Notre Dame de Rouen. The façade of the Gothic Church in France. Photographer: Hippo1947. Licence: SHUTTERSTOCK.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

The Divine Holy Mass Of The Solemnity Of The Most Holy Rosary Of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Church Of Saint-Eugène - Sainte Cécile, Paris. Sunday, 3 October 2021.

English: Divine Holy Mass of The Solemnity of
The Most Holy Rosary of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Church of Saint-Eugène - Sainte Cécile,
Paris, France.
Sunday, 3 October 2021.
Download the Booklet for this Mass: 
Français: Sainte messe de la solennité du Très-Saint Rosaire.
Paroisse Saint-Eugène - Sainte-Cécile,
4 bis rue Sainte Cécile FR-75009 Paris, France.
Available on YouTube at

Reclaiming The Hush Of The Sacristy And Of The Sacristy Ceremonial.

A beautiful Catholic Sacristy.
Illustration: PINTEREST

The response to Father’s appeal
for new Altar Servers has been quite good.
But, now, Father wants to introduce a little
“Hush” and “Reverence” in the Sacristy.

The Text of this Article is taken from, and can be read in full at,

By: Shawn Tribe.

Those seeking to create a more Reverent and Prayerful approach to The Sacred Liturgy often give great focus to The Liturgy, itself; but a Reverent and Prayerful Liturgy doesn't begin with the ringing of the Bell at the beginning of Mass; it begins in the Pews and in the Sacristy before Mass even begins.

“The Sacristies”.
Available on YouTube at

S I L E N T I V M.

Wander in to many a Sacristy, today, and you could be forgiven for thinking it is little more than the Ecclesiastical equivalent of a Locker Room.

It is not uncommon for the Servers to be visiting or joking around, for Laity to be coming in and out to catch up with the Priest, for Priests to be visiting with one another, and so forth.

Discussions surrounding sporting events, work, upcoming dinner engagements, the weather, or practical Parish discussion abound. No doubt, most of us have participated in this to one degree or another- myself included - and, in a culture that is often devoid of silence, this is hardly a surprise, it is rather a symptom.

The Sacristy.
Basilica of The Nativity of Mary,
Senglea, Malta.

Human nature being what it is, we cannot simply turn off one disposition and turn on another, like a light switch, and, if the climate in the Sacristy is one of socialising and camaraderie (good things within the right context) rather than mindfulness and Prayer, this will hardly be conducive to proper preparation for either the Priest or the Servers - and it is liable to seep into The Liturgy, itself.

By contrast, if you enter a Traditional Roman Sacristy, you will find the following command and reminder prominently hung from the Sacristy's walls:

S I L E N T I V M.

This single word is a powerful reminder that the Sacristy is not a social place; rather, the Sacristy is a place of Prayerful preparation; it is an echo and extension of The Liturgy, itself. This “echo” is something that we must regain, and it is not solely through this practice of silence that it will be regained, but also through associated Ceremonial actions that Traditionally take place there.

With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some things that could be done to reclaim our Sacristies.

1. Post the “SILENTIVM” sign in The Sacristy.

Catechise Around It.

And Begin To Practice It.

It all begins with silence. So, in the first instance, I would recommend posting the aforementioned sign in your Sacristy and - importantly - provide some Catechesis around it. Set clear expectations and give the underlying reasons for this custom.

The Sacristy of Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome. (Source)

This sign should be placed inside the main part of the Sacristy (though one could also be posted without, of course). If you wish this to be taken seriously, the amount of effort you do or don't put into this signage will speak volumes about how important it really is or isn't.

Using your home or office printer and tacking your print-off onto the wall will have less effect than a proper sign. My own recommendation would be to get a sign properly made up, which then has some permanence to it.

This should really be fairly simple and inexpensive to accomplish and examples abound on the Internet, if you want to look for some ideas.

S I L E N T I V M.

The response to Father’s appeal
for new Altar Servers has been quite good.
But, now, Father wants to introduce a little
“Hush” and “Reverence” in the Sacristy.

Then, of course, you must actually pursue the practice. There is, typically, a reasonable progression in these things. In the Sacristy, outside of Mass times, this matter of silence is obviously less strict. As the hour of Mass approaches, however, the Cloistral hush should begin to take a firmer hold, beginning at first with hushed tones and moving into near total silence and whispers once the Clerics begin to Vest.

