Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Church soft on Hell

I've just completed reading a very interesting article on the Roman Theological forum (I really must read it more often). The article in question is on the Ordinary form's treatment of hell and the final Judgment.Turns out that the new lectionary, has more references to Hell and Judgment, with more frequency, then the extra ordinary form, an increase of about 47%. You learn somthing new everyday, the article is defiantly worth a read.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Reflections on the Guild of St Lawtrence Conference

Finally, after getting some getting a number of deliverables at work out of the way and other social things I can sit down and relate to you some more about the server conference in Melbourne. Roman has kindly posted photos of some aspects of the conference.

You can also see excellent photos of the Solemn Pontifical Vespers on the Latin Mass Melbourne website.

My key reasons for going was to:
  1. learn more about the Classical form of the Roman Rite
  2. to meet new people with a similar passion for liturgy and to share our journeys of faith; and
  3. to get to know the Fraternity of St Peter priests (important as I am in the Confraternity of St Peter)

I achieved all these objectives beyond expectations!!

Here is a summary of my notes to give you an idea of

Day 1 - Thursday 10 Jan
Learning about the minor orders and their evolution and roles. Clarifications of orders and ministries by Paul VI (which unfortunately led to the suppression of minor orders).

The role of the Altar Server as a stand-in cleric, therefore the standard dress for a server is the cassock. The difference between serving as an Acolyte vs simply being in choir, whihc requires two sets of vesture nb. server as acolyte wears the alb, whilst server in choir wears the surplice.

Morning tea
Theory and practicum in genuflecting and processing.

Lunch (nice sandwiches)
Gregorian chant workshop (struggling to concentrate after nice lunch). The history of chant and understanding how the notation evolved and how to read it.
Then practice on thurible work, and carrying candles correctly.

Solemn Mass
I was in the congregation (because choir was too small). As I said to a colleague - sacked but cool! in reference to the 40+ degree heat that day.

Finally drive home.

Day 2 - Friday 11 Jan
Learned about the traditional books of the liturgy: Sacramentary, the Canon Missae, Episolarium, and the Evangelarium, the Graduale Romanum, as well as the Ordines Romani from which the Ceremoniale Episcoporum developed.

The liturgical cycle and table of concurrences.

The structure of the Altar, its theological meaning.

Morning Tea
Some renovations of the St Aloysius church to install "new choir stalls" by taking pews out of the back of the church, and carrying them into the sanctuary. This made for some interesting server processions (Roman where was your camera) but we omitted the genuflection at the foot of the Altar due to the pew on our backs.
Practicum in Low Mass (for me) while the big kids (Roman) did practicum in MC.

Fish and chips - bulk yum! I love Friday "fasting".

Gregorian chant workshop and getting into some harder chants in readiness for Solemn Vespers the following day. Me wanting to sleep, after fish and chips.

Solemn Mass
In choir in the back stalls. The schola members in the front row omitted passing on the pax to us, so I thought "no peace for the guys in the back row".

On way home. At the tram stop near the church in my server back and whites, got mistaken for a fellow Lubavitch in this orthodox jewish neighbourhood, but got a nice magazine to take home.

Day 3 - Saturday 12 Jan
Slept in and woke up to an sms from Roman telling me that I was to be an Acolyte that afternoon. Arrived a bit late and had some further instruction on Latin, then it was across to the church for Low Mass celebrated by Fr Glen Tattersall assisted by John Paul. Following this there was a practice run through Solemn vespers. After about 15 minutes I was completely confused as to what I was supposed to be doing. I have only done a Solemn Pontifical Vespers in the ordinary form, and this was more complex. Benediction, was more straightforward, as I serve for that regularly.

Running through the last part of the afternoon's service.

Afternoon tea with Bp Elliot, who I was able to chat briefly to. Then an excellent talk from Bp Elliot on the liturgy, and a very good question and answer session.

Solemn Vespers. I thought that the parts of the liturgy which went the most smoothly were the parts that I did not have an involvement in!

Finally got home at about 8pm and had thai takeway and chatted with relatives that I had not seen for a while up to the very late hours.

Day 4 - Sunday 13 Jan
After a struggle with the tram system enjoyed Solemn Mass for the feast of the Holy Family being in choir. Then went across the road for the parish barbeque which closed the conference. I would have like to have stayed around but I had to rush into town to meet up with and have a few beers with one of the esteemed former servers from our Cathedral, who is now working in Melbourne.

Highlights of the Conference
  • meeting a great bunch of guys esp John Paul, Ignatius, Nicholas, Jeremy....
  • the great sense of humour and fun that Fraternity priests have, and their immense love for the liturgy. Fr Tattersall's liturgical arrangements with "Thing" (adapted from the Addams Family for Solemn Vespers) was an exellent demonstration of organic growth in the liturgy.
  • the afternoon Solemn Masses in the church - I really felt that I was in paradise; the closest to heaven that one could get whilst still in this mortal life
  • learning what liturgy is really all about.

The next thing is to adapt the learnings to my own parish environment, so that (although I assist in the ordinary form Mass) the reform of the reform can spread little by little.

Thanks to the FSSP and may God shower his abundant blessings upon them!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Week's Dumb Statement

I nominate so-called "Catholic" theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann for dumb statement of the week.

Speaking to DW-WORLD.DE she said:

"Personally I am against abortion, but not from the first moment of conception. Lehmann on the other hand called an embryo that's just seconds old an individual, i.e. something indivisible, which is scientific nonsense."

I wonder if Uta is any more indivisible than an embryo? Perhaps we could try an experiment and see if she can be sawn in half.

By the way, she also informs us that:

The pope should not be infallible.

Naughty behavior that - being infallible.

On the same note I remind Pope Benedict that he should also not leave the lid of the toothpaste undone whenever he brushes his teeth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

They STILL dont get it.....

After returning from the Guild conference after 4 days of spiritual growth, meeting new friends and learning about real liturgy, I succumbed to the temptation of looking at some of the lefty Catholic websites, and found this article entitled Pope Turns Away from Congregation.

The whole article is totally negative, anti reform, and anti the Holy Father. There is the sense in this article that when the priest is facing away from the congregation it means that he hates them or wants to ignore them. They completely ignore the theology (as they have no sense of the theology). Note how also that it was tied up with notes that Benedict used an old throne of Pius IX (bad) and issued a decree allowing wider use of the Latin Mass earlier last year (also bad).

This is not the first time that ignorant and anti-Catholic reporting has come from Reuters, but the fact that Cathnews reported it rather than a Vatican press release shows the sense of anti-Benedict in the organisation that runs it.

Thats my rant for today, I will report on more pleasant things (like the conference :-)) after Roman has entertained you with his pics.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The guild Confrence

I'm back. On this Blog, I'll be posting my personal photos, of the less official moments of the Conference, whilst on the Guild's Blog, I hope to post the official photos, from other sources as well as my own

***The Guild's blog is, Br Lawrence, if you get the chance, get in touch with me, I'm interested the those chant lessons again.****

To start off a photo of South Melbourne Tram station.
A shot of JP contemplating our next move.The first day of the conference, lots of listening, taking in all of the info Fr Tattersall shared with us.
We also had a few sessions of Gregorian chant tutorials.Later on we had drills in various roles for High Mass, this photo is from the acolyte drills.
Holding the candles, holding them straight, genuflecting properly and so forth.
We also had thurifer drills, Fr McCaffery demonstrated how to incense properly, explain the optimal usage of coals and complained about getting old as well as Dane's smoke production.
A few of the Melbourne servers and myself, took the opportunity to travel around Melbourne for some makeshift sight seeing and good harty meals.
A shot of St Pat's Cathedral.
Yes Fabio, you can be on the blog.
To wrap this post up, (don't worry, there will be more), we have a photo, of Fr Tattersall holding and explain the joys of Fortescue in relation to the Roman missal, which JP is holding. My apologies about the poor photo, but trying to take photo's without flash and discreetly, whilst the objects are in motion is a little difficult.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Server's Conference

Posting just to inform you my readers, that I and Stephan are heading to Melbourne for the first conference of the Altar server's Guild of St Laurence. We'll be back in Brisbane on the 13th and hope to share lots of stories, info and pictures from the event. Pray that all goes Well.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Years

With most ringing in the new year by watching Firework, drinking and generally partying, I chose a more spiritual way, it's served me well in the past. I stayed at the Marian Valley Pauline Monastery, this time I had the pleasure of staying in on of there Hermitages. First on the Program was a solemn Mass of thanksgiving for the 07 year. Unfortunately we were lacking servers, mainly it was just Br Luke and myself, althought for this Mass , we had one of the little boys join us. Not being the MC (It's pretty hard with only three servers), allowed me to lay aside choir dress and vest in my apparalled Amice and alb. Hey look it was the last Mass of the year, so might as well go all out.
After the Thanksgiving Mass, the blessed Sacrament was exposed. After praying the whole year for rain, we finally got it at the end of the year, it just bucketed down. Quite disappointingly for us because our candle light Eucharist procession was canceled.
A few minutes before Midnight we had the solemn singing of the Te Deum , followed by Benediction. At Midnight we had the first Mass of the year, the Mass of the Holy Mother of God.

The New year, clearly aroused the Scottish in Fr Columba after the midnight mass, so he HAD to get out his Bagpipes and reign in the new year.In the morning we had a Mass at 11, followed by a BQQ. Needless to say, a lot more people came to the Morning Mass. To wrap with Post up, here are a few photos from the BBQ after Mass.From all of us here at Et Clamour, we wish you all a Happy and Holy Christmas and New year.