Good ole Liturgy

Tomorrow night and again on Sat night, there will be two Latin masses celebrated in the Tridentine Rite at the Church of the Holy Cross.

Fri 5 Aug 7.30pm
Sat 6 Aug 8.00pm

The priest is from the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.

Our very own John Goh will be singing in the schola cantorum.

This is a one-off event, and is not likely to be repeated anytime soon. Please don't miss this wonderful opportunity to experience the Liturgy of 1962.

To get an idea of what it will be like, see the text of the Mass here.


John Goh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Goh said...

Oh. I must qualify that please only bring yourself and people whom you know will not kick a big fuss or has heard of such a mass, or is not likely to blab to his priest about why can't they have the same thing in their parish.

This affair is highly private and LOW key. I must stress again. It is low key. So only invite yourself if you feel like you really want to see what a Tridentine mass is about.

The reason for such secrecy is rather obvious, but I shall list them here.

The organisers had gotten permission to celebrate the Tridentine rite with expressed instruction to keep it private. This would prevent any confusion with the Society of St Pius X and would utterly confuse any below averaged catholic who is totally ignorant of the history of our Liturgy and happens to come in out of curiousity.

I stress again, because i have been warned myself, only bring yourself (since it has been blabbed to you) and only bring friends you can trust. Dun publicise it all around.

Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

With respect to Fr John and no doubt, His Grace the Archbishop, this attitude to the Mass and the Tridentine rite is extremely sad and even disturbing! The Liturgy of the Church by its very nature is public! The repetition of "private" in that comment is disheartening.

Moreover, why this clandestine atmosphere as if one were engaged in an evil or illegal act?! It reminds me of Reformation England when priests found saying the Mass were guilty of high treason and executed accordingly! I'm afraid the reasons for secrecy are not at all obvious to me. Indeed, it's somewhat confounding!

This secrecy stands in stark contrast to the thousands of young people who will travel to Cologne next week for WYD 2005 as part of a contingent using the Tridentine Mass exclusively. They have been given a church for their purposes by the organisers of WYD 2005 and several Cardinals (curial and non-curial) shall be officiating at the Liturgies. It does not get more 'public' than that!

This secercy as if the old Rite is some thing to be ashamed of smacks of 1970s polemic and sheer ignorance, not to mention, being out of touch with the state of the Church and indeed, the will of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

There is an opportunity here to clarify the position of a Tridentine Mass celebrated by an FSSP priest over and against an SSPX Mass, and yet rather than confront the issue and preach the Truth, the "organisers" have decided to evade the issue and (presumably) allow confusion and error to prevail. This is indefensible from a Catholic viewpoint!

If one comes to the Mass out of curiousity, clearly one comes to be better informed, to be taught, to be made more aware of the rite in which at least 500 years of saints participated. Why oh why is this duty to teach, inform and enlighten being shunned?!

I suspect diocesan politics is playing a bigger role in all this than a desire for Truth...

Anonymous said...

Or you can free yourself and worship freely at an S.S.P.X. chapel, where the same Mass that Catholics have been offered for eons can be enjoyed.

The S.S.P.X., by the way, are not sedevacantists; they pray for the Pope and their local Ordinary at each and every Mass they offer. They also don't believe that the Novus Ordo Missae is invalid; they simply believe that it is what it is: a highly Protestantized Mass that doesn't preserve the Faith and should be avoided.

If there had been no S.S.P.X., there'd be no F.S.S.P. today.

Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Dear Anonymous,

Were all that you say true, then there is no barrier to full and complete union with the see of Rome and her bishop.

However, may I reproduce here the facts regarding the status of the SSPX as per a letter of Mgr Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission from 1998:

"a) The Pope is the supreme legislator in the Church. In an Apostolic Letter which he issued motu proprio (on his own initiative) he declared that

Mons. Lefebvre and the priests Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, have incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law. (Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 1382).

Those mentioned above who are still living and have not asked pardon from the Church for the ill which they have caused are still under the censure of excommunication.

b) While the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, they are also suspended a divinis, that is they are forbidden by the Church from celebrating the Mass and the sacraments because of their illicit (or illegal) ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood without proper incardination (cf. canon 265). In the strict sense there are no "lay members" of the Society of St. Pius X, only those who frequent their Masses and receive the sacraments from them.

While it is true that participation in the Mass at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute "formal adherence to the schism", such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church classically exemplified in A Rome and Econe Handbook which states in response to question 14 that the SSPX defends the traditional catechisms and therefore the Old Mass, and so attacks the Novus Ordo, the Second Vatican Council and the New Catechism, all of which more or less undermine our unchangeable Catholic faith.

