Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sacraments: Confirmation

Confirmation (from Latin, meaning “strengthening”) is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation, a personal Pentecost experience. It is not, as is often imagined, a “coming of age” or “reaching maturity” in the faith; in the Eastern Rites of the Church, Confirmation is received by infants. But it does perfect our bond with the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, and it makes us “Soldiers of Christ”, as St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote in his Catechetical lectures back in the 4th century.

The confirmed Christian is “sealed with the gift the Holy Spirit”, which imparts an indelible character that conforms the person more closely to Christ. The Catechism (#1303) teaches that this sacrament “gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tradition: Blessing before meals with midday and evening prayer

Blessing before meal
Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts
which we are about to receive from Thy bounty.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Add at midday:)
May the King of everlasting glory
make us partakers of the heavenly table. Amen.

(Add at evening:)
May the King of everlasting glory
lead us to the banquet of eternal life. Amen.

Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona
quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

(Ante prandium:)
Mensae caelestis participes faciat nos,
Rex aeternae gloriae. Amen.

(Ante cenam:)
Ad cenam vitae aeternae perducat nos,
Rex aeternae gloriae. Amen.

I will certainly be producing another podcast soon with these prayers spoken in and chanted in Latin.

Tradition: Blessing and Grace, for meals

Blessing before meal
Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts
which we are about to receive from Thy bounty.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

You can see this in Gregorian chant as a PDF here and here; those also have a link to an mp3 of me chanting it. There's also this handy image to the right.

Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona
quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Grace after meal
We give Thee thanks, almighty God,
for all Thy benefits,
who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus,
pro universis beneficiis tuis,
qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

I think I'll be producing another podcast soon with these prayers -- and maybe some other traditional ones -- spoken in and chanted in Latin.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Liturgy: This parish gets it!

The parish of St. Mary in Norwalk, CT, really gets it when it comes to sacred liturgy and sacred music. I encourage you to read the FAQ and the "From the Pastor" page.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bible Study: Parables IV

Love and Neighbor
"Vade et tu fac similiter."
Download this study [MS Word, 41 k, 2pp]

Here are my answers. Most of them came from St. Augustine.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Welcome to The Cross Reference

(I might be getting some new visitors over the next few days, so I'll take this moment to introduce the blog.
I am also going to be away this weekend, so this post will remain up front until I get home Sunday afternoon.)

My name is Jeff Pinyan (my internet handle is japhy). This is my blog, The Cross Reference. I started it over two years ago as a place to publish my notes for the Bible Study my parish was doing at the time on the Synoptic Gospels. A lot has happened since then: I've become more Catholic in my theology and my thinking, I've gotten married, and I've started (or "inherited") a Young Adult Bible Study. Nowadays this blog has a handful of purposes: to house Young Adult Bible Study notes, to discuss the liturgy and its proper celebration (according to the mind of the Church), to reflect on Scripture and various topics in theology, to discover and live the Tradition of the Church, and to share some personal insights.

The current Young Adult Bible Study topic is the Parables; look for this week's study guide some time tonight! I am working (offline) on a series about the Mass and Scripture that will eventually make its way onto this blog in bits and pieces. I also plan on producing more episodes in The Cross Reference Podcast, although I haven't settled on a topic for the second episode yet.

It is my desire to keep this blog true to its name; that is, everything written and discussed here is done in reference to the cross of Jesus Christ, that sign of God's love, the altar of the most perfect sacrifice. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Music: Papal Mass in DC

I wasn't a fan of much of the music at the Mass. The Responsorial Psalm was frighteningly dissonant all around, for example. The commentators on EWTN (Fr. John Neuhaus and Raymond Arroyo) made some painful and insightful remarks, and Jeffrey Tucker at The New Liturgical Movement says more than I could say, and he says it with more charity and tact.

The Vespers service held the night before had beautiful music. I am hoping the Masses in NYC will be more sacred and also present a refreshing contrast to that Mass in DC.

Two Forms of the One Roman Rite

This weekend, I am going up to Troy, NY (near Albany) for a fraternity visit. We're celebrating the whole fraternity's anniversary (founded in 1904), and we have alumni corporation business to attend to.

