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March 2017 update
Our Parish Priest, Father Andrew Wise, presents the following update from the Brisbane Oratory in Formation.

One of the hallmarks of the Congregation of the Oratory that goes back to St. Philip Neri and his first community of priests is a deep devotion and dedication to the sacred liturgy. For the Brisbane Oratory in Formation this has been at the heart of our original inspiration from the Lord and St Philip for coming together and a profound source of our unity and sense of common mission in the service of Christ and His Church in Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Normally in our parish, Mass is offered every day in both the modern ‘Ordinary Form’ and in the Traditional  ‘Extraordinary Form’. In both cases Mass is always celebrated with great care, devotion and reverence according to the liturgical directives (or rubrics) of the Universal Church.  In this way the focus is not primarily on us as Oratory priests with our individual personalities, but rather on Jesus Christ who is always the one who principally acts in the sacred liturgy for our sanctification through these holy mysteries.

For all of us, our response in the power of the Holy Spirit is to offer almighty God our profound adoration and thanksgiving. We also need to keep in mind the other two of the four ends of the Mass, which is to make petition for our needs and those of the Church and the world, and also to know and believe that the sacrifice of the Mass makes atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

This reminds me of a young woman who has recently been coming to our principal Sunday Mass at 9am, which is a Traditional Latin Missa Cantata (or sung Mass). She told me recently that she has come to experience for the first time a real connection to Christ and His great love through the traditional Mass. She said that to begin with she found herself concentrating too much on what the priest was saying and doing in the Mass, with all the many Latin prayers, responses and rituals. However, when she simply allowed herself to be deeply open to the transcendent sacred mysteries of the Mass as they unfolded before her with such beauty, allowing them to wash over her, it was then that Christ’s saving and loving action in the Mass really began opening up for her.

Of course understanding and responding to the prayers and rituals of the Mass is also important, but we need to always remember that the Liturgy is primarily the ‘Work of God’ in us and for us. This leads to our response in praise, thanks and petition, for God’s saving love for us in Christ.

This is just one small example of how the Brisbane Oratory in Formation is helping Catholics in Brisbane to more deeply connect with the power and love of Jesus Christ through our common, ancient patrimony of the Traditional Mass. Unfortunately, this form of the Mass tends to be very poorly understood and appreciated today by most Catholics, but this is beginning to change. At the same time, I could also give many examples of deeper liturgical participation that have come from our solemn celebrations of the ordinary form of the Mass as well, but I will have to leave that to a future post to share with you another time.

Father Andrew Wise PP

[Photos from the Missa cantata for Ash Wednesday 2017]

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