Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Symbolic Purpose of Lifting the Rim of the Chasuble during the Elevations.

The question has been asked; Fr. Bob what is the purpose of the altar server lifting the edge of the priests Chasuble during the elevation of the sacrifice?

There are two clues to the symbolic meaning of this ceremony. One comes from the ordination Mass wherein the chasuble is said to signify charity. The second comes from the vesting prayer the priest recites when he puts on the chasuble before Mass wherein the chasuble is referred to as the "yoke of Christ".

In the ordination Mass, when the bishop bestows the chasuble upon the priest he says: "Receive the priestly vestment, which is signified by charity." The chasuble, therefore, is a symbol of charity.

At the moment of the elevations, all are called to adore the God-Man, really present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. As those assisting at Mass adore the Blessed Sacrament, a minister at the altar lifts the rim of the chasuble, symbolically signifying that from which all charity flows, namely the God Who dwells among us, Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

The next is with Altar boys performing the ceremony at low Mass. When putting on the chasuble before Mass the priest recites this vesting prayer: "O Lord, Who hast said, 'My yoke is sweet and My burden light,' grant that I may so carry it as to merit Thy grace. Amen." Thus, as well as being symbolic of charity, the chasuble is specifically referred to as the "yoke and burden of Christ" in the Church's rites. When the deacon lifts the rim of the chasuble at the elevations he symbolically signifies that the God-Man's "yoke is easy and His burden light" (Matt 11:30) specifically because He dwells among His people in the Eucharist.

These more important symbolic reasons for the ceremony can bear much meditative fruit for those assisting at Mass. For this reason, even though the rubrics do not call for the altar boy to perform the ceremony at low Masses, it is a good and upright custom for the faithful. Because of the rarity of solemn Masses today, if it were not for the custom of the altar boy imitating the ceremony at low Masses the faithful would needlessly be denied the ceremony and the symbolic significance attached to it

Thirdly concerning incense; our present Chapel is so small that the offering of the sacrifice with the additional use of incense in the Low Mass would quickly overwhelm the communicants and precipitate a mass exodus from the area. However, this being said, we attempt to observe as closely as possible the rubrics of the mass with good judgment.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A clarion call

A clarion call to all Christians and the Church to take a stand on three vital issues.


     A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable.

“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.” - MOTHER TERESA, NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, 1994

  Marriage is without exception the Union of one man and one woman.
  Marriage is the first institution of human society - indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.

“When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.” - LYNDON B. JOHNSON

   No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.

 “Religious freedom, an essential requirement of the dignity of every person, is a cornerstone of the structure of human rights, and for this reason, an irreplaceable factor in the good of individuals and of the whole of society as well as of the personal fulfillment of each individual.” -POPE JOHN PAUL II

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, as Christians we affirm:
  • 1. The profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human life
  • 2. Marriage as a union of one man and one woman
  • 3. Religious liberty and the inherent freedom of human beings
As Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Old Roman Catholics, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority. Because we honor justice and the common good, we will fully and ungrudging render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we ever render to Caesar what is God’s.

Monday, February 17, 2014


                            A Look at Septuagesima

Septuagesima is the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Lent known among the Greeks as "Sunday of the Prodigal" from the Gospel, Luke 15, which they read on this day, called also Dominica Circumdederunt by the Latins, from the first word of the Introit of the Mass. In the Tridentine Mass the Epistle comes from 1 Corinthians ix: 24-27; x: 1-5 and the Gospel is the Penny for labor in the vineyard parable found in St. Matthew xx: 1-16.

 In liturgical literature the name "Septuagesima" occurs for the first time in the Gelasian Sacramentary. Why the day (or the week, or the period) has the name Septuagesima, and the next Sunday Sexagesima, etc., is a matter of dispute among most writers. It is certainly not the seventieth day before Easter, still less is the next Sunday the sixtieth, fiftieth, etc. Amularius, "De eccl. Off.",

If one would make the Septuagesima mystically represent the Babylonian Captivity of seventy years, then it would have began with this Sunday on which the Sacramentaries and Antiphonaries give the Introit "Circumdederunt me undique" and end with the Saturday after Easter, when the Church sings "Eduxit Dominus populum suum." Perhaps the word is only one of a numerical series: Quadragesima, Quinquagesima, etc. Again, it may simply denote the earliest day on which some Christians began the forty days of Lent, excluding Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from the observance of the fast.

Septuagesima is today inaugurated in the Roman Martyrology by the words: "Septuagesima Sunday, on which the canticle of the Lord, Alleluja, ceases to be said". On the Saturday preceding, the Roman Breviary notes that after the "Benedicamus" of Vespers two Alleluias are to be added, that thenceforth it is to be omitted till Easter, and in its place "Laus tibi Domine" is to be said at the beginning of the Office. Formerly the farewell to the Alleluia was quite solemn. In an Antiphonary of the Church of St. Cornelius at Compiègne we find two special antiphons. Spain had a short Office consisting of a hymn, chapter, antiphon, and sequence. Missals in Germany up to the fifteenth century had a beautiful sequence. In French churches they sang the hymn "Alleluia, dulce carmen" (Guéranger, IV, 14) which was well-known among the Anglo-Saxons (Rock, IV, 69). The "Te Deum" is not recited at Matins, except on feasts. The lessons of the first Nocturn are taken from Genesis, relating the fall and subsequent misery of man and thus giving a fit preparation for the Lenten season. In the Mass of Sunday and ferias the Gloria in Excelsis is entirely omitted. In all Masses a Tract is added to the Gradual.