Saturday, 10 February 2018

Reminder: 2018 Ash Wednesday fast and abstinence

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on 14 February. Imagine the crisis many would unnecessarily undergo to dignify their life choices on this day.There’s Valentine’s Day, a secular observance of a Catholic feast now sanctified by the nominal Catholic in establishments of easy virtue. There’s Ash Wednesday, of course, which despite not being a holiday of obligation, draws the whole nation inside churches to receive ashes. Let’s try to kill two birds with one stone this Wednesday: recover the sanctity of Saint Valentine’s feast, and observe the precept of fasting and abstinence.

Luis Egidio Meléndez, 1770
Museo del Prado

The wisest advice given for this occasion is this: Sanctify the day by going to Mass, with our special someone, early in the morning to receive ashes. Eat our full meal afterwards with that special someone. (We have to do it before lunch, as hunger possesses that immense power to coax out our twistedness.) Of course, exclude nourishing fleshmeat from all of our meals. That means no beef, no pork, no chicken. Have a proportionate helping instead of fish, shellfish, reptiles, amphibians, and other acceptably edible ectotherms. Spend the rest of the day either in prayer, or in other meaningful activities that will not endanger virtue.

Now, back to fasting and abstinence:

More on the timeline of fasting and abstinence in the Philippines here and here.

Together, let us fast and abstain. Ubi ieiunium aboletur, ibi Ecclesia evanescat.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Traditional Ordo 2018

Bungled work schedule and conked-out laptop succeeded in preventing us from producing a calendar and an ordo for 2018. And so, we decided to focus on the ordo, which we now present in its prefinal form. It goes without saying that this ordo is intended for the Philippines, inscribed with our national proper feasts, the proper feasts of our ecclesiastic circumscriptions, even the episcopal anniversaries of our ordinaries. One will find that the Third Sunday after Epiphany is vacated in the archipelago in favour of the Holy Child of Cebu; that the feast of Saint Vitalis is kept on 28 April for the entire Archdiocese of Cebu; and that the election anniversary of Mons. Ricardo Baccay ought to be celebrated with a solemn votive Mass on 20 February in the Cathedral of Alaminos, and commemorated throughout the diocese. For the other particulars of this ordo, read this.

Again, the structure and format of this ordo follows the old style, where the entries begin with 1 January and ends with 31 December. Currently, the ordo opens for the months from January to April. A final booklet format will replace the one currently uploaded.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Reminder: 2017 Christmas fast

Those still following the Spanish tradition of fasting on 24 December will find a tiny problem: Christmas Eve, 24 December, falls on a Sunday this year. The allowed option for this case is to anticipate the fast. On the other hand, those making use of the 1959 indult to transfer the Christmas fast to 23 December will kill two birds with one stone: the Christmas fast itself and the fast of Ember Saturday.

Visstilleven met kandelaar
Clara Peeters, 1611
Museo del Prado

For the timeline of the date of the Christmas fast in the Philippines, read this.

Together, let us fast. Ubi ieiunium aboletur, ibi Ecclesia evanescat.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Ten years of Summorum Pontificum II

Read the first part here.

Today, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum’s entry into force.

La misa
Salvador Tuset Tuset, s.f.
Colección privada

At the end of the first part, we said that “Filipino Catholics—priests, religious, and lay—dedicated to Tradition oftentimes willingly cross four civil jurisdictions and five ecclesiastical circumscriptions every Sunday to celebrate or attend Mass in the Old Rite.” If we let the thought settle, we might feel that warm sensation descending upon us when we realise that our adherence to the Extraordinary Form is in some way a heroic deed. Disappointments and discouragements bombard us from all sides. And yet, that “raw longing for that ‘encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist’, for that communion with the Lord in the Mass, according to the Old Rite” continues to sustain us.

If this dedication is so riven with strife, what makes us labour in this journey? What impels us to walk this pilgrimage? More prosaically, what motivates us Filipinos to attend the TLM? Somehow, this is a rather broad question, so let us split it into two. First: What motivates Filipinos to attend the TLM for the first time? Second: What motivates them to stay? Let us briefly answer the first half. Some attend their first TLM as children of parents who already attend the EF. Quinquagenarians and above attended their first TLM prior to the Council, so they are excused here. We direct our concern to those who attend for the first time out of their own volition, assisted or otherwise. Most of them attend for the first time out of pure curiosity. For the sake of discussion, let us sweepingly reduce this curiosity into three: academic (Why is it different?); aesthetic (Is it really beautiful?); and recreational (How should I spend my Sunday afternoon?).

The outcome of that first experience with the TLM usually motivates people to stay. Which answers the second question. Let us then agree to construe stay not in terms of the number of subsequent attendances in the EF, but in terms of the conviction to attend the EF under normal circumstances. This way, we can envision the mechanisms by which the decision works. Normal circumstances refer to a situation without any meteorological anomaly or intervening emergency or conflicting commitment. Now, let us imagine how our personalities would react. All three of them are most likely to find the Latin jarring, unless they have had prior encounter with the language. The inability to immediately recognise the cues when to stand, kneel, or sit might be somewhat confusing to them; and the expectation from the part of the congregants that they behave in a certain way might be mildly disconcerting to them.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Ten years of Summorum Pontificum

Decimo recurrente anniversario fautissimae evulgationis litterarum apostolicarum, quas Summorum Pontificum incipiunt, foris a Benedicto XVI suo motu proprio datarum, cogitationes nostras de eodem successu hic proferamus.

Happy 10th anniversary!

La misa
Salvador Tuset Tuset, s.f.
Colección privada

Summorum Pontificum was written to address the status quo and make everyone’s lives easier: priests would no longer need to apply for an indult; bishops would no longer need to decide whether to grant or deny such application; and the faithful would now have easier access to the Traditional Latin Mass. Overhead, what the motu proprio envisioned looked tantalisingly easy, but human behaviour, and the purpose of the document itself, is much, much more complicated.

Many clung to the hope that Summorum Pontificum, by lifting the traditional strictures that hampered access to the Old Rite, would little by little gain for this Old Rite wider and wider acceptance to such a point where, in every parish throughout the world, it would coexist with the New Rite, even surpass it, or dare we say supplant it. Ten years is quite a time, but not sufficient to scale the mountain this goal represented. The problem with this vision is the absence of a failsafe mechanism for spreading the Old Rite. The truth is, the motu proprio does not provide any instruction or encouragement whatsoever on propagating the usus antiquior. It is an edict of universal toleration and permission, not a blueprint for the restoration of Tradition.

The motu proprio puts most of the burden on the faithful who wish to attend the Traditional Mass. The faithful are its principal preoccupation. In one homily by a priest regularly offering the Traditional Latin Mass, he observes how today’s Catholics automatically construe faithful as only comprising of the lay, as though priests, bishops, nuns, among others, were a different species altogether. This indeed is a tragedy of modern Catholic thought. Putting so great an emphasis on pastoral care, pastoral reason, and whatever other pastoral affairs there be, has so compartmentalised our thinking to the point of appropriating said term solely for the non-ordained and the non-consecrated amongst us. Be that is it may, however saddening it is, we shall employ this impaired distinction, given that Summorum Pontificum more than once uses it as well.

In many places, Summorum Pontificum charges bishops and priests to accede to the requests of the faithful who would petition for the Old Rite, but it never instructs pastors to spread the word about it. The possibility of opening a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass is juxtaposed against the existence of a coetus fidelium. Priests can freely admit the faithful into the Masses they would celebrate privately according to the Old Rite, which they can offer anytime they want; yet their admission is predicated on the condition that they asked to attend so of their own free will, which would at least require prior knowledge of and immediate desire for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Of feasts, and modernists with veils

There is a new moniker flying about criticising Catholics who, while self-identifying as Traditionalists, submit to the transferred feast days as determined by local Episcopal Conferences. They are called “modernists with veils”, a sort of modern-day spin to what Holy Writ eloquently calls “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Certain transferred feasts do trigger universal pain amongst Traditionalists. Take, for example, Epiphany and the Ascension. The PCED, affirming that the EF calendar is intrinsic to the celebration of the Traditional Mass, has already clarified that Traditional communities cannot transfer the feasts but, rather, at best, can observe an external solemnity on the Sundays on which the feasts are transferred. These communities are bound to keep the feast on its proper day.

El Corpus Christi
Arcadio Mas y Fondevila, hacia 1887
Museo del Prado

We are again nearing a feast day that has been transferred to the Sunday in many national calendars. For the Philippines, Corpus Christi is fixed on the Sunday after Trinitytide. Corpus Christi Thursday, de facto, is a feastless day in the ordinary Filipino parish. Of course, for Traditionalists, Thursday remains as the proper feast day, while the Sunday afterwards is an external solemnity. But some people like to think that the reality wherein Traditionalists forego the fanfares of Thursday (a working day in the archipelago) and move all gaieties to the Sunday after it is tantamount to an irrevocable admission of modernism.

We sense two platitudes here: on one hand, we have the restorationists; on the other, the revivalists. The first aim to reinstate Tradition as they think it ought to have been lived; the latter, to relive Tradition as they think it had been lived. Since we are on the subject of Corpus Christi, let us examine what Tradition in the Philippines has for us. For good measure, let us limit ourselves to the Archdiocese of Manila, in whose ecclesiastical province we are now circumscribed.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Pentecost Sunday A.D. 2017

On 04 June 2017, Pentecost Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the new chapel of the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines. In choir was the Cappella Gregoriana S. Cæciliæ olim Xicatunensis.

At the procession; during the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the chanting of the Gospel.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.