Archive for the ‘Virgil Michel’ Tag

Feast of Lambert Beauduin (August 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lambert Beauduin

Image in the Public Domain

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LAMBERT BEAUDUIN (AUGUST 4, 1873-JANUARY 11, 1960)

Belgian Roman Catholic Priest and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

Octave Beauduin, born near Liêge, Belgium, on August 4, 1873, came from a wealthy, liberal, and devout family.  Every evening the family and servants gathered for devotions.  Beauduin, ordained a priest in 1897, carried that devout. progressive spirit into his adult life.  After teaching at a minor seminary for two years, our saint joined the Labor Chaplain movement in 1899.  He, as part of that movement, one controversial with much of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, ministered to industrial workers who might otherwise be alienated from the Church.

Eventually Beauduin left the Labor Chaplain movement for the Order of Saint Benedict, becoming Lambert in 1907.  At the monastery at Mount César our saint, influenced by the prior, Columba Marmion (1858-1923), developed a deep appreciation for the liturgy.

This was controversial.  (What was not controversial?)  From 1909 to 1921 Beauduin was at the center of the Belgian liturgical movement.  He argued against individualism, secularism, the neglect of prayer, and other ills, classifying them as explanations for the neglect of liturgy as the center of Christian piety.  This was the crux of Liturgy, the Life of the Church (1914; English-language translation, 1926).  He favored, among other things, High Masses, Vespers and Compline as parish services, and the participation of all present at Masses.

Beauduin was also a student of Eastern Christianity.  He, from 1921 a professor of theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’Anselmo, Rome, opened a biritual monastery at Amay in 1926.  That year he began to publish Irénikon, a journal of studies of Eastern Christianity.  All this was, of course, controversial, as was his openness to dialogue with Anglicans.

Thus, from 1931 to 1951, Beuduin was in involuntary exile from Belgium.  He served as the chaplain to two French convents, influenced Virgil Michel (1890-1938), helped to found the Centre de Pastorale Liturgique in Paris in 1943, and, the following year, renewed a friendship with Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963).

Beauduin returned to Belgium in 1951.  He settled at the monastery he had founded, relocated to Chevetogne.  There, after years of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, our saint died on January 11, 1960.  He was 86 years old.

Much of what Beauduin recommended became reality.  Nevertheless, the necessity of heeding his sage counsel, especially in ways churches have not followed it, remains.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Within the hour, while seeking a good proper for liturgists in official volumes from various denominations, I found no such thing.  So I wrote a prayer and selected the readings.

Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Lambert Beauduin.)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Virgil Michel (June 26)   1 comment

Above:  St. John’s Abbey Church, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota

Image Source = Library of Congress

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VIRGIL MICHEL (JUNE 26, 1890-NOVEMBER 26, 1938)

U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

Also known as George Michel

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Liturgy is essentially the Christian faith prayed; it is dogma set to prayer.

–Virgil Michel

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Virgil Michel comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days courtesy of Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997).

George Michel, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 26, 1890, was a man ahead of his time.  In that respect he was like many other pioneers.  Fred and Mary Michel presided over a devout Roman Catholic family that emphasized the value of education.  Our saint, as a young man, mastered five languages.  In 1903 Michel matriculated at St. John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville, Minnesota.  Six years later he became a Benedictine novice, as Virgil Michel.

Michel, ordained to the priesthood in 1916, was an academic.  He taught at St. John’s Preparatory School then became a professor of English and philosophy at St. John’s University.  Later in life our saint was Dean there.  Michel maintained a rigorous schedule as he suffered from overwork and worsening eyesight.

Michel, who earned his Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America, valued liturgical renewal.  It had been on his mind before he traveled in Europe, where he witnessed it, in 1924-1925.  He sought to recapture the Mass as an expression of faith; the Mass should never be a spectator sport event, he insisted.  This effort required liturgical reform and the backing away from clericalism–the recognition of the people as the Body of Christ.  Michael presaged Vatican II (1962-1965).

For Michel the link between liturgical renewal and social justice was plain:

The entire life of the true Christian must be a reflection and a further expression of his life at the altar of God.   If he is predominantly a passive Christian there, can we expect him to be an active Christian in the world?

–Virgil Michel

His spirituality of lived values and social reform–of the sanctification of the world rather than the flight from it–influenced Dorothy Day (1897-1980).

Michel, aged 48 years, died at Collegeville on November 26, 1938.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 6, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCUS AURELIUS CLEMENS PRUDENTIUS, POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MATEO CORREA-MAGALLANES AND MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT VEDAST (VAAST), ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ARRAS AND CAMBRAI

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BOYCE AND JOHN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN COMPOSERS

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Virgil Michel,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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