The blogging priest at WDTPRS has a post with pictures from a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Philadelphia’s seminary.It seems,The seminarians have been asking the rector for a TLM, so he agreed! Anyone recognize the celebrant? Anywa…
|Divine Worship: The Missal celebrated in Calgary|
I’m posting this link to the Orthodox Arts Journal, so that some of us can see what’s right and wrong in another “musical house.” Benedict Sheehan teaches at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvian and is a composer and director with impeccable credential…
Christ, great high prince and leader of the shepherds,
Wishing to laud this holy pastor’s feast day
With sacred music, we acclaim his honor
singing due praises.
As once you gave the care of sheep to Peter,
So that the world might be a holy sheepfold,
So this good shepherd, raised to highest honor,
Pastures your people.
He was a guide and pattern for the sheepfold,
Light for the blind, and solace for the weary,
Good to each person, providential father–
All things to all men
Christ, who in heaven render to the holy
Crowns for their merits, help us then to follow,
That with this teacher, we may be obedient
And rise to heaven.
May equal honor celebrate the Father,
And You, O Savior, loving King forever,
And may the glory of the Holy Spirit,
Sound the world over.
From a homily on the Transfiguration by Pope St. Leo the Great
This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?
The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
The intensity of my hearing caused me to change a rehearsal strategy last week. As a director, the last prior rehearsals were frustrating because I couldn’t have the usual holistic approach towards rehearsal goals while distracted with such vagaries as pitch and diction problems. So I tried a new strategy- I asked my organist/accompanist to run last week’s rehearsal. I was thus enabled the relief of just being a tenor, though I did help manage a few concerns as we went along. As we trekked through an hour and a half’s rehearsal it dawned on me for the thousandth time how important accompanists are to our success. If you’re an organist-cum-director, just imagine yourself as Jekyll and Hyde.
I won’t belabor this obvious reality in this short piece. But I strongly offer that a choirmaster (who’s not the organist) consider the schema of letting the other professional in the room regularly lead rehearsals. There are so many benefits to consider- being able to audit the various sections independent of having to martial the whole choir, the possibility that the accompanist will uncover weaknesses in the choir that weren’t evident to the director, the immediate modeling you can provide to sections that you sit and sing in during rehearsal, the relief from whatever your Modus Operandi routines have numbingly become habitual, and likely a hundred other plus factors each of us could cite.
In all my travels I have been blessed to find in every place faithful priests who are wonderfully capable, each in his own unique way, of showing forth the beauty of our splendid Catholic faith.
Most recently I’ve crossed paths in a number of ways with Fr. Cávana Wallace, a priest of the Diocese of San Diego, the pastor of a large parish with reverent liturgies and, as usually follows from reverent liturgies, a flock full of young happy families.
Fr. Wallace’s exemplary homilies are posted on his blog Printed As Preached, which I recommend. Here are a couple of samples:
If the Almighty God who created the immense universe out of nothing and filled it with so much, in all its splendor and all its terrifying and most beautiful complexity – If God, to whom the whole cosmos is but a speck of dust, became smaller still and allowed himself to be vulnerable, not afraid even to be mothered by a young girl, God asks us too, do not be afraid of becoming little. And as if to assure us even more, Christ places his arms around the little child. Allow Christ to protect you. If God who is unimaginably bigger than the whole universe can humble himself to become a man, can we not humble ourselves to be like a little child – his little child?
And so, at this wedding banquet of the Lamb, where heaven and earth are joined, we are reminded that the Mother of the Lord is also an invited guest, as she was at the wedding feast of Cana. She is our wedding planner, working behind the scenes making sure all is ready. She points us in the direction of her Son and tells us, “Do whatever He asks of you”. That we may enjoy the banquet, numbered among all the saints of heaven and earth, we listen to Him and with him, we raise our glass to holiness, sanctity and to a new life worthy of the saints. “To the Bridegroom and His Bride forever!”
[A few years ago, Dom Mark Kirby of Silverstream Priory preached a retreat to the nuns of the Monastère Saint-Benoît in Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne, France; here is his sermon on the occasion of All Saints’ Day. The translation is mine, and the original text in French appears on Dom Mark’s blog, Vultus Christi. — RC]
“Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.”
Yes, Lord Jesus, they all came to seek your face.
They all took to heart this word which your Holy Spirit made King David the prophet sing: “My heart has said: I seek the Lord; it is your face, O Lord, that I shall seek. Turn not your face from me.” (Ps 27: 8-9)
They all became living mirrors of your Holy Face, as your Apostle says: “And we all who, with faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into his very image, ever more glorious, as befits the work of the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3: 18).
Lord Jesus, the beauty of the glory of your saints ravishes us because it is the reflection on their faces of the beauty of the glory of your Face!
Today you reveal to us, today you tell us again the secret of all sanctity: to seek your face.
To anyone who seeks your face, Lord Jesus, you reveal it, and he to whom you reveal your face can only adore it.
This adoration of your Holy Face is transforming; it is again the prophet-king who gives us the words to sing each night: “Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord.” (Ps 4, 7).
Among all these faces illumined by the beauty of your Face, there is one countenance radiant with a splendor that makes the sun pale.
It is the face of your Mother, the all-beautiful, the all-pure.
You are all beautiful, O Mary, for in your face we see the radiant reflection of Him who is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the image of his being” (Heb 1:3).
You, the queen of all the saints, you are the great sign that appeared in the heavens: the Woman clothed with the sun, having the moon beneath her feet, and bearing a crown with twelve stars.
I must say to you, dear sisters, that since we sang the antiphon of the Magnificat at first Vespers, I have understood that the faith of Abraham remained, in a sense, unfulfilled, inasmuch as it had not yet found its fullness in Mary.
The sons and daughters of Abraham, more countless than the stars of heaven, are all without any exception, sons and daughters of Mary, of her who believed “that the word of the Lord to her would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45).
It is Mary who leads all the saints in the song that once poured out of her immaculate Heart: “The Almighty has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
This is the song of all the saints.
Each one receives it from the lips of Mary, to take it up in his own turn, each with his own voice, each with his own accent, each with the melody which the Holy Spirit inspires in him.
That is the great sound that fills Heaven: it is the song of Mary, taken up by the choir of the saints.
And who are these saints, all children of Mary?
They are the ones blessed by the gospel which you just heard.
This word of Jesus Crucified fits with each of the beatitudes: “Behold your Mother” (Jn 19:27), the testament of love entrusted to his beloved disciple.
So I should say: You poor of heart, behold your Mother, the Virgin of the poor as she appeared at Banneux, the Queen of the anawim, of those who depend on God for everything.
You meek, behold your Mother, Mary, the good shepherdess, whose care surpasses that of David, whose gentleness brings peace to our conflicts and calms all our tempests.
You who weep, behold your Mother, whom the Church, rich in the experience of two millennia, called Consolatrix Afflictorum, the Consoler of the Afflicted.
You who hunger and thirst for justice, behold your Mother, the Mother of the Eucharist, who gave of her own body and blood so that, from her virginal womb, made fruitful by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Body and the Blood of Christ would be offered to the whole world to satisfy you.
You merciful, behold your Mother, whom the Church, in that sublime song that rises from monasteries through the entire world each evening, calls Mater misericordiae.
Mary is not frightened at all at the sight of your sufferings.
She takes them all into her Heart to wash them in the oil and wine of the Holy Spirit.
You pure of heart, behold your Mother, Immaculate, all-beautiful, who works marvels in the hearts of sinners, marvels of purity and openness.
You peacemakers, behold your Mother, Regina pacis, who has never forgotten the angels’ song that traversed the stars on the night when she brought into the world the Prince of Peace: “Glory to God in the highest heavens, and peace on earth to the people he loves.” (Lk 2:14)
You persecuted for righteousness, behold your Mother, the Regina Martyrum, whose soul was transpierced by a blade of sorrow.
She remained standing by the cross of her Son.
She experienced all its bitterness and, with her crucified Son, drank the chalice which the Father had presented to her.
You who are insulted and slandered, behold your Mother who, radiant with love and truth, will enlighten all your ways.
It is she who sustains the martyrs.
Nothing of what you suffer is foreign to her.
You who rejoice and are glad, behold your Mother, the Causa nostrae laetitiae.
Your joy is hers, and into the hearts of all the saints she pours her own joy, unto ages of ages.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of all the saints, we desire, like the apostle John, to bring you into our homes from this day forward, so that you may teach us the beatitudes of which you are the perfect icon. Make us taste the happiness of all the saints.
And now, accompany us to the altar of the Holy Sacrifice.
One day, we firmly hope, you will be there to receive us at the banquet which is already prepared for us in Heaven, the wedding banquet of the Lamb.