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- 10/10/18--16:01: _“Fearless Heralds o...
- 10/11/18--04:45: _Back in Print: Two ...
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- 10/14/18--13:53: _What Does the Canon...
- 10/15/18--05:57: _Oppositions
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- 10/16/18--17:40: _54-Day Rosary Noven...
- 10/11/18--17:22: Liturgical Notes on the Maternity of the Virgin Mary
- 10/12/18--04:25: Liturgical Books for Sale: Update
- 10/12/18--05:00: Books on Liturgy and the Sacraments for Sale
- 10/12/18--15:05: The Cathedral of St Lawrence in Trogir, Croatia
- 10/15/18--05:57: Oppositions
- 10/16/18--17:40: 54-Day Rosary Novena for the Clergy at Holy Innocents in NYC
This is the final part of the order of a synod according to the 1595 Pontifical of Pope Clement VIII; here are the links to part 1 and part 2. We are reposting this series for the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment; let us pray that the bishops of the current assembly may indeed be “fearless heralds of the truth.”
The bishop then turns to the altar and says:
Let us pray. Crying out to Thee, o Lord, with the cry of our heart, we ask as one, that, strengthened by the regard of Thy grace, we may become fearless heralds of the truth, and be able to speak Thy word with all confidence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.All answer “Amen”, and the bishop adds a second prayer.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who in the sacred prophecy of Thy word, did promise that where two or three would gather in Thy name, Thou wouldst be in their midst, in Thy mercy be present in our assembly, and enlighten our hearts, that we may in no way wander from the good of Thy mercy, but rather hold to the righteous path of Thy justice in all matters. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The bishop now sings, “Oremus”, the deacon “Flectamus genua”, and the subdeacon, after a pause, “Levate”, after which the bishop sings this prayer.
O God, who take heed to Thy people with forgiveness, and rule over them with love, grant the spirit of wisdom to those to whom Thou hast given to rule over discipline; that the shepherds may take eternal joy from the good progress of holy sheep. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The deacon then sings the following Gospel, Matthew 18, 15-22, with the normal ceremonies of a Pontifical Mass.
At that time: Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
|The First Vatican Council|
Venerable and most beloved brethren, it is fitting that all things which have not been done properly, or as fully as they ought, in regard to the duties of ecclesiastics, and the priestly ministries, and canonical sanctions, because of various distractions, or (which we cannot deny) our own and others’ idleness, should be sought out by the unanimous consent and will of us all, and humbly recited before your charity; and thus, whatever is in need of correction may be brought to a better estate by the help of the Lord. And if anyone be displeased by what is said, let him not hesitate to bring the matter before your charity with kindliness and gentility, so that all which is established or renewed by this our assembly, may be kept and held in the harmony of holy peace by all together, without contradiction, to the increase of all our eternal blessedness.There are then read out the constitutions put forth for the approval of the synod (presumably those which were voted upon the previous day), which are confirmed by those assembled. The bishop sits, and commends himself to the prayers of all present; the names of all those who are supposed to be present are read out, and each answers “Adsum – Present.” Notice is taken of those who are not present, so that they may be fined by the bishop.
In the Pontifical, there follows an immensely long model sermon, over 1000 words in Latin, in which the bishop reminds the priests of their many duties, both spiritual (“Receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with all reverence and fear.”) and temporal (“Let your churches be well decorated and clean.”) The bishop then says another prayer.
O Lord, the human conscience hath not such strength that it can endure the judgments of Thy will without offense; and therefore, because Thy eyes see our imperfection, deem as perfect that which we desire to conclude, merciful God, with the end of perfect justice. We have asked for Thee to come to us in the beginning, we hope in this end to have Thee forgive what we have judged wrongly; to wit, that Thou spare our ignorance, forgive our error, and grant, though the prayers now completed, perfect efficacy to the work. And since we grow faint from the sting of conscience, lest ignorance draw us into error, or hasty willfulness steer justice wrong, we ask this, we beseech Thee, that if we have brought upon ourselves any offense in the celebration of this synod, that we may know we are forgiven by Thy mercy. And since we are about to dismiss this synod, let us be first released from every bond of our sins, as forgiveness followeth transgressors, and eternal rewards follow those that confess Thee. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.The bishop gives the Pontifical blessing and proclaims an indulgence. The archdeacon then sings “Let us depart in peace”, and all answer “In the name of Christ.” All rise and accompany the bishop back to his residence.
The King’s Achievement. New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1957. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. xiv + 368 pp. Paperback, $16.95.
Robert Hugh Benson. By What Authority?New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1957. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. x + 372 pp. Paperback, $16.95.
I will start with my two all-time favorite historical novels, both by Robert Hugh Benson: The King’s Achievement, set in the times of Henry VIII, St Thomas More, St John Fisher, and the dissolution of the English monasteries, and By What Authority?, set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and St Edmund Campion. The words "suspenseful, poignant, lyrical, brutal, and triumphant" come to mind in describing this pair of novels, in which Benson vividly depicted a world vexed and torn by religious debates, intrigues, and violence.
Indeed, the author, who profoundly researched the Reformation period and, although the son of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, ended up converting to Roman Catholicism, knew what he was talking about both historically and personally. He writes with remarkable psychological penetration into the motives, the good and bad will, found on all sides, and convincingly portrays holiness, indifference, ambition, and evil. I found these novels illuminating about our contemporary situation, as well, since the Catholic Faith and fallen human nature never change.
The publisher's description of The King's Achievement:
One of the most coldly calculated acts of Henry VIII during the Reformations was the dissolution of the monasteries. Monks and nuns were driven from their cloisters; the abbeys were plundered and turned over to greedy courtiers. From these ignoble proceedings came Robert Hugh Benson's inspiration for this great historical novel, the story of a house divided against itself. The Torridon brothers are sworn to serve different masters; one is a monk, in love with the Mass and the Faith of Ages, the other an agent of Thomas Cromwell, in love with a protege of Sir Thomas More. Among the giant figures who move through the tale are those of St John Fisher and St Thomas More, the ruthless King Henry VIII, and the grasping Cromwell and Cranmer. Their actual deeds are carefully woven onto this harrowingly romantic tale of the attempted destruction and resilience of the Catholic Faith in England.The publisher's description of By What Authority:
The fates of two young people caught in a conflict of ideals is the theme of this stirring and tragic novel, set in the England of Elizabeth I. At a time when to follow the Old Religion meant at the least heavy fines and at the worst death, Puritan-bred Anthony and Isabel Norris find themselves drawn to the Church of their forefathers. Monsignor Benson has peopled his story with characters who, while remaining staunchly themselves, nonetheless illustrate the tensions of the time: low intriguers, valiant men and women, heroic figures such as Edmund Campion and the inscrutable Queen Elizabeth. In a story which delves into the deepest reaches of the Catholic and Anglican dilemma, Benson's own life struggles shine forth, ultimately finding their solution in the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."These novels went out of print decades ago, and until now have been available only in the most disgracefully OCRed, typo-ridden, badly formatted versions. To remedy this problem, Os Justi has scanned and made available the novels as published in 1957 in New York. The covers on both sides have been ornamented with period portraits suggestive of the characters in the novels. (I have my son Julian to thank for these beautiful cover designs.)
The Mass: A Liturgical Commentary. Vol. 1: The Mass of the Catechumens. Trans. J. Holland Smith. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1958. x + 251 pp. Paperback, $17.95.
Canon A. Croegaert, The Mass: A Liturgical Commentary. Vol. 2: The Mass of the Faithful. Trans. J. Holland Smith. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1959. x + 311 pp. Paperback, $18.95.
This pair of volumes, conveniently divided between the two parts of the Mass, is a testimony to the discriminating historical sense, robust theology, and fervent spirituality of the original Liturgical Movement in its healthy phase, and a melancholy reminder of what intelligent and sympathetic appreciation of Catholic tradition looked like on the eve of the Pauline revolution, before that tradition was swept away.
