Thursday, August 28, 2008

Politics: Poll

My friend Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a poll on his blog about Catholics in politics: "What course of action can faithful Catholics take to address their increasing marginalization in American political life?" Check it out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Liturgy: The change to the formulary for the distribution of Holy Communion

I've started a new blog dedicated to the 500+ documents found in Documents on the Liturgy. I will only update it every now and then, but I will make an effort to put particularly interesting documents there. The blog is simply called "Documents on the Liturgy", although if I get feisty, I may rename it to Instrumenta Liturgica ("Liturgical Documents") or the more accurate Instrumenta Liturgia ("Documents on the Liturgy", with liturgia being in the ablative).

That being said, I will reproduce the first post here. It is about the decree Quo actuosius, by which the formulary for the distribution of Holy Communion was changed to simply "The Body of Christ. / Amen."
252. SC RITES, Decree Quo actuosius, promulgating a new formulary for the distribution of communion, 25 April 1964: AAS 56 (1964) 337-338.

In order that the people may more actively and beneficially take part in the sacrifice of the Mass and profess their faith in the eucharistic mystery in the very act of receiving communion, numerous requests have been submitted to Pope Paul VI for a more appropriate formulary for the distribution of communion.

Graciously welcoming such requests, the Pope has established that in the distribution of communion, in place of the formulary now in use, the priest simply to say: The body of Christ and the people are to answer: Amen, then receive communion. This is to be followed whenever communion is distributed, both within and outside Mass.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those worthy of special mention.
And here is the commentary I made on this document:
The previous formulary for receiving Communion had been the following, said by the priest:

Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam tuam in vitam aetérnam. Amen.

The communicant did not make a reply.

The formula which replaced it was:

Priest: Corpus Christi.
Communicant: Amen.

The previous form was a blessing said by the priest to each one receiving Communion: "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen."

From my point of view, the previous form could have been adjusted only slightly to facilitate the "active participation" (which here apparently means saying something) of the faithful:

Priest: Hoc Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam tuam in vitam aetérnam.
Communicant: Amen.

The priest is now saying, in effect, "May this, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, preserve your soul unto life everlasting" to which the communicant responds "Amen". It is still a blessing, yet it incorporates a profession of faith from the communicants: no longer is "some" Body of our Lord Jesus Christ (which is not identified with the Host being received) preserving their soul, but this which is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Morality: USCCB responds to Nancy Pelosi

Wow. Who would've guessed that on the front page of the USCCB web site would be an article responding to a Catholic politician's statements about the Church's policy on abortion?
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, have issued the following statement:

In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.

The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil. In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.

These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church has long taught that from the time of conception (fertilization), each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life.
Also see The Catholic Church is a Pro-Life Church (web page or PDF).

The USCCB was not the only responder. Archbishop Chaput of Denver responded; so did Rush Limbaugh. Fr. Z has a series of posts on these responses, as does Diane of Te Deum laudamus.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Latin: Prayers of August 22, Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen

The title of my parish is Queenship of Mary. As such, the Church regulations concerning the liturgical calendar permit us to transfer the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen (Beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae) to the nearest Sunday (effectively making it a solemnity and a holyday of obligation). August 22nd is the celebration of our parish's namesake as well as a celebration of our diocese's patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, our pastor can transfer it to the nearest Sunday (since this is Ordinary Time), as per the General Norms for the Liturgy Year and Calendar n. 58: "For the pastoral advantage of the people, it is permissible to observe on the Sundays in Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and have special appeal to the devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations take precedence over these Sundays in the Table of Liturgical Days."

How does this work? (Long answer, which is also the source of the following quote.)
[E]very parish in the world can, and should, celebrate its own specific "holy" days. The following are all celebrated as solemnities in a parish:
  1. the patron of the place (if there be one)
  2. the title of the church [see above]
  3. the anniversary of the dedication of the church building
As the table of precedence shows, the Solemnity of a patron or a titular saint (Mary is both in this case) outranks a Sunday in Ordinary Time; the former is a "proper" solemnity, meaning a local one (just like the propers of a Mass are those "local" to a particular day). A proper solemnity is of the "First Class", whereas Sundays in Ordinary Time are of the "Second Class". Furthermore, this Solemnity (which falls on a Friday this year) can be transferred to the nearest Sunday in Ordinary Time (per n. 58 above).

Thus, my pastor has determined that this coming Sunday shall we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. And in our Lady's honor, I would like to try my hand at translating the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, and Post-Communion prayers of that day. The Latin text comes from the 2002 Missale Romanum. This post has been inspired by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does the Prayer Really Say? (WDTPRS).

Deus, qui Fílii tui Genetrícem nostram constituísti Matrem atque Regínam, concéde propítius, ut, ipsíus intercessióne suffúlti, tuórum in regno caelésti consequámur glóriam filiórum.

The Collect's purpose is to "collect" the intentions and prayers of the Mass -- reflecting the celebration's "theme" if you will -- and present them before the Father. The juxtaposition of Genetricem with Matrem is interesting, because the same word is not used both times, although the general meaning is the same ("mother"). Filii tui Genetricem evokes the image of Mary as Theotokos, the God-bearer, or in this case, God-birther. "She who gave birth to Your Son" is a drawn-out way of translating it, I suppose.

"O God, Who established the Mother of Your Son as our Mother and Queen, graciously grant that we, supported by her intercession, may attain to the glory of Your children in Your heavenly kingdom."

Super oblata
Memóriam recoléntes beátae Vírginis Maríae, tibi, Dómine, múnera nostra offérimus, deprecántes, ut eius nobis succúrrat humánitas, qui tibi oblatiónem seípsum in cruce óbtulit immaculátam.

In this prayer, the offerings we present (munera nostra offerimus), which we ask God to sanctify and change into the Body and Blood of His Son, are linked to the perfect offering of Jesus on the cross (oblationem seipsum in cruce obtulit immaculatam). In a mystical way, Mary was offering Jesus to the Father as well. Consider the words of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi, n. 110: "It was [Mary], the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included in the holocaust." Consider also the words of Pope Leo XII in Iucunda Semper Expectatione, n. 3: "[T]here stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow."

There are a fair share of writings on Mary's presence on Calvary, that she filled a priestly role in the sacrifice of Christ; one element considered is that she was standing (as the priest does in the Mass while the rest of the faithful kneel). While some people interpret these writings making Mary out to be the priest (or priestess) of the sacrifice of Jesus (the victim) on the cross (the altar), it is the Catholic perspective to see Jesus himself as priest and victim, and Mary as representing the Church and all Her faithful who offer the sacrifice with the priest. She united her suffering with that of her Son, and she offered Him -- even as He offered Himself -- to the Father. That is how the faithful share in the offering of the Eucharist: we join ourselves to Christ and we join our prayers to those of the priest. This is our priestly office, which was inaugurated by Mary, the first to assist, at the Mass of Calvary.

"Reflecting on the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we present our offerings to you, Lord, entreating You that we may be aided by the compassion of Christ, who offered Himself to You as an immaculate sacrifice on the cross."

Post communionem
Sumptis, Dómine, sacraméntis caeléstibus, te súpplices deprecámur, ut, qui beátae Vírginis Maríae memóriam venerándo recólimus, aetérni convívii mereámur esse partícipes.

In the Offertory, gifts of bread and wine -- which come to us from God -- are offered to Him that He might find them worthy to transform them into the Eucharist. After they are transformed, they are then offered to Him (the Eucharist, properly), because they are the Body and Blood of His Son, the perfect sacrifice. Then these gifts are consumed by the priest (ratifying or consummating the sacrifice), and then those who are worthy to partake of these gifts received them: Holy Communion. The prayer after Communion relates the gift received in Holy Communion to the celebration of the day, and includes an eschatological reference; generally speaking, the sacrament of Holy Communion is seen as a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

In this prayer, language from the Super oblata is reused; we are reminded that the sacrifice offered today in the Eucharist and the sacrifice offered on Calvary, with Mary standing at the foot of the Cross, are one and the same. The sacrament we have received is heavenly (caelestibus); the banquet we aspire to is eternal (aeterni).

"Having received, O Lord, this heavenly sacrament, humbly we beseech You that we, who reflect on the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary by veneration, may merit to be partakers of the eternal banquet."

My commentary on these prayers is that only one, the Collect, mentions her Queenship (and her intercession for us); the other two prayers seem generic enough to be used on any Marian occasion. The prayers from the 1962 Missal are a bit more specific in this regard.

Prayers of the 1962 Missal for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen (May 31):

Concede nobis, quaesumus, Domine: ut, qui solemnitatem beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae nostrae celebramus; eius muniti praesidio, pacem in praesenti et gloriam in futuro consequi mereamur.

"Grant to us, Lord, we beseech You: that we, who celebrate the solemnity of our Queen, Blessed Virgin Mary; kept safe by her protection, may obtain peace in the present and glory in the future."

Accipe, quaesumus, Domine, munera laetantis Ecclesiae, et, beate Virginis Mariae Reginae suffragantibus meritis, ad nostrae salutis auxilium provenire concede.

"Lord, we entreat you: accept the offerings of Your rejoicing Church and, as we call upon the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen, grant to come to the aid of our salvation."

Celebratis solemniis, Domine, quae pro sanctae Mariae Reginae nostrae festivitate peregimus: eius, quaesumus, nobis intercessione fiant salutaria; in cuius honore sunt exsultanter impleta.

"Having celebrated these solemnities, carried out for the feast of our Holy Queen Mary, we beseech you, Lord, that they may be salutary for us by the intercession of her, in whose honor they have been joyfully fulfilled." (I needed some help from my St. Joseph's Daily Missal for this one!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August Magisterial Documents

(Sorry this is so late.) Here is the report of Magisterial documents I've read (or will be reading) that were published this month, with milestone anniversaries noted.

In the month of August:
  • August 6, 1964 - Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI (On the Church)
  • August 6, 1983 - Curial Letter Sacerdotium Ministeriale, Sacred Congregation of Rites [now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] (On the Minister of the Eucharist) [25 years]
  • August 6, 2000 - Declaration Dominus Iesus, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church)
  • August 10, 1863 - Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerere, Pope Pius IX (On the Promotion of False Doctrines)
  • August 11, 1997 - Directory General Directory of Catechesis, Congregation for the Clergy
  • August 12, 1950 - Encyclical Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII (Concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine)
  • August 15, 1972 - Apostolic Letter Ministeria Quaedam, Pope Paul VI (On First Tonsure, the Minor Orders, and the Subdiaconate)
  • August 15, 1997 - Instruction Ecclesia de Mysterio, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [et. al.] (On certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of the Priest)
  • August 28, 1794 - Constitution Auctorem Fidei, Pope Pius VI (On the Errors of the Synod of Pistoia)

Liturgy: "Documents on the Liturgy"

I have purchased and received this 1500-page tome on the liturgical documents from 1963 through 1979, Documents on the Liturgy. It is my goal to read (and absorb) each of the 500 or so documents contained therein; I might even briefly comment on each of them on this blog. I've already read a small percentage of them, but the others I will read and highlight.

I've been reading them in the order in which they are placed in the book, but I think it will make more sense to read them in chronological order, although that will require some jumping around in the book.

I've gotten through about 30 of the documents already (including ones I'd read before), and I've noticed a few unsettling things: the notion that the participation in the liturgy called for by the Constitution rules out Mass in Latin, the notion that a Mass celebrated facing the people is a "truer" celebration (although it is not deemed absolutely necessary for participation), and repeated warnings and admonitions about the experimentation and unbridled creativity affecting the liturgy as early as 1965.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 14-20

Here is the text, my commentary, my questions, and questions from discussion (none yet) on Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 14-20 from the Catholic Answer Forum study I'm leading.

Before reading the text, you should check out this post (and probably also the linked article).

SC 14 is "the big one". You'll see why when you read the text and my commentary.

Liturgy: "Looking at the Liturgy"

I just finished reading Looking at the Liturgy by Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., for the second time (this time with highlighter in hand). It is an excellent book, and a must-read for anyone interested in the context of the liturgical reform after Vatican II. It looks at the liturgy from three perspectives: historical ("A Historical Inquest"), anthropologically ("The Importance of Ritual"), and culturally-sociologically ("The Idiom of Worship").

Here are a few key passages:
As soon as the latreutic [worship-oriented] character of the Liturgy, now seen as a vehicle of instruction, is downplayed, the instruction it conveys, or perhaps one should its celebrant conveys in interpolating the rite, ceases to be mystagogic and becomes banal. By the same token, a community sense that does not arise from the ritual celebration of worship but is aimed at in and for itself soon appears evanescent or superficial or both and becomes consequently a source of frustration. (ch. 1, pp. 32-33)
Mary Douglas ... warns that contempt for ritual forms eventually leads people to take a purely private view of religious experience, from where it is only a short step to the frank avowal of humanism. ... [T]he mediocrity of the spiritual and theological life typically produced by an antiritualist Church is the best possible proof of the inadequacy of the form of life in civil society that such a Church presupposes and represents. (ch. 2, pp. 71, 76)
[A] church ... should be a symbolization via the properly architectural means of mass and space, shape and fabric, of the heavenly realities that surround the Liturgy of the throne of God to which the earthly Liturgy gives entrance. ... [T]he Modernist understanding of architectural language simply cannot be combined with the Catholic tradition's own approach to church construction. Functional modernism is per se aniconic, indeed anti-iconic. In the modernist vocabulary, a door, for instance, is simply a door. It cannot address the pregnant processes of entering, crossing thresholds, transition, and passage and therefore cannot speak, as in the mediaeval period it did to Durandus and Abbot Suger of St. Denis (authors of important treatises on building) of the person of Christ. Similarly, to the architectural modernist, space is essentially an empty universal, determined only by the function occurring in it at some time. There is no "sacred space", no space that is unconditionally set apart. Hence the possibility of modernist churches with multifunctional spaces usable indifferently for worship, wedding receptions, and playing table tennis. (ch. 3, pp. 89-90)
It's only 127 pages (and they're small pages). You can get through it in a few hours for sure. The final chapter, "A Practical Conclusion", offers a series of suggestions for the "Pian Missal" and the "Pauline Missal", which the author (writing in 1996) expects will co-exist. He offers a few ideas for how the Missal of 1962 can be reformed in accordance with Sacrosanctum Concilium, and for what might become of the Missal of 1969.

Prayer: Immediate and urgent prayer request

The son of a co-worker of mine was in a terrible car accident in the past 24 hours. The driver of the car was drunk. Two of the people in the car were killed, and the son is in the hospital in critical condition. He is scheduled to undergo a second round of surgery shortly.

Please pray for Michael, his son Zack, and their whole family. Pray also for the souls of those who died.

WDTPRS: The Penitential Rite

(With apologies to Fr. Z for blatant infringement.)

In the Extraordinary Form of Mass, the Penitential Rite (the Confiteor) ends with the priest saying two prayers (to which we respond "Amen"). I will focus on the first of these prayers, which has been retained in the Ordinary Form:
"Misereátur vestri omnípotens Deus, et dimíssis peccátis vestris, perdúcat vos ad vitam ætérnam."
In the Ordinary Form, this prayer is essentially the same:
"Misereátur nostri omnípotens Deus, et dimíssis peccátis nostris, perdúcat nos ad vitam ætérnam."
The only difference is that the priest is praying for everyone present (himself included), not just for the congregation.

Now, the translation of this prayer is usually rendered as "May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life." I see it that way in English-Latin 1962 daily missals, and that's the way it is said in the English version of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. But it's not what the Latin says. A literal translation of the Latin is "May Almighty God have mercy on us and, our sins having been forgiven, lead us to eternal life."

It might sound clunky, but that's what it says! The word "dimissis" is a perfect passive participle in the third person plural ("they" referring to "our sins"); on the other hand, "Misereatur" is a present passive subjunctive in the second person singular ("You" referring to "Almighty God").

If the Latin were to mean "forgive us our sins", it would have to be dimittas peccata nostra instead, which matches the model of the first part of the prayer. (The verb dimittas (active voice) might be wrong; it might be properly dimittatur (passive voice), but I don't know whether the verb should be in the active or passive voice here. It seems that misereatur is in the passive because it is a conjugation of misereri -- not miserere -- which is a deponent verb, which means it looks passive but is translated as active. I don't think dimittere is deponent, so the active voice seems more likely to me to be correct.)

The new English translation of the Order of Mass (for the Ordinary Form) gets it right.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Liturgy: Summary of Redemptionis Sacramentum by Colin B. Donovan, STL

I found this helpful link today. It summarizes Redemptionis Sacramentum, provides a list of the graviora delicta and "grave matters", and what the document says about reporting abuse.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Music: New directives concerning liturgical music

(Updated for incorrect information regarding dates.)

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in union with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and at the behest of the Holy Father, issued an instruction to Bishops' Conferences at the end of June. Just a few days ago, Bishop Serratelli (Paterson, NJ), the chairman of the US Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, sent the US bishops s a letter (PDF) regarding the instruction's ramifications and implementation; the PDF also contains the instruction itself.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Liturgy: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

(Soon I will get back to posting weekly Scripture reflections for each Sunday Mass. I think it's very therapeutic, and hey, it might have some spiritual benefit to you, my readers!)

Here's another post from a thread on CAF. The topic is "How can the collapse of the liturgy be reversed?" and the current flow of conversation is on the role of "liturgists" in the preparation and execution of the Mass. The first part of this is a quote from another user suggesting what it is the liturgist does: he takes care of the "practicals":

I don't know what the "practicals" are called in "Old Catholic language," but to me, it means which songs / hymns / Psalm / chant / meditation / prelude / Kyrie / etc., etc. will be done and what page they are on in the hymnals and who will actually play them and sing them.
Not to be a contrary voice, but the ideal is simply to sing what's Proper and Ordinary for that day! (This would require, of course, a choir that can sing Latin, and a congregation that has been taught to chant the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin... the way it should be.)

For example, we're approaching the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, year A. According to the Graduale Romanum, that means:

The introit (entrance antiphon and psalm) is Ps. 73:20,19,22,23,1. The antiphon is Respice, Domine, in testamentum tuum, et animas pauperum tuorum ne derelinquas in finem : exsurge Domine, et iudica causam tuam : et ne obliviscaris voces quaerentium te. The Psalm verse is Ut quid Deus repulisti in finem : iratus est furor tuus super oves pascuae tuae? In English, that's: "Have regard, Lord, to thy covenant, and forget not to the end the souls of thy poor : Arise, O God, judge thy own cause : and do not forget the voices that seek for You." and "O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end: why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?"

Because we're in Ordinary Time, we use Missa Orbis Factor (XI), for Sundays throughout the year. The Graduale also recommends Stelliferi conditor orbis (Mass XIII) and Iesu Redemptor (Mass XIV) as alternate settings for Ordinary Time.

For the Gradual (a chanted replacement for the Responsorial Psalm, but using the same Psalm) we use Psalm 84:8,2. The antiphon is Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam : et salutare tuum da nobis. The Psalm verse is Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam : avertisti captivitatem Iacob. Those are "Show us, O Lord, thy mercy : and grant us thy salvation" and "Lord, thou hast blessed thy land : thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob." That first one, Ps. 84:8, is actually used in one the Penitential Rite, Form B!

For the Alleluia verse, we hear Psalm 89:1: Domine, refugium factus es nobis a generatione et progenie. In English, that's "Lord, thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation."

The Offertory antiphon is Psalm 30:15,16. In Latin, In te speravi, Domine : dixi : Tu es Deus meus, in manibus tuis tempora mea. In English: "I have put my trust in thee, O Lord : I said : Thou art my God, my times are in Your hands."

The Communion chant takes its antiphon from John 6:52; this is sung with Psalm 110:1,2,3,4,5,6-7a,7b-8ab,9ab,9c-10a,10bc. (Each number N or range N-M is alternated with the antiphon, I believe.) The antiphon is Panis, quem ego dedero, caro mea est pro saeculi vita. ("The bread, which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.") The psalm verses... well, you can look up Psalm 110 (that's Psalm 111 for most English Bibles) for yourself. But let me share a key verse (in English)... "He hath given food to them that fear him. He will be mindful for ever of his covenant."

Have you sensed a theme in these chants?

"Have regard, Lord, to thy covenant, and forget not to the end the souls of thy poor : Arise, O God, judge thy own cause : and do not forget the voices that seek for You. / O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end: why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?"

"Show us, O Lord, thy mercy : and grant us thy salvation. / Lord, thou hast blessed thy land : thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob."

"Lord, thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation."

"I have put my trust in thee, O Lord : I said : Thou art my God, my times are in Your hands."

"The bread, which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world. / He hath given food to them that fear him. He will be mindful for ever of his covenant."

And, to top it all off... what are the readings for this Sunday? 1 Kings 19, where Elijah finds the presence (and voice) of God not in the wind, the earthquake, nor the fire, but in a still small voice. Romans 9, where Paul talks about how to his kinsfolk, the Israelites, are "the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ". And in Matthew 14, just after the feeding of the multitude with loaves and fishes, which was a prefiguring of the Eucharist, Jesus comes to his apostles who are in a boat being tossed by waves in the night, and Jesus calms the waves and the wind.

Peter needed to learn to put his trust in Jesus, the Lord. We need to trust in his mercy for our salvation. He is our refuge; it is he who frees us; he will hear us. We need to be faithful to the New Covenant, as God is faithful to it for ever and ever; otherwise, we will find ourselves cast off. But if we are faithful, God Himself will provide food for us... and, at Communion, we hear Jesus's words about the "bread" we are eating, which is really his flesh... and this, in close connection to the miracle of the fishes and loaves that had just occurred.

