Skip to comments.Confirmations conferred in traditional Latin liturgy
Posted on 06/19/2008 1:49:45 PM PDT by NYer
Rockville Centre — They were not yet born — nor had their parents probably met — when the new liturgy was introduced in the 1960s, but a dozen teens and pre-teens last Sunday were happy to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in a Latin ceremony.
Bishop William Murphy conferred the sacrament last Sunday at St. Agnes Cathedral here for a group of children and one adult whose families regularly attend an approved Tridentine (traditional Latin) Mass offered each Sunday at St. Matthew’s Church in Dix Hills.
Bishop Murphy administered the sacrament of confirmation in the traditional Latin rite during a liturgy at St. Agnes Cathedral on June 15. TLIC photos/Gregory A. Shemitz
During a June 11 rehearsal at the cathedral, the confirmation candidates practiced for the liturgy, including the singing of two hymns in English — “Come Holy Ghost” and “Holy God, We Praise thy Name” — as well as such Latin hymns as “Tantum Ergo.”
Msgr. James Pereda, diocesan judicial vicar, who celebrates a weekly diocesan Tridentine Mass at St. Pius X Residence in Uniondale, led the rehearsal. Sister of Mercy Sheila Browne, associate director of the diocesan Office of Worship, and Father Andrzej Zglejszewski, director of the Office of Worship, also participated.
The confirmation class and their parents seemed excited and happy that their reception of the sacrament would reflect their preference for the traditional Latin Mass.
“When my daughter, Theresa, made her first Communion at our parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn, she prayed that she could be confirmed in a traditional Latin ceremony,” said Patricia Bissex, one of the parents.
“The Mass is so beautiful with the Latin, such a sense of the sacred. It’s magnificent,” Theresa Bissex, 12, said. “I also love the music,” Theresa added. “I started a schola (small singing group),” with about 10 girls who sing Gregorian chants and traditional Latin hymns at the first Mass each Sunday at St. Matthew’s.
“It is cool knowing that the Mass was celebrated this way since … forever,” said Joseph Marino of Commack.
“It’s also nice to be celebrating with so many of my friends,” said Veronica Bellucci, 12, a parishioner of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, Southampton, who attends the Tridentine Mass at St. Matthew’s on the first Sunday of the month.
“It’s wonderful that Bishop Murphy is confirming them,” said Patricia Rooney of West Hempstead, whose son, Stephen, 12, was confirmed. “He is so good with the kids, so welcoming.”
“We appreciate Bishop Murphy’s sensitivity in allowing those of us with a devotion to this traditional Latin Mass to have our children confirmed in this way,” said Heather Giambalvo of Islip Terrace. Her son, Leonard, 12, was one of the confirmandi.
“It was a very generous” application of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum” last July, she added.
Bishop William Murphy anoints William Wiegand, 12, with sacred chrism during the service at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, June 15.
Pope Benedict encouraged pastors to permit celebration of a traditional Latin Mass when a stable group of parishioners requests it. He also emphasized that the Mass now usually celebrated and the Tridentine Mass are not two different rites but rather different forms — “ordinary” and “extraordinary” — of the liturgy of the Church.
The Tridentine Mass was instituted by Pope Pius V in 1570 following the Council of Trent and remained in force with minor changes, including revisions made by Pope John XXIII in 1962. Mass was offered in Latin since the third or fourth century, reflecting the language of the people of the Church.
The Second Vatican Council gradually instituted the “Novus Ordo” or new form during the 1960s. Mass was to be celebrated in the language of the people of a country rather than Latin and the priest faced the people during Mass to foster full and active lay participation. The changes were formalized in the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Celebration of the traditional Latin Mass was discouraged. In 1988, Pope John Paul II authorized diocesan bishops to allowcelebration of the Tridentine Mass under certain circumstances for those who cherished the older form.
The next year, the diocese introduced a monthly Tridentine Mass at St. Pius X Residence in Uniondale, which over the years increased to weekly. In 1992, a monthly Mass was authorized at Sacred Heart Church, Cutchogue.
The assembly kneels during Confirmation in the extraordinary form of the Latin rite.
Since Pope Benedict’s apostolic letter, Msgr. Pereda said, traditional Latin Masses are offered weekly in the diocese at St. Pius X in Uniondale, St. Matthew’s in Dix Hills, Sacred Heart Church in Cutchogue, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park.
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament followed the confirmation ceremony, which did not include Mass. Most of the confirmandi and their families had attended the diocesan traditional Latin Mass at St. Pius in Uniondale that morning, Msgr. Pereda said.
Before the Second Vatican Council, Sister Sheila explained, confirmations were generally conferred outside of Mass. Since then, the Church has directed that confirmation and most of the other sacraments normally be offered during Mass.
Many of the parents emphasized that they recognize the validity of the Mass established by Vatican II. “I attend a Novus Ordo Mass for daily Mass during the week,” said Patricia Rooney of West Hempstead.
“I think that all Catholics should be aware of and appreciate all of the liturgies of the Church,” said Patricia Bissex, including Masses celebrated by eastern Catholic Churches, such as Ukrainian Byzantine or the Melkite. “There is such a richness and depth to the Church’s liturgical tradition.”
Theresa Bissex, at left, and Veronica Bellucci sing during their Confirmation liturgy.
I should have stayed on LI. Oh how these pictures bring back fond memories. Seems like only yesterday, too.
Gimme that old time religion!
Yes, we all flinched in anticipation. We wore the same caps and gowns!
The Mass is so beautiful with the Latin, such a sense of the sacred. Its magnificent, Theresa Bissex, 12, said....
Wow! This kid has more sense than a whole boatload of bishops.
I am with you, NYer, in the happy memories department. I was in 7th grade and Confirmation really made an impact on me. We wore the white gown and the red beanie, too.
I know just how she feels.
I can’t stand the hootenany feel (guitars, etc.) of the Mass in my local parish.
Give me back my Latin.
Give me back the COMPLETE Nicene Creed.
Give me back the mystery and majesty of the Church!
It is cool knowing that the Mass was celebrated this way since forever, said Joseph Marino of Commack.
I'm torn between tears and happiness that there are young Catholics with this much sense and appreciation for the traditions of our Church.
May God bless them.
Surely that is a HUGE no-no?
Oh now its about half the length. And not nearly the deep expression of faith.
I found a version of the original A.D. 381 in Latin - I’m brushing up for when we say it again.
Does anyone else remember genuflecting in the pews when the words “who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man”?
And I was in 6th grade. Back then, the bishop came every other year so they combined 6th and 7th grades. Our Confirmation was held in the evening and, due to the large number of confirmandi, admission to church was by ticket only. The church was packed - SRO. With such a large group, the nuns were armed to the teeth with clickers, warning us not to step out of line and to remind us of when to kneel, etc. That night is burned into my memory banks especially the point in his homily when the bishop called us "Soldiers of Christ". And that is how I still view myself.
We wore the white gown and the red beanie, too.
With the small white pom pom on top :-)
EPISCOPALIANS did that, for heaven's sake!
(admittedly we were so high our noses bled, but still . . . )
I tell you, Catholics were getting to be so Protestant that I was ready to join the Episcopalians just so my services would be a little more Roman!
Looks like word-for-word with the old Cranmer Prayer Book version (that is still hardwired into my memory):
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made. Being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven; by the power of the Holy Ghost he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; whence he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sin; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
If it was shortened, it was shortened a LONG time ago. Could you be thinking of the Athanasian Creed? The one that begins, "Whoever wishes to be saved must above all keep the Catholic faith" ??
Our old ECUSA diocese was traditionally 'low', there were a couple of 'high' parishes, and we were in both of them at one time or another. The highest was Our Saviour, Virginia-Highlands -- and it was so ultramontane it made Smoky Mary's in New York City look low. The rector preached on Purgatory one Easter and threw my then-Methodist husband for a loop! (of course now he's Catholic, you never know what's going to happen in 30 years.)
I remember genuflecting, of course. Now I just bow deeply along with the priest. At least the two of us still do it. We are both very old...As old as rocks.
Thank you for posting this, NYer...
The young man being anointed in the second photo is my son Billy, and my younger son is sitting next to me (I’m in the red) in the third picture.
The ceremony was absolutely FANTASTIC!!!
It was a dream come true for my family and those of the other confirmandi.
The girl you quoted, Miss Bissex, is indeed a charming and intelligent young lady whose family is equally delightful.
The A.D. 381 version doesn’t appear to be any longer than the A.D. 1546 version. At first I thought the words in brackets are pointing out the differences — but then there is [vivificatorem] where the 1546 version has “vivificantem.” So maybe the words in brackets are acceptable variations.
The A.D. 381 version has “we” instead of “I” — credimus/credo, for instance. The A.D. 1582 version added “invisibilium.” — of things invisible. There are some minor vocabulary differences and grammatical constructions that are different.
I’m fairly certain that Spiritum Sanctam is a misprint.
Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei [unigenitum], natum ex Patre ante omnia saecula [Lumen de Lumine], Deum verum de Deo vero, natum [genitum], non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omni facta sunt; qui propter nos homines et [propter] salutem nostram descendit de coelis et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria virginine et humanatus [homo factus] est; et crucifixus est pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato [passus] et sepultus est; et resurrexit tertia die [secundum scripturas]; ascendit in coelum [coelos], sedet ad dexteram Patris; interum venturus, cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos; cujus regni non erit finis.
Et in Spritum Sanctam, Dominum et vivificantem [vivificatorem], ex Patre procedentem, cum Patre et Filio adorandum et conglorificandum, qui locutus est per sanctos prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam. Confitemur unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Expectamus resurrectionem mortuorum et vitam futuri saeculi. Amen.
Beautiful story and pictures. Thank you for sharing.
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