Thursday, August 29, 2013
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
Thursday, March 3, 2011
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.
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.
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
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
With between 600 and 1200 people receiving Communion at the Mass we have additional priests to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.