ADVENTCAzT 23: The sunrise of history, the mystery of God’s providence

Here is a 5-minute, daily podcast – today for Monday of the 4th Week of Advent – to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your personal meeting with the Lord.  We are in that final stretch of Advent when we use the O Antiphons.

These podcasts are a token of gratitude to my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen! PS: The wavy flag is how I’m trying to get to Rome for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting in January.  This one’s on me.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/adventcazt/2014/141222Advent0423.mp3

I often have music from the wonderful Advent disc by the Benedictines. You will remember that Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They have chart topping discs. HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

PPS: Once again, with annual precision, the stats feature is screwed up.  I’m getting skewed numbers.

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Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Just Too Cool: Polyphonic sacred music earlier than previously thought!

earliestknow polyphonyIt stands to reason, in a way.

This is for your Just Too Cool file.

Form phys.org:

Earliest known piece of polyphonic music discovered

New research has uncovered the earliest known practical piece of polyphonic music, an example of the principles that laid the foundations of European musical tradition.
The earliest known practical example of polyphonic music – a piece of choral music written for more than one part – has been found in a British Library manuscript in London.
The inscription is believed to date back to the start of the 10th century and is the setting of a short chant dedicated to Boniface, patron Saint of Germany. It is the earliest practical example of a piece of polyphonic music – the term given to music that combines more than one independent melody – ever discovered.
Written using an early form of notation that predates the invention of the stave, it was inked into the space at the end of a manuscript of the Life of Bishop Maternianus of Reims.
The piece was discovered by Giovanni Varelli, a PhD student from St John’s College, University of Cambridge, while he was working on an internship at the British Library. He discovered the manuscript by chance, and was struck by the unusual form of the notation. Varelli specialises in early musical notation, and realised that it consisted of two vocal parts, each complementing the other.
Polyphony defined most European music up until the 20th century, but it is not clear exactly when it emerged. Treatises which lay out the theoretical basis for music with two independent vocal parts survive from the early Middle Ages, but until now the earliest known examples of a practical piece written specifically for more than one voice came from a collection known as The Winchester Troper, which dates back to the year 1000.
Varelli’s research suggests that the author of the newly-found piece – a short “antiphon” with a second voice providing a vocal accompaniment – was written around the year 900.
As well as its age, the piece is also significant because it deviates from the convention laid out in treatises at the time. This suggests that even at this embryonic stage, composers were experimenting with form and breaking the rules of polyphony almost at the same time as they were being written.
“What’s interesting here is that we are looking at the birth of polyphonic music and we are not seeing what we expected,” Varelli said.

[…]

Read the rest there.

Included is some modern notation.

Here is a video of the piece being sung.

Not exactly the “My Little Pony” stuff we hear in most churches now.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear early polyphony, such as that of Léonin and Pérotin and other ars antiqua writers I find it eerily moving. These people were steeped, positively drowning, in transcendence. That’s what gives their music a kind of hair-raising quality.

More…

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

ASK FATHER: Pyxes left in the choir loft after Communion

Were more pyxes to be of this quality, it would be far less likely to find them lying around, unpurified, in places where they don’t belong. Just a thought.

From a reader….

QUAERITUR:

I frequently find communion pyxes lying on the organ in the choir loft. They seem to be left there from a prior Mass where they were used to bring Holy Communion to the choir by an extraordinary minister.

Should the pyxes just be left in the loft? Aren’t they supposed to be purified?

Goodness gracious.

Of course they should be purified!

Take them all to the priest, as soon as possible.  Tell him where you found those unpurified pyxes!

Care of the Blessed Sacrament, as the center of parish life, is among the most solemn responsibilities that every pastor must account for before God.

Pyxes should be properly used, which means also properly cleansed after use.

Furthermore, they ought to be of a dignified material.  They should be treated with the respect due to a vessel that carries our Eucharistic Lord.

Leaving them lying about unpurified is not how to show them respect.

Respect for sacred liturgical vessels, such as chalices, monstrances and pyxes, both flows from and also influences faith in the Eucharist.  Treating the vessels with dignity and care, helps to foster faith and reverence for the Eucharist.  Misuse and negligence, on the other hand, both reveals weakness of faith and understanding and erodes further the little there is.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

NYC cops assassinated. Remarks and prayers.

Michael ArchangelI am sad and angry about the assassination of two New York City police offers.

I will remember them and their families in my prayers.

There’s lots of blame to go around. First, the perp was a Muslim who posted photos of pages of the Koran on his Facebook page (about inflicting terror). Next, there are professional race-baiters who have been in vulturine orbit around the city, and around Ferguson, in the wake of other incidents. Third, I don’t see a way not to blame the Mayor, De Blasio, whose real name is Warren Wilhelm, Jr., and who traveled to Nicaragua in the 80’s in support of the Sandinistas (who aligned with Cuba to support Marxist revolution in South America), and who honeymooned in Cuba.

You cops out there: Keep your heads on a swivel!

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, patron of police officers, be our defense.

Posted in Cri de Coeur, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

I read Mass this morning. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

mass TLM

“Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube haec perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae: ut quotquot, ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii tui, Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.”

I read Mass this morning. No, actually, I sang Mass this morning, but saying “read Mass” is more fun. It annoys liberals.

We have various phrases which means basically the same thing, but with certain nuances. And old-fashioned description of what the priest does, he “reads” Mass, stresses that he is not the author, and that he is God’s instrument. “Says” Mass underscores the verbal aspect. “Celebrates” Mass emphasizes our Christian hope and optimism (perhaps too much sometimes). “Prays” Mass has always stuck me as being a little cloying, perhaps overly pious, depending on who says it, why, with what tone and how many times. Otherwise, it’s a great term.

I think it would be good to attempt to hold all these words in one’s mind simultaneously even though we pick one at a time when talking. Otherwise, how about something like “readisaycelepray”? Today I “readisaidceleprayed” Mass, of course shifting that “read” to past tense.

And notice that all of those ways have in common the concept, “Mass”. Not “liturgy”… “Mass”.

What doesn’t work is anything having to do with “preside”. That opens up all sorts of problems. The whole notion of priest – no, sorry, presbyter, as the head of the assembly, presiding at liturgy. After long doses of this sort of thing, people ( including the priest presbyter – remember, “presbyter” should always set off alarm bells), get the sense that they, too, are celebrating, praying (never reading!) “liturgy” in the same way as the … ehem… presider.  I can have a separate post on the priest/presbyter thing, why liberals want to get rid of priest and substitute presbyter and presider. (HINT: It has to do with Sacrifice.)

No.

Let’s be clear about this.

Ten thousand million billion lay people can stand around an altar, with the arms extended, saying, praying, speaking, yodeling, Siberian Throat-Singing the words of consecration (and, yes, let’s say “consecration”, not “institution”, which is another alarm bell term).  Let them stand there for 100 years, repeating the words over and over again.   At the end of 100 years, on the altar there are still bread (now stale) and wine (probably dried up).  That’s all.  Extra  dust maybe.  No change in the substance of the bread and wine will have taken place.

Fr Z with JPSonnen at S CeciliaOn the other hand, today I was at the altar and, when reading, I said the proper words, prayerfully and with measure of Christian joy, God made them change their substance into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Had I said them loudly or whispered… same effect.  If I had merely read them, rather than intensely concentrating on their meaning, same effect.  If no other human being had been in the church, same effect.  God did it through me, as His alter Christus, not because I am earnest, not because I was celebrating or presiding, but because I am ordained and lay people aren’t.  And let’s remember that deacons are ordained but they aren’t priests.  Only priests and bishops are priests, sacerdotes, who confect the Eucharist.

Lay people in the pews have no effect whatsoever on the sacramental, real change of the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of the Lord, transubstantiation.

Of course we priests do what we do for you.

But wait!  We also do it for ourselves, whether you are there or not.

We also do it for the whole world, whether you are there or not.

Readisaycelepraying Mass is good in itself, whether there are a thousand people or not even a server.  The effects of each reverently offered Mass (that’s another word, “offer” Mass) are beyond our ken.  The renewal of Christ’s once-for-all Sacrifice has benefits for the world that we cannot fathom.

Moreover, the more Masses , the better.

Thus endeth the rant.

traditional-latin-mass-altar-your-view

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Priests and Priesthood, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | 30 Comments

Thursday Night Football Saturday. Hey! Wait a minute!

Transferring important Feasts, such as Ascension Thursday, to a Sunday is a Really Bad Idea.

Ascension Thursday Sunday? What sense does that make?

But wait! There’s more.

Who knew that the officially sanctioned watering down of our Catholic identity in the transfer of feasts would metastasize beyond the Church?

From SBNation:

thursday footballThursday Night Football: Saturday Edition’ is the dumbest thing we’ve seen recently

It is not Thursday. It is not night. We acknowledge it is football. But that means you’re 1-for-3. [Sounding familiar?]

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: SATURDAY EDITION does not make sense. Because, you know, just call it Saturday night football. I mean, it’s not even night. It’s bright out. [These guys get it.  But our guys?  Noooo.]

This would kinda make sense if Thursday Night Football was immensely popular, a beloved brand everybody across the country was passionate about and excited to see more of. But it’s not, really. Everyone kinda hates Thursday Night Football. Players complain they only had three rest days and cite a higher risk of injury on short play. Although fans like an extra night of football, many notice that without a full week of practice, games are a bit sloppier. Everybody generally acknowledges that Thursday Night Football is just a way for the NFL to make more money. Why would you want to associate more football with something everyone hates?

We’d criticize CBS/NFL Network for being lazy and not making extra graphics… except they kinda did make extra graphic, just awkward Thursday Night Football Saturday Edition graphics:

[…]

Laziness.

When Ascension, and other great feasts, is bumped to Sunday, the signal sent is that the feast just isn’t all that important and, as a bonus, that being lazy and not planning around your Faith is just fine.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged | 5 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 22: Isaiah, John and Mary

Here is a 5-minute, daily podcast – today for the 4th Sunday of Advent – to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your personal meeting with the Lord.  We are in that final stretch of Advent when we use the O Antiphons.

These podcasts are a token of gratitude to my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen! PS: The wavy flag is how I’m trying to get to Rome for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting in January.  This one’s on me.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/adventcazt/2014/141221Advent0322.mp3

I often have music from the wonderful Advent disc by the Benedictines. You will remember that Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They have chart topping discs. HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

PPS: Once again, with annual precision, the stats feature is screwed up.  I’m getting skewed numbers.

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It’s. Another. Religion.

ruined church detroitI was once in a parish with a school. I visited class rooms. I was asked to blessed the class rooms by the pastor. By way of explanation of what blessings are all about I wanted to make the distinction between sacraments and sacramentals. That’s when I discovered that even in the 8th grade, not only could not a single student say what a sacrament is, none of them could name one of the sacraments. And yet I was the one who got into trouble for asking the question in the first place!

This, friends, is what we are dealing with.

This is from First Things. It reminds me of experiences I have had.  My emphases and comments.

At noon I have to be at the local Catholic school—let’s call it St. Dismas—to train altar servers. I will arrive a few minutes early, and by 12:05 most of the kids will have trickled in. We are in Southern California, so most of the boys at St. Dismas wear short pants year-round. Students are required to attend one Mass per month with the school, but it has never occurred to anyone, not their parents, not the pastor, not the teachers, and certainly not the students, that they should wear pants to Mass. The girls wear skirts that in 1966 would have been described as “micro-minis.” When I told the boys’ parents that I expected them to wear their uniform pants to Mass when they become servers, the school principal—a genial thirty-something man who insists on the rigorous use of the title “Dr.” but often wears sweatpants and flip-flops to work [See how decorum plays into this?] —cornered me outside his office for a talk. He warned me that I might get some pushback from parents on the pants requirement. “We are only a medium-Catholic school,” he informed me. “We’re not really that Catholic.”

When we walk as a group into the nave (the church itself is almost barren of Catholic art or iconography), none of the kids bow or genuflect before the tabernacle. They are unaware that this is something they should do. [At the same parish I mentioned above, I was asked to show the soon-to-be 1st Communicants around the church.  When we came to the tabernacle, none of them knew anything about genuflecting.  I showed them and explained why.  “Because the Blessed Sacrament is kept in there!”  Blank faces.  Not a flicker of recognition… and 7 year olds aren’t usually stoic.  I tried several ways of saying what and WHO was in that big ornate box.  Finally, one little boy screwed up his face and said, “You mean that piece of bread thing?”] They don’t know, because none of these children attend Mass on Sunday. When they do become altar servers, they will be dropped off moments before Mass begins and picked up by an idling SUV before the organ has finished the recessional. From time to time, the parents of altar servers can be seen standing outside the church, hunched over a smart phone, killing time while they wait for Mass to finish.

At this point in the school year, the first-time altar servers have developed a rudimentary understanding of what is expected of them during Mass, but when they began their training in September they needed quite a lot of attention. As I said, they attend Mass once a month with their class, but never on Sunday. Therefore, none of them are aware of the Gloria, the Credo, or the Second Reading. On the first day of training, several kids made the Sign of the Cross in the eastern fashion, and I had to take several minutes to correct them. I brought this up with a member of the school administration, and she was somewhat surprised. The kids say a morning prayer each day, she said, and they begin with the Sign of the Cross. It’s possible that no one ever corrected them. I have never seen any of the teachers at Holy Mass, so it seems likely that this sort of attention to detail isn’t a priority for them either.

The children know nothing of vestments, sacramentals, [That’s for sure!] the prayers of the Church other than the Hail Mary and the Our Father, feast days, or the concept of Sanctifying Grace. None has been to confession since the first one, but all receive communion without any thought. If their parents are forced into Mass, they too will line up for communion and receive it happily and without qualm. The teachers aren’t practicing Catholics, the parents aren’t practicing Catholics, and the parish priest would never dare suggest to the congregation that they go to confession. He correctly understands that there would be outrage among his flock.

The pastor at St. Dismas is a gay man. It is quite possible that this priest—let’s call him Fr. Dave—lives a life of celibacy. I have no reason to doubt that he does. He presents himself, however, as a traditional, American “queen.” He is a kind and gentle priest, and I think the kids genuinely like him. He does everything he can to take part in the life of the school, and he always has a warm word for parishioners, students, and parents. Fr. Dave has been my primary confessor for about six years. His style in the confessional is orthodox. He makes no attempt to psychoanalyze me, and he levies a serious penance when I deserve it. He is also quite reverent as a presider at Holy Mass. He does not improvise, and he makes it plain that he considers Mass to be a grave and solemn occasion.

Fr. Dave knows better than to suggest to his flock how to live as Catholics. He does not speak of sin. Ever. He does not discuss the saints, devotions, the rosary or prayer of any kind, marriage, death, the sacraments, Catholic family life, the Devil, the poor, the sick, the elderly, the young, mercy, forgiveness, or any other aspect of the Catholic faith that might be useful to a layperson. His homilies are the worst sort of lukewarm application of the day’s Gospel reading—shopworn sermons that sound very much like they were copied word for word from a book of Gospel reflections published in 1975. No one in the pews ever discusses his homilies as far as I can tell.

The pews are not full. The most crowded Mass is at ten-thirty on Sunday morning, when the church is usually about two-thirds full. Holy days of obligation draw almost no one. I attended the Easter Vigil last year and the Church was half empty. The crowd at a typical Sunday Mass is mixed. There are quite a few elderly parishioners who sit together and ignore the rubrics of the Mass. They refuse to kneel after Communion, they hold hands during the Our Father, they chat loudly before and after Mass, and they roam the Church greeting their friends, seemingly unaware that others might want to pray in silence. The most prayerful and reverent congregants are the handful of Filipino families. The other Mass-goers are a smattering of middle class families, stray Catholic singles, and a few Latin American die-hards. After Mass, the older people hang around and shake hands with the pastor. Everyone else drives away. I know only a small handful of my fellow parishioners, and I hesitate to bring any of this up with them. It doesn’t seem worth it.

Yes, that’s how it ends.

Just a shrug of the shoulders.

It’s. Another. Religion.

If it’s a religion at all.

This is what the Olympian Middle eventually degrades to.

Those poor people have never had anyone to shepherd them.

And Jesus went about all the cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease, and every infirmity. And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying like sheep that have no shepherd. Then he saith to his disciples, The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.

This is why we needed Summorum Pontificum.  This is why certain people will do anything to stop Summorum Pontificum.  This is why we will never stop.

Summorum Pontificum and the vision that Benedict XVI offered us is the best way forward with a New Evangelization. 

 

Posted in Cri de Coeur, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | 42 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 21: The state of mortal sin

UPDATED

Here is a 5-minute, daily podcast – today for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent – to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your personal meeting with the Lord.  We are in that final stretch of Advent when we use the O Antiphons.

Sorry, I’m late with this.  I’m under the weather.

These podcasts are a token of gratitude to my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen! PS: The wavy flag is how I’m trying to get to Rome for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting in January.  This one’s on me.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/adventcazt/2014/141219Advent0321.mp3

I often have music from the wonderful Advent disc by the Benedictines. You will remember that Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They have chart topping discs. HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

PPS: Once again, with annual precision, the stats feature is screwed up.  I’m getting skewed numbers.

PPPS: GO TO CONFESSION!

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, De Novissimis: Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A breakthrough!

I think I am finally beginning to understand the LCWR and the Fishwrap.  I want you to understand them too.  Here’s a helpful video.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 13 Comments