Saturday, April 18, 2015

IF THIS ISN'T LITURGICAL COOLNESS, THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!

I saw this at Fr. Z's blog. The Ordinary Form of the Mass being celebrated on the hood of a jeep! A Catholic Mass being conducted by a Chaplain in Makin Islands, Kirabati during World War II. Despite all the goings on in the background, with troops and tanks and the like passing by, please note how focused and participative the congregation is during this Ordinary Form of the Mass!

AND WOW! PLEASE NOTE THE MOST REVERENT WAY IN WHICH THESE COMBATANTS RECEIVE THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST, HOLY COMMUNION, THE BODY, BLOOD, SOUL AND DIVINITY OF CHRIST!

39 comments:

John Nolan said...

There are many photographs of priests celebrating Mass in war zones (the first are probably from the American Civil War). What impresses me is that the altar arrangements and vestments show an attention to detail which is laudable and must have been difficult to achieve in the circumstances.

No doubt a NO priest nowadays would simply throw a stole over his combat dress and call for a couple of mess tins.

Not long ago I saw a film of a NATO sea exercise. The British aircraft carrier had a Catholic chaplain on board and he was helicoptered over to a Spanish warship to celebrate Mass for the crew. He put two stubby candles on a mess table, put on a stole and proceeded to say Mass in English to which no-one present knew the responses.

I was deeply ashamed at this appalling lack of Catholicity. Given that he had no Spanish he should have celebrated in Latin (perhaps he had no Latin either, in which case he should never have been ordained) and surely he would have brought some Mass vestments with him.

JBS said...

John Nolan has identified the core of our troubles: the "appalling lack of Catholicity" in Catholic liturgy.

Julian Barkin said...

John Nolan,

For that matter 95, maybe even 99% of our priests should have never been ordained since Fluency and knowledge of Latin is not done in seminary.

I think that statement is somewhat disparaging on our priests don't you?

Henry said...

"this Ordinary Form of the Mass!"

You mean this traditional Latin form of the Roman Mass that was the "ordinary form" everywhere at that time?

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

I notice the same thing as John Nolan when I see things like that: all these old pieces of footage show priests fully-vested, using quality vessels, because they cared about that back then. No doubt it might be difficult for a priest to say Mass in a war zone fully vested and with appropriate vessels, but this proves that, if people care enough, it will happen.

Also what I notice is the man acting as a server would genuflect whenever passing by the Jeep/altar. Because, again, reverence mattered to people back then. Also, notice the men kneeling down on the bare ground in the video. And yet we have liberal Catholics now who say don't kneel at crowded Masses because not everyone has access to kneelers!

Anonymous said...

This video is from WWII, so wouldn't the Mass be in the Extraordinary Form? Or are you referring to it as the Ordinary Form because it preceded the N.O. Mass and therefore was the only form.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes at that time there was just this Ordinary Form of the Mass.

Henry said...

It is commonplace to remark, as Fr. Z said recently, that learning the extraordinary form “teaches priests something about who they are at the altar, who they are as priests, in a way that the Novus Ordo simply does not do.”

But what is even more obvious in these videos of old Masses, is that the TLM taught ordinary folks something about the Mass that the Novus Ordo simply does not teach them.

Henry said...

Julian Barkin,

It is not merely John Nolan but 1983 Canon Law that requires that all seminarians acquire not merely a knowledge of fluency in Latin before ordination.

So if 95% to 99% of current priests were ordained without meeting that requirement, perhaps this fact disparages those seminary officials who untruthfully attested to their qualifications for ordination, or those bishops who ordained unqualified candidates.

Julian Barkin said...

Well Henry, it might be "on the books" so to speak, but I doubt you or Nolan can force bishops to obey that. Would it be nice in a fantasy world for them to obey that? Yes. Sadly, we are where we are, we can only do our best on spiritual and corporal levels to increase those abilities, but comments like those of Nolan's earlier won't help alleviate the situation and just makes "trads" the stereotype our enemies and misinformed laity/clergy believe us to be.

John Nolan said...

I have a reprint (by TAN books) of a Latin course first published in 1944. Its stated aim is 'to prepare those with no previous knowledge of Latin to read the Missal and Breviary. Unlike most First Year Latin textbooks, it is not an introduction to the reading of Caesar. Its twenty lessons embrace Latin grammar completely, from the first declension to the various uses of the subjunctive ... After the student has made a fair start, he will encounter reading lessons, which are connected passages from the two liturgical sources for which the whole book is a preparation ... The one-year course of study provided by this textbook should enable a diligent student to read the Missal and Breviary with reasonable facility.'

So there you have it children; there is no reason why all those ordained to the priesthood and diaconate should not be able to achieve this minimum level (a second book prepares the student to read philosophy, theology and canon law, but this can be regarded as an extra).

Native speakers of English and the Romance languages have an advantage in that their languages are heavily Latinized to start with, as opposed to say, German or Polish.

Last year when Pope Francis conferred the pallium on a number of Metropolitans one of the concelebrating Archbishops said his part of the Roman Canon in English rather than Latin (he was from somewhere in Asia). It is possible he was making an ideological point. Alternatively he was unable to pronounce even a few words in the Church's universal and sacred language. Either way, it was utterly disgraceful.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry - What might the EF teach me about who I am at the altar, who I am as a priest, that I have not learned otherwise?

Among other things, I know that I serve as an alter Christus. I know that I offer the true sacrifice of Christ to the Father. I know that the office of sacramental priesthood is given to me and not to the laity.

I know that what I do today is grounded in and part of 2000+ years of theological Tradition. I know that the mass is the source and summit of the life of Christians, that it is the fountain of grace for the sanctification of the world.

I know that the other Sacraments are linked to the Eucharist and directed toward it. I know that through the mass we can join our sufferings to those of Christ for the salvation of the world.

I know that the mass is the source of evangelical zeal and that through it all Catholics are consecrated to the mission of the Church.

What is the EF going to teach me about who I am at the altar and as a priest?

Joseph Johnson said...

Very cool. . . Epistle fender and Gospel fender with the Mass being celebrated versus radiator (rather than versus apsidem!).

At a recent class with power point I gave in my parish about the EF, I used a Civil War photo of a fully vested priest (even wearing a biretta) celebrating Mass under an open tent for Union troops. This photo, which was used in a recent edition of "Columbia" magazine, can be found on the internet.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, I thought just as you thought prior to celebrating the EF Mass and on a regular basis. You have no credibility in your response especially in asking a question that only you can answer once you have been celebrating the EF Mass. It has to come from you, not others telling you what you are missing, because quite frankly you don't know and won't ever know given your attitude.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the fact that it is celebrated in a war zone, the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) is celebrated exactly like that to this day - those attending the Extraordinary Form of the Mass behave in the same reverent manner as the soldiers depicted in the film clip. There is just something inherent about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass that brings out the reverence that every Catholic should show at Mass.

Jan

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jan, this is true and Pope Benedict understood this very well.

However, the question remains, why did so many priests who for decades celebrated this form of the Mass, become the very ones who abused the revised Mass through improvisation, creativity and the antithesis of the traditional reverence of the Mass from which it was revised. This is a question that is a mystery to answer.

Not all pre-Vatican II priests who eventually were forced to celebrate the post-Vatican II Mass did this, but the traditional types were marginalized even when celebrating the post-Vatican II Mass with some continuity of the old one.

I heard over and over again in my 1970's seminary that so-and-so priest celebrates the new Mass as though it were the old Mass. He simply doesn't understand Vatican II and its spirit.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. McDonald - Sorry, but "It has much to teach you but I can't tell you what" is just silly. It's also an evasion and tends, I think, toward a kind of traditionalist liturgical gnosticism. (There is knowledge only the "insiders" know and we can't tell you what it is unless you are an "insider.")

Now, if you want to say, "I feel different" when I celebrate the EF, fine and dandy. But when you say, with Fr. Z and Henry, "This will teach you what it means to be a priest at the altar but there's no way to say what it will teach you" then you're just talking through your hats.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As usual your logic is flawed. Try to explain prayer, bike riding, surfing and scuba diving to someone. Your attempt might help but they will never know what it is like until they do any of these things themselves .

John Nolan said...

To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling - What do they know of the Novus Ordo who only the Novus Ordo know?

Anonymous said...

Father, obviously there had been a deep-seated modernism and rejection of the truths of the Faith within the Church that Vatican II threw open the doors to reveal. I think it is becoming clearer that we are in the midst of a filtering process in the Church which will eventually lead to the smaller, purified Church that Benedict XVI referred to. Certainly, the liberals having their hopes built up will not remain in the Church once the truths are upheld, which we know they will be. It is all in God's plan. The story of the Pied Piper begins to resonate more and more with me ...

Jan

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Alan, I can describe what's wonderful about all the things you name, what advantages they offer, how they are enjoyable. I can also describe the potential pitfalls and dangers.

Surely, surely, you can tell a philistine like me what I might learn about being a priest, beyond what I have already describef, by celebrating the EF mass...?

That, or you're continuing to blow smoke!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Narrowmindedness and intellectual dishonesty go hand in hand.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I'm waiting, Allan, for you to describe what you have learned celebrating the EF that those of us who do not celebrate the EF don't know about being a priest at the altar....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I will do so as soon as you tell me that snorkeling is just like scuba diving, although I doubt you've been scuba diving, or saying Mass in someone's home on a tray table is just like celebrating Mass at St. Peter's Basilica or that being a pastor of a parish that only has less than 200 families, one Sunday Mass and closed on Friday is just like being in a parish with 3000 families.

I'll wait to hear from you on these matters.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Snorkeling and scuba diving aren't just alike, I don't know where you got that idea. Mass is mass on a tray, the hood of a jeep, or the main altar at St Peter's. Pastor is pastor, whether the parish has 200 or 20,000 families.

But none of this is germane to the question.

What will a priest learn about being a priest from celebrating the EF that he does not know already? Surely after all the bleating and chest thumping you can come up with something here...?

Jdj said...

Well, former-PI, apparently Fr. Is not going to go there with you because he has already told you in so many ways that the answer to your question is sacramentally experiential and it's true transcendent revelation is only to be found personally at the altar; it cannot be revealed to you in a mundane blog description. Only God can reveal this to you. I cannot imagine it's true glory for the celebrant in Persona Christi, but you could if you choose. I beg you to choose...

Jenny said...

Oh, and BTW former-PI, I totally agree with you that this has nothing to do with parish head counts !

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jdj - Fr McDonald is not offering an answer because there is none to give. If a person is so sure the EF "teaches" a priest something he doesn't know, that person should be able to say a) what is being taught, or b) what the OF priest doesn't know.

Now, if he wants to say it is a different experience that's fine. Obviously it is different. If he wants to say "I prefer it," that's fine too.

But to say that there are things a priest doesn't know because he doesn't celebrate the EF is nothing more than liturgical gnosticism and self I aggrandizing blather. It is yet another baseless claim, the purpose of which is self justification.

And then to say "I can't tell you" ices the phony cake.

Henry said...

Convinced, Fr. Kavanaugh, by your repeated plea for an answer as to how learning the EF can better inform you of your role as a priest offering sacrifice to God in propitiation for the sins of men, I wonder whether those of us concerned here for your priestly vocation might join in subscribing to support your attendance at an EF workshop at the FSSP seminary, should you wish to take advantage of such an opportunity.

Jdj said...

Henry, excellent offer! I would gladly contribute to this fund, as I would for any priest, particularly in the Augusta Deanery.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry, I'm not I interested. And the offer is just another attempt to evade giving an answer to my question.

Tell me what I will learn there that I dont already know and I MIGHT consider it.

Henry said...

I apparently started this, so perhaps you deserve at least one reply from me. Very simply, Fr. Kavanaugh, I'd conjecture that after learning the EF you would find yourself celebrating the OF with more intense devotion and perception. Numerous OF-trained priests I know said this after they learned the EF. Although your repeatedly expressed stance suggests that you might profit as much as most, I cannot feel sure about it without having actually observing your celebration of Mass. At the same time, I feel pretty sure that in person you would come across as both more sincere and more personable than your blog comments suggest. So I'd much prefer amiable discussion over a drink or two rather than exchanging blog comments to no useful effect.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course former PI will have had to learn how to celebrate the EF Mass and learn how to appreciate its spirituality and reverence. He is smart and certainly can learn these things by actually celebrating the EF Mass.

Depending on how well he learns it and if he learns how to appreciate its discipline and reverence, its unique spirituality and mode of participation, he might learn how to apply what is good in all of this to the Ordinary Form and experience a further conversion in terms of piety and the priesthood.

But all this depends on his openness to the above which I don't think exists.

Jdj said...

Henry: "Although your repeatedly expressed stance suggests that you might profit as much as most, I cannot feel sure about it without having actually observing your celebration of Mass."

I observed Fr. MJK's celebration of the Mass for over a year locally. It was perfunctory and without glaring deficiencies. His homilies were always about social agenda issues, and pretty well received given the parish make-up of half white and half black (which is part of WHY we have always loved this parish and been parishioners for 33 years!).

The real problem and why the Bishop moved him after a very short stay here remains an unanswered question among us pew-sitters (although we are certain the parish council members knew). It doesn't really matter much to us as we now have a priest who is committed to a very holy NO liturgy and homilies tied to personal daily accountability to the readings of the day.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry, how do you define "intense devotion"? What does "perception" mean?

Fr McDonald, what am I going to learn from the EF about being a priest at that altar that I do not already know? What "piety" is lacking in my current celebration of the mass? This is all nice, impressive chatter, but get to the substance? "Mode of participation" sounds very impressive... What the heck does it mean?

Jdj - it is untrue that my homilies at Most Holy Trinity were "always about social agenda issues.". You obviously tuned out when I spoke about sin and rexemption, weakness overcome by grace, and the need to be conformed to Christ. These have been the constant themes of my preaching because they are the constant themes of Scripture.

I am glad you are pleased with Fr Szuster. If he preaches on the readings of the day, he is doing precisely what I did.

"Although we (who is "we"?) are certain the parish council members knew" sounds so conspiratorial!! If you are so certain, simply ask them.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If nothing else, you would know how to celebrate the EF Mass, but narrow mindedness might preclude even that.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

But, good Father, "If nothing else" doesn't answer the question.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I've answered but you don't like it so you continue with your stupid questions although I am tempted to say there are no stupid questions just stupid people, but I won't.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Name calling is a sign of childishness and, in this case, having no answer to what is a pretty simple question.

It seems to me, since there is no evidence to the contrary yet, that the claim that the EF teaches a priest "something" is just another baseless assertion about the necessity of celebrating the EF.