Sunday, March 07, 2021

The Third Sunday of Lent 2021

The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtledove a nest where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord:  for ever and ever they shall praise thee. (Communion antiphon of the Third Sunday of Lent.)

Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum sibi, ubi ponat pullos suos: altaria tua, Domine virtutum, rex meus, et Deus meus.

(A chant expert once explained to me that the notes on the words “et turtur - and the turtledove”, which are called “epiphoni” or “liquescent podati”, are chosen so that they can be sung in a way that actually sounds like the cooing of a turtledove, which he then demonstrated to perfection. Word-painting in music, the boundless riches of our liturgical tradition!)

Saturday, March 06, 2021

A TLM Pilgrimage in Slovenia

Our thanks to Mr Matevž Hribernik for sharing with us this account of a pilgrimage held last summer in his native Slovenia, and the accompanying pictures.

Last August, a small Slovenian community of followers of the traditional Latin Mass celebrated a Requiem for the victims of communist persecution who were killed on the grounds of a concentration camp in Teharje, and in underground caves in the vicinity.
The camp was first built by the Nazis for the Hitlerjugend in 1943, but after their defeat, repurposed by Yugoslav communists in 1945 for the interment of anti-communist soldiers, but also civilians, factory owners and landowners, and many women and children. In total, more than 5000 people were killed near the camp at Teharje without trial in the two months after the war ended, even though they were not executed in the camp itself. The majority of the victims were Catholic men who fought against the Marxist regime and atheistic-socialist society it advocated, and for the greater glory of God and protection of the nation and their families. The Yugoslavian communists later turned the grounds into a landfill, and built a golf course on the site.

After the secession of Slovenia from Yugoslavia, plans to construct a national memorial park on the site were begun in 1993, and completed in 2004. A colossal monument is a central point of the park, with an altar directly above the symbolic sarcophagus, and a baldachin in the form of a wreath. There is a Way of the Cross on site which leads from the entrance to the nearby church of St Anne. Since its construction, Mass has been celebrated in front of a tomb on a makeshift altar twice a year.
Our traditional community decided to make a pilgrimage to the “site of the martyrdom”, as is often called, on a cloudy and rainy August afternoon last year. Since the monument incorporates a great altar, we celebrated a Missa Cantata in the traditional rite, the same Mass those martyred knew. As far as we know, this is the first time TLM was celebrated here. This made our pilgrimage an historic and emotional occasion, since every Slovenian has a connection to this historic site from both sides of the fighting. After a homily, the Requiem mass was celebrated, followed by a procession of all the faithful to the tomb with the catafalque, where the Absolution was done.
It was an honour to celebrate and serve a Requiem Mass for the repose of the souls of all the victims. To illustrate the connection Slovenian Catholics have to this special place: the celebrating priest’s grandfather was held a prisoner in the camp, but was spared due to his young age of 17. My own grandfather, as a 15-year-old boy, was a partisan army guard in the camp; incidentally, he was assigned guard duty of his own father, my great-grandfather. Even though communist leaders of former Yugoslavia tried to cover those crimes and post-war atrocities, the memory and stories of those suffering persisted, and the truth always prevails.
We are contemplating making this pilgrimage an annual occasion for the Slovenian traditional community. In our country, World War II and the atrocities committed after it are still a subject of heated debate. A nation, neighbours, families, brothers divided by ideology are slowly recovering and coming together. We consider this pilgrimage our small contribution towards national reconciliation.

Answer Key for the Scanlons’ Second Latin Now Available

Since the response to the news of the publication (announced here) of an Answer Key for Cora and Charles Scanlon’s Latin Grammar for Reading the Missal and Breviary was so good, Dominican Liturgy Publications​ is pleased to announce the publication of an Answer Key for the Scanlons’ Second Latin: Preparation for Reading Philosophy, Theology, and Canon Law.

This second volume of the Scanlons’ set was originally published in 1944 for use in minor seminaries and even in major seminaries, for seminarians with weak or non-existent Latin. There are exercises reviewing virtually all the grammar, and each chapter has reading exercises from scholastic theology or philosophy manuals, and also from the 1917 Code of Canon Law and the decrees of the Council of Trent. This is an excellent supplement to Latin Grammar for those who want to go beyond the liturgy and the Vulgate Bible either in homeschooling or self-study.

For those who would need copies of the textbooks themselves, Latin Grammar itself is available here and here. The first version has better binding and printing, but the second is cheaper. Second Latin is available here and here. Again, the quality and price differences are the same.

We wish all our readers a fruitful and holy Lent.

Friday, March 05, 2021

The Patriarch Joseph in the Liturgy of Lent

The liturgy of Lent gives a particularly prominent place to the story of the Patriarch Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, as recounted in Genesis 37. It is traditionally read as the Epistle of today’s Mass (verses 6-22), then repeated in a longer form (verses 2-28) in the Office of the following Sunday, the third of Lent, as the readings of the first nocturn. Other stories from Genesis such as the Creation (chapter 1), the Flood of Noah (chapters 6-8) and the Blessing of Isaac (chapter 27) are read at one point in the Mass and another in Office, the last of these within the same week, but Joseph’s is repeated within only two days.

The Office reading is part of the regular cursus from Genesis which starts on Septuagesima Sunday; the Matins responsories for the third week of Lent are taken from the subsequent chapters, in which Joseph goes to Egypt, becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man, and ultimately saves his family from the great seven-year famine. In the Mass, the story is chosen specifically to be read on a Friday, looking forward to the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, because of the way it was interpreted by the Church Fathers.

