Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: February 2011 Archives

Baptismal and other rites.jpgIn the Latin Church there are several forms of celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism. Most Catholics today are familiar with the Rite of Baptism done according to the reforms of Pope Paul VI. Other Catholics follow the Traditional form according to the Rituale Romanum. This booklet follows this older form of the ritual.

The booklet is compiled by members of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) who are not in full communion with the Roman Pontiff. Moreover, the booklet doesn't carry an imprimatur of a bishop in communion with the Pope.

This is a handy booklet on Baptism is in print at Angelus Press. One booklet is $3.95, 10 for $26.00.

What is Septuagesima Sunday?

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If you don't pray the 1962 Missal at today's Mass you would have missed the liturgical observance of Septuagesima Sunday. Those who prayed the Missal of Pope Paul VI heard the gospel of "an for an eye." But what is Septuagesima Sunday and what would it mean to us today as Lent approaches? How does it relate to the overall liturgical life of the Church? There are several parts of the sacred Liturgy that face a startling change. There is a certain beauty and richness in the older liturgical tradition that seems to have been lost in the post Vatican II revisions...but that's a theme for another time. The famous Benedictine monk and writer of the 19th century, Dom Prosper Gueranger, gives perspective on the Season of Septuagesima:

The season upon which we are now entering is expressive of several profound mysteries. But these mysteries belong not only to the three weeks which are preparatory to Lent: they continue throughout the whole period of time which separates us from the great feast of Easter.

The number seven is the basis of all these mysteries. We have already seen how the holy Church came to introduce the season of Septuagesima into her calendar. Let us now meditate on the doctrine hidden under the symbols of her liturgy. And first, let us listen to St. Augustine, who thus gives is the clue to the whole of our season's mysteries. 'There are two times,' says the holy Doctor: 'one which is now, and is spent in the temptations and tribulations of this life; the other which shall by then, and shall be spent in eternal security and joy. In figure of these, we celebrate two periods: the time before Easter, and the time after Easter. That which is before Easter signifies the sorrow of this present life; that which is after Easter, the blessedness of our future state... Hence it is that we spend the first in fasting and prayer; and in the second we give up our fasting, and give ourselves to praise.'

We will be gathering to pray the Holy Mass for those living with breast cancer in honor of Saint Agatha, the patron saint of those living with breast cancer.

Saint Agatha's feast day is February 5 but for pastoral reasons, the liturgical observance will be held on the day before and the after the feast.

No one is without a family member or a friend who has breast cancer. This is an opportunity to join together in prayer and friendship with those living with ongoing trial --you could say cross-- of breast cancer.

  • On Friday, February 4, at the 5:30 pm Mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Church (355 Foxon Road, Route 80, East Haven, CT), Father John Lavorgna will administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick invoking the intercession of Saint Agatha.

Let your friends know of this special Mass and anointing service. All are invited and most welcome.

This bulletin letter is making the rounds on the blogs. I thought it touched on an important point or two regarding one's reception of Holy Communion. Do you reflect upon on how you prepare to receive the Eucharistic Lord at Mass and how receive Him --Communion received on the tongue or in the hand, and why? What do you think of this letter?
Simon Jude Phoenix Bulletin Letter January-23-2011.jpg
St Blaise blessing throats.jpg

Lord, hear the prayers of Your martyr Blase. Give us the joy of Your peace in this life and help us to gain the happiness that will never end.

The Church has few exact details of the life of Saint Blase (also Blaise, Biago, Sveti Vlaho) but we have the experience of his popularity through the centuries in the churches of the East and West. What we know is that Blase was a physician, the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia and martyr. The Roman Martyrology tells us that he was beheaded in 316.

More info on Saint Blase is found here and here.

The Blessing of Candles on the feast of St Blase can be found here.

The Blessing of Bread, Wine, Water and Fruit for the feast.

blessing of throats.jpg

From the Golden Legend again: 

And when this good widow, which by S. Blase had recovered her swine, heard thereof, she slew it, and the head and the feet with a little bread and a candle, she brought to S. Blase, and he thanked God and ate thereof, and he said to her that every year she should offer in his church a candle, and know thou that to thee and to all them that so shall do shall well happen to them, and so she did all her life, and she had much great prosperity.

Even after imprisonment, he refused to worship the prince's gods, and for punishment his flesh torn by wool combs. He was finally beheaded, martyred along with seven women and two children.

Today, due to the cure of the boy's throat when the boy was choking, Saint Blase is patron against diseases  or any other trouble of the throat.

The priest will bless two candles in honor of Saint Blase.

Mass, St Mary's Norwalk.jpgHow does one form a deacon, priest and bishop to celebrate the ars celebrandi of the sacred Liturgy? Being side-by-side these sacred ministers I am often scandalized by the lack of composure and gravitas in the praying of the Mass and other liturgical rites. Several priests and bishops I know are such poor celebrants of the Mass that I would argue that Mass celebrated so poorly does in fact lead others away from the Church's worship. And let's not even speak of the many deacons who have no clue and poor presence in the sanctuary! Two cardinals I've seen celebrate the Mass in their cathedrals have the habit of running down the isle and up the stairs into the sanctuary with evident exterior indication of what is about to happen. Another needs a seat belt in the cathedra. Is it too much to ask for beautiful gesture, beautiful music, beautiful words, beautiful art and architecture in the sacred Liturgy? Beauty and prayer also warms interpersonal relations!

Father John Zuhlsdorf (Fr. Z) over at the blog What the does the Prayer Really Say?  has it right: save the Liturgy, save the world.

I think Archbishop Joseph Raya will have the last word on this topic today: "It is absurd to hurry: this shows a lack of understanding and respect and may be an occasion of scandal" (Byzantine Daily Worship, Alleluia Press: 1969).
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Presentation of the Lord

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Presentation of the Lord PdeChampaigne.jpgIn honor of the divine mystery that we celebrate today, let us all hasten to meet Christ. Everyone should be eager to join the procession and to carry a light. Our lighted candle are a sign of the divine splendor of the One who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of His eternal light. Our candles show us how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ.

from a homily of Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
Office of Readings

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 February 2011.

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

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

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