Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Lyonese Liturgical Feature Spotted at the Parish of St-Georges in Lyon, France

Earlier this year, in February of 2008, the NLM reviewed certain ceremonial and liturgical aspects of the rite of Lyons -- the primatial See of Gaul. (See article.)

Like so many of the Western liturgical rites/uses, it too underwent various Romanizations in recent centuries, though -- happily -- it also saw the restoration of some Lyonese features in its 20th century editions -- beginning with the 1904 edition; the last edition being, I believe, that of 1954.

(The 1904 "Missale Romano-Lugdunense")

One of the elements of the rite of Lyons was the use of the "colletin", a type of collar used by the deacon and subdeacon and worn over the dalmatic or tunicle respectively at solemn Mass.

Now this type of vestment is not strictly Lyonese per se; one is also put to mind of the "collarin" used in the Ambrosian rite for instance. Archdale King in Liturgies of the Primatial Sees notes that this vestment is a development upon the apparelled amice. (For more on this aspect, cf. Appareled Amices and Dalmatic Collars and Their History)

The reason I raise this is because I recently saw some of the Christmas photos from the Eglise Saint-Georges in Lyon. While they (apparently) primarily use the 1962 Roman liturgical books rather than the Missale Romano-Lugdunense, I was very interested to note their use of the Lyonese colletin:


(Photos credits: Ferruccio Nuzzo)

A perusal of their parish photo album will show that this is not the first time they have used this Lyonese feature.

A Comment upon Promoting the Recovery of Western Liturgical Traditions

This perhaps provides a point for further consideration.

While we all can rightly rejoice in the recovery and revival of the Roman usus antiquior to Catholic parish life, we should likewise advocate, promote and foster the recovery of our other Latin liturgical traditions; traditions that were either lost or replaced following the Council. Accordingly, I would propose that we should promote the recovery of liturgical books such as those of Lyons, the usus antiquior of the Ambrosian rite, the Bragan rite, the Dominican rite, the Carmelite rite and so on.

The Pope's message of continuity and of how we should treasure our liturgical inheritance should not begin and end with the Roman liturgical books. It has value for all Catholics and all liturgical traditions.

Let us then work to recover these venerable Latin liturgical traditions, just as we work to reform the reform and promote the Roman usus antiquior.

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