Excellent piece by Fr. Blake on hope and what Holy Mass is all about.

My English blogging priest friends have had a good innings today.  (I hope I used that phrase correctly).

I posted about a great entry on Fr. Finigan’s blog (HERE).  Now I am compelled to post as well about Fr. Ray Blake’s fine piece HERE.

Fr. Blake reflects on what Holy Mass is, and what it is not.  He touches on themes I have often hammered away at in writing and when I give talks to groups.  As a matter of fact, I gave one last night to a group of 100+ men and touched on some of the very same points.  Eerie similarity.  GMTA, I suppose.

I’ll share some of Fr. Blake’s good work, with my emphases. He starts with a reference to 1 Peter 3:15, which you should all know by heart.


[Fr. Blake had] a conversation … with an old Irish man some years ago came back to me. He said he stopped getting up on Sunday mornings, “when I realised Mass was about our community, I didn’t think it worth getting up for that“, he was talking about the time of the liturgical changes and they had recently knocked down and rebuilt his parish church.

The Mass is not about us, it always has been about Jesus and giving us glimpse of heaven, “and so with Angels and Saints we sing…”, it is a vision of the triumph of the Lamb, it is about our ultimate re-orientation, the end of our earthly pilgrimage.

I wouldn’t enter into a discussion about which form of the Roman Rite speaks more clearly about the heavenly mysteries, the things we are called to hope in and for but the ars celebrandi should point to these mysteries, in either form. When the Mass merely celebrates us, “the community gathered”, when music is about community singing, or is trite and sentimental, when participation is more about action than interiority, when as Joseph Ratzinger says we “form a closed circle” or a “significant absence of silence”, then there are problems with the Eternal. The loss of hope in the Church does seem be related to how the liturgy is celebrated when it is done badly it destroys hope.

FR Z KUDOS to the distinguished parish priest of Brighton.

Among other things, Father offered a good argument for ad orientem worship, connected to hope.

Do take the time to read his whole piece (HERE).


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    We only talk about something when it is gone. Community is gone and so we go on and one about it, ad nauseam. When we had strong marriages with lots of kids and extended families, when we all worshipped in the same way and focussed on God, we were a community. The Popes from Pius IX to the present day warned us of this. Most people do not understand their own baptismal relationship to God or what Baptism does to them. They are not living out the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity.

    Just now, in England, two churches rang out the Angelus bells. This reminds us, those of us who know what they mean, that Christ is Incarnate God, God with us and that His Mother and He surround our lives with care and love. Bring back the TLM and teach our children how to pray and not be idolaters.

  2. mike cliffson says:

    “My English blogging priest friends have had a good innings today. (I hope I used that phrase correctly).”
    Cool ,when not valedictory !
    Gryllinae ???, which is the insect.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Love cricket. The only really civilized game along with baseball.

  4. PA mom says:

    I think that being willing to be seen as talking to a wall (away from the congregation) must require a great deal of courage in a priest. It must also be inspired by the hope that he is addressing God at that time or it really would be utter foolishness. It must also naturally raise the question in observers minds as to whom he is speaking. The observer is made strongerby his partaking in this public evidence of the Priest’s faith.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    @supertradmum : alas, less civilized than it was! Cricket, I mean.Compare village cricket to test matches………… Basball I know not.
    Exclude God, the rest may go slowly, but go it will and go it does .
    Anyhow, All priestbloggers, like priests in general, are playing a straight bat on a sticky wicket, whatever that may be in baseballese.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    mike cliffson, and bowling a few googlies now and then….

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