Friday, October 22, 2010

The New Mass Translation-Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Yes, I am reduced to blatantly ripping off bad 70's pop songs. I have been trying to feel out information on the approach of a certain liturgist and the parish dynamics. With the new translation, there are wonderfully talented composers and chant specialists making certain that every parish could have sung propers and ordinary in English and Latin. The idea being that some parishes may need to start with simple chants in English, but that they would learn that:

1) The introit is sufficient for an opening procession and it is always appropriate for the day.

2) The psalms are meant to be chanted

3) The offertory & communion antiphons are always appropriate for the day and the communion antiphon would be no problem for congregations to sing.

Anyway, I was talking with this person about the new translation and the person indicated it was almost as if we were saying or would have to explain that the early 1970’s translation was wrong. I said exactly, though I understand there is hesitation to come right out and say it. This is not an infallible issue, so I will be blunt- if I had turned in a translation from Latin like the current English translation of the mass to any of my language teachers, I would have gotten a D. Entire phrases were left out (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), verbs were “translated” in the wrong tense (Credo = I believe, not we believe) etc. It was done to bring a certain “feeling” to the mass, but in the late 60’s and 70’s things were, well, even I had a green polyester suit including a poncho with orange pom poms (mom made it!). This translation is perhaps one step in recovering the sacred.

Our Holy Father may be under a lot of pressure from the forces of status quo, but I am praying there is something promulgated indicating that the preferred way to receive communion is kneeling and on the tongue. I think this would do so much to recover the sense of the Eucharist and Who we receive during communion. The fact that it is more sanitary is just an added bonus.

It never ceases to amaze me that there are Methodists (like my mother) who are kneeling to receive communion at their churches and as far as they are concerned it is just a symbol, yet we Catholics know (or should know) we are, as Jesus stated in the Bible, receiving His Body, Blood Soul and Divinity and in most parishes, we have no choice but to stand.

In the Got Mail, department, I received my copy of The Office Of Compline today. Very crunchy (notes that is). I like.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diurnal/Brevarium Romanum vs Liturgia Horarum Round !

I do prefer the TLM and I make no apologies. My preference would be to have the ability to go to a TLM every day of the week (ie including daily masses). It would make it so much easier to just follow one calendar instead of having my feet in both OF and EF form worlds. The benefit to being two-footed, though, it it reminds me to pray and try to do what I can to encourage the Reform of the Reform.

I have been struggling with a change in our family routine that has been making my attempts to pray from the 1962 Breviary....non-existent many days. I have the 1 volume Benedictine Diurnal, but the offices's were just longer in 1962. Even in English, Lauds is just longer than the liturgy of the hours (LOTH). I do have Fr. Stravinskas' 1 volume Lauds and Vespers, but it does not have the offices of Saints and of course it is based on OF. I think I am going to try it, in addition to Compline from the Ignatius Press, so I can make certain I am faithful to the prayer I am called to pray as part of my Carmelite vocation. I found a couple of sites with the LOTH in Latin so I can print off office for saint's days.

I will re-evalute this once Baronius comes out with their reprint of the Collegeville Breviarium Romanum. There was a discussion earlier this week on Fr. Z's blog about the very issue of consistency in liturgical worship. My main goal, though, is to try to be faithful and pray, and not get hung up on sides of the debate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Modesy vs the Vulgarity-Deal with it Crowd

There was an article by the Washington Post style editor regarding a teen actress/singer who gained fame, money and a legion of tween and pre-teen fans and whose latest performances in former years, would have only been seen on a burlesque stage or "mens" club. After pooh poohing critics who labeled the girl's latest exploit vulgar (making me wonder if she knows the meaning of that word), the writer literally told concerned parents to just deal with it, it is just a phase and the girl is seeking not to be a poorly adjusted former child star.

I, for one, will not deal with it because my number one job as a parent is to raise up my children for God and to raise them in a way that will set them on a path they can follow to heaven. Really. Comments like that article and other things I have noticed are what have led me to make a concerted effort in the past year and a half to model modesty and femininity for my daughter and to stress the importance of modesty to her. Unless our society wakes up and states changing, she will live in a world that has lost its sense of modesty and decorum, but there are still those who know and value those qualities.

If we "get over it" we cannot be surprised to wake up and find our daughter's devalued and used and our son's incapable of being men who can love a wife and lead a family.

Modest and appropriate dress in church is a start. For Catholics, when we go to mass, Jesus is truly present in the tabernacle, period. Because our God is Triune, but One God, church is truly God's house and God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit are present. Because Jesus is always attended by angels, Angels are there. I never understand why someone who, if they were going to meet the president at the White House, would not hesitate to dress up would think jeans or a low cut top or spaghetti straps or shorts is ok to wear to church because it is comfortable or clean or because it is hot outside. We are going into the presence of God to Worship.

Modest skirts are easier to find because longer skirts have been "in" at alot of retailers. Blouses can be a challenge and with girls the challenge is finding skirts and dresses long enough. There are a lot of retailers with cute dresses and skirts, but too many of them are just barely at the knee if not above.



I HIGHLY recommend Phyllisjean for beautifully made womens and girls blouses. I have gotten rid of all of my other blouses that always tended to gape. They have beautifully feminine skirts and girls jumpers and bloomers (so they can run and jump and tumble and play, yet still be modest.) A special shout out for their modest doll dresses, which so enchanted my daughter that her doll babies have not been naked for weeks.
And you know that thing about keeping the Sabbath day holy (which should mean no shopping) that we all to often ignore. You will not be buying on Sunday as they shut down the sales part of their store. You can look at the selections, but no buying until Monday.


I will write more about head veiling later. In short, to those who argue that it is not in the current code of a cannon law, by 1983, there was a definite trend to ignore things being done that were not permitted then to just give in and allow them so no way were they even going to attempt to deal with the issue of veiling.

I found this shop on Etsy through a post on another blog. Beautiful and reasonably priced women's veils made by a homeschooling mother. Not just triangles, but round veils and princess style in soft laces.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Latin Chant News & Compline Arrives

And two posts for me in one day! Wonders never cease :)

The first is that a book of Compline (LOTH version) by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB is now available from Ignatius Press. It has the Office of Compline with chants in Latin and on the facing page in English for the entire church year, all seasons. This is the "new" Compline, not the Tridentine and it is geared for families, churches, congretations etc to promote praying the wonderful prayers to close the day. The hyms have been newly translated (Deo gratias!) because next to the psalm prayers, the hymns in the LOTH....could be better (trying to be nice).

Here is the write up at

Office of Compline

Availability: - In Stock
ISBN: 9781586174552
Author: Fr. Samuel F. Weber O.S.B.
Length: 148 pages
Edition: Hardcover
Code: OFCO-H
Retail Price: $18.95
Sale Price: $16.11

ALSO has all of the information on the Winter Chant Intensive which will take place this coming January in New Orleans. It is a chance for a week to immerse yourself in chant and you do not have to be an expert or near expert. Scott Turkington is a WONDERFUL teacher and he has a gift to make the neumes (chant notes, ie crunchy notes) as instinctive as they were meant to be. Dr. William Marhrt will also be there for experienced chanters. Basically, if you go with just a basic knowledge of chant, you can leave being able to either form and lead a schola or be a good solid member of your schola. Usually, there is another intensive before the big CMAA summer chant colloquium, but this next year Easter is so late. Anyway, I so wish I could go, but spread the word and register fast. It does fill up. Also, if you know a seminarian interested and you have the means, wonderful gift to the seminarian and to the church and His future (God willing) parishioners.

January 3-7, 2011
Old St. Patrick’s Church
New Orleans, Louisiana
Instructors: Dr. William Mahrt and Scott Turkington

Modesty and Worship- yes I am going there!

I have posted and observed discussions on modesty on some discussion boards that ended up degenerating into factions. One is of those who hold it is not that difficult for a girl or woman to manage wearing a dress or skirt to mass, one that thinks nice pants suits are ok those(usually women)who swear that the fact that woman's pants are tailored for women mean pants are women's clothes now and hey "Jesus wore a dress".

One of the benefits of having a blog is my blog, my rules :)

We live in strange and perilous times. I am well aware that sentiment has been shared by others in prior decades or centuries. The difference now is, by the grace of God, man has made great strides in knowledge of our world, technology etc and we have a much higher capability for destruction on many levels. One example, even 100 years ago, most parents could expect to have at least one of their children die if not more of diseases or situations that are either preventable today or easily cured after a visit to your pediatrician. Children were seen, as per the Bible, as a blessing and a gift. Now, too often they are a convenience and it is legal to kill them before they are born just because.

If you live in North America or Europe, you live in a culture informed by western civilization and in that civilization, pants were men's clothes and dresses or skirts were women's clothes. Yes, I know of Scotland and the kilt, but I know of no other and the kilt was still different as women still wore full length skirts. Anyone who was brought or came to America, was inculturated in some aspect of the European culture which was brought here. Even for those of us who also have African and or Native American roots, there were differences in men's and women clothes.

In short, the push for women to wear and to be able to wear pants everywhere was pushed in the 1960's and 1970's as part of the same cultural push to mandate the amount of children must be controlled and minimized and women should/must work outside the home. I remember being incensed when I was about 10 at a letter to Ann Landers or Dear Abby from a man stating he wished women would stop wearing pants to work and everywhere. I thought about writing a letter back because in my opinion, dresses and skirts were too cold in the winter and pantyhose are uncomfortable. That is true if you are wearing what society considers a dress or skirt. Quite the opposite if you do it right and no hindrance or lack of modesty to an active toddler, again if you do it right.

One aspect of my childhood attending protestant churches is it was always assumed that you wore Sunday best to church. It did not have to be fancy, just clean and for girls or women, a dress or skirt. Does God care what we wear? Not in the sense that he cares what color you wear or whether it is from Target or Macy's. God is God and when we go to Mass we are going to worship God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to partake of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. I don't think it is too much that we women make certain what we are wearing is modest and feminine.

More in my next post and I will also discuss head coverings.

Note, lest anyone think I am casting stones or being overly critical- I know a woman who is married and they have 10 blessings. She home schools their children and the entire family goes to a 7am daily mass every day (and they do not dash in at the last second). The wife and daughters wear head coverings to mass, and I wish I had my life half as organized and engaged in the church militant as she does. And she and her daughters have jeans and appropriate shirts on at daily mass (but never on Sunday).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are You Zealous for the Lord God of Hosts?

Solemnity of St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin, doctor of the Church

No this is not a typo. For OCDS Carmelites, today is a solemnity and for O.Carm's it is a feast. One of these years I am going to celebrate this feast at at a Carmelite monastery or a parish with St. Teresa as it's patron saint. Due to running late this morning, I was able to attend a mass where the priest did celebrate the memorial and he gave an excellent homily.

Father reminded us that St. Teresa experienced a spiritual dryness of almost 20 years where she prayed, but did not feel anything. Yes, "feeling" is often over-rated, but there is an emotional component to our faith that God often graces us with. God knows what we can bear and there are many of us (me) who may not be able to perservere if not for the consolations God gifts to us. St. Teresa perservered and trusted in God.

The Carmelite motto is based on the words of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, "With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts". Have you been, can you be zealous for God? The past month or two I have been reflecting a bit on the fact that I am part of the Church Militant and as such, I need to make certain I am in the fight. Not in a confrontational "I am right and you are wrong and must listen" but in prayer and testifying to the Truth through my words and work. As St. Francis of Assisi is supposed to have said, "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary use words. I need to ask myself each day, am I being zealous?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gregorian Chant has Pride of Place in Latin Rite- really

And not just in OF.

Despite those who persist in proclaiming that protestant hymns, campfire ditties or songs in various languages unite us, the Church has never stopped stating that the Latin language and Gregorian chant- are central to the Latin Rite.

I saw this link at the Chant Cafe blog and I wish all of the bishops who have resisted Latin and any mass in Latin would learn from had the attitude of Bishop Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WI.

Chant as our prayer at Mass

I find myself almost forced to mention the workshop on Gregorian chant which the diocese sponsored last Friday night and Saturday morning. For me it was one of those benchmark events since I have been in the Diocese of Madison. Easily over 80 people were in attendance — we were almost too large a group for the venue to which we were assigned — and the presentations by Fr. Robert Skeris, of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a master presenter and scholar in the area of Church music, were both profound and excellent. His enthusiasm stirred a great deal of enthusiasm among those present.

And after about two and a half hours of practice, those present were able beautifully to sing the whole Mass (Novus Ordo) in Latin, using Gregorian chant. The beauty of this kind of prayer impressed itself on all of us who were there and made the Church’s preference for Gregorian chant seem much more reasonable, and the chant itself seem much more “doable.”

When we think of Gregorian chant as our prayer at Mass, not something that somehow accompanies our prayer but which embodies in sound the prayer itself, we start to think very differently about Church music in general.

This is certainly part of the renewal of the liturgy that we are seeking to accomplish in preparation for the First Sunday of Advent 2011, when we will begin to use the new English Translations of the Roman Missal, but it is also to recover the kind of sacramental attitude with which all of us should approach our full, active, and fruitful participation in the liturgy. Much more needs to be said about this, and indeed, much more will be said about it in the days ahead.

Yes, more complex chants can be more difficult, just as a Beethoven piano piece is more difficult than the Mary Had a Little Lamb that a beginning piano student might learn. The chant is quite intuitive- it was developed FOR singers. As for Latin, if you speak English as I do, our language received much from Latin. The most challenging thing for me is remembering to pronounce "in" not as an American "ehn", but een, lol.

Also, I finally uploaded a picture of me to my blog. I tend to take pictures more than be in them and I don't like many pictures of myself. At least this may prove I DO exist.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Calendar Finds-aka how to avoid your mind playing tricks on you

I must admit that given my choice, I would love to belong to a parish that was strictly TLM. One of the hazards/challenges of attending daily mass in the OF and Sundays in the EF is keeping track of what feast day it is, what saint is being commemorated and what is the liturgical color for the day. And don't get me started on what week in Ordinary time it is in any given week.

We have an Infant of Prague statue with vestments for all of the liturgical colors: white, green, red and purple (no rose yet, but that color is for only two Sundays a year) as a way of teaching our daughter the seasons of the liturgical year as well a way of sanctifying the year.

So, in the post Vatican II period, the seasons of time were renamed, liturgical remembrances were jettisoned (Ember Days) and saint's feast days were moved around, feast days are not celebrated on the correct day, but on the following Sunday (Ascension). Case in point, this past Friday was the Solemnity (for OCDS Carmelites) of St. Therese of Liseux in the NO, but that feast is today in the EF (though suppressed by the Sunday except in those parish's whose patron is St. Therese or for Carmelites.

The result, is almost every week a disconnect between what we are praying at Sunday mass and in my breviary (Benedictine Diurnal) and what we are praying at mass during the week. Once during Pentecost season (I think) this past May, I thought Father was wearing red because of the season but it was for a martyr who had a different feast day in the EF.

So, what is an already busy mom to do? One BIG help has been a wall calendar I found at a bookstore last year. In one of my web searches a few months ago, I found the company that makes the calendar and some other wonderful items. It is a calendar that has what the season and feast is for EF and OF. What really sets this one apart is it also has a guide to the liturgical color for both EF and OF. I know Tan Books also has a dual calendar that has both forms, but it does not indicate the liturgical colors. I also have an EF wall calendar from Seraphim at work (because it is smaller) but it does not help with knowing what the OF is that day.

I highly recommend you check out the Saints Galore calendar. They also make a lovely rosary book that has the prayers in Latin, English and Spanish and a pro-life luggage tag as well as lovely holy cards, and cards including spiritual & prayer bouquets and name day cards.

I get no money for this, I am just a satisfied customer who is a lot less confused.