Rorate Caeli

You Report: an (unfortunately) extremely rare event, a Traditional Baptism in Portugal

Our reader Marco sends us the report:

On June 1, 2013, a small village in Portugal witnessed something which it hadn't seen since the new rite of Baptism came along - a traditional Baptism and Mass. There was no long wait for approval from the chancery this time - Summorum Pontificum was applied as it should be. The local priest was asked if he would allow the celebration, which he did. No questions were asked, no putting the matter into the diocesan chancery's hands, no interrogation by the chancery.

It took a while to get the church (which dates from the 15th or 16th century) ready, as the high-altar has been relegated to a "relic of times gone by". When the new altar was finally moved away, the high-altar was cleaned, candles placed, chalice and patten brought out, and the lighting turned on. The old, dark sanctuary seemed to have come alive once more as the gilt reredos reflected the light. The sanctuary coming alive once more seemed to have an effect on the whole church, as it as well seemed to have taken on a new life, awoken from its long slumber.

There was not enough baptismal water, but the Lord turned an apparent problem into a great blessing. The only rite the priest had at hand for baptismal water was that in the missal, the one used on the Paschal Vigil. So we, who have never had the chance - the "privilege" - to participate in a Traditional Triduum, were blessed with a glimpse of a small part of it before the Baptism began.

The Mass celebrated - a sung Mass - was the votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The priest gave a very short, simple, but deep homily on obedience and how the Liturgy should shape us, and will shape our daughter.

It was a great grace for our daughter to be baptized as so many were generations before (as even my parents still were) in a church that received a number of generations of my relatives into the Mystical Body of Christ. Some people - mostly youths - came from north and south to be able to participate on this "extraordinary" Saturday, and they left much richer for it.

Hopefully one day all who wish can have access to the Traditional Mass in its entirety, and not consider it a "privilege" to do so, nor have to do so in hiding. Hopefully one day, God willing, Summorum Pontificum will be applied in Portugal.

Please, keep sending us your reports on the application of Summorum Pontificum throughout the world.