Monday, 9 April 2012

In Spirit and Truth...

May my words and our thoughts be in the Name of God.

Being in communion with no church is rather difficult when Holy Week comes around, although this does sometimes have some benefits. In my experience, being ''attached'' to a particular church often means that you have to put up with some rubbish, at the will of the celebrant, for ''political'' (or pastoral) reasons, or whatever. Although not being attached also means that I cannot order all things as I would. Signum Magnum and St Joseph (Stalin) the Working Class Blaggard of the Communist Party spring to mind, not to mention other mainstream churches cutting out huge chunks because the celebrant may feel they are too long. I am not a diplomatic person, and my only conceivable response to all this rubbish is to withdraw my support completely, and depart shaking the dust from my feet. Why should God-fearing Christians have to put up with inauthentic Divine Service, the structure thereof being decided beforehand by the priest in charge? It's just parish committee Liturgy, in the manner of the Roman reforms of the 20th century, except at local level. Sins against the Holy Ghost, I daresay.

The sanctuary prepared for Tenebrae in Parasceve. Don't panic! The rug was taken away before the service commenced.

I said in my previous post that I had a modest part in a quiet Triduum somewhere. On Spy Wednesday evening my friend and I monotoned the offices of Mattins & Lauds according to the special form for the Triduum (Tenebrae) in the house chapel. On the morning of Maundy Thursday my fellow churchmen and I celebrated Mass of the Lord's Supper and had prayers at the altar of repose before lunch. At five o'clock Tenebrae in Parasceve was sung. On Good Friday morning we monotoned the Hours of Prime, Terce, Sext and None before offering up to God the Mass of the Pre-Hallowed Gifts. I was privileged to offer a Rood of much personal sentimental value for use for veneration on Good Friday (pictured at the top of this post) - a Spanish crucifix saved by my grandmother from a Philistine about 40 years ago. It was solemnly ''blessed'' according to the old form in the Ritual by a man whose orders are null and utterly void three years ago, so I am going to have it blessed again. Anyway, I made sure to pray for the perfidious pope (I sat down for this), that the Lord would see it fitting to rain down fire from Heaven on this great pretender, and wielder of false apostolic authority. We were (thankfully) excused from ''stations of the Cross'' this year, but returned to sing Tenebrae at five o'clock. On Holy Saturday morning we sang the Hours of Prime, Terce, Sext and None before processing outside to bless the New Fire and celebrate the Paschal Vigil and celebrate Vesperal Liturgy. The deacon substituted devotissimum Imperatorem nostrum in the Exultet for devotissimam Reginam nostram Elizabeth, which was good. She is, after all, Defender of the Faith and our gracious Sovereign. Who was it that said that the ''Holy Roman Empire'' was in no wise ''holy,'' ''Roman,'' nor an ''empire'' in the proper sense?

This is me about to burn an insult to Catholic order; an insert from a 1925 Missale Romanum.

UPDATE: On the evening of Holy Saturday, that solemn and serious Day on which the Lord preached to the souls in prison, my friend and I said Paschal Mattins & Lauds, which, as Rubricarius has said, was, in Mediaeval times, the highlight of Paschaltide and the most important service of the Christian Year. I received a text message this morning from my friend who told me that I forgot to mention it, fortunately not after the manner of those who ''forgot'' to include it in their parish schedule for Holy Week services. It's really rather short, and I can't understand why people make the effort for Tenebrae and not Paschal Mattins & Lauds, which is more important. It's enough for me to admonish non-Christians to avoid going to church at all, since most Christians simply can't be bothered.

We had no real difficulties this year. At several points we were relying on the 1731 Memoriale Rituum, and therefore incensation proved difficult on Holy Saturday. At the Magnificat no incense was offered at all (this was my fault), but you understand the difficulty of dividing the jobs of about fifteen people between two servers, and the Memoriale does not conceive of incense at this point. We are only men, and the only perfect Liturgy is offered in the immediate presence of God in Heaven. It was, nonetheless, a worthy and memorable Triduum.

That the abomination may be burned out of the heart of Christ's Church!

Being so deeply involved in the ceremonies meant that few photos were taken. There's always next year. It will all be solemn next year as we will have two deacons, with me responsible for everything else. I can't wait!

My lemon, Paschal socks.


  1. I think it's good to make mistakes now and then, it reminds us we're human and fallible and shouldn't be harsh on others who make mistakes. Sloppy serving, chatting and being distracted during the liturgy, the celebrant or ministers cutting bits out on a whim, performing: those are all very bad things, but a small mistake or omission made in ignorance or because of exhaustion is no problem at all.

  2. "Being in communion with no church is rather difficult when Holy Week comes around, although this does sometimes have some benefits."

    I'm sure. Of course, one of the major disadvantages of belonging to no church, of course, is that it rather definitively and without possibility of correction places you outside the Church, where, immemorial tradition tells us, which was held always, everywhere, and by everyone, there is no salvation. I imagine this presents you with something of a difficulty, too.

    The earthly spouse of Our Lady, venerated since no later than the early 9th Century, is worthy of comparison with Stalin and being called a "communist blaggard", is he?

    "that the Lord would see it fitting to rain down fire from Heaven on this great pretender, and wielder of false apostolic authority."

    Far be it from me to comment on such a complex subject as wishing damnation and fire to rain down on someone else, but I'm not entirely sure that that counts as praying for them, exactly, and seems just a little beyond Our Lord's instructions in Matthew 5:43-48:

    audistis quia dictum est diliges proximum tuum et odio habebis inimicum tuum
    ego autem dico vobis diligite inimicos vestros benefacite his qui oderunt vos et orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos
    ut sitis filii Patris vestri qui in caelis est qui solem suum oriri facit super bonos et malos et pluit super iustos et iniustos
    si enim diligatis eos qui vos diligunt quam mercedem habebitis nonne et publicani hoc faciunt
    et si salutaveritis fratres vestros tantum quid amplius facitis nonne et ethnici hoc faciunt
    estote ergo vos perfecti sicut et Pater vester caelestis perfectus est.

  3. Evagrius Ponticus, you may comment on anything I have said here at your whim. I am going to change nothing, of course. As for the pope, I assure you that no one else present thinks as little as the pope as I do.

    It is not me who turned St Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, into a communist, but Pius XII in 1955, by making up a feast in his (dis)honour in deference to Communism, and replacing a feast of the Apostles which had been on that day since time immemorial. People who celebrate St Joseph the Worker might as well exchange the Pax on Maundy Thursday, in token of their betrayal of Tradition.

  4. Dude, doesn't being unaffiliated make you a Protestant? You could even make up your own name, maybe "Synod of the Perpetual Navel-gazers".

  5. Patrick, how can you justify burning a duly authorised liturgy of the Church? Give me your justification - apart from that it's ugly (something I might concede...).

  6. Mark, it doesn't matter if it has been ''approved,'' or whether people like it. It's wrong. The feast was invented on a whim in deference to an atheistic ideology, and served merely to cheapen the cult of St Joseph, which was already on the decline. This is notwithstanding the fact that it supplanted the feast of Sts Philip and James.

    It's utterly at variance with the Tradition of the Church. Have you heard the chant? That, and the Collect (a classic of committee approved doctrinal domination of Liturgy) are atrocious. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Two years ago I went down to a ''first of the month'' sung Mass in my old parish and was filled with wrath to behold white vestments laid out. What put me out, though, was the fact that nobody, beside myself, saw anything wrong with the affair - evidence that I simply did not aspire to the same liturgical and doctrinal ideals as them.

  7. patrick dear, you didn't answr my question! ;-)

  8. ''On the morning of Maundy Thursday my fellow churchmen and I celebrated Mass of the Lord's Supper and had prayers at the altar of repose before lunch.''
    Patricii, does your group of ''fellow churchmen'' include a validly ordained catholic priest? Otherwise, who offered the mass in Coena Domini? Or have you become like the priestless branch of the Russian old-believers, who chant the liturgy without benefit of clergy, and therefore excluding the Anaphora/Canon?

  9. St.Joseph the Worker has as much to do with communism then Candlemass with the lupercalia, Chrismas with the Sol Invictus Rex and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist with the summer solstice.... Pagan festivals have been christianised al the time. So what? Those who celebrate St. Joseph the Worker do not betray tradition, rather they affirm it.