Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.6 - Two Prayers from the 1551 Missal of Toledo

The prayers of the Offertory emerged as a feature of the Roman Rite in the post-Carolingian period, which is to say, the middle to late decades of the 9th century. The most widely used among them, Suscipe sancta Trinitas, first appears in a form similar to that which it has in the Missal of St Pius V, and almost identical to that of the Ambrosian Rite, in the Sacramentary of Echternach, written about 895 A.D. At the same time, there appear in the sacramentaries of the Roman Rite another kind of prayer, also said at the Offertory, known as an “Apologia”, a prayer in which the priest protests his unworthiness to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. These prayers originated in the Gallican liturgy, the Rite used in Gaul before the time of Charlemagne, and are commonly found in Roman sacramentaries and early missals; by the end of the 12th century, however, they had largely dropped out of use.

As noted in the previous article of this series, the Missal according to the Use of Toledo is very unusual in still having two Apologias included among the Offertory prayers in the middle of the 16th century. I will here give the text in Latin, followed by my own translations of them. The first is labelled “Oratio Apologetica S. Ambrosii – An Apologetic Prayer of St Ambrose,” but is actually by St Anselm; the words in brackets appear in earlier versions of this prayer, but are omitted as it is printed in this Missal.

Si tantum Domine reatum nostrae delinquentiae cogitamus, deputatum observantiae ministerium non implemus. Grave est enim, quod ad mensam tuam mundo corde et innocentibus manibus non venimus, sed gravius est, si dum peccata metuimus, etiam sacrificium non reddamus. Licet igitur per obedientia assistere, pro indulgentia petere, pro officio ministrare, pro remedio immolare, obsecrare pro populo. Quaeso, Domine, conforta in me quod trepidat, cura quod taedet, reconcilia quod discordat, evacua quod corrumpit, humilia quod superbit. Sit pia justitia, clemens correctio, [quae peccatum coerceat], non quae me peccatorem absorbeat. Da in salutem disciplinam, non in mortem sententiam. Exaudi peccatoris precem, qui visitas in dolore gementem.

Lord, if we only think of the crime of our delinquency, we do not fulfill the ministry entrusted to (our) observance. For it is a grave matter that we do not come to Thy table with pure heart and innocent hands, but graver still, if, while we fear for (our) sins, we also do not render the sacrifice. Therefore it is permitted to be present (at the sacrifice) for the sake of obedience, to ask for forgiveness, to minister in accord with our office, to implore remedy, to make supplication for the people. I ask, o Lord: strengthen in me that which trembles in fear, heal that which offends, reconcile that which is at variance (with Thee), remove that which corrupts, humble that which is proud. Let (Thy) justice be gentle, merciful Thy correction, [such that it restrain the sin, and] not destroy the sinner. Grant (me) discipline unto salvation, not condemnation unto death. Hear the prayer of the sinner, who Thou visit as he groans in grief.

The prostration of priestly ordinands in the tradition ordination rite. (photo courtesy of the Fraternity of St Peter)
The second prayer is found in various Missals at various points in the ceremony. In the Use of Lyon, it was said by the priest before coming up to the altar at the beginning of the Mass; in other places, it was appointed to be read while the choir sang the Gloria in excelsis.

Deus, qui non mortem sed poenitentiam desideras peccatorum, me miserum fragilemque peccatorem a tua non repellas pietate, neque aspicias ad peccata et scelera mea, et immundas turpesque cogitationes meas, quibus flebiliter a tua disjungor voluntate; sed ad misericordias tuas, et ad fidem devotionemque eorum, qui per me peccatorem tuam petunt misericordiam. Et quia me indignum medium inter te et populum fieri voluisti, fac me talem ut digne possim exorare tuam majestatem, pro me, et eodem populo tuo. Et adjunge voces nostras vocibus sanctorum angelorum tuorum, ut sicut illi incessabiliter in aeterna beatitudine te laudant, ita nos quoque eorum interventu mereamur inculpabiliter te laudare in hac peregrinatione.

O God, who desirest not the death of sinners, but their repentence, from Thy mercy drive me not, a miserable sinner and weak, nor look upon my sins and crimes, and my unclean and base thoughts, by which I am lamentably separated from Thy will; but (look) upon Thy mercies, and on the faith and devotion of those who through me, a sinner, ask for Thy mercy. And because Thou didst will that I, though unworthy, should be between Thee and the people, make me such that I may be able to worthily beseech Thy majesty, for myself, and for the same Thy people. Join our voices to those of Thy holy Angels, so that, just as they praise Thee unceasingly in eternal blessedness, we also by their intercession may merit to praise Thee without blame in this pilgrimage (on earth.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Fostering Young Vocations (Part 3)

Speaking of children and the Traditional Latin Mass...
The reader who sent us this picture of himself, taken in the late 1950s, tells me that his mom also made him a Lenten set in violet.

