TLM Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Z: Highlights of the Missale Votivum Terrae Sanctae of 1898

Photo: OC-Travel
Over the centuries countless Latin Rite pilgrims have made the journey to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Christ while praying special Votive Masses at the holy sites associated with the life of Our Blessed Lord.  Pictured here above is the Votive Mass of Christmas Day celebrated in the caves of Shepherds Field in Bethlehem (on a tour we led last December).  Below is pictured Bishop Sheen celebrating Holy Mass atop Mt. Calvary on the spot where Christ was nailed to the cross (Photo: Karsh of Ottawa). It is an immense privilege for a priest to celebrate Holy Mass at these holy places, an immeasurable experience for both the celebrant and lay faithful.

The upcoming Fr. Z EF Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Feb. 20 - 29, 2020) will have Mass at these holy places, thanks to the good graces of our local Christian guide, a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Many have been writing to ask about the exact schedule and more details of some of the Votive Masses that have been scheduled. Following is the tentative schedule, subject to change. A special thanks to our excellent tour director, Mr. Christopher Suen, who has arranged for all of this as well as the accompanying Gregorian Chant and the text below.

Thu 20 Feb: Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, upon arrival at the hotel
- Mass of the Arrival of Pilgrims in the Holy Land, Ne appropries huc

Fri 21 Feb: Basilica of the Annunciation, the place where the Word was made flesh
- Mass of the Annunciation of Our Lady (March 25), Vultum tuum

Sat 22 Feb: Mount of Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount
- Mass Where Christ Preached the Evangelical Beatitudes, Audite vocem meam

Sun 23 Feb: Sea of Galilee, Church of the Primacy of Peter
- Mass of St. Peter where Christ appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection, Suscitabo super oves meas

Mon 24 Feb: Haifa, Mount Carmel, above the cave of Holy Elias the Prophet
- Mass of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (July 16), Gaudeamus omnes

Tue 25 Feb: Bethlehem, Shepherds’ Fields, where the angels appeared to announce the Birth of our Lord
- Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord (the Second Mass of Christmas), Lux fulgebit

Wed 26 Feb, Ash Wednesday: Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane
- Mass Where Christ Sweated Blood in His Agony, Cor meum conturbatum est

Thu 27 Feb: Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- Mass of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday), Resurrexi

Fri 28 Feb: Jericho, at the foot of the Mountain of Temptation
- Mass Where Christ Fasted for Forty Days, Ego autem

Sat 29 Feb: Jerusalem, in the 19th century Neo-Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of Peace
- Mass of the Departure of Pilgrims from the Holy Land: Domine qui dixisti mihi, Revertere in terram tuam

The Masses will be taken from the Missale Votivum Terrae Sanctae of 1898 (our printers are working on cleaning up the PDF which contains the proper texts of the Votive Masses). There is no Ordinarium Missae in this volume, and so it is used in conjunction with the regular Missale Romanum for the Canon.

The tour director, Christopher Suen, has also prepared a booklet of the proper Mass texts with both Latin and English renderings which will also contain votive chants, versicles and collects for most of the places we will be visiting. Therefore even if places are visited with no proper Votive Mass of the place, pilgrims can still pray something para-/quasi-liturgical using the words and language of the Church.

It might be tempting to think that making a pilgrimage is something like taking a pious holiday: a sort of vacation to see some churches and spend some time relaxing with fellow Catholics in some historical places. It is not. Pilgrimage is an extraordinary act of prayer, worship, penance, atonement and reparation, for our own sins and failings, and for the evil we see around us. It is worth reminding that pilgrimage was long imposed by the Church in more Catholic times as a major form of penance following the commission of particularly grievous sins. Importantly, pilgrimage voluntarily undertaken is a blessed opportunity to draw down singular graces and benefits for oneself, one’s family, friends and loved ones; to pray for the souls of the faithful departed; to beg the conversion of sinners; and to do good for the welfare of souls everywhere, and especially for our Holy Mother the Church, grievously afflicted now in so many of her members. It is a powerful sacrifice that Catholics can offer to Almighty God for His honour and glory, and for our special intentions, precisely because it brings our physical senses into contact with the Sacred Humanity of Christ crucified and gloriously risen from the dead, in time and in place. This is at the heart of our Holy Faith, which is Incarnational. We can see what He saw, walk where He walked, pray where He prayed, weep where He wept and stand in awe where He worked His many wonders.

For more information, or to register ASAP, see OC-Travel.

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