Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missa Pro Defunctis

Did anyone know that our own Bishop Emeritus James Timlin held a Solemn Pontifical Requiem Mass?

Yes he did.

And certain people in the chancery are probably having fits.

Right Monsignor Bambera?

Anyway, this past Monday Bishop Timlin celebrated the first Solemn Pontifical Requiem Mass in about 40 years. That's pretty big news.

It's too bad that Bishop Timlin had to travel to New York to do this. It's too bad that Bishop Timlin, a certified traditionalist, hasn't offered the Old Mass here in his home diocese.

I wonder why that is?

Could it be that in this diocese, which has been stuck in the 1980's liturgically, that now since there is no Bishop, the anti-trads see an opportunity?

You know, the whole cat being away thing.
Because it seems that there are those here in our diocese who are using this time to intimidate and bully priests.

Be careful Bishop Timlin! Someone might bitch about your black vestments and send ya to the principal's office.

But what I would like to see is a brave priest in our diocese offer Bishop Timlin a place to do something similar.

Since our cathedral cannot be used for traditional liturgy without some creative redecorating, we need someone with a proper church building to loan it to us for a night. I'd be willing to facilitate this, but we need a building. Any takers?

Thanks to the Society of St Hugh of Cluny for the pictures.


Matt said...

Bp. Timlin has offered pontifical masses at St Michael's. I played the organ for one of them. He also does our confirmations each year.

cuaguy said...

I can do some designing... if I have to

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Matt - I'm guessing it wasn't very publicized, I didn't know that.

But I do not mean a Mass only for trads. If we are going to emerge from the liturgical shadows we need exposure.

We are lucky that we have a Bishop Emeritus who is a traditionalist. We need to make use of that resource to make it more accessible.

Plus, since the Old Mass is available regularly in Scranton, I would like to have it in Wilkes-Barre. Our Mass was canceled and we have an un-served liturgical need.

Also Matt, please keep us up-to-date here at what is going on at Saint Michael's. Thanks.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

CUA - That's because you rock!

Matt said...

Yeah, I know the Holy Rosary was cancelled. We have actually recieved some transplants from it. I feel bad for the WB folks. I'm happy keep you posted on our happenings. Take a look on and you will see a recent procession for Christ the King on the slider on the front page, with pictures.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

There are only two arguments for the Old Mass, which I believe have some merit.

1) Celebrating the Old Rite ends all debate over the use foreign lanquages in Mass, or Mass in a foreign lanquage. Mass is in Latin- end of debate, end of discussion.

2) The Old Rite would hamper priests from making it up as they go along. No more "Father too cool for you" Masses replete with Liturgical Dancers, "reflections before the Gospel" etc. It would force priests to say the black and do the red. No more ad libbing when it comes to the Mass.

That being said- I am not going to be lining up to learn the Old Mass anytime soon.

Bishop Martino was no fan of Latin Mass either Sir Rockin One- and yet look at his unswerving devotion to God's Truth! That should show you it is not Mass in Latin which is going to save the Church- it is FAITHFUL PRIESTS AND BISHOPS. Priests and Bishops who are interested in God's Truth, not politics. Prists and bishops who are not interested in being "cool," "hip," "all that" and "with it," but rather priests and bishops who want to be a sign of contradiction.

Mass in English is very sacred- if priests celebrate it that way- AND IF the MUSIC IS REFLECTIVE of the Sacred Mysteries being celebrated. This is a HUGE problem in many churches today. Music is no longer reflective of the Sacred, but rather reflective of the latest Haugen/Dass trend, or OCP Publication. The only instrument specifically suited for worship is the organ. The Church does not envision the use of percussive instruments in her Liturgy- except by way of exception. (Read On the Contitution of the Sacred Liturgy.) Why is Contemperary Music in Catholic parishes becomming the NORM, rather then the EXCEPTION? It profanes the Liturgy. (Profane here means "secularizes")

When Bishop Martino was Bishop, I thought the Cathedral Masses were very sacred, and gave you a sense of the transcendant. Mass was always reverent, holy, and awesome.

So Sir Rockin One- I am not against the Old Mass for those who like it, but I think it a fallacy that Latin Masses will save the Church. FAITHFULNESS will save the Church, not Mass in Latin.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Father -

Please, spare me. There are probably as many meritorious arguments for the Old Mass as there are deficiencies in the Novus Ordo. Besides it being a violent break with tradition, any Mass designed by Protestants for Protestants gets a thumbs down from me.

As far as Bishop Martino, for all of his positive aspects, his one glaring weakness was his disdain for Tradition. I believe the Holy Father will rectify that with his appointment of our next Bishop.

You need to hang out with Fr. C more often, maybe his traditional leanings will transfer over to you.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Father is not a huge fan of tradition in your use of the word either. If you read his writings, you will find he is very Vatican II in the proper sense. It is well known that the young Father Ratzinger was a flaming liberal, for his time, and later then-Cardinal Ratzinger claimed that he had not shifted in any of his positions at all! Only the times had shifted.

I still have not seen a specific example of how the Diocese of Scranton suppresses traditionalist priests!


NEPA Catholic

Matt said...

I agree with Father to the degree that the Latin language itself will not solve all our problems. But one thing it will help with is uniformity of belief. Latin does not change like spoken languages, and so it would protect the liturgy (like it did for 1500 years previously. Latin will also help us reclaim our Catholic identity.

Can anyone say that the use of the vernacular has helped our unity?

As for the Ordinary form Mass itself, I have had the opportunity to attend in Latin with chant ordinary and traditional hymns and it left me with an akward feeling. But it wasnt horrible. I do sing chant at the novus ordo I play at on Saturday evenings(at least the communion antiphon) and it works but could be better. I have also attended one that is ad orientam but in English. It was ok.

Overall the most disruptive part of the ordinary form in my opinion is the respnsorial psalm. Just my 2cents.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

NEPA Protestant -

Things are told to me in private and I am not at liberty to publicly announce who did what to whom out of fear of reprisal. But I was just told by another priest of such things going on.

Thanks for your interest in our Church.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

Father C and I are friends- and he thinks I am a great big luny liberal! (Liberal for him is anyone who does not celebrate the Old Rite.) His Traditionalist beliefs have not rubbed off on me yet, and it is unlikely they will.

He will be happy to know that I wore Purple on All Souls Day however. He has convinced me that the use of "White" at funerals is liturgically confusing becasue the color White is worn on Saints days. As funerals are not a cannonization, or the honoring of a Saint, but prayer for the person's soul, it does not seem to me to be a good option to wear White. I would agree that the over use of White has lead to a de-emphasis, even denial of Purgatory and the need to pray for the dead.

That the new mass is "Protestant" I beg to differ. ICEL is Protestant- the translations are Protestant, the Mass itself is quite Catholic. You well know that Rome has moved to fix the Protestant ICEL translations. I like them- but I think they are a bit choppy. They don't flow in my opinion.

Sir Rockin One, the Mass is a Sacrifice. I ask you: is there a Sacrifice that takes place in the New Mass? If the answer is "YES" then I ask "How could the New Mass be Protestant?" Protestantism by definition rejects the Sacrifice. That is part and parcel of Protestantism- there is no Sacrifice in what they call "worship." To say then, that the New Mass is "Protestant" is, Sir Rockin One, an Oxymoron.

As for your comment about there being many arguments in favor of the Old Rite- I don't deny that. When I wrote my original post, I was simply offering you the two arguments which are convincing for ME. However there was a third written after my post which I liked: Latin as a lanquage does not change, and hence is the best lanquage to preserve Tradition.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Matt -

You said:

"As for the Ordinary form Mass itself, I have had the opportunity to attend in Latin with chant ordinary and traditional hymns and it left me with an akward feeling. But it wasnt horrible. I do sing chant at the novus ordo I play at on Saturday evenings(at least the communion antiphon) and it works but could be better. I have also attended one that is ad orientam but in English."

Where are these Masses held?

Anonymous said...

