28 April – PONTIFICAL TLM at Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

___ Originally Published on: Apr 5, 2018

Do you remember that glorious, traditional Pontifical Mass that was celebrated by Bp Slattery in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC?  His sermon HERE.

Later this April His Excellency Most Rev. Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland, will pontificate in the Shrine.

I was slated to be the deacon for the Mass, but, alas, due to a previously pledged engagement I had to decline.  I can’t tell you how frustrating that is.   This is going to be great.

The Paulus Institute still needs to raise some money for this event.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This is one of the few occasions I wish I still lived in metro-DC. I hope the event is recorded and made available to the public. Perhaps EWTN will broadcast it.

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    The 2010 Solemn Pontifical High Mass commemorating the 5th anniversary of the installation of Pope Benedict XVI was one of the great moments of the modern era for the traditional Latin Mass. Some four to five thousand packed the Basilica of the National Shrine, and the Mass was viewed by millions around the world via a live EWTN telecast. It was the first Mass offered at the Shrine’s high altar—and the largest TLM offered in the United States—in the four decades since the introduction of the Novus Ordo liturgy in 1970.

    This April 28 celebration of the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum will surely be another great moment in the resurgence of the Mass of the Ages, and it again will be televised live on EWTN.

    For a foretaste of this glorious occasion, click here for a clip from the 2010 telecast to view one of the more evocative 3-minute videos you’re ever likely to see. And here for the complete “three hours of heaven” video of the telecast. The erudite commentary by Fr. Calvin Goodwin and Fr. John Zuhlsdorf is a virtual school in the ethos and flavor of the usus antiquor of the venerable Roman rite.

  3. acardnal says:

    Henry, thanks for that info!

  4. acardnal says:

    By the way, I have read that Fr. Calvin Goodwin,FSSP, is very ill. Please pray for him. HERE

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Father, where would we send some monies to, to support said event?

  6. acardnal says:

    JustaSinner, as stated at the bottom of the announcement above, go to https://thepaulusinstitute.org/ There is a donation button at the bottom of home page.

  7. Bthompson says:

    The really perplexing thing about the fact that the 2010 Pontifical Mass and this Mass are among the few times the high altar will be used, is that the Bascilica’s high altar is equally accessible from both sides; there is no reason whatsoever that it should not be used regularly for all masses rather than the floating altar (which, if it’s still the same altar they had when I was in DC in 2010, was on casters.)

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    You recs, I gives.

  9. Emilio says:

    Bthompson-When I was a server and volunteer at the Shrine about 15 years back, they used to have a Saturday afternoon Mass and Benediction at the old high altar, and set up a few rows of those individual chairs with the kneeler in back in front of it (in the sanctuary). They would remove the candles and crucifix for this one Mass, and would return them to the altar after it ended, and remove the seating from the sanctuary. It’s not true that this altar had not been used since before 1970. I completely agree that they could easily use the High Altar permanently, but there is an obscure rule in some post-conciliar document which states that the altar should not be too far from the congregation- so the powers that be at the Shrine, always eager to ruffle no feathers at the nearby USCCB or Archdiocese of Washington, sets up what we currently see.

  10. OrdoMilitaris says:

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  11. I’ll be in choro. I’ll send photos if I think I won’t get caught (or seen on EWTN). Or maybe just before and after. Whatever.

  12. HighMass says:


    EWTN is broadcasting the Pontifical High Mass, tune into it!

  13. HighMass says:


    EWTN is broadcasting the Pontifical High Mass, tune into it!

  14. acardnal says:

    Watching on EWTN now. The Basilica is very crowded. It demonstrates the popularity and love that exists TODAY among Catholics for the Traditional Latin Mass/EF. God bless Archbishop Alexander Sample.

  15. acardnal says:

    AND God bless Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for Summorum Pontificum.

    FYI, the role you were offered Fr. Z but unable to fulfill, the deacon, is fulfilled by Rev. Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP

  16. acardnal says:

    Archbishop Sample’s homily was very good. You’ll want to listen to the recording on EWTN’s website. (I expect they will also make a dvd available of the Mass.) He frequently spoke about and to the young people who so often attend the TLM/EF Mass and they were in attendance today. He said young people “get it.”

    He also mentioned in his homily that some bishops wonder why so many young people are attending the TLM/EF today. AB Sample asked the bishops to ask themselves that very question! Why?

  17. FrankWalshingham says:

    It was a great liturgy! The music from the various schools and choirs was spectacular. The homily by Archbishop Sample was outstanding. But the best was to hear the Latin responses of large crowd of the faithful resonate through the Shrine. Only negative was the obstructed view of the high altar caused by the post Vatican II altar cluttering up the sanctuary of the basilica

    EWTN already has the video up of the Pontifical Mass up on YouTube and it is very well done, with commentary by Msgr. Pope and Msgr Wadsworth. The very first segment of the vesting in one of the side chapels is very interesting:

  18. majuscule says:

    I watched part of it via Facebook Live. (I ran across it in progress and stayed…my connection is usually slow and Live doesn’t always work but this time it did!). I thought the camera work was excellent and showed the beauty of the Mass.

    Many commenters complained about the intrusive live commentary. Annoying, yes, to those of us familiar with the Mass. But I felt it was a needed addition to help those who were curious but didn’t know the Latin Mass. The commentators were quiet during the consecration, which was shown fairly close up. We were even invited to make a spiritual communion.

    Most of the viewer comments –from around the world!– were so positive, with people wishing they had a Mass like that to attend locally.

    And now the video of the Mass is being shared on Facebook. I hope many more will view it.

  19. Emilio says:

    Does anyone have any insight as to why the free-standing altar was left in place, or why there was no solemn entrance in cappa magna? Perhaps Mr. Alexander who was actually in the sanctuary yesterday? I understand if these are sensitive questions that people cannot comment on publicly. I was there for the Pontifical Mass in 2010, and the unobstructed view or the High Altar with all of the splendid processions to and from it from the throne was one of my most treasure memories of any event ever.

    I do not intend to sound ungrateful, negative, or “nit-picky” by asking the questions I ask. I so appreciate the hard work of so many, for so long, that went into something like this taking place there once again. I hope we can dare dream that we will be allowed a Mass like this there as a regular occurrence, as one of the many yearly pilgrimages that dioceses and groups of all kinds, of several different liturgical rites, are regularly permitted at the National Shrine year in and year out. If Quebec can have a regular, yearly EF pilgrimage (Notre Dame Reine du Canada) to the Shrine at Trois-Rivères, if France can as well to Chartres at Pentecost (Notre Dame de la Chrétienté), then why can’t we to our National Shrine in Washington? This was the hope when a second mass was planned for in 2011, but was then scrapped with no explanation given from the Archdiocese of Washington.

  20. Moro says:

    I was fortunate enough to be there. It was lovely on so many levels. 20 years before in 1998, when I was in 8th grade and visiting the shrine on a class trip. I had just learned about ad orientam and I remember thinking how odd it was the High Altar in that basilica was so beautiful but never used, not even the tabernacle sat there like in so many other churches.

    Now, 20 years later I saw it used and thanks be to God.

    Another observation, and we should all take note as this was remarkable:

    1. 99.9% of the people were dressed for a mass. Maybe a few women were a “dressy” immodest
    2. I arrived and got a seat around 12:30. I’d say about two-thirds to three quarters of the total crowd were already there. They began playing music at 12:45. During that 12:30-12;45 interval, it was almost totally silent. Remarkable considering how your typical parish is noisy as hell before Sunday Mass. The only thing I heard were some people saying the rosary in various languages throughout the church.

    If thousands of people from across America can come, sit down, pray quietly, and dress appropriately for mass, then there is zero excuse for what happens on the parish level. Priests need to preach basic respect and demand it on the parish level.

    No more church of nice! A church that is charitable, yes! But it’s not charitable to keep people in error, especially when priests, deacons, and lay people who no better do nothing. Did you see the image of Christ above the baldacchino? He wasn’t Mr. Warm-Fuzzy-Come-and-Squeeze-Us-Jesus.

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    acardnal: You probably know this already, but Fr. Pendergraft appears to be the priest in this 3-part FSSP video:


    The MC Fr. Akers is interviewed in a PBS news segment on the FSSP and the “Requiem” CD. (PBS behaves themselves in this 5-minute clip):


    God bless Abp. Sample and all for this beautiful Traditional Latin Mass.

    Henry Edwards: Thanks for that Paulist/EWTN link of the “three hours of heaven.” Saw it once last year and look forward to seeing it again.

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