Category Archives: Catechesis

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.

Second Sunday in Lent 2019

The Second Sunday in Lent will be celebrated in a Latin High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on March 3, at 2:00 pm. The celebrant will be the Rev. Jan Pikulski.

Between Moses and Elias, Jesus shows forth his divine glory, thus foreshadowing His resurrection. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all things. Today’s Mass places before us the transfigured Lord and the model toward Whom we must tend, and our own transfiguration as the goal we must attain. We reach this goal by a profound realization of our sinfulness and need of a Redeemer; by preserving purity of body and soul; by combatting our passions and carnal instincts and observing the commandments; and, most importantly, by participating in the Mass.

Let the light of the grandeur of Jesus transfigured prepare us for a contemplation of the humiliation of His Passion.

Music for the service performed by the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian chant Missa Orbis factor (Vatican edition XI), the chant proper for the Mass (Reminiscere), and polyphonic motets by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso.