Morning of Recollection at Westminster This Saturday (3 March)
High Mass for Ember Saturday at Westminster Cathedral This Saturday, 3 March
Christine Ackers, RIP
Bookings Being Taken for LMS Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Ecclesia Dei Pilgrimage to the Holy Tunic in Trier with His Eminence Walter Cardinal Brandmüller
Sense of Beauty in the Liturgy ‘Umbilically Connected to Music’, Composer Tells Meeting of Choir Directors
Petition Against the Redefinition of Marriage
Latin Mass Society Announces Six New Patrons
'Mass of Ages' Spring Edition Available to Buy Online
Update on starting time for Anne Read's Funeral
Report on the Juventutem London Event at Tyburn
Next Juventutem London Mass and Social on Friday, 24 February
Traditional Vocations discernment weekend 30 March - 1 April 2012
Mrs Anne Read, RIP
Ash Wednesday Mass Listings Available
Celebrating 150 years at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton
Report on Mass and Chant Day at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, 11 February 2012
Lenten Morning of Recollection and High Mass at Westminster Cathedral on 3 March Announced
Nuptual Mass at St. John the Evangelists in Bath
Music Announced for York Pilgrimage
York Pilgrimage on Saturday, 24 March 2012
Una Voce Issues Statement on Possible Revisions to 1962 Missal
Mass Listings for Candlemas
Do come along to our Lenten Morning of Recollection this Saturday, 3 March, at Westminster. It begins at 10.30am and finishes at 12 noon. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available before we start. We are asking for a voluntary donation of £5 to help defray our costs. The venue is St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School, Morpeth Terrace, London SW1P 1EP, which is, quite literally, next to Westminster Cathedral (on the right hand side, just past St Paul's Bookshop - in which shop you can buy copies of the latest Mass of Ages!).
The Morning of recollection will be given by Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS National Chaplain, on the subject of the Ember Days (this Saturday will, of course, be Lenten Ember Saturday). Last year's event was packed and we received much praise for the content of Father's talk.
A reminder that we are having a High Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 2pm this Saturday, 3 March. It will be the Mas for Ember Saturday and will therefore have the five lessons in addition to Epistle and Gospel. The Cathedral Choir will sing Mass XVIII Deus Genitor alme. All are welcome to attend.
With sadness, we have to announce that Christine Ackers, the former LMS representative in Lancaster, died yesterday in the hospice in Lancaster. She was attended at the end by Canon Stephen Shield, a long-time friend and supporter of the Society.
Her funeral Mass will be at her home parish in Scorton, with burial at St. Thomas's, Claughton-on- Brock. We do not know the date or time of this yet, but will update you as soon as we hear more.
Requiescat in pace.
You can now book your place on the LMS Pilgrimage to Lourdes. We are using the services of the experienced tour operator Tangney Tours, and if you wish to take part in the pilgrimage you need to fill in the Booking Form and return it with your payment to Tangney Tours, Pilgrim House, Station Court, Borough Green, Kent, TN15 8AF.
More details about the pilgrimage can be seen here. If you have specific questions about travel arrangements, please phone Tangney Tours on 01732 886666. If contacting Tangney Tours, always mention that it is the Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage you are enquiring about.
Remember, this is a pilgrimage with the sick, so whether you are healthy or ill, you will be welcome.
Over the weekend of 20-22 April 2012, there will be an exceptional pilgrimage of many communities, parishes and groups, who are attached to the traditional Latin liturgy, otherwise known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, (with all liturgies being celebrated in the traditional Latin form) to Trier, Germany.
This major pilgrimage is to the Holy Tunic in Trier. The Holy Tunic, which St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine has brought to Trier, is the robe of Our Lord, which He wore at His passion and over which the
soldiers casted lots.
The tunic of Our Lord is one of the most precious relics of Christendom. The Holy Robe is shown very seldom, during the past century only in the years 1933, 1959 and 1996.
Trier, the oldest episcopal city of Germany, houses further sacred sites, two of which will be visited by the pilgrims:
Click the link for more details on the pilgrimage is to the Holy Tunic in Trier.
James MacMillan, the Catholic composer, and Fr Guy Nicholls, founder of the Newman Institute of Liturgical Music in Birmingham, addressed a meeting of around fifty choir directors and chant experts at the second biennial meeting of the Gregorian Chant Network at the London Oratory on 18 February, sponsored financially by the Latin Mass Society.
The Network, which was founded two years ago by the Latin Mass Society, Una Voce Scotland, the Association for Latin Liturgy, the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge and dozens of Chant scholas across England and Wales, aims to promote greater knowledge of, and expertise in, the Church’s most ancient musical form with the aim of fostering its wider use in the Catholic liturgy.
Dr MacMillan was the principal speaker and addressed the meeting about the role of music in the Church’s cultural patrimony. He recalled that, as a young boy, he had attended what is now called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and noticed that, ‘the sense of beauty, the sense of sacred awe, was umbilically connected to the music.’ He observed that beauty as a concept had largely been lost from contemporary Church music. Indeed it had been accompanied by the abandonment of any objective notion of beauty at all. This fitted in with a widespread liturgical trend, namely, celebrations of Mass that have become self-preoccupied and centred on the notion of self-expression; a liturgy that too often focuses on community rather than the divine. In Dr MacMillan’s experience, the singing of Gregorian Chant had helped priests and their congregations to recover their focus on what was important in the Mass – that sense of beauty and the sacred.
Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory, gave the meeting a brief but fascinating update on the progress achieved at the Newman Institute of Music, which was established in the wake of the Holy Father’s visit to Britain, and which was dedicated to meeting the musical needs of both clergy and laity.
The meeting was chaired by Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, who reported on the activities of the Gregorian Chant Network over the past two years and looked forward to further success in the months to come.
The very successful gathering concluded with Vespers in the Little Oratory, led by Fr Andrew Southwell, the Latin Mass Society’s National Chaplain.
We are happy to advertise an online petition that is opposing the Government's proposed redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions (Go here to sign). It has already been signed by many leading politicians and Christian leaders.
Such a redefinition is, of course, contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father and many bishops have, of course, spoken out against such a redefinition as contrary not only to the Church's teaching, but to Natural Law. It must be opposed. The petition is being organised by Coalition for Marriage, a non-denominational, cross-party umbrella organisation that includes many individuals, organisations and churches and religious groups united in their support for true marriage between a man and a woman.
The Latin Mass Society (LMS) has announced the establishment of six patrons, including well-known figures from the worlds of music, journalism, politics and the law.
This marks a major advance for the LMS and for the cause of the Traditional Latin Mass in England and Wales which are both attracting the support of mainstream figures within the Church.
The new patrons include Dr James MacMillan CBE (pictured, right), who composed the setting for the Beatification Mass of John Henry Newman and is well known for his tireless campaigning for excellence in Church music. Charles Moore, a convert to Catholicism, is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and a prominent national journalist and political commentator. Prince Rupert Loewenstein is a former President and long time supporter of the Latin Mass Society. Lord (Brian) Gill is the second most senior judge in Scotland and was recently honoured with a papal knighthood. He has supported the Traditional Latin Mass for many years. Colin Mawby is another composer who is highly respected in Catholic music circles. He was Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral under Cardinal Heenan and more recently has been very supportive of the LMS’s attempts to nurture a wider knowledge of Gregorian Chant. Sir Adrian FitzGerald is President of the Irish Association of the Knights of Malta, a former mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and was previously a Chairman of the Governors of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.
Announcing the establishment of the LMS’s new patrons, Chairman Dr Joseph Shaw said: ‘I’m delighted they have agreed to be patrons. This is a real indication of the Society’s standing in the Catholic community and the Church. Since Summorum Pontificum, our support of the Traditional Mass is no longer considered an eccentricity, to be tolerated at best, but an important apostolate for the good of the whole Church and recognised as such by the Holy Father.’
We have increased the size of Mass of Ages again, this time from 48 to 56 pages. But the price is the same - £2.50 plus delivery.
We have interviews and special features, news from around the country, including a feature on the new Traditional shrine at New Brighton, Merseyside, run by the Institute of Christ the King, including an interview with its Rector, Canon Olivier Meney.
We also include the second of our regular reports from Rome, our popular family notebook column, a Lenten feature, a special feature and appeal on English and Welsh seminarians studying at Traditional seminaries, an inspiring photograph and report from Afghanistan, an extract from a fascinating new book about the Easter liturgy aimed at the non-specialist and specialist alike, a new regular column on Catholic art, comment and opinion columns, our regular delve into the LMS archives from past decades, your letters and a prize crossword, and of course full listings of Traditional Masses across England and Wales - the most comprehensive of its kind. Plus much more besides.
|Delivery to Outside Europe|
UPDATE: We have received the following update, as of 16 February: the Funeral Mass on Monday, 20 February at St William of York's Church in Reading will now start at 11.30am. Full updated details of the ceremonies can be seen here.
George reports on last night's Juventutem London Rosary at Tyburn Convent.
'The Rosary in the Crypt was introduced by one of the Sisters of the convent, who gave us a little history of the relics, one no doubt we had all heard before (for those who had been there before) but I found it a pleasant reminder, and put me in a good frame of mind.
'We sang the Veni Creator Spiritus and then Father Marcus Holden, bore witness to the Martyrs as they related to him and his ancestors. I hesitate to call it even a homily, as it was very touching indeed. We then prayed the Rosary, all the time Father Holden weaving into the tapestry of the mysteries the lives of our English and Welsh martyrs.
'The Fifth Mystery was sung in procession led by a little processional statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the actual location of the Tyburn Tree (some 150 yards up the road). It was a very touching scene; the strange looks, the whispers, the peeps of horns, at a little group kneeling around a little statue of Our Lady receiving a final blessing from a recognisably Roman Catholic Priest.
'We then went to have a social at a local pub, having a private room (very nice I may add) to ourselves, where laughter and conviviality was the norm. It was a great pleasure to see many friends and make new acquaintances. And I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.'
The Juventutem London Rosary is a monthly event starting at the Tyburn Convent in London, it is advertised on their blog, on the LMS website and the LMS facebook profile.
Juventutem is an international movement of young Roman Catholics which promotes the sanctification of youth through the traditional Roman forms of the Sacraments. Typically aimed at 16-35 year olds, there are currently five groups in the UK; London, Reading, Oxford, Bristol and Cheltenham. The Chaplain to the international movement is Father Armand de Malleray, FSSP.
Juventutem London's next Mass and Social is as follows:
DATE: Friday, 24 February, 6.30pm
VENUE: St Mary Moorfields Catholic Church, 4-5 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LS
After Mass there will be a social downstairs for those aged 18-35 with an exception for priests and religious.
The Mass is open to anyone of any age. It is only the social events that are designed for 18-35 year olds.
If you plan on coming to the social please RSVP by clicking 'Attending' on the Juventutem Facebook event page.
Please let others know about this Mass.
Continuing a highly successful Traditional Vocations discernment weekend, the next will be on 30 March - 1 April 2012 at St John Fisher House in Reading: For Catholic men between 18 and 35 years of age.
It starts on Friday 30th March 2012 at 6pm (arrivals from 5pm)– ending on Sunday 1st April 2012 at 3pm and will be led by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, assisted by Fr Simon Leworthy, FSSP and Rev Ian Verrier, FSSP – one of the LMS-sponsored seminarians from Birmingham (read his letter in the latest Mass of Ages).
Location: St John Fisher House is the residence of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England & Wales. Address: 17, Eastern Avenue, Reading, RG1 5RU, England.
Access: Reading is one of the most accessable locations in the UK: 27mn from London Paddington by direct trains up to every 10mn, and from London Waterloo. Direct trains from Oxford, Bournemouth, Bristol, Newcastle, York, Birmingham, Gatwick Airport, Southampton Airport, etc. Direct ‘RailAir’ buses from Heathrow to Reading train station every 20mn. Motorway: M4.
Limited overnight accommodation: please book now.
Programme: Spiritual conferences, socials, Holy Mass each of the three days (Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite) including Solemn High Mass on Palm Sunday, silent prayer, private talk with Fr de Malleray, FSSP. Fr de Malleray will explain what a vocation is in general and to the priesthood in particular.
Extract from the Pope's recent letter to Seminarians: “The proper celebration of the Eucharist involves knowing, understanding and loving the Church’s liturgy in its concrete form. In the liturgy we pray with the faithful of every age – the past, the present and the future are joined in one great chorus of prayer. As I can state from personal experience, it is inspiring to learn how it all developed, what a great experience of faith is reflected in the structure of the Mass, and how it has been shaped by the prayer of many generations.”
Cost: no set price for students or unemployed – any donation welcome; others: £50 suggested.
New: our special Vocations flyer and videos on www.fssp.org.uk/england/pages/vocations.
There were 11 men attending the last Traditional Vocations discernment weekend before Christmas. We hope it will be just as successful this time!
UPDATE (16 FEBRUARY): The Funeral Mass at St William of York's, Reading will start at 11.30am.
R.I.P. Former LMS Sussex Representative Mrs Anne Florence Read.
The LMS is sorry to announce the death of Mrs Anne Read in Reading, Berkshire on 1 February. A long-standing LMS member, Mrs Anne Read and her husband David laboured for years to promote the EF Mass in South East England. As professional singers, they provided chant formation to many, and organised for hundreds of Sunday Masses to be offered. In the 1970s, Anne accompanied her husband and Michael Davies on tours of the USA to promote the traditional liturgy. After her husband’s death, Anne Read had moved to Reading ‘to be near a regular EF Mass centre’. A daily communicant, she died in peace after 6 weeks in hospital, supported by many members of the Reading EF community who would pray by her bed day and night in her last days, and she was visited daily by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. May she rest in peace.
All are welcome to attend her funeral this Monday, 20 February. An occasion rarely offered in England, Anne’s funeral will be a solemn polyphonic Requiem Mass followed with solemn Absolution and Burial.
Location: ST. WILLIAM OF YORK CATHOLIC CHURCH, Upper Redlands Road, Reading, Berks. RG1 5JT (see map HERE). Located next to St Joseph Convent School. Large free parish car park next to St William Church.
Celebrant: Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP; Deacon: Fr Andrew Southwell, National LMS Chaplain; Subdeacon: Fr Simon Leworthy, FSSP.
Sunday 19 February 2012, 8pm: bringing in of the body and prayer vigil.
Monday 20 February 2012, 11.30am: Solemn Requiem. 1.30pm: Burial at Mays Lane Cemetery (situated at the bottom of Mays Lane, off the Wokingham Road in Earley, 5mins drive from St William of York Church. Postcode is RG6 7DG). Refreshments to follow.
If you wish to arrive the day before and require accommodation, please contact the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter: email@example.com – Tel: 0118 966 5284.
Full listings of Masses in England and Wales on Ash Wednesday, 22 February 2012, can be downloaded here. We are updating the information as we receive details of other Masses.
High Mass at 7.30pm at the Church of St Mary Magdalen, Upper North Street, BRIGHTON BN1 3FH is to celebrate 150 years of its foundation on Monday 27 February.
They will be starting their 150th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the church at 7.30pm with a Missa Solemnis. The preacher is the renowned teacher of dogmatic theology, newspaper agony uncle, pro-life priest and blogger, Fr Tim Finigan.
The Mass will be accompanied by Polyphony: Schubert's Mass in G, a motet by Bruckner and a new Tu Es Petrus by the young Oxford composer Tom Bennett, who is also singing with the Oxford-based choir, travelling to sing at the Mass.
Our Local Representative for Southwark North, Matthew Schellhorn reports:
'On 11 February 2012, Holy Mass was celebrated in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, followed by a Gregorian Chant Training Day.
'The Mass, celebrated for the intentions of local Latin Mass Society Members in honour of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, was sung by Fr Martin Edwards, Parish Priest of St Mary Magdalene, Wandsworth. Gordon Dimon was the Master of Ceremonies. The men of the Cathedral Choir sang Missa "Vidi civitatem sanctam" with the Ordinary chants of "Cum jubilo"; during the Offertory they also sang the Latin hymn, "Ave maris stella".
'Mass was followed by a Gregorian Chant Training Day (pictured), organised by the Gregorian Chant Network. The Cathedral Director of Music, Nick Gale, ably assisted by his colleague Mark Johnson, inspired and enlightened some 15 chant enthusiasts, which included singers from London churches and the members of the Juventutem London Schola, and others from as far afield as Salisbury.
'The day finished with First Vespers of Sexagesima Sunday. Fr Andrew Southwell, Assistant Priest of St Bede's, Clapham Park, and Latin Mass Society National Chaplain, officiated.
'The Latin Mass Society is very grateful to the Dean, Canon John O'Toole, the Sacristan, Rev. James Sheahan, the Cathedral Administrator, Alex Scott, and to all who support us. '
More pictures of the day's events can be seen here.
Following last year's highly successful Lenten Morning of Recollection in London, the LMS has announced that we will be repeating the event this year on Saturday, 3 March 2012. Fr Andrew Southwell, the LMS National Chaplain, will, as last year, be preaching the Morning of Recollection.
The venue is St Vincent de Paul RC Primary School, Morpeth Terrace, Victoria, London, SW1P 1EP (directly next to Westminster Cathedral) and the event runs from 10.30am to 12 noon. Tea and coffee will be available and we are asking attendees for a voluntary contribution of £5 each to help defray costs. All are welcome (LMS members or non-members alike) to what promises to be a spiritually profitable day).
Last year's Morning of Recollection was packed out and there was standing room only by the end, so we advise booking a place. To book, please phone the LMS office on 020 7404 7284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the afternoon, starting at 2.00pm, the LMS will be holding a High Mass in Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by Fr Southwell. It will be the Mass for Ember Saturday and will have the traditional five lessons. The music, sung by the Cathedral choir, will be Mass XVIII: Deus Genitor alme. All are very welcome to join us.
Saturday the 4th of February there will be a sung nuptual Mass with Polyphony at St John the Evangelists Church, South Parade, BATH, BA2 4AF, at 2.00pm the spouses-to-be have requested the Mass to be open to the general public.
The young couple from Reading were members of the Juventutem group there, and we extend them our best wishes in Domino.
The Rudgate Singers have announced the music that they will be singing at the LMS Pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow in York on 24 March.
The Mass setting will be:
Missa Summi et Aeterni Sacerdotis by Jeffrey Ostrowski
Although this modern polyphonic setting will not be familiar to many, it is unlikely to disappoint. Also during the Mass, there will be:
Ecce Sacerdos Magnus by Victoria,
Locus Iste by Bruckner,
Laetatus Sum by Scarlatti,
Ave Verum Corpus by De Wael and
Ave Regina Caelorum by Gombert.
During the veneration of the relic of St Margaret Clitherow, the congregation will be invited to sing:
Faith of Our Fathers,
Firmly I Believe and Truly and
God of Mercy and Compassion.
At Benediction, the Rudgate Singers will sing:
O Salutaris by Perosi,
Tantum Ergo by Bruckner and
Adoremus by Allegri.
The recessional will be the Worcester version of the Laudes Regiae.
The Mass, which will be celebrated by Fr Michael Brown in the presence of Bishop Terence Drainey who will also preach, will be at 1.30pm in the Church of St Wilfrid. A procession will follow passing through The Shambles, where St Margaret lived, and over Ouse Bridge, where she was executed, to the Church of the English Martyrs for veneration of the relic and Benediction.
Following last year's very successful first National LMS Pilgrimage to York (around 800 people attended Mass), we are happy to announce our second National Pilgrimage to York on Saturday, 24 March in honour of the LMS's co-patron St Margaret Clitherow (pictured, right - this is the Saturday closest to her feast day).
Last year's event attracted pilgrims from the North and South of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and a good deal of local media coverage. (You can see photos of last year's pilgrimage here and here.) This is a wonderful public witness to the Faith and we would encourage as many families and individuals as possible to take part in the day's events. The timetable is as follows:
Solemn Mass will be celebrated at 1.30pm at the Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York (directly next to the Minster), in the presence of Rt Rev. Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough.
It will be followed by a procession to the Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace, where there will be Benediction and Veneration of the Relic of St Margaret Clitherow.
The procession will pass through The Shambles, where Margaret Clitherow lived and where there is now an official shrine to the Saint (picture, left), and over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution, before proceeding to English Martyrs' Church.
