Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Carmelite Rite in New York

From a reader:

This Thursday at St. Joseph's Church (416 3rd Street, Troy NY) Father Romaeus Cooney OCarm. will use the historic Missale Carmelitarum for the the Feast of the Ascension. This will be a Missa Cantata according to the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre; the rite of Mass proper to the Order of Carmelites.

As this form of the liturgy has not been celebrated publicly by any priest in the Order of Carmelites since adopting the Roman Liturgy in 1972, we invite any and all to join with us for this rare & historic event Thursday evening at 6:30pm.

The Carmelite Rite

From the very beginning of its existence Carmelite liturgy has been connected with the Rite of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. For centuries, in all the official documents, the Liturgy of the Carmelites was described as the "Rite of the brothers of our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel according to the custom of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem". The Holy Sepulchre is important for Carmelites not because it was the site of burial for Jesus but because it was the place of the Resurrection. The Rite itself comes from France as it was brought to the Holy Land by French crusaders. There is also influence from the Augustinian tradition as the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre followed the Rule of St. Augustine. It was this liturgy that the Carmelites took as the source of their inspiration. Different Carmelites who have studied our liturgy suggest that the Carmelites from the earliest times on Mount Carmel celebrated the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre. The first written proof of this is in our Constitutions of 1281 from the London General Chapter. These Constitutions are important for a number of reasons since they are the earliest Constitutions to survive. It is suggested that the Carmelites of that time formally adopted what was already their custom since the days on Mount Carmel. -- Francis Kemsley O.Carm.

We celebrate this form of the Carmelite liturgy as part of the living tradition of the Church and the Order of Carmelites, in accordance with the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and the instruction Universae Ecclesiae(Ref, art.34). It is our hope that this treasure of the Carmelite Order, and this historic liturgy of the Church will continue to nourish the lives of the faithful.

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