Thursday, July 3, 2008

The End of Holy Trinity, The Beginning of??


I thought I'd better mention some of the things that happened last Sunday at the high Tridentine Mass at Holy Trinity Church of Boston.

Holy Trinity, as you know, has been hosting a traditional Tridentine rite mass in Latin in the Diocese of Boston for the last nineteen years. This church was founded in 1844 (the current building dates from 1877) by German immigrants, and it used to be known as the the "Christmas Parish" because it was from these German churchgoers that the post-puritan Bostonians learned to celebrate Christmas copying from them such rituals as decorating fir trees, midnight processions and greeting cards.

The church was full, easily twice the number of congregants I had seen at its fullest previously. Unfortunately, the rather elderly and barely audible priest -- rather than the peppery Father Taurasi -- was main celebrant. The music was, of course, heartbreaking. The thing that always makes me choke up -- the ringing of the tower bells at the elevation of the host and chalice -- I had never encountered before going to Holy Trinity.

At the Homily a rather youngish and broad shouldered priest mounted the pulpit. He was Father Connelly (sp?), the pastor, and he read the decree from the Cardinal that at noon on Monday (the 30th) Holy Trinity Church was to be "suppressed." Then he uttered a lot of very sympathetic words towards the two congregations of HT (the German and the traditionalist). I don't know; he may be sincere.

But here is the news: The Diocese want to get the congregation to come over to the the Cathedral and to entice them the rector is offering a "German-American" novus ordo service upstairs AND (pending the arrangement of "logistics") a TRIDENTINE rite in the "basement" the first extraordinary rite to be held this Sunday (6th) at 11:00AM.

The people of the Holy Trinity have been praying for a "miracle" to save their church. I'm wondering if they are getting one -- just not the one they were looking for. The chancery and the Diocese, is, to be sure, trying to protect themselves from the appeal to the Vatican by the HT people who are basing it on the Motu Proprio.

BUT, is this the first time in over thirty-five years that the Old Mass will have been said in Holy Cross Cathedral? When was the last time it was said in ANY diocesan cathedral in North America?

David, you should spread the word. I'll probably be down on Cape Cod this Sunday. I hope I may hear from somebody who goes to it.


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