Sunday 2nd January 2011: Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
This morning I arose at half six, and went to the airport to collect my mother and sister, who have come over to Melbourne to spend part of their holiday with me (since Dad passed away, we've felt it best to try and do more together as a family). First breakfast was at McDonald’s, waiting for their plane to arrive… second breakfast, with them, was at the European Café in central Melbourne.
I returned to St Aloysius for the 11 am Solemn Mass. To-day Fr McDaniels was the celebrant, Fr Tattersall the deacon, and one of yester-day’s servers the ersatz sub-deacon (amazing vestments, very fine); Fr Terence was in the confessional shriving penitents during the Sacrifice. Again, Mass IV and Credo III were sung (the latter with organ accompaniment); the choir expertly handled the propers (including of course the Asperges before Mass, sung to one of the alternate settings) plus two motets, Byrd’s setting of the Memento salutis Auctor (the hymn at the Little Hours of the Little Office, of course in the pre-Urban VIII version) and Victoria’s Jesu dulcis memoria; for a recessional we sang “Jesus the very thought of thee”, being a translation of Jesu dulcis memoria. Again, how well the organ sounds… Mass took an hour and a half.
In passing, it may be noted how lengthy and strange the Postcommunion, even more so than the Secret, of this Mass is.
Of old, Fr Tattersall preached, the Holy Name of God was so terrible and great that it were a blasphemy to pronounce it even in devotion: only the High Priest, once a year, entering the Holy of Holies, casting the blood upon the mercy seat, dared utter the Tetragrammaton in the midst of a most solemn sacred rite. But now, in Jesus, the Holy Name is made the Name we may confidently invoke – and it is the only name that saves. All attempts at salvation in other names are foolish devilry (as the mad ragings of the evil ideologies, so murderous and destructive, of the past bloodfilled century sadly prove).
Father mentioned, inter alia, another grave threat against which we must work and pray: the insanity of changing the very definition of marriage to include unnatural pretended unions. He will offer up Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family for the defeat of this wicked enterprise.
Lunch was again at the Balaclava.
I used the lazy afternoon back at our apartment to read the Office.
The Dominican Office of the Holy Name, incidentally, has variations from the Roman – most obviously in the five Lauds antiphons.