Rorate Caeli

Pope to bishops: "Cultivate the ars celebrandi"

As the Council recalls, the liturgical action of the Church is also a part of her contribution to the civilizing task (cf. Gaudium et spes n. 58, 4). The liturgy is indeed the celebration of the central event of human history, the redemptive Sacrifice of Christ. By this, it testifies to the love with which God loves mankind, it testifies that human life has a meaning and that [man] is called by vocation to take part in the glorious life of the Trinity.

Mankind needs this testimony. It needs to perceive, by way of the liturgical celebrations, that the Church is conscious of the Lordship of God and of the dignity of man. It has the right to be able to discern, beyond the limitations that will always characterize her rites and ceremonies, that Christ "is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister" (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 7).

Aware of the concern which you have surrounding your liturgical celebrations, I encourage you to cultivate the art of celebration, to help your priests in this sense, and to work ceaselessly in the liturgical formation of seminarians and faithful. Respect for the establishes norms expresses love and fidelity to the Church's faith, to the treasure of grace that she protects and passes on; the beauty of the celebrations, much more than innovations and subjective adaptations, is what makes the work of evangelization durable and efficacious.
Benedict XVI
November 17, 2012

In related news: the reorganization of the Congregation for Divine Worship, following the transferal of several of her former disciplinary competences to the Roman Rota, was completed (see La Stampa).


  1. The Holy Father said:

    "I encourage you to cultivate the art of celebration"

    Oh, man!


    Pope Benedict
    Please restrict
    Enemies and foes.

    Pope Benedict
    I pray constrict
    Heretics who pose.

    Pope Benedict
    I do predict
    Tradition if you shield...

    Pope Benedict
    Of Rome's district
    The Vineyard will be healed!

    "...may the Holy Ghost make of him a great restorer of the devastated vineyard of the Church."

  2. Matthew Rose3:46 PM

    "The dignity of man"...great, more of that - just what we need.

  3. the vineyard will be healed!!!

    pray for our holy father!

  4. Stephen4:58 PM

    I have to wonder whether any of what the Pope said will do anything to getting the Church out of the crisis of faith.

    In the news the last couple of days is the Boston Archdiocese's plant to reshuffle more than half their parishes. The Mass attendance in Boston is about 15%. A news article today said in 1970 in Boston, it was 70%.

    In 2006, they close a lot of parishes on us and told us it was a success. To show you I'm not making it up, I'll give you a news story from 2006.

    Mass attendance up since closings, archdiocese says

    By Associated Press March 29, 2006

    The number of people attending Mass in the Boston Archdiocese has risen slightly since widespread church closings began, despite dozens fewer parishes, some tumultuous closings, and a falling Catholic population, archdiocesan officials said.

    Last year, 319,559 Catholics attended Mass regularly, up from 316,811 in 2003, the year before the closings began, according to statistics from the archdiocese.

    The steady attendance through the closings was a validation of the archdiocese's closing plan, said Kathleen Heck, who worked for the archdiocese assisting the transition between closed parishes and the parishes that accepted the transferring parishioners.

    Though heavy media coverage was given to protesters, most of the roughly 28,000 parishioners who attended Mass at now-closed parishes understood the reasons why and kept going to church in the archdiocese, Heck said.

    The 2005 statistics show that just 17 percent of Catholics in the Boston Archdiocese regularly attend Mass.

    Okay, that's the end of the news story. Now 6 years later the Archdiocese admits Mass attendance is back down to 15% from 6 years ago.

    I hope this doesn't sound bab, but when everything the Popes do and the Cardinals do keeps failing, why should we think their plans will ever end the crisis?

    Please pray for me because I don't confidence in what they're telling us anymore.

  5. Never forget "the dignity of man" and keep up the good work with the normal NO circus masses and the customary destruction of hundreds of parish churches emptied by 50 living traditional years of propagating Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (no!...not The SSPX but....)

  6. In France 4.5% of the "Catholic" population attend mass "regularly" (at least once a month!)

  7. Joseph7:20 PM

    Is it really necessary for people to bitch about Vatican II or the Novus Ordo on every post on this blog? You make all traditionalists look like a group of miserable, whiny little girls when, in fact, its only a fraction. Do something constructive instead of complain.

  8. Joseph7:23 PM

    My previous post was directed at the commentators, not the owners of the blog.

  9. Benedict Carter7:52 PM

    It's too late for all this, Holy Father. Far, far too late. The Church in France is virtually dead. At least you didn't use the word "cosmic".

  10. Matthew Rose7:59 PM


    Look in the mirror. You are the one acting like a whiny girl about the commentators. We are doing something constructive: assisting at a Mass the Holy Father has never publicly celebrated as Pope, living as though we believe in Tradition and the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and praying for a restoration of proper theology and liturgy because we have no dignity worthy of being celebrated except that given to us by Our Lord through no intrinsic merit of our own.

