Saturday, November 08, 2003

I Missed This At the Time
Bishop Banks retired from the See of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was replaced last month by Bishop Zubik, who is from Pittsburgh, and describes himself as a traditionalist. So another member of the Boston Old Boys' Network that worked so much harm here and elsewhere is out. Good luck and prayers for Bishop Zubik.

America As It Should Be, Art As It Should Be
On this day in 1974, when this scribe was a mere slip of a lad of 10, America's most influential artist of the 20th century, Norman Rockwell, died.

Looking back and around him, he captured on canvas (and famously on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post) what America was like. He depicted innocence and basic decency, faith, humor, holiday merriment. His The Four Freedoms, along with Frank Capra's Why We Fight series, helped define our war effort in the 1940s. His Saturday Evening Post Santa Claus covers furthered the work of Haddon Sundblom (the Coca Cola Santa artist who also contributed, probably as much as Vargas, to the pin-up during World War II) and Thomas Nast in perpetuating one timeless and unchanging image of Good Saint Nick for generations of American children.

His product was indeed art. His creativity, married to traditional, normative themes and techniques inspired, taught, and pleased all who beheld them. There was much more substance to his work than there is to Thomas Kinkaide's. The "Frank Capra of Painting" served his country and its society well.

Want a trip down memory lane? Barewalls.com offers about 180 Rockwell prints for sale.

Planning a trip to Stockbridge? Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum while you are out there.

Friday, November 07, 2003

The First Blow Has Been Struck in the Episcopalian Civil War
And as in the US Civil War, those in the wrong have committed the first overt act.

As If We Did Not Have Enough To Worry About
I've often wondered if some nutcase could attack the huge tank in Dorchester, the vast tank farms in Chelsea, Revere, and Everett with mortars or RPGs, penetrate the skin of the tank or tanks, and set one or more tanks on fire. Somebody once told me that if all the tanks went up, it would create a 16-mile blast zone. That would basically fry Boston and the northern suburbs, or Boston and Quincy if they attacked the huge Dorchester LNG tank.

My recollection is that a standard mortar round would not come down with enough velocity to penetrate. But I am sure that there are specialized munitions that could be launched from a mortar tube (allowing the culprit to attack from stand-off range and get away, except that the blast would probably kill him).

I for one was not particularly reassured that the tank farms have an excellent security record. Maybe that is just because nobody with adequate resources has tried to launch an attack on them before now. Up until September 11th, the airlines could boast, if it had ever occured to them, that not one of their planes had ever been hijacked by Bronze Age fanatics with box cutters and turned into a manned incendiary missile that was used to bring down a skyscraper loaded with people.

I don't know what to do about it. The tanks are vital. They hold LNG, home heating oil, gasoline, and aviation fuel used on a daily basis to fuel the Greater Boston economy, heat our homes, power our cars, and make it possible for planes to take off from Logan.

We can be watchful. But be honest. The tank farm is large enough that a determined attacker with the resources could hide from yards or even hundreds of yards off and cause a catastrophe. It is one of the facts of life that has been all too real to people in Greater Boston since September 11th.

A "Stop-and-Go Mass"
I was subjected to one of these about 5 years ago in Salem on a hot August Sunday evening. It was one of the most annoying experiences ever (though I've yet to blog about the worst liturgy I've been subjected to).

Some guy at the Salem Mass (no clue who, and I'm so blind I'd never recognize him if I saw him again anyway) butted in every few minutes with these immensely long-winded explanations of what was going on, which I already knew quite well). To make matters worse, it was a youth Mass, so the music was already not to my liking. Suffice it to say that a short Mass for Ordinary Time that should have been over in 45 minutes was just winding up around the hour-and-a-half mark.

The fellow was knowledgeable and well-prepared. He spoke well enough. He didn't say anything that was heterodox that I can recall. And it was not that I had anything important planned for the evening. It also was not that I grudged the extra time so much. I love long Masses like the Easter Vigil and Midnight Mass.

However, if I am going to be there for a long time, I want it to be worth it. Add chant. Add traditional prayers. Make the sermon long. Don't tediously prate at me about things I have known from observation for 20 years or more. I don't want to be detained overlong at a Mass that I know should be over in under an hour because somebody got a bee in their bonnet about explaining the Mass to the congregation (most of which, if I recall correctly were not youthful) just because there are a dozen teenagers in the spotlight. And the old guy blabbing away with another septuagenarian a couple of pews away throughout the whole Mass did not help. Even though I was not enjoying the Mass, I was constantly tempted to tell the two to shut up, and remind them that there was a Mass going on.

It is probably idiosyncratic, but this particular Mass just drove me nearly insane. I wanted to run screaming from the church. The only two other times in my life I have wanted to do that were another Sunday evening Mass in Danvers (priest in sandals interrupted our prayers before Mass to introduce himself, general handshaking, asking stranger to introduce themselves, teen rock band, dippy sermon, PCed liturgy), and the one I mentioned above which may earn a full blog soon, now that I have recovered from it. Oh yeah, I forgot about the Christmas Eve fiasco at my own parish with the liturgical dancer and the shiny silver orb. That was bad, too.

Generally speaking, when people go to a Sunday evening Mass, it is because they slept in that morning, but still want to meet their obligation. They just want a plain Mass for a plain time of the year. It could even be like the 7:30 am Mass at my parish: no music. That does not mean that they want to be subjected to kid liturgy and that broken up with constant monologues. It was one of the few times in my life I darted out the door from the Communion line. I just could not stand being there another minute.

If this sort of Mass has a place, I think it is with weekday or holy day Masses specifically for grammar school children, or special evening Masses for CCD classes. I think the priest should do the explaining. But as far as possible, don't subject adults to this. It is tiresome in the extreme.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

"Pink Flamingo" Grief?
No one wants to increase the hardship that this family faces. Their son died after horrific disabilities. Their life with him was a hard one. His death was hard. And people ought to be allowed to mourn.

Our theme, if there is one, for this month of November is sin, death, judgment, Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. So this seems to fit right in.

I've seen pictures of the grave site in question. It is mighty tacky, in my judgment. The days when the bereaved were content with a simple headstone with a hopeful inscription and planting some evergreens, annuals and perrenials, or a tasteful silk flower display that does not need tending if allowed, seem to be gone.

Now the survivors often want to turn not just the grave site, but the spot on which their loved one died, if on a public street, into a permanently tasteless memeorial festooned with balloons, cello-wrapped flowers, toys, plastic holiday decorations, and so on.

There are a couple of places where young people came to tragic ends in car accidents that those who remember them have tried to turn into permanent small-scale Princess Diana-type memorials. One of them is in front of the North Shore Shopping Center on Route 114, where a few years ago a teenager was killed while drag racing late at night. The cello-wrapped flowers are renewed (though they often are left pretty "wilty" for days or weeks at a time). So we have permanent monuments to tragic teenage stupidity.

In a book by historian Jack Santino on Halloween customs I read last month, he had photos of a child's grave in Florida, which the parents festooned with those three-feet high molded plastic ghosts and witches that are supposed to be lit with a C-9 or C-7 bulb, just like the plastic Santa Claus or wooden soldiers (or outside nativity figures) at Christmas. On a grave site!

I think one can assure the grieving parents that the poor child, taken so young before grievous sins have accumulated, and after living a life delimited by severe disabilities is surely at peace and has all the Halloween, Thankgiving, Christmas, Easter, and birthday fun a child could possibly want in Heaven forever.

Restraint in grief seems to be out for a sizable portion of the population. The deaths of Elvis, John Lennon, and Princess Diana of Wales seem to have been the major triggers for this trend. Huge public outpourings of grief seemed the incarnation of celebrity culture. Now it has filtered down to the deaths of individual (mostly young) people. People see how the deaths of the famous are marked today by the public, and they want that for their own loved ones.

An interesting thing about the transformation of grief in our present day from what it was in Victorian times is that while the grieving often splash out for colorful displays, they don't limit their own conduct as was formerly the case. So we often have tastelessness replacing decorum.

Even on a higher level, one hears nothing about any architectural monument being planned for Pope John Paul II. Most likely, the Vatican will allow St. Peter's to become another sea of wrapped bouquets of flowers and burning candles, and then sweep it away in time for the installation of the next Pope. Only transitory beauty, nothing permanent, then all quickly forgotten. A discreet grave in a corner may be all the Holy Father wants, but he deserves a permanent monument consonant with the beauty of St. Peter's, like the momuments of great, or not-so-great, popes of the Renaissance.

In Victorian times and before, there was a whole ritual of proper grieving. The black wreath on the door, the muffled door knockers, the wearing of dark (preferably black) mourning clothes for months, the use of mourning paper, limiting social contact, refusing invitations was all the norm. When my parents died, in a modern variation of the custom, each time I wore one of my black ties to work daily for six months.

Then among us Catholics, there was the need to have Masses said regularly for the repose of the departed soul, certainly on the one-month, six month, and annual anniversaries. In my parish as I was growing up, one particular person was memorialized at Mass at least one Sunday per month. And let us not forget the custom of enrolling the dead in Mass societies, so that Masses are said for the repose of that soul in perpetuity.

Today, the grieving don't limit themselves in that way. They don't refuse invitations. They don't buy a black wardrobe, or wear much black at all after the funeral (in "working class" families the male, one would be inaccurate to say "husband" or even "father" in many cases, does not wear good clothing on a daily basis).

And very few bother very much about "Mass cards," though I am one of the few. Survivors are less scrupulous about observing anniversary Masses, perhaps because they think everybody goes to Heaven, so they don't need to pray for the dead. Poor religious education combined with too much latitudinarianism can be fatal for the eternal life of many.

We have lost our ability to say to ourselves, "I ought not to do this," or "I ought to do that" because we are mourning for the next year. We are a hedonistic culture. Self-imposed limitation because of the death of another is something we see increasingly rarely. Oh, we feel bad about someone's death, but we don't want to be reminded about it all the time.

More to the point, we want to do our own thing in marking the death. We are also a society of nonconformists. Many don't like to be bound by tradition.

But survivors today tend instead to go in for the sentimental and mawkish display, rather than the quietly dignified and steady outward facade that masks grief displayed only in private. Odd, they don't want to do what everyone else has done for centuries, but immediately fall into lock step with what they see on TV as modern mourning. So much for doing your own thing. Someone who strictly observed Victorian mourning ritual today would be "doing his own thing" so unrecognizable would be the practice.

The TV culture/celebrity culture is part of the problem, together with the decline of religious observance, and increasing informality in society. Oprah and the Today Show have played their part in this, but them so has the general surrender of standards that the World War II and Baby Boom generations not only allowed but celebrated.

I think that there is a positive benefit to following established and generally accepted modes of grief. In particular, the spiritual aspects are best addressed through the Church. But also there is order and predictability in following customary methods of displaying grief, and that order is highly beneficial for society. Grief is experienced as an individual thing. But no person is always in private.

Other people's grief mostly does not reach the rest of us. We may have a brief tear to shed (hopefully we remember to say a quick "Requiem" at least). But it is not our grief. We have enough grief of our own to deal with.

And let's be honest. The lack of uniformity in grieving customs has led to a significant degree of uncertainty in how to treat the bereaved. "Should I call him?" Yes, to express your sympathy, not to ask for input on the next meeting of the club you both belong to. It is good for society if you can presume that, for the next six months, a grieving person will not have any interest in the mundane. I think also that a healthy long period of mourning after a death leads to a greater respect for life.

True, we lost our monolithic bereavement customs because some grieving people felt impatiently constrained by all the black clothes and the social isolation. But better for them to make it clear that they don't want to be treated as bereaved than for us to assume that they are not and intrude upon their grief.

There is a line when the lavish, ostentatious efforts to decorate the grave of a loved one interferes with the rights of neighboring plot holders to grieve in a tasteful manner. I for one would be displeased to find the sadly unmarked grave next to my parents suddenly turned one day into a Disney-like extravaganza.

I'm a silk flower type. Years after the deaths of my parents, I don't get to the graveyard for visits as often as I should. And I don't like to be bothered with weeding and planting. So my custom has become nice, tasteful displays of silk flowers (or Christmas greens) changed out each season.

I see near my parents' grave a few balloons here and there, particularly on new graves. I don't care for that, but it is not overdone. No one has generated the equivalent of the house in town with all the Christmas lights (and I do mean all). There are no pink flamingo graves nearby.

As I said, the people whose loved ones are buried nearby have a right to be upset that the grave next door has been turned into a theme-park in miniature. Restraint in grief is much more important than self-expression. I also don't care for people who blare their car radios or boomboxes. Your right to self-expression stops at my eyes, ears, and nose.

Without trying to upset these poor grieving people, they would do better to have Masses said for the faithful departed (for their own child, if they like, but he is surely in Heaven) than to make their child's grave a source for anxiety for their neighbors. Everyone has a right to grieve. But keep the plastic pink flamingoes, or their equivalent, out of the graveyard.

Requiescat In Pace
Bobby Hatfield, half of the Righteous Brothers duo died last night while on tour at the age of 63. Who hasn't heard You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' or Unchained Melody? Requiescat in pace.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Miniseries Pulled
And conservatives, including Matt Drudge who has waged a hard and often lonely fight, have something to cheer about this morning. CBS has decided not to air the grossly anti-Reagan miniseries about Ronaldus Magnus, the man whose profile belongs on Mount Rushmore.

Kudos to Drudge for mobilizing folks to take action that frightened the sponsors and the network enough. That is what living in a society with certain norms is all about. If people don't want to have something that is grossly biased and likely to lead people who did not experience those times first hand to false conclusions about them work hard, they can dissuade companies from airing them.

No First Amendment problem there. There was no government censorship, just private action by a lot of people all over the country acting on their own, and effectively. The words, "if you sponsor this, we won't buy your product" worked. Would that it would work so well in the music recording industry.

GOP Pick-Ups
Republicans won the governorships of Kentucky and Mississippi last night. That looks pretty good for President Bush and the party heading into next year's presidential campaign.

Guy Fawkes Night
Remember, remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

Guy Fawkes Night is a national patriotic holiday in England to this day. It is of course anti-Catholic in its origins, though admittedly the plot to blow up Parliament was indeed a Catholic plot. Today, the anti-Catholic element of the holiday is forgotten (since Catholics are a plurality of Christians in the UK, as in the US). It is a night for warming bonfires and fireworks, rum butter, and drinking.

In the Protestant-dominated parts of the the British Isles, the merry-making associated with Hallowmas before the Reformation was transferred to Guy Fawkes' Night. Instead of "going a'souling," children would go door to door and beg a penny "for the Guy" to make the effigy of Guy Fawkes that would often crown the bonfire. Yes, that is another New Year's luck visit custom, though this one is derivative from Hallowmas.

An interesting (and more overtly anti-Catholic) offshoot of Guy Fawkes Night was Puritan Boston's Popes' Day. The rival North and South End gangs would each build on a flatbed wagon an ugly effigy of the Pope. Starting at opposite ends of the town, they would parade toward a central point, Haymarket. In the market square, a titanic donnybrook would ensue as the gangs battled with barrel staves, harse dung, fists, rocks, clubs, and anything else that came to hand. The gang that won would capture the other gang's Pope. Both effigies would then be burned. There would then usually be a public banquet with much drunkeness following the brawl. Sounds pretty much like an English soccer crowd of today.

This was usually also Mischief Night in Puritan New England, a time for overturning outhouses, stealing gates, egging houses, and other practices that have been absorbed into Halloween or Devil's Night mischief in modern times.

Update: Given the information Dom Bettinelli unearthed (that the USCCB thinks that the Roman Cathoic Church takes no official position on the question the the Lord's earthly celibacy), how about fashioning an effigy of our hapless bench of bishops and their clueless lackeys on the USCCB staff to burn tonight at the bonfire? What would such an effigy look like? Any takers?

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Recommended Reading For the Month of the Dead
Allow me to recommend a book by Father P.T. Kelly S.T.L, So High the Price, Daughters of St. Paul Press, 1968. It is a brief, 2-hour read about the reality of Hell, its tortures, and how to avoid it. It is not over-heavy on the fire and brimstone. But it does get the point across.

It is interesting to note that the book came out after Vatican II, and quotes Vatican II's documents to the effect that nothing about the Church's teaching regarding Hell and Purgatory was changed by the Council, and that we all ought to be aware of that reality. Even then, it was felt that there had been too little emphasis on this possible fate (probable for some).

To paraphrase St. Jerome: think about it now, so that you don't have to live there forever.

Am I Reading This Right?
I don't have time to wade through pages and pages of "theologyspeak" these days. But what I came away with from this USCCB document is that the same folks who don't think the Church ought to actively reach out to convert Jewish people (because it's not nice, somehow) also think we ought to consider dumping the "Filioque" from the Nicene Creed in the name of reunion with the Orthodox.

"That in the future, because of the progress in mutual understanding that has come about in recent decades, Orthodox and Catholics refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit."

There's no heresy. Can't we all just get along.

"That the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use."

So, in order to make it more likely that we will agree with the Eastern position eventually, let's change the fundemental way we interpret these documents? Ecumenism by self-disarmament, kind of what the liberals wanted to do with US nuclear arms int he 1970s and 1980s.

"That the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable."

Unilateral surrender when the Church is in the right, as it always is in matters of faith and morals. Just so we can all get along.

Maybe folks ought to notice crap like this, if that is what it is (and I may be overhasty in my criticism, I only glanced at the document), before it becomes bureaucratically inevitable, before it gets the endorsement of the full bench of US bishops, before it is proposed in our name to the folks at the Vatican. Vatican II called for more lay involvement in the Church. Well, I think a good start is lay people seeing the nonsense that is being spun by Church bureaucrats and taking issue with it early and often, particularly when it contradicts major tenets of the Faith. I must admit that I am predisposed to expect no firm re-affirmation of the Faith and all of its claims in all their plentitude from the American Church's bureaucracy of today. I did not wade through the history, but I am almost morally certain that it will be slanted against the traditional Catholic position. The only way you can really know is an examination of the primary documents, which I don't have time for.

For the record, my understanding is that the Holy Spirit is said to proceed from both the Father and the Son because the Son was always, from the beginning ("begotten, not made") and so, therefore, the Holy Ghost must proceed from both. Somewhat simplistic, I'm sure. I studied history and law, not theology or philosophy.

Ecumenism with the Orthodox, in my view, must mean bringing them closer to the True Faith, not reducing our system of belief to their level. And we ought to be active in making those who are so close, but have divided themselves from Peter for a variety of small issues into the fold. Finding common cause is all well and good for limited ends. But caving in, as this appears to be to me, is not the way to go about re-unifying all Christians.

Even if I'm off the mark, it's still a good thing to send a shot across the USCCB's bow, and let them know that they are no longer able to perpetrate retreat without being noticed.

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member,
No shade, no flowers, no leaves, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no birds - No-vember.

The month started out nicely, but it's pretty cold and raw now. Winter is absolutely on its way.

Monday, November 03, 2003

"The Crusaders" Fisked
Dale Price does a wonderful job dismantling the Boston Globe Magazine's hit piece on more traditionalist Catholics. Done oh-so-well.

Well, They Did It
New Hampshire Episcopalians now officially have a non-celibate gay bishop. And the crack-up of the Anglican Communion over this is imminent.

Maybe this sort of self-righteous "I must vindicate the gay rights agenda no matter what the consequences" stand by Robinson & co. is God's way of ending that particular heresy/schism, and bringing new strength to the Church through the likely influx of new, articulate, and traditionalist members escaping from the sinking ship of fools. Cardinal Ratzinger has lead the way. Now it is up to us to talk things over with our Episcopalian friends when they come asking advice or seeking answers.

Why Catholics Pray For the Dead
Chris at Maine Catholic and Beyond has a great post up on the above topic.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

A Long Anti-Conservative Catholic Rant In the Boston Globe Magazine
Oohh! Ooohhh!

Those terrible traditionalist-minded Catholics are well organized, and influential (would that we were).

The pope agrees with them all the time (would that he did).

Important businessmen are throwing all sorts of money to them (none has reached my wallet, and would that it had).

Oh, and that "secretive" Opus Dei organization is so, so powerful. Maybe I should join it to meet folks who will be the source of a decent job. What are a few stripes on the back if it gets you a good job? Actually, it was just probably due to sloppy research that the article did not mention that some Opus Dei members engage in what we might call "extreme mortification of the flesh"(and meatless Fridays and lents are enough of a mortification for me (though a hairshirt might not be too bad). But then again, the author wasn't trying too hard to get the facts, so it not surprising that he missed that little factoid. Facts get in the way of "hit-journalism."

But, Mr. and Mrs. America, don't despair. Those evil traditionalists will lose in the end. Polls show that American Catholics are really on the side of the angels (the dissenters) on all the important issues: guitar masses, priestesses, openly gay non-celibate priests, gay marriage. So, just like the Newt Gingrich Republicans they really are, they are doomed to defeat.

After this retrogressive neanderthal of a Pope finally dies, they will just be swamped by numbers both in the laity and the clergy who want the impromptu millenium of Vatican III (and, presumably, the "spirit of Vatican III").

Typical Boston Globe journalism. Soooo predictable. Soooo sophmoric. Soooo obvious.

Update: I just checked, and was not surprised to find that Domenico Bettinelli had pretty much the same take on this piece of "journalism."

Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis, Domine
Kathryn & George
Nora & Thomas
Felicia & Louis
Patrick & Susan
Thelma & Herbert
Grace & William
Winifred & Louis
Rose & Harold
Mildred & Frank
Bea & Roland
Mary & James
Mary & John

Here are some elements of the Old Mass for All Souls' Day that I don't think can be matched for their beauty and recognition of the reality of death and judgment. Even the English translation that is available brings shivers to the spine. To hear them chanted in Latin (knowing Latin well) must have been nearly terrifying, especially the Dies Irae.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
Et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem
Exaudi orationem meam
Ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona defunctis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua eis.

Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Zion
And a vow shall be paid to thee in Jerusalem
Hear my prayer
All flesh shall come before you
Eternal rest give unto the dead, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Dies Irae
Dies irae, dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulcra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
In quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet apparebit.
Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
Cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatus
qui salvandos salvas gratis
sale me, fons pietatis

Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae:
Ne me perdas illa die.
Quaerens me, sedisti, lassus;
Redemisti crucem passus;
Tantus labor non sit cassus.
Juste Judex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco tanquam reus,
Culpa rubet vultus meus;
Supplicanti parce, Deus.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.
Preces meae non sunt dignae,
Sed tu, bonus, fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremer igne.
Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab hoedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictus.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis,
Gere curam mei finis.

Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:
Pie Jesu Domine:
Dona eis requiem. Amen.

This day, this day of wrath
shall consume the world in ashes,
as foretold by David and the Sibyl.
What trembling there will be
When the judge shall come
to weigh everything strictly!

