VERY SERIOUS MOTU PROPRIO QUESTION OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE TO THE FATE OF OUR IMMORTAL SOULS

Everyone… there is a matter of CRITICAL importance to discuss.  

In another entry, participant Henry raised the question:

Do you think just a celebratory sip of fine champagne is ok while reciting a joyful Te Deum?

"JUST A SIP"??? 

This is the edge of the slippery slope into DOOM.

It takes us into a looooong debate known among wiser clergy, which take various forms.  For example,

QUAERITUR:

Is it okay to smoke a cigar while praying the Office?

Most intelligent clergy know that it is definitely NOT okay to smoke cigars while praying the Office.  However, it is okay to pray while smoking

See?

So, it is NOT permissible to sip champagne while saying the Te Deum

It is, however, alright to say the Te Deum while drinking champagne!

You need to know this for when the Motu Proprio comes out. 

I can hear you whiners out there.  The NAYSAYERS.  "But Father!  But Father!", you are sputtering, "Yoooou can’t tell us what is right or wrong!  Who do you think you are?!?  I want to drink Veuve Clicquot while I pray!  I don’t want to pray when I drink the Widow!"

Okay, you naysayers.  Since we are living in a post-modern, post-Christian world, we should put this moral question to a vote, just as YOU naysayer people do with other moral questions!

{democracy:6}
This has been a WDTPRS moral service announcement.
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43 Responses to VERY SERIOUS MOTU PROPRIO QUESTION OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE TO THE FATE OF OUR IMMORTAL SOULS

  1. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    I had a diferent potent potable in mind to ,”loache”,and sip whilst chanting a hymn of praise.
    The very fine Edouard Absinthe from France.
    Is this permissable,or do I need a dispensation?
    Viva La Green Fairy.
    God bless you.

  2. dan: Clearly you don’t get it. You MAY NOT drink Absinthe! Not while praying, at least. You must pray, while drinking Absinthe. Which, as I think of it, is probably the right thing to do and, given that drink’s past, not very often done.

  3. Brian Day says:

    But Father! But Father!

    Of course you can tell us what is right or wrong. It is up to us, with our well-formed consciences, to accept or reject the truth! ;^)

  4. Theodoricus says:

    I always thank the lord and pray while i’m drinking Chateau D’Yquem..
    Of course Father Z. is right!!

  5. Fr. John Pecoraro says:

    Is is permissible to drink a fine glass of Dow’s 94 vintage port and pray the Te Deum whilst ringing the church bell? Sip, pray ring or ring, pray, sip?

  6. mmmm … Chateau D’Yquem. Try it with fois gras. mmmm…

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: Surely you did not take my champagne question for be a serious one! (I’d thought the Latin-vernacular followup might give the tongue-in-cheek away to careful readers).

    But a priest I much respect once remarked “There’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee with Morning Prayer.” (Assuming one’s not in choir dress, I took it.)

    I assume the moral difference is that the coffee’s hot but the champagne’s not. Right? (If I can fool you once, why not try again?)

    Finally, a fine cigar or decent pipe obviously would be a distraction to serious prayer. But a mere cigarette; clearly that’s another question. (Let me hasten to mention that although I pray, I smoke none of the preceding. Or anything else.)

  8. Fr. P: I am surprised at you. Of course.

    So long as you pray while ringing and swigging. Just don’t ring or sip while praying.

    You should know this stuff. What’s up with that?

    Save some Port for when I come to give a conference or sing that High Mass and I will show you how this is done.

  9. Henry: TSK TSK

    The TEMPERATURE is not the issue. Any priest may PRAY whatever he wants while drinking whatever may be around, but he shouldn’t drink while praying. The same applies to all tobacco.

    If I ever get that Rome Pilgimage together, I will explain this at length in a practicum.

    Experiential is better than theoretical knowledge after all.

  10. Theodoricus says:

    Excellent taste Father! Fois gras with Sauternes is almost as traditional as the old rite!

    I hope and wish that we can toast upon the MP with a fine glass of sauternes!

  11. Theodoricus: I have all sorts of good ideas.

    But remember, pray while eating that fois gras with your Sauternes.

  12. Fr. John Pecoraro says:

    Fr. Z
    Being that I am half Portuguese and half Italian, I wouldn’t be caught dead with just ONE bottle! I have be suitably prepared for any contingency, such as a High Mass in rural TN. Naturally the sacred laws of hospitality would demand that I open another bottle of vintage port upon such a visitation. Regarding the proper technique of tolling, sipping and praying I confess my status as a novice, but am willing to be educated, just so long as there is a nice robusto or corona involved somewhere…. and some stilton on a water cracker with sautéed walnut and dried morsel of cherry. ; )

  13. Fr. P: More than one bottle means more opportunity for… prayer. You are a good and faithful servant.

    Let us not rule out torpedoes and double coronas. I like maduro. Good for prayer.

    Stilton: Yes. A good choice. We might want, depending on the disposition of the locum tenens and his attitude toward things traditional, to consider other great blues or even Stinking Bishop.

  14. rlb says:

    I am concerned that a meal is being out of this Motu Proprio out of all proportion to the Holy Season in which it might appear.
    But, Fat Liver? In Lent? Outrageous! I think a little Beluga, with very chilled vodka, interspersed with a sip of very dry Krug (certainly not the 1962, well past its best). A 1962 crusted port with stilton, ummm!

  15. rlb: Okay… the vodka and cavier reminds us of the need for Lenten austerity. Thank you. We are grateful.

    A good triple distilled rye vodka, nearly frozen, goes well with all things piscine. John 21:3 This coming from one born and raised in Minnesota.

    Were one to enjoy these creatures, one could pray with nobility while enjoying them.

    One could NOT, however, enjoy them while praying!

  16. Josh says:

    But Father!

    What of the Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving (with Procession) to be sung after the MP arrives?

    Surely the reverend clergy can take snuff (while at the sedilia) up to the end of the Gloria?

    And how is this different to smoking while praying?

    Could you enlighten us on the etiquette involved; I seem to have misplaced my copy of the relevant responses from the Sacred Congregation of Rites…

  17. Malachi says:

    Father John:

    Now, I am but a young seminarian, so please, do correct me if I am wrong…

    But would not such an occasion as the release of the MP elevate the status of the day, given of course it were a Lenten weekday, to Solemnity, if not at least a Feast Day? And if not on the universal calendar, could we consider it a personal Feast Day?

    I would think such an occasion would merit such a change. And were that the case, it would be our DUTY to celebrate with such festivities as the Lenten observance would not be in effect.

    Being a lowly seminarian, I myself would have to settle for a good bottle of Napa wine to drink. with a few faithful. Given the attitudes of certain people, our celebration will sadly be a clandestine one.

  18. Oratorian says:

    “…a fine cigar or decent pipe obviously would be a distraction to serious prayer.”

    Henry, to be ascetical is one thing, to be puritanical is quite another! Are you quite sure you have given sufficient thought to the metaphorical value of the cigar or the merit of the pipe as an aid not only to contemplation, but to prayerful rumination? Of course I wouldn’t advocate the use of the pipe in a liturgical setting, that role falls to the thurifer, who is of course merely smoking on behalf of all. I believe I once read that among some of the the early missionary priests ministering to the indiginous converts of the new world, tobacco was occaisionally used when incense was unavailable. I may be mistaken about that (but if you refer to the Chorus Breviarii website and check the “images” page, you’ll find a fine example of the vestige of said custom, as represented at the festivities following the brother’s mass of St. Philip’s Day last).

    Still, in the private recitation of the office I see no harm in the quietly maintained glow of a pipe or cigar. As we in Chorus Breviarii often say, “Let my smoke rise before You, like incense in your sight”…or something rather similar! ;-)

  19. danphunter1 says:

    I’m tellin ya Father,a nice glass of Jade distillers absinthe with sugar makes it alot easier to read the”Rubrics of the Roman Ritual”by Rev James O’Kane.It focus’s you.Bitter and real strong,but nice and aniseedy.
    God bless.

  20. Fr. Pasley says:

    Dear Father, the Veuve Clicquot is chilling in the fridge, and the ribbons of my Liber are properly marked.
    “My lips are parched with constant prayer.” Oh, how I need the Champagne.

  21. Clevispin says:

    Why is Father Z acting so goofy? Its like he just got a new red wagon!

    m

  22. [laughing too hard to give any type of sensible response]

  23. Fr. John Pecoraro says:

    Gosh I love this Blog! hahah

  24. andrew4jc says:

    Of course I wouldn’t advocate the use of the pipe in a liturgical setting, that role falls to the thurifer, who is of course merely smoking on behalf of all. I believe I once read that among some of the the early missionary priests ministering to the indiginous converts of the new world, tobacco was occaisionally used when incense was unavailable.

    ROTFL! As a native in the Far East, where St. Francis Xavier converted our heathen, pipe smoking forefathers, I can testify that many things can be substituted for incense, should that be unavailable, tobacco being one of them. But what we usually get during Benediction smells more akin to wet grass.

  25. Malachi: I myself would have to settle for a good bottle of Napa wine to drink. with a few faithful

    A FEW OF THE FAITHFUL…. Oh my.

    Be careful, my young padawan learner. You must be absolutely sure to get this right. The faithful must NOT not see you drinking wine while you pray!

    If they are going to be around while you celebrate, be sure that they see that you pray while drinking the wine, and not – quod Deus avertat! – the other way.

    You mention “Napa” wine. Please pay attention. Don’t fall into this common trap!

    The provenance of the wine is not of great importance to the moral question, though there are some thinkers who suggest that better wines (or other comestibles, potables, flammables, etc.) could be accompanied by appropriately more solemn prayers: at least at first, if you know what I mean.

    And where did you get this strange idea of “personal” feast days? What are they teaching you fellows? I don’t recall any indication of these in the calendars of either the 1962 Missale Romanum or the subsequent editions.

  26. Josh: Surely the reverend clergy can take snuff (while at the sedilia) up to the end of the Gloria? And how is this different to smoking while praying?

    How is this different? I am astonished at the question.

    Go stick some tobacco really far up your nose and you will surely begin to understand the difference.

    I am reminded of the story about the great Pope Benedict XIV, Lambertini, who was a fan of snuff. He once offered one of his cardinals the supreme honor of taking a pinch from the Pontifical snuff box! The cardinal, not known for his ascetical habits, declined the honor saying, “Thank you no, Holiness. I don’t have that vice.” The Pope responded, “Your Eminence, were it a vice, we are sure that you would have it.”

    But back to the question. Yes, I believe the clergy may take snuff to that point. I don’t want to delve into this, however. This is pretty tricky stuff. I don’t want to snuff out (HA HA) good and proper inquiry about these important things, but perhaps lay people should simply stop reading at this point.

  27. Fr. Pasley: the Veuve Clicquot is chilling in the fridge, and the ribbons of my Liber are properly marked. “My lips are parched with constant prayer.” Oh, how I need the Champagne.

    Father, you show wisdom in your chilling of the Widow. Just remember that refrigerator vibrations are not good for sparkling wines. If the MP doesn’t come very soon, surely you ought to drink it up. And… you can pray while drinking it that the document be issued quickly, thus doing everyone a great service! Our confidence that God hears our prayers indicates that you should immediately start to chill another bottle of the Veuve.

    I only question your choice of setting the ribbons in the Useful Book ahead of time. Are you not running the risk of giving the impression that you were intending to pray and then drink while praying? That will never do. This all depends on the order in which you prepare for the MP. By outward signs we may signal our intentions.

    Put the bottle in to chill before setting the ribbons, just to be sure. If you follow the abovementioned advice, be sure to at least double-check the placement of your ribbons after replacing the consumed bottle. See what I mean? This is especially important if you didn’t share that bottle with others. Who knows to which pages those ribbons might have strayed?

  28. ALL NAYSAYERS: The vote is unanimous, so far. Fr. Z is certainly right.

  29. rlb says:

    “… clergy can take snuff (while at the sedilia) up to the end of the Gloria?”
    My presumption was that snuff might be taken up to the beginning of the Gospel. I don’t think one would “snuff” whilst standing and uncovered.
    There is a story that one of my sainted predecessors would have a boy present a silver a snuff box to the Sacred Ministers, and clergy in choir as part of the ritual at High Mass.
    My question, can this be restored as a local and ancient custom when the Motu Proprio is issued? And, must the handkerchief always be white?

  30. rlb: can this be restored as a local and ancient custom

    I don’t think any Pope or congregation ever derogated that custom. Again, we are on very tricky ground here. I must firmly repeat the need to pray while “X”, and not “X” while praying. The experience and training of the sacred minister enters into play here.

    must the handkerchief always be white

    A bit off topic, but since we are talking about snuff, surely that is impossible. Think about it.

  31. rlb says:

    Coloured and spotted handkerchiefs hardly seems liturgical. Hence the question AND concern.

  32. PerpetualMalcontent says:

    what are you guys smoking??! can i have some?

  33. hammerbrecher says:

    Father Z! Now I know why the hour of Coffice is ok. Coffice = coffee and office of readings. This is of course waking up, drinking coffee and then deciding to pick up the brevary and pray office while drinking coffee.

  34. Guy Power says:

    I suppose Mogen David wine is out of the question?

    oy, vey is mir!

    As for nicotine products, I always liked Alois Pöschl’s schnupftabake when I was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
    http://www.rajek.de/shop/images/images_big/Poeschl%20Schnupfflasche%20klein.jpg
    “Gletscherprise” with menthol oil comes to mind…. (tears welling as I type).

    Pfüad di Gott!

  35. Fr. Pasley says:

    Reverend Father, I have some more concerns.

    I think we need an emergency plan; an MPAP. Motu Proprio Announcement Protocal.

    This is necessary to avoid excess and scrupulosity. Yes, yes, I know I must be careful to drink the champage first and then pray whilst I sip. Has anyone, however, realized that if this MP is announced during Holy week things will become much more complicated. For instance, can one sing a Te Deum during Holy Week? Is it improper to even mark the pages with the ribbon during Holy Week. Even more distressing, however, is the possibility that champagne could be abrogated during Holy Week? These are weighty moral decsions which have worldwide implications. Finally, as a true traddy, is it possible that the left is pushing to have the MP announced during Holy Week so that in our ecstatic celebration we would fall in to serious sin? We must be on constant guard.

    I hope that the celebration will not have to be transfered to the Monday after the Easter Octave. It would be exasperating. Please, please, we need an MPAP.

  36. Mr Neutron says:

    Champagne? Pah! Chimay trappistenbier. Unfortunately I gave it up for Lent.

    I abhor tobacco in all its forms.

  37. Oratorian says:

    rlb: “…must the handkerchief always be white?…Coloured and spotted handkerchiefs hardly seems liturgical. Hence the question AND concern.”

    Concern indeed! The presence of red spots in the handkerchief could indicate the onset of a tuburcular condition. Thus the use of snuff and the clear dilenation of the results, provided by the use of a clean, white handkerchief, are evidence of the value of liturgical snuff use as an indicator of health of the Holy Father and, potentially, a preventative of epidemic disease. God Bless the Pope!

  38. Mr Neutron: Champagne? Pah! …. I abhor tobacco in all its forms.

    The only possible response is.. so what?

  39. Oratorian: I believe you have touched on something rlb doesn’t understand. When using snuff, there is no such thing as a white handkerchief… for very long.

  40. Brian Kopp says:

    “Comment by Fr. Pasley”

    Hi Fr. Pasley !!!

    From a fan from your days in Mt. Ephraim, NJ — my wife went through your RCIA class in 1991-1992.

  41. ferdi says:

    Rlb obviously is thinking New Rite, in the Old Rite it was customary to sneeze into a book using anything to hand, I think this shows the ancient nature of the Rite of Snuff. In the Pauline Rites, I think there is a rubric that the handkerchief should be white, a Bugnini scheme to abrogate snuff. The truth of the matter is the handkerchief, if used, should be the same the colour as the cassock, black for priests, green for bishops, purple for cardinals and red for the Pope. Spots are an abberation.

  42. ferdi says:

    Mr Neuton you don’t know what you are missing. Try them!

  43. Mr Neutron says:

    Fr. Z – Good point.

    ferdi – Oh yes I do. ;^)