Ad Orientem – Facing together toward the Lord

Fr. John Jirak, pastor of the Church of the Magdalen, 12626 E. 21st St. N, Wichita, KS 67206:

Although the priest does not face geographical East when celebrating Mass ad orientem here at Blessed Sacrament, the priest and people worshipping together in the same direction still captures the intended symbolism of Christ’s second coming. It also assists us in elevating our hearts and minds to the One to whom we are offering the sacrifice, recalling the transcendence of God.

The Latin phrase lex orandi, lex credendi (the idea that the way we worship forms our belief) conveys the importance of properly expressed worship. First, when we offer the Mass, we are making present Christ’s own sacrifice, which He made to the Father on our behalf. Thus, the priest stands in place of Christ (in Persona Christi) as he offers the Mass to the Father.

The priest does not offer the Mass to the people, nor the people to the priest; rather, both priest and people together offer the sacrifice of Christ to the Father. When the priest and congregation physically orient themselves in the same direction, the reality of what is happening is more clearly expressed: the priest and congregation are not in dialogue but are together offering their prayers and Christ’s sacrifice to God the Father.

Read Fr Jirak’s full article here.

Pope Emeritus Benedict breaks silence on abuse crisis: full text

Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern. The Second Vatican Council was rightly focused on returning this sacrament of the Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ, of the Presence of His Person, of His Passion, Death and Resurrection, to the center of Christian life and the very existence of the Church. In part, this really has come about, and we should be most grateful to the Lord for it.

And yet a rather different attitude is prevalent. What predominates is not a new reverence for the presence of Christ’s death and resurrection, but a way of dealing with Him that destroys the greatness of the Mystery. The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence. The Eucharist is devalued into a mere ceremonial gesture when it is taken for granted that courtesy requires Him to be offered at family celebrations or on occasions such as weddings and funerals to all those invited for family reasons.

The way people often simply receive the Holy Sacrament in communion as a matter of course shows that many see communion as a purely ceremonial gesture. Therefore, when thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another Church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the Faith in the Reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament.

Read Benedict XVI’s full essay here.

St. Michael the Archangel Prayer in Gregorian Chant


Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.


GCN Chant Weekend

From The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales website:

An intensive chant course led by Dominic Bevan and Fr Guy Nichols. Singers will be coached to participate in the liturgies of the St Catherine’s Trust Family Retreat, which will be running alongside the Chant Course.

Discounts are available for groups coming from choirs and scholas affiliated to the Gregorian Chant Network.

See HERE for further details and to book.

5th April 2019 16:00 through 7th April 2019 14:30

Oratory School
Reading, RG8 0PJ
United Kingdom

Phone: 07913 481014

Pope Francis celebrates ad orientem

This morning, Pope Francis leading the way, ad orientem, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. He is the first Pontiff, since Pius IX to offer the Holy Sacrifice inside of the Holy House of Loreto.

Dominica III in Quadragesima – 24 Mar 2019

Hac dominica celebratur primum scrutinium præparatorium ad baptismum pro catechumenis, qui in Vigilia paschali ad sacramenta initiationis  christianæ admittentur, adhibitis orationibus et intercessionibus propriis.

Ant. ad introitum Ps 24, 15-16
Oculi mei semper ad Dóminum,
quia ipse evéllet de láqueo pedes meos.
Réspice in me et miserére mei,
quóniam únicus et pauper sum ego.

Vel: Cf. Ez 36, 23-26
Cum sanctificátus fúero in vobis,
congregábo vos de univérsis terris;
et effúndam super vos aquam mundam,
et mundabímini ab ómnibus inquinaméntis vestris,
et dabo vobis spíritum novum, dicit Dóminus.

Non dicitur Glória in excélsis.

Deus, ómnium misericordiárum et totíus bonitátis auctor,
qui peccatórum remédia in ieiúniis,
oratiónibus et eleemósynis demonstrásti,
hanc humilitátis nostræ confessiónem propítius intuére,
ut, qui inclinámur consciéntia nostra,
tua semper misericórdia sublevémur.
Per Dóminum.

Dicitur Credo.

Super oblata
His sacrifíciis, Dómine, concéde placátus,
ut, qui própriis orámus absólvi delíctis,
fratérna dimíttere studeámus.
Per Christum.

Quando non legitur Evangelium de Samaritana, adhibetur Præfatio I vel II de Quadragesima.

Ant. ad communionem Cf. Ps 83, 4-5
Passer invénit sibi domum,
et turtur nidum, ubi repónat pullos suos:
altária tua, Dómine virtútum, Rex meus, et Deus meus!
Beáti qui hábitant in domo tua,
in sǽculum sǽculi laudábunt te.

Post communionem
Suméntes pignus cæléstis arcáni,
et in terra pósiti iam supérno pane satiáti,
te, Dómine, súpplices deprecámur,
ut, quod in nobis mystério géritur, ópere impleátur.
Per Christum.

Oratio super populum
Rege, Dómine, quǽsumus, tuórum corda fidélium,
et servis tuis hanc grátiam largíre propítius,
ut in tui et próximi dilectióne manéntes
plenitúdinem mandatórum tuórum adímpleant.
Per Christum.

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Why receiving the Eucharist kneeling is always permissible

In the 2003 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the governing document for how to celebrate the so-called “Ordinary Form” of the Roman Rite), there was a grudging admission that the faithful could receive kneeling:

The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.  (GIRM [2003], n. 160)

Due to a deluge of complaints that had reached the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from U.S. Catholics, the USCCB was required to change this paragraph in the 2011 edition, where it now reads:

The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling. (GIRM [2011], n. 160)

That’s it – nothing else! So the idea that Catholics should be “catechized” about the norm of standing in order to make them conform to it has been dropped altogether. It is now simply left up to the individual Catholic whether he wishes to stand or kneel. (The same is true of whether to receive in the hand or on the tongue, about which there has never been the same level of controversy.)

Read the complete article by Peter Kwasniewski here.

From the desk of Fr. Edwin C. Dwyer

From a parish bulletin:

Dear Faithful, I am writing this to address some concerns I have heard as of late about the liturgies at our parish.
Firstly, I want to stress again that the move to more use of traditional chant, and Latin is going to happen at the late Sunday morning Mass. The 4pm on Saturdays, and the 8:30am on Sundays will largely remain with the structure of hymns we currently employ. The aim is to reach out to younger generations who truly desire a greater use of traditional worship, and to Catholics in the area who miss those traditions, and have been on the margins of parish life for decades.
I also want to address the use of incense at Mass at our parish. I did use it during the holidays, and at a handful of Advent Masses. The holidays are a time for greater solemnity, so that is why I employed the incense there. In Advent I had visiting seminarians, and a layman who was liturgically trained by Benedictines before discerning the call to marriage. All wanted to help serve, and I wanted to get used to using incense at our liturgies prior to the holy day celebrations.
So, when will I be using incense in the future? Well, like the more traditional music, I hope to use incense quite regularly at the late Mass on Sundays. At the 4pm Saturday, and 8:30am Masses, I will employ incense major feast days, and only if I have properly trained servers. In other words, you can anticipate no incense at 4pm Saturdays, and 8:30am Sundays, unless it is a major feast day. I will try to give notice in the bulletin of those feast days. As always, I will use incense at every funeral.
I realize that incense can cause allergies, or other bad reactions. I simply ask that folks also keep in mind that flowers, pet fur, cologne, and perfume can, and do cause similar reactions. I am also looking into what places in the church are less subject to the smell of incense, and what types of incense and coals cause fewer negative effects. I know change can be difficult, even if it is only at one Mass, but if we do not reach younger generations I do not see how a much bigger change of this parish closing can be prevented within a generation.
I have had many young folks tell me how excited they are for greater use of tradition at the late Sunday Mass. I ask you all keep that in mind, as we continue to labor for the salvation of souls in Bay City. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Peace, may the Good Lord bless and keep you all the days of your life.


Fr. Eddie

Read also Fr. Dwyer’s Homily for the First Sunday of Advent here.

Pastoral Administrator
Our Lady of Peace
607 E. South Union Street
Bay City, Michigan 48706
Parish Office: 989-892-6031
Parish Fax: 989-892-4005
Parish Website: