Divinum Officium

Divinum Officium is yet another excellent resource for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Here’s a screenshot of the Mass Propers for tomorrow, the Octave Day of Christmas.

Divinum Officium Screenshot

If you were just learning the Mass, you could theoretically just print it off the site, clip it into your Missale Romanum, and read through that with no worries.

Rating: A+ — Highly Recommended

God rest Fr. William

St Jane William

Fr. William McCandless was Pastor at St. Jane for 9 years, and he was the last of the Benedictine Community, who started the Parish here as a mission in the 1800’s, to serve as Pastor here. All of the long time Parishioners here remember him fondly, with a great love, and with a great respect for his intellect, and his devotion to the Faith, to Jesus Christ, and to the Blessed Mother.

Via the Monastery‘s site:

Father William John MacCandless, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Joseph Abbey, died on Christmas Day at the monastery at Saint Benedict, LA. A native of New Orleans, he was born on 7 July 1930; his father, John William MacCandless, was editor of the archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic Action of the South; his mother was Jane Hickey MacCandless. He began monastic life at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Pecos, NM; while he was still a young monk, the monastery transferred in 1955 to Lafayette, OR, where he was ordained a priest on 7 December 1958.
Fr. William MacCAndless
He did graduate studies at the international Benedictine University of Sant’ Anselmo and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. On his return to Our Lady of Guadalupe, he served for a time as novice-master. Upon the death of his father in 1966, he received permission to live with his widowed mother, and he eventually left the Trappists and became a priest of the Diocese of Beaumont, TX. During this time, he taught at Loyola University and at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, where he served as academic dean. He also taught at the University of Dallas and the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH, serving as department head in both institutions.

After his mother’s death in 1978, he entered Saint Joseph Abbey, where he made profession as a Benedictine monk on 11 July 1981. He taught theology and Greek for 20 years in Saint Joseph Seminary College; he also taught in the Baton Rouge Religious Studies Institute, run jointly by the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Seminary College. He also served as director of the Abbey Christian Life Center, as director of the monastery’s oblates, and as prior and novice-master. For two years he was chaplain to Bowling Green Inn in Mandeville, and from 1994 to 2003 he was pastor of Saint Jane de Chantal Church in Abita Springs. He was a model of monastic observance to his brothers, a gentle and good-humored member of the community, much sought as a spiritual director and confessor. He experienced declining physical health and mental acuity during his last months, but he showed great patience and always expressed gratitude to those who cared for him. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy J. M. McCloskey.

The Birds

I was driving home to Abita from the city the other day, and decided to take the scenic route.  Part of me, really, was just tired and didn’t feel like dealing with interstate traffic.  And then another part of me just likes the scenic drive out through the fishing camps along the Rigolets.


I had to stop and photo these birds though.  I mean, there was a whole lagoon full of birds to choose from…

Gull Lagoon

Although, a glance to the right changed the lighting entirely, into a bleak, TS Elliot-esque landscape.


Rigolets bridge

The lagoon is past the Rigolets bridge.  And before Ft. Pike.

Fort Pike

Which is never open, by the way.  If you find it open one day… give me a call!  I’d love to go see it sometime.

Steak and Bake


Over the years I’ve scraped together my pennies, saved up and otherwise cut expenses, well, for many reasons. One of those reasons is so that occasionally I can afford a nice meal out somewhere. For the last several Christmases, I’ve gotten together with my friends Barbara, and Fr. John, as we all are in similar Christmas schedules and get together later in the day, with a minimum of fuss, dishes, prep time, etc. And for Christmas, I don’t think we spend a dime more than we would otherwise after all is said and done.


I mean, the lump crab salad alone is amazing.


Barb is a dear friend, who’s stood by me through thick and thin, who helped care for my mom in her illness as I was approaching ordination, and who has great choice in restaurants for Christmas day.  When she said she had made reservations for Ruth’s downtown at 3:45, I knew it would be a great choice.


Fr. John is a great friend.  He’s another one of my Priest friends who claims he’s an introvert, though I have serious doubts about that.  Still, he’s pensive and earnest.

Our server here said she was from a small , private Catholic school on the Northshore, that we had probably never heard of.  I said, “Well, …. SSA!”  Like… d’oh.   Her jaw actually dropped.  I guess they get a lot of tourists here, or otherwise non Northshore folk.


See. Fr. John has his pensive moments.


After that we retired to the Roosevelt, which is a festive place to have an after dinner drink.  And if someone you’re dining out with has been inexplicably lavish enough to have a room for the night, and not only a room, but a suite…  then by all means (it’s a long story, but sensible.)  Bring Christmas presents!  Settle in and have an enjoyable evening.

It was a one of a kind, and lovely, evening.  The perfect ending for a prayerful day.



The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Sancta Missa has some excellent articles available on their site.  

Take for example this brief explanation of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which was part of the Mass from about the third centuries until 1970, from Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of Holy Mass.

Prayers at the foot of the Altar

Holy Church here makes use of the formula of confession, which she has drawn up; it probably dates from the 8th century. We are not allowed to make the slightest change in the words. It has this prerogative, in common with all the other Sacramentals, – that its recitation produces the forgiveness of venial sins, provided we be contrite for them. Thus it is, that God, in His Infinite Goodness, has provided us with other means, over and above the Sacrament of Penance, whereby we may be cleansed from our venial sins: He, for this end, inspired His Church to give us her Sacramentals.

The Priest, as we were saying, begins the confession; and, first of all, he accuses himself to God. But, he is not satisfied with that; – he as good as says: “I not only desire to confess my sins to God, but to all the Saints; in order that they may join their prayers with mine, and obtain pardon for me.” Therefore, he immediately adds: “I confess to the Blessed Mary ever Virgin.” Not that he has ever committed any offence against this holy Mother; but he has sinned in her sight; and the very thought of it urges him to make his sins known to Her also.

He does the same to the glorious St. Michael, the great Archangel, who is appointed to watch over our souls, especially at the hour of death. In like manner, he confesses to St. John the Baptist, who was so dear to our Lord, and was His precursor. Lastly, he desires to own his sins to Saints Peter and Paul, the two Princes of the Apostles. Certain Religious Orders have permission to add the name of their Patriarch or Founder. Thus, the Benedictines insert the name of St. Benedict; the Dominicans, St. Dominic; the Franciscans, St. Francis. After mentioning these and all the Saints, he would have even the Faithful, who are present, know that he is a sinner; and he therefore says to them: And to you, Brethren! because, as he is now humbling himself on account of his sins, he not only accuses himself before those who are glorified in God, but moreover, before those his fellow-mortals who are there visibly present, near the sanctuary.

And not satisfied with declaring himself to be a sinner, he adds in what way he has sinned; and confesses, that it is by all the three ways, wherein men commit sin, namely, by thought, word, and deed: cogitatione, verbo, et opere. Then wishing to express, that he has thus sinned and through his own freewill, be utters these words: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.

And, that he may, like the publican of the Gospel, outwardly testify his inward repentance, he thrice strikes his breast, whilst saying those words. Conscious of the need he has of pardon, he once more turns towards Mary and all the Saints, as likewise to the Faithful who are present, begging that they will all pray for him. In reference to this formula of Confession, which has been established by our holy Mother the Church, it may be well to remind our readers, that it would, of itself, suffice for one who was in danger of death, and unable to make a more explicit Confession.

The Ministers answer the Priest by wishing him the grace of God’s mercy; they express their wish under the form of prayer, during which he, the Priest, remains bowed down, and answers: Amen.

But, the Ministers themselves stand in need of God’s pardon; and, therefore, they repeat the same formula as the Priest, for the confession of their sins; only, instead of saying: Et vobis, fratres, and to you, Brethren, they address the Priest, and call him Father: Et tibi, Pater.

It is never allowable to change anything which holy Church has prescribed for the celebration of the Mass. Hence, in the Confiteor, the Ministers must always use the simple words: Et tibi, Pater; Et te, Pater; they must add no further title, not even were they serving the Pope’s Mass.

As soon as the Ministers have finished the Confession formula, the Priest says the same prayer for them, as they had previously made for him; and they, also, respond to it by an Amen. A sort of blessing then follows: Indulgentiam, &c., whereby the Priest asks, both for himself and his brethren, pardon and forgiveness of their sins; he makes the sign of the Cross, and uses the word nobis and not vobis, for he puts himself on an equality with his Ministers, and takes his share in the prayer that is said for all.

The Confession having been made, the Priest again bows down, but not so profoundly as he did during the Confiteor. He says: Deus, tu conversus vivificabis nos: Thou, O God, with one look, wilt give us life; to which the Ministers answer: Et plebs tua laetabitur in te: And thy people will rejoice in thee. Then, – Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam: Show unto us thy mercy, O Lord; Et salutare tuum da nobis: And grant us the Saviour whom thou hast prepared for us.

The practice of reciting these Versicles is very ancient. The last gives us the words of David, who, in his 84th Psalm, is praying for the coming of the Messias. In the Mass, before the Consecration, we await the coming of our Lord, as they, who lived before the Incarnation, awaited the promised Messias. By that word Mercy, which is here used by the Prophet, we are not to understand the Goodness of God; but, we ask of God, that He will vouchsafe to send us Him, who in His Mercy and His Salvation, that is to say, the Saviour, by whom Salvation is to come upon us. These few words of the Psalm take us back in spirit, to the Season of Advent, when we are unceasingly asking for him who is to come.

After this, the Priest asks of God, that He would vouchsafe to grant his prayer: Domine, exaudi orationem meam: Lord, hear my prayer. The Ministers continue, as though in his name: Et clamor meus ad te veniat: And let my cry come unto thee. The Priest salutes the people, saying: Dominus vobiscum: The Lord be with you. It is as though he were taking leave of them, now that the solemn moment is come for him to ascend the Altar, and, like Moses, enter into the cloud. The Ministers answer him in the name of the people: Et cum spiritu tuo: And with thy spirit.

Whilst going up to the Altar, the Priest says Oremus: he stretches out his hands, and joins them again. As often as he uses this word, he observes the same ceremony. The reason is, that it immediately precedes some prayer which he is going to make; and, when we pray, we raise our hands up to God, who is in heaven, and to whom we are about to speak.

It was thus that our Blessed Lord prayed on the Cross. In the prayer, which the Priest says, whilst ascending the Altar- steps, he uses the plural, because he is not alone; for the Deacon and Subdeacon go up together with him, and minister to him. The thought which is uppermost in the Priest’s mind, at this solemn moment is, to be all pure; for, as he says, he is entering into the Holy of Holies: Ad Sancta Sanctorum, meaning to express, by this Hebrew superlative, the importance of the act which he is going to fulfil. He prays, therefore, that his sins, as well as those of his Ministers, may be taken away. T

he nearer we approach to God, the more we feel the slightest sin to be an intolerable blot upon our soul; so that the Priest redoubles his prayer, that God would cleanse him from his sins. He has already prayed this merciful Lord to turn and give him life; Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos. – Ostende nobis Domine misericordiam tuam. But, having drawn nearer to that God, his fear increases, and his desire of pardon is more ardent; he repeats this same prayer again now whilst going up the Altar-steps. Having reached the Altar, he puts his hands upon it, first joined, and then separated, so that he may kiss it.

This kissing the Altar is prompted by a sentiment of respect for the Saints’ Relics, which are there. Again, another prayer for pardon of his sins: in it, he says: peccata mea: my sins; although he began it by: Oramus Te, Domine: We beseech thee, O Lord; nor is there any inadvertency in this; for, all those who assist at the holy Sacrifice should entertain, for the Priest, a sentiment of filial respect, and pray with and for him.

Fr. Kenneth Allen