Sunday, December 16, 2012


  • Sung Mass and Breakfast with Santa, really our monthly coffee hour, this month especially for our many trad kids. I know the baby Jesus shouldn’t be in the manger-crib until Christmas Eve.
  • From Joshua:
    • Human rites. What Joshua calls conservative Confucian Catholicism. (For many years he lived in Korea, which he describes as the world’s most Confucian country.) Rituals bind us, in modern societies and prehistoric tribes alike. But can our loyalties stretch to all of humankind? Joshua: Of course not, as any conservative of any sort would answer, but that’s where the Catholic Church comes in. The tension between tribalism and this universal idea seems big in my corner of politics. An idea: reinforcing the Christian belief in the brotherhood of man (the left’s version of which is a ripoff that ‘loves humanity’ but hates people, and is really about power; totalitarian), and the compatibility of the church’s opinion on subsidiarity (small is beautiful: I think Schumacher was Catholic) with Burkean conservatism (not tyranny but traditional order: Mark in Spokane’s ordered liberty), is the classical liberal’s view of individual liberty based on the very simple ground rule, shared by Christianity of course, of the golden rule, the libertarian do-no-harm rule (defend yourself but don’t start fights). I think that covers both our rights and our duties. (Mark’s good criticism of some libertarianism, such as Randian narcissism and left-libertarianism’s hatred of all traditional order, is that it’s big on rights but not responsibilities.) With that universal rule, even with original sin, maybe we can all get along. (It won’t entirely happen but we can come close.)
    • Clyde Wilson explains American voters.
  • How the hyperdevout spent Sundays. We trads don’t think things never change; they just naturally change very slowly, as the church historically has worked and still should (organic development). (We know the apostles and church fathers didn’t do the Tridentine Mass! But some time in the patristic era, the Roman Rite text had become what trads know, Roman Canon and all. The Canon is something like the second or third oldest Eucharistic prayer still in use. Our ceremonial is medieval, what happened when, in 11th-century reforms, the Roman Rite took things from the more ceremonial Gallican Rite, which in turn was Eastern-influenced.) As I understand it, the pious in the 1800s would receive Communion either at the early Low Mass or when the priest in cassock, cotta and stole would get a ciborium from the tabernacle and give Communion apart from Mass; our Sung or High Mass would have been non-communicating for the laity (something I’ve seen only twice). (Why you would see, and rarely still do, services listed as ‘Mass & Holy Communion’. Saw that once in the bulletin of an outwardly still old-school Anglo-Catholic parish in England.) The pious would stay or come back to church for that Mass to hear a sermon. They’d come back that afternoon or evening for Vespers and Benediction (and another sermon?). Attendance at Sunday Vespers (Dixit Dominus Domino meo: sede ad dextris meis) was taken about as seriously as the Sunday Mass obligation then and now. I’ve been told you can blame modern entertainment, namely radio, for their decline and that of Sunday-evening church everywhere else (except some black churches having revival services), and that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had a requirement for parishes to have Sunday Vespers, long lapsed and no longer enforced, on the books until about 10 years ago. True until the end of the world in the Sixties: priests (you had a whole crew of them; lots of kids and lots of vocations then) would hear confessions all Saturday afternoon and evening until around 10.
  • Five myths about worship in the early church.

1 comment:

  1. "The Canon is something like the second or third oldest Eucharistic prayer still in use."

    I would have thought one of the two oldest, etc., the other one being the "Assyrian's" Anaphora of SS Addai and Mari. Maybe one might add the Coptic "Anaphora of St. Cyril," which is the old Coptic Anaphora of St. Mark "farced out" some considerable bit, and which they now use only once a year. (Their other two anaphoras, the Anaphora of St. Basil [older and shorter than the Byzantine anaphora of that name] and the Anaphora of St. Gregory of Nazianzus [a great irony for them to have an anaphora of that name, given how Alexandrians and their patriarch were at daggers-drawn with St. Gregory in 379-81] are 4th-Century "Antiochene-style" anaphoras.)


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