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Articles on this Page
- 03/25/18--06:57: _Palm Sunday 2018
- 03/26/18--03:37: _Roman Pilgrims at t...
- 03/26/18--07:32: _Christ’s Life is th...
- 03/27/18--07:47: _The History of the ...
- 03/27/18--15:35: _Palm Sunday Photopo...
- 03/28/18--09:11: _Spy Wednesday 2018
- 03/28/18--13:40: _Dominican Rite Mass...
- 03/28/18--15:14: _Palm Sunday Photopo...
- 03/28/18--16:27: _Pre-Pius-XII-Reform...
- 03/29/18--09:16: _The Ambrosian Mass ...
- 03/30/18--02:45: _Palm Sunday 2018 Ph...
- 03/30/18--09:44: _FSSP Maundy Thursda...
- 03/30/18--16:01: _Good Friday 2018
- 03/30/18--23:02: _Holy Week 2018 Phot...
- 03/31/18--09:47: _Holy Saturday 2018
- 04/01/18--04:38: _Easter Sunday 2018
- 04/02/18--04:43: _Palm Sunday 2018 Ph...
- 04/02/18--17:17: _Announcing Liturgy ...
- 04/03/18--12:42: _Reprint of the Litu...
- 04/03/18--14:00: _Thank You, Roman Pi...
- 03/25/18--06:57: Palm Sunday 2018
- 03/26/18--03:37: Roman Pilgrims at the Station Churches (Part 9)
- 03/26/18--07:32: Christ’s Life is the Church’s Life
- 03/27/18--07:47: The History of the Folded Chasuble, by Henri de Villiers (Part 2)
- 03/27/18--15:35: Palm Sunday Photopost 2018 (Part 1)
- 03/28/18--09:11: Spy Wednesday 2018
- 03/28/18--13:40: Dominican Rite Mass in Indiana, Thursday of Easter Octave
- 03/28/18--15:14: Palm Sunday Photopost 2018 (Part 2)
- 03/28/18--16:27: Pre-Pius-XII-Reform Dominican Rite Easter Vigil
- 03/29/18--09:16: The Ambrosian Mass of Holy Thursday
- 03/30/18--02:45: Palm Sunday 2018 Photopost (Part 3)
- 03/30/18--09:44: FSSP Maundy Thursday in Rome
- 03/30/18--16:01: Good Friday 2018
- 03/30/18--23:02: Holy Week 2018 Photopost Request
- 03/31/18--09:47: Holy Saturday 2018
- 04/01/18--04:38: Easter Sunday 2018
- 04/02/18--04:43: Palm Sunday 2018 Photopost (Part 4)
- 04/03/18--12:42: Reprint of the Liturgia Horarum Coming Soon
- 04/03/18--14:00: Thank You, Roman Pilgrims!
|The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, by Pedro Orrente, ca. 1620, now in the Hermitage in St Petersburg|
(Don’t forget to send in photographs of your Palm Sunday ceremonies! firstname.lastname@example.org)
From Fr Alek: the beautiful coffered, painted, and gilded ceiling, adorned with Marian symbols from the Song of Songs, was installed as part of the rebuilding from 1592 to 1594.
Christ was born in humble surroundings, the son of a virgin, protected by a guardian; His Church is born from the humble throne of the Cross, the handiwork of the virginal High Priest, shrouded with a protecting veil by His Mother. Christ was obscure in His hidden life at Nazareth; the Church, too, remains hidden beneath the surface of the Roman Empire, and slowly comes to light as paganism exhausts itself in lupercalian gasps. Christ came into public prominence and was subjected to persecution by the authorities; His Church is the subject of imperial anger, sword, and fire. Christ was crucified by His own people; His Church will be martyred in every land where she dwells, as long as she gives living testimony to His Gospel. Christ is risen from the dead; His Church rises like the phoenix from every bed of ashes into which she seems to be dissolved.
The cycle began long ago and will continue until the end of time. Whatever was made manifest in the life of Christ will take place within His Church, in her sacred history. In every age of the Church there will be obscure births, a hidden and a public life, trials and crucifixions, resurrection and ascension. The whole of reality exists from Him, through Him, and towards Him: He is Alpha and Omega.
Wisely did the fathers of the Council of Nicaea name Pontius Pilate in the Christian Creed. For all time he represents the profane world. His voice can be heard across the centuries uttering the cry of despair “What is truth?,” which has become the modern question par excellence. Thinking himself generous and fair, Pilate haughtily “finds no crime” in Christ, the very Sun of Justice (cf. Jn 18:37–39). In the eyes of the contemporary West, Christ is nothing but a moral teacher, thanks to the efforts of Thomas Jefferson and his Enlightenment peers who felt quite comfortable with Pilate’s cowardly indifference. Having judged Christ innocent, the ruler hands the master over to the slaves to be crucified.
Pilate foreshadows the modern democratic leader, appealing to the people for a final decision and washing his hands of their irrational choice, while the Sanhedrin gloat over the conquered prophet: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum. Here we see the frightening consequence of indifference to truth: the Good is handed over to be crucified, in favor of Barabbas, an insurrectionist, a rebel from order, a violator of natural law. The monied rulers and avaricious slaves who populate our cities, from America to Europe, the Middle East to the Far East, acknowledge Caesar—the secular city, the civil state, the temporal realm—as their sole king. We who wish to follow Our Lord hail a different, higher, nobler, immortal King: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor.
Almighty Father, draw all men to your Son, draw them into the bosom of His holy Church. Lord Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, draw us all into the safe haven of your Sacred Heart, that we may not be lost in the growing confusion and darkness, but remain ever united to you in a love that knows no end. O Holy Spirit, raise up prophets of conviction and preachers of truth in your Church, to confront and unmask the lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets (cf. 1 Kgs 22:22). O Holy Trinity, eternal, unchanging Good and source of all life, save us, have mercy on us, for You are gracious and you love mankind. Amen.
Artwork by Daniel Mitsui.
We continue with the second part of Henri de Villiers’s article “Les chasubles pliés: Histoire et liturgie”, originally published in French on the website of the Schola Sainte Cécile. This translation of the article, done by Mr Gerhard Eger, is also being published simultaneously on Canticum Salomonis, with our thanks to him and to Henri once again for his generous permission to reproduce his work.
Already suppressed for the Paschal Vigil in the new experimental liturgies of 1951 and 1952, folded chasubles were entirely banished from Holy Week with the 1955 reforms, and violet and black dalmatics and tunicles put in their place; folded chasubles were still to be used during the rest of Lent and other penitential seasons. This anomaly ceased with the publication of the new code of rubrics in 1960, which stated at the end of the general rubrics that "folded chasubles and broad stoles are no longer used” .
Msgr Léon Gromier, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, remarked during his famous conference on the reforms of Holy Week:
Folded chasubles are one of the oldest characteristics of the Roman Rite; they go back to the time when all the clergy wore chasubles, and were retained for a most austere penance. Abandoning them makes a lie of the paintings in the catacombs. It is an immense loss, an outrage to history. They wrongly give this explanation to justify their misdeed: that folded chasubles are difficult to find. But the exact contrary is the case: one finds violet chasubles everywhere that can be folded, whereas violet dalmatics are much less widespread . Besides, one always has the option of ministering in an alb.We may add that it was a curious move to suppress folded chasubles at the same moment when a return to the ancient, more ample form of the chasuble was being promoted everywhere.
On the other hand, the usage of folded chasubles was never interrupted among the Anglo-Catholics (and perhaps its usage will be gradually restored by the various new ordinariates erected to receive these communities into the bosom of the Catholic Church). In addition, amidst the renaissance of liturgical studies among traditional Catholic communities one observes a growing number of people who are restoring the ancient use.
The use of the folded chasuble is not limited to the Roman Rite. It is found, with variations, in the following liturgies:
1) The Ambrosian Rite: Folded chasubles are used during Advent, Lent, and the Major and Minor Litanies (i.e. Rogation Days, which take place on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the Ascension in this rite, and during which ashes are imposed) and other fasting days throughout the year. As in the Roman rite, the subdeacon takes off his folded chasuble to chant the Epistle. The deacon rolls his up crosswise in the Roman way from the Gospel to the end of Communion. During Sundays of Lent, the deacon chants the very ancient litanies after the Ingressa at the beginning of the Mass; to do this, since it pertains to his proper ministry, he also rolls his chasuble crosswise. The liturgical colours differ from the Roman custom: dark violet during Advent and the Sundays of Lent, but the ferias of Lent are in black. The Major Litanies are in dark violet and the Minor are in black. During an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on a day of penance, folded chasubles are obligatory, even in small churches. One notable difference with the Roman use is that during all of Holy Week (which begins on the eve of Palm Sunday, in Traditione Symboli) is celebrated in red and the dalmatic and tunicle are employed.
2) The Rite of Braga: The use is identical to the Roman rite, except for the procession of Palms when the dalmatic and tunicle are used.
3) The Rite of Lyon: Very interestingly, folded chasubles are not used until after the first Sunday of Lent, a relic of the time prior to St Gregory the Great when the first day of the Lenten Fast was the Monday following this Sunday. The deacon takes off his chasuble before chanting the Gospel but does not roll it over his shoulders (so he does the same as the subdeacon at the Epistle). Folded chasubles are not used on Good Friday.
