“We can have the most beautiful Liturgy in the World, but without love it is for nothing.”

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The video below is of Archbishop Alexander Sample’s homily on the Liturgy, which he offered on Quinquegesima Sunday at the Brigittine Monastery of Our Lady of Consolation. Wow! Wonderful homily. One of my favorite quotes from it is: “We can have the most beautiful Liturgy in the World, but without love it is for nothing.” The Mass is not about us, but about Christ. Everything we do is a call to give the glory to God that is due him. The Liturgy is a wonderful opportunity to grow in our love of Christ and deepen our faith. Beautiful liturgies have played a great part in my life, especially in inspiring my vocation. I give thanks for being able to be a part of many beautiful liturgies over the year. We are blessed to celebrate beautiful liturgies at the seminary and it really adds to the spiritual growth that our men experience at Bishop Bruté. The love of the priests in my life for God has shown by how they celebrate the Mass and it trull has deepened my faith.

No matter whether the Mass is celebrated in the Novus Ordo, Byzantine, Dominican, Carmelite, Extraordinary, or another Rite/Form the Liturgy is a way to bring Heaven to Earth, to interact with the people in a very real way and draw them closer to God. Our love of God should echo in the ways in which we attend and celebrate Mass. Our movements, gaze, voice, everything we do leads us to God in extremely intimate ways.

May Our Lady queen of priests, always help priests and those who assist them to celebrate beautiful liturgies, truly worthy of the sacrifice being offered. As we near Holy Week and the Triduum, may our hearts and minds be on Christ, the mysteries we celebrate, and may we be granted the graces to serve at his Altar’s worthily, and with much love. Amen.

 

O Oriens

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O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

From the Lectionary Cycle:

Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae:
veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death!

From the Hymn:

Veni, Veni O Oriens, solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas, dirasque mortis tenebras.

(6) O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

This Evening the Church in her wisdom calls us to look to the Orient, the East, to look forward to the second coming of Christ. (Kind of fits with the whole Mayan World-ending thing don’t you think?) We gather together as a people who long to see Christ, we long for him to come, we long to see him, our Savior. We look to the East, because that is where the Dawn comes from, where the first rays of the sunlight of a new day come forth from. That is why for the longest amount of the Church’s history Mass was celebrated Ad Orientem, that is (to the East, though it became the Liturgical East in some places, because churches couldn’t always be built with the High Altar on the East side of the Church) Mass can still be celebrated this way, though many choose not to as the custom with the Novus Ordo is to celebrate Ad populum, (To the people). We await the coming of Christ from the East, we await him the dawn of a new day, he is the dawn who makes all things new. He comes to set us free of our sin and start us on the path to our redemption. He comes to restore the human race with God and open up the gates of Heaven for us through his death on the cross.

We seek the Son of Justice, who when he comes on that new dawn, that new day, he will give to each what they deserve. This is why Christ gives us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you haven’t made your Christmas confession yet, please GO! Now! Jesus is waiting for us to ask him for his help, to be the new day in our life, to be the new dawn of justice, the new dawn of love, the new dawn of whatever we are needing refreshed, open up your souls to him! Open up your hearts and sweep the staleness of not praying and sin out, ask for him to come and be your new day. Join with the church in welcoming him O Oriens, O Dawn, O Christ born for our salvation in a stable in Bethlehem. Come o Oriens, dawn of the new day. Come and refresh us, and make us yours, even so Lord Jesus, come and do not tarry!

Scriptural References for O Oriens:

Isaiah 9:158:860:18-20

Malachi 4:2

Luke 1:78-79

John 8:12

Revelation 22:16

Post on the Latin Mass

On This Rock: If I Had a Vote on Our Next Archbishop – This Bishop Would Get My Vote.

 

Check out the above link found on Fr. John Hollowell’s blog: “On This Rock”

I have wanted to blog on my personal experience with the Latin Mass for quite awhile, and now I have a reason to.

Bishop Sample has always been one of my favorite Bishops, and this re-affirms it even more. I attended my first Latin Mass earlier this Summer in June while I was at the State FFA Convention in Lexington. Fr. John Rickert celebrated the Mass for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. It was a sung Mass, since it was a pretty big feast for the church. It was absolutely beautiful! Did I understand much of what was being said? No. Could I hear what the priest was praying all the time? No. Did it bother me that I could only see the Priest’s back and not his face? No. Some may ask well why not? The answer is simple. During the whole Mass my attention was on one thing and two things alone: The Crucifix above the Altar, and then the Host when the priest turned around to show us Jesus and give us communion. That was the only thing on my mind for the full 45 minute Mass at 7 am on a hot Summer day. It was as if the other couple people in the church didn’t exist at all. It was me, myself, and I with Jesus. Now I am not trying to say that I was being self-absorbed or egotistical, but that was what it felt like. It was a different feeling than being in Adoration alone with Jesus. This was more close to Calvary to me. It seemed that it was more intimate and personal. With my eyes on the Crucifix and the soft musical chants in the background by the choir, I could see myself there at the foot of the Cross, when the bells were rung and the Host was raised, I was there watching as the cross was raised above the Earth and Jesus fell forward immediately feeling pain, except at that moment he felt none nor was there any blood, as the Mass is an un-bloody sacrifice.

Words can’t really express what I felt during the Mass, it was as if I had stepped into eternity and then had to step back out when it was over. I have never really felt that way before during a Mass in the Novus Ordo, otherwise known as the Mass in the vernacular. I was overcome with a great sense of serenity and peace. I pray that if you have never encountered our Lord in the traditional rite of the Church, that you will find a Latin Mass and go to it. It is a little slice of Heaven on Earth.

 

Now granted, for some the Latin Mass is not enjoyable, it really makes them uncomfortable and feel out of place, and I agree that it is not for everyone, but that is where the beauty of the two rites come into play. So much of the Novus Ordo Mass can be mixed with the Latin Mass, whether it be the servers, the Priest facing the Altar (Ad Omnes) and not facing the people (Ad populum), the incense and sounds of the bells. or a Latin Hymn/chants. There is so much that the church can do to increase the beauty of the Mass and ensure that the next generation receives a greater experience with Christ at every Mass than ever before. This is our tradition, this is our history, let us not throw it away or cast it aside, but embrace it and use it to reclaim our faith, reclaim our families, reclaim our country, and reclaim the world for Christ. There is a reason that the Church celebrated Mass like that for thousands of years. We must embrace not only our history, but also embrace and look forward to our future.

 

May God bless you and keep you, May he shine his face upon you and grant you his precious gift of peace! The Lord bless you!

 

+JM,

Corey