It is precisely because of this schismatic mentality that this Pontifical Commission has consistently discouraged the faithful from attending Masses celebrated under the aegis of the Society of St. Pius X.

We reiterate what we stated above: "The Pope is the Supreme legislator in the Church." Communion with him is a fundamental, non-negotiable hallmark of Catholicism which is not determined by those who set themselves up to judge him, but by the Pope himself (cf. Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium #22-25)."

These are the facts and the teaching of the Church with regard to the SSPX. I would leave to individual Catholics and their conscience to decide whether they prefer to trust the propaganda of a society with "schismatic tendencies" or the above.

It seems to me a shame that the Sacrament of Unity should once more fall prey to those who choose to disobey the Supreme Pontiff and be used as a decoy.

Anonymous said...

How can they be in schism or have "schismatic tendencies" when they don't claim ordinary jurisdiction and when they pray for the Pope and the local Ordinary at each and every Mass? They believe and worship just as your grandparents did and don't claim to be "the Church Herself" or the only remnant thereof.

Disobedience does not a "schism" make, and the Fathers, Saints, and Popes were all very clear that there is a great difference between what St. Thomas Aquinas called "perfect obedience" and "indiscreet obedience." If "disobedience" per se made for schism, then the vast majority of Bishops and priests are "in schism."

Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

I believe the disobedience came about when Archbishop Lefebrve ordained his four bishops in 1988 despite a warning from the Supreme Pontiff to the contrary.

This explicit act of disobedience is what caused the schism. Don't try to make it a matter of rites. It is a jurisdictional matter. I doubt very much that bishops and priests abound who explicitly disobey the Pope on a jurisdictional matter such as that.

As I have already said, your appeal to rite and liturgy is but a decoy for the truly disobedient spirit of schism in the SSPX, made manifest in those ordinations.

As such, these priests of SSPX are without incardination and all such priests (be they 'new rite' or not) are barred from licitly celebrating the sacraments. Once more, the question is one of jurisdiction and not validity.

So your appeal to grandparents' rites etc is purely emotional blackmail/ baggage that has no logical ground for the question at hand. It is a shameless smokescreen.

As for praying for the Pope and Ordinary... charity itself demands that. It is no basis for claiming legitimacy!

I strongly urge you to read "Ecclesia Dei" carefully.

As for

Norman Lee said...

I believe a case can be made for making it low-profile, speaking from someone involved in the preparations (ie. practical point of view).

John makes a valid point about someone who is totally ignorant about the Liturgy coming to attend. After having been fed on a diet of a very noisy 1970 Mass, they will be bewildered to find that it is all silent.

In other words, before this becomes a regular event, there should be some catechesis of the faithful, ie. explaining the why, what and how.

It seems to me that there is widespread prejudice against the 1962 Rite. I can tell you stories of the reaction of people when they knew of my involvement.

Also, many people nowadays don't even accept that there should be reverence and dignity during Mass, and don't understand the importance of following the rubrics. You just have to read the letters that appear in CN.

Ultimately, I do not think it is an unfortunate thing that this is low-profile. This event has made the infrastructure (servers, choir, vestments, candles etc etc)and knowledge in place, such that a second time is now possible. This second time would then be a great opportunity to set things right.

We can only pray that our Archbishop will be more generous in granting the indult.

Anonymous said...

Again, disobedience does not a schism make. If it did, then most Bishops and priests would be "schismatic."

As for the rest, see if this religion is the same as the one you practice:


Br Lawrence, O.P. said...


The site you referred me to places this at its head: "Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Why then do you choose to gather around a bishop who is ordained illicitly without due authority? Moreover, the faith and practices ('religio') you profess (as referred to in the website address above) is Catholic in form and structure, so why do you persist in adhering to a group with schismatic tendencies? Return to the fold of Holy Mother Church and her true shepherds!

With regard to your obstinence, I have no choice but to reproduce here the definitive judgment of the Supreme Pontiff, whom you profess to acknowledge as such:

"With great affliction the Church has learned of the unlawful episcopal ordination conferred on 30 June last by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, which has frustrated all the efforts made during the previous years to ensure the full communion with the Church of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X founded by the same Mons. Lefebvre. These efforts, especially intense during recent months, in which the Apostolic See has shown comprehension to the limits of the possible, were all to no avail.

In itself, this act [of illicit ordination] was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act. In performing such an act, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning sent to them by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops on 17 June last, Mons. Lefebvre and the priests Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, have incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law.

4. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, "comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth".

But especially contradictory is a notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magisterium of the Church possessed by the Bishop of Rome and the Body of Bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his Church."

-Ecclesia Dei, Pope John Paul II.

It doesn't get clearer than this and no amount of theological sophistry nor recourse to the Angelic Doctor will untie the knot. Even St Thomas Aquinas is bound by the laws of the Church and the Roman Pontiff! Indeed, the entire Order of Preachers is bound to obey and serve the Pope and it is in this spirit, today, on the feast of St Dominic, that I offer the above.

I also pray that you too will come to your senses and heed the clear teaching of the Pope, Christ's Vicar and our Shepherd on earth.

To you, he says:

" In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law."

So, come back to Holy Mother Church, be united to the Pope... or remain a Protestant in 'Catholic' trappings... The Anglo-Catholics are content with that!!

Anonymous said...

This is the part of the previous post that stuck out the most to me:

"...would utterly confuse any below averaged catholic who is totally ignorant of the history of our Liturgy and happens to come in out of curiousity."

Comming from somewhere that has a FSSP apostolate, this is the general sttitude that is felt from those of us who attned our regular parish. That we are "below average" Catholics and when we come up to their level we would be more then welcome to attned their Mass. My family went to our local FSSP apostolate for about a year then left b/c of this attitude. Which is too bad b/c we and our little kiddos loved the Mass.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I attend Mass because of the attitudes of those around me, too. If I like the people, it's Catholic; if I don't, it's not. And when you really stop to think about it, a bag of cheetohs has the same number of calories as a steak. The kiddos should be fine with that.

Venerable Aussie said...

Many of us Catholics here in the Asia-Pacific region are working hard, in truth and charity, to recover the sacred in our liturgy.

We need to be aware of those on all sides who want to lead us away from our Holy Mother Church.

Read this first: http://catholicculture.net/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4120

Then http://catholicculture.net/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1392

And if you need more: http://catholicculture.net/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1220

I'm in Singapore frequently, and give praise to God for the unity of Catholics, under the Successor of Peter, wherever we gather together in His name.

Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Thank you Venerable Aussie for those links. Very helpful indeed and I pray Anon reads them.

Anonymous said...

I did not say, or mean to put forward, the notion that any particular attitude is "Catholic" or not. I was just trying to add the point of view of an average, faithful, Catholic who has experinced quite a bit of snobbish, holier then thou, attitude at my local FSSP apostolate. We left not b/c we felt they were not Catholic but b/c bringing my kids up in an enviorment that was at many times uncharitable to others who attend "the other Mass" and even towards our late Holy Father, was not how we try to teach our kids about Holy Mother Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or how we show the love of Christ to others. Basicly our experince with FSSP has not been great. Either with the clergy or many of the laity around here.

Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

To Anon2, I empathise with you entirely. I was a member of the Latin Mass Society (LMS) in England but grew quite tired of their lack of charity and smug "faithful Remnant" attitude and their dissent from Vatican II. If not in actuality, this reveals a certain 'schismatic spirit'. I certainly don't expect this of the FSSP itself... I am indeed sorry to hear of your experiences.

I have to say, that if the 1962 liturgy is so superior, as is claimed by its die-hards, it ought to reveal itself not merely in rubrics and ceremonial beauty but more in the lives of charity and holiness of its adherents.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you comment. I live in a very conservative, or rather faithful to the Magisterium , diocese. We tend to be known for our conservatism. It is so odd to be living here and have this "who is a more faithful Catholic".."who has a more superior Mass" etc.. divison going on. We literaly, and thankfully, do not have, really any liberal leanings hear at all. Thanks be to God! I enjoy reading NLM blog. It feeds my desire for a Mass that has all the richness that the Church affords it to have. Even here, our Novus Ordo Mass, though faithfull 100%, is lacking those elements that lift one's heart and mind to the transcendant.

Norman Lee said...

As an aside - I believe the nearest regular licit Tridentine mass from Singapore is 2400 km away in Hong Kong, held once every fortnight in a school chapel. http://tridentine.catholic.org.hk/eng_add.htm

worth investigating if you happen to be there.

Daniel said...

I was surfing through some sites today, and came across a page that said that the Church of St Teresa celebrates a Mass in Latin every 1st Wednesday of the month. Is that the same as the Tridentine Mass? Or is it just a Mass using Latin as the language medium?

Norman said...

daniel - I have not been to the Mass you mentioned, but it is very likely that it is celebrated according to the 2000 Roman Missal (ie. the Mass we have now) in Latin, rather than the 1962 Missal.