Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Altar in the Attic


of the guesthouse of a monastery. Why cannot the Latin Mass be celebrated without let or hindrance in the Abbey Church of Ealing? The hanging pyx is a glorious and specifically English expression of Catholicism.

Notre Dame


to offer Latin Mass in the fall

"The University of Notre Dame has announced it will offer the Mass in its extraordinary form, that is in Latin, on campus as soon as the necessary requirements, outlined in Pope Benedict’s motu proprio July 7, are fulfilled. The requirement specified in an announcement from the university’s campus ministry department is a celebrant who is familiar with Latin and the rubrics of the Roman Missal of Blessed John XXIII. This Mass is tentatively scheduled for Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. in the chapel of Alumni Hall. Celebrants for these liturgies will be appointed by the director of campus ministry or the rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, who each have jurisdiction over the celebration of some of the sacraments on campus. The current form of the Mass, known as the ordinary for of the Roman Rite, will continue to be celebrated at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart as well as in the residence halls. This fall, campus ministry will provide a catechesis on the Eucharist. It will provide students with a deeper understanding of the Eucharist, the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass, and the Pope’s motu proprio."

Bring back the Latin


and bring back an embattled believer.

Dedicated to all those embattled believer who are battling to save the Church that they have worshipped in since their youth and before.

Fight and fight again, for the throne room of God on this earth.

Long live, Christ the King.

Three Hundred Years of the Collegial Church of Salzburg


Were celebrated not with a Mass but with a piece of liturgical theatre. Please don't ask me what the ladders are for. I don't know.

The pseudo-artist responsible is one Otto Beck, who in true nietzschian style of inverting all values and all believes presents an anti-pieta. The altar and the people are turned towards nothing but themselves.

Turn towards the Lord! Conversi ad Dominum!

Dom Louis Gougaud on the eastward position for the priest at the Mass

THE orientation of churches in early Christian times, as well as the custom among the early Christians and their clergy of turning towards the East when pronouncing the words of the solemn rites of the liturgy, has been in the past the subject of a number of studies.1 In this chapter our attention will be directed in particular to private prayer; but as the position of orientation in prayer is closely allied with architectural and liturgical orientations, we must first realize the ideas which led to the adoption of both of the latter.

The custom of turning towards the East while at prayer is not peculiar to Christianity. It was used by the pagan peoples, whose temples were often oriented.2 But in this custom the Christians were inspired by principles peculiar to themselves, which must be indicated.

Without doubt, in actual practice, a great number used it from force of habit and by imitation, without knowing the why and the wherefore of the custom.3 Not so the Fathers of the Church and the theologians, who are quite ready to give explanations full of symbolical meaning.

Christians are called the Children of Light, and their God is the true light of the world. In the Holy Books he is called the " Orient "4 and " the Sun of Justice."5 The point of the compass which gives to each day its dawn is the natural symbol of the immaterial light that the Sun of Justice came to show to the world. But these were not the only considerations.

The earthly Paradise was situated in the East. In turning in this direction for prayer or worship, the early Christians wished to convey their demand to Christ, the new Adam, to place humanity again in possession of this Paradise from which sin had driven our first parents.6

Again, the Cross of our Lord had been erected on Calvary and turned towards the West; and so in turning in the direction of the East we face the Cross, the ever-blessed instrument of our redemption.7

On the day of his Ascension Jesus went up to heaven from the East. The 34th verse of the 67th psalm in the Vulgate says: " Sing ye to God, who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the East."8 It was applied to this event, and adopted by the Church, which makes use of it in the Communion of the Mass of Ascension Day.

Finally, as another text attests, at the last day, the Son of Man will appear in the East.9

To the authority of Holy Writ and of tradition was added the symbolism of the very expressive rite in use in several churches which was particularly shifted to impress on Christians the antithesis of East and West. The West is the region of darkness and of evil; there resides the Prince of Darkness. The East, on the other hand, is the place of light and good.10 Moreover, in the ceremony of baptism the catechumen turned to the West to pronounce the words, Abrenuntio tibi, Satana, after which, going down into the pool of baptism and facing the East, he made his confession of Faith, by which he became a member of Christ.11 At Milan, the Sputatio which accompanied this rite rendered the ceremony even more expressive: the person about to be baptized spat towards the West, where the devil was supposed to be.12

The Christian custom of turning eastwards in prayer dates certainly from the very earliest times.13 The orientation of sacred buildings, which is derived from this usage, was already customary among the Greeks and Romans.

The custom of orientation was already followed by the builders of the earliest Christian basilicas. However, in the fifth century, St Paulinus of Nola, while recognizing this custom as the most generally followed, shows us that it may be discarded without scruple, since he built the apse of his own basilica at Nola towards the South-West.14
Moreover, a good number of the churches built in Rome, from the fourth to the seventh centuries, are not turned towards the East. Certain of them are turned towards the West, but in these instances the principle of orientation was still assured if we take into account the fact that at that period it was customary for the celebrant to stand facing the people during the Holy Sacrifice.15
In an otherwise good article, para above- not correct- see Klaus Gamber and the present Pope on this subject.

On the other hand, in Paris, in the Middle Ages, orientation of churches was so much the rule that the church of St Benedict belonging to the Chapter of Notre-Dame was nicknamed " Saint-Benoit le Bestourne," meaning" turned the wrong way," because the apse was not oriented.16

The monastic ceremonial, such as it appears in customaries dating back to the time of St Benedict of Aniane (f 821), prescribed, in certain conventual exercises, the bowing towards the cross, which was placed in the eastern part of the chapter-house, the refectory, or the cloister ;17 and one can see from numerous customaries later than this one that the practice was faithfully observed in many Benedictine houses.18

The prayers which were ordered to be recited before the periodical bloodletting of the monks (minutio sanguinis) were also said towards the East.19

Certain ascetics observed the same position in their solitary prayers. Abbot Zaccheus, of whom John Moschus speaks, used to stand for two hours turned towards the East and praying in silence on Mount Sion, the place of his retreat.20 Blessed Elizabeth of Spal-beeck, of the Cistercian Order, who died later than 1266, used also to pray with her face turned towards the rising sun.21 In the thirteenth century, not only the monks, the ascetics, and the clerics, but also the ordinary faithful themselves seem to have observed this orientation in their private prayers. The chansons de geste have preserved many examples of this practice.22 In course of his journeying the knight dismounts to pray to God facing " contre orient ":
A pie descent del destrier sejorne, Contre orient aveit son vis torn6, Une preiere a dit de grant bonte. {Li coronemenz Loots, ed. E. Langlois, v. 687-689.)

They prayed also with their hands stretched towards the East:
Ses il mains estendi adez contre orient.
(Doon de Maience, ed. A. Pey, v. 1075.)
Andeus ses mains torna vers oriant.
(La Chevalerie Ogier, ed. J. Barrois, v. 2893.)
The prayer was said kneeling:
A genoullons s'est mis droit encontre orient.
(Doon de Maience, v. 2254.)
Vers oriant a jenoillons s'est mis.
(Gaydon, ed. F. Guessard and S. Luce, v. 1377.)
or else the knights prostrated themselves at full length on the ground, with their head towards the East and their arms in the form of a cross:

En croiez se jete Karle contre oriant, Une pra'ire a fet molt gentement.
(Otinel, v. 495-496.)
Many ancient rituals prescribe the laying of bodies in their graves with their feet towards the East.23

The crusades added to all the ancient symbolical reasons a new impulse in the practice of orientation in prayer. When turning his face or his hands towards the East, the knight of the Middle Ages called to mind the Holy Places, the scene of his own warlike deeds or of the efforts of his ancestors to wrest from the yoke of Islam that land for ever sacred.

See J. Thomasii, De ritu veterum Christianorum precand versus orientem, Lipsiae, 1670; F. J. Dolger, Sol salutis Gebet und Gesang im christlichen Altertum mit besouderer Ruck sicht auf die Ostung in Gebet und Liturgie (Liturgiegeschichtliche ForschungenlV-V), Munster i. W., 1920, pp. 1-10; E. Weigand, Die Ostung in der fruhchristlichen Architektur. Neue Tatsachen zu einer alten Problem/rage. (Festschrift Sebastian Merkle, Diisseldorf, 1922, pp. 370-386); Heinrich Nissen, Orientation. Studien zur Geschichte des Religion, Berlin, 1906-1910.

Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, VII(P.G., IX462-463). Cf. Brouerius de Niedek, op. cit., p. 193 ff.; Otto Seemann, op. cit., p. 133.

Origen, In Num. Homil. V, i (P.G., XII 603).

Zachar., vi 12. Origen, In Levit. Homil., IX 10 (P.G., XII 523); St John Damascene, De fide orthod., IV 12 (P.G., XCIV 1133-1136); Walafrid Strabo, De exordiis et increments,
IV(P.L.,CXIV923;ed.Al.Knoepfler,Monachii,i89O,p. 10).

Mai. iv 2. Origen, loc. cit.; John Damascene, loc. cit.; St Jerome, Commentar. in Amos, III 6 (P.L., XXV, 1068).

Pseudo-Athanasius, Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem,
XXXVII (P.G., XXVIII619-620); Gregory of Nyssa, Oratio
5 de Orat. domin. (P.G., XLIV 1183-1184); John Damascene,
loc. cit.

