On Pew Missals for the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form

“I speak for the trees.” – the Lorax

Truth be told, a shortage of trees isn’t actually one of the major problems facing the Dirigo state. However, as I watch Mount Trashmore* outside of Bangor grow, I think the problem of the accumulation of trash, including paper products, is, well, growing. All of which is a politically correct segue into the topic of – you guessed it! Pew altar missals! 

Every year, parishes all over this good land purchase the disposable pew missals by the truckload. They cost heaven only knows how much. They are incomplete: some don’t have weekday readings, antiphons and prayers. Some don’t have useful items like private prayers for before and after Mass, confession, Holy Communion, and so forth. Many have lots of that dreadful music (matter of opinion, I know, but that’s my opinion). They cost heaven knows how much (did I say that already?) and, when the end of the Liturgical Year rolls around, the truck backs up to the door to cart the old ones off to Mount Trashmore, while the other truck is backed up to the other door and the new ones are unloaded. It’s the cycle of life. Can we do better?

Yes, we can!! 

The answer to this environmental and budgetary catastrophe is permanent pew missals. Permanent, meaning, they don’t get replaced every year, but stay in the pew, sort of like hymnals (at least, this used to be the case for hymnals). After all, the Mass doesn’t change from year to year, the readings, prayers, and what have you stay the same year over year (or, 3 year cycle over 3 year cycle in the Ordinary Form), so a beautiful, bound, permanent pew missal seems just the thing that can help parishes have a positive impact on their budgets, as well as being good stewards of our planet and her resources, just as both the current Pope and his immediate predecessor have requested.

I happen to have a few suggestions for your consideration, or your pastor’s were he to be so inclined. There may be other decent permanent Pew Missals out there besides these. We’ll begin with pew missals for the Ordinary Form.


For the Ordinary Form we have two for your perusal. First, from Corpus Christi Watershed (a fascinating and rather eclectic group of individuals with the common desire for beauty and reverence in the liturgy and sacred music) we have the St. Isaac Jogues Pew Lectionary for the Ordinary Form (including Complete Missal and Gradual Texts).

1. Jogues-Missal.png

From the website:

Members of Corpus Christi Watershed were honored to assist the JP2 Institute in creating a book fulfilling “the true liturgical vision of the Vatican II fathers.” The official title is SAINT ISAAC JOGUES ILLUMINATED MISSAL, LECTIONARY, & GRADUAL, but it’s usually referred to as “The Jogues Missal.” This book is intended for the pews wherever Ordinary Form Masses are offered…

This missal is actually a part of a larger project for resources for the OF, including a hymnal due out sometime in 2018.

The second pew missal for the Ordinary Form is the Lumen Christi Missal.

2. Lumen Christi missal.jpg


This is brought to you by Illuminare Publications and, if you click on the link, you’ll see that they actually have an entire  series of pew-friendly products. From the website:

The Lumen Christi Series helps parishes worship beautifully. It contains a variety of resources for the liturgical assembly, cantor, choir, and accompanist, and is aimed at assisting parishes in the work of gradually renewing and deepening their liturgical prayer…

With the Lumen Christi Series your parish can gradually renew its liturgical prayer and be empowered to go forth and transfigure the world with the Light of Christ.

Individually, the missals are currently priced at $28.95, bulk goes down to as low as $18.95.

A few years back, I purchased one of these missals and gave it as a gift to the priest who was my pastor at the time. The point was to give the gift, but also to illustrate what was out there in terms of beautiful and cost effective solutions to the “annual missal buy” problem (not to be confused with the “annual missile buy” problem, which is more of a Pentagon issue). At the time, pricing data indicated that any of these permanent missals would pay for themselves fairly quickly, usually within a year or two, depending, obviously, on volume purchased and the number of disposable missals no longer purchased. Be that as it may, either of these missals puts something in the pews that is reverent, accurate, and contributes to authentic liturgical renewal by bringing truly timeless beauty to the Mass. They are also, in and of themselves, a form of catechesis, and are just pretty to look at.


For the Extraordinary Form, the same folks at Corpus Christi Watershed who brought you the Jogues Missal for the Ordinary Form, we have the St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass.


3. Campion-Missal.png

From the website:

The Campion Missal & Hymnal (992 pages long) is the first of its kind. It is a pew book providing the faithful with everything they require to properly assist at the Traditional Latin Mass.

Some parishes buy many copies and put them in the pews or otherwise make them available for Mass, as is more or less the intent. However, many “Latin mass communities” are rather small, and exist as appendages to the parish. In these instances, what has happened is that the priest (or someone else) makes this information available to those interested, and the individual goes out and buys one for herself. Now, the pew missal is a little different from the usual daily missal folks purchase for themselves. The pew missal is much larger, thinner, and doesn’t have as much “backstory” about the liturgical year, feast days, necessary private prayers, and whatnot as you find in the personal missal. On the other hand, the pew missal is less expensive by roughly half. And, it does have everything you need plus all those great hymns. Prices and purchasing information are, of course, available from the website, but I have linked them for your convenience here. Please feel free to add this Missal to the list of Resources for Items for the Extraordinary Form.

So, there it is. For either the OF or the EF, bring beauty and elegant catechesis to your pews, help the budgetary bottom line, and keep the Lorax happy. What’s not to like?


*Noto bene: There really is a Mount Trashmore. It’s in Virginia Beach, VA, not too far from where we once lived. You can go sledding on it in winter, if it snows (it does down there, sometimes).


Fast and Abstinence, Lent, Anno Domini MMXVIII

Here are the basic rules for Fasting and Abstinence during Lent, as cribbed from the USCCB website (they can also be found on the Diocese of Portland, Maine website here):

  “Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. 

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.” 


That’s actually all you need to know, and you can stop here if you desire. But, for those who, like me, are detail nitnoids, there’s much more that follows below:

The full text of the current law, as laid down by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Can.1249-1253, is this:


Days of Penance

Can.  1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.

Can.  1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can.  1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can.  1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can.  1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.”


There is also, on the same USCCB page, a Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence (dated 18 November 1966) which covers both Advent and Lent, and Fridays in general as a day of penance. I have clipped a couple of interesting tidbits:

“12. Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both to fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a more strict formality by our fathers in the faith (my emphasis on this thought provoking clause), still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and on that Friday called "Good" because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins.

13. In keeping with the letter and spirit of Pope Paul's Constitution Poenitemini, we preserved for our dioceses the tradition of abstinence from meat on each of the Fridays of Lent, confident that no Catholic Christian will lightly hold himself excused from this penitential practice.

14. For all other weekdays of Lent, we strongly recommend participation in daily Mass and a self-imposed observance of fasting (my emphasis).”


Both the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) require the current discipline, along with the Universal Church, although both organizations recommend and strongly encourage the older, more rigorous disciplines. The current and older disciplines can be found in many places side by side. Here is an example from  The Parish of St. Peter, Tulsa, OK:

“Rules for Fasting and Abstinence

FASTING The obligation to fast applies to all Catholics who meet the age requirements (see below) on the required days unless they have a medical condition which prevents them from doing so, are pregnant or nursing, or their work would be impaired. On days of fasting: 

•One full meal is allowed (with meat, unless it is also a day of abstinence).

•Two smaller meals without meat, which together do not equal the main meal, are permitted to maintain strength.

•No food or snacks are permitted between meals.

•Liquids are permitted, but care should be taken not to violate the spirit of the fast.

ABSTINENCE On days of full abstinence one is not permitted to eat the flesh of warm-blooded animals or soups or gravies made with the flesh of such animals. On days of partial abstinence (traditional rules only) one meal containing meat is permitted.


Traditional (1962) Discipline

Fasting obligations applied to those between the ages of 21 and 59, inclusive, except as noted above. Abstinence obligations applied to those age 7 and older. 

Fasting was required on Ash Wednesday, the three following days, all days of Lent, Ember days, and vigils. 

Full abstinence was required on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays during the year, and the vigil of Christmas. Partial abstinence was required on all days of Lent, Wednesdays and Saturdays of the Ember weeks, and all vigils (except Christmas). 

The requirements for fasting and abstinence did not apply on Holy Days of Obligation (including Sundays). 


Current Discipline

Fasting obligations apply to those between the ages of 18 and 59, inclusive, except as noted above. Abstinence obligations apply to those age 14 and older. Canon law explicitly requires that pastors and parents ensure that minors not under these obligations are taught the true meaning of penance. 

Fasting and abstinence are required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting on Holy Saturday is recommended, but not required. 

Abstinence is required on all Fridays of Lent unless they are solemnities. Fridays outside of Lent are penitential days: abstinence is recommended, but in the United States other forms of penance may be performed. 

The current laws of fasting and abstinence bind under the pain of severe sin.”


Finally, since we’re on the topic, here’s what the Pastoral Letter mentioned above says about Fridays in general:

“23. Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday by freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and mortification in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

24. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law…

27. It would bring great glory to God and good to souls if Fridays found our people doing volunteer work in hospitals, visiting the sick, serving the needs of the aged and the lonely, instructing the young in the Faith, participating as Christians in community affairs, and meeting our obligations to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our community, including our parishes, with a special zeal born of the desire to add the merit of penance to the other virtues exercised in good works born of living faith.

28. In summary, let it not be said that by this action, implementing the spirit of renewal coming out of the Council, we have abolished Friday, repudiated the holy traditions of our fathers, or diminished the insistence of the Church on the fact of sin and the need for penance. (my emphasis) Rather, let it be proved by the spirit in which we enter upon prayer and penance, not excluding fast and abstinence freely chosen, that these present decisions and recommendations of this conference of bishops will herald a new birth of loving faith and more profound penitential conversion, by both of which we become one with Christ, mature sons of God, and servants of God's people. N.B. The effective date of these regulations is the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 1966.”

There it is.


Traditional Latin Masses in the season of Lent 

From Fr. Steven Cartwright:

Traditional Latin Masses in the season of Lent: 

First Saturday :  March 3 ∙ 7:00am
Every Wednesday Evening :  February 14 - March 28 ∙ 6:30pm


Prince of Peace Catholic Church
Basilica Chapel of SS. Peter and Paul
Lewiston, ME

Momento, homo quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris †  Remember, man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return


Catechism III: What is Scandal?

“Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.”

                                       Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2284


The section on Scandal is in the Catechism, Part III (“Life in Christ”), Section II., “Respect for the Dignity of Persons”. The lead line into the topic is this: “Respect for the souls of others: scandal.”

The Catechism goes on,

Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it … Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate…Anyone who used the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil he has directly or indirectly encouraged…” 

                        CCC, 2285-87 (my emphasis)

“Grave offense,” or, sometimes, “grave matter” is a term with specific meaning: 

Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments … The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft…”

                        CCC, 1858


…Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

                        CCC, 1857


The full discussion in the Catechism on sins mortal and venial is found in paragraphs 1854-1864. 

We now have under our belts an introduction into the topic of scandal. Any of us can cause scandal, but the scandal is all the more serious if perpetrated by one with power and authority: bishop, priest, teacher, politician. We will look at a recent example of scandal. But first, a little background.

Abortion, according to the catechism, is the “deliberate termination of pregnancy by killing the unborn child. Such direct abortion, either as a means or as an end, is gravely contrary to moral law…” (CCC, Glossary). 

Where does abortion data come from? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have reported data on abortion since 1969; the most recent data (2014) was published here in November, 2017. The CDC tends to underestimate numbers (see “Limitations” section) because reporting is voluntary, there are variations in how states report, and because not every state reports every year. In 2014, for example, California, Maryland and New Hampshire did not report at all. The CDC’s numbers, by their own estimates, are consistently about 71% of the numbers reported by Guttmacher Institute, a large, very powerful and very well funded pro-abortion think tank with a robust research and data collection arm. That said, the CDC is a good starting point to frame the numbers for any abortion discussion, recognizing that their numbers may be somewhat lower (but probably not a lot lower) than reality.

So, in 2014 there were 652,639 abortions nationwide reported to the CDC. Guttmacher reports 926,200 for 2014. This includes medical abortions. Of these, 91.5% were performed before 13 weeks’ gestation; 7.2% at 14-20 weeks, and 1.3% at over 21 weeks gestation. (CDC and Guttmacher report the same percentage breakdowns). 1.3% of 653,000 is 8500, 1.3% of 926,000 is 12,000. Thus, the absolute numbers of post 20 week abortions in 2014 were 8500-12,000. The term “late term” abortion is a little fuzzy, some consider 16+ weeks as late term, others 20+, others consider 24+ weeks late term, some only use the term with respect to “partial birth abortions”. I just stick to the gestational ages in looking at abortion statistics.

Maine, by the way, reported 2,021 abortions in 2014, of which 0.6%, or 13, were >21 weeks. That is an abortion rate not too far from national rates. (The summary table from the CDC report is here.)  

So. There is no Federal gestational age limit on abortion, making the United States one of seven countries in the world which permit elective abortion (meaning no medical resaon necessary) after 20 weeks’ gestation. (Some states place gestational age restrictions on abortions, data sheet here, Maine is not one of those states). Thus, the US is an outlier among nations, being numbered among those nations with the most permissive abortion laws on the planet. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, introduced last year, was intended to restrict abortions after 20 weeks. Although passed by the House in the fall of 2017, on 29 January 2017 the Senate failed to pass the Act by a vote of 51-46. Our own senators, Angus King and Susan Collins (no relation), voted with the Democratic majority to oppose the bill. I know nothing regarding the religious proclivities, if any, of Angus King. However, I do know that Susan Collins is routinely identified as Catholic.

In the Light of the Law is an excellent blog by Dr. Edward Peters. Dr. Peters is a lawyer (JD) and canon lawyer (JCD) at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and, among his many other projects, runs the CanonLaw.info website (“the internet’s largest canon law resource”) as well as the above mentioned blog, and reading Dr. Peters can really help guide you through some of the messes out there in the Church today. Which bring us to the “Bloody 14”, the 14 Catholic Senators (including our own Sen. Collins) who voted to support the gruesome business of post 20 week abortions (and it is a gruesome business). Make no mistake, voting to oppose a law banning a procedure is supporting the procedure. The upshot of Dr. Peter’s post is that (1) voting in favor of abortion “rights” (of any flavor) is not the same as procuring an abortion, “so no excommunication for procuring abortion applies in response to voting for it.” This is not to lessen the gravity of the sin in the vote – for such a vote is gravely sinful – but to parse the correct applications of Canon law regarding the crime of actually doing an abortion (my sincere apologies to Dr. Peters if I am presenting this incorrectly, but I don’t think I am). However, “obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin” may legitimately invoke the duty of Catholic ministers to withhold Holy Communion (the famous “Canon 915”). There are many elements here, and I am not going to pretend to be able to unpack it properly; I leave that to Dr. Peters and I urge you to read him and his many references on this. Further, I have no idea as to whether this is a one-time event for Senator Collins, or if it is one of a string of similar votes. My point is this:

Susan Collins is a United States Senator with enormous wealth, power and authority both in this State and in the Senate. Senator Collins is also publicly (and, presumably, willingly) identified as  Catholic. Senator Collins voted to kill a bill which would put restrictions on abortions. The bill was killed, with her help. This next point is important: THE LAW TEACHES. When Senator Collins votes in favor of laws that permit or uphold abortion (or, as in the case here, vote against laws that would restrict abortions), she is using her power and influence to teach a moral lesson to her constituents here in Maine, as well as to the nation. The lesson is that abortion is OK. Thus, to my mind, Senator Collins has fulfilled all the elements of scandal laid out in CCC 2284-2287.

Senator Collins is a public figure, and is publicly teaching, by her voting record, that the grave evil of abortion is acceptable. She is, to repeat, a source of scandal as defined by the Catechism. Does an individual Catholic have any obligation regarding this? In my opinion, yes. Catholics vote. Although a discussion on degrees of participation is evil is well beyond the confines of this little post, suffice it to say that when one votes for one who is acting contrary to settled Catholic moral principles, one is - to at least some degree - participating in the evil. 

Do the clergy, does the Diocese, have any obligation to address this? Many clergy, and most Diocese, argue that they do not have any obligation to confront such teaching by powerful and wealthy Catholics in their Diocese. They either argue this explicitly (rare) or, far more commonly, argue it by their silence. And yet, clergy are bound to teach. Indeed, it is arguably one of their primary functions. And when the episcopacy ignores teaching from prominent Catholics that is floridly contrary to simple and defined teaching of the Church, such as the case here with abortion, the episcopacy is teaching that difficult issues, such as abortion, are best left alone, especially when dealing with powerful and wealthy Senators or the media. 

What should the Diocese of Portland, Maine do? Well, I refer you back to Dr. Peters for more discussion on this. It depends on several factors and to me there is a broad range of appropriate responses. I cannot prescribe exactly what the Diocese should do. It is clear to me, however, that the Diocese should not simply let this go by unchallenged, for the sake of the souls involved: Senator Collins’, as well as those who would be influenced by her behavior. As Dr. Peters ended his post on this topic,

“The repeated, though for now misguided, calls for excommunication in these cases, and the repeated, but worth-considering, calls for withholding holy Communion in these cases share this: they spring almost completely from Catholic laity and are almost completely ignored by ecclesiastical leadership. This almost total, multi-decade disconnect between people and pastors is a source of serious tension in the Church. (My emphasis.) Pray that such tension is relieved before it erupts into even more serious problems.”

Curate, ut valeatis!

PS: Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s list of the 14 Catholic Senators who voted against the post 20 week abortion ban is here.

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The Mass III: Necessary Items

Resources for Items for the Extraordinary Form

So: your parish is going to offer a Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Congratulations!! And, a hearty thank you directly to your priest!! Your priest has learned/is learning/plans to learn the EF, and he, and you, are excited, no, absolutely pumped about re-introducing to the parish a form of the Mass which would be recognizable to all those millions of Catholics from all around the world who came before us. It will, in addition to giving glory to God, help us relearn our Catholic heritage, help catechize us, and help tie us to those who came before us. All that, and it’s a beautiful weekly retreat away from the increasingly raucous and dreary world into the quiet, contemplative presence of God.

Well, maybe that happy little imagined scene isn’t happening every day (or week or year or..) here in the Diocese of good ole’ Portland, Maine, but it has happened, and it will happen again. I’m sure of it. So, be of good cheer. One day it might really be your parish, your priest getting ready to unleash the power of the Extraordinary Form. And you’ll be there, ready to help him with a particular problem which will come up right away: It’s been almost fifty years since the usus antiquor - old use – Rite has been said in your church building. All the sanctuary items: altar Missal, altar cards, all kinds of things, were long ago loaded into the U-Haul truck along with the altar rails and parts of (or, all of) the high altar, and taken to that guv’mint warehouse you saw at the very end of the first Indiana Jones movie. What to do?

Lucky for us, there are some great resources out there. Although this little post is by no means a complete list, it is offered as a place to begin. So, let’s begin:

Treasure and Tradition: the Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass. Recommended for priests, laity, anyone who wants an introduction to the Mass. Offered through St. Augustine Academy Press with a hat tip to Fr. Zuhlsdorf. Of interest, the question which prompted the post was from a parishioner whose priest didn’t want to learn the OF (not yet, anyway), but wanted to learn about   it. Kudos to that priest who is willing to learn, and it is also a comment on our time that there are priests (I personally know several) for who the EF is completely alien, so weird and different that they can’t even imagine it. What a change 48 years has wrought. Anyway...

Biretta Books is the store for Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago. If you go to the BB homepage, you’ll see links to tons of stuff. For example,

The Traditional Latin Mass link has a bunch of tabs. "For the Priest" takes you to three full pages of pretty much everything you can think of: Altar Cards; Mass "Cheat Sheet" card (yes, that’s what they call it – “An invaluable assistance to priests learning the 1962 Missale Romanum.” What’s not to like?); "Mastering the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal" (their “most popular booklet ever – intended for seminarians and priests”); Rite of Confession (Handy Business Card Size), and laminated, to boot; and a bunch of other things too numerous to mention.

If laity are involved in the effort to get the EF off the ground, a nice, thoughtful gift for Father (who is, after all, the one who is willing to say the Mass) – as well as a great way to say “Thank you!” might be the Missal Romanum 1962 - Classic Size (there’s a handy "Travel Size" version as well) and maybe, maybe even a biretta (if he doesn’t already own one).

Noto bene: Some of this stuff, particularly the altar cards, “cheat sheets, and birettas, make great gifts for any seminarians you may know!

For Altar Servers (we’re still with Biretta Books) there are Server's Mass Response Cards . You should have several of these, at least as many as you have servers. How to Serve Low Mass you should have several of, as well. Back when we were in a parish that regularly trained altar boys, the parish was willing to loan them out. Then there’s How to Serve at the Altar, which is another booklet, more expensive but that’s because it comes with an audio CD and server altar cards. It is quite common for older boys and men to be servers; for these there are the Missa in Cantu & Missa Lecta Audio CDs and Workbook Set. Again, this is more expensive, but the parish could own one or two and lend out as necessary.

There’re several other tabs at BB: "For the Sacristan", "For the Choir", "For the Faithful". In particular, the Latin-English Booklet Missal is the little red book generally found in the pews in parishes offering the EF.

There’s lots of other stuff at BB, click through the various tabs. Before we leave the good people at St. John Cantius, though, let me mention one more item of interest: Workshops for Priests, Deacons and Lay faithful.  If you can’t get to the workshop, there’s Sancta Missa (also St. John Cantius) with an On Line Tutorial for Priests including a video. ‘Nuff said.

Leaving the Canons Regular, next up we have Coalition Ecclesia Dei. Like the Canons regular, they have all the necessary items to get you going in terms of Altar Cards, instructional DVDs, the Latin-English pew Missals (the little red books) and so forth. They also have Directories of Latin Masses, and demographic data. There’s some overlap with the Canons Regular, but CR has vestments and sanctuary items which C.E.D. doesn’t have.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has some items as well. Fraternity Publications has a Training Material tab on the left hand side. As at the other sites, there’s lot of material, with some overlap with the other sites I’ve mentioned. But they do offer a Complete Kit (with a FREE GIFT!) and The Essentials Kit, both of which seem to be pretty good values (lots of stuff for not a lot of dollars). The FSSP trains seminarians and has parishes, of course, and that’s how most of us think of them. But they also have a mission, like the Canons Regular, of helping already ordained priests and seminarians in “Novus ordo” (for lack of a better term) seminaries learn the Extraordinary Form. Thus, the FSSP, like the Canons, offer a Training Workshop

Since Latin can be the biggest hurdle for both the priest and the altar server, there’re lots of pronunciation guides, many associated with the training items I’ve already listed. But there’s another item offered through Fraternity Publications: Let's Read Latin. I have no experience with this, but it looks good. And, if you really want to learn Latin, awhile back I put up a post with several resources for learning Latin. There are many more resources to learn Latin out there besides those I’ve listed. (By the way, for those of us of an age where the brain is beginning to disintegrate, I find that learning Latin, besides just being sort of fun in an occasionally self-flagellating sort of way, seems to help slow down the mental crumbling…)

Other resources: New Liturgical Movement. They don’t sell anything, but they have a lot of information and commentary on the EF. Published last summer on The Liturgy Guy is One Priest's View on the Vocations Crisis. I believe there’s a lot to this. In addition to these, there’s other interesting links on the Una voce Links page.

Last, and locally, there’s Una voce Maine. Awhile back, I did a little post on Service at the Altar, based mostly on my own experiences over the years, in different settings, which is relevant to any parish that wants serious, well trained altar servers, whether EF or OF.

So, let’s get this beautiful Rite out of the warehouse!!

Curate, ut valeatis. (Take care, that you may be well.)

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Liturgical Year IV: The Time between Christmas and Lent

Awhile back we looked at the 1969 calendar (used with the Ordinary Form) which was instituted with Paul VI’s Motu proprio Mysterii paschalis. We did a general overview of the differences, and similarities, between it and the 1962 Calendar (used with the Extraordinary Form), which is part of Benedict XVI’s Motu proprio Summorum pontificum. One general difference was that the 1962 calendar is divided into two main parts, The Christmas Cycle, and The Easter Cycle. These two big parts have further subdivisions. Then, we looked a little more closely at Christmas Time and saw a fairly substantial difference between the two calendars regarding what happens during the period between Christmas and Ash Wednesday. Today we’ll go into this a bit more.

In the 1962 calendar, the Christmas Cycle, you’ll recall, always has Epiphany on Epiphany (January 6th); then comes Part III of the Cycle: “The Season after Epiphany.” This has up to six “Sundays after Epiphany”, depending on the date of Ash Wednesday, and the Christmas Cycle officially ends the Saturday prior to Septuagesima Sunday.

On Septuagesima Sunday begins the Second Part of the Liturgical Year: The Easter Cycle. This Cycle is divided into Part I: Season of Lent, Part II: Eastertide, and Part III: After Whitsunday. Plus, there’s a bonus bit: the three Pre-Lenten Sundays known as Septuagesima (seventieth), Sexuagesima (sixtieth) and Quinquagesima (fiftieth) Sundays. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has a piece in the Catholic Herald (go read it there!) where he explains the Pre-Lenten Sundays in his ineluctable way (he also explains the names of the Sundays): 

“We plan for all sorts of important events, like vacations and birthday parties, well in advance. In general, the more significant an event we approach, the more time and effort we put into the preparation…”

The point is, these three Sundays were a period of preparing for the Lenten Fast, which in turn is a preparation for Easter. As Fr. Z points out in his article, waiting until the night before to prepare for the final exam is poor planning. I know, I tried this once in college and it didn’t end well.

The 1969 calendar does away with this. Christmas Time in the new calendar ends on the Sunday following January 6th, and the first of the two segments of Ordinary Time begins on that Monday. That final Sunday after January 6th, by the way, is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and it may come as soon as the day after January 6th, as it did this year. Thus, this first segment of Ordinary Time includes the old “Time After Epiphany” of the Christmas Cycle and the pre-Lenten Sundays of the Easter Cycle. It straddles, if you will, the break between the two Cycles in the 1962 calendar.

My Daily Roman Missal, Third Edition has this to say about Ordinary Time:

“Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive character, thirty-three or thirty-four weeks remain in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a particular element of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially on Sundays, these weeks are devoted to the mystery of Christ in its entirety. This period is known as Ordinary Time.” (pg. 838)

Thus, this past Sunday, 28 January 2018, was either the beginning of the Easter Cycle with Septuagesima Sunday, and began the three week pre-Lenten preparation (not a period of fasting, wait for Ash Wednesday!) or it was the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

There it is.




What is the NCBC?

Una voce Maine is not a bioethics website as such. So, in order to explain why this post is diverging a bit from the Latin Mass, let me recall this tidbit from my first post:

“I do not believe that widespread use of the Latin Mass will magically fix the Church’s many problems. I do, however, believe that the Church’s many problems have their roots in two closely related facts: the collapse of reverence and seriousness in the Mass, and the collapse of robust, unambiguous catechesis ... The road back is one of ten thousand steps ... the first two steps are (1) a return to the proper public worship of God with one voice (una voce), and (2) a return to the clear exposition of His will through catechesis.”

This post is about an aspect of catechesis: applying settled Church moral principles to specific, complex, real life situations. Nowhere (except possibly marriage) do the teachings of the Church conflict with society more than at the intersection of abortion and public policy. The Church has settled teachings about abortion (and contraception) but it can sometimes be difficult to apply these teachings to the ever expanding and bewildering universe filled by the intellectual, and sometimes direct, progeny of abortion: contraception, partial-birth abortion, in-vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies, cloning, surrogacy, embryonic stem cell research, genetic and prenatal testing, complicated pregnancies, homosexuality, gender identity and “sex change surgeries”, assisted suicide/euthanasia, end-of-life decision making, licit and illicit vaccines; the list is almost endless. Some of the things on this incomplete list may be licit under orthodox Catholic moral teaching in some circumstances, many are never licit, but all are legitimate topics for Catholic moral analysis. The purpose of this post (at long last!!) is to introduce you, discipuli discipulaeque, to what I think is one of the best go-to sources to start getting information on these often difficult topics.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center has as its role and mission the following:

Role & Mission of the NCBC 

The National Catholic Bioethics Center, established in 1972, conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

There is more to the NCBC than I can possibly summarize in a short post. What I can say briefly is this:

  1. It is an established authority – recognized worldwide and most particularly by the Vatican – on matters of interpreting complex bioethical issues in the context of an orthodox Catholic moral framework;
  2. It is apolitical and non-partisan, though obviously many of the issues it deals with are intertwined with various political platforms and agendae;
  3. It is completely free-standing: although it has the endorsement of numerous prelates, Dioceses and even the Vatican, it is not formally allied with any of these;  
  4. It offers its consultative services to anyone, from large medical institutions down to the lone, worried adult child trying to figure out what to do for his dying parent, and the individual consultations are free of charge
  5. It has a huge array of programs up to and including graduate-level Certification in Healthcare Ethics (I completed this program myself a few years ago). 
  6. In addition to all kinds of educational venues for laity, there are Bishops workshops, Chaplaincy programs, and individual “preaching points” on various topics such as here and here.

To commence plumbing the breadth and depth of this tremendous resource, let me suggest starting at the tab list right up on the home page, and scrolling through the Consultation, Resources, Educational, Publications, and Public Policy tabs. There’s tons of stuff there. Who knows? Perhaps all the stuff might be move you to become a member, or buy something from the store (where you will find excellent print resources but no coffee mugs or other swag. Sorry.)

I suspect every one of us has been touched by at least one, maybe several, of these difficult – sometimes frightfully, painfully difficult – issues. I know I have. One can feel very alone, and very, very confused. The resources at the NCBC can help: they aren’t there to make you feel good, they’re there to help you figure out what’s right by interpreting, as best as humanly possible, how to respond to the difficulty in a way commensurate with Catholic moral teaching. This can be a source of great peace. 

The NCBC has tons of stuff to help priests become educated on these things. The Director of Education is himself a priest. Parishioners will come to priests seeking guidance. Priests have an obligation to be smart on this stuff; to at least have a firm basic working knowledge of the issues, and the Catholic positions.

And, yes, it’s true, even if we have dodged these various moral quandry bullets in our personal lives, the issues come up, and keep coming up, in the public sector. Maine, for example, has had two very recent attempts to pass so called “physician assisted suicide”. Both have been voted down in the legislature, but the second one (last year) failed to pass by one vote. One. I assure, you, it will be back. We are obligated, as Catholics, to get smart on this stuff.

Finally, I have no formal relationship with the NCBC, though I have availed myself of many of the educational opportunities, and have been honored to have published a few pieces in their publications. But like the stuff I put in the Stocking Stuffers back in Advent, I’m just passing along information I think might be useful. No pay per click.





Reminder! Third Sunday Mass at the St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery

Sunday, 21 January 9:15am
"Missa Cantata" with Mr. Jay Violette, Music Director
St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery
28 Beach Avenue


email: franciscanmonastery@yahoo.com

Tel: (207)967-2011

Mail: PO Box 980, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Please note: It's best to confirm the Friday before that the Latin Mass will given with the Monastery secretary at 207-967-2011 Mon-Fri 9am to 12 pm and 1 to 4pm.

The Liturgical Year III: Christmas Time 

A couple of weeks back, we took an overview of how the Liturgical Year differs, and how it remains the same, across the two liturgical forms, the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form or OF) and the Tridentine (Extraordinary Form or EF). I also loosely refer to them as the 1962 calendar (the calendar followed by the EF) and the 1969 calendar (the calendar followed by the OF). Now we’ll look a little more closely at the period around Christmas.

First, though, a note of caution: the purpose of these posts is simply to explain the differences, and the similarities between the two calendars. The Church can, and has, altered the Liturgical Calendar through the millennia. I’ve heard, for example, that once upon a time, Advent was 8 weeks, not 4. Sometimes changes seem for the better, other times not so much. But the Church has the authority to do this.

1962 Calendar

Beginning with the EF, my Baronius Press 1962 Daily Missal tells me that the season of Christmas, or the Christmas Cycle, begins with the First Sunday of Advent, and ends with the Saturday before Septuagesima. This Cycle is also known as The Mystery of the Incarnation, and has three parts. Thus we have:

Part I of the Christmas Cycle. Advent: First Sunday of Advent (the Sunday closest to November 30th) up to the Vigil Mass on December 24th. The feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of obligation in the US (being as Our Lady is, after all, the Patroness of these United States) is on December 8th. The 3rd Sunday of Advent is Gaudete (rejoice, in the plural imperative voice, literally: REJOICE, y’all!) Sunday. Note that the Ember Days for Advent also occur during Advent. These are days of recommended (not obligatory) fasting; in Advent they occur on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the 3rd Sunday of Advent. The subject of Ember Days probably should have its own post someday.

Part II of the Christmas Cycle. Christmastide: Begins with the Vigil Mass, December 24th, (which I believe in the 1962 calendar must span midnight) and runs through Epiphany. 

Now things get a little confusing. Right after Christmas Day comes the days of the Octave of Christmas; these have their own Masses, with Decembers 26, 27 and 28 are the Masses of St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist, and the Holy Innocents, respectively. Decembers 69, 30 and 31 are just called 5th, 6th and 7th days in the Octave. If a Sunday happens to fall in there, it gets its own Mass, the Sunday within the Octave. Then comes the Octave, January 1st, previously known as the Mass of the Circumcision (I think), as under the Jewish Law, it was on the 8th day of life that the boy was to be circumcised. Now it is known as the Octave Day of Christmas. 

On the Sunday after the Octave Day of Christmas comes the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Now, if this Sunday happens to fall on January 1st, 6th or 7th, as it does this year (2018; the first Sunday is January 7th) then the Holy Name Feast is kept on January 2nd. Except when it isn’t. Current calendars for the EF available to me differ slightly on this (along with some other minor points), although the FSSP calendar shows it as I’ve written. Anyways, the days of January 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th are Feria (non feast) masses with their own designated readings, Collects, Introits and so forth. 

What we can be sure of, though, is that in the 1962 calendar, Epiphany falls on Epiphany, the 12th Day of Christmas, January 6th.

The First Sunday after Epiphany is the Feast of the Holy Family, even if it’s the very next day (as it is this year). 

The Octave of the Epiphany is January 13th, the Baptism of the Lord.

Part III of the Christmas Cycle: Season after Epiphany: Now things get a bit more straightforward. Each Sunday after Epiphany (As many as 6 depending on when Ash Wednesday comes) gets its own Mass, and the days in between are Ferias interdigitated with various saints’ feast days. This season runs up to the Saturday prior to Septuagesima Sunday. Thus endeth the  Christmas Cycle in the Extraordinary Form, according to the 1962 Liturgical Calendar. The periods known as Ordinary Time are not present in the 1962 calendar.

Et nunc,

How does Christmas time work in the 1969 General Roman Calendar as promulgated for the Dioceses of the United States by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)?

