Thursday, January 31, 2008
In commemoration of the Lenten Season, the Hermandad de la Sagrada Pasion de Jesus in cooperation with Harrison Plaza Shopping Center will mount a 10-day exhibit dubbed as "CUARESMA". The exhibit will showcase life-sized Holy Week processional images from different parts of the country including Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. More than 60 images and tableaus representing the events in the public life, passion and death of Christ are expected to participate.
These images more popularly known as "santos" are the centerpiece of devotional activities throughout the country particularly during the Holy Week. Most santos are carved from wood, dressed in richly embroidered vestments and carry attributes or symbols that distinguish them from one another. Care of these images is usually handed down from one generation to next. This exhibit which is the first major undertaking of the Hermandad de la Sagrada Pasion de Jesus, an organization established on September 14, 2007. It is composed of "santo" owners, caretakers and enthusiasts from the Philippines, North America, Europe and the Middle East. The group's main objective is to propagate the devotion to the Sacred Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ as well as to promote and preserve the different lenten traditions and practices in the country.
"CUARESMA" will run from Feb. 8 to 17, 2008 at the 2nd Level, Harrison Plaza Shopping Center-Annex, A. Mabini St., Malate, Manila. Viewing hours are from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Admission is free.
O Don Bosco, we're thy dearest Who's protection are imploring, For in heaven thou remainest, An apostle 'mid thee adoring.
Don Bosco, thy children On many a shore Shall love and revere thee Till time be no more.
Sancte Iohannes Bosco, Ora Pro Nobis
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese (ACAD)On Thursday; January 17, 2008, the “Day of Thanksgiving” of the Rogation of the Ninevites, for which day the Gospel says, “On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (John 16:23), the Clergy Conference of the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese (ACAD) met in Dublin, California, to discuss the current situation and consider future plans for reestablishing communion with other Christians, in order to end their ecclesial isolation.
After praying to the Father and reflecting on the Scriptures and Tradition, the attendees unanimously adopted a “Declaration of Intention” in which they state their resolution “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church” and “to resume church unity with the Chaldean Catholic Church.” As a result, they foresee that this declaration will initiate a process of negotiation with respective Church authorities to define a concrete model of this union, in which the particularity of our apostolic tradition is preserved.
Present at this Clergy Conference were H.G. Bishop Mar Bawai Soro, four priests and sixteen deacons. Two more priests and fourteen other deacons of ACAD have also sent in advance their signed proxies in support of this Declaration. The gathered members ask all their brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for this noble intention so that each and every effort will contribute to the glory of God and the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer for His Holy Church “That they all may be one”. (John 17:21)
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Story by Dennis Raymond Maturan
Photo by Claire Navarro
Bishop Camilo Gregorio of Batanes is the first Roman Catholic Bishop in the Philippines in communion with the Holy See, who has officially and publicly celebrated a Low Pontifical Mass assisted by Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo after the promulgation and as thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, clarifying that the Tridentine Mass now called the Extraordinary Roman Rite according to the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII, has never been abolished and may still be celebrated by those who wish to have the Mass in that manner yet giving preeminence to the 1970 Missal of Pope Paul VI as the normative liturgy or the Ordinary Roman Rite. The Mass was celebrated at Our Lord of Divine Mercy Parish, Sikatuna, Q.C., at eight in the morning of January 28, 2008. Fr. Zerrudo is Pastor of the said parish.
During recent chats with Msgr. Moises Andrade, the late Rufino Cardinal Santos refused to abandon the Pre-Pauline Rite and disapproved its celebration "ad popolo" even after the reforms of Vatican II. It was only during the 1970 Papal Visit of the late Pope Paul VI that he allowed the Novus Ordo Mass known then as the "People's Mass" in deference to the Pope. Another conversation with well-known Marian visionary Carmelo Cortez who last year attended a seminar on the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in the United States shared that the Philippine Church was one of the last to have abandoned the Old Rite in exchange for the New Rite.
It was unfortunate that I was not able to attend this historical event and had no idea that he was planning to celebrate this form of Mass when I met him a few weeks ago at the wake of Dna. Rosario Adriano, mother of liturgical artist, Tony Adriano (who was just recently appointed as Philippine Consul to Rome). It was Bishop Gregorio who celebrated a private Traditional Mass in our house around 1995 and at Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills in the same year. He is a classmate of Benedictine Fr. Pio Lomibao, O.S.B. and encouraged the latter to celebrate the Traditional Mass which he occassionally does. May God bless the good Bishop!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Photos by Armand La Morte and Fidel Cenir
In his immaculate white cassock buttoned with the purple of his Episcopal office, and his zucchetto, Father Bishop Gregorio (forgive the imprecise term, this is my term of endearment for every bishop) processed towards the prie-dieu especially prepared for him. From there he recited some prayers ( I wonder if it was the little hour of Terce, but quite probably it wouldn’t have been, otherwise it should have taken longer), and then started vesting. Washing his hands, a carry-over practice from the ablutions Jews do, he then proceeded to putting on the amice, then the festal alb, followed by the cincture. These pieces of priestly vestments, for the average Catholic nowadays, would seem to be museum pieces, something you only get to see, but you actually don't wear. During this time, the first chaplain, Fr. Jojo assisted him with the help of the Sacristan Mayor of PLDM. Tying the cincture half-way through, Father Bishop then put on his stole, symbol of priestly authority, followed by a beautiful golden chasuble, as the mass was votive to the Blessed Trinity. Finally, on his left arm, he wore the golden maniple. It was simply lovely, a bishop who in front of all the faithful transformed from his simple soutane, to the ornate priestly attire he wore for that day’s Mass: truly it was a sight to behold. As I was recalling this event, I can’t help to remember the word’s of Our Lord to Peter saying when he becomes old, even his belt will have to be put on by his servants.
As the bishop passed on from his daily attire to that of high priest, the faithful can’t help but be reminded that truly, the bishop becomes an alter christus, he no longer is just one among us, but another Christ, about to offer the same sacrifice of the Cross!
Intoning the Judica me, Fr. Bishop officially began the mass with the antiphon, Introibo ad altare Dei, I shall enter the altar of the Lord! Those who say the TLM is never interactive should have heard how the church resounded with the dialogue that ensued during the Judica me. Just because something is in Latin doesn’t really mean nobody will be able to respond, that simply is a fallacy, and all the more I would doubt that the ones who came on that day’s mass were the ferment of society, or the literati or some intellectual whackoes, No, they were simple-minded faithful.
Fr. Bishops sweet, flowing Latin was interrupted when he reread the day’s epistle and Gospel in English, and then providing a brief homily. There, he quoted profusely from the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (MP) and its accompanying explanatory letter. He talked of how, beyond reconciliation and unity, the MP was truly about providing the richness of Catholic Tradition to everyone and that it was about enriching both ordinary and extraordinary forms. To cap his homily filled with a Litany of Thanksgiving, he said, finally I offer this mass to you, who have been devoted to this mass. There he was, a bishop who truly understood the mind of the Holy Father, a true and loyal son of Holy Mother the Church, a pastor bonus, a gift of God to his people.
The silence that followed during the Canon Missae rendered more solemnity to the occasion, to this joyous day when two scores after the Pauline reforms, once again a Philippine Church resounded with the silent, almost whispering prayer of a bishop, about to bring Calvary present once more, in the Mass.
When the mass was technically done and the final blessing was given, the elaborate ceremonial of the Extraordinary Form doesn’t stop yet. In fact, first, it calls for thanksgiving in the reading of the first chapter of John, and then prayers of petitions to Our Blessed Mother and to St. Michael, for the conversion of sinners, the exaltation of Holy Mother the Church and the defeat of the enemy. Fr. Bishop, all the more did these with a distinct affection one can almost feel when he recited the 3 Ave Mariae and the Prayer to St Michael.
After taking off the sacred vestments, Fr. Bishop spent some moments of silence thanking God for what had just happened, afterwards and to no surprise, droves of the faithful “drowned” him, all wanting to take their chance to gain an indulgence by kissing his Episcopal ring, but more than that, to offer their thanks and the warmth of their affection to such a bishop who, to my own recollection, did what simply was a miracle.
As I am just 22, truly what I saw today was something I haven’t seen in my whole life, and thus I too thank Fr. Bishop for the “miracle” of the Holy Mass he has celebrated today.
Photos by Armand La Morte and Fidel Cenir
This morning witnessed another great and historic triumph of Tradition, as His Grace, Camillo Gregorio D.D., the Bishop of Batanes, culminated his apostolic priesthood once more as he offered the Sacrifice of the Mass, in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite - the Tridentine rite, at the Parish of Our Lord of the Divine Mercy, in Cubao, Q.C. It is another affirmation from God, that the Traditional Catholic movement is on the right path, and that the restoration of the Church, particularly here in Metro Manila, is well on its way.
The persecuted Bishop, who fought hard on the side of Tradition in his previous Diocese, seemingly mimicked the thanksgiving of St. Athanasius of Alexadria, for the continuing restoration of the Church. In his homily, His Grace thanked Our Lord and the Holy Father for the gift of Summorum Pontificum. He affirmed and highlighted some points of what Pope Benedict XVI, intends for the Church, namely the healing of rifts and dissentions among Catholics, and the unity of the Church, as the two valid forms of the Roman rite "enriches one another". His Grace also expressed his thanks and admiration to everyone present during the mass. Although the Extraordinary form was celebrated in the so-called 'Low Mass', nevertheless it was said in a very solemn manner that the people present meditatively, and enthusiastically assisted.
Fr. Jojo Zerrudo "concelebrated" (viz. according to Liturgy expert Carlos Palad, Fr. Jojo acted as 'First Chaplain') and actively served and assisted His Grace, throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. After the celebration, the people joyfully flocked towards the Bishop to ask for his blessing, and to give their thanks and honor to this great servant of Our Lord and of His Church. May the Lord be praised and all glory be unto Him. That God continually bless his servant Reverend Bishop Camillo Gregorio in giving him the strength for the apostolic burden he has received.
For once allow me to concede to the Protestants, in singing "This is the day (2x)…that the Lord has made; I will rejoice (2x) and be glad in Him."
From Fr. Abe Arganiosa's Blog:
My request for personal permission from my superior didn't simply received a positive response, much more it received an active support and encouragement from the same superior.
Yesterday evening, Fr. Richard gathered our community and armed with printed copies of the 1962 Latin Missal he informed our community that all of us priest must practice the Traditional Latin Mass so that all of us shall be prepared to celebrate it properly. Fr. Superior reiterated that as religious it is inherent in our religious consecration and vow of obedience to follow directives of the Holy Father for the benefit of the people of God. Thus, the preparation for TLM is no longer limited to Fr. Abe alone but it has gained a communitarian status with our own head leading the way. I'M VERY PROUD TO BE A SOMASCAN!
Fr. Richard provided us with clear copies of the text and in some evening sessions we shall practice the prayers and the canon because despite the fact that we studied Latin and we can read Latin he insists that familiarity with the texts is a must. Besides, even if we can read or know English we need especial practice if we want to declaim Shakesperean piece or recite a Browning's poetry so it is in Latin Mass it necessitates familiarity and practice so that we know where to stop or to breathe and recite the sentences properly for people to hear.
God bless our Fr. Superior and God bless our Somascan Community of ACI Sorsogon!
Congratulations to Fr. Riccardo Germanetto, CRS(see above photograph) and Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS! Thanks for being priests!
We hope and pray that Fr. Germanetto's initiative will encourage superiors of other religious communities to support Summorum Pontificum in their own respective communities in obedience to the will of Christ's Vicar.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
"This is the most Solemn Mass I have ever attended:" TLM at the Cathedral of Cubao
National Catholic Register: A Day in the Life of the Holy Father
On January 28, Monday, at 8:00 AM at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy, His Excellency Bishop Camilo D. Gregorio, Prelate of Batanes, will celebrate Low Pontifical Mass according to the Missal of 1962, better known as the "Tridentine Rite"
This will be the first-ever Pontifical Tridentine Mass to be celebrated in Metro Manila by a Catholic bishop in full communion with the Holy See ever since the Novus Ordo was promulgated in 1969.
Bishop Camilo Gregorio, as Bishop of Bacolod from 1987 to 2001, established the Traditional Latin Mass in that diocese in the early 1990's.
He also attended and celebrated Mass for the Sixth Proceedings of the CIEL in 1999, where he gave a talk entitled "A Pastoral View of the Ecclesia Dei Communities"
A sweet moment for Bishop Gregorio who defended Tradition and upholded orthodoxy.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
An email from Carlos Antonio Palad:
On January 26, the CBCP will begin holding its plenary session. Among other things, they will be discussing the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Philippines.
We pray that the discussion on the implementation will be truly in line with the thinking of Holy Mother the Church and that of the Holy Father guided by his cover letter to the bishops. I pray that they will not be influenced and be guided by the spirit of rapture.
My lord bishops, the Holy Father has clarified that the Missal of Blessed John XXIII was never abrogated and that it is perfectly lawful to celebrate Mass according to this form. May you be supportive of priests and faithful, both young and old, who are attached to this form. May you lead others to appreciate and love this extraordinary form of our Roman Rite.
Sancte Michael Archangele, ora pro nobis.
On January 26, 2008 at 4 am, the first Traditional Latin Mass or Tridentine Mass was offered and celebrated in the cathedral, that is the seat, of the bishop of Cubao, Most Rev. Honesto Ongtiongco, in honor of the pilgrim relics of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered and celebrated by Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, parish priest of the Lord of the Divine Mercy.
Many who assisted where unfamiliar with Latin and the extraordinary form yet they were able to comprehend and capture the honor, the dignity, and great sense of the sacred and mystery that they, without any instructions, showed their reverence to this great holy sacrifice of our Lord being made present...unfolding right before their eyes: "...ngayon lang ako naka attend ng ganitong ka-solemn na Missa" (translation: this is the most solemn Mass I have ever attended) said one who assisted. It was very solemn and beautiful indeed.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
He reports "...the church was full packed, the music superb and the faithful actively said all response with the aid of leaflets." To introduce and inform the parishioners about Summorum Pontificum of the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Celis gave a short catechesis before the Mass.
The Celebrant is Msgr. Juanito Tuvilla, Deacon is Fr. Oscar Andrada, Subdeacon is Fr. Winnie Lusaria while Parish Priest Fr. Espiridion Celis is choir director.
Congratulations to our reader and the parishioners of the Espousal of our Lady. Congratulations and a heart felt thanks to Msgr. Juanito Tuvilla, Fr. Oscar Andrada, Fr. Winnie Lusaria and Fr. Espiridion Celis. Thank you for being priests!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Today, in honor of the Sto Nino, a solemn Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI or the ordinary form or novus ordo to many, was celebrated in the PNB main hall asissted by approximately a hundred believers.
Priest-celebrant was Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo who processed down the center aisle wearing his complete roman vestments while the choir sung the entrance hymn in Latin. The propers, including the readings, were chanted in English while some ordinary parts (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei) were chanted in Latin and the Pater Noster was sung in Filipino. Just like Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Zerrudo "turned towards the Lord" during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. He used the Eucharistic Prayer I or the Roman Canon of the Missal of Pope Paul VI, a very rarely used Eucharistic prayer in the Philippines. Most of those assisting must have heard it for the very first time.
The altar servers who were present were inpired and they, together with the whole congregation, now know how a priest should celebrate and offer the sacrifice of our Lord, that is with dignity, reverence and a great sense of the sacred.
This is the Mass of Pope Paul VI seen through the lens of hermeneutic of continuity. Deo Gratias! Viva Santo Nino!
This seeks to answer the then Cardinal Ratzinger's, now Pope Benedict XVI's call to follow the true mind of Vatican II, a mind that seeks to restore and continue from the past the greater sense of reverence, mystery, beauty and the sacred in the celebration of the liturgy, specially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, it is a mind of continuity and not of rapture.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A reader has sent us a link about the usus antiquior to be celebrated in the Parish of the Espousal of Our Lady in Mandurriao, Iloilo City in the Archdiocese of Jaro.
A solemn high mass in Latin will highlight the fiesta of Mandurriao parish on January 23, 2008. Rev. Fr. Esperidion Celis, parish priest of Mandurriao, said he wrote Pope Benedict XVI to seek his blessing of the significant religious undertaking.Thanks to Condotiere for this wonderful news.
Celis said the idea of holding the solemn high mass in Latin is in support of the Holy Father's decision to bring back and give wider use of the Latin mass according to the 1962 Rite approved by the Papal Moto Proprio "Summorum Pontificum."
Celis said it would be the first time since the 1960s that the Latin mass will be conducted in the Archdiocese of Jaro and even in the entire country. [He could mean that it will be the first time since the 1960s a Latin Mass in Jaro will be offered and celebrated freely by priests without any permissions or indults needed due to the clarification of the Vicar of Christ. After all, Summorum Pontificum is really intended for priests.]
The Latin mass will be held after the 2:00 p.m. procession around the plaza on January 23.
The mass, which will be officiated by Msgr. Juanito Tuvilla, will have a Gregorian Chant and traditional Christian hymns like Mozart's "Ave Verum" and Franck's "Panis Angelicus", as well as a polyphonic rendition of the "Messe Solenelle de Ste. Cecile" by Charles Francois Gounod.
Celis said they have invited parishioners from as far as the province of Capiz and Antique to witness the holding of the Latin mass. They have also invited students of Catholic schools in the city to attend the celebration to give them the chance to experience the 1962 Rite in Latin.
For the benefit of our readers who are clueless regarding the existence of the Tridentine Mass in the Philippines from the 1970's until prior to Summorum Pontificum, there were Tridentine Masses in Manila in the 1990s through an indult granted by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin from where the Cubao TLM community came from. From the year 2000 onwards, besides the Cubao TLM, there had been TLMs also in Jaro, Bacolod and Cavite, thanks to Ecclesia Dei.
There is now a daily Tridentine Mass in Cubao and regular (at least every Sunday but I still need to verify if they have daily) Tridentine Masses in Valenzuela and Dauis, Bohol and there are privately celebrated Tridentine Masses across the country thanks to Summorum Pontificum.
Photo of the Parish of the Espousal of Our Lady from iloiloonline.blogspot.com
Monday, January 21, 2008
The next day, Saturday at 4 AM, a dawn Mass, according to the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, will be offered in honor of this great saint and doctor of the Church.
Update: Among the clergy who will be present to welcome her are the Vicar General of the Diocese of Cubao, Msgr. Antonio Mortillero, Most Rev. Raul Martirez, DD, Bishop-Emeritus of San Jose, Antique and Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo. Thanks to Francis for the update.
photo of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral from dioceseofcubao.org
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I have noticed several visitors coming from within and without Metro Manila particularly from the province of Bicol. I encourage everyone to please register at the Motu Proprio Contact Database and please indicate from which city or town you are from so that you can also be contacted by interested parties from within your respective localities.
Hint: Select PHL for the Country, enter your City and choose the appropriate abbreviated province name from "State."
State: BIL (This is the closest in terms of abbreviation in the list to Bicol)
Support Summorum Pontificum in the Philippines. If not yet registered, please register at Lumen Gentleman Catholic Studies.
Motu Proprio Contacts Database
Thursday, January 17, 2008
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, His Eminence Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, His Eminence José Tomás Cardinal Sánchez, His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Most Rev. Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige, Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, Most Rev. Orlando Tria-Tirona, Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, Most Rev. Precioso Cantillas, Most Rev. Oscar Cruz, Msgr. Guido Marini, Fr Eli Cruz SDB, Fr Patrick Villasanta SDB, Fr. Cesar Dizon SDB, Fr. Marvin Felipe SDB, Father Bob Zarate SDB, Fr. John Cabrido SDB, Fr. Ritchie Santos SDB, Fr. Miguel Solaroli SDB, Fr Mariano Agruda III OCD, Fr Arnie Boehme OCD, Fr. Ernie Montuerto OCD, Fr. Iking Fuentes OCD, Father Paul OCD, Fr. Nolan Que, Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS, Fr. Carlos Estrada, Fr. Joseph Skelton, Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Fr. Josef Bisig FSSP, Fr. John Berg FSSP, Fr. Calvin Goodwin FSSP, Fr. Joseph Lee FSSP, Fr. Chad Ripperger FSSP, Fr. John Trigilio, Fr. Levis, Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Martin Fox, Rev. Fr. Gerardo Tapiador SSL, Fr. Edgardo Arellano, Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR, Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, Msgr. Michael Schmitz ICR, Msgr. Esteban Lo LRMS and Msgr. Moises Andrade.
Thank you for being priests!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
In a charitable, clear manner, explain what you see here. What gratifies you about the action in the photograph. What bothers you. Those who see it as beautiful, explain why and its deeper relation to your Catholic faith. Those who are bothered by it or mystified by it, explain why.
I would like to share the photo from Amy Welborn and Fr. Rob Johansen's piece to the Filipino audience:
by Fr. Rob Johansen
The other day Amy Welborn posted a thought-provoking question involving this picture, depicting either a Mass of the Extraordinary Form or a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated Ad Orientem:
Amy asked people for their reactions to the photo, and the reactions were themselves thought-provoking and revealing. What they seem to reveal is something I have noticed before in many of the negative reactions to Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio and to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, otherwise known as the "Tridentine" rite. What is apparent to me is that many of the objections are ideological rather than theological or spiritual. Here are a list of some of the words and phrases used in the negative reactions to the photo, or other objections and complaints about Summorum Pontificum and/or the Extraordinary Form that have appeared in the media since last July:
"put off by all males in the sanctuary"
"a period piece…"
"Latin is a dead language"
"the priest has his back to us"
"a step backward"
"liturgy should be simple"
These words and phrases, and others similar to these, characterize much of the opposition to and complaints about Summorum Pontificum and the resurgence of the Extraordinary Form. And what is remarkable is that none of these words and phrases are, properly speaking, either theological or liturgical. Rather, they are ideological. And they illustrate that the post-conciliar liturgy, at least in the United States, has been invested with a rather heavy ideological burden.
I think that the ideologies represented by these terms can be roughly divided into three categories. They are:
(a) Egalitarianism or Democratism
(b) The Ideology of "Progress"
(c) The Ideology of "Authenticity"
The first ideology, egalitarianism, can be seen in such terms as "stuffy", “elitist”, "hierarchical", "the priest has his back to us", and "clericalist". Egalitarianism, of course, is the ideology that seeks to level all differences and distinctions, and asserts radical equality. The problem is that Catholic liturgy is intrinsically "unequal". Liturgy is about we humans, who are not God, worshipping God, who is God. Sorry to belabor something that should seem obvious, but, unfortunately, many have worked for the last 30 years to obscure that obvious fact. Catholic Liturgy is intrinsically hierarchical: In it God comes to us in an act of condescension, witnessed by the angels and saints who are quite literally above and beyond us, through the ministry of a priest who is at the time of the Eucharistic Sacrifice alter Christus. One commenter at Amy's asserted that at Mass we "no longer have an alter Christus". If that's the case, then we no longer have a Mass or Eucharistic Sacrifice; we have something else. Fortunately, the commenter's assertion is wrong: Both Vatican II's Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) and on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) make clear that the priest offers the Eucharistic Sacrifice "in the person of Christ" (in persona Christi) and that his priesthood differs from the common priesthood of the faithful "in essence and not merely in degree". In other words, the priestly essence and action in the liturgy is hierarchical. To complain that the Mass is "hierarchical" is to complain of a tautology.
