Friday, February 29, 2008

Station at SS Cosmas & Damian

I've recently bought a nice old hand-missal, a 12th edition Abbot Cabrol type (circa 1949), with propers for Australia as well as for England, Scotland and Wales. It was $55 but I was glad to get it (a secondhand book dealer had been on the lookout for one for me). On Sunday I took it back to Mass with me - I say "back", for the text of the Ordinarium Missæ is so well-thumbed that its first owner, a Mr J. J. Doyle, certainly prayed with it at church day after day.

Tonight I took it back to Low Mass for the first time in 40-odd years. Fr Rowe had alerted me yestereven that Fr Shelton, P.P. of St Joseph's, Bassendean (who supplies for Fr Rowe every now and then) is starting up a Trad. Mass in his parish, and the first Low Mass was to be on at 7.30pm tonight.

After dinner (with a long enough gap to keep the fast), my housemate James and I drove over to hear Mass. there was enough time beforehand to pray the whole of that long prayer I like but rarely manage to say: the Prayer 'of St Ambrose' before Mass (actually, by John of Fecamp) normally broken up into bits for each day of the week. There were about a dozen locals in attendance, plus some ring-ins like James and myself, our fellow Latin-Mass-goer Troy (who served), Fr Rowe, and one of the Friars of the Immaculate. I understand that several of the men present will be training or helping train others to serve at Mass.

Fr Shelton is still a bit unsure about finding his place in the Missal and some other minor items (not to criticize, but because he turned the pages to read a second postcommunion, as per the rubrics, he then forgot to read the Oratio super populum, which is quite understandable if one is not au fait with the peculiarities of the Lenten ferial Masses), so Low Mass took about 40 minutes (there was no sermon). We sang three well-known ditties: "Hail, Redeemer, King Divine" at the start, "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all" at the offertory, and a Marian hymn at the end.

Today is mid-Lent Thursday, and the orations of the Mass are, unusually, offered in honour of SS Cosmas and Damian, the titular saints of today's station church in Rome. As the Secret puts it, "In honour, Lord, of the precious death of the just, we offer that sacrifice from which all martyrdom hath drawn its source." May these holy unmercenaries pray for us! Also, a second collect, etc., was said in commemoration of St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, whose feast day falls this day in leap years: the prayers, being quite recent, are unusual in their style and content, and worth pondering. So today we fêted three saints at the liturgy. The Introit is the (unusually) non-scriptural text "Salus populi ego sum", which recurs on the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.

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