Braga Rite to be celebrated in Providence, RI

I received this from a reader.  Fascinating!

According to the web site of Una Voce Rhode Island, there will be a Procession and Mass in the Rite of Braga.

This will take place on April 5, 2009, Palm Sunday, at 11:00am. The location is Holy Name of Jesus Parish, 99 Camp st., Providence, Rhode Island 02906. Phone 401 / 272-4515  Fax 401 / 272-4616.
The parish celebrates the Extraordinary form of the Mass on Saturdays and Sundays.
The parish administrator is Fr. Joseph D. Santos, jr. Fr. Santos is a Priest of the Archdiocese of Braga, Portugal.
This will be a rare experience.

I think it is interesting that other Latin Rites can be celebrated outside the territory with which they are historically linked. 

I have attended, many years ago, Masses of the Braga Rite.  This would be an interesting experience.

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  1. Confused says:

    How is it that these rites can be clebrated publicly outside their territory? Sure – if the people of Braga were on pilgrimage or something, that would make sense, and a Braga priest could always use it privately when traveling, but this sounds a bit like liturgical fetishism.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Being of Portuguese background, I would love to learn more about this rite… however all of the resources for it are in Portuguese, and I am not fluent! I hope someone makes a video of this!

  3. Frank H says:

    Would the visiting priest need permission of the local bishop to say Mass in this rite?

  4. Maureen says:

    If the guy’s certified to use the Rite, and the pastor of the parish is okay with the guy saying Mass there, why on earth would it be any problem? And given the rich Portuguese heritage of Rhode Island and other seaside New England towns, why would you even want to complain about it?

    This reminds me of the worrywarts who used to drop into comment boxes of Catholic podcasats and blogs, certain that we shouldn’t be writing about our own lives unless the bishop had given us the green light. Both laymen and priests have rights, and they all have the right to exercise those rights. We don’t have to go running to the bishop every five minutes, and he’s too busy to want us to.

  5. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Is the celebration EF or OF? I know nothing about this rite, and am curious if it exists in both forms.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I think the Rite of Braga was left untouched after Vatican II, but largely ignored… I could be wrong.

    And this isn’t the first time the Rite of Braga was celebrated in RI. It was just a few years ago.

  7. Fr. Charles says:

    Fascinating, indeed. We have a devout and solid Portuguese segment of our parish here, and I can’t wait to ask about this! Their devotion to Our Lady is beautiful; in May and October young and old alike are in church every evening for Rosary.

  8. Aaron says:

    Never fear, you can learn about the Bragan rite in English, just check out Archdale King’s “The Liturgies of the Primatial Sees.” You’ll probably learn more than you ever wanted to. The book is getting old, so who knows if everything historical in there remains received wisdom, but the rite was still alive at the time so the parts about ceremonial should be spot on.

  9. John Rondina says:

    Una Voce Rhode Island also has posted that the Celebrant on Palm Sunday,Fr.Santos, is the Parochial Administrator (Pastor)of Holy Name of Jesus Church.

    The Rite of Braga, an ancient variation of the Roman Rite, was one of the rites permited by the Council of Trent to continue in use after the Council due ti its antiquity. It was neither reformed nor restricted by Vatican II. Is similar to the Roman Rite but the ceremonies for many feasts and soleminities are more elaborate. This is particularly true in the case of The Second Sunday of the Passion a.k.a., Palm Sunday

  10. WSM says:

    As Maureen noted above this is perfectly legit: Fr. Santos is a priest of the Archdiocese of Braga, therefore he has the personal right to celebrate Mass according to the Missale Bracarense. And as Parochial Administrator of the Parish he can certainly permit himself to celebrate it in the church!

    The most recent editio typica of the Bragan Missal dates to 1924 and was untouched by the post-Conciliar liturgical revolution. The Palm Sunday procession is said to be quite elaborate although the basic Mass is very similar to the Roman Rite.

    There is a copy of the Missal online at:

  11. Carlos Palad says:

    “The most recent editio typica of the Bragan Missal dates to 1924 and was untouched by the post-Conciliar liturgical revolution. The Palm Sunday procession is said to be quite elaborate although the basic Mass is very similar to the Roman Rite.”

    I hope this means that the Palm Sunday rites of the Rite of Braga were not
    modified to put them in line with the 1955 reforms of Pius XII. The pre-1955
    Palm Sunday featured some of the most splendid ceremonies in all of Catholic
    liturgy, and the 1955 reforms simply “massacred” it.

  12. Carlos Palad says:

    “The Palm Sunday procession is said to be quite elaborate although the basic Mass is very similar to the Roman Rite.”

    Perhaps it is elaborate compared to the post-1955 Palm Sunday rite of the Roman Missal, which
    is simple compared to the pre-1955 Palm Sunday rites, whether Roman or other Western.

  13. Tomas says:

    “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” – Our Lady of Fatima.

  14. Nick says:

    “In Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be preserved….”

    Have puzzled over this cryptic statement for many years — maybe this is part of the answer.

  15. Caeremoniarius says:

    @Carlos: The non-Roman Latin rites were ordered to conform only to the time changes demanded by the Pius XII reform of Holy Week. Nothing else was to be touched.

  16. Confused says:

    Father Santos certainly has the right to the private celebration of his owb rite/use. But the use belongs to a context, that of the Archdiocese of Braga and its people. It could certainly be celebrated for expatriate Bragans as well as travelling ones. But to celebrate the rite as a matter of liturgical interest/curiosity is odd, perhaps even inappropriate. Did priests of religious orders before the Council celebrate their own rite in public (Dominican/Carmelite etc.) when supplying in Roman rite parishes, or did they celebrate the rite of the place, which is proper to it? The latter I think. Their own rites had a context out of which they didn’t make sense. The rites of the Primatial Sees and of the Religious Orders should be revivified and thrive again, but in their proper context and for the people to whom, in a sense, they belong. I make no judgement on Fr Santos’ decision here, but simply ask is this the proper context for this venerable use of the Roman rite?

  17. Rubricarius says:

    @ Carlos Palad

    Old Roman Palm Sunday was indeed beautiful and, despite its lack of antiquity in comparison to Good Friday and Holy Saturday, IMHO the most wonderful day in the entire year. Sadly the 1956 version is a mere parody of the Old Rite.

  18. ED says:

    How bout the Rite of Braga replacing the Novus Ordo, this non-Portuguese wouldnt mind!!!

  19. WSM says:

    Confused stated:

    “…to celebrate the rite as a matter of liturgical interest/curiosity is odd, perhaps even inappropriate.”

    What if it’s being done for “religious” motives, e.g. because the procession would be a genuine means of fostering piety? Would it be O.K. then?

    Confused asked:

    “Did priests of religious orders before the Council celebrate their own rite in public (Dominican/Carmelite etc.) when supplying in Roman rite parishes, or did they celebrate the rite of the place, which is proper to it?”

    Apparently both. I know several gentlemen who grew up in (at least three different) parishes where Dominicans from a nearby college often helped out, often celebrating weekday morning Masses. The servers had to be trained to serve both the Roman and the Dominican rites. Nobody had a problem with it.

    It’s not like a priest is suddenly substituting the Melkite Rite or something! Holy Name in Providence is a parish where the T.L.M. has been celebrated regularly for at least 15 years and I doubt anyone there has a real problem with it…

  20. Not So Confused Now says:

    Actually, it is like substituting one use for the use that belongs in the place. Low Masses celebrated by religious order priests are one thing; solemn Masses presume their proper context. And if we use “religious” motives we can justify any form of liturgical tourism in any circumstance. No; these rites have their proper culture and place, be it geographically or ecclesiastically. Transplanting the solemn rites of orders or dioceses solely for the sake of interest is insufficient. If we agree to this we agree to transplanting rites regardless of tradition (like the ‘new’ eucharistic prayers). In a Roman use of the Roman rite parish for solemn Masses the missal to be used is the Roman one, not one that someone might like to use even for the best motives.

  21. vincentius says:

    I am a parishioner at Holy Name. I know that there was a problem finding an English translation. A classicist in the parish took on the task of doing the translation for the missal and did a stunning job. The rite differs from the EF even less than the old Dominican rite does. However, there are some truly beautiful prayers. Those who plan to attend should be prepared for a 1:45+ length service. Fr.Santos is a stickler for reverence and beauty in all forms of the liturgy, and the church itself is a beautiful replica of an early Roman basilica church. It should be a wonderful experience.

  22. vincentius says:

    Not So Confused Now: (confirming what WSM stated)
    When I was an altar boy in the early 60’s, our reg rite parish had the last 2 Sunday Masses said by Dominicans. Those of us who served those Masses had to be trained in that rite as well as the Roman rite. I suppose since Fr. Santos is actually a priest of that dioceses that it is essentially the same thing.

  23. John says:

    Liturgical tourism?

    I would hope that would withdraw his term of liturgical tourism. It is condescending. All rites of the Catholic Church are equal and deserve our respect.

  24. Braadwijk says:

    To clear up the record, I am a Rhode Island native and am no stranger to Holy Name. I was involved with the schola there for a few years. (Fr. Santos used to pay me in Euro for singing Requiems before I left for my first year in Germany, lol) The last I heard from him he was still technically a priest for Braga in Portugal, and as such he retains the faculties for the Rite of Braga. There have been many requests for this in the parish before Summorum Pontificum, and Fr. Santos has made great effort at the parish to expose people to the Church’s great patronage in the various Rites, both West and East.

  25. John says:

    ooops! A correction to iturgical tourism posting.

    The posting requested that withdraw his term liturgical tourism.

  26. Maynardus says:

    I, too, am a parishioner at Holy Name and my two eldest sons serve at the T.L.M. Since we’ve been making the eighty mile round trip to Providence for nine years now, perhaps we’re guilty of habitual “liturgical tourism” for failing to attend or appreciate the unique(!) local variation of the “reformed” Roman Rite as celebrated in our territorial parish. If so, sign me up for the “frequent flyer” program!

    To cavil about “fetishism” and motives is a bit pedagogish, don’t you think? It is also rather uninformed – not only does the Rite of Braga has a history of being celebrated outside of… Braga, but consider the myriad of rites used in the daily Masses and Divine Liturgies at the sessions of the Second Vatican Council, e.g. Cardinal Montini (future Pope Paul VI) celebrated Mass in the Ambrosian Rite in St. Peter’s which doesn’t seem to be within the territory of the Archdiocese of Milan – was he a “liturgical tourist” indulging some sort of “fetish” for his own rite?

    Sorry, I can’t see any problem with it. As other posters have noted, Fr. Santos is hardly a dilettante and has the right to celebrate it by dint of his incardination in Braga. Those of us who attend Holy Name are looking forward to it.

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