First Traditional Mass at the National Shrine’s High Altar in 45 Years
Washington, DC- The Paulus Institute announced today that on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at 1 p.m., the fifth anniversary of inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI will be commemorated in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, by a Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the “Extraordinary form”—commonly known as the “Traditional Latin Mass” or “Tridentine Mass”—celebrated by the Vatican prelate Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos of Colombia.
This will be the first such Mass said at the Shrine’s High Altar in nearly 45 years. All Catholics are invited, many of whom may never have another opportunity to attend such a Mass. Cardinal Castrillón is the President Emeritus of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (Church of God), where he assisted Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in facilitating this form of the Mass.
In July of 2007 Pope Benedict issued the apostolic (papal) Summorum Pontificum (of the Supreme Pontiff), in which he confirmed the permissibility this Mass. It is one of the two uses of the same rite of the Eucharistic Liturgy, along with the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970 (the “Ordinary” form). Evolving since the early days of the Christian Church, the Mass was essentially in place by the 6th Century during the papacy of Pope St. Gregory the Great and codified by Pope St. Pius V in the 16th Century. It was last changed by Pope John XXIII in 1962 and so used during the Second Vatican Council. In 1984 Pope John Paul II permitted use of the Missal of John XXIII, and further facilitated it in 1988 and 1992. Pope Benedict noted that the Latin liturgy of the Church in each century of the Christian era “has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints and reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and [facilitated] their piety,” adding, “What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred for us too.”
Writing that since this Mass “must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage ... let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith allows.” The pope noted in an accompanying letter that “young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction, and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Sacrifice particularly suited to them.”
The Paulus Institute in Washington DC is sponsoring the Mass. “We are honored that His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating this Mass at our invitation, especially on the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s inauguration and at the High Altar of the National Shrine,” said Institute President Paul King. “It is a privilege to recognize the Pope on this auspicious occasion and assist his call to give due honor to the 1500-year old Mass for its ‘venerable and ancient usage.’”
“We are inviting all Catholics to this Mass for the unity of the entire Catholic community, including those unfamiliar with it and particularly young adults and families.”
By Charlotte Allen
The Wall Street Journal
January 14, 2010
By Phil Lawler
January 15, 2010
"As I readied for communion I wondered if I was ever really worthy to receive Him? As I knelt the altar cloth brushed by shoulder. I immediately pondered the suffering woman in Mathew 9: 20-21, upon hearing of Jesus' presence thought "If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed...."
To assist the priest as a server is such a great honor and privilege (by the way...if you, or your young men or boys want to serve...step forward please)...but what a daunting prospect!
Firstly Tony Strunk, Master of Ceremonies, calls up and leaves a somber Marine Corp. like message to show up in the sacristy after mass. You assist at mass along side your fellow parishioners, wait for the candles to be extinguished and make your way back into the sacristy. In your run away imagination the sacristy is a secret, dark mysterious place that no one ever ventures except the priest and servers, whispering prayers and vesting in the shadows (perhaps getting a glimpse of an angel flying overhead).
In reality the sacristy at St. Anthony consists of a room (to the right of the altar) with cabinets holding the thurible, incense, charcoal, matches and the controls to the lights and microphones. A stair way leads down into the back of the Sunshine Room. There are two, very old, wonderful pictures of St. Anthony church, one a general shot of the church complete with standing gas lamps and the other (looking very 1940's) of a first communion mass at the Gospel reading.
Passing to the back side of the church you enter the vesting room for the priest. This room is full of dark wood cabinets and drawers consisting of vestments, corporals, altar cards etc. This is the room where the priests vest for mass and you are instructed to generally pass through but not linger. This is a good size room laid out in a traditional manner with traditional vesting prayers on the walls and a sacrarium (defined here) next to the general use sink.
Following the back of the church (along the east wall) is another room where the servers vest. This too is an old room with dark wood closets filled with cassocks, surplices and cinctures. This is where the servers find vestments that fit them and study their rubrics, prayers and overall duties. This room has the back door that opens onto Second Street.
Between these two back rooms and the altar is a small hallway , or more accurately, a passage way that passes from one side of the church to other. This passageway also leads outward toward the front of the church through the curtains you see on both sides of the altar. From this vantage point you can see how the altar is put together, hodge podge style and I have heard that parts of the altar were constructed from the crates that various elements of the church came packaged in. Hanging in the middle is a light switch and a hand written note that reads "tabernacle lights...leave on". Alongside this is a ladder that leads up to statue of St. Anthony and the platform it sits on. During Easter this statue is slid to the rear and hidden behind a curtain while the risen Christ is put in it's place. Bob Wells tells me that in times past one would hug the statue to be replaced (the statues are hollow), and with feet on the ladder and back on the wall, shimmy down. (Bob is a well of great stories). On the north end of this passageway is a small room (to the left of the altar, north wall) used for storage and a small staircase that leads into the upper parts of the church including the attic (see Post #40, Random Thoughts: Human Fragility and Light Bulbs in St. Anthony’s Attic).
The whole back end of St. Anthony's rooms are steeped in wood and past memories. Memories of marriage, joy, sin, atonement, confirmations, holiness, human weakness, triumph and struggle. One thinks about these things when exploring , wondering if you are up to the task to serve at mass and whether or not your service would be pleasing to those who came before you...and when Tony hands you a booklet on how to say the mass and says "learn these prayers and I'll see you next week"...well you pretty much come to the conclusion that, ready or not, your in knee deep now brother!
Crawling Neutrophil Chasing a Bacterium
Thomas P. Stossel (Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School),
This video is taken from a 16-mm movie made in the 1950s by the late David Rogers at Vanderbilt University. It was given to me via Dr. Victor Najjar, Professor Emeritus at Tufts University Medical School and a former colleague of Rogers. It depicts a human polymorphonuclear leukocyte (neutrophil) on a blood film, crawling among red blood cells, notable for their dark color and principally spherical shape. The neutrophil is "chasing" Staphylococcus aureus microorganisms, added to the film. The chemoattractant derived from the microbe is unclear but may be complement fragment C5a, generated by the interaction of antibodies in the blood serum with the complement cascade, and/or bacterial N-formyl peptides. Blood platelets adherent to the underlying glass are also visible. Notable is the characteristic asymmetric shape of the crawling neutrophil with an organelle-excluding leading lamella and a narrowing at the opposite end culminating in a "tail" that the cell appears to drag along. Contraction waves are visible along the surface of the moving cell as it moves forward in a gliding fashion. As the neutrophil relentlessly pursues the microbe it ignores the red cells and platelets. However, its leading edge is sufficiently stiff (elastic) to deform and displace the red cells it bumps into. The internal contents of the neutrophil also move, and granule motion is particularly dynamic near the leading edge. These granules only approach the cell surface membrane when the cell changes direction and redistributes its peripheral "gel." After the neutrophil has engulfed the bacterium, note that the cell's movements become somewhat more jerky, and that it begins to extend more spherical surface projections. These bleb-like protruberances resemble the blebs that form constitutively in the M2 melanoma cells missing the actin filament crosslinking protein filamin-1 (ABP-280) and may be telling us something about the mechanism of membrane protrusion.
Thomas P. Stossel (Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School), June 22, 1999