Category Archives: Catechesis

Fifth Sunday after Easter

The Fifth Sunday after Easter will be celebrated in a High Mass in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on Sunday, May 26, at 2:00 pm. The celebrant will be The Reverend Peter Langevin, Chancellor of the Diocese of Norwich and Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich.

The proper texts of the liturgy for this Sunday’s Mass continue to sing of Christ’s victory and of the salvation of Christian people whom He has redeemed. During the Rogation Days that follow, the Church exhorts us to pray in “His name” and ask for what is necessary for us, salvation first and foremost; these prayers will unfailingly be granted us “that our joy may be full.”

We must ask, too, that we may be worthy to enter with Him into His Father’s kingdom, while acknowledging that prayer that is sincere implies generosity: St. Jame’s Epistle reminds us that it is not enough merely to pray; we must also be “doers of the Word.”

Music for the service, sung by the Schola Cantorum of The Saint Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian Mass Ordinary for Eastertide (Vatican Edition I: “Lux et origo,” Easter antiphons, and the proper Gregorian chants.

Second Sunday of Easter

The Second Sunday after Easter, or Good Shepherd Sunday, will be celebrated in a High Mass in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on Sunday, May 5, at 2:00 pm. The celebrant will be the Reverend Jan Pikulski.

The Liturgy of the Second Sunday after Easter calls on the newly baptized to cling to Christ as the Shepherd of their souls. It is suitable, then, to keep a Good Shepherd Sunday, a fortnight after the Easter baptisms, with the beautiful parable from the Gospel and the Epistle in which St. Peter reminds us what it cost Jesus to bring us, the erring sheep, back to the sheepfold of salvation and to become the Shepherd of our souls.  

As St. Peter, chief pastor of the Church by the will of Christ, wrote those word of this Epistle reading, he was mindful of the greatness and responsibilities of his office; so well did he understand them that, following his divine Master he gave his life for his sheep.  We should remind ourselves that the ministry of the priesthood is for the faithful the incarnation and ever prolonged action of Him who remains always the one Shepherd of the Church and Savior of our souls. 

Music for the service, sung by the Schola Cantorum of The Saint Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian Mass Ordinary for Eastertide (Vatican Edition I: “Lux et origo,” motets by Guillaume Dufay and Claudio Monteverdi, and the proper Gregorian chants. 

Easter Sunday 2019

The Missa Cantata for Easter Sunday will be celebrated in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 pm. The Celebrant will be The Reverend Jan Pikulski.

The Feast of Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day after his death on the cross on Good Friday. The Resurrection is the climax of Holy Week, and, indeed of the entire Church Year, as it represents the central tenet of Christian belief: Christ’s triumph over sin and death and redemption of fallen mankind.

Jesus confounded the powers of evil by clothing in glory the Body which had been the Victim of the cruelty of sinful man. Christ’s triumph over depth is the most conclusive proof of His divinity and is thus the foundation of our faith. “God hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He hath raised us up together with Christ and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 2.6)

Let us joyfully keep this day on which our Lord has restored life to us in His own rising from the dead, and affirm with the Church that “the Lord is risen indeed.” Like Him, let us make our Easter a passing to an entirely new way of life.

Music for the service, sung by the full Schola Cantorum of The Saint Gregory Society, will include Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Regina caeli, motets by Gregor Aichinger and Jachet de Berchem, and the proper Gregorian chants.

Good Friday 2019

The Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of Good Friday will be celebrated in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven at 12:00 Noon.

The Good Friday Liturgy is at once one of the most dramatic and austere services of the Church Year. It comprised of four parts: the lessons, solemn orations, adoration of the cross, and communion.  The externals of this service are marked by both a solemnity and simplicity appropriate to the day.  The altar is bare except for one cloth, the missal stand is not covered, the vestments are black for the first portions of the service and violet for the communion, and bells are not rung.

Most striking perhaps is the Adoration of the Cross in which the priest progressively unveils the cross and thrice chants, each time on a higher pitch, Ecce Lignum Crucis (Behold the Wood of the Cross).  After the cross the unveiled, it is laid on a cushion and the clergy and servers venerate it by removing their shoes and making three double genuflections as they advance toward it before kissing it.  Removing shoes is a common act of piety in the Coptic Rite (Catholic and Orthodox), and reminds us of when God told Moses to remove his sandals since where he was standing is holy ground (Exodus 3:5).  During the Adoration of the Cross the “Reproaches” are sung by the choir.

Besides the Kyrie regularly sung at Mass, the Reproaches are the only other liturgical text in the Roman Rite in which Greek is used. The Trisagion is sung in both Greek and Latin and is another indication of how ancient certain elements of the Good Friday liturgy are.  Other reminders of the antiquity of this rite are its simplicity with the use of one altar cloth and the rather abrupt beginning of the service with a lack of preparatory prayers.

Music for the service, sung by the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include Tomás Luis de Victoria’s “Reproaches,” motets by Palestrina, Anerio, and Loyset Compère, and the proper Gregorian chants.

Palm Sunday 2019

Palm Sunday will be celebrated in the Blessing of Palms, Procession and High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on April 14, at 2:00 pm. The celebrant will be the Reverend Jan Pikulski.

In the Liturgy of Palm Sunday, the two-fold point of view from which the Church regards the Cross is expressed in two ceremonies, one marked by joy and the other by sadness. First comes the Blessing and Procession of Palms, in which everything overflows with a holy joy, enabling us after twenty centuries to revive the spirit of the magnificent scene of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Then follows the Mass with its changes and lessons relating exclusively to the sorrowful memory of our Redeemer’s Passion.

We should keep carefully a blessed palm branch in our home. This palm is a sacramental, and, fastened to our crucifix, should serve to remind us of the victory gained for us by Christ on the Cross.

Music for the service performed by the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include the Italian Renaissance master Costanzo Porta’s “Missa Primi Toni” motets by Josquin DesPrez, Jachet de Berchem and Tomás Luis de Victoria, and the proper Gregorian chants for the Procession and Mass.