Monday, February 25, 2008

Oculi mei Sunday, Mihi autem Monday

I've just finished off my solitary portion of the fish curry I cooked up; who knows where the housemates have got to!

Earlier this evening I served Fr Rowe's Low Mass for the Feast of St Matthias. It was hot again [over 35° C], and so I was boiling in my cassock and surplice, but to serve at God's altar and see the consecration so close by is an inestimable honour and delight. I had offered to sing the Proper so we could have a Missa Cantata, as he often likes for feasts when Mass is in the evening, but he was tired from his trip to Bunbury yesterday arvo and today on Mass supply, and has my friend Justin's mum still to visit in hospital: oremus pro ea.

Since I'm back to saying and hopefully praying the modern Office, it was a startlement to have Mass of the Apostle, since I won't meet him in the Liturgy of the Hours till the 14th of May; also, his feast only falls on this day (instead of the 24th) in a bissextile or leap year.

I like how the classical Roman Liturgy fêtes the apostles, with Psalm 138:17 - Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum ("Yet to me exceedingly honourable are made Thy friends, O God: exceedingly strengthened is their princedom") - appointed for the Introit and Gradual, Psalm 44:17f - Constitues eos principes super omnem terram... ("Thou shalt constitute them princes over all the earth...") - for the Offertory, and St Matthew xix, 28 - Vos, qui secuti estis me, sedebitis super sedes, judicantes duodecim tribus Israël ("Ye who have followed Me shall be seated upon seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel")- for the Communion. It emphasises how the Apostles are constituted rulers over all the lands, as princes in Christ's new and eternal Kingdom; and while we customarily style SS Peter and Paul as Princes of the Apostles, even the replacement Twelfth, St Matthias, in stead of evil Judas, ranks with them as royalty.

(Excuse me while I pour a beer; I've just laid in a small supply of Orval Trappist ale, complete with the appropriate glass... Ad sanctum Matthiam! Yes, this one has the distinctive old socks smell...)

[I trust the monks will excuse me copying a picture not dissimilar to the one in front of me! After all, I am buying their holy product, doing my bit for the upkeep of monasticism in Holy Church.]

I went over the texts of the Mass while kneeling in the pew before togging up, since it is better to serve unencumbered by a book, and was struck by the curious phraseology of the Collect:

Deus, qui beatum Matthiam Apostolorum tuorum collegio sociasti: tribue, quæsumus; ut ejus interventione, tuæ circa nos pietatis semper viscera sentiamus. Per...

This must surely literally be rendered as - ! -

O God, Who didst join blessed Matthias to the college of Thine Apostles: grant, we beseech, that by his intervention, we may ever feel about us the bowels of Thy piety. Through...

While I rather like archaic turns of phrase, as should be obvious (I resolved from the start of this blog to post just what I pleased, even if it appear odd: if the cap fits, wear it), still I would usually baulk at saying something such as "I conjure thee by the bowels of Christ's compassion"!

As for Oculi... (I just love calling the Sundays by their Introits; a lovely medieval habit still kept up by our dear misguided brethren the Lutherans!) Yesterday, Fr Rowe, taking as his foundation the Gospel of the Sunday (St Luke xi, 14-28), preached on the attacks of the devils, and how the saints - as the Cure of Ars, and Padre Pio - were assaulted by them, and yet rather rejoiced in this, for it proved that they were not among those who, enthralled still by the world and the flesh, are not troubled by Satan, since he wickedly considers them bound over to him already. We must oppose the Satanic Non serviam with Servio (as appropriately is the motto of the adjacent Royal Perth Hospital), yea, with Our Lady's enduring Fiat: Fiat voluntas tua, Deus meus. The Epistle too (Ephesians v, 1-9) stands as a stark warning against giving in to the false standards of the present age, as to bad behaviour.

I did enjoy singing the Propers, even though they were hard, even after we'd practiced, and as regards their inspired texts especially perhaps worth noting is the Communion (Ps 83:4-5) - Passer invenit - besides the Tract (Psalm 122:1-3) and indeed all the rest of the service. I relish sung Mass, and hate to miss it on Sundays. Best of all, Fr Rowe, always waiting in the tribunal of penance before Mass, is a kindly confessor, and received my humble admission of guilt.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

As I ended up using the Breviary to keep the Octave of Pentecost in May 2008, I never did pray the Office of St Matthias at all! This is one annoyance about moving between OF and EF in each of Mass and Office out of sync with the other.