Rorate Caeli

Update from Tokyo

From Tomoh Takai of Japan comes the following news (with slight editing):

18th Solemn Pontifical Mass in Gregorian Chant
Mass in Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady's Appearance
in Lourdes
Principal Celebrant : Peter Cardinal Shirayanagi, Archbishop Emeritus ofTokyo
Concelebrants:
Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello,Apostolic Nuncio to Japan
Archbishop Joseph Pittau, S.J. Former President of Sophia University
Saturday October 11, 2008, 3:00PM
Saint Mary Cathedral,Tokyo
Sponsored by:
Catholic Action Fellowship Association
The Mass will be according to the 1970 Missal

18 comments:

Richard Friend said...

Gregorian chant? In Tokyo? This is kinda hard to believe. Last year when I heard Mass in Tokyo, I was shocked to discover that the faithful no longer kneel during Mass and remain standing through the Eucharistic Prayer and consecration. Worst, during Holy Communion, after receiving the Sacred Host from the priest in their hands, they would approach an EMHC holding a chalice with the Sacred Blood and self instinct. This was all supposedly according to the norms established by the Japanese Bishops Conference. I was told that the Japanese bishops wanted to avoid the "commotion" and noise that ensued when people kneel. I wonder if the Holy See ever approved of this variance from the norm. Given this background, and the well-known aversion by Cardinal Shirayanagi to anything related to Latin (all in the spirit of inculturation), it is almost a miracle that a Mass in Tokyo would feature Gregorain chant and with a Jesuit concelebrant at that.

Jordanes said...

I don't know what the discipline in Japan has been regarding kneeling during Mass. I do know that the American custom [kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer and standing only from the "Amen" and returning to kneeling at the "Agnus Dei"] is unique, not the usual custom throughout the Latin Rite. Of course the Holy See says the American custom is laudable and ought to be retained, but the general posture in the Latin Rite is to stand rather than kneel for most of the Eucharistic Prayer. I recall hearing a story, perhaps apocryphal, that Hilaire Belloc once visited the U.S., and during Mass he remained standing while all around knelt. The usher told him he was supposed to kneel, but Belloc said, "Mind your own goddamned business." The usher replied, "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were Catholic."

In any case, no bishops' conference has the authority to allow standing all the way through the Eucharistic Prayer AND consecration, nor does any conference have the authority to allow self-intinction. If this is going on, it is in violation of Church law and without the permission of the Holy See, which has, so far as I know, never granted an indult for such egregious and deleterious departures from proper Eucharistic piety and reverence.

Luiz said...

We also kneel in Brazil!

Gregor said...

"I do know that the American custom [kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer and standing only from the "Amen" and returning to kneeling at the "Agnus Dei"] is unique"

No, in the German speaking countries this is also the custom.

Jordanes said...

Okay, make that "I don't know . . ."

a japanese said...

This Mass is Novus Ordo Mass in Latin and Gregorian chant. I have attended a couple of times, but to tell the truth I do not feel like going to this Mass again. I find the Cathedral itself is ugly in the first place. And there was no sense of silence. I do not remember if people were kneeling or standing during the EP and consecration but Holy Communion was in the hands, of course. This Mass gathers about 1000 people every year because they sey they love tradition, but I have an impression that what they mean by "tradition" is only about the language(Latin) and the music (Gregorian Chant), not about the liturgy as a whole.

Sorry for my poor English.

You can see some pictures of the Cathedral:
http://www.xknowledge.co.jp/kenchi/event/2008/02/post-22.html

http://www.k-arts.jp/index.php?e=818

Dan Hunter said...

know that the American custom [kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer and standing only from the "Amen" and returning to kneeling at the "Agnus Dei"]

In many American Diocese the norm is to stand throughout the whole Canon, even during the Consecration and to continue standing through the peoples communion.

Jordanes said...

In many American Diocese the norm is to stand throughout the whole Canon, even during the Consecration and to continue standing through the peoples communion.

Isn't that a more recent development, though? I've heard reports in the past few years that many U.S. bishops have introduced standing rather than kneeling, partly, I suppose, out of archaeologism, and perhaps partly out of revulsion at the idea of kneeling before Jesus.

AdamZ said...

"Self-intinction"is a custom in Hong Kong too!

ghp said...

Dear "A Japanese" san,

Youroshikuonegaiitashimasu!

I have also visited the Tokyo Holy Mary Cathedral (on a July Friday afternoon) and it felt dead. Too much concrete, and it looks like a protestant church building. Saaaaaah......

I find interesting they publish a "Let's Pray the Mass" missal set in Kanji/Romaji/English/Latin. I see that an English-language Mass is held weekly in Sapporo ... I just cannot find a Latin-language Mass!

I try to stay away from Tokyo and mostly frequent Sapporo (Hokkaido). The Cathedral is an old wooden church built about 1850, is small, and also a bit of a chore to get to if walking .... and even though I was alone, it sure felt "alive". I only wish Bishop Jinushi would exchange the "Risen Christ" for a real Crucifix.
http://www.cbcj.or.jp/eng/jcn/img/nikkan.jpg

I earlier corresponded with a priest at the Maruyama (Sapporo) parish and he said communion was received only in the hand as that is the Japanese norm. No hope when I retire there!

Jya,
Guy Power

Jordanes said...

