Most unexpectedly, Mass this evening for the 24th and Last Sunday after Pentecost was a Missa cantata, expertly sung by a cantor, who chanted the Gregorian Propers and led the congregation in the Asperges, Mass XI (Orbis factor), Credo I and the responses. This was a beautiful gift from God to yet more bless his people!
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Monday, November 7, 2022
The Manner of Hearing Mass
For some years, I have found the most convenient way to hear Mass, since there is only a monthly Latin Mass here, is to split the difference between hearing Sunday Mass at my nearby parish church (which is quite orthodox, and even features the use of incense) and having to drive for hours to go to the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The way I do this is by attending my local parish Mass, and bringing my layfolk’s hand missal with me, from which I read the Mass propers of the day, while joining in the responses made by all, and sitting, standing or kneeling in conformity with the usual congregational postures.
A few minutes or more before Mass begins, I recite to myself the prayers at the foot of the altar: In nomine Patris... Introibo ad altare Dei... Judica me Deus... Introibo... Adjutorium... Confiteor... Misereatur... Indulgentiam... (changing the last three to their forms for use at Compline when no priest is present) Deus tu conversus... Ostende nobis Domine... Domine exaudi orationem... (omitting the Dominus vobiscum...) Oremus... Aufer a nobis... Oramus te Domine... (changing the last prayer to the first person plural and adding Per Christum Dominum nostrum).
To these prayers, I adjoin the following statement of intention (from a brief formula of preparation for Mass, adding the phrase per manus sacerdotis tui – “by the hands of thy priest”): Domine Jesu Christe, in unione illius divinæ intentionis, qua ipse in ultima cœna, et in ara crucis, sacrificium corporis et sanguinis tui Deo Patri obtulisti, hoc idem sacrificium ei offerre intendo, per manus sacerdotis tui. Complaceat sibi, o Jesu, in te; et per te propitius nobis sit in vitam æternam. Amen.
Then, I read the Introit of the day from my old missal – my preference is to “triple” the Introit, by reading the Introit antiphon between its psalm verse and the doxology, as well as before and after as usual.
The Outset of Mass
All that done, I can then, if I choose, join in singing the processional hymn, before making the sign of the Cross, replying to the priest’s salutation, participating in the penitential act, and singing along with the Kyrie (and Gloria in excelsis). But while the priest reads the Collect (to which I respond Amen), I read the traditional Collect from my missal – to which I often add, for reasons of devotion, other Collects also (which fills up the time taken for the Old Testament reading to be read).
Typically, after the Collect of the Day (say, that of the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost), I will add the Collect of the Saint of the Day, if any, followed by the Votive Collect in honour of Our Lady and All the Saints, the Votive Collect for the Living and the Dead, the Collect from the Mass in Time of War, the Collect from the Mass in Time of Pestilence, and the Collect from the Mass for the Sick – all of these extra collects being read together with only one concluding formula at the very end. While I do not follow the exact rules about the particular collects to be read at Mass, I try to employ an odd number of Collects, not exceeding seven; I do likewise for the Secret and Postcommunion.
To prevent appearing too singular, I still make the correct response after the first reading, and join in the response to the Responsorial Psalm (which is a good way to check my short-term memory). Then I read the Epistle and following chants from my missal (repeating the respond of the Gradual after its verse), join in singing the Alleluia if the tune is one I know, respond to the priest as he introduces the Gospel – and read the traditional pericope while he reads the one prescribed in the modern Lectionary. (Often at the end of the reading I will pray inwardly, Per Evangelica dicta, deleantur nostra delicta.) All that done, I can settle back and relax while the sermon is preached.
After the Sermon
I join in the Creed – if unfortunately the Apostles’ Creed is read, during the Prayers of the Faithful I read the Nicene Creed in Latin sotto voce, but making the correct response to each petition and the final prayer thereof. As I am used to the gracious English custom of inserting a “Hail Mary...” before the concluding prayer of the general intercessions, if one isn't said, I’ll inwardly say one anyway. Once all those prayers are over, I read the Offertory from my missal (to which I would ideally add the Offertory verses as well), and follow it with Domine exaudi... (as substitute for the priestly Dominus vobiscum...), Oremus and the Secret (plus other Secrets corresponding to whichever additional Collects I may have read earlier).
