Friday, December 30, 2016

The Translation of Saint James

Both in the Mozarabic Rite, and in the proper calendar for Spain according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the 30th of December is not an unadorned day of the Christmas Octave, but rather the Feast of the Translation of St James, according to the ancient tradition whereby his sacred body was transported from Jerusalem to Santiago de Compostela. 

How delightful, that the days after Our Lord's Nativity should honour, first St Stephen, first Christian Martyr, next St John the beloved disciple, Apostle and Evangelist, thirdly the Holy Innocents, the first to die for Christ, fourthly the great Archbishop-Martyr Thomas à Becket, and fifthly the Translation of the Apostle St James, before lastly, on the last day of December, honouring St Sylvester, Pope of Christian freedom and peace.

I append the texts of the Mass of the Translation of St James, first in Latin, then in an English version:

Die xxx Decembris.
S. Jacobi Apostoli, et Hispaniarum Patroni.

Introitus. Tob. 13, 13 & 14.
Luce splendida fulgebit justus. Nationes ex longinquo venient ad eum, et adorabunt Dominum in conspectu ejus, et terram suam in sanctificationem habebunt.
Psalm. 150, 1. Laudate Dominum in Sanctis ejus: Laudate eum in firmamento virtutis ejus.
Gloria Patri.

Deus, qui dispositione mirabili Corpus beati Jacobi Apostoli tui de Hierosolymis ad Hispaniam transferri, et in Compostella gloriosè sepeliri voluisti: concede quæsumus, ut ejus meritis, et precibus in cælesti Jérusalem collocari mereamur. Per Dominum.

Si hoc Fest. venerit in Domin. aut die, in quo fit de ea, fit commemorat. Domin. postea Oct. in fine dicitur Evang. ejusdem Dominicæ.

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios. 1 Cor. 15, 39-50.

Fratres, non omnis caro eadem caro, sed alia quidem hominum, alia vero pecorum, alia volucrum, alia autem piscium. Et corpora cælestia, et corpora terrestria: sed alia quidem cælestium gloria, alia autem terrestrium. Alia claritas solis, alia claritas lunæ, et alia claritas stellarum. Stella enim à Stella differt in claritate: sic et resurrectio mortuorum. Seminatur in corruptione, surget in incorruptione. Seminatur in ignobilitate, surget in gloria. Seminatur in infirmitate, surget in virtute. Seminatur corpus animale, surget corpus spiritale. Si est corpus animale, est et spiritale, sicut scriptum est: Factus est primus homo Adam in animam viventem, novissimus Adam in spiritum vivificantem. Sed non priús quod spiritale est, sed quod animale: deinde quod spiritale. Primus homo de terra terrenus: secundus homo de cælo cælestis. Qualis terrenus, tales et terreni: qualis cælestis, tales et cælestes. Igitur, sicut portavimus imaginem terreni, portemus et imaginem cælestis. Hoc autem dico, fratres, quia caro, et sanguis regnum Dei possidere non possunt: neque corruptio incorruptelam possidebit.

Graduale. Ps. 33, 7 & 21.
Iste Sanctus clamavit ad Dominum, et exaudivit eum: et de omnibus tribulationibus ejus salvavit eum.
V. Custodit Dominus omnia ossa ejus: unum ex his non conteretur.

Alleluja, alleluja.
Isai. 2, 2 & 11, 10. V. Fluent ad eum omnes gentes, et erit sepulchrum ejus gloriosum.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundùm Matthæum. 20, 20-23.

In illo tempore: Accessit ad Jesum mater filiorum Zebedæi cum filiis suis, adorans, et petens aliquid ab eo. Qui dixit ei: Quid vis? Ait illi: Dic ut sedeant hi duo filii mei, unus ad dexteram tuam, et unus ad sinistram in regno tuo. Respondens autem Jesus, dixit: Nescitis quid petatis. Potestis bibere calicem, quem ego bibiturus sum? Dicunt ei: Possumus. Ait illis: Calicem quidem meum bibetis: sedere autem ad dexteram meam, vel sinistram, non est meum dare vobis, sed quibus paratum est à Patre meo.


Offertorium. Eccli. 44, 14.
Corpora Sanctorum in pace sepulta sunt, et nomen eorum vivit in generationem, et generationem. Alleluja.

Præsta, quæsumus omnipotens Deus; ut beati Jacobi Apostoli tui intercessione, quem ad laudem tui nominis, dicatis muneribus honoramus, piæ in nobis fructus devotionis accrescat. Per Dominum.

Præfatio, et Communic. de Nat.

Communio. Isai. 55, 5.
Gentes, quæ te non cognoverunt, ad te current, et adorabunt, propter Dominum Deum tuum, et sanctum Israël; quia glorificavit te.

Deus, qui beatum Jacobum Apostolum tuum gloriosum fecisti in cælis, et ejus Corpus singulari cultu venerari voluisti in terris: concede propitius; ut, qui mirabilem ejus translationem festivo celebramus obsequio, ad æternam gloriam ejus intercessione transferri mereamur. Per Dominum.


30th December.
of St James the Apostle, and Patron of Spain.

Introit. (Tob. 13, 13 et 14; Ps. 150, 1)
With a glorious light the just shall shine. Nations from afar shall come to him, and shall adore the Lord in his presence, and shall esteem his land as holy.
Ps. Praise ye the Lord in his Saints: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.
Glory be.

O God, who by marvellous management didst will the body of blessed James thine apostle to be transferred from Jerusalem to Spain and in Compostela to be buried magnificently: grant, we beseech thee; that by his merits and prayers we may deserve to be assembled together in the heavenly Jerusalem. Through...

If this Feast should occur on Sunday, or the day on which the Sunday is kept, a commemoration of the Sunday is made after that of the Octave, and at the end is said the Gospel of the same Sunday. [According to the liturgical books of 1962, this rubric would not apply.]

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
(1 Cor. 15, 39-50)
Brethren: All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes. And there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial: but, one is the glory of the celestial, and another of the terrestrial. One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory. It is sown in weakness, it shall rise in power. It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual body, as it is written: The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit. Yet that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man, from heaven, heavenly. Such as is the earthly, such also are the earthly: and such as is the heavenly, such also are they that are heavenly. Therefore as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God: neither shall corruption possess incorruption.

Gradual (Ps. 33, 7 et 21)
This Saint cried to the Lord, and he heard him: and out of all his troubles he saved him.
V. The Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken.

Alleluia, alleluia. (Is. 2, 2 et 11, 10)
V. All nations shall flow unto him, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew (20, 20-23)

At that time: There came to Jesus the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of him. Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father.


Offertory (Ecclus 44, 14.)
The bodies of the Saints are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation, and generation.

Grant, we beg, almighty God, that, by the intercession of blessed James thine Apostle, whom, to the praise of thy name, we honour by dedicated gifts, the fruit of pious devotion may grow in us. Through…

Preface and Communicantes of Christmas.

Communion (Is. 55, 5)
Nations, that knew not thee, shall run to thee, and shall adore, because of the Lord thy God, and the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

O God, who didst make blessed James thine Apostle glorious in heaven, and didst will his body to be venerated with singular care on earth: grant propitiously; that, we who celebrate his marvellous translation with festive worship, may deserve, at his intercession, to be transferred to everlasting glory. Through…

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thankfulness for Christ's Being Made Man

From the devout writings of John Kettlewell, Anglican clergyman and Nonjuror (1653-1695):

What am I, dear Lord, that thou shouldst leave the right hand of God, and come to visit me? Hadst thou no ease in thy own breast so long as I lay plunged in misery? How camest thou, being so highly exalted, and the eternal Son of God, to have any affectionate concern at all for me? Was I not a deformed, polluted wretch, and thy professed enemy? And was not either of these to turn away thy face from me? But if, notwithstanding all this, thy overflowing goodness would put thee upon doing something for my sake; why must thou come thyself upon earth, and be subject to the miseries of human nature, and to the affronts of an ungrateful world, to bleed and die to redeem me? How unfathomable is thy grace, and what an unsearchable depth of love is this, which thou hast opened to us! O! how happy do I think myself in it, and how doth my heart rejoice at the remembrance of it! Lord! I love thee dearly, and long to love thee more: would I had the heart of the seraphim, that I might be all over love, and feel my soul affected to that degree which I desire, and thou infinitely deservest of me: I wish no greater pleasure than to be found perfect in thy love, and to have thee so dear to me, that I may contemn all the gilded vanities and allurements of this world at the thoughts of it. O! that thou wouldest fill me, if that might be, with an affection full and absolute, like thy own, that so I might love thee infinitely, as I am beloved by thee. At least possess me with such a sense of thy love, and such thankfulness for all thy favours, as is somewhat worthy of thee: though should I offer the utmost acknowledgments, which the most affected and enlarged heart can pay, I should not give thee the thousandth part of what I owe thee. Let all the angels adore thy glorious goodness, and all the sons of men, so long as they have a tongue to speak, set forth thy noble praise; for thou, O sweetest Jesu, art the Son of the Blessed, the joy and glory of the world, the Lamb of God, the Saviour of Mankind, who was slain for our sakes, and art alive again, and sittest now for ever at the right hand of power, in the glory of the Father, that angels may submit to thee, and all the world may worship thee, and praise thy goodness, power, and glory, to all eternity. Amen.

A very blessed and holy Christmas to all, with ardent prayers for the good estate of the whole Church, that the Lord may grant her speedy and complete deliverance from the unhappy cause of all her recent trials, that his Virgin Mother's Immaculate Heart may triumph.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Can't Speak French

Being unable to understand French, I ran through an online automatic translator the instructions put out by the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, back in 1874, for the customs to be retained when introducing the Roman Rite. This produced some hilarious results:

The custom of giving screams during Mass as well as vespers to the singers who are tonsured, and even to those who are not so, if they are allowed to wear the cassock in the Community where they are admitted.

…Indians may be admitted to High Mass... 
…we can use two apologists for the incensing of the Choir… 
…during the period of the Uffizi… 
The canons, the Celebrant and his assistants, if they are in a hat… 
The inclination is poor when you greet superiors, equals and Chorus.

All rise to render salvation to the Priest or Superior of the place.

…sometimes after the lessons precede the epistle… 
…Ave stella husbands… 
During the Magnificat, one is standing, without relying on mercy.

During the singing of memoirs, one standing shot Choir.

If some of MM. The Priests believe that in view of the number of Communists and the smallness of their church, two low Masses can not satisfy the need of the Faithful; they must address themselves to His Eminence, who will examine what number of Masses it is necessary to grant them.

Parisian jumpers carry on their backs a fairly typical cross… 
The practice existed almost everywhere in France, that during certain pieces sung, two singers "beat the chorus"… 
"We could not find the date of the introduction of the Indians into the Parisian Liturgy. The Missal of 1666 mentions them as serving the Metropolitan Church." 
When the clergy is standing shot in choir, those in the stalls rely on the mercy… 
…they do not rely on mercy when the choir is facing the altar.

The Canons can sit as soon as the last of them has been praised… 
The rule of Nicaea subsists in filigree in the Roman ritual… 
In fact, for the candlestick of Darkness… 
Many girls Updates to the tomb to be found in churches served the ceremony…

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ninth Anniversary

I began this blog (which hasn't been kept up very often for a long time now) nine years ago, on the feast of that great monastic saint, Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (σιος Σάββας γιασμένος), to whom I have since learnt is attributed the Typicon or set of directions for the liturgical rites of the Byzantine Liturgy – how appropriate for unworthy me, who often acts as M.C., directs a choir, prays the Office, etc. I was delighted to find his commemoration among the texts of the EF Mass today. May anything of good blogged here be attributed to Divine Providence through his intercession; may all the bad be forgiven me by the Lord at his prayers.

I was recently privileged to serve Mass for Fr Pius, who has recently moved to Tasmania to found a traditional Benedictine monastery with the blessing of our beloved Archbishop; to this end, I turn in prayer to St Sabbas, himself a great founder of monasteries, in the words of another famous monastic founder, Abbot Guéranger, from his masterwork The Liturgical Year (Vol. I, p. 337):

O Sabas, “thou man of desires” (Dan. x, 11)! in thy expectation of that Lord, who has bid His servants watch until He come (cf. Matt. xxiv. 42), thou didst withdraw into the desert, fearing lest the turmoil of the world might distract thy mind from its God. Have pity on us who are living in the world, and are so occupied in the affairs of that world, and yet who have received the commandment, which thou didst so take to heart, of keeping ourselves in readiness for the coming of our Saviour and our Judge. Pray for us, that when He comes we may be worthy to go out to meet Him (cf. Matt. xxv, 6). Remember also the monastic state, of which thou art one of the brightest ornaments; raise it up again from its ruins; let its children be men of prayer and faith, as of old; let thy spirit be among them, and the Church thus regain, by thy intercession, all the glory which is reflected on her from the sublime perfection of this holy state.

Amen, so be it!