Monday, September 2, 2019

Fr. Adrian Fortescue on the Liturgy

Below is a letter from Fr. Adrian Fortescue dated November 24, 1919 to Stanley Morison (the formatting was retained). It details that although we become experts on certain topics or subjects, those same subjects may not be our passion! The humor is not lost that we now look to Fr. Fortescue as one of the great rubrical masters of his time.


“I cannot possibly give up another day, or part of one, to looking over Gurney’s wretched pictures of people in Italian vestments, to judge whether the thurifer is standing at the right place and whether the deacon ought to have his hands joined. There is something more about this. I wish you would tell everybody who wants to bother me on the subject. I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT MODERN CEREMONIES. I hate, loathe and utterly despise the trivial details of ceremonies. I do not think it matters one little straw where the acolytes stand during Pontifical vespers at the throne, and I simply do not know the correct answer to the endless stream of questions of this kind that people are always sending me. I suppose I knew something about these things while I was writing that book of Ceremonies, but now I thank my Maker that, if I did, I have forgotten it all. My writing that book was a colossal mistake really. I had written a book about the history of the Mass. Then B. & O., understanding nothing about such things, invited me to revise Dale-Baldeschi. If they had understood anything, they would have known a man who wrote a history of a rite is absolutely the very last man to write the rules of modern ceremonies. The two things are utterly different, and appeal to utterly different types of mind. I know people, like Wallis and Hall, who have that queer taste for the silly details of ceremonies. They never known nor care about the history of such things. To them it is not the history nor the development of rites that matter a bit, it is the latest decision of the Congregation of Rites. These decisions are always made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want to simply ignore. It is a queer type of mind that actually is interested in knowing whether the deacon should stand at the right or the left of someone else at some moment. I do not think there is any possible subject of inquiry that seems to me more entirely trivial, futile, silly and uninteresting. I have some slight interest in the history of the Roman Rite (though even in this I have now gone a long way in other directions. At present, I am much more interested in what Plato thought about ideas, and the relation of Proclus to Christianity, how far Neoplatonism is Platonism at all). I never cared a tinker’s cuss what the Congregation may have decided about the order in which the acolyte should put out the candles after Vespers. B & O understand nothing; so of course they did not understand the differences between the man interested in the history of rites and the man who makes a stupid hobby book of knowing what is the footling rule for each case now. They ought to have offered the work to Wallis or Hall, or that little man at St. Edmund’s who found several hundred mistakes in my book, after Bergh and Hall had passed it as perfect. I took on the job solely for filthy lucre’s sake. It was in the middle of the war, nearly all chance of a market for literary works ended, Britten had just written to say that C.T.S. could not think of printing my book on the Uniate Churches till times had changed. I wanted money, and I thought it would not take long to revise Dale. I had not the ghost of an idea when I took on the job what an appalling business it was going to be. Having begun, I thought I ought to go on. Dale soon proved to be impossible. For one ghastly year (I think the most dismal, hateful, useless year of my life), I swotted away at stuff for which I could hardly conceal my contempt and disgust while I was doing it. Day after day I took up the hateful burden of verifying in Merati, Martinucci, Le Vasseur, Van Der Stappen, what each person does in the course of these interminable ceremonies. It was as far removed from any intellectual interest as anything could be. Absolutely any fool could write such a book of ceremonies. It is only a matter of looking up what about 10 stupid Italians say. Generally they all say the same thing. When they disagree, you say so, and give the view of each. It was about as interesting as drawing up a railway guide by combining the hours of trains from the time-tables of ten different companies.


During that hateful year I acquired two overwhelming impressions. First, that whatever beauty interest or historic value, or dignity, the Roman rite ever had has been utterly destroyed by the uneducated little cads who run that filthy congregation at Rome; secondly that it would be beyond the power of man to invent a form of literature more entirely uninteresting, or more finally disgusting than the works of Messrs. Martinucci, Le Vasseur, Baldeschi, and the rest. The one only pleasure I got in doing the book was writing the preface where I say, as plainly as I dare, what contemptible nonsense the whole thing is. I ended thanking God that it was done. But it was not. The little man at St. Edmund’s sent men an interminable list of errors. Once more I had to take up the loathsome burden and revise the book. But then I had done. I have sold all the books on the subject I acquired while writing it, thank God I have forgotten every little bit of what I learned writing it. I have never looked at my own book ever again. I want never to hear another word about ceremonies for as long as I live. I would rather discuss the symptoms of cancer. There is no subject in the world for which I have so intense a disgust.

But see and learn from my sad case. That putrid book is the curse of my life. Day after day I am inundated with letters from people of whom I have never heard, with strings of questions about ceremonies; Catholic priests, still more High Anglicans, from all over the country think they have the right to dollop on me several hours’ work doing research for them about some silly detail of a subject of which I know nothing. This is what amazes me, the incredible imprudence of these people. Because I have written a book it does not follow that I have turned myself into a society for giving free advice, and doing free research work for every unknown fool who may choose to write me and ask for it. I could of course spend my few hours at the Museum by having out again Martinucci and his peers, verifying points, comparing authorities. I could ask for the whole collection of the Decrees of the Stinking Congregation of Rites, and pass through hours or so hunting for the date of a decree. But why cannot these imprudent scoundrels do their own dirty work? Their cheek takes away my breath. I do not fire off a letter to some doctor in Harley Street whom I do not know, asking him, with a lot of compliments, kindly to write out for me a treatise on the cause, prevention, treatment and cure of arthritis. It would never occur to me to find the address of some lawyer and jump on him eight questions about real and personal property. People do this to me. Every week I get six or seven letters, often with ten questions in each. Any of these questions would take me a couple of hours of research to answer, some letters would need six or seven folio pages to answer properly, and two or three days of arduous and hateful work. Why am I to be pestered without ceasing, by any fool in Cornwall, Scotland, Isle of Man? What makes me most furious is when they enclose a stamp for the answer. It is not the value of their beastly penny half-penny, it is the hours, sometimes days, of work that they have the infernal imprudence to expect me to put at their service.

Final conclusion: Every letter of this kind goes straight into the waste paper basket. If the man sends me a stamp I lick it off and keep it; if he smears his request with complements I simply confound his infernal impertinence. I am not going ever to answer any letters with questions about ceremonies. If people want to know these things, let them get a book and find out for themselves. My only request is that it would take too much trouble to do as I would like, namely to write back the most offensive insults I can think of. It is really extraordinary that almost every letter I get (except yours) and some bills, contains a string of questions on various subjects, representing about £3 or £4 worth of research work. If I answered all these as the people who write them expect, I should have a full life’s work with this alone. The brazen cheek of people, who would not write you to ask you to send a cheque for £10 as a present by return of post, but have no sort of scruple in asking calmly for pounds’ worth of free work to be done for them astounds me.

Do please tell anyone who threatens to fire off strings of questions at me that I am exceedingly busy, that I am not a society kept out of the rates of answering anyone’s queries, that I have no time to write letters, that I wish for goodness’ sake that they would leave me alone, so that I may have a little time to do my own work.

Example: Today a parcel came from herder. I do know nothing of Herder except that I have sometimes abought a book there. His manager sends a big German book on the use of the tabernacle. Will I kindly read it, then advise him whether, in my option, there would be sufficient demand to justify him publishing an English translation of this book? Enclosed please find four stamps, to pay for return of the book. I know nothing about the book. I do not want to read it. I do not know anything about the demand for such works in English. I know nothing about the subject. I am not Herder’s literary advisor. I want to be let alone to finish twenty pressing jobs, and above all, to get back to Boethius. Now I have this infernal nuisance of writing to his man, doing up his beastly book, taking it to the post, hanging about there while they weigh it and all the rest of the filthy bother. He thinks it is adequate return of all this loathsome nuisance that he encloses the stamps. You will think that since I am so pressed I need not fire off all of this wrath on you. No I suppose I need not. I did not mean to when I began. It arose out of Gurney. Then my feelings have carried me away, and you will now have the benefit of months of pent-up fury at the endless nuisance of all these swinish fools who peter me all the week."

Book Review: "Extraordinary Celebrations, Extraordinary Growth!: Ideas for Independent & Old Catholic Communities during the Year of Matthew 2020”


The subject of this book review is “Extraordinary Celebrations, Extraordinary Growth!: Ideas for Independent & Old Catholic Communities during the Year of Matthew 2020.” The author is the Hon. Rev. Dr. Jayme Mathias. It is a time-honored practice for Independent Catholics to list any and all titles in print. Mathias has had great success with his parish, Holy Family, in Austin and this work is a continuation of his efforts. He is to be commended for his online videos promoting education within the Movement, and seeks to share his experiences in this book. He is well educated and his viewpoints add a great deal to the Movement.

The number of exclamation points in the work indicate the author’s passion about the subject. It is evident that he loves his community and attempts innovative ways to grow and sustain it. I struggled with parts of the work where it appeared paternalistic and gimmicky—I am not personally convinced that the “razzle dazzle” of megachurches is the best example for authentic liturgical communities. Fr. Steve Rice recently commented "what you with them with is what you win them to." I also believe “less is more” regarding visuals, or they can become trite. The author also draws heavily on his Roman Catholic background, so using examples of what the Second Vatican Council promoted is not always applicable to all sectors of our Movement. I am also personally wary of benchmarking based on clergy stipends—this model has not fared well for mainline Christianity.

The book also contains some very useful practical examples on pastoral care. Using a parish necrology or anniversary is an excellent tool for personal outreach and a parish lunch or coffee hour is essential to building true community. Mathias’ focus on social media and involving children are also helpful, as they are ways to keep all members of the family involved. I also enjoyed the daily meditations on different saints and holy people. Traditionally-inclined Catholics may be surprised to see Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, John Alan Lee, and the Dalai Lama among the group, but the author includes something for everyone. It was especially pleasant to see legends like Thuc, Karl Pruter, and others included, as well as ecumenical figures like Patriarch Addai II and Patriarch Neophyte.

Overall, the author and I don’t share the same ethos on how to grow a parish. However, his passion shines through and the book is helpful to any group which needs ideas to get them “unstuck” from mundane Sundays (or needs a fresh ordo with something for everyone). The author is to be commended for investing the time and energy into adding to the publication list of the Independent Catholic (or Autocephalous Catholic or ISM movement). 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Book Review: "Carlos Duarte Costa: Testament of a Socialist Bishop"

I was, frankly, surprised to see another publication by Edward Jarvis in such a short period of time on topics about which I am deeply interested. Jarvis' ability to produce and research is admirable, particularly on topics which have previously been ignored. I'm also glad to see him include a biographical sketch. In this work, a follow-up to his work on ICAB, Jarvis focuses on the personality and background of Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa (now St. Carlos in ICAB).

Jarvis does an admirable job, as always, in providing background to the life and times of Duarte Costa. His rich description of Brazil in that time is helpful. Particularly useful, too, is Jarvis' re-translation of Duarte Costa's "Declaration to the Nation" with commentary. I have seen this work floating around on the internet, but Jarvis preserves it for posterity in a crisp translation. It is another instance of his fine research abilities and attention to detail, which is also replicated throughout the book. 

Also helpful is Jarvis' discussion of the contemporary adherence to the "Declaration" and the division among the ICAB hierarchy. Some of them have noted their online support of President Jair Messias Bolsonaro whose public ideals are at odds with the "Declaration." It is an important emphasis that no church or group is homogeneous.

The book also excels in tying the ICAB movement with contemporary (and historical) issues within Roman Catholicism. The emphasis and questions related to authority in the church are timely and, although the references used may not age well, have been pertinent since circa 33 AD. I do feel that Jarvis is more attentive than in "God, Land & Freedom" at focusing solely on comparisons between ICAB and the Roman Church and instead discusses their parallels. 

It is important to note that Jarvis cites the 1 million Independent Catholic adherents figure in the US documented by Dr. Julie Byrne, which I respectfully contest as too high. Also, his statement about the "questionable Holy Orders from 'Old Catholic' sources" of certain individuals could be better explained so as to clearly avoid any accusation of denigrating the Old Catholic Movement. I am also unsure as to the objectiveness of the source regarding Duarte Costa's academic history. Finally, I do wish there was slightly more attention to careful wording. He says "...which are to be distinguished from true autonomous Orthodox Churches are they are not in communion with or linked to any ancient episcopal see." Every group, be it the so-called canonical Orthodox to the Old Calendarists to the Roman Catholic Church to the sedevacantists deem themselves "true."

Overall, however, this is an excellent book on a topic which needs to be addressed. Given his advocacy for an early form of Liberation Theology I think it is a timely work. People from a variety of backgrounds will find it useful in understanding Independent Catholicism, Roman Catholicism in Brazil, and the political landscape of the area which helped shape, among others, the current Pope.

Book available on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Authenticity

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of this movement is that some people are drawn to a lack of authenticity. This ties in, somewhat, to my post related to hypocrisy. But I think the issue of authenticity relates to a macro scale.

I joined the Autocephalous Catholic movement at the tender age of 16. Since then, I have done my very best to document its history as well as become an expert on the theologies and figures of the movement as a whole. From studying the movement for many years now I have noticed some consistent things about the movement. These are not academic observations just just commonalities I have discovered:
  1. Lay people are often attracted to "Roman replicators" because the liturgy is familiar and it is akin to going to St. Mary's down the street. This can be problematic for clergy who like a particular liturgy or have attached themselves to a certain ethos to differentiate themselves from Rome.
  2. There is not a lot of jurisdictional "buy in" from lay people in terms of keeping a jurisdiction going. They may identify as "xyz Catholic" but typically they will just call themselves Catholic.
  3. The most difficult thing in this movement is keeping a parish going. Most communities do not survive the charismatic founder stage.
  4. There are a lot of clergy and jurisdictions that say one thing but reality is very different. In my experience it is the honest clergy and jurisdictions who are the most successful.
The purpose of this post is regarding observation 4. My experience has included a number of jurisdictions who say one thing but practice another. Unfortunately this typically describes entities which are very conscious about other people's thoughts. This can range from proclaiming to be traditional but actually being open to esotericism, proclaiming traditional morality while priests live with "roomates," and even being open about the crazier side of their history. While this information is tightly stored away we find that it was rampant throughout the history of our movement. Some of our most prestigious forefathers pastored Unitarian churches but were apostolic bishops, or dabbled in Esotericism, or were divorced/remarried, or were thought to have been celibate but had a wife and children,  or had any number of personal foibles they may not have wanted others to know.

In many ways this is why I admire some of the more unique entities within our movement. There are groups which have elected their own pope, reshaped their theology, or otherwise differentiated themselves from Roman Catholicism to make them completely unique. What is curious about these groups is that they seem to have staying power. They attract a distinctive following and they generally stay after the leader's demise. I'm not proposing we all go out and elect a pope, but historically it is notable how some of our most successful brethren (or sometimes we may want to say barely cousins) are those which are themselves and who own their individuality. Look at, for example, the Liberal Catholic Church which has 100 years under its belt. The same is true of the Philippine Independent Church and the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, which have each adapted themselves to their local situations and individual needs. There are many other smaller groups which have demonstrated their own staying power because they crafted something truly novel.

Now--a word of warning. Just because groups are authentically themselves does not give them license to do whatever they want. There must be some provisions to prevent falling into cult-like behavior, harming others, or generally completely embarrassing the rest of us. I am a big believer in the professional image of the clergy. We may have inclusive, broad, or even quirky views, but we can't allow that to cause scandal to others. If you're sacrificing animals on your front porch--it's a problem. It is enough to state one's case and be honest about your convictions while maintaining social and legal mores. 

It also does not mean that there is not a place for "Roman Replicators." There are many, many people who are served well by them and who provide sacraments and support to those who can't find it at their home parish. In fact, these groups are often our most numerically successful (as noted in point 1). While the moniker is "Roman Replicators" it is not limited those closely tied to Roman Catholicism. It can be "Constantinople Replicators" or "Canterbury Replicators." There is truly a place for them.

But it is apparent, as I look through my own ecclesiastical history and the churches where I have been committed, that it is those with an authenticity that is uniquely their own charism which continuously outlive the founders. Not always but can. This is true when clergy are themselves and are honest about why they joined the movement in the first place. Because they were authentic in where they felt the spirit calling them. Sometimes our ministries are for an hour, or a day, or a year, or even a dozen years before they end. And that's ok. But sometimes they do last generations. And that's ok too. This is not a road map for success, it's merely built upon my observations of the entities with the longest histories and the people who built them. May we all have the ability to be our authentic selves. 

"Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire!" St. Catherine of Siena.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Sacred and the Secular

As we end the month of June, I have noticed social media covered in pictures of churches festooned with LGBT pride flags. For me, this is problematic because any secular symbol in the sanctuary is problematic. This is not about LGBT equality and I do not believe this can be singled out to just a pride flag. This extends to a variety of items—sports team chasubles, pride stoles/flags, political statements, and even national flags. Our gathering for the liturgy is a sacred action where we come to receive the very Body and Blood of Christ. We come from a variety of backgrounds--saint and sinner, firm and questioning, committed and struggling--to receive that which gives us strength to continue. It would be different if we were a non-sacramental church where there is no emphasis on eucharistic devotion. But we gather to join ourselves to Our Lord’s ultimate sacrifice. As such we are called to join ourselves wholeheartedly to Our Lord. 

Because of this perspective, anything highlighting a secular cause or campaign is not suitable for the Holy of Holies. I am certainly sympathetic to people wanting to ensure everyone feels welcome and extending hospitality towards those who have been rejected in the past. But when we involve the secular—again be it nationalism, regionalism, a sports team, or highlighting a group—it runs the risk of politicizing or secularizing the sacred. And we’ve seen time and time again how that does not work out. So, put up funny church signs, bless the team before the big game, advertise an extravagant welcome to anyone and everyone on your website, even put things in the narthex, but please keep the sanctuary sacred. 

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Gal. 2:20

Photo: Altar at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, Calif.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Veiling Sacred Images

Traditionally after the Vespers of Passion Sunday all statues, images, etc. are veiled in the church (except the stations). This pious custom has also made its way into people's homes where they, too, veil their sacred images. This is one of my favorite parts leading to Holy Week because our once vibrant sanctuaries now look dim and somber. There are no longer sacred images to remind us of the lives of Our Lord, His Mother, and the saints.

While this is one of my favorite customs, it is not always one of my favorite chores. As I prepared to veil the sacred images this year I had the same recurring thoughts. These included "will this be the year I die falling from a ladder?" and "how long will it take to iron out the wrinkles in these veils?" and "where did I put the veils?" It was then that I discovered that the veils I use were in bad shape and I needed to sew more. As I sat down to this seemingly tedious task the previous negative thoughts continued in my head. 

Yet as I sewed my thoughts started to turn to spiritual things. I thought about how lucky I am to belong to a tradition with such beautiful customs. My thoughts also went to how this task can't compare to the agony Our Lord and His Holy Mother endured during these weeks. Finally, I thought how fortunate I was to be able to complete this task and bring more solemnity to my little sanctuary. What started as a tedious task became a spiritual discipline, and I was joyful when I finished.

I mention this to encourage any readers to veil their sacred images during these times. This custom may have fallen away in modern churches, but it really is a meaningful one (even if it can seem tedious). Just as we "dress up" our liturgical observances during important feasts and parish celebrations, it is also important for us to celebrate in a somber way during those times of grief. This action shows those who see the sanctuary that we are preparing for a time where Our Lord will experience death on the cross. It also helps us re-live the experience of the Apostles who went from Our Lord's physical presence to seeking him in prayer and through the Holy Eucharist.

There are so many beautiful customs which have developed during this sacred time--from processions to emphasis on the stations to veiling images to burying the alleluia--each one has risen from sincere devotion. We are so very lucky to have such a rich liturgical calendar and meaningful customs to support us on our journey. So as we begin Passiontide, I hope that it is a meaningful time for you.



"The presentiment of that awful hour leads the afflicted mother to veil the image of her Jesus: the gross is hidden from the eyes of the faithful. The statues of the saints, too, are covered; for it is but just that, if the glory of the Master be eclipsed, the servant should not appear. The interpreters of the liturgy tell us that this ceremony of veiling the crucifix during Passiontide, expresses the humiliation to which our Savior subjected Himself, of hiding Himself when the Jews threatened to stone Him, as is related in the Gospel of Passion Sunday. The Church begins this solemn rite with the Vespers of the Saturday before Passion Sunday. Thus it is that, in those years when the feast of our Lady's Annunciation falls in Passion-week, the statue of Mary, the Mother of God, remains veiled, even on that very day when the Archangel greets her as being full of grace, and blessed among women." - From "The Mystery of Passiontide and Holy Week" in Dom Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year."

Images: My own chapel.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Mass as Sacrifice

"When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven?” (The Priesthood 3:4:177 [A.D. 387])." - St John Chrysostom 


I opened this post with a quote from St. John Chrysostom because it is, for me, a perfect summary of what we believe about the Holy Mass. Unfortunately, in some quarters, it has become more common to emphasize the Mass as meal and the altar as table. While these terms are accurate--the Mass is a "Heavenly Meal" on the "Table of the Lord" overuse of them can lead to a de-emphasis of the Mass as sacrifice.

Ultimately, if the Mass is not a sacrifice then we are not emulating the commandment at the Last Supper to "do this in memory of me." True, there was in the Early Church (and still today in the beautiful custom of the Eastern Church with the antidoron) the offerings of agape feasts both closely related to the Eucharist and, later, separated from it. Yet these remained distinct from the sacrificial action which was limited to the Body of Christ (excluding, for example, catechumens) and which required baptism, penance, and other expectations.

How, then, did we get here? The reformers had some effect by their denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass. Still, too, did the liturgical reformers who utilized non-sacrificial terminology in liturgical revisions. This created a de-emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the Mass. While I prefer an ad orientem celebration of the Mass I don't think our problems hinge on that single issue. There are numerous ones which have gotten us to our current level of informality. 

So, then, what is the solution? 

1. Proper catechesis. Emphasize in homilies, writings, and other venues the importance of the Holy Mass as sacrifice. Train those entering the Church that the Mass is a sacrificial act. I was recently told be a Catholic convert "I became Catholic but I still don't believe it's really the Body of Christ." That is the wrong attitude, obviously.

2. Appropriate liturgical atmosphere. Even if you're renting space or meeting in a non-liturgical location you can still take steps to ensure the Mass is reverently celebrated. 1. Create an atmosphere of holiness that is separate from peoples' ordinary lives, unique, and reflective. 2. Use the best resources possible when celebrating the liturgy. This means dignified vestments, reverent materials, and proper respect for holy vessels and objects. ABSOLUTELY NO SCARF STOLES (I'm looking at you RCWP). 3. Choose music and other supportive material that emphasizes the holiness of the Mass. If I have to hear "Gather Us In" one more time... 

3. Use clergy appropriately and generously. The beauty of the autocephalous Catholic movement is that we can ordain people more easily. Find appropriate people in your community to act as deacons and priests and encourage their vocation. We don't have to utilize "eucharistic ministers" because we can foster people's vocations without the rigid strictures of the mainstream. This is not only beneficial for the liturgical setting, but the faithful have access to spiritual benefits not available from the laity (like blessing children or catechumens who can't receive the Eucharist--which can't be done by "eucharistic ministers.")

4. Emphasize the holiness of the Eucharist. It has become fashionable to receive Holy Communion in the hand. However, this, too, can do much to de-emphasize the sacrifice of the Mass by promoting familiarity. And familiarity, as we know, can breed contempt. If the Eucharist is received it can be received on the tongue with great reverence. There is less discussion about the method of receiving the Eucharist. While I prefer kneeling, standing has long been the tradition in the Eastern Church. Encouraging a bow, genuflection, or reverence before receiving Holy Communion is laudable.

5. Create a setting of prayer. In all community gatherings or other events, ensure that prayer is offered and that prayer is at the heart of the event (as it is ideally within our lives). Whether it is a parish picnic, retreat, or any other setting use it as a chance to provide reverent prayer. Also use time-honored liturgies, not those created on the fly. As I've previously mentioned--there is a reason why we use liturgies which were created and prayed by saints and within the tradition of the Church.




There are always steps that can be taken to ensure that the sacrificial nature of Mass is honored. These can be done regardless of the Mass rite itself (whether Novus Ordo, Tridentine, etc.). To some, these items may not be important. "People are starving" is a refrain heard whenever one talks about liturgy. They are starving... spiritually starving. And they are starving because of our mediocre liturgies and lack of prayerful atmospheres.

"O Priest of God, say this Mass as though it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass."

Caption: Rev. George. H. Clements giving Holy Communion, Chicago, 1973. Original caption: Holy Angel Catholic Church on Chicago's South side, 1973.

Caption: Outdoor Mass, reverently celebrated. Source unknown.