Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Solemn Latin Mass on June 23, 2017 7:30 PM for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Paul's Basilica, Toronto.

Hello Everyone,

Another offering of the Latin Mass at a high level, will be happening in the Archdiocese of Toronto, whereby I will once again be serving at the altar of our Lord.

Once again, the esteemed St Patrick's Gregorian Choir, led by professional musician and choir master, Surinder S. Mundra, will be organizing, and providing the liturgical music for, a Solemn Latin Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the EF/Latin Mass Calendar.

As in past offerings, This solemn Latin Mass will be held at St Paul's Basilica, 83 Power St., in Toronto, at 7:30pm. Below is the advertisement poster with information:

For those who are venturing to this form of the Mass for the first time, or who need aids, the SPGC will be providing a limited number of booklets with Latin and English translation side-by-side  with cues as to when to sit, stand and kneel. In addition, feel free to view my series of posts under "General Question and Answer Posts" that will tell you more about facets of the Latin Mass, so what you see and experience will not be that foreign to you.

As a final note, the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, in terms of a liturgical perspective, do not just limit the laity to only say the handful of responses that was only allowed in past. While the liturgy will be carried out in the proper structure and manner as per "the books," and the choir will be providing the chants and music for the liturgy, you are encouraged to say/chant the responses and parts in Latin, should you know them, and even to sing along if desired (that is, if one can keep up with the chanting.)

Normally, when SPGC's full booklets are printed, certain pieces' chant notations (music notes to read) will be provided as well. Also, some people might have the St. Edmund Campion Missal for the Latin Mass, which contains the parts for the Kyrie, Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, etc. I will attempt to add to this post in future, the score of the music for the liturgy to be known in advance.

Please, share this information with friends and family, and come to experience spiritually, sensually, and internally, what is this most awesome form of the Mass in the Church, one that has nurtured many a saint in the last centuries. We hope to see you there.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Missa Cantata/High Latin Mass at Mary lake Shrine in King City This Saturday June 10th, 2017 7pm

(As advertized on, this is the poster that has been distributed to nearby parishes.)

Hello everyone, particularly those living in King City, Ontario, and the surrounding areas of Woodbridge, Vaughan/Maple, Brampton, Newmarket, Aurora, and Richmond Hill, 

As is now the annual tradition of the Mary Lake Shrine in King City, overseen by the Augustinian Fathers, in the month of June they allow for a yearly celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite a.k.a the Latin Mass. Last year I was able to altar serve that offering as thurifer and the posting of that past offering is here, where I also briefly talk about the Fathers and the Shrine.

Once again, the Augustinian Fathers will be organizing a Missa Cantata/High Latin Mass, with the offering being celebrated by Fr Steven Szakaczki, one of the main priests in our archdiocese of Toronto who celebrates the Latin Mass, and is frequently consulted for such offerings by multiple parties. Fr. Szakaczki also oversees the St Lawrence the Martyr, Scarborough, daily Latin Mass offerings. In addition, a full complement of 5 servers (MC, 2× acolytes, crucifer and thurifer,) including myself as acolyte 2, will be serving our Lord at the service of the altar.

The date of this Mass in the EF is this coming Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 7pm EST start time, at the Mary Lake Shrine of our Lady of Grace, 13760 Keele St., King City, ON, just north of Keele St. and King Rd. This will take place in the Eucharistic adoration chapel, beside the main altar/sanctuary at Mary Lake Shrine. 

Allow me to add some additional notes of generality and of the liturgy:

Generally speaking (and for the laity to attend):

  • In the Latin Mass calendar, this is "Ember Saturday" in the Octave of Pentecost. For the laity, there used to be binding laws of partial abstinence from meat and full fasting. Partial abstinence means meat is ONLY eaten at one meal/the main meal of the day. While the current Canon Code of Law of 1983, combined with the change of the Novus Ordo (vernacular) liturgy, the Papal document Paenitemini of Pope Paul VI, and the Vatican II "invention" of Bishop's Conferences, they have made these practices not binding by sin/law in today's Church. STILL, one should always be encouraged to participate in the customs and life of the Latin Mass, such as these. So if capable, do fast and partially abstain from meat this coming Saturday.
  • There WILL be confessions before the actual Mass, as the prior has been made aware. A priest will be available for the sacrament in the confessional beside the main altar

Liturgical notes:

  • At the decision of the Augustinian Fathers, the regular maximum of five servers will be maintained, with no additional servers to be added in supplementary roles such as boat bearer and torchbearers. Part of this was an organizational decision (as the sanctuary in the chapel is small,) while at the same time, it was also motivated by allowing for the richness of the liturgy to be fully seen and carried out as per the EF/TLM of 1962. Therefore, our acolytes (myself included,) will also be pseudo-torchbearers in the Mass of the Canons from the Sanctuary until after the people's communion. You will receive communion with acolytes as "guards" next to each prie deux.
  • As this is the Saturday of Ember days during the Octave of Pentecost, some interesting additions to the liturgy will happen:
    • On an ember day liturgy, up to 5 additional Old Testament "lessons" of Scripture are added in addition to the standard Epistle. This is followed by a collect after each lesson. As was custom before in the EF, there is the granting to the celebrant of the option of a shorter amount of only one lesson in addition to the main collect, followed by the Epistle, a tract (instead of an Alleluia), a "sequence," and then the Gospel reading. It has been decided that for the sake of time and unnecessary burden on all present, that the shorter option will be in effect on this day.  
    • In addition there is a sequence sung during the Octave of Pentecost called the Veni Sancte Spiritus, before the Gospel is proclaimed. This is NOT the same as the "Come Holy Spirit ..." prayer we know, though ``Come Holy Spirit`` is the literal translation of the title of the sequence, based on its first three Latin words. 
Thankfully, the more senior brothers of the Augustinians here, including the head brother, have a solid appreciation for this form of the liturgy and a good head about how one goes in celebrating this form. As just one example, while all of us servers, Fr. Steven, and the head brother/prior, were waiting outside to begin practice this Monday, Fr. mentioned that he has seen in his many years a true and reverent way of celebrating/serving the Latin Mass, and ways it has not been such. When serving or celebrating, one must not be an "actor on a stage" moving like clockwork. Your movements must not be grandiose, but smooth, and genuine, with an attitude of true humility and service to our Lord at the altar.  

I ask kindly that you please spread word of this offering by any means of communication, and bring any family and friends to this offering. I hope to see some of you there, afterwards, when we will have a post-Mass celebration with refreshments. 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Have Returned! A Reflection for an Important Day this May14 2017, One Year Later.

Hello Everyone,

I take it that some of you thought I was dead or gave up on the Latin Mass and/or blogging with smiles and many curses of victory. Nope! I'm still alive and still being a certain part of the Latin Mass. I haven`t blogged lately as I work full time, commute at least 1.5 hours to my job, and my wife expects an equal contribution to the housework. Weekends are the limited time to maintain the house and get shopping and the like done. Oh and then there are those pesky weddings that pop up on weekends in your late 20`s/30's cause that's the time all your friends are doing it. You try doing all that and having oodles of time to blog daily, unless of course you`d like to do that at your job and risk being fired. So life's been the barrier for me.

But don't think the EF has taken a back seat in my life because I don't blog as much. This year, I was privileged to have been invited to a good acquaintance's wedding which was a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form, and I did make it out to an offering for an Extraordinary Form Candlemas, whereby I had candles blessed in the EF Rite. No darkness nor demon will be laughing at those candles when they are lit!

Serving-wise ... I have not served an EF Mass this year at the offerings that have taken place. I draw the line when it comes to that. I will attend offerings should there be no other ones with neutral parishes/groups, or organized "glad-trads," as in that way I do support the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite itself. However, if I altar served, this would be material co-operation against the goals of this blog and in support of those who violate my goals. I will not stray from that.

Now, onto more important things and the reason for my re-appearance on this blog. Today marks a special occasion for me. It was one year ago that I entered into Holy Matrimony, in the Sacrament of Marriage, with my lovely wife [name and pictures of her withheld to protect privacy, as well as Catholic parish of marriage.] in the Catholic Church of our Lord, Jesus Christ. While not an EF Mass, it was nonetheless a sacred, holy, and beautiful testament to the Love of Christ for all humanity, via His Holy Church, the Bride of Christ.  

One of the most pivotal elements that made this day so special, was the liturgical music that was provided. While my wife was not open to a full EF Mass (as she wanted a Mass liturgy, and liturgical music, in a language she can understand,) she allowed a gracious compromise, and a promise to be kept by good friends who are truly doing the work of Christ in the Extraordinary Form community in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Since I have been faithfully loyal, in my service at the altar, my blog in vocal defense of, and my promotion of liturgies that would be otherwise unnoticed in public social media for, the St. Patrick`s Gregorian Choir, they were more than happy to provide liturgical music for my wedding, should I venture down the vocation to marriage.

Well .... I did end up pursuing that vocation to serve my Lord optimally with my now wife, and sing to the heavens they did! In combination with vocalists that my wife wanted for certain portions, the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir provided the liturgical music for the ordinary parts of the Nuptial Mass (e.g. The Sanctus, The Agnus Dei ...,) as they do every Saturday 5pm vigil at their downtown parish and base of operations, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Toronto. Alongside my wife's vocalist companions, everyone's liturgical contributions brought to us a peace and sanctity in our Nuptial Mass, and a foretaste of Heaven alongside the one person who will assist me in that journey (as I must also do for her.). I am truly indebted to all of these great vocalists for being there for me, and making good on a promise they gave to both my wife and I.

One of the other vocalists even decided to join the Choir for the SPGC`s 10th Anniversary, Solemn Latin Mass at St. Michael`s Cathedral Basilica Mass last year, packing a whallop in the Soprano section, a young lady who might I add is an accomplished leader of choirs at both our parish of marriage and another parish nearby. Her skills continue to amaze me, as she can master and teach contemprary music, but also perform classical styles of music such as Gregorian Chant, and true ``Classical`` and ``Romantic`` period pieces in multiple languages.

Back to the SPGC Choir, here is the choir below, alongside myself and their accomplished choirmaster, Surinder S. Mundra, professional musician, whose talents have been highly appreciated in the classical music scene in Toronto:

Now, here I am. One year later, still in love with my wife, and wondering where the time went from this hectic, yet beautiful day. While the party was a good, grand affair, with the presence of a few reverend fathers we knew, I would rather focus on the liturgy of that day as that was the highlight of my day. Deo Gratias. May the Lord, in combination of her intercession and protection of her mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, continue to watch over us and guide us in the future. May the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, continue to play a part in our faith lives, and that it will positively grow in this Archdiocese of Toronto in union with Holy Mother Church and the Holy Father in Rome. 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian. 

P.S. As per a ``t``radition, a portion of the wedding cake is saved and frozen, to be eaten a year later on the anniversary of our wedding. Alongside some flowers I purchased for my lovely wife, here is our cake, which we feasted on this evening after dinner. Delicious and sweet like the Sacrament of Marriage!