Joseph’s dreams of the heavenly bodies and the sheaves of wheat (Genesis 37, 6-11); Florence Baptistery, ca. 1225. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Sailko; CC BY 3.0. At this link, you can find images of excellent quality, in high enough resolution to see the individual tiles, of this extremely beautiful and complex mosaic ceiling.) 
Already at the very beginning of the third century, Tertullian explained the sufferings of Joseph as a prefiguration of Christ’s Passion.
Joseph himself was also a figure of Christ, on this point alone … that he suffered persecution at the hands of his brethren, and was sold into Egypt, on account of the favor of God, just as Christ was sold by Israel, by his brothers, when He was betrayed by Judas. (Adversus Judaeos 10)
For St Ambrose, Joseph’s status as the youngest of Jacob’s children also makes him a figure of Christ, who comes as the last of God’s emissaries, like the son in the Parable of the Vineyard, which is read as the Gospel on this day, Matthew 21, 33-46. In his treatise On the Blessings of the Patriarchs (11, 48), which explains the blessings imparted by Jacob to his sons in Genesis 49, he writes:
My son, he says, is younger. Truly younger, because he was the last born. And the Scripture says “Jacob loved him, because he was the son of his old age. (Gen. 37, 3). This also refers to Christ; for the son of God, through the child-bearing of the Virgin Mary, came late, shining upon a world grown old and already failing, and as the son of old age according to the mystery took a body, even He that before the ages was always with the Father. (Ambrose’s citation of Genesis 49, 22, “filius meus adolescentior”, derives from the Septuagint reading of a famously difficult passage.)
The tunic of Joseph, which his brothers dipped in goat’s blood in order to make Jacob believe that he was killed by an animal, is then read as a symbol of the body which Christ took upon Himself in the Incarnation, so that He might undergo the Passion. The tunic was “bloodied”, as the body of Christ was bloodied, again looking forward from this Friday to Good Friday. St Ambrose says explicitly in his Exposition of the Gospel according to Luke (5, 107), “The tunic of Joseph was bloodied unto the likeness of the Lord’s body.” The Mass lectionary, however, ends with Ruben stopping the other brothers’ plan to kill Joseph, presuming that the hearers know how the story continues.

Jacob Receiving the Bloodied Tunic of Joseph, by Jan Lievens (1607-74); (public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
Lent is, of course, also the period in which the Church prepares the catechumens to receive the Sacrament of Baptism on Easter night, and many of the traditional readings for the Lenten Masses are chosen with a view to their instruction. For St Augustine, Joseph prefigures the entry of the gentiles into the Church in Baptism; commenting on the words of Psalm 80, 6, “He ordained it for a testimony in Joseph, when he came out of the land of Egypt,” he says:
“Joseph” is translated as “increase.” You remember, you know that Joseph was sold into Egypt: (this is) Christ passing to the nations. … Joseph pertains more to the nations, and therefore (is called) “increase”, because “many are the sons of the desert, more than of her than hath a husband.” (Isaiah 54, 1; Augustine understand the “sons of the desert’ to be the gentiles, and the sons “of her that hath a husband” as the sons of Israel.) … When Joseph went out from the land of Egypt, which is to say, the people multiplied from Joseph, he was sent through the Red Sea… The passing of the people through the sea foretold in a figure exactly this, the passage of the faithful through Baptism. The Apostle is my witness; he says “For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea.” (1 Cor. 10, 1-2) Therefore, the passage though the sea signified nothing else than the Sacrament of the baptized. (Exposition of Psalm 80)
This interpretation of the Passing of the Red Sea is also extremely ancient; the scene appears on many ancient Christian sarcophagi, and the story is read at the Easter vigil in all historical rites.

The Crossing of the Red Sea, depicted on a paleo-Christian sarcophagus, the front of which was sawn off and used as the front of an altar in the cathedral of Arles, France.
In his book specifically about Joseph, St Ambrose explains one of the dreams recounted in today’s Epistle as a prophecy of a different aspect of Christ’s life.
Finally, in the boy the divine grace showed forth, since indeed he dreamed, when he had bound sheaves with his brothers, that it might appear to him in a vision, his sheaf arose, and stood upright; and those of his brothers turned and worshipped his. In which assuredly the future resurrection of the Lord Jesus was revealed, whom the eleven disciples worshiped when they had seen him in Jerusalem… (De Joseph Patriarcha, cap. 2, 7)
The story of Joseph read on this Friday therefore prophesies not only what happens on Good Friday, the Passion, but also looks forward to the Friday of Easter week, when the traditional Gospel is St Matthew 28, 16-20, in which Christ meets the eleven disciples, “and they adored Him.”

In the post-Conciliar lectionary, the story has been retained, but is told through a different selection of verses, removing all but two glancing references to Joseph’s prophetic dreams (3-4, 12-13, and 17b-28). The verses added on to the traditional version of the readings (23-28), in which the brothers sell Joseph as a slave, rather than kill him, are no longer read in the Office, and therefore find a place in the Mass. The traditional Gospel has also been retained, but, like many of Our Lord’s harder sayings, verse 44 has been censored out of it: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.”

One of the most important features of Lent in the Byzantine Rite is the Canon of St Andrew of Crete, an extraordinarily beautiful series of meditations on sin and exhortations to repentance, filled with typological and mystical explanations of Scripture, drawn from both Testaments. The following four tropars refer to the story of Joseph.

tropar I confess to thee, o Christ the King: I have sinned, I have sinned, like Joseph’s brothers of old, who sold the fruit of chastity and of prudence. (The Church Fathers, and Jewish interpreters of the Bible before them, saw Joseph as a model of chastity, because he refused the advances of Potiphar’s wife, and of prudence, because of the way he saves not only his own family, but the whole of Egypt, from the famine.)

tropar The just soul was delivered up by his kinsmen; the one dear (to his father) was sold into slavery, as a type of the Lord; and you yourself, (my) soul, are sold entirely to your evil deeds.

tropar Imitate Joseph the just, and his prudent mind, my wretched, reprobate soul, and be no longer wanton, that dost ever transgress in unreasonable impulses.

tropar If Joseph did once dwell in a cistern, Master and Lord, it was as a type of Thy burial and resurrection; but what such thing may ever I bring to Thee?

Joseph Placed in the Cistern, and Sold to the Midianites; icon by Theodoros Poulakis, 1677-82. modelled on an engraving by the Flemish artist Jan Sadeler. From the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, Greece.
On Holy Monday, a special commemoration is made of Joseph.

tropar Joseph, making an image of the Lord, is put down into the cistern, he is sold away by his kinsman; famously, he suffereth all things, truly as a type of Christ. (From another Canon of St Andrew, sung at Compline.)

ikos Let us now add lamentation to lamentation, and pour forth tears, weeping with Jacob for Joseph, renowned and prudent, made a slave in body, but preserving his soul free from slavery, that became lord of all of Egypt, for God grants an unperishable crown to his servants. (At Orthros.)

The Taciturn Collect for the Third Sunday of Lent

Tres Riches Heures du Duc du Berry
, 15th century
Lost in Translation #41

On the surface, the Collect for the Third Sunday of Lent is about as simple as it gets:

Quáesumus, omnípotens Deus, vota humilium réspice: atque ad defensiónem nostram, déxteram tuæ majestátis extende. Per Dóminum.
Which I translate as:
We beseech Thee, almighty God, look back on the petitions of Thy humble ones, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defense. Through our Lord.
The Collect is a good example of why Pierre Maranget characterized the Roman orations as “remarkable for their simplicity, gravity, clarity, strength, and conciseness, as well as for the elevation of thought and the abundance and accuracy of their theological teaching.” [1] Most Collects have three parts (not including the conclusion): the address, a statement of fact, and a petition. [2] The address is directed to God, the statement of fact is about Him (“Thou who dost X,Y, and Z”), and the petition is for us. This Sunday’s Collect substitutes a statement of fact for a double petition, giving it a somewhat rushed urgency.
It also finds ways of describing God without a separate statement of fact. “Almighty”, “right hand”, and “majesty” all emphasize divine power. For 90% of the world’s population, the right hand is the stronger and more capable of the two, and in the Psalms, God’s right hand is synonymous with His might. There is also a hint of the Christological in the petition for the Father to extend His right hand, for it is the Son who sits at the right hand of the Father.
“Majesty” also connotes supernatural power. According to Sr. Mary Pierre Ellebracht, the Hebrew Kebod Yahweh (the Glory of God) signifies both God’s power and His luminosity. Early Christians translated the latter with claritas and the former with majestas. [3]
All of this focus on divine power is to muster it for our protection. The Collect prays that God’s capacity for offense will make for us the best defense. Power is also the theme of this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 11, 14-28). When the Jews watching Jesus perform an exorcism accuse Him of having demonic power, He reminds them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and observes that a strong man is strong only until a stronger man comes, overpowers him, takes away his armor, and distributes his spoils. He then tells the story of a demon who is exorcized and returns with seven spirits more wicked than he to repossess the man. In asking God to protect us with His power, the Collect is asking Him to protect us from the strong man.
And we ask Him to protect us because we know we are weak. The first petition of the Collect is vota humilium réspice. Respicere is the Latin verb that is typically used for “have regard for” or “provide for,” but I have translated it according to its more primitive meaning of looking back or looking again. The Introit for this Sunday begins with the declaration, “My eyes are always on the Lord: for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare: Look back (respice) upon me, and have mercy on me.”

The fact that we are always looking at the Lord indicates that we are suppliant servants, for “As the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us.” (Ps. 122, 2)
And so as we look upon God, we ask Him, both in the Introit and Collect, to look upon us, to turn around, so to speak, notice our lowliness, and take pity on us. And we are clearly lowly because in the Collet we call ourselves humiles, a word that in classical Latin is a term of reproach for the lowly and insignificant, but in ecclesiastical Latin becomes an honest confession of our status.
More specifically, we ask God to look upon the vota of us lowly creatures. which we have translated as “petitions.” Votum has a rich history. The word was used in pagan times to signify a solemn promise made to a deity, a vow. It then came to signify what was being promised and was thus tied to sacrificial offerings. It also came to mean any wish or desire, which is probably why our word “vote” is derived from it, since voting is an act of stating your political preferences. In ecclesiastical Latin, vota are public prayers or desires, sometimes the prayers of the liturgical act that we are celebrating right now.
Lent is a time to cast out those demons in our lives that can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (see Matthew 17, 21). Our petitions (vota) are our prayers, and our fasting makes us aware of our weakness. And perhaps that, too, is another tie-in to the Gospel. Some have speculated that Jesus’ Parable of the Strong Man is an allusion to Isaiah 49, 24-25:
Shall the prey be taken from the strong? Or can that which was taken by the mighty be delivered? For thus saith the Lord: “Yea verily, even the captivity shall be taken away from the strong: and that which was taken by the mighty, shall be delivered. But I will judge those that have judged thee, and thy children I will save.”
In other words, the devil is the strong man who has taken us captive and made us his prey. Deliver us, then, O Lord, from the mighty, and save Thy children.
[1] See Sr. Mary Gonzaga Haessly, Rhetoric in the Sunday Collects of the Roman Missal (Ursuline College for Women, 1938), quoted in front matter.
[2] Haessly, 14.
[3] Sr. Mary Pierre Ellebracht, Remarks on the Vocabulary of the Ancient Orations in the Missale Romanum (Dekker & Van de Vegt N.V.), 40.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2021 (Part 3)

A friend of mine used to joke that half of the churches in Rome could be given the same name, “Our Lady of Perpetual Restoration”, which is funny precisely because it is so close to the truth. Every year we have run this series, we have had photos of churches which were under restoration, or photos of a church to which a station was transferred, since the regular station was completely unusable. In today’s post, the third of this year’s series, we have an example of the latter from this past Tuesday. Once again, many thanks to our dear Roman pilgrim friend Agnese for sharing these photos with us.
The Second Sunday of Lent – Santa Maria in Domnica
This church is sometimes called “Santa Maria alla Navicella – St Mary at the Little Boat” from the fountain in front of it, the upper basin of which is an ancient Roman sculpture of a boat. (“Navicella” is also used to mean an incense boat in Italian.) The fountain was built at the behest of Giovanni de’ Medici, who, according to the bad practice of his era, was made Cardinal Deacon of this church in 1489, when he was 13 years old. To be fair, he did do exactly as one would expect of a son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and pay for a much-needed complete restoration of his titular church. Twenty-four years to the day after he was made a Cardinal, he was elected to the Papacy, the last man to be chosen for that office who was not yet a priest. He was ordained a priest on March 15, 1513, a bishop two days later, and crowned as Pope two days after that, taking the name Leo X. In 1521, he canonized St Casimir, prince of the kingdom of Poland and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1458-84), whose feast is kept today, in response to a petition submitted to him by the Saint’s brother during the Fifth Lateran Council. 
As I described in a recent article, the apsidal mosaic was added to the church by Pope St Paschal I (817-24), as was that of St Cecilia, seen below, where the station is held on Wednesday of this week.

