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Mass – November and December 2015

The following Masses have been scheduled to take place in addition to the current regular Masses:

NOVEMBER 2015:
Requiem Mass
Our Ladye and Saint Michael, Abergavenny.
Saturday 28th November at 11.30am
Low Mass

DECEMBER 2015:
Christmas: Dawn Mass
Belmont Abbey, Hereford
Friday 25th December 2015 at 7.00am
Low Mass

Mass – Feast of Corpus Christi 2015

Holy Mass will be offered at Belmont Abbey tomorrow 04/06/15 at 11am for the Feast of Corpus Christi (old calendar of course).

There will be no Mass at the Chaplaincy at 7pm.

Solemnity of All Saints (1st November)

There will be a Low Mass offered on Saturday 1st November 2014 at Belmont Abbey – 11am on a side altar by Fr Joseph for the Solemnity of All Saints. If you are able to, please come along and support this Mass.

Centenary of the Death of St Pius X

Article by Gregory Dipippo – New Liturgical Movement

From a discourse of His Holiness Pope Pius XII, on the canonization of Pope St Pius X.

Pope Saint Pius X

Pope Saint Pius X

Sanctity, which was the guide and inspiration of the undertakings of Pius X, shines forth even more clearly in the daily acts of his personal life. Before applying it to others, he put into practice in himself his program of returning all things to unity in Christ. As a humble parish priest, as bishop, as the Supreme Pontiff, he believed that the sanctity to which God called destined him was that of a priest. What sanctity is more pleasing to God in a priest of the New Law than that which belongs to a representative of the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, Who left to His Church in the holy Mass the perennial memorial, the perpetual renovation of the Sacrifice of the Cross, until He shall come for the last judgment; and Who with this Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist has given Himself as the food of our souls: “He that eateth this bread shall live forever.”

A priest above all in the Eucharistic ministry: this is the most faithful portrait of St. Pius X. To serve the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist as a priest, and to fulfill the command of Our Savior “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19), was his way. From the day of his sacred ordination until his death as Pope, he knew no other possible way to reach such an heroic love of God, and to make a such generous return to that Redeemer of the world, Who by means of the Eucharist “poured out the riches of His divine Love for men” (Council of Trent, Session 13, chapter 2). One of the most significant proofs of his priestly sensibility was his ardent concern for the renewal of the dignity of worship, and his concern to overcome the prejudices of an erroneous practice, by resolutely promoting the frequent, and even daily, Communion of the faithful at the table of the Lord, without hesitation, leading children thereto, lifting them up, as it were, in his own arms, and offering them to the embrace of God hidden on the altars. From this, sprang up a new springtime of the Eucharistic life of the Bride of Christ.

In the profound vision which he had of the Church as a society, Pius X recognized in the Eucharist the power to nourish substantially its interior life, and to raise it high above all other human associations. Only the Eucharist, in which God gives Himself to man, can lay the foundations of a social life worthy of its members, cemented by love more than by authority, rich in its works and aimed at the perfection of individuals: a life, that is, “hidden with Christ in God.”

A providential example for today’s world, where earthly society is becoming more and more a mystery to itself, and anxiously searches for a way give itself a soul! Let it look, then, for its model at the Church, gathered around its altars. There in the sacrament of the Eucharist mankind truly discovers and recognizes its past, present, and future as a unity in Christ. Conscious of, and strong in his solidarity with Christ and his fellow men, each member of either Society, the earthly and the supernatural one, will be able to draw from the altar an interior life of personal dignity and personal worth, such as today is almost lost through insistence on technology and by excessive organization of the whole of existence, of work and even leisure. Only in the Church, the holy Pontiff seems to repeat, and though Her, in the Eucharist which is ‘‘life hidden with Christ in God,” is to be found the secret and source of the renewal of society’s life.

Hence follows the grave responsibility of those who, as ministers of the altar, have the duty of it is to open up to souls the saving treasure of the Eucharist. There are indeed many forms of activity which a priest can exercise for the salvation of the modern world; but only one of them is without a doubt the most worthy, the most efficacious, and the most lasting in its effects: to act as dispenser of the Holy Eucharist, after first nourishing himself thereof abundantly. His work would not be that of a priest, if, even through zeal for souls, he were to put his Eucharistic vocation in second place. Let priests conform their outlook to the inspired wisdom of Pius X, and orient every activity of their life and apostolate by the sun of the Eucharist.

The canonization ceremony of St Pius X, May 29, 1954. The urn with his relics can be seen in front of the altar of St Peter’s in the lower left; it now rests in the altar of the Presentation in the left aisle of the church.

Silence in the Liturgy

LMS_SilenceThe LMS has produced another short video, this time on the subject of ‘Silence in the Liturgy’. Silence is one of the most clearly observable differences, to the casual observer, between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass, and the video, we hope, goes some way to explaining the traditional practice.

Silence is one of the most characteristic aspects of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite that marks it apart from the Novus Ordo. Many of the prayers said by the priest are done so either silently or inaudibly. There are very good reasons for silence in the traditional liturgy; a practice that dates back centuries to the early Church. In this short video, Dr Joseph Shaw explains the reasons for what many Mass-goers regard as one of the most attractive and uplifting aspects of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Click ‘Read More’ to view the video!

Venerable Pope Pius-XII – Sancta Missa 1942

A short clip from the archives of Holy Mass celebrated by the Venerable Pope Pius-XII in 1942. Click “Read More” to view the video clip.

Is It Fitting for the Priest to Recite All the Texts of the Mass?

Article posted on 10/02/14 by Peter Kwasniewski on www.newliturgicalmovement.org

In discussions of the liturgy, one often hears something like the following: “Granted, the changes went too far, but you have to admit that there were some things in the old Mass that needed to be changed. Sacrosanctum Concilium was asking for changes and it did issue some real (though modest) directives—and perhaps in a future revision of the traditional Roman Missal, these improvements can be made.”

Nowadays I always want to ask (and if I am on the scene, I do ask) exactly which changes the person has in mind and why he thinks they would be improvements. With few exceptions, arguments in favor of changes to the Missal’s texts, rubrics, or ceremonies do not carry conviction with those who understand (and therefore love) the meaning of those texts, rubrics, or ceremonies. At this point in my life, after a long experience of knowing and loving the traditional liturgy in its purity of doctrine, poetic expressiveness, poignant symbolism, effortless integration of clergy, people, and musicians, and (not least) unerring psychology and pedagogy, I tend to have the most serious misgivings about any of the proposed “improvements” that people suggest. Such “improvements” would be obtained at the cost of harming the integrity of the liturgical rite, a cost too high to pay for debatable gains.

My view was not always thus. There was a time, years ago, when I thought that the old Mass could be improved in this way or that way. For example, I once believed that it was self-evident that the priest should not be repeating the antiphons or prayers that the people or the schola were already singing. I had read liturgical scholars who pointed out that this had resulted from the backwards influence of the Low Mass upon the High Mass and who judged it to be a superfluous redundancy, a sort of subtle clericalism that required the priest to do everything or else “his Mass” would not be complete. I remember arguing in a forum that during the Gloria and the Credo, the priest should not recite the text and then sit down, but sing it along with the people, standing all the while with them.

But I no longer agree with the rationalistic experts. I have come to see beauty and wisdom in the development that led to the priest’s personal recitation of all the texts in an usus antiquior High Mass, and while a short article cannot do justice to the topic, I would like to offer some initial thoughts, in the hopes that readers (especially priests) will add to the conversation via the comments.

Because the priest stands at the altar in persona Christi, he stands in the person of the “whole Christ,” head and body. He performs gestures and recites prayers both in the direction of Christ to the faithful, the downward mediation of sacred things, and in the direction of the faithful to Christ, the upward offering of gifts and prayers. The moment of perfect assimilation to Christ the High Priest comes at the moment of consecration, when the priest speaks as if he were none other than Christ Himself, whose living icon and instrument he indeed is: Hoc est enim Corpus meum . . . Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei . . .

The ministerial priest’s identity is thus consumed by and hidden within the singular, all-perfect ontological priesthood of Jesus Christ. But when the priest says out loudNobis quoque peccatoribus, there he is representing the people, the members of Christ’s mystical body—for in the head of this body there is no sin, while in its members there are imperfections that must be overcome to make their incorporation all the more definitive. Hence, in his very sacramental identity, the priest represents the whole Christ, head and body, and it is fitting that he maintain this role of complete representation from start to finish—from the beginning of the Mass, bowing before the altar in humility and confession, until the very end, blessing the people and reminding them of the sublime Incarnation of the Word, plenum gratiae et veritatis.The dramatic symbolism of the liturgy admits of no interruption, no mixed messages.

With this truth in mind, it becomes clearer why Divine Providence allowed the custom to develop that the priest recites the entire Mass—all of the propers, readings, and prayers—even when subordinate ministers, a schola, or the people are reciting or singing some of them. When the priest recites the Introit, he is standing in the person of Christ the prophet, announcing some mystery that has been accomplished in the Lord’s earthly mission. When the priest recites the threefold Kyrie with its quiet, sombre rhythm, he is beseeching the mercy of almighty God, again acting visibly in the person of the one High Priest who offers sacrifice on behalf of sinners. When he intones the Gloria, he acts as representative of the people, the members of Christ, who worship the triune God; this, too, is a priestly act, one that belongs to all the faithful but is nevertheless most proper to him, in virtue of his possession of Holy Orders. When he reads the Gospel, it is as the living image of Christ that he reads it. None of this downplays or dilutes the roles that other ministers or the people themselves have and should have; instead, it merely draws into maximal unity the liturgical action by having it flow from and return to the same Alpha and Omega, Christ Himself, whose unity of being and operation is sensiblyrepresented by the celebrant.

Many such examples can be given from the liturgy. The priest performs gestures and recites prayers that are fitting not only to the head, Christ as High Priest, but also to the members of Christ’s body, the Church, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. To repeat, he represents the whole Christ, head and members. And so it is eminently fitting that he, who has been fashioned to the image and likeness of the Mediator between God and man, should ever have on his lips and in his heart the prayer of the head as well as the responding prayers of the members.

True it is, and a wonderful mystery, that all Christians share in the priesthood of Christ: each of the faithful is baptized a priest, prophet, and king. The sacramental character indelibly imprinted upon the soul at baptism is a title to worship the true and living God, bestowing the right to partake of the other sacraments and, ultimately, to receive their fruit, eternal life. The baptismal character empowers the Christian to receive further gifts of grace, to offer pleasing worship, and, above all, to receive the precious Body and Blood of Christ. This is classic doctrine, taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, many other doctors of the Church, and the Magisterium itself. So it is no less right and fitting that the faithful sing those parts of the High Mass that pertain to them, such as the Ordinary—the dialogues, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc.—and that they perform the bodily actions called for by rubric or custom, and join their fervent silent prayer to that of the priest who represents them.

In so doing, they perform their priestly office. Each does that which is proper to him to do, and is united in spirit to all the others, under the headship of Christ.

…an image of cosmic and celestial hierarchy…

This, truly, is a vision of order, harmony, peace, and wisdom. It is the order we see in germinal form in the New Testament, manifested in the epochs of Church history, inherent in Catholic Tradition, unfolded in the organic development of the liturgy. As hellbent as the liturgical reformers and radicals were (and still are) to overthrow this natural and supernatural hierarchy, they are kicking against the goad, like Saul, and might as well kick against an immovable rock. It is our privilege as Catholics to be the many and varied members of the Mystical Body and to find our sanctity in serving humbly in the place to which we have been summoned by divine Providence. This includes, of course, the priest serving to the maximum in his priestly role, without embarrassment, attenuation, or dispersion.

I have not even touched the question of the subjective or personal devotional value of the recitation of these antiphons, prayers, and readings by the celebrant—a value that many priests who celebrate the usus antiquior recognize and appreciate as a precious help to their own participatio actuosa in worshiping the Lord. My argument is founded, rather, on objective facts about the very nature of the liturgy and the priesthood, an objectivity that is beautifully symbolized and enacted by the customary practice under discussion, and therefore duly impressed upon the faithful who attend the Mass.

(Photos courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed)