From the Pastor: Coming Up This Week
Monday is Memorial Day. True, it is not a religious holiday but it is certainly worth noting anyway. It is the day we honor those who died while serving our country. People may debate, argue, discuss and needle each other about what is good and what is not so good about our country without ever seeing eye to eye about many issues, but anybody who thinks this country isn’t worth defending and even dying for always has the freedom to go live in a “better” country. Many have threatened to do so. I suppose there might be some who have actually gone somewhere they were imagining to be perfect. But when it comes right down to it, generally even the most anti-American Americans stay put, knowing that there is something special about this union of states. I did get a big kick out of all of the quasi-communist celebrities who, upset with Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s threats to return illegal Mexican immigrants to their legal country and his anti Muslim-terrorist rhetoric, threatened to move to Canada if he got elected! Not one of them threatened to move to Mexico or to any majority-Islamic country. No, they spent all their bluster denouncing this country but even in their idle threats couldn’t manage to see themselves living anywhere else, except maybe in the country closest to us not only in geography (for Mexico would also fit that bill) but also in language and customs. And, notably, not a single one of the leftist blowhards wanted to go to a communist country, even though they want to make us one. Remarkably--and quite unfortunately--not a single one of those idiots actually left. No, even the Hollywood elites know that only in America could they have become the rich and famous know-it-alls that they are. Thank God that, unlike them, so many men and women have loved this country enough to stand up for her, to fight for her, to die for her, the current lack of morals notwithstanding.
Moving on, Saturday, the Vigil of Pentecost, we will have confirmations here. Bishop Parkes regretted that he could not be here to bestow the sacrament himself but he will be in Pensacola ordaining a man to the priesthood. It seems that Pensacola is without a bishop for some reason... Anyway, he has delegated me to confirm. Last year I was also given delegation to confirm and I wrote about some of the instructions for doing so in the Traditional Rite that seem a bit, well, odd and/or humorous. This year I want to be a little more serious and present to you the prayers which will be said (in Latin) during the ceremony. I am using the English translation found in the three volume Roman Ritual, which varies slightly from the two English translations found in the missals in our pews, both of which also vary slightly from one another. I do note a couple of oddities along the way.
After the initial verses and responses, the priest says, “Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, Who hast deigned to beget new life in these thy (there is no capitalization of “thy” in this case. A typo perhaps?) servants by water and the Holy Spirit (yes, the Roman Ritual uses Holy Spirit instead of Holy Ghost, something it oddly does on occasion but not as a norm), and hast granted them remission of all their sins, send forth from heaven (“heaven” isn’t capitalized here, though I would have had it marked “wrong” while in secular school, as “Heaven” is a place and place names are/were capitalized) upon them thy (again a small “t”) Holy Spirit, the Consoler (the Latin is “Paraclitum” but I do sometimes see either this translation or “Advocate” instead of “Paraclete” elsewhere, too) with His sevenfold gifts. Amen. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding. Amen. The Spirit of counsel and fortitude. Amen. The Spirit of knowledge and of piety. Amen. Fill them with the Spirit of fear of the Lord, and seal them with the sign of Christ’s ✠ Cross, plenteous in mercy unto life everlasting. Through the selfsame Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee (small “t”) in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God eternally (what happened to “world without end”?). Amen.”
Next comes the actual conferral of the sacrament of Confirmation. “N. (Saint’s name), I seal thee with the sign of the Cross ✠, And (capital “A” in the middle of a sentence. Who edited this book?) I confirm thee with the Chrism of salvation. In the name of the Father ✠ and of the Son ✠, and of the Holy ✠ Spirit.” The newly confirmed one replies, “Amen” and the priest “lightly strikes the confirmed upon the cheek, saying: Peace be with thee.” From that point, there is only one prayer left and a final blessing. We will conclude with a Mass.
As you can see from my comments on the prayer, it takes me a long time to read through even such a simple ritual, as I often see many things which either seem like inconsistencies or bring to my mind further questions. It’s a good thing that not everybody dissects everything like that. But it also explains why my Catechism classes last for a decade!
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka