Sunday, 29 May 2016

External Solemnity of Corpus Christi A.D. 2016

On 29 May 2016, Second Sunday after Pentecost, Mass was celebrated for the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi at the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the sermon; and at the Consecration.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Trinity Sunday A.D. 2016

On 22 May 2016, Trinity Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the Gospel; at the Consecration.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Things to avoid in a Traditional Catholic wedding in the Philippines

The fairly recent clarification by Archbishop Sócrates Villegas that “couples cannot write their own Catholic wedding vows” has inspired us to look at some of the contemporary fads that beleaguer Filipino weddings and crosscheck whether they are compatible to the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Old Rite, according to the use of the Philippine Islands.

First off, should there be a bridal march in a Traditional Catholic wedding in the Philippines? The answer is: No. Why? Because the traditional wedding rite of the Philippines has no place for it. But suppose we get around this obstacle, and insist that we have the bridal procession, entourage and all, is there something that prevents us?

Indeed, there is. The First Plenary Council of the Philippines prohibited by word such marches.

Of course, some will say that it is the theatricality of some marches that the decree opposes, but this is now venturing into the realm of verbalism condemned by St Basil the Great in his work on the Holy Ghost. The decree clearly states that “in no way” should this practice be “tolerated,” if it is already existing, or “introduced,” if it is not yet practiced.

An interesting epilogue to this prohibition is the further clarification issued by the episcopal commission appointed to authentically interpret the decrees of the Plenary Council. Issued on 25 February 1957, we have the following.

Fray Excelso García integrated this proscription as a footnote to the 1960 Manuale Philippinense. We thus include this also in our Matrimoniale Philippinense.

More importantly, as mentioned above, because the rites prescribe this ceremony:
The priest, with the servers, in procession exits the sacristy, and, upon reaching the portals of the church, does one of the following: (a) he holds the right hands of the husband and of the wife; or (b) he extends one end of his stole, which the husband and the wife hold.
The priest then recites Psalm 127 while leading the nuptial couple into the sanctuary.

Pentecost Sunday A.D. 2016

On 15 May 2016, Pentecost Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the verse of the second Alleluia; at the Consecration; at the distribution of Holy Communion.

At the end of the Mass, the Veni, Creator Spiritus was sung.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Invoking Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the eve of the 2016 Philippine presidential election. We are doubtless on the cusp of some tremendous change whose scope and extent we could not yet put our finger on. The signs suggest that the effects of that change can be inevitably long-term and potentially permanent. Of course, this concerns us, because the Philippine Church, throughout our tumultuous history, has played a significant role in the political drama of the country. “Payback time,” some would say, for the 300 years of government meddling in Church affairs that left many parishes without priests, canonries without competent canons [1], and even almost occasioned the implosion of the see of Cebu when the Spanish revolutionary government attempted to install a schismatic bishop without the mandate of Rome [2].

A mythologised depiction of the assassination
of Governor General Bustamente by a mob;
the anticlerical tone is courtesy of the mason
Antonio Ma. Regidor.
El asesinato del gobernador general Bustamante y su hijo
Félix Resurrección Hidalgo

Wrenched from absolute monarchy, the Philippines was thrown to democracy. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” people say in derision to absolute monarchy. None of them realises that it is possible to wield absolute power even in democracy. A poorly-formed conscience under the influence of an intrinsic evil converts ignorance into absolute power.

Democracy is not perfect. It can never be perfect because it is unapologetically human. The few who steer it through human history delight in the indifference and ignorance of the many. It is perfect for the shrewd few because its greatest asset is the imperfect many. One can almost hear John Legend praising Chrissy Teigen’s wondrous flaws in a befitting and inescapable oxymoron: “all your perfect imperfections.”

Holy Writ reminds us every Palm Sunday, Holy Tuesday, Spy Wednesday, and Good Friday how rudimentary democracy liberated a known criminal and condemned our Lord to the gibbet. This has to go on record: Our Lord Jesus Christ was a victim of an extrajudicial killing. He was denied a fair trial, and his sentence was never pronounced. Kangaroo court? The Pharisees practically invented it. Jury tampering? Nobody did it better than the Pharisees. “Democresque,” Juan Manuel de Prada Blanco calls it.

Ecce homo
Antonio Ciseri

Just as the realities, which do not promise an authentically bright future for those whose exercise of religion will ineluctably become hampered by future laws (taking as their model the neonate reproductive laws of the country), and whose collective memories still enshrine the anxiety of “revolutionary times,” demand from us unadulterated vigilance and recollection, so must we struggle to convert this moment into an opportunity to remain calm, tactful and prayerful, if only to prevent ourselves from being consumed by fear.

Elections are a threshold situation. So are pregnancy and graduation. One is not quite in the same circumstance as previously one was, and one will not be in the same circumstance for so long. Uncertainties abound, and many have become convinced that the sickle will soon descend upon us, separating heads from their bodies, and that for these miserable casualties of change, the so-called collateral damage, the hammer will surely then nail the lids to their coffins.

All great revolutions begin with a simple idea. Fear is to an idea, as a mutagen is to a cell. Fear begets unrest, and unrest engenders commotion, and commotion foments uprising. The martyrs of the Roman persecutions faced their deaths with serenity, some even with strange joy. “Joy,” writes Chesterton, “which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” The True Faith arms us with weapons unconscionable to the human mind. A childish sovereign, known for his eclectic and outlandish whims, might just laugh at how the head of an armed force hail as their most powerful weapon a set of beads strung together into a circlet.

But this is the wisdom of our fathers. The wisdom of our forefathers. When the errors of Russia fed the flames of revolutions, and the blood of new martyrs irrigated the fields of battle, our Lady instructed the three shepherd children in the fields of Cova da Iria to pray the terço, and at other times to pray many terços [3]. The Friday after elections will be the traditional feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. Let us, therefore, ask our Lady to pray for our needs.

First Coronation of Our Lady of Fatima
by Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Massella
13 May 1946

Below are the collects from the traditional propers of Our Lady of Fatima:
While the multitude of our sins prevaileth, O Lord, we run to the special assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we who are nurtured by the mercy of her Heart, may by the anticipation of Thy mercy obtain indulgence for our crimes. Through our Lord.
Convert, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our rebellious wills, and grant that through the aid of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, we may celebrate the divine mysteries with chaste favours. Through our Lord.
Stretch out, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy right hand to Thy prayerful people, and grant them aid, through the intercession the Virgin Mary, to them whom Thou benignly vouchsafest the affection of begging Thee, that they may turn away from all evil, and take possession of all good. Through our Lord.
These prayers speak closely to our ongoing experiences.

Many people still hold to the mythology that the Catholic Church is afraid of change. Catholics are not metathesiophobes. All systems tend towards entropy, so the Third Law of Thermodynamics declares. The Church simply adheres to the principle that change can only be pursued if it is purely good. Once personalities use their worldly position and worldly power to subvert change and instrumentalise it to destroy the Church, the Church cannot simply be just another proverbial damsel in distress waiting for a knight in shining armour to rescue her. No, her children are past living such lurid romanticisms. If they had harboured the fantasy in the past, they have always woken up in time to rise up and defend her. Just as our forefathers did, so we always rise up to defend Holy Mother Church.

When we vote tomorrow, let us remind ourselves that we are only but pilgrims on earth. “Kaming mgá makasasalà nagalakát ngadto sa kinabuhing tunhay,” so goes the Visayan Lenten hymn. We are sojourners in this world and our home is in heaven. We are citizens of heaven (where suffrage is, to our great relief, non-existent). Let us make this pilgrimage worth living and dying for.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.


[1] The most famous example would be D. Pedro Peláez who aced all the examinations for the magisterial canonry of Manila (the canonry whose principal task is to preach during solemnities held in the cathedral), his Latin even praised in contrast with that of his contender, a pureblood Spaniard, by all the Spanish judges who held professorships in the universities of the city. One Spanish observer even sorely lamented that while before, when D. Pedro Peláez preached, the cathedral brimmed with people who spilled even to the streets; afterwards, when the governor general had chosen to award the canonry instead to D. Pedro Nolasco Elordi, essentially overturning the unanimous decision of the judges, one could almost hear a pin drop in the cathedral when Elordi took the pulpit.

[2] The vicar general opposed the assignment, and the archbishop of Manila refused to recognise the bishop-appoint. Orders had already been communicated to the armed forces to destroy the cathedral of Cebu if the chapter persisted in their position, but the bishop-appoint fortunately died the day after his arrival in Manila. Thus, Fray Benito Romero de Madridejos became the next bishop of Cebu.

[3] In Portuguese, terço refers to a third of the whole rosary. A terço therefore consists only of five decades. The full fifteen decades are called rosário in Portuguese. Some have used this specific instruction from our Lady to assert that the luminous mysteries should not have been introduced. They would say that if our Lady intended it so, she would have said quarto in anticipation of the change. The distinction mirrors that of the verbs santiguarse (In nomine Patris, etc.) and persignarse (Per signum crucis, etc.) in Spanish, which English fails to resolve.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

First Saturday of May A.D. 2016

On 7 May 2016, First Saturday of the month, Mass was sung in honour of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Fr. David Franco, F. S. S. P., who was ordained on 30 May 2015 (see here), offered this Mass. Before Fr. Franco, Fr. Anthony Uy, F. S. S. P. (see here), visited the Philippines in 2013. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the Epistle; at the Consecration; and at the distribution of Holy Communion.

After Mass, Fr. Franco gave his first blessing to the congregants.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Ascension A.D. 2016

On 5 May 2016, feast of the Ascension, Mass was celebrated at the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the chanting of the Gospel; after the extinction of the Paschal Candle after the Gospel; at the distribution of Holy Communion.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.