Lateran – Cañizares – TLM – Brick By Brick

Once upon when a Cardinal celebrated Holy Mass in one of the Roman Major Basilicas at the Papal Altar it was a special event.  Only the Pope could celebrate at those altars.  A special bull from the Pope had to be posted above the altar to show that he had permission.

These days it is not so special anymore to see a Cardinal celebrating at those altars. 

But it is special when that Cardinal is pontificating in the fullness of the traditional Roman Rite.

This morning, Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, celebrated Pontifical High Mass in the older, traditional use at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.  The ceremonies were handled by the the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

That makes two times in one week the older Mass has been celebrated in the Lateran Basilica. 

The eye-candy specialists will have more images, but this one struck me.

It had to start slowly, folks. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This is as close as I think we will see to a Pope celebrating an EF Mass in public anytime soon. By that I mean: for a EF-Pontifical High Mass to be celebrated by a Curial Cardinal on the Papal Altar the Pope will have to have known and okayed it (possibly even encouraged such a thing). It is a visible sign of support for the EF by the Pope.

    IMHO anyways.

    Whatever it may be this is a wonderful event. Four years ago when Papa Benny was elected I would have never imagined we would see an EF Mass on a Papal Altar, much less a Pontifical one!

  2. Roland de Chanson says:

    Et quando papam videbimus missam veram antiquam celebrantem? Pulchra imago re vera est. Pulcherrima fuisset si Benedictus celebrasset! Adhuc desumus Catholici.

  3. Scott says:

    I cant see how many people were in the congregation. But I sometimes think that there are more people in the sanctuary then there is in the pews at such events. Beautiful pictures. Hopefully the fransicans of the immaculate will begin to offer the traditonal form and liturgy on its own

  4. wsxyz says:

    Scott – I wanted to link to some pictures here but I’m getting spam-filtered. Go check out The New Liturgical Movement to see pictures answering all of your questions and fulfilling your hopes.

  5. brick by brick, I hope that Our Holy Father will offer a TLM, but brick by brick, Marshall plan, God’s time not ours.

  6. ustalumnus says:

    Later per later quoad hoc est Abbas via.

  7. *sniff* So very beautiful.

  8. Paul Haley says:

    May Almighty God be appeased that once again the Holy Sacrifice is being celebrated on the sacred altars of His Holy Church by the highest authorities in His Church. May He grant “extraordinary” graces to the Cardinal Prefect for his initiative and may the Holy Father himself do this soon.

    As an aside, it almost brings tears to my eyes to see this happening in Rome during these times. Having been brought up in the Faith in the 40s and 50s, the institution of the new mass in substitution of this venerable mass nearly caused me to lose the Faith. Oh, that the authorities in Rome could have realized what they were doing to the faith of millions when they instituted the ordinary in place of the extraordinary. Now, to see a rebirth of the Mass of All Times, the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven, well, it’s just almost overwhelming. Thank you, Jesus, and Blessed Mother for answering our prayers. Viva il Papa!

  9. Chris says:

    Simply incredible.

  10. Mark says:

    Sigh. I guess God’s time isnt ours, true. But I hardly think it “had to” start slowly. He’s the Pope, for crying out loud! He could have theoretically just mandated a total restoration, done a purge of the clergy, and it would have all been done within a year. Maybe not prudent, but doable. The deformation happened virtually overnight, why should the restoration “have to” take any longer?

  11. irishgirl says:

    Cool picture….I’ll have to go to NLM to see the rest, no?

    Viva il Papa-and viva ‘little Ratzinger’, and the Franciscans of the Immaculate!

  12. Mike B. says:

    Wonderful pictures indeed. As the wise man said, brick by brick….


  13. Matthew says:

    I visisted Rome in 2007 and I would say the Lateran Basilica was one of my favourite places to visit. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Mass there. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be there during the Pontifical High Mass!

  14. Rob says:

    Deo gratias!

  15. dark_coven says:

    A very postmodern Catholic approach! Tradition – way to move forward.

    Instavrare Omnia In Christo

  16. Joshua says:

    Alhough I have never personally been to the Roman Cathedral, all of the photographs lead me to believe that it is an absolutely beautiful Domu Dei. Perhaps a reader of this fine blog will be able to satiate some of my curiosity. I have always been intrigued by the Ciborium Magnum that covers the Papal Altar. Does anyone know the history behind it?

  17. Frankly Mark, while it is true that the previous reforms were pretty much universlly mandated, it took about 5 years (depending on the country)for the changes take place. These were, in fact, 5 years of chaos but keep in mind that the implementation of the Novus Ordo was actually the final change.

  18. Mark says:

    5 years is nothing. Most people I talk to believe that the restoration will take at least 50 or longer, and even then be partial at best. That’s the problem with those of us with natural conservative personalities, I guess, we are afraid to dream big.

  19. IngridAiram says:

    A beautifull picture :)

    @Mark: personally I think it is very wise to do this slowly. From the things I heard (am born in the late eighties, so haven’t experienced the 60’s and 70’s, and grew up with the novus ordo), the change in those years were so rapid, that it felt like it was forced onto people, very sudden. I don’t think it shows good will and love if it would be done the same way but then the other way round. Remember that a lot of people don’t know any other Mass than the novus ordo. If you change it rapidly, you are no better then the people then (even though they might have had the best intentions).
    Again, this is just an opinion based on the stories I know.

  20. Phil says:

    Who determined that TLM restoration must proceed sloooowly? Our slow TLM-“restoration” pace will result in little more than the TLM’s partial restoration 50 to 75 years from now.

    The Novus Ordo isn’t going away. We know that. Pope Benedict XVI has made that clear. Therefore, the rapid restoration of the TLM would not touch Catholics who don’t have any desire to assist at the TLM — and even our conservative Cardinals and bishops have made it clear that the majority of Catholics prefer the Novus Ordo.

    Pope Benedict XVI (as well as bishops and priests) could offer the TLM with great frequency without creating any fuss among the vast majority of Catholics who prefer the Novus Ordo.

    As the Pope (Cardinal Ratzinger) stated, the “average Christian without specialist liturgical formation would find it difficult to distinguish between a Mass sung in Latin according to the old Missal and a sung Latin Mass according to the new Missal.”

    Catholics who encountered a sung TLM Latin Mass would simply shrug the shoulders and say…”The Mass is the Mass is the Mass.”

    That really spurs the following question: Why do we need to bother with the TLM’s restoration? Parishes should simply offer Novus Ordo sung Masses. To repeat…even Cardinal Ratzinger declared that Catholics would strain to notice any difference between the TLM and Novus Ordo.

    Rather than create separate TLM parishes and go through the time and expense of “restoring” the TLM, let’s simply offer sung Novus Ordo Masses.

    Everybody would win. “Traditionalists” would receive their sung Latin Masses and the majority of Catholics would simply shrug their shoulders in regard to “traditionalists” and say, “What’s the big deal. We still have the Mass of our choice (the Novus Ordo).”

    So, why is the TLM-“restoration” project proceeding slowly? For one reason. There isn’t much support for the TLM. That’s why.

    If big-time support for the TLM existed in Rome and Chanceries throughout the world, then the Pope and the bishops would proceed rapidly. But they know that the majority of Catholics want the Novus Ordo.

    Therefore, traditionalists, brace yourselves for reality…the TLM isn’t coming back in a big way. I’m not opposed to you folks having the TLM.

    I’m just saying that while Rome and the bishops are giving the TLM some support, they are not interested in promoting the TLM in big-time fashion. Sorry, but reality is reality.

    The Novus Ordo is the Mass of the future for the majority of Catholics.

  21. therese b says:

    In my ideal world….
    The introduction of the new ICEL translations would be the opportunity to clamp down on extemporising from the altar, and other creeping liturgical abuses – in fact to lay down the law.

  22. Immaculatae says:

    This makes me really happy.
    I am sure St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Francis are grinning about this…
    along side Padre Pio :)

  23. jaykay says:

    Phil: I agree with you that more sung NO Masses would be a beautiful thing and yes, when offered reverently and ad orientem (as in the London Oratory) most people would not see any difference, but I disagree with you when you say “What’s the big deal. We still have the Mass of our choice (the Novus Ordo).”

    The fact is that in very many cases there is no “choice” at all – the NO is the default and unfortunately requests to have the TLM are not entertained, despite the MP. There is hardly a “choice” if people are not even made aware of the MP, as is the case in my diocese. There is NO INFORMATION whatsoever about it in any diocesan publication or website and it is not offered anywhere in the diocese.

    Neither for that matter is there a sung NO anywhere. Some choice.

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