Friday, August 17, 2007

EWTN To Televise Celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass

Via Fr. Z at What Does the Prayer Really Say:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

EWTN to Televise Live Tridentine Mass Celebrated by the Priestly Fraternity of St. PeterDENTON, Nebraska – AUGUST 17, 2007 –

For the first time in its 26 year history, Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be broadcasting a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST. EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of
Pontifical Right, to help celebrate this "extraordinary" form.

This past July 7th, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the beauty and importance of the Tridentine Mass by issuing Summorum Pontificum, a papal document encouraging and confirming the right of all Latin Rite priests to use this more ancient use of the Mass starting September 14th. The Tridentine Mass was the normative liturgy experienced by Latin Rite Catholics prior to the
Second Vatican Council.

"Most Catholics have not seen this heavenly celebration in over 40 years," said Father Calvin Goodwin, a professor at the Society’s international English-speaking seminary located in Denton, Nebraska. "We are very excited to help EWTN and to support the Holy Father’s call for a wider presence of this form of the Mass. This is a cause for great joy."

Priests and seminarians from Denton, Nebraska will travel to Alabama and provide the celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, preacher, master of ceremonies and altar servers.

About the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

Established in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is an international society of Catholic priests entrusted with the preservation and administration of the Catholic Church’s ancient Latin liturgical traditions. Over 120 seminarians are preparing for the priesthood in the Fraternity’s two seminaries in Bavaria, Germany and Denton,
Nebraska.

About EWTN

Founded by Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare nun, the Eternal Word Television Network has become the largest religious media network in the world, transmitting programming 24 hours a day to more than 123 million homes in 140 countries and territories on more than 4,800 cable systems, wireless cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), low power TV and individual satellite
users.

Contact:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary
7880 West Denton
Road
Denton, NE 68339 U.S.A.
(402) 797-7700
seminary@fsspolgs.org

11 comments:

fr. g said...

The "Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter" is essentially a group for men who were either not accepted to or thrown out of a regular seminary.
Essentially, its a way of keeping all the crazies in the Church and preventing them from joining the SSPX and contributing to schism.

Father Christensen said...

That certainly has not been my experience. I know a number of very fine priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter who are well balanced, holy, and truly charitable toward their flock.

montanacatholic said...

"...the pope himself, contrary to the advice and concerns of the world's bishops, has restored the Tridentine Latin Rite. It is being done, the pope explains, to make reconciliation easier with conservative groups.

But it does not, at the same time, make reconciliation easier with women, who are now pointedly left out of the Eucharistic celebration entirely, certainly in its God-language, even in its pronouns. Nor does it seem to care about reconciliation with Jews who find themselves in the Tridentine Good Friday rite again as "blind" and objects of conversion. It's difficult not to wonder if reconciliation is really what it's all about.

What's more, where, in the intervening years, bishops had to give permission for the celebration of Tridentine masses in the local diocese, the new document requires only that the rite be provided at the request of the laity.

But why the concerns? If some people prefer a Latin mass to an English mass, why not have it?

The answer depends on what you think the Mass has to do with articulating the essence of the Christian faith.

The Latin Mass, for instance, in which the priest celebrates the Eucharist with his back to the people, in a foreign language -- much of it said silently or at best whispered -- makes the congregation, the laity, observers of the rite rather than participants in it.

The celebrant becomes the focal point of the process, the special human being, the one for whom God is a kind of private preserve.

The symbology of a lone celebrant, removed from and independent of the congregation, is clear: ordinary people have no access to God. They are entirely dependent on a special caste of males to contact God for them. They are "not worthy," to receive the host, or as the liturgy says now, even to have Jesus "come under my roof."

The Eucharist in such a setting is certainly not a celebration of the entire community. It is instead a priestly act, a private devotion of both priest and people, which requires for its integrity three "principal parts" alone -- the offertory, the consecration and the communion. The Liturgy of the Word -- the instruction in what it means to live a Gospel life -- is, in the Tridentine Rite, at best, a minor element.

In the Latin mass, the sense of mystery -- of mystique -- the incantation of "heavenly" rather than "vulgar" language in both prayer and music, underscores a theology of transcendence. It lifts a person out of the humdrum, the dusty, the noisy, the crowded chaos of normal life to some other world. It reminds us of the world to come -- beautiful, mystifying, hierarchical, perfumed -- and makes this one distant. It takes us beyond the present, enables us, if only for a while, to "slip the surly bonds of earth" for a world more mystical than mundane.

It privatizes the spiritual life. The Tridentine Mass is a God-and-I liturgy.

The Vatican II liturgy, on the other hand, steeps a person in community, in social concern, in the hard, cold, clear reality of the present. The people and priest pray the Mass together, in common language, with a common theme. They interact with one another. They sing "a new church into being,' non-sexist, inclusive, centered together in the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee curing the sick, raising the dead, talking to women and inviting the Christian community to do the same.

The Vatican II liturgy grapples with life from the point of view of the distance between life as we know it and life as the gospel defines it for us. It plunges itself into the sanctifying challenges of dailiness.

The Vatican II liturgy carries within it a theology of transformation. It does not seek to create on earth a bit of heaven; it does set out to remind us all of the heaven we seek. It does not attempt to transcend the present. It does seek to transform it. It creates community out of isolates in an isolating society.

There is a power and a beauty in both liturgical traditions, of course. No doubt they both need a bit of the other. Eucharist after all is meant to be both transcendent and transformative. But make no mistake: In their fundamental messages, they present us with more than two different styles of music or two different languages or two different sets of liturgical norms. They present us with two different churches.

The choice between these two different liturgies brings the church to a new crossroads, one more open, more ecumenical, more communal, more earthbound than the other. The question is which one of them is more likely to create the world Jesus models and of which we dream.

There are many more questions ahead of us as a result of this new turn in the liturgical road than simply the effect of such a decree on parish architecture, seminary education, music styles, language acquisition and multiple Mass schedules.

The theological questions that lurk under the incense and are obscured by the language are far more serious than that. They're about what's really good for the church -- ecumenism or ecclesiastical ghettoism, altars and altar rails, mystique or mystery, incarnation as well as divinity, community or private spirituality?

From where I stand, it seems obvious that the Fathers of Vatican Council II knew the implications of the two different Eucharistic styles then and bishops around the world know it still. But their concerns have been ignored. They don't have much to do with it anymore. Now it's up to the laity to decide which church they really want -- and why. Which we choose may well determine the very nature of the church for years to come."

- an excerpt from "Coming to a Church Near You" by Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, and posted on 10 July 2007 on NCRcafe.org

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful news that EWTN is televising an Extraordinary Form Mass!

Fr. Jack Garvey said...

It must be acknowledged, reluctantly on my part, that the conservatives have won a stunning victory in bringing back the Tridentine mass. I have to give them at least that much credit for their relentless drive to make the church conform to their conservative mold. Pope Benedict is on their side. They will not give up now. This victory is only the beginning. Their agenda will now focus on eventually having the entire Second Vatican Council declared heretical.
Fr. Jack Garvey
Yankton, SD
Anonymity can often be cowardly.

montanacatholic said...

Thank you for your comments, Father Garvey. You're right, anonimity can often be cowardly. My name is Frank Quamen. I'm 31 and have been a Catholic my whole life. I'm from Garretson, SD (where Father Christensen now lives) though now I live in Montana. My hometown church, St. Rose of Lima, was built with the help of early parishoners there like my great-grandparents, including my great-grandmother Rosalie who along with 3 other ladies whe were named Rose donated the statue of St. Rose at the church. My maternal grandparents attended that church and my parents, sister, brothers, and other family still attend that church. My dad was raised Lutheran, though is now Catholic. I always considered my Lutheran Grandma on his side of the family one of the most Christian people I have known, and she was always supportive of my religion, attending my First Communion and Confirmation and making cakes for the events. I know the recent statements made by the Bishop of Rome greatly upset my father, and that Vatican II was considered a great momement in the Church by my mother.

Cheers

AJF said...

To Fr. C and the parishioners of St. Rose of Lima in Garretson: Have a blessed patronal Feast day! --AJF

Father Christensen said...

montanacatholic said:

"The Latin Mass, for instance, in which the priest celebrates the Eucharist with his back to the people, in a foreign language -- much of it said silently or at best whispered -- makes the congregation, the laity, observers of the rite rather than participants in it."

These things that you have brought up are common misconceptions and misunderstandings of the Extraordinary Form. For instance, the priest does not "face away from the people" rather, he faces the same way as the people so as to highlight the fact that he is one of them, offering the Holy Sacrifice for and with them.

There also seems to be a misconception that if one does not do anything in the Liturgy (Lector, distribute Holy Communion, Serve, Usher, etc), or even say anything, that you cannot be participating. This is a very narrow idea of participation. I can easily participate in a an orchestra’s presentation of Handel's Messiah in the original language without saying or doing anything. One can enter into it spiritually and emotionally without doing anything exteriorly. So clearly people did, and still do participate, often in a very deep and rich way, in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Not to mention the immense and deep participation we enter into in the reception of Holy Communion, which participates in a way that far surpasses any exterior participation one could ever take part in.

montanacatholic also said: "The celebrant becomes the focal point of the process, the special human being, the one for whom God is a kind of private preserve."

This actually is not the case at all. In the Extraordinary From the priest in no way is the focal point. He faces the Altar with everyone else, His focus, along with everyone else, is God. In the Ordinary Form, it can be a very great temptation for the priest to make himself the focal point, because by facing the people, there is a psychological turning from God, toward the people, thus making the priest and the people the focus rather than God. I have seen this over and over in parish life where the priest makes himself into some sort of entertainer...and we all know what sort of strange abuses that can lead to (See priest as barney video). This is something I have never, ever experienced at a celebration of the Extraordinary Form or at a celebration of the Ordinary form celebrated ad orientem because there is a very clear sign that the focus of our worship is not the priest, not the congregation, but God and He alone.

He also said: "In the Latin mass, the sense of mystery -- of mystique -- the incantation of "heavenly" rather than "vulgar" language in both prayer and music, underscores a theology of transcendence. It lifts a person out of the humdrum, the dusty, the noisy, the crowded chaos of normal life to some other world. It reminds us of the world to come -- beautiful, mystifying, hierarchical, perfumed -- and makes this one distant. It takes us beyond the present, enables us, if only for a while, to "slip the surly bonds of earth" for a world more mystical than mundane."

Amen! If only all Masses lifted us out of earth and into heaven. After all isn't that the reason for our existence, to be lifted out of this world into the next? It has always been, and still is the teaching of the Church, that in the Mass we literally and really present at the heavenly liturgy so as to be inspired and energized to go forth and bring the peace and joy of heaven to the world around us. What a great gift the Mass is!


He also said: "The Vatican II liturgy, on the other hand, steeps a person in community, in social concern, in the hard, cold, clear reality of the present. The people and priest pray the Mass together, in common language, with a common theme. They interact with one another. They sing "a new church into being,' non-sexist, inclusive, centered together in the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee curing the sick, raising the dead, talking to women and inviting the Christian community to do the same."

The Church and the Mass did all of these things in the past as well. Except for the "Singing a new Church into being." Jesus already did that once and for all...we don't need to reinvent something He already has...as if we could do better than him…as if His Church isn’t quite good enough…

This whole conversation seems to come down to this. Do we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church? If so, then why the fuss. If not, then there is alot of fussing to do. I, for my part, trust Jesus when He said "The gates of Hell shall not prevail over her (The Church).” I trust that God is in control, guiding and shaping His Bride, the Church. I will follow Her and Her teachings because She is inspired by the Holy Spirit. I will also follow the Vicar of Christ, because He has the charism, the gift, of discernment for the Church. He has been chosen to be the successor of Peter, He has the keys to the kingdom, what he binds is bound, what he looses is loosed. If we believe this, as any Catholic should, then why the fuss...why not trust in Jesus and His word...why doubt?

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful, Father.
I would like to see silence in our churches again.
I would like to see people remaining in church after the priest has left the altar. Jesus is still physically present within us. Take those incredible moments of supreme intimacy to thank Him for all He has given us- those who came before us and passed on the
faith.
Thank the Father for giving us life and such wonderful family and friends, and the intercession of the saints. Say hello to all our loved ones in heaven. Be aware of the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Ask Jesus to permeate our whole body with His Healing Love.
It would even be great for the priest to come out after the mass to kneel and pray for a brief period.
I mean there are so many critical prayer needs- to pray for all our leaders, world wide, country, state and local. It is so necessary to start praying now for our country to elect a president whose conscience has been properly formed.
Pray for the conversion of abortionists etc. Pray for those addicted to drugs, shopping unnecessarily on Sundays, pornography, those who think living together before marriage is normal etc. Prayer needs are limitless.
Pray to our Mother Mary- thank her for always interceding to her Son on our behalves and for saying "fiat" 2000 or so years ago.

fr. g said...

re: " truly charitable toward their flock."

Exactly, truly charitable towards those who believe exactly as they do. Gee, to love those who love you, what a noble concept...

fr. g said...

re: "It's difficult not to wonder if reconciliation is really what it's all about."

Its not that difficult. The SSPX has lots of money.