We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Missale Lundense (1514)

Pentecostal and post-pentecostal lections and epistles:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Odd One Out

A Real Live One:

Speaking from a scholars background, Traditional Catholicism has a lot to love. In so far as it makes the case to restore long since forgotten liturgies of various local flavors of the Latin tradition, it exemplifies the very best idea of liturgical plurality. But it is this fact that makes it so unappealing to the larger currents in the Latin West. Recovering the obscurities of Latin Christianity has failed to influence the larger liturgical stream; it is an eccentric's task or the lonely research of a scholar. It simply does not press any weight upon the broader Church or the liturgical imagination. Set side-by-side with mainline Catholicism or the Traditionalists, this group cannot help but to be the odd one out. Its work produces intelligent conversation, but the implicit ecclesiology leaves many religious observers slightly uncomfortable ...

There is also the simple fact that this position may well be too academic to be viable. Betwixt the rediscovery of ancient forms, there is often a fair amount of reconstruction going on. Fine at the academic level, but hardly a sure basis upon which to rest religious observance.

Yet, the whole discussion is, up to this point, so highly hypothetical so as to be essentially irrelevant. Those who would rediscover the liturgy as it was prior to the Reformation and Counter Reformation are the smallest of minorities. In variably, many of them, for convenience sake, fall in line with the early modern liturgies of the Roman or Anglican pedigree, the acceptable parameters for Traditionalist Catholics or Anglicans.

Absolutely correct. As this, and a series of other recent articles, make clear the work of modernism prepared the foundation and formed all the precedent necessary for the wreck-o-vation of post-modernism. This leaves the only alternative to be an inquiry into where, in the course of post-modernity, did things go (precisely) wrong? 1947? 1955? 1962? 1965? 1970? etc. It is this discussion -- as found prominently here -- that represents the only viable "stream" of traditionalism. And their only modus: freezing in place.

The unviable (and unenviable) approach represented here is simply one long process of mourning what has been lost (see below and alia). It cannot be a religio. It is solitary, internal exile in an intellectual Littlemore.

You're living in your own Private Idaho.
You're living in your own Private Idaho.

Monday, September 22, 2014

DOMINICA I post Pentecosten (Ambrosian rite)

Ingressa: (Ps. 85: 1b, 2b-3a) Inclina Domine aurem tuam, et exaudi me: salvum fac servum tuum Deus meus sperantem in te. Miserere mihi; quoniam ad te clamabo tota die.

Psalm 86. Inclina, Domine. BOW down thine ear, O LORD, and hear me; * for I am poor, and in misery. 2 Preserve thou my soul, for I am holy: * my God, save thy servant that putteth his trust in thee. 3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord; * for I will call daily upon thee.

Oratio super populum: Deus, in te sperantium fortitudo, invocantibus nostris adesto propitius, et, quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmitas, gratiae tuae praesta semper auxilium, ut, in exsequendis mandatis tuis, et voluntate tibi et actione placeamus. Per Dominum ...

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lectio Actuum Apostolorum: Acts x: 34-48a.

Psallmelus: (Ps 22: 4) Si ambulem in medio umbræ mortis, non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es, Domine. Vs. Virga tua et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt.

Psalm 23. Dominus regit me. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; * for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

Epistola Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios prima: I Corinthians xv: 24-38a.

Halleluiah: (Ps. 94: 1) Venite, exultemus Domino, jubilemus Deo salutari nostro: Halleluiah.

Psalm 95. Venite, exultemus. O COME, let us sing unto the LORD; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Alleluia.

Lectio sancti Evangelij secundum Marcum: Mark xvi: 14-20.

Antiphona Post Evangelium: (Ps. 61: 9) Sperate in eo omnis conventus plebis: effundite coram illo corda vestra; quia Deus adiutor noster est.

Psalm 62. Nonne Deo? 8 O put your trust in him alway, ye people; * pour out your hearts before him, for God is our hope.

Oratio super sindonem: Deus, qui te in rectis et sinceris manere pectoribus asseris: da nobis tua gratia tales exsistere, in quibus habitare digneris. Per Dominum ...

Offertorium: (Ps. 29: 2-3a) Exaltabo te Domine; quoniam suscepisti me, nec delectasti inimicos meos super me. Domine, clamavi ad te; sanasti me.

Psalm 30. Exaltabo te, Domine. I WILL magnify thee, O LORD; for thou hast set me up, * and not made my foes to triumph over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee; * and thou hast healed me.

Oratio super oblatem: Hostias nostras tibi, Domine, dicatas placatus assume: et ad perpetuum nobis tribue provenire subsidium. Per Dominum ...

Confractorium: (Ps. 1: 2b, 3c) Qui meditabitur in lege Domini die ac nocte, dabit fructum suum in tempore suo.

Psalm 1. Beatus vir qui non abiit. In his law will he exercise himself day and night * that [he] will bring forth his fruit in due season.

Transitorium: Accepta Christi munera sumamus Dei gratia, non ad iudicium, sed ad salvandas animas.

When we receive the gift of Christ, we obtain God's grace; not to judgement, but for the salvation of souls.

Oratio post communionem: Tantis Domine repleti muneribus, præsta, quæsumus: ut et dona salutaria capiamus, et a tua laude numquam cessemus. Per Dominum ...

We beseech thee, O Lord, that through this holy sacrament, by which you refresh and strengthen us, we may lay hold of the gift of life everlasting and never cease from thy praise.



The other plainchant repertories of the Christian West faced severe competition from the new Gregorian chant. Charlemagne continued his father's policy of favoring the Roman Rite over the local Gallican traditions. By the 9th century the Gallican rite and chant had effectively been eliminated, although not without local resistance. The Gregorian chant of the Sarum Rite displaced Celtic chant. Gregorian coexisted with Beneventan chant for over a century before Beneventan chant was abolished by papal decree (1058). Mozarabic chant survived the influx of the Visigoths and Moors, but not the Roman-backed prelates newly installed in Spain during the Reconquista. Restricted to a handful of dedicated chapels, modern Mozarabic chant is highly Gregorianized and bears no musical resemblance to its original form. Ambrosian chant alone survived to the present day, preserved in Milan due to the musical reputation and ecclesiastical authority of St. Ambrose.

Gregorian chant eventually replaced the local chant tradition of Rome itself, which is now known as Old Roman chant. In the 10th century, virtually no musical manuscripts were being notated in Italy. Instead, Roman Popes imported Gregorian chant from (German) Holy Roman Emperors during the 10th and 11th centuries. For example, the Credo was added to the Roman Rite at the behest of the Emperor Henry II in 1014. Reinforced by the legend of Pope Gregory, Gregorian chant was taken to be the authentic, original chant of Rome, a misconception that continues to this day. By the 12th and 13th centuries, Gregorian chant had supplanted or marginalized all the other Western plainchant traditions.

Later sources of these other chant traditions show an increasing Gregorian influence, such as occasional efforts to categorize their chants into the Gregorian modes. Similarly, the Gregorian repertory incorporated elements of these lost plainchant traditions, which can be identified by careful stylistic and historical analysis. For example, the Improperia of Good Friday are believed to be a remnant of the Gallican repertory.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Day of Atonement

The Messiah, both high priest and victim, was the theme of the Eucharist as it was of the Day of Atonement. Dix concluded:

From the days of Clement of Rome in the first century, for whom our LORD is ‘the High-priest of our offerings’ Who is ‘in the heights of the heavens’ (1 Clem.6) it can be said with truth that this doctrine of the offering of the earthly Eucharist by the heavenly Priest at the heavenly altar is to all intents and purposes the only conception of the eucharistic sacrifice which is known anywhere in the church… there is no pre-Nicene author Eastern or Western whose eucharistic doctrine is at all fully stated who does not regard the offering and consecration of the Eucharist as the present action of the LORD Himself, the Second Person of the Trinity [The Shape of the Liturgy, p.186].


2. The theology of the patristic period does not limit the reference in the Eucharist to our Lord's death. The scope of it includes also His resurrection and ascension and life in heaven. When St. Ignatius has said that ‘the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins,’ he immediately adds, ‘which the Father of His goodness raised up’ [Ad Smyrn. 6]. St. Irenaeus implies that the action of Christians on earth in the Eucharistic sacrifice is joined with that which our Lord is now doing in heaven when he says:

There is then an altar in the heavens, for thither our prayers and our offerings are directed; and a temple, as John says in the Revelation, "And the temple of God was opened "; and a tabernacle, "For, behold," he says, "the tabernacle of God in which He will dwell with men" [C. Haer. IV. xviii. 6].

Tertullian, in describing the Priesthood of our Lord, makes special reference to it as existing after the resurrection:

‘That Jesus,’ he says, ‘is the Christ, the Priest of God the Father Most High, who at His first coming came in human form, passible, in lowliness, even unto His Passion, being Himself made a victim in every way for us all, who after His resurrection was clad with a garment down to the feet and named a Priest for ever of God the Father’ [Adv. Jud. 14].

St. Ambrose adds to the passage already quoted, connecting the Eucharist with the Passion of Christ, an express reference to its connexion also with the intercession which our Lord now offers in heaven. Christ, he says,

Himself offers Himself as Priest that He may remit our sins; here in symbol, there in truth, where He intercedes for us with the Father as our Advocate [De Offic. i. 248].

St. Chrysostom, who is at pains to emphasize that Christ offered one sacrifice and that the Eucharistic offering is the memorial of that one sacrifice [In Ep. Ad Heb. Hom. xvii. 3], says also:

Our high priest is above, and much better than those among the Jews, not only in the manner, but also in the place, and in the tabernacle, and in the covenant, and in the Person. And this has been said as regards that which is according to the flesh. It is right, then, that those of whom He is the priest should be much better. And as much difference as there is between Aaron and Christ, so much is there between us and the Jews. For, behold, we have our victim above, our priest above, our sacrifice above. Let us therefore offer such sacrifices as can be presented on that altar [Ibid. xi. 2-3].

