Implementation of Summorum Pontificum at Georgetown University (Jesuit)

There are many Catholic "settings".   There are not only parish communities, but also more loosely defined academic settings, such as you would find in a Catholic University.

Students have need for spiritual support, ongoing instruction in the faith at their level of apprehension.  They need sanctification through the sacraments, especially confession and Holy Mass.

So, it is only reasonable that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum would spark interest on the campuses of Catholic Universities.

We are seeing that at some Universities (which, by the way should be adhereing to Ex corde Ecclesiae) there is both resistance and also welcome shown to the expressed desires of students for something they believe would nourish their spiritual lives, namely, the older form of Mass.  We have seen a pretty fair response on the part of the University of Notre Dame, for example.  On the other hand, there less warmth being shown at Franciscan University in Ohio and Ave Maria in Florida.

What is going on at the Jesuits place in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University?  It isn’t really known for strong adherence to Catholic doctrine these days.

Here is a report from The Hoya, Georgetown Universities newspaper.

My emphases and comments

Students Push for Addition of Latin Mass
Campus Ministry Says Training, Scheduling Concerns Pose Problems

By Elizabeth Blazey
Special to The Hoya
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Latin Mass may be coming back to Georgetown, if one group of students has its way.  [Why put it like that?]

Two students submitted last month a formal request to the Office of Campus Ministry for the addition of a Catholic Tridentine Mass on Sundays in Dahlgren Chapel. Administrators said that they are considering the proposal but have not made a decision.

The students first asked Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Timothy Godfrey, S.J. on Sept. 7 for the addition of the Mass on Sundays at Dahlgren Chapel, one of the students, Steven Picciano (COL ’09), said. Picciano said that at least 50 Georgetown students support this request, and that five Jesuits have already agreed to say the Tridentine Mass should the proposal be accepted.

Fr. Timothy Godfrey, director of campus ministry, said he "will follow the same route as the Archdiocese [of Washington, D.C.] and take time in the implementation of this Mass." He said the archdiocese is working on determining what a "stable group of faithful" entails.

Godfrey said the implementation of the Tridentine Mass has been delayed by logistical complications, including the need to train priests in saying the Mass. Furthermore, he said, the availability of Dahlgren is limited on Sundays, leaving little time for another Mass.  [Gosh.  You would think that the priests around Georgetown University would be pretty smart and could learn this without much difficulty.]

"Campus Ministry already holds six Masses on Sundays, baptisms, marriages," he said. "Difficulty arises in trying to meet all sorts of needs."

Godfrey said that he is working with Fr. John Langan, S.J., the rector of the university’s Jesuit Community, and that the next step in the process — if the Mass is permitted — is for priests to say the Tridentine Mass in university-sanctioned Masses in Copley Crypt. He said that no specific timeline has been established for making the decision. 

Picciano said that, as a result of not having a Tridentine Mass on campus, some students attend Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Chinatown, and are, "by extension, excluded from the Georgetown community."

"As a Catholic university, it makes sense to meet the spiritual needs of Catholic students," he said.

Picciano said a Tridentine Mass is already said every Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Copley Crypt, typically by Fr. Stephen Fields, S.J., although this Mass is not part of the university’s official schedule of Masses.

Picciano said the Tridentine Mass offers a more solemn, humble and contemplative approach to worshipping God than the contemporary Mass.

"It enhances the atmosphere of Mass," he said. "It’s a way of praying to the highest."

The Tridentine Mass is a traditional Mass that is said in Latin, offers more time for reflection and contemplation, and includes slightly different prayers, [Well… maybe more than slightly in quite a few cases.] although the basic structure of the Mass is the same as contemporary Masses. The use of the Tridentine Mass sharply declined after the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962-1965. Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the legitimacy of the Tridentine Mass in an apostolic letter released in July.

"In parishes, where there is a stable group [There is that bad translation again.] of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful [harmonizes] with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and [favoring] the unity of the whole Church," Benedict said in the letter, "Summorum Pontificum."

According to the letter, in churches that are not parishes or associated with a convent or monastery — such as Dahlgren — it is the duty of the rector to grant permission for the use of the Tridentine Mass.

Fields, one of the five Jesuits who expressed support for the proposal, said the Tridentine Mass can help enrich the spiritual experience of Catholics on campus who choose to attend the Masses, adding that some students are trying to form a Gregorian choir to enhance the Masses.

"I hope that the consequences [of adding the Tridentine Mass] will be a healthy addition to the diversity of worship on campus, a cultivation of contemplative prayer, a renewal of the riches of Gregorian chant, a deeper appreciation of the Church’s history and tradition and a deeper love of the Mass as the principal act of worship of the Church," he said.

"Campus Ministry has been most gracious in honoring the request of the students on campus," [YAY!] Fields said. "The Pope asks that a stable group [bad translation] of worshipers request the Mass and that their pastors willingly accede to it. But some details had to be worked out with the archdiocese, and the students had to identify priests able and willing to celebrate it. It is quite complicated, and the priests need a period of training, which is still going on."

Natasha Labeaud (COL ’09) expressed support for the offering of a Tridentine Mass on campus.

"I would probably go," she said. "It would be a nice option to have because it relates to the roots of Mass in general."

Not bad!   Not bad at all!

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  1. Since Ave Maria University was mentioned, I’ll comment as a student on the situation there.

    According to the chaplain, the extraordinary form will be regularly celebrated on Sundays and Wednesdays, although the university is waiting for permission from the bishop.

    I am simply flabbergasted by all the talk of bishops restricting this great document. Ears but do not hear. . .

    What an encouragement, the situation at Notre Dame. I hope that Georgetown follows suit.

  2. Jeff says:

    This is quite nice!

    And what a contrast to the sad situation at Steubenville and at St. Peter’s…

    The saddest thing about Steubenville is just that obviously many of the priests there are earnest and pious Catholics. I would have hoped that the same Spirit that animates their love for the Church would be for them the Spirit of Obedience, Who provides consolation even when He takes on paths that are dark to our undertanding.

    My heart goes out to Msgr. Piero Marini’s friends and to the good priests at Steubenville who have doubtless been doing their best to be faithful to their understanding of where God is leading His Church. The anti-spam word above me as I type this post is: Pray for our priests. What good advice. God bless them all.

  3. giovanni says:

    To paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, it’s a funny old post-postmodern world.

  4. ortho says:

    While this is great for the DC area, there is some troubling news out of Saint John’s in McLean (DC suburbs). I believe the priest actually is a frequent visitor to WDTPRS. See below:

    It’s sad to say, but several reports have come in about the first traditional Mass at Saint John’s in McLean — and none of them are good.

    Besides the obvious which cannot be easily corrected (hideous round church), the Mass itself is dangerously close to a 1960s hybrid Mass. Organ is played through the consecration and elevation. The congregation pretty much said every single altar boy response but, worse, they sang the entire Pater Noster at the request of the pastor.

    The most radical part of the Mass, however, was something I’ve never heard of — a “presentation of the gifts” by members of the congregation. The cruets were brought down the aisle, in total novus ordo style. The pastor claims Pius XII promoted this. The pastor also asked the congregation to recite the “Suscipat Domine.” (!)

    Finally, the pastor told the congregation the Epistle and Gospel will be read in English soon, skipping the Latin completely.

    This is the second parish in the Dicocese of Arlington to implement a traditional Mass with un-traditional elements. The first was Saint Andrew the Apostle in Clifton, although the associate pastor reportedly says a traditional Mass without the novelties done by the pastor there.

    I admit I am biased, as I don’t like the Dialogue Mass or congregational singing. But these abuses are way, way beyond that — these are 1965 and later innovations. Clearly, two priests (the pastors of Saint John’s in McLean and Saint Andrew’s in Clifton) are working hard to merge the novus ordo and the traditional Mass. So, just be aware. Thankfully there are many other options in the Diocese of Arlington and the Archdiocese of Washington for orthodox traditional Latin Masses.

  5. danphunter1 says:

    Is the Pater Noster permitted, at the Tridentine mass, to be spoken/sung by the congregation?
    Also is it wise for the priest at a Tridentine Mass to give the faithful the option of recieving the Blessed Sacrament in the hand.
    I have witnessed this, recently.
    God bless you.

  6. RBrown says:

    According to the chaplain, the extraordinary form will be regularly celebrated on Sundays and Wednesdays, although the university is waiting for permission from the bishop.
    Comment by Anonymous from Ave Maria

    It’s not necessary to get permission from the bishop.

  7. Uncle Kermie says:

    To Ortho,

    A parish priest doesn’t need permission from the local
    ordinary (bishop). However, the SP is silent whether the same
    rules apply to non-parish priests and non-parish churches,
    such as a Mass at a university or high school. If a bishop
    wanted to be difficult, he could try to wield his authority
    there. So it’s an unknown whether the SP extends to Ave
    Maria University

  8. Matthew Mattingly says:

    What the Franciscan TOR priests at Steubenville U. and the priests loyal to Archbishop Piero Marini are doing is scandelous, and is an example of obstinate disobedience (mean spirited and evil). No one should have sympathy for these priests. They are maintaining their obedience etc. to a way of doing things which is now not the spirit of the Church, nor the direction THIS Pope is taking us. The liberals and followers of Piero Marini sigh for the progressive days of John Paul II. His devotees see him in everything, even in a bonfire . (Nonsense). People should get over it. The liturgical days of anything goes are over.

  9. TJM says:

    Perhaps Georgetown campus ministry needs to contact campus ministry at
    the Univeristy of Notre Dame which implemented Summorum
    Pontificum immediately. To think the Jesuits were outsmarted
    by the Holy Cross Fathers. O Mores, O Tempora! Tom

  10. Joshua says:


    The 1958 De Musica et Sacra from the SRC forbids the organ playing during the Consecration and elevation. But at the same time it permits 4 different degrees of dialogue in the Mass, the 2nd degree of which can include all the server’s responses including the suscipiat. It also permits, but does not mandate, the Pater Noster to be said by all in a low dialogue Mass of any degree. It should not be sung in a low Mass, nor does the document permit it to be said or sung in a High or Solemn Mass by the people.

    The presentation of the “gifts” was, in fact, done in some places way before Vatican II. The Church even mentions it in some documents on the liturgy, not condemning it but also not promoting it. It does not seem appropriate to introduce it where it was not custom, or in a manner other than how it was done. (We don’t even do it in the NO here)

    Congregational singing, at low Masses, during the quiet parts other than the Canon (with another holy silence from the Pater Noster to Communion), is also permitted by De musica et sacra. But not only that, it is actually very traditional to do so. If it is done well, it, I think, is a very appropriate and becoming way for the laity to participate in low Mass.

  11. dcs says:

    However, the SP is silent whether the same rules apply to non-parish priests and non-parish churches, such as a Mass at a university or high school.

    No it isn’t, it says that the rector gives permission (see Art. 5.5). At Georgetown (at least according to the above article), this would be Fr. Langan. Hope this helps.

  12. Joshua says:

    Uncle Kermie,
    The motu proprio is not silent on such matters:

    From the very same article that mentions parishes:

    § 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission.

    This would include public and semipublic oratories, such as are found at Colleges.

    Here at my college, within the heart of liturgical craziness so to speak, we have had the Old Rite Mass every day starting on Oct. 1. We have a High Mass on Sundays, low on Weekdays. The Mass is only a 1st degree dialogue, but we are planning on having some signing at the daily Masses and adding some of the 2nd degree (minus the preparatory prayers—cf. Rev. McManus’ books on the 1962 rubrics, the SRC says that if signing is done that the preparatory prayers can be said silently and the dialogue Mass can really start with the kyrie)

  13. Anonymous says:

    “It’s not necessary to get permission from the bishop.”

    This is very clearly the case, which is why we are so frustrated down here. The following article and survey is accurate, excepting the statement about no moves being made towards facilitating the celebration of the extraordinary form of Mass:

    Please pray for the disheartened students at Ave Maria University.

  14. ortho says:


    “The presentation of the “gifts” was, in fact, done in some places way before Vatican II.”

    There were many liturgical abuses before Vatican II. The liturgy started falling apart right after the turn of the century. And the 1958 De Musica et Sacra was written by Bugini when PP XII was on his death bed.

  15. EJ says:

    First of all, the above commenter is WAY out of line in saying that the Mass at St. John’s is an “unorthodox” celebration of the extraordinary form. What an absolutely ignorant and unfortunate thing to say. What puzzles me is how you’re so sure that the allegedly “unorthodox” elements were introduced post-1965. The dialogue Mass has been permitted since the 1920’s with the direct approval of Pius IX, long before the 1960’s. Pius IX, hmmmm, strikes me as having been a pretty traditional guy to me. The Ecclesia Dei Commissison approved the congregation to sing the Pater Noster at high mass with the priest following an inquiry by an Australian bishop in the very recent past, but Pius XII allowed for its recitation at Low Mass long before. My first copy of an old Missal for the usus antiquior is a worn St. Joseph’s Missal from the 1950’s, which clearly points out the responses the congregation can make at Dialogue Masses. Not post-1965 at all methinks. Just because you don’t LIKE something, or don’t prefer it, doesn’t mean it’s not licit, or most certainly not orthodox. I am partial to favor any liturgical initiative undertaken by the pastor of the above-mentioned church. His Solemn Latin Novus Ordo Masses, both at this parish, and at his previous parish, were nothing short of majestic, transcendent, and awe-inspiring. I stumbled upon his former parish three years ago, and the beauty of the Liturgy there, I must admit, salvaged and restored what little faith I had left. This pastor is doing what many are too afraid to do, and what most are unwilling to do. Rest assured that he is very cognizant and obedient to what is permitted and not permitted in the sacred liturgy. It would perhaps benefit the above commenter to do a little research before resorting to unnecessary and unwarranted criticism. St. John’s noon high mass in the extraordinary form is something every resident and visitor to the DC area should experience at least once. Its professional choir rivals the Shrine’s – where else in the DC area will you regularly hear a polyphonic Mass setting, to be used IN the liturgy it was created for? Even if the Shrine’s choir dabbles in polyphony here and there, you will most surely have to endure either a responsorial Gloria or Sanctus or Memorial Acclamation, or if you’re especially unlucky, all of the above.

