Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Feast of Archangles of Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

Saint Michael, ora pro nobis!

Feast (1969 Calendar): September 29

Angels are an essential part of the Christian faith. They are a "truth of the faith" and are mentioned over a hundred times in the Bible. We must believe in angels and fallen angels, devils, to be Christian. In honor of today's feast of the archangels, please say the full-length St. Michael prayer.

The information below is from Catholic Culture:
The liturgy celebrates the feast of these three archangels who are venerated in the tradition of the Church. Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God. He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil. Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, "Hail, full of grace," is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people. Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey. 
Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was only the feast of St. Michael. St. Gabriel was observed on March 24 and St. Raphael on October 24.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that "[T]he existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition." 
Angels are pure, created spirits. The name angel means servant or messenger of God. They are celestial or heavenly beings, on a higher order than human beings. An angel has no body and does not depend on matter for his existence or activity. They are distinct from saints, which men can become. Angels have intellect and will, and are immortal. They are a vast mulitude, but each is an individual person. Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Bible. In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim and 9) Seraphim.

Sunday, September 26, 2010
300th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Bernard of Calvo

Today is the 300th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Bernard of Calvo, who was a a Cistercian Bishop of Vich educated in Spain. St. Bernard of Calvo is remembered as the first abbot of the Santes Creus monastery. In 1223 he was made Bishop of Vich and remained in that position until his death 20 years later.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Brief History of the Gloria in Excelsis Deo

The hymn – Great Doxology – begins with the words that the angels sang when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds in Luke 2:14. Other verses were added very early, forming a doxology, which in the fourth century became part of morning prayer, and is still recited in the Byzantine Rite Orthros service.

The Latin translation is traditionally attributed to St. Hilary of Poitiers (c. 300-368), who may have learned it while in the East (359-360). The Vulgate Latin translation of the Bible was commissioned only in 382. The Latin hymn thus uses the word excelsis to translate the Greek word ὑψίστοις (the highest) in Luke 2:14, not the word altissimis, which St. Jerome preferred for his translation. In the Roman Rite, it is recited during Mass. 

In the Tridentine Mass, the priest is instructed, when saying the opening phrase "Gloria in excelsis Deo", to extend his hands and raise them to shoulder height and, at the word "Deo", to join them and bow his head. He is then to continue the recitation standing erect with hands joined and bowing his head to the cross at the words "Adoramus te", "Gratias agimus tibi", "Iesu Christe" (twice), and "Suscipe deprecationem nostram", and at the concluding phrase (as also at the concluding phrase of the Nicene Creed and the Sanctus), to make a large sign of the cross on himself. At High Mass  the priest intones the opening phrase, while the deacon and subdeacon stand behind him; then they join him at the altar and together with him quietly recite the rest of the hymn, after which they sit down and wait for the choir to finish its singing of the same text.

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Feast of St. Padre Pio

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Romanitas Press has another great item in its inventory, this one concerning the General Principles of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite for inferior ministers.
This 92-page softcover book covers the general principles of the Roman Rite, the foundation of all rubrics. This abridged edition treats specifically of the principles that affect the inferior ministers (altar servers) when fulfilled by laymen. Though the serving of the ceremonies by laymen is done virtually the same as by clerics, there are some minor exceptions (e.g., wearing the biretta or receiving and giving the Pax) which were omitted from this edition.

To facilitate the explanations on the general principles, 18 pictures, 2 expository tables and 11 diagrams have been included, while 183 footnotes provide valuable sources of authority, further explanations and various tips. Other features include a table of contents and two glossaries of terms (sanctuary-related and rubrically-related) used within the book.
Printed in easy-to-read text, this 5½" x 8½" booklet is packed with essential knowledge for any Catholic interested in better understanding the ceremonial intricacies of the ancient Roman Rite, but especially for master of ceremonies, adult servers (ages 12 and up) and clerics (even priests).

This booklet is a prelude to an upcoming comprehensive edition that will include even more information regarding incensations, matters that affect clerics who fulfill the various offices of inferior ministers, general principles for sacred ministers and some general items about pontifical ceremonies.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ember Days

Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5)

Ember Days: September 22, 24, and 25

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Three Days that Changed the World by Fr. Hector R. G. Perez

At this time I wanted to make readers aware that I have a CD of "Three Days that Changed the World" by Fr. Hector R. G. Perez for sale. Fr. Perez brings us alongside Jesus in the final hours of His public ministry as He brings to fulfillment the very purpose His Incarnation, the salvation of all mankind. Fr. Perez's detailed insights of those last three days offer a moving look into the loving heart of the Messiah and detailed descriptions of his intense emotional and physical sufferings as they really were. With this knowledge, our hearts can only love him more.

The CD is in new, unopened packaging. The cost is $3.00 for the CD as well as a $2.50 charge per order for shipping and handling. Payment will be accepted through Paypal (using a credit, debit, et cetera) below. Upon payment, I will gladly send you this CD.

As long as this post is still up, there are copies remaining for sale.

No future obligations are required.

Please direct all questions and inquiries to my email, which is available via my blogger profile.
17th Sunday After Pentecost Propers

Psalms 118: 137, 124
Thou art just, O Lord, and Thy judgment is right; deal with Thy servant according to Thy mercy. -- (Ps. 118. 1). Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. V.: Glory be to the Father . . .

COLLECT - Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may shun all the wiles of the devil: and with pure mind follow Thee, the only God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

Ephesians 4: 1-6
Brethren: I, a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called. With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all, who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalms 32: 12, 6
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom He hath chosen for His inheritance. V.: By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of His mouth.

Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 101. 2). O Lord, hear my prayer; and let my cry come to Thee. Alleluia.