That done, I can join in the Offertory hymn if I choose; I make the usual replies to the priest’s prayers, up to and including the Sursum corda dialogue, but I read the appropriate traditional Preface in Latin while the celebrant reads the modern Preface, then join in singing the Sanctus. Note that I do not read to myself any of the traditional Offertory prayers, as they are proper to the priest alone, apart from saying to myself when censed, “The Lord enkindle in us the fire of his love, and the flame of everlasting charity” – in Latin, Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris, et flammam æternæ caritatis. Amen.
During the Canon
It is too difficult to attempt to read the Roman Canon in Latin to yourself during the Eucharistic Prayer (especially if it is E.P. II), so simply attend to the actual words being prayed. Sometimes my parish priest uses the Roman Canon, which is the best; but I don’t mind his use of E.P. III or IV either.
As the Canon is recited silently by the priest in the Traditional Mass, ne impediatur populus orare (lest the people be impeded from praying), as Lyndwood, a noted mediæval English canonist stated, in other words, each layman ought pray as he can during the Eucharistic Prayer – while for years I used to read silently the Roman Canon, initially in English, and latterly in Latin, while the priest prayed it, for a long time now I have instead quietly recited the five decades of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (in Latin) and its concluding triple Trinitarian petition; but when perforce at the Novus Ordo, this is not possible, so instead I listen to what the priest prays aloud, and add my own short silent invocations throughout.
At the consecratory Epiclesis, addressing the Three Divine Persons, I pray, Jube, Domine, benedicere, and Veni, Sancte Spiritus, and Veni, Domine Jesu, and, at the end thereof Amen, Amen, Amen.
At the Words of Consecration, I inwardly pray an Amen after every phrase, adding the Mozarabic formula Sic credimus, Domine Jesu, after the last Amen, the ancient Irish or Gallican phrase pro sæcula vita after the words of the Consecration of the Host, and the traditional Roman phrase mysterium fidei in its position amongst the words of the Consecration of the Chalice.
At each Elevation, I adore Our Lord, truly, really and substantially present in his Body and Blood, saying inwardly Omnis gloria tibi, Domine Altissime, then Dominus meus et Deus meus and Salva nos, plus In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in æternum, followed by Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere, and a final Amen, Alleluja (or a triple Amen when Alleluja is not said).
After the Memorial Acclamation (or in place of it), I recite the stanza O salutaris Hostia..., as was the old French practice.
At the communion Epiclesis, I make the sign of the Cross at the mention of the coming reception of Christ’s Body and Blood, and the consequent infusion of the Holy Spirit; at the memorial of the faithful departed, I say Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem thrice, adding sempiternam and Amen after the last invocation.
During the Canon’s magnificent concluding doxology Per ipsum, marked as it is by the Little Elevation of Host and Chalice, I bow my head (as was the Dominican custom) at omnis honor et gloria.
From the Lord’s Prayer until Communion Time
Ideally I should silently say Oremus before the priest exhorts all to join in the Lord’s Prayer, and then I join with all in singing or saying it. But while he then reads the modern version of the Embolism, I instead recite the traditional Libera nos quæsumus, pausing to give the reply – how crazy, though, to make a doxology into the people’s response! – to its modern form, then complete the Libera and its proper doxology while the priest says the prayer for peace, so I am in time to reply to the Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
Thankfully, the pandemic has reduced the exchange of the sign of peace from an irreverent melee heedless of the worship due to the divine Lamb upon the altar (but instead more reminiscent of the wanton rioting of the children of Israel in honour of the Golden Calf) into a more restrained and dignified silent nod of the head to those nearby.
Next, I join in singing the Agnus Dei, and once the priest has led the congregation in the Ecce Agnus Dei, I recite the Domine non sum dignus once aloud in the vernacular in union with all, then twice more in Latin. As there probably would not have been sufficient time to recite the third Confiteor before that point, instead I pray quietly the Confiteor, Misereatur and Indulgentiam in the time remaining before receiving Communion.
