"Mass of St. John of Matha" by Juan Carreño de Miranda‘On the Traditional Latin Mass’ by Sasha A. Palmer The Society July 30, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 20 Comments . in response to Traditionis custodes (“Guardians of the tradition”)—the new motu proprio issued by Pope Francis on July 16, 2021. She has been scarred before. She knows the sting Of scorn and ostracism. She has been poor And homeless. Hunted, hiding from a string Of angry mobs, she lived, escaping sure Death. She survived. O, pray she can withstand The desecration of St. Peter’s grave, The inside persecution, the command To silence her for good. On rocks, in caves, Pray she endures, clandestine if need be, And grows, and draws the faithful to her side With her majestic beauty. History Of holiness and martyrdom abides __In her. Do not despair, for popes are men. __“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Amen. . . Sasha A. Palmer is a Russian-born writer and translator, who currently lives in Maryland. Sasha is the recipient of international awards in poetry and translation. Her work appeared in Writer’s Digest, Slovo/Word, Cardinal Points, and elsewhere. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 20 Responses Peter Hartley July 30, 2021 Sasha, a very moving and very well written poem which shows what the Roman Catholic Church has suffered and survived in penal times past from the death of those Carthusian monks in Henry VIII’s day to Oliver Plunkett’s martyrdom in the late seventeenth century to show how she “knows the sting of scorn and ostracism”, that she rose to that crisis and she will rise again to defeat this. It is sad but full of hope. Reply Eric July 30, 2021 Beautiful. In the last days the true Church will be a catacomb church, with the Divine Liturgy “On rocks, in caves”, just like in Russia under the godless communists. Her “majestic beauty” will be heartbreaking! This poem is a foretaste, and is utterly inspiring. God bless you. Reply Paul Erlandson July 30, 2021 Dear Sasha, Thank you very much for this beautiful offering. It evoked very strong emotions in me, and even a physical shudder at the beauty and sadness of it. I am in your debt. -Paul Reply Margaret Coats July 30, 2021 Amen, Sasha, and thank you for this spiritual work of mercy. Attacks have been mounting from the inside during recent decades. But as one college chaplain told students, “Ultimately there is only one Roman rite.” EXAUGURAL HEXAMETERS Tyrannical self-serving sentences portend Prodigious numbers learning how old rites transcend The modernistic idiosyncratic blend Of ambiguities exhausted that offend Lucidity. Mammon’s manmade mass will end. Hell threatens those whom curs in shepherds’ vesture tend. Reply Sally Cook July 30, 2021 A stern but beautiful verse. Thank you. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 30, 2021 Bergoglio is an open heretic and an antipope, so nothing that he says and no documents that he issues carry any real authority whatsoever. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that he can’t make life a torment for Roman Catholics. Reply Paul Freeman July 30, 2021 Thanks for a well-written, thought-provoking piece, Sasha. Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 31, 2021 This is exquisite, and dense with both true pathos and true hope. Reply Sasha A. Palmer August 1, 2021 Thank you all very much for reading the poem, and for your kind words. Let us pray for the preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass, and continuing to have access to it. God bless. Reply Julian D. Woodruff August 1, 2021 Thank you, Ms Palmer. A very fine and moving piece of writing. It might seem like a strange exercise, but I find myself wondering how much of what we can experience in the Tridentine Mass might be “imported” into the N.O. form–celebration ad orientem, the presence and use of an altar rail, the discarding of the kiss of peace, the post-missal prayers, the use of Latin (maybe the least important thing to me except insofar as it admits to the “pride of place” authorized by V.II Gregorian chant, as well as other forms of chant and Renaissance sacred polyphony) etc. I don’t know where a violation of the letter of the N.O. Mass would begin if such were to happen. Oh, but then there’s the spirit of the N.O. Mass … Reply Margaret Coats August 1, 2021 Julian, the parishes where some “importation” has been done, and an atmosphere of greater reverence created, tend to be those that have the Traditional Mass as well. Their pastors are among the best. But you are quite right that the spirit and indeed the very structure of the rite created in the 1960s, and updated several times since then, naturally favors novelty. And there is the fundamental difference between a rite that has always been a real and visible sacrifice to God in myriad words and gestures, and one designed to focus on human beings sharing a meal. Trying to change that modern focus is where you get into violating the letter of the Novus Ordo, above all in the Offertory, which in new terms is usually called the Presentation or Preparation of the Gifts. Reply Julian D. Woodruff August 2, 2021 Margaret, In my 1st response I must have been half asleep. If you are thinking of laymen processing to the sanctuary with the gifts to the tune of some wretched congregational hymnal instead of an offertory within the sanctuary involving properly vested and trained servers, with prayer translated (not adapted) from the psalms (usually) and optionally sung to music granted “pride of place,” you are quite right. Margaret Coats August 4, 2021 Julian, I was not thinking of the undignified ceremonies you describe. They are so little attractive to Mass-goers that few volunteer to perform them, and sometimes the priest must wait in the sanctuary, and call out to demand that someone bring up the gifts. I was thinking of the required prayers. As one priest who helped write them later confirmed, they are nothing but a table blessing, even in the Latin original that is almost never heard. Nothing in them anticipates the most awesome of all sacrifices that is shortly to be immolated (if the ritual taking place is actually a Catholic Mass). And the Offertory is one of three essential parts of the rite, along with Consecration and Communion. The bad translations of the Consecration were finally corrected by Pope Benedict after decades of questionably valid Masses in most vernaculars. I have stopped paying attention to the numerous revisions and additions to the New Order Mass, so I cannot say whether its original Offertory text has been so violated as to be improved in the last twenty years. Margaret Coats August 4, 2021 Julian, I made a reply to you that got swallowed by the system. I have found sometimes that it gets released if I make another one. Here goes. Julian D. Woodruff August 2, 2021 Thank you, Margaret. I am not very observant, nor have I ever studied the rubrics for either form or any other relevant documents, so to this day I’m fuzzy about the whole issue. I am aware of the gross lapses in dignity and depth that have become an ordinary part of celebrating the “ordinary” form. Whether these were implicit in the design of the N.O. or extraneous accretions that rushed in through the doings of overly zealous, under-educated “liturgists,” I don’t know. I do think there is a direct correlation between the rise of the N.O. as we see it normally and the current state of things generally in the Western world. Reply Sasha A. Palmer August 5, 2021 One of the first things a newcomer to the Latin Mass notices is the number of young families, with lots of children. A whole new generation has emerged that is hungry for reverence, mystery, and beauty. That gives me hope that TLM will survive the persecution, and come out of it stronger. Reply Margaret Coats August 5, 2021 You are certainly correct, Sasha. Some young couples choose the TLM for their wedding because it is more beautiful, and others start to think seriously, around the time for a child’s First Communion, about the kind of teaching and impressions they want their children to receive. And during the past year and a half, it has proved that TLM people are the ones who most want to be at church. My parish, which had had one Sunday TLM, went to three as the demand grew. Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 5, 2021 My wife and I were married in a Tridentine Rite Latin nuptial mass, but the celebrant (an elderly Monsignor) had to get permission from the local bishop to perform the ceremony. I doubt if such permission would be granted today. James Sale August 11, 2021 Sasha, the enjambement leading into the penultimate line creates a powerful caesura that charges the remaining tetrameter, which is then balanced with another tetrameter – and the caesura now coming (chiasmatically) at the end of the fourth foot. Leaving – a brilliant rhyme ending whereby the ‘the popes are men’ is wholly undermined by ‘Amen’ (and there is a great pun there too!) Fabulous writing – simple, but really complex, Love it. Reply Sasha A. Palmer August 11, 2021 James, thank you. 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