There are also a host of images of the interior of St. Joseph's in Wheeling at this site.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
There are also a host of images of the interior of St. Joseph's in Wheeling at this site.
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter asks all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate Friday, August 1 to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering terrible persecution in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.It is a day, we believe, chosen wisely by that Institute: we urge all our Catholic brethren, East and West, attached to the Ordinary Form (Mass of Paul VI) or to the Extraordinary Form (Ancient Mass), whatever their theological bent, to join this worldwide prayer day. Whether you consider yourself a more liberal, conservative, traditional, or just plain Catholic, let us join together in this worldwide Adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the Angels and Saints.
August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)
This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.
It is also appropriately chosen because Pastors and Chaplains will have 10 days to prepare properly, to contact projects that help Christians in need and collect all kinds of contributions for the Christians of the Middle East (from Aid to the Church in Need to CNEWA, the Syrian and Chaldean Catholic Churches, and other organizations) and, in particular, to add to their bulletins and convey to their congregations how to participate next Sunday, July 27.
Please, spread this initiative around. Copy, paste, and just let this idea spread around throughout the world, through the web, through social networks, to your family and friends.
Bishops, Pastors, priests, join us. First Fridays are a special day of the month, and nothing better next First Friday, August 1, than for all Catholics around the world to join in Adoration before Our Lord to implore his mercy and kindness for our most neglected brethren in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. (quaesivi illum et non inveni.) The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go ...St Gregory the Great refers the words “I will seek him whom my soul loveth” to John 20, 11-18, when Mary meets Christ at the tomb and mistakes him for the gardener, in the Breviary homily for Easter Thursday.
We must consider how great was the force of love that had enkindled this woman’s heart, who left not the tomb of the Lord, though even the disciples were gone away. She sought Him Whom she had not found there, (exquirebat, quem non invenerat) and as she sought Him, she wept, … Whence it came to pass that she alone, who had stayed behind to seek Him, was the only one who then saw Him.“When I had a little passed by them” (i.e. the watchmen of the city) then refers to tomb of the Lord being just outside the city, and the words “I held him: and I will not let him go” to her embracing the Lord, until He says to her, “Cling to me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.”
She is also traditionally held in the West to be Martha and Lazarus’ sister, of whom Christ says in the same Gospel “Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10, 38-42) This passage is read on the feast of St. Martha on July 29th, the octave of Mary Magdalene; from it, Martha has traditionally been seen as the symbol of the active life, and Mary of the contemplative. The same passage was then read also on the feast of the Assumption, a custom inherited, like the feast of itself, from the Byzantine Rite; this was understood allegorically in the Middle Ages to signify that in the person and life of the Virgin Mary are perfected both the active and the contemplative life.
|Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, by Henryk Semiradzki, 1886|
Mary Magdalen and the other Mary came to the grave seeking the Lord, and they saw an Angel like lightning sitting on the stone, who said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He has risen as he said; in Galilee you will find him’. To him let us cry aloud, ‘Lord, risen from the dead, glory to you!’In the traditional Roman Rite, Matthew 28, 1-7 is the Gospel of the Easter vigil, which concludes with a very much shortened Vespers; the antiphon for the Magnificat is the beginning of the Gospel, “And in the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher, alleluia.” Even though the term “Apostle of the Apostles” does not occur in the Roman liturgical books, the liturgy itself proclaims this role for her as the first person named in the accounts of the Resurrection.
Other medieval breviaries, however, adopted one of various proper Offices for the feast, of which the most interesting is that found in the Dominican Breviary. At First Vespers, the antiphon of the Magnificat reads as follows:
Celsi mériti María, quae solem verum resurgentem vidére meruisti mortalium prima: óbtine ut nos visu gloriae suae tecum laetíficet in caelis.And at the Benedictus:
Mary of high merit, that first among mortals did merit to see the true Sun rising; obtain that He may grant us joy by the vision of His glory in heaven.
O mundi lampas, et margaríta praefúlgida, quae resurrectiónem Christi nuntiando, Apostolórum Apóstola fíeri meruisti! María Magdaléna, semper pia exoratrix pro nobis adsis ad Deum, qui te elégit.Outstanding among the responsories of Matins is the eighth, (necessarily not as beautiful in my poor English).
O lamp of the world, and bright-shining pearl, who by announcing the Resurrection of Christ, didst merit to become the Apostle of the Apostles! Mary Magdalene, of thy kindness stand thou ever before God, who chose thee, to entreat him for us.
R. O felix felícis mériti María, quæ resurgentem a mórtuis Dei Filium vidére meruisti mortalium prima! Pro cujus amore, sæculi contempsisti blandimenta: * sédula nos apud ipsum, quæsumus, prece commenda. V. Ut tecum mereámur, o Dómina, pérfrui felicíssima ipsíus præsentia. Sédula.The Office used by the Premonstatensians shares a number of texts with that of the Dominicans; it contains this very interesting and uncommonly long (and hence rather rarely used) antiphon:
R. O happy Mary of happy merit, that first among mortals did merit to see the Son of God rising from the dead; for whose love thou disdained the blandishments of the world: * by thy prayer, we ask thee, commend us to Him with diligence. V. That with thee, o Lady, we may merit to enjoy his most happy presence. By thy prayer.
Fidelis sermo et omni acceptione dignus, quia Christus Jesus venit in hunc mundum peccatores salvos facere; et qui nasci dignatus est de Maria Virgine, tangi non dedignatus est a Maria peccatrice. Haec est illa Maria, cui dimissa sunt peccata multa, quia dilexit multum. Haec est enim illa Maria, quae resurgentem a mortuis prima omnium videre meruit Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, quem pro nostris reatibus oret, quaesumus, in aeternum.Lastly, we may note the Preface of her feast in the Ambrosian liturgy, another text that can only suffer in translation.
A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners; and He that deigned to be born of the Virgin Mary, did not disdain to be touched by Mary the sinner. This is that Mary, to whom many sins were forgiven, because she loved much. This is indeed that Mary, who before all others merited to see our Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead; and we ask that she pray Him forever for our sins.
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos te, Pater omnipotens, omni tempore glorificare, et in die festivitatis hodiernae Beatae Mariae Magdalenae exultantibus animis praedicare. Quam sic tui amoris igne accendere dignatus es; ut ad Christi Filii tui vestigia devota corrueret, et eadem pretioso unguento perfunderet. Osculari quoque, ac lacrimis rigare, et capillis non cessat extergere, donec audire promeruit, ‘Dimissa sunt tibi peccata, vade in pace.’ O beata fides, divinae misericordiae munita praesidio! O digna conversio, quae tantum munus accepit, ut quae antea draconis antiqui faucibus merito tenebatur astricta, plena jam gaudens libertate, sanctis Apostolis dominincae Resurrectionis mereretur esse praenuncia. Et ideo…
Truly it is fitting and just, meet and profitable to salvation, that we glorify Thee, Father almighty, in every moment, and on this feast day of blessed Mary Magdalene proclaim Thee with spirits rejoicing. Whom Thou didst so deign to kindle with the fire of Thy love, that in devotion she fell at the feet of Christ, Thy Son, and anointed them with precious ointment; and ceased not to kiss them, to wash them with her tears, and wipe them with her hair, until she merits to hear, ‘Thy sins are forgiven go, in peace.’ O blessed faith, strengthened with the help of divine mercy. O worthy conversion, that merited to receive so great a gift, that she who was formerly deservedly held fast in the jaws of the ancient dragon, now rejoicing in complete freedom, should merit to be the first to announce the Lord’s Resurrection to the Holt Apostles. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels…
|The Penitent Magdalene, by Caravaggio, ca. 1594-95.|
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
On Monday 28 July at St Thomas, Apostle, Washington DC, there will be a Prayer Vigil to pray for our beloved brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in Iraq. Holy Mass will be celebrated at 7pm following which there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight. Priests are invited to concelebrate the Mass, and there will be an opportunity for confession.
Last May while visiting a dear friend, Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., a monk of the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz in Lower Austria and maintainer of the ever-thoughtful blog Sancrucensis, I had the opportunity to see certain parts of the monastery that I had never seen (or seen up close) before. Among the stages of our tour were the immensely beautiful wooden choir stalls where the monks chant the daily Divine Office, to which they are very devoted.
In the 1970s, hand-size editions of the breviary, hymnarium, antiphonarium, and psalter were printed. Inevitably, the wear and tear on the books, together with the desire for something more permanent and more worthy of the splendor of the liturgy, motivated the monastery to take a decisive step. In the early years of the millennium, work began on the large choir edition of the Psalter. For the new edition, everything was newly typeset by one of the monks, including all the music (this took him several years).
|Saint Praxedes, by Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1655 (The attribution to Vermeer has often been disputed.)|
Saint Praxedes is depicted in art squeezing the blood of the martyrs which she has collected from a sponge into a vessel. In her basilica in Rome, a part of the floor in the central nave is marked as the place where their relics were laid to rest within the building that was once her house.
Especially on this day, let us remember and pray for all persecuted Christians in every part of the world.
“Today (the Christians of Mosul, Iraq) are persecuted, they are driven away, they have to leave their homes without the possibility of taking anything with them. To these families, to these people, I want to express my closeness and assure them of my constant prayer. Beloved brothers and sisters who are so persecuted, I know how much you are suffering, I know that you have been stripped of everything. I am with you in the faith of Him who has conquered evil! And to those of you, here in the piazza and those who are following us by means of television, I address the invitation to remember these Christian communities in prayer.” - His Holiness Pope Francis at yesterday’s Angelus.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Seen above is the central panel of the altarpiece painted by Pietro Lorenzetti (ca. 1280 - 1347) for the Carmelite church of his native city of Siena, San Niccolò del Carmine. The altarpiece is now dismembered and removed from its original frame; most of the surviving pieces are now in the National Gallery of Siena, but the two narrower panels originally on either side of the central one are in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and a smaller piece from the top is at Yale University.
To the left of the Virgin stands St Nicholas, to whom the church is dedicated; to the right is the prophet Elijah. On the scroll in his hands are written the words which he speaks in 3 Kings 18, 19: “Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty.” The Carmelites have traditionally honored the prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha as their founders; in the liturgical books of both the Old Observance and the Discalced, they are each given the title “Our Father”, as is St Dominic in the Dominican Use, St Benedict in the Monastic Use, etc. Both orders also add the name of Elijah to the Confiteor, the Discalced even before that of St Theresa of Avila. Their feasts were kept with octaves, a traditional privilege of patronal feasts, even before an octave was given to the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th.
The tradition behind this is recorded in the lessons of the Roman Breviary for that day, with the cautionary parenthetical note “ut fertur – as the story goes” added at the beginning. In the Books of Kings, there are several references to a group of holy men called “the sons of the prophets”. They foretell to Elisha that Elijah is to be taken away by the Lord, although Elisha already knows this, and afterwards bear witness that “the spirit of Elijah resteth upon Elisha,” who then works several miracles on their behalf. The traditional Carmelite legend claims that a group of men dedicated to God remained on Mount Carmel until the days of New Testament, when they were “prepared by the preaching of John the Baptist for the coming of Christ”, and “at once embraced the faith of the Gospel.” They are also said to be the first Christians to build a chapel in honor of the Virgin Mary, on the very spot on Mount Carmel where Elijah had seen the “little cloud”, understood as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
One of the two pieces now in Pasadena, one shows St John the Baptist; it was originally placed to the right of the central panel, so that he would be next to Elijah, since John went before the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, and the Lord Himself said in reference to him, “Elijah has already returned.” On the left was the panel of Elisha, looking very much like an Eastern monk, despite his Carmelite habit; on his scroll is written “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw him, and cried: My father, my father, the chariot of I[srael, and the driver thereof.]” (4 Kings 2, 11-12)
Even for an age in which the veneration of the Virgin Mary may truly be described as omnipresent, the city of Siena stood out as a place of particular devotion to Her. In 1260, before the crucial battle of Montaperti, the city placed herself by a special vow under the protection of the Virgin, and proceeded to heavily defeat her long-time rival Florence, whose army was nearly twice as large as her own. Both the cathedral and the city hall were prominently decorated with famous paintings of the Virgin enthoned, of the type known as a “Maestà”; the former had that of Duccio di Buoninsegna, commissioned less than twenty years before Lorenzetti’s Carmelite altarpiece, and the latter that of Simone Martini from just twelve years before. When Lorenzetti’s work was finished, the mendicant Carmelites could not afford to pay for it, and so the artist’s fee was provided by the city itself.
Despite all this, the panels at the bottom of the altarpiece are not dedicated to the principal subject of the main panel, as they would normally be, but rather to the prophet Elijah. In the first, an angel appears to his father, with a prophecy of his son’s future greatness, just as an angel would later appear to the father of St John the Baptist.
In the second, we see hermits in the desert around a fountain, which was said to have been built for them by Elijah. These would be the spiritual ancestors of the Carmelite Order, men who lived as monks in the Greek tradition in the Holy Land, before being organized under a rule during the period of the Crusader kingdoms.
The striped mantle which they are wearing is part of the habit worn by the Carmelites when they still lived in the Holy Land; because of it they were often called in Latin “fratres barrati – barred friars” or “fratres virgulati – striped friars.” A tradition of the medieval Carmelites held that these stripes represented the tracks of the chariot that took Elijah into heaven, and had been inherited as part of their habit from Elisha.
When the Carmelites were forced to abandon the Holy Land at the fall of the Latin kingdoms, they brought their traditions, including the habit, with them to Western Europe, where the striped mantle was considered completely outlandish for religious of any kind, but especially for medicants. Many of the universities refused to admit them dressed that way; hence, the decision of a general chapter held at Montpelier in 1287 to replace it with the white mantle still worn to this day. This was a matter of some controversy within the order at the time, and the prophets are shown by Lorenzetti in the “new” habit probably as a gesture to persuade the friars to accept it.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
(In these descriptions, the incensing at the Offertory will for the most part be omitted, partly because it is not especially important to the specific topic of the series, partly because there is no description of it in many of the missals of the medieval Uses. The term “medieval” here is used in reference to Uses of the Roman Rite that trace their origins to the Middle Ages, even though the printed sources out of which I will describe them are post-Medieval.)
Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, quam tibi offero in memoriam Incarnationis, Nativitatis, Passionis, Resurrectionis, Ascensionisque Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et in honore omnium Sanctorum tuorum, qui tibi ab initio mundi placuerunt, et quorum hodie festivitates celebrantur, et quorum hic nomina et reliquiae habentur, ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis ad salutem, quatinus illi omnes pro nobis intercedere dignentur in caelis, quorum memoriam facimus in terris.
Receive, o holy Trinity, this offering, which I offer to Thee in memory of the Incarnation, Birth, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of all the Saints who have pleased you from the beginning of the world, and whose feasts are celebrated today, and whose names and relics are kept here; that it may profit unto their honor and our salvation; that all those whose memory we keep on earth, may deign to intercede for us in Heaven.The second is the prayer In spiritu humilitatis, which I give here in the form used in the Roman Missal of St. Pius V. The medieval variants in this texts are usually no more than small differences in the order of the words.
In spiritu humilitatis, et in animo contrito suscipiamur a Te, Domine: et sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu Tuo hodie, ut placeat Tibi, Domine Deus. - 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 please Thee, o Lord.
At the Offertory, the priest uncovers the chalice, then lifts and closes his hands as he says the words of Psalm 115, “What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things he hath rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord” He then lifts the chalice, together with the paten and host that rest on top of it, saying the following prayer, a much simplified version of Suscipe, sancta Trinitas.
Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offero in memoriam passionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi; et præsta ut in conspectu tuo tibi placens ascendat, et meam et omnium fidelium salutem operetur æternam.
Receive, o Holy Trinity, this offering, which I offer to Thee in memory of the passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ; and grant that in Thy sight it may be pleasing and ascend to Thee, and effect my eternal salvation and that of all the faithful.After laying the host on the corporal, he washes his fingers, saying only three verses of Psalm 25, where the Roman Rite has seven and the doxology. “I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: that I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth.” He then returns to the middle of the altar, and bowing lay says the Dominican version of In spiritu humilitatis, with the addition noted in bold type.
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.Turning to the people, he then says “Orate, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum pariter in conspectu Domini sit acceptum sacrificium. – Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice, which is equally yours, may be accepted in the sight of the Lord.” As in a number of medieval uses, no response is made to the Orate fratres. Before the Secret, the priest adds “Hear, o Lord, my prayer: and let my cry come to thee. Let us pray.”
Here we must note in particular the presence in the Orate fratres of the word “pariter – equally”, an adverb modifying the word “vestrum”, to express the union of the faithful with the priest in the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice. This is a variant common to a number of medieval Uses, including the two which follow here, those of the Carmelites of the Old Observance and the Premonstratensians.
|A page of the Ritus servandus of a Dominican Missal from 1687, explaining the Offertory ritual. (available on googlebooks)|
The chalice is prepared before the Mass, as noted above in the Dominican Use. After saying the Offertory antiphon, the priest uncovers the chalice, then makes the sign of the Cross over the chalice and host, saying “In nomine Patris etc.” He then lifts them all together with both hands, “raising his eyes to God”, as the rubric says, “and with devout mind” says the Carmelite version of Suscipe, sancta Trinitas.
Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offerimus in commemorationem Incarnationis, Nativitatis, Passionis, Resurrectionis Ascensionisque Domini nostri Jesu Christi: et adventus Spiritus Sancti, et in honore beatæ et gloriosæ Dei Genitricis semperque Virginis Mariæ, et omnium sanctorum tuorum, qui tibi placuerunt ab initio mundi; et pro salute vivorum et requiem omnium fidelium defunctorum.The priest lays the chalice and host on the corporal, and arranges the paten, the pall and the purificator in their places. He then lifts his eyes, opens and closes his hands, bows, and makes the sign of the Cross once again over the host and chalice saying, “Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii + et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super hanc oblationem, et maneat semper. – May the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, Son + and Holy Spirit, come down upon this offering and abide forever.”
