Watching the Mass

We are watching Bp Slattery’s sermon. One of the great sermons I have heard.

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49 Responses to Watching the Mass

  1. teaguytom says:

    Ditto to that. It was a great sermon.

  2. Dawn Marie says:

    I am watching the mass on dvr as I write this, I can’t wait to hear this famous sermon that I’m reading about! I am in such awe over the vestment ceremony, I can’t imagine it getting even better! A mass such as this brings to reality the truth of the symbolism of the Holy mass in the book of Revelation. It is truly the “mystical” sacrifice on Calvary, the veil of this world is torn, and we are experiencing a taste of Heaven on earth. It was fitting to mention the great St. Theresa in the beginning, who worked so tirelessly for reform. I also long for the day when we can return more fully to the sacredness of the Holy Mass. God bless :-)

  3. Semper Idem says:

    Father, enjoy the cigar while you watch it.

    The fifty pound sacks of birdseed and money are en route to the Sabine Farm.

  4. I do hope they will release the text of that sermon soon, as well as upload the audio.

    I had intended to work while watching, so to speak, but when he started out with that line, “I want to discuss something with you…”, it got personal and I sat down to listen.

    I’m still blown away by what I heard, and I’m blessed to be in a parish where there are many, very solid homilies that offer the fullness of the faith. But, he put those things together in a very beautiful way, and in a way which I found spiritually strengthening. It flows from what Pope Benedict recently said in his “off-the-cuff” homily last week.

    Bishop Slattery, speaking like a father, warmly and without any condescension, spoke with such clarity, weaving together the subject of suffering in Christ and of obedience. I was struck by what he said about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being, “a triple act of obedience”. In fact, I think he used the word obedience more times in that sermon than some have heard it in the past 40 years in their parishes.

    I recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI to the Austrian Bishops on their 2005 ad limina visit when he said to them:

    However, perhaps those responsible for preaching fear that here and there people might drift away if they spoke too clearly…Yet experience generally shows that it is precisely the opposite that happens. Be under no illusion. An incomplete Catholic teaching is a contradiction in itself and cannot be fruitful in the long term.

    The proclamation of the Kingdom of God goes hand in hand with the need for conversion and love that encourages, that knows the way, that teaches an understanding that with God’s grace even what seems impossible becomes possible. Only think how the teaching of religion, catechesis at various levels and preaching can be gradually improved, deepened and as it were completed.

    Of course, what kind of soundbite will be echoed in the secular press tomorrow, or the dissident wing of the Catholic press?

    Many say in our culture today say that obedience is like being held captive and hence, “the world” views it with disdain. “You have to think for yourself”, is what I have been told about following the Church’s teaching, “rather than, blindly obey”. But, in the context that Bishop Slattery spoke about it, we see that obedience is a choice – a choice that only those who are truly free can make. As I have as my blog signature below every post:

    The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

  5. In my last post, I did not close quote from Pope Benedict’s 2005 ad limina address to Austrian bishops, and the italics fell off the second paragraph of the quote. Here it is in full just to be clear what belonged to Pope Benedict. I think Bishop Slattery spoke well as the Holy Father expects preaching to be offered.

    “However, perhaps those responsible for preaching fear that here and there people might drift away if they spoke too clearly……Yet experience generally shows that it is precisely the opposite that happens. Be under no illusion. An incomplete Catholic teaching is a contradiction in itself and cannot be fruitful in the long term.

    The proclamation of the Kingdom of God goes hand in hand with the need for conversion and love that encourages, that knows the way, that teaches an understanding that with God’s grace even what seems impossible becomes possible. Only think how the teaching of religion, catechesis at various levels and preaching can be gradually improved, deepened and as it were completed.”

  6. cstei says:

    I wish they would have used that microphone the whole time he was at the Throne. I was sitting in the middle of the Basilica and the only thing I heard at the throne was the sermon, everything else inclusing the collects were barely audible.

  7. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Struck by the sermon too, here. Depth, warmth and simplicity. And Bp Slattery didn’t mince words.

