Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pictures of the Traditional Solemn Mass at St. Cecilia's Church in Brooklyn

These are pictures of the Solemn Mass at the Church of St. Cecilia in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This Mass was to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of consecration. The Te Deum was sung at the end as an act of Thanksgiving. The consecration crosses were incensed (as they were when the church was consecrated) and the candles were beautifully decorated. The singing by the Sacred Ministers was wonderful. The sermon was very moving. There were about 200 people in attendance. There were 13 servers helping.  

The pictures below were taken by a faithful in the congregation.

The outside of the church was illuminated with small (lit) candles.
Incensation at the Introit (after the Asperges ceremonies and the prayers at the foot of the Altar were over)
The recitation of the Gloria by the Sacred Ministers
The reading of the Gospel by the Celebrant
The line-up for the Solemn singing of the Gospel
The Deacon receives the blessing from the Celebrant before chanting the Gospel
The Deacon (and Homilist) reads the Epistle in English
The Deacon (and Homilist) reads the Gospel in English. He also preached on the meaning of consecrated churches and on the beauty of the architecture of the Church of St. Cecilia
Everyone listens to the Gospel reading in English
The Lavabo ceremonies after the incensation of the Altar at the Offertory
The Deacon of the Mass incenses the consecration crosses (there are 12) on the walls. These crosses are incensed immediately after the Celebrant.
The Deacon of the Mass is incensed by the Thurifer
Consecration of the Chalice
The Deacon of the Mass sings the Ite, Missa est
The Celebrant reads the Last Gospel (of. St. John)
Everyone lines up for the recessional (after the Te Deum was sung)
After the Mass, there was a reception for those who attended the Mass
The faithful socialize during the reception
For more pictures of the same Solemn Mass, go here: http://sthughofcluny.org/2011/11/solemn-high-mass-at-st-cecilia-greenpoint-brooklyn.html. This link provides pictures taken by Stuart Chessman of the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Among the symbolic figures with which we frequently meet in early Christian art, among the mural and sepulchral decorations of the subterranean church as well as in other ornamental designs of that time, is the dolphin. The early Christians considered the dolphin as a fish, and, according to Aringhi, as the king of fishes. Up to the time of Constantine, i.e., for three hundred years after Our Lord's ascension, the figure of the fish was used instead of the cross.
The Greek word for fish is IchTHYS. The five letters of which this word is composed are the initials of five words (Jesous Christos Theou Yios Soter) signifying, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour.” Martigny connects this symbol with the disciplina arcani, and says that it also stood for the Holy Eucharist, in which Christ, the celestial food, is miraculously multiplied as were the two fishes on the desert-mount, and becomes the nourishment and substantial life of the Christian. Moreover, the fact of the first apostles having been fishermen, and actually called by Our Lord to be fishers of men, made the use of this image quite applicable to the followers of Christ, Whom, as their pattern, they sought to express in themselves. The early Fathers of the Church speak of the faithful as pisciculi (little fishes) regenerated in the life-giving waters of Baptism, who follow Christ, the ichthys.
Thus the meaning of the fish anagram, as we find it upon the walls of the catacombs, on gems, and later on in the decoration of baptisteries, is simple enough. It stands for the word Christ, which was not to be expressed. It frequently also stands for the Eucharist, as in the following epitaph found in the catacombs: “Saintly Maritima, thou hast not left the sweet light, for thou didst have with thee (here is inserted the symbol of an anchor between two dolphins) the immortal one who reigns over all, for thy love everywhere preceded thee.” It seems to say that Maritima had been fortified with the holy Viaticum, the hope of the Christian, a fact which was worthy of mention in those troubled times.
The Dolphin was to be found only in the purest waters. Of incredible swiftness in its motion, it became the emblem of absolute strength, for it was supposed that it could not be controlled except by its own love for man. Its affection for man was said to be so great, that it proved not only most docile to any one kindly approaching it, but would follow the fishermen, recognize them individually, and frequently warn them against storms by changing its usually frolicsome gambols into straight motion towards port.
The Greeks called it “philanthropos,” and Gellius relates a touching story taken from the record of an Egyptian, who affirms to have been an eye-witness to the occurrence, of how a child once having made friend with a dolphin at the seashore, the latter came daily to play with the boy, and sometimes took him on his back, riding him through the water for short distances. The writer also adds that, the fact having become known, all the people of the town and neighborhood came daily to witness the sport.
The idea of the dolphin as light-bearer, representing Christ, the light of the world, has been preserved in Christian art to a late date. Constantine gave to the Basilica of John Lateran a candelabrum (pharocantharus) of purest gold, with eighty dolphins. It hung before the altar, and precious nard oil was constantly burnt therein. Jacob, from whose “Art in the Service of the Church” we take this instance, adds: “They saw in the dolphin the symbol of Christ, the Saviour friendly to man, but also of the Christians who in the midst of the storms gather confidently and joyously around the Saviour, the never extinguishing light.”
The fabled beauty of the dolphin is no doubt connected with its graceful movements. Easily attracted by the charms of music, it is said to leap high up into the air, then dart with incredible velocity into the deep, appearing again almost simultaneously in different parts, whilst with seemingly intelligent mirth it delights the beholder. The beautifully winding country between the Rhone and the Alps, west of Savoy, has, it is said, taken its name of Dauphinée from this symbol of beauty borne in the escutcheon of the royal sons of France.
Among other qualities with which the dolphin was identified were valor, whence we find it upon the shield of Ulysses, and fortitude, especially as exhibited by the Christian martyrs. It stood also for parental love. Naturalists of a later age have drawn attention to the affectionate care with which the dolphin raises her single offspring. Lying partly over to one side she draws it gently along, tempering her own motion whilst feeding her young with a milk which is said to be exceedingly sweet.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the ancients should have considered this animal as sacred, so that to injure or kill it was accounted a sacrilege. All this points to the origin of the Christian symbol, which suggested to the heart and mind of the earnest converts so much that could not have been expressed in any other way. The king of fishes was to them an image of their own king, Christ. And hence they engraved it not only upon their tombs and on their baptistery walls, but wore it upon rings and bracelets and similar ornaments as the signs by which they would know one another.
In Christian symbolism the double emblem of the dolphin winding itself around the anchor has three distinct meanings. Of these the most obvious is that of hope in Christ, or, as Wilpert expresses it: “Spes in Christo; spes in Deo; spes in Deo Christo.” Mammachi says that the anchor did not only stand for hope, but also for fortitude, and gives as an example the inscription on the tomb of St. Faustina, who is styled “Virgo fortissima.” Resting this interpretation upon the words of St. Paul to the Hebrews, where he speaks of the promise made to Abraham, and calls it “the hope set before us, which we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm.” and which the Fathers understand as referring to the Church, we may express by the anchor either the Church, or the graces which flow to us from it, being our hope sure and firm, and united to Christ, represented by the dolphin. Thus the meaning would evidently be “Christ and the Church.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Blessed Sacrament
By Fr. Frederick William Faber (1855)
Converted from Anglicanism in 1845

