Monday, April 27, 2009

Low Mass Booklet

An important part of assisting in the congregation at the Latin Mass is spiritual and internal, and does not consist of 'doing stuff' like in the modern Mass. This is most obvious in a Low Mass, when there isn't even any singing.

External participation here only amounts to the posture of prayer (kneeling, standing, etc.) and actually receiving communion, if able. Therefore a booklet containing all the prayers and translations is invaluable for understanding, praying and fully participating in the Mass.

I would also recommend complete newcomers to the Traditional Latin Mass to simply soak it up, and not worry too much about following in a Missal. Since most people are familiar with the modern English Mass it is possible to transfer the same structure and have an idea of what is going on, but since the modern Mass is often said in such bizarre and untraditional ways, this is not always the case.

Over and above anything else, the Low Mass is visual, silent and contemplative. Therefore I have sought to help people participate by producing a booklet for use at the Birmingham Oratory's 9.30am Mass. I hope that it will be approved of and accepted. I have made it available at my LMS blog - if you have time please do have a look.

Friday, April 24, 2009

True Concelebration

Here is a stunning photo by Roy of the Middlesborough LMS blog, from the Ushaw Training Conference. This traditional mode of concelebration, private masses at side altars, is seldom seen nowadays. It is almost a more beautiful sight than a High Mass in full swing. It calls to mind silence, stillness, simplicity and holiness. I pray that all the priests who attended will be inspired and blessed to offer the Traditional Latin Mass to their parishioners. See Joe Shaw's blog for more details.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Family Tenebrae

It is possible to bring the Faith into the home in a very lively and fun way. I especially enjoy emulating what is going on at Church with how we decorate the home. This is especially true with Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.

This morning, for this sombre day of Holy Saturday, we have re-enacted the tradition of the Tenebrae hearse in our front room. We have matched the number of tealights with the number of Antiphons in our 1954 Benedictine 'Short Breviary' (which uses the traditional little hours of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline). It has for today eight psalms, a lesson, and the Benedictus. We extinguished a candle after each with the dawn light flooding in the window. In the background we played Carlo Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories. Twas lovely. This little breviary has nicer translations of the Psalms than the modern ICEL one.

Grant, we beseech Thee,
Almighty God,
that we who look forward to the resurrection of Thy Son
with devout expectation
may participate in the glory of His resurrection.
Through the same Jesus Christ,
Thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God, world without end.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Here Is Love

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Loving kindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Pueri Hebr├Žorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Dominus, clamantes et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.
The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Cum angelis et pueris fideles inveneramur triumphatori mortis clamantes: Hosanna !
We shall find the faithfuls in the company of angels and children


Bless, + we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm (or olive or other trees): and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Vincent Cardinal Nichols

In the news today, the announcement that our own Archbishop, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, will soon be set up as 'primate' of our country in the See of Westminster. I have always liked Vince, and every time I met him he was gracious in his time and very gentlemanly. Unfortunately there has been a lot of controversy recently about his inability to follow Rome's example in the Catholic education stakes, and to everyone's bewilderment the Archbishop is supporting the government's initiative to thrust sex education of the youngest and most innocent of our children. Since it is the inalienable right of every parent to educate their child, we are keeping Maddy out of the education system.

My prayers go to His Excellency, that he will effectively execute his new Bishopric by the blessing of God and for the greater glory of Catholicism in this country.