The Sheep of Kephas

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Sacred Vessel or Pewter Bread Bowl

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In my last post, I made a reference to Idaho and problems my wife and I encountered during our five and a half years living in the Diocese of Boise. I don’t like to use adjectives and adverbs; they can be misunderstood, but the Diocese of Boise cannot be described without using them. I also don’t want make false accusations.

Let’s be clear. My wife are not traditionalists, we have often found great peace in the Novus Ordo when done properly and reverently. We also find great beauty and awe in the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. We are Roman Catholics who love the richness of our various liturgies. In the Diocese of Boise, however, that peace was seldom found. Instead, we often found abuse and irreverence. And access to the Extraordinary Form was severely limited by the now retired Bishop. So the wonderful high desert and mountains of east Idaho, which were so inspiring physically, had become a place of spiritual aridity. Being a faithful Roman Catholic family in the Diocese of Boise was a trying experience. We continually pray for our friends in Idaho that they might be blessed with a new Bishop who will lead them out of the spiritual desert that Modernism has created there.

There are hopeful signs that our prayers are being answered and that a return to full orthodoxy in Idaho is already underway. Just this week the bulletin from our former Parish contained a lengthy letter from the Pastor. Here is the opening paragraph:

“In keeping with my responsibilities as pastor, I have over the years, in the context of the New Evangelization, worked to increase our sense of the solemnity and dignity of the Mass and other liturgical rites. This effort included actions like raising the level of the altar at Christ the King, improving the quality of the altar cloths at Holy Rosary and Christ the King, and requiring the use of sacred vessels made only from precious metals for the Eucharistic Celebration. At this time and in the same spirit, I believe it is important to establish a parish standard for sacred music, especially the music at Mass.”

Please note the portion of the statement I underlined. Consider the use of the pewter bread plate we now see at all the Masses at St. Peter’s. Technically, it can slip through the guidelines in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Yes, it just gets by. Then, I look at the words of my former Pastor: “… to increase our sense of the solemnity and dignity of the Mass and other liturgical rites.”

I can’t say I always agreed with my former Pastor, but I can say he apparently realizes that an increase in “the solemnity and dignity of the Mass” is precisely what is needed in his Parish and throughout the Church in America. And now the same can be said about what is needed in our Parish here in Rappahannock County.


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