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Pope Francis celebrates Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion

By on Friday, 29 March 2013

Pope Francis lies prostrate in St Peter's Basilica during the liturgy (AP)

Pope Francis lies prostrate in St Peter's Basilica during the liturgy (AP)

Pope Francis has celebrated the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at St Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope presided at the service to commemorate Christ’s death on the Cross.

He began the rite after a silent procession down the central nave under dim lighting, which underlined the solemnity of the ceremony. Then he rested his forehead on a red pillow while lying face down in front of the altar in silent prayer, in a sign of adoration and penance.

After the homily, during the adoration of the cross, the Pope removed his red chasuble and, in a sign of penance, placed a red stole over his shoulders, bowed three times and kissed the cross.

Following tradition, the homily was delivered by the preacher of the papal household, Capuchin Fr Raniero Cantalamessa.

The Pope and thousands of faithful stood as three deacons and the Sistine Chapel Choir chanted the account of the Passion from the Gospel of St John.

In his homily, Fr Cantalamessa said the Church must have the courage to return to the simplicity of its origins and rid itself of all impediments that block the Gospel message from reaching the world.

“We know what the impediments are that can restrain the messenger: dividing walls, starting with those that separate the various Christian churches from one another, the excess of bureaucracy, the remains of ceremonials, bygone laws and disputes, which, by now, have become only debris,” he said.

Referring to Pope Francis’s words to the College of Cardinals before the recent conclave, Fr Cantalamessa agreed that sometimes Jesus is knocking not just to get into a person’s life, but also to get out into the world and reach others.

He compared some events in the Church to what happens to old buildings over the centuries, as they “become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets”, the papal preacher said.

“The time comes when we must realize that all these adjustments no longer meet current needs, but rather are an obstacle, so we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and coherence of its origins,” he said.

It’s the same mission St Francis of Assisi received when he heard, “Go, Francis and repair my church,” the Capuchin said.

He said St Paul also wondered who could be up to “the superhuman task of being ‘the aroma of Christ’ in the world”.

Fr Cantalamessa said St Paul provides the answer in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, when he says the ability to speak in Christ comes from God, “who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life”.

The preacher said: “We must do everything possible so that the Church may never look like that complicated and cluttered castle” described by Franz Kafka in “An Imperial Message”, in which it becomes hugely difficult for the messenger – charged with relaying a dying king’s message – to make it out of the castle and reach his destination with the original communication.

The Gospel message, like the king’s message in Kafka, was meant to and needs to get out into the world “as free and joyous” as when it was first pronounced, he said.

“May the Holy Spirit, in this moment in which a new time is opening for the Church, full of hope, reawaken in people who are at the window anticipation for the message, and in the messengers the will to make it reach the people, even at the cost of their lives,” he said.

Because Christ’s message is one of love and mercy, evangelisation “is not a conquest, not propaganda; it is the gift of God to the world in his son Jesus,” Fr Cantalamessa said.

The full text of Fr Cantalamessa’s homily:

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith in his blood. He did this to show his righteousness [...] to prove at the present time that he is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus”(Rom 3:23-26).

We have reached the summit of the Year of Faith and its decisive moment. This is the faith that saves, “faith that overcomes the world” (1 Jn 5:5)! Faith – the appropriation by which we make ours the salvation worked by Christ, by which we put on the mantle of his righteousness. On the one hand there is the outstretched hand of God offering man His grace; on the other hand, the hand of man reaching out to receive it through faith. The “new and everlasting Covenant” is sealed with a handclasp between God and man.

We have the opportunity to make, on this day, the most important decision of our lives, one that opens wide before us the doors of eternity: to believe! To believe that “Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification” (Rom 4:25)! In an Easter homily of the 4th century, the bishop pronounced these extraordinarily modern, and one could say existentialist, words: “For every man, the beginning of life is when Christ was immolated for him. However, Christ is immolated for him at the moment he recognizes the grace and becomes conscious of the life procured for him by that immolation” (The Paschal Homily of the Year 387 : SCh, 36 p. 59f.).

What an extraordinary thing! This Good Friday celebrated in the Year of Faith and in the presence of the new successor of Peter, could be, if we wish, the principle of a new kind of existence. Bishop Hilary of Poitiers, converted to Christianity as an adult, looking back on his past life, said, “before meeting you, I did not exist”.

What is required is only that we do not hide from the presence of God, as Adam and Eve did after their sin, that we recognise our need to be justified; that we cannot justify ourselves. The publican of the parable came to the temple and made a short prayer: “O God, have mercy on me a sinner”. And Jesus says that the man returned to his home “justified”, that is, made right before him, forgiven, made a new creature, I think singing joyfully in his heart (Lk 18:14). What had he done that was so extraordinary? Nothing, he had put himself in the truth before God, and it is the only thing that God needs in order to act.

* * *

Like he who, in climbing a mountain wall, having overcome a dangerous step, stops for a moment to catch his breath and admire the new landscape that has opened up before him, so does the Apostle Paul at the beginning of Chapter 5 of the letter to the Romans, after having proclaimed justification by faith:

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5: 1-5).

Today, from artificial satellites infrared photographs of whole regions of the Earth and of the whole planet are taken. How different the landscape looks when seen from up there, in the light of those rays, compared to what we see in natural light and from down here! I remember one of the first satellite pictures published in the world; it reproduced the entire Sinai Peninsula. The colors were different, the reliefs and depressions were more noticeable. It is a symbol. Even human life, seen in the infrared rays of faith, from atop Calvary, looks different from what you see “with the naked eye”.

“The same fate”, said the wise man of the Old Testament, “comes to all, to the righteous and to the wicked…I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well”(Ecc 3:16; 9:2). And in fact at all times man has witnessed iniquity triumphant and innocence humiliated. But so that people do not believe that there is something fixed and sure in the world, behold, Bossuet notes, sometimes you see the opposite, namely, innocence on the throne and lawlessness on the scaffold. But what did Qoheleth conclude from all this? ” I said in my heart: God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for everything” (Ecc 3:17). He found the vantage point that puts the soul in peace.

What Qoheleth could not know and that we do know is that this judgement has already happened: “Now”, Jesus says when beginning his passion, “is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”(Jn 12:31-32).

In Christ dead and risen, the world has reached its final destination. Human progress is advancing today at a dizzying pace and humanity sees new and unexpected horizons unfolding before it, the result of its discoveries. Still, it can be said that the end of time has already come, because in Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Father, humanity has reached its ultimate goal. The new heavens and new Earth have already begun.

Despite all the misery, injustice, the monstrosities present on Earth, he has already inaugurated the final order in the world. What we see with our own eyes may suggest otherwise, but in reality evil and death have been defeated forever. Their sources are dry; the reality is that Jesus is the Lord of the world. Evil has been radically defeated by redemption which he operated. The new world has already begun.

One thing above all appears different, seen with the eyes of faith: death! Christ entered death as we enter a dark prison; but he came out of it from the opposite wall. He did not return from whence he came, as Lazarus did who returned to life to die again. He has opened a breach towards life that no one can ever close, and through which everyone can follow him. Death is no longer a wall against which every human hope is shattered; it has become a bridge to eternity. A “bridge of sighs”, perhaps because no one likes to die, but a bridge, no longer a bottomless pit that swallows everything. “Love is strong as death”, says the song of songs (Sgs 8:6). In Christ it was stronger than death!

In his “Ecclesiastical History of the English People”, the Venerable Bede tells how the Christian faith made its entrance into the North of England. When the missionaries from Rome arrived in Northumberland, the local King summoned a Council of dignitaries to decide whether to allow them, or not, to spread the new message. Some of those present were in favor, others against. It was winter and outside there was a blizzard, but the room was lit and warm. At one point a bird came from a hole in the wall, fluttered a bit, frightened, in the hall, and then disappeared through a hole in the opposite wall.

Then one of those present rose and said: “Sire, our life in this world resembles that bird. We come we know not from where, for a while we enjoy the light and warmth of this world and then we disappear back into the darkness, without knowing where we are going. If these men are capable of revealing to us something of the mystery of our lives, we must listen to them”. The Christian faith could return on our continent and in the secularized world for the same reason it made its entrance: as the only message, that is, which has a sure answer to the great questions of life and death.

* * *

The cross separates unbelievers from believers, because for the ones it is scandal and madness, for the others is God’s power and wisdom of God (cf. 1 Cor 1:23-24); but in a deeper sense it unites all men, believers and unbelievers. “Jesus had to die [...] not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God”(cf. Jn 11:51f). The new heavens and the new Earth belong to everyone and are for everyone, because Christ died for everyone.

The urgency that comes from all this is that of evangelizing: “The love of Christ urges us, at the thought that one has died for all” (2 Cor 5:14). It urges us to evangelize! Let us announce to the world the good news that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has delivered us from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:1-2).

There is a short story by Franz Kafka that is a powerful religious symbol and takes on a new meaning, almost prophetic, when heard on Good Friday. It’s titled “An Imperial Message”. It speaks of a king who, on his deathbed, calls to his side a subject and whispers a message into his ear. So important is that message that he makes the subject repeat it, in turn, into his hear. Then, with a nod, he sends off the messenger, who sets out on his way. But let us hear directly from the author the continuation of this story, characterized by the dreamlike and almost nightmarish tone typical of this writer:

” Now pushing with his right arm, now with his left, he cleaves a way for himself through the throng; if he encounters resistance he points to his breast, where the symbol of the sun glitters. But the multitudes are so vast; their numbers have no end. If he could reach the open fields how fast he would fly, and soon doubtless you would hear the welcome hammering of his fists on your door. But instead how vainly does he wear out his strength; still he is only making his way through the chambers of the innermost palace; never will he get to the end of them; and if he succeeded in that nothing would be gained; he must next fight his way down the stair; and if he succeeded in that nothing would be gained; the courts would still have to be crossed; and after the courts the second outer palace; and so on for thousands of years; and if at last he should burst through the outermost gate—but never, never can that happen—the imperial capital would lie before him, the center of the world, crammed to bursting with its own sediment. Nobody could fight his way through here even with a message from a dead man. But you sit at your window when evening falls and dream it to yourself.”

From his deathbed, Christ also confided to his Church a message: “Go throughout the whole world, preach the good news to all creation” (MK 16:15). There are still many men who stand at the window and dream, without knowing it, of a message like his. John, whom we have just heard, says that the soldier pierced the side of Christ on the cross “so that the Scripture may be fulfilled which says ‘they shall look on him whom they have pierced”(Jn 19:37). In the Apocalypse he adds: “Behold, he is coming on the clouds, and every eye will see him; they will see him even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the Earth will lament for him “(Rev 1:7).

This prophecy does not announce the last coming of Christ, when it will no longer be the time of conversion, but of judgment. It describes the reality of the evangelisation of the peoples. In it, a mysterious but real coming of the Lord occurs, which brings salvation to them. Theirs won’t be a cry of despair, but of repentance and of consolation. This is the meaning of that prophetic passage of Scripture that John sees realized in the piercing of the side of Christ, and that is, the passage of Zechariah 12:10: “I will pour out on the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and consolation; they will look to me, to him whom they have pierced”.

The evangelizsation has a mystical origin; it is a gift that comes from the cross of Christ, from that open side, from that blood and from that water. The love of Christ, like that of the Trinity of which it is the historical manifestation, is “diffusivum sui”, it tends to expand and reach all creatures, “especially those most needy of thy mercy.” Christian evangelisation is not a conquest, not propaganda; it is the gift of God to the world in his Son Jesus. It is to give the Head the joy of feeling life flow from his heart towards his body, to the point of vivivfying its most distant limbs.

We must do everything possible so that the Church may never look like that complicated and cluttered castle described by Kafka, and the message may come out of it as free and joyous as when the messenger began his run. We know what the impediments are that can restrain the messenger: dividing walls, starting with those that separate the various Christian churches from one another, the excess of bureaucracy, the residue of past ceremonials, laws and disputes, now only debris.

In Revelation, Jesus says that He stands at the door and knocks (Rev 3:20). Sometimes, as noted by our Pope Francis, he does not knock to enter, but knocks from within to go out. To reach out to the “existential suburbs of sin, suffering, injustice, religious ignorance and indifference, and of all forms of misery.”

As happens with certain old buildings. Over the centuries, to adapt to the needs of the moment, they become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets. The time comes when we realize that all these adjustments no longer meet the current needs, but rather are an obstacle, so we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins. This was the mission that was received one day by a man who prayed before the Crucifix of San Damiano: “Go, Francis, and repair my Church”.

“Who could ever be up to this task?” wondered aghast the Apostle before the superhuman task of being in the world “the fragrance of Christ”; and here is his reply, that still applies today: “We’re not ourselves able to think something as if it came from us; our ability comes from God. He has made us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”(2 Cor 2:16; 3:5-6).

May the Holy Spirit, in this moment in which a new time is opening for the Church, full of hope, reawaken in men who are at the window the expectancy of the message, and in the messengers the will to make it reach them, even at the cost of their life.

  • Dr Falk

    good answer again. Jesus rode into Jerusalem not on a throne or sedia gestatoria but on a donkey. What did the Scriptures proclaim – the king comes riding gently upon a donkey. I think the world sees something in the Pope some Catholics miss – the simple humble approach.

  • Tridentinus

    You imply that you are in the majority of those of us who claim to be Catholic. I don’t know how old you are but if you consider yourself to be a ‘mainstream Catholic’ then in my younger days you would have appeared no different from a mainstream Protestant.

  • Tridentinus

    Anyone?

  • John Fisher

    The Church is a war with itself! The Pope is attacking the past in the name of an imagined personal version of the past! We know the Mass as it was in 1962 was authentic and was part of antiquity handed on. But these heretics have their own fantasy and they are just as at the psuedo synod of pistoia wanting to reshape in line with their fantasy!

  • John Fisher

    traditio means to hand on. The scriptures or New Testament memiors of the apostles are part of traditio. When the present makes war on precedent it attacks itself! Because apostolic custom and authority is attacking the authroty of previous authority of which it is part. It isn’t organic but it is an attack and cause of rupture!

  • Benedict Carter

    Agreed 100%

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent points.

  • Peter

    Pope Francis is highly orthodox, and we follow him.

    What is becoming clear is that the old familiar distinctions within the Church of traditional and liberal no longer apply, Those that keep raking them up are stuck in some sort of “cold war” mentality.

    These old distinctions have been superceded by something globally far more important, something far more relevant to the mainstream of Catholics throughout the world.

    What we have now is a battle between a Church that looks inwards at herself, at her own needs, and a Church that needs to look outwards to the spiritual and material needs of mankind as a whole.

    The inward-looking element is nowhere more exemplified that in rich and smug western parishes and diocese, which operate largely to satisfy their own material and spiritual needs and ignore those of the local community and the world outside.

    This is what Pope Francis is trying to change. He is trying to change Catholic hearts and minds at grassroots level among the clergy and the laity, to transform them from a state of self-satisfied smugness into missionaries of evangelisation and outreach, to tackle spiritual need at home and material need abroad.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    It has never been abolished — it is technically a practice, not an obligation.

    Of course IF during the course of the Liturgy the priest (or his deacon) asks the Faithful to kneel, then the Faithful obey — otherwise, the Faithful MUST at least stand, and they may kneel if desired, and/or wherever this is the general practice in the congregation.

    The Liturgy itself can ask the Faithful to kneel at certain points, as the Tridentine Liturgy (which was fairly squarely based on a Monastic iteration of the Latin Rite) most certainly does.

    Otherwise, kneeling is obligatory for the Laity only in certain cases of particular liturgical participation — receiving baptism, confirmation, the Holy Eucharist where the officiating clergy request this, various forms of altar service, and so on, and typically where the Liturgy expressly requires that these or those participants will kneel.

    The central thing to understand is that both the standing and kneeling postures are the expression of humility — standing (when properly understood, which – granted – is not always the case) has more of a focus on presenting oneself as one is, as if naked in the Spirit, to Our Lord and Our God, and as if both in friendship and as a submission to His Judgment ; kneeling has more of a focus on a more reverential and at the same time more grateful expression of that selfsame humility.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    What is becoming clear is that the old familiar distinctions within
    the Church of traditional and liberal no longer apply, Those that keep
    raking them up are stuck in some sort of “cold war” mentality.

    These old distinctions have been superseded by something globally far
    more important, something far more relevant to the mainstream of
    Catholics throughout the world.

    Sorry, but this is balderdash — the orthodoxy of the Church comprises both orthodox traditionalists and orthodox liberals (whose numbers, sadly, have dwindled radically in the face of the hordes of liberals who have abandoned even any pretense of orthodoxy).

    And let’s face it — your opinion expressed hereabove simply constitutes an attempt to redefine Catholicism as if excluding whomever should reject your radically liberalist vision.

    The true orthodoxy of the Catholic Faith does NOT expect that every single Catholic be united into some sort of wishy-washy feel-good fuzzy safeness where everyone can agree with everyone else, and just be nice to each other.

    NO

    The true orthodoxy of the Faith admits of disagreement, and it recognises as Catholics those who may disagree with one’s own personal understanding of the Faith. In fact, the orthodoxy doesn’t just recognise those that one disagrees with — the orthodoxy champions their Faith, it defends their Faith, and it is a Martyr to their Faith.

    The Faith of ANY Catholic who is true to the Universal Doctrines and the Universal Tradition of the One True Faith, and who commits no blasphemies, teaches no heresies, and denounces all apostasies and anathemata is the same Faith as EVERY Catholic.

    Not every Catholic however is the same, not every Catholic will always agree with every other Catholic, but far more importantly — each and every Catholic receives the Vocations, the Charisms, and Graces that God gives to that individual Catholic in his or her singular relationship withing the Catholicity with Our Lord and Our God and Our Holy Church.

    1 Corinthians : {12:3} Because of this, I would have you know that no one speaking in the Spirit of God utters a curse against Jesus. And no one is able to say that Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit.
    {12:4} Truly, there are diverse graces, but the same Spirit.
    {12:5} And there are diverse ministries, but the same Lord.
    {12:6} And there are diverse works, but the same God, who works everything in everyone.
    {12:7} However, the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one toward what is beneficial.
    {12:8} Certainly, to one, through the Spirit, is given words of wisdom; but to another, according to the same Spirit, words of knowledge;
    {12:9} to another, in the same Spirit, faith; to another, in the one Spirit, the gift of healing;
    {12:10} to another, miraculous works; to another, prophecy; to another, the discernment of spirits; to another, different kinds of languages; to another, the interpretation of words.
    {12:11} But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one according to his will.
    {12:12} For just as the body is one, and yet has many parts, so all the parts of the body, though they are many, are only one body. So also is Christ.

    {12:13} And indeed, in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether servant or free. And we all drank in the one Spirit.
    {12:14} For the body, too, is not one part, but many.

  • Tridentinus

    It seems it has been abolished as according to the rubrics of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal, “before the Priest’s prayer, in accord with tradition, it is permissible to use the Deacon’s invitations ‘Let us kneel — Let us stand’, with all kneeling for silent prayer.”

    In the Tridentine Rite even in its dumbed-down 1962 Missal ‘Flectamus genua’ and ‘Levate’, were compulsory even if there was no deacon the invitations had to be sung by the priest.

    Even though it is now only optional I would not expect it to be omitted in the Solemn Liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica of all places.

    It looks like a fortaste of things to come, if it’s traditional bin it. Pope Benedict’s endeavour to restore some traditional beauty and dignity to the liturgy seems to have been abandoned.

  • Tridentinus

    What constitutes ‘mainstream’ Catholicism? What other types of Catholicism are there?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    It is not an obligatory part of the Liturgy, but if the Priest or his deacon asks the Faithful to kneel, then they obey.

    I understand your concerns, Tridentinus, and it would be better if such sources of liturgical confusion did not exist.

  • Tridentinus

    Thank you, I was under the impression that it was still part of the Liturgy as I am pretty sure that I would have missed it long ago. The Liturgies I have been present at for years must have continued it.

    In 1570 St Pius V imposed the Roman Rite probably because there was such a plethora of rites throughout Europe that after the Reformation there was a need to curb the possibility of liturgical abuses of by Protestant-minded bishops and priests.

    We saw what happened in our own time with the Novus Ordo where clear rubrics were replaced with ‘mays, and ‘mights’, ‘to adapt to local customs’, ‘if the local ordinary or conference deems it appropriate’, you know the sort of language.

    What are Catholics to think when, for example, when they attend 3 funerals; in one church the vestments are white, in another they are violet and in another they are black?

    I don’t know if you saw the Youtube video I posted somewhere on here yesterday (can’t seem to find it now) I think of ‘Liturgical Dance’ at Liverpool, Met: Cathedral as recent as 2011. This what happens when you abandon strict rubrical control of Rites.

  • Tridentinus

    I just read about the Synod of Pistoia again on Wiki to refresh my memory. For a minute I thought I had clicked on Vatican II.

  • Dr Falk

    Dear John Fisher,

    You mention reshaping liturgy. What would you make of the liturgical reform of Pope Pius X11 in 1951 for Easter Vigil I understand that there we have reduction of prayers, creating new rites such as the people carrying candles and inscribing the candle, facing the people for blessing the water of baptism, the priest sitting and listening and liturgical prayers in the vernacular
    If you look carefully at this we find (1)vernacular, (2)simplified prayers,, (3)reduced priestly actions,(4) facing the people and(5) new rites being created. You might say it sounds a bit like the New Mass – it does.

  • Dr Falk

    yes you’re right. However it also wanted the ‘issue of service-books with parallel translations in the vernacular’. Do you agree with it when it sought Missals with vernacular translations? Be careful here Tridentinus – if you have an Latin English missal you might be seen as agreeing with the Synod of Pistoia.

  • Tridentinus

    I have always been wary of the term, ‘People of God’. Had I heard it prior to Vatican II I would have assumed it referred to the Israelites in the desert. Everton Football Club call themselves ‘The People’s Club’ without any definition of what it means.
    To me it smacks of Socialism and taints the Church with the suspicion that it is merely an earthly, semi-political institution.

    If you ever read the comments on on-line newspapers you can’t fail to notice that the modern concept of the Church is that it is a ‘Holy’ arm of the social services.

    You may be interested in what Benedict XVI’s thoughts on this were at the turn of the century.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/ZMYSTERY.HTM

  • Dr Falk

    I think Peter we are seeing a Battle between a Gospel focus on Love as the centre of our Faith and another approach which focuses on rules, teachings and regulations as the centre. Underneath these I am sure thereare totally different images of God. Despite the fact that we all believe in the Blessed Trinity we see God in totally different ways. This is the core schism and it shouldn’t surprise us as it’s in the Gospel story itself.

  • Dr Falk

    Dear Tridentinus,

    Thank you for sending this. I shall enjoy reading it later. On ‘People of God’ there was some theological work done before the Second Vatican Council on this including by the great Abbot Vonier in 1943. In Acts 15:14 there is the statement of St James that God has called from the Gentiles’ a people dedicated to his name’ – hence the People of God. We are ‘a people set apart for himself ‘ (Titus.2:14). If you can get a copy of Jerome Hamer’s ‘The Church as Communion’ there is a short section there on the biblical roots of the term. The term points out how we (me and you) are really the True and New Temple of God as St Paul says (1 Cor.3:16) and that’s really Good News my friend. Take care and have a great Easter.

  • Tridentinus

    Ha-ha. I should have been more careful, indeed. My first Missal was indeed a Latin-English Missal which I still have although very dog-eared now. It was pre-1951 so there are a lot of crossings out which I remember making in red-biro.

    The preamble to it went into great detail as to why it was absolutely necessary for the Church to hold its services in Latin. You can imagine my total shock and horror when Paul VI repudiated all of it.

    More shock and horror when the translations bore no relation to the English of my ‘Daily Missal’.

    I am not implacably opposed to vernacular liturgy because it would impossible to go all the way back now. It’s the translations which are so banal. I suggest you read the English translation of the Roman Canon (Thee therefore …) by Myles Coverdale, heretical bishop of Exeter: exquisite.

  • Dr Falk

    Thanks Tridentinus.

  • Tridentinus

    Happy Easter to you, too.

  • Olga Delandelles

    There is such as thing as introductions and even our Lord complained about the lack of the signs of courtesy made him by the Pharisees. All in good time brother.

  • Olga Delandelles

    Please Peter – I think you have made things more complicated than necessary. You know – it is possible that you are just winding yourself up in Lazurus’ winding sheet. The light is harder to take when you have been living inside for a while. There is only one solution: wait … Our Lord is the one who can set you free – nothing anyone says here will make any impression at all.

  • Olga Delandelles

    Well – that makes sense, anyway – I think there is little bit of nit picking going on here. Why not in Greek or Aramaic my friend?

  • Olga Delandelles

    Have you heard of minicus degeneration. We could install a couple of pulley contraptions to “make light of it” … if you prefer Maestro

  • Olga Delandelles

    I think that there is a great taste for legalism here, a few gnats to be strained with some strain. Liturgy is actually alot more rich than a few English (moderately Latin literate professors of the late 2Oth century) seem to realize. Perhaps – the Orthodox would find this all a little too modern.

  • Olga Delandelles

    Well – watch out for that castor oil plant Jonah … it just may not last until the fire and brimstone come down.

  • Olga Delandelles

    Lets vote … BC and Tri vs the Francis flock … Odds anyone? Protestanism? We have a little lay synod here already.