Friday 29 January 2016

Calling all bishops and diocesan music departments: A simple first step in implementing Vatican II

I read over at Coprus Christi Watershed Blog that Bishop John Doerfler of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, has just released an Instruction on Sacred Music in Divine Worship entitled, "Sing to the Lord, All the Earth." The bishop said that the new Instruction is based on his predecessor, Archbishop Alexander Sample’s pastoral letter on Sacred Music. The letter, "Rejoice in the Lord Always", was written in 2013 and there was a series of reflections on our blog. To build on the foundation laid by Archbishop Sample, the new Instruction is issued to “elucidate the steps to be taken to promote Sacred Music in the Diocese of Marquette over the next five years”. These directives are to be implemented in all the parishes and schools throughout the diocese by December 31, 2020. The basics are that: 

1. Parishes and schools will chant the Ordinary parts in the Roman Missal;

2. Parishes and schools will chant the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the Missa Jubilate Deo;

3. Parishes and schools will chant the Communion Antiphon in English to a very simple tone;

4. A Diocesan Hymnal will be used to ensure the musical quality and doctrinal integrity;

5. The Diocesan Director of Sacred Music will provide workshops for parish musicians to assist them in the implementation.

If only we could get more support in all diocese for teaching the chant. We tried the Introit etc here in English for some time but decided that it wasn't as good as hearing it in Latin. There is a translation provided on the order of service sheet produced each week (I've encouraged people to have their own missals as well, rather than the dreaded missaletes or the even the parish Mass books, which are often very limiting).

But even the basic outline provided by the bishop above would be a great improvement on connecting the liturgy of today with our tradition, to say nothing of at least beginning to be more faithful to fulfilling the mandate actually given by the words in the Vatican II documents.

Sacrosanctum Concillium 116:
The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.
Sacrosanctum Concillium 23:
So no changes unless there is a real, proven, demonstrable need...  And care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing." And care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
Sacrosanctum Concillium 54:
Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.

Friday 22 January 2016

How beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news

An interesting letter to the Holy Father from Fr Conrad Saldanha

It gave me further reflection that in the context of the liturgy the Gospel of the foot washing in the Mass of Holy Thursday is intimately linked to the Eucharist - we get no passage from the Gospels of the actual Institution but rather the foot washing - indicating the Eucharist as service, as what is celebrated in that Mass - the Holy SACRIFICE of the Mass.  It seems to me that seeing a Holy Father washing the feet of his priests, as was done in the past is, is much more fitting in this context. The Mandatum is an image of what Our Lord did for his disciples - it is that which is being re-enacted. Perhaps another example of how it is not always in the best interests of true teaching that we tinker with the things of the liturgy to make them appeal to the world, instead of meditating on what we already have and then explaining.  Thus the foot washing is an image of the priest - hence the restriction to men. The iconography now says something different.

The disciples - the priests - bring the good news; literally bring it about it in the Mass... "as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:7)

Thursday 21 January 2016

Pope changes rule for Holy Thursday foot washing

Pope St John XXIII kisses the feet of a priest at the mandatum

It seems that in order to catch up with his own practice, Pope Francis has changed the rubrics of the Missal to allow those who are to have their feet washed during the Mass of the Lord's Supper to allow candidates to be drawn from all the faithful - ie men or women.  See reports: Vatican Bulletin.  Catholic Herald.

What a shame it seems to innovate - possibly just to "catch up" with the fact that many parishes have long ignored the prescription of the Missal anyway.  It seems so many erosions of the Faith happen this way  The rule or instruction is ignored, then comes the legislation to catch up with it because it has already become the accepted practice - the normal, if not the the norm according to the rules. It has been put by many that this is how we ended up with communion in the hand. Surely, legislating to accommodate those who flout the rules is not a good way for any organisation or society to manage itself.

Perhaps it is is another submission to the secular world and the Church being so afraid to be "out of step with it". A sign in itself of a lack of confidence in the whole message of the Faith.

Of course, the instruction does still say that candidates should be drawn from the faithful - that is, from among Catholics...

It also says "can" not "must", so that leaves the door open to continue in the tradition carried on until now. 

Lourdes Pilgrimage with the Institute from New Brighton

Some old footage of a military pilgrimage in 1958.

Anyone interested in going on pilgrimage to Lourdes with the Sacraments provided in the Traditional Form might be interested in this pilgrimage being organised by the Institute.

Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena
7 Atherton Street, WALLASEY, CH45 9LT

from the North West of England
with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
in presence of His Eminence CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE
22nd APRIL to 26th APRIL 2016

Total cost: £450
Friday 22th April
7am: Coach from New Brighton (CH45 9LT) to Heathrow Airport.
(Prearranged pickup from motorway services, M6 Toll or M40, may be possible)
1.55pm: Flight to Toulouse (BRITISH AIRWAYS) + coach to Lourdes Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April Pilgrimage with the ICKSP.
Tuesday 26th April
12noon: Coach to Toulouse Airport
5.40pm: Return flight to London Heathrow + coach to New Brighton

Costs breakdown:
Flights British Airways: £200 (£30 deposit before 29th January)
Return Coach-Airport transfers in UK and France £100
Hotel full board for 4 nights (including breakfast, lunch and dinner): £150
Single room supplement: £70
These costs do not include travel Insurance.
A copy of a valid Passport must be provided with your deposit.


First Payment: £200 by 19th February
Final Balance: £220 (+single supplement) by 14th March

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Bishop Athanasius Schneider out and about

Bishop Athanasius Schneider is giving a evening at at St Mary’s Priory, 
Smith Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 2NS 
on Thursday 25th February for clergy
- bishops, deacons, priests, seminarians and Religious. 
I have had the privilege of meeting him before and always found him a wonderful priest. I'm sure it will be well worth travelling to Warrington if you can. 
A note - if you have not been to St Mary's before there is only very limited parking at the presbytery (which you won't know how to get to via the rear entrance unless you have been before) but it is easy to park across the road in one of the town car parks.)

6:00pm: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (confessions heard during that time) 
[You may arrive any time before 7pm]

6:45pm: Benediction

7:00pm: Spiritual Talk to clergy: 
"The priest as a minister of the truth"

7:45pm: Questions and Answers

8:00pm: Refreshments

Bishop Athanasius Schneider was born in Tokmok, Kirghiz SSR in the Soviet Union. His parents were ethnic Germans from Ukraine who were sent by Stalin to gulags in the Ural Mountains after the Second World War. They traveled to the Kirghiz SSR after being released from the camps. 
In 1973, shortly after making his first Holy Communion by the hand of Bl. Oleksa Zaryckyj, priest and martyr, he left with his family for Germany. He joined the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra, a Catholic religious order, and was ordained a priest in 1990, earning a doctorate in Patristics, a topic he taught at Mary Mother of the Church Seminary in Karaganda. 
On 2 June 2006 he was consecrated Bishop at the Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican by Angelo Cardinal Sodano. In 2011 he was transferred to the position of auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Astana. He is the Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan. In Karaganda, formerly the centre of Sovietic atheistic persecution, he managed to build a superb landmark Catholic cathedral.

I can heartily recommend his book "Dominus Est":

I –Turning our gaze towards Christ
In order to speak of new evangelization correctly, it is necessary first to turn our gaze towards Him Who is the true evangelizer, namely Our Lord and Saviour Jesus-Christ, the Word of God made Man. The Son of God came upon this earth to expiate and redeem the greatest sin, sin par excellence. And this sin, humanity's sin par excellence, consists in refusing to adore God, in refusing to keep the first place, the place of honor, for Him. This sin on the part of man consists in not paying attention to God, in no longer having a sense of the fittingness of things, or even a sense of the details pertaining to God and to the Adoration that is His due, in not wanting to see God, in not wanting to kneel before God.
 For such an attitude, the incarnation of God is an embarrassment; as a result the real presence of God in the Eucharistic mystery is likewise an embarrassment; the centrality of the Eucharistic presence of God in our churches is an embarrassment. Indeed sinful man wants the center stage for himself, whether within the Church or during the Eucharistic celebration; he wants to be seen, to be noticed.
For this reason Jesus the Eucharist, God incarnate, present in the tabernacle under the Eucharistic form, is set aside. Even the representation of the Crucified One on the cross in the middle of the altar during the celebration facing the people is an embarrassment, for it might eclipse the priest's face. Therefore the image of the Crucified One in the center of the altar as well as Jesus the Eucharist in the tabernacle, also in the center of the altar, are an embarrassment. Consequently, the cross and the tabernacle are moved to the side. During mass, the congregation must be able to see the priest’s face at all times, and he delights in placing himself literally at the center of the house of God. And if perchance Jesus the Eucharist is still left in His tabernacle in the middle of the altar because the Ministry of Historical Monuments—even in an atheist regime—has forbidden moving it for the conservation of artistic heritage, the priest, often throughout the entire Eucharistic celebration, does not scruple to turn his back to Him.
How often have good and faithful adorers of Christ cried out in their simplicity and humility : “God bless you, Ministry of Historical Monuments ! At least you have left us Jesus in the center of our church.”
II – The Mass is intended to give glory to God, not to men 
Only on the basis of adoring and glorifying God can the Church adequately proclaim the word of the truth, i.e., evangelize. Before the world ever heard Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, preach and proclaim the Kingdom, He quietly adored for thirty years. This remains forever the law for the Church’s life and action as well as for all evangelizers. “The way the liturgy is treated decides the fate of the Faith and of the Church,” said Cardinal Ratzinger, our current Holy Father Benedict XVI. The Second Vatican Council intended to remind the Church what reality and what action were to take the first place in her life. This is the reason for which the first of the Council’s documents was dedicated to the liturgy. The Council gives us the following principles: in the Church, and therefore in the liturgy, the human must be oriented towards the divine and be subordinate to it; likewise the visible in relation to the invisible, action in relation to contemplation, the present in relation to the future city to which we aspire (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2). According to the teaching of Vatican II our earthly liturgy participates in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy of the holy city of Jerusalem.
 Everything about the liturgy of the Holy Mass must therefore serve to express clearly the reality of Christ’s sacrifice, namely the prayers of adoration, of thanks, of expiation, and of impetration that the eternal High Priest presented to His Father.