Sunday, November 29, 2015

Prayers for the Jews in the Liturgy of the Hours

Jesus and the SyroPhoneician Woman. Jesus insisted that He was sent only 
to the Jews, but allowed Himself to be won over by her faith. Mark 7:24-30
This, from a letter to The Remnant by the distinguished theologian Fr Brian Harrison, deserves a wider audience. The letter was written in the context of Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews, which that paper strongly supported. Fr Harrison is talking about the reformed Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, the Novus Ordo one, not the 1962 or any earlier edition.

His observations places the ambiguity of the 1970 Good Friday Prayer for the Jews into some liturgical context.

[O]n the last day of every year (December 31 at "Lauds" or "Morning Prayer"), the Church prays: "O Christ, God and man, you fulfil the prophecies as David's Lord as well as his son: we beseech you that Israel may recognize you as Messiah (te rogamus, ut Israel te Messiam agnoscat)".

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Rabbi Neusner on the Prayer for the Jews

Rabbi Jacob Neusner
This short article was published in response to the publication of the revised Prayer for the Jews, to be used in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy, by Pope Benedict XVI, in 2008. The prolific American writer and translator, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, points out that Jews pray every day for the conversion and enlightenment of the gentiles, and have no reason to be offended if their charity is reciprocated.

I have taken the text from Chiesa, here.

Israel also asks God to enlighten the hearts of the Gentiles 

by Jacob Neusner 

Israel prays for the Gentiles. So the other monotheistic religions, including the Catholic Church, have the right to do the same thing, and no one should feel offended. Any other attitude toward the Gentiles would block them from encountering the one God revealed to Israel in the Torah.

The Catholic prayer manifests the same altruistic spirit that characterizes the faith of Judaism. The kingdom of God opens its gates to all of humanity: when they pray and ask for the swift coming of the kingdom of God, the Israelites express the same degree of freedom of spirit that impregnates the papal text of the prayer for the Jews (better: "Holy Israel ") to be recited on Good Friday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cardinal Kasper on the Prayer for the Jews

St Paul of Tarsus
In case anyone has forgotten, back in 2008 when Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews, for use in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy, it was explained and defended by Cardinal Kasper, among others.

Cardinal Kasper's is a particular way of understanding the question of the conversion of the Jews. While I appreciate the sensitivies, I would not be comfortable with a blanket condemnation of 'targeted' evangelical outreach to Jews, as for example that taken by the Jewish convert Alphonse Ratisbon in the late 19th century. Cardinal Kasper does not make such a condemnation, but it might seem implicit in what he says. It is important, however, that he makes the point that we don't hide our witness to the Faith from Jews, and that our belief in the universal validity of Christ's redemption, and their rejection of this, has to be the basis of an honest dialogue.

If Cardinal Kasper has no problem with Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews, then it seems pretty surprising that anyone in the Church should have a problem with it. His affirmation that, obviously, Christ died for all men, could usefully be underlined.

The full text is here; I paste in highlights.

Unlike the 1970 text, the new formulation of the 1962 text speaks of Jesus as the Christ and as the salvation of all men, and therefore also of the Jews.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Good Friday Prayer and the conversion of the Jews

The Crucifixion: for the Rosary Walk at Aylesford Priory
We've heard from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales that they would like to get rid of the Prayer for the Jews used in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy. Archbishop Kevin McDonald (former Archbishop of Southwark), who is in charge of Catholic-Jewish relations, says this about it:

“The 1970 prayer which is now used throughout the Church is basically a prayer that the Jewish people would continue to grow in the love of God’s name and in faithfulness of his Covenant, a Covenant which – as St John Paul II made clear in 1980 – has not been revoked. By contrast the prayer produced in 2008 for use in the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy reverted to being a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity.”

The 2008 prayer replaced one expressed in rather strong language, language used by St Paul in 2 Corinthians 3 and 4. Pope Benedict thought it best to express its central idea, and even its central image - of light overcoming darkness - in a slightly different way.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Traditional Catholic Wall Calendars for 2016

How many wall calendars does a Traditional Catholic family need? I would say, at least four...

The splendid Fraternity of St Peter Wall Calendar has been advertised on Rorate Caeli here; allow me to draw to readers attention three others.

The Latin Mass Society Wall Calendar.

Unique in having pictures down the left of an A3-format page, and the days in a long vertical list down the right, with plenty of room to write in your appointments. Indispensible in England and Wales, of course, because it includes our local feasts. The photographs are liturgical in focus, of Mass and other devotions. There are multiple photographs on each page, another unique feature.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fraternity of St Peter are installed in St Mary's, Warrington


On Saturday I was present at a High Mass inaugerating the ministry of the Fraternity of St Peter, FSSP, in St Mary's, Warrington. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool, the Ordinary, presided at Mass. Abbot Cuthbert Madden of Ampleforth (who of course I know), whose community had looked after the parish since 1770 and had built the present church, was in choir.


The church was packed to the doors. The Mayor of Warrington and his wife were present, and a good number of local clergy, including Canon Scott Tanner of the Institutes of Christ the King.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Evening Symposium on Mary as Co-Redemptrix at London Oratory, 26th Nov

This is one of the Oratory Fathers' 'youth' events; it starts with a Traditional Sung Mass and continues with two talks, on Thursday 26th November.

In the Magisterium and Spirituality of the Church.
Thursday 26th November 2015
Brompton Oratory, London.

A one day Symposium on the mystery of The Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as 'Co-Redemptrix'. Come and discover her unique role in mans salvation with two conferences by the Franciscans of the Immaculate and Friends.
6:30pm - Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form (with the choir of The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate) in the Little Oratory (which is to the left of the large Brompton Oratory on the same grounds). Mass of St Sylvester.

7:30pm - Social gathering with refreshments.

8:00pm - Conferences begin.

-‘Marian Co-Redemtion and the Magisterium' by Fr. John Lawrence Mary Polis F.I

-'A 'Sacerdotal People of God': A look into the Priesthood of Mary and her victim hood as Co-Redempress'. by Fr.Serafino Maria Lanzetta.

circa 9:10pm - Question and answer session.

Afterward there shall be another Social gathering.

10:00pm - Finish.

Bring as many people as you can to discover the beauty of this Marian Mystery.
Venue The Brompton Oratory, Brompton Road, London SW7 2RP

I don't have many photos of Mass in the Little Oratory, but it is a charming church hidden away to
the north of the Oratory House and the car park. This is a Requiem I organised there some
years ago, which was celebrated by Fr George Bowen of the Oratory.
Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Burke visit: Photos

I have now uploaded my photos; there will be another large collection from another photographer in due course. This post will be just photos.

An exhortation to the Confirmation candidates.
Entering St James' Spanish Place, in cappa magna

Monday, November 16, 2015

Visit of Cardinal Burke

We had a wonderful weekend with Cardinal Burke. I don't have time to blog about it now, and I won't have time tomorrow, but I will do so thereafter.

As well as liturgies and public speaking, His Eminence granted an interview with Mass of Ages, the LMS Magazine. As a tiny taster, when asked what Catholics should do when confronted with bad teaching, he said:

I think Catholics should simply say that ‘I cannot accept this teaching as it goes against what the Church has always taught and practiced.’ I don’t think that Catholics should permit themselves to be driven away from the Church by those who are not upholding the Church’s teaching.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Mass of Ages now available

This quarter's edition of Mass of Ages is a special one because the same mailing to members carries a copy of the Ordinary Booklet which I have already blogged about here. Non-members can buy a copy for themselves (of course you really ought to JOIN...); they are already appearing in churches where the Traditional Mass is offered.

The magazine itself is a zinger, with contributions from established journalists - Tim Stanley of the Daily Telegraph, Alberto Carosa of Inside the Vatican, and Mary O'Regan of the The Catholic Herald - and a number of prominent Catholics, including Martin Baker, the Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, Dr John Newton of Aid to the Church in Need, the barister Neil Addison, and Mgr John Armitage, Walsingham's Shrine Custodian.

Here is more information and links to taster articles from the LMS website where you can order copies.


Mass of Ages is the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society. It contains reports on our many activities across the country, national and international news of Traditional Catholic events, feature articles on different aspects of traditional Faith and culture, and opinions and views on developments in the Catholic Church. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

All Souls and Remebrance Sunday in Oxford and Hethe

Don't forget to attend, if you can, Cardinal Burke's celebration of the LMS' Annual Requiem: tomorrow, 14th November, 2pm Westminster Cathedral.

Fr John Saward celebrated a Missa Cantata for All Souls in SS Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford
I've been getting behind with my photographs: I have just uploaded photos of two recent Sung Masses, one of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), in St Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford, and one of the Sung Requiem celebrated on Remembrance Sunday, in Holy Trinity, Hethe.


I sang at both, and also at the Requiem in St Benet's which came in between. The chants of the Requiem don't grow stale; I'd be happy to sing them, for the good of the souls in purgatory, a hundred times.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Requiem in St Benet's Hall

Don't forget to attend, if you can, Cardinal Burke's celebration of the LMS' Annual Requiem: this Saturday, 14th November, 2pm Westminster Cathedral.


A work of pietas undertaken by current and former members of St Benet's Hall, to offer Mass for the repose of former members and benefactors of the institution, facilitated by the Latin Mass Society.


If a Catholic institution of any kind does not have an annual requiem for this intention, then it should do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cardinal Burke in London this Saturday and Sunday

The last time Cardinal Burke visited England, he celebrated an EF Low Mass
at SS Gregory & Augustine in Oxford

Cardinal Burke is coming to England at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, and also of CIEL UK. He will be taking part in the following public events.

Saturday 14th November:
11:00 am Confirmations in St James', Spanish Place.
2:00 pm Pontifical Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral (with homily): LMS Annual Requiem

Sunday 15th November:
9:00 am Prelatial Low Mass at the London Oratory
2:00 pm Address to the Annual Conference of CIEL UK, St Wilfrid Hall, London Oratory.

Don't miss your chance to see and hear him.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

LMS launches a new Ordinary Booklet

Members of the Latin Mass Society are this weekend receiving their copies of the quarterly magazine, Mass of Ages: with this edition is enclosed a brand new booklet missal or missalette, with Ordinary Prayers of the Mass, Benediction, and other prayers and devotions.

This new book has a clear, accurate, and readable new translation of all the Ordinary of the Mass, taking account of the improved ICEL translation of the Novus Ordo where applicable, but using traditional language ('thee' and 'thou' etc.).

It has new illustrations showing the postures of the priest at different points during the Mass.

Friday, November 06, 2015

New book about the Prayer to St Michael

Pope Leo XIII & the Prayer to Saint Michael, by Kevin Symonds

Available here.

The Prayer to St Michael, which forms part of the traditional Prayers After Low Mass, is one of the most widely known and popular Catholic prayers of modern composition. Its author was Pope Leo XIII, and its composition is associated with a story, told in a number of versions, of Pope Leo having a vision in which Satan asked for, and was granted, power over the Church for a certain time, as he was given over Job, in Job 1:12:

Then the Lord said to Satan: Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand.
Dixit ergo Dominus ad Satan: Ecce universa quae habet in manu tua sunt.

It is easy to dismiss such stories, but the composition of the prayer does need explanation. Pope Leo inherited the idea of the Prayers After Low Mass, which had been ordered to be said in the Papal States for their protection against attack, by Pope Pius IX, but it was Leo who made them universal, and added the Prayer to St Michael. Why did he want Catholics all over the world to recite this heartfelt plea for the protection of the Church from satanic attack?

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Embroidery training in Oxford with the Guild of St Clare

I'm delighted to promote something genuinely useful and enjoyable: training in the techniques of embroidery, taking place in Oxford on 12th December, and open to all.

'This is a very unusual opportunity to study techniques not often taught in day courses. Please email me at if you would like to know more, or to book a place on the course. The price is £80 plus materials, and the course runs from 10am till 4pm. Space is limited so please don't delay!'
The details are here.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Synod: fornication as a path to holiness

I've just read Bishop Schneider's excellent critique of the Synod's Final Relatio, paragraphs 84-86. Here I want to say something about paragraph 71, translated by Rorate Caeli.

71. The choice of civil marriage or, in several cases, simple cohabitation, is often not motivated by prejudice or resistance against the sacramental union, but from cultural situations or cultural contingents. In many circumstances, the decision to live together is a sign of a relationship that actually wants to navigate towards the prospect of stability. This will, which translates into a lasting bond, reliable and open to life can be considered a commitment on which to base a path to the sacrament of marriage, discovered to be God's plan for [the couple's] lives. The path of growth, which can lead to sacramental marriage, will be encouraged by the recognition of the distinguishing characteristics of a generous and lasting love: the desire to seek the good of others before their own; the experience of forgiveness requested and given; the aspiration to build a family that is not closed in on itself but open to the good of the ecclesial community and of the entire society. Along this route those signs of love that properly correspond to the reflection of God should be valorized into an authentic conjugal project.

I'm not going to go into who 'won' the Synod, what the Pope meant in his concluding remarks and post-Synod sermon, or the latest Sclafari interview. If we want public documents, whose wording has been pored over and voted on, this is quite enough. It is not a document with magisterial authority, but then none of the key moves in this game are about documents of magisterial authority.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Photos of the liturgies for the FIUV in Rome

Procession to St Peter's, from San Lorenzo in Damaso

For the first time, the FIUV General Assembly and the Latin Mass Society pilgrimage to Rome were coordinated with the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome, which meant that the LMS and the FIUV sponsored some of the music for the SP Pilgrimage, and offered additional liturgies for the SP Pilgrims.

Bishop Laise processes into the Chapel of the Throne at St Peter's for Mass.

Matthew Schellhorn's choir from London, Cantus Magnus, sang for the Eucharistic Adoration which preceded the procession to St Peter's, for the Sunday Mass in Sta Trinita dei Pellegrini, for two Vespers in the Domus Australia where the FIUV General Assembly took place, and a final High Mass on Monday morning in the same venue.