  16. Matthew: What the Franciscan TOR priests at Steubenville U. and the priests loyal to Archbishop Piero Marini are doing is scandelous, and is an example of obstinate disobedience (mean spirited and evil).

    Tone it down, please, or I will have to delete and block your comments.

  17. NOTE TO EVERYONE: It is possible to post comments anonymously. However, I REALLY don’t like comments posted with “Anonymous”. My inclination is simply to delete them. Give us some sort of handle to work with.

  18. LCB says:

    Notre Dame has 30+ masses each Sunday. 6 Masses put the Jebbies in a bind? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Looks like CSC outdoes SJ once again.

  19. Brian2 says:

    Forget about Georgetown… I want to know what Fordham is doing. Two reasons: (1) I am an alum and (2) this is where many Jesuit scholastics are sent to do philosophy. Considering some of the Jesuits I ran into there, I can think of three or four who are probably chomping at the bit.

  20. ortho says:


    We’ll just agree to disagree as i cannot find anything majestic, awe-inspiring or even tolerable about the novus ordo.

    And if we are seriously going to debate whether or not laypeople bringing “gifts” up to the altar during a so-called traditional Mass is permitted or not is just a silly exercise in futility.

    I respect your opinion — but this isn\’t an opinion. What that pastor is doing is a dangerous invention and a blending of rites.

  21. GeorgetownAlum says:

    Not surprisingly, the Jesuits at Georgetown. who are offering to say the Old Mass have to be very delicate and diplomatic–at least one priest of the province have been moved (by their vow of obedience) for politico-ecclesiastical reasons. As a recent Gtown alum, I know the priests involved, and they should be lauded for their courage.

  22. dad29 says:

    It occurs to me that Fr. Schall, SJ, is at Georgetown and probably “knows how” to say the Tridentine Rite…

  23. ortho says:


    We’ll just agree to disagree as i cannot find anything majestic, awe-inspiring or even tolerable about the novus ordo.

    And if we are seriously going to debate whether or not laypeople bringing “gifts” up to the altar during a so-called traditional Mass is permitted or not is just a silly exercise in futility.

    I respect your opinion — but this isn\’t an opinion. What that pastor is doing is a dangerous invention and a blending of rites.

  24. Nina says:

    The Franciscans at Stupidville should take a lesson from Georgetown. I was there when Scanlon described the TLM as a “three ringed circus” to the applause of the elderly.

    Bravo Georgetown!

  25. mike says:


    Re St John “Novus” TLM

    Dude! Were you even there? I was. The round church is a little wierd but so am I. It ran a little long and the sanctuary was a bit crowded – but you fight the war with the army you got. Excellent music and an “extraordinary” sermon. The odd bits, the pastor explained at the beginning of mass, were all Ecclesia Dei approved. A vibrant mass. Check-out the sedavacantist chapel 10 mile west near Wolf Trap if you’re looking for the Young John Hitler crowd.



  26. TJM says:

    I am surprised Father Scanlon would make a remark like that
    considering his orthodoxy in other matters. What would possess
    a priest to say something like that. If anything is a 3-ring
    circus it’s the Novus Ordo, not the TLM.

    By the way, if Father McAcfee is celebrating the TLM in the
    manner stated, it must be licit. I think he’s a walking
    encyclopedia as to what is liturgically correct. Tom

  27. Patrick Rothwell says:

    It really is quite incredible that people would hijack an encouraging story about decent liturgy at Georgetown to whine about (oh, the humanity!) lay presentation of the gifts and dialogue masses at a Tridentine mass somewhere else. This just goes to show that there are a lot of traddies who will never be satisfied or happy about anything.

    About ten years ago, Georgetown used to have a Father King who celebrated a late night Sunday mass (10 or 11 pm) that some dubbed “the magical mystery mass.” I heard it was actually a pretty good liturgy – not a hippie tie-dye/new age event as the name might lead one to believe, but I never actually attended.

  28. Marie says:

    I’m a parishioner at St. John’s in McLean, and though I have misgivings about the introduction of the TLM at our parish, I simply cannot believe that our pastor would do anything remotely “unorthodox” or illict in connection with any Mass he celebrates. He has been preparing for months (years, actually, if truth be told) for the opportunity to offer this Mass at his parish.

    I was not able to attend this past Sunday’s Mass, so cannot give a firsthand account, but I’m curious whether (once any initial flurry of “let’s see what this is all about” dies down) the TLM will manage to attract more than the sparse congregation that has been attending the Latin Novus Ordo mass for the past year. Many of the regular attendees don’t live within the parish boundaries, and there are very few children or teenagers in attendance, though our parish has an abundance of both. The music is very nice, but neither the organist/music director nor most of the professional choir is Catholic, which doesn’t seem quite right to many of us. To be perfectly honest, many parishioners who have attended the Latin Mass a few times, usually because their sons were serving, have described it as seeming more like a concert performance than a Mass, and that the concert hall atmosphere makes prayer and recollection more difficult. I can’t say that I disagree with them, especially because 24 professional singers plus an organist playing at top volume can sometimes be just too much sound for our relatively small (and, yes, round) 550-seat sanctuary.

  29. Matthew says:

    As much as people can disagree over the the dialogue Mass, is it so hard to avoid using namecalling, a la ‘Young John Hitler crowd’?

  30. Don says:

    Regarding Ave Maria University, it seems pretty clear that their intent is to offer the TLM or they wouldn’t have told the students they were planning to do it. I would guess that they know the bishop’s permission is not required but they also are hoping to get the bishop to officially designate the school as a Catholic university so it might be understandable that they are treading a little more cautiously than would be the case with a more established Catholic college.

  31. John Adams says:

    I’ve been told that the Traditional Mass will never happen at
    UD. Though, based on the new bishop’s letter, they may have
    difficulty even if they were allowing it…

  32. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    If I may say, having had experience with this issue during the Ecclesia Dei days at Holy Cross, Boston College, and Fordham, in some ways such institutions are far more tolerant of these liturgical issues than the stereotypically “conservative” and more “orthodox” Catholic colleges and universities. While there was certainly opposition to the 1962 Missal at all three schools, there were also accomodations made for Masses with this Missal. Much of the accomodation was private and through the generosity of retired and semi-retierd Jesuits, but it happened, and pastoral needs were met.

  33. EJ says:

    ortho – With respect, my opinion is an opinion because it’s an opinion. It doesn’t need your approval to be one. If you are disgruntled because Father’s celebration is not a 20-minute mumbled Low Mass, then you know where in downtown Washington you can find one. If what you prefer is legitimately approved by the Church, then great, we can respect each other – my preference for the EF at St. John’s is as well. It is very frustrating a holy and very well-informed priest’s work is called “unorthodox” because you and that blogger don’t know what the Church does or does not allow. If you base your argument on the impossibility of ANY Novus Ordo celebration to be beautiful, awe-inspiring or reverent, then you’re right, arguing with that kind of thinking is futile indeed. But I think that I or anyone who’s attended a Novus Ordo at St. John’s in VA, St. Patrick’s in New Orleans, St. Agnes in St. Paul, St. John Cantius in Chicago, Mother Angelica’s Shrine in Hanceville, AL, etc. — would all really disagree with you. I’ll stop contributing to any further “hijacking” of the original posting – but ortho’s comment above copied a blogger’s very harsh and unwarranted “warning” against the EF at St. John’s, and I thought it merited a thorough clarification since I regularly attend Mass there.

  34. Andy K. says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    I do not recall what exactly the SP says regarding religious priests and permission to say the extraordinary form. Could you post the pertinent parts with this thread, or perhaps even in its body? That would help a lot as both FUS and Georgetown have religious priests and not seculars on staff.

  35. EVERYONE: There is real drift here. That is almost NEVER GOOD. Once again I will have to start deleting comments (and posters) and shutting down comboxes, if this doesn’t get sorted out.

  36. ray from mn says:

    Isn’t the nature of the objections certainly at Steubenville and possibly at Ave Maria due to the fact that much of the faculty prefers a “Charismatic” Mass and prayer services with the music that has been composed for that?

    The Office of the Chaplain at Ave Maria issued a statement on August 8 that was not at all favorable to the Extraordinary Use.

  37. Richard T says:

    Someone cited the Ave-Watch website (above, timed at 1:12pm). It’s gone down. Too much traffic, or has it been pulled by the authorities.

  38. jane says:

    Why do Latin Masses have to be celebrated in crypts?

    jane in memphis

  39. torear says:

    A year or so ago, Fr. Schlegel SJ–the president of Creighton University (Omaha, NE)–boldly announced during their most recent capital campaign that CU seeks to be mentioned in the same breath as “Georgetown and Notre Dame.” In all things save deference to the direct wishes of the Holy Father, it seems. Sigh.

