A Few Thoughts on December 8 Being a Holiday in the Philippines

by Derrick Celso

Our Mass for December 8 last year.

Personally I hope that that students of various hitherto nominally Catholic schools may still be obliged (forced, actually, as there is no other way to describe it) to attend school to hear Holy Mass and be present in related activities on that day.

Supposed Catholic school students have too many excuses to forego Mass on that day to pursue their excursions that they simply consider more worthwhile rather than sit for a 30 minutes to an hour and thirty minutes Mass, which appears dry and meaningless to them as they are treated to a spectacle that they could not understand because they were not taught so well in a religion that they are supposed to believe and have faith in.

But beyond being taught like magpies, they perhaps never saw anyone in their lives who live up to the Faith that they are supposedly to be professing. What they see are women who after praying their rosary are accustomed to gossip, or gospellers who after preaching would preach all the way to the bank carrying their followers’ donations to their causes, which they in turn use for dubious purposes.

If most of the nominally Catholic youth, and the other Catholics, both laity and clergy, would carry on with this attitude, then the Church in the Philippines would go nowhere. The Gospel promised that the gates of hell will not prevail over the Church, it did not promised that the gates of hell will not prevail and then specify in countries where would it not prevail.

Truly there are exceptions, but they are exceptions and hardly the majority.

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Coincidence…

One of our blog admins were perusing old Facebook photos when he stumbled upon some photographs showing the much revered and beloved, the late Msgr. Moises Andrade celebrating the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Crysostom inside the Abbey of Montserrat in Mendiola, Manila.

It seems that it was held at the chapel at the back of the high altar of the abbey, which coincidentally was also the site of the first Traditional Latin Mass held there after 25 years or so, and is offered by our chaplain as his private Mass in thanksgiving on the occasion of his sacerdotal ordination.

The admin found out that it was the same venue when he spotted that the stained glass window of the first set of photographs was similar to the same window that he photographed last September 11, when the private Traditional Latin Mass was held.

Speaking of Msgr. Andrade, he was one of the leading lights of traditional Catholicism in the Philippines during its early days. He is surely an inspiration then as now. May he rest in peace.

Photos of Msgr. Andrade © Mr. Dennis Raymond Maturan

Photos of Dom Gerard’s Low Mass courtesy of the Chairman of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist

Some Curious Finds…

by Derrick Celso

I was perusing our altar Missal last time, and I found a few curiosities that could be of interest to the reader. For this, we will be using the electronic edition of our altar Missal.

I. Introduction

The title page seems normal. Indeed, it is a standard opening page for a Missal (especially of this calibre), but the highlighted portion is quite a surprise; it is a Vatican Reprint, made in the year 2004. Of all the editions that the Vatican would reprint, it is this one. But that is not the only thing that is unusual in this edition.

Turning to the Tabella Temporaria, one is faced with an updated table of important movable dates. The Vatican Polyglot Press, instead of merely providing a facsimile of this Missal, actually provided a very useful table of feasts, which rendered this Missal not only for study reasons, but also for actual usage.

Whoever must be in the Vatican Polyglot Press is aspiring (conspiring?) for this Missal to be used in wider circulation, but considering recent events in the traditionalist world, this Missal is probably going to be used for Holy Week and some certain feasts, and not for the rest of the liturgical year, save in more daring groups.

II. The Feast of Saint Pius X

Another curious thing that I have seen is that the Feast of Saint Pius X is included and differs slightly from the 1962 Missal. Looking at the Sanctoral cycle, one could not find the proper feast to Saint Pius X, however. There is a separate section listing feasts pro aliquibus locis where his feast propers are found.

What is expected in this Mass is that there is a rubric stipulating that this feast is of the Double rank. Good enough, perhaps, because of the cult of S. Pius X that was growing at the time of his canonization up until 1969 or thereabouts. The Double rank has been always reserved for important, or at least famous enough saints whose cults are widespread. But, what is unusual about here is that it gives a Third Class Octave to those within the Society of Saint Pius X.

I will not speculate further on this case, but suffice to say that considering the Society’s canonical irregularity, this comes off as something unexpected. Indeed, I did not even noticed this until quite recently.

Turning to the psalm verse of the Introit, one finds that there is a difference between this, and the psalm verse as found in the 1962 Missal:

Whereas the former utilized the Gallican psalter of Saint Jerome, the latter utilized the Bea Psalter, issued in 1945 ad libitum. It is theCiceronian rendering of the Christian psalter, perhaps the logical conclusion to the classicizing tendency prevalent since Pope Urban VIII drastically reformed the hymns of the Breviary.

III. Conclusion (so far)

This Missal does not only seek to recreate what is in the past, with all its faults included, which in this case would be the 1945 Psalter, but it strives to improve upon it, while preserving a good vestige of Tradition, that would later be abolished in later editions of the Missal after 1952, such as the 1956, 1958, and the 1962 editions.

Come to think of it, the Missals from 1956 up until 1962 retained the externals of Tradition, unlike what came later, but nevertheless, the 1956 edition set the motion for further reforms, of which 1962 is merely one of the stepping stones.

This post only pertains to the private opinion of the individual who wrote it, and is not to be taken as the official position of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist nor of Saint Andrew’s School nor any of its associates. 

The Rite of Econe

by Derrick Celso

I had the privilege to read a certain blog post regarding the SSPX, who was rumoured to have been preparing to say the so-called “hybrid Mass” that some are alleging to take effect under the current pontificate.

But the SSPX already has a hybrid Mass of sorts. It is a hybrid of 1962, 1965, and pre-1955. Some SSPX Masses, as I have observed, has the 1962 Missal on the altar, but have bows to the cross instead of bowing to the book (pre-1955), a single collect (1962), a lector reading the Epistle in the vernacular while the priest reads them in Latin silently (1958 concession by Pope Pius XII), incensation of the priest after the Gospel (pre-1955), Confiteor before Communion (pre-1955), Pontifical Sung Masses (1964, Inter Œcumenici, albeit missionary bishops were said to have been granted a privilege of such a form of Sung Mass before). Veiled processional cross (pre-1955) in Palm Sunday procession in red vestments (1956, 1962), with the Gloria Laus ritual at the doors of the church (pre-1955).In the early days of the SSPX, they used the 1967 rubrics for the 1965 Missal and three altar Missals were used, one for the altar, another at the lectern for the vernacular readings, and another at the sedilia for the Collect. Granted, of course, that the SSPX in its early days are not exactly uniform in its adherence to an editio typica of the Missal, with the German, American, and the British branches preferring pre-1955, the French preferring the 1962 Missal (with some pre-1955 customs), while others preferring 1965 and 1967. To their own credit, they were attempting to use whatever edition of the Tridentine Rite that they deem to be traditional, hence the disparity of custom which later evolved into the present practice, which some chaps deigned it to call as the “Rite of Econe”, which later extended to Diocesan TLMs and some groups such as the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

(Note, however, that I am personally not against the Society of Saint Pius X, which I have respected every since I became a traditionalist. What I am against is the historical revisionism that some of their adherents have employed in saying that the SSPX has always followed the 1962 books, which is a ludicrous assertion.)

This post only pertains to the private opinion of the individual who wrote it, and is not to be taken as the official position of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist nor of Saint Andrew’s School nor any of its associates. 

Traditional Mass for the Nativity of Our Lady and the First Anniversary of the Hermandad

For our activities this September 8, we shall have Confession 30 minutes before the Mass itself, followed by the Mass at 4.30 PM, then afterwards Vespers in honour of Our Lady would be sung.

Please bring some loose change, or any amount of your choosing for our collection at the Offertory. The collection would go to our projects in acquiring sacred vestments, vessels and other furnishings for our exclusive use. The money that you will give will help us in this project of ours.

We would also encourage everyone in the pews to join in the singing of the Ordinary of the Mass, as St. Pius X’s Tra Le Sollicitudini envisions for the lay faithful. Remember St. Augustine’s adage, bene cantat, bis orat (he who sings well, prays twice). Singing the Ordinary and the responses is a good way of fruitfully participating in the Mass. As Saint Pius X says, we should sing the Mass, not sing at Mass.

Consuetudines I

by Derrick Celso

For some time now the Hermandad has developed a set of semi-formal customs, in which in this series of posts I would compile for the sake of formalizing it in order to solidify our liturgical praxis. For this post, I would like to tackle the subject of the altar arrangement.

In this post as well as the succeeding ones, the rite of Mass and Divine Office assumed is that of the Old Missal.

This series of posts will not include those that are already explicitly instructed in the Rubricæ Generalis, although it may make reference to it from time to time.

I. Regarding the altar ornaments:

There shall be on the altar:

– A crucifix should be placed on the center of the altar. If the altar is fixed to the wall, it should be placed on the top gradine or suspended from the ceiling by chains or affixed to the wall. It is not recommended for a crucifix to be placed on top of the tabernacle unless extremely needed. The crucifix should be plainly seen by all. If in any case a larger crucifix in the reredos, or a painting of the crucifixion is present, then a crucifix would no longer be required. Unless the priest be too scrupulous, then at least a small crucifix should be placed, out of plain sight of the people. In the absence of the gradines, the crucifix is placed on the mensa or on the other placed indicated above. The crucifix should remain on the altar and be veiled in violet (white on Holy Thursday) from Passiontide until Good Friday (optionally, black could be used in lieu of violet in veiling the crucifix.).

– Candlesticks, of which 2 would be sufficient in situ, although the usual six may be placed if the chaplain wishes. The candlesticks could be placed on the gradines, or on the mensa.

– Besides the usual altar cloths, there shall be an antependium of the proper liturgical colour. An altar should be vested with the antependium at all times except from the Stripping of the Altars up until Good Friday.

– The altar cards which should be placed lying upon the gradine. The center card should not block the tabernacle unless it is extremely needed. The altar cards should also be appropriate for the size of the altar, and the text clear enough for the priest to read.

– If the tabernacle contains the Sanctissimum, it should be covered with a tabernacle veil of the proper colour of the day except black.

Optionally, there could be vases provided for flowers or greens, to be placed on the gradines on the appropriate occasion. According to mediaeval custom, earthenware vases could be placed near the altar instead of at the gradine. Placing the vases on the mensa is tolerated.

Optionally, reliquaries could be placed on the gradines or on the mensa (in the absence of the gradines) on the appropriate feast days. According to custom, if such would be the case then two votive candles be allowed to burn before each reliquary. Care must be taken that the candles do not risk burning the altar cards or the other ornaments of the altar. If such would be the case, then it would be prudent for the candles be placed on another appropriate place. The reliquaries should be kept in a secret place after Mass unless it is publicly exposed for veneration, in which case a priest or the sacristan keep watch over it.

Optionally, statues of saints should be placed on the gradines or on the mensa. It should be well-proportioned to the altar and should not be distracting or offensive to piety.

II. Regarding the candlesticks

– There are, at most, six candlesticks with candles to remain in situ at the altar when not in use. Two is sufficient.

– Two standing candlesticks with candles may flank the altar during solemnities, or otherwise remain in place when not used.

– A Sanctus candle should be lit during the Sanctus up until the ablutions during Low Mass. Besides the Sanctus candle, the server is to hold an elevation candle. This candle could be omitted if the bell could not be rung by the server while holding the edges of the chasuble.

6 candlesticks are to be used during:

– Sundays and high solemnities, regardless of whether the Mass is sung or said.

– during all Sung Masses, unless the Mass is of a ferial weekday.

– during the singing of Vespers

4 candlesticks are to be used:

– during Sung Masses of the ferial weekday.

In addition, two standing candlesticks are to flank either sides of the altar, to be lit on highest solemnities.

Optionally, there were to be four riddel posts at each side of the altar, surmounted by a candleholder and whose candles shall be lit on high feast days.

III. Regarding the Credence Table

The credence table shall resemble a secondary altar. In that view, the credence should have the acolytes’ processional candlesticks, and the processional cross be placed in the middle. The stand for these should therefore be placed in such a way that is convenient for the acolytes to get their candles at the proper time and at the same time be aesthetically-pleasing. The tablecloth should, if possible, resemble an altar cloth. Otherwise it should be at least appropriate for the credence table.

Upon the credence are placed the lavabo, the ewer, the cruets, the towels and the epistolary and the gospel-book, if applicable. The built-up chalice with the subdeacon’s humeral veil and the burse is also placed here, according to the rubrics (if applicable).

Care must be taken that these things are arranged properly and without a hint for hapahazardness.

To be continued…

Chasuble-albs and Cassock-albs (Part 3)

by Derrick Celso

The other posts in this series concern itself with the theoretical aspects of reusing the chasuble-alb and the cassock-alb for traditional worship. Today, I am to present one example as to how a chasuble-alb has been modified from a vestment of dubious origin to what it is supposed to be—a true chasuble made for genuine Catholic worship.

The pictures shown below is an example of a former chasuble-alb converted to a chasuble, with orphreys that are in the French style. The French style is the opposite of the Roman, whereas in the Roman style the cross is made at the front (the tau cross), the French puts the cross—the Latin Cross—behind the chasuble. The orphrey at the front in the Roman style is a simple column, the opposite being true in the French style.

This is a Marian vestment, and whose fabric for the orphrey is a cerulean blue satin fabric with textures, a leftover from our cerulean blue Low Mass set fabric from last year.

I am going to have this chasuble be improved further; the orphrey cross at the back being a bit shorter than what is planned.

This Traditional Latin Mass was offered by our chaplain last August 10, 2017 for the Feast of Our Lady of Good Success of Parañaque City.

The image during the novenario to the Buen Suceso.

This post only pertains to the private opinion of the individual who wrote it, and is not to be taken as the official position of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist nor of Saint Andrew’s School nor any of its associates. 

Sung Mass Under Dire Circumstances

by Derrick Celso

One of the missions of the Confraternity is the promotion of the sung Mass in the Old Rite as much as possible, as opposed to the usual affair of the Low Mass with hymns or a silent Low Mass. the sung Mass, I dare say, is almost a sine qua non. I personally believe that the Low Mass is always meant for the priest’s private Masses for the sake of his benefactors and spiritual growth, and should not be done as public liturgy unless nobody showed up to sing the Ordinary and the Propers, the latter of which could be sung recto tono by any gentleman that could hold a note and read Latin more or less acceptably. It is this dedication to the sung Mass, whether it be with ministers (deacon and subdeacon—alack we could not do Solemn Mass just yet) or without (the Missa Cantata, either with or without the use of incense) that urges me to be on the choir stalls and around the lectern placed in medio chori, as in mediaeval times. Our praxis is admittedly different from other TLM communities in the Philippines, a mix of monastic and parochial practices, and a mix-match of Spanish and English influences with a smattering of French.

The Mass that we had last August 15 is a very different animal from the rest. It is a Missa Cantata without incense and with only one server. I relinquished my place from the lectern and served, while happily Mr. Noah Y. Acha, a good friend of the Confraternity chanted the Mass, both the Ordinary and the Proper of the Mass.

We took the trouble of having a Sung Mass, for we believe that it is meet and just, truly right that we on the day of Our Lady’s solemnity we should not have a recited Mass as opposed to a sung Mass. As Saint Augustine says, bene cantat, bis orat. We have taken his adage to mean also that the sung Mass, indeed the sung Liturgy, is better over mere recited Masses. The Liturgy is the highest prayer that man can offer to God. Having it sung therefore is good and just, as we are offering God that which is twice done.

God has blessed our group with good, even if few, friends and supporters, and loyal members. While admittedly the vast majority of our true members are absent for this Mass due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, nevertheless they are absolutely honest and truthful members with little personal agenda except with what is our mission statement— to worship God through the Sacred Liturgy as expressed in the traditional rites of the Church. Nihil operi Dei præponatur.

This post only pertains to the private opinion of the individual who wrote it, and is not to be taken as the official position of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist nor of Saint Andrew’s School nor any of its associates. 

Some Thoughts on the Pope’s “Irreversibility of the Liturgical Reform”

by Derrick Celso

The Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals. The liturgical reform is a matter of discipline*, not dogma. Therefore, he cannot say that the irreversibility of the liturgical reform as an ex-cathedra statement, as is implied by his statement that the liturgical reform is irreversible and that is his magisterial statement.

