December 2011 – January 2012
Vol. XVII, No. 9
News & Views
Restoring the Words, Beauty, and Truth | Symposium on the Language of Liturgy | Musica Sacra Saint Louis Conference | 2012 SCL Conference: Liturgy and Asceticism | Holy Communion in Both Kinds | Vespers in Manhattan: Catholic Artists Society | Adoremus on EWTN
“Those Catholics who grumble about the new translation without looking at the Latin have no idea how much has been lost to us English speakers these last forty years”, writes Anthony Esolen in an essay, “Restoring The Words”, in the November 2011 First Things.
“To call the translation ‘conservative’ and ‘pre-Vatican II’ is nonsense. It is a faithful English translation of prayers composed for the liturgy after Vatican II. That would be much, if it were all. But there is more”, observes the professor of renaissance literature and English at Providence College, translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy, and commentator on the new translation for the Magnificat Roman Missal Companion.
Esolen compares several texts from the 1974 translation of the Missal with the new translation, showing the impoverished Scripture references and lack of poetic imagery in the old, and the accuracy of the new, which makes visible very striking images that had been lost. On this recovery of the sacredness of the Latin text, obscured by inept translation, Esolen comments:
“Imagine a young priest rummaging about in a storage room in the church basement. He turns on his flashlight, and there, lying under a pile of newspapers, empty boxes, and dust is a sculpture of Our Lady. He carefully retrieves it from the rubbish. He wipes away the grime. Indeed it is a lovely work. The gold of her hair against the blue of her robe reminds him of the colors of stained-glass windows from centuries ago. He restores it to the church and watches with approval as people pass by and say, ‘I remember her!’”
The author concludes:
“The prayers of the Mass are not gray. They are colored with all the splendor of truth. Now the color returns. Beauty removes her shroud. The holy word of God is allowed to speak. Who knows why the translators did what they did? It was doubleplusungood; but that is between them and God. When the springtime comes, who cares to remember the winter? Let it pass. For the flowers appear on the earth, and the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land”.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts held a symposium December 3, on “The Language of Liturgy: Does It Matter?” The symposium took place in connection with the college’s President’s Council Dinner, which featured Father Benedict Groeschel as speaker. The event was held in Boston at the Harvard Club.
Well-known Catholics addressed the symposium: Father George Rutler, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in New York City; R.R. Reno, editor of First Things; and Anthony Esolen, professor of Renaissance literature at Providence College.
From the news release of Thomas More College before the event:
“The symposium will be of interest to anyone eager to understand better the broad impact of liturgy on culture,” said Thomas More College President William Fahey. “The speakers will offer unique insights into the importance of linguistic precision in liturgical matters, the changes and developments of the new Missal, and the place of liturgy in evangelization”.
A report on the conference is online: www.ThomasMoreCollege.edu.
The Musica Sacra Saint Louis Conference will be held February 16-18, 2012, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The event is presented by the Musica Sacra Saint Louis Conference Committee in conjunction with the cathedral’s Office of Sacred Music and the Saint Louis Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).
The 2012 sacred music conference will offer many opportunities for participants, including the ability to study sacred music under three masters of the art: Scott Turkington, organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston, South Carolina; Nick Botkins, director of music and choirmaster at the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, who will direct the beginning and advanced chant scholas; and Dr. Horst Buchholz, director of music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, who will direct the polyphonic schola.
All of the music learned will be used for liturgies during the conference, offering participants the chance to sing in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
The conference will also feature lectures from Heather Martin Cooper, director of the St. Louis chapter of NPM, and Scott Turkington. The topics for the lectures are “Ritual Music: Singing the Mass” and “How to Teach Gregorian Chant to Your Parish Choirs”. A dinner will be held on Friday night with the lecture by Mr. Turkington.
In addition to scholas, lectures, and workshops, the Musica Sacra Saint Louis Conference will also offer participants time for prayer and reflection. On Thursday, the evening will conclude with Compline, to the musical setting of Father Samuel Weber, OSB. (This was one of the most beautiful moments of the 2011 conference, as Compline was prayed by candlelight.)
The schedule will also include time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
For more information and to register, please visit the conference web site: musicasacrasaintlouis.drupalgardens.com, or
e-mail conference chairman Adam Wright: [email protected].
Liturgy and Asceticism is the theme of the Society for Catholic Liturgy’s annual conference, to be held January 26-28, 2012, at the Cardinal Rigali conference center in St. Louis.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis, now prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, will present the keynote address on the morning of Friday, January 27.
Speakers who will address the group include Dr. David Fagerberg of Notre Dame, Dr. Robert Fastiggi of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Sister Madeleine Grace, CVI, of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Dr. Anthony Lilles and Sister Esther Mary Nickel, RSM, both of St. John Vianney seminary in Denver, Dr. Daniel Van Slyke of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, and others.
The conference will conclude with Evening Prayer on Friday afternoon, followed by a tour of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
For more conference information visit the SCL web site: liturgysociety.org, or contact Linda K. Porter: [email protected] oftyler.org.
Guidelines for administering Communion in both kinds were explained in a letter to bishops from the chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW). New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s October 26 letter said that the rules do not restrict the circumstances under which the congregation may receive in both kinds.
The letter clarified confusion about the practice based on a misconception about the directives in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) and the “Norms for Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America” (Norms).
The US Norms document supplements the GIRM with catechetical material and detailed descriptive guidelines for administering Holy Communion in both forms. The Norms received recognitio (approval) from the Holy See on March 22, 2002, and are now part of the new Roman Missal, appearing just after the GIRM.
Coincidentally, on the same date, March 22, 2002, temporary permission to permit lay extraordinary ministers to purify the altar vessels after Communion was granted for the dioceses of the United States by the Congregation for Divine Worship for a period of three years. This temporary permission expired in 2005, and was not renewed.
The Norms state the circumstances for permitting Communion under both kinds, following GIRM §160 and §283, and reiterate that “the Diocesan Bishop may lay down norms for the distribution of Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which must be observed”, and that the bishop “also has the faculty to allow Communion under both kinds, whenever it seems appropriate to the priest to whom charge of a given community has been entrusted as [its] own pastor, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants or for some other reason”. (Norms §24)
The Norms also say that “in practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary ministers might … constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice”.
The text of the Norms is accessible on the USCCB web site: http://old.usccb.org/liturgy/current/norms.shtml.
The Catholic Artists Society marked All Hallows Eve with the celebration of Solemn First Vespers of All Saints and a lecture by Oratorian Father Uwe Michael Lang, entitled “Art, Beauty and the Sacred”. The event was held at the Dominican Church of St. Vincent Ferrer on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Father Lang, a native of Germany and priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in London, is a consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. He is the author of Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer (Ignatius Press, 2nd edition, 2009).
Music for the liturgy was provided by a schola of professional singers directed by David Hughes, who also played the organ. The musical program included plainchant for First Vespers of All Saints and music by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Louis Vierne, and others.
Father Bruno Shah gave the homily after Vespers and before Benediction, teaching that “beauty lifts the veil of time”, and that “the Christian artist is encouraged to take on an intercessory work for the world” and “to manifest a true commitment to holiness”.
After Benediction, Father Lang discussed art and the crisis of beauty. He outlined the fundamental aspects of Catholic teaching on art and beauty, and pointed out important distinctions in the nature and purpose of works of secular, religious and sacred art. A video of Father Lang’s lecture is accessible on the Catholic Arts Society site: catholicartistssociety.posterous.com.
The Catholic Artists Society was initiated in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to Artists at the Sistine Chapel in November, 2009. Following the Holy Father’s call for artists to be “custodians of Beauty” and “heralds and witnesses of Hope for humanity”, the society seeks to encourage the ongoing artistic and spiritual development of artists and media professionals, so that their work may more perfectly reflect God’s glory, enriching and ennobling men and women, our society and our culture.
The society also held an Evening of Recollection on December 5, at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street, New York.
For more information, visit the Catholic Artists Society’s web site or e-mail [email protected].
Adoremus was featured on two EWTN television programs in late November — Theology Roundtable and Bookmark.
The new Roman Missal translation was the topic of Theology Roundtable, hosted by Colin Donovan. Helen Hull Hitchcock, editor of the Adoremus Bulletin, joined Father Douglas Martis and Christopher Carstens in the conversation about the new Missal. Father Martis, who heads the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Chicago, and Dr. Carstens have presented Mystical Body, Mystical Voice workshops on the new Missal around the country. An excerpt from their book of the same name appeared in the November AB.
The newly revised Adoremus Hymnal was the topic of EWTN’s Bookmark show, hosted by Doug Keck, who interviewed Mrs. Hitchcock, general editor of the second edition of The Adoremus Hymnal. The discussion focused on additions and changes to the hymnal occasioned by the new Missal translation.
This Bookmark program is accessible on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=gmf RHcxgNMY