John Damascene, loc. cit.

Didascalia, II 57, ed. Funk, II 160-163. On the various mystical meanings of the East, see the Tract in the Lebar Brecc on the Consecration of a Church, edited and translated by Whitley Stokes in Miscellanea linguistica in onore di G.Ascoli, Torino, 1901, pp. 378-381.

Matt, xxiv 27; John Damascene, loc. cit.

Lactantius, Divin. instit., II 10 (P.L., VI 307).

Const, apostol., II 57 (P.G., I 1045-1046; ed. Funk,II 450-453); Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses mystagogicae, I 2-9 (P. G., XXXIII 1067-1074); St Jerome, Commentar. In Amos, III 6 (P.L., XXV 1068); St Ambrose, De Mysteriis, II(P.L., XVI 408). Cf. P. Lejay, art. Ambrosien (Rit) in Diet. d'Arch. chre't. et de Liturgie, col. 1431; P. de Puniet, art. Baptime (ibid., col. 261, 262, 264, 279).

St Ambrose, loc. cit. Cf. P. Lejay, art. cit., 1431.

Pseudo-Athanasius, loc. cit.; St Basil, De Spiritu sancto, 27 (P.G., XXXII 187-188).

Ep. xxxii. (P. L., LXI 337).

Cf. Joseph Braun, Der christliche Altar, Munchen, 1924,1 411, 417. A passage from the De exordiis of Walafrid Strabo (f 849) is worth quoting here: " Verissima enim relatione didicimus ... in ecclesia quoque beati Petri. principis apostolorum, altaria non tantum ad orientem sed et in alias partes esse distributa. Haec cum secundum voluntatem vel necessitatem fuerint ita disposita, improbare non audemus. Sed tamen usus frequentior, secundum quod et supra memoravimus, et rationi vicinior habet: in orientem orantes converti et pluralitatem maximam eccle-siarum eo tenore constitui" (IV, ed. Al. Knoepfler, p. 12). From a passage of Ciconiolanus' Directorium divinorum officiorum (Romae, 1539, fol. 81-82), edited by J.Wickham Legg (Tracts on the Mass, p. 202), one may deduce the disappearance of any kind of orientation, whether of the altar or celebrant, in Rome at the end of the sixteenth century.

Many churches were oriented according to the direction in which the sun rises on the festival of the patron saint; this is why, for instance, the churches of St John the Baptist face very nearly North-East. See Sir J. Norman Lockyer's Dawn of Astronomy, as quoted by Nissen, op. cit., Ill 426, and Henrik Rengvist, Om medetidskyrkornas orientering (Nya
Argus, 1922, pp. 167-168).

Ordo qualiter(P.h., LXVI 937, 940); Albert Werminghoff, Tagesordnung einer Nonne aus einer Handschrift in Montpellier (Neues Archiv, XXVII, 1902, pp. 658, 661, 663).

Regularis concordia (P.L., CXXXVII 482); Der liber ordinarius des Liltticher St Jakobs Klosters 3, ed. P. Volk (Beitrdge zur Geschichte des alten Monchtums und des benediktiner Ordens, X, Miinster i. W., 1923, p. 6).

Decreta Lanfranci, 12 (P.L., CL, 494-495); Coutumes deS Be'nigne de Dijon, 53, ed. L. Chomton, Histoire de I'lSglise de Saint-Benigne de Dijon, Dijon, 1900, p. 394). On the minutio sanguinis in monasteries, see my paper, La Pratique de la Phlebotomie dans les Clofores (Revue Mabillon, 14& ann6e, 1923, pp. 1-13).

Pratum spiritual, 131 (P.G., LXXXVII 2995-2996).

Vita Elizabeth de Erkenrode, 5, in Catalogus codicum hagiographicorum bibl. Regiae Bruxellensis, Brussels, 1886,1 i, 365.

See Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie, Paris, 1884, p. 539; J. Altona, Gebete und Anrufungen in den altfranzosischen Chansons de Geste (Ausgaben und Abhandlungen de Stengel, IX, Marburg, 1883, p. 37); C. J. Merk, Anschauungen iiber die Lehre und das Leben der Kirche ins altfranzosischen Heldenepos (Zeitschrift filr romanische Philologie, Beihefte 41, 1914, P- 191).

Sieur de Moleon, Voyages liturgiques, pp. 176, 468,


Ever Directed Towards the Lord:

The Love of God in the Liturgy of the Eucharist

Past, Present, and Hoped For

And the summary -

ideal to convince Catholic friends!

Many thanks

Hosts just keep getting larger


What are they trying to prove?

Reviving an Ancient Rite

An article from 1984!

The Liturgy and Language

Why Not Latin?