1969 Calendar

Advent: Using my handy and dandy Daily Roman Missal, Third Edition I find that, as in the EF, Advent runs from the First Sunday of Advent up to First Vespers of Christmas, essentially Sunset of Christmas Eve (which is when the Vigil Mass is often held). As in the EF, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is on December 8th, and Gaudete is still the Third Sunday, but the Ember Days are all gone. Indeed, all of the Ember Days throughout the year were expunged from the 1969 calendar. Other than that, things are pretty similar to the EF.

Christmas Time: Begins December 24th at First Vespers (Evening Prayer I, which is essentially sundown). The Octave is pretty much as in the 1962 calendar, although the Octave Day (1 January) is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In the 1962 calendar, this feast is not a solemnity, and is on October 11th.

Next up is Epiphany. In the Dioceses of the United States, Epiphany is on the Sunday that falls between January 2 and January 8. If that Sunday happens to be the 6th of January, then Epiphany is on Epiphany. If that Sunday happens to be not January 6th (Epiphany), then Epiphany is celebrated on that Sunday anyway and January 6th in that case is just another day. Now, this period around the 1st of the year is already confusing, as we saw in the 1962 calendar, it is doubly so in the 1969 calendar, because we have two factors that move: the days of the week change relative to the calendar dates (normal), and the date of Epiphany moves, to keep it on a Sunday (less normal). This, in turn, necessitates extra set(s) of weekday readings. If you are not following this and are getting a headache, don’t worry. It’s only in these United States that this goes on. In the rest of the Roman Catholic world, at least so far as I know, they celebrate Epiphany on Epiphany. Or, maybe they don’t.  

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord ends Christmas Time, but it isn’t celebrated at the Octave of Epiphany, as it is in the 1962 calendar. It can be anywhere from 1 to 7 days after Epiphany which, as we saw, has no fixed date either. To recap: in the 1962 calendar, Epiphany is on Epiphany, January 6th, and the Baptism of the Lord is January 13th. The Season After Epiphany, Part III of the Christmas Cycle, can vary in length, but it alsways ends the evening before Septuagesima Sunday. Spetuagesima Sunday, in turn, is always three Sundays before Ash Wednesday, and nine Sundays before Easter. Always. It’s easy to remain oriented to where you are in the year.

In the 1969 calendar, Epiphany is sometime between January 2nd and January 8th, and the Baptism or the Lord (and the end of Christmas Time) is 1 to 7 days after that. Some years, like this year, Christmas Time can end rather abruptly, with the Baptism falling the day after Epiphany, which was placed this yeat on January 7th. So, in the 1969 calendar, if you find yourself feeling slightly disoriented after January 1st, well, don’t worry about it. The USCCB isn’t.

After the Baptism of the Lord (1969 calendar) Christmas Time is over, and we go into the first of the two rounds of “Ordinary Time”. There are no “pre-Lenten Sundays” (Septuagesima, Sexagesim, Quinquagesima). So, there it is.


Missa Cantata at the Franciscan Monastery

Fr. John Bacevicius, OFM is pleased to announce:

The Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk will celebrate the “MISSA CANTATA” every third Sunday of the month at 9:15am beginning Sunday, January 21, 2018 with Mr. Jay Violette, Music Director



email: franciscanmonastery@yahoo.com

Tel: (207)967-2011

Mail: PO Box 980, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Please note: It's best to confirm the Friday before that the Latin Mass is to be given with the Monastery secretary at 207-967-2011 Mon-Fri 9am to 12 pm and 1 to 4pm.


Why are we here?

Now that we are in a new calendar year, the year of our Lord (Anno Domini, commonly known as A.D.) MMXVIII, I thought it well to briefly review the question, “why are we here?” The answer, or course, is to know, love and serve God in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. Well, I’m riffing slightly on Question 6, and its answer, in the First Lesson of the Baltimore Catechism. Actually, today I want to be a tetch more specific.

Why is Una Voce Maine here? This is a brief guide to links on the UvM website, to orient the newcomer, remind the already established, and help me to organize my thoughts as I begin to approach the task of figuring out how to get “non-profit” status for UvM. Here goes.

Who are we? (from the “ABOUT” link on the UvM toolbar.)

About Us

Una Voce Maine is an official chapter of Una Voce America. We are a group of faithful Catholics in Maine, in union with the Holy See and the Bishops united with the Supreme Pontiff of the Church, who share the goal of preserving, promoting, and facilitating the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass or the Tridentine Latin Mass.

What We Do

  • participate in the mission of the Catholic Church to lead all souls to heaven by drawing upon the treasures of the Church as have been handed down throughout the ages
  • promote the Latin Masses offered in the Diocese of Portland, Maine
  • support related traditional practices such as Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, and sacred art
  • help laity better understand and more fruitfully participate in Catholic liturgy as a sacred action
  • support and assist laity who wish to have the Extraordinary Form of the Mass offered in their parish
  • provide and clarify information about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass
  • provide resources and assistance to priests who wish to learn and use the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in their parish


In addition, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there’s a few Frequently Asked Questions with brief answers. One of the questions, “Why is the Mass prayed in Latin?”, I’ve tried, in my own small way, to elaborate on in a short two part post called “Why Teach Latin”, here and here. As time goes by, I’ll try to add my own thoughts to some of the other FAQs as well. This is to support bullet #6 of the “What We Do” list, provide and clarify information about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Una Voce America, by the way, is here. We can be found in the Chapters section.

What can you do? Why, that is answered in the toolbar link called, cleverly enough, WHAT YOU CAN DO.

Should you have questions, you can always CONTACT me. You don’t need to fill out all the information if you’ve only a question, but it’s always nice. I promise, no salesmen will call.

The LINKS button has a bunch of resources on it. I know, I know, some need to be updated – and they shall be - but most are valid, and I would like to draw your attention to one in particular, the Catholic Herald. This is the online on line version of the famous UK magazine, and it is, in my humble opinion, one of the best things out there. The Brits just do so well with the Language – English, that is.

A brief CH sampling: How to save the English Church, Five bishops reaffirm traditional teaching on Communion, and The Church can do much better at serving young women. These are just from the past couple of days.

YOUNG ADULTS is a page for, well, young adults. Keeping in mind that today’s young adult is tomorrow’s middle aged spread (I, too, was once a “young adult”. I think.) it nevertheless it has a good resource on there, the international organization Juventutem. But the page needs more good links for young adults, if you know of any please pass them along to me here.

Last, and you can decide if its least, is the CHAIRMAN'S BLOG. That’s where I have my say, every Monday (more or less), and I do try to make my blather at least marginally useful and at least minimally entertaining. If you feel the need to contact me regarding what I write, by all means please CONTACT me.

And that, to quote my favorite 20th century philosopher, is all I have to say about that.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Epiphany in the Extraordinary Form

Brought to you by the St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy

Epiphany, Saturday, January 6, Anno Domini MMXVIII

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (side chapel): 8am
Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul (chapel, downstairs): 12 noon

Holy Family, Sunday, January 7, Anno Domini MMXVIII

Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul (upstairs): 8:30am
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (side chapel): 12 noon

  • Epiphany Masses are at different times than Christmas and New Years!! Holy Family is the normal Sunday time.
  • Due to the Epiphany Mass on Saturday, January 6, there will NOT be a First Saturday Mass that day.
  • First Saturday 7am Masses will resume in February. 


Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
122 Ash St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
307 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101

The Liturgical Year, Part II: Was Jesus born on Christmas Day?

I have a long commute. In the summertime it is beautiful. In the winter, leaving the silent house in the darkness before the snowplow trucks are awake, I and my trusty 4wd Tacoma set out in the blowing blizzard for the money hour (each way) trek. I have, therefore, over the past 5 years, become a great fan of The Great Courses and their many college-level courses on CD, and have even recommended one of their courses on Latin, here. Recently I listened to a course on Medieval Europe, overall very good, but in the section on early Christianity in the former Roman provinces now know as Western Europe it was obligatory for our professor, as I suppose it must be for all contemporary professors who wish to keep their academic appointments, to roll out the tired old tripe about Christmas Day and Saturnalia. It goes something like this (I am paraphrasing, not quoting directly):

"Early Christianity recycled pagan holidays just as it recycled pagan temples. The reason that the date of 25 December was picked for the birth of Christ was because it was close to the pagan holiday of Saturnalia, a period of hard partying in the old Roman Empire which occurred around the time of the winter solstice (21 December). Scholars agree that the date of Jesus' birth is unknown, and the Gospels are 'conflicted' (really?) but most put it in the spring or summer."

Variants on this theme note that there were many pre-Christian celebrations on or around the winter solstice, and modern day pagans have created an entire industry around the old Druid "Yule" celebration of welcoming back the sun. This includes, of course, various rituals for contemporary pagan goddesses - no mention if there are any similar rituals for modern day pagan gods. Anyway, the summary point is that the modern notion of Xmas is just a pastiche of various resurrected (or invented) pagan rituals along with a heavy dosing of myth, sentiment, excessive shopping and Hollywood grinchisms, some of which have been neatly summarized here. Into this slurry is injected, and presented as fact, this "no one really knows when Christ was born." I have, in fact, heard this "fact" presented as fact from more than one Catholic pulpit.

There is an analogy. When I was beginning to study the Church prior to becoming Catholic, a meme I not infrequently came across was that the Gospels weren't really written by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. They were written by someone else. Or several someone elses.

"Most scholars doubt [the Gospel's] authorship by Matthew... a growing consensus says the author was a converted rabbi or someone highly educated in rabbinical lore." (Christ Among Us, 6th Ed., A. Wilhelm, HarperCollins Publishers, 1996, pg. 190)

[The Gospel of John] "was probably written just before 100 C.E.... by an unknown author..." (ibid, pg 191) (Note that an ostensibly Catholic catechism used the politically correct "C.E" - "Common Era" - rather than the A.D. Anno Domini, or "after death".)

This sort of stuff bothered me from the very first. Granted, the Gospel writers do not name themselves in their books, but it is, and has been since the earliest days of the Church, the understanding that the Gospels were written by the four men named as authors. If the names of the authors were simply made up, or simply "assigned" to these men, which is after all, what these priests and theologians are claiming, well, that would mean that the Church is not very faithful in little things such as the identity of the Gospel writers. And, if the Church is unfaithful in this little thing, what other little things has she been unfaithful in? How about big things? Is she faithful in the big things like these: death and judgement, heaven and hell? Or, does she bend the truth in the big things as well from time to time? Without getting into the topic of dogma, definitive teachings and Tradition with a capital "T" versus tradition with aa lowercase "t" - that is well beyond the limits of this little post - suffice it to say that I choose to believe that the Gospels were in fact written (perhaps with research help, scribes, etc, but nevertheless authored) by four real men whose names were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you want to view that view as an abdication of intellect to the simplistic "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it" assertion found on the occasional bumper sticker, that's OK with me.

So. The Church teaches that the Feast of the Nativity, the day Christ was born, is Christmas Day, 25 December, an handful of days after the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Further, a significant symbolic aspect of the date of HIs birth is that the days are beginning to lengthen, just as the Christ Child brought light into the world. There it is. All of the confabulation surrounding the actual date of Jesus' birth notwithstanding, I see no reason why He couldn't have been born on December 25th. Why not? If God is truly who we think He is, He could certainly arrange for that event to take place on the day of the Church -- His Church, so we are to believe-- says it happened.

So. I will continue in my quaint belief that Jesus was, truly and in fact, born on Christmas Day, exactly as advertised. I believe, an hope, that the Church is telling the truth in this little thing. And I wish you and yours a very merry and blessed Christmas indeed.

Stocking Stuffers Adventus Anno Domini MMXVII

One can strive for a balance during Christmastime. One does not need to buy into the orgy of conspicuous consumption that is the reality of our world today, although I’ll grant you that this can be a challenge if one has children, along with relatives who want to procure for them lots of stuff. I am not, however, an iconoclast (or, more properly, a “giftoclast”) and a reasonable amount of stuff is nice, both to give and to receive.  Thus, I pass along a few links which may be of interest. Please note: there’s no “pay per click” or any other financial thing going along with Una Voce Maine and the following list. I’m just passing along some things I’ve picked up along my way. Also, I know you can get stuff (especially books and so forth) on Amazon, usually cheaper than the sources I list. Shop wherever you think best.

I’ve bought stuff from The Cloister Shoppe for many years. It is the gift shop of the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Summit, New Jersey and they have lots of great items not just for Christmastime but for use throughout the year. In addition to the candles, soaps and what have you, there’s a CDs section which has some beautiful offerings. If you buy something, tell ‘em Una Voce Maine sent you! (just another way of spreading the word…)

Along the music line, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist have released another CD, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. It’s their second, I think. I have Mater Eucharistiae, useful for soothing the savage beast in the midst of commuting frenzy. They, too, have an online gift shop with, well, lots of stuff.

Mystic Monk Coffee. These guys are great! They are real honest to gosh Carmelite Monks located in Cody, Wyoming. You can read about how they got into the coffee business here. The subscription service is just spiffy, the stuff shows up at your door, no muss, no fuss. Managing the subscription is easy, and if you should find you need to call them for some issue, you actually get one of the monks on the phone – I guess it would be the “duty monk of the day” or something (sorry, 20 years of the Navy doesn’t go away easily). It’s true, I learned about them on Fr. Z's Blog. (It helps him out, too, if you buy through him…) The coffee makes great gifts for office personnel. And, while we’re on stuff cribbed from Fr. Z’s blog, the Benedictine Monks of Nursia, IT (birthplace of St. Benedict) have a US online store. And while we’re on Fr. Z, he has a few more suggestions here.

Lots of great publishers out there. Baronius Press has a selection of 1962 Daily Missals along with a selection of bibles. The Knox Translation is a particularly graceful and orthodox alternative to some of the other English translations out there. Along the lines of Missals, a little history on the current (N.O.) Missal in daily use now, the Missale Romanum (editio typica tertia)is available through the USCCB here. The Missal itself is available here. I’ve had one sine the “typical 3rd edition” came out, and use it to follow along just as I use the 1962 Missal in those vanishingly rare instances where I actually have the opportunity to assist at Mass in the Extraordinary Form. You can learn a lot from either, or both, of these Missals, not just about the readings of the day, but about the liturgy in general. Plus, they are both packed with prayers and editio typica tertia is just so much nicer than those cheesy paperback throaways that populate most parish pews. There’s a whole webpage on Missals here.

The National Catholic Register’s 2017 Gift Guide is here.

For your parish priest, you might consider a gift copy of  Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family. This is topical, and certainly a nice augment to the ongoing Diocesan catechesis on Amoris laetitia. Or, we have Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy. It can’t hurt. Indeed, if he’s a reader, Ignatius Press has pretty much the entire Ratzinger collection, as well as works by other luminaries such as Robert Cardinal Sarah. For things liturgical related to the Ordinary Form (let’s be realistic here) we have The Adoremus Hymnal for him to peruse. It is developed for the Novus ordo, appropriate to Adoremus, the group whose mission is to foster “the sound formation of Catholic laity in matters relating to the Church’s worship consistent with the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and aids Catholics (including priests and seminarians) with reliable information and encouragement.  Adoremus provides sound resources to promote a more reverent, beautiful, and holy celebration of the Mass and other forms of worship.” Leaving aside the various comparisons between the OF and the EF, there’s no question (in my mind, anyway) that a parish priest who fully took to heart the recommendations and various tools (such as the Hymnal cited above) in his performance of the Ordinary Form, would soon find his church filled to the rafters and the subject of stories in the secular media. But then, I think that is true, even more so, were he to implement the EF.




The first of the four Advent Masses offered by Fr. Steven Cartwright at the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Lewiston (Prince of Peace Parish) is…

This Saturday (First Saturday) at 7AM


And, of course (not that you could possibly have forgotten), this Sunday, 3 December, is The First Sunday of Advent, and the beginning of the new liturgical year.


The Liturgical Year, Part I: Mysterii Paschalis

In February, 1969, Pope Paul VI issued the Motu proprio (“of my own volition”, in other words, an edict issued personally by the Pope) “MYSTERII PASCHALIS, On the Liturgical Year and the New Universal Roman Calendar”. This Motu proprio on the Liturgical Calendar went hand in hand with the promulgation of the 1969 Edition of the Roman Missal, variously known as the Novus ordo missae (New order of the Mass), the Pauline Mass (or, Mass of Paul VI) and now officially known as the “Ordinary Form”. The seminal point of Mysterii paschalis is this:

“…by Our apostolic authority we approve the new Roman Universal Calendar prepared by "Consilium"—"The Council for the Proper Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and likewise the general norms concerning the arrangement of the liturgical year. We establish that they will go into effect on January 1, 1970, according to the decrees which will be published jointly by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and Consilium, and which will be valid until the edition of the restored Missal and Breviary…”

And with this, the Liturgical Calendar underwent some fairly substantial changes from what had been before. As is the case with my occasional posts on the Catechism, here and here, I possess neither the expertise nor the time to make commentary as to whether these changes were good, bad or indifferent. My hope is to simply point out some of these changes from time to time as we go through the Liturgical Year. Folks already “dialed in” to the Extraordinary Form are aware of much of this; folks for whom this “EF thing” is new, maybe not so much. So, my point is simply to make a by no means exhaustive survey as we travel through time together.

Let us begin with a very broad brush: what did the liturgical year look like before M. paschalis (“BMP”)?

BMP, the Liturgical Year was divided into two cycles: the Christmas Cycle and the Easter Cycle (follow along on the handy “Liturgical Year Wheel” reproduced below, the one on the left). The Christmas Cycle, in turn, was divided into three pieces: Advent, Christmastime, and the Time After Epiphany. The Liturgical Year, and the Christmas Cycle, both begin with the First Sunday in Advent. Advent runs through the next three Sundays up until Christmas Eve. The color of the vestments is purple, and the period of Advent includes the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th. Christmastime, the second part of the Cycle, goes from Christmas Day until the Feast of the Epiphany (“the twelve days of Christmas”). Vestments are white. Then comes the Third Part of the Christmas Cycle, the Time After Epiphany. This runs anywhere from one to six Sundays, and ends the evening before Septuagesima Sunday, and the vestments are green. Thus endeth The Christmas Cycle.

The Easter Cycle is also divided into three sections: Septuagesima (or, the “Pre-Lenten Sundays”), Season of Lent, Eastertime, and the Time After Pentecost. Septuagesima begins, appropriately enough, with Septuagesima Sunday, the ninth Sunday before Easter and the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday. There follows Sexagesima Sunday and Quinquagisima Sunday.  The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, and runs through Holy Saturday, which ends, more or less, with the Easter Vigil. The three days of the Triduum (Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) are there, of course, but the Triduum as such is not broken out as a separate season. Eastertime runs from Easter through Ascension Sunday (8 Sundays). We then have Pentecost and it’s octave, followed by Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi Sundays, both with their octaves. The vestments beginning with Septuagesima Sunday and running up through Holy Saturday are purple, Eastertime vestments are white (except for Pentecost, rose). We then enter the Time After Pentecost, which runs up to the Saturday before the First Sunday in Advent. Thus endeth the BMP Liturgical Year.

What about after M. paschalis (“AMP”)? It’s the same, but different (please see the Cycle Wheel on the right, below). AMP, the Year is divided into four blocks: Advent/Christmas, Ordinary Time I, Lent/Triduum/Easter/Pentecost, and Ordinary Time II. Advent/Christmas are more or less the same, with the same vestment colors, as the BMP Year. However, the old “Time After Epiphany” and the pre-Lenten Sundays (“Septuagesima Time”) have been collapsed into “Ordinary Time I”, and the three pre-Lenten Sundays, as such, have ceased to be. Then comes Ash Wednesday, initiating the Lent/Triduum/Easter/Pentecost seasons. As noted, the three days of the Triduum are most certainly present BMP, but in AMP they are given their own season. Ordinary Time II corresponds to the BMP “Time After Pentecost” plus the Sundays and octaves of Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. Thus, OT II after Pentecost, and runs up to the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. Thus endeth the AMP Liturgical Year.



Thus the Liturgical Calendars, BMP and AMP.  There’s a lot more than this little overview mentions: many feast days have been changed/suppressed/added or the dates they are celebrated have been changed, readings of course have been extensively changed (a discussion of the thee year AMP Liturgical Cycle – A,B and C Years – is way beyond this little post), but gives us an introduction. As we progress through the year we will look at each season a little more closely, but that’s just enough for now.

Finally, I have included (below) a couple of cycles of a secular sort which I occasionally find useful in the daily grind.



TLM in St. John New Brunswick from UVM Members Jon and Penny Dandridge

"Today my wife and I attended the traditional Latin Mass in St John New Brunswick at Holy Trinity Church. St. John is about 110km from the Main border at Calais and is therefore a possibility for Catholics living in Eastern Maine desiring to attend the Latin Mass. The Mass was at 12:30 PM Atlantic time which is 1 hour ahead of Eastern Time. It was well attended considering it is only in its third week with over 40 people including some families with young children. There was one couple from Nova Scotia who drove 4 hours to attend the Mass! It was a Low Mass but with hymns accompanied by an organist. Fr. Peter Melanson is a young priest recently appointed pastor of Holy Trinity and did an excellent job celebrating the Mass. I have attached some pictures of the church."