ACTION ITEM! 9 September is #IBAPABD – International Buy A Priest A Beer Day!

You don’t want to miss this.  It’s too important.

Saturday 9 September is

International Buy A Priest A Beer Day!

You will want to obtain and deliver beer to your priests.  I will share some Norcia Beer with the guys here.  (Do visit their site – they need lots of support since the terrible earthquakes in Central Italy.)

Should any of you want to provide the undersigned (aka Father Z) with a beer one time, try this.  I’ll helpfully post this now, so you can avoid the rush on Saturday.



(UPDATE: Thanks so far to: DR (thanks for the invitation to the Dreikönigsbloggertreffen), KA, BB, Wangaratta Latin Mass Society (note added: “Cheers and time after Pentecost beers! Hooroo!”, CG, LG – £, JL, WH, AZ)

If some of you want to subscribe (to buy me a beer) once a month, you can use the thingy, below.  Again, avoid the rush and sign up now!  [Only 3 people are subscribed today, the 8th of the month.]

Some options

Card. Ratzinger thinks you should subscribe!

Also, a big “THANKS!” to those of you who do subscribe already.  I always pray for my benefactors and I regularly say Mass for your intention.  I shall be doing so during my trip to Rome next week.

Beer is so much more than just a great breakfast drink.  It’s a sign of cordial support and good cheer.

Hence: consider buying your local priests, and internet priests, a beer.  They, especially your parish priests, give you an awful lot on your journey to salvation.

The moderation (get it?) queue is ON and amusing comments are welcome.


As a reader reminds, there is a blessing for beer in the old Rituale Romanum which a priest can impart.

When you bring beer to the priest, bring this prayer along and ask him to bless it and all the beer you bought for yourself!

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.


Benedic +, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisiae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi, et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti; ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corpus et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Or else…

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, + O Lord, this creature beer, which thou hast deigned to produce from the fat of grain: that it may be a salutary remedy to the human race, and grant through the invocation of thy holy name; that, whoever shall drink it, may gain health in body and peace in soul. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

And it is sprinkled with holy water.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, ACTION ITEM!, Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

New Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio changes law about preparation, approval of liturgical translations

17_09_09_Magnum_principiumToday a new Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio was issued under the Latin title “Magnum principium”.   In various languages HERE (including the Latin text).

There’s a lot to say.  I can’t now be exhaustive. Also, I want to read slowly the commentary on the canons provided by Arcbp. Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments [CDWDS].  In brief, Pope Francis established that the CDWDS will have less of a role in the creation of liturgical texts.  Till now, the CDWDS could strongly intervene and make changes on its own to translations of liturgical texts.  Henceforth, their primary role will be to approve the texts prepared by Episcopal Conferences.  This takes effect in October.  That’s the nutshell.

Let’s see the introduction and explanatory part of the text with my emphases and comments.  After that, I’ll make some general observations.


The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops. [One might add, “An even Greater Principle is the clear mandate from the Council Fathers that Latin remain the principle language of worship in the Latin Church.”]

The Latin Church was aware of the attendant sacrifice involved in the partial loss of liturgical Latin, which had been in use throughout the world over the course of centuries. [The partial loss?!?] However it willingly opened the door so that these versions, as part of the rites themselves, might become the voice of the Church celebrating the divine mysteries along with the Latin language.  [There’s a problem here.  Translations rarely communicate the whole content of text.  This problem is magnified when trying to render liturgical texts which have deep and many layered ancient origins.  Also, translations are sometimes simply wrong.  So, are the errors now also enshrined “along with” the content of the originals?  Does this Motu Proprio seek to place the content of the many and diverging translations on the same level (“along with”) the Latin originals?]

At the same time, especially given the various clearly expressed views of the Council Fathers with regard to the use of the vernacular language in the liturgy, the Church was aware of the difficulties that might present themselves in this regard. [The Council was pretty clear that the Latin language should remain the principle language of worship even as it opened the possibility some greater use the vernacular.  Hence, I wonder if the writers of this Motu Proprio read the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium or if they are operating in the cloudy spirit of Vatican II.] On the one hand it was necessary to unite the good of the faithful of a given time and culture and their right to a conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations with the substantial unity of the Roman Rite. [Here’s a little translation irony: that “active” there is supposed to reflect Sacrosanctum Concilium’s  word “actuosa”, which is better rendered as the deeper “actual”.  However, what does “substantial unity” of the Roman Rite mean?  How much divergence is allowed, how many options are to be tallied, before it isn’t the Roman Rite anymore?] On the other hand the vernacular languages themselves, often only in a progressive manner, would be able to become liturgical languages, standing out in a not dissimilar way to liturgical Latin for their elegance of style and the profundity of their concepts with the aim of nourishing the faith.  [“In a progressive manner”… meaning… what?  That we’ve had to take a few runs in the pole vault in order to get over the bar?  Is that what our long ecclesial nightmare with the first ICEL translation was?  Does this indicate that we will soon see alterations to the 2011 ICEL version which people have just gotten used to? That “would be able to become liturgical languages” seems to admit that vernacular versions around the world haven’t been that great.  REMEMBER – this Motu Proprio isn’t just for the English speaking world.]

This was the aim of various Liturgical Laws, Instructions, Circular Letters, indications and confirmations of liturgical books in the various vernacular languages issued by the Apostolic See from the time of the Council which was true both before as well as after the laws established by the Code of Canon Law.

The criteria indicated were and remain at the level of general guidelines and, as far as possible, must be followed by Liturgical Commissions as the most suitable instruments so that, across the great variety of languages, the liturgical community can arrive at an expressive style suitable and appropriate to the individual parts, maintaining integrity and accurate faithfulness especially in translating some texts of major importance in each liturgical book.  [Let’s take the last part first.  “Some texts of major importance”… so, “accurate faithfulness” applies… sometimes.  When I read that first sentence, my mind immediately jumped to the debate stirred by chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia.  Some have suggested that moral standards for the divorced and civilly remarried are merely “ideals” which not everyone can attain.  Nor should such couples be expected to attain them.  Moral standards taught by Christ and the Church are thus “general guidelines” that people might shoot for “as far as possible”.  Okay, that’s where my mind went when reading that.  That said, the work of translation of liturgical texts involves choices.  You have to sacrifice one aspect of a prayer’s polyvalent content to express another aspect.  So, we mind our guidelines and do our best… as far as possible.  And, btw, “texts of major importance”, according to the attached NOTE from the Secretary of the Congregation, means, Order of Mass, Eucharistic prayers, forms of sacraments, prayers of ordination, etc.]

Because the liturgical text is a ritual sign it is a means of oral communication. However, for the believers who celebrate the sacred rites the word is also a mystery. Indeed when words are uttered, in particular when the Sacred Scriptures are read, God speaks to us. In the Gospel Christ himself speaks to his people who respond either themselves or through the celebrant by prayer to the Lord in the Holy Spirit. [So far, this is the best paragraph in the document.]

The goal of the translation of liturgical texts and of biblical texts for the Liturgy of the Word is to announce the word of salvation to the faithful in obedience to the faith and to express the prayer of the Church to the Lord. For this purpose it is necessary to communicate to a given people using its own language all that the Church intended to communicate to other people through the Latin language. [Hang on.  Remember that whole thing from the Council that LATIN should remain the principle language of worship?  Also, I wrote a weekly column on liturgical translations, comparing the English ICEL versions with the Latin.  Week after week I found nuances in the Latin that had to be sacrificed in order to put down on paper a literal version or a somewhat smoother version.  This strong veer away from Latin as the language used for worship has impoverished the content of the Latin.  Sure, not everyone in the pews would have homogeneously strong Latin skills.  However, when Latin was used, people in the pews could have varying translation in their hand missals.  Since we are swooping around in the blue sky of ideals, one might imagine Catholics comparing their translations over post-dismissal coffee and doughnuts and, as a result, getting more rather than less of the Latin original.] While fidelity cannot always be judged by individual words but must be sought in the context of the whole communicative act and according to its literary genre, nevertheless some particular terms must also be considered in the context of the entire Catholic faith because each translation of texts must be congruent with sound doctrine.  [An admission that translations are traitors (tradutore, traditore).  And, yes, some particular terms must be carefully guarded.  I have in mind “pro multis, for example.]

It is no surprise that difficulties have arisen between the Episcopal Conferences and the Apostolic See [read: Germany, etc.] in the course of this long passage of work. In order that the decisions of the Council about the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy[Again, the Council Fathers said that Latin… oh, … why bother….] can also be of value in the future a vigilant and creative collaboration full of reciprocal trust[bzzzzzz] between the Episcopal Conferences and the Dicastery of the Apostolic See that exercises the task of promoting the Sacred Liturgy, i.e. the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is absolutely necessary. For this reason, in order that the renewal of the whole liturgical life might continue, [hmmm] it seemed opportune that some principles handed on since the time of the Council should be more clearly reaffirmed and put into practice.  [There were a series of documents after the Council about the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium.  They include Liturgiam authenticam which is the most recent document establishing the translation norms which eventually coughed up the 2011 ICEL version in current use.  Other language groups have had their own adventures.  His dictis, I must insist that Summorum Pontificum also contains principles for  the “renewal of the whole liturgical life” of the Church.  But this paragraph and the rest of the document have a different bent.]

Without doubt, attention must be paid to the benefit and good of the faithful, nor must the right and duty of Episcopal Conferences be forgotten who, together with Episcopal Conferences from regions sharing the same language and with the Apostolic See, must ensure and establish that, while the character of each language is safeguarded, the sense of the original text is fully and faithfully rendered and that even after adaptations the translated liturgical books always illuminate the unity of the Roman Rite. [Latin: “semper refulgeant unitate ritus Romani”.  An interesting choice of words: “refulgeant…illuminate” the unity.  It seems not to be the goal to “strengthen” or “foster” unity, but “reflect” it in some way.  Am I nitpicking?]

To make collaboration in this service to the faithful between the Apostolic See and Episcopal Conferences easier and more fruitful, and having listened to the advice of the Commission of Bishops and Experts that I established, [Do we have a list of names?] I order, with the authority entrusted to me, [now we get down to brass tacks] that the canonical discipline currently in force in can. 838 of the C.I.C. be made clearer so that, according to what is stated in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, in particular in articles 36 §§3.4, 40 and 63, and in the Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, n. IX, the competency of the Apostolic See surrounding the translation of liturgical books and the more radical adaptations established and approved by Episcopal Conferences be made clearer, among which can also be numbered eventual new texts to be inserted into these books.


So, the Pope now changes the Church’s laws.  I left that part out.  As I said at the top establishes that the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments [CDWDS] will have less of a role in the creation of liturgical texts.  Henceforth, their primary role will be to approve the texts prepared by Episcopal Conferences.  That’s the nutshell.  There was a phase in the preparation of translation at which Rome was able on its own to make substantial changes to the translations prepared by, for example, ICEL (for the English language).  You might remember that during the preparation of what became the 2011 ICEL version, there was an advisory Committee under the CDWDS called Vox Clara which – though it didn’t have authority on its own – had influence in adjusting what ICEL (and the USCCB) prepared. And the Congregation indeed made changes on its own authority.   That was not well received by some.  That was welcomed by others.  The German language process also had it’s committee.

The Germans are always a problem, by the way, in just about everything, but I digress.

The changes to the law seem to seek a middle path.  They limit the role of the CDWDS to approving translations prepared by conferences and groups like ICEL.  However, they also must still safeguard the integrity of the translations according to the norms, which at present are in Liturgiam authenticam (LA).  My spidey sense suggests that this is a way of subverting the principles of LA enough to allow for a return to the dynamic equivalence approach which, in its more radical form, produced the rubbish we suffered with in the English world for decades before the 2011 version.  However, the Congregation still retains the veto power.  That’s good, provided the Congregation retains competent and strong personnel.  There will be great pressure on the officials of the CDWDS to rubberstamp whatever comes their way.  The results could be disastrous.

There are several things, however, that bother me.

First, the driving principle in the explanatory part of the Motu Proprio seems to be the spirit of Vatican II, rather than its letter.

Second, the document reflects the effort to decentralize authority, taking it bit by bit away from the individuated dicasteries of the Roman Curia and distributing it to regional conferences of bishops.  It seems to me that the unity of which the Motu Proprio speaks is undermined by such an approach.  Given what we have seen happening in the wake of Amoris laetitia, I wonder whether the next amputation of the Curia won’t occur at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.   Think about it.  What would happen were oversight of doctrine be devolved to conferences of bishops?  Yes, conferences now have doctrinal committees.  Results vary.  I think that would be disastrous.

Next, speaking of doctrine, liturgy is doctrine.  Change the way we pray and you change what people believe.  That is the inexorable principle of lex orandi lex credendi.

The next problem is that the English translation of the rite for ordinations is going on.  What’s going to happen with that?  Will different conferences come up with their own versions which may or may not say the same things?  How will that be worked out of the Holy See can’t intervene in the translation process to provide for unity?

Finally, the document doesn’t specifically address this point, but, as I have written elsewhere, will the Supreme Pontiff continue to reserve to him the approval of translations of forms of sacraments?   [See the UPDATE below.] Hitherto, only the Pope can approve, for example, the translations of the forms of consecration in the Holy Mass.  You might recall the massive debates surrounding the translation of pro multis for the consecration of the Precious Blood.  Benedict XVI mandated personally that the vernacular translations must accurately reflect the Latin.  Conferences defied him.   If that pontifical reservation is reversed, we might – no – will see divergent forms of consecration from country to country.  Will the Congregation hold firm if the Pope doesn’t want to reserve to himself the translation of sacramental forms?

UPDATE: I read in the NOTE:

The “confirmatio” is an authoritative act by which the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments ratifies the approval of the Bishops, leaving the responsibility of translation, understood to be faithful, to the doctrinal and pastoral munus of the Conferences of Bishops. In brief, the “confirmatio”, ordinarily granted based on trust and confidence, supposes a positive evaluation of the faithfulness and congruence of the texts produced with respect to the typical Latin text, above all taking account of the texts of greatest importance (e.g. the sacramental formulae, which require the approval of the Holy Father, the Order of Mass, the Eucharistic Prayers and the Prayers of Ordination, which all require a detailed review).

That answers a couple questions.





Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pope Francis, SESSIUNCULA, The Drill | Tagged , | 59 Comments

KANSAS 15-17 Sept: Conference – Introduction to the TLM

LMC-AdThere is a promising conference in – I think – Kansas.  The advertising is a little confusing, since they are talking about it on the site of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Littleton (Denver), CO where my friend Fr. James Jackson FSSP reigns supreme.  However, the conference seems to be in Pittsburgh… KANSAS.

It will take place over 3 days, 15-17 September.  As the site says:

The purposes of this conference are, therefore, five in number:

  • First, to serve as an introduction to the traditional Roman Mass for those who would like to learn more about their Catholic liturgical heritage
  • Second, to serve as the first step in teaching the practical arts of singing, serving, saying, and participating in this venerable and beautiful form of the Roman Mass
  • Third, to take the first step in evaluating the possibility of establishing a stable Latin Mass community in the four state area
  • Fourth, to help parents, home school teachers, PSR instructors, and R.C.I.A. leaders to acquire the knowledge and materials necessary to help transmit this important, though often overlooked, aspect of Catholic identity
  • Finally, to allow  people  of common minds regarding liturgy, theology, beauty, music, spirituality, and reverence to meet, know, and enjoy each other’s company
Posted in Events, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Speaking of storms on the horizon: Motu Proprio on approval of liturgical translations

My spies tell me that something is up in Rome and that, tomorrow, we may see some … sub-optimal news in the the form of a document.

Pray that this is wrong.



I’m starting to get calls about this.

So, tomorrow, I believe, we will find in L’Osservatore Romano, a Motu Proprio whereby the Legislator will change the law to give conferences of bishops the ability to confirm the translation of liturgical texts.

I’ve looked at L’OssRom for Saturday 9 September, and there is nothing in that issue.

This will lead to greater disunity between regions which speak the same language.

Since liturgical worship shapes us in a way that virtually no other force in the Church does, this could have dire impact.

Can’t happen, you say?  We have seen different conferences of bishops have issued divergent outlines to implement ambiguous parts of Amoris laetitia in regard to pastoral care for the divorced and remarried.  Imagine what this might mean in smaller conferences.

One thing that we will have to look at carefully when this document comes out is whether or not the Supreme Pontiff will continue to reserve to him the approval of translations of forms of sacraments.   Hitherto, only the Pope can approve, for example, the translations of the forms of consecration in Mass.  You might recall the massive debates surrounding the translation of pro multis for the consecration of the Precious Blood.  Benedict XVI mandated personally that the vernacular translations must accurately reflect the Latin.  Conferences defied him.   If that pontifical reservation is reversed, we might – no – will see divergent forms of consecration from country to country.

The next problem is that the translation of the rite for ordinations is going on.

What could go wrong?

One senses in this an agenda of stripping power from the Roman Curia and diffusing it to regions, a battle which liberals have been fighting as a cherished cause since Vatican II.  The result will inevitably be less unity, rather than more.

And the next step would be the devolution of oversight of doctrine to regions.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s wait for the text.


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 1 Comment

FLORIDA BISHOPS, PRIESTS: Pray the Litany against Hurricane #Irma – URGENT ACTION ITEM

hurricane_andrew_fema_2563Please retweet and share around.

Hurricane Irma has been on my mind a bit.  Some think that it will do more damage in Florida than Andrew did in 1992.  Irma’s path will go straight up Florida, it seems.  My mother lives along the coast, and so Irma has been on my mind a bit.

BISHOPS OF FLORIDA: Stand on the steps of your respective cathedral churches, dressed in cope and miter and, surrounded by clergy, with crosiers in hand, pronounce from the traditional Rituale Romanum the Litany of Saints with the deprecatory prayers against storms.  [below]   Ring the cathedral bells.  You all talk to each other: perhaps coordinate your timing.

I know that in every chancery of Florida, at least one person reads this blog, probably more.  Readers, especially if you know your bishops personally, ask them to do this.

PRIESTS OF FLORIDA: Ditto.  Also, if you have blessed bells, ring the bells of your churches against the storm.  Bells are sacramentals.  They are “baptized” and given names.  They speak.  In valleys of mountainous countries, as storms approached, people would ring the bells and pray the Litany.

PEOPLE OF FLORIDA: Get on your priests about this.  The prayers of priests and bishop are powerful.  Also, ask your holy angels to protect you and to help you make prudent decisions.

Fathers, Bishops…

Use the old Roman Ritual – it’s the real deal – and pray the Litany with the deprecatory prayers against storms. A procession could be done around the grounds of the cathedral or even indoors… even with a very few.

You don’t have to be directly in the line of the storm to pray for others!

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English from Sancta Missa.]

The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, in which the following invocation is said twice:

From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Oh yes… Mom is staying in place for this one.  Some of her old friends from a gated community where she used to live who can’t evacuate will come to her house, which is a real building and not one of those light trailer things.  Friends and neighbors came to batten down the hatches, and she has done the necessary prep.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm | Tagged , | 12 Comments

8 Sept – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

nativity of mary smConsider what our prospects were before the birth not only of Our Lord, but from before the birth of His Mother, from whom He took our human nature, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Today’s feast is older than the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which was precisely nine months ago. Holy Church, in celebrating liturgically her holy birth for a long time, ultimately reasoned back to Mary’s holy conception. As St. Thomas Aquinas argued,

“The Church celebrates the feast of our Lady’s Nativity. Now the Church does not celebrate feasts except of those who are holy. Therefore, even in her birth the Blessed Virgin was holy. Therefore, she was sanctified in the womb.” (STh III, q. 27, a. 1)

Lex Orandi Lex CredendiAs we worship, so do we believe. As we believe, so do we worship. Change our worship you change belief, and vice versa.

We are our rites.

Here is the entry in the Roman Martyrology for today’s feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Festum Nativitatis beatae Mariae Virginis, ex semine Abrahae, de tribu Iuda ortae, ex progenie regis David, e qua Filius Dei natus est, factus homo de Spiritu Sancto, ut homines vetusta servitute peccati liberaret.

The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, sprung from the seed of Abraham [and] from the tribe of Judah, from the line of David the king, from which was born the Son of God, made man of the Holy Ghost, that he might free men from the ancient slavery to sin.


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Solitary Boast | Tagged | Leave a comment

IN THE WILD: Prayer for Vocations in a parish bulletin

I sincerely believe that the Prayer for Vocations which I posted here, and which seems to be spreading across the lands, will bear great fruit.

Today I received a note from a priest in Sacramento with a link to a parish bulletin.  The parish is entrusted to the FSSP!  Notice that it is meant to be clipped out.

Alas, I regret that they tinkered with the prayer, but I’m glad they are praying!

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 23.56.43

Don’t tinker with it. LEAVE it as it is, but use it!

Here is the original card.  You can change “archdiocese” to “diocese”, but otherwise, please, don’t fiddle with it.

At the parish where I serve, the pastor and I had cards printed with an old prayer for vocations used at my home parish, where there was on average a First Mass every year.   From now on, at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass, after the Gospel and before the announcements and sermon, everyone will kneel and say this prayer:

LEADER: Please kneel for our prayer for vocations.  Let us ask God to give worthy priests, brothers and sisters to His Holy Church.

ALL: O God, we earnestly beseech Thee to bless this (arch)diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Thy Church and to make Thee known and loved.

LEADER: Bless our families. Bless our children.

ALL: Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.

LEADER: Mary, Queen of the Clergy!

ALL: Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more.

Posted in In The Wild, Just Too Cool, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , | 10 Comments

ASK FATHER: Is the TLM / Usus Antiquior dead? Forever stuck in 1962?

TheMassofSaintPopeGregoryFrom a reader…


In thinking about Benedict XVI’s teaching on the liturgy it wondered me if the TLM/Usus antiquior is a dead liturgy per se? If liturgy ought to grow (be reformed?) *organically* (as opposed to post-Vatican II “reform”), is the Tridentine mass now and forever stuck in the missal of 1962? While the mass of 1962 is beautiful to be esteemed above the NO (aesthetically speaking), this missal was not written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. Is it even possible to be reformed? How would this work, etc.? Does this question even make sense? Thank you

Sure the question makes sense.

No, the Usus Antiquior, is a living liturgy, just as all the rites of the Catholic Churches, Western and Eastern, are alive.  However, when we watch a Sequoia, we don’t see a lot of change unless we watch for a few hundred years.

Slowwwwly but surely, small adjustments are made.

And while the Traditional Mass isn’t on “tablets of stone”, let’s not dismiss the divine guidance which has guided it’s development.  And clearly there was divine guidance and favor bestowed upon the rite for the benefit of the Church and the world.  To start, just look at the magnificent fruits which it has borne over the centuries.

Yes, it is possible that the Usus Antiquior can be adjusted here and there, just as Pope Benedict’s vision verifies.   This can only happen slowly.  To continue your “tablets of stone” metaphor, think of liturgical organic growth as the slow movement of tectonic plates.  When tectonic plates move fast, suddenly, cities are destroyed and many people weep.

Benedict wanted there to be side-by-side celebrations of the two forms, traditional and new.  Over a long period of time, this would result in slight shifts and gentle changes, eventually codified.

What would be disastrous, however, would be to force changes in a sudden, artificial manner.   That never results in good outcomes.

So, how would this result?  The key is stability.  Both forms have to be stable for a while.  That means that the Novus Ordo has to have a period of stability.  However, it has never had stability.  Go from church to church and the variations you will see will be nearly endless.  Some of the variations are legitimate options, and some aren’t.  Alas, the very fact of all those options militate against stability.  Hence, there is even greater urgency that the Extraordinary Form have be left alone and allowed stability for a long time.

So, change isn’t impossible.  It’s imprudent for the foreseeable future.   The energy that those with tinkeritis should expend, would be well spent on tidying up the Novus Ordo, working on that ars celebrandi, implementing what the Council asked for regarding Latin and music and participation in its proper sense, learning the Usus Antiquior so that they actually know their rite.

Meanwhile…  if you have the stomach for it, watch this.  HERE  Warning: it’s nasty.



Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

READER REQUEST: Help to start attending the Traditional Latin Mass

From a reader…


My wife and I are interested in learning the Latin Mass so we can attend one here in Nashville. Is there a video or a book we could purchase that starts from scratch?

Great blog – keep up the good work.

My first thought…

MEME TLM Help release the readers

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

REQUEST: Old Roman Breviary & new Liturgy of the Hours – compare, contrast, discuss

12_04_11_breviaryUnder another post this comment appeared:

I ask Fr. Z if a discussion of the old breviary and the LOTH is a rabbit hole. If so, I ask him to post about a comparison between the old and the LOTH and allow comments.

It isn’t a rabbit hole under it’s own post!

So… there it is, folks.

Roman Breviary and Liturgy of the Hours…

Compare, contrast, discuss.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 41 Comments

UPDATE: WORTHY Traditional Liturgy Project needs YOU and Mass in London 7 Sept

action-item-buttonUPDATE 7 September 2017:

I had this note from the Administrator at Corpus Christi in Maiden Lane, London.

Hi Father,
I just wanted to give you a quick update: we’re currently at £3840.20 of the £5000 we need – so very close!

Once we get past the £4000 we can place the order for it, I think. Would you be able to bump the post back to the top of your page for a day or so? Your readers have been incredibly generous so far.  [That’s you!]

I hear you will be coming to stay with us soon. I’m very much looking forward to meeting you in person!

Okay, readers…. get in there and help them cross this ACTION ITEM off their list!  Tell them Fr. Z sent you.


Also… TONIGHT my friend Fr. Michael Lang of the Oratory will be at Maiden Lane for the Mass with the Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament.  Londoners!  SHOW UP!

Originally Published on: Jun 25, 2017

I bring to your attention a wonderful and WORTHY project. I hope you will all click and explore the site as well.

The parish of Corpus Christi in London, on Maiden Lane near Covent Garden, as been the site of ongoing Holy Masses in the Traditional Roman Rite for decades.

The church itself is simple and lovely and it has been receiving a lot of TLC from its present pastor (parish priest). There is a great restoration going on there about which I have posted from time to time.

I just received this note from their parish administrator.

I just wanted to drop you a quick line to give you an update on Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane in London. I know you have celebrated Mass here and have posted about us on your blog before, for which we are very grateful.

As you may have seen online, the restoration should hopefully be done by the end of the year and next year His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols is coming to celebrate Mass for Corpus Christi and to ‘reopen’ the restored church.

We would like to have a procession of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass but we do not own a canopy at the moment (shocking, I know!). [OH THE HUMANITY!] We are trying to fundraise for one from Serpone. Perhaps the followers of your blog may be able to help us out? There is a link on our website where donations can be made online:

We have also set up a Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament – a Confraternity dedicated to more perfectly honouring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. [Very cool.] Anyone can be a member, wherever they are in the world. [Sign me up!] There is a monthly Mass with a different guest preacher each month and members receive a nice Monstrance badge to wear. Our next Mass (after the summer break) is on Thursday 7th September at 6:30pm, when Fr. Michael Lang, CO will be preaching. There is a monthly newsletter with all the homilies, so those who can’t be there in person don’t miss out!



Here is the canopy they want.

I’m all for that!

You readers have been generous to projects for the TMSM (DON’T FORGET OUR PROJECT HERE!).

If a goodly percentage of you readers would donate even just a little bit, their project will be rapidly fulfilled.

Would you please give them a lift with a donation?


I would like to see the Blessed Sacrament carried about COVENT GARDEN with THAT canopy and all the incense and hand-bells going.  Imagine.

You Americans out there… show the Brits how it’s done.  Be swift and generous.  Don’t be outdone.  Make sure that when they pick up that canopy they remember that “Fr. Z’s readers – especially the American readers made this!”

HENCE – When you make your donation, use the “special instructions” item and tell them that Fr Z (Zed) sent you!

Speaking of restoration…

Just to give you an additional idea of what they are trying to do there, here is a view of what they did for the church’s sanctuary.


Here is what they have done with their Lady Chapel

Get it?

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM! | Tagged | 9 Comments

Food for thought for priests who use the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer

17_09_07_EuxIII don’t use the Second Eucharistic Prayer.  Okay, okay, I don’t say the Novus Ordo all that often either.  But when I do, I use the Roman Canon… always.  Even when I was saying the Novus Ordo often, I did not use Number Two.  The way I figured it, when I got to the very bottom of the Roman Canon, exhausted it, no longer found anything interesting or new in it, then I might move on.

Fr. Hunwicke hit for six again today. He helpfully and properly undermines the appeal of the Second Eucharistic Prayer, which is a perfect example of how some aspects of the Novus Ordo were artificial, cobbled up creations which have disrupted our Catholic identity.

How sad it is that so many priests use the Second Eucharist Prayer so often… (or at all).  Fathers… please… rethink your ars celebrandi.

Here is Fr. H with some emphases and comments:

“Hippolytus”; or “The Second Eucharistic Prayer”

How able, how cunning, the Enemy is in his plots to bring Evil out of Good. I will illustrate this by considering his use of a Eucharistic Prayer still sometimes linked with the name of the early third century antipope Hippolytus.  [BTW… His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan, wrote a spiffing post about the Second Eucharist Prayer waaaaay back in 2007. He blows it out of the water.  HERE]

My distinguished predecessor at S Thomas’s, Dr Trevor Jalland, wrote ‘The widespread interest evoked by the visual demonstrations of the Hippolytean Eucharist, which have been given in various parts of the country [by Dix since July 1948], [interesting] testify to the deep indebtedness not merely of scholars, but of the ordinary worshipper, to Dr Gregory Dix in making available for English readers the text of Hippolytus’ invaluable treatise The Apostolic Tradition.’

One aspect of this rite which particularly appealed to Catholic Anglicans was the presence of the phrase ‘we offer unto thee this bread and this cup’. This seemed to provide an alibi for smuggling back into the mainstream worship of the Church of England a formula expressive of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, absent from our Parliamentary Liturgy since 1559. Thus in 1966 the English Liturgical Commission recommended a rite (‘Series II’) which contained this phrase; justified on the ground that ‘It confines itself to the simple language of the first two centuries. It is the language used by Hippolytus … The use of the phrase is in line with the Anglican appeal to antiquity’.

At about the same time the pot-Conciliar revisers of the Roman Rite [“pot”-Conciliar… I’ve often wondered what they were smoking…] incorporated a mangled version of ‘Hippolytus’ Eucharistic Prayer’ as an alternative to the venerable Canon Romanus, the invariable Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite for so many centuries. The version which those revisers adopted had been confected by Dom Bernard Botte and Fr Louis Bouyer in between caraffes of wine in one of Rome’s seedier areas tras Tevere. [True!]

By 1989, however, Bouyer, at least, had given up the idea that ‘Hippolytus’ really was by Hippolytus, or even had any connection with the Roman Church. This doubt has now become the academic orthodoxy. (If necessary, one murmurs here the name of Professor Paul Bradshaw.)

Unfortunately, ‘Hippolytus’ failed in the laudable struggle to recatholicise the worship of the Church of England; the Evangelicals vetoed the crucial phrase. The Enemy saw to that.

But the version put out by the Roman revisers did, by the Enemy’s able machinations, succeed in almost entirely eliminating the Canon Romanus from the worship of most ordinary RC churches, where its extreme brevity appealed to priests and people alike (despite the rubrical guidance given that the Canon Romanus was for Sundays and ‘Hippolytus’ for other occasions). The passion for brevity, which made dear old Fr O’Murphy I say the Old Mass with such unholy rapidity, made his trendier nephew Fr O’Murphy II select ‘Hippolytus’ with unholy regularity in the New Mass. [A seminarian who once served as sacristan at the North American College related to me a pre-Mass conversation with a Cardinal: “Eucharistic Prayer II again today, Your Eminence?”  “Not if there’s a shorter one! HAR HAR!”]

So, in the one body, ‘Hipplolytus’ failed to achieve the hoped-for good of restoring the Eucharistic Oblation; and in the other body it did massive positive harm by edging out of use the Eucharistic Prayer which did express the full doctrine of that Sacrifice.

Satan’s Smoke! Killing two birds with one stone! [Catachrestic but effective!]

That information about the Anglican use of Hippolytus was new to me.  Fr. Z kudos.

So, Number II is licit option.  Being licit doesn’t make it a good option.

Eucharistic Prayer II

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, The Drill, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , | 25 Comments

GARUM WATCH! Ancient underwater discovery

Sometimes I have written of the joys of garum.

The ancient Romans loved to slather their foods, and add as a cooking ingredient, wondrous garum. Garum is a fermented fish sauce, highly attested in ancient literature, the preparation of which is even described by Pliny. It is closely analogous to modern Vietnamese fish sauce and also, perhaps more so, to modern S. Italian colatura. (I’ve had colatura on my wish list periodically… thanks readers, especially FGZ!)

Today a reader sent an article [HERE] about the underwater archaeological dig of ancient Neapolis off the coast of North Africa. It seems to have been destroyed in a massive earthquake and tsunami on 21 July 365.

Good weather has helped them with new finds, including massive garum tanks, suggesting that Neapolis, like Pompeii, was a major producer of the stuff.

Garum  and its counterpart liquamen was the ketchup of the ancient world.  Keep in mind that sauces which Europeans made and also brought back from the Far East, were fish based.  Even today, famous steak sauces are fish based, anchovy.

If you want a tasty light lunch, try this.

First, GET SOME COLATURA:  US HERE – UK HERE (there are several varieties with varying prices)

  • in a large bowl put finely minced garlic, a few tablespoons of colatura, and pepperoncino and a dab of olive oil
  • cook and then cool in cold water, thin spaghetti, even the so-called “angel hair” – DRAIN WELL, even tossing paper towels through it
  • add to the macerating garlic and colatura, mixing well.
  • garnish with parsley (flat leaf is best) you chopped just before serving

Posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, Just Too Cool | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can’t get “Liturgy of the Hours” in Latin – Wherein Fr. Z RANTS

17_02_07_Jesuit_breviaryFrom a seminarian…


I am a seminarian for ___, and I have been looking for a 4 Vol. Latin Breviary [Liturgia Horarum] … I emailed the Libreria Editrice Vaticana and received this response:

Dear Mr. __,

I’m sorry to inform you that all the volumes of the Liturgia Horarum in Latin language are no longer available and at the moment there is not a reprinting plan.

Best regards

Dott. Alfredo Maria Ottaviani
Ufficio Commerciale
Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Tel: +39 06.6988.1032
Fax: +39 06.6988.4716

Why aren’t they printing these volumes anymore? What can we do if we want a book-version? I don’t even think MTF is printing their version anymore.

I can imagine a couple reasons.

First, market forces: If the demand drops, the publisher won’t print it.  If the demand returns they will reprint.  This is the most obvious reason.  For the Vatican Press, it’s all about money.

Second, ideology: There has been a concerted effort to wipe out Latin.  This has been going on since before Pope St. John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum sapientia.  I think that there may also be an ideological reason because, were some other publisher want to take on the task, the LEV would probably deny them permission.

I remind the readership, especially those readers who are diocesan bishops, that the Code of Canon Law, can. 249, requires – it doesn’t suggest or recommend or propose, but requires – that seminarians be “very well skilled” in the Latin language: “lingua latina bene calleant“. Not just calleant, says can. 249, but bene calleant.

Calleo is “to be practiced, to be wise by experience, to be skillful, versed in” or “to know by experience or practice, to know, have the knowledge of, understand”. We get the word “callused” from this verb. We develop calluses when we do something repeatedly. So, bene calleant is “let them be very well versed”.

Review also Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 and Optatam totius 13, just to point to documents of Vatican II. … unless you “HATE VATICAN II!”, as the libs throw about.

Latin is necessary.  Its benefits are so numerous that they shouldn’t have to be enumerated.  And yet we are faced today with a clergy of the LATIN Church who are nearly totally ignorant of Latin!

I ask you, Reverend and Most Reverend gentlemen, what does it mean for our Catholic identity if our clergy don’t know the language – and therefore what goes with the language – of their Rite and Church?

Do you think that that’s a problem?

“But Father! But Father!”, some of these priests and bishops will respond, “We have so many more pressing problems to address!”

Is that so.

Our Catholic identity has been severely enervated over the last half dozen decades.  Let’s do something about this, starting with elementary and high schools!  Let’s do something about this starting in homeschooling!  We have to recover these lost tools or we will, shortly, begin to pay massively for the wounds to our identity.

Oh… and by the way… when rectors or others stand up during ordinations to attest before God that the men to be ordained for the Latin Church have been properly trained…. is that true if they have no Latin?


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , , | 50 Comments

Card. Caffarra – RIP

carlo-caffarra-con-benedetto-XVIHis Eminence Carlo Card. Caffarra has died.  He is the second of the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia to have gone to the Lord – in two months – without having read answers from Pope Francis.

And then there were two.

One of my Roman correspondents wrote this morning of a reliable priest’s account:

“His last words were of encouragement as the Lord will not forsake the Church and he will rebuild it with the few who will endure these times and to pray to St. Athanasius.  He said, have faith, hope and love.”

Stop and say a prayer for Carlo Caffarra today.  We hope that he is now, or will be soon, an intercessor in heaven.


Posted in PRAYER REQUEST | Tagged , , | 19 Comments