Monday, July 16, 2012

Up-to-date Vesting Prayers

The Carolingians had a prayer for the priest to say when combing his hair before Mass – for long hair was then in fashion, even for the clergy.  But to-day's priest, while generally spared the bother of combing lengthy locks (long hair being so seventies; and the few still stuck in the seventies tend to be old enough to have lost theirs in any case), faces other fashion problems while vesting.

For a start, the priest oft-times takes off his watch (I noticed Fr Paul doing so) when he goes to say Mass: something about not having any secular accessory visible I suppose.  Strange; for priests rarely remove their shoes and socks.  In any case, Fr Paul recommended to me that a liturgist really ought draw up a prayer for the taking off the wrist-watch (or, for more genteel priests, the fob-watch).  Luckily, he knew whom to consult:

Remove from me, O Lord, all bounds of time and space: that I may (as the angels) in Thy presence ever abide.

(The first line sounds like an allusion to Dr Who, but no matter.  After all, according to the mediævals, time doesn't pass during Mass, or at least you grow no older and your life is not shortened at all.)

But wait!  What of that clangorous pest, the mobile phone?  (That's "cell phone" for you foreigners.)  Poor Fr Terence once admitted his sounded while he was saying Mass!  (I hope he didn't answer it, let alone disjoin his fingers to do so.)  For utterly the same reason as the watch, the dratted phone must be removed or at least silenced, and with a prayer to avert disaster:

Silence, O Lord, all earthly pomps and vanities: that I may hear ever resounding the angelic trump announcing Thy coming Judgement.

Thirdly, that accountrement of Ordinary Form liturgy, the lapel microphone, likewise needs to prayed over if not exorcized, thus:

Magnify, O Lord, my voice to sing Thy praise, that it sound as the blast that blew the walls of Jericho flat.

That should well empower the sort of celebrant who likes to project his voice right manfully... alas.

I trust these orations may assist the devotion of many a celebrant.  Could a correspondent (Dominican if possible) assist in rendering them into God's own Latin?

No comments: