Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pontifical Mass Now Online

Many will remember that on April 24th, 2010 Bishop Slattery of Tulsa sang Pontifical Mass from the throne at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Hitherto only some video snippets from phone cameras have been available on Youtube. A week and a half ago some good soul put the entire television broadcast online for all to view. Given that the footage of Pope John XXIII's coronation Mass is in a fuzzy black and white, I would not hesitate to call this the best looking Roman liturgy available online. The bishop enters this enormous, Byzantine-styled temple in the cappa magna and vests during terce and some hymns. Full ceremonies were observed, given that the planned celebrant was actually Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos, who had to cancel due to political backlash. It is a truly beautiful celebration and one can see why it ought to be the standard of the Roman rite.
 
 

20 comments:

  1. Ooooh, yet another excuse to lose some sleep at night to watch this. I live but 2.5 hours away from DC, and regret not having gone to this back in 2010.

    We had a Pontifical Mass at the Throne in Trenton last November celebrated by the local Ordinary and televised on EWTN. Yours truly sang in the schola and appeared on the broadcast during the Alleluia chant. It was the Mass of the Miraculous Medal - devotionalism parading as Liturgy again! Only American editions of the 1962 Liber Usualis (the one scanned in PDF online) had the very strange Propers for this Mass in the appendices. I think EWTN may have the video available for purchase.

    Funny anecdote - the priest who coordinated the Trenton Mass had inquired to have Terce sung per normal Pontifical ceremony...at 6:30PM! Mass started at 7pm. In the end, the bishop processed with Cappa Magna to the singing of "Ecce sacerdos magnus" and then knelt in silence for a few minutes. He and the ministers then retired to the sacristy to vest while the church was silent for 20 minutes. Very strange.

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  2. John, I remember seeing the footage of that Mass. I cannot say I recall the faces in the schola during the Alleluia. The one thing that remained firmly in my mind was the performance of the epistle. Lord, why dost Thou punish us with theatrical subdeacons?

    It begs the question, why not sing Vespers after the Mass instead? Be less prissy and time consuming with making sure everyone's footsteps are coordinated and you will shave half an hour off the total time, enough for a major hour of the Office!

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    1. It's been my experience that many "Subdeacons" functioning for these types of Masses are very inexperienced diocesan priests whose hearts are in the right place, but sadly, they betray their lack of a) formal Latin instruction in the seminary and b)lack of any chant practicum. Between these and the two priests whom I instructed a few years back on how to pray the 1962 Breviarium, it is very strange as a layman to have the kind of specialized knowledge that should be a given for a member of the Latin Rite clergy!

      P.S. It was better that we didn't try to pull off Vespers that night!

      P.P.S. Rather, it begs the question - why not schedule these Masses on Sunday mornings when attendance will necessarily be high (and 99% of the world doesn't have to rush home from work and then rush back out to Mass) and when Terce could be sung at its correct time?

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  3. Very strange, but laymen have been the ones to keep the older liturgy alive, not the clergy. I think Fr Kramer of the FSSP parish in Rome put it best when he said the revolution was on the part of the clergy and not the laity.

    I think most people would bail if they had to sit through a Mass longer than 55 minutes on Sunday.

    My old parish usually utilized "straw" subdeacons rather than priests. Consequently their singing and knowledge of rubrics was quite good. Given the decent number of Latin Masses in central Connecticut few priests who knew the old rite were available to do solemn Mass on Sundays. Contrast that with southern New Hampshire, where one can only find one priest willing to do a Missa Cantata/4 hymn sandwich once a month.

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  4. Thanks for this link. I've just discovered your blog and have been spending far too much time reading up; you've done some great work, and I'm very simpatico to a lot of your analysis regarding the low mass culture. Though I'm basically 'rad trad' on paper, it's been tested by the dominance of low mass within the TLM options in my region. I've only been to two high masses, and I have yet to find solemn mass in real life. The 'reform of the reform' NO is also a white elephant around here, so the Byzantine choice has always been a fairly easy one for me. But I'm deeply envious of anyone who has an every-Sunday solemn mass, even if nowhere near the level of the one filmed in the post.

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  5. Can you please explain the tradition that there is no Blessed Sacrament on the altar in cathedrals and basilicas i.e. the churches where the bishop celebrates the Mass and the emptying the altar positioned tabernacles of parish churches when the bishop offers Mass there? i know that it is a rubric that there shouldn't be Blessed Sacrament on the altar where the bishop will celebrate mass but why is that?

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    1. I think it has something to do with the bishop being an icon of Christ. Here in Portugal there are numerous old parish churches where the tabernacle was located on a side altar, in imitation of the cathedrals.

