Thursday, January 6, 2022

A Prayer on the Solemn Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

At thy birth, O Jesus, a star of wondrous splendour shone forth in the Eastern skies, and led to Bethlehem the Magi, those envoys of far-distant, pagan peoples, even as the Angel, bathed in heavenly light, was summoning to thy manger the shepherds, as representatives of the chosen people. For the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, must needs recognize in thee, a poor and helpless Infant, the Almighty King of Ages, the Saviour of mankind. Neither sceptre nor diadem disclosed thy kingly state; no sweet harmonies, no hosts of Angels mustering round thy crib revealed thy divine nature; but the star, shining above thy wretched stable, pointed to the heavens, the earth, and the entire universe as thine absolute possessions; even as the Magi, who at the inspiration of thy grace, coming promptly from afar, caring naught for dangers, overcoming every difficulty, and embracing every sacrifice, reached thy feet and, kneeling down in reverence, offered thee their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Thirsting for God, they had gone eagerly in search of thee, and thou did reveal thyself to them in a wonderful manner, while still in thy crib, filling them with ineffable joys and transforming them into the first messengers of thy glories to the peoples of the Orient. After the appearance of the star, which sufficed to render the Magi thy ardent followers, with what marvels, O Jesus, didst thou demonstrate thy divinity! Yet what darkness still overshadows our poor minds! How reluctantly our wills give way to the loving impulses of thy grace, even when they do not openly resist thee! Give us, therefore, O Jesus, the strength to reply ever promptly and generously to thy call, and grant that the divine light of faith, which was enkindled by thee within us while still in our cradles, may ever accompany us on the road of life, until, blessed at last in heaven, we shall be able to fix our eyes upon thee in the light of glory.

The Raccolta, n. 130.

Amen! So be it! Amen!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021

Christ is born! Glorify him!

Christmas! the wondrous Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, both God and man, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Eternal Word incarnate for our salvation, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever, who is and ever shall be the Victor over sin, Satan, death and hell.

"the Light shineth in darkness" — St John i, 5

This is now the third Christmas of the pandemic, for the virus was already about its fell work in Wuhan back in December 2019... may God see fit to deliver us before next Christmas.

A blessed, safe and happy Christmas to all.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Shortest Composite Proper

The variable chants, lessons and orations that comprise the Proper of the Mass vary widely in length; out of curiosity, I have assembled the shortest of each of them, taken from the Roman Missal of 1962 (in the case of the chants, this involved counting the notes of each) into a shortest composite proper, illustrative of the minimum required – which in the case of the chants and lessons, amounts to about a verse of Scripture each (two, for the Introit and Tract), and as for the prayers, a similar word-length applies:

NB Procession before Rogation Mass [used as an Introit in the Ordinary Form]

[44 notes, excl. psalm verse & Gloria Patri; 18 words; 21+23=44 syllables; 114 characters (no spaces): all statistics excl. Gloria Patri]

Ps. 43, 26

Exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos propter nomen tuum.

Ps. ibid., 2 Deus, auribus nostris audivimus, patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis.

V. Gloria Patri.

Shortest Introit: SS Marius, Martha, Audifax & Abachum, Martyrs (19 Jan.) 

[57 notes excl. Ps. verse & Gloria Patri; one verse, plus Ps. verse, etc.; 26+32=58 syllables, 11+14=25 words, 136 characters (no spaces): all statistics excl. Gloria Patri]

Introitus Ps. 67, 4

Justi epulentur, et exsultent in conspectu Dei, et delectentur in lætitia. 

Ps. ibid., 2 Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant qui oderunt eum, a facie ejus.

V. Gloria Patri.

NB Shortest Collect in the Breviary: “Absolution” [in form, a Collect] of First Nocturn of Matins

[10 words, 25 syllables, 62 characters (no spaces); excl. Qui...]

Exáudi, Dómine Jesu Christe, preces servórum tuórum, et miserére nobis: Qui...

Shortest Collect in the Missal: 17th Sunday after Pentecost 

[15 words, 37 syllables (same as shortest Epistle), 82 characters (no spaces); excl. Per...]


Da, quæsumus, Domine, populo tuo diabolica vitare contagia: et te solum Deum pura mente sectari. Per... 

Shortest Epistle: Daily Requiem Mass 

[one verse; 30 words, 70 syllables, 166 characters (no spaces)]

Lectio libri Apocalypsis beati Joannis Apostoli. 

Apoc. 14, 13 

In diebus illis: Audivi vocem de cælo, dicentem mihi: Scribe: Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur. Amodo jam dicit Spiritus, ut requiescant a laboribus suis: opera enim illorum sequuntur illos.

Shortest Gradual: Common of a Virgin & Martyr, 1st Mass 

[62 + 93 = 155 notes; one verse; 13 words, 37 syllables, 81 characters (no spaces)]

Graduale Ps. 44, 8

Dilexisti justitiam, et odisti iniquitatem. 

V. Propterea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus, oleo lætitiæ.

Shortest Tract: Lenten Ember Saturday; Easter Vigil; Pentecost Vigil; Whit Saturday; September Ember Saturday 

[112 + 138 = 250 notes; 22 words; 54 syllables; 130 characters (no spaces)]

Tractus Ps. 116, 1-2

Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes: et collaudate eum, omnes populi. 

V. Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia ejus: et veritas Domini manet in æternum.

Shortest Alleluia: Queenship B.V.M. (31st May), 2nd Alleluia

[35 + 58 = 93 notes (excl. any repeat of the All.); 6 words, 10 syllables, 25 characters (no spaces), excl. All.]


