Learning to say mass

One thing about Traditional Anglican Churches is the insistence on using the 1928 Prayer Book. Or not. In fact, in many parishes, the Anglican (or American) Missal is used at the altar. Regardless of whether the prayer book liturgy is used or some degree of the missal, one’s approach to how one celebrates is incredibly important. In other words, one’s ars celebrandi. There’s an old saying that goes something like: “If the priest is holy, the people will be good. If the priest is good, the people will be ok. If the Priest is ok, then…” You get the picture. This applies to the liturgy too. If the priest approaches the liturgy haphazardly, then those in his charge can hardly be expected to appreciate the liturgy for what it is, the gathering of the People of God to both be the church and make the church, having moved from chronos time into kairos time, from the secular into the holy, to offer God his own of his own.”

Too often, priests are handed a missal and told to say mass. They are not trained. If we expect the priest to know and understand and practice the piety of the traditional western rite, at least to some degree, then we need to teach them how to do that. It used to be that one was taught in seminary. That is a reasonable expectation. However, so many of our priests (and this applies to ACNA readers too) do not go to Anglican seminaries. How can we expect our priests to learn the ceremony of the traditional western rite if they are not taught?

One thinks of resources such as Ritual Notes. Assuming that one selects a specific edition, that is a potential source of much knowledge and skill. However, one notes that modern technology can enable resources such as this video for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite:

Now, I’m not saying that an Anglican needs to celebrate according to the form in the video above. What I am saying is that perhaps we could use a resource in the same format at the above. I think such a project could be done, perhaps even well, if it was approached properly.

What do you think? Is anyone interested?

Meditations on the Mass: The Prayer of Humble Access

The second of three parts in my series of meditations on the text of the mass is up at the The Living Church’s Covenant Blog.  Check it out here. 

We are not given crumbs. We are given a full meal. And not just any meal. We come for the foretaste of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation. Here, at the Lord’s table, we receive our Lord, truly and really, under the forms of bread and wine. We partake in Jesus’ life and death and resurrection.

The Feast of St. Joseph


In the ordo calendar used by my diocese, that of the Anglican Catholic Church, (which may be purchases here) today is the Feast of St. Joseph (transferred from Sunday the 19th, as that was a Lenten Sunday). As a father myself, I have a certain devotion and fondness for St. Joseph. I thought I would share the homily from St. Bernard that the Anglican Breviary appoints for the second Nocturn of Matins.

Who and what manner of man this blessed Joseph was, we may conjecture from that title which the providential ordering of God bestowed upon him. He was chosen to this honor of being called, and of being supposed to be, the father of God. What he was we may also conjecture from the very name Joseph, which is by interpretation Increase. Wherefore let us liken him to that great man after whom he was named, the Patriarch Joseph. This latter sojourned in Egypt, even as he did. From this latter he to only inherited a name, but an example of chastity which he more than equalled, so that he was like unto the Patriarch Joseph in grace and innocence.

If the Patriarch Joseph (sold by his brethren through envy, and forced into servitude in Egypt) was a type of Christ sold by his brethren and handed over to the Gentiles, the other Joseph, (forced through the envy of Herod to flee into Egypt) did in actual fact bring Christ amongst the Egyptian Gentiles. The first Joseph (keeping faith with his lord) would not carnally know his lord’s lady. The second Joseph (spiritually knowing the Lady who was the Mother of his Lord to be virgin) kept faithfully virgin toward her. To the first Joseph was given to know dark things in the interpretation of dreams. To the second Joseph was given in sleep to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

The first Joseph laid by bread, no for himself only, but for all the people. The second Joseph received into is keeping the Living Bread which came down from heaven, and he kept the same, not for himself only, but for all the world. Without doubt, good and faithful was this Joseph who exposed the Mother of the Saviour. Yeah, I say unto you, he is that faithful and wise servant whom the Lord hath made ruler over his Household. For the Lord appointed him to be the comfort of his Mother, the keeper of his own body, and, in a word, the chief and most trusty helper on earth in carrying out the eternal counsels.

St. Joseph, pray for us. Pray for all fathers, stepfathers, foster fathers, adopted fathers, and all those who care for and love children.


Josquin des Prez

I am by no means a musical expert, or really even an aficionado. However, I have certain trends and certain things that I like. For instance, I am very much a fan of plainsong. So, I greatly prefer Now My Tongue The Mystery Telling to the tune Pange Lingua (#199 in the 1940 hymnal and #329 in the 1982 Hymnal) to the tune St. Thomas (#199, second tune). I prefer all of them to the tune Grafton (#331, 1982 Hymnal).

I have found that one composer I very much like is Josquin des Prez. He is a French Renaissance composer, and though not as well known as Bach, Beethoven, Palestrina, or de Vittoria, he was quite prolific. The first mass of his that came across my eye was the Missa de Pange Lingua, which I think caught my attention because of the name.

You can get this from Amazon if you would like your own copy.

The second mass of his I listened to was the Missa Hercules Dux Ferrari. I very much like the richness and fullness of the sound in this composition.

There are several others. I hope to have time to listen to them soon.

The Oxford Comma

See this article, on the importance of the “Oxford Comma” in a legal battle involving a dairy and its workers in Maine.

A Maine court ruling in a case about overtime pay and dairy delivery didn’t come down to trucks, milk, or money. Instead, it hinged on one missing comma.


If lawmakers had used a serial comma, it would have been clear that distribution was an overtime-exempt activity on its own. But without the comma, wrote US appeals judge David J. Barron, the law is ambiguous as to whether distribution is a separate activity, or whether the whole last clause—”packing for shipment or distribution”—is one activity, meaning only the people who pack the dairy products are exempt. The drivers do distribute, but do not pack, the perishable food.

I’m very much a fan of the “Oxford Comma.” Why? Well, it just makes sense (to me; I realize others will disagree) and helps to be more specific and intentional with one’s writing. Now, I was also one of the weirdos in school who enjoyed sentence diagramming, and I enjoyed showing my son how to diagram sentences, which we did in both English and Latin. I suppose I’m a grammar and mechanics nut.

Regardless of the memes going around about Hitler and Stalin and the “Oxford Comma,”I know some people will think this is all to do about nothing. But at the same time, the difference between homoousios and homoiousios is quite literally universe shaking. So, I think it pays to be careful with writing.

Quid est?

I’ve been pondering what exactly to do with this blog. I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve had lots going on. And given that I am a millennial, I am both concerned with privacy and also live my life online. What a dichotomy.

There are a number of bloggers and Youtubers that I regularly follow. It’s a good way for interacting with the modern world, and with engaging with others, particularly those with whom you are not necessarily in close geographic proximity. But what do I want to be?

Probably, what I’ll end up doing is something similar Fr. Zuhlsdorf, though I won’t try to copy him per se, because he’s doing his own thing. Not to mention that he and I have different opinions on some things.

So, we shall see.


PS. I have some things up my sleeve that I haven’t revealed yet. They’ll be coming.