Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Liturgical Resource Site

I found another good liturgical resource site which I'll add to the sidebar.


I was also impressed by it's Liturgy Links page:

Liturgy Links



The other night a friend of mine (about a generation ahead of me) approached me after Mass, and we started talking about Halloween. We were noting how both of us grew up with the usual Halloween things and yet are Catholics today. While I certainly understand wanting to protect children from some of the absolutely crazy things in this world, I do sometimes find some rather extreme opinions on less serious things even among Catholics. For example, say "Harry Potter" and some will say you are one step away from practicing witchcraft.

I will admit that sometimes people can go a bit too far for Halloween in terms of decorating their house or dressing their daughters up like ..., anyway ...

I was told of a good post on the topic of Halloween among Catholics by Ma Beck. I found it rather balanced, and it does give an interesting perspective to celebrating Halloween. Ceremonial bow to Father Erik at Orthometer for pointing out the article.

Obligatory Hallowe'en Post

I prefer a good All Saint's party myself. I've seen some pretty good Saint costumes in previous years. Still, Ma Beck's post makes sense.

Roman Sacristan's cameo in the movie "Scream"
(which ended up being a deleted scene)

Whatever you do, don't answer the phone!



Update on Bloggers Choice Awards

OK, I just got the info from someone at the Bloggers Choice Awards themselves, when I asked about what was going on with everything appearing to be reset.
Thanks for reaching out to us. I am sorry for any confusion. The voting for 2007 has ended and the voting for 2008 has begun.
The winners will be revealed at PostieCon during a special BCA VIP Party at Tao Las Vegas on Nov. 10.
I hope this helps!
Happy Voting!


So, I guess start voting for me early!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Please vote again.

Is this logo from Blogger's Choice Awards a true picture of cheaters running away with the trophy?

I don't know what is going on over at the Blogger's Choice Awards. It looks like the entire thing has been reset. Hardly any blogs have votes now, and when I logged in, it said my account had not voted for anything. I know they have had some problems with cheating in the past, but if they are having to do this, I am starting to take this contest much less seriously. Anyway, if you wouldn't mind, please vote for me ... again. This time it is OK to do so. You have to have an account, but if you've signed up before, then your account should still exist. Otherwise, it is free and easy to create an account. (And vote for the blogs in my sidebar as well).

Roman Sacristan page on Blogger's Choice Awards


Friday, October 26, 2007

All Soul's Plenary Indulgence

As a reminder, next week is the Commemoration of All Souls. In order to give this to you a bit earlier than last year, the link below has the requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence (most appropriately for a soul in Purgatory) on All Souls Day. This will help you to get to Confession this Saturday (when most parishes have their Confessions) instead of putting it off until the last minute.
An even better idea would be to encourage your pastor or priest to make extra time for Confessions and to encourage this act. It's not merely a "devotion." If we truly care for our brethren in Purgatory, we should make an effort to help them in any way we can, and other than Mass, this is one of the best ways to help them obtain eternal rest. Feel free to copy the info from the link below.

Plenary Indulgence on All Souls


30th Sunday Per Annum - Comparison of Prayers

"The Pharisee and the Publican" by Gustave Dore

30th Sunday Per Annum (Ordinary Time)

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, da nobis fídei, spei et caritátis augméntum, et, ut mereámur ássequi quod promíttis, fac nos amáre quod praécipis.
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 and ever-living God, strengthen our faith, hope, and love. May we do with loving hearts what you ask of us and come to share the life you promise.
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. Almighty and Eternal God, give to us an increase in faith, hope, and charity, and, so that we may merit to attain that which You promise, make us to love that which You command.
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
Réspice, quaésumus, Dómine, múnera quæ tuæ offérimus maiestáti, ut, quod nostro servítio géritur, ad tuam glóriam pótius dirigátur.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord God of power and might, receive the gifts we offer and let our service give you glory.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Look upon these gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, which we offer to Your Majesty, so that, That Which is brought forth by our service, may above all be directed to Your Glory.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Perfíciant in nobis, Dómine, quaésumus, tua sacraménta quod cóntinent, ut, quæ nunc spécie gérimus, rerum veritáte capiámus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord, bring to perfection within us the communion we share in this sacrament. May our celebration have an effect in our lives.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O Lord, we beseech You, may Your Sacraments perfect in us that which They contain, so that, we may truly grasp the things, which we now bring about in outward signs.
Through Christ our Lord.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Updated sidebar

I have been updating the sidebar. I have added some new blogs, some new sites, some sections for resources on both the ordinary form and the extra-ordinary form of Mass, as well as some Eastern rite Catholic religious Orders in the Men's Religious section.


Oh no! You'll have to go to Mass 2 days in a row!

As I was looking ahead at some preparations for work, I noticed that one of the few exceptions to my rule on whether you have to go to Mass will occur this year. I believe this will only be the case in the United States (or any other area where the Immaculate Conception is the patron of the region).

Sadly, as many of you know, with the liturgical reforms following Vatican II, options were allowed for local bishops' conferences to adapt some laws regarding holy days of obligation. Thus, I think all of the bishops' conferences in the English speaking world have now removed the obligation if the holy day of obligation falls on a Saturday or a Monday. Personally, I don't think this really benefits the faithful, but for whatever reason, the bishops allow it.

So, in general the rule goes: "you have to go to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, but you never have to go to Mass two days in a row."

In the U.S.A. the only exceptions are Christmas and the feast of the Immaculate Conception, because Mary, under that title, is the patroness of the United States. The obligation for these is NEVER removed.

This year, the feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on a Saturday, and the obligation is NOT abrogated. This will be a bit confusing nowadays, because so many people regularly fulfill their Sunday obligation by going to the Sunday vigil Mass on Saturday (a quasi-liturgical abuse in my opinion, but that is for a different post). So, basically this will be like having two Sundays in a row, and you have the awkward confusion of what happens Saturday evening: is it still the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, or is it now the vigil of Sunday? Will priests have Saturday evening Mass of the Immaculate Conception, or will they have the Sunday Vigil Mass; another way of putting it: which day "trumps" the other? Technically a Solemnity trumps even Sunday. BUT a Sunday of Advent is a bit more "important" than a regular Sunday and I think it would even "bump" the Immaculate Conception if it fell on a Sunday in Advent (which I think happened back in 2002). So, it is just absolutely confusing. Even on a different topic, do you say Evening Prayer II of the Immaculate Conception, or do you pray Evening Prayer I of the 2nd Sunday of Advent? Usually the only way to find out is to get a hold of an ordo and see what it says. Unfortunately, I have not yet gotten our ordo for the new liturgical year (which begins with the beginning of Advent, December 2nd this year).

Off the top of my head I would say that the 2nd Sunday of Advent liturgically "trumps" the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. (Just wait until Lent and Easter of 2008 when the early date of Easter bumps all sorts of things around: Saint Joseph gets "bumped" to the Saturday before Palm Sunday and the Annunciation gets "bumped" to the Monday after Easter Week).

Pastorally, I would say the safest thing would be to keep the usual Sunday (and Sunday Vigil) Masses the same. The problem is that often "pastoral" is used as an excuse to do something incorrectly. Rather than catechize or educate the faithful, pastors will be "pastoral" and just adapt something to what the uneducated faithful would think or do.

And just to throw out a quick rant: I think this is why the faithful are so ignorant and apathetic, because everything is made so easy for us that nowadays we Catholics really only have to make a minuscule effort to practice our faith. We really only think that we have to go to Mass on Sundays and (not even all of the) holy days of obligations and go to Communion once a year (and how many of the faithful even know this?). (Yes, I know there is much more to living the faith, but I just wonder how many "practicing" Catholics' only act of religion is going to Mass weekly and on Christmas and Easter.)

Many Catholics' reaction upon hearing they have to go to Mass on a day other than Sunday

Anyway, just giving you a heads up. You have been warned. LOL.


Friday, October 19, 2007

29th Sunday Per Annum - Comparison of Prayers

OK, so let's see if I can get these going again. I don't think I had any major changes this week from last year.

As always, you can do a search on this blog for "comparison of prayers" and find any comparison of prayers I've done since the beginning of the blog.

"Victory, O Lord" by John Everett Millais
(Israelites defeating Amelek)

29th Sunday "Per Annum" (Ordinary Time)

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, fac nos tibi semper et devótam gérere voluntátem, et maiestáti tuæ sincéro corde servíre.
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 and ever-living God, our source of power and inspiration, give us strength and joy in serving you as followers of Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Almighty and Eternal God, make us to bear a will always devoted to You, and to serve Your Majesty with a sincere heart.
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
Tríbue nos, Dómine, quaésumus, donis tuis líbera mente servíre, ut, tua purificánte nos grátia, iísdem quibus famulámur mystériis emundémur.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord God, may the gifts we offer bring us your love and forgiveness and give us freedom to serve you with our lives.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Grant us by Your gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, to serve You with free minds, so that, purifying us by Your grace, we may be cleansed by these same Mysteries by Which we serve You.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Fac nos, quaésumus, Dómine, cæléstium rerum frequentatióne profícere, ut et temporálibus benefíciis adiuvémur, et erudiámur ætérnis.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord, may this eucharist help us to remain faithful. May it teach us the way to eternal life.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Make us, we beseech You, O Lord, to advance by the frequent use of these Heavenly Things, so that we may both be supported by temporal goods and be perfected by Eternal Ones.
Through Christ our Lord.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Confirmations went well.

Confirmations went well. The bishop seems like a good man, although I really only got a brief chance to be introduced to him. (At least he didn't freak out when I kissed his ring, and he didn't get annoyed I called him "your excellency," so those are good signs.) I didn't really get to talk with him at any length because I was trying to take care of last minute altar boy organization. (I apologize to any altar boys who didn't get to serve, but Father wanted to keep the servers to a minimum so we could focus on the bishop.)

Overall things went pretty smoothly. I do regret that I was not able to get plans solidified earlier so that getting the deacon and servers prepared wasn't a last minute thing. Still, they all did a good job and any mistakes were not very noticable. Being a Master of Ceremonies is a challenge, especially when you have deacons and priests and bishops (oh my!). Still, just a bit more training and I think things would have been done with exsquisite precision and impressive ceremony (well, to try and impress God I mean).

But it went well, we got the candidates Confirmed and had Mass. Thank you for all your prayers. They certainly helped on that front. Now to try and take care of the bigger situations I am facing.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


9/11 was a very surreal event for me. I was a novice Benedictine monk in Norcia, Italy. For me, the attacks happened in the afternoon. When I first heard the story from a friend, I thought he was just making up some joke. But he wasn't kidding. It was very sobering yet very upsetting. Since all of us in the monastery were from the U.S.A. we were all in a flurry of trying to find out more, wondering what was going on, and generally freaking out. Our Prior noticed this and sat us down in an impromptu chapter meeting, and very simply said one thing. He told us that a monk is not to panic when things get crazy, especially in situations like this where no amount of running around and gathering information will do any good. A monk is to just go to the foot of the Cross and remain there with our Lord. We left the impromptu chapter meeting rather sobered. He was exactly right.

Although I never went on to take vows, I am now a Benedictine novice oblate, and I have just remembered those words. The hard part is that it is much easier said than done. Although I can remember the words, when those times come it is very hard to just go to the foot of the Cross and remain there with our Lord. Yet how much solace that can give Him, to see us come to Him and willingly suffer with Him.

It seems right now is bordering on one of those times. Although I myself am not having the problem, a situation has arisen which has caused me to be in a flurry to find out more, wondering what is going on, and generally freaking out. There still may be a chance that I can help the situation, but it seems like it is becoming either more delicate or, without despairing, that the odds of a positive resolution are worse than I first thought. Spiritual battle can be very tough. The hard part is to see and accept that it is the Cross that actually gives me strength.

Another time, my Prior said something to me that I have found to be so true. He said, "there is no growth without suffering." Looking back over my life, I have found that to be so true. Maybe the suffering has been due to my own decisions, or maybe it has been because of others, but it is often in those times that I learned the most and gained wisdom. I hope that I am currently growing because this situation is causing me a great deal of internal suffering. In some sense, I guess all I can do right now is go to the foot of the Cross and remain there with our Lord.


Preparing for Confirmations

Confirmations are almost here and the new bishop is coming. I really want us to put our best foot forward and do all the ceremony attached to having a bishop at Mass, so we can give the bishop the respect his office deserves and also to show him that we care about doing liturgy right. As usual, the coordination of trying to get all the info I need and to get the people involved trained so they know what they are doing is probably going to end up being done at the last minute which always drives me absolutely nuts!

Oh how I need the Holy Spirit's help.

"Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and endkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth."

EDIT - no, this post has nothing to do with the post above. Completely differnt situation.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Power of Intercessory Prayer


I would just like to say a thanks to all the readers who have included me in their prayers. I know that some of the difficulties I have had to face lately have been made more possible to deal with through your help.

I continue to ask for prayers as another big situation has popped up in my life. It's something I don't feel very prepared to deal with, so I am going to need quite a bit of Divine help.

So, thanks again for your prayers and please keep them up. When I pray for all my family and friends, I include my readers as well in that.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yet another book.

My reading list is a mess. I have an odd reading habit of reading about 5 or 6 books at once. This usually means it takes me forever to read a book all the way through.

Anyway, I just started reading a rather interesting book mentioned at least a few times over at The New Liturgical Movement. The book was written in 2003 and is available in pdf format courtesy of Church Music Association of America at the following link:

The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform by Laszlo Dobszay.

I've gotten through the first three chapters (about 45 pages) and it is pretty interesting. From the title you can see that he analyzes the reform of the liturgy following Vatican II. It is a very honest critique, and he doesn't hold back any punches. However, I really like his approach to the book, and I think it gives a proper outlook to the liturgy:
"The critical approach to the "Bugnini Liturgy" presented here reflects neither disobedience toward higher authority nor a practical opposition to liturgical regulations. In everyday life, I am ready to accomodate myself to the currently valid liturgical prescriptions even though as an expert dealing with the liturgy, I consider them wrong or unsuccessful in many respects. Thus, my remarks are made in a spirit of service and not of contestation."

Dobszay's approach appears to be exactly the same attitude that Cardinal Ratzinger has in "Spirit of the Liturgy" ie an honest critique of the liturgy yet remaining faithful to the current liturgical laws. (It shouldn't be any suprise that he dedicated the book to Cardinal Ratzinger.)

Dobszay also uses the same "hermenutic of continuity" as Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI when examining the current liturgy, looking at the new Mass not just vis-a-vis the Tridentine reform, but with the whole liturgical tradition of the Roman rite. And he is not scared to note that even in the Tridentine reform some things were not done in an ideal way.

It's a good and suprisingly engrossing read so far, and I hope to finish it. Supposedly it is going to be republished in book form soon. I'd really like to buy a copy when that happens.

UPDATE - The book is now available from CMAA at this site (at the bottom of the page):

Catholic Music Association of America Books


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Shooting the Spirit of Vatican 2 with a shotgun.

Ha, ha, ha!

Ha, ha. Got the priest's panties in a wad over at the Spirit of Vatican 2 blog with my post on Saint Francis. They hate it when those of us who are more traditional are able to reclaim our Saints and our heritage! ROTFLOL!

The "motivational poster" of Saint Francis was made by Hummerbrecher at the now defunct anathema-sit blog, and lovingly preserved by the Catholic Caveman.

Yours truly has been "banned" by the Spirit of Vatican 2 blog for awhile now, so I'd say I'm not doing too bad!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Fr. Z. on Pope Saint Gregory on Pastors

Picture above the altar of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in the Basilica of Saint Peter, Rome, Italy

I've never really gotten into podcasts, probably because I have rarely enjoyed talk radio. However, I have started listening to Fr. Z's "PODCAzTs" and have found them to be very informative. This particular "PODCAzT" was extremely good. He starts with Pope Saint Gregory the Great talking about what qualities a pastor should have, especially focusing on bishops. However, Fr. Z points out that this can also apply to any man in a role of pastor, be they bishops, priests, or even the father of a family.

Gregory the Great on when pastors should SPEAK UP; priests and getting your way; voicemail feedback.

I always highly recommend Fr. Z's blog, but this is one post that stands out IMHO.


Friday, October 05, 2007

A Voice For My Generation

Wow! Talk about serendipty. I have known about Father Phillip Powell,OP's blog, and have always thought his homilies were good when I read them, but I happened to be looking at another blog that I had never heard of (thanks, Cathy_of_Alex!)and she had a link to this homily by Father Phillip:

Kids These Days: What they don't want from the Church

What he said articulated so well what my generation (I'm almost 35 years old) and apparently the current generation have felt all our lives, especially in relation to the Church ... or I should say many older members of the Church (the Church Herself has never preached the false teachings we've often been fed, just some of Her members).

Anyway, the post is a must read! It is what gives me hope when I see stupid articles like the one from the dinosaur Father Richard McBrien:

Pay no attention to the Pope

Guess, what Father McBrien? We know you are full of crap, and hardly anyone takes you seriously anymore!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Saint Francis of Assisi was NOT a hippie!

I wanted to post something original this year, but, alas, work has crept up on me, and I need to get some things done. So, I'll just link to my post from last year. Seriously, do read the actual writings of Saint Francis, especially the letters mentioned in the post linked to here:

Saint Francis Was Not Politically Correct

Maybe I can get something better written later.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Happy Transitus of Saint Francis

Today, October 3rd, is the celebration of the Transitus of Saint Francis. It may seem odd that we celebrate his feast day on October 4th, but this is because Saint Francis died after sundown on October 3rd, which in medieval times was the beginning of the next day. (The same logic applies to how we have vigils for Solemnities and Sundays)

Here's some pictures from my recent trip to Assisi a few weeks ago.

(As always, you can click on the pictures to get a better view)

Saint Francis died in the valley below Assisi, just outside the little chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels). Actually, now, there is a huge basilica built around the chapel.

This picture couldn't have been planned, right when I got off the bus and was taking this picture, a Franciscan Friar was walking in the perfect place.

The original chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli is inside the basilica under the dome.

Even the inside of the chapel has a rugged beauty to it.

Saint Francis himself said "Our Lady and the Angels frequent this place." Hence the message on the floor at the entrance of the little chapel.


Just behind the chapel and to the right is the little infirmary area where Saint Francis actually died. There is now a chapel inside the infirmary at the place where Saint Francis died.

"Qui mori S. Francesco 3 Ottobre 1226"
("Here Saint Francis died October 3rd, 1226")

On the outside of the infirmary is a beautiful painting of the death of Saint Francis called "The Transitus" by Domenico Bruschi.

I know the post is almost exactly the same as last year's, but I wanted to share some of the pictures I just took over there. I think they came out rather well given the lack of lighting. So, hope you enjoy them.

Sancte Francisce, ora pro nobis.


Prayer request for dadwithnoisykids and his family

Please pray for dadwithnoisykids and his family. This family is amazing not only in their openness to life, but also in their courage and faith in the midst of difficult times.

Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, pray for us.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

Tomb of Saint Catherine of Siena at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy.
(click picture to embiggen)


So, what's the point of this blog?

Vigil Mass of the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, September 13th, 2007, in Rome. Cardinal Bertone is the main celebrant, here during the Consecration (along with the relics of the True Cross on the altar)
(click picture to embiggen)

Over at The New Liturgical Movement, there have been some comments saying that with the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" the "reform of the reform" movement has become ignored and that everyone is focusing only on the extra-ordinary form of Mass now.

This got me to thinking a bit about that statement, and where myself and my own blog fit into that. In this blog's very first post, I said that I wanted to use this blog to share whatever liturgical knowledge I had. It was only after starting and seeing some of the excellent liturgical blogs out there (like The New Liturgical Movement and Fr. Z's What Does the Prayer Really Say) that I realized I had a lot to learn. However, having visted many monasteries and religious houses, having worked as a sacristan at a basilica in Italy and a few parishes here in the States, some of that experience, and the great wealth of information I have learned from studying liturgy over the years have begun to come together. A lot of what has been needed is a liturgical perspective that I first and foremost credit to Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. With his writings and especially with "Summorum Pontificum" it is as though he has opened a floodgate of liturgical discussion which I believe is beginning to produce great fruit. While I don't necessarily expect a major liturgical reform in my lifetime, I do think he has begun to lay the foundation for a true renewal of liturgical understanding, mostly from his hermenutic of continuity: of looking at the whole of the Church's Tradition.

One of the bad fruits of the "spirit of Vatican II," was that there was a mental rupture from the Church's Tradition in many of the faithful. I say mental rupture because there was not a doctrinal rupture on the Church's part, just an attitude amongst the faithful (even some leaders in the Church) where suddenly Vatican II was seen as a point at which anything before Vatican II is now obsolete, and only Vatican II and anything after that pertains to the Church in the modern world. What Pope Benedict has helped me to do is to break me of that mindset and to look at the whole of the Church's Tradition, and I don't just mean the Roman Church, I mean the entire Church, the Roman Rite, the Western Rites, the Eastern Rites and other Catholics around the world and throughout history.

So, where does this blog fit into all that? I don't think I'll ever be able to nail that down. But getting back to the initial question of the "reform of the reform" vis-a-vis the extra-ordinary form of the Mass that has been placed back on an equal standing with the ordinary form by "Summorum Pontificum," I can say that the motu proprio has actually put more "pressure" on the ordinary form to get it's act together. I don't mean that the Novus Ordo is to be changed to be more like the extra-ordinary form. That's something for the Church to do with an organized reform of the liturgy. "Vigilante liturgical reform" is not the answer to the problems in the Novus Ordo Mass. What I mean is to get the Novus Ordo back on track and to start getting it said as it is supposed to be said. We'll worry about actually reforming the ordinary use later. First we need to just get it said by the books.

I work in a normal diocesan parish, so the extra-ordinary form is something that may be able to be done on occasion, but since it is a parish, the ordinary form is what will be done the majority of the time. That's completely to be expected. "Summorum Pontificum" is not calling for the "Novus Ordo" to become the "Tridentine" or for the "Tridentine" to take over the "Novus Ordo. That's not what the Pope said at all. He merely made the "Tridentine" an easily accessable option for those who prefer it. In a typical parish, the ordinary form is still what will be celebrated as the norm. But hopefully the understanding that the "Tridentine" has to be said with such accuracy will influence those involved with the "Novus Ordo" to carry it out with the same accuracy according to its own instructions, rubrics, and ritual.

Thus, I would say that that is one of the goals of this blog: To help foster an understanding of the instructions, rubrics, and ritual of the Novus Ordo Mass ... even if I personally prefer the extra-ordinary ("Tridentine") form of the Mass. I do this because the extra-ordinary form of the Mass is not what has the problems. Those who want it respect it and say it as it is supposed to be said. The problem is in the chaos of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, all sorts of things were introduced, especially a mindset that you can add anything to the Mass. I think this mindset is the first and greatest difficulty to get over. I have seen this in many, many priests formed after Vatican II, and I would say that even I have fallen into it myself in the past. Although I was always against goofy "liberal" changes, I had no problems with pius or reverent changes. But changes are changes. The Chruch gives instructions for each use and rite, and those are to be followed, not just because it is the law, but because it shows a unity with and obedience to the Church and a unity with that particular Tradition.

One of my first goals is that I would like to go through the 2002 General Instruction on the Roman Missal. The first time I read it, I was absolutely amazed that the Church actually gave such specific instructions on how the Novus Ordo Mass is supposed to be done. That document was what sort of woke me up to the fact that you can't just do whatever you want, you have to actually follow the books (suddenly Canon #846 Pt 1 made sense). Then I got ahold of the "Ceremonial of Bishops" and was amazed to see even more detailed instructions on the Mass. I suddenly saw that there is no real need for "creativity" (which is the same "creativity" that the Pope condemns in his accompanying letter to "Summorum Pontificum") because the actions of the modern liturgy are already laid out for the priest. Sure there might be a few more "options" in the Novus Ordo, but even those are specifically mentioned as options only for this or that particular part or situation in the Mass.

So, on your litany of things for which to pray for me, include that I can learn and understand better the liturgical understanding of not only the "Novus Ordo" and the "Tridentine" but also the bigger picture of the Church's liturical theology. I feel that this will be a difficult process, but one which will bear much fruit in the future.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I am a Benedictine Novice Lay Oblate.

Basilica (and Monastery) di San Benedetteo, Norcia, Italy

In all the chaos after getting back from my pilgrimage from Rome (exhaustion, allergies, doctors' appointments, procedures, work, etc.) I realized I forgot to mention that I became a Benedictine Novice Lay Oblate attached to the Monastery of Saint Benedict in Norcia, Italy (the brithplace of Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica).

(I know what you may be thinking, "how can you forget about becoming an oblate?" Well, I didn't, I have been very excited about it, but it's just been THAT busy.)

A lay oblate is sort of like a "third order" Benedictine. It is a layman who promises to live his life in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and I am obligated to say at least one of the canonical hours of the Divine Office each day. I chose this monastery because I used to be a novice monk there. Although after a year of discernment I realized that God was not calling me there, I do still love the Rule of Saint Benedict (I did my undergrad thesis on the Rule) and am still close with the community in Norcia.

The benefits are being able to participate in the spiritual merits of the monks and to be united to their community in a spiritual way. I pray that next year I can return to become a regular lay oblate which allows one to enter more fully into that oblation (with a promise of oblation that is renewed each year).

So, pray for my perseverance in this as well.


I'm back from the procedure.

Just a quick update. I am back from the procedure. The gastrointerologist found three areas in my colon that contain diverticula. In fact, last night, one of those areas flared up a bit. At least it gave him a definite place to look at when I told him about it this morning.

I am starting to see why they say to eat plenty of fiber and to avoid high amounts of saturated fats and sugars. Of course this is usually only learned the hard way, right?

Anyway, I think there may be some things they can do to fix the problem areas, I just hope it isn't anything drastic (I'm rather attached to my organs!) So, please keep that in your ever growing list of things to pray for the Roman Sacristan. (At least I am giving people a chance to do some spiritual works of mercy, right?)

I think the immediate worse part is that I am super hungry (having had to be "cleaned out" for the procedure) but with this flare-up, I have to be careful not to eat anything that could aggravate the sore area. (I think there is a line in the Rule of Saint Benedict that says a monk is "to love fasting.")


Asking for more prayers.

Well, please pray for me. Today I go in to have a procedure done so they can see what might be causing and what can be done to prevent the diverticulitis attacks I have been having over the last couple of years. Given I'm only 34, my gastrointerologist was concerned I had already had 3 attacks in only 2 years.

So, hopefully, they can find out what is going on, and that it will be something that is not going to require any drastic measures. I'll post any updates.