4) The Rite of Paris: Chasubles are not folded but rolled over the shoulders (the ceremonials speak of transversed chasubles: planetis tranversis super humeros). They are not used during Sundays of Advent, which are celebrated in white in Paris; rather the dalmatic and tunicle are used instead. Folded chasubles are nonetheless used during ferial Masses of Advent in bigger churches with many clerics; smaller churches are dispensed. Transversed chasubles are used for the first time on Ash Wednesday, then on Sundays of Lent, and on Good Friday; the vestments are black each time. On ferias of Lent, on the other hand, the deacon and subdeacon serve only in alb, stole, and maniple, without chasubles, even in the cathedral. Ember Days in September are celebrated with red transversed chasubles, since these days belong to the Time after Pentecost, which is red in Paris.
5) The Premonstratensians: This rite has the interesting peculiarity that the use of folded chasubles begins on Septuagesima.
6) The Cistercians, Dominicans, and Carmelites: These three rites shares similar uses; during penitential seasons, the deacon and subdeacon serve in alb, stole, and maniple, as in smaller churches in the Roman rite. Note that in the Dominican rite, the dalmatic and tunicle are not used during ferial Masses throughout the year.
7) The Carthusians: This rite is very pared down and does not employ the dalmatic and tunicle at all during the year. During Mass, the deacon only puts on the stole to sing the Gospel. Folded chasubles are therefore not used at all.
|Theophilus of Alexandria. Miniature on papyrus, 5th century.|
|Icon representing St John of Novgorod: the phelonion is held folded over the arms.|
|A Byzantine priest wearing the phelonion. The front part of the vestment is cut to facilitate liturgical gestures.|
|Spanish-style folded chasubles, very similar to the current Byzantine cut.|
|Ordination of a lector in the Russin use.|
|A newly-ordained Byzantine lector wearing the short phelonion sings the Epistle.|
|Russian phelonion and short phelonion.|
|Mass in the Armenian Rite (Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Sainte-Croix in Paris).|
|Ordination of Armenian deacons.|
It is interesting to consider how in different parts of the world, traditional communities are starting to take up the use of folded chasubles. We are certain that these communities perceive that they form a part of the symbolic richness that the tradition has bequeathed to us and of which we have been unjustly deprived.
|Mass of Mons. Angelo Amodeo in the Pantheon, Rome.|
|Folded chasuble, Rome.|
|The Passion according to St Matthew. Pontifical Mass on Palm Sunday, Rome.|
|Second Sunday of Lent 2016, collegiate church of Saint-Just in Lyon.|
|Second Sunday of Lent 2016, collegiate church of Saint-Just in Lyon.|
|The Asperges, Second Sunday of Lent, Society of St Hugh of Cluny, Connecticut.|
|Note the transversed chasuble that is actually rolled, Second Sunday of Lent, Society of St Hugh of Cluny, Connecticut.|
|Distribution of candles in Candlemas 2016, Institute of Christ the King, Gricigliano.|
 G. Braun, Die liturgischen Paramente, 1914, p. 98.
 Rubricae generales XIX, n. 137: Planetae plicatae et stola latior amplius non adhibentur.
 Indeed, strictly speaking violet dalmatics and tunicles are only used on the three Sundays of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima.
 This very often retains structures much more ancient than the Greek usage.
 The lector-cantor ordinarily uses a type of tunic for his office, the sticharion—στιχάριον. Certain parishes have tried to restore a more frequent use of the short phelonion.
 According to R. Pilkington, I riti orientali, Turin, L.I.C.E. —Berruti, p. 31.
 Cf. A. Bugnini—C. Braga, Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae instauratus commentarium. Bibliotheca Ephemerides Liturgicae Sectio Historica 25, Roma, Edizioni Liturgiche, 1956, p. 56, n. 28.
|The Betrayal of Judas, as depicted by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, 1304-06.|
Judas the transgressor, o Lord, who dipped his hand with Thee in the dish at the supper, lawlessly stretched out his hands to take the silver pieces; and he that reckoned up the price of the myrrh, did not shudder to sell Thee, that art beyond price; he who stretched out his feet to be washed, deceitfully kissed the Master to betray him to the lawless; cast from the choir of Apostles, and having cast away the thirty silver pieces, he did not see Thy Resurrection on the third day; through which have mercy on us.
Judas the slave and deceiver, the disciple and plotter, the friend and accuser, was revealed by his deeds; for he followed the Teacher and with himself he plotted the betrayal; he said to himself, ‘I shall hand him over, and gain the money that has been agreed upon.’ He sought for the myrrh to be sold, and Jesus to be taken by guile; he gave a greeting; he handed over Christ; and like a sheep to the slaughter so did He follow, that alone is compassionate and loveth mankind.
