Friday, January 29, 2010

The Third Quotidian Sunday - II

Returning to some much earlier musings on the Mozarabic Rite after a long hiatus, I first gave the texts of the Eucharistic Liturgy for the Third Quotidian Sunday below.  Now, I wish to discuss two aspects - the Oblation and Intercession, and the "Canon", but in reverse order.

First, the Canon, in Roman terms, from after the Sanctus until the end of the doxology:

Truly Thou art holy, Lord, and Thy sanctity brighter than all the saints, Whom His heavenly and terrestrial creatures confess and laud as Lord; for Thou art the propitiation of sins and of all the faithful.
God the Lord and the Redeemer eternal.
Who the day before He suffered, took bread and giving thanks, blessed and broke, and gave to His disciples, saying: Take and eat: This is My Body, which is given up for you.  Whensoever ye shall eat It, do this in My commemoration.
R/.  Amen.
And similarly the chalice after they had supped, saying: This is the chalice of the new testament in My Blood, which for you and for many is poured out in remission of sins.  Whensoever ye shall drink It, do this in My commemoration.
R/.  Amen.
Whensoever ye shall eat this Bread and drink this Chalice, ye shall announce the death of the Lord until He come in glory from the heavens.
R/.  So we believe, Lord Jesus.
Sanctify, Lord, the gift of the offered Victim, and stand propitious to the vows of the faithful; that both Thou accept what is offered, and, propitiated, sanctify those who are offering.
R/.  Amen.

Grant this, Father unbegotten, by Thy Onlybegotten, our Lord Jeus Christ, through Whom Thou, for us Thy unworthy servants, createst exceedingly good, sanctifiest, + vivifiest, blessest and grantest unto us all these things, that they be blessed by Thee our God unto the ages of the ages.
R/.  Amen.

The two indented passages are variable texts - often they are short, but sometimes they are quite lengthy. It will be observed that the Oratio post Pridie could easily function as a Secret (Prayer over the Gifts/Oblations) in the Roman Rite, while the Oratio post Sanctus is of the nature of a bridge between the Sanctus and the Institution Narrative.

The double Consecration is effected by the Verba Domini, to which the people reply Amen; the Anamnesis, here couched as a command (following St Paul's stricture) to recall the Lord's Death "until He come" - Sic credimus, Domine Jesu (a touching cry).

The short variable prayer following is usually epicletic, but not in the highly developed manner of Eastern Anaphoræ: instead in the case of the present text, God is begged to hallow the Victim offered, that is, to accept the Oblation of the people, and to sanctify them, being appeased thereby.  This unites Oblation with a Communion Epiclesis, just as the final doxology (here with a variant opening line) does.

What is surprising about this Canon is its brevity! - all other Eucharistic Prayers (the Roman Canon, those of St Chrysostom and St Basil, etc.) are quite long, and moreover contain a long intercession.  Uniquely, the Mozarabic Rite places its diptychs, its naming of the living and the dead for whom the Sacrifice is offered, long before the Canon, and instead has the altar set, and then such impetration made:

Dear Brothers:
In order to obtain the mercy of the Lord, we pray with all our spirit, we present to God, through whom we want to be heard, the unanimous feelings and desires of our community, that the Catholic Church, which stem from our interest and efforts in hosting His love for all purposes, to rightly dispense her desired goods to all.
Be there one confession of faith, by extension numerous; unique in its sacraments, not only in one place; scattered, but not divided; illustrious in priests, and prudent in teachers; peaceful in brotherhood, holy in ministers; faultless in ministers, incorrupt in virgins; helpful in widows, rich in believers; free among the nations, caring for the sick; to penitents forgiving, clement toward the lost; rich for the needy, humble with the poor, generous thanks to the rich.
So full of all good, that for us is made potent, for us and to recover those who seek and retain those who have recovered.
R/.  Amen.

By help of His mercy, Who liveth and reigneth, God, unto the ages of the ages.
R/.  Amen.

Let us pray.
R/.  Hagios, Hagios, Hagios, Lord God, King eternal, to Thee be praise and thanks.

The deacon recites the Diptych:
Let us have in mind in our prayers the Holy Catholic Church, that the Lord propitiously deign to augment her faith, hope and charity.
R/.  Grant it, eternal, almighty God.
Let us have in mind all the lapsed, captive, infirm and pilgrims, that the Lord propitiously deign to regard, redeem, heal and strengthen them.
R/.  Grant it, eternal, almighty God.
O God, Whose clemency is ineffable, piety profound, mercy infinite, magnitude inestimable, Who art so angered that Thou correct, castigatest that Thou recall, corrects that Thou emend, invitest that Thou love, scourgest that Thou spare, generously embrace and propitiously behold the prayers of Thy people; and because what we deserve, or what we suffer Thou knowest, by Thee grant unto us what Thou art prayed; that from all temptations of the enemy, which snares that adversary of our soul without ceasing has laid, freed by the power of Thy right, may we deserve to be admitted to Thy kingdom.
R/.  Amen.

By Thy mercy, our God, in Whose sight the names of the holy Apostles and Martyrs, Confessors and Virgins are recited.
R/.  Amen.

The deacon recites the other Diptych:
Our Priests, N. the Pope of Rome and the rest, offer oblations to the Lord God for themselves and for all the clergy, and for the people of the Church assigned to them, and for the universal brotherhood.
R/.  They offer for themselves and for the universal brotherhood.
Again all Priests, deacons, clergy and the people standing around offer in honour of the Saints, for them and theirs.
R/.  They offer for themselves and for the universal brotherhood.
Making commemoration of the most blessed Apostles and Martyrs, the glorious Saint Mary the Virgin, Zachary, John [Baptist], the Infants [the Holy Innocents], Stephen, Peter and Paul, John [Evangelist], James, Andrew, Acisclus, Torquatus, Fructuosus, Felix, Vincent, Eulogius, Justus and Pastor, Justa and Rufina, Eulalia, the other Eulalia, Leocadia.
R/.  And of all Martyrs.
Names of other martyrs may be added.
Again, of the Confessors Hilary, Athanasius, Martin, Ambrose, Augustine, Fulgentius, Leander, Isidore, Braulio, Eugene, Ildephonsus, Julian.
R/.  And of all Confessors.
Names of other saints may be added.
The holy Catholic Church of God offers for the souls of all the sleeping, that the Lord propitiously deign to emplace them among the assembly of the blessed.
R/.  Grant it, eternal, almighty God.
Be present, Lord, to our supplications , and fill the oblations of Thy servants with Thy power, let the petition of no one be empty, let the vow of no one be unfulfilled; that what each has offered to the honour of Thy name, may both profit all the living unto salvation, and avail all the dead unto rest.
R/.  Amen.

For Thou art the life of the living, the health of the infirm, and the rest of all the faithful departed to eternal ages of ages.
R/.  Amen.

Recall again that the indented prayers are proper to each Mass, and vary from day to day. They vary in length from short - though even then more prolix than Roman collects - to extremely long (especially on saints' days).

I am particularly interested in the second diptych, concluding with the Oratio post Nomina and its doxology - for the language of offering and oblation is marked:

"Our Priests, N. the Pope of Rome and the rest, offer oblations to the Lord God, for themselves and for all..."

"Again all Priests... and the people... offer in honour of the Saints, for them and theirs."

"The Holy Catholic Church offers for the souls of all the sleeping [in death]..."

It is evident that the Mass is conceived of as a Sacrifice offered up for determinate ends.  The Oratio post Nomina of this Sunday sums it up well: may the Lord fill the oblations with His power, that what each has offered may profit the living unto salvation and the dead unto eternal rest.  Again, it is interesting how this prayer could easily function as a Secret (Prayer over the Gifts/Oblations) in the Roman Rite.

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