Happy Anniversary, Papa Francesco!

Viva il Papa! Ad Multos Annos!

Today is the fourth anniversary of the election of His Holiness Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God. Long may he reign.

Cantate Domino: Musicam Sacram, 50 years later

So yesterday, I had the pleasure of singing at my Diocese’s Rite of Election, where we welcomed all of the Diocese’s candidates as neophytes preparing for full reception into the Catholic Church. I love singing when I can, and this was one of the opportunities to do so.

However, I did not expect to be in a Gothic style Cathedral with drum set, guitar, and electric bass. I understand that half of the catechumens were of Hispanic origin and some did not understand English, but that does not mean we should use unsuitable music. The whole event felt more anthropocentric and not theocentric.

I will admit that I walked away somewhat perturbed. I mean, just a couple days before, I chanted my first Ash Wednesday in the Extraordinary Form and it was a great way to start Lent.

As some of you may know from previous blog posts, I am a lover of Tradition, especially in sacred music. I’m all for making Gregorian Chant and Polyphony great again.

It was especially fitting when I got home to my computer and immediately discovered that it was 50th Anniversary of Musicam Sacram, the Instruction of Music in Liturgy.

Musicam Sacram (Second Vatican Council,  05 March 1967) stated the following:

  • Gregorian chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place, other things being equal. Its melodies, contained in the “typical” editions, should be used, to the extent that this is possible.
  • In order to preserve the heritage of sacred music and genuinely promote the new forms of sacred singing, “great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of study of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutes and schools,” especially in those higher institutes intended specially for this. Above all, the study and practice of Gregorian chant is to be promoted, because, with its special characteristics, it is a basis of great importance for the development of sacred music.

I then stumbled upon a statement signed by over 200 clergy, musicians, and others, regarding the state of Sacred Music today.

Some highlights:

  • There has been a loss of understanding of the “musical shape of the liturgy,” that is, that music is an inherent part of the very essence of liturgy as public, formal, solemn worship of God.
  • It is an exhibition of the vice of “liturgical sloth” to refuse to sing the liturgy, to use “utility music” rather than sacred music, to refuse to educate oneself or others about the Church’s tradition and wishes, and to put little or no effort and resources into the building up of a sacred music program.
  • The secularism of popular musical styles has contributed to a desacralization of the liturgy, while the secularism of profit-based commercialism has reinforced the imposition of mediocre collections of music upon parishes.
  • If children are to appreciate the beauty of music and art, if they are to understand the importance of the liturgy as fons et culmen of the life of the Church, we must have a strong laity who will follow the Magisterium.
  • Higher standards for musical repertoire and skill should be insisted on for cathedrals and basilicas.

It is a really short document at only 5 pages, and I urge you to read it and perhaps tell me what you think about it

Here is the link: http://www.altaredei.com/?page_id=20

“Among the musical expressions that correspond best with the qualities demanded by the notion of sacred music, especially liturgical music, Gregorian chant has a special place. The Second Vatican Council recognized that “being specially suited to the Roman Liturgy”it should be given, other things being equal, pride of place in liturgical services sung in Latin. St Pius X pointed out that the Church had “inherited it from the Fathers of the Church”, that she has “jealously guarded [it] for centuries in her liturgical codices” and still “proposes it to the faithful” as her own, considering it “the supreme model of sacred music”. Thus, Gregorian chant continues also today to be an element of unity in the Roman Liturgy.” ~Pope St. John Paul II



Lent 2017

Dear readers, I am back for another season of Lent.

May your endeavors in fasting, prayer, and almsgiving be more fruitful than before and may we all grow in holiness together.

If the current disciplines for Lent seem too easy for you, try out the 1962 discipline:

Discipline of 1962 for Fast during Lent

1. Every Day of Lent (except each Sunday and First Class Feast) is a day of fast.

2. Complete Abstinence and Fast are observed on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent and Holy Saturday morning – Complete abstinence means no meat or soup or gravy made from meat. Fast means one full meal and two small meals. The two small meals added together should not equal the amount of the main meal. Fast also includes no eating between meals, but liquids, including milk and juice are allowed.

3. Partial Abstinence and Fast are observed on all other days not mentioned above – Partial Abstinence means that you can eat meat at the principal meal only. The two small meals are meatless. Fast is the same as above including not eating between meals.

4. Beer and wine are allowed, but no hard alcohol.

5. Days of fast apply to those over 21 and under 59.

6. Laws of fasting and abstinence are not binding on those with medical conditions or those whose ability to work would be impaired.

7. Fasting and abstinence are not observed on Sundays and First Class Feasts. The Class I feasts in Lent 2010 are Saint Joseph day, March 19 and Annunciation, March 25.

8. These rules no longer bind under pain of sin, unless one, after deep reflection, binds oneself in a promise to God. This should not be taken lightly.

Modern Discipline – Code of Canon Law 1983

Fasting and complete abstinence are limited to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Complete abstinence (no meat, or soup or gravy made from meat) is obligatory for all Fridays of Lent. All over 14 must abstain. Fasting is obligatory between the ages of 18 and 59. These bare minimum rules are binding under pain of sin.

Tu es Petrus! Happy Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

So I’m one day late on this, but I figured it was more appropriate to post this on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Yesterday was the 65th Anniversary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Ordination to the Priesthood. Ad Multos Annos!

“Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam. Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum.” ~Matthew 16:18-19

“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” 

Cardinal Tagle’s Response to Filipino Politics

To be prayed at every Mass in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Oratio Imperata for Government Officials

The Apostle Paul urges us that prayers and supplications be offered for all peoples who are in positions of authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.

Let us say together: Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

Jesus said: “If I, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash another’s feet” (Jn 13:14). Pope Francis said, “Politics is one of the highest forms of charity”. Bless our leaders with true love for the poor and godly humility.

Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

St. Paul taught us that “love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in truth” (1 Cor 13:6). Pope Benedict XVI said, “Without truth, love can become an empty shell”. Bless our leaders with a passion for truth that liberates and integrity that inspires.

Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35). Pope Francis taught is that “The lack of brotherhood is the root cause of poverty”. Bless our leaders with sincere generosity and courageous simplicity of lifestyle.

Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant” (Mt 20:25-27). Pope Francis said, “A life of entitlement is the breeding ground of social corruption”. Bless our leaders with the spirit of heroic sacrifice and unyielding fortitude.

Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

Jesus said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Saint John Paul II said, “Every person is called to share in the very life of God”. Bless our leaders with true reverence for human life and unyielding opposition to the culture of death.

Loving God, bless and protect the Philippines.

Let us pray: Loving God, look with favor on those who rule with authority over us. Through your loving hands, may prosperity and progress be achieved, may peace and harmony be assured, may freedom and justice be preserved and may this nation be healed and protected from harm through Christ, your Son who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Pedro Calungsod, and all Holy Filipinos, Pray for us.