Monday, December 5, 2016

Ninth Anniversary

I began this blog (which hasn't been kept up very often for a long time now) nine years ago, on the feast of that great monastic saint, Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (σιος Σάββας γιασμένος), to whom I have since learnt is attributed the Typicon or set of directions for the liturgical rites of the Byzantine Liturgy – how appropriate for unworthy me, who often acts as M.C., directs a choir, prays the Office, etc. I was delighted to find his commemoration among the texts of the EF Mass today. May anything of good blogged here be attributed to Divine Providence through his intercession; may all the bad be forgiven me by the Lord at his prayers.

I was recently privileged to serve Mass for Fr Pius, who has recently moved to Tasmania to found a traditional Benedictine monastery with the blessing of our beloved Archbishop; to this end, I turn in prayer to St Sabbas, himself a great founder of monasteries, in the words of another famous monastic founder, Abbot Guéranger, from his masterwork The Liturgical Year (Vol. I, p. 337):

O Sabas, “thou man of desires” (Dan. x, 11)! in thy expectation of that Lord, who has bid His servants watch until He come (cf. Matt. xxiv. 42), thou didst withdraw into the desert, fearing lest the turmoil of the world might distract thy mind from its God. Have pity on us who are living in the world, and are so occupied in the affairs of that world, and yet who have received the commandment, which thou didst so take to heart, of keeping ourselves in readiness for the coming of our Saviour and our Judge. Pray for us, that when He comes we may be worthy to go out to meet Him (cf. Matt. xxv, 6). Remember also the monastic state, of which thou art one of the brightest ornaments; raise it up again from its ruins; let its children be men of prayer and faith, as of old; let thy spirit be among them, and the Church thus regain, by thy intercession, all the glory which is reflected on her from the sublime perfection of this holy state.

Amen, so be it!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Birthday, Confession and First Communion

Again my birthday has rolled around, my forty-second; I seem to recall that "42" was alleged in a sci-fi novel to be 'the answer' to life, the universe and everything, which raised the issue of what the question was in the first place! 

Today being Saturday, I had a nice sleep-in after a pleasant eve-of-birthday dinner with family at the local Chinese restaurant last night; then it was off to Confession at Apostles as is my weekly custom… I had hoped to be early enough to be first in line (I believe strongly in being as quick and to the point as possible when confessing), and arrived just before the priest at 10 am, but as it was I was fourth, and didn't get out of the box till twenty past. At least I had time to say Mattins and pray a little more whilst waiting.

Then I had to drive as fast as lawfully allowed to Glengarry, where (at the little country church of St Canice – "in-the-fields", as Fr Allan used to say) I was expected to sing at a special Missa cantata for the First Communion of the daughter of some friends of mine. I was also bringing the Mass booklets for the congregation, the music for the rest of the choir, the altar cards and the altar missal! 

Luckily, after I arrived, I found that Mass wasn't going to start strictly on time after all, so I could relax. However, I did have a near-miss: for when rushing to put the altar cards in place, I leaned the central card against the crucifix as usual, only to have the crucifix fall backwards against the stained-glass window behind the altar, somehow avoiding breaking it, but bending the crucifix (though Fr Suresh was able to bend it back into shape).

The Mass – of St Elizabeth of Hungary, with commemoration of Pope St Pontian – was beautiful: beforehand, we sang Veni Creator Spiritus; we psalm-toned the Propers, chanted the Messe Royale for the Ordinary, and during the Offertory sang Jesu dulcis memoria, after Communion, Ave verum, during the Last Gospel, the simple Salve, and for a recessional, Faber's devout hymn, "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all". It was good to sing with the choir, since the 2nd M.C. had come up from Hobart, so I didn't have to serve as I usually do. Fr Suresh preached a special sermon about the Blessed Eucharist, especially for our first communicant. Afterward, in the adjoining church hall, we had a delightful celebration.

Of your charity, please pray for Peter, the father of an old friend I met at the First Communion party: I was shocked to learn that he is very ill with cancer.

I drove home along some of the quiet country roads in the district, through patches of bushland interspersed with farmland. Family members had given me a bottle of gin for my birthday, so I had a G&T once I got back, to celebrate. Then, it was time for some gardening, before heading off to the parish Vigil Mass of Christ the King (I sang with the choir, and read the first reading). Somewhat oddly, I then had Mexican for tea. All in all, a happy birthday.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Back from Christus Rex

Once again, I've walked as part of the Christus Rex Pilgrimage from Ballarat to Bendigo – this was my eighth. This year, the main trial was a plague of mosquitoes, particularly on the last day; I've never known mosquitoes like it. But of course the holy pilgrimage itself found its culmination and raison d'être in the solemn celebration of the traditional form of the Mass: a pre-pilgrimage Requiem High Mass on the Thursday evening at Ballarat Cathedral; the morning Votive High Mass of the Holy Cross, with commemoration of SS Simon and Jude, Apostles, early on the Friday morning; the beautiful midday Mass of Our Lady on Saturday; the afternoon Pontifical High Mass of Christ the King; and the Monday morning High Mass, this year of the Vigil of All Saints. In addition, as usual, I assisted my former parish priest, Fr Rowe, by serving his Low Mass on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday; this meant I missed a bit of each day's walk, which wasn't so bad! The camaraderie of the pilgrimage was itself a great blessing, as it affords me the chance to catch up with old friends I rarely see these days. I have already booked my accommodation for next year. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Contra Kasper

...the Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. "For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."

"...I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. For I the Lord do not change…"

— Malachi 3:14-16; 4:5-6 [RSV]

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Consecration to Our Lady Queen of Angels

The Latin Mass Community of the Archdiocese of Hobart was this day consecrated to its newly-chosen Patroness, Our Lady, Queen of Angels. After the usual Sunday morning Mass in Hobart, and after this evening's second-Sunday-of-the-month Missa cantata in Launceston, one and all recited the Act of Consecration, entrusting the whole Community, and each member thereof, to her maternal care.

This evening, during the Last Gospel, the choir sang the Ave Regina cælorum (using the Dominican version); after that came the following versicle, collect and the Act of Consecration itself, followed by the recessional hymn, "Help of Christians, guard this land":

V. Ave María, Regína Angelórum.
R. Ora pro nobis servis tuis. 
Supplicatiónem servórum tuórum, Deus miserátor, exáudi: ut qui in Communitáte Regínæ Angelórum congregámur, ejus intercessiónibus, a te de instántibus perículis eruámur. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen. 
Holy Virgin, Sovereign of the heavenly hierarchies, who by the august title of Mother of God have been raised to the dignity of Queen of Angels, we unite ourselves today to those blessed spirits to render to you our duty and our profound homage; we come to consecrate ourselves forever to your service. We already belong, it is true, to your beloved Congregation; however, permit us to declare loudly, O Mary, that we are and will always be your children. Immaculate Virgin, who have never been invoked in vain, show that you are truly our mother; we beseech you, show to us, especially during these rejoicings, that we are passing through the midst of a corrupt world that will strive to deceive us; show the enemies of our salvation that you are more powerful to save us than they are to destroy us; govern us by the good offices of our Celestial Guardians. We must fight the infernal legions, an evil and seductive world, and especially our passions and evil inclinations; who will defend us against such formidable enemies if you do not come to our rescue? You are terrible as an army in battle array: it is for you to support us in these battles. O Mary, bright star of the sea, guide us in the midst of this stormy sea, so full of pitfalls that many of the virtuous have been wrecked! You are beautiful as the lily among thorns: preserve us in an inviolable purity in the midst of universal corruption. We entrust to you the precious deposit of our innocence, which will be safer in your hands, O Virgin of virgins, whose purity exceeds that of the same Angels. O Mother most amiable, enlarge your heart, open to us a refuge against the fury and dangerous seductions of the infernal dragon whose head you crushed. You are all powerful with the Almighty: gain for us, we beseech you, all relief that we need to overcome the devil, the world and ourselves. Finally, obtain for us the grace to lead an angelic life, that we may deserve to be assisted and strengthened at the hour of death, by you and by our holy angels, and be rewarded in heaven. Amen.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

An Antiphon from the Church of the Beatitudes

When in the Holy Land on pilgrimage a few years ago, I visited the Church of the Beatitudes, and in the adjoining gift shop I bought a postcard-sized reproduction of a piece of Gregorian chant whose text was, of course, the Beatitudes - the whole text thereof. I assume it is an antiphon, and from the range of notes and its final, it must be in mode IV; but I have been unable to locate its source. Just today I got around to typesetting it: here it is.

The odd-numbered beatitudes each share the same basic melody, as does part of the last beatitude - but in reverse: quoniam ipsorum est regnum cælorum has the tune of the first half-verse of each of those odd-numbered beatitudes, Beati qui persecutionem the same as their second halves, while patiuntur propter justitiam seems instead to have the same tune as that shared by the even-numbered beatitudes.

Can anyone identify its source? Could it be Franciscan?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mass against the Pagans

The 1962 edition of the Roman Missal changed the title of the Votive Mass contra paganos to pro Ecclesiæ defensione (for the defence of the Church), but left all of its texts unchanged. Being a Votive Mass for a pressing need, it is said without Gloria in excelsis and Credo, and the sacred ministers wear violet vestments. If it is said by order or consent of the Ordinary for a grave and public reason (as, for example, in contemporary France), it ranks as a Votive of the II class, and the salutations, orations, lessons and so forth are sung to the solemn tone; otherwise, it is of the IV class, and the ferial tone is employed. 

The Dominican Missal changes the term "pagans" (also commonly translated as "heathen") to "Turks and heretics", but this seems a little tactless. There is a ruling, centuries past (I think in Gavantus), proscribing the change of the word "pagans" in this Mass of the Roman Missal into other more specific terms, such as Moors, Turks and Saracens, for example, so it is probably best to leave the word "pagans" in place. 

Such wicked deluded zealots of another, ahem, Abrahamic religion as currently carry out atrocities are, in point of fact, acting precisely as barbaric pagan votaries of devils, so they deserve to be prayed against in those terms. The martyred Fr Hamel was quite right to rebuke his murders as agents of Satan in his last words. May God by his grace convert all such by a great miracle!

(For this cause, the corresponding prayer pro inimicis could be profitably added after each of the three proper orations of this Mass, as is allowable if it be of the IV class – I include these below, for, just as we should pray for protection against our enemies, we should also pray for our enemies themselves, that they be converted and saved.)

Apparently the Collect, Secret and Postcommunion of this Mass have been used as a triplet together since the 11th century, unsurprisingly in connexion with prayer for the success of the Crusades, and Pope Calixtus III promulgated the full Mass proper by his Bull Cum hiis superioribus of 20th June 1456, though I have not yet found a copy thereof. 

Other researches of mine have revealed no Sequence once used for this Mass (as similar Votive Masses generally did not have Sequences), but several Prefaces contra Paganos exist, and I include a slight abbreviation and conflation of two of them in the following texts.

The Mass against the Pagans is liturgically well-structured, being a holy recycling of chants, lessons and prayers from earlier Masses, thus:

Int. Exsurge – Liber Usualis, 504 (Sexagesima Sunday)
Or. O. s. Ds, in cujus – (Cf. Good Friday, Prayer for the Roman Emperor)
Ep. Oravit Mardochæus – (Wednesday after Second Sunday of Lent)
Grad. Sciant gentesLiber Usualis, 506 (Sexagesima Sunday)
All. Excita Domine – Liber Usualis, 336 (Third Sunday of Advent)
Tr. Adjuvanot in Liber Usualis; 1961 Graduale Romanum [131]
All. Deus virtutumnot in Liber Usualis; 1961 Graduale Romanum [132]
Evang. Quis vestrum – (Rogation Mass)
Off. Populum humilemLiber Usualis, 1015 (Eighth Sunday after Pentecost)
V. Clamor & LiberatorOffertoriale, 93
Secr. Sacrificium (Cf. Mass in Time of War, Secret)
Comm. In salutariLiber Usualis, 1069 (Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost)
PC. Protector noster(Cf. Votive Prayer for Defence against Foes, Postcommunion)

The way the prayers of this Mass were adapted from earlier sources is instructive:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, in cujus manu sunt omnium potestates et omnium jura regnorum: respice in auxilium christianorum; ut gentes paganorum, quæ in sua feritate confidunt, dexteræ tuæ potentia conterantur. Per.
(Cf. Good Friday, Solemn Prayers, Prayer for the Roman Emperor:
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, in cujus manu sunt omnium potestates et omnium jura regnorum: respice ad Romanum benign us Imperium; ut gentes, quæ in sua feritate confidunt, potentiæ tuæ dextera comprimantur. Per.)

