Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Sunday, 30 September 2007

OT 26

OT 26
Prelude: Christ Mighty Savior, David Hurd
Improv on SLANE, and #33 form Dom P Benoit's 50 Elevations
Entrance: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Said (KINGSFOLD)
Kyrie: Danish with invocations chanted recto tono
Gloria: Lee
Psalm 46 Hunstiger
Gosp Acc Danish
Offertory: Lord of All Hopefulness (SLANE)
Sanc., An, and Am. - Danish Amen
Agnus Dei - Danish
Communion - Eye Has Not Seen
Choral Mass - O Sacrum Convivium (Remondi)
Closing: God Whose Purpose is to Kindle (ODE TO JOY)
Postlude: Rondeau in D minor, Purcell

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Vestments wars

I would like to know the root of the aversion, on one side, to Gothic chasubles, and on the other, to the Roman style.
I have asked several places (no never, IRL,) and have tried to research others asking in various fora, but have never found an answer.
I am not talking about preferences, but the outright contempt expressed for others preferences. I know it is rooted in the "Liturgy Wars", but I truly don't understand the basis for it.
Obviously the style, the cut signifies something beyond itself for many people, but I wish I could figure out what in blazes it is.
Is there/was there, legislation about the two styles? Were the adherents of one martyred, the looms of the other destroyed by the jaquerie?
What gives?
Fine material, fine workwomanship, and fine design (and surely their opposites?) seem equally present in examples of both styles. Anyone with any information or wild guess please post.
Color of course is a different matter, and there seems to be a great deal of ignorance on the subject, I have heard misinformation from the pulpit, read it in bulletins and in our diocesan newspaper (does NO ONE in the Church understand the difference between primary and secondary sources?!?!?$?%?^???)
And misinformation is viral.

The purpose of a variety in the color of the sacred vestments is to give effective expression even outwardly to the specific character of the mysteries of faith being celebrated and to a sense of Christian life's passage through the course of the liturgical year.
As to the color of sacred vestments, the traditional usage is to be retained: namely,
a. White is used in the Offices and Masses during the Easter and Christmas seasons; also on celebrations of the Lord other than of his Passion, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; on the Solemnities of All Saints (1 November) and of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (24 June); and on the Feasts of Saint John the Evangelist (27 December), of the Chair of Saint Peter (22February), and of the Conversion of Saint Paul (25 January).
b. Red is used on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion and on Good Friday, on Pentecost Sunday, on celebrations of the Lord’s Passion, on the feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists, and on celebrations of Martyr Saints.
c. Green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
d. Violet or purple is used in Advent and of Lent. It may also be worn in Offices andMasses for the Dead (cf. below).e. Besides violet, white or black vestments may be worn at funeral services and at other Offices and Masses for the Dead in the Dioceses of the United States of America.
f. Rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).
g. On more solemn days, sacred vestments may be used that are festive, that is, more precious, even if not of the color of the day.
h. Gold or silver colored vestments may be worn on more solemn occasions in the dioceses of the United States of America.
Ritual Masses are celebrated in their proper color, in white, or in a festive color; Masses for Various Needs, on the other hand, are celebrated in the color proper to the day or the season or in violet if they are of a penitential character, for example, no. 31 (in Time of War or Conflict),no. 33 (in Time of Famine), or no. 38 (for the Forgiveness of Sins); Votive Masses are celebrated in the color suited to the Mass itself or even in the color proper to the day or the season.

Notice that white for funerals is not universal law but an American adaptation, the Latin original:
Color violaceus adhibetur tempore Adventus et Quadragesimae. Assumi
potest etiam in Officiis et Missis defunctorum.
Color niger adhiberi potest, ubi mos est, in Missis defunctorum.

Oh, and....

337. The vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is, unless otherwise indicated, the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.

Yes, even newly presented Precious Moments Stoles....

The Dignity of the Liturgy

Halle, halle, halle, loo--oo-YAH! Halle, halle, halle, loo--oo.... oh, sorry, I was channeling there for a minute.
Somehow I missed this, though it's been available on the estimable CNP for quite a while I assume.
Wise words in an address to the K of C from Archbishop Wuerl, now of D.C., (and a favorite whipping boy for conservative Catholics for his refusal to use his bully pulpit, in what might as well be the primatial see, to publicly spank pro-"choice" Catholic pols. I, to quote my late mil, "like the cut of his jib," and will not presume to know what has or has not been said in private, nor make a prudential judgement on what course of action the good Archbishop's prudential judgement may have led him to.
Take note of the person of the verbs in Luke 15:
Nowhere do we read, "YOU have sinned against heaven and against Me, no longer are YOU fit to be called MY son...." not even as an example to, or to satisfy the schadenfreude of, the Dutiful Son. B ut IDigress)
Ecclesia de Eucharistia ... reminds us that we should celebrate the Eucharist "in a setting worthy of so great a mystery" ...While it is true that the Eucharist can be celebrated in a very simple and unadorned manner, it is also true that the human spirit cries out for a proper setting worthy of so great a mystery.
The Mass becomes for the whole Church an event of solemnity, recollection, prayer and beauty....

we are not free to change the ritual for the celebration of the Eucharist according to our own preferences. The Holy Father notes, "There have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many." Thus he appeals "urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be obeyed with great fidelity" [#52].
For this reason the rubrics — the red print in the missal that guides us through the celebration of the mystery — are meant to maintain a sense of unity and solidarity with the whole Church in the celebration of the same mystery. No one can take it upon himself to redirect what is the patrimony of the Church and the heritage of God's people.

I wonder if the rest of the speech is available anywhere.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Bless Me, Father, For I Have...

Fr. D who answers Catholic questions in a syndicated column holds forth on Confession.
The question is typical of a certain kind of (often disaffected) Catholic, hey, we had that great general absolution for a while, we didn't have to think about or actually confess our sins, and we were terrific people, so who took it upon himself to deprive us of the easy way out?
(Okay, I'm paraphrasing...)
Fr. D. gives a kind of namby-pamby answer to the query, and makes it easy to draw some rather odd inferences.
And some of his answer is simply questionable statements.
Form II of the Rite is "most familiar to many Catholics today"? I would guess that the only Catholics to whom it would be "most familiar" are those who don't avail themselves of the sacrament much.
The 2nd form "enjoys NEARLY [emphasis mine] all the spiritual advantages of the third form"? Really? The clear implication being that there is some spiritual advantage to the 3rd form lacking in the 2nd.... and that would be, Fr D?
And he doesn't bother to tell his readers that even in the event that Form 3 is licit for some reason, the penitent is still obligated to make a personal confession as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
So all those 3rd from services we went to in our youth?
Not licit.... and no one ever told us of the obligation, so through no fault of ours, perhaps not even valid?

Choir Rehearsal

Dismal turn-out last night.
Or rather, small...
What was there was choice.
I do not understand the general choir awareness of and reaction to the Novena. It did not begin with me. Everyone in the choir, even the high school student who joined this year (yeah!) has lived in this parish longer than I. The novena has been celebrated, on these dates, since before some of them were born.
Every year.
Choir rehearsal takes place on Thursday night, and has always done so, within living memory. (My only change was to bump up the start time a half hour, at the behest of people who don't seem to be coming to rehearsal but that's another story...)
It therefore follows that every year at least one choir rehearsal will fall during the Novena. Which means they rehearse a bit, pray and sing the Novena, and rehearse a bit afterward. Not one minute of time is added to their usual effort.
So WHYYYYYYYYYYYY? why did people blow it off?
Though as I said, those in attendance were very good,
Only one soprano, though, so we couldn't work on the Canticle of Love. Which they all seem to like, and about which I will probably be subjected to whining when it is not programmed.
Learned all the notes for the Palestrina Jesu Rex Admirabilis, (which I misprinted as "Rex Amirab L ilis." Ah, well....) so that should be usable in few weeks. The psalm was simple, finished working out all the parts to How Can I Keep From Singing? (which I never intend to insert in a liturgy, but which I think could be a useful postlude,) learned another two lines of the Monteverdi Laudate Omnes Gentes.
The uneven part distribution was rendered moot by the unison singing I had planned, and I must say they have never sounded lovelier on the David Hurd, Christ Mighty Savior than they did last night.
Will a wobbling soprano or a bellowing baritone ruin the effect this weekend?
We so seldom sing in the evening, I can't program it often.
One of our more musical members stayed to talk about it a bit afterwards, how perfect and evocative the music was with the text, and how timeless. (Chant compatible? I asked.... yeah!)
That conversation has challenged me to find and use some more of his vocal works, (a Mass setting is out,) he is a treasure to the Church (dare I hope that he would be joining the swim team?)
Himself put me in a bit of a mood, knew we were pressed for time because of the Novena, also knew he wouldn't be there after the Novena because of Parish Council meeting, my parting words as I head out to do my pre-rehearsal photo-copying were, "Beginning at six. Sharp."
So, as the bells rang, we began to sing the Angelus (that may have been an inspiration on my part, because Fr Weber was right, rehearsal is long enough, I can't be singing Vespers beforehand and expect any participation,) and having finished that, we were half way though rehearsing the psalm when he strolled in.
He is not unaware, we talk about it all the time, one way I have reformed practice of both the church and the secular choral groups he is that if a rehearsal is called for a time, it begins at that time.
You wanna talk, you wanna schmooze, you wanna get things organized, get the local gossip, serve as the walking obituary page or police blotter, WHATEVER, you get here early or wit for the break because we start on time.
So.... well, he puts up with a lot from me, too.

New recruits for the swim team, in a sense

An Episcopalian prepares to cross the Tiber. (An aside, I've never understood the metaphor, perhaps because i know nothing of Roman geography -- what exactly is on the other side of the Tiber?)
He should NOT, from the little that I know about it, be required to endure RCIA, but I stand to be corrected on that point.
He seems to have no doubts, but does have some fears.

the Holy Catholic Church possesses something the Episcopal Church does not: sound doctrine, along with a Pope (especially the present one) and magisterium to ensure that it remains so. Sound doctrine will make it possible for me (I pray) to tolerate Masses where the priest sits in the Captain Kirk chair while the miasmal excrescences of [dreadful "liturgical composer" X] and [dreadful "liturgical composer" Y] waft into the nave.

How wrenching it would be to go from a reverent, beautiful, perhaps even splendid liturgical experience, with elevated language, precise ritual, beautiful surroundings and fine music; to the "Here Comes Everybody" of the Catholic Church which, far too many seem to think allows for a "Here comes everyTHING" approach to fabricating the Liturgy.
I have never been fortunate enough to, and probably never will, live near an Anglican Use catholic parish. If i could foresee such an eventuality it would heavily influence our emerging retirement plans.
As it is, I am praying for a Canons Regular of St John Cantius parish. That, or I ask for That to Which I Am Entitled. (What a sad way to have to look at it -- needing to exercise my rights, proclaim my "entitlement" merely to insure something that EVERY Catholic should have access to, without question, in whatever usage.
It is to be hoped that such new members bring with them the genuine breath of the Holy Spirit, to blow through the fusty, dusty corridors of the Church and refresh us all, driving out the industrial pollution that found its way in when the windows were opened by the 2nd Vatican Council, and seems to have left a gritty, greasy black film on everything.
(Not unlike that which coats the tomatoes I just picked... one takes one lumps living in rust belt. On the other, for someone with my housekeeping skills and proclivities, the built-in, perpetual excuse for the state of ones domicile is a God-send.)
Continuing my loopy metaphor, I wonder if what seemed to us as homeowners, a burglary, a terrible crime, when such a treasure was forcibly removed several centuries ago, was that work of that same Holy Spirit, who foresaw the Time of Grime, and providentially removed things for safe-keeping.
God drawing straight with crooked lines.
Surely Blessed John the XXIII and Pope Paul VI are neither the first nor the last well-meaning stewards to have, desirous of fresh air, left the windows of the Master House open only to discover that Hurricane Katrina bearing down on them, packing a little more than "fresh air."
Ah! New loopy metaphor.

Anyway, all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.


Defining "challenge."
The Episcopal communion, having seen a spade, decides to call a "spade" a "rustic implement that while it may at some time have been used in agricultural pursuits now looks chic having been cleaned of it's genuine dirt only to be faux distressed with patina-in-a-bottle and then hung as an objet d'art on the wall of my weekend getaway in the country where I play at being a peasant, like Marie Antoinette in shepherdess mode."
(Gwendolyn: I am happy to say I have never seen a spade...)

Tell me, Bishop, who cannot marry for now?
That's right, those whose "manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church."

Sinful activity presents a challenge to the wider church.
The problem is not the sinner's, it it that of those who might naively be tempted to call a sin a sin.
The wording is reminiscent of the ritual public apologies we hear and read so often -- I'm sorry if anyone was offended.
Yes, what I regret, what was wrong, was the reaction of others, that taking of offense, not my words, by actions, my crime, my stupidity, my immorality, my unkindness, my whatever.... I'm sorry YOU took it that way.

Because apparently, what I did challenged you.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Of Devotions and Devotion

Back to that novena...

I'm growing to understand that the suppression of devotions (de facto, not de jure,) besides the cataclysmic effect on the Liturgy (into which all manner of inappropriate activity is now shoe-horned, and to which all manner of inappropriate preference is now applied,) has had a deleterious effect on Catholic formation, because all kinds of Large Truths were contained in their occasional kitschinesses or sillinesses.
The novena I played for last week is to the Sorrowful Mother.
It obviously touches these people where they live (I suspect it dates from when another war was raging, and other mothers and grandmothers were mourning the deaths of other sons.)
Now, granted the songs are mostly horrifically awful. (Good Night, Sweet Jesus, for one, which I had heretofore only known by reputation.)
But the prayers and the sentiments are perfectly fine (several of our priests object to the "thees" and "thys" but I think that says less to the discredit of the novena prayers than to themselves.)
The little truths it teaches point to Him Who is Truth.
And if it didn't deepen their knowledge of theology, or their love of archaeologically correct liturgy, it clearly inspired a devotion and a commitment to the Faith that has lasted..... oh, eighty or ninety years.
People who continued to profess and practice, or at least have a decent shame for their lapses in practice, with none of the "I don't think you have to go to church to be a good person...," or, "Sure I'm Catholic, but I don't think you have to believe what the Church teaches to call yourself 'Catholic,'" prevarications that have become common as dirt.
People who never experienced the "falling away" that "always" happens to young people, (we reassure ourselves to ease our worries about the way whatever the Church is doing is cause her to hemorrhage practicing members. )
People who understood that their were consequences to practicing the Faith.
Which they could only know if they did not deny that there were consequences for NOT practicing the Faith.
That's what these maligned devotions helped to do, and the people who suppressed them have much for which to answer.

Toby has never understood that when I struggle against using Cheez in the Liturgy, that I am not trying to suppress its use, only its use in Liturgy.
Sing any crap you want (that is not contrary to the Faith,) if it helps you, comfort you, energizes you, in RelEd class, around a campfire at retreat, at your prayer breakfast, for the Kindergarten Graduation, for a 9-11 memorial service.
Don't introduce it into Mass.
I am guilty of some of this with the choir, because their practices are so ingrained and going even as far as I went caused a rebellion. But I have tried to move some of the more beloved but objectionable, or new but inappropriate sugar cubes, (chosen to charm,) into those pre-Mass and post-Mass slots that are part of their established praxis. (So yeah, "Holy City" before Mass sometime.... NOT as the Offertory anthem, on Palm Sunday : can you imagine?!?$?%?#?? that triumphant bombast after the reading of the Passion?)
Two points that bear further thought and discussion, one that just came to me.... Lifeteen, for instance, would have been swell if it had been created as a devotion ... after Mass.

And the other, my old hobby-horse, don't make things up and call them Liturgy. (I am pleased to note that what used to be called "All Soul's VESPERS" is now billed as "All Souls Memorial Service." M. is sharp and intent upon doing, and consequently in learning what IS, the right thing. They are lucky to have her.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A very kind, very satisfying message

The father of several school-age boys whispered to me in church recently that he thought I might like to know what one of his sons had said.
The conversation was about how school at St X's was going. Good. And sports? good. Band? good. Choir?
Oh, okay I guess.

Well, all we do is sing songs. I miss choir with Mrs. Scelata. We really learn stuff with her, we learned about the music we sang and how it fits in with Church and Religion and stuff, learned about God....
Yes, he is one of the group that sang Puer Nobis so gloriously a few years ago, really nailed the mode, the slight percussive repeated notes, the MEANING of the text... he was in fourth grade as I recall.
If I had any doubts about doing Schola this year, this would have erased it.
I'm glad i had already decided to ask him to do a solo (probably on that Italian carol I hear at midnight Mass from the Vatican last year,) so I won't suspect myself of playing favorites for unworthy reasons.
So choir and schola really can have an effect.
I might add that from my vantage point in the loft, watching the goings on in the sanctuary during the canon, being acutely aware of the server ringing the sanctus bells for my "cue" etc., far more closely and more often than anyone else could, I am utterly assured that it is children I have worked with who are the best servers, by far. They know and make the responses, they bow when appropriate (which hardly another soul in the church does, aside from the cantors -- also at my request,,) they know how to conduct themselves in the Presence of the Lord.... the head server, on the other hand, often sits through the consecration, the more easily to reach the bells without much effort.

I think putting the servers, the cantor and the deacon on their knees would go quite a long way toward reinforcing an atmosphere of reverence in our liturgies.

Bowing, and other liturgical postures is an interesting case to me... I am not positive until I made an issue of it with my cantors when I came on board that all of the ordained remembered the prescription during the Incarnatus est, (I asked, the first Christmas we were back using the full church, fully re-kneelered. if a prie-dieu could not be provided for the cantors who were not as spry as I, since thy would be kneeling rather than "merely bowing" during the Credo. I suppose that is a manipulative way to have gone about it, of reminding TPTB that, oh yeah, the REST of the year we're all supposed to be bowing... but I was surprised at the resistance to the idea of the prie-dieu. Well, I don't know....I offered to drag it out of the storage room myself. Well, they're in kind of ratty shape.... I'll make sure I get one that is not torn or damaged on the side that will face the congregation. Well, they'll be dirty.... I'll dust it myself.

There's an afternoon of continuing education for those in (lay) liturgical ministry by the diocese and the flyer promises that they will answer questions like, why don't the deacons in our diocese kneel for the consecration?
I'm sure they have a reason and am curious to know what it is, but not curious enough to sit through an afternoon of the kind of thing our OofW specializes in (thought some, particularly those Br T has had a hand in have been very good... others, not so much.)

But I am hopeful.
Baby steps, baby stops, baby steps....

Monday, 24 September 2007

Does Simple Music Form Simple Faith?

Interesting article in the NYTimes. I disagree with many of his premises, but I suspect the author is not familiar enough current praxis in liturgical denoms to really have a valid opinion on what is or isn't working.
September 23, 2007

Does Simple Music Form Simple Faith?
A CEREMONY at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sept. 11 offered some patriotic music and a few dabs of the classics, but everything else made me wonder whether I should be listening as a critic or as a Christian. A lot of liturgical music these days asks you to choose between the two.
With its hand-clapping, inspirational, just-folks character, how different this music is from a tradition that ran from plainchant through Josquin and Palestrina to Mozart and Beethoven, and finally to Messiaen and Britten. Without the church to inspire — not to mention finance — great composers, how diminished the history of music might seem to us.
Beauty of musical color, elegance of harmony, soundness of construction and exquisiteness of originality once worked as the lure that would draw the faltering worshiper nearer. Music, as well as architecture and visual art, represented heaven to the earthbound, something dazzling and unapproachable, an advertisement for a paradise still held at arm’s length.
The neo-Edwardian anthems and elaborations on ethno-popular culture at St. Patrick’s, on the other hand, might lead us to infer from Bach’s B minor Mass or Haydn’s “Creation” a certain irreligion, a seductiveness that captures the senses and leads the heart away from true communion with God. Does simple music form simple faith, arguably the best kind? Has the Dark One used great musical art to his advantage?
Sophisticated music that doesn’t reach out directly to its listeners — that doesn’t depend on their response — bears the seeds of its eventual irrelevance. One reason classical music struggles as it does today lies with the several generations of composers in the last century who demanded that audiences understand them rather than the other way around.
But music written solely for the comfort of its audience is equally irrelevant. Pushing ethnic buttons as a form of quick access to the worshiper’s attention is only advertising. Easy familiarity acts like the door-to-door salesman’s foot in the door, the prelude to making that sale.
The Christian, on the other hand, can argue with perfect rectitude that music is just one more evangelical tool, useful Muzak to accompany the winning of converts and the reinforcement of faith. Interesting music distracts the faithful, or so this line of thinking goes. Interesting music does not tell us to be good or bad. It asks only to be admired. Getting great music and simple faith together happens, but with difficulty.
Verdi’s Requiem, with its visceral depiction of human fright at Judgment Day, comes pretty close to satisfying both the critic and the Christian. My nominee for the music that both thrills the senses and puts into its auditors the appropriate fear of God is the gospel singing of black churches. The sounds are amazing, and everyone in the building has something to do with making them.
The church has reason to fear great beauty, hence the effort to rescue our attention, through plainspoken and deliberately flat-footed modern texts, from the mesmerizing graces of the Latin Mass or the splendid poetry of the Anglican Church’s Book of Common Prayer. I am one small example, having spent the Sunday mornings of my youth in the Episcopal Church allowing Thomas Cranmer’s magical imagery and liquid liturgical responses to roll off my tongue without a thought to God at all.
One reason that less important music is being written for churches is that composers have other things on their minds: among them, making a living. Churches were once the center of life, and centers of wealth and power as well. Composers thrived in their employ in times when public concerts barely existed. The rich commissioned liturgical pieces as their personal upscale rapprochements with God. What money for composers circulates today is largely in secular hands.
The decline in classical music and the decline of the Roman Catholic Church have things in common. Musical audiences dwindle and age; church attendance in Europe has dropped precipitously; and evangelical and fundamentalist movements in once solidly Catholic Latin America are growing exponentially. Without the divide between audience member (parishioner) and artist (clergy), rock ’n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and like species so involve listeners that the audience becomes an added instrument, singing along or shouting approval. Religion in country churches is not about intransitive shows of respect but about energy bouncing back and forth.
In a television interview not long ago the novelist Margaret Atwood gave as good a reason as any that a recognizably human, touchable God so engages spiritual seekers. People are lonely, she said. When they look out at the universe, they don’t want to see rocks and gases; they want someone to talk to.
Do we go the other way, approach God as spectators and accept religious art’s tantalizing promises of a kingdom of heaven filled with nonstop Mozart and Michelangelo? Or do we sit down, take our maker by the shoulder, put beauty in its place and work things out person to person?
Ritual-driven, beauty-ridden Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans may not be doing as well right now as they would like, but history keeps turning in circles, and they may have their day again.
Meanwhile grab that guitar. Clap those hands.

Speaking of Novenas...

Friday night a friend asked me to step in and play for a novena I had not known before last year, when she asked me to do the same.
In fact, before we moved here, I didn't really know what a novena was (other than the obvious, which someone with an 800 in Latin ought to be able to figure out...)
This one is nine successive weeks.
I am just barely of an age when I should have known about these things and I do not.
My father, who is as fine a Catholic as I shall ever know, died when I was young, but my Mom was and is to this day a daily communicant, a devout, down-to-earth-nuts-and-bolts knowledgeable Catholic.
We said the Rosary as a family every night during Lent when I was small, and had an Advent wreath (these were never "in church!", which we lit with prayers and Veni, Veni, Emanuel and a scripture reading chosen by the child who did it, (in 1st or 2nd grade I very proudly took one from the days reading and exhorted the rest of the pajama-clad tow heads not to engage in debauchery and fornication, leading Mom to say that maybe she would pick the readings when it was the smaller kids' turns.)
But as an adult I shocked her by not know what the Angelus was. Since most of us, (her brood, "we happy many,") are practicing. and some devout, (and some relapsed, or at least in the process of falling back, even the Buddhist/Theosophist,) and went' all through all required "Faith Formation" (many of us, "star" pupils,) she was truly amazed to discover how much we didn't know. (I never added to her pain by letting her know how much of what we knew was wrong...)
So, she explained.
But I think she had thought the combination of her (non-verbal) witness and formal diocese mandated and implemented "education" would have taken care of all that.
Raising and supporting 11 children one her own (and virtually no pension,) didn't leave her a lot of time for all the "extras," the devotions, the missions, the customs, the novenas, the Expositions, the pilgrimages, the retreats.
Oh, we did some, (May and October processions at the Rosary Shrine! that monastery may have saved some of our souls, but that's another story....,) but I imagine our collective ignorance, for what are supposedly a bunch of "intellectually gifted" people is pretty darn impressive.
It was the era when our religious ed was entrusted to a well meaning young lay woman whose qualification was that she could play the guitar. (I'm not making this up.)
We learned that "God is orange." (ditto)
We painted sea-shells and talked about the meaning of rock lyrics.
Now, our Mass going experiences remained awfully good, on the whole, but I see now that that was sheer providence.
I honestly thought, for instance, when we joined forces with other parishes and we were treated to processions featuring chubby adolescents in lavender leotards and flowing chiffon lunging and swooping up and down the aisles; or when we went to Mass while on vacation and heard tapes of Simon and Garfunkel; or when a visiting priest seemed to be making up an entirely new ceremony; that all that was a matter of taste, and we were just lucky because TPTB where we usually participated had "good taste."
After all, the Byzantine Rite was entirely different, and tat was as Catholic as what we did, right?
I even remember there was a group of young adults, very vocal in lobbying for Gregorian chant, and I thought that was just there personal preference, and a valid one, aesthetically speaking.
As was the (very fine, I hasten to assure you,) performance of the Ave Maria from Verdi's Otello at Mass one Sunday. Perfectly valid.
Or so I thought.

I do remember, when confirmation time rolled around, an interesting thing happened in Religious Ed. Someone, I now realize, was fearful that whichever Bishop we drew, (there were a number of auxiliaries,) might be one who actually did something to determine if we had had enough "faith formation" to receive the sacrament with understanding. So they started to form us.
All the sweet, vague lay people disappeared, and a very different sort of Teacher arrived. I think they had kept Sr Cornelius in a high security cell or a sub-terrenean stronghold somewhere since VCII, and only wheeled her out like Hannibal Lector when they need the insight and acumen that only she could bring.
I think I remember a hockey mask. I'm sure I remember a hair-sprouting mole. She wore a habit (a habit! how quaint!) had a gravely voice, and a laser-like gaze. She was the oldest person I'd ever seen in a classroom, and was popularly known to be terrifying even to adults, even to other teachers.
And using, I kid you not, a little grey catechism as her guide, (a catechism! how quaint!) she began to teach us.
And damned if we didn't begin to learn. About doctrine. About our, specifically Catholic faith. (Specifically Catholic! How quaint!)
And she wasn't terrifying, or mean at all.
God bless you, Sr Cornelius, and put in a good word for me with the Big Guy, in whose immediate environs I have no doubt you are.
If I had been privileged to have her for other years, the years when we could have been learning about Church history, or the Liturgy, or Catholic practice... well, it would have been good.

(Well, this is becoming a habit, isn't it? I think I intend to 'blog about one thing and I end up droning on about something else.)

Himself and I are doing PLS, such a show, such resonance for both of us!
And there are the usual needs to teach Protestants in the cast how to bless themselves, what intercessory prayer is, etc....

But yesterday a young woman, a bright young woman was listening as the director explained something to another group of actors, and said to me, "gee, I'm Catholic and I don't know what a 'venal sin' is."
So I explained about sin and mortal sin and venial sin, and how some things were objectively wrong whether or not you knew they were wrong (and I'm sorry but Sunday afternoons this time of year, I am not at my best, and I hope I didn't say anything too off base...) and she and another Catholic who listened in go the light-bulb-going-on-over-head expression, and said, Yeah, of course, that make sense!
But I wished Sr Cornelius had been there.
We could use here.
We could use a few thousand of her.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

No, really, OT 25

All that ranting, and I didn't post my program, the ostensible reason for the post....

Prelude: Precious Lord, Take My Hand (we had anointing of the sick)

Christ is the True Vine, Cherubini
Organ improv on IN BABILONE and the Gregorian AVE VERUM
Processional: To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King
Kyrie: Danish Amen Mass w/ added chanted invocations
Gloria: Lee
Psalm 113 - Guimont

Offertory Song: Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service (IN BABILONE)
Gsp Acc.: Danish
Music during the Sacrament: Lay Your Hands, arr. Scelata
Sanctus, Acc., Amen, Agnus: Danish Amen Mass
Communion: The Cry of the Poor, Foley

At healing Mass, verses from Psalm 63 w/ antiphon, Jesus Christ Son of God, Heal Us With Your Love (GOIN' HOME)
Closing: God We Praise You (NETTLETON)

Postlude: Voluntary in D, Boyce
Choral Postlude: Hymn to the Little Flower (we began a novena to ST Therese today)

OT 25

First off, I'm not sure I didn't receive the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily. I spent a big chunk of my four Masses peeved at other people.
I've got to get back in touch with a skill I've always had in spades, that seems to have flown the coop...
Himself likes to tell a story of a TD who was approached in the wings by an hysterical, drooling, wild-eyed actor, about to make his first entrance in his first show in "the Bigs," who, having failed to check his props ahead of time, discovered to his horror that he did not have the only object that gave meaning to his entrance.
"M----! I can't find the noose!!?#$?!??!?!!~!?^?&?*!#!"
A not unkind, but also no particularly interested, "Bummer, man...." before turning back to what ever he was doing.
We laugh about the story a lot (I believe both parties to it do, as well.)
About to work with a notoriously nasty diva, Himself an I worked out a technique. No matter how ugly, how urgent, how demanding, how insulting, how angry she got, any unreasonable remark from her would receive from him, in reply, a wide-eyed, "Oh.... really ?"
It works wonderfully, and I used to be able to muster that attitude when called upon. (I've even used it a few time in parish work.)

So why am I forgetting to take it now?
I have allowed the unreasonable and occasionally contradictory demands of TPTB, and my desire to meet them, to cause me to be less than charitable to TunPfulTB.
I need to stop.
I just need to stop.
I not only can't read minds, but even when given my marching orders, I can't always carry them out, particularly when it involves bringing other people along.

Boy, did Fr Anonymous at St John Cantius nail it.... I need to go to confession more often.
It is not worth being abrupt with people who are doing the best they can (even if I have asked or told them the same thing 4 times, in print, on dry-erase board, and in answer to their questions when they haven't bothered to read their programs, the music or the signs...,) just to get some minor detail of some para-liturgy correct, especially when I don't even agree with the aims of the person who decreed that thus-and-such was to be done.

Rest in peace, Marcel Marceau

Although such a prayer seems a little .... redundant?http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/arts/entertainment-arts-marceau.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The ubiquity of clairvoyance...

I used to, in my more vocally smart-assed days actually say, (rather than just think,), "How remarkable! You must be clairvoyant, because you knew I was just dying to have your opinion even though I didn't ask you!"
(As I said, "used to," I ain't proud, but that's how I was....)
This is an entire town full of people with such powers.
I am constantly amazed a new at how people make free to come up to the cantors and critique them, give them advice, give them orders... Today, it was one of our youngest cantors, not exactly brimming over with self-confidence, and the busy-body in question was wrong. The pastor, the head of the LitCom, me or any priest at the Mass at which he is presiding, I told him he had to at least give some thought to listening to, anyone else he could blow them off as graciously as he wished.
I wonder if PIPs go up to the head of the lay reader corps to tell her about mispronunciations that have been made at Mass....?
I get a great deal of advice and have actually learned to smile through most of it.
Sometimes I agree with a criticism completely and says so, with the addendum, why don't you tell Fr. Pastor, or Mrs. Head of LitCom?
You should see the sheer terror on the visage of my erstwhile advisers.
Apparently, people are in fear of them, but I'm not intimidating enough.
But the fact is, nearly every week I am told that I am both too slow and too fast, that I program too much new stuff and the same things all the time, there is too much music making Mass too long and that we never finish the hymns...
The only consistent complaint is "too loud" but the fact remains that the louder I play the louder people sing, and the main lodger of this charge doesn't seem to be able to hear the organ as he is seldom with it, so I'm at a loss how to deal with it.

One participant in the retreat/seminar at Mundelein says he always asks complainers to climb up on the bench and show him how it ought to be one.... :twisted:
I've never tried that although I did tell someone she was welcome to sing or play anything she wanted when I felt I could not in good conscience program one of her favorites, as well as to provide me with transpositions that were to her liking..

Friday, 21 September 2007

A log?

Letterman had a running bit a few years back about keeping track of how many days went by while his interest in Oprah went unrequited.
Ought I to keep a Chancery-log?

Update,, Saturday, 9/22, very gracious letter, there is no demand, we have received very few requests, we made one request to an order who says they are already swamped, location of a possible Extraordinary Form Mass in neighboring diocese, and name of one parish that might be adding a Mass, and suggestion to get in touch.

That self-shaped hole in your self...

Fr R.R.,OMI had the seeds of a good column in the diocesan paper...
I find him, generally, kind of airy-fairy descriptively, and touchy-feely prescriptively; never getting down to anything beyond social-worker/psychologist platitudes.
Or rather never getting UP to anything beyond them, never to anything touching higher realms of the meanings of our human existence.
Certainly never informed by anything specifically Catholic, seldom anything distinctively Christian, and sometimes, it now seems, not even theist.
As I said, it began well, talking about the incessant distractions of pop culture, about how difficult the constant assault on our sense, our attention, make it to get in touch with.... and of course, it being a column by a priest, in a Catholic newspaper, wanna take a guess what it is that we need to be, and are but are too often thus prevented from being, in touch with?
That's right... "what's deepest inside of us and inside of others."
Yeah, that's the gaping hole in our lives we run the risk of never filling, by allowing ourselves to be inundated by all our culture and society has to offer... a failure to "make friend with that one part of us that will accompany us into the sunset."
Well, though, maybe there was a problem in editing and they accidentally left out the part where our insightful priestly columnist spares a word or two to mention... oh, I dunno, maybe God?
As printed, though, I suppose it would make a swell homily or sermon at a Mass where we sing from the "But Enough About Us, God, What Do YOU Think About Us?" Hymnal.

And instead of the Credo, we could all be given mirrors, and sing from How To Succeed in Business...

Or we could think about what Pascal said:What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.

Scelata's White List

Obviously, this is to some extent facetious.I do not believe anyone needs to learn everything on my list.I do not believe anyone should necessarily avoid use of anything not on my list.
But a cantankerous fellow on TNLM issued a challenge that usually masks an accusation -- you young fogies don't like anything new, if you had your way we'd only sing the music of dead guys in Church!Not so.
Yet, despite answers being given, the accusation is made again and again and again.
So, I challenge all liturgical musicians reading this to start your own "white list," on your blogs, contemporary music you think Worthy of the Temple.
I have, fairly arbitrarily, decided to call "contemporary" stuff dating from the mid-point of the last century, as the renewal of Holy Week liturgies dates from the '50s, I believe? (I am open to correction on that.)
Note, I am not always walking the walk of the talk I talk -- some of these I do not use, because I have not yet decided to spend the choral budget on sufficient octavos or because we already have the same text in our repertory.And some may not be suitable for liturgy, but virtually every Catholic parish choir sings some art music extra-liturgically around Christmas, for instance?And I don't claim to be prescient, perhaps none of them will stand the test of time.But they are all, in my opinion, worthy and usable.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

All Aren't Welcome!

A nomination for Presbyter of the Year.
Well, at least none of TPTB in THIS parish could dare, in good conscience, to subject people to that song.....
Rev. Denis Dougherty OSB, Pastor of St. Josephs Church in Springfield MO.

by the Rev. Denis Dougherty
I think that Pope Benedict’s recent decree reviving the old Latin Mass was a step backwards in the implementation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, which were approved and promoted by Pope Paul VI.
The Council never intended there to be two forms of the Roman rite existing simultaneously. Latin at Mass, yes, but the old rite stemming back to the 16th Century, clearly no.
To keep a group of objectors in the Church, Pope John Paul gave permission to have the old Mass on a very limited scale in 1984 despite the nearly unanimous opposition of the bishops throughout the world. Now, Pope Benedict has given permission to go over the heads of the bishops as long as a “stably existing” community requests the old Mass and the pastors can prevent a disruption in their communities.
The Council clearly wanted to give such power to the bishops, but in this too the Council’s teaching is being reversed.
I don’t anticipate having a Latin Mass problem in our parish although a group of people who formerly sought to introduce such a Mass here has sought to do so again.
We will follow Pope Benedict’s instruction and not introduce the Latin Mass here because we do not have a stable (longstanding) group of active parish members requesting it. You are aware that to be an active member of our parish requires current registration, regular Mass attendance, and tithing to support the parish, as I have told you at least once a year.
Very few of those suggesting the Latin Mass here are active members of the parish. The vast majority clearly do not qualify as a stable existing group of parishioners. I also perceive that the group would he disruptive if they came here with the idea of ‘gritting their teeth (as one described it) until they could dominate the parish again.
Also, should we ever be required to introduce a Latin Mass in the future, such a Mass would fall under the supervision of the pastor and the appointed Liturgical Committee, like all other liturgical matters, not under the direction from some other group requesting it.
We should all ask ourselves questions like the following:
Do we really want to introduce a liturgy emphasizing sin and its expiation in preference to the celebration of the paschal mystery centering on the death and resurrection of Christ.
Do we really want to exclude women from the sanctuary, go back to the old lectionary, which had only a one year cycle of readings rather than the three year cycle we enjoy now;
Do we really want to go back to the celebration of a Macs in which we do not understand the language in which the priest is praying and reading, and doing so with his back to us.
Do you really want to reintroduce the disruption the parish previously experienced from some of the very people now requesting the old Latin Mass?
The old Mass has been called the “traditional” Mass but that is erroneous because the tradition of the Church from the most ancient times was to celebrate the Mass in the language understood by the people.
That is the reason the Mass, probably first celebrated by Jesus in Aramaic, was soon celebrated in Greek, and then in the 4th or 5th Century celebrated in Latin in the Roman Church.
The “tradition” of the fathers of the Church was to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council were simply returning to this traditional Catholic practice in providing us with the Mass in the various languages which we understand.
So we at St. Joseph’s will follow the ancient tradition of the Church and continue to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people, as we follow the practice given us by Pope Paul VI and the Vatican Council and in doing so we will not be violating the decree of Pope Benedict because we do not have a request from of a “stably existing” community and our parish and because the pastor doesn’t feel we can do so in a non-disruptive way.
I just thought I would explain.
God bless you all!—Fr. Denis

OT 24

Prelude: O Sacrum Convivium (Remondi)
Our Father We Have Wandered (PASSION CHORALE)
Improv on SLANE (except at anticipated Mass, improv on STABAT MATER)
Entrance: King of Love (ST COLUMBA)
Kyrie: Danish with invocations chanted recto tono
Gloria: Lee
Psalm 51, I will rise and go to my Father, Ostrowski
Gosp Acc Danish
Offertory: How Good It Is (LAND O' REST)
Sanc., An, and Am. - Danish Amen
Agnus Dei - Danish
Communion - Jesus Christ Bread of Life, Taize/Batastini eked out with Gregorian Ave Verum
Choral Mass - N ow the Silence, Schalk/Vajda
Closing: For the Beauty of the Earth (DIX)
Postlude: Let Your Light So Shine

Many choral repeats from the previous week, as we were singing at a different Mass .
The response from the Chabanel Psalter drew marvelous response, very high level of participation even at the normally... diffident? contemplative? 7:00 am crowd. (There are the people who, exhorted to greater participation and they asked by a liturgist why they wouldn't sing snarled, "Maybe we would if you'd stop asking us to sing the theme song from Bonanza..."
I will definitely continue to work the Chabanel psalms into the mix, they are a great gift to the Church.
Super turn-out from the choir, I had to cadge a few extra missallettes from downstairs.

It was, however, as if I were trying an entirely new system for EVERYTHING, even veterans were trying to take music from the console, asking for extra copies of the psalm, getting lost because the gospel acclamation was on the back of the Kyrie, sing men's part if they were women and vice versa, and FACING THE BACK OF THE LOFT.
(What is with that?)

I am trying to figure out an utterly no-nonsense way of phrasing "The Rules" for them to have, open to no mis-interpretation or misunderstanding what-so-ever, written out, that will not be too harsh.
(Yeah, I am living in a dream world.)

Oh, and one cantor just didn't show.
He's a teenager, and a really good kid, lovely voice, and I'm trying to be super patient and bring him along, don't want to lose him, but the situation is grinding me down.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day

Just call me Grace, me hearties... (although I might be Cap'n Antonia Jailbird or Jelly Wrist Bianca)

My pirate name is:
Black Grace Cash

part of the fidius.org network

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.


Only because Salieri wasn't on the list, one imagines....

You scored as J.S. Bach, You are dedicated and intelligent. People who know you don't understand how you get it all done, and you never give up on life.

J.S. Bach


















Hector Berlioz








Which classical composer are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Goofy reaction to the Motu Proprio

Father Z rips into a letter put out by Paul Inwood, a director of Diocesan Liturgy in some British diocese.
Frankly, it is beyond goofy, (the letter, not Fr Z's fisking thereof,) it is so inaccurate, misleading, contentious and just plain unnecessary.
I am still trying to figure out the hatred, (yes, that is the word I mean to use,) some seemingly well-meaning people exhibit toward the Extraordinary Form.
I cannot equate it with hatred of the Catholic Church, a la Fulton Sheen's famous comment that people oppose what they think the Church is and believes, rather than what She actually is and believes.
This is because the most strident opposition comes from older people, people who did experience the Extraordinary form when it was ordinary.
Why do they hate it? what have they to be afraid of?
When challenged to answer, almost universally they deny that is is either hatred or fear, but i see what I see, I hear what I hear.
In blogdom, there are a few older laywomen, mostly, whose palpable fear is that power is going to be wrested from them.
IRL, that is not the issue, the reaction is more visceral and less clearly articulated.
"Being forced to listen to a language I don't understand," while at least rational, is dangerous territory in a community that experienced the ugliness we did earlier this year, from Anglophones whose Triduum was "ruined" by the inclusion of some Spanish in the Masses.
But that's another topic.
Herewith, the letter from Mr Inwood (composer, I believe of the lamentable "Center of My Life.") (Which would actually be not-bad were the notes and words not shoe-horned into a metric pattern -- a good number of Sacro-sacchro-pop stand-bys could be drastically improved if they didn't make so much effort to be a hit on Corny Collins, be the possessor of "a good beat" and be "easy to dance to." But that's another topic,) and the "information piece":
I attach an information piece that is due to appear in the forthcoming issue of our diocesan newspaper. I hope it will clarify some of the issues, particularly as regards our view that the Motu Proprio does not require bishops to provide training for priests or people who may become interested in the pre-conciliar form of the Roman Rite, (now described by the Pope himself as "extraordinary" in the sense of "not normative" but only asks them to make provision for those who have in the past made known their interest in a consistent and organized fashion.
[That seems to me a patent falsehood, as anyone actually reading the motu proprio would easily find out, so I wonder why Mr Inwood, or whomever he is serving as the mouthpiece for if he hasn't read the directive himself, bothers. Are they trusting that the adherents of the EF are so ancient that they won't know how to work that new-fangled Internet Machine or the Picture Radio, and discover the truth for themselves?]
Some questions and answers on Benedict XVI’s recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum
1. Why has the Pope seemingly taken a step backwards in allowing the former Tridentine rite of Mass alongside the one we have now?

Benedict XVI’s main concern seems to be to make a gesture of reconciliation to those who have never been able to accept the rite of Mass we have now. He wants to try to integrate them more closely into the Church as a whole, so he is to a small extent relaxing the rules regarding when celebrations of the Tridentine rite can take place.
In England and Wales we have already had an indult from Rome, obtained in 1971 by Cardinal Heenan, allowing celebrations of the Tridentine Mass with the permission of the local bishop.
The latest document merely eases slightly the legislation that had already been relaxed for the universal Church in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

2. Who may ask for a celebration in the Tridentine rite?

It is important to know that a vital word was changed in the final version of the Pope’s letter, compared with the earlier draft.
Available English translations made use of the draft and have not yet incorporated this change. [This is true -- it is important to know that the Holy Father deliberately DID NOT USE the word on which Mr. Inwood places so much import.]
Under the terms of the Motu Proprio, only those who have a history of celebrating in, or mounting pressure for celebrations in, the Tridentine rite may request such a celebration from a parish priest.
[To quote Fr Z, this is a absolutely FALSE. ]
In other words, this rite must be to an extent normative for them, not a novelty. What this means in practice is that people cannot now decide that they want a Tridentine celebration and ask for it. They have to have been celebrating in that rite, or have pressured for it, continuously (the Latin word is continenter, changed from stabiliter in the final version.)
[This is a bone-headed Catch 22 commonly cited by "liturgists."
It's as if your Mom served Cream of Wheat every morning for hundreds of days, and then one morning, without asking you, switched to Maypo.
And Maypo was all that you found on the breakfast table for the next 40 days.
She refused to even have Cream of Wheat in the house.
Oh, maybe you groused about it for a while, but hungry is hungry, so you ate the Maypo.
And after a while, you stopped even bothering to whine about being deprived of your Cream of Wheat, since complaining did no good, and in fact, even made Mom crankier. Maybe she even smacked you for it once,when you got too obstreperous.
You still preferred Cream of Wheat, and if you stayed over at a friend's house sometimes you got lucky and got to have it, but the younger ones couldn't even remember it, and you learned not to bring the subject up if you knew what was good for you.
Then one day Dad asks, hey, how come we never have Cream of Wheat? the kids be able to have Cream of Wheat if they want it!
And Mom says, well, sure. Okay. But, umm... they don't really want it, see? no one has eaten it in years! So I guess I can serve it, but only to the ones who have asked for it continuously during the time I told them they were bad and disloyal even to think about it. Will that do, honey, that's what you meant, right?]
In the Diocese of Portsmouth, generous provision has been made for a number of years in certain parishes (e.g. in the Reading area, for the Latin Mass Society) for regular celebrations in the Tridentine rite, and those celebrations will obviously continue. But there is no obligation to start new ones where groups have not previously existed.
The same would be true of requests for celebration of some sacraments in the former rite. [Hmm.... ya mean if someone who asked to be confirmed in the old rite every time he was confirmed before wants to be confirmed in the old rite, he's entitled to be confirmed in the EF next time he's confirmed?]

3. What form of Mass is allowed by the Motu Proprio?

The same form as that allowed under Cardinal Heenan’s indult: the 1962 Missal, a revision of the Tridentine Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII. This introduced some changes into the rite, changes which are not always observed or appreciated by those who celebrate the Tridentine rite. However, pre-1962 versions of the Tridentine rite are not permitted under the terms of either indult or Motu Proprio.

4. Are there any other significant differences that we should know about?

Some of the liturgical laws in force in 1962 have been abrogated or superseded. For example, in 1962 a Tridentine Mass could not be celebrated in the afternoon: that prohibition has now ceased. [I have long wondered about this. I grew up with both Saturday and Sunday evening Masses, to fulfill Sunday obligation. Then we had a new Bishop and one, I don't remember, was done away with on his order. Nowadays, it seems to me that both are relatively common, so I am assuming there is no universal prohibition against either.
BUT, and as usual I have a big but... I am forced to wonder: if these were never done in the pre-V2 Church, it stands to reason that those most attached to the liturgical forms of the pre-V2 Church would not be all that amenable to the practice.
So is that fact that in the rare instances where the Tridentine Mass was allowed by an American diocese it was, if not most commonly, at least very commonly an afternoon Mass, was this a deliberate thumb in the eye of those who wanted the Tridentine Mass? Just askin'....]

The faithful are no longer required to fast for three hours as they were in 1962, and a priest may not deny the reception of Holy Communion in the hand if someone requests it. Concelebration and the reception of Holy Communion under both kinds may both take place in Tridentine rite celebrations, if desired.
A community that wants to make use of girl altar servers and scripture readings in the vernacular may do so, even though females were formerly prohibited from ministering in the sanctuary under the previous legislation. Whether those taking part in such celebrations will want to observe any of these changes is another question, and they are not obliged to, though if anyone asks for any of these differences to be incorporated it would be wise pastorally to accede to such requests.
[Now, why is it "pastorally wise" to accede to these request, but not to those for the EF in the first place? Bueller? Bueller? And the chances of a community asking for the EF also asking for altar girls are slim-to-none, but it sure would be a great opportunity for another thumb in the eye of a Trad Community]
On a more technical level, a Tridentine Mass may take place even if the priest does not possess a maniple or a burse for the corporal – neither of these affects the conduct of the rite.
Since subdeacons no longer exist, in a solemn celebration that role can be fulfilled by a cleric or a lay acolyte (the latter would wear only the alb, not the subdeacon’s tunicle).
However, the Calendar and Lectionary in use in 1962 would need to be used. The Pope has foreseen the possibility of amending and expanding these to include more recent feasts and a wider selection of scripture readings, but this is something for the future. Rooted in the present, however, is the question of our diocesan child protection policy. It appears that some priests coming into our diocese from outside to celebrate Tridentine Masses in recent times have not received a CRB disclosure.
In Portsmouth, all priests presiding at a Eucharist have to have a valid CRB document, and the absence of this has resulted in some cancellations of Tridentine celebrations in recent months.
[This, I imagine, is something like the useless in practice, IMO, but much needed in theory, "Protecting God's Children." And frankly, it is high time someone put together a good program serving the same purpose.]

Christ, the strategist

Sometime listening to the Gospel for the fourth or fifth time in a weekend, my mind goes off on tangents.
For instance, a few weeks back, I though about how the war was being prosecuted, has been prosecuted.
Yeah, He has an advantage, being all-good, and omniscient, and all that, but isn't this the kind of voice we ought to have on the cabinet: what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms?

Instead of this: As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want.

There are number of members of the administration who are fairly vocal in their faith, at least publicly, right? we can assume scripture literate? they couldn't have given him a clue?
But that's not really my point.
How thoughtful am I being before giving battle?
You can't "give skirmish," I suppose, but that would be a more accurate expression of the level of my involvement. Although my attendance at the liturgies, and support of the mission of the Canons Regular might be thought of as a kind of USO tour, huh?
Meanwhile, should I feel like Lady Haw-haw when I end up playing a piece of Sacro-sacchro-pop?
Is that capitulation?
I don't hold with those who object to terms associated with warfare being applied to our struggles in liturgy.
Such usage is only objectionable, IMO, if we think that other people are the enemy.
Alas, Söze nailed it, the reason so many look on their co-religionst as the enemy is because the real one convinced them all he didn't exist.
Hence, they end up fighting each other (Hmm.... have I strayed into ClassicStarTrek territory? didn't I just describe a plot involving Klingons and the Enterprise crew and an Evil Entity? Living with Himself for 10 years, it's finally rubbed off on me, where everything becomes a ST reference?!?$?%?!?? Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!)
(Or maybe it's just that there's too much blood in my caffeine system.)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

God in the double helix

Interesting article in the NYTimes about how morality may be hardwired into us little lower than the angels types.
That we may be genetically coded to be "good."
(Original grace? Pre-disposed by DNA to seek to be like God who is All-Good and deserving of all our love?)
That there may be two strains of morality, moral intuition and moral judgement, (the latter is the more complex, language-requiring brain activity); and five basic components of the moral life -- refraining from harm to the individual person, expectations of reciprocity between individuals, loyalty to the group, respect for hierarchy within the group and... purity.
All promote a suppression of selfishness.

The theory seems to break down when one tries to (mis)apply it to the over-used liberal/conservative divide.
I give you the Abortion question. By all rights, the "pro-life" side ought to be the "liberal" position. (What more vulnerable and oppressed groups of individual persons can there be?)

And in my case, it is. My defense of the unborn is the most obvious signal of my extreme liberality. (I am squishy on so many other points...)

Odd to be reading the article while watching the old Korda version of An Ideal Husband.

Oscar Wilde was a great Christian moralist -- Christ Himself teaches us the truth that figures in a weak and flawed man's plea for his wife's love -- it is the IMperfect who need love.

To quote that most beautiful of hymns, Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

And now, a word from our sponsors... have guilty secrets? need to unburden yourself?

Seriously, this is an ad, although it is a public service announcement. (No money changed hands... Ha!)

The confessional in the northwest corner of St John Cantius was, yet again, last night the scene of the most beautiful administration of the Sacrament of Confession...
(I t hasn't always been the same priest, so I've decided to pretend to myself that the confessional has some particular Grace attached to it :oP)
However I am fairly certain I have been to this priest before, he sounds all of twelve years old, and Looks (if it is the Canon Regular I suspect,) a whopping 16 years old.
And he just gives the most marvelous spiritual direction.
I feel truly blessed.

Anyway, if you are in the market for a good Reconciliation, hie thee to St John Cantius in Chicago, northeast corner (although I have also had wonderful confessions in the "booth" in the middle of the north wall. i don't know why, we never sit on the south side of the nave...)

Mind you, our guys are terrific confessors, truly gifted, but Saturday afternoons I am scrambling to get ready for the anticipated mass.
And I must be honest, I don't DO, or even say/write things needing confession so much as think them, and the idea of making sacramental confession about harboring anger when you're furious with colleagues becomes a bit touchy when your employers are your confessor... anyone else ever have that problem?)

Friday, 14 September 2007

Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum!

Well, done the latter for the first time....
I've been meaning to look at it and learn it for two years now, and never got around to it, because there was other music I needed to... well, whatever -- but it was EASY! no, really, EASY to read! seriously, I sight-read it, all but the first two line which I'd looked at once before. (Yes, I admit, I had a modern notation liber with me...)
The Mass at St John Cantius was very beautiful, very moving.
Himself thought the candlelit procession (another first fro me,) was reminiscent of The Godfather.

(But what's a "non nobis"?) (That's semi-rhetorical, I understand Latin, what I don't get is Willy S's musical reference -- was there a normative or at least familiar setting of this most humble of triumphant phrases?)

Incidentally, Faure seems to me almost as perfect a liturgical music as Gregorian chant... it elicits thought, it compels devotion -- but it has a certain diffidence, it does not generate affect.

Why is my blog speaking to me in German?

It was offering me a chance to:

Blog anzeigen


in einem neuen Fenster?

Is it because they knew I was thinking of imbibing a nice Bavarian or German lager? in honor of PapaRatz?

I'm not...

... a Trad, but I play one on TV. Or rather, IRL.
That wonderful expression about "reinvigorating" the Novus Ordo with the "Virtues" of the Tridentine stick in my mind.
I am coming across as Traditionalist, I realized in conversation with the Silent Traditionalists in my parish, the people who have spent 40 years asking for something, and been denied, and who have given up, and don't all realize that they have to ask again, NOW.
Now their requests matter. Now they have some weight. Now they have recourse.
My situation is somewhat different, and not just because i am an employee who, yes, has to be politic because of her job, but also, has to be politic if I am ever to accomplish anything good.
Who, yes, may have to retreat from, or even not take the field in small battles, with an eye toward the big picture (the great war, that is not mine to win or lose.)
You can only accomplish what you can accomplish.
And you can't even accomplish that if you expend your energy on what you can't accomplish.
But that's all beside the point.
If I were not employed, and were free to participate where and when and how I would, the Extraordinary Form would not be my first choice.
But now, praise Benedict and the motu proprio, I am at least entitled to ask for that, whereas I am not entitled to ask for the Ordinary Form with the Ordinary sung in Latin.
Or the Ordinary Form with the priest facing ad orientem. Or the Ordinary Form with no jokes. Or the Ordinary Form without being asked to squawk Lord of the Dance. Or the Ordinary Form without a glad-handing rotary convention inserted where the Pax Christi is offered. Or the Ordinary Form where no adolescent in a football jersey will address me from the sanctuary. Or the Ordinary Form with no mention of Jambalaya or sports enthusiasms.

So I am asking for the Extraordinary Form.
And my aspirations are rightful.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

EWTN Rountable on Motu Proprio

Very interesting, (despite the not-ready-for-primetime personas of the members of the roundtable discussion.)
One participant (Msrg. Schmitz? of Christ the King? I'll have to look it up,) used (or quoted?) a perfect analogy.

This is the first year I've grown peppers, and the first time I have ever even tried to grow something from any seed that I had gathered myself.
I take an inordinate pride in gazing out my back window at the shining, brilliantly yellow-gold, tremendously sweet (I have eaten one so far, they ripened far more slowly than I'd expected,) and normally EXPENSIVE beauties.
How I preen!
Look what I grew! I think to myself.
But I always think "grew."
Note that. Not "look what I created," I merely planted, and watered, and staked, and watched.
I create nothing.
Anyway, this priest, in talking about the excessive so-called creativity of "liturgists," reminded that a liturgist (and a musician, I might add,) is no more a creator than a gardener, who properly tends..., protects,... encourages, NEVER creates the Liturgy/the Plant, to "grow from its own interior strength."
I was pleased to hear, (can I admit this as an creative artist? LOL!) the dismissive inflection everyone on the panel used in speaking the word "creativity."

There was also a phrase that caught my ear, as an alternative to "exerting a gravitational pull," which I have probably overused.
The Extraordinary Form can "reinvigorate the Rite [in its Ordinary Form,] with VIRTUES THAT HAVE BEEN LOST" either in practice er even in theory (I would have said either accidentally through carelessness or ignorance, or intentionally, by design; the useful idiots guilty of the former are far less culpable than the "theologians" and "liturgists", the theorists who perpetrated the latter.)

One other quote, which I saw as a possible rebuke to certain bishops who shall remain nameless... but not, I hasten to add, mine... the motu proprio requires implementation, not commentary.