Dominican Rite Solemn Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas, March 7, 2015, SF Bay Area

The Elevation at Dominican Solemn Mass
I am pleased to announce that this month the First Saturday Devotion Mass at Saint Albert the Great Priory in Oakland CA will be a Solemn High Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas in the traditional Dominican Rite.  This is because the First Saturday, March 7, is the solemnity of St. Thomas in the traditional calendar.

Those performing the devotion of the Five First Saturdays may receive Communion at this Mass for the exercise.  The Mass celebrated does not matter.  Confessions for the devotion will be heard in the chapel's right transept from 9:30 to 9:50 a.m.; Mass will be at 10 a.m., followed by the Marian Rosary. St. Albert the Great Priory Chapel is located at 6172 Chabot Road, Oakland CA, 94618, where there is ample parking in the tennis court lot. Visitors and guests are welcome; pew booklets with the text of Mass in Latin and English will be provided.

Please note the the First Saturday of April is Holy Saturday.  There will be no morning Mass that day, but those who wish to receive Communion for the Devotion may do so at the St. Albert's Priory Easter Vigil at 7:30 pm (Ordinary Form) or at the Easter Vigil of the Carmel of the Holy Family, Kensington CA at 11 pm, which will be a Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite.  Dominican Sung Masses will also be celebrated at the Carmel for Palm Sunday (Solemn) at 11:30 a.m., and Holy Thursday (Missa Cantata) at 4 pm.  On Good Friday, a Liturgy of the Passion in the Dominican Rite will be sung at 3 pm.  The Passion will be sung according to the Dominican chant on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. All of these Masses will be served by priests and students of the Western Dominican Province.

Start an Alpha and Omega Group!

Meet for Vespers and Compline; plus a meal and conversation...and if you have a Dominican from the Western Province to hand all the better! 

I remember that the Anglican Church in England designated the 1990s as the decade of Evangelism’, with the goal of evangelizing the whole of the nation prior to the millennium. This seemed an absurdly optimistic goal to me, but I suppose if we remember that to evangelize means to show people Christ, rather than to convert them ,then they might have come close, depending on what you believe showing people Christ means.

One thing that did come out of this energetic push to carry the gospel was the proliferation of  ‘alpha groups. This was based upon a series of recorded talks about Christianity. Parishes set up groups in which people brought along food for a potluck meal, watched the video, and then had a discussion based upon it, perhaps guided by a series of questions that came with the video. I dont know how successful it was in converting people, but it was certainly successful at reinforcing the faith of existing Christians, which is a very good thing too. It was good enough for many other churches, including the Catholic Church, to follow the format and add additional videos that filled the gaps in the presentation of Christianity of the protestant Evangelicals.

My father ran one at his local Methodist church, and I attended on the evenings he lead. It was popular enough that they repeated for several years; what was interesting was that quite a number of people came to the alpha groups each year that they took place, even though the materials were repeated. What they enjoyed I think went far beyond what they were learning intellectually; it was the fellowship with like-minded people.

As far as I recollect, the hub of this evangelical (and Evangelical) push was Holy Trinity church in Brompton (HTB). In the minds of many, this is the epicenter of Evangelical Christianity in the UK. Readers in London will be aware that, ironically, it is situated immediately adjacent to a church which is at the other end of the spectrum, the traditional Catholic and very liturgically-minded Brompton Oratory. In fact, when I was living in London and attended the Oratory regularly, a group of us used to go and sit in the grounds of HTB on pleasant summer afternoons and have a picnic, after attending Solemn Mass at HMO (Holy Mother Oratory).

I do remember one of the Fathers at the Oratory joking that the name of the group - alpha - indicated that they had made a start but it was incomplete; he was referring to a verse from the Book of Revelations: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. The Oratory even started a series of talks of their own, and they called it the Alpha and Omega Group. If there is one church in England that understands evangelization it is the Brompton Oratory, and they do not need to do it via organized talks or alpha-type sessions. Many, many converts have come to the Faith as a result of its mission of beautiful liturgy and spiritual direction from the Fathers. I am one of them.

I wanted to play my part in the evangelization of the Faith, and so all I had to do was invite people to attend Mass their with me - perhaps with the promise of beautifully sung polyphony, even if they didnt like the rest of it. A number of those converted, including one who was his death bed a few months later at the age of 40, dying of cancer (may he rest in peace.) All I had to do, I reckoned, was get them in there and the Fathers of the Oratory and the Holy Spirit would do the rest.

A beautiful Mass is always going to be what draws most powerfully to the Faith, but I think that there are things on the line of the alpha group that we could do to support that. My brother and his wife have just started a regular group in Berkeley, California, that meets for Vespers, a potluck meal and then Compline. It involves minimal organization and runs at a relaxed pace from about 6:30 pm to 9 pm. They just invite friends, and because they and they are lucky enough to have a room in their home sufficiently large to accommodate perhaps 20 people, they encourage friends to bring others along. This is not an official parish event, its all done through their own networks. There is no need to have a priest involved, or to use church space if it is not available.

When Rob and Anna described the evenings to me, they said they were a great success. The great thing is that the liturgy gives the evening a purpose, inspires conversation if they need it, and engenders deep fellowship through the Holy Spirit. Also, there is enough repetition that people who are totally unused to what is going on will pick it up over the course of an evening and subsequent evenings (they meet fortnightly); and enough variation so that it distinguishes one evening from another and maintains interest. We have been encouraged in recent times by the popes since Pius XII (to my knowledge) to sing the Office in the domestic church, and here is a simple way that it is being done.

They sang in the vernacular, and were lucky enough on the first couple of occasions to have a local Dominican priest come along. The Western province of the Dominicans in the US has done a lot of good work in creating good and singable chant for the English language (apologies to other Provinces if Im being unfair and you have contributed too!). Before he moved to where he is now, Rob used to live walking distance from St Alberts Priory in nearby Oakland, and whenever I stayed with him we used to go down there and pray with them. I made use of much of what I heard either directly or indirectly in the singing of the Office at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. It was one of the recently ordained priests, Fr Dominic David, whom we used to see there when he was a student, who came to this evening.

He helped people by explaining what the Liturgy of the Hours is, and taught people the tones. Some had never done anything like this before in their lives, but they happily joined in once things got going. They have some simple Anglican style, four-part harmonies, and there were one or two others present who were experienced choristers who could easily pick up the simple harmonies. Rob told me that it was a wonderful thing to be part of this, especially since all those praying were also chanting.

Benedict XVI told us that the domestic church, i.e., prayer in the home centered on families, is crucial to the new evangelization, both because of the effect that it has on those who pray, and because their participation in families and in society in general helps to establish a ‘culture of love. (cf. Address to Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Thursday, 1 December 2011).

Provided that the ultimate purpose is the worship of God, so that the liturgy isnt instrumentalized, then fruits will ensue. Then, as Sacred Liturgy, our prayer is showing us the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end and, to quote Sacrosanctum Consilium, the source and the summit of all.

So perhaps you could think about this at home...start your own Alpha and Omega group.

Don't forget the Way of Beauty online courses www.Pontifex.University (go to the Catalog) for college credit, for continuing ed. units, or for audit. A formation through an encounter with a cultural heritage - for artists, architects, priests and seminarians, and all interested in contributing to the 'new epiphany of beauty'. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Ex ore infantium: Children and the Traditional Latin Mass

A subject that deserves much more attention than it has received (at least, so far as I know) is how children relate to the traditional Latin Mass. One thing seems very clear to me from my experience with my own children and those of my friends who attend this Mass regularly, namely, that, contrary to all the predictions of the liturgists about the need for children to have simplified liturgies that hand-feed them bits of Gospel food, children are often not only content to attend the TLM but can become quite captivated and entranced by it. We all know of boys who are squirmy urchins until, donning cassock and surplice, they enter the serried ranks of altar servers and behave like soldiers, or young ladies who, with a veil on their heads, give themselves over to prayer in a way that is truly edifying even for their parents.

As a homeschool writing exercise, my daughter was asked by her mother to write down her thoughts on the Mass we attend on Sundays. (This was a few years ago, when our daughter was 9.) Below are the handwritten pages, followed by a transcription.

Thinking about the Tridentine Mass
     I have noticed that the Tridentine Mass is quiet for a while. I have also noticed that the priest says most of the prayers in the Tridentine Mass especially at consecration.
     I think that the quiet part of the Tridentine Mass is like the Carmelite nuns who are mostly silent. I have also noticed that in the Tridentine Mass the priest says most of the Our Father.
     There are only two liturgies that make me feel like I am in heaven, the Tridentine and Byzantine. I like both the High Mass and the Low Mass. I like the High Mass because I love to sing, especially chant. And the Low Mass because there is a lot of time to do silent prayers.
     Also the priest says Amen for you at communion.

A Little Prayer by me
     Yes, Lord, I believe that you are
     present in the Eucharist
     and I believe that you are with me
     in all of your holy sacraments.
How beautiful are these simple, unaffected sentiments, straight from the heart of a child encountering the mystery of the Lord! “Out of the mouths of infants you have perfected praise to foil the enemy and the rebel” (Ps 8:2). Would that more children could be exposed to the singing and the silence that help the soul to feel and to know that the Lord is truly present among us!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of challenges with bringing children to the TLM, especially babies and toddlers who cannot yet “follow” the liturgy and who often make a tremendous amount of noise and trouble for their parents. Even in this case, though, we should not underestimate the subtle formation of the psyche that is taking place due to exposure to prayer-saturated silence, liturgical symbols, the pageantry of the Mass. After all, if children begin to be formed in their souls even from the moment of conception by the music and voices they hear coming to them from outside the womb, how much moreso after birth will their surroundings influence the development of their memory, imagination, intellect, and will? Let us not underestimate our children’s need for exposure to the sacred liturgy in all its demanding and rewarding fullness, nor underestimate their ability over time to absorb this fullness and make it part of who they are!

Over at OnePeterFive can be found a pair of articles on “Helping Children Enter into the Traditional Latin Mass” (Part 1, Part 2), which discuss how parents can assist in this process of gradual immersion in the Mass of the Ages and how they can “buy time” for the littlest ones. Here, I would like to elaborate on a particular point adumbrated in those articles.

Kids need to practice sitting still at home before they can do it well in Church. We parents often make the mistake of trying to correct bad Mass behavior at Mass, where it is ineffective and awkward. A month or so of a family rosary can teach most kids how to sit still, because at home one can be insistent about the expected behavior in a way one can’t readily do at Mass. It is a chance to practice sitting still and, for older children, kneeling, so that their little bodies become familiar with a certain discipline of formal prayer, which feeds right into the Mass. Those with large families know that you can see the difference between children who have been given such opportunities and those who have not.

The art of sitting still... something everyone needs to learn
Connecting with this art of sitting still is the deeper question of instilling in children a love for peace and quiet as well as a habit of keeping themselves occupied (i.e., not having to be entertained, but being able to entertain themselves). To put it bluntly, if our homes are inundated with the noise of television, stereo, audio books, or other aural stimuli, the quietude of soul essential for participation in the TLM will not be nurtured. We need ample spaces of simply “natural noise” and even “quiet time” in the household. One thing that works well for some families is having a quiet hour in the early- or mid-afternoon, to acclimatize children to the need (and, dare one say, the possibility) of a general down time where each has to keep him- or herself occupied quietly. The importance of such things can hardly be overestimated: how else are young Catholics going to learn how to listen to the “still, small voice” (1 Kgs 19:12) of the Lord, how will the soil be plowed for the meditation and contemplation characteristic of mature prayer? What we are looking at is nothing short of a training in the awareness of self and other that defines human interiority and relationality, and separates us from the beasts of the field.

As Maria Montessori noticed and documented so well, small children have an innate ability to concentrate. Alas, modern parenting practices thwart this ability due to the mistaken idea that children must be “entertained” and endlessly distracted by all sorts of artificial stimuli. The created world is mysterious and wonderful in itself, and, if given the opportunity, even very young children can concentrate on something as simple as their own toes for much longer than adults think possible. The wife of a friend of mine took a video of their then-eight-month-old playing with blocks for over twenty minutes. The key to this happening, however, is preventing others from disturbing the child who is concentrating.

