Tuesday, 21 September 2021

New Liturgical Movement: In Uncertain Times, House Chapels Proliferate

New Liturgical Movement: In Uncertain Times, House Chapels Proliferate

In Uncertain Times, House Chapels Proliferate

In Western history, house chapels are a phenomenon associated mostly with aristocrats who lived on large estates and could afford to employ a resident chaplain. In times of persecution, these chapels often became important places of refuge, since their remoteness, together with the status of the family owners, introduced a kind of safety buffer between the outside world and the services that took place within. This safety was not always enough, alas, to prevent priests from being surprised and captured by hostile state forces.

While some house chapels of the aforementioned sort are still in existence and functional, it is becoming more common to see modest chapels being built in the homes of ordinary Catholic laity. A basement renovation, a small spare room, an attic, all offer possibilities for building an altar and setting up a space that is appropriate for the Mass and other devotions in a time of necessity. Some families simply wish to create a prayerful space where they can gather for individual or group prayer, in an environment that reminds them of and connects them with the parish or chapel where they usually go for Mass. Others, keenly aware of the grave and deteriorating situation in which the Church finds itself in the West, have decided to "plan ahead" by making a suitable space for eventual underground or "canceled" priests. One diocese has already outlawed private traditional Masses altogether, and there may be more that follow suit. Priests in such dioceses will benefit from having places of refuge where they can bypass the unjust restrictions and offer Mass to God, in the presence of grateful laity.

In January, I published an article at NLM called "Building a Home Altar," which offered practical advice about specs that could be used for an altar, as well as some other desiderata. Afterwards I received some interesting photographs, a selection of which I wish to share for the edification and inspiration of readers who may be thinking along similar lines.

The first set of photos is of a lovely chapel in a basement. The family has plans for further decoration.
The second set of photos shows another basement chapel. The owner is friends with a woodworker who built for her, out of spare parts, a shrine to the Sacred Heart, located in the same room. One notes the Stations of the Cross as well: it seems that this space is well appointed for personal and family prayer. We all know of families who have to drive long distances to get to a traditional Mass. For such families, having the Stations at home, set up along the perimeter of a sufficiently large room, would be a boon, especially during the season of Lent.
 
 
Finally, an unusual item to share from a priest, who is in a pastoral situation where saying the old Mass is risky. He has fitted out a closet as a "side altar," which can then be closed and hidden at any other time.
Some readers may be inclined to scoff or raise eyebrows at Masses held in homes, as if it is a thing that should not be done. They would be right in this sense: in ideal circumstances, every parish church, every cathedral, every basilica, should be breathing the sacred silence of the Low Mass and should be ringing with the sounds of Gregorian chant and the pipe organ at the Missa cantata and the Missa solemnis. But that is not where we are—not even remotely. And in a time of growing hostility to the tradition of the Church, our patrimony must be preserved and handed on. In the 1970s, there were plenty of Masses in hotels and living rooms: that is a large part of the reason we have the traditional Mass today in churches and cathedrals. Fr. James Jackson writes in the Acknowledgments of his book Nothing Superfluous: "I thank Mr. Alan Hicks, who invited me to Dr. Senior's home for a Low Mass, celebrated with great love by the late Fr. Harry Marchowski. It was the first time I was the ancient rite of the Mass. Though a living room is no basilica, there was a perfect devotion there" (p. xvi).

Robert Hugh Benson's historical novel set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, By What Authority?, furnishes the best fictional treatment of a secret Mass in a home of which I am aware. One of the principal characters, a Puritan lady named Isabel, who has become intimate friends with a Catholic recusant family and is drawn to their faith, experiences her first Mass, said by a priest who has been racked multiple times and who has nonetheless escaped with his life. Given the extremely dangerous circumstances, it has to take place in the middle of the night, in the living room of the manor. Here is the excerpt: it is one of the finest descriptions of the Holy Mass in all of English literature.

*       *       *

Cover of the Os Justi Press edition

The chapel at Maxwell Hall was in the cloister wing; but a stranger visiting the house would never have suspected it. Opening out of Lady Maxwell's new sitting-room was a little lobby or landing, about four yards square, lighted from above; at the further end of it was the door into her bedroom. This lobby was scarcely more than a broad passage; and would attract no attention from any passing through it. The only piece of furniture in it was a great tall old chest as high as a table, that stood against the inner wall beyond which was the long gallery that looked down upon the cloister garden. The lobby appeared to be practically as broad as the two rooms on either side of it; but this was effected by the outer wall being made to bulge a little; and the inner wall being thinner than inside the two living-rooms. The deception was further increased by the two living-rooms being first wainscoted and then hung with thick tapestry; while the lobby was bare. A curious person who should look in the chest would find there only an old dress and a few pieces of stuff. This lobby, however, was the chapel; and through the chest was the entrance to one of the priest's hiding holes, where also the altar-stone and the ornaments and the vestments were kept. The bottom of the chest was in reality hinged in such a way that it would fall, on the proper pressure being applied in two places at once, sufficiently to allow the side of the chest against the wall to be pushed aside, which in turn gave entrance to a little space some two yards long by a yard wide; and here were kept all the necessaries for divine worship; with room besides for a couple of men at least to be hidden away. There was also a way from this hole on to the roof, but it was a difficult and dangerous way; and was only to be used in case of extreme necessity.

