Devotion to the Latin Mass is not “Fad” or “Fashion”

In an all too frequent perusal of my Facebook “Newsfeed”, I came across a link to a traditionally focused Catholic blog, Rorate Caeli. It contains a statement made by the pope to Archbishop Jan Graubner, of Olomouc. The original of the excerpt is in Czech, but was translated by a reader of Rorate Caeli called MC:

[Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it.

When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: ‘móda‘, Italian ‘moda‘]. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.

Photo credit: Cristina Ryzyi. Used with permission of Juventutem Michigan.Photo credit: Cristina Ryzyi. Used with permission of Juventutem Michigan.

Many young traditionalists are taking offense to this statement, seeing it as a dismissal of a vital part of Church tradition, but I wonder if Pope Francis really just does not “understand the younger generation wishing to return to it.” As one of the younger generation who deeply appreciates and prefers the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass (EF for the rest of this article) and the traditional rite of the Sacraments, it is clear that the pope does not understand. For my purposes, I think maybe a better word to explain it in English, might be “trend” (which happens to be a synonym of “fashion”). It seems that younger Catholics devotion to the EF is a trend, but many devotions start as “trends.” Someone starts doing something, and they share it with a friend, and then all of a sudden many people are praying a certain prayer. That is the way tradition works in the Church. Something becomes popularized and then sometimes it becomes universal.

However, I would not describe my own love of  and devotion to the EF as a whim of my youth or an “addiction.” I would describe what happened in me as more of a revelation. Through my theological studies, I became aware of the depth of liturgical tradition that had been neglected in my cradle Catholicism. It seemed to be something so important, so a part of the Church, and no one had ever told me. I am reminded of the book of Nehemiah when the Israelites, having returned from exile, rebuild the city, and then are read the law for the first time in their lives:

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God; and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
Also Jesh’ua, Bani, Sherebi’ah, Jamin, Akkub, Shab’bethai, Hodi’ah, Ma-asei’ah, Keli’ta, Azari’ah, Jo’zabad, Hanan, Pelai’ah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemi’ah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.
(Nehemiah 8: 5-9)

And I did mourn after the tradition had been explained to me through various writings and through my graduate professors.

819383_554850697859782_357714528_oPhoto Credit: Holly K Photos. Used with permission of Juventutem Michigan.

I mourned for the loss of the richness of the traditional liturgy in my life and in the Church, and for a time I could not get enough of it. I wanted to only go to it, to soak in everything beautiful about it. I encountered God in an even deeper way than I did praying at charismatic prayer meetings. I entered into a deeper, even more personal relationship through the old structure of the old liturgy. I remember liturgies where I had the care of a young infant and all I could do was sit and watch and listen, but I was lifted in prayer by the beauty of the music sung at the liturgy, written somewhere in the Church’s ancient history. I felt led by the priest, the deacon, the subdeacon and the altar boys as they did the liturgical dance of the EF. I went from pacing with a child in the very back to kneeling at the sanctuary and having God placed in my mouth. The tradition drew me to itself. It was not about me at all; it was about it.

Then I became a hard-hearted critic of everything not traditional. We attended Ordinary Form (OF, Novus Ordo, New Mass) daily masses, and I became scandalized at every liturgy that did not follow perfect rubrics or used extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion or other things that seemed to be absolutely contrary to tradition. I was wrong to think and feel this way. It was hurtful to myself and to my fellow Catholics. I now apologize to the Church, and all my fellow Catholics for passing these judgments. I ask your forgiveness and understanding.

It took five years for me to get past the shock of my introduction to the EF; five years to see beauty in the Ordinary Form. I found a way to understand others and to remember that there is much more to a relationship with God than the liturgy we attend. That we attend Sunday Mass is very crucial to our relationship with God and the Church; which Mass we attend is as universal as the Church.
And it does not bother me to think of young people, like me, as part of a trend. All of the liturgical changes that happened in parishes before, during, and after Vatican II were trends. Priests facing the congregation instead of the tabernacle started as a trend. Women ceasing to cover their heads in the liturgy started as a trend. Lay people receiving communion in the hand and standing started as a trend, but that did not stop Pope Benedict XVI from giving an example of the older tradition to us by distributing on the tongue to people kneeling. I have great hope and excitement that many traditions will be renewed, be it God’s will. And that will only happen through trends. So, if the renewal of the liturgy is the will of God, then let it start as a trend or even a “fashion”, and maybe it will help us be drawn closer to God, so that it may save us.

Originally published in full at
Truth and Charity.

Truth and Charity Post: “Fashion” and Devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass

In an all too frequent perusal of my Facebook “Newsfeed”, I came across a link to a traditionally focused Catholic blog, Rorate Caeli. It contains a statement made by the pope to Archbishop Jan Graubner, of Olomouc…

Head on over to Truth and Charity to read the rest!

Candlemas Day! and other things…

Even on Candlemas Day, the professor is spending time with Lady Philosophy (and our blessed candles).

Happy Candlemas Day (Presentation of Our Lord) and Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary! We managed to wake up for the 7:30 am Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form), and got there just in time for the Blessing of the Candles. I have never been to a Candlemas blessing before, and it was long an quiet at the EF. I actually managed to unbundle myself and the baby (it was -10 when we left for Church) by the time the blessing was over. After Mass we got to take a pair of candles home to use throughout the year for family prayer. How cool is that?

Some of the beautiful prayers from the blessings:

  • That, by worthily offering them to Thee our Lord God, we may be inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, and deserve to be presented in the holy temple of Thy Glory…
  • Mercifully grant, that as these lights, enkindled with visible fire, dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts illumined by invisible fire, that is, by the splendor of the Holy Ghost, may be free from every blindness due to vice…
  • By Thy gift the light of Thy Spirit may never be wanting inwardly to our minds…
  • That the grace of the same Holy Spirit may enlighen and teach us to recognize Thee truly and faithfully love Thee…

I know that I surely need more of the grace asked for in the prayers.

To celebrate today, the last day of the Christmas cycle of the Litrugy, we turned on our favorite Christmas music and took down the tree and put away the nativity scene. I miss them already, but it is nice to have our living room back.

We are going to try out  Papa Murphy’s for dinner since the dentist gave the big girls each a coupon for a personal pizza when we saw him back in December. I hope it is good. And, is there some big game going on tonight? I guess with the lack of TV and all, we will be watching another episode of Foyle’s War instead…

The Holy Quiet of the Low Mass

And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

It is 7:30 AM on a cool Autumn Sunday. A small group has gathered for morning Mass. The church is quiet and still. The bell rings and the people stand as Father and the two small altar boys enter the sanctuary. They kneel at the foot of the altar and the low Mass begins. The church is still quiet and still. Kyrie Eleison. From time to time (at the place the rubrics indicate), the priest speaks in a louder, clear voice, but always returns to the still small voice of the Extraordinary Form low Mass.

Photo by Jeff CulbreathPhoto by Jeff Culbreath

There is a break from the quiet at the readings and the homily, and then for the climax of the liturgy there is the quiet again. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus. The bells ring. It is almost time. The people pray and wait. The bells ring again, and the host is lifted up. The people adore. The bells. The chalice is lifted, and again the bells. Then quiet. Father raises his voice again to indicate where he is, then quiet. The people pray, watch, follow along. Agnus Dei. Lord, I am not worthy. The priest completes the sacrifice, and then turns to the people holding up the Lamb of God.

They come forward and kneel at the communion rail. The priest brings Christ to each person. It is the same still, quiet except for the soft repetition of,  “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.” (“May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep your soul unto everlasting life.”) The priest returns to the altar to perform the final rites of the Mass. The people are still silent. The priest is still quiet, and then he prays aloud the post communion prayer. He turns to the people. Ite, Missa Est. Then the final blessing is given and the Last Gospel read. He leaves in silence.

It is the silence and the stillness that make the Extraordinary Form Low Mass unique and beautiful. It seems the most appropriate early in the morning, when the world is waking and still. For someone attending the Mass, nothing but one’s presence is required. The servers say the responses and the faithful can be completely receptive to the graces being given through the words and actions of the liturgy. It is a holy hour of prayer, where we are led by the priest, and by him given the very Body and Blood of our Lord. The quiet stillness is a break from the fast paced, loud world. Even when I spend the liturgy pacing in back with a chattering baby, the quiet is still so powerful.

I have been to a wide variety of Masses in my short lifetime, and I know that diversity of the universal Church. But I love that the quiet Low Mass is still being said throughout the world, in many different cultures, and that I can go to it and have a taste of Heaven.

Originally Published in full at Truth and Charity.

Seven Quick Takes: Friday July, 12

1. Is it Friday again already? This summer is just flying along. I was really hoping to get into some sort of schedule of “normal” life once we were back from vacation, but the days just keep on flying by and the week goes by and life it still very unscheduled (except for the kids naps and bedtimes). Oh well, that is the way of summer I suppose and I am doing most things I want to do each day, just in an unstructured sort of way.

2. Speaking of Summer, I am never going to complain about how hot it is outside. I am going to savor how hot it is soak it up and enjoy the lack of snow and negative temperatures. Then I am going inside and going to enjoy our nice cool air conditioned house, which we just had a repairman out to fix some leaks in the A/C unit and give us some nice new refrigerant. I guess the house inspector was serious when he told us that he ha no idea what condition the A/C was in since we had the house inspected in February. We also took that risk with the roof. Fortunately, for us the roof was recently redone… I think roofs (I really want to say “rooves” here) cost more than an A/C tune-up.

3. And now that we are on the topic of the house; the basement is now dry. We had a contractor come out and look at he damage and now he has to write up his report and then send it to the insurance company and when they give the go-ahead we can get some work started on making our basement finished again. Yay!

4. We had our house blessed this week. Our pastor came over for lunch and then he exorcised salt and blessed water to make it Holy Water (using the EF blessings). He then mixed them together and sprinkled the holy water and salt about the house and prayed the old rite (Extraordinary Form) house blessing. I love being Catholic and having our house blessed, I wish I could find the prayers online somewhere to share. If you have not had a house blessing, I highly recommend it, especially in the old rite with all the exorcism prayers.

5. I had a milk stout for the first time yesterday. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

“Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers,[17] along with other stouts, such as Guinness.[18] The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson’s,[19] for which the original brewers claimed that “each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk”. In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word “milk” from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.[20]

I think it did have a milk texture to it, if that make any sense. But you know it was pretty good, and I am a fan of stouts. For mothers who like beer, this is a traditional first post-partum drink, you know? Why not? Milk makes milk, right? (I know, I know, but it is fun to joke about it.) Though I have heard from lactation consultants that beer supposedly helps with lactation.

6. We had T and his family over for dinner last night, which is why I started my quick takes on Friday and am finishing them Saturday morning. They are the family we rented from last year and now they are back! I think it is appropriate that our first dinner party in the new house is with them We all had a very good time and their six year old categorized us among the “cool families”; I think we have made it. It is only downhilll from here.

7. Have you read my latest post on Truth and Charity, The Necessity of Christian Friendships in the Real World? You should. 🙂

For more Quick Takes head on over to Jen’s Conversion Diary.

The Two Reasons that Compelled me to Veil

M and me at G’s baptism.

I started veiling the year I studied for my Master’s in Theology. I was regularly attending the (newly named) Extraordinary Form of the Mass and immersing myself in studying for classes such as Christian Liturgy, Vatican II, and the Tradition and the Development of Doctrine. When studying the documents of Vatican II, I wanted to know why so many things had changed in the liturgy itself and in the all the practices surrounding the liturgy. Naturally, the question of covering women’s heads came up. My mom hardly remembers the time of her life before the liturgical changes due to Vatican II, but I know that she did wear a head covering at church until these changes. I was never told why women used to cover their heads and believed that it was something old and backwards that “we don’t do anymore”. It was not until I looked at the history of this tradition and the Scripture that backs it up that I realized that this tradition is one that should not have been lost.
Here are the two reasons that compelled me to wear the veil:

1. It is in Scripture: In my earliest discussions of why women covered their heads in the liturgy for the whole history of the Church until the late 1960s, I was informed that it is in Scripture. I had no idea. Sure enough, I looked up 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, and there it was:

 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head–it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) 10 That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. 11 (Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.) 13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

I then realized that the reason for women to cover their heads was a theological one, it is about the relationship between Christ and His Church, that of a husband to his bride. And it was not a cultural point of St. Paul’s but one specific to the liturgy: “we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God.” And here to the Corinthians, St. Paul is making a theological point that men and women are different and that this difference is important in understanding our relationship as a Church to Christ. Only men can be priests and the priest represents Christ in the liturgy. Women then symbolize the Church, Christ’s bride, and are told by St. Paul to veil their heads because they “are the glory of man.”

The Church veils things that are important: the tabernacle is veiled, the chalice is veiled, altars are veiled, Moses veiled his face after he had seen God. A veiled woman shows reverence for God, symbolizing the veiled bride of the Church, but also honors herself as a women before God. Veiling is about men and women as different (think Theology of the Body). It goes against a society that tells us that men and women are the same, that there are many genders, and that gender is not important when people want to marry. Veiling is an outward statement against modernity and its lies. A woman choosing to be submissive as a wife, as woman, to her husband is against all that our society tells us about man and woman, but St. Paul talks about women submitting to their husbands, and the Church submitting to Christ. And Christ loving the Church to the point of his suffering and death, and husbands loving their wives in this same way. This is what veiling is about; it is about submission and about love.

And then St. Paul says this, which goes against his culture’s ideas about men and women: “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” Christianity has made men and women equal in God, and St. Paul says this right in the middle of the passage where he talks about women covering their heads. It is important to remember that when Jesus and St. Paul talk about women in the Scriptures it is in a new way that was not normal to their cultures. Women veiling is not putting them lower than men, but must be seen in conjunction with men not covering their heads. It emphasizes the difference of men and women, and the symbol they are as the image of God.

2. Women covering their heads in the liturgy has been the continual tradition of the Church, passed down from the Apostles: Truth has never changed, but the Church’s understanding and knowledge of the truth has increased in the last 2000 years. There are certain traditions that have remained the same, and tradition does not develop in a way that changes what truth is. If it is true for the Church of 90 A.D. that women are to veil their heads in Church, true in 875 A.D. and still so in 1954 A.D., then the way the Church develops does not allow for it to be no longer true in 1970 A.D. or 2013 A.D. This was an unbroken tradition.

St. Paul says himself that the Corinthians are to “maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.” The tradition of women covering their heads in Church was from the Apostles and it was maintained until the 1960s when so many liturgical traditions were discarded. I do not know what happened, except that perhaps feminism was infiltrating the Church trying to make men and women the same. The 1917 Code of Canon law required women to cover their heads and forbade men from covering their heads.  The 1983 Code of Canon law omitted the passage about women covering their heads, but maintained that men should not. It is unclear why the Code was changed, though it is clear that head covering by women is no longer required by the Church law.  What is clear, however, is that this has been a tradition passed down, and as laity there is no reason why we cannot continue that tradition even if it is not in the Code of Canon law.

When I grasped these two reasons for women to cover their heads in Church, I felt compelled to do so myself. I overcame my ignorance of this issue, and my conscience would not allow me to do otherwise. I started veiling immediately, and it was very awkward for me at first. I first wore a veil to a Novus Ordo Mass on campus at my college. I knew by sight most of the people in the chapel, and they could remember that I had never worn a veil before. The number of women who wore veils on campus was minimal, so they stood out. It took about a week to stop feeling awkward, and then I had to face veiling at home with my family and then at Masses with my extended family during our Christmas travels. It has been over five years since my change in head dress, and I still veil or cover my head whenever I enter a Catholic Church, am present at a liturgy, at Eucharistic adoration, or receive any Sacraments. My daughters wear head coverings as soon as they have hair. It has become our habit, and it is my hope that the laity will bring back this tradition, especially in this time when the difference of men and women has become so confused.

Originally published at Truth and Charity…

The Easter Morning Sprint

It had been a two hour Mass. A beautiful two hour Mass with a full orchestra playing a Mass by Haydn and the propers chanted by an all male choir. We took two trips down to the restroom. Once during the epistle and again during the Creed. I knew a third time for a potty training kid was probably an excuse to get out of Mass and go somewhere were she was allowed to run. I paced around in back with her for the second half of Mass, took her outside the couple of times she decided to express her displeasure at not being allowed to get down with shrieking. She almost made it away from me up the aisle twice when we “knelt” during the Eucharistic prayer. When we went up for communion she insisted on being set down and skipped while holding my hand. I had to hold her in back again afterwards, but brought her to the pew for the Last Gospel as the people coming in for the next Mass were filling the back of the church. We were only four rows from the back. I set her down in the pew and then made the mistake of moving G to the inside of the pew and leaving the free-spirited child on the aisle. We almost made it through all of Mass, the priest and servers were almost processed out of the church when she saw her window of opportunity.

The empty aisle beckoned to her. It said, “Run, run, run away!” She heard the call, slipped into the aisle and ran. I noticed that she had gotten away too late. She was about six pews in front of me, and her sprinting pace is only slightly slower than my quick (but of course reverent because we are in church pace and all the pews are full because it is Easter and everyone is seeing my child run up the aisle and I have to chase her down because there is nothing else to be done) walk. She glanced back towards her parents about half way up the church and saw me following; then I saw the smile on her face meaning “It is a game!”. What was I to do? I picked up my pace, but she sprinted on ahead, her doily veil flopping up and down and her heals kicking out behind her in her pigeon-toed run. A nun in the pews saw her and smiled; what is more joyful than a two year old savoring her freedom? She approached the front of the church. I wondered what I would do if she decided to climb past the altar rail up into the sanctuary, but am so thankful that I did not have to find out. She veered to the right. Maybe those Baptismal graces kicked in at that point. I caught up with her as she started her way down the side aisle. It was over, we were going back to our pew, and I was trying not to laugh. This child will put us through it all, I think…

Happy Easter!

Family Prayers for First Sunday of Lent

I mulled over these prayers for along time, but in my last post about Lenten Family Prayers with my awesome centerpiece I promised the first set of prayers for extinguishing the first candle. It is based on part of the Tenebrae service which begins with Holy Thursday Matins from the old Office. I used the translations of the Psalms from the Angelus Press 1962 Missal and the collect from the first Sunday of Lent from the Extraordinary form.


First Sunday of Lent “Tenebrae” Prayers
Begin with all six candles lit.
Leader: O God, come to my assistance.
All: O Lord, make haste to help me.
Leader: Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Leader: (Ant. 1) The Zeal of Thy house hath eaten Me up, and he reproaches of them that reproach Thee, fell upon Me.
Psalm 69 (68 old numbering)

1. Save me O God; for the waters are

come even unto my soul.
2. I stick fast in the mire of the deep:
 and there is no sure standing.
3. I am come into the depth of the sea:
and a tempest hath overwhelmed me.
4. I have labored with crying, my jaws are become hoarse:
mine eyes have failed, whilst I hope in my God.
5. They are multiplied above the hairs of my head:
that hate me without cause.
6. Mine enemies are grown strong, who have wrongfully persecuted me:
then did I pay that which I took not away.
7. O God, Thou knowest my foolishness:
and mine offenses are are not hid from Thee.
8. Let not them be ashamed for me,
who look for Thee, O Lord, the Lord of hosts.
9. Let them not be confounded on my account:
That seek Thee, O God of Israel.
10. Because for they sake I have borne reproach:
shame hath covered my face.
11. I am become a stranger to my brethren:
and an alien to the sons of my mother.
12. For the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up:
and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee, are fallen upon me.
13. And I covered my soul in fasting:
and it was made a reproach to me.
14. And I made haircloth my garment:
and I became a by-word to them.
15. They that sat in the gate spoke against me:
and they that drank wine, made me their song.
16. But as for me, my prayer is to Thee, O Lord:
for the time of Thy good pleasure, O God.
17. In the multitude of Thy mercy hear me:
in the truth of Thy salvation.
18. Draw me out of the mire that I may not stick fast:
deliver me from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
19. Let not the tempest of water drown me, nor the deep swallow me up:
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
20. Hear me, O Lord, for They mercy is kind:
look upon me according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies.
21. And turn not away Thy face from Thy servant:
for I am in trouble, hear me speedily.
22. Attend to my soul, and deliver it:
save me because of mine enemies.
23. Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion:
and my shame.
24. In Thy sight are all they that afflict me:
my heart hath expected reproach and misery.
25. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none.
26. And they gave me gall for my food:
and in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.
27. Let their table become as a snare before them:
and a recompense, and a stumbling block.
28. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not:
and their back, bend Thou down always.

29. Pour our Thine indignation upon them

and let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
30. Let their habitation be made desolate:
and let there be none to dwell in their tabernacles.
31. Because they persecuted him whom Thou hast smitten:
and added to the grief of my wounds.
32. Add Thou iniquity upon their iniquity;
and let them not come into Thy justice.
33. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living:
and with the just let them not be written.
34. But I am poor and sorrowful:
Thy salvation, O God, hath set me up.
35. I will praise the name of God with a canticle:
and I will magnify Him with praise.
36. And it shall please God better than a young calf:
that bringeth forth horns and hoofs.
37. Let the poor see and rejoice:
seek ye God, and your soul shall live.
38. For the Lord hath heard the poor:
and hath not despised His prisoners.
39. Let the heavens and the earth praise Him:
the sea, and everything that creepeth therein.
40. For God will save Sion:
and the cities of Juda shall be built up.
41. And they shall dwell there:
and acquire it by inheritance
42. And the seed of His servants shall possess it:
and they that love His name shall dwell therein.

First Lesson: Lamentations 1: 1-5

1  How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal.
2  She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.
3  Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.
4  The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself suffers bitterly.
5  Her foes have become the head, her enemies prosper, because the LORD has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted unto the Lord thy God.
Responsory:All: On the mount Olivet He prayed to His Father:
Father, if it be possible, let thus cup pass away from Me:
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Leader: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation,
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The first candle is extinguished.
All: Our Father…
Leader: O God, Who dost purify Thy Church
by the yearly observance of Lent:
grant to Thy household, that what we strive to
obtain from Thee by abstinence,
we may achieve by good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever. Amen.

Some Thoughts on the Liturgical Worship of God

I did not realize how much I really love our new parish in St. Paul of St. Agnes Church until we came home after a long vacation to see family and went again to Mass in the small daily Mass chapel. While traveling we went with our parents and siblings to the parishes that we went to when we still lived at our respective homes. There was the familiarity of the place and the way liturgy was celebrated at each church, and in a way they felt like home. But they were missing the aspects tradition in the liturgy that characterized the Church for years.

We went to the 8 AM Mass with our three children for the first time. Father processed in with the male altar servers and started the Mass. He read the readings and gave a solid homily. And then he turned his back to the people, or is it that he turned to face the tabernacle and the crucifix. He led us in prayer (in English for daily Mass) as he prayed the offertory and then the Eucharistic prayer. As L would call it, “Body of Christ”, was on the altar and then he turned to offer the sign of peace and then continued on with the liturgy. The congregation all knelt at a communion rail and received on the tongue. As that morning Mass progressed I realized that good “saying the black and doing the red liturgy” really leads me to God and teaches me how to love Him. The proper worship due to God is that which has been passed down to us by Tradition, and it is in the liturgy that we love Him. I guess I have a “liturgical love language” towards God.

Today was the orchestral Mass at St. Agnes which was Antonin Dvorak’s Mass in D. I got to nurse F during the Kyrie in the small Marian side chapel:

I wonder if she will retain the memory of the Kyrie and the painting of Our Lady and baby Jesus that she was gazing at when she finished nursing. It was a Latin Novus Ordo Mass (new Mass as opposed to Latin Extraordinary Form). It was beautiful, between the music with the chanted propers and orchestral Mass parts and the “dance” of the priest, deacons, and servers on the altar as they prepared for the Eucharist and then the Sacrament was there. There is something special that has been preserved at St. Agnes in its liturgies, and I am so glad that we get to be a part of it now. As I am learning proper worship of God there, I am finding that the proper liturgical worship I learn there allows me to worship God no matter what the church I am in.

P.S. Just as I was publishing this L stood up next to me and sang: “Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest! Hooray!”