« Sitting Under The Apple Tree With Ol' JP, II | Main | Well, If I've Gotta Go... »

November 25, 2008


Father M.

Mrs. P.,
The Rector Emeritus there, Rev'd Canon John Andrew, OBE, K St. J, is a friend or mine and as close to Roman Catholic as you can get. Cardinal Touran came from Rome to preach his anniversary Mass. His wallpaper, featuring little crossed keys and Papal tiaras, once graced the rooms of John XXIII, so yes, lots of nice Catholic accretions at St. Thomas. If all Anglicans were like those Anglicans we'd all be one big happy family again united by the Eucharist, led by the Supreme Pontiff and also people would dress well and sing in Church...

Mrs. Peperium

Oh my gosh Father M., you and I are going to have to talk about these Anglo-Catholics and yes, we certainly could be one big happy family if England would only behave like the English used to behave -500+ years ago. Their dentistry still dates from those days so why can't their religion?

You wouldn't by chance know Father Malcolm Hughes would you? He's an Englishman who travels among the Anglo-Catholic circles in North America. He had a Church in Montreal and then was up for Church of the Advent, Boston at the time they were considering Father Mead (if recalling correctly) but he got St. Saviour's, Bar Harbor instead. He retired, unwillingly but responsibly when Maine got the female bish.


Mrs. P, if it hadn't been for the 39 articles, you would have heard it in Latin, and it would have gone over your head (until, as you said, your mother clued you in... but what of those who don't have Latin scholars for mothers?)

XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people.

Mrs. Peperium

Oh goody NBS, shall we roast Protestants and Catholics along with our Thanksgiving turkeys?

Why not? It's not like we're vegetarians...

First, I think one can make a good case that there was a time when Latin was a Tongue people most understoodeth. It is true that to most churchgoers today, myself included, Latin is pure Greek.

However, rereading Article 24, and if you were sitting in front of a roaring fire in our fireplace with a hefty dram of your favorite single malt after dining heavily on roasted joint of beef prepared by yours truly, I would pick this precise moment to ask you how long do you give Article 24 (-as in terms of life)?

My thinking is in the Age of Multiculturalism can we not expect there will come a time when English is no longer understoodeth by everyone. Especially in England....

NBS, have a great time in Maine this weekend...remember, you and the baby park it at Gritty's while everyone else shops until they drop in Freeport....


Mrs P, for your enjoyment, a little Isabella Stewart Gardner:

From American Heritage:

If Boston’s social matrons felt it necessary to keep an eyebrow perpetually raised at Mrs. Jack, other elements in the population were quite delighted by her. Their sense of propriety was not offended when, on a Sunday morning in Lent, she drove down to the Church of the Advent with a mop and bucket and did her penance by swabbing down the steps of the church. When her carriage was caught in a mob during some labor troubles in South Boston, a voice rang out, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Jack. I’ll see you get through.” It was her friend John L. Sullivan, then heavyweight champion of the world...



And a little more:

From a Time article on the Cowley Fathers, 1936:

[T]o Boston the most interesting donor to the Cowley Fathers monastery was their late patroness, a terrifying little woman who gave the $25,000 St. Francis House in which the Fathers have been living. She was Mrs. John Lowell ("Mrs. Jack") Gardner.

A daughter of a rich Manhattan importer named David Stewart, Isabella Stewart married into a proud Boston family. She delighted, scandalized and tyrannized Back Bay from the early 1860's until her death in 1924. Small, exuberant, handsome, Mrs. Gardner was first painted by John Singer Sargent at 30 in a black shawl. The portrait caused so much talk that she had it put away. That was about the only time she ever bowed to public opinion. She traveled abroad more than anyone else in Boston, bought more dazzling gowns, had more servants and footmen, consorted with actors, artists, musicians, acquired matched pearls by the pint and wore one string around her waist. Once, asked for a subscription to the Charitable Eye & Ear Infirmary, she replied that she had not known there was a charitable eye or ear in Boston. She drank beer at "Pop" concerts at Symphony Hall when ladies were furtively sipping sherry in the parlor. She walked down Tremont Street with a lion on a leash. Once when she missed a rendezvous with a coaching party she chartered a locomotive which she drove herself at 80 m.p.h. to overtake it. She was supposed to have paid Pianist Paderewski $3,000 to play for her and one guest at tea. When Mascagni conducted at the opening of an opera season, Mrs. Gardner did not let a broken leg keep her away. She sat in her box with the leg in a cast, her back to the stage.

An art enthusiast, Mrs. Gardner had finally bought enough treasures by the turn of the century to require a vast Italian palazzo in what were then marshes outside Boston. When the architect suggested steel girders for "Fenway Court,' Mrs. Gardner shook her determined head, said the stone had to hold itself together without modern props. Daily she went to Fenway, with her luncheon in a tin pail, to scramble over scaffoldings, show the workmen how she wanted things done. A cornetist went along to blow one toot when Mrs. Gardner wanted the master steamfitter, two when she wanted the stone mason and so on. When Fenway Court was ready for its grand opening on New Year's Night 1903, Boston found "Mrs. Jack" ready to exact the utmost from it. Guests, old and young, had to climb a flight of steps to greet their hostess on a tiny platform, turn around, climb back down. Shortly thereafter Fenway Court with its excellent collection of Italian paintings was opened to the public. Mrs. Gardner never tired of it. Once she spied an old lady examining its treasures, poking each fussily with a cane. Exclaimed Mrs. Jack Gardner: "Jesus Christ, madam, this is no menagerie!"

Busy all her life with spectacular people, Mrs. Gardner had relatively little time for the Church. But once, in a Lenten access of humble piety, she scrubbed the steps of Boston's Church of the Advent. In Fenway Court she built a Spanish chapel, had it privately opened with a midnight Christmas Mass. Mrs. Gardner did not live to see the guest house she gave the Cowley Fathers. But before she died at 84 they were to be seen, with their flapping black cloaks and black shovel hats, around Fenway Court, and afterwards in the Spanish chapel where their patron's small body lay on a velvet pall, with a crucifix at her feet, tapers at her head, and nuns praying for three days and three nights.


Mrs. Peperium

Elk, marvelous. Maybe I've told you this but I was once invited to a most elegant party at her house by Gov. Michael Dukakis. Yup.

This is because, as a favor to a friend, I did some PR work for a new company - the Boston Brewing Company - makers of Sam Adams and that Jim guy who owned the joint like my stuff so he asked his friend to have me dream up something with Gov. Dukakis and Sam Adams beer.

And I did.

It was called "Dukakis Draught" It looked just like the Sam Adams beer label except for the words and I replaced Sam's head with Dukakis' head - I still have the original label. I fixed the labels to a six pack and made a carrying case and had it sent over to TBBC and they loved it. Then they asked for a case to send to the Guv. Which I made happen. He loved it even more because this was long before Dukakis had publicly announced his run for presidency. In fact I had no clue he was going for it - I was just playing off of the d's with Dukakis and draught

And so, as a reward I got invited to this party and there was the Gov - no Kitty though. He made a late entrance - translation : after I had already hit the bar a few times. And he remained on the steps the entire time it seemed and we always had to look up at him. I kept trying to figure it out why he was doing this - was it that he wanted everyone to come to him - which is what we had to do. But then, after studying him enough I realised what the problem was.

He was the shortest guy in the room.

And in heels I towered over him. So, he stayed on the steps. I recall saying "Oh, if he's that insecure, he'll never be President."

And do you know what?

Back then that sort of thing was true.

But not anymore since the most sensitive guy to run for President just won the White House.

One last thing, if Dukakis had won, not only was I going to get to go to the Inaugural, Dukakis Draught was going to be served at it and it was going to be served regularly at the White House.

Like at State Dinners and whatnot....


My college, ah, girlfriend did a stint one summer on Dukakis' staff working on health care issues. She became so enamored of him that she joined his campaign, breaking in the process her relationship with her thesis advisor and mentor, an insanely well connected conservative donk who had worked for LBJ and who couldn't stand Mike.

As she threw me overboard at about the same time, I experienced an added delight in watching Mr. Eyebrows spin in.


Maybe Kitty wasn't there because she was drunk on the Dukasis Draught?

I think we agree about #24--it's not that it has to be in English though, just in a language that people understand. Whatever that language is.

Maine may be cancelled--Ellie has a fever, we thought it was just teeth.


Mrs P, great story, as always. Remember the song about Michael Dukakis the parodist Mark Russell sang?

Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis
He's the only one
Whose name is fun to say.

Walking about with his great head the Duke did look a bit like a dashboard bobblehead.

Mrs. Peperium

Robbo, she must have been short-sighted little squirt...

NBS, I hope Ellie is ok. Those fevers can shoot up. I can recall Mr. P and I giving Little Bertie a cold bath in the kitchen sink (it's a farm sink) and looking at each other and hoping he would cool down as he was up near 104 with fever reducer. after a while he did. As for Maine, there's always next year. Mr. P and I, after a few times of dragging our two 1/2 across the country, looked at each other and said "Why?" and then went on and did it again. Now a few years later, we look at each other and say " Why did we do that? Couldn't we have waited? They never would have known the difference."

About the Latin Mass...I have to gather some thoughts...

Elk, yes and yes....


Reason #5,236 in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass: The authors of the 39 articles disapprove.
Just as I have now established a firm position against a college football playoff--Monsieur Obama is in favor of a playoff system, so I am opposed.

Old Dominion Tory

Here's another Dukakis-related ditty, concocted by some State House reporters and sung to the tune of "Officer Krupke" from "West Side Story."
"Oh, Michael Dukakis, we're down on our knees/We don't the money for the AFDC/Michael Dukakis, what are we to do?/Hey, Michael Dukakis, duke you!"


Can I just point out that Latin really isn't all that terribly difficult a language to learn?

(Please forgive me: I'm just feeling a little bumps-a-daisy because these days when we do the "Asperges me" I can almost give a lead to the lady who looks like Miss Marple's crabby sister who always sits near me. When I first started, I was terrified of her chant.)


Is the English Mass an actual translation of the Latin Mass? Or are there significant differences in content between the two?


Which English Mass are you referring to? Do you mean the Pauline Mass? It is very different from Mass in the extraordinay form (Traditional Latin Mass)--not in the essentials, of course--but much shorter. You can see a side-by-side comparison here:



AR--just realized you're probably talking about the Anglican Mass. I know little about it, though I doubt it is an exact translation of the TLM. Perhaps someone else can enlighten us...

Old Dominion Tory

I have attended a few Anglican Catholic services. As I recall, with a few exceptions, their "Communion" bears a striking similarity to the Traditional Latin Mass, albeit that it is conducted in English (and very nice English, too).

Mrs. Peperium

This is a very tricky question to answer as you will get howls from all sides.

Most simply, is the Anglican Mass like the Catholic Mass? - whichever version of the Catholic Mass one is speaking of -from the traditional Old Latin Mass to the bongo drums and grass skirt liturgical dancer version?

Yes -cool your jets Anglicans or I'll have to cosh you - The Anglican Mass comes from the Roman Mass. It's that simple and any Anglican that tells you differently is in serious denial. The Romans came first. The Anglicans came second. It's all part of the historical record.

Therefore, no matter which Rite is being performed in the English Church you can clearly see the Catholic underpinnings. As I got closer to conversion, I saw that the Catholics had the kneelings at better or more appropriate places. Where Cahtolics kneel, English stand and vice versa. The Enlgish Communion service was penned (by the big guy himself, ACB Thomas Cranmer) to sound like, if you wanted it, Transubstantiation was taking place but as my post tried to point out it does not say it actually takes place because, corporately, the English Church has denied it. Cranmer went to his death at the stake for that denial. He wasn't burned by his church but by Queen Mary who tried to bring back Catholicism to England. Romans will say Queen Mary burnt Cranmer because he was a heretic which according to Catholic teachings he still is. Anglicans will say Queen Mary turned Cranmer into toast because he allowed the divorce of her parents which is true. He did allow the divorce. And they will say that divorce should have come about because Henry VIII had married his sister-in-law to keep Spain and the Roman Church allowed a false marriage for political gain. Which can be seen, if you want to see it that way, as true - however to make that claim one must overlook the fact Henry petitioned Rome himself to marry Katherine and that Katherine testified to Rome she had never consummated her marriage to Henry's older brother so it was not a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church. But none of that has any bearing on whether or not Transubstantiation takes place during the Roman Mass - it does. And it does not take place during the English Mass because the English have denied it since the inception of their Church.

Now, a close reader will recall I mention our low parish -thanks to Vatican II- stopped using its high altar. Anglicans or Episcopalians were heavily influenced by the changes made during Vatican II and holding true to form took the ones they liked -like facing the pews and no more high altars and incorporated them into their services. The '79 prayer book came about - I think- to bring the Episcopal Church of America up to speed with Vatican II.

What goes on every Sunday in all the other 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion that are recognized by Canterbury, I cannot tell you. There are many different versions of the BCP being used all over the world. I can tell you I went to a wedding a few years back where the bride and groom used (in Massachusetts) the wedding service from the Australian Book of Common Prayer and boy, was it lame. If you are going to get married in the Episcopal Church, the only service is the 1662. We requested it but our request was turned down as we were informed the "1662 is anti-women". How is it anti-woman you ask since it was a woman who brought the usage of it into play for what seems to be all of eternity (QEI)? It gives as the primary reason for marriage the procreation of children.

Children are not primary in the English church. On paper, they are optional and, more than that, allowed to be done in. This is why in the '79 BCP the procreation of children is the last reason listed for marriage.


Christine, thanks for your answer. I was seeking information about differing Roman Catholic practices without reference to Anglican practices.

My grandfather was RCC and when we attended his funeral (in Milwaukee, WI, USA) I wasn't sure what I was hearing. It certainly wasn't in Latin. A number of Protestant hymns were sung, and the altar area looked more like a platform. But it was definitely a Mass. So I was just wondering if the words were an actual translation of the Mass that's been in use throughout the history of the RCC, or if the whole thing was some newer version.

When I have heard American Catholics in the past wishing they could go back to what they called the Latin Mass, usually because they missed a sense of mystery, I always got the sense that they were confusing two issues: of Latin vs. English language, and of actual content.

In my experience hearing something in a different language can give a sense of mystery whether the mystery is there or not; while hearing something in your own language is not prohibitive to a sense of mystery provided the content is actually mystical.

Anyway, I followed the link you provided and read the compared liturgies, and I think the one on the right was what I was hearing at the funeral. I assume it's a vew version rather than a translation of a more primitive version? The version on the right is not without beauty and merit, but the one on the left is especially theologically rich, and it's also strikingly similar to the Liturgy we use in our Orthodox churches. That similarity is almost completely lost in the other version, although such a thing is possible with a poor translation as well.

Is the version on the left ever celebrated in English? It seems to me you could say "Grant" instead of "Vouchsafe," for instance, and still have the exact same content.


Sorry, Christine, I know you are French...I mean to ask, is it permitted to celebrate the Traditional Mass in languages other than Latin?


I believe the Anglo-Catholic Mass offers an English approximation of the Tridentine Mass. Otherwise, it is offered in Latin.

The Novus Ordo Mass reverently said can be wonderful, and it is, of course, just as valid as Mass in the extraordinary form (though some radtrads argue otherwise). There may be some who attend the Traditional Latin Mass for the sense of mystery, but that was never my reason. Like you, the theological richness of the prayers are wonderful, the strong and repeated emphasis on the Holy Sacrifice, the invocation of many of the saints, the Gregorian chant, the periods of prayerful silence, and, if you have a good schola, the sacred music--not to mention consistently good homilies--all of these together can make for a wonderful liturgy.

Once one becomes familiar with the sacred tongue, there is a great sense of comfort knowing that, no matter where one is in the world, the language of the Tridentine Mass is the same. The responses given in a TLM in the Midwest, U.S.A. are the same given in a TLM in Dijon, France (even if the priest's accent differs).


(Not that the responses in the Novus Ordo differ in different countries; what I mean is that one doesn't have to learn the responses in a new language when one crosses a border.)


Thank you, that's lovely.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

It Goes Without Saying

  • All original material published here is the property of the writer who penned it. Stealing is not only frowned upon but will be dealt with by strong-armed men trained in the art of legal jujitsu. The views put forth here are not the views of any employer we know which is most unfortunate.
Blog powered by Typepad