Friday, September 30, 2005

Liturgical Catechesis

sharing a personal anecdote.

I've recently been attending some meetings at church, only to hear a well-respected elderly parishioner say on two occasions,"The Mass is a celebration - so we should sing". I had great problems with that.

Whatever happened to the Mass being a Sacrifice, a Memorial, a Sacred Banquet? Do people get a sense of these three things nowadays when they go to mass?

Yes, the battles we have to fight. Its all about proper catechesis, which is sorely lacking nowadays.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More headway!

26-September-2005 -- Catholic World News Brief


Rome, Sep. 26 ( - An influential Vatican
official believes that Pope Benedict XVI could soon
expand permission for priests throughout the world to
celebrate Mass using the Tridentine rite.

However, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez cautions that
serious doctrinal issues, as well as liturgical
questions, must be resolved before the traditionalist
Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) can be fully reconciled
with the Holy See.

Cardinal Medina, the former prefect of the
Congregation for Divine Worship, is a member of the
Ecclesia Dei commission, set up by Pope John Paul II
to serve the needs of Catholics who cling to the Latin
Mass. In an interview with the I Media news service,
the Chilean-born prelate said that the Pope could act
soon to liberalize Church regulations, allowing all
priests to use the Tridentine rite.

Questioned about the outcome of the Pope's August 29
meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior
general of the SSPX, Cardinal Medina observed that the
meeting was preceded by "many other contacts" between
Vatican officials and representatives of the
Lefebvrist group. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the
prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, had met
repeatedly with Bishop Fellay, he said. And the
Chilean prelate added that he, too, had met with the
traditionalist leader during his term as prefect of
the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Consequently, the cardinal said, "you could not say
that the meeting with the Holy Father was
unexpected." He added that SSPX leaders are well aware
that Pope Benedict "is concerned about full communion
among all Catholics-- all Christians-- and
particularly those who uphold the decisions and
positions of Archbishop Lefebvre."

Reconciliation between the Vatican and the breakaway
traditionalist group, the cardinal continued, would
require "addressing a list of doctrinal difficulties."
He said that a working group could be set up to
discuss those problems.

"But within the Society [SSPX], there are different
currents," Cardinal Medina observed. While some
members of the traditionalist group are "inflexible,"
others are more inclined toward dialogue with Rome, he
said. He said that when some traditionalists refer to
the Novus Ordo Mass as "heretical" or "invalid," they
create "an extremely difficult situation." The Vatican
will insist that SSPX members acknowledge the validity
of the post-conciliar Mass, he said; they will also be
required to accept the teachings of Vatican II.

After his meeting with Pope Benedict, Bishop Fellay
suggested that a first step toward reconciliation
could be a Vatican recognition of the right for all
priests to celebrate the Tridentine-rite Mass, using
the liturgical form codified by Pope Pius V after the
Council of Trent. Cardinal Medina saw "no difficulty"
in expanding access to the Latin Mass. But he
reiterated that such a step 'would not resolve the
fundamental problems with the SSPX."

Questioned on whether Vatican II intended to abolish
the Tridentine rite, Cardinal Medina said that the
arguments were inconclusive on that point.

However, he said, each rite is valid, and "the missal
of St. Paul V and that of Paul VI are both perfectly
orthodox." He observed that each ritual appeals to
"different sensibilities," and noted that the
Offertory prayers of the old rite are particularly
useful in their emphasis on "the sacrifical character
of the Mass: an essential aspect of the Eucharistic
celebration." The restoration of universal permission
to use the Tridentine Mass would involve canonical and
liturgical questions, but no major theological
concerns, the cardinal said. "So I hope that, little
by little, the possibility of celebrating the old form
of the Roman rite will be opened," he said.

As a member of the Ecclesia Dei commission, Cardinal
Medina reported, he is sometimes asked to celebrate a
Tridentine-rite Mass. When he receives such a request,
he said, "I do it, without asking anyone's

Saturday, September 24, 2005

on the traditional latin mass

Dappled Things has a series of posts on the Traditional Latin Mass.

The different types of Masses

Seven tips for participating in a TLM

Specifics: Mass of the Catechumens | Mass of the Faithful

Will update as I come across more posts.

UPDATE 7 Oct 2005. Old And New Rites Distinguished

Monday, September 19, 2005

I Just Read Something Real Amusing!

Contributing his thoughts regarding the issue that Pope Benedict might grant the universal indult, a most typical average modernist modern-day Catholic said the following:

I think he will. It's just a matter of putting out the news bit by bit, letting ppl speculate & talk about it, giving ppl time to prepare for the decision. It will then not be too sudden or abrupt when he announces it. Plus it will give ppl a feeling that he has discerned carefully about it.

Frankly, I don't see a problem with it, as long as the radicals don't abuse the indult & push hard for the Tridentine ritual to be the 'de facto' rite. Not to imply that political correctness, but just as there are those who prefer the 'usual', 'boring' mass we have every weekend, & there are also those who find that charismatic mass connect with them more, not forgetting mass celebrated in other languages like Chinese, Teochew, Bahasa & Tagalogue, there are also those who are moved by the Tridentine rite. If we see it as God speaking in different tongues, touching different ppl in different ways, there really shouldn't be much problems with Latin mass making a comeback into our churches.

Are we able to be more open to the variety within the whole that is our Church? Are we able to recognise the different, yet at the same time similar approaches we each journey towards God?

Radicals?! God speaking in different tongues?!?!

This is a classic. Start with stating your personal opinion, then provide some form of substantiation which is totally unrelated to the issue at hand, and finally conclude with a reflection that sounds like it was taken out from some Protestant-inspired wimpy "the small, small book of my daily journey with my best friend Jesus" reflection booklet.

This must be a model for all other typical, average modernist modern-day answers.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that"

An extract from "Salt of the Earth - The Church at the End of the Millennium", by Cardinal Ratzinger. (an interview with Peter Seewald) English translation. Page 176 - 177. All emphases are mine.

Wouldn't it be conceivable to reactivate the old rite in order to work against this leveling and demystification?

That alone would not be a solution. I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to those who desire it. It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest posession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won't it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today? But a simple return to the old way would not, as I have said, be a solution. Our culture has changed so radically in the last thirty years that a Liturgy celebrated exclusively in Latin would bring with it an experience of foreignness that many could not cope with. What we need is a new liturgical education, especially of priests. It must once again become clear that liturgical scholarship does not exist to produce constantly new models, though that may be all right for the auto industry. It exists in order to introduce us into feast and celebration, to make man capable of the mystery. Here we ought to learn not from just the Eastern Church but from all the religions of the world, which all know that liturgy is something other than the invention of texts and rites, that it lives precisely from what is beyond manipulation. Young people have a very strong sense of this. Centers in which the liturgy is celebrated reverently and nobly without nonsense attract, even if one doesn't understand every word. We need such centers to set an example. Unfortunately, in Germany tolerance for bizarre tinkering is almost unlimited, whereas tolerance for the old liturgy is practically nonexistent. We are surely on the wrong path in that regard.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gregorian Missal

Your blogger received his copy of the Gregorian Missal today.

Review at Cantemus Domino, Another Review, where to buy - got mine on ebay though

The one thing that leapt at me was this - the Entrance, Offertory and Communion Antiphons all come from Scripture. What could be better than singing Scripture? Do we think that a hymn of our arbitrary choice can be better than that?

Sad to say, the anglophones do not have an official translation of the Offertory Antiphons. In the context of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the "Thanksgiving Hymn" is optional - your blogger would rather pray in silence. Similarly, there is no such thing as a "Recessional Hymn".However, your blogger would gladly recite/sing/chant the Salve Regina anytime.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Memento, tuum esse hodie...

Remember, thou hast this day:

God to glorify,
Jesus to imitate,
The Blessed Virgin and the Saints to venerate,
The Angels to invoke,
A soul to save,
A body to mortify,
Sins to expiate,
Virtues to acquire,
Hell to avoid,
Heaven to gain,
Eternity to prepare for,
Time to profit by,
Neighbours to edify,
The world to despise,
Devils to combat,
Passions to subdue,
Modernists to admonish,
Silly hymnals and missalettes to burn,
Gregorian Chant to sing,
Liturgical mess to condemn,
Death perhaps to suffer,
And Judgment to undergo.

altar servers' hymn

I think - we can make some good come out from the bad. :)

Sung to the tune of Marty Haugen's All Are Welcome. "One verse only"!

Let us don the cotta with dignity,
with grace and rev'rence true!
Let the thurifer and boatboy come, and serve the Mass anew.
The candle bearers proceed, behind the crucifer.
Let us serve the Mass with great dignity,
ad altare, ad altare, altar servers we will be!

a joint effort by Kenny and Lay.


Next time, we put in "The Cassock and Cotta" too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

it's like trying to get fat kids off junk food

This is funny! Left by an anonymous commenter in your blogger's personal blog.

And I think the Gregorian communio, In Splendoribus, but I've got to ease them along gently. They were weaned on Haas and Joncas and Repp -- it's like trying to get fat kids off junk food.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Reading from the Lamentations of the Traddies.

In illo tempore, the Three Roman Traddies came unto a parish church, and began to offer worship to the Most High. And behold, several instrumentalists brought in drums, electric guitars and stereo speakers of wood, two cubits in length, and a cubit in breadth, and a cubit and half in height.

And one of the Three, who was called Norman, spoke to the two, saying: "Speak to the instrumentalists of the parish, that every man that offereth of his own accord, they shall take with them no extra microphone, for it is an abomination unto Us Traddies."

And another Traddie, who was called Michael, spoke thus: "Of the drums that are unacceptable in Our sight, they may play, but not when We offer sacrifice. Of the jazz guitars that are unacceptable in Our sight, they may play, but not when We offer sacrifice. Of the praise-and-worship activities that are unacceptable in Our sight, they may play, but absolutely not when We offer sacrifice.

"Of the microphones attached to stereo speakers, yea even those that are as large as Our oxen, they may use, but not when We offer sacrifice, neither may they carry them into the sanctuary therein. And behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass."

Thus spake the third Traddie, who was called Kenny: "For We judge what is proper and what is improper to the liturgy, saying first that chant is most suitable, then they shall have their silly songs. But of the silly songs, the laws are these: that they may not play them ad nauseam, neither may they rehearse before the liturgy and distract everyone from prayer. And if they deceive by playing the instruments softly, they shall not have their silly songs."

"Hold not your hands in the air, for it is as if you are suffering rheumatism. Only hold thyself still, still I say. For no person doubts that you are able to lift your hands in the air. Lo, how iniqitous this sight is in Our sight."

"Strike ye yourselves at the breast during the Confiteor, for there is no law against this. Kneel ye at the Creed. Verily, I say to thee, kneel ye at the Creed."

And behold, the instrumentalists began speaking among themselves, saying: "These men must be of a different liturgy."

And the Three knew what they were saying among themselves, whereupon the Three said unto them, "Amen, Amen We tell you most solemnly, there was no guitar in the liturgy before 1962. Leave the sacred liturgy alone, for what has the Church done to thee, that thou must afflict it thus with thy drums and guitars, raping Our ears?"

And behold, those who tried to introduce drums and guitars were thrown to the desert, where there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Music and theology.

A wise man once said, "Liturgy is the music of theology." Is it any surprise therefore, that given the current sorry state of the liturgy, so many "Catholics" subscribed to warped theology?

Lex orandi, lex credendi. The liturgy, I strongly believe, is a reflection of one's belief and understanding of the Faith.

Does Our Lord wear sunglasses and strum electric guitars when He's free? Or does He sit back and listen to the kind of music that He Himself sung with His Mother when He was a little boy in Nazareth?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

this is the Catholic Faith. there is no other

"Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens no one will shut. When he shuts no one will open." (Isaiah 22:22)

Lovely piece of writing

tiny altar servers

At one Mass that I attended, I noticed this this tiny altar server. Throughout the mass, he was extremely restless, and my heart somewhat bled for him as he fidgeted and looked extremely vexed. During the offertory, he could barely handle the tray of bowls (someone tell me if I'm using the right word!) and it really looked like he would fall anytime and spill the wafers all over the floor. At another occasion, clearly there were a few new entrants. There were not enough bells to ring at the consecration, and the older boy gave up his bell to a much younger boy, which was a most heart-warming sight to me.

It is of course a Catholic tradition to have boys serving at the altar, so that some of them would consider the priesthood as their vocation. Yet, one day InfernoXV mused loudly to me, that in light of the child-abuse scandal in the USA, it may not be a wise thing anymore. I can only hope and pray that no such scandal affects our priests. "Et ne nos inducas in tentationem".

I also witnessed a mother enquiring about her son joining the altar servers society. I was reminded of the time when someone told me about how he brought some altar servers to the seminary for a visit, only to receive phone calls of ,"How dare you bring my son to the seminary?!". Perhaps these people would be pleased to see altar girls introduced (God help us!) - then they will be pleased with an additional possibility for their sons to find their future life partners quickly.