Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Good Friday Procession in the Rite of Braga

Alma Bracarense, a blog dedicated entirely to the traditional Use of Braga, has been busily translating all its earlier posts into English to reach a wider audience. There is a lot of very interesting information over there, particularly concerning the rites of Holy Week, which were never touched by the reform of Pope Pius XII. Here is a video of a procession held at the end of the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday, with an explanation from one of their posts. As recorded here, it is of course part of the Novus Ordo Good Friday ceremony held in the cathedral.

“During Vespers four clerics, chosen according to dignity, go to the sacristy to prepare a bier/coffin, covered with a black cloth, where four black cloths will be placed which will receive: the books of the Old and New Testament, or the Missal; a small cross; a bell; empty jars and the keys to the church. The priest removes the chalice from on top of the altar, the ministers remove themselves to the Gospel side, and the four clerics place the bier upon the altar. The deacon then closes the bier and places the keys, hung by a silk cord, around the priest’s neck, who then imposes incense without the blessing and incenses the Blessed Sacrament while kneeling.

Once Vespers are over, there immediately follows something particular to the Bragan Rite on this day – a Theophoric Procession.

Immediately after Vespers the priest imposes, without blessing, incense in two thuribles, and incenses the Blessed Sacrament while kneeling. Two torchbearers then head the procession, followed by all the members of the clergy, vested in black, with their amices upon their heads as a sign of mourning. The clergy processes in pairs, with candles, with the younger members in the front. Four priests then transport the bier on their shoulders, beneath a black baldachin. When the two torchbearers being the procession, two clerics sing the verse Heu, heu, Domine: heu, heu, Salvator noster (Alas, alas, O Lord: alas, alas, O our Saviour); the choir responding Pupilli facti sumums absque Patre: Mater nostra vidua (We have been made orphans without a Father: our mother [has been made] a widow). The procession advances to the verse Heu, heu, stopping when the choir answers.

This goes on until the procession arrives at the place where the Blessed Sacrament will be put to rest. A veil or curtain is put up and the priest with his ministers go into the place where the bier is placed. The bier having been placed on the altar and the Blessed Sacrament having been incensed, the priest alternates with the choir (a series of versicles) ... the veil is taken away and the choir sings another responsory, Sepulto Domino, (in a form which) which varies somewhat from the third responsory of the third nocturn of Tenebrae for Holy Saturday. After a brief genuflection in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, all return with their heads covered to the sacristy.  ...”

You can read the complete description of Good Friday over there.

Here are some of their other Holy Week posts:
Palm Sunday part 1 and part 2
Holy Monday to Spy Wednesday
Holy Thursday
Holy Saturday 

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