During and after Holy Communion
Not always, but sometimes, I say some short prayers to myself as I go forward to communicate, such as the three following chants:
(a) a version of the Mozarabic communion chant Gustate, et videte quam suavis est Dominus, * Alleluja, alleluja, alleluja. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore; semper laus ejus in ore meo. * Alleluja... In Domino laudabitur anima mea: audiant mansueti, et lætentur. * Alleluja... Magnificate Dominum mecum, et exaltemus nomen ejus in idipsum. * Alleluja... Accedite ad eum, et illuminamini; et facies vestræ non confundentur. * Alleluja... Beatus vir qui sperat in eo. * Alleluja... (Ps. 33, 9. 2-4. 6. 9)
(b) a Latin translation of the Cherubic Hymn at the Great Entrance of the Presanctified Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite: Nunc virtutes cælorum cum nobis invisibiliter adorant: ecce Rex gloriæ introit. Ecce mysticum et perfectum sacrificium hic deduxant: appropinquemus cum fidelitate et desiderio, ut facti simus participes vitæ æternæ, alleluja.
(c) the Gallican communion chant Venite, populi, ad sacrum et immortale mysterium, et libamen agendum: cum timore et fide accedamus, manibus mundis: pœnitentiæ munus communicemus: quoniam Agnus Dei propter nos Patri sacrificium propositum est. Ipsum solum adoremus: ipsum glorificemus cum Angelis clamantes: Alleluja.
Ideally, if circumstances permit, I receive Communion “kneeling on the tongue – not standing on the hand” (and as there is an altar rail at which to kneel in my parish church, doing so is my usual practice there), but I always remember that there is no sin in either approved method, and wish to avoid giving scandal to others, whether clergy or layfolk, who are so fixed in their ways as to be ignorant of this.
Having returned to my pew, I say to myself Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat me in vitam æternam. Amen. – note I do not use the Roman phrase animam meam, but the more direct Dominican me – while making the sign of the Cross. Then I pray the Sarum Ave in æternum sanctissima Caro Christi, mihi ante omnia et super omnia summa dulcedo, which I follow with the Ave verum... and the modified Mozarabic chant Refecti Christi Corpore, te laudamus, Domine, alleluja, alleluja, alleluja. Gloria et honor Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. Alleluja, alleluja, alleluja. Refecti Christi Corpore, te laudamus, Domine, alleluja, alleluja, alleluja. Sometimes I may add the antiphon O sacrum convivium... and the Gospel canticle Nunc dimittis... Of course, sometimes the Communion hymn is quite decent, and I will join in singing some or all of it.
In the time remaining before the priest says the Prayer after Communion (to which I of course respond Amen), I read the Communion antiphon of the day from my old missal, and follow that with Domine exaudi... (again substituting for the priestly Dominus vobiscum...), Oremus and the relevant Postcommunion(s). Then I make the usual replies to the priest’s final words, receive his blessing, and may sing the recessional hymn, or not, while also reciting the Marian Anthem of the season – though I don’t tend to read the Last Gospel to myself, though I could and indeed sometimes do so.
When kneeling down after Mass has ended, I often say the following prayer, taken from of all places the 1954 South African Book of Common Prayer, which is evidently an English version of the Placeat tibi, rendered suitable for lay use:
LOOK with favour, most Holy Trinity, on this our act of worship and service; and may this sacrifice set forth before thine eyes be acceptable to thy Divine Majesty, and avail for us and all for whom we have offered it; who livest and reignest, [ever] one God, [blessed for ever,] world without end. Amen.
Sunday, September 11, 2022
May the Queen Rest in Peace; God Save the King
R. Et exáudi nos in die qua invocavérimus te. (Cf. Ps. 19, 9)
Quǽsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut fámulus tuus Cárolus rex noster, qui tua miseratióne suscépit regni gubernácula, virtútum étiam ómnium percípiat increménta; quibus decénter ornátus, et vitiórum monstra devitáre, [in tempore belli: hostes superáre,] et ad te, qui via, véritas et vita es (cf. Joan. 14, 6), [cum regína consórte et prole régia,] gratiósus váleat perveníre. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
If High Mass is Too Short
If High Mass is too short, to begin with, a vernacular hymn can be sung beforehand, during the procession of the sacred ministers and servers from the sacristy, out through its exterior door, down along beside the outside of the church and in through the great west doors (or, during inclement weather, down one of the side aisles to the back of the church), then up the central aisle to the altar. In addition to this, or as an alternative, the former custom of many churches of France could be adopted – to sing the Veni Creator, with the usual versicle and collect, before Mass. (On Sundays, of course, the usual sprinkling of holy water during the Asperges, versicles and collect would immediately precede the Introit.)
