Friday, July 18, 2008

Latin Mass at Boston Cathedral Sun., July 20th

The Celebrant this Sunday, July 20, will be Fr Raymond Van de Moortel, of St John's Seminary, and St Adelaide Parish, Peabody. Fr Frederick O'Brien will be available, 20 minutes before Mass to hear Confessions

Schola Amicorum, choir
George Krim, organist

Double - Green
Latin Low Mass in the Tridentine Rite
Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 11:00 AM
Cathedral of the Holy Cross - Boston

Organ Prelude "Sarabande" G. F. Handel
Processional Hymn"Bringing Our Praise, We kneel before Your Altar"
(Tune: "Soul of my Saviour") L. Dobici
The Introit "Dum clamarem ad Dominum…." Gregorian Chant
Kyrie Eleison "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
The Gradual & Alleluia "Custodi me, Domine…."Gregorian Chant
The Offertory "Ad te Domine levavi…." Gregorian Chant
Sanctus/Benedictus "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
Agnus Dei "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
The Communion "Acceptabis sacrificium stitiae…."Gregorian Chant
Prayers at the foot of the Altar
Recessional Hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" C. Kocher
Novena Prayers after Mass and
The Angelus

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Jacobite Anniversary, July 14th

Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern (born July 14, 1933), styled as His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria, is head of the Wittelsbach family, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Franz is a great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, who was deposed in 1918. He is also the current senior co-heir-general of King Charles I of England and Scotland, and thus is considered by Jacobites to be the heir of the House of Stuart and the rightful ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, though he himself does not advance the claim.

Book of Divine Worship and Rule of Benedict

In honor of St. Benedict on this his day, I prepared a comparision of the Daily Office in the Book of Divine Worship with the Rule of Benedict. It's part of a larger, uncompleted, effort to annotate the Rule and is on the web at Agathon Associates (Click on E-TEXTS The Great Books of Western Civilization free online.)

In chapters 8 through 20 Benedict lays out the regulations for saying the daily office.

He begins with the regulations for Matins, which he prescribes to be read in the early morning in the winter (the eigth hour corresponding roughly to two a.m., and in the summer just before dawn. Matins is followed by Lauds and together correspond to Morning Prayer in the BDW.

Our Morning Prayer begins, after preparatory sentences of scripture and penitential rite, with the invitatory "Lord open thou our lips. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise." (Domine, labia mea aperies...) followed by Psalm 95 (usually in an altered form) as prescribed by Benedict. But the "O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us." (Deus, in adjutorium meum intende...) has been moved to the opening of Evening Prayer in the BDW.

The body of Benedict's Matins is largely preserved in our Morning Prayer--the recitations of Psalms and the lessons from the Old and New Testaments.

A weakness of the Daily Office in the BDW compared to Benedict's prescriptions is the lack of assigned readings from the Fathers. Our Office also omits the Kyrie of Benedict's Office.

Benedict varies the length of the office according to the time of year in order to accomodate the variance in the length of an hour of time as the nights waxed or waned in length. Today, with the hour a fixed duration of time this no longer is applicable.

Benedict prescribes the Te Deum laudamus for all Sundays at Matins; the BDW suggests this canticle for all Feasts and Solemnities.

Now that Matins and Lauds are combined to form our Morning Prayer and the Psalms are distributed in the BDW according to the seven week or 30-day arrangment, Benedict's presciptions for the Psalms at Lauds no longer apply. One wonders what Benedict, who wrote, "Our holy forefathers promptly fulfilled in one day what we lukewarm a week" would say about our even laxer arrangment of the Psalms?

The BDW follows Benedict's prescription of the Our Father at each of the morning and evening offices.

owever, we depart from Benedict in not prescribing the Ambrosian hymn (Te Deum laudamus) at every morning office. Like Benedict, the BDW offers several choices at Morning Prayer for canticles drawn from the Old and New Testament.

As prescribed by Benedict, the feasts of the saints and solemn festivals take precedence over the ordinary weekday or feria in the BDW.

As does Benedict, the BDW provides for a distinctive tone to the liturgy for Lent, for Easter, and for the balance of the year.

For the little hours, Benedict prescribes Psalms, the Kyrie and the collects. The BDW Noonday Office is composed of some of the Psalms. The collects have been moved to Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer and the Kyrie dropped from the Office.

As does the DBW, Benedict concludes the day with a brief office of Compline with the 4th, 91st, and 134th Psalms.

While Benedict arranges for entire Psalter to be read once every seven days, our BDW provides for two distributions of the Psalms, one over 30 day, the other over seven weeks. The current Roman breviary has a four-week distribution of the Psalms.

The biggest change between Benedict's order of prayer and the Daily Office of our BDW is the number of offices, or hours. The BDW has four hours: Morning Prayer being the longest and corresponding to Matins, Lauds, and some elements of the little hours. Evening Prayer, which is a bit shorter than Morning Prayer, corresponds to Vespers and some elements of the little hours. Noonday Prayer, as mentioned above, incorporates Psalms from the former hours. Compline is largely as arranged by Benedict. The current Roman breviary has seven hours, Lauds (Morning Prayer) the little hours of Terce (9 a.m.), Sext (noon) , and None (3 p.m.), Vespers (Evening Prayer), Compline, and the newly fashioned Office of Readings. The little hour of Prime was suppress as one of the Vatican II reforms. The modern revision of the Liturgy of the Hours allows for one to recite either one single "Daytime Prayer", which one can choose to be Terce or Sext or None according to the time of day that the recitation takes place, so effectively, for those who elect that option, the Roman breviary can be said to also have five offices.

--David Trumbull, Boston

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ora et labora

Benedict, Abbot (480-543), Memorial – July 11th

When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law.

–Deuteronomy 31:11 & 12. From the first lesson at Morning Prayer on Friday, July 11, 2008 (Friday of the week of the Sunday closest July 6, according to the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church)

Of the Daily Work

Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading. Hence, we believe that the time for each will be properly ordered by the following arrangement; namely, that from Easter till the calends of October, they go out in the morning from the first till about the fourth hour, to do the necessary work, but that from the fourth till about the sixth hour they devote to reading. After the sixth hour, however, when they have risen from table, let them rest in their beds in complete silence; or if, perhaps, anyone desireth to read for himself, let him so read that he doth not disturb others. Let None be said somewhat earlier, about the middle of the eighth hour; and then let them work again at what is necessary until Vespers.

If, however, the needs of the place, or poverty should require that they do the work of gathering the harvest themselves, let them not be downcast, for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands, as did also our forefathers and the Apostles. However, on account of the faint-hearted let all things be done with moderation.

From the calends of October till the beginning of Lent, let them apply themselves to reading until the second hour complete. At the second hour let Tierce be said, and then let all be employed in the work which hath been assigned to them till the ninth hour. When, however, the first signal for the hour of None hath been given, let each one leave off from work and be ready when the second signal shall strike. But after their repast let them devote themselves to reading or the psalms.

During the Lenten season let them be employed in reading from morning until the third hour, and till the tenth hour let them do the work which is imposed on them. During these days of Lent let all received books from the library, and let them read them through in order. These books are to be given out at the beginning of the Lenten season.

Above all, let one or two of the seniors be appointed to go about the monastery during the time that the brethren devote to reading and take notice, lest perhaps a slothful brother be found who giveth himself up to idleness or vain talk, and doth not attend to his reading, and is unprofitable, not only to himself, but disturbeth also others. If such a one be found (which God forbid), let him be punished once and again. If he doth not amend, let him come under the correction of the Rule in such a way that others may fear. And let not brother join brother at undue times.

On Sunday also let all devote themselves to reading, except those who are appointed to the various functions. But if anyone should be so careless and slothful that he will not or cannot meditate or read, let some work be given him to do, that he may not be idle.

Let such work or charge be given to the weak and the sickly brethren, that they are neither idle, nor so wearied with the strain of work that they are driven away. Their weakness must be taken into account by the Abbot.

Chapter 48, Rule of Benedict.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Communique on Results of a Vote in Anglican Church

VATICAN CITY, 8 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released late this morning by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, concerning recent events within the Anglican Communion.

"We have regretfully learned the news of the Church of England vote that paves the way for the introduction of legislation which will lead to the ordaining of women to the episcopacy.

"The Catholic position on the issue has been clearly expressed by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Such a decision signifies a break with the apostolic tradition maintained by all of the Churches since the first millennium and is, therefore, a further obstacle to reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

"This decision will have consequences on the future of dialogue, which had up until now borne fruit, as Cardinal Kasper clearly explained when on 5 June 2006 he spoke to all of the bishops of the Church of England at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The Cardinal has been invited once again to express the Catholic position at the next Lambeth Conference at the end of July".

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs. July 9th

[Accounted excerpted from]


1st. October 2000

From the earliest beginnings of the Chinese people (sometime about the middle of the third millennium before Christ) religious sentiment towards the Supreme Being and diligent filial piety towards ancestors were the most conspicuous characteristics of their culture, which had existed for thousands of years.

This note of distinct religiousness is found to a greater or lesser extent in the Chinese people of all centuries up to our own time, when, under the influence of western atheism, some intellectuals, especially those educated in foreign countries, wished to rid themselves of all religious ideas, like some of their western teachers.

In the fifth century, the Gospel was preached in China, and at the beginning of the seventh century the first church was built there. During the T'ang dynasty (618-907) the Christian community flourished for two centuries. In the thirteenth, thanks to the understanding of the Chinese people and culture shown by missionaries like Giovanni da Montecorvino, it became possible to begin the first Catholic mission in the Middle Kingdom, with the episcopal see in Beijing.

At the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth, there were numerous people who, having undergone the necessary preparation, asked for baptism and became fervent Christians, while always preserving with just pride their Chinese identity and culture.

Christianity was seen in that period as a reality that did not oppose the highest values of the traditions of the Chinese people, nor place itself above these traditions. Rather, it was regarded as something that enriched them with a new light and dimension.

Unfortunately, however, the difficult question of “Chinese rites”, greatly irritated the Emperor K'ang Hsi and prepared the persecution. The latter, strongly influenced by that in nearby Japan, to a greater or lesser extent, open or insidious, violent or veiled, extended in successive waves practically from the first decade of the seventeenth century to about the middle of the nineteenth. Missionaries and faithful lay people were killed, and many churches destroyed.

Blessed Augustine Zhao Rong, a Chinese diocesan priest. Arrested, he had to suffer the most cruel tortures and then died in 1815.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Peterkins Celebrate the Fourth of July

The day began early.

A compact had been made with the little boys the evening before.

They were to be allowed to usher in the glorious day by the blowing of horns exactly at sunrise. But they were to blow them for precisely five minutes only, and no sound of the horns should be heard afterward till the family were downstairs.

It was thought that a peace might thus be bought by a short, though crowded, period of noise.

The morning came. Even before the morning, at half-past three o'clock, a terrible blast of the horns aroused the whole family.

Mrs. Peterkin clasped her hands to her head and exclaimed: "I am thankful the lady from Philadelphia is not here!" For she had been invited to stay a week, but had declined to come before the Fourth of July, as she was not well, and her doctor had prescribed quiet.

And the number of the horns was most remarkable! It was as though every cow in the place had arisen and was blowing through both her own horns!

"How many little boys are there? How many have we?" exclaimed Mr. Peterkin, going over their names one by one mechanically, thinking he would do it, as he might count imaginary sheep jumping over a fence, to put himself to sleep. Alas! the counting could not put him to sleep now, in such a din.

And how unexpectedly long the five minutes seemed! Elizabeth Eliza was to take out her watch and give the signal for the end of the five minutes, and the ceasing of the horns. Why did not the signal come? Why did not Elizabeth Eliza stop them?

And certainly it was long before sunrise; there was no dawn to be seen!

"We will not try this plan again," said Mrs. Peterkin.

"If we live to another Fourth," added Mr. Peterkin, hastening to the door to inquire into the state of affairs.

Alas! Amanda, by mistake, had waked up the little boys an hour too early. And by another mistake the little boys had invited three or four of their friends to spend the night with them. Mrs. Peterkin had given them permission to have the boys for the whole day, and they understood the day as beginning when they went to bed the night before. This accounted for the number of horns.

It would have been impossible to hear any explanation; but the five minutes were over, and the horns had ceased, and there remained only the noise of a singular leaping of feet, explained perhaps by a possible pillow-fight, that kept the family below partially awake until the bells and cannon made known the dawning of the glorious day,–the sunrise, or "the rising of the sons," as Mr. Peterkin jocosely called it when they heard the little boys and their friends clattering down the stairs to begin the outside festivities.

They were bound first for the swamp, for Elizabeth Eliza, at the suggestion of the lady from Philadelphia, had advised them to hang some flags around the pillars of the piazza. Now the little boys knew of a place in the swamp where they had been in the habit of digging for "flag-root," and where they might find plenty of flag flowers. They did bring away all they could, but they were a little out of bloom. The boys were in the midst of nailing up all they had on the pillars of the piazza when the procession of the Antiques and Horribles passed along. As the procession saw the festive arrangements on the piazza, and the crowd of boys, who cheered them loudly, it stopped to salute the house with some especial strains of greeting.

Poor Mrs. Peterkin! They were directly under her windows! In a few moments of quiet, during the boys' absence from the house on their visit to the swamp, she had been trying to find out whether she had a sick-headache, or whether it was all the noise, and she was just deciding it was the sick headache, but was falling into a light slumber, when the fresh noise outside began.

There were the imitations of the crowing of cocks, and braying of donkeys, and the sound of horns, encored and increased by the cheers of the boys. Then began the torpedoes, and the Antiques and Horribles had Chinese crackers also.

And, in despair of sleep, the family came down to breakfast.

Mrs. Peterkin had always been much afraid of fire-works, and had never allowed the boys to bring gunpowder into the house. She was even afraid of torpedoes; they looked so much like sugar-plums she was sure some the children would swallow them, and explode before anybody knew it.

She was very timid about other things. She was not sure even about pea-nuts. Everybody exclaimed over this: "Surely there was no danger in pea-nuts!" But Mrs. Peterkin declared she had been very much alarmed at the Centennial Exhibition, and in the crowded corners of the streets in Boston, at the pea-nut stands, where they had machines to roast the pea-nuts. She did not think it was safe. They might go off any time, in the midst of a crowd of people, too!

Mr. Peterkin thought there actually was no danger, and he should be sorry to give up the pea-nut. He thought it an American institution, something really belonging to the Fourth of July. He even confessed to a quiet pleasure in crushing the empty shells with his feet on the sidewalks as he went along the streets.

Agamemnon thought it a simple joy.

In consideration, however, of the fact that they had had no real celebration of the Fourth the last year, Mrs. Peterkin had consented to give over the day, this year, to the amusement of the family as a Centennial celebration. She would prepare herself for a terrible noise,–only she did not want any gunpowder brought into the house.

The little boys had begun by firing some torpedoes a few days beforehand, that their mother might be used to the sound, and had selected their horns some weeks before.

Solomon John had been very busy in inventing some fireworks. As Mrs. Peterkin objected to the use of gunpowder, he found out from the dictionary what the different parts of gunpowder are,–saltpetre, charcoal, and sulphur. Charcoal, he discovered, they had in the wood-house; saltpetre they would find in the cellar, in the beef barrel; and sulphur they could buy at the apothecary's. He explained to his mother that these materials had never yet exploded in the house, and she was quieted.

Agamemnon, meanwhile, remembered a recipe he had read somewhere for making a "fulminating paste" of iron-filings and powder of brimstone. He had written it down on a piece of paper in his pocket-book. But the iron filings must be finely powdered. This they began upon a day or two before, and the very afternoon before laid out some of the paste on the piazza.

Pin-wheels and rockets were contributed by Mr. Peterkin for the evening. According to a programme drawn up by Agamemnon and Solomon John, the reading of the Declaration of Independence was to take place in the morning, on the piazza, under the flags.

The Bromwicks brought over their flag to hang over the door.

"That is what the lady from Philadelphia meant," explained Elizabeth Eliza.

"She said the flags of our country," said the little boys. "We thought she meant 'in the country.'"

Quite a company assembled; but it seemed nobody had a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Elizabeth Eliza said she could say one line, if they each could add as much. But it proved they all knew the same line that she did, as they began:–

"When, in the course of–when, in the course of–when, in the course of human–when in the course of human events–when, in the course of human events, it becomes–when, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary–when, in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people"–

They could not get any farther. Some of the party decided that "one people" was a good place to stop, and the little boys sent off some fresh torpedoes in honor of the people. But Mr. Peterkin was not satisfied. He invited the assembled party to stay until sunset, and meanwhile he would find a copy, and torpedoes were to be saved to be fired off at the close of every sentence.

And now the noon bells rang and the noon bells ceased.

Mrs. Peterkin wanted to ask everybody to dinner. She should have some cold beef. She had let Amanda go, because it was the Fourth, and everybody ought to be free that one day; so she could not have much of a dinner. But when she went to cut her beef she found Solomon had taken it to soak, on account of the saltpetre, for the fireworks!

Well, they had a pig; so she took a ham, and the boys had bought tamarinds and buns and a cocoa-nut. So the company stayed on, and when the Antiques and Horribles passed again they were treated to pea-nuts and lemonade.

They sung patriotic songs, they told stories, they fired torpedoes, they frightened the cats with them. It was a warm afternoon; the red poppies were out wide, and the hot sun poured down on the alley-ways in the garden. There was a seething sound of a hot day in the buzzing of insects, in the steaming heat that came up from the ground. Some neighboring boys were firing a toy cannon. Every time it went off Mrs. Peterkin started, and looked to see if one of the little boys was gone. Mr. Peterkin had set out to find a copy of the "Declaration." Agamemnon had disappeared. She had not a moment to decide about her headache. She asked Ann Maria if she were not anxious about the fireworks, and if rockets were not dangerous. They went up, but you were never sure where they came down.

And then came a fresh tumult! All the fire-engines in town rushed toward them, clanging with bells, men and boys yelling! They were out for a practice and for a Fourth-of-July show.

Mrs. Peterkin thought the house was on fire, and so did some of the guests. There was great rushing hither and thither. Some thought they would better go home; some thought they would better stay. Mrs. Peterkin hastened into the house to save herself, or see what she could save. Elizabeth Eliza followed her, first proceeding to collect all the pokers and tongs she could find, because they could be thrown out of the window without breaking. She had read of people who had flung looking-glasses out of the window by mistake, in the excitement of the house being on fire, and had carried the pokers and tongs carefully into the garden. There was nothing like being prepared. She had always determined to do the reverse. So with calmness she told Solomon John to take down the looking-glasses. But she met with a difficulty,–there were no pokers and tongs, as they did not use them. They had no open fires; Mrs. Peterkin had been afraid of them. So Elizabeth Eliza took all the pots and kettles up to the upper windows, ready to be thrown out.

But where was Mrs. Peterkin? Solomon John found she had fled to the attic in terror. He persuaded her to come down, assuring her it was the most unsafe place; but she insisted upon stopping to collect some bags of old pieces, that nobody would think of saving from the general wreck, she said, unless she did. Alas! this was the result of fireworks on Fourth of July! As they came downstairs they heard the voices of all the company declaring there was no fire; the danger was past. It was long before Mrs. Peterkin could believe it. They told her the fire company was only out for show, and to celebrate the Fourth of July. She thought it already too much celebrated.

Elizabeth Eliza's kettles and pans had come down through the windows with a crash, that had only added to the festivities, the little boys thought.

Mr. Peterkin had been roaming about all this time in search of a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The public library was shut, and he had to go from house to house; but now, as the sunset bells and cannon began, he returned with a copy, and read it, to the pealing of the bells and sounding of the cannon. Torpedoes and crackers were fired at every pause. Some sweet-marjoram pots, tin cans filled with crackers which were lighted, went off with great explosions.

At the most exciting moment, near the close of the reading, Agamemnon, with an expression of terror, pulled Solomon John aside.

"I have suddenly remembered where I read about the 'fulminating paste' we made. It was in the preface to 'Woodstock,' and I have been round to borrow the book to read the directions over again, because I was afraid about the 'paste' going off. READ THIS QUICKLY! and tell me, Where is the fulminating paste? "

Solomon John was busy winding some covers of paper over a little parcel. It contained chlorate of potash and sulphur mixed. A friend had told him of the composition. The more thicknesses of paper you put round it the louder it would go off. You must pound it with a hammer. Solomon John felt it must be perfectly safe, as his mother had taken potash for a medicine.

He still held the parcel as he read from Agamemnon's book: "This paste, when it has lain together about twenty-six hours, will of itself take fire, and burn all the sulphur away with a blue flame and a bad smell."

"Where is the paste?" repeated Solomon John, in terror.

"We made it just twenty-six hours ago," said Agamemnon.

"We put it on the piazza," exclaimed Solomon John, rapidly recalling the facts, "and it is in front of our mother's feet!"

He hastened to snatch the paste away before it should take fire, flinging aside the packet in his hurry. Agamemnon, jumping upon the piazza at the same moment, trod upon the paper parcel, which exploded at once with the shock, and he fell to the ground, while at the same moment the paste "fulminated" into a blue flame directly in front of Mrs. Peterkin!

It was a moment of great confusion. There were cries and screams. The bells were still ringing, the cannon firing, and Mr. Peterkin had just reached the closing words: "Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

"We are all blown up, as I feared we should be," Mrs. Peterkin at length ventured to say, finding herself in a lilac-bush by the side of the piazza. She scarcely dared to open her eyes to see the scattered limbs about her.

It was so with all. Even Ann Maria Bromwick clutched a pillar of the piazza, with closed eyes.

At length Mr. Peterkin said, calmly, "Is anybody killed?"

There was no reply. Nobody could tell whether it was because everybody was killed, or because they were too wounded to answer. It was a great while before Mrs. Peterkin ventured to move.

But the little boys soon shouted with joy, and cheered the success of Solomon John's fireworks, and hoped he had some more. One of them had his face blackened by an unexpected cracker, and Elizabeth Eliza's muslin dress was burned here and there. But no one was hurt; no one had lost any limbs, though Mrs. Peterkin was sure she had seen some flying in the air. Nobody could understand how, as she had kept her eyes firmly shut.

No greater accident had occurred than the singeing of the tip of Solomon John's nose. But there was an unpleasant and terrible odor from the "fulminating paste."

Mrs. Peterkin was extricated from the lilac-bush. No one knew how she got there. Indeed, the thundering noise had stunned everybody. It had roused the neighborhood even more than before. Answering explosions came on every side, and, though the sunset light had not faded away, the little boys hastened to send off rockets under cover of the confusion. Solomon John's other fireworks would not go. But all felt he had done enough.

Mrs. Peterkin retreated into the parlor, deciding she really did have a headache. At times she had to come out when a rocket went off, to see if it was one of the little boys. She was exhausted by the adventures of the day, and almost thought it could not have been worse if the boys had been allowed gunpowder. The distracted lady was thankful there was likely to be but one Centennial Fourth in her lifetime, and declared she should never more keep anything in the house as dangerous as saltpetred beef, and she should never venture to take another spoonful of potash.
The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale (1820-1900). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, c1886, c1914.

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.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Holy Trinity (German) Parish Suppressed

Holy Trinity Parish was suppressed on June 30, 2008 per order of His Eminence, Se├ín Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap. and the church is now closed. The parish’s assets, including the church building, are currently frozen and will remain so while the parishioners exercise their canonical rights to appeal this decision. The parish’s most valuable sacred objects have been removed from the church for safekeeping and the building is now secured. It is being monitored by a professional property management firm to ensure the building’s well being.

Inquiries concerning the sacramental records of Holy Trinity should be addressed to the Pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 75 Union Park Street, Boston, 02118 (617-542-5682). All other matters concerning the parish should be directed to the office of Rev. John J. Connolly at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184 (617-782-2544).