This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

Station at St Mary beyond the Tiber

Today's Station takes place in a basilica erected shortly after the peace of Constantine by Julius I and which is one of the first churches of Rome dedicated to the Mother of God. Mary is there represented seated among the wise Virgins who hold their lamps. This is an allusion to the spring of oil which gushed out at this spot shortly before the birth of Him whom she had the happiness of carrying in her arms and who is called Christ or the Anointed of the Lord. This was one of the twenty-five parishes of Rome in the fifth century.
Jeremias speaks to us in the Epistle of two men, one of whom put his trust in himself and the other in God. The first dries up like the heather in the desert, and the second bears the abundant fruits of his good works,

In like manner, says the parable of the Gospel, there were two men. one of whom enjoyed life instead of doing penance and the other suffered. The first went to hell, whilst the second was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. This is a symbol of Israel who rejected Christ and was cast out, whilst the Gentiles, through baptism and penance, enter into the Kingdom of God.

Let us implore the Lord to grant us by His grace perseverance in prayer and fasting, in order that we may be delivered from the enemies both of soul and body (Collect).

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende: Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina: confundantur et revereantur inimici mei, qui quaerunt animam meam. * Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant: qui cogitant mihi mala.
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me: let my enemies be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul. * Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame: that desire evils to me.
(Psalm 69:2-4 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta nobis, quaesumus, Domine, auxilium gratiae tuae: ut jejuniis et orationibus convenienter intenti, liberemur ab hostibus mentis et corporis.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace: that being duly intent on fasts and prayers, we may be delivered from enemies of soul and body.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

Station at St Cecilia (in Trastavere).

The Station is at the sanctuary where the body of the illustrious Roman virgin St. Cecilia rests. It was there she lived and died a martyr. In the fifth century this church was mentioned as one of the most celebrated parochial or titular churches of Rome. It is situated in Trastevere. It was customary to read in this church, the Gospel in which Jesus tells to a woman it is necessary to drink His chalice, if one is to participate in His glory.

We read at the Epistle the prayer of Mardochai in favour of the Jewish people whom the impious Aman had determined to destroy. He implored the Lord to turn their sadness into joy. The Christian people in the same way are mourning in their Lenten penance and are looking forward to the holy Paschal joys. But to deserve them, a. the Gospel tells us, we must first drink the chalice of the One who came to shed His blood to redeem us and who will make us sharers in His resurrection, if we die to our sins: Let us abstain from the food which sustains our bodies, and from the vices which poison our souls (Collect).

Ne derelinquas me, Domine, Deus meus, ne discedas  a me: intende in adjutorium meum, Domine, virtus salutis  meae. * Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me: neque in ira tua corripias me.
Forsake me not, O Lord, my God, do not Thou depart from me: attend unto my help, O Lord, the power of my salvation. * Rebuke me not, O Lord, in Thy indignation; nor chastise me in Thy wrath.
(Psalm 37:22-23,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Populum tuum, quaesumus, Domine, propitius respice: et quos ab escis carnalibus praecipis abstinere, a noxiis quoque vitiis cessare concede.
Mercifully regard Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and grant that we, whom Thou commandest to abstain from carnal food, may also refrain from hurtful vices.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent.

Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent.

Station at St. Balbina's (in the Aventine)

The Station is at the sanctuary of St. Balbina, a Roman virgin who lived in the second century and whose remains lie under the altar with those of her father, the martyr St. Quirinus. This church, which stands on the slope of the Aventine, was in the fifth century one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome. Formerly it was the house of a Roman lady named Balbina, who was martyred during the persecution of Traian. The reason for the choice of this church is explained by the epistle, which speaks of the widow of Sarephta. Thus is celebrated the faith of one who transformed her residence into a church.

Jesus declares in the Gospel that the Jews who taught the law of Moses did not observe it. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is open to the heathen, who by baptism become disciples of Christ and do His works.

The Epistle tells of Elias going to a heathen widow woman of Sarephta to ask for nourishment when a drought had fallen on impenitent Israel. The widow took two pieces of wood, typical of the cross of Jesus, and prepared a hearth cake for the prophet and one for herself. Her compassion was rewarded, for never after did she want for bread. Whereas the Jews suffer from the scarcity, the Gentiles, as a reward for their fidelity, receive daily the Eucharistic bread, which applies to them the merits gained for them by the Saviour on the Cross.

Let us pray that God may grant us the grace of perseverance in the observance of the fast, "of which He has set us an example (Collect).

Tibi dixit cor meum, quaesivi vultum tuum, vultum tuum, Domine, requiram: ne avertas faciem tuam a me. * Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea: quem timebo?
My heart hath said to Thee:  I have sought Thy face. Thy face, O Lord, will I still seek: turn not away Thy face from me. * The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
(Psalm 26:8-9,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Perfice, quaesumus, Domine, benignus in nobis observantiae sanctae subsidium: ut, quae te auctore facienda cognovimus, te operante impleamus.
Of Thy goodness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, continue  to help us in the observance of  this holy fast, that having learned our duties from Thee, we may accomplish them by the help of Thy grace.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Station at St Clement's (near the Colisseum)

The Station is at the Church of St. Clement, built above the very house of the third successor of St. Peter, whose name is found in the Canon of the Mass. This sanctuary, a parish of Rome in the fifth century, is a most faithful example of an old Roman basilica, although it was rebuilt in the XIIth century. There are found, under the altar, the remains of the holy Martyr and of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

Our Lord foretells in the Gospel that the Jews will lift Him up on the cross, and thrice He asserts that they will die in their sin, because they have not believed in Him and done His works.

The wrath of God, which fell a first time on Jerusalem at the time of the captivity of Babylon (Epistle), was renewed against Israel at the burning of the Temple. Like guilty Christians, they would only be able to return to the Lord by penance, while the heathen are called instead to believe in Jesus, to become part of His people by baptism.

"Let us mortify our flesh by abstinence from food and let us fast from sin by following justice" (Collect).

Redime me, Domine, et miserere mei: pes enim meus stetit in via recta: in ecclesiis benedicam Dominum. * Judica me, Domine, quoniam ego in innocentia mea ingressus sum: et in Domino sperans, non infirmabor.
Redeem me, O Lord, and have mercy on me: for my foot hath stood in the direct way: in the churches I will bless the Lord. * Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in my innocence: and I have put my trust in the Lord, and shall not be weakened.
(Psalm 25:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut familia tua, quae se, affligendo carnem, ab alimentis abstinet, sectando justitiam, a culpa jejunet.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that Thy family, while afflicting the flesh by fasting from food, may follow justice and abstain from sin.

2nd Sunday in Lent

2nd Sunday in Lent

Station at St. Mary in Dominica, (on Monte Celio.)

The Station at Rome is in the church of St. Mary's in Dominica, because in former times the Christians gathered there on Sundays in the house of the Lord (Dominicum). It is said to have been here that Saint Laurence distributed the goods of the Church to the poor. It is one of the fifth century parishes of Rome.

Just as on Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays, the subject matter of the divine Office forms the texture of the Masses for the Second, Third and Fourth Sundays of Lent in such a way, that past ages still carry on their work of illustrating the Paschal mystery and so preparing us for it. And indeed our Lord's ancestors, according to the flesh, are types of both Him and His Church.

To-day in the breviary we read of the Patriarch Jacob, model of the most complete trust in God in the midst of all adversities, who Holy Scriptures often call Jehovah the God of Jacob or Israel, when He is referred to as the protector of His people. In the Introit we say, "O God of Israel deliver us from all our tribulations". It is then, to the God of Jacob, the God of those who serve Him, that the Church addresses herself to-day. In the Introit we read that he who puts his trust in God will never be ashamed. In the Collect we ask almighty God to keep us both inwardly and outwardly, that we may be preserved from all adversities. In the Gradual and Tract we beseech our Lord that He will deliver us from our troubles and adversities and visit us with His salvation. The life of the patriarch Jacob could not be summed up in a better way: he whom God always helped in the midst of his trouble and in whom, as Saint Ambrose says, "we must acknowledge singular courage and great patience in labours and trials". (Fourth lesson of the third Sunday in Lent.)

Jacob was chosen by almighty God to be the heir of His promises, just as formerly He had selected Isaac Abraham, Sem and Noah. The name Jacob really means. Supplanter, and he fulfilled the meaning of his name when he bought Esau's first birthright from him for a mess of pottage, thee ... and be thou lord of thy brethren."

Further, when Jacob had to flee to escape Esau's vengeance, he saw in a dream a ladder reaching to heaven upon which the angels ascended and descended. At the head of the ladder was the Lord who told him: "In thee and thy seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. And I will be thy keeper whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee back into this land; neither will I leave thee, till I shall have accomplished all that I have said." After twenty years Jacob returned to his own land; then an angel wrestled with him all night without over-powering him and in the morning told him: "Thy name shall not be called Jacob but Israel; for if thou hast been strong against God, how much more shall thou prevail against men?" Jacob gained his brother's confidence and they were reconciled.

Every feature of the history of this patriarch is typical of Christ and the Church in the Paschal mystery. Saint Augustine writes: "The blessing which Isaac gave Jacob, has a symbolic meaning in which the goatskins represent sins, while Jacob clothed in these skins is the figure of Him Who, having no sins of his own, bore those of others." In somewhat the same way a Bishop uses gloves at a pontifical Mass and says in effect, that Jesus was offered for us in the likeness of the flesh of sin. Saint Leo, in his exposition, says: "That for the restoration of Ihe human race, His unchangeable divinity stooped to take the form of a slave and that this is why our Lord promised in formal and precise terms, that some of His disciples should not "taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom," that is; in the royal glory which belongs spiritually to His adopted human nature, a glory which the Lord willed to reveal to His three disciples; since "although they were aware of the divine majesty which lay hidden within Him, they were ignorant of the possibilities of the very Body which clothed the divinity."

Again, on the holy mountain, where our Lord was transfigured, a voice was heard saying: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased. Hear ye Him." So God the Father blesses His Son clothed with our sinful flesh, as Isaac blessed Jacob, clothed with the goatskins, which blessing given to Christ is given also to the Gentiles in preference to the faithless Jews, just as Jacob was blessed in preference to his elder brother. When the Bishop puts on his pontifical gloves, he addresses the following prayer to almighty God. "Encompass my hands, O God, with the purity of the New Man come down from heaven, that as Jacob who had covered himself with goatskins obtained his father's blessing having offered him meats and good winll, so also may I, offering to Thee the victim of salvation at my hands, obtain the blessing of Thy grace. Through our Lord."

It is in Christ that we are blessed by the Father. He is our elder brother and our head: To Him must we listen for He has chosen us for His people, "We pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus," says St, Paul, "that as you have received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given you by the Lord Jesus ... For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Epistle).

In St. John's Gospel (1:51), our Lord applies the vision of Jacob's ladder to Himself, to show that in the midst of the persecutions of which He was the object, He was constantly under the protection of almighty God and His angels. So St. Hippolytus says: "As Esau planned his brother's death, so the Jews plotted against Christ and the Church. Jacob must needs fly into a far country; in the same way Christ, thrust out by the unbelief of His own nation, had, to depart into Galilee where the Church, sprung from the race of Gentiles, is given to Him as His Spouse." Moreover; at the end of time, these two peoples will be reconciled as were Esau and Jacob.

To-day's Mass, then, taken in connection with the breviary lessons for this week, acquires its full sense and helps us to understand the true meaning for us of the Paschal mystery which we are about to celebrate. Jacob beheld the God of Glory; the apostles saw Jesus transfigured; soon the Church will show us the risen Saviour.

Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine, et misericordiae tuae, quae a saeculo sunt: ne unquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri: libera nos, Deus Israel, ex omnibus angustiis nostris. * Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam.
Remember, O Lord, thy bowels of compassion, and thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world. Let not our enemies ever rule over us: deliver us, O God of Israel, from all our distress. * To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; in thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed.
(Introit of Mass)

Deus qui conspicis omni nos virtute destitui, interius exteriusque custodi: ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore, et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente.
O God, who seest how destitute we are of all strength, preserve us both within and without, that our bodies may be free from all adversity, and our souls purified from all evil thoughts.

Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time: Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun and his garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them: Arise and be not afraid. And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of Man shall be risen from the dead.
(St Matthew 17)

Visionem quam vidistis, * nemini dixeritis donec a mortuis resurgat FĂ­lius hominis.
Tell the vision * which ye have seen to no man until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead.
(Magnificat Antiphon at Vespers)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

1st March, St David

St David, Bishop and Confessor
Patron of Wales

Bishop of Mevenia. He was a disciple of St Paulinus of York, and founded twelve monasteries in Wales. He succeeded St Dubritius as Bishop of Caerleon, but removed his see to Menevia, afterwards known as 'St David's' in his honour. He died on 1st March, 554.

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento, Domine, David, et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclesiasticus 45:30 and Psalm 131:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the loving intercession of blessed David, Thy confessor and bishop, may protect us, and that, while we keep his festival, we may also imitate his steadfastness in defending the Catholic Faith.

Catholic Encyclopaedia:

March, Dedicated to St Joseph

Prayer to St. Joseph

To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our tribulations, and while imploring the aid of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that love which united thee to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, and by the fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Infant Jesus, we humbly beseech thee graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased with His Blood and to help us in our necessities, by thy powerful intercession.
Protect, O most provident Guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ; ward off from us, O most loving Father, all taint of error and corruption; graciously assist us from Heaven, O most powerful protector, in our struggle with the powers of darkness; and as thou didst once rescue the Child Jesus from imminent peril to His life, so now defend the Holy Church of God from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield each one of us with thy unceasing patronage that, imitating thy example and supported by thine aid, we may be enabled to live a good life, die a holy death, and secure everlasting happiness in Heaven. Amen.