Mass for the First Sunday in Advent

The first Sunday in Advent will be observed in a celebration of High Mass in the traditional Latin form on Sunday, November 14, at 2:00 pm at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven.  The Reverend Turner, Pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in North Branford, will be the celebrant.

During the season of Advent the Church reflects upon the twofold coming of our Savior: His birth at Bethlehem which will enlighten the world until the end of time, and His return at the last judgment when He comes to condemn the guilty to the flames and call the just with a loving voice to heaven.

Let us prepare for the Christmas feast by holy prayers and aspirations and by reforming our lives, that we may be ready for that last great assize upon which depends the fate of our soul for all eternity. And all this with confidence for those “who wait upon the Lord will never be confounded” as expressed in the Introit, Gradual and Offertory of the Mass on this day.

Music for this service will include the Gregorian Mass Ordinary XI (“Orbis factor”), the Gregorian chant proper for the first Sunday in Advent (“Ad te levavi,” the hymn “Conditor alme siderum” by Guillaume Dufay, and the motet“Alma Redemptoris mater” by Palestrina.

Mass for the XXVth Sunday after Pentecost

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost will be observed in a celebration of High Mass in the traditional Latin form on Sunday, November 14, at 2:00 pm at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven.  The Reverend Richard G. Cipolla, Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary’s Church, Norwalk will be the celebrant.

In the Gospel for the Mass for this Mass Our Lord presents the parable of the mustard seed to show us how the tiny seed of our faith can grow into the mighty tree of a saintly life, and the parable of the leaven placed by a woman in a loaf exemplifies the effect His Word in calming our passions and bringing forth the marvels of faith, hope and charity of which we read in the Epistle.

Let us meditate on Our Lord’s teaching, that like leaven it may pervade and transform our hearts, and like the mustard seed it may grow into a great tree and bring forth fruits of holiness.

The music for the service, sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian Mass Ordinary XI (“Orbis factor”), the Gregorian chant proper for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost (“Dicit Dominus,” the motets “Amen dico vobis” by Heinrich Isaac and “Ave verum Corpus” by Ludovico Viadana. The second offering will be for the benefit of the St. Gregory Society.

Saint Gregory Purgatorial Society Requiem Mass

Faithful Catholics are exhorted to dedicate the month of November to remembrance and prayers for the Souls in Purgatory. We begin special observances on November 2, the Feast of All Souls, and continue and continue in our private devotions throughout the following days of the month.  A particularly important observance for members and friends of the St. Gregory is the annual Requiem Mass offered for those souls enrolled in the St Gregory Purgatorial Society.

The annual Saint Gregory Purgatorial Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, November 11, at 7:30 pm, at St Stanislaus Church, New Haven. The traditional Gregorian chants for the Requiem will be sung., and he absolution will be prayed at the catafalque.

We encourage you to enroll your departed loved ones whom you would like remembered at the altar of the Lord on this occasion and at the 8:00 am First Friday Masses throughout the following year. The enrollment may be downloaded here:  St Gregory Purgatorial Soc Form. This form may be printed out and mailed to the Society by November 6, or placed in the offering basket at the November 11 Mass .

A Homily for the Feast of Christ the King 2021

Dom Alcuin of the Monastery of St Benedict (France) preached this homily for the Feast of Christ the King this past Sunday. It is offered here for our continued reflection and for our formation in the faith.

+ History shows that the world has over the centuries suffered very bad kings, has enjoyed good kings, has seen and forgotten many unmemorable kings, and has at times rejoiced in wise and saintly kings. Kings have been just and unjust; some have striven for and presided over periods of great peace and prosperity, others have wrought conflict and war in vain attempts to add to their power and glory. Today kings are a somewhat rarer species, often kept in a gilt constitutional cage which serves to constrain the excesses to which they have all too often seemed to be prone.

Into this world of kingly power, the King of the Jews, Our Lord Jesus Christ, was born—an event which itself prompted the slaughter of innocent children on the orders of a paranoid king. (cf. Mt 2:12-13) A similar anxiety is expressed by Pilate in the Gospel of this Holy Mass: he insists on knowing whether Our Lord identifies Himself as a king, for it would be easy, if He did, for Pilate to know how to deal with Him in terms of the politics of power.

But “my kingdom is not of this world” Our Lord says to Pilate. The dialogue that follows is instructive:

Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”

Poor Pilate is surely bewildered by this. But his attempt to deal with this problematic ‘King of the Jews’ elicits a singularly important statement by Our Lord: “I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”

Pilate’s famous retort (which is recorded in the verse of St John’s Gospel that immediately follows today’s Gospel reading) might also be ours: “What is truth?” he exclaims. But it is a good question. No—it is the only question. For upon it hang no less than … everything.
Under Pilate’s question lies buried the question of our age: “Is there such a thing as truth?” For we live in a world where “my truth” and “your truth”—even if they are radically contradictory and may even have dire consequences—are sacred idols to be worshipped under pain of social ostracism, or worse, at the altar of the god of relativism, whose only doctrine is the perverse dogma that there can be no doctrine, that is, that there can be no objective truth.

Our crucified and resurrected Lord throws down this altar: “I am the way, the truth and the life,” (Jn 14:6) He proclaims through His Church down the ages. “I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth,” He insists this morning.

If we recognise His revelation in history of the truth that there is life beyond death, we have already begun to arrive at an answer to Pilate’s question. And if we ponder this morning’s Gospel a little further, we can begin to appreciate that the answer to this question is not a concept or an idea, but a person—the very person who stood before Pilate. “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice,” Our Lord said. Christ’s kingdom is, therefore, a kingdom of truth. Christ is the King of Truth. Christ is Truth incarnate. This, and nothing less, is what we celebrate in today’s feast!

Thus, when we speak about the social kingship of Christ, or about working to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth, we are advocating nothing other than the reign of Truth Himself, and of the truths He has revealed as necessary for salvation, in each and every aspect of human life and society. Today’s feast demands that we work assiduously to achieve this. Christ, the King, gives each of us this mission.

We may well be daunted in the face of this God-given duty. The world is relativistic. Unbelief and false religions abound. More and more governments oppose themselves to the Truth and persecute those who stand for His teaching: “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake,” (Lk 21:12) Our Lord warned us.

Be that as it may, I must hold to His teaching, faithfully handed on to us in the Tradition of the Church. It is not negotiable – not even when the Church’s own ministers obfuscate it or fail in their duty to hand it on pure and intact. Even though I may not be able to influence great numbers, my perseverance to convert and conform myself to all that the Truth of Christ demands of me today, and tomorrow, bears a unique witness to its life-giving reality which shall bear fruit in ways which I may never foresee. This is the primary mission given to me by Christ the King.

Christ the King lives and reigns, having won the definitive victory over sin and death for us all. For the grace of perseverance in living in and from the Truth Himself, let us pray fervently in this Holy Mass. +