Tuesday, January 31, 2012

$100 Bet: My Money's on Tony

Tribal loyalties run deep - my mother cannot even conceive of the possibility of voting Liberal, whereas I have often done so!  (Non-Australians please note: in Australian political terms, to a first approximation "Liberal" doesn't mean liberal, but conservative.  I am no liberal, but I am a conservative.)  Ideology aside, given the maladministration evident in both the State and Commonwealth Labor governments, to vote the opposite way just to register a protest vote would seem reasonable. 

Mum has (I say this in charity) an unreasoning dislike of the Federal Opposition Leader in particular.  Is this a gender issue, whereby men prefer Tony, and women prefer Julia?  Jokes aside, after an exchange about Abbott, she has bet me $100 that he ("that dreadful man") will never be Prime Minister – to which I replied, "I will collect the money on election day" (though technically he will need to be sworn in first, of course).

Kate, would you care to participate in this little wager?

Proposed Latin Mass Chaplaincy

Here in Tasmania, all are playing a waiting game, as news of the appointment of our next Archbishop is confidently expected.  (I heard a very pleasing rumour as to the name only yester-day.)  One matter that the new Ordinary must take in hand is that of making long-overdue provision for the legitimate aspirations of many Catholics in Tasmania, who wish for regular Extraordinary Form Masses to attend.

1. Currently, the Society of St Pius X is active in north-west Tasmania; a priest of the society flies down once or twice a month (1st and 3rd Sundays) and celebrates a Saturday evening (6 pm) and Sunday morning (9.30 am) Mass at Sassafras in the Village Church there, with confessions heard beforehand. Given the ongoing negotiations between the Holy See and the S.S.P.X., it is much to be hoped that their apostolate may be regularized, and for this all right-minded folk will pray, as the Pope would wish.  In charity, I assume that in God’s good time this will come to pass (in the meanwhile, many of the faithful, including myself, would feel unable in conscience to attend their Masses), and so will mainly restrict myself to consideration of what may be done in the rest of the State.

2.  For over fifteen years, there has been a monthly 11.30 am Sunday Mass, a Missa cantata, in Hobart, firstly celebrated by Fr (now Bp) Jarrett at Sacred Heart, New Town, and, since his departure to be Bishop of Lismore, by Fr Gerald Quinn, C.P., at St Canice, Sandy Bay.  The laity have repeatedly indicated that there would be a substantial congregation for a Latin Mass every Sunday. However, their repeated petitions, made over several years, for a weekly Sunday Latin Mass addressed both to the Archbishop and to the Ecclesia Dei commission in Rome have had no result so far.  Similarly, approaches to the Archbishop by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter to obtain his approval for them to work in Tasmania have not been accepted.  This is particularly unfortunate, given that, while the Archdiocese has a shortage of priests, men entirely suited to this work have been turned away.  It is common knowledge in Melbourne that His Grace has gone so far as to forbid his seminarians (who study there) to attend Latin Masses anywhere!  It is much to be hoped that the next Archbishop will find it in his heart to agree with the Holy Father’s express wishes in this matter, and concede what has been many times legitimately and politely requested.

Given that the present monthly Mass is celebrated at a late hour, and, being a sung Mass, puts off some by its length (just over an hour), if it could be paired with an early Low Mass, many more would come, just as, if Mass were offered in the Extraordinary Form every Sunday, a larger congregation would stabilize, since obviously people are more likely to come along each week and make it their habit, rather than have to remember to come along at a special time and place once a month.

To begin with, a Latin Mass Chaplaincy would offer:

  • Sunday morning Masses (one Low, one Missa cantata) in Hobart (presumably at St Canice, as it is a worthy venue, easy to access, and otherwise unused most of the time, apart from for weddings and the private Mass of a retired priest who lives nearby);
  • Daily Mass (usually) in Hobart;
  • Monthly Masses (Sunday evening and Monday morning) in, say, Launceston (a 200 km drive from Hobart), or another central population centre in the north or north-west ;
  • Confessions heard before and after each Mass;
  • Sundry devotions and groups, as need and opportunity arise.
One priest could easily fulfil this plan (which reflects Fr Rowe’s schedule as Latin Mass Chaplain in Perth, W.A.); if there were two priests, of course, much more could be done.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chevra Tehillim

So good it is to have returned after a long absence to reading the whole Breviary daily! Strange to say, I seem always to best do this on holiday: all but part of Matins on Thursday, and all on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday, Deo gratias.

I love the psalms, old friends as they seem to me, and it is great to have the opportunity to recite all one hundred and fifty of them in a week.

Having just bought and read a book on Jewish liturgy, I was delighted to learn of a pious custom whereby Jews would meet together to pray the Tehillim or Psalms in a society called a Chevra Tehillim. Jewish prayer-books, to accommodate such needs, customarily divide the Psalter into seven portions, that such societies may recite the Psalter once a week, completing one division a day.

What a great idea, thought I - then I realized that, through my perseverance in the Breviary, I join with many many members of the new Israel of God the world over in a real spiritual union reciting the Psalms, inspired compositions of the Holy Ghost, whereby the Church, Christ's Body and Bride, praises God in the very words He has given us wherewith to praise Him, to the praise of His glory.

Hallelu-Jah: Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Excellent Schola

I was delighted (as Abp Hart likes to say) to hear the chant sung with such purity at High Mass at St Aloysius this morning. Adorate Deum, the Introit, is a particular favourite of mine - and last week, so caught up was I in M.C.-ing the Mass, I hardly attended to its music at all. Mass IV and Credo IV were good choices and sung beautifully also - indeed, I was emboldened to join in these from my pew, as also the prefatory Asperges and the doxology of the Introit. A particular delight was the singing of Ps 96 with the Communion antiphon, the schola using the Eastern technique of the ison to render it more striking.

I must commend the schola, under the direction of my mate Justin (who also played the organ for the Mass). Well done!

Mass, including a good sermon on faith and courage (20 minutes) took just under an hour and a half: ah, the splendour of the Roman Mass! It being very hot, many had gone to the earlier Low Mass, which meant the lowest turnout for months, I am informed - about 60, plus of course the sacred ministers, servers and schola, who must be commended for enduring such a hot and humid day in vestments, albs, and soutane-and-surplice respectively.

A humorous note: Fr Tattersall, to universal laughter, thanked that notorious "Catholica" blog for providing free advertising by mentioning this Melbourne Latin Mass community as a fulfillment of Pope Benedict's liturgical desires, and pleaded guilty as charged!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Condign punishment!

The gross disrespect and physical violence shewn to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition yester-day, and now the outrageous burning of the Australian flag, by malcontents, demands the full force of the law: arrest, trial, and an exemplary sentence if convicted. As for that illegal squatters' "embassy" dirtying Canberra, it ought be cleared away forthwith, a blot well overdue removal.

UPDATE: Now it transpires that all this was provoked by a leak from the Prime Minister's office, a staffer of hers having decided to stir up trouble; the protesters turn out to have been dupes and pawns,  their passions inflamed and manipulated by a whispering campaign.  At least the man so far revealed to have been responsible has resigned.  Would that politicians, when caught out, would do so!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Off to Tarrawarra

Seven years and two weeks ago, a friend of mine entered Our Lady of Tarrawarra Abbey; to-morrow, Br Luke will take his solemn vows as a Cistercian monk there.

Getting to the Abbey will mean getting up about as early as the monks do! – I am taking the 6 a.m. flight to Melbourne, which requires arising before the sun, even in these days of high summer.

Thursday will be a reunion in many ways, given that I expect to see many old friends at the Abbey and afterwards; then come a few days in Melbourne, culminating in Sunday Solemn Mass at St Aloysius, before I return home.  It should be a pleasant trip...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

To-morrow, off to Hobart for to M.C. at our Missa cantata!  (The last few days I've been away up the far north-west, I'm about to go down to Hobart and back, and come Thursday I'm flying to Melbourne... a busy time.)

It being the Third Sunday after Epiphany, the Liturgy echoes with the glory of Christ's Manifestation to the Gentiles: that is the hermeneutical key for this Sunday, Adorate Deum. (If, as this year, there be any further Sundays after Epiphany before Septuagesima, the chants for this Sunday are repeated; so next Sunday in Melbourne, God willing, I will hear these again.)

The Introit, the Collect, the Gradual, the Alleluia, the Gospel, the Offertory, the Communion all emphasise the glorious manifestation of the saving power of God:
  • Dóminus regnávit - "the Lord hath reigned": Christ in His Majesty, revealed at the Epiphany.
  • déxteram tuæ majestátis exténde – "stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty" when Thou beholdest our weakness, and protect us: Christ is the Right Hand of the Father;
  • vidébitur in majestáte sua – "He shall be seen in His majesty" by the Gentiles, whose Name they shall fear and Whom they shall glorify;
  • Dóminus regnávit - "the Lord hath reigned", sings the Church once more in solemn asseveration of the truth;
  • exténdens Jesus manum – the Lord "Jesus stretching forth His hand" cleansed the outcast leper; 
  • tantum dic verbo et sanábitur – saying but the word, He healed the servant of the Gentile centurion;
  • Déxtera Dómini fecit virtutem – "the right hand of the Lord hath wrought wonders": indeed, Christ the Father's Right Hand hath done so;
  • Mirabántur omnes de his, quæ procedébant de ore Dei – "They marvelled at all these [words], which came forth from the mouth of God": here the Scripture (S. Luke iv, 22) has not been quoted literally, since the Liturgy dares to say the words come not merely from "the mouth of Him", but "from God's mouth".
Christ ever works signs and wonders by His hand and His command, proving in word and deed that He is the Incarnate Word by Whom all things were made, the Holy One come to restore all things in Himself, revealing to the nations His saving power.  The leper cleansed stands for the whole human race, stained with Adam's sin, now able to be washed clean in Christ's Blood through Baptism; the healed servant of the Gentile centurion affirms that God's salvation extends to all nations. 

"What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad", sings David.  Thus we ought be at every Holy Mass, wherein the Salvation of the World, wrought once for all on Calvary, is mightily made present.  As often as we offer the Sacrifice, Satan is confounded.  St Paul, teaching the Romans, that is, ourselves, counsels us therefore not to be defeated by evil, but to defeat evil by good, after the model of Christ Himself (Rom. xii, 16-21, this passage being the Epistle read this Sunday).

It is a pity, given its broad application, that the Epiphany Preface is not sung all through these Sundays after Epiphany: "For when Thine Only-begotten appeared in the substance of our mortality, He repaired us by the new light of His immortality."  Therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, with all the heavenly host, we sing the hymn of God's glory!

As a final note, the splendid Offertory Dextera Domini is also sung on Holy Thursday, and, formerly (with added alleluia for Eastertide), on  the 3rd of May, the old feast of the Invention of the Cross.

Back from the Far North-West

Green Point Beach, Marrawah, on the west coast of Tasmania 
(280 km from Launceston).
When at full scale, the windfarms to the north are just visible.

Two days ago, I was at Marrawah and Arthur River – the westernmost settlements in mainland Tasmania, locales I'd never previously visited – and yester-day, at Cape Grim and Woolnorth Point (northernmost tip of Tasmania), as part of a tour of Woolnorth itself.

Woolnorth – the property encompassing the extreme north-west of Tasmania – is a huge and prosperous dairy- and beef-cattle and sheep farm of 55,000 acres (!), the remaining one-seventh of the land-grant made to the Van Diemen's Land Company, the oldest company in Australia and the last still governed according to the terms of its Royal Charter (issued by George IV in 1825).  I rather liked the idea of that; its Governor and Court of Directors still administer the agribusiness – though now they answer, not to the founding investors, rich London merchants, but to a New Zealand district council that holds a majority of the shares; and there is no longer a Chief Agent sent out from the old country...

The view across Suicide Bay 
(site, 'tis said, of the murder of tribesmen by shepherds in 1828) 
to Cape Grim, northwestern tip of Tasmania.

Woolnorth Point, northernmost tip of the island of Tasmania 
(40° 38′ 33″), 
with Bass Strait on the right and the Southern Ocean on the left.

This morning, departing Smithton, which has been my base, after visiting a pleasant property at Edith Creek, it was good to motor back the scenic way through Nubeena and Forest, before turning to the highway again and striking out for home, via Boat Harbour Beach (a delightful nook) and a late lunch at Burnie, where my coffee came emblazoned with the name of the restaurant:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In the Grand Traditions of the Italian Navy

Far from being the last man on board, that criminal suspect, Captain Schettino, appears to have deserted his command and ensconced himself in a comfy lifeboat before his own passengers were all rescued, the disgrace!  It is well-known, given events of the early forties, that the Italian army operates best in retreat, and Italian battleships reverse rapidly back to port when danger threatens; but now, in the grand traditions of such seamanship, we see a fool in his folly first endanger, then indirectly slay those in his care, before decamping the shipwreck he caused to seek a quick getaway.  What shameless crime, what disgrace!

Parity... with the Euro?

I suppose some might think it selfish that, not content with encouraging the breakup of the U.K., I also keep among my other intentions the desire that the Euro continue to fall in value (as it surely will for well-known reasons, such as the unaccountable refusal of the Greeks to accept German expertise in balancing their books – after all, matters in Athens are a real polnische Wirtschaft, surely requiring incorrupt outsiders to take over the complete mess that their finances have fallen into, just as the Imperial Maritime Customs Service of the late Chinese Empire was largely administered by foreigners – and the foolish stubbornness of the rest of the E.U. in trying to maintain the Euro, rather than forcing those unsuited to it to revert to their drachmas and like play-money, or at the least stop taking siestas and start working harder, pay their taxes and live within their means).

Given the refusal of European bureaucrats and the political elite to face reality, rather than concoct yet another sweetheart deal that solves nothing, it appears more and more likely that the Euro will continue to sink; which just happens to perfectly suit my holiday plans for mid-year (so long as rioting and social unrest doesn't break out in France and Italy, which would make my trip unpleasant).  The Australian dollar (thanks to the Chinese buying up our exports – please God their economy doesn't keel over – and our own dumb luck in being in a much better situation than the rest of the West, in not being entirely overburdened by debt), already worth more than the U.S. dollar, is trending upwards, being at present worth 81 eurocents, if I heard correctly; if only this continues, I'll holiday in style.  Parity, please!

A Singable Gloria at Last

I surprised myself in the shower this morning by spontaneously singing Paul Taylor's setting of the Gloria in excelsis  (the new translation of course) from his Mass of St Francis – unlike all the unmemorable settings of the old ICEL paraphrase thereof (I recall my old parish priest saying that he'd never found an appealing one), this one is singable and tuneful.  I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised, however, as in my parish we began singing Taylor's setting each Sunday back in January 2011, and the congregation sings it out with gusto.  The days seem so long ago when dreadful responsorial settings of the Gloria in excelsis were what passed for Catholic music at Mass.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Papa Marcelli

To-day, at Lauds (according to the Dominican Breviary) there is a memorial of St Marcellus I, Pope and Martyr (reigned May 308 to 309); and of course this brings to mind the even shorter reign of Pope Marcellus II (9th April to 1st May 1555); and in turn Palestrina's famous Missa Papæ Marcelli, composed to honour his memory, whose polyphonic magnificence, according to legend, averted the danger that the Council of Trent might prohibit polyphony and all other figured music for Church use – a charming parable but not exactly true (the polyphonic preces composed by de Kerle, and sung daily for success of the Council during its sessions, were if anything more directly influential in this).  My aunt once attended a performance of it in Scotland, which very amusingly ended with a trumpet flourish, and cries of Viva Papa Marcelle!

For those who delight in such, I append the first of Jacobus de Kerle's Preces speciales (texts selected by Pedro de Soto, O.P.):


R. Suscipiant, Domine, montes Ecclesiæ tuæ, pastores et doctores nostri, pacem populo tuo et colles isti justitiam: * Salvos fac eos filios pauperum Apostolorum tuorum † et humilia calumniatorum hæreticum: ‡ ut unanimes uno ore honorificemus te, Deum et Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
V. Illustra faciem tuam, Domine, super servos tuos; accende corda eorum in ædificationem corporis tui. * Salvos fac eos filios pauperum Apostolorum tuorum.
V. Da illis non quærere, quæ sua sunt, sed quæ Jesu Christi Filii tui; præcinge eos virtute ad bellum adversus Satanam, † et humilia calumniatorum hæreticum.
V. Aufer ab eis, Domine, elationem omnem, presumptionem et sapientiam carnis, contentiones et æmulationes, dissensiones et invidias; da illis protectionem salutis tuæ, ‡ ut unanimes uno ore honorificemus te, Deum et Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
R. Suscipiant, Domine, montes Ecclesiæ tuæ, pastores et doctores nostri, pacem populo tuo et colles isti justitiam: * Salvos fac eos filios pauperum Apostolorum tuorum † et humilia calumniatorum hæreticum: ‡ ut unanimes uno ore honorificemus te, Deum et Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi.

Kyrie, eleison.  Christe, eleison.  Kyrie, eleison.
Pater noster… (secreto usque ad)
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.
V. Salvos fac servos tuos.
R. Deus meus, sperantes in te.
V. Redde eis lætitiam salutaris tui.
R. Spiritu principali confirma eos.
V. Nihil proficiat inimicus in eis.
R. Et filius iniquitatis non apponat nocere eis.
V. In nomine tuo salva eos.
R. Et in virtute tua tuere eos.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, cujus virtute universa fundantur, qui facis mirabilia magna solus, prætende super famulos tuos Patres Concilii spiritum gratiæ salutaris, et ut in veritate te quærant, in sanctitate inveniant, et nobis, quibus præsunt, verbo et exemplo prosint, perpetuum eis rorem tuæ benedictionis infunde.
Ecclesiæ, Domine, preces placatus admitte, ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate.  Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.  R.  Amen.

Pray for a New Archbishop

Like many dioceses throughout Australia and the whole world, that of Hobart is waiting for a new bishop; turning to the Missal, I find these prayers "For the Election of a Pope or a Bishop":

O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through...

May your abundant kindness favour us, O Lord, that [, through the sacred offerings we reverently bring to you,*] we may come to rejoice that a pastor pleasing to your majesty presides over your holy Church. Through Christ our Lord.

[As we have been renewed,*] O Lord, [with the supreme Sacrament of salvation, the Body and Blood of your Only Begotten Son,*] may the wondrous grace of your majesty gladden us with the gift of a shepherd who will instruct your people by his virtues and imbue the minds of the faithful with the truth of the Gospel. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen, grant it, Lord!

* Omit these phrases if these prayers are not used at Mass.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Farewell Christmas, Arise Scotland

Farewell, Christmastide, till next year! – or so I thought, having done with the last of the Christmastide Offices (that of the Octave of the Epiphany, and the Lord's Baptism), and now this morning reading Lauds of St Hilary; but of course Candlemas, due in a few weeks, is the last echo of Christmas, 40 days after...


On a political note, I am delighted to read that a referendum on independence for Scotland will be held within the next few years; being of Scottish descent, I would counsel voters to say "aye".  Whatever benefits being part of the U.K. has brought will still be provided by the membership of both in the E.U.; I read that Scotland would remain part of the Queen's dominions, and that they would keep the pound (the Euro being about to collapse, as all men know), while of course free trade would be assured.