It was in this lobby that Isabel found herself the next morning kneeling and waiting for mass. She had been awakened by Mistress Margaret shortly before four o'clock and told in a whisper to dress herself in the dark; for it was impossible under the circumstances to tell whether the house was not watched; and a light seen from outside might conceivably cause trouble and disturbance. So she had dressed herself and come down from her room along the passages, so familiar during the day, so sombre and suggestive now in the black morning with but one shaded light placed at the angles. Other figures were stealing along too; but she could not tell who they were in the gloom. Then she had come through the little sitting-room where the scene of last night had taken place and into the lobby beyond.

But the whole place was transformed.

Over the old chest now hung a picture, that usually was in Lady Maxwell's room, of the Blessed Mother and her holy Child, in a great carved frame of some black wood. The chest had become an altar: Isabel could see the slight elevation in the middle of the long white linen cloth where the altar-stone lay, and upon that again, at the left corner, a pile of linen and silk. Upon the altar at the back stood two slender silver candlesticks with burning tapers in them; and a silver crucifix between them. The carved wooden panels, representing the sacrifice of Isaac on the one half and the offering of Melchisedech on the other, served instead of an embroidered altar-frontal. Against the side wall stood a little white-covered folding table with the cruets and other necessaries upon it. There were two or three benches across the rest of the lobby; and at these were kneeling a dozen or more persons, motionless, their faces downcast. There was a little wind such as blows before the dawn moaning gently outside; and within was a slight draught that made the taper flames lean over now and then.

Isabel took her place beside Mistress Margaret at the front bench; and as she knelt forward she noticed a space left beyond her for Lady Maxwell. A moment later there came slow and painful steps through the sitting-room, and Lady Maxwell came in very slowly with her son leaning on her arm and on a stick. There was a silence so profound that it seemed to Isabel as if all had stopped breathing. She could only hear the slow plunging pulse of her own heart.

James took his mother across the altar to her place, and left her there, bowing to her; and then went up to the altar to vest. As he reached it and paused, a servant slipped out and received the stick from him. The priest made the sign of the cross, and took up the amice from the vestments that lay folded on the altar. He was already in his cassock.

Isabel watched each movement with a deep agonising interest; he was so frail and broken, so bent in his figure, so slow and feeble in his movements. He made an attempt to raise the amice but could not, and turned slightly; and the man from behind stepped up again and lifted it for him. Then he helped him with each of the vestments, lifted the alb over his head and tenderly drew the bandaged hands through the sleeves; knit the girdle round him; gave him the stole to kiss and then placed it over his neck and crossed the ends beneath the girdle and adjusted the amice; then he placed the maniple on his left arm, but so tenderly! and lastly, lifted the great red chasuble and dropped it over his head and straightened it—and there stood the priest as he had stood last Sunday, in crimson vestments again; but bowed and thin-faced now.

Then he began the preparation with the servant who knelt beside him in his ordinary livery, as server; and Isabel heard the murmur of the Latin words for the first time. Then he stepped up to the altar, bent slowly and kissed it and the mass began.

Isabel had a missal, lent to her by Mistress Margaret; but she hardly looked at it; so intent was she on that crimson figure and his strange movements and his low broken voice. It was unlike anything that she had ever imagined worship to be. Public worship to her had meant hitherto one of two things—either sitting under a minister and having the word applied to her soul in the sacrament of the pulpit; or else the saying of prayers by the minister aloud and distinctly and with expression, so that the intellect could follow the words, and assent with a hearty Amen. The minister was a minister to man of the Word of God, an interpreter of His gospel to man.

But here was a worship unlike all this in almost every detail. The priest was addressing God, not man; therefore he did so in a low voice, and in a tongue as Campion had said on the scaffold "that they both understood." It was comparatively unimportant whether man followed it word for word, for (and here the second radical difference lay) the point of the worship for the people lay, not in an intellectual apprehension of the words, but in a voluntary assent to and participation in the supreme act to which the words were indeed necessary but subordinate. It was the thing that was done, not the words that were said, that was mighty with God. Here, as these Catholics round Isabel at any rate understood it, and as she too began to perceive it too, though dimly and obscurely, was the sublime mystery of the Cross presented to God. As He looked down well pleased into the silence and darkness of Calvary, and saw there the act accomplished by which the world was redeemed, so here (this handful of disciples believed), He looked down into the silence and twilight of this little lobby, and saw that same mystery accomplished at the hands of one who in virtue of his participation in the priesthood of the Son of God was empowered to pronounce these heart-shaking words by which the Body that hung on Calvary, and the Blood that dripped from it there, were again spread before His eyes, under the forms of bread and wine.  Much of this faith of course was still dark to Isabel; but yet she understood enough; and when the murmur of the priest died to a throbbing silence, and the worshippers sank in yet more profound adoration, and then with terrible effort and a quick gasp or two of pain, those wrenched bandaged hands rose trembling in the air with Something that glimmered white between them; the Puritan girl too drooped her head, and lifted up her heart, and entreated the Most High and most Merciful to look down on the Mystery of Redemption accomplished on earth; and for the sake of the Well-Beloved to send down His Grace on the Catholic Church; to strengthen and save the living; to give rest and peace to the dead; and especially to remember her dear brother Anthony, and Hubert whom she loved; and Mistress Margaret and Lady Maxwell, and this faithful household: and the poor battered man before her, who, not only as a priest was made like to the Eternal Priest, but as a victim too had hung upon a prostrate cross, fastened by hands and feet; thus bearing on his body for all to see the marks of the Lord Jesus.     

