Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Resurrection

All of the posts under the "Resurrection" category.

The Liturgy of the Crucifixion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass as:

The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name. CCC 1330

We also read in the Baltimore Catechism:

The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

(a) The name “Mass” comes from the Latin word Missa meaning dismissal. In the early days of the Church the catechumens were asked to leave after the gospel and sermon were finished. The faithful, however, remained until they were dismissed after the sacrifice was completed. Then, as now, this was done by saying or singing Ite Missa Est. In the course of time the word Missa, or dismissal, was used to designate the entire sacrifice. BC 357

In short, the Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in which Jesus Christ is fully present in the form of bread and wine. When you go to Mass, this is the image you should be reminded of.

Jesus Crucified

When we see this image of Jesus bloodied and dying on the cross, we are witnessing this at Mass. We enter into this mystery. With the Novus Ordo, and its countless variables at each Mass, we must ask ourselves a serious question. Would this be appropriate if you were at the foot of the cross?

Contemporary Music

Praise and worship music would be inappropriate as it possesses no solemnity, that is, no respect for the dignity of the Holy Sacrifice. Praise and worship music, by its essence and intent, is upbeat, which elicits a response of happiness. Playing a guitar before Christ Crucified and singing “Gather Us In, the Rich and the Haughty” is insulting. If you disagree, imagine yourself dying a wrongful death upon a cross, suffocating in agony and a group of people singing this song. What would you think of them? What would you be tempted to say to them?

Gregorian Chant possesses the somber tone which from antiquity instills reverence and awe. Pope St. Pius X instated in his Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini (Instruction on Sacred Music):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

Gregorian Chant is the only form of music which will draw us into these Heavenly mysteries.

Standing During the Consecration and Receiving Communion

Standing is inappropriate as this is not just some man dying, but our Lord. When a mother loses her child, she does not stand, but rather, she collapses. She collapses over the despair of losing her beloved child. She collapses at the horror of never seeing him again. She collapses in grief and sorrow.

Much like any of us would collapse after tragically losing a loved one, we too should collapse to our knees out of grief and agony for the loss of Jesus, because He is our Lord. With the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity. We should kneel out of respect and humility as He has dominion over us.

During the Consecration, we should kneel as the Holy Ghost descends upon the bread and wine and transubstantiates the Essence it into the Most Holy Eucharist. We kneel to receive Him because He is our Lord and only hands that have been consecrated to bring forth His transfiguration should touch Him. Those brave men who have been ordained to the priesthood or the diaconate have hands consecrated to touch Him.

Remember the conversion of St. Thomas, in John 20: 24 – 29. Thomas, both doubting and boastful, sees Jesus for the first time since their Last Supper together and the Betrayal in the Garden. Is it too much to imagine that Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, would jump up and run to Him, calling, “My Lord!” in excitement? And then, realizing that the Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side are neither bloody nor healed, immediately fall to his knees, his face to the floor, exclaiming, “My God!” in breathless ecstasy and adoration? It all happens together, in that Eternal Moment of Sanctification.

If only hands have that have been consecrated to touch Him are allowed, then logically Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should not be allowed, as their hands have not been consecrated. While I understand the distribution of Holy Communion would take much longer, this should never, ever be a hindrance at the Mass, but a benefit. During this time, we should be offering prayers of Thanksgiving to Our Lord for allowing us to receive Him worthily. We should bring our prayer intentions to the Lord, focusing on His Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, and thanking Him for paying the debt which we cannot pay. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by noise, this provides ample opportunity to pray in silence before our Crucified Lord.

Clapping

Pope Benedict XVI, while still Josef Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” Spirit of the Liturgy

applause

Applause is used to signify an accomplishment of an individual or group. It is not meant for the Mass, especially when we remember that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ Crucified. We would not applaud someone else while we are standing before Christ dying on the cross. We should not clap while we are at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The focus of the Mass is not us, but on Christ.

This includes all aspects of the Mass, even when the Mass is concluded. We are in the House of God, present before Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. We do not applaud the choir, nor any other individual or group of individuals. We read in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Altar Girls

Only men can be elevated to the calling of the priesthood. Many priests, while not all, were formed and called during their time as altar boys. A direct correlation has been observed between having altar girls and boys no longer being interested in serving at the altar. When boys are not interested, they may not heed their calling to a Vocation of Holy Orders.

When boys and young men miss their vocation to the priesthood, we are left in the vocations crisis that we are currently facing. Parishes are closing because we do not have any priests to minister to them.

These are but a few examples of abuses that we should aim to eliminate from the Mass if we want to restore a sense of the sacred. Prayerfully consider encouraging your pastor to begin removing elements that are not aimed at bringing forth reverence to Our Lord.

Jeff October 12, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

Christ is Risen!

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. How thrilling. Not only did Christ die for our sins, but He conquered death and is now glorified.

As I mentioned yesterday, Jesus was not given the proper burial according to Jewish law. So, since today the Sabbath would be over for the Jews, Mary the mother of James and St. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. Each account is slightly different but here is Mark’s account.

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'” (Mark 16:1-7)

How awesome! This is the reading that took place at the Vigil Masses for this year. Now, first off, we see in Mark’s version, it was St. Mary Magdalene, James’ mother and Salome who went to the tomb. In Matthew’s account it is only St. Mary Magdalene and James’ mother. Luke says St. Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Jame’s mother were there.  Finally, John only makes mention of St. Mary Magdalene. I believe I mentioned yesterday that Our Lady, was there, but I believe I was confusing her with Mary the mother of James. However, we know that Mary Magdalene was there.

Now, the first of the week would be Sunday, as the day AFTER the Sabbath is the first day. God worked on days 1-6 to create the Earth and all the creatures and everything on it, and rested on the 7th. The 7th day being Saturday as Saturday was the Sabbath. The women worried about removing the stone as well, the stone was a huge circular disc placed in front of the tomb to make sure no one could get in. What we don’t see in this reading is how when the women tell Peter and the other disciples that Jesus is no longer in the tomb, they don’t believe them. But, Peter after a few moments runs out to the tomb to see for himself and then believes. I always find this funny because there is so much emotion going on that it is such a misunderstanding and who knows what is going on in everybody’s heads at the time.

Jesus, now raised, has fulfilled what He said in Luke 9:22 He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Having a glorified body, Jesus is no longer bound by simple walls and the like. In the glorified state, we can walk through anything! How cool is that?

Jesus, now present on this Earth again, brings hope and joy for all of us. How blessed we are to have such a loving God. Go forth this Easter season with a renewed sense of wonder and happiness. Lent is over. This doesn’t mean you can go back to your old ways, but you must now begin life as a new creature, a new creation.

Allow the spiritual growth that you ended with at the end of Lent, be the beginning to the spiritual growth that you will endure the rest of the year. Don’t sink back into the hole that you have came from, but continue on your spiritual and faith journey walking farther and farther away from that hole.

Christ is Risen!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Holy Saturday

It is now Holy Saturday, the last day in the Triduum. Jesus descended into Hell to redeem the world after His death on the cross yesterday. Jesus is not resting, He is redeeming! In some sense, today is a day of mourning. It is also a day of celebration as we know that tomorrow Christ will rise again from the dead and conquer death. Through His death and resurrection, He has redeemed the world.

Now, Jesus was placed in the tomb immediately after His death. Normally, the Jews would prepare the body with ointments and oils and herbs before burying the dead. However, since Jesus was crucified on Friday, and the Jewish Sabbath began at sundown Friday evening, there was no time to give Jesus the proper burial. He was rushed off to the tomb and laid and would be given the proper herbs and oils after the Sabbath was over.

The Jews followed the Sabbath to a t. They did not mess around. When God gave the 3rd Commandment “Thou Shalt Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”, the Jews were incredibly serious by not doing any work. As Catholic we are allowed to do some work. I for one enjoy doing yard work, and I find it relaxing. However, when I get frustrated and it starts to feel like work, I know that it is time to stop. Tomorrow, Mary and Mary Magdalene will go to prepare Jesus’ body for death properly.

Today in some regards we should consider a day of rest to some extent, as that is what the disciples and other followers of Jesus would have done today. It is not the Sabbath (ours is Sunday), so we are not required to rest all day like we are on Sunday, but it is encouraged. We can reflect on the Passion and how through Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, He has redeemed the world and allowed us access to Heaven. We should reflect more upon what it means to be Catholic as well as what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Many times we get it wrong. We get into a routine. We feel that “hey! Its okay if I do this, ya know, Jesus understands and its not a big deal”, but in reality, when we spend time to reflect on it, and ask ourselves the “what would Jesus do/think?”, we then realize, you know, this isn’t right. I need to amend my life.

Jesus died for us. Jesus also told us what we are to do and how we are to live our lives if we are to be true followers. We can give it our hardest and if we are indeed trying to follow His commandments, and when we fall we ask for forgiveness and when we sin we go to confession, we can rest assured that we are on the right path. However, if we make excuses for us and fall short, we put ourselves in a dangerous position. When we are not on the path to Christ and we die, we may end up in Hell. This is important to always keep in mind. God isn’t up in Heaven waiting for us to trip up so He can send us there. We freely choose Hell based on our actions.

God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. So, this Easter, let us take up our crosses so that we can join Jesus on Calvary. Let us know that through the Resurrected Christ, we have a shot of eternal salvation in Heaven. Let us be thankful, that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, and that through Him, we are able to conquer death and sin, and to achieve a level of holiness, never before seen.

Holy Week

This is it folks. We are in the thick of it. Holy Week 2012. Yesterday, we laid out the palms for the arrival of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Thursday we will celebrate the Last Supper or as I like to call it, the First Mass. After Mass on Thursday evening, we will then enter Jesus’ Passion. I for one, am not looking forward to this.

Good Friday for me, is quite possibly, the worst day of the year for me. I feel like everyone is out to get me. This is one reason why I try to take the day off or at least half the day off. But, I know that all the suffering that I endure, is good. At 3pm, the hour that Jesus died on the Cross, I can feel God’s presence leave Earth. Its a very odd phenomenon, and if you haven’t ever noticed this, take a moment to think about it this Friday. Do you feel anything different about Friday and Saturday that is different from any other day of the year?
On Holy Saturday, we await for Jesus’ Resurrection. We look forward to celebrating Easter. Whether you go to the Vigil Mass (which is always beautiful seeing converts join the Church (and reminds me of my conversion)) or Sunday Mass, the joy of the Risen Christ is there. Christ conquered death and is now RISEN! This is such an incredible mystery that we should reflect upon it far more often than we do.
I will admit, that Lent this year has not been as terrible as years past. This is good! It’s nice having Lent not be painful and frustrating on a day to day basis. I really feel that I have grown into a better person this year and I’ve made changes that I hope I can carry out with me for the rest of my life.
I hope that you have had a good Lent as well. If Lent hasn’t been great for you, don’t give up. Easter is only 5 more days away.
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