The customary procession with a relic held before the stational Mass begins.

Monday of the Second Week of Lent – St Clement
Introductory rites and procession held in the courtyard in front of the church.

A Look at the English Standard Version (Catholic Edition) Lectionary for the Ordinary Form

Readers of NLM may be aware that last year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) promulgated a new translation of the lectionary for the Ordinary Form, using the English Standard Version: Catholic Edition (ESV-CE) except for the Psalms, which are from the Abbey Psalms and Canticles (APC).
The ESV was first published in 2001, and is fundamentally a revision of the Revised Standard Version (1971). It describes itself as an “essentially literal” translation, and “seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and exact force of the original”. [1] The translation was carried out by a group of more than one hundred Evangelical Protestant scholars and advisors, and has undergone a number of small revisions over the last two decades (2007, 2011, 2016).
In 2017, after a small group of Catholic scholars in India had been commissioned by the CBCI to examine the ESV and make any necessary changes to the text to ensure fidelity to the teaching of the Church, the ESV-CE was approved by the Indian Bishops as the first step towards the new OF lectionary translation. The ESV-CE Bible was published in India in 2018, and in the United States in late 2019 by The Augustine Institute; in the United Kingdom, it is scheduled for publication later this year. The Indian ESV-CE lectionary text was confirmed by the CDWDS in December 2019, and came into force in India on 5th April 2020 (Palm Sunday).
Following the hard work of the CBCI, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland (BCS) voted last July to also adopt the ESV-CE (with APC) for a new translation of the OF lectionary, replacing the Jerusalem Bible (with the Grail Psalter). And just last month, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) announced that they had decided to do the same. At the time of writing, the Irish, Australian, and New Zealand Bishops’ Conferences have yet to announce any replacement, but it looks as though that the ESV-CE is likely to be the de facto English-language Catholic Bible version outside of North America. [2]
So, as a result, I thought that NLM readers would appreciate a quick look at the Indian ESV-CE lectionary itself - especially as there seems very little in the way of information online about these volumes at the moment other than that they exist! I have been fortunate enough to acquire a copy, so here are some pictures, along with my observations, both positive and negative.
The CBCI decided on a three-volume layout:
  1. Sundays and Solemnities (xxxiv + 966 pp) - this contains Years A, B and C of the Sunday cycle of readings, plus Solemnities.
  2. Weekdays (xxviii + 1106 pp) - this contains Years I and II of the weekday cycle of readings.
  3. Proper of Saints, Commons, Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead (xxx + 1152 pp) - basically, everything else!
This layout, like any other, has a number of things to recommend it, but also contains compromises. First, it means that the cost for parishes, currently ₹7,500 for all three volumes (about $103/£73), is lower than it would be for other possible publishing arrangements. There is a certain logic to having the Sunday readings in one volume and the weekday readings in another. However, in the medium-term this may come at the cost of longevity: for example, the Sundays and Solemnities volume is going to get three times as much use compared to if each year of the Sunday cycle were its own individual volume. Similarly, the fact that the Funeral Mass readings are at the back of Volume 3 is perhaps not ideal for longevity, though the quality of the binding is fair. (Please bear in mind that my copies have travelled halfway across the world!)
The BCS and CBCEW, in consultation with publishers, [3] may decide on other layouts, such as having three volumes for each year of the Sunday cycle, or separate volumes for Nuptial Masses, Funeral Masses, etc.
Volumes 1 and 2 have two ribbons, with Volume 3 having three ribbons. This is appreciated, but the third volume really could have done with just one more ribbon; I will explain why below.
Use is made of the reference numbers of the 1981 Ordo lectionum Missae, editio typica altera (OLM), with the 2015 additiones, which is good. The celebrations proper to India have also been added in without disturbing these reference numbers. However, the lack of small headings at the top of each page does make sections more difficult to find than they could have been otherwise - this is not really a problem in Volumes 1 or 2, but is much more so in Volume 3 due to the variety of material contained in that volume.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Another Chant for the Byzantine Liturgy of the Presanctified

Now the powers of heaven invisibly worship with us, for behold, the King of Glory entereth! Behold, the mystical sacrifice, being perfected, is carried forth in triumph. With faith and love, let us come forth, that we may become partakers of eternal life, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! (Recording by the always impressive choir of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow.

Нынѣ Силы Небесныѧ съ нами невидимо служать, се бо входитъ Царь Славы: се Жертва тайнаѧ совершена дориноситсѧ. Вѣрою и любовию приступимъ, да причастницы жизни вѣчныѧ будемъ. Аллилуїа, аллилуїа, аллилуїа.

We recently shared a setting of the Psalm 140 “Let my prayer rise as incense etc.” by Pavel Chesnokov, composed for the Byzantine Liturgy of the Presanctified gifts, along with a brief description of the first part of the ceremony. For the second part, the Litany of Fervent Supplication and special litanies for the catechumens are said, after which the royal doors are opened. The first part of the chant above is sung, then the Presanctified gifts are carried out the side-door, and back through the royal doors, followed by the second part (“With faith and love...”). This chant, therefore, replaces the hymn “We who mystically represent the Cherubim,” which is sung at the Divine Liturgy as the bread and wine are brought to the altar. The rest of the service is basically identical to the regular order of the Divine Liturgy.

Here is the Greek version:

Νῦν αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σὺν ἡμῖν ἀοράτως λατρεύουσιν· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εἰσπορεύεται ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης. Ἰδοὺ θυσία μυστικὴ τετελειωμένη δορυφορεῖται· πίστει καὶ πόθῳ προσέλθωμεν, ἵνα μέτοχοι ζωῆς ἀιωνίου γενώμεθα. Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα.

I also make note here of two particularly beautiful prayers which are said in this second part of the service. The first of these is read silently by the celebrating priest while the deacon chants the litany that leads into the Lord’s Prayer.
“O God of ineffable and unseen mysteries, with whom are the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who did reveal the service of this liturgy to us, and appointed us hast appointed us sinners through Thy great love for mankind, to offer unto Thee gifts and sacrifices for our sins and for the deeds of ignorance of the people: do Thou Thyself, unseen King, who dost great and inscrutable things, glorious and extraordinary, of which there is no number, look upon us, Thy unworthy servants, who stand at this Thy holy altar as if at Thy cherubic throne, upon which rests Thy only-begotten Son and our God in the dread mysteries set forth thereon; and having delivered us and Thy faithful people from every impurity, sanctify all our souls and bodies with the sanctification which cannot be taken away, so that, partaking of these divine, hallowed things with a pure conscience, with an unashamed face, and with an illuminated heart, and being enlivened by them, we may be united to Christ Himself, our true God, who said, ‘He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in me, and I in him,’ so that as Thy Word, O Lord, dwelleth in us and sojourneth among us, we may become a temple of Thy all-holy and adorable Spirit, redeemed from every wile of the devil, done either by deed or word or thought, and may obtain the good things promised to us with all Thy saints who from the beginning have been well-pleasing to Thee.”
The second prayer, said just before dismissal at the end of the rite, is known as “the prayer behind the ambo” (ὀπισθάμβωνος εὐχή in Greek, молитва заамвоннаѧ in Church Slavonic), because in Hagia Sophia, it was said by a priest who exited the main sanctuary and recited it while standing behind the great ambo in the nave. (It is seen in this digital reconstruction of the Great Church at about 3:55.)
This prayer originally could vary according to the liturgical occasion, and often included references to the day’s Gospel; many texts of it are preserved in ancient manuscripts. It is now reduced to only two forms, one which is said at the Eucharistic liturgy, and the other at the liturgy of the Presanctified, as follows.
“O Master almighty, who made all creation in wisdom, who through Thy ineffable providence and great goodness hast brought us to these all-revered days for the purification of souls and bodies, for the restraint of passions, for hope of resurrection, who during the forty days didst hand over to Thy servant Moses the tablets (of the Law), letters divinely carved: grant also to us, o good one, to fight the good fight, to complete the course of the fast, to preserve the faith unchanged, to crush the heads of the invisible serpents, to shine forth as victors over sin, and without condemnation to attain unto and worship the Holy Resurrection. For blessed and glorified is Thy all-honorable and magnificent name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

When Mystique Obscures Mystery - Some Truths About Holy Icons

Do we write or paint icons? Do you have to fast and pray before you create one? Is the saint present in the icon just as Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament?

In the course of writing and talking about icons, I am often asked about the following: Is it true that an artist doesn’t paint icons, but rather that he ‘writes’ them, because he is portraying an aspect of the Word? Is it true that only Orthodox or religious are holy enough to paint them? Do we have to fast and pray before painting them? And finally, is the person depicted present in an icon in the way that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament?

St Isaias, 21st century, English
So what does the Church really believe about icons? In short, the answers are as follows:

First, call it painting or writing, (or carving if appropriate), whatever you like. My teacher who is as Orthodox as they come, and a respected authority in the Orthodox world, refers to this pedantic insistence on the word ‘write’ as ‘a bit precious.’ (I am told that this happens because the word for write and paint is the same in Greek.) As he used to pointed out, if you put a paint brush in paint and apply it to a surface. the English word that accurately describes that process is ‘painting’, regardless of what you are painting.

Second, it is not true that you have to be Orthodox or religious to paint holy icons. Visual art, and this includes sacred art, is as good as it looks. If it looks like an icon then it is an icon. This is true regardless of who painted it and of the medium used (although some media do lend themselves to the portrayal of the essential qualities of icons more than others). Regardless of the method that was used to paint it, there is no right way or wrong way, as long as one gets to the desired result. Having said that, praying regularly with icons, as Orthodox and religious do - in common with many lay people and Catholics - will help to develop in an artist a deeper innate sense of how art nourishes prayer, and will likely improve the quality of the art he paints.

A relief carved depiction of the Magi by Martin Earle, Roman Catholic:

Third, you don’t have to fast and pray before painting icons. Having said that, fasting and praying in accordance with Christian precepts are likely to enhance our capacity and inclination to respond to inspiration, should God choose to give it. This is true for all Catholics regardless of the activity they are engaged in, and so is recommended for all, not just for icon painters.

Fourth, in the Catholic belief, although the Saint is made present to us through the image in a profound way which engages our imaginations, and which is  analogous, in some ways, to the Real Presence, a Saint is not present in an icon in the same way that Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Some more background

The theology that stipulates that holy images are spiritually necessary to the Faith was established in the 7th Ecumenical Council, with a later clarification by the Synod of Constantinople. Between them, the the edicts of the two councils finally ended in AD 843 a period of destruction of images, the movment called Iconoclasm. This is celebrated today in the Eastern Church as the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

The Church Father who expresses this is St Theodore the Studite, abbot of the Studion Monastery in Constantinople. What is ironic is that the error of the iconophiles (those who were in favor of the use of sacred images) of attributing to the icon a presence of the Saint is one of the things to which the iconoclasts objected so strongly that it provoked them to the opposite errors, seeking to eliminate the use of sacred images altogether. Theodore, like the iconoclasts, opposed this error, but he provided an alternative theology that justified the use of sacred images. (Note that we are talking about all sacred images here, regardless of style, and not to the style that we call iconographic today.)

Theodore, abbot of the Studios Monastery, Constantinople.

According to St Theodore:

1. The essence of the Saint is not present in the icon. It is just wood, gold, paint etc. The connection to the Saint is made in our minds, especially through the imagination, when we see the characteristic likeness portrayed. So if the icon is covered up, for example, by metal cladding, it has no sacramental value (unless the cladding has been beaten into a likeness, in which case it is the cladding that evokes the Saint for us). Theodore illustrates this with the point that once the icon becomes damaged so that the likeness is destroyed, it is just thrown away.

2. There are two qualities in particular that makes sacred art worthy of veneration, and therefore appropriate for use in prayer and worship. First, the art must look like what it depicts. In other words there is no place for an abstract portrayal of Passion of Christ. It must, to use Theodore’s phrase, capture the essential characteristics of the person or the scene being depicted. This does not necessarily require an accurate portrait, but it does mean that the things that distinguish a particular person must be present. So for example, the prophet Isaiah has a gray beard and long hair, and is shown with tongs and a hot coal which touched his lips at the beginning of his ministry (Isa. 6, 6-7). Second, the name of the person or the scene (e.g. the Nativity), must be present in a form that will be understood by those who see it; therefore, the vernacular is usually used. The name is present as another essential characteristic of the person.

