Tag Archives: liturgy

Mosebach on the tridentine rite

By Augustinus

The great German writer Martin Mosebach wrote an essay on the tridentine rite a couple of years ago and that essay is now reprinted in First Things. See https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/04/return-to-form

Mosebach points out that the second Vatican Council did NOT proscribe the old tridentine rite but instead instructed and prescribed continued use of Latin and never assumed that ad orientam worship would change. Still less did the council fathers envision a new “iconoclasm of the altars” that took place after Paul VI endorsed use of a new missal. The smashing of the altars and the destruction of traditional catholic imagery and statuary in numberless churches across the world was every bit as destructive as the protestant smashing of the altars that took place centuries earlier in the wake of the furies of the protestant revolution. The fact that these iconoclastic outrages were occurring from within the church itself must have made non-Catholic onlookers believe that the protestant revolution had been right after all. Perhaps the Bishops that promoted this iconoclastic spasm were thinking that this second protestant revolution would convince our protestant brothers and sisters that catholics were serious about dialogue with them and then protestants would flock back to the one true church and we would be united again!

But alas; the envisioned rapproachement between catholics and protestants has not happened. Instead the numerous protestant sects have continued their inevitable dissolution into Unitarianism and the catholic church has slowly begun to follow the same, disastrous  “liberalizing” path as the protestants. That path we all now know leads to heresy…a kind of no-offense-to-anyone doctrine that ends in Unitarian pablum where Jesus is depicted as a milquetoast and perhaps interesting ancient rabble rouser and moral leader but certainly not a divine being who demands obedience.

Mosebach argues that an organizational change in the catholic church abetted the protestantizing of church since 1968: namely the organization of the Bishops into national Bishop conferences which directly contradicts ancient canon law on Bishops rules and procedures. Nationalism inevitably begins to rule the conferences rather than the universal church.

In any case I highly recommend Mosebach’s book and this essay.

Ad Orientam

By Augustinus

This morning (12.11.16) at Mass our parish priest celebrated the Mass ad orientam, much to the shock of most of the congregation. “What is he doing?  He is not not even facing us!” said some scandalized parishoners behind us ….progress I thought!  I went up to him after the Mass to thank him but I could not get a straight story from him as to why he did it. Either he did it on instruction from the new Bishop for our region OR he did it on his own initiative. Either way I am glad he did it.

Ever since Cardinal Sarah had suggested that priests return to the ad orientam form of worship there has been significant numbers of diocesan priests doing just that. Catholics do homage to God NOT the people. Protestants supplicate the people–not God. The Mass is a sacrifice, not a communal meal. The Mass is ABOUT God and our duty to give him our worship. It is NOT about US. It is not about community-building, social support, helping others in need and so forth. It is about the fundamental virtue of religion  –   namely the worship of God.  Therefore it is right and fitting that the priest face the tabernacle which is positioned at the eastern end of the chapel.

The Most Reverential Novus Ordo Mass!

By Allan Gillis

Latin Mass

A local parish recently was blessed to have garnered the residency of a priest friend of mine who says the Extrordinary Form Mass in Latin on Sundays where I sing Gregorian Chant regularly in downtown Boston. Father Fagiol (as we’ll call him) is one of those priests that just radiate the very essence of “priesthood”. Don’t get me wrong… he’s never stuffy or overly-pious or lacking in good humor – just a decent, well-spoken and knowledgeable man who personifies exactly what a priest should be. He has enough Old-World charm that he could have served with ease and grace as a European royal courtier anywhere on the continent (he is fluent in three languages besides his Latin!). He possesses a delightful joie-de-vivre while always remaining a holy priest – ever-mindful of his office, while never “lording it over” anyone. He’s simply a gift to us here – and a gift to me in my spiritual life.
So, he tells me over dinner last week that he’ll be saying the noontime Mass on Fridays and some weekdays and since my office is right here – I figured I’d stop in mid-day today and see him and grab the chance to have him hear my confession – as I plan on being on my boat tomorrow and Saturdays are usually the only time that these Novus Ordo parishes have the “sacrament of reconciliation” available to us (I can’t stand that phrase!!! – why couldn’t it just be left alone as “Confession”??? – the word “reconcile” to me – and I’m no etymologist – connotes that big ol’ meany God is half responsible for my mishap and he and I need to come to some sort of ‘tete-e-tete’ and work things out. How collegial it is now! Gee, I feel better now about this propostion – this “Confession” stuff seems so one-sided! “Reconciliation” makes me ‘feel’ better!  How dare God assume that I’m the one who breached this contract between us!  Like – where’s God’s culpability in all this?)
I digress.
I stepped into Mass today and the wonderful incense was pluming up and filling the apse… the pre-Mass exposition and benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament was reverently and lovingly prayed and responded to. What a joy during a week-day! Then, Mass began. It was strange to see Father Fagiol standing behind the altar Versus Populum. I’m so accustomed to the priest Ad Orientum – especially Father Fagiol! Now here’s an interesting fact; this is one of those old beautiful churches built before the fad started in the fifties and sixties by pot-smoking architects (and approved by bishops!) to tear down Roman Catholic churches and rebuild them to look like anti-septic airport terminals. This one is actually physically situated and was correctly-constructed in the 19th century as the compass dictates – when the people stand to pray they are facing due east. Now, the priest standing facing them (“The Father Steve Show” as I call it – brought to you by Vatican II) is standing “versus populum” (against the people in Latin), he is looking westward as the compass bears – NOT ad orientum – or… to the east – as we’re commanded to. So, Father Fagiol prays this Mass in the Ordinary Form… but to my great delight and astonishment, it was the REAL thing! I mean, I believe that the Novus Ordo is licit and valid and all that… I have just NEVER heard it prayed/celebrated so serenely and reverently. Never.