Directions and travel information:
The Church of St Wilfrid is across the road from the West Door of York Minster and about five minutes walk from the Railway Station. Because parking is limited in York City Centre, visitors travelling by car are advised to use the Park and Ride service at Askham Bar on the Tadcaster Road close to the junction with the A64 by-pass. Buses from there pass near to both St Wilfred’s Church and English Martyrs’ Church.
The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), of which the LMS is an affiliate, has issued a statement concerning the real possibility of revisions to the 1962 Roman Missal. Given the extreme importance of the subject matter, we reproduce the full text of the statement from FIUV President, Leo Darroch, issued on 30 January 2012:
The Revision of the Missal of 1962
The Concerns of the International Federation Una Voce
It is known that work has commenced in Rome on the revision of the Missal of 1962. As has been the norm in recent years, these matters are being conducted discreetly and only made public when the relevant document is promulgated, viz: Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. The very narrow remit given by the Holy Father to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in his Letter to Accompany Summorum Pontificum [7 July, 2007] was that: “..new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal.” No other changes were sanctioned. Pope Benedict also stated that “The Ecclesia Dei Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the possibilities in this regard.”
Those who are “devoted to the usus antiquior” must continually and carefully ensure that this specific and narrow remit is not exceeded by those in Rome and elsewhere who desire to undermine the integrity of the Missal of 1962 by demanding the inclusion of some of the novelties which were introduced into the liturgy post-1962. The International Federation Una Voce was founded in early 1965, even before the Second Vatican Council had ended, and is by far the oldest organisation, lay or clerical, which is devoted to the usus antiquior. While other organisations and societies, clerical and lay, may also be devoted to the ‘usus antiquior’, none can match the 46 year history of the Una Voce Federation in its unswerving devotion to this cause. The Federation has played a unique role in being the first, and the continuous voice of the lay faithful in seeking adherence to the expressed wishes of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council as declared in Sacrosanctum Concilium n.4: “Finally, in faithful obedience to tradition, the Sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognised rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.”
The members of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, being ever mindful of this decree of the Council Fathers, have been faithfully obedient to tradition, have consistently upheld the equal right and dignity of the Mass of Antiquity, and have striven since 1965 to preserve and foster this lawfully recognised rite. In his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, confirmed what the International Federation has always claimed, that the Missal of 1962 ‘was never juridically abrogated’. The Holy Father also confirmed in his letter that his decision was to bring about “an interior reconciliation in the heart of the church.”
Liturgical innovation and creativity is unwanted by the faithful and has consistently disturbed, angered and alienated them in the years following the Second Vatican Council. This must not happen again with the adulteration of the Missal of 1962. The International Federation accepts organic development but emphatically rejects liturgical innovation which is alien to the character, spirit, and integrity of the usus antiquior. The inestimable treasure of the ancient liturgy must not be undermined by novelty, reductionism, and destructive modernisation. Nothing describes the attraction of the usus antiquior more powerfully than the growing number of young Catholics world-wide, including many seminarians and young priests, who are discovering this ancient and deeply spiritual liturgy and are being captivated by it.
We are now entering a critical period in the life of the liturgy of Holy Mother Church. Decisions that are being taken in Rome today will have a lasting impact on the spiritual welfare of the faithful for generations. The need to implement the will of the Holy Father for a limited and organic change in harmony with the character of the Missal of 1962 must not be the excuse for the introduction into the traditional Roman liturgy of alien concepts that created so much disunity and disharmony in the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council.
Following the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the President of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce presented a document to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in June 2008. Now that work on amending the Missal of 1962 has commenced, it may be timely to republish this document, in an updated form, to make clear, once again, the desires and aspirations of the members of the Una Voce Federation.
A Reflection on Summorum Pontificum and the Role of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Prior to, and Post, September 2007.
Executive President – International Federation Una Voce
2 June 2008.
Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum in July 2007 there has been great rejoicing from those in the Catholic Church who wish to retain traditions, and protect Tradition. There is no doubt that the statement from Pope Benedict that the Missal of 1962 had never been abrogated, and the freedom he has granted to priests of the Roman Rite to celebrate this form of the Mass, has led to a great increase in the celebrations of the ancient and venerable rite. However, it is also clear that the promulgation of this Motu Proprio has led to many questions about the manner of celebration and the rubrics that apply to the Missal revised by Blessed John XXIII. It seems that there are some, including many bishops, who deliberately wish to create confusion and dissent in an attempt to dissuade priests and faithful from benefiting from the Holy Father’s pastoral solicitude, and insist that post-1962 developments (such as Communion in the hand, and female altar servers) are perfectly valid in Masses celebrated according to the Missal of 1962. On the other hand, there are others who have genuine queries about what is allowed during the celebration of the Extraordinary form of the Mass. Questions are being raised more or less on a daily basis and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei [PCED] is being inundated with letters containing requests for clarification; to such an extent that a document has been prepared that seeks to clarify matters once and for all. We have been advised to wait patiently for the publication of this document.
As I made clear in my Report to the PCED on 29th April 2008, I believe that Summorum Pontificum (and Quattuor Abhinc Annos  and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta  before it) should be interpreted according to the mind of the Legislator in his desire to redress, among other things, what many traditional Catholics believe to have been abuses of their legitimate aspirations. I believe those who seek to modify the directives of Summorum Pontificum to incorporate the changes post-1962 should be informed that they may freely avail themselves of the Novus Ordo in Latin where most of the various adaptations are already available, or can be adopted without any difficulty. The 1965 Ordo and the 1967 Missa Normativa were, by their own nature, only transitory and temporary stages and lost any particular significance once the 1969 edition of the Roman Missal was published by Pope Paul VI. There is, consequently, no sense in encouraging the adoption of elements of those ordos as somehow being natural and genuine evolutions of the 1962 Missal, which remains the only legitimate expression of the Extraordinary form of Roman Rite as defined by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
Recently, there has been much publicity given to a letter that was issued by the PCED in 1997 and signed by the then President, Cardinal Felici, and by Monsignor Perl, the Secretary. This letter permits a number of modifications to celebrations of the Missal of 1962 concerning the Epistle, Gospel, Gloria, Credo, Pater Noster, and Prefaces from the appendix of the 1965 Missale Romanum and from that of 1970. They, therefore, are superseded by the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. For if the Supreme Pontiff wished prior liturgical provisions to be observed, he would have stated as much in his Motu Proprio of 7th July 2007.
In the midst of all this confusion there is, perhaps, a single question to be posed, the answer to which may make the responses to all the many queries irrelevant. But first it is necessary to set the scene.
The Holy Father, in Summorum Pontificum, could not have been clearer in stating what he means and meaning what he stated. He constantly refers to the Missal of 1962 OR the Missal of 1970. There is no ambiguity; it is a straight choice between one or the other. There is no in-between.
With the full authority of Peter, the Supreme Legislator stated “We Decree”. He then states that the Missal of Blessed John XXIII:
● “must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage” [Art.1];
● that the priest may use “the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 OR (my emphasis) the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970” [Art.2];
● In parishes a pastor may “celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962” [Art. 5].
The only concession granted by Pope Benedict in the Motu Proprio itself is in Article 6 when he states: “In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the readings MAY (my emphasis) be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.”
Thus, the mind of Pope Benedict in the Motu Proprio is clear – it is either the Missal of 1970 OR the Missal of 1962. His Holiness remains true to this theme in his Letter to Bishops which accompanied the Motu Proprio. He states that, “the last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council…..in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration.” He also states that, “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal”, thus indicating, once again, that, while there is no contradiction, there is a distinct difference between the two Missals.
And now I come to the crux of my argument. An indult is a permission, or privilege, granted by the competent ecclesiastical authority – the Holy See or the local ordinaries as the case may be – for an exception from a particular norm of church law in an individual case. Both Quattuor Abhinc Annos of 1984, and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of 1988, were granted on the widespread opinion that the Missal of 1962 had been abrogated – abolished - following the publication of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970. The motives for Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta would have been very different. Ecclesia Dei Adflicta (after the Commission of Cardinals had reported) may have been pro bono pacis, but this would not have applied to Quattuor Abhinc Annos.
[Note: A Commission of nine Cardinals was established Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1986 to determine whether the Missal of 1962 had been legally abrogated, or whether the bishops had the power to forbid the traditional Mass. The unanimous answer was ‘No’.]
In his Letter to Bishops Pope Benedict states:
“As for the use of the 1962 Missal …I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.
In Summorum Pontificum he repeats this with the full force of law and states:
“….It is therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated (my emphasis) …………The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents ‘Quattuor abhinc annos’ and ‘Ecclesia Dei’ are substituted as follows:”[Art.1]
In the case of both these indults they were substituted as from midnight on 13th September 2007 and ceased to have any force of law. They are redundant, obsolete.
The Pope has given us two clear statements: that the Missal of 1962 was never abrogated, and that the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum given Motu Proprio replaces the indults Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. All the various permissions and modifications granted by the PCED were granted during the periods of the indults. Logic dictates, therefore, that if the Missal of 1962 was never abolished and the Holy Father states that the conditions laid down in earlier documents [Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta] for the use of the Missal of 1962 are substituted with effect from midnight on 13th September 2007, then all permissions, interpretations, relaxations, modifications et al that flowed from Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta must also be ‘substituted’ with effect from midnight on 13th September 2007 and no longer apply. The Pope has clarified the situation that has existed since 1970 and has wiped the slate clean concerning the indults of 1984 and 1988. The 14th September 2007 brought us a new beginning in the understanding of the law, one which is based on juridical principles and not on the granting of a privilege.
If it is accepted that all the concessions and privileges that were granted under Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta have been superseded by the new law, what, then, is the current position? Quite clearly we start with a clean slate. From 14th September 2007 we start once again with the Missal of 1962, untouched and without modification or adaptation. In his Letter to the Bishops, Pope Benedict recognises that some change will take place but he is very specific; and he speaks in the future tense only, not in the past. He says: “new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The ‘Ecclesia Dei’ Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard.” In effect, no changes can be made to the Missal of 1962 until the Ecclesia Dei Commission implements the will of the Holy Father and consults with the “various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior”. One would imagine that the first action of the Pontifical Commission would be the establishment of a list of ‘bodies’ to be consulted. Only when the various bodies have been identified can the process begin of studying the practical possibilities of inserting new Saints and new Prefaces. We should be entering a period of quiet diplomacy and consultation during which the Missal of 1962 should remain untouched. Engaging in this properly-structured process will have a number of benefits. Those who fear that the Missal of 1962 will be adulterated bit by bit, as happened during the 1960s, should be reassured that nothing will change until serious debate has taken place between the PCED and those who are attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition, and the PCED will be able to address itself to the task entrusted to it by Pope Benedict XVI without being inundated on a daily basis with requests for clarifications on various matters, many of which are trivial and serve only to overwhelm the staff in the Commission and divert them from the important work they are there to do. ●
The long-awaited clarification document, Universae Ecclesiae, was published by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 30th April 2011 and was subject to much comment and detailed analysis in the media. The International Federation Una Voce welcomed the document.
Although some have commented that Universae Ecclesiae still leaves some questions unclear, what is perfectly clear is that the Holy Father has fully restored to the universal Church the traditional Roman rite as enshrined in the liturgical books of 1962, that the rubrics in force in 1962 must be strictly observed, and that Latin and the Usus Antiquior must be taught in seminaries where there is a pastoral need. And this pastoral need must be determined by those who wish to benefit from Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, and not be decided by those many in authority whose natural desire is to prevent their implementation.
The International Federation Una Voce has worked patiently and tirelessly for the restoration of the traditional liturgy for more than 45 years and is now witnessing a vindication of its fidelity to Holy Mother Church and the See of Peter. However, its members, the lay faithful of Holy Mother Church, are fully aware that many in the ranks of the clergy have a burning desire to thwart their legitimate aspirations to benefit spiritually from the pastoral solicitude of Pope Benedict XVI. To this end, we who are beneficiaries of these documents, wish to state unequivocally that, while accepting the stated will of our Holy Father for the inclusion of new Saints and some new Prefaces into the Missal of 1962, we will respectfully and vigorously challenge any proposal that strays beyond these clearly defined limits and seeks to adulterate the integrity of that Missal.
President – Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce
30 January 2012
Thursday, 2 February. Full listings of Masses around England and Wales can be downloaded here.