Search This Blog

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not to be a pedant but....


...in looking at all the blog postings re: the Pont-
ifical Mass done this past Saturday at Westminster Cathedral in London....wasn't there supposed to be a 7th candle on the altar? At least according to the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia there should have been. I don't know if they let the cardinal off without the buskins either, but inquiring minds wanna know. Perhaps the Cathedral was simply fresh outta big candlesticks or they "forgot" and hoped no one would notice.

H/T to Fr. Tim Finigan because I swiped his photo and altered it just a bit.

16 comments:

Fr Tim Finigan said...

According to the real "liturgy-heads" among whom I am rather a novice (I just tried to walk about solemnly and take the mitre off when I was told to) the 7th candlestick is only used when the Bishop is at the throne in his own diocese - not when a visiting Cardinal is given permission as in this case. But I bet there could be a real long thread on this one :-)

But buskins - yeah, where were they!

gemoftheocean said...

The article in question didn't seem to have that caveat...but then I wouldn't presume that to be exhaustive. Was there a bugia bearer?

10-1 the Cathedral 86'd the buskins years ago. I bet Mrs. Murphy got some exotic bed room slippers!

Mac McLernon said...

And, if we are going to be pedantic, that was actually my photo you were taking liberties with!!!

gemoftheocean said...

yeah, but was it with Fr.Tim's big camera or your telephone camera. If I'd seen that one on your web page I'd have swiped it. It was nice and dark for the captinos!

Tara said...

The crucifix in the middle could act as one of the candles--"the light of Christ." But, nonetheless, whether there are 6 or 7 candles, the picture is lovely.

Michael said...

Karen, let your mind be put at ease re: the 7th Candle! It was indeed there behind the crucifix, but seeing as the Cardinal is not the Ordinary of the Diocese, it was left unlit. And the bugia bearer was there too; look for someone in a cope carrying a candle :c). Still, the buskins would have been nice; as it is, we only got a post war, half size Cappa Magna! =D

pattif said...

Karen -

I've come here from your disappointingly snarky comment on the NLM website. Aloysius might have been a bit presumptious in judging all receivers in the hand, but, in my humble, and therefore correct, opinion, reception in the hand has generally led to a lessening of understanding that we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion as a gift.

I don't mean to impugn the intentions of people who receive in the hand (such as, presumably, your goodself), but merely to point out that this is another area of non-verbal catechesis (or diminution thereof) that has led to a general lessening of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

gemoftheocean said...

Michael, thanks. I still don't see why it wouldn't have been lit for the cardinal. PResumably, when you extend another bishop the hospitality of conducting a papal Mass you'd think that would extend to all the ceremonies. The article I cited pointed out a few differences in a Pontifical Mass that was also a funeral Mass. Is there a copy on line anywhere of the "Cæremoniale Episcoporum?"

Patiff, I honestly don't know where you're getting all that extrapolation! You'd think Communion in the Hand was the ONLY thing that changed in society in the last 40 years! I'm sure throughout history there were people who "reverently" recieved on the tonuge (through all EXTERNAL appearances) throughout history who were anything BUT! Mere reception one way or the other doesn't impress me. If you've got dirty hands, or the Host is crumbly, then FOR SURE the safest way to recieve is on the tongue...but outside of that ... to each his own. It's the INTERIOR belief and preparation that matters most. And if your catechesis is so weak that you'd think the Real Presence somehow not becomes as worthy of respect by the mere fact of receiving in the hand over the tongue, I really don't know what to say. Can your belief in the Real Presence be all that strong to begin with?

I would contend that neither way is superior or inferior and nothing should be inferred either way. And if someone says something sanctimonious I'm going to "call" them on it. It comes off as the bully in the school yard floating a mere opinion as incontrovertible fact that will set my hackles up every time. If you want to win people over to the beauty of TLM, then sneering at how other people receive Communion is a sure fire way to insure that instead of fostering love of that ritual form, you will come off as a "this is our special club and we're obviously better Catholics than you" club.

gemoftheocean said...

Oh, and Pattif -- I do thank you for the comment.

tibotmorfenoo said...

Well said Karen...about receiving in the hand or on the tongue. Let us not forget the words of St. Paul when he corrected people who were taking their gifts too seriously because they thought they were better (1 Cor 12:22).

I see on the distant horizon a huge backlash against many who have fought so passionately for the "reform of the reform" (and justifiably so in many aspects). I too jumped into that mix a few years ago in my own journey of faith - only to see how arrogant and unchristian the movement has become. Too much for me to take (must be I am a "soft" Catholic:-)Now...my prayers are for balance.

I often enjoy your "affirmative orthodoxy" Karen. You are a true follower of the Holy Father. Thank you!!!

gemoftheocean said...

Thanks, tbotmorefenoo: [hope I spelled that right!] I fear that sometimes to some people I might seem a lot more liberal on church matters than I actually am. The key phrase of Benedict's message to me regarding the rituals is that each one should infors the other. I was literally among the first to receive my First Communion with a vernacular rite in May of 64. Although when very small I could do some of the common responses and have instant understanding, and as I grew older the LAtin would not have presented a challenge to me personally - I appreciated that I didn't have the "language barrier" to fight through. But in my opinion the pendulum went too far - the big mistake was made in dumbing down catechesis. Within 10 years the content was virtually dumped from knowing the baltimore catechism (not perfect, by any means, but at least it was a foundation to build on) -- to "Jesus loves me." Important and necessary as that is, it isn't enough to meet the needs of the thinking Catholic. Literally in the 60s and 70s when churches were getting "rid of that stuff" I was saving copies of it, because I knew that "some day this will be useful - and 'they' are shortchanging us." Latin was not even offered by the time I got to high school - so I felt gyped and took 5 academic quarters in college. I was lucky to have a devout mother and had gone to grade schools where things like benediction etc. was still done.

The "trouble" with Latin though, beautiful and culturally enriching as it is, is that it IS work. If you ARE capable of doing the work, and don't then as an adult if you just follow the Mass as "oh, how pretty, yeah, the bread and wine get changed and it's okay if it's all mumbo jumbo to me" really isn't acceptable. One priest I know, age almost 81 had been a priest 10 years before the change over, and he was quite relieved, because frankly he was a little tired of Joe and Jane in the pews NOT "getting it." [This guy has his doctorate in theology from the anglicum and was no slouch.] To him, he despaired that to too many people he may as well have been up there performing a magic act. Fact is too many people are by nature lazy. I suppose it's part of the human condition.

trouble entered in the NO when priests were allowed to become Fr. "Personality" when saying the prayers of the Mass. A lot of beautiful hymns and customs, many beautiful ones were virtually "gone" in 10 years as "too old fashioned." Had the church kept up benediction, the hymns, adoration, May crownings, the whole panopoly of beautiful customs and ceremonies that people did "get" they replaced them with the untried and too often vacuous. Too much too soon. And too many changes all at once without reflection re: impact. Had they just done a straight up translation and not tinkered much with it, and left it that way for 5 years, they could have seen where they were with it.

One place where the NO shines, I think, is the new cycle of readings. Much more scripture covered. [I personally would change it to ensure John 6 gets covered EVERY year instead of just cycle B for instance.]

I do happen to like Mass facing the people, as long as Father is not "father showman." I've been reading "The Mass of the Roman Rite" by Jungmann again, and it did strike me that apparently in the Roman Missal there is a provision for providing for a Mass *facing* the people. I'm not saying it was at all common, it wasn't, but still it was, in theory at least, doable.

I tend to get a little annoyed when some Latin Mass fans sometimes behave as if there was only one proper way to do the Mass.

In my book (as long as I can sit in the transcept!) the Latin Mass would be nice to attend sometimes ... but then I've had exposure to it as a small child. But if I had had NO exposure and I saw a bunch of folks acting so rigidly and being so didactic about every weensie little thing and and assuming things just by outward deportment, I'd be more inclined to turn away from than to I think -- which isn't what the pope wants.

tibotmorfenoo said...

I concur, but I would just add, the issues are broader than just the form of the Mass, unfortunatley, there is a whole lot of "baggage" that comes along with the extraordinary Mass - in my opinion. I can take the EO Mass, but not all the "baggage." This pope is walking a very fine line...and doing it pretty well thus far. I am impressed, and he give me HOPE! He is the Hope Pope!

pattif said...

Karen -

Having trespassed on your hospitality here in a somewhat ungracious tone yesterday, I concur with every word of your last comment. Although I love the Latin (and my schoolgirl Latin is now not even very good!), the language is not, in my opinion, the essential thing. For me, the dumping of so many beautiful prayers (notably the Offertory of the Mass, but also including many others), hymns and devotions was asolutely tragic. The "dumbing down" of catechesis was, as you rightly say, the worst act of spiritual vandalism of the lot.

My final word (here) on communion in the hand: while I accept that the outward gesture is not necessarily indicative of the interior disposition, and that the Lord can be received reverently in the hand, it is also true that, towards the end of his life, Cardinal Hume (no rigid traddie) began to lament that it had led to a lessening of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, and Mother Teresa was pretty scathing about it, too.

Thanks for the welcome.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Communion in the hand is not intristically sacreligious, but it can lead in that direction. (emphasis on can), i would never teach kids to do this just for the simple thing of setting the Eucharist apart from ordinary things.

gemoftheocean said...

Joe, I would agree that you have to be very particular when teaching children. Kids tend to get a little more easily distracted than adults, so if you just showed them "on the tongue" and encouraged just that, that's something else. When they get a little older if they want to learn how to receive Communion in the hand with proper regard then they should be allowed to receive either way.

David said...

The seventh candle is often referred to as "The Ordinary's Candle". Visiting prelates other than the Pope cannot use it. Not even cardinals.

As for buskins and sandals, by all means they should be worn. They rank among the more ancient traditions in the Church

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...