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 Prayer “Supra quae” refers to Melchisedech (page 37, red booklet). Who was this strange character? Where does he come from? Why is he mentioned here at the heart of the Canon of the Mass?

We find mentioned for the first time of this mysterious figure in the book of Genesis 14:17. He is the king of Salem, the High Priest. He is Melchisedech who offered bread and wine as a sacrifice. The Fathers of the Church recognized in Him as a Continue reading

From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

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The following question has been asked to several priests around the world:


What part of the Mass, words or rubrics, in its extraordinary form moves you the best?

Father Louis, OSB: the words uttered by the priest: He took bread into His Holy and venerable hands (page 35 in red booklet). My hands are neither holy nor venerable! They are the ones of a poor sinner. The Liturgy however invites me to take great care of this fragile Host and my hands are not mine any more but the one of Jesus who takes me in His own. “My Lord, I am holding Thee, I do not want to let Thee go.”

Father Emmanuel Marie de Saint Jean: “I am always more and more touched by the self-effacement of the priest who disappears behind Christ. The more the presence of the Priest goes away, the more Christ grows.”

Canon Alban Denis, ICRSP. : “The continuity and permanency of the Liturgy. The priest is never alone celebrating. He is with the entire Church. He is with the cohort of all the priests who celebrated before him. I say Mass the exact same way as Saint John Bosco; I pronounce the same words as the Curé of Ars did; I make the same movement as Pius X and all others…. We will meet in Heaven. This is a great source of humility and stimulation. Far from feeling to be limited by rules and rubrics, the rubrics carry me in my daily celebration.”

Father Benedict Joseph: “The celebration ‘ad orientem’. The orientation of the priest toward the East expresses well the function of the priest as Pontiff. Being all turned together in the same direction, gives a vivid image of the unity of the militant Church walking towards Heaven. It is also a great help to avoid any kind of self-centeredness.

Father Laurent-Marie, Servant of Jesus and Marie: “this Liturgy expresses the ‘Mysterium Fidei’ in a particular good and proper way, with the sense of contemplation, recollection and reverence. Even in the celebration of the greatest feast of the year, with the use of multiple ministers, incense, polyphonic choirs and even orchestras, all leads to the great silence of the Canon and the Consecration. God always establishes his masterpieces in an eternal silence.”

Father Claude Barthe: “The prayer of the ‘Suscipe’: May this Sacrifice be brought to the Altar. That is the Roman Epiclesis. These words bring us up to Heaven.”


From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS


CM 2A brief explanation of some aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form

As soon as the words of the Consecration are pronounced, the priest, holding the host between his two first fingers, adores the Host making immediately a genuflection. Then, standing up, he raises the Host as high as possible to be seen by the faithful, keeping his eyes on it. He places the host again on the corporal and genuflects again. He does the same with the Chalice.

The Adoration of the Host after consecration is consistently attested since the Divine Institution of the Eucharist. We find very early interesting Greek icons representing  Jesus as an infant laying on the paten (gilded plate on which the Host is placed).

  The act of adoration itself takes various forms according to cultures and traditions. One might be standing, kneeling, seating, or prostrated on the floor: each one marks in its own way the same spiritual act of faith and adoration.

St. John Chrysostom attests that in Eastern Liturgy the “elevation of the host” came only just before communion and with great solemnity. The Holy Doors are finally opened, the curtains removed and the celebrant comes out (remember that the whole liturgy in this rite is out of sight) saying: “Consider the Table of the King. The King is here. If your vestments are pure, adore and receive communion.”

Since the 10th century, another sign of Adoration of God, is the addition of the ringing of the bells. We can read on the Carthusian rules the following ordinance: “Whenever the bell is rang for the consecration, wherever one is, he musts stop his activity and kneel down as long as the bells are rang.”

Yves de Chartres, Bishop of Paris (1115), gave thanks to Margaret, Queen of England for her gift of Bells for the Notre Dame Cathedral. He promised that her soul will be remembered at each consecration as they will ring.

The genuflection, done immediately after the words of the consecration are said, is a great act of faith on the power of the Instituted Words themselves. “This is my Body”: Adoration follows. Elevation comes after.

Another great addition of adoration in liturgy is the use of Torch-Bearer. Candles are sign of respect.

Since the heresy of Beranger – who denied the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist- the use of particular signs of adoration have been encouraged to sustain our faith. All that can help us is good to have.


From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

CM 2A brief explanation of some aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form
To acquire a ”notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier form of the liturgical celebration” (Motu Proprio, Benedict XVI, July 2007) or an exploration into the theological, historical, devotional, liturgical, ritualistic, architectural, artistic, linguistic, practical, legalistic, mystical… aspects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Priest turning his back to the People? 

 It is a common remark heard about the Latin Mass. The distance expressed between the celebrant – getting himself behind a closed communion rail, setting himself up above everyone, not looking at the people; facing the altar – and the people remaining silent is striking. Why this has been the case for some 2000 years…?

Simply because the Mass is not considered as a social moment to which the faithful are invited to party at. It is foremost the renewal of the Single Act of Christ, offering Himself once and for all at the Last Supper, consummating His Sacrifice on the Cross, and  continuing the very same Act at each Mass. It is Christ celebrating Mass. Not any individual priest. The faithful are privileged  witnesses of it.

The position of the Priest is clearly not random. He and all the congregation are facing East. St John in the Book of Apocalypse  promised that Christ will come back like the rising Sun in all His Glory.

At Mass we all face “Oriens” that is East, waiting for our Divine Risen Master to come!

In the Roman style, many churches had “oculi” that were little windows kept opened behind the altar. Our very own St. Margaret Mary sanctuary is an example of this tradition. The purpose for this is to avoid missing the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ if it would happen during the celebration of Mass.




Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, ICRSS


Canon ComminsThe Traditional Latin Mass: a love story!

I was 17 when I came to know and appreciate the Traditional Latin Mass. To discern my vocation, and to choose the seminary where to go, my first criterion was: “what is the degree of charity in that community?” between the members themselves, and with the other communities. You might ask yourselves: but what is the link, the  relation between Charity and the Latin Mass? If we consider the Eucharist as the best proof of the love of God for us which it is, then we understand that all that covers the mystery of the Presence of Christ, blood, body, soul and divinity, has to be perfectly performed, with gravity, with beauty, with solemnity. The Traditional Liturgy makes clear the adoration of God made flesh, religion of the Incarnation, everything in that Liturgy lifts up our heart and our body to the most transcendent reality. The entire faculties of our human nature are satisfied, filled with the music, the silence, the incense, and the gestures. All our senses are attracted to the beauty of the Liturgy. The Spouse is giving himself to his Wife, our Mother the Church, and in response to that gift, the Church tries to express her love for Him. The Liturgy as the public official prayer of the Church, tries to imitate the eternal liturgy of the angels and of the saints in Heaven. To   conclude this short note, let me quote Pope Benedict XVI: Sacred Liturgy transforms our lives of Catholics.   Indeed, “the encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes.”

Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, Ordained July 2015


From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

CM 2To acquire a ”notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier form of the liturgical celebration” (Motu Proprio, Benedict XVI, July 2007) or an exploration into the theological, historical, devotional, liturgical, ritualistic, architectural, artistic, linguistic, practical, legalistic, mystical… aspects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

On the Maniple

Why does the celebrant use the cope for the Asperges Me? Why does the priest remove the maniple and the chasuble when he preaches?

The Mass is the sacramental and liturgical action by which the very same Sacrifice of the Cross is continued upon the altar. Therefore, this is a whole and one action that cannot be broken apart. From the first sign of the Cross at the foot of the altar to the Last Gospel, the celebrant  remains at the altar. The Asperges Me, the sermon or homily, the blessings of palms or ashes, the processions are not integral parts of the Mass. They are adjacent to the Mass.

The celebrant is wearing the Cope (A cape covering the whole shoulders) and no maniple for   Asperges, processions and  solemn vespers. The maniple is part of the vestments of the priest celebrating the Mass (in the rubrics of 1967, it is not mentioned anymore). It is a short piece of fabric that was formerly worn on the left arm by workers to dry their sweat. The prayer said for the vesting of the maniple is “Lord, may I worthily bear the maniple of tears and sorrow so as to receive the reward of my labor with rejoicing.”  It is then a sign of the call of the priest to be a worker in the vineyard of the Lord. The maniple is now ornate and used only during the celebration of the Mass. When the Mass needs to be interrupted, as during the reading of a translation of the Epistle or the Gospel, or the sermon, the Celebrant removes it. This is a  worthy practice to be kept in use even though not absolutely mandatory. Placing the chasuble on the altar is of the same effect.

The point is that nothing “human” or “profane” should be introduced in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. These signs—as the removal of the maniple– show that the words to be uttered by the priest during the sermon are his own and a  parenthesis in the Act of Christ.


Prayer request…

Prayer request…. Anna  and Jay will be attending the Society of the Sacred Heart Retreat at Mundelein Seminary (Chapel of the Immaculate Conception) in Illinois this weekend. Anna will be receiving the Cross of St. Francis de Sales. Jay has been a member for over 5 years.

If you would like more information about the Society…email us.

The Society of the Sacred Heart is a lay association within the spiritual family of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Through membership in the Society of the Sacred Heart, lay faithful can participate in the spirituality of the Institute directed to expand the kingship of Our Blessed Lord in all realms of the Church and society under the patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Chaplain’s Corner | Easter Sunday 2016


What did the night of Easter witness? God had died. God’s dead body was in the tomb and His separated soul was freeing the just from the Limbo of the Fathers in Hell. But early on Easter Sunday morning, during the still of that holy night – this morning! – God rose from the dead! This is the great mystery of which the night alone was witness. How blessed the Easter night, which was alone worthy to see the Victory of Life over Death!

Jesus is Risen! Alleluia! The Church thrills with Continue reading


By Canon Benjamin Coggeshall
For the first Sunday of Lent we will remember that the Gospel passage recounted Jesus’ fasting in the desert for forty days. He was approached by the devil and tempted in three ways. These three ways represent the three concupiscences to which we humans are subjected: the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life.
The purpose of this first reflection was to put us Christians on guard against these temptations, these concupiscences to which we are all subjected. A large part of Lenten meditation concerns turning away from sin and the temptation of one sort or another that precedes sin.
However, what kind of mother would the Church be if she only told us of the dangers that lie waiting for us in the spiritual life…and not the remedies to these ills? Jesus left to the world a good, holy Church, as part of His permanent presence in our world to guide us through life, teaching us how to resist temptation and sin.
Returning to our reflection from the first Sunday of Lent, let us call to mind the first sort of temptation experienced by Jesus in order to understand it better and how to fight it. We are talking about the Concupiscence of the flesh.
Concupiscence of the flesh is the inordinate love of sensual pleasures (Tanquerey, p. 101) “Inordinate love” means love that is out of order…love that is in the wrong place.
As we saw earlier this Lent, pleasure in itself is not evil. Gold allows pleasure for the accomplishment of certain good acts. He makes food taste good…so that we may preserve and take care of our bodies. He attaches certain pleasures to the marital act so that we will have children and perpetuate our species. God allows pleasure in these things…but only because they help the completion of a good act: preserving the body or perpetuating the species.
Fr. Tanquerey says that pursuing sensual pleasure as an end in and of itself is a moral disorder. Simply, it is not good, and not what God has intended for our dignified state as His children. An example would be for someone to continue eating iced cream…even though he has had sufficiency. He continues eating the iced cream…not because he is hungry or starving, but because he simply likes the taste and the pleasure it gives to his taste buds.
This is what we call an excessive love of pleasure. We say excessive love, because we must remember that enjoying good iced cream is not bad; loving it to the point where we continue eating it and destroying our health is bad. Our excessive love of sensual pleasures can in fact harm us very much. Think of our society which is ever more dependent on stimulants…that reflects our obsession and excessive love for pleasure. This is seen in the habitual overconsumption of alcohol and in drug use. This can even be seen in thrill seekers…diving off the sides of mountains and buildings to get a rush of adrenaline…to get a sensual high. People pursue these things with a heightening level of voracity…until they simply burn out or even kill themselves. Pleasure or “highs” are not the ends of our existence.
The Church teaches us quite simply that the best way to combat this evil is the mortification of the senses. “Mortification” means to put to death in a certain way. So we must put our senses to death…not that we become stoic and claim to have no more feeling…but rather to put our senses in check. We may not realise this, but we do it all the time. When walking by the chocolate aisle in the supermarket, we may hear a small voice telling us to fill our cart with the whole lot. However, our reason then kicks in, telling us no, we only have €50, and we must get milk, potatoes and bread for the family. Here, we are mortifying our senses, because our reason is telling us that there is a much more important thing at stake here. (We can either buy all the chocolate and eat it in the car, enjoying every bite and let the family go hungry…or we can buy what is necessary and good for the family).
Fr. Tanquerey reminds us that the motive that obligates us to mortifying our senses is our baptismal vow. Baptism obliges us to mortify our senses that can lead us to sin. We are to mortify them so we can control them…and not the other way around. “For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the spirit you modify the deeds of the flesh you shall live.”(Rom: 8:13) We reject sin, as part of our baptismal promises…and in turn any temptations that may lead to it.
Fr. Tanquerey adds a final prudent note to his considerations. He says to best benefit from mortifying our senses, we should not only do the ones that are strictly evil…but ones that can be dangerous. We are called to completely control our actions.
Telling ourselves “no” for something that may be perfectly ok exercises our will…thus strengthening it for when we need to reject something that may be particularly alluring. Indulging in permissible pleasures can break our resolve over time and render us weak in a dangerous situation. St. Paul says “he who loves danger shall perish in it.”(Tanquerey, p104) Simply put, we should avoid putting ourselves in harm’s way. Children will often play at a distance from the fire that is safe, but still contains a bit of danger. These same children are burned from time to time when a stray ember pops out and hits them. Licit pleasure can be like this.
Let us resolve then to use sensuous pleasure as God intended, for His glory. May our Lenten prayers help to obtain this grace for us!
Canon Benjamin Coggeshall.
Institute of Christ the King

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The Chaplain’s Corner | “A Brief Explanation of Some Aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form Series” #5

imageA brief explanation of some aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form (5)

To acquire a ”notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier form of the liturgical celebration” (Motu Proprio, Benedict XVI, July 2007) or an exploration into the theological, historical, devotional, liturgical, ritualistic, architectural, artistic, linguistic, practical, legalistic, mystical… aspects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Altar

 The altar is the table of sacrifice. The place where the victim is to be slain. In the case of the Eucharist, the Altar stands at the same time for three different realities. The table of the Last Supper, around which the disciples gathered; the place where Christ died; and  Christ Himself. Indeed, Christ is at the same time, the Altar, the Victim and the Priest offering the Sacrifice.

Each altar can be considered as an extension of the very same table used at the Last Supper. It is the very same Cross on which Jesus is crucified. It is Jesus Christ offering Himself to His Father.

It is a table: a Divine Meal is offered to which we are all, vested with the nuptial garment, invited to share.

It is a place where The Sacrifice is made—the very same Place. Traditionally sited on three steps representing the Calvary, adorned with Candles representing His Mother, Saint John the Baptist, the Angels… dressed with altar cloths representing the Shroud…

It is Christ Himself. The same Victim is actually offered. The five Crosses engraved in the Altar Stone are    Jesus’ wounds. That is the reason why any time before turning around, the priest kisses the altar. Indeed doing so, he kisses Christ Himself from whom alone comes any blessing: Dominus vobiscum.

The Passion starts at the Last Super with St. John’s embrace, laying on Christ’s side… and with the betraying kiss of Judas in the Garden.

How do we attend the Sacrifice of Mass? What kind of kiss do we offer Our Lord?

Next Week:  40 Hours Devotions: Mass celebrated in the front of the Blessed Sacrament