The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Help the Shrine of Christ the King

My dear friends,

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have undertaken a great task. That is to restore the Shrine of Christ the King, formally St. Gelasius, in Chicago. Please check out their website for drawings of what they wish to do to the church. Also, they will be on EWTN tonight with their architect, William Heyer, whom I know personally. They really have some great plans in store for this Church, so please consider making a contribution. Also, check out the shrine's website here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The PCJ on the Blogosphere

Recently the Pontifical College Josephinum caught some attention over on Fr. Z's website. Not wanting to look like a bitter seminarian (because I'm not) I withheld a lot of information. Now that some of this information has been made public by Fr. Z and a seminarian(s) still at the Josephinum, I thought I would go ahead and pass along the information. You can get all the details here. Judge for yourself, but know that I had nothing to do with Fr. Z making the post. The talk in question was given by the rector to theologians only and it was given after I had already been dismissed.

[EDIT: Fr. Z has removed the post due to controversy and immense response to the information contained therein.]

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Video for a Friend

I just saw this video and thought it was amazing. It's a slide show and commentary of the Wyoming Carmalite Monks (see the link in the vocation station). I know of a friend who is interested in these guys, so hopefully he will see this video. Check it out!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where were you?

The question of our generation! Where were you on Summorum Pontificum day? I was right here, on the right side of the picture with the thurible.

Guide to the Traditional Mass

Since the release of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, I have seen a lot of blog posts on how to use a missal or what gestures to follow and various phisical responses in the traditional Mass. I have also seen people constantly say that "active participation" is primarily a contemplitive aspect. These two responces seem directly opposed to each other. On the one hand we say that people should try to enter into contemplation at the traditional Mass and then on the other we tell them every single time one should respond "et cum spiritu tuo."

I'm not saying here that there's anything wrong with making responses or knowing when to stand and kneel. These are important things. What I am saying is that focusing on these things, especially at first, is not the way to foster a contemplitive spirit at the Mass.

So, that being said, here is ZACH'S GUIDE TO ATTENDING THE TRADITIONAL MASS!!!!!!!

If you've never attended a Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite, now called the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite, then you have to attend at least 3. Here's why. The first time you attend, typically, you will leave confused and you will have the biggest headache you've ever had. This is especailly true if you attended a solemn high Mass or a pontifical Mass as your first Extraordinary Use Mass. This is because there is so much to take in and combined with the fact that you probably don't know a thing that's going on and your brain just can't absorb it all, so it blows up (or at least feels like it). The second time you attend will be similar, but the headache will be less or non-existant. The third time you go, you will be floored and you will want to know more and more and more about this ancient rite.

So, how does one approach the Extraordinary Use Mass for the first time. Many people will tell you that when you first go to the traditional Mass to find a 1962 hand missal and to shove your nose in it through the whole Mass so you "know what's going on." I'm going to flat out say here that that's a stupid idea. If you go to the Mass with your nose in a missal you will never be able to appriciate the traditional Mass and, despite common belief, you won't know what's going on. Most of the prayers that you would read in a missal are said in silence at the Mass. So while you're busy trying to find where you are in the Mass because you'll have missed a lot of prayers, the Mass will already be about 10 pages ahead of where you think it is. In my opinion, hand missals are a useful thing, but there best use is when you are at home so you can study the Mass and learn what's going on. So, when you go to the traditional Mass for the first time, leave the missal at home.

So, we've established what you don't do. Here's what you should do. Pay attention to what the priest is doing. Pay attention to every action, because every action in the traditional Mass has meaning even if only a symbolic one. Remember also that the Mass isn't about you, so don't get upset if you can't see or understand what the priest is doing. Just remember that he is performing the sacrifice and at that instant is acting in the person of Christ, so at the very least you should be looking at him as you would look at Christ on the Holy Cross. The traditional Mass is as if you are climbing a mountain. The summit of which is the elevation. At the elevation, you have seen God, you have seen the greatest act ever done on Earth. What a mericle. What a priviledge to see God in the flesh appear before you. So you continue toward the summit, and at last, when recieving communion, you have recieved the fullness of all things. The creator of all the universe now approaches you, so you kneel before the altar and recieve this great gift.

Remember to always approach the traditional Mass with humility. You will be immideately struck by the realisation that the Mass is not about you. It is about God. You must submit yourself to it and realise that you are now at the foot of Calvery, looking at our Lord, and He looks at you.

I hope that this little guide and discription helps you the next time you go to a Mass in the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite. I hope as you continue to go that you will become more contemplitive in your approach to the Mass in either use and that your love for God will be fostered through uniting youself with the sacrifice of the Mass by being truely active.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


My dear internet friends,

The URL of my blog no longer makes any sense. As of Friday September 14, 2007, I am no longer a seminarian. I was dismissed from the Pontifical College Josephinum on Summorum Pontificum day (The Exhaltation of the Holy Cross.) I won't go into much detail about it here.

I will still continue to blog, although I won't have any posts about seminary live (duh!)

I want to thank you all for your prayers and comments since I started this blog, and I would ask that you still pray for me as I continue to discern what God wants for me in my life.

-oremus pro invicem


Friday, September 14, 2007

Summorum Pontificum!!!

Happy Independence Day!!!

Today, Summorum Pontificum takes the force of Law in the Church. It is a great day worthy of great celebration! How are you celebrating??

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thank you for your prayers


Thank you all for praying for my friend. He had to have surgery to remove his appendix and everything went fine. He his well on his way to recovery.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Please pray for a friend of mine

My friends,

I just got word that earlear today a friend of mine was taken to the hospital and may have to undergo surgery. Please pray for him.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Greek Fest at Columbus Ohio

Well, yesterday we went to the Greek Fest, a local festival at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. We had good food, good music, good drinks and got to see an Orthodox vespers service. The priests and the monk present were very nice and cordial and the Cathedral is just breathtaking. Check it out:

Despite being built approx. 10 years ago, the cathedral still retains a very sacred style of architecture. Boy, I wish we could still build them like this again.

One of the first things you notice when entering the cathedral is the breathtaking mosaics. The dominant one is of Christ on the main dome.

The Icon screen was made of pure white marble. You can notice the great mosaics behind it as well.
We were lucky enough to catch a vespers service while we were there. The monk is from a local monastery here in Ohio.
Combined with the cathedral, the food and drinks were awesome as well. I highly recommend a baklava sundae.


I was thinking about my blog the other day and was wondering how many people use the different things on my blog. Specifically, I was wondering about the vocation station. If you use the vocation station (the list of male orders on the right side) comment here and let me know. If it's successful enough, or if I get enough requests, I'll put a female counterpart here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

New Boston Colonial Fest

Yesterday I went to the New Boston Colonial Fest located near Springfield, Ohio. It really was a great. Souvenirs were relatively cheap (except for period clothing), plus we got to see come cannons fired. The only stupid thing there is that these people seem to be under the concept that the only religion in the 1790's was witchcraft because there were an abundance of tarot card readers, one of which had the audacity to be selling hand made rosaries. I'm guessing she was a misguided Catholic who made her own rosaries and decided that would be a good venue to sell them.

Overall it was pretty great though. Check out these pictures

I need to get me one of those tents for the next time I go camping!

The costumes there (for the most part) were pretty cool.

Dan and Shawn in the stocks. That'll teach them to argue with me!
It was around this time I started smacking Dan in the head because he couldn't do anything about it.Then he did something about it.However, Shawn got a worse punishment for his crime. Because he refused to shower for months at a time he was made to sell flowers in the stocks! Only $1.00!In the end it all seemed to turn out well though. I made my escape and Shawn was in a better mood. It was win/win.

After all was said and done, Shawn and I escaped and had a good beer and a smoke.

Then Shawn got a little bit too drunk and decided to join the local militia.

They decided to put him in charge of the artillery. Notice he's drinking on the job.

I offered to help but all I did was philosophise. I'm not even sure why they let me touch the thing.Then Dan got into the act yelling and screaming "when I was your age I used to use one of these things in the north against the injins!"

Well, that was kind of the last straw. When the Captain saw that Shawn was letting civilians mess with the artillery they threatened to put us in the stocks again. We decided to run instead. After dodging cannon fire for about an hour, we finally made it back to the Josh.

Well, that was our trip. After I patch the bullet holes and wash off the gunpowder I'll get to blogging again. Until then, please pray for me.