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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Poland: First Nation to Be Granted Permission to Celebrate Feast of the Sacred Heart

Aleteia, Philip Kosloski: Guess which European country was the first to be given papal approval to celebrate a feast in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Was it France, where both St. John Eudes and St. Margaret Mary promoted devotion to Jesus’ heart? Nope. Was it Germany, where St. Gertrude the Great composed prayers to the Sacred Heart? Guess again. The first country to … More →

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Unworthy Communion: St. Paul Warning Text Not in Novus Ordo Readings

New Liturgical Movement: Instead, in keeping with a programmatic decision to avoid what they considered “difficult” biblical texts,[5] the revised Lectionary altogether omits 1 Corinthians 11:27–29. St. Paul’s “stern warning” against receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord unworthily, that is, unto one’s damnation, has not been read at any Ordinary Form Mass for almost half a century.[6] Read full article here. Share, Bookmark, Like: … More →

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The Lamentations of Jeremias: Art and Music

During the sacred Triduum, the Lamentations of Jeremias are sung as part of the Tenebrae ceremony, i.e., the liturgical office comprised of Matins and Laudes, and done in the dark, as its Latin name suggests. Each liturgical lesson from Jeremias ends with Jerusalem convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum (Jerusalem, return onto the Lord thy God) which is an adaptation of Osee 14:2). Below are two musical … More →

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Archbishop Schneider Objects to Priests Washing Women’s Feet

The Wanderer: Schneider made a clear statement about this matter, as follows: “As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and [of] the Priesthood. Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts … More →

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Lenten Ember Days, Today, Friday, and Saturday

Jennifer Miller has a very good article, republished today for Catholic Culture website, on the history and meaning on the Church’s Ember Days. She is the primary developer of’s liturgical year section. Jennifer Gregory Miller, Catholic Culture: This Wednesday, February 17, within the First Week of Lent marks the beginning of the traditional dates of the Lenten Ember Days. With the reorganization of the Liturgical … More →

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Bishop of Marquette, MI, Wants Gregorian Chant Sung in All Parishes

Catholic Culture: Therefore, the bishop said, all parishes in the Marquette diocese will be expected to teach chant to the faithful, and introduce the regular chanting of the Ordinary parts of the Mass. These steps, Bishop Doerfler said, “can be taken by the smallest parishes in the diocese.” He ordered that all parishes have chant programs in place by the end of the year 2020. More … More →

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Bishop Orders All Tabernacles Put Back in Center of Sanctuary

Patrick Gorman, director of the Office of Worship for the Madison diocese: “The idea is we’re going to put Christ in the most central place in the Church because that’s the position he has in the Church, in the body of Christ,” he added. “Of course Jesus Christ himself is in it, therefore standing at the head of our church.” Read CNA article here. Share, … More →

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O Antiphons Date Back to Eighth Century

National Catholic Register, Marge Fenelon: We’ve begun the “O” Antiphons. Every year from December 17-23, the Catholic Church sings what’s known as the “O” Antiphons, the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer. They’re called such because each antiphon begins with “O.” You’ll notice them as the Alleluia verse before the Gospel at Mass. The tradition itself dates back to the eighth century. … More →

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Advent Hymn: Drop Your Dew, Ye Clouds of Heaven

While I’m on the subject of Advent hymns, here is one written by Michael Denis in 1774 (the music that goes with is was probably written by Michael Haydn). The text is drawn from Holy Scripture, Old and New Testaments: Isaias 45,8; St. Paul to the Hebrews 10,9; St. Luke 1; and St. Paul to the Romans 13, 11-14. Drop Your Dew, Ye Clouds of … More →

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Maria Walks Amid the Thorn

Here is one of our favorite Advent hymns. It is sung in two parts, one of which is a haunting counterpoint. The carol comes from sixteenth century Germany (although it is probably much older) and commemorates the barrenness of the the Old Testament, the longing and waiting, and the flowering of sanctity and joy with the coming of the Messias. (“Kyrie eleison” is Greek for … More →

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Adelante La Fe’s Exclusive Interview with Monsignor Schneider: Vatican II, Communion in the Hand, Crisis, SSPX

With the gracious permission of the Spanish language web site, Adelante La Fe, we reproduce here their own English translation of their complete interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C.,  the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and titular bishop of Celerina. His Excellency says many wonderful and edifying things here. Note: “Monsignor” is the proper form of address to a Bishop in most European languages. * * * * … More →

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Anniversary of Quo Primum: For Those Who Have Not Read This Magnificent Decree for Awhile

The Papal Bull of Saint Pope Pius V granting in perpetuity the right of every priest use the venerable and traditional Latin Missal in offering Holy Mass. Issued July 14, 1570. Rorate Caeli: [From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship], We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure … More →

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Saint Norbert and the Octave of Corpus Christi

Today is the feast of Saint Norbert. It also continues the “phantom octave” of Corpus Christi. Two days ago, I mentioned the concurrence of Saint Francis Caracciolo and the Feast of Corpus Christi. The day Saint Francis Caracciolo died was the eve of Corpus Christi (which begins at First Vespers on the eve). In life, he was particularly instrumental in promoting Eucharistic adoration, it being among the works … More →

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Three Versions of the ‘O Sacrum Convivium’ (and one more)

One of the problems with the 1962 liturgical reforms was the senseless suppression of the glorious Octave of Corpus Christi. The suppression of the Octave of the Epiphany is another. (There are many more!) We consider both of these, in a way, tragic. In an effort to continue the spirit of the Octave of Corpus Christi, and to do special honor to the Blessed Sacrament … More →

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Cardinal Zen to Offer Traditional Latin High Mass Sunday April 12

Rorate Caeli: His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, S.D.B., Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong will celebrate a Pontifical High Mass for us this upcoming Sunday (12th April, Low Sunday), at 3:00pm in St. Teresa’s Church, Kowloon, Hong Kong. More here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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