But there has been a great effort to downplay and even eliminate the hierarchical nature of the liturgy in recent decades. There has been an attempt to "horizontalize" the liturgy: hence all the 70's and 80's talk of the liturgy being a "celebration of community". The mindset created by such rhetoric can be seen in the complaints that in the EF, or the Novus Ordo celebrated ad orientem, the priest has his "back to the people". Of course, the assumption inherent in that complaint is that priest "should" be facing us, that is paying attention to us. Nowadays, when some people see a celebration ad orientem, they are "put off". I submit that this is because they have been subtly led to think that the liturgy is "about" us. A posture in in no way mandated by either the liturgical teaching of Vatican II or any post-conciliar document has been invested with an ideological meaning (itself nowhere taught by the Council), and has deformed the liturgical sensibilities of many of the faithful. Our expectations of the liturgy have been formed not by authentic Catholic theology and piety, but by the ideologically constructed categories of the prevailing culture.
The second category of terms can be classified as belonging to the ideology of "Progress". This ideology can be seen in such words and phrases as "a period piece…", “antiquated”, "medieval trappings", "nostalgia", and "a step backward". The ideology of Progress asserts or implies that we now necessarily know more and understand things better than our forebears, and that what is past is necessarily inferior to what is present. The phrase "the past has nothing to teach us" could well summarize this ideology. In the Church, this ideology has driven the "hermeneutic of discontinuity", which operates from the assumption that the Pre-Conciliar Church and Faith are different from the Post-Conciliar Church and Faith. But, of course, as C.S. Lewis pointed out in his essay on "The Myth of Progress", this point of view is absurd on its face. What is true yesterday will be true tomorrow. The time of day has nothing to do with it. Or, as Pope Benedict put it, "what earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too...". The fact that something is old does not mean that it is therefore meaningless or irrelevant. It merely means that it is old.
Finally, the third category of negative terms falls under the heading of offenses against the ideology of "Authenticity" or simplicity. This ideology consists in the atittude that what is most "authentic" or meaningful is that which is simple. This ideology can be seen in words or phrases such as "too complicated", “inaccessible”, "staged", and ""liturgy should be simple". I have heard this attitude expressed in the assertion "surely God meant religion to be simple". Well, just why should we think that? The universe that God made is certainly not simple. I don't hear people complaining "astrophysics should be simple." Well, astrophysics is one way of approaching an understanding of a complex reality, and religion is a different way. Why one should be any simpler than another is in no way obvious. And why the worship (liturgy) of our religion, which puts us into contact with the ultimate Reality, should be "simple", is also in no way obvious.
It seems to me that, at worst, this desire for "simplicity" is but one step removed from indifferentism. For the indifferentist usually wants, in the name of "simplicity", to put aside all those complex doctrines and teachings, and get down to a common "core" which we all can agree on. "We really all believe the same thing", is the claim. Well, we don't. And that which is fully and distinctively Catholic is expressed in a celebration of the liturgy of the Extraordinary Form, or in the Novus Ordo when it is celebrated in manner which is in continuity with the full liturgical Tradition of the Church. It seems to me that, at bottom, at least some of the complaints about "simplicity" are in fact veiled complaints or difficulties about what is in fact authentically Catholic.
And the complaint that the liturgy is "inaccessible" seems to me especially to miss the point. We are talking about approaching the infinite and ineffable Mystery of God. That is inherently "inaccessible". Not "incomprehensible", to reiterate a point made by Frank Sheed. But does anyone really expect that God coming among us and uniting us to Himself, and giving us His very self as food and drink, should somehow be "accessible"? The liturgy is mystagogical: that is, it leads us into a Mystery. We can penetrate that mystery more fully, and come to know it more deeply, but it will never be "accessible" this side of Heaven. To want a liturgy that is "accessible" seems to me to want to put God into a box of our own making; to create a comfortable, tame, suburbanized God that doesn't challenge, doesn't make us uncomfortable. And come to think of it, doesn't that explain much of our parish liturgies over the past 30 years: tame, comfortable, suburbanized?
At best, the complaint that the EF is "too complicated" reveals a taste. And, as the saying goes, "de gustibus non disputandis". If your taste is for simple liturgies, that's fine. At many parishes the early Sunday Mass is the "simple" one: minimal music, quiet, etc. I like such liturgies myself on occasion. But recognize that it's a taste, and don't try to absolutize it into a liturgical principle. Let's be honest, though, is there really anything "simple" about many parish Masses, which involve a "cast of thousands" of Extraordinary Ministers, Lectors, Commentators, a "music ministry" group with all manner of keyboards, guitars, mixers, electronic equipment, etc.? If you prefer a Mass like that, your complaint isn't really about simplicity, it's about something else.
Though unintended by the Council fathers, and, I will presume, the Consilium that assembled the Novus Ordo liturgy, the post-conciliar liturgy has been invested with a great deal meaning and import that has little to do with the Catholic Faith and very much to do with certain ideological trends in American culture. And those ideologies are in large part antithetical to the Catholic faith. That has led to the phenomenon we witness today in many parts of the Church: the liturgy has been put to work against itself. And we will only have true progress (progress that is, toward holiness and deeper union with Christ) and reform when we recognize the ideological burden placed on the Novus Ordo liturgy and remove it.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Joseph Madrinan's Coeur Mondial posted Catholic Thought: The Mass at it should be: the Pope sitting on his throne; people intent in prayer, ad orientem and reverence to our Lord.
Dr. Herbert in Filipino Traditional Catholic writes "A Remarkable Turn Around."
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Today we witnessed the reorientation of the Mass in the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The Vicar of Christ, during the most sacred part of the Holy Mass, and the entire congregation, "turned towards the Lord," and faced not each other.
It is the most significant step in reorienting the ordinary liturgy, that by this reorientation, our minds, our hearts and our souls will be reoriented back to Christ as we, His faithful together with the priest celebrant, fix our gaze upon Him who suffered and died for us.
Pope Benedict's signal to all Catholics (cardinals, bishops, priests, canon lawyers, liturgists, and the laity) is clear: Celebrating the Mass ad orientem or versus Deum per Iesum Christum (using the Missal of Pope Paul VI and in this case, facing the "liturgical east" or the symbolic east of the liturgy) was never abolished and the Holy Mass can be celebrated as such even with a congregation (men, women, and yes even children!), and that it was perfectly normal for catholics of the Roman Rite of the Church to worship and celebrate Mass oriented in such a way that it had celebrated Mass for centuries (at least before Vatican II for most catholics and even now through the extraordinary form). The language being in Italian also has a significant meaning: it means that celebrating the Mass in such manner, facing the liturgical east, can be done in local churches of the Roman Rite, the church in the Philippines included!
As the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff, mended and created a bridge between the old and the new through his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum given motu proprio we are to see more development in the ordinary liturgy: organic reorientation of the ordinary form. The ordinary form of the Roman Rite will soon be absorbed by the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, reform of the reform fully achieved, spearheaded by no less than the current Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI.
Full story from Fr. Z.
The Pope celebrating Holy Mass ad orientem using the main altar of the Sistine Chapel means that he is celebrating Holy Mass facing towards God or versus Deum per Iesum Christum instead of the people or versus populum. In simplest terms, the Pope and all the people assisting (the entire congregation) at Holy Mass will be facing towards one direction literally.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Entrance Procession (viewed from above)
Reading of the Epistle
Incensing before the Gospel
Incensing during the offertory
Elevation of the Sacred Body of our Lord
Elevation of the Precious Blood of our Lord
Communion of the Faithful