Tag Archives: Latin Mass

At the door on Palm Sunday

In the ancient form of the Holy Week rites (i.e., prior to the Holy Week reforms of Pius XII in the early 1950’s) there is a very brief yet beautiful ceremony that occurs on Palm Sunday when the procession goes outside the church, the doors to the church are closed. The door of the church is then knocked on three times with the shaft of the processional cross. Having served the Mass, I can say it is a powerful and moving rite of which Benedict XVI spoke:

“In the old liturgy for Palm Sunday, the priest, arriving in front of the church, would knock loudly with the shaft of the processional cross on the door that was still closed; thereupon, it would be opened. This was a beautiful image of the mystery of Jesus Christ himself who, with the wood of his Cross, with the power of his love that is given, knocked from the side of the world at God’s door; on the side of a world that was not able to find access to God. With his Cross, Jesus opened God’s door, the door between God and men. Now it is open.”

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI
Palm Sunday, 2007

Blessed Holy Week — a week of great and divine drama!

TLM at 10

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the publishing of the motu proprio of Benedict XVI, Summorum pontificum, freeing the Tradition Latin Mass (TLM) for celebration without the interference of clergy who want to kill off this noble expression of divine worship. It is clear that the breaking of its chains has allowed the Mass to change lives.

Instead of getting caught up in the usual concerns of some people, I think it is helpful if we appreciate the theological synthesis of the TLM not only in terms of the liturgical and ascetical discipline in the West, but also of pastoral practice: the salvation of one’s soul and that of the entire cosmos; one’s conversion to Someone Infinite and who can answer the thirst of the heart. Permit yourself to engage in a reflection that sees how the TLM conveys the worship of the Blessed Trinity, gives a theological and a moral tradition –not moralism and how it is allowed the laity with the help of the clergy to build culture.

I will say this, however, that the clergy who are adamant in seeing the diminishment of the TLM are ignorant of the graces poured out by God upon the Church. Why frustrate Beauty, Truth and Goodness? Let us pray for a deepening of the knowledge and grace that is given to us today at 10 years, and for the years to come.

The image is that of The Mass of Saint Gregory the great and miracle of the host, by Carle Van Loo (1705 + 1765), in the Chapel Saint-Grégoire of the royal church of sick, 1764. Museum of the Beautiful, Lyon Arts.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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