Monday, December 21, 2009

O Clavis David & O Oriens

Oops, I read Vespers very late last night, and entirely forgot to post about the O Antiphon for Sunday! So here is a catch-up covering both yester-day's O Clavis David (my post on this a year ago, including another Charpentier Magnificat to match) and to-night's O Oriens...

Mention of Him Who is the true East, to Whom we should turn, reminds me ineluctably of how we must, must return to eastward worship, ad orientem versus. As Aquinas quoting Augustine reminds us, "'The East,' that is Christ, 'calleth thee, and thou [fool] turnest to the West,' namely mortal and fallible man." (S.T., II-II, 189, 10, resp.) How sadly true is this of too many lame and pathetic modern debasings of what ought be divine service, divine worship.

It is a real pity in one sense that the Holy Father has to set special structures for Anglicans - because they find the way Catholics worship nowadays to be so impoverished and philistine! Truly "filthiness is in her skirts" (Lam. i, 9). Her worship needs revitalizing, lest the irreverence inseparable from impiety derogate outrageously from the treasure of Holy Mass.

As regards cleaning up the liturgy, in the light of the old Anglican "Six Points", I blogged on this some months back - see Desiderata Desideravi.

Some more details on Eastward worship, as so rightful given Our Saviour as our true East:
Holy Church should really bring back that significant ceremony, the sputatio, recorded by St Ambrose (and therefore certainly performed by Augustine, whom he baptized): facing West, the catechumen, renouncing the Devil, his pomps (that is, pagan rites) and vanities, spat thither, spat in the Enemy's face as it were! and thereupon turned East, to confess Christ, that he might in the forthcoming laver of regeneration be born again as His for ever.

Let us pray Augustine's prayer of orientation, Conversi ad Dominum Deum, with which he ended his sermons, that his flock might turn them Eastward as he, going to the altar, went to stand and sacrifice before the holy table, looking to the east for the salvation promised by our Lord Who is again to come:

CONVERSI ad Dominum Deum Patrem omnipotentem, puro corde ei, quantum potest parvitas nostra, maximas atque veras gratias agamus: precantes toto animo singularem mansuetudinem ejus, ut preces nostras in beneplacito suo exaudire dignetur; inimicum quoque a nostris actibus et cogitationibus sua virtute expellat, nobis multiplicet fidem, mentem gubernet, spirituales cogitationes concedat, et ad beatitudinem suam perducat per Jesum Christum Filium ejus. Amen.

LET us turn towards the Lord God and Father Almighty, and with a pure heart let us give Him sincere thanks as well as our littleness will allow: Let us with our whole hearts beseech His extraordinary clemency, that He may vouchsafe to hear our prayers according to His good pleasure. May He by His power drive our enemies far from us, lest we fall under the sway of the evil one in act or thought. May He increase our faith, rule our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and at last lead us to His blessedness, through Jesus Christ His Son. Amen.

(I quote this, replacing consonantal i's with j's as is my preference, from Michael Martin's excellent site, Thesaurus Precum Latinarum, feeling that he - with whom I've had long correspondence ever since my early university days - won't mind me putting this up.)

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