Thursday, April 2, 2009
A Morning at Tridentine Mass in Holywell-Day 3
My Last Day in Holywell (for now!)
On the Sunday morning early, we had gone to the Well Shrine as I have reported and then we went up to the top of the hill to the Catholic Church for Sunday Morning Mass.
I recently learned the reason for the name Mass and that it should never be called a service.Mass is much more. Dr Scott Hahn, the brilliant theologian in his book 'The Lamb's Supper' writes this:
To go to Mass is to go to heaven, where "God Himself....will wipe away every tear"(Rev 21:3) Yet heaven is even more than that. Heaven is where we lace ourselves under judgment, where we see ourselves in the clear morning light of eternal day, and where our Just Judge reads our works from the book of the Lamb. Our deeds go with us as we go to heaven. Our deeds are with us when we go to Mass.
To go to Mass is to renew our Covenant with God, as at a marriage feast-for the Mass is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
To go to Mass is to renew our Covenant with God, as a marriage feast-for the Mass isthe marriage Supper of the Lamb. As in a marriage, we take vows, we pledge ourselves, we assume a new identity. We are changed forever.
To go to Mass is to receive the fullness of Grace, the very life of the Trinity. No power in heaven or earth can give us more than we receive at Mass, for we receive God unto ourselves.
We must never underestimate these realities. In the Mass, God has given us his very Life. This is not just a symbol or a metaphor of foretaste. We must go to MaWITEYES eyes and ears,mind and heart open to the Truth that is before us, the Truth that rises like the incense. God's life is a gift we must receive properly and with gratitude . He gives us grace as he has given es fire and light. Fire and light, misused, can burn or blind us. In a similar way grace received unworthily subjects us to judgement, and much direr consequences.
In every Mass God renews his covenant with each of us, setting before us life and death, blessing and curse. We must choose the blessing for our own, and reject the curse, and we must do this form the very start.........'
For the most amazing explanation of the Mass read Dr Hahn's book (Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from Bishop of Stubenville)ISBN-100-232-52500-5.
He makes some wonderful statements of which this is one of my favourites:
The martyrs of the Apocolypse Revelation are the ones who speak from the Altar. They are the sacraments of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Christ. In their lives, they manifested the true nature of love, sacrificial self offering.
We can live this martyrdom wherever we are. We need not travel to oppressive , anti Christian Countries to be martyrs. We need only to do the same things we have always done-but now making every one of those gestures, actions, thoughts and feelings, an expression of love for the Father, an imitation of the Son within us. That is what it is to live the Mass.
That is what it is to be a missionary and a martyr, restoring all things in Christ. It means cooking dinner unto Christ, and through Him to the Father, and for his Children, who are yours. It means going to work and doing a job meaning friendship for your co-workers, and not just to get a better salary next year or get a promotion, but to earn an eternal inheritance.Remember again the words of Vatican 2:
(Their)work, prayers and apostolic endeavours, their ordinary married and family life, their daily labour,their mental and physical relaxation....all of these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ...During the celebration of the Eucharist these sacrifices are most lovingly offered to the Father along with the Lord's body'.
Our whole life gets caught up in the Mass and becomes our participation in the Mass. As Heaven descends to earth , we life up our earth to meet it half way. That's the splendour of the Ordinary;the workaday world becomes our Mass. That is how we bring about the Kingdom of God. When we begin to see that heaven awaits us in the Mass, we already begin to bring our home to heaven.And we begin already to bring heaven home with us.
We become Martyrs , witnesses to Jesus Christ,Whose parousiaWhose Presence, we know intimately.'
As I have already written from the life of the Saint, this Chastity which she defended was important , because of the way Christ gave women-the right not to marry if they did not wish. Gwenfrewi or Winifride in repulsing the amorous Llewellyn defended herself as a unique virginal vessel-her own gift to God. So it was with some awe I entered the church dedicated to her above the shrine on that February Sunday morning.
Holywell Catholic Church and the Vocationist Fathers
We got to the Church by walking up from St Winifride's Pilgrims Guest House. For the first time in my life, as this was a Tridentine Mass, I wore the traditional small black veil. Since the new revision of the Canon law it is not required, and yet many women are voluntarily using it, as a gesture of love for the Lord and a 'one in the eye' for the evils of our present day life in the world. Moreover, the Tridentine Rite had always required to have the head covered. It was my first time of experiencing this Mass and one thing it did inspire in me was reverence and awe. There are not so many places where you have to actually say something so you can enter a deep relaxation and really enter into the words on the page of the missal. Everything in Latin and English is written in there, but there are no microphones, everything is said normally and provided you keep up with the liturgy on the page-you can be 'laid asleep and become a living soul' as Wordsworth says in his contemplation of Tintern Abbey ruins. Then, or course how much more can this happen if you are witnessing heaven in this spiritual warfare? The singing of the plainchant was heavenly and if I have not lost the files on the crashed computer, I will put it up on the podcast. I could not kneel for the Communion because of the damage to my knees, but I very much liked the new experience. I was even more pleased when I found it was being offered in my nearby parish of Cheltenham.
So when the priest says 'This was the Mass'he means 'This is the Mission' (Ita Missa est) and in the Ordinary Rite we have 'The Mass is ended go out to Love and Serve the Lord'. In effect we, in the Church, the Body of Christ are to go out into all the world working for Christ, to bring more souls to heavenly bliss.
It was certainly well worth coming for the pilgrimage as it gave me a lot to think about! Also the link with Monmouthshire-via St Beuno, who educated in Caerwent went on to found so many religious houses (Basingwerk may have been one of his originally) and help restore the health of our little girl saint, who still draws people to her cmartyred state in the the Name of Christ to this day.
After the Mass we met Fr Salvatore who welcomed us and invited us again. HE also does prayers at the Shrine every day at 5.He also invites all of you to the annual Welsh pilgrimage.
15, Well St, Holywell, Clwyd CH8 7PL
Tel: 01352 713181
The Annual Welsh pilgrimage is a deep moment of faith in this holy place. Our faith needs expression of signs as well and this pilgrimage is one. We can keep alive the historical Catholic Christian Faith by participating at the Procession, Mass and Veneration of St. Winefride’s relic. All members of Diocese are warmly welcomed to join us and to bring other people to share this wonderful experience, which I have experienced personally since arriving here from Italy on April 1st 2008. By taking part in this pilgrimage we can witness together our common faith to God through the intercession of St. Winefride venerated here in Holywell.Salvatore Musella SDV
The Vocationist Fathers, they have a religious house at St Winifrides, is an orer dedicated to fostering vocations for the priesthood and religious life all over the world, and helping young men with discernment, educating the very poorest and makig it possible for them to be priests.
The Right Reverend Edwin Regan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wrexham, entrusted St. Winefride`s Parish Holywell to the Vocationist Fathers on April 06, 2008.
The Society of Divine Vocations,
more commonly referred to as "Vocationist Fathers,"founded by Fr. Justin Russolillo, is a Catholic Religious Congregation that strives to foster vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life, especially among the poor. Its main ministry is to identify and guide those who believe they are called to serve God as Priests or Brothers.
The Society of Divine Vocations, currently serves God's people in Italy, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and now in the United Kingdom. Their ministry is carried out in Parishes, Schools, Missions and the Vocationary (a place for vocational discernment and religious formation).
The Vocationist Fathers and Brothers live in community and take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
MORE DETAILS LATER ABOUT THE ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE.