Today is the Octave of Easter, Low Sunday. I wish you and yours a blessed and grace-filled Octave.
This is the last podcast of the 2017 Lent and Easter cycle.
Today’s Roman Station is the San Pancrazio.
Today is the Octave of Easter, Low Sunday. I wish you and yours a blessed and grace-filled Octave.
This is the last podcast of the 2017 Lent and Easter cycle.
Today’s Roman Station is the San Pancrazio.
My good friend Fr. Murray was on EWTN the other day along with Prof. Robert Royal.
They react to Card. Sarah, Bp. Morlino, Thomas Reese, SJ, James Martin, SJ, Card. Schoenborn, etc.
Speaking of JESUITS… HERE
In the post-Conciliar calendar this is the “Second Sunday of Easter.” It is sometimes called “Thomas Sunday” because of the Gospel reading about the doubting Apostle.
It is also famously called “Quasimodo Sunday” for the first word of the opening chant, the Introit (cf. 1 Peter 2:2-3). Quasimodo and Sicut modo are interchangeable. Quasimodo reflects a Latin Scripture version predating what became the Vulgate. So, today’s Mass begins by exhorting the newly baptized.
Oh yes… now it is often called “Mercy Sunday” because of the emphasis on the dimension of the mercy of God’s redemptive act celebrated at Easter. The newest, third edition of the Missale Romanum of 2002 specifically labels this Sunday: Dominica II Paschae seu de divina Misericordia.
Most importantly, since ancient times this Sunday is called “Dominica in albis” or also “in albis depositis”… the Sunday of the “white robes having been taken off.” 1 Peter 2:2-3 says:
“Like (Sicut modo – Vulgate) newborn babes (infantes), long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
This is the reading on Saturday “in albis” in the traditional Roman Rite, as I write, today.
In the ancient Church the newly baptized were called infantes. They wore their white baptismal robes for “octave” period after Easter during which they received special instruction from the bishop about the sacred mysteries and Christian life to which they were not admitted before the Vigil rites. On this Sunday they removed their robes, which were deposited in the cathedral treasury as a perpetual witness to their vows. They were then “out of the nest” of the bishop, as it were, on their own in living their Catholic lives daily. St. Augustine of Hippo (+430), using the imagery of spring, compares the newly baptized to little birds trying to fly from the nest while the parent birds flap around them and chirp noisily to encourage them (s. 376a).
The new Collect for this Sunday (based on a prayer in the Missale Gothicum) for the 1970 and subsequent editions of the Roman Missal begins by calling God merciful.
COLLECT – LATIN TEXT (2002MR):
Deus misericordiae sempiternae,
qui in ipso paschalis festi recursu
fidem sacratae tibi plebis accendis,
auge gratiam quam dedisti,
ut digna omnes intellegentia comprehendant,
quo lavacro abluti, quo spiritu regenerati,
quo sanguine sunt redempti.
In general, when you encounter long, wordy orations, they are of newer composition.
The use of those clauses starting with quo, having no conjunctions (a trope called asyndeton) gives this prayer a very forceful feeling. I very much like that sole sunt (that goes with abluti…regenerati…redempti) imbedded elegantly in the last phrase.
Recursus is “a running back, return, a returning path.” In reference to sight it is something that has power to bring back an image. Recursus harks to the cyclical, “recurring” nature of the Paschal observance.
We have the opportunity to experience the Paschal mysteries each year. This is more than a memorial or re-enactment. By baptism we participate in mysterious events completed once and for all time, but for us in the liturgical year they sacramentally take place again. Remember that sacramental reality is not less real that sensible reality.
According to the hardly mysterious Lewis & Short Dictionary, accendo means “to kindle anything above so that it burns downward” (the opposite of succendo or sub-cendo – to kindle from “below”, like the English “burn up” and “burn down”). You kindle a candle from above. Accendo is also “to set on fire, to kindle, light to light up, illuminate, to inflame a person or thing, to incite, to round up.” This word delivers the fiery liturgical imagery of the Vigil: when Christians are baptized the Holy Spirit (depicted as fire) comes to dwell in them. Intellegentia is “the power of discerning or understanding, discernment.” The vast verb comprehendo is too complex to treat comprehensively. Literally it involves, “to lay hold of something on all sides.” Think of … well… “comprehensive”. Comprehendo also means, “take hold, grasp, seize” or negatively “attack, arrest.” It is also “to perceive with the senses, observe.” Especially it is to grasp with the mind, but in a thorough way (on all sides). In the Collect we want to “grasp with a worthy power of understanding.” This is a profoundly interiorized “grasping” in the sense of true possession.
A lavacrum is a bath. In Titus 3:5 we have, “He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy (misericordiam), by the washing of regeneration (lavacrum regenerationis) and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us rightly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life (vv. 5-7, RSV).” This refers to both the process and effects of baptism, worked in us by the mercy of God.
In our Collect is abluo, “to wash off, wash away, cleanse, purify.” In classical Latin, abluo is used by Cicero (+43 BC) to describe a calming of the passions coming from a religious rite of washing away of sin (Tusc 4, 28, 60) and even by the poet philosopher Lucretius (+ AD 55) in De rerum natura to describe the removal of darkness by the bringing in of light (4, 378). Early Latin speaking Christians lacked vocabulary to express their faith. Abluo was ready made to be adapted to describe the effects of baptism.
OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
God of mercy,
you wash away our sins in water,
you give us new birth in the Spirit,
and redeem us in the blood of Christ.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection
increase our awareness of these blessings,
and renew your gift of life within us.
Do you want to know what the Latin prayer really says?
WDTPRS LITERAL TRANSLATION:
O God of eternal mercy,
who on this recurrence of the paschal feast
do kindle the faith of a people sanctified for Yourself,
increase the grace which You have given,
so that all may comprehend with worthy understanding
by what laver they were washed,
by what Spirit they were regenerated,
by what Blood they were redeemed.
CURRENT ICEL (2011):
God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
In today’s Collect we pray that by the recurring sacred mysteries we veteran Christians and neophytes together as a People will be continually renewed and that our grasp of how we have been redeemed and the effects of that redemption will continually deepen. We who were once set on fire with the indwelling of the Spirit, should want each day for God to rekindle us, burn us up again from above. We want an increase of grace, faith that seeks to grasp, comprehend, understand ever more fully who He is, who we have become in Him. Grace and faith come first, of course. As the ancient adage goes: Nisi credideritis non intellegetis… Unless you will have first believed, you will not understand. We can only go so far on our own. Faith then brings to completion what reason begins to explore.
In a sermon addressed to the catechumens before their baptism at the Easter Vigil, St. Augustine used the imagery of light to help them understand who they were to become (cf. s. 223 and s. 260c):
“Keep the night Vigil humbly. Pray humbly with devoted faith, solid hope, brightly burning charity, pondering what kind of day our splendor will be if our humility can turn night into day. Thus, may God who ordered the light to blaze out of the dark make our hearts blaze brightly, that we may do on the inside something akin to what we have done with the lamps kindled within this house of prayer. Let us furnish the true dwelling place of God, our consciences, with lamps of justice”.
Augustine (and our Church) wants Christians truly to “possess” these mysteries in a way that made a concrete difference.
The newly baptized infantes eventually put off their white robes and get to the business, the work, of living as Catholics.
We who have done this already, perhaps long ago, must continue to wear them in our hearts.
20 April 2017 was the 10th anniversary of the death of Msgr Richard Schuler. A great deal as been written about him and we all owe a debt of gratitude to him for what he did.
In his memory, and to respond to the many requests I received about a piece I used in one of my podcasts for the Easter Octave, here is the rendition of Victimae Paschali Laudes by Pietro Yon which parishioners of St. Agnes in St. Paul have now heard for decades, during the pastorate of Msgr. Schuler (the conductor of the choir and orchestra) and under his successors.
Yes, this can be done in a parish. Not every parish, mind you. But, yes, in a parish.
First, listen to the Sequence as sung by the St. Agnes Schola Cantorum and, especially, the Chorale (I was in both these recordings lo those many years ago).
I posted HERE about this year’s project to give a great book to all the seminarians of the Diocese of Madison, shepherded by the Extraordinary Ordinary, Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino. At that post, I have some blunt things to say about the state of the Church.
I also described in that post what I think Pope Francis might be up to.
In any event, this year’s choice for the seminarians is a terrific new book by Australian theologian Tracey Rowland, Catholic Theology.
On every page she hits for six (did I say that right?).
I just checked my Wish List for progress and found…
So! The project is completed with a spare. I will make sure that the Vocations Director gets these books.
BTW… they have not yet all arrived here at the Cupboard Under The Stairs. They will soon.
I want to thank, in particular, a constant benefactor of this blog, DY, who sent 15 copies! Thank you!
Many of you out there are godparents or sponsors for confirmands (from Latin confirmandus… “someone about to be confirmed”. Some of are are about to take on this responsibility.
Yes, this is a “responsibility”.
Sometimes you may be asked by the less well-informed because you are pals, etc. But this relationship isn’t merely pro-forma. Sure, there are times when baptisms and marriages have been witnessed by the parish caretaker and the priest’s housekeeper because there was no one else around and time was of the essence. That happened. But we are not usually in that situation.
Being a godparent or sponsor means something.
Of course if the parents are indifferent or your own godchild or confirmand blows it off there’s not much you can do but pray from a “distance” and hope, remembering, as Augustine says, where there is charity, there are no distances.
I received a thoughtful email from reader about being a sponsor and about being sponsored.
Food for thought.
“A word from our sponsor…”
So often when we hear that phrase we know it’s going to precede a marketing gimmick or plug for some kind or other organisation behind a particular event or related group. It got me thinking as I prepare myself spiritually and emotionally to “sponsor” a young cousin of mine [a young woman of 18] who will receive the sacrament of confirmation this weekend. Apart from feeling honoured to be asked by her to support her in this momentous soul-changing moment and event in her life, it causes me to pause and reflect on just how much a responsibility it is and will be ….
It also causes me to refresh my own sense of being sponsored by my patron saints, but also and most importantly by the Spirit of God Himself. I know the Spirit inspires me to pray for without Him I cannot pray but I also know I don’t pray directly to Him enough for his sponsorship of me. So as I stand behind my cousin tomorrow with the reassuring hand of an older brother in the faith on her shoulder as she kneels before the Bishop to be “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” – I shall be asking for that same Spirit to teach and guide me in to continued dependence on the Father, so that I too may promote (sponsor) the well being of others in my daily life especially by my words.
Do I hear an “Amen!”?
And, if anyone out there says that you shouldn’t take a “confirmation name”, tell them “Rubbish!”, pick one, and tell the bishop before he confirms you.
Bishop Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, confirming in the traditional Roman Rite.
Today is Easter Saturday. I wish you and yours a blessed and grace-filled Octave.
This is the penultimate podcast of the 2017 Lent and Easter cycle.
Today’s Roman Station is the St. John Lateran.
Today, a favorite of mine from this, and appropriate for this next to the last podcast.
From a reader…
I have a question regarding the situation of two Catholics being married by an unapproved minister.
Would any law prevent the couple from contacting the parish and explaining what they want to do, then following the course of Pre-Cana classes and doing all other things required, THEN, on the day of their Nature Wedding, or the day before, have the exchange of vows before the pastor or deacon in the church or rectory with no fanfare?
After this they could go pledge their love on the beach or whatever they wanted to do, and before whomever they’d like (or no minister at all!).
Would this be tantamount to simulation of the Sacrament?
I know the Church doesn’t want to permit anything that may cause confusion or mislead the faithful, but after all is said and done sacramentally, I can’t imagine another ceremony would have any bearing on the prior ceremony done according to the Church’s laws.
GUEST PRIEST: Fr. Timothy FERGUSON responds:
Weddings are one-time things. Ideally, those called to this vocation go through precisely one (1) wedding in their lifetime. A man and a woman commit to each other to enter into a communion of the whole of life through that one, wonderful, poignant act of consent. Our lives our made up of a series of wonderful, un-repeatable events – from our conception, through our birth, our first word, our first step, our first heartbreak, our wedding, (our ordination, our first solemn vows), up to our unique and un-repeatable death.
We live in a culture of instant playback and do-overs. We video record and photograph every event of our lives so that we can constantly play it back (though, in reality, how many times do we actually view those recorded events?). Great pressure is put on the production value of these home movies that our lives have become. Was the lighting just right? Was the backdrop perfect? Was every cute little foible and hiccup recorded, and every embarrassing foible and burp deleted so that absent family and friends – and posterity will think that we have achieved absolute perfection, even in our imperfections?
The Church envisions our one, unique shot at matrimonial consent being just that – a man and a woman, capable in law, free from impediments, saying “I do” in the presence of a duly authorized witness of the Church. That’s what counts – that’s what makes a marriage. That, followed by a lifetime of daily “I do’s” and a complete sharing of life with one another and, hopefully, the children that follow along.
There are situations that are less than the ideal – such as places where the civil authorities don’t recognize the validity of a Church marriage and couples have to marry civilly before they can do so in the Church. There are circumstances that cannot be avoided. But we really shouldn’t be interested in staging recreations of that one, beautiful, significant moment when a man and a woman become a married couple.
Additionally, as a word of advice: for every ten minutes that a couple spends on planning their wedding, at least ten days should be spent on planning the marriage – getting to know each other, discussing your faith, your hopes, your dreams, your practical plans and understanding of finances, roles, families, habits of prayer. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
From a reader….
I’m curious about your reaction to a part of the Mass I’m calling the “Rite of Thanking”. While it seems that it is especially common with bishops at most liturgies they celebrate, it also happens at times with the pastor. On Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday (I wasn’t at the Easter Vigil), after the post-communion prayer, the bishop celebrating made it a special point to thank the laity who attended (why?), along with concelebrating priests, deacons, seminarians (serving as acolytes), altar servers from the parish, readers and of course, the cantor and choir. At least on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the bishop did not induce applause which was vigorous on Easter Sunday. [Deo gratias.]
I of course understand why they might be doing this, but wonder about the appropriateness, [decorum!] especially due to the special solemnity of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. In my past liturgical service, where I was a reader, EMHC and member of the choir, this would actually cause me embarrassment since I was not there to receive public thanks from the bishop or priest, but to serve God as humbly and as well as I could in these roles.
I’m tempted to write the bishop in all charity to suggest that he poll some of the people performing these liturgical roles and ask them for their reaction to his thanking them for their service. My guess is that while some appreciate the acknowledgement and might be upset if it wasn’t done, many would have the same reaction I have. Perhaps you could test it in a poll with your readers.
I am reminded of…
We, as you, can understand why a bishop or priest would want to express gratitude to all the people who made something big happen.
Should this be liturgical?
I think not. Especially because these rites of thanking can be both cringe worthy in awkwardness and soul-annihilating in length.
There’s nothing that kills a buzz from a beautiful Mass or other rite than the THUD that comes with these Post-Communion interjections.
I recall one bishop who was such a stickler about this thanking business that, when he was jocularly imitated (oh… yes, seminarians and priests do that), we fictitiously thanked every possible person down to the mothers of the people who folded the napkins, etc.
It can become ridiculous and painful, especially because, once you start, you have to get everyone in. But if you say that you can’t get everyone in, then… why not just stop there?
If the bishops are so grateful, they could occasionally send a note to the people involved. That would make a real impression.
A POLL you say? I’ll take a stab.
And I’ll thank everyone in advance NOT to write, “You left out X!”, or “You should have done Y!” Please. I have enough critics. Instead, just thank me, okay?
Choose your best answer and use the combox (if you are registered) to add your thoughtful 2 cents.
I need two polls to cover this properly.
Today is Easter Friday. I wish you and yours a blessed and grace-filled Octave.
This is the ante-penultimate podcast of the 2017 Lent and Easter cycle.
Today’s Roman Station is the St. Mary of the Martyrs, the Pantheon.
Today you’ll hear a bit of a cut that might finally convince you stragglers to get the disc….
The XIVth Popes are pretty impressive Pontiffs.
We know and love Papa Ganganelli – Clement XIV of Happy Memory – in particular for his suppression of the Jesuits.
But let us also consider the greatness of Papa Lambertini – Benedict XIV of especially Happy Memory – for his many gifts as a scholar and jurist, as a humanist and wit.
If Clement XIV is famous for having given the Jesuits their due, Benedict XIV was the Pope to whom canonists and those who work on causes of saints refer to as “The Legislator”. We are still – with some changes here and there – using his basic process for beatification and canonizations.
Benedict is well-known for many things, but here is something which we will all find delightful: he sternly forbade service of women at the altar for Mass, and he included the notion of “deaconettes”.
In his 1755 document Allatae sunt Benedict, who saw that a terrible practice has slithered in among some Greeks, he in the sternest way forbade “altar girls” and any thought of female deacons.
For this alone, Benedict deserves his very own FR. Z SWAG!
And… wear him with pride!
What’s on the back? The text of his prohibition is on the back of these shirts (with two exceptions – one economy shirt for men and one for women which don’t have texts, so check carefully):
What’s on the back? [NB: Some have sent notes about typos. There are no typos on the finished shirts… so don’t freak out.]
Enjoy your mug with some MYSTIC MONK COFFEE or TEA!
To comment here, you have to be registered and your registration must be approved.
Registrations go into a queue, which I check when I can. I’m not always near my computer. Be patient. Check once in a while to see if it went through. The approval isn’t automated and I don’t manually send you confirmations. Sorry. I just don’t have time. Some people write after trying to register multiple times. You are probably already registered! In these cases I’ll usually write back ASAP with a new temporary password.
If you register to comment, pay attention to that field where I ask information about you. You don’t have to provide a biography, address or blood type. Just write something that will show me that you aren’t a bot or a nefarious ne’er-do-well. Your confirmation name is a good one, favorite encyclical, a brief explanation of circumincession… that sort of thing… easy stuff.
Please send VOICE MAIL! Your options are on the sidebar.
Also… if you want to send me SNAIL MAIL the address is:
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
Tridentine Mass Society of Madison
733 Struck St.
P.O. Box 44603
Madison, WI 53744-4603
Speaking of sending something, I am grateful for your donations and your items from my wishlist. Also, I see on my wishlist that we have nearly reached the goal for the book I chose for seminarians of the diocese this summer. I have received 3 copies so far. I’m sure they will come pouring in soon. THANKS!
Also speaking of donations, I’d love to see the list grow a little! If you haven’t signed up yet, please do, especially if this blog is useful for you!
From a reader…
We prefer to attend Ascension Day Mass on Ascension Day whenever possible. This year, we have 2 options – drive 2 hours later in the evening with 4 young children), or attend an SSPX chapel about 30 min away.
If we were to attend the SSPX chapel, would it be correct to receive communion?
There are several factors to consider here.
First, it was clearly the will of Sovereign Pontiffs that people should have generous access to Holy Mass also celebrated in what has come to be called the Extraordinary Form, the traditional form of the Roman Rite. John Paul II, in Ecclesia Dei adflicta, literally commanded by his Apostolic Authority that bishops be generous. They defied him and people suffered. Benedict XVI provided with Summorum Pontificum a juridical solution to both that defiance and the fracturing of Catholic identity in the Church that resulted from the precipitous imposition of an artificially created rite on the Church. Many bishops still defy this legislation. Francis has been signaling to the world his desire to put people at their ease when frequenting chapels of the SSPX by, in indirect ways, granting faculties to otherwise irregular SSPX priests validly to absolve sins. More recently he has provided a way to make sure that marriages witnessed by SSPX priests do not lack proper form.
Also, in her desire that people be able to receive the sacraments in a timely manner and without undue burden, the Church allows that people can go even to non-Catholic ministers with valid sacraments when there is a moral or physical difficulty in accessing a regular Catholic priest. The SSPX is Catholic, not non-Catholic.
The Holy See (Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“) has said that people fulfill their Sunday and Holy Day obligations by participating at Masses of the SSPX.
The Holy See (PCED) has also stated that, in justice, one can give them donations at collection since they have received services from them.
If there were an opportunity to go to Mass in the Extraordinary Form close to you, I think you should always give it preference.
Catholics are obliged by law to receive Communion once a year. There is no obligation to receive Communion at every Mass. We aspire to, of course.
In the past I have not recommended to people that they regularly receive Communion at SSPX Masses. Depending on the priest and the chapel, the tone of the teaching and preaching, one could be in an environment which purposely and openly attempts to undermine unity with the local bishops and with the Pope. One should avoid such places.
Similarly, we acknowledge, one could argue that a regular parish with horrid abuses and with horrid teaching should be avoided, if possible.
However, my recollection is that the PCED has allowed that people could receive occasionally.
So, weigh together these factors and make your decision. If, occasionally, you go to an SSPX chapel 30 minutes away rather than a couple hours with several children in tow, I think you are on pretty solid ground. If, after due consideration, you should receive Communion I don’t think you would automatically err.
The moderation queue is ON, and I will be picky. I don’t want the same old same old.
Today is Easter Thursday. I wish you and yours a blessed and grace-filled Octave.
Today’s Roman Station is the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles.
Easterners sing to us.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have it yet….