Friday, 7 June 2013

Post Latin Mass Report: St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir Solemn Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart

Hello Everyone,

This past Friday evening, June 7, the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir once again organized and sponsored a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The Mass was held at 7pm at St. Lawrence the Martyr (SLTM) Catholic Church is Scarborough, ON in the evening on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Solemn Mass became this week's Friday parish Latin Mass, as normally a Low Latin Mass is said at SLTM on Fridays outside of Lent in that timeslot.

The choir, led by Surinder S. Mundra, organizes these Solemn Masses in the Archdiocese of Toronto, and arranges the order of the musical pieces and chant for the Mass. In addition, the choir trains young men to serve for the Masses, such as myself, whom aid the clergy in offering their Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. St. Pat's is always welcome to accept young men wishing to serve in the EF, and is open to the general Catholic public. These Masses are offered every few months in the Archdiocese in parishes that are open to hosting the EF. The choir also is open to working with others who are open to collaboration in the Extraordinary Form or other facets with traditional Catholicism (e.g. Gregorian Chant, Classical music).

Between Masses, any priests and servers who serve with the choir are encouraged to continue serving the Latin Mass in their own parishes, communities, or with other parishes/efforts to maintain their skills and abilities. They are not discouraged from doing serving as an inferior minister (altar server) or clergy elsewhere, and/or Masses held by other Latin Mass efforts in the diocese, regardless of the organizers. The same goes with laity who attend the Masses. The SPGC welcomes those from every EF-supporting community, and as always, anyone who is interested in the Latin Mass whether it is their first occasion or one of many occasions.

The choir was grateful once again for the support from St. Lawrence the Martyr, who encourages the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese in a charitable and joyful manner. The parish assisted the choir in holding the Mass by providing the location to hold the Solemn Mass, and also assisted in the Mass via the Deacon role through SLTM's Latin Mass Chaplain Fr. Steven Szakaczki, and veteran servers Robin Cheung and Brian Izzard.

The Solemn Mass had the following roster for servers and clergy:
Celebrant: Fr. J. Pilon, Diocese of Peterborough
Deacon: Fr. Steven Szakaczki, Latin Mass Chaplain of SLTM
Sub-Deacon: Fr. Russell Asch, Archdiocese of Toronto. Ordained in 2011, Associate Pastor of St. Patrick`s Markham, ON. Catholic Register has a brief but interesting biography on their website here.
MC: Robin L.M. Cheung, Veteran Server, SLTM
Acolyte 1: DDS, St. Pat's (Name withheld, minor under 18).
Acolyte 2: Me (Julian Barkin), St. Pat's and occasionally SLTM on request
Thurifer: Brian Izzard, SLTM
Cross Bearer: L.A, New joinee to St. Pat's. (Name withheld by consideration for privacy)
Boat Bearer: Derrick Shim, core group of SLTM EF servers.

Some Minor notes:
- Once again it was great to have Fr. Pilon and Asch be part of the clergy in their roles. They are diocesan priests in their respective dioceses. It is always awesome to see diocesan priests take an active role in this vital liturgy for the New Evangelization! Seeing diocesan priests is really encouraging to a young individual like myself.
- This Mass was the first time that Robin has been assigned the MC role in the EF. Robin has been serving with the parish, primarily in the weekday low masses as well as Sunday Masses and Sunday EF benedictions.
- A couple of new people have joined the lovely St. Patrick`s Gregorian choir, including another young lady! Welcome!
- Prior to the Mass was the end of Eucharistic Benediction and Adoration. The server`s area had been converted into a lovely little Adoration Chapel. I ducked into the chapel before a few minutes to pray before the Mass. I got a couple of treats. First, Fr. Liam Gavigan, a priest who has been ESSENTIAL to the EF in our Archdiocese, through his holding of the Latin Mass even before Summorum Pontificum, and who has trained some of those who train today`s servers, was doing the ending Benediction. Second, he said the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart, in addition to the usual prayers that go with Adoration and Benediction.

The Mass
As usual, here are some pictures of the setup of the Altar and some other minor facets of the Church prior to the Mass. No pictures are taken during the Mass by any members of the choir during the Mass due to respect for the sacred liturgy. It is not an entertainment event! If any media will be taken, it may by video for the purposes of altar server training. Here was my usual round of Sanctuary photos:
Epistle Side of the Altar. The Bells were later moved to the Gospel Side near Acolyte 1
Center Aisle and Altar from a Distance. Now with beautiful new Altar Rails! Finally we got the pleasure of using them!

Sedilia and Lower Chairs, as well as the Credence Table in the back. Epistle Side of the Altar.

As for the actual Mass, as usual, things progressed in a solemn and reverent manner by our clergy. The choir sang beautiful, uplifting chant and pieces in the Mass and our new young lady to the choir apparently received the solo for the gradual/Alleluia, or the piece leading into the Gospel.:

The Homily
Being an acolyte, I was privy to hearing the whole homily from start to finish. Here are the main points of what Fr. Pilon had to preach to us for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, though I admit my memory is shoddy between the stress I experienced prior and during Mass, coupled with coming off night shift. I have taken a bit of liberty here to fill in and connect some main points:

  • To Begin the homily, the Sacred Heart of Jesus was, actually, the living breathing organ when he was in the flesh on earth. 
  • It was a beating heart of flesh, that beat as baby Jesus was held against his father, St. Joseph, and his mother, Blessed Virgin Mary. They felt his little heartbeat when He was a babe. 
  • When we think of the heart, we point to it physically, but our emotions and affects refer to more than the physical organ. 
  • When we say something insulting with emotion and/or intent, or speak down to someone, the evil action affects us more than just corporally so. It affects our "hearts", our person-hood and being, and is the opposite of love. 
  • Christ's love for us is represented in his Sacred Heart, the heart that gave out beating as he sacrificed himself for our sins on the Cross. That act was the ultimate act of love for us, the ultimate act of mercy for us. 
  • The Latin for mercy is miserecordiae. The word is separated into two root words. Misere which is misery, and cordiae which can come from "corda" which is "heart". [Editor: like as in Sursum Corda]. Mercy is connected to the heart.
  • Christ's Sacred heart is depicted [Editor: like in my First Friday devotion to the sacred heart posting] with a large laceration to the heart. This laceration is from the spear wound inflicted by the Roman soldier [regardless whether it "represents the wound" or it was actually lacerated at Jesus' death]. 
  • [Editor: One could say Fr. Pilon took a page out of our Jesuit Holy Father Francis' book on homiletics, with the three word pattern to teach a lesson:] His Sacred Heart keeps that very wound, and it remains open for you to enter into His Heart, His ultimate Love. To do so, it will require three things:
    • Humility: Sadly these days, psychologists in this world brush off things and make us "feel ok" about ourselves, that many of our sins and actions are not wrong, and can be rationalized. Further, many people commit sins and rationalize them away. They are prideful. We need to realize that the sins we do are continually attacking and stabbing at Jesus' Heart. We must say "what I am doing is sinful and wrong, and not of the Love of Christ."
    • Shame: We should be shameful and sorrowful for our acts. They should not be hidden [mostly] behind excuses and mental disorders, etc. We must, despite our shortcomings or deficits in life, be willing to admit our sins we've inflicted on the Lord's Heart, and be ready to detest what we done and know they are sinful. [This includes detachment from sin]
    • Sorrow: We must be sorrowful for our sins. We must be sad for the sins we commit, knowing the nature of them and how they wound our Lord, and that they hurt his Sacred Heart. Further we must feel sorrow at those who sin against His Heart and commit such actions, as those sins too hurt our Lord's Sacred Heart. 
  • May we come to desire His love in the Form of his Sacred Heart. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee!!!
A fine Homily. I just wish my mind was less foggy to remember the rest of it.

Despite some serving mistakes, we together nonetheless proceeded in a beautiful and solemn liturgy, learnt a number of practical applications for future, and granted to those present an EF mass in our Archdiocese. Afterwards a reception was held downstairs in the parish hall with some celebratory sweets. It was a feast day after all! 

I would like to congratulate the St. Patrick's Choir, and to those new members to the choir for partaking in the liturgy through your voices. Thank you`s are also extended to the servers of SLTM for assisting St. Patrick's. Especially, Robin Cheung, veteran server, is to be commended for his first time role as a Master of Ceremonies. His serving was excellent for a first-time role, and it is great to see that his hard work and training under Fr. Steven has paid off admirably.

I'd also like to thank those of you who attended whether this is your normal form of the Roman Rite, or this was your first time, or perhaps you were even from another highly liturgically orthodox Christian faith/rite (e.g. Anglican Rite). I hope that you were able to worship our Lord in beautiful reverence and solemnity, honouring Him on this sacred feast day devoted to his Sacred Heart. If you honestly loved this form of the Mass and would like to attend more frequently in the core o the diocese, I encourage you to look for the regular offerings under the page on the right side of this blog and to attend, be it for your Sunday obligation, or even on weekdays. That or just e-mail me if you would rather get a direct message and assistance to lead you in the right direction.

In addition, should you, or if you have a child or young man who was inspired by our service at the altar as servers and wants to do it, I can personally assist you with pursuing Latin Mass altar serving. My e-mail is under the "contact information" page. Please provide both an email and a phone number to contact you. This info can also be passed onto the SPGC should you specifically want to work with the choir. As a final note, should any of the attendees for this Mass, have snuck in shapshots with your cellphone cameras, you can send them into my e-mail address. I will display them in this post. 

UPDATE JUNE 11, 2013
Someone took a camera picture of the incensing at the Offertory. See me there on the far right. The Master of Ceremonies is whom in most EF serving guides removes the Missal from the Gospel side for incensing. However, I reverted to what I did last time at the St. Joseph's Mass: AC2 removes altar Missal (I suppose it's an alternate role not set in stone, or at the discretion of your MC) and well, got a little surprised. Thankfully I reverted to orans position and left at a suitable time. Next time, I'll make sure to discuss finer points in the liturgy with my MC. Hey, it's a learning curve.

Once again, Thank you, and keep spreading the word of the Latin Mass. Pax Tibi Christ, Julian Barkin.

P.S. For your pleasure:

This is side by side, the Novus Ordo Missal (2011) with a biretta of one of the clergy. This is a clear example of the two forms of the Roman Rite side by side. Feel free to copy and paste with description at will! This is symbolically Pope Benedict XVI`s meaning of the two forms mutually enriching each other! I thought this was too cool not to photograph. Pax. 

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