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- 09/30/15--07:00: _Sacred Liturgy Conf...
- 09/30/15--10:32: _EF Pontifical Mass ...
- 09/30/15--13:47: _The Communion of St...
- 10/01/15--04:55: _Death and Confessio...
- 10/01/15--14:17: _The Importance of L...
- 10/01/15--22:00: _More about the Art ...
- 10/02/15--07:19: _Dominican Compline ...
- 10/02/15--14:38: _Vesper Hymn for the...
- 10/03/15--15:02: _A New Image of the ...
- 10/07/15--13:00: _The Order of a Syno...
- 10/08/15--09:53: _Solemn High Mass of...
- 10/08/15--15:00: _Solemn Music for a ...
- 10/08/15--16:34: _Dominican Rite Cale...
- 10/09/15--04:46: _Denis McNamara on t...
- 10/09/15--15:36: _The Greek Mass of S...
- 10/10/15--05:30: _The Order of a Syno...
- 10/12/15--07:00: _How is the Marriage...
- 10/13/15--08:51: _A Medieval Portable...
- 10/13/15--17:07: _“Fearless Heralds o...
- 10/14/15--05:06: _A Great Chant Resou...
- 09/30/15--07:00: Sacred Liturgy Conference in Portland, Oregon, Oct. 29 - Nov. 2
- 09/30/15--10:32: EF Pontifical Mass with Archbishop Cordileone, Oct. 2
- 09/30/15--13:47: The Communion of St Jerome by Domenichino
- 10/01/15--04:55: Death and Confession - A Beautiful Commentary in the Catholic Herald
- 10/01/15--22:00: More about the Art in the Newman Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
- 10/02/15--07:19: Dominican Compline - A Video by Fr Lawrence Lew
- 10/02/15--14:38: Vesper Hymn for the Feast of the Guardian Angels
- 10/03/15--15:02: A New Image of the Coptic Martyrs of Libya, by Nikola Sarić
- 10/08/15--09:53: Solemn High Mass of Bl. Karl of Austria, Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C.
- 10/08/15--15:00: Solemn Music for a Wedding
- 10/08/15--16:34: Dominican Rite Calendar for 2016 Available
- 10/09/15--04:46: Denis McNamara on the Theology of Sacred Architecture
- 10/09/15--15:36: The Greek Mass of St Denys of Paris
- 10/12/15--07:00: How is the Marriage of Joseph and Mary a True Marriage?
- 10/13/15--08:51: A Medieval Portable Shrine
- 10/14/15--05:06: A Great Chant Resource : Putting the Whole Gradual on Youtube
In the 15th century, which produced a great many images of St Jerome, he is often shown as a scholar in his study, sitting at a desk and surrounded by books. Since he had revised the Latin version of the Gospels at the behest of Pope St Damasus I, and served for a time as his secretary, he is traditionally depicted as a cardinal, which the contemporary Pope’s secretary would normally be. There are few episodes of what one might describe as a legendary character attached to him, but a famous one is the Christian version of the Androcles and the lion story, that while he was living in his monastery in Bethlehem, he removed a thorn from the paw of lion, which henceforth became his pet. A lion is therefore usually shown in the study along with the Saint.
|St Jerome in His Study, by Jan van Eyck, 1442|
|St Jerome in the Wilderness, by Jacopo del Sellaio, later 15th century|
One of his contemporaries, Gian Pietro Bellori, described Domenichino’s Communion of St Jerome as follows: “Who could ever speak worthily and at great enough length of such a stupendous work, if one observes its drawing and expression? These are the parts that are unanimously considered the merits of Domenichino, over and above all other painters of this century.” He also reported that Nicholas Poussin, a much-esteemed French painter of the era who worked most of his life in Rome, “was ravished by its beauty, and used to set it beside Raphael’s Transfiguration… as the two greatest paintings that lend glory to the brush.” (Paintings in the Vatican, ed. Carlo Pietrangeli, p. 474) Another contemporary, Giovanni Lanfranco, famously accused Domenichino of plagiarizing the work from Agostino Caracci, a brother of his teacher, but was fiercely defended from this imputation by Bellori and Poussin among others.
|The Communion of St Jerome, by Domenico Zampieri, 1614; now in the Painting Gallery of the Vatican Museums|
In Domenichino’s painting, therefore, an exemplary work of the Counter-Reformation, Jerome the Ascetic comes entirely to the fore, and there is no trace of Jerome the Scholar. His open robes reveal the body of an elderly man emaciated by years of fasts and long vigils. The robes themselves are cardinalitial red, representing the highest institutions of governance in the Church. A woman kneeling down beside Jerome kisses his hand, venerating him as a Saint. He himself gazes in adoration at the Host of the Viaticum which he is about to receive; Domenichino emphasizes its importance by making the background immediately around it very dark, and having several of the lines in the painting converge upon it. The priest who administers the Host is holding it in the traditional Catholic manner, between his canonical digits, and under a paten.
The Catholicity, i.e., the universality, of the true Church founded by Christ is highlighted by the fact that the priest is assisted by a deacon in a Roman dalmatic (note the tassels on the back), and another wearing the crossed horarion and cuffs (called “epimanikia”) of the Byzantine tradition. St Jerome spent about 35 years of his life in Bethlehem, and died there on this day in the year 419; in his time, the city had Christian communities of both Latin and Greek speakers, especially after the sack of Rome in 410, when many Romans fled to the East. The Counter-Reformation often sought to proclaim, as it does here, the unified witness of East and West, the Latin Fathers and the Greek, against the theological innovations of the 16th century.
Finally, we may note the Angels in the upper right hand corner, watching the scene and ready to welcome the dying Saint into their company. They are shown as smiling children, the emissaries of a loving and benevolent God, unlike the deeply unpleasant deity of Calvin. They will soon bring St Jerome before the Lord, who will receive him with the words sung at the Benedictus in the Office of Confessors, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
This guest article comes to us from Mr Andrew Meszaros, moderator of the Miami Chapter of the Familia Sancti Hieronymi, an organization which seeks to cultivate the use of Latin as a sacred and liturgical language, but also a living language of particular importance for Catholics.
These days, whenever the question of liturgical language is brought up, most English-speaking Catholics are ready to affirm uncompromisingly their preference for the vernacular. “It is better” one hears often “to celebrate the liturgy in English because one can understand it”, the implication being that Latin is not understandable. It is reasonable for someone to humbly acknowledge a need for the vernacular due to his ignorance of Latin, but it is tantamount to serious arrogance to impose such ignorance on the entire ecclesiastical community as a general standard and principle applicable to all. Not to have studied Latin, “a treasure” as Pope Pius XII called it “of unsurpassed excellence” amounts to a “lamentable mental neglect”. Many don’t appreciate such statements, but the language of the Romans, as Pope John XXIII stated “sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for learning highly intelligent thought and speech.” (Veterum Sapientia) No one should proudly claim a preference for its dismissal, especially, since human life is not a series of disengaged beginnings. In spite of many regional differences, major cultural trends involve the entire human family, even when they do not involve each individual equally.
One such major trend is the heritage of the Roman civilization and its language, and their role in shaping our history and our thinking from antiquity to this day, “pointing to the universality of the human spirit, whose basic needs” as Pope St John Paul II stated “are the same in the most disparate cultures.” (Fides et Ratio 72) This cannot be dismissed. He goes on to say, “The Church cannot abandon what she has gained from her inculturation in the world of Greco-Latin thought. To reject this heritage would be to deny the providential plan of God who guides his Church down the paths of time and history. This criterion is valid for the Church in every age, even for the Church of the future.” (ibid.)
The Latin language is like a major river of knowledge that has watered many people and nations in the course of its long history. And as Pope Benedict XVI writes, “the Church of Rome not only continued to use Latin but, in a certain way, made herself its custodian and champion in both the theological and liturgical sectors as well as in formation and in the transmission of knowledge.” (Motu Proprio Latina Lingua) That is why “the Roman Pontiffs ... have assiduously encouraged the knowledge and dissemination of Latin.” (ibid.) It should also be pointed out that the Second Vatican Council, whose authority is often falsely invoked by those who wish to abandon the usage of Latin in the Church, stated plainly that “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy No. 36).
Moreover, it is a serious misconception to think that a translation of one language into another can produce a perfectly equivalent meaning. Each language carries within itself a unique mode of expression which cannot be reproduced in any other language. Would anyone consider teaching English literature by studying Hungarian translations of English works? If absolute correspondence existed among languages, it would be very easy to reduce all of the world’s languages into one. But languages differ not only in sound, not only in form, but above all, in their mode of expression. Hence, vernacular languages can never be turned into some equivalent counterparts of Latin.
Three specific qualities, as St. John XXIII explained, make Latin eminently suitable for being the Church’s language: Latin is universal, it is immutable, and it is sacred. (Veterum Sapientia) As previously mentioned, it is universal as a substantial heritage of mankind across many and diverse regions and across many centuries, embracing the entire Christian era from its beginning to the present.
It is immutable since it is not a national tongue of any particular ethnic group subject to constant change. Today, students of Latin are learning the same language as the one spoken by Cicero two thousand years ago, while in four centuries Shakespearean English has changed so much that presently our students often need a translator to understand it.
Finally, Latin is a sacred language. It was prepared through divine providence (divinitus provisum est: Pius XI - Officiorum Omnium) to be transformed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and become the language of the Church’s social foundation on the rock of Peter in Rome. The entire terminology of our religion took shape in Latin and its full meaning can only be appreciated in Latin: humanitas, persona, virtus, aeternitas, gratia, sacramentum, natura, matrinomium, incarnatio, misericordia, and the list of words goes on. Even if we could somehow reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and set up some modern language as a new norm (imagine how well that would be agreed upon) it would create an enormous rift with the past. Languages are not interchangeable. It is not possible to jump from one language to another and to retain a consistency of thought.
In view of the above, it would be absurd to think that the Church might abandon the study and use of Latin, which “is a most suitable bond that binds the Church’s present age with the past and with the future.” (Veterum Sapientia) That is why the “Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin ... warning against the dangers that would result from its neglect.” (Veterum Sapientia).
Finally, those who frown at Latin should take to heart the words of Pope Pius XI: “For any member of laity, who is at least somewhat literate, the ignorance of the Latin tongue, which we can call a truly Catholic language, indicates a certain lack of affection towards the Church.” (In quopiam homine laico, qui quidem sit tinctus litteris, latinae linguae, quam dicere catholicam vere possumus, ignoratio quendam amoris erga Ecclesiam languorem indicat. Officiorum Omnium).
A good approach to re-establishing a cultural tradition
I was delighted to hear just now from the architect James McCreery, whose firm was the design architect for the Thomas Aquinas Chapel of the Newman Center. He sent me this fine photo of the panel in its setting, which shows that this was a detail of an arched recess designed as a backdrop for the chapel’s Baptismal font...hence the descending dove! The painting work was done by artists at the Evergreene Studios, he tells me.
He explained to me that the font itself is hand-carved oak dating from the English Arts and Crafts / Gothic Revival period of the late 19th/early 20th centuries. This is the movement that came out of the work of Pugin, Ruskin and Morris particularly.
The video was made at the Dominican House of Studies in DC, with a large number of guests in the house for the recent Papal visit. Fr Lew notes in his comments on youtube, “On the vigil of Pope Francis’ historic Mass for the Canonization of St. Junipero Serra, Dominican Friars (with representation from all four US provinces) gathered in DC to welcome our Holy Father, Pope Francis. It was a huge joy to pray with our friars from all four provinces on this historic occasion!”
O lumen Ecclesiae, doctor veritatis, rosa patientiae, ebur castitatis, aquam sapientiae propinasti gratis; praedicator gratiae, nos junge beatis.
O light of the Church, teacher of truth, rose of patience, ivory statue of chastity, freely you gave the water of wisdom to drink; preacher of grace, join us to the blessed.
1. Custodes hominum psallimus angelos,
Naturae fragili quos Pater addidit
Coelestis comites, insidiantibus
Ne succumberet hostibus.
Angel-guardians of men, spirits and powers we sing,
Whom our Father hath sent, aids to our weakly frame,
Heavenly friends and guides, help from on high to bring,
Lest we fail through the foeman's wile.
2. Nam quod corruerit proditor angelus,
Concessis merito pulsus honoribus,
Ardens invidia pellere nititur
Quos coelo Deus advocat.
He, the spoiler of souls, angel-traitor of old,
Cast in merited wrath out of his honoured place,
Burns with envy and hate, seeking their souls to gain
Whom God's mercy invites to heaven.
3. Huc custos igitur pervigil advola,
Avertens patria de tibi credita
Tam morbos animi, quam requiescere
Quidquid non sinit incolas.
Therefore come to our help, watchful ward of our lives:
Turn aside from the land God to thy care confides
Sickness and woe of soul, yea, and what else of ill
Peace of heart to its folk denies.
4. Sanctae sit Triadi laus pia jugiter,
Cujus perpetuo numine machina
Triplex haec regitur, cujus in omnia
Regnat gloria saecula. Amen.
Now to the Holy Three praise evermore resound:
Under whose hand divine resteth the triple world
Governed in wondrous wise: glory be theirs and might
While the ages unending run. Amen.
The original 100x70 cm watercolor is currently displayed at the Brenkhausen Monastery in Höxter, a town in the Westphalia region of Germany; this is a former Cistercian house which since 1994 has been a Coptic Orthodox monastery and the seat of the Coptic bishop of Germany. Mr Sarić plans to sell the work and donate the money to the families of the martyrs.
You can read more about Mr Sarić and his various works at his website (in both German and English.)
Since we are now in the midst of the second round of sessions of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, our readers might find interesting the traditional order for holding a synod, according to the 1595 Pontifical of Clement VIII. The attentive will have no trouble finding inspiration here for their own prayers for the good outcome of the current assembly. It is divided into three days, and seems to presume that much of the Synod’s business will be determined by the bishop and his assistants beforehand. The rubrics are given here in summary, omitting several of the less pertinent details, such as the places where the bishop removes his miter etc.
The bishop then turns to the altar and says:
We are here, o Lord, Holy Spirit, we are here, hindered by the enormity of sin, but gathered especially in Thy name; come to us, be here with us, deign to come down upon our hearts. Teach us what we ought to do; show us, where we ought to go; work Thou what we ought to accomplish. Be thou alone the one who prompts and effect our judgments, who alone with God the Father and His Son possess the name of glory. Permit us not to be disturbers of justice, Thou who love righteousness most mightily; that the evil of ignorance may not lead us, that favor may not sway us, that the receiving of gift or person may not corrupt us. But unite us to Thee effectually by the gift of Thy grace alone, that we may be one in Thee, and in no way depart from the truth. And thus, gathered in Thy name, in all things we may hold to justice, ruled by piety, in such wise that in this life our decree agree with Thee entirely, and in the future life, we may obtain eternal rewards, for the sake of what we have done well.All answer “Amen”, and the bishop adds a second prayer.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy mercy hast safely gathered us especially in this place, may the Comforter, who procedeth from Thee, enlighten our minds, we beseech Thee; and bring us unto all truth, as Thy Son did promise; and strengthen all in Thy faith and charity; so that, stirred up by this temporal synod, we may profit thereby to the increase of eternal happiness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The bishop then kneels at the faldstool, and all others present also kneel, as the cantors sing the Litany of the Saints. After the invocation, “That Thou may deign to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed”, the bishop rises, takes his crook in hand, and sings the following invocation; at the place marked, he makes the sign of the Cross over those gathered for the synod . “That Thou may deign to visit, order and + bless this present synod. R. We ask Thee, hear us.” The cantors finish the Litany.
All rise, and the bishop sings, “Oremus”, the deacon “Flectamus genua”, and the subdeacon, after a pause, “Levate”, after which the bishop sings this prayer.
Grant to Thy Church, we beseech Thee, o merciful God, that gathered in the Holy Spirit, She may merit to serve Thee in sure devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.
|A session of the Council of Trent in the Cathedral of St Vigilius. (Image from Italian wikipedia)|
At that time: Calling together the twelve Apostles, Jesus gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And He said to them: Take nothing for your journey; neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats. And whatsoever house you shall enter into, abide there, and depart not from thence. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them. And going out, they went about through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.The bishop kneels to intone the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, which is continued by the choir. He then sits at a chair which is set up facing the assembly, and addresses it. A brief model for his address is given, but the rubric specifies that he speaks “in hanc sententiam - along these lines.” (In many rites, such as ordinations, sermons of this kind are part of the rite, and must be read exactly as they given in the Pontifical.)
My venerable fellow priests and dearest brethren, having first prayed to God, it is necessary that each one of you take up the matters upon which we must confer, whether they concern the divine offices, or sacred orders, or even our own mores and the needs of the Church, with charity and kindliness, and accept them, by the help of God, with supreme reverence, and all his might; and that each one may faithfully strive with all devotion to amend the things that need amendment. And if perchance what is said or done displease anyone, without any scruple of contentiousness, let him bring it forth before all; that by the Lord’s mediation, such matter may also come to the best result. And in this way, let strife or discord find no place to undermine justice, nor again the strength and solicitude of our order (i.e. the clerical order) grow lukewarm in seeking the truth.Before or after this address, a “learned and suitable man” delivers a sermon “on ecclesiastical discipline, on the divine mysteries, on the correction of morals among the clergy”, as determined by the bishop. Complaints may then be heard (“querelae, si quae sunt, audiuntur”), presumably in accord with the matters the synod has been called to address.
The archdeacon then reads several decrees of the Council of Trent on disciplinary matters pertaining to synods, and the Profession of Faith known as the Creed of Pope Pius IV. Finally, all are “charitably admonished that during the synod, they conduct themselves honestly in all regards, even outside the synod itself, so that their behavior may worthy serve to others as an example. The bishop gives the Pontifical blessing, and all depart.
This promises to be a very interesting musical event. Before Mass, the St. Benet’s Schola will sing the Latin verses of the hymn Tu, Christe, Nostrum Gaudium. For the Mass itself, the ensemble Musikanten will sing Philippe de Monte’s Missa Tertia Inclina cor meum for five voices, (SATTB); de Monte (1521-1603) was a Flemish composer who spent the most prolific part of his career working as music director and composer at the Habsburg court. They will also sing William Byrd’s Ave Verum and two other of his motets. The St. Mary’s Schola will sing the propers of the Mass for a Confessor not a Bishop Os justi, and the chants Sub tuum praesidium at the Offertory and Anima Christi at Communion. After the Mass, a first-class relic of Blessed Karl will be venerated, during which, the St. Mary’s and St. Benet’s Scholas will sing a variety of chants, including Vexilla Regis, Ave Maria and Ave Maris Stella.
A reception will follow the Mass at the Market-to-Market café across the street, at no cost for attendees. The hosts of this event are pleased to announce that the Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine is to attend the Mass and reception. Parking is available in a parking lot and on the street. St. Mary’s is equidistant between the Judiciary Square and Chinatown Metrorail stations off the Red Line. (below: photos from last year’s Mass, and the veneration of the relic.)
The church was also renovated recently, with the walls of the sanctuary redecorated, and a new organ installed, as documented on this page.
The front page of the wedding program includes an image by well-known Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui.
Should any reader notice errors on this calendar, please let me know by email and I will correct them.
These talks introduce succinctly and well, I feel, some of the themes that I heard him talk about in his classes. He is a good and entertaining teacher and speaker, and this comes across in the videos. You can find more detail of the subject matter in his book Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy.
Sometime in the 12th-century, the monks of the Abbey of St Denys outside Paris, a major center of learning, developed enough interest in Greek that they instituted the custom of singing the entire Mass on the Octave day of their Patron Saint in that language, a custom which continued until the French Revolution. This was not the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, but the Mass of the Roman Rite translated into Greek. By that period, St Denys was believed to be the same person as “Dionysios the Areopagite”, who is mentioned at the end of Acts 17 as one of the persons converted by St Paul’s discourse to the Athenians. (The name “Denys” derives from “Dionysios.”) The legend continued that he was the first bishop of Athens, who had then gone to Rome and been sent by Pope St Clement I to evangelize Paris, of which city he was also the first bishop, and where he was martyred.
|The martyrdom of St Denys, and his companions Rusticus and Eleutherius, depicted in the tympanum of the north portal of the Abbey of St Denys. (12 century - image by Myrabella from Wikimedia Commons.) Denys is shown holding his own decapitated head, which his legendary medieval life says he picked up and walked with from Montmartre (“the mount of the martyrs”) to the place which would later become the site of the Abbey.|
The Greek Mass was certainly instituted to honor the Abbey’s patron not only an important writer of theology in Greek, but also the first bishop of the most important cultural center of the ancient Greek world. The complete text of the Mass was published at Paris in 1777; it can be found on googlebooks by searching for “Messe grecque en l’honneur de Saint Denys”, but due to who-knows-what mysteries of copyright law, cannot be downloaded in every country. Here are a few pages of it, in honor of his feast day.
|The Collect and the beginning of the Epistle, Acts 17, 22-34|
|The Gregorian Offertory “Exsultabunt Sancti”|
|The Roman Common Preface above, and the neo-Gallican proper preface below.|
For the second round of sessions of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, we are reprinting from last year the traditional order for holding a synod, according to the 1595 Pontifical of Clement VIII, both as a matter of general interest, and as something which will perhaps serve to inspire prayers for the good outcome of the current assembly. It is divided into three days, and seems to presume that much of the Synod’s business will be determined by the bishop and his assistants beforehand. The rubrics are given here in summary, omitting several of the less pertinent details, such as the places where the bishop removes his miter etc.
