Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: December 2010 Archives

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Thanks to JP Sonnen for this picture of His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, JCD, following his singing the Pontifical Mass at the Church of St. Mary of Nazareth on Via di Boccea, Rome. The parish, staffed by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is located west of Vatican City State in the Diocese of Porto-Sant Rufina, the historic suburbicarian diocese

The worship of the Triune God is our single most important work. No other work of the faithful, laity and clergy alike, is equal to praise of God through the sacred Liturgy and personal prayer. Jason Horowitz of The Washington Post published an article on December 25, 2010, "Pope's master of liturgy helps Benedict restore traditions." Very interesting indeed. I, for one, am very grateful to Monsignor Guido Marini for the hard work he's done in helping the Church pray more authentically, particularly at the Liturgy celebrated by the Supreme Pontiff. A native of Genoa, born in 1965, Monsignor Marini is the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, a position he's had since October 1, 2007. In a previous incarnation Marini served Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (now archbishop of Milan) and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, (now Secretary of State), both former archbishops of Genoa. He earned a doctorate in the psychology of communication and also holds the duel doctorate in canon and civil law.

In Rome on a rainy Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI followed a procession of Swiss guards, bishops and priests down the central nave of St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate midnight Mass before dignitaries and a global television audience.

And Monsignor Guido Marini, as always, followed the pope.

A tall, reed-thin cleric with a receding hairline and wire-framed glasses, Marini, 45, perched behind the pope's left shoulder, bowed with him at the altar and adjusted the pontiff's lush robes. As Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, he shadows the pope's every move and makes sure that every candle, Gregorian chant and gilded vestment is exactly as he, the pope and God intended it to be.

Canizares.jpg Andrea Tornielli published an interview with Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, 65, from Spain, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship in Il Giornale, "Basta con la messa creativa, in chiesa silenzio e preghiera" ["Enough with the Creative Mass, in Church Silence and Prayer"].

You will want to read this very fascinating interview in Italian here. Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement blog has posted a translation of just a few paragraphs with the hope of posting a translation of the full interview in due time.

Father Z has provided what is likely the central point of the interview: 

Andrea Tornielli: How do you judge the state of Catholic liturgy in the world?

Cardinal Cañizares: "In view of a risk of the routine, in view of some confusion, impoverishment, and banality in singing and in sacred music, one can say that there is a certain crisis.  For this reason a new liturgical movement is urgent.  Benedict XVI, pointing to the example of St. Francis of Assisi, very devoted to the Most Holy Sacrament, explained that the true reformed is someone who obey the Faith: he doesn't act in an arbitrary way and doesn't claim for himself discretion over the rite.  He is not the master but the custodian of the treasure instituted by the Lord and entrusted to us.  The Pope asks, therefore, from our Congregation to promote a renewal in conformity with Vatican II in harmony with the liturgical tradition of the Church, without forgetting the Conciliare norm that orders not to introduce innovations when the true and verified need of the Church requires them, with the caution that new forms, in every case, must flow organically from those already in existence."

The Holy Family

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This mosaic of the Holy Family is located in the Chapel at the Saint Peter Canisius, the Jesuit House of Writers located on the Borgo Spirito Santo, Rome. The mosaic is by Father Mark Rupnik, S.J. and the artisans of the Centro Alleti (Rome) December 23, 2007. Father Rupnik inspiration were the Contemplations on the Incarnation and the Nativity from Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.

In the Exercises we read about the Nativity. "The first point is [for me] to see the persons, that is, to see our Lady, and Joseph, and the servant girl (the ancilla, the handmaid), and the infant Jesus after he is born, making myself a poor little fellow and unworthy little slave boy, looking at them, contemplating them, and serving them in their needs as if I were there present, with all possible respect and reverence." 

A version of Father Rupnik's Holy Family mosaic is found in the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights of Columbus, Supreme Council, New Haven, Connecticut. 

ad orientem.jpgA friend started a few years ago, after doing the required study and catechesis, to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass facing East, or if you will, facing God. Father Kirby argues well his case for a priest to offer Mass suing the ad orientem gesture. And for goodness sake, don't call it "Mass with the priest's back to the congregation." It only shows ignorance of a proper liturgical tradition to say such. This aspect praying the Mass is met with fear and anger from bishops and seminary professors, not to mention pastors and laity that has more to do with a lack of understanding of liturgical prayer and too often agenda-ladened.

Father Mark Daniel Kirby lists 10 good reasons why a priest ought to celebrate Mass in the more venerable and correct way of celebrating the Mass:

1. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is experienced as having a theocentric direction and focus.
2. The faithful are spared the tiresome clerocentrism that has so overtaken the celebration of Holy Mass in the past forty years.
3. It has once again become evident that the Canon of the Mass (Prex Eucharistica) is addressed to the Father, by the priest, in the name of all.

The Catholic Church in Ireland is facing what we in the USA continue to face and the Church in parts of the world also face or will face: sin. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, is working overtime to renew himself and the Church he leads to a deeper contrition and to a renewed sense of mission as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Like Saint John the Baptist, Archbishop Martin tells us clearly that self-centeredness and arrogance are not legitimate virtues for Catholics to allow to dwell in the heart and in the way one acts. What the Archbishop says about his Church can be said of us personally, and the Church in the USA. Time to change!!!! As the Baptist says, "I must decrease and He --Jesus-- must increase.

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The Gospel of this morning's Mass recalls that great figure: John the Baptist. John's task was to announce the coming of Jesus. He was called to reawaken a sense of expectation among a people that had grown tired and distant from God. He was called to bring renewal to institutional expressions of religion which, at the time, had so often become fossilised into mere formulae or external ritual. John's work was extraordinary. He attracted thousands to come out into the desert to see him.  He wrought conversion on a vast scale.

John was a man who stood out. His strange dress - the wild camel hair and the leather girdle - was not chosen as a publicity gimmick or a trademark.  His message was one that spoke of rising above conventional ways of thinking, conventional expectations and attitudes.  He shunned the external amenities of a comfortable life because he wanted to show his absolute dependence on God. His detachment from life's comforts gave him the freedom to truly recognise the message of Jesus.

The figure of John serves as a warning to us today, to all believers, to the Church and to Church organizations of every age of our need to draw our strength from Christ alone, rather than from identifying with the cultural patterns and fashions of the day, which in any case come and go.

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2010 is the 10th anniversary of the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary. Congrats to Father Douglas Martis, Denis McNamara and Kevin Thornton for the hard work of making the LI a place of prayer, study and research/publication.

The Institute's publishing venture, Hillenbrand Books, has 33 titles to date, many outstanding in research and writing.

The enrollment has never been higher, the work of the Liturgical Institute has not been more vigorous than it is now and our engagement in the Church's sacred Liturgy as never been as needed as it is now in the 21st century.

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]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments category from December 2010.

Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: November 2010 is the previous archive.

Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: January 2011 is the next archive.

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