Sunday, November 10, 2019

Prayers for a Desecrated Church

A priest I know happily followed a suggestion to add these prayers at Mass today, and I trust many, many more did, all over the world – even at side altars in St Peter’s, one hopes; indeed, especially there.

For the Reconciliation of a Church or Cemetery 
Deus, qui dixísti: Domus mea domus oratiónis vocábitur: domum istam infidélium spurcítiis contaminátam mundáre et sanctificáre dignéris; et ómnium preces et vota hoc in loco ad te clamántium cleménter exáudias, et benígnus suscípias. Per Dóminum. 
(O God, who hast said: My house shall be called a house of prayer*: deign to cleanse and hallow that house contaminated by the filth of infidels; and both clemently hear and benignly receive the prayers and vows of all crying to thee in this place. Through our Lord…)  
 * Is. 56, 7; Matt. 21, 13; Marc. 11, 17; cf. Luc. 19, 46
Hæc hóstia, quǽsumus, Dómine, et locum istum ab ómnibus immundítiis expúrget: et supplicatiónes nostras semper et ubíque reddat tibi accéptas. Per Dóminum. 
(May this sacrifice, we beg, Lord, both purge that place from all uncleannesses, and render our supplications always and everywhere acceptable unto thee. Through our Lord…) 
Percipiéntes, Dómine, múnera salútis ætérnæ súpplices exorámus: ut templum hoc et cœmetérium, ab infidélium inquinaméntis emundátum, benedictióne tua máneat sanctificátum; et péctora nostra ab omni sorde vitiórum alienáta tibíque devóta semper exsístant. Per Dóminum. 
(Securing, Lord, the gifts of everlasting salvation, begging we pray thee: that this temple and cemetery†, cleansed from the filth of infidels, may remain sanctified by thy blessing, and may our hearts exist alienated from every filth of vices and ever devoted unto thee. Through our Lord…)
† St Peter’s Basilica is built over an early Christian cemetery – indeed, St Peter himself is buried directly below the high altar. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Senatus Populusque Martialis

The Pope-of-Mars-elect (or should that be the Pope-elect-of-Mars?) has graciously vouchsafed to inform me as his unworthy servant and private secretary that, once his reign begins after touch-down, he will be assisted in his temporal duties by several officials and institutions sensibly based upon those used in the Eternal City down through the ages. After all, the Papal States on Earth were known for their good governance, weren’t they? 

Oh dear… anyway, the Empire worked well, till it declined and fell, and the same is true of the Republic before that, not to mention the present Italian Republic and former Italian Kingdoms and petty states too, as exemplified by many famous political theorists and statesmen such as Berlusconi, Mussolini and Machiavelli. Hmmm… But in any case, Mars will certainly be run better – it won’t be very difficult to surpass the current low level of governance on Earth!

Sancte Michaël Archangele, defende nos in prœlio!

By the way, another proposed decision of His future Holiness ought be mentioned, prior to its official promulgation: idle googling having revealed the embarrassing fact that the planet Mars is associated by some bad folk with Azazel (to whom the scapegoat was driven off into the desert), all such nasty nonsense is going to be quashed and replaced with St Michael Archangel as Patron and Guardian of Mars.

Phobos eclipsing Deimos in real time

But to return to what is the topic of this update: to advise His Holiness in matters political, and in honour of the two moons of the Red Planet, two Consuls, the Deimotic and the Phobic, will be appointed each year; suffect Consuls will be appointed as replacements as needed, taking the place of one or the other. Likewise, in the New City, or Fourth Rome (the first three* having been on the Third Planet, naturally the fourth must be on the Fourth), there will be established a Martian Senate of six hundred, the lists of its members to be wisely chosen and regularly revised by the diligence of the Holy Father, though all such need not attend sessions – it being understood that Senators, as in Old Rome during the Empire, should attend the House only when they have agreed to vote placet (“yes”), just as is expected in Roman synods today.

There’s always one who won’t vote how they’re expected to...

[* For the moment, let us not worry about including in this count either the multifarious localities named Rome in sixteen of the United States of America, or the Paris Métro station of the same name.]

In addition to this, it will now be clear why St Paul VI in a pathetic yet ultimately prophetic gesture all but abandoned the Papal Nobility, as that has left open a void (quod Natura abhorret) for the soon-to-be-elected Supreme Pontiff of Mars to fill by creating many new Princes and Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises and Marquises, Counts and Countesses, and Barons and Baronesses of the Holy Martian Church – some titles to be hereditary, some to be granted ad personam (depending on the merits displayed and/or level of financial contribution provided). Similarly, various equestrian orders will be established (for knighthoods, only modest talents or fees will suffice).

A Martian in native dress

It goes without saying that all of these serried ranks will be merely nominal dignities and sinecures of the sort beloved by those Catholic laity most likely to seek a one-way ticket to Mars. Of course, all actual and meaningful power of governance, temporal as well as spiritual, will remain in the Martian Sovereign Pontiff: after all, the Church has long recognised that the only sure, safe and certain guarantee of orthodoxy and the tranquillity of order is to ensure that the First See is judged by none, no matter what. What could possibly go wrong?

For utterly the same reason, the right of electing the Sovereign Pontiff (so frivolously and so foolishly exercised on Earth, as history sadly teaches) will be taken away from the Cardinals, and each Pope of Mars will simply name his own successor in his last will and testament, to be read out to the Cardinals in Conclave assembled after the Pope’s demise, but kept meanwhile in pectore, so as to preserve the traditional surprise of the announcement Habemus Papam by the Dean of the College of Cardinals. Prior to this, the incineration of the late Pope’s will will supply the necessary very small puff of smoke, oxygen being at a premium on Mars.

A Prince-Bishop (of Andorra, not Mars)

Finally, as settlements spread across Mars, the principle of subsidiarity dictates that local forms of government be introduced: and for this reason, in due season ecclesiastical principalities large and small will be established under the rule of Prince-Archbishops, Prince-Bishops, Prince-Abbots and Princess-Abbesses.

Speaking of Princess-Abbesses, it is good to see that consecrated women will assert their lawful authority on one planet at least; indeed, what on Earth has for many centuries past been granted only to Carthusian nuns will be extended on Mars to all women in solemn vows and Papal enclosure – they will all be consecrated as deaconesses. Amazonis Planitia is one of the youngest and smoothest of the great northern plains of Mars, after all.

Votive Mass for Oxygen

Let every thing that hath breath : praise the Lord. 
— Ps, 150, 6 (Ordinariate Psalter)

We should always work as if all depends on us, whilst ever praying knowing that all depends on God – to this end, for the benefit of future Martian Catholics, I subjoin a proposed Votive Mass from the forthcoming editio princeps of the Missale Martianum, in its native Latin first, to which is appended an unofficial English translation. It will be noted that the orations are of the neo-Gallican type, being pastiches of Scriptural texts, which may betray a Baroque tendency in their compiler!


Missa votiva pro oxygenio
ex Missali Martiano

Introitus Sap. 2, 1. 2. 3
Exiguum est tempus vitæ nostræ, quoniam fumus flatus est in naribus nostris: et transibit vita nostra tamquam vestigium nubis, et sicut nebula dissolvetur. (T.P. Alleluja, alleluja.)
Ps. 38, 14 Remitte mihi, ut refrigerer priusquam abeam et amplius non ero.
V. Gloria Patri.

Non dicitur Gloria in excelsis.

Oratio Cf. Dan. 5, 23 & 2 Mach. 7, 23
Deus, mundi Creator, qui habes flatum nostrum in manu tua, et omnes vias nostras: spiritum nostrum iterum cum misericordia redde et vitam. Per.

Lectio Danielis Prophetæ. 10, 2-19

In diebus illis ego Daniel lugebam trium hebdomadarum diebus: panem desiderabilem non comedi, et caro et vinum non introierunt in os meum, sed neque unguento unctus sum, donec complerentur trium hebdomadarum dies. Die autem vigesima et quarta mensis primi, eram juxta fluvium magnum, qui est Tigris. Et levavi oculos meos, et vidi: et ecce vir unus vestitus lineis, et renes ejus accincti auro obrizo: et corpus ejus quasi chrysolithus, et facies ejus velut species fulguris, et oculi ejus ut lampas ardens: et brachia ejus, et quæ deorsum sunt usque ad pedes, quasi species aëris candentis: et vox sermonum ejus ut vox multitudinis. Vidi autem ego Daniel solus visionem: porro viri qui erant mecum non viderunt, sed terror nimius irruit super eos, et fugerunt in absconditum. Ego autem relictus solus vidi visionem grandem hanc: et non remansit in me fortitudo, sed et species mea immutata est in me, et emarcui, nec habui quidquam virium. Et audivi vocem sermonum ejus: et audiens jacebam consternatus super faciem meam, et vultus meus hærebat terræ. Et ecce manus tetigit me, et erexit me super genua mea, et super articulos manuum mearum. Et dixit ad me: Daniel vir desideriorum, intellige verba quæ ego loquor ad te, et sta in gradu tuo: nunc enim sum missus ad te. Cumque dixisset mihi sermonem istum, steti tremens. Et ait ad me: Noli metuere, Daniel: quia ex die primo, quo posuisti cor tuum ad intelligendum ut te affligeres in conspectu Dei tui, exaudita sunt verba tua: et ego veni propter sermones tuos. Princeps autem regni Persarum restitit mihi viginti et uno diebus: et ecce Michaël, unus de principibus primis, venit in adjutorium meum, et ego remansi ibi juxta regem Persarum. Veni autem ut docerem te quæ ventura sunt populo tuo in novissimis diebus, quoniam adhuc visio in dies. Cumque loqueretur mihi hujuscemodi verbis, dejeci vultum meum ad terram, et tacui. Et ecce quasi similitudo filii hominis tetigit labia mea: et aperiens os meum locutus sum, et dixi ad eum, qui stabat contra me: Domine mi, in visione tua dissolutæ sunt compages meæ, et nihil in me remansit virium. Et quomodo poterit servus domini mei loqui cum domino meo? nihil enim in me remansit virium, sed et halitus meus intercluditur. Rursum ergo tetigit me quasi visio hominis, et confortavit me, et dixit: Noli timere, vir desideriorum: pax tibi confortare, et esto robustus. Cumque loqueretur mecum, convalui, et dixi: Loquere, domine mi, quia confortasti me.

Graduale Ps. 103, 29-30
Auferes spiritum eorum, et deficient, et in pulverem suum revertentur.
V. Emittes spiritum tuum, et creabuntur; et renovabis faciem terræ.

Alleluja, alleluja.
V. Job 32, 20 Aperiam labia mea, et loquar, et respirabo paululum.

Post Septuagesimam, omissis Alleluja et versu sequenti, dicitur:

Tractus Job 33, 4; 27, 3; 32, 20
Spiritus Dei fecit me, et spiraculum Omnipotentis vivificavit me.
V. Quia donec superest halitus in me, et spiritus Dei in naribus meis.
V. Aperiam labia mea, et loquar, et respirabo paululum.

Tempore autem paschali omittitur graduale, et ejus loco dicitur:

Alleluja, alleluja.
V. Job 27, 3 Quia donec superest halitus in me, et spiritus Dei in naribus meis.
V. Job 32, 20 Aperiam labia mea, et loquar, et respirabo paululum.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. 7, 11-16

In illo tempore: Ibat Jesus in civitatem quæ vocatur Naim: et ibant cum eo discipuli ejus et turba copiosa. Cum autem appropinquaret portæ civitatis, ecce defunctus efferebatur filius unicus matris suæ: et hæc vidua erat: et turba civitatis multa cum illa. Quam cum vidisset Dominus, misericordia motus super eam, dixit illi: Noli flere. Et accessit, et tetigit loculum. (Hi autem qui portabant, steterunt.) Et ait: Adolescens, tibi dico, surge. Et resedit qui erat mortuus, et cœpit loqui. Et dedit illum matri suæ. Accepit autem omnes timor: et magnificabant Deum, dicentes: Quia propheta magnus surrexit in nobis: et quia Deus visitavit plebem suam.

Offertorium Is. 42, 5 & 8a
Hæc dicit Dominus Deus, creans cælos, et extendens eos; formans terram, et quæ germinant ex ea, dans flatum populo qui est super eam, et spiritum calcantibus eam: ego Dominus, hoc est nomen meum. (T.P. Alleluja.)

Secreta Cf. Dan. 10, 17-18 & Is. 42, 5 & Ps. 106, 22
Domine Deus, cujus angelus Danielem prophetiam, cum halitum ejus intercluderetur, confortavit: da, quæsumus, flatum et spiritum populo tuo, ut tibi sacrificent sacrificium laudis. Per.

Præfatio communis.

Communio Gen. 2, 7
Dominus Deus inspiravit in faciem hominis spiraculum vitæ, et factus est homo in animam viventem. (T.P. Alleluja.)

Postcommunio Cf. Act. 17, 24 & 25 & 28
Deus, qui fecisti mundum et omnia quæ in eo sunt: da omnibus, quæsumus, vitam et inspirationem et omnia; in quo vivimus et movemur et sumus. Per.


Votive Mass for Oxygen
from the Martian Missal

Introit Wis. 2, 1. 2. 3
The time of our life is short, for the breath in our nostrils is smoke: and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist. (P.T. Alleluia, Alleluia.)
Ps. 38, 14 O forgive me, that I may be refreshed, before I go hence, and be no more.
V. Glory be.

The Gloria in excelsis is not said.

Collect Cf. Dan. 5, 23 & 2 Mach. 7, 23
O God, Creator of the world, who hast our breath in thy hand, and all our ways: restore to us again in mercy both breath and life. Through.

A lesson from the Prophet Daniel. 10, 2-19

In those days: I Daniel mourned the days of three weeks. I ate no desirable bread, and neither flesh, nor wine entered into my mouth, neither was I anointed with ointment: till the days of three weeks were accomplished. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month I was by the great river which is the Tigris. And I lifted up my eyes, and I saw: and behold a man clothed in linen, and his loins were girded with the finest gold: and his body was like the chrysolite, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as a burning lamp: and his arms, and all downward even to the feet, like in appearance to glittering brass: and the voice of his word like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw it not: but an exceeding great terror fell upon them, and they fled away, and hid themselves. And I being left alone saw this great vision: and there remained no strength in me, and the appearance of my countenance was changed in me, and I fainted away, and retained no strength. And I heard the voice of his words: and when I heard, I lay in a consternation, upon my face, and my face was close to the ground. And behold a hand touched me, and lifted me up upon my knees, and upon the joints of my hands. And he said to me: Daniel, thou man of desires, understand the words that I speak to thee, and stand upright: for I am sent now to thee. And when he had said this word to me, I stood trembling. And he said to me: Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thy heart to understand, to afflict thyself in the sight of thy God, thy words have been heard: and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me one and twenty days: and behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I remained there by the king of the Persians. But I am come to teach thee what things shall befall thy people in the latter days, for as yet the vision is for days. And when he was speaking such words to me, I cast down my countenance to the ground, and held my peace. And behold, as it were the likeness of a son of man touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said to him that stood before me: O my lord, at the sight of thee my joints are loosed, and no strength hath remained in me. And how can the servant of my lord speak with my lord? for no strength remaineth in me, moreover my breath is stopped. Therefore he that looked like a man touched me again, and strengthened me. And he said: Fear not, O man of desires, peace be to thee: take courage and be strong. And when he spoke to me, I grew strong: and I said: Speak, O my lord, for thou hast strengthened me.

Gradual Ps. 103, 29b-30
Thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall fail, and shall return to their dust.
V. Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Job 32, 20 I will open my lips, and I will speak and take breath a little.

After Septuagesima, omitting Alleluia and the verse following, is said:

Tract Job 33, 4; 27, 3; 32, 20
The spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty gave me life.
V. For as long as breath remaineth in me, and the spirit of God in my nostrils.
V. I will open my lips, and I will speak and take breath a little.

In Paschal Time, however, the gradual is omitted, and in its place is said:

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Job 27, 3 For as long as breath remaineth in me, and the spirit of God in my nostrils.
V. Job 32, 20 I will open my lips, and I will speak and take breath a little.

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Luke. 7, 11-16

At that time: Jesus went into a city that is called Naim; and there went with him his disciples, and a great multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow: and a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: Weep not. And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it, stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to thee, arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people.

Offertory Is. 42, 5 & 8a
Thus saith the Lord God, creating the heavens, and stretching them out: establishing the earth, and the things that spring out of it: giving breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that tread thereon: I the Lord, this is my name. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Secret Cf. Dan. 10, 17-18; Is. 42, 5; Ps. 106, 22
Lord God, whose angel didst strengthen the prophet Daniel when his breath was stopped: give, we beg, breath and spirit to thy people, that to thee they may sacrifice the sacrifice of praise. Through.

The Common Preface.

Communion Gen. 2, 7
The Lord God breathed into the face of man the breath of life, and man became a living soul. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Postcommunion Cf. Act. 17, 24 & 25 & 28
O God, who didst make the world and all things that are therein: give to all, we beg, life, and breath, and all things; in whom we live and move and are. Through.