Thursday, November 13, 2008


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In the seventies, the then-archbishop of Hobart, Sir Guilford Young, donated a very large number of religious books to the University of Tasmania.  Some decades later, these I perused while down at University; and of these, about the first that I read about the Traditional form of Mass - and from which I photocopied the Ordinary (pp. 4-62) so as to attend some of the first Low Masses I ever beheld - was Daniel Rock's Hierurgia; or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass... (1833).  

Imagine my delight to now find it online!

It was from this work, for instance, that I learned the older terminology of "Solemn High Mass" for Mass with priest, deacon, and subdeacon, as opposed to "High Mass" with priest alone - while nowadays I usually speak of the former as "High Mass", and the latter as Missa cantata or sung Mass.

I still recall with amusement Dr Rock's description of the priest's use of incense at the start of Mass as he first blesses it, "And afterward fumes the altar" (page 9); and of the use of it after the singing of the Gospel: "and afterward the Deacon incenses him [the Priest], and in his turn, is incensed by the Thurifer" (p. 22) - taking "incenses" in its other sense, of making angry!

He also inserts:

A prayer which may be said at the Epistle.  [p. 17f.]

Thou hast vouchsafed, O Lord, to teach us thy sacred truths by thy Prophets and Apostles ; Grant, therefore, O my God, that I may listen to thy divine instructions with profound respect, and docility of heart. But, above all, grant, that I may so improve by this sacred word in the love of thy holy name, and in the observance of thy law, as to show forth in my whole conduct, that I am truly thy disciple ; — that I may no longer follow the corrupt inclinations of flesh and blood, but may master all my passions ; and strengthened by thy grace, and directed by thy light, so walk on in the way of thy commandments, as never more wilfully to offend thee by any mortal sin ; for I know thou hast said : — Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only (St. James i. 22.) for not the hearers of the law are just before God; but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Rom. ii. 13.) 


The following prayer may be said instead of the Gospel.  [p. 21f.]

O LORD JESUS CHRIST who eamest down from heaven to instruct us in all truth ; and continuest daily to teach us by thy holy Gospel and the preachers of thy word : grant me grace, that I may not be wanting in any care necessary for being instructed in thy saving truths. Let me be as industrious in my soul's concern as I am for my body ; that while I take pains in the affairs of this world, I may not, through stupidity or neglect, suffer my soul to starve and perish everlastingly. Let the rules of thy Gospel be the direction of my life, that I may not only know thy will, but likewise do it ; that I may observe thy commandments ; and resisting all the inclinations of corrupt nature, ever follow Thee, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Life ; for thus only, O Jesus, can I be thy disciple ; and thus only canst Thou be my master.

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