Sacrificium, Domine, quod immolamus, intende: ut propugnatores tuos ab omni eruas paganorum nequitia, et in tuæ protectionis securitate constituas. Per. 
(Cf. Tempore Belli, Secreta:
Sacrificium, Domine, quod immolamus, intende placatus: ut ab omni nos eruat bellorum nequitia, et in tuæ protectionis securitate constituat. Per.)

Protector noster, aspice, Deus: et propugnatores tuos a paganorum defende periculis; ut, omni perturbatione submota, liberis tibi mentibus deserviant. Per.
(Cf. Pro defensione ab hostibus, Postcommunio:
Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et ab inimicorum nos defende periculis: ut, omni perturbatione submota, liberis tibi mentibus serviamus. Per.)

In these prayers, we pray that the pagan nations who trust in their own ferocity may be crushed by the power of God's right hand (Collect), and that those who fight for us may escape all pagan snares and perils (Secret and Postcommunion): or, in modern-day terms, may Daesh, Boko Haram, etc. be smashed and all police, military and security services win out against terrorists, that God by his aid may keep us safe.

The handy Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum, 134, suggests various verses of Psalm 118 to be sung with the Communion antiphon In salutari on the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, but since these psalm-verses can be freely chosen, I would suggest a more apposite selection (Ps. 118, 53. 61. 85. 87. 95. 98. 110. 126. 139. 150. 157) when the same Communion is used at Mass against the Pagans.

In France, it was long the custom to sing O salutaris hostia after the Elevation, and this is still done today at some EF Masses there. This being a prayer to Christ our Sacrifice for delivery from our foes, it would be highly appropriate to sing this as a Motet during or after Communion at this Votive Mass (in France itself, after Communion at some EF Masses, Domine salvam fac Galliam is sung at the same point).

As for the Offertory, if some Motet be desired, there are many settings of the Matins Responsory Congregati sunt inimici nostri (used during October, when the books of the Machabees are read during the Night Office), which would be most suitable – I happen to like the setting by Clément Janequin (music here) – and I give the Latin amongst the other texts of the Mass below. 

Here is a translation of it:

R. Our enemies are gathered together, and make their boast of their own strength. O Lord, break their power, and scatter them: * That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O our God. V. Scatter them in thy strength, and destroy them, O Lord our Shield. *That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O our God. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. * That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O our God.

Another suitable Matins responsory, also used during October, would be Impetum inimicorum ne timueritis, set by several composers. Indeed, if polyphony be employed at this Mass, either Janequin's Missa super « La Bataille » (music here) or Victoria's more ambitious nine-part Missa pro Victoria  (music here) – both based on Janequin's own chanson commemorating the French victory at the Battle of Marignano in 1515 – could be fitting choices.

Missa pro Ecclesiæ defensione (olim, contra Paganos)

Antiphona ad Introitum (Ps. 43, 23-24 et 25-26)
Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? exsurge, et ne repellas in finem: quare faciem tuam avertis, oblivisceris tribulationem nostram? Adhæsit in terra venter noster: exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos. (T. P. Alleluja, alleluja.) 
Ps. ibid., 2 Deus, auribus nostris audivimus: patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis.
V. Gloria Patri.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, in cujus manu sunt omnium potestates et omnium jura regnorum: respice in auxilium christianorum; ut gentes paganorum, quæ in sua feritate confidunt, dexteræ tuæ potentia conterantur. Per Dominum.

ad lib., Oratio pro inimicis
Deus, pacis caritatisque amator et custos: da omnibus inimicis nostris pacem caritatemque veram; et cunctorum eis remissionem tribue peccatorum, nosque ab eorum insidiis potenter eripe. Per Dominum.

Lectio libri Esther. (13, 8-11 et 15-17)

In diebus illis: Oravit Mardochæus ad Dominum, dicens: Domine, Domine Rex omnipotens, in dicione enim tua cuncta sunt posita, et non est qui possit tuæ resistere voluntati, si decreveris salvare Israël. Tu fecisti cælum et terram, et quidquid cæli ambitu continetur. Dominus omnium es, nec est qui resistat majestati tuæ. Et nunc, Domine Rex, Deus Abraham, miserere populi tui, quia volunt nos inimici nostri perdere, et hereditatem tuam delere. Ne despicias partem tuam, quam redemisti tibi de Ægypto. Exaudi deprecationem meam, et propitius esto sorti et funiculo tuo, et converte luctum nostrum in gaudium, ut viventes laudemus nomen tuum, Domine, et ne claudas ora te canentium, Domine Deus noster.

