First Saturday of the Month
When God weaned the Hebrew people away from idolatry, He did not destroy altogether the necessity of an altar in directing them to His worship. In fact, He commanded them to set before Him altars (cf., Exodus 40.24-25, 27) distinct from those dedicated by the heathens to the devils (Psalms 90.5, Douay-Rheims Catholic Version) and according to the pattern (Hebrews 9.22) He showed Moses on the mount – the figure, doubtless, of what would later be the united and perfected one altar upon which the awaited divine sacrificial Victim is still immolated, now in an unbloody manner, under the form of Bread and Wine, by Our Lord and Savior Himself, in fulfillment of His priesthood according to the order of Melchisedech (Ps. 110.4; Heb. 5.6); hence, St. Paul the Apostle says: We... have… a more perfect… altar (Heb. 13.10).
In the sanctuary of Old, the Ark of the Covenant – which contained a golden pot of manna [now, the gilded ciborium containing the Sacred Hosts], the blossomed rod of Aaron, and the two tablets of stone on which were written the Ten Commandments (Heb. 9.4) – became the meeting point, its propitiatory (Ex. 25.20,22), between God and His intimate friend among men after the spectacular manifestation at Mount Sinai where God descended at its peak or summit and spoke to Moses face to face [why the traditional Catholic priest is rather turned towards the tabernacle or the Crucifix] as a man is wont to speak to his friend (Ex. 33.11). And he who is to stand before the face of God must have the divine bidding to ascend to Him: I chose him out of all… to be my priest, to go up to My altar and burn incense to Me… (1 Kings 2.28).
Now, since the Liturgy or the official public divine service (Heb. 9.1) of the Old dispensation corresponded only to the better ministry (Heb. 8.6) of the Christian dispensation - the pattern shown to the great Legislator of Old - the man of God, in the New Covenant, is also a minister with the unction of the everlasting Levitical priesthood (Ex. 40.13), a “Christianized” Levite (cf., “Liturgy," The Catholic Encyclopledia, 1907): the Levite of Old, whom God claims to be His minister (Jeremias 33.22)… to go up to [His] altar… to serve [Him] forever (1 Paralipomenon 15.2), finding the perfect fulfillment of his public divine ministry in the Christian priest, the priest ordained according to the Traditional Roman Rite of Catholic Ordinations [Paul VI suppressed the ceremony of the minister ascending the high altar – logical consequence: the suppression also of the Minor Orders (the ceremony of tonsure, by which a man is admitted to the clergy, and even the Sub-Diaconate were also suppressed ) – in the New Rite: symbolic gesture of an unfortunate break ], who draws near face to face with the Sanctissimum dwelling at the center of the high altar – as at the summit of Mount Sinai – in the “Christianized” Ark of the Covenant, that is, the tabernacle.
The man of God – the “Christianized” Levite – being the minister of the Most High, is referred to by His Eternal Word as the angel of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2.7). And as there is established an order, a hierarchy, among the heavenly ministering pure spirits, so there is established also an order among those who are called to minister to the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6.15) in His earthly temple: among the Levites of Old when they were still distinct from the priests, cf., Numbers 3.15-38, which order was brought to perfection as follows – according to the seven degrees of a more perfect ascending approach to the Sanctissimum: the four Minor Orders – of Porters, Lectors, Exorcists, and Acolytes; the three Major Orders – Sub-Diaconate, Diaconate, and the Priesthood.
|Our Discalced Carmelite Ordinand in the full habit|
of the Order kneeling before His Lordship Bp. R. Williamson
to receive the Minor Orders. 12th December 2013,
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe - Batangas, Philippines
On the 12th of December last year, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Friar John, a Discalced Carmelite who was forced to leave the Novus Ordo O.C.D. Community in 2005 because of his traditional stand on the Mass and on the priesthood, was admitted to ascend up to the fourth step of the high altar of God (Friar already spent three-and-a-half years of traditional priestly formation at Holy Cross Seminary-Australia of the mainstream-SSPX where he received the Tonsure). Bishop Richard Williamson (an auxiliary bishop consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to perpetuate the Traditional Catholic Priesthood) ordained him to the Offices of Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte at the first Traditional Catholic Seminary in the Philippines - since the revolution of Vatican II - established September last year by the Fathers of the Society of St. Pius X-Marian Corps in Batangas Province.
According to the Pontificale Romanum, by the Order of Porters, the ordinand was conferred the power of guarding the house of God “day and night” – opening its doors to the faithful and “always clos[ing] it to the unbelievers” – and of summoning with the strike of the bell the ministers of God at certain hours (the Divine Office or the recitation of the Roman Breviary) “for invoking the Name of the Lord.” By the Order of Lectors, the power to be “the proclaimer of the Word of God.” By the Order of Exorcist, “the power of imposing hands over the possessed whether baptized or catechumens; and through the imposition of hands, the grace of the Holy Ghost, and by the words of exorcism… expel demons.” And, by the Order of Acolytes, the power to “deliver [himself] up as light for the illumination of the Church [having been made to carry the torches and to light the lamps of the Church], and… to offer the wine and water for confecting the Blood of Christ… in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
Laudentur Jesus Christus et Maria!