The Morning After The Night Before: A (Very) Unofficial Report from the Sacra Liturgia Summer School

In the past 36 hours, the solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption, the Summer School here at La Garde-Freinet has celebrated 3 solemn liturgies, each involving at least one greater prelate. Others took the photos and can offer a better review in detail. What follows is more by way of reaction and reflection from one who is something of an outsider.

Two particular and abiding resonances stand out for me. One is from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2010) #16 which, drawing abundantly from the documents of Vatican II, describes the Mass this:

The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and of the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the centre of the whole of Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually.

The second resonance is of our Lord’s prophetic promise to Peter in John 21:18:

Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.

Let me explain before you come to any precipitate conclusions about these resonances. Continue reading “The Morning After The Night Before: A (Very) Unofficial Report from the Sacra Liturgia Summer School”

A Liturgical Bootcamp in Provence: the Sacra Liturgia Summer School

It was a little embarrassing to tell some brethren that I was off to a liturgical summer school at the monastery of St Benedict in La Garde-Freinet. Inevitably the question would come, where is that? Offering "the south of France" was never satisfying. So one had to make the admission that it is near St Tropez, between that resort town and Antibes and Nice. The southern region of Provence, on the outskirts of the French Riviera. Not convincing as a destination for work rather than play with Europe's rich and infamous. Continue reading “A Liturgical Bootcamp in Provence: the Sacra Liturgia Summer School”

The Church and the Darnel

When one gets a little down in the dumps about the state of the Church today’s gospel (well one part of this long and crowded gospel reading) is both consoling and perturbing. To really apprehend the full significance of this parable we must pay attention from the very first phrase: Continue reading “The Church and the Darnel”

The Tablet’s New Editor and Fr Baldovin’s Doctrinaire Assertion

The Tablet is not my favourite read. For me to read it is to experience something similar to those who listen to “shock jocks” on radio, listening precisely in order to be whipped up to a frenzy of outrage at this or that inadequate representation of the topic of the day. The problem for me is that I am of an age where one is getting sick of outrage; and sick also of having to fight for things one holds dear against those who should also be holding them dear. In the words of Browning’s bishop, “Peace, peace seems all.”

Things at The Tablet took a potentially irenic turn with the recent appointment of Brendan Walsh as editor. Continue reading “The Tablet’s New Editor and Fr Baldovin’s Doctrinaire Assertion”

Corpus Christi—Following Liturgical Change in Hand Missals

Today is traditionally the feast of Corpus Christi, and in many countries the Church keeps to the traditional reckoning of the feast. In England it is transferred to Sunday, unless one attends an Extraordinary Form parish or chapel.

The post-conciliar decline in the liturgy, especially the liturgy of the Mass, is attended by a decline in the general understanding of the Eucharist and the Sacrifice at the heart of the Mass. Catechesis has been inextricably bound to liturgical reform as it has happened on the ground (as opposed to the lofty ideals of the reformers who seemed often to have little idea of real parishes and the faithful’s needs). The decline of one at the grassroots has been attended by a congruent decline in the other. One of the reformers’ great mantras, that rubber-stamps all sorts of distortions of the Mass, is active participation. Put bluntly, for many parochial reformers this means getting as many people to do things and make noise as possible, a concept wholly novel to the liturgy and reflecting late 20th-century obsession with uniform egalitarianism.

It seemed an interesting idea to look back through the old hand missals—missals intended for the laity and to foster their intelligent participation in the Mass—to see if we can catch glimpses of what we have lost, what avenues we might have more fruitfully walked, and whether the decline can be discerned in the production of these missals over the years. What follows is graphic-heavy and probably should be viewed via a broadband or wifi connection! The covers and descriptions of almost all the missals can be found in recent posts. Continue reading “Corpus Christi—Following Liturgical Change in Hand Missals”

In a monastery cupboard

If you do not like books, you are bound to be bored here. If you are indifferent to liturgical books, you are likely to yawn a little. If books and liturgical history fascinate you, even if presented in a fairly superficial and fleeting way—then read on Macduff.

A monastic friend has asked if we have copies of an old liturgical book. I endeavoured to track down our stash of them, seen years ago in a now-reformed part of the monastery. They must have been moved somewhere else, right?

As yet there is no sign of them. Perhaps they were moved without not within the monastery. However, along the way I discovered a small (St) Aladdin’s cave of liturgical and monastic incunabula (I use the term loosely of course 👨🏻‍🎓). Some of you may be interested to see some of the things that cupboard held. Continue reading “In a monastery cupboard”

An Anniversary and a Discovery

Tomorrow, Good Friday, is the tenth anniversary of my priestly ordination, at least in terms of the civil calendar, ie 14 April. In liturgical terms I was ordained on Sabbato in albis, ie the Saturday within the Octave of Easter, which will be 22 April this year. Keeping this liturgical dating will allow for a more festive recollection and thanksgiving.

Yet, the Day of the Cross is not such a bad one to have even such a modest anniversary. Continue reading “An Anniversary and a Discovery”