A corporal work of mercy.

A corporal work of mercy.
Click on photo for this corporal work of mercy!

Wednesday 30 November 2011

It's "my church" you silly cookie worshipper!

The news from London Diocese headed by Basilian, Bishop Ronald Fabbro just keep coming. There is no doubt that those who serve and advise the Bishop in liturgy have to give an accounting to him, to the people and most of all, to the LORD.
Members of my family, in the London diocese, were all commanded to stand for the reception of Holy Communion; their parish priest berated them that such behaviour would not be tolerated in "his church." As if that were not shocking enough he labelled them, "cookie worshipers"! This latest proscription on kneeling after communion does suggest this may not have been an "isolated incidence." Although this case was the most egregious of many, it does suggest organic growth from a corrupted tree. "No one eats this flesh without having first adored it...and not only do we not sin in thus adoring it, but we would be sinning if we did not do so." St. Augustine on The Sin of "Spiritual Pride" in the Diocese of London!
Your Excellency; I know this is not what you intended.

Elizabeth at 10:02 who left this; please write to me privately and urgently at voxcantoris (at) rogers (dot) com

Sunday 27 November 2011

A Metropolitan See and its Wayward London Child

Thank you and a prayer for God's abundant blessings on Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto for having the grace, faith and pastoral sensitivity to recognise the "laudable practice" in the GIRM that the kneeling custom in Toronto is to be maintained. That is, from the end of the Sanctus to the end of the Doxology and from the beginning of the Ecce Agnus Dei. After Communion, the faithful may kneel or sit. as they are inclinded, as is their personal choice.

Our grown up American brothers and sisters are much more fortunate that the Holy See has already ruled on ths ludicrous behaviour by episcopal dictators. Gee, they seem to find something in the GIRM to enforce that isn't there but they can't enforce the minimal use of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or Gregorian chant?

Meanwhile, the poor people of the See of Toronto's wayward child have had gestapo like "ministers of uniformity" going around telling them to get off of their knees. The Diocese of London under Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the Congregation of St. Basil as High Priest of liturgy has ordered under the rubric of "obedience" that people must all stand after Holy Communion until all have received and returned to their pews as a sign of "unity" and "community."

Woe too, to those in Calgary who suffer from a bishop who states, "The GIRM says this...In Calgary, we do this..."

Reports are reaching us today from Calgary, Antigonish, Halifax, Winnipeg and other places of this rudeness and intrusion on the part of some of Canada's high priests of liturgy.

God bless Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver for recognising "laudable practice.'

As referred to in the link above, this little matter has been dealt with by Rome previously and quite effectively at that same link by Francis Cardinal Arinze, whlilst he was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Letters will be written. Rome will be called in to intervene.

Look at this from a Facebook feed about the situation in London today:

Sadly, in my diocese last evening, some left Holy Mass in tears and angry after being forced to stand after receiving Our precious Lord in the Eucharist and were prohibited from kneeling. Shame on the priest and our bishop!

I just knelt anyway, the liturgy belongs to all of us, and the Holy See said we can kneel if we wish. I have never like bullies. The priest and I had a good discussion afterward and he at least seemed interested in finding out what Rome has said about this "no kneeling" after Communion liturgical fad. I'll be emailing the documents to him today.

One parishioner, in his 70's, was so upset at Holy Mass after being told the bishop said we can't kneel after Communion anymore, he yelled out during the priest's homily, "Father, why can't we keep kneeling together as a sign of unity?" The priest just responded, "This is what the bishop said we have to do for unity." Unity? Give me a break. Ripping away a centuries old custom from people, which takes place during a most miraculous moment in their lives, does not create unity. It creates harm through division, anger, and deep hurt. God save us!

Gentle Reader, this is not what the GIRM requires. This is not in the new Roman Missal. The bishops who do this are being insensitive and cruel. They are not doing what the Church wants. It is an ugly power-play.

It is my view that many, many bishops, priests and professional Catholics and liturgists resent in every way the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and the translation mandated by Liturgicam Authenticum. They were forced to implement it when as recently as last February they denied any sense of urgency when the Recognitio was still not granted. Some will stop at nothing to ensure that that which is to surround the Missal  to increase reverence and holiness does not happen.

If they are so eager to interpret what is not in the GIRM when will they actually interpret correctly what is in there such as Gregorian chant?

Dear Reader, you have a responsibility to stand up get in the battle in a way that our parents and grandparents were not out of blind obedience and ignorance.

Here is one way.

And with your spirit

Let us now rejoice give thanks to God that the Novus Ordo Missae in English now has a translation that befits the celebration of Holy Mass.

What was the experience in your parish?

A blessed Advent to you all.


Saturday 26 November 2011

Somebody reviles Vox; Blest am I

A few days ago, whilst working on some other tasks on the computer, I heard in the background a program on Salt + Light which I blogged about here.

The next day, a pretty strange comment appeared in the combox.

Our good friend "Anonymous" either knows me or knows of me. Not only did he mention my name, which is not too hard to find, but he actually mentioned my employer and questioned my employment and my work ethic. I don't care about that, I won't respond to his calumny. But I do care about my employer and to those whom my work serves so well. I deleted the comment to protect my employer from scandal. I am re-posting it below with necessary censored parts to reveal to you, dear reader, the ugliness that the truth brings out.

Salt + Light has many, many good people working there. They are good Catholics, faithful and see their work as a true apostolate. Notwithstanding that, there needs to be more care on their parts for canned, non S+L produced programs and that was the point of the blog post.

Sometimes shining a light on a problem is helpful. It is not to attack the people or their organisation but to bring attention to a problem so that they can do better in the future.

There are people who resent Catholics who blog because our keyboards and our computer screens give us the ability to address issues in the Church which our predecessors were unable to do. You don't need to be a bishop or a liturgist to understand and to communicate the truth. Some resent this ability because it means that they can be challenged in the public square for comments they make and things that they do.

I make no apologies for my criticism elsewhere on this blog of Celebrate in Song or the National Liturgical Commission or the Bishop of Calgary's blatant disregard for the GIRM and I make no apologies for making you aware that a pro-abortionist, church-hating, anti-Catholic bigot appeared on a Catholic television station, no matter that there is no support for her position by the people at the network.

But who would leave such a message in public, in writing and in the combox?

Surely friend, if you wanted to write to me you could have done so in private, my email address is available through the blog.

Instead, you have committed public calumny.

I am not offended by it, but I am disturbed that someone who obviously took offense to my highlighting of the truth and my asking of an honest question would debase themselves in such a manner.

The tone of the letter is familiar to me.

Debate the point friend, but why would you stoop to such a low point as this?
Anonymous at 1:54

"My question(s), perhaps more relevant:

"Why would the XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX employ Mr. XXXXX.XXXXX - at $90,000 per year -to sit on his fat ass and blog all day long instead of working? I mean, isn't he just stealing from xxx xxxxxxxx at this point?. shouldn't he at least have some type of task or deliverable work to do? Shouldn't he at least have to show up at work to get paid?"

As per Matthew 1, these are not my questions to judge. But I'm guessing that St. Peter doesn't look too kindly upon those who take from the Catholic Church and give nothing back.

Good luck, Mr. XXXXX, in your quest to judge others before judging yourself."
Oh, by-the-way, thanks for the raise.

Cardinal condemns "Ladder-climber's self interest"

Cardinal Ouellet uses frank words about those who lust and lobby for the episcopate! (my emphasis)

Every bishop must defend the faith, Vatican official says

.- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, said that every bishop is required to proclaim the Church's teachings to modern society.

Bishops should be “capable of publicly defending the faith,” Cardinal Ouellet underscored. “In addition to the virtues that are normally demanded of a bishop, this capacity is particularly necessary today.”
In an interview with the Italian daily L’Avvenire on Nov. 18, Cardinal Ouellet described the involved process of selecting a new bishop which requires taking the opinions of numerous people into account.

“This research provides important elements for ruling out certain candidates and accepting and proposing others,” he said. “In some cases, additional inquiries need to be carried out. Altogether, it is a serious process that is normally done well.”

Some priests actually aspire to become bishops, he noted, saying that there can also be “movements or pressure to suggest or insist a certain priest be elevated.”

“For this reason, it is important to evaluate not only the human and emotional maturity, but also the spiritual maturity of the candidates for bishop,” he said.

Cardinal Ouellet noted he has also had some candidates turn down their appointments. 

“There have been quite a few more than I expected,” he said. One of the main reasons for this trend is that “in recent years, the role of the bishop, and of authorities in general, both religious and political, is not at all easy.”

Likewise because of the scandals, the media campaigns and the accusations of sexual abuse by priests and religious. It is understandable that not everyone wants to confront these situations.”

Ultimately, all bishops must realize that their mission is to serve Christ and the Church and not themselves, he stressed. 

“Bishops should know who they are working for, that is, for the Lord and for the Church,” Cardinal Ouellet said. “Not for themselves. When this happens, it becomes apparent in the way in which their personality is expressed. The ladder-climber’s self-interest prevails or tends to prevail.”


Thursday 24 November 2011

Celebrate in Song: Two critiques of the new CCCB booklet

Here is my article from the December 2011 edition of Catholic Insight. Permission has been granted for a reprint at http://www.canticanova.com/.

You can read it all, here:

Celebrate in Song: Two critiques of the new CCCB booklet
By Raymond Lévesque and David Domet
Issue: December 2011
Attending one of the workshops in Toronto at Annunciation parish on the music for the new Missal I was amused to find that one of the presenters, a "professional liturgist" in front of over 400 people would say; "they (ICEL) have even set the Nicene Creed to music; why anyone would want to sing the Creed is beyond me."


When questioned as to the Propers, she responded, "What are they?"

This from one of Canada's professional liturgists does not speak well for the rest of Celebrate in Song.

The three settings composed by Canadian composers are no closer to the ideal of what the Church expects and calls Sacred Music than that which is mostly now tolerated.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Salt + Light Features Pro-Abortion Communist and Anti-Catholic bigot!

Why would Salt + Light Catholic Television* feature a program called "Context with Lorna Dueck" which features as a guest anti-Catholic bigot and pro-abortion advocate and communist and former head of the radically feminist National Action Committe on the Status of Women, Judy Rebick.

Is this appropriate "Catholic" television programming?

Just askin'.

* aired on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 10:00 P.M. EST

Thursday 17 November 2011

Celebrate in Song---Conflicted Interest

Well, well well...isn't this interesting.  It seems that two of three composers of the less than appropriate Mass settings in Celebrate in Song are actually on the National Council of Liturgical Music under the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Now, how much did your parish pay for this? Um, did the Bishops not command that you "only" sing these? Does all this seem a little out of the ordinary?

Nah, it must be just me.

Nota bene: Perhaps those who have foisted upon Catholic in Canada the banality of Celibate in Song might be interested in this:

Vatican instructions on liturgical music, architecture coming soon RSS Facebook November 22, 2011

The Vatican will soon unveil a “liturgical art and sacred music commission,” and issue new guidelines for the construction of churches and the renewal of liturgical music, according to Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa.
Tornielli—who has compiled an enviable record for predicting new developments in the pontificate of Benedict XVI—says that the new commission will mark an important step in the Pontiff’s long-cherished plan for a “reform of the reform” in the liturgy.
The commission will be part of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Tornielli reports. He notes that in September, Pope Benedict relieved that congregation of its responsibility for several canonical issues, explaining that the Congregation for Divine Worship should devote its energies primarily to “giving fresh impetus to the promotion of the Church’s sacred liturgy.”
That congregation, under the leadership of Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, will now issue instructions on liturgical music, architecture, and art, Tornielli reports. These instructions will be designed to insure that all artistic elements are oriented toward a reverent celebration of the liturgy.

On the Corrected Translaton of the Roman Missal

Courtesy of The Chant Cafe and FaithUK is this important article from Father Tim Finigan writing in the September/October edition of Faith Magazine. As approach the last week of a translation of the Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo Missae) which has been a destruction to the faith Father Finigan brilliantly summarises its deficiencies and what it has meant. It is important that you make your friends aware of not only what is coming but the history and outright consipiracy to destroy the liturgy.

The New (corrected) ICEL Translation

Tim Finigan
FAITH Magazine September – October 2011

Fr Timothy Finigan, Parish Priest of Blackfen, sketches the slow process, following Christopher Monckton's 1979 expose in this magazine, of correcting the 1970s mistranslation of the text of the liturgy. He also touches upon the opportunities offered by the translation for healing some of the deep ecclesial wounds of recent decades. Fr Finigan has a popular blog, The Hermeneutic of Continuity.

People have grown old and died waiting for an accurate English translation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI. Most Catholics under 40 years of age have never been able to participate at Mass said according to a faithful rendering of the official Latin text. This injustice to the People of God is now being rectified, and not before time.

The imprimatur for the first full ICEL Missal in England was given by Cardinal Heenan in October 1974. The introduction of the whole Missal was not necessarily immediate. In England and Wales, the former, and much better translation of the National Liturgical Commission (NLC), known colloquially as the "Wheeler Missal" after Bishop Wheeler who played a significant part in producing it, remained legitimate as an alternative. In the September-October 1975 issue of Faith Magazine, Fr Holloway wrote: "To my mind, it is a blessing that our Bishops have not yet allowed ICEL complete and total dominion, although for how long can NLC hold out?" In fact, it did gradually fall into general disuse, although some priests carefully retained copies of the Wheeler Missal. In recent years, they have become as gold dust for younger clergy. (It is still legitimate, I suppose, until the first Sunday of Advent, though I wonder whether anyone has even remembered to mandate its suppression.)

Early Criticisms of the Old ICEL

Though the NLC Propers could be used, the Ordinary of the Mass had to be ICEL. Criticisms of ICEL in the early days therefore often focussed on the texts of the Creed or the Eucharistic Prayers. Even so, this was in the days long before the first web browser was invented, and the reaction was slower than we are accustomed to now. People did complain about the translation, focussing on its banality and lack of a sense of the sacred. Latin Mass (even in the new rite) had become a rarity by the mid 1970s and so it required an effort to get hold of a Latin Missal to compare the texts. As more and more interested Catholics did so, there was a sense of outrage at what was missing, changed or simply invented. In 1979, Christopher Monckton, then Editor of the Universe, focussed the complaints of many of us in his widely influential paper for the Association of English Worship, published in this magazine (Dec 1979) as "Caught in the Act. A Conspiracy of Errors." (He compiled a list of over 400 such errors.)

The main point of his article was that the ICEL translation (of the Ordinary of the Mass) was not only banal, nor even simply erroneous; Monckton demonstrated that it was marred by systematic omissions, and systematic doctrinal defects. The words sanctus and beatus had been passed over in almost every place where they occur in the text. As he observed, "there was only one point at which the translators must have found it all but impossible to omit the word "Sanctus" and that is in the SANCTUS itself." They could hardly have expected the priest and people to say: "____,____,____," My own favourite example of desacralising is the translation of the text in the Roman Canon "accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem in sanctas et venerabiles manus suas" which is properly translated in the new ICEL as "he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands." The old ICEL has "he took the cup."

Monckton also drew attention to the theologically grave problem of the text's playing-down of sacrificial language, eliminating the distinction between the offering made by the priest and that made by the people, and losing the notion of Christ as victim. The most glaring example is the phrase ''sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam" in the Roman Canon, which is simply omitted.

Ever since Monckton's article and others like it in the late seventies, it has been an open secret that the translation was bad, and needed to be replaced. Even at that time, with the text not six years old, the Chairman of ICEL indicated that it was to be subject to a careful and painstaking re-evaluation; it took eighteen years for a new text to be presented to the Holy See. By 1998, however, many things had changed: Pope John Paul's papacy had matured, and the Congregation for Divine Worship, after a series of other good prefects, was now run by Cardinal Estevez. In his letter to ICEL, the Cardinal gave 114 examples of specific flaws in the proposed text, saying that the list "cannot be considered in any way exhaustive." He specifically noted "It appears, indeed, consciously or unconsciously to promote a view of sacramental and ecclesiological theology that contrasts with the intentions of the Holy See." Among the many defects, he noted the dropping of the words sanctus and beatus: the "careful and painstaking" eighteen year re-evaluation did not seem to have achieved very much.

Before offering his cordial good wishes in Christ the Lord, Cardinal Estevez wrote:

"... this Congregation considers it may be helpful to recommend that there be a complete change of translators on this project and that a new, independent and definitive English version be made afresh from the Latin texts."

Not long afterwards, in 2001, the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam was issued, insisting that

"the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to the characteristics or the nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and discreet."

The following year, ICEL was reconstituted with due acknowledgement of the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and the process of translation began for a third time. The growing use of the internet, especially in social networking, meant that through the debates of the US Bishops' Conference (commendably held in public session) the general Catholic public became increasingly aware of just what thinking was behind what was coming to be known by consensus as the "lame-duck translation", an expression popularised by Fr Zuhlsdorf who has spent many years analysing "What does the prayer really say?" both in his column for The Wanderer and on his popular blog. When Bishop Trautman of Erie complained about unfamiliar words being used, bloggers jokingly vied with each other to include the words "ineffable", "wrought" and "gibbet" into ordinary posts. The opposition to the more sacral language was characterised as objecting to "them fancy words."

A Great Relief for Priests and People

Now, after several decades, we finally have an accurate translation of the Roman Missal to use for the celebration of Mass. During the lead-up to its introduction, some of the liberal Catholic press has been acting in a way reminiscent of the "phony war" of 1939. They have not been issuing gas masks and practising air raid drills, but from the hysteria of some articles, you would think that extra first-aiders should be trained. I am not exaggerating here. The Tablet actually posted an article on its website in which the author suggested that asking children to say in The Confiteor "through my fault, through my fault, through my own most grievous fault" while beating their breasts, was a form of psychological child abuse. Wisely (perhaps realising that this foolish comment trivialised real child abuse) The Tablet took the article down.

Most ordinary Catholics who are still actually going to Mass will not be troubled by the changes to the text, except for stumbling a bit for the first few weeks and accidentally falling into the old ICEL from time to time. The priest can do a lot to help in the reception of this change. If he is obviously enthusiastic and positive, the people will be encouraged in their faith, and can benefit from the catechesis that he gives in his ordinary preaching, looking at topics like sacrifice, grace, humility, and the sacredness of the Liturgy, to give a few examples of doctrines that show out much more clearly in the new texts.

For the minority who take an active interest in the Liturgy, read Catholic articles and follow news within the Church, I suspect that the people who are delighted by the new ICEL will far outnumber those who are opposed to it. For priests who are faithful to the Church, and have been aware of the errors and deficiencies of the old ICEL, it will be a relief and a joy to be able to use a worthy text for the celebration of Mass in English. For the 27 years of my priestly life, I have been using a lame-duck text that dumbs down the theology of the Mass and prevents me from giving to God the reverence due to Him in the words of the prayers prescribed by the Church. I rejoice that the students I have taught, who are being ordained this year will begin their priestly ministry with a worthy text.

Unfortunately, there has been little progress on the question of copyright to the text, which belongs to the local Bishops' Conferences. The cards which have been produced by the major publishers have various problems because of conditions imposed by the National Liturgical Committee. They imply or state that the offertory prayers must be said out loud, that the sign of peace is compulsory, and that Holy Communion must be received standing. They are also unwieldy because of ICEL's insistence that the texts must be printed according to "sense lines." (This constraint also make the Missal itself waste acres of white space.) Last year, when the "phony war" ponderously urged elaborate preparation for priests to be able to use the new texts, I pointed out at one clergy meeting that I had done the preparation many years ago by taking English O-Level. The stubborn insistence on "sense lines" is surely a form of that "infantilisation" which was fostered by the collaborative ministry enthusiasts but is so decried nowadays.

Paradoxically, since Summorum Pontificum, it is easier to obtain high quality pdfs of the texts and music for the extraordinary form of the Mass and the Divine Office than for the ordinary form in English. There will undoubtedly be an underground movement to share electronic versions of the text so that booklets and leaflets can be produced and distributed on the internet free of charge. (There is already a text of the newly-translated Missal available on Wikispooks) It would make sense for ICEL and the English speaking Bishops' Conferences (or any one of them) or the Holy See itself to put an official version of the text out into the wild under a licence that allowed non-commercial copying with the caveat that the text itself should not be modified (it is in fact much easier to verify the integrity of an electronic text.) Hunting people down for copyright violations is a waste of time that could be better spent supporting the work done by enthusiastic Catholics free of charge for the love of God.

In a way, the liberals are right to fear the new (corrected) ICEL text. They do not want any change in the status quo because it will inevitably provide an opportunity to make other changes, most notably to the music that is used for the Mass. If parishes begin to recover the idea of a sung Mass, rather than a Mass at which things are sung, that will be a great improvement to the celebration of the Liturgy. Once bumped out of the groove in which we have been stuck for decades, it will be easier for parish priests to take up some of the reforms which have been encouraged gently by Pope Benedict, to be frightened no longer by traditional vestments and vessels for Mass, by the possibility of at least some celebrations of Mass being ad orientem, or by gently moving away from anti-liturgical informality.

During the decades in which we have been lumbered with the lame-duck translation, much has changed in the Church: some of the changes have ironically been a matter of people continuing to do the same thing. Those who as youngsters were attracted by the folk choir and have remained in it, can sometimes now look like the ageing rockers who play at teatime in seaside pavilions in the summer. They may still harbour the pious hope that young people will be attracted by matey liturgy and jolly tunes. The sad reality is that in most parishes there are hardly any young people left after the Confirmation course has finished. The ones who do remain will stay because either through a miracle or the providence of God they have received some formation in the faith: they want the truth and they want to worship God. Some school chaplains or diocesan youth centres have tried hard to move towards better and more catechetical music for worship but the danger remains that this is of transient appeal and can become quickly outdated and a source of amusement unlike the perennial sacred music of the Church which was actually mandated by Vatican II.

The debate over whether liturgy or catechesis is most important for saving the faith of the young has taken a new turn in the recent revival of the Liturgical movement. The Liturgy has been rediscovered as itself a source for theology, and therefore also for catechesis. This certainly does not mean that the Liturgy is primarily a school assembly: making it such is one of the problems that we have to overcome. Rather, the priest in his preaching, and the catechist in sacramental preparation can use the texts of the Liturgy to illustrate the faith. This will be much easier with the new (corrected) translation which succeeds in preserving the dogmatic content of the prayers. Shortly after the time of the publication of the lame-duck translation, Faith movement produced a pamphlet called "The Liturgy: a catechism of Catholic doctrine." This showed that even in what was a bad translation, the basic doctrines of the faith could be found in the text. Now everyone is talking about the opportunity for catechesis that the new text presents.

Important though this is, it must be accompanied by a recovery of the sacred in the Liturgy: especially in the celebration of Sunday Mass, and even more crucially in the celebration of the school Mass. Many active young Catholics have found the numinous in the usus antiquior and have become attached to it, much to the bewilderment of older Catholics who remember the heady days of the seventies with nostalgia. Whatever the process of mutual enrichment between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of Mass (as desired by Pope Benedict) will hold for the future, the present position of young Catholics is that they are going to keep or lose the faith through what they experience in the Mass celebrated at their parish and at their school. The new (corrected) translation offers us a definitive moment of action (the local centre of spirituality would doubtless call it kairos.) Archbishop Nichols told the clergy of Westminster on the 9th of June last, that "the Liturgy forms us, not us the Liturgy." I agree with him and would add that right now, we need to seize the opportunity to change more than simply the translation: clergy of orthodox faith who love the Church must take the risk of insisting that they will submit themselves to the Liturgy, eradicate informality, correct abuses and (if not literally then at least symbolically) turn towards the Lord. Whether in English or in Latin, we are in fact going up to the altar of God. And He is the one who gives joy to our youth.

Monday 14 November 2011

Dear Bishop

Dear Bishop,

Is all this really necessary?

"Here we are being instructed by our bishop to remain standing when we return to our pew and remain standing until all have received. I know that the Mass is not a private devotion and a common posture is good, but I am wondering, can this be interpreted in the same way as the direction for receiving communion? While that direction is to stand and receive on the hand, we all have a right to receive on the tongue while kneeling. But then again, just because we have a right doesn't necessarily mean we should exercise that right. I do not know what I am going to do!" ...SW

"I myself will be kneeling after receiving, upon arrival at the pew. We have also heard we are to stand until all receive, but I will be following Cardinal Arinze on this one." ...CapeBretoner

I cannot tell you to disobey, but then, I doubt that the bishop has the authority to regulate you like this, regardless.. The Church is not some kind of communist boot camp. Go and receive Him, kneel if you choose, receive Him on your tongue and go back to your pew and quietly kneel in a corner at the back and ignore anyone who harasses you. I'm with Cardinal Arinze and Cape Bretoner on this one! --Vox.

"Why is it so important that everyone do the same thing? Myself, it means much to me to kneel after the Agnus Dei. And I don't want to stand around after receiving communion, waiting for everyone to receive. The story I get is that "standing is the way our culture shows respect" and "kneeling was for slaves back then". Our Bishop is wonderful. He is all for the new ways. I dare to disagree though and am starting to dread going to Mass because I am afraid...Thank you for getting all this info out to people. Maybe tolerance will prevail. I am not sure what I will do if someone complains about my kneeling. I've all ready let folks know where I stand (hah hah) on the "new postures". I hate disagreements but even more so I had being pushed around. I think it is beneath the dignity of the clergy to try to force people, especially older Catholics, to give up reverent liturgical practices that are dear to them."...Maria K.

Never "dread" going to Mass. On the other hand, if it is really that bad and a disturbance to your soul, then try to find a different parish. A priest friend once told me a story about his late well-known sister (a writer of some high regard in these matters who wrote the book to wake up Canadian about the liturgy and the crisis). It seems that she was praying once before the Blessed Sacrament and as she poured her heart out to Jesus with how much she was suffering because of the liturgical abuses, she heard and audible voice, "If I have to put up with it, so do you!" Blessed John Paul II quoted the Archangel Gabriel upon his elevation, "Do not be afraid." I would add "be strong" and calm and seek out a different parish if necessary. The "regulation" after communion is simply illogical and wrong. If you choose to kneel, then kneel. The bishop has no authority in this matter at that place. The GIRM does not give him the power to "regulate" at that point. It is silent on the matter. It is your choice and right to kneel.--Vox.

And may Toronto always be grateful for "laudable practice!"

Me too.

I know too as I was also there. But being five years older than Voris, I remember the plywood table set up one Sunday and a rather forlorn and sober looking Father Carroll being so out of place. Then at 13, I left. What Michael says in this video is true. It happened here in Toronto just like that. It happened everywhere...


Wednesday 9 November 2011

The GIRM and the Calgarian Catholic Church

Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary has recently announced certain norms for the implemntation of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, the GIRM.

I have no doubt that Bishop Henry means well, he must be terribly decieved by those around him who have adivsed him in this matter.

Those who have advised the bishop and published this under his name have also taken a public stand against the well-known practice of Pope Benedict XVI and what had become known as the "Benectine Arrangement" which has been recently implemented in Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral with beautiful new medieval style candlesticks. It is simply unacceptable that professional Catholics and chancery officials would mislead a bishop to publish something that simply contradicts not only the GIRM but Redemptionis Sacramentum. He is clearly not being well-served. These are the same bureaucrats who advised the bishop to ban communion on the tongue and to suspend the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The bishop is not being well-served.

Here is the link to the PDF document at the Dicocese of Calgary.

Implementation Directives FOR THE DIOCESE OF CALGARY
The purpose of this document is to call attention to certain paragraphs in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) 2011 that require a change of practice for some if not all of our parishes. It also presents the decisions that I have made as Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary
on certain aspects of the same.
The General Instruction of Roman Missal speaks of the Bishop's role in paragraph #22.
One cannot act outside the actual GIRM.
GIRM #117 The altar is to be covered with at least one white cloth. In addition, on or next to the altar are to be placed candlesticks with lighted candles: at least two in any celebration ... Likewise, on the altar or close to it, there is to be a cross adorned with a figure of Christ crucified. The candles and the cross with the figure of Christ crucified may also be carried in the procession at the Entrance. On the altar itself may be placed a Book of the Gospels distinct from the book of other readings, unless it [the Book of the Gospels] is carried in the
Entrance Procession.
DIRECTIVE The general practice in the Diocese of Calgary is to place the cross and candles next to the altar rather than on the altar. If placed on the altar, the cross and candles should be positioned so as to avoid creating a barrier between the priest and the people.
Those of you who have read The Spirit of the Liturgy will know that then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about what has become known as the "Benedictine Arrangement" of six candles across the front of the Altar with the Crucified Christ in the middle. He is re-focussing our attention and the Priest Celebrant's. The GIRM does not specify this, yet, but wait for the Fourth Edition of the Roman Missal. This is a re-orientation of our focus away from the personality of the priest and in turn, his distraction by the people to Christ. What must follow is legislated return to "ad orientem" posture.
The practice of placing the processional candles at the ambo may continue. For those who follow the practice of lighting the candles at the altar during the offertory, this may also continue.
This is a liturgical error. The Processional Candles are to be only at the Ambo during the reading of the Gospel as they represent the presence of Christ. When it is not that time, Christ is not present at the Ambo. The candles are not "lit" at this time, whatever that is, it is a silly and trite innovation. The Processional Candles should be placed near the Credence Table or some other are of the sanctuary.
Entrance Procession with the Book of the Gospels
The following paragraphs from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal make reference to the Book of the Gospels: #117, #120, #122, #173, #194, #195.
DIRECTIVE 1. When the reader carries the Book of the Gospels a simple bow of the head is sufficient.
2. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal the lectionary should not be carried in the entrance procession, but rather the Book of the Gospels. Currently Canada does not have a Book of the Gospels. Processing even with the lectionary has created a deep respect for the scripture, the Word of God, and has increased the awareness of the Word as a mode of Christ's presence among us. We will continue to use the lectionary in procession until the Book of the Gospels is available. At that time the lectionary will no longer be carried in procession, only the Book of the Gospels. #90 makes no mention of the Book of the Gospels being carried in the closing procession. Therefore the Book of the Gospels (or lectionary) will be left in place at the end of the liturgy.
It appears that in Calgary the bereaucrats have poorly advised the bishop. The "Lectionary" is not be held aloft in procession, only the Book of Gospels.
Presentation of the Gifts
From Redemptionis Sacramentum #106 However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration
from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery.
DIRECTIVE Wine may be presented to the priest in a flagon, but then it must be poured into the chalices prior to the Consecration. This is best done while the chalice is being prepared.
A little picking and choosing what to obey.
Posture - General Article on Posture
#43 The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the Priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer; and from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the Prayer over the Offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated here below. The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, during the period of sacred silence after Communion.
In the dioceses of Canada, the faithful should kneel at the Consecration, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the Priest says Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God), it is laudable for this practice to be retained.
Posture During the Preparation Rite
Specific to this moment in the liturgy, paragraph #43 states: The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, during the period of sacred silence after Communion.
DIRECTIVE To establish this posture as a common practice throughout the Diocese, a change is required. The people will sit through the Preparation Rite, rising in time to respond to the invitation Pray my sisters and brothers. The ritual gesture of standing is a treasured posture in the Church's prayer and is the desired posture when we offer prayer to God. At this point in the Preparation Rite we stand in readiness to offer our prayer through the voice of the priest as he prays the presidential prayer over the gifts.
This is a change to take place everywhere.
Posture During the Eucharistic Prayer
DIRECTIVE Although it has been the practice in this Diocese to stand during the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the priest says This is the Lamb of God, the posture to be assumed by the faithful for the Consecration is kneeling. Therefore, in all the churches in the Diocese of Calgary the faithful are to kneel at the conclusion of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) and to stand when the priest announces The Mystery of Faith. Those who may not be able to kneel for such reasons as infirmity are invited to make a profound bow when the celebrant genuflects at the Consecration of the bread and again at the Consecration of the wine. For your information, this same directive will be given by the other Latin Rite Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories to their faithful. This directive applies only to churches and exceptions would be chapels in institutions, halls, outdoor mass sites, gymnasiums, etc. Churches in our diocese that do not currently have kneelers have until the first Sunday in Advent 2012 to submit to the Bishop’s Office a plan for how they will modify their facilities to comply with the Diocesan application ofthe norm in the GIRM.
Sadly in Calgary, there is no "laudable practice." But where did the kneelers go?
Posture for the Deacon During the Eucharistic Prayer
#179 During the Eucharistic Prayer, the Deacon stands near the Priest, but slightly behind him, so that when necessary he may assist the Priest with the chalice or the Missal. From the epiclesis until the Priest shows the chalice, the Deacon usually remains kneeling.
DIRECTIVE Generally the deacon will kneel as required, unless he is not able because of health or lack of space. In this circumstance the rule as found in #43 is applied: Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration.
Health factors and inability to kneel goes without saying. Obviously this is being addressed because the current GIRM specifying this is being ignored.
The Rite of Peace
#154 Priest may give the sign of Peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so that the celebration is not disrupted. He may do the same if, for a reasonable cause, he wishes to offer the sign of Peace to a small number of the faithful.
When May Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Come to the Altar?
#162 In the distribution of Communion the Priest may be assisted by other Priests who happen to be present. If such Priests are not present and there is a truly large number of communicants, the Priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, that is, duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been duly deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may depute suitable faithful for this single occasion. These ministers should not approach the altar before the Priest has received Communion, and then they are always to receive from the hands of the Priest Celebrant the vessel containing the species of the most Holy Eucharist for distribution to the faithful.
DIRECTIVE In the Diocese of Calgary, the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may enter the sanctuary at the Sign of Peace, and stand away from the altar. After the priest consumes the Eucharistic Species, the extraordinary ministers approach the altar. They may receive Communion from the Priest, the deacon, or one of the other extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who has been the first of the laity to receive Communion. However, the Priest must present the Communion vessels to the extraordinary ministers.
This is clearly not permitted. The GIRM is clear on when the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are to enter the sanctuary. I am very impressed by the good pastor at the parish in Toronto where I am Cantor on Saturday evening. Upon reading this in the new GIRM, he immediately corrected it!
Posture During the Communion Rite
#43 Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the Priest says Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God), itis laudable for this practice to be retained.
DIRECTIVE In the Diocese of Calgary we will continue the practice of standing during the acclamation This is the Lamb of God.
Sadly, there is no "laudable practice" to maintain.
The Communion Song
Um, I think the GIRM refers to the Communion "Chant"
#86 While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun, its purpose being to express the spiritual union of the communicants bymeans of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the "communitarian"character of the procession to receive the Eucharist. The singing is prolonged for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful.
DIRECTIVE The common posture of standing continues during the Communion procession and singing of the Communion song. This practice teaches us that Communion is a corporate action in which we together are drawn into the Eucharistic mystery and the life of the Trinity. Singing together helps us realize our communion together in the Risen Lord. We will catechize on the importance of communal song during the
Communion Procession. The bond of unity is expressed by joining in the congregational song before receiving Communion and after consuming the sacred elements. Personal prayer takes place during the silence after the Communion procession is finished. At that time while the priest or other designated extraordinary ministers are purifying the vessels, we should also enter into communal silence together.
Posture for Receiving Communion
#160 The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession. It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. In the Dioceses of Canada, Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. When standing before the minister to receive Holy Communion, the faithful should make a simple bow of the head. When receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, they reverently join their hands; when receiving Holy Communion in the hand, they reverently open their hands placing one beneath the other, and they consume the host immediately upon receiving it.
DIRECTIVE The more common posture is for the people to stand to receive Communion, but we need to be aware that kneeling is permitted. A prie-dieu should not be provided for this latter posture. It is important to convey to the people that paragraph #160 is not an indication that one posture is more holy than the other.
formation is also needed on:
a) How to receive on the tongue: tilt the head back and extend the tongue in order that the hand of the minister does not contact the mouth of the communicant.
b) How to receive in the hand: place one hand beneath the other, then take the lower hand and lift the host to one's mouth. NO, ONE SHOULD BRING THEIR HAND TO THEIR MOUTHS OR BETTER STILL, STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE AND PUT AN END TO THIS ABOMINATION!
c) No sign of the cross or genuflection is required after receiving Communion.
New Required Sign of Reverence at Communion
#160 When standing before the minister to receive Holy Communion, the faithful should make a simple bow of the head.
DIRECTIVE The bow of the head is a sign of reverence for the sacred presence of the Risen Lord in the Communion elements. This is a bow of the head and not a deep bow.In order that it be a gesture of integrity and not rote motion the whole Communion procession will need to take on a slightly slower pace.Each communicant will make the bow of the head while standing before the sacred elements, not while the person ahead is receiving Communion. The bow will occur in a timely manner while the previous communicant is
moving away. The minister will wait for the communicant to make the bow, then raise his or her face toward the minister in order to respond appropriately. Once the communicant raises the head, the minister holds the
host and proclaims The Body of Christ. The communicant responds Amen. The consecrated host is placed with care upon the hand of the communicant, or on the tongue. The communicant then moves to the station to receive the Blood of Christ in the same manner. In the Diocese of Calgary the bow is encouraged before both elements: the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ.
Communion from the Elements Consecrated at the Same Mass
#85 It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the Priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the cases where this is foreseen, they partake of the chalice (cf. #283), so that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.
DIRECTIVE Recognizing the practical challenges of #85, we should strongly encourage the participation of the faithful in the fullness of the paschal sacrifice by receiving elements consecrated at that same liturgy.
Communion from the Chalice
#245 The Blood of the Lord may be consumed either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon.
DIRECTIVE In the Diocese of Calgary, the Blood of the Lord may be consumed only by
drinking from the chalice. 
Who May Place Remaining Consecrated Hosts in the Tabernacle?
#163 When the distribution of Communion is over, the Priest himself immediately and completely consumes at the altar any consecrated wine that happens to remain; as for any consecrated hosts that are left, he either consumes them at the altar or carries them to the place designated for the reservation of the Eucharist.
DIRECTIVE #63 states that only the deacon or priest may go to the tabernacle. This applies also to retrieving previously consecrated hosts from the tabernacle. In the Diocese of Calgary, formally installed extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may also go to the tabernacle. From a practical viewpoint it is fitting therefore to have sufficient hosts consecrated at the liturgy to provide for the entire assembly in so far as this  is possible.
Who May Purify the vessels?
#163 Upon returning to the altar, the Priest collects the fragments, should any remain, and he stands at the altar or at the credence table and purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, and after this purifies the chalice, saying quietly the formula Quod ore sumpsimus, Domine (What has passed our lips), and dries the chalice with a purificator. If the vessels are purified at the altar, they are carried to the credence table by a minister.Nevertheless, it is also permitted to leave vessels needing to be purified, especially if there are several, on a corporal, suitably covered, either on the altar or on the credence table, and to purify them immediately after Mass, after the Dismissal of the people.
#192 Likewise, after the distribution of Communion is complete, a duly instituted acolyte helps the Priest or Deacon to purify and arrange the sacred vessels. In the absence of a Deacon, a duly instituted acolyte carries the sacred vessels to the credence table and there purifies them, wipes them and arranges them as usual.
DIRECTIVE In the Diocese of Calgary, a priest, deacon, instituted acolyte, or formally installed extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may purify the vessels. The principle here is that if you can do the greater, then you can do the lesser.
The purification may be done after the Communion procession at the credence table but not in the sacristry.
It may also occur immediately after the liturgy, however the purification of the vessels should not delay the priest from greeting the people.
#166 When the Prayer after Communion is concluded, brief announcements should be made to the people, if there are any. #168, 185 Immediately after the Blessing ... Ite missa est (Go forth the Mass is ended).
And all reply Thanks be to God.
DIRECTIVE Only dismissals contained in the Missal are to be used.

I said previously, it will take more than a correct translation.