  8. mdinan says:

    Does anyone know whether or not any of our politicos or any other public figures were in attendance?

  9. my kidz mom says:

    Watching rebroadcast right NOW!

  10. Childermass says:

    I can’t wait to check it out. Today in Boston I heard Fr. Benedict Groeschel speak so movingly about the Eucharist. And a marvelous hour-long meditation on St. John Marie Vianney by another priest last night.

    While the Church still produces saints, we all have hope!

  11. tioedong says:

    Slattery was our bishop when we lived in Oklahoma…

    When the “scandals” hit, he started Friday night exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to make reparation, and came clean at the two minor complaints…

  12. NobisQuoQue says:

    How about sending EWTN a donation & thanking them for airing this historic Mass so that many far & near could watch it? [The broadcast was paid for by The Paulus Institute. If you are going to give a donation to anyone for this, give it to the people who incurred the expenses.]

  13. Central Valley says:

    That sermon should be read in every parish in the world.

  14. jvicente says:

    OK, complaint time. I’m listening to & watching a rebroadcast of the EWTN coverage of the Mass in the Basilica over the internet. Why does EWTN insist on having this constant blab, blab, blab, play by play commentary over the actions of the sacred liturgy? What is this, a football game? Can’t they just let the words & actions of the officiating ministers speak for themselves? There’s a very nice choir signing at this Mass, I’d like to hear them without interruption.

    Yes, I know there are a lot of uninformed people out there who would benefit from some instruction in the details of the old Mass, but couldn’t such commentary be done prior to the actual celebration of Mass? During the “pre-game show” so to speak. I think an unobtrusive crawl along the bottom of the screen translating some of the less familiar texts of the Mass would also be appropriate.

    But please, enough with the annoying play by play already!

  15. B.C.M. says:

    Fr. Z was one of those “blabbing” and I for one found it important. Whenever I had a question about something Fr. Z always jumped in and answered it, even as I was thinking it!

    Thanks Father!

  16. Geoffrey says:

    jvicente: Ouch! Were you not aware that Fr. Z was one of the commentators?!

    I thought the commentary was very well done. A good balance of commentary and silence. And remember, many people watching might not be familiar with Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and so some explanation is necessary.

    His talk of obedience reminded me of Saint Padre Pio. I also could help but wonder if this was in some way directed at the SSPX?

  17. B.C.M. says:

    Did anyone notice the “ineffable” sighting/sounding? I laughed out loud when I heard it :)

  18. Jerry says:

    re: Geoffrey – “I thought the commentary was very well done. A good balance of commentary and silence. And remember, many people watching might not be familiar with Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and so some explanation is necessary.”

    I agree completely. Even many of us who are familiar with the Mass in the Extraordinary Form have little, if any, knowledge of the special ceremonies. I found the commentaries provided for this Mass and the FSSP seminary chapel dedication to be very informative. I even learned the reason why the priest reds the Gospel in the position he does.

  19. becket1 says:

    Now offer that style of Liturgy 365 days out of the year and then and only then will you have something to celebrate. Was the Archbishop of Washington DC present?. And if not WHY??. Like when the Cardinal Castrillion celebrated the EF Mass in Westminster. Where was Cardinal Cormac?. Is this beautiful Liturgy beyond them. Or are they rebels?.

  20. becket1 says:

    Keep in mind that the EF Mass was not meant for just special events. But for use 365 days out of the year. I’m glad to see this Mass take place, but until every Roman parish in the US offers the EF Mass I will not be happy.

  21. Geoffrey asks: I also could help but wonder if this was in some way directed at the SSPX?

    No. I don’t think he was targeting any group in particular.

    I went back to the DVR to get the exact words he started with:

    “Bp Slattery: We have much to discuss – you and I.”

    I believe it was targeted exactly as he said, and I believe it was individualized, so to speak. He got me and it was as if he was sitting across the table explaining some of the difficult facts of life (for Catholics) as a father would. It wasn’t sugar coated. It wasn’t alarming. It wasn’t condescending. He did not avoid a difficult or unpopular subject – obedience in the context of suffering. He conveyed it with warmth and grace, leaving me strengthened and filled with hope.

