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.

18 August 2011

Book Alert - Pope Benedict XVI and the Liturgy

Pope Benedict XVI and the Liturgy came out a couple of months ago. The Pimpernel hasn't got a copy yet, but a reader sent a note recommending it. It looks good.

From the publisher:

"A prominent and inescapable feature of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate is the importance which has been given to the sacred liturgy, in its actual celebration, as well as in the pope's Magisterium and theological writings. Not only have we witnessed the reappearance of many elements used in older, but recently-abandoned papal liturgies, but also what amounts to be the virtual liberation of the 'Old Latin Mass'. This has come as a great surprise to many people in the Church, some of whom almost regard it, and the pope's liturgical theology, as a betrayal of recent liturgical reforms. On the other hand, others have viewed these liturgical changes, and the emphasis which Pope Benedict places upon the liturgy in the life of the Church, as positive developments, leading to a more correct understanding of the Second Vatican Council within 'the hermeneutic of continuity' and reform, and the notion of 'organic development'. But, in the midst of conflicting interpretations, how are we to understand these developments and Pope Benedict XVI's re-affirmation of what we now call the usus antiquior?

In this book Dr Anselm J. Gribbin explores these and other related questions by examining the liturgical theology of Pope Benedict XVI in his magisterial teachings and writings, particularly in the post-synodal exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, and The Spirit of the Liturgy. Gribbin, in an extensive, and detailed analysis, indicates that the liturgical theology of Pope Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger points the way forward for the Church in the field of liturgy. He also addresses the fundamentally important question of the relationship between the liturgical writings of Pope Benedict XVI as a theologian, and his Magisterium as the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church, and that the latter is best understood with recourse to the former."

17 August 2011

Prayer and ritual for (some) religious women

The Pimpernel is grateful to a reader for sending in the link to our own Leadership Conference of Religious Women's recent Assembly. There's some interesting looking prayer and ritual.
Jan Novotka (left) leads the assembly in prayer and ritual

Through ritual Mary Hughes, OP is blessed by the assembly
before she delivers her presidential address

More here. No pics of any Eucharists though. They would be interesting.

15 August 2011

An uhappy feast for some

A happy feast of the Assumption. Sad to say, today is an unhappy feast for some.

It has been too long since the Pimpernel visited Patricius-of-liturgical-private-jugement-run-riot. But for sure, he has another gem for the feast of the Assumption.

Was this form of the biretta traditionally
worn with the medieval surplice?
Or is this another example of
cafteteria traditionalism?
Just asking.
"In 1950 Pius XII replaced the ancient proper prayers of the Mass and significantly changed the Office for the feast of the Assumption, to adorn it with a new dogma instead. Those traditionalists out there who confess the doctrine of the Assumption and yet use the Pacelli propers for the celebration of Mass are not orthodox, they are Ultramontane. The entire impetus to believe the doctrine was removed by Pius XII and replaced with Papal authority. To put it simply: Gaudeamus and the traditional Office have the witness of centuries of Tradition. Munificentissimus Deus and Signum Magnum undermine the very orthodoxy of the Assumption since they have nothing to do with St Mary."


To the Pimpernel it seems a bit presumptious for Patricius to be hurling accusations of unorthodoxy about when these days he participates liturgically in Anglican worship (second photo down, carrying the cross) and, if comments on this occasion are to be believed, with his friend Rubycarius (third photo down, holding the book). It might even be interesting to know just what, if any, ecclesiastical communion his Triduum ceremonies this year were part of?  

Have a happy feast and spare a prayer for those who insist on being sad on such a day.

12 August 2011

Now that is pretty

This French bishop, the Archbishop of Sens-Auxerre, has style.
The Pimpernel particularly likes the stole and matching decoration
around the collar of the chasuble. Pretty. 

Pity his deacons don't have matching outfits.

10 August 2011

Two prelates on receiving Holy Communion

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.

The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.”
Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

“If we trivialize Communion, we trivialize everything, and we cannot lose a moment as important as that of receiving Communion, of recognizing the real presence of Christ there, of the God who is the love above all loves, as we sing in a hymn in Spanish.”

Antonio Cardinal Canizares Llovera, July 2011

“The usual practice in our parishes is for the Sacred Host to be received on the hand, standing, and – when practical and prudent to do so reverently- for the Precious Blood to be received from the Chalice, also whilst standing. This practice of standing is now confirmed in the Liturgical Norm for England and Wales, just recently approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome.”

“This Norm together with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal also provide choices which each recipient is at liberty to make: to receive the Sacred Host in the hand or on the tongue, either standing or kneeling. Each way has its symbolic and spiritual meaning helping us to be profoundly aware of whom it is that we receive and the unity of faith we share.”

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, 28 June 2011

The Archbishop of Westminster condems the London riots

The Pimpernel admits stretching the "liturgical" remit of this site just a little in this post, but the statements below demonstrate how central to daily Catholic life liturgical realties are, or aren't.

The events of the last few nights in parts of London and elsewhere are appalling. The criminal violence and theft are to be condemned as offences against God and man. They are evil acts contrary to the natural law of Almighy God and to all that is true and good.

I direct that Catholics pray for all those who suffer as a result of this evil and do all that is within their means to provide comfort and assistance to them in their various and different needs. I ask Catholics to assist at Mass, celebrations of the Divine Office, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and offer their intentions and their worthy Communions that the designs of the Evil One may be defeated.

I recall to all parents their duty under God to love, educate, correct and discipline their children so that the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil may not overcome them.

I call on all Catholics to seek the triumph of grace through ardent prayer and real sacrifice in the face of the Evil One who tempts our young people to become involved in such sinful, criminal and self-destructive behaviour.

These events are evidence of a profound malaise in the very roots of our society. Let us all pray, sacrifice and work, with urgent and evangelical fervour for the conversion of all to Christ and to His one true Church. Let us welcome those who come late to this Truth with the compassion of Christ Himself. Let each of us do all that we can with the spiritual and secular means at our disposal, to bring all to Christ and His Church, only through whom we ourselves, our society and our country can find the Truth and rejoice in true peace.

Oops, sorry, a little editorial gloss. Here, without further delay, is the statement of the Archbishop of Westminster on the London riots:

Archbishop Nichols (right)
“The scenes of the last few nights in parts of London and elsewhere are shocking. The criminal violence and theft that have been witnessed are to be condemned. They are a callous disregard for the common good of our society and show how easily basic principles of respect and honesty are cast aside. “

“I ask that Catholics pray especially for those directly affected by the violence, for those facing danger on the streets, for those whose livelihood has been ruined, for those whose lives are marked by fear, for those whose parents are worried about the behaviour of their youngsters and for those who, at this time, are being tempted into the ways of violence and theft.”

“In the face of these difficulties, a forthright common effort is needed to ensure that these times bring out the best in our society and not the worst. I am sure that, as Catholic citizens, we shall play our part with clear principles for living, both as individuals and as a society, with honesty, compassion and prayer.”

+ Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

7 August 2011

On being a gentleman, a cleric and a scholar.

Some recent posts have prompted the Pimpernel to reflect on the qualities of gentlemen, scholars and clergy.
A butter knife of quality,  but not something
to be used for mixing your gins and tonic. 
After all, as Sir Ian Sutherland remarked in The English Gentleman, “The first time the author of this book was conscious that there was a difference between what is classed as a gentle man and someone who is not classed as a gentleman was when a very eccentric aunt came to tea and, when the seven-year-old author-to-be helped himself to butter with his table knife, remarked acidly ‘The difference between a person who is a gentleman and one who is not is that a gentleman always uses a butter knife even when he has tea on his own.’”
The Pimpernel might observe the same of clergy: a true cleric and gentleman is one who wears a chasuble even when he celebrates Mass on holiday.
Or, for that matter cleric who is a gentleman and a scholar is one for whom the question "What is the plural of the drink made from gin and tonic?” does not arise.

6 August 2011

Our Lady of the Snows

From yesterday's Mass in Saint Mary Major's in Rome. Enjoy.

4 August 2011

Now that is a red chasuble

The Archbishop of Rennes, France, has a red chasuble which is really special. He wore it for an ordination last month. Enjoy.

2 August 2011

There's no turning back this clock

The Pimpernel congratulates all those responsible for the pontifical Mass at the faldstool in the presence of a greater prelate reported on the NLM and recently celebrated at the new Carmel in Elysburg. (Perhaps, though, someone could donate a gold miter to Bishop Waltershied?) Well done folks!

How far we have come in such a short time. To think that there are those who think that a future pope could reverse Summorum Pontificum and its many fruits. 

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.