Monday, June 09, 2008

The Traditional Latin Mass: The Mass of the Ages…..Times Past, Now and Forever

By Marilou Barnes-Cortes

The Pope wishes that the treasure of the traditional Roman liturgy, celebrated unchanged for centuries and centuries, should be preserved for coming generations. – Heavenly Liturgy, Institute of Christ the King the Sovereign Priest

It’s the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which the “babyboomers’” grandparents, parents, and some of them have attended up to their adolescent years. Among the clergy, only the retired bishops and priests can recall the rubrics of the Mass they used to celebrate. Nowadays, inexplicably, many young people are becoming attracted to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

...more and more young people, who had never before experienced the profoundness and the beauty of the traditional liturgy, are deeply touched by their first contact with it and everywhere are requesting that permission to celebrate this liturgy in public should be given more generously. – Heavenly Liturgy, Institute of Christ the King the Sovereign Priest

In the Parish of St. Jerome Emiliani and Sta. Susana, its Parish Priest, Fr. Grato Germanetto, CRS, who assisted as an altar server for 25 years in the celebration of the TLM at his hometown in Italy, nurtured a personal wish—that he would one day celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the TLM, which is also referred to as the Extraordinary Form per instructions of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum:

Art. 7. If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 §1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

(Art. 5. §1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonizes with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with Canon 392, avoiding discord and favoring the unity of the whole Church.)

Art. 8. A bishop who, desirous of satisfying such requests, but who for various reasons is unable to do so, may refer the problem to the Commission Ecclesia Dei to obtain counsel and assistance.

Art. 10. The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with Canon 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law.

The instructions allowed any priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without having to ask permission of his bishop.

Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS, met Richard Friend (a Filipino-American based in Riverside County, California) via his blog, The Splendor of the Church. Both have a passion for the beauty and spirituality of the “Mass of the Ages” celebrated during the lifetime of the saints and martyrs of the Catholic Church. Fr. Abe it was who referred Richard to Fr. Grato, aware that for the past five years, Fr. Grato has celebrated the Christmas Eve Novus Ordo in Latin to give solemnity to the occasion and to express union with the traditions of the Church. Richard sent his father, Elbert, to meet and ask Fr. Grato if he would agree to celebrate the TLM at St. Jerome Emiliani.

By celebrating the Old Rite, with all its historical accretions, peculiarities and complexities, I am securely part of an organic link with the beginning of the church, a link to Christ himself. And at a time when most people believe the past is there to be junked, the Church needs this link more than ever. -- By Rev. Dr. M.P.F. Cullinan

Richard came home last March and agreed with Fr. Grato to have the first Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated south of Manila in the Diocese of Parañaque, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 9:30AM, at the Church of the Parish of St. Jerome Emiliani and Sta. Susana.

To date Richard has donated (to the Parish of St. Jerome Emiliani) Roman vestments, a biretta, a 1962 Missale Romano altar missal, training materials, a wireless stick microphone (which can be used for the Novus Ordo), and cassocks for the personal use of Fr. Grato. A set of six 20 inch silver plated candelabras and a matching 42 inch altar cross have been ordered, to be donated by Ambassador Daniel Victoria and his friends. A Missalette on the Order of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite which has the prayers in both Latin and English and the rubrics in English is being assembled by Gerald Cenir and will be made available to attendees. The Missalette may be used at every celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Other altar wares and furniture as well as funding for the altar servers’ vestments are still being solicited from kind benefactors.

Not only the ceremony in itself with its beautiful rubrics, the dignified Latin language, and the profound expression of theological truth is important but, also, other details count when it comes to making every single faithful understand how important the liturgy is for our lives. The vestments, the altar cloth, the candlesticks, the cruets, the garments of the servers, all these and many other items used during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass have to show that we care to give the Lord only the most beautiful things that we have. For this reason, Christian art at its best plays a significant role in the liturgical mysteries. -- Heavenly Liturgy, Institute of Christ the King the Sovereign Priest

A choir composed of the alumni of the Manila Cathedral Boys’ Choir of the 1950s are rehearsing with noted composer and conductor, Dr. Francisco Feliciano, our choir master. They will sing the Missa de Angelis. A group of altar servers from St. Jerome and Jesus the Divine Healer Parish are currently undergoing training for serving at a TLM which requires them to be able to respond in Latin prayers

A transparochial working committee (Traditional Latin Mass St. Jerome Emiliani) headed by Richard Friend (Chairman), Elbert Friend (Richard’s father who represents him), Marilou Barnes-Cortes (Coordinator of activities), George Balagtas (Choir sponsor), Carlos Palad (Master of Ceremonies, Rubricist, Trainor of Altar Servers), Elaine Friend (Richard’s sister and Acting Treasurer), Dr. Francisco Feliciano (Choir Master), Bernie Asperin (Training resource person), and Sue Gozos (architect, designing the altar rail) are busy with the preparations for the June 29 event. Parishioners of St. Jerome, residents of communities within the area as well as parishioners of the Diocese are welcome to join the working committee to help make this celebration a success. Their Secretariat’s contact info are: Tel. No. 842-5361; Tel/Fax No. 809-1535 (contact person: Elaine Friend); email address: You can also volunteer your donations or services with the working committee by meeting up with them at rehearsals held Saturdays at the Church or its basement.

Already, priests have voiced their interest to Fr. Grato on undergoing training in the celebration of the TLM. The vision is to have the celebration of the TLM at St. Jerome Emiliani set the “bar” which would be the standard that has to be met by any priest who would be substituting for Fr. Grato (in his absence) to celebrate the TLM at St. Jerome. This standard holds as well for those who will be trained by TLM St. Jerome. However, for now, everyone is focused on the preparations for the inaugural celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Jerome Emiliani on June 29.

Three months preparation was found to be too short considering that we started “from scratch”. The saving grace is that Fr. Grato is marvelously fluent in Latin and the rubrics of the TLM has remained fresh in his mind!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

too wordy... question of semantics