“See what modesty, what reverence, what attention, are requisite from us in order that we may carry away the fruit and the blessings which Almighty God is wont to bestow on him who honors with devout demeanor these sacred mysteries.” – St. Leonard of Port Maurice
The Collect of the Day
The Collect of the Day, which is updated daily, is taken from the Proper of the Season according to the 1962 missal. Included is the epistle or lesson and the Gospel to be read at that day’s Mass, excerpts from Butler’s Lives of the Saints, (the Benzinger Brother’s Edition), Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year, and the Roman Breviary.
Accompanying the classic prayers and spiritual readings are examples of the great works of art inspired by our Catholic heritage. By clicking on the images you can view a larger version of the picture, and links to the artists are also provided. Special thanks to the Web Gallery of Art for providing much of the information and on-line images of these masterpieces. Please take some time to browse this wonderful website and visit their sponsors.
The Propers of the Traditional Latin Mass demonstrate the rich depth and spiritual fecundity of Catholicism. In particular the Collect of the Day of the Traditional Latin Mass, vastly different from those used in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, are highly instructive for those wishing to live as traditional Catholics. If prayed in all sincerity, the traditional Collects will form sentiments that are distinctively traditional.
The prayers of our liturgical heritage, particularly the Collects, formed the consciences of generations of Catholics, and gave rise to the greatest masterpieces of literature, painting, sculpture, and music. Liturgical prayer forms Catholic culture, and rediscovering traditional liturgical prayer will help to rebuild an authentic Catholic culture that is broad, provocative, intellectually stimulating, emotionally satisfying, and spiritually nourishing.
Live as a Traditional Catholic for just one month, and it will so enrich your life, so enthrall your mind and spirit, and bring you so close to our Blessed Lord that you will desire nothing else save heaven.
Ars Orandi means "the art of praying". It came from a sermon I heard when I was only twenty-two years old. The sermon was preached by a priest from the Society of St. Pius X. At that time I was a seminarian studying for the diocesan priesthood, and it challenged my understanding of the Mass and the roles belonging to the various participants. This particular sermon was about the ars celebrandi of the priest (art of celebrating the Mass) and how it paralleled that which is required of the faithful who assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That good Society priest said, and I summarize, that just as the priest has a proper way of offering the Mass (ars celebrandi), so too do the faithful have a proper manner of hearing the Mass, which he called "the art of praying well during the sacred rites". This sermon had a profound impact on the rest of my life, and how I came to understand the Mass the Church's worship of God.
That was the first time I had ever heard that the laity had a role during the Mass that was charged with dignity and importance. The novus ordo establishment way of thinking, particularly in regards to the Mass, is, I realized, rather “clerical” in comparison to this traditional understanding. For all the modern rhetoric to the contrary, I started to realize just how much the novus ordo Mass was steeped in a rather repugnant form of clericalism wherein all the emphasis has been placed on the priest and the ministers at the altar.
Lay participation in the novus ordo, indeed, is now perceived as so many ways the laity can act like the priest (as lectors, "extraordinary ministers of holy communion", etc., etc., etc…). This is the reason why there are girl altar servers and a desire for women priests in the novus ordo mainstream, because the role of the laity in the novus ordo is modeled on, and thus subordinated to, being as much like the priest as possible. The dignity and importance of lay participation has been completely lost, replaced by rote, unthinking responses that have taken the place of meditative and contemplative prayer.
Traditional Catholicism, on the other hand, embodies a form of worship wherein all present and assisting have important roles to play that are distinct from that of the priest and ministers at the altar. While there is a hierarchical order, from the role of the priest down to the role of the laity, the art of praying well during the Mass is extremely important, nonetheless, and the art of praying well on the part of the laity requires just as much preparation and effort as any other liturgical role. Unfortunately, this art of praying well on the part of those assisting at the Mass has been lost, even in modern traditional circles. And thus is the raison d'etre for this weblog: a humble attempt to help the people in the pews re-discover the art and beauty of a traditional liturgical piety that revolves around prayer and meditation.