Traditional Mass

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Continued . . .

49--How is the altar covered?

The altar is covered with three white hempen or linen cloths.
Why? It is a question of suitability, of neatness, and of utility. It precludes all possibility of profanation of the Precious Blood, if the chalice were accidentally overturned. Again, these three white cloths recall the swaddling clothes of the Crib and the linens that enveloped Christ in the tomb.

A crucifix on the altar is essential. It recalls that the Sacrifice of Calvary becomes present in the Mass.

For a Low Mass, two beeswax candles are placed on the altar; for a sung Mass, four; for a High Mass, six; and seven if the celebrant is a bishop.

The candle has several meanings. It typifies Jesus Christ, the Light of the World; the wax symbolizing His human nature; the flame, His divinity.

Again the candle symbolizes the soul of the Christian standing straight and pure before God. It gives light and warmth while consuming itself to the last moment of its earthly existence. . . .

On the altar also are placed three cards called the altar cards (or canons), which bring to the priest's mind the prayers to be recited during Mass.

The tabernacle or tent is the place where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

Finally, there is the missal on its missal stand.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This is the altar at St. Josaphat Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan

Continued . . .

48--What is the altar?

The altar is the stone table on which the Eucharist is offered. It is used for the Sacrifice and for the sacred meal.

There are two kinds of altars--fixed and portable.

Since the altar represents Christ, the altar stone must be a single slab; in order to represent the unity of Christ's person.

The surface of the altar is inscribed with five crosses. In a cavity in the center of the altar stone, called the sepulcher, are placed relics of at least two saints; one of whom must have been a martyr.

The sepulcher also contains three grains of incense.

[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Monday, October 29, 2007


Simon is called in the Gospels "the zealous one." Jude was the brother of St. James the Less and therefore related to Christ. He is the author of one of the seven Catholic (i.e., addressed to all the faithful) Epistles in the New Testament. It is not known for certain where Simon and Jude preached the Gospel after Pentecost; but according to tradition they finally went to evangelize Persia and were martyred together there.

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.
Ps. 138:17. O Lord, you have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude brought us the knowledge of Your Holy Name. May our progress in virtue add honor to their eternal glory, and may the honor we pay them make us even more holy. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

READING (Eph. 4: 7-13)
Brethren: But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ. Wherefore he saith: "Ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men." Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens: that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ.

GRADUAL (Ps. 44:17-18)
You shall make them princes through all the land; they shall remember Your Name, O Lord. V. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. Alleluia!

GOSPEL (John 15:17-25)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake: because they know not him that sent me.
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: 'They hated me without cause.' "

Their voice has gone forth through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

O Lord, we pay homage to the everlasting glory of Your holy apostles Simon and Jude. May these sacred mysteries atone for our sins so that we may be more worthy to honor them. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Matt. 19:28)
You who have followed Me shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

We who received Your Sacraments, O Lord, humbly pray that this sacred rite which we offer in honor of the sufferings of Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude may heal our own infirmities through their intercession. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Christ is fully the spiritual King of all mankind, for He is the giver of life, the maker of law, the supreme judge and ruling authority, in the minds and wills and hearts of human beings. He is King of mankind by natural right, because He is the divine maker and sustainer of the universe and He took human nature unto His divine Person. He is King by acquired right, because He redeemed mankind by the sacrifice of His body and blood. The Lamb of God from the throne of His Cross, reunited all peoples. Although formerly separated by sin, they became one kingdom, one family, and prospective members of one Mystical Body.

INTROIT (Apoc. 5:12, 1:6)
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive powers and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.
. 1. Give to the King, O God, Thy judgment, and to the King's Son Thy justice.
V. Glory be . . .



Almighty and everlasting God, who has willed to restore all things in Thy beloved Son, the King of all creation, mercifully grant that all the families of nations scattered by the wound of sin may become subject to His most gentle rule. Who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

READING (Col. 1:12-20)

Brethren: Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and in him. And he is before all: and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell: And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in heaven.

GRADUAL (Ps. 71:8, 11)
He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.

And all kings of the earth shall adore Him, and all nations shall serve Him.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Dan. 7:14)

His power is an everlasting power which shall not be taken away; and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Alleluia!

GOSPEL (St. John 18:33-37)

At that time, Pilate therefore went into the hall again and called Jesus and said to him: "Art thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered: "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?" Pilate answered: "Am I a Jew? Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done?" Jesus answered: "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence." Pilate therefore said to him: "Art thou a king then?" Jesus answered: "Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.

To Thee, O Lord, we present this Victim, offered for man's reconciliation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that He whom we now immolate in this sacrifice may Himself, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, grant to all nations the gifts of unity and peace. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 28:10, 11)
The Lord shall sit as King forever; the Lord will bless His people with peace.


Having received the food of immortality, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who are proud to fight under the banners of Christ the King, may one day reign in the eternally with Him in heaven. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Continued . . .

47--What are the interior divisions of the church?

The interior of the church is divided into three parts:
1. The vestibule, where in ancient times the catechumens and penitents stood. It exhorts us to enter in a spirit of recollection.

2. The nave, which is like the ship in which the faithful must sail toward eternity's port; and in which they are saved, as in Noah's Ark, from eternal perdition.

3. The choir, or part reserved for priests and ministers of public worship.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Friday, October 26, 2007

Continued . . .

46--What is the symbolism or significance of the church door?

Often we have crossed its threshold, and each time it has spoken to us. Have you ever listened to the message of the church door?

Let us hear what it says first: "You are now leaving the exterior for the interior."

Let us be recollected for a moment, and try to comprehend the deep and symbolic language of the church door. . . . The "exterior" is the world with its beauty that allures, and also with its ugliness and tumult. The world resembles a vast market place, with people rushing hither and thither and elbowing one another. Far be from us the thought that in the world holiness is impossible. Nevertheless, certain conditions are requisite for sanctity. . . . The door, then, separates us from the world with its bustle and stir; and introduces us to the interior, where all is silence and recollection--to the sanctuary wherein dwells the Prisoner of Love! Assuredly, all things are God's handiwork; and He is to be met with in the tiniest of His creatures, for everywhere God beckons to us and invites us to think of Him. But we all know that God reserves for Himself especially consecrated places--just as He reserves for Himself especially consecrated souls. . . . All, unfortunately, do not respond to His call; preferring the ephemeral pleasures of this world to the divine intimacies. . . .

The door is placed, therefore, between the outside and the inside--between that which belongs to the world, and that which is vowed to God. The steps of the stairway have already prepared us to lift up our souls to the Lord--let us prove it by our lack of precipitation as we cross the threshold. Slowly opening the door, let us open our hearts to its language so rich in meaning: "Leave without whatever is not of God: frivolous thoughts, earth-bound desires, vain care, curiosity, worldly pleasures. . . . Purify yourselves, for you are entering God's house!"

And lest we forget this purification, the holy water font offers us holy water at the door. . . . Let us say, then, with St. Francis:
"Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water,
For greatly useful, lowly, precious, chaste, is she."
Again, it is that souls may be purified before they enter God's house, that baptismal fonts are placed in the vestibules of churches.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Pope and Martyr

The fourth successor of St. Peter, Pope Evaristus was said to have been the son of a Hellenic Jew of Bethlehem. He ruled for some eight years, during a very stormy period in the history of the Church. He died about A.D. 107, and was buried near St. Peter's tomb on the Vatican.

Mass of a

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Evaristus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

Thursday, October 25, 2007



Chrysanthus and his wife Daria carried on an active apostolate among the noble families of Rome during the third century. When they were denounced as Christians, they underwent various tortures with great constancy, and they were buried alive in a sandpit in the year 283.


May the prayers of Your blessed martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria be with us, O Lord, so that we who devoutly honor them may always experience their kind assistance. Through our Lord . . .

READING II Cor. 6:4-10
Brethren: But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, In the word of truth, in the power of God: by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left: By honour and dishonour: by evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true: as unknown and yet known: As dying and behold we live: as chastised and not killed: As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing and possessing all things.

GOSPEL St. Luke 11:47-51
At that time Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: "Woe to you who build the monuments of the prophets: and your fathers killed them. Truly you bear witness that you consent to the doings of your fathers. For they indeed killed them: and you build their sepulchres. For this cause also the wisdom of God said: I will send to them prophets and apostles: and some of them they will kill and persecute. That the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who was slain between the altar and the temple. Yea I say to you: It shall be required of this generation."

