Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation?

Let us know.

I was deacon for a TLM Solemn today, so I didn’t preach at that Mass, but I took the next Mass, too, NO.   Jumping off from the Gospel, I spoke about the magnificent bodies we will have in the resurrection.  Christ showed us something of what they will be like, with their characteristics of brightness, agility, subtlety, and impassibility.

Considering what awaits us in the joy of heaven, where Christ will share something of His transforming glory with us, why would we sin and lose what He has won?

And yet we do.

What a merciful Savior we have, who saved us once, and saves us again and again for all time.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | 12 Comments

23 April is “Talk Like Shakespeare Day”! Newly discovered act of a rare play….

After Masses this morning, TLM and NO, I had lunch and nap.

I awoke with a start.

Today, I suddenly realized, is…


shakespeareYes, it is the birthday of the Bard.

In the past I have encouraged you to talk like Shakespeare.

To help you, I have offered videos and some suggestive words.  I hope you remember them.

I also, to enkindle in you a true zeal for this moment – which can spill over into tomorrow because, hey, why not? – I even posted a scene from a little known play called… A Most Tragikal Hystory of Obama I

I found another little known piece (I dashed off) which might bring you to beg the Muse for … the… thing muses give.

The Trumping of the Shrew

Dramatis personae:
Lord Trump: President of these USA
Lord Sean: Baron of Spicer – Secretary of Press
Lord Bannon: Earl of Breitbart – Counselor
New York Times
Lord Sessions – Attorney General
Hillary Clinton
Crowd – Outside

O for a network pundit that would salve
the anxious outcome of elections tense,
a stage for wonk debates, senators to prate,
and congressmen to guide th’ electorate.
So has the ruddy Donald, hair swept up,
defied th’ establishment and, in his wake,
has claimants one by one discomfited,
brought down in vanquishment and loss.
But pardon, sponsors all, for we halt now
your pandering for sales with this stock gang
of mainsteam media elites, who press
in conference for POTUS now to hear.
List! List! O list if ever you
did county love and office high respect.
For Donald, hair in place, has enteréd
a statement now to make, with many quips
to batter newsies where they stand or sit,
because their daily coverage is for….

[TRUMP-ETS. ENTER Trump, Sean, Bannon, retainers]

Hail now the coming of himself. All rise.
Honor now to POTUS Donald raise.

All during our campaign, you leeches fleered
and hooted high whenever I foretold
that we would sweep our states with style
and with our college electoral take the crown.
No no, you clowns with twisted news and fake,
conspired our ascendancy to break.
Thus speak I now.  I, not you, was right.
And you were wrong our victory to scorn.
But it was huge, huge I say and great.
Safe, strong and fair America shall be
again, believe me, I can tell you that.

Vultures, do your best the President
to harm, his every word to twist and wrench.
The Donald will your hollow questions take.

I see one there, of lefty CNN
e’er in the sack with foe homonymous.

O POTUS, smug and with thy mane o’er thrust,
when during months campaigning, with your sneer
thou didst make sundry vows and promises.
Of taxes you said plenty.  Where’s the beef?
And rampaged you against the thrifty care
which blessed Obama graciously did grant
to all the poor, his name forever blessed.
The wall you called for with your rabid mass
of devotees deluded’s still not up.
Now what? What now, o promiser in chief?
Cans’t show us ought as token of success
in this centenary of days primordial?

Build the Wall!  Build the Wall!
Mexico shall pay withal!

A beaut’, thou art, sirrah, a real beaut’.
Did e’er your channel, bewizzened and beguiled,
you commie, tree-enamored blatteroons,
attention lend to facts and state them fair?
Fake!  Fake, your news. Forsooth, it’s fake!
Believe me, I can tell you that, again.
In governing, the waste and taxes swoll’n
shall be laid low in blesséd sweet relief
of fardels foisted on the working man
by dems, known otherwise as losers all.
Renew we now our oft-repeated pledge.
Again America renewed shall be
and great and safe and strong.  Believe you me!

In nebulosity sulphuric there
I spy a lady frantic, gray and shrunk,
mad to retrace her halcyon steps when she
did once o’er-awe the inky media.
Let next Hell’s Bible query POTUS here
for our amusement and their termless shame.

Mister President – O how that word
does stick as if it were a sharpened bone
or twig or any other sort of thing
with points and jags and cuts and stings and … points –
O would that I could point and jag and sting
with cutting prose and jabbing stinging … points
and … but… Deny this, in a rush
of phrases known by now by everyone so well!
It’s true for sure that you and yours, by which
I mean your evil clutch of Breitbart serfs,
your hireling attendants such as that
retainer there, are in the Russians’ pay
and are so compromised, that every course
homey and domestic is bewitched.
Tell, O POTUS, tell!  Cans’t thou be true?

See?  See? This is what I mean.
The times of Knickerbocker fame have past.
They scrape and con, subscribers to elate,
and tired old subscriptions to retain.
No way did Vlad extend in cyberplots
dread influence forth to local, and to state
or federal contests, safe and e’er secure.
Why waste we now our time on this old times,
whose time is past, whose readership is few?
If Russian stories you would seek, then go,
alacritous to Chappaqua thee hie.
Of Hillary there ask, or ask her vile
ensconcéd servers, though in fostering
these questions thou mays’t accidently die
and wind up in some park against a tree.
Now go.  Ask not thou Roosky chat from me.
Seek sordid Bill and worsted Hillary.

Lock her up!  Lock her up!

Good my liege and POTUS, stay and hear
while news I bring to presidential ear.
Foreseeing that the MSM would dote
upon the Clintons, facts ignoring all,
the senior staff of this thy snowy house
surprise has sorted, documents made out
so that, indicted, seized and brought to town,
judicial process and the FBI
at long last might sift Hillary anew.
And though the MSM shall take the part
of Alekto, shall Tisiphone’s play out,
be they Magaera in the flesh, we shall
in equity remain, and blameless cool,
irenic ever to their Erinyes.

SPICER [Aside]:

Well and fairly explainest thou thyself,
believe me, I will tell you by and by,
O counsel bearing Bannon, trusted aide.
But, speak now, hide this not from POTUS eyes.
Now tell us in the press room here before
the present MSM, agog – what beauts!
Reveal!  What’s in this wondrous cheery tale
you hinted at of portents unforeseen?

With keen juridic Sessions, comes she now.
It’s presaged by that clanking in the hall.


Woe!  Woe! And more woe!

Lock her up!  Lock her up!

What’s this ghost-like image I descry?


O wrinkléd one.


Gentlemen and ladies of the press,
you know the former lady of his place.
First lady of the land as once she was
she stands now neither lady nor the first.
In second place defeated came she in,
though you, the MSM, did long e’re since
bedeck her with your plaudits, laurels raw.
You simpered, fawning, supine, biased all,
sycophantic toadies that you are.

Lock her up!  Lock her up!

Sweet music.  Sweet days.
Silence, now, and let her have her say,
but guard thine ears from poison that she’ll spray.

Thus did I ever make this land my purse.
For mine own slaves made I these media fools.
For this great office did I time expend,
deserving, righteous, due and next in line
to take and hold for always what is mine.
Mine.  Mine it is!  Taken, precious, lost.
Soros rich, and MSM besides
could not conspire to bring me to my prize.
Alinsky tactical, dread Satan’s champ,
provided me with playbook thick with scams.
As chief among Obama’s diplomats
I, myself the law, did smile at regs
made for the lesser beings, for their rule,
while we, th’ enlightened, dictated and fleeced
the man forgotten, simple, dim and slow.
Though heavy hang these chains in place of crowns,
again name I the morons who opposed
me bigots, racists, homophobic dolts.
Your heads deplorable shall fall into
the teaming baskets fit for xenophobes.
As for the forty and the fourth in line
of oval office yon, I hate the moor,
who lent not pardon when my hopes were rent
and to the White House Donald Trump was sent.

O piteous spectacle!

O woeful day!

Didn’t I say it?  Did I it not say?
In penultimate debate I made it clear
that, when this lofty office I did claim
we’d find, o fibber, emails erased.
Quoth I before the biased MSM
my general attorney to engage
to ferret out the truth behind thy lies
and see that justice in this land be done.
And to my promises I shall be true.
As never knew the Attic denizens,
who raiséd up stout wooden parapets
‘gainst the Spartans grim, shall our wall be.
The Roman, close to courses mine on heaths
of golfy Scotland palisades did frame
Hadrianatical.  Nor Gobi dry,
nor Beijing smoggy saw our ramparts high,
high, lofty strong and unafraid.
For in that wall towards welcome guests arrived
there op’s a comprehensive door,
a door, believe me, op’ed to lawful path.
Against all hombres peccant, dudes corrupt,
I can tell you, this wall will be sealéd.
Seal’d, that is, not op’ed. And that’s for you,
you fake news types who haven’t got a clue.

Build the Wall!  Build the Wall!
Mexico shall pay withal!


Woe, woe and thrice woe.

We are going to work to make a land
once known for justice, pow’r, wealth and hope,
which enemies abroad and here do hate,
become again America the Great!


