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The Old Mass Returns
Inside the Vatican ^ | April 23, 2010 | Robert Moynihan

Posted on 04/24/2010 1:50:52 PM PDT by NYer

For the first time in 40 years, the old Latin Mass will be celebrated in the largest Catholic Church in America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Time: 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 24, commemorating the 5th anniversary of the installation in 2005 of Pope Benedict XVI as Pope

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from America

[resources: Inside the Vatican]


The old Mass
In a way, I find the use of the term "extraordinary form" to describe the "old Mass" a bit unfortunate.
Because, after all, it was so ordinary, that old Mass -- ordinary in the sense that it was celebrated every day, every weekday and every Sunday, for centuries, in the Roman Catholic Church.
Ordinary in that it was the Mass of Newman, and Chesterton, and Pius X, and John XXIII, and of all those millions who came before us.
Why should the celebration of that old Mass, the Tridentine Mass, be considered something unusual, something astonishing, something arousing wonder, as if it were "extraordinary."
Why not just call it "ordinary?
For really, it is just the old, ordinary Mass, which our fathers and mothers attended -- the place and time where they asked forgiveness for their sins, and praised God for His holiness, and encountered Christ in the consecration, and entered into a type of real union with Christ through the mystery of communion.

But today we are astonished that the extraordinary rite of the Mass is celebrated, because it has become so rare.
For 40 years, it has been virtually banned, and only in 2007, with his much-discussed -- and  much-opposed -- motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, did Benedict XVI make clear to the Church that this Mass was truly, in some profound way, ordinary, even if he called it "extraordinary."
Ordinary, because legitimate.
Not banned, not despised, not condemned. Accepted, embraced, even honored.
Hence... extraordinary.
And, in fact, he was right: it is extraordinary.
It is extraordinary because it is rooted so deep in our tradition that it goes back even beyond Jesus, to speak to us in the moving, unforgettable poetry of King David of Israel...
Extraordinary because it goes back even beyond Scripture, beyond the New Testament itself, as its prayers derive ultimately from the prayers of the first Christians, who prayed them even before the New Testament canon was set with certainty...
Extraordinary because it was the school of sanctity for countless saints, century after century, in every nation of the world...
"Introibo ad altare Dei" -- "I will go up to the altar of God" (the first words of the Mass)
Tomorrow, this Mass, ordinary and extraordinary, will return to the largest basilica in America, the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
It would be a shame if the Basilica were not filled for this Eucharist. If you are in the area of Washington, and can take the time out of your day to attend the Mass, it might be a moment when past and future intersect, when old prayers are heard once again as if new.
It might be, in fact, something extraordinary.
Triumphant Celebration
Note: The following article appeared in the April edition of our magazine, which was a special 100-page collector's edition commemorating the 5th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II and the 5th anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The issue was praised two days ago in the Osservatore Romano, the Pope's own newspaper. (We urge anyone who would like to have a copy of this special issue to order one by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-789-9494, or by going to our web site:
Triumphant Celebration of the Catholic Faith
By George "Pat" Morse
Many felt in 2005 that, after long and noble service to the Church over his many years in the Vatican, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger would spend his remaining years as Sovereign Pontiff in the role of somewhat of a caretaker of the achievements of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, not choosing to take on all of the many interests and facets of crushing problems, even crises, brewing and existing throughout the Catholic world.

No way. Not for Pope Benedict XVI. Virtually from Day One, his agenda began to unfold and it was a powerful, courageous, no pussy-footing and little negotiating away of his obligations. Off to America soon after assuming the Chair of St. Peter and, while I was critical of what I considered his failure to lay into the bishops for lack of leadership against our deadly moral decline, his visit was a success for his agenda. He was not just the new Pope — he was clearly the leader of the world-wide Catholic Church, and he would lead. And he has.

Most notably was his courageous success with the failed effort of his predecessor to grant to every priest the right and privilege of celebration of the “Old Mass.” In one fell swoop, the issue was settled with his dramatic issuance in 2007 of his Apostolic Letter, Summorum Ponti­fi­cum, granting to every priest the right to celebrate the historic Latin Mass without the necessity of approval by his bishop. Instantly, while not achieving expressions of delight, the overt opposition has been largely diminished and the increasing response by the priests and the people is proving the correctness of the action by His Holiness.

Also important is the impetus being generated by His Holiness to carry forward his oft-referred to “reform of the reform.” The “New Mass” is being brought back into greater conformity and the “Protestant-satisfying” features are eliminated. Sacred music and the more generous restoration of appropriate use of Latin, will create a more beautiful Novus Ordo Mass pleasing to those devoted to that service.  

In an era of crisis for the Universal Catholic Church, Benedict XVI has al­ready proved himself and there is no reason to believe that he will not continue to lead with wisdom and courage. He is a gift of God in a time of great peril. Thanks be to God!

And that brings us to the subject of this reflection: the “Magnificent Gift” being brought to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by the exceptional effort of the Paulus Institute under the leadership of its president, Paul King, and his Board of Directors.

On April 24 this year (a date perhaps divinely inspired because it is Benedict’s  anniversary date as Supreme Pontiff), His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission under Pope John Paul II and until recently under Pope Benedict, will be the celebrant of this Pontifical High Mass at the National Shrine, a superb selection because His Eminence devoted himself for years to the shared desire of the Popes for the return of the Traditional Mass to its proper role in the salvation of souls and the glory of God. [See below for a report on why Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will not celebrate this Mass, but will be replaced by His Excellency Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma.]

To describe further the magnificence and sacredness of this Mass and all its triumphant beauty and holiness, as it is offered to Almighty God, would only fail in comparison to what those who attend will experience. Wherever you are, if you can possibly attend, you will always be grateful for this invitation. Your faith will be inspired and strengthened and His Eminence will be pleased to meet and greet you. And, if you want to let us know you are coming, we will put you on a list that we will see he receives, probably for greeting after the Mass at the reception.

Now, to a very important acknowledgement:

This entire effort, over a period of several years, was the inspiration of the President of the Paulus Institute, Paul King, its president. Paul and his Board worked tirelessly to return this magnificent Pontifical Mass to the National Shrine after a lapse of almost half a century and they have done it with a splendor that will, I am certain, make His Holiness delighted and proud because he will, as will his Ambassador in the United States, the Apostolic Nuncio, be aware of this great celebration of faith. Paul is to be especially commended for the care which has been taken to obtain the cooperation of Church leaders, especially His Excellency, Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, whose warmth and assistance is most gratefully received.

The Paulus Institute is also grateful for the warm and eager cooperation of the many organizations, the various Papal and other Catholic Orders of Knighthood, the bishops and clergy, the Latin Mass parishes in Washington and Baltimore and, as well, those Catholics who, thankfully, will be attending the “Old Mass” for the first time in years, or ever. It will be an exciting and spiritually invigorating experience.
And, thus, we express our gratitude to Paul and his colleagues and welcome the opportunity to learn more about the Paulus Institute as we share the great religious experience of the Pontifical High Mass. For our readers unable to attend, we shall report to you in the near future.

The Announcement of the New Celebrant

Tulsa Bishop Edward Slattery to Celebrate Latin Mass at National Basilica in D.C. Saturday

The Paulus Institute today is pleased to announce His Excellency Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has agreed to celebrate the first traditional Latin Solemn High Pontifical Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in nearly 50 years. The Mass will take place this Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m.

The Paulus Institute was formed for the propagation of sacred liturgy. The traditional Latin Mass planned for April 24th honoring Pope Benedict on his five-year inauguration anniversary is a historic liturgical event and all Catholics are invited to attend; no tickets are needed.

"We are pleased and honored to have His Excellency, Edward Slattery, come to Washington to celebrate what will be a historic event and a major step toward the restoration of sacred tradition," said Institute President Paul King. "The richness of our Catholic tradition will be visible to all the world on Pope Benedict's fifth anniversary."

In consultation with originally scheduled celebrant, Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the Institute yesterday agreed to seek another prelate in order to maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass.

The Latin Mass will feature several choirs singing sacred choral music and Gregorian chant, and will be aided by numerous priests from the region. It will be aired live on EWTN beginning at 12:30 p.m.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Humor; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; latinmass; mass; tlm; traditionalmass
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1 posted on 04/24/2010 1:50:52 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Open invitation for those who attended or watched via EWTN, to post their comments.

2 posted on 04/24/2010 1:52:40 PM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: NYer

I didn’t see this on the EWTN schedule.

3 posted on 04/24/2010 1:58:00 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: NYer
P. Introibo ad altare Dei. R: Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
4 posted on 04/24/2010 1:59:04 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: NYer

I only saw the sermon (excellent) and the Canon. Not really having seen the old Mass much, the offering to Christ I didn’t mind so much, but not being able to hear the words, regardless of the language, was jarring. Maybe it was just the broadcast? Some of the other elements, i.e., torch bearers, at many high Masses are part of the ceremony, so it was relatively familiar.

5 posted on 04/24/2010 2:18:59 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: NYer

Uhhh, I bet it’s packed.

6 posted on 04/24/2010 2:23:40 PM PDT by FroggyTheGremlim (He promised hope; he gave us hype. He promised change; he gave us chains!)
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To: NYer

Latin Mass - except for the greek part

7 posted on 04/24/2010 2:29:57 PM PDT by stylin19a (Never buy a putter until you first get a chance to throw it)
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To: ConorMacNessa

I asked one of my Vocal Clients, a 90 year old Soprano who sings in Beautiful Latin, why the Old Latin Mass was so important to her, when it is in an old language that nobody speaks anymore.

She smiled at me and said, “Because, as a Catholic, I USED to be able to go to ANY Catholic Church on the Planet, and it would be in the SAME Language as it was at home!

Made sense. I had ALWAYS understood why people didn’t want CHANGES in the Liturgy that watered down the Message.

But I hadn’t understood why the Change to the Vernacular had been such an issue.

This kind lady made it very clear to me.

8 posted on 04/24/2010 2:30:34 PM PDT by left that other site (Your Mi'KMaq Paddy Whacky Bass Playing Biker Buddy)
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To: NYer

I think they mean extrodinary as beautiful, special, and set apart. As opposed to the modernist mass.

9 posted on 04/24/2010 2:40:13 PM PDT by fire4effect
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To: NYer

It wasn’t set out too clearly on the EWTN schedule. Hopefully there will be a rerun later. I grew up with Latin Mass, and it was wonderful. In those days Catholic school students actually studied Latin, so we knew what it all meant and could translate pretty readily. I never could quite accept all the VCII changes.

10 posted on 04/24/2010 2:43:53 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: NYer

There are very few priests that even know how to say the Mass in Latin. They never learned...and have a minuscule knowledge of the language.

11 posted on 04/24/2010 2:47:19 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the the cannolis. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: NYer

Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

12 posted on 04/24/2010 3:07:08 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: Don Corleone

It’s never too late to learn. Ask any musician. We learn new stuff constantly.

13 posted on 04/24/2010 3:17:02 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: NYer
Watched it start to finish, with a few gaps because we were having thunderstorms here and the feed would go down.

The thing that flashed into my mind while watching the Bishop vesting (or, more accurately, being vested) for the Mass was John 21:18: Amen, amen I say to thee, when thou wast younger, thou didst gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not.

Another striking moment: at the end of the Mass, when the Bishop left the procession to walk to the Cardinal Emeritus's chair, and took his hand with obvious emotion.

Also, the look of tremendous concentration on the Bishop's face as he said the Mass. He almost looked like a different person -- very intent, very focussed.

It was a great privilege to be able to see the celebrant at the High Altar -- thanks to the cameras which were obviously set up by somebody who knew what was important. We don't often get so close a view of the proceedings.

His homily was beautiful - very plain spoken but at the same time very thought-provoking.

I do want to know why the assistant priest had a Marine Corps "high and tight" haircut!

The choirs were excellent. The children's choir did extremely well, not as well as an Anglican boys' choir but very well indeed. The schola was phenomenal, and the choir had some absolutely wonderful sopranos -- the classic pure choir sound, NO vibrato, just clear tone with exactly the right brightness. And both the deacons who chanted the Epistle and the Gospel (especially the one who chanted the Epistle) had absolutely gorgeous voices.

The inimitable Father Z was providing the commentary and a simultaneous (intermittent) Latin translation. I noticed that he got in his favorite adjective "ineffable" which will make all the fans of his blog smile.

14 posted on 04/24/2010 3:20:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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To: NYer
One of the commentators noted that it has been almost 50 years since Mass was said at that High Altar.

May there be many, many more.

15 posted on 04/24/2010 3:28:52 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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To: AnAmericanMother

I hope I can record a rerun on EWTN (forgot to set my TV to record it). I was at the Mass and got a different perspective. We didn’t get Fr. Z.’s commentary. I’ll bet you had a better sound of the choir and schola. We could hear them, but the sound was somewhat faint. The music was beautiful, but it is hard to go wrong with Palestrina.

16 posted on 04/24/2010 3:29:22 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: left that other site
This is very true.

When I was a kid, my family gypsied all over the Caribbean. We usually went during Christmas and Easter vacations, when we kids were out of school, so we often found ourselves in odd places when Christmas or Easter rolled around. If we weren't on a British island (we were Episcopalian at the time) there was of course no Anglican church, so my dad would call on the local Catholic priest. I don't remember a time when we were not allowed to receive (of course, we were so 'high' our noses bled! Plus, my dad could sell walk-in freezers to Eskimos.)

But the wonderful thing was, whether we were on a French island, a Dutch island, in Mexico, or in Haiti, the Mass was always exactly the same! (usually couldn't understand a word of the homily though!)

17 posted on 04/24/2010 3:33:09 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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To: Don Corleone; NYer

I believe at least four if not six years of Latin are now required in seminaries.

The younger priests coming out of the seminaries know Latin! Hooray.

In fact, last year in our Archdiocese we had one young man ordained in the Latin rite and the Maronite rite, so he had multiple languages there.

18 posted on 04/24/2010 3:34:06 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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When EWTN gets hold of a magnificent spectacle like THAT, they are certain to rerun it. I hope.

Being there is better, even though you don't get the tight camera shots or the miked sound. (I noticed in the credits that an FSSP priest was in charge of the cameras. Way to do it right, gentlemen!)

And of course it is not possible to go wrong with Palestrina. The man was a genius!

19 posted on 04/24/2010 3:36:10 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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I hope I can record a rerun on EWTN (forgot to set my TV to record it). I was at the Mass and got a different perspective. We didn’t get Fr. Z.’s commentary. I’ll bet you had a better sound of the choir and schola. We could hear them, but the sound was somewhat faint. The music was beautiful, but it is hard to go wrong with Palestrina.


My wife, who was unable to go due to heath, said that she got the best seat in the house.

OTOH, I was absolutely thrilled to be there with my daughter. It was absolutely glorious to be a part of the throng.

(And the blognic at the Dubliner was pretty good too!)

20 posted on 04/24/2010 3:40:38 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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