Now that the genuine Mass of the Roman Rite is returning to so many places, it is time that resources like these should be available again, not only for theoretical purposes but for a living and practical knowledge of the traditional rites of our religion, on the part of clergy who celebrate them, religious who live from them, and laity who assist at them.
The author, Canon Croegaert of Malines, follows a "conservative" line in the sense that he narrates how the liturgy developed over the centuries but instead of expressing skepticism or dismay about medieval and Baroque developments, he grasps the deep logic of their development and explains how they are beneficial. He occasionally points out abuses but is generally so entranced with the beauty of the liturgy as a whole and in all its parts that he is content to offer the history, make observations about elements that have fallen away or been modified, and point out ceremonial issues for the clergy. Here is the publisher's description:
Many priests express a desire for a deeper knowledge of the meaning and history of the rites and prayers of the holy sacrifice they celebrate every day, but have neither the leisure for research nor the sources, which are scattered through a great number of books, pamphlets and reviews. It has been our aim to provide a methodical and practical book for the clergy — one which will be useful both for their own instruction and in their apostolate. The order of the parts of the traditional Latin Mass has been followed throughout and each of the ceremonies is described separately. Each of the chapters provides a general introduction to its subject, a summary of the history of its origins and development and a description (where applicable) of the rite itself. The emphasis throughout is on the practical: on doctrine, history, liturgy and ascetic theology.Two short quotations from the work: "The Mass is the sacrifice of redemption itself, set before men, and made present in the midst of them, with all its power of glorification in honour of the Holy Trinity, with all its power of life and sanctification for us." And: "Christ has ordered the adoration of the Father by the Church in a definite pattern — through the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments, the rites and ceremonies of which have been defined in every detail by the Church."
The Sacrifice of the Mass Worthily Celebrated. 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.
This work is a translation (by the late bishop of Burlington, Vermont, no less) of a work originally composed in the 19th century by a Jesuit who specialized in the spiritual direction of priests. The book belongs to that wonderful genre, alas nearly gone extinct after the asteroid impact of the Council, of liturgical spiritual reading for clergy to aid them in offering the holy mysteries digne, attente, devote (worthily, attentively, devoutly).
Thus, Part I is about due preparation, and speaks of the excellence of the sacrifice of our altars, the holiness required by the altar, the particular virtues foremost at the altar, the power of sanctification made available to the priest at the altar, and immediate preparation, while Part II concerns the aims and methods a priest may use during the very celebration of the Mass to increase his concentration, fervor, and benefit, together with the obligation and the blessings of making a good thanksgiving. (As a layman, I also found its contents applicable by analogy to those who are striving to make the most out of their time in church during divine worship.)
Here is the publisher's summary:
Very much has been written in more recent times about the Mass and the cooperation of the laity in it; comparatively little, however, has been written concerning the attitude of the priest towards this Holy Sacrifice. And yet, if St. Thomas Aquinas is right to say “every time we celebrate the memory of his Host, we exercise the work of our redemption” (Summa III.83.1), then so mighty a work requires the best preparation. Father Pierre Chaignon, S.J. (1791–1883) was a French Jesuit priest and spiritual writer who devoted his life to the spiritual direction of other priests, giving an estimated three hundred retreats to French clergy over the course of thirty years. His deep love for the clergy and his concern for their sanctification shines forth in this beautiful book, which helps the priest to prepare well for Mass, celebrate it well, and then make a good thanksgiving afterwards. To stress the importance of his theme, “the worthy celebration of Mass by the priest,” the author incorporates in his work the mind of St. Thomas Aquinas, the fervor of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, the spirit of St. Charles Borromeo, and the zeal of St. Ignatius. Since its appearance, this work has been found very serviceable for meditation and spiritual reading. Father Chaignon’s clarity of thought and exactness of reasoning make the book well adapted to modern conditions under which priests also find themselves compelled to do things in a hurry.
Vocations. First published in 1913. Many editions in Ireland and beyond. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. vi + 48. Paperback, $7.00.
This classic from 1913, written by the lovable and heroic Fr. Willie Doyle who has been receiving a great deal more attention in recent years (including being the subject of a docudrama at EWTN), became an instant bestseller when it was first released, and was sold in the hundreds of thousands, in at least ten languages. Scores of clergy and religious told Fr Doyle later on that it was instrumental in awakening them to their vocations. I am not at all surprised, as it is probably the most clear-talking, inspiring, inviting, and positive booklet about priestly and religious vocations ever written.
In a letter to his father in 1917, shortly before his death on the battlefield as a World War I chaplain, Fr. Willie wrote: "After my ordination ... I was struck by the fact that there was nothing one could put into the hands of boys and girls to help them to a decision except ponderous volumes, which they could scarcely read." This little booklet is different: it gets right to the point, basing itself squarely on the sayings of Our Lord and the examples of His saints. Some of the chapters include "What is a vocation?," "Signs of a vocation," "Motives for entering religion [i.e., religious life]," "Trying a vocation," "Importance of following a vocation," "Opposition," "Objections," "Advantages of religious life."
If you are discerning a vocation; if you know people who are; if you are a parent who hopes and prays for vocations; if you are a priest or religious encouraging vocations; if you are working with children or young adults and are looking for good reading to give to them — I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of this, give it a read, and see what you think. Fr. Willie's powerful little book (less than 50 pages) deserves to reach a great readership.
(For those who'd like to read more about Fr Willie, my daughter Genevieve published a short biography of him with choice quotations at OnePeterFive, on the exact 100th anniversary of his brave death on August 16, 1917.)
The Battle of Lepanto, by an unknown artist, late 16th century, now in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.
In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast of the Virgin’s Maternity to the universal calendar, assigning it to October 11th, which was then the first free day of the month. A breviary lesson was added to the feast, which explains that the Pope intended it to serve as a liturgical commemoration of the 15th centenary of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. The third Ecumenical council was held in that city in 431 to refute the heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, by which he rejected the liturgical use of the title “Mother of God” for the Virgin Mary. Shortly thereafter, Pope Sixtus III (432-40) built the basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Mother of God, which still preserves a famous mosaic with episodes of Her life on the arch over the altar. Pope Pius XI also notes in this lesson that had arranged for extensive restorations of the basilica, “a noble monument of the proclamation of Ephesus,” and particularly the mosaic.
The crest of Pope St John XXIII, in the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica; the opening date of Vatican II is written beneath it, without reference to the feast of the Maternity of the Virgin Mary.
But in point of the fact, the latter observance arises from a particular Byzantine custom, by which several major feasts are followed by the commemoration of a sacred person who figures prominently in the feast, but who is, so to speak, overshadowed by another. These are usually, but not invariably, called “σύναξις (synaxis)” in Greek, “собóръ (sobor)” in Church Slavonic; that of St John the Baptist is kept on January 7th, the day after the Baptism of the Lord, that of St Gabriel the day after the Annunciation, that of the Twelve Apostles after Ss Peter and Paul, and that of Ss Joachim and Anne, the Virgin’s parents, on the day after Her Nativity. These are not the principal feasts of the persons honored by these “synaxes”, and one also finds in the Byzantine Calendar the feasts of St John on June 24 and August 29, of St Gabriel on June 11, the Apostles each on their own day (rarely the same as in the Roman Rite), and St Anne on July 26.
September 9th is also kept by the Byzantines as the commemoration of the “Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus”; a most appropriate choice, since the liturgical New Year of the Byzantine Rite is on September 1st, and the Nativity of the Virgin is therefore the first Marian feast of the year. And indeed, the Maternity of the Virgin Mary would be better described, despite its title, as a Roman version of this Byzantine feast of the Fathers at Ephesus. The Byzantine Rite also has similar commemorations of the Fathers of the other ecumenical councils, as well as a joint commemoration of those of the first six, and another of Second Nicea.
