Thursday, September 27, 2007

Old Form of Mass in our Current Context

Fr. Z. has an excellent post pointing out how we should approach things regarding the older form of Mass in the context of our current juridical laws. This is a must read!

Summorum Pontificum does not create an ecclesiastical Jurassic Park

We must remember that not all things pertaining to Mass are contained in the ritual itself. Canon law, liturgical law, and even some local law (ie liturgical instructions for certain regions or countries) also have a part in how things in the liturgy are carried out.

I especially wish to point out Canon #846 of the current Code of Canon Law:
Canon #846 - 1. The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them.

This is something Pope Benedict specifically addressed in his accompanying letter to "Summorum Pontificum", the problem of bishops, priests, and laity not following the liturgical instructions of the "Novus Ordo" and being "creative" with the liturgy.
"This [desire for the older form of Mass] occurred above all [my emphasis] because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear."
-Letter from Pope to bishops on "Summorum Pontificum"

Unfortunately this "creativity" has given rise to the mindset in many priests formed since Vatican II, whether they be of liberal or conservative bent, that they can make any changes they want to the "Novus Ordo." While making changes might be the status quo or what is done in practice, this is NOT the mind of the Church.

Really, the only thing "Summorum Pontificum" did was to allow the older form of Mass to be said without special permission. It puts it on equal ground with the newer form of Mass. It did NOT call for a hybridization of the Masses. Ritual and rubrics from the old use cannot be inserted into the new use and vice-versa. I believe the Pope's intent is that by having these two forms side by side, it will lead to a better understanding of each use in and of itself, and eventually lead to a fruitful and organic reform of the liturgy in the future.

However, we must also see that both forms of the Mass must also conform to the current universal liturgical and canonical laws. The former 1917 Code of Canon Law was abrogated (see Canon #6 - 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law) thus the older form will have to be looked at in light of the current Code of Canon Law. However, this is exactly one of the responsibilities of the Ecclesia Dei commision as set forth in "Summorum Pontificum". So let's learn a lesson from the chaos after Vatican II and "festina lente" when dealing with either form of the Mass. I'm enthusiastic about the older form too, but let's do liturgical reform right this time instead of hastily.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Catching up.

Sorry for not posting much.

First I wanted to say that I visited many Saints' relics or tombs and prayed for all my family and friends (which includes the readers of this blog). I also am having a Mass offered at the tomb of Saint Francis for all my family and friends.

I am not sure if this is a comprehensive list, but it's as many as I can think of that I visited and prayed at (or as near as possible):
Relics of the Passion (true Cross, nail of the Passion, part of the INRI sign above Christ's head)
Saint Peter
Saint Paul
Saint Francis of Assisi
Saint Clare of Assisi
San Rufino of Assisi
Saint Vittorino of Assisi
San Spes
(finger of) Saint Thomas the Apostle
Pope Saint Pius V
Saint Jerome
Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Pope Saint Leo the Great
Saint Prisca
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Francis Xavier
Saint Agnes
Saint Catherine of Siena
Blessed Innocent XI
Pope Saint Boniface IV
Pope Saint Leo IX
Pope Saint Pius X
Saint John Chrysostom
Saint Gregory of Nazianzen
Blessed John XXIII
Saint Josaphat
Pope Saint Clement I
San Giovanni da Triora
Saint John and Saint Paul (mentioned in the Roman Canon)
Saint Saturninus
Saint Paul of the Cross
the Martyrs of Scillium
Saint Alesseo (Alexis)
San Carlo da Sezze
Saint Alexander, martyr (I don't know which one, whoever is buried under the altar at Sant'Anselmo),
and I also prayed at the prison where Saint Joseph of Cupertino was held when they thought he was possessed.
I also probably was near many other Saints whom I might not have even known were in proximity of me at various places.

Unfortunately, blogging will probably be light for a while for two reasons:

1) I realized in Rome how much time I waste on the internet, so I am trying to avoid it more.

but more importantly:
2) Upon getting home, several real life situations have come crashing in upon me, so I will need to get those things straightened out first. So I ask for your prayers on those.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ciao da Texas (Howdy from Texas)

Well, I made it back. The pilgrimage was great! Just a quick post, since I have to hit the ground running and get things ready for the Sunday liturgy at the parish.

Here's a video of the song that basically became my theme song over there. I saw it a few times on the TV in the hotel, I even heard it on the radio on the bus to Norcia, and the day we left, it was on at the cappucino bar at the airport. So, it's a simple little goofy song, but one that gets stuck in your head. It's apparently popular over there too.

Actually the video can sort of symbolize travelling to Italy. Things may seem really strange and different over there, and you can try to run away from the culture, but once you just accept that they do things differently and adapt to their way of doing things, you'll have a lot more fun.

Old Man River's "La"


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ciao da Norcia

Quick update while I have the chance.
Made it up to Norcia (English name is "Nursia", where Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica were born). The city and countryside are quite beautiful and a welcome change to the humidity and hectic city life in Rome.

Tomorrow I hope to make it to Assisi. Pray it doesn't rain. Not only would I like to get pictures, but walking all over Assisi would be quite miserable if I had to deal with rain the whole time, especially considering I forgot my umbrella.

Things have been going well. Just keep me in your prayers for safe travel to Assisi, back to Rome, and then back to the States. Starting to realize that my time here is winding down, so I have been very motivated to see as much as possible of late. When you have to fly over 8 hours just to get here, you want to make the most of it.

Anyway, I hope to have tons of pictures, although many will be the same pictures with various shutter speed settings. As I have learned my camera more, I am (hopefully) getting better quality pictures in low light situations. We'll see.

So, please keep me in your prayers and I'll pray for the readers of this blog at my places of pilgrimage.

Ciao for now.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ciao da Roma!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I did make it to Rome. Began feeling much better Saturday evening. The flight to Rome was rather uncomfortable. Being 6 ft 3 in is not a bonus when flying coach internationally.

Rome is very hot. Well, not hot, but humid. The mornings and evenings are nice, but when the sun is out, it gets kind of sticky. I forget that even thought it is much hotter in Texas, it is a dryer heat and we have air conditioning EVERYWHERE. Summers in Texas are just spent moving from one air conditioned place to another. The hotel has air conditioning (Deo gratias!), but not much else does. San Pietro is hot!

Well, I dont want to stay too long. Italian keyboards are different so ignore any strange characters in the type of this post. Internet costs about 15 USD per hour here at the hotel, and I think (hope) the guy let me on for free just quickly.

Anyway, I am enjoying it, even if I am a sweaty mess by the end of the day. Thankfully I have easy access to frizzante (carbonated) bottled water, although I think I will be spending most of my money on it this trip.

Ciao for now!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Say a prayer for me.

I think the "grappin" (Saint John Marie Vianney's nickname for the devil ... sort of something like calling him "ol' stinky") is trying to mess up my plans to go to Rome. Yesterday, I was struck with a diverticulitus attack. It usually isn't anything serious, but it is just really painful and lays you out for a few days.

So, now I am losing a few days of preparation, and still worry that if I am not feeling well, I can't go. However, today I feel a little better, and I went to the doctor and got the antibotics to clear up the bacterial infection which is causing it.

On a brighter note, I did fix the video link in this post:

OK, maybe my commute isn't so bad.



The word used by the Church does not have the connotation of something being "better" if it is extraordinary as it does in English. Extra-ordinary means that is not the ordinary, it is something other than the norm.

In the case of extra-ordinary Eucharistic ministers, they are not the norm and should only be used when necessary. The ordinary Eucharistic minsters are the bishop, priest, and deacon. However, if it is necessary (and unfortunately convenience is often confused with necessity), laymen who have been trained properly may also distribute Holy Communion, or take Viaticum to the sick.

It is similar with the Mass. Ordinarily the more recent form (the "Novus Ordo") is what you will find in most parishes of the Latin rite. However, there is also the older form of Mass (the "Tridentine") that may also be said. It is an extra-ordinary form, in that it is not what you will find in most parishes, however, out of necessity, ie people asking for the older form or priests wishing to say the older form (as long as it is not to the exclusion of the Novus Ordo), it can be done, and in the pastoral mind of the Church, it should be provided for those who wish to have that form of Mass.

When I say "to the exclusion of the Novus Ordo" what I mean is, that if there is a priest in a parish, and he prefers the "Tridentine," he cannot just change all the Masses to Tridentine if there are some faithful in the parish who desire the "Novus Ordo." This goes both ways as I'll point out below.

There seems to be a difference, but both in the case of the Eucharistic ministers and the Mass, the use of the extra-ordinary form is based on whether it is needed or not. If nobody asks for the Tridentine, then it is not needed to be done. However, as I stated before, if the faithful do request the older form or if priests wish to say the older form, then that is considered a necessity in the mind of the Church, and every effort should be made to accomodate that.

The pastoral mind of the Church goes both ways. If people don't want to be forced to go to a "Tridentine" Mass when they prefer the "Novus Ordo," then those who prefer the "Tridentine" should not be forced to go to "Novus Ordo" Masses.

Labor day, guns, and ping-pong

Had an awesome time at The Engineer's house on Labor Day. Dadwithnoisykids and his family was there too. We fired pellet guns again, this time hunting terrorists from the most wanted list:

(Not bad considering they were 25 yards away)

We also had to fight off some communists too:
(I apologize for the graphic nature of these pictures, however, these were instant kills.)

Too bad I don't have a picture of our full "arsenal"

Now, I am more of a tennis guy myself, but that helped a lot because The Engineer and his boys had a ping-pong table. He is a pretty good player, and although he beat me, I felt I held my own given I haven't played ping-pong in quite awhile.

So, I think he would enjoy some of these:

Even if they're just goofing around, this is pretty impressive. Talk about the angles (yes, from extreme angles all the way around to 360 degrees ... just watch)

A top 10 ping pong rallies
(It's funny how in some they are hitting the ball as a regular tennis player would. They almost look like giants playing a regular sized court)
(The song in the video is
"The Kids Aren't Allright" by The Offspring, <--- (lyrics) if the lyrics are not appropriate for some viewers you can turn down the sound on the youtube video. No really bad words, but rather sobering topics. Still, the ping-pong rallies are definitely worth seeing)

And of course, the obligatory "Matrix Ping-Pong"


Saturday, September 01, 2007

22nd Sunday Per Annum - Comparison of Prayers

Sorry, I'm a day late and about 350 dollars shorter (my alternator in my truck had to be replaced yesterday).

Comparison of Prayers - 22nd Sunday "Per Annum" (Ordinary Time)

I think I had a few tweaks this year.

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Deus virtútum, cuius est totum quod est óptimum, ínsere pectóribus nostris tui nóminis amórem, et præsta, ut in nobis, religiónis augménto, quæ sunt bona nútrias, ac, vigilánti stúdio, quæ sunt nutríta custódias.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Almighty God, every good thing comes from you. Fill our hearts with love for you, increase our faith, and by your constant care protect the good you have given us.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O God of virtues, everything which is perfect is Yours, sow in our hearts the love of Your Name, and grant, that by an increasing of religious observance, You may foster in us all that is good, and also, by a watchful zeal, may You preserve all which has been fostered in us.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Benedictiónem nobis, Dómine, cónferat salutárem sacra semper oblátio, ut, quod agit mystério, virtúte perfíciat.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, may this holy offering bring us your blessing and accomplish within us its promise of salvation.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
O Lord, may this holy oblation always bestow upon us Your saving blessing, so that, that which is brought about by this mystery, may be perfected by Your power.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Pane mensæ cæléstis refécti, te, Dómine, deprecámur, ut hoc nutriméntum caritátis corda nostra confírmet, quátenus ad tibi ministándum in frátribus excitémur.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord, you renew us at your table with the bread of life. May this food strengthen us in love and help us to serve you in each other.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Having been renewed by the Bread of the heavenly table, we beg You, O Lord, that this nourishment of charity may strengthen our hearts, in order that we may be inspired to minister to You in our brethren.
Through Christ our Lord.