Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pet Peeve

(I speak in general terms here about hypothetical cases. I have always been lucky enough to attend worthy celebrations of Mass, with very rare exceptions - by far the worst befell me in Melbourne back in 1999, with a priest who omitted all the Eucharistic Prayer except the institution narrative, amongst other inanities such as applauding Our Lord's arrival on the altar; and in Hobart in 2001, with a priest who sat at his newspaper-piled dinner table with me as sole guest and celebrated there with great expression the whole Mass conjoined with Lauds - complete with long sermon! Now that was wierd: I had in all simplicity wondered why he had a glass of wine with his breakfast, till the penny dropped and I was so stonkered by it I couldn't make my escape.)

Pet peeve: attending a Mass at which everyone stands for the Eucharistic Prayer (in contravention of what the relevant bishops' conferences long since determined and had approved by the Vatican, throughout the English-speaking Church), not even kneeling - as the rubrics demand everywhere - for the Consecration. It's simply not allowed (and yes, the Church's provisions are meant to be obeyed - why else bother having them?), unless obviously there's some compelling reason to say Mass in a place where it is impossible for the people to kneel down.

Persons may seek to justify this standing with appeals to the Early Church/Christian East - and do these same people ever seek to restore or imitate, say, their penitential or fasting disciplines, of much greater value to the contemporary, blase, half-committed West? - but what it seems results from this is a practical diminution of the adoration that is mandated by God and man at the Consecration. This slighting did not happen in the past, nor does it happen in the Eastern Church: both have a healthy sense of worship of the Majesty of God. But the danger today is that it makes kneeling and saluting Christ now made present upon the altar to seem but a childish game, a fantasy of yesteryear; whereas it is real and good and true.

I do not in any way wish to judge those who in good faith don't realize the issue here: for so many will have been lead to believe that this is just another option, even a preferable one, and who love and praise Our Lord very much in the Sacrament of His Love, and would no doubt be amazed and scandalized that I am scandalized and upset by this, no doubt seeing me as some poor benighted soul trapped in an infantile faith, terrified of some avenging Deity.

But we know, since Pope Paul VI defined it (following the entire Roman Church), that the essential sacramental formulae of the Eucharist are the well-known words of institution (of course the whole Eucharistic Prayer is most holy and valuable, but the silly idea that somehow the whole thing is consecratory won't wash: consider, if a priest saying Mass die before "This is My Body/Blood", obviously the Eucharist hasn't been confected, whereas if he die directly after, it has been, despite the prayer left unfinished), and the very liturgical text prescribes that the priest after uttering the performative words thereupon show the consecrated host and then the chalice to the people - and why? - for adoration: that is, for worship (it says this quite openly, as a glance in the altar Missal would prove).

It is patent that humble kneeling upon one's knees is a most suitable posture for this act of worship, and is prescribed for the laity in the very Missal. Why change this part of the ritual? By what authority? If the body shew no outward reverence, reflecting the heart and soul within, how can this be called the worship of the whole man rendered to His adorable Saviour, now made present whole and entire? (I know full well that kneeling for the whole of the rest of the Canon is not prescribed universally, but, as the newest GIRM puts it, where that is prescribed locally, the practice is laudable.)

[BTW, the lifting up of the chalice and paten at the concluding doxology is a solemn ritual offering of the consecrated elements - that is, of Christ our Priest and Victim - to God the Father, and so the focus at that moment is on the sacrificial nature of the Mass. It is at the double elevation after the Consecration that our attention is to be focussed on the Real Presence of Christ, which is worthy of divine worship. Similarly, at the "Ecce Agnus Dei" the priest shews the Host - possibly over the chalice - to the people, in this case inviting them to focus on humbly confessing their gladness to receive the Divine Guest, however unfit they may feel to welcome Him.]

Since I don't have the courage to appear different and scrupulous if everyone else is standing (no doubt without the slightest worry), I just try and bow down (as the CDW's Notitiae once suggested in the case of those unable to kneel at the Consecration for some just cause), no doubt appearing furtive and peculiar, and tell the Lord in my heart that I hate having to stand and really don't wish to show Him disrespect and irreverence, but want desperately to cast myself down in His Presence... Feelings of guilt, cowardice, helplessness, despair, anger, rage and contempt fight within. So much for the fruits I would wish to gather at Mass!

Don't people understand that these things really trouble their 'weaker' brethren, and why don't they demonstrate the compassion that they never cease to talk about?

A second, related peeve - what I call "Lazy Mass", generally involving the large and middle-aged on beanbags or comfy chairs (I speak not of persons frail or elderly or otherwise unable to stand or kneel, as commonsense perceives): a Mass at which any of the following occur: (1) everyone sits for the General Intercessions - how ridiculous! - (2) everyone sits for the Preface - ditto! - and/or (3) everyone sits for the Eucharistic Prayer, which is even more disrespectful and irreverent than standing throughout - at least I can unobtrusively kneel down in such a case, and not feel so panic-stricken (always remembering that if you can't stand or kneel, of course there's no worry: it's the lazy I object to).

Advice gratefully solicited!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eucharist and Agape

I have driven all over Perth today.

It seemed a good idea, to catch the last 6pm Wednesday TLM at Good Shepherd, Kelmscott... which is 28km SE of the centre of Perth. Work had taken me almost as far in another direction!

(From this Sunday, Quinquagesima, there will be instead a 2pm Sunday EF Mass there, and we'll begin with a Missa Cantata.)

Afterwards, Fr, Aaron and I had an Indian meal at a little restaurant: Eucharist and Agape.

Fratres Oratorii Sessio III

Rather like the on-again, off-again Council of Trent, the Brothers of the Oratory gathered on Tuesday evening just past to resume for the new year of grace, 2008.


Having had to attend an evening function instead, I at least caught up with the fratres afterwards, who by that stage were gathered having conversation, food and drink, in approximately that order of quantities!


I ended up driving one of them home, and getting back myself after midnight. It wasn't till nearly 2am that I turned the light out, having reread a bit more of The Lord of the Rings - just arrived at Bree!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kneeling on the Tongue, or Standing on the Hand?

I've always thought that, provided no scandal is given, each person should receive Holy Communion in a manner that is both approved (of course) and most conducive to one's own devotion (implying that it be least conducive to one's own anxiety), since clearly the more fervently one communicates the better.

Of course, charity requires that one also consider the good of others when receiving: is what one does more likely to edify others, or to amaze, upset, even disturb them? Here prudence comes in: what would be fine in one context may not be in another. I am speaking here of legitimate modes of reception of course: to stand on one's head to receive would be madness!

Consider: if attending the Byzantine Rite of the Divine Liturgy, there is only one proper manner of reception: standing, one opens one's mouth and tilts one's head back, so the priest can use the liturgical spoon to place in one's mouth a piece of the consecrated Lamb (the leavened Host) which has been placed in the chalice and soaked up some of the Precious Blood, warmed, in this Rite, by the addition of hot water to the chalice - to signify that the Blood is truly living and Spirit-filled. To try to kneel down would be as inappropriate as to put one's hands out in this case.

So, for example, if (in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite) one were very nervous that one might spill the chalice - if one's hands were unsteady, say - then one would refrain from receiving from it when it is offered: this is commonsensical. Or, if one were in a place where kneeling down for communion would cause real scandal, since it is never done there, and people would think one peculiar - if not Pharisaical or even schismatical - for doing so, one would be advised to refrain from doing so, despite it being still allowable: obviously, one's prudential judgement would come into play in this case. Something similar obtains in the obvious cases of ill-health, frailty, etc., when one cannot kneel down (as is the norm in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) - then one receives standing, as everyone accepts.

But to put it all into perspective, I like to refer to the two main options at Mass as:

Kneeling on the Tongue,
or
Standing on the Hand


- try these today!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mass, Rosary - and Nocturnal Adoration

This evening's Low Mass was in honour of St Peter Nolasco, one of the founders of the Mercedarians, with commemoration of the second feast of St Agnes. (Confusingly enough, being back to saying the new Office, therein it was the feast of St Thomas Aquinas!) I managed to say my Rosary afterward, in thanksgiving - I say 'managed', because I haven't managed to get round to saying it for some time, because of lukewarmness.

Quite unexpectedly, after returning home and eating some of the Moroccan chicken dish left over from Sunday night, I received a phone call for one of my housemates: it seems owing to some unforeseen circumstance he couldn't make it to his time slot at adoration - I was asked, Could I step in for him? So it was I ended up at nocturnal adoration for 3/4 of an hour; finding myself still very lukewarm, I invoked the Lord as indeed the faithful God, with His Father and Their Spirit in the unity of the Trinity, and recalled St Paul's words to Timothy: "We may be unfaithful, but He is always faithful, for He cannot deny His Own Self" (II Tim. ii, 13). I used the time to make some mental prayer, plus say some Office and other vocal prayers, wishing I were more devout in presence of the Lord. What to pray but to pray with the prophet: Turn thou us and we shall be turned, save us and we shall be saved (cf. Lam. v, 21; Jer. xvii, 14; xxxi, 18).

The Brothers of the Oratory meet tomorrow at the Pro., 6.30-7.30pm, but - wouldn't you know it! - I have an important engagement elsewhere at just that time, and cannot come (tho' I should be able to join them for dinner and conversation later on). So tonight I used some of the prayers I would have prayed with them tomorrow...

Chrysostom on St Paul

From the Divine Office for the 25th of January, quoting from St John Chrysostom's 2nd Homily on St Paul:

"It was Saint Paul more than anyone else who showed what man is and how great is the nobility of our nature, as well as what capacity for virtue this human animal has. Every day he advanced in stature, every day he fought ith ever-renewed keenness against the dangers threatening him; he showed this when he said: 'I forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.' ... It was not simply that he looked for more, he looked for much more."

I recall that the Barnabites, or Clerks Regular of St Paul, were established by St Anthony Mary Zaccaria and others to emulate and imitate the manners and virtues of this great Apostle.

The Keys of Septuagesima

A pleasant coincidence, to which my attention was drawn while reading Dom Gueranger:

"As the season of Septuagesima depends upon the time of the Easter celebration, it comes sooner or later according to the changes of that great feast. January 18 and February 22 are called the 'Septuagesima keys', because the Sunday, which is called Septuagesima, cannot be earlier in the year than the first, nor later than the second, of these two days."

In other words, Septuagesima can fall as early as the 18th of January - formerly, one of the two feasts of the Chair of St Peter (and still able to be celebrated according to the '62 Missal) - or as late as the 22nd of February, the other (remaining) feast of the the Chair of St Peter.

Hence, these two dates are called the "keys" of Septuagesima.

Septuagesima can only fall on the 18th of January when Easter falls on its earliest possible date, the 22nd of March, in an ordinary, non-leap year: this last happened in 1818 and will next occur in 2285.

But as for Septuagesima falling on the 22nd of February - that can only happen when Easter falls on its latest possible date, the 25th of April, AND in a year that is a leap year. This has not happened since Pope Gregory brought in his new calendar and new system of calculating Easter, nor will it happen until some time after 3000AD. (Easter last fell as late as this in 1943, and this will happen again in 2038, but neither years are leap years, so Septuagesima in both cases takes place on the 21st of February.)

Apparently, the last time Septuagesima did occur on the 22nd of February happened under the old Julian calendar, according to the system then used to compute the date of Easter - in 1204. (And before that, in 672 according to the Roman method - but at that time several competing systems for finding the date of Easter were still in competition, as exemplified by the disputes leading to the famous Synod of Whitby.)

[For those parts of Protestant Europe that were still using the Julian calendar, in sectarian opposition to the Gregorian reform, 1736 was a year in which Septuagesima fell on the 22nd of February - this would have included Anglican England and Lutheran Scandinavia and Germany. The so-called Dionysian method for finding Easter, together with the Julian calendar, has Septuagesima on the 22nd of February quite punctually every 532 years; but this method has been long abandoned in the West, and of course the East doesn't keep Septuagesima.]

*Update* - after trawling through results from online Easter calculators, I find that the next bissextile (that is, leap) year to come in which Easter falls on the 25th of April is - 3784. So, provided the calendar is not amended (the Gregorian calendar would have lost about a day by then), nearly 18 centuries hence, and over 2500 years since it last happened, Septuagesima will fall on its latest possible date of the 22nd of February, in 3784.

(BTW, in 2011, only three years from now, Easter falls on the 24th of April, its second-latest possible day, so Septuagesima will then fall on the 20th of February, rather than on the 20th of January as it has done this year, in which Easter falls on its second-earliest possible date.)

Te Deum laudamus

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam!

My laptop's working again, and the Internet connexion at home is on, so at last I can blog in comfort.

To celebrate, I've just had a glass of Lindemans Pecheresse, a lambic beer, flavoured with peaches, from the parts of Belgium round Brussels: just what the doctor ordered. And it's mid-afternoon here in Perth, and I don't even need the airconditioner on - what could be better than this?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Singing again

Since the choir still hasn't resumed its normal schedule, for his sins this blogger had again to psalm-tone the Proper by himself, plus lead the Asperges, Missa de Angelis and Credo III, and the hymns "Firmly I believe and truly" as the processional, Ave maris stella at Offertory, Adoro te at Communion, and "Faith of our fathers" for the recessional. Rosemary and one of the choristers from the mixed choir joined me, thankfully, at the last minute.


At least it wasn't as hot today as it had been, and the Pro. was bearable, not stifling: nonetheless Fr Rowe did as he'd planned, and took off his chasuble as well as maniple to preach, beginning with that arresting joke "Isn't it lovely and cool - the fires of hell and purgatory are MUCH hotter..."


He went on to say he hoped there weren't many present in the first three categories of Catholics enumerated in today's Gospel by our Lord (mea culpa; at least I'd been shriven again), and hoped we weren't among the *lukewarm and lazy* who didn't bother to come to yesterday's Holy Hour for the Conversion of Australia. Ouch!


Don't get me wrong! I much prefer a priest, like Fr Rowe, who reiterates the need for us to strive to save our souls by God's grace, to the sort who let one slumber in indifference.


At least I finished Matins from the Breviary before Mass, and got Lauds done in stages before, during! and after it. On to the Little Hours...


The Church this Sexagesima puts before us Noe and the Ark, that sole refuge in the mighty flood, figure of the Church extra quam nulla salus, at Matins; St Paul, Doctor of the Gentiles, in the Collect and Epistle (connecting nicely with the feast of his Conversion on Friday - in the modern Office, St John Chrysostom, read that day, well put it that the history of that great Apostle shews us to what heights graced human nature may reach, holding him a great exemplar and inspiration for all); and the Gospel Parable of the Sower as alluded to above.

...and he died

Last night, fairly desultorily looking through the readings for Septuagesima week that I didn't read, having used the Liturgy of the Hours instead, I recalled a striking sermon -which I'd thought was Newman's, but can't track down now - regarding Genesis 5, part of which was appointed for Saturday at Matins:

5:1 This is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him to the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female; and blessed them: and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son to his own image and likeness, and called his name Seth. 4 And the days of Adam, after he begot Seth, were eight hundred years: and he begot sons and daughters. 5 And all the time that Adam lived came to nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

6 Seth also lived a hundred and five years, and begot Enos. 7 And Seth lived after he begot Enos, eight hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters. 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. 9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. 10 After whose birth he lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and begot sons and daughters.

11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years, and he died. 12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Malaleel. 13 And Cainan lived after he begot Malaleel, eight hundred and forty years, and begot sons and daughters. 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. 15 And Malaleel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared.

16 And Malaleel lived after he begot Jared, eight hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters. 17 And all the days of Malaleel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. 18 And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Henoch. 19 And Jared lived after he begot Henoch, eight hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.

21 And Henoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Mathusala. 22 And Henoch walked with God: and lived after he begot Mathusala, three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 23 And all the days of Henoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him. 25 And Mathusala lived a hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech.

26 And Mathusala lived after he begot Lamech, seven hundred and eighty-two years, and begot sons and daughters. 27 And all the days of Mathusala were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. 28 And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two years, and begot a son. 29 And he called his name Noe, saying: This same shall comfort us from the works and labours of our hands on the earth, which the Lord hath cursed. 30 And Lamech lived after he begot Noe, five hundred and ninety-five years, and begot sons and daughters.

31 And all the days of Lamech came to seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. ...

Each of the antediluvian patriarchs is enumerated, and each formulaic entry ends, after giving their tale of long years: "...and he died."

Septuagesima week recalls the Creation, the Fall, and the terrible effects of the Fall on fallen man: suffering, breakdown of harmony, the first murder, and death, "the wages of sin".

Death is common to all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I heard the voice of...

I felt pretty tired and headache-y when I got up yesterday morning; couldn't drag myself further than the kitchen, so I sat there, eyes closed, sore-headed, feeling sorry for myself. I did have the benefit, tho', of hearing my housemates singing Lauds in our chapel (you could say we are fairly Catholic!), and it was really wonderful, especially since the tones for the psalmody were so melodious. Somehow, the awful noise each man thinks he's making (speaking only for myself: I can't sing immediately upon awaking) becomes a fine strong sound when heard from a slight remove. So I did pray Lauds yesterday shortly after 6am, despite not making a sound: because that's what participatio actuosa truly is, really partaking of the liturgical act of Christ and His Church, by uniting one's heart and all else to what's going on to the extent possible, raising one's mind to God - De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine.


After the others finished singing the Tota pulchra - we add something Marian after Lauds - they came in, and one found for me some panadol, after taking which I went back to bed for the morning, till I felt better. Thanks, guys!


In the evening, it was time to head out and attend Low Mass for the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, after making a quick confession beforehand: the last few days have been difficult. The Pro. was not so much like an oven as like a sauna - it was warm but not humid outside, but inside the sweat ran through my hair. At least, when I joined the others for Friday Night Catechism in the parish centre, the air-conditioning was on!


My laptop has been fixed, thanks be, but the Internet connexion at home is playing up (Murphy's Law in action). At least I could watch a DVD before turning in for the night.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Book Shopping

When I hold my hands up to the light, I can see the light through gaps between my pressed-together fingers: the sure sign of a spendthrift!


Have money, will visit bookshops... I've bought lots of nice tomes, such as
Catholicism for Dummies; a copy of the [Novus] Ordo 2008; the three volumes of Alan Marshall's semi-autobiography (I Can Jump Puddles, This is the Grass, and In Mine Own Heart); the complete science fiction of Cordwainer Smith in two volumes (When the People Fell and We the Underpeople); Jared Diamond's Collapse, about whether societies change or die in response to environmental change; The Story of Tibet, drawing on interviews with the Dalai Lama; Manelli's Jesus Our Eucharistic Love; Give yourself to Christ, a collection of the first homilies of Pope Benedict; The Apostles, the same Pontiff's General Audiences on the Twelve and others of the first Christians; Sister Wendy's Meditations on the Mysteries of Our Faith, commenting on paintings of Duccio; and, last but not least, the full fifteen volume reprint set of Abbot Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, which I've wanted for ages but could never previously afford.


Deo gratias. Now, to read them all...


Oh, and I also bought the DVD boxed set of From the Earth to the Moon; and have ordered The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture. H/T to Fr Bernard, O.P., for alerting me to this Rhode Islander's oeuvre!

Our Lady of Mt Pinatubo

Low Mass yesterday was offered in honour, not of St Timothy (he was reduced to a commemoration), but of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (who is venerated under that title at some place in the Philippines that sounded awfully like Pinatubo, tho' it is only my sense of humour that gave Our Blessed Lady that title), by reason of a significant group of devotees desiring Mass on her feast, after making their customary novena; they even supplied a rather nice statue of the Virgin under said title to stand by the pulpit for the novena and Mass [the image is of a like statue, thanks to www.flickr.com].


After starting out quite pleasant in the morning [as when I popped into the other Pro., St Joachim's, temporarily such while the actual cathedral lies gutted for wreckavation, for confession earlier], by 12.10pm it was fearfully hot in the Pro., as I can testify from my serving at Benediction after Mass! Aaron, the regular server, had to head back to work after Mass, so George and I went to the sacristy after Communion to vest, and thereafter recapitulated our roles at Benediction yesterday. Thankfully it was not a holy hour, just O salutaris hostia, Sub tuum and Litany of Loreto (in English!), Prayer for the Conversion of Australia, Tantum ergo with versicle and collect, the actual Benediction, then the Divine Praises, Adoremus in aeternum with Ps 116, and a final Marian hymn. Even with the two portable air-conditioners blasting air from the sides of the sanctuary like demented robots, my forehead was running with perspiration.


I forgot to mention that at Mass itself Fr Rowe preached - which he only ever does on Sundays and Feasts - and reminded us, among other quotations, that St Thomas Aquinas writes that "Mary is full of grace, not just for herself, but for all men", and hence we should invoke her at all times for temporal and spiritual wants, especially to receive the grace of conversion from sin, for Innocent III states that "if through our sins we are plunged into night and cannot behold the Sun, then ought we turn to the Moon, that is, Our Lady".


He told me as we walked down the street afterward that he'd cut the sermon short, it was so hot [over 37° C], tho' it hadn't been as bad as it was on St Stephen's Day, when the temperature outside was 44° C, and inside the Pro. it had been like an oven. We were all very glad to accept one lady's invitation to come join her for a festal lunch at Miss Mauds, that Swedish hotel and blessedly air-conditioned restaurant curiously situated in Perth, W.A., a few blocks down the road from the Pro. Yours truly decided on the smorgasbord...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Trifecta

This morning I served Benediction, Low Mass, and a Dry Mass (Missa sicca): a record unlikely to be broken any time soon...


After arriving at the Pro. during adoration (it was the usual Wednesday holy hour, 8.45-9.45am), and making a confession of devotion [addo & recco! - see last post], I togged up to serve with George at Benediction; I'm no good at being thurifer, so he did that part of things. However, he's just put his back out, and so was glad to have me serve the following 10am Mass in his place.


Today in the old rite it was St Raymund of Penyafort, O.P., Conf., with commemoration of St Emerentiana, V. & M.; the principal collect alludes to the former's masterful teaching on the administration of the sacrament of Penance, no less than to his marvellous passage over the sea, travelling back to the Spanish mainland borne upon his cappa, thus escaping the lascivious court of King James of Aragon holden in the Balearic Isles. So may we by a wise use of the sacrament of repentance, conversion and forgiveness make our escape by God's grace from the wiles and snares of a miserable and darkened world!


After Mass, my morning's work (privilege, actually) was not yet over. An old priest has been struggling to re-learn to say the Trad. Mass at the behest of the Archbishop, but has found it very difficult, as was proven when he attempted a practice or "Dry" Mass after the Low Mass of Fr Rowe, once the people had departed; I acted as server. It was quite hard for him even to find his place in the Missal: a pathetic sight, in the true sense of the word. After getting as far as the Libera nos he gave up, and let Fr Rowe know (who'd been standing aside to let him fend for himself, but had nevertheless to intervene several times) that he was not going to continue trying to master the rite - sad to say, it was too much for him, but at least he realized that himself and was able to admit it.

Feedback Wanted

Obviously someone's visiting my blog (the sitemeter is set not to count it when I sign in), but I see no one has any desire to leave comments at my perhaps too self-focussed postings.


So, over to thee, gentle reader! If you stop by, leave a comment - is this blog bizarre? worthless? overly pious? so very individualistic as to be of no interest to anyone else? a source of profound spiritual enlightenment? [Hint: the desired answer is probably the last one... ;-) ]

Monday, January 21, 2008

Addo & Recco

My housemates have been talking about addo and recco - now, is it just me, or are these terms little-known outside of fervent Catholic youth circles in Perth?


For the record, both are typical bits of understated Aussie slang:

"addo" is (Eucharistic) adoration;

"recco" is reconciliation, or confession.


Apparently in the last ten years it's become the done thing to organize "addo and recco", referred to as such, for Catholic youth camps, conferences, etc.


Maybe these words can now take on a wider use. :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Firm Hand at the Rudder

When I lived in Hobart, I was fortunate to have as parish priest Fr Geoffrey Jarrett, now Bishop of Lismore in northern N.S.W. I see from his diocese's website that he's announced a Review of his Diocese to take place in 2009, and am gladdened as always by his firm grasp of the issues at hand, and his faithful indication of the right direction to take - always towards greater fidelity to Christ and His Church.


While it is only a subsidiary point, from my perspective I would like to highlight his warm commendation of the Liturgy of the Hours as the prayer for all the Church:


We should also be promoting among all members of the Church the prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, the liturgy of the whole Church prayed with the whole Church and [able to be] led by lay people whether Mass can be celebrated or not. It would be a wonderful thing and a fulfilment of the serious encouragement of the Church if, at a stated time every day in each parish, priest and people came together in the church to celebrate morning and evening prayer (Lauds and Vespers).

No Green Was Seen

Another liturgical year has begun, with one of the earliest Septuagesimas for nearly a century. Yes, odd as it may seem, according to Pius Parsch the Church's year of grace can be interpreted as beginning at Septuagesima, when the Breviary begins from the beginning, with the first part of the first chapter of Genesis (i, 1-26): In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram...


According to his interpretation, all of "salvation history"prior to Christ is recapitulated during Septuagestimatide and Lent, and then comes our Passover, Christ Himself, and His grace shed abroad during Paschaltide; the time after Pentecost corresponds with the current age of the world, and Advent represents the coming of Christ, consummated at Christmas and Epiphany with the triumphant manifestation of Christ as God-and-Man, Head and members united, reigning for ever without end.


Whatever of this (and it has much to recommend it), because of the extreme earliness of Easter this year there have been no ordinary Sundays after Epiphany, and green has not been seen, at least at St John's Pro-Cathedral: Fr Rowe loathes ferias, and will always celebrate a Mass in white or red instead, in honour of some saint.


This fine morning, since significant numbers of people are still away on holidays during lazy January, I ended up being the choir (with the admirable assistance of a fellow parishioner, shanghaied at short notice) - else there would have been no Missa cantata, perish the thought. The Proper I psalm-toned using Rossini's book, alone!, and this went alright [the Introit was maybe a little shaky, but given the text Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, that's somehow appropriate]; the Gregorian Asperges, Missa de Angelis [whose parts I may have intoned a bit too low, since I'm most comfortable in the bass register; and something went wrong with the intonation of the Sanctus, mea culpa], and Credo III all rang out from many voices, as did the Ave maris stella at the Offertory; I sang the Jesu dulcis memoria during communion. Before and after Mass we sang "Holy God we praise Thy Name" and "To the Name that brings salvation", it being still January, the month of the Holy Name.


I was struck by the Epistle, St Paul to the Corinthians (I Cor. ix, 27 - x, 5): the mention of many running the race, but only one winning the crown (ix, 24), the necessity of going into training (cf. ix, 25-27) - literally, ascesis - and the bestowal on the faithful of the saving sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist as foreshadowed by the events of Exodus (x, 1-4), yet the awful words "with most of them God was not well pleased" (x, 5), which ties in only too well with the last verse of today's Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard (S. Matthew xx, 1-16) that the last shall be first, the first last, and again, many are called, few chosen (S. Matt. xx, 16; see Newman's sermon thereon), all reminded me of Newman's other terrible statement, that there are many now growing in holiness and grace who shall NOT be saved at the last.


At least, thank God, I made a quick confession before Mass, but I fear my heart is still very divided and wayward.


Postscript: reading the introduction to Butler's Lives of the Saints this evening, giving an account of the Rev. Alban Butler himself, I note how far I am from the standard of Christian perfection our forefathers held; God grant I have the time to improve myself by his grace, that I may live according to the precepts of the Gospel and so be found a true, not a pretended Christian.

Prayers for Mass - II

At Mass itself I add certain devotions, depending on whether I'm at the Traditional Mass, and if it's Low or High, if I'm serving or singing or whatnot, or whether instead I'm at ordinary Mass.

I tend to pay special attention to the orations of the Mass, the collect, secret, and postcommunion. Sometimes at the Offertory I may use the Dominican form of the Suscipe sancta Trinitas:


Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offero per manus sacerdotis tui, in memoriam passionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi; et praesta, ut in conspectu tuo tibi placens ascendat, et meam et omnium fidelium salutem operetur aeternam.


Passing over my particular direction of prayer and attention during the Canon, the consummation of the Mass, I always say the following, secretly of course! during the Elevations after the Consecration, sometimes in Latin, sometimes in English, usually some in each:


Omnis gloria tibi, Domine altissime.

Dominus meus et Deus meus, salva nos.

(For the Host)

Ave verum Corpus natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in Cruce pro homine.

O Jesu dulcis,
O Jesu pie,
O Jesu Fili Mariae.

(For the Chalice)

Cujus latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine,
esto nobis praegustatum
mortis in examine.

O Jesu dulcis,
O Jesu pie,
O Jesu Fili Mariae.

Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.

In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternam.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Short Prayers for Mass

While in the past I was very strict about saying a long list of prayers before and after Mass, nowadays I'm more likely to say part of the Office (I've gone back to the '62 Breviary again, but for when my housemates and I say Lauds or Compline) as preparation or thanksgiving. But I do try and fit in some short prayers of my own, collects and such, cadged from various sources:


Before Mass - some or all of the following:


First, I salute and worship our Eucharistic Lord, with Whom I hope to be united in the Communion of the Mass (the last two collects are from the Paris Missal):


Ant. O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis ejus, mens impletur gratia, et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

V/. Panem de coelo praestitisti eis.
R/. Omne delectamentum in se habentem.

Oremus.

Deus, qui nobis, sub Sacramento mirabili passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quaesumus; ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis jugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.
R/. Amen.

Oremus.

Domine Jesu Christe, qui ex hoc mundo transiturus ad Patrem, Sacramentum Corporis et Sanguinis tui in alimentum simul et solatium Ecclesiae tradidisti, da nobis ut teipsum, quem nunc absconditum in mysterio veneramur, revelata facie in caelestia gloria mereamur contemplari. Qui vivis...

Oremus.

Praesta nobis, Domine, ad caeleste convivium invitatis, ut non detineamur circa terrestria, sed, curis saecularibus expediti, spiritales mensae tuae delicias toto mentis desiderio consectemur. Qui vivis...


Next (or sometimes aforetime, even before getting to church), I call on God the Holy Ghost, and ask that I be made fit to assist at the sacrifice by His Fire:


Ant. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

V/. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur.
R/. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus.

Deus, cui omne cor patet, et omnis voluntas loquitur, et quem nullum latet secretum: purifica per infusionem Sancti Spiritus cogitationes + cordis nostri, ut te perfecte diligere, et digne laudare mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R/. Amen.

Oremus.

Actiones nostras, quaesumus, Domine, aspirando praeveni, et adjuvando prosequere, ut cuncta nostra operatio a te semper incipiat, et per te coepta finiatur. Per...


I may add the following, or other forms, as time allow and devotion incline me:


Oremus.

Aures tuae pietatis, mitissime Deus, inclina precibus nostris, et gratia Sancti Spiritus illumina cor nostrum: ut tuis sacris mysteriis digne ministrare, teque aeterna caritate diligere mereamur. Per...

Oremus.

Conscientias nostras, quaesumus Domine, visitando purifica: ut veniens Dominus noster Jesus Christus, Filius tuus, paratam sibi in nobis inveniat mansionem. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum.
R/. Amen.


To prepare to assist at the one sacrifice of Christ, Head and members, of our High-Priest and Victim, and of the Church, I pray the following collect (again, from the Missale Parisiense), or at least the appended formula of intention:


Oremus.

Deus, qui magno misericordiae tuae munere, docuisti nos redemptionis nostrae sacrificium celebrare, sicut obtulit pontifex noster Jesus Christus in terris, da nobis, quaesumus, ut, sanctificati per oblationem Corporis et Sanguinis ejus, cum ipso mereamur in sempiternum consummari. Qui vivit et regnat...

Domine Jesu Christe, in unione illius divinae intentionis, qua ipse in ultima Caena, et in ara Crucis, sacrificium Corporis et Sanguinis tui Deo Patri obtulisti, hoc idem sacrificium ei offerre intendo, per manus sacerdotis tui. Complaceat sibi, O Jesu, in te, et per te propitius nobis sit in vitam aeternam. Amen.


Soon enough Mass begins... Venite, adoremus.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

St Anthony the Great

That great dweller in the desert, St Anthony of Egypt, is celebrated today. While I attended and communicated at the Traditional Mass, earlier in the day I heard the start of an ordinary Mass just after I'd been shriven, before I left the church. Anyhow, the proper collect and epistle - Ephesians vi, 10-13. 18 (vide infra) - spoke powerfully of St Antony, his life, and combat against the devils; here are the proper orations, alluding to his wonderful life in the wilderness, serving God, laying aside all things, denying himself, loving God above all things, being rich in God alone, and therefore trampling under foot every hostile power:

Deus, qui beato Antonio abbati tribuisti mira tibi in deserto conversatione servire, eius nobis interventione concede, ut, abnegantes nosmetipsos, te iugiter super omnia diligamus. Per...

Accepta tibi sint, Domine, quaesumus, munera nostrae servitutis, pro beati Antonii commemoratione altari tuo proposita, et concede, ut, a terrenis impedimentis absoluti, te solo divites. Per...

Sacramentis tuis, Domine, salubriter enutritos, cunctas fac nos semper insidias inimici superare, qui beato Antonio dedisti contra potestates tenebrarum claras referre victorias. Per...


(
Being people fed, Lord, with Thy sacraments, Who didst give unto blessed Anthony to record illustrious victories over the powers of darkness, make us ever to overcome all the snares of the enemy. Through...)

I was also reminded of once reading St Athanasius' Life of St Anthony. Here is the Douay-Rheims version of the epistle, including the omitted verses 14-17:

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. 11 Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. 13 Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16 In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17 And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). 18 By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints.

Food for thought: our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual powers of wickedness... (Eph. vi, 12).

Pray the Rosary Every Day

At confession today, my ghostly father - a Redemptorist - queried whether I prayed to Our Lady, whether I said the Rosary daily; and when I revealed that I haven't, urged me to return to it. He quite rightly said it would help me overcome my faults, if I but sought her help in prayer: funny how it often requires someone else to point out what should be obvious, commonsense policy for avoiding sin and growing in fidelity and holiness.

After confession, before starting on my penance of two decades of the Rosary (I picked the Scourging and the Crowning with Thorns, to excite sorrow for Our Lord's most bitter Passion, freely undergone by Him out of love, to atone for my sins), I finished the prayers I'd been saying beforehand by reciting the Alma Redemptoris Mater with its versicle Post partum and collect Deus qui salutis aeternae, and was struck by the great appropriateness of the words full of hope: ... Mater... succurre cadenti... surgere qui curat populo... Virgo... peccatorum miserere. For rather than turn her eyes from sinners, the most benignant Mother of God and Virgin acts after the Heart of Her Son, and helps those who fall, arises to aid her people, and has mercy on sinners.

It was a joy to communicate at Mass later on; consciousness of unworthiness holds one back, but hunger for the true Bread of Life draws one on to repentance, that the gate of the Holy Table be unlocked to the famished soul:

O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil
Thou dost my very God conceal:
My Jesus, dearest treasure, hail!
I love Thee and, adoring, kneel;
Each loving soul by Thee is fed
With Thine own Self in form of Bread.

O food of life, Thou Who dost give
The pledge of immortality;
I live, no ‘tis not I that live;
God gives me life, God lives in me:
He feeds my soul, He guides my ways,
And every grief with joy repays.

O Bond of love that dost unite
The servant to his living Lord;
Could I dare live and not requite
Such love - then death were meet reward:
I cannot live unless to prove
Some love for such unmeasured love.

My dearest God! Who dost so bind
My heart with countless claims to Thee!
O Sweetest love, my soul shall find
In Thy dear bonds true liberty.
Thyself Thou hast bestowed on me;
Thine, Thine for ever I will be.

O Mighty Fire, Thou that dost burn
To kindle every mind and heart!
For Thee my frozen soul doth yearn;
Come, Lord of love, Thy warmth impart;
If thus to speak too bold appear,
‘Tis love like Thine has banished fear.

O Sweetest dart of love Divine!
If I have sinned, then vengeance take;
Come pierce this guilty heart of mine,
And let it die for His dear sake
Who once expired on Calvary,
His heart pierced through for love of me.

Beloved Lord, in Heaven above
There, Jesus, Thou awaitest me,
To gaze on Thee with endless love;
Yes, thus I hope, thus shall it be:
For how can He deny me Heaven,
Who here on earth Himself hath given?


-St Alphonsus Liguori,
Founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer,
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church.

In humility, indeed in full recognition of recurrent faults, I pray with St Philip Neri, "Do not trust me, Jesus, for I will betray Thee today, but for Thy grace." For as St John writes, he who says he loves God, but does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth (cf. I S. John ii, 4; v, 2-3). Terrible words!

Kelmscott Missa Cantata

The good people of Good Shepherd parish, Kelmscott, have petitioned for a Traditional Latin Mass (in accordance with the recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum cura), and, in the lead-up to having a weekly Extraordinary Form Sunday Mass (probably at 2pm, from February onward), a Wednesday evening Mass has been held at 6pm. It's been well attended, and the local altar servers and people have taken the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the classical form of the Roman Rite.


Last night, with the attendance of two FSSP seminarians on holiday (and yours truly) as the liturgical choir, a Missa Cantata was sung, celebrating the feast of St Marcellus I, Pope and Martyr. In his sermon, the celebrant, Fr Rowe, first detailed the deeds and death of St Marcellus, as the Breviary narrates them, and then - alluding to the upcoming feast of St Peter's Chair - described the various ways and modes of shewing our loyalty to the Holy Father, including: praying for him; defending his person and teaching against attacks and errors; and supporting his works and charities through Peter's Pence.


The choir and people together sang loud and strong, una voce dicentes, the well-known Missa de Angelis; given the small size of the choir and the little time spare for practice, only the Introit Si diligis me was attempted in Gregorian chant, with the rest of the Proper psalm-toned, and the hymns Jesu dulcis memoria and Adoro te devote sung as Offertory and Communion motets. The processional hymn before Mass was "Holy God we praise Thy Name", while perhaps sung with most gusto was the recessional hymn for the Church militant, "We stand for God". If the singing - and the reverent attentiveness of priest, ministers and people - was any measure of interior devotion, then here was a true example of the participatio actuosa desiderated by the Vatican Council.


As a friend of mine remarked later, the only pity was that the small choir precluded the use of the obvious choice of music: Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli!





Servers both from the parish and the Pro-Cathedral attended as cerifers, crucifer, thurifer and M.C., in addition to those in choir.


(Photos may be available later...)


Afterward, we were treated to dinner! The priests and people who attend the TLM instinctively pattern their acts after the mode of the Primitive Church: first Eucharistia, then Agape.

We Three Kings

Epiphanytide may now be over, but here's an excuse to hearken back to it...


It's good to be moved in and about to unpack properly. My mates and I joke that this is the "Casa dei Magi", being the residence of the other three wise men!


Therefore, in honour of the three Kings of Cologne (no pun intended, I hate the stuff!) I note that the current Martyrology commemorates the transfer of their relics to that city on the 24th of July:


...13. Coloniae Agrippinae in Lotharingia, translatio trium magorum, qui, sapientes ex Oriente, munera deferentes Bethlehem venerunt contemplare in puero mysterium celsitudinem Unigeniti.

(...13. At Cologne in Lorraine, the translation of [the relics of] the three magi, who, wise men from the East, bearing gifts came to Bethlehem to contemplate in the Child the mystery of the beauty of the Onlybegotten.)


The Proper Calendar for the Archdiocese of Cologne celebrates a special Office in honour of this on the 23rd of July, as a Memorial in the city of Cologne only. Here's the Collect of the feast (and here's the link to the PDF file):


Deus, illuminator omnium gentium, da populis tuis perpetua pace gaudere; et illud lumen splendidum infunde, cordibus nostris, quo trium magorum mentes illustrasti. Per Dominum...

(O God, Enlightener of all peoples, grant unto Thy people to rejoice in perpetual peace; and that splendid light pour forth into our hearts with which Thou didst enlighten the three Magi. Through our Lord...)


Intriguingly enough, this turns out to be the first Oratio secreta of Lauds for the Epiphany in the Ambrosian Rite (reading quo for the quod and illustrasti for the aspersisti of the original)!


Just last night I had the chance at last to chalk up the Epiphany blessing with some of the blest chalk Fr Rowe had at the Pro., writing

20+C+M+B+08

which invokes both the Wise Men three (SS Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior) and above all Christ Himself: Christus Mansionem Benedicat ("May Christ bless this house").

Great Flyby but no Skinakas

While I've been offline, owing to interstate/transcontinental travel and laptop malfunction [ Note to self: Do not leave LCD display exposed to hot sun :-( ], MESSENGER has successfully completed its first Mercury flyby. A large part of the previously unseen face of Mercury has been imaged: from which it appears that the "Skinakas Basin" earthbound astronomers had thought they detected doesn't exist after all; and Caloris Planitia - the light area to the NE in the image - has a higher albedo than the surrounding plains, in contradistinction to the dark maria and light terrae of the Moon (see full results - as they appear, after download and processing - on the MESSENGER website; there is plenty of informed discussion of results at Unmanned Spaceflight.com's Mercury Flyby 1). Thus human knowledge of the universe advances...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Divus Thomas

St Thomas Aquinas needs no introduction.  Here is a sacred parody in his honour, based on his Pange lingua:


Pange lingua gloriosi
dogmatis mysterium,
Aquinatis pretiosi
quem in lucem gentium
instar solis radiosi
rex accendit gentium.

Nostro datus, nostro natus
Thomas est in ordine
et in scholis conservatus
sparso verbi semine,
sui palmam doctoratus
miro tulit omine.

Nam cum sacræ corpus cenæ
descripsisset fratribus
panis, vini substans plene
solis accidentibus:
'de me, Thoma, scriptum bene',
crux afflavit auribus.

Verbo vitæ Verbum verum
Thomas semper efficit;
ejus stylus dulce merum
nec a fide deficit;
ad docendum cor sincerum
solus Thomas sufficit.

Tantum ergo nos portentem
veneremur cernui;
Aquinatis documentum,
nostro dispar sensui,
præstet nostræ supplementum
virtutis defectui.

Genitori genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
procedenti ab utroque
compar benedictio,
Aquinatis scriptis quoque
sua sit laudatio.

Pray St Benedict for a Happy Death

The Bona Mors devotion is an important one, indeed the most important, in a certain sense: there's little point in so mismanaging one's affairs as to spurn God's grace and die the death of the wicked, after all.


Saints of God, come to our aid!  Luckily enough, Miss Medieval-Liturgy-Mystic, St Gertrude the Great, had a revelation (see her Revelations, IV, 11) from St Benedict, the glorious Patriarch of Monks, that whoso would frequently invoke him, devoutly recalling and reminding him of his most blessed death (undergone while he stood praying in his monastery's oratory – see St Gregory the Great's account in his Dialogues, II, 37), would obtain his assistance at the hour of death and defence against Satan's final attacks: tit for tat.  Some monasteries therefore used the following prayer in his honour after Compline (the anthem is from St Gregory's account, the collect alludes to St Gertrude's vision), and when I get around to it so do I.  Ye ne'er can tell...


Ant.  Stans in Oratorio dilectus Domini Benedictus, Corpore et Sanguine dominico munitus, inter discipulorum manus imbecillia membra sustentans, erectis in cœlum manibus, inter verba orationis spiritum efflavit, qui per viam stratam palliis et innumeris coruscam lampadibus cœlum ascendere visus est.

V/.  Gloriosus apparuisti in conspectu Domini.

R/.  Propterea decorum induit te Dominus.

Oremus.

Deus, qui pretiosam mortem sanctissimi Patris nostri Benedicti tot tantisque privilegiis decorasti: concede quæsumus nobis; ut cujus memoriam recolimus, ejus in obitu nostro beata præsentia ab hostium muniamur insidiis.  Per Christum Dominum nostrum.  R/.  Amen.


(Anthem.  Standing in the place of Prayer, Benedict, beloved of the Lord, 'his soul' [–] strengthened by the Body and Blood of the Lord, his failing limbs upheld upon the arms of his disciples, lifted up his hands to heaven, and, while prayer was actually being offered, yielded up his soul, which 'took' [was seen to take] its heavenward course along a way all strewn with mantles and aglow with countless lights.

(V/.  Renowned hast thou appeared before the Lord.

(R/.  Wherefore the Lord hath surrounded thee with glory.

(Let us pray.

(O God, Who hoast enriched the precious death of our most holy Father Benedict with favours so many and so great; grant us, we beseech Thee, that he, whose memory we now recall, may protect us from all the wiles of our enemies by his blest presence in the hour of death.  Through Christ our Lord.  R/.  Amen.)

The Lamest Canticle

I have no objection to the use in the modern Office of New Testament Canticles at Vespers in an analogous manner to the immemorial use of Old Testament Canticles at Lauds (and Monastic Vigils), in addition to the traditional three Gospel Canticles (Benedictus, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis) used at Lauds, Vespers and Compline.  Scholarly research revealed good suggestions that certain passages in the epistles of St Paul were hymnic in structure, after all.


However, the excuse for a Canticle slotted into 1st Vespers of the Epiphany and the Lord's Baptism is just dreadful, because it is a failed pastiche: it interlards the sublime concision of I Timothy iii, 16 with a response (yuk! deliver me from the Responsorial Psalm, too-aptly defined as "an exercise in short-term memory"), worked in poorly, from Ps 116:1a.  It would have been better far to either use I Tim. iii, 16 as a short reading at one of the Hours of these feasts (for which it is manifestly appropriate, excuse pun), or have it as a super-short canticle (longer at least than Psalm 116, and only a bit shorter than Psalm 132 or the Canticle from Apoc. xv, 3-4).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Proper Antiphons for the Baptism of the Lord, Dominican Rite

The Dominican Rite is often more Roman than the Roman, retaining older usages, as well as many items quite common in the medieval West, but not used in Rome itself, and so not taken into the Tridentine Missal and Breviary that swept away most local uses.  

In the Breviarium S.O.P., unlike in the Breviarium Romanum (which repeats the Epiphany Office with proper lessons and collect only), proper antiphons are provided for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on the Octave Day of the Epiphany; they have a Byzantine flavour about them, were apparently used elsewhere in the West, especially in France (cf. Guéranger), and may well come from the Greek (phrases like "Christ our God" are a dead giveaway):

1st Vespers, Magnificat Antiphon:

Baptizat miles Regem, servus Dominum suum, Joannes Salvatorem: aqua Jordanis stupuit: columba protestata est: paterna vox audita est: Hic est Filius meus.

Lauds, Antiphons for the psalms:

1.  Veterem hominem renovans Salvator, venit ad baptismum: ut naturam, quæ corrupta erat, per aquam recuperaret, incorruptibili veste circumamictans nos.

2.  Te, qui in Spiritu, et igne purificas humana contagia, Deum, ac Redemptorem omnes glorificamus.

3.  Baptista contremuit, et non audet tangere sanctum Dei verticem, sed clamat cum tremore: Sanctifica me, Salvator.

4.  Caput draconis Salvator contrivit in Jordanis flumine: et ab ejus potestate omnes eripuit.

5.  Magnum mysterium declaratur hodie: quia Creator omnium in Jordane expurgat nostra facinora.

Benedictus Antiphon:

Præcursor Joannes exultat cum Jordane: baptizato Domino facta est orbis terrarum exultatio, facta est peccatorum nostrorum remissio.  Sanctificans aquas, ipsi omnes clamemus: Miserere nobis.

2nd Vespers, Magnificat Antiphon:

Fontes aquarum sanctificati sunt, Christo apparente in gloria: orbis terrarum, haurite aquas de fontibus Salvatoris: sanctificavit enim nunc omnem creaturam Christus Deus noster.
******

The current Liturgia Horarum, as usual, has picked over the various traditional antiphons and the like from the various Western uses, and redistributed them, taking on variant readings from different recensions:  Veterem hominem becomes the Magnificat antiphon at 1st Vespers (reading circumiciens not circumamictans), exchanging places with Baptizat miles regem, which is now the 1st antiphon to the psalms at Lauds (with a few verbal differences – suum dropt, protestata est becoming protestatur); Fontes aquarum moves to be the 2nd antiphon to the psalms of Lauds (reading orbi instead of orbis); Te qui in Spiritu is now the 3rd antiphon to the psalms of Lauds (replacing ac with et); Caput draconis (conteruit, not contrivit; Jordane, not Jordanis; omitting et) and Magnum mysterium (unchanged) appear as the 2nd and 3rd psalm antiphons at 2nd Vespers.

The other antiphons in the modern Divine Office (at 1st Vespers, Office of Readings and the Little Hours) are fairly obviously drawn from Scripture, as is the new Magnificat antiphon at 2nd Vespers, Christus Jesus dilexit nos (Apoc. i, 5-6).

The modern rite Benedictus antiphon, however, also seems "Byzantine":

Baptizatur Christus, et sanctificatur omnis mundus; et tribuit nobis remissionem peccatorum; aqua et Spiritu omnes purificemur.