26 February 2007

The Traditional Rite

Most of the people who post about the Traditional Rite have pictures of sumptuous celebrations of Pontifical High Masses. This picture shows the same Sacrifice in as worthy a setting. God comes to those who need Him through the actions of a priest.


Mulier Fortis said...

Strange, isn't it... how those men are kneeling on the muddy ground... and these days people seem reluctant to kneel on carpet...
...just a thought!

fr paul harrison said...

I think that is a great picture. A reminder of the quiet heroism of our chaplains in the 2 world wars - and other other conflicts.

fr paul harrison

Anonymous said...

That's a great photo Tony. It reminds me of what Waugh once said about the priest as craftsman:-

"When I first came into the Church I was drawn, not by the splendid ceremonies but the spectacle of the priest as a craftsman. He had an important job to do which none but he was qualified for. A kind of anti-clericalism is abroad which seeks to reduce the priest's unique sacramental position. Pray God I will never apostatize but I can only now go to church as an act of duty and obedience. Protests avail nothing."

Mr Bleaney

Ttony said...

I think there are two points that this photo brings out. First, that the traditional rite was just as adaptable to extreme conditions as is the present rite.

Second, that the ad orientem debate is not dependent on Church furnishings. This priest could have faced either way, but, by facing the same way as his congregation, emphasises that they are all in the same situation.

The photo was taken in New Guinea in 1944. The priest, an Australian Army padre, Padre Lynch, lost five and a half stones (77 pounds, 35 kilos) during his military chaplaincy.

Apart from Mac's comment about the willingness to kneel, I'd highlight two other things: first the communion wine bottle next to the enamel cup at the foot of the altar; and second, the piety of the young Australian infantryman who had (I presume) been an altar boy in earlier days, and, in a break from dreadful fighting, responded, as a former apprentice (elsewhere in Mr Bleaney's quote from Waugh) to a master craftsman.

I have learned a lot of lessons from this photo.

Anagnostis said...

Great picture, Tony. I've attended Old Rite Masses that, fatigues excepting, didn't look all that dissimilar.