Monthly Archives: March 2006

Thursday in the 3rd Week of Lent

We are half way into Lent now. At the beginning of Lent the Church began to die to herself liturgically speaking. Elements of the liturgy, in which we can “actively participate” are taken away from us. The Church says that there is to be no instrumental music in Lent, with the exception of sustaining congregational singing. What the Church means is a little organ, not a band, to do so. Flowers and ornaments in church are curtailed. We no longer have the Gloria and Alleluia.

When 1st Passion Sunday would arrive in the older, Roman calendar, the Iudica me was stripped out of the prayers at the foot of the altar. There was no Gloria Patri at ends of antiphons. Statues and images were drapped and hidden from view. Again, the Church is dying to herself and our active participation in the sensory elements of Mass is being reduced.

At the Triduum, we are given a brief flash of glory at the Mass of the Last Supper and then the Blessed Sacrament is hidden away. The altar is stripped entirely. Bells are no longer sounded. Holy Water is removed. On Good Friday we are deprived even of Mass, though we can have Communion and on Holy Saturday we cannot even have Communion. Remember that reception of Holy Communion is the most perfect form of “active participation”. So, it is as if on that day the Church is dead, awaiting the resurrection. At the beginning of the Vigil we are even deprived of light with which to see.

This is, to my mind, what is is in the background of that quanto…tanto construction. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 10 Comments

Patriarchal News

Okay, everyone, I am now waiting for the day when they take the title “Patriarchal” away from the Lateran Basilica, the Pope’s Cathedral as Bishop of Roma and, once upon a time, Patriarch of the West. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 6 Comments


The Internet Prayer project is rolling right along! This week we already posted both Dutch and Maltese.  Now we have the great African language Swahili. If you can contribute to the collection, please do!  Any language missing from the list … Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Comments Off on UPDATE: INTERNET PRAYER: Swahili

Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent

Day by day our Lenten observance ought to be a polishing not a torture. Sometimes people make the mistake in the spiritual life of putting themselves on the rack. The rock tumbler is a better model than the rack. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 7 Comments

A convert’s reaction to a conversion story

As a convert to the Catholic Church I am interested in hearing and reading about the conversion experiences of others.  Pontifications, to which I tip my biretta, alerted me to one posted on Argent by the Tiber about the writer’s … Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 2 Comments

Archbishop Marini and the Strawman

Not every celebration of the new Mass is bad, though many are. Not every celebration of the older Mass is perfect, … indeed few are. However, there are fewer differences between them, when celebrated according to the books and with a traditional style in mind, than there are differences between, say, St. Ipsidipsi and St. Idealia just down the street in your town. You can go from church to church in some places and see Masses so different you would think they were all representative of different religions. And this doesn’t even bring into the discussion the fact that Ukrainian Catholics and Maronite Catholics are celebrating in their own particular Rites. Are they somehow less Catholic than Latins just because one group prays one way and another group prays in another? Piffle. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 8 Comments

UPDATE: INTERNET PRAYER – Maltese and Dutch!

Folks, a couple friends came through with version of the famous Internet Prayer in both Dutch and Maltese!  Kindly say a prayer for each of the them.  If you can contribute to the collection, please do!  Any language missing from … Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Comments Off on UPDATE: INTERNET PRAYER – Maltese and Dutch!

Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent

As we think about this prayer, remember that originally it was recited by the priest after Communion, rather than at the beginning of Mass. So, we are praying herewith that the graces and effects of the Communion just received would endure. Fairly soon after this prayer we receive the final blessing, wait for the last Gospel and (for a few decades at least) the Leonine prayers after Mass. Then after a quiet moment of thanksgiving out of church we would go to our work, whatever that might be. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 9 Comments

The true meaning of “active participation”

This all has implications for everything which is chosen for the Church’s sacred rites and worship. Proper understanding of active participation as “active receptivity” the perfection of which is reception of Holy Communion in the state of grace, must have an impact on choice of music, placement of choirs, organization of processions, how the reading are handled, use of vestments, organization of the sanctuary, and nearly everything else you can think of about Holy Mass. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 10 Comments

Monday in the 3rd Week in Lent

“Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.” Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 9 Comments

The Thrill Packed World of Latin Dictionaries

The WDTPRS series intends to help you enter more fully and love more deeply the prayers Holy Church has given us.  As a result I must constantly attempt the tight-wire of writing too much and too little, of including huge … Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 5 Comments

3rd Sunday of Lent: COLLECT (2)

An examination of our conscience is a humbling experience. When we look to see who really are inside, we can have different reactions. Sometimes we find things which frighten and discourage us. If we are weak in our habits and our faith, that inveterate enemy of ours souls, the Devil who is “father of lies” will rub us raw with our ugliness tempting us to lose hope about the possibility of living a moral life or, in extreme cases, about our salvation. On a less dramatic plane, falling down in our Lenten resolve on one day can cause a collapse of our will so that we will “flag” and give up. This is why the Lenten discipline is so important. By it we learn to govern our appetites, examine our consciences, do penance, and learn the habits which are virtues. On the other hand, a recognition of sins and failures will “incline” us to call with humble confidence upon the mercy of God who paid the price for our salvation. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Comments Off on 3rd Sunday of Lent: COLLECT (2)

3rd Sunday of Lent: POST COMMUNIONEM

This prayer is an excellent example of the mysterious effects of the Eucharist for the properly disposed baptized man, woman and child, and the responsibilities that derive from our daring to approach so great a gift. First, please note that that word pignus, “pledge, token” indicates that what we have just “taken” is merely a foretaste of what is to be offered to us in heaven. Our prayer today says that we here on earth are “already” filled. At the same time it clearly points to the fact that we do “not yet” have the complete fulfillment of mystery, which will be found only in the celestial banquet of heaven in the sight of God. We have here, as it were, a kind of manna dropping to us from heaven, crumbs from the Father’s feast, though the slightest and tiniest crumb might suffice as the ransom, token, pledge, down payment for every sin committed by every person who has ever lived or ever will live. If this is not enough to make you kneel and beseech God in thanksgiving, then I can’t imagine what will. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | Comments Off on 3rd Sunday of Lent: POST COMMUNIONEM

3rd Sunday of Lent: SUPER OBLATA (1)

Hearken, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against Thee.
Weeping, we lift our eyes to Thee, king most high, redeemer of all. Listen, O Christ, to the prayers of the supplicants.
Thou right Hand of the Father, the keystone, the way of salvation, gate of heaven, cleanse the stains of our sin. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 3 Comments

3rd Sunday of Lent: COLLECT (1)

Here we have a prayer which might aptly describe many of us at this point in Lent: we started out with good resolutions and they are getting hard to keep. If it is not hard to keep to our plan, then perhaps we are not getting the point of Lent. We at times struggle not to fall down and flag in our resolve to gain mastery of sinful habits and tendencies. The powerful threefold Christ-recommended discipline is arduous indeed and our wounded nature rebels against the restraints, seeking the false freedom of license. Maybe we have already slipped and violated our private resolution for Lent. As a people united before Christ’s altar of sacrifice, humble and cast down low, we raise our eyes upwards to the Father who tenderly sees our efforts. Since we are kneeling and cast down (inclimamur) we beg Him to pick us back up, dust us off, and help us stay upright for the rest of the journey (sublevemur). In pleading for help from Him in this way we are acknowledge our helplessness in a way that does not violate our own role and free will. We are also giving witness (confessio) to others of our faith in Him. Continue reading

Posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS | 4 Comments