Thursday, May 02, 2013

Compendium of the 1961 Revision of the Pontificale Romanum - Part 5.3: The Reconciliation of a Cemetery (1595 & 1961)

The Pontifical of 1595 also provides for the reconciliation of a violated cemetery by itself, without the need to reconcile a church; this ceremony is much simpler than the reconciliation of a church alone, or that of a church and cemetery together. The bishop wears a white cope and simple miter; a faldstool is set up on a carpet in the middle of the cemetery. The Litany of the Saints is sung, while the bishop kneels at the faldstool; after the invocation, “That Thou may deign to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed”, the bishop rises and sings the following invocations, making the sign of the Cross over the cemetery at the places marked.
That Thou may deign to recon + cile this cemetery. R. We ask Thee, hear us.
That Thou may deign to recon + cile and sancti + fy this cemetery. R. We ask Thee, hear us.
That Thou may deign to recon + cile, sancti + fy and conse + crate this altar and cemetery. R. We ask Thee, hear us.
The cantors finish the Litany, after which the bishop blesses water according to the usual formula of the Rituale Romanum. He then intones the antiphon, “Thou shalt sprinkle me, o Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.” The choir continues it, and then sings Psalm 50 Miserere from which it is taken, without Gloria Patri at the end, and repeats the antiphon.

Meanwhile, the bishop sprinkles holy water throughout the cemetery, especially in the place where the act of profanation took place, going clockwise around it. Returning to the faldstool, he then says with the major ministers “Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise,” and the following prayer, also used when a cemetery is to be reconciled together with a church. (The parts enclosed in red parentheses are omitted in the 1961 revision.)
Kindly Lord, who didst will that the potter’s field be bought as a burying place for strangers; we ask, deign Thou to remember this Thy most clement mystery. (For Thou, o Lord, art our maker, Thou the field of our rest, Thou art the price of this field; Thou gavest also and did receive; Thou didst grant us to rest of the price and in the price of Thy life-giving blood.) Therefore, o Lord, who art the most clement forgiver of our offenses, (a most patient judge, most abundant above all things in the mercy of Thy judgment, that hidest the judgment of Thy just severity behind the mercy of Thy holy redemption,) be present to harken to and effect our reconciliation; and of Thy kindness, purify and reconcile this cemetery, the resting place of Thy pilgrims who await the sojourning in the heavenly fatherland; and forbearing condemnation, raise and glorify the bodies of those who are or will be buried here from the power and compassion of Thy resurrection, to the glory of incorruption. Who art to come to judge the living and the dead, and the world in fire. R. Amen.
The bishop then imparts a solemn blessing; there is no Mass to follow.

In the 1961 revision of the Pontifical, the color of the vestments worn by the bishop and major ministers is changed from white to violet. The bishop wears the mitre called “auryphrigiata” in Latin, the less ornate kind used in Advent and Lent, rather than the simple mitre with no ornamentation. Holy water is blessed before the ceremony, not within it. A faldstool is placed in the middle of the cemetery for no reason at all, since it is not used. The rubrics presume a large cross is set up in the middle of the cemetery; if there is none, the faldstool is placed at the back of the cemetery.

The ceremony begins with “Deus in adjutorium” and “Gloria Patri”, like the hours of the Divine Office, but without Alleluia. The Litany of the Saints is suppressed, and with it, the special invocations sung by the bishop. The bishop then sprinkles holy water throughout the cemetery, starting behind the cross, and going to his right, and then from the cross to the gate, and then from the left side to the right, passing in front of the cross. The rubrics no longer specify that the bishop sprinkles the water especially on the specific place where the violation of the cemetery took place.

As he does this, the choir sings the antiphon “Thou shalt sprinkle me, o Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow,” and repeats it after every two verses of Psalm 50 Miserere, from which it is taken; at the end, Gloria Patri is not said. The antiphon is no longer intoned by the bishop; the rubric specifies that the whole psalm is to be said.

On returning to the faldstool, the bishop turns to face the cemetery (and hence also the people present) says “Dominus vobiscum. Oremus.”, and the prayer “Kindly Lord” noted above; the words enclosed in red parentheses are omitted. The conclusion of the prayer is changed to “Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.” The ceremony concludes with “Dominus vobiscum” and “Benedicamus Domino.”

A new rubric provides for the celebration of a Mass; this rubric is identical to that at the end of the reconciliation of a church. The prayers added to the Mass are the same.

A correction: in the previous post in this series, I erroneously stated that in 1961 revision, a word had been changed (from “dedicate” to “purify”) in one of the prayers in the reconciliation of a church. In point of fact, there was no change; the edition of the 1595 Pontifical which I consulted for the preparation of this series (H. Dessain, 1855) erroneously prints “dedicate” at this point, the word which is used when the same prayer is said during the dedication of a church. The same erroneous reading of the Dessain edition was noted in the description of the ceremony in part 5.1; both posts have been emended accordingly.

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