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“This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z
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Books which you must have.
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Don’t rely on popes, bishops and priests.
“He [Satan] will set up a counter-Church which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. In desperate need for God, whom he nevertheless refuses to adore, modern man in his loneliness and frustration will hunger more and more for membership in a community that will give him enlargement of purpose, but at the cost of losing himself in some vague collectivity.”
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.”
- Fulton Sheen
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As for Latin…
"But if, in any layman who is indeed imbued with literature, ignorance of the Latin language, which we can truly call the 'catholic' language, indicates a certain sluggishness in his love toward the Church, how much more fitting it is that each and every cleric should be adequately practiced and skilled in that language!" - Pius XI
"Let us realize that this remark of Cicero (Brutus 37, 140) can be in a certain way referred to [young lay people]: 'It is not so much a matter of distinction to know Latin as it is disgraceful not to know it.'" - St. John Paul II
- TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s
- Daily Rome Shot 709: QGA
- There is hardly anything crueler that a priest can do than to leave people in doubt about the validity of their sacraments.
- Daily Rome Shot 708: Dalmatic Bling Opportunity
- ASK FATHER… ASK EVERYONE: Find recording of Archbp. Léonard imitating different regional Latin pronunciations
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- Pentecost Saturday: We Are Our Rites.
- How to view the SSPX.
- Pentecost Friday: You are our stretcher bearers.
- ROME 06/1 Day… My View For Awhile
- Pentecost Thursday: When there is no joy in “dustville”.
- Pentecost Wednesday: another ranting reflection
- ROME 23/05 – Day 31: Last full day and an “If only…”.
- Pentecost Tuesday: Wherein Fr. Z rants
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Let us pray…
Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
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Found an inspiring sounding song in Latin.
I don’t think any translation I’ve found likely does it justice? Not sure how to think about it.
This past weekend I was a mass at Holy Family in St. Louis Park, MN.
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a wonderfully celebrated liturgy
and an inspirational homily on the power of fasting. God Bless Fr. Dufner !
Oh, BTW, long lines for confession (2 priests) before mass.
I was traveling last week (Carnaval in Brazil) and spotted a priest by the gate waiting for the same flight I was on. I approached him and asked if I could get a confession in before the flight, cause, you never know. He said sure, and then, poor guy, other people noticed and lined up. He was trying to work on a sermon or something. I apologized afterwards but he was more than happy to hear the confessions.
This Friday I am accompanying 21 young men to Rome. We will visit most of the major sights, and do a lot of praying. I will pray for Fr. Z and the readers of this blog before the tomb of Peter.
Our bishop Bernard Hebda broke his leg on his ad limina visit to Rome. He had to fly back and will be undergoing surgery to pin his broken fibula. BUT, he has asked the parishes of the diocese to incorporate more Latin prayer into the Mass setting. Our music director gave a lengthy explanation about singing the Agnus Dei and then sang the old chant version. She was visibly shaken when she asked the congregation to try it,and the 70+year old members of the parish belted out the song like there was no tomorrow. She was red-faced since she had just finished telling us that she knew no Latin and didn’t think anyone in the parish knew Latin. She walked away from the ambo with a huge grin on her face. The congregation loved it!
I was able to go to the “Into the Desert” Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Phoenix Men’s Conference this past Saturday. The highlight for me was that Bishop Olmsted spent the whole day with us. From his invocation at the beginning to Holy Mass at the end he was involved. He heard confessions (along with 30+ other priests) for 3 hours in the hot spring sun of Phoenix.
His excellency’s comment, for obvious reasons, centered around religious freedom and the basic human rights of man. However, his remarks in his homily put a new spin on the issue. He reminded us that when at war, we must first know we are at war, second who the enemy is and finally, what weapons will defeat the enemy. As he talked about who our enemy is, he reminded us that it is not the current administration, the Secretary of HHS etc., but it is Satan who hides in the shadows and laughs as we fight with each other. We must remember that as we fight this spiritual warfare and never forget that even those whom we disagree with and hope to convert are children of God. I wish I could state his points half as well as he did but that was my take home message.
Bishop Olmsted is a faithful shepherd of souls and I am so blessed to be in his diocese under his leadership. Please pray for him and all bishops and priests of Jesus Christ.
I survived writing one of my 5000 word papers yesterday. Only two more to go (until I have to start on the next batch).
I heard the heartbeat of my first child this weekend.
Nothing great going on personally, but my wife is thrilled that Baronius finally finished the Breviary and it should be available soon. $350 is a lot to drop on it, but she has been saving.
My sister decided to go to Fran. U. of Steubenville next fall, we’re having Marian day this Saturday here at the seminary with Fr. Benedict Groeschel (some of my family are coming to visit for that), and Fr. Billy, the head of the Moral Theology department just returned last Saturday from recovery after a bone marrow transplant that should hopefully cure his leukemia. He has a 70% chance of recovery, please keep him in your prayers!
Been making cord-bead rosaries and finally got some blessed yesterday :)
Have missed Mass for 4 weeks but this is a necessary part of the process I guess. I am learning a lot about emptying!
I am improving though. My crutch is now for “just in case” and not to keep me from falling over.
Had my first experience with Stations of the Cross on Friday, and yesterday, two of us went forward for the Rite of Sending.
Our choir has started rehearsals for Holy Week. We have some great pieces on the “menu”, among them Tenebrae and Allegri’s Miserere Mei!
Two friends attended the TLM at my FSSP parish yesterday and have said they will again next Sunday, took over a year of gentle persuasion.
I went through the Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion, which was SUPERB. We have a lovely Bishop. Only issue now is that the Easter Vigil is not far off, and as a former Baptist I now have the dreaded “First Confession” – and despite all your reassurances, Fr Z, I am terrified.
Psalm 68 and renewed heart and mind, after reading some disturbing words from those within and without the Catholic Church.
I have a friend who described herself as a “heathen Catholic” contact me and tell me as a result of a photo I posted on my Facebook page of the sunset over my parish church, that it awakened the thought that her life had been upside down. She has entered the parish Returning Catholic program. Plus my mother may finally be improving. I had given her a religious medal while she was in the ECF and some low-life lifted it from her. I actually prayed a malecitory psalm for that person.
Dnicoll– I was in the choir at a Rite of Election on Friday, and rest assured we’re all praying for you. The response “We are” when our bishop asked the congregation if we were prepared to support our newly elect was thunderous. Our church was packed with catechumens and candidates from around the diocese, and it was a wonderful thing to see. Much as the media wants to portray a confused, angry, out-of-touch, etc., etc., Church, it is still winning souls, and, to quote Blazing Saddles, “they’re staying in droves!”
So, yeah, part of my good news is getting to witness another Rite of Election, for all the reasons above. And the choir is given a pre-set list of music to select from for that, but gee, we managed to run out of time to get to the suggestion for “Out of Darkness.” Not a fan.
Aaand, yesterday, I just worked my next-t0-last Sunday afternoon/evening shift on this job. I’m grateful for the work, but that shift, and particularly on Sundays, has been very isolating.
We went to support our brother-in-law at the Rite of Election ceremony last night. The Cathedral in Omaha was packed!!! Lovely to see the growth of the Holy Catholic Church.
OT to dnicoll, when I was converting (along with my adolescent son), my pastor told me two things:
1) The Enemy will put all sorts of obstacles in your way to attempt to derail your conversion (which is a loss for him), particularly at the last minute. (In my experience, true.) So start praying NOW that any and all obstacles will be revealed and dealt with speedily so that you are not broadsided at the last minute. (Deo gratias, all was resolved in time for our confirmations.)
2) First Confession is always the hardest, as the burden lifted by it is immense; but afterwards you will comprehend the corresponding immense grace of the Sacrament. (Likewise.)
When asked about my First Confession by other persons in the process of converting, the most I can say is that, if I had had any reservations about converting, the absolute grace of the Sacrament of Penance would have blown them away like chaff in the wind.
We had the blessing of being confirmed in the EF by our pastor (given the faculties by our bishop) and having to take the Oath of Abjuration (long version on my part, short version for my son). I recommend it to you even if you are not going to be required to take it in public:
Oath of Abjuration
Ah, that dreaded first confession. Advice from another convert. A piece of paper and rattle it off, number and kind. You are not giving a dramatic reading with breast-beating. You may be too nervous to feel much of anything but the point is just do it. Do NOT consciously cover up or consciously soft-pedal anything at all, but you need not use ugly, self-hating language which is a perverse kind of pride. Just my two cents.
We adopted a puppy from a local rescue on Saturday! I am an animal lover and had wanted a dog for quite some time. My husband was adamantly against the idea, but surprisingly came around without any pestering from me. So, we now have a 4-month-old puppy scampering around our house. Had the rescue not intervened, he would have been destined for a cage in a puppy mill. I feel blessed to be able to give him a good home.
I was out of town on Saturday and so I thought it would be a good chance to go to confession with an unknown priest. When I walked into the church it was empty and I didn’t see any confessionals. I was about to leave when a priest came from the sacristy and asked if he could help me. I asked where the confessionals were and he pointed me in the right direction. He bounded (literally) back to the sacristy to grab his stole. He was smiling ear-to-ear. I got the impression that he was overjoyed to hear my confession. I think it made him feel as good as it made me feel! I’ll be praying that more people from his parish show up for confession for their sake and the sake of their good priest.
I did something a little different on Saturday (in spite of a lot of wind and snow).
I went to a class on ‘Sacred Harp Singing’ at a local college which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. There were about thirty or so people in attendance from not only the local area, but from Massachusetts, Ohio, and [you’ll like this, Father Z) Minnesota!
Sacred Harp Singing (or shape-note singing as it’s also called) originated in colonial New England, then spread down to the South after the American Revolution. It’s all done a’capella, in parts and in a square with an open space in the middle. And also very loud!
I even did a few stints as a song ‘leader’! That was very cool!
The only song I initially knew was the tune ‘Chester’, but I noticed as I went through the book we all used, that the tunes for ‘Auld Lang Syne’, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘How Firm A Foundation’, and ‘David’s Lament’ I knew as well!
Everyone-including the very talented young man from UMass who taught the class-was really nice to me. I didn’t feel uneasy at all about being a song leader! Of course, my poor voice was all raspy by the time we finished in the afternoon….but I had a blast!
[yes, I know it’s Lent-but I thought of breaking out of the usual Saturday routine by going to this class!]
Yes. 11:00 Mass was packed to the gills yesterday. In fact, when I passed the basket (collection), when I got to the back, I noticed there were people standing outside (overflow from the back of church).
The better news is, we’ve almost reached our goal for donations/commitments to build a new church to hold the overflow. We’re a university parish and there has been a huge influx of Catholic freshmen the last few years. C’mon down!
On topic good news: on Saturday I was the music director for the closing Mass of our diocesan evangelism conference at which our bishop was celebrant and homilist (great homily). For this NO Mass I chose all traditional music (including some hymns in English plus Latin and English chants), and was told afterward by many that the music was reverent, beautiful, mystical, perfectly suiting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and enabling those assisting to truly worship despite the setting being a cavernous cattle barn at the state fairgrounds. Deo gratias — brick by brick.
There was a spectacular performance of C.F.E. Bach’s “Magnificat” and J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat” put on by the Bach Festival Society at Rollins College Chapel in Winter Park, Florida and it was truly memorable. Most everyone in the audience was dressed presentably and the blend and technique of the performers was truly impressive.
I’m writing a book again! That’s so cool. I thought it was gone forever.
Also editing a book. But mostly — writing! 7500 words over 24 hours this weekend. :#) Thank you, God!
A very good friend of mine, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer for some time, was recently told that the treatment had not worked and that he had only months to live. So certain was this that his daughter brought her wedding forward to this month (from July).
However, last week he was pronounced free of cancer! I can only describe this as a miracle, and the result of much prayer by lots of people; it’s quite overwhelming!
My Dad’s ongoing health issues are presently stable & my Mom finally took a couple of days off and away.
BTW – mildly amusing snippet overheard Sunday passing outside a sacristy which shall remain nameless: “Where are all the dalmatics? Could we somehow be out of dalmatics?”
Today, two of the last major hurdles were leapt.
The faculty evaluation was unanimous for promotion and I passed my “Mass exam,” in the words of the priest “as flawlessly as I have seen in 30 years in seminary work.”
Seven weeks left in my studies.
I ran my first half marathon on Sunday in 2:14!
Talking to my neighbor on Ash Wednesday, she told me some family struggles she’s having. I suggested she stop by my parish, kneel or sit, but pour it all out to the Lord several times a week during Lent. Also, invited her to Stations Friday and she went with me. I’ve been praying for her and her family including very fallen away Catholic husband and 2 unbaptised children for 2 years. She’s not Catholic.
OFF-TOPIC to dnicoll:
(Re. first confession) Prepare now. Pray to remember what you need to. If you have more than a few sins to confess, write it down. (Nerves!) One big thing – and it can make your entire confession invalid if you mess this up and you know what you are doing – while generally you avoid TMI (just the facts), you have to give enough information so the confessor knows exactly WHAT you did (but not the circumstances). And also do not change the type of sin by confessing it in a way that is sorta right but makes the sin look not-quite-so-bad. You want to come out of there with your soul clean through and through, so don’t leave any serious sins out and whatever you do confess, be truthful and as blunt as necessary. Father will not faint. God bless you!
Welcome to the amazing world of Sacred Harp singing! I went to my first ‘hymn-singing’ years ago, at a little Baptist church called Lacey’s Chapel near Henagar, Alabama. You know a place is hard to find when the county sheriff doesn’t know where it is!
Although it grew out of the New England Singing School, SH is quite different in sound.
What is fun and instructive for Catholics is that the SH maintains the older Catholic musical traditions — you have modal melodies, parallel organum (in fifths and fourths) and polyphony all rattling around together. In fact, it’s interesting to compare the melodic lines in some of the older SH tunes with, say, Palestrina, because a lot of the same stuff is going on. The New Englanders (like Ingalls, Morgan and Billings) got it from the old polyphonic tradition through the English gallery choirs, and because SH is so traditional even the modern tunes reflect those techniques.
It’s also interesting to see that after a couple hundred years OSH is making its way back north. Around here, of course, it never left, and it is not music of the academics and the historians, but still the music of the people. (In the excellent film about the OSH, Awake, My Soul, as one of the young singers tells it, somebody asked him, “Why are you singing that stuff? Do you want to sound like some uneducated backwoods Southerner?” and he replied, “Well . . . yeah!”)
I was lucky enough to meet the editor of the Original Sacred Harp (Denson revision), Hugh McGraw, who lives not far from me in Bremen, GA. The same family has been editing the book for 150 years now, and the OSH has always been the shape note hymnal of choice in northern Alabama and northwest Georgia.
Of course when you have three Southerners they start a church, and when you have five they have a schism, so there is not only the “Original Sacred Harp (Denson revision)” but also the Cooper book, the White book, and the Jackson book (a/k/a ‘the Colored Sacred Harp’). Not to mention the Southern Harmony, the Kentucky Harmony, and the Christian Harmony, which branched off early (back in the 1830s).
I have a bunch of audio including old Alan Lomax field recordings from the 30s and 40s. The DVD of “Awake My Soul” and the CD that goes with it are a good survey of modern OSH hymn-singers and singings, but if you want to hear a good compromise between the straight-ahead (and not always on key) fortissimo shout of the traditional hymn-sing (you think it’s loud up north, you should hear it around here, especially when some of the old ladies get stuck up on a high A) and the far too epicene and refined performance by some art music camerata, I would recommend the recording by the Word of Mouth Chorus, “Rivers of Delight”. It’s available on Amazon, and of course the real hard-core traditionalists don’t like it, but I prefer to listen to music that doesn’t fry my ears. It’s different, of course, when you’re singing it.
Almost forgot . . . here’s the directory of singings and local organizations from fasola.org:
Directory of Singings – Sacred Harp Musical Association. Of course they’re concentrated in the Upper South (the old Scotch-Irish stomping grounds) but there are groups and singings and even conventions in some pretty unlikely places.
Congratulations! What kind of dog did you wind up getting?
dnicoll, off topic but . . . .
“Be not afraid” – “Just do it.” Been there, done that – I was 42 years in arrears! and yeah, I was terrified. But I just put my head down and did it, and afterwards I felt so happy, I was walking on air. In the words of one of Kipling’s characters, “‘Please God,’ she answered flushing, and cried to herself as they went back to tea, ‘It’s worth it. Oh, it’s worth it.'”
Making a list is probably a good idea, but do it in a cryptic way so you don’t have to worry about losing it (I wrote out my Mother of All Confessions in a combination of Gregg shorthand and German, now I use the iPhone app which is passworded.)
I’ve discovered a 10:00pm Vigil Mass on Saturdays at a beautiful and historic church in Niagara Falls (St. Mary of the Cataract) and I absolutely love it, because I’m a night owl and not a morning person. So now, instead of attending the Ordinary Form of Mass in the morning and the Extraordinary Form in the afternoon on Sunday (which had been my custom, except on those Sundays that I opted to attend the EF in the morning, skipping the OF altogether), I can sleep in on Sunday a little, now, and still go to Mass in the EF at 1:30pm.
The pastor of St. Mary’s, furthermore, is a young priest from Poland who is very reverent and who gives very good homilies. Very much to my liking, the altar is awash in purple, which, in my opinion, an altar should be during Lent. And they have Holy Water in the Holy Water stoups. At the afternoon EF Mass venue they have sand (@$%&*!). Sand! I couldn’t believe it. I blessed myself with it not expecting it and got it in my eye! How idiotic! We were not amused.
Our parish (Cathedral of St Peter in Rockford, IL) is in the midst of a excellent parish mission on overcoming temptation and living our faith in the public square presented by Monsignor Martin Heinz. Very much needed right now.
My wife and I welcomed our sixth child – a girl, after five boys – on Ash Wednesday. Catherine Grace (so-named despite the rather whimsical temptation to name her “Ashley” ) was baptised on Sunday and has already stolen her father’s heart! We are so very thankful that it was a very easy birth and that the baby is healthy and very well behaved so far…
At a visit to to the Blessed Sacrament at his parish church last week, my 9-year-old grandson informed me that Heaven is our real home; the Church is our second home; and the house he lives in is his third home. Out of the mouths of babes…! Then prior to leaving, while making an act of spiritual communion, he recited a beautiful little prayer he had found in a prayer book and had voluntarily memorized.
An American Mother,
Yes, I certainly enjoyed my experience of Sacred Harp Singing, even if I had no voice left at the end! I went on the site you mentioned in your post. And I see that there is a sing held on the second Sunday of the month from 3 to 5 pm in the same village where this past Saturday’s class was located! So I might try and go to it when next month rolls around!
An American Mother –
“Laura Ingalls Wilder related attending a Sacred Harp singing school as a young lady in These Happy Golden Years, one of the Little House books. Her husband, Almanzo Wilder, courted her there.”
If you are just familiar with the smarmy TV show, read ‘The Long Winter’. It is one of the most harrowing and starkly moving books ever written about frontier America.