On Sunday, I will be assisting at my first Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Peter's in Troy, NY. I will have my daily missal with me, and I'll be practicing my Latin beforehand! I'll also take some photos (but probably not during the Mass itself).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bible Study: Parables III

Persevering in Prayer; Love Leads to Forgiveness
"Semper orare et non deficere."
Download this study [MS Word, 42 k, 2pp]

Here are my notes. We only got through the first two parables, so we'll do Luke 7 next week, with the parable of the Prodigal Son!

How much do you owe?

It's April 15th. In the USA, this is tax day. So here's the question:

How much do you owe God? Are you overdue?

Ave, Papa Benedictus XVI!

The Pope has landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Praise God that his flight was safe, and may the Holy Father be blessed with health for years to come! I am sure his visit will be the beginning of great things for the Catholic Church, especially for all Catholics in the United States.

(You can watch live coverage of the Pope's public appearances all this week on EWTN.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bible Study: Parables II

Wise and Faithful... or Foolish and Unfaithful?
"Vigilate itaque, quia nescitis diem neque horam."
Download this study [MS Word, 43 k, 3pp]

You can also download my answers to the questions (which are by no means the only answers).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Our duty to protect the Most Blessed Sacrament

"In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favoritism." (Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 183)

Catholic Carnival 166: Rubber Meets the Road

This week's fine selection of Catholic blogging.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Liturgy: Reform of the Reform

I consider myself a member of the "Reform of the Reform" movement; that is, a Catholic who is interested in seeing the Church reconsider the liturgical reforms called for by the Second Vatican Council (found in Sacrosanctum Concilium) and re-apply them in a way which maintains a continuity with tradition (a "hermeneutic of continuity", as Pope Benedict XVI puts it).

What this means for the present is that, "all other things being equal", I believe the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (the Mass as celebrated since 1969) should be celebrated in a way that maintains a link with the pre-conciliar tradition. It should be celebrated by the books: do the red, say the black.

Where there are options for texts to use, the "traditional" and/or "proper" text should be used. An example of using a "traditional" text is: using form 'A' of the Penitential Rite (the Confiteor) with the Kyrie after it. Another example is the preference for celebration ad orientem. Yet another example is preference for the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I). Examples of using a "proper" text are: use of the entrance antiphon during the Introit, the use of the Psalm and Alleluia found in the Lectionary, and the use of the communion antiphon during the Communion Procession.

Singing the Mass (and not just singing at Mass) is a preferable. Singing (or even chanting) the ordinaries of Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc.) in Latin is preferable.

That's my position; I think it meshes well with the "Reform of the Reform" crowd.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fr. Z's clever quip

"Father, otherwise a happy fellow, I am sure, is incensed during the offertory."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bible Study: Parables I

Introduction: Why Jesus Used Parables
"Aperiam in parabolis os meum, eructabo abscondita a constitutione mundi."
Download this study [MS Word, 43 k, 2pp]

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

News: New dicastery for Catholic bloggers formed

CNS is reporting a development in the Roman Curia from late last night:
Pope forms Congregation for Internet Evangelization

By Fred Yulent
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Verifying rumors that Francis Cardinal Arinze was due to be replaced as the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope Benedict XVI named Arinze the head of a new dicastery late Monday night.

In an audience held at 10:30 PM (EDT), the Pope presented a signed Apostolic Constitution, motu proprio, which defined the congregation and laid down its rules and responsibilities. Arinze graciously accepted his new appointment, effective immediately.

The Cardinal has a web site, containing a podcast and regular video updates, through which he has been representing the Church's stance on liturgical matters. It is believed the Pope selected him to be the Prefect of the new congregation because of his familiarity with the medium and his strong internet presence.

The Apostolic Constitution Technologium saeculum ("The Age of Technology") addresses the growing need for "liturgical and biblical catechesis at the click of a button" and recognizes the efforts of hundreds of Catholic bloggers, many of whom are priests and religious, in providing "the genuine Catholic faith to millions of internet-savvy people of varying religions".

Although the Constitution did not name names, the Pope did speak of two priests in particular: Fr. John Zuhlsdorf and Fr. Tim Finigan.

Among the duties of the Congregatio pro Evangelizatione Interretiali is the painstaking process of registering the Catholics who present catechetical material on their blogs; this registration will allow the orthodox Catholic bloggers to present an authentic seal of approval from the dicastery, similar to the nihil obstat and imprimatur of printed works.