An icon of the “Synod of the Holy Fathers”, in which the Emperor Constantine holds a scroll with the opening words of the Nicene Creed in Greek.
UPDATE ON OCTOBER 12: Of the titles listed below, only 5 and A are still available. I have removed the titles already sold. Another list of titles which Fr Simons has available will be published very shortly.
5. Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus, Mame Publisher (Printed in France), 1956, 126 pages, embossed, red edges, ribbon, good condition, $175.
B. The Roman Missal in Latin and English for Masses for the Dead, Collegeville, The Liturgical Press, 1966, 68 pages, leatherette binding, gold stamped, 3 ribbons, excellent condition, $50.
1. The Early Liturgy, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN, 1959, 314 pages, $45.
2. Pastoral Liturgy, Herder & Herder, NY, 1962, 430 pages, $50.
3. Public Worship: A Survey, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1957, 249 pages, $40.
4. The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development (2 volumes), Benziger Brothers, NY, 1949, 494/531 pages, $85.
5. Liturgical Worship: An Inquiry into its Fundamental Principles, Frederick Pustet Co, New York, 1941, 141 pages, $35.
6. Liturgy of the Roman Church, Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, WI, 1957, 476 pages, $60.
7. Liturgies of the Past, Longmans, London, 1959, 487 pages, $60.
8. Liturgies of the Religious Orders, Longmans, London, 1955, 431 pages, $60.
9. Eucharistic Reservation in the Western Church, Sheed & Ward, NY, 1965, 258 pages, $50.
10. The Rites of Eastern Christendom (2 volumes), Catholic Book Agency, Rome, Italy, 1947/1948, 678/668 pages, $85.
11. Concelebration in the Christian Church, A.R. Mowbray & Co, London, 1966, 149 pages, $45.
13. Christian Worship: Its Origin and Evolution, Msgr. L. Duchesne, SPCK, London, 1931, 593 pages, $50.
14. The Roman Pontifical: A History and Commentary, Dom Pierre De Puniet, OSB, Longmans, London, 1932, 279 pages, $55.
15. The Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy, S.J.P. Van Dijk, OFM & J. Hazelden Walker, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1958, 586 pages, $50.
16. Essays in Early Roman Liturgy, Alcuin Club Collections No 46, G. G. Willis, SPCK, 1964, 147 pages, $40.
17. Further Essays in Early Roman Liturgy, Alcuin Club Collections No 50, G. G. Willis, SPCK, London, 1968, 267 pages, $45.
18. The Eighth-Century Gelasian Sacramentary: A Study in Tradition, Bernard Moreton, Oxford University Press, London, 1976, 222 pages, $45.
19. The Leonine Sacramentary: A Reassessment of its Nature and Purpose, D. M. Hope, Oxford University Press, London, 1971, 164 pages, $45.
20. Comparative Liturgy, Anton Baumstark, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1958, 249 pages, $45.
21. The Progress of the Liturgy, Dom Olivier Rousseau, OSB, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1951, 219 pages, $30.
22. The Shape of the Liturgy, Dom Gregory Dix, The Seabury Press, NY, 1945/1982, 777 pages, $35.
23. The Use of Lights in Christian Worship, Alcuin Club Collections No 51, D. R. Dendy, SPCK, London, 1959, 197 pages, $45.
24. The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church, J. M. Neale, AMS Press, NY, 1970 (reprinted from the 1855 London edition), 368 pages, $40.
25. The Early History of the Liturgy, J. H. Srawley, Cambridge University Press, London, 1949, 240 pages, $35.
26. Fundamentals of the Liturgy, Rev. John H. Miller, CSC, Fides Publishers, Inc., Notre Dame, IN, 1959, 531 pages, $40.
27. The Influence of the Synagogue upon the Divine Office, Alcuin Club Collections No 45, C. W. Dugmore, The Faith Press Ltd, Westminster, London, 1964, 151 pages, $35.
28. History of the Roman Breviary, Msgr. Pierre Batiffol, Longmans, London, 1912, 341 pages, $70.
29. A Handbook of the Liturgy, Rudolf Peil, Herder & Herder, NY, 1960, 317 pages, $40.
30. The Liturgy of the Roman Rite, Ludwig Eisenhofer & Joseph Lechner, Herder, Freiburg & Nelson, Edinburgh-London, 1961, 507 pages, $45.
31. Catholic Liturgies, translated and adapted from the German of Richard Stapper, STD, Professor of Liturgy at the University of Muenster by David Baier, OFM, STD, St. Anthony Guild Press, Patterson, NJ, 1935, 379 pages, $40.
32. Egeria: Diary of a Pilgrimage, Ancient Christian Writers, translated by George E. Gingas, Newman Press, NY, 1970, 287 pages, $40.
33. Christian Worship in East and West: A Study Guide to Liturgical History, Herman A.J. Wegman, Pueblo Publishing Company, NY, 1985, 390 pages, $35.
34. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, translated into English with Introduction and Notes by Burton Scott Easton, Archon Books (with permission of Cambridge University Press, London), 1962, 112 pages, $35.
35. Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources, Cyrille Vogel (translated and revised by William Storey and Niels Rasmussen, OP), The Pastoral Press, Washington, DC, 1986, 443 pages, $35.
36. Theological Dimensions of the Liturgy, Dom Cyprian Vagaggini, OSB, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1976, 996 pages, $55.
37. The Sacrament Reserved, Alcuin Club Collections No 21, W. H. Freestone, A.R. Mowbray & Co, London & Oxford, 1917, 281 pages, $90.
38. The Theologies of the Eucharist in the Early Scholastic Period, Gary Macy, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1984, 248 pages, $35.
39. The Liturgy and the Word of God, Martimort, Jounel, Danielou, von Balthasar, Bouyer, Roguet, Gelineau, Coudreau, Moeller, Lecuyer, Spuelbeck, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1959, 183 pages, $30.
40. Liturgy and Spirituality, Gabriel M. Braso, OSB, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1971, 297 pages, $30.
41. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century, John Harper, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991, 337 pages, $40.
42. Eucharist: Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1968, 484 pages, $45.
43. The Eucharist in the Primitive Church, Edward J. Kilmartin, SJ, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1965, 181 pages, $40.
44. The Rite of Concelebration of Mass and of Communion under Both Species, Pierre Jounel, Desclee Company, New York, 1967, 197 pages, $35.
45. Concelebration: Sign of the Unity of the Church, Jean Carroll McGowan, RSCJ, Herder & Herder, New York, 1964, 128 pages, $30.
46. Proclaiming God’s Message: A Study in the Theology of Preaching, Domenico Grasso, SJ, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1965, 272 pages, $35.
47. Liturgical Piety, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1955, 284 pages, $35.
48. Rite & Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1963, 220 pages, $35.
49. The Bible and the Liturgy, Jean Danielou, SJ, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1956, 372 pages, $35.
50. Basic Liturgy: A Study in the Structure of the Eucharistic Prayer, Bro. George Every, SSM, The Faith Press, London, 1961, 126 pages, $35.
51. Early Christian Worship, Oscar Cullmann, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1953, 126 pages, $30.
52. The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform, Cipriano Vagaggini, Alba House, Staten Island, NY, 1967, 200 pages, $35.
53. A Commentary on the Prefaces and the Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Missal, Msgr. Louis Soubigou, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1971, 340 pages, $40.
54. Rome and the Vernacular, Angelus A. De Marco, OFM, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1961, 191 pages, $35.
55. Bread and the Liturgy: The Symbolism of Early Christian and Byzantine Bread Stamps, George Galavaris, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1970, 235 pages, $40.
56. Baptism and Confirmation, Burkhard Neunheuser, OSB, Herder, Freiburg, 1964, 252 pages, $40.
57. Christian Initiation: The Reformation Period, Alcuin Club Collections no 51, J. D. C. Fisher, SPCK, London, 1970, 271 pages, $40.
58. Christian Initiation 1552-1969: Rites of Baptism and Confirmation since the Reformation Period, Alcuin Club Collections No 52, Peter J. Jagger, 1970, 321 pages, $40.
59. The Seal of the Spirit: A Study in the Doctrine of Baptism and Confirmation in the New Testament and the Fathers (2nd Edition), G. W. H. Lampe, SPCK, London, 1967, 344 pages, $45.
60. Christian Initiation in Spain: c. 300-1100, T. C. Akeley, OGS, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1967, 223 pages, $40.
This article was originally published last December, when the first reports were coming out about the possible canonization of Pope Paul VI, but had not yet been confirmed. It is here reposted with a few changes, mostly by way of elimating the theoretical “would”, “if”, etc. I do not say anything here about whether his canonization is per se appropriate or opportune, but I commend this article on the subject by Dr Kwasniewski to our readers’ attention. I ask those who wish to comment here to address only the question of what the canonization means for the future prospects of the liturgy and liturgical reform.
The canonization of a Saint does not change the facts of his earthly life. It does not rectify the mistakes he made, whether knowingly or unknowingly. It does not change his failures into successes, whether they came about through his fault or that of others. When St Joseph Calasanz died in 1648, the religious order he had founded, the Piarists, was to all intents and purposes destroyed. Ten years after Calasanz was canonized, another religious founder, St Alphonse Liguori was tricked by a close friend and early collaborator into signing a document which badly compromised the Redemptorist Order, and he was openly reproved by his confreres for having destroyed it. (The life of St Joseph Calasanz was one of his favorite books for spiritual reading in his later years.) These are historical facts which were not in the least bit altered by their later canonization and the later restoration of their orders.
Likewise, there have been and still are many Catholic historians who believe that St Pius V’s excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and his decree releasing her subjects from obedience to her, was a significant error in judgment; they are not bad or disloyal Catholics for holding such an opinion. There are others who hold exactly the opposite opinion, and they are not good and loyal Catholics merely for the fact of holding such an opinion.
I mention St Pius V particularly because he also, of course, gave the Church a significant reform of the liturgy. It will surely be argued from the canonization of Paul VI that his liturgical reform must be held in the same veneration shown to that of St Pius V in the post-Tridentine period. This will be a false comparison on every level, and should be flatly rejected as such. The Pius V reform is significant precisely because it was deliberately conceived as a very conservative reform in the proper sense of the term, a reform that sought to conserve the authentic tradition of Catholic worship, and change only what it was felt to be absolutely necessary to change for the good of the Church. The Paul VI reform is significant for exactly the opposite reason, because it introduced more changes into the liturgy and more rapidly than had ever happened before in the Church’s history.
The reform of the liturgical books begun by St Pius V and continued by his successors was one of the great successes of the Counter Reformation, and one from which the Church unquestionably drew many spiritual benefits. This does not change the fact that, unwittingly, it also set in motion a process by which the other Uses of the Roman Rite were gradually Romanized, and many valuable things (such as nearly the entire corpus of Sequences) were effectively lost. Many liturgical writers have regretted such losses, and whether one agrees with them or not, they have not been bad Catholics for doing so. The same applies to the reform of the Breviary by St Pius X; and likewise, many Catholics hold Pope Pius XII in the highest regard for a variety of good reasons, while disliking the Holy Week reform which he promulgated.
All of which is to say, the intrinsic merits or demerits of the post-Conciliar reform, and its status as a success or a failure, have not been changed in any way, shape or form by the canonization of Paul VI. No one can honestly say otherwise, and no one has the right to attack, silence or call for the silencing of other Catholics if they contest that reform. If that reform went beyond the spirit and the letter of what Vatican II asked for in Sacrosanctum Concilium, as its own creators openly bragged that it did; if it was based on bad scholarship and a significant degree of basic incompetence, leading to the many changes now known to be mistakes; if it failed utterly to bring about the flourishing of liturgical piety that the Fathers of Vatican II desired, none of these things have changed today. Just as the canonizations of Pius V and X, and the future canonization of XII, did not place their liturgical reforms beyond question or debate, the canonization of Paul VI does not put anything about his reform beyond debate, and no one has any right to say otherwise.
To the absence of God in the world, the Church opposes His Real Presence on the altar.
To the banality and sterility of evil, the Church opposes the wondrous life-giving Cross.
To the sacrificial machinery of liberalism, the Church opposes the one liberating Sacrifice of Calvary.
To ineffectual laments and humanistic dreams, the Church opposes her potent Sacraments of life and death.
To the hollow monotony of materialism, the Church opposes the adoration and vigilance of hosts of angels, each its own species with its own voice of praise.
To navel-gazing nihilism, the Church opposes the only human beings who are fully real: the saints.
To the obsession with activity, the Church opposes the inscrutable power of resting at the feet of Christ.
To instant communication, the Church opposes timeless communion.
To the pursuit of novelty and relevance, the Church opposes her perpetual newness and essential rightness.
To the noise of the modern world, the Church opposes the still, small voice of God.
To the cacophony of amplified sound, the Church opposes the imperturbable silence of her prayer.
To the ennervating clichés of worldly music, the Church opposes the elevating freshness of her chant.
To suffocating pleasures of the flesh that end in worms, the Church opposes the flight of contemplation and the glory of resurrection.
To the deathly ennui of life without God, the Church opposes being lost in Christ and found by Him.
To the idolatry of Progress and mindless modernization, the Church opposes the inexhaustible fruitfulness of age-old Tradition.
It may also prompt the realization of the irreducible centrality of authentic religious life, in which all of these characteristics of the true Church are concentrated and crystallized, enfleshed and exalted.
An Artistic Pilgrimage
In some ways, one might even think of this as a sort of artistic pilgrimage. Readers will know that I have suggested that the style of a 13th-century monk based at St Albans, Matthew Paris, is one that I think could be the basis of a liturgical style for today. I have called this style The School of St Albans; the suggestion originally came from a student in a class of mine. My experience as a teacher is that Roman Catholics do seem to take to this style naturally, and make it their own even in a single class. You can see work done by my students in a week-long workshop in a past blog post here.
True to the Gothic spirit, Paris drew and painted not only sacred art for books like psalters, but also illustrations of Saints that were probably not made as a focus of prayer, and also include figures like Plato and Socrates, with plants and animals around them.
|St Amphibalus, (a convert of St Albans), baptizing converts - not full immersion!|
|Euclid and Herman the Dalmatian (a medieval philosopher)|
I have only seen illuminated manuscripts by Paris, and generally, they are miniatures. Some have questioned whether or not this style would work on a large scale. I have always thought that it could be adapted to work on the walls of modern churches. So, when I had heard that there are some original medieval wall paintings that have been uncovered at St Albans Cathedral, I very much wanted to see them in order to get a sense of their scale, and to make a sort of pilgrimage to the place that nurtured such a great, and largely unsung, artist in the 13th century.
With these things in mind, I entered the cathedral. After a quick prayer for the peaceful return of stolen property to the Church, I stepped inside.
The paintings are pale, but as we can see, done on a large scale and according to this same basic style - form described by line, with simple coloration. Whether or not you are convinced that it is right to use this style today, we can certainly conclude that the artists of the period felt that it was appropriate for floor-to-ceiling frescoes, this church has a high ceiling). I would encourage patrons and artists to look at these and think about how they could reproduce this style in our churches. I think that it allows for large areas to be covered relatively easily and appropriately:
Here is the series of prayers which will be added to the individual mysteries of the Rosary as part of the novena; it includes a series of petitions to be made for the first 27 days, followed by a series of thanksgivings for the last 27 days. We include these for those who may wish to to unite their prayers on behalf of the Church and the clergy to this initiative.