Letters seeking clarification on liturgical issues not responded to by priests and Bishops



MARCH 2015

 

Letters seeking clarification on liturgical issues not responded to by priests and Bishops

I have been writing to a number of priests and bishops seeking clarifications on the subject of the Liturgy of the Holy Mass but without any success at all. Some of the priests have published books on Sacred Music (Fr. Aniceto Nazareth) and the Liturgy (Fr. S. Joseph Lionel; I must have purchased all of his books, numbering somewhere between 12 and 15, spending a couple of thousand rupees, and days in studying them). But when I wrote to them to get clarifications on issues that are not clear, they did not have the time or inclination to give me the answers that I sought. (They do have time to tell me that they don’t have time, and, of course, to write and publish books … and give seminars … in India and overseas.)

I am placing on record here some of the lengthier exchanges of letters with these priests and a bishop or two.

 

1. FR. ANICETO NAZARETH, EXPERT ON SACRED MUSIC, MUMBAI

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
anicetonaz@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:02 PM

Subject: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Dear Fr. Aniceto Vaz,

I find your articles in The Examiner very useful and very Catholic. I myself am very conservative and traditional concerning the liturgy and the rubrics of the Holy Mass.

I am now writing to you to trouble you regarding two issues and I very much look forward to your response.

1. I would like to have the soft copy of your article “From Posture to Prayer”, The Examiner, January 16, 2010.

2. Could I — now and then — put a few questions to you regarding the liturgy on issues about which I cannot find proper answers?

I am a Catholic apologist and in full time Catholic ministry for almost two decades.

God bless you and your vocation, Michael

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
anicetonaz@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:47 PM

Subject: Re: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Sorry Father, you are Fr. Aniceto Nazareth. I wrongly addressed you as Vaz. My apologies, Michael

 

From:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:55 AM

Subject: Re: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Sorry, Michael, I do not keep copies of past articles. I have just finished a 2 week seminar at Kuwait which they liked very much. They want me to give two more at Bahrain and Qatar but as it is the end of the academic year I am returning to Bombay next week and will handle these two Vicariates when I get time.

I do not like the Q-A method of learning liturgy. Every question I was asked here called for an explanation of a chapter lest the answer be misunderstood. My method of teaching and writing addresses attitudes [Vat II] rather than do’s and don’ts. For your queries you can buy a nice book from St Paul’s Publications, Bandra called 101 Answers to commonly asked Qs in Liturgy by Nick Wagner. This author also takes a page or two to answer a question.

Peace! Fr Aniceto

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:03 AM

Subject: Re: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Dear Father Aniceto,

I thank you for your prompt response. I am happy to know that you gave a two-week seminar in Kuwait. I would have loved to be there. I do hope that you will take up the invitations at Qatar and Bahrain because Catholics need to be sensitised about the sacredness of the liturgy and the abuses of it both by the priests as well as the congregation. How I pray that God would open the doors for you to conduct these Seminars in every diocese of India.

I do have a copy of the book that you recommended to me.

 

 

Despite your explanation, which I well understand, I might drop you a question or two in time and I pray that you will answer me when I do write. You will not require to go into detail when answering because I already have a fair idea of things. I will want very brief replies to help me get the perspective which I will develop on.

For an idea of one aspect of what I do, I copy here the titles [this colour refers to the number of pages, red is the kb or Mb] and links of the articles which are in the LITURGY section of my web site [they are apart from several Vatican documents on liturgy and sacred music]:

LITURGY AND LITURGICAL ABUSE

http://www.ephesians-511.net/liturgical-abuse.htm
[…]

God bless you, Michael

 

From:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 2:30 PM

Subject: Re: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Dear Michael,

With St Paul I want to tell you that I consider all these things as dung in comparison to the unsurpassable WORTH of knowing and participating in the death-resurrection of Christ. Please pray that God may somehow open door for me to do this despite my failing health. You must know that I came to Kuwait from the operation table at Cumballa Hill Heart Centre when I should have gone instead to the ICU.

With love, Fr Aniceto

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 8:57 PM

Subject: Re: Regarding “FROM POSTURE TO PRAYER”

Dear Father, I praise God for sustaining you and enabling your recovery to serve the Body of Christ.

I was unaware that you had undergone major surgery. I have started and will continue to pray for your health, right from today. Love and God bless,

Michael, Catholic apologist Chennai

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
anicetonaz@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 10:20 AM

Subject: A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS

Dear
Fr. Aniceto,

I
trust that you have recovered completely from your surgery of last year and I hope that you recall our previous correspondence.

I have two questions which I trust you will kindly answer
for me:

1. In your 2005 book “The Mass Book”, you wrote that there is “only one approved version of the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ in the Missal.

It is the one that commences
with ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God of power and might…’

Can you confirm to me that according to the rubrics no other text should be recited or sung for the Sanctus
(which is also called the Trisagion)?

2. I read somewhere else* that for the Gloria, “the liturgical norm does not permit the use of any other texts other than approved by the competent authorities because the Gloria echoes the Biblical passage that has theological significance in the liturgy.”

Can you please give me a simple pointer to any one or two of the more popular approved texts as well as any one or two of the commonly used unapproved ones that should be avoided?

In most grateful anticipation of your answer,

Michael Prabhu, Catholic apologist michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

*Fr. Dr. S. Joseph Lionel, Bread of Life, Volume II, Liturgy of the Eucharist, page 83

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
anicetonaz@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:17 PM

Subject: REMINDER PLEASE

 

From:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:00 PM

Subject: Re: A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS

I am in a new church and we got the email connection only an hour ago. I am surprised you did not see the new Missal that was mandatory from 2011.

REVISED MASS PRAYERS…

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
Fr Aniceto Nazareth
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:55 AM

Subject: Re: A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS BCC: Archbishop of Bombay

Dear Fr. Aniceto,

Thank you for replying to me and for copying out for me the matter from the 2011 Missal (which I am well aware of).

Your response left me even more confused.

I am one Catholic who is deeply interested in the Liturgy and have spent several thousand rupees buying books on the subject, Indian and foreign, including the GIRM and studying them all.

But I am only a lay person and what seems obvious and clear to you will not at all be clear to me.

 

 

I am sincere in my quest and have received no replies from any priest whom I have written to. Why is this the condition of the Church that I cannot get a clarification that educates me so that I can teach others in turn?

Is it too much for me to expect you to read my letter of June 4 once again and reply in such a way that I understand not only you but what is liturgically correct as of today?

Michael

END OF CORRESPONDENCE

 

2. DR. FR. S. JOSEPH LIONEL, AUTHOR OF BOOKS ON THE LITURGY, TRICHY/THANJAVUR

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
jlionel@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 11:38 AM

Subject: QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY

Dear Reverend Father Joseph Lionel,

I am an avid student of the liturgy of the Holy Mass (among other things Catholic). To equip my understanding I have purchased several foreign-printed books on the subject. I have not been able to locate a copy of the GIRM but I downloaded it from the Internet.

I discovered only recently the enlightening series written by you and I have studied them all. Thank you for your labour of love.

It seems that there are no other Indian-written books published in the last decade except yours. If there are other Indian authors of books on the liturgy, please do let me know their names and the titles of the books.

1. While studying your books, I found that I needed to ask you a few questions for clarification of issues that are not clear to me.

I request your permission to send you those questions for which I look for answers. You will find that I am not asking you flippant questions but that I am serious in my quest to have clarity. You can take your time to answer me.

2. I would be glad to serve you by proof-reading/editing your revised editions or new books in the future (at no cost to you). Since English is not your mother-tongue and although you have done an excellent job, the books could be improved considering that you have even published them overseas and their way of the formation of sentences and their grammar (use of articles of speech), etc. differ somewhat from ours in India. I could give you a few examples, if you so desire, from one of your books.

With warm regards,

Michael

 

From:
Joseph Lionel
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 11:39 AM

Subject: Thanks Re: QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY

Thanks for your e-mail. I will respond to it soon.

Rev. Fr. S. Joseph Lionel e-mail: jlionel@gmail.com

www.timetoworship.net

 

From:
Joseph Lionel
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 12:55 PM

Subject: Re: QUESTIONS ON THE LITURGY

Thank u. I will keep in touch. Fr. Lionel 

Sent from my iPhone

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
jlionel@gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 7:59 AM Subject: REMINDER PLEASE

From:
Joseph Lionel
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 7:59 AM

Subject: Thanks Re: REMINDER PLEASE

Thanks for your e-mail. I will respond to it soon.

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
jlionel@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2014 8:07 PM

Subject: MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Dear Father Joseph Lionel,

You have not responded to me despite my two emails to you on June 4 and June 10.

I am a genuine inquirer who has studied your book series in depth — Bread of Life [BoL] and Speak O Lord [SoL].

I submit herewith my questions for you to please answer*.

Michael Prabhu

*See following page

 

From:
Joseph Lionel
To:
‘Michael Prabhu’
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 10:47 AM

Subject: RE: MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Dear Michael,

I appreciate your interest to earn things about liturgy. I was busy with my parish/school work besides presenting papers at seminars and meetings. I give a quick response to your genuine questions. The details you may find in my books. The Book of the Gospel contains only the gospel readings meant for the Sundays and all special occasions. It is the only book allowed to be placed on the altar at the beginning of the Mass.

 

 

Before the gospel reading the Book is taken in procession to the ambo and gospel reading is read from it. Once the Liturgy of the Word gets over and the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins, then the Roman Missal is kept on the altar. Why do we keep the book of the Gospel on the altar? As I explain in my book, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and also the ministry of preaching flows from Jesus.

I hope it answers some of your questions.

Rev. Dr. S. Joseph Lionel, MA, MLIS, STD, Ph.D.

Parish Priest and Correspondent

St. James Church and R.C. High School

Padregudi – P.O, Ponbethi Via

Pudukottai District 614 629

Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Mobile: +91 96550 69197

www.timetoworship.net

 

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
Joseph Lionel
Cc:
George Antonysamy ; George Antonysamy ; trichidio@rediffmail.com ; antony devotta
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 6:21 PM Subject: Re: MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Dear Fr. Joseph Lionel,

I read our books twice over, cover to cover, and made extensive notations from which I framed the questions which I sent to you.

I thought that you would have observed that from the exactness of my questions. The questions that I asked you were not answered by your books and I needed clarification on them from you, the author. But you re-directed me back to your books.

I had consulted several other foreign-published books on the liturgy, the GIRM and Pontifical documents like Sacramentum Caritatis. (There are presently at least thirty files in the liturgy section of my web site.)

You have, in your letter, only partially answered just one question of mine.

I have unsuccessfully tried to get the answers from other priests.

It appears that none of you want to invest your time in giving me the pastoral guidance that I need.

Michael Prabhu

Catholic apologist

CC: To my Archbishop and Fr. Joseph Lionel’s Bishop

END OF CORRESPONDENCE

 

*Questions put and suggestions made to Fr. S. Joseph Lionel:

QUESTIONS

1a. At Sunday Mass, what book or books normally belong/s on the altar at the beginning of the Mass and right through the Mass, and what book, if any, is placed on the lectern/ambo, and when?

 

1b. Is/are the same used at weekday Masses?

 

2a. What exactly are the contents of the “Book of the Gospel/s”? What is its exact title?

[…]
The Book of the Gospels is to be treated with great honour during the Liturgy of the Word with rites and gestures analogous to those offered to the altar and the Blessed Sacrament.[SJL, SoL, 55, 56, 57]

Only the Book of the Gospel is carried in procession and not the Lectionary (GIRM #120d)” and placed on the altar (GIRM #122). [SJL, BoL 77]The placement illustrates the inseparable unity that exists between the proclamation of the Word of God and the Eucharistic action (GIRM 28). When the Gospel book will later be taken from the altar and carried to the place of proclamation [the ambo], it will be more obvious that the proclamation derives from Christ.[SJL, BoL, 72]

A bishop may “bless the assembly with the Book of the Gospels after the proclamation of the Gospels.[SJL, BoL, 63]

It is clear that the Book of the Gospels is not the Lectionary; the two are different.

 

2b. If the Scripture readings are to be read from the Lectionary (“It is to be noted that the Scripture reading should be read from the Lectionary and not from Sunday liturgical pamphlets or Bibles“) [SJL, SoL, 66], what is the function of the Book of the Gospel function on the altar/ambo during Mass?

Does not the above contradict the statement that the Book of the Gospels is placed at the place of proclamation, which means it — and not the Lectionary — will be used for the readings? [SJL, BoL, 72]

 

3. The first spoken words by the presider while making the Sign of the Cross and the New Testament-based Trinitarian greetings give attention to the assembly’s identity as Christ’s faithful people and the Lord’s dwelling place. The congregation immediately returns the greeting to Christ’s servant who presides. The greeting, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” and the other two options are all biblical. (2 Corinthians 13:13, Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:13) The response “And with your spirit” is meant to address the priest presider in the fullness of his being (body and soul).

 

 

 

In this simple mutual act of greeting we give expression to the teaching of the liturgical constitution of Vatican II which instructs that the presence of Christ in the liturgy is manifold and may be found in the assembly, in the priest, in the proclamation of the Word, and in the Eucharistic species of bread and wine (Sacrosanctum Concilium #7)… The traditional greeting in the liturgy, Dominus Vobiscum, “The Lord be with you”, is not a mere salutation such as “Hello” or “Good Morning”. This salutation is a biblical greeting (Judges 6:12, Ruth 2:4, 2 Chronicles 15:2, Psalm 129: 7,8; Luke 1:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:16). In a liturgical context, it is an invitation into the presence of God and it is a prayer for divine help to enter the task before us. [GIRM #50] The greeting reminds us that we are entering a sacramental realm and alerts us of our responsibilities during the liturgy. The response to the greeting, Et cum spiritu tuo, “And with your spirit”, is a biblical formulation (2 Timothy 4:22, Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23, Philemon 25). [SJL, BoL, 72, 73]

Then why do so many priests wish the congregation “Good morning” after the biblical Trinitarian greeting that has taken us into the sacramental realm? Why they want to leave the sacred realm to return to the secular from which the congregation has already moved away?

 

4. What does the word “antiphon” mean; give an example of one. [SJL, SoL, 37] [SJL, BoL, 77]

 

5. Is the “sprinkling” rite with holy water done at the beginning of the Mass (if so, when exactly) or after the Final Blessing, or either?

If at the beginning, is it after the Penitential Rite and the Kyrie and before the Gloria? [SJL, BoL, 65, 83]

If at the end, is it after the dismissal?

 

6a. “The liturgical norm does not permit the use of any other texts other than approved by the competent authorities because the Gloria echoes the Biblical passage that has theological significance in the liturgy.
[SJL, BoL, 83]

Can you please give me a simple pointer to any one or two of the more popular approved texts that are recommended, as well as any one or two of the commonly used unapproved ones that should be avoided?

 

6b. I understand that there is
only one approved version of the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy‘ in the Missal. It is the one that commences

with ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God of power and might…’[The Mass Book, Fr. Aniceto Nazareth]

Can you confirm to me that according to the rubrics no other text should be recited or sung for the Sanctus (which is also called the Trisagion)?

 

7. After finishing the readings at the ambo, does the reader bow to the altar or to the celebrant? The reader returns to his seat “after bowing to the celebrant. [SJL, SoL, 69]

It is clear that the celebrants “make reverence to the altar… because it is Christ in our midst… Christ Himself the priest, the altar and the Lamb of sacrifice. [SJL, BoL, 71, 72]

 

8. Should the homily be given from the altar or from the lectern/ambo? According to the GIRM the Gospel should be proclaimed only from the ambo. “One of the important principles of Christian worship is that every liturgical action takes place in its proper place… When the General Instruction of the Roman Missal clearly says that the readings are proclaimed from the lectern, it also includes the proclamation of the Gospel. [SJL, SoL, 65, 66]

 

9. Though the active participation of the faithful has been emphasized in the various editions of the GIRM, the 5th edition (2002) is clearer in making distinctions between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized. It is done through emphasizing silence, meditation, and the use of more passive verbs regarding the assembly than previous editions of the GIRM. The second chapter of the GIRM, The Structure of the Mass, its Elements and its Parts, exhibits clear tendencies toward a more hierarchial and sacralized vision of Eucharistic worship than its predecessors. [SJL, BoL, 52]

Then why does the Orans position adopted by the laity for the Our Father remain unchecked by the clergy? Till only a few years ago, the congregation used to join the celebrant in proclaiming the final doxology (“Through Him, with Him, in Him…”) after the Eucharistic prayer. After the 2002 GIRM (#147, 236) insisted that it be said only by the priest, the aberration ceased. Why cannot other existing and perpetuated aberrations during Holy Mass be similarly dealt with by the priests and bishops?

 

10. In the Rite of Peace, the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament (General Instruction of the Roman Missal #82). After the people have replied to the celebrant’s wish, the deacon, or if there is no deacon the priest himself exhorts them “Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace”. The principal celebrant exchanges the Sign of Peace with the concelebrants first and then with the deacon (GIRM #239). The members of the congregation exchange the Sign of Peace. The Sign of Peace is exchanged only with those who are nearest and in a sober manner (GIRM #82). This is precisely mentioned in the GIRM because it should not be an occasion for socializing, thus causing disturbance during the liturgy. The Sign of Peace is carried out with proper reverence, though it should not be unnecessarily prolonged, nor should it be accorded undue importance (GIRM #83). [SJL, BoL, 149]

The Breaking of the Bread is done only after the Rite of Peace and not before (GIRM #83, Redemptionis Sacramentum #73). [SJL, BoL, 150]

 

 

According to the GIRM, there is a definitive place in the Liturgy for the exchange of the Sign of Peace. Can the sharing of the peace sign be shifted from its designated place by the celebrant? [SJL, BoL, 149, 150]

 

11. At Children’s Masses: “The use of art work prepared by the children themselves might be useful, for example, as illustrations of a homily, as visual expressions of the intentions of the general intercessions, or as inspirations to reflection.”
[SJL, SoL, 90]

Explain. Do they carry this art work around, present or display it during the course of Holy Mass? If so, would it not predispose them to uncritically accept abuses (like costumed drama and enacted scenes at the homily, Presentation of the Gifts, etc.) in the Mass when they are adults?

 

12a. If “the Liturgy of the Hours is obligatory for all bishops, priests, deacons and religious” (GILH 17), why aren’t they saying it?

Are those who have discarded the saying of the Liturgy of the Hours guilty of sin?

 

12b. In the Christian Ashram movement, how is the “Liturgy of the Hours conducted beautifully according to the Indian contemplative tradition”?

I have visited some ashrams and never experienced the Liturgy of the Hours being said. [SJL, SoL, 31, 32, 33]

 

ERRORS AND SUGGESTIONS IN TWO OF THE BOOKS

[SJL, SoL, viii] General Instruction to Roman Missal

[SJL, SoL, 1] Doctrinal and Histroical Perspective

[SJL, SoL, 64] The characteristics of the proclamations are easier to identify then good ones. (Meaning?)

[SJL, SoL, 65] Reading is traditionally considered as a ministerial function and not as a presidential function.*

[SJL, SoL, 65] The parish priests should take special effort and care in this regard.*

[SJL, SoL, 69] After saying “This is the Word of the Lord”… It is “The Word of the Lord”

[SJL, SoL, 69] “After bowing to the celebrant”? Does the lector show reverence to the altar or to the celebrant?

*In many places, the articles of speech like “the” or “a” are omitted when necessary or inserted when not required. That renders fluent reading, and understanding, a bit more difficult.

 

[SJL, BoL, xi] Abbreviation instead of Abbreviations

[SJL, BoL, xii] Redemtonis Sacramentum

[SJL, BoL, 55] “…Mass celebrated for its own sake without not even a single minister…”? What does that mean?

[SJL, BoL, 60] In two places: Varietates legitimate

[SJL, BoL, 61] Need for New GIRM [The Need for the/a New GIRM]

[SJL, BoL, 63] “…a few changes actually altar what the current legislation prescribes.”

[SJL, BoL, 109-143] The Liturgy of the Word [at the top of the page; it should read “The Liturgy of the Eucharist”]

[SJL, BoL, 109] “Carolingian” – I believe that there is no prior explanation given as to the meaning of the term

[SJL, BoL, 131 ff.] The Eucharistic Prayers I to IV. They could have been included by the author for the convenience of lay readers who are not as familiar with them as priests. For example, the prayers are helpfully included in the discussion on “Embolism” on page 148.

 

3. FR. JUSTIN SEQUEIRA SSS, LITURGIST, GOA

From: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net To: jusaseq@gmail.com CC: VAC

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2015 17:38:08 +0530 Subject: QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE LITURGY

Dear Father Justin,
My name is Michael and I am writing from Chennai.
I am a “conservative” Catholic who is loyal to the Pope and faithful to the teachings of Rome.
I am interested in the subject of the Liturgy of the Holy Mass and I have been reading up many books on the liturgy and sacred music.
I have read all the related Pontifical documents.
VAC gave me a copy of the GIRM last year.
I also purchased several books on the liturgy, a couple of them published overseas, a few Indian books, and also all the books that I could find of Fr. Dr. S. Joseph Lionel of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
Because I am a layman, there are some things that I need more clarity on despite studying all of those books.
I have tried asking priests in my parish and elsewhere in Chennai but they are too occupied with other things to teach me.
I wrote several times to Fr. Aniceto Nazareth in Mumbai as well as to Fr. Lionel to clear some of my doubts but they replied to me either saying that they had no time or asking me to read their books although I informed them I had already done that.
A few other priests who I contacted by email were of no help either.
(Just for your personal information, I am God-willing bringing out a small booklet this year on Modesty and How NOT to Dress for Holy Mass. It will be largely pictorial but also have printed content.)

 

 


When I shared my situation with VAC during their recent stay at our home, they told me that you were not only a liturgist but also the right priest for me to write to as you would answer my questions.
This is the reason that I am contacting you now.
If you give me your kind permission, I can commence sending you my questions a couple at a time.
I assure you that I will word them simply and clearly and in good English to enable you to answer them easily.
Thanking you in anticipation, and God bless you.
Michael

 

From: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net To: VAC Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:55:41 +0530 Subject: FR JUSTIN DID NOT RESPOND

From: VAC Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:26:14 +0530

Dear Michael,

We called Fr. Justin just now. He is in Mumbai giving a Retreat to the Salesians. 

I asked him about your letter.  He said he had seen it. He asked me what I think about you.  I told him that you were our good friend and a staunch Catholic. He said he was wondering from the fact that others did not respond to you whether others were wary of you. He wondered how you would use his replies.

I said that in that case just answer to the point.

So he said he will write back to you. So hope he does.

 

From: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net To: VAC Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 11:10:50 +0530

Fr. Justin DID NOT write to me in response to my letter to him. Michael

From: VAC Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:32:59 +0530

We will ask Fr. Justin again and remind him – he did say he would reply.

END OF CORRESPONDENCE

 

4. FR. BERNARD LAWRENCE, PARISH PRIEST, CHENNAI

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
fr_bernie@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:57 AM

Subject: CONCERNING THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS DURING FR. JOSE’S RETREAT

Dear Fr. Bernard Lawrence,

I attended the two-day retreat of Fr. Jose Vettiyankal VC at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Velachery, of which you are the Parish Priest, on March 22 and 23, 2014.

I thank you for making it possible for Catholics from all over Chennai to attend the programme and to receive Fr. Jose’s magisterial teachings from the Catechism, the Compendium and the YouCat.

Holy Mass was concelebrated by you and Fr. Jose on both days.

When Fr. Jose celebrates Holy Mass, he adheres faithfully to the rubrics of the liturgy and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). I have attended several Masses celebrated by him in other cities as well.

Unlike other charismatic priests in similar ministries, he does not use or permit testimonies, applause, praying in tongues, etc. between the initial and final blessings (that is, during Mass). He also does not invite or encourage the faithful to lift their hands a la celebrant in the Orans position. He is faithful to the rubrics.

To the best of my knowledge, the above are errors or abuses or aberrations, depending on which expert gives his opinion.

See http://ephesians-511.net/docs/APPLAUSE_JOKES_AND_SAYING_GOOD_MORNING_AT_MASS.doc,

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HOLDING_HANDS_AND_ORANS_POSITION_DURING_THE_OUR_FATHER.doc,

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CHOIR_AND_THE_LITURGY_OF_THE_MASS.doc,

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CRITERIA_FOR_CHOIR_MEMBERS_LECTORS_COMMENTATORS_AND_CATECHISM_TEACHERS.doc,

and

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HOLY_MASS_RUBRICS-FLOWER_ARANGEMENTS_THE_ALTAR_PRAYING_IN_TONGUES_NON-CATHOLIC_LECTORS_ETC.doc wherein I have collated and referenced Catholic teaching on these issues.

Please correct me, with proper documentation, in case I am wrong, so that I may learn what is correct.

On Saturday the 22nd, I was outside the hall, in the confession queue for the major part of the Mass.

But I was in the pews the following day and I noted with great dismay and sadness that after the Holy Communion service and before the final blessing, Fr. Jose was covered with a ponnadai (shawl) by you while you thanked him for preaching the retreat and he was also given a love-offering by your parishioners. Very naturally, the faithful followed your example and clapped their hands on both occasions.

Then you thanked — and invited us to join you in thanking — a number of people including the praise and worship team, the people who provided the sound system, etc. Once again, there was applause, during Holy Mass.

There is no provision for all this in the rubrics, and Rome strongly disapproves of our innovating and departing from them, but it has become commonplace because this is what is happening every Sunday in almost every parish church to a greater or lesser extent.

To Catholics like me who try to learn, teach and practice orthodoxy and orthopraxis, attendance at such Masses becomes very painful. How can one as a priest or lay person in ministry teach others to honour and obey Church teaching when one doesn’t first learn what is right and then fraternally insist that others adhere to the same?

 

 

During Holy Mass, the focus has to be on the altar and on Jesus Christ, not on dignitaries and animators.

The lack of fidelity of the priests and lay leaders to Church rules has resulted in a great pandemic of irreverence at Sunday Mass — which can be noted by observing the behaviour of the average Catholic during the services.

People have begun to see Mass as just another community gathering or entertainment.

I have noted just a few issues. There are even more basic infractions committed by celebrants, lectors, choir, etc. that have become routine (even for lay leaders in ministry); for instance priests wishing the congregation “good morning” after the initial blessing and receiving a response from them; priests asking questions of or dialoguing with the congregation during the homily; use of a hymn instead of the Responsorial Psalm; use of a pamphlet instead of a Lectionary by the “readers”; announcing the “First Reading” and the “Second Reading” and the request to “please stand for the Gospel Acclamation“, ad libbing by the celebrant, to name just a few.

There are around thirty files in the Liturgy section http://www.ephesians-511.net/liturgical-abuse.htm of my website www.ephesians-511.net.

In case you are certain that I am in error anywhere, I welcome your pastoral advice and correction.

Yours obediently,

Michael Prabhu

Catholic apologist

Tel: 2461 1606

This letter was marked
BCC to the retreat preacher, to the local charismatic prayer group leader and to the praise and worship leader. Till this issue came up, they had always responded to my letters, but not this time.

END OF CORRESPONDENCE

 

But I have this letter of appreciation from a lay retreat preacher:

From:
Name Withheld
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:23 AM

Subject: Re: CONCERNING THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS DURING FR. JOSE’S RETREAT

I appreciate this Michael. I will speak to the relevant priests. Your letter is eye opening and I do hope people see this as the truth and receive it in a worthy manner. I applaud you. These were all things which my husband and I resented and I’m happy to learn more from all the links you have given. Thank you so much for your enlightenment. God bless, keeping your forthcoming book in prayer and truly looking forward to reading it!! Retreat preacher

 

5. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM):

When I enquired of the in-charge at Good Pastor’s, Chennai, in order to purchase a copy, he did not even know what the GIRM was, and these are the people (St. Pauls) who sell New Age titles and brought out the controversial 2008 New Community Bible that had to be withdrawn and revised because of its heretical and Hinduised commentaries and syncretized line drawings.

 

a. See the casual response received from a Catholic liturgical centre nun in response to an enquiry from me:

From:
Michael Prabhu
To:
pddmliturgicalcentre@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 10:41 AM

Subject: BOOK REQUIRED

Dear Sister Juliana,

Do you have a copy of the book “General Instruction of the Roman Missal” published by Kristu Jyoti Publications, Bangalore, in 2002. If you do, I will have it picked up. Michael

From:
Liturgical Centre
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2014 10:06 PM

Subject: Re: BOOK REQUIRED

Sorry we don’t have. Juliana

 

b. The all-important General Instruction of the Roman Missal appears to be only available at the Salesians’ Kristu Jyoti Publications, Bangalore. (Although I have now been gifted a copy) I sent them the following message on March 31, 2015 using the contact box at http://www.kjcpublications.org/:

Do you have copies of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM)?

If you do, what is the price of a single copy?

Michael michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

There was no response. I telephoned them (28474139, 28474140) and was informed by a female voice that no copy of the GIRM is available because it is out of stock (it has been the case almost the whole of last year) and that they do not know when the GIRM will next be published by them. I had more questions to ask, but she couldn’t answer them and “Father is out of station”, she said.

 

The GIRM should be available to Catholics in India in the thousands but one cannot even find a single copy.

Considering all of the above, it is not surprising therefore that ignorance of the rubrics of the liturgy prevails and abuse is rampant.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger saw “the crisis in the Church” as caused by “liturgical collapse”:

Source: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=196

 

 

6. Letter regarding the Liturgy of the Mass addressed to the Bishop of Tuticorin:

From: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net To: bishopyvon@gmail.com

CC: bishopdabre@gmail.com, gasamy152@gmail.com, georgeantonysamy@yahoo.com

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 21:47:04 +0530

Subject: CLARIFICATION REQUIRED REGARDING THE LITURGY USED IN HOLY MASS IN YOUR DIOCESE

Dear Bishop Yvon Ambroise,
I attended Holy Mass in English at the church of Our Lady of the Snows in your diocese of Tuticorin at 9:30 am on Sunday March 8, 2015.
I found that the Order of the Mass followed was not that of the New English Missal that came into force on November 27, 2011.
My hosts from that parish informed me that this is the norm in that parish, and maybe in the entire Diocese of Tuticorin.
For the celebrant’s “The Lord be with you”, the response of the faithful is the old “And also with you”, not “And with your spirit”.
For the celebrant’s “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God”, the response of the faithful is the old “It is right to give him thanks and praise”, not “It is right and just”.
Unless I am mistaken, they were also using the old versions of the Confiteor and Credo which have long since been replaced by the modified versions.
Could you please explain to me why this has not been implemented in your diocese?
Are other dioceses also using the older rubrics, or is there something that I may have missed? I was of the opinion that the use of the Revised 2011 Missal now applies compulsorily to all dioceses in India.
Thanking you,
Michael Prabhu, Chennai michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

CC:
MOST REV. THOMAS DABRE

CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL BIBLICAL, CATECHETICAL AND LITURGICAL CENTRE, BANGALORE

MEMBER, DOCTRINAL COMMISSION,
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA
CC: MY ARCHBISHOP, MOST REV. GEORGE ANTONYSAMY OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE

 

From: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net To: tnbctnlbc@gmail.com, josephraj54@gmail.com, kottardiocese@yahoo.co.in, peterremigius@gmail.com, svgbishop@gmail.com

CC: bishopyvon@gmail.com, bishopdabre@gmail.com, gasamy152@gmail.com, georgeantonysamy@yahoo.com

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:09:07 +0530

Subject: Fwd: CLARIFICATION REQUIRED REGARDING THE LITURGY USED IN HOLY MASS IN YOUR DIOCESE/REMINDER PLEASE

This reminder is addressed to:
Chairman, Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, Bishop Peter Remigius of Kottar
Secretary, Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, Bishop J. Susaimanickam of Sivagangai
Deputy Secretary, Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, Fr. R. Joseph Raj

I do not understand why a simple query like this, asking for clarifications from the Church on a liturgical issue by a member of the Church, cannot be answered even after a period of two weeks, obliging me to send reminders and to write to more individuals.
Michael Prabhu

NO RESPONSE FROM ANY OF THE ABOVE

 

See the related files (the first one has more of my unanswered letters seeking clarifications on the liturgy)

LITURGICAL ABUSES IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE
4
FEBRUARY/MARCH 11/19/MAY 20/JUNE 25/6 AUGUST 2013/APRIL/MAY 2014/MARCH 2015

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LITURGICAL_ABUSES_IN_THE_ARCHDIOCESE_OF_MADRAS-MYLAPORE.doc

CARDINAL MALCOLM RANJITH ON THE LITURGY AND ITS ABUSES
MARCH 2015

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CARDINAL_MALCOLM_RANJITH_ON_THE_LITURGY_AND_ITS_ABUSES.doc

WHY I NOW AVOID THE NOVUS ORDO MASS AND ATTEND THE TRIDENTINE MASS-MICHAEL PRABHU
MARCH 2015

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WHY_I_NOW_AVOID_THE_NOVUS_ORDO_MASS_AND_ATTEND_THE_TRIDENTINE_MASS-MICHAEL_PRABHU.doc

 

There is one priest from Chennai, not a liturgist, from a parish very distant from my residence, who has kindly agreed (God bless him) to answer my questions on the liturgy by email after I heard him explain different aspects of the liturgy in lieu of the homily at a Sunday Mass celebrated by him in his parish and approached him to express my appreciation (it was the second session in a series organised by him, he informed me).

However, in the meantime, I discovered the Tridentine Latin Rite Mass which I am familiar with since my school days in the 1950s:

WHY I NOW AVOID THE NOVUS ORDO MASS AND ATTEND THE TRIDENTINE MASS-MICHAEL PRABHU

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WHY_I_NOW_AVOID_THE_NOVUS_ORDO_MASS_AND_ATTEND_THE_TRIDENTINE_MASS-MICHAEL_PRABHU.doc

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EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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