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    2. I am unsure if there is a symbolic importance to the absence of the Blessed Sacrament at the altar, but the historic reason is that after the Council of Trent cathedrals, and the basilicas of Rome, were almost never remodeled, keeping the tabernacle somewhere other than the main altar. As the cult of the Blessed Sacrament grew during the Counter-Reformation bishops, and popes, began to pray before Our Lord prior to vesting for Mass. When the Bishop of Rome celebrated Mass at St. Peter's he would pray before the Blessed Sacrament but also before the altar of St. Gregory the Great. The regular episcopal practice might be a reduced version of the Papal practice.

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    3. I know this is old but I did want to share what an FSSP priest told me when I ran into him at a jewish hospital; As we are staring at a giant Menorah he tells me that the Menorah is why we have 6 Candles on the Altar, and that the tabernacle is the 7th candle in the middle which all the other candles are lit.

      Jesus is the light of the world and it is from him all other light is from, now he explained to me that the reason the tabernacle is empty when the bishop celebrates mass in his own diocese, was because all sacraments in the diocese stem from him, because there is no Jesus in the middle - the 7th candle is placed on the Altar.



      Hope this

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  6. So, I watched the first two hours of this last night. I was disappointed that Terce was, in fact, NOT sung while the bishop vested contrary to the commentators' mentioning that it would happen at least twice before hand. Other than that, beautifully executed! A world of difference lies between priests formed in these liturgies in the seminary vs. diocesan priests trying to put ceremonies like these together without actual experience.

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    1. I had skipped the vesting, but heard the narrators (Fr Goodwin, FSSP and Z) say Terce was to be sung. I apologize for the false advertising!

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  7. Rad Trad,

    I was there. You can see me quite plainly (even if you don't know me) at 13:33. I'm in the lower left hand corner. I have a goatee and reading glasses. As Bishop Slattery goes by, I turn and speak to my friend behind me, who's filming the whole affair. One of my sons is holding a camera aloft to my friend's right.

    Absolutely splendid, and I'll remember the occasion for the rest of my life.

    May the Good God forgive the hierarch who thwarted its repeat the following year. Pray for him.

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    1. "May the Good God forgive the hierarch who thwarted its repeat the following year. Pray for him."

      :-D

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  8. Rocinante,

    I'll pray for you. I've attended the FSSP apostolate in Harrisburg for the last eight years. I'm blessed with a Solemn High Mass every Sunday of the year, and holy days.

    To know that others are denied this breaks the heart.

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  9. https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/524407_10150808724755695_1534107710_n.jpg

    Photo of the side altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in my mother's town church.

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  10. Anecdotally, when a radtrad I know saw this, she kept on complaining it was "wrong" because Trent said that tabernacles HAVE to be on the main altar period. Never mind what came before or what was local custom (speaking of Trent, seminaries only appeared here in the 19th century; the seminary in Porto being named the "Conciliar [Trent] Seminary of Porto).
    This radtrad also seemed to have a problem with our daughter's EF Baptism being done by immersion ("Why was she baptized like Protestants do?"), which was the norm for infant baptisms here up until the 17th-18th century. No understanding of Tradition outside of their own experience...

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    1. I would tell said radtrad that a true rad trad would prefer the medieval practice! Really though, Trent only mandated that the tabernacle be on the most decorated altar in a given parish. In most churches that was the main altar, but not always. The rule did not change until Paul VI mandated that the main altar be freestanding, an attempted return to the first millennium practice. Even Pope Paul's order asked that the tabernacle only be moved to another altar and did not take too radical a step, although it was interpreted in a different light. Dr. Joseph Shaw, the LMS Chairman has done some interesting posts on this topic in the last few weeks.

      Our Lord received baptism by immersion, which is enough sanction of the practice for me! The Easterners still baptize by immersion and the Latin Church once did. The bear minimum of water-touching-skin for validity obscured the larger symbolism of baptism.

      This person reminds me of a quotation of novelist Evelyn Waugh that the Tablet (UK rag) published a few days ago: "Christianity was born in the Counter-Reformation"

      That altar is lovely and very fitting of Our Lord's repose!

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  11. I call her sort Tridentine Trads, because their "traditionalism" is rooted almost exclusively in the piety and praxis of the Counter-Reformation. It can certainly be frustrating.

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  12. Are there any links to the LMS chairman's posts?

    Here is are some pictures taken after Communion, at our daughter's Baptismal Mass, in the same church.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q71/s720x720/972189_10151732284200695_1747807073_n.jpg

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/q71/s720x720/17502_10151765371785695_1042644396_n.jpg

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    1. Here are a couple:

      http://www.lmschairman.org/2013/08/the-direction-of-worship-and-tabernacle.html

      http://www.lmschairman.org/2013/08/so-what-did-pius-xii-really-say-about.html

      The first one has the relevant quotes from Paul VI's Inter Oecumenici and the second has some information pre-dating the Council.

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