    Granted, we have the tridentine parish in east Omaha, but with all the candlelight youth masses, and 70s looking bestments, a simple traditional Mass is just too much to expose these kids to, I guess.

  40. Mike in NC says:

    Re: whether how Father says the TLM at St John’s in McLean conforms to permissions granted.

    I am old enough to realize that what I know isn’t everything, and so am willing to listen to what someone else says. I’m also aware that everything about the TLM isn’t on the ‘net.

    That said, arguments ‘from authority’ are fallacious, without more.

    Perhaps someone from St John’s in McLean can ask Father there the specific permissions (name of document, date, source and the like) he relies upon for the practices mentioned, and then post those responses here. Or, if not all of the practices, one or two, maybe.

  41. Joshua says:

    Without even asking the priest, in De musica et sacra we have:
    ” 30. The faithful can participate another way at the Eucharistic Sacrifice by saying prayers together or by singing hymns. The prayers and hymns must be chosen appropriately for the respective parts of the Mass, and as indicated in paragraph 14c.

    31. A final method of participation, and the most perfect form, is for the congregation to make the liturgical responses to the prayers of the priest, thus holding a sort of dialogue with him, and reciting aloud the parts which properly belong to them.

    There are four degrees or stages of this participation:

    a) First, the congregation may make the easier liturgical responses to the prayers of the priest: Amen; Et cum spiritu tuo; Deo gratias; Gloria tibi Domine; Laus tibi, Christe; Habemus ad Dominum; Dignum et justum est; Sed libera nos a malo;
    b) Secondly, the congregation may also say prayers, which, according to the rubrics, are said by the server, including the Confiteor, and the triple Domine non sum dignus before the faithful receive Holy Communion;
    c) Thirdly, the congregation may say aloud with the celebrant parts of the Ordinary of the Mass: Gloria in excelsis Deo; Credo; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei;
    d) Fourthly, the congregation may also recite with the priest parts of the Proper of the Mass: Introit, Gradual, Offertory, Communion. Only more advanced groups who have been well trained will be able to participate with becoming dignity in this manner.

    32. Since the Pater Noster is a fitting, and ancient prayer of preparation for Communion, the entire congregation may recite this prayer in unison with the priest in low Masses; the Amen at the end is to be said by all. This is to be done only in Latin, never in the vernacular.

    33. The faithful may sing hymns during low Mass, if they are appropriate to the various parts of the mass.”

    Sounds as the only problem might be signing the Pater Noster in a low Mass, a very minor abuse if it is one. As for organ playing

    “In this regard, it must be noted that if any local custom of playing the organ during low Mass might interfere with the participation of the faithful, either by common prayer or song, the custom is to be abolished. This applies not only to the organ, but also to the harmonium or any other musical instrument which is played without interruption. Therefore, in such Masses, there should be no instrumental music at the following times:

    a. After the priest reaches the altar until the Offertory;
    b. From the first versicles before the Preface until the Sanctus inclusive;
    c. From the Consecration until the Pater Noster, where the custom obtains;
    d. From the Pater Noster to the Agnus Dei inclusive; at the Confiteor before the Communion of the faithful ; while the Postcommunion prayer is being said, and during the Blessing at the end of the Mass.”

    And last the presentation of the gifts (which I have to admit, I strongly dislike):

    “90. First of all the more extrinsic explanations are these: it frequently happens that the faithful assisting at Mass join their prayers alternately with those of the priest, and sometimes — a more frequent occurrence in ancient times — they offer to the ministers at the altar bread and wine to be changed into the body and blood of Christ, and, finally, by their alms they get the priest to offer the divine victim for their intentions.

    91. But there is also a more profound reason why all Christians, especially those who are present at Mass, are said to offer the sacrifice.”

    Mediator Dei, Pius XII. (There are places, according to Fortescue that have had it for a long while, and he wrote in 1912!) Pius XII certainly encourages dialogue Mass (though warning that it should never take the place of High or Solemn Mass), and he at least mentions that some still present the bread and wine at the offertory. I think it is a bad idea to bring that into the old Rite as it is now done, but illicit? I know one priest who only will say the TLM, and even he allowed the presentation of the gifts in his Mass when he visited some place that had that custom.

  42. Mike in NC says:

    Joshua: thank you for the bits from De musica sacra et sacra liturgia.

    Is it correct to say that Mediator Dei grants permission to the laity to present the bread and wine? I don’t see such a grant of permission in the encyclical. Instead, I see a mention of the practice without approval or disapproval.

  43. Anthony says:

    Indeed the Jesuits at Georgetown who support the extradoinary rite have needed to act very diplomatically, and as a Georgetown student I think they should be commended on this. Surpisingly in an order know (these days) for its outspokeness, the orthodox members need to be all the more careful in what they say and do. This is, however, very encouraging and the Friday masses have been good (usually followed by exposition of the blessed sacrament coordinated by the Knights of Columbus council on campus). Of course we are confident that many more people would attend the Tridentine mass if a)we could advertise it more broadly and b) it was offered on a Sunday. Most Catholics of the generation of college students would at least be interested, I think, in attending the Tridentine mass once since they are yearning for a sense of Catholic identity and tradition which is lacking in many parts of the Church these days. Campus ministry of course is dragging its feet (not suprising). Please support Georgetown with your prayers, I think we are starting to acheive great things.
    Two questions for Fr. Z and others with insight:
    -Does a mass cease to be “private” if it is widely publicized/ advertised beyond simple word of mouth?
    -At a university run by an order (like the Jesuits) shouldn’t the rector be granting the permission since he derives his authority from his order and the Church and not (like campus ministry) from the University administration.

    I was happy to see that you blogged on this.

  44. Anthony says:

    extraodinary “form” that is

  45. Malta says:


    Just when I had given up almost all hope re: Georgetown and the Society of Jesus, I see you and other students’ posts, Fr. Z’s post supra and infra on Fr Barker (SJ) comments, and I almost want to believe that everything is well in the Catholic world!

    Yet, I am brought back to earth by my own diocese: where the sacraligeous mass is norm. And, dare I say, this is the norm in many diocese throughout the country.

    you are a young man, and the fact that you are reading this great blog in the first place gives hope that not al young people are after purely the sensual pleasures of this world; and, instead, you are focussing on the four last things. We must never forget that all of our lives end in death; and after death we end up , ultimately, in either heaven or hell. Strange as that may sound, I have found no better assessment of our ultimate destiny in any of the places of our earth that I have travelled….

  46. Rose says:

    A propos or not?

    “Those who teach the faith cannot behave like clowns” BXVI at Oct 24/07 General Audience.

    (Courtesy of Papa Ratzinger Forum)

  47. Mike B. says:

    I speak charitably here when I state that as a graduate of Holy Cross High School in NYC that I am not surprised in the least that the good fathers of the Holy Cross are doing better than the good fathers of the Society of Jesus. Long Live CSC!



    PS Now I wonder what the good Vincentians of SJU (my undergraduate alama mater) in NYC think of this matter?

  48. Michael says:

    I’m not disagreeing with what you say, but I think you’ve (perhaps
    unintentionally) identified a key problem facing the Church today. You listed
    5 locations where a Catholic can find ” a Novus Ordo celebration to be beautiful, awe-inspiring or reverent”. Granted, I understand that you may not widely travel about the country and cannot possibly know that status everywhere but 5? In the entire nation? What a sad state of affairs where a beautiful and reverent Mass seems to be the exception rather than the norm. Its really heartbreaking to think that the best most Catholics can hope for is a Mass that “is not as offensive as it could be”

  49. Nina says:

    I’m not surprised at all. Did you see the Latin Mass article on the cult of JP2?

    Many so-called conservatives were vocal opponents of the TLM to prove their loyalty. Just think of the St. Joseph’s province of Dominicans and the Legionaries

  50. tl says:

    Thanks for printing this Father Z!

    I am a Georgetown student. Those students who go to this Mass are truly excited about it, and are patiently waiting the day for a Sunday celebration. If anyone has any suggestions, please post a comment with them.

    Also, you will note that the article does not use the usual cliches about the priest with his back to the people, no altar girls, etc. I was told by Steven Picciano that the author of the article is a Byzantine Catholic, which may explain this.

    Please pray for us at Georgetown.

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam! St. Ignatius, pray for us!

  51. lae says:

    While not discounting the Magisterium of the CHurch in assigning the process of the Mass to ” do this in remembrance of me”, isn’t it more what is in your own heart approaching the Mass and Sacrament of the Eucharsist rather than which formula of prayers or language or type of music that God wants from us? With all the discussions, I can’t help but wonder if the opinions are more about competing for who is right rather than what God wants from us. I keep thinking about the difference in the gifts of Abel and Cain–I am no theologian, but as I understand it, God accepted Abel’s gift because it was given in humble obedience while Cain’s was given from a place of competitive pride. All the evil one has to do is nudge us toward “stirring the pot” and with our own hubris we will have done damage to our “source and summit”…

  52. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Let everyone be assured that everything that was done at the first TLM at St.John the Beloved was correct.People who know the TLM only through theindult masses usually take the way they see the mass celebrated as THE way it is done.However I grew up with the TLM and was fortunate to see the mass done well in many settings.I was present at masses as a youngster where they had a offertory procession which I might add is in the Papal mass.It was part of the liturgical movement.In Jungmanns history of the mass the development of the procession is given with the opinions of famous 19th century rubricists.Music during the consecration of a high mass is permitted (it is in the Ceremoniale Episcoporum) that is why you will see organ compositions entitled,”Elevations”.However I found it terribly distracting and will not have it in the future. Readings in the vernacularv are allowed by the motu proprio and Archbishop Lefebvre allowed it done in their parishes (exclusively in the vernacular).I have documented everything.By the way it is slander for Marie to state that the music director and organist are not catholic.The Master of music is a convert from the baptist faith and the organist is also catholic.Indeed the organist is contemplating a vocation to the priesthood and his parents used to work for Bishop Loverde in the chancery.There are usually 150 -200 peiople at our novus ordo mass and sunday according to a counter ther were 400.And there are young people.I dont know who she is but I have andidea but Marie appears on websites badmouthing any latin mass.There are only 20 not 24 professionals in the choir.Thgese glaring mistakes should shoot down her other comments about the mass.

  53. Father Zuhlsdorf:

    As first master of ceremonies to the pastor of St John’s in McLean, I am obliged to come to the defense of the priest whom I am proud to serve, against the personal and wrongful attacks I am reading here. Any characterization of Father McAfee as deviating from proper norms in celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, or for that matter, any Mass employing any set of books, is completely misinformed, if not (and I must say this in defense of the good Father) an outright lie.

    In the weeks preceding the inauguration of the Mass on October 21, Father McAfee, myself, our second MC, and the Sacristan, all went over every detail with great care. We worked not only from the rubrics of the 1962 Missal (in Latin), but from any clarifications or indulgences issued by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei regarding the classical Roman liturgy, as well as respected ceremonials edited by Fortescue as well as O’Donnell. While I cannot quote from memory everything uttered at our meeting, I took the time to ask Father about specific practices, inquiring point blank, “Are you sure this is proper? Where does it say this?” And he would have a competent answer. Such indulgences as were issued by the PCED are not without precedent. In 1958, the Sacred Congregation of Rites did allow, with the approval of the local ordinary, more outward responses from the faithful, including at a High Mass. This would have included responses to the “Orate fratres…” at the Offertory, and “Ecce Agnus Dei…” at Communion. Unlike some of the busybodies clogging the internet these days, I was actually alive at the time, and distinctly remember such responses permitted at High Mass.

    The faithful have been permitted by the PCED to sing the Pater Noster at a High Mass, just as the 1962 Missal itself permits their response at a Low Mass. Further, contrary to the discontent I overheard outside the church after Mass, what occurred at St John’s could not be properly called a “Dialogue Mass.” Such is a type of Low Mass. This was a High Mass. Further, the statement by someone identified only as “ortho” which says, “The congregation pretty much said every single altar boy response…” is completely and utterly false. In fact, the faithful were NOT called upon to respond to the prayers at the foot of the altar, as they would have been for a regular (and entirely permissible) Dialogue Mass.

    I regret that I cannot cite for myself, any documentation regarding the propriety of the organ playing during the Consecration. I will leave it to the good Father (who reads this blog regularly and has enough courage to use his full name) to make his case should he so decide. But I do know that the offertory procession was approved by a number of local bishops as early as the 1940s (I have photographs from books of the period in my library). There is also this from Mediator Dei: “First of all the more extrinsic explanations are these: it frequently happens that the faithful assisting at Mass join their prayers alternately with those of the priest, and sometimes — a more frequent occurrence in ancient times — they offer to the ministers at the altar bread and wine to be changed into the body and blood of Christ, and, finally, by their alms they get the priest to offer the divine victim for their intentions.” (90) Notice the Holy Father, who otherwise warned against the trend toward “antiquarianism,” refers to the practice in the present tense.

    Father McAfee has worked tirelessly for years — often in the face of considerable opposition — to restore the sacred to Catholic worship. His homilies are enough to make a grown man weep, so moving is his gift for oratory, and his love of the Faith. At every parish under his care, young men have come in droves to serve him at the altar. I wish some of you could see them for yourselves, as they are true Catholic gentlemen, and would be the pride of any good parents. I can also tell you what a privilege it is for me personally, to be able to collaborate with what can only turn out to be a seed bed for priests of the future.

    I implore you, Father Zuhlsdorf, in the name of charity and of justice, to allow this testimony to be retained in this setting, so long as a brother priest’s good name is to be defended — by a man who is NOT afraid to put his full name behind it.

    David L Alexander

  54. I think I will shut down the combox and take e-mail submissions for additional comments.

    This is a touchy thing. I need to read back over some of the comments and figure out what is going on.

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