Zen and the Tridentine Mass

This is a must read article.  I tip my biretta to participant Jon: o{]:¬)

A Very Brief account, from Cyril Jerome Law, Jr. Hong Kong

The Orient has often been dubbed the Mysterious East. With Hong Kong being the "Pearl of the Orient," something even more astonishing took place — a Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the Tridentine rite offered by a Chinese Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, assisted by a Chinese FSSP priest, in a high-school multi-purpose room jammed with photo-copying machines, under the Communist flag.

It was Sabbato in Albis, 2006, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the granting of the Indult for the Tridentine Mass in Hong Kong. His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, a Salesian of Don Bosco, who was assisted by other two Salesian deacon and sub-deacon, offered this almost once in a life time Pontifical Solemn High Mass. St. John Bosco once said to his religious, liturgy is our entertainment. Sure enough, it was sheer bliss to be a part of this experience.

First we had to juggle with the location — a multi-purpose room in a local high-school. Secondly, the liturgy itself. Several youngster spent an evening combing through Fr. Fortesque’s Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described and then attempted to render a CHINESE version for the ministers and altar boys — not a normal school work assignment. A curious note: we didn’t have a faldstool, let alone a throne. Since our altar is made out of Chinese teak wood, we finally resorted to using a Chinese teak wood piano arm-chair which my grandfather desiged ages ago (see if you could spot it in the photos).

For the Preface, the Cardinal himself chanted the Tonus Solemnior from the back of the Missal — a very rare occasion for most of the faithfuil attending. Also, to rouse up a congregation comprised of mostly Chinese Catholics to chant the Mass Lux et Origo was a monumental effort, but it succeeded, for nearly all who signed up to attend the Mass were given a CD and notations for practise weeks prior to the Mass.

Heartfelt gratitude goes to Fr. Duncan Wong, FSSP, a Cantonese and speaks the Chinese dialect, who came to our aid from Sydney and acted as the Assistant Priest in the liturgy.

All in all, may God be praised in works great and small, may He contiune to give his blessings to China, the motherland, if not a shadowland to many loyal Catholics.

Link to Photos:

Cyril Jerome Law, Jr.
Hong Kong

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. catholiclady says:


  2. Norman says:

    I would have loved to be there, HK is only 3.5 hrs flight away from Singapore. Too bad I was so busy on April 22.

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