Saturday 30 July 2011

More blasphemy in Avingon!

Children lobbing grenades at Vultus Christi - High Art indeed!

Three months ago Avignon, former seat of the Popes, witnessed an outrageous piece of degrading 'art' which was deeply insulting to our Lord: Collection Lambert presented a photograph of a crucifix in a jar of urine! (See here.) These self-styled 'artistic geniuses' are at it again, this time using Antonello da Messina's fifteenth century painting Salvator Mundi as a background to their crass rubbish.

In his new hour-long creation, called Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On ​​the concept of the face of the son of God) the 'brilliant' Romeo Castellucci gives the audience a succession of tableaux which begins with a naked old man wiping his backside and exposing his faeces to the gaze of the audience for several minutes. This is followed by a group of children stoning the face of Christ (with grenades!) ... then the face of Our Lord is crushed and distorted and it looks like a large knife begins to cut. Reddish-brown tears stream down the large portrait of Jesus’ face, whose colours, according to a journalist, “seem to link back to the faeces in the previous scene rather than resemble blood", before a black veil covers the portrait of the Saviour ... the last word on this panel reads: "You are not my shepherd".

This 'work' will now go on a European tour until February 2012, including Paris, at the Théâtre de la Ville, from October 20 to 30, and Centquatre, from November 2 to 4, in Rennes, from November 10 to 12, and Villeneuve-d ' Ascq 29 and December 30.

As I read the report of this vile blasphemy I was reminded of St. Alphonsus' Stations of the Cross: 'Pity your Saviour so cruelly treated'.

No doubt, there will be those who will see this as a message denouncing the sins done to Christ.
But, in truth, would they say the same if, instead of the face of our Lord, we had witnessed Mohammed or a rabbi, or even a politician, discredited by excrement and grenades?

Friday 29 July 2011

Absence of Faith

Who is the focus of worship at this altar?

Over at St Joseph's Vanguard I was interested to read about the Holy Father's words in his interview book, "Light of the World" on the number of those in the the Church who are "inwardly absent". Quoting St Augustine he says that, "There are many outside who seem to be inside, and there are many inside who seem to be outside."

It reminded me of something I've said in church to the congregation on more than one occasion. I have a sad suspicion that many Catholics come to Mass and join in outwardly, saying the responses and standing up and sitting down, coming up to Holy Communion but have not once interiorly raised the heart and mind to God in prayer in any real or conscious sense. Now there might be times when, for one reason or another, this happens to all of us and part of the point of habitual attendance is that when we can't pray because we're tired, distracted or depressed the outward ritual itself keeps us going. But I mean that week after week (or fortnight after fortnight etc, depending on how often people actually attend Mass these days) this has become the constant habit. I'm sure it was always possible but I do wonder if all the activity of the new Mass has a stronger tendency to allow this to develop than in the past. In the Traditional Mass, even when there it sung or solemn, there comes a time when nothing else is going on (in the sense that there is nothing to watch or hear or join in with at that particular moment) and the question is obvious - "What is supposed to be going on now, nothing seems to be happening up there, it's all quiet." Answer: I'm meant to be praying.

I have a worry that the great activity experienced in the new Mass does not give the space to pray. Obviously, I'm not saying it's impossible to pray in the new Mass but for those not deeply immersed in spirituality, theology or the life of the Church, perhaps the majority in an average pew, they are not inwardly there - that is with the saints and the angels adoring the Almighty in the Mass.

A further development is that all the activity, particularly when Mass becomes solely focused on children (as I've experienced in some places) it become a children's activity rather than the worship of the Church. People can come, be very active, have a jolly time interacting with others, chat away to one another, hear that Jesus loves them just as they are and have left without interior prayer or without giving any assent to the Catholic Faith - perhaps because the sermon and music never draws their attention to any challenge that is there in the very words and actions of the Mass. The words are said and Holy Communion is given out but if the meaning and great challenge of the Faith is never taught, in fact ignored - then these people are not really Catholics. It's a frightening thought but one that I fear may be all too true.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

True Beauty of the Liturgy

Tony Oleck, on Crisis Magazine, writes on the true beauty of the liturgy. The Mass we celebrated here on Sunday was very uplifting - beautiful music connecting us to the prayers of millions of our fellow pilgrims through the ages, executed with dignity, to uplift our hearts. A congregation actively engaged. Servers and ministers who carried through the sacred actions with calm and prayer and the minimum of fuss. All these things came together to enable us to do something beautiful for God as He did something wonderful and grace-filled for us.

Tony Oleck gives a brief but, I think, a concise and accurate overview of what the Holy Father is attempting to do in his liturgical reforms that:

"has everything to do with the truth of worship and the human person... the Church cannot step into the world as missionary until it understands its essence as being the presence of Christ in the world, and understands liturgy as the foundation of its identity and its first and most potent source of Christ. The true beauty of liturgy is that it raises our eyes and our hearts toward Heaven, reminding us of the eschaton, the day when we pass from the temporal into the eternal. The Church exists to transform the world, to prepare it for the coming of Christ’s kingdom. Because liturgy is the primary place where this transformation occurs, Benedict is right to put it at the top of his agenda. If what we pray is what we believe, then the way we pray will determine the way we will live."


Monday 25 July 2011

The Sacred Queue!

When we are told that queuing up for Holy Communion is a sacred action this is more what I would have in mind as an example of queuing up before the altar!

We celebrated a lovely Solemn Mass yesterday afternoon with newly ordained Fr Damian McCaughan as the celebrant, Fr Mark Lawler as the Deacon and myself as sub-Deacon.

A selection of photos here but there are reams on Flickr (courtesy of Mike Forbester)

Administering First Blessings

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Solemn Mass on Sunday

Fr Damian on his ordination day. You can see many of the other priests of the diocese in the background dressed in white choir. They retain the custom of white choir instead of everyone concelebrating at large gatherings of priests. Very laudable, in my estimation!

This Sunday 24th July our regular EF Mass at 11.30am is moved to 3pm and will be offered by the newly ordained Fr Damian McCaughan of the Diocese of Down and Connor. I will assist in the role of sub-deacon for Solemn Mass (swapping roles with him from some of the other times he's been here!). Many of Fr Damian's old friends from Leeds (where he used to live) will be coming over by coach. In fact, he used to be the LMS representative in Leeds Diocese but returned home to Northern Ireland to pursue his vocation and was ordained just three weeks ago. Everyone is welcome and there will be a cup of tea or coffee afterwards in the Pope John Paul Room.

Monday 18 July 2011

One year of Blogging

The stats always list a few hits in Rome...?

This blog sees its first birthday today and has had just over 81,000 hits in that time, which is amazing to me! (From 514 last July to 15,789 last month.) I know this is tiny compared to some but still astonishing from my point of view. It's grown through word of mouth, through friends and acquaintances at first and then through other (much more widely read blogs) taking up various posts - first here in the UK, one or two in Europe and latterly in the USA.

It started almost by accident as I wanted a place to put a video of a Solemn Extraordinary Form Mass held here so that people could see it. From there I saw that it might be used as a way of parishioners accessing more information but it quickly grew to encompass wider interests. As it has grown it has become a source of great encouragement for me personally.

Trying to push forward an agenda of Catholic orthodoxy and the Holy Father's mindset in the area of liturgy and in calling the dwindling Catholic Church in the Western World back to its Christian roots (the New Evangelisation) can be a lonely endeavour in an English provincial diocese. Finding common cause with so many people of like mind and in many instances finding that they contact me privately because of the blog has been a great blessing for me. Justify Full
I've also found that it has become a sort of ministry to a much wider audience than my little parish here in Lancashire. As I have found support in others, so they have found support and encouragement in the posts or in conversations that have arisen though them - lay people and priests alike.

I can see why our beloved Holy Father has given encouragement to priests to blog in his message for World Communications day last year:

“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different ‘voices’ provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.
Who better than a priest, as a man of God, can develop and put into practice, by his competence in current digital technology, a pastoral outreach capable of making God concretely present in today’s world and presenting the religious wisdom of the past as a treasure which can inspire our efforts to live in the present with dignity while building a better future?”

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads this blog and to say that you are remembered in my prayers. May God bless you. Keep the Faith!

Friday 15 July 2011

Best way to follow Bishops Conference instruction on Holy Communion is to install altar rails

Fr Michael Brown over at Forest Murmurs has posted about what he is hoping to do (and already doing) in regard to introducing the new translation of the Mass and how to use the opportunity as a time of catechises to carry out the Holy Father's desire for a re-sacralised liturgy. Many priests must be in the same position. One of the things he is wondering how to tackle is the new instruction regarding Holy Communion introduced by the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales:

"In the Dioceses of England and Wales Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. However, when they communicate standing, it is recommended that the faithful bow in reverence before receiving the sacrament."

I have been giving this matter some thought and it seems to me that the best way to accomplish this choice - for choice it certainly remains - is to install altar rails and organise communion so that people can align themselves along them, either standing or kneeling according to their choice. We might more accurately call them communion rails and they need not be very elaborate, nor have gates, simply an opening in the centre (and perhaps at the sides to allow servers ingress and egress from the sanctuary). This is what already happens in my own parish and while the majority exercise their choice and kneel, many stand to receive (although I cannot get them to make a bow - nor could I in times past when they came up in the 'sacred queue'). Those who want to kneel can do so with ease and without discomfort (health and safety alert) and those who want to stand can also do so. I found that the altar boys very quickly got used to holding the communion plate (required by Redemptionis Sacramentum) at the different levels as I walk along the row of people at the rails.

So get down to your local salvage yard or to the church basement and dust off those rails to facilitate the new instruction from the Bishop's Conference!

Thursday 14 July 2011

Fr Corapi

Fr Corapi as he used to be.

John Corapi now.

The Emperor Ming the Merciless.

I don't know enough and it's not my place to make any judgement about Fr Corapi but I was amazed at his appearance on his new blog. I can understand that he couldn't carry on, I can perhaps understand that he wants to continue some from of public ministry in the world but he does seem to have lost the plot in appearing as he now does - it's such a remove from all that he he has spoken of in the past. He is obviously a man of great ability but once before he soared to the heights of success only to fall to the depths - in the story of his conversion which he has told most eloquently many times.

So bizarre is his appearance that he is now a dead ringer for the Emperor Ming the Merciless from the Old "Flash Gordon" series - a comparison I couldn't help making once I'd seen it. If he is going to make his appearance so strange he can only alienate those who have held him in high regard in the past and hold himself up to ridicule. Without knowing all the facts we cannot judge his heart - but the choice of how he presents himself is there for all to see.

As long ago as last October people were beginning to notice a change that perhaps on reflection were warning signs that something was wrong. See Fumare.

For those whose childhood failed to watch very old science fiction you can see a clip here. There is an uncanny resemblance!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

How to Receive Holy Communion

This weekend the Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace, Vincent Nichols issued a Pastoral Letter "On Receiving Holy Communion"

It is very good in parts, stressing the reverence required to approach the Lord.“ However, as A Reluctant Sinner notes "some traditional Catholics will be disappointed" in the way he stresses the rubric to be inserted into the Missal for England and Wales that standing and receiving on the hand are to be made the preference here, as an exception from the norm in the Universal Church. There are extensive footnotes in the Pastoral Letter which make sure that the nuance and detail of the Church's teaching are covered but I doubt if many priests read out the footnotes. It can be difficult for people to see that the norm can be something that is hardly ever done, either through disobedience or because an indult has been given to a particular place. The way the Letter puts it really gives every encouragement to stand at communion rather than kneel and to receive on the hand rather than on the tongue. This is what the Bishop's Conference appear to want but the constant drive for this is a little sad for those who want to keep doing what is , in fact, the universal norm in the Church and something hallowed by centuries of practice.

I notice that although the 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacrametnum is quoted in the footnotes and this is meant to be a detailed letter on ensuring reverence in receiving Holy Communion, there is no mention of another one of its injunctions - number 93. "The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling." I wonder why that is?

(I also notice that the use of blessings for those unable to receive Holy Communion is also spoken of as perfectly "normal", although there is no mention of this practice in any rubric of the old or new missal or any of it's translations. I know that in many parishes, such "blessings" are given by the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. I've posted on this abuse before.)

The Letter says:

"The usual practice in our parishes is for the Sacred Host to be received on the hand, standing." (Usual where? I know of parishes in the Archdiocese of Westminster where it still "usual" for the faithful to kneel before Almighty God) 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.”

I can only wonder just what "symbolic and spiritual meaning" standing & receiving in the hand have? Seriously, what "spiritual meaning" can this actually have? Standing "symbolises" what exactly? Maybe Cardinal Ratzinger can enlighten us:

"..there is a story that comes from the sayings of the Desert Fathers, according to which the devil was compelled by God to show himself to a certain Abba Apollo. He looked black and ugly, with frighteningly thin limbs, but most strikingly, he had no knees. The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical.
(Spirit of the Liturgy)

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger also had this to say:

"Communion used to be received kneeling, which made perfectly good sense.The attitude of kneeling ought never to be allowed to disappear from the Church. It is the most impressive physical expression of Christian piety, by which, on one hand, we remain upright, looking out, gazing upon Him, but, on the other, we nonetheless bow down."

"'Man is never so great,' said John XXIII, 'as when he is kneeling'. And that is why I believe that this attitude, which was already one of the primitive forms of Old Testament prayer, is something essential for Christians." (God & the World)

And how can standing & receiving in the hand possibly help us "to be profoundly aware of whom it is that we receive and the unity of faith we share.”? Mgr Marini, papal Master of Ceremonies, has stated clearly that the reason the Holy Father only distributes to communicants kneeling and on the tongue is that this preference:

"better highlights the truth of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and introduces [them] more easily to the sense of the mystery. These are aspects which, in our time, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to stress and recover."

I myself heard Mgr Marini reiterate this at the recent Adoratio Conference in Rome.

The Archbishop also states that "Each way of receiving Holy Communion expresses awe". Really? Is he serious? Awe? I've never seen awe, I've seen reverence, yes, but not awe. It is simply not an awesome thing to queue up and put out your hands!

In complete contrast to the words of the Archbishop of Westminster we find the Cardinal Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith:

"I would recommend all faithful, including the religious, to receive Holy Communion reverently kneeling and on the tongue."
(Liturgy Circular, 7th October 2009)

His Eminence also addressed these words to his priests at the Convention on Sacred Liturgy on 2nd September 2010:

"Invite the faithful to receive Holy Communion kneeling, provide facilities for them to kneel at the Altar railings and help them to receive Holy Communion with reverence and devotion."

Cardinal Ranjith is, of course, not the only important voice calling out.

Interestingly, Cardinal Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009, stated:

"It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict's emphasis on the traditional practice of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling."

Once again, it seems that we in England & Wales are 'behind the times', pushing an agenda that is long past its sell-by date! I know that the Latin language is considered obsolete in these lands, but two well-known phrases come to mind: Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia (where Peter is, there is the Church) and Sentire cum Ecclesia (to think with the mind of the Church). Perhaps if we clung to Peter and listened to his teaching, we would not be in the mess we are!

Sunday 10 July 2011

Ordination to the Priesthood of Rev. Damian McCaughan

My friend, Damian McCaughan was ordained to the Priesthood last Sunday in St Malachy’s Church, Coleraine by Most Rev. Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor. Fr. Damian lived for many years in Leeds but returned to his home diocese in Northern Ireland to study for the Priesthood there before going on to Rome, where he will return to complete his Licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas. Having worked in advertising, he knows how to catch the eye with a smart looking vestment!

Ad Multos Annos!
Fr Damian with his proud parents.

Friday 8 July 2011

CTS Mass Books - Update

Further to my post on the CTS booklet.

I ordered a copy (just one so that I could have a look!) of the Mass leaflets from McCrimmon Publishing in which I have noticed what appears to be a mistake in what the people are directed to say. At the Orate Fratres there is an "Amen" added at the end of the people's response. This is not present in other publications and not present in the 2002 Missale Romanum. It may seem like a small point but if thousands of people learn the responses from this card, then how is that to be undone?

In fact, to say the "Amen" at this point follows the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, for after the server has made the response ("Suscipiat Dominus...") the Priest says quietly "Amen". Perhaps someone in the type-setting department is familiar with the Traditional Mass and it slipped in unconsciously! Fr John Zuhlsdorf actually mentions this in the Catholic Herald this week in his "And with your spirit" column explaining that the priest says this "Amen" because he is:
"A priest for the faithful, but a Christian with them, he makes the prayer his own."

I have one or two more little points. I wonder how these decisions get made - are they are accidents or deliberate changes? To go back to the Mass book of my original post, it says that the readings are "proclaimed". Traditionally and technically, the readings are read - only the Gospel is "proclaimed". Again, the Latin of the rubrics in the 2002 Missale Romanum says "legit" - reads - for the readings (to be read by a Lector by the way) but "proclamat" - proclaims - for the Gospel (to be read by the Deacon/Priest).

Another puzzling thing: Why is "hominibus" in the Gloria translated as "people", yet "homines" in the Creed translated as "men"? Then again why is "fratres" translated as "brethren (brothers & sisters)" in the Penitential Rite and the Orate Fratres, yet translated as only "brothers & sisters" in the Confiteor? (No option of "brethren" there!). Consistency, dear boy!

I also note that in the 2002 Missale Romanum there is only ONE way of dismissing the people:
Ite, missa est. Not translation, therefore, but addition.
Does anyone know where all the other options come from in the English version? I think I heard that these extra options were presented to the Holy See for approval at some time and received it but I wonder why they were thought necessary?

My thanks to Fr Ray Blake for giving my original post a mention and for what he says about the rubrics and an interesting thought on why there has been a rush to publication (which perhaps accounts for some of these oddities people are noticing).

Thursday 7 July 2011

We run the risk of perverting the identity of the Church - Pope Benedict

Reported by Protect the Pope, the Holy Father has given an address to a synod of an Italian diocese that expands the Holy See’s recent campaign to re-assert Catholic identity among Catholic Development agencies to include Catholic dioceses. I have highlighted some of his words as they struck my ear as having a resonance with his themes of re-enchanting the liturgy and re-evangelising the Western world through emphasising the unique purpose of the Church as a spiritual organism. I was also struck by a resonance with the recent Adoratio Conference whose theme was "From Adoration to Evangelisation". I think it also helps to explain why it is that the young people now exploring a vocation in the Church are seen as too Church focussed and traditional by some of the older generation who have been so dissapointed by the fruits of the "spirit of the Council". Those called to the Priesthood and Religious Life surely are drawn by what is distinctive in the Church, not by what many other social and philanthropic organisations share with it - in other words the love of God in the Church Jesus founded.

Pope Benedict spoke of:

"Being Church has its source and its true meaning in the communion of love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: the Blessed Trinity is not only the model, but generates and moulds the Church as a mystery of communion.

We must begin from this truth, always and anew, in order to achieve a more intense understanding and experience of being Church: 'People of God. 'Body of Christ', 'Communion'. Otherwise we run the risk of reducing things to a horizontal dimension which perverts the identity of the Church and the announcement of the faith. The Church is not a social or philanthropic organisation, like many others that exist: she is the Community of God, she is a community which believes and loves, which adores the Lord Jesus and opens her ‘veils’ at the breath of the Holy Spirit; thus she is a community capable of evangelisation”.

Pope Benedict clearly states that Catholic dioceses, like Catholic development agencies, have a primary duty to proclaim the liberating truth of the Faith:

‘Many men and women of our time need to encounter the Lord, or to rediscover the beauty of the God Who is close, the God Who in Jesus Christ reveals His face as Father and calls us to recognise the meaning and value of life. The current moment of history is marked by lights and shadows. We are witnessing complex forms of behaviour: closure, narcissism, desire to possess and consume, sentiments and affections divorced from responsibility. There are many reasons for this disorientation which finds expression in profound existential unease, but underlying everything is the negation of the transcendent dimension of man and of the basic relationship with God. For this reason it is vital for Christian communities to promote valid and compelling itineraries of faith”.

Sandro Magister has an interesting piece on the progress of Pope Benedict's pontificate and his desire for the New Evangelisation in continuity with Tradition.

Michael Voris has also noticed what the Holy Father said - and as, as usual, has plenty to say about it!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Solemn Mass at Holywell

Some more photos after my post of a few days ago of the Mass at St Winefride's Well on Sunday. There is a whole set on Flickr courtesy of the Birmingham LMS Rep. (NB This lnk sometimes takes a bit of time but it should eventually load.)

Tuesday 5 July 2011

CTS Order of Mass - American Missal and the Roman Missal: Compare and contrast

I have been looking through the CTS Order of Mass (in Latin and English) for the people's use (£2.50 each) which I thought we might use instead of buying new Mass books with all the readings etc in (as the parish has no money!) I've never really understood the need for Mass books when the Mass and the readings are in English - surely a hang-over from days when everything was in Latin and people followed the Mass in English.

There are some good things mentioned in the rubrics but also some notable omissions - all tending in a particular direction. What I wonder is - how will the actual missal deal with these aspects? Will we have a more faithful and accurate version of the Latin words of Mass but rubrics that follow the old translation model - less faithful and accurate to the Latin?
(Fr Tim Finigan noticed a rogue instruction on the CTS Cards for Mass. )

It's good that it says (my highlights):
Before Mass begins, the people gather in a spirit of recollection.
After the entrance chant, the Priest and the faithful sign themselves with the sign of the cross.
But will we hear chant instead of hymns?

Good also:
After the Liturgy of the Word, the people sit and the Offertory chant begins. The faithful express their participation by making an offering, bringing forward bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist.
No mention of all the other things commonly brought up at the offertory! Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith told the story at the Adoratio Conference of being presented with a guitar at the Offertory and asking the person presenting it if it was his to keep. No it wasn't - the man wanted it back. The Cardinal asked what sort of an offering this was, when the gift was to be given back to the person offering it? He said he was therefore going to keep the guitar, much to the amazement of the person presenting it. (What use he would have for such an instrument, I'm not sure.)

I looked at the text (which is available on-line at the site of the United States Conference of Bishops) of the American Missal. It puts it rather better and makes the point that the Offertory procession is desirable rather than mandatory. "Expedit" in the Latin Missal - Editio Iuxta Typican Tertiam. (I always think that the Holy Father has much to put up with in the extended numbers of people who bring up the gifts at Papal Masses - it seems rather odd to interrupt the Mass for the obvious chatting that inevitably goes on here as people greet the Holy Father.) Anyway, the U.S. text says:
It is desirable that the faithful express their participation by making an offering, bringing forward bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist and perhaps other gifts to relieve the needs of the Church and of the poor.
An omission in the CTS booklet is that it indicates the priest simply says the offertory prayers and the people make the response. No mention that the offertory prayers can and usually should be said quietly. "Submissa voce dicens" in the Latin Missal. The U.S. text makes this clearer:
The Priest, standing at the altar, takes the paten with the bread and holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands, saying in a low voice...
If, however, the Offertory Chant is not sung, the Priest may speak these words aloud; at the end, the people may acclaim: Blessed be God for ever.
The U.S. text also makes clear, in a much more faithful translation of the Latin, that the Missal presumes the priest is facing eastwards, ad oreintem, for it explicitly mentions turning to face the people at particular points. "Versus ad populum" in the Latin Missal.
Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending and then joining his hands, he says: Pray, brethren...
Another dodgy bit comes at the sign of peace. No mention that it is not obligatory.It just says:
The Deacon or the priest, adds: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

The Latin text says: the priest ad populum conversus extends his hands and says - the peace of the Lord be with you always. Then if it is opportune pro opportunitate the priest or deacon adds, Let us offer each other the sign of peace. The U.S. translation is again more faithful:
Then, if appropriate, the Deacon, or the Priest, adds:
Let us offer each other the sign of peace.
Although what neither of them bother to translate is the instruction that the priest only gives the sign of peace to the deacon or other minister. No mention of descending into the congregation or all and sundry on the sanctuary. An interpretation in continuity with the past would indicate it is simply given to the deacon, as in the usus antiquior:
sacerdos pacem dat diacono vel ministro.
At the Invitation to communion there is another omission in the CTS version:
The Priest genuflects takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice says aloud: Behold the Lamb of God...
The Latin text mentions facing the people, which would be pointless if the priest was facing the people all the way though, saying:
Sacerdos genuflectit, accipit hostiam, aliquantulum elevatum super patenam vel super calicem tenens, versus ad populum, clara voce dicit: Ecce Agnus Dei...
The U. S. text again makes this clear:
The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud: Behold the Lamb of God...
Further, it makes an accurate translation of the Latin in saying:
The Priest, facing the altar, says quietly: May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life. And he reverently consumes the Body of Christ.
Certainly, movement of the priest facing the altar and facing the people is presumed.

Fr Tim Finigan has already commented on the "Communion procession and the signs of reverence - already required but rarely seen in our parishes. The CTS version makes the point about standing but doesn't mention that it is always possible to kneel.
Communion Procession.
The communicants come forward in a reverent procession. They receive Holy Communion standing and by making a preparatory act of reverence.
The U. S. version avoids making any recommendation, although in fairness, neither does the Latin Missal.
After this, he takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants. The Priest raises a host slightly and shows it to each of the communicants, saying:
The Body of Christ.
So, learn that chant; keep quiet at the Offertory; make use of the optional exchanging of the sign of peace; face the altar when the rubrics tell you to and turn around to face the people when the rubrics tell you to do that and note that you can always kneel for Holy Communion. To coin a phrase, "Say the black, do the red." But you might need to read the Latin to find out what it really says!

Monday 4 July 2011

Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to St Winefride's Well

A very busy day yesterday at St Winefride's Well. We were blest with fine weather but the heat wasn't ideal for the wearing of heavy vestments - at least lace is light! My sometimes faltering steps were assisted by Fr Agnellus Murphy FI from St Joseph's in Stoke as deacon and Fr Ian O'Shea from the Cathedral in Liverpool as sub-deacon. After High Mass we processed from the church with the relic to the well for devotions and veneration of the relic of St Winefride. Once all that was done, it was back to the church for Benediction.
My thanks to Mike Barnsdall for the photographs.

Preparing for the pilgrims to venerate the relic beneath the statue of St Winefride - and looking a little dishevelled myself by this stage!
(Perhaps I'm longing for a quick Mass with the second Eucharistic Prayer
and a light polyester alb?!?)

St Winefride - Pray for us.

Saturday 2 July 2011

Pilgrimage to St Winifrede's Well

I'm preparing for a busy day tomorrow. As well as Masses here in the parish I'm off to Flintshire in North Wales to St Winifrede's Well where I am the celebrant and preacher at High Mass at 2.30pm for the annual national LMS Pilgrimage. As ever, old time religion doesn't let you off lightly! There is a procession and veneration of the relic of the Saint at the Holy Well, followed by Benediction. The tents at the side of the pool are for changing - people still descend into the miraculous waters three times as they ask St Winifrede to intercede for them.

You can read more about St Winifrede and the history of the ancient shrine here.

Friday 1 July 2011

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

I visited the Friars of the Immaculate at St Joseph's, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent in the Archdiocese of Birmingham yesterday. They have only been there for a couple of years but are reaching out to a community in a difficult area in a parish where many of the families have moved out as old housing has come down and where there is now a strong Muslim presence. Under the energetic care of Fr Agnellus Murphy a community of 7-9 Franciscans at any one time is engaged on an extensive and expensive restoration of the beautiful church, where the beauty of the liturgy is also of primary concern. The Friars offer both forms of the Roman Rite, with a daily Extraordinary Form Mass. They are very involved with the "A Day with Mary" apostolate.

St. Joseph's was designed by J. S. Brocklesby and built 1925-7. The style is Romanesque/Italianate and the medium is almost exclusively brick. At present, the tower and front are covered in scaffolding. In his novels, Arnold Bennett based his "Church of the Genuflections" on St. Joseph's. There is a "Friends of St Joseph's" helping to raise funds for the £160,000 first stage of the work that needs to be done, if there are any benefactors out there looking for someone to help!

With two of the Brothers on pilgrimage in Walsingham last month.

I've only come across the Friars before at St Mary Major in Rome and in the USA when visiting New Bedford, where they have a thriving community. You can read some more about them here, here and here.