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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Major Rogation Day 2013

Today is April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, and the Major Rogation. While no longer required after Vatican II, Rogation Days can still (and should) be observed by the faithful. I encourage my readers to observe these days. Fasting and penance were required, and the faithful would especially pray Litanies on this day.

Not until relatively recently, it was a requirement that this day was kept with two conventual Masses where choral obligation existed.  The first, post tertiam, was the festive Mass of St. Mark the Evangelist.  The second post nonam was the more penitential Mass formula of Rogation tide.  For those bound to the Divine Office, the Litany was mandatory today.

What are Rogation Days?

"Rogation Days are the four days set apart to bless the fields, and invoke God's mercy on all of creation. The 4 days are April 25, which is called the Major Rogation (and is only coincidentally the same day as the Feast of St. Mark); and the three days preceding Ascension Thursday, which are called the Minor Rogations. Traditionally, on these days, the congregation marches the boundaries of the parish, blessing every tree and stone, while chanting or reciting a Litany of Mercy, usually a Litany of the Saints" (1)

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"All we can do is worth nothing Unless God blesses the deed; Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide Till God gives life to the seed; Yet nearer and nearer draws the time, The time that shall surely be When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea."
To the regular family prayers, which we say during the Easter season, we add the following:
Father: Praise the Lord; for He is good.
Family: His mercy endures forever.
Father: We beseech Thee, Almighty God, that because of our afflictions we may rely on Thy goodness, and with Thy protection may be defended against all adversities.
Family: And I say to you; ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Alleluia.
Prayer Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Traditional Mass Propers: Third Sunday after Easter


INTROIT Ps. 65:1-2

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, alleluia, alleluia! Sing a psalm to the glory of His name, Alleluia, Proclaim His glorious praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 65:3. Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds, O Lord! because of Your great strength Your enemies cringe before You." V. Glory be . . .

Show us the light of Your truth, O God, which guides the sinner back to th epath of justice. Let those who profess to be Christians avoid whatever will endanger their faith, and follow those things which will help it. Through Our Lord . . .

I Peter 2:11-19

Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul, Having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by the good works which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good. For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle but also to the forward. For this is thankworthy: if, for conscience towards God, a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully.

Alleluia, alleluia!  
V. Ps. 110:9
The Lord has sent deliverance to His people. Alleluia!
V. Luke 24:26. Thus Christ should suffer and should rise again from the dead and should enter into His glory. Alleluia!

John 16:16-22

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "A little while, and now you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father." Then some of his disciples said one to another: "What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, Because I go to the Father?" They said therefore: "What is this that he saith, A little while? We know not what he speaketh."
And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him. And he said to them: "Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice. And your joy no man shall take from you."

Ps. 145:2
Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live, alleluia!

Note: On this Sunday, April 25th, 2010, the Major Litanies were prayed in a Procession before the Low Mass began.  

May this sacred rite help us to overcome our earthly desires, O Lord, and teach us to love the things of heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

John 16:16
A little while and you shall see Me no longer, alleluia! and again a little while and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father, alleluia, alleluia!

O Lord, may the Sacrament which we have received strengthen us in spirit and comfort us in body. Through Our Lord.

Friday, April 19, 2013
Friday Reminder - Still a Day of Penance (even in Eastertide)

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
Mid Eastertide Reflection on the Resurrection

Our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered the chains of death. For forty days we fasted and prayed during Lent and now we partake of the fifty days of celebration for Easter. The Alleluia from the 1962 Roman Missal so beautifully sings of the hope and victory still deserving to be proclaimed on the mountaintops: “Alleluia, Alleluia. The Lord hath sent redemption to His people. Alleluia. It behooved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the death, and so to enter into His glory. Alleluia.”

What is truly profound is that Jesus Christ really and physically rose from the dead! It is a historical reality.

This event is likewise recounted in the private revelations of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich as recorded in "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." In her visions of the Lord, at the instance of His death on the Cross, He descended to the Limbo of the Fathers.  In the Limbo of the Fathers, He preached to the patriarchs, prophets, and holy people that had died before Heaven was opened by His death (cf. 1 Peter 4:6). Included among these souls was Adam and Eve. In her visions, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich also saw that our Divine Lord commanded nearly one hundred of the holy people in the Limbo of the Fathers to re-enter their bodies temporarily. He then commanded them to visit their relatives and preach the truth of His sacrificial death, which the Scriptures further substantiate in Matthew 27:52-53. Yet, the souls of those who rose from the graves in their bodies did not look like Jesus' glorified bodies. They merely re-entered their bodies temporarily to fulfill the command of Jesus. Afterwards, their souls again left their bodies and returned to Limbo. Upon our Lord's Ascension into Heaven, the souls of the Just at last entered into Heaven and on that day,  Limbo was closed forever.

Concerning Jesus, the Scripture attests, "He is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor. 15:12). With His glorified Body, He is no longer bound by the limitations of time, space, or physics. As we believe as part of the Faith also that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. They remain the only two people to have a glorified body.

But we too shall follow! That is our hope! The very same Body we have now will be raised again at Judgment and perfected. For we, unlike Mary (e.g. Immaculate Conception) and Jesus, are sinners, so our Resurrection is yet to come. At the time of Judgment, all people will be united with their bodies. At that time, the prophets, patriarchs, saints, etc will all receive a glorified body. The souls who enter Heaven will enjoy perpetual happiness in body and soul, and the souls of the damned in Hell will suffer not only emotionally and mentally but also physically in their own bodies for all eternity.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Benedictines of Mary: "Angels and Saints at Ephesus"

As you may be aware the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles are about to release their second album- Angels and Saints; set for release on May 7!  Please listen to some excerpts above as well as some insightful interviews with members of the community.

Last Nov./ Dec., the Sisters’ debut album, ADVENT AT EPHESUS, with De Montfort Music/Decca, spent six weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Classical Music Chart, and the Sisters ended up as the #1 Classical Traditional Artist of 2012, according to Nielson’s Soundscan. (That has NEVER happened for a group of cloistered nuns.) Featured on NPR, USA Today, People Magazine and The Washington Times as well as countless other critically acclaimed press outlets, the Benedictines of Mary have created another beautiful recording of their music.

The sisters' second album, a year-round collection, will entertain and inspire, featuring 17 English and Latin pieces sung a cappella for the feasts of the holy saints and angels. Recorded once again at their Priory in the heartland of America, this new album is a dynamic yet pure fusion of their contemplative sound. The sisters call to mind the glory of the future vision of God in the company of all of His angels and saints.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Bishop Fellay's Letter to Friends and Benefactors #80

The following is an excerpt from Bishop Fellay's Letter to Friends and Benefactors #80.  He specifically focuses on a summary and assessment of the 2012 Doctrinal Talks.  The following is an excerpt from his letter.  You may read the rest of it at SSPX.ORG.
It has been quite a long time now that this letter has kept you waiting, and it is with joy, in this Easter season, that we would like to take our bearings and to present a few reflections on the situation of the Church.

As you know, the Society found itself in a delicate position during most of the year 2012, following the final approach of Benedict XVI in attempting to normalize our situation.

The difficulties resulted, on the one hand, from requirements that accompanied the Roman proposal - to which we could not and still cannot subscribe - and, on the other hand, from a lack of clarity on the part of the Holy See that did not allow us to know precisely the will of the Holy Father or what he was ready to concede to us. The trouble caused by these uncertainties vanished as of June 13, 2012, with a clear confirmation, on the 30th of the same month, by a letter from Benedict XVI himself clearly and unambiguously spelling out the conditions that were being imposed on us for a canonical normalization.


Compelled by the facts, it is necessary to conclude that the Council has favored, inconceivably, the diffusion of liberal errors. Faith, morals, and ecclesiastical discipline have been shaken to their foundations according to the predictions of all the popes.

The destruction of the Church is rapidly advancing. By an exaggerated authority given to the episcopal conferences, the Sovereign Pontiff has rendered himself ineffectual. In a single year how many painful examples of this have we witnessed! Still, the Successor of Peter, and he alone, can save the Church.


Today, along the same lines, we can only repeat what Archbishop Lefebvre and Fr. Schmidberger in turn declared. All the errors that they denounced, we denounce. We beg Heaven and the authorities of the Church, in particular the new Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, Successor of Peter, not to allow souls to perish because they no longer learn sound doctrine, the revealed deposit of the faith, without which no one can be saved, no one can please God.

What good is it to devote oneself to serving people if one hides from them what is essential, the purpose and the meaning of their life, and the seriousness of sin that turns them away from it? Works of charity done for the poor, the needy, the infirm, and the sick have always been a true concern for the Church, and we must not excuse ourselves from it, but if it becomes merely man-centered philanthropy, then the Church is no longer carrying out her mission, she is no longer leading souls to God, which can really be done only by supernatural means: faith, hope, charity and grace. And therefore by denouncing anything that is opposed to them: errors against faith and morality. Because if people sin, for want of that denunciation, they are damned for eternity. The Church’s reason for being is to save them and to help them avoid the misfortune of their eternal perdition.

Now obviously that could not possibly please the world, which then turns against the Church, often violently, as history shows us.

Here we are then, at Easter 2013, and the situation in the Church remains almost unchanged. The words of Archbishop Lefebvre take on a prophetic tone. It has all come to pass, and it all continues for the greater misfortune of souls who no longer hear from their pastors the message of salvation.

Without becoming upset over the duration of this terrible crisis or over the number of prelates and bishops who pursue the self-destruction of the Church, as Paul VI acknowledged, we continue, to the extent of our abilities, to proclaim that the Church can change neither her dogmas nor her morality. For no one can meddle with these venerable institutions without provoking a genuine disaster. Although some accidental modifications pertaining to the external form must be made - as it happens in all human institutions - in no case can they be made contrary to the principles that have guided the Church in all the preceding centuries.

The consecration to St. Joseph, which the General Chapter decided on in July 2012, is taking place right at this decisive moment. Why St. Joseph? Because he is the Patron of the Catholic Church. He continues to carry out for the Mystical Body the role that God the Father had entrusted to him with regard to His Divine Son. Since Christ is the Head of the Church, Head of the Mystical Body, it follows that he who was in charge of protecting the Messiah, the Son of God made man, now finds his mission extended to the entire Mystical Body.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Mass Propers: 2nd Sunday after Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Psalms 32: 5, 6
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia. -- (Ps. 32. 1). Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: praise is comely for the upright. V.: Glory to the Father . . . -- The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord . . .

COLLECT -O God, who, by the humility of Thy Son, didst lift up a fallen world, grant unending happiness to Thy faithful: that those whom Thou hast snatched from the perils of endless death, Thou mayest cause to rejoice in everlasting days. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

I Peter 2: 21-25
Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow His steps who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Who when He was reviled, did not revile: when He suffered, He threatened not, but delivered Himself to him that judged Him unjustly: who His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Luke 24: 35Alleluia, alleluia. V.: The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. Alleluia. V.: (John 10. 14). I am the good Shepherd: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me. Alleluia.

John 10: 11-16
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

Psalms 62: 2, 5O God, my God, to Thee do I watch at break of day: and in Thy Name I will lift up my hands, alleluia.

SECRET - May this holy offering, O Lord, always bring to us Thy healing blessing: that what it represents in a Mystery, it may accomplish with power. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

PREFACE (Preface for Easter) - It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this season when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

John 10: 14
I am the good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

POST COMMUNION - Grant unto us, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that having received the grace of a new life, we may ever glory in Thy gift. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

Further Information:

The New Liturgical Movement

Image Source: The Good Shepherd by Philippede, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
March 2013 SSPX German Ordinations

On March 15th, Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta raised 5 acolytes to the dignity of major holy orders through ordination to the subdiaconate at Priesterseminar Herz Jesu (Sacred Heart Seminary) in Zaitzkofen, Germany.  Source: SSPX


God, in Baptism you called me by name and made me a member of your people, the Church. Help all your people to know their vocation in life, and to respond by living a life of holiness. For your greater glory and for the service of your people, raise up dedicated and generous leaders who will serve as sisters, priests, brothers, deacons, and lay ministers. Send your Spirit to guide and strengthen me that I may serve your people following the example of your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name I offer this prayer. Amen.
The Cutting of the Hair During an Investiture

Her hair is cut during the investiture ceremony, symbolizing renunciation of self and world. These are the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, the feminine branch of the Institute. The ceremony took place on the Feast of St. Joseph, 2013, in Florence, presided by His Excellency, Monsignor Giovannetti, Bishop Emeritus of Fiesole.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Roger Ebert: On the Traditional Latin Mass

Roger Ebert as a Child.  Via Chicago Sun Times
In my childhood the Church arched high above everything. I was awed by its ceremonies. Years later I agreed completely with Pauline Kael when she said that the three greatest American directors of the 1970s — Scorsese, Altman and Coppola — had derived much of their artistic richness from having grown up in the pre-Vatican Two era of Latin, incense, mortal sins, indulgences, dire sufferings in hell, Gregorian chant, and so on.
The parish priest was the greatest man in the town. Our priest was Father J.W. McGinn, who was a good and kind man and not given to issuing fiery declarations from the pulpit. Of course, in Catholic grade school, I took the classes for altar boys. We learned by heart all the Latin of the Mass, and I believe I could serve Mass to this day. There was something satisfying about the sound of Latin.
Introibo ad altare Dei.
Ad Deum qui laitificat juventutem meum.
“I will go to the altar of God. The God who gives joy to my youth.” There was a “thunk” to the syllables, measured and confident, said aloud the way they looked … 
You could go anywhere in the world and the Mass would sound the same, we were told, and the priests could all speak with one another in Latin. The dissolution of that practice at Vatican Two was the end of something that had survived for nearly two millennia. I loved the idea of Latin. I loved the hymns, especially Tantum Ergo, the solemn song at the Consecration of the Eucharist, which had been written by Thomas Aquinas.
Traditional Mass Propers: Low Sunday (Sunday after Easter)

Resurrection by Raffaelino del Garbo 1510

Vestments: White

I Peter 2:2
Crave, as newborn babes, alleluia! pure spiritual milk, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 80:2. Sing joyfully to God, our helper; sing aloud to God of Jacob. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Almighty God, let our conduct and our lives always be guided by the Easter feast we have just celebrated. Through Our Lord . . .

I John 5:4-10

Beloved: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory which overcameth the world: Our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit and the water and the blood. And these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God hath the testimony of God in himself.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Matt. 28:7. "On the day of My resurrection," said the Lord, "I will go before you into Galilee." Alleluia! V. John 20:26. After eight days, the doors being closed, Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and said, "Peace be to you." Alleluia!

John 20: 19-31

At that time, when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst and said to them: "Peace be to you." And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: "Peace be to you: as the Father hath sent Me, I also send you." When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: "Peace be to you." Then He saith to Thomas: "Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing." Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: "Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in His name.

Matthew 28: 2, 5-6
An angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and said to the women: He whom you seek is risen as He said, alleluia.

SECRET - Graciously receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered in this season of gladness, by Holy Church to Thee: and even as Thou makest her so greatly to rejoice on earth, so do Thou call all her children to share in the endless delights of Heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

PREFACE (Preface for Easter) - -It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this day when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

SPECIAL FORM OF COMMUNICANTES (Communicantes for Easter) - Communicating, and keeping this most holy day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also . . .

SPECIAL FORM OF HANC IGITUR - We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family, which we make unto Thee on behalf of these whom Thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, granting them remission of all their sins: and to dispose our days in Thy peace, preserve us from final damnation and rank us in the number of Thine Elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

John 20: 27
Put in thy hand, and know the place of the nails, alleluia: and be not incredulous, but believing, alleluia, alleluia.

POST COMMUNION - We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, to make profitable to us, both in this world and in that to come, the sacred mysteries by Thee established for the ensuring of our salvation. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013
First Saturday Devotion for April

First Saturdays Devotion

On Saturdays, Catholics traditionally have taken part in the "First Saturdays Devotion" which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion for the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This devotion is not to be confused with the First Friday's Devotion, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On July 1, 1905, Pope Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the First Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The First Saturday Devotion did not originate as part of the apparitions of our Blessed Lady in Fatima, but the devotion did quickly spread further following our Lady's series of appearances to the three shepherd children in 1917.

Our Blessed Lady's words to Sr. Lucia at Fatima:
Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
The First Saturday Devotion consists of offering the First Saturday of the month for five consecutive months in reparation for the many and grievous sins committed in our world. A further explanation of our Lady's request is below:
  • You must go to the Sacrament of Confession.  Your reception of the Sacrament may be 8 days before the Saturday as long as you stay in a state of grace.
  • You must receive the Holy Eucharist and as always, it must be in the state of grace or risk the most grievous sin of sacrilege
  • You must pray 5 decades of the Holy Rosary of our Lady, including the Fatima Prayer.  
  • Finally, the last requirement consist of "keeping Mary company" for 15 minutes while meditating on all of the Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to her. This can be done by reading Scripture or other writings relevant to the Mysteries, meditating on pictures of the Mysteries, or simple meditation. Materials for meditation and education on each of the Rosary mysteries is available online.

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

While the laity is not bound to pray the Divine Office, they are still encouraged to pray the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours).  To pray the Divine Office, I would highly encourage you to pray the 1962 Breviary or even the 1955 version as opposed to the modern version which I find lacking in the spiritual depth present in the earlier editions.

Since you are not bound under ecclesial law to pray the Office, you can and should start by praying the English version of the Breviary.  You can find various breviaries available for sale that will fulfill this purpose.  For centuries Catholics prayed most commonly not with personal prayers and devotion as such individual prayers originated from protestant individualism.  Instead, Catholics prayed the Liturgical texts of the Church (e.g. the Prayers of the Holy Mass, the Rosary, etc) daily and many were saved.  In our world we see the majority of mankind entrenched in sin and debauchery.  Let us pray for a return to our praying the Liturgical prayers of the Holy Church.  Pray the Daily Rosary as Mary has asked of us!

However, please also consider, in addition or instead of the standard Divine Office, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary for your daily prayers!
The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a shorter form of the Divine Office in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has long been the Church’s daily liturgical prayer to Our Lady, and these hours of praise have been used by Priests, religious and the laity throughout the centuries. Lay people used to flock to the great Cathedrals to publicly recite The Little Office during the Middle Ages, and during the great persecution, when the practice of the Catholic Faith was illegal in Great Britain, Bishop Challoner commended The Little Office to his flock.

Through its psalms, antiphons, readings, responsorials, and prayers the Little Office stresses the role Our Lady played in salvation history, and how through her fiat the divine Word took flesh in her womb and achieved salvation for us all; and how Our Lord granted her the first fruits of the general resurrection in her holy and glorious assumption.

All Catholics are called to a consistent prayer life. For those who do not feel called to recite the Divine Office, but still wish to participate in the liturgical prayer of the Church, or for those who have a particular devotion to the holy Mother of God, there is no finer form of prayer than the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Friday, April 5, 2013
    Traditions of Easter Week

    Excerpted from the Society of St. Pius X Website:
    Because those who were baptized on Holy Saturday wore new white garments, Easter Week is also called "White Week" in the Western Church and the "Week of New Garments" in the Oriental [Eastern] Church. During the whole week the neophytes, in their linen dress and soft sandals, stood close to the altar at all services as a separate group within the sanctuary of the basilica. Daily the bishop would address them with special instructions after the crowds had dispersed. It was the honeymoon of their new life as Christians, a week in intense happiness and spiritual joy. It was only after mass of the Sunday Octave of Easter that they exchanged the white garments for the ordinary dress.

    Easter Monday is still in many countries a day of rest and relaxation. First among them is the "Emmaus walk", inspired by the Gospel of the day (Lk. 24). In Germany and Austria, youngsters would play Easter games and sports (Osterspiele) in the Easter field (Osteranger). In French Canada, the Emmaus walk takes the form of a visit to the grandparents.

    Friday of Easter is a favorite day for devout pilgrimages (Osterwallfahrt). Praying and singing hymns, the faithful walk for hours preceded by a cross and church banners. In the Austrian Tyrol, people walk ten hours each way. In some sections of German and Austria, the farmers make their pilgrimage on horseback, accompanied by a band playing Easter hymns.

    The Sunday after Easter received diverse names. It was called the "Octave of the Pasch" from the earliest centuries. It acquired later the name of "Sunday in White" (see above), hence the "White Sunday." The English term "Low Sunday" comes from the ancient practice of counting the octave day as belonging to the feast, so that Easter actually would last eight days including two Sundays. The primary (high) one is Easter Sunday, and the secondary (low) one the Sunday after Easter. Low Sunday was in medieval times the day for the first communions of children. Dressed in white, they enter the church in solemn procession, holding lighted candles. In some places, each child receives first communion with father and mother kneeling beside him, also receiving the Blessed Sacrament.
    Image Source: Offerimus Tibi Domine
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013
    March 2013 SSPX Winona Ordinations

    On Friday, March 15, 8 young men were raised to the minor holy orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist and Acolyte, preparatory steps for the sacred priesthood.  On the following day, Sitentes Saturday, 6 acolytes were elevated to the rank of subdeacon (the first of the major holy orders), thus continuing the progressive cycle in seminary life which will climax in the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The website of the SSPX.ORG has some stunning photos of these ordinations.  Below are just a few of them.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013
    SSPX's 2013 Easter Reflection

    The following is taken from the website of the Society of St. Pius X. These sentiments proudly and correctly teach us the great importance and connection between Calvary and the Resurrection. Also, please do not forget that the Society of St. Pius X needs the generosity of traditional Catholics to continue its saving ministry. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to them here.
    Throughout the Christian world, Easter resounds with the shouts of "Alleluia!" Praise be given to God for all he has done to mankind! To save the slave, He has delivered His Son. The Father has so loved the world that he handed over His Son for us all. This is the wonder of the Good Friday drama that the depth of God’s love has been revealed to men.

    We cannot speak of Easter Sunday without reference to Good Friday. The Resurrection cannot come unless One has previously died. "Per Crucem ad Lucem - by the Cross to the Light!" The victory of Christ over death ("O Death, I shall be your death") is the fruit of the total sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Truly, no greater love has man shown than to give one’s life for those he loves. Yet, Our Lord did more. He showed the greatest love by dying for those who hated Him!

    What did Christ do during the three days (according to the Jewish count) in the sepulcher? The Scriptures speak to us in different ways of the abode Christ’s soul went to after death.

    To the ‘good’ thief, He said: "In this very day, you will be with me in Paradise." And yet, on Easter Sunday, the risen Christ tells Mary Magdalen that He has not yet ascended to the Father, for heaven is closed until Ascension Thursday.

    The Apostles’ Creed tells us that "He descended into Hell", although this does not mean the Hell of the damned. The Latin takes away the ambiguity speaking of it in the plural ‘inferos’ vs. the singular ‘infernum’. What does this refer to? It is the literal sense of ‘inferum/infernum’, that is, the lower region(s). Christ’s soul did not visit Satan’s realm, but the lower regions where the just souls were detained.

    St. Peter refers to the same place by the name of prison: "He went and preached to the spirits who lay in prison." This is because the just in limbo, called also elsewhere the bosom of Abraham, were held captive until the Redeemer had fulfilled His mission of ransoming them from all debts to God.

    And so, on Easter Sunday, the cries of victory resound loud and clear. The Eastern Christians greet each other with these words which proclaim their rock solid faith: "Christ is risen - He is risen indeed." Victory for the Church triumphant celebrating the anniversary of their glorious King, crowned only after the bloody battle; victory for the Church militant for "This is the victory which has conquered the world, our faith"; victory for the Church suffering because His rising with the glorious body is the pledge of their own resurrection and glory one day after their purgation.
    Sunday, March 31, 2013
    Mass Propers: Solemn Mass of Easter Sunday

    Vestments: White

    Psalm 138 18, 5, 6
    I arose, and am still with Thee, alleluia; Thou hast laid Thy hand upon me, alleluia; Thy knowledge is become wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. -- (Ps. 138. 1, 2). Lord, Thou hast searched Me and known Me; Thou knowest my sitting down and My rising up. V.: Glory to the Father . . . -- I arose, and am still with Thee, alleluia . . .

    COLLECT - O God, who, on this day, through Thine only-begotten Son, hast conquered death, and thrown open to us the gate of everlasting life, give effect by thine aid to our desires, which Thou dost anticipate and inspire. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

    I Corinthians 5: 7, 8
    Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corithians.
    Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios.

    [Let us too partake of the Lamb of God with the azyma (unleavened bread) of a pure and holy life.] Brethren, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened: for Christ our Pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    Psalm 117: 24,1
    This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad in it. V.: Give praise unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.
    Alleluia, alleluia. V.: (I Cor. 5. 7). Christ our Pasch is immolated.


    Christians! to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises.

    The Lamb the sheep redeemeth: Christ, who only is sinless, reconcileth sinners to the Father.

    Death and life contended in that conflict stupendous: the Prince of Life, who died, deathless reigneth.

    Speak, Mary, declaring what thou sawest wayfaring.

    "The tomb of Christ who now liveth: and likewise the glory of the Risen.

    Bright Angels attesting, the shroud and napkin resting.

    Yea, Christ my hope is arisen: to Galilee He goeth before you."

    We know that Christ is risen, henceforth ever living: Have mercy, Victor King, pardon giving. Amen. Alleluia.

    Mark 16:1-7

    At that time, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe, and they were astonished. Who saith to them, Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He told you.

    Psalm 75: 9-10
    The earth trembled and was still when God arose in judgment, alleluia.

    SECRET - We beseech Thee, O Lord, accept the prayers of Thy people together with the Sacrifice they offer, that what has been begun by the Paschal Mysteries, by Thy working may profit us unto eternal healing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . . . .

    PREFACE (Preface for Easter) - -It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this day when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

    SPECIAL FORM OF COMMUNICANTES (Communicantes for Easter) - Communicating, and keeping this most holy day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also . . .

    SPECIAL FORM OF HANC IGITUR - We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family, which we make unto Thee on behalf of these whom Thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, granting them remission of all their sins: and to dispose our days in Thy peace, preserve us from final damnation and rank us in the number of Thine Elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    I Corinthians 5: 7, 8
    Christ our Pasch is immolated, alleluia: therefore let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

    POST COMMUNION - Pour forth upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Thy love, that, by Thy loving kindness, Thou mayest make to be of one mind those whom Thou hast satisfied with the Paschal Sacraments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

    Easter Sermon
    By St. John Chrysostom

    Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

    Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too. And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

    For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first. To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

    Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

    You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

    Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.

    He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaias foretold this when he said, "You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

    Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
    It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
    It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
    It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
    It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
    Hell took a body, and discovered God.
    It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
    It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
    O death, where is thy sting?
    O Hades, where is thy victory?

    Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!
    Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
    Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
    Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
    Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

    To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
    Saturday, March 30, 2013
    Lamentations of Holy Saturday

    Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began... ..He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him -- He who is both their God and the son of Eve.. "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son... ...I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead." [Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR]
    Thursday, March 28, 2013
    Why Do We Celebrate Holy Thursday?

    Today is the beginning of the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) where we recall God's love for us through His suffering, death, and Resurrection. Lent officially ends tonight at the beginning of the Mass. We have arrived at the Sacred Triduum, the very time we have been preparing for by our Lenten observance.

    Today is Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. Lent officially ends tonight at the beginning of the Lord's Supper. Tonight at Mass we remember the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as well as the institution of the priesthood. At Mass the altar is stripped down.  Christ is taken from us.  Beyond He is betrayed!

    Likewise, we recall the humility of Jesus when He washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. At Mass the priest will wash the feet of twelve men.  At the very end of the Mass, the priest also takes the Sacred Eucharist and incenses it. He then carries it around to the "altar of repose".  The controversy that has arisen in recent years is whether the feet of women may be washed.  Despite the bad example of some in the Church, it is against the Laws of the Church for the feet of anyone other than Catholic men to be washed.

    The Eucharist is only allowed to be displayed until Midnight; after that we arrive at Good Friday, and Our Lord leaves us. Tomorrow is Good Friday and it is the one day in the entire year when no Masses are said in the world. The consecration cannot take place on Good Friday since we remember Our Lord leaving us. That is why I encourage you to stay after Mass, even if it is just ten minutes, and take part in adoration of the Sacred Eucharist.

    Remember that there is a Plenary Indulgence available today.

    Today we commemorate several important parts in the final hours of Jesus' earthly life:

    (1) The eating of the Easter lamb or the paschal meal;
    (2) The washing of the disciple's feet;
    (3) The institution of the Most Holy Eucharist (the first Mass at which Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, is the celebrant; the first Communion of the apostles; the first conferring of Holy Orders);
    (4) The foretelling of Judas' betrayal and Peter's denials;
    (5) The farewell discourse and priestly prayer of Jesus;
    (6) The agony and capture of Jesus in the Garden of Olives.
    Sunday, March 24, 2013
    Traditional Spirituality of Palm Sunday

    Today is the Second Sunday of Passiontide (Palm Sunday), the day we commemorate Christ's triumphant ride into Jerusalem. All of this is alluded to in the prophesy of Zacharias 9:9-10 :
    Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.
    The people welcomed and worshipped Our Lord and Master as rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. But, in just one week the people of Jerusalem and the elders would be the ones who would call out: "Crucify Him."

    The Gospel account is as follows:
    And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania, unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, Saying: Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose him, and bring him hither.
    And if any man shall ask you: Why do you loose him? you shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of his service. And they that were sent, went their way, and found the colt standing, as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: Why loose you the colt? But they said: Because the Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon.
    And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way. And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen, Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high! And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples. To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.
    And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation (Luke 19:28-44)
    Of that entire passage one line truly speaks to the soul: "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!" How glorious it was! For the King of Glory is riding into Jerusalem on a beast so that He might sacrifice Himself for our redemption. It will be in Jerusalem where He will be condemned to death for our crimes and willingly give up His life. And quietly and peacefully, He bore our punishment on Calvary. The Church Fathers have said that the ass represents the Jewish world, the people of God. But, the colt represents all of the others, the Gentiles, who would also be saved by the coming death of Our Lord. But, the Jews rejected Jesus, God Incarnate, and so the Gentiles would be welcomed as the people of God.

    We remember that at the Epiphany, the Magi came to Jesus seeking the King of the Jews. And, here He is in His glory! In not even a week, Pilate would remember this and carve INRI: "The King of the Jews" on the Cross above Our Lord's Head.

    So many prophesies were fulfilled on this Sunday of His Passion. In the Annunciation, Gabriel said to Mary: "The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David, His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever." Today Jesus begins His reign upon the Earth and a new Israel will replace the old.

    How beautiful is the love of Our Lord! Not only did He die, but He willingly suffered all the humiliation, pain, beatings, mocking, and anxiety leading up to His death. Today we celebrate His triumphant ride into Jerusalem, where He shall complete the Paschal Mystery. But, we are ever mindful that it is because of our sinfulness that the Lamb of God was forced to ride on an ass to the city of His Crucifixion.

    For Christ came to die but became victorious over death. He came to suffer but rose again in splendor. We too must follow Him. We must embrace every suffering and pain in our lives. Not only must we accept these sufferings, but we most forgive our attackers. If love is not carved upon our hearts then how can we ever hope to enter Heaven? Jesus Christ was condemned by these men and women who first welcomed Him, and it is only by His forgiveness that we, like them, can hope to enter Heaven. When I pray about Heaven to Our God I do not say "Lord, permit me to enter your Kingdom." I say, "Master, permit me to sit in the farthest corner of your Kingdom that your light still might shine upon me for I am unworthy of anything greater."

    We cannot completely understand what must have been the most profound joy for some as He rode in the city. Those following Jesus were even chanting: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the Kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!" This song is sung at every Catholic Mass as we remember the Kingship of the Lord.

    For on this day those that were wise saw what the prophets and faithful would have died to witness - our salvation was to be won. For Christ, the Victor over death, was saving His people - the people of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The entire New Testament leads up to this triumphant day - Christ is saving His people. Our God had come to set us free and institute the New Covenant. How great a day this must have been.

    Tridentine Mass celebrated on Palm Sunday in the chapel of Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. April 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer.

    Today at Mass we will hear the Gospel account of the Passion of Our Lord. And we will also receive the Blessed Palms today. Palms were not just used in this instance of Jesus' triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. The early martyrs are depicted in art with palms - symbolic of their own triumph over death.

    Blessing of the Palm Branches:

    Oremus. Bless, + we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm (or olive or other trees): and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord.

    Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

    After this the Palm branches are blessed and we enter the Church for Mass.

    More information on Palm Sunday can be found at Fish Eaters. For videos and the Traditional Mass Propers for today's Holy Mass, please see my post on the Traditional Mass Propers for the II Second of Passiontide.

    The source of the above image of the blessing of the Palms is from St. Patrick's Seminary prior to the Vatican II changes which remove numerous prayers, psalms, and antiphons.


    -->O Almighty and everlasting God, Who didst cause our Savior to take upon Him our flesh and to undergo the cross, for an example of humility to be imitated by mankind: mercifully grant that we may deserve to possess not only the lesson of His patience, but also the fellowship of His Resurrection. Through the same our Lord.

    Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
    Saturday, March 23, 2013
    The Holy Week Liturgy

    Throughout the Lenten season, the Church has prepared us step by step for the sacred experience of the drama of Holy Week. A steady crescendo has been taking place since Septuagesima Sunday. Not until now has the Church unveiled the mystery of the Cross and resurrection, which were given us up to now only in figures and signs.

    Now, with Holy Week, the curtain is lifted, we see the Holy of Holies. And, not only do we see but we are asked to participate in the most sublime drama of history.

    The great week is about to begin – starting with Palm Sunday. Rather than a week of mourning, it should be called the redemptive week, in which the work of redemption terminated in victory, for Cross and resurrection are intimately united.

    Holy Week can be summed up in the words of St. John’s from his Prologue: “The light shined in the darkness, and the darkness grasped it not.” Darkness struggles against the light of Christ’s revelation as against an enemy; but to those who receive it, Christ gives “the power of becoming sons of God.” And as the mystery of darkness (the devil is the prince of darkness) and light (Christ the truth) unfolds during the Sacred Triduum, the same clashes takes place on another vein, death and life fight in a mortal duel, which will conclude with Christ the Life giving the death blow to Death by His own passing.

    Life is given Him through death: Christ the man rises from death to die no more since His sacrifice was accepted by the Father and He merited for Himself and all His followers a glorified body joined to a soul enjoying the beatific vision. Thus the ancient symbol of Christ, phos-zoe (light-life) serves well as a caption over this great week of grace.

    Another important aspect of the Christian life is taking a prominent place during the Holy Week’s liturgy: the reception of converts into the Church. In olden days, the Lenten season marked the preparation - both moral and doctrinal - of the catechumens to the great step of baptism, reflected in many ceremonies. The catechumens passed their last examinations earlier on in Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday, there was the reconciliation of the public penitents making up for their public sins. They would be formally received in full communion and allowed to approach the sacred table on Easter Vigil.

    On the same day, the holy oils were blessed by the bishop, which would be needed for the Baptismal ceremony. Easter Vigil is replete with the ceremonies addressed to catechumens who are to be formally received into the Church. The long lessons from the Old Testament serve as a last minute catechism, the baptismal water is blessed and the baptismal promises are pronounced by all the faithful present, but especially by the candidates to baptism, which takes place at that time.

    The Easter Vigil, which formally lasted the entire night, was the vigil of the catechumens as much as it was the celebration of Christ’s rising from the tomb. Both activities are one in the mind of St. Paul:

    We have been baptized (submerged) in Christ’s death and risen (drawn out of the water) in Christ’s resurrection.

    It is highly recommended that the faithful free themselves from the worldly worries and dedicate what time they can to the meditation and contemplation of the sacred mysteries. One of the best ways is simply to go over the liturgical texts which reach a degree of intensity never achieved in the other seasons of the year.

    Source: SSPX Pastor's Corner

    Past Posts on the Triduum:

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