Judas is truly of the generation of vipers who ate the manna in the desert and murmured against the One who nourished them; for while the food was yet in their mouths, the ungrateful ones spoke against God; and he, the impious one, while bearing in his mouth the heavenly Bread, devised betrayal against the Savior. O insatiable mind, and inhuman daring! He sold the One who nourished him and handed over to death the Master whom he kissed; truly the transgressor is their son, and with them he has inherited destruction. But deliver, o Lord, our souls from such inhumanity, Who art alone boundless in long-suffering.
Although I published this here a couple years ago, it seemed like a good time to reprint it, as we are now about to enter the Triduum. Easter Blessings to all our readers!
As most readers know, the old Easter Vigil of the Roman Rite underwent a series of reforms beginning in 1951 and continuing until the introduction of the revised Holy Week Rite of Pope Pius XII in the spring of 1956. The Dominicans imitated as much as possible these changes until we produced a new Vigil of our own, one that went into effect at Easter 1957, a year after the Roman Rite. Readers who know the Vigil of the 1962 Roman Missal would find that in use by Dominicans from 1957 onward virtually identical to it, so I am not going to describe it. But as our older liturgy is quite different and of historical interest; thus this post.
Following the medieval practice of Saturday afternoon celebration of the Easter Vigil, the Dominican Vigil began after the singing of None. In the modern period, when the Vigil had migrated to Saturday morning, this meant that Matins and the four Little Hours of Holy Saturday were sung back-to-back in the morning so that the Vigil itself could begin before 9:00 a.m. One of the first effects of Pope Pius XII's period of experimentation after 1951 was that in some houses the Little Hours of Holy Saturday were restored to their normal times and the Vigil was celebrated in the later afternoon, but this was by no means the universal practice. Morning celebration continued in many places until 1957.
The old Dominican Vigil began with the Blessing of the New Fire. The prior or other priest celebrant, in purple cope, standing before the high altar, blessed lighted coals in a small metal dish held by the sacristan. The coals had been lighted without any special ceremony in the sacristry before the service. The deacon held the missal. The blessing prayer Domine sancte Pater was short and merely recited, not sung. A small candle was then lighted from these coals, but they were kept in the presbytery until the lighting of the church lamps, so that they could be used to relight the Easter Candle should a draft put it out. The deacon received the prior's blessing, gave the subdeacon the missal and placed himself to the subdeacon's left, which was the Gospel side, as all were facing the altar. The two acolytes with unlighted candles flanked the deacon and subdeacon. The prior took his place at the Epistle side of the altar, as he did for the singing of the Gospel at Solemn Mass. The Deacon then sang the Exultet, for which Dominicans have a tone somewhat different from the Roman and which differs in a number of places from the Roman text.
Although in modern times Dominicans used Easter Candles of conventional size, as late as the 1800s we often used a very large Easter Candle, much taller than those in use today. Our Province archives have pictures from the 1850s of one of these candles at our old priory church in Benicia California. I will try to get a scan of it. Dominicans did not use a three-branch holder for the Easter Fire and there was no chantning of Lumen Christi. In many priories the ancient practice of the "Easter Card" (Cartula Paschalis) was maintained into the last century. This was tacked to the candle in place of the modern practice of lettering on the candle. The card gave the year of the Lord, the years since the foundation of the Order, Years since the death of St. Dominic, the Epact, the Dominical Letter, and the Indiction.
When the deacon reached the words In huius igitur noctis, he inserted the first grain of incense into the candle; at the words Rutilans ignis accendit, he lit the Paschal Candle. The server holding the other four grains of incense then inserted them as the deacon continued to sing the Blessing. These acts would have required use of a ladder in the old days. As the deacon sang Qui licit sit divisus in partes, the two acolytes' candles were lighted, and then, at Pretiosae huius lampadis, the church lamps. When the Exultet was finished, the ministers returned to the sacristy, put on white Mass vestments and returned to the altar. There they bowed and went to be seated for the readings, without any other ceremony. During this one Mass of the year, the acolyte's candles were not snuffed when not in use, but allowed to burn continuously.
A lector in surplice then sang the four readings of the Vigil. These were Gen. 1-2; Ex. 14-15; Is. 4; and Is. 54-55. In the thirteenth-century the number of readings at the vigil varied widely: from 4 to 18. The Dominican shorter version was found widely in use in Italy. There is actually nothing unusual about it. So, I do not believe that the Dominican was a special model for the post-1955 Roman revision of the Vigil--the readings do not match. I would think that the Roman model was one of the shorter Italian (Roman) uses from the middle ages.
A Tract and Collect followed each reading except that from Genesis, which had only a Collect. The second reading from Isaiah had two collects, one before and one after the Tract Sicut Cervus. Two chanters wearing surplices in medio chori then lead the community in singing the Litany of the Saints in its Dominican form. When the choir had sung the last Agnus Dei of the Litany, the choir began the Easter Kyrie and the major ministers approached the altar for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar.
The priest then intoned at the center of the altar, the Gloria in the solemn tone (very similar to that of Roman Mass IV). As it was intoned, the organ played for the first time since the beginning of Lent, the church bells were rung for the first time since Holy Thursday, and the friars took off their black cappas to reveal their white habits. The subdeacon then sang the Epistle from Colossians 3.
The Dominican way of singing the Easter Gospel Alleluia differs from the common Roman form, with its three repetitions of the Alleluia and cantors raising each intonation. To the right you can see the Easter Alleluia according to the Domincan chant, the melody of which differs a bit from the common Roman form. You can also see how it is sung. Two cantors in medio chori intone it and the friars all rise. The community then joins in on the short melisma at the end: as indicated by the double bar. Note that this use of the double bar in Dominican notation functions as does the asterisk in Solesmes notation. Then the entire Alleluia is repeated by all, as indicated by the "Repet." The friars then sit while the two cantors sing the verse, joining in for eius at the end, as indicated again by the double bar before that word. As can be seen from "Non repet. Alleluia." the Alleluia is not repeated after the verse. So the Dominican practice is to repeat the Alleluia only once, before the verse. Originally we sang the Alleluia once more after the verse, as I will explain below. Another pair of cantors next joined the original two to sing, antiphonally, the Tract (Ps. 116). Then came the deacon's chanting of the Gospel from Matthew 28.
The current use at the Alleluia reflects changes made in our liturgy at the time of Humbert's reforms in 1256. In the picture to the right you can see displayed one of the four extant Dominican Missals from before the Reforms of Humbert of Romans in 1256. This book represents the "Liturgy of the Four Friars" whose standardization of Dominican practice was approved in 1246. The left page shows the end of the Litany and the Vigil Mass of Easter (the right page is the Mass of Christmas). If you look carefully you can see where the rubrics for the Alleluia have been changed to conform to Humbert's revision: originally the Alleluia was sung a third time after the verse. This is here crossed out. The Tract was then sung in medio with two pairs of friars alternating the verses. At the Gospel only incense was used; no candles or cross were carried. There was no Credo and no Offertory chant.
The Mass then continued as usual until the Pax Domini. Unlike the usual practice at Solemn Mass, the Pax instrument was not passed and there was no Agnus Dei. Rather, a very short vespers service began immediately after the response to the Pax Domini. The triple Alleluia antiphon was sung and followed by Psalm 116 with its Gloria Patri. After the choir repeated the antiphon, the cantor intoned the Magnificat Antiphon Vespere autem sabbati, which was also repeated after the choir had finished the Magnificat. The priest, who had by this time finished communion, then sang the Postcommunion Collect. The Mass ended in the usual way with the Placeat, the Ite Missa est, the blessing, and the Last Gospel, the deacon, however, sang the Ite with triple alleluias. Compline was sung after the major meal with chants proper to the Easter season and the Salve Regina was followed by procession to the altar of the Virgin Mary singing the Litany of Loreto, was customary on all Saturdays of the year. In case you are wondering, Dominicans sing the Salve Regina all year round after Compline.
There was no General Communion of the friars at the Vigil because the Easter General Communion was at the day Mass of Easter. But I understand that in many places a General Communion had been introduced into the Vigil in the early part of the twentieth century. Such as the practice at our House of Studies in the early 1950s. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Dominican Vigil is the absence of any rites related to Baptism and the font. This reflects the monastic origins of our rite: monasteries did not have pastoral cures and so had no baptismal font since they never needed to perform baptisms. The rite is also of interest for the simplicity of the Fire Ceremony, which is probably quite ancient.
The Four Friars Missal show is Lausanne: Musee Historique MS MG 2117 and dates to the late 1240s. This post follows the rubrics of the 1933 Dominican Missal, the 1869 Caeremoniale juxta Ritum S. Ordinis Praedicatorum, and the memories of older friars of the Western Dominican Province, in particular Bro. Raymond Bertheaux.
