From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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Picture: Mgsr. Gilles Wach during the Domine Non Sum Dignus

On the Domine Non Sum Dignus

The rite of communion includes a two fold ceremony. The communion of the priest solemnly precedes the one of the faithful. The reason could be just caused by the fact that the priest might have no people assisting at his Mass, but this does not seem to be the real reason. Priests indeed are only allowed to say private Masses without an altar server since a very recent time.

The motive of the double rite of communion is Continue reading

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From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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The 7 Steps of Ordination

Part V:   The Ordination of Priests,  continued

After the laying on of hands and the consecratory preface, the Bishop vests the newly ordained priest in the vestments of the priesthood.  At the beginning of the ceremony, the candidate wears the stole over the left shoulder (as do all other deacons).  The Bishop places the stole around the right shoulder and crosses it in front.  The crossed stole symbolizes the state of obedience of the priest under the bishop.  The priest then receives the chasuble, with the back of the vestment folded, while the bishop says, “Take the vestment of the priesthood which signifies Continue reading

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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Abbe Ryan Post 4th Year Seminarian for the ICRSS

The 7 Steps of Ordination  Part IV:  The Diaconate

In the first three parts of this series, we have seen the progression of the cleric through the minor orders up to the first of the major, or “sacred orders,” the sub-diaconate.  The diaconate carries with it new graces and privileges in the service of God and Holy Mother Church.  The deacon receives the Book of the Gospels during his ordination and thus the power to read or chant the Holy Gospel for “the living and the dead.”  Other than the teaching function of the Scriptures, the very act of proclaiming the Gospel is considered an act of worship in the Mass.  Whereas a lower cleric can substitute for the sub-deacon and read the prophecies or the epistle, no lower cleric may substitute for the deacon in reading the Gospel.  Along with proclaiming the Gospel, the deacon also receives for the first time the right to preach in the Church.

The deacon aids the priest at the altar by preparing the Continue reading

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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The 7 Steps of Ordination Part III

The Sub-diaconate

                   In the first two parts of this series, we have seen how the Church disposes her seminarians for the grace of the holy priesthood through the reception of four minor orders: that is, the orders of porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte.  Now we will turn our attention to the major or sacred orders.

In the ordination of acolytes, there is already a foretaste of the major orders, since the acolyte, by his function, is designated to assist the sacred ministers in the liturgical functions of the holy sacrifice of the Mass.  However, the sub-deacon is given an even greater role.  As his name suggests, he is the servant of the deacon at the altar.  This aspect of the sub-diaconate is represented by the manner in which the sub-deacon presents the chalice and the cruets at the offertory.  The deacon pours the wine into the chalice and the sub-deacon pours the water.  Also, while the deacon chants the holy Gospel, it is the sub-deacon who holds the book for him.  Furthermore, during the Mass the sub-deacon never sits nor covers his head while the deacon fulfills his liturgical functions.

The sub-deacon chants the books of the prophets and the epistles, which are preparations for the highest doctrine of the Gospel.  This is one reason why the sub-deacon holds the paten with the humeral veil before his face during the Canon.  He represents the Old Testament, in which the fullness of Christ’s glory was still veiled and no one could look upon the face of God and live (e.g. Exodus 33:12-22).

The sub-deacon is thus the servant of the servants of God (the word deacon in Greek means “servant”).  In this, he ought to imitate the humility of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to his apostles: “I am in the midst of you as one who serves” (St Luke 22:27).

The Church calls upon the sub-deacon to unite the virtue of humility to a perfect chastity.  Before his ordination, the Bishop warns him that, whereas before he had been free to leave the clerical state, now he will make a permanent commitment to clerical celibacy.  He also takes on the obligation of reciting the entire office.  The prayer of the office both glorifies God and gives the sub-deacon the graces necessary to fulfill his sacred duties.

Here at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, we have our own sub-deacon, Abbé Kevin, who fulfills beautifully this role of servant of the servants of God.  Let’s keep him in our prayers and thank God for the grace of his vocation among us!

Abbe Ryan Post, 4th Year Seminarian for the ICRSS

 

 

 

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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The 7 Steps of Ordination: Part II

 Exorcist and Acolyte

              As read in Part I, the six Minor and Major Orders, are training and preparations for the fulfillment of the great responsibility of assuming the Order of Melchisedech. The Porter assumes the care of keeping the grounds of the church safe before becoming the guardian of its most precious treasure, the Holy Eucharist. The Lector learned to familiarize himself with Holy Scripture before preaching them.

The third minor order, Exorcist, gives a real participation to the young apprentice of the power given to the priest to chase the devil. Every priest deals daily with Continue reading

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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The Leonine Prayers

These prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia.

Tradition relates that Pope Leo XIII had a vision that took place in 1884 – 1886

Pope Leo XIII was saying his Mass in his private chapel in presence of some cardinals. At the end of the Mass as he was ready to return to Sacristy, he stopped and stood in a trance white as snow. As he recovered his spirit he went to his office and Continue reading

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS –

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The 7 Steps of Ordination: Part I

In the process of his elevation to the Priesthood, the seminarian will receive 7 ordinations.

They are degrees instituted by the Church through which a candidate access to the priesthood itself called by the Fathers of the Church the “Highest Dignity”. This divine and magnificent function requires then great dispositions. That is why the Church leads its candidates through these ‘Novitiates’ to methodically prepare them to carry this burden.

The four first ordinations are the “inferior” or “minor” orders and the very first of them is the order of Porter.

The Seminarian on his ordination day will receive the power of the Keys. Incredible power by which the priest will be given the power to bind or unbind, to open or close Paradise. The Porter is initiated to this higher power by receiving the responsibility of the doors of the church and of everything contained therein, sacred vestments and vessels, relics of the saints and more importantly the safe keep of the Tabernacle. On his ordination he touches the keys of the church. The proper virtue of the Porter is the virtue of detachment. He who is the guardian of the richness’s of the Church has nothing but the desire to preserve the received heritage. With detachment comes also the zeal for the House of God. He will therefore care for the cleanliness of the church.

Another function of the porter is to ring the bells. On this he is the voice of God leading to the teaching of the church. Spiritually they prepare themselves to speak as loud and clear as a bell does.

This order is so important that some souls dedicated their whole lives to this particular and humble office. Nothing is small in the Church. All is august and mysterious hiding treasures of graces. The order of Porter can be given only by a bishop.

The second Order is Lector. The seminarian receives in his hands the deposit of the Holy Scripture. It comes immediately after the first order. Indeed the church has two treasures: The Holy Eucharist reserved in the Tabernacle and the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures have been entrusted to the Church and it is convenient that a special order is dedicated for this purpose. The attention given to the book, the perfection of its use in the careful recitation of the office, and the personal purity of life are the proper virtues of the Lector. Accipe librum and devora illum. Receive the book and eat it. By these words Christ invites the Lector to meditate, to make the Scriptures his own that later, as a priest, he might speak them with ease.

 

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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A brief explanation of some aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form

The Latin

           Latin is the ordinary Liturgical Language of all the Catholics of the Roman Church, even though translations are authorized. Many rites cohabit under the same language, Ambrosian (from Milan), Mozarabic (in Spain), Carthusian or Dominican (proper to the respective religious orders). Latin appears therefore as a link between all the Catholics of the world but also between those of all ages in the past and present times. As Latin is a dead language and doesn’t change, it is particularly fit to express the immutable dogmas. In the Eastern churches, diverse liturgical languages are used for the same reason (Aramaic, Arabic, Syrian, Coptic…).

Latin is then the official language of the Church and all the official documents are written in this language.

As Latin is not the proper language of any country, it is suitable for the Universal Church.

“Latin is a universal language without frontier, and the Holy See is very attached to it. We address the young people in particular: May they welcome the patrimony of Latin and make it bearing fruits.” JP II (27/11/78)

Do we need to know Latin to follow the Liturgy of the Mass? Let’s consider first what is Mass? Mass is nothing less than the continued Sacrifice of God made man, who died on a Cross and continuously offers Himself—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—as Food for our souls. Could any language ever explain that? It is the Mystery of Faith. The Sacredness of the Latin Language helps us to enter into this mystery. At Mass, it is with reverence that we enter into the Unique Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, words being far from giving justice to the Sacred Reality of the Divine and Substantial presence of Jesus Christ on the Altar.