Latin Mass Society

Chairman's Blog

19/05/2019 - 10:56

Letter in the Tablet

Google images suggests that Fr Baldovin favours
the 'tab' collar, when he's not in a
jacket and tie.

This weekend I have a letter in The Tablet. Last week they carried a strange lament by an aging liberal, Fr John Baldovin SJ, complaining about the traditional tendencies of young Jesuits: I assume his experience is of the USA. Since the formation of these men is in the hands of his own generation, it must feel like a bit of a failure. He informs Tablet readers that he has to spend ages explaining to these youngsters that the Traditional Mass and associated things like the Roman collar (horrors!) are bad because they carry with them the baggage of an 'insular' conception of the Church from before the Council. Alas, he doesn't have space to explain exactly what that means or how it works. Why prayers composed in the 7th century, for example, or ceremonies developed in the 12th, are all about the Church of the 1950s.

They have published my response.

Fr John Baldovin SJ (11th May) makes a surprising criticism of the ancient Latin Mass: that it brings with it a ‘insular’ vision unsuited to mission. Is this not the Mass which converted Latin America, which established the Church in Imperial China, and which was equally at home at the court of Louis XIV, and the mission stations of Africa?

The astonishing breadth of historical and cultural circumstances in which the Church’s venerable Latin liturgy has sustained martyrs and formed saints reflects both the long and varied period in which it was developed, and also an attitude, which it encourages, towards the liturgy as something objective, given to us, and precisely not specially adapted to our personal needs and circumstances.

The reformed Mass, by contrast, not only relies more heavily on the personality of the celebrant, but [inevitably] bears the marks of its creators’ interests and concerns. These are those of a small group of mainly European liturgists, whose ideas formed in the 1940s and ‘50s. To the younger generation of traditionally-inclined priests who cause Fr Baldovin such concern, the Mass these men produced looks about as up-to-date as the transistor radio.
The Letters Editor cut out the word 'inevitably', making me sound a little less reasonable, a little more hostile. When trying to win the argument about the Mass, every advantage is worth having, isn't it?

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16/05/2019 - 18:15

Review of Mosebach "Subversive Catholicism"

This was commissioned by, and is printed in, the European Conservative, a journal of which I had not previously been aware.

The book is Martin Mosebach Subversive Catholicism, a collection of essays, which you can buy from Angelico Press (which also pubishes a revisised edition of his Heresy of Formlessless) or Amazon.
Here's the beginning:
In 2006 Martin Mosebach sprang to fame, in the English-speaking world, as the author of The Heresy of Formlessness. It was a defence of the ancient Latin liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church: the liturgical tradition which had been celebrated by all western Catholic priests until just 40 years earlier, had provided the spiritual roots for the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, had sustained the martyrs of the Nazi and Communist prison camps, and had inspired the Church’s greatest artists, poets, and musicians.

That such a phenomenon as the ancient Roman Rite should find a conservative defender might not seem surprising, but at that time this form of the liturgy had become a kind of forbidden fruit, something which conservatives who wished to be taken seriously as mainstream figures had ritually to disavow. In this context, it was little short of astonishing that Mosebach’s volume of reflections would be published by Ignatius Press, a conservative American Catholic publisher which had made the avoidance of this ‘third-rail’ issue the key to its intellectual respectability.

11/05/2019 - 11:00

The book of the Position Papers is now available

Long-term readers will remember the series of short 'Position Papers' I published on behalf of the FIUV--Una Voce International--on a variety of subjects about the ancient Mass, both aspects of it which need to be explained to those unfamiliar with it, and ways in which it can assist the Church in evagelisation.

These papers, gathered together and thoroughly revised, are now available as a book from Angelico Press, with a Preface by Cardinal Burke.
I will be organising book launch events in Oxford, London, and Rome.
You can buy them from the Latin Mass Society in England, from Angelico Press in the USA, and from Amazon.
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The Case for Liturgical Restoration

Una Voce Studies on the Traditional Latin Mass

EDITED BY JOSEPH SHAW

Preface by Raymond Cardinal Burke

432 pages
Paper (ISBN 978-1-62138-440-3): $19.95 / £16.50
Cloth (ISBN 978-1-62138-441-0): $30.00 / £24.00
THE CASE FOR LITURGICAL RESTORATION, which gathers the complete and definitive texts of the widely-admired “position papers” of the International Federation Una Voce, tackles the questions: What is the point of the Extraordinary Form? What is its rationale? What can it contribute to the life of the Church here and now? Taking up one by one the most controversial topics in liturgy today—among them, active participation, the role of the laity, eastward orientation, extensive silence, the use of Latin and Gregorian chant, male-only service of the sanctuary, communion received kneeling and on the tongue, the calendar, the lectionary, veiling, fasting, and the needs of the New Evangelization—the chapters argue that the traditional Roman Rite has its own internal logic, its own way of offering worthy worship to God and of sanctifying souls. It is a way often notably distinct from that of the reformed liturgy, and for this reason much in danger of being misunderstood or missed entirely by the casual critic.
This book therefore stands to benefit everyone. Catholics already attached to the usus antiquior will arrive at a deeper understanding of its merits and a better ability to articulate them. Catholics puzzled by tradition-loving coreligionists and their own predecessors in the Faith will acquire fresh perspective. All will grow in appreciation for the Church’s rich liturgical heritage.
“The importance of the publication of The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Studies on the Traditional Latin Mass cannot be exaggerated.”
 — ✠ARCHBISHOP THOMAS E. GULLICKSON
The Case for Liturgical Restoration represents a comprehensive, competent, balanced, and constructive contribution to the field of liturgical science, and above all to liturgical life and practice in the Church of our days.”
 — ✠MOST REV. ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER
“The Position Papers address frequently advanced reformatory propositions, with the great merit of responding soberly, conservatively, and without polemic.”
 — REV. JOHN BERG, FSSP
“This volume offers the reader the opportunity to judge the strength of the case for a radical change of direction, a ‘reorientation’ as it were, in how the liturgy of the Latin Church is to be understood and presented.”
 — REV. JOHN HUNWICKE
“Detailed and dispassionate, this book examines those features of the traditional liturgy that have been the subject of controversy in recent decades, explaining their origins and their abiding value.”
 — REV. THOMAS CREAN, O.P.
“How propitious to show, in a moment of cultural decadence and ad intra dogmatic bewilderment, the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy in its ancient Latin tradition! To discuss these central topics, as this collection does with precision, is a well-timed enterprise.”
 — REV. SERAFINO M. LANZETTA, STD
“The liturgical devastations of our times make it more and more urgent that the immutable lex credendi of the Church should be restored. This book represents a significant contribution in that direction.”
 — PROF. ROBERTO DE MATTEI, President of the Lepanto Foundation
“The Una Voce position papers are wide-ranging and comprehensive in their discussion of the traditional liturgy and of how God is properly to be worshipped.”
 — PROF. THOMAS PINK, King’s College London
“With brilliant dialectical skill and exceptionally apposite sources, The Case for Liturgical Restoration argues the need for preserving and promoting all of those traditional aspects of Catholic worship that churchmen, in the name of adapting to modernity, jettisoned or downplayed.”
 — PETER A. KWASNIEWSKI, author of Tradition and Sanity: Conversations and Dialogues of a Postconciliar Exile

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07/05/2019 - 21:13

Can we accuse the Pope of heresy?

My latest on LifeSiteNews.
For any Catholic of the last two or three centuries, the idea that one might accuse the Pope of heresy seems almost unthinkable: almost a contradiction in terms. The Holy Father is the guarantor of the Faith, the recipient of the gift of infallibility; union with the Pope is union with the Church.
Nevertheless, it is not quite unthinkable.
When Jesus Christ gave St Peter the Keys, to bind and loose, and the guarantee that the gates of Hell would not prevail over the Church which would be built upon the ‘rock’ of Peter (Matthew 16:18-19), the very next thing he said to him was to call him ‘Satan’ (Matthew 16:23), for trying to divert Christ’s mission in a worldly direction. When the Risen Christ gave St Peter the mission of feeding his sheep, he did so in the context of a thrice-repeated question, ‘Do you love me?’ (John 21:15-17), a question recalling, and undoing, St Peter’s thrice-repeated denial of Christ in the house of the High Priest (John 18:17, 25-27).
We are called to accept this painful paradox, of the Pope’s supreme spiritual authority, and his infallibility in solemn acts of teaching, along with his limitations as a member of the fallen human race. History tells us that popes have been guilty of all kinds of sins, including sins against the Faith. It is unsurprising that popes have tended to be theologically sound, politically astute, and morally upright. But there is no supernatural guarantee that they must be. 
The recently published letter accusing Pope Francis of the crime of heresy makes for uncomfortable reading. Most readers will know that Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2016) contained passages which were troubling to many orthodox theologians. Many people, including me, thought that those passages could be explained in an orthodox sense. The difficulty with this approach, as time has worn on, is that Pope Francis has given no indication that such orthodox readings are correct. On the contrary, the whole tenor of papal remarks, documents of varying levels of official status, and the guidance given to and conclusions drawn from bishops’ synods in Rome, has tended to undermine those orthodox readings.
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04/05/2019 - 12:26

Don't modernise Notre Dame

My latest on LifeSiteNews

LifeSiteNews has a petition going to oppose the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, badly damaged in a fire, with modern additions. Ominously, President Emmanuel Macron has already opened a competition for architects to propose designs.
Like previous French presidents, Macron may well wish to leave a mark on a great historic building. President Mitterrand spoiled the classical masterpiece of the Louvre Palace, now a museum, with a much derided glass pyramid in the middle of the great courtyard and added insult to injury by obliging visitors to use it as the entrance.
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25/04/2019 - 10:00

Easter Triduum in London: photos

I have processed my photographs from the Easter Triduum at St Mary Moorfields in London, which were organised by the Latin Mass Society. Here are some highlights; click through to find the whole set.

Maundy Thursday: the Mandatum
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Maundy Thursday is always well attended. The church was packed.
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Carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose
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Good Friday: the clergy prostrate themselves.

This year the Afternoon Liturgy was celebrated earlier than in the past: at 3pm (the church was free), and better attended than ever before. As with the other days, the church was full.
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Veneration of the Cross
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Tenebrae: we celebrated all three, each anticipated the evening before.
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Easter Vigil: blessing the fire
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Aspersions
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The Gospel
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24/04/2019 - 10:48

Prayer Vigil for Life with the Traditional Dominican Rite, 10th May

At St Dominic's, Haverstock Hill, in London.

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22/04/2019 - 15:38

Rigid Catholics: a talk in London

And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.

I shall be giving a talk, 'Why do they call you rigid?', in London on Friday.

It is part of the Iota Unum series, and will take place at 7:30pm in the basement of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, on Friday 26th (Easter Friday).

Access via the basement steps from Golden Square (map).

£5 on the door; drinks provided.

I shall be discussing the development of the notion of psychological rigidity from the 1930s, the way the theory has been used, problems with the theory, its relationship with the Catholic faith, and how one can respond when accused of rigidity.

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11/04/2019 - 16:16

What were Catholic schools like in the Bad Old Days?

A friend of mine found a school Religious Instruction curriculum dating from ther 1930s or '40s in the Diocese Clifton, and I've written a LifeSiteNews article about it.

Here's a quote.

It is impossible to tell from this document how many hours were devoted to Religious Instruction, and how detailed the instruction was. Nevertheless, it is clear that the pupils of non-elite, parochial schools were expected to be able, by the end of their courses, to have some idea of the sweep of history from Abraham to the Russian Revolution, to be able to discuss the Church’s social teaching, to have read the latest papal encyclicals, and — for the more advanced pupils — to be able to sing the complex Gregorian Chant ‘propers’ for major feasts.
The typical pupil at the eve of departing a Catholic school in England today would probably not know what Gregorian Chant is, and is extremely unlikely ever to have read a papal encyclical. Religious instruction in Catholic schools has, in fact, improved somewhat in recent years, but it is narrowly focused on doctrine, with a particularly shocking neglect of Church history. The stereotype of the past is actually more true of the present.

Read the whole thing there.

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10/04/2019 - 16:08

London Easter Triduum: World premier of Peter Kwasniewski tenebrae compositions

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PRESS RELEASE from the Latin Mass Society

This Holy Week in the heart of London, a rare opportunity to experience one of the oldest services in the Catholic Church along with a feast of chant and polyphony including a Sacred Music World Premiere.

Beginning on ‘Spy Wednesday’ with the ancient office of Tenebrae, The Latin Mass Society will be celebrating Holy Week with a wealth of traditional Latin liturgy at St. Mary Moorfields in the heart of the City of London. This year’s Triduum celebration will be directed by the Latin Mass Society Director of Music for London, Matthew Schellhorn with his group ‘Cantus Magnus.’

Since his appointment as Director of Music, Matthew Schellhorn has involved more professional musicians, both singers, organists and composers, in the work of the Latin Mass Society.

In October 2018, Cantus Magnus gave the World Premiere of new commissions Missa Rex in Æternum and Ego mater along with UK Premieres of several other works by American composer Peter Kwasniewski (b. 1971).

The Latin Mass Society is pleased to announce that the renowned composer and theologian Peter Kwasniewski has been commissioned to write for Cantus Magnus, and his Lamentations of Jeremiah will be sung at the daily Tenebrae during the Sacred Triduum.

This new work, structured in three parts for each day, will allow the entire liturgical text to be sung by incorporating the original chant for the Lamentation narrative, preceded by polyphonic introductions and concluding with a haunting meditation on the text, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum’ (‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God’).

Matthew Schellhorn writes “I am immensely grateful to Dr Kwasniewski for writing this new set of Lamentations, and for his support of the Latin Mass Society’s work. I hope that this creative form of the Lamentation genre will enable more choral groups to celebrate the Sacred Triduum in a fittingly artistic way.”

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society says '“I am delighted that the Latin Mass Society is able once again to make the older form of the services of the Easter Triduum available with fitting solemnity and with truly worthy musical accompaniment. We are particularly fortunate this year to have Professor Kwasniewski’s new compositons to perform, and I look forward very much to hearing them.”

The Holy Week services commence with Tenebrae at 18.00 on Wednesday 17th April and continue until the great celebration of the Easter Vigil at 18:00 on Saturday 20th April.
As well as the services at St Mary Moorfields, Traditional Triduum liturgies will be celebrated at churches throughout the country. Details of Holy Week Mass listings are:

www.lms.org.uk/sacredtriduum
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The Full listings for Holy Week

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
6pm Tenebrae
Lamentations of Jeremiah Kwasniewski - WORLD PREMIER
MAUNDY THURSDAY
6pm High Mass
Missa Pange Lingua Josquin
Amicus meus osculi Victoria
Eram quasi Agnus Victoria
9pm Tenebrae
Lamentations of Jeremiah Kwasniewski
GOOD FRIDAY
3pm Solemn Liturgy
Passio secundum Joannem Victoria
Improperia Victoria
Crux fidelis John IV of Portugal
Caligaverunt oculi mei Victoria
6pm Tenebrae
Lamentations of Jeremiah Kwasniewski
HOLY SATURDAY
6pm Solemn Vigil
Messe a deux voix egales Gounod
O salutaris Hostia Gounod
Panis Angelicus Franck

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