Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Italian Bishop Promotes EF Mass

Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement blog has highlighted a letter written by a bishop in Northern Italy to his clergy on the subject of Summorum Pontificum(Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio which liberalized the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass, and indeed, encourages it).  Apparently the priests in this Italian diocese have not been as open as the bishop thinks they should be to offering the EF Mass.

Here is NLM’s translation of a few relevant paragraphs of the letter (which I have further condensed; read the entire article here):

Dear Priests and Deacons,

It is with much bitterness of spirit that I have found that many of you have not taken up or made a right attitude of mind and heart toward the possibility given to the faithful by the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of Pope Benedict XVI, of the celebration of Holy Mass "in the extraordinary form" according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, promulgated in 1962.

In the "Three days of the Clergy" of September 2007, I indicated with strength and clarity what is the value and the true meaning of the Motu Proprio, how we should interpret it and how we should accept it, with a mind that is open to the magisterial content of the document and with a ready willingness of a convinced obedience. The position taken by the Bishop was not missing its calm authority, strengthened by his full concordance with a solemn act of the Supreme Pontiff. The position of the Bishop was founded by reason of his theological argument on the nature of the Divine Liturgy, the immutability of the substance in its supernatural contents, and was also based on surveys of the practical, concrete, good sense of the Church.


I understand that in some areas, on the part of several priests and pastors, there was also the manifestation almost of ridicule toward faithful who have asked to make use of the option, and indeed of the right, for the celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form; there is also an expression of contempt and almost of hostility toward Brother Priests who are well prepared to understand and respond to the requests of the faithful...

I ask that you put away every attitude not in conformity with ecclesial communion, the discipline of the Church and the convinced obedience due to important acts of the magisterium or government.


Albenga, 1 January 2012, Solemnity of the Mother of God
 Monsignor Mario Oliveri, Bishop

We all know that even though this situation is occurring in Italy, it is occurring in plenty of places in the US as well, to our great discouragement at times. So “it is encouraging to see a bishop who is taking the usus antiquior seriously both liturgically and pastorally,” Shawn Tribe notes. 

Perhaps some US bishops might take a cue from their brother bishop in Italy!

Universae Ecclesiaei , the instruction on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, makes it clear that bishops should be generous and accommodating in respecting the rights of the faithful to have the extraordinary form of the Mass made available. Paragraphs 13-14 of UE:

The Competence of Diocesan Bishops

13. Diocesan Bishops, according to Canon Law, are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In cases of controversy or well-founded doubt about the celebration in the forma extraordinaria, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will adjudicate.

14. It is the task of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, according to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

So, although the bishop does have authority to “monitor liturgical matters” in his diocese, he must do so according to the mens (mind) of the Holy Father. Too many bishops in this country are failing to do just that.

And lest anyone claim that providing the extraordinary form of the Mass causes “division” within the parish or diocese,  paragraph 6 of the UE has this to say:

6. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII, are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria: they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honor.

Let us pray that the extraordinary form of the Mass returns to the Diocese of Baker soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wendi Wonders: Do You Care, Too?

Wendi cares about sacred music, and she’s not afraid to let you know it. She has some cogent thoughts on the subject and some ideas about how to help your parish move toward greater reverence in the Mass by simply following the guidelines for music which the Church Herself has laid out for us.

Wendi wrote about her daughter’s wedding here, and noted that the music for the nuptial Mass – Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, organ – made quite a positive impression on those who attended.

The other day, she wrote more about sacred music, and why she cares about it. Read the whole thing here.

I’ll give you a few tidbits. Why does she care? Because:

I just happen to think it's THAT important.  Let me try and explain why.

…what is Sacred music in the Mass designed for?  What is its proper function?

There are many theories.

It's supposed to foster a sense of community.
It's supposed to help the people participate.
It's supposed to make people feel good.
It's supposed to reinforce catechesis.
It's unnecessary.
It's supposed to help people focus on Jesus.

I've heard all of those.

I think the last comes the closest, but it's not quite right.

The purpose of Sacred Music in the Mass is to draw the attention of the faithful and allow them to more fully express their joy in the eternal mysteries being celebrated.

The purpose of Sacred Music is to draw attention to the fact that this space and this time are set apart from the every day.  The Mass is a banquet.  A Wedding Feast.  Special.  Important.

Wendi has lots more to say, and you really need to visit her blog and read her posts. But she makes another point about sacred music that I want to emphasize here: it’s not about the individual - the soloist or the cantor. It’s about the music itself, and the function of the music in the Mass:

A choir on the other hand...many voices singing the congregational responses with no one person on the "mike" encourages the participation of the faithful.

Then too, a well-trained, properly rehearsed choir can give as a gift to the faithful, some of those beautiful pieces of music that are part of the treasury of the church. 

One reason that the young people are turning towards chant and polyphony is the 
other-worldly beauty of it. We have a Schola cantorum at our church made up almost entirely of college students.  It's about the chant and the Latin.

That music sounds special.  Important.  Set Apart.  The young recognize and respond to that.

The charismatic Masses on the other hand, with their "contemporary music", my own teens pronounced boring.  My daughter's fiance who self-identifies as a charismatic...attended my oldest daughter's Nuptial Mass and immediately asked if they could have that music for their wedding.  He, like many others, said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard.

…I find it interesting that these young people immediately and instinctively seem to grasp that which continues to elude many others: That music in the Mass isn't just an afterthought, tacked on, inserted into the Mass. It's an essential, functional part of what we are offering as a community.  It's important.

It sets the Mass apart from our every-day activities (at least it should).

Sacred Music should be beautiful.  It should be special.  It should offer the best of what we have to offer.

And then Wendi hits us right between the eyes:

So why do I care?

I have better questions.

Why don't you care enough to demand chant and polyphony in your parish?

Why are you settling for the pap and pablum they give you? 

How important is the Mass to you?  

Why don't you care whether it's special or not?

Excellent questions. Think about it.

Wendi is not one to leave us wondering what to do next. Here’s her follow-up:

…It occurs to me that some of you want change but don't know how or where to begin. In the next few posts I'll offer some suggestions on how to make your voice heard in a productive way.

Suggestion number One.

Stop simply sitting in the pew and complaining to your spouse or friends.

…If you are genuinely concerned about what your children are hearing during Sunday Mass or what you yourself have to listen to, make a determination you are going to do something about the music.

Suggestion number Two.

Educate yourself. Read the documents concerning music in the Liturgy, so when you do start asking for change, you have the proper information to back up your requests…

Here are some of her suggestions:

Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) from Vatican II

Musicam Sacram : Instruction on Music in the Liturgy

General Instruction of the Roman Missal

And, she adds:

The one thing all these documents have in common, is the recognition that Latin and chant have pride of place in the Mass. 

So start there.  Get the facts to back up your requests.  If you have friends that feel as you do, send them the links to the documents.

This is definitely a situation in which numbers make a difference.  One person is a crank.  Ten people are a minority.  Fifty people are a movement.

This fits in with the request Fr. Z made of us a few days ago. He provided this paragraph from an address of the Holy Father:

As we know, in vast areas of the world the Faith is in danger of being snuffed out like a flame that no longer has any sustenance. We are at a profound crisis of faith, at a loss of a religious sense that constitutes the greatest challenge for the Church of today. The renewal of the faith must therefore be the priority in the undertaking of the whole Church in our times. I hope that the Year of Faith can contribute, with the cordial collaboration of all the members of the People of God, to bring God back anew to this world and to open to men an access to the faith, to a reliance on the God who loved us to the end (cf John 13,1), in Christ Jesus, crucified and risen.

Fr. Z added:

I will add my view that nothing of which His Holiness spoke is going to be accomplished without a renewal of our liturgical worship.

Our identity as Catholics cannot be separated from our worship.
… Lay people: band together and start requesting celebrations Holy Mass also in the Extraordinary Form. Get organized. Form a schola and start singing chant so you will be ready when the time comes. Offer to take care of all the material details. Offer to provide vestments, books, money so the priest can go get training. Start thinking about forming a group of servers, perhaps even father and son teams.

Our Catholic identity is in great need of revival right now. Sacred music, liturgical renewal, the extraordinary form of the Mass: these are essential elements of our Catholic identity.
I believe we need a top-down effort on this as well (bishops need to get on board with the EF Mass!), but if we can generate a sort of grass-roots, bottom-up effort as well, we can all converge on the renewal of our faith.

Don’t just sit there. Do something.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

True Love in the Sunday Collect (from Fr. Z)

Fr. Z’s translations/explanations/discussions of the Sunday collects are always edifying. Go here for the full article. In the meantime, I have clipped several paragraphs that seem to capture the gist of Fr. Z’s commentary.

Here is the collect for the 4th Sunday of Ordinary time (this Sunday):

Concede nobis, Domine Deus noster,
ut te tota mente veneremur,
et omnes homines rationabili diligamus affectu

Lord our God,
help us to love you with all our hearts
and to love all men as you love them.
Is this what the Latin really says?

Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honour you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart

Grant us, O Lord our God,
that we may venerate you with our whole mind,
and may love all men with rational good-will

“Affection” just doesn’t cut it for affectus and something more pointed than “love” is needed too.  I came up with “rational good-will”.  We mustn’t reduce all these complicated Latin words to “love”.  Why not?  Note in the prayer the contrast of the themes “reason” and “mood”, the rational with the affective dimension (concerning emotions) of man; in short, the head and the heart.   The fact is, a properly functioning person conducts his life according to both head and heart, feelings under the control of reason and the will.  The terrible wound to our human nature from original sin causes the difficulty we have in governing feelings and appetites by reason and will.

Today’s prayer aims at the totality of a human person: our wholeness is defined by our relationship with God.

Love is at the heart of who we are and it the key to our prayer today.
We are commanded by God the Father and God Incarnate Jesus Christ to love both God and our fellow man and God the indwelling Holy Spirit makes this possible.

But the word and therefore concept of “love” is understood in many ways and today, especially, it is misunderstood.  “Love” frequently refers to people or stuff we like or enjoy using.  Bob can “love” his new SUV. Betsy “loves” her new kitten.  We all certainly “love” baseball and spaghetti.  But “love” can refer to the emotions and affections people have when they are “in love” or, as I sometimes call it, “in luv”.

Luv is usually an ooey-gooey feeling, a romantic “love” sometimes growing out of lust.  This gooey romantic “love” now dominates Western culture, alas.   The result is that when “feelings” change or the object of “luv” is no longer enjoyable or useable, someone gets dumped, often for a newer, richer, or prettier model.

True love, charity, isn’t the sloppy gazing of passion drunk sweethearts or the rubbish we see on TV and in movies (luv).  Charity is the grace filled adhesion of our will to an object (really a person) which has been grasped by our intellect to be good.

The love invoked in our prayer is an act of will based on reason. It is a choice – not a feeling.
Charity delights in and longs for the good of the other more than one’s own.  The theological virtue charity involves grace.  It enables sacrifices, any kind of sacrifice for the authentic good of another discerned with reason (not a false good and not “use” of the other).  We can choose even to love an enemy. This love resembles the sacrificial love of Christ on His Cross who offered Himself up for the good of His spouse, the Church.  Rationabilis affectus reflects what it is to be truly human, made in God’s image and likeness, with faculties of willing and knowing and, therefore, loving.
Knowledge and love are interconnected.

In seeking to understand and love God more and more we come to understand things about God and ourselves as his images that, without love, we could never learn by simple study.  The relationship with God through love and knowledge changes us…

Consider: we can study about God and our faith, but really the object of study is not just things to learn or formulas to memorize: the object of our study and faith is a divine Person in whose image and likeness we ourselves are made.  To be who we are by our nature we personally need the sort of knowledge of God that draws us into Him.  Knowledge of God (not just things learned about God) reaches into us, seizes us, transforms us.  To experience God’s love is to have certain knowledge of God, more certain than any knowledge which can be arrived at by means of mere rational examination.

Bring this all with you back to the last line of our prayer and the command to love our neighbor, all of them made in God’s image and all individually intriguing – fascinating, in a way that resembles the way we love God and ourselves.  This we are to do with our minds, hearts, and all our strength.

Be sure to read the entire article; there are many nuances and explanations that have not been included here. Let learning about this one prayer of Sunday’s Mass bring you to a deeper level of participation in the Mass.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Latin in the Mass: It's Not Rocket Science!

One of the first things one hears from those who resist Mass in the extraordinary form is “But we can’t understand anything; Latin is so hard!”

My first answer to that is in days gone by – centuries of them – the faithful managed to understand what was going on in the Mass and, since the invention of the printing press, have had some written material translating the Mass prayers into the local language. So If one can read at all, one can read the Mass in the vernacular across from the Latin and follow what is happening.  All venues that provide the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, to my knowledge, provide translations, so no one need remain ignorant of what is being said.

