Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I am not a Traditionalist (But We're going to Latin Mass Anyways...)

Hi, my name is Ryan. I’m 27-years-old, and I’m new to this diocese. And for the love of all that is holy, can someone please do something about all of the $@#!&* tambourine playing going on around here?!


I apologize in advance if this post comes off as too much of a rant. And I should say this from the start: I’m not a Traditionalist Catholic. I’ve never found the criticisms of Vatican II to be very convincing, I’m a big fan of some theologians that Trads usually aren’t fond of (e.g., von Balthasar), I think that Pope Francis’ simpler style is (for the most part) pretty awesome, etc. I guess you can say I’m a “JP2 conservative”…faithful to the Magisterium, adherent to the hermeneutic of continuity, etc. All that to say, I was never interested in picking on the Novus Ordo liturgy…

But we’ve made a decision as a family to start attending the Traditional Latin Mass regularly. And here’s why:

When we were received into the Catholic Church, we lived in Boston. There, it was never hard to find a beautiful, reverent, Novus Ordo Mass. Life was good, and when I was on the right side of town, I even enjoyed the occasional Anglican Use Mass or Maronite Divine Liturgy.

Last year, I read Pope Benedict’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” (a must-read, by the way), and began to re-think a lot of the views I held on the liturgy. I began to agree with the need for kneeling to receive Communion, having the priest celebrate ad orientem, etc. [Ed. note: many thanks to Fr. Z for catching the Latin typo in the original!] But, I have to admit, I didn’t see these things as really pressing issues, mostly because what I saw in and around the city of Boston was (for the most part) in keeping with the solemn nature of what we as Catholics believe to be taking place at the Mass.

Now, though, we’ve moved to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. And, if I may be blunt, the state of the liturgy around here is utterly atrocious.

Imagine seashell-shaped parishes filled with Baby Boomers dressed in Bermuda shirts and khaki shorts. Imagine complete strangers holding hands with each other during the Our Father. Imagine jamming out to contemporary Christian songs that were popular 15-20 years ago. Imagine all sorts of improvisations on the part of priests. Heck, imagine everyone getting called up to stand around the altar together during the Eucharistic prayers, rather than kneeling back in the pews–yeah, that happened! I was there!

Read the rest there....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Welcome Una Voce Cape Town!

Una Voce Southern Africa has for some time been trying to establish an Una Voce Cape Town. We are very happy to announce that Stephen Korsman has taken up our invitation to do just that.

Our best wishes and prayers for the success of Una Voce Cape Town. If you are in Cape Town or have friends and family in Cape Town please let them know about Una Voce Cape Town and encourage them to join.

Here is the first post from their Facebook page.

Introductory e-mail and invitation to join the mailing list:

Una Voce, Cape Town, has started up. Our aim is to promote the Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) in Cape Town. First this will involve collecting people either on Facebook or, preferably, on an e-mail list which will get a newsletter once a month or so. (Initially the newsletters will simply remind you that we exist, inform you of international developments, and maybe link to photos or YouTube - as we grow, we may have meetings and eventually organise a Latin Mass.)

Una Voce (pronounced OO-nah VOH-chay) is Latin for "with one voice" and comes from the Preface to the Roman Canon, where the angels cry out with one voice, "Holy, Holy, Holy."

If you're in Cape Town, please consider joining Una Voce, Cape Town. There are no commitments expected of you, other than your prayers for the cause. Your e-mail addresses will not be sold either. If you're not in Cape Town, please pass the info along to interested Catholics in Cape Town.

email: at (let me know if your addition to the list includes a spouse or children)
Facebook page (like) -
Facebook group (join) -

I'm new to running a FB group, so I think you need to ask to join, instead of, ideally, just clicking and joining.

While FB stats will be presented to His Grace, I will only count those on the e-mail list as official Una Voce, Cape Town, members for the purposes of keeping His Grace informed about how big we are. If you're just on the FB page/group, I will not pester you to join the mailing list, although I'll try to somehow get the newsletter info on the page and group as well, so you won't miss out.

Lastly, I am starting Una Voce, Cape Town, as an individual, with the support of Una Voce, SA, and Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. Formal affiliation with them will come in time. My love for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite stems from my interest and love for Eastern Rite liturgies and the liturgical beauty and diversity we as Catholics have as our heritage, and not from any antipathy towards Vatican II or the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It is not my intention to promote any sort of belligerence towards either.

Once again please support Stephen and Una Voce Cape Town by liking their page.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Deepening Respect for the Eucharist and The Eucharistic Sacrifice

In his Chrism Mass sermon of 2009 (find in here) His Grace Archbishop Buti Thlagale called on the faithful of the Archdiocese to deepen respect and reverence for the Eucharist and the Eucharistic sacrifice.

The re-introduction of the Extra-ordinary form at the Cathedral provides a continuous living sermon on these important themes. As his Grace points out “External gestures help to condition our internal spiritual attitude towards the Holy.”

It may be instructive to highlight a number of His Grace’s points (they follow in italics) and illustrate how the Extra-ordinary Form gives special expression to these.

Altar rails that have been dismantled, thus we no longer kneel when receiving the ‘Body of Christ’.

The altar rails are used during the Extra-ordinary form as this is the norm. Altar rail coverings have been introduced and the faithful encouraged to place their hands under these cloths. Communion is always distributed using the communion plate to prevent the loss of any the smallest particle of the Sacred Host.

Many no longer genuflect, not even a bow that acknowledges the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

During the Extra-ordinary form the priest and servers perform numerous genuflections. For example, during the Solemn mass (after the consecration) the celebrant and master of ceremonies genuflect whenever the chalice is uncovered. The servers genuflect whenever they cross in front of the altar and all genuflect during the consecration and elevation of the Sacred Species.

All genuflect both during the Creed and the last gospel when “Et incarnatus est” is said.

These genuflections assist the faithful in realizing the sacred nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

We have abandoned silence and a prayerful atmosphere in the church.

The aspect of the Extra-ordinary form most commented on by the faithful is that they feel they have time to pray when the Extra-ordinary form is celebrated.

Formational materials for the Extra-ordinary form have emphasised the importance of Holy water as a sacramental and its role in preparing us for Mass when we make the sign of the cross while entering the church.

The law of the Eucharistic fast is also mentioned in all formational materials as is the need for the communicant to be in a state of grace.

It would be ideal if priests could once more pray while they vest in the sacristy. This practice would reinforce the culture of silence and a proper preparation for Holy Mass.

As this is mandated in the Extra-ordinary form the priest has to do this. We have noted that this has indeed reinforced a culture of silence and proper preparation, even in an extremely busy sacristy such as the Cathedral’s.

It is most edifying to see the priest praying with altar-servers in the sacristy before and after Mass. Silence in the sacristy is also conductive to an atmosphere of prayer. Such a practice stays with the altar-servers long after they have graduated from the sacristy. Some sacristies regrettably are like a market place. No prayers are said.

Of their own initiative the servers began prayers before and after Mass in the Extra-ordinary form. This is done every Sunday on which the mass is celebrated with all 11 servers participating.

It would equally be ideal to restore for the lay faithful, prayers before the Mass and prayers of thanksgiving after Mass. Such exercises would help us to focus on the “real presence” of Christ who has been received during Mass.

While this has not yet proved possible, the Extra-ordinary Rite does provide ample time for the faithful to silently prepare themselves for communion while the priest is saying his preparatory prayers and to make a thanksgiving while the rest of the faithful receive.

Faithful used to making a traditional thanksgiving i.e, prayers of Adoration, Contition Thanksgiving and Petition report that they have ample time to do this during the communion and the ablutions.

The pew missalettes contain a number of prayers for the faithful to say both in preparation and thanksgiving. This has proved slightly problematic as the faithful are so happy with these prayers that Fr. Shaun is asked if they can take a missalettes home to be able to use these prayers. While this is wonderful, it does mean that we constantly need to print more missalettes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Golden Jubilee of the Cathedral of Christ the King: The preparations

Regular readers will recall that the big event for us in 2010 was the 5oth Annivesary of the Consecration of the Cathedral.

This is the first in a series of three posts dedicated to the event.

Part 1: The preparations

Tomorrow is the big day. When you smallest action can make a difference you better pray!!

Thurifer gets into the swing of things.

Some altar boys move faster than light.

Jube Domne Benedicere and a few last minute instructions

Fr. Shaun commissioned some beautiful new cloths for the Altar rail.

Constance Kayombo, Sacristan, gives the flowers one last look over.

Not quite the orginal six giant brass candlesticks commissioned for the consecration in 1950. But an attractive substitute. Of the original six only three are left. Our fondest wish to have the missing three candlesticks re-cast.

While last minute rehearsals are going on in the Cathedral and preparations are taking place
in the sacristy .... the ladies tackle the hall for the luncheon

When you have dozens of tables to prepare even the smallest pair of hands can help lighten the load.

As the luncheon was a fund-raiser we needed lots of prizes.

The cakes have arrived!! The cakes have arrived!!!

Dozens of cakes were baked for the luncheon after the mass.

Each cake had a picture of the Cathedral on it.

Folding hundreds of Proper sheets requires quite a few hands.

Thank You, Una Voce Orange County without your on-line propers we wouldn't know what to do.

Many thanks to all for your hard work.

Photo Credits: (as usual) Catherine Cordeiro

TLM in the presence of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux

On the Saturday morning (of the 9th July 2010) prior to the all-night Vigil in the presence of the Relics of St Therese a Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated.

The Relics in front of the Altar

Fr. Shaun Mary von Lillienfeld preaching on the virtues of St. Therese

The Canon of the Mass

Young and old attended Mass on a cold Winter's morning

Wishing you a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

You will see that I have got quite a few new articles up on the blog that cover the last six months of the year.

The TLM at the cathedral continues to grow under the guidance of Fr. Shaun Von Lillienfeld.

Our biggest challenge in the last half of 2010 was preparing a large cadre of servers to be able to serve the Missa Cantata in the more solemn form.

The hectic training schedule has meant that I have had little time to dedicate to the blog and efforts to promote the Mass other than at the cathedral.

The one disappointment of 2010 has been the difficulty of organizing masses in locations other than the three locations (Jhb, PE and Lamberts Bay) that we started 2010 with.

In 2011 we are hoping, on a country-wide basis, to increase the general awareness of the TLM both among the clergy and the laity.

It is my hope that this will lay a foundation, that in subsequent years, will lead to us having the TLM offered in more locations.

A number of projects are being planned for 2011 and I am hoping that everyone who supports the TLM will help us to ensure the success of these initiatives.

God Bless and all the best for 2011.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photos for the Pope - Mass July 29th

"Let my prayer be directed as incense in Thy sight; the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice." (Ps. 140).

In July, Leo Darroch (President of Una Voce) asked us to take some photos that could be included in the annual report that Una Voce submits to the Vatican and that is handed to the Holy Father.

Leo informed me that he had used some pictures from this blog for the 2009 report and that these were well received by the staff in the various departments of the Vatican.

A few of the 2010 photos below.

Prayers at the foot of the Altar

Incensation of the faithful.

Elevation of the Host

A packed Cathedral, part of the crowd of up to 1200 people who attend Sunday Mass.

With between 600 and 1200 people receiving Communion at the Mass we have additional priests to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.

Clergy, Servers, Choir Director/organist and a soloist

The judicious application of a surplice turns a server's red garment from the Ordinary Form into a cassock for the Extraordinary Form. The idea of our sacristan, Constance Kayombo.

We have many needs to allow us to celebrate the TLM in the most fitting way possible. Please consider helping us.

Photo Credits: Catherine Cordeiro

Some additional photos here.