Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Traditional Mass and the Laity

The congregation is blessed with incense as the celebrant carries on the prayers and
ceremonies at the Altar. Dominican Rite Mass in Oxford.
Over on Rorate Caeli I am publishing today a Position Paper on the Laity in the Traditional Mass. It is a response to the argument that the Traditional Mass exemplifies 'clericalism', because it doesn't have swarms of lay peope in the sanctuary, reading the lessons, cleansing the sacred vessels, leading prayers and hymns and distributing communion. Read it here.

The key point of the paper is that, while at least some 'special' lay roles in the liturgy are perfectly defensible - serving and singing being the obvious examples - even these don't exist for the sake of the liturgical participation of the people doing them. This is a crucial point. Without it the rest of the congregation may well feel excluded wrongly from graces available only to the parish elite.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Roman Church must stop attacking Eastern Liturgical Traditions

(I'm posting this in light of the recent Synod in Crete.)

But the Roman Church does not attack these traditions, I hear my readers cry! Well, no, but yes.

Here are some extracts from the FIUV Position Paper on the Traditional Mass and the Eastern Churches.

... the Latin reform saw the almost universal abandonment of the Latin tradition of liturgical orientation: the celebration of Mass by a priest facing liturgical east, which meant (outside a small number of exceptional churches), facing the same way as the Faithful. The promotion of this change, which was not discussed by the Second Vatican Council and has never been made obligatory in the Latin Church, has been accompanied by a polemic against the traditional practice, which is disparagingly described as ‘the priest turning his back on the people’. This polemic is not endorsed in the Church’s official documents and has often been criticised, notably by Pope Benedict XVI. It is, nevertheless, very widespread, and is clearly applicable to the tradition of worship ad orientem in the Eastern Rites. The Congregation for the Oriental Churches has felt it necessary to address the issue in the Instruction Il Padre, (107):

Sunday, June 26, 2016

LMS Pilgrimage to Holywell: Sunday 3rd July


Come and visit the only shrine in England and Wales which survived the destruction of the Protestant Revolt: the beautiful healing well of St Winefride in North Wales.

It's not as difficult to get there as you might think! From the south, north, and East there are motorways which take you to Chester, and an excellent main road takes you the rest of the way. Click for a map. There is even a coach from London- see the poster.

Note that unusually among LMS pilgrimages, this event is (as always) on a Sunday. The celebrant is the young English priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Fr Scot Tanner.

As well as High Mass there is a procession to the well and veneration of St Winefride's relic.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Now to rebuild Europe

Britain’s departure from the European Union may not mean the end of the EU, but it does mean the end of the EU as the way we, in the UK, perceive our relationship with ‘Europe’. It means that we need to engage with our neighbours in a way not mediated by EU institutions. It is striking how people have been talking about ‘Europe’ as though that simply meant the EU, and how the issue of human rights, connected with a treaty and court entirely separate from the EU and covering a wider set of countries, as though it was the same thing. (David Cameron, remember, wanted to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights. He did not want to withdraw from the EU.) The EU had taken over our imaginative understanding of Europe.

The same people wanted to roll up the UK’s relationship with the Republic of Ireland, our bilateral deal with France over the migrant camp in Calais, and even our relationship with the United Nations and the USA as though all these things were just aspects of our relationship with the EU. Perhaps real life is too complicated for political sloganeering.

For better for or for worse, we will be leaving this particular political structure. What is necessary now is to re-imagine the UK in Europe. And that is something for which UK Catholics have a special vocation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Guild of St Clare: 'Memory Quilt' day course

Quilt making is not just for Americans; we have a wonderful tradition of quilt making in the UK as well. The Guild of St Clare is making this tradition available to a new generation in an initial class on quilting on 16th July. It is intended for beginners and the less experienced.

Quilting using pieces of left-over fabric is the classic of thrifty sewing; using fabric from old clothes and such-like it is a way of preserving the memory of articles which would otherwise be thrown away and forgotten. This pleasant idea gives us the notion of the 'memory quilt'.

It is also an opportunity to practice sewing-machine and many other sewing skills.

For all the details see here.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The EU Referendum: do you believe in politics?

Looking at the propaganda from both sides over the referendum campaign, I wanted to make a final point about the nature of the question facing the people of the United Kingdom.

There are questions to which we cannot possibly know the answer, and have good reason not to believe the predictions of the campaigners on either side. These include the kind of trade deals the UK might or might not be able to negotiate, the effect of leaving the EU on questions like Northern Ireland's relationship with the Republic of Ireland (which has been sui generis since long before we joined the EU), and the ongoing careers of various politicians.

But there is something more straightforward which has come up again and again in different guises. It is the question of whether we believe in politics.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Interview with the 'New Emangelization'

Matthew Christoff
The other day I had a Skype interview with of the 'New Emangelization Project', about evangelising men and the teaching of the Church on the father as the head of the family.

He has put the audio here - it is more than an hour long! It was an enjoyable conversation and an important topic.

I've referred to the New Emangelization website a few times; it has some useful resources, including a large collection of such interview audios (arraned in alphabetical order). Getting the views of lay Catholics - not all men - and clerics on this subject is a major part of the Emangelization project.

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