Saturday, December 27, 2008

Liturgy of the Hours in the Octave of Christmas

Saying the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church's prayer, during many seasons can be complicated and challenging to the novice. Use of a liturgical calendar can be very helpful.
In the past it seemed that just about every household displayed a calendar upon which were listed all of the saint's feast days as well as the Solemnities and Holy Days of obligations,as well as the national holidays and more mundane fare. In the present time, it seems that many Catholic households do not follow this practice, and it is few and far between the student who can name the particular saint's feast of any given day.
The Octave of Christmas is rather unique in the Liturgy in that the Invivatory, the Morning prayer, and other readings are taken from the feast days, but the Evening Prayer is taken from the seasons. The antiphons and psalms for the evening are taken from Evening Prayer II on Christmas day, while Night Prayer is taken from Sunday Prayer II.
So except for Holy Family Sunday, which has its own readings, during the Christmas Octave, for the Church, time effectively stops. In our joy we repeat the Evening Prayers, or at least parts of them through the whole Octave. Our joy at the birth of Our Lord, His Incarnation into human flesh is so great it cannot be constrained to single day or even a single week.
And so one must keep in mind the day, the date and the position of Christmas and Holy Family Sunday in the rythm of the Calendar.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Excommunication of a schismatic priest.

I wrote previously about Monsignor Dale Fushek and the Rev. Mark Dippre, once both heavily involved in Life Teen and now at odds with their bishop, Thomas Olmsted. Fushek was removed from public ministry due to charges of sexual misconduct, but insisted on presiding at non-denominational worship services at a convention center.

Both priest have now been excommunicated for their disobedience to the Church. Both priest, who are still clerics at this point, have been declared guilty of schism. From the The Diocese of Phoenix website:

“Fushek and Dippre have incurred the censure of excommunication because they have chosen to be in schism with the Catholic Church by establishing and leading an opposing ecclesial community known to the public as the Praise and Worship Center.”
Prayers for both men that they may repent their actions and rejoin the community of the Church.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Liturgy

While the majority of the worlds Catholics celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite, that is the Mass of Pope Paul VI, the so called Novus Ordo, there are actually a number of liturgical rites and variant practices that a Catholic can attend to meet their requirement for assisting at a Mass on Sunday or other Holy Days of Obligation.
There are any of the Divine Liturgies celebrated by the Eastern Churches in union with Rome. There are the liturgies of the Latin Church; the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Carthusian and Benedictine Rites. There are the variations of the Latin rite. Masses said using the Zaire Use or Anglican Use of the Roman Liturgy. There is even the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite.
One of the amazing aspects of the Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite is that it can be said strictly by the allowed rubics and still vary greatly depending upon the episcopal conference area and wishes of the presiding priest.
Note I'm not talking about so-called clown Masses or other liturgical abuses, but Masses said which adhere to the GIRM and other guiding documents and to the authorized translations of the Roman Missal. Note that some of the allowed options are held by some people as to not be preferable options, but they are indeed allowed by Rome and so are licit practice.
So while some would hold that a Mass where congregational songs, accompanied by a modern band, ahould not be allowed, such a practice is allowed. Attending such a Mass, said in English, with the priest facing versus populum is probably more common than the Mass at the other end of the spectrum. That is, a Mass in the Ordinary Form, said in Latin, accopanied by Gregorian Chant, with the preist clebrating ad orientem.
Both Masses are valid and it is up to the faithful to decide which more accurately fufills their need to give worship to God.