I was recently corresponding with a father who was telling me about his own family’s experience of transitioning from the Novus Ordo to the Traditional Latin Mass, and how it has helped all of them to become more devout Catholics. Because what he says is so heartening for all of us, I am sharing (with his permission) the substance of his remarks:
Our daughter is partially responsible for us being at an FSSP parish now. She was involved in a girls’ program there and attended Mass every Saturday. She started to veil. Then she told me about how the Extraordinary Form impacted her, and her misgivings about the Novus Ordo. (I had not at that time talked to the children about my study of the N.O. Our conversations dealt only with liturgical abuses.) She developed a devotion to the Little Flower, and just become much more reverent. It was impressive. (She’s a normal girl. She competes in Irish Step and takes horseback riding lessons and jumps on the tramp with her brothers.) But it was partially the wisdom of a child that brought us to the Extraordinary Form.
          I am so fascinated by how otherwise seemingly faithful Catholics are so obtuse or just blind when it comes to the Mass. They must be much better people than I to be sustained by a guitar Mass. I really need all the Church can give me - all the smells and bells - to be able to make it through the week. The devil has so many avenues of communication today to get his message across. I think it’s time the Church pulled out the big guns . . .
          Our daughter noticed the differences as early as age 10. She said she fell in love with the EF. She also said once she veiled, she became more effective at prayer. She felt like she could concentrate more - no distractions. In addition, she felt like she could image Mary more because Mary is always depicted with her head covered. I often tell our sons that our daughter is going to get us into Heaven.
          Our boys also noticed the difference in the reverence of the priests. Our oldest is 14 and now serves the Mass. He talks about the precision in the priests’ movements, and how they do not allow their eyes to lift above the altar rail when they turn towards the congregation. Also, he has been impressed with how the priests prepare for Mass, and how they attend to prayers of thanksgiving immediately afterward. No meet and great after Mass.
          There was a good article in the most recent edition of Adoremus in which a priest described his experience in Chicago at a Catholic school where they were taught Gregorian Chant from the 1st grade. I really think such formation is possible for young children. I also think that the EF is not above them, although I do think parents need to be more engaged in explaining the meaning behind all the rituals. It does come alive for them. Our 11 y.o. son loves to follow along in the Campion Missal. In addition, I try to go over the readings and the propers the night before at the dinner table. So, I do think the EF demands more of us, but those demands are worth it.
Parents, be not afraid to embrace these demands, and be not discouraged by the challenges and setbacks! Your efforts will be rewarded. Priests who celebrate the traditional Latin Mass, thank you for making this profound education and sanctification available to us and our children! Priests who are not yet offering the TLM or not doing so publicly, please consider what a powerhouse of grace and truth this venerable form of the Roman Rite offers to the entire People of God—beginning with the littlest. “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

Photos by Joseph Shaw and Ron Lawson, used with permission.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Symposium on the Architect Patrick Charles Keely

Holy Innocents New York, designed by Keely
On Friday, March 20, 2015, The Monuments Conservancy will present its 25th Annual Symposium at the New York Marriott East Side, 525 Lexington Avenue, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 pm, to discuss the life and legacy of Patrick Charles Keely. Although he was the designer and builder of at least 700 churches and ecclesiastical buildings in the eastern and western United States and Canada, Keely is relatively unknown, even among authorities in the fields of American and European art and architecture of the 19th century. For more information please see the PDF here. Admission free, to reserve a place call 212-764-5645 x10 or email

Cantantibus Organis 2015-16

Once again we are delighted to announce the annual Cantantibus Organis course to be held at the Abbey of St Cecilia in Rome.

The "Cantantibus Organis" music school was founded to offer training in ars celebrandi within a monastic setting. Our aim is to provide those who hold positions of liturgical responsibility - cantors, choir directors and organists in monasteries, parishes and other places of public worship - with professional training in the teaching and directing of Gregorian chant. Anyone else interested in making liturgical music an important part of his/her spiritual life may apply to attend.
The approach is twofold, combining training in music with spiritual and theological studies. General sessions, in Italian, will be concentrated between Fridays and Monday afternoons. Individual sessions will take place on other days during the week. On completion of studies a certificate of attendance will be issued.
The next course will open on the first Sunday of Advent, 29 November 2015, extend over the complete liturgical year, and conclude on the solemnity of Christ the King, 20 November 2016. Anyone wishing to become fully proficient on the organ or as a cantor is encouraged to stay for a second year or longer. Instrumental lessons are provided for all levels, from beginner to advanced studies.
The "Cantantibus Organis" course has been fortunate to gain the services of outstanding figures in the contemporary world of music and liturgy.

For further information, please write to Sister Margaret Truaran OSB at:
Italian lessons are available for those who wish.

You can download a PDF here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2015 (Part 3)

Ember Wednesday in the First Week of Lent - Station at Saint Mary Major
I have written previously about the Station Churches on the Ember Days of Lent, and their relationship to the Scriptural readings of the Mass, once in an article written jointly with Shawn, and again in this article.

Thursday in the First Week of Lent - Station at Saint Lawrence ‘in Panisperna’
As can be seen in the last two photographs taken at this church, it is the home of a very impressive relic collection.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.5 - The Use of Toledo

The Iberian peninsula was the last part of Western Europe to adopt the Roman Rite; a detailed history of how its ancient Mozarabic liturgy was gradually replaced by the Roman, starting in the later decades of the 11th-century, is given in the old Catholic Encyclopedia. When the Roman Rite was introduced into the various kingdoms which now form the nations of Spain and Portugal, the Offertory prayers were certainly not new; they were, however, still in the process of formation, as I have documented elsewhere. Like all the later additions to the Mass, (such as the Sequences, the prayers at the beginning of the Mass, etc.), they were subject to a great deal of variation in the Medieval period, in Spain no less than elsewhere.