  11. Dear Holy Farther, please, just once attend the Pontifical Traditional Latin Mass. It will be the best indication of what is the good liturgical formation and the true ars celebrandi. In any case, let us pray our Lord God, that these words will reach the hears of those French bishops as well as many other catholic bishops all around the world.

  12. Henry8:09 PM

    I cannot fathom why our good Holy Father is criticized for saying

    "Mankind . . . needs to perceive, by way of the liturgical celebrations, that the Church is conscious of the Lordship of God and of the dignity of man."

    This is precisely what is needed, when the Church has been devastated by 40 years of liturgy unworthy of both God and man.

  13. Joseph said...

    "Is it really necessary for people to bitch"

    I'm sorry Joseph, but I'm bilingual and I speak b*tch too.

  14. Hilarious, Long-Skirts.

    Now, please, let us avoid the use of such words. These comments will be kept up "for the record of events", but no more comments with such inappropriate words will be allowed here. Thank you.

  15. Templar9:15 PM

    The collapse of the Church around us should not be the primary concern. Pope Benedict has read the entire secret of Fatima. He knows that only devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save the Church. It could be that at this time, God has allowed him to forget this truth.

    As long as an individual complies with the requests made by Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, that person anticipates and participates in The Age of Mary and is the beneficiary of Her promises.

    You dear Catholic will inherit the promises made by Our Lady, especially on June 13, 1917:

    "Those souls will be cherished by God as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne."

  16. What about the dignity of God?

  17. There is nothing wrong with the phrase "dignity of man," especially in this context. I think people many grew allergic to the concerns and homilies of some other recent pontiffs and prelates, which often read like broad social commentaries. I see no reasonable objection here.

  18. I tend to agree with Joseph. When the ship is sinking, what value is it to constantly update the current water level in the bilge?

    If we are really trying to convert Novus Ordo Catholics (or Protestants or whatever) to tradition and the beauty of the Latin Mass as we know it, will we really do that by complaining and constantly pointing out the negative situation?

    I know there are a lot of very intelligent, thoughtful readers of this blog (including the contributors no doubt).

    How about a collective brain storming effort on ways to bring others to tradition and the beauty, simplicity, and timelessness of the Mass we are blessed to know and attend?

  19. I'll even offer this to get the ball rolling:

    Start an "Invitation to Come and See" movement where we (Traditionalists) go to Novus Ordo Masses and visit with parishoners
    after Mass in the ususal "coffee and donuts" sessions and speak to people about tradition and personally invite them to Mass
    at a Traditional Parish. We can explain all the things we see as beautifull about the Latin Mass.. the piousness of the attendees..
    the beauty of silence in God's House of Prayer..the reverential nature of communion on the tongue while knealing.. the long lines
    of faithful for confession before (and during) Mass. the vertical nature of Mass celebrated ad orientam as opposed to versus populum..

    a New Evangelization.. during the Year of Faith? why not?

  20. Gratias11:50 PM

    The celebration of the liturgy is improving. The new translation makes the NO a bit more reverent even here in the USA.

    At a recent pilgrimage in Rome the beneficial effects of Benedict XVI could be seen. We attended a Pontifical Traditional mass with Cardinal Cañizares Llovera on November 3rd with over 1000 in attendance. At a pontifical mass by Sec. of State Cardinal Bertone the ordinary of the NO mass was read by him in Latin while another priest read the rest in Polish, as the event was for about 3000 Polish pilgrims. The priests took the host to the communicants and to a person they all knelt on the floor of St. Peter's to receive. It was a heart warming sight. At the following General Audience at the St. Peter's Square the Pope led about 20,000 pilgrims in chanting the Paternoster in Latin, and many, many could sing along.

    Finally, we attended two masses at the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament at St. Peter's. Held at 8:30 am, they were really reverent NO. Ordinary texts in Latin, the readings in Italian. The Faithful joined in Gregorian chant for the Gloria, Paternoster and Agnus Dei (during communion). The priest dipped the host in wine chanting loudly Corpus-Sanguis for each person, to very good effect. Every single one of these about 100 daily communicants made a deep reverence or kneeled briefly while the person in front was receiving. A few received while kneeling. Exposition of the Holy Sacrament followed mass so a sheet with a lengthy Gregorian chant in Latin was distributed. Interestingly, the musical notation was very simple, just underlining the vowels that should be chanted longer. If you ever go to The Vatican do not miss this side-chapel, the huge bronze Tabernacle and Angels are sculptures by Bernini and it has two of the original columns of the Temple of Solomon. Eucharistic adoration lasts all day long after this reverent mass.

