Monday, October 06, 2008

For the Feast of St. Bruno: Images of the Ancient and Modern Carthusian Liturgy

The Feast of St. Bruno, which is recognized today in both the ancient and modern Roman liturgical calendars, presents an opportunity to revisit some images of the Carthusian liturgy in both its ancient and modern forms.

Some of you will recognize these images from articles here from years past, but others will not have seen them so far.

Some may not be aware that the Carthusian order, which St. Bruno founded, has its own liturgical books specific to the order, similar to the Dominicans. These books were reformed in 1981 ad experimentum -- which they still are today.

To give you a sense of the traditional ceremonial of the Carthusian Missal, the ancient Carthusian liturgy in its conventual form is always sung. At the solemn form of their liturgy, no servers are present and the priest is attended by a deacon who wears neither alb nor dalmatic. For the Gospel, the deacon wears a stole. The subdeacon reads the Epistle at the lectern in the middle of the choir.

Images from the Ancient Carthusian Missal

(The Confiteor as it is done in the ancient Carthusian missal in a private Mass)

(The Carthusian Deacon)

Images from the Modern Carthusian Missal

(The cruciform posture is a feature of both the ancient and modern forms. Similar ritual posture is found in the other Western rites, such as those of the Dominicans, the Ambrosian and Bragan rites, but the Carthusian rubric seems to call for the arms to be held higher aloft)

In addition, this feast perhaps gives some impetus to a project which I began in earnest earlier in the year, which was the task of transcribing a series of articles found in the liturgical quarterly, Magnificat, written and published in the early's 1940's. This series was titled, "The Carthusian Liturgy" and was written by "a [Carthusian] monk of Parkminster" -- the Carthusian monastery in England. These articles gives detailed information about the Carthusian liturgy.

Watch for these.

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