Category Archives: Mass and the Liturgy
Mass and the Liturgy
The Holy Mass is an inexhaustible fountain of grace. As a most divine mystery it is an unfathomable source of wonder and contemplation. Countless spiritual writers have made it, and the divine liturgy enshrining it, the subject of their books and meditations, each attempting to glorify so great and terrible a gift, so holy a sacrifice. That is what the Mass is, first and foremost, the unbloody sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, our Victim and Priest. It is the same identical sacrifice as that offered on Calvary near two thousand years ago, only the manner of offering being different. It is Calvary re-presented in an unbloody manner in every time and every place until the end of the world.
Four hundred years before the Incarnation of the Son of God, Malachias, the last of the Old Testament prophets, foresaw the Holy Mass, and, through him, God announced to Israel its advent with these words: “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachias 1:11).
The liturgy of each individual Mass, in every approved rite, honors the whole life of Our Lord. At the consecration of the bread the altar becomes Bethlehem; with that of the wine, the altar becomes Calvary; with the covering of the chalice with the pall after consecration is symbolized the burial of Christ; and with the Minor Elevation before the Pater Noster is symbolized the Resurrection. The Victim who is glorified and Immortal cannot be slain again, but He is truly made present under the sacramental species, and He appears in that guise, as the Apostle John saw Him in vision, “as a Lamb standing as it were slain” (Apoc. 5:6).
The articles in this section deal in some way with the Holy Mass and/or the liturgical life of the Church in her feasts. Gary Potter’s article, for example, on the greatest of all liturgical writers, Dom Prosper Guéranger, is a magnificent tribute to this prolific Benedictine reformer and writer. Guéanger’s masterpiece, The Liturgical Year, employs all the Church’s liturgical treasures, East and West, to immerse the reader in the life of Christ as He lives it in our sanctuaries from Advent to last day of Pentecost.
The Ad Rem just posted today was intended to be up in time for yesterday’s feast of the Transiguration. Circumstances forbad that. I’m posting here something of a “coda” to it. For your consideration of the great mysteries of Our Lord’s Transfiguration and of Theosis, here are some further readings. Two notes are in order: (1.) Because of the heavy emphasis that our Eastern Christian brethren … More →
R. Jared Staudt has written an excellent tribute to the great liturgical reformer, restorer of Gregorian Chant, and defender of the Faith, Dom Prosper Guéranger. I did not know that that the prolific abbot was first a diocesan priest before becoming Benedictine and restoring monastic discipline in post-Napoleonic France. He had almost everything in this world against him. Monasticism had been outlawed for almost half a century by the … More →
This morning, we had a beautiful High Mass and Eucharistic Procession. The new Monstrance our benefactors made possible held the Sacred Host in procession as Father Phillipson carried our Eucharistic Lord to the two outdoor altars set up just for today. The chant compositions of Saint Thomas (like the Lauda Sion) were complemented by Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus, sung by the Brothers and Sisters. Below is … More →
Lauda Sion Salvatorem is a sequence prescribed for the Roman Catholic Mass of Corpus Christi. It was written by St. Thomas Aquinas around 1264, at the request of Pope Urban IV for the new Mass of this Feast, along with Pange lingua, Sacris solemniis, Adoro te devote, and Verbum supernum prodiens, which are used in the Divine Office. The hymn tells of the institution of the Eucharist and clearly expresses the Catholic belief in transubstantiation. As with St. Thomas’ other three … More →
From the article “The Contradiction of Core,” I take this brief excerpt contrasting the oration from today’s feast in the Traditional rite with the oration in the new rite. The changes are revealing: Old text: “O God, who for the overthrowing of the enemies of Thy Church and for the restoration of the beauty of Thy worship, didst choose blessed Pius as supreme Pontiff; grant that … More →
Recommended reading for Holy Week, the sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday: Holy Week in General — The Drama of Holy Week by Brother André Marie. Holy Thursday — The Eucharist in Four Simple Mysteries by Father Feeney, introduced by Brother Francis; Delivering What We Have Received (on the Eucharist) by Brother André Marie. Good Friday — The Seven Words by Brian Kelly, Imitating Christ’s Humility: … More →
Rorate Caeli: Liverpool is the largest diocese in the whole island of Great Britain by number of nominal Catholics – at least according to the Annuario Pontificio (source) – so it certainly is a source of great joy that its new archbishop, Abp. Malcolm Patrick McMahon, O.P., appointed today by the Pope, is so open to the Traditional Mass. He is not only the first ordinary who celebrated … More →
On March 1, 2014 Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Brigittine Monastery “Our Lady of Consolation” in Amity, Oregon. The Mass was the crowning celebration of a three-day conference on Gregorian Chant and the role of sacred music in the liturgy. This is the same archbishop that has taken a … More →
Rorate Caeli: Yesterday, news broke here on Rorate that the Most Rev. Michael Olson of the diocese of Fort Worth had ordered Fisher More College to completely cease offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Despite the implication of some schismatic attitude (perhaps “crypto-Lefebvrian” in nature?), the college made an immediate announcement of its compliance. As one might expect, reports concerning this suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass reverberated like … More →
Rorate Caeli: In a stunning and breathtaking letter, the Most Rev. Michael Olson, the newly-ordained bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese and the second-youngest bishop in the United States, has fully and totally banned the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in the chapel of Fisher More College, where it has been offered for the last three years on a daily basis by chaplains all approved … More →
Father Z’s Blog: Do you remember that a couple years about Bp. Robert C. Morlino banned eulogies in the Diocese of Madison? HERE Some people nearly lost their minds. Morlino was only being a “good son of the Church”, as Pope Francis describes himself, and therefore faithful to the Church’s laws and liturgical rubrics. Sometimes, in this antinomian age of ours, it shocks people to realize that bishops … More →
Father Leonard Feeney once remarked that certain Puritan sectaries refuse to pray the Hail Mary because the Catholic prayer has a bad word in it: womb. On the other hand, many of the Church’s most vociferous critics consider her to be obsessively strict — even fanatically so — on sexual matters. Puritanical (or Jansenistic) extremists on the one side, and libertines on the other, have … More →
Rorate Caeli: Il Coordinamento Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum reports that out of 33 sites where the Franciscans of the Immaculate had offered the Traditional Latin Mass daily or weekly before July 11, only 3 still have this Mass. More specifically, the Vetus Ordo had been said daily, or at least weekly, in almost all the houses of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Italy. In addition, it … More →
This entry is updated from last year. Today, December 18, is a feast of long standing in the Latin Church. Though its Mass and office will not be offered liturgically in most places (owing to its not being a universal feast), the “Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” has origins going back at least to seventh-century Spain. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a small entry on … More →