The current position of Scotland (and, in a sense, of Wales and Northern Ireland), with a devolved legislature still subordinate to the national Parliament, a Parliament whose primary concern is with, and whose vast majority of Members represent, a country – England – with no legislature of its own, and in which therefore the strange spectacle exists of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish M.P.'s having a vote on bills governing English affairs only, since in their own countries local legislatures deal with such questions instead (famously termed the "West Lothian question"), is anomalous: such a lopsided quasi-federal structure is inherently unstable.  Devolution – granting legislatures to Scotland and Wales (N. Ireland already having had one, on and off, for most complex reasons) – far from killing nationalism, has enlivened it; when the United Kingdom had but one Parliament to legislate for all parts, due consideration given to the differing arrangements in each, matters were stable; now they are not.  The logical alternatives are independence or unitary government; devolution is a half-way house at best.

The reason Australia works as a federation is that no one State contains a majority of the population, each State has its own Parliament and powers, and the federal Parliament legislates on national affairs equally for all.  If, say, Victoria and Queensland had never seceded from New South Wales, and as a result Australia consisted of only four States, one of which contained three-quarters of the population, and furthermore the Australian Parliament was simply the N.S.W. Parliament supplemented by a few extra Members from the other three smaller States, then there would be just such a strange quasi-federal imbalance: the three smaller States would legislate for some of their own affairs, but would chafe at the fact that "national" laws were made by a body in which their representatives were a perpetual minority; while the people of such a greater N.S.W. would find it irritating that their State laws were made by the national Parliament, a body in which numbers of "foreigners" had a say.  Or to look at matters in another light, it is unlikely that New Zealand would ever take up the standing offer in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia to join as a State: though New Zealanders and Australians are very close in so many ways, they are distinct peoples, and it would seem to Kiwis that to join a federation in which they would be the minority, to be dominated by Aussies for ever, perceiving the other six States as one foreign land as they would, would be repellent.

To point the moral further: the Federation of the West Indies collapsed because Jamaica, by far the largest of its members by population, withdrew rather than be dominated by a congeries of small island states, in a move rather the reverse of what is now contemplated in the U.K. – it was as if England left the Union!  And, if Québec should ever secede from Canada, the remainder would be both geographically divided, and dominated by Ontario (which would have a majority of the remaining population) – so it seems all too likely that the other provinces would choose to break with confederation themselves, even going so far as to look south...

Lopsided federations or quasi-federal bodies do not last: Nigeria barely survived the Biafran bid for independence, and has hardly been a beacon of democracy or of federalism; the Federation of Central Africa collapsed in the lead up to the Rhodesian U.D.I; examples could be multiplied.  Only in the case of very lopsided quasi-federal arrangements, such as that permitting autonomy from Finland to the Åland Islands, or the autonomy afforded the few remaining British colonies such as Bermuda, do the interests of the metropolitan power and its associated autonomous region(s) coincide.   It is indeed staggering that the Union has lasted so long between Scotland and England, and now that Scotland has had a Parliament again for more than a decade, the centrifugal forces are ineluctably building: Scotland is neither so small by comparison to the rest of the U.K. (in other words, to England, the other parts being really negligible) that it will be for ever content to be a specially autonomous outlier, nor of rough equality with the other parts of the Union so as to permit a true federal arrangement (as if England were not so much more populous than all the rest combined).

All that said, Scottish independence is still not a foregone conclusion, but the mere fact that what once was but a fantasy of a few in that land is now the settled policy of the party with an absolute majority in its Parliament seems to suggest that the momentum of history is with Salmond – as he, canny man, never ceases to imply.  I read that the First Minister is a keen and talented gambler on the horses: may his pick romp home!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Question re Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation

Does any one out there know when the Latin of the two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation was changed?  Was it in the editio typica tertia, issued 2002?  I noticed that a change must have been made, since in the present 2010 English translation, the Prayers include whole phrases missing from both the old ICEL English paraphrase, and the Latin issued in 1983 (yes, bizarrely enough, while these two E.P.'s were approved for use by a decree dated All Saints, 1974, and issued in at least one modern language – Italian, I think – forthwith, their Latin texts were not published until 1983!).  Furthermore, their abandoned revised ICEL versions of 1998 were clearly based on the original text, not the revised Latin, so I suppose it must have been issued in 2002 (unless it wasn't brought forth until the editio typica tertia altera, the revised third "standard" edition of 2008).

I noticed that the Latin must have changed, and a quick internet search for the current Latin of these Prayers, then collation with a booklet containing the original Latin thereof, demonstrated quite substantial revisions had been made.  The two most important changes are as follows: the deficient preconsecratory epiclesis of the E.P. for R. II, which didn't even make explicit what the Holy Spirit was being called down upon the elements to effect (it simply prayed that His "dewfall" sanctify them), has been rectified, and similarly the same E.P. for R. II, which had no prayer at all for the dead – ! – has had one inserted at last.

I suspect, apart from tightening up the orthodox doctrine expressed in these prayers, the Latin was revised because the original, though the "official" text, was in fact a back-translation from Italian (as the Catechism was from French), and the small number remaining of good ecclesiastical Latinists found the text clunky, even ungrammatical – why else, after all, make so many changes?

My Latin is nowhere near good enough to determine if this is true, but it would seem plausible, given that the 2002 third typical edition of the Missal had to be revised and reissued in 2008, given the large number of embarrassing Latin mistakes it contained.  How the mighty have fallen!

But as to how much the Latin has changed, well, it is hard to quantify such matters, but, taking the simplest step of counting the number of words in each version, and how many are exactly the same, and how many are different (even in case or declension, let alone if they are synonyms or utterly new), my tally is as follows:

Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I

Original Latin text: 458 words*
New Latin text: 471 words*
Number of words common to both: 383 words*
Percentage of words common to both: 81%*

(* exclusive of Preface Dialogue, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Amen.)

Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II

Original Latin text: 407 words*
New Latin text: 446 words*
Number of words common to both: 333 words*
Percentage of words common to both: 75%*

(* exclusive of Preface Dialogue, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Amen.)

Therefore, the revisions of both E.P.'s were extensive - between a fifth and a quarter of the text was changed.


For the benefit of those desirous of further details, I append the old and new Latin texts of both prayers - this blog doesn't really allow texts to be placed in parallel columns, unfortunately, since doing so would reveal the interesting differences between them:

Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I

2002? Revised Latin Text:

Vere dignum et iustum est nos tibi semper gratias agere. Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus: Qui ad abundantiorem vitam habendam nos incitare non desinis, et, cum sis dives in misericordia, veniam offerre perseveras ac peccatores invitas ad tuae solum indulgentiae fidendum. A nobis autem, qui foedus tuum toties violavimus, numquam aversus, humanam familiam per Iesum Filium tuum, Redemptorem nostrum, novo caritatis vinculo tam arcte tibi iunxisti, ut nullo modo possit dissolvi. Nunc quidem tempus gratiae et reconciliationis populo tuo praebes, eique ad te animum convertenti in Christo Iesu sperare concedis cunctisque hominibus tribuis deservire, dum plenius Spiritui Sancto se concredit. Et ideo, admiratione perfusi, tui amoris virtutem extollimus nostrumque de salute gaudium profitentes, cum innumeris caelestium turbis hymnum concinimus, sine fine dicentes:


Vere Sanctus es, Domine, qui ab origine mundi semper operaris ut, sicut Sanctus es ipse, sanctus fiat homo.

Respice, quaesumus, munera populi tui et super ea Spiritus tui virtutem effunde ut Corpus et Sanguis fiant dilecti Filii tui, Iesu Christi, in quo et nos filii tui sumus. 

Quamvis vero olim perditi tibi appropinquare nequiremus, summo nos amore dilexisti: Filius enim tuus, qui solus est Iustus, morti tradidit seipsum, ligno crucis pro nobis non dedignatus affigi. Sed antequam brachia eius inter caelum et terram extenta efficerentur tui foederis indelebile signum, ipse cum discipulis suis Pascha voluit celebrare.

Convescens autem, accepit panem et tibi gratias agens benedixit, fregit et dedit illis, dicens: ACCIPITE ET MANDUCATE EX HOC OMNES: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR.

Similiter, postquam cenatum est, sciens se omnia in seipso reconciliaturum per sanguinem suum in cruce fundendum, accepit calicem, genimine vitis repletum, et iterum tibi gratias agens discipulis suis tradidit, dicens: ACCIPITE ET BIBITE EX EO OMNES: HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI, QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM. HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM.

Mysterium fidei...

Memores igitur Filii tui Iesu Christi, qui Pascha nostrum est et pax nostra certissima, mortem eius et resurrectionem ab inferis celebramus atque, beatum eius adventum praestolantes, offerimus tibi, qui fidelis et misericors es Deus, hostiam, quae homines tecum reconciliat. 

Respice, benignus, clementissime Pater, quos tibi coniungis Filii tui sacrificio, ac praesta ut, Spiritus Sancti virtute, ex hoc uno pane et calice participes, in unum corpus congregentur in Christo, a quo omnis auferatur divisio. 

In communione mentis et cordis nos semper servare digneris una cum Papa nostro N. et Episcopo nostro N.

Adiuva nos, ut simul adventum regni tui praestolemus usque ad horam qua tibi adstabimus, sancti inter sanctos in sede caelesti, cum beata Virgine Dei Genetrice Maria, beatis Apostolis et omnibus Sanctis atque fratribus nostris defunctis, quos tuae misericordiae suppliciter commendamus. Tum vero, a corruptionis vulnere tandem liberati et nova plene constituti creatura, gaudentes tibi canemus gratiarum actionem Christi tui, in aeternum viventis.

Per ipsum...

1975/1983 Original Latin Text:

Vere dignum et iustum est, Domine, sancte Pater, nos tibi gratias agere. Qui ad abundantiorem vitam habendam nos provocare non desinis, et, cum sis Deus bonitatis et misericordiæ, veniam offerre perseveras ac peccatores invitas, ut se tuae solum indulgentiae fidentes committant. Neque aversus a nobis, quod fœdera tua toties fregimus, humanam familiam per Iesum Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum, novo vinculo tibi iunxisti tam arcte, ut nullo modo possit dissolvi. Dum ergo hoc tempus gratiae et reconciliationis nunc populo tuo præbetur, ad te animum convertendo ipsi respirare concedis in Christo, cunctisque hominibus tribuis deservire, plenius se Spiritui Sancto concredendo. Et ideo admiratione perfusi, tibique gratias referentes, et cum innumeris turbis caelestium hymnum sociantes, tui amoris virtutem exaltamus nostrumque de salute gaudium profitemur: 


Deus, qui a mundi origine id operaris, quod homini prodest, ut sanctus sit, sicut sanctus es ipse, respice, quæsumus, populum tuum hic adunatum et potentiam Spiritus tui effunde ut hæc dona fiant nobis Corpus et Sanguis Filii tui dilecti Iesu Christi, in quo tui filii sumus.

Cum vero perissemus nec tibi appropinquare valeremus, summo nos dilexisti amore: Filius enum tuus, qui solus est Iustus, in manus nostras tradidit se ipsum, non dedignatus ligno crucis affigi. Sed antequam bracchia eius inter cælum et terram extenta efficerentur tui signum indelebile fœderis, cum discipulis suis voluit Pascha celebrare.

Convescens, accepit panem et tibi gratias agens benedixit, fregit et dedit illis dicens: ACCIPITE ET MANDUCATE EX HOC OMNES: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR.

Similiter, postquam cenatum est, sciens quia omnia reconciliaturus esset in se ipsum per sanguinem in cruce fundendum, accepit calicem, ex genimine vitis repletum, et iterum tibi gratias agens amicis suis tradidit dicens: ACCIPITE ET BIBITE EX EO OMNES: HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI, QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM. HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM.

Mysterium fidei...

Memores igitur Iesu Christi, qui Pascha est nostrum et pax nostra certissima, et celebrantes mortem eius et resurrectionem ab inferis beatumque diem eius adventum praestolantes, offerimus tibi, Deus, qui es fidelis et verus, hostiam, quae hominibus gratiam tuam conciliat.

Eos, clementissime Pater, benignus respice, quos tibi coniungis, tribuens ipsis de hoc uno sacrificio  Christi participare, ut virtute Spiritus Sancti congregentur in unum Corpus in quo omnis auferatur divisio.

Serva nos invicem in communione mentis et cordis cum Papa nostro N. et Episcopo nostro N.

Adjuva nos, ut simul adventum regni tui paremus usque ad horam, qua tibi adstabimus, sancti inter sanctos in sede cælesti, cum beata Maria Virgine atque Apostolis, cum fratribus nostris defunctis, quos tuæ misericordiæ commendamus. Tum vero, constituti in nova creatura, a corruptionis vulnere tandem liberata, gratiarum actionem Christi tui, in æternum viventis, supplici tibi confessione canemus.

Per ipsum…

Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II

2002? Revised Latin Text:

Vere dignum et iustum est nos tibi gratias agere atque laudes persolvere, Deus Pater omnipotens, pro omnibus, quae in hoc mundo operaris, per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum. Cum enim genus humanum dissensione sit atque discordia divisum, experiendo tamen cognovimus te animos flectere, ut sint ad reconciliationem parati. Per Spiritum namque tuum permoves hominum corda, ut inimici iterum in colloquia veniant, adversarii manus coniungant, populi sibi obviam quaerant venire. Tua operante virtute fit etiam, Domine, ut odium vincatur amore, ultio cedat indulgentiae, discordia in mutuam dilectionem convertatur. Quapropter cum choris caelestibus gratias tibi indesinenter agentes maiestati tuae in terris sine fine clamamus: 


Te igitur, Pater omnipotens, benedicimus per Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui in tuo nomine venit. Ipse est pro hominibus Verbum salutis, manus, quam peccatoribus porrigis, via, qua pax tua nobis praebetur. Cum nosmetipsos a te, Domine, propter peccata nostra avertissemus, ad reconciliationem nos reduxisti, ut ad te tandem conversi nos invicem diligeremus per Filium tuum, quem in mortem pro nobis tradidisti. 

Et nunc reconciliationem a Christo nobis allatam celebrantes, te deprecamur: Spiritus tui effusione haec dona sanctifica, ut fiant Corpus et Sanguis Filii tui, cuius mandatum implemus haec celebrantes mysteria.

Ipse enim, vitam cum esset daturus, ut nos liberaret, discumbens accepit panem in manus suas et tibi gratias agens benedixit, fregit deditque discipulis suis, dicens: ACCIPITE ET MANDUCATE EX HOC OMNES: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR.

Simili modo vespere illo accepit calicem benedictionis in manus suas, tuam confitens misericordiam deditque discipulis suis, dicens: ACCIPITE ET BIBITE EX EO OMNES: HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI, QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM. HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM.

Mysterium fidei...

Memoriam igitur agentes Filii tui mortis et resurrectionis, qui hoc pignus dilectionis suae nobis reliquit, tibi quod nobis tribuisti offerimus perfectae reconciliationis sacrificium. 

Pater sancte, supplices deprecamur, ut nos quoque acceptos habeas cum Filio tuo et in hoc salutari convivio eiusdem Spiritum nobis praestare digneris, qui omnia auferat quae nos invicem alienant. 

Ipse Ecclesiam tuam inter homines signum efficiat unitatis pacisque tuae instrumentum, * et nos in communione conservet cum Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. et cunctis Episcopis et universo populo tuo.

Quemadmodum nunc ad mensam Filii tui nos congregasti, ita nos collige cum gloriosa Dei Genetrice Virgine Maria, beatis Apostolis tuis et omnibus Sanctis, cum fratribus nostris, atque hominibus cuiusvis stirpis et sermonis in tua amicitia defunctis, ad perpetuae unitatis convivium, in caelis novis et terra nova, ubi plenitudo pacis tuae refulget, in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

Per ipsum...

1975/1983 Original Latin Text:

Tibi, Deus et Pater omnipotens, gratias agimus teque laudamus per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, pro operatione tua in mundo. Cum enim genus humanum discensione sit ac discordia divisum, experiendo tamen cognoscimus te animos flectere, ut sint ad reconciliationem parati. Corda quidem tuus permovet Spiritus, ut inimici iterum in colloquia veniant, adversarii manus coniungant, populi sibi quaerant obviare. Tua etiam fit operante virtute, ut voluntate pacis amanter rixae sedentur, vincatur odium venia, remissioni tandem ultio cedat. Quapropter gratias tibi indesinenter oportet agamus teque collaudemus cum choris caelestibus, qui sine fine tuae clamant maiestati:


Te igitur, qui omnibus potestatibus dominaris, benedicimus per Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui in tuo nomine venit. Ipse est sermo, qui homines salvat, manus, quam peccatoribus porrigis, via, qua pax tua nobis offertur. Deus, Pater omnium nostrum, cum nosmetipsos a te avertissemus, nos reduxisti per Filium, quem tradidisti in mortem, ut ad te converteremur ac diligeremus alterutrum.

Ideo reconciliationem a Christo nobis paratam celebrantes te deprecamur, ut haec dona Spiritus tui rore sanctifices, dum Filii tui mandatum implemus.

Ipse enim, cum vitam esset daturus, ut nos liberaret, accepit discumbens panem in manus suas et tibi gratias agens benedixit, fregit deditque discipulis suis dicens: ACCIPITE ET MANDUCATE EX HOC OMNES: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR.


Mysterium fidei...

Domine Deus noster, Filius tuus hoc pignus dilectionis suae nobis reliquit; memoriam igitur mortis eius et resurrectionis agentes, tibi offerimus, quod nobis tribuisti: perfectae reconciliationis sacrificium.

Pater sancte, te deprecamur, ut nos etiam habeas, cum Filio tuo, acceptos et in hoc nobis convivio eiusdem Spiritum praestare digneris, qui auferat ea, quae dividunt.

Ipse nos in communione conservet cum Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. et cunctis Episcopis et universo populo tuo. Ecclesiam tuam inter homines, quaesumus, effice signum unitatis pacisque tuae instrumentum. 

Quemadmodum hic ad mensam Filii tui nos congregasti, beatissimae Deiparae Virgini Mariae et omnibus Sanctis sociatos, ita collige homines cuiusvis ordinis coetusque, cuiusvis stirpis atque sermonis ad perpetuae unitatis convivium in mundo novo, ubi plenitudo pacis refulget. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Per ipsum...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mass for the Church (White)

Deo gratias, white vestments!  My parish priest, being a wise pastor, celebrated a Mass to-day "For the Church", using the first of the formularies in the section of the Missal rather clumsily referred to as "Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions" – I give the orations below, and note for the moment (do not fear, gentle reader) that he used, as seemed appropriate, the Eucharistic Prayer for Use in Masses for Various Needs IV (to quibble, the rubrics suggest that perhaps variant I or II would have been more apposite) – this Prayer, as all men know, was originally drawn up in Switzerland, but was revised to make it more explicitly orthodox when done into Latin, and the new translation reflects this; and its peculiarity is that it exists in four variants, the variants being the four Prefaces alone appointed for use with it, matched with four intercessory passages that slot into the body of the Prayer.

1. For the Church


O God, who in your wonderful providence decreed that Christ's Kingdom should be extended throughout the earth and that all should become partakers of his saving redemption, grant, we pray, that your Church may be the universal sacrament of salvation and that Christ may be revealed to all as the hope of the nations and their Saviour. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer over the Offerings

Look upon the offerings of the people consecrated to you, O merciful God, and, through the power of this Sacrament, grant that the multitude of those who believe in you may constantly be made a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of your own. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

O God, who constantly feed and strengthen the Church with your Sacraments, grant to us, who have been nourished at the heavenly table, that, by obeying your teachings of love, we may become for the human family a life-giving leaven and a means to salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

"Universal sacrament of salvation" - that is what Christ's Body, the Church, is: for it is His living instrument for applying the merits of His Passion to men, empowered by His grace, being the vehicle for the celebration of the sacraments that save and the preaching of His Gospel, moving all to believe and be saved. "[A] chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of your own" – marvellous are the words of I Peter ii, 9! I particularly like the reference in the Prayer after Communion to the faithful acting as leaven in the lump, acting as God's instruments for translating men from the massa damnata into the company of the elect.

Sundays, then Saints, then Ferias

Pruning the calendar of feast days gets things exactly backwards, since historically speaking Mass was celebrated firstly on Sundays, then on the feasts of martyrs and other saints.  The development of the whole suite of feasts and seasons around Easter and Christmas paralleled this – hence the days of Lent have proper Masses, as they lead into the celebration of Holy Week.  Penitential times such as the Ember Days early on acquired proper Masses also.  But the very last days in the calendar to acquire their own Masses were ferias, and in two senses they never did: in the Traditional Roman Rite, on all free weekdays, the Sunday Mass was either repeated, including its readings, or a Votive Mass of some sort was celebrated – hence the way that old Missals specified which Votives were to be said on which weekdays.  Some mediæval Missals, such as the Sarum, provided Epistles and Gospels for Wednesdays and Fridays, so that, if those days – which were once both fast days – were without any feast, the Sunday Mass would be repeated but with those readings instead.

All this changed in 1969 or thereabouts (for experimentation had begun earlier), when an entirely new Lectionary was given to the modern Roman Rite.  Some of its features – such as extending to Advent, on the analogy of the Lenten Masses, daily readings and prayers and chants for weekday Masses; and doing the same for all of Christmastide and Eastertide, based to some extent on the ancient provision of proper Masses for each day of the Easter Octave – were logical extensions of existing practice.  Given, too, the precedent of providing Wednesdays and Fridays of old with their readings, to provide ones for every day could be seen as reasonable.

However, the Roman Rite is not the Byzantine Rite (which has had for over a thousand years a semi-continuous cycle of readings at the Divine Liturgy, such that almost the whole New Testament, except for the Apocalypse, is read through once a year), and the exaltation of the ferial Mass (most evident in Ordinary Time) that has gone with imposing a new Lectionary is in fact a reversal of the historical development, in that the readings (whether from the Proper or from the Common) for saint's days are now overshadowed by the panacea of semi-continuous Scripture readings.

I believe that this problem has arisen from confusion of Mass and Office.  In the case of the Office, the exact contrary is true, in that the ferial Office is the older, and later rather overgrown with feasts: by reason of the structure of the Office, with a weekly system for reciting all 150 psalms, and a yearly system for reading a good deal of Holy Writ at Matins, there is an impulsion in the Office toward retaining the ferial and pruning the sanctoral Office.   But in the case of Mass, I argue that the opposite is true.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Green Time

Fr Rowe detests green vestments – he avoids wearing them whenever possible. (So he told me when I was one of his parishioners over in Perth some years back.)  Luckily, being a priest who only uses the Extraordinary Form, he has his wish, given the multiplicity of saints' days even in the somewhat pruned 1962 calendar, and so in most cases wears green solely on Sundays after Epiphany and after Pentecost.  I can well understand this rejection of green, recalling that when a priest in the old rite, er, form celebrates a feria in green (as one of Fr Rowe's many supply priests likes to), he reads the whole Sunday Proper all over again, complete with the very same readings repeated – which is incredibly tedious for the laity also.

Let us consider the awful suffering of most priests, however, who are constrained in various ways to celebrate the Ordinary Form more or less exclusively!  Even after Bl John Paul II canonized umpteen hundred new saints, more than all his predecessors put together, even after adding some of these into the General Roman Calendar, there are still so very many green weekdays per annum.  It is true that, in the new Mass, er, Novus Ordo, er, present normative liturgy, the readings do vary from day to day; but Boring Time is still very boring, semi-continuous readings of Scripture being very over-rated in my opinion, and the threat of us poor layfolk having to hear E.P. II, complete with its Preface, each and every day, being ever-present.

Compare and contrast the ways the E.F. and O.F. deal with the smaller of the two halves of "green time" now upon us: in the E.F., or traditional Roman Rite, this slice of "green time" begins on Saturday the 14th of January, the day after the Octave of the Epiphany, and concludes this year on Saturday the 4th of February, the day before Septuagesima, giving a total of 25 potentially green days before any feasts are considered; whereas in the O.F., or modern Roman Rite, this first taste of "green time" begins this year on Tuesday the 10th of January on the day after the Baptism of the Lord (in lands such as Australia where Epiphany is transferred to Sunday, and the Baptism, otherwise kept on the Sunday after Epiphany, to the Monday, when that Sunday falls on the 7th or 8th), and does not end for the time being until Shrove Tuesday, this year the 21st of February – so allowing for 43 days of Ordinary Time in 2012, or 70% more than in the E.F., owing to the foolish deletion of Septuagesimatide by an ill-advised Paul VI.

But it gets worse: in this initial span of green time, the modern Roman calendar provides only 12 mandatory feasts (10 white, 2 red), plus 11 optional memorials, including those of Our Lady on Saturday (in total 9 white, 1 red, and 1 either white or red ad libitum), leaving 20 days unaffected in their viridity, including six Sundays in Ordinary Time (2nd to 7th).  Yet Fr Rowe, and other lovers of tradition, have the great consolation of nearly every weekday filled with at least a 3rd class feast during the days in question, and the three remaining days are commemorations, meaning that at choice the saint's Mass can be said or not – hence each and every weekday is at least potentially white or red as to shade of vestment.  Extraordinary Mass-sayers and -goers need endure green only on the three Sundays after Epiphany, Deo gratias.

Now of course any priest using the modern Missal has the right, on a feria, to celebrate either a Votive Mass, or a Requiem, or a Mass in honour of any saint mentioned on that day in the Martyrology – and so avoid the colour green.  However, in practice it is rare to do so, and according to the General Instruction to do so on twenty days within a month and a half would be a little naughty (though it would glad the heart of this unwilling endurer of ferial Masses); and even if it were done, the O.F. priest and people must bear with green on six Sundays, double those the E.F. celebrant and congregation must put up with.  O the humanity!

Stupid Things Heard on the Radio

While driving, I listen to ABC News Radio, which broadcasts Federal Parliament live when it is in session – hence some of the stupid things I hear from time to time:

  • Just to-day: shock, horror! the percentage of workers with tertiary qualifications in the farming and agriculture sector is far lower than in other areas of employment! For Pete's sake...
  • A few days ago: a reporter, evidently getting confused between the President's first and last names, referred to someone called "Barama"!  (Which reminds me of Bananarama...)
  • Some months back, when Parliament was in session, an M.P. speaking on the new National Curriculum to be implemented in schools continually referred to this as the "curric-li-um"!  Talk about dumb!
  • And of course from time to time one must grit one's teeth at the mention of a frozen continent called "An-tart-i-ca"...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prex Eucharistica Brevior

To my astonishment, the official documents of the work of the liturgical reformers in the late sixties, all in Latin except for some rulings from Paul VI quoted in Italian (!), quite openly refer to their ongoing drafts for what is now Eucharistic Prayer II as Prex eucharistica brevis or Prex Eucharistica II Brevior – the brief or briefer Eucharistic Prayer!  How breathtaking, given that this brevity is what has turned it into the most commonly used Eucharistic Prayer of the modern Roman Rite, which raises the question of whether the Roman Mass is really quite as Roman as it was when the Roman Canon, and it alone, was used for sixteen hundred years at Mass.

What caught my attention was that, while the first half of their draft Prayer was all but identical to the version eventually approved, with only verbal differences of little note, the whole of the intercessions, from after the communion epiclesis down to the doxology at the end, was in reverse order.  Assuming that readers have easy access to the new translation of E.P. II, here is the second half of its 1967 draft, first in Latin, then in a translation I have prepared (based upon the new translation in order to make it sound familiar); the whole passage runs straight on from the prayer in the preceding line, that the Holy Spirit gather all who are sharers of the Body and Blood of Christ into one:

...et cum beata Dei genetrice Maria, beatis Apostolis, 
et omnibus Sanctis qui tibi a sæculo placuerunt 
partem habeamus.
Memento etiam Domine illorum qui dormierunt in spe resurrectionis 
et admitte eos in lucem vultus tui,
Nobis quoque famulis tuis, una cum Papa nostro et Antistite nostro,
et omnibus fidelibus in Ecclesia toto orbe diffusa,
concede ut perficiamur in caritate
et ad regnum tuum pervenire valeamus,
in quo te laudemus et conglorificemus per Filium tuum Jesum Christum
per quem tibi gloria et honor in Sancto Spiritu
nunc et in sæcula sæculorum.

…and may have some share 
with Blessed Mary, the Mother of God, the blessed Apostles, 
and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages.
Remember also, Lord, those who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection
and welcome them into the light of your face.
To us, also, your servants, together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop,
and all the faithful in the Church spread throughout the world,
grant that we may be brought to the fulness of charity
and be worthy to enter into your kingdom,
where we may praise and glorify you
through your Son, Jesus Christ,
through whom to you be glory and honour in the Holy Spirit 
now and for ever.

What is interesting is, as mentioned, the order: Saints (the Church triumphant) – the Dead (or the Church suffering in Purgatory) – the Church Militant.  This order was reversed in later drafts; while most of the text was retained, certain parts have been united: partem habeamus and ad regnum tuum pervenire valeamus have evidently been combined into the phrase æternæ vitæ mereamur esse consortes; other parts have been changed: gone are Nobis quoque famulis tuis (itself copied from the Roman Canon) and omnibus fidelibus; other parts have been added, such as universo cleroomniumque in tua miseratione defunctorum and Omnium nostrum, quæsumus, miserere.

It may be noted that the words universo clero were intended to substitute for Nobis quoque famulis tuis (since that phrase in the Roman Canon is thought to refer to the celebrating clergy), and similarly Omnium nostrum, quæsumus, miserere was intended to substitute for omnibus fidelibus.  Unfortunately, the impression is given, by separating it from the prayer for the Church, of an unpleasant clericalism, as if the Church consists of only Pope, Bishop and clergy.  That is why so many priests, foolishly and disobediently it is true, have unofficially amended those words of E.P. II for years; and frankly to at the least add "and all the faithful" in a future reform would seem quite reasonable.

An emended draft makes clear that, when this last section was reordered, at first the words et universo clero and omniumque in tua miseratione defunctorum were not yet included, and even the words et eos in lumen vultus tui admitte were omitted for a while, while the Hippolytan doxology was kept, and even reverted somewhat to its original text, cum Sancto Spiritu in Ecclesia.  Later still, E.P. II as we have it to-day was finalized, and sent up for Papal approval...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Love the Epiphany

The Lord's Epiphany, I realize, is a favourite feast to me, dearer perhaps than Christmas! - being more spiritual, more mystical, the older of the two feasts, more easily solemnized, not dumbed down, not commercialized, not kiddified, not just a feast at table, not dominated by considerations of cooking turkeys and hams and puddings, nor of giving and receiving gifts (good, very good, though such are).

I love Christmas, the Lord's Nativity; I love Epiphany almost more, what with its triple mystery - Magi adoring, falling down in worship upon entering the House to find the Christ-Child with Mary His Divine Mother, first-fruits of the Gentiles foreshadowing our own entry into the Church; and the echo resounds also of the Lord's Baptism in the Jordan, sanctifying its waters by His All-Sanctifying, Holy Flesh; and yet a second echo rings out, telling of the first of His signs, wrought at Cana of Galilee, at His Mother's mediation, His disciples believing in Him, when He reddened water into finest wine, foretaste of the Eucharist, His Blood shed and given for us, Itself a foretaste of the nuptial feast of the Lamb forever celebrated in the Kingdom, without any end.

Just to-night, in my parish, we had a splendid vigil Mass for this Solemnity (which is kept in Australia in the Ordinary Form on the Sunday after the 6th, hence it falls on Sunday the 8th this year).  Something about singing "We three kings of Orient are" to begin and end, and Father's use of the Roman Canon in its revealed beauty in the new translation, made everything more exalted...  Dinner to-night was a simple but delicious affair, to match the solemnity: chicken kiev with potatoes baked in their jackets, then a peach for dessert.

But with to-day's particular date, the 7th of January, I associate many happy memories: last year, I travelled on this day on a tour from Queenstown to the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand; and two years ago, in 2010, on this day I flew from Edinburgh to Florence, and had the unexpected privilege of attending a Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy for Christmas (according to the Julian calendar), having kept Epiphany that year in both Oxford (a wonderful Latin OF, at the Oratory) and Edinburgh (EF), which helped make up for the fact that I completely missed Epiphany in 2011, first in the OF (as I was flying across the Tasman) and then in the EF (as the Sunday Mass in Christchurch was of the Holy Family)!  Truly, I am blessed.