Be pleased, O Lord, by this sacrificial offering that Your people solemnly present to You on the feast of Your holy martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria. Through Christ, our Lord . . .

We have been filled with spiritual gifts and joy, O Lord. May we always profit spiritually from the service we perform here on earth, through the intercession of Your holy martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria. Through Christ our Lord . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Archangel Raphael is known through the Book of Tobias in the Old Testament. He there appeared in human form as a gracious young man called Azarias, to protect the younger Tobias on his journey from Ninive to a city of the Medes. In the process he found a wife for Tobias, and later delivered her from an evil spirit; he also healed the elder Tobias of blindness. Raphael is "one of the seven who stand before the Lord" (Tob. 12:15). Today's Prayer speaks of him as a companion in journeys. The Reading shows him as presenting our prayers to God. The Gospel is a reminder of Raphael's healing powers, for his name means "God has healed."

Bless the Lord all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands.
. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy Name.
. Glory be . . .

O God, who sent the blessed Archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants, may also be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance. Through our Lord.

READING Tob. 12:7-15
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: "For it is good to hide the secret of a king: to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you.
" When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."

GRADUAL Tob. 8:3; pS. 146:5
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took the devil and bound him.
. Great is our Lord, and great His power!

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 137:1-2
I will sing Your praise in the sight of the angels; I will worship in Your holy temple and give glory to Your Name, O Lord. Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 5:1-4
After these things was a festival day of the Jews: and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered: waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.

An Angel stood before the altar of the temple, having in his hand a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God.

O Lord, graciously accept the sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the angel's prayers of intercession. Through Christ, our Lord . . .

All you Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord; sing a hymn of praise and exalt Him above all forever.

O Lord God, send the holy Archangel Raphael to help us, so that he, who we believe stands always before Your Throne, may present our humble prayers for Your blessing. Through our Lord . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

“I don’t dislike the Latin Mass”

Columnist-priest backtracks on criticism of Mass of the old rite

A Catholic News Service columnist who wrote an opinion piece critical of the Tridentine Mass published in the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has said, “I’m sorry.”

The August article was published in the Tidings under the byline of Rev. Peter Daly, a priest in Maryland. Daly wrote that those who attend the old rite like it because it is “quiet and short” and “reminds them of the old days.” According to Daly, the attitude of those who want a return of the Tridentine Mass says, “‘I want no commitment and I want no communication.’ Hardly the ‘full and active participation’ that Vatican II called for.”

Referring to a celebration of the Tridentine Mass at a parish near his own, Daly said few people attend, most of them are elderly, and the priest who celebrates the Mass “is a bit exasperated with the whole thing. It means a lot of work for him.”

Daly concluded that the Church can offer the Tridentine Mass, “but almost nobody will come.” Read the full article here: California Catholic Daily

Continued . . .

45--What is the message of the church steps?

To him who has eyes to see and tongue to pray, who knows how to live recollected in the presence of God, the most ordinary objects--things a man can reach out and touch--have a richness and language all their own. . . . For example, steps! We climb an incredible number of them! Have you ever thought about the almost imperceptible change that takes place when we go up? It is not just my foot that ascends; my whole body and my soul arise as well! A moment's thought brings intimations of another ascent--this time, a spiritual one. Of the long climb toward the summit where our "ascension" ends--toward that blessed eternity where God Himself constitutes the happiness of Hos elect.

How great my destiny! Let us always remember where the steps lead. Leaving below all useless baggage--the world and its futilities--let us "mount up as with wings" toward Him who is the Most High.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Monday, October 22, 2007

continued . . .

44--Of what do the steeple and belfry remind us?

The church is surmounted by a steeple, whose spire, like a pointing finger, indicates Heaven and seems to say to us: "Mind the things that are on high." (Col. 3:1)

The belfry contains the bells which summon us to divine worship or to prayer, and by their harmonious sounds enhance the solemnity of religious feasts.

Incidentally, St. Francis de Sales once observed that many Christians and church workers are like church bells. They invite others to church, but never go themselves! If by chance, we belong to this category of folk who urge others to do good works they do not do themselves; then let us stop our "clangour" and start preaching by the force of our example. . . . Only then will our words find an echo in our neighbor's soul.

The tower in the belfry often contains a clock, which warns us to make good use of the hours of life--the hour of death will be too late. In eternity we shall reap as we have sown. . . .

Finally, because Christ crucified reconciled Heaven and earth; we place a cross on the spire of the steeple. This cross makes clear to all who is the Head of this house is.

[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Sunday, October 21, 2007



Virgins & Martyrs

ENTRANCE HYMN Esth. 13:9, 10-11
All things depend on Your will, O Lord, and there is no one who can resist Your will. For You have made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the canopy of heaven. You are the Lord of all.
Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .

Keep Your family under Your continual care, O Lord. Shelter it with Your protection from all adversity, that it may be zealous in doing good for the honor of Your name. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT HILARION
Hilarion was born of pagan parents near Gaza in Palestine toward the close of the third century. He studied at Alexandria and there he became a Christian at the age of 15. Following the example of St. Anthony in Egypt, Hilarion resolved to become a hermit in the desert, and Anthony himself trained the youth. He gave all his possessions to the poor, and became the father of monasticism in Palestine and Syria, famous for his miracles and sanctity. He lived to be over 80, dying on the island of Cyprus in 372.

Let the Blessed Abbot Hilarion intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it.

In all the much-embroided legend of St. Ursula, there persists the statement that she was a native of Britain (ancient Wales) who was martyred at Cologne. One version has it that she was the daughter of a Christian king of Wales, and that she escaped marriage to a pagan prince by setting out, with a vast company of ladies-in-waiting, on a long voyage to Rome. On their return via the Rhine, they met martyrdom at the hands of Huns.

O Lord our God, grant that we may always honor the victories of Your blessed virgin martyrs Ursula and her companions. Although we are unable to pay them the honor that is due, may we at least offer them our humble tribute. Through our Lord . . .

READING Eph. 6:10-17
Brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.
For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

GRADUAL Ps. 89:1-2
O Lord, You have been our refuge through all generation.
V. Before the mountains were made, or the earth was formed, from eternity to eternity You are God.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 113:1.
When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob fled from a barbarous people. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 18:23-35
At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one as brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: 'Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.
"But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: 'Pay what thou owest.' And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: 'Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
"Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him: and said to him: 'Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?' And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts."

There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, simple and upright, and fearing God. Satan asked that he might tempt him, and power was given Satan from the Lord over Job's possessions and his flesh; and Satan destroyed all his substance and his children, and afflicted his body with a grievous ulcer.

O Lord, graciously accept this offering which You in Your boundless mercy instituted to atone for our sins and to restore salvation to us. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT HILARION
May the offerings we lay upon Your sacred altar, O Lord, bring us closer to our salvation through the intercession of the blessed abbot Hilarion.

O Lord, see the gifts we offer at Your altar in honor of the feast of Your holy virgin martyrs Ursula and her companions. May this sacred rite, which honors them, forgive us our sins. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN Ps. 118:81, 84, 86
My soul looks to Your salvation, and in Your word have I hoped. When will You come in judgment for those who persecute me? The wicked have persecuted me; help me, O Lord my God.

We have eaten at the banquet of immortality, O Lord. May we cherish with a pure heart this Food which we have received through our lips. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT HILARION
May the Sacrament we have received and the prayers of the blessed abbot Hilarion protect us, O Lord. Grant also that we may imitate the virtues of this saint who is our intercessor with You in heaven.

May the intercession of Your holy virgin martyrs Ursula and her companions help us to cherish with pure hearts the Sacrament we have received upon our lips. Through our Lord.

Saturday, October 20, 2007



Humble manual labor was forever sanctified by Mary, "the handmaid of the Lord," the Mother of Christ and of all mankind. By her prayers, she renders the toil of her adopted human children fruitful and pleasing to God. A fresco (above) in the convent of the Trinita dei Monti in Rome depicts our "Mother most admirable" spinning in a court of the temple. This painting, blessed by Pope Pius IX, is venerated by pilgrims from all parts of the world, and among them extraordinary conversions and cures continually occur.

Hail, holy Mother, who brought forth the King who rules heaven and earth forever and ever.
Ps. 44:2 My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
V. Glory Be . . .

O God, you wonderously exalted the humble Virgin Mary in the Incarnation of Your only-begotten Son. May we be adopted as sons into Your divine family through the intercession of Your most Admirable Mother. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Commemoration of SAINT JOHN CANTIUS
Except for a number of pilgrimages and eight years as a parish priest, John Cantius (1390-1473) spent his life as professor of theology in the University of Cracow. His pockets were always empty on account of his love for the poor. He often told his pupils to "fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness, and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause."

O Almighty God, grant that the example of the holy confessor John may help us to advance in the science of the saints and in mercy towards others, so that we may obtain forgiveness for ourselves through his merits. Through our Lord . . .

READING (Cant. 2:10-14)
Behold my beloved speaketh to me: "Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely."

GRADUAL (Cant. 2:2, 16)
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. V. My beloved to me, and I to him who feeds among the lilies.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.(Cant. 6:9)
Who is she who comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? Alleluia!

GOSPEL (Luke 1:26-35)
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.

You bore a child, O Virgin, and remained a virgin still. Mother of God, intercede for us.

May this offering bring us prosperity and peace now and always, O Lord, through Your mercy and the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary. Through Christ our Lord.

Commemoration of SAINT JOHN CANTIUS
May the merits of the holy confessor John make these offerings acceptable to You, O Lord. Grant that we may love You above all and love all men for Your sake, so that we may please You by every thought and deed. Through Christ our Lord.

You are blessed and venerable, O Virgin Mary, for without loss of your virginity you becane the Mother of our Saviour.

May we who have partaken of these helps toward our salvation, O Lord, be protected everywhere by the prayers of the most pure Virgin Mary, in whose honor we have offered this sacrifice to Your majesty. Through Christ our Lord.

Commemoration of SAINT JOHN CANTIUS
O Lord, You have fed us with the food of Your own precious Body and Blood. We humbly ask that we may be led by the merits and example of Your holy confessor John to imitate his charity and to share in his glory; who lives and rules with God in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ecstasy of St. Peter of Alcantara
Painting by Melchior Perez Holguin, 18th century,
National Museum of Art, Bolivia


One of the great Spanish mystics of the 16th century, Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) entered the Franciscan Order at 16. As a friar his time was divided between preaching to the poor and contemplative prayer. He instituted a very severe Franciscan reform known as the "Strick Observance." He defended St. Teresa of Avila when everyone else was against her, and assured her, from his own experience, that her contemplative prayer was genuine. After his death he appeared to Teresa and said to her: "O blessed penitence which has earned for me such great glory!"

Mass of a

O God, You blessed the holy confessor Peter with a remarkable spirit of penance and the highest gift of contemplation. May his merits help us to mortify our flesh and deepen our understanding of the things of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

READING Philipp. 3:7-12
Brethren: The things that were gain to me, the same I have counted loss for Christ. Furthermore, I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ. And may be found in him, not having my justice, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which is of God: justice in faith. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings: being made conformable to his death, If by any means I may attain to the resurrection which is from the dead. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saint Luke Icon


St. Luke, the inspired author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, was a native of Antioch in Syria and a physician, and one of the early converts from paganism. He accompanied St. Paul on a considerable part of his missionary journeying, even companioning him in prison at Rome on two different occasions. His account of these events, contained in the Acts, is firsthand history.
Luke's Gospel is, above all, the Gospel of the Merciful Heart of Jesus. It emphasizes the fact that Christ is the salvation of all men, especially of the repentant sinner and of the lowly. Legend says that Luke painted the Blessed Virgin's portrait. It is certainly true that he painted the most beautiful word-picture of Mary ever written.

Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.
Ps. 138:1-2. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V. Glory be . . .

O Lord, let us have as our intercessor Your holy evangelist Luke, who bore the sufferings of the cross in his own body in honor of Your holy name. Through our Lord . . .

READING II Cor. 8:16-24
Brethren: Thanks be to God, who hath given the same carefulness for you in the heart of Titus.
For indeed he accepted the exhortation: but, being more careful, of his own will he went unto you. We have sent also with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches. And not that only: but he was also ordained by the churches companion of our travels, for this grace, which is administered by us, to the glory of the Lord and our determined will:
Avoiding this, lest any man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us. For we forecast what may be good, not only before God but also before men. And we have sent with them our brother also, whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent: with much confidence in you, Either for Titus, who is my companion and fellow labourer towards you, or our brethren, the apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ. Wherefore shew ye to them, in the sight of the churches, the evidence of your charity and of our boasting on your behalf.

GRADUAL Ps. 18:5, 2
Their voice has gone forth through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
V. The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. John 15:16
I have chosen you out of the world that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit shall remain. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 10:1-9
At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two. And he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: "The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.

Grant us Your heavenly grace, O Lord, that we may serve You in perfect freedom. Let the offering, which we bring You through the intercession of Your blessed evangelist Luke, heal us and lead us to everlasting glory. Through our Lord . . .

You who have followed Me shall sit on the thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

O Almighty God, may the Sacrament we have received at Your holy altar sanctify our souls and keep us unharmed through the prayers of Your blessed evangelist Luke. Through our Lord . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

“The use of the Latin language is to be preserved”

Will Benedict XVI’s motu proprio result in more Tridentine Masses in California?

Will celebrations of the Tridentine Latin Mass multiply – even in California? Under John Paul II’s indult, the number of Latin Masses in the state was few and far between. But will things change under Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio liberalizing permission for celebrating the old Latin rite?

Read this article here: California Catholic Daily

Incorrupt Body of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


After a girlhood marked by painful illness and even more painful family discord, Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90) entered the Visitation convent of Paray-le-Monial, France, at the age of 22. She was ignorant, sickly, and clumsy, but she had great charity and humility. Our Lord chose her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart, at a time when rebellion without (Protestantism) and heresy within (Jansenism) were doing their best to separate Catholics from their faith and their God. "I will make you so poor and vile and abject in your own eyes, and I shall destroy you so utterly in the thought of your own heart, that I shall be able to build Myself up in the void," Jesus Christ said to the lowly nun. After violent opposition, the devotion to the Sacred Heart triumphed and is now one of the most beloved in the Church.

I sat down beneath the shadow of Him whom I desired; and His fruit was sweet to my palate.
Ps. 83:2-3. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .

Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all the deep treasures of Your Heart to the blessed virgin Margaret Mary. May her merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things, so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Heart; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

READING Eph. 3:8-9, 14-19
Brethren: To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God who created all things: For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man: That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted and founded in charity, You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge: that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God.

GRADUAL Cant. 8:7; Ps. 72:26
Many waters cannot extinguish charity, nor can the floods drown it. Though my body and my spirit waste away, You are the God of my heart, my portion, O God, forever.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Cant. 7:10
I am my beloved's, and He turns toward me. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 11:25-30
At that time, Jesus answered and said: "I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light."

What is the good we receive from Him, and what fair gift? Is it not the bread of the elect and the wine from which the purity of virgins springs forth?

Accept the gifts of Your people, O Lord. Inflame our hearts with the same divine fire that radiated from the Heart of Your Son and burned so brightly in blessed margaret mary. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

I am my beloved's, and all mine is my beloved, who feeds among the lilies.

May the prayers of the blessed virgin Margaret Mary expel the desire for worldly pleasures from our hearts, which have received the sacrament of Your Body and Blood, so that they may be filled with the meekness and humility of Your own Heart; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Notre Dame, Chartres


43--Show how our churches, by their location and exterior, invite to prayer.

Larger and more elevated than the surrounding houses, the church is usually built on an eminence. For it is the dwelling place of the Most High, and lofty places particularly invite to prayer. There one is separated from the clamor of the world; and thereby brought nearer to God.

If churches are to be found in the center of cities and towns (of which they are the fairest ornament), it is to recall to our minds that the Good Shepherd dwells in our midst by His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. That is why the church is called "the house of God."

The church usually faces the East; because in it is worshipped Jesus Christ, the Sun of Justice.

The church has the form of a cross, because in it the Sacrifice of the Cross is renewed and the doctrine of the Crucified is preached.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued . . .]


Hedwig (c. 1174-1243), the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was married at an early age to Henry, Duke of Silesia. After their six children had been born, they both strove to advance in sanctity and to enrich Silesia and Poland with monasteries, hospitals, and leper asylums. When henry died in 1238, Hedwig took the habit of the Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz (where one of her daughters was the abbess), but retained the administration of her property so that she could give personal relief to the suffering.

Mass of a

O God, You taught blessed Hedwig to turn from the attractions of the world to follow Your cross humbly and devotedly. May her merits and example teach us to spurn the passing pleasures of this earth and overcome all our difficulties by embracing Your cross; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Monday, October 15, 2007


When she was seven, Teresa of Avila (1515-82) tried unsuccessfully to run away to seek martyrdom at the hands of the Moors. Following this initial frustration, Teresa spent a normal girlhood, until called to the Carmelite Order in 1533. Twenty years later, when she undertook the reform of her order, she founded many convents of Discalced Carmelites throughout Spain, her principal collaborator being St. John of the Cross. She managed to combine a schedule of heavy administrative responsibility with an intense interior program graced with many mystical blessings and issuing in a group of magnificent writings on the spiritual life. She always had great devotion to Christ the King and to St. Joseph (called the patron of interior souls). And she insisted on prayer for priests as one of the primary duties of her nuns.

Mass of a
VIRGIN, except

Hear our prayer, O God our savior. The feast of the blessed virgin Teresa fills us with joy; may her holy teaching also inspire us, and the example of her virtuous life guide us. Through our Lord . . .


  • Places where Mass may be celebrated
  • Symbolism or signification of the Church
  • Sacred vessels and liturgical vestments
  • Positions and gestures--their meaning
Before taking up a detailed explanation of the different parts of the Mass, we shall say a few words concerning the liturgical setting in which the Holy Sacrifice unfolds: church, altar, sacred vessels, vestments, etc.

42--May Mass be celebrated anywhere?

According to Canon Law (C. 822) Holy Mass ought ordinarily to be celebrated in consecrated or blessed churches and oratories.
Permission to celebrate outside a church or oratory may be granted by the resident Bishop (or for a religious Order, by its major superior), provided that the Mass be said in a suitable place and on a consecrated stone (Mass may never be said in a bedroom); and that the permission be granted for a just and reasonable cause; in an extraordinary case, and for a limited period. (For instance, Scouts may obtain this permission for the duration of their stay in camp.)


The apostles celebrated Holy Mass in private hoes, on tables--for the Mass, like the Last Supper, is a meal. "My Body is real food," said Jesus, "and My Blood is real drink."
Mass may be celebrated outside a church; but it may not be celebrated without a table and this table is the altar.
When we go to Mass, we sit at a table with our brothers around the Head of the house. . . . Our altar rails are tables of brotherhood. It is as a family that we eat the Body of Christ, our Daily Bread. . . .
In the era of great persecutions, the Holy Sacrifice was celebrated in the catacombs over the tombs of martyrs. This is the origin of the form of a tomb still given to the altar today, and of the custom of placing the relics of martyrs in altars--a custom that also reminds us of our communion with the saints in Heaven.
It was for this same reason that churches were later built over the tombs of saints--as is St. Peter's basilica in Rome--and that martyrs and illustrious Christians were interred in them.
This is also the source of the custom of chanting the "Requiem" at funerals in the presence of the deceased.
As in the subterranean passages, the early Christians needed torches for assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, the Church has preserved the use of candles on the altar during Holy Mass.

[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Pope and Martyr

ENTRANCE HYMN (Dan 3:31, 29, 33)
All that you have done to us, O Lord, you have done in just judgment, because we have disobeyed Your Commandments; but give glory to Your own name and deal with us in accord with Your bounteous mercy.
Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .

Forget Your anger, O Lord, and grant Your faithful pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from their sins and serve You without fear. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT CALLISTUS
A Christian slave of Rome, Callistus was ordained by Pope St. Zephyrinus, whom he succeeded as pope in the year 217. As deacon he was guardian of the Christian cemetery on the Appian Way which is still known by his name. While he was vigorously opposed to heresy, his charitable attitude toward repentant sinners incurred the wrath of contemporary rigorists.

O God, You see that we fail because of our weakness. Be merciful to us and let the example of Your saints renew our love of You. Through our Lord . . .

READING (Eph. 5:15-21)

See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise, But as wise: redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, become not unwise: but understanding what is the will of God. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury: but be ye filled with the Holy Spirit, Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord: Giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father: Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ.

GRADUAL (Ps. 144:15-16)

The eyes of all look hopefully to You, O Lord, and You give them food in due season.
You open Your hand, and fill every living creature with blessing.

Alleluia, alleluia!
V. Ps. 107:2
My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready; I will sing and praise You, my glory. Alleluia!

GOSPEL (St. John 4:46-53)

He came again therefore into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, sent to him and prayed him to come down and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
Jesus therefore said to him: "Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not."
The ruler saith to him: Lord, come down before that my son die. Jesus saith to him: "Go thy way. Thy son liveth."
The man believed the word which Jesus said to him and went his way.
And as he was going down, his servants met him: and they brought word, saying, that his son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." The father therefore knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him: "Thy son liveth." And himself believed, and his whole house.

By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept, when we remembered you, O Sion.


O Lord, let this sacred rite bring us healing from heaven and cleanse our hearts of all sinfulness. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT CALLISTUS
O Lord, may this sacramental offering help to free us of our sins and bring us to eternal salvation. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 118:49-50)

Remember Your promise to Your servant, O Lord, by which You have given me hope. This is my solace in my affliction.

O Lord, make us ever obedient to Your Commandments, that we may be deserving of Your heavenly Gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Commemoration of SAINT CALLISTUS
O Almighty God, let these sacred rites cleanse us, so that through them we may lead holy lives. Through our Lord . . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Traditional Latin Mass - some notes for lay people

Stand as the priest and servers enter the Church.
Kneel when the priest makes the sign of the cross.
Stand for the Gospel
Kneel or sit for the Offertory (Kneel from the Orate fratres)
Stand for the last gospel
If you are infirm, you may of course sit for any or all of the Mass as necessary.

Following the Mass
There are booklets with the “Ordinary” prayers of the Mass. The server alone makes the responses. You may join in quietly if you wish (in a whisper) or you may choose instead to say your own prayers as you meditate upon the mysteries of Christ that are made present in the Mass.

If you wish to follow all the texts, it is possible to purchase a hand missal such as the “St Andrews Daily Missal”. Alternatively, you may like to follow the advice given by St Francis de Sales to lay people. (below)

Holy Communion
You may come up to the altar rails when the server rings the bell as the priest says his own “Domine non sum dignus

Holy Communion is received kneeling and on the tongue. The communicant does not answer “Amen.”

St Francis de Sales on “How to hear Holy Mass”
With the older form of the Roman Rite, there are many possible ways to participate in the Mass. This is one possible way from a saint who wrote a book on the Devout Life especially for lay people.

1. From the beginning until the priest goes up to the altar, make the preparation with him, which consists in placing yourself in the presence of God, acknowledging your unworthiness and asking pardon for your faults,

2. From the time when the priest goes up to the altar to the Gospel, consider with a simple and general consideration the coming and the life of Our lord in this world.

3. From the Gospel to the Credo, consider the preaching of our Saviour; protest that you wish to live and die in the faith and obedience of his holy word and in union with the holy Catholic Church.

4. From the Credo to the Pater noster apply your heart to the mysteries of the death and passion of our Redeemer, which are actually and essentially represented in this holy Sacrifice, which, together with the priest and the rest of the people, you will offer to God the Father for his honour and for your salvation.

5. From the Pater noster to the Communion strive to excite a thousand desires of your heart, ardently wishing to be for ever joined and united to your Saviour by everlasting love. From the Communion to the end, thank his divine Majesty for his Incarnation, for his life, for his death, for his passion, and for the love which he shows to us in the holy Sacrifice, conjuring him through it to be ever propitious to you, to your relations, to your friends, and to the whole Church; and humbling yourself with your whole heart, received devoutly the divine blessing which our Lord gives you by the ministry of his priest.

(St Francis de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life. Part 2. c14)

Thanks to

The Hermeneutic of Continuity Blog by Fr. Finigan