24 October 2011

They don't like the Benedictine Arrangement one bit

Over at Pray Tell someone called Fritz has been discussing the question of orientation at Mass and has suggested that the Benedictine arrangement may be idolatry:

"If I were to put this polemically, which of course I would never do, I would say that identifying the crucifix rather than the Eucharist as the point of orientation skirts the edge of idolatry. This point seems so obvious to me that I wonder what is going on with those who continue to put forward the idea of common orientation toward the crucifix. Could this be a case of a poor idea gaining momentum simply because it has been suggested by an authoritative source (i.e. Pope Benedict)."

There is more here. They don't like it. They don't understand it. Now they are calling it names.

22 October 2011

Does anyone know what this deacon is doing?

The Pimpernel is at a loss to know what this deacon is doing. More photos from the liturgy concerned are here. Suggestions in a comment please.

21 October 2011

7 October 2011

Save the Altar Girls

An endangered species (left)
The times they are a changin'. It seems that liberal liturgists and theologians are so worried about the plight of altar girls in some places that they have started a "Save the Altar Girls" campaign to rescue this endangered species.

"Moves to limit laywomen’s access to the altar threaten to drag the church back into the pre-Vatican II world. One wonders if next the altar rail will return, another barrier between the priests and the people" they whine.
If you want to read more of the drivel being written about all of this go over to America magazine and enjoy. It is a lesson in the bad liturgy and bad theology that has plagued the Church for the past few decades.

But for sure, it's a good sign that these people are worried.

Meantime, why not send a note of appreciation to pastors who keep the tradition of male servers at the altar?

6 October 2011

Pray for the leaders of the SSPX

Tomorrow, October 7th, the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X will meet in Albano, Italy, to discuss their response to the Preamble and Canonical Structure presented by the Holy See on September 14th. The Pimpernel calls all to use the spiritual weapons at their disposal 'Pro Ecclesiae Unitate' be that the rosary, assisting at Mass, offering Mass, praying the Divine Office, other types of prayer, fasting, etc. Grace can win what man does not dare to hope for. To arms!

4 October 2011

Remember Thiberville?

It seems that the displaced Abbé Michel of Thiberville, France, continues to have the support of his people and in the best of French traditions is continuing his priestly ministry in spite of his absurd bishop. More information here.

25 September 2011

It's all too much for poor boy Bobby

Readers may not have noticed, but poor boy Bobby (Mickens) of the Tablet is obsessed by ritual and liturgical details. He claims not to think they are important, but his obsession with the embroidery of the stole worn by the Pope in Germany yesterday is worthy of old-time scruples. It's nice to know that the illiberal-liberals are still young enough to draw breath. But only for a while. Bobby's rant on the blog of the Pill:

Pope Benedict XVI and his closest liturgical aides -- Mgr Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies, and Mgr Georg Gaenswein, his personal secretary -- pay careful attention to what type of vestments he wears and for which occasions.

So it was interesting to note that on Friday, during an ecumenical prayer service in the former Augustinian church (now Protestant) where Martin Luther was ordained and celebrated his first Mass, the Pope wore a stole that depicted his personal coat of arms topped by the triple-crown tiara. Talk about sending a message! If there is anyone who railed against the imperial papacy, it was surely Luther.

You might remember that much was made of the fact that, upon his election, Benedict XVI was the first pope ever to relinquish the tiara for his coat of arms and replace it with a bishop's mitre. But since Mgr G. Marini was hired he he has worn any number of vestments that include his arms topped with the triple-crown. And, of course, the Pope publicly received a tiara that was given to him as a gift and once hung a tapestry below his window overlooking St Peter's Square showing his papal shield with the tiara.

Aides justify all this is as being part of that "hermeneutic of continuity". But sometimes there is a good reason to throw things out or put them on the shelf for good. Not everything that was deemed necessary in the past is good for the present - or helpful in moving into the future.

24 September 2011

Check out the Liber Brevioir

Preserving Christian Publications has just released the Liber Brevior. It looks great. From their publicity:

The Liber Brevior contains almost every Gregorian Chant piece the normal church choir will need.

In 1954, Desclée and the Gregorian Institute of America published a wonderful book called the “Liber Brevior.” This book is essentially the exact same as the “Liber Usualis” (used by priests, monks, sisters and seminarians) except that it had been shortened from around two thousand pages to eight hundred. You could say it is “the layman’s Liber.” The “Liber Brevior” is perfect for all small choirs  that are forming today because it contains almost all the Gregorian Chant they will ever need without the addition of the Divine Office. Also, there are two sets of Graduals, Alleluias, and Tracts–the full-length Gregorian propers & simpler Psalm tone versions (of the same music).
Here is what is inside: a complete Kyriale, propers for all Sundays, all Major Feasts and votive Masses, Sunday Compline and Vespers, the music for the Mass of Confirmation and the Requiem Mass (along with the burial service).
All rubrics are in English. Only this PCP edition of “Liber Brevior” includes the Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph the Worker, and St. Pius X.  Black with red edges and ribbons. Pages are fine, high quality “Bible Paper.”  This is not a cheap "print on demand" imitation but the real thing! 

Check it out.

22 September 2011

The Brits do it better, so they say

Some readers have emailed to say that the British editions of the new missal are much better than anything on these shores. Check them out. Apparently they're good for England, Wales, Scotland and Australia.

The altar missal:

The chapel missal:

They also have a complete study missal:

As well as a smart peoples verson:

20 September 2011

Fit for a prince

In fact for Désiré-Joseph Cardinal Mercier (1851-1926).

Photo: H/T Orbis Catholicus

19 September 2011

Seeing red

Congratulations to His Excellency Bishop Peter Libasci the new Bishop of Manchester up there in New Hampshire.

Hopefully there's a good MC in NH who can give his new bishop some advice about the choice of hats and what to with pectoral crosses on chains.

15 September 2011

Coming soon. Got yours yet?

As the countdown to the implementation in November continues the books are soon to appear. Click on the image for more details.

14 September 2011

Time to pray, not to poll.

Today's meeting in Rome is generating a lot of amazing responses already. The Pimpernel urges people to pray for the unity of the Church and for Bishop Fellay and his advisors. Nothing is impossible for God.


4 September 2011

Liturgical Humbug

There is a lot of it about. Liturgical humbug that is. People claiming to be the real thing, traditional or modern, boasting of their excellence when in fact as Arthur says in The Life of Brian they’re just making it up as they go along.

You see these folks don't understand that their opinion doesn't matter one hoot and their creative or antiquarian tastes don't justify anything. Private individuals including priests don't decide what happens in the sacred liturgy. They are honor-bound to celebrate it as the Church gives it to us. To impose mere tastes as absolutes is to deny the breadth of the Church's tradition and to use personal tastes as a pretext for violating the Church's liturgical law is grave liturgical humbug. To just not care and do things wrongly is cancerous liturgical humbug.

The Pimpernel has drawn his sword in the face of a lot of liturgical humbug from active participation in Christmas midnight Mass to Patricius the prince of liturgical humbug. There are those who won't countenance the use of a fiddleback and perpetuate their own affectations or who presume to adopt monastic customs in secular churches. Others concelebrate casually when nobody is looking while others do it badly when everybody is looking. 

The Pimpernel has also been able to salute those who have no time for this sort of thing. They get it right all the time and don't think about how they can improve the liturgy, but about how the liturgy can improve them. They understand that the liturgy is too important and too great to be improved by individuals. They know that when the humbug of private taste takes root it spreads like a poisonous weed.

To arms all who would do honor to the sacred liturgy! Liturgical humbug is our enemy wherever it is found. Honor him who asks what the Church says is to be done, not he who decides how we will do it here or there!

31 August 2011

More from a 77 year-old Archbishop

Archbishop Conti of Glasgow, Scotland, is at it again. It really is time this man's resignation was accepted.

Glasgow, Scotland, Aug 30, 2011 / 12:56 pm (CNA/EWTN NEWS). - The Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland has told Catholics in his archdiocese not to kneel to receive communion.

“The Faithful should follow the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, namely coming to communion in procession and standing to receive Holy Communion,” wrote Archbishop Mario Conti in a letter to all his priests, dated August 25.
“Standing in our Western culture is a mark of respect: kneeling at the altar rails (where they continue to exist) is not the practice envisaged by the instructions in the Missal,” he stated.
The archbishop’s letter was issued ahead of the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal, which comes into effect throughout the English-speaking world this coming November.

Ironically, his instruction comes only a year after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in Glasgow. At that papal Mass, all those receiving communion from the Pope did so kneeling on a prie-dieu.

“This is really awful,” one Glasgow priest, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to CNA.

“The bishop is indeed the moderator of the liturgical life of the diocese. However, what concerns a number of the priests in Glasgow is that our Archbishop knowingly exceeds his legitimate authority when he attempts to remove liberties foreseen by the Roman Missal itself.”

29 August 2011

Bishop Bill's Farewell

The deposed Bishop of Towoomba, Australia, William Morris, celebrated a farewell Mass in his former Cathedral yesterday.

Why was it, again, that he was removed?

27 August 2011

Pro Ecclesiae unitate

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, has been called to Rome with his two Assistants for a meeting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on September 14th.

It's time to get out those purple vestments and offer votive Masses "pro Ecclesiae unitate" folks. Some of those at the table may not think they can bring about a reconciliation, but God sure can.

Deus, qui errata corrigis, et dispersa congregas, et congregata conservas:
 quæsumus, super populum christianum tuæ unionis gratiam clementer infunde;
ut, divisione reiecta, vero pastori Ecclesiæ tuæ se uniens,
tibi digne valeat famulari.

Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum,
qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti,
Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. 

24 August 2011

Prayer and ritual for (some other) religious women

The Pimpernel offers these religious women as an antidote to the good sisters of the LWCR.


These nuns released a CD Voices last year that's great. Give your local LWCR sister one as a gift.

22 August 2011

Servers wear surplices not albs

The responses to Many things right and one thing terribly wrong are amazing. The first response was correct. In the traditional rite servers wear surplices not albs. Those who want to look up the exact rules can find them on page 353 of O'Connell's excellent reference book  The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal.  

There's a bit of a trend among those who prefer ample Roman vestments and all things gothic to put servers in albs. But that is not the tradition and it is contrary to the law of the Church. The alb is a vestment that belongs to the sacred ministers, not to servers.

To say that to put servers into albs was a monastic practice is also questionable as these photos taken in the 1940s at Prinknash Abbey, England,  show. The servers are wearing nice gothic surplices at low and high Mass, for sure, but they ain't albs folks.


21 August 2011

Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB

Once upon a time bishops, even abbots, knew how to dress for Mass. This is the brand new Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland. Apparently he was a Benedictine Abbot of a liturgically conservative monastery for 19 years before.

It seems that during that time he never learnt how to wear a pectoral cross when pontificating or that the amice is required when other clothing shows through. There's probably no point asking if he wore the pontifical dalmatic. Perhaps he'll be better at running his diocese.

19 August 2011

Many things right and one thing terribly wrong

The NLM recently posted on a church down under in Australia that celebrates according to the 1962 Missal. If that's so, these folks deserve a lot of cudos for the many things they get  right. But this photo shows that they get (at least) one thing about the traditional rites very wrong. Answers in a comment please.

Update: Keep the responses coming, folks. Answer on Monday.