Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Appearance of the Altar after the Dismisal
Based on available resources, Fr. Abe and his Knights of the Altar made every effort to make the altar beautiful. The altar is the focal point of the Celebration because it symbolizes, Christ and His Passion. Looking at the Altar and reflecting on what it stands for, brings us to a deeper realization of what it took Our Lord to redeem us. Does this thought moves us to love Him all the more and to love our neighbor for the sake of Him who loved us?
The simplicity of the St. Jerome Emiliani Chapel in Sorsogon City evokes the noble intentions that Our Lord desires from us. True faith is unassuming, and above all it is obedient. For the Lord said that, He desires obedience and not sacrifice. For what shall we render unto the Lord for all His goodness? I will take the cup of salvation and bless the Lord!
Lord, you are the source of Life, by your blood you have redeemed us to be your own. Ought not that we die to our selfishness and give ourselves to you? The Lord said to the disciples, "can you take the cup that I am about to take?" " And if I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself".
"Grant to us, O Lord, who are filled with strength, from this heavenly Table, that we may both desire what is right, and obtain what we desire, through Our Lord." - Post Communion Prayer.
Just before Christ expired on the Cross, He exclaimed "Consumatum Est!" What a profound statement from a dying man, both vivid and sincere. But this cry of the Lord is the life of the World. He has entered the Holy of Holies and concluded the sacrifice. "What shall I render unto the Lord for all the things He has done unto me?" This is the meaning signified by the ablutions. May this liturgical action bring us to that realization.
The Leonine Prayers In the quietness and stillness the offering is done. Fear not little flock!
Christ said to his disciples, "Fear not little flock for it has pleased the Father to give you the Kingdom!" What consoling words from Our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed buffeted we are from persecutions and weariness, there Our Lord stands to console us and to give us strength. In hope is our Salvation. A recurring theme in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI.
These ladies are tertiary members of the Oath Alliance of Two Hearts in Sorsogon City. Father Abe jokingly said that they are Oath members but here in St. Jerome Emeliani Chapel they are the "Confradia". These Ladies requested to be allowed to join in the Tridentine Mass. They encountered problem with their pastor who refuse to give them communion because they prefer to receive communion kneeling. I think that pastors should be solicitous and sensitive to the needs of their flock. There is nothing wrong with kneeling when receiving communion. Besides the shallow reason given was that it can delay or prolong the communion line. But how could that be when there are plenty of extraordinary ministers of communion? Even exceeding the numbers required. But you can see the happiness in the faces of these ladies. At last they have found a place where they can freely receive the sacrament. Besides no questions at all because the rubrics of the Tridentine Rite dictates that communion be received on the tongue and in a kneeling position.
Pray for us, pray for this apostolate and labor of Love.
Friday, April 25, 2008
It is an altar designed for the Ordinary Form [Novus Ordo] but Fr. Abe and the Sisters temporarily arranged the altar to suit the requirements of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The altar is a bit small. I told Fr. Abe that the celebrant in the Extraordinary Form has to be conscious of the Sides and Middle of the Altar because the rubrics dictate that there are certain functions in the Mass where the priest is instructed to be on either sides and at the middle. In Olden times, in Churches where the altar is made of stone, it is customary to place relics of martyrs and saints in the stone altar. The installation of these relics are done when the altar is consecrated by a Bishop. Some historians wrote that the early Christians valued their martyrdom so much. Many Chrisians of the first four centuries of the church desired martyrdom because they believe that this is a way of expressing their union with Jesus Christ who died on the Cross. Thus even after the persecution ceased, the Christians continued to venerate the relics of the martyrs and to express the desire in the spiritual sense to follow Christ in His footsteps. In fact one scholar said that even after the persecution ceased, the Christians still continued to celebrate Mass in the catacombs. Not because they were hiding but because they wanted to venerate the saints. They consider this veneration as a form of honoring Christ. This is also the reason why in the Canon of the Mass, the names of the Apostles and Martyrs are invoked. Taking this historical note into consideration will help us understand why in the Roman Canon, the names of the Martyrs are invoked. This is the rationale behind this practice. By reciting this and by praying this canon we are transported and connected with the patristic era and with hundreds of centuries of tradition. Just as St. Paul said to Timothy, that what I have received that I also transmit to you. This is the reason why even our Pope recognize the value of preserving tradition. It connects us with our spiritual roots, the faith of the Martyrs and the Apostles, and the Faith of Jesus Christ. Everytime we celebrate the Mass we are transported into the level where we commune not only with the Lord but with all the saints. This is an important article in the Creed..."the communion of the saints." For whether we live or die, we always live unto the Lord. For the Lord is not the God of the dead but of the Living. Hence the Holy Mass itself is a pledged of Love from God to us - a promise of the resurrection!
