ASK FATHER: Father says that rubrics are only suggestions

coobookFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I am a member of a consultative body for our parish. During a lively (for lack of a less-positive term) discussion at a recent meeting we were told by our pastor that the GIRM is, in essence, a set of recommendations for the pastor to consider when overseeing the Mass and liturgical celebrations in our parish. Further, the Pastor has wide latitude (my words) in interpretation.

My question is, in a nutshell, how should we read the General Instructions of the Roman Missal and how should its tenets be applied?

Ahhhh, the old “cookbook theory”. The nemesis of the faithful far and wide.

Back in the dark liturgical ages that were the 1980’s, in many places there was a line trumpeted by our mainline liturgist overlords. That is… The Sacramentary is not so much a set of ‘rigid’ rules to be strictly followed. It’s more like a cookbook. Good cooks know, almost instinctively, when to follow the recipe and when to make adaptations. The soup calls for a tablespoon of garlic, but the garlic on hand is older and less potent. Besides the family likes garlic, so the cook tosses in two tablespoons. The pound cake recipe is good, but adding a tablespoon of almond extract will make it taste that much better.

So too liturgy, according to this theory.

The good “presider” knows when to adapt certain words, phrases, and gestures to make the liturgy more meaningful for the congregation. That is… Hey! It’s Lent. We want to emphasize penance, so let’s lengthen the penitential rite, maybe parade about blowing a Jewish shofar to highlight the concept of atonement. Now it’s Easter! :et’s emphasize the resurrection by doing away with the penitential rite altogether. This congregation doesn’t have any connection to the saints listed in the Roman Canon, so lets substitute that with a list of famous social activists and notable founding parishioners. The local sports team is in a national contest! Let’s drape the altar with blue and green bunting to show our support.

It quickly gets absurd.

The Ordinary Form of Holy Mass offers the priest celebrant some latitude, some options at certain points (not all the time and in everything). For example, the priest can choose from several forms for the penitential rite and he can legitimately include or exclude the Sign of Peace. Rubrics of the previous editions of the Missal were studded with the dread phrase, “in these or similar words, the priest…”. The cookbook attitude was exacerbated by these ill-advised optative rubrics. Most of these rubrics are gone from the current edition. The priest is simply given the words he is to say.

Creating options where there are not options in the rubrics is … what’s the word…. wrong.

The General Institution of the Roman Missal is law. It has full legal force. It is as much binding law as the Code of Canon Law is. They are both on the same legal plane. Canon 2 of the Code of Canon Law states that, for the most part, liturgical law is outside the Code. It’s in the rubrics and the General Instruction.

Rubrics are laws, not suggestions. Purposely violating the law is a serious matter.

5 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (97% score)
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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | 6 Comments

YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

Something is up. I’m getting many more requests for prayers than last year at this time

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below. You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have a pressing personal petition.

14 votes, 4.07 avg. rating (81% score)
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SSPX – Schism or not?

Recently there has been some slightly turbulent discussion in the blogosphere about the canonical status of the Society of St. Pius X, that is, whether or not the SSPX is in “schism”. Some people refer to them as “schismatic”.

That isn’t quite accurate.

First, remember that the the full name of the SSPX is “Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X… the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X”. So, the true membership of the SSPX are the bishops, priests and, I suppose in a tangential way, the seminarians and religious. Lay people who frequent their chapels aren’t really members.

When I worked for the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” we avoided using the word “schism”. There hasn’t been any official determination that they are in schism.

That said, it must be admitted that Pope John Paul II wrote of the 1988 illicit consecration of bishops as a “schismatic act”. The 1983 Code in can. 751 describes schism as “withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him”. And I think that the “duck argument” could apply, at least as a warning of what could come in the future.

Moreover, in 2013 Card. Mueller of the CDF – also the President of the PCED – referred to them as being is schism. That said, there hasn’t ever been any official ruling and declaration that the SSPX is, formally, in schism.

In any case, I think it is not helpful refer to the SSPX as being schismatic until such time as that Holy See comes down on that side openly.  Surely is isn’t a good idea to come to digital blows about it.

Folks… we have far bigger problems. We need to close ranks rather than bicker about this sort of thing.

I, for one, pray for a reconciliation. And soon.  If things remain the way they are for much longer, I don’t see how reconciliation will come.  After all, there is now a whole generation raised up in their chapels who have never known clear and unambiguous unity and harmony with the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.  That’s not good.

The moderation queue is ON.  I’ll probably let a lot of comments pile up and release them at once, after some filtering.  So, review and think before posting.

35 votes, 4.11 avg. rating (82% score)
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LENTCAzT 17: Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent.

Reminder: GO TO CONFESSION!

How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/lentcazt15/17_lenctcazt2015.mp3

I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

7 votes, 3.29 avg. rating (68% score)
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Not exactly Crispy Skin Chicken…

… or Beijing Kao Ya.

From Breitbart:

CRISPY DUCKS: SOLAR ARRAY TEST CREMATES 130 BIRDS IN ONE MORNING

Supporters of renewable energies hope that new advances in solar technology will figuratively set the world on fire, but for hundreds of birds in Nevada last month, that scenario became a literal reality. Nearly 130 birds were set alight mid-flight during tests for the new 110 megawatt solar array plant in Tonopah, Nevada. (h/t Watts Up With That)

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project uses 17,500 heliostat mirrors, each the size of a garage door, to direct sunlight to a central tower rising 1,200 feet above ground level. The combined energy is transferred to molten salt held in the tower, which is circulated and produces steam to generate electricity. Excess heat is stored in the salt, allowing electricity to be generated for up to ten hours without sunlight.

[…]

On January 14th, about a third of the plant was brought online for testing. Unfortunately, about two hours into the test biologists and engineers on site began to notice “streamers” – trails of smoke and steam caused by birds flying into the field of solar radiation. Any moisture on the birds was instantly vapourised, whilst some of the birds themselves burst into flames even as they flapped away. Nearly 130 birds were killed or injured during the test.

[…]

Federal wildlife officials have begun referring to the solar arrays as “mega traps” for wildlife, despite protestations by Ivanpah officials that the streamers are floating rubbish or insects straying within the field. But biologists believe the streamers are caused by a chain of reaction, as insects attracted by the tower’s bright light in turn attract bird species. [It’s the ciiiiircle of liiiiiife…..]

[…]

There must be an appropriate Daffy Duck image for this.

 

17 votes, 3.53 avg. rating (71% score)
Posted in Lighter fare, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 37 Comments

LENTCAzT 16: Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent.

Reminder: GO TO CONFESSION!

How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/lentcazt15/16_lenctcazt2015.mp3

I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

8 votes, 3.50 avg. rating (71% score)
Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Veyron’s successor?

I believe you know that I am still in mourning over the production of the last Bugatti Veyron. HERE

However, one of you alert readers sent me a piece from Car and Driver about the next Bugatti project. HERE

Chiton

Perpend:

Bugatti decided that the Chiron should carry over the Veyron’s 8.0-liter W-16 engine, adding direct injection and electric assistance for at least two of its four turbos to bring output to an estimated 1500 horsepower and 1100 lb-ft of torque. The transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch and, like the Veyron, it will distribute its power through an all-wheel-drive system, this time with torque vectoring. Zero to 62 mph should take less than 2.5 seconds, allegedly. We reported earlier this year that the Veyron’s successor might be a hybrid in the vein of the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918, but this report mentions nothing of the sort.

The Chiron’s “unconfirmed” top speed, according to the report, would be 288 mph thanks in part to active air deflectors, while the rear spoiler will help the carbon-ceramic brakes bring the car to a halt, just like its predecessor.

A Greek chiton is, by the way, a garment, a loosely fitting tunic like affair held at the shoulders with pins.  You see lots of this in ancient statuary.  And, if memory serves, it’s a kind of shell. UPDATE:  Okay, fine. CHIRON. I read it wrong.  And I posted this from an airplane….

13 votes, 2.69 avg. rating (56% score)
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4 March 1865: Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address

A friend dropped a note to me:

Today is the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address!  I just reread it.  I think it’s the finest writing (so far) in American English.  Perhaps it’s worthy of a blog post?