Graduale (Ps. 82, 19 et 14) 
Sciant gentes, quoniam nomen tibi Deus: tu solus Altissimus super omnem terram. 
V. Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam, et sicut stipulam ante faciem venti.

Alleluja, alleluja. 
V. Ps. 79, 3 Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: ut salvos facias nos. 

Post Septuagesimam, omissis Alleluia et versu sequenti, dicitur:

Tractus (Ps. 78, 9-11)
Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster: et propter honorem nominis tui, Domine, libera nos: et propitius esto peccatis nostris, propter nomen tuum. 
V. Ne quando dicant gentes: Ubi est Deus eorum? et innotescat in nationibus coram oculis nostris. 
V. Vindica sanguinem servorum tuorum, qui effusus est: intret in conspectu tuo gemitus compeditorum.

Tempore autem paschali omittitur graduale, et eius loco dicitur:

Alleluja, alleluja. 
V. Ps. 79, 3 Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: ut salvos facias nos.
V. Ibid., 15-16 Deus virtutum, convertere, respice de cælo, et vide, et visita vineam istam: et perfice eam, quam plantavit dextera tua.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. (11, 5-13) 

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Quis vestrum habebit amicum, et ibit ad illum media nocte, et dicet illi: Amice, commoda mihi tres panes, quoniam amicus meus venit de via ad me, et non habeo quod ponam ante illum: et ille deintus respondens, dicat: Noli mihi molestus esse, jam ostium clausum est, et pueri mei mecum sunt in cubili, non possum surgere et dare tibi. Et si ille perseveraverit pulsans: dico vobis, et si non dabit illi surgens eo quod amicus ejus sit, propter improbitatem tamen ejus surget, et dabit illi quotquot habet necessarios. Et ego dico vobis: Petite, et dabitur vobis: quærite, et invenietis: pulsate, et aperietur vobis. Omnis enim qui petit, accipit: et qui quærit, invenit: et pulsanti aperietur. Quis autem ex vobis patrem petit panem: numquid lapidem dabit illi? Aut piscem: numquid pro pisce serpentem dabit illi? Aut si petierit ovum: numquid porriget illi scorpionem? Si ergo vos, cum sitis mali, nostis bona data dare filiis vestris: quanto magis Pater vester de cælo dabit spiritum bonum petentibus se?

Ant. ad Offertorium (Ps. 17, 28. 32. 7. 48-49)
Populum humilem salvum facies: et oculos superborum humiliabis: * Quoniam quis Deus præter te, Domine? (T. P. Alleluja.)
ad lib., V. 1. Clamor meus in conspectu ejus introivit in aures ejus. * Quoniam quis Deus præter te, Domine? (T. P. Alleluja.)
ad lib., V. 2. Liberator meus de gentibus iracundis: ab insurgentibus in me exaltabis me. * Quoniam quis Deus præter te, Domine? (T. P. Alleluja.)

ad lib., Motectum ad Offertorium (Cf. Ecclus 36, 12-13; Agg. 2, 23; Pss. 48, 7; 58, 12)
R. Congregati sunt inimici nostri, et gloriantur in virtute sua; contere fortitudinem illorum, Domine, et disperge illos: * Ut cognoscant, quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster. V. Disperge illos in virtute tua, et destrue eos, protector noster, Domine. * Ut cognoscant, quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. * Ut cognoscant, quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster. 

Sacrificium, Domine, quod immolamus, intende: ut propugnatores tuos ab omni eruas paganorum nequitia, et in tuæ protectionis securitate constituas. Per Dominum.

ad lib., Secreta pro inimicis

Oblatis, quæsumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et nos ab inimicis nostris clementer eripe, eisque indulgentiam tribue delictorum. Per Dominum.