V. Nunc cum eo regnas in æternum. 


2nd-Shortest Alleluia: Whit Saturday, 2nd Alleluia

[30+66 = 96 notes (excl. any repeat of the All.); one verse; 4 words, also 10 syllables, also 25 characters (no spaces), excl. All.]


V. Job 26, 13 Spiritus ejus ornavit cælos. 

Shortest Gospel: Circumcision (1st January); Holy Name of Jesus

[one verse; 25 words, 57 syllables, 143 characters (no spaces)]

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.

Luc. 2, 21

In illo tempore: Postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur Puer: vocatum est nomen ejus Jesus, quod vocatum est ab Angelo priusquam in utero conciperetur.

Shortest Offertory: St Stanislaus Kostka (13th November, PAL)

[88 notes; one verse; 10 words, 24 syllables, 54 characters (no spaces)]

Offertorium Ps. 42, 4

Introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum, qui lætificat juventutem meam.

Shortest Secret: First Sunday after Epiphany; Sexagesima Sunday; Monday after the 4th Sunday in Lent 

[9 words, 24 syllables, 57 characters (no spaces); excl. Per...]


Oblatum tibi, Domine, sacrificium vivificet nos semper et muniat. Per...

Shortest Communion: 7th Sunday after Pentecost

[one verse; 43 notes; 7 words, 17 syllables, 38 characters (no spaces)]

Communio Ps. 30, 3

Inclina aurem tuam, accelera, ut eripias me.

Shortest Postcommunion: St John before the Latin Gate (6th May, PAL)

[9 words, 24 syllables, 61 characters (no spaces); excl. Per...]


Refecti, Domine, pane cælesti: ad vitam, quæsumus, nutriamur æternam. Per...

Shortest Oratio super populum: Lenten Ember Friday

[11 words, 26 syllables, 64 characters (no spaces); excl. Per...]


Exaudi nos, misericors Deus: et mentibus nostris gratiæ tuæ lumen ostende. Per...

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Consecration to Our Lady Queen of the Angels - Fifth Anniversary

Particularly at this time, it is wise to redouble one’s prayers and consecrate oneself to Our Lady, as the Queen of Angels Latin Mass Community of the Archdiocese of Hobart first did five years ago; for convenience, here are some suitable forms to employ:

Aña. Ave, Regina cælorum, 

Ave, Domina Angelorum:

Salve, radix, salve, porta,

Ex qua mundo lux est orta:

Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,

Super omnes speciosa,

Vale, o valde decora,

Et pro nobis Christum exora.

V. Ave María, Regína Angelórum.

R. Ora pro nobis servis tuis.


Oratio. Supplicatiónem servórum tuórum, Deus miserátor, exáudi: ut qui in Communitáte Regínæ Angelórum congregámur, ejus intercessiónibus, a te de instántibus perículis eruámur. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen.


(Ant. Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned,

Hail, by angels mistress owned,

Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn

Whence the world's true light was born:

Glorious Virgin, joy to thee,

Loveliest whom in heaven they see;

Fairest thou, where all are fair,

Plead with Christ our souls to spare.

(V. Hail Mary, Queen of the Angels.

(R. Pray for us thy servants.

(Let us pray.

(Collect. Graciously hear the supplication of thy servants, O merciful God, that we, who are gathered in the Community of the Queen of the Angels, may, at her intercession, by thee be delivered from threatening dangers. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.)


Consecration to Our Lady, Queen of Angels.

Holy Virgin, Sovereign of the heavenly hierarchies, who by the august title of Mother of God have been raised to the dignity of Queen of Angels, we unite ourselves today to those blessed spirits to render to you our duty and our profound homage; we come to consecrate ourselves forever to your service. We already belong, it is true, to your beloved Congregation; however, permit us to declare loudly, O Mary, that we are and will always be your children. Immaculate Virgin, who have never been invoked in vain, show that you are truly our mother; we beseech you, show to us, especially during these rejoicings, that we are passing through the midst of a corrupt world that will strive to deceive us; show the enemies of our salvation that you are more powerful to save us than they are to destroy us; govern us by the good offices of our celestial Guardians. We must fight the infernal legions, an evil and seductive world, and especially our passions and evil inclinations; who will defend us against such formidable enemies if you do not come to our rescue? You are terrible as an army in battle array: it is for you to support us in these battles. O Mary, bright star of the sea, guide us in the midst of this stormy sea, so full of pitfalls that many of the virtuous have been wrecked! You are beautiful as the lily among thorns: preserve us in an inviolable purity in the midst of universal corruption. We entrust to you the precious deposit of our innocence, which will be safer in your hands, O Virgin of virgins, whose purity exceeds that of the same Angels. O Mother most amiable, enlarge your heart, open to us a refuge against the fury and dangerous seductions of the infernal dragon whose head you crushed. You are all powerful with the Almighty: gain for us, we beseech you, all relief that we need to overcome the devil, the world and ourselves. Finally, obtain for us the grace to lead an angelic life, that we may deserve to be assisted and strengthened at the hour of death, by you and by our holy angels, and be rewarded in heaven. Amen.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

When Not to Say "Amen"

Especially at Low Mass, sometimes the overeager faithful reply Amen when they ought not.

The priest begins the prayers at the foot of the altar by making the sign of the Cross, saying In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. No one, neither the server(s) nor the rest of the congregation, replies here - the priest himself says the Amen.

When the priest recites the Introit, he reads the Gloria Patri, ending with an Amen; however, as he immediately repeats the Introit antiphon, it is far less likely that an overzealous attendee would attempt to say Amen at that point.

It should be carefully noted, though, that when the priest recites the Gloria in excelsis, and, likewise, the Credo, in both cases he himself concludes each with an Amen, which is his to say, and is not the province of the faithful present at Mass, however heartily they concur – despite this, some mistakenly try to reply Amen, not realising that here there is no reply to give.

When the priest administers Communion to the faithful, he says to each Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam æternam. Amen. Again, the individual communicant ought say nothing – as they are at that moment kneeling with their tongue extended, ready to receive the Host, by trying to saying Amen, they will only obstruct the administration of Communion.

It is always wise to be aware of the rubrics.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Prayers in Time of Universal Contagion

Ever since the end of February, I’ve been praying for deliverance from the present pandemic, and have over time developed a sort of litany for daily use, derived from various traditional prayers, as follows (first in Latin, then in English) – note, that in Latin you don’t say “the city of N” but instead “the N* city”, where N* is the adjectival form of N; similarly, Latin prefers to use an adjective (spineam Coronam, “thorny crown”) where the English employs a genitive (“crown of thorns”); and obviously one should replace the name(s) of the place(s) and region(s) prayed for with one’s own place(s) and region(s) of concern:

Preces in tempore universalis contagii. 

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis: et sicut pepercisti clementer contritæ Urbi Ninivæ, sic et parce Stephanopoli (add. et Melburniæ et Sydneio et Brisbanæ et Perthiæ et Adelaidopoli et Darwin et Camberræ). — Parce nobis, Domine. 

Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, pro avertenda peste, qua nos punis, vota Tasmaniæ (add. et Victoriæ et Novæ Cambriæ Australis et Terræ Reginæ et Australiæ Occidentalis et Australiæ Australis et Territorii Septentrionalis et Territorii Capitalis Australiani) urbisque (vel: urbiumque) Stephanopolitani (add. et Melburnensis et Sydneyensis et Brisbanensis et Perthensis et Adelaidopolitani et Darvinensis et Camberrensis) benigne exaudi. — Exaudi nos, Domine. 

Per spíneam Corónam tuam, — Líbera nos, Dómine. 

A flagéllo pestiléntiæ, — Líbera nos, Dómine. 
A perículo infectiónis, — Líbera nos, Dómine. 
Ab aëris corruptióne, — Líbera nos, Dómine. 

Ut a nobis pestiléntiæ flagéllum avértere dignéris, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 
Ut nos ab homínibus et rebus inféctis custodíre dignéris, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 
Ut auram salúbrem nobis impertíri dignéris, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 
Ut mereámur pestem epidémiæ illǽsi pertransíre, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 
Ut mereámur præservári a peste mortífera, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 
Ut civitátem istam (vel: civitates istas) deféndere, protégere, custodíre, conserváre et benedícere dignéris, — Te rogámus, audi nos. 

Domina nostra, Salus infirmorum, — Ora pro nobis. 
Sancte Sebastiane, — Ora pro nobis. 
Sancte Roche, — Ora pro nobis. 
Sancte Thoma, — Ora pro nobis. 
Sancta Rosalia, — Ora pro nobis. 

V. Dómine, dic Angelo percutienti populum: 
R. Sufficit; nunc contine manum tuam. (Cf. 2 Reg. 24, 16) 


Peccatis nostris indignationem tuam meruimus, Domine, ut mortiferæ pestilitatis territi, contagio juste contremiscamus; sed intercessione beatæ semper Virginis Mariæ, sanctorumque tuorum Sebastiani, Rochi Thomæ atque Rosaliæ placatus, mala quibus affligimur clementer averte. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen. 

O adorande Plasmator, — Exaudi nos, et miserere populo tuo. 
O omnipotens Sanator, — Exaudi nos, et miserere populo tuo. 
O optime Consolator, — Exaudi nos, et miserere populo tuo. 
O misericors et miserator et juste Domine Deus noster, — Exaudi nos, et miserere populo tuo. (Cf. Ps. 111, 4)

Prayers in Time of Universal Contagion.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us: and as thou didst clemently spare the contrite city of Nineveh, so also spare Launceston (add. and Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane and Perth and Adelaide and Darwin and Canberra). — Spare us, O Lord. 

Holy Trinity, one God, for averting the plague, by which thou punishest us, benignly hear the prayer of Tasmania (add. and Victoria and New South Wales and Queensland and Western Australia and South Australia and the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) and of the city (or: cities) of Launceston (add. and Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane and Perth and Adelaide and Darwin and Canberra). — Graciously hear us, O Lord.  

By thy Crown of thorns, — Deliver us, O Lord. 

From the scourge of pestilence, — Deliver us, O Lord. 
From peril of infection, — Deliver us, O Lord. 
From corruption of the air, — Deliver us, O Lord. 

That thou wouldst vouchsafe to avert the scourge of pestilence from us, — We pray thee, hear us. 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to guard us from infected men and objects, — We pray thee, hear us. 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to impart healthful air unto us, — We pray thee, hear us. 
That we may deserve to pass unharmed through the plague of the epidemic, — We pray thee, hear us. 
That we may deserve to be preserved from deadly plague, — We pray thee, hear us. 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to defend, protect, guard, preserve and bless this city (or: these cities), — We pray thee, hear us. 

Our Lady, Health of the Sick, — Pray for us. 
Saint Sebastian, — Pray for us. 
Saint Roch, — Pray for us. 
Saint Thomas, — Pray for us. 
Saint Rosalia, — Pray for us. 

V. O Lord, say to the Angel striking the people: 
R. Enough; now hold thy hand. (Cf. 2 Sam. 24:16)

Let us pray. 

Our sins have deserved thine indignation, Lord, that, terrified of the deadly pestilence, we may justly tremble at contagion: but, appeased by the intercession of the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary, and of thy Saints Sebastian, Roch, Thomas and Rosalia, clemently avert the evils with which we are afflicted. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen. 

O adorable Creator, — Hear us, and have mercy on thy people. 
O almighty Healer, — Hear us, and have mercy on thy people.
O best Consoler, — Hear us, and have mercy on thy people.
O merciful and compassionate and just Lord our God, — Hear us, and have mercy on thy people. (Cf. Ps. 111:4)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Visitation, Dominican Rite

Today the Dominican Breviary and Missal supply excellent proper prayers, different to the Roman orations, for the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady. (I take the translations, with alterations, from The Saint Dominic Missal, published in 1959.)

The Collect:

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, majestatem tuam suppliciter exoramus, ut sicut Unigenitum tuum per visitationem et salutationem Genitricis ejus puero clauso in utero revelasti; ita meritis ejusdem Genitricis, et precibus, ipsum nos facias revelata facie perpetuo contemplari. Qui tecum vivit et regnat...

(Almighty and merciful God, we humbly beseech thy majesty, that as thou didst make known thine Only-begotten Son through the visit and greeting of his mother to* the child as yet unborn; so likewise thou wouldst grant to us, by the merits and prayers of the same mother, to see him with unveiled face unto all eternity: who liveth and reigneth with thee...)

[* TSDM has "to", reading puero clauso as dative, which I initially misread as signifying "by", thinking of puero clauso as ablative: but of course the former is correct, as it refers to the reaction to the greeting of Our Lady on the part of the unborn Baptist as yet in his mother's womb.]

The Secret:

Omnipotens sempiteme Deus, qui de omnibus in te confidentibus curam semper habes, præsta quæsumus, ut per oblationem, quam tibi offerimus, visitationem spiritualem beatæ Mariæ Virginis in nostris necessitatibus semper sentiamus. Per Dominum...

(Almighty and eternal God, who carest for all such as trust in thee, grant, we beseech thee, that through this offering we make to thee, we may always feel the spiritual visitation of the blessed Virgin Mary in all our needs: through our Lord...)

The Postcommunion:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui commemorationem visitationis beatissimæ Mariæ Matris Dei fieri voluisti; præsta quæsumus, ut per hoc sacrificium, quod sumpsimus, ab ejus visitationis gratia nullatenus excidamus. Per eumdem Dominum...

(Almighty and eternal God, who didst will us to make a commemoration of the visitation of the most blessed Mary, Mother of God; grant, we beseech thee, that through this sacrifice, which we have received, we may never fall from the grace of her visitation: through the same our Lord...)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


I predicted that Cardinal Pell would be exonerated, as he today has been by unanimous judgement of the High Court of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Those guilty of perpetrating this gross miscarriage of justice – biassed parties in the media, and persons of questionable motives in the police force, prosecutors and judiciary of Victoria – ought be shamed and themselves investigated for their part in falsely vilifying, accusing and imprisoning this man.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Banal Insipid Prayers

I was initially delighted that at long last the lawful authorities in Holy Mother Church had noticed a glaring omission in the modern  Roman Missal – the absence of any Votive Mass in Time of Mortality (that is, by Pestilence and Plague) – and had issued a new Mass in Time of Pandemic, for the professed purpose of "implor[ing] God to bring an end to this pandemic" (A peste perambulante, Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 30th March 2020).

This Mass proper may be used on all days not solemnities or of equivalent rank, so it may replace even Feasts of Our Lord, his Mother, his Apostles, and the Saints, as well as Sundays of Ordinary Time (no great loss, that), and both Sundays of Christmastide and Days within the Octave of Christmas! 

There are only 47 days of the year when it may not be used! These are the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Eastertide (including Pentecost Sunday of course); Ash Wednesday, all the days of Holy Week, the Easter Triduum, the Easter Octave, the Ascension of Our Lord, and Trinity Sunday; and also the Solemnities of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, and Christ the King – all these being "movable feasts", amounting to 36 days – and moreover 11 solemnities that occur on fixed dates: those of Christmas, Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, St Joseph, the Annunciation, the Nativity of St John Baptist, Saints Peter & Paul, the Assumption, All Saints, All Souls, and the Immaculate Conception.

However, and most unfortunately, the prayers of this new formulary are disappointingly banal, insipid and uninspiring. I trust the good Lord will bear with such limp and timid effusions, for he knows mankind all too well; but we must acknowledge that this is a jejune and feeble production of the CDW, unworthy of the sacred liturgy. Compare this to the EF Votive Mass in Time of Mortality, drawn up by Clement VI in 1348 at the onrush of the Black Death! The comparison is extremely telling.

To begin with, in the Novus Ordo the readings are usually taken from those of the ferial day, but if desired, a selection (itself extracted from those For Any Necessity) is proposed for use with these appointed prayers – yet none of these readings actually mentions plague, disease, pestilence or illness! 

To be fair, the suggested Epistle is the magnificent ending of Romans chapter 8 (verses 31b-39), but while a most uplifting passage, it is not explicitly ad rem. The alternative Lesson (Lamentations 3:17-26) is also pleasant enough, but not directly concerned with epidemics or universal contagion. The same can be said of the two alternative responsorial psalms – abbreviated from Psalms 79(80) and 122(123) – and the Gospel Acclamation (2 Cor. 1: 3b-4a): they are by their very nature as inspired Scripture written for our edification, but they do not directly address the matter at hand. The Gospel pericope, even more peculiarly, is not one of the many in which Our Lord heals the sick, but rather concerns him stilling the wind and the waves (Mark 4:35-41), when the disciples cry out in fear.

What of the EF Mass from the days of the Black Death? Its Lesson speaks of the Davidic Plague and its averting by God's mercy, when he relented at the prayer of the repentant King, and restrained the destroying angel he had sent, in his wrath at David's sin, to inflict the punishment of pestilence. The Gradual recalls that the Lord sent his word, and he healed and saved men from death. The Gospel relates how Christ in his days on earth healed the sick and drove out demons. The Offertory refers to Aaron's propitiatory offering of incense (cf. Numbers 16:46-48), which appeased the anger of God and stilled the plague he had sent to punish rebellious Israel. But such themes are evidently strong meat, despite being truths taught explicitly in the Bible, and would be too, too much for effete, delicate moderns who can bear only the milk of a milk-and-water religion.

To return to this new OF proper Mass, the appointed Entrance and Communion Antiphons are well-known, indeed beloved texts offering consolation (Is 53:4; Mt 11:28), but have no direct reference to a pandemic. By contrast, the Introit and Communion of the EF Mass pro vitanda mortalitate (to use its older title) are much more relevant: the former refers directly to the Davidic Plague (as does the Lesson), while the latter refers to Our Lord's healing of the sick.

Now, to the prayers of the just-published Mass in Time of Pandemic, which include the special Lenten feature of a Prayer over the People after the Prayer after Communion:

Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, in omni perículo singuláre præsídium, qui fílios tuos in tribulatióne fide supplicántes exáudis, nobis propitiáre benígnus, et præsta, quǽsumus, defúnctis réquiem ætérnam, solámen plorántibus, salútem infírmis, moriéntibus pacem, operántibus pro fratrum sanitáte robur, spíritum sapiéntiæ illis qui nos in potestáte moderántur, et ánimum ad omnes benévole accedéndi ut cuncti nomen sanctum tuum glorificáre valeámus. Per Dóminum. 
Súscipe, Dómine, múnera quæ, in hodiérnis perículis, tibi offérimus, et fac, quǽsumus, ut, omnipoténtia tua, in fontem sanitátis pacísque convertántur. Per Christum. 
Deus, a quo recépimus vitæ ætérnæ medicínam, concéde, quǽsumus, ut, per hoc sacramentum de cæléstis remédii plenitúdine gloriémur. Per Christum. 
Protéctor in te sperántium, Deus, bénedic pópulum tuum, salva, tuére, dispóne, ut, a peccátis liber, ab hoste secúrus, in tuo semper amóre persevéret. Per Christum.

What can be said of the immensely long, almost wearisome Collect? If divided up, as I am about to demonstrate using its official English version, it would be better as a series of petitions in the Universal Prayer:

Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray[:]
(1) look with compassion on the afflicted,
(2) eternal rest to the dead,
(3) comfort to mourners,
(4) healing to the sick,
(5) peace to the dying,
(6) strength to healthcare workers,
(7) wisdom to our leaders and
(8) [to us] the courage to reach out to all in love,
so that together we may give glory to your holy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Note carefully: petitions 1 and 2 ask for what cannot be seen (God's compassionate eye cast upon the afflicted, and eternal rest granted to the dead); petitions 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 ask for good emotional and intellectual states of mind; and petition 4 alone actually asks for a visible benefit (healing for the sick) that, frankly, will come to most anyway (since only a small percentage die of this disease). Certainly God is our refuge in danger and distress; certainly we ought pray for all these benefits; but where is the prayer that this pandemic cease? Isn't that the professed purpose of this whole Mass? So why does it nowhere ask for it?

Do the author(s) and those who have promulgated this formulary perhaps not believe that God can bring this pandemic to an end, whensoever and howsoever he has decided in his all-wise providence?

The new Orationes super oblata, post communionem and super populum are reasonable, but could be used generally as they contain hardly anything more than vague references – the first refers to "the perils of these days" ("this time of peril" in the official translation), and prays that the offered bread and wine become a source of healing, but nothing more than that, which many such offertory prayers express in similar terms; the second is even more general, even as regards its allusions to Holy Communion as medicine and a heavenly remedy (which expressions are again commonly used in such prayers); the third of these is much the best, as it asks God, the Protector of those who hope in him, to bless, save, protect and dispose them to persevere, but I don't think that we generally regard this present pandemic as an "enemy", and the prayer – of course – has to end with an embarrassingly glib reference to "love".

Those prayers of the almost-seven-centuries-old Missa in tempore mortalitatis, on the other hand, are most explicit in their insistence that pestilence is the just punishment due on account of our sins, and so we must repent and cry to God for mercy:

Deus, qui non mortem, sed pænitentiam desideras peccatorum: populum tuum ad te revertentem propitius respice; ut, dum tibi devotus exsistit, iracundiæ tuæ flagella ab eo clementer amoveas. Per. 
Subveniat nobis, quæsumus, Domine, sacrificii præsentis oblatio: quæ nos et ab erroribus universis potenter absolvat, et a totius eripiat perditionis incursu. Per. 
Exaudi nos, Deus salutaris noster: et populum tuum ab iracundiæ tuæ terroribus liberum, et misericordiæ tuæ fac largitate securum. Per.

In the Collect, the first oration above, God is confessed as desiring not the death, but the repentance of sinners, such that he is implored graciously to regard his people turning back to him, that he may mercifully remove from us the scourges of his wrath.

Likewise, in the Secret of this traditional formulary, we beg the Lord that the offering of this present sacrifice may both powerfully absolve us from all errors, and deliver us from every incursion of perdition; and in the Postcommunion, God our health and salvation is asked to hear us, that his people be freed from the terrors of his wrath, and made secure in the gracious gift of his mercy.

How much more concise and to the point these prayers are.

Luckily, given that worldwide Masses are more and more said only in private, and less and less in public – how annoying to proud modern liturgists! – it is more and more the case that priests, unfettered by any de facto constraints on their free choice, are able to offer Mass according to the Vetus Ordo, and thus may sensibly choose the older of these two opposed propers, for "the old is better" (Luke 5:39).

Monday, March 16, 2020

Parce Domine parce populo tuo

The following antiphon ought be ever on the lips of the faithful at this dread time, when we cry again and again for mercy, begging the Lord to avert the capital sentence his wrath has appointed on account of our sins:

Aña. Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in æternum irascaris nobis. (Cf. Joel 2, 17; Ps. 84, 6) 
(Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: lest thou be angry with us for ever.)

This antiphon may be sung with a selection of verses from the Lenten office hymns (the 5th and 6th of the hymn at Matins, the 2nd of the hymn at Lauds, and the 1st and 2nd of the hymn at Vespers), as follows:

Outside of Lent, verse 4 should be omitted; in its place, or even always, another verse (the 3rd from the Lenten Vespers hymn) could be profitably added:

And the following responsories are also highly appropriate:

R. Media vita in morte sumus: quem quærimus adjutorem, nisi te, Domine? qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris: * Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte misericors Salvator, amaræ morti ne tradas nos.
V. 1. Ps. 21, 5 In te speraverunt patres nostri; speraverunt, et liberasti eos. * Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte misericors Salvator, amaræ morti ne tradas nos.
V. 2. Cf. Ps. 21, 5-6 Ad te clamaverunt patres nostri; clamaverunt, et non sunt confusi. * Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte misericors Salvator, amaræ morti ne tradas nos.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. * Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte misericors Salvator, amaræ morti ne tradas nos. 
(R. In the midst of life we are in death: whom should we seek as a helper, unless thou, O Lord? who for our sins art justly angered: * Holy God, Holy strong, Holy merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.
V. 1. In thee our fathers hoped; they hoped, and thou didst deliver them. * Holy God, Holy strong, Holy merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.
V. 2. To thee our fathers cried; they cried, and were not confounded. * Holy God, Holy strong, Holy merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. * Holy God, Holy strong, Holy merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.) 

(Cf. Judith 9, 18; 2 Reg. 24, 16; 1 Par. 21, 15; Ez. 12, 19; Gen. 8, 21; Ex. 9, 16; Dan. 9, 16)
Recordáre, Dómine, testaménti tui, et dic Angelo percutiénti: Cesset jam manus tua, * Ut non desolétur terra, et ne perdas omnem ánimam vivam.
V. Quiéscat, Dómine, ira tua a pópulo tuo, et a civitáte sancta tua. * Ut non desolétur terra, et ne perdas omnem ánimam vivam.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. * Ut non desolétur terra, et ne perdas omnem ánimam vivam. 
(R. Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and say to the destroying Angel: Cease now thy hand, * That the earth be not left desolate, and lest thou slay every living soul.
V. Quiet, O Lord, thine anger against thy people, and against thy holy city. * That the earth be not left desolate, and lest thou slay every living soul.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. * That the earth be not left desolate, and lest thou slay every living soul.)

Psalms in Times of Pestilence

An Anthem for these times of grievous sickness and great mortality, 
from Psalm 39, verses 5-8, 13 and 15 (Prayer Book Version – see below).

Continuing to delve into those liturgical and devotional treasures of the Anglican Patrimony which, received now into full communion, constitute a treasure to be shared with the wider Catholic Church, the following psalms, in the classic Coverdale translation as used in the Book of Common Prayer, seem highly suitable for use morning and evening, as suggested in the Form appointed by Royal Proclamation for use at the time of the Great Plague of London in 1665 – apart from omitting the most usual of them, Psalm 50(51) and Psalm 129(130), the Miserere and De profundis respectively, which every Catholic ought know and use continually in any case; and wisely moving Psalm 6 from morning to evening, that the total number of psalm verses be approximately the same at each:

