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.

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Detroit Priest Denies Communion to Woman for Kneeling

Les Femmes, the Truth: It was still  happening in my own diocese up until the public exposure of the bully priests and their correction. The last episode I’m aware of was in 2002 when a former pastor of mine refused Communion to Virginia State Delegate Dick Black. The priest took on the wrong guy and the negative publicity, I’m sure, convinced the bishop to instruct … More →

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Looking on Jesus, the Prince of Peace

Far from being what the world thinks it is, namely, the shopping season between Black Friday and Christmas Day, Advent is the Church’s time of penitential preparation for the feast of the Nativity. More than that, Advent prepares us for the two comings of Jesus in time and for His three births. At Christmastime, we will hear a lot about peace. (We are, even now, … More →


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Theological Reasons Why Women Should Wear Veils in Church

Joseph Shaw, Rorate Caeli: Today I am publishing the 22nd Position Paper from the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, on the subject of head coverings in church. I have timed this to coincide with the build-up to the ‘Wear the Veil Day’, 8th December, promoted by the Latin Mass Society of America and Canada, which was explained on this blog a few days ago. This paper is … More →

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Why Does (Did) the Roman Catholic Church Make Latin Her Language?

Chris Jackson of The Remnant has provided another excellent article on the reasons why the Church adopted the Latin language in her liturgy, decrees, and official communications. The article was written in 1919 by Father John Francis Sullivan and it is found in chapter XIX in the book, The Externals of the Catholic Church.  Before I post the article I want to note a few simple … More →

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Mexico: Traditional High Mass Offered in World’s Largest Seminary

Offerimus Tibi Domine website: The world’s largest seminary is in Mexico.  I’m not aware that Mexico is a particular hotbed of the Usus Antiquior but the seminary at least seems to be able to allow its seminarians to experience and learn about the ancient form of the Mass without running terrified at the prospect.  I am amazed at just how many seminarians this one seminary has. … More →

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Liturgy: Facing East and Other Disciplines at Mass in Early Church

Msgr. Charles Pope, Washington Archdiocesan Website: As you may know, the Catholic Faith was illegal in the Roman Empire prior to 313 AD, when the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan permitting the Christian Faith to flourish publicly. Prior to that time, Church buildings as we know them today were rare—Mass was usually celebrated in houses. Read full account here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, … More →

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Transfiguration and Theosis

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 →


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In Gratitude for Venerable Dom Prosper Guéranger

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 →

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Corpus Christi at Saint Benedict Center

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 →


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Lauda Sion Salvatórem

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 →


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‘Old’ St. Pius V vs ‘New’ St. Pius V

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 →


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Readings for Holy Week and Easter

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 →


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New Bishop of Liverpool: ‘How on Earth Can You Say No’ to Traditional Mass?

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 →

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Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample on the Traditional Mass

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 →


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Canonical Evaluation of Bishop’s Ban of TLM at Fisher More College

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 →


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