Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Comparison of the Roman and Carmelite Rites

Our thanks to a Carmelite friar for sharing with us this summary of some of the differences between the Roman and Carmelite Masses, and the accompanying pictures.
By the late 12th century, a community of hermits had formed on Mount Carmel, northwest of Jerusalem. Around 1210, the Carmelites requested and received their Rule from St Albert of Vercelli, Patriarch of Jerusalem, which prescribed Conventual Mass and Canonical Hours “according to the practice of the holy Fathers and the approved custom of the Church.” The church mentioned here is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, in which the liturgy was celebrated by a community of Canons Regular which originated in Paris. Thus Archdale A. King writes, “The rite which [the Canons of the Holy Sepulcher] observed was therefore a Gallo-Roman variant in which local influence played an important part.” (Liturgies of the Religious Orders, p. 247) As the Crusader States became more dangerous, the Carmelites migrated back to Europe, and they brought their liturgy with them. Before the Order was officially approved in the West at the Council of Lyon in 1274, Pope Innocent IV appointed Dominicans to revise their Rule and Constitutions, and their liturgy was likewise “Dominicanized”. However, the Ordinal of 1312, produced by Sibert de Beka, which helped regularized liturgy throughout the Order, sought to restore the original customs of the Carmelite liturgy. Thus the Constitutions of 1324 stipulated, “Let the brothers celebrate the Divine Office with uniformity according to the Rite of the Holy Sepulcher.”
Frontispiece of the last edition of the Carmelite Missal
Although the bull Quo Primum, issued by St Pius V in 1570, protected the continued celebration of the Carmelite Rite, as an approved Rite practiced for over 200 years, the Carmelite Missal was subsequently revised several times to conform more to the Roman Rite. The last edition of the Missale Carmelitarum, published in 1935, was the result of a revision made to comply with the 1911 constitution Divino Afflatu of St Pius X. Therefore, the Carmelite Rite could be described as a Gallo-Roman liturgy from the Holy Land, Dominicanized and Romananized through its history.
In this essay, I will compare the Carmelite Rite of the 1935 Missal to the Roman Rite of the 1962 Missal in five areas of difference. This will not be an exhaustive comparison, and I will not even approach matters of the calendar, but only a brief summary of some notably unique elements of the Carmelite Rite. I will also comment on the origins and meanings of these unique elements with help from a series of articles written on the Rite by Fr Leo Walter, O.Carm., published in the May 1946 issue of the Carmelite journal The Sword. (pp. 136-215)

Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
In the Roman Rite the priest and the server alternately recite Psalm 42, Judica me, Deus, with its antiphon, Introibo ad altare Dei, after having arrived at the altar, but in the Carmelite Rite the priest alone recites Psalm 42, with no antiphon, while going to the altar accompanied by the server. Additionally, in the Roman Rite, after their Confiteors, the priest and the server recite the verses Deus, tu conversus, etc., but the Carmelite Rite does not include this dialogue; instead the verse Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini follows the Confiteors, and then the priest prays Aufer a nobis, and ascends to the altar. Leo Walter writes that the practice of the priest reciting Psalm 42 secretly while going to the altar is a primitive custom, as deduced from Ordos and Ceremonials of the 11th through the 13th centuries.
Preparation of the Chalice and Offertory
In the Roman Rite, the chalice is prepared after the Offertory Prayer, but in the Carmelite Rite the chalice is prepared at the beginning of a Low Mass, before the Confiteors, and between the Epistle and the Gospel in a Solemn Mass. The custom of preparing the chalice at the beginning of Low Masses is also found in the Dominican, Carthusian, Cistercian and other Rites. According to Walter, this practice probably originates from the Gallican Rite, in which the oblations were prepared by ministers before the entrance of the priest to the altar. The practice of preparing the chalice after the Epistle in Solemn Masses was also common in many churches in France. Additionally, in the Roman Rite the host is offered with the prayer Suscipe, sancte Pater, and then the chalice is offered similarly with the prayer Offerimus tibi, Domine, but in the Carmelite Rite, the chalice, on which rests the paten with the host, is offered together with the prayer:
“Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem quam tibi offerimus in commemorationem passionis, resurrectionis, ascensionisque in caelum Domini nostri Jesu Christi: et honore beatae et gloriosae Dei Genitricis semperque Virginis Mariae, et omnium Sanctorum, qui tibi placuerunt ab initio mundi: ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem: et omnibus illis pro nobis intercedentibus in caelis, sit in salutem vivorum, et requiem defunctorum: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.
Accept, most Holy Trinity, this offering, which we are making to Thee in remembrance of the passion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of the glorious mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and of all the saints who have been pleasing to Thee from the beginning of the world, in order that it may add to their honour and aid our salvation. Through the intercession of all the saints in heaven, may it prove to be the salvation of the living and eternal rest of the dead. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.”
According to Walter, the rite of offering bread and wine together is found in several ancient churches and ancient monastic missals. The Suscipe, sancta Trinitas prayer is derived from collects of the ancient Gallican liturgy.
Pictures of a solemn Carmelie Mass celebrated on a priest’s silver jubliee in 1946.
Gestures at the Altar
There are several unique gestures at the altar in the Carmelite Rite, but I will only discuss three. First, during the post-elevation rites, while praying Unde et memores, in the Roman Rite the priest assumes an orans posture with arms raised and extended to chest height, but in the Carmelite Rite the priest extends his arms in the form of a cross (ad modum crucis). Splitting the difference, in the Dominican Rite the priest extends his hands more than usual (mediocriter tamen). Leo Walter writes that this usage of extending the arms in the form of a cross is derived from the Gallican liturgy, adding, “The Gallic usage no doubt received a special meaning when it was carried to Jerusalem to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the territory of which the very place of Christ’s crucifixion can be seen.”
Secondly, during the Supplices te rogamus, in the Roman Rite the priest bows profoundly with hands joined, but in the Carmelite Rite the priest bows profoundly with arms crossed over his chest.
Third, during the Libera nos, quaesumus, in the Roman Rite the priest takes up the paten, signs himself with it, kisses it, and then slides it under the Sacred Host, but in the Carmelite Rite, the priest takes up the paten, kisses it, covers first his left eye with the paten, then his right eye, and then crosses himself. He then places the paten on the corporal to the right of the Sacred Host. According to Walter, the gesture of reverently touching the eyes with the paten was customary in several Gallican and Roman churches in the Middle Ages. The meaning of kissing the paten is debated among liturgists, and most favor the opinion that the purpose of the gesture is to venerate the paten on which the Sacred Host is to be placed, but Leo Water notes a liturgical anomaly. “According to our Rite, the Sacred Host is never placed on the paten, unless something has disappeared from our Rite or the Gallo-Roman Rite of the Holy Sepulchre.”
Ordinary Prayers
There are several ordinary prayers in the Carmelite Rite that differ from those of the Roman Rite, so I will only discuss a few.
First, the Confiteor in the Carmelite Rite is shorter, not mentioning the Archangel Michael, John the Baptist, or Sts Peter and Paul.
“Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatae Maria semper Virgini, beato Patri nostro Eliae, omnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, locutione, opere et omissione: mea culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Patrem nostrum Eliam, omnes Sanctos, et vos, fratres, orare pro me ad Dominum Jesum Christum.
I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever-virgin, to our blessed father Elias, to all the Saints, and to you, brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, deed, and omission, through my fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary, ever-virgin, our blessed father Elias, all the saints, and you, brethren, to pray to our Lord Jesus Christ for me.”
The primitive Confiteor was even shorter, the second half being added at the general chapter in 1312; the Dominican Rite has retained this more primitive and shorter version. According to Walter, the Discalced Carmelites began the custom of mentioning our Holy Father Elias in the Confiteor, which was adopted by the Carmelites in the General Chapter of 1680.
In some instances, prayers are completely different between the Carmelite and Roman Rites; for example, to the Orate fratres prayer, the server responds in the Roman Rite, “Suscipiat Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuis, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui, ad utilitatem quoque nostram, totiusque Ecclesiae suae sanctae.” In the Carmelite Rite, the response is “Memor sit Dominus omnis sacrificii tui: et holocaustum tuum pingue fiat. Tribuat tibi secundum cor tuum: et omne consilium tuum confirmet.” 
In other instances, prayers are similar but different. For example, after dropping a particle of the Sacred Host into the Chalice, the priest prays in the Roman Rite, “Hæc commixtio et consecratio Corporis et Sanguinis Dómini nostri Jesu Christi, fiat accipientibus nobis in vitam æternam. Amen. In the Carmelite Rite, the prayer is “Haec sacrosancta commixtio Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi fiat mihi, et omnibus sumentibus, salus mentis et corporis: et ad vitam aetérnam promerendam, atque capessendam praeparatio saluteris. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.”
Finally, in both rites, after the Agnus Dei, the priest recites a few prayers privately, including Domine Jesu Christe and Perceptio Corporis tui, but in the Carmelite Rite, the priest concludes these prayers by bowing over the Chalice and saying, “Salve, Salus mundi, Verbum Patris, Hostia sacra, viva Caro, Deitas integra, verus Homo. ~ Hail, Salvation of the world, Word of the Father, sacred Victim, living Flesh, undiminished Divinity, true Man.” According to Walter, it was common in primitive Gallo-Roman rites for missals to prescribe several private prayers for the priest to recite before receiving communion. The Salve, Salus mundi prayer is found in some early missals of the Roman Rite, and other prayers are prescribed in earlier editions of the Carmelite Rite.
Marian Antiphon
In the Roman Rite, after the final blessing, the priest immediately goes the gospel side of the altar to read the Last Gospel, but in the Carmelite Rite the priest goes to the middle of the altar and recites with the server the Salve Regina (Regina Caeli during Eastertide), the verse Ora pro nobis, and then the collect Protege Domine, before reading the Last Gospel. Carmelite Fr. Daniel of the Virgin Mary writes, "among the other marks of the Order's special devotion to its most benevolent Mother is the frequent repetition in the Divine Office and Masses of the well-known antiphon or canticle Salve Regina, which has been used constantly in the Order from the most ancient times." According to legend, the last Carmelites living on Mount Carmel were slain during the Siege of Acre in 1291 while singing the Salve Regina. For most of their history Carmelites prayed the Salve ten times daily: at the end of seven Canonical Hours, at the end of the Conventual Mass, and at the end of the priest’s private Mass. The prayer Protege Domine is an ancient one found among the collects for times of war in the Gelasian Sacramentary, adapted to implore the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
An image of the Virgin and Child from the same edition of the Carmelite Missal
The beginning of the Mass of Our Lady of Mt Carmel on July 16 
The beginning of the Mass of the Prophet Elijah on July 20. 

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