I've shown you Year A's selections. In Year B, the gradual psalm is the same as the introit psalm, Psalm 73:20-19 as the antiphon and Psalm 73:22-23 for the verse. In year C, it's Psalm 32:12 for the antiphon and Psalm 32:6 for the verse; these are "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord : the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance." and "By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth." The Communion chant is the same for Year B as it is for Year A; in Year C, the antiphon is Matthew 24:46-47, "Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find vigilant. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods" with verses taken from Psalm 33 (34 in English Bibles), which has verses such as "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him: and saved him out of all his troubles" and "The Lord will redeem the souls of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall offend".

As you can see, the theme pretty much remains the same in all three years.

So, no liturgist required! No one needs to "put together" the Mass, choosing the right hymns... the Church has already provided for us! If only we would accept what She so graciously offers! This coming Sunday is "Respice Domine" Sunday; every 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time is "Respice Domine" Sunday, when we should be praying "Lord, remember your covenant!" That's what the Church should be praying in its chants on this day.

And, before you ask, I didn't know any of this until a couple months ago. It was a big secret. Nobody ever told it to me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Liturgy: Political correctness is a disease

This comes from a thread on the Catholic Answers Forum about Mass Settings (the music chosen for the Ordinary of the Mass). We eventually got to the topic of chant used in the Mass. Here is part of a post of mine; the first part is what someone else said, the rest is my response. The final paragraph is my chef-d'ouevre.

But I happen to know that our Catholic school just hired a new music teacher who is rumored to be "contemporary" in her approach to Catholic music.
It's dangerous to sink your anchor into the topmost level of the ocean floor... if you know what I mean. It's a bit ignorant (and maybe even disingenuous) to study the "moderns" without studying the "classics". Especially since the Church has been pretty straightforward about sacred music being such an invaluable treasure. Why bury that treasure? Why ignore it? Why deprive others of it?

Can you imagine a math teacher who doesn't do algebra because it's just so old? Or calculus because some white male invented it? (Oh, yeah, wasn't there that "new math" back in the 60's that didn't stick around too long...)

Or an English teacher who only taught neologisms and contemporary words (i.e. slang), and avoiding words which are very old or which come from (gasp!) other languages like Latin. A church "pastor" would need to be called something else, a college "campus" would need a new name, etc. (Those words are straight out of Latin.)

Or a history teacher who started with 1960. Or a geography teacher who only talked about recently-emerging countries, or neglected to talk about plate tectonics. Or a biology teacher who considers the Catholic monk Gregor Mandel's work on genetics to be out of date and instead dives right into DNA (but nevermind those two white males who discovered it, they're old fogies) and cloning.

It's preposterous.

This politically-correct disease will only make us slaves to politics (rather than people who can shape politics). But if we become historically-correct, we will not be "slaves" to history (which we are cannot escape) but will stop trying to rewrite it; we'll accept it, learn from it, and move on to shape the future.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Aliunde: Can gore lead to piety?

Here's an interesting post from a blog I read (Unam Sanctam Catholicam) about whether an account of a martyrdom can stir up piety in a person. It's also about the trials of a Youth Director.

(NB: the Latin word aliunde, which I will be using from now on to denote posts which redirect the reader's attention to an article from another blog, means "from another source".)

Tradition: French priest denies universal jurisdiction of the Pope

A rather troubling report of a homily from the diocese of Chicoutimi reveals that a priest there said, during his homily against the Extraordinary Form of Mass and those who were requesting it, "Le Pape n'est pas l'évêque universel, c'est l'évêque de Rome!" In English, that's "The Pope is not the universal bishop, he is the bishop of Rome!" In any language, that's... well... false. (You could call it "heresy".) It's a flat-out denial of article 22 of Vatican II's Lumen Gentium:
The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.

... integre manente potestate Primatus in omnes sive Pastores sive fideles. Romanus enim Pontifex habet in Ecclesiam, vi muneris sui, Vicarii scilicet Christi et totius Ecclesiae Pastoris, plenam, supremam et universalem potestatem, quam semper libere exercere valet.
For more on this matter, see Fr. Z's post, the original blog's post (in French), and Fr. Z's earlier post on the poor response from the diocese to Summorum Pontificum.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Liturgy: USCCB to prepare catechetical materials for new English Mass translation

The Most Reverend Bishop of Paterson, Arthur J. Serratelli, chairman for the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW), has written a letter to the Catholic faithful of the United States about the new English translation. As time goes on, the BCDW will provide catechetical information on this translation.

[H/T to the New Liturgical Movement]