At Morning Prayer. 
Psalm 32. Beati, quorum [Ps. 31 in the Vulgate]
BLESSED is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven : and whose sin is covered.
2. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin : and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3. For while I held my tongue : my bones consumed away through my daily complaining.
4. For thy hand is heavy upon me day and night : and my moisture is like the drought in summer.
5. I will acknowledge my sin unto thee : and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.
6. I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord : and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.
7. For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found : but in the great water-floods they shall not come nigh him.
8. Thou art a place to hide me in, thou shalt preserve me from trouble : thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.
9. I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go : and I will guide thee with mine eye.
10. Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding : whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee.
11. Great plagues remain for the ungodly : but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, mercy embraceth him on every side.
12. Be glad, O ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord : and be joyful, all ye that are true of heart. 
Psalm 38. Domine, ne in furore [Ps. 37 in the Vulgate]
PUT me not to rebuke, O Lord, in thine anger : neither chasten me in thy heavy displeasure.
2. For thine arrows stick fast in me : and thy hand presseth me sore.
3. There is no health in my flesh, because of thy displeasure : neither is there any rest in my bones, by reason of my sin.
4. For my wickednesses are gone over my head : and are like a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear.
5. My wounds stink, and are corrupt : through my foolishness.
6. I am brought into so great trouble and misery : that I go mourning all the day long.
7. For my loins are filled with a sore disease : and there is no whole part in my body.
8. I am feeble, and sore smitten : I have roared for the very disquietness of my heart.
9. Lord, thou knowest all my desire : and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10. My heart panteth, my strength hath failed me : and the sight of mine eyes is gone from me.
11. My lovers and my neighbours did stand looking upon my trouble : and my kinsmen stood afar off.
12. They also that sought after my life laid snares for me : and they that went about to do me evil talked of wickedness, and imagined deceit all the day long.
13. As for me, I was like a deaf man, and heard not : and as one that is dumb, who doth not open his mouth.
14. I became even as a man that heareth not : and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15. For in thee, O Lord, have I put my trust : thou shalt answer for me, O Lord my God.
16. I have required that they, even mine enemies, should not triumph over me : for when my foot slipped, they rejoiced greatly against me.
17. And I, truly, am set in the plague : and my heaviness is ever in my sight.
18. For I will confess my wickedness : and be sorry for my sin.
19. But mine enemies live, and are mighty : and they that hate me wrongfully are many in number.
20. They also that reward evil for good are against me : because I follow the thing that good is.
21. Forsake me not, O Lord my God : be not thou far from me.
22. Haste thee to help me : O Lord God of my salvation. 
Psalm 39. Dixi, Custodiam [Ps. 38 in the Vulgate]
I SAID, I will take heed to my ways : that I offend not in my tongue.
2. I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle : while the ungodly is in my sight.
3. I held my tongue, and spake nothing : I kept silence, yea, even from good words; but it was pain and grief to me.
4. My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing the fire kindled : and at the last I spake with my tongue;
5. Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days : that I may be certified how long I have to live.
6. Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long : and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily every man living is altogether vanity.
7. For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain : he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
8. And now, Lord, what is my hope : truly my hope is even in thee.
9. Deliver me from all mine offences : and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish.
10. I became dumb, and opened not my mouth : for it was thy doing.
11. Take thy plague away from me : I am even consumed by the means of thy heavy hand.
12. When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment : every man therefore is but vanity.
13. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling : hold not thy peace at my tears.
14. For I am a stranger with thee : and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
15. O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength : before I go hence, and be no more seen. 
At Evening Prayer. 
Psalm 6. Domine, ne in furore
O LORD, rebuke me not in thine indignation : neither chasten me in thy displeasure.
2. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak : O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
3. My soul also is sore troubled : but, Lord, how long wilt thou punish me?
4. Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul : O save me for thy mercy's sake.
5. For in death no man remembereth thee : and who will give thee thanks in the pit?
6. I am weary of my groaning; every night wash I my bed : and water my couch with my tears.
7. My beauty is gone for very trouble : and worn away because of all mine enemies.
8. Away from me, all ye that work vanity : for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9. The Lord hath heard my petition : the Lord will receive my prayer.
10. All mine enemies shall be confounded, and sore vexed : they shall be turned back, and put to shame suddenly. 
Psalm 90. Domine, refugium [Ps. 89 in the Vulgate]
LORD, thou hast been our refuge : from one generation to another.
2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth and the world were made : thou art God from everlasting, and world without end.
3. Thou turnest man to destruction : again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.
4. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday : seeing that is past as a watch in the night.
5. As soon as thou scatterest them they are even as a sleep : and fade away suddenly like the grass.
6. In the morning it is green, and groweth up : but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered.
7. For we consume away in thy displeasure : and are afraid at thy wrathful indignation.
8. Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee : and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9. For when thou art angry all our days are gone : we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that is told.
10. The days of our age are threescore years and ten; and though men be so strong that they come to fourscore years : yet is their strength then but labour and sorrow; so soon passeth it away, and we are gone.
11. But who regardeth the power of thy wrath : for even thereafter as a man feareth, so is thy displeasure.
12. So teach us to number our days : that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
13. Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last : and be gracious unto thy servants.
14. O satisfy us with thy mercy, and that soon : so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
15. Comfort us again now after the time that thou hast plagued us : and for the years wherein we have suffered adversity.
16. Shew thy servants thy work : and their children thy glory.
17. And the glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us : prosper thou the work of our hands upon us, O prosper thou our handywork. 
Psalm 91. Qui habitat [Ps. 90 in the Vulgate]
WHOSO dwelleth under the defence of the most High : shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say unto the Lord, Thou art my hope, and my strong hold : my God, in him will I trust.
3. For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter : and from the noisome pestilence.
4. He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers : his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5. Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night : nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6. For the pestilence that walketh in darkness : nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon-day.
7. A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand : but it shall not come nigh thee.
8. Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold : and see the reward of the ungodly.
9. For thou, Lord, art my hope : thou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10. There shall no evil happen unto thee : neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee : to keep thee in all thy ways.
12. They shall bear thee in their hands : that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13. Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder : the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him : I will set him up, because he hath known my Name.
15. He shall call upon me, and I will hear him : yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16. With long life will I satisfy him : and shew him my salvation.

To read with these, I suggest the following passages of Scripture – concerning the Davidic plague and the seven last plagues, respectively – according to the Anglican practice of reading two long lessons, one from each of the Old and New Testaments, after psalmody: in the morning, 1 Chronicles (Paralipomenon in the Vulgate) chapter 21 and Revelation (Apocalypse) chapter 15; and at eventide, 2 Samuel (2 Kings in the Vulgate) chapter 24 and Revelation (Apocalypse) chapter 16.

Selected Anglican prayers appointed for use in time of pestilence (as given in the previous post) would be fittingly read after these psalms and readings.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Anglican Prayers in Time of Pestilence

The liturgical and spiritual patrimony possessed by those former Anglicans who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church is, as Pope Benedict XVI stated (would that he were still gloriously reigning!), a gift to be shared with the whole Church. 

For this reason, during the current coronavirus pandemic, it is appropriate to suggest the use of some of the more suitable Anglican prayers long ago drawn up for use “In the time of any common Plague or Sickness”.

The Scottish Book of Common Prayer of 1929 supplies a short collect, as follows:

O ALMIGHTY and merciful God, with whom are the issues of life and death: Grant us, we beseech thee, help and deliverance in this time of grievous sickness and mortality, and sanctify to us this affliction, that in our sore distress we may turn our hearts unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The English Book of Common Prayer of 1552 contained another suitable prayer, revised and enlarged for the standard 1662 version as follows:

O ALMIGHTY God, who in thy wrath didst send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of king David, didst slay with the plague of pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet, remembering thy mercy, didst save the rest: Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that, like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

It will be evident why the main addition made at the time of the Restoration was to insert the phrase “didst send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also”, lest the prayer seem somewhat too anti-royalist.

The Irish Book of Common Prayer of 1926 supplies the following intercession:

O ALMIGHTY God, the Lord of life and death, of health and sickness: Have pity upon us miserable sinners, now visited with great sickness [and mortality]. Withdraw from us this grievous affliction. Sanctify to us, we beseech thee, this thy fatherly correction. Enlarge our charity to relieve those who need our help. Bless the remedies applied to assist them. Give us prudence to see, and vigour to use, those means which thy providence affords, for preventing and alleviating such calamities. And, above all, teach us to know how frail and uncertain our condition is, and so to number our days, that we may seriously apply our hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom, whilst we live here, which may in the end bring us to life everlasting; through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thine only Son our Lord. Amen. 

Finally, from the special prayers appointed to be said at the time of the Great Plague of London in 1665 comes this magnificently lengthy and Scripture-laden effusion:

O Most gratious God, Father of Mercies, and of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down upon us, we beseech thee, in much pity, and compassion, and behold our great misery, and trouble. For there is wrath gone out against us, and the Plague is begun. That dreadful Arrow of thine sticks fast in our flesh, and the Venime thereof fires our bloud, and drinks up our spirits; And shouldst thou suffer it to bring us all to the dust of Death, yet must we still acknowledge, that Righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy judgements. For our Transgressions multiplied against thee, as the sand on the Sea-shore, might justly bring over us a Deluge of thy Wrath. The cry of our sins, that hath pierc’t the very Heavens, might well return with showers of Vengeance upon our Heads. While our Earth is defiled under the Inhabitants thereof, what wonder; if thou commandest an evil Angel to pour out his Vial into our Air, to fill it with Infection, and the noisome Pestilence, and so to turn the vary breath of our Life into the savour of Death unto us all! But yet we beseech thee, O our God, forget not thou to be gracious: neither shut thou up thy loving kindnesse in Displeasure. For his sake, who himselfe took our Infirmities, and bare our Sicknesses, have mercy upon us; and say to the destroying Angel, It is enough. O let that bloud of sprinkling, which speaks better things then that of Abel, be upon the Lintel, and the two side posts in all our Dwellings, that the Destroyer may passe by. Let the sweet Odour of thy blessed Son’s all-sufficient Sacrifice, and Intercession (infinitely more prevalent then the typicall Incense of Aaron) interpose between the living and the dead, and be our full, and perfect Atonement, ever acceptable with thee, that the Plague may be stayed. O let us live and we will praise thy Name; and these thy judgments shall teach us to look every Man into the plague of his own heart: that being cleansed from all our sins, we may serve thee with pure hearts all our dayes, perfecting holinesse in thy fear, till we come at last, where there is no more Sicknesse, nor Death, through thy tender Mercies in him alone, who is our Life, and our Health, and our Salvation, Jesus Christ, our ever blessed Saviour, and Redeemer. Amen[.]

UPDATE: And here is another prayer from the same order of service, perhaps less well-put but still pertinent:

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, whose Judgments are most severe, and terrible against obstinate offenders; but thy Mercies infinite to all, that with hearty Repentance, and true Faith turn unto thee: We, the sinful people of this land, whom for our iniquities, and manifold transgressions thou hast in many places most justly visited with the noisom Plague, and Pestilence, come now before the Throne of thy grace in the Name of thy dear Son, in whom thou art well pleased; and in confidence of that Atonement which he hath made for us, most humbly beseech thee to pardon, & forgive us all our sins in thought, word, or deed committed against thy Divine Majesty; to work in us dayly more and more a true, hearty, and unfeigned Sorrow, and Repentance for the same; to plant in our hearts a sincere and setled Resolution, by the assistance of thy Grace, to lead the rest of our lives in careful Obedience to thy holy Will in all things; and so to remove from us this Plague, and grievous Sickness, that we be not utterly consumed by means of thy heavy hand. To this end, grant us, good Lord of thy grace & mercy, all things conducing hereunto; Seasonable Weather, and good Air, and wholsom Food, & powerful Medicines, and whatever else thou seest to be good, and profitable for us; together with a due Care, and Conscience in using of the same; that we neither presume, nor tempt thy Majesty by neglecting the Means, which thou hast appointed, nor yet despair of thy Blessing in the diligent use of them, nor in any event repine, or murmure at thy Providence, what portion soever it allots us: But that submitting our selves to thy good pleasure in all things, we may commit the keeping of our Souls to thee in well-doing, as unto a faithfull Creatour; with compassionate pity, and charity (as we are able) succouring the sick, and preserving the whole, and praying fervently for All: and finally, that depending entirely upon thy Goodness, we may wait the hour of thy gracious Deliverance in Faith and Hope, and constant Patience, with perfect Resignation to thy wise, and just Appointment in all things; To the which we betake our selves, and the whole Nation, and what ever concerns us. Be mercifull unto us, O God be mercifull unto us, for our souls trust only in thee, and under the shadow of thy Wings shall be our refuge, till this Calamity be overpast [cf. Ps. 57. 1.]; which we beseech thee speedily to remove, if it be thy will, O Lord God of Mercies, and Father of Compassions, and to restore the voice of Joy, and Health once more into our Dwellings, for the alone Merits sake of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, our only Mediatour, and Advocate. Amen.