The recitation of the Canon of the Mass is the Holiest Portion of the Sacrifice. This event reminds us of how the High Priest in the Old Covenant enters the Holy of Holies to render God the supreme worship. In the new testament the church continued this practice in light of the new covenant. St. Paul spoke of this, "Having therefore brethren, a confidence in the entering into the holies with the blood of Christ. A new and living way which he hath dedicated for us through the veil, that is to say his flesh, and a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water..." (Hebrews 10:19-22, Douay Rheims Version). At this point the Priest inaudibly recites the Canon. In the Novus Ordo the Canon is recited aloud to the hearing of everyone. But in the Traditinal Latin Mass, the Canon is recited by the Priest inaudibly. The reasons for this is that prayers are addressed to God and not to the people. At this point the Ordained Priest or Bishop performs his sacerdotal role of intermediary between God and the faithful. The faithful are invited to join their hearts and intentions to the acts of the minister on the altar. Silence prevails over the congregation as they see the Priest, the persona Christi enters the Holy of Holies. Christ when he died on Calvary entered the Holy of Holies to offer the Eternal Sacrifice. So as the Canon is recited we kneel in worshipful awe to this act of Supreme Worship, both vicarious and propitious, beneficial and meritorious, for both the living and the dead. By virtue of his ministerial priesthood, the Priest silently recites the Canon because it is only He who can perform this. The laity assists but cannot confect the Body and Blood of the Lord. Here in the communion we recall and honor the humility of the Centurion when he said "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but only say the Word and I shall be healed..." The recitation of the second confiteor at communion time brings us all to the foot of calvary where we behold the Crucified Lord. With a mixture of penance and joy we acknowledge that it was our fault that Jesus underwent this pain for us. But in our hearts we are also filled with gratitude for this healing balm. People who are not familiar with the TLM often say that in the Latin Mass the Priest has his back on the faithful. This is not the correct description. The description should say that the Priest is leading the people, together they turn their faces to the East, the Rising Sun Symbol of Christ and His Resurrection. Thus when the altar is arranged, it is designed to face towards the deriction of the Crucifix, symbolic of the East and symbolic of Christ. When the priest turns his back, he is turning his back together with the people. They face the East, the Easter hope and turn their back on the world. Christ teaches us that if we want to be saved we must turn our backs from the world. St. Paul further said: "be not conformed unto this world but be transformed...". Now who will accuse us that the Holy Mass is unscriptural? When its ethos, rationale and history are all rooted in Scripture.
The Priest says, "Pray Brethren that my Sacrifice and yours be accepted...." Here the priest makes the distinction between his role and that of the faithful, thus he says "my sacrifice and yours..." Everyone feels the unworthiness to offer the Supreme Sacrifice, but every one is filled with Hope and Chairty. The theological and didacic significance of that line is important. Here the Church teaches us that there is one sacrifice but that distinction has to be made between the Ministerial Priesthood and the Common Priesthood. The Ministerial Priesthood is important because it is the ordained manner by which Christ perpetuated his sacrifice for the benefit of the Church. Here the Church makes the act of Calvary present to us. This is the transcendence of God's saving work. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forevermore. Here he continually feeds us with the real manna from heaven until we dine with Him in the eternal banquet when He will come again the Second time to Judge the world and to redeem His own. St. John in the Apocalypse saw a company of people in white clothes with palms on their hands. He asked the angel, who are these? The Angel replied... "these are they who have cleased themselves with the blood of the Lamb." May the Eucharist we receive clease us and prepare us for eternal life. Amen.
The Leonine Prayers
These are called Leonine Prayers because Pope Leo XIII ordered this to be said in order to help solve the Roman question at a time when the forces of Emmanuel I were invading the Papal States. But today the Church even after the resolution of the Roman Question through the Lateran Treaty of 1929 continues to recite these prayers for the conversion of Russia and of the world.
The Somascan Sisters, Fr. Abe, CRS and us.
The nuns posed for a picture. They stood still but I said "Fr. Abe we need to keep our hands in an Amen position". This is the usual position for photo session in pre-Vatican II era. No we are not returning to archaic practices we are rediscovering them. Doing so helps inspire piety and love for the Lord.
To our friends continue to pray for our TLM apostolate. May God be gracious to all! This Sunday will be the first time that our weekly TLM will be scheduled on a Sunday. It will be at the St. Jerome Emiliani Chapel in Sorsogon City, at 10:00 a.m. We are holding this TLM not on an inaccessible time but on a prime time! God is gracious indeed. Some members of the Allinace of Two Hearts will be joining us.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Its interesting that Catholic Online run Adkins' [Zenith] report of interview with Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding the Cardinal's views about the Summorum Pontificum. The Cardinal said that seminarians who are undergoing liturgical formation shoul be taught the Summorum, the rite of the extraordinary form and the theology behind that rite. He further emphasize that even for priests who never had the experience of celebrating the Traditional Rite, learning the older rites will be beneficial because it will influence the manner by which they say the Novus Ordo. And hopefully it will encourage a reverent celebration the Mass. You can read more about this by visiting the link specified above.
This is now my opinion: I think that the Cardinal is right. Seminarians should be taught how to say this mass. Its not just about the rite but the history and theology behind it. We can never appreciate this Mass if we lack the theological understanding behind it and also the history and the ethos of the time that shaped this rite. Only when one is equipped with these backgrounder that one would understand, appreciate and love this rite. To those who posses a genuine devotion to this rite may find therein a genuine expression of their Catholicity. The confusion brought about by the liturgical reforms of the 70s has engineered the unlearning of these vast wealth of liturgical tradition. But the rediscovery of this rite and by bridging the present with the past will bring about the synthesis desired by the Pope. Catholic Tradition is dynamic, its dynamism rest on the trancendence of the then, now and to come. This is the meaning when we say "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." In here also finds the reality of Christ's words, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."
In the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, April 25 is indicated as the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. He is referred to as the Apostle of Africa. He is also believed to be the author of the Gospel According to St. Mark. St. Mark is considered by the Coptic Church as the first Pope of the See of Alexandria, one of the centers of Christianity in the eary centuries of the Church. St. Mark was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostle 12:24-25, "But the word of the Lord increased and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having fulfilled their ministry, taking with them John, who was surnamed Mark." [Douay Rheims Version]. The name of Saint Mark appeared first in the Book of the Acts at a time when the Word of God was increasing. He was associated with great missionaries of the time like Saint Paul who was considered the Apostle to the Gentiles and Barnabas a great and untiring evangelist. Later St. Mark was credited as having written one of the synoptic Gospels. The saint was also closely identified with Barnabas, thats why in the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas, the latter took with him Mark while the former took with him Silas. But this seeming, human failure was a blessing in disguise, because their parting with St. Paul resulted in the spread of the Word of God (Read Acts 15: 38-41). The symbol of St. Mark is the Lion.
Prayer: Lord Almighty Father, you have given to us St. Mark the Evangelist to be an example and leader. You made him the instrument of the proclamation of the Gospel of your Son Jesus Christ. Just as you made him courageous in the proclamation of the Gospel make us also courageous in the face of challenges that we face in modern times. Make us beacons of your Word and Light. We ask this in Jesus name and through the intercession of Saint Mark. Amen. St. Mark, Ora Pro nobis.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, New York. Dwarfed by the skycrapers of New York. Its Gothic Spires rising above the Heavens. Symbolizing the endeavor of Men and Women of faith to rise to God.
Friday, April 18, 2008
" Experience shows that legality often prevails over justice when the insistence upon rights makes them appear as the exclusive result of legislative enactments or normative decisions taken by the various agencies of those in power. When presented purely in terms of legality, rights risk becoming weak propositions divorced from the ethical and rational dimension which is their foundation and their goal. The Universal Declaration, rather, has reinforced the conviction that respect for human rights is principally rooted in unchanging justice, on which the binding force of international proclamations is also based."
Let us pray for the success of papal visit to the US.
To our friends and readers of this blog... did you notice any change in the altar since the first time we had this form of Mass?
Preparation of the Altar before the Judica Me...
Dr. herbert r. assisted the celebrant
Elevation of the Cup of the Blood of the Lord.
Mr. Andrei Balde, a Junior Student and Mrs. Gina Oropesa, a young instructor, both from Bicol University.
This is the Chapel of St. Jerome Emiliani at the Aemelianum Campus, Sorsogon City, where we hold the weekly TLM. This Chapel serves the spiritual needs of the College Community, the Somascan Community and the local residents near the area. In this picture the facade of the chapel is undergoing a clean up. Fr. Abe Arganiosa is the Chaplain.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Prayer: Dear Lord, Father of all consolations, we bless your name and we honor you. We especially lift up to you our brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Palestine and in other places where they are subjected to persecution and some have suffered martyrdom. Give them your consolation and peace. May the blood that have been spilled in the Name of Christ serve as a way to put a stop to all forms of violence of humans against humans. May this experience serve to purify our faith and strengthen our resolve to believe and to love. Let our prayers and sacrifices ascend to your glory in Jesus name. Amen.