Monday, December 31, 2012



10. In March, we celebrated the Ordinary Form of the Mass in an Extraordinary Form sort of way with our combined choirs singing Schubert's Mass in G.

9. Our new bishop, Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM, Conv. celebrates his first Clergy Conference Mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral, I mean, Church in Macon, Georgia:

8. Saint Joseph Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist at our normal 12:10 PM Mass as a Latin/English Ordinary Form Hybrid Mass, with the Extraordinary Form "Asperges" as a prelude to the Ordinary Form Mass and this regularly scheduled Sunday Mass for the first time ever is celebrated Ad Orientem. Could it be a foretaste of things to come for this Mass, stay tuned:

7. The Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia kicks off with Mass at Saint Joseph and Fr. David and me in the parade. Real priests do wear pink!
6. Faure's Requiem is celebrated as an Extraordinary Mass on November 2nd:

5. St. Joseph's Ordinary Form 12:10 PM Sunday Mass is now celebrated "ad orientem" each and every Sunday what we call the "new normal!"

4. Our annual stewardship renewal video shown at Mass!

2. Kneelers are placed at Holy Communion "posts" to allow for those who wish to kneel for Holy Communion to do so comfortably what is truly an act of Catholic charity toward those who have a legitimate right to kneel for Holy Communion if they so desire and First Holy Communion is given to the communicants kneeling and by way of intinction which has become the common method for distributing the Precious Blood at four of our five weekend Masses. Our written norm inserted in our missalette indicates the following about the method of receiving Holy Communion: "Standing for Holy Communion is the norm in the USA; kneeling is the exception. Bot are allowed and the choice is yours."

1. Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, at the approval of our Pastoral Council and my endorsement, okays the restoration of a vintage altar railing from a closed church of the same period of St. Joseph Church at Saint Joseph Church. Less than ten people thus far have contributed $40,000 toward this restoration. Make your contribution today to: Saint Joseph Church, 830 Poplar Street, Macon, GA--mark, altar railing, att: Fr. Allan J. McDonald
Please note the facade of the main altar in the background of this closed church. It is almost identical to the altar table of our original high altar with it's last supper sculpture! How uncanny is that!


Marc said...

And now, since we have Fr. Kavanaugh on record in an earlier post saying donors have no expectation their donations will be used in perpetuity, you can remove the table altar and return to using the High Altar!

I think whoever donated the tacky, felt wall-hangings to Holy Spirit can rest assured they will be used as long as a priest like our buddy Fr. Kavanaugh is there.

Jabs at Kavanaugh aside, the re-installation of the altar rail is huge news. And the generosity of the small number of donors indicates precisely your (Fr. McDonald's) point in the post where you and Kavanaugh are going back and forth about attendance numbers.

I do think you left out the biggest thing that happened at St. Joseph this year (no, not my moving away): the Midnight Mass offered ad orientem with Latin Gloria. That was a big deal - the altar arrangement was perfect with the use of the large golden Crucifix (although I don't care for using the High Altar as a marble flower stand backdrop).

I ushered during that Mass and noted something I have never before seen at a Midnight Mass -- only about 10%-25% of those I ushered presented for Communion. And you didn't make an explicit remark (only referencing what was written in the program). I think there is a correlation here between ad orientem and Communion... let me expound.

When the Mass is offered like a Protestant service, non-Catholics see there is little difference in the "worship" and feel comfortable approaching for Communion, as they would in any other "church." But, where the Mass is particularly Catholic (as it was at Midnight), they can easily recognize that there is something different here.

I've never been Protestant and have only been to Protestant service a handful of times, so I'm open to correction by the former Prots amongst us. At any rate, use of ad orientem and Latin at the most heavily attended Mass by non-Catholics was a stroke of genius. I was hoping you would do it - I had a feeling beforehand that you would. When I walked in and saw the ad orientem altar arrangement, I knew you had been given the necessary courage and encouragement.

Another aside, I attend the 12:10 Mass fairly often and have not noticed any change in attendance since the advent of ad orientem. Obviously, I'm not privy to your emails, but I really think the people understand these things when they are explained and thirst for a deeper faith.

What will 2013 be like at St. Joseph? Well, I will have to follow it via this blog since I'm moving! I can say there is nothing approaching the "reform of the reform" in the archdiocese where I'm now living...

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald,

Congratulations on what you have achieved so far. The EF can look after itself, and since the OF is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, you are right to make its resacralization a priority; indeed this is what the Holy Father wants, and is showing the way by his example.

In the 1960s the Fathers of the London Oratory were determined to maintain their church's tradition of liturgical and musical excellence, particularly the celebration every Sunday and Holy day of Solemn Mass and Vespers in Latin. From 1970 onwards this meant reconciling these traditions with the Novus Ordo Missae. (Vespers could of course continue in the old rite). Of crucial importance was the earlier decision not to re-order the sanctuary, so ad orientem continued. The sedilia remained on the epistle side, facing liturgical north, and Communion continued to be received kneeling at the rail and in one kind only.

On Sundays the Asperges accompanies the entrance procession; the birettas have already been placed on the sedilia. It should be noted that the requirement for the celebrant to wear a cope was removed in 1967.
The celebrant, deacon and subdeacon then sing the traditional prayers facing the people (Ostende nobis, Domine exaudi, Dominus vobiscum and Exaudi nos Domine sancte). This serves as the greeting and penitential rite. The ministers then ascend to the altar, venerate it and incense it while the Introit is sung. They then sit for the Kyrie and Gloria (Everyone standing for the intonation). The Collect is sung fom the sedilia. The readings are done from a lectern on the gospel side, facing the people, and in English, although on major feasts the Gospel is sung in Latin. The first reading is by someone who is already in the sanctuary and therefore in choir dress, and is followed by the Gradual; the Alleluia or Tract follows the second reading (subdeacon).

After the Credo (choir and congregation, alternatim) the deacon reads the notices from the lectern and the Bidding Prayers follow, read by the deacon. The Canon of the Mass is usually the Roman Canon. Thirty years ago it was sung, but is now recited 'submissa voce' but is audible thanks to microphones discreetly placed either side of the tabernacle.

The Agnus Dei is sung during Communion, a practice which was also introduced at Regensburg by Mgr Georg Ratzinger, with his brother's approval. It means that longer settings can be used without holding up the action. After the Ablutions the celebrant and ministers remain at the altar for the Postcommunion and concluding rites, which is always an option (see GIRM 165).

Over the years some people have remarked that the Oratory takes a few liberties, particularly at the beginning of a Sunday Mass (on Holy Days you have the Introit followed by the first option NO penitential rite, which is more correct) and the fact that everyone genuflects when passing in front of the tabernacle, even when incensing the altar, upsets some NO purists. Then there are those who say "what's the point of dressing up the OF to look like the EF when you can have the genuine article?" which misses the point that forty years ago the EF wasn't an option.

What the Oratory fathers showed, long before ROTR, was that you could celebrate the rites of the church as reformed following V2 without dumbing everything down.

ytc said...

I nominate you for Protonotary Apostolic!

Henry Edwards said...

Kudos to you, Fr. McDonald. You demonstrate wonderfully by your example what can be accomplished by a pastor who is a truly pastoral leader (as--we are too frequently reminded, even here, in your own comment box--so many priests of your generation are not).

I believe the restoration of the Church will come one pastor like you at a time, by priests who don't require papal or episcopal mandates to do what tradition tells them is right for their parishioners. And I think Catholics everywhere are -- whether or not they consciously know it themselves-- hungry for forthright pastoral leadership in the recovery of faith and liturgy.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - No, I said they may have the expectation, but that it is a false expectation. I did not say "donors have no expectation."

And the wall hangings at Holy Spirit are not felt. You have been corrected on this previously.

Marc said...

Kavanaugh - Keep correcting. I don't care what your silly banners are made of. I have told you this previously.

Anonymous said...

When I was in high school, 10 or so years before the Second Vatican Council, when I was a Methodist, in northern Florida (that in part explains why I follow this blog), it was quite "fashionable" for "nonliturgical" Protestants to go to Episcopal or Catholic Christmas midnight Holy Communion or Mass (respectively - no parishioner or Rector at our town's Episcopal church would have called it "Mass"). In those days no visiting Protestant would have dreamed of receiving Communion in a Catholic church, and I am puzzled why today and in the Minnesota Twin Cities (and apparently elsewhere) Protestant visitors apparently do consider doing it. But I think the point is well made that a very Catholic aura, including celebration ad orientem, would help check an impulse for a Protestant to present himself for Communion.

Ancil Payne

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Your intentionally lie about the liturgical banners at Holy Spirit in order to denigrate them. That only works with people who believe the lie.

In doing this you reveal the weakness in your own position. Rather than dealing honestly with what you don't like, you caricature it, trying by dishonest means to belittle what you don't care for.

When a Catholic says "I don't care for the truth" it says a great deal about him, not about the items or the people against whom he lies.

Keep spreading your lies - I'll keep correcting them.

Anonymous said...

Now if we could only do away with the red chasubles for the altar servers and return to the black...!

ytc said...

Altar servers wear chasubles? I think you mean cassocks.

Joseph Johnson said...

I think you meant "do away with the red cassocks for the altar servers."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My Polish Parochial Vicar talked me into these and I think it is a Polish thing and makes him feel like he is at home. I wish we had gotten these just for special occasions, but it is done and we have to live with it. It's better than the white albs with hoods and cincture that make the kids look like potato sacks or worse yet KKK!

ytc said...

Albs on altar servers are typically hideous. They are the cheapy polyester variety and are so disgusting.

Marc said...

I claim no special knowledge on this topic, but aren't the plain white albs more appropriate for non-cleric altar servers? The cassock and surplice is choir dress for clerics, whereas the alb is simply the baptismal garment...

For example the adult "acolytes" at St. Joseph (who are not actually acolytes, but adult altar servers) wear the alb.

I personally don't care one way or the other. I think the cassock and surplice looks dignified and proper (except when donned by altar girls, who create a cognitive dissonance when dressed in the clerical garb). I even like the red cassocks, but agree they would be better utilized on limited, more festal occasions -- during Easter and Chrsitmas particularly, while best set aside for the black cassocks, especially during the penitential seasons.