Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frigescente mundo

Yester-day, there was anticipated Mass of the Stigmata of St Francis in my Franciscan parish, since there is no Saturday morning Mass at St Francis (most unfortunately), and it seems to be ranked as a feast by the Friars Minor, given that the Gloria in excelsis was used.  To-day, I suppose, I'll read some Office in honour of this feast... my Dominican Diurnal treats it as a double feast, whereas by 1962, as in my Breviary, it was reduced to a Memory.

I do like the Collect of his Stigmata:

Dómine Jesu Christe, qui, frigescénte mundo, ad inflammándum corda nostra tui amoris igne, in carne beatíssimi Francisci passiónis tuæ sacra Stigmata renovásti: concéde propítius; ut ejus meritis et précibus crucem jugiter feramus, et dignos fructu pœniténtiæ faciámus: Qui vivis et regnas.
O Lord Jesu Christ, who when the world was waxing cold, to the inflaming of our hearts with the fire of thy love didst renew in the flesh of thy blessed Saint Francis the sacred marks of thy passion: mercifully grant that by his merits and intercession ; we may be enabled ever to bear thy Cross, and to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.  Who livest and reignest...

"When the world was waxing cold..." – what of our own age!


Unfortunately, pressures of work won't allow me to go to weekday Mass at St Francis for a while, given that it is held at 9 am: a pity, since I do like going to Mass there.  If one must attend the Novus Ordo, as I must but for once a month (pray Tasmania get a new bishop who is au fait with Papal policy and supportive thereof), then really I am spoiled for choice, since Mass at Carmel (albeit at 7.30 am) is also celebrated very reverently (the only drawback being that sometimes one of the priests supplying Mass there can say odd things in his sermons).

In both places, we have the unusual modern spectacle of singing in Latin at weekday Mass: at Carmel, if it is a feast day, the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei are all chanted, and some other parts are sung in English; at St Francis, Riverside, as I have only recently learnt, there is often a hymn sung before and after weekday Mass, and the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei are all chanted to the simple chant of Mass XVIII, while the Alleluia is also sung.

This seems to me a good example of how use of a small amount of music, well within the compass of a small weekday congregation, greatly contributes toward the sacralization of the liturgy.

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