The bishop then turns to the altar and says:
Bending the knee of our hearts before Thee, o Lord, we ask that we may accomplish the good which Thou seekest of us; namely, that we may walk with Thee, ready in solicitude, and do judgment with most careful discretion; and with love of mercy, shine forth in our zeal for all that pleaseth Thee. Through Christ our Lord.All answer “Amen”, and the bishop adds a second prayer.
Let us pray. Kindly pour forth upon our minds, we beseech Thee, o Lord, the Holy Spirit; so that we, gathered in Thy name, may in all things hold to justice, ruled by piety, in such wise that here our will agree with Thee entirely; and ever pondering on reasonable things, we may accomplish what is pleasing to Thee in word and deed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.This prayer is a cento of the first collect of the Ember Saturday of Pentecost, the first prayer of the preceding day of the synod, and the collect of the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany.
The previous day the Litany of the Saints was said at this point; it is not repeated today. The bishop now sings, “Oremus”, the deacon “Flectamus genua”, and the subdeacon, after a pause, “Levate”, after which the bishop sings this prayer.
O God, who command that we speak justice, and judge what it right; grant that no iniquity be found in our mouth, no wickedness in our mind; so that purer speech may agree with pure heart, justice be shown in our work, no guile appear in our speech, and truth come forth from our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The deacon then sings the following Gospel, Luke 10, 1-9, the common Gospel of Evangelists (and some Confessors), with the normal ceremonies of a Pontifical Mass.
At that time: The Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He himself was to come. And He said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send laborers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.As on the previous day, the bishop kneels to intone the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, which is continued by the choir, after which he sits at a chair which is set up facing the assembly, and addresses it. At the corresponding point the previous day, a brief model for his address is given; the rubric of this days specifies that he speaks “his verbis – with these words,” but also says that he may omit them.
My venerable and most beloved brethren, just as we reminded your kindness and gentility yesterday, concerning the divine offices, and the sacred grades of (service at) the altar, or even (our own) mores and the needs of the Church, it is necessary that the charity of all of you, whensoever it knoweth of any matter in need of correction, hesitate not to bring forth in our midst such matters for emendation or renewal; that by the zeal of your charity, and the gift of the Lord, all such matters may come to the best, to the praise and glory of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
|A sermon at a synod; illustration from a 1595 edition of the Roman Pontifical. (Permission to use this image has been very kindly granted by the Pitts Theological Library, Candler School of Theology at Emory University.)|
Whatever we may think of that, the feast of our Lady’s Motherhood reminds us of a truth of outstanding importance in this time of confusion about marriage and family: our Lady was not, as some ignorant preachers are fond of saying, an “unwed mother.” When expecting the child Jesus, she was betrothed to St. Joseph, which, in the Jewish context, gave her the legal right to be regarded and treated as his spouse. Her wifehood, in other words, was as real as the foster fatherhood of Joseph or the adoptive relationship of so many saints of the Old Covenant; she could not, with any justice, be referred to as a mere fiancée. (Cardinal Burke has utterly shredded the view of Mary as “having a baby out of wedlock”; see his talk here.)
But this truth must necessarily prompt another question: How can we say that Mary and Joseph were ever married at any point in their lives? Is not the consummation of a marriage part of its very definition? In fact, recently a couple of college students posed this very question to me, and suggested that maybe Mary and Joseph were “just friends” all their lives, engaged, but never married. I said: “No, that’s not right; the tradition of the Church (as we can see in the liturgy) always refers to Joseph as ‘the husband of Mary’ and to the three as ‘the Holy Family’ and always holds up Mary and Joseph as exemplars for spouses.”
But the argument from authority, although sufficient, can be unsatisfying, so here is a proper explanation (which, by the way, I also gave to the college students).
According to St. Thomas, Mary and Joseph “consented to the conjugal uniting, but not expressly to the fleshly uniting save on condition that it should please God”; hence their marriage really came into existence. Thomas concludes his discussion with a quotation from Augustine:
All the goods of marriage are fulfilled in these parents of Christ: offspring, fidelity, and sacrament. The offspring we know to have been the Lord Jesus himself; fidelity, because there was no adultery; sacrament, because there was no divorce. Only marital intercourse was not present there.A modern reader is tempted to say: “Only? If this is lacking, how can the rest of it be a true marriage?” Indeed, Aquinas himself raises the same objection in this context: “Where the final consummation is lacking, there is no true completion.”
St. Thomas can argue the way he does because, in his view, the consent to marriage is not a consent to carnal intercourse, but a consent to the marital consortium or societas that implies such intercourse, or put differently, a consent to the mutual power of the spouses over each other’s bodies that is explicitated in the commixtio carnalis:
As fleshly uniting stands related to marriage, so likewise the consent that causes marriage stands related to consent to fleshly uniting. Now marriage, as was said above, is not essentially the fleshly conjoining itself, but a certain association of a man and a woman with a view to fleshly uniting and the other things that pertain, as a consequence, to the husband and wife, according as power is mutually given to them with respect to the fleshly uniting; and this association is called the conjugal union. Hence it is clear that those men spoke well who said that to consent to marriage is to consent implicitly to fleshly uniting, not explicitly. For the latter ought not to be understood [as given] except in the way that an effect is implicitly contained in its cause: for the power of fleshly uniting, to which one consents, is the cause of the fleshly uniting, as the power of using one’s own possession is the cause of its use.And: “Although the act of fleshly uniting [itself] is not of the essence of marriage, still the power for this is of its essence; for through marriage power over the other’s body is given to both of the spouses with a view to fleshly uniting.”
These things premised, Aquinas maintains it was not inconsistent for Mary and Joseph to know that God wanted them to remain virgins, and yet for them to keep their hearts so open to the divine will that they did not insist on maintaining this virginity “at all costs.”
She [Mary] planned on virginity, unless the Lord should arrange otherwise; hence she entrusted herself to the divine arrangement. To the idea that she consented to fleshly intercourse, one should say that she did not; she consented to marriage directly, but to fleshly intercourse implicitly, so to speak, if God should will it.Again:
While virginity is best in and of itself, nevertheless at that time [before Christ’s birth] marriage was preferred to it because of the expectation of a blessed offspring to come by way of generation; and thus the Blessed Virgin vowed virginity as the thing most excellent and most acceptable to herself, yet not simply speaking, but under a most noble condition—namely this: unless God should ordain otherwise.Hence Mary and Joseph, fully consenting to be each other’s spouses, thereby became spouses, but because it was the Lord’s will that they not unite sexually, they remained “in suspension” as regards the bodily exchange that normally follows upon this consent. In fact, if Mary had not, in wedding Joseph, willed to remain open to the procreation of children by him if God wanted this, then their marriage would have been invalidated through her rejection of one of the essential goods of marriage, the bonum prolis. It may be noted that this curious state of being “in suspension” with regard to legitimate earthly goods typifies the entire eschatological orientation of the Christian condition. For this reason, the marriage of Mary and Joseph is, paradoxically, an exemplar of religious life no less than it is of married life.
In at least one place Aquinas presents the objection that Joseph and Mary’s marriage was imperfect because it lacked children that were an effect of that marriage. His response is that this good was partially present there due to the educatio prolis that took place, and that (to paraphrase) we ought to expect things to be unique in the family of the Son of God. This response helps us to remember that the classic catechisms and codes of canon law always said that the primary purpose of marriage is the “procreation and education of children.” Bringing children into the world is only the first step; the more important step is rearing them and educating them in the Catholic faith, moral virtues, and how to live in one’s society (as well as other subjects of instruction or apprenticeship, depending on circumstances). It is because we implicitly recognize this hierarchy of obligations that we regard adoptive parents as truly parents.
 Summa theologiae III, q. 29, a. 2, citing On Marriage and Concupiscence I; see In IV Sententiarum, d. 30, q. 2, a. 2; Super Matt. 1, lec. 4 [Marietti ed., n. 92]). At In IV Sent. d. 31, q. 1, a. 3 we read: “From the very fact that through the conjugal pact the spouses hand over to each other, in perpetuity, power over one another, it follows that they may not be separated, and so it is that marriage is never found without inseparability; whereas it is found without fidelity and offspring, because the being of a thing does not depend upon its use.”
 In IV Sent. d. 30, q. 2, a. 2, arg. 3.
 In IV Sent. d. 28, q. 1, a. 4.
 In IV Sent. d. 34, q. 1, a. 2, ad 1.
 Super Matt. 1, lec. 4 (Marietti ed., n. 93).
 In IV Sent. d. 30, q. 2, a. 1, qa. 1.
 See In IV Sent. d. 30, q. 2, a. 1, qa. 1, ad 1–3.
 See In IV Sent. d. 30, q. 2, a. 1, qa. 2, ad 2.
 In IV Sent. d. 30, q. 2, a. 2, arg. 4.
Dora Thornton, the curator of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, shows how the tabernacle works. The Waddesdon Bequest is a collection of Medieval and Renaissance treasures given to the museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild in 1898. You can see some other videos about the bequest, explaining its content and history, along with some photos of the collection in its new display space, at this page of the British Museum website. (The videos are also at this youtube channel.)
This is the final part of the order of a synod according to the 1595 Pontifical of Pope Clement VIII; here are the link to part 1 and part 2. These were originally posted last year during the first round of sessions of the Extraordinary Synod of the Family. Let us pray that the bishops of the current assembly may indeed be “fearless heralds of the truth.”
The bishop then turns to the altar and says:
Let us pray. Crying out to Thee, o Lord, with the cry of our heart, we ask as one, that, strengthened by the regard of Thy grace, we may become fearless heralds of the truth, and be able to speak Thy word with all confidence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.All answer “Amen”, and the bishop adds a second prayer.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who in the sacred prophecy of Thy word, did promise that where two or three would gather in Thy name, Thou wouldst be in their midst, in Thy mercy be present in our assembly, and enlighten our hearts, that we may in no way wander from the good of Thy mercy, but rather hold to the righteous path of Thy justice in all matters. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The bishop now sings, “Oremus”, the deacon “Flectamus genua”, and the subdeacon, after a pause, “Levate”, after which the bishop sings this prayer.
O God, who take heed to Thy people with forgiveness, and rule over them with love, grant the spirit of wisdom to those to whom Thou hast given to rule over discipline; that the shepherds may take eternal joy from the good progress of holy sheep. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.The deacon then sings the following Gospel, Matthew 18, 15-22, with the normal ceremonies of a Pontifical Mass.
At that time: Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
|The First Vatican Council|
Venerable and most beloved brethren, it is fitting that all things which have not been done properly, or as fully as they ought, in regard to the duties of ecclesiastics, and the priestly ministries, and canonical sanctions, because of various distractions, or (which we cannot deny) our own and others’ idleness, should be sought out by the unanimous consent and will of us all, and humbly recited before your charity; and thus, whatever is in need of correction may be brought to a better estate by the help of the Lord. And if anyone be displeased by what is said, let him not hesitate to bring the matter before your charity with kindliness and gentility, so that all which is established or renewed by this our assembly, may be kept and held in the harmony of holy peace by all together, without contradiction, to the increase of all our eternal blessedness.There are then read out the constitutions put forth for the approval of the synod (presumably those which were voted upon the previous day), which are confirmed by those assembled. The bishop sits, and commends himself to the prayers of all present; the names of all those who are supposed to be present are read out, and each answers “Adsum – Present.” Notice is taken of those who are not present, so that they may be fined by the bishop.
In the Pontifical, there follows an immensely long model sermon, over 1000 words in Latin, in which the bishop reminds the priests of their many duties, both spiritual (“Receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with all reverence and fear.”) and temporal (“Let your churches be well decorated and clean.”) The bishop then says another prayer.
O Lord, the human conscience hath not such strength that it can endure the judgments of Thy will without offense; and therefore, because Thy eyes see our imperfection, deem as perfect that which we desire to conclude, merciful God, with the end of perfect justice. We have asked for Thee to come to us in the beginning, we hope in this end to have Thee forgive what we have judged wrongly; to wit, that Thou spare our ignorance, forgive our error, and grant, though the prayers now completed, perfect efficacy to the work. And since we grow faint from the sting of conscience, lest ignorance draw us into error, or hasty willfulness steer justice wrong, we ask this, we beseech Thee, that if we have brought upon ourselves any offense in the celebration of this synod, that we may know we are forgiven by Thy mercy. And since we are about to dismiss this synod, let us be first released from every bond of our sins, as forgiveness followeth transgressors, and eternal rewards follow those that confess Thee. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.The bishop gives the Pontifical blessing and proclaims an indulgence. The archdeacon then sings “Let us depart in peace”, and all answer “In the name of Christ.” All rise and accompany the bishop back to his residence.
Mr Klein describes the project thus: “The performing of Gregorian chant is different with every singer, and it is impossible to consider any way of performing as the only correct one. Neither do I consider my way of singing as the only correct one or the best one. I am also aware that the chants of the Graduale (the main part of them) are not meant to be sung by (a) soloist, but by ... a schola. I hope, however, that in spite of these drawbacks, my recordings will find their audience and that they can become a helpful resource for someone — a resource, which I was looking for without success at the time of my beginnings.”
His youtube channel “GradualeProject” has a dozens of videos posted to it, going back three years. Here is the most recent, the Gradual Ecce quam bonum from the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost.