Saturday, April 29, 2006

Roman Vestments

What we almost brought back for the Fathers following last year's Roman adventure...

No, not really. Thank you for the photo, Jude!

As I was coming back today after Mass, I hopped off the tram a little early and decided to visit the cemetery. It's rather lovely, having opened in 1855, but so many shattered and unreadable tombstones coupled with headless statues is quite upsetting. One prays especially for those souls. Requiescant in pace.

As I was wandering through the 'Roman Catholic compartment' I passed by a family grave, one in very good condition. As I gazed closer, I noticed a little gold thing near the headstone. On closer inspection I realised that it was some sinister looking budha statue. That's right - happily sitting on a Roman Catholic family's grave. Where on earth does something like that come from? Perhaps where on earth isn't the question.

Anyway, affronted, I took the rotten thing, I took it from the cemetery, and I smashed it as best I could on the ground. It chipped rather than smashed, and I discarded the remnants.

Horrible thing.

There was also cleaning out of the choir loft today. I now have the little documents case that once belonged to the Choirmistress. It seems that all the pre-conciliar missals and libers were discarded, but we did stumble across a brochure issued marking Archbishop Mannix's 50th year of consecration in 1962 with an original letter inside. I love all this historical stuff. Even the music program scribbled on some old sheets of paper for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, 1976!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Holy Week photos

Hi all,

There are more Holy Week photos (in addition to those below) at:

If anyone has any interesting photos, not only during Holy Week, but at any time of the liturgical year, please feel free to post them. They're a marvellous way of promoting the old rite to others.


Edit: Sydney's Paschal Vigil photos can be found here. -P.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Deo Gratias - Alleluia, Alleluia

Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus.

Vere, Alleluia.

Deo gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Lumen Christi

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

From Good Friday

I don't think that these need caption descriptions. A great mass of wind and rain began at the Solemn chanting of the Passion. By Tenebrae it was bitter. It was all very appropriate.


Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere. Tu nobis, Victor Rex, miserere. Amen. Alleluia.

Here are some photos from the first ceremonies of Holy Week. There will be more following. Many thanks to the photographer! Am I the only one, despite a whole Octave of gladness, feeling somewhat of a post Holy Week slump? How awful when all I did was partake.

Lux in tenebris

Monastic-type shot during Tenebrae

Mandatum novum do vobis

At the Altar of Repose

Is there a sadder sight?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Quick photo from Palm Sunday

As we head off into the Triduum, I thought that I might post a quick photo taken on Palm Sunday. This is my first year of doing everything 'properly' and intelligibly, so I am trying to prepare as best as is possible. I am feeling ever so weak, and I am waiting patiently for 'it' like everyone else.

I encourage anyone in Melbourne to come and visit us for the Solemnity of Solemnities.

Deo gratias.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Not long home (11:45pm) after my first experience of Tenebrae. It was so good that I feel ill. It's the feeling one gets when one is overwhelmed in Rome. Oh, that last candle. Et tunc tenebrae.

I have much to write about the week so far, but I am so tired.

It has begun. Deo gratias.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Palm Sunday, however, tells us that the authentic great "yes" is, in fact, the cross, that the cross is the authentic tree of life. We do not attain to life by seizing it, but by giving it. Love is the giving of ourselves and, for this reason, is the way of authentic life symbolized by the cross. Today the cross is handed over, which was the center of World Youth Day in Cologne, to a delegation to begin its journey to Sydney, where in the year 2008 the youth of the world want to meet again around Jesus to build with him the kingdom of peace.

From Cologne to Sydney, a journey across continents and cultures, a journey across a world lacerated and tormented by violence! Symbolically, it is like the journey from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth. It is the journey of him who, with the sign of the cross, gives us peace and makes us bearers of his peace. I thank the youths who will take this cross, in which we can almost touch the mystery of Jesus, on the paths of the world. Let us pray that at the same time he will open our hearts so that, following the cross, we become messengers of his love and peace. Amen.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Laetare - cum oculis tuis!

His Lordship, Bishop Christopher Prowse, preaching in gold gifted mitre.

Ecce Agnus Dei.

Dominus meus, et Deus meus.

Successor of the Apostles.

Father McD! :)

There are more photos here. Thank you, Antonio! Deo gratias.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

MEMENTO, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

REMEMBER, O man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.

Something struck me on Ash Wednesday this year which I have often recognized but little considered before. As the priest placed the ashes on our foreheads it was a reminder that our lives here on earth are but a brief sojourn which will inevitably result in our corporal decay. This contrasts strongly with society’s fear of death and mortality – in which such recognition of mortality is almost unheard of.

What struck me about this was how little our modern secular society thinks about such things. People act as if they are immortal. The whole of society seems geared towards a materialistic and nihilistic viewpoint. Consequences are irrelevant provided that people are satiated today whether in terms of alcohol, drugs, money or sex. Although I am not considering this in terms of specific sins but rather the attitude which fosters their casual acceptance as the parameters by which we judge happiness in this life. There is no fear or realisation of our inescapable fate and certainly no concern about having to account for our sins and misdemeanours in the next world. In fact the latter point would seem like madness to most people – whose ideas of religion, particularly Christianity, are equated with total and absolute forgiveness – the idea that since God is good he will forgive us all whatever we do.

In the UK I think much of the blame for this attitude can be laid squarely at the foot of the Church of England, which fails to tackle moral issues in a serious manner, preferring instead to issue the vaguest of statements open to numerous interpretations. Quite frankly there is very little tangible difference that I can see they have ever made to any ethical issue of importance. As Catholics we (should) know that we are judged on our actions here on earth and that therefore it is important to both avoid sin and to seek that forgiveness which only the Church is empowered to grant. By acknowledging our mortality we are able to realise the importance of this. That is not to say one should be morbid or obsessed with knowledge of death and judgment. Rather it can be a force to allow us to live our lives better through service to God by an awareness of the preciousness of life and the importance of our actions.

The traditional Mass, with its inestimable graces, is the best means of shifting the focus of our society away from man towards God. It maybe at first that this can help shift society’s thinking in only a small way but it is no less significant for that.

“And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."

Freedom at last for the Traditional Mass?

Many more rumours:

On the ongoing SSPX-Rome negotiations:

This Conference given by Bishop Fellay is available here as Mp3s with a combined total of roughly 3 1/2 hours. Don't be put off by the length it is worth hearing in it's entirety.

I just hope and pray that the SSPX will reconcile themselves with the Holy See and regularise their position with the Church.