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    Early risers in the East Bay area of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, and other locals who, in the quasi-penitential spirit of Advent, are willing to rouse themselves before dawn on a Saturday morning, may wish to assist at Solemn Mass (usus antiquior) for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, Rhode Island, celebrated by Father Jay Finelli (the “iPadre”). Tapers and Mass propers will be provided. Coffee and doughnuts will be available in the church hall immediately after Mass.

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    Today, on the feast of St Leontius, bishop of Fréjus and patron of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, Bishop Dominique Rey ordained to the subdiaconate Brother Danka Pereira, a member of the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian, and Abbé Przemyslaw Karczmarek of the Institute of the Good Shepherd. The ceremony took place at the church of St Trophimus in the little town of Bormes-les-Mimosas, during a Prelatitial Mass. Our congratulations to the ordinands and to their religious communities, and our thanks to FSJC for sharing these pictures with us

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    Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: * go ye to meet him and say: * Tell us if thou art the one, * who art to rule in the people of Israel.
    V. All you that are earthborn, and you sons of men: both rich and poor together, go ye out to meet him and say.
    V. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep; tell us if thou art the one.
    V. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in, who art to rule in the people of Israel.
    Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
    Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: go ye to meet him and say: tell us if thou art the one, who art to rule in the people of Israel. (First responsory at Matins of the First Sunday of Advent)

    The Prophet Isaiah, painted by Raphael in the Basilica of St Augustine in Rome in 1512. On his scroll is written in Hebrew, from chapter 26 of his book, verses 2-3, “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Whose mind is stayed on thee, Thou wilt keep him (in perfect peace).” The dedicatory inscription in Greek above reads “To Anne, the mother of the Virgin, to the virginal Mother of God, and to Christ the Redeemer, John Goritz” (hellenized as ‘Joannes Corycios’). Goritz, a merchant from Luxembourg, commissioned both the painting, which is on one of the pillars of the basilica, and the altar to St Anne originally located beneath it. The influence of Michelangelo, who was completing the Sistine Chapel ceiling when Raphael painted this, is very strong in this work; a famous story claims that when Goritz complained to Michelangelo about the price of it, he replied, “The knee alone is worth the price!”
    R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: * ite obviam ei, et dicite: * Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, * qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
    V. Quique terrigenæ, et filii hominum, simul in unum dives et pauper: ite obviam et, et dicite.
    V. Qui regis Israël, intende, qui deducis velut ovem Joseph: nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse.
    V. Tollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevamini portæ æternales, et introibit Rex gloriæ, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
    Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
    R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: ite obviam ei, et dicite: Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.

    Click here to listen to a beautiful recording of this magnificent text, made several years ago at St Stephen’s in Sacramento, California.

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    Louis Janmot (1814-1892), Souvenir du ciel
    In my old St. Andrew’s Daily Missal — or rather, my reprint of the 1945 edition, which I love both because of its superb commentaries, and because its calendar and Holy Week match up with the customs of an increasing number of traditional parishes nowadays — we find the following heading on p. 1821: “The Burial of Little Children.” The commentary reads:
    When a baptized child dies before reaching the age of reason, it goes at once to heaven to praise God and enjoy Him with the angels. Wherefore the Gloria Patri of the Psalms is not replaced by the Requiem aeternam, and the Mass is the Votive Mass of the Angels, with white vestments and Gloria in excelsis, unless the rubrics prescribe the Mass of the day. If in the afternoon, Votive Vespers of the Angels may be sung.
    I can’t remember when I first heard about this beautiful custom of not celebrating a Mass for the Dead or funeral Mass for such a little child, but rather a Mass of the Angels; it was probably a couple of decades ago by now. But since I had long been attending only university chapels and did not live near a traditional parish, no occasion like this had ever occurred. It remained theoretical knowledge.

    Recently, however, a little child died in our local community, and the rector of the nearby oratory of the Institute of Christ the King offered the Mass just as described above. I had the privilege of singing in the Choir. I found the entire thing extremely striking, and wish to share some thoughts on it, since this old custom has barely survived into the post-Montinian era.

    The first thing that must be said is that the old custom bespeaks a resolutely and audaciously supernatural perspective: when all are mourning the loss of a citizen of earth, the Church rejoices in the gaining of a saint in heaven. The Introit of the Requiem Mass pleads: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.” The Introit of the Mass of the Angels exults: “Bless the Lord all ye His angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute His word, listening to the voice of His orders.” Then the verse challenges us with an imperative: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name.” We are told to do the very thing the departed child is now doing, whose soul, with all that is within it, blesses the Lord.

    Holy Mother Church bids us sing with and honor the angels, among whom is found the soul of this little child, a soul already mature in Christ through baptism, adorned with the full complement of infused virtues. The Epistle in the words of the Apocalypse brings before us the hosts of heaven, spirits and souls of the just, saying: “To Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honor, and glory and power, for ever and ever.” There is no danger of hell for the baptized child, nor any deportation to the fires of purgatory; the gates of heaven are immediately flung open to receive this sinless, guiltless adopted son of God. This is why the interlectional chants, seemingly oblivious to the grief understandably felt by the faithful in the congregation, proclaims: “Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the high places. … Alleluia, alleluia. I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of the angels: I will worship towards Thy holy temple, and I will give glory to Thy name. Alleluia.”