At this point as well, the Servers should be at full attention; their Serving role has now already, even though the first Bell of The Mass has yet to be rung.

Speaking of which, I would note that The Vesting Prayers should be mounted in the Sacristy in the place where the Priest Vests. Typically, these are printed and framed. Not only is this beneficial to the Priest, but all of these elements combine to set the tone of the Sacristy.

S I L E N T I V M.

Prayers for Altar Servers have also been created by organisations like The Guild of Saint Stephen, and these could, likewise, be posted, and that practice promoted amongst the Servers by the Priest or M.C.

2. Laying Out The Vestments And Assisting In The Vesting.

Another one of the rich Traditions of the Sacristy that not only constitutes an art in its own right, but which is also Ceremonial in nature, is that of the laying out of the Vestments in a particular order. This method has both a symbolic connotation (for example, forming an "IHS") and also a practical benefit: namely of assisting the Priest in his act of Vesting.

This is typically done by the Servers (or Sacristan) and, in my experience, the Servers quite enjoy learning and participating in these Ceremonial aspects. They become part of the art and knowledge of Serving at the Altar. What's more, these sorts of activities help to give them focus and maintain the appropriate disposition in the Sacristy in preparation for Mass.

FSSP Lyon (Source)

Closely related to this, Servers will also often assist the Priest as he Vests and Prays The Vesting Prayers, helping him to get his Alb on properly, ensuring that the Vestments are on straight and the like. In this regard, there are similarities to be found here, loosely speaking, between this and the Vesting of the Bishop in the Solemn Pontifical Mass. If you don't think all of this sets a particular tone in the Sacristy, you would be mistaken.

3. The Sacristy Crucifix.

One final piece, that I would mention, is that of The Cross at The Final Blessing. The Crucifix is an important feature of any Traditional Sacristy and it should be prominent.

Traditionally, the Priest and Servers will bow to The Cross as they prepare to leave the Sacristy at the beginning of Mass, and they will also do so at the end of Mass, before they “divest”.

S I L E N T I V M.

If your Sacristy does not have a Cross in it, make sure to add one, and also begin these customs of acknowledging The Cross before and after Mass with the Servers.

Something as simply as this helps to facilitate a more Prayerful environment that flows to and from The Sacred Liturgy.

* * *

The reality is that a great deal more could be said on this subject, but I hope that these three very simple suggestions might serve as a starting point for the process of re-shaping and re-claiming our Sacristies.

Sacristy of Ss. Trinita Rome (Source)

Mediæval Monastic Library Re-Created Online.

Text and Illustration: MEDIEVALISTS.NET

Durham Cathedral possesses the finest collection 
of Mediæval Manuscripts of any English Cathedral.

Durham University, in partnership with Durham Cathedral, is engaged in an ambitious project to digitise Durham Priory Library — the books owned and used by the Benedictine Monastery of Durham and its dependant Cells.

Durham Priory Library re-created.
Available on YouTube

Durham University and Durham Cathedral have teamed up to digitally recreate a Mediæval Monastic Library. 

The Durham Priory Library Recreated project, which was officially launched, recently, will make available over 350 volumes of texts that once belonged to the Priory in Northern England.

The Manuscripts and early-printed texts, which date back to the 6th-Century A.D., originally belonged to the Benedictine Monks of Durham Priory until The Dissolution of The Monasteries by King Henry VIII from 1536-1541. 

Fortunately, much of this collection remained at Durham Cathedral, and, over the next five years, they will be digitised and made freely available online.

“This project opens up the Priory Library for researchers around the World to explore,” said Judy Burg, Head of Special Collections at Durham University. 

“By the end of the project, around 350 volumes will have been digitised and we hope to extend the work to include about 200 more volumes that were originally part of the Priory Library, but were scattered across the United Kingdom since The Dissolution of The Monasteries, 1536-1541.”

Saint Francis Of Assisi. Confessor. Feast Day, Today, 4 October.

Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Francis Of Assisi.
   Feast Day 4 October.


White Vestments.

“Saint Francis in Meditation”.
Artist: Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664).
Date: 1635-1639.
Current location: National Gallery, London, England.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Francis of Assist.
Artist: René de Cramer.
"Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium".
Used with Permission.

Born at Assisi, in Umbria, Italy, Saint Francis was raised up by God to work at the same time as Saint Dominic for the moral regeneration of the World at a most troublous period.

[Francis, says Dante, was a true Seraph by the love which devoured his Soul; Dominic, by his enlightened knowledge, ranks with The Cherubim. The former lived 1182-1225, the latter 1170-1221. It is related that Saint Louis, King of France, used to say that, if he could divide himself, he would give half of himself to Saint Dominic and half to Saint Francis].

He had been Christened "John", but was called "Francis", by his father, to celebrate his return from a successful business journey in France.

"The more the sublime enthusiast," says Montalembert, "hid himself and depreciated himself to make himself worthy by humility and men's contempt to be the vessel of Divine Love, the more, by a wonderful effort of of Grace, men rushed to follow him."

Saint Francis of Assisi.
Illustration: PINTEREST

Francis soon had disciples (Communion) who reduced themselves to the same poverty as himself and shared his ardour for the conversion of the people. "My Brothers," he would say, "let us Preach Penance, by example, rather than by word."

He gave them a Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent III in 1210. In the following year, he obtained from The Benedictines the little Church of Our Lady of The Angels, called "Portiuncula", which was the cradle of his Order [The property of The Benedictines of Mount Subasio was thus called because it was made up of small portions of land. After having restored The Church of Our Lady of The Angels, Saint Francis obtained from the Pope the grant of a Plenary Indulgence for all The Faithful who visited it on 2 August, the Anniversary of its Consecration. For the last few years, all Parish Churches enjoy the same privilege (Note: This Text was written in 1945)].

The new Religious Family, with which he enriched The Church (Collect), multiplied so rapidly that, at The General Chapter held at Assisi about ten years after its birth, there were five thousand Brothers.

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi,
Aleppo, Syria.
Photo: 8 January 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Preacher lad
(Wikimedia Commons)

[In 1264, The Franciscans possessed already 8,000 Houses. The Friars-Minor have given to The Church twenty-nine Saints, sixty Blesseds, five Popes, and many Cardinals, Bishops, and Learned Men, such as Saint Bonaventure, Alexander of Hales, Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus. The Capuchins six Saints and eleven Blesseds. The Conventuals one Saint and one Blessed. In 1936, The Friars-Minor numbered about 24,500 Members, The Capuchins 13,500, and The Conventuals 3,000, not to mention the 83,000 Regular Tertiaries and the 1,904,000 Secular Tertiaries.]

Wishing to consider themselves the least among Religious, Saint Francis gave them the name of Friars-Minor, and he himself remained a Deacon all his life. After this First Order, he Founded a Second Order, "The Order of Poor Clares", thus called after Saint Clare, the illustrious Virgin of Assisi (Feast Day 12 August).

Lastly, in 1221, he Founded a Third Order, called "The Order of Penance", on which the Popes, and especially Pope Leo XIII, who considered it an honour to belong to it, lavished the greatest encouragement and the richest favours.

Saint Francis sent his disciples to France, Germany, Spain, Africa; he himself wanted to go to Palestine and Morocco, but Divine Providence stopped him on the way. The Divine Love which burned in him caused him to be surnamed “Seraphic”.

On 4 October 1226, he gave up his Soul to God while finishing the last Verse of Psalm 141: “Bring my Soul out of prison, 
O Lord, that I may praise Thy Name.”

Mass: Mihi autem.

Worksop Priory In The Snow.

Worksop Priory in the snow.
Available on YouTube at

Saint Mary The Virgin Church, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England. Designed By George Frederick Bodley.

Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England.
Photo: Wayne Austin FlickR Page
Date: 30 March 2008 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Rood Screen.
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England.
Designed by George Frederick Bodley.
© Copyright David Dixon
and licensed for reuse under this
Illustration: GEOGRAPH

The Web-Site of Saint Mary The Virgin Church can be found HERE

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia.

The Church of Saint Mary The Virgin, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England, is an Anglican Church and is Grade I Listed, by English Heritage, as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest.

The Blessed Virgin Mary and The Child Jesus.
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England.
Designed by George Frederick Bodley.
© Copyright David Dixon
and licensed for reuse under this
Illustration: GEOGRAPH

The Chapel of Saint Paul, at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, was commissioned by Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle in 1864.

It was designed by the architect Thomas Chambers Hine, but not completed and became known as The Pigeon Coop. Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle, demolished it and commissioned a new Chapel, Dedicated to Saint Mary The Virgin, in 1886. It was designed by George Frederick Bodley and built by R. Franklin, of Diddington, Oxfordshire.

The Stone used in the Interior is Red Runcorn, and, Externally, Steetly Ashlar, with Red Runcorn dressings.

It was completed by 1889 at a cost of £30,000 (£2,961,466 in 2016). It was opened by The Bishop of Southwell on 22 October 1889, but this Ceremony caused alarm in The Protestant Alliance of The Church of England, as reported in The Derby Daily Telegraph on 6 November 1889.

The Committee and Members of The Protestant Alliance have forwarded a Memorial to The Archbishop of Canterbury, inviting His Grace’s attention to the reports published in The Press regarding the Services conducted at The Benediction, or Dedication, of the new Church at Clumber on the 22nd of October - Services “authorised and conducted” by The Bishop of Southwell, The Bishop of the Diocese, and described as “a function which far exceeded that of Cardiff in Grandeur of Ritual and Dignity of Ceremonial”.

These reports, it is pointed out, state that the Church at Clumber was decorated with a Crucifix over The Rood Screen, with images of The Virgin and of Saint John, with a Baldachino over The “High Altar,” and a Crucifix on The Retable, with a Tabernacle for The Reserved Sacrament, having a Silver Lamp suspended in front of it, and with other Popish emblems.

The Service of The Holy Communion was conducted, according to these reports, with the formalities observed in The Roman Catholic Service of The Sacrifice of The Mass - formalities condemned by The Courts of Law - and it is further reported that no person whatever Communicated with the Celebrant.

The Procession into the Church was headed by a Crucifer, bearing a large Crucifix, and a Thurifer, bearing a Censer containing Incense.

Two handsome Banners were carried aloft, the first being that of The Blessed Sacrament and the second that of The Virgin Mary, on which were inscribed the remarkable words, “S. Maria Mater Dei”.

It is further reported that about fifty “Priests” took part in the Procession; that The Bishop of Lincoln walked in this Procession, dressed in a Cope of Cloth of Gold; that he was followed by The Bishop of Southwell, wearing a gorgeous Cope, on the back of which was depicted in brilliant colours a representation of The Madonna and Child - The Madonna Crowned, The Child Uncrowned.

The Memorialists urge that the use of the idolatrous Rites and Ceremonies of The Church of Rome tend to alienate the affections of people from The Church of England, and, if not checked and prevented, must eventually lead to an agitation for the dis-establishment and dis-endowment of The National Church.

An appeal is made to The Archbishop to use his influence to check and prevent the introduction and the use of such superstitious Services and illegal practices.

The Church, on a Cruciform Plan, has a Central Tower, which contains one Bell and a 175 ft-high Spire, which rises out of an Octagonal Corona. It is in The Second Pointed Style. The Interior Nave is plain, but The Chancel is decorated with carvings. The Stained-Glass is by Charles Eamer Kempe.

Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, England.
Designed by George Frederick Bodley.
© Copyright David Dixon
and licensed for reuse under this
Illustration: GEOGRAPH

Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.
Designed by George Frederick Bodley.
© Copyright David Dixon
and licensed for reuse under this
Illustration: GEOGRAPH

Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.
Designed by George Frederick Bodley.
The Stained-Glass is by Charles Eamer Kempe.
© Copyright David Dixon
and licensed for re-use under this
Illustration: GEOGRAPH

The Nave.
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

The Chancel and Choir,
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

The Choir,
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

Stained-Glass Window.
Saint Mary The Virgin Church,
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

George Frederick Bodley
English Architect and Poet.
Photo: Circa 1900.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

George Frederick Bodley (14 March 1827 – 21 October 1907) was an English Gothic Revival Architect. He was a pupil of Sir George Gilbert Scott, and worked in partnership with Thomas Garner for much of his career.

Bodley was articled to the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, a relative by marriage, under whose influence he became imbued with the spirit of The Gothic Revival, and he became known as the chief exponent of 14th-Century English Gothic, and the leading Ecclesiastical architect in England.

He is regarded as the leader of the resurgence of interest in English and Northern European Late-Mediæval design. Noted for his pioneering design work in The Queen Anne Revival.

From 1869, he worked in a twenty-eight year partnership with Thomas Garner, designing Collegiate Buildings in Oxford and Cambridge, Country Houses and Churches throughout the British Isles.

One Cathedral was completed to his design: Saint David's Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (first design, 1865; revised 1891; building completed 1936).

In 1906, Bodley designed, with his pupil Henry Vaughan, the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.. He also provided a design for Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, but it was not used.

As well as Vaughan, Bodley and Garner’s pupils included the Garden Designer, Inigo Thomas, who specialised in formal Gardens with geometrical plans in 17th- and 18th-Century Styles, which suited the houses that Bodley and Garner renovated for wealthy clients.

In 1874, Bodley founded WATTS AND CO, London, with Garner and George Gilbert Scott, Jr. His Secular Work included the London School Board offices, and, in collaboration with Garner, the new buildings at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Hewell Grange, Worcestershire (for Lord Windsor).

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Sacred Heart Church, Kőszeg, Hungary.

Sacred Heart Church, Kőszeg, Hungary.
The building is considered to be a fine example of 
Gothic Revival Architecture.
Caption and Illustration: TUMBLR

Sacred Heart Church,
Kőszeg, Hungary.
Photo: 16 July 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Gr3mi
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia.

The building is considered to be a fine example of Gothic Revival Architecture. It was designed by Viennese architect Ludwig Schöne and was built between 1892 and 1894, in place of the old Korona Hotel, on the main square.

It is a Church with three Naves, a Transept, and a Polygonal Sacrarium.

It has a fifty-sevem metres high Tower and two Pinnacles. The Bell plays a melody from Händel’s Oratorio “Saul”.

The carved Wooden Altars were made in Vienna and in Tirol. Many of the Stained-Glass Windows were donated to the Church by local families; they show pictures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Hungarian Saints, such as St. Stephen, Blessed Gisella, St. Emeric, St. Ladislaus, St. Elizabeth and St. Margaret.

Several pieces of Mediæval and Baroque Furniture and Goldsmith’s Work were taken to this Church from the older Saint James Church, including two Chalices made in 1421 and 1486.

The Organ was made in 1894 by the Rieger Brothers.

Chauffeur Perkins Gets Carried Away Again With Dreams Of Grandeur.


Zephyrinus somehow knew it was not a good idea
to let Chauffeur Perkins choose the new mode of transport required to take Zephyrinus to The Divine Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

The Impressive Ceremonies Of The Mass.


The Text for this Article is taken from, and can be read in full at, TAN DIRECTION

By: John Paul Sonnen.

“It is known, in fact, that The Latin Liturgy of The Church in its various forms, in each Century of The Christian Era, has been a spur to The Spiritual Life of many Saints, has reinforced many peoples in The Virtue of Religion, and fecundated their Piety.”
—Pope Benedict XVI.


Mass is the highest act of Religion and the highest Prayer. It is the renewal and continuation of The Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. For Catholics, it is one of the most significant and important parts of their lives. It is Christ’s redeeming Death on The Cross continued and re-presented.

To help us understand and appreciate The Mass, The Church has wisely ornamented it over the Centuries with Ceremonies and Symbols, Actions and Gestures, movements that tell a story to teach and reveal The Sacred Mysteries.

These Signs and Actions have developed organically through the Centuries, and they help us to Pray better. From a young age, Catholics learn when to sit and stand, bow and strike their breast. The Liturgy is a teaching tool to help both Priests and Lay People to have a deep and fervent reverence reflective of ontological and metaphysical reality.

Man is made up of body and Soul. The body and senses help the Soul and mind Pray and Worship better. These Signs and Symbols and Ceremonies impress The Faithful and touch their hearts, fixing lasting thoughts and teaching truths.

The Liturgy is like a Diamond or Gem that is mounted by a jeweller to protect it and bring out its beauty. The Ceremonies and Prayers of The Mass are like the mounting and setting to the Diamond — they bring out the beauty of The Sacrifice.

Sacrifice, since it is the highest act in religion, is most beautiful and beneficial to souls. In order that we may understand its great beauty and nobility, it is given to us mounted in an exquisite ceremonial.

Speaking of the impressive ceremonies of Mass, the Council of Trent states, “Since by reason of his nature man is so constituted that without exterior aid he can not easily rise to the contemplation of divine things, the Church, as a devoted mother, has therefore introduced into her liturgy certain usages, as, for example, that some portions of the Mass should be recited in a low tone, others in a loud tone of voice.”