I earlier corresponded with a priest at the Maruyama (Sapporo) parish and he said communion was received only in the hand as that is the Japanese norm.

No, it cannot be the Japanese "norm," it's just what is usually done there. Universal law in the Latin Rite is that Communion is to be received on the tongue, with permission given particularly to receive in the hand. Nowhere in the Latin Church is it permissible to refuse to give Communion in accordance with the Church's law. If you want to receive on the tongue, let the priest know that is how you will receive. If, God forbid, he denies you Communion even though he knows he may not, let him know that his crime will be addressed through the proper channels.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"I have an impression that what they mean by "tradition" is only about the language(Latin) and the music (Gregorian Chant), not about the liturgy as a whole..."

That is a major improvement from what we normally have to contend with in our country, where "tradition" is normally understood as having big, realistic statues of saints, lots of gold and marble all around the sanctuary, and gilded robes for statues of the Virgin Mary, while almost no one ever gives a thought to the basic rubrics of the liturgy.

Daniel Anselmo said...

"If you want to receive on the tongue, let the priest know that is how you will receive."

I did this when I went to Mass at Takanawa, Tokio, pointing my with my finger, since I do not speak Japanese. And it worked: I recieved on the tongue without any fuss. :-)

a japanese said...

Dear Guy Power san,
Ohayo-gozaimasu! Yoroshikuonegaiitashimasu!
Indeed Tokyo Cathedral, and many other renewed church buildings are like a protestant church. It is heartbreaking to see old churches rebuilt and become very modern. St.Ignatius Church in the Sofia University or Takanawa church in Tokyo used to be very beautiful churchs.
My parish church is very old building and luckily rebuilding will never happen, but a little destruction was already done – altar rail, and angel statues on both sides of the main altar were taken away in 1964.

I have heard too, that communion on the tongue is denied in many places. I think, many (most?) of the japanese bishops and priests think that local norm exceeds universal law, because “inculturation” is the ultimate principle.

Carlos Antonio Palad san,
>almost no one ever gives a thought to the basic rubrics of the liturgy.
That is same in Japan, too (^_^;)
But, you are right. I change my mind. It is “improvement” to be able to have Mass in Latin and Gregorian Chant.
My pastor once said that Latin is a dead lauguage. And by becoming “dead”, the Latin language escaped from “changes”, for which vernacular languages are destined, and became “eternal” language.
I pray that the Gregorian Chant and Mass in Latin will purify our souls, whenever and wherever it is sung and said.

Francesco said...

Ave,

Hello to all,

It is good see you here. Thanks to blog author, the info. could be shared with you. Also it is good to read sincere discussion (on the music, language and liturgy)
I'm very encouraged by you.

Well, the blog author allowed me to have small report about the state of the use of Latin and Gregorian chant in Japan.

I hope we can keep in touch.

Tomo-o Takai, Tokyo, Japan.

ghp said...

Dear Daniel Anselmo, thank you for letting me know some priests will allow reception on the tongue. I couldn't find the response I received from Fr. Kacchi in Sapporo, but I wrote my wife (who lives also in Sapporo), "6/6/2006 ...I received a response from the Catholic diocese in Sapporo. Yappari [just as I thought!] -- they do not offer Latin Mass. Oh well ... guess I'll have to put up with the Japanese method. The way the Santa Clara Japanese group practices is the same way in Sapporo and, I'm afraid, the rest of Japan. No kneeling to receive Holy Communion and they place it in the hand, not on the tongue. Oh well ..... :^( ...."

"A Japanese" san: You are indeed fortunate to have an old church building! Perhaps you can convince the pastor to reinstall at least the communion rail? The Sapporo Cahthedral still has its rail.

And ... what of the old "Recusant" families in Hiroshima? Do any of them maintain some "Traditional" practices? Wearing mantilla, etc.?

"Francesco san": thank you for telling us about the Novus Ordo Latin Mass with Gregorian chant. Hopefully you can later report about the Mass. It would be interesting if the attendees could petition for more Masses in Latin.

And please do tell us if the "Benedictine" placement of altar cross and candlesticks is used.

Youroshikuonegaimoshiagemasu!

a japanese said...

Dear Guy Power san,

I appreciate it very much if you could email me. I have some questions but off-topic on this thread.
Email address:angelusdomini.n AT gmail DOT com

I will try to talk to my pastor about altar rail! And maybe about the Benedictine arrangement too.
Thank you!

Francesco said...

Ave,

I live in the downtown (so called "shitamachi") area, east end of Tokyo.

Current church clergy was born in Nagasaki. Please remeber, Nagasaki was a place where 28 saints had lived.

I always receive Holy Communion on the tangue with kneeling. I have not gotten any "permission"....

I think it permissible (also granted and recommended) way of receiving as "Sacramentum Caritatis" mentioned.

I pray Pater Noster in Latin (with small voice), kneel when the canon is prayed. No one blame me.

I talked him several times during Catechism session, he clearly expressed concerns and had been suffered from the direction of his superiors in Tokyo.

We also suffered from strongly biased Pastoral policies of Japanese bishops, but we have been maitaining our faith by ourselves. We do not have to give up, since Holy Mother protect us.

Not a few Devotees try to protect themselves (e.g. promoting Latin Mass even in Novus Ordo, finding "good" clergy, establish small group to "promote" their spirituality, publish personal magazine, etc)

Please pray for our Virgin Mary.

Kind regards,