Latin Mass

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The Priesthood of the Transgendered

There was always something Disneyesque about the 1980s preachers of the prosperity gospel. Of course there was no corpus on their cross, but that sacrilege had been achieved by earlier versions of Protestantism. What was really galling about the perpetually smiling televangelists was their soft-lens obliteration of the cross, which had at least remained a [...]

Re-turning to the Lord: A Call for Ad Orientem Worship

Lent is a season of conversion. During this time, it’s common to encounter readings, orations, and teachings from the saints in the Mass and the Breviary that direct us to “turn away” from sin and error and “turn to” God. An example is Joel 2:12-14, which happens to be the First Reading of the Mass [...]

Lessons from Descartes on the Value of Latin Liturgy

I was in the fourth grade at Christ King School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin when the changes wrought by Vatican II were implemented. Memory is a tricky thing, but I am fairly certain that, in the space of one week, Sr. Achillea stopped drilling us on the Baltimore Catechism, threw some pillows on the floor, cranked [...]

Symbolism and the Language of the Liturgy

In his conversations with the journalist Bill Moyers, the mythologist Joseph Campbell commented on the power of lived symbolism in communal life. When the judge comes out in a black robe, sits behind a high desk and calls the court to order with a gavel he is no longer an ordinary man. He is the [...]

How John Paul II Restored Liturgical Sanity

We tend to think of the papacy of Benedict XVI as the papacy that put the Catholic liturgy back together again, turning the “hermeneutic of rupture” into the “hermeneutic of continuity.” Rarely receiving the credit for preparing the way is John Paul II, who labored mightily and brilliantly during his pontificate—in a long and consistent [...]

Benedict’s Enduring Legacy: His Love for Beauty

It won’t be easy to find a champion of faith and reason as simple and as profound as Pope Benedict XVI. In his many speeches and homilies, in his numerous books, he distilled rich currents of intellectual thought into beautifully crafted words that spoke to the heart as well as to the mind. He did [...]

Tea and Christianity

Francis Xavier's feast day is December 3. For those of us who love our afternoon tea, it is a feast we should well note. For the world's most civilized habit owes a huge debt of gratitude to Xavier and his Jesuit missionaries who traveled to Japan in 1549. Now, to properly appreciate this story, you [...]

The Traditional Mass is Not a Spectator Sport

“The Traditional Mass is not a spectator sport.” The statement rings out like a shot in the quiet, muggy, non-descript church. Oscillating fans buzz from various strategic locations. Incense wafts up from the thurible tucked away to the right of the altar. The congregants sit quietly, attentive. The women’s heads are covered, and everyone is [...]

Making It Easy

Nothing is more deadly to discourse than Johnny One Note launching another pitch for his particular crusade. I risk sounding a familiar theme only because I just witnessed powerful evidence favoring its cause. I refer to an overwhelming, positive reaction shown by a congregation to a Gregorian chant Mass, given at Saturday five p.m., the [...]

But What about My Toys?

My church in downtown Nashua is a reverent, slightly battered Irish parish, with painted wood that bravely substitutes for marble, a bathroom that always smells funky, and a mostly empty rectory. Built for ten or twelve, the red brick fortress houses two of the best priests in our diocese, who offer the Latin Mass twice [...]

Those Angry Traditionalists

Ever attended a clown Mass? Me neither. To be sure, I've seen lovingly photographed liturgical bizarrenesses from time to time chronicled on the Internet. And I've seen some enthusiasts for the Latin Mass often talk as though such stupid liturgical antics are happening everywhere all the time and that they alone stand between the Church [...]

‘Some of us are owed an apology’: Traditionalists and the Latin Mass

Thomas Woods Jr. has been involved in the movement to liberate the Old Mass for well over a decade. Late last year, he released Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, explaining the historic liturgy and the pope's reasons for reinstating it. Brian Saint-Paul spoke with him recently about reactions [...]

Chesterton’s Ghost Appears, Suggests Fans Find “Other Interests”

Chesterton's Ghost Appears, Suggests Fans Find 'Other Interests' LONDON -- A London book buyer got the shock of his life yesterday when the ghost of G. K. Chesterton appeared to him and joked that he wished his fans would "get lives."  "I was in The Bookstop, buying a copy of Orthodoxy when a man touched [...]

Rebellion Against the Pope Over the Latin Mass

From the Vatican comes news that resistance to Benedict XVI's promotion of the Old Latin Mass is considered "rebellion against the pope." You may recall that on July 7, 2007, Benedict XVI released an Apostolic Letter called a motu proprio (because the pope wrote it "of his own accord" rather than using an advisor or [...]

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