The trumpet, scattering its awful sound
Across the graves of all lands
Summons all before the throne.

Death and nature shall be stunned
When mankind arises
To render account before the judge.

The written book shall be brought
In which all is contained
Whereby the world shall be judged

When the judge takes his seat
all that is hidden shall appear
Nothing will remain unavenged.

What shall I, a wretched sinner, say then?
To which protector shall I appeal
When even the just man trembles in fear?

King of awful majesty
You freely save those worthy of salvation
Save me, found of pity.

Remember, gentle Jesus
that I am the reason for your time on earth,
do not cast me out on that day
Seeking me, you sank down wearily,
you saved me by enduring the cross,
such travail must not be in vain.
Righteous judge of vengeance,
award the gift of forgiveness
before the day of reckoning.

I groan as one guilty,
my face blushes with guilt;
spare the suppliant, O God.
Thou who didsnt absolve Mary [Magdalen]
and hear the prayer of the thied
hast given me hope, too.
My prayers are not worthy,
but Thou, O good one, show mercy,
lest I burn in everlasting fire,
Give me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
placing me on Thy right hand.

When the damned are confounded
and consigned to keen flames,
call me with the blessed.
I pray, suppliant and kneeling,
a heart as contrite as ashes;
take Thou my ending into Thy care.

That day is one of weeping,
on which shall rise again from the ashes
the guilty man, to be judged.
Therefore spare this one, O God,
merciful Lord Jesus:
Give them rest. Amen.

Domine Jesu
Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae,
libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
de poenis inferni
et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis
ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
ne cadant in obscurum;
Sed signifer sanctus Michael
repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam,
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semini eius.

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine
laudis offerimus
tu suscipe pro animabus illis,
quarum hodie memoriam facimus.
Fac eas, Domine, de morte
transire ad vitam.
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semine eius.

Lord Jesus Christ, king of glory,
deliver the souls of all the faithful departed
from the pains of Hell
and the bottomless pit.
Deliver them from the jaws of the lion,
lest hell engulf them,
lest they be plunged into darkness;
but let the holy standard-bearer Michael
lead them into the holy light,
as once you promised to Abraham
and to his seed.

Lord, in praise we offer you
Sacrifices and prayers,
accept them on behalf of those
who we remember this day:
Lord, make them pass
from death to life,
as once you promised to Abraham
and to his seed.

Lux Aeterna
Lux aeterna luceat eis Domine
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine;
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:
quia pius es.

Let everlasting light shine on them, O Lord
with your saints for ever:
for you art merciful.
Eternal rest grant them, O Lord;
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
With your saints for ever
for Thou art merciful.

Libera Me
Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna
in die illa tremenda
quando coeli movendi sunt et terra,
dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego et timeo,
dum discussion venerit atque venture ira:
quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.

Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death
on that awful day
when the heavens and earth shall be shaken
and you shall come to judge the world by fire.
I am seized with fear and trembling
until the trial is at hand and the wrath to come:
when the heavens and earth shall be shaken.

Even the oh-so-common Kyrie and Agnus Dei take on a feeling of desperation in light of the rest of this Mass.

What a shame the Dies Irae has been dropped from the new Mass, and that both All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are not holy days of obligation no matter what day of the week they fall on. Our society needs to be reminded in ever stronger terms about the realities of sin, the devil, death, judgment, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

But today we are afraid that, by coming on too strong, we will "turn-off" so many rather loosely committed folks that we don't dare. Paul Johnson in The Quest for God speaks of the fire-and-brimstone sermons he used to hear as a child annually at his English Catholic prep school from Redemporist priests in the 1930s. The Jesuits, if I recall, ran the school, but every year in November, or during Lent, they brought in a Redemporist, a specialist in hellfire and damnation. We need more of that today. Heaven knows "I'm OK/you're OK" isn't working. And re-introducing the Dies Irae would be a good place to start.

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