Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Mass and Scripture

I'm working on arranging materials for a study group: our topic will be "The Mass and Scripture". It's a series on the parts of the Mass (Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form), their meaning, and their origin (especially scripturally). The goal is to be more educated about the liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, so that we understand it better and are able to more "fully, consciously, and actively participate".

I have a hefty amount of resources at my disposal for this line of study:
  • the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC]
  • the Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church [C4]
  • the 1985 English translation (a.k.a. Sacramentary) of the 1975 Missale Romanum (i.e. Roman Missal) [MRE-1985]
  • the 2002 Missale Romanum in Latin [MRL-2002]
  • the 2002 Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani in Latin (designed for the 2002 Missale Romanum) [IGMR]
  • the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the dioceses of the United States (designed for the 2002 Missale Romanum which we don't have in English yet, but still applicable to the 1975 Missale Romanum) [GIRM]
  • Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite by Bishop Peter J. Elliott [CMR]
  • Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year by Bishop Peter J. Elliott [CLY]
  • Spirit of the Liturgy by Fr. Romano Guardini [SLG]
  • Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [SLR]
  • Loving and Living the Mass by Fr. Thomas A. Kocik [LLM]
  • The Mass of the Early Christians by Mike Aquilina [MEC]
  • Catholic for a Reason III: Scripture and the Mystery of the Mass by Scott Hahn, et. al. [CR3]
  • We Worship: A Guide to the Catholic Mass by Fr. Oscar Lukefahr, C.M. [WW]
  • A Pocket Guide to the Mass by Michael Dubruiel (husband of Amy Wellborn!) [PGM]
  • The How-To Book of the Mass: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You by Michael Dubruiel [HBM]
  • a couple dozen Magisterial documents on the liturgy (most especially Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II)
  • http://www.bible.cc/, an online Bible translation web site that includes the Greek texts (useful for understanding deeper scriptural connections)
  • http://www.ccel.org/fathers.html, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Church Fathers collection
So probably in late April or mid-May we'll get this off the ground. Stay tuned!

Bible Study: The Parables of Jesus Christ

There's no Bible Study this week -- we're enjoying the Octave of Easter -- but we will resume next Wednesday with an overview of the parables found in the gospels. Feel free to share the parable you like the most (or understand the least)!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Triduum

(EWTN's online video feed is finally working for me. Now I can watch the Mass of the Lord's Supper from Rome while I work.)

This evening at 7:30 is the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Tomorrow morning, I'm driving down to Berlin, NJ, for a 9:00 AM Tenebrae service at Mater Ecclesiae. Tomorrow at 3:00 PM I will be at Queenship of Mary for the Memorial of the Lord's Passion and veneration of the Cross. Tomorrow evening I will be reading reflections for the Stations of the Cross. Saturday morning I will be at Queenship at 8:00 AM for Morning Prayer, and then at 8:00 PM begins the Easter Vigil.

Whatever you're doing for the Triduum, I hope you are blessed and find time for your private devotions and prayers; and have a blessed and happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bible Study: New topic for Easter

The Young Adult Bible Study at St. David the King will be choosing a new topic for the Easter season. I'm leaning heavily towards the New Testament, especially the Gospels. Here are a few topics that have come to mind:
  • Next Sunday's Gospel
  • The Parables of Jesus
  • The Sermon on the Mount (especially the Beatitudes)
We only have seven weeks (and I won't be here for for the last one) before Pentecost, and I don't know if we'll continue immediately afterwards or take a break. If we do take a break, I'm not sure starting something (potentially) long-term like the Sermon would be a smart choice. What would you suggest?

Bible Study: Studying the Psalms V

Psalms 113-118
Alleluia! Laudate, pueri Domini, laudate nomen Domini!
Download this study [MS Word, 55 k, 4pp]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blogger: The code for the alpha/freq taglist widget

This is the Label1 (alphabetical) widget:
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels [Toggle]' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-title'>
<h1>Labels (<span style='text-decoration:underline'>Alpha</span>
| <span onclick='document.getElementById("Label1").style.display="none";
document.getElementById("Label2").style.display="block"'
style='cursor:pointer;color:blue'>Freq</span>)</h1>
</div>
</b:if>
<div class='widget-content'>
<ul>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
<li>
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:label.url'>
<data:label.name/>
<b:else/>
<a expr:href='data:label.url'><data:label.name/></a>
</b:if>
(<data:label.count/>)
</li>
</b:loop>
</ul>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>
</div>
</b:includable>
</b:widget>
This is the Label2 (frequency-wise) widget:
<b:widget id='Label2' locked='false' title='Labels [Toggle]' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-title'>
<h1>Labels (<span onclick='document.getElementById("Label2").style.display="none";
document.getElementById("Label1").style.display="block"'
style='cursor:pointer;color:blue'>Alpha</span> |
<span style='text-decoration:underline'>Freq</span>)</h1>
</div>
</b:if>
<div class='widget-content'>
<ul>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
<li>
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:label.url'>
<data:label.name/>
<b:else/>
<a expr:href='data:label.url'><data:label.name/></a>
</b:if>
(<data:label.count/>)
</li>
</b:loop>
</ul>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>
</div>
</b:includable>
</b:widget>
The only places the two widgets differ are:
  1. Their widget ID (Label1 vs. Label2)
  2. The code for clicking "Alpha" or "Freq"
That's all, really.

The only other step is adding something to your page's stylesheet (also through the HTML-template editor). You need to decide which of these widgets you want displayed by default. I have Label1 displayed by default, and Label2 hidden, so here's part of my stylesheet:
<style type="text/css">
#Label2 {
display: none;
}
</style>

Monday, March 17, 2008

Holy Thursday Solemn Pontifical Mass

If you can watch EWTN at 12:30 PM (EDT) this Thursday, do so. Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Feast of Saint Joseph (transferred from March 19)

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph, since this year his proper feast day (March 19) would fall during Holy Week. I'm going to a chapel to pray later this morning, at a seminary dedicated to him, to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament lying in repose in the tabernacle on an altar dedicated to St. Joseph. I have to thank him.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Liturgy: 2002 Missale Romanum online

CLERUS.org has the 2002 Missale Romanum online. In Latin. It's a little difficult to decipher (and I'm not referring to the Latin, I'm referring to the format of the web site) but it's there. Maybe this will keep me from buying the actual book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

News: Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Iraq murdered

Updated: I am sorry to say that His Eminence Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead in the the eastern part of Baghdad; his body had gunshot wounds. CNS has the response from Pope Benedict.

Requiescat in pace.

Updated:
Kidnappers take Iraqi archbishop, kill his three companions

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Kidnappers abducted Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, and killed the three people who were traveling with him.

Chaldean Bishop Rabban al Qas of Arbil told the Rome-based missionary news service AsiaNews that Mosul's archbishop was kidnapped late Feb. 29 after he finished leading the Way of the Cross.

Archbishop Rahho had just left the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul and was in his car with three other men when the kidnappers attacked.

"The bishop is in the hands of terrorists," Bishop Qas told AsiaNews.

"But we don't know what physical condition (the archbishop is in); the three men who were with him in the car, including his driver, were killed," he explained.

"It's a terrible time for our church; pray for us," he said.

The kidnappers have reportedly communicated their demands, which were not made public.

A Vatican statement said the archbishop's abduction and the killing of his aides was a "despicable act." It said Pope Benedict XVI was saddened deeply at news of the attack and was praying for the archbishop's immediate release.

"The Holy Father asks the universal church to join in his fervent prayer that reason and humanity will prevail in the perpetrators of the attack," it said. The pope expressed his closeness to the entire Christian community in Iraq, it said.

The Vatican said the fact that the archbishop was abducted immediately after leading a Way of the Cross service indicated that the attack was premeditated.

The incident comes less than a year after a Chaldean Catholic priest and three subdeacons were gunned down outside the same Mosul church.

Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Wadid Hanna and Ghasan Bida Wid were killed June 3 while leaving the Church of the Holy Spirit after having celebrated Sunday Mass.

Father Ganni, the three subdeacons, and the wife of one of the subdeacons were driving away from the church when their car was blocked by a group of armed militants, according to AsiaNews.

The armed men forced the woman out of the car. Once the woman was away from the vehicle the armed men opened fire on Father Ganni and the three subdeacons. Subdeacon is an ordination rank lower than deacon in most Eastern Catholic churches.

The militants then placed explosives around the car to prevent anyone from retrieving the four bodies. Later that night, authorities finally managed to defuse the explosives and retrieve the bodies.
(Source: CNS)

Original story:
Kidnappers take Iraqi archbishop, kill his three companions

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Kidnappers abducted Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, and killed the three people who were traveling with him.

Chaldean Bishop Rabban al Qas of Arbil told the Rome-based missionary news service AsiaNews that Mosul's archbishop was kidnapped late Feb. 29 after he finished leading the Way of the Cross.

Archbishop Rahho had just left the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul and was in his car with three other men when the kidnappers attacked.

"The bishop is in the hands of terrorists," Bishop Qas told AsiaNews.

"But we don't know what physical condition (the archbishop is in); the three men who were with him in the car, including his driver, were killed," he explained.

"It's a terrible time for our church; pray for us," he said.

The kidnappers have reportedly communicated their demands, which were not made public.

The incident comes less than a year after a Chaldean Catholic priest and three subdeacons were gunned down outside the same Mosul church.

Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Wadid Hanna and Ghasan Bida Wid were killed June 3 while leaving the Church of the Holy Spirit after having celebrated Sunday Mass.

Father Ganni, the three subdeacons, and the wife of one of the subdeacons were driving away from the church when their car was blocked by a group of armed militants, according to AsiaNews.

The armed men forced the woman out of the car. Once the woman was away from the vehicle the armed men opened fire on Father Ganni and the three subdeacons. Subdeacon is an ordination rank lower than deacon in most Eastern Catholic churches.

The militants then placed explosives around the car to prevent anyone from retrieving the four bodies. Later that night, authorities finally managed to defuse the explosives and retrieve the bodies.
(Source: CNS)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mass: The parts of Mass and their purpose

I received a gift from my mother this Christmas that is very dear to my heart: her 1961 St. Joseph's Daily Missal. Although I have attended only one Mass in the Extraordinary Form (EF), I was touched deeply by it and desire very strongly to attend an EF Mass again soon (although it's difficult with my own parish obligations). The Ordinary Form (OF) of Mass -- that is, the Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 and currently in its third typical edition as of 2002 -- follows the same basic structure of the EF, but there are certain things omitted (and certain things added). This post is not about the differences, though; rather, it is simply about the parts of the EF and what they mean. And so we go back to the Daily Missal.

Two pages of the Daily Missal give a very good (and concise) explanation of the parts of Mass. I've included them as images below, but I'll reproduce their content in prose.

Our Participation in the Mass
Parts of the MassOur Participation
I. Preparation
1. Prayers at the foot of the altar.WE COME to Mass longing for God and with great sorrow for our sins.
II. Prayerful Worship
1. Introit.
2. Kyrie.
3. Gloria.
4. Collects.
5. Epistle.
6. Gospel.
7. Creed.
WE LISTEN to the word of God in the Epistle and Gospel and respond with the Credo, "I believe."
III. Sacrificial Preparation
1. Offertory Verse.
2. Offertory Prayers.
3. Washing the Fingers.
4. Orate Fratres.
5. Secret Prayers.
WE ARE PREPARED to offer God that sacrifice which is most pleasing to Him, self-surrender.
IV. Sacrificial Action
1. Preface and Sanctus.
2. Memento of the Living and of the Saints.
3. Consecration.
4. Offering of the Victim.
5. Commemoration of the Dead and petition for Communion with the Saints.
JESUS CHANGES our gifts into His Body and Blood. We offer Him and He offers Himself with us and for us to His heavenly Father.
V. Sacrificial Banquet
1. Our Father.
2. Agnus Dei.
3. Communion.
4. Communion Verse.
5. Postcommunion.
THE FATHER GIVES us His Son in Holy Communion. We abide in God and God in us.
VI. Dismissal
1. Ite Missa Est.
2. Blessing.
3. Last Gospel.
WE GO AS children of God with Jesus and like Jesus to our work.


The other page, titled "PLAN OF THE MASS", uses the structure of a church building as its context for the parts of Mass. You'll need to look at the image for the full effect; here is my translation of the image:

I. MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS

(We go to God: We pray)
(Sacrifice of Prayer: We speak to God)
1. Prayers at the FOOT of ALTAR (Contrition)
2. KYRIE (Cry for mercy)
3. GLORIA (Praise)
4. COLLECT (Petition)

(His Word Comes to us: We Learn)
(Instruction: God speaks to us)
1. EPISTLE or LESSON
2. GOSPEL
3. SERMON

II. MASS OF THE FAITHFUL

CREDO

(Jesus Christ Offers Himself: Our Offerings become the Body of Jesus)
(Preparatory Offering: Bread, Wine)
OFFERTORY (We Give)

(Sacrifice: The Sacred Victim)
PREFACE
CANON
CONSECRATION
IMMOLATION

(Sacrificial Banquet: The Bread of Life)
COMMUNION (We Receive)

Final Prayers

Last Gospel


Lent: St. Augustine's Sermon on Psalm 51 [50]

If you have a half hour or so, please take the time to read this amazing sermon of St. Augustine on Psalm 51 (50 in the Septuagint and Vulgate). He delivered to it a congregation of Christians in Carthage. I'm linking to the translation I found at CCEL.org; the language is a bit difficult to parse at times, so if you can find a clearer translation, please let me know.

Bible Study: Studying the Psalms IV

Psalms 22 and 51
Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam...
Download this study [MS Word, 51 k, 3pp]


(Like confession: better late than never.)

Personal: What a great burden is lifted when sin is forgiven

Rex tremendae majestatis,
qui salvandos savas gratis,
salve me, fons pietatis.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Scripture: The Passover and the Eucharist

I attended an instructional workshop on the Passover last night at St. Joseph's in Hillsborough. It was led by Gregory Glazov, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary's school of Theology (at Seton Hall). This was a more intensive look at the Passover Seder, and Greg made a number of important theological connections. The bread and cup of wine that Jesus blessed, for example, most likely coincide with the afikomen and third cup (the cup of redemption, also called the cup of blessing).

Also brought up was the way in which the Passover meal was not a "memorial", per se, but was a making-present of the Passover celebrated in Egypt. In the same way, Catholics believe the Eucharist at the altar is not a "memorial" or representation (what most non-Catholic Christians believe) but rather the making-present of the new Passover meal, the body and blood of the true Lamb, re-presented as though we were there receiving it when it was first instituted. Jesus inserted himself into the Passover ritual, and stopped things after that third cup. While he was in Gethsemane, he prayed that the cup might pass him by: perhaps the "cup of wrath" or perhaps the fourth cup of the passover (the cup of restoration).

It was an excellent experience, and there was good conversation as well. I plan on looking at Psalms 113-118 (the Hallel) at Bible Study during Holy Week; hopefully, I can work some of this information in.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008