It's easy! One side has Latin...
...the other side has English!

The second important thing to remember is that Latin is still the official language of the Church. Not only did the Vatican II Council not replace it, the documents of the Council reiterate and emphasize that Latin is the mother tongue of Catholicism, just as chant is in first place for the musical expression of liturgical prayer.

And last, but not least, the word “liturgy” comes from the Greek leitourgia, which means literally “work of the people” or “public work.”  Participating in the liturgy does not mean  sitting in the pew saying one’s rosary, as exemplary as that might be at another time and place; nor does it mean  leaving everything to the priest, servers, and choir.  Liturgy demands an attitude of awareness and at least inner participation in the sacrifice of the Mass that Christ has given us as the perfect worship of the Father. The word reminds us that adoration of the Deity must be taken seriously and requires effort by all present.  

One way to do that at the extraordinary form of the Mass is to learn some basic Latin.  Because it is a phonetic language, Latin is a lot easier to access than many other tongues.  If one learns the sound that a certain combination of letters makes, one can always pronounce the combination whenever it appears. For example, a “c” before an “i” or an “e” always sounds like “ch” in English, as in “cibus.”

It is logical to start any language lesson with vowels.  There are five, just as in English, and each one can be long or short, according to most Latin grammars. Some do not distinguish, but give only one sound for each vowel.  However, here we will take the former view.

 A long “A” sounds like “ah,” as in “Father” . A short “A” sounds like the vowel in the English word, “cap.” A long “E” sounds like the long “A” in English, as in the word, “lay.” A short e is the same as in most English words, such as “red.”

The “O” in Latin, when long, is exactly like a long “O” in English, as in “omen.” When short, it is like the ‘O” in “or.” The long vowel “I” sounds like a long “E” in English, as in “meet,” while the short version is like a short “I” in English, as in “tin.”

Finally, the “U,” which can cause the most problems. A long “U” is pronounced like “OO” in English. Never put a “Y” sound before a Latin “U”. The short version of the vowel is like the “u” in the English word “cup.”

Next time: Some common Latin words using the vowels, both long and short and the way to pronounce diphthongs, which are two vowels put together, but said as one. 

Submitted by Stephanie Swee

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Vatican II Hymnal

Have you heard of the Vatican II Hymnal? Here’s a description from the publisher:


You can see some sample pages here.

Crisis Magazine recently ran an article reviewing the Vatican II Hymnal, entitled “Some New Church Music That Isn’t Sickening”, by Daniel Lord. Read the whole thing there, but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:

A New Kind of Hymnal

This is not another article about bad liturgical music. It is more of a clarion call to embrace a better way of performing and participating in the music of Mass. The recently released Vatican II Hymnal, published by the Texas-based non-profit organization Corpus Christi Watershed, is the pièce de résistance of this “better way.”
The Church put specific prayers and chants in place for every Mass many centuries ago, with the intention that we should sing them regularly and ritually: an Introit at the beginning, a Gradual and an Alleluia after the readings, an Offertory and a Communion.

Each is an exquisite gem that inspires everyone who hears. Each bears an aura of antiquity that is astounding: many of them would have been heard and sung by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Albert the Great.

The Church prefers that we use these chants today, and yet most of us have never heard them before. The Catholic Church does allow for some latitude in the music planned for Mass, but what was intended as an extraordinary exception has become a universal rule. Sunday Mass is now dominated by songs which are quite often musically inferior, thematically inappropriate, and lyrically shallow. The result is a lack of unity in God’s family and a watering down of the Mass’s inherent beauty.

How can a parish make the switch to chant?

“I would suggest a two-step program,” [CCW President Jeffrey Ostrowski] says. “Firstly, every secular, undignified, emotionally-driven song needs to be gradually banished from our churches. Secondly, we ought not to instantly take away hymns, because we have become so accustomed to them—and many are truly beautiful and they enhance worship. However, we should remember that chanting, especially the Mass Propers, is our ultimate goal.”

“Musicologists,” he goes on to say, “have pointed out that the very form of metrical hymns, with their predictable upbeat and downbeat, tend to remind us of the passage of time and (by extension) the world. Whereas Gregorian chant, which is completely free in its rhythm, takes you into another world: prayerful, reverent, eternal, holy.”

On top of this, it is the preferred music of the Church—not the hymns to which we have all become so accustomed. Gregorian chant “should be given pride of place in liturgical services,” wrote the Council Fathers in 1963’s Sacrosanctum Concilium (par. 116) and yet this mandate has largely been ignored for decades.

The article concludes with this paragraph:

The Vatican II Hymnal, like everything Corpus Christi Watershed produces, is done with no other purpose in mind than to bring us all into closer contact with God and with each other at Mass. It is high time that music directors stop thumbing through missalettes in search of mediocre songs that may or may not be prescribed by the Church. It is time to rediscover the ancient glory of the chants that the Church gives us.

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making a Sanctuary Fit for the Worship of God

 The New Liturgical Movement highlighted the recent renovation of the sanctuary at Thomas More College in New Hampshire. Read the article here.

Th sanctuary went from this:

To this:

Important Catholic Music Books

At The Chant Café, Jeffrey Tucker has an informative article on “The Big Five Catholic Music Books”. Be sure to read the full article; here are some excerpts (my emphases):

The Big Five Catholic Music Books

… I’ve picked the number five here for no apparent reason. It could be shrunk to two or expanded to ten. These five are the ones you are most likely to encounter today.

1. The Graduale Romanum. This is the book of music for the Catholic Mass… It is the one
 book that provides all you need for Masses throughout the year. It is entirely in Latin, even the front matter. If you are in Catholic music and plan to stay there awhile, you have to have this book.

2. The Gregorian Missal. This is the book to have. It is all the chants from the Graduale Romanum for Sundays and Feasts, plus English translations. The instructions are in English. The calendar is in English. It is the book that I credit with my first enlightenment to the reality that Catholic music is not something we select liturgy to liturgy but is rather part of the Mass itself…

3. The Graduale Simplex. This was a book that came out in 1967 to fulfill the suggestion of the Council that a simpler book be produced for parishes... It contains proper chants that can be used for entire seasons. It can still serve a purpose even though it is hardly ever used. Another version of the Simplex is Paul Ford’s By Flowing Waters, which puts the chants in English…

4. The Parish Book of Chant. This is a project of the Church Music Association of America, 
compiled and typeset by Richard Rice. I would say that this book can be credited with saving chant in our time. Nearly all the books of basic Latin chant had gone out of print, leaving only the most difficult. The traditional “chant hymn” repertoire was buried in books from the 1950s and earlier. This book brought it all back to life, and, as a post-Summorum work, it actually put on display the relationship between the old and new form. It is more a pew book but is most often used by beginning choirs so they can get going with all the tunes and words that previous generations took for granted. It contains chants for the ordinary and lots of seasonal pieces, but not propers as such.

5. The Simple English Propers. This book…gets parishes going on chant. It has reduced
 English versions of the Gregorian propers for Mass for entrance, offertory, and communion. The Gregorian mode is preserved, and every chant has Psalms. It is designed for parish use above all else. It is hassle free. The chants follow easy-to-learn formulas. I believe that history will record that this book, more than any other, made the biggest strides and bringing back the proper chants to the Mass. The book was put together by Adam Bartlett. It is a stepping stone, one that should have existed back in the 1960s but did not. It is selling so much that we are struggling to keep it in print.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bishop Olmsted on Sacred Music, Part II

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix continues his series of articles on sacred music in the Catholic Sun, with this piece on the history of liturgical music.

This is a bishop who understands the importance of “singing the Mass”!

Here are a few excerpts; read the rest here.

Singing the Mass

Part Two: A short history of liturgical music

In the first part of this series on sacred music, I described the meaning of sacred music, the music of the Church's sacred liturgy, as distinct from "religious music." In this second installment, I shall explore, from a historical perspective, the Church's role in guiding and promoting authentic sacred music for more fruitful participation in the Sacred Mysteries by the clergy and lay faithful alike.
The Second Vatican Council proclaimed that "the musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112). This led the Council fathers to decree that "the treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care" (ibid, 114).

Sacred music in Judaism before Christ

… The Church inherited the Psalms of the Old Testament as her basic prayer and hymn book for worship. With these sacred texts she also adopted the mode of singing that had been established during the development of the psalms: a way of articulated singing with a strong reference to a text, with or without instrumental accompaniment, which German historian Martin Hengel has called "sprechgesang," "sung-speech."

… Sung with respect to and during sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem, the early Jewish Christians assumed this tradition into the sacrifice of the eucharistic liturgy.

Sacred music in the early Church

After Pentecost, …[a] dramatic struggle ensued between, on one hand, openness to new cultural forms and, on the other, what was irrevocably part of Christian faith.
For the first time, the Church had to preserve her sacred music, and then foster it. Although early Greek-style songs quickly became part of the Church's life (e.g., the prologue of John and the Philippians hymn, 2:5-11), this new music was so tightly linked to dangerous gnostic beliefs that the Church decided to prohibit its use. This temporary pruning of the Church's sacred music to the traditional form of the Psalms led to previously unimaginable creativity: Gregorian chant — for the first millennium — and then, gradually, polyphony and hymns arose...

Preserving, fostering through the centuries

...St. Gregory the Great (the saint from whom "Gregorian chant" takes its name) collected and systematized the Church's chant tradition in the 6th century and it spread and developed in the West throughout the first millennium. Gregorian chant was sometimes enhanced by the organ in the eighth or ninth centuries and with a single or with multiple vocal harmonies (e.g. polyphony) beginning in the 10th century. The development of polyphony carried on throughout the beginning of the second millennium, producing music of a highly sophisticated and ornate style…

The task for today

On June 24, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI attended a concert of sacred music, after which he said: "An authentic renewal of sacred music can only happen in the wake of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. For this reason, in the field of music as well as in the areas of other art forms, the Ecclesial Community has always encouraged and supported people in search of new forms of expression without denying the past, the history of the human spirit which is also a history of its dialogue with God."
The authentic renewal of sacred music is not a question of merely copying the past, but even less is it one of ignoring it. Rather, it is one of preserving the past and fostering new forms grown organically from it. This is a truly great and essential task, entrusted in a particular way to pastors and sacred artists…

Read the rest here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Novena to St. Francis de Sales

The feast of St. Francis de Sales occurs this week – on the 24th in the Novus Ordo calendar, and on the 29th in the old calendar. The faithful of the Diocese of El Paso are praying a novena to St. Francis De Sales for the appointment of a new, holy bishop for their diocese.
How even more fitting it is for us in the Diocese of Baker to pray this novena, as St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of our Diocese!


V. O Blessed Francis de Sales,

R. Who in your mortal life did excel in all virtues, especially in love of God and of neighbor, I earnestly entreat you to take me under your immediate protection, to obtain from God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners, especially of (the names of persons for whom you wish to pray should be mentioned here).

V. Teach me, O Heavenly Father,

R. To fix my eyes on heaven, that I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory which Thou in Thy mercy hold out to me. Obtain also that particular favor for which I now pray. (mention intention)

V. Assist us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, through the merits of St. Francis de Sales.

R. That what our endeavors cannot obtain may be given us by his intercession.

V. Let us pray. O God, who for the salvation of souls, did will that St. Francis de Sales, Thy confessor and bishop, should become all things to all men and women, mercifully grant that we, infused with the gentleness of his charity, guided by his teachings, and sharing in his merits, may obtain eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

One might conclude by praying the prayer for the election of a new bishop:

Lord God, you are our eternal shepherd and guide.
In your mercy grant the Church (of Baker) a shepherd
who will walk in your ways
and whose watchful care will bring us your blessing.
We ask this through Our Lord…

Or in Latin:

Deus, qui pastor aeternus,
gregem tuum assidua custodia gubernas,
eum immensa tua pietate concedas Ecclesiae (Bakeriensis) pastorem,
qui tibi sanctitate placeat,
et vigili nobis sollicitudine prosit. Per Dominum...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Priests: Special Invitation to Chant Colloquium

This is a great post from The Chant Cafe; be sure to share it with your pastor, and encourage him to think about changing the way Mass is sung!

The entire letter, "A Special Message for Priests", is presented here, but be sure to visit the Chant Cafe for other good commentary and resources.

Here is a special message for all priests:

The CMAA Colloquium and the Priest
By Father Robert C. Pasley, KCHS
Chaplain of the CMAA
Rector of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ

The annual CMMA Colloquium has been an overwhelmingly wonderful experience for over 20 years. It has been open to anyone interested in the Catholic Church’s official understanding of Sacred Music and its proper use in the Sacred Liturgy. Most of the attendees have been lay people with a small smattering of priests each year. In the last 5 years, a class on the correct tones for the celebrant has been added for priests and seminarians. The problem, however, is that most of what was taught was not printed in the liturgical books. Well, with the new Missal, this has now changed. The priest’s chants are printed from cover to cover.

I would like to extend a special invitation to priests and seminarians to consider attending the
Sacred Music Colloquium XXII at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah. June 25-July 1, 2012. If the Liturgy is to be restored, if chant scholas are to be formed, if the people are to learn to sing the Mass and not just sing at Mass, if we are going to be faithful to our tradition, then of all people, bishops and priests, must once again learn to sing the Roman Rite according to the tones of the Roman Rite.

Just recently I was watching the Mass on EWTN. The Franciscan priests of EWTN have done a superb job learning the chants of the new Missal. One day, a guest priest said the Mass, a good priest and a great preacher, but when he opened his mouth to sing, a Syro, Byzantine, Anglican, modified Roman, with a modern interpretive touch chant came out of his mouth. It was jarring and distracting and it was wrong.

It was not the priest chant of the Roman Rite. It was either what he was taught in the seminary, or what he heard another priest sing and liked, or his own invention, but it was not the proper chant of the Roman Rite. I am not trying to tear this priest down but just make a statement of fact, and he is not alone. So many priests mean well. They want to sing the Mass, but in the last 45 years they were taught nothing or next to nothing. There has been a breakage with our Catholic, liturgical, priestly musical traditions and it must be corrected. Now is the time for every priest and seminarian to buckle down, force themselves to unlearn bad habits, and learn the right way to sing the Rite.

The CMAA wants to help seminarians, priests and Bishops. We have many resources on musicasacra.org. We have Sacred Music Magazine and we have the magnificent Colloquium. Many priests might be intimidated by the Colloquium. “But Father, Father, I would like to come but I am not a musician. I can’t read music, and I’ll feel self-conscious around all those professional musicians.” First, you don’t have to be a musician but someone who wants to learn. If the priest doesn’t sing, the Sacred Liturgy can never be celebrated to its fullest extent. You are absolutely necessary, not only sacramentally but musically.

Second, to sing the Mass you will have to have some basic knowledge of chant notation. This year, all first time clergy and seminarians, unless you are a musician priest, will have to spend each morning in the basic chant scholas. This is necessary for a good foundation and it is a good way to see how greatly people will sacrifice to give glory to God. Third, there is no place for self - consciousness. Priests are the servants of God, His people and the Sacred Liturgy. They must do everything possible to learn how to pray and sing the Mass according to the mind of the Church.

The class on the chants of the Missal will be offered each afternoon. Not only will the new Missal be covered but the basic principles of music for the priest found in the Liber Usualis will be discussed. Orations, readings, prayers, the Eucharistic Prayers and chants for the Ancient Form of the Mass will be covered.

The highlight of the day is Holy Mass in the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Forms. The chants, the polyphony, the organ, and the variation of great styles of the sacred treasury of Catholic Music will be at the service of the Liturgy. These liturgies are meant to be paradigms of liturgical practice, musical excellence and moments of the most intense and uplifting prayer. You will be immersed in all things Catholic.

Finally, there is the social part of the Colloquium. You will meet priests, seminarians and people from all over the country and the world, who are filled with zeal for Sacred Music. You will network with priests, seminarians and people who want to do what is right. You will hear inspiring stories. You will be uplifted by the talks. You will be exhausted from the liturgical Opus Dei. You will laugh, be inspired and come away a better priest or seminarian and person.

Most dioceses offer their priests a stipend for further education. Check into it. Use that money for the Colloquium. You will not be sorry. I long to see many more priests and seminarians at the Colloquium this June. God Bless You!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Our Right to Good Liturgy

This Liturgical Bill of Rights is exerpted from Redemptionis Sacramentum ("On Certain Matters To Be Observed or To Be Avoided Regarding the Most Holy Eucharist," by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, March 25, 2004)...sort of a Reader's Digest Condensed Version, if you will. We present it here as a reminder of what we are entitled to expect with regard to the liturgy...and even what we are in some instances required to insist upon with regard to proper respect for the Most Holy  Eucharist.

Liturgical Bill of Rights
Excerpted from the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum[1]

BY VIRTUE OF THEIR HOLY BAPTISM AND INCORPORATION INTO THE CHURCH, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, each of Christ’s Faithful possesses the following rights with respect to the Sacred Liturgy:
1.   the right…to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church’s life in accordance with her tradition and discipline [11]
2.   the right…that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms [12]
3.   the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church’s Magisterium [12]
4.   the…right that the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist should be carried out for it in such a manner that it truly stands out as a sacrament of unity, to the exclusion of all blemishes and actions that might engender divisions and factions in the Church [12][2]
5.   the right that ecclesiastical authority should fully and efficaciously regulate the Sacred Liturgy lest it should ever seem to be “anyone’s private property, whether of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated” [18][3]
6.   the right…that their diocesan Bishop should take care to prevent the occurrence of abuses in ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the Saints [24][4]
7.   the right…that especially in the Sunday celebration there should customarily be true and suitable sacred music, and that there should always be an altar, vestments and sacred linens that are dignified, proper, and clean, in accordance with the norms [57]
8.   the right to a celebration of the Eucharist that has been so carefully prepared in all its parts that:
• the word of God is properly and efficaciously proclaimed and explained in it
• the faculty for selecting the liturgical texts and rites is carried out with care according to the norms
• their faith is duly safeguarded and nourished by the words that are sung in the celebration of the Liturgy [58]
9.    [the right] to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing [91]
10. the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice[5]…[or] to receive the Sacrament in the hand[6] [92]
11.   a right[7] to visit the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist frequently for adoration, and to take part in adoration before the Most Holy Eucharist exposed at least at some time in the course of any given year [139]
12.   [the right] to form guilds or associations for the carrying out of adoration, even almost continuous adoration [141][8]
13.   the right…to have the Eucharist celebrated for them on Sunday, and whenever holydays of obligation or other major feasts occur, and even daily insofar as this is possible [162][9]
14.   the right, barring a case of real impossibility, that no Priest should ever refuse either to celebrate Mass for the people or to have it celebrated by another Priest if the people otherwise would not be able to satisfy the obligation of participating at Mass on Sunday or the other days of precept [163]
15.   the…right that the diocesan Bishop should provide as far as he is able for some celebration to be held on Sundays for that community under his authority and according to the Church’s norms…“[i]f participation at the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible on account of the absence of a sacred minister or for some other grave cause” [164][10]
16.   the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff [184][11]
17. [the right to expect that the sacred ministers] fulfill for the faithful those sacred functions that the Church intends to carry out in celebrating the sacred Liturgy at Christ’s command [186][12].

[1] “On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist” by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, 25 March 2004.
[2] Cf. 1 Cor 11,17-34; Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 52: AAS 95 (2003) pp. 467-468.
[3] Cf. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 52: AAS 95 (2003) p. 468.
[4] Cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 392.
[5] Cf. Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, n. 161.
[6] But only in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, such as in the United States of America. Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Dubium: Notitiæ 35 (1999) pp. 160-161.
[7] But only where the diocesan Bishop has sacred ministers or others whom he can assign to this purpose.
[8] Cf. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, art. 65: AAS 80 (1988) p. 877.
[9] “When it is difficult to have the celebration of Mass on a Sunday in a parish church or in another community of Christ’s faithful, the diocesan Bishop together with his Priests should consider appropriate remedies. Among such solutions will be that other Priests be called upon for this purpose, or that the faithful transfer to a church in a nearby place so as to participate in the Eucharistic mystery there.” [162] Cf. S. Congregation of Rites, Instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, n. 26: AAS 59 (1967) pp. 555-556; Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, Christi Ecclesia, 2 June 1988, nn. 5 and 25: Notitiæ 24 (1988) pp. 366-378, here pp. 367, 372; n. 18: Notitiæ 24 (1988) p. 370.
[10] Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 1248 § 2; Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, Christi Ecclesia, nn. 1-2: Notitiæ 24 (1988) p. 366.
[11] “It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.” [184]. Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 1417 § 1: “Because of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, any of the faithful may either refer their case to, or introduce it before, the Holy See, whether the case be contentious or penal. They may do so at any grade of trial or at any stage of the suit.”
[12] Cf. S. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., III, q. 64, a. 9 ad 1. Page 2 of 2.