St John the Baptist, English 21st century

3. Icons, when worthy of veneration, are like sacramentals. Their value is that they predispose us to grace, but they are not themselves channels of grace. This distinguishes them from sacraments. Their effect is profound and powerful nevertheless, and the use of images is not just permitted by the Church, it is required as part of the practice of Christian prayer and worship.

4. The Seventh Ecumenical Council and Theodore’s theology apply just as much to any form of art in which the characteristic likeness appears. Therefore, the view that what we now consider to be the iconographic style - typically that of Russian and Greek icons, in people’s minds - is a higher form than the other sacred art traditions of the Western church such as the Gothic and the Baroque, cannot be justified. English translations of Theodore’s writings do have him using the word “icon”, but in using this word, the translators are leaving untranslated a Greek word which means “image.” Theodore did not refer to specific styles or traditions. Accordingly, his theology applies as much to Gothic and Baroque art (the other two traditions cited by Pope Benedict XVI as authentically liturgical in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy) as it does to the iconographic style; it can also be applied to statues as much as to two-dimensional images.

St John the Baptist, by Guido Reni, Italian, 17th century. This would need a plaque on the frame with his name in order for this painting to be worthy of veneration.

Furthermore, it should be pointed out that there is no canonical or dogmatic statement or account by any Church Father that I know of, Eastern or Western, which says that the iconographic style, as we now refer to it, is inherently superior to any other. Like the discussion of Theodore, the debate in the early Church was about the validity of images in general.

Giotto, Italian, 14th century, gothic. Again we would need to see the name of the event - The Baptism in the Jordan - and ideally the names of the main figures in order for this to be worthy of veneration.

When we talk of icons today, we are usually referring to a style of art that, generally, speaking includes all Christian art, East and West, from about the 5th century AD up to about 1200AD. This includes, therefore, many Western variants in the styles of the Romanesque, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Ottonian and Carolingian periods. With some interruption and variance, the iconographic style has remained the dominant form in the Eastern Churches, with variant styles such as those of the Coptic, Greek, Russian, and Melkites traditions.

St Matthew, The Lindisfarne Gospel, English, 8th century. Consistent with the iconographic prototype, in a style called insular art which combines Mediterranean, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic elements.

It may be a surprise for some to discover that the characterization of the visual elements of the iconographic tradition (as distinct from other forms of sacred art), and an accompanying theology as it is generally articulated today is a modern development, and did not exist until the 20th century. This doesn’t make it wrong, but it does make it new. We should be aware, however, that it was developed by anti-Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox thinkers based in Paris such as Ouspensky and Lossky. While they did some great work in their assessment of their own tradition, they spoke in ignorance of other traditions. While their dismissal of other liturgical traditions may be fair from an Orthodox point of view (that is for the Orthodox to say), it has no basis in the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Eastern Rite Catholics legitimately and reasonably insist that the only form of sacred art that is appropriate for the Eastern Rite is the icon, and this might affect their choice of image for an icon corner in their homes. But it is just as legitimate for Roman Catholics look to their authentic liturgical traditions (which includes the iconographic as well as the Gothic and the Baroque), and consider them appropriate for the Roman Rite, and for use their own home.

To read an account of the theology of icons of Theodore the Studite, his works are still available. For an excellent summary of the whole debate regarding sacred art, which includes an account of the theology of images developed by both Theodore and St John of Damascus, I recommend God’s Human Face by Cardinal Cristophe Schoenborn, published by Ignatius Press.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

A Proposal for the Restoration and Renewal of 1948 Breviarium Romanum - Guest Article by Dr Lee Fratantuono

Our thanks to Dr Lee Fratantuono for sharing this article with us, a consideration of the differences between the last three typical editions of the Roman Breviary, and his propsal for returning to the use of the one issued in 1948.

The 1948 editio nova typica of the Breviarium Romanum was published in 1949 (its decree of approbation was signed on 21 December, 1948). It was reprinted once after the changes to the Assumption office that were promulgated after the 1950 dogmatic declaration. [note]
The decree from the Sacred Congregation for Rites which notes that the rationale for a new publication of a Vatican breviary was the introduction of the optional use of the Pian Psalter.
The 1948 breviary was the first new typical edition of the Office since 1928. The intervening two decades saw the addition of a number of new feasts to the general calendar and some modest adjustments based on new patronages of saints and the awarding of the title Doctor of the Church, as well as the 1942 creation of the Common of Pontiffs. This Common has occasioned some justifiable criticism: it is highly repetitive in practice (this is especially notable in the proper for Rome, where so many sainted popes fill the calendar). It largely obscured the distinction between martyr and confessor popes. It strangely resulted in the deletion of the proper third nocturn for Gregory the Great on 12 March, despite efforts otherwise to retain such proper texts for popes as the oration for Marcellus, or the office for Leo the Great.
But by and large, 1948 is 1928, except for certain new feasts. One must confess that the psalter text is the notorious Pian edition of 1945, not the Vulgate. However, given that the Pian psalter was optional, breviaries otherwise faithful to “1948” were published with the Vulgate (even if most chose to use the Pian).
The 1948 edition is the most lavish twentieth-century Vatican edition of the Roman breviary. Printed in four volumes - the only such Vatican Press breviary until the 1971-2 Liturgia Horarum - it was illustrated with woodcuts by Fernando Fausti Conti, who provided illustrations for every feast of at least Double of the II Class rank, as well as for several double majors. This was a breviary where Ss Gabriel and Raphael have lovely woodcuts, as does every apostolic feast. This is the last Vatican breviary to date with frontispieces.
Every feast of the II class and every common has an illustration.
One may note that the 1948 Vatican breviary was styled a “new typical edition,” rather than the “fifth after the typical”; the reason for this seems to have been that the stated occasion for the publication of a breviary was the publication of the new psalter.
The 1956 Vatican typical edition is a totum with significantly reduced illustrations. It is also an anomalous breviary: published after the 1955 simplification of the rubrics, it does not actually include the text of those rubrics. Indeed, the only hint of the simplification comes to the lynx-eyed observer who notes the absence of commemorations in the offices of such new feasts as the Queenship of the B.V.M. on 31 May. The textual differences from 1948 to 1956 include the results of the new Holy Week rubrics; the new Assumption and octave offices (carried over from the reprint of the 1948 edition); the May feasts of Joseph the Workman and the Queenship; Saint Pius X on 3 September; the abolition of the Patronage of Joseph and its octave (the Matins lessons of which, ironically, already honored Joseph the Workman on the octave day).
The 1956 breviary thus contains significant material that would never actually be used by those observing the simplified rubrics. It paved the way for what followed, in which unused texts would simply be dropped entirely.
One irony to note: 1956 also omits the abolished local feast of the Holy House of Loreto on 10 December, a feast that had entered an appendix of the typical edition because of its use throughout Italy and the adjacent islands. It would be Pope Francis who would add this feast to the general calendar: a case of where the 1948 edition is more Bergoglian than 1956 or 1961!
The 1956 edition is styled the “fifth after the typical”; the 1961 was not considered the “sixth” because the rubrics were completely rewritten.
The 1961 typical edition is another totum, with the same illustrations as 1956 and of course the drastically reduced office of the Johannine Rubricarum instructum of 1960. It is so slender that it is not much larger than the Spring volume of the 1948 edition. The only new material in it consists of the three feasts added by that saintly pope to the calendar, Lawrence of Brindisi, Gregory Barbarigo and Anthony Mary Claret, plus the Litany of the Precious Blood in the appendix of texts from the Ritual. The first of these had actually been added to the general calendar in 1959 - thus earning Lawrence the dubious distinction of having been the last saint for whom a full second nocturn was appointed for Matins. Otherwise, 1961 is essentially a drastically edited version of its predecessor.
It is interesting that the official 1961 Vatican printing of the breviary included a set of four booklets with all of the post-1956 changes to the office. These are labeled according to the now-defunct seasonal scheme of Winter, Spring, etc., with clear intention for their use with traditional four-volume breviaries like the 1948 edition.
The 1948 Vatican breviary also records the traditional, votive devotions associated with the days of the week, such as St Joseph on Wednesdays.
Little more than a dozen years separate these three typical editions of the Office. The 1948 represents the culmination of a process that began with the first Pius X typical edition of 1914. There is no hint in the twentieth-century typical editions through 1948 inclusive that major changes are on the horizon. There is, in contrast, a clear, prefatory statement of what the future was to hold: corrected texts of the patristic readings, for example, to restore them to their pristine state. This sort of textual work is the labor of patristic and classical scholars, of editors of critical texts who study the manuscript traditions of the works of writers like Ambrose or Augustine.
That envisaged work never materialized, because by 1948 a liturgical commission was already beginning the process that would result in the 1955 simplifications; the 1961 breviary; and what would replace it a decade later - an entirely new work.
I would submit the case that the 1948 Office is superior in every way to the 1961, and that history will judge that the better course would have been to follow the announced plan of Pius X, and to correct the texts of the Office lessons with the usual philological rigor such enterprises entail.
Why do I argue that 1948 is superior, indeed vastly superior to 1961? I leave aside what has already been noted by many writers on the history of the Roman breviary in the twentieth century: the mutilation of Matins, such that the Sunday Office is sometimes thoughtlessly arranged given the deletion of lessons. What of other differences between the breviary of 1948 and that of 1961?
If there is one abiding feature of the 1948 office that distinguishes it from what replaced it, it would be the notion of a never ending day. Constantly one encounters the ancient tradition of First Vespers. One day passes naturally into another by the extensive system of commemorations and dual Vespers, where half of one feast is observed before the Chapter commences the observance of the new. This never-ending day is an image of the heavenly liturgy, where day is endless. One is forever saying farewell to one feast even as a new begins. We rarely go to sleep, as it were, in a state of ending. Endings sometimes come after None, as a simple feast ends and we wait for a new one to start as the sun sets. But we seldom finish one feast with Vespers without also introducing the new. Christmas is a lovely example: we close Vespers on 25 December by singing a commemoration of Stephen, whose feast has already commenced. The blood of the martyrs is recalled already as the sun sets on the Lord’s Nativity.
“The morrow” is a concept that is deeply engrained in the 1948 breviary - itself a concept that speaks to Christian hope in the eternal tomorrow.
There are other touches that remind one of time, of season and feast: the adjustments of the doxologies of hymns; the change in the Iste Confessor to note the actual day of a saint’s death; the suffrages and other prayers that are part of the distinction between double and semidouble/ferial offices.
The transference of impeded lessons and the venerable tradition of anticipated Sundays; such wonderful weeks as the summer Octave of Corpus Christi with its rich daily Matins lessons; the autumn Octave of All Saints; the greater attention to the apostles and their liturgy that marks the passing months - all of these features of 1948 offer a richer exposure to the traditions of the Roman liturgy than what by comparison can seem the anemic rubrics of 1961.
Am I advocating, then, a return to 1948? Yes, and more.
My modest plan for the reform of the Roman breviary would begin with what Pius X envisaged: attend to the critical texts of the Fathers and the legends of the saints. Second, restore those verses of both Scripture and the Fathers that were cut in editions subsequent to the 1568 editio princeps. Third, restore the text of the hymns to the 1568 originals, again with due care for textual criticism as for the lessons.
All of these steps would represent conservative restoration, not innovation. 1948 is a suitable year from which to start because its selection is not based on more subjective criteria such as whether or not one favors the addition of a Common of Popes. 1948 is the year of the publication of the last typical edition before the decisive change from tending to a liturgy that was seen as lacking only the ultima manus to perfect it, and the drive to create something novel. It is the year of the liturgical commission that would begin to enact dramatic changes in the consequential decade of the 1950s.
1948 (and not 1961) is the last typical edition of the breviary before the very concept of the breviary would be reimagined and conceived anew. The history of the breviary from 1948 to 1971 is one of repeated cutting and abridgment, all before the introduction in 1971 of a completely new book - a new book that like the new Missal of 1970 did not pretend to be a new edition of what preceded it, but which abandoned entirely the 1568 bull of Pius V and even the title Breviarium Romanum. With the exception of some new feasts and the peculiar case of Holy Week, the story of the Roman Office from 1948 to 1971 is simply one of slashing and burning. 1961 is noteworthy for being the last typical edition of the breviary, but in the larger picture of the history of breviary reformation (some would say deformation) following on the Pian liturgical commission of 1948, it is a mere halfway point. It was the second of two typical editions that were crafted in the years of abridgment and abbreviation of the breviary. In a perverse sense, 1961 is akin to a “Christian Prayer” version of the four-volume 1948 Office. There is but one reason to commend 1956 or 1961 to 1948: it is shorter. Cardinal Quiñones was better at that sort of thing than his twentieth-century would-be epigones.
There are good historical reasons for choosing the “1962” books for the so-called extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. But in terms of the history of the Roman breviary, I would argue passionately in favor of a wholesale return to 1948, the true “last year” before the liturgical tone would shift from preservation to innovation, from organic development to creation virtually ab initio via the expedient of jettisoning large portions of the Office.
It is an easy Roman Office to come to love, as one appreciates the rich texture of the never ending canticle of praise.
[note : In 1954, a fascicle was published by the Vatican Press containing the few updated Matins texts occasioned by the declaration of new sacred patrons, notably the addition of the detail to the feast of the Apparition of St. Michael on 8 May that said title had been declared the patron of those who practiced radiation therapy in the medical profession. This constituted the last update to the breviary before the simplification of the rubrics in 1955; the 31 May feast of the Queenship was instituted in 1954, but only celebrated for the first time the following year.]


A common reflection during Lent is on the story of Zacchaeus as recounted in Luke 19, 1-10. In this way, the Lenten journey should begin with a recognition of sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his sins. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost. In this, he went beyond the requirements of the Law (Ex. 22, 3-12). Just as Zacchaeus "sought to see who Jesus was" (Luke 19:, 3), that same desire and effort to see Jesus starts the movement through Lent towards Easter. It is the first movement of salvation.

The painting is a traditional icon of the scene in which Zacchaeus is so determined to see Christ that he climbs a tree in order to do so. Notice how the other onlookers and even the mountains and the tree bow before their Creator.

Monday, March 01, 2021

The Ultimate Communion Antiphon Book for the Usus Antiquior

Most singers of chant will be familiar with the old workhorse Communio by Richard Rice (CMAA, 2008), my own copy of which is so well-thumbed and beaten up it’s a wonder it still holds together. Others may be familiar with the Solesmes publication Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum (repr. CMAA, 2008), which contains pointed psalm texts for the Introits and Communions of the entire liturgical year. Although I used both of these books for many years as a choir director, I have discovered a new volume that definitively surpasses them for Sundays and Holy Days.

In November of 2019, I visited Houston to give four lectures, and while there, I decided to “crash” the Schola practice on Sunday at the FSSP parish, Regina Caeli. The singers were gracious and let me join them for the High Mass. At one point, the director, Kyle Lartigue, handed me a book: Ad Communionem: Antiphons and Psalms (Justitias Books, 2016), which, I discovered, was Mr. Lartigue’s own production.

Unlike the other communion books available, which either lack the antiphons and full musical notation (Versus Psalmorum) or utilize the awkward and untraditional Nova Vulgata for the psalm texts, Ad Communionem includes the antiphons for all Sundays and first-class Holy Days, followed by the pertinent psalm from the preconciliar Vulgate, notated in square notes. (The old Vulgate verses are a breeze to sing for those who are familiar with the Missale Romanum and the Breviarium Romanum or the Breviarium Monasticum.) Ad Communionem also includes Psalm 33 and the Gloria Patri in all modes, and an appendix with the Adoro Te and Ubi Caritas. The antiphons are organized not alphabetically (as in Rice’s book, where one must rely on the index) but by Sunday and feastday in chronological order, which makes it much easier to use. While the Solesmes book is more comprehensive, it merely “points” the texts rather than musically notating them, and both the poor quality of the reproduction (many times removed from its original) and the typographical conventions contribute to confusion and stumbling performances.

It’s exactly what I’d want my own schola to have, and in fact when I returned from Houston I asked the pastor in my town if he would buy a bunch of copies for our choir loft. This book deserves to be standard issue for every TLM schola in the English-speaking world. (I should mention that the antiphons and verses are accompanied by an inline English translation from the Douay-Rheims, which closely matches the Latin sense.)
Having a Communion antiphon book with psalm verses (regardless of which of the above three options is used) allows the cantors and/or schola to sing however many verses may be needed to prolong or shorten the music for a particular occasion. Sometimes more than one priest is distributing communion and it goes quickly; at others times perhaps there is an overflow crowd and only one priest distributing, which can take quite some time. The chanting of psalm verses has many benefits: the texts are liturgically appropriate and the music is very much in the background, as it should be; the overall effect is calming and prayerful, but the recurrence of the antiphon adds a welcome contrast to the simplicity of the psalm tones, and impresses the repeated text and melody in the minds of all who listen to it. The format also allows for maximum flexibility in musical forces. One can arrange it this way: antiphon (sung by all); verse (begun by cantor and completed by schola); antiphon; etc. Or: antiphon (sung by all); odd verse (sung by cantor); even verse (sung by all); antiphon; etc. Or instead of cantor and tutti, the schola may be divided into two halves. The simple format allows for a ready use of isons and organum.

Now that the TLM is coming back all over the place, Ad Communionem: Antiphons and Psalms is, I would maintain, a required tool for everyone who sings the proper chants. It is one of two books I always carry with me to the choir loft (the other being my Liber Usualis). The book is available in paperback and hardcover. A large sample of the pages may be found here. An index may be found here.

Mr. Lartigue has also produced a number of other books: a newly-typeset Latin edition of the traditional Martyrologium Romanum (updated through 1961, with an appendix of saints canonized after that year); a two-volume edition of traditional Sunday Vespers; Holy Week chants and a complete Kyriale. All of these books are newly typeset and more affordable than their competitors.

Pay a visit to his website:

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