Saturday, June 8, 2013


Published on December 20, 1928, the Apostolic Constitution Divini Cultus Sanctitem of Pope Pius XI contained this comment on music in Mass:
In order that the faithful may participate more actively in divine worship, Gregorian Chant in that which pertains to the people should be restored to their use. It is quite necessary that the faithful, not as visitors or mute spectators, but as worshippers thoroughly imbued with the beauty of the liturgy, should take part in the sacred ceremonies. . . .so that they may alternate in singing with the priests or the scholae, according to prescribed norms.

And the Benedictines from Collegeville, ultra progressive even in 1938, promoted this teaching of the Holy Father with a series of booklets for the laity to sing the Mass entitled, "Popular Liturgical Library." Series III, #9 was "The Mass of the Angels" selected from the Parish Kyriale, printed in 1938.

There is a paragraph at the end of the booklet that writes the following:


The singing of the Responses and the Common of the Mass by the congregation is in itself an act of worship. It is not an adornment added to worship. When people sing in common the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei and chant the responses, they are offering to God a prayer that is the most glorious in all the world. According to the mind of the Church they are then taking an official part of their own in the celebration of the Solemn Sacrifice.

In this church we are trying to restore the religious motive for singing. Keep that motive in mind. Your participation in singing the Mass will be the best prayer you can offer to God.

Folks who love the 1962 missal take heed. You are not to be mute spectators or visitors at Mass relying on others to do for you what you must do at Mass when it is sung or spoken! Sing and speak "in order that the faithful may participate more actively in divine worship!"

Listen to the congregational singing for this Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Roman Catholic Parish of St. Nicholas of Chardonnet in Paris, France. If only we had focused on celebrating the 1962 Missal this way and not tinkered with its order or beauty, I wonder what kind of a Church we would be today! The Mass begins at minute 2:03. The congregational singing, very robust, begins at minute 4:07!

MY FINAL COMMENT: If the Mass had remained in Latin all of us would feel at home in the Church at Mass no matter what country we were in. Those of us who participate in the EF Mass feel as comfortable in this Catholic Church in Paris and in Macon when celebrating this form of the Mass!


Anonymous said...

I feel perfectly at home at mass in any language. The language isn't what matters.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am impressed that you are able to fully, consciously and actively participate in any language Mass. You must sing very well in Vietnamese, Korean and Spanish, which are some of the language Masses available in our diocese. Guess how many Vietnamese and Koreans attend the English Mass and English speakers attend Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese Masses? These are so different, that it would be tedious for them to do so. But not if we all knew the Mass in Latin as in the pre-Vatican II days.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that, in pre-Vatican II days, people did not "know" Latin. They knew memorized prayers in Latin, but would have been thoroughly flummoxed if you asked then to recite, say, the Gettysburg Address in Latin.

I can recite the Hail Mary in 5 languages. However, I do not know five languages...

Unknown said...

Fr. McD,

We have to be careful in how we read the Holy Father on this issue. His understanding of participatio actuosa isn't the same as the liturgists of today.

The first goal isn't to outwardly do these things, but inwardly. The singing he is speaking of is the singing of the soul, while the schola represented the faithful. The introduction of congregational singing was first to the low Mass then the Missa Cantata, but rarely to the Solemn Mass.

We mustn't think that Pius XI was talking about participatio activa as being a primary form of worship. No, it must be understood in the true context that the action is actuosa, not activa.

Participatio activa is a happy byproduct of participatio actuosa. We must look to Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini for inspiration, because that is where Pius XI looked.

Finally, your quote is incomplete. It should read thusly, "In order that the faithful may more actively participate in divine worship, let them be made once more to sing the Gregorian Chant, so far as it belongs to them to take part in it. It is most important that when the faithful assist at the sacred ceremonies, or when pious sodalities take part with the clergy in a procession, they should not be merely detached and silent spectators, but, filled with a deep sense of the beauty of the Liturgy, they should sing alternately with the clergy or the choir, as it is prescribed. If this is done, then it will no longer happen that the people either make no answer at all to the public prayers -- whether in the language of the Liturgy or in the vernacular -- or at best utter the responses in a low and subdued manner."

Insofar as it pertains to them and what is prescribed to them are key points left out of your quote.

And how was this to be effected? "This will be best effected by teaching liturgical chant in schools, pious confraternities and similar associations. Religious communities of men and women should devote particular attention to the achievement of this purpose in the various educational institutions committed to their care."

...and that hasn't been done. The bottom line is that Pius XI may have made mention of this, but clearly his wishes were not carried out in the manner by which he intended.

This cannot be looked at in the scope of modernity, but it must be looked at through the glass of history. And history don't jive with today's version of what passes as "doing liturgy."

John Nolan said...

St-Nicholas-du-Chardonnet is of course SSPX. But go to any traditional Mass in France, whether SSPX, traditional Societies in full Communion, or diocesan, and you will find a far greater congregational participation than is commonly found elsewhere. This morning I attended a Solemn Mass at St George's cathedral, Southwark, under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society. In addition to the chanted Propers there were two hymns in the booklet - Ave maris stella at the Offertory and Adoro te devote at Communion. I was the only member of the congregation who joined the choir in singing them. The Ordinary was Mass IX which I would have expected to be sung alternately by choir and congregation, but no, the choir did it all. Traditionalists can sometimes be their own worst enemy.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I agree with John, Andy, there are some traditionalists who think being traditionalist means not verbally, either spoken or sung, participating in the Mass. Pope Pius XI knew what he was writing about and as Pope Benedict has said, that in those countries that tried to implement the Liturgical renewal under the so-called Tridentine Mass and where active participation as Vatican II now envisioned it, actually took root, it was those places that had the hardest time moving to the post Vatican II dumbed down version of the Mass with its loss of Gregorian Chant and beauty.

Mike Lutz said...

My Dad was in the Army in Europe during WWII. As a consequence, he attended local masses in Sicily, Italy and Southern France. While he obviously did not understand the homilies, the fact that the Mass was in Latin reinforced in the most dramatic way the faith's universal nature. We seem to have lost a lot of this today - one can be flummoxed going from parish to parish in the same diocese.

Unknown said...

On a slightly funny note, I know of not a few people who, despite being English speakers, would be thoroughly flummoxed if you asked them to recite the Gettysburg Address in English.

Some, in fact, might go as far as to start it with "We the people...", or, possibly for the more learned, "When in the course of human events...."

Unknown said...

Fr. McD;

"I agree with John, Andy, there are some traditionalists who think being traditionalist means not verbally, either spoken or sung, participating in the Mass."

There is a difference between participatio activa and actuosa though. You're continuing to look at this through the modern lens. There are two ways to see active participation. Activa never is to surplant actuosa. That much is clear. Actual participation is much more integral to the Mass than active participation.

"Pope Pius XI knew what he was writing about and as Pope Benedict has said, that in those countries that tried to implement the Liturgical renewal under the so-called Tridentine Mass and where active participation as Vatican II now envisioned it, actually took root, it was those places that had the hardest time moving to the post Vatican II dumbed down version of the Mass with its loss of Gregorian Chant and beauty."

You need to clarify, because that run on makes no sense whatsoever.

Not only should you look to Pius XI, but also St. Pius X, which I already mentioned, as well as the liturgical documents put forth from Ven. Pius XII.

The liturgical movement was hi-jacked by at least 1947, if not before. I would argue that really, it started going South with Dom Beaudin in the 1930s. Coming to really understand this is to really understand the difference between actuosa and activa.

Participation should always be understood from the internal first and the external last.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

For the life of me Andy, why you would stake your perspective that a silent congregation is better than one who actually tries to sing or speak the parts of the pre-Vatican II Mass is disordered is beyond me. The parishes that did this in the 1920's and forward and isolated to some countries in Europe are the ones that were baffled by what Vatican II did to the Mass for they had experienced true renewal in the pre-Vatican II Mass and were doing long before Vatican II came up with the terms actual participation.
I get very frustrated with those who attend our EF Mass, especially the daily Mass which should indeed be the dialogue Mass in the 1962 missal (low Mass) who simply sit there mute while the servers say everything.
What John said about singing at the Mass he attended in Southwark where everyone else was mute is true, they shoot themselves in the foot.

John Nolan said...

The language of the Gettysburg address (which as an example of prose belongs to the entire English speaking world) is the language of the new translation of the Mass. Lincoln knew Latin rhetoric; "we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground". Compare "these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices" and "this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim". A three-fold repetition of very similar concepts (dona and munera are almost interchangeable in Latin)for rhetorical effect. "o clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary" is another example.

Even the three-fold repetitions of the same word or phrase in the liturgy (Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus or Domine non sum dignus) is not the 'useless repetition' derided by the arrogant authors of the Novus Ordo; it has a Trinitarian reference.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan - I think the use of "Holy Holy Holy" by the angels, and our echo of their song, is a function not of Trinitarian theology but of the absence in biblical Hebrew of comparative and superlative forms of adjectives.

To form the comparative of "holy" one said "holy holy," while to form the superlative one said "holy holy holy."

"Holy Holy Holy" was never dismissed as "useless repetition," but retained as biblical language.

Anonymous 2 said...

John: Thank you for those insightful comments on Latin rhetoric. The loss of the rhetorical sense generally, and its replacement by “plain” English and the “sound bite,” is sad, and (for Orwell fans) even doubleplusungood.

On a related point that I have mentioned before -- and perhaps because I was brought up in England reading the King James Bible -- for me no version of the Twenty-Third Psalm, whether Catholic or Protestant, can surpass it. Perhaps I am just an old relic.

Now as for singing, I would like to petition Father McDonald to admit an exception. “There are many gifts. . . . .” He received the gift of an excellent singing voice; I did not. And I am not persuaded by the “joyful noise” school of thought. We are admonished to love our neighbor as ourselves, and when I ask myself whether I would want to listen to me sing, I know the answer (this is intended to be a humorous observation although not entirely so). But “singing of the soul” is a different matter – I can do that without disquieting my neighbor. So, thank you for that thought, Andy.

Anonymous said...


Full disclosure: I'm a seven-year member of an FSSP apostolate in Pennsylvania.

I'm afraid your perception is somewhat skewed by a distance of eighty-some years. Congregational response at Low Mass is simply another example of a twentieth century liturgical abuse, like Communion in the hand and altar girls, that was pushed illicitly until it was finally given approbation by Rome.

The Dialogue Mass was initially encouraged by early proponents of the liturgical movement like Pius Parsch, and was done illicitly in "progessive" areas of France in Germany from around the First World War. In 1922 a dubium was posed to the Sacred Congregation of Rites, "May the congregation, assisting at the Sacrifice make the responses in unison, instead of the server?"

An answer was given by the Congregation on August 4th, "The norm is: Things that in themselves are licit are not always expedient. Owing to the difficulties which may easily arise, as in this case, especially on account of the disturbances which the priests who celebrate and the people who assist may experience, to the disadvantage of the sacred Action and of the rubrics. HENCE IT IS EXPEDIENT TO RETAIN THE COMMON USAGE, as we have several times replied in similar cases."

Congregational dialogue was unknown in the Roman Rite since before the year 800. This permission turned liturgical tradition upside down, and truthfully, even with careful papal acquiescence, paved the way for Bugnini.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jon - Congregational responses are not an "abuse." It is most certainly a change, but it is not an abuse. And the idea that a change is, by definition, an abuse is a traditionalist fantasy.

Beginning in the late 1600's and early 1700's the notion of an unchanging, immutable world in which stability is paramount began to give way to a more modern and more realistic recognition that a world that never changes is not the world God created. While in the West we were able to create the fa├žade of an unchanging world, this was only a reaction, and not an entirely healthy one, to the reality of progress.

No one presumes that every change is progress or improvement. But the idea that, just because something is new or has not been done since "before the year 800" that it is ipso facto wrong or abusive is unsustainable.

Unknown said...


To support your position a bit, I would offer the following quote from my mentor Mons. Richard Schuler.

"But active participation in in the liturgy was not a concept created by the Second Vatican Council. Indeed, even the very words actuosa participatio can be found in the writings of the popes for the past one hundred years. Pope Pius X called for it in his motu proprio, Tra le sollecitudini, published in 1903, when he said that "the faithful assemble to draw that spirit from its primary and indispensable source, that is, from active participation in the sacred mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church."

Pope Pius XI in his apostolic constitution, Divini cultus, wrote in 1928, that the restoration of Gregorian chant for the use of the people would provide the means whereby "the faithful may participate in divine worship more actively." Such participation was to be achieved both by singing and by an appreciation of the beauty of the liturgy which stirs the heart of the worshiper, who thereby enters into the sacred mysteries."

I think that the key of what Monsignor Schuler is saying isn't that singing should be paramount or even penultimate, but rather that participation is first interior. And that speaks not only to my point, but also to yours.

Pope Pius XII says in De Musica Sacra, "The Mass of its nature requires that all those present participate in it, in the fashion proper to each.

This participation must primarily be interior (i.e., union with Christ the Priest; offering with and through Him).

b) But the participation of those present becomes fuller (plenior) if to internal attention is joined external participation, expressed, that is to say, by external actions such as the position of the body (genuflecting, standing, sitting), ceremonial gestures, or, in particular, the responses, prayers and singing . . .

It is this harmonious form of participation that is referred to in pontifical documents when they speak of active participation (participatio actuosa), the principal example of which is found in the celebrating priest and his ministers who, with due interior devotion and exact observance of the rubrics and ceremonies, minister at the altar.

c) Perfect participatio actuosa of the faithful, finally, is obtained when there is added sacramental participation (by communion).

d) Deliberate participatio actuosa of the faithful is not possible without their adequate instruction."

The ultimate end is (at least in the mind of Pope Pius XII) Holy Communion, but that is found first, interiorly.

You're absolutely right speaking about Parsch and the abuse of silence which permeated from the early 20th century onward.


Unknown said...

Mons. Schuler goes on to say, "The difference between participation in the liturgy that can be called activa and participation that can be lablled actuosa rests in the presence in the soul of the baptismal character, the seal that grants one the right to participate. Without the baptismal mark, all the actions of singing, walking, kneeling or anything else can be termed "active," but they do not constitute participatio actuosa. Only the baptismal character can make any actions truly participatory. Let us use an example. LEt us say that a pious Hindu attends Mass, takes part in the singing and even walks in a procession with great piety. In the same church is also a Catholic who is blind and deaf and who is unable to leave his chair; he can neither sing nor hear the readings nor walk in the procession. Which one has truly participated, the one who is very active, or the one who has confined himself solely to his thoughts of adoration? Obviously, it is the baptized Catholic who has exercised participatio actuosa despite his lack of external, physical movement. The Hindu even with his many actions has not been capable of it, since he lacks the baptismal character."

Understanding that actuosa is much more important than activa and that plena is found in the heart (or interiorly, before exteriorly) brings us to a proper understanding of our role as worshiper at Holy Mass. Contrary to Fr. Kavanaugh (Pater Ignotus) says, this mentality has existed from time immemorial and only was supplanted with a "flip of the script" after the Council; wherein activa supplants actuosa. But then again, that is the point of Bugnini and his cohorts....and they weren't even shy about talking about it.

So in conclusion, we actively participate in the Mass through our baptism, we complete it through Holy Communion.

My source is the article "Participation" by Richard J. Schuler. I have personal permission to use and adapt as I see fit from the author.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jon, if your community were to promote congregational participation as the norm in the EF Mass and truly teach the congregation to start singing their parts, I think this would eliminate one of the major points of contention with those who think that those who want the EF Mass want to go back to the so-called actual participation in the silent mode and only for the congregation. I find it absurd. One can apply the teachings of an ecumenical council, the highest teaching authority in the Church when the pope and bishops of the world act in unison to the 1962 missal without changing it at all, simply get people doing their parts and out loud, not just interiorly. External and interior participation are not mutually exclusive. It is not either/or but both/and. I remember the Mass prior to Vatican II and that often as a young teenager I would zone out. When we were expected to participate with the transition EF 1965 missal that changed things for me dramatically and I felt like I actually had a stake in participating in the Mass like the servers and choir did. That is good, not bad.
Again if your community and other EF communities could be robust in the external and internal participation of the Mass as the pope in my post asks, what a difference it would make and it would neutralize major critics of the EF Mass in this regard.

Unknown said...

"I think this would eliminate one of the major points of contention with those who think that those who want the EF Mass want to go back to the so-called actual participation in the silent mode and only for the congregation."

Silence is not absurd, Father. My position isn't that activa should be eliminated, but rather that it shouldn't be primary. You hold the opposite view. Not only should it be called for, but it should be primary. That is not a Catholic notion. That is a Protestant innovation. And I think that is Jon's point (I won't speak for him directly, though).

If we participate in the Mass firstly by our baptismal character, then we must understand that any pious ejaculation which comes from our mouths is secondary. We are not completed in congregational participation, but in reception of Holy Communion. That doesn't require our congregational singing.

Congregational singing was a hallmark of Luther's reforms, not of Catholic tradition. It was imposed upon the Catholic Mass, not primarily in the Sung Mass, but in the low Mass, as Jon rightly points out. The "four hymn sandwich" was never intended for Sunday High Mass, but was an exception allowed for in 1958, by the writers of the encyclical which Pius XII signed when he was very ill, months before he passed away, in fact.

On another note, " I remember the Mass prior to Vatican II and that often as a young teenager I would zone out. When we were expected to participate with the transition EF 1965 missal that changed things for me dramatically and I felt like I actually had a stake in participating in the Mass like the servers and choir did."

That is indicative of your generation. Your generation was enamored with social and institutional change. Even the conservatives of that time are liberal. Change isn't always good. The Church, for 1965 years didn't rely on participatio activa as the primary means of participation and the Church knew profound stability liturgically. Since 1965/1969, there has been very little stability and the results have been catastrophic. However, since 1984, the fastest growing segment of the Church isn't found in the Novus Ordo of 1969, but rather in the TLM of 1962. Why is this? The answer is simple, because the answer lies in the restoration of participatio actuosa as the primary understanding of worship.

We shouldn't be asking TLM communities to be robust in an incomplete quote, but rather we should be asking the whole Church to participate as "it pertains to them" and as "it is prescribed..."

At no time did Pius XI ever just say (and I paraphrase), Oh just bag it and let them just sing and talk their way through the Mass.

Anonymous said...

One could make silent participation in the OF Mass more common, and thus hopefully result in some actual interior participation, by having awful uninspiring unglorious music for all the parts where music can be.
Maybe then we'd finally have folks developing an interior life and contemplate the Mass instead of what do I do next?, and oh isn't this music marvelous!, and soon I get a treat.


James Ignatius McAuley said...


In fairness to the St. John's Abbey, Virgil Michel O.S.B. and those involved in the liturgical movement in the 1920s and 30s are not the same sort of folks as at the Abbey today. Michel believed the laity should actively participate in the liturgy, by understanding it and praying it. Two of Michel's projects that are forgotten are his wonderful religious education series for children and teenagers that he produced in the 1930s and the other was his push for a vernacular edition of the Roman Breviary. The second project took off after Michel died in 1938 after Godfrey Dieckmann (Sic) O.S.B. convinced Abbott Alcuin Deutch, O.S.B. to allow the project to go forward. This Breviary, titled A Short Breviary came out in three editons (1940, 1954 and 1962) and was the foundation to the present day Baronius Press three Volume Breviary in Latin and English. In my research, I found I that in from the late 1940s into the early 1960s there were groups of laity using these breviaries, in common and as individual.

I am inclined to agree with Father Kavenaugh. However, this issue, as to whether the laity in an EF mass may actively participate by saying the dialogue responses has caused a great deal of fussing among traditionalists. No one has put it better on the laity's right to orally respond in the EF than Louie Tofari, who probably knows more about liturgical rubrics as well as good and bad customs for the EF than any person alive. Look Louie's article's up, he is a good guy. I would also encourage everyone to encourage folks to say the Divine Office, whether of the OF or EF. A layman can participate silently and no one will raise a fuss as he does so in his own home!

Joseph Johnson said...

I'm going to get a little off point and pose a question regarding a difference which became more acutely apparent to me today between the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form:

Yesterday, at my home parish of St. Joseph in Waycross, Bishop Hartmayer ordained our first permanent deacon. Today, for the first time as a deacon, our new deacon carried the Gospel Book in procession and placed it on the altar (something that he and I have done many times before as lay lectors). He also read the Gospel reading today as is allowed in his new office as a deacon.

My observation is this: When the priest comes out of the Sacristy and approaches the altar in the EF, he is carrying the chalice and paten that he will use to offer the Sacrifice and places them on the altar before going back down to pray the prayers at the foot of the altar. In the Novus Ordo (or Ordinary Form) the full procession was restored (the priest and servers come down the center aisle rather than coming out of a Sacristy door next to the altar). The "sign value" of things done and used at Mass has been regarded as very important to "good" liturgy in the Ordinary Form. If so, then why doesn't the priest also process down the aisle carrying the chalice and paten of Sacrifice and place them on the altar (in continuity and just as is done in the EF and just as is now done with the Gospel Book in the OF)? Do the rubrics of the OF allow for the restoration of such a practice?

If the Mass consists of the Liturgy of the Word (Gospel Book) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Chalice and Paten) then why shouldn't the ministers (deacon and priest) carry in procession the items to the altar that are proper to their offices and the two major parts of the Mass? To my notion, the sign of the Gospel Book brings to mind what it will be used for (Gospel reading and preaching---both of which can be done by a deacon). The chalice and paten bring to mind the Holy Sacrifice--the part of the Mass which is exclusive to the role of the priest. 'Just thought I'd ask . . .

Unknown said...

"My observation is this: When the priest comes out of the Sacristy and approaches the altar in the EF, he is carrying the chalice and paten that he will use to offer the Sacrifice and places them on the altar before going back down to pray the prayers at the foot of the altar."

That is only in a low Mass. During a Sung Mass the chalice is already on the altar and in a Solemn Mass it is on the credence, wherein the subdeacon will approach with it at the offertory.

Getting back to your statement though, the priest doesn't just set it down and go pray the prayers at the foot. He dresses the altar first, wherein he will layout the corporal and burse, place the chalice and then proceed to the foot.

"If the Mass consists of the Liturgy of the Word (Gospel Book) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Chalice and Paten) then why shouldn't the ministers (deacon and priest) carry in procession the items to the altar that are proper to their offices and the two major parts of the Mass?"

You're speaking specifically of the Novus Ordo, because there is no Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the TLM. But in the TLM, there is a procession for both the Epistle and the Gospel in both the sung and solemn Mass. And in a solemn Mass, there is a procession and a very clear ritual as to what is done with paten and chalice, this ritual centers in a very real way on the subdeacon and the laity who are holders of the paten. I would have you do a little looking into the reasoning and you'll see the richness of the holding of the paten and their relationship to the perfidious Jews. It is quite moving.

Bottom line, there is clear ritual which is amazingly precise and meaningful in the TLM. It has been lost in the Novus Ordo.

Anonymous said...

One is inclined to ask, "When did carrying the chalice/paten become a part of the liturgy, and why?"

Unknown said...


It isn't. The Mass of the Catechumens doesn't begin until the Celebrant starts the Prayers at the Foot with the Sign of the Cross.

The fact that he carries it out and back again is due to the pious understanding that only consecrated/ordained hands should touch the Sacred vessels. That too, has been lost since the advent of the Novus Ordo.

Joseph Johnson said...

Thanks for your explanation. Yes, I was referring to the Novus Ordo (because if you live in southeast Georgia it is your only option unless you are willing to drive two hours to Savannah, Georgia or to south Jacksonville Florida both of which I sometimes do). As to this state of affairs--I pray for a better day. And, yes, I know that the terminology about the two parts of the Mass is a Novus Ordo thing, still, the basic elements (readings and Sacrifice) are present in both forms even though you and I might prefer the EF (and, in my case, try to meet my obligations as a Catholic most of the time at a Novus Ordo Mass but trying to "work around" it in my mind and spirit by constantly viewing it through an EF lense).

I must confess that my experience with the EF (which I attended daily for two years while in law school) was always limited to the weekday low Mass or to a sung Mass with no deacon or subdeacon on Sunday. I have never attended a solemn high EF Mass because I've never lived where such a Mass was available. Maybe one day I'll get the opportunity.

As to what the priest does with the chalice and paten when he places them on the altar: I used to serve those daily EF Masses with an FSSP priest and that's been twenty years ago now so my memory as to specifics needs refreshing. I thought I remembered the corporal being set up and the burse placed upright against the gradine but the veil being removed at the offertory.

John Nolan said...

In a large church or cathedral there might be several Low Masses going on simultaneously. The sacristan/server lights the candles and prepares the credence. He then returns to the sacristy and helps the priest to vest (Roman vestments have tie-strings which are awkward to do up). The priest prepares the chalice since laymen do not as a rule handle the chalice or paten. The server then precedes the priest to the prepared side-altar, carrying the missal and the bell; the priest follows carrying the chalice set. This may involve quite a walk if the altar is a long way from the sacristy, but is not in any way a liturgical procession - the server walks in front to ensure that the priest, who might well be a visitor, goes to the right altar.

The problem with the dialogue Mass is that it assumes that there is only one Mass being celebrated at a time, and if the congregation is large and the altar some way away from the nave, it isn't very practical. Reciting, rather than singing, in common is not a normal group experience.

When I attend Low Mass I join in the responses, the Gloria etc, the Pater Noster and those Propers which would be sung by the schola at a High Mass. But I say them quietly to myself. At Low Mass yesterday morning two young boys served - their responses were clear and accurate. It is often forgotten that in many of his responses (including all the prayers at the foot of the altar and the Suscipiat) the server is substituting for a cleric (which is why women are not allowed to do it). In a Solemn Mass the choir/people do not respond at this point.

The younger of the two boys was about eight years old, the same age as I was when I learned to serve in 1959. Encouraging, and at the same time rather poignant. I had only five years before they started changing the Mass and relegated the servers to fetching and carrying, a role arguably more suited to those of the fair sex.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan said, "I had only five years before they started changing the Mass and relegated the servers to fetching and carrying, a role arguably more suited to those of the fair sex."

"A role arguably more suited to those of the fairer sex."


And the blog owner has the nerve to say, "Comments contrary to these two norms, regardless of point of view, will NOT BE POSTED, ESPECIALLY THE USE OF DEROGATORY LANGUAGE TOWARDS ANYONE."

Anonymous said...

"A role arguably more suited to those of the fairer sex."

Hmm . . . Could this be why girls tend to so much outnumber boys as servers in so many OF parishes? Just wondering what attracts them so preferentially.

Templar said...

This entire thread convinces me that the NO Church simply has nothing for the Traditional Catholic. Any Catholic who truly treasures The One True Faith as it was for the last Millenium can not help but view the NO Church as some sort of dietary Faith, reduced to a tasteless, unfulfilling version of what it was meant to be. I stay because The Church gives me NO CHOICE in the area I must live to work. Come the day when my place of living is not dependent upon my place of employment and I will turn my back on the NO Church and find a Full Time Latin Rite Parish, becasue only there can The One True Faith be practiced. NO Parishes don't even understand that they don't understand what the problems are.

Marc said...

Of course, if it is the One True Faith, it seems odd one would have to move or drive hours away to discover it whilst by-passing dozens of parishes along the way.

It also seems odd that the clergy don't take some responsibility for improving the situation and that the hierarchy appear either ambivalent or complicit in its destruction.

James Ignatius mcAuley said...

Joe Johnson,

In mist masses in the 1970s in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Buffalo, the priest and altar boys rang the bell and came out of the Sacristy and approaches the altar as in the EF, with the priest carrying the chalice and paten that he will use to offer the Sacrifice and bowing before the altar to say a quiet prayer (many priest later revealed tome they took the time to say some of the old prayers before the altar at this time) before to the altar -- there was no standing aside at a lectern, ambo, pulpit - rather all prayers were done from the altar. This faded out in the late 1970s early mid 1980s. If I am correct, the GIRM is ambiguous enough to allow the old practice, but Father M should have the last word here.

Gene said...

Marc, there are two Churches closer to me than St. Jo's, but neither the Priests nor the parishioners seem to give a damn about the Liturgy or how things are conducted. One is a modern "in the half-round" pseudo mission-style Church, the other was once a beautiful 1840's vintage Church which has been gutted and made into something that looks like First Methodist. I go to Confession sometimes at the latter. The only time I went to Confession at the other one, the jolly Irish Priest told me, "Very well, now run say an Ave and join us in the fellowship room for coffee and cookies." I kid you not. I have not been back.

Templar said...

It do indeed Marc, it do indeed.

Marc said...

At the daily Mass at my parish, the priests say the Introduction, etc. Prayers while standing at the altar. Even that small change to standing at the altar as opposed to presiding at the side is a nice improvement.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, you seem to have bought in, lock stock and barrel, to the absurd PC notion that you can be as rude as you like about an individual, but it is totally 'unacceptable' (another PC term, since what is acceptable and what is not is purely subjective) to make disparaging comments about a group of people, whether it be homosexuals, women, Jehovah's Witnesses or (one assumes) the local bridge club.

I have never indulged in ad hominem attacks on other contributors to this blog, which is surely the point that Father is making; but I reserve the right to make stereotypical generalizations about any group, however numerous. If people want to take offence on their behalf (sadly a modern tendency) than that is their problem. I think Father is too indulgent in posting anonymous comments, but that is his concern.

Pater Ignotus said...

Temp - You claim to "victim" status is absurd.

No one makes you drive past OF parishes - that is your own choice.

No one other than you labeled OF parishes as being non-Traditional. That is your own choice.

No one is forcing you to stay where you are, not even your employment. That is your own choice.

And, if you don't find the "The One True Faith" in any OF parish, that, too is your own choice.

Templar said...

Actually Fr. Kavanuagh, as is usual for you, you miss the point.

First off, the Diocese of Savannah offers nothing but OF parishes, so whether I drive 10 minutes of 3 hours, I would have to leave the confines of the Diocese to fine an EF Parish as none exists in this Diocese.

Secondly, I did not label the Parishes non-Traditional, I said they were NO Parishes. They offer the Novus Ordo Mass. I am looking for a Latin Rite Parish, an FSSP Parish would be an example of what I'm looking for, although there are other options.

I'll concede that staying is a CHOICE I have indeed made. It is a sacrifice I make so that my wife and children can bask in the luxuries of life they have become accustomed to .

And lastly, I can not find The One True Faith in any OF Parish in this Diocese because this Diocese considers Catholics like me to be unworthy of it's time and efforts. We do not exist to them, and Priests like YOU are precisely the reason why. You want the new Faith that was created in a test tube in the last half of the 1960s, while I want the Faith that was stolen from me at that time. I want the Faith that was hiden from me as a child, defamed and lied about to me as a young man, and then laughed , ridiculed and spit upon by aging heterodox priests in my older years. Everything about the Faith before the new "Springtime" makes sense and fits together, everything after it is like a puzzle with missing pieces. If fails the sniff test. You keep it.

Unknown said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

"No one makes you drive past OF parishes - that is your own choice."

Not if it is a matter of conscience. If one is compelled by a sense of religion to seek the most authentic expression, then the choice is only one. It does not exist in the Novus Ordo. Don't misunderstand, there is truth in the Sacramentality of the Novus Ordo, but it is not the most authentic expression. For as Benedict XVI stated, it is banal, on-the-spot, and not in continuity.

"No one other than you labeled OF parishes as being non-Traditional. That is your own choice."

That isn't always the case either. Many Catholic parishes around the world pride (yes, pride) themselves on being non-Traditional. They pride themselves on being progressive and liberal. So, that is not always a choice either.

"No one is forcing you to stay where you are, not even your employment. That is your own choice."

In this recession we must often times work where we can. It isn't always as easy as, "Oh, I'll just find a job 3 blocks from church." Poppycock. Often times we work in an industry or a place which is less than ideal.

"And, if you don't find the "The One True Faith" in any OF parish, that, too is your own choice."

Faith is a matter of choice, you're right, but it has to be properly proclaimed and taught. If one goes to a parish which teaches heterodoxy, then no, it is not his choice that he doesn't find the One, True Faith. It is the culpability of the priest and staff which withhold the Faith in favor of an agenda.

Pater Igtnotus said...

Temp - It is entirely your choice -you are not being forced by anyone - to drive to an EF parish. You are not being victimized by the OF, by priests like me, or by the Diocese of Savannah.

You do label OF parishes non-Traditional: "...the NO Church simply has nothing for the Traditional Catholic." If an NO parish has nothing to offer a "Traditional" Catholics, then those parishes are not, in your view, holding to the Tradition of the Church.

The fact is, they are Traditional, but just no to your liking.

The One true Faith can be found in every parish in this diocese.

You further your "victim" status by saying that the faith was stolen from you, that it was created in a test tube, that you were spit upon.

Boo Hoo.

I will indeed keep the Faith that the Church, not a pseudo-victim, gives us all.

Joseph Johnson said...

Yes, I know that life's not always fair.

However, one of my "pet peeve" sensibilities is the inequities that have to do with where one lives (by choice or not).

I am a Southerner and, more specifically, a South Georgian. Both sides of my family have lived in southeast Georgia since well before the War Between the States (the latest comer being my Irish Catholic great-great grandfather, a refugee of the potato famine--he was in south Georgia in the 1850 census).

Though my religion is Roman Catholic, my way of speaking, eating habits, and many of my attitudes are very much formed by the larger southern culture. To make a long-term move to any other part of the country or world would be like turning my back on my family and changing my surname. Where I live is a part of who I am. I believe that long-time Southerners, more than any other sectional group hold to this mentality. Often it is tied to generational land ownership (living on the old family homeplace, etc.).

Given my mentality about the impossibility of moving, it chafes against the very fiber of my being for someone to suggest that those who want what Templar and I want in the way we can practice our Catholic religion (with the availability of the older Latin Liturgy) should have to forfeit what we call home (and, for me, my heritage) to have this simple need satisfied.

Yes, the world is not a fair place--if it were, my "land of perfect" would be all Catholic with little country (not just city) churches where the EF is celebrated every day. I often tell my convert wife that I hold Henry VIII and Elizabeth I personally responsible for our not having such a world in south Georgia (with a Catholic church within walking distance of my rural home rather than a Baptist one).

Marc said...


You'll excuse us for distrusting the opinion of the man who set up the first ecumenical prayer service at his Cathedral when he claims to know what constitutes the One True Faith and its Tradition.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - It was not an "ecumenical" event, it was an interfaith or interreligious event. There is a world of difference.

If you had read the article you would have found,

"Thursday's prayer for peace service is believed to be the first "inter-religious" or "interfaith" service in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, said the Rev. Michael Kavanaugh, director of the office of ecumenism for the diocese."

This is not unlike the annual Thanksgiving services in which Fr. McDonald is a participant...

Gene said...

The Holy Spirit, through Christ's promise to His Church, will effect Christ's graces through any Liturgy that is even minimally correct. If an atheist runs across someone who wants to be baptized, and the atheist baptizes the person with water and the proper words, then the Baptism is valid. If a smug and misguided apostate Priest likes ecumenical services, sloppy liturgy, humanistic theology, and crummy texts by unbelievers, God will still effect His graces through that Priest when that Priest is in persona Christi.
That does not mean that God is placing His blessing on such heterodox practices, only that He loves us and the Church in spite of those who would destroy it or make a mockery of His Sacrifice...

Gene said...

Marc, I read all that from the site you listed. Kavanaugh says the church he envisions will be "catholic with a little 'c,' meaning universal." I think that pretty much says it all.

John Nolan said...

Joseph Johnson

I sympathize, but Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were not responsible for Vatican II and its aftermath, which would have ensured that your putative local Catholic Church would probably have a Novus Ordo Mass once a month (provided the bishop hadn't closed it down).

On a practical level, could you not form a 'stable group', which need not be confined to one parish, and petition for the EF according to the provisions of Summorum Pontificum?

Marc said...

Oh, I read the article, Father. The nomenclature isn't the problem so much as your indifferentism and giving a platform to apostates and non-Catholic, false "religions" inside a Catholic Cathedral.

From the article you claim I didn't read: "He has asked a Savannah rabbi and the local imam, the religious leader of Islam, to say prayers in their faith traditions. And Thich-Nu Hue-Hanh, a Vietnamese nun new to Upchurch's temple, will give Buddhist prayers as the ceremony closes."

Buddhist prayers in a Catholic Cathedral, offered by someone belonging to the same Buddhist "temple" as an apostate Catholic. Wow.

And I have previously expressed my disagreement with Fr. McDonald's interfaith services on this blog. So, I'm not sure what your point is there...

All this serves to reinforce Templar's point that the Novus Ordo Church in general and the Diocese of Savannah in particular offer nothing to faithful Catholics, who wouldn't participate in this sort of event because they recognize it violates the First Commandment to do so.

Our forebears in the faith literally died before offering a pinch of incense to a false god. You, on the other hand, invite a pagan to the cathedral to offer prayers to a non-deity and dare to call that religion.

Unknown said...


I have one word to summarize your last post (which was brilliant, btw).


Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Nomenclature (and reading comprehension) matter. You don't expect that if, in court, you defend a person charged with a felony as if it were merely a misdemeanor, that the judge would say, "Oh, well, nomenclature doesn't matter" now do you?

I was not the least "indifferent" to the differences between and among the faiths represented at the prayer service for peace. While you may find the differences confusing or hard to understand, cloudy or uncertain, I do not. No, indifferentism was not part of the evening.

There is no violation of the First Commandment in an interfaith prayer service.

A pagan is free to offer his/her prayers to whatever god they wish to worship. No Catholic present at that service offered a pinch of anything to any false god.

Bottom Line One: You reject the Church's teaching and practice in this regard. I do not, and neither does Fr. McDonald

Bottom Line Two: You, as an individual Catholic do not have the authority (or the education or the experience) to judge the pope and bishops in this or ANY regard.

Bottom Line Three: If you think you are competent to judge the pope and bishops, you join other who think like this in one of the major errors of Protestantism.

Marc said...

I'll set aside the issue of nomenclature because it is simply another example of your missing the point.

You claim: "There is no violation of the First Commandment in an interfaith prayer service."

Praying to false gods clearly violates the First Commandment, yes?

You claim: "A pagan is free to offer his/her prayers to whatever god they wish to worship."

According to civil law, yes. According to Divine Law, no. At any rate, they certainly have no right to do so in a Catholic cathedral.

You claim: "Bottom Line One: You reject the Church's teaching and practice in this regard. I do not, and neither does Fr. McDonald."

Yes, I reject your sinful practice. I likewise reject it when the Pope does it.

You claim: "Bottom Line Two: You, as an individual Catholic do not have the authority (or the education or the experience) to judge the pope and bishops in this or ANY regard."

Where have I judged a bishop or the Pope? I judge the action as violating the First Commandment. It is objectively grave matter. I judge your action add objectively sinful. I don't presume to judge the state of your soul because you appear truly deluded into thinking you're correct and your bishop refuses to stand up to you for some reason and correct you.

You claim: "Bottom Line Three: If you think you are competent to judge the pope and bishops, you join other who think like this in one of the major errors of Protestantism."

You'd like me better if I were a Prot. You'd invite me to the Cathedral and join me in prayer. But since I hold to the actual faith, you despise me and go out of your way in your attempt to show me I'm wrong. If only you had such dealings with the Prots, Buddhists, and Muslims... But, in your false charity, you are content to let them wallow in error and user your buildings for their demon-influenced prayers.

Unknown said...

"Nomenclature (and reading comprehension) matter."

Kinda like you misuing the term "actor."

Just sayin'....

Templar said...

Thanks Kavanaugh for proving my point. The Diocese of Savannah has nothing for Traditionalist Catholics.

We have what we have, and we will tell you it's Traditional, and therefore we must accept it. Or you can accept the choice to get the hell out.

How utterly Pastoral of you.

Gene said...

The only conceivable reason for meeting in a worship service with Buddhists, Muslims, and other heathen would be to try to convert them to Catholicism. Anything else is syncretism/apostasy. Amos and Hosea have a lot to say about this.
Of course, we know Kavanaugh and his ilk's reason...he sees the Church as one big global religious melting pot wherein some kind of Christian social ethic can be developed and the huge human and financial resources of the Catholic Church can be used for "social betterment." I mean, after all, he refused to answer the simple, direct question as to whether he believed in the bodily resurrection of Christ and the Real presence in the Eucharist. I can only assume that a Priest who refuses to answer such a simple question about his faith does not believe in those things. All that is left is humanism/social work. So, here is another enemy within the Church who gets a pass from the hierarchy and whose parishioners are being sold a bill of goods...except for those who are there because they are like him.

Unknown said...

"The only conceivable reason for meeting in a worship service with Buddhists, Muslims, and other heathen would be to try to convert them to Catholicism."

Oh Gene, Gene, Gene...haven't you ever heard of Asissi I and II? Good Father Kavanaugh is emulating Bl. John Paul II and his refined sense of ecumenism, which was obviously much more advanced and ahead of it's time. It was true innovation....


You're right, Amos and Hosea would have a lot to say about it.

Gene said...

Oh, man, Andy! I had forgotten all about that Assisi World Day of Prayer thing back in '86. What a hoot! That was when JPII hung out with Dolly Llama and all the libs had ecumenical orgasms. I'll bet the Perrier concession was jammed and the bong shops sold out early...

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - Your friend Z used the term "actor" in the same way I did.

Marc - Sorry, the point regarding nomenclature is that you got it wrong. "Ecumenical" and "Interreligous" are not interchangeable.

Regarding the First Commandment, first, do you expect those who do not believe that the Commandments are divine revelation to follow them? Second, can you name a Christian at the event who prayed to a false god?

The invitation to the participants came from the bishop of the diocese who has the right to do so if he wishes. This kind of interreligious prayer service does not constitute sinful behavior.

You have judged the bishop who extended the invitation. You have judged the popes who issued the guidelines for such ecumenical and interreligious gatherings. You have judged them, setting yourself above their authority.

I am not deluded - I am following the guidelines approved by the Church. If you contend that the Church is deluded in this instance, you are again setting yourself above the authority of the pope and bishops who do not share your views.

I do not despise you, but I do intend to keep showing you where you are wrong.

Pin/Gene - I have answered the question. You can assume all you want - you are, of course, free to assume wrongly.

Gene said...

Ignotus, You never answered the question. You merely prevaricated and said some BS about answering it every time you said Mass, which is to say you did not answer it. You even warned Millie a while back, when he was asked the same question, not to answer it because it was a "trap." LOL! How can the question, "Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ" be a trap? What a hoot! Yeah, the trap is that if you poseurs answer it the jig is up.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - I answered the question. It wasn't the answer you wanted or the answer you thought you were going to get, but I answered your question.

And you didn't ask a question in the first place. You made a statement in the form of a question so that you could use my response to your advantage in arguing with me.

Sorry, I'm WAY cleverer than that.

Joseph Johnson said...

John Nolan,
'Sorry for the delayed response but I just got home from work at 8:30 Eastern Daylight Time (about 15 minutes ago).

What I meant in my reference to Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I was that, had England remained a Catholic country then the English would've brought Catholicism with them to my side of the pond (as did the Spanish and the French).

In the American South, where I have grown up and lived my life, Catholics have, historically, comprised all of about 2 to 3 percent of the population. Most native, long-term Southerners (at least where I live in inland southest Georgia) have English surnames and are usually protestants of some stripe or another. Most are Baptists, or United Methodists (an offshoot from Anglicanism). The coastal areas settled by the British still have some historic Episcopal (Anglican) churches. As people settled further into the interior lands they usually did not have access to Anglican clergy and their connections to Anglicanism were further eroded after the Revolutionary War. There are also a good many southerners with Irish surnames whose ancestors drifted away from Catholicism as they settled in more remote areas with little or no access to priests. This same thing could've happened to my Irish ancestors but, by the Grace of God, they stuck with Catholicism even though they had no church near them. They instructed their children at home and a priest would visit them (and say Mass in their home) about twice a year.

This resulting Southern protestant primacy is directly traceable (in a large part, in my view of history) to what Henry and Elizabeth did in transforming England into a protestant country which then (later) settled the part of the country where I live. When Georgia was founded in 1733, Catholicism was illegal here (as I believe it was in England at that time).

So, if it hadn't been for Henry and Elizabeth most of my fellow south Georgians (we have high church attendance levels in the South, even at the little Baptist church near my house) would, arguably now be Catholics and we would have had a lot more priests and churches to serve them--even spread out in smaller communities (which is more like what you had in England with little village churches with resident country vicars). A southern Catholic version of this would be my ideal world (but with the Latin Mass)!

Yes, you're right that Henry and Elizabeth didn't cause Vatican II and maybe if they hadn't forced religious change in England then maybe my putative church would be Novus Ordo. There again, maybe it wouldn't because we would've had a very different world (a majority Catholic English-speaking world).

Unknown said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

We're making progress, now at least I have you putting "actor" in quotes. Perhaps you're coming to understand the mistake you made.

BTW, Gene has you backed into a need to channel your interior Decartes to get out of this one...friendly advice.

Gene said...

Once again, Ignotus, it was not me that originally asked the question. It was another blogger. I merely commented on your prevarication. I told you before that I do not ask questions to which I already know the answer. Also, you are confusing dishonest and clever. Look them up.

Gene said...

Andy, Ignotus' Descartes...LOL! What would he say, 'I slink, therefore I am?" LOL!

Templar said...

Joseph, your history is spot on, but I'm not sure the conclusion is valid. Sure America would have been a much better place had Catholics founded her not the Prots, but assuming that were the case, the disaster of V2 would still be in play. It would have destroyed Mass attendence of more America's than it did, but the results would have been the same. Prots are Prots becasue they like their faith fast and loose, I wouldn't presume their attendance numbers would directly translate if they were Cats.