30 July 2011

Singing Mass on a sideboard

The Chant Cafe has been doing good work promoting the great initiative of Simple English Propers for the Mass.

Today the book's editor Adam Bartlett reports on two priest directors of diocesan worship offices on vacation who are singing Mass from it, on a sideboard. Nice plates.

“This is Fr. Jonathan Gaspar, director of the Office of Worship in Boston, singing propers from the SEP at a Mass concelebrated by him and Fr. Jason Jalbert, Office of Worship director in Manchester, NH, on their summer vacation in Maine. I just love this picture because it demonstrates the possibility of something that was otherwise very difficult to achieve before."

Just a couple of questions. Who took the photo, when and while doing what? Was a chasuble worn? (Perhaps that was on the photographer.) How are they teaching priests to celebrate the sacred liturgy in Boston and Manchester?

29 July 2011

A liberal discovers chant and traditional liturgy

Go over to Pray Tell and read this amazing story. Sure, the guy's got a long ways to go, 'specially doctrinally, but he's made a start. Says something about the power and beauty of the Church's liturgical tradition too.

28 July 2011

Hey, somone left a clay jug on the altar!

No kidding. This is a Mass at a Catholic school run by Benedictine monks. It's the pic they use to promote their "Thursday Worship and Family Mass". Go check it out here.

27 July 2011

Notitiae Responses

A few blogs reported the excellent on-line resource of a database of the responses to liturgical questions by the Congregation for Divine Worship in their journal Notitiae translated into English.

Some of the recent responses forbid some pretty common abuses, such as the 'everyone has to hold something up during the doxology of the Eucharistic prayer' practice.

It seemed like a good inclusive idea at the time.

There's plenty more, especially for bishops. Go to the database here and brush up on what's just not on. Send the link to your pastor, liturgy coordinator or bishop. It may just be that their subscription to Notitiae has run out, and you'll be doing them a service.

26 July 2011

Ask Father...and get a good answer

Over in Follansbee, WV, there's a new blog Pastor Montanus dishing out sensible liturgical advice.

The blog has a service called "Ask Father". The latest question answered is "What is the significance of the robes that priests wear? And why do they all look so different? Are they specially made for you?" The reply is pretty good, though Father seems to have forgotten that rose vestments are part of the Roman Rite.

Go ask him a question, and enjoy.

25 July 2011

Virgilio Cardinal Noè (1922-2011) RIP

Virgilio Cardinal Noè died on July 24th at the age of 89. RIP.

Cardinal Noè was in the thick of the implementation of the liturgical reform after the Council and bitterly opposed any contuned celebration of the traditional Mass. That's now between him and God.

In 2008 he gave an interview to Bruno Volpe. The orginal Italian is here. Some extracts:

Q. Paul VI’s denunciation of the presence of the smoke of Satan in the Church is unforgettable. Still today, that discourse seems to be incredibly relevant.
A. “...I am in a position to reveal, for the first time, what Paul VI desired to denounce with that statement. Here it is. Papa Montini, for Satan, meant to include all those priests or bishops and cardinals who didn’t render worship to the Lord by celebrating badly Holy Mass because of an errant interpretation of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. He spoke of the smoke of Satan because he maintained that those priests who turned Holy Mass into dry straw in the name of creativity, in reality were possessed of the vainglory and the pride of the Evil One. so, the smoke of Satan was nothing other than the mentality which wanted to distort the traditional and liturgical canons of the Eucharistic ceremony.”

Q. In conclusion, Your Eminence, what is true liturgy?
A. "It renders glory to God. Liturgy must be carried out always and no matter what with decorum: even a sign of the Cross poorly made is synonymous with scorn and sloppiness. Alas...after Vatican II it was believed that everything, or nearly, was permitted. Now it is necessary to recover, and in a hurry, the sense of the sacred in the ars celebrandi, before the smoke of Satan completely pervades the whole Church. Thanks be to God, we have Pope Benedict XVI: his Mass and his liturgical style are an example of correctness and dignity."

24 July 2011

Living the Eucharist, middle class complete with smiles and background music

Pray Tell's Rita Ferrone recently announced a brand new renewal program that she helped write. Go to the website and watch the in-depth presentation video if you dare. If it's constant smiles, unrelenting background music and unconvincing monologues don't tell you all you need to know, the pictures of the liturgical celebration do. But let Rita tell the story:

"A new parish renewal program centered on the theme of Eucharist is now available from Paulist Evangelization Ministries.
The components include a prayer campaign, bulletin inserts, family activities, discipleship groups for teens, discipleship groups for adults, a personal reflection booklet, and more. There is an emphasis on quality celebration of the Eucharist, and outreach to inactive Catholics and the unchurched. (Full disclosure: I wrote some of the materials. I think it’s a worthwhile project, and I highly recommend it.)

As you can see from the list of components, Living the Eucharist is designed as a whole-parish program. Happily, all the materials are available in both English and Spanish. The project director is Fr. Kenneth Boyack, CP, of Paulist Evangelization Ministries, a well-known advocate and leader in the field of Catholic evangelization. The inspiration for the program is Pope Benedict’s apostolic exhortation, The Sacrament of Charity.

Their website has samples of the materials and an introductory video.

All of the materials carry a positive, affirming tone. Yet, without belaboring the fact, the program seeks to address one of the most significant problems the Catholic Church faces today: declining Mass attendance. According to William V. D’Antonio, et al, in the book American Catholics Today (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007, 55) 75% of adult Catholics attended Mass weekly in 1945, 70% in 1965, 53% in 1985, 43% in 1995, and 34% in 2005. A CARA study in 2008 reported that the number of adult Catholics attending Mass weekly had fallen to 23% (Mark M. Gray and Paul M. Pearl in Sacraments Today, Belief and Practice Among U.S. Catholics (CARA 2008, 20). Crisis or missionary opportunity? Either way, there is a strong motivation to strengthen our collective commitment to the Eucharist as a regular, weekly event in the life of the people."

20 July 2011

Ordinations at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Treille, Lille

A picture from the recent ordination to the priesthood by the Archbishop of Lille, France, in his cathedral. 

What the newly-ordained priest in the left of the picture is thinking one can guess, maybe, but the Archbishop seems to be right there at home with it all. What an altar.

Pity the folks in the chairs who have to look at the sanctuary. It gives new meaning to "seeing red" in a liturgy.

19 July 2011

It's out - Expanded edition of A Bitter Trial

with more of Evelyn Waugh's writings and an introduction by Joseph Pearce and an afterword by Clare, Countess of Oxford.

English author Evelyn Waugh, most famous for his novel Brideshead Revisited, became a Roman Catholic in 1930. For the last decade of his life, however, Waugh experienced the changes being made to the Church's liturgy to be nothing short of "a bitter trial". In John Cardinal Heenan, Waugh found a sympathetic pastor and somewhat of a kindred spirit.

This volume brings together the personal correspondence between Waugh and Heenan during the 1960s, a trying period for many faithful Catholics. It begins with a 1962 article Waugh wrote for the Spectator followed by a response from then Archbishop Heenan, who at the time was a participant at the Second Vatican Council. These and the other writings included in this book paint a vivid picture of two prominent and loyal English Catholics who lamented the loss of Latin and the rupture of tradition that resulted from Vatican II.

In the light of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, many Catholics are looking again at the post-conciliar liturgical changes. To this "reform of the reform" of the liturgy now underway in the Roman Catholic Church, both Heenan and Waugh have much to contribute.

Alcuin Reid is a cleric of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France, and a liturgical scholar and author. His principal work, The Organic Development of the Liturgy carries a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Joseph Pearce is a popular literary biographer whose works include The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, Tolkien: Man and Myth, and The Quest for Shakespeare.

Clare Asquith, Countess of Oxford is the author of Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare.

The book can be pre-orderd here.

13 July 2011

Not all French bishops dress like muppets

The Bishop of Bayonne
The Bishop of Versailles

The Bishop of Toulon

3 July 2011

Celebrating Pentecost

The Archbishop of Cambrai, France, celebrating Pentecost 2011. Enjoy more photos here. For those with strong stomachs the full video is here.