Traditional Mass

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

From RORATE CAELI: The Traditional Mass and the Laity: a Position Paper from the FIUV

The Traditional Mass and the Laity: a Position Paper from the FIUV

The congregation is blessed with incense as the celebrant carries on the prayers and
ceremonies at the Altar. Dominican Rite Mass in Oxford.

Today I am posting a new 'Position Paper' on the 1962 Missal published by the FIUV, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. This addresses the argument, made from time to time, that by not having as many lay people involved in the liturgy in roles such as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Lector, leader of the Prayers of the Faithful and so on the Traditional Mass 'excludes' people, and fails to foster their participation.

This argument is confused. When lay people have such liturgical roles, they are by definition going beyond the role of the simple member of the congregation, the lay role, to take on a quasi-clerical role. This can be necessary and good, and it can be a liturgical abuse, but it tells us nothing about the mode of liturgical participation proper to the laity, most of whom are left sitting in the pews. The idea that being an ordinary pew-sitter is not enough to take a proper part in the liturgy is in fact an example of clericalism. It implies that only clerics count for anything in the Church, in in her public prayer, and in order to count for something lay people must become at least quasi-clerics. It also implies that the real role of the laity, of building the Kingdom of God in the temporal sphere, the sphere of politics, business, and the family, is not important.

I've put more commentary on my own blog here.
The paper can be seen as a pdf here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vigil of St. John the Baptist


The important feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is preceded by a vigil. An angel announced to the saint's father, Zachary, a priest of the house of Aaron, that the child should be called John and that many would rejoice in his birth. God had chosen John to be the herald of mankind's Redeemer, the morning star to usher in the daylight of justice and of truth. Therefore, he was sanctified in his mother's womb, when Elizabeth was honored by a visit from the Virgin Mother of God, carrying Christ in her body. In like manner, Jesus today gives sanctifying joy to the missionary precursors whom He calls to go before Him into pagan lands.

INTROIT Luke 1:13, 15, 14 
Do not be afraid, Zachary, for thy petition has been heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son and thou shalt call his name John. And he shall be great before the Lord; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb. And many will rejoice at his birth.
Ps. 20:2. O Lord, the king rejoiced in Your strength; he greatly exalts in Your aid.
V. Glory be . . .

May Your servants walk in the path of salvation, O Almighty God. May they follow the exhortation of blessed John, the precursor of Jesus Christ and herald of His coming, so that by doing so they may come safely to Your Son our Lord; who lives and rules with You . . .

LESSON Jer. 1:4-10
In those days, the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations." And I said: "Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child." And the Lord said to me: "Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak. Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee," saith the Lord. And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: "Behold I have given my words in thy mouth: Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant," said the Lord Almighty.

GRADUAL John 1:6-7
There was a man, one sent from God, whose name was John.
V. This man came to bear witness concerning the light, to prepare a perfect people for the Lord.

GOSPEL Luke 1:5-17
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.
And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren: and they both were well advanced in years.
And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled: and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: "Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard: and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son. And thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness: and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias: that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people."

You have crowned him with glory and honor, and You have given him rule over the works of Your hands, O Lord.

Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord. May they cleanse us from the stain of our sins by the intercession of blessed John the Baptist. Through our Lord . . .

His glory is great because of Your help; You have conferred upon him glory and great splendor, O Lord.

O Lord, may the powerful intercession of blessed John the Baptist be ours, so that it may obtain for us the mercy of Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, whom John foretold would come; who lives and rules with You . . .

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saint Barnabas (60 A.D.)


Barnabas was one of the 72 disciples called by Jesus. Because Barnabas was innately good and "full of the Holy Spirit," he was much esteemed by the Twelve Apostles. They sent him to Antioch and there the greathearted Barnabas invited Paul, the former persecutor of God's elect, to be his co-worker. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the clergy of Antioch dedicated Barnabas and Paul to the work of converting the Gentiles. The two pioneers labored together for a number of years on the island of Cyprus and in Asia Minor. According to an old tradition, the lovable Barnabas later died a martyr on Cyprus, his native land.

INTROIT Ps. 138:17Your 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 God, we are made happy by the merits and intercession of Your blessed apostle Barnabas. May the prayers we offer through him bring us the gift of Your grace. Through our Lord . . .

LESSON Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3
In those days, a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

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 Matt. 10:16-22
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

You shall make them princes through all the land; they shall remember Your name in every generation and age.

Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord. May they cleanse us from the stain of sin through the prayers of Your blessed apostle Barnabas. Through our Lord . . .

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

Almighty God, we humbly ask that those who are nourished with Your Sacrament may by the intercession of blessed Barnabas, Your apostle, have a life of worthy service pleasing to You. Through our Lord . . .

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Martyrdom of Saints Primus and Felician.
Martyrdom of Saints Primus and Felician. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The aged Primus and Felician were Roman citizens and blood brothers who suffered martyrdom under Emperor Diocletian. By their death they entered into a more perfect union than that of human kinship, becoming for all eternity glorified members of the Mystical Body of Christ.

INTROIT Eccli. 44:15. 14Let the people show forth the wisdom of the saints, and let the Church declare their praise; and their names shall live for all generations.
Ps. 32:1. Rejoice in the Lord, you just; praise befits the upright.
V. Glory be . . .

May we always be worthy to celebrate the feast of Your holy martyrs, Primus and Felician, O Lord, so that through their intercession we may be sheltered under Your gracious protection. Through our Lord . . .

LESSON Wisdom 5:16-20
But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a kingdom of glory, and a crown of beauty at the hand of the Lord: for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them. And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.
He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet: He will take equity for an invincible shield.

Ps. 88:6, 2
The heavens proclaim Your wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the assembly of the saints.
V. The mercies of the Lord I will sing forever through all generations.

Alleluia, alleluia!
V. Here was true brotherliness which overcame the sinfulness of the world and followed Christ to attain the glorious kingdom of heaven. Alleluia!

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."

Ps. 67:36
God is wonderful in His saints. The God of Israel Himself gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God! Alleluia!

We consecrate this Sacrifice to You, O Lord, in memory of Your glorious martyrs. May our offering make amends for our sins, that we may be forgiven and that the prayers of Your servants may be pleasing to You. Through our Lord . . .

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

We ask, Almighty God, that the celebration of this heavenly Sacrifice on the feast of Your martyrs Primus and Felician, may bring us Your merciful pardon. Through our Lord . . .

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, Saints Medard and Gildard (560 A.D.)


Within the Octave


[Some places]
 O Lord Jesus Christ, our Mediator with the Father, Who hast deigned to appoint the Blessed Virgin, Thy Mother, to be our Mother also and our Mediatrix with Thee, graciously grant that whosoever goes to Thee in quest of blessings may be gladdened by obtaining them all through her, Thou Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

(Bishops, 560 A.D.)


These two saints of France were, as we are told in the Roman Martyrology, twin brothers. They were born on the same day, consecrated bishops on the same day, and on the same day they died. Saint Medard was Bishop of Noyon. Saint Gildard was Bishop of Rouen. Their memories are most loving ones in northern France. Saint Medard began the custom of crowning each year as the Rose Queen the most virtuous and holy young Catholic girl of his diocese. If it rains on the feast of Saint Medard, the loving Catholic peasants of northern France take it as a sign that it will rain for forty days more.