As adjuncts to preaching, vernacular hymns before and after the sermon could be sung, such singing being an old German custom. And of course the sermon itself could begin with the sign of the cross, the reading of the Scriptural text upon which the sermon is founded and developed, and a prefatory “Hail Mary”, while at its end the sermon could end with an ascription of praise, to which some suitable versicle (for example, on Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesu, Pastor bone, – Miserere nobis) could be appended, and then the sign of the cross for a conclusion.
(I pass over in respectful silence the potentially limitless extension of the duration of High Mass by the indefatigable expatiations of the preacher himself...)
Furthermore, following various customs of old time, traditional forms of intercessory prayer could be read after the sermon, such as that known in France as Prône, consisting of prayers for the living (Psalm 122, Kyrie, Pater noster, several versicles and a collect) and the dead (Psalm 129, several more versicles and another collect).
After Mass ends, at the conclusion of the Last Gospel, it is in many places the pious custom for the sacred ministers and servers to process first to the Lady Chapel and there lead the singing of the seasonal Marian anthem, with its versicle and collect. (In England, of course, the prescribed versicle and collect for the Queen would first be chanted; in France, the equivalent versicle is sung thrice before the Postcommunion.) After that, a recessional hymn in the vernacular could suitably be sung while they depart by the long way, down the central aisle, then out the west doors and back around the outside of the church to the sacristy (or, if the weather is unfavourable, returning thence via one of the side aisles).
To summarize, these are suitable optional additions to High Mass:
1. Before (Asperges and) Mass:
(a) Processional Hymn
(b) Veni Creator, versicle & collect
2. At Sermon:
(a) Hymn before Sermon
(b) Sign of the Cross, text & Hail Mary before Sermon
(c) Final ascription of praise, then versicle & Sign of the Cross after Sermon
(d) Hymn after Sermon
(e) Intercessory Prayers
3. After Mass:
(a) Marian anthem, versicle & collect
(b) Recessional Hymn
Such an addition of up to four hymns would afford a valuable opportunity for congregational singing of quality vernacular hymnody, in addition to the chanting of the Ordinary (either led by the choir, or sung in parts by them alone), and the Proper (by the choir alone). It goes without saying that the choir would typically also sing suitable Offertory and Communion Motets – and, following the French custom, it could add an Elevation Motet (O salutaris hostia, or Ave verum, or Pie Jesu at Masses for the dead).
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Votive Matins in Time of War
Whilst Ukraine and her heroic people and armed forces continue to give the Russian bear a bloody nose, cease not to pray for the victory and deliverance of Ukraine – and to this end, I have drawn up the following Votive Matins in Time of War:
(Totum secreto) Ave María, grátia plena; Dóminus tecum: benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus fructus ventris tui Jesus. (Cf. Luc. 1, 28. 42) Sancta María, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatóribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostræ. Amen.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Papal Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Saviour of the world, save Russia – from all the wickedness of her tyrannical government, from all her mad dreams of empire and unjust domination, from all her shameful prostitution of the Gospel and supposedly orthodox Christianity in the service of a junior antichrist, from all her cynical perversion of the truth into lies, from all the endemic lawlessness, impunity, thuggery, amorality and corruption of her criminal elite, from all the complicity of her military, administration and everyday people in evil, from all her hateful crimes against the people of Ukraine and other nations – and save us all from our sins, for all have sinned; granting this in thy mercy at the prayers and all-prevailing supplications of the Most Holy Mother of God. Her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
To this end, pray as the Pope will pray in Rome on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, Anno Domini 2022, and join in the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Canon of Supplication to the All-Holy Theotokos
I have been praying, each day, for the deliverance of Ukraine from the wicked war waged against her, a Canon of Supplication to the All-holy Theotokos (available online as part of the Rite Chanted in Time of Attack by Aliens, after the propers used at the Divine Liturgy and before eight very long and rather vaguely-worded prayers); the translator notes that it comes from The Great Euchologion or Trebnik published in Kyiv in 1902, so it seems most appropriate to pray it for that much-suffering city and its undaunted defenders, not to mention martyred Mariupol, so many other Ukrainian cities, and so many other Ukrainian soldiers still bravely holding fast against the immoral and barbarous attacks of the Russian hordes. (Instructions for praying such a Canon when alone are also helpfully supplied online.)
Herewith, a few errata:
Ode 1, Troparion 1. “powerful and battle” should be “powerful in battle”, replacing “and” with “in”;
Ode 3, Troparion 3. “breath” should be “breathe”;
Ode 8, Troparion 4. “also known called” should be “also called”, omitting “known”.
Sedalion. (Sessional Hymn after 1st or 2nd Kathisma, Wednesday Matins, Tone 4.)Come quickly to our aid, O Christ our God, before we are enslaved by the enemies that blaspheme Thee and threaten us: by Thy Cross, destroy those who war against us, that they may know the might of the Orthodox faith, at the prayers of the Theotokos, O only Lover of mankind.Theotokion. (Troparion 5, Ode VII, Saturday of the Akathist, Canon of the Theotokos, Tone 4.)We thy servants pray to thee, and bend the knee of our heart. Incline thine ear and save us, O Theotokos, for we are drowning in affliction; and preserve thy city from all conquest by the enemy.
Kontakion. (Kontakion I of the Akathist to the Theotokos, Tone 8.)To thee, my leader and defender, O Theotokos, I, thy city, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. Since thou art invincible in power, set me free from every peril, that I may cry to thee: Hail, Bride without bridegroom.
Mother of God of Perpetual Help! Today we, as thy children, bow our heads before thee and ask for peace for the Ukrainian land; protect us from visible and invisible enemies who want to harm us. For we have no other help, we have no other hope but thee, Immaculate Virgin. Help us; we hope in thee and we praise thee, because we are thy servants, so that we will not be ashamed, now and always, and forever and ever. Amen.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord!
Of your charity, pray for Ukraine; I have drawn up the following litany from the special petitions being used at the Divine Liturgy by priests of the Ukrainian Catholic Church here in Australia, as exemplified by the services for Cheesefare [see the video recording from 6:19 to 7:05] and Meatfare [see 40:40 to 42:10] Sundays at St Andrew's, Lidcombe, NSW:
A Litany for Ukraine in Time of Invasion
1. That the Lord God grant peace and glory to Ukraine, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
2. That the Lord God grant Ukraine deliverance from the enemy invasion and from all evil attacks, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
3. That the Lord God turn all the sorrows and groans of the people of Ukraine into joy and gladness, and their troubles into lasting peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
4. That the Lord God make the people of Ukraine invincible against all hostile attacks, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
5. That the Lord God destroy the shields, weapons and strength of all the forces of the enemy and throw them under the feet of the Christ-loving army of Ukraine, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
6. That the Lord God send Ukraine deliverance from invasion of foreigners, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
7. That the Lord God grant salvation and victory to all the soldiers of Ukraine, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
8. That the Lord God grant lasting peace to the people, church and country of Ukraine, let us pray to the Lord.
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Victory in Spite of All Terror
I have often wondered however what would have happened if two hundred thousand German storm troops had actually established themselves ashore. The massacre would have been on both sides grim and great. There would have been neither mercy nor quarter. They would have used Terror, and we were prepared to go all lengths. I intended to use the slogan “You can always take one with you.”
— Sir Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour (London: Cassell, 1949, 246)
This is what Ukraine is facing today.
YOU CAN ALWAYS TAKE ONE WITH YOU.
God grant them victory:
It is an easy matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few: and there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven to deliver with a great multitude, or with a small company: for the success of war is not in the multitude of the army, but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us with an insolent multitude, and with pride, to destroy us, and our wives, and our children, and to take our spoils. But we will fight for our lives and our laws: and the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: but as for you, fear them not. — 1 Machabees 3, 18-22
God forbid we should do this thing, and flee away from them: but if our time be come, let us die manfully for our brethren, and let us not stain our glory. — 1 Machabees 9, 10
Long ago, the great army of Sennacherib threatened Jerusalem; it suffices to allude to the proud lies and evil blasphemies of the Assyrians and their king to see the parallels with today; God grant that matters come to pass as they did then:
And it came to pass that night, that an angel of the Lord came, and slew in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand. — 4 (2) Kings 19, 35
And they arose in the morning, and behold they were all dead corpses. — Isaias 37, 36
After this reversal, Sennacherib returned home, and was slain.
GOD GRANT IT.
As Judas Machabeus prayed:
O Lord, who didst send thy angel in the time of Ezechias king of Juda, and didst kill a hundred and eighty-five thousand of the army of Sennacherib: even so destroy this army in our sight today. — 2 Machabees 15, 22; 1 Machabees 7, 42
Domine, qui misisti angelum tuum sub Ezechia rege Juda, et interfecisti de castris Sennacherib centum octoginta quinque millia: sic contere exercitum istum in conspectu nostro hodie.
Prayer for the Deliverance of Ukraine in Time of Invasion
Pray that even now the unjust onslaught of Russian armed forces may be defeated, and Ukraine delivered!
Prayer for the Deliverance of Ukraine in Time of Invasion
Adapted from the Great Book of Needs
[If at the Divine Liturgy:] After the Augmented Litany, the Holy Doors are opened, and the deacon (or priest) exclaims:
Let us attend, and with compunctionate hearts, having inclined the knees of our souls and bodies, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
And the priest (on bended knees) says this prayer in a loud voice with compunction:
O Lord God of powers, and God of our salvation, O God, who alone work wonders: look down with mercy and compassion on Your humble servants, and out of love for mankind hearken and have mercy on us and on the land of Ukraine. For, behold, enemies have once more gathered together, in order to cause division and enmity. But You who know all things, understand that they have risen up unrighteously, and that it will be impossible to oppose their multitudes unless You show us Your help. Therefore, we who are sinful and unworthy pray unto You in repentance and with tears: “Help us, O God, our Saviour, and deliver” the land of Ukraine “for the sake of the glory of Your Name” (Ps. 78:9), that the enemy may not say: “Their God has forsaken them, and there is none to deliver and save them.” (Cf. Ps. 70:11) But let every nation understand that You are our God, and we Your people are always protected under Your dominion. Reveal Your mercy, O Lord, and let the words spoken by Moses unto the people of Israel (Exodus 14:13-14) be applied to us: “Fear not. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord shall fight for us.” Work for us a sign for good, that they who are filled with hatred may see our orthodox faith and be humbled and shaken. Yes, O Lord God, our Saviour, our Strength and Hope and Help, remember not the transgressions and unrighteousness of Your faithful people, and turn not away from us in Your anger. But visit Your mercies and compassions upon Your humble servants, those who fight in defence of Ukraine and her much-suffering people, outnumbered though they be, and hear us who fall down before Your deep compassion. With Your mercy enlighten and make glad the hearts of the civil authorities, and strengthen them by Your might. Rise up to their help and lay low the evil counsels purposed against them by the enemy. Judge them that provoke and make war, and turn their impious boldness into fear and flight. But grant unto the just and God-fearing armies of the children of Ukraine, great boldness and courage to advance and overtake them, and to defeat them in Your Name. And unto them that You have judged worthy to lay down their lives for faith and country, forgive them their trespasses, and in the day of the righteous reckoning grant unto them incorruptible crowns. For You are the health and victory and salvation of them that put their hope in You, and unto You do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Courtesy of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada. “Prepared by the sinful Reader Ilya, feast of the Hieromartyr Clement of Ancyra [23rd January, O.S., 5th February, N.S.]. Brampton, [Ontario, Canada,] 2022.”
[Errata: “enemy may not to say” changed to “enemy may not say”; “strengthened them” changed to “strengthen them”; “councils” changed to “counsels”; “worthy” added after “judged”; American spelling of “Savior” and “defense” changed to “Saviour” and “defence”; comma added after “hearts” and in the Kyries; references to psalms added and quotation marks inserted.]
Thursday, February 24, 2022
God Save Ukraine
"There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell, ambassador."
— Ukraine's UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya to Russia's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, at the UN Security Council, Wednesday 23rd February 2022.
While we must hope that even the most hardened sinner would repent and be saved ere they die, lest they go straight to hell, realistically there is a but a scant chance of that happening, bar a miracle – and it seems unlikely that Putin, in his own eyes the Autocrat of All the Russias, real and imagined, fondly picturing himself as the worthy heir of Catherine the Great (!), would be the recipient of such; for while the Good Thief, moved by grace, was saved by Christ, it was permitted that Judas should hang himself.
Pray for Ukraine, wickedly invaded by Russia at the behest of an evil man; may the many who will die make their peace with God; may those who defend Ukraine fight manfully in the cause of right, knowing that God can give victory either to many or to few; and, as Churchill put it, in the dark days of May 1940:
“Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the Outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.” (Cf. 1 Machabees 3:58, 59, 60)
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Four Responsories Suitable to the Time
Ukraine is threatened with imminent war; pray for that beleaguered nation, that war be averted even now – herewith, as food for prayer, four very suitable responsories from those in the Breviary for the month of October, when the lessons at Matins are taken from the Books of the Machabees, and the responsories reflect their anxious concerns:
Responsory 1. (V. Ps. 58, 12)
R. Congregáti sunt inimíci nostri, et gloriántur in virtúte sua: cóntere fortitúdinem illórum, Dómine, et dispérge illos: * Ut cognóscant quia non est álius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster.
V. Dispérge illos in virtúte tua, et déstrue eos, protéctor noster, Dómine. * Ut cognóscant quia non est álius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster.
R. Our enemies are gathered together, and make their boast of their own strength; O Lord, break their power, and scatter them, * That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O our God!
V. Scatter them in thy strength, and destroy them, O Lord our Shield. * That they may know that there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O our God!
Responsory 2. (1 Mach. 4, 8. 9. 10)
R. Impetum inimicórum ne timuéritis: mémores estóte, quómodo salvi facti sunt patres nostri: * Et nunc clamémus in cælum et miserébitur nostri Deus noster.
V. Mementóte mirabílium ejus, quæ fecit pharaóni et exercítui ejus in Mari Rubro. * Et nunc clamémus in cælum et miserébitur nostri Deus noster.
R. Be ye not afraid of the assault of the enemy; remember how our fathers were delivered. * Now, therefore, let us cry unto heaven, and our God will have mercy upon us.
V. Remember His marvellous works that He hath done unto Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea. * Now, therefore, let us cry unto heaven, and our God will have mercy upon us.
Responsory 3. (Cf. 2 Par. 20, 12; V. 1 Mach. 3, 52. 53)
R. Congregátæ sunt gentes in multitúdine, ut dímicent contra nos, et ignorámus quid ágere debeámus: * Dómine Deus, ad te sunt óculi nostri, ne pereámus.
V. Tu scis quæ cógitant in nos: quómodo potérimus subsístere ante fáciem illórum, nisi tu ádjuves nos? * Dómine Deus, ad te sunt óculi nostri, ne pereámus.
R. The heathen are assembled together to fight against us, and we know not what we should do: * Our eyes look unto thee, O Lord our God, that we should not perish.
V. What things they imagine against us, thou knowest; how shall we be able to stand against them, except thou be our help? * Our eyes look unto thee, O Lord our God, that we should not perish.
Responsory 4. (V. Cf. 2 Mach. 1, 28)
R. Aperi óculos tuos, Dómine, et vide afflictiónem nostram: circumdedérunt nos gentes ad puniéndum nos: * Sed tu, Dómine, exténde brácchium tuum, et líbera ánimas nostras.
V. Afflíge oppriméntes nos et contuméliam faciéntes in supérbiam; et custódi partem tuam. * Sed tu, Dómine, exténde brácchium tuum, et líbera ánimas nostras.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. * Sed tu, Dómine, exténde brácchium tuum, et líbera ánimas nostras.
R. Open thine eyes, O Lord, and behold our affliction: for the heathen are come round about us to punish us. * But thou, O Lord, stretch forth thine arm, and deliver our souls.
V. Punish them that oppress us and with pride do us wrong, and keep thine own portion. * But thou, O Lord, stretch forth thine arm, and deliver our souls.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. * But thou, O Lord, stretch forth thine arm, and deliver our souls.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Prayers for Peace and to Avert War in Ukraine
As it appears events may be approaching a crisis, of your charity pray that Russia will not invade Ukraine, that the scourge of war even now be averted: