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The Reform of Holy Week in the Years 1951-1956

The Reform of Holy Week in the Years 1951-1956

In October of 1949 at the Congregation of Rites, a liturgical commission was named which... was to study whether eventual reforms ...

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On the Restoration and Promotion of the Traditional Mass

On the Restoration and Promotion of the Traditional Mass

To the great dismay and frustration of Traditionalists, who rightly see the Mass as the heart of the Body of ...

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At the Summit is the Embrace in Havana, but at the Base Unity is Far Away

At the Summit is the Embrace in Havana, but at the Base Unity is Far Away

The Orthodox would rightly point to the dilution and tendency towards banality in the modern Catholic liturgical texts. The Orthodox ...

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A Miracle of Liturgical Art: The Church of the Protection of the Mother of God at Yasenevo

A Miracle of Liturgical Art: The Church of the Protection of the Mother of God at Yasenevo

The marble iconostasis bears jewel-like icons with a powerful Romanesque gravity. It is a vision of medieval splendor the likes ...

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Bishop Schneider: 10 Elements of Renewal in the Liturgy

Bishop Schneider: 10 Elements of Renewal in the Liturgy

During the Eucharistic liturgy – at the very least during the Eucharistic prayer – when Christ the Lamb of God ...

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Latin as I Please X – November 2014

11 November, 2014 0 Comments

by David Daintree

English is naturally more verbose than Latin, which can sound abrupt and terse if translated verbatim.

Last time, taking a change of direction from grammar to literary exegesis (you might call that grammar in action) we looked at St Thomas Aquinas’s lovely hymn Verbum supernum prodiens.   This time, I propose to discuss a sacred poem affectionately known as the Rosy Sequence.   Its inspiration lay in St Bernadino’s cult of the Holy Name of Jesus and it was written for that Feast.  Its authorship was long ascribed to St Bernard of Clairvaux, and that could be correct, but it seems to have originated in England (it was included in the Sarum rite) and is usually now considered to be the work of an anonymous English Cistercian. (more…)

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Found, not Manufactured: Newman, the Roman Rite, and Cranmer’s Prayer Book

11 November, 2014 0 Comments

The Inaugural Blessed John Henry Newman Lecture was delivered by Dr Stephen McInerney (Senior Lecturer in Literature, Campion College).

…the Oxford Movement emerged in large part as a reaction against proposed alterations to the Anglican liturgy, albeit within the larger context of political and social reform deplored by the founders of the Movement – John Keble, Edward Pusey, Richard Hurrell Froude and John Henry Newman. It was, from its inception, what we in the Catholic Church today might recognize as a traditionalist movement.

Over fifty years ago, as he reflected on the legacy of John Henry Newman, Fr Frank O’Malley asked: “What was the spirit of this man who is with us a constant reference and a standard and a sign?” By way of an answer, he pointed to something that few Newman scholars before or since have sought to highlight:

the spirit of Newman moved within the spirit of the liturgy, the liturgy thought of in its most significant sense as the very rhythm of Christian existence, stirred and centred by the life of Christ. Newman absorbed the liturgical character of existence. He lived by the liturgy. (2)

It was as an Anglican that “the liturgical character of existence” first impressed itself upon Newman. On the eve of his fourteenth birthday his mother made him a gift of The Book of Common Prayer – or would have done had he not preempted her offer by buying the book himself for her to give to him, which she then did “without saying a word”, bemused no doubt by her “impatient headstrong” boy. (3) From the time of his ordination he preached regularly on the importance of the sacraments and the indispensability of public prayer, eventually coming to believe that the Church’s public prayer was the means through which the Church is visibly manifested in time and space. And during the early years of the Oxford Movement he came to regard the Prayer Book as the depository of Apostolic teaching in England, and a sure sign that the Anglican Communion belonged to and expressed the Catholic Faith – a belief he would gradually question.
Newman was known to celebrate the services of the Church with great care and devotion, (4) and to encourage the faithful to attend them regularly, believing (as Donald Withey writes) “the daily office and frequent celebration of communion to be of the essence of the life of the Church”. (5) “Religious worship”, Newman would assert, “supplies all our spiritual need…[and] suits every mood of mind and variety of circumstance”. (6) At Littlemore, as Pusey recounted in 1837, during parts of the Daily Service Newman followed the ancient practice of kneeling “towards the East, the same way as the congregation, turning to the congregation in the parts directed to them”, (7) though he always retained the protestant practice of celebrating the Sunday Communion at the north end of the holy table. (8) Although he was not principally concerned with ritualism, (9) he had a great appreciation for the importance of outward forms of public prayer and the liturgical cycle whose yearly round impressed the “great revealed verities”(10) of the Faith onto the memories and imaginations of the faithful.

High Mass for All Souls at the Birmingham Oratory (Ohoto: Rorate Caeli)

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The Teen Genius Who Set the Faith to Music

8 November, 2014 0 Comments

by R. J. Stove, reprinted by kind permission of the UK Catholic Herald.

Mendelssohn’s extraordinary Catholic-inspired works

O for a beaker-full of the warm South – John Keats

Even the freakishly well-read Felix Mendelssohn (he used the double-barrel appellation ‘Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’ with reluctance, when he used it at all) seems not to have known Keats’s poems. But Italy exercised over the composer, as over the poet, an irresistible magnetic pull. During 1830, the year he turned 21, he ceased his efforts at defying it. To his father Abraham, without whom the trip would have remained financially impossible, Felix wrote from Venice in October:

This is Italy! And now has begun what I have always thought… to be the supreme joy in life. And I am loving it. Today was so rich that now, in the evening, I must collect myself a little, and so I am writing to you to thank you, dear parents, for having given me all this happiness.

No stranger to foreign parts (he had already made that voyage to Scotland which moved him to compose The Hebrides overture), the young Mendelssohn prepared himself for Italian climes with typically self-punitive thoroughness. By the time he ventured from home, he had acquired a knowledge of Catholicism’s sacred music – Palestrina’s, above all – which, even then, put many an actual Catholic to the blush. Still more striking is the hold which Catholic culture had already begun to exercise upon his creative imagination when he had not yet left his teens. (more…)

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner – and Feel a Bit Ambivalent About the Synod

30 October, 2014 2 Comments

by Lyle Dunne

…it struck me that this proposal to wink at widespread sacrilegious communion could not have been made, let alone widely accepted, without fifty years of bad liturgy

So the Synod is over – for this year – and the forces of darkness have apparently been put to rout.

I have enough faith not to feel relief at avoiding the apparent dangers of the Church reversing its ancestral teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, or declaring homosexual acts to be not sinful after all. But I was relieved that we didn’t adopt “language” indicating that we didn’t really mean those teachings – or not as much as we used to.

For this, I believe, we have (from the human perspective) Cardinal Kasper to thank.

Mugged by Reality? (Photo: Tony Gentile/Reuters)

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More on Norcia and St Benedict

14 October, 2014 0 Comments

By Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

Prayer, fasting, the liturgy, discipline, work: these are the foundations of a Christian life that does what it is supposed to do: unite us to our Creator.

Following on from In Beer Veritas, here are a couple of additional pieces from the same trip – the first one, What We Need are Men Like St Benedict, talks about St Benedict and the monastery, and contains a link to the trailer for Quaerere Deum (To Seek God), a 2011 documentary about these monks. The other, just titled Norcia, is more of a travelogue, sharing the delights of regional cuisine (including donkey sausage).

Piazza San Benedetto, Norcia (Photo: UK Telegraph)

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