1 August 2011

2011 Modern Liturgy Award

With thanks to Rorate Caeli, the Pimpernel awards his Modern Liturgy Award for 2011 to Fr Alejandro Leon, SDB, parish priest of Santa Catalina de Alejandría, in Isidro Casanova (Diocese of San Justo, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina) for his celebration of the Pentecost Vigil 2011, aptly named "The very, very low Mass". More images can be found here.

Father wins the right to a special conversation with Cardinal Canizares.


  1. Since it's the Pentecost Vigil, shouldn't he be wearing a red stole? Other than that, I can't spot anything else that's wrong. ;-)

  2. It's important to remember Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani 2002 (IGMR) on this issue. Oddly, this IGMR is also on a Salesian website.

    To paraphrase 300 -- 302:

    300. Both portable and fixed altars should be blessed per the Pontifical.

    301. Church tradition stipulates stone mensae for altars. Episcopal conference may permit the use of other material for mensae, so long as they are worthy, sturdy, and tasteful (materia digna, solida et affabre effecta).

    302. Relics, even relics not of martyrs, may (opportune?) be placed within the altar during consecration. Take care to verify authenticity.


    This priest is not using an "altar" that is idoneus by any means. He and his parishioners might be very poor, and not able to find a church to say Mass. If this is the case, I hope that a parish priest steps forward to provide an altar and worthy vestments for this priest. What is shown here might be a temporary setup for just reasons (emergency, etc.)

    However, if this priest is saying Mass in this way to make a social statement, he is clearly not acting with the mens of the Church. "Coffee-table" Masses an the like are still going on, even though many priests do not use a "Greek corporal" (antimensium) to temporarily consecrate a table as an altar.

    Aside: Experimental Masses such as these were already being said in the mid-1960's when the aufer a nobis was still part of the Mass. In my opinion, the loss of the aufer a nobis, among other customs, has merely reinforced experimental "altars".