OLDIE PASCHALCAzT 48: Easter Monday – Octaves explained

This year I am not continuing with PASCHALCAzTs during the, but one year I did!

Here is one from 2011.


These 5 minute daily podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day and a little insight into Easter and its Octave.

Today is Monday in the Octave of Easter. Happy Easter to all!  The Roman Station is St. Peter’s in the Vatican.   The custom of Roman Stations continues all through the Octave of Easter

A hint at the thought: Theologically speaking, an octave anticipates the eternal bliss of heaven in which we will consider God in His glory.

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ASK FATHER: Godparents must be confirmed, married properly

From a reader…


I have been asked to be my nieces godmother but I have to make my confirmation. The lady at the church [?] told me I can not do so until I have my marriage convalidated by the church. I have talked to several people and they find that odd. My husband (who is Methodist) is going to be the godfather is weary about it finds it extremely odd as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

I’m not sure who the “lady at the church” is – and sometimes these nameless and titleless people can have some odd ideas –  but here, the lady at the church seems to be right on point.

If one is Catholic, one is bound to have one’s marriage celebrated in the Church.  This is not just a matter of canon law, though that it important.  This is a matter of following the Church’s teachings on marriage.  We must also attend to the traditional Precepts or Commandments of the Church.

To be a confirmation sponsor, one must be a baptized and a confirmed Catholic in good standing. That only makes sense. How can one be a source of encouragement and guidance to the Catholic life for neophytes if one is not fully living a Catholic life oneself?

Getting your marriage convalidated (which is not just getting the marriage “blessed”, for you’ll be instructed and asked to place a new act of consent as you are entering into something new) will allow you to return to the reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Communion.

I presume that you’ve been informed that if your marriage is not recognized by the Church, you are not able to receive the sacraments.

If one wanted to be a godparent, one would similarly want to receive the sacrament of Confirmation and have one’s marriage celebrated in the Church as well.

Do not fall into the trap of seeing any of this as a “burden” or a “hoop” to jump through.    This all makes perfectly good sense.

Another quick point: your husband, who is not Catholic, will technically not be a godparent, but a “Christian witness” to the baptism. Only those who are fully initiated Catholics can serve as godparents.  A godparent is there to serve as a guide for the child in the Catholic life. Only those who are living the Catholic life can provide that service.

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Your Easter Sunday sermon notes

I am sure that you have good points to share from the sermon you heard for the Easter Vigil and for Easter Sunday Mass.

Let’s bring out those good points and share them around.

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WDTPRS Easter Sunday: “Be what you see and receive what you are.”

We observed the Sacred Triduum: the priesthood was celebrated, the Eucharistic Christ was reposed and the altar stripped, the Passion was sung and the Cross was kissed.  Our liturgical death was complete.  Then in the evening, in some places even at midnight, the Easter Vigil began.  Flowers, instrumental music, white and gold vestments returned after a long drought of ornamentation.  The Exsultet rang out next to the Christ-like Paschal candle, burning brightly in the shadows.  Baptismal water was blessed.  At last we again sang Alleluia.  Catechumens were received or baptized, some also being confirmed.  They received Christ for the first time in the Eucharist.

On Easter day we now hear the Sequence Victimae paschali laudes about Christ the “Victor King” and His duel with Death.  Holy Church and her children are renewed in the promise of the resurrection.  Since Christ has risen, we too may rise.

Here is the Collect for Mass “during the day” which has its roots in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary:

Deus, qui hodierna die, per Unigenitum tuum, aeternitatis nobis aditum, devicta morte, reserasti, da nobis, quaesumus, ut, qui resurrectionis dominicae sollemnia colimus, per innovationem tui Spiritus in lumine vitae resurgamus.

I like the repeated “re-“ sounds in reserasti… resurrectionis… resurgamus as well as “-er-“ sound: hodierna… per… aeternitatis… reserasti.  Read it aloud. In the second part listen to the assonance on the vowel i, pronounced like the English double e as is “see”.

Latin colo, means “cultivate” as in “to cultivate, take care of a field”, and also “to regard one with care, i.e. to honor, revere, reverence, worship.”  It is used in both agricultural and religious contexts.  Latin cultus, means “worship”.


O God, who today, once death was conquered, unbarred for us the gateway of eternity through Your Only-begotten, grant to us, we beg, that we who are reverently observing the solemn annual rites of the Lord’s resurrection, may through the renewing of Your Spirit rise again in the light of life.


O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life.

At Easter we Christians renew our profession of faith as one transformed people.  In the waters of baptism, we passed through death to new life.

In ancient times, catechumens had a long period of preparation before their admittance to the sacred mysteries of the Mass.  They were permitted to attend the reading of Scripture and the sermon but they were sent out before the Eucharistic part.  At the Easter Vigil the catechumens stood before the congregation and recited their profession of faith.  The doors were then opened to them.  Anointed, baptized, clad in white linen robes, they were permitted to stand within the sanctuary and to participate in the Eucharist for the first time.

The newly baptized were called infantes, the “new born children” of the Church. With them, St Augustine of Hippo (d 430) used agricultural imagery when comparing the sacred area the basilica’s sanctuary to a threshing floor where grain and chaff are separated.

Augustine taught the white-robed infantes that not only are bread and wine transformed, people are too.  Bread is made from many kernels of wheat, wine is from many grapes.  Grain and grapes are changed by us and wine and bread are changed by God.  In turn, the transformed bread and wine are given back to transform us.  Augustine was especially concerned that they see themselves as a transformed people deeply, intimately connected to the Eucharist: “Estote quod videtis, et accipite quod estis… Be what you see and receive what you are” (s. 272,1).  He compared the new Christians to wheat, grown, harvested, ground, formed, baked through the agency of others, prepared for the Eucharist.  God plants new Christians to be wheat sprigs (spicas) not thorns (spinas). The newly baptized were now new tender shoots in the fields of God, “irrigated by the fountain of Wisdom, drenched with the light of justice.”

Can we recapture something of the joy and zeal of converts in our participation in Holy Mass?

A Church-wide liturgical catechesis could help.  So will Holy Mass celebrated in such a way that we can sink into it, grow from it, rest in it, be nourished by the mysteries our Church sacramentally re-presents in it for us.  Mass is not just play-acting or simple remembering: it is about Life itself.   Everything we do and say during Mass has meaning, sometimes plain, often veiled.

The Octave of Easter extends our opportunity to pray and worship within the mystery of Our Lord’s resurrection.

May you and yours have a blessed and grace-filled Eastertide.

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How the great have fallen.

A priest friend in my native place forwarded to me an email from the School Sisters of Notre Dame with their Easter greetings.   Get this:

Easter Blessing . . .

Let us thank the Earth that offers ground
for home and holes our feet firm to walk
in space open to infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence and certainty of
mountains; their sublime stillness, their
dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden trusting the first
warmth of spring…the humility of the
Earth that transfigures all that has fallen
of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
opening to receive our worn forms
into the final stillness.

Let us remember within us the ancient clay,
holding the memory of seasons,
the passion of the wind, the fluency of water,
the warmth of fire, the quiver-touch of the sun.

May the spirit of hope that Easter brings help you find peace.
May all the beauty and glory of this blessed season fill our hearts with praise.

School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province

Anything missing from this?

I suppose their heads were still spinning to much from walking their labyrinths to remember THE POINT of Easter.

This is just one indicator of why the CDF got involved with the LCWR.

Meanwhile, I will fill in what the Sisters couldn’t bring themselves to say:

The Lord is risen!  Alleluia!

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Fortissimo in the Faith: two bloggers (I one) looking back

John Sonnen, of Orbis Catholicus (who will be handling traditional liturgy Roman pilgrimages), was once a little altar boy at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul, Minnesota, where once the legendary Msgr. Schuler was pastor.

Today I found on his blog a mention, nostalgic, of the old days, the hay days.  Indeed I, today, in listening to the monks of Le Barroux sing Tenebrae, was able to sing along for many of the antiphons and even readings, which I myself have sung many times.

Thus, John:

Lots of fine memories there from my youth.  It was a great way to grow up, attending Tenebrae in choir to learn the chants of the Church.  And H.H.H., our deacon, always timed our Tenebrae each year, and it was almost always to the minute the same.    [HHH is the late, great Harold Hughesdon, born in London, of the Westminster School, in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, eventually permanent deacon at St. Agnes, who recreated there the liturgical style of Westminster of the 30's.]

There were many colorful personalities.  The great Fr. Z would arrive from Rome.  ["The great"!  I'm still waiting for Monsignor.] I miss the old holy cards he often had printed every Triduum.  [RIGHT!  I did that.  I would put "Tenebrae factae sunt" on the back.] They added a lot to the solemnity of the week.  The cards always made nice book markers in a Liber Usualis.  Was always kind of fun to look for cards from previous years kept away in the pages of old Libers on the sacristy shelf.  I always looked for the old Liber of Mons. Bandas to carry and hold and pray from during Tenebrae.  Mons. Bandas was one of the tallest trees in the forest before, during, and after the 1960s.  He evinced eminent priestly qualities one rarely encountered during the turbulent conciliar period and its immediate aftermath.  A prophet, really.   [Msgr. Rudolph Bandas had been a peritus at all the sessions of the Council.  He came back to St. Paul and implemented in the parish, St. Agnes, the reforms of the Council as they were actually written.]

Fortunate is the youth who gets to grow up being involved in a parish that is fortissimo(very loud) in the  Faith.


The Late Rev. Mr. Hughesdon snuffing a candle during Tenebrae! Fr. Z, celebrant.

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Saturday Stroll

Today I have done some reading and listened to the monks of Le Barroux sing the Tenebrae office.

For lunch I found a great pastrami sandwich and went to the Park.


Okay… here’s a better shot of the pastrami.   I was told, back home, to post food photos.  Yes, it is as good as it looks.


Right now the cherry trees are blooming. Stand under a grove of them and you catch their fragrance.


I walked across to the Frick Collection to see the fine exhibit of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes from a private owner.

I couldn’t take photos of the exhibit, but here is a detail of a painting by El Greco.


Back to the Park for a bit and a sit down just to watch life go by before going to the Met, which is open late.

I am listening these days to Dante’s Divina Commedia, the action of which, as you know, takes place during the Sacred Triduum.

How wonderful it is to sit outside and feel the sun and not be cold.

Busy comes back soon enough. Right now there is time for refreshing otium. Otium in negotio.

Here is Manet’s Dead Christ with Angels.


Manet got a couple things wrong about the Lord, as in the wound from the lance is on the wrong side, but he captures well the lifelessness of Christ’s Body… awaiting resurrection.

Awaiting resurrection and the defeat of this thing!


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An anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, in 2005.


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¡Vaya lío! Great idea for diocesan New Evangelization!

Here is an encouraging “¡Vaya lío!” example.

You all know about, or ought to know about, the great Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy.  Here is something from their web page:


[NB] The Bishop has asked the monks of Norcia to celebrate a series of solemn Masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as part of his effort to expose the faithful of his diocese to the traditional form. The Bishop usually attends the Mass himself and sits in choir, thus giving a personal witness to the importance of this “treasure of the Church”, as Pope Benedict calls it.


The bishop has asked these monks to make the Extraordinary Form better known to people in the diocese entrusted to him.  Excellent.  This is, for sure, was Benedict XVI was thinking about when he gave us the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.

I hope that many other diocesan bishops take such initiative.

This is New Evangelization.

Fr. Z kudos to the Bp. of Foligno, Most Rev. Gualtiero Sigismondi.

¡Vaya lío!

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Easter, customs, food and you!

It is a beautiful custom today to bring special foods to church for the priest’s blessings before Easter. Back at my home parish in my native place, people would bring things and, lined up at the Communion rail, we would go along with our Rituale Romanum and bless all sorts of good looking, appetizing stuff. People of different ethnic backgrounds had their favorite things, of course.

Today in the New York Post there is an article about different traditional foods for Easter from around the world.

Do you have any special customs for Easter?

In the meantime, remember this?

No matter what, you need lots of

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