Sunday, December 05, 2010

Holiday Tour of Most Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn

Urban Oysters is offering a Holiday Tour of this historic Church with the profits going to Trinity Human Service Center. I have my ticket already and can't wait to see the beautiful high altar and the authentic German rathskeller in the Rectory. This Church was a big part of my family's history a century ago and I am very happy that it is still a very active parish. The parish's excellent website includes a long history section with this description from a priest who visited Most Holy Trinity in 1843:

"The forenoon and afternoon service as here established by the custom and piety of the people, I must confess, is most edifying, The High Mass is a choral mass, all in Latin, sung in quartet by beautiful and youthful voices, lasting fully an hour. People here seem to be accustomed to long sermons; one can hardly be long enough. [ed. LOL] Vespers are sung beautifully in Roman Choral Chant by the whole congregation, who also sing the Ora Pro Nobis when the Litany is chanted. Benediction is given only once according to French custom, the people singing the responses in Latin, For this purpose they have special Vesper booklets with a German translation. Chanting is quite a favorite service with the people and adds not a little to the attraction and edification of the service.
Actuosa Participatio

One of the most discussed liturgical principles is that of Actuosa Participatio - translated commonly as 'Active Participation' but which is more accurately translated as 'Actual Participation'. Vatican II called for actual participation at Mass but so did Popes and writers decades before the Council. I will never forget my shock at seeing the very first words of my father's 1943 Missal written in bold letters: Pray The Mass. I also noticed that I had to pray a lot harder at the traditional latin Mass than I did at the normal parish Mass. There are still some who wrongly believe Catholics at the traditional latin Mass are somehow not actually participating because there is more silence at this Mass. The fact is people actually participate when they listen attentively, pray the prayers and say the responses at Mass, whichever form of Mass they are attending. Michael P. Foley wrote about "Getting Active Participation Right" at InsideCatholic and ends with this insight:

The bottom line, then, is that we should stop counting articulated syllables and ritual gesticulations and instead acknowledge that a true and actual participation in the august mysteries of the Eucharistic cult, regardless of the form of the rite, has more to do with a soul in devotion than a body in motion."

Seattle's new bishop: No room for clerical error

The above link is to one of the most arrogant, small minded, ignorant articles regarding a Bishop I have read in awhile. I guess I should be thankful it is regarding a Diocese on the other end of the country. Here is a snip:

"He'll need to adapt to our way of doing business here: Everybody gets consulted about everything. Barriers get bypassed. St. James Cathedral has hosted burial services for an Episcopalian congresswoman (Jennifer Dunn) and a gay state senator (Cal Anderson)."


"But as many of us came here from someplace else, traditions were left behind. In his current posting as Bishop of Joliet, Bishop Sartain comes from one of the places we've left behind. "