The love of the Blessed Sacrament is the grand and royal devotion of faith; it is faith multiplied, faith intensified, faith glorified, and yet remaining faith still. And out of it there come three especial graces which are the very life and soul of an interior life, an overflowing charity to all around us, a thirst to sacrifice ourselves for God, and a generous filial love of Holy Church.

The spiritual life requires also a generous filial love of Holy Church. People in these days often try to draw a distinction between what is spiritual and what is ecclesiastical in the Christian religion; and obviously ... the two cannot be separated; they lie together practically inseparable. Hence there is no interior or mystic life, not even in the cloister, which is not distinguished by a vivid interest in the vicissitudes of the Church, an inveterate attachment to her external and ceremonial observances, and quite a supernatural sympathy with the fortunes of the Holy See.

Love of God and love of Rome are inseparable. To obey Peter is the same thing as to serve Jesus. Now the triumph of Corpus Christi is especially a triumph of our loyalty to Holy Church. Here is this poor land of heresy and schism dark and desolate to-day [The Feast of Corpus Christi]. It has no response to the mighty acclamations of the catholic millions of other lands. It sees nothing in to-day but a common unhonoured weekday. So through the fair realms desolated by the Greek Schism there is the same lifeless silence. It is a catholic feast, a monument of Rome.

It is a patriotic thing, a national exultation; and dear, most dear, as our native country is to us, the Church is a dearer and a truer country still, for it is more like that heavenly country for which we are sighing, and out of which we are exiles at the best. We of all men need triumph; for we are cowed all the year round by the dominance of heresy. It tarnishes our faith. It chills our love. It checks us, and galls us, and unmans us, at almost every turn of our spiritual life. No one comes quite unscathed out of the trial; least of all, those who think they do, and have no fear.
O we need the triumph of to-day, the feast of our loyalty and patriotism to the most ancient, the most godlike of all monarchies, the Holy Apostolic Roman Church… the universal Church, the famous Church, the martyr Church, the Church that is never old but ever has a perpetual freshness like the Holy Trinity, ever virgin as Mary herself, ever wet with blood as the martyrs were, ever teaching like the apostles and doctors, ever witnessing like the confessors, ever suffering innocently like the Holy Innocents themselves, and sending up a perpetual song of victory even out of the fires of persecution.

O how we ought to bless God, now that we know Jesus, that we were not born in the poor times of the patriarchs and prophets before the Blessed Sacrament! Ah! How they desired to see our day and saw it not! Nay, we even seem privileged in our day beyond elder Christian times; for the longer the Church battles with the world the more venerable she seems to become, and her victories of grace more brilliant, and the heavenliness of her ways more wonderful. Time “writes no wrinkles on her brow,” but adds line after line of glory and of freshness. She seems, because we know her better, to grow more beautiful, more powerful, more bright of face, more sweet of voice, more strong in arm, more mother-like in manner. Dear Church! To-day is her great day, the Feast of Holy Faith!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Traditional Services for Holy Week - Holy Innocents, NYC

Below is the information for the Holy Week Services according to the traditional form of the Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in NYC:

On Palm Sunday, April 17
Solemn Mass at 10am & Sung Vespers at 3pm

On Holy Monday, April 18
Low Mass at 6pm

On Holy Tuesday, April 19
Low Mass at 6pm

On Holy Wednesday, April 20
Sung Mass at 6pm

On Holy Thursday, April 21
Solemn Mass at 7:30pm

On Good Friday, April 22
Solemn Service at 3pm

On Easter Vigil, April 23
Solemn Service at 9pm
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Celebrant
Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., Deacon
Fr. Michael Barone, Subdeacon

On Easter Sunday, April 24
Sung Mass at 10am & Sung Vespers at 3 P.M.