Pontifical Mass of Cardinal Arinze,
Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, London.

It continues, “In like manner, certain ceremonies, for instance the blessings, the use of lights, incense, vestments and many things of that nature, she employs by Apostolic custom and tradition, in order both to manifest thereby the majesty of the great sacrifice, as well as to animate the minds of the faithful by these visible signs of religion and piety, to the consideration of the sublime mysteries hidden within this sacrifice” (Council of Trent, Sess. 22, c. 5).

This brings to mind a famous quote by Fr. Fredrick Faber, who wrote so well on the Blessed Eucharist. He wrote, “It [the Mass] is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. . . . It came forth out of the grand mind of the Church and lifted us out of earth and out of self.”

Consequently, through the generosity of the Church and pastoral solicitude of the Roman Pontiffs, present and future generations of the faithful should have free and large access to the fullness of the liturgical forms in the Latin Church.

After all, the Holy Spirit has created the Mass as an appropriate expression of the glorification that the whole Mystical Body of Christ owes constantly to the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Providentially, therefore, and with a gesture of loving largesse after the example of the heavenly Father, the vicar of Christ Benedict XVI, in his munificence, granted motu proprio, of his own initiative, a decree that threw open once again the doors of the liturgical treasury of the Latin Church.

This decree Summorum Pontificum appealed to the wisdom and charity of the bishops to understand and implement his disposition, which was meant as a sign of reconciliation inside and outside the Church, promulgated in 2007.

In this intent, the decree has borne great fruit and received praise and recognition worldwide, making the beautiful ceremonies of the Roman rite available to all.

In the words of liturgical scholar Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, “The liturgical richness of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite shows in many ways that the sacramental mysteries instituted by Christ are a beginning of the eternal freedom and a glimpse of the glory of Heaven.”

He continues, “Hence, in these lands of shadow and sinfulness where human frailty finds a path to the light with great difficulty, Holy Mother Church, under the direction of continuous inspiration from above, has organically developed forms and details to guide our steps to a divine worship that guarantees our contact with the Godhead and at the same time elevates our soul and body to a genuine piety nourished by the grace of Christ.”

The Church has invited her priests and lay faithful to love and cherish the liturgy. The clergy especially must have a profound knowledge of the mysteries of which they are called to be the faithful ministers.

Illustration: WIKIPEDIA

The laity, too, are called to deepen their knowledge about the theological and ceremonial meanings behind the sacred rites, glowing so brilliantly in the classical Roman rite.

Thus have many approved authors at different times and under various aspects taught and explained the liturgical expressions with great expertise. Among the more important was Msgr. George J. Moorman, who passed away in 1979. A native of Indiana, he was priest for more than seventy years.

Msgr. Moorman wrote an easy-to-read book in 1920 on the Mass called The Latin Mass Explained, republished by TAN Books in 2007. It explains the parts of the Mass with great care and attention, with special focus on the beauty and explanation of the acts and ceremonies of the rite. This book reveals the what, why, and how of the Traditional Latin Mass.

The book helps many understand for the first time the awesome dignity of the Mass with the rich spiritual significance of every element at the altar.

Today, knowledge of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite has spread and assisted in checking the lack of general liturgical formation among many Catholics of all ages. This prompted Pope Benedict to say in his motu proprio: “The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.”

Neither of these is found very often. While many Catholics have a deep respect and are very much impressed with the Latin Mass, few have books on hand to teach them about what they already admire.

The republication of this fine book by Msgr. Moorman, a liturgical scholar with long practical experience, is not only most timely but also fills a gap which has been felt for a long time. It has since become a part of the liturgical revival which Pope Benedict so ardently hoped for when he explained the Latin Mass was “never juridically abrogated” and is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same “Lex Orandi,” and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient use.

Thus we have the extraordinary outpouring of grace and liturgical awe that is felt by so many who see and experience this ancient way of spirituality, forever set to inspire the liturgical life of the universal Church. What poetry, what pathos, what sublimity in the teachings of our classical liturgy! Let us hope and pray the tidal force of young Catholic families loyal to the See of Peter continues in this direction, a meteoric force for good in the Church and world.
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