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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Friday, 20 January 2017

Prayer for the United States of America.

Prayer for the Government

Abridged from a Prayer composed by Archbishop Carroll A. D. 1800 for the United States of America

We pray Thee, O Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue, with unchanging faith, in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom, and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist, with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people, over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of the Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government; so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.

We pray for his Excellency the Governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all Judges, Magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare; that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

18th January, St Prisca, Virgin and Martyr

St Prisca, Virgin and Martyr

St Prisca suffered cruel torments at the age of thirteen under the Emperor Claudius in the first century. In spite of the efforts made to force her to adore idols, her great faith filled her with the divine strength of Jesus and she went to heaven wearing the double crown of virginity and martyrdom.

Me exspectaverunt peccatores, ut perderent me: testimonia tua, Domine, intellexi: omnis consummationis vidi finem: latum mandatum tuum nimis. * Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I have understood Thy testimonies, O Lord: I have seen an end of all perfection: The commandment is exceeding broad. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:95-96,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui beatae Prisca, Vírginis et Martyris tuae natalitia colimus; et annua solemnitate laetémur, et tantae fídei proficiamus exémplo.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God that we, who venerate the birthday of blessed Prisca, Thy virgin and martyr, may both rejoice for her annual solemnity and profit by the example of so great faith.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Prisca:

18th January, St Peter's Chair at Rome

St Peter's Chair at Rome

The manifestation of the divinity of Jesus, which characterizes the Season after Epiphany, demands of us the recognition of His Kingship over our souls.

Christ is the Head of the Church. But as He is to reascend some day to heaven, He communicates His divine power to a man, for after the Incarnation, it is by human intermediaries that God wills normally to establish His dealings with us. The man whom Jesus constitutes "Prince" of souls (Introit), and "on whom He builds His Church" (Gospel), is St. Peter. As Vicar of Christ he will sit in the chair once occupied by Jesus and will hold in his hands the keys as symbol of supreme authority (Collect, Gospel).

We read in the Epistle, the beginning of the first letter of St. Peter. All the letters of the apostle bear the mark of his primacy. Rome is to be the capital of the kingdom of heaven upon earth. It is to Rome that Peter will come, it is on Rome's blessed soil that he will shed his blood, he will be Bishop of Rome. Wherefore we must see in this feast a liturgical testimony to the primacy of honour and jurisdiction attached to the chair of Rome. This material chair is still preserved in the apse of the basilica of St. Peter.

St. Paul, during his sojourn at Corinth, in the year 58, wrote an Epistle to tbe Romans. Towards the year 62, he was led to Rome a captive and remained there two years. Imprisoned again in the year 67 he was put to death, like St. Peter, in the henceforth eternal city. Wherefore the liturgy associates, in a second Collect, the glorious name of the Apostle with that of the first Bishop of Rome.

Let us to-day pray for the Pope, successor of St. Peter, that he may freely exercise the divine powers communicated to him by Jesus, Son of God.

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.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).

Deus, qui beato Petro Apóstolo tuo, collátis clavibus regni coeléstis, ligandi atque solvéndi pontifícium tradidísti: concéde; ut, intercessiónis ejus auxilio, a peccatorum nostrórum néxibus liberémur.
O God, Who, committing to blessed Peter, Thine apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst bestow on him the pontifical function of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins.

Deus, qui multitúdinem géntium beati Pauli Apóstoli praedicatióne docuisti: da nobis, quaesumus: ut cujus commemoratiónem colimus, ejus apud te patrocínia sentiámus.
O God, Who by the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul didst teach the multitude of the gentiles, grant us, we pray Thee, that, honoring his commemoration, we may experience the benefit of his patronal influence with Thee.
(Commemoration of St Paul)

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, Saying, "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them,"But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him,"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven."
(St Matthew 16:13-19)

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclésiam Meam: et portae ínferi non praevalébunt advérsus eam: et tibi dabo claves regni coelórum.
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.
(St Matthew 16:18-19)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Chair of St Peter:

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

17th January, St Anthony, Abbot

St Anthony, Abbot

After St Paul, father of the anchorites or hermits, the Christmas Cycle honours St Anthony, father of the cenobites, who live in common.

When he was eighteen he retired into the Egyptian desert and led the life of a hermit. The devil, in order to frighten him and drive him from the solitude would appear to him in the most hideous shapes; "but the Lord made him formidable to his foes: one word from his mouth reduced these prodigies to nothingness." (Epistle)

His holiness soon attracted souls desirous to see the divine Kingship of Christ more perfectly confirmed in themselves. As a new lawgiver, he gave them "the doctrine and rule of faith that he had received from God in prayer" (Epistle).

St Anthony, the first of Abbots, instituted monastic life in common, by which are formed noble souls always ready, like their father in God, to receive the Lord when he shall come to take them from this world (Gospel). Wherefore today's mass is that of the common of Abbots.

He also strenuously fought against Arianism and with St Athanasius who honoured him with his friendship, he successfully defended the dogma of the divinity of Christ. He died in 356 at the age of 105 years.

Let us show forth by the perfection of our lives that we share in the divinity of Jesus.

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium: lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31 and 1 from the Introit of Mass)

May the intercession of the blessed Abbot Anthony, we beseech Thee, O Lord, commend us unto Thee, that what we cannot have through our own merits, we may obtain through his patronage.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Anthony:

Monday, 16 January 2017

16th January, St Marcellus, Pope and Martyr

St Marcellus, Pope and Martyr

As supreme head of the Church (Introit, Gradual) at the time of the last persecutions of the Roman emperors, St. Marcellus bore witness to the divinity of Christ "by losing his life for His sake" (Gospel).

The holy widow Lucina having offered him her house, he transformed it into a church now called St. Marcellus's. Maxentius transferred there certain deer from the public stables and condemned the holy Pope to keep them. His sufferings tempered by divine consolation made him feel all the more for the troubles of his flock (Epistle). Exhausted by ill-treatment, conquered by pain, he died in 309.

His heroic resistance against which the Caesar's violence was broken proves that Jesus is God, for "it is His powerful hand that succours His servant, and His arm which strengthens him so that the enemy shall not get the better of him" (Gradual). The divine reign of the Saviour will indeed soon be acknowledged and with the Emperor Constantine, the Church of Rome, "Queen of Churches," as St. Marcellus called her, will be queen of the world, not only in the spiritual order but also in the temporal.

Let us imitate the courage of the holy Pontiff Marcellus in defending the divine rights of Christ in order that they may be manifested again by the triumph of the Church.

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.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).

Mercifully hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people; that we who rejoice in the martyrdom of blessed Marcellus, Thy martyr and bishop, may be helped by his merits.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

16th January, St Joseph Vaz, Confessor

Saint Joseph Vaz, Confessor

Blessed Joseph VazJoseph Vaz was born in1651 at Goa in west India. He was ordained in 1676, and became well-known for his zeal. He and a number of other priests formed an Oratory of St Philip Neri in Goa, living a community life without vows.

Joseph became increasingly concerned with the plight of the Church in Ceylon, where no priest had been able to minister for fifty years because of the anti-Catholic restrictions imposed by the Dutch rulers of the island. He set off with two companions, and in 1686 landed in Ceylon.

Eventually Joseph was able to identity a few Catholics in Ceylon, and he began a ministry of reconciling those who had abandoned the faith, and receiving converts. He travelled the island dressed as a beggar, often having to flee from the Dutch persecutors.

Eventually Joseph made his way to the independent kingdom of Kandy, situationed in the moutainous interior of Ceylon. After having worked miracles that convinced the king of his divine protection, he was allowed to set up a mission in Kandy. Eventually the faith spread through Ceylon, including the Dutch territories.

Joseph died on 16th January 1711, having devoted his life to the service of Christ and the propagation of the faith. He was beatified in 1995, and canonized in 2015.

Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus Libani multiplicabitur: plantatus in domo Domini: in atriis domus Dei nostri. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
(Psalm 91:13-14,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Lord God, by whose surpassing mercy Blessed Joseph made known the unfathomable riches of Christ, grant, at his intercession, that we may grow in knowledge of you, yield fruit in every good work, and by the truth of the Gospel live faithfully in your presence. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Proper Collect)

Further details about Blessed Joseph Vaz:

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty God, faithful to His promise to Abraham and his children, sent His Son to save His people; while in His mercy He willed to redeem the heathen as well. Therefore Christ is the King whom, as its Redeemer, the whole world must hail and adore (Introit and Gradual). It was through His death on the Cross that He became our King and it is through the Eucharist, the memorial of Calvary, that by applying the merits of His Redemption to our souls, He exercises His kingship over us. In this miracle at Cana, a type of the Holy Eucharist, did our Lord formally manifest His divinity, i.e. His character as divine and therefore royal, and "His disciples believed in Him". The turning of water into wine is a type of transubstantiation, called by St. Thomas the greatest of all miracles, by which the wine of the Eucharist becomes the blood of the covenant of peace which God has made with His Church. Since also the divine King wishes to espouse our souls and since, as Bossuet says, it is through the Eucharist that this mystical marriage is consummated, the marriage feast at Cana also signifies the union of the Word with His spouse the Church. "Having been invited to the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee," says St. Auguatine, "our Lord attended, that being alone the author of the sacrament of Matrimony, He might confirm conjugal chastity." He also meant to make known to us the mystery of which these nuptials were the sign, that is the union of Christ with His Church. For even those who, by a vow, have bound themselves to almighty God in the virginal state are not without nuptials since, with the whole Church, they have a part in the nuptials in which Christ Himself is the Spouse, and in this case, our Lord is typified by the bridegroom who kept to the end the good wine, that is, the Gospel.

Omnis terra adoret Te, Deus, et psallat Tibi: psalmum dicat nomini tuo, Altissime. * Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, psalmum dicite nomini ejus: date gloriam laudi ejus.
Let all the earth adore Thee, O God, and sing to Thee: let it sing a psalm to Thy name, O most High. * Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name: give glory to His praise.
(Psalm 65:4,1,2 from the Introit of Mass.)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui caelestia simul et terrene moderaris: supplications populi tui clementer exaudi; et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus.
Almighty and everlasting God, Who dost govern all things in Heaven and earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life.

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John.
At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to Him: 'They have no wine.' And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.' His mother saith to the waiters: 'Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.' Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures a piece Jesus saith to them: Fill the water-pots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them:' Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.' And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: 'Every man at first setteth forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou has kept the good wine until now.' This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee: and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
(St John 2:1-11)