describes what he calls the “virtue of religion,” mankind’s natural propensity, when he reflects upon his faith, to worship God.
The assumption here is that the event which these people survived, though widespread and destructive to civilization, and in this sense “apocalyptic”, was not the final end. It was not the Apocalypse of the described in the last book of the Bible. If it had been, then of course redemption would have taken place in the Second Coming of Christ, and this would be a film about the bodily resurrection of all Christians.
|Tradition is for the young!|
Listen to the talk at Silverstream Priory’s Soundcloud channel: https://soundcloud.com/cenacleosb/christian-psalter
h/t to Mr Brian McCord!
The first page of a Psalterium Triplex, with the three versions of the Latin Psalms in parallel columns, plus glosses and commentaries. Paris BNF Ms. Latin 8846, ca. 1190.
|The Stefaneschi Triptych, painted by Giotto and assistants for the high altar of St Peter’s Basilica, ca. 1330. On the left, the Crucifixion of St Peter; in the middle, Card. Giacomo Stefaneschi kneels before Christ in majesty; on the right, the beheading of St Paul. In the upper part of the right panel, Angels bring St Paul’s blindfold to one of the women of the Roman church after his death, as Paul promised her would happen. (Public domain image from Wikipedia; click to enlarge.)|
Vere quia dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper hic et ubique in honore Apostolorum Petri et Pauli gratias agere. Quos ita electio tua consecrare dignata est, ut beati Petri secularem piscandi artem in divinum dogma converteret; quatenus humanum genus de profundo inferni praeceptorum tuorum retibus liberaret. Nam Coapostoli ejus Pauli mentem cum nomine mutasti, et quem prius persecutorem metuebat Ecclesia, nunc caelestium mandatorum laetatur se habere doctorem. Paulus caecatus est, ut videret; Petrus negavit, ut crederet. Huic claves caelestis imperii, illi ad evocandas gentes divinae legis scientiam contulisti. Nam ille introducit, hic aperit. Ambo igitur virtutis aeternae praemia sunt adepti. Hunc dextera tua gradientem in elemento liquido, dum mergeretur, erexit; illum autem tertio naufragantem, profunda pelagi fecit vitare discrimina. Hic portas inferni, ille mortis vicit aculeum: et Paulus capite plectitur, quia gentium caput fidei probatur: Petrus autem praemissis vestigiis caput omnium secutus est Christum. Quem una tecum, omnipotens Pater, et cum Spiritu Sancto laudant Angeli, venerantur Archangeli; Throni, Dominationes, Virtutes, Principatus et Potestates adorant. Quem Cherubim et Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostra voces, ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus…
Our thanks to Mr Teddy Thongratnachat, one of our regular photopost contributors, for sending these photographs and the description of the ceremonies recently held at the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in New York City, as a part of a prayer vigil for Nascent Life.
This last is the ancient Christian cemetery now called the Catacomb of St Sebastian; the word “catacomb” was in fact originally the name of the site of this cemetery specifically, and only later came to be used as a generic term for ancient subterranean Christian burial grounds. The basilica over the cemetery, now also entitled to St Sebastian, was originally known as the “Basilica Apostolorum”, in memory of a tradition that the bones of Peter and Paul were kept there for a time, probably to save them from destruction in the era of persecutions. This is referred to in various ancient sources, including the Depositio Martyrum, and confirmed by modern archeological research. The celebration of the feast “on three streets” would refer then to a procession to visit the site of St Peter’s burial at the Vatican, that of St Paul on the via Ostiensis, and the cemetery where their remains were once kept.
It should not be surprising, then, that at a certain point the double feast was divided, and kept in a more manageable way as two separate feasts. In the Gelasian Sacramentary, we find three Masses of Ss Peter and Paul assigned to June 29th; the oldest copy of the Gelasianum dates to roughly 750, but much of the material is considerably older, some of it reaching back even to the days of St Leo the Great 300 years earlier. In some manuscripts, however, one of the three, “the proper Mass of St Paul”, has already been assigned to June 30th. In the Gregorian Sacramentary, written roughly a century later, we find the feast of St Peter on June 29th, and that of St Paul on the 30th; each Mass contains references to the other Apostle, but they are nevertheless clearly distinct. Thus, by the time of Charlemagne, the “bifestum” of Prudentius had already been separated into a two day feast.
At the traditional Mass of June 29th, the majority of the texts refer either to St Peter alone (Introit, Epistle, Alleluia, Gospel, Communion) or to Apostles generically, as in the Gradual “Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth.” The sole reference to St Paul is in the Collect, “O God, who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of Thy Apostles Peter and Paul, grant Thy Church to follow in all things the teaching of those through whom she first received the faith.” The Office is likewise dedicated almost entirely to St Peter, the notable exceptions being the hymns of Vespers and Lauds, and the antiphon of the Magnificat at Second Vespers. This latter is in both the structure of its text and in its Gregorian melody very similar to the Magnificat antiphon at Second Vespers of Pentecost, to indicate that the mission of the Holy Spirit is fulfilled in the lives and deaths of the Apostles, and thereafter in their successors.
The following day, therefore, the whole of the liturgy is dedicated to St Paul, and is not called a day within the octave of the Apostles, but rather “the Commemoration of St Paul.” The variable texts of the Mass all refer to him, but a commemoration of St Peter is added to the feast, in accordance with the tradition that the two are never entirely separated in the veneration paid them by the Church. (The same is done on the feast of St Paul’s Conversion, and commemorations of him are added to the feasts of St Peter’s Chairs and Chains.) The Office is likewise dedicated entirely to him; both the Mass and Office, however, make use of St Paul’s own testimony in Galatians 2 to the mission of the two Apostles: “For he who worked in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision, worked in me also among the gentiles; and they knew the grace of God that was given to me.” In the 1130s, a canon of St Peter’s Basilica named Benedict writes that it was still the custom in his time for the Pope to keep the feast of St Peter at the Vatican, but then celebrate Vespers at the tomb of St Paul in the great Basilica on the Ostian Way, “with all the choirs” of the city.
The Apostles Paul and Barnabas at Lystra (Acts 14, 5-18), by Jacob Jordaens, 1645; Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna.
But all human efforts … did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration (which destroyed much of Rome in July of 64 A.D.) was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.
Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed. (Book XV, chapter 44)
|The Torches of Nero, by Henryk Siemiradzki, 1876|
The “circus” to which Tacitus refers as the site of the martyrdom was a chariot racing facility that sat immediately to the south of the via Cornelia, next to where St Peter’s Basilica is today. It was allowed to fall to ruins after the death of Nero, and apparently razed to the ground by Constantine to make space for the original basilica. Left in place, however, was the Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula, and set up on the “spine” of the circus, as the Romans called it, the wall down the middle around which the chariots raced. The turning posts on the end are called “metae” in Latin, and the apocryphal Acts of Peter, a work of the mid-2nd century, say that Peter was crucified “inter metas”; the obelisk, then, would have been among the last things St Peter saw in this world. After sitting next to the old Basilica for over 12 centuries, it was moved in 1586 to the area in front of the new church, then still under construction, later to be surrounded by Bernini’s Piazza. Its former location is marked by a plaque in the ground to the side of the modern basilica; the surrounding area was renamed by Benedict XV “Piazza of the First Martyrs of Rome.”
The Basilica of St Peter in 1450, according to the reconstruction of H.W. Brewer, 1891. The obelisk is seen immediately in front of the first rotunda on the left side of the basilica.
We wish every blessing upon Bishop Venedykt in his new ministry, and upon the people he will serve in the Eparchy of Chicago - Многая Літа!!
The problem with this approach, of course, is that is falsifies the reality of a liturgical rite as a definite embodiment of apostolic tradition existing over the course of history. Each rite has its own deep characteristics that make it irreducibly itself. No one would dream of defining the Byzantine rite as “essentially” a valid consecration, with which a lot of florid prayers and hymns are accidentally associated. Nor should anyone with a modicum of sense try to define the Roman rite of Mass apart from the Roman Canon, which is its defining feature, or attempt to import an epiclesis into the Roman Canon, when, properly speaking, it has none and needs none. These rites are what they are—and thanks be to God for that.
Reducing the Mass to a valid consecration is like reducing the nuptial act to a successful conception of a child. I sincerely hope no one is foolish enough to define the nuptial act as the conception of a child. The nuptial act is ordered to the conception of a child, to be sure, but it has its own reality, its own meaning, that comprises more than conception; it is an expression of spousal love, which is designed to culminate in new life. By God’s institution, life is supposed to proceed from love; both elements are involved in defining the act. This is why the Church opposes in vitro fertilization, which otherwise she could not do if the sole meaning or value of the union of man and woman were a viable zygote.
In like manner, the Mass is a privileged microcosm of unitive prayer with a Eucharistic finality. The presence of the sacrificial victim who is to be our divine food is conceived, as it were, by the liturgy in its totality; even if the consecration takes place at a certain moment, it has been prepared for and will be followed by a manifestation of love that suits us to receive the Lord and rejoice in His presence. When this does not happen, we are dealing with the specter of in vitro transubstantiation.
Unfortunately, since nearly everyone who came to Vatican II or who worked for the Consilium had been brought up on this superficial neoscholastic reductionism, they felt free to rip apart and reconfigure the Roman Rite as long as they kept the words of consecration (more or less) intact. In this regard they were lab technicians committed all along to the result of a valid Mass but not feeling themselves ethically bound to any particular content or process.
Indeed, the arrogance of the reformers could not stop at the threshold of the holy of holies, but went so far as to tamper with the very formula of the consecration of the wine by removing the phrase mysterium fidei from within it — a phrase already so well known and so venerable in the Middle Ages that St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century could plausibly attribute it to the Apostles.
Obviously, there are elements more and less central to a given rite. But it cannot escape our attention that elements truly fundamental and constitutive of the Roman Rite have been abandoned by nearly everyone—including by the supposed guardians of the rite.
What belongs to this inner core of the Roman Rite?
The traditional movement in Catholicism simultaneously pursues two great goods: the recovery of a sound Eucharistic theology and the reestablishment of the actual Roman Rite of the Mass. Good theology and authentic liturgy work together to unveil to the eyes of faith the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the entire liturgy and, above all, in the miracle of the host and chalice, in such a way that Catholics will be able to experience once more the terrible beauty and challenging joy of Eucharistic communion, and will strive to order our lives and our societies according to Its demands.
 As a Thomist, I certainly accept that there is a moment of consecration, as I have defended here and elsewhere. But if one looks at Summa theologiae III, q. 83, one will see that St. Thomas is far from being a liturgical reductionist. He sees the complexity of the Roman Rite, the meaning and value of each of its parts, and the respect with which it ought to be treated by those who worship in it. Scholastic precision does not have to devolve into neoscholastic reductionism.
 Even the Low Mass bears witness to this normativity of the chants of High Mass by requiring the recitation of the texts of the chants, although this is somewhat like a two-dimensional drawing versus a three-dimensional sculpture.
 See my article on 1 Cor 11:27-29. Again, “worthy reception” here does not mean that we are already perfect, but, as John Paul II explained in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, that we have renounced mortal sin and have an intention of living according to all the commandments of God.
I chose the theme of “The Word Made Flesh,” showing Jesus as the embodiment of God’s Holy Word. Until His revelation in Christ, God’s Word was confined to Sacred Scripture, symbolized by the scroll behind him with writing in Aramaic. Just as He brought Light into the world, He “illuminated” the sacred texts, as shown in the gold leaf detail of the text immediately around his head, creating a halo effect.
I used the Shroud of Turin as my “model” for the image of Jesus. Much of my research also focused on Cardinal Schönborn’s book God’s Human Face. In that book, he describes the iconographic form and the conviction from the 4th century on that Christ’s outward looks constituted “long parted hair; a full beard; delicate elongated facial features, large, serious eyes, gazing at the onlooker.”
I chose to depict him in the traditional blessing pose, with his hands bearing the marks of the passion. I used gold leaf for the sacred wounds, symbolizing the glory manifest through his perfect obedience to the Father. The light emanating from his heart illuminates the cosmos, symbolized by the rays of light in a cross against the dark blue background. The chain design on the neckline of his robe is a reference to Gregory of Nazianzus’ image of the unity of the Trinity as similar to the links of a chain; as soon as one link is moved, all the links move.
The ICK’s church in Wausau, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s Oratory, will have a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the 10th anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, starting at 6 pm, followed by a Theology-on-Tap presentation on the Extraordinary Form, and a social for young adults. The church is located at 325 Grand Avenue. (click poster to enlarge.)