Showing posts with label Mass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mass. Show all posts

Friday, November 11, 2016

3 Chords & the Truth: Requiem aeternam Americae

Requiem aeternam dona ets, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ets.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam,
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona ets, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ets.

Kyrie eleison. 
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Dies irae, dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus
Quando judex est venturus
Cuncta stricte discussurus.

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulcra regionum
Coget omnes ante thronum.

MORS slopebit et natora
Cum resurget creatura
Judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur
In quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit
Quidquid latet apparebit,
Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
Quem patronum togaturus,
Cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
Salve me, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae,
Ne me perdas ilia die.

Quaerens me sedisti lassus,
Redemisti crucem passus,
Tamus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.

lngemisco tamquam reus,
Culpa rubet vultus meus,
Supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sum dignae,
Sed tu bonus fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremet igne.

Inter oves locurn praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parle dextra.

Confutatis maledictis
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis,
Gere curam mei finis.

Lacrimosa dies ilia
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus,
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona els requiem.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Help! Help! We're being repressed!

The Mass, it is a changin'.

And all the folks who were so enthusiastic about all the changes to the central prayer of the Catholic Church four decades ago -- and indifferent to how those changes rocked the world of ordinary folks in the pews -- suddenly have become liturgical populists.

Those who never heard a prayer of the church they couldn't change at will, for political correctness' or gender equity's sake, now worry that changing the order of the Roman Mass after a mere two years of "pre-teaching" will drive Catholics right out of the church and be a stumbling block to others who might have come in from the spiritual cold.

You can read about the leader of the resistance
in The Seattle Times, or you can read his call to arms . . . er, call to wait? . . . er, declaration that Pope Benedict XVI and the American bishops are mean, mean men (and wholly undemocratic, too) in America magazine here.

BUT I WANT you to take something into account.

Folks who are convinced the bishops and Holy Father are being mean, shortsighted and authoritarian -- authoritarian, no less, in a hierarchical organization going back two millennia -- just because they're taking away familiar-but-faulty Mass language are applying the paradigm of consumerism to the paradigm of the sacred.

Consumerism has no problem with telling people all the lies their fallen nature wants to hear if that's what it takes to get them in the door and relieve them of all that cash taking up space in their wallets. What the Catholic Church is supposed to be about is something completely different. Like truth.

If the present English-language Novus Ordo (the "new order" of the Mass established by the Second Vatican Council) is further from the truth than the original Latin text of the supreme prayer of the Church, why wouldn't we want to fix it ASAP? The bottom line is that if a translation does not conform to the message intended in the original, then it -- no matter how damn popular and familiar -- is telling people something slightly off about the nature of the Mass, the nature of God and the nature of ourselves.

That is never a good thing -- particularly in a lie-dominated age such as ours.

GOD IS TRUTH. Jesus is the Word incarnate. Our supreme duty as Catholics -- and as human beings -- is to the truth. And the Truth.

"Spirit of Vatican II" people now say they're "hanging on by their fingernails" because the bishops made an executive decision -- based on scholarship and at the command of the Vicar of Christ -- about the one thing that's absolutely their responsibility and not ours? Well, I've been freakin' hanging on by my fingernails for a long time now because truth has become apocryphal in so much the Church does (and is) nowadays.

What's important now is the Almighty Dollar and getting asses in pews, so that they might offer up their Almighty Dollars. And it seems to me that ever since I've been Catholic (and for a couple of decades before that, at least) the main thing being sacrificed at the Mass is beauty, good taste and any sense that it's all about Jesus Christ crucified and risen -- as opposed to how incredibly neato keen all us white-bread suburban Catholics are.

I am sure that a lot of the people upset about the coming rejiggering of the Mass -- truly -- are holier, better people that I. Even so, they're not going to get to Heaven on their own. And what has come to pass for contemporary Catholicism ain't helping matters.

IF YOU ASK ME, everything from The Scandals to the extreme solipsism effectively encouraged among the laity is of one piece, indicating that we all hold something very, very dear . . . and that it ain't Jesus Christ. Or even our suffering brothers and sisters (see Curtiss, Elden and his Big Ass $380,000 Retired Archbishop Bachelor Pad right here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska).

I was raised entirely unchurched by People With Issues . . . chief among them that they didn't like people. My mother was raised by people who were desperately poor and found it more important to Not Be Embarrassed Further than to make sure their raggedy kids were confirmed and churched (or, for that matter, even educated).

I did not come to the Catholic Church at age 29 to be entertained or coddled. Frankly, I can entertain myself far better on Sundays than by sitting through Marty Haugen's Greatest Hits (a.k.a. Short Bus Dinner Theater) and listening to middle-aged women frantically trying to not use third-person masculine pronouns while reciting the prayers of the church. (Well, actually, that is kind of entertaining, but I digress.)

I came to the Catholic Church at age 29 because I had come to the end of myself, and it seemed a reasonable alternative to blowing my brains out . . . which itself would have been a reasonable alternative to becoming My Parents v 2.0. I came to the Catholic Church because of an aunt and uncle who managed not to fall away despite everything, because I sensed that, in some way, Catholicism was a part of who I was despite my upbringing in a church-free, pagan version of Southern Presbyterianism.

I came to the Catholic Church because it had stood since Jesus founded it, because what I needed was unvarnished truth, and because I figured that if any church would tell me straight up what the deal was -- even though it might be the last thing I wanted to hear -- that would be the one.

Twenty years later, I put up with feckless bishops, raging ecclesiastical identity crises, white-bread suburban religiosity that will tolerate letting Jesus out of the tabernacle for just about an hour a week (but no more) because I still think that's true. That's why *I'm* hanging on by *my* fingernails.

I'M HANGING ON by my fingernails because I'm a lousy, rotten, sinful son of a bitch prone to making a damned mess of things. I'm hanging on by my fingernails because I know I have nowhere else to go, and that if I do go, that's pretty much it for me.

And every time the church chooses expedience over truth, the closer I draw -- the closer we all draw -- to the abyss.

Flannery O'Connor once told a friend that if the Eucharist were just a symbol and not the true Body and Blood of Christ "then to hell with it." I am an O'Connor Catholic. And if the Mass -- the prayer of the universal church -- is just, in effect, a marketing ploy existing to attract converts and placate the regulars, then to hell with it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Context is everything

From that magnificent Year of Our Lord 1961, this is sublime.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet (he's on piano) performing "Take Five" -- written by alto-sax man Paul Desmond -- in glorious black and white . . . and monophonic sound. (And why isn't there more good jazz on TV nowadays?):

FROM THE Year of Our Inner Barbarian 2007, Ernest Sands' "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" is not only highly derivative, to say the least, but in the context of the sacrifice of the Mass certainly brings home the concept of "pick up your cross and follow me."

Preferably to a church where there's a music-free Mass.

And this video represents this song sung as well as it ever will be:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Revolution will not be in Gather.

The Revolution will not be in your Gather hymnal.

The Revolution will not have a soundtrack written by Marty Haugen or warbled by the St. Louis Jesuits.

THE REVOLUTION will not be proclaimed on felt banners, nor will how it makes me feel be discussed in small groups.

The Revolution will have no liturgical dancers.

The Revolution will not be banalized, will not be banalized, will not be banalized, will not be banalized, will not be banalized.

The Revolution will help you figure out just who the hell we are.

Saturday's Washington Post proclaims The Revolution -- started this year by Pope Benedict XVI:

Parts of it are 1,500 years old, it's difficult to understand, and it's even more challenging to watch. And it's catching on among young Catholics.

It's the traditional Latin Mass, a formal worship service that is making a comeback after more than 40 years of moldering in the Vatican basement.

In September, Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on celebrating Latin Mass, frequently called the Tridentine Mass, citing "a new and renewed" interest in the ancient Latin liturgy, especially among younger Catholics.

Spoken or sung entirely in sometimes inaudible Latin by priests who face the altar instead of the congregation, it is a radical departure for most Catholics, who grew up attending a more informal Mass celebrated in their native tongue.

"It's the opposite of the cacophony that comes with the [modern] Mass," said Ken Wolfe, 34, a federal government worker who goes to up to four Latin Masses a week in the Washington area. "There's no guitars and handshaking and breaks in the Mass where people talk to each other. It's a very serious liturgy."

And it is a hit with younger priests and their parishioners.

Attendance at the Sunday noon Mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean has doubled to 400 people since it began celebrating in Latin. Most of the worshipers are under 40, said the Rev. Franklyn McAfee.

Younger parishioners "are more reflective," McAfee said. "They want something uplifting when they go to church. They don't want something they can get outside."


Priests, musicians and laypeople are snapping up how-to videos and books, signing up for workshops and viewing online tutorials with step-by-step instructions on the elaborately choreographed liturgy. For example, the rubrics dictate that a priest must hold together the thumb and index finger of each hand for much of the Canon of the Mass, the central part of the liturgy that culminates with the consecration of bread and wine.

"I knew there would be some interest, but I didn't know how quickly it would spread and how really deep the interest was," said the Rev. Scott Haynes, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago who started a Web site in August offering instructions in celebrating the Mass.

So far, the Web site,, has received 1 million hits, Haynes said, adding that he receives several hundred e-mails a day from fans of the service. "I was surprised by how many people have latched on to this," he said.

Portions of the Tridentine Mass date back to the sixth century, but it was standardized at the Council of Trent in 1570 -- hence the name Tridentine. It was largely supplanted by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which modernized the Mass liturgy and translated it into modern languages.

The modern Mass, or Novus Ordo, can be said in Latin, but it is a radically different service from the Tridentine Mass. Until September, when the pope issued his Motu Proprio allowing greater freedom in celebrating the Tridentine Mass, priests who wanted to celebrate it needed special permission from their bishop, and it was celebrated at only a few churches in the Washington area.

In the Diocese of Arlington, where the bishop and priests are considered more conservative than in Washington, the number of churches where the service is celebrated has increased from two to seven since the Motu Proprio. The Arlington diocese, which stretches from Northern Virginia south to Lancaster and west to the Shenandoah, has sent six priests to a training center in Nebraska, at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter seminary, for an intensive seminar.