St. Augustine refers repeatedly to our Lord's work in heaven in connexion with the Holy Eucharist [Serm. cccli. 7; In Ps. xxv. Enar. ii 10], and compares His intercession at the right hand of the Father with the offering of the Jewish sacrifice within the veil on the Day of Atonement. Thus, he says:

"Thou wilt make propitiation for our iniquities" [Ps. lxiv. 4 (Lat. = lxv. 4, Heb. = lxv. 3, English)]. Thou art the Priest, Thou art the Victim, Thou art the Offerer, Thou art That which is offered. He is Himself the Priest who has now entered into the parts within the veil, and alone there of those who have worn flesh makes intercession for us. In the type of which thing in that first people and in that first temple, one priest entered into the Holy of Holies, all the people stood without, and he who alone entered into the parts within the veil offered sacrifice for the people standing without [In Ps. lxiv. Enar. 10].

The Liturgies commemorate the resurrection and ascension and heavenly life of Christ as well as His death. To give an instance, the Liturgy of St. James, after the commemoration of the passion and death, proceeds to mention ‘the resurrection from the dead on the third day, and the ascension into heaven, and the session on the right hand of God the Father, and the glorious and terrible second coming’ of our Lord [Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, i. 52-53].

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Most Precious Blood

Bicknell's book on the 39 Articles is indeed grand. It is full of much good stuff (and what some would claim isn't true should be true). Now that seminaries are throwing these books out, clean copies can be had on the cheap. Mine came from the Bangor Theological Seminary. The final "Date Due" slip shows it was checked out last on 5 June 1979 and then 18 April 1994. A handwritten note suggests it may have been discarded on 26 December 2006. In all events, the school itself, founded in 1814, closed its doors for good on 22 June 2013.

We now have the same opportunity as when, in the 1970s, monasteries and nunneries closed, and ordinary parishes lobbed out all of their archaic texts. Most of my collection of missals and breviaries comes from this time period, when there was essentially a 'fire sale'. (I wish I had possessed greater means, so that traditional furnishings could have been procured, in addition.)

Anywho, here's a nice discussion that can be got as pdf or read online, as well.

The question

Two quotes (from a recent article):

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today? (176-77)

For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her present if things are that way? I must say, quite openly, that I don’t understand why so many of my episcopal brethren have to a great extent submitted to this rule of intolerance, which for no apparent reason is opposed to making the necessary inner reconciliations within the Church. (416)

Why should those -- anywhere and everywhere -- who have proven themselves untrustworthy
be trusted now or again, in the future?

Friday, September 12, 2014


What if Margaret Barker is right?

Click image to read.


On the Septuagint ...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where late the sweet birds sang

Proper English Catholicism ... gone but not forgotten.

I can't have it and neither can you. Nobody can.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A clean sweep

6 He took the obscene phallic Asherah pole from The Temple of God to the Valley of Kidron outside Jerusalem, burned it up, then ground up the ashes and scattered them in the cemetery. 7 He tore out the rooms of the male sacred prostitutes that had been set up in The Temple of God; women also used these rooms for weavings for Asherah. 8 He swept the outlying towns of Judah clean of priests and smashed the sex-and-religion shrines where they worked their trade from one end of the country to the other - all the way from Geba to Beersheba. He smashed the sex-and-religion shrine that had been set up just to the left of the city gate for the private use of Joshua, the city mayor. 9 Even though these sex-and-religion priests did not defile the Altar in The Temple itself, they were part of the general priestly corruption and had to go. 10 Then Josiah demolished the Topheth, the iron furnace griddle set up in the Valley of Ben Hinnom for sacrificing children in the fire. No longer could anyone burn son or daughter to the god Molech. 11 He hauled off the horse statues honoring the sun god that the kings of Judah had set up near the entrance to The Temple. They were in the courtyard next to the office of Nathan-Melech, the warden. He burned up the sun-chariots as so much rubbish. 12 The king smashed all the altars to smithereens - the altar on the roof shrine of Ahaz, the various altars the kings of Judah had made, the altars of Manasseh that littered the courtyard of The Temple - he smashed them all, pulverized the fragments, and scattered their dust in the Valley of Kidron. 13 The king proceeded to make a clean sweep of all the sex-and-religion shrines that had proliferated east of Jerusalem on the south slope of Abomination Hill, the ones Solomon king of Israel had built to the obscene Sidonian sex goddess Ashtoreth, to Chemosh the dirty-old-god of the Moabites, and to Milcom the depraved god of the Ammonites. 14 He tore apart the altars, chopped down the phallic Asherah-poles, and scattered old bones over the sites 15 Next, he took care of the altar at the shrine in Bethel that Jeroboam son of Nebat had built - the same Jeroboam who had led Israel into a life of sin. He tore apart the altar, burned down the shrine leaving it in ashes, and then lit fire to the phallic Asherah-pole. 16 As Josiah looked over the scene, he noticed the tombs on the hillside. He ordered the bones removed from the tombs and had them cremated on the ruined altars, desacralizing the evil altars. This was a fulfillment of the word of God spoken by the Holy Man years before when Jeroboam had stood by the altar at the sacred convocation.

They ... had to go.