The rite begins with the regular lucernarium, a responsory originally to be sung during the lighting of candles and lanterns in the church. This is followed by a hymn, and another responsory called the “responsorium in choro”; in the Duomo itself, this chant is to be sung by the archbishop. A reader then sings the entire book of Jonah, a custom which, as Nicola de’ Grandi has noted before, is attested in the writings of St Ambrose himself; this is followed by a psalmellus, the Ambrosian equivalent of a gradual. The Mass then begins without an introductory chant, (the Ambrosian Rite has no Kyrie), starting from the collect, the same that of the Roman Rite; the epistle which follows is of course St Paul’s account of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 11, 20-34, which is read in the Roman Rite at both Mass and Tenebrae.
There follows a cantus, the Ambrosian equivalent of a tract; its text is taken partly from the reading of the Passion according to St. Matthew which follows, (chapter 26, 17-75), and partly from St. Luke 22, 47-48.
You are come out as it were to a robber with swords to apprehend me. Daily I was with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me, and behold you hand me over to be crucified.All the readings for the principle services of the Triduum are taken from the Gospel of St Matthew; the Passion therefore stops with the cock-crow which reminds St Peter that Christ prophesied his betrayal, and resumes in the morning service after Terce at the beginning of chapter 27. (The other three Passions, of Ss Mark, Luke and John, are read in the second of two nocturns at Matins of Good Friday.)
V. As He yet spoke, behold a crowd, and he that was called Judas came, and drew near to Jesus to kiss him. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss to be crucified?
The Mass continues as normal, with a few modifications similar to those of the traditional Roman Rite. The normal antiphon “after the Gospel” is sung; its text is taken with slight modifications from the Byzantine Rite, which on this same day sings these words in the place of the Cherubic hymn at the Divine Liturgy.
Thou receivest me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Thy wondrous Supper. For I will not reveal this mystery to Thy enemies; I will not I give Thee a kiss as did Judas; but as the thief, confessing to Thee: remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.
In accordance with the very ancient custom that the Kiss of Peace is not given on Holy Thursday, since it was the sign by which Judas betrayed the Lord, the deacon does not sing “Pacem habete” after laying the corporal on the altar, is as usually done in the Ambrosian Rite.
The prayer “over the Offering” is the same as the Roman Secret; the Mass has a proper preface, as do most Masses in the Ambrosian Rite.
Truly it is worthy and just etc. … Through Christ our Lord. Who though He was God in heaven, descended unto the earth to cancel the sins of men; and He that had come to liberate the human race, was sold in an unlawful purchase by His servant, like a debtor and a guilty man, even the Lord; and He that judgeth the Angels, was set in the judgment of man, that He might deliver from death man, whom He Himself had made. And therefore with the Angels etc.The Canon of the Mass is the normal Ambrosian Canon, which is in most respects fairly similar to the Roman Canon, but today is said with several very long interpolations. The first of these is in the Communicantes:
Communicating, and celebrating the most sacred day, on which Our Lord, Jesus Christ, was betrayed. Thou, o Lord, didst command us to be partakers of Thy Son, sharers of Thy kingdom, dwellers in Paradise, companions of the Angels; ever provided we keep the sacraments of the heavenly army with pure and undefiled faith. And what may we not hope of Thy mercy, we who received so great a gift, that we might merit to offer Thee such a Victim, namely, the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ? Who for the redemption of the world gave himself up to that holy and venerable Passion; Who instituting the form of the perennial sacrifice of salvation, first offered Himself as the Victim, and first taught that It be offered. But also venerating the memory etc.The words “keep the sacraments of the heavenly army – caelestis militae sacramenta servemus” refer to a common pre-Christian sense of the Latin word “sacramentum – a military oath of allegiance”.
The Hanc igitur is not so much interpolated as completely rewritten.
We therefore beseech thee, o Lord, graciously attend to this offering, which we make to Thee because of the day of the Lord’s Supper, on which Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, instituted the rite of sacrifice in the New Covenant, when He transformed the bread and wine, which Melchisedech the priest had offered as a prefiguration of the mystery that was to come, into the sacrament of His Body and Blood; and so for the course of many years, in health and safety may we merit to offer our gifts to the Thee, o Lord; and may Thou order our days in Thy peace etc.The Qui pridie is then interpolated as follows:
Who on the day before He suffered for our salvation and that of all men, that is, on this day, reclining in the midst of His disciples and taking bread etc.The rest of the Canon is said as normal; however, after the Nobis quoque, there follows a lengthy addition unique to the Ambrosian Rite.
We do these things, we celebrate these thing, o Lord, keeping Thy commandments: and at this inviolable communion, by the very fact that we receive the Body of the Lord, we also announce his death. But it belongeth to Thee, almighty Father, to send now Thy only begotten Son, whom Thou didst send willingly to them that sought Him not. Who though Thou art infinite and unknowable, didst also beget of Thee God infinite and unknowable; so that Thou may now grant His Body unto our salvation, by whose Passion Thou didst grant redemption to the human race. Through the same.In the Ambrosian Rite, the fraction of the Host is done before the Our Father, accompanied by an antiphon called the Confractory, which on Holy Thursday reads as follows:
This is the Body, which shall be given up for you: this Chalice of the New Covenant is in My Blood, sayeth the Lord. As often as you shall receive these things, do this in memory of Me.The Lord’s Prayer is then preceded by a special formula of introduction used only on this day, in place of the usual formula common to the Roman and Milanese rites.
It is His commandment, o Lord, which we follow, in Whose presence we now ask Thee. Give to the sacrifice its Author, that the faith of the matter may be fulfilled in the loftiness of the mystery; so that as we carry out the truth of the heavenly sacrifice, so we may draw in the truth of the Lord’s Body and Blood. Through the same Christ Our Lord, saying: Our Father etc.The Transitory, the Ambrosian communion antiphon, also refers to the Passion Gospel of Matthew 26.
My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. Now you shall see the crowd that surroundeth me, and take flight, and I will go to be immolated for ye.The Post-Communion prayer is different from that of the Roman Rite.
Lord, our God, grant in Thy mercy; that we who have received the Body and Blood of Thy only begotten Son may be set apart from the blindness of the faithless disciple, we who confess and worship Christ our Lord as true God and true man. Who liveth etc.As in the Roman Rite, the Blessed Sacrament is taken to the Altar of Repose in solemn procession at the end of the Mass; afterwards, the end of vespers is sung. This consists of psalm 69, sung together with the two psalms 133 and 116 added to it, sung with a single doxology, according to a common custom of the Ambrosian Rite on feasts. The rite then concludes with four prayers, the Magnificat being omitted as noted above.
|Christ on the Cross between the two Thieves, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1619|
Please read this! - Last year, we received so many submissions that the final Easter photopost went up almost a month after Easter itself. This is, of course, all to the good, but I would ask people to do a few things to make it easier for us to process the photos. The first is to size them down so that the smaller dimension is around 1500 pixels. The second is, as much as possible to send the pictures as zipped files, which are a lot easier to process, (not links, and not as photos embedded in an email). The third is to not mix photos of one ceremony with those of another, and to put the name of the ceremony (“Tenebrae”, “Holy Thursday”, “Good Friday”, “Holy Saturday”, and “Easter Sunday”) as the subject of the email. Your help is very much appreciated.
|From the second Good Friday 2017 photopost, the unveiling of the Cross at Holy Innocents in New York City.|
|The Harrowing of Hell, by Duccio di Buoninsenga, 1308-11|
|The Resurection of Christ, by Piero della Francesca (ca. 1450-63)|
TO all our readers, to your families and friends, we wish you an Easter filled with every joy and blessing in the Risen Lord - He is truly risen!
Chorabooks has just released what looks like a fascinating book, pertinent to readers of NLM.
David W. Fagerberg, Liturgy outside Liturgy. The Liturgical Theology of Fr. Alexander Schmemann.
Hong Kong: Chorabooks, 2018.
Paperback $ 24.60 ISBN 9789887851547
EBook (Kindle) $ 9.83 ISBN 9789887851509
EBook (Epub) Euro 6.99 ISBN 9789887851585
Available immediately in all the Amazon stores in Kindle and paperback format, and in more than 100 online stores in Epub format (Feltrinelli, Rizzoli, Mondadori, hoepli, Book Republic, Libreria universitaria, San Paolo store, Il fatto quotidiano, Il giardino dei libri, Google play, Ibooks store, Kobobooks, Tolino, Casa del libro, Bajalibros, Nookstore, Weltbild, El corte inglés, Barnes and Nobles, etc.)
This is an important question that David W. Fagerberg, Theology Professor at Notre Dame University asks himself and us. And to answer this question, he is presenting the thought of Fr. Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983), who was a leading theologian in the Orthodox Church in America and one of the foremost thinkers in liturgical theology. The material is based on careful scholarship, but presented in such a way that the common reader will also benefit from the many powerful insights that can be found in it.
Schmemann made powerful statements to make readers think seriously. For example, about the world he says, “We seem to forget that in the New Testament and in the whole Christian tradition the ‘world’ is the object of two apparently contradicting attitudes: an emphatic acceptance, a yes, but also an equally emphatic rejection, a no.” And about the relationship of theology and the Church he writes, “[Theology] today constitutes within the Church a self-centered world, virtually isolated from the Church’s life. It lives in itself and by itself in tranquil academic quarters, well defended against profane intrusions and curiosities by a highly technical language. Theologians avoid discussing the trivial reality of the Church’s life, and do not even dream about influencing it in any way. In turn the Church, i.e., the bishops, priests and laity, are supremely indifferent to the writings of the theologians, even when they do not regard them with open suspicion. … Theology simply fails to reach anybody but professionals, to provoke anything but esoteric controversies in academic periodicals.”
Against the dangers of a liturgy that is auto referential, Fagerberg observes that “Liturgical reform should not, therefore, be self-serving; liturgical reform is a matter of empowering the Church’s leitourgia, which is the work of a few on behalf of the many.” He summarizes the conclusion his book in this way: “Let me conclude with a glance back over all three investigations: should liturgy matter, where is theology done, and does liturgy enter our life? In these three questions we were only following Schmemann’s own definition of the goal of liturgical theology, which is to overcome the fateful divorce between theology, liturgy, and piety. This breakup deprived liturgy of its proper understanding, theology of its living source, and piety of its living content. … The liturgical cult does not exist for itself, but for the sake of the world, for the sake of understanding and transforming the world.”
This book is not only for academic theologians, but also for all those who love the liturgy and are willing to be challenged with a fresh perspective on this fundamental topic for our Christian life.
David W. Fagerberg is a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA). Fagerberg’s area of study is liturgical theology: its definition and methodology, and how the Church’s lex orandi (law of prayer) is the foundation for her lex credendi (law of belief). Lately he has been working on how liturgy, theology, and asceticism interrelate. He also has interests in sacramental theology, Eastern Orthodoxy, linguistic philosophy, scholasticism, G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis. He is the author of several books, including Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology (Angelico Press, 2016).
Reading the sentence quoted above, "The liturgical cult does not exist for itself, but for the sake of the world, for the sake of understanding and transforming the world,” one might feel a slight misgiving. Apart from the obvious sense in which this is true, namely, that liturgy is not a club activity, like a game, could it not be dangerous to say that the cultus of God is for understanding and transforming the world? This may sound like a Marxist redirection of worship away from the divine towards the mundane and immanent? Do not the Orthodox rightly say that liturgy is doxology, the acknowledgment and praise of God in His greatness and for Himself -- which then spills over (or can and should spill over) into the rest of our lives?
But we have to understand the sense in which Fagerberg -- and Schmemann and Kavanaugh, if I construe them rightly -- understand this world-liturgy dialectic. This trio of authors has to be understood as offering a creative, redemptive response to religion's headlong rush into the arms of Marxism. When the whole world was deserting "organized religion" and "dogmas" as "irrelevant" to the world-changing processes going on, they argued that the liturgy was "the world done right." When the denominations were being suburbanized, taken away from the center of life in the city, they proposed bringing liturgy "back to the city." Against the psychologists who said religion was "abnormal," they said liturgy was the only way to be "normal." So, the world-transforming aspect should be understood as a corrective of Marxism, which thinks that the world can be understood and transformed by human action alone. Liturgy is the real revolution, if you will, and the real psycho-therapy, precisely because it is not reducible to horizontal political and economic relationships or psychological categories, but is inherently from above and ordered beyond itself.
Christ came as an epiphany in order to transform the world for the Father's glory, which is revealed in and through creation, embodied in man rescued from sin and death. As the extension of the Incarnation, the sacred liturgy participates in this mission, for the life of the world, to hasten it on its reditus to the Creator. The liturgy is therefore meant to be the axis of human culture, the pole star around which the constellation of all human endeavors circles, the vital center of civilization. It is a fleshly, sensible regime of worship proportioned, like the Incarnation, to man's bodily nature, given to us to draw our attention and devotion to God, granting us a dramatic vision of the universe gathered in worship of its Final End. This vision allows us to coordinate all our activity toward our End, thus fulfilling our role as high priests in bringing all things to God.
From what I have read over the years, it seems that Fr. Schmemann, whatever his limitations from a traditional Catholic perspective, is well positioned to help us work through these points, with a combination of mystical penetration and no-nonsense critique. I am therefore happy to see this new book by Fagerberg and look forward to digging into it.
What is meant by nuova edizione in the Italian-language announcement is unclear. Presumably, this just means that the 2005 supplement and other new celebrations, e.g. B.V.M., Mother of the Church, will be inserted into the relevant sections of the volumes. I will update this post if there is any more information.
Many readers have written to me or commented to express their appreciation of this series over the years, and how glad they are to be able to follow this ancient custom in the very heart of the Church and of the Roman Rite. Agnese also asked me to convey her thanks all of those who have followed her annual Lenten pilgrimage, and to let you know that she brings you with her in her prayers. Ad multos et felices annos!
|Agnese at the Easter vigil at Trinità dei Pellegrini|
|Fr Alek preaching back home in America|