Fr. F kept the pace – the cadence of the liturgy moving perfectly, praying along solemnly and devoutly while not being ostentatious or halting – but certainly not rushing through the Mass like he had a train to catch right after the liturgy!  I was in awe. I had heard in the past what seemed like patronizing and insecure assertions that “certainly the Novus Ordo can be just as much of a spiritual uplift as the Latin Mass”. I always thought: “Kak”!
I was wrong.     I guess it depends on the priest.

I Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself!

St Paul

By Allan Gillis

In the U.S., a 2014 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Catholics support gay marriage, including 75 percent of Catholics age 18 to 29 and even 45 percent of regular churchgoers. (In the same survey, 70 percent of Catholics said homosexuality should be accepted, including 60 percent of weekly churchgoers.) In April, a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found support for gay marriage among U.S. Catholics at 60 percent.
So, what’s up with my fellow American Catholics? This is the kind of statistical information on modern Catholicism that turns my guts.  I just want to throttle those who find themselves moved to defend the absolute degeneracy, corruption and depravity that has hobbled and stained our beloved Holy Mother Church.  The post Vatican II generations have been starved of liturgy AND catechesis!!! The statistics above confirm this!!!  Again I say; “lex orandi – lex credendi”!

I found a piece on the wonderful blog Rorate Caeli that I wish I had written. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I check this blog out regularly and I am regularly treated to some very well-written (even if translated into English) discourse that sometimes delights and sometimes infuriates me.   Here’s a taste:

“They were anticipating a new Church, and so they set about changing the Mass. They wanted a Church with new dogmas and new morality, so they had to tinker with the Catholic Mass and make it into a skeleton of itself. And a skeleton Mass corresponds to a skeletal Church, made up of skeletal dogma and morality.

We said this last month: the new liturgy presumed to skip two thousand years of Christian history, in the illusion of reconnecting to a mythical beginning of Christianity. The men of the post-council reform said that it was necessary to simplify [the Mass], so that the noble essence of the Catholic Rite would emerge. They believed effectively negative, all the Church’s work of centuries and centuries to make the Catholic Rite increasingly more limpid and edifying . They continued to eliminate and eliminate, retaining negative all that had been added [over the centuries] and a skeleton Mass was what emerged.

A Mass of empty things and the unsaid – empty things and the unsaid were then filled up by the fantasy of the celebrant and the faithful. And the fantasies have become as numerous as the churches in the world because it is obvious one cannot live off a skeleton: men fatten-up the skeleton, but the flesh and the blood are not of God, but usually that of the dictatorship of the mentality in vogue. So, according to the seasons, we have had socialist Masses, poetic masses, happy-clappy masses, wordy masses, catechesis Masses, healing Masses, Charismatic Masses, missionary Masses, quick Masses and so on and so forth. In short – you can construct the Mass so that it matches you and your Christianity. A Mass so impoverished no longer gave nourishment, and so it became necessary to turn to the various ideologies in vogue to fatten it up. By eliminating much that was due to God, the Mass had to be filled by the things of men, so that it could still be considered of some use: a tragedy [which amounts to] the loss of the Catholic heart, that is to say, the redeeming work of Christ Crucified.

And the tragedy has been propagated right through the entire Catholic organism: the new skeletal Mass, filled of empty things, has become so ambiguous so as to produce a skeletal Christianity, skeletal dogma and morality: the result: ambiguous Catholicism.”

Whoa!  baby!   …and he’s just getting started!

I will also say this; I believe that there were (and are) men in high places in The Church that intended exactly this state of affairs we as Catholics find ourselves in today. I also agree with Radicati Nella Fede…  the newsletter of the Catholic community of Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy (from where this piece emanates – tho’ originally offered in Italian but translated for us by Francesca Romana) .  There, they warn us that the future Pope to actually turn things around will most likely face martyrdom.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us!

please read the rest over there: