Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music and Liturgy

Before Vatican II there was no doubt about what kinds of music were appropriate during the Mass. The only things allowed were a Capella and pipe organ. With Vatican II (1962-1965) came abuses, they "renovated" and deformed our Churches and they also renovated the liturgy. But that was not what Vatican II was about. If the documents are read it can be seen that many abuses were done in the name of Vatican II but with nothing from the documents backing them up.

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not "manufactured" by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition. . . . The greatness of the liturgy depends - we shall have to repeat this frequently - on its unspontaneity (Unbeliebigkeit).Cardinal Ratziner, Spirit of the Liturgy

If we read Vatican II documents on the Liturgy we find:

pg 33

116. The Church recognizes Gregorian chant as being specially suited to the Roman liturgy. There fore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. Other kinds of sacred music especially polyphony *, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action as laid down in Article 30

* polyphony def:
In music, polyphony (from the Greek πολύς /po΄lis/ many and φωνή /fo΄ni/ voice) is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chordshomophony).

120. The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up men's minds to God and higher things. But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship in the judgement and with the consent of the competent territorial authority. This may be done however only on condition that the instruments are suitable or can be made suitable for sacred use, that they accord with the dignity of the temple and that they contribute to the edification of the faithful.

pg 97

63 In permitting the using of musical instruments the culture and traditions of the individual people must be taken into account.

from the Encylcical on Sacred Mucic 1955 :

21. Certainly no one will be astonished that the Church is so vigilant and careful about sacred music. It is not a case of drawing up laws of aesthetics or technical rules that apply to the subject of music. It is the intention of the Church, however, to protect sacred music against anything that might lessen its dignity, since it is called upon to take part in something as important as divine worship.

58. These norms must be applied to the use of the organ or other musical instruments. Among the musical instruments that have a place in church the organ rightly holds the principal position, since it is especially fitted for the sacred chants and sacred rites. It adds a wonderful splendor and a special magnificence to the ceremonies of the Church. It moves the souls of the faithful by the grandeur and sweetness of its tones. It gives minds an almost heavenly joy and it lifts them up powerfully to God and to higher things.

59. Besides the organ, other instruments can be called upon to give great help in attaining the lofty purpose of sacred music, so long as they play nothing profane nothing clamorous or strident and nothing at variance with the sacred services or the dignity of the place. Among these the violin and other musical instruments that use the bow are outstanding because, when they are played by themselves or with other stringed instruments or with the organ, they express the joyous and sad sentiments of the soul with an indescribable power. Moreover, in the encyclical Mediator Dei, We Ourselves gave detailed and clear regulations concerning the musical modes that are to be admitted into the worship of the Catholic religion.

I want to talk about this quote from Vatican II

However, those instruments which are, by common opinion and use, suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions.

in our society that LOVES music, if you can call it that. What instruments are secular in our musical world? guitar and drums and two that spring instantly to mind. There is a difference between religious music and sacred music.........sacred music is music for the Mass.
"Thus, at the instance and under the sponsorship of the Church, sacred music, through the course of centuries, has traversed a long road by which, though sometimes slowly and laboriously, it has finally reached the heights: from the simple and natural Gregorian modes, which are, moreover, quite perfect in their kind, to great and even magnificent works of art which not only human voices, but also the organ and other musical instruments embellish, adorn and amplify almost endlessly. Just as this progress in the art of music shows clearly how dear to the heart of the Church it was to make divine worship more resplendent and appealing to Christian peoples, so too it made clear why the Church also must, from time to time, impose a check lest its proper purposes be exceeded and lest, along with the true progress, an element profane and alien to divine worship creep into sacred music and corrupt it." Pope Pius XII

Religious music can be anything with a religious verse, but religious music isn't for the Mass or to be played in Church. Play it in your car or your home. Only Sacred music is for the Mass.

We live in a time where just about anything goes in our Churches. Things that were never meant to be. We now have girl "alter servers" communion in the hand and yes guitar and drum sets in Church. These are an abuse, plain and clear. We will not attend a Mass in which the guitar or drums are being played. We've walked out of many and will continue to do so until the proper sacred atmosphere of the Mass is restored.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Communion on the tongue

"Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the
people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs
to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of
reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence
the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for
touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone to touch it, except from
necessity, for instance if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency." St. Thomas Aquinas

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord" - 1 Corinthians 11:27,28

Pope Benedict to Catholics:
Kneel and Receive on the Tongue Only

Pope Benedict XVI does not want the faithful receiving Communion in their hand nor
does he want them standing to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. According to
Vatican liturgist, Monsignor Guido Marini, the pope is trying to set the stage for
the whole church as to the proper norm for receiving Communion for which reason communicants
at his papal Masses are now asked to kneel and receive on the tongue.

The Holy Father's reasoning is simple: "We Christians kneel before the Blessed
Sacrament because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the One True
God." (May 22, 2008)

According to the pope the entire Church should kneel in adoration before God in the
Eucharist. "Kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist is the most valid and radical
remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today" (May 22, 2008)

The pope's action is in accord with the Church's 2000 year tradition and is being
done in order to foster a renewed love and respect for the Eucharist which presently
is being mocked and treated with contempt. The various trends and innovations of our time (guitar liturgy, altar girls, lay ministers, Communion in the hand) have worked together to destroy our regard for the Eucharist, thus advancing the spiritual death of the church. After all, the Eucharist is the very life and heartbeat of the Mystical Body around which the entire Church must revolve.

Kneeling also coincides with the Church's centuries old ordinance that only the
consecrated hands of a priest touch the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. "To priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist." (Council of Trent) This teaching is beautifully expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica: "Because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament."

It is for reason that Pope Paul VI in his May 1969 pastoral letter to the world's
bishops reaffirmed the Church's teaching on the reception of Communion, stating that: "This method on the tongue must be retained." (Memoriale Domini) This came in response to the bishops of Holland who started Communion in the hand in defiance of the centuries old decree from the Council of Rouen (650 A.D.) where this practice was condemned as sacrilegious. "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths." To date this prohibition has never been overturned legally.

Today Communion in the hand is carried on illegally and has become a major tool of the enemy to destory the Faith throughout the world. For this practice serves no other purpose than to warp our conception of Jesus Christ and nourish a contempt for the sacred mysteries. It's no wonder St. Basil referred to Communion in the hand as "a grave fault."

That is to say, Communion in the hand is not tied with Catholic tradition. This practice was first introduced to the Church by the heretical Arians of the 4th century as a means of expressing their belief that Christ was not divine. Unfortunately, it has served to express the same in our time and has been at the very heart of the present heresy and desecration that is rampant throughout the universal Church. If we have 'abuse' problems today it is because we're abusing the Sacrament - it's backfiring on us!

Thanks to Communion in the hand, members of satanic cults are now given easy access to come into the Church and take the Host so that they bring it back to their covens where it is abused and brutalized in the ritualistic Black Mass to Satan. They crush the Host under their shoes as a mockery to the living God, and we assist it with our casual practice? Amongst themselves the satanists declare that Communion in the hand is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, and we do nothing to stop it?

Hence, the Holy Father is doing his part to try to purge the Church of abuse and we as members of Christ are called upon to assist him. For your encouragement we include the following quotation from Cardinal Llovera, the new prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009: "It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict's emphasis on the traditional practices of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling."

Also worth considering is the recent decree from Cardinal Caffarra, the Archbishop of Bologna Italy, forbidding the practice of Communion in the hand: "Many cases of profanation of the Eucharist have occurred, profiting by the possibility to receive the consecrated Bread on one’s palm of the hand... Considering the frequency in which cases of irreverent behavior in the act of receiving the Eucharist have been reported, we dispose that starting from today in the Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, in the Basilica of St. Petronius and in the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of St. Luke in Bologna the faithful are to receive the consecrated Bread only from the hands of the Minister directly on the tongue." (from his decree on the reception of the Eucharist, issued April 27, 2009)

Technically all bishops and clergy are bound to follow the Holy Father's directive on this issue, but in the meantime the faithful are not obliged to wait for the approval of their bishop in order to kneel for God. The directives of the Holy Father are not subject to the veto or scrutiny of the bishops and therefore all pastors and laity have a right and duty to put these directives into practice for the edification of their communities.

Our Lady's Workers of Southern California"

David Martin


"In the name of Jesus every knee should bend" - Philippians 2:10

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds, hide me. Separated from Thee let me never be. From the malignant enemy, defend me. At the hour of death, call me. To come to Thee, bid me, That I may praise Thee in the company Of Thy Saints, for all eternity. Amen.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clapping in Church

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI): "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

Pope St. Pius X: "It is not fitting that the servant be applauded in His Masters House".

Hab. 2:20: "But the Lord is in His holy temple, silence before Him, all the earth!"

Zeph. 1:7: "Silence in the presence of the Lord your God!"

Cardinal Francis Arinze is prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. When His Eminence speaks about the liturgy, our ears should perk up and listen. He stated that “…when we come to Mass we don’t come to clap. We don’t come to watch people, to admire people. We want to adore God, to thank Him, to ask Him pardon for our sins, and to ask Him for what we need.” [Adoremus Bulletin; Vol. IX, no.7, Oct. 2003]

I wanted to give some food for thought on what currently goes on in Catholic Churches. We clap for anything nowadays. Boy scouts, the choir or the newly married couple. The question is WHY?

What is our reason for going to Mass?

To worship God.

What is the Mass?

The Mass as "Unbloody Sacrifice":

Very early on, the Church saw the Mass as a mystical reality in which the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is renewed. Responding to Protestant sects who denied that the Eucharist is anything more than a memorial, the Council of Trent (1545-63) declared that "The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner" in the Mass.

This does not mean, as some critics of Catholicism claim, that the Church teaches that, in the Mass, we sacrifice Christ again. Rather, the original sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is presented to us once more.


The Mass is us standing once again at Calvary, watching the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
Why during such an awesome moment would you want to pull your gaze from Christ to focus on anyone or anything else? Why would you desire to clap at such an occasion?

My father in law has a saying : "People more attention pay to what you do than what you say"

If a non Catholic would walk in to our Church and see us applauding any tom, Dick or Harry for their accomplishments would they think that we TRULY believe that Jesus Christ is present in our Tabernacles? If as Catholics we TRULY believed that Christ was present in the tabernacle would we turn our attention away from that to clap for the newly married? or the boy scouts? the Choir? or our local softball team?

We have to remember that as Catholics we are always preaching our beliefs to others......and as St Franics said:

“Preach the gospel at all times.
If necessary, use words.”
Saint Francis of Assisi

When my husband and I got married we got someone before the Mass to inform the congregation that there was to be NO clapping at Mass. Once we got to the reception, they announced Mr and Mrs Grant Gil and the place went nuts with applause, in the proper place and at the proper time.

We as Catholics need to remember that everything has meaning and we need to keep God the center and focus of the Mass, we are secondary.

God Bless!