Saturday, November 26, 2011

Got off the train in the wrong city.

The old high altar in Boise's Cathedral of St John the Evangelist has long puzzled many people for it's two flanking pillars, each topped with what appears to be a jar, or a vase.

The explanation is that the altar was built by a company that at the same time built the high altar for Salt Lake City's Cathedral of the Madeleine. Both were shipped west on the same train, but Boise's was unloaded in Salt Lake City, and theirs went to Boise! Hence, Boise's high altar has the "alabastar jar of costly spikenard" motif to remind us of Mary Magdalene's unself-conscious and generous anointing of our Lord before his death.

The high altar that was built for the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Boise, was installed in the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. It apparently fell victim to a post Vatican II wreckovation, I understand it was destroyed. It has, however, survived in photographic evidence (picture is from 1909).

So Boise, here's what we missed:

This copyrighted picture is from Utah State History collections, here

PS: Not only did Utah loose the high altar, even the stained glass windows behind the altar are gone, as this current picture attests:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Third Edition of the Roman Missal

Here's an interesting little video from the Corpus Christi Watershed folks. It addresses the form of the mass, particularly the replacement of the Introit with a hymn...

2011 GIRM 48. This chant is sung alternately by the choir and the people or similarly by a cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Gradual Romanum, as set to music there or in another setting; (2) the antiphon and Psalm of the Graduate Simplex for the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.

And of course, while we're at it, ccwatershed also has a new hymnal, the Vatican II Hymnal:

The Dominicans at St Albert Priory (and the Eastern Province) have chosen the New Edition of the St Michael Hymnal:

I'm pleased to see these fine efforts, but somehow I expect that I'll be subject to slight variations of the sameold-sameold instead of what the Church is asking for...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

From the Fr Pius Pietrzyk OP of the Eastern Dominican Province, posting on Preacher's Sketchbook for First Sunday of Advent:

Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year

We find that this mystery of the coming, or Advent, of Jesus is at once simple and threefold. It is simple, for it is the one same Son of God that is coining; it is threefold, because He comes at three different times and in three different ways. ‘In the first coming,’ says St. Bernard, ‘He comes in the flesh and in weakness; in the second, He comes in spirit and in power; in the third, He comes in glory and in majesty; and the second coming is the means whereby we pass from the first to the third.’

This, then, is the mystery of Advent. Let us now listen to the explanation of this threefold visit of Christ, given to us by Peter of Blois, in his third Sermon de Adventu: ‘There are three comings of our Lord; the first in the flesh, the second in the soul, the third at the judgement. The first was at midnight, according to those words of the Gospel: At midnight there was a cry made, Lo the Bridegroom cometh! But this first coming is long since past, for Christ has been seen on the earth and has conversed among men. We are now in the second coming, provided only we are such as that He may thus come to us; for He has said that if we love him, He will come unto us and will take up His abode with us. So that this second coming is full of uncertainty to us; for who, save the Spirit of God, knows them that are of God? They that are raised out of themselves by the desire of heavenly things, know indeed when He comes; but whence He cometh, or whither He goeth, they know not. As for the third coming, it is most certain that it will be, most uncertain when it will be; for nothing is more sure than death, and nothing less sure than the hour of death. When they shall say, peace and security, says the apostle, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. So that the first coming was humble and hidden, the second is mysterious and full of love, the third will be majestic and terrible. In His first coming, Christ was judged by men unjustly; in His second, He renders us just by His grace; in His third, He will judge all things with justice. In His first, a lamb; in His last, a lion; in the one between the two, the tenderest of friends.’

The above is a well written reminder that the Lord who came amoung us a Bethlehem and died for our salvation on the cross, has kept his promise to "be with us always". Now is the time to make friends with Him. When He comes in judgment, that time will be past.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Truth Be Told issue #19 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 19th issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Benedict XVI on "We are Church"

The Holy Father made a reference to the "we are church" dissident movement in a speach to seminarians in Germany.

22-25 SEPTEMBER 2011

St Charles Borromeo Seminary Chapel, Freiburg im Breisgau
Saturday, 24 September 2011

Personally being with Christ, with the living God, is one thing: another is that we can only ever believe within the “we”. I sometimes say that Saint Paul wrote: “Faith comes from hearing” – not from reading. It needs reading as well, but it comes from hearing, that is to say from the living word, addressed to me by the other, whom I can hear, addressed to me by the Church throughout the ages, from her contemporary word, spoken to me the priests, bishops and my fellow believers. Faith must include a “you” and it must include a “we”. And it is very important to practise this mutual support, to learn how to accept the other as the other in his otherness, and to learn that he has to support me in my otherness, in order to become “we”, so that we can also build community in the parish, calling people into the community of the word, and journeying with one another towards the living God. This requires the very particular “we” that is the seminary, and also the parish, but it also requires us always to look beyond the particular, limited “we” towards the great “we” that is the Church of all times and places: it requires that we do not make ourselves the sole criterion. When we say: “We are Church” – well, it is true: that is what we are, we are not just anybody. But the “we” is more extensive than the group that asserts those words. The “we” is the whole community of believers, today and in all times and places. And so I always say: within the community of believers, yes, there is as it were the voice of the valid majority, but there can never be a majority against the apostles or against the saints: that would be a false majority. We are Church: let us be Church, let us be Church precisely by opening ourselves and stepping outside ourselves and being Church with others.

Contextual article by Sandro Magister at Chiesa Online is here
the Holy Father's full text is here

November Chapter meeting

The November Chapter meeting will be held at St Paul Newman Center, BSU, instead of in Caldwell. It also will start earlier, at 9:30AM Saturday, Nov 19, 2011. Fr Vincent Kelber OP will be with us, and it is planned that he will offer mass at approximately 10AM in the chapel.

there will be a Thanksgiving potluck meal, turkey provided! Sides should be coordinated with Stephanie DeNinno - ssdeninno [at dog]

So I said...

I know. I said I don't spend a lot of time looking at Chant and Music sites, but sometimes they find me anyway! This one is worth passing along, it's the Liturgy of the Hours set to Gregorian Chant.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

All Souls of the Dominican Order

For those who have gone ahead of us in the Order, we celebrate All Dominican Souls day today. May we join you in the heavenly chorus!

Monday, November 07, 2011

All Saints of the Dominican Order

From the Provincial web site,

All Saints of the Dominican Order
Feast for the Order

Today we faithfully remember "those who have gone before us in the family of Saint Dominic and who offer us the example of their way of life, their company in the communion of saints, and the help of their intercession. By this celebration may we be moved to imitate them and be strengthened in the spirit of our vocation." [LCO, nn. 16, 67]

God, source of all holiness, you have enriched your Church with many gifts in the saints of the Order of Preachers. By following their example may we come to enjoy their company forever in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Fr. Vincent Benoit, O.P.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cool find

I found this over at Dominican Liturgy blog in a post titled Dominican Prayers on the iPhone

Behold the golden dawn arise;
The paling night forsakes the skies:
Those shades that hid the world from view,
And us to dangerous error drew.

May this new day be calmly passed,
May we keep pure while it shall last:
Nor let our lips from truth depart,
Nor dark designs engage the heart.

So may the day speed on; the tongue
No falsehood know, the hands no wrong:
Our eyes from wanton gaze refrain,
o guilt our guarded bodies stain.

For God all-seeing from on high
Surveys us with a watchful eye:
Each day our every act he knows
From early dawn to evening’s close.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

Melody: Old 100th L.M.
Music: Louis Bourgeois, 1500-1561
Text: Sol ecce surgit igneus, eleventhth century Anglo Saxon
Translation: John M. Neale, 1818-1866
No, I don't have an iPhone, but I do love Old 100th!

I'll also confess that I spend almost no time on the music and liturgy blogs, I get too depressed. I used to, but it's like window shopping when you have no money; you want but you can't have, and the intense beauty drives one a bit nutters with desire because it has been banished and demonized in this part of the world, where it is preferred to sing(sic) music(sic) set to "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weener" and suchlike. OK, some are nice campfire songs, but I don't see a campfire when I look at the candles on the altar...