Monday, December 10, 2018

An End and a Beginning

Last night was our last Missa cantata in Launceston at St Francis, Riverside – Fr Suresh, chaplain to the Tasmanian Latin Mass Community, will no longer drive north each month to offer the Holy Sacrifice for us, as he has done for four years now. Instead, from February onwards, the new priest for Meander Valley Parish will offer an EF Mass each Sunday at 11 am at Holy Trinity, Westbury, only 40 km away. While on Saturday I drove 150 km south to Colebrook to attend the first profession of three young monks of Notre Dame Priory – who took their vows during a beautiful Solemn High Mass coram Archiepiscopo of the Immaculate Conception – and used to drive more than 200 km each way to attend the Latin Mass in Hobart, now it will be available much closer to home, for which I give thanks to God, who has graciously answered our prayers.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the EF Mass at Westbury was discontinued after only two months. From time to time, Fr Suresh will still come to Launceston to say Mass, however.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A New Use for the Office of the Dead

“Let my soul die the death of the just, and my last end be like to them.” (Numbers 23, 10.)

Those who recite the Office of the Dead (Officium Defunctorum) will have been struck by the fact that most of its antiphons and responsories are in the first person singular, as if one is preparing for one’s own death, fearing the ineluctable judgement of God and the uncertain fate of one’s soul.

For this reason, it may be appropriate as a private devotion to recite this Office, suitably modified in a few particulars, precisely as a meditation on and prayer for a merciful judgement, as follows:

1. Replace the Invitatory Antiphon Regem cui omnia vivunt with the following (once used in the churches of the Netherlands):

Invit. Aña. Circumdedérunt me gémitus mortis, * Dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me. 
(Ps. 17, 5a. 6a; cf. Ps. 114, 3; cf. 2 Reg. 22, 5a. 6a)

2. In every place, omit Requiem æternam… Et lux perpetua… (This better parallels the Office of the Paschal Triduum, upon whose model the Office of the Dead was drawn up in Carolingian times.)

3. Replace the versicle before the lessons of each Nocturn with those from the Carthusian Office of the Dead, which better match the other Matins antiphons and responsories, which are all in the first person singular, rather than the third person plural used in the corresponding versicles in the Roman Office of the Dead:

V. Convértere, Dómine, et éripe ánimam meam.
R. Salvum me fac propter misericórdiam tuam. (Ps 6, 5)

V. Custódi ánimam meam, et érue me.
R. Non erubéscam, quóniam sperávi in te. (Ps. 24, 20)

V. Ne perdas cum ímpiis, Deus, ánimam meam.
R. Et cum viris sánguinum vitam meam. (Ps. 25, 9)

4. Replace the 2nd Responsory Qui Lazarum resuscitasti (the only one explicitly praying for the dead) with the shorter 9th Responsory Libera me Domine de viis (which is appointed to be used when only one Nocturn is said).

5. In the 3rd and 6th Responsories, having omitted Requiem, repeat the whole of the response instead. (This is already the case for the longer 9th Responsory Libera me Domine de morte, appointed to be used when all three Nocturns are said, and better parallels the Office of the Paschal Triduum.)

6. Pro pia devotione, after the last Responsory at Matins, insert the Dies iræ as a further meditation on the last judgement, but omitting its last three verses from Lacrimosa onwards (which have a different metre and tune, and whose last verse, Pie Jesu, is a prayer for the dead), and replacing them with a doxology sometimes found in older sources that fits the metre of the piece, and appointed in the modern Divine Office (reading Nos not Me) for use with the Dies iræ, which is therein chopped into three parts for use at the Hours in the last week before Advent:

O tu, Deus majestátis,
Alme candor Trinitátis,
Me conjúnge cum beátis. Amen.

(The length of this is approximately the same as that of the Te Deum used at this same position in festal Matins.)

7. In the preces, replace the versicle A porta inferi (which is in the third person plural) with the following, using the exact text of the antiphon for the Canticle of Isaias (which is in the first person singular):

V. A porta ínferi.
R. Erue, Dómine, ánimam meam. (Cf. Is. 38, 10 & 17)

8. Replace the versicle Audivi vocem at Lauds and Vespers (which is in the third person plural) with the following (which is in the first person singular):

V. Non intres in judícium cum servo tuo, Dómine.
R. Quia non justificábitur in conspéctu tuo omnis vivens. (Ps. 142, 2)

9. At Vespers, instead of reciting Psalm 145, Lauda, anima mea, Dominum, as part of the preces, it seems more appropriate to use Psalm 141, Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi, which St Francis prayed with his dying breath, and which is used together with Psalm 129 at Lauds in the Carmelite Office of the Dead.

10. Simply omit the versicle Requiésca(n)t in pace (which is in the third person) in its position before the Collect, but replace it after the Collect with the following (which is in the first person singular, and has exactly twice as many syllables):

V. In te, Dómine, sperávi, non confúndar in ætérnum. (Ps. 30, 2)
R. Amen.

11. Replace the Collect(s) for the dead with the following Collect for a Good Death:

Omnípotens et miséricors Deus, qui humáno géneri et salútis remédia et vitæ ætérnæ múnera contulísti: réspice propítius nos fámulos tuos, et ánimas réfove, quas creásti; ut, in hora éxitus eárum, absque peccáti mácula tibi Creatóri suo per manus sanctórum Angelórum repræsentári mereántur. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sǽcula sæculórum. R. Amen.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dominican Rite Litany for the Dying

Kyrie, eleison.           
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.           

Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.

Pater de cælis, Deus, miserere ei.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus, miserere ei.
Spiritus Sancte, Deus, miserere ei.
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere ei.

Sancta Maria, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Dei Genetrix, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Virgo virginum, ora pro eo (ea).

Sancte Michaël, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Gabriel, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Raphaël, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti Angeli et Archangeli, orate pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti beatorum Spirituum ordines, orate pro eo (ea).

Sancte Joannes Baptista, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Joseph, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti Patriarchæ et Prophetæ, orate pro eo (ea).

Sancte Petre, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Paule, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Andrea, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Jacobe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Joannes, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Thoma, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Jacobe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Philippe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Bartholomæe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Matthæe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Simon, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Thaddæe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Matthia, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Barnaba, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Marce, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Luca, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti Discipuli Domini, orate pro eo (ea).

Omnes sancti Innocentes, orate pro eo (ea).
Sancte Stephane, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Clemens, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Corneli, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Cypriane, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Laurenti, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Vincenti, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Dionysi cum sociis tuis, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Mauriti cum sociis tuis, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Januari cum sociis tuis, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancti Fabiane et Sebastiane, orate pro eo (ea).
Sancti Cosma et Damiane, orate pro eo (ea).
Sancte Thoma, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Petre, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Joannes cum sociis tuis, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti Martyres, orate pro eo (ea).

Sancte Silvester, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Gregori, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Pie, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Ambrosi, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Augustine, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Hieronyme, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Hilari, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Martine, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Nicolaë, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Antonine, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Alberte, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Pater Dominice, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Pater Dominice, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Thoma, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Vincenti, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Hyacinthe, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Raymunde, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Ludovice, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Antoni, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Benedicte, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Bernarde, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancte Francisce, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sancti Confessores, orate pro eo (ea).

Sancta Anna, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Maria Magdalena, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Martha, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Felicitas, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Perpetua, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Agatha, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Lucia, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Agnes, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Cæcilia, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Catharina, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Margarita, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Ursula cum sodalibus tuis, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Catharina, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Rosa, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Agnes, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Catharina, ora pro eo (ea).
Sancta Margarita, ora pro eo (ea).
Omnes sanctæ Virgines et Viduæ, orate pro eo (ea).

Omnes Sancti, orate pro eo (ea).

Propitius esto, libera eum (eam), Domine.

A damnatione perpetua, libera eum (eam), Domine.
A subitanea et improvisa morte, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Ab imminentibus peccatorum suorum periculis, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Ab infestationibus dæmonum, libera eum (eam), Domine.

Per mysterium sanctæ Incarnationis tuæ, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Per passionem et crucem tuam, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Per gloriosam resurrectionem tuam, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Per admirabilem ascensionem tuam, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Per gratiam Spiritus Sancti Paracliti, libera eum (eam), Domine.
In die judicii, libera eum (eam), Domine.

Peccatores, te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut iracundiæ tuæ flagella ab eo (ea) amoveas, te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut ejus spiritum a loco angustiæ liberes, te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut eum (eam) in regione vivorum æternis gaudiis confoveri jubeas, te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut nos exaudire digneris, te rogamus, audi nos.
Fili Dei, te rogamus, audi nos.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce ei, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, libera eum (eam), Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere ei, Domine.

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Pater noster (secreto usque ad)
V. Et nos nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.

V. Salvum (Salvam) fac servum tuum (ancillam tuam).
R. Deus meus sperantem in te.
V. Mitte ei, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
R. Et de Sion tuere eum (eam).
V. Nihil proficiat inimicus in eo (ea).
R. Et filius iniquitatis non apponat nocere ei.
V. Esto ei, Domine, turris fortitudinis.
R. A facie inimici.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
(V. Dominus vobiscum.
(R. Et cum spiritu tuo.)


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, conservator animarum, qui quos diligis corripis, et quos recipis pie ad emendationem coërces: te invocamus, Domine, ut famulo tuo, qui (famulæ tuæ, quæ) in corpore patitur membrorum debilitatem, gratiam tuam conferre digneris; ut in hora exitus sui de corpore, absque mortalis peccati macula, tibi datori proprio per manus sanctorum Angelorum tuorum ejus anima repræsentari mereatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

St Alexius

Today is the feast of St Alexius of Rome, son of a Senator, yet who, moved by a special inspiration of God, forsook his wife on their wedding night and, abandoning all, even his name, travelled as a poor beggar pilgrim to all the most illustrious churches of Christendom for seventeen years, until by a miracle his identity was divulged at Edessa, whereupon to flee fame and regain anonymity, he took ship for Rome where his own parents, family servants and wife did not recognise him after so long and such a penitential life, but granted to him, out of charity to a poor homeless beggar, to live under the stairs of his own house, where he dwelt another seventeen years until he died, whereupon all was revealed and he was acclaimed a saint.

It seems only yesterday I attended solemn Mass in his honour at WYD in Sydney...

Formerly, by grant of Pope Clement XII at the petition of the Roman Senate, there was a proper Mass of his feast used at Rome, as follows; it is an example of eighteenth-century liturgical piety, since the whole Mass tells the tale of his life (in the 1962 Roman Missal, only the Epistle and Gospel are the same):

Proper Mass of St Alexius, for the City and all the District of Rome

Introitus. Gen. 12, 1.
Egredere de terra tua, et de domo patris tui, et veni in terram, quam monstrabo tibi.
Ps. 44, 11-12. Obliviscere populum tuum, et domum patris tui: et concupiscet rex decorem tuum.
V. Gloria Patri.

Deus, qui beatum Alexium Confessorem tuum in mundi contemptu mirabilem effecisti: præsta, quæsumus; ut intercessionis ejus auxilio, fideles tui terrena despiciant, et ad cælestia semper aspirent. Per Dñm.

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum. 1 Tim. 6, 6-12.

Carissime: Est quæstus magnus pietas cum sufficentia. Nihil enim intulimus in hunc mundum: haud dubium quod nec auferre quid possumus. Habentes autem alimenta, et quibus tegamur, his contenti simus. Nam qui volunt divites fieri, incidunt in tentationem et in laqueum diaboli, et desideria multa inutilia, et nociva, quæ mergunt homines in interitum et perditionem. Radix enim omnium malorum est cupiditas: quam quidam appetentes, erraverunt a fide, et inseruerunt se doloribus malis. Tu autem, o homo Dei, hæc fuge: sectare vero justitiam, pietatem, fidem, caritatem, patientiam, mansuetudinem. Certa bonum certamen fidei, apprehende vitam æternam.

Graduale. Jer. 12, 7. Reliqui domum meam, dimisi hæreditatem meam.
V. Ps. 72, 28. Quia bonum mihi est adhaerere Deo, ponere in Domino Deo spem meam.

Alleluja, alleluja.
V. Ps. 5, 8 et 131, 14. introibo in domum tuam: hæc requies mea in sæculum sæculi; hic habitabo, quoniam elegi eam.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum. Matt. 19, 27-29.

In illo tempore: Dixit Petrus ad Jesum: Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, et secuti sumus te: quid ergo erit nobis? Jesus autem dixit illis: Amen dico vobis, quod vos, qui secuti estis me, in regeneratione, cum sederit Filius hominis in sede majestatis suæ, sedebitis et vos super sedes duodecim, judicantes duodecim tribus Israël. Et omnis qui reliquerit domum, vel fratres, aut sorores, aut patrem, aut matrem, aut uxorem, aut filios, aut agros, propter nomen meum, centuplum accipiet, et vitam aeternam possidebit.

Offertorium. Gen. 32, 9.
Revertere in terram tuam, et in locum nativitatis tuæ, et benefaciam tibi.

Propitius esto, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, et intercessione beati Alexii Confessoris tui, omnium nostrum ad te corda converte: ut a mundanis cupiditatibus expediti, te solum pura mente sectemur. Per Dñm.

Communio. Job. 19, 15 et Ps. 26, 10.
Inquilini domus meæ, et ancillæ meæ sicut alienum habuerunt me, et quasi peregrinus fui in oculis eorum: Dominus autem assumpsit me.

Sumpsimus, Domine, sacri dona mysterii, humiliter deprecantes: ut beatum Alexium Confessorem tuum, quem admirabilem in mundi contemptu prædicamus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in cælis. Per Dñm.


Introit. Gen. 12, 1.
Go forth out of thy country, and out of thy father’s house, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
Ps. 44, 11-12. Forget thy people and thy father’s house: and the king shall greatly desire thy beauty.
V. Glory be.

O God, who didst make blessed Alexius thy Confessor wonderful in contempt of the world: grant, we beg, that by the help of his intercession, thy faithful may despise earthly things, and ever aspire to things heavenly. Through our Lord…

A Lesson from an Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy. 1 Tim. 6, 6-12.

Dearly beloved: Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold on eternal life.

Graduale. Jer. 12, 7. I have forsaken my house, I have left my inheritance.
V. Ps. 72, 28. For it is good for me to adhere to God, to put my hope in the Lord God.

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Ps. 5, 8 et 131, 14. I will come into thy house; this is my rest for ever and ever: here will I dwell, for I have chosen it.

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew. Matt. 19, 27-29.

At that time: Peter said to Jesus: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.

Offertory. Gen. 32, 9.
Return to thy land and to the place of thy birth, and I will do well for thee.

Be propitious, O Lord, to our supplications, and by the intercession of blessed Alexius thy Confessor, convert all our hearts to thee: that set free from worldly desires, we may seek thee alone with a pure mind. Through our Lord…

Communion. Job. 19, 15 et Ps. 26, 10.
They that dwelt in my house, and my maidservants have counted me a stranger, and I have been like an alien in their eyes: but the Lord hath taken me up.

We have received, O Lord, the gifts of [thy] sacred mysteries, humbly praying, that blessed Alexius thy Confessor, whom we proclaim on earth [to be] admirable in contempt of the world, we may deserve to have as an intercessor in heaven. Through our Lord…

Friday, May 4, 2018

Hymns for St Monica

In honour of St Monica, whose feast occurs today, here follows an opening invocation, and then a longer account of her life, being the hymns for each Hour of a Little Office in her honour, all from a little booklet published in Munich at the end of the seventeenth century (Officium Novum cum Litaniis S. Monicæ Matris S. Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi, et Ecclesiæ Doctoris Eximii. Monachii. Typis Joannis Lucæ Straubii, 1695). As for both the metre is and the rhyme scheme AABCCB, they would serve better in liturgical use as a rhyming antiphon and a sequence respectively. It will be seen that the successive first letters of each line of the Invocation and Commendation spell out Sancta Monica; moreover, the successive first letters of the last word in each line of the Commendation spell out adjuva filios. May she indeed help her spiritual sons!


Salve, decus feminarum,
Atque norma viduarum,
Nostra, salve, gloria,
Cujus lacrymis debemus
Tanta (quibus indigemus)
Augustini merita.

Magna Parens nos clientes,
Omnes tuis impendentes
Nostras vires laudibus,
Intellectum, voluntatem,
Cor, et omnem facultatem
Addimus applausibus. Amen.


Ad Matutinum. Hymnus.

Ab æterno plurimorum
Quondam Mater filiorum
Præelecta Monica
Ex parentibus honestis,
Perdevotis ac modestis
Nascitur in Africa.

Ab his pie educata,
Cunctarumque exornata
Est virtutum genere:
Æmulas hinc accendebat,
Omnibusque prælucebat
Pietatis munere.

Ad Primam. Hymnus.

Sic virtutibus exculta,
Atque annis jam adulta
Jungitur Patritio
Sponsa viro perdilecta,
Pia, prudens, circumspecta,
Carens omni vitio.

Is cum esset præceps ira,
Perque verba petens dira
Innocentem conjugem,
Cuncta silens perferebat;
Sic per suam corrigebat
Virum mansuetudinem.

Ad Tertiam. Hymnus.

Augustinum cælo datum,
Et ad alta destinatum
Læta parit filium,
Quem ob lumen secuturum,
Jam in spiritu futurum
Dixerat Aurelium.

Hunc ad omnem pietatis,
Optatæque probitatis
Componebat semitam,
Dans cum lacte Jesu nomen,
Velut veram cordis gnomen
Ac salutis tesseram.

Ad Sextam. Hymnus.

Sed incassum sunt hæc nato
Ad perversa inclinato
Sana Matris monita:
Abit, et Manichæorum
Novem spatio annorum
Tenet falsa dogmata.

Sentibus his irretitum,
Vinculisque compeditum
Mater luget filium;
Piæ lacrymæ parentis
Rogant Dei miserentis
Desuper auxilium.

Ad Nonam. Hymnus.

Audi, Mater, consolantem
Et afflictæ prophetantem
Præsulem Ambrosium,
Posse neutiquam tantarum
Precum, atque lacrymarum
Deperire filium.

Eja ergo! Phœbus splendet
(Salus filii impendet)
Fletuum post nubila:
En jam Deum adorantem
Augustinum, tecum stantem
In eadem regula.

Ad Vesperas. Hymnus.

Post Baptismum Roman pergit
Augustinus, inde vergit
Tiberis ad Ostia:
Hic cum ventos expectaret,
Ut in Africam mearet
Cum Parente Monica.

Ad fenestram incumbentes,
Et de cælo colloquentes
Soli valde dulciter,
Spretis mundi his figmentis
De supernis jam fluentis
Delibarunt suaviter.

Ad Completorium. Hymnus.

Tota viribus jam fracta,
Atque voti compos facta
De salute filii,
Ait: dum me sepelitis,
Mei memores tunc sitis
Ad Altare Domini.

Ergo cælis implantanda,
Angelisque socianda
Ad æterna avolat,
Super uno peccatore
Pænitentiam agente
Ut post fletum gaudeat.


Sublevamen anxiatis,
Ac solamen desolatis,
Nobis præsta indig[n]is;
Corda Deo fac unita,
Tribuatur per te vita
Animabus aridis.

Mentem firma fluctuantem,
Orci nobis inhiantem
Noctem pelle lumine;
In æternum jubilare,
Contra hostes nos ovare,
Ac salvari, satage. Amen.