Roman Missal V

Leonidas "Fighting Bishop" Polk

Aching for a homily on our Lord’s conversation with the Canaanite woman? You are welcome to click HERE

…Lots to discuss, dear reader, like: the Becks Grossman/John Rex runoff to start at quarterback for the Maybe-Not-Deadskins..

…or: Two Civil-War generals, Catholic convert “Old Rosey” Rosecrans for the Union; “The Fighting Bishop” Leonidas Polk for the Confederates. One Reb general exhorted, ‘Give ’em hell, boys!’ Polk chimed in, ‘Give it to ’em boys. Give it to ’em. Give ’em what Cheatham said!’

…But we will have to come back to all this, because we are not done with:

Were the prayers of the Roman Rite devised by Abel, Abraham, Melchizedek, Moses, David, Isaiah, Malachi, Ezekiel, Daniel, the Roman Centurion, Mary Magdalen, the Blessed Mother, the Lord Jesus Himself, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Linus, St. Cletus, St. Clement, St. Sixtus, St. Hippolytus, St. Gregory the Great, St. Leo the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Pius XII, Bl. Pope John XXIII, Archbishop Bugnini, or other venerable fathers?


Our culture possesses a definitive religious act, the Roman Rite.

The Roman Rite ultimately determined the floorplan of the Bruton Parish church in colonial Williamsburg. It ultimately determined the annual calendar for Oxford University. It ultimately determined the subject matter for most of the work of J.S. Bach.

Why do we have Christmas Day off? Why do four out of five Americans know the Our Father? Why do we watch football games on Sunday afternoon instead of Tuesday afternoon?

Why do we persist in hoping that the powers greater than us–the powers that move history forward in a way we cannot imagine–why do we stubbornly persevere in hoping that they will act in our favor, rather than dooming us to perpetual misery?

Why do we practice the scientific method, and don’t believe that splaying out fish innards–or sacrificing chickens, or the trajectory of comets–controls our destiny?

The short answer to these questions: Because the culture of the Western world formed around the altar of the Roman Rite.

…still more to come…

Reading Tea Leaves, by Harry H. Roseland

One thought on “Roman Missal V

  1. Father Mark,

    Or, he could have said, “Give them “H…….E…….double hockey sticks” as one of my Presbyterian friends does, to avoid any hint of formal cursing — when, in fact, the curse has already been done; and saying otherwise can’t undo it.

    I’ll add to your litany of the Roman Rite with my slant, “The World is ordered by the Common Lectionary.” What I’ve noted is that many non-Common-Lectionary preachers seem somehow to gravitate to the readings of the day in their sermon subject matter of the day. Many meditation books also seem to be similarly organized.

    Give something repetitive like the Roman Missal 2,000 years, and, perhaps, it becomes ingrained in society. In fact, it may also be somewhat incorporated in our DNA — not that it makes us show up at Mass — so that the timing and rhythm of our lives are shaped by it — there is a season for every purpose under Heaven.



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