For this series, I will describe the Offertory in the pre-Tridentine missal of the Primatial See of Toledo in this article, and that of Seville, one of the most ancient Christian centers in Spain, in a later article. This selection is determined partly by the materials available for consultation, and partly because within those materials, these are the two most interesting and complex variants. Many other Spanish cathedrals used forms of the Offertory which were very similar to these two; others simply adopted the Roman form. Among the latter is also the Use of Braga, the Primatial See of Portugal, in which the Offertory varies only slightly from the Roman Use; I will therefore not include it in this survey, although it was the only See on the peninsula to retain its medieval use after the Tridentine reform.

The Cathedral of Toledo (image from wikipedia)
The Use of Toledo

The Missal of Toledo, printed at Lyon in France in 1551, (available on googlebooks) is unusual for its period in that it contains a fairly detailed “Ordo celebrandi Missam – the Order for celebrating Mass.” Unfortunately, this Ordo does not always agree with the rubrics given in the missal itself, and mixes the rites of both Solemn and Low Mass. Here I will follow the order of the Solemn Mass.

While the subdeacon sings the Epistle, the priest or the deacon opens the corporal in the middle of the altar, directly over the altar stone, saying, “In nomine Patris etc. In tuo conspectu, quaesumus, Domine, haec nostra munera tibi placita sint; ut nos tibi placere valeamus. – In the name of the Father etc. May these our gifts be pleasing to Thee in Thy sight, we ask, O Lord; that we may be able to please Thee.” To these words are added, from the end of Psalm 23, “Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? the Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.” This may also be done at the beginning of the Mass, or before the Gospel, or after it.

The Ordo celebrandi says that the chalice and host are prepared before the singing of the Gospel, but a rubric in the missal says that it may also be done before the Mass, or before the Offertory. (These variants may be for the celebration of Low and Sung Masses.) As the priest or the deacon lays the host on the paten, he says “Benedictio Dei Pa+tris omnipotentis, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti descendat et maneat super hanc hostiam tibi Deo Patri offerendam. Amen. – May the blessing of God, the Fa+ther almighty, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend and remain upon this host that is to be offered to Thee, God the Father. Amen.” (It is unusual for deacons to bless something in this way, but the letter of the rubric clearly says “either the deacon, or the priest himself” does this.)

The missal gives a prayer to be said while cleaning the inside of the chalice, “Dignare Domine mundare vas istud, in quo sumere preciosum sanctum corpus tuum valeam. Qui cum Patre etc. – Deign, o Lord, to cleanse this vessel, that I may be able to receive in it Thy holy and precious Body. Who with the Father.” It is odd that the Ordo celebrandi makes no mention of it; I strongly suspect that “sanctum corpus” instead of “sanguinem” is a printer’s error. As he pours the wine into the chalice, the priest or deacon says, “Misce quaesumus Domine in calice isto, quod manavit ex latere tuo, ut fiat in remissionem peccatorum nostrorum. Qui cum Patre etc. – Mix, we ask, o Lord, in this chalice, that which came forth from Thy side, that it may be unto the remission of our sins. Who with the Father etc.”

The deacon or an acolyte then proffers the water to be blessed, saying “Give the blessing, lord.”; the priest says “Ab illo benedicatur, cujus spiritus super aquas ferebatur. In nomine Patris etc. – May it be blessed by Him, whose Spirit moved above the waters. In the name of the Father etc.” The priest then pours a small amount of the water on the floor, saying “Ex latere Domini nostri Jesu Christi sanguis et aqua exivit. – From the side of our Lord Jesus Christ came forth blood and water.” He continues with “haec ideo nos pariter commiscemus – therefore we likewise mix these things”, and then pours a few drops into the chalice, saying, “ut misericors Deus utrumque ad medelam animarum nostrarum sanctificare dignetur. Per eundem etc. – that God in His mercy may deign to sanctify them both for the healing of our souls. Through the same etc.”

Two leaves of the 1551 Missal of Toledo
Assuming that this is all done before the Gospel, when the priest has read the Offertory, he receives the paten and host from the deacon, and standing in the middle of the altar, lifts it with both hands, and raising his eyes, says “Acceptabilis sit majestati tuae, omnipotens Deus, haec nostra oblatio, quam tibi offerimus pro reatibus, et facinoribus nostris, et pro stabilitate sanctae Catholicae et Apostolicae Ecclesiae. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. – May this our offering be acceptable to Thy majesty, almighty God, which we offer to Thee for our sins and offenses, and for the stability of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” He then makes the sign of the cross with the paten and host, saying “In the name of the Father etc.”, and lays the host on the corporal above the altar stone.

The same is done with the chalice, the prayer being “Offerimus tibi, Domine, Jesu Christi Filii tui calicem, humiliter implorantes clementiam tuam, ut ante conspectum divinae majestati tuae, cum odore suavitatis ascendat. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. – We offer to Thee, o Lord, the chalice of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, humbly imploring Thy clemency, that before the sight of Thy divine majesty, it may ascend with the odor of sweetness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.” The chalice is set behind the host, and then covered with a small corporal, which is called “filiola (the little daughter)” in Latin, “hijuela” in Spanish. This is also accompanied by a prayer: “Hanc oblationem, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, placatus accipe, et omnium offerentium, et eorum pro quibus tibi offertur, peccata indulge. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. – Peaceably accept this offering, we ask, almighty God, and forgive the sins of all who offer (it), and of those for whom it is offered to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” The Ordo celebrandi specifies that it is to be folded (plicaturas habeat), both to cover and decorate the chalice (ut calicem et tegat et exornet).

Bowing low and folding his hands, the priest says “Domine Deus, omnipotens Pater, bene+dic et sanctifica hoc sacrificium laudis, quod tibi oblatum est ad honorem, et gloriam nominis tui, et parce peccatis populi tui, et exaudi orationem meam, et dimitte mihi omnia peccata mea. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. – Lord God, almighty Father, bless + and sanctify this sacrifice of praise, which is offered to Thee for the honor and glory of Thy name, and forbear the sins of Thy people, and hear my prayer, and forgive me all my sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

In the Solemn Mass, incense is then blessed with the same blessing as in the Roman Rite. The words which the priest says while incensing are, “Placare, Domine, per hoc incensum mihi et populo tuo, parcens peccatis nostris, et quiescat ira et furor tuus, et praesta propitius, ut bonus odor simus tibi in vitam aeternam. Amen. – Be thou reconciled, o Lord, through this incense, to me and to Thy people, forbearing our sins; and may Thy wrath and furor rest, and grant in Thy mercy, that we may be a good odor to Thee, unto eternal life. Amen.”

As in other rites, such as that of Paris, the people may then present their offerings; if this is done, the priest “gives a blessing to the people, and extending his stole to those who make the offerings with his right hand, says, ‘Centuplum accipias, et vitam aeternam possideas in regno Dei. Amen. – May thou receive a hundred-fold, and possess eternal life in the kingdom of God. Amen.’ ”

This is followed by the sermon, and in parish churches, by the blessing of bread, with the following prayers: “Adjutorium nostrum. Sit nomen Domini. Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam panis, sicut benedixisti quinque panes in deserto; ut omnes gustantes ex eo recipiant sanitatem tam animæ quam corporis. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. Bene+dictio Dei Patris omnipotentis, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti descendat et maneat super hunc panem, et super omnes ex eo comedentes. – Our help is in the name. Blessed be. (as in the Pontifical blessing). Bless +, o Lord, this creature of bread, as Thou blessed the five loaves in the desert; that all who taste thereof may receive health of both soul and body. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. May the bless+ing of God, the Father almighty, the Son and the Holy Spirit, come down and abide upon this bread, and upon all that eat thereof.”

At the Lavabo, only verses 6, 7 and 9 of Psalm 25 are printed in the missal, but the Ordo celebrandi says that the priest may say all the verses (from 6-12) said in the Roman Rite. Bowing low again, and “cum gemitu – with a groan”, the priest then says In spiritu humilitatis and Veni Sancte Spiritus. The former differs from the Roman Rite exactly as in the Dominican Use: “In a spirit of humility, and in contrite heart, may we be received by Thee, o Lord; and so may our sacrifice take place in Thy sight this day, that it may be received by Thee, and please Thee, o Lord.” The latter reads as follows: “Veni sancte Spiritus, sanctificator, sanctifica hoc sacrificium, de manibus meis tibi praeparatum. – Come, o Holy Spirit, the sanctifier, and sanctify this sacrifice, prepared for Thee from my hands.”

