Tuesday, July 31, 2007


...is up and running at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. This week's snark submission: The Traditional Latin Mass - The Ultimate Nonsense Reducer.



Raspberries Live on Sunset Strip

Pictured on the lineup of posters: Raspberries, as they appear on their first album, which was self-titled (L to R: Dave Smalley, Wally Bryson, Eric Carmen, Jim Bonfanti)

For the first time in over 30 years, Eric Carmen (rythym guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals), Wally Bryson (lead guitar, vocals), Dave Smalley (bass, vocals), and Jim Bonfanti (drums, vocals) - that is, my favorite band of all time, RASPBERRIES - performed on stage their classic hits (Go All the Way, I Wanna Be with You, Overnight Sensation, and then some...) and more on a reunion tour that took them to House of Blues and BB King's venues from coast to coast.

The last stop on the tour, the House of Blues in Los Angeles, is the site from where Raspberries' first live album ever (and first album since 1974 - sorry, I don't count greatest hits compilations) was recorded. That album, Raspberries Live on Sunset Strip, just got released today by Rykodisc. I don't know about other record stores, but I found one at the local FYE.

For those who don't know who Raspberries are, they were THE essential power pop band of the 70's. They released four albums (Raspberries, Fresh, Side 3, and Starting Over), and some great singles (Go All the Way, I Wanna Be with You, Let's Pretend, Tonight, and Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) amongst them). These are the guys whose music got me into music to begin with.

After disbanding in 1975, Raspberries frontman Eric Carmen, who was lead singer for more than half of the material on their albums, went solo and did quite well also, scoring hits like All by Myself, Never Gonna Fall in Love Again, She Did It, Hungry Eyes (from Dirty Dancing), and Make Me Lose Control. He also wrote the smash Almost Paradise for the movie Footloose, which was recorded by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson (of Loverboy and Heart respectively).

Left half: Raspberries today (L to R: Wally Bryson, Dave Smalley, Jim Bonfanti, Eric Carmen)
Right half: Raspberries circa 1972 (L to R: Jim Bonfanti, Wally Bryson, Eric Carmen, Dave Smalley)

In the words of Psalm 126, The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy!

Filled with joy is putting it lightly! :-)


80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80

Nick's music list for this coming Sunday was our 80th post for July 2007. This is the first time we've hit 80 posts in one month since we shattered records in June 2006 with 96 posts.

We've broken 80 only two other times: May 2006 (86 posts) and April 2006 (82 posts). Since then we've come close four times - August 2006 (78 posts), December 2006 (76 posts), January 2007 (78 posts), and March 2007 (77 posts).

(Incidentally, this shameless plug here makes #81 for this month!)

UPDATE 8/1/07 7:51 AM: Our final post count for July 2007 is 83! WOOHOO!


PS: Special thanks to Nick for adding the celebratory graphics below. :-D

Cathedral Music: OT 18

Prelude: Aria -- Flor Peeters
Entrance: Come, Christians, Join to Sing / MADRID (alt. harm. BMP)
Gloria: John Lee
Psalm 95: Guimont
Celtic Alleluia
Offertory: In Christ there Is No East or West / MCKEE
Sanctus, etc: Creation
Communion: Gift of Finest Wheat
Hymn: Rejoice! The Lord is King / DARWALL'S 148th
Postlude: P & F in e (8 little) -- attr. Bach

Monday, July 30, 2007


Special thanks to Gerald for the new picture, which kind of inspired me to make a new title logo out of it.



Here's something you can hang on your bathroom wall, or at the airport next to the "Geico - so easy a caveman can do it" poster.



Nonsense! Just remember the ten biggest misconceptions revealed here by the Catholic Caveman.



This from Anthony at Mere Comments. RSCT to Dad29.

I've recently been strapping on the swamp boots to wade through something called Glory and Praise, perhaps the most commonly used Roman Catholic hymnal in the United States and Canada (Sadly, OCP prints much of that hymnal's contents and similar ilk in their even more popular Music Issue every year). Oh, it is sloppy and noisome work, logging the bathos, stupidity, banality, heresy, and textual vandalism. I've concluded, though, that there is one factor that touches every problem, something that helps explain these apparently disparate acts of mischief:

-- the neutering of old masculine language about mankind and even God
-- the heedless fouling up of the old poetry, to update a "thou" and a "thee"
-- the seizing of every chance to talk about dancing (not to be found in the New Testament, I suspect, unless it's Salome) and about the motherhood of God"
-- in general, the louche emphasis upon feelings, not repentance, but soft and syrupy feelings
-- the blithe arrogation of God's words to ourselves, speaking in the first person
-- the arrogation of God's grace and majesty to ourselves: "We are the Bread, we are the Body"
-- the celebration of our own wonderfulness, and the decrying of sin -- that is, other people's sins
-- the abandonment of traditional liturgical forms, traditional poetry and song
-- all relegated to the status of the "old fashioned," for trotting out, like Grandmama's silver, at certain feasts, and that's it
-- the passing along of counterfeit "folk" music, actually performance music, like "Do You Remember the Kind of September," only not nearly as good
-- the mincing baby-talk in the verses, along with a bogus primitivism, a la the Indians in Hollywood: "You are child of the universe."

It's narcissism, all of it. It's the pretty boy at the side of the pool, gazing upon his image in the water, ignoring his parents, the woman in love with him, the reality of the world around him. He wants to remain a pretty boy forever -- he wants a disembodied "union" with no ties to the past, no duties to his fellows, and no law to obey. It's music that encourages a choir full of American Idols, shimmying and shaking and calling attention to themselves, while envying one another (I'll bet some of our bloggers have stories about infighting among the twenty self-appointed soloists of a "Christian" choir).

What's missing from the hymnal? Oh, music, poetry -- and one thing above all: the Cross. The Cross sure does seem a fine cure for narcissism. In all our arguments about ordination and (in the Catholic church) lay "ministry," nobody ever says, "I want the right to be ordained a priest because I demand to be crucified!" Or, "I want to serve as a lector because I want to be crucified!" Hardly -- these things and many more are considered clerical plums that everybody ought to be able to pop in the mouth, if they choose. We are Church, don't you know, not to mention Bread and Body and God Almighty. If there is a single new "hymn" that is written in the shadow of the Cross, encouraging the taking up of what will leave your back stooped and your shoulders cut with splinters, I haven't seen it. Meanwhile, a part of my own crucifixion seems to be the necessity of listening to it all, and watching the performers. Silence would be infinitely better (than singing from the biggest original sin of a hymnal to ever hit a Catholic pew - Gather, of course, has since followed suit).

And the snark says, AMEN!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton, RI
Dominica Duodevicensima per Annum - August 5, 2007

Gloria VIII
Mode VI (Alleluia)
People's Mass (Sanctus/Agnus)
Danish (Memorial/Amen)
Chant (Lord's Prayer/English)

ST. ANNE - O God, our help in ages past
Tone 8G - If today you hear his voice...
AURELIA - The Church's one foundation
Berthier - Eat this bread
OLD HUNDREDTH - All people that on earth do dwell


Friday, July 27, 2007


Local priest Fr. John A. Kiley writes a regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic called The Quiet Corner. I love especially his columns regarding liturgy, and this one is no exception. (remarks mine)

Bishop Donald W. Trautman(person) of Erie, PA, has taken great exception to the proposed new translation of the Mass into English.

In a recent article in America magazine, his Excellency quoted the following Advent prayer as an example of the new rendering of the text: “Accept, O Lord, these gifts, and by your power, change them into the sacrament of salvation, in which the prefiguring sacrifices of the Fathers have an end and the true Lamb is offered, he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin.”

Apparently references to the prefiguring sacrifices, Christ’s ineffable birth and Mary’s inviolate virginity stuck on the prelate’s tongue. What will John and Mary Catholic make of these phrases, he asks.
(Duh, let's see now... an unspotted Virgin... DEE-DE-DEE)

The bishop takes exception to other phrases employed by the English translators: God, who suffused blessed John with the spirit of mercy; Cyril, an unvanquished champion of the divine motherhood; consubstantial to the Father; incarnate of the Virgin Mary; sullied; unfeigned; gibbet; wrought; thwart.

The bishop points out that elsewhere in the liturgical translations the priest is provided with a sentence eleven lines long and a phrase totaling 56 words.

Translators are facing two separate challenges: one committee is translating the liturgy; another committee is translating the Bible
(and if the Bible translation is anything like the crap we have now - NAB/Lectionary - we're in BIG trouble). The work of neither is appreciated. English-speaking priests, deacons and lectors can sympathize with the bishop’s remarks.

The scriptural translations into English have been particularly lamentable – not so much because of vocabulary, but because of style. And rare is the priest who might choose an alternative collect for a Sunday Mass. They are a glossary of mixed metaphors.

Yet, with all due respect for the episcopal office, the bishop from Erie seems to be calling for a further dumbing down of America’s liturgical life. The church in the United States has already gone through its burlap banner and polyester vestment stage. Earthen goblets
(and glass pitchers) substituting for chalices and ceramic candy dishes (and wicker baskets) passed off as ciboria have happily seen their day. Kumbaya and Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore (as well as the more current works of Haugen, Haas, Landry, etc.) are an embarrassment best forgotten. The American clergy have been relentless in bringing the liturgy down to the level of the people (against the wishes of the Second Vatican Council and even the most current General Instruction of the Roman Missal, mind you) and the result is a drop of 40% Mass attendance in one generation.

A celebrant does not have to challenge his congregation with obfuscating verbiage. But worshippers should realize that they are in church—not at the water cooler or inside a convenience store.
(The Preface of the Worship II hymnal implies the same thing) A word or two might be unfamiliar the first time they hear it, but how can the church promote an authentic air of mystery, of the supernatural, of the transcendent, if the Mass never surpasses the level of a backyard picnic? It is precisely because the church brought the Mass down to the level of the people that the people stopped going to Mass. Why go to Mass if the Mass is just business as usual? The ambiance, the decorum, the manner and the utterances at Mass should all speak powerfully of another world. The ceremonies of the Mass should be elevating if they are truly to be enlightening.

A priest recently shared a quote from the writings of President John Adams which notes perfectly the supernatural atmosphere which should permeate a Catholic Church and a Catholic Mass:
“Went in the Afternoon to the Romish Chappell and heard a good discourse upon the Duty of Parents to their Children, founded in justice and Charity. The Scenery and the Musick is so calculated to take in Mankind that I wonder the Reformation ever succeeded. The Paintings, the Bells, the Candles, the Gold and Silver. Our Saviour on the Cross, over the Altar, at full Length, and all his Wounds a bleeding. The Chanting is exquisitely soft and sweet.”

This Roman liturgy apparently touched Adams' heart and mind because it employed the finest elements that the late 18th century had to offer. And, apart from the sermon, not an intelligible word was uttered.

Certainly, the Mass should not be mere smoke and mirrors. But it should lead the worshipper to a greater appreciation of that other world, the kingdom of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the eternal life which Christ’s death and Resurrection restored to the worshipper. Indeed, some things are ineffable: eternity, grace and God among them. The Mass should celebrate this.



And they're multiplying! OH NO!

Tie your lunch down if you can. The Poncho Ladies™ are at it again!

Pictured here: the Examination of Heads for Lice and/or Loose Screws. WAIT - we already know the screws are loose! It appears that one of the "bishops" here is a guy. Whoa!

Argent has complete details, along with a disclaimer - "Had a good lunch? Sorry, but you're about to lose it."

Say hello to my feline friend:

UPDATE 8:48 PM: Gerald has a hilarious parody dedicated to Poncho Ladies™, set to the tune of Billy Joel's Angry Young Man (one of Billy Joel's best tunes, if you ask me).

There's no place in the Church for the angry old nun
With her new agey crap she is really no fun
She refuses to bend, ordination's her hope
And she hasn't much use for bishop or pope
And she's sure of her cause, and she thinks she is cool
And she's learned and thinks that she's nobody's fool
She is so unaware she's the angry old nun.

There's no place in the Church for the angry old nun
With her fist in the air and her head up her bun
And she's never been willing to learn from mistakes
So she's terribly hurt cause her heart always breaks
With her struggle so pure and her courage so swell
And she's noble and just and she's boring as hell
And she'll go out to pasture an angry old nun.



Intercepted from Valerie at the St. Francis Academy Blog.

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope. My parents were originally going to name me Christopher Michael Page, then had a change of heart thinking I'd never spell it - thus, Brian Michael Page. I then went and named my first born Christopher Ryan Page.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Probably the last big argument I had - last Fall. Hey, those things happen in the best of marriages too, ya know.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I find it to be "normal" under a typical guy's standards, though I do drive people nuts with my signature - especially my mother. I keep trying to explain to her that it's my signature and not the body of a letter.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? This "kielbasa loaf" that I used to get from a place called Central Falls Provision Company - run by a Polish-American family. Since I can't find that stuff anymore, I'd have to say liverwurst next.
DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yup - four of them.
IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Maybe, once I can figure me out, ha ha ha!
DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Does a bear poop in the woods?
DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope - had them butchered out when I was four.
WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If this was about 20 years ago, yeah. Now, no.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cocoa Pebbles, hands down!
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Mentally, yes. Physically, well - I try to let my mental game control my physical game.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Either Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Cookies and Cream.
RED OR PINK? Fire engine Red!
WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I'm my own worst critic, finding faults in me that others don't notice.
WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My father (+1981)
WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Grey sweats and white sneakers
WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A can of Chef-Boy-ar-Dee Ravioli - right out of the can!
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sound of my air conditioner running
FAVORITE SMELLS? Incense at Mass, campfire, the neighbors' wood stove
WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A friend of Brian's (my son Brian, that is) - I said "hello", she said "hello, is Brian there?"
FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Baseball, softball, bowling (especially candlepin)
HAIR COLOR? Dark brown, with some new salt (grey) added.
DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, but I do wear bi-focals.
FAVORITE FOOD? Scallops - that's the first thing I usually look for in any sit-down restaurant!
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, especially if they're really funny - like the tail end of Animal House.
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Baby Sitters Club (actually Brittany was watching it, but our computers are in the same room)
SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer by a longshot. Winter sucks in Rhode Island. It's lovely in New Hampshire. Ugly down here.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? the "Finale" logo (mouse pad came with Finale software I bought a couple of years ago)
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? I watched the Red Sox smoke the Indians 14-9. WOOHOO!
ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Definitely the Beatles. The Stones have some really good stuff, and some not so good stuff. The Beatles have more good stuff. Plus they were a big influence on my favorite band, Raspberries. Speaking of which, Raspberries Live on Sunset Strip will be coming out this Tuesday! I have a limited edition coming - WOOHOO!
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Outside of music, nah.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Northern Rhode Island

Whoever wants to take this meme up, feel free.


