Monday, July 27, 2009

Changing Breviary

Eager as ever to take full advantage of the possibilities given by Summorum Pontificum, last week I took delivery of a set of 1962 breviaries from Southwell Books in the beautifully produced version by Nova et Vetera. I had been thinking about this for some time but the Ushaw conference and the FSSP retreat made my mind up.

I`m not sure I have got all the rubrics right at the minute. Where for example is the Gospel passage and commentary for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost? I`ve searched the whole book and can`t find it. I looked at an older edition of the breviary from the 40`s and couldn`t find it there either. It`s also a pity that there is no second nocturn on a Sunday, so no patristic commentary on the readings from the first nocturn.

I switched over on the feast of Mary Magdalene. I say Matins and Lauds before Mass and Prime and Terce afterwards and that is working well at the minute. It`s hard to give any balanced opinion at the minute as there is still a novelty value in the whole thing. A disadvantage will be that the calendar for the breviary is very different from that for the Ordinary Form in which I say Mass most days but on the other hand it`s good to feel more connected to tradition. ( No doubt the Old Believer would tell me that the 1962 breviary is an abomination and no serious Catholic would contemplate anything other than the pre-Pius X breviary.)

I have always said the Latin version of the Paul VI breviary so I`m finding the odd differences in translation of the psalms quite interesting and mean to look them up and understand the differences. At this rate I may be blowing the dust off my Hebrew Bible although since it is twenty-two years since I read Hebrew seriously I don`t think I`ll remember much of it. Also I`m happy to work with the Urban VIII versions of the hymns and haven`t as yet found them hugely irritating as I don`t know them at all but might buy the supplement with the more ancient versions eventually.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Golden Jubilee

Tonight at 7.30pm Fr Elkin, parish priest of St Mary`s, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, will celebrate a sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form to mark his Golden Jubilee of priestly ordination. Father returned to celebrating the Mass of his ordination in the 1990`s. He was part of the rota for the Sunday Masses at St Dominic`s, Newcastle for a while and introduced the EF into his parish at Ryhope, Sunderland. He has continued this in Barnard Castle with a Sunday Mass in the EF. Father was also a tutor at the recent, magnificent, LMS training conference at Ushaw where on the second day he celebrated a Missa Cantata.
Ad multos annos!

Friday, July 17, 2009

FSSP Retreat

Last night I got back from a priests` retreat at Douai abbey in Berkshire which was given by Fr de Malleray of the FSSP. It was a very good week. We were only a small group, smaller than I imagined. It was good to see that 60% of the retreatants were former Ushaw students! Fr Michael Clifton was there, although not very well, as he explains on his own blog.

The first few conferences were on the nature of God, Man and the redemption before we were given reflections on the Ordinary of the 1962 missal. I`m glad I made notes as there were useful points which I hope to profit from in my own preaching. I must confess that I had imagined there was going to be something on St John Vianney but his role was more as a patron of the week and Fr de Malleray is considering doing something to do with Ars next year.
The retreat was silent so it wasn`t until yesterday after the retreat that we were able to have a good chant with Fr De Malleray and exchange stories about how Summorum Pontificum is being implemented. I won`t mention the other retreatants as they may not wish their identities to be revealed.

Apart from attending (Latin) vespers in the abbey we didn`t have much communication with the community apart from Br Christopher, the guest-master, who looked after us very well. It was rather complicated at times to ensure that we had the guest refectory to ourselves so that we could have reading during meals but on one occasion the other guests were treated to our reading of the Council of Trent on the Eucharist. I had hoped to talk with the abbot, Fr Geoffrey Scott, who is from Birtley (where I was a curate in 1989-1990), and who I`ve met enough times over the years for him to recognise me. We did manage to have a quick chat on the way to vespers on our first night however.

So it`s back to the parish. I will be blowing the dust off my copy of Blessed Columba Marmion`s Christ, the Ideal of the Priest, at which I made an unsuccessful stab on my pre-priesthood retreat at Ampleforth in 1988. We had readings from it at meals on the first day which I enjoyed.
As we were preparing to leave in convoy for lunch at the Berkshire Arms, I was sorry to have missed the chance to meet Fr Ray Blake who was at Douai that day. (I`ve used his picture of the abbey church.)
So all in all I`m looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

July 7th

Today is the second anniversary of the publication of Summorum Pontificum. It also sees the publication of a new papal encyclical on social teaching, Caritas in Veritate. Today also marks the 67th birthday of our new bishop, Seamus Cunningham, with whom I concelebrated a Mass at my old parish of St Joseph`s, Gateshead held to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the church.
So quite a lot to celebrate for one day.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Norcia monks and the Extraordinary Form

You may have read elsewhere about the request of the Holy See to the young community of monks at Norcia in Italy, to celebrate the Roman rite in both forms. What caught my attention was this extract from the interview with Fr Cassian Folsom, the superior, regarding the nature of the two forms of the Roman rite:

The ordinary form stresses such elements as the participation of the faithful, the use of the vernacular, the ongoing development of the liturgy by the addition of new saints to the calendar, etc.: these are all very important. At the risk of oversimplifying, I would say that the ordinary form stresses rational understanding, speaking in prose, as it were. The extraordinary form provides rich food for the intellect also, but relies heavily on gesture, symbolism, intuition, silence, ritual action without words, speaking in poetry, you might say. Man knows both rationally and intuitively. He needs both prose and poetry. If the two usages, like two different cultures, can patiently live with each other over time, they can become friends.
More poetry please!
It will be interesting to see how the two forms will live side by side in the monastery. For more on the story of this foundation, here is the monastery`s website.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dominus Est again

As I`ve probably mentioned, the next book for our parish reading group to digest is Dominus est by bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan, which concerms the method of receiving Holy Communion. Recently Leo Darroch, the president of Una Voce International, who lives in this diocese, told me he was going to Wigratzbad for the ordinations for the Fraternity of St Peter and as bishop Schneider was the celebrant he asked me if I would like to see if he could get the good bishop to sign my copy of his book. I was delighted and sent him the book. Here we see the bishop signing a copy of his book, as Leo and Joseph Shaw, LMS chairman, look on. Many thanks to Mark Miles for the photo. I`m looking forward to seeing what the parish reading group make of the book.

I see today Paix Liturgique reports that Cardinal Caffarra of Bologna is following the example of the Holy Father and has given instructions that communicants at his cathedral, in the basilica of St Petronius and the shrine of our Lady of St Luke, are to receive only on the tongue, to avoid grave abuses which have occurred. If you can follow Italian there is a video explaining this here. This video still shows people receiving on the hand and must pre-date the decree but it is interesting to see a Communion cloth being used.

The French version of the decreee states:

Dans tous les cas, étant donné la fréquence avec laquelle sont signalés des cas de comportements irrévérencieux dans l'acte de recevoir l'Eucharistie, nous disposons qu'à compter d'aujourd'hui dans l'église métropolitaine de S. Pietro,dans la basilique de S. Petronio et dans le sanctuaire de la B.V. de San Luca à Bologne les fidèles recevront le Pain Consacré uniquement des mains d'un ministre directement sur les lèvres.

The decree is dated the 27th April.

Maybe there will be more of this to come.