Traddy, what do you have against Protestants, besides the fact that they are not of your religion? They worship the same God and Jesus as we do, but in a different way. My mom was Protestant, and very religious; also my maternal grandmother. She had a saying; "If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all". I find it very offensive to find references to you and your guests putting Protestants down. Although I was raised a Catholic, and believe in the Catholic religion, I have a deep respect for all God fearing religions. Wouldn't it be a "hoot" if we got to the "Pearly Gates", only to see a sign that says, "Protestants only"!

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Elaine -

I have to be honest - I don't really care if you or anyone else find anything on this blog offensive. I really don't.

I am an unapologetic Catholic, Protestants are heretics, and outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Sorry but there it is.

And here it is from the Chair Peter as well:

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra:
“With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, Decree # 30, 1311-1312, ex cathedra:
“Since however there is for both regulars and seculars, for superiors and subjects, for exempt and non-exempt, one universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation, for all of whom there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism…"

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra:
“Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.”

If you need more, I got tons of 'em.

Matt said...

RT -

The Ad Orientam Novus Ordo is the english Mass Saturdays at 4pm at St. Michael's, done by a Jesuit Priest from the University of Scranton. Father also joins in sometimes for our devotions during the week.

The Novus Ordo with Chant and Traditional hymns is the 9:00AM Latin Mass at the Basilica in Baltimore, MD. The one I went to was celebrated by Cardinal Keeler.

The Mass I play/sing at on Saturdays at 5 is at Holy Redeemer in Harding, which is "attached" to Immaculate Conception parish in Pittston. Father allows me to choose the hymns and use whatever choice of music I want for the other parts, within reason. I filter out all heresy or wishy washiness and the congregation will even on occasion sing in Latin with me. On feasts I almost always sing the proper Vespers hymns during Communion of the faithful because I think it is important Catholic today hear these used-to-be-well-known chants.

If you even come to check it out, stop by the organ and say hello. Its not a very big place, and yes it looks EXACTLY like a Pizza Hut. Not a place you would think to find gregorian chant...but its in there!

Anonymous said...


While I cannot speak for the "Sir Rockin One" I want to respond to your post.

All religions may have good intentions. All Protestant sects of Christianity have good intentions. God bless your mother. The power of judgment does not rest with the Church. Hence apart from special revelation from God the Church cannot pronounce on the state of someone after death. Apart from special revelation from God, we say "May God be merciful, may God bring them eternal light, happiness, and peace." We say this prayer for every deceased person regardless of Religious Affiliation.

The above granted, Elaine, it does not follow that ALL RELIGIONS are valid expressions of God's Truth. All religions can be wrong, but if we recognize there is a God, then only ONE of them can be right. Just as there is scientific truth, how much more there is absolute religions truth. People are so willing to admit Scientific Truth, yet when it comes to religion, it seems people are far more willing to say things like "It matters not what you believe so long as your sincere" (whatever that means.) Well, it DOES matter, it matters greatly.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father. I just find it very hard to believe that someone who calls himself a "Christian" can put someone down for what they believe, esp. if that belief is born out of love for God and the human race in general. Jesus also WANTS us to love and respect one another; not only Catholics!! Traddy's view on Protestants is just how Hitler got his start with the Jews. I think this blog is getting to be to much of a cult for me.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Elaine -

Considering this post was about a Requiem Mass I seem to have allowed you to totally take us off-topic for some reason.

New policy as of this moment: comments must be relevant to the original post.

Can someone who isn't Elaine explain to me how I am just like Hitler because I pointed out a doctrine of the Catholic faith?

I think you have gone a bit too far Elaine, and have over stepped the boundaries I have in place concerning conduct. I do not believe we will be hearing from you again. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Traddy, It's just that I loved my mom just as much as you love yours. If the comment about hitler went too far, I'm sorry. I do enjoy reading your posts about the Mass; it has enlightened me to some things. I just wish you would keep people of other faiths out of it. But like you said, it's your post. This was the only way to respond.

The Rockin' Traddy said...


It was not the only way to respond. Follow the rules or you will be banned.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Matt -

Contact me privately please.