Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Compendium of the 1961 Revision of the Pontificale Romanum - Part 2.14: The Conclusion of the Dedication (1595)

The bishop now blesses grains of incense which will be burned on the altar, with the following prayer (preceded by “Domine exaudi. Dominus vobiscum. Oremus.”)
O Lord God Almighty, in whose presence the army of Angels stands in trembling, whose service is known to be in spirit and fire, deign Thou to regard, to + bless and to sancti + fy this creature of incense, that all illnesses, all infirmities and snares of the enemy may flee before its perfume, and be driven far away from Thy creation; so that what Thou has redeemed with the precious blood of Thy Son, may never be harmed by the bite of the wicked serpent. (short conclusion)
He sprinkles them with holy water, and with them forms five crosses, each with five grains of incense in it, upon the five places on the altar which he has previously anointed, following the same order as the anointings. Over these he lays a thin cross of wax, each of which is then lighted at its four ends. (The priest who has all the while been incensing the altar now retires.) The bishop kneels before the altar, and intones the following chant, the second Alleluia of the Mass of Pentecost, which is completed by the choir. (Between Septuagesima and Easter, the word Alleluia is of course omitted.)
Alleluia, Come, o Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
The burning of incense on one of the side-altars during the during the dedication of the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary. Photo © 2010 F.S.S.P.
The bishop rises, and the schola sings the following two antiphons, which are not intoned by the bishop. The first is the third antiphon of Matins of St. Michael the Archangel; the second is based on various texts of the same Office, but in this particular form is proper to this ceremony.
Ant. The smoke of the incense ascended up before God from the hand of the Angel.
Ant. The Angel stood by the altar of the temple, having a golden thurible in his hand, and much incense was given to him, and the smoke of the incense ascended up before God.
When the chant is finished, the bishop says with the ministers “Oremus. Flectamus genua. Levate.”, followed by this prayer:
O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and eternal God, in Thy clemency and mercy hear our humble prayers, and look upon the burnt-offering of this Thy altar, that it may be made acceptable not by visible fire, but, being infused with the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, may it ascend as a most sweet odor, and to those who rightly receive it, may the Eucharist be as medicine, and profit unto eternal life. (short conclusion)
When the wax and incense are fully burnt, the ashes are cleaned away and put in the sacrarium. The bishop now stands before the altar at the bottom of the steps, and says with the ministers “Oremus. Flectamus genua. Levate.”, followed by this prayer:
Almighty God, unto whose honor, as also to that of the most blessed Virgin Mary, and of all the Saints, and to the name and memory of Saint N., we unworthy consecrate this altar, in Thy clemency and mercy hear our humble prayers, and grant that the offerings made on this table may be acceptable to Thee, pleasing, rich, and ever filled with the dew of Thy Holy Spirit; so that at all times, Thou may relieve the anxieties, cure the ailments, hear the prayers, receive the vows, strengthen the good desires, and grant the petitions of Thy family, that maketh supplication to Thee in this place.
It ends with the long conclusion, which segues into the preface dialogue and the following preface.
Truly it is fitting and just… And, that we may present the tribute of our service, with greater care and diligence, and with more devoted worship, especially on this occasion, on which Thou preferest the habit of religious minds to the adorning of walls; do Thou deign to bless and sanctify this temple, wherein is kept the memory of Thy Saint N., in reverence of whom and in whose honor we dedicate this altar to Thy most sacred name. Moved therefore by his prayers, deign Lord to pour forth upon this altar Thy bless + ing and Thy heavenly sancti + fication. May the Angels of brightness stand by, and may it shine through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. May it enjoy the same favor before Thee as did that holy altar which Abraham, our father in the faith, built when he would immolate his son, as a figure of our redemption; as that which Isaac established in the sight of Thy majesty; as that which Jacob raised up as he saw the Lord in a great vision; that here Thou may hear all that pray, here sancti + fy their offerings, and here bless what is laid upon (the altar), and distribute what Thou has blessed. May it therefore be the everlasting glory of Thy Church; may it be the table prepared for Thy heavenly and spiritual banquet. Do Thou, therefore, O Lord, with Thy own mouth, bless the victims laid upon it, and receive them when blessed, and grant to us all that by partaking of the same, we may obtain everlasting life.
The long conclusion is said in a low voice, but audible to those standing near the bishop.

The bishop now intones the following antiphon; it is completed by the choir, who sing it with psalm 67 Exsurgat Deus; at the end, Gloria Patri is said, but the antiphon is not repeated. (This is the second antiphon of Matins of Pentecost, minus one alleluia at the end.)
Ant. Confirm, o God, what thou hast wrought in us, from Thy holy temple, which is in Jerusalem, alleluia.
While this is sung, he makes a cross on the front of the altar with the Holy Chrism, saying nothing. When the choir finishes the psalm, he says:
Let us pray. We humbly implore Thy majesty, o Lord, that Thou may deign mightily to + bless and sancti + fy this altar, anointed with the with the offering of sacred unction to receive the gifts of Thy people; so that what has now been anointed by us, though unworthy, with the anointing of holy Chrism, under the invocation of Thy name, unto the honor of the most blessed Virgin Mary, and of all Thy Saints, and unto the memory of Saint N., may please Thee, and remain an everlasting altar; that whatsoever henceforth shall be offered and consecrated upon it, may be a worthy holocaust to Thee, and the sacrifices of all who offer here may be kindly received by Thee, holy Lord; and through them the bonds of our sins be loosed, their stains wiped clean, forgiveness of them obtained, and graces received; and thus, together with Thy Saints and elect, may we merit to receive eternal life. (short conclusion)
The bishop now anoints with the Chrism the place where the mensa meets the supports beneath it in four places; the rubric of the Pontifical says “as if he were joining them together.” This is done first at the rear corner of the Gospel side, then its front corner, the rear corner of the Epistle side, and its front corner. At each place, he makes three crosses with the Chrism, one at the naming of each Person of the Holy Trinity, saying “In the name of the + Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy + Spirit.” This anointing is not accompanied by any chant.

He then says:
Let us pray. We humbly beseech Thee, almighty and eternal God, through Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou may sanctify this altar, prepared for holy purposes, with a heavenly + blessing; and as, with wonderful condescension, Thou didst receive the offering of the great priest Melchisedech, so also deign Thou always to accept the gifts laid upon this new altar; that the people which shall come together in this holy house of Thy church, preserved with heavenly sanctification through these offerings, may also obtain perpetual salvation of their souls (short conclusion).
The subdeacons now clean the altar, while the bishop sits and washes his hands. The altar cloths and other accoutrements are then presented to be blessed by the bishop; since these may be blessed before the consecration ceremony, the blessing of them will be described in a different article. The altar is clothed and decorated for Mass.

The bishop, still seated, imposes and blesses incense as usual, then goes to the altar with the major ministers. He intones the following antiphon, which is finished by the choir. As they sing, the bishop incenses the table of the altar by making one cross over it with the thurible. This is repeated three times.
Ant. Let all the earth adore Thee, o Lord, and sing to Thee; let it sing a psalm to Thy name, o Lord.
The bishop then says:
Let us pray. Let there descend upon this altar, we beseech Thee, o Lord our God, Thy Holy Spirit, to sanctify upon it our gifts, and those of Thy people, and worthily purify the hearts of those that receive them. (short conclusion)
Let us pray. Almighty everlasting God, with the blessing of heavenly power sancti + fy this altar dedicated to Thy name; and show forth the gift of Thy aid to all who hope in Thee; that here the Sacraments may ever obtain their power, and each prayer its effect. (long conclusion.)
The ceremony ends with the bishop saying “Dominus vobiscum” and “Benedicamus Domino.” He now retires to the sacristy to prepare for Mass, but if he is too tired, another priest may say the Mass in his stead.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: