Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Posts Tagged ‘ordinary form’

Octave of Pentecost

Posted by james0235 on May 24, 2010

“After Easter, the Solemnity of Pentecost is the second most important day in the Church year.”

Bishop Peter J. Elliott, Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year 325

If Pentecost outranks Christmas on the Liturgical Calendar (or,  I know it might be argued, is equal to it) then why is it that Christmas has an Octave but Pentecost does not? It appears that even the pope who approved the elimination of the Octave of Pentecost had no idea what was going on. Fr. Z explains what a Liturgical Octave is and tells the story of the Octave of Pentecost in a podcast found here.

On the older Liturgical Calendar the Octave Day of Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. This is always a great time of year to re-familiarize yourself with what the Catholic faith teaches us about the Holy Trinity:

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 234


The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God”. To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 237


and it is a great time to recite the Athanasian Creed.

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Clean and Undefiled

Posted by james0235 on May 21, 2009

Vice President Joe BidenI recently came across a quote by Vice President Joe Biden that I found to be quite disturbing. It is something he seems to have said some time ago, all the way back in 2005, and something that apparently every person in the world was aware of but me:

“The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”

(And it appears that Biden’s actual words may have originally been much worse and “cleaned up” by the media.)

Now, this quote came to mind yesterday as I was meditating on a verse from Scripture:

“Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world. (James 1:27 DRB)

This was the Epistle for Mass this past Sunday, the 5th Sunday after Easter, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This particular verse is also found in other Forms and Rites of the Church.  In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite it is the 2nd Reading in Year B on the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and it is the 1st Reading on Wednesday of Year II in the 6th Week of Ordinary Time. In the Byzantine Rite it is used on Thursday of the 31st Week after Pentecost.

When the Church sets a verse before us in the Liturgy it is generally a good sign that this verse is particularly important. And when the Church sets a verse before us multiple times it is time to pay special attention.

It seems popular among Christians nowadays to want distance themselves from being “religious”. It is all too often viewed as a bad thing. One frequently hears such things as “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual” or  “I’m not religious, I have a personal relationship with Christ”.

But, the Apostle James, guided by the Holy Spirit, shows us that being religious is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact it is intended to be a good thing. We are meant to hold to a religion that is “clean and undefiled” and this religion is an active religion – what Catholics would call performing the corporal works of mercy.

Now, the word “religion” comes from the Latin “religare” which means to “re-bind” or “re-connect“. Our religion is what connects or binds us to our God. And as I began to reflect on what it means to be religious I came to the obvious conclusion that Vice President Biden is indeed a religious person. But, his religion is most certainly not “clean and undefiled”. It is impossible to be “unspotted from this world” when one actively seeks to take the lives of the most helpless of victims – the unborn.

Joe Biden’s pro-abortion views and his support of embryonic stem cell research lie in direct opposition to the Catholic faith he claims to hold. Being pro-choice is actually heresy, the “obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith” (see Code of Canon Law 751 and Catechism of the Catholic Church 2089). Those who fall into heresy actually excommunicate themselves from the Church (see Code of Canon Law 1364) and those who are excommunicated may not receive Communion (see Code of Canon Law 915 and 1332), which Joe Biden does anyway thus committing the additional sin of scandal (see CCC 2285).

notcatholicSo, Joe Biden is right. He is without a doubt a religious person. But, his religion is not the Christian faith. He makes mockery of the sacraments that Christ entrusted to His Church and instead elevates the sacrament of abortion to the position of being the source and summit of his faith and the thing that binds him to his “god”, the power and the fame that he has chosen to embrace instead of Jesus Christ.

I hope that the Vice President appreciates my defense of his assertations that he is in fact religious. And if he has the slightest bit of integrity he will either repent of his evil beliefs or he will stop misleading people into believing that he is still Catholic.

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The Use of Scripture in the Mass

Posted by james0235 on August 7, 2008

Have you ever wondered when a particular passage of the Bible is read at Mass?

Well, wonder no longer. I have compiled all of the Scripture verses used in the Propers of the Mass – the Entrance Antiphon, 1st Reading, Responsorial Psalm, 2nd Reading (if any), Alleluia Verse (called the Verse before the Gospel during Lent), the Gospel, and the the Communion Antiphon – for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Use of Scripture in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite

Scripture used in the Ordinary (unchanging parts) of the Mass is already available on a number of sites including this one. I will most likely add something similar eventually.

It is still not quite complete (I still have to add the Votive Masses) but it is almost done.

Coming Soon: The Use of Scripture in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

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The Feast of the Most Precious Blood

Posted by james0235 on July 1, 2008

Sanguis Christi, inebria me! Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
(from the Anima Christi)

In the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite July 1st is the Feast of the the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (This Feast exists in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the form of a Votive Mass.) It commemorates all of the times Our Lord shed his most precious blood: the Circumcision, the Agony in the garden, the Scourging at the pillar, the Crowning with thorns, and in the Crucifixion.

You may recall that the Circumcision is specifically commemorated in the Mass on the Octave Day of Christmas. But, today’s Feast calls to mind all of the occasions Our Lord shed his Blood. And this same Blood is offered daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on altars the world over.

I read something interesting today online in the June 29th bulletin of Assumption Grotto in Detroit. The pastor writes:


I have often noted the practice of wine connoisseurs–those more adept than myself (if it were possible) in the art of drinking wine–who studiously oscillate their glass and ceremoniously sniff their beverage before consigning it to the quaff. Real wine lovers, you see, must first inform their olfactories before their tongues concerning the quality of the wine. Smell is among the senses that both informs and gives pleasure or displeasure, as the case may be.

Now, what in heavens has this to do with the Mass? Well, in the celebrating of the Tridentine Mass, there is a coincidence of word and gesture in the priest’s offering of the wine during the Offertory rite. He, while moving the chalice over the altar in the form of the cross says, “may this chalice ascend in the sight of Your divine majesty with a sweet odor…

That God should take delight in smells may be a surprising idea, but it does have biblical precedent. After the flood, Noah offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord for his delivery and God who “smelled the pleasing odor” then promised never again to destroy all living creatures. In other places of the Old Testament there is ample reference to the fragrant incense offered to God.

At Mass, when I make that sign of the cross with the chalice, I too get a brief sniff of odoriferous wine and think that this is symbolic of the agreeableness of the sacrifice that is soon to be offered to God, namely, the sacrifice of Christ. You will note, by contrast, that this Offertory prayer is not said in the ‘ordinary form’ (new rite) of the Mass and that there is no gesture made with the chalice except for its slight elevation during the priest’s words of ‘blessing.’ I know that this is only a little thing, but it is one of those many subtle and meaningful touches that arrest my attention in the Tridentine Mass and which help to raise the mind to God.

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Quicumque Vult

Posted by james0235 on May 17, 2008

“Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem”

The Athanasian Creed, attributed to but most likely not composed by St. Athanasius, is one of the most profound statements on the Holy Trinity that the Church has ever produced.

Liturgically it is used in the Divine Office of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite where it is said during the office of Prime on Trinity Sunday. I do not believe that the Athanasian Creed is currently used at all in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. And it is not used by the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Unfortunately its extremely limited use means that very few Catholics ever hear it. I’m trying to get in the habit of reciting it at least once a year on Trinity Sunday.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

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The Use of Scripture in the Roman Rite of the Mass

Posted by james0235 on May 13, 2008

(UPDATED)

I have been working on a project lately that may be of some use to others. I am compiling all of the various Scripture verses used in the Mass. You can look up a particular verse and determine when and where it is used at Mass.

The Use of Scripture in the Roman Rite of the Mass

The site includes the Entrance Antiphon (most priests seem to replace this with a hymn), 1st Reading, Responsorial Psalm, 2nd Reading (if any), Alleluia Verse (called the Verse before the Gospel during Lent), the Gospel, the Communion Antiphon (again, usually replaced with a hymn), and other things such as the addtional Readings of the Easter Vigil.

Right now it covers all of the Sundays and weekdays of the Liturgical Year as well as the Common Masses (Common of Martyrs, Common of Pastors, etc.). Still to be added are the Ritual Masses (Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, etc.), the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, the Votive Masses, and then finally the Feast Days.

I will then go through the Psalms and verify the chapter and verse. I believe that some use the Hebrew numbering and some use the Greek. I will make sure they all use the Hebrew numbering with the Greek following in parenthesis (if different).

When all of that is completed I will begin adding a 3rd column on the right side covering the use of Scripture in the Mass of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (also known as the Tridentine Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass).

There have been multiple times that I have wished for something like this. But, I have been unable to find anything complete. So, I decided to put it together myself. I would be very interested in comments, suggestions, and criticisms.

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Ascension Thursday Sunday?

Posted by james0235 on May 1, 2008

In most of the world today is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. However, in much of the U.S. the Ascension will not be celebrated today. Each Ecclesiastical Province has been given the option of celebrating the Ascension today – 40 days after Easter – or transferring it to this coming Sunday – the 7th Sunday of Easter. Most Provinces have transfered it. Only the dioceses located within the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Omaha have opted to celebrate the Feast on its traditional day.

Even though the diocese of Columbus (located within the Province of Cincinnati) has transferred the Feast to this coming Sunday and therefore today is not considered to be a Holy Day of Obligation, I will be attending a Mass for the Feast of the Ascension according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in just a couple of hours. And then this Saturday evening I will be attending a Mass for the Feast of the Ascension according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

You just can’t beat celebrating Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven twice in one week!

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