Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

older | 1 | .... | 211 | 212 | (Page 213) | 214 | 215 | .... | 262 | newer

    0 0

    The following lecture by Fr Stefano Manelli, the founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, was originally delivered at the 2nd annual conference of Giovani e Tradizione and Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum, which took place in Rome on October 16-18, 2009. It was published in Italian in the acts of the conference by Fede e Cultura, in the volume “Il motu proprio Summorum Pontificum di SS Benedetto XVI: un grande dono per tutta la Chiesa.” (The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: a great gift for the whole Church.) It is reproduced here in an English translation by Mr Zachary Thomas, with permission of the Italian publisher.

    Through the knowledge imparted in Divine Revelation, we have access to the pure waters of that unique fountain of Sacred Scripture, welling up like a great river of perennial tradition and running along through the centuries and millennia of the life of the Church: a perennial tradition expressed in a wonderful manner especially by the Fathers of the Church.

    Among these Church Fathers, Saint Ambrose writes in his Hexameron: “The Church, like the moon, goes through frequent waning and waxing, but it is precisely by virtue of its waning that it grows and becomes deserving of greater fullness…The Church shines not with a light of its own but with the light of Christ, and draws its splendor from the Sun of justice” (IV, 32).

    To speak about the image and the reality of the moon as applied to the Church is really something unknown to modern Christianity, and it might even sound like irreverence to look upon Her as the supreme light that illumines the world. But the saintly Bishop of Milan, with his insightful and surprising speech helps us to understand the ecclesial mystery more profoundly.

    We can draw two considerations from his thinking. The Church does not shine with its own light, but, like the moon, reflects the splendors of the crucified and resurrected Lord. A Church that no longer reflects the light of its Founder would no longer be His Church, but another’s. The “lunacity” of the Church, an expression used by Card. Biffi, should not astonish us.

    With an insight that is both direct and tender, Anselm writes that the Church is “ex maculatis immaculata;” She is without stain, though composed of sinful men. This Church, which is never without sinners, is always without sin in herself. In her human structure, therefore, she cannot be otherwise than “moonlike,” since she reflects the fragility and debility of fallen humanity on the road to the kingdom of Heaven.

    “The ‘lunacity’ of the Church,” Cardinal Giacomo Biffi notes, “manifests itself above all in the continuous oscillations of its luminosity before us. In the same way as the moon, she too is always “robed in the sun,” though she does not always appear the same way to our observation. There come times when her gleam is slender as a blade, barely sufficing to reveal its presence, and moments when every light appears to be swallowed by the night: this is a time of darkness, though not of darkness’s decisive victory.”

    Mindful of the words and thought of the saintly Archbishop of Milan, we turn our attention now to the ecclesial reality in which we live. First, it is not at all difficult to admit that in our time the splendor of the Bride of Christ is going through an eclipse of perhaps unique proportions in its bi-millenial history.

    This crisis, which entirely encompasses the whole life of the Bride of Christ, according to the Holy Father Benedict XVI, “depends in large part on the collapse of the liturgy” that came not in the Council, but in the post-conciliar period.

    Such words, taken up again in another of his writings, extend even beyond the limits of the Church to constitute a fundamental element of all life and of the human sphere: “What is right and what is moral do not remain the same,” the Pope also writes, “as long as they are not anchored in their liturgical center and do not draw their inspiration from it […]. Only if our relationship with God is just will all the other relations of man – those of men with themselves and of man with the rest of created reality—be able to function”.

    But where, in general, does the basis of this influence of the liturgical cult on human life reside? With worlds of heavenly light, Cardinal Ratzinger responds in what immediately follows the cited text: “Adoration, the correct modality of cult, of man’s relationship with God, is constitutive of correct human existence in the world: this is for the very reason that in the midst of daily life it makes us participants of the mode of existence of heaven, God’s world, thereby letting the light of the divine world penetrate into our own […]. [Cult] prefigures a more definitive life, and in so doing gives to the present life its proper measure. A life bereft of such anticipation, into which heaven is not at all sketched, would become leaden and empty”.

    For the Pope, therefore, the liturgy of the Church becomes the favored channel of divine governance upon the earth, and contains in itself a demiurgical power which fashions the events of the world according to its own model, making itself the “measure” of “the present life.”

    If the liturgy has a vital impact on all of ecclesial life, it is easy to imagine the primary influence it exercises on the religious life in particular. The post-conciliar liturgical confusion, in fact, has redounded upon the religious life with such devastating force that we ought not to be talking to you today about “the growth of the religious life,” which is the title of this piece, but rather of the “renewal,” or even more the “recuperation” or “rescue” of the religious life. Without dwelling for too long upon this truly disheartening situation, let us talk about statistics, for in the words of Aquinas, “contra factum non valet argumentum.”

    The Claretian religious Angel Pardilla, professor at the “Claretianum,” in a very careful study entitled “I religiosi ieri, oggi e domani (Editrice Rogate, Roma, 2007), has made the point in a nearly exhaustive way about the first forty years after the Council, from 1965-2005, regarding the total and percentage losses of the male Institutes of Pontifical Rite, dwelling in particular on its canons regular, monks, the so-called Mendicant Orders, regular clerics, the religious Congregations clerical and lay, and the Institutes of Apostolic life. Well, these six types of religious life have all, without exception, witnessed a dramatic decline in entries, and a more or less large number of desertions, with one or the other often exceeding 50%!

    Let’s take a few significant examples.

    The six largest orders of male religious in 2005 (and certainly still today) were the Jesuits, (19,850 members), the Salesians (16,645), the Friars Minor (15,794), the Cappuccians (11,229), the Benedictines (7,798) and the Dominicans (6,109). The same orders had very different numbers in 1965: (36,038); (22,042); (27,009); (15,838); (12,070); (10,091). If the total number of religious may be reckoned at 329,799 in the year 1965, forty years after the close of the council there remain 214,903. There are around 115,000 fewer religious, more than one third of all the religious, forty years after the council: To regain these 115,000 religious lost throughout only forty years may take several centuries.

    Finally, it should be noted that the sad road of this deadly “backwards march” continues disastrously unabated today. For example, the Friars Minor are losing around 300 to 400 brothers every year, the Jesuits around 400 to 500. These are signals of the reversal caused by this lethal backwards march.

    Well then, in the face of this shocking hecatomb of the religious life which has taken place and is still progressing, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum seems to be really an anchor of salvation for recovering the precious liturgical and spiritual patrimony which the traditions of the religious Orders have jealously guarded through centuries and centuries. The vitality and the fecundity of the Vetus Ordo is being manifested in the growth of vocations to the Orders, in the gift of a doctrine of the Saints bequeathed to the Church, in the flowering of great sacred art (painting, sculpture, architecture) and music, great poetry and literature: all for the glory of God and for the edification of the Body of Christ.

    It is undeniable, in fact, that there exists the closest of relationships between the religious life and the liturgy, a relationship of primary necessity and fundamental strength, on which the religious life of every institute must depend. Therefore, religious life must be radically dependent on the liturgy both in its progress and its decline.

    If, in these fifty post-conciliar years, the religious life continues to experience a disastrous decline, not to say a self-destruction, no one can deny the concrete responsibility of a liturgy lacking the strength to do what ought to be its connatural office of nourishing and sustaining the religious life. Let us reflect briefly.

    1. Religious Life and the Liturgy

    The religious life is the consecration to God of the whole person, and manifests in the Church that wonderful institution intended by God, which is the eschatological sign of the life to come. Every religious carries to completion his total self-donation, as a sacrifice offered to God, and through this his whole existence, as sacrificial offering, becomes an uninterrupted act of worship of God in charity. This uninterrupted worship of God finds just here its most ample and complete manifestation in the sacred liturgy, which regulates and animates every day of the religious community through the Holy Mass and the celebration of the Divine Office, which marks the very hours of the day like a poem.

    In every religious institute, in fact, prayer at the key times of the day should always occupy the first place, and should be exemplary and fervent in each of its expressions. To love prayer, to live by prayer, to aspire to continual prayer, as the Lord commands (“Prayer is always necessary”; Luke 18, 1), as St. Benedict taught (“Ora et labora,”) and as the Seraphic Father St. Francis recommends, (“Pray always, with a pure heart”; Rule, chap. X), is a fundamental duty, and a vital one.

    It is important, however, to maintain that the most perfect prayer of the Church, and the prayer most appropriate to religious, is the sacred liturgy itself.

    It would be enough to recall here, among many holy authors, the Ven. Columba Marmion, the famous Abbot of Maredsous in Belgium, and the author of precious spiritual and liturgical works. In his book dedicated to the religious life, Christ the Ideal of the Monk, he stresses precisely the fundamental importance of the life of prayer in the monastic life, and in particular of liturgical prayer, pointing out the inescapable importance not only of the Holy Mass, but also of the Divine Office. He affirms, in fact, that “the recitation of the Divine Office, called by St. Benedict the “Opus Dei,” is the prayer of the Church par excellence, and has an inalienable and incommunicable privilege, because it is the work of God, accomplished with Jesus Christ, in His name, by the Church which is His Spouse. In this praise, […] the Church does not content herself with the common worship of all her sons, but—just as she chooses a few out of her own sons for a more particular preference, in order to associate them more closely to herself in the eternal Priesthood of her Bridegroom—so she entrusts an elect portion of them with a praise more important and more valuable: they are the priests and the religious who carrying out functions in choir. The Church makes them ambassadors at the divine throne; she selects them as deputies to the Father in her name and the name of her Bridegroom.”

    Liturgical prayer, therefore, is the prayer most appropriate to religious, so much that it can be said that every hour of the monastic day, or of the religious fraternity, is marked by it. In Religious Institutes, in fact, that which is usually understood as “common life” has as its first and special meaning just that “prayer in common,” or liturgical prayer, which becomes the soul of the religious community. Gathered in choir, united in one voice, the religious render to God that cult which is due Him on behalf of all humanity.

    0 0

    On Saturday, July 22, the 6th Annual Traditional Mass Pilgrimage was held at the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in New York City. Here are some photos by one of our regular photopost contributors, Diana Yuan.

    The penitential procession of pilgrims on knees or discalced.

    Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form

    Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Procession, and Benediction

    Fr Matthew McNeely was the celebrant, and Fr Karl Marsolle served as deacon; they are both members of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, serving at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock, New Jersey. Before the Solemn High Mass, there was Confession and a talk on the Blessed Virgin Mary by Fr. Christopher Salvatori, SAC. After Benediction, there was veneration of the relics of St. Vincent Pallotti and St. Helen of Laurino, as well investiture in the Brown Scapular by the Pallottine Fathers of Mt. Carmel.

    0 0

    A new director has been appointed for the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, which is based at the seminary of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in Menlo Park and was founded under the patronage of Archibishop Cordileone.

    This is part of a move to give the institute fresh impetus; tge Catholic San Francisco describes the intention to “revamp the organization to broaden its focus beyond forming ministers of sacred music and liturgy and to ‘reclaim the Catholic imagination,’ especially through literature.”

    Maggie Gallagher, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based American Principles Project, graduated from Yale University in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies; she has been published in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and written several books. She is the founder and former president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, a nonprofit organization focused on research and public education on marriage and family law.

    The institute will also promote the work of Benedictine Father Samuel Weber, someone well known to NLM readers, who teaches at the seminary and is known for his Gregorian chant compositions.

    This is a positive development which suggests to me that there is an intention to evangelize the culture and have a wider impact beyond the archdiocese itself.

    Read the full article here

    0 0

    Yesterday, I visited the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier which participated in several of the Pacific campaigns of World War II, and was recommissioned after the war as an attack carrier and anti-submarine carrier, until she was decommissioned in 1974. The ship is now a museum permanently docked off Manhattan in the Hudson river, and boasts among its many interesting exhibits the Space Shuttle Enterprise, which is in a large hangar purpose-built on the flight deck. Here is a photo of a daily schedule posted on the bridge; unfortunately, the date is not given. (Click to enlarge.)

    Three Catholic Masses are celebrated, one on the largest part of the ship, the hangar deck, at 7 am, another at 9 am, and another at 4:45 pm. There is also Rosary and Benediction at 7:30 pm. A general Protestant morning prayer service is held at 8 am, and another at 10 am.

    Update: Thanks to Fr David Paternostro SJ for noting in the combox that the serviceman for whom the Mass at 9 is being celebrated, one Lt Vaughn, was killed in January 1944, and the XO who signed this schedule held that position in the same period. The schedule would therefore be from that year, right in the middle of the war itself. This would indicate that some kind of indult for afternoon Masses was granted to the military in wartime, long before general permission was granted.
    The museum also displays this certificate of membership in the Order of Magellan granted to Mons. Paul Bradley, the ship’s chaplain, for having circumnavigated the globe. During WW2, Mons. Bradley was the chaplain of the Marine regiment that raised the American flag on Iwo Jima.
    Some interesting statistical information on the ship, whose crew at full compliment numbered 3,348. It was essentially a small floating city, and what is a city without a church?

    0 0

    On Friday, August 4, the feast of St Dominic, the Friars of St Patrick Church will offer a Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite, starting at 7 pm. The Dominican chant propers will be sung by the choir of St Patrick’s under the direction of Kathleen Tully. The church is located at 280 North Grant Avenue in downtown Columbus; parking is available behind the building. After Mass there will be a reception with light refreshments in Patrick Hall.

    0 0

    Note: This is the first part of a three-part series. Part Two will examine the preparatory period (1961-1962), and Part Three will look at the first and second sessions of the Council itself (1962-1963).

    Over the last couple of weeks, there has been much discussion about Cardinal Sarah’s recent reflection in La Nef on the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, particularly the following excerpt:
    On peut souhaiter, là où c’est possible, si des communautés en font la demande, une harmonisation des calendriers liturgiques. On doit étudier les voies vers une convergence des lectionnaires.
    [It may be hoped, where this is possible, and if communities request it, to harmonise the liturgical calendars. The paths towards a convergence of the lectionaries must be studied.]
    Here at NLM, Gregory DiPippo penned an excellent article in response to and in dialogue with other people’s thought and considerations, notably Fr Raymond de Souza in the Catholic Herald (whose follow-up article can be found here). Gregory’s observation—and, to be fair, he is by no means the only one to observe this!—that the integration of one lectionary into the other form is simply impossible without irreparable damage is, in my opinion, quite correct. So, if some sort of “convergence” of the two lectionaries is to happen, it cannot be on done on this basis. [1] A comprehensive examination of their strengths and shortcomings is required—and, for the Ordinary Form lectionary in particular, this will involve a detailed critique of the rationale and work of Group 11 of the Consilium.

    However, another important part of this study is the following question: what sort of reform did the Council Fathers and the periti envisage? Looking at the liturgy constitution in itself, it would seem difficult to answer this question. On the one hand, “there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing” (SC 23); on the other hand, the stated desire for some sort of multi-year cycle of readings in SC 51 is an innovation without precedent in the liturgical tradition.

    So, in this short series, I hope to provide some of the background material necessary for a deeper examination of this question—not just from the Second Vatican Council itself, but also from the preparatory work done before the Council.

    Pope John XXIII, with the Antepreparatory Commission, 30 June 1960 (from ADA I) 
    Shortly after the Antepreparatory Commission for the Second Vatican Council was established in May 1959, its President, Domenico Cardinal Tardini, sent a letter to all those entitled to attend the upcoming Council, asking them to submit their views on it and what, in their opinion, ought to be discussed at it. The original deadline for these submissions was September of that same year, but it ended up being extended to the end of April, 1960. These responses, known as vota, were published sub secreto as part of the Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando, some of which I have already made freely available at NLM. There were over 2,100 vota in total, published in eight large volumes: some vota were very terse and said very little, while others were far more in-depth and wide-ranging.

    The Antepreparatory Commission then organised this mass of information into 9,348 brief propositions, organised by subject and contained in two more manageable volumes, called the Analyticus conspectus (also freely available here). Attached to each proposition are the names of each diocese or religious order whose Bishop/Prelate/etc. mentioned something akin to the proposition in their vota, though these footnote lists are often not exhaustive. Sometimes the propositions are direct quotes of vota, and other times they are approximations; sometimes only one diocese/religious order is cited in the footnotes, and at other times the list is very long. [2]

    With regards to the lectionary, the Analyticus conspectus (AC) has 43 propositions. The following PDF document collects these propositions together with the relevant portions of each vota:

    Extracts from the Analyticus conspectus and Acta et Documenta regarding the Lectionary (PDF)

    There are a number of interesting features about these vota, but I will make only three brief observations here.

    First, it is worth noting that only around 70 vota in total are cited by the AC for these 43 propositions. If we count the other vota that mention the lectionary which are not cited in the AC, the total comes to around 125, or just under 5% of those entitled to attend the Council. It does not appear that the question of a possible reform of the lectionary was prominent in the minds of many of the Fathers.

    Second, with regard to the question of a multi-year cycle, propositions 13-22 reference the vota that were asking for a three or four year cycle of readings, along with those that are less specific (plurium annorumcerto annorum cyclo, etc.). Over these 10 propositions, 20 vota are cited (19 individual, 1 group); if we are to include the vota not cited in this section of the AC, the total rises to 32 (33 if the submission from the Pontifical Salesian University is counted), and in these vota the possibility of a two-year cycle and five-year cycle are also mentioned. So, of the already rather small subset (5%) of the vota that mention lectionary reform, only a quarter of these (so 1.25% of the whole) suggest that a multi-year cycle of readings would be a good idea, and by no means is a three-year cycle unanimously considered the best way to implement this.

    Finally, there is a heavy emphasis in the vota as a whole on the didactic element of the Mass of the Catechumens; any reform of the lectionary needs to make it easier to teach the faithful about Catholic doctrine and increase their knowledge of the Bible. The latreutic dimension of this part of the Mass is barely mentioned in the vota. [3] We will return to this observation as this series goes on; it will suffice for now to say that this ‘turn to the didactic’ is of a piece with the post-World War II liturgical movement’s suggestions for lectionary reform at the various liturgical congresses and conferences of the 1950s (particularly Maria Laach in 1951 and Lugano in 1953).

    In conclusion, the evidence of the antepreparatory period would seem to suggest that there was no great desire on the part of the Fathers before the Council for a radical reform of the lectionary. Other issues, such as a limited use of vernacular languages, were far more pressing for them. The next part of this short series will look at the next stage in the work of the Council, the preparatory period. 


    [1] Furthermore, in this author's opinion, it is an open question as to whether or not the specific, practical reforms mentioned in Sacrosanctum Concilium, such as the readings being intra praestitutum annorum spatium in SC 51 or the abolition of Prime in SC 89, should still be part of any potential future liturgical reform.

    [2] For instance, the proposition “Error communismi damnetur” has nearly 220 vota referenced (see Analyticus conspectus I, 199-200).

    [3] Peter Kwasniewski has critiqued the obscuring of the latreutic dimension of the Mass lections numerous times here at NLM and elsewhere: for example, “A Tale of Two Lectionaries: Qualitative versus Quantitative Measures” (NLM, 16 Jan 2017); chs. 2 and 8 of Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico Press, 2015); and, most recently, ch. 8 of Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages (Angelico Press, 2017).

    0 0

    This is the second part of a lecture by Fr Stefano Manelli, the founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, originally delivered at the 2nd annual conference of Giovani e Tradizione and Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum, which took place in Rome on October 16-18, 2009. It was published in Italian in the acts of the conference by Fede e Cultura, in the volume “Il motu proprio Summorum Pontificum di SS Benedetto XVI: un grande dono per tutta la Chiesa.” (The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: a great gift for the whole Church.) It is reproduced here in an English translation by Mr Zachary Thomas, with permission of the Italian publisher. To read the first part, click here.

    2. Religious Life and the Holy Mass
    Certainly the even more profound spiritual motive that binds the religious life to the liturgy is, in particular, the liturgical prayer par excellence: the Holy Mass. The religious state, indeed, following the thought of the spiritual authors of primary importance such as P. Ludovic Colin and Ven. Columba Marmion, has a very particular connection to the Holy Sacrifice of the altar.

    “What is the religious?” Fr Ludovic Colin asks. He responds: “A host. And religious life? A mystical Mass.”

    For every religious, in fact, the three solemn vows signify the ascent of Calvary, and being crucified with Jesus! The religious must go up and surrender himself as one with his crucified Lord, and every time that the sacrifice of the cross is so renewed on the altar, then also he will renew his sacrifice and place himself again on the altar with the Divine Victim.

    A man accomplishes a sacrifice, a true holocaust, insofar as he is consecrated and devoted totally to God, because in so doing he dies to the world to live in God. This sacrifice, after the Mass and martyrdom, is the most perfect, the most acceptable to God and the most fecund in time and for all eternity. And indeed, in the religious state we discover all the elements constitutive of the sacrifice of the altar, namely: oblation (in the offertory), immolation (at the consecration), consumption of the victim (at communion).

    Not only does the religious who takes a vow of poverty, of chastity, and of obedience offer himself to God, but the very formula of offering is also an act of consecration, by which comes about, so to speak, the transformation of the Christian into a religious, a spiritual victim and a holy offering.

    At his profession, the religious truly gives and consecrates himself to divine service; God, by His own will, ratifies and confirms this consecration for all eternity. As has been justly observed, religious profession is at once a work of God and a work of man. We may say that God holds in his hands the soul that offers itself to Him, and blesses it: “Accepit in manus suas et benedixit.” This blessing is not merely a word without meaning, but an act, a work of sanctification and of consecration.

    And the consecration entails the immolation and the total consumption of the victim. This aspect is more grave and splendid, the fulcrum of the religious state. In fact, the religious is, through his vocation, a being-sacrificed, a living host which is consumed totally in the holocaust of love for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

    “It is not the case of a bloody immolation: here the blood of the soul takes the place of that of the veins; a mystical death suffices for a spiritual sacrifice. Here, for example, St. Francis de Sales writes to a spiritual daughter: ‘Look, my dear daughter, upon a spirit consecrated on the altar to be sacrificed, immolated, and consumed in a holocaust in the sight of the living God.’ ”

    For the celebration of the Year of the Priest, our Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, wanting side by side with the holy Curé of Ars, who was a model for secular priests, to place also a model of a holy priest for the religious, has selected St. Pio of Pietrelcina, a saint of our times, a Franciscan Cappuccian who was marked with the bloody stigmata for fifty long years of his life, and happily declared by Pope Paul VI “a representative of the stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He was an extraordinary priest who, especially in the celebration of the Holy Mass, appeared like St. Francis of Assisi to be a true “image of Jesus crucified” (from the Preface of the Mass of St. Francis of Assisi).

    3. Religious Life and the Divine Office
    Liturgical prayer surpasses in power and efficacy every other praise or prayer or good work. It is an incontestable truth, and the saints have understood it well. St. Magdalen de Pazzi, for example, valued the recitation of the canonical Hours above any private devotion. When one of her religious asked for a dispensation from some prayers, she responded: “No, my daughter; I would mislead you if I should permit it; for you could believe that this particular devotion of yours gives more honor to God and is more acceptable to the Divine Majesty; while it is actually a small thing compared to the Office which you recite with the other sisters.”

    This is the wisdom of the saints, and the faith speaks in the same way. The Divine Office is worth more than any other work, it is really the work of God par exellence. Others are “opera hominum” (the works of men), while the Divine Office is from God, as a homage of praise that comes down from God through the Incarnate Word, presented to the Church in the name of Christ.

    The Divine Office can become, and often does for a few, a true sacrifice; and thus it can be called in the fullest sense a “Sacrificium Laudis” (Ps. 49:23). This can happen in various ways: foremost because the recitation of the Office (especially the old Office) follows very precise norms and ceremonies to which one must faithfully adhere. This is what constitutes the penitential aspect of the praise of God. Moreover, it is necessary to impress upon the mind a loving attention to the divine Psalmody, and to that end, repeated efforts are necessary to subdue the appetites and our natural inconstancy. These are all sacrifices acceptable to God.
    Usually, there are joined to these sacrifices the sufferings found in community life. If it is edifying to behold religious united in choral prayer, one must also remember that it entails many sacrifices, inevitable and frequently, albeit not voluntarily, recurring: “Sumus homines fragiles... qui faciunt invicem angustias.” (We are fragile men ... who constrain each other. St Augustine, Sermon 69)

    Following the example of the Divine Teacher, who was praying even through the unspeakable torments of the crucifixion, the religious ought to know how to praise God not only when he is filled with consolation, but also, and especially, when he is suffering. The souls who love Him follow Jesus everywhere, following Him more willingly to Golgotha than to the mount of the Transfiguration.

    Who indeed remains with Jesus at the foot of the Cross? The Virgin Mother, who loved Him with a love that was totally disinterested. Magdalen, the sinner whom Jesus had pardoned much because she loved much. And St. John, who had his knowledge from the divine heart. All three remained there in their places, when the soul of the Supreme High Priest, Christ, offered for the salvation of the world his dolorous hymn; the other apostles, on the other hand, and even St. Peter who had made so many protestations of his love for Jesus, were far from Calvary, thinking instead of the mountain of Tabor, where everything would be alright: “It is good for us to be here; if Thou will, let us make here three tabernacles.” (Matt. 17,4)

    The Holy Mass and the Divine Office therefore constitute, in their substance, the soul of the religious life, the divine fountain from which each day the religious will drink, and by which he strengthens himself to grow in his life of union with the crucified Lord, ending in perfect unity with Him (cf. Rm 8:29). Thus, one can easily understand the importance that the Mass and the Divine Office have in the religious life, both in general and in the life of every religious in particular.

    4. What has happened since the ‘70s?
    Until the 1970s, the liturgical patrimony unique to each religious Order remained nearly unchanged, except for several marginal and opportune modifications regarding, for example, the liturgical calendar, that always enriched and streamlined the sacred rites under the vigilant supervision of the official Church. In these years the Church still enjoyed an extraordinary fecundity of religious vocations, a consequent growth of Missions ad gentes, and a solidity and maturity of Christian life among the people of God.

    What has happened, then, from the ‘70s onward? In effect what has happened after the celebration of the Second Vatican Council, which was a grandiose (????) unlike the Church had ever seen in her history, is that the liturgical reform that had been promised, instead of achieving the hoped-for and expected growth of the Christian life, managed to cause a turn-around that has impacted negatively on the whole Church and people of God [74]. Even more, it has impacted with especially negative force on the establishment of religious life (particularly in the West).


    In consequence, a liturgy that is well established, sturdy, and solid is demonstrated and guaranteed as such especially by the vitality and the fecundity of the monastic and religious life. And vice versa, a monastic and religious life that is strong and fruitfully growing demonstrates and guarantees in the most certain manner the authenticity of the liturgy of the Mystical Body of Christ; whereas a monastic and religious life that is in ruinous decline, as today, can be nothing other than a testimony to a liturgy with a deficit of substance and “vital force,” to use the very expression of Pope John Paul II.

    0 0

    This is our annual posting on one of the discrepancies between the traditional arrangement of the Roman Breviary and the new rubrics of 1960; the first such discrepancy appear at Vespers this evening. Previous versions of this post were done to explain the difference in dating the September Ember Days, but this year, they are the same in both systems.

    One of the changes made to the Breviary in the revision of 1960 regards the arrangement of the months from August to November.

    The first Sunday of each of these months is the day on which the Church begins to read a new set of scriptural books at Matins, with their accompanying responsories, and antiphons at the Magnificat at Vespers of Saturday; these readings are part of a system which goes back to the sixth century. In August, the books of Wisdom are read; in September, Job, Tobias, Judith and Esther; in October the books of the Macchabees; in November, Ezechiel, Daniel, and the twelve minor Prophets. (September is actually divided into two sets of readings, Job having a different set of responsories from the other three books.)

    The “first Sunday” of each of these months is traditionally that which occurs closest to the first calendar day of the month, even if that day occurs within the end of the previous month. This year, for example, the first Sunday “of August” is actually tomorrow, July 30th, the Sunday closest to the first day of August.

    In the 1960 revision, however, the first Sunday of the months from August to November is always that which occurs first within the calendar month. According to this system, the first Sunday of August is the 6th this year.

    This change also accounts for one of the peculiarities of the 1960 Breviary, the fact that November has four weeks, which are called the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth. According to the older calculation, November has five weeks when the fifth of the month is a Sunday, as it is this year. (This is also the arrangement that has the shortest possible Advent of 3 weeks and one day.) According to the newer calculation, November may have three or four weeks, but never five. In order to accommodate the new system, one of the weeks had to be removed; the second week of November was chosen, to maintain the tradition that at least a bit of each of the Prophets would continue to be read in the Breviary.

    The Sundays for the rest of the liturgical year, according to the traditional system:
    July 30th - the 1st Sunday of August (The readings from the Sapiential books begin.)
    August 6th - the 2nd Sunday of August (commemorated on the feast of the Transfiguration.)
    August 13th - the 3rd Sunday of August
    August 20th - the 4th Sunday of August
    August 27th - the 5th Sunday of August

    September 3 - the 1st Sunday of September
    September 10 - the 2nd Sunday of September
    September 17 - the 3rd Sunday of September (Ember week)
    September 24 - the 4th Sunday of September

    October 1 - the 1st Sunday of October
    October 8 - the 2nd Sunday of October
    October 15 - the 3rd Sunday of October
    October 22 - the 4rd Sunday of October

    October 29 - the 1st Sunday of November (commemorated on the feast of Christ the King)
    November 5 - the 2nd Sunday of November
    November 12 - the 3rd Sunday of November
    November 19 - the 4th Sunday of November
    November 26 - the 5th Sunday of November

    The Sundays for the rest of the liturgical year, according to the 1960 system:
    July 30th - the 8th Sunday after Pentecost (the second week of readings from 3 Kings.)

    August 6th - the 1st Sunday of August (The first week of readings from the Sapiential books; the entire Office of the Sunday is omitted this year on the feast of the Transfiguration)
    August 13th - the 2nd Sunday of August
    August 20th - the 3rd Sunday of August
    August 27th - the 4th Sunday of August

    September 3 - the 1st Sunday of September
    September 10 - the 2nd Sunday of September
    September 17 - the 3rd Sunday of September (Ember week)
    September 24 - the 5th Sunday of September

    October 1 - the 1st Sunday of October
    October 8 - the 2nd Sunday of October
    October 15 - the 3rd Sunday of October
    October 22 - the 4rd Sunday of October
    October 29 - the 5th Sunday of October (The entire Office of the Sunday is omitted this year on the feast of Christ the King)

    November 5 - the 1st Sunday of November
    November 12 - the 3rd Sunday of November
    November 19 - the 4th Sunday of November
    November 26 - the 5th Sunday of November

    0 0

    Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary
    On Thursday, August 4, the traditional Solemnity of Our Holy Father Saint Dominic, there will be a Solemn High Mass inthe Dominican Rite in Porltand OR.  The celebrant will beFr. Ambrose Sigman, O.P.,assisted by Frs. Vincent Kelber, O.P., and  Gabriel Mosher, O.P. as deacon and subdeacon, and it will take place at the Priory Parish of the Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

    The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesiaunder the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Edmund Rubbra's Missa in Honorem Sancti Dominici, sung by Cantores in Ecclesia
    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.  A reception will follow the Mass in Siena Hall.

    0 0

    In Innsbruck the Premonstratensians (or Norbertines) of Wilten have an unusual set-up: they live in their Stift or monastery and also take care of a large Marian shrine only a stone's throw away, the Basilika Wilten. Wilten enjoys the privilege of being the oldest parish in this part of the country, the "mother parish." The cherished image of Our Lady has attracted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. Today's Rococo church (1751-1755) is the most important accomplishment of the Tyrolean priest-architect Franz de Paula Penz. In 1957, Pope Pius XII elevated the church to the status of a minor basilica.

    (Peaking out on the right side is part of the structure of the Norbertine monastery itself.) This basilica is dedicated to "Our Lady Under the Four Pillars," for reasons that are clear when we look inside at the sanctuary:

    Inevitably, the elevated pulpit, which I love so much, and whose utter neglect is like a silent reproach to all of Europe:

    A beautiful piece of mosaic work on the outside of the church, in the graveyard that surrounds it:

    A view of the basilica from the side, then a view looking over to the Norbertine monastery across the street:

    Now we arrive at the monastery itself. A sign on the outside reads: "In the Middle Ages, in the area around the Roman settlement of Veldidena, a monastery was founded, so legend has it, by Haymon, a mythical giant. On the site of the original monastery of secular priests, the Order of Premonstratensians has been running the abbey since 1138. It enjoyed its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was extended in the Baroque style."

    Haymon, the mythical giant-founder

    The inside features a striking black-and-gold Baroque color scheme, which no shortage of side altars for abundant celebration of private Masses:

    Since the church was locked, I couldn't go up closer to the high altar, where there is a rather odd depiction of Christ as the Good Shepherd with a bunch of golden sheep, possibly with sheep on His right and goats on His left, to judge from the sad-looking animal on that side, and Christ's lowered arm:

    Here is the elevated pulpit of Stift Wilten:

    Lastly, two modern works of art. The one is the conversion of Paul, a rusted sculpture in the piazza right outside the church; the other, a crucifixion scene with Saints Stephen, Lawrence, Paul, and Peter, in a small chapel off of the atrium.


    0 0
  • 07/31/17--15:48: Precious Blood Chasuble
  • We are always on the lookout for talented new vestment makers who have a love for the sacred liturgy. The chasuble shown here was made by Adam Bławat of the Polish vestment company Benedicamus. A keen medievalist, he specialises in the re-creation of historical vestments using textiles based on historical designs. Thanks to a benefaction, I commissioned this red chasuble, and the design was suggested by Adam who worked closely in consultation with me.

    The inspiration for this chasuble was a German brass memorial from 1340, shown here. The original is clearly a conical vestment. However, out of consideration that the chasuble will be worn by different priests in our Dominican community, I decided that a conical vestment would be too awkward. Adam came up with a good solution. The cut of the chasuble is quite unique, like a full Gothic which mimics the folds and fullness of the conical form without encumbering the hands too much.

    The historical brocade that was chosen matches very closely the brass memorial. The textile, fashioned from woven silk, is a replica of the brocade of the chasuble of Pope Boniface VIII (d.1303). The double-headed eagle on the design of this textile indicates that it was probably a cloth of imperial Byzantine origin; the gryphon is a symbol of the two natures of Christ; the birds, which echo a design on my ordination chasuble, is a symbol of souls in heaven, or perched on the Tree of Life.

    The chasuble was originally intended to be used on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, but the delivery took longer than anticipated. Hence it was used for the first time in a Dominican rite Mass on the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (1 July).

    The orphrey of the chasuble is studded with coral flowers, and I discovered subsequently that the Native Americans regard coral as a symbol of blood. How very providential! The pearls, also on the orphrey, are a symbol of divine truth or wisdom and, indeed, of the Kingdom of heaven. The vestment set is complemented with an apparelled amice.

    Therefore this chasuble points to the Blood of Christ the God-Man, that was shed for our salvation – a divine truth that is like a priceless pearl for which we should give our all (cf. yesterday’s Gospel, from Matthew 13:45-46).

    0 0

    The Society for Catholic Liturgy, founded in 1995, an association of Catholic scholars, teachers, pastors and professionals - including architects and musicians, will hold their Annual Conference from September 28 - 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. The Conference events will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Pastoral Center.

    The topic for this years conference is "The Liturgy and Post Modernity." His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote concerning this event, "I wish to commend the Society for Catholic Liturgy for bringing its academic expertise and pastoral experience to bear on this important issue so that God's Holy People, whose hearts continue to thirst for the true, the good and the beautiful, may be able to drink deeply at the wellspring of Christian worship. Thank you for all the work you are engaged in. Be assured of my prayers for the success of your endeavors."

    A Plenary address will be given each day: on September 28 at 7:00 PM by Dom Alcuin Reid; on September 29 at 9:00 AM by Father Andrew Menke; and on September 30 at 9:00 AM by Father Cassian Folsom, OSB.

    Three main Conference Masses will be offered: on September 28 at 6:30 PM; a Solemn Extraordinary Form on September 29 at 4:30 PM: and on September 30 at 12:05 PM.

    Many other activities, breakout session and conferences will take place. For more information please go to

    0 0

    Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary
    On Thursday, August 4, the traditional Solemnity of Our Holy Father Saint Dominic, there will be a Solemn High Mass inthe Dominican Rite in Portland OR. The celebrant will beFr. Ambrose Sigman, O.P.,assisted by Frs. Gabriel Mosher O.P., and  Vincent Kelber, O.P., as deacon and subdeacon, and it will take place at the Priory Parish of the Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The preacher will be Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., S.T.M., professor of history at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley CA.

    The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesiaunder the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Edmund Rubbra's Missa in Honorem Sancti Dominici, sung by Cantores in Ecclesia, with proper chants from the Dominican Gradual. Cantores will also be singing at another Dominican Rite Solemn Mass for the Feast of the Transfiguration on Sunday, August 6, at 11:00 a,m.

    Holy Rosary is located at 375 NE Clackamas St, Portland, OR 97232, and there is ample parking.  A reception will follow the Mass in Siena Hall.

    0 0

    I have just received notice of the following classes that will take place in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. next month.

    The well-known sculptor Dony MacManus will lead an exploration into the purpose of sacred art and how great works of the past have fulfilled this. He will be able to illustrate his points with reference to some of the greatests works of sacred art ever created which are on display in this wonderful art gallery.

    0 0
  • 08/01/17--13:26: NLM’s 12th Anniversary
  • Today is the twelfth anniversary of the New Liturgical Movement, and as always, we cannot let the day pass without a word of thanks to our founder Shawn Tribe for his years of dedication to the site, to my predecessor as editor Jeffrey Tucker, and to our publisher, Dr William Mahrt, and to all of our regular writers. We also thank all of our guest contributors and those who send in photopost submissions, and of course, all of our readers for your support, encouragement and the inspiration you provide to continue our work.

    Shortly after I took over as managing editor, we received an email from a reader asking “What is the purpose of your website?” For myself, I would say that the purpose of NLM is summed up very neatly in the logo at the top of the page, in the circular band around the thurible: “Dirigatur oratio mea sicut incensum.” These words are said by the priest at the incensation of the altar during the Offertory; in such a context, “oratio mea – my prayer” means the prayer of the whole Church, in whose name the priest prays the whole of the Mass. The Douay Bible translates them as “Let my prayer be directed as incense,” but the Latin word “dirigatur” can also mean “be set in order.”

    The purpose of NLM, therefore, is to help set the prayer of the Church in order, for it is pointless to deny that in many respects it is not in order. Our very first post was a report on a liturgical conference held in England, at which Fr Mark Drew proposed (almost two years before Summorum Pontificum,) the lifting of restrictions on the celebration of the traditional liturgy, stating, “Don’t fear anarchy. … Anarchy is what we have already.”

    To this purpose, we examine every facet of the Church’s liturgical life, and everything related to it, however marginally, historical and contemporary, in the hope of contributing to the process of setting the prayer of the Church in order. We share the essential goal of the first Liturgical Movement: to restore the liturgy in its entirety to pride of place in the Church as the highest and most perfect expression of Her life of prayer.

    The words that follow, “sicut incensum – like incense” remind us that the prayer life of the Church is also the best example which She can offer to the world of Her service to God, “For we are the good odor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” The thurible itself is a reminder also of the duty of charity, the greatest of the virtues, for when the priest returns it to the deacon, he says before he is incensed, “May the Lord enkindle within us the fire of His love, and the flame of eternal charity.” Let it serve as a reminder to all, in the midst of all the controversies and difficulties that inevitably result from such an enterprise, that the goal of the Church’s prayer is union with God in eternal charity.

    0 0

    The Latin name of today’s feast in the Tridentine Missal and Breviary is “Sancti Petri ad Vincula”, which is translated literally as “the feast of St Peter at the chains”, not “the feast of St Peter’s chains” or “of St Peter in chains.” This title is found in the oldest liturgical books which attest to it, and even earlier, in the list of the station churches given by the lectionary of Wurzburg, from the mid-seventh century. (Stations are kept there on the Mondays of the first week of Lent and of the Pentecost octave.)
    The beginning of the calendar for August in the Echternach Sacramentary. (895 A.D.; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 9433) “On the Kalends of August, (the feast of) St Peter at the chains, and the birth of the seven Machabee brothers with their mother.”
    Like many specifically Roman feasts, it began as the dedication feast of a basilica, which in this case is located on the Esquiline hill, within sight of the Colosseum. When a city has more than one church dedicated to the same Saint, they are often distinguished from each other by nicknames; the appellation “at the chains” would therefore serve to distinguish it from the Vatican basilica. Its great antiquity is demonstrated by the fact that it was restored by Pope Sixtus III in the 430s; an inscription which records the restoration mentions that the building was already considered old, and that the Pope re-dedicated it to both Apostolic founders of the See of Rome.

    The breviary refers very obliquely to a tradition stated more explicitly in the Golden Legend and elsewhere, namely, that the Romans dedicated the month of August to honoring the Emperor Augustus’ memory, and that this second feast of St Peter was created to supplant this holiday. It is true that the Latin names for the seventh and eighth months of the year were originally “Quintilis” and “Sextilis”, and that the Emperor Augustus renamed the former for his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, and the latter for himself. However, it is not likely that the cult of “the divine Augustus” was so vibrant in the mid-5th century as to require serious opposition from the Church. There are 32 days between June 29th, St Peter’s principal feast day, and August 1st; this perhaps suggests the tradition that Peter was bishop of Antioch for seven years, and bishop of Rome for twenty-five, a total of 32 as the visible head of the Church, one less than the 33 years of Our Lord’s earthly life.

    The breviary lessons for the feast day also give the traditional story of the church’s famous relic. When the Empress Eudocia, the wife of Theodosius II, went to Jerusalem in the year 438, she received as a gift the chain by which St Peter was held in prison under King Herod, as narrated in the Epistle of the feast day, Acts 12, 1-11. She then sent it to her daughter Eudoxia in Rome, who in turn presented it to the Pope. When it was exposed for the veneration of the faithful together with the chain by which Peter had been held during his imprisonment in Rome under the Emperor Nero, the two chains were miraculously united, so as to appear to be a single chain.
    Photo by Agnese Bazzuchi, from our 2014 Lenten stations series.
    In the year 1706, the painter Giovanni Battista Parodi decorated the basilica’s ceiling with a fresco of a famous miracle attributed to the chains, which is also recounted in the breviary. A count of the Holy Roman Empire was possessed by an evil spirit which caused him to bite himself; when he accompanied the Emperor Otto II to Rome in 969, Pope John XIII placed the chain around his neck, at which the demon was expelled.
    Image from Wikipedia by Maros Mraz (click to enlarge.)
    Many other miracles have been attributed to the numerous fragments of the chain that were shaved off and given by the Popes as gifts, a practice to which Pope St Gregory refers several times in his letters. A medieval sermon on the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, incorrectly attributed to St Augustine and also read in the Roman Breviary, speaks of this when it says, “if the shadow of (Peter’s) body could then bring help (Acts 5, 15), how much more now the fullness of power? … Rightly is that iron of the chains of punishment considered to be more precious than gold throughout the churches of Christ.”

    A feast of St Peter’s Chains, (or “chain” in the singular) is also kept in the Byzantine Rite, on January 16. Its very first chant at Vespers refers to the miraculous healing of both body and soul. “Thou didst bind the deceit (of the devil) when thou wert bound in the Lord, and closed up in prison, o Apostle; therefore with love we honor thee, and with faith we embrace thy chain, drawing from it the strengthening of the body, and salvation of the soul. We praise thee, as our duty, who beheld God, and are like unto the Angels.”

    Two other chants of the same day refer to fragments (or perhaps even whole links) of the chains given to the church of Constantinople. The apolytikion (dismissal hymn) of Vespers says “Without leaving Rome, thou didst come to us by the precious chains which thou didst bear, o first-enthroned of the Apostles, which we venerate in faith, and pray, that by thy intercessions before God, He may grant us great mercy.” Likewise, in the Canon of Matins, we read “Thou sanctifiest Rome by the burial of thy holy body, Peter, and by faith enlightenest the New Rome, that keeps thy honorable chain.” And: “The Apostle Peter came forth from Palestine as the bearer of Christ, and having proclaimed him to the world in older Rome, fell asleep, but gave to the New Rome his chain to venerate.”

    Despite the antiquity and universality of the feast, it was removed from the calendar in the Breviary reform of 1960. It is hard not to see this as a function of a very modern embarrassment at the very idea of miracles and relics, since the same reform also suppressed the Finding of the Cross, St John at the Latin Gate, the Apparition of St Michael, the Finding of St Stephen’s Body, and St Francis’ Stigmata. It is true that we do not have a chain of custody from St Peter’s time to our own to prove the authenticity of the relics. On the other hand, we should shudder at the implication that so many of our ancestors in the faith were stupidly gullible at best, or liars at worst. Bl. John Henry Newman wrote about this in the Apologia pro Vita Sua; in a note in the appendix “on Ecclesiastical Miracles,” he points out that both Testaments have stories of miracles effected by relics. A corpse is brought to life when it touches the bones of Elisha (4 Kings 13, 21), “and God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles, so that even there were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and cloths, and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19, 11-12.)

    In addition to the relic and the basilica’s dedication, today’s feast also commemorates the Biblical event of St Peter’s release from prison. The importance of this episode is indicated by the fact that the church of Rome chose the relevant passage from the Acts of the Apostles for the text of both the Introit and Epistle, not only for today, but also for June 29th.
    When the Apostle was held in prison in Jerusalem, and in danger of being killed by the monarch, he was freed by a direct act of divine intervention. Twenty-five years later, when he was held in prison in Rome, and in danger of being killed by the monarch, he was freed by human intervention, that of his jailers, Ss Processus and Martinian. The Christians of Rome then urged him to leave the city, for fear that he be captured once again, and executed. As he started down the Appian Way, the road leading to the port of Brindisi, where he could find a boat to bring him back to the East, Peter encountered Christ just outside the gates of the city. “And when he saw him, he said, ‘Lord, whither goest thou thus? And the Lord said unto him, ‘I go into Rome to be crucified. And Peter said unto him, ‘Lord, art thou being crucified again?’ He said unto him, ‘Yea, Peter, I am being crucified again.’ And Peter came to himself, and having beheld the Lord ascending up into heaven, he returned to Rome, rejoicing, and glorifying the Lord, for that he said, ‘I am being crucified”, which was about to befall Peter.” (from the apocryphal Acts of Peter.)

    This episode, which otherwise would seem to have no connection to the feast, is cited in an antiphon for the Office of St Peter ‘ad vincula’ which was very widely used, although not at Rome itself. “Beatus Petrus Apostolus vidit sibi Christum occurrere; adorans eum et dixit: Domine, quo vadis? Venio Romam iterum crucifigi. – The blessed Apostle Peter saw Christ coming to meet him. Adoring Him, he said, ‘Lord, where art thou going?’ ‘I come to Rome to be crucified again.’ ”

    We therefore see in today’s feast that St Peter was freed from prison in Jerusalem because his mission was not finished. He was destined to go to Rome, so that he might preach to all nations, “so that the light of truth, which was revealed for the salvation of all nations, might spread itself more effectively through the whole world from its head.” (Pope St Leo I, first sermon of the feast of Ss Peter and Paul.) The Lord Himself sent him back to the eternal city, choosing it as the place to establish the headship of His Church upon the earth, “the first throne”, as stated above in the Byzantine Office of the feast.
    Quo vadis, Domine?, by Annibale Carracci, 1601-2

    0 0

    Mater Ecclesiae Roman Catholic Church will celebrate its 17th annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the feast of the Assumption on Tuesday, August 15, 7:00 pm at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, located at 18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Reverend Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, Rector of Mater Ecclesiae, will be the celebrant and the Reverend Dennis Carbonaro, Spiritual Director of the College Division of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, will preach.
    The Solemn Tridentine Mass will once again feature the Ars Laudis Festival Chorus and Orchestra. Our cantor, Mr. Nicholas Beck, a graduate of Westminster Choir College, will direct the singing of the Gregorian Propers. Dr Timothy McDonnell, Director of Sacred Music at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., will be the conductor for this Mass. The Ordinary will be Franz Schubert’s Mass in B-flat. The Offertory motet will be Quis te comprehendat by Mozart; the Ave Verum Corpus of William Byrd, Tota Pulchra Es by Timothy McDonnell, and the Ave Maria by Palestrina will be sung during Holy Communion.
    This Mass is sponsored by Mater Ecclesiae, a full Extraordinary Form, diocesan staffed Mission of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey. The first solemn Assumption Mass was celebrated at Camden’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral in the 2001; the church was too small to handle the crowds, and so it was moved to the beautiful church of Saint Peter in Merchanville, New Jersey. The tenth Assumption Mass was celebrated at Saint Peter Church’s in Philadelphia, the burial place and shrine of St John Neumann. For the last four years, due to the kindness of the rector, Father G. Dennis Gill, and the generous permission of His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Chaput, the Assumption Mass has been celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia. It has become a great tradition and festival in honor Our Lady and solemn worship of God in truth, goodness, and sublime beauty. You are most welcome!

    0 0

    Our good friends of the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian in La-Londe-Les-Maures, France, also have the pastoral charge of the church of St Anne on the beautiful little island of Porquerolles. Here are some great photos taken during the recent celebration of the church’s patronal feast, with the members of the choir dressed in traditional Provençal costume. The Mass is followed by a procession with a statue of St Anne, and a blessing of the boats in the waters of the island’s port. You can see the full set on their Facebook page.

    0 0

    Father Neal Nichols FSSP of St Benedict’s Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, has designed a new way of changing decorations on a chasuble for different feast days or Votive Masses.

    While the idea of changeable appliques on the chasuble came to him years ago, Fr Nichols had trouble finding any company willing to help make them. For a long time he shelved the notion, but then while staying at the retreat center of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri, he got a chance to meet some of the nuns designing and hand-sewing vestments to support their community. He described his idea and found a much more receptive audience.
    The basic design is simple: applique patches that attach to the back of a chasuble. Each applique is sized and shaped exactly the same and precisely lined up with the set of snaps on the garment. A parish could thus invest in one white vestment set but order as many appliques as desired to be switched out for the appropriate feast day.

    The appliques are hand painted and sewn by the Benedictine nuns, using beading, gold and silver threads, and vibrant colors to honor the holy figures they represent. While they run between $350 and $500 each, that is half the cost of a full chasuble. The parish’s latest edition is an elaborately decorated design of St Anne donated by the members of St Anne’s Sodality.
    Now that he knows they work and there are people willing to make them, Fr Nichols wants to spread the word. For now, only the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles can accommodate the design. The nuns live without electronic communication, though, and the only way to make an inquiry is by mail. Vestment orders are currently backed up into 2018, but if more interest is shown, it’s possible their operation will expand.

    “There’s been a recent movement back to the more traditional vestments,” says Fr Nichols. “People have begun to appreciate the old ways – not just in the Tridentine parishes like ours which celebrate the Latin Mass – and the current catalogues reflect this. With this less expensive option, demand could increase even more, and supply will rise to meet it.” Next up for St Benedict’s Church, says Father, is a red chasuble set for the martyr saints. Parishioners have been generous in the past, and knowing the priests are working to save money definitely encourages more participation.

    The garments also belong to the community, and will stay at St Benedict’s long after the current priests have moved on. Fr Nichols also has no regrets about eventually leaving them behind, since it is the parish who supported their purchase. “I won’t be able to take them with me, but I can take the idea.” Inquiries for custom appliqued vestments may be sent to:
    Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
    Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus
    P.O. Box 303
    Gower, MO 64454

    0 0

    Peter Murphy, who is a master iconographer from Canterbury, England, will be teaching a workshop for the newly establish Sacred Arts Guild of Alberta, from August 7-11.

    While in Calgary, Peter will be giving a special free illustrated talk, which will be open to the public, on August 10th at 7 pm, in the parish hall of St Stephen the Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at 4903 45 St. in Calgary. Peter will be talking about his research on Western forms of sacred art, in an effort to answer the question whether there is a distinctive English or western style of iconography. Mark Charlton, who is the founder and inspirational force behind SAGA, writes:
    One of the challenges facing iconographers in the west, particularly those who are not Orthodox, is the question whether they are limited to drawing just on Greek and Russian models. Or is there a distinctive western tradition of iconography that can inform their work? Peter will draw on his extensive research on Italo-Byzantine mosaics and panels and English Romanesque manuscript illuminations to develop a distinctive English style of iconography. Peter will illustrate his lecture with photos from his many research trips as well as examples of his own work.

    Peter Murphy is the founder of the St. Peter’s School for Sacred Art, Canterbury, U.K. He regularly teaches iconography and egg tempera and gilding workshops throughout the United Kingdom as well as leading art history study tours to Italy. He has received many commissions throughout England, including Twekesbury Abbey and Hereford Cathedral. Peter is very active in the British Association of Iconographers.

    You will also have an opportunity to see the beautiful work that the workshop participants have been creating during the week under Peter's direction and meet members of the Sacred Arts Guild of Alberta.

    Join us for refreshments and discussion after the talk. We hope to see you there.
    Peter’s work is exceptional, I think, and you can see in it how he draws on traditional Western forms.

older | 1 | .... | 211 | 212 | (Page 213) | 214 | 215 | .... | 262 | newer