He continues with “In nomine sanctae Trinitatis, et individuae Unitatis, descendat - In the name of the Holy Trinity, and undivided Unity, may there descend”; he then stands up and says “hic Angelus bene+dictionis, et consecrationis super hoc munus. Amen. – here the angel of bless+ing and consecration upon this gift. Amen.” At this point, there is a discrepancy between the rubric of the missal and the Ordo celebrandi. The former says that he makes the sign of the Cross once over “the whole offering” (i.e. the host and chalice). The latter says that at the words “blessing and consecration”, he makes the sign of the cross over first the host, then the chalice, with two fingers; after which, at the words “upon this gift”, he touches the host and chalice with his hands.

Toledo’s form of the Orate fratres is as follows: “Obsecro vos, fratres, orate pro me peccatore ad Dominum, ut meum sacrificum pariterque vestrum votum sit Deo acceptum. – I beseech you, brethren, pray for me a sinner to the Lord, that my sacrifice and your prayer may be acceptable to God.” The response is “Suscipiat omnipotens Deus sacrificium de manibus tuis, et dimittat tibi omnia peccata tua, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sancti sui, et utilitatem Ecclesiae suae Sanctae. – May God almighty receive the sacrifice from thy hands, and forgive thee all thy sins, to the praise and glory of His holy name, and the good of his holy Church.”

The main façade of Toledo Cathedral, seen from Plaza del Ayuntmiento. The brick work on lower right side is part of a belltower which was begun to match the one on the left, but never finished. Within it is the Chapel of the Sacrament, founded by Francisco Jiménez Cardinal de Cisneros to preserve the Mozarabic liturgy. (image from wikipedia)
Two observations

Two unusual characteristics of the Missal of Toledo call for special note. One is the absence of the prayer Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, which is found (with many variants) in every other Use I have studied thus far. The other is the presence of two long prayers which the priest may say after the Lavabo “if he wishes, and time permits,” while standing at the middle of the altar. The first of these is labelled “An apologetic prayer of St Ambrose”, the other simply “another prayer.” In a previous article of this series, I have described the “apologia”, a prayer in which the priest protests his unworthiness to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Many early sacramentaries contain prayers of this type, but Toledo is highly unusual in having preserved them so late as the mid-16th century. Elsewhere, they had largely disappeared by the end of the 12th century, in no small measure because they tend to be unbelievably long. They were effectively replaced by the collections of prayers, to be said in preparation for Mass, which can be found in most later Missals, including that of St Pius V. I will give the Apologias of the Toledo Missal in Latin and English in a separate post.

The Theology of the Offertory - Series to Resume

Last year, between February and September, I posted a series of articles on “The Theology of the Offertory.” The series has been on hold for several months, partly because I encountered  a major roadblock in the course of researching it, which I was only recently able to clear away; and partly because I have been constantly distracted by other projects, the day-to-day business of managing NLM, and life. Quite a few people have been encouraging me to take it up again, and now that Lent is upon us, it is time to get disciplined and get back to work on it. A new article in the series will be published very shortly; in the meantime, here is a recap of the earlier articles.

Part 1 : A Response to a Recent Article Quoted on Pray Tell
Part 2 : The Offertory and the Priesthood in the Liturgy
Part 3 : A Different Theology?
Part 4 : An Ecumenical Problem
Part 5 : What the Offertory Really Means
Part 6 : Prolepsis in the Offertory

The Offertory prayers are an early Medieval addition to the Order of Mass, and like all such later additions, (including the prayers before the altar at the beginning, and the priest’s prayers before Communion), occur in different forms in the various Uses of the Roman Rite. The articles of part 7 cover the variants of the Offertory in a selection of such Uses.

Part 7.1 : The Missals of the Religious Orders
Part 7.2 : The Missal of the Monastic Orders
Part 7.3 : Medieval English Uses
Part 7.4 : Medieval French Uses

We will pick things up again with descriptions of the Offertory in medieval Spanish Uses.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Byzantine Liturgy in the Basilicas of Rome

Last week, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych, led an “ad limina” visit of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic hierarchy, of which he has been the head since March 2011. In the course of their stay in Rome, he and the other bishops celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a number of churches, including Saint John in the Lateran, the Pope’s own cathedral, St Paul’s outside-the-Walls, and St Mary Major. The Pontifical Ukrainian Institute of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God, (Папський Український Iнститут Покрова Пресвятої Богородиці) has posted a large number of photographs of these liturgies to their facebook page; you can see the complete albums at the following links. (first; second; third.) We are grateful for their kind permission to repost some of them here on NLM.

At Saint John in the Lateran

At Saint Paul’s outside-the-Walls

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