Missa Cantata: Gospel

Source: Flickr

Matthew 22: 34 - 46
At that time the Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment of the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love Thy neighbor as thyself. One these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ, whose son is He? They say to Him: David's. He saith to them: How then doth David , in spirit, call Him Lord, saying: The Lord saith to My Lord: Sit on my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask Him any more questions.

Daniel 9: 9, 17, 18, 19
I, Daniel, prayed to my God, saying: Hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy servant; show Thy face upon Thy sanctuary, and favorably look down upon this people upon whom Thy Name is invoked, O God.

SECRET - We humbly entreat Thy Majesty, O Lord; that these holy Mysteries which we celebrate may set us free both from past and future sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

PREFACE (Preface of the Most Holy Trinity) - It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying:

Psalm 75: 12, 13
Vow ye, and pray to the Lord your God, all you that round about Him bring presents: to Him that is terrible, even to Him ho taketh away the spirit of princes: to the terrible with all the kings of the earth.

POST COMMUNION -By Thy sanctifying gifts, O almighty God, may our vices be healed, and may eternal remedies be available unto us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino

Double (1955 Calendar): September 18

Today is the Feastday of St. Joseph of Cupertino.  The following is taken from the St. Benedict Center:
Saint Joseph of Cupertino was a Franciscan, a man of simple and innocent mind, who was first admitted and then dismissed by the Capuchins and later accepted by the Conventuals. Through sheer childlike simplicity he managed to learn enough theology to be ordained a priest. His love for God was so great that the mere mention of the name of Jesus would put him into an ecstasy. At Mass he was seen dozens of times floating in mid-air, in rapture. After a life of great humiliations, he finally departed from this world at the age of sixty.
I have written a highly-visited post on him previously regarding his Prayer for Success in Final Exams.  Please see that post and pray for his intercession, especially if you are taking any upcoming examinations or classwork this year.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Joseph was born of pious parents at Cupertino, a town of the Salentines in the diocese of Nardo, in the year of salvation one thousand six hundred and three. Prevented with the love of God, he spent his boyhood and youth in the greatest simplicity and innocence. The Virgin Mother of God delivered him from a long and painful malady, which he had borne with the greatest patience; whereupon he devoted himself entirely to works of piety and the practice of virtue. But God called him to something higher; and in order to attain to closer union with him, Joseph determined to enter the Seraphic Order. After several trials he obtained his desire, and was admitted among the Minor Conventuals in the convent called Grotella, first as a lay-brother, on account of his lack of learning; but afterwards, God so disposing, ho was raised to the rank of a cleric. After making his solemn vows he was ordained priest, and began a new life of greater perfection. Utterly renouncing all earthly affections and everything of this world almost to the very necessaries of life, he afflicted his body with hairshirts, chains, disciplines, and every kind of austerity and penance; while he assiduously nourished his spirit with the sweetness of holy prayer, and the highest contemplation. By this means, the love of God, which had been poured out in his heart from his childhood, daily increased in a most wonderful manner.

His burning charity shone forth most remarkably in the sweet ecstasies which raised his soul to God, and the wonderful raptures he frequently experienced. Yet, marvellous to tell, however rapt he was in God, obedience would immediately recall him to the use of his senses. He was exceedingly zealous in the practice of obedience; and used to say that he was led by it like a blind man, and that he would rather die than disobey. He emulated the poverty of the seraphic patriarch to such a degree, that on his deathbed he could truthfully tell his superior he had nothing which, according to custom, he could relinquish. Thus dead to the world and to himself Joseph showed forth in his flesh the life of Jesus. While in others he perceived the vice of impurity by an evil odour, his own body exhaled a most sweet fragrance, a sign of the spotless purity which he preserved unsullied in spite of long and violent temptations from the devil. This victory he gained by strict custody of his senses, by continual mortification of the body, and especially by the protection of the most pure Virgin Mary, whom he called his Mother, and whom he venerated with tenderest affection as the sweetest of mothers, desiring to see her venerated by others, that they might, said he, together with her patronage gain all good things.

Blessed Joseph’s solicitude in this respect sprang from his love for his neighbour, for he was consumed with zeal for souls, urging him to seek the salvation of all. His love embraced the poor, the sick, and all in affliction, whom he comforted as far as lay in his power, not excluding those who pursued him with reproaches and insults, and every kind of injury. He bore all this with the same patience, sweetness, and cheerfulness of countenance as were remarked in him when he was obliged frequently to change his residence, by the command of the superiors of his Order, or of the holy Inquisition. People and princes admired his wonderful holiness and heavenly gifts; yet, such was his humility, that, thinking himself a great sinner, he earnestly besought God to remove from him his admirable gifts: while he begged men to cast his body after death in a place where his memory might utterly perish. But God, who exalts the humble, and who had richly adorned his servant during life with heavenly wisdom, prophecy, the reading of hearts, the grace of healing, and other gifts, also rendered his death precious and his sepulchre glorious. Joseph died at the place and time he had foretold, namely, at Osimo in Picenum, in the sixty-first year of his age. He was famous for miracles after his death; and was enrolled among the blessed by Benedict XIV and among the saints by Clement XIII. Clement XIV, who was of the same Order, extended his Office and Mass to the universal Church.


O God, at Your command Your only-begotten Son was lifted up above the earth that He might draw all things to Himself. May the merits and example of Your seraphic confessor Joseph help to raise us above all earthly desires so that we may come to Jesus, who lives and rules with You . . .
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Today I am celebrating my birthday so additional postings today and in the next few days will not be very likely.

However, at this time, I do wish to thank everyone who regularly reads this blog. I am thankful for the 5.5 years of blogging on A Catholic Life, and I hope for many additional years!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Server's Mass Response Card: A Guide for the Proper Pronunciation of the Latin Responses

In the past I have mentioned Romanitas Press, and I wish to again mention their products.  The company offers a highly practical SERVERS' MASS RESPONSE CARD which is explained below 

AN EASY-TO-USE training guide for teaching the proper liturgical pronunciation of the Latin responses made by the altar server at Mass.

The card's exterior partitions contain the Latin responses with their corresponding English phonetic renderings per the more romano (like the Romans) liturgical pronunciation as endorsed by Popes St. Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XI.

Also included are expanded rubrical instructions for the liturgical gestures and reverences made in connection with the responses, and the responses made when serving for a bishop. The layout of the exterior partitions was carefully arranged to allow card’s use at the altar if necessary.

The card’s inside partitions contain helpful explanations and basic rules about making the responses, more romano pronunciation, a list of common pronunciation mistakes made by English-speakers, and even several informative and authoritative footnotes.
Red and black text was printed on heavy matte paper stock (to keep the card stiff when being held), then coated with a matte varnish to increase the anti-glare property and protect the card from moisture and frequent use.

Measures folded at 11 14/16" x 4¼" (folds out completely to 17” wide).
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Exaltation of the Holy Cross; Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

Today we commemorate the great Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  Today is also the 3rd Anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum.  For this day I wish to highlight some of my past posts.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, where we recall the triumph of the Cross against sin, satan, and death as well as fact that when we are baptized each one of us becomes part of Christ on His Cross so that through our daily crosses we may be brought to the Resurrection (Luke 9:23, 24).

"The Cross is more than something to be looked at. It’s something to join. The Cross is an invitation to the Christian to join Jesus on the Cross. Oftentimes, this is a part of the mystery of the cross we just don’t understand. There are many references in Sacred Scripture that tell us that we are invited to participate in the cross. Jesus said, "What I have done, so must you do also." He said that on Holy Thursday after He washed feet, but what He meant was, "If I have been a servant, then you too must be a servant. If I have washed feet, you must wash feet. And if I have suffered, so you must suffer." It says elsewhere in the scriptures, "Where I have gone, you must follow." In 1st Peter it is so clear – "Christ suffered for you, and left you an example to have you follow in His footsteps."

Continue Reading...

The Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

It is at this time that I wish to especially remember Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who resisted the Second Vatican Council's false propositions of ecumenism, religious liberty, and the altering of the Mass of All Times. It is through his witness and the formation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) that the Mass of All Times has spread. And, I will venture to say that without Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's role, the Traditional Latin Mass would have been at last forgotten and no organized resistance to the change would have existed.It is Archbishop Lefebvre who has been slandered in recent years. The cause of canonization of his saintly mother has long been forgotten. Instead, in the words of Bishop Bernard Fellay during a sermon in Paris following Archbishop Lefebvre's death said, "Archbishop Lefebvre has gone, but the Mass is saved, the Catholic priesthood is saved..." Because of his resistance to all of changes affecting all of the Sacraments, the Society of St. Pius X is largely responsible for Pope Benedict XVI's issuance of the motu proprio and then the clear declaration that the Bishops of the Society of St. Pius X consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre are not excommunicated.

In the words of Father Franz Schmidberger at the Requiem Mass of Archbishop Lefebvre, "The work of the Archbishop on this earth is accomplished. Now begins his ministry as intercessor in eternity. He has given everything he could give...the miracle of a new generation of priests."


Our Holy Father has shown us that through his pontificate, the Sacred Traditions of our Holy Faith are being rightfully restored to their former glory. Let's look at some examples of restoration by Pope Benedict XVI.

In August 2006, Pope Benedict XVI abolished the Christmas concert featuring "pop" music established by Pope John Paul II. In January 2007, he called on the Vatican Courts to tighten up the annulment criteria, as annulments have exponentially increased following Vatican II. Pope Benedict XVI has further restored the use of the Pascal Mozetta in the Octave of Easter 2008.

Continue Reading...
Monday, September 13, 2010
High Mass at Queen of Peace, Patton, PA on September 14, 2010

On Tuesday (Sept 14), a HIGH Mass will be celebrated at Queen of Peace at 7 PM in honor of the 3-year anniversary of the institution of Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI granting greater freedom to priests who wish to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and the Faithful who wish access to it. Let us remember to thank Our Blessed Lord on this anniversary for the tremendous gift of the ancient Mass and ask him to bless Our Holy Father Benedict XVI with holiness and good health for many years to come.

Queen of Peace is located in Patton, PA. The full address is 907 Sixth Ave, Patton, PA 16668

Celebrated in accordance with the expressed wishes of Pope Benedict XVI, with the official support of Bishop Joseph Adamec and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, OSB.

"What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us, too.... It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer and to give them their proper place.” -- Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Cardinal Newman: Recommended Texts

With the upcoming beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, I wish to highlight some of his best works that I would recommend to those seeking to learn from this holy man. Formerly a priest in the Church of England, Newman was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 9 October 1845.

In his early life, he was a major figure in the Oxford Movement to bring the Church of England back to its Catholic roots. Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Catholic. Both before and after becoming a Catholic, he wrote influential books, including Via Media, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–66) and the Grammar of Assent (1870).

One of his most powerful statements which I have mentioned in prior posts is his words: "To know history is to cease to be protestant."

1. An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (A classic and a must read for anyone that reads Newman)

2. The Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Now a Classic in Western literature)

3. 3ed of the preface of the Via Media (very good also, talks about the roles of the Church as priest, prophet and king)

4. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (A more philosophical work; very good also)

5. Many of the sermons (very powerful and critical of 19th century culture and reflections on the human condition. Furthermore it concerns itself with hell and the afterlife)
Itinerary: September 16-19, 2010, Papal Visit to the United Kingdom

Below is the itinerary for Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom, scheduled to take place over the course of September 16 - 19, 2010. Stay tuned to this blog as we will blog throughout the course of the Pope's visit to the United Kingdom.

To begin, see my recommended works/texts by Cardinal Newman.

September 16
  • Depart Rome at 8:10 a.m. 
  • Arrival at the international airport of Edinburgh, Scotland at 10:30. 
  • Welcome Ceremony at the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where he will make a courtesy visit to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • At 11:40, the Holy Father will address the authorities in the park of the palace
  • Lunch in the archbishop's residence in that same city.
  • Mass at 5:15 p.m. in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland. 
  • After the Mass, he will depart by plane from Glasgow to London.

September 17
  • He will begin the morning by saying a private Mass at the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon.
  • At 10:00 a.m. he will give an address to leaders from the world of Catholic education at an event in the sports field of St. Mary's University College in Twickenham.
  • Pontiff will meet with leaders of other religions in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of that same college.
  • He will pay a special courtesy visit to the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in Lambeth Palace. The Holy Father will give an address in the presence of the other Anglican "bishops" as well as the Catholic prelates of England and Wales.
  • 5:10 P.M.: Benedict XVI is scheduled to go to Westminster Hall to address representatives of the civil society, as part of his State visit. He will meet with civil leaders from the worlds of academics, culture and business, with the diplomatic corps, and with other religious leaders.
  • Pope will conclude that day by participating in an ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey along with the archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders.

September 18
  • Morning meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron and other government leaders in the archbishop's palace.
  • At 10:00 a.m., the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as Westminster Cathedral, where he will greet the people of Wales.
  • Young people will gather in the plaza outside the cathedral to greet Benedict XVI after the Mass.
  • The Pope will visit St. Peter's residential home for the elderly in the evening to greet those who are unable to travel to see him, and will then participate in a prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

September 19
  • Pontiff will leave Wimbledon by helicopter for Birmingham, where he will arrive at 9:30 a.m.
  • At 10:00, he will celebrate Mass and the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Cofton Park of Rednal in Birmingham. The Holy Father will give the homily and, after Mass, will recite the Angelus with the pilgrims gathered there.
  • He will make a private visit to the oratory of St. Philip Neri, where he will be the first person to pray at the new shrine for Cardinal Newman, who will at that time be beatified.
  • Benedict XVI will conclude his visit with a meeting with the bishops of Scotland, England and Wales,
  • Ddepart Birmingham by plane for Rome at 6:45 p.m.
  • Arrival in Rome at 10:30.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Never Forget - September 11, 2001

Let us never forget September 11th, 2001, and the great people who died on that day. May God Bless America and may America praise and glorify God.

Image Source: Associated Press
Friday, September 10, 2010
Why are Many Individuals (Especially Clerics) Opposed to the Tridentine Latin Mass?

I feel that the overall resistance to the Traditional Latin Mass and many of its traditional teachings (e.g. no salvation outside of the Church, necessity of Baptism for salvation, the existence of an eternal hell, et cetera) is attributable to a pervasive lack of faith and spiritual laxity that have penetrated our culture. Our culture has not only neglected the Faith of our Fathers but has repudiated traditional and time-tested philosophies, governments, ways of public conduct, attire, etc. Some would say that the cause of discord in the Church originated at the 2nd Vatican Council. While I do feel that the Council was one of the most debilitating assaults to the traditional faith, our world has been suffering from a pernicious cancer induced during the Enlightenment. The philosophers of the enlightened led to the French Revolution and the essential collapse of Catholicism in what was once regarded the most Catholic nation in the world. Since that time we have seen mankind exalted and the faith and piety of many vanish.

Our Blessed Lady’s appearance in Fatima (1917) illustrates the revolution in the hearts of mankind long before the Council. And, recall Our Lady’s similar appearance in La Salette (1846). Our world has been rebelling against authority, against traditional manners of dress and practices of sexuality, etc, etc for generations. And it was this modernism that was so forcefully condemned by His Holiness Pope St. Pius X. Unfortunately, modernism – the true cause of our problems – has been misunderstood. We are certainly – and should not be – opposed to advances in technologies and ways of life that improve our living. However, modernism the heresy is the movement in Roman Catholic thought that sought to interpret the teachings of the Church in the light of philosophic and scientific conceptions prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Unfortunately, modernism entered the ranks of some prominent members of the clergy in the 1950s and 1960s leading to the collapse of interior piety and reverence as well as the exterior visibility of our internal faith (e.g. genuflections, public processions, etc). It was precisely this school of thought of modernism that individuals present at the Council sought to fight – people like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Unfortunately, the members of the clergy who consented to the enlightenment philosophies have worked exceedingly hard to tarnish the name and reputation of His Grace Marcel Lefebvre and any Catholics who wish to attend the Mass of the Saints. Have you noticed that of all priests canonized as of this point, none of them said the Novus Ordo Mass.

I would highly recommend that you read “Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre” by Michael Davies. There are also other sophisticated accounts behind your question on why the clergy can seem so opposed to the Traditional Mass. One such account which details the modernistic influence at the Council is “Rhine Flows Into the Tiber”
Thursday, September 9, 2010
'Vital Immanence': Modernism and its Phenomenological Explanation of Religion

Ite Ad Thomam has a good article on 'Vital Immanence': Modernism and its Phenomenological Explanation of Religion

Definitely an appropriate read at this time of year since we just celebrated the Feast of St. Pius X (September 3) and the 100th Anniversary of the Oath Against Modernism (September 1).
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
October 2, 2010, Mass of Reparation in Illinois

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please see my prior post for sermons and prayers for this day.


Bestow upon Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy heavenly grace: that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so the solemn feast of her Nativity may bring us an increase of peace. Through our Lord.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Ss. Peter and Paul in Wisconsin Rapids Begins Traditional Latin Mass

Note: Image of a Traditional Mass celebrated elsewhere

Through the providential gift of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Ss. Peter and Paul in Wisconsin Rapids will begin to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on the First Sunday of the month at 4 PM. This will begin the 3rd of October of this year. The Institute of Christ King will be offering the Holy Mass.

A Facebook group promoting the occasion has been created.
Photographs of the first Mass celebrated in the church of the Salesian Sisters of Seville

Sunday, September 5, 2010
Mass on the Way to Walsingham

LMS Chairman has shared some very beautiful images of the Liturgy celebrated as part of a pilgrimage. You can see two very different sanctuaries in these photos yet both successfully convey the holiness of that which belongs to God alone.

Latin Mass on the Altar of St. Joseph of St. Peter's Basilica

The blog Salvem to Liturgy, features these photos from today of a priest celebrating the traditional Mass at the altar of St. Joseph of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Saturday, September 4, 2010
Candles in the Roman Rite by Rev. Edwin Ryan, D.D., Reprinted by Romanitas Press

Romanitas Press has successfully republished this classic text of Reverend Edwin Ryan on Candles in the Roman Rite. Description and Photos of this product follow.
Rev. Edwin Ryan, D.D.
3rd edition; 1937

IN the Catholic Faith, candles not only represent “the True Light Which enlightens every man who comes into the world” but much more besides! Discover the rich symbolism and ancient history surrounding the use of church candles in this fascinating, illustrated book. Educate yourself about the rules and practices concerning candles in the Roman Rite through chapters that cover Masses offered by a priest or bishop, a sick call, the Divine Office and even when administering the other Sacraments or for other solemn occasions.

Last published in 1937 and simply written by noted American professor of liturgy, Fr. Edwin Ryan, this large format 36-page book (originally intended as an advertising medium for the now defunct Gross Candle Co.) is also unique and interesting for its wonderful illustrations.

Created especially for this book by artists, Terence J. Hughes and James R. Howard, the illustrations are a combination of vivid watercolors and striking black and white line drawings of altars decorated with candles according to rules of the Roman Church. The illustrations are even more interesting for showing properly constructed altars decorated with a full array of flowers (in the Roman fashion), antependiums, conopaeums, pavement candles, candelabra, and even riddel post curtains and candles.

Perfect for any Catholic (cleric or laic) who wishes to learn more about the traditional Latin Mass. Especially appropriate for sacristans, altar servers, church artisans, ladies’ altar guilds and parish florists. Also a great reference for seminaries, catechism classes, and Catholic libraries.


Yet another fine reprint from Romanitas Press, this book does not fail either in quality of content or quality of stock. It was originally published by the advertising department of the A. Gross Candle Co., Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland. Romanitas Press has done it again by finding this rare but important work and making it available.

Upon reading the book, one finds out how much they do not know about the use of candles in the Roman Rite. So many of us have been to Mass how many thousands times, always noticing the lit candles on the altar but never putting much thought into why the candles are there and what they symbolize.

Candles gives you the "how" (the rubrics) and the "why" (this history and symbolism) of the use of candles. A nugget of teaching from the book: "The custom of making church candles from beeswax was suggested from the then supposed virginity of bees, their wax being taken as a symbol of the Body of the Redeemer derived from His Virgin Mother, an interpretation which retains its beauty even though the biological concept underlying it has been long since rejected."
Anyone with an interest in the rituals of the Catholic Church will find Candles in the Roman Rite to be a fine addition to their liturgical library. Review by www.churchlatin.com
Friday, September 3, 2010
Feast of St. Pius X

Today is the Feast of His Holiness Pope St. Pius X. Just two days ago we recalled the 100th Anniversary of his promulgation of the Oath Against Modernism.

Visit my prior post dedicated to this champion defender against modernism and pray in a special way this day for his intercession.  Also read my post on his funeral.
O God, Who to safeguard Catholic faith and to restore all things in Christ, didst fill the Supreme Pontiff, Saint Pius, with heavenly wisdom and apostolic fortitude: grant in Thy mercy: that by striving to fulfill his ordinances and to follow his example, we may reap eternal rewards. Through the same our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Some Photos of St. Pius X

Old Roman Chant

While many are aware that Gregorian Chant remains the official music of the Catholic Church, considerable attention should also be focused on Old Roman Chant.  To illustrate the style of Old Roman Chant, we begin with the following video of the Graduale of the Christmas Midnight Mass.

The encyclopedia Britannica describes Old Roman as "[a] repertory of liturgical melodies written in Rome between the 11th and the 13th century and discovered about 1890".  Staying true to its name, the chant originated and largely remained in use in Rome although there is some indication that it spread to central Italy and possibly the areas of present-day Great Britain and Ireland.  

Notably, Gregorian Chant and Old Roman Chant not only share similar melodic qualities but also the same liturgical texts.  For example, the video above of the Gradual chanted in Old Roman Chant uses the Gradual text which is commonly chanted using Gregorian Chant.  In fact, Gregorian Chant is closest to Old Roman Chant than to Ambrosian chant, Mozarabic chant, and Gallican chant.  It is believed that Gregorian Chant and Old Roman Chant split into different styles after 800 AD since the feast of All Saints, a later addition to the liturgical calendar, has markedly different chants in the two traditions.

Liturgica.com offers a good overview of Old Roman Chant:
The two principal positions regarding Old Roman Chant result from the fact that there are no manuscripts from before the 13th century that accurately and indisputeably represent the form, and thus (at best) accurately documenting the chant form would be a function of "oral tradition." What comprised Old Roman Chant tends to be seen two ways. What might be described as the “academic liturgical” view essentially begins with the thesis that the Roman chant that was completed by about 750 is inaccessible to us in its original form. Further, it is only the Roman chant that was transmitted to the Franks after 754 AD and was modified in significant ways by them (giving us what we know as Gregorian chant), that is accessible to us via extant manuscripts. In the Roman Catholic chant manuscript corpus, it is known that the five manuscripts labeled as “Old Roman Chant” are dated from the late 11th to the mid-12th centuries. Thus, by general agreement, the Old Roman and Gregorian sources each represent a development or modification of the same original, the Roman chant of around 750. Little, if anything, however, is said by proponents of this view about the nature of the liturgical chant sung in the Church of Rome up to that time and it is no surprise that their interpretation of Old Roman Chant sounds like a simplified Gregorian chant. Examples are recordings by Schola Hungarica.

In contrast, what might be described as the “historical reconstructionist” view begins with the common sense assumption that the early church exemplified a high degree of homogeneity, and therefore since early Christian music forms were based on older Greek music forms, it can be safely assumed that Old Roman Chant had its roots in, and probably sounded very similar to pre-Byzantine chant in the early church period. Most of the proponents of this understanding of Old Roman Chant have begun with the oldest manuscripts they have available, and informed by a variety of "extra-musical" datum, set out to try and recreate Old Roman chant--this is an undertaking akin to playing classical compositions on original instruments with the goal or recreating the original sound intended by the composer. In addition, this approach considers manuscripts outside the traditional Roman Catholic corpus to be valid, and since the earliest have notation akin to Byzantine notation, are not afraid to involve Byzantine musicologists to try to understand and recreate the sound. Thus it is no surprise that their interpretation of Old Roman Chant sound somewhat like early Byzantine chant. Examples are recordings by Marcel Peres and Ensemble Organum.
There are a couple major purveyors of reconstructed Old Roman Chant these days, notably Marcel Peres and Schola Hungarica. I would say that Marcel Peres is better because he uses exclusively male voices, which is more historically accurate. Here are some samples of Marcel Peres and his Ensemble Organum. 

More Information
We conclude with a final video of "Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi" chanted in Old Roman style. This prayer is taken from the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Upcoming Interview with Fr. Frank Pavone

On Saturday, September 25th, I will be conducting an interview with Fr. Frank Pavone, internationally recognized for his work with Priests for Life.  I am turning to the readers of this blog and encouraging you to post your questions to Fr. Pavone in the comments section and/or email them to me.  I will choose from among the questions to determine the topics in the interview.

If you ever had a question to ask Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life now is your chance.
Oath Against Modernism

Today, September 1, 2010, is the 100th Anniversary of the Oath Against Modernism issued from the Motu Proprio of Pope St. Pius X "Sacrorum Antistitum" on 1 September 1910. I post the Oath Against Modernism here asking all clerics, teachers, catechists, etc to renew their commitment to the immutable teachings of Catholic Tradition...

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I _____________________________firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .
Catholic Devotions for the Dead

It has and always will be a pious and holy practice to pray for the repose of the souls who have passed on to the next life.  However, in the past few decades the occurrence of prayers said for the souls in purgatory and their blessed repose have fallen into such disuse that such a lack of charity for their souls is an atrocity.  For generations, Catholics would pray for the souls of the faithful who have gone before them in the sleep of death and hope in the future resurrection.

You as a member of the Catholic Church on earth (i.e. The Church Militant) have a solemn duty to pray for souls in purgatory (i.e. The Church Suffering).  As this month slowly draws to a close we shall in the not too distant future arrive at the month of November, traditionally devoted to praying for the dead.  However, these prayers and devotions should not only be prayed in November.

It is a traditional and pious practice with references not only in the Magesterium of the Church but also through the Holy Scriptures.  As stated in the holy book of Maccabees: "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins" (2 Maccabees 12:46).  In 230 AD Tertullian writes, "The widow who does not pray for her dead husband has as good as divorced him."


1. Requiescat in Pace (RIP)
2. Judgment (Particular and Final)
3. All Souls Day
4. Funeral Masses (all types)
5. 3rd, 7th, and 30th Day After Burial Devotions
6. Funeral Mass of the Supreme Pontiffs
7. Prayers for Souls in Purgatory
8. Obtain Indulgences for the Dead

1. Requiescat in Pace (RIP)

Unfortunately, the sacred in many ways has become too common and ordinary so that we fail - when encountering holy things - to stand in the awe appropriate for the situation.  In much the same manner, we have become accustomed to the three letters R.I.P on the headstones of those who have died; yet, few of us adequately understand the liturgical connection of these three simple letters to the Mass said for the repose of their souls.

The expression R.I.P, despite modern understandings, does not stand for "rest in peace" but instead represents the Latin phrase "requiescat in pace", who English equivalent is coincidentally "rest in peace".  These three holy letters were not formerly placed on the tombstones of all of the departed or even all "Christians" but only on the tombstones of Catholics who have departed.  The phrase "requiescat in pace" is taken from the final prayers of the priest at the place of burial: Anima eius et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per Dei misericordiam requiescant in pace whose English equivalent is May his soul and the souls of all the departed faithful by God's mercy rest in peace

The letters RIP first appeared in the 8th century although it did not become common on the tombstones of Catholics until the 18th century.  The Roman catacombs bear witness to prayers for the dead since many prayers for the dead are preserved on the tombs of the departed (e.g. Mayst thou live among the saints, 3rd century).  The phrase refers not to our wish for their bodies to live peacefully in the ground but our prayer that their souls may be forgiven by Christ the Judge and found worthy - after the necessary purification - to enter into Heavenly beatitude.  Namely, we pray that the souls of the departed shall one day be worthy for beatitude - to behold the face of God in Heaven.

Consequently, it should be viewed as a pious and humble practice to frequently visit the cemeteries and pray for the dead.  And surely, when you see the letters R.I.P you should pray for the salvation of the departed.  Recall that our prayers are outside of time so do not fail in praying for the dead because you assume that you are "too late".  Rather, your prayers offered in a humble and contrite spirit pay the price of the departed's sins and free their souls from purgatory (c.f. Mt. 5:48, Mt. 5:26, Mt. 12:32, 1 Cor. 15:29, 1 Tim. 1:16).  It is in this instance that your prayers have truly saved a soul.

2. Judgment

It is a dogmatic teaching of the Faith that at the moment of our death we will appear “before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10), Who will pronounce our eternal sentence: ultimate life in Heaven, though likely after cleansing in Purgatory, or an eternity of uninterrupted and unspeakable torment in hell.

Writing of the Particular Judgement, the Catechism of the Council of Trent explains:
“The first [judgment] takes place when each one of us departs this life; for then he is instantly placed before the judgment seat of God, where all that he has ever done or spoken or thought during life shall be subjected to the most rigid scrutiny. This is called the particular judgment.” 
Likewise, in the same spirit but with the docility of a pastor who yearned for the salvation of all men, St. John Vianney wrote on the Particular Judgment:
“Our catechism tells us, my children, that all men will undergo a particular judgment on the day of their death. No sooner shall we have breathed our last sigh than our soul, without leaving the place where it has expired, will be presented before the tribunal of God. Wherever we may die, God is there to exercise His justice. The good God, my children, has measured out our years, and of those years that He has resolved to leave us on this earth, He has marked out one which shall be our last; one day which we shall not see succeeded by other days; one hour after which there will be for us no more time.” 
While the certainly of the private judgment has been known since apostolic times, the particulars of the immediate consequences of our sentence was the subject of theological debate throughout the Middle Ages. Seeking to end a period of debate on whether the blessed will have the vision of God immediately after their sentence or if they must wait until the General Judgment at the end of time, Pope Benedict XII issued Benedictus Deus (On the Beatific Vision of God) in the year of Our Lord 1336, thus ending the debate vis-à-vis a dogmatic definition:
“By this Constitution which is to remain in force forever, We, with apostolic authority, define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints who departed from this world before the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and also of the holy apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins and other faithful who died after receiving the holy baptism of Christ – provided they were not in need of any purification when they died, or will not be in need of any when they die in the future, or else, if they then needed or will need some purification, after they have been purified after death – and again the souls of children who have been reborn by the same baptism of Christ or will be when baptism is conferred on them, if they die before attaining the use of free will: all these souls, immediately after death and, in the case of those in need of purification, after the purification mentioned above, since the ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven, already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment, have been, are and will be with Christ in heaven, in the heavenly kingdom and paradise, joined to the company of the holy angels. 
“… we define that according to the general disposition of God, the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down into hell immediately after death and there suffer the pain of hell. Nevertheless, on the day of judgment, all men will appear with their bodies ‘before the judgment seat of Christ’ to give an account of their personal deeds, ‘so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body’ (2 Cor. 5.10).” 
In addition to the Particular Judgment of each individual soul immediately after death, the Church solemnly teaches that there shall also be a second and final judgment, which will occur at the End of Time. This final judgment is also known as the General Judgment and will occur at the very end of the world, when our Blessed Lord comes again to judge the living and dead (inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos), as we profess in the Creed. At that time, as our Savior Himself has told us, He shall “sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before Him, and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-32). Elsewhere in the Gospel, Our Lord described the Last Judgment with these words: “ Wonder not at this; for the hour cometh, wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).

Similarly, St. John the Apostle wrote the following in his Book of the Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible:
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged everyone according to their works. And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire.” (Apoc. 20:12-15)
The Catholic Church teaches that at the time of the Last Judgment, Christ will come in His glory, “and all the angels with Him” (Matt. 25:31), and in His presence the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare. Each person who has ever lived will be judged with the perfect justice of an omnipotent and omniscient God. Those already in Heaven will remain in Heaven, those already in hell will remain in hell, and those in Purgatory will be released into Heaven. After the Last Judgment, the universe itself will be renewed there will be “a new heaven and a new earth” (Apoc. 21:1).

If the Last Judgment will in no way alter the verdict of our own particular judgment, some may ask why the Last Judgment is even necessary. In her wisdom, Holy Mother Church in the Seventh Article of the Creed in the Roman Catechism expounds on the reason:
“Those who depart this life sometimes leave behind them children who imitate their conduct, dependents, followers and others who admire and advocate their example, language and actions. Now by all these circumstances the rewards or punishments of the dead must needs be increased, since the good or bad influence of example, affecting as it does the conduct of many, is to terminate only with the end of the world. Justice demands that in order to form a proper estimate of all these good or bad actions and words a thorough investigation should be made. This, however, could not be without a general judgment of all men.” 
In a similar though more succinct manner, the Baltimore Catechism explains the rationale for the Last Judgment by stating: “There is need of a general judgment, though everyone is judged immediately after death, that the providence of God, which, on earth, often permits the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper, may in the end appear just before all men.”  And further, “There are other reasons for the general judgment, and especially that Christ Our Lord may receive from the whole world the honor denied Him at His first coming, and that all may be forced to acknowledge Him as their God and Redeemer.”

The Last Judgment will not alter in any way the eternal sentence pronounced upon us at our own Particular Judgement. On the contrary, the Last Judgment will make our sins and the sins of every person in history known to everyone else. Nothing will remain secret any longer, according to Our Lord’s own words: “For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Luke 8:17). All will be revealed, and all bad will be punished and all good, even the hidden good for which we never received recognition on earth, will be rewarded openly before all.

3. All Souls Day

This annual liturgical commemoration, dating back to the 11th Century, is a time to remember all of the faithful depart and pray that they are now in the grace of God. God certainly is Love and He is mercy. The only thing we can do is trust in Him and pray for our loved ones.

In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, the abbot of Cluny (France), said that all Cluniac monasteries were to offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was adopted throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church. Now we the entire Church celebrates November 2nd as All Soul's Day.

During the First World War, Pope Benedict XV on August 10, 1915, allowed all priests everywhere to say three Masses on All Souls' Day. The two extra Masses were in no way to benefit the priest himself: one was to be offered for all the faithful departed, the other for the Pope's intentions, which at that time were presumed to be for all the victims of that war. The permission remains.

4. Funeral Mass

When we think of praying for the dead many of us think of a funeral Mass.  For this lesson, we focus in a particular way on the Traditional Rite of the Roman Liturgy and the Funeral Mass in the context of the 1962 Missal.  We begin though with an important distinction.  All Catholics should have a Catholic funeral and should be buried in a Catholic cemetery; however, there are some further clarifications from Canon Law worthy of iterating. 

Limits are placed on public offering of Mass for the unbaptized and notorious sinners although prayers and even Mass in private can be said for them. The present Code of Canon Law states that, unless the person concerned gave some signs of repentance before death, no form of funeral Mass may be offered for notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics; those who for anti-Christian motives chose that their bodies be cremated; and other manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful (c.f. Canon 1184).

5. 3rd, 7th, and 30th Day After Burial Devotions

Why are special Masses and Prayers Offered on the 3rd, 7th, and 30th days after the Burial?

Special prayers are offered in the Breviary on the 3rd day after the burial in commemoration of the three days our Blessed Lord spent in the tomb. There is special prescription in the Apostolic Constitutions (VIII, xlii) regarding this which states, "With respect to the dead, let the third day be celebrated in psalms, lessons, and prayers, because of him who on the third day rose again."

Why is the 7th day commemorated in a special manner? This too is an ancient observance. With regard to the seventh day, we have the testimony of St. Ambrose who bears witness to the ancient practice, and gives the reason for it: "Now, since on the seventh day, which is symbolical of eternal repose, we return to the tomb). The 30th day is in imitation for the mourning of Moses as recounted in the Scriptures. 

Learn more about the history of all of these and how they are calculated by clicking here.

We also highly encourage you to pray for the repose of the souls of your friends and relatives on the day of death, day of burial, the 3rd day after burial, the 7th day after burial, the 30th day after burial, and on the anniversary of death/burial.  Please pray the Office of the Dead (which is available online) in the 1955 Breviary for that purpose.

6. Funeral Mass of the Supreme Pontiffs

Throughout the 20th century up until the Second Vatican Council, the Funeral Rite for a Deceased Pope was virtually identical. As succinctly stated, the Funeral Rite of Pope Leo XIII would have looked nearly identical to the Funeral Rite of Pope John XXIII. According to a Fish eaters poster, "Rubrical changes in 1955 had no affect on the text or rubrics of the Requiem itself. The rubrical changes of 1960 had no affect on the actual Mass itself, only when certain Masses could be said and which and how many collects would be said at these." To read an in-depth analysis and article on the Funeral Rites of the Supreme Pontiffs, please visit that post directly.

7. Prayers for Souls in Purgatory

At last, we arrive at the section pertaining most closely with the laity, namely praying for the souls in Purgatory.  We should pray fervently and frequently for the souls in Purgatory.  Start by adding the St. Gertrude Prayer to your daily prayers:
Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family. Amen.
Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great that 1,000 souls would be released from Purgatory every time this is said. This prayer has now even been "extended to living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness accrued to them during their lives."

8. Obtain Indulgences for the Poor Souls

It should be widely promoted for the Faithful to ask the clergy to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the intention of freeing the souls in Purgatory.  Many souls are released from Purgatory by the graces from the Mass.  Furthermore, we should seek to gain Indulgences for the souls in Purgatory.  The easiest way to do this is by obtaining a Raccolta which lists the indulgenced prayers and the conditions for obtaining the indulgence.

One the easiest indulgences we can gain is to visit a cemetery and pray for the dead there. Any prayer may be said.

Furthermore, the souls in Purgatory are greatly aided when we offer our Holy Communions for them.  Make it a practice to offer your Holy Communion at least once weekly for the souls in Purgatory.

In the past, I have reflected on Praying the Stations of the Cross - which also happen to have indulgences attached to them - and at this time I would also encourage you to pray the Stations for the souls in Purgatory.  Similarly, almsgiving, penance, and fasting performed with the intention of freeing souls in Purgatory can help the suffering souls in the Church Suffering.  And these souls, when freed from their purgation, shall certainly pray without ceasing for our salvation. See: Alms for the Poor Souls.

For resources on devotions for the souls in Purgatory, please see my former post on Purgatory. And read Indulgences for the Dead for more information


The words of the eternal and immutable Scriptures should be frequently on our mind as well as our lips.  And it is these Holy Scriptures that declare, "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins" (2 Maccabees 12:46).  Praying for the dead should not only be done in the month of November or on the day of our loved one's burial.  We should stop thinking "They are in Heaven" - what a dangerous lack of charity to your relatives, friends, and ancestors departed!  The souls in Purgatory need our prayers as they are unable to pray for themselves.  Stop believing that all people are immediately saved since many do go to Hell and a great majority of the remaining first go to Purgatory (c.f. Hell: The Dogma of Hell, Illustrated by Facts Taken from Profane and Sacred History by F. X. Schouppe, SJ).  Few - very few - souls go straight to Heaven. 

Spread this post as far as possible encouraging the laity to pray for the souls in Purgatory and priests to offer prayers and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its traditional form for the faithful departed.

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