Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Pope Francis is not as consistent as Pope Benedict in celebrating particular parts of the Mass in Latin, such as the Preface and Canon. The Mass at Night at St. Peter's will be completely in Latin except for the Liturgy of the Word and the Universal Prayer. The Roman Canon is used as well, something that Pope Francis seldom uses. (I think he likes Masses to be brief).

At St. Peter's the people's parts that are sung are always in Latin and you will note the program for tonight's Mass at Night encourages the congregation to chant their parts. From my experience in Rome, the laity chant quite robostly at papal Masses.


A Blessed Christmas to everyone!


Templar said...

My, got me to break my vow of silence with that headline. Then I realized you meant an OF Mass in Traditional Latin, not a Traditional Latin Mass as in TLM.

Merry Christmas in any event, or Buon Natale as would be more appropriate from one pisan to another :)

Anonymous said...

Latin......and tomorrow he'll do something like remove Cardinal Burke and place him as chaplain to a bunch a radical nuns in Antartica and make Piero Marini head of CDW . It means nothing But how very self absorbed Promethean neo-pelagian of Francis.

Rood Screen said...

We just conducted a liturgical music survey in my parish, with 20% of households responding (the EF crowd excluded). 100% responded that they were strongly opposed to the use of any Latin, even just the Sanctus and Agnus Dei. Perhaps the Western Church is now too far removed from the all-Latin early '60's to bring Latin back into the Ordinary Roman Form of Mass. This makes me sad, and it's the fault of pastors who neglected the Latin liturgical requirement for four plus decades, but it seems to be the reality.

Anonymous said...

Since when is Church teaching or practice determined by public opinion. If you asked the majority of Catholics in 1962 if they wanted the Mass changed, lay people giving out communion and nuns running around in jeans the vast majority would have thought you were crazy for even mentioning such things. And I find it very hard to believe that 100% of the answers were against Latin, there wasn't one person who wanted Latin. If that's true then there is something wrong with that parish.

John Nolan said...

I notice the Gradual is not being sung this year. On the plus side, the setting is Mass IX (Cum jubilo) sung at Solemnities of the BVM and traditional for Midnight Mass. This beautiful setting makes a welcome change from the hackneyed and mostly non- Gregorian 'de Angelis'.

FrJBS, the fact that 20% of your parish know nothing of liturgy or liturgical music is not surprising, so don't reproach yourself for it, and above all don't pander to ignorance and prejudice.

Joseph Johnson said...

Egad!! A papal Mass with Latin!? Isn't this totally undesirable unless all in attendance are Latin speakers??

Fr. Shelton,
So 100% of 20% (with that 20% excluding "the EF crowd") want no Latin in the OF. I don't think that is so very different from most parishes, at least in my neck of the woods. That is certainly no valid reason not to slowly reintroduce some Latin Ordinary parts in the OF Mass. Be bold and dispel the misinformation!!

Meanwhile, no one (of the "progressive" all-vernacular-all-the-time bent) has explained to me why they can, nonetheless, accept Aramaic words and a Greek Kyrie in an otherwise all-vernacular Mass but, when it comes to Latin Ordinary parts, this is never "desirable" unless the congregation is all fluent in Latin.

The use of Latin in the Ordinary of the Ordinary Form of the Mass makes more sense, at this point in history, than it has at any point since the Second Vatican Council.

Joseph Johnson said...

My wife and I have been sitting up and watching the midnight Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. The celebrant is the papal nuncio.

So far, several things that I wish could be more commonly done in parish Masses in the Diocese of Savannah:

The celebrant begins simply with the sign of the Cross.

The Confiteor is used.

The Greek Kyrie is sung (no verses being interposed--just a straight Kyrie as in the EF).

The Latin Gloria is sung (again, the full Latin text--no repeating of Glory to God, etc. This is, again, much like the EF version).

I seriously doubt that, if a poll was done of the Basilica attendees before the Mass as to whether Latin should be used, that Latin would win out. I also seriously doubt that the attendees are speakers of Latin (much less Greek or Aramaic). Yet, I have little doubt that, once they heard the singing, that most of the attendees would tell you that this was a "beautiful" Mass (in part, because of this singing by the choir).

I know our smaller parishes don't have the trained musical staff and budget of the Basilica but why can't we aspire to and emulate what we see there?

Why won't more priests use, and encourage the use of, the above-mentioned Mass options which are more in continuity with the EF Mass? Are they concerned that if we do a Confiteor AND a sung Kyrie that people will get "mad" because of a (probably unfounded and baseless) fear that Mass will be too long?

I know that when I go to Mass, I get disappointed when these things are not done (and when the Roman Canon almost never gets used--probably because of the false "time" concerns) and the Mass is even more special and memorable to me on the rare occasion when these options are used. Fr. McDonald, am I the only one who thinks these things matter in South Georgia? It annoys me to think that we might be catering more to the "get in and get out" crowd--the ones who BACK their cars into the spaces in the parish parking lot so that they can depart more quickly afterward (my father used to criticize that practice).

Have a truly Holy and Blessed Christmas!

Gene said...

The Mass and the Faith generally, are supposed to draw us beyond ourselves. By turning us inward first, it prepares us to emerge from that inwardness into an ever increasing awareness of living our lives "coram Deo"…before God. The Latin, the ritual, the dignity, the Mystery of the Mass are meant to enhance that turning inward….these aspects of the Mass appeal, in large part, to the "right hemispheric" side of our brains. To the non-rational, the subconscious, the deeper levels of who we are. Is this not what prayer is about?
When the Mass is dumbed down, as in the currently common practices, all that is lost. The faith of the people, our faith, is being shaped by the Mass…our preferences are being developed, challenged, forged in the fire of God's majesty and love. Our imperfect faith and our misguided preferences are not being consulted in the conduct and understanding of the Mass. The problem with Vat II, in concept, is that it was a huge referendum on current socio-cultural trends and humanistic thought. We have now created a Catholic Tower of Babel…else, why would we even have blogs like this one and PT, and others. We should not even be having these discussions…anywhere. The fact that we do and that they are so prevalent and varied is a measure of our unbelief, our pride, our, hard-heartedness. The only way back is through recovering the Mystery…through recovering the Liturgy from grubby little self-absorbed human hands. "Repent and believe the Gospel!" How we pray (Mass) is how we believe...

Rood Screen said...

The rubrics require us to consult the faithful about these things. Number 111 of the GIRM says, "Among all who are involved with regard to the rites, pastoral aspects, and music there should be harmony and diligence in the effective preparation of each liturgical celebration in accord with the Missal and other liturgical books. This should take place under the direction of the rector of the church and after the consultation with the faithful about things that directly pertain to them. The priest who presides at the celebration, however, always retains the right of arranging those things that are his own responsibility."

John Nolan said...


By all means consult them, and if this consultation uncovers ignorance and prejudice regarding the sacred liturgy, then take steps to counteract it. You are talking here about a fraction of a fraction (Three-quarters of those who attended Mass when it was in Latin no longer do so). Respond by scheduling a Mass which is advertised as a Latin-free zone (7 a.m. would be a good time) and make it clear that those attending other Masses may be exposed to the Church's official and sacred language. A bit like those nut allergy warnings.

And the GIRM is not Holy Writ. There are certain silly and ambiguous things in it (some of which have been clarified and countermanded since it was promulgated) and #111 is an egregious example.

Anonymous said...

I am an aspiring Catholic (meaning I am a baptized Christian who is learning about the Catholic faith and wishes to become Catholic), but I have been very disappointed at the proliferation of very modern, large, protestant-like churches in my area..... seems like they want to hide all the statues and stained glass, and make the services as contemporary as possible. I'm looking for a more traditional Catholic church, like the ones I visited as a child. I want to receive the Eucharist from a priest, not a lay person. I want to see people dress for God at least as well as they would for work. Is it true that the Holy Father does not agree with celebrating the traditional Latin Mass? It seems that just as I think I have found what I have been looking for, spiritually, for all of my life, that it may disappear before I have a chance to be a part of it. That makes me very sad.

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