Category Archives: Mass

I’m speechless.

I am unable to think of any possible, rational reason why there would be a screening of the movie “Milk” on the premises of a Catholic parish.  However, I am able to think of several disgusting, irrational reasons – the most obvious of which being that, said parish being the one that serves the local university students, this was a (very) misguided attempt to ‘mentor’ or ‘validate’ a group of students whose struggles with sexual identity are naturally at odds with their Catholic faith.

Lest you think I jest, have a look at the online bulletin for this parish; go to page 2 and check out the box on the right-hand side, it’s the second event listed for Monday, March 29.  Click here for the pdf bulletin.

Charity prevents me from commenting further; although you, dear reader, are welcome to speculate at will in the comments.


Ever traveled back in time?

I did, yesterday afternoon at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Weston, West Virginia.  The checs and I, along with ByzCat and her family and literally hundreds of other Catholics from all over, assisted at the Solemn High Mass for the Second Sunday after Easter, according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Tridentine Mass, for those of you who missed B16’s motu proprio).

You’re going to have to be patient and wait for pictures until I get the film developed, as the Church was too pretty to entrust images to my little cheesy camera phone.

Father Grassi, the celebrant, was richly and ornately vested in a gorgeous gold fiddleback chasuble that looked like it had been borrowed from His Holiness himself.  The servers were elegant and reverent in black cassocks and blinding white surplices.  A friend’s son was the crucifer.

The organist was imported, as were the members of the choir.  All volunteer and EXTREMELY well done.

Did I mention the Church was packed?  Practically to the rafters.  I saw room for 3 people to sit down, and that’s it.

I have to admit, when I first heard about this Mass and made plans to attend, I thought maybe 75 to 100 people would be a good turnout.  After all, if you look at where Weston is on the map, it’s not exactly in the middle of things.  And I’ve posted before about some pretty pitiful things that have gone on in NO parishes in my neck of the woods (same diocese, although a different vicariate).  From the state of affairs here locally, I thought any love for tradition had long been lost, replaced with that odd apathy that in my snarkier moments I equate with a wilful loss of Faith.

I have never been happier to have been shown to be wrong.  I think it’s entirely possible that now, after a very long (40 years…..where have we heard about people wandering for that length of time…..) winter, the Latin Rite is about to see that ‘new springtime’ that was supposed to happen way back when.

We interrupt this blog

for a period of relative busyness at work.  Evidently there is some sort of a huge gala this weekend for the children’s hospital, and of course everyone who is anyone is attending….and they have known about this for a month at least but didn’t purchase the dress until now, and of course it doesn’t fit.  Note:  I am not anyone, so I am not going, but a whole slew of my work is….I’m the one who makes the somebodies look that way!

This post will be a bunch of random stuff I have to get off my fingers, which I may or may not fill out some later.

First, why don’t priests were clericals any more?  (RC priests, that is…..EC priests are REQUIRED to look priestly even when ‘off-duty’ – this means cassock or dog collar, thank you very much).  This evening we went out to one of the RC parishes to partake of thier Mardi Gras dinner (free, I didn’t have to cook or clean up so of course I was all for it) and there were TWO, count ’em, priests there and neither one was in clericals.  They looked like they were just somebody’s generic uncle or something. (May be they were afraid someone would want to confess or something, it being Shrove Tuesday and all).

Second, get a look at what was sitting on the fence outside my back door this morning:


I took this in a tearing hurry, through the glass (wet from recent rain) in the back door, so it isn’t a great picture, I know.  But it’s a ROBIN, people!!!  And it’s February!  Woohoo!  Spring will be here (soon, I hope).

I’m still cruising around to the other Fun Monday participants, and I am going to try to visit all 80 (wow, that’s a LOT) before next Monday, but I have to think of my answer to the next assignment which is going to be very hard for me.

Oh, and for those of you who guessed about the picture (and for those who looked but didn’t guess – chickens):  May 1989, in the Goreme Valley, Turkey (please mentally put those two little dots over the “o” in Goreme, I don’t know how to type in foreign alphabets).  The doorway at which I stand is the entrance to one of the ‘cave churches’ in this region, and St. Paul and companions preached here.  Here, as in, just inside that door.  Is that cool, or what?  (And what if St. Thecla had stood just where I’m standing, listening to Paul tell the Good News along with Silas and Barnabas….gives me chills, it does).

Wow, my little editor thingy says I have typed 444 words (and have said nothing at all worth noting).  I think tomorrow is another Catholic Carnival, and I may find time to post proof that younger boychec (AKA biker priest) is really the mystery child of Lt. Horatio Caine (not really, but it is a funny story).

Aahh! My eyes!

Go to The Crescat and get a load of this picture.  I am not surprised at all that the wearer has his back to the camera.

I’m thankful….

to have found such a wonderful parish as mine…..I just checked my voice mail and my only message was from one of the other readers at my parish, calling to let me know that she thought I’d done a very nice job with the Epistle on this Sunday past.  I should say first of all that when one is a reader in a Byzantine church one is really a singer…..the Epistle is chanted just as the rest of the Divine Liturgy (we do have a couple of readers who actually read, but I sing).  Second, this past Sunday’s Epistle was one of those that I don’t think you’ll ever hear in a Novus Ordo parish – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.  I am too lazy to look it up in the NAB to see how the words “prostitute” and “fornicator” are rendered in that translation, but suffice it to say that the former word was in the reading twice, and the latter once.  And I was very nervous about the possibility I might stumble over the words, and cause people to think I was being immature and doing that teenage twittering thing.  So when I listened to my fellow reader’s message on my voice mail, I got a bit misty and am going to do something very nice for her in the near future.  Anonymously, probably.

“Have Expectations Been Fulfilled?”

The following are excerpts from a lecture given in Rome on December 2, 1965 by Oscar Cullman, then a (Protestant) professor of New Testament in Basel and Paris. The text comes from a book The Council and the Future, by Mario von Galli, S.J. published 1966. It has the Imprimatur thusly: Turici 15 Aprilis 1966; F. X. Walker Praet. Vic. Prov. Helv. Soc. Jesu.

Have our expectations been fulfilled? The question, put this way, is perhaps premature. For this Council, to a much greater degree than earlier councils, can only be judged in terms of its effects….

[paragraph omitted]

I would especially like to emphasize the fact that the renewal of the Christian Church has to mean more than mere adjustment to the modern world; consequently, aggiornamento can never be the sole motive for renewal. this was also John XXIII’s position, when he spoke of the difference between unchangeable substance and formulation. Yet neither Pope John XXIII nor the Council have dealt with this problem…..I do not overlook the fact that many Protestant theologians, too, in their effort to make the biblical message acceptable to the present world, give this problem no attention at all….

[two paragraphs omitted]

…We Protestants … expected that these reformulations {of both substance and formulation} would proceed from a certain rearrangement of values within the unchangeable substance….It may be that certain elements belonging essentially to the core were at length wrongly removed to the periphery and peripheral elements shifted to the center. A renewal can aim at a rearrangement which refocuses on the original situation without surrendering any element of substance.

Pay attention, now! Anyone who is still laboring under the misconception that the Novus Ordo Missae is not a Protestantized version of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass better note this next part:

The liturgy schema, which filled us with joy from the very beginning, not only makes suggestions for liturgical reform which are entirely in line with our own suggestions (emphasis mine), but it is inspired throughout by the Bible. This is clear not only from the language used, but in the fundamental treatment of Christian worship of God. Here my expectations were not only fulfilled, they were entirely surpassed….

The schema on the Church not only uses a new vocabulary but also, where it speaks of the People of God, speaks in language which brings the Catholic concept of the Church very close to our Protestant concept….Everywhere we find ourselves on common ground, despite the fact that some very profound differences do remain. Many sections of these texts we can accept without any alteration.

Other duties require my attention, but I shall continue in the next post. Stay tuned….

It’s Official!

I just received an email letting me know that I’m officially added to the Catholic Stitchers webring. Joanne, I understand perfectly what you mean about the beauty and transcendence of the Tridentine Mass….but once I discovered the wonder that is the Divine Liturgy, and happened to realize that the Eastern Rite is part of my liturgical heritage, I could do nothing but turn to the East. I love the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, but as I’ve said several times before, the Eastern Liturgy and its spirituality are as comfortable to me as a favorite old sweater. I used to wonder why I often had this strange feeling at Mass of ‘well, look at me, here I am at Mass, isn’t this neato’ and a sense of being on the outside looking in, so to speak. I wasn’t in the right Rite! From the very first time I attended the Divine Liturgy, I found myself caught up in the chant, the incense, the warm colors of the icons….and felt as if I had finally come home after a very long and convoluted journey. And what a long, strange trip it was, too, but that’s another story!