Saturday, August 16, 2008

Feminism in the Ancient Roman Rite

Looking at my 1962 Missal for the Feast of the Assumption, I was struck by one of the most feminist passages in the Missal of John XXIII, which is missing from the from the modern Lectionary.

from the book of Judith 13. 22-25; 15; 10

Blessed art thou O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because he hath so magnified the thy name this day that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord....Thou art the glory of jerusalem, thou art the joy of israel, thou art the honour of our people.

The painting is the Naples version of "Judith Slaying Holofernes". I have seen this painting when it came to Sydney in 2004, and the original, with the figures life size, comes over a lot more disturbing than when you see an electronic copy. It was meant to shock when it was painted in 1620, and it is still shocking in the 21st century. That is a sign of great art.

Mind you the reading from the book of Revelations in the modern rite about the woman of the sun is probably more relevant, but I assume that the compiler of the old lectionary wanted to emphasise the continuity of great women through history, and that Judith was a precurser to Mary in driving out evil from the midst of the people of God. This is a good reason, as I have mentioned before of keeping the two lectionaries side by side, equally valid.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Cathedral

If you noticed in the previous post, the presence of an additional priest. This priest is a Polish Capuchin who is currently working on the Ukraine. I had the privilege of guessing him after WYD. Being a tourist, he of coarse took a lot of photos, thus I have decided to share a few sights of Brisbane with our readers.

First Friday, Frist Saturday, post WYD

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Challenging Reform: Realising the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal 1963-1975

Today during my lunchbreak I popped into St Pauls Bookshop and had a quick look at the book by Archbishop Piero Marini (the former Papal Master of Ceremonies) called "A Challenging Reform - Realising the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal 1963-1975".

This has been reviewed by a number of people including Dr Alcuin Reid and George Weigel, and you can find their opinions of it here.

If you are into meetings and committees and more meetings and sub-committees and working groups, this is the book for you. Overall, from the small sections that I read, I agree with other reviewers that it is a complete yawn. Also I did pick up as reported by other reviewers a strong element of "goodies" (the Consilium) and baddies (the Curia); or as one reviewer put it "cowboys and Indians Vatican style".

It is significant that the book ends in 1975, for the following year that was when Archbishop Bugnini, the secretary of the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy and Piero Marini's boss was sent to Iran as Papal nuncio. This was seen as a dismissal by Pope Paul VI.

If you want to read it, I am sure it will be on special soon.

Juventutem Melbourne

Above are photos from the feast of St Peter and Paul. These photos showcase the Schola of the Holy spirit's Cassocks. At first, when I heard there cassocks would be red, I dislike the idea, thinking of the bright red you so frequently see in Europe. Fr Tattersall, surprised me with the actual shade he had chosen for them, a very nice shade I must say. The cassocks themselves are sarum in design with a bright red trim.

Above are photos from the solemn vespers from the final day of the program in Melbourne. Vespers was a new experience for some of the pilgrims. A triumphant pontifical benediction finished off the day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Rose by any other Name

As of the recent rush of anonymous postings, I have disallowed anonymous postings on this blog.
If you wish to makes a statement, ask a question, make an observation please take up a more permanent Identity and I will be more then happy to allow your comments. If I can't stand by what I said, then I don't say it at all, that's also my rule for the blog. Plus I want to flush out all those Clergy, that want to remain anonymous...

At the end of the year, I will stop actively maintaining this blog. I have learn't to keep my opinions to myself. Stephan here will hopefully continue the blog.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

St Marys Cathedral

The re -arrangements to the sanctuary of St Marys Cathedral in Sydney pose a number of questions and challenges concerning both the modern and ancient form of the Roman Rite.

Overall I think that the renovations gave a good result. Gone is the temporary wooden table which was planted in the sanctuary in Cardnial Gilroy's time about 1970, which you can see on the Picture Australia website.

The Altar first rainsed some controversy back in in November 2006, when the plans were first announced. The New Liturgical Movement reported that the new Altar was not going to be able to be used for ad-orientem celebration because of the raising of it on steps at the back of it. This would have gone against good practice as Abp Elliot in his excellent Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite recommends that the Altar be arranged suitable for celebration in either direction. Unfortunately the pictures of what was proposed were deleted.

It seems that the design was revised, and the Altar is able to be used for celebration in either versus-populum or ad-orientem forms. If there is a future Pontifical Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form, either this Altar can be used or the old High Altar. Personally I prefer that the new Altar be used for Extraordinary Form celebrations as the High Altar, in my opinion is too far away from the congregation. The old High Altar is also surprisingly small, which helps to make it disappear into the reredos. This does not preclude the old High Altar being once more used for celebration, but it may be more approapriate for small celebrations where the congregation and schola could fit into the choir stalls. (Alternatively one of the side Altars such as the magnificent St Patricks's Altar could be used).

Here is a very old photo which I found in an architectural website of the High Altar in its origianl form.

Btw gone also is the cardinal's comfy armchair whihc has been superseded by an elegant gothic throne.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Intresting day

Today, was a very poor day, for myself. It's one redeeming feature, or should i say, it's figure of salvation was to meet and see, one of the men who I look up to and see as a constant inspiration. Br Richard John Green, OSPE, now monk and seminarian, studying in the eternal city herself. Br Richard , was once the Master of Ceremonies to the Shrine of the Black Madonna, Penrose Park.
He Would come down, every major occasion, such as the 13th and would MC the Mass. Penrose Park, being a major shrine, that was frequently visited by Major prelates and prelates in general.

Br Richard was an inspiration to me, being only at the age of 16, Richard was already an accomplished MC. I served under him, and I am proud of it. Today I am doing, much the same of what he was doing. Br Richard was an inspiration to me as a teenager, a liturgist and as an MC, now he is an inspiration to me as a seminarian.

I find it amazing, that today, I am, much in the same situation as he is, truly it is amazing. God let me meet him now, after so many years, when I've grown so much. Next time we meet surely will be interesting. He's also taught me a few tricks, tricks that now i can fully appreciate, plus I got dibs on being the Master of Ceremonies of his ordination.

Truly God is wonderful.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


It is a busy time. I've had to take a week of school for world youth day, one day to recover from the Randwick flu and three days to act as an interpreter and guide for a Polish Capchucin who is currently staying with me. The blog is going a bit slow for a while, due to my hectic schedule, plus I have my studies and local commitments as well. I ask for your prayers.

In the mean time, here are a few photos from WYD.