    Just as, with apparently wild-eyed fanaticism (though in truth it is but the most sober right judgment) the Church, according to John Henry Newman, can say it were better for the entire universe to perish than that one sin be wilfully committed, [1] so too, with a queenly confidence born of the mercies of the King, the Church, says the usus antiquior, deems it better, more truthful, more grateful, to don white vestments and sing alleluia for a Christian who dies before the age of reason than to put on black and utter the aweful words of the Dies Irae. [2]

    The liturgical reform, monstrous in its rationalist leveling of every irregularity, [3] could not tolerate this sharp distinction between the lightsome angelic Mass for the child saint and the dark Requiem Mass for the adult sinner; in its baffling dullness of heart, the reform was blind both to supernatural realities and natural ones. [4] The sable grief that follows the dead man weighed down with years, the urgent reminder to pray for the repose of his soul, the supernatural glory that surrounds a babe of days snatched from this world and thus preserved from the scourge of sin, temptation, vice, anguish, and all the ills that cling to fallen human life—such horizons of life and faith were closed off to utilitarian brains.

    The Montinian reform turned everything upside-down. It converted Requiems into informal beatifications, draped in the white of an Easter triumph presumed to be already gained, while suppressing the only instance where white vestments ought to be worn and alleluias and doxologies chanted, where heavenly glory may be joyfully, through a veil of tears, acknowledged as accomplished. The reform took away from the small child the Mass of the Angels that befitted it, and bestowed the honors of the altar on the old man to whom it was foreign, and who needs earnest suffrages for pardon and salvation. Salva me, fons pietatis! It took away this magnificent testimony of faith in a victory known to be won by a few, and substituted a pseudo-victory vainly extended to all.

    And why does the old liturgy exhort us, in the very presence of the child’s dead body, to praise the Lord — a sentiment that might seem out of place, to say the least? Here is where the eye of faith is more necessary than ever, to see what should be seen, and not to be clouded over by our frail flesh.

    The one and only ultimate end of man is the beatific vision. If someone attains this, he has attained the purpose for which he was created and redeemed. If someone fails to attain this, he has failed as a human being and as a Christian. Our final condition is either total victory or total failure: we have gained all, or lost all. There is nothing in between. The only “happy ending” is heaven, and the only “tragedy” is hell. The rest is relative. The baptized child who dies, although not granted by Divine Providence the relative good of life in this world, has been granted the absolute good of eternal life in the world to come.

    This is what all Christians say they desire: eternal life in God. This is the goal of our pilgrimage. And that is why Holy Mother Church, with her lofty and utterly realistic wisdom, clothes herself in white and sings the Mass of the Angels for the little baptized child who flies from this world, and sings with no less fervor the Requiem Mass, clad in black. Alleluia is the song of the lover and the visionary; the Dies Irae is the sequence of the worldly and battleweary. That such customs as these ever had to be swept away is part of the “mystery of iniquity” that surrounds the 20th-century Church. That such customs are beginning to come back is part of the mystery of Providence that surprises the Church of the 21st-century.


    [1] The text is found in Difficulties of Anglicans, and is quoted in my article “The Denial of the Law of God and His Rights.

    [2] The traditional difference between the funeral of the child who dies before the age of reason and the funeral of everyone else extends beyond the Mass to the obsequies afterwards. In the typical burial, the psalms, verses, and prayers are penitential and pleading for mercy; the child’s burial, on the contrary, can draw from Psalm 118 (“Blessed are the undefiled in the way”) and Psalms 148–150 (“Praise ye the Lord from the heavens”); Psalm 23 (“The earth is the Lord’s”) is recited, followed by this beautiful collect: “O almighty and most merciful God, who dost immediately grant eternal life to every little child who goeth forth from this world after being born again in the baptismal font, without any merit of his own, even as we believe Thou hast done this day for the soul of this little child; grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, through the intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, and of all the saints, that we may serve Thee here with clean hearts and be united with these blessed children for ever in heaven.”

    [3] See my article “In Praise of Irregularity.

    [4] See my article “The Scandal of the Modern Catholic Funeral.”

    Visit for information, articles, sacred music, and Os Justi Press.

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    God’s Search for Us, Five Truths from a Missing Coin by Fr Jeffrey Kirby
    Western culture has eclipsed the fundamental conviction that developed its worldview, gave birth to its institutions, and provided continual rejuvenation to its way of life, namely, that the living God – All-Powerfull and All-Knowing, is actively searching for us. In this radical quest for us, God became a man, lived a human life, died a torturous death, triumphantly rose from the dead and ascended into eternal glory. This central Christian belief is the heart of Western culture. It broke the pathetic, pantheistic, deterministic pagan worldview of angry, vengeful gods in a dark world of personal despair and meaninglessness. It was precisely the Dawn from on High breaking upon the human family and shedding its abundant, eternal light, that allowed for a hope to be born, a dignity recognized, and a human creativity to flourish. It made all the difference. And it gave an impetus to the creation and development of Western culture. As this profound belief has waned, so has its blessings.”

    So begins Fr Jeffrey Kirby’s wonderful new book, God’s Search for Us - Five Truths from a Missing Coin.

    If we are to transform the culture, we must first be transformed supernaturally in Christ (this is the foundational idea that underpins The Way of Beauty) But we cannot be transformed unless we respond to God’s love first, not by reaching out and grasping Him, but rather by an ordered acceptance of Him. In describing this, he echoes the writing of Benedict XVI who referred to this dynamic of love as a twofold movement of agape and eros. Agape is the self-giving love and eros is that ordered acceptance. We cannot have one without the other, for there is no gift without reception. 

    So God has given Himself to us, and that love is not realized, so to speak, until we accept Him. Then we are transfigured and can, in turn, give ourselves back to God and to man in a reciprocating act of agape. When we enter into this mystery - the dynamic of love which begins with His love for us - we are joyful, and it is our joy that draws others to Him.

    It is my observation that so many today, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, are searching. They search desperately, fruitlessly and some do so without even knowing what they are really looking for. At the heart of this unfulfilled, frenetic activity is a search for God. It fails so often because those who search fail to appreciate fully that happiness is not something that is grasped, but rather something that is accepted, and then must be given away if it is to be retained. This is the great paradox of life.

    This book is a meditation on that first act of love, which precedes all other love, and by which all human happiness is made possible. Using the parable of the lost coin as its starting point, Fr Kirby leads us into consideration of this mystery. It is hoped that this will take us to a deeper encounter with God, so that we may, in turn, love our fellows and give greater glory to Him for the good of all mankind.
    The Parable Of The Lost Piece Of Silver by Godfried Schalcken
    The primary encounter with God, in which every human encounter with God participates, is in the worship of the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit, and in this life. All our human activity, even the most mundane, ought to be in conformity with this end. So it is by our participation in the liturgy that we are most likely to consummate that love which is already given. This motion of acceptance of Him, deep in our hearts, is the one that will give momentum to all change for the good that might ultimately be manifested visibly in a transformed human society and culture.

    For all that this book contains profound truth, Fr Kirby’s prose is accessible and clear and through this, he makes its noble themes available to many. I suggest that this could be a good text to study as an Advent meditation in your parish or book club.

    You can purchase it from, here.

    Father Jeffrey Kirby is the pastor of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, South Carolina. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Holy Cross University and is an adjunct faculty member of Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina. God’s Search for Us: Five Lessons from a Missing Coin is Kirby’s tenth book.

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  • 12/04/18--14:22: The Feast of St Barbara
  • On the calendar of the Extraordinary Form, today is the feast of St Barbara, who was in the later Middle Ages one of the most popular among the Virgin Martyrs. Fr Hunwicke’s clever description of St Nicholas might also be applied to her: “a saint with as large a portfolio of Patronages as a Renaissance cardinal.” She is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, invoked against lightning and fire, and patroness of gunners and military engineers, anything to do with mining and tunneling, and furthermore of architects, builders and masons, as well as mathematicians. Medieval Christians wisely dreaded the idea of dying suddenly and without the benefit of the Sacraments, and much of her popularity was owed also to her role as patroness of a holy and prepared death, a role which later passed to St Joseph.

    An altarpiece painted for the church of St Barbara in Wrocław, Poland, by Wilhelm Kalteysen (1420-96), dated 1447, now in the National Museum in Warsaw. In the central panel, St Barbara is shown holding her tower, accompanied by Ss Felix and Adauctus. Upper left panel: her father discovers that Barbara has broken his idols; lower left: the torments of St Barbara; upper right, she flees from her father; lower right, she is stripped of her garments, but clothed by an angel. (Public domainimage from Wikipedia.)
    The basic outline of her story is fairly consistent in its various versions, although the specific manner of its telling is hardly the same in any two Breviaries. Barbara’s father was a wealthy pagan named Dioscorus, who, before going on a long trip, had her enclosed in a tower to hide her extraordinary beauty from the eyes of strangers. Contemplating the splendor and harmony of the world, which she could observe from the tower’s two windows, she began to think about its Cause. In her longing to know the truth about the Creator, she determined to seek the knowledge of Him as the only good in this world, and thus made a vow of virginity. The pre-Tridentine Roman Breviary states that she received a vision in which the Incarnation and Passion of Christ were revealed to her first by angels, and then by Jesus Himself, but this seems to be a minority tradition. Renouncing the idols worshipped by her father, she became a Christian, and so had her father’s workmen open a third window in her tower, in honor of the Holy Trinity; hence her role as a patron of architecture and associated trades, and of mathematicians.

    Dioscorus, learning upon his return of his daughter’s conversion and refusal to marry, flew into a rage, and attempted to strike her with a sword. In one version of the story, Barbara fled from her father, and as she ran up a hill, was temporarily hidden from him in a cave which miraculously opened on it, whence her patronage of miners. There follow various accounts of the torments to which she was then subjected, her trial before a judge, and her eventual beheading by her own father’s hand. As Dioscorus walked away from the site of the execution, “fire fallen from heaven, by the just vengeance of God, so consumed (him) that there remained of him not even a tiny bit of dust.” From this last detail comes St Barbara’s role as protectress against lightning and thunder, and her patronage of military gunners, etc.

    St Barbara crushing her father, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, ca 1471, from the parish church of St Andrew in Cercina, Italy.
    As noted above, St Barbara is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers or Auxiliary Saints, who are venerated for their intercession and protection especially against a number of maladies and dangers. Devotion to them as a group emerged and remained strongest in Germany; in a votive Mass in their honor included in various German Missals, the Collect reads as follows:

    “Almighty and merciful God, who didst adorn Thy Saints George, Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius, Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine with special privileges above all others, so that all who in their necessities implore their help, according to the grace of Thy promise, may attain the salutary effect of their pleading: grant us, we beseech Thee, forgiveness of our sins, and with their merits interceding, deliver us from all adversities, and kindly hear our prayers.”

    The words “according to the grace of Thy promise” refer to the tradition that during their passion, each of these Saints received a promise from God that their intercession would be exceptionally effective on behalf of those who honored them.

    In the 1501 Breviary according to the Use of Bamberg, before St Barbara is killed, she prays, “Lord Jesus Christ, Whom all things obey, Whose will nothing resisteth: grant me this petition, that if anyone shall remember my name and honor the day of my passion, Thou remember not his sins on the day of judgment, and be merciful to those who love the memory of me, and do Thou set in peace the end of the life of those that love me.” To this, a voice from heaven replies, “Come, my dearest, rest in the chambers of My Father; and concerning that which thou hast asked, it is given to thee.” The proper Collect of her office and Mass also refers to this: “We ask, o Lord, our God, that the glorious intercession of the blessed Barbara, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may protect us from every adversity of mind and body; so that through her intervention, we may merit before departing from this life to receive with sincere faith and a pure confession the most glorious Sacrament of the all-holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    The alterpiece of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, from the now-suppressed Heilbronn Abbey in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany, 1498.
    Scholars of hagiography have long recognized that the legend of St Barbara as passed down to us cannot be considered historically reliable. The version read in the Roman Breviary before the Tridentine reform says that she was born in the time of the persecutor Maximian, who reigned from 286-310, but makes her a student of “the most wise priest, Origen, who lived in Alexandria”, and who died over 30 years before Maximian’s accession to the imperial throne. It also transplants her native city of Nicomedia from its actual location near Constantinople to Egypt, identifies it with Heliopolis, and claims that it was the city to which the Holy Family from King Herod; other versions place her passion in Rome, somewhere in Tuscany, or Antioch in Syria. In the Breviary of St Pius V, her feast was reduced from an office of nine readings to a commemoration; it also significant that in the Tridentine Rituale Romanum, promulgated by Pope Paul V in 1614, her name is not included in the shortened form of the Litany of the Saints said for the dying.

    However, her feast continued to be kept on many locals calendars; for example, before the reform of 1911, it was included on the calendars of both Carmelite Orders, with the Collect given above. In the post-Conciliar reform, her feast is completely suppressed from the General Calendar, but she may still be celebrated where she is honored as a patron Saint. Some years ago, a friend of mine attended Mass on her feast day in her church in the town of Villasalto, Sardinia. As the preacher recounted the manner of the Saint’s death, killed by her own father, an elderly woman shouted out in Sardinian, “Indignu – disgraceful!”

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    Over the past couple of years at NLM, I’ve occasionally posted announcements of old classics that I’ve reprinted under the umbrella of Os Justi Press. These reprints are done through CreateSpace, which yields good quality and allows for low prices. Until recently, Os Justi Press did not have its own website. In fact, it still doesn’t; but at least now it has a dedicated page at my new personal website, where all titles are listed by category and hyperlinked to Amazon. Many titles also say more about the content of the book or point to where such information may be found. Since most of the books are germane to considerations taken up here at NLM, I wanted to alert readers to the new Os Justi page, as well as to list below all of the currently available reprints.


    The Mass: A Liturgical Commentary (2 vols.). Canon A. Croegaert. Trans. J. Holland Smith. Vol. 1: The Mass of the Catechumens(x + 251 pp. $17.95); Vol. 2: The Mass of the Faithful(x + 311 pp. $18.95).

    The Breviary Explained. Rev. Pius Parsch. Trans. William Nayden and Carl Hoegerl. First published in 1952 by Herder in St. Louis. Paperback, viii + 459 pp. $19.95.

    A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben’s “Dogmatik.” Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., Ph.D., and Thomas B. Scannell, B.D., with a Preface by Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. Volume I: The Sources of Theological Knowledge; God; Creation and the Supernatural Order(508 pp. $24.95); Volume II: The Fall; Redemption; Grace; The Church and the Sacraments; The Last Things (566 pp. $29.95).

    Nature and Grace. Matthias Scheeben. Trans. Cyril Vollert, S.J. 386 pp. $18.95.

    St. Thomas Aquinas: Papers from the 1924 Summer School of Catholic Studies at Cambridge. Ed. Cuthbert Lattey. xii + 311 pp. $19.95.

    The Incarnation: Papers from the 1925 Summer School of Catholic Studies at Cambridge. Ed. Cuthbert Lattey. xviii + 261 pp. $18.95.

    God: His Knowability, Essence, and Attributes. Msgr. Joseph Pohle. 486pp. $19.95.

    The Author of Nature and the Supernatural: Creation, Anthropology, and Angelology. Msgr. Joseph Pohle. 372 pp. $17.95.


    God in Me: Sanctifying Grace or the Mystery of God’s Life in Us. Rev. Matthew Swizdor. 160 pp. $12.79.

    Sacred Signs. Romano Guardini. 58p. $7.00. [Newly typeset.]

    The Life of Worship: Grace, Prayer, Sacraments, and the Sacred Liturgy. By a Seminary Professor. Originally published in French in 1895; this English version from 1920. xvi + 814 pp. $29.95.

    Pageant of the Popes. John Farrow. $18.85.


    Vocations. Fr. William Doyle, SJ. First published in 1913. vi + 48. Paperback, $7.00.

    A Missal for Young Catholics. Peter Kwasniewski. 64 pp. $12.49 at Amazon; $18.87 at Lulu. The sole difference between these two is that Lulu’s features a thicker, glossier paper.

    The Sacrifice of the Mass Worthily Celebrated. Rev. Pierre Chaignon, SJ. Trans. Most Rev. Louis de Goesbriand. With a preface and meditation aids by Dom Bede Babo, OSB. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1951. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. x + 214 pp. Paperback, $14.95.

    Cantus Mariales. Ed. Dom Joseph Pothier. (The same with an alternative cover design here) 160 pp. $24.95. A color facsimile of the 1903 exemplar.

    The True Vine and Its Branches. Rev. Edward Leen, S.J. 280 pp. $17.95.

    Selections from “The Little Flowers of St. Francis.”Illustrated by Maximilian Liebenwein, 1921. Full color. Hardcover $29.95; paperback $14.95.


    The King’s Achievement. Robert Hugh Benson. xiv + 368 pp. $16.95.

    By What Authority?Robert Hugh Benson. x + 372 pp. $16.95.

    Anthology of Catholic Poets: 200 Years of Catholic English PoetryEd. Joyce Kilmer. 422 pp. $18.49.

    The Catholic Anthology: The World’s Great Catholic PoetryEd. Thomas Walsh. 602 pp. $25.95.

    Latin in the Church: The History of Its Pronunciation. F. Brittain. 98 pp. Last edition 1954. $9.95.

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    On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in New York City will have a Low Mass in the traditional rite at 7:45 am, a Mass in the Ordinary Form in Spanish at 9 am, followed by an Advent retreat in the parish hall, which will run until 2 pm, and a Solemn EF Mass at 11am, followed by a Holy Hour with Adoration and Benediction. The church is located at 448 East 116th Street.

    The Oratory of Ss Cyril and Methodius in Bridgeport, Connecticut, an apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King, will have a sung Mass for the Immaculate Conception, with Francisco Guerrero’s Missa Sancta et Immaculata, starting at 10:15. The church is located at 79 Church St.

    The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado, will have a solemn Mass in the traditional rite, celebrated by members of the diocesan clergy, beginning at 7pm. The church is located at 1530 Logan Street.

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    This past Sunday, at the FSSP parish in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke presided over the vestition of new members of the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims. Founded in 1548 under the auspices of St Philip Neri, for over three centuries this Archconfraternity was one of the principal entities responsible for the care of poor pilgrims in Rome, especially during Jubilee years. The church was also an important focus for the 40 Hours Devotion, which until the late 1960s was maintained continuously in Rome, starting in one church as it ended in another. Since the fall of the Papal State and the confiscation of all of the confraternity’s property, it has functioned as a pious association of prayer and sanctification of the individual members. Recently, after a period of suspension, it has been formally revived and begun to accept new members, under the leadership of the clergy of the FSSP, with a special focus on Eucharistic devotion. (See below for information about joining the confraternity, which is open to all.)

    The new members’ habits prepared for blessing.
    At the beginning of the rite, the cardinal and the members of the confraternity kneel and say Psalm 50, the Miserere, followed by a series of versicles, and the following prayer. “Most beloved brethren, let us pray to our Lord, Jesus Christ, for these His servants, who for the love of Him hasten to put aside the vanity of the world; that He may grant them the Holy Spirit, who may enkindle in them continual desire for the observance of God’s commandments, and of the statutes of the venerable Archiconfraternity dedicated to the Moly Holy Trinity, and keep their hearts pure from the hindrances of the world, and every vain desire; so that, as they are changed by entering this brotherhood, so the gift of His right hand may confirm in them the virtue of good works, keep their heart from every form of blindness, and grant them the grace of His eternal light. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.”

    The prayers of blessing of the habits. “Almighty and everlasting God, Who showest to sinners that seek Thee the light of truth, that they may return to the way of justice; ble+ss, we ask, and sanctify these garments, and Thy servants who for their sins are clothed in them. Mercifully enlighten them by the grace of the Holy Spirit, that they may ever merit to weep over their sins, and obtain the bounty of Thy indulgence. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen. (For the belts and aprons) Let there descend, we ask, o Lord, upon these belts of the men and aprons of the women the pouring forth of Thy abundant blessing, and grant that, as Thy servants, being girded with them, are afflicted in body, so by the fruit of good works, they may be refreshed in mind. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.”
    The new members kneel before the cardinal to receive their habits, with the belt or apron, and a candle, as he says to them, “May the Lord clothe thee with the new man, who according to God was created in justice, and the holiness of truth.”
    Congratulations to our favorite Roman pilgrim, Agnese!
    The newly inducted members go the sacristy to dress in the habit, then return to their places in the church, with their candles lit. The celebrant says to them the words of the Gospel “Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands (Luke 12, 35), that the Judge Who is to come on the last day may receive you with great rejoicing. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.”

    The hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus is sung, and all kneel for the first verse. This is followed by the Collect of Pentecost, to which the following prayer is added. “Grant, we ask, o Lord, health of mind and body to Thy servants that have been clothed in the habit of penance; that clinging to good works, by the intercession of St Matthew the Apostle (the patron Saint of the Archconfraternity), and the blessed Father Philip, they may ever merit to be defended by the protection of Thy might. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.”
    There follows the celebration of Mass, during which the members of the confraternity hold lit candles at the Gospel and during the Canon.
    Tradition will always be for the young!

    At the end of the Mass, the new confreres come forth to lay their candles in a basket at the cardinal’s feet, kiss his hand, and exchange the Peace with him. He then adds a final prayer. “Grant us, we ask, o Lord, enduring service in Thy will, that the people that serveth Thee may increase both in merit and number,” and then imparts to them a final blessing.

    Ad multos annos!
    Joining the Confraternity
    Membership in the Archconfraternity is open to all lay men and women who are at least 18 years old, and practising Catholics in communion with the Pope. Residency in Rome is not required, and open to the whole world; presentation by a current member is required.

    Local confraternities dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity and donning the red habit, and dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and works of charity, and which have been canonically erected in any diocese as a public association of the faithful, may request aggregation. Aggregation is free and granted automatically to qualifying associations that request it; they then share in the Indulgences granted to the Archconfraternity as well as in the prayers and good works of all members of the Archconfraternity and of all the associated Confraternities (which total several hundred.)

    Requests for Aggregation of Confraternities (but not for individual membership) can be forwarded in writing to the Archivist of the Archconfraternity:
    Sig. Giancarlo Ciccia
    Archivista Arciconfraternita della Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini e Convalescenti
    Via dei Pettinari 36/a
    Roma 00186

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    The Parish of St Pius X in Fairfield, Connecticut is celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 834 Brookside Drive. The Rev. Timothy Iannacone, the parochial vicar,  is the celebrant, with the Revs. Richard Cipolla and Michael Novajosky as deacon and sub-deacon, respectively. A choir representing the parish and volunteers will sing the propers as well as a polyphonic setting of the ordinary.

    This is the fourth in a series of scheduled masses in the ancient rite at the Parish, . The pastor, the Rev. Sam Kachuba has supported the masses and a return to more traditional forms during his tenure at the church. Masses in the past have seen large congregations, and requests by parishioners for more celebrations in the extraordinary form.

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    A 16th-century Russian Icon of St Nicholas, from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg
    Many of the proper Offices commonly used in the Middle Ages make an addition to the last responsory of Matins called a Prose (“Prosa” in Latin, sometimes also “Prosula”), an interpolation which often begins and ends with the same words as the repeating part of the responsory. It is similar to the Sequence of the Mass, and in fact, “Prosa” or “Prosula” was often used in medieval Missals instead of “Sequentia.” Some of them were inordinately long; I have heard one for the Office of Christmas which extends the responsory to about 15 minutes. They were suppressed in the Tridentine reform, with a single exception, “Inviolata,” which is found in many editions of the Liber Usualis and other chant collections; this was kept by the Dominicans on the Purification, and by the Premonstratensians in their Little Office of the Virgin. In the commonly used medieval Office of St Nicholas, the ninth responsory includes a fairly short prose, as heard in the following recording. Below is a longer version, in which part of the responsory is repeated several times, extending it to over 13 minutes.

    R. Ex ejus tumba marmorea sacrum resudat oleum; quo liniti, sanantur caeci, * surdis auditus redditur, et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.
    V. Catervatim ruunt populi, cernere cupientes quae per eum fiunt mirabilia. Surdis auditus redditur, et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.
    Sospitati reddit aegros olei perfusio.
    Nicolaus naufragantum affuit praesidio.
    Revelavit a defunctis defunctum in bivio.
    Baptizatur auri viso Judaeus indicio.
    O quam probat sanctum Dei farris augmentatio!
    Vas in mare mersum, patri redditur cum filio.
    Ergo laudes Nicolao concinat haec concio.
    Nam qui corde poscit illum, expulsato vitio,
    Sospes regreditur.
    Gloria Patri et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
    Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.

    R. From his marble tomb comes forth a sacred oil; and when they are anointed with it, the blind are healed, * hearing is given back to the deaf, and every lame man walks away healthy.
    V. In crowds the people rush, wishing to see the wonders that take place through him. Hearing is given back to the deaf, and every lame man walks away healthy.
    The pouring of the oil brings the sick back to health.
    Nicholas was present as to help to sailors risking shipwreck.
    At a crossroad, he raised a dead man from the dead.
    A Jew is baptized when he sees the miracle of the gold.
    Oh how the multiplication of grain proves God’s Saint.
    A vessel sunk into the sea is given back to a father with his son.
    Therefore, let this assembly sing praises to Nicholas,
    For he that seeks him in his heart, vice being driven away,
    walks away healthy.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
    And every lame man walks away healthy.

    The reference to the baptism of a Jew “when he sees the miracle of the gold” is one of the less known posthumous miracles of St Nicholas. The story is told in the Golden Legend of Bl Jacopo de Vorgine that a man who had borrowed a sum of money from a Jew tried to cheat him by claiming falsely that he had already repaid it. Going to court, he filled his hollowed out walking-staff with small pieces of gold, to a value greater than what he owed, and then handed the staff to the Jew to hold for him, while he solemnly (and in a certain sense, truthfully) swore his oath that he had given him what he owed and more. While returning from court, however, the cheat was run over by a chariot at a crossroads and killed, and his staff broken, revealing the fraud. When it was suggested to the Jew that he reclaim his money, he refused “unless the dead man should return to life by the merits of the blessed Nicholas,” which did indeed happen, leading to his conversion and baptism.

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    On Friday, December 7, at 8:00 p.m., the St. Ann Choir will sing an Ordinary Form Latin Mass (Anticipated) for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, with the Gregorian Chants for the feast and Mass for Three Voices by William Byrd, at St Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto, California. The church is located at 751 Waverly St. at Homer. December 8 is a holy day of obligation and the Patronal Feast of the United States.

    The parish of Ss Peter and Paul in Wilmington, California, which is administered by the Norbertine Fathers of St Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, will have a Solemn Mass in the traditional Roman Rite for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass will begin at noon; the church is located at 1015 Lagoon Avenue. The Mass is also part of the Consecrate California event, ( praying to defeat the culture of death, for the sick, elderly, and unwanted, and for an end to the violence caused by substance abuse, human trafficking, etc.

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    Here is a really marvelous documentary filmed inside a Carmelite women’s house in Presteigne, Wales, in 1959, and originally broadcast on a program on BBC Wales called Out of This World. The Mother Superior and one of the novices have some very wise words to offer about the importance of the contemplative vocation for the Church and the world as a whole. There is a common caricature, sadly believed even by some Catholics, that the austerity of the strict contemplative orders turned them into sour and unpleasant people, but the women interviewed here seem to be very the models of both joy and wisdom.

    When this was filmed, the Carmel itself was fairly new, and the house had not yet been completed; there are several shots of the nuns doing the construction work themselves, with their full habits on, no less! The sisters were sleeping in temporary huts on the convent lawn, with only a brick taken from the oven to keep them warm in the winter, but when the presenter says to the Superior “You’ll be quite happy to leave them, I suppose?”, she answers, “Oh no!” There is no footage of either Mass or Office, but there is a bit of the rite of the clothing of a new member of the community, in which she enters the church dressed as a bride. At the end, the sisters since the Salve Regina, albeit recto tono, in keeping with the extreme austerity of the Discalced Carmelites. This Carmel was closed in 1988, but the chapel is still used. (Hat tip to Mr Jeffrey Morse.)

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    Our thanks to Fr Christopher Smith, one of our colleagues at Chant Café, for sharing with us his review of this exciting new project from Corpus Christi Watershed, the St John de Brébeuf Hymnal, a truly Catholic collection of hymns which can be used with both Forms of the Roman Rite.

    The celebration of the Mass that best corresponds to its true nature, and to the Church’s magisterial teaching, is a fully sung liturgy, with pride of place given to Gregorian chant, and the Ordinary and Propers sung according to their proper texts. The all-too-common “Four Hymn Sandwich” is a curious holdover from a Low Mass culture in which people sang pieces unrelated to the liturgical texts, often in the vernacular, while the Mass was in Latin. It is a curious blindspot of the liturgical influence-makers of a certain age that they would keep this disconnect only to advance another part of their agenda, but this is the world we inhabit.

    There are voices crying in the wilderness that the propers must be restored to their pride of place, and they are being heard. The melodies of the Graduale Romanum with their Latin texts are being heard in more and more places; vernacular adaptations of them, and new compositions, metrical and more chant-like, are coming forth and being used. This is creating a desire for better liturgy and better music, but we all know that sometimes we have to make baby steps towards our ideals.

    Hymns have become such a part of Catholics’ expectation of their Mass experience that calls for their removal and replacement with antiphons alone are often met with suspicion or anger. And so they remain. But the question about the hymns is then reduced to, “What texts, what melodies, what styles are appropriate?” The unseemly battles in liturgy committee meetings over whether young people want Isaac Watts, Marty Haugen or Matt Maher at Mass all miss the point: the relative merits of those varied styles are all paltry in comparison with the treasury of hymnody which the Church already has, still, unfortunately, largely untapped.

    How then do the discerning musician and pastor mine the tradition for hymns to introduce to Catholics? How can we unlock the treasury and unleash the riches?

    Enter the Saint John de Brébeuf Hymnal for Both Forms of the Roman Rite, published by the John Paul II Institute for Liturgical Renewal in 2018. Those familiar with the other projects which Corpus Christi Watershed has assisted with, will note a familiar design. But this is not the ordinary run of the mill “collection of hymns that people know with a few they don’t know.” This hymnal is a work of incredible scholarship, and one which puts the fruit of that scholarship to work in a practical vehicle for opening the treasures of Catholic hymnody to the people.

    The first part of the book, entitled, “Ancient Hymns of the Catholic Church,” contains many of the hymns of the breviary. But these are presented in such a way as to provide several tunes and several texts in English, often taken or adapted from a wealth of English translations from centuries past, some of them even taken from English Catholic primers of the Renaissance and Baroque era. But they are not just borrowed from these sources wholesale. Discerning editors have given great thought to how a large swath of people in our pews would take to singing certain words or turns of phrase, and carefully adapting to what people might actually get their mouths around in singing!

    (A version of the communion hymn Sancti, venite, from the 7th century Bangor antiphonary, in a translation by Adrian Fortescue.)

    The second part of the book, entitled “Additional Hymns”, will be attractive to those who are open to introducing these “old but new for most” hymns, but want a resource that also contains appropriate hymns for the liturgical year, as well as general use hymns more familiar to English-speaking congregations.

    An interesting feature of the book is that the index is placed not at the back, but in the middle of the book, after an attractive set of color plates exploring hymnals. The indices are quite well thought out. They provide the ability to search for name, hymn tune, and occasion in an admirable way, and their placement in the middle makes looking for them easier than wrangling the book at the end. There is also a section at the end with several versions of the Stations of the Cross, which is useful to have, in the same volumes as the hymns for many parishes, text and hymns without the multiplication of more little booklets.

    A good choir program will of course contain many pieces of complexity, whether by Palestrina, Bach, or Duruflé. But the mature choirmaster knows well that simple pieces—such as the magnificent hymn tunes in the Brébeuf Hymnal—can be utterly sublime. Moreover, these simple melodies can always be enhanced by new harmonizations, descants, counter-melodies, and SATB arrangements.

    This volume is useful to have in any music library or pastor’s office for reference, but is also the kind of volume which can be profitably sought out for choirs and for congregations. As a hymnal without the readings in it, which provides ample resources both old and new, it can truly be said to mark a new and exciting phase in the recovery of ancient liturgical texts for the use of the faithful in a practical way for all involved!

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    If you want to talk about the poor, in this place only I can speak, because I spent twenty-five years in the misery of a communist jail. You also want to take from the poor, who have little to eat, all expression of art, of music, or beauty? That too? Do you really not know that they need those things more than those who are well off?” – Yosyf Cardinal Slipyi (1892-1984), Major Archbishop of Lviv and head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, speaking to the Synod of Bishops in 1971. (h/t Luca Pava Bresciano)

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    Our next major photopost will be for tomorrow’s feast of the Immaculate Conception. Please send your photos (whether of the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, the Ordinariate Rite, etc.) to for inclusion. We are always very glad to receive photographs of celebrations of vigil Masses, Vespers and other parts of the Office, and particularly of any ceremonies celebrated with blue vestments, in accordance with the famous Spanish indult, as well as those of the Conception of St Anne in any of the Eastern Rites. Please be sure to include the name and location of the church, and always feel free to add any other information you think important. Evangelize through beauty!

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    St Clement’s Parish in Ottawa, Ontario, has been celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; as we noted in an article earlier this year, St Clement’s, which is now run by the Fraternity of St Peter, was one of the few churches that held on to the celebration of the traditional rite after the promulgation of the post-Conciliar reform. For a ten-year period, it was constrained to use the new rite, and did so according to the mind of the Council, with Latin, chant and worship ad orientem; in 1984, the traditional rite was restored, and has continued ever since.

    On the evening of November 22, Fr Joseph Bisig, one of the founding members of the FSSP, and the first Superior General, celebrated solemn First Vespers of St Clement in the parish.

    For the feast day itself, His Excellency Terrence Prendergast, the Archbishop of Ottawa, celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the cathedral of Notre Dame, the first such Mass to be celebrated in Ottawa cathedral since 1998. The church was packed with parishioners and non-parishioners; a relic of St Clement was displayed in the sanctuary for veneration. In attendance were Fr Bisig, the recently elected Superior General, Fr Andrzej Komorowski, Fr Michael Stinson, the North American District Superior, and the clergy of St Clement. The gold vestments used for the Mass were the same ones used at a Pontifical Mass in Ottawa in 1947, during the landmark Marian Congress, that drew 200,000 people. (Video here.)

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    Truly is is fitting and just, right and profitable to salvation, that we should give Thee thanks always and everywhere, o Lord, Holy Father, almighty and everlasting God; for we recall the day of the most honorable Conception, on which the most glorious Mother of God, the pure Virgin Mary, the bright and wondrous star, was conceived unto the world; who opened for us the door of eternal life, which Eve had closed in paradise, and called us back from darkness to the joys of the ancient light. Through the same Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise, the Archangels venerate, the Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Principalities, Powers adore Thy majesty, whom also the Cherubim and Seraphim, praise with voices united; among whom we beseech that Thou also command our voices to be admitted, saying with humble confession. Holy... (The Ambrosian Preface for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.)

    The Trinity and the Immaculate Conception, by Benvenuto Tisi da Garofalo, 1528-36. Prominent among the Doctors of the Church to either side of the Virgin Mary are Ss Augustine and Bernard on the left, Ss Ambrose and Jerome on the right.
    Vere quia dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi sempre et ubique gratias agere, Domine, Sancte Pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus. Recensemus enim praeclarissimae Conceptionis diem, quo gloriosissima Dei Genitrix, intemerata Virgo Maria, stella corusca et admirabilis, mundo concepta est. Quae nobis perennis vitae ianuam, quam Eva in Paradiso clauserat, reseravit: nosque de tenebris ad lucis antiquae gaudia revocavit. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli, venerantur Archangeli, Throni, Dominationes, Virtutes, Principates, et Potestates adorant. Quem Cherubim et Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti iubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: Sanctus...

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  • 12/09/18--07:06: The Second Sunday of Advent
  • People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. Ps 79 Thou who rulest, hearken, who leadest the flock of Joseph! Glory be. As it was in the beginning. People of Sion... (The Introit of the Second Sunday of Advent.)

    Pópulus Sion, ecce, Dóminus veniet ad salvandas gentes: et audítam faciet Dóminus gloriam vocis suae in laetitia cordis vestri. Ps. 79 Qui regis Israël, intende: qui dedúcis, velut ovem, Ioseph. Gloria Patri. Sicut erat. Pópulus Sion...

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    Annunciation Church in Crestwood, New York, will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th with a Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form, at which Victoria’s Missa O quam gloriosa will be sung. The Mass begins at 7 pm; the church is located at 470 Westchester Avenue.

    The Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, Illinois, an apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King, will have a Mass in the traditional rite for Our Lady of Guadalupe with sacred music by various Mexican composers, ranging from the 16th-18th centuries (Juan de Rivera, Francisco Capillas, Francisco de Quirós, and Hernando Franco). After the fire of October 2015, the community is currently celebrating its Masses at the church of St Thomas the Apostle, located at 5472 S. Kimbark Avenue; the Mass will begin at 6:30 pm.

    On Tuesday, December 11, the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Manhattan will hold a vigil for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with Confessions and the Rosary at 7:00 p.m., and a sung Mass in the traditional rite at 7:30. On the feast day itself, a procession will be held at 7:00 p.m., followed by a Solemn Mass in Spanish at 8:00. The church is located at 448 East 116th Street.

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