Fox is blasting bloggers. Well, not us Catholic bloggers, but the extreme left (yeah, the opposite end). The bloggers in question apparently are even blackmailing Democrats to go even further left than they're used to being.

Check this clip out!


Matthew at NLM has a great post showcasing the home improvements at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA - yes, where CV's own Nick Basehore is music director!

Stephen at For God, For Country, and For Yale has an equally great post, with even more pics, on the same Cathedral!

Looks great!



One featuring the "Spirit of Vatican II":

This one comes with a guitar expansion pack.

And now, here's one featuring true Vatican II reform:

Well, this one won't become a game, thank God. This is the real thing. And kids, the Ordinary form of the Mass can look like this too, as the current form can also be celebrated ad orientem. No frills, no expansion packs, no nonsense! Just a good clean Holy Mass!

RSCT to Play the Dad? Be the Dad!


Thursday, July 26, 2007


Seriously, I'm guessing that altar and pulpit (er, ambo) came from Bedrock. In fact, it's possible that Fred Flintstone might have designed these himself under Mr. Slate's supervision. The chapel pictured here is in Italy.

RSCT to Robert Kumpel.



I had seen this organ pictured once in The American Organist a couple of years back. Last night's browsing of YouTube reminded me of it. The YouTube clip you're about to see is the IV/73 Austin pipe organ (for those who aren't organists, "IV/73" is a shortcut for saying "four manuals (keyboards) and 73 ranks (sets) of pipes") at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego, CA. It is the largest outdoor organ in the world (pray it doesn't rain on concert day, hey?).



UPDATE 7/27/07 8:31 AM: Jeff and RC, this new sticker should make things better! :-)

This sticker is now amongst the list of favorite bumper stickers of mine - along with one George Carlin often mentions: Honk if your horn is broken! and one I haven't seen in a long time: This car insured by Smith and Wesson!

At one time, Holy Name had a bumper sticker advertising the weekly Traditional Latin Mass there. I'll have to stop over there and see if George B. has any more kicking around.

RSCT to Fr. Gonzales


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Now, although these aren't church organs, I thought it would be cool to put these up anyways. The first video is about the largest pipe organ in China (a five manual - and check out the funky remote console in the later part of the video). The second is a 1983 video about theatre organs in the San Francisco Bay area.


China's largest pipe organ

San Fran Bay Area theatre organs


The Ultimate Nonsense Reducer!

Check out this cool write-up by Michael Overall for Tulsa World!

One priest wore an orange wig with a red clown nose and performed magic tricks during the homily. In another video, people brought their pets to church for a K-9 Mass, where dogs surrounded the altar while the priest consecrated the Sacred Host.

Don't throw pearls before swine, the Bible tells us. But it doesn't say anything about Labrador retrievers. (I would prefer to bring a vicious pitbull, but only for the sake of teaching a lesson about inviting pets to the altar.)

Thank God, I've never seen this kind of silliness in my own church, but only on YouTube, where traditionalist Catholics have put together a "Hall of Shame" for liturgical abuse. (I haven't seen the pet one yet, but I did see the Barney blessing, the teen preaching, and the clowns acting out the Gospel and homily.)

Another video shows several parishioners leaving in disgust as a nun -- at least, allegedly a nun -- dances down the aisle in a leopard-print leotard. (I've had a vision of something like that once. I think they call it a nightmare!)

I wouldn't have walked out of that service. I would've run. (Me too!) God doesn't send down hellfire and brimstone often, but when it comes, it comes fast.

Ecumenical foolishness: Buffoonery, of course, is not a uniquely Catholic sin. I was backstage once at a non-denominational "worship center."

The word "church," you know, sounds too churchy. We have convention centers and sports centers and shopping centers, so why not "worship centers?" (And why not? Many Catholic parishes have "worship spaces". Before coming to Holy Ghost, I got a job description from a church in the Chattanooga (Tennessee) area that was hiring. My wife has relatives out that way. Nice looking church, but once I saw the words "worship space" in the pastor's cover letter, I opted not to pursue the position any further.)

The stage hands wore headsets to get cues from a director in the sound booth.

"Spot lights on three . . . two . . . one. Now the smoke machine!"

It was like Jesus on Broadway. Or more like Jesus in Branson, Mo. "America's Got Talent," and so does the congregation. (Maybe they were auditions for the next American Idol, which I usually refer to around here as American Idiot. Or maybe it was American Idol taking auditions at the infamous St. Joan of Arc. They write those off as "gym Masses".)

Did the disciples give a standing ovation after the Sermon on the Mount? Did St. Paul use dry ice when he preached to the Corinthians?

But I was never more tempted to leave a church service than in Waco, Texas, where I lived after college. New in town, I went to the parish nearest my apartment, and I didn't notice the sign out front was in Spanish.

Mass is an interactive ritual -- the priest speaks; you respond.

It helps to know the language.

I could've slipped discreetly out the door.

But the mysterious beauty of the service -- a modern Mass, but celebrated with old-fashioned solemnity -- kept me in the pew. (The sign may have been in Spanish, but any chance this Mass might have been in Latin? Or was this an extremely reverent Spanish Mass, thus fortifying something I once said about English getting the $&!+ end of the stick?)

This must have been something like going to church before the reforms of Vatican II, when you could understand what was happening even if you couldn't understand the words.

The fragile wisp of incense. Sunlight filtered through stained-glass. A hushed reverence as the priest lifts the bread over his head. The silence broken by a crystal-clear bell to announce that Christ himself has come to us.

I didn't need to hear it in English. I knew to get on my knees. (HAD to be Latin!)

Back to the future: This month, Pope Benedict XVI issued a papal decision that will make the old Latin Mass more widely available around the world. The pope doesn't want to drag the church back to the 1950s -- Latin will remain an exception, and the vernacular will remain the rule. (The only small part of this whole article I disagree with. Latin was never an exception, except due to liberals' misconceptions and those misinformed by thereof.)

Instead, I think, the pope wants to use the old liturgy as a kind of fertilizer, sprinkling a little Latin through the church to nourish a sense of wonder.

Or rather, he wants it to be a kind of poison, a weed-killer, to uproot the childishness that has been disgracing too many parishes in recent years. (I truthfully think the Extraordinary Form of the Mass could very likely serve both purposes - the fertilizer and the weed killer.)

Clowns behind the pulpit. Nuns in leotards. Worshipers bringing Fido with them. (And let's not forget Barney blessing the people!) And some critics are worried that Latin will distract people?

Benedict just wants to give every Catholic what I'm already blessed to have in Tulsa -- a church where grown-ups worship like adults. (You're extremely blessed to have a Bishop like Bp. Slattery. His articles on liturgy from Spring 2006 are excellent! I've blogged on him here, here, and here.)

RSCT to the Summorum Pontificum blog.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Ah yes - OCP's pick as (de)Composer of the Year at the latest NaPalM convention in Indy - who other than Marty Haugen! (RSCT to the Curt Jester)

Here we learn that Haugen came into working with liturgy not knowing a thing about it. (RSCT to Domini Sumus).

"A chaplain suggested that I apply for a Catholic church job. I said I didn’t know anything about the Catholic liturgy, and he said, well, these days, nobody does—you’ll feel right at home. And he was right."

"Growing up in the Lutheran Church, I knew and loved the psalms, but only as prayer texts and spoken texts, not sung. The first Sunday I came to the Catholic church, we were instructed to sing the psalm—interactively! I was struck during that service by how badly the people sang and how poorly written the psalm setting was. It was awful. I thought to myself—I could write this badly!"

And he does write that badly. Worse, his thinking on liturgy was from a Lutheran standpoint, and he inflicted that same thinking on Catholic liturgy - most contrary to what the Vatican teaches us.

What the hell was that chaplain thinking? And even today, what the hell is OCP thinking? I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. After all, "All Are Welcome" seems to be the typical liturgical intelligence these days.

Thank God for the Motu Proprio! While Haugen and pals are entertaining, we'll be worshipping!


Cathedral: OT 17

Prelude: Meditation #3 - David Barton
Entrance: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven / LAUDA ANIMA
Kyrie: Simple Chant
Gloria: John Lee
Psalm 138: Guimont
Celtic Alleluia
Offertory: Glory and Praise to Our God
Sanctus, etc: Creation
Communion: Seek Ye First
Hymn: Father, We Thank Thee / RENDEZ A DIEU
Postlude: TBA


...at Living Catholicism. For the first time in a few weeks, we gave them something to chew on - the Saturday in the Church post.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Renovations, exams, and other things

You may have noticed my absence recently from blogging...not that I have chosen to be absent, but Fatima has been a very busy parish since Divine Mercy Sunday. Our new pastor is now building on the firm foundation set by Monsignor Provost, now Bishop Provost of Lake Charles. At the same time, the physical work in replacing the organ console began, and in the two months following, we have enjoyed a number of visits from technicians to work out computer bugs and minor tuning issues. We also hosted the Schantz voicers for two weeks as they went over the instrument with a fine toothed comb, tuning and voicing. Now, the parish offices are being completely renovated. The music office has a new coat of BVM Blue paint, but still has no carpet. In order to save some cash, the professional painters worked the ceilings of the office building and painted the central atrium, while the staff were resposible for their own office walls and those of whatever remaining offices needed to be painted. In 1.5 weeks, the DRE, the parish secretary, the pastor, and I painted 6 spacious offices. The Social Service woman and and the bookkeeper only painted their own offices and watched us paint the others (but who am I to speak of their reward?). The musical contents of the office is now housed in their temporary digs in my guest bedroom at home. My organ scores are stacked across the floor in neat piles according to historical period. Choral anthologies and Masses are stacked in another part of the room, next to music scholarship and hymnals. Hopefully on August 3 (the scheduled date) the new carpet for the music office will arrive and be installed, so that I can move back into my office. Meanwhile, plans are being drawn up for a complete renovation of the choir oratory to remove a suspended ceiling, install modern, functional lighting fixtures, paint, and to address proper a/c air flow issues. The summer choir reahearsal schedule is now underway with intense study of chant and work to increase ear training skills. We hope the choir oratory work will be completed by the 2nd Sunday of September, the choir's first Sunday back at Mass.

In the midst of all this hectic craziness, I traveled to Memphis June 6th to take Part I of the American Guild of Organists choir master exam. I received word Saturday, that my efforts were not in vain, and that I, in fact, PASSED the exam. Next year, I plan to take Part II, the written portion. Conducting included the following gems: the Hassler Cantate Domino (deliscious!), the Gwenyth Walker 23rd Psalm (sorta like drinking sour milk with a vodka and Ouzo chaser), and the Brittain Jubilate Deo (I wanted to string up the accompanist for not allowing me my tempi for that -- it made for an interesting tug-of-war with 4 singers sight reading Brittain, and an accompanist who thought "slow down" meant "allegro vivace"). The second half of the exam was keyboard theory torture. Fun with cadences of the nasty sort in F-sharp minor. I was allowed a treat of ice cream at the end: the final section was a "sight reading" of the Bach setting of Schmuecke Dich. The exam was conducted in the choir room (fancy shmancy: an atrium practice room, choir below, and choir library upstairs on a mezzanine level -- good stewardship there) of the Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis. The English academic Gothic building looked like the Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry. The church itelf was a copy of the Great Hall, sans floating candles.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Funeral Mass - July 23, 2007, 9 AM

Really sad one. Tomorrow's funeral is the first of its kind for me as an organist - it's for a four-day-old infant born four months premie. This one hits home, as we had lost a three-month-old nephew on my wife's side on Christmas Eve 1990.

The youngest soul whose funeral I've played until tomorrow is that of a 16-year-old girl who had her driver's license for a couple of days before losing control of her car on I-295 before fatally crashing on the median.

Anyhoo - surprisingly, there was only one request, and I agreed to honor it. Also, knowing there were going to be critical difficulties, the baby had been baptized shortly after birth.

SINE NOMINE - For all the saints
UNSER HERRSCHER - Open now thy gates of beauty
- (#222 in Worship II, but using the lower key accompaniment - B-flat)
Joncas - You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord (the lone request)

Gelineau/Twynham - To you, O Lord, I lift my soul
- (using All Souls verses, #1059 in Worship III)
Mode VI - Alleluia (verse will be sung to Psalm Tone 6F)
Vermulst - Sanctus and Agnus from People's Mass
Danish - Memorial B and Amen
At funeral Masses, we usually recite the Lord's Prayer.
Proulx - Saints of God, come to his aid
Mode VII - In Paradisum (YES - at the recessional, where it belongs!)



Dominica Decima-Septua per Annum - July 29, 2007
Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton, RI

ST. COLUMBA - The King of love my Shepherd is
Lafferty - Seek ye first the kingdom of God
LAUDA ANIMA - Praise, my soul, the King of heaven

Jubilate Deo - Gloria VIII, Sanctus/Agnus XVI, Memorial, Amen
Psalm Tone 8G - Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me
Mode VI - Alleluia (verse of day to Psalm Tone 6F)
Chant - Lord's Prayer in English


Saturday, July 21, 2007


Fr. Martin Fox has an excellent homily this weekend, about the Motu Proprio and the many misconceptions about Vatican II - that is - how badly things got screwed up in the Ordinary form of the Mass since its promulgation in 1970.

Then the idea of an all-new Mass sprang up:
That the Mass is a free-for-all:
you can play Broadway tunes and add made-up rituals—
and a lot of folks don’t see what’s wrong with that.

The Sacred Liturgy is not something we create;
something we do for ourselves, or even for God.

No, the liturgy is something Jesus Christ does—
through the Church—for us!

How did we get so far off track?
The pope identifies the problem in how Vatican II
is viewed as a moment of “rupture”:
out with the old, in with all-new.
This has gone so far that people commonly speak
not of one Catholic Church—but two: pre- and post-Council.

Kudos, Father Fox!

Friday, July 20, 2007


An eight-part motet???

Impressive! I understand it's on Rorate Caeli. Way cool! Does this mean this is the stuff we'll be hearing from him from now on instead of Eagle's Wings and similar sentimental dreck? One can only hope and pray.

Full story at Cantate Deo, which includes his review of the NaPalM convention.

Cantor writes:
Steven Warner’s opening address. Ok, much of it was good, but at one point he glorified the guitar Mass (enh...), talked about how we need a full implementation of Vatican II (yes...), and then turned and stated, “We do not need a reform of the reform!” (Applause ensued.)

That figures! I'm still wondering what the excuse was (besides "we do not need a reform of the reform!", er, lack of interest) for the chant workshop being cancelled, which (again) doesn't surprise me.



Bishop Finn will celebrate Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass...

...at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, MO, on Saturday 9/15 (The Seven Dolors of the BVM, or Our Lady of Sorrows) at 10 AM. He, like his Eastern Missouri counterpart Archbishop Burke, also has an excellent article in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan newspaper.

Another RSCT to Shawn Tribe/NLM.



and Archbishop Burke a Cardinal!

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis responds to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. An excellent article, promoting obedience to the Holy Father, and dispelling any fears one might have about losing the ordinary form of Holy Mass.

RSCT to Shawn Tribe at NLM, who tips his biretta to the St. Louis Catholic.



You can download it from Musica Sacra! Warning - it's a huge download! Over 2100 pages in one giant .pdf file, it took me over 20 minutes to download, and I have a normally very good cable connection, but it's worth it!

Harrisburger Dom: OT 16

Prelude: 5 Variations on "Beautiful Savior" -- James Woodman

Entrance: Beautiful Savior / ST ELIZABETH

Gloria: John Lee

Psalm 15: Guimont

Celtic Alleluia

Offertory: God it Was / JESUS CALLS US

Sanctus, etc: Creation

Communion: Where Charity and Love Prevail

Hymn: God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending / RUSTINGTON

Postlude: Praeludium in F Major -- Vincent Lubeck


The Good, the Bad, and the WTF???

First, welcome to the CV Definitve Blogroll the St. John's Valdosta Blog. Robert Kumpel, the blog's owner does a considerable amount of posting on church architecture. Here's a sampling of buildings he has recently featured from Robert's own home diocese. Soon enough I could feature some from my own diocese as well. We have some really nice looking Catholic churches in Rhode Island, but we have some hideous ones as well. (RSCT to Gerald, snarky remarks mine):

This one, to me, looks like one of those little Pentecostal chapels, perhaps in the midst of a rich snooty neighborhood, an industrial park, or adjacent to a Holiday Inn somewhere (nothing negative intended towards the Holiday Inn).

This church is just drop-dead gorgeous! Definitely built in an age where church architechts knew what they were doing!

WTF??? I'd hate to imagine where in this thing they call a church the altar is located, let alone the Tabernacle!

Here, Robert rightfully comments, "This church points upward, but no further upward than Snoopy's A-framed doghouse." Yeah - maybe towards the Red Baron, wherever he may be (hehehe!)

Robert states here, "Built in the early to mid 60's, it looks Catholic, but is a bit bland." Truthfully, I don't think it's totally hideous. It's better than most structures I've seen post 1960. I give this builder credit for a fairly decent belltower for that era. I don't know what the inside is like, however. One could be disappointed.

Another WTF??? Maybe a modern convent building of sorts, perhaps combined with a greenhouse to the left and a carport to the right? Or the cafeteria to a shrine? But a church???

This one is gorgeous as well. If I remember correctly, this church, Most Holy Trinity, has a remarkable music program as well.

Finally, this church, Robert rightfully compares this church to the one below:

I'll have to try a similar series for my diocese. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Or, Anticipation is making me late

The CMAA has an excellent interview with Fr. Dennis Kolinski, SJC, a curate at the beloved St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. I will not copy/paste the article here in all fairness to the CMAA, as it will appear in the Fall 2007 issue of Sacred Music magazine.

I will make a couple of notes on it - one, Cantius' schedule is one-of-a-kind.

5 PM - 1970 Missal/English (Anticipated for Sunday)
- According to Fr. Kolinski, this is a Low Mass. We'll get to that in a minute.
6 PM - Rosary, Vespers, and Compline

6:30 AM - Matins and Lauds
7:30 AM - 1962 Missal/Low Mass
9 AM - 1970 Missal/English
11 AM - 1970 Missal/Latin
12:30 PM - 1962 Missal/High Mass

Now THIS is TRUE diversity! Fr. Kolinski notes that the Society of St. John Cantius, which he is a member of, will not take priests who will say only one form or the other. They MUST be committed to both and do them right. Even the English Mass on Sunday uses Gregorian Chant, he notes.

However, the Saturday Mass, in English, is the "anticipated Low Mass". Note - LOW Mass. And it reminds me of a conversation I had one day last month with Fr. Tom Kocik (yes, THE Fr. Tom Kocik) before Mass (he was filling in while Fr. Finelli was away). He had mentioned that he likes to keep the Saturday Mass (Anticipated, Vigil, whatever you want to call it) a bit lower than the Mass on Sunday, acknowledging that although the Saturday Anticipated Mass is "for Sunday", yet stressing the importance of Sunday.

Holy Name of Jesus Church in Providence celebrates their "anticipated" Mass (4 PM in English) in the Lady Chapel, and their two Sunday Masses (9 AM in English, and 11 AM Tridentine) in the main church. Although it's not a "totally Low Mass" (that little chapel that barely seats 100 houses a nice little two-manual, six-rank Hook and Hastings tracker organ), a couple of things that differ is the recitation (instead of singing) of the Gloria and Lord's Prayer. The Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, and Agnus is sung, however, as well as the Psalm and Alleluia. At least that's how it was when I worked there. The hymnal in the pew is Worship III.

On one message board that "We Three Snarks" frequent, Nick made a cool suggestion of scrapping the anticipated Mass and just having First Vespers for Sunday in its place. I replied by mentioning that the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City does the reverse of Cantius - they do Vespers at 5 and Mass at 6.

How many others use that take for Saturdays, being a little lower than the Sunday? The Easter Vigil, of course, would be the exception. This makes for cool discussion.



...is up and runnin' at Book Reviews and More.



More Transactions

PITTSBURGH PIRATES/STEELERS/PENGUINS - Acquired Bishop A. Zubik from the Green Bay Packers for a prelate to be named later.

RSCT to Argent.

Your Christus Vincit Sports Team

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


...without a couple of hilarious cartoons from Paul Nichols...

...at the Catholic Cartoon Blog?

First, there's Papa Claus -

Then there's Roger Dodger, treating the prized Vatican document like an expired music issue -



...comes from Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, CT.

Some excerpts:

"The first of Pope Benedict's documents on this subject is an Apostolic Letter entitled Summorum Pontificum and given Motu Proprio, which means it sets down provisions or norms by the Holy Father's own proper authority. That said, the Holy Father spent a good deal of time in prayer, reflection, and consultation with bishops and experts before he issued these new norms."

"Various other pastoral concerns have been voiced. Some have wondered aloud whether this undercuts the authority of the local bishop to regulate the liturgy. I truly do not believe that it does. The role of the local bishop is not to "invent" the liturgy but rather to ensure that it be faithfully and prayerfully celebrated in accord with the teaching and discipline of the Church. Echoing the thought of Saint Paul, we bishops, together with our priests, are "stewards" of the liturgy, not its owners."

"An ancient adage tells us that "the law of praying is the law of believing." (Ah yes, "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi") This means, among other things, that the liturgy is to reflect in beauty and simplicity the faith of the Church. The first job of a bishop is to teach the faith - primarily through the preaching and instruction which he delivers or that which is delivered on his behalf by pastors and parish priests. For the vast majority of Catholics, however, this occurs within the liturgy. The Holy Father has provided the bishops of the world with an opportunity to teach about the nature and role of the liturgy in the lives of all the faithful."

I especially love the line "...we bishops, together with our priests, are "stewards" of the liturgy, not its owners."

Check out Father Z's analysis. Far better and far more eloquent than I possibly could write, IMO.


Monday, July 16, 2007


Or, a lesson on how to keep the LA Archdiocese afloat

See Gerald for a free economics lesson!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Tobin versus Trautman

Do I start with the positive first, or the negative? The negative. We'll save the good bishop for last, ok?

First you got the infamous Bishop Donald Trautman, head of the BCL, and Bishop of Erie, PA. He begins his statement about the Holy Father's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, by stating that "The recent apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI on widening the use of the liturgical books of 1962 is prompted by his desire to reach out to those Catholics in schism because of their non-acceptance of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council".

Nice try, but that's not the only reason, and the SSPX aren't the only people looking for the 1962 Mass. Vatican II never did away with the Tridentine Mass. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI made it clear that the 1962 Mass was never abrogated in the first place.

He then goes on to say that since two parishes in his diocese have a 1962 Mass there is no need to press desire for more. I equate that with his saying that the liturgy must be dumbed down since the average normal adult has the mind of a second grader (which is, IMO, what he implies when he whines about the reform of the reform).

I do, however, give him some credit for this:
"Priests who might want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass will be given a rubrical and Latin exam to comply with the pope’s own statement, 'The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.'”

I do agree - if a priest is to say the Tridentine Mass, he has to know what he's doing. But I would sure hope that his diocese offers some kind of training (perhaps from the two parishes already celebrating the 1962 Mass) and not just some "pop-quiz" exam for the sake of saying, "you flunked, you're screwed!" in order to write off the Pope's wishes.

For a much better analysis than mine, check out Fr. Z's post. RSCT to Gerald.

Now, here in Providence, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin offers a more positive note:

“I welcome the statement of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI that allows for the expanded use of the traditional Latin Mass in the Church. Although it is unlikely that the new provision will have much immediate impact on our priests and parishioners, the provision for additional use of the traditional Latin Mass may serve the pastoral needs of some of the faithful, and for that we are grateful. The increased use of the Latin Mass is a legitimate reflection of the rich diversity of the liturgical life of the Church."
(emphasis mine)

He also mentioned that Holy Name of Jesus Church (where I worked from 1999-2003) in Providence celebrates a 1962 Mass each and every Sunday (at 11:00 AM). I may add that there is also a Traditional Latin Mass at 7 PM on holydays of obligation.

Entire article is in the July 12, 2007 edition of the Rhode Island Catholic.



Bishop Salvatore Matano, a native of my diocese (Providence, Rhode Island) whose See is Burlington, Vermont, will be celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal) at St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral in Burlington on the Solemnity of the Assumption (August 15) 2007 at 7 PM. This will mark the first Tridentine Mass said in Vermont since Vatican II.

From reading Bp. Matano's letter, he is supportive of the desires of our Holy Father, but also wants his priests to be properly prepared and trained, should they desire to celebrate the 1962 Mass in his diocese.

On a side note, Bp. Matano isn't the first bishop to tie with both Providence and Burlington. His predecessor, Bp. Kenneth A. Angell, another RI native, was an auxiliary bishop for 18 years before succeeding to the See of Burlington. During Bp. Angell's time in Providence as an auxiliary, the Ordinary was Bp. Louis E. Gelineau (who, like Bp. Angell, is now retired), a Burlington native, but no relation to the renowned French Jesuit Pere Joseph Gelineau. :)

RSCT to Gerald.



Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton, RI
July 22, 2007 - Sunday XVI

ST. ANNE - O God, our help in ages past
Gloria VIII
Psalm Tone 8G - He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord
Mode VI - Alleluia
HYFRYDOL - Church of God, elect and glorious
Vermulst - Sanctus/Agnus from People's Mass
Danish Memorial/Amen
Chant - Lord's Prayer/English
Deiss - Keep in mind
NUN DANKET - Now thank we all our God


PS: This is POST NUMBER 1400!


Girls Softball - Cranston Tourney Finished!

Well, we got beat, 12-7 by Cranston B (doesn't help when the umpiring staff for the tourney are also coaches for various Cranston teams - they were squeezing the daylights out of our pitchers, that is, tightening the strike zone - basically, when in doubt, the pitch was a "ball").

Third place in a field of eight. Our girls have nothing to be ashamed of.

Next month, Brittany makes the transition to fast pitch softball, after five years of slow pitch.

Congrats Brittany, and to all our Darlington all-stars!



...comes from Joe Cullen in the National Catholic Register (the better NCR)

While not all of his people need or want the old Mass, there is a significant constituency for whom the lack of this familiar and time-honored form of worship has been a hardship, and Pope Benedict’s action is that of a genuine pastor.

“It will rise again, ... the Mass will rise again … because it is the sun, and God thus established it for our life and comfort.” When it happens, he said, our eyes will be found “guilty of not having esteemed it worthily before the eclipse; our hearts guilty for not having loved it enough.”


Saturday, July 14, 2007


Listen to this three-year-old sing the Tantum Ergo (tune: ST. THOMAS/Webbe). Impressive!



...according to this thread. That is, the N(a)P(al)M convention in Indy this year.

My big $64,000 question is... WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED?



My favorite Fall River diocesan priest is interviewed here by Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight! Well done, Father!


Girls' Softball Edition - Cranston Tourney

Is this the drive-thru? I would like a triple with two RBI's!

That was the outbursts by one of the parents of the Darlington Girls All-Star Softball Team. Today was day one of the last of the all-star softball tourneys for my nine-year-old daughter Brittany, and the girls did quite well today in their tripleheader, winning two out of three!

Game 1: Darlington 9, North Kingstown White Team 1
Game 2: Coventry Red Team 8, Darlington 1
Game 3: Darlington 5, St. Gregory's 4

Some really good action here. Some really hard hit line drives were robbed by our girls. Some of the opposing girls did the same thing. The great thing is that no one gave up.

The win over St. Gregory's really did my heart good for a few reasons - 1) half the girls on the St. Gregory's team, especially the pitcher, looked older than their age bracket (9-10); 2) They do some nasty grandstanding in the middle of the field after a win; 3) their defensive formation had one outfielder short, and one infielder extra; 4) they smoked us 10-2 last week in the Coventry tourney; and 5) the woman that replaced me when I was fired from the "roundhouse" (those who know me know where I'm talking about) is now music director at the same St. Gregory's Church where the St. Gregory's softball team is based.

Tomorrow we play against Cranston's B Team (their A team that's been parlaying us the past two tourneys is not in this tourney - WOOHOO!). If we win, we play in the finals. I'll have the results when I get back tomorrow evening.



Friday, July 13, 2007


VATICAN LEAGUE - has accepted the retirement of William H. Cardinal Keeler.

BATIMORE ORIOLES AND RAVENS - acquired Archbishop Edwin E. O'Brien from the Military Archdiocese for a prelate to be named later.

Your Christus Vincit Sports Team

OT 15 at Harrisburger Dom

Prelude: Improv on "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" (We have a young parishioner who enlisted for submarine duty in the US Navy, and is leaving this week. He asked if this could be used in some way. After prayer, I couldn't justify the text for the readings of the day, so I decided to improv a big prelude for him)

Entrance: O God beyond all Praising
Penitence: Form B
Kyrie: simple chant
Gloria: John Lee
Psalm 69: R and A
Celtic Alleluia
Sanctus, etc: Creation
Communion: How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place - DeBruyn
Hymn: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Postlude: O God beyond All Praising - Cherwien

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Remember last season's episode of PWTN's inclusive language spinoff sensation, Big Sibling? Well, Roger landed up being last year's winner.

This year, we have some returning and some brand spankin' new houseguests in Big Sibling 2.
Our returning guests are:
1. Joan C., a Benedictine nun and columnist
2. Roger, an archbishop who thrives on liturgical dance, kool-aid pitchers, and bogus religious edumacation conferences
3. Tod, a bishop who is good friends with Roger
4. Carey, a musician and former priest
5. Marty, another musician
6. David, yet another musician
7. Donald, a bishop who prefers to be a neutered fish
And now, here are our new guests:
8. Luca, a bishop who cries when reverence prevails
9. Anthony, a priest who claims the Traditional Latin Mass is part of a false religion
10. Tom, who claims the Pope doesn't trust his bishops
11. Michael, yet another musician
12. Andre, a musician who uses his guitar as part of his preaching at Mass
13. Dan, a musician who just reunited with his friends last year for the first time in over 20 years
14. Bernard, an extremist dissident from the other direction

Don't miss - BIG SIBLING 2!


...is up and runnin' at Embracing Motherhood. Enjoy!


Tagged by Puff the Magic Dragon

The rules
Those tagged will share 5 things they "love" about Jesus.
Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here with their name so that others can read them.

1. He has redeemed us with his own blood.
2. He paid the ultimate price for our sins - death!
3. He may not always agree, but he always listens.
4. I don't know anyone else who can reappear after being dead three days.
5. He loves us no matter how bad we screw up.

I'll tell you what, the first five to read this, consider yourself tagged. When in doubt, TAG, you're it!



Or better still, she throws another gutter ball!

Well, well, well! Coming fresh off her rejection by the Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand, Sr. Joan Chittister decides to give the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum a ride. CRASH!

(Snarky remarks and emphasis mine.)

Have your barf bag ready!

Coming soon to a church near you
(Source - National Catholic Distorter)
(RSCT - The Curt Jester, who has some excellent commentary of his own)

It used to be that if you asked a question about the Catholic church, you got very straightforward answers. No, we did not eat meat on Friday. Yes, we had to go to church every Sunday. (You still do have to go to church every Sunday. That has NEVER changed!)

Not any more.

In fact, the answers are getting more confusing all the time. Consider the question of how the newly revised Roman Missal is better than the last, for instance.

They tell us now that Mass texts -- including even hymns -- may not include feminine references to God. (After all, God IS our FATHER, and Christ is his SON) And this in a church that has routinely addressed God as Key of David, Door of life, wind, fire, light and dove. God who is also, they tell us, "pure spirit" can never, ever, be seen as 'mother.' Are we to think, then, that even hinting at the notion that the image of God includes the image of women as well as the image of men, as God in Genesis says it does, is dangerous to the faith? Antithetical to the faith? Heresy?

Or, too, we learned that the words of the consecration itself would soon be edited to correct the notion that Jesus came to save "all" -- as we had been taught in the past -- to the idea that Jesus came to save "many." The theological implications of changing from "all" to "many" boggles the mind. Who is it that Jesus did not come to save? (It's very simple. "Pro multis" means "For many". He never said "pro omnes", did he? Not to mention he couldn't save those who didn't want it in the first place.)

Does such a statement imply again that "only Catholics go to heaven?" And, if read like that by others, is this some kind of subtle retraction of the whole ecumenical movement? (And who's idea was this "ecumenical movement"? Weren't we supposed to convert the others? Instead of being like the others?)

Now, this week, we got the word that the pope himself, contrary to the advice and concerns of (a small fraction of) the world's bishops (including one crybaby), has restored the Tridentine Latin Rite. It is being done, the pope explains, to make reconciliation easier with conservative groups. (It was never banished to begin with. The Holy Father simply made that clear to the bishops and to the world. And there was only ONE troublesome conservative group, the SSPX, as I last recall.)

But it does not, at the same time, make reconciliation easier with women, who are now pointedly left out of the Eucharistic celebration entirely, certainly in its God-language, even in its pronouns. Nor does it seem to care about reconciliation with Jews who find themselves in the Tridentine Good Friday rite again as "blind" and objects of conversion. It's difficult not to wonder if reconciliation is really what it's all about. (And what the sam hell does the Jews have to do with the Motu Proprio?)

What's more, where, in the intervening years, bishops had to give permission for the celebration of Tridentine masses in the local diocese, the new document requires only that the rite be provided at the request of the laity. (Permission shouldn't have been needed in the first place.)

But why the concerns? If some people prefer a Latin mass to an English mass, why not have it?

The answer depends on what you think the Mass has to do with articulating the essence of the Christian faith.

The Latin Mass, for instance, in which the priest celebrates the Eucharist with his back to the people (typical liberal bull$&!+ - priest and people are in the same direction, turned to GOD), in a foreign language (Yes, Latin, still the official language of the Church) -- much of it said silently or at best whispered -- makes the congregation, the laity, observers of the rite rather than participants in it.

The celebrant becomes the focal point of the process, the special human being, the one for whom God is a kind of private preserve. (More hogwash! If anything, it is the priest facing the people that becomes the focal point - in most cases - the ones who prefer to have that "stage presence", and I've worked for my share of those yahoos!)

The symbology of a lone celebrant, removed from and independent of the congregation, is clear: ordinary people have no access to God. They are entirely dependent on a special caste of males to contact God for them. They are "not worthy," to receive the host, or as the liturgy says now, even to have Jesus "come under my roof." ("Domine, non sum dignus" has always been a part of the people's prayer. That has never changed.)

The Eucharist in such a setting is certainly not a celebration of the entire community. It is instead a priestly act, a private devotion of both priest and people, which requires for its integrity three "principal parts" alone -- the offertory, the consecration and the communion. The Liturgy of the Word -- the instruction in what it means to live a Gospel life -- is, in the Tridentine Rite, at best, a minor element. (But it's that instruction - the Liturgy of the Word, or Mass of the Catechumens - that need to grasp and live by in order to be worthy of receiving Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.)

In the Latin mass, the sense of mystery -- of mystique -- the incantation of "heavenly" rather than "vulgar" language in both prayer and music, underscores a theology of transcendence. It lifts a person out of the humdrum, the dusty, the noisy, the crowded chaos of normal life to some other world. It reminds us of the world to come -- beautiful, mystifying, hierarchical, perfumed -- and makes this one distant. It takes us beyond the present, enables us, if only for a while, to "slip the surly bonds of earth" for a world more mystical than mundane.

It privatizes the spiritual life. The Tridentine Mass is a God-and-I liturgy. (What would you rather have? That "Jesus our buddy?" theology that seems to infest liberal souls like yours, Sister?)

The (Spirit of) Vatican II liturgy, on the other hand, steeps a person in community, in social concern, in the hard, cold, clear reality of the present. The people and priest pray the Mass together, in common language, with a common theme. They interact with one another. They sing "a new church into being,' non-sexist, inclusive, centered together in the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee curing the sick, raising the dead, talking to women and inviting the Christian community to do the same. (In other words, instead of worshipping God and worshipping Jesus, the people worship themselves. Can't you tell by such insipid crap they pass as liturgical music like "Table of Plenty", "Gather Us In", and "They'll Know We Are Christians", all that sentimental garbage like "Beagle's Things", "You are Mine", and "Be Not Such a Wuss", and similar ilk? And liturgical dance, forbidden in the Latin Rite? It's just a big frickin' stage act.)

The Vatican II liturgy grapples with life from the point of view of the distance between life as we know it and life as the gospel defines it for us. It plunges itself into the sanctifying challenges of dailiness.

The Vatican II liturgy carries within it a theology of transformation. It does not seek to create on earth a bit of heaven; it does set out to remind us all of the heaven we seek. It does not attempt to transcend the present. It does seek to transform it. It creates community out of isolates in an isolating society. (Actually, when the Mass according to the 1970 Roman Missal is done right, it does do all those things. God, Jesus, Heaven, are STILL the focus. Yes, we worship as a community, but bragging about it at Mass a la "Gather Your People, O Lord" and "All Are Welcome" shifts focus the wrong way.)

There is a power and a beauty in both liturgical traditions, of course. No doubt they both need a bit of the other. Eucharist after all is meant to be both transcendent and transformative. But make no mistake: In their fundamental messages, they present us with more than two different styles of music or two different languages or two different sets of liturgical norms. They present us with two different churches. (Are you looking for an excuse to hybrid the two, e.g., Hootenanny Music at the 1962 Mass? Bad move!)

The choice between these two different liturgies bring the church to a new crossroads, one more open, more ecumenical, more communal, more earthbound than the other. The question is which one of them is more likely to create the world Jesus models and of which we dream. (Both, when done right, the way Vatican II envisioned, not in your so-called "Spirit of Vatican II"!)

There are many more questions ahead of us as a result of this new turn in the liturgical road than simply the effect of such a decree on parish architecture, seminary education, music styles, language acquisition and multiple Mass schedules.

The theological questions that lurk under the incense and are obscured by the language are far more serious than that. They're about what's really good for the church -- ecumenism or ecclesiastical ghettoism, altars and altar rails, mystique or mystery, incarnation as well as divinity, community or private spirituality? (Again, if you'd rather see the Catholic Church become Protestant, then why not BE Protestant, damn it?)

From (the intellectual outhouse) where I stand, it seems obvious that the Fathers of Vatican Council II knew the implications of the two different Eucharistic styles then and bishops around the world know it still. But their concerns have been ignored. They don't have much to do with it anymore. Now it's up to the laity to decide which church they really want -- and why. Which we choose may well determine the very nature of the church for years to come. (Are you going to cry too? It's attitudes like yours that have drawn people away from Holy Mother Church to begin with.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Somewhat similar to the "Slammies", or Carlos Mencia's "Dee-Da-Dee" awards, I would imagine.

The Universal Indult Blog has awarded it's first three Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards. "Motard" is defined by the UIB as "any Catholic who, after the publication of the Motu Proprio, refuses to acknowledge either its existence, its pragmatic necessity, or its potential for good in the Church and the salvation of many souls".

Obviously the first award went to the Most Reverend Luca Brandolini for his tears shed over the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. There, there, Bishop. You'll get over it.

The second went to Fr. Anthony Cekada (who also is recipient of Father Z's Sour Grapes Award), who concluded that the MP is:
- Invalid.
- Part of a false religion.
- Pure poison.

The third went to the infamous Fr. Tom Reese, for such blurbs such as:
If the pope issues a Motu proprio allowing the use of the Tridentine mass without the local bishop’s permission, he is basically saying that he does not trust the pastoral judgment of the bishops.

Are there any more potential recipients? If so, send them to Kopp (owner of the Universal Indult Blog) via comment under this post of his.

UPDATE 7/11/07 5:00 PM EDT: I just nominated "Sister" Joan Chittister (who gives the OSB a bad name with her blurbs).



to the Christus Vincit Definitive Blogroll

1. The blog Summorum Pontificum, titled after the most recent Motu Proprio (RSCT* to Gary at CNP).

2. The Universal Indult Blog, titled after the purpose of the most recent Motu Proprio (RSCT to Summorum Pontificum).

*Reminder: RSCT = "Red Sox Cap Tip"



I have three for you right now!

1. Gerald is doing a "primer" series on the TLM. The first of his series is up now.

2. Dymphna's Well has this video. I don't know who the priest is or where the report is from, but it's very good.

Belief & Practice Latin Mass 06 July 207 Episode no1045
Uploaded by demerzel85

I particularly like this priest's (extremely calm) explanation of ad orientem as opposed to the priest turning his back to the people. Of course, we all know the Novus Ordo can also be celebrated ad orientem.

3. CanticaNOVA's Gary Penkala also has an excellent analysis.