Olim Præfatio contra Paganos
Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus: Clementiam tuam humiliter implorantes, ut omni Ecclesiæ tuæ præstes auxilium: ut, sicut liberasti filios Israël de manu Ægyptiorum, ita liberes populum christianum de oppressione paganorum, et des victoriam servis tuis: Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Cæli cælorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:

Antiphona ad Communionem Ps. 118, 81, 84 et 86 
In salutari tuo anima mea, et in verbum tuum speravi: quando facies de persequentibus me judicium? Iniqui persecuti sunt me, adjuva me, Domine Deus meus. (T. P. Alleluja.)

ad lib., Versus Psalmorum (Ps. 118, 53. 61. 85. 87. 95. 98. 110. 126. 139. 150. 157)
1. Defectio tenuit me, pro peccatoribus derelinquentibus legem tuam.
2. Funes peccatorum circumplexi sunt me, et legem tuam non sum oblitus.
3. Narraverunt mihi iniqui fabulationes, sed non ut lex tua.
4. Paulo minus consummaverunt me in terra; ego autem non dereliqui mandata tua.
5. Me exspectaverunt peccatores ut perderent me; testimonia tua intellexi.
6. Super inimicos meos prudentem me fecisti mandato tuo, quia in æternum mihi est.
7. Posuerunt peccatores laqueum mihi, et de mandatis tuis non erravi.
8. Tempus faciendi, Domine; dissipaverunt legem tuam.
9. Tabescere me fecit zelus meus, quia obliti sunt verba tua inimici mei.
10. Appropinquaverunt persequentes me iniquitati, a lege autem tua longe facti sunt.
11. Multi qui persequuntur me, et tribulant me; a testimoniis tuis non declinavi.
Gloria Patri.

ad lib., Motectum ad Communionem (attr. S. Th. Aq.)
O salutaris Hostia,
Quæ cæli pandis ostium: 
Bella premunt hostilia; 
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino 
Nobis donet in patria. Amen.

Protector noster, aspice, Deus: et propugnatores tuos a paganorum defende periculis; ut, omni perturbatione submota, liberis tibi mentibus deserviant. Per Dominum.

ad lib., Postcommunio pro inimicis
Hæc nos communio, Domine, eruat a delictis: et ab inimicorum defendat insidiis. Per Dominum.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pray for us, O holy Martyr of Christ

Fr Jacques Hamel, aged 85, was this morning murdered out of hatred of the Faith by two vile assassins (themselves sent to their eternal Judge shortly thereafter), in his church near Rouen, France, where he had been celebrating Mass. 

Without prejudging the verdict of the Church, we can but acclaim him as a martyr and ask his prayers, not least to deliver us from the twin scourges of Satanic barbarism and false religion. 

Those evildoers who seek to destroy Catholicism by terror and bloodshed only add lustre to the crown of Christ's martyrs in heaven, while condemning themselves to the darkest pit of hell forever: "Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Santiago Matamoros, ruega por nosotros

The Dominican Breviary contains the following anthems at 1st Vespers of St James the Greater, Patron of Spain - the lesser for the psalms, and the greater for the Magnificat:

(O blessed James, deserving of praise by the heart and lips of all, O singular and amiable patron, intercede for us with the Lord.)

(O light and beauty of Spain, most holy James, who holdest the first place among the Apostles, first-crowned with martyrdom of them! O singular guard, who didst deserve to behold our Redeemer, while still a mortal, transformed into the Deity! Graciously hear the prayers of thy servants, and intercede for our salvation and that of all peoples.)

Spanish editions of the Roman Breviary also contain the following responsory; I am still hunting for the music thereof:

R. viii. Iste est, qui ante alios Apostolos primus plantavit Ecclesiam sanguine suo: * Cujus corpus in Gallæciam delatum, per totum orbem gloria illustratur. V. O sidus, o decus Hispaniæ, sancte Jacobe Apostole, intercede pro nobis ad Deum, qui te elegit. * Cujus corpus in Gallæciam delatum, per totum orbem gloria illustratur. Gloria Patri. * Cujus corpus in Gallæciam delatum, per totum orbem gloria illustratur. 
(This is him, who before the other Apostles first planted the Church with his blood: * Whose body carried to Galicia, through the whole world was made famous in glory. V. O star, O beauty of Spain, Saint James the Apostle, intercede for us with God, who chose thee. * Whose body carried to Galicia, through the whole world was made famous in glory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. * Whose body carried to Galicia, through the whole world was made famous in glory.)

As I hope in a few years to walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, for the moment I pray to this great Saint for strength and aid, not least invoking him under his more militant and apposite title: Santiago Matamoros, ruega por nosotros.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sung Mass

Owing to various reasons, I ended up having to sing at sung Mass in Hobart this Sunday by myself (there weren't even the usual copies of the Ordinary chants available for the congregation, so they could only join in from memory), which was extremely stressful! 

The Propers being beyond me in their full Gregorian splendour, instead I sang all of them to the psalm tone for mode one introit psalm-verses (plus an adaptation of the opening Kyrie of the Messe Royale for the Alleluia itself). 

I had naturally assumed that there would be other singers, so I had decided for their sake and that of the congregation to use the usual Sunday setting of Mass XI (Orbis factor), together with Credo I – despite not actually having sung them for quite some time (since usually I am serving at Missa cantata rather than singing)… 

I somehow got through the Kyrie and Gloria (with some falterings and false notes all too obvious to myself), and then in due course Father intoned Credo III – so I had to make a very quick page turn to find it. The Sanctus was alright, sort of, but when it came time for the Agnus Dei, I looked at the music and faced an absolute blank in my memory for the opening notes, so I again hastily turned the pages of my old Liber Usualis, this time to Mass XVIII, and sang its rather simpler setting of the same text. 

As for the Offertory and Communion, I sang the hymn Jesu dulcis memoria during the former and Adoro te devote during the latter, which filled up most of the time (as well as being appropriate to those moments, I trust). At Father's suggestion, rather than the simple Salve Regina, I sang "Hail Queen of heaven" as the recessional hymn, which proved acceptable.

I realised very quickly that I had taken on a task that was too hard for me by myself, but short of running away during the sermon (which I seriously considered doing, as I'd already been to a vigil Mass), I had no choice but to persevere. It was very stressful and I don't ever want to have to do it again, at least not without knowing in advance that I will be alone – one attempt at "Missa Unicus et pauper sum ego, for one voice" is quite enough.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dominican Sequence for St Mary Magdalen

The Dominican Missal of 1603 is online, and it contains (on pages 308 to 309) the following delightful Sequence for the feast of St Mary Magdalen (herself referred to as Apostolorum Apostola in the Benedictus Antiphon of the feast according to the Dominican Breviary):

1. Monti Sion dat virorem, 
Ros Hermon, et viror florem,
Fecundum in gratia.
2. Ad honorem Magdalenæ,
Roris hujus imbre plenæ,
Cuncta spirent gaudia.

3. Rigans montes gratiarum,
Ad convallem lacrymarum,
Ros cælestis effluit.
4. Ibi jacens Magdalena,
Lacrymarum imbre plena,
Christi pedes abluit.

5. Abluentis cor fecundat,
Et tergentis corpus mundat,
A culparum sordibus.
6. Mandat pacem osculanti,
Et unguentis abundanti,
Largus est muneribus.

7. Auster fugans aquilonem,
Lux illustrans rationem,
In amorem perfecit.
8. Grande signum pietatis,
Mox purgatam a peccatis,
Sibi sponsam efficit.

9. Dulcis luctus, dulcis clamor,
Dulcis magis ardens amor,
In tali connubio.
10. A dilecti nulla forte, 
Nec in vita, nec in morte,
Lassatur obsequio.

11. Lugens astat morienti,
Sed congaudet resurgenti,
Ejus narrans gloriam.
12. Et regnantem confitetur,
Dum in rupe profitetur,
Vitam solitariam.

13. Novis modis ibi rapta,
Novis demum donis aucta,
Sponsi gaudet præmiis.
14. Ad hanc partem quam elegit,
Ducat nos qui mundum regit,
Ejus patrociniis. Amen.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Domine, salvam fac Galliam

Please join in praying for France, that wounded nation, eldest daughter of the Church and mother of revolutions, regicide and penitent, Catholic and atheist, which has been so wickedly attacked with hellish malice by infidel enemies of both true religion and true liberty:

Domine, salvam fac Galliam, 
et exaudi nos in die 
qua invocaverimus te. (iii)

Lord, save France,
and hear us in the day
that we shall call upon thee. (iii)

This modified verse from Psalm 19:9 is traditionally sung at EF Mass in France, originally used after Mass as a prayer for the Most Christian King (salvum fac Regem), and in more recent times sung after Communion as a prayer for that nation:

Of your charity, please pray for those who have been killed in Nice, those medical professionals treating the injured, and the gendarmerie and armed forces who are striving to fight the just fight against her foes.