Lady Maxwell and Mistress Margaret both rose and stepped forward after the Priest's Communion, and received from those wounded hands the Broken Body of the Lord.

And then the mass was presently over; and the server stepped forward again to assist the priest to unvest, himself lifting each vestment off, for Father Maxwell was terribly exhausted by now, and laying it on the altar. Then he helped him to a little footstool in front of him, for him to kneel and make his thanksgiving. Isabel looked with an odd wonder at the server; he was the man that she knew so well, who opened the door for her, and waited at table; but now a strange dignity rested on him as he moved confidently and reverently about the awful altar, and touched the vestments that even to her Puritan eyes shone with new sanctity. It startled her to think of the hidden Catholic life of this house—of these servants who loved and were familiar with mysteries that she had been taught to dread and distrust, but before which she too now was to bow her being in faith and adoration.

After a minute or two, Mistress Margaret touched Isabel on the arm and beckoned to her to come up to the altar, which she began immediately to strip of its ornaments and cloth, having first lit another candle on one of the benches. Isabel helped her in this with a trembling dread, as all the others except Lady Maxwell and her son were now gone out silently; and presently the picture was down, and leaning against the wall; the ornaments and sacred vessels packed away in their box, with the vestments and linen in another. Then together they lifted off the heavy altar stone. Mistress Margaret next laid back the lid of the chest; and put her hands within, and presently Isabel saw the back of the chest fall back, apparently into the wall. Mistress Margaret then beckoned to Isabel to climb into the chest and go through; she did so without much difficulty, and found herself in the little room behind. There was a stool or two and some shelves against the wall, with a plate or two upon them and one or two tools. She received the boxes handed through, and followed Mistress Margaret's instructions as to where to place them; and when all was done, she slipped back again through the chest into the lobby.

The priest and his mother were still in their places, motionless. Mistress Margaret closed the chest inside and out, beckoned Isabel into the sitting-room and closed the door behind them. Then she threw her arms round the girl and kissed her again and again.

"My own darling," said the nun, with tears in her eyes. "God bless you—your first mass. Oh! I have prayed for this. And you know all our secrets now. Now go to your room, and to bed again. It is only a little after five. You shall see him—James—before he goes. God bless you, my dear!"

She watched Isabel down the passage; and then turned back again to where the other two were still kneeling, to make her own thanksgiving.

Isabel went to her room as one in a dream. She was soon in bed again, but could not sleep; the vision of that strange worship she had assisted at; the pictorial details of it, the glow of the two candles on the shoulders of the crimson chasuble as the priest bent to kiss the altar or to adore; the bowed head of the server at his side; the picture overhead with the Mother and her downcast eyes, and the radiant Child stepping from her knees to bless the world—all this burned on the darkness. With the least effort of imagination too she could recall the steady murmur of the unfamiliar words; hear the rustle of the silken vestment; the stirrings and breathings of the worshippers in the little room.

Then in endless course the intellectual side of it all began to present itself. She had assisted at what the Government called a crime; it was for that—that collection of strange but surely at least innocent things—actions, words, material objects—that men and women of the same flesh and blood as herself were ready to die; and for which others equally of one nature with herself were ready to put them to death. It was the mass—the mass—she had seen—she repeated the word to herself, so sinister, so suggestive, so mighty. Then she began to think again—if indeed it is possible to say that she had ever ceased to think of him—of Anthony, who would be so much horrified if he knew; of Hubert, who had renounced this wonderful worship, and all, she feared, for love of her—and above all of her father, who had regarded it with such repugnance:—yes, thought Isabel, but he knows all now. Then she thought of Mistress Margaret again. After all, the nun had a spiritual life which in intensity and purity surpassed any she had ever experienced or even imagined; and yet the heart of it all was the mass. She thought of the old wrinkled quiet face when she came back to breakfast at the Dower House: she had soon learnt to read from that face whether mass had been said that morning or not at the Hall. And Mistress Margaret was only one of thousands to whom this little set of actions half seen and words half heard, wrought and said by a man in a curious dress, were more precious than all meditation and prayer put together. Could the vast superstructure of prayer and effort and aspiration rest upon a piece of empty folly such as children or savages might invent?

Then very naturally, as she began now to get quieter and less excited, she passed on to the spiritual side of it. Had that indeed happened that Mistress Margaret believed—that the very Body and Blood of her own dear Saviour, Jesus Christ, had in virtue of His own clear promise—His own clear promise!—become present there under the hands of His priest? Was it, indeed,—this half-hour action,—the most august mystery of time, the Lamb eternally slain, presenting Himself and His Death before the Throne in a tremendous and bloodless Sacrifice—so august that the very angels can only worship it afar off and cannot perform it?

Sunday, 19 September 2021

A prayer for a miracle: the sudden, complete and lasting obliteration of COVID-19. | Fr. Z's Blog

A prayer for a miracle: the sudden, complete and lasting obliteration of COVID-19. | Fr. Z's Blog

A prayer for a miracle: the sudden, complete and lasting obliteration of COVID-19.

Almighty and eternal God, who shaped us from the mud of the earth and breathed into us beautiful life and eternal souls made to give You glory, look graciously now upon Your poor creatures who have fallen into sin.  We now cry out for mercy, though we have deserved Your wrath and the rod of Your correction and trials.  Be appeased.  Lift from us this present affliction of disease and its fear as once You withdrew Your destroying Angel from scourging Jerusalem after smiting Israel with the sword of plague.  Look kindly on us, kneeling as if upon the threshing floor.  Look into our ashen and sackcloth laden hearts which we desire never again to be hardened against the promptings of Your Spirit, and forgive.  Forgive the offences so many of Your ungrateful images have committed against the Hearts of our Lord and His Mother.   Forgive the countless sacrilegious Communions of the last decades.  Forgive Your priests and bishops who in great numbers have abandoned their proper place between Your people and Your altars.  Some have committed unspeakable offences, not excluding even manifest idolatry.  Forgive all of us every neglect and unworthy deed and thought as well as any lingering attachment to sins.  Forgive all the sins that have cried to heaven.  Forgive and then give us graces for our fuller sorrow out of love for You, more than our dread of punishment, and also for our firm purpose of amendment.  Bold with confidence that the prayers of the converted sinner are precious to You, we now dare to ask You for a miracle.  By Your might, annihilate the COVID-19 virus and all its mutations and variations.  Restrain this disease, this consequence of sin, and make it to be harmless.  We ask that You do this, almighty and merciful God, suddenly, completely, and in a lasting way so that the peoples of the whole world will recognize Your almighty hand and fall upon their faces in wonder, faith and gratitude.  By this miracle, reveal Your love and kindness even though we do not merit the least of Your favors.  Even while we submit ourselves to Your will, we ask this, Eternal Father, through Our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who died for us on Calvary and rose again in glorious impassibility.  We ask this through the Holy Spirit the Consoler.   We implore this through the intercession of Saint Raphael, Your healing Archangel, as well as through ____.   In particular we, now humbled, entrust this audacious petition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick.  Let her intercede for us as the Queen of Heaven whom Your Son will not refuse. "Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory."  O God, loving and kind, we beg You to grant us this miracle.  Amen.

___

For private recitation.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

RORATE CÆLI: AUDI, ISRAËL: Jewish Feasts in the Propers of the Traditional Roman Rite

RORATE CÆLI: AUDI, ISRAËL: Jewish Feasts in the Propers of the Traditional Roman Rite

AUDI, ISRAËL: Jewish Feasts in the Propers of the Traditional Roman Rite

by Alisa Kunitz-Dick

 

Christ unrolls the scroll at the Synagogue at Nazareth [Lk. 4]
James Tissot (c. 1890), Brooklyn Museum

Several weeks ago, Fr Albert Marcello wrote of the commemoration (in the nontechnical sense of the word) of Tisha B'Av within the propers at Mass.  What Fr Marcello noticed is not an isolated incident.  There are a number of commemorations of holidays from the Jewish calendar in the propers of the ancient Latin liturgy, which do not appear in the Novus Ordo.   


I have complied a list of all of the ones that I have noticed, and explain in bold how they correspond to the holiday, if it is not obvious.  Altogether there are commemorations of all the major Jewish Holy Days and feasts, roughly at the same time they occur in the Jewish calendar, with the exception of Chanukkah.  I do not know, from an historical perspective, when each of these entered the Roman rite, but perhaps there is a liturgical historian out there who would be able to explain [1]. 


The feasts are, as follows:



1.  Rosh Hashanah [The New Year]

Feria Quarta Quattuor Temporum Septembris 
Introitus
Ps 80:2; 80:3; 80:4; 80:5
Exsultáte Deo, adiutóri nostro: iubiláte Deo Iacob: súmite psalmum iucúndum cum cíthara: cánite in inítio mensis tuba, quia præcéptum in Israël est, et iudícium Deo Iacob.  [This refers to the blowing of the shofar, a ram's horn, at Rosh Hashanah.]
Ps 80:6
Testimónium in Ioseph pósuit illud, cum exíret de terra Ægýpti: linguam, quam non nóverat, audívit.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.

Exsultáte Deo, adiutóri nostro: iubiláte Deo Iacob: súmite psalmum iucúndum cum cíthara: cánite in inítio mensis tuba, quia præcéptum in Israël est, et iudícium Deo Iacob.

Introit from Wednesday in the September Ember Days                                              Ps 80:2-5
Sing joyfully to God our strength; acclaim the God of Jacob. Take up a pleasant psalm with the harp; blow the trumpet in the beginning of the month; for it is a statute in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.  .  [This refers to the blowing of the shofar, a ram's horn, at Rosh Hashanah.]

Ps 80:6
He made it a decree for Joseph, when he came forth from the land of Egypt: he heard an unfamiliar speech.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Sing joyfully to God our strength; acclaim the God of Jacob. Take up a pleasant psalm with the harp; blow the trumpet in the beginning of the month; for it is a statute in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.


Graduale
Ps 112,5-7
Quis sicut Dóminus, Deus noster, qui in altis hábitat, et humilia réspicit in cœlo et in terra?   [God is honoured as King of the Universe, which is an important theme on Rosh Hashanah]
V. Súscitans a terra ínopem et de stércore érigens páuperem.

Gradual
Ps 112:5-7
Who is like the Lord, our God, Who is enthroned on high and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? [
God is honoured as King of the Universe, which is an important theme on Rosh Hashanah]
V. He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill He lifts up the poor.

Communio
Neh 8:10
Comédite pínguia et bíbite mulsum, et míttite partes his, qui non præparavérunt sibi: sanctus enim dies Dómini est, nolíte contristári: gáudium étenim Dómini est fortitúdo nostra.  [It is a custom to eat sweet things, such as an apple dipped in honey or honey-cakes for a sweet New Year.]

Communio
2 Esd. 8:10
Eat fat meats, and drink sweet wine, and send portions to those who have not prepared for themselves: because it is the holy day of the Lord, be not sad, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.  
[It is a custom to eat sweet things, such as an apple dipped in honey or honey-cakes, for a sweet New Year.]


2.  Yom Kippur [The Day of Atonement]


Sabbato Quattuor Temporum Septembris
Lectio
Léctio libri Levítici.
Levit 23:26-32
In diébus illis: Locútus est Dóminus ad Móysen, dicens: Décimo die mensis huius séptimi, dies expiatiónum erit celebérrimus, et vocábitur sanctus: affligetísque ánimas vestras in eo, et offerétis holocáustum Dómino. Omne opus servíle non faciétis in témpore diéi huius: quia dies propitiatiónis est, ut propitiétur vobis Dóminus, Deus vester. Omnis ánima, quæ afflicta non fúerit die hac, períbit de pópulis suis: et quæ óperis quídpiam fécerit, delébo eam de pópulo suo. Nihil ergo óperis faciétis in eo: legítimum sempitérnum erit vobis in cunctis generatiónibus et habitatiónibus vestris. Sábbatum requietiónis est, et affligétis ánimas vestras die nono mensis: a véspera usque ad vésperam celebrábitis sábbata vestra: dicit Dóminus omnípotens.
R. Deo grátias.

Graduale
Ps 78:9; 78:10
Propítius esto, Dómine, peccátis nostris: ne quando dicant gentes: Ubi est Deus eórum?
V. Adiuva nos, Deus, salutáris noster: et propter honórem nóminis tui, Dómine, líbera nos.

 

 

Lesson from Saturday in the September Ember Days
Lesson from the book of Leviticus
Lev 23:26-32
In those days, the Lord said to Moses, The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be most solemn, and shall be called holy; and you shall mortify yourselves on that day and offer an oblation to the Lord. On this day you shall not do any work, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord, your God. Anyone who does not mortify himself on this day shall be cut off from his people; and if anyone does any work on this day, I will remove him from the midst of his people. This is a perpetual statute for you and your descendants wherever you dwell: you shall do no work, but shall keep a Sabbath of complete rest and mortify yourselves. Beginning on the evening of the ninth of the month, you shall keep this Sabbath of yours from evening to evening, says the Lord almighty.
R. Thanks be to God.

Gradual
Ps 78:9-10
Pardon our sins, O Lord; why should the nations say, Where is their God?
V. Help us, O God our Saviour; because of the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us.

 

[The lesson offers a short description of Yom Kippur, and the gradual relates an aspect of Yom Kippur, which is asking pardon for sins.]


3.  Sukkot [The Feast of Tabernacles]

Sabbato Quattuor Temporum Septembris
Lectio
Léctio libri Levítici.
Levit 23:39-43
In diébus illis: Locútus est Dóminus ad Móysen, dicens: A quintodécimo die mensis séptimi, quando congregavéritis omnes fructus terræ vestræ, celebrábitis ferias Dómini septem diébus: die primo et die octávo erit sábbatum, id est réquies. Sumetísque vobis die primo fructus arbóris pulchérrimæ, spatulásque palmárum, et ramos ligni densárum fróndium, et sálices de torrénte, et lætabímini coram Dómino, Deo vestro. Celebrabitísque sollemnitátem eius septem diébus per annum: legítimum sempitérnum erit in generatiónibus vestris. Mense séptimo festa celebrábitis, et habitábitis in umbráculis septem diébus. Omnis, qui de génere est Israël, manébit in tabernáculis: ut discant pósteri vestri, quod in tabernáculis habitáre fécerim fílios Israël, cum edúcerem eos de terra Ægýpti. Ego Dóminus, Deus vester.
R. Deo grátias.

Communio
Levit 23:41; 23:43
Mense séptimo festa celebrábitis, cum in tabernáculis habitáre fécerim fílios Israël, cum edúcerem eos de terra Ægýpti, ego Dóminus, Deus vester.

 

Communio
Lev 21:41, 43
In the seventh month you shall keep this feast, as I made the Israelites dwell in booths, when I led them out of the land of Egypt. I, the Lord, am your God.

 

Lesson from Saturday in the September Ember Days
Lesson from the book of Leviticus
Lev 23:39-43
In those days, the Lord said to Moses, On the fifteenth day, then, of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate a pilgrim feast of the Lord for a whole week. The first and the eighth day shall be days of complete rest. On the first day you shall gather foliage from majestic trees, branches of palms and boughs of myrtles and of valley poplars, and then for a week you shall make merry before the Lord, your God. By perpetual statute for you and your descendants you shall keep this pilgrim feast of the Lord for one whole week in the seventh month of the year. During this week you shall dwell in bowers; every native Israelite among you shall dwell in booths, that your descendants may realize that, when I led the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, I made them dwell in booths. I, the Lord, am your God.
R. Thanks be to God.


4.  Purim [Esther's Feast-day.  At Purim there is the custom of the reading of the Megillah, which is the book of Esther, and this is also what is done here.]

Feria Quarta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima

Lectio
Léctio libri Esther.
Esth 13:8-11; 13:15-17
In diébus illis: Orávit Mardochǽus ad Dóminum, dicens: Dómine, Dómine, Rex omnípotens, in dicióne enim tua cuncta sunt pósita, et non est, qui possit tuæ resístere voluntáti, si decréveris salváre Israël. Tu fecísti cœlum et terram, et quidquid cœli ámbitu continétur. Dóminus ómnium es, nec est, qui resístat maiestáti tuæ. Et nunc, Dómine Rex, Deus Abraham, miserére pópuli tui, quia volunt nos inimíci nostri pérdere, et hereditátem tuam delére. Ne despícias partem tuam, quam redemísti tibi de Ægýpto. Exáudi deprecatiónem meam, et propítius esto sorti et funículo tuo, et convérte luctum nostrum in gáudium, ut vivéntes laudémus nomen tuum, Dómine, et ne claudas ora te canéntium, Dómine, Deus noster.
R. Deo grátias.

 

Lesson from Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent
Lesson from the book of Esther
Esther 13:8-11; 15-17.
In those days, Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying, O Lord, Lord, almighty King, for all things are in Your power, and there is none that can resist Your will, if You determine to save Israel. You have made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. You are Lord of all, and there is none that can resist Your Majesty. And now, O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on Your people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish Your inheritance. Despise not Your portion, which You have redeemed for Yourself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to Your lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Your Name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of those who sing to You, O Lord our God.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

Graduale  [Reiterates the theme of the epistle]
Ps 27:9; 27:1
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
V. Ad te, Dómine, clamávi: Deus meus, ne síleas a me, et ero símilis descendéntibus in lacum.

 

Gradual   [Reiterates the theme of the epistle]
Ps 27:9, 1
Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.
V. To You, O Lord, I call; O my God, be not deaf to me, lest I become one of those going down into the pit.

 

5. Pesach [Passover]

There is, of course, a correlation between Pesach and Easter.  The texts of the Easter Vigil, among other places, are self-explanatory.  These correspondences also occur in the Novus Ordo.

 

6. Shavuot [or Pentecost, which in the Jewish calendar celebrates the tithing of the first-fruits, and the giving of the law at Sinai]

Dominica Pentecostes

Offertorium
Ps 67:29-30
Confírma hoc, Deus, quod operátus es in nobis: a templo tuo, quod est in Ierúsalem, tibi ófferent reges múnera, allelúia.  [see the readings about the first-fruits below: another reiteration of the theme]

 

Offertory from Pentecost 
Ps 67:29-30
Confirm, O God, what You have wrought in us; from Your temple, which is in Jerusalem, kings shall offer gifts to You. Alleluia. [see the readings about the first-fruits below: another reiteration of the theme]

 

Feria Sexta Quattuor Temporum Pentecostes

Lectio
Léctio Ioélis Prophétæ
Ioël 2:23-24; 2:26-27
Hæc dicit Dóminus Deus: Exsultáte, fílii Sion, et lætámini in Dómino, Deo vestro: quia dedit vobis doctórem iustítiæ, et descéndere fáciet ad vos imbrem matutínum et serótinum, sicut in princípio. Et implebúntur áreæ fruménto et redundábunt torculária vino et óleo. Et comedétis vescéntes et saturabímini, et laudábitis nomen Dómini, Dei vestri, qui fecit mirabília vobíscum: et non confundátur pópulus me us in sempitérnum. Et sciétis, quia in médio Israël ego sum: et ego Dóminus, Deus vester, et non est ámplius: et non confundétur pópulus me us in ætérnum: ait Dóminus omnípotens.

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Lesson from Friday in the Pentecost Ember Days
Lesson from the book of Joel
Joel 2:23-24; 26-27
Thus says the Lord God: O children of Sion, exult and rejoice in the Lord, your God! He has given you the teacher of justice: He has made the rain come down for you, the early and the late rain as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. You shall eat and be filled, and shall praise the name of the Lord, your God, because He has dealt wondrously with you; My people shall nevermore be put to shame. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; I am the Lord, your God, and there is no other; My people shall nevermore be put to shame, says the Lord almighty.

 

Sabbato Quattuor Temporum Pentecostes

Lectio
Léctio libri Levítici
Lev 23:9-11; 23:15-17; 23:21
In diébus illis: Locútus est Dóminus ad Móysen, dicens: Lóquere fíliis Israël, et dices ad eos: Cum ingréssi fuéritis terram, quam ego dabo vobis, et messuéritis ségetem, ferétis manípulos spicárum, primítias messis vestræ ad sacerdótem: qui elevábit fascículum coram Dómino, ut acceptábile sit pro vobis, áltero die sábbati, et sanctificábit illum. Numerábitis ergo ab áltero die sábbati, in quo obtulístis manípulum primitiárum, septem hebdómadas plenas, usque ad álteram diem expletiónis hebdómadæ séptimæ, id est, quinquagínta dies: et sic offerétis sacrifícium novum Dómino ex ómnibus habitáculis vestris, panes primitiárum duos de duábus décimis símilæ fermentátæ, quos coquétis in primítias Dómini. Et vocábitis hunc diem celebérrimum atque sanctíssimum: omne opus servíle non faciétis in eo. Legítimum sempitérnum erit in cunctis habitáculis et generatiónibus vestris: dicit Dóminus omnípotens.

 

Lesson from Saturday in the Pentecost Ember Days
Lesson from the book of Leviticus
Lev. 23:9-11; 15-17, 21.
In those days, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you come into the land which I am giving to you, and reap your harvest, you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the Lord that it may be acceptable for you, and shall sanctify it. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall do this. Beginning with the day after the Sabbath, the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf, you shall count seven full weeks, and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall present the new cereal offering to the Lord. For the wave-offering of your first fruits to the Lord, you shall bring with you from wherever you live two loaves of bread made of two tenths of an epha of fine flour and baked with leaven. On this same day you shall by proclamation have a sacred assembly, and no sort of work may be done. This shall be a perpetual statute for you and your descendants wherever you dwell, says the Lord almighty.

 

Lectio
Léctio libri Deuteronómii
Deut 26:1-3; 7-11.
In diébus illis: Dixit Moyses fíliis Israël: Audi, Israël, quæ ego præcípio tibi hódie. Cum intráveris terram, quam Dóminus, Deus tuus, tibi datúrus est possidéndam, et obtinúeris eam atque habitáveris in ea: tolles de cunctis frúgibus tuis primítias, et pones in cartállo, pergésque ad locum, quem Dóminus, Deus tuus, elégerit, ut ibi invocétur nomen eius: accedésque ad sacerdótem, qui fúerit in diébus illis, et dices ad eum: Profíteor hódie coram Dómino, Deo tuo, qui exaudívit nos, et respexit humilitátem nostram et labórem atque angústiam: et edúxit nos de Ægýpto in manu forti et bráchio exténto, in ingénti pavóre, in signis atque porténtis: et introdúxit ad locum istum, et trádidit nobis terram lacte et melle manántem. Et idcírco nunc óffero primítias frugum terræ, quam Dóminus dedit mihi. Et dimíttes eas in conspéctu Dómini, Dei tui, et adoráto Dómino, Deo tuo. Et epuláberis in ómnibus bonis, quæ Dóminus, Deus tuus, déderit tibi.

 

Lesson
Lesson from the book of Deuteronomy
Deut. 26:1-3; 7-11.
In those days, Moses said to the Israelites: Hear, O Israel, the things that I command you today. When you have come into the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you as a heritage, and have occupied it and settled in it, you shall take the first of all your fruits, and putting them in a basket, you shall go to the place which the Lord, your God, chooses for the dwelling place of His name. There you shall go to the priest in office at that time and say to him, Today I acknowledge the Lord, your God, Who heard our cry and saw our affliction, our toil and our oppression. He brought us out of Egypt with His strong hand and outstretched arm, with terrifying power, with signs and wonders; and bringing us into this country, He gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. Therefore, I have now brought you the first fruits of the products of the soil which the Lord has given me. And having set them before the Lord, your God, you shall bow down in His presence. Then you shall make merry over all these good things which the Lord, your God, has given you.

 

7.  Tisha B'Av [a fast-day commemorating the destruction of the first and second temples]

            Dominica IX Post Pentecosten

Evangelium

Luc 19:41-47
In illo témpore: Cum appropinquáret Iesus Ierúsalem, videns civitátem, flevit super illam, dicens: Quia si cognovísses et tu, et quidem in hac die tua, quæ ad pacem tibi, nunc autem abscóndita sunt ab óculis tuis. Quia vénient dies in te: et circúmdabunt te inimíci tui vallo, et circúmdabunt te: et coangustábunt te úndique: et ad terram prostérnent te, et fílios tuos, qui in te sunt, et non relínquent in te lápidem super lápidem: eo quod non cognóveris tempus visitatiónis tuæ. Et ingréssus in templum, cœpit eiícere vendéntes in illo et eméntes, dicens illis: Scriptum est: Quia domus mea domus oratiónis est. Vos autem fecístis illam speluncam latrónum. Et erat docens cotídie in templo.

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Gospel from the 9th Sunday after Pentecost
Luke 19:41-47
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, If you had known, in this your day, even you, the things that are for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a rampart about you, and surround you and shut you in on every side, and will dash you to the ground and your children within you, and will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you have not known the time of your visitation. And He entered the temple, and began to cast out those who were selling and buying in it, saying to them, It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.




[1] All of the quotations have been taken from divinumofficium.com, from the 1960 rubrics.

Wherein a priest alumnus of the North American College responds. Wherein Fr. Z rants. | Fr. Z's Blog

Wherein a priest alumnus of the North American College responds. Wherein Fr. Z rants. | Fr. Z's Blog

Wherein a priest alumnus of the North American College responds. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

This is NOT a representation or subtle comment on the writer. Keep reading and you'll get why there is a picture of a Horned Lizard here.

From an alumnus of the North American College (US seminary in Rome) … edited so that the style of writing can't be traced to any one priest by those who might recognize it.

As a NAC grad, I read your article [HERE] with interest.

I disagree that a student will get in trouble for googling the Latin Mass and related material.

Things that will get a seminarian in trouble are wearing a cassock, biretta, or bad mouthing Conciliar theology or the Vatican II liturgy in public.

Men who show openly an affinity for pre-Conciliar 'look' make formators nervous.

I work with priests who are fans of the usus antiquior.  It's not their interest in that liturgical form that gets them in trouble.  What gets them in trouble are firm statements on faith or morals.  They are black and white and might polarize the faithful.  What gets them in trouble is a biretta, which can really anger some of the older Vatican II clergy.

Or what get's them in trouble is their 'obsession' with using a one thousand year old document, the Summa Theologiae, as a catechetical resource.

That's what gets them in trouble.

"What gets them in trouble are firm statements on faith or morals…."

That's it in one.

Liturgy is doctrine, of course.  And we are our rites.

The enemies of Tradition might not always be very bright or well-formed, but they sense the truth of that connection of doctrine and worship viscerally and they react in nasty ways, rather like the Horned Lizard which literally shoots blood from its eyes as a defensive instinct.

Yes, experience informs that this is a pretty good analogy.

Birettas and Latin trigger that generation.

They were conditioned in those halcyon days of change and revolution, protests and the "spirit" and liberation, all oozing together in the ambient of the Church and COUNCIL, to the point that they fused into a kind of mythic icon.

The sight of a biretta, a black chasuble, ad orientem, triggers violent flashbacks, sends them back to their roots of protest and change.

When they see younger priests embracing those things they threw away, literally into dumpsters, they feel threatened and become defensive. Many of them sense in the younger generation's desire for tradition an implicit attack on their own persons, on their priestly identity (resting on whatever sort of foundation), a criticism of their whole life's work. So they lash out.

In a sense, they are not wrong that the embrace of Tradition by younger priests is an implicit criticism of their life's work. That's because what they strove to build after Vatican II didn't have the desired effect. In fact, looking around at the Church, on the level of statistics, it was a real failure.

We can blame them and not blame them.  They weren't and aren't perfect.  No priests are.  Most of them put their backs into doing what they were told.   The real blame, the blamable blame, lies with a few.

Most of our now older priests were absolutely sincere in what they did. They were good priests and they were formed in their particular time.  But a lot of their work, in the end, didn't work, objectively.   Yes, yes… there are many factors.  Blah blah blah.  But as bishops and priests go, the Church will go, to the point where St. Jean Eudes' dire admonishment kicks in.

It stings these older men to suggest that maybe we ought to go back a few squares, and rethink our path.

The younger guys don't intend to stick a finger in their eye. That's not their intention in becoming more "trad".   They just don't have the baggage of the previous waves of priests. They are simply not as invested in that chimeric 'spirit' of the Council and those oh so halcyon days.   Those aren't their own days!   These are their days!  For them, The Council was just a Council, along with a bunch of other Council's in a chain of continuity that doesn't cancel out the value of the previous Councils.  These younger men just want to have their patrimony – all of it, and not just the part that started on 11 October 1962 onward – and get on with things, do their priestly, pastoral work.  They just want to be priests and do things that actually work, not just repeat the obviously failed experiments of the past.

If some few do want to rub it in the face of their older brethren, well… shame on them. Thanks, guys, you few, you unhappy few, for betraying our cause by your willful imprudence.

The vast majority of priests who want Tradition simply want to get on with things, the more the merrier: "Join us, please! We will welcome you. Give us a hand." Or, at least, "If not, please leave us alone. Don't mess with our joy."

I've made this comparison before.

Say you are in Chicago and you want to drive to New York. You set out and drive for a long time. Suddenly, thinking you were drawing nearer to Empire State you see a sign saying "Kansas Welcomes You!" What do you do? Do you keep driving in the same direction? Not if you really desire to get to New York. No. Commonsense dictates that you do a U-turn and head the other direction until you start see welcome signs for Eastern states. That's the smart course. It would be stupid to continue driving in the opposite direction once you know you have strayed. Let's add to this the fact that you have put on your car a sign, "NEW YORK OR BUST!" You pull into the gas station in Kansas to fuel up and the guy there says, "Hey, didn't you come in from the East? Buddy, you are going in the wrong direction!" You pay him and start to pull out onto the road, again toward the West. The guy runs out waving his arms, shouting, "HEY! THAT WAY! NEW YORK IS THAT WAY!" But, no. You are on your path.

For these older guys who committed to what they committed in the 60s, 70s, 80s, the sight of a growing congregation at a Traditional Latin Mass is like hot coals on their forehead.  But they've got those thinning white-knuckled  hands locked onto the steering wheel and, by gum, they're not turning the car back.

For this reason, some of them, sad to say, would rather drive off a cliff than turn around.  They would rather destroy a thriving, growing community of happy, zealous young Catholics than let it grow.  Instead of joining them, or at least benignly watching from afar, they'll run over them with the car on the way to the cliff's edge.

Because, in the end, it's all about them.

We can and must act, in charity, in the face of this new round of challenges.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

RORATE CÆLI: Cancelling Pope Benedict: Reflections on a recent article and the “hermeneutic of rupture”

RORATE CÆLI: Cancelling Pope Benedict: Reflections on a recent article and the "hermeneutic of rupture"

Cancelling Pope Benedict: Reflections on a recent article and the "hermeneutic of rupture"

Rorate has received this excellent essay by "A Concerned Priest" and is pleased to share it with our readers. It is one of the best analyses to date of the impossible theological premises on which Pope Francis has enacted his campaign against the survival of the traditional rites of the Church.

Professor Martin Madar has written in La Croix (August 9, 2021) a revealing article concerning the larger project represented by Traditionis Custodes. It bears the title "Pope Francis should correct his predecessor on another point."[0] The project here is one to which all Catholics, especially bishops, should pay close attention because it reveals what is really at stake in the current debates about the future of the traditional Mass. It is not so much the individual author who matters: he stands in for an ecclesiastical party that is very prominent today; were it otherwise, Catholics outside the ivory tower could just ignore this article and others like it.