Old rite wins new Mass appeal

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Working Vacation

July 31, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus prayer from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, July 29, 2007

This just in!

July 29, 2007

If factual, this would be an historic event!

Papa: Potrebbe celebrare in publico la Messa di S. Pio V

Si indica la prima domenica d’avento – Il direttore di “Latinitas”, ben venga avremo preghiera comune di lode a Dio.

Citta’ del Vaticano, 28 lug. – (Adnkronos) – Il Papa potrebbe celebrare pubblicamente la messa in latino secondo il rito di San Pio V. Un’introduzione ufficiale del rito che, a quanto apprende l’ADNKRONOS da autorevoli fonti vaticane, potrebbe avvenire la prima domenica di Avvento, inizio dell’Anno liturgico.

The Pope: Could celebrate the Mass of St. Pius V in public

Signs point to the First Sunday of Advent – The Director of “Latinitas”, at last we will have a common prayer of praise to God.

Vatican City, July 28. – (Adnkronos) – The Pope could celebrate publicly Mass in Latin according to the Rite of St. Pius V. An official introduction of the Rite which, as far as ADNKRONOS has learned from authoritative Vatican sources, could take place on the 1st Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year. (Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s translation)

OK … Traditionalists, Neo-traditionalists, Conservatives, Neo-conservatives, Restorationists, Neo-restorationists, and all faithful Catholics … time once again to “storm” heaven with our prayers. Remember the Spiritual Bouquet of Rosaries presented to the Holy Father? … Ah, the power of prayer.

Lord, teach us to pray.

July 29, 2007

One of our deacons offered the following as part of his homily this morning:

Our Father

Do not say:
“Our,” if you persist in your ego.
Do not say:
“Father,” if you don’t share like a family.
Do not say:
“Hallowed be Thy Name,” if you only believe in earthly things.
Do not say:
“Thy Kingdom Come,” if you confuse it with materialism.
Do not say:
“They Will be Done,” if you won’t accept His commandments.
Do not say:
“On Earth as it is in Heaven,” if you don’t believe in His creation.
Do not say:
“Give Us This Day,” if you don’t feel compassion for the poor.
Do not say:
“Forgive Us Our Trespasses,” if you don’t forgive others.
Do not say:
“Lead Us Not into Temptation,” if you don’t avoid occasion of sin.
Do not say:
“Deliver Us from Evil,” if you don’t trust Him.
Do not say:
“Amen,” if you don’t take seriously the words of the Our Father.

Latin Mass Rising

July 28, 2007

by Joe Cullen | NCRegister | July 15-21, 2007 Issue

Summorum Pontificum, the motu proprio granting greater freedom to celebrate the old Latin or Tridentine Mass, puts me in mind of the mercy of God, and how he comes to the aid of his suffering people.

While not all of his people need or want the old Mass, there is a significant constituency for whom the lack of this familiar and time-honored form of worship has been a hardship, and Pope Benedict’s action is that of a genuine pastor.

I am 50 and can barely remember the liturgy that started to drastically change when I was 8, in late 1964.

I first discovered the old Mass by coming upon pictures of President Kennedy’s funeral Mass in an old issue of Life magazine.

Later, I found a pre-Vatican II missal and was fascinated by the color photos of a young priest at various stages of celebrating a Mass.

Despite growing up in the 1960s in an “updated” Church, I was eager to know more about the Latin Mass and longed for it despite never having really known it.

By the time I was in college, this was largely behind me as I concluded that the door had been closed on the traditional form of Mass.

This was reversed in a meaningful way some 20 years ago as Pope John Paul II allowed for limited use of the Tridentine Mass. I found that my original attraction had been warranted, and that my occasional assistance at the old Mass is a great aid to prayer and faith at every level.

I am not alone — and most of the people attracted to the Latin Mass that I know are younger than me.

A now-elderly former colleague called me just this week to tell me how Sunday Latin Mass and daily Rosary are now sustaining her and her husband as he faces cancer treatment. They had been away from the sacraments for decades.

It was not as easy for a childhood neighbor of mine, a gentle and charitable woman who spoke lovingly of the Mass of her youth but who no longer went to church. Over time, it became clear to me that she was put off by the changes. She was too estranged (and too frail of health) to ever come back.

Based on what I have read and seen for myself, many fallen-away Catholics were disaffected by the drastic change in our liturgy — some without fully grasping that this was such a significant factor. Others avoided naming the reason so as not to appear out of step.

The editor of a glossy trade publication, a man of 57 and a connoisseur of modern music, recently told me that, as a high school student, he simply lost his faith at the sight of Mass in English accompanied by folk guitar.

The late and legendary rocker Jerry Garcia was lost to the Catholicism of his childhood, drawn away by other things, no doubt, but he fondly remembered “the wonderful Latin Mass with its resonant sonorities and mysterious ritual movements.”

Many, like the poet Tito Casini, novelist Agatha Christie, and a host of other artists and intellectuals, were of an elevated sensibility, deeply appreciative of the beauty that all readily ascribe to the old Mass, and did not hesitate to identify the nature of their difficulties.

Through it all, God’s ways are not our ways. He tests us — and cares for us — in a variety of ways. I like to think that Pope Paul VI and his collaborators were doing the old Mass a great favor by insisting on a full switch to the new Mass.

It was in those years, the late 1960s, when the western world experienced profound tumult — a true cultural hurricane. When a hurricane is bearing down, you wrap your old treasures up and find a safe place for them, usually the attic, and you leave them hidden until the storms have certainly passed.

English Jesuit Father Hugh Thwaites is especially fond of this analogy because much of the blame for the collapse that Catholicism experienced in many places in those years would have fallen disproportionately on the Latin Mass — had it been around to take the hit.

Instead, the classic form of the Mass was out of sight and safe, and now those who remember it and those who are just discovering it, are reaping what the poet Casini foresaw in 1976 when he predicted the return of the Tridentine missal with the same confidence that he placed in tomorrow’s sunrise:

“It will rise again, … the Mass will rise again … because it is the sun, and God thus established it for our life and comfort.” When it happens, he said, our eyes will be found “guilty of not having esteemed it worthily before the eclipse; our hearts guilty for not having loved it enough.”

McLean Virginia Pastor and Summorum Pontificum

From The Pastor:

Despite what the media tells you, the Pope is not renouncing the Second Vatican Council, he is authentically implementing it. He is correcting the mistakes and misinterpretations that came after the Council. One of them is with the return of the Mass. Contrary to what most of the media tells us, Vatican II did not:

1. order Mass to be said in the Vernacular
2. tell priests to face the people at Mass
3. establish Communion in the hand
4. tell people to stand for reception of Communion

The Mass we now say at St. John’s whether in English or Latin came after the Council. The Council ended in 1965, the new order of the Mass came in 1970.

The Church, since the days of Pope St. Pius X, has encouraged actual participation at the Mass. The 1962 missal contains changes that foster that participation, so the charge of the congregation being dumb spectators is not true.

Why was the Motu Propio issued? Pope Benedict, as a Cardinal, wrote extensively on the liturgy and frequently mentioned the suppression of the older form of the Mass by Pope Paul VI when promulgating the new reformed missal of 1970 (the Mass we now celebrate either in English or Latin) after an intervening period of a temporary missal (1965).

He believed and continues to believe that something so ancient (going back 1500 years) and sacred could be forbidden and those who were attached to that form considered, as one author put it, like “the nutty old aunt in the attic”.

The Pope does not question the holiness of the new missal, but he says that the way in which it came about was alien to the Church’s traditions. Many who were enthusiastic about a renewal of the Mass during the years of the Council felt betrayed by the reformed missal of 1970. They claim (as does the Pope) that this was not what the Council had envisioned.

Is the Holy Father leading us backwards? Most people would say no, but I would say yes – in order to lead us forward. He wants to bring the church into contact with that form of the Mass which was the only western liturgy (outside the rite of Milan) that was celebrated during the Second Vatican Council. There was a rupture after Council in the liturgy, the Holy Father wants to go back to heal that break so that the liturgy may continue as a living continuum. That is why he says we need internal reconciliation. The Church has been suffering these past 40 years because of the unintended rupture. The Church must reconcile herself with her own tradition, for that is who she is, it is her own identity.

The missal of Paul VI will benefit from the infusion of sap from the 62 missal and after a reform of the reform be even more resplendent and effective.

I plan on implementing the Motu Propio here at St. John’s but it will not effect a change in anyway in which most of you worship. It allows the former rite for anybody who chooses to attend. The Motu Propio simply allows, it does not impose. What does this mean for St. John’s? The following is my policy for implementation of Summorum Pontificum:

1. the noon Mass, which is now said in Latin according to the missal of Pope Paul VI (1970 – Novus Ordo) will become a Solemn High Mass or High Mass celebrated according to the missal of Blessed John XXIIII (the most ancient rite”). This will occur sometime in early October.

2. I will allow the celebration of all sacraments except Confirmation according to the rite of 1962 if a person requests them. This will also take effect in October.

3. I will allow occasional Masses (wedding anniversaries, etc.) in the 1962 rite for those who request it.

4. I will allow weddings and funerals in the 62 rite for those who request it.

5. I will establish one Mass on a holy day according to the 62 missal; there will still be 4 Masses in the present rite.

6. I will consider another additional Mass on First Fridays after consulting with the pastoral council.

The date given by the Pope for this decree to become law, i.e., go into effect is September 14 of this year. We await further guidance from the bishops on these matters. We also need to buy items unique to those types of Masses; financial donations towards this would be appreciated.

The V2 Popes said WHAT?

July 24, 2007

“The Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic and non-vernacular.” (Pope John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia, 1962)

“The Latin language is assuredly worthy of being defended with great care instead of being scorned; for the Latin Church it is the most abundant source of Christian civilization and the richest treasury of piety… we must not hold in low esteem these traditions of your fathers which were your glory for centuries.” (Pope Paul VI, Sacrificium Laudis, 1966)

Canon Law says WHAT?

July 24, 2007

“The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin…” (Code of Canon Law,1983, Can. 249)

“The Eucharist is to be celebrated in the Latin language or in another language provided the liturgical texts have been legitimately approved.” (Code of Canon Law, 1983, Canon 928)

Vatican II said WHAT?

July 24, 2007

“The use of the Latin language … is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium [Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy], para. 36.1)

“In accordance with the age-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the Divine Office.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium [Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy], para. 101.1)

The Honest Prayer

July 21, 2007

A woman had invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”

“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.

“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” her mother answered.

The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, this is the last time I invite all these people over for supper?”