Sessions, good my lord, Enforcer Prime,
take ye now this baggage hence and hie
unto the Tower grim, her trial to hold,
her sentence to attend and prison taste.
Let thoughts of laws long-scorned race though her brain
as sparks of conscious lightning might old ash
fire into humble penance and respect.
If indeed, as she lamented now,
the lack of pardon from the forty-fourth,
the forty-fifth, who weighs and wields right now
prerogative benign, may issue forth
mild pardons and his commutations kind.
It will be huge.  Believe.  ‘Tis truth I tell.
But now, to Mar-A-Lago let us go.
A Baron does await our presence there
with true Melania, and Ivanka fair,
dear siblings and the rest.  Come, let us go.


What say you, newsies?  Agents of fake news?
What say you in the wake of these events?
What shall your carrion messages convey,
to trouble all our homeland, free and brave?

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!

To Berkeley!



Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 10 Comments

PASCHALCAzT 2017 54 – Low Sunday “in albis”: Peace be to you!

paschalcazt2017Today 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, a favorite of mine from this, and appropriate for this final podcast.



Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PASCHALCAzT, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fr. Murray, Prof. Royal on “Deaconettes”, ‘Amoris laetitia’, Liturgy, Communion in the hand

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.

Oh boy!

Speaking of JESUITS… HERE

Posted in The Drill | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

WDTPRS: Octave of Easter “in albis”, Quasimodo Sunday

Caravaggio_-_The_Incredulity_of_Saint_ThomasIn 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.


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.


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?


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


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.

And persevere.

Posted in EASTER, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

AUDIO – Victimae Paschali Laudes – As you may never have heard it before

schuler20 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).


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Books For Seminarians Project – COMPLETED!

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!

My wish lists

Main WishlistKindle WishlistAudio WishlistHam Radio List
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, REVIEWS, The Campus Telephone Pole, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are you a Sponsor for a Confirmand? Will you be one? Food for thought.

12_03_12_confirmationMany 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.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

PASCHALCAzT 2017 53 – Easter Saturday: Mercy

paschalcazt2017Today 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.



Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PASCHALCAzT, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ASK FATHER: Two-phase wedding? First in church, then at the beach?

matrimony marriage wedding cardFrom 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.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, HONORED GUESTS, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

ASK FATHER: The inevitable “Rite of Thanking” at the end of Mass

thankyou_languagesFrom 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.

When the list of "thanks" comes at the end of Mass, when I am involved ...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

When the list of "thanks" comes at the end of Mass, when I am NOT involved ...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Decorum, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, POLLS | Tagged , | 41 Comments

PASCHALCAzT 2017 52 – Easter Friday: Such is Jesus Christ

paschalcazt2017Today 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….



Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PASCHALCAzT, Patristiblogging, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ASK FATHER: Eating meat on Friday in the Octave of Easter

Let’s get out in front of this before the calendar clicks over to Friday

From a reader…


My wife and I recently returned to the traditional friday abstinence from meat year round.

Traditionally, would the friday abstinence from meat also apply during fridays of the whole easter season?

What about just the octave?

Congratulations for wanting to adhere to the traditional practices.  Kudos.

You’ve asked a good question.

Pay attention, in the Latin Church, to can. 1251:

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

The days of the Octave of Easter are celebrated as Solemnities (in the Novus Ordo calendar).    Therefore, there is no obligation for the Friday penance on this Friday.

The other Fridays of Eastertide are not Solemnities.

This is how the 1983 Code of Canon Law handles Friday in the Octave of Easter, and this applies also to those who prefer the Extraordinary Form (which did not have “Solemnities”).  BTW… this does not apply to the Octave of Christmas, for those days of the Octave are not counted as “Solemnities” as are those of the Easter Octave.

NB: As far as other Fridays are concerned, outside the Octave of Easter or some other Solemnity, you can ask your parish priest to dispense you or commute your act of penance.

Can. 1245 Without prejudice to the right of diocesan bishops mentioned in can. 87, for a just cause and according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, a pastor[parish priest] can grant in individual cases a dispensation from the obligation of observing a feast day or a day of penance or can grant a commutation of the obligation into other pious works. A superior of a religious institute or society of apostolic life, if they are clerical and of pontifical right, can also do this in regard to his own subjects and others living in the house day and night.

Abstinence from meat has good reasoning behind it. For some, however, there abstinence from other things can be of greater spiritual effect.

Certainly you would never abstain from reading this blog… or ordering…


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

NEW Fr. Z Swag Available: Pope BENEDICT XIV Lambertini (1740-1758)

Benedict_XIV_SHIRT_FRONTThe 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!

Posted in In The Wild, Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

A note to readers…

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!

Some options

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Leave a comment