  21. Common Sense10:11 AM

    After having read the Pope's latest exhortation, I thought, "Another sterile and useless piece of publication." As all of us who are concerned about what's happening around the world painfully witness another Palestinian tragedy at the hands of the Israeli army, it would be far more fitting if the Pontiff said something consoling about the plight of the Palestinian people. As the past belonged to us, so should the future.

    It is hard to pinpoint whether it is ignorance or folly or some other defect on the part of Christians generally, that we accept the rule and yoke of the enemies of the Cross. And not only this, we are their willing accomplices. How true resounds the prophecy of La Salette and that of Fatima - that there is really and truely a demonic disorientation of the human race in general.

    I would like to think that all those Catholics, whatever their affiliation, who still are genuinely concerned about the state of the Church and political, economic and religious affairs globally, would prefer to think of one another as brethren in Christ. Really, there is no time for what are pretty much petty concerns amidst the sea of both moral and even physical dangers to our existence. I genuinely believe that the time will come, and indeed is coming, when our dear Holy Mother Church will reclaim her former splendour.

    In the meantime, we are engaged in a very serious combat against all those who attempt to destroy what our Divine Lord founded.

  22. Do something constructive instead of complain.

    Dear Joseph. Complaining about the decadent dilettantes who destroyed the Roma Rite is a most constructive thing to do for those who love Holy Mother Church truly, deeply, and madly.

    Those complaints alert others to the malign Mass Revolution and as more and more Catholics become informed as to the true nature of what has happened- and continues to happen- the greater is the likelihood that Catholics will stop going to the Lil' Liturgy, and stop giving it money and moral support, and, instead, start assisting at The Real Mass and contributing money and moral support to the Orders that are Traditional.

    Are we in America only permitted to complain about the superficialities of politics, entertainment, and sports?

    The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the single most important action occurring on Earth at any moment in time and had there been MORE complainers when this crummy liturgy was rammed down our throats, its "success" amy have met its Waterloo early.

  23. Common Sense10:30 PM

    To all those who are of the opinion that we just whinge and whine:

    Well, permit me to differ. What can be done? As a practicing Catholic, I choose to do the following:

    First and above all, I firmly believe in everything that Holy Mother Church has always taught, both in faith and morals. I genuinely love it, because it is indeed precious to me as pure gold.

    Secondly, I do everything possible to apply it in a practical sense. As much as I appreciate the splendour of loftier thoughts, nonetheless theory is always only as good as it can be applied in practice. I find it equally important to practice useful natural virtues, because people need to see that we are well-balanced and knowledgeable people.

    We can only expect as good a service from others as we offer our services to others. So you could ask, what are the other virtues we try to practice? Well, it is a sense of commitment to provide through our work the greatest possible satisfaction to others, to foster punctuality, accuracy in estimate, to maintain our properties and dwellings in a clean and tidy manner, and to be fully committed to our state of life.

    It means to create an environment that is conducive to fruitful outcomes. Knowledge is the key in the natural sphere. We attach great importance to imparting a sense of self-discipline, health and safety to our children. We find it important to understand the dimensions of political and economic issues, that we cannot be fooled or swindled, and to have a clear-cut discernment about what is important and what is only chaff.

    St. Paul gives us practical advice on how we Catholics should conduct ourselves, that others may see as the only valuable way. Only in Christ's truth and His noble way can we realise ourselves as really people to be looked up to.

    As such, I will only support any kind of enterprise which reflects and benefits sound Catholic thinking in action. The Novus Ordo establishment cannot forever continue to misuse the financial and moral support of the good-hearted but ignorant. I find it a a priority to generously support the Tradition, morally, socially and financially. Thanks to the SSPX, our lives were completely turned around. As a matter of fact, every Catholic who firmly adheres to the Church's timeless teachings is already traditional.

    I am always forced to pay attention to how Talmudic Judaists go about their business and how such a small number of people are so successful. Basically all they do is to be firm and consistent in their approach and take advantage of whatever life has to offer. I can reassure you that I abhor the Talmud, and I have no time for people who envy their success. Nevertheless I always say, "Learn from your enemies."

    If I manage to offer some useful advice to those who are unaware, I am only too happy. Holy Scripture highly praises two virtues, namely that of wisdom and understanding. I only humbly strive to pick up some crumbs from their banquet tables.

    God bless.

  24. Okay, here we are once again faced with talk, talk, no walk. Unless the Holy Father stipulates what he means by enumerating A, B and C, nothing is going to happen. The very bishops and priests the Holy Father's concerned with are the ones who think they're doing nothing wrong and thus won't change a bit.

  25. The Benedict XVI and Year of Faith is having an effect...the local parish where I was confirmed at no longer pours the Precious Blood after the consecration from a pitcher. His words are being heard in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This moment brought me to tears (almost) during Holy Mass because I've been praying for this parish to follow the norms of the Church and they've finally been heard :)


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!