Receive, o holy Trinity, this offering, which we offer to Thee in commemoration of the Incarnation, Birth, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the coming of the Holy Spirit, and in honor of the blessed and glorious Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the Saints who have pleased you from the beginning of the world, and for the salvation of the living, and the rest of all the faithful departed.
There follows the washing of the fingers, with the same verses of Psalm 25 and as in the Roman Missal. Returning to the middle of the altar, he once lifts his eyes, opens and closes his hands, and bows, saying In spiritu humilitatis as in the Dominican Use (with a slight difference in word order). He then makes the sign of the Cross over himself.
The Orate fratres reads as follows: “Orate pro me, fratres: ut meum pariter et vestrum Deo sit acceptabile sacrificium – Pray for me, brethren, that my sacrifice, which is equally yours, may be acceptable to God.” An edition of the Carmelite Missal printed at Brescia, Italy, in 1490 indicates no response, but pre-Tridentine missals are sometimes rather imprecise. In the 1621 edition printed at Venice, a response is given, words of Psalm 19, “May the Lord be mindful of all thy sacrifices: and may thy whole burnt offering be made fat. May he give thee according to thy own heart; and confirm all thy counsels.” (A similar response was given in the Use of York in England.) The priest then says “Hear O Lord... Let us pray.” as noted above in the Dominican Use, before the Secret.
|The frontispiece of a Carmelite Missal printed in 1621, showing the lamentable habit of updating liturgical books in ink. (available on googlebooks)|
When pouring water into the chalice, the priest says “Fiat hæc commixtio vini et aquæ pariter in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, de cujus latere exivit sanguis et aqua. – May this mingling of water and wine together be done in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whose side there came forth blood and water.” This reference to the blood and water that flowed from Christ’s side, as recounted in John 19, 34, is found in other missals as well, such as those the Ambrosian Rite and the Carthusians.
The rubric that follows says “While the host and chalice are offered”, but it is not specified how. The words said here are “Panem cælestem + et calicem + salutaris accipiam, et nomen Domini invocabo. – I will take up the bread of heaven and the chalice of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” Presumably he makes the sign of the Cross over them at the places marked. After the chalice has been covered, the priest says, “Veni, invisibilis sanctificator; sanctifica hoc sacrificum tibi praeparatum. – Come, invisible Sanctifier; sanctify this sacrifice prepared unto Thee.”
Bowing before the altar, he then says the Suscipe sancta Trinitas as follows.
Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offerimus in memoriam passionis, resurrectionis et ascensionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi: et in honorem beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis, et sancti Joannis Baptistæ, et omnium cælestium virtutum, et omnium sanctorum qui tibi placuerunt ab initio mundi; ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem: et ut illi omnes pro nobis et pro cunctis fidelibus vivis et defunctis orare dignentur in cælis, quorum memoriam facimus in terris. Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.In spiritu humilitatis is not said. The Orate fratres is labelled in the rubric “The priest’s supplication to the people.” “Orate, fratres, pro me peccatore: ut meum pariter ac vestrum in conspectu Domini sit acceptum sacrificium. – Pray for me, a sinner, brethren, that my sacrifice, which is equally yours, may be accepted in the sight of the Lord.” The people’s response begins with words taken from the prayer by which the celebrant blesses the deacon before he sings the Gospel. “Dominus sit in corde tuo et in ore tuo; suscipiatque Dominus Deus de manibus tuis sacrificium istud, et orationes tuæ ascendant in memoriam ante Deum pro nostra et totius populi salute. – May the Lord be in thy heart and in thy mouth, and may the Lord God receive this sacrifice from thy hands, and may thy prayers ascend in remembrance before God, for our salvation and that of all the people.”
Receive, o holy Trinity, this offering, which we offer to Thee in memory of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of the blessed Mary ever-Virgin, and of Saint John the Baptist, and all of the heavenly powers, of all the Saints who have pleased you from the beginning of the world, that it may profit unto their honor, and to our salvation; and that all those whose memory we keep on earth, may deign to pray in Heaven for us and for all the faithful, living and deceased. That livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
The same Orate fratres and response to it are found in the Use of the Cistercians, an order contemporary with the Premonstratensian; the offertory of the Cistercian and Carthusian Missals will be described in the next article in this series.
Friday, July 18, 2014
The Pontifical High Mass was preceded by the celebration of the office of Terce, during which the Bishop was vested at the throne. The Ordinary for the Mass was Pier Luigi da Palestrina’s Missa Tu es Petrus (1572) with the Propers taken from the Choralis Constantinus of Heinrich Isaac (c. 1455-1517), Kappelmeister to the Imperial Court at Innsbruck. The Ecce Sacerdos Magnus at the entrance of the Bishop, and the Te Deum at the end of Mass were by Tomás Luis de Victoria. The music was prepared and sung by the Lassus Scholars, Dublin, under the direction of Dr. Ite O'Donovan. The Organist was Dr. Peter McKeever.
Manfred Hauke, Lugano
The Deacon and Ministerial Action in the Person of Christ. Fruits of the Recent Discussion on the Specific Profile of Sacramental Diaconate
The presentation was based on the Motu proprio Omnium in mentem (2009) which introduces a modification of the Codex of Canon Law on the difference between the bishop and the priest, at one side, and the deacon, at the other side. According to this change the bishop and the priest act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas the deacon acts in the person of Christ the Servant. The Motu proprio, however, does not state that the precedent formulations were false, but it wants to refer to the text on the diaconate in the Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium 29). This modification, which corresponds to some similar changes also in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, poses the systematic question whether also the deacon represents Christ the Head of the Church or even whether he belongs to the Sacrament of Orders, if he does not act in the person of Christ.
The conference describes the action of the deacon in the person of Christ according to the Church Fathers and discusses the systematic topic of the headship of Christ represented by Holy Orders, referred to the deacon. The diverse participation in the same Sacrament manifests itself in the fact that certain functions of the ordained ministry are restricted to the priest, especially the consecration of Eucharist and sacramental absolution. The analysis of the participation of ordained ministers in the three offices of Christ and in the action of Christ as Head of the Church shows different accents which have favored the formulation of the Motu proprio Omnium in mentem.
The attributions of “servant” to the deacon and “head” to the bishop and priest are comparable with the appropriations in Trinitarian theology (God Father as Creator and the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier, for instance), but they cannot be accepted as determination of the specific essence of the three grades of Holy Orders. The action in the person of Christ the Head does not imply only functions of leadership (which in the deacon are less accentuated than in the bishop and the priest), but also the mediation of divine life and divine truth. For this reason, the modifications of the Codex of Canon Law and of some texts in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are compatible with the precedent formulations that the deacon, according to his grade, acts in the person of Christ the Head.
Dieter Böhler SJ
Levi’s Temple Service and the Messiah according to Luke
This conference investigates the meaning and importance attributed by Luke to the Temple in Jerusalem and its Levitical cult for the Messiah and his messianic activity in Israel. First it explores how Luke portrays the Temple in Jerusalem as the centre of Jesus’ teaching activity, the house of God, which Jesus claims for himself as the teacher of Israel, for God, his Father and as a house of prayer for God’s people. No other Gospel concentrates Jesus’ life and activity in the sanctuary of Israel as Luke does. But it is not just concerned with the temple as a building. Israel’s liturgy which is celebrated in this sanctuary - the Levitical cult - as prescribed in the Torah of Moses is the narrative frame of Luke’s Gospel into which he inserts his account of the life of Jesus right from his birth and childhood until his death and resurrection.
Old Testament liturgy is the framework around which Luke describes the life and activity of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. In Luke’s account, Jesus hands this biblical cult over to his disciples before he himself ascends to heaven and returns to his Father. That is why Luke shows us the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles going up to the temple for prayer at the hour of sacrifice whenever they are in Jerusalem. They reclaim their place in Israel’s temple and temple liturgy.
Christian liturgy, according to Luke in the Gospel and later in the Acts of the Apostles, is a kind of continuation of Israel’s Levitical service, Israel’s God-given liturgy enriched with the mysteries of Christ which Luke filled into this Old Testament temple service. Just as the Christian Easter is a combination of the Jewish Passover and the paschal mystery of Christ, so too, Christ’s mysteries filled into the memory of the Exodus during the Last Supper, enriching - not replacing - the older content of the feast. In the same way, Christian liturgy is the divine service of the Old Testament enriched with Christ’s paschal mystery.
Rev Dr Thomas J McGovern
John Paul II and his teaching on priesthood in persona Christi
This paper examines the relationship between the mission of the priest and the priesthood of Christ. The priest shares in Christ’s consecration and mission through the sacrament of Holy Orders. Participation in the priesthood of Christ consists in a configuration with Christ the Head of the Church. Consecration is an essential element of priestly ordination by means of which the priest is transformed into a persona sacra (sacred person) and is endowed with the sacra potestas (sacred power).
Discussion of the role of the priest as shepherd of souls leads on logically to a consideration of the concept of pastoral charity. In the case of the priest, charity is qualified as pastoral charity, an interior dynamic which impels him to follow Christ as the Good Shepherd. John Paul II pays particular attention to this characteristic of the priest in his apostolic exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, which is a participation in Christ’s own love for the Church. The idea of the Headship of Christ is an important key for understanding the specific nature of pastoral charity. The expression in persona Christi Capitis (in the person of Christ the Head) emphasises the very close relationship between the priest and Jesus Christ.
Pastoral Charity can also be viewed as an expression of the priest’s spousal love for the Church. John Paul II also sees this love for the Church under the prism of ‘gift of self’. This gift, he says, has no limits, marked as it is by the same apostolic commitment, the total gift of self to the Church, following the example of Christ. Ordination enables the priest to act in persona Christi, the ultimate source of the dignity of the priest. Acting in the person of Christ, he is the mediator of the message of salvation, and the means to achieve holiness.
Cardinal Burke marked the publication and launch of “Celebrating the Eucharist – Communion and Sacrifice” – the proceedings of V Fota International Liturgical Conference. The text of his address is posted here.
Msgr Andrea Bellandi
Fundamental Characteristics of Priestly Ministry as outlined in the writings of Joseph Ratzinger
These writings extend from the years immediately preceding the Second Vatican Council to the election of Joseph Ratzinger to the Chair of Peter. The reason for the ordained ministry, as well as its meaning and development, cannot be understood without original and immediate reference to the person and ministry of Christ. This is Ratzinger’s starting point and the decisive horizon within which he examines the nature of the priesthood, its function within the Church, and its correct exercise from a pastoral point of view. This would all seem obvious – but it is not. The various images of the priest which have arisen over the course of time – and which also arise today – would tend to confirm this.
According to Ratzinger, an adequate reply to the question “who is the priest?” can only be given after a profound scrutiny of the person of Christ, and especially of his revelatory dynamic, following in this the testimony of the New Testament writers. Firstly, the absolute originality of Christ is not something internally contradictory to God’s plan of revelation. Rather, it is its completion and fulfilment. In this way, the cultic-priestly dimension is not abolished in Christ, rather it is perfected and brought to fulfilment in him. It is in this light that the Letter to the Hebrews understands its theology of the mediation of Christ as a theology of the priesthood of Christ.
A second aspect, which is an essential attribute of the person of Christ, is his being in a state total relationship with the Father: “He who sees me, sees the Father” (John 14:9). He is “the one sent” by the Father. The structure of Christ’s mission is completely relational, because, and even more radically, in it this relational state is expressed at an ontological level: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). It is the Father who acts in everything that he does.
Finally, the Son of God, made man – if we recall Dei Verbum 4 – accomplishes his revelatory work tota Sui ipsius praesentia ac manifestatione, thus, in his words and deeds, of which the Paschal Mystery is the highest summit. In this regard, the proclamation of the Word always has a “sacramental” dynamic, that is, an efficacious Word, which realizes the salvation which it proclaims. Christ’s salvific death constitutes both the definitive act of God’s love made manifest in Christ and the definitive and total expression of all revelation. These three dimensions of Christ’s work of revelation would appear to define in a determining manner that particular task which, from the very first apostolic nucleus, was transmitted to the later Church and which took the form of the ministerial priesthood.
Prof Stefan Heid
The Altar as Centre of Prayer and Priesthood in the Early Church
The altar as the place of prayer and sacrifice is the center-piece of this exposition, reviewing a number of principles, which for centuries determined the image and self-understanding of the priest at the altar.
In addition, patristic, liturgical, and archeological sources of the early and pre-scholastic Church are analyzed, though with an important restriction, namely, that solely the ritual and visual aspects, that is, liturgy and art, are examined, leaving out themes such as the theology of the Holy Mass.
For this reason, the ritually rich offertory, for example, is discussed in depth while the consecration will only be mentioned in passing, since during the first millenium it was not yet ritually marked by the elevation.
A further qualification is that, at least for priests, the present considerations will hardly offer something new. In a period of time, however, in which even those things which were self-understood have become uncertain and threaten to disappear from their central place in the life of the Church, it will do no harm to assess the matter once again on the basis of the Norma Patrum, without making a case for archeologism.
Participants at VII Fota International Liturgical Conference attended a First Mass of Thanksgiving offered by the newly ordained Chanoine Louis Poucin de Wouilt in the presence of Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. The Ordinary for the Mass was Palestrina’s Missa Æterna Christi Munera. The music was prepared and sung by the Lassus Scholars, Dublin, under the direction of Dr. Ite O'Donovan. The Organist was Dr. Peter McKeever.
Tales of Glory: The Stories Icons Tell. Matthew W. Gaul, Phoenix, AZ: Leonine Publishers, 2013. 176 pp.
The Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. Every man, after tasting something sweet, is afterward unwilling to accept that which is bitter, and therefore we cannot dwell longer here.The author of this book, Tales of Glory, had a similar experience when he walked into the the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of St. Nicholas in Watervliet, NY.
|St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church|
When I first arrived at St. Nicholas, I felt hesitant and even unworthy, for the presence of God was so obvious that I almost did not know how to handle it. It was an honor simply to be let in the door....The overwhelming glory of the Lord shines forth in the beauty of the chant and icons, in the passionate language of the texts, and in the humble reverence of the kisses and prostrations.Having had such a profound experience, Mr. Gaul wrote this book as a way to make that experience accessible to others. In Tales of Glory, he takes the reader through a visual tour of St. Nicholas Church. The book is laid out according to the structure of the parish. Chapter one offers a consideration of the vault and the sanctuary, chapter two the iconostasis, then the side shrines, the feasts and scenes depicted along the sides of the vault, and at last a considerations of the icons on the walls of the nave. As the reader pages through this treasure, he is given a little taste of that glory that converted the Rus' and astounded Mr. Gaul and many a visitor since.
Fundamentally, this book is an evangelical book. The reader is offered vibrant pictures of each icon in the Church, and then the author adorns these pictures with the liturgical chant that surrounds them during the Liturgy celebrated within that temple. Thus, whenever an icon is discussed, Mr. Gaul offers us a sidebar with an appropriate liturgical text, so that we march not only through the physical space of the Byzantine temple, but also are carried through the time of the liturgical year.
|This page depicts the evangelists Matthew and Mark, with the side bar noting their respective feast days and quoting the Troparion for each saint.|
Although the Church has a vault ceiling, the images of the evangelists are painted where the pendentives would be in a domed church. Architecturally, the pendentives hold up the weight of the dome, and thus the placement of the evangelists reminds us that they support the weight of the Church.Throughout the book, Mr. Gaul also offers other aids to the reader, so as to enable us to better enter into the spirituality of these icons. At the beginning of each chapter, he offers us a picture of the part of the Church in question, and then offers a patristic quote to help frame our meditations. For example, the following page on the iconostasis introduces Pseudo-Dionysius' writing from The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. Like Pseudo-Dionysius, the reader is invited to penetrate the meaning of the veiled symbol, the revealing screen, so as to comprehend the invisible mysteries.
One thing to be kept in mind, however, is the goal of the book. It is an evangelical work, written by an amateur in the truest since of the word. Mr. Gaul is an amateur, that is, one motivated by love and not by profession or profit. He wishes the reader to enter into his love affair with the Byzantine icons and their liturgical use. As a result, readers hoping to find detailed considerations proper to art historians or experts in the development and theology of the icon should look elsewhere. And while Mr. Gaul will occasionally reference particular theological questions: donations for sacred art in relation to charity for the poor, the role of glossalia in the Church, etc. readers will be disappointed if they expect adequate treatment of those debates.
If instead, however, a reader wants crisp images of lovely parish icons arranged according to a liturgical devotional order in an attempt to recreate the wondrous experience of attending a Byzantine liturgy in a well-adorned temple, all well bound and capable of serving as an elegant coffee-table book, than look no further. And perhaps, as is Mr. Gaul's hope, Tales of Glory will rise from your coffee table and become an evangelical invitation to both the already converted and those still awaiting the Gospel, to breath that incense filled air of Eastern spirituality, and to ascend through the images of grace, on a journey to the Word that all icons speak.
He was a huge fan of the Avengers; a campaign launched by his daughter to arrange for a private screening of the most recent Captain America movie, which he was too ill to see in the theater, gained international attention when most of the actors in the Avengers series, following her suggestion, posted photographs of themselves on twitter and other social media holding signs saying “Captain America (Hulk/Loki etc.) for Strat.” (Loki was probably the most persuasive. The story is told here, inter alia.) All of us here at NLM offer our condolences to his family, and invite our readers to pray for his eternal rest.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.