US Catholic has a nutty about the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC, but still manages a good question

Over at the liberal US Catholic site a writer named Bryan Cones has a little nutty about the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC.

I’ll add some emphases and comments as I read along with you.

I predict clichés.

A ridiculous mountain of red silk
Thursday, April 29, 2010
By Bryan Cones

I’ve been holding back all week for fear of stirring up a hornet’s nest, but my only response to the Latin Mass celebrated last Saturday at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington has to be: Really? Seriously[A wordsmith, this fellow!  Does anyone know him, btw?] (You can read the fawning CNS coverage of "ancient chants and pomp, splendor and majesty" here.)

Who thought it was a good idea to dress up a bishop in a cappa magna  [The Catholic Church actually came up with that one.  Futhermore, the cappa magna is used by bishops also in newer form of Mass.  Take a look at the Caeremoniale Episcoporum.] and parade him around triumphantly in celebration of [get this…] what Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma referred to as "the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter" [Ummm… it was.  That what the occasion was.  It was the 5th anniversary since the solemn inauguration of Pope Benedict’s pontificate.  Is that too hard?] while the church [Nooo… perhaps the writer and his friends.] is in such a profound crisis of confidence in its leadership? Ascension to the throne, eh? Are we speaking of the "servant of the servants of God" here or the Emperor Augustus? [So, the writer has a problem with what he perceives as, what, "triumphalism"? "beauty"? "dignity"?]

Now is not the time for the "church militant" to be trying to pass itself off as the "church triumphant," especially when so many princes of the church seem hell-bent on steering the Bark of Peter onto the rocks. (I don’t know what the plans are for his throne.) Remember that the original presider for this "celebration" was supposed to be Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former head of the Congregation for Clergy, who had to withdraw because he wrote a repulsive letter to a French bishop congratulating him for shielding an abusive priest from the civil law. [Better informed readers may have a more complete idea of what happened in the case of that letter to that French bishop.]

And I have to ask: If we’re going to get stuck on a particular period in church history and its liturgy, does it have to be the 16th century? [This was done according to the books in force in 1962.  What people saw was therefore the Mass of the Second Vatican Council.] It was hardly a time of–how to put it?–liturgical modesty, [What does that mean?  What would "liturgical modesty" be?  A more or less "cringing" liturgy?] much less the "noble simplicity" that is, after all, the historical hallmark of the Roman rite. [But… but… what happened in the Shrine was precisely the Roman liturgy.] Unless His Excellency is going to wrap that cappa magna around his waist and start washing feet, as Jesus did in John’s gospel.  [Ahhh… there we have it! "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor?" John 12:5.  You knew it had to be in here somewhere.  Is it possible that in consenting to be the celebrant for the people who attended (and watched through technology), Bp. Slattery did "wash feet"?  I think the people in that Shrine have been the most oppressed group in the Church for decades.  These have been anawim in the Church, marginalized savagely by liberals for a very long time.]

It’s one thing to seek the mystery presumably embodied in ancient forms, but I hardly see how frippery of this magnitude glorifies God, who has no need of such things. [That is probably because the writer has a rather narrow experience.] In fact, when sackcloth should be the defining couture, [There is, without question, time for sackcloth.  I also think that time is now.  But not during a Pontifical Mass.  Perhaps before the Mass.  Perhaps after.] silk is a stumbling block and an obstacle to the proclamation of the gospel. [Hmmm… can he back that up?  Based on what evidence?  Or is this merely his, what, wishful thinking?  "I hope they fail!"  Is that what the writer is really saying here?] If anything, the sex abuse crisis is a call to a renewed humility.

So I still think this question needs an answer: Without reference to the reformed liturgy, [I have no idea what that is supposed to mean…] how did Saturday’s "solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form" bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?  [Good question.]

Can you answer the question at the end?  After his insights it was meant to be a crushing blow.  It wasn’t, but pretty much by accident he asked a good question.

It would probably be better to do so here than in the liberal viper pit of US Catholic combox.

How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

This is a question you should be prepared to answer.

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98 Responses to US Catholic has a nutty about the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC, but still manages a good question

  1. btdn says:

    And unto the Gentiles foolishness.

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    Answer: The solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form transcends man’s own limitations and re-orientates his focus from himself to Christ’s own focus upon the Father allowing mankind to participate in (adopted) filial worship of the Father with the Son through the Holy Spirit. It bears witness that the kingdom is not man made but God made and that all have been called but few listen to that call to participate in that kingdom.

  3. LoyalViews says:

    “I hardly see how frippery of this magnitude glorifies God, who has no need of such things”
    He does have needs of such things. He DEMANDS such things. He is GOD.

    “how did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”
    Read above.
    God Bless! I agree with the other two!

  4. Mike says:

    One thing struck me as particularly giving witness to the kingdom is the self-effacement of the Bishop and his deacon and sub-deacon. We are not the message!

    For the last 40 years or so, many, many priests have somehow got the idea that they are the message; hence, many, many lay people, guess what, want in on the show too. So we get cantors up front, screaming out sentimental songs, we get a dozen lay “ministers of the Eucharist” pretending to be priests, we get readers of the Word dramatizing instead of simply proclaiming it. We get US, instead of the Lord.

    But that’s NOT the Mass Our Lord gave us, but instead a wounded (but valid) expression of it. So when I saw the procession on Saturday, heard the beautifully chanted scripture, saw the Eucharist veiled in reverence silence, I knew this was the fitting expression for the depthless mystery that is the heart of every Mass, but not always expressed properly at our liturgies, which really, should be Divine Liturgies, not crafted by committees.

  5. Dr. K says:

    Father, Mr. Cones also “borrowed” the Cappa Magna video from our blog’s special coverage of the Mass, Cleansing Fire (specifically from this post), without linking to or even mentioning our site. Talk about a true Christian. [How does this respond to the question he put and I put?]

  6. Dan says:

    The ceremonies and rites of the Extraordinary Form constantly remind us of our own humility and unworthiness before God, especially before the altar of Calvary where His Son is offered up in the one and same sacrifice He made on our behalf nearly two thousand years ago. When we begin to treat that awesome act as if it were something familiar, and “on our level,” we lose perspective of how truly unfathomable the mystery of our faith really is. That is why liturgical beauty and reverence advance the kingdom of God- they communicate and make present the mysteries of our salvation so that we can be made all the more aware of God’s transcendence and power.

    Sure, short sighted theological liberals will contend that beautiful vestments, chant, reverence, and dignity are unbecoming for “humble” worship. Well let me ask them this- what is more humble- a priest clothed in symbolic garmets of Christ that obscure his own person so that he can confrom himself to the High Priest who is Our Lord, or a priest who turns toward the people to put on a show and gives a sermon on our temporal salvation? The latter is what the NCR/US Catholic crowd would like to see…but maybe they should listen to our Lord’s admonition that “man shall not live by bread alone.”

    As someone who attended Saturday’s Mass, I can say that when Bishop Slattery entered the Basilica he did not look like he was thinking, “wow…I’m pretty cool wearing this cappa magna!” He had his eyes fixed on the high altar and I bet his thoughts were more like, “Lord, I am unworthy to stand as Christ in your holy temple.” The vestments, etc. don’t glorify the celebrant. They glorify Christ whom the celebrant becomes as he enters the sanctuary. The trappings and ceremonies should only make him, and us, more aware of our own unworthiness to participate in and understand the great mystery unfolding before our eyes.

  7. Father,

    A small request.

    For those that can’t get through all the comments… I was hoping that you could UPDATE this post, or possibly post some of the answers that people supply as to their answer to the “Question” raised at the end of the article.

    I think it is vital that we as Catholics not only understand the PROCEDURE of the LITRUGICAL Celebration but the underlying THEOLOGY and DOCTRINE behind it. It must be both STYLE and SUBSTANCE. [Is that your answer to the question?]

  8. Leonius says:

    The Kingdom of God is not of this world, (My kingdom is not of this world. John 18:36) its description can be found in the book of the apocalypse, Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bears witness to this kingdom by recreating a part of it on earth.

    It would be interesting to hear a definition from Mr. Cones of just what he thinks the kingdom of God actually is because there certainly isn’t anyone running around in sack cloth and ashes in it.

  9. kjmacarthur says:

    No one who has not mocked giant liturgical puppets should have any right to comment in any way on the cappa magna. [LOL! But that is not an answer to the question.]

  10. Peggy R says:

    One thing that strikes me about the “modernists” or “Spirit of V2″ crowd is how much they are uncomfortable with the idea of worshipping, really worshipping Our God and Savior. We have all assimilated the idea that we do not worship earthly things and people. For some reason, the V2 crowd who spit on or become ill over this beauty and reverence are very, very uncomfortable with doing thing to glorify God, simply because He is. One example I run across at our NO parish is when we pray in petitions about the new church structure to be built (though a new school is more needed, but I digress), there is no talk of a church that glorifies God. The church building is to welcome all people. These people are more comfortable in the horizontal. They want God to be horizontal with us and among us. They cannot handle the vertical nature of our relationship to God. They cannot put Him above themselves and humanity. They cannot let themselves worship Him. The commandments tell us it is God whom we must worship, nothing and no one else, no false gods. Do these people think that the God of our Catholic faith is a false god not worthy of worship?

  11. ghlad says:

    I’m sorry, but nearly all the atonement and penance that needs to be done is on behalf of the rainbow-vestment-wearing hippy-priests, who following “The Spirit of Vatican II” grew incredibly lax in their sense of vocation, preserverence in the Faith and no longer feared God but treated their priesthood like a job.

    When you go from sacred chalices wrought from the finest materials in the world to Pottery Barn “$24.99 for 6″ cups, there’s a tremendous amount that is LOST.

    Conversely, when you go from a mass where the prayers of the mass are cut down to under 15 minutes in total (and who cares if the prayers that do get said are even close to what they’re supposed to be) to a mass that contains more prayer even in the vestmentation and initial prayerful orientation of the Bishop leading his people to God before the mass has even begun than is in the entirety of the former mass, there’s a tremendous amount that is GAINED.

    Where was it that I was reading the idea that, “We should force everybody who purchases movie tickets to do so while on their knees, with the strictest observance that the tickets are not to be touched by anyone’s hands except the admissions clerk. Do this for 50 years, and see if the way people view movie tickets changes any. Then turn it all around and think about how we treat our Lord’s flesh in the Eucharist.”

    The liturgy matters! The liturgy matters! The liturgy matters! Cut it to the bone and see what happens… our “communion” with God is at the same time both everything that we have as Catholics, and also only as strong or weak as the liturgy that sustains it.

    [This didn’t seem to be an answer to the question.]

  12. jfk03 says:

    Frankly, I can do without the cappa magna. But the solemn liturgy needs to be brought back in every parish and every diocese, and soon. Every time I attend a Latin rite mass in the ordinary form, I get the impression that the priest is in a hurry to get it over with. Bring back the reverence, and yes, the repetition. If the Lord Jesus is truly present on the altar, that’s as big a deal as one can witness. Why such a hurry to get out of church in 45 minutes? [Is that an answer to the question. It doesn’t read like one.]

  13. Folks: Think about the question. Don’t fumble. Focus.

  14. Barnabas says:

    I think that liturgical liberals are so focused on the cappa magna is a sign that they’re scared to death over the success of the Mass. They have nowhere to turn but arguments that it was unlike Christ to use such pomp. Fr. Z, thanks for citing the passage from John 12. I cited it in the forums of the NCR…which are still pending approval. Our Lord is the King of Kings. So many seem to forget that.

  15. It would be nice if people tried to answer the question posed in the top entry.

  16. gmaskell says:

    we bear witness when we are dismissed into the world.

  17. Dr. K says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    When the priest offers the Mass, he is acting as an alter Christi. Our Lord is a king, so to dress in the cappa (what one might consider “kingly”) is only fitting for the person serving in the alter Christi role.

    The Mass itself brought together many many people to worship our Lord and savior Jesus Christ through the Mass of Ages. There lies the answer, in the tears of joy among the people, in the many who may not have attended Mass since the Council, etc.

  18. Random Friar says:

    I will try: when the author says “So I still think this question needs an answer: Without reference to the reformed liturgy…” he means that if we take the TLM in itself, pretending that the newer rite never happened, how does the rite speak relate to Christ’s Proclamation of the Kingdom?

    Now, my guess is that what he means is, how did it proclaim a broader horizontality, or preferential option for the poor and marginalized?

    And I would answer to him that it does in its own remarkable way, because while Christ “became poor” (oddly enough, I think Christ’s kenosis, or self-emptying, is rendered less meaningful when we have a lower Christology or lower Christological style), the idea at the same time is to make us “rich” in Spirit, as He is, was and ever shall be, Amen. The whole soul needs to be lifted up, in a truly sensual experience, incorporating all the senses (“smells and bells”) and at the same time being lifted up in the silence of Calvary to the Father. “Lower” Christological models applied to the Mass sometimes seem to keep us “down here.” If Jesus is “one of us” and we forget that there is a real, living Sacrifice on the Altar… then “we” become the focus, not Christ, not His message. Us. “What can Christ do for YOU?” becomes not just a UPS slogan, but a Church bulletin headline.

    That’s my 2 wooden nickles worth of cents.

  19. RichR says:

    Answer: The Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form is very transcendant, and it helps us focus on eternal realities, despite the “vale of tears” that we must trod along during our daily lives. Who on earth would go to a Mass that was humdrum and banal (read: common)? It does not lift up your spirit, it does not remind you of your eternal destiny, it does not lift your gaze from the mundane.

    My counter question would be this: how would a mundane, impoverished, shallow, and boring act of worship glorify God OR may worshippers fulfilled in the midst of this church crisis?

  20. RichR says:

    check that: MAKE worshippers feel fulfilled in the midst of this church crisis?

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    That mass showed that:
    a) There is a reality beyond the rat race that contemporary man engages in, yes even on Saturday afternoons.
    b) Our understanding of that reality is borne of revelation, and grows in time–organically–as the mass has and does.
    c) That God never changes and is interested in everyone. Period.
    d) That God is always present in the world, but especially in the Catholic Mass.
    e) That the Church hasn’t changed, won’t change, can’t change and has no intention of changing from what she really is until the end of time–the Body of Christ on this earth.
    f) That if the NYT (or any other gang of bullies) gets the best of one of us, another of us will step up. This is the way it has always worked and will always work–from the Roman arenas til the end of time. The more you pick on us, the more of us there will be. Deal with it.

  22. Hugh says:

    I have a suggestion for Mr Cones.

    A long time before the 16th Century, and Vatican II, God commanded this:

    “And you shall make a holy vesture for Aaron, your brother, for glory and for beauty. 3 And you shall speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s vestments, in which he being consecrated, may minister to me. 4 And these shall be the vestments that they shall make: A rational and an ephod, a tunic and a strait linen garment, a mitre and a girdle. They shall make the holy vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons, that they may do the office of priesthood unto me. 5 And they shall take gold, and violet, and purple, and scarlet 6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, and violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen, embroidered with divers colours. 7 It shall have the two edges joined in the top on both sides, that they may be closed together. 8 The very workmanship also, and all the variety of the work, shall be of gold, and violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen.” …

    … and so forth. (Exodus 28 – see also Leviticus,Numbers, Deuteronomy, etc etc)

    Once Mr Cones grasps 1. why God thought this style of vesture was appropriate for right worship way back then, and 2. the principle behind the “hermeneutic of continuity”, he’ll be in a position, I submit, to answer how the Solemn Pontifical Mass, with cappa magna and silk, bears witness to the Kingdom of God on myriads of levels.

  23. ar_danziger says:

    At Mass we are participating in the heavenly liturgy (as previewed in the book of Revelation)…the church militant and the church triumphant are worshipping in communion with one another. What better way to witness to this reality than to make our vestments, art, architecture, etc as transcendentally beautiful as possible? “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

  24. jlmorrell says:

    Fr. Z,

    The Pontifical Mass bears witness to the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced because it exudes the Catholic faith with great clarity and richness. The truth which Jesus taught is the truth the Catholic Church teaches today. Our worship, specifically the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, must convey this truth in every detail. The Pontifical Mass exhibited the truths of the Catholic faith by way of its orientation, solemnity, and accoutrements – down to the very last rubric.

    In my opinion, this is one of the ways we fulfill one of the teachings of our Lord – “You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.” Matt 5:14-15

    The Mass of Paul VI is ambiguous and confusing because one of its aims is a compromise with Protestantism. In this way it obfuscates the truth of the Catholic faith and thus fails to proclaim with the same force the Kingdom of God which Jesus announced.

  25. sejoga says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    Moving a little past the Pontifical Mass itself, it clearly set the stage for what I feel is a wonderful example of Christ’s proclamation of the Kingdom. Just seeing how Bishop Slattery was able to, on the one hand, approach the mass with great circumstance and dignity and majesty, and then, on the other hand, respond so humbly and meekly and personally to the emails of thanks he received shows how magnificent the range of Christ’s message is. It comprises grandeur and simplicity, ceremony and familiarity, beauty and commonness, and everything in between. The same man whose vesting ceremony before the mass presented him as a man to be served became himself a man who serves others by responding with such sincere emails to those who had been inspired by the mass he celebrated and the homily he gave.

    It brings me to mind of a poem called “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” It can be read here: http://www.bartleby.com/236/255.html . For all their talk of concern for Our Lord and His message, many progressives in the Church seem content with treating Him as a lowly man who just happened to have a good social message. It’s the Bishop Slatterys of the Church who treat Christ as the Lord of Heaven and Earth and show Him and His message the respect they deserve.

    I’m here to say that even if no one else had gained anything at all from the experience of the Pontifical Mass, it was still worth it because I alone have learned so much about the Kingdom of Heaven through the experience that it can’t have been of no value.

  26. revs96 says:

    In the Kingdom of God, we are not to focus on ourselves. In Ad Orientem worship, we focus not on ourselves, but rather on God alone.

  27. bruno says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    The Kingdom of God the Father is totally Holy; totally Other. The Mass celebrated at the Shrine reflects, interprets and points to the Holiness; the Otherness.

  28. The Pontifical Mass was the embodiment of the Kingdom that Jesus announced… it was in fact the Kingdom itself – it was Heaven made present here on earth to those who truly participated in the Liturgy by entering into the Sacred Mystery aware of the gift that was being given. And not just in theory, but tangibly.

    The King of kings was present in the Eucharist above all, made present in the Sacrifice offered upon the High Altar incensed – a somewhat mysterious and hidden Action reminiscent of the sacrifice of Israel that prefigured Calvary. The “hiddenness” of the consecration – the words we couldn’t hear, the actions we couldn’t see, spoke more clearly of the Mystery of Redemption won on the Cross than the clearly visible and perfectly audible ever could…

    The King was present also in His sacred minister, the bishop, in cappa magna, with mitre and crosier and vestments of finery befitting a true king. He was there in His bishop in Persona Christi, not just in theory, but in action. We saw Him. We heard Him.

    The Kingdom was, in fact, communicated in this awe inspiring Mass in the only way us mere mortals can even begin to grasp at such a profound, and dare I say ineffable reality; it was made present to us by way of signs, through sacred things – things set apart for Divine worship – sacred words, sacred gestures, sacred music, sacred vestments, sacred vessels, and even a sacred language, unlike any profane thing that we simply take for granted in the course of every day life – all of which pointed to the incomprehensibly greater reality that was right there in our midst – the Kingdom that Jesus announced and made present through the mystery of God’s redeeming love.

    In short,to bear witness to the Kingdom of God is to bear witness to Mystery… but God’s great gift in the Mass is to do so in a way that speaks to the whole of man whom He created with bodies, not just minds, and with senses that can be delighted and elevated beyond the here and now. In the Pontifical Mass the Lord communicated the Kingdom to His people through all of our senses.

    Even the most liberal of liberals must admit, if nothing else, the Pontifical Mass shouted Mystery through sight and sound and smell and movement in a way unlike anything we can ever hope to encounter in the “ordinary” moments of secular life.

    Enough… I could type all night and never even scratch the surface. This question is difficult to answer because Sacred Mystery itself cannot be captured in words. And this is why the Mass spoke to us so eloquently – it was a symphony of sacred signs that pointed the way to the Kingdom; the Kingdom in our midst in the here and now yet also awaited with longing in the still to come…

    God is so good.

  29. Tim Ferguson says:

    [Nota bene:]

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    Aidan Nichols, in Christendom Awake states, "The ‘re-enchantment’ of the Catholic Liturgy is the single most urgent ecclesial need of our time" (p. 21). He goes on to describe this "re-enchantment of the liturgy" as an important part, nay the single most important part of the New Evangelization which our Holy Father and his venerable predecessor have set before the Church. Offering Holy Mass using all the pomp and ceremony that one encounters in a Solemn Pontifical Mass is a profound way of achieving the re-enchantment Nichols talks about.

    The triumphalism of our liturgy – especially the triumphalism of this particular liturgy, offered in honor of the anniversary of our Holy Father’s election – when the world tells us we should be wailing and gnashing our teeth, in sackcloth and in ashes, sends a clear signal to the world. Yes we are sinners. Yes we are wracked by scandal, beset by evil from within and without the community of the Church. Yes, we have, as individuals, failed to live up to the standard of honesty, purity and perfection set before us by Our Lord, and have fallen short of the expectations even of the secular world. Yet, for all our personal failings, for all our institutional imperfections, for all the sinners we harbor in our midst, Christ has still won the victory. Christ has triumped, and the Church is called not only to share in that triumph, but to proclaim it to the world. Loudly. Boldly. With acres of silk, and all the musical and artistic talents He has given to us.

    The world is confused at how the Church can celebrate so triumphalistically – right when they think…right when they know they’ve got us cornered. It seems, to the world, to be hubris on our part, or worse, hypocrisy (which is one of only two sins the modern world disdains, "intolerance" being the other). Like the Grinch, convinced he’s stolen Christmas, they wring their hands expecting wails of despair, and yet they hear a melodious "Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram, aedificabo ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam!"

    The Holy Mass on Saturday causes the kind of wonderment so needed for the task of the New Evangelization. Even those who find it frippery, and who immaturely cast aspersion on the character of those who prayed deeply, devoutly, sincerely through the Mass on Saturday can’t seem to ignore it. In paying attention to the Mass, presented with all the solemnity and triumphalism the Church has preserved from generation to generation, even the coldest skeptic is forced to ask, mouth agog, "Seriously? Really?" And the Church responds, "Yes, very seriously, and more real than even we can understand."

  30. OurLadysRabbit says:

    It is art and beauty for the glory of God, who IS king and who deserves the wealth and reverence he did not have on earth. This person is forgetting that He is present in the Eucharist and if there was a king in America somewhere, by golly he would have a lot of formality and reverence to offer him.

  31. John Weidner says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    When the Bridegroom is with us we should feast!

    I was just reading a bit in Masie Ward’s book Young Mr. Newman, about how the Oxford Movement was rather austere, even grim, because it revived Catholicism incompletely. There was lots of fasting but no feasting. A slight acknowledgement of Our Lady, but no Marian devotions.

    They took consolation from a “cloud of witnesses,” but did not dare invoke the saints. They had celibacy, but not the consolation of religious community. They believed in the Real Presence, sort of, but never dared get to Transubstantiation. Etc., etc.

    That’s sort of where Mr Cones is at. His Catholicism is incomplete. He hangs back from the feast, because he doesn’t want to commit himself to the whole shebang.

    The Kingdom of God is breaking in upon us. Fasting and sackcloth are totally appropriate, because we are utterly unworthy. ALSO appropriate are Rejoicing and silk and splendor, because we are invited to the banquet!

  32. catholicmidwest says:

    The question asked is really the same question the apostles asked of the woman with the alabaster jar (Matt 26, Mark 14). Read the context very carefully and consider it eschatologically–what it means from all points of view toward the consummation. [The consummation in 2 ways: the sacrifice of Christ, and the end times, ie what salvation history is all about.]

    How are we involved? What is the point of salvation history? How does it happen? What does God do? What does salvation history have to do with the rest of the world? What does God (and the Church) say to the world? What role does the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass play in this? What is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Why can this not be “derailed?”

    The question this man asks is a good one. But it’s a shame he doesn’t seem to realize why he asks it, or what it might mean to him and to his readers.

  33. marthawrites says:

    The CCC states that “The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper, and in the Eucharist it is in our midst.” Why shouldn’t the celebrant who re-enacts the sacrifice of Calvary be clothed in royal garments of the King who died to save us all? Even St. Francis of Assisi who dressed himself in tatters said, “Above everything else, I want this most holy Sacrament to be honored and venerated and reserved in places which are richly ornamented.” We cannot honor God Almighty with anything less than the finest treasures our human hands can design, sew, and cast. The beauty of the TLM is in the combination of the humility of worshippers whose eyes and minds are set on heaven and the regality of the priest who, in persona Christi, offers the perfect Sacrifice. What has been lost is a sense of majesty: the priest takes the place of our Saviour KING. How many in the pews even think of that nowadays?

  34. Peggy R says:

    I’m sorry, I didn’t answer the Q, but expressed what I think the problem is that this writer and the NCR writer had with the mass.

    Recalling what B16 said in his “Jesus of Nazareth” book, I understood B16 to say that Jesus telling the people that “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” meant not that there was some new earthly kingdom, but that God has arrived; the Kingdom of heaven being at hand is the presence of Jesus. Jesus did humble Himself to become Man and die for our sins, and he also washed the apostles’ feet, but He also allowed Himself to be anointed (as Fr Z noted) and to be received triumphantly into Jerusalem. The First Commandment is to worship God–and only Him.

    So, that said, I think my own musings on the glorification of God that makes the V2 crowd uncomfortable was fairly close in idea to the answer to the Q, IMHO. The mass showed that the Kingdom of God was at hand, that Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, was present (in the Eucharist and spiritually as well), and we glorify and worship Him. We give him our best–our finest vestments, our finest and most respectable clothing and and reverent demeanor and gestures and language.

    The Kingdom of God, His Son Our Lord, was at hand and those present and watching on tele worshipped and glorified Him.

    I recall B16 saying in so many words that the kingdom of God was not about the earthly issues, which remain important nonetheless–feeding the poor and so forth. I saw one snide comment at NCR by a priest, I think, who apparently thought that the faithful at the Mass would have done better to be out doing good works. Ah, but we believe in Faith and Works. We can do both. We do good works b/c of our Love for Jesus.

    The sour grapes folks missed the Kingdom of God a the mass b/c they do not exalt Our Lord and Savior. They do not worship the Father. They can’t see beyond the material world. They cannot see the deep mystery and worship and glory behind it.

    They think the kingdom of God is about fellowship and holding hands and singing catchy tunes. I retain my view that they seem to be very uncomfortable in entering into worship of Our God. They can’t grasp the vertical aspect of the Mass and worship.

  35. eiggam says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    In the same way that Our Lord gave us Himself at the Last Supper, (“Take and Eat…”), the Pontifical Mass brought Christ to those present by the Holy Eucharist as Jesus requested (“Do this in memory of Me…”). The fine vestments and ceremony brought an extra degree of sacredness that prompted reverence on the part of the congregation that they might focus on what is happening. The formality of the Mass reminded us that God is the Almighty and not just a typical friend or neighbor. The challenge is connecting the dots between this beautiful service and it’s companion Mass, the Novus Ordo (no matter what the language).

  36. Barnabas says:

    I was blessed to attend the Mass on Saturday. I believe the older form of the Mass–with ad orientem worship–directs our attention to God rather than the presiding minister. We have a pastor (bishop, in this case) leading his flock in worship of God. I find the silence of the congregation as calming–I felt like I was truly in the presence of God because of the reverence in the Mass itself. The silence and the focus of the priest and the laity on the Tabernacle–the presence of Our Lord Jesus Himself-encouraged full and active participation and a focus on the divine. Through the priest’s actions, we humbled ourselves before the altar of God and offered up ourselves–united ourselves to Christ’s cross. This particular celebration of the Extraordinary Form did all that I listed to bear witness to God’s kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew’s Gospel, “For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This was certainly the case as a standing-room only crowd gathered on a Saturday, a day that we are not required to attend Mass, to praise God and thank him for His many blessings on us, most of all the leadership of the Holy Father (we of course asked for His blessings on our Supreme Pontiff). It is also important to note, and the author of the U.S. Catholic piece clearly misses this, that we worshiped as the saints have for generations. It truly was Heaven on Earth–over 3,000 people uniting themselves to Christ at the altar.

  37. edwardo3 says:

    The Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Shrine on Saturday bears witness to the kingdon of God that Jesus announced because it is the Church Militant formaly worshiping God in complete conformity, as far as humanly possible, to the heart and mind of the Church in a Rite promulgated by a number of the Vicars of Christ on Earth who have Christ’s own personal promise of the power of binding and loosing. In addition, this Mass has inspired and renewed the faith of countless souls toward the sole aim of Loving God and his brother, which I seem to recall as being the Great Commandment or something of the sort Our Lord had announced at some point or another. Further, being in the Shrine or watching on TV, this Mass has inspired and enflamed countless souls to long for being able to participate in that Heavenly Liturgy that never ends which may be most useful toward the salvation of souls, which is afterall what Our Lord went through all of this for to begin with.

  38. Traductora says:

    It is a good question, but I suspect that most people who were born after, say, 1955 wouldn’t have the faintest idea, because they would not remember that rich, dark-and-light world of imagery and symbolism that was the Catholic Church before Vatican II. I’m a little older than that, but I remember it and I remember even the way a church smelled when you stepped into it in those days.

    I happened to be reading a list of things possessed by our Spanish forefathers here in the New World, and even a poor colony had velvet, silk and gold vestments and altar cloths; an emerald studded cimborium to be used only on Holy Thursday to repose the Blessed Sacrament; statues of the Virgin that had silver crowns, silk robes, gilded rosaries; handbells and church bells, silver censers and gold processional crosses…well, you get the idea.

    The Church knew that beauty is one of the aspects of God, and that was what the old liturgy and the old worship conveyed so well. And that is what has been lost.

  39. Athelstan says:

    <i….how did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    As someone who attended the mass, I would answer with reference to a comment once made by the Holy Father: The greatest witnesses to the truth of the Catholic faith are the holiness of its saints and the beauty of its art. The pontifical high form of the traditional Roman Rite – which attained its present form in the time of Pope Gregory the Great, not Pius V/Trent – sustained the holiness of nearly all the saints on the Roman calendar. And its splendor, intended to be a window to heaven, displays that beauty, just as does its eastern counterpart, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Whether intentionally or not, Mr. Cones’ comments not only detract from this magnificent age old witness, but from his own Catholic heritage.

    The great irony is that the ostensible goal even of the more radical liturgical reformers, that of making the mass more Christocentric, often falls short in the ordinary form of the Paul VI mass, especially as commonly celebrated. Sacred art, music and ceremony are stripped out, iconoclastically, to put the focus on Christ, yet the focus instead ends up on…us. And this is not a surprise, given how anthropocentrically the new propers of the mass have been made even in the original LAtin. Too often it is about our action, our desires, our needs, and not Christ, and all too rarely on our sinfulness and need for repentence.

    But this is assuredly not the case in the traditional Roman Rite. The splendor is there to give glory to Christ, who needs it not, but to whom it is fitting that we should give it, as was true of the woman in John 12:5.

  40. PAT says:

    According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “… The Kingdom of God lies ahead of us. It is brought near in the Word incarnate, it is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel, and it has come in Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. …” The Mass is the celebration of the Eucharist. The Solemn Pontifical Mass is an elegant, joyful, and triumphant celebration of the Eucharist and witness to the Kingdom of God in our midst.

  41. Athelstan says:

    Italics off.

  42. Maybe somebody said this before, but I’ll repeat it anyway:<)!
    Read the Book of Revelation…the heavenly liturgy is made very clear there.
    We are not participating in the mere “Calvary” but in the glorious worship of the angels, saints, martyrs before the “Lamb Who was slain” but lives forever.
    The beauty, majesty, and yes, extravagance of this worship is only a “glimpse” of what goes on in heaven.
    We are participants in “heaven coming to earth” by the merits of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
    One commenter on the NCReporter blog said that “tortilla Jesus” was enough; barf.
    For one thing, if it is authentic tortilla, it would be invalid. But from another angle, to make the Mass a “dinner at home” with all the comforts is just off the mark.
    We are invited into the heavenly worship.
    These folks have a lot of catechesis to do; they just don’t GET IT!

  43. You are hitting your stride. OORAH!

  44. Joseph says:

    I think this pontifical mass is but just a small attempt in honoring and praising and thanks giving in contrast as we would see in heaven done by all the angels and saints.
    The “modest” liturgy Mr. Cones most likely is referring to is not modest, but plain offensive. I can have that at my home parish every Sunday, unless i am prepared to drive an hour to a different church.

  45. Kate says:

    It was beautiful.

  46. EXCHIEF says:

    Haven’t read any of the postings on this but to answer the one good question at the end the answer, IMO, is pretty simple. That Mass put the focus on Christ NOT on the cute little kids dressed as altar servers, not on lay readers, not on lay people distributing communion, and not on some guitar playing folk music group providing entertainment. And, I didn’t see any scantily clad liturgical dancers either. A Mass in which the focus was on the purpose not the process. A Mass in which the focus was on the Principal not the players. Zheeze. Not a tough question unless of course, like the questioner you are all caught up in the participants rather than what the Mass is really all about. Next question.

  47. PghCath says:

    As I read it, Mr. Cones is trying to make two points: 1) the money and energy spent on intricate ceremony and embroidered vestments could be used to feed the hungry and clothe the poor; and 2) God doesn’t need intricate ceremony and embroidered vestments.

    Of course, he’s right that we can’t impress God with our liturgy. What he fails to realize is that the trappings of liturgy are intended not to impress God but to impress upon us His greatness and majesty. After we experience these, we can then see the importance of serving others – His creations.

    Serving others is hard and sometimes unrewarding. Experiencing a bit of Heaven through the Mass can be great sustenance for those who see endless violence, poverty, and cruelty in the course of their service.

  48. Irish says:

    To answer the question, brick by brick or seed by seed, Father:

    And he said: To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we compare it?

    It is as a grain of mustard seed: which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that are in the earth: And when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches, so that the birds of the air may dwell under the shadow thereof.

    Mark 4:30-32

    What we witnessed was the fruit of the mustard seed that Christ planted with the Apostle Peter.

  49. Great topic. There are some excellent answers here. Kate’s was short and sweet and dead on. Nothing announces the Glory of God like beauty.

    And Tim Furguson should get tomorrow’s star too. Awesome! Dude, you can write. What a gift!

    It seems from Mr. Cones’ take, though I can’t know for certain, that he has accepted the false premise that appears operative in so many liturgies in so many places these days – that it is the “Mass-as-social-justice-rally” that ideally bears witness to the Kingdom that Jesus announced. Anything transcendent, in this earthbound view, must have missed the mark. [And what is your answer to his question?]

  50. MariaKap says:

    Common people in the world are not generally invited to the wedding banquet of their kings. Did anyone here go to Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding? Yet anyone can attend the Mass – the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb.

    We worship Christ in all his splendor as he ascends HIs throne. (Calvary) And then, in spite of the splendor in which we have surrounded and honored Him, he deigns to descend from His throne and enter the poor souls who present themselves to Him in Holy Communion. We are awed His majesty and we are grateful for His
    humility.

  51. Thomas S says:

    Mr. Cones and his ilk love to stress the “meal” aspect of the Mass to the exclusion of the “sacrificial.” Fine, I’ll play his game. If the Mass is only a sign of the Heavenly Banquet, what is your view of a feast with the Lord and Creator of the Universe? In my estimation I would foresee a degree of formality, courtesy, and splendor in such a banquet. I suspect Cones sees a kind of picnic where the blanket is rolled out for the food while numerous diversions and games take place to keep the children entertained. This is what we see when we contrast the Extraordinary Form with how the Ordinary Form is all-to-frequently celebrated. Formality versus familiarity. Courtesy versus chaos. Splendor versus hokiness. Humility versus shallowness. The Mass offered by Bishop Slattery struck a blow for the formers, and in doing so also struck a blow for the Ordinary Form – as it SHOULD be offered.

    There will always be those nominally Catholic who will rebel against a Mass (in either form) that refocuses us on the re-presentation of Calvary, because Calvary draws our attention to our sins, and hard as they may try they can’t silence their consciences completely. The Mass, celebrated well, as it was in Washington that day, can pierce the heart like it did our Blessed Mother’s. And for sinful man that can be an unpleasant experience. [And the Kingdom?]

  52. Andy Milam says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    From Joseph Murphy; “In the first chapter of this part [The Spirit of the Liturgy, Joseph Ratzinger}, he does so by exploring the connection between liturgy and life. […] Reflecting on the Exodus and its purpose, Ratzinger argues that the true worship embraces both liturgy and life. In the wilderness, God establishes a covenant with Israel: man is to live in accordance with the 10 Commandments and worship God in the manner indicated by him. […] In the Sinai oovenant the three aspects of worship, law and ethics are inseperably interwoven. […] Ratzinger states: ‘Man becomes glory for God, puts God, so to speak, into the other hand, it is also true law and ethics do not hold together when they are not anchored in the liturgical centre and inspired by it.”

    To unpack the statement from Dr. Murphy a little bit, it is easy to see that the prefigurement of the Sacred Liturgy goes back to the Sinai covenant, however, it is not fully realized until the liturgical action of Christ (through the Passion, Death and Resurrection) binds together the three aspects of worship, law and ethics for eternity and for all. This is the gift that Christ gave to us and continues to make manifest through the unbloody sacrifice.

    While it is true that the Hebrew experience was necessary, it was necessary insofar as it was a vehicle for Christ’s ultimate liturgical action. So, how did it bear witness? It bore witness through 2000 years of Sacred Tradition and the embodiment of that which Christ gave to us through the three aspects, perfectly woven together.

  53. jesusthroughmary says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    Many above have given lucid and reasonable answers for those who seek the Truth with an open mind. However, to those who are the enemies of the Truth, who – like the author of the article – neither practice nor know nor wish to know the Catholic religion, no answer could be found. They are like the Pharisees who sought to trap Our Lord in his speech and action, only to be continually confounded.

    We Catholics really do practice a different religion from these nutjobs.

  54. James the Less says:

    Perhaps it provides a vision of heaven – the eternal Kingdom of God, the supernatural Kingdom of God. How we all wish the veil could be removed and see the glory of the Kingdom. Knowing that the angels will appear at the Sanctus, what would be do for such guests and what more for the Most Holy Trinity. Mystery, awe, glory. We want to be transported, taken away to enter the Kingdom. It seems the critics relegate the Kingdom of God to a purely earthly Kingdom. But the Mass is not just the past and present it is the future – a hope for eternal bliss and joy. That Mass provided great joy even in the midst of sufferings and trials. There will be no conversions without joy. Lastly, after having a glimpse of the mystical realities, redemption and eternal bliss, the intoning of Ite Missa Est reminds us that we are to arise and do the work of Christ and his Church.

  55. david andrew says:

    [H]ow did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    “Not my will, by Thine be done.”

    Those without spiritual eyes see only the “frippery” and the “pomp” and get distracted by the cappa magna. The reality is that the Mass (of 1962, hardly “ancient”) requires that all ordained clergy, regardless their “office” (i.e., priest, bishop, cardinal or pope) humble themselves at the altar, their own will and “personality” being subsumed by the action of Christ Who celebrated the first “Mass” and commanded that we do the same, bound in humility to His authority, until he comes again in glory.

    By “saying the black and doing the red”, the celebrant becomes a “homo non” (if that’s the proper Latin); that is, H.E. Bishop Slattery ceased being “Bishop Slattery”, and by removing all ego and, by subjecting all personal preferences to obedience in both the form and matter of the Mass, demonstrated (shy of blood martyrdom) what it means to die to self for the sake of the Kingdom. Priests and other clergy who say and do whatever they wish during the Mass, be it a simple “improvisation” or a blatant disregard for the “black and red”, do the opposite; they indulge the self and commit the sins of pride and vanity in a shameful public display that “leads the flock astray”. To this Jesus said, “woe to you!”

    Every time a celebrant enters into this transcendent mystery he demonstrates the greatest act of humility and leads others by example.

    I then ask Mr. Cones the opposite question: How does the average Sunday parish Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced? (Please avoid use of the words “meal”, “community” and “relevance” in your answer.)

  56. wchoag says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    See Apocalypse XIX,i-ix–

    After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Once more they cried, “Alleluia! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Alleluia!” And from the throne came a voice crying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Aleluia! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

  57. david andrew says:

    The question in my previous post, to be consistent with Mr. Cones’, should read:

    “How does the average Sunday parish Mass in the Ordinary form, without reference to the previously unbroken tradition of the Church going back centuries, bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced? (Please avoid the use of words like “meal”, “community” and “relevance” in your answer).

  58. TNCath says:

    The glory and beauty of Saturday’s Mass is the closest thing we mere human beings can come to experiencing the foretaste of heaven where, in the words of St. Paul, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard what things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9). The Mass lifts that veil of the transcendent from God to men.

  59. Thank you wchoag: This was in my mind and my heart; I did not have the proper references or words.
    The Marriage of the Lamb is the Holy Sacrifice; it was presented to us in a most wondrous form on Saturday.
    Thank you, once more!

  60. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Without reading anyone else’ answer.

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    It was an act IN COMMUNION and IN COMMUNITY which the Church practiced the rites that are transcendent, universal and eternal. It was mystery reveled. Actions (mental, physical, and spiritual) that worshiped G-d the Father, Jesus the Son of the True and Living G-d and the Most Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, and gave recognition and honor to those that preceded us and an example to those that will follow us.

  61. david andrew: I absolutely concur. As a celebrant of the Holy Mass, often in the EF, I am so aware of how “I must decrease, so that He can increase” and I feel the absolute “weight” of this, esp. since I have some physical problems which make doing the physical gestures difficult, as well as keeping my mind and heart upon who I am, who I am not, and Who He IS.
    I don’t think anyone who has not been in “these shoes” may understand or appreciate this; you, evidently do, and my deepest appreciation for this; sincerely. Prayers.

    [How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?]

  62. Katharine B. says:

    MariaKap has a beautiful and simple answer above.
    I can merely say, as a recent convert, that the Mass in all it’s “pomp” reflects the majesty of Almighty God. I see not the man, Mr. Slattery, dressed for his own glory. I see a Bishop of God’s Holy Church. A reality made so much more powerful by the rich color of one the most splendid fabrics on earth than rainbow polyester ever could.

  63. JustDave says:

    I’ve never actually been to a EF Mass before but I did watch this one several times. I will say this, I have never been so focused on a Mass before. The beauty, and reverence of this Mass chased all other distractions from my mind and left me focused on Christ. It was as if for a brief moment I was transported to Heaven itself. After an experience like that, how can I not take a piece of it with me into my every day life and be the Christian that Jesus expects me to be?

    I wish I could have that experience more often. I would be a better person.
    Dave

  64. JMody says:

    How does this glorify God whom the author alleges not to need this? [How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?] I believe Orestes Brownson was the one who said something to the effect that since God knows our hearts, and knows our deepest longings, and understands even the groans to which we cannot put words, one could well and truly say that to PRAY is a waste of time — and yet it is God Himself who teaches us to pray, and so this must tell us something.

    When one makes the effort to preserve and respect liturgy, only slightly to tweak it, not ramshod-re-write it, over millenia, slowly incorporating treasures from here or there or everywhere, that effort glorifies God because it shows that I am willing to make this effort EVEN IF He is all powerful and I am just me. If I commit huge expenses to building a cathedral, to lavish liturgical dress and implements, I glorify God because He is MORE majestic, but I try to speak to Him in the most majestic, sublime way I can. Remember Christ’s words right after Judas’ admonition over the ointment — the poor you will always have, but she has done this for Me.

    I suspect that Mr. Cones has no children — how beautiful is the crayon sketch of a three-year-old? When one’s own children grow and start to execute art in truly skilled ways, and you see the crayon sketch of someone ELSE’S three-year-old, isn’t it also beautiful (not quite like your own, but close)? I suspect this to be the closest we will ever come to understanding how God reacts to such “frippery”. He is … what’s the phrase? … oh yes, Our Father!

    Given the spread of Christianity around the world at the hands of men who learned the gospel through partaking of such “frippery” — the feats of exploration, of mission work, of constant sacrifice and suffering and martyrdom — you’d think he’d be interested at least a bit about this 1962 version of a 16th century rite and how it could kindle faith of such strength that century after century, people were moved to holy action.

    And yet, curiously for a journalist, even this little bit of intellectual curiousity evades him, or is brushed aside. Pray for him …

  65. ALL: How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

  66. From Sacrosanctum Concilium…

    “In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle [Cf. Apoc. 21:2; Col. 3:1; Heb. 8:2.]; we sing a hymn to the Lord’s glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory [Cf. Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:4.].” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 8

    Simply put…

    A piece of heaven on earth…

  67. Father Bartoloma says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: US Catholic is a bigger rag than the NCR or any other “liberal” Catholic publication because it purports itself to be moderate and “pastoral” and non-extreme.

    I wouldn’t line a birdcage with US Catholic for fear that someone might read it in between the you-know-what.

    [That said… what about the question?]

  68. MWP says:

    How did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    It may be I’m not getting it right, and this most probably will not be an answer to the question (hence my apologies beforehand), but here it goes, a counterquestion on the margins of the above:

    * Why does this Catholic seem to imply that a Catholic Mass and Eucharistic Sacrifice might n o t bear witness to the Kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    I’m not knowledgeable on theology, so please excuse me if I make mistakes somewhere, but maybe we should focus on what the Kingdom of God means?

    So maybe this could be a tentative answer:

    ‘Regnum Dei intra vos est’ (Luke 17:21) is effectuated through the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which we are not worthy to receive owing to our sins, but which Jesus grants to us, as we repent, through the Eucharistic Mystery of the Conversion of the bread into His Body. And in this single respect, every Roman Catholic Mass, in which the Eucharist is properly celebrated and in which we properly receive it (remembering about Confession!) not just bears witness to the Kingdom of God but in fact is the place and moment where an intimation of the Kingdom of God is r e v e a l e d to worshipping Catholics.

    Liturgical mysteries s e r v e (a key word from Bishop Slattery’s profound sermon) to deepen that sense and experience of revelation and of the intimation of unity with Jesus which is to come, just like art s e r v e s God, but is never an aim in itself.

    Best regards,

    Marcin

    PS. Writing from Europe (Poland), I haven’t been to the Pontifical Mass, but I’ve listened to Bishop Slattery’s wonderful sermon in the podcast.

  69. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Z:

    You answered the above question quite nicely in your own commentary. Saturday’s Mass bore witness to the Kingdom by being an act of justice, and of “emptying oneself” for God and others, as Jesus emptied Himself and took the form of a slave.

    “Tell John (the Baptist) what you see….the poor have the Good News preached to them.” In that solemn Mass, God’s “anawim”, His poor, His poor in spirit, His downtrodden, came with their worries, their cares, their burdens. A pharisee places heavier burdens on the poor and does not help to carry them, but a priest helps the poor to carry their burdens by nourishing them with the Good News.

    When the poor/anawim/”little ones” have the Good News preached to them, the Kingdom is breaking forth in their midst. Souls are sanctified at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

    The Pontifical Mass was a ringing affirmation that shepherds are now tending to that part of the flock which is starving for liturgy which “carries” the patrimony of the ages. Jesus’ Heart was “moved with pity” when He saw the crowds, for they were like “sheep without a shepherd.” Traditional Catholics have been mocked, marginalized, oppressed, and their liturgical cries have fallen upon deaf ears for so many years in a Church which insists that only modernity deserves a voice and a vote at the table of power and decision-making.

    Saturday’s Mass brought into the midst of an assembly of second-class citizens the presence of authority and power in the Church saying, “We hear you. We will no longer act as if you are invisible or of no importance. Please move forward from the back of the bus. Let me announce Good News to you. And in these rites and ceremonies, let us love one another, as He has loved us.”

    When a Pontifical Mass “signs forth” justice for the oppressed, and liberty for the captives (captive to aweful examples of Novus Ordo), and a year of favor from the Lord, then it is bearing witness to the Kingdom Jesus preached by giving traditional Catholics an exodus from their spiritual poverty into the Promised Land of a better liturgical tomorrow.

  70. B flat says:

    The Liturgy IS the Kingdom of God among us, NOW. Its physical coming was announced by prophets, and will be by angels. The Kingdom of God IS come, and it is splendid, to say the least. Every superlative in the human language, every human artefact and artifice, and all of them combined, are insufficient to reflect this truth and unworthy to express it. In bringing the Incarnate God to us, the Mass brings us to Him and unites us in His Divine and Eternal life.

    How is silk a stumbling block to this? It is the work of a worm, and of human skill. That is fitting for humility: ego sum vermis et non homo…. Of course, if it is coveted as a clothing for Pride, then envy will speak so.

    I strongly disagree with Fr Z’s comment: “I think the people in that Shrine have been the most oppressed group in the Church for decades.”
    The tense is wrong. It is not past; it is still the case. And the people in that shrine that day were fortunate to be able to participate. Millions still cannot, yet rejoice with those who could.

    The article, like that of the superannuated liturgical peritus of Seattle, only evaluates the fruit of the Church’s whole organic liturgical culture as “sour grapes”.

  71. Andrew says:

    How?
    Like any other holy Mass. You’re a Catholic. You should know! But more specifically:
    By the presence of Christ’s minister(s).
    By the preaching of the Word.
    By the celebration of the Eucharistic mystery.
    By a liturgy drawing richly from biblical sources.
    By the presence of the assembly of Christ’s faithful.
    By proclaiming and chanting the Divine praises before the world.
    By the decorum of sacred action, vessels, vestments, gestures, candles, incense, etc. (why have a beautiful church if you’re not going to make it come alive with an evocative celebration and a multitude of participants?).
    By connecting with those who preceded us but also by looking ahead into the very eternity.
    By faithful adherence to liturgical rubrics.
    I don’t know: these are just some basic points that come to mind. Once could elaborate to a great extent, but one is also puzzled that such a question would be asked? From a Catholic????!!!!

  72. Carolina Geo says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    Very simply, those who experienced the Mass had their hearts, minds, and souls elevated to God and to Heaven. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi! As the traditional Mass emphasizes the truths of our faith, so we come to believe in those truths at a profound level, and thus we can live those same truths in our daily lives. And so God’s Kingdom takes root in our lives when we have a liturgy that is beautiful and, most importantly, inherently Catholic.

  73. marthawrites says:

    May I weigh in a second time? My husband handed me his book, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically and Ascetically Explained, in which a section entitled The Sacerdotal Vestments certainly explains away the US Catholic writer’s objections. I particularly like the sentence, “The richness and the value of the sacred vestments betoken and AWAKEN (emphasis mine) due reverence for Divine service, and set forth before the faithful the incomprehensible grandeur and holiness of the mysteries sacred in a special manner…” The kingdom of God is present here and now; how better to demonstrate this FACT than by worshipping our King with the celebrant clothed in vestments which reflect the sublimity of his actions. Saturday’s Mass bore witness to our undiluted belief in the presence of our Saviour on the altar of sacrifice and of His people rejoicing in that presence.

  74. This video may be in order

    Dear Friend in Christ,

    It seems like it is fashionable to hate the pope – please watch this video to learn
    why, and how we, as good Catholics, can defend him.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/a/u/0/I4hroA4Lwpo

    God Bless you, and pray for our bishops and priests,

    Michael Voris
    ~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com

  75. ikseret says:

    -Any and every Mass bears witness to the Kingdom of God, because where Christ the King is, the Kingdom is present. And Christ certainly became present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

    -Christ was honored in Saturday’s Mass. The personalities of the bishop and ministers decreased so that Christ could increase.

    -Perhaps the anti-tradition commentators should listen carefully to last week’s second reading in the Novus Ordo from Revelation. Wasn’t there a great multitude from every nation, race, people, and tongue? As in Revelation wasn’t there white robes, incense, golden vessels, an altar, and the Lamb?

  76. TravelerWithChrist says:

    This is Christ our King!!! We enter into the kingdom every time we attend mass.

    In Moses time, he gathered the gold and finest silks and jewels to build the house of God. God instructed them to build it this way! Even the design of the vestments was prescribed.

    Why would we not follow in the same manner for the Sacrifice of the Mass? The Mass is rich in history. We need to return to a formality at mass (and I think for ourselves in our dress and actions, but that’s another discussion). The mass needs to be formal and using the best of the best, this is for our King, Christ!!! If all priests emphasized the formality of the mass, I would bet that the lay people, including the young people would in turn have more reverence for the mass, attendance would increase.

  77. Nathan says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    1. Our Lord said of his kingdom, “It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister: And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many. Unlike the usual parish version of the Novus Ordo (at least as I’ve seen, where the priest controls the liturgy), in a Solemn Pontifical Mass the celebrant, like the sacrifical lamb, is led everywhere and told what to say and do. The bishop was not allowed to take over the liturgy. The ceremonies are even clearer in the TLM for a bishop than a priest.

    2. “By their fruits you shall know them.” Just on the internet, how many spiritual acts of mercy have occurred in the aftermath of the Solemn Pontifical Mass? In Fr Z’s comboxes, one can also attest to an increase in corporal acts of mercy.

    3. “You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” I can think of no better way to let the light of our Faith show forth than through the TLM, and especially through the Solemn Pontifical Mass.

    4. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Was not the TLM a treasure hidden in a field, for which a lot of people in the church last Saturday have sold a lot of what they had to obtain that treasure?

    5. “To whom He said: Can you make the children of the bridegroom fast, whilst the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast in those days.” Was not the Bridegroom truly and substantially with us last Saturday? Was not the liturgy befitting of the re-presentation of the Incarnation and Redemption?

    In Christ,

  78. ikseret says:

    As to Mr. Cone’s desire for “noble simplicity,” perhaps he could use some help in putting the phrase in its historical context.
    The phrase goes back at least to Edmund Bishop writing c. 1900. Moreover, Bishop was comparing the Roman to the other Western and Eastern Rites.
    So noble simplicity refers precisely what happened Saturday! [And the question?]

  79. teomatteo says:

    As I watched the mass unfold before me (EWTN) my thoughts were drawn to an image of our Lord’s Presentation at the temple. I felt the presence of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, a most holy and silent man of strength during those moments of silence. The scene within the temple, the incense and chant that the infant Jesus experienced and then his sacrifice on the alter. This imagery and reality forced my desire to be holy…. truly transformed and holy…. worthy of being called his adopted son… worthy to recieve his body and blood at the communion rail that stretches into heaven….

  80. TravelerWithChrist says:

    Mother Angelica used to say “Nothing but the best for my Lord”

  81. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I posted two comments. The first noted that the homily is the easiest part to understand and that anyone with criticism should read or listen to it before discussing the other aspects of that particular Mass. Then I posted the following:

    The cappa magna is rich in symbolism. The first thing it reminds me of is the sixth chapter of Isaiah, an entrance into a great mystery (though this flowing train is not nearly so extravagant as the one seen by the seer). It also reminds me of the crowds clamoring to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment or, as in a recent Sunday reading, St. Peter’s shadow. It draws attention to the wearer, but at the same time conceals his individuality. This demonstrates that the role of that man is important, not his own personal quirks. The cappa is so difficult to wear that the wearer requires the help of others, just as we require help to live out our own Christian vocations.

    Too often in the past few decades we’ve seen an emphasis on Jesus’ humanity and immanence at the expense of attention to His divinity and transcendence. The extraordinary form re-emphasizes the latter traits and the lost virtue of reverence. Seeing the attention to detail reminds one of the Torah, where the details of worship are spelled out in detail and where only the very best is to be offered to the Most High.

    We are part of something much bigger than we can fully comprehend – a mystery. This form of Mass emphasizes that mystery. We only see through a glass, darkly. Is our failure to see fully the fault of what we’re looking at or more in how we look at it?

  82. kjmacarthur says:

    Now I’ll attempt an answer to the question:

    When I think of the liturgy, I almost always think back to the first liturgical action, the offerings of Cain and Abel. In the medieval traditions surrounding the story of Cain and Abel, God rejects Cain’s offering because Cain deliberately chooses of the worst of his sheaves, that which he can comfortably do without. Abel, on the other hand, chooses the best from his flock. Cain offers his best to himself; Abel offers his best to God. Cain performs the liturgy of Cain; Abel the liturgy of God. Cain enters into the Kingdom of Cain; Abel into the Kingdom of God.

    When we enter into the liturgy, our natural desire, if we are truly aware of the presence of God, and we love Him, is to offer of our best. When a Mass is offered like that at the National Shrine, it is clear that those members of the Church are striving to offer of their best. Some may complain of elements of the ceremony, such as yards of red silk, and condemn them as gaudy. But the Church is the Church of the poor, and the poor always have an instinct for the colorful and showy when they try to give their best. And the meek never mind when someone else is dressed in gorgeous robes; it is the meek who get to see the robes. And aren’t we told that the it is the poor and the meek who make up the Kingdom of Heaven.

    When I urge people to attend liturgy that follows the principle of offering the best, they most frequently reply that they are comfortable with the Mass to which they have grown accustomed, a Mass where they can sit back and be entertained by pop tunes, Father’s comforting words that never mention sin, and the pot-luck atmosphere of a dozen casually dressed Extraordinary Ministers. When they say this, I can’t help but think that Cain was very comfortable with his liturgy; it made so few demands on him. Abel’s liturgy was not comfortable, because he deprived himself of the best he had, and then he was killed, as his Master would be many centuries later.

  83. pseudomodo says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    Luke 13:18-35

    “Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”

    In Mr. Cones world, the Kingdom of God is still a mustard seed. In the Catholic world, God intended for the seed to grow and become a tree which is a safe haven and home for the birds of the air (the faithful).

    Christ did not remain a baby in swaddling clothes but grew in stature and wisdom until He was clothed in majesty.

    The prodigal son did not remain a humiliated vagrant but was clothed and had a ring put on his finger.

    Faith grows…along with other things.

  84. It was like the beautiful wedding feast, all the vestments, the ritual, none for the Bishops own glory, all for the glory of God. I can only imagine how many conversions were brought about by this one Mass

  85. Sam Schmitt says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    Just read the “reactions” that Fr. Z has posted, especially the one from the Lutheran pastor!

  86. jkking says:

    “[H]ow did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    By inspiring many with the Truth — that the liturgy is the most perfect, beautiful and important act we can aspire to. The external beauty of the liturgical expression should draw the faithful into the mystery of the Divine Presence, and should give the world no doubt that all honor glory is rightly given to the Eucharistic Lord. The Mass is no time to contemplate ourselves, but rather God, so he can teach us to “don the sackcloth,” to the benefit of all. Basically, it’s about Him, not us.

    Also, this particular Mass has proven to be a Holy and and truly inspiring event for many who had never before been exposed to traditional liturgy. May we have many, many more pontifical high Masses, to inspire the faithful and give glory to God!

  87. robtbrown says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    Acc to the principles of Veterum Sapientia, Latin liturgy by definition bears witness to the universality of the Church, of all members, whether concretely present, living, or dead.

  88. La Sandia says:

    I had the privilege of attending the Pontifical Mass at the National Shrine on Saturday. What an amazing and humbling experience!

    The question you posed reminded me of a homily I listened to on the Feast of the Transfiguration last year. The priest told us that the Transfiguration was necessary in order to remind the Apostles of just who Jesus Christ was, and that image of the glorified Son of God would keep them from losing their faith during the time of His Passion and Death. Just the same, we need to be reminded of the splendor and glory that await us in Heaven if we are to endure the sufferings of this life. So to me, at least, the solemn beauty of the Pontifical High Mass is an obvious parallel to the Transfiguration, where the humble garments of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth gives way to the bright white robes of God’s only begotten Son–if only for a short amount of time.

  89. Rich says:

    Compare the parables of the Kingdom of God to the experience of the TLM:

    After participating in the concrete spirit of the worship of God in the TLM, one prepares “good soil” (Mt 13:23) to receive the Word of God Himself in the Eucharist. When “active participation” focuses too much on the externals, participants in the Mass, too, forget that Mass has to do with internally receiving the “implanted word” into one’s soul (Jas 1:21).

    Many parables (the weeds and the wheat, the good and the bad fish) illustrate the Kingdom of God as a realm which serves to develop the distinction between the saved and the damned. The TLM in a like manner does an unparalleled job at developing within the participant a sense of the transcendent, of distinguishing the sacred from the profane. This sense helps the participant know how to discern whether he or she is becoming “of the world” throughout life (Jn 15:19), and thus loosing touch with Christ’s kingdom which “is not of this world” (Jn 18:36).

    Even the parable which promotes social justice, whereby Christ proclaims “Whatsoever you did to the least of these my brethren…” (Mt 25:40), depicts Christ as KING! (Mt 25: 34, 40) This is why such measure is taken to continually now furnish the upper room as it were (cf. Lk 22:12) with the likes of silk and gilded chalices, so as to lavish Christ with the superabundant devotion which is due to him, as Mary did in anointing his feet with the aromatic nard (Jn 12:3). Judas, too, complained about the apparent lack of poverty of spirit is this action, though we know that his “question” was just a disingenuous ruse used to conceal a shady agenda (Jn 12:4-6).

  90. jeffc says:

    “How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    Saturday’s Pontifical Mass is a reminder that the we are to glorify God and not ourselves in the liturgy. For the Re-Evangilziation of the West to occur, we need to return to what is best within the Western Liturgical tradition, to put away childish things, to re-discover a sense of mystery and awe in the litury, and turn ourselves towards God to Whom be all Glory forever.

  91. jeffc says:

    erm, that was not supposed to be “litury” but “liturgy” in the last line. Sorry.

  92. Jaybirdnbham says:

    How did Saturday’s Pontifical Mass bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?

    This question seems to be asking how the great “pomp” and formality of that Mass bears witness to the kingdom of God, as opposed to your typical Sunday Mass in the ordinary form.

    Of course both DO bear witness in their own way to the Kingdom Jesus announced.

    BUT: we are called to perfection, and I’m reminded of something that Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote about. She said her goal was to become (by her life) a PERFECT PRAISE of God’s Glory. Since we live in this world of sights, sounds, and smells, how better to raise the bar and approach that Perfect Praise of Glory, than that beautiful Pontifical Mass Saturday?

    We are at Mass to praise and worship God, and to receive nourishment from our God in the form of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion. While the most precious thing we can offer our Lord is the childlike love in our hearts, that doesn’t mean we should fail to offer all the other sensible proofs that we can possibly add, to that love.

    Mother Angelica built a Shrine as a “perfect praise” of God’s Glory, and put as much gold, marble, stained glass, and other beautiful things in it that she could possibly gather from around the world. When someone asked her why she used a 6-foot monstrance for the Blessed Sacrament, she replied, “because I couldn’t find a taller one than that!”

    In the same way, that Pontifical Mass bore witness to Christ’s triumphant reign over His Kingdom in the most perfect way. It was a perfect praise of Glory.

  93. ssoldie says:

    “Lex orandi,Lex credendi”

  94. chironomo says:

    How did the Mass bear such witness?

    The Kingdom of God is both beautiful and incomprehensible to us…it is not something which we can grasp immediately or without an eternity to consider it. I find that a liturgy rich in symbolism and mystery better expresses such a kingdom than a liturgy of obvious and simple actions that emphasizes comprehension and understanding.

  95. Bressani56 says:

    “how did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    In many, many, many ways. The first thing he should do to answer his question (since he seems uninformed about many of Christ’s teachings & doings) would be to watch the Pontifical Mass WITH THE COMMENTARY. That would be a good first step for him. There are also many books he can read about the Catholic Faith and our Lord, and he will begin to understand.

  96. “Without reference to the reformed liturgy, how did Saturday’s ‘solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form’ bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    Father, I hope this answers the question. It is the one I have posted there twice:

    “In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle [Cf. Apoc. 21:2; Col. 3:1; Heb. 8:2.]; we sing a hymn to the Lord’s glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory [Cf. Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:4.].” (Sacrosanctum concilium, 8)

  97. haleype says:

    “Without reference to the reformed liturgy, how did Saturday’s ‘solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form’ bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    For over 1500 years this Mass signified the unbloody sacrifice of Our Lord just as at Calvary and it does so today. It called upon the highest standards of devotion from both the laity and the clergy. The beautiful sounds and perfumed incense gave praise to God for His Ultimate gift to us, His Divine Son, which then became our spiritual food at communion. The entrance and recessional were perfectly in line with the Royal Kingship of Christ, a Kingship far above and beyond that of any on earth. The bows, genuflections and other physical actions of the priest and his assistants were totally in line with the respect due to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Kingdom of God was made manifest by this Holy Mass.

  98. patrick_f says:

    I could answer the question simply, “Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there you will find me”

    Now I realize that my answer, can lend itself to some selective interpretation , however lets consider this in the perspective of true “Active Participation”, which really the Extraordinary form encourages.

    In the Ordinary form, our eyes are fixated, our bodies positioned towards the Altar, and towards Christ present on the altar. Because of the Intent, we truly are gathered in his name

    In the POntifical mass – We witness the fullness of his Priesthood, in the person of the Bishop, who, through apostolic succession, has been sent by God, as shepherd to his flocks.

    All Liturgy when done with the proper intent, manifests God’s kingdom, because it gives us an earthly glimpse of the Heavenly liturgy (particularly found in Revelations/Apocalypse (my protestant friends are always shut down in their arguement when I show them the mass in Revelation, but alas, I digress) )

    Without getting too metaphysical – Because it represents this heavenly Liturgy, this Worship, it advances the kingdom of God . We human beings, are very secually driven. Deep down we need the pomp and circumstance. It does two things –

    It helps us appreciate the moment – This moment is intended for something more then our every day encounters, thus, the great care taken to show the moment

    Second – Though God does deserve the most perfect worship – He always knows whats in our hearts – However when we worship him (and this is what mass is, Worship), our hearts and minds and bodys (worship the Lord your God with your whole Heart, Soul MInd and Body (Jesus,)), we have truly given him something worthy. Though both forms of the Holy Liturgy accomplish this, The EF, particularly a Solemn Pontifical Mass, gives us better “guidelines” in that worship.

    Finally, I would also Challenge the Reader\Questioner with this , and he doesnt realize it, for the same reason that Many Catholics dont realize it –

    He specifically asks “how did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?”

    Simple answer – It Properly prepares YOU , the active particpant in Mass, to Go out and share the Gospel with the world. In my opinion, it orients ours minds, and bodies, and our whole being, with He who is sending us. In the End, its up to YOU to spread the Kindgom of God and bear witness to it. Because of the Mass, and PArticularly, a solemn Pontifical Mass, you recieve the necessary “tools to do the Job”.