Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus! As custom, Dr. Mike Foley provides a reflection on today’s post-communion prayers, and some history on this feast day’s origins: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2021/01/the-postcommunion-of-feast-of-holy-name.html Additionally, Fisheaters.com also has some history and customs associated with this feast day: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas7a.html
Epiphany related Masses/Blessings (January 3 – 6)
This week begins Epiphany season and as such we list the related Epiphany celebrations:
- Sunday January 3 (Epiphany blessing only)
- Our Lady of Grace (Greensboro): After the 1pm Latin Mass, from 2:30pm – 4:30pm – there will be a blessing of Holy Water, chalk, and salt. Attendees are invited to bring their own filled water bottles to be blessed. (bottles need to be opened for the blessing)
- Tuesday January 5 (Vigil of Epiphany)
- St. Thomas Aquinas 6pm (Blessing only – No Mass). A blessing of Holy Water, chalk and salt will be performed*. Attendees are invited to bring their own filled water bottles to be blessed. (bottles need to be opened for the blessing). Please arrive a few minutes early.
- Wednesday January 6 (Epiphany):
- St. Ann, 6pm (High Mass) & afterwards the blessing of Epiphany holy water, chalk and salt*. Attendees are invited to bring your filled water bottles to be blessed. Please arrive a few minutes early to place your bottles on the blessing table (likely in the Church).
- Our Lady of Grace (Greensboro) 6pm (Solemn High Mass)
As noted in prior years, the blessing of Epiphany water is available only in the traditional rite (in the Latin Church) and is a more powerful form of Holy Water as it contains a prayer of exorcism, and the litany of the saints as part of the blessing. This holy water, blessed only during this time of year, so please take advantage of the blessing – especially as we do not know what 2021 holds, spiritually speaking.
St. Philomena table
To thank and honor St. Philomena for her intercession for Thomas thus far, the CLMC will be establishing a St. Philomena section to our table in the St. Ann narthex. It’s a work in progress, but we hope to have some information out today, and then more in the weeks ahead. She was sadly was removed from the calendar in recent decades but still retains a popular devotion. St. John Vianney had a strong devotion to her as did Padre Pio and St. Francis Cabrini. We can now add the CLMC to that list now. Please stop by to see the information we have (and will have).
Feast of St. Thomas Beckett – December 29 (850th anniversary of martyrdom)
Each year we journey through the sanctoral cycle and occasionally pass a certain saint’s feast day with only a passing thought or reflection on how they achieved their sanctity or its meaning to us today (much to our detriment!). Perhaps this could be said about St. Thomas Becket, the English archbishop of Canterbury – at least until this year. Beckett, whose feast day occurs during the joyful (and busy?) octave of Christmas certainly deserves closer attention, as the Church just commemorated the 850th anniversary of his martyrdom which occurred on December 29, 1170. However, the Church wasn’t the only one commemorating Beckett’s martyrdom.
Earlier last week, President Trump issued a proclamation declaring December 29, 2020 the 850th anniversary of St. Thomas Beckett’s death; inviting all schools, churches and meeting places to honor and commemorate this saint. While presidents offer proclamations on various topics, it is quite rare for a president to commemorate a Catholic saint, especially one who died for the Catholic Church’s liberty. That should give us pause and invite us to take a closer look at this saint as his martyrdom anniversary may hold a message for us Catholics in the United States as we enter into 2021.
Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty. It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs. – President Donald Trump, December 28, 2020
19th century Benedictine writer, Dom Prosper Gueranger notes about Beckett:
This glorious Martyr did not shed his blood for the faith; he was not dragged before the tribunals of Pagans or Heretics, there to confess the Truths revealed by Christ and taught by the Church. He was slain by Christian hands; it was a Catholic King that condemned him to death; it was by the majority of his own Brethren, and they his countrymen, that he was abandoned and blamed. How, then, could he be a Martyr? How did he gain a Palm like Stephen’s? He was the Martyr for the Liberty of the Church. (Emphasis added.)
To Kings and Rulers and, in general, to all Diplomatists and Politicians, there are few expressions so unwelcome as this of the Liberty of the Church; with them, it means a sort of conspiracy. The world talks of it as being an unfortunate scandal, originating in priestly ambition. Timid temporizing Catholics regret that it can elicit anyone’s zeal, and will endeavor to persuade us that we have no need to fear anything, so long as our Faith is not attacked. Notwithstanding all this, the Church has put upon her altars and associated with St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents, this our Archbishop, who was slain in his Cathedral of Canterbury, in the 12th century, because he resisted a King’s infringements on the extrinsic Rights of the Church. She sanctions the noble maxim of St. Anselm, one of St. Thomas’ predecessors in the See of Canterbury: Nothing does God love so much in this world, as the Liberty of his Church; and the Apostolic See declares by the mouth of Pius the 8th, in the 19th century, the very same doctrine she would have taught by St. Gregory the 7th, in the 11th century: The Church, the spotless Spouse of Jesus Christ the immaculate Lamb is, by God’s appointment, Free, and subject to no earthly power (Litterae Apostolicae ad Episcopos Provinciae Rhenance, 1830).(Emphasis added.)
https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/december/december-29-st-thomas-archbishop-of-canterbury-and-martyr/ (the entire entry is worth reading)
Gueranger prophetically notes how some Catholics try to downplay the attacks on the Church’s liberty as long as the Faith itself is not attacked. Do we not hear the same calls today among some Catholics (even devout ones) who tell us to stand down during the continued government imposed COVID-19 “lockdowns” upon the Church’s liberty? Gueranger continues:
A Bishop may not flee, as the hireling, nor hold his peace, like those of dumb dogs, of which the Prophet Isaias speaks, and which are not able to bark. (Isaiah 56:10) He is the Watchman of Israel: he is a traitor if he first lets the enemy enter the citadel and then, but only then, gives the alarm and risks his person and his life. The obligation of laying down his life for his flock begins to be in force at the enemy’s first attack upon the very outposts of the City, which is only safe when they are strongly guarded.
In a year where we have seen the Church’s liberty both in our area, and throughout the world, attacked, vandalized, and violated by political and medical tyrants (with more likely to come in 2021) and perpetuated by timid temporizing Catholics, perhaps St. Thomas Beckett is a saint we need to develop a greater devotion towards. Let us pray for the Church’s priests and bishops that they will have the same courage as this great English archbishop and stand for the Church’s full liberty. St. Thomas Beckett, pray for us!
- Poem: Murder at the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2020/12/thomas-becket-this-is-sign-of-church.html
Latin Mass & Traditional News
- How Different Are the Pre-1955, 1962, and 1969 Calendars from Christmas into Epiphanytide? – Dr. Peter Kwasniewski writes on how Traditional Latin Mass calendar – especially during Christmas and Epiphany is superior to the Novus Ordo – especially on emphasizing Christmas throughout the entire Christmas season. The chart in the article speaks for itself:
- Don’t Stop celebrating: After Christmas Day, Christmas continues by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski: This article is the prequel to the above article on the calendars.
- Thoughts for an Extraordinary Christmastide Printable Guide: Speaking of Christmastide, the Fraternity of St. Peter, has published a quick traditional guide on the liturgical season of Christmastide: https://fssp.com/thoughts-for-an-extraordinary-christmastide-printable-guide/
- Traditional Sermon On Our Lady of Guadalupe, human sacrifice and the COVID-19 vaccine: http://reginaprophetarum.org/audio/20201220-Our-Lady-of-Guadalupe-vs-Aztec-Vaccines.mp3
- January 3, 2021: 500th Anniversary of Luther’s Excommunication: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2020/12/guest-op-ed-500th-anniversary-of.html#more