    As he talked, for example, I found myself pondering the many times I took the easy way out, rather than speaking up when I should have, or conversely, being silent when I should not have spoken up – a point he made.

    What was the reading? Matthew 16: 13-19

    16* Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17* And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18* And I tell you, you are Peter, * and on this rock * I will build my church, and the powers of death * shall not prevail against it. 19* I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Each one of us is called to follow Christ, who was obedient unto death. That sermon was meant to make each one of us probe deep. Don’t consider how it might have been aimed at this group or that. Rather, we should reflect on how it might be aimed at each of us as individuals.

    I will add this much, he may not have been scheduled to do this Mass, but it was clear to me during that sermon, that he was meant to have that Mass. Thanks be to God that he said, “yes”.

    He should be flooded with a spiritual bouquet.

  22. New Sister says:

    jvicente – you musn’t allow yourself to be tempted to such negativity… love for this Sacred Liturgy is a gift, not a possession. We have an obligation to share it.

  23. @jvicente on your “complaint”

    Consider that if you were a guest in someone’s house, would you complain in such a way about something?

    You were a “guest” at the “house” of EWTN. The only reason you got to see any part of that Mass was because they aired it. So, let’s thank EWTN for that.

    Fr. Goodwin and Fr. Z were not “blabbing” but informing an audience about the EF Mass. You said:

    Yes, I know there are a lot of uninformed people out there who would benefit from some instruction in the details of the old Mass, but couldn’t such commentary be done prior to the actual celebration of Mass? During the “pre-game show” so to speak. I think an unobtrusive crawl along the bottom of the screen translating some of the less familiar texts of the Mass would also be appropriate.

    So you understand that there are uninformed people and you have an idea. Have you considered emailing them in a charitable tone, without complaining, the suggestion about texts along the bottom of the screen for such occassions? I like this idea, but I do not think it can be used exclusively. It would take some practice, and it may not be practical from a technical standpoint.

    If you do submit your suggestion direction to EWTN, in a charitable tone, first thanking them for giving you the opportunity to see the Mass, please be sure to send them a donation so they can continue to bring these things to us, as they have done.

  24. ruadhri says:

    OK, could somebody point to a link to Bishop Slattery’s sermon? Just the text would do.

  25. All: I wish there had been a half hour before the broadcast in which we could have spoken about things to come and so that we could have spoken less during the Mass. Alas, that was not the way it was scheduled.

  26. Henry Edwards says:

    Early in Benedict’s pontificate (or perhaps even earlier) I wrote to EWTN to complain about the incessant chatter overriding the actual text of the Mass during their telecasts from St. Peter’s. My letter was forwarded to Vatican Radio (whose audio feeds are used for the TV also), and a lengthy exchange of e-mails resulted, in which I pressed the case with one of their Mass commentators that “It’s the Mass that counts”. Though I can hardly claim the credit, it seemed to me that some improvement occurred soon thereafter, and the new Vatican Radio commentators now handling the commentary for papal Masses are now doing a fine job, of which I have no criticism.

    However, the commentary provided by Fr. Calvin Goodwin and Father Z for yesterday’s telecast set an entirely new standard for informative but unobtrusive enhancement of a televised Mass. [thank you] Along with a contribution that I plan to send EWTN in gratitude for this historic broadcast, I will offer my thanks also for the exemplary commentary, and the hope that these same fine commentators will be employed again for feature EF Mass telecasts on EWTN. [The broadcast was paid for by The Paulus Institute. If you are going to give a donation to anyone for this, give it to the people who incurred the expenses.]

  27. Magpie says:

    I missed half the Mass because of an error in the UK and Ireland EWTN scheduling. Hmmm. Well what I saw was marvellous and I thank the Lord and all involved. I look forward to reading the text of the sermon.

  28. iudicame says:

    It seemed to me that about half way thru the homily the priests in choir stopped tipping their hats for the Holy Name. The MC still did his bow all the way thru tho. Curious if there is a rule about this? m

  29. To be fair to jvicente, there have been comments about “chattiness” from Mass commentators on this blog before, such as “I am very pleased that there is no voice-over chatter!” during a 2008 EF Mass on EWTN.

  30. Mike says:

    When at the Shrine yesterday I dipped into the bookstore and picked up Ratzinger’s “On Conscience”, a real gem. My friend and I arrived at the shrine at 11:00, so we got pretty good seats; a family behind us prayed the rosary–I joined in for the last two mysteries to complete my own rosary started earlier–a gentleman was to our left with a handicapped relative (wife?), to whom he lavished care, but was movingly rapt with love during the canon of the Mass; before Mass, I dipped into “On Conscience”, and B16′s concern for continuity was right there, as he sharply critiqued the notion of casting off “pre-conciliar” thinking on conscience, even pointing our how the “rupture” has altered the Faith horribly, as it sees authority as an imposition on the subjective self rather than the servant of Truth, and thereby the self’s real friend. Then the Mass started, and the notion of “continuity” unfolded in beauty and wholeness and grace before my very eyes.

  31. Prof. Basto says:

    A link to the sermon would be very much appreciated by the foreigners.

    No cable company in my country has EWTN.

  32. Ligusticus says:

    Bishop Slattery (at least) next Archbishop of Oklahoma City!

  33. Is there a video or text of the sermon online somewhere?

  34. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I once asked Abp Foley where he was located when he did the play by play of the papal masses. I had looked for him in one of the balconies on the pillars. Anyway, he said that he was sitting alone (exc probably for engineers) in a room. Perhaps that situation causes the St Peter’s commentator to think he always has to say sometime.

    The standard, however, was set by the Italians during the JPII papacy when he led the Rosary on TV. The commentators talked the whole time. Very Italian. On the other hand, everyone knew that pasta, wine, and cheese were only a few minutes away.

  35. Andrew says:

    “No cable company in my country has EWTN.

    Comment by Prof. Basto”

    Professore:

    You can watch EWTN TV programs on your computer through the EWTN website.

  36. Henry Edwards says:

    jvicente: Can’t they just let the words & actions of the officiating ministers speak for themselves? There’s a very nice choir signing at this Mass, I’d like to hear them without interruption.

    Complementary to my previous remark on the subject, I should admit that I used almost the same words in the original letter of complaint to EWTN that I mentioned. Like you, I particularly like to hear all the sacred music, and also to follow the Latin propers of the Mass in my missal. So I too tend to reflexively react negatively to voice over commentary in most televised Masses.

    Hence I have been glad that EWTN has never included any commentary for any of their quarterly TLM telecasts from Mother Angelica’s Shrine (just as they never have any commentary for their daily OF telecast).

    However, I thought this Solemn Pontifical Mass qualified as an exception to the general rule because of its special ceremonial that may be unfamiliar even to a typical traditional Catholic, and because of the special historic aspects of the occasion. However, I should admit that there can be reasonable disagreement as to how much of a good thing is too much.

  37. Dawn Marie says:

    EWTN also re airs some programs on youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/EWTN I for one also enjoyed the commentary, it was done very tastefully and respectably. I feel that it only enriched the experience. Reading a feed at the bottom of the screen would have distracted away from the visual beauty of what was being watched. Making a donation to EWTN is a wonderful idea! Possibly Father Z. could set something up where we would donate here, then he could offer it to EWTN on our behalf? [The broadcast was paid for by The Paulus Institute. If you are going to give a donation to anyone for this, give it to the people who incurred the expenses.]

  38. doanli says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FR Z, POST THIS SERMON AS SOON AS THE TEXT IS AVAILABLE!!!!

  39. Tradster says:

    Concerning the broadcast commentary.

    Pros: My wife and I were highly appreciative of Fr. Z’s thoughtfulness of those of us at home with our Missals, by telling us the proper readings being used. Likewise for his reciting the English version of those readings for those without Missals. Thank you Father for both. Also, the explanations of the long cape, the vesting, and other parts which we seldom, if ever, get to see all added immensely to the experience. We were also glad to hear the comments encouraging the increased use of chapel veils, and the proper reception of Holy Communion (kneeling and on the tongue).

    Cons: I readily acknowledge the sad and unavoidable reasons for them. Still, I found it irksome to listen to the repeated and almost apologetic references to why the priest was not facing the people, that he was representing them, and that they were not being shut out (paraphrasing). As I said, I understand the comments were necessary for the uninitated, and my kudos for how tastefully and professionally they were presented. But I would suggest that perhaps there did not need to be quite so many of them throughout the Mass.

    I pray there will be many future such special EF Masses, and hope to be able to enjoy Father Z’s wonderful commentary during each and every one of them!

  40. TJerome says:

    I watched and found the commentary very instructive and not intrusive which is not always the case.

  41. Charivari Rob says:

    Regarding the issue of commentary, etc… – perhaps the solution would be to employ SAP feed for such “special event” Masses, so that the viewer could select “with” or “without”. Of course, the practicality of that idea depends on how easy and costly it is to implement.

    I was out during the day so I didn’t see the Mass. Sounds like it was wonderful. Hoping to have time later to get some of the homily off the ‘net.

  42. lux_perpetua says:

    re: commentary.

    i know that i represent a somewhat small minority here, but we must remember that not everyone has access to missals or, for that matter, can appreciate the visual beauty and symbolism of the Mass. even growing up with the NO and its symbols, no one ever bothered to explain anything to me. i didn’t know about the Elevation, or genuflection, or anything else that was visual until i was 22 and sought after it myself because no one bothered to think that they were important aspects for someone who could not see them. this, of course, is not true. not true for me, and not true for the many non-Catholics who think that the Mass is nothing but a bunch of cultish actions and meaningless symbols.

    because i cannot read a Missal and do not know Latin, and because the Mass is so punctuated by silence and rubrics which I do not know and cannot follow, I have never been to a TLM. so I thank God for this tasteful commentary which has the potential to teach people and make them feel comfortable enough to begin attending the TLM by helping them to understand the meaning behind the beauty.

  43. Jaybirdnbham says:

    I found the low-key and reverent commentary quite informative and necessary… even before I belatedly realized that one of the two voices was Fr. Z’s. If anything, the volume of the comments might have been a bit too low, because I had trouble hearing what Fr. Z and Fr. Goodwyn were saying. Vatican Radio could take some lessons from how this Mass was covered.

  44. lacrossecath says:

    I was almost in tears(when they ask you what this was all about).

    I would also like to donate to EWTN RE PontMass.

    [The broadcast was paid for by The Paulus Institute. If you are going to give a donation to anyone for this, give it to the people who incurred the expenses.]

  45. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Saturday was my Aunt’s Funeral Mass and we had a family gathering and meal afterward, I missed the Mass at the the Basilica. Is it going to be available on-line anywhere?

  46. becket1 says:

    So why wasn’t the Archbishop of Washington DC present??. Nobody has answered this question. Is the EF Mass beyond him??. I find it very disrespectful that he did not attend!!.

  47. Emilio III says:

    Becket1, I don’t have the details handy, but somebody explained in another entry that HE had a previous commitment to a CUA function.

  48. Gulielmus says:

    The Archbishop of Washington is, ex officio, Chancellor of the Catholic University of America, and there was a major fundraiser out of town this weekend. Reportedly he intervened with Bishop Slattery, making a personal appeal after the Bishop initially declined the invitation, to come celebrate this complex liturgy.

    But by all means, instead of being happy that such an event took place, let’s all crab and grouse and accuse anyone who wasn’t there of rebellion. That’ll really advance the cause and encourage a wider use of the Extraordinary Form.

    (By the way, great work by the commentators, in my view. I was honored to be present but very glad to have watched the rebroadcast for so many details that I missed in person.)