I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Lincoln spent the July 4th before his reelection hosting a picnic on the White House grounds to raise funds to build a Catholic Church for African-Americans in Anacostia.  Interesting tidbit.

Keep in mind that, once upon a time, inaugurations took place on 4 March.   This was changed in the 20th century to 20 January.

Why March? I suppose before the advent of modern transportation they needed a little more time to get things organized.  Also, I believe the ancient Roman civil year began in March.  Try reading it aloud, to find out something what what a president who is a word-smith might say… just as an exercise in contrast if for no other motive:

Fellow-Countrymen:

At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

20 votes, 4.40 avg. rating (87% score)
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My View For Awhile: Close Call Edition

As usual, my flight is delayed.  It happens a lot at this airport.  I’ll have to dash for my connection.  Sigh.

UPDATE

I made it with about 5 minutes to spare.  I hope I’ll have a seat open by me.

Meanwhile, I got into the first pages of this novel, about a terrorist attack on the Mall of America in my native place.  That’s the Mall that famously protects everyone from nefarious neerdowells by posting the ‘no guns’ signs at the doors.  Those signs are sure to keep out the bad guys.  Honestly, I don’t even want to venture into a mall.

But I digress.

21 votes, 2.52 avg. rating (52% score)
Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 13 Comments

Christ’s childhood home found?

The “historical Jesus” is only of passing interest in comparison to the Lord of Salvation.

The Daily Mail has a piece about how archaeologists, reading medieval manuscripts, have identified a likely place …

Hewn into a hillside, this is the humble stone and mortar house where a scholar believes Jesus was raised.

It has been dated to the early 1st century by a British archaeologist who says an ancient text points to the building as being the home in Nazareth where Mary and Joseph brought up the son of God.

Professor Ken Dark says De Locis Sanctis, written in 670 by Irish monk Adomnan, described the house as located between two tombs and below a church.

The text was based on a pilgrimage to Nazareth made by the Frankish bishop Arculf and tells of a church ‘where once there was the house in which the Lord was nourished in his infancy’.

In the Byzantine era, and again in the 12th century at the time of the Crusades, the ruins of the building were incorporated into churches – suggesting it was of great significance and needed to be protected, the Reading University archaeologist argues.

The house was cut into a limestone hillside and has a series of rooms and a stairway. One of the original doorways has survived, as has part of the original chalk floor.

Writing in the journal Biblical Archaeological Review, Dr Dark says that while he has no proof, there is ‘no good reason’ to believe it was not Jesus’s home.

He has been researching the ruins, in what is now northern Israel, since 2006.

The house was first identified as significant in the 1880s after the chance discovery of by nuns an ancient cistern. An excavation was ordered.

Jesuit priest Henri Senes carried out more work in 1936.

Since 2006, Dr Dark’s team has discovered broken cooking pots, a spindle whorl and limestone artefacts.

The limestone items suggest a Jewish family lived there as Jews believed that limestone could not be impure – and Mary and Joseph were living in Nazareth when the angel Gabriel revealed that Mary would give birth to the son of God, a baby to be named Jesus.

Dr Dark, a specialist in first century and Christian archaeology, argues that the house he believes was Jesus’s boyhood home matches Adomnan’s account.

It is located beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, which is across the road from Church of Annunciation in Nazareth.

The Adomnan text describes two churches in Nazareth, one of which was the Church of Annunciation.

Dr Dark writes: ‘The other stood nearby and was built near a vault that also contained a spring and the remains of two tombs.’

The Sisters of Nazareth Convent matches this because there is evidence of a large Byzantine church with a spring and two tombs in its crypt, he says.

Dr Dark writes: ‘Great efforts had been made to encompass the remains of this building. Both the tombs and the house were decorated with mosaics in the Byzantine period, suggesting that they were of special importance, and possibly venerated.

‘Was this the house where Jesus grew up? It is impossible to say on archaeological grounds.

‘On the other hand, there is no good archaeological reason why such an identification should be discounted.’

In 2009 archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority found another 1st century home nearby they believed had been occupied by a Jewish family. However they were able to say only that Jesus may have lived near the site.

Go look at that page.  There are lots of photos.

22 votes, 3.91 avg. rating (78% score)
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