*An evidence for this is the fact that the liturgy of the Roman Rite as it stands is currently divided into the so-called “Extraordinary” and “Ordinary” forms. If the liturgical reform is a matter of dogma, then it follows that the older rite should has been abolished—or even be verboten from the beginning, as the recent rite has superseded it in common usage, We can say that it is not the case.

The only dogmatic truth that we have to accept about the liturgical reform is that the Novus Ordo is a valid rite. Technically, the faithful can question if it is necessary or even if it has been prudent for Pope Paul VI to promulgate the new rite but we cannot question its validity. Obviously it is licit, after all, a legitimate Pope promulgated it.

Perhaps, from a practical point of view, the liturgical reform IS irreversible. But not so in a dogmatic point of view. Any good Catholic worth his salt knows the limits where the Pope is infallible or not.

Besides, it seems to me that he is assuming that the New Rite is a direct reform from the older liturgy. It seems to be not the case.

This is one of many reasons as to why I am not an ultramontanist. Obeying the pope in ex cathedra statements, oui. But following his every whim and word that is non-fallible as if it were candy and I were some tot, non. What he does and says which does not concern the Universal Church should remain where he is and where it is usually spoken—in Rome.

Meme from the Ora pro vita Facebook page

This post only pertains to the private opinion of the individual who wrote it, and is not to be taken as the official position of the Confraternity of the Holy Eucharist nor of Saint Andrew’s School nor any of its associates. 

A Society in Shambles

by Marc Patric M. Diokno

“Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” (Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust you shall return.) How great man is in the modern world! His God is himself, his virtue is immorality, his saints are famed personalities, his Scripture is the media. His ego towers ever skyward; his sins are a monument to his arrogance, calling to heaven for vengeance.

Let us be brave enough to admit that our society is on the verge of dying. We champion liberty, fraternity and equality, but we have no sense of morality. We style ourselves advocates of mercy and compassion, but in reality, we only use the mercy and compassion of Our Lord as an excuse to turn a blind eye to all that is wrong in the world and all that is wrong with ourselves. We clamor for democracy, but beneath the great tumultuous roar of the crowd is the selfish pride of the individual who seeks only his own good. We kneel before the poor in a display of humility, but our incapacity to kneel before God or to ask for forgiveness only seeks to prove our hypocrisy.

These are the fruits of our modern age: our “progressive” thinking has led countless families to ruin. Our pleasure-seeking, hedonistic ways have led to our own destruction, even if we do not have the stomach to admit it. Our society is enveloped by the ravaging cancer of hypocrisy within many contexts, but most especially within the family. Is not the family the reflection of society? No wonder our society is in shambles: the elders come to church every day, only to come home later and gossip with neighbors, to needlessly berate the young ones in their care, to complain about everything without even giving half a heart to actually do something to change it. The young who go to school come home and learn all these unhealthy habits from their elders; they get the impression of a loose sense of morals and principles, their self-esteem is destroyed, and of course, they are bound to repeat what their elders are doing. If this is how we educate the youth at home, what hope can there be for the future?

The family is no small thing. Each parent must take great pains to raise their child, no matter how difficult. With each child that comes out of the household, the future is formed. A good example is the infamous Adolf Hitler. He is forever remembered as one of history’s worst villains, yet he himself was a victim, a tormented soul who suffered much pains in his childhood from his father. It is as if we never learn from history.

It cannot be denied that this is the prevalent situation today. When we think of the average family, the first things to come to mind would be adulterous fathers, abused mothers, and wayward sons and daughters who are left to play in the streets. Yet, the Church, in her teachings and wisdom offers us hope. In fact, Holy Mother Church calls each one of us to conversion and amendment of life each day, whether rich or poor, healthy or infirm, young or old. With our simple effort in changing ourselves, even with something as simple as going to Confession, we take the first step towards a better future. Let us walk together with the Church and through Her Sacraments, learn to be humble, for the sake of a happier home and a better nation.

Let us not forget, most of all, that the Sacrament of Matrimony is the cornerstone of every family, and thus it is the force which gives us harmony in our nation. As the wise Cardinal Raymond Burke says: “There is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and woman in marriage.”

*Photo from the Facebook page of Ora pro Vita