Friday, 7 July 2017

Ten years of Summorum Pontificum

Decimo recurrente anniversario fautissimae evulgationis litterarum apostolicarum, quas Summorum Pontificum incipiunt, foris a Benedicto XVI suo motu proprio datarum, cogitationes nostras de eodem successu hic proferamus.

Happy 10th anniversary!

La misa
Salvador Tuset Tuset, s.f.
Colección privada

Summorum Pontificum was written to address the status quo and make everyone’s lives easier: priests would no longer need to apply for an indult; bishops would no longer need to decide whether to grant or deny such application; and the faithful would now have easier access to the Traditional Latin Mass. Overhead, what the motu proprio envisioned looked tantalisingly easy, but human behaviour, and the purpose of the document itself, is much, much more complicated.

Many clung to the hope that Summorum Pontificum, by lifting the traditional strictures that hampered access to the Old Rite, would little by little gain for this Old Rite wider and wider acceptance to such a point where, in every parish throughout the world, it would coexist with the New Rite, even surpass it, or dare we say supplant it. Ten years is quite a time, but not sufficient to scale the mountain this goal represented. The problem with this vision is the absence of a failsafe mechanism for spreading the Old Rite. The truth is, the motu proprio does not provide any instruction or encouragement whatsoever on propagating the usus antiquior. It is an edict of universal toleration and permission, not a blueprint for the restoration of Tradition.

The motu proprio puts most of the burden on the faithful who wish to attend the Traditional Mass. The faithful are its principal preoccupation. In one homily by a priest regularly offering the Traditional Latin Mass, he observes how today’s Catholics automatically construe faithful as only comprising of the lay, as though priests, bishops, nuns, among others, were a different species altogether. This indeed is a tragedy of modern Catholic thought. Putting so great an emphasis on pastoral care, pastoral reason, and whatever other pastoral affairs there be, has so compartmentalised our thinking to the point of appropriating said term solely for the non-ordained and the non-consecrated amongst us. Be that is it may, however saddening it is, we shall employ this impaired distinction, given that Summorum Pontificum more than once uses it as well.

In many places, Summorum Pontificum charges bishops and priests to accede to the requests of the faithful who would petition for the Old Rite, but it never instructs pastors to spread the word about it. The possibility of opening a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass is juxtaposed against the existence of a coetus fidelium. Priests can freely admit the faithful into the Masses they would celebrate privately according to the Old Rite, which they can offer anytime they want; yet their admission is predicated on the condition that they asked to attend so of their own free will, which would at least require prior knowledge of and immediate desire for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Of feasts, and modernists with veils

There is a new moniker flying about criticising Catholics who, while self-identifying as Traditionalists, submit to the transferred feast days as determined by local Episcopal Conferences. They are called “modernists with veils”, a sort of modern-day spin to what Holy Writ eloquently calls “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Certain transferred feasts do trigger universal pain amongst Traditionalists. Take, for example, Epiphany and the Ascension. The PCED, affirming that the EF calendar is intrinsic to the celebration of the Traditional Mass, has already clarified that Traditional communities cannot transfer the feasts but, rather, at best, can observe an external solemnity on the Sundays on which the feasts are transferred. These communities are bound to keep the feast on its proper day.

El Corpus Christi
Arcadio Mas y Fondevila, hacia 1887
Museo del Prado

We are again nearing a feast day that has been transferred to the Sunday in many national calendars. For the Philippines, Corpus Christi is fixed on the Sunday after Trinitytide. Corpus Christi Thursday, de facto, is a feastless day in the ordinary Filipino parish. Of course, for Traditionalists, Thursday remains as the proper feast day, while the Sunday afterwards is an external solemnity. But some people like to think that the reality wherein Traditionalists forego the fanfares of Thursday (a working day in the archipelago) and move all gaieties to the Sunday after it is tantamount to an irrevocable admission of modernism.

We sense two platitudes here: on one hand, we have the restorationists; on the other, the revivalists. The first aim to reinstate Tradition as they think it ought to have been lived; the latter, to relive Tradition as they think it had been lived. Since we are on the subject of Corpus Christi, let us examine what Tradition in the Philippines has for us. For good measure, let us limit ourselves to the Archdiocese of Manila, in whose ecclesiastical province we are now circumscribed.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Pentecost Sunday A.D. 2017

On 04 June 2017, Pentecost Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the new chapel of the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines. In choir was the Cappella Gregoriana S. Cæciliæ olim Xicatunensis.


At the procession; during the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the chanting of the Gospel.




Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Vigil of Pentecost A.D. 2017

On 03 June 2017, Whitsun Eve, the Vigil and the Mass afterwards were celebrated at the new chapel of the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines. In choir was the Cappella Gregoriana S. Cæciliæ olim Xicatunensis.


At the chanting of the prophecies and collects during the Vigil; at the chanting of the Gospel during Mass.




Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Our Fatima connection

We are now less than a month shy of the centenary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. To say that the Filipino devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is great is an oversimplification. While describing it in detail would be too monumental a task for us, we offer a simple expression of our devotion to Our Lady that is not so often highlighted.

Our Lady of Fatima
(source)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter Sunday A.D. 2017

On 16 April 2017Easter Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the new chapel of the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines. In choir was the Cappella Gregoriana S. Cæciliæ olim Xicatunensis.


At the procession; during the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the chanting of the Gospel.




Saturday, 15 April 2017

Holy Saturday A.D. 2017

Holy Saturday is the last day of the Sacred Triduum, the final day the Church observes in silence and recollection as a prelude to the great joy and exultation in the Resurrection of the Lord. On Holy Saturday, we spend our hours by the tomb of the Lord, Who died for us. On Holy Saturday, the Vigil of Easter was celebrated in new chapel of the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines. In choir was the Cappella Gregoriana S. Cæciliæ olim Xicatunensis.


The ceremonies began with the blessing of the new fire.
Deus, qui per Fílium tuum, angulárem scílicet lápidem, claritátis tuae ignem fidélibus contulísti : prodúctum e sílice, nostris profutúrum úsibus, novum hunc ignem sanctífica : et concéde nobis, ita per haec festa paschália a coeléstibus desidérii inflammári ; ut ad perpétua claritátis, puris méntibus, valéamus festa pertíngere. Per eúmdem Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Véniat, quaésumus, omnípotens Deus, super hoc incénsum larga tuæ benedictiónis infúsio : et hunc noctúrnum splendórem invisíbilis regenerátor accénde ; ut non solum sacrifícium, quod hac nocte litátum est, arcána lúminis tui admixtióne refúlgeat ; sed in quocúmque loco ex hujus sanctificatiónis mystério aliquid fúerit deportátum, expúlsa diabólicae fraudis nequítia, virtus tuae maiestátis assístat. Per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Amen.