Dignare Me Laudare Te, Virgo Sacrata

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Michaelmas at St. Rita's in Alexandria, VA

Taken during the beginning of the Canon of the Mass

On 29 September 2007, Fr. Paul Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, offered a Missa Cantata of the "extraordinary use" of the Mass at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia for Michaelmas (the Feast of Michael the Archangel on the traditional calendar). As far as I know, this is the first public "extraordinary use" Mass at St. Rita's since the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum went into effect on 14 September.

[Update, 9/30/2007: I forgot to mention earlier that Fr. Scalia gave an excellent homily on Holy Michael the Archangel, and how he, along with Our Lady, with be our patron in the battle against relativism and Islam.]

Elevation of the Body of Christ after the Consecration of the Host.

Elevation of Precious Blood of Christ after the Consecration of the Wine.

Fr. Scalia during the procession at the conclusion of Mass.

St. Joseph.

Our Lady and the Christ Child.

St. Rita of Cascia.

Video Taken During the Mass:

Sequence of Adam of St. Victor For Michaelmas

(The following is excerpted from Dom Prosper Guéranger's entry in The Liturgical Year for 29 September, in Volume XIV of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook.)

Image of Holy Michael, the Archangel, in Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their Disciples Church in Sofia, Bulgaria

"The glorious Archangel appears today at the head of the heavenly army: 'There was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels' {Apoc. 12: 7). In the sixth century, the dedication of the churches of St. Michael on Monte Gargano [Italy] and in the Roman Circus increased the celebrity of this day, which had however been long before consecrated by Rome to the memory of all the heavenly Virtues."

"...Adam of St. Victor thus sings the fullness of today's mystery. (For the Latin text of the sequence below, go to the following link: S. Michael et Omnes Angeli.)


"Let love break forth into praise; let our choir sing in the presence of the heavenly citizens: our praise will be pleasing and beautiful, if the purity of our hearts be in accord therewith."

"Let all praise Michael; let none deprive himself of this day's joy. O happy day! whereon the solemn victory of the holy angels is recorded. "

"The old dragon is cast out, and all his hostile legions put to flight: the disturber is himself disturbed, the accuser is hurled down from the height of heaven."

"Under Michael's protection there is peace on earth, peace in heaven, praise and exultation; for he, mighty and valorous, stands for the safety of all and triumphs in the battle."

"Banished form heaven, the originator of sin wanders through the air: he watches to lay his snares, and insinuates his poison; but the guardian band of angels reduces his power to nought."

"The three distinct hierarchies are ever occupied in contemplation and unending song; nor does their contemplation nor the ceaseless harmony interrupt their continual ministry."

"Oh! in the heavenly city how wondrous is the charity of the three tripled choirs; they love us and defend us, and hope to see their ranks filled up by us."

"As among men there are divers[e] graces upon earth, so in the heavenly reward the just will receive divers[e] degrees of glory; other is the excellence of the sun, other that of the moon, and various the brightness of stars; so shall be the resurrection."

"Let the old man be brought into conformity with the new, the earthly to the purity of the heavenly citizens; he is one day to be equal to them, and though not yet wholly pure, let him in hope look forward to the prize."

"That we may be assisted by these blessed spirits, let us devoutly venerate them and be untiring in our homage; sincere devotion reconciles to God and unites us with the angels."

"Meanwhile let us be silent as to the secrets of heaven, and lift up pure minds and spotless hands on high:"

"Thus may the most high senate recognize us as coheirs; as may the divine grace be praised alike by angels and men."

"To our divine Head be glory and among [H]is members union. Amen."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Extraordinary Use" Mass of Fr. D'Alliessi in Washington, DC

On 23 September 2007, Fr. Daniel D'Alliessi of the Archdiocese of New York offered the "extraordinary form" of the Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church in Washington, DC. He was ordained in 2004. It was Fr. D'Alliessi's second such Mass at St. Mary's that was offered publicly.

Taken either at the Collect or the Epistle.

Father gave an excellent homily on why the Church traditionally had Ember Days, and talked at length on the parallels between the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and the September Ember Days, the sacrifice of the Hebrews at the Temple in Jerusalem, and how Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross superceded that sacrifice. The homily was well-received by those in attendance.

Father D'Alliessi offers Mass very reverently. His Latin is among the best I personally have heard in the 4-plus years I've been attending the Traditional Latin Mass. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is apparent.

Elevation of the Body of Christ after the Consecration of the Host.

Elevation of Precious Blood of Christ after the Consecration of the Wine.

Ecce Agnus Dei!

Thank you Father for your service so far to St. Mary's. Praise God for His generosity!

Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech. -Psalm 109:4, Hebrews 5:6

Friday, September 21, 2007

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Detail from The Martyrdom of St. Matthew by Caravaggio

(The following is excerpted from Dom Prosper Guéranger's entry in The Liturgical Year for the 21 September, in Volume XIV of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook.)

"The name of Matthew signifies one who is given. He gave himself when, at the word of Jesus 'follow Me,' he rose up and followed Him; but far greater was the gift he received from God in return. The Most High, who looks down from heaven upon the low things of earth, loves to choose the humble for the princes of His people. Levi, occupied in a profession that was hated by the Jews and despised by the Gentiles, belong to the lowest rank of society; but still more humble was he in heart, when, laying aside the delicate reserve shown in his heard by the other evangelists, he openly placed his former ignominious title beside the glorious one of apostle. By so doing, he published the magnificent mercy of Him, who had come to heal the sick not the healthy, and to call not the just but sinners. For thus exalting the abundance of God's grace, he merited its superabundance: Matthew was called to be the first evangelist. Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost he wrote, with that inimitable simplicity which speaks straight to the heart, the Gospel of the Messias expected by Israel, and announced by the prophets; of the Messias the teacher and Saviour of the people, the descendant of its kings, and Himself the King of the daughter of Sion; of the Messias who had come not to destroy the Law, but bring it to its full completion in an everlasting, universal covenant."

"In his simple-hearted gratitude, Levi made a feast for his divine Benefactor. It was at this banquet that Jesus, defending His disciple as well as Himself, replied to those who pretended to be scandalized: 'Can the children of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast' [Matthew 9: 15]. [St.] Clement of Alexandria bears witness to the apostle's subsequent austerity; assuring us that he lived on nothing but vegetables and wild fruits. The legend will tell us moreover of his zeal for the Master who has so sweetly touched his heart, and of his fidelity in preserving for Him souls inebriated with the 'wine springing forth virgins' [Zach. 9: 17]. This fidelity, indeed, cost him his life: his martyrdom was in defence and confirmation of the duties and rights of holy virginity. To the end of time, the Church, in consecrating her virgins, will make use of the beautiful blessing pronounced by him over the Ethiopian princess, which the blood of the apostle and evangelist has imbued with a particular virtue."

"The Church gives us this short account of a life better known to God than to men."

[From the Breviary] "Matthew, also named Levi, was an apostle and evangelist. He was sitting in the customhouse at Capharnaum when called by Christ, whom he immediately followed; and then made a feast for him and his disciples. After the resurrection of Christ, and before setting out for the province which it was his lot to evangelize, Matthew was the first to write the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He wrote it in Hebrew, for the sake of those of the circumcision, who had been converted. Soon after, he went into Ethiopia, where he preached the Gospel, and confirmed his teaching by many miracles."

"One of the greatest of these was his raising to life the king's daughter, whereby he converted the king and his wife, and the whole country. After the king's death, his daughter Iphigenia was demanded in marriage by his successor Hirtacus, who, finding that through Matthew's exhortation she had vowed her virginity to God and now persevered in her holy resolution, ordered the apostle to be put to death, as he was celebrating the holy mysteries at the altar. Thus on the eleventh of the Kalends of October, he crowned his apostolate with the glory of martyrdom. His body was translated to Salerno; and in the time of Pope Gregory VII it was laid in a church dedicated in his name, where it is piously honoured by a great concourse of people."

"How pleasing must thy humility have been to our Lord; that humility which has raised thee so high in the kingdom of heaven, and which made thee, on earth, the confidant of Incarnate Wisdom. The Son of God, who hides His secrets from the wise and prudent and reveals them to little ones, renovated thy soul by intimacy with Himself, and filled it with the new wine of His heavenly doctrine. So fully didst thou understand His love, that He chose thee to be the first historian of His life on earth. The Man-God revealed Himself through thee to the Church. She has inherited thy glorious teaching as she calls it in her Secret; for the Synagogue refused to understand both the divine Master and the prophets His heralds."

"There is one teaching, indeed, which not all, even of the elect, can understand and receive; just as in heaven not all follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, nor can all sing the new canticle reserved to those whose love here on earth has been undivided. O evangelist of holy virginity, and martyr for its sake! watch over the choicest portion of our Lord's flock. Remember also, O Levi, all those for whom, as thou tellest us, the Emmanuel received His beautiful name of Saviour. The whole redeemed world honours thee and implores thy assistance. Thou hast recorded for us the admirable sermon on the mountain: by the path of virtue there traced out, lead us to that kingdom of heaven, which is the ever-recurring theme of thy inspired writing."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ember Days of September (Dom Guéranger)

(The following is excerpted from Dom Prosper Guéranger's entry in The Liturgical Year for the Ember Days of September, in Volume XI of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook.)

"For the fourth time in her year, holy Church comes claiming from her children the tribute of penance, which, from the earliest ages of Christianity, was looked upon as a solemn consecration of the seasons...."

"The beginnings of the winter, spring, and summer quarters were sanctified by abstinence and fasting, and each of them, in turn, has received heaven's blessing; and now autumn is harvesting the fruits which divine mercy, appeased by the satisfactions made by sinful man, has vouchsafed to bring forth from the bosom of the earth, notwithstanding the curse that still hangs over her (Genesis 3: 17). The precious seed of wheat, on which man's life mainly depends, was confided to the soil in the season of the early frosts, and, with the first fine days, peeped above the ground; at the approach of glorious Easter, it carpeted our fields with its velvet of green, making them ready to share in the universal joy of Jesus' resurrection; then, turning into a lovely image of what our souls ought to be in the season of Pentecost, its stem grew up under the action of the hot sun; the golden ear promised a hundred-fold to its master; the harvest made the reapers glad; and, now that September has come, it calls on man to fix his heart on that good God, who gave him all this store. Let him not think of saying, as that rich man of the Gospel did, after a plentiful harvest of fruits: 'My soul! thou hast much goods laid up for many years! Take thy rest, eat, drink, and made good cheer!' And God said to that man: 'Thou fool! this night do they require thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?' (Luke 12: 16-21)."

"If we would be truly rich before God, if we would draw down His blessing on the preservation, as well as on the production, of the fruits of the earth, let us, at the beginning of this last quarter of the year, have recourse to those penitential exercises whose beneficial effects we have always experienced in the past. The Church gives us the commandment to do so, by obliging us, under penalty of grievous sin, to abstain and fast on these three days [Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday], unless we be lawfully dispensed."

"We have already spoken of the necessity of private penance for the Christian who is at all desirous to make progress in the path of salvation. But in this, as in all spiritual exercises, a private work of devotion has neither the merit nor the efficacy of one that is done in company with the Church, and in communion with her public act; for the Church, as bride of Christ, communicates an exceptional worth and power to works of penance done, in her name, in the unity of the social body."

"St. Leo the Great is very strong on this fundamental principle of Christian virtue. We find him insisting on it in the sermons he preached to the faithful of Rome, on occasion of this fast, which then called the fast of the seventh month. 'Although,' he says, 'it be lawful for each one of us to chastise his body by self-imposed punishments, and restrain, with more or less severity, the concupiscences of the flesh which war against the spirit, yet need is that, on certain days, a general fast be celebrated by all. Devotion is all the more efficacious and holy, when the whole Church is engaged in work of piety, with one spirit and one soul. Everything, in fact, that is of a public character is to be preferred to what is private; and it is plain, that so much the greater is the interest at stake, when the earnestness of all is engaged upon it. As for individual efforts, let each one keep up his fervour in them; let each one, imploring the aid of divine protection, take to himself the heavenly armour, wherewith to resist the snares laid by the spirits of wickedness; but the soldier of the Church (ecclesiasticus miles), though he may act bravely in his own private combats (specialibus praeliis), yet will he fight more safely and more successfully, when he shall confront the enemy in a public engagement; for in that public engagement, he has not only his own valour to which to trust, but he is under the leadership of a King who can never be conquered, and engaged in a battle fought by all his fellow-soldiers; so that, being in their company and ranks, he has the fellowship of mutual aid.'"