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The Trinitarian God created us in His own image and likeness. He desires to make himself known and to share His life with us (CCC 257, 260) so we may share in his truth, beauty and goodness (CCC 41, 319). Being in the image of God, man is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons (CCC 357) - in other words, of imitating the Trinity's life-giving love. This is our ultimate calling: to become capable of loving as God loves us, and to imitate the life-giving love which is the very nature of God, who is an eternal exchange of love within Himself. Our participation in God’s trinitarian life is made possible especially in the Church's liturgy and sacraments, whereby we partake of God's life of grace. The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace by which God's divine, trinitarian life is dispensed to us (CCC 1131). Catechism of The Catholic Church.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
From the team at the far other end of the spectrum, it is not uncommon to hear complaints that the Novus Ordo—a label usually spoken in derisive tones—is so entirely defective that nothing about it merits any support or consideration. Little does this camp appreciate—or care, probably due to the mark that decades of rampant liturgical abuse has left upon its members—that the Ordinary Form is habitually celebrated far from the actual rubric of celebration.
Both camps' efforts to pit one Form of the Mass against the other tend to make use of half truths to enlist support for their respective positions, a politicization of the Liturgy that is both unseemly and unhelpful. Typically, each group presents then derides mere caricatures of both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form, caricatures that either ignore history or favour conspiracy theories which frequently demonize the opposition. True, there are important distinctions that can and should be made which favour adjustment of the Ordinary Form. There are also good arguments for a long overdue renewal of the older form. Those arguments were made by the Fathers at the Second Vatican Council. I shall not attempt to summarize those arguments in this forum. Suffice to say, neither should one be convinced by any attempt to read into the Council documents an agenda that demands the imposition of an alien practice such as versus populum worship.
As one who was, as a recent convert some 28 years ago, fortunate enough to land in a parish that offered an Ordinary Form Mass with Latin hymns, chant, the rubrics were respected and where the older form of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was offered and the tabernacle was centrally located above the altar, I have a different experience, thanks be to God, of the Novus Ordo liturgy than many, if not most folk.
During the course of the past few decades, we have allowed a few serious distractions to enter the temple. To those informed of the unsanctioned changes by or through excellent blogs such as the NLM, Fr. Z., Rorate Cæli, and so forth, this news is far from new. In summary:
- turning the altar around so the priest faces the people—based on an erroneous interpretation of the documents of Vatican II. Said practice ignores 2000 years of ad orientem Catholic tradition embedded in architectural design and tradition shared with our christian brethren of the ancient eastern churches.
- communion in the hand—a practice based on a truncated understanding of historical practice.
- despite strong language in the documents of Vatican II that Latin is the language of the Liturgy and the Church, a loss of the Latin language.
In a day and age when the congregation gets a little too much attention at the expense of what should be our focus during the Mass, i.e., the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, an aspect of the Mass that could be brought to the fore by simply enacting a more precise rubric is the verbosely named Presentation (Preparation) of the Gifts, a.k.a., the Offertory. The Offertory procession follows another renewed practice—the Universal Prayer or Prayers of the Faithful. Having identified a community's needs and presented them explicitly, if even in a general or summary manner, it is liturgically appropriate that a dignified (well choreographed, i.e., solemn) Offertory Procession should then follow the Universal Prayer, solemn because we are humbly submitting ourselves at the altar of the sacrifice of the Lord.
29. Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people (*see footnote below), extending and then joining his hands, he says: Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. The people rise and reply: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church. 30. Then the Priest, with hands extended, says the Prayer over the Offerings, at the end of which the people acclaim: Amen.The human-priest-mediator, ordained by God to serve the Church and anointed to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, becomes a gateway through which the Holy Spirit receives our sacrifices (offerings) and unites them to Christ's unique sacrifice. Having received the gifts offered in spirit and truth, the same Spirit blesses them and changes them, at the hands of the priest upon the speaking of the words of consecration, into the Body and Blood of Christ, the One Mediator between God and man.
In the Roman Canon (Te Igitur/Eucharistic Prayer One), the priest prays:
84. The Priest, with hands extended, says: To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord: He joins his hands and says that you accept He makes the Sign of the Cross once over the bread and chalice together, saying: and blessthese gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices, With hands extended, he continues: which we offer you firstly for your holy catholic Church.
Sound like sacrifices in the plural to me, how about you?
(W)e only offer one Sacrifice of Jesus at Mass in an unbloody way, so to what is this sentence referring? Well, Msgr. James Moroney says it refers to all the sacrifices of the clergy and laity together in their lives to live lives in union with Jesus Christ's sacrifice in and through His Church as they strive to make their lives holy as married people, single, in their work, family lives and so on.
(W)hen the laity bring the offerings to the priest at the altar, they are bringing not only bread and wine and financial offerings for the Church, they are bringing their own sacrifices to the altar too, the sacrifice to be one with Christ in all they do and say in their secular lives. They are to sacrifice to bring Christ to the world and to evangelize through example if not also by word. They are bringing their sacrifices to Jesus and asking Him to lift them up also to the Father as Christ is lifted up in sacrifice to the Father at the Holy Mass, where God the Father in His love accepts His most beloved Son's sacrifice for our sins and returns our Lord to us for our salvation.
A procession forward to the priest, comprised of laity bearing the unconsecrated hosts and cruets filled with water and wine, and financial contributions, is an important aspect of the renewed Liturgy which reinforces the true and proper orientation of the Mass, especially when carried out in a deliberate and dignified manner.
The Priest, standing at the altar, takes the paten with the bread and holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands, saying in a low voice (because the prayer is directed to God, NOT the congregation):
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
The Priest then takes the chalice and holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands, saying in a low voice:
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church (Col 1:24).
The soul of the Liturgy is the Holy Spirit. The renewal of the ancient practice of an offertory procession is a beautiful reminder that the Holy Spirit guides the Church into all truth and provides for us a living Liturgy.
re GIRM 299, N.B.: there is an argument made by some, including Fr. Zuhlsdorf (formerly of the PCED) that there is a fault in the English translation, and the clause "which is desirable wherever possible. " relates to the position of the altar, and not the celebration of the Mass facing the people. Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. The relative pronoun quod is neuter, which would not refer to the feminine noun celebratio, but rather to the neuter noun altare. This is further supported by the fact that the rubrics of the Ordinary Form missal have always used the celebrant's facing ad orientem as the default, as can be seen by their inclusion of instructions for times when he is to turn and face the people.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition.—Evangelii Gaudium
253. ... We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism (see below), our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.
In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved (in interfaith dialogue), not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. 253 EG.
JOS, Nigeria -- Suspected Muslim herdsmen slaughtered 37 Christians in coordinated attacks on four Plateau state villages early this morning after Boko Haram terrorists killed at least 34 Christians in Borno state earlier this month, sources said.In attacks on the four predominantly Christian villages that started at 1 a.m. in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State in central Nigeria, ethnic Fulani herdsmen killed 37 people, injured many others and destroyed homes, the military's Special Task Force spokesman, Salisu Mustapha, said in a press statement.
The United Nations is demanding immediate support for the Central African Republic (CAR) during a very difficult period. Apparently over 450,000 people have fled their homes after the Muslim dominated Seleka took power and began persecuting Christians irrespective of the alleged government of national unity during the transitional period.
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 16, quoted by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium:
252. ... We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God's name, for our good and the good of all God's holy Church.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
A) General norms
22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I am pleased to announce that the Altar rails will be blessed tomorrow, as the gates have now been hung and the railing is complete. (Reverend) Father (John Domotor) will be assisted by two servers for the blessing and cards will be distributed so that everyone can follow the brief ceremony. (Photos have been requested.)
A houseling cloth is on order and will be installed soon, and it will be given a separate blessing.