Introduction

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.

Related website: http://www.liturgialatina.org/





Sunday, 5 March 2017

1st Sunday in Lent

1st Sunday in Lent

Station at St John Lateran

Originally the forty days of penance were counted from this Sunday. The liturgical gathering of the "station" takes place to-day, as it was since the fourth century, at Saint John Lateran, which is the patriarchal basilica of the Bishops of Rome. At its first consecration, it was dedicated to "Saint Saviour," a name which calls to mind the Redemption accomplished by our Blessed Lord.

Immediately after His baptism, our Lord began to prepare for His public life by a fast of forty days in the mountainous desert which stretches between Jericho and the mountains of Judea. It was there that He was tempted by Satan, who wished to discover whether the son of Mary was in reality the Son of God (Gospel).

As in the case of Adam, he adresses his first attack to the senses. Our Lord is hungry and the tempter suggests to Him that He should turn stones into bread. In the same way he tries, during these forty days, to make us give up our fasting and mortification. This is the concupiscence of the flesh.

The devil had promised our first parent that he should be as God. Now he takes our Lord to the pinnacle of the Temple and tries to induce Him to let Himself be carried by the angels through the air amidst the applause of the crowds below. Satan tempts us by pride, which is opposed to the spirit of prayer and meditation on God's word. This is the pride of life.

Finally, just as he had promised Adam a knowledge which like that of God Himself, should enable him to know all things, so Satan assures Jesus that he will make Him ruler over all created things if He will fall at his feet and worship him. In the same way the devil seeks to attach us to temporal goods, when we ought, by alms and works of charity, to be doing good to our neighbour. This is the concupiscence of the eyes or avance.

Since the "word of the Spirit is the word of God", our Lord made use of the ninetieth psalm against Satan, and this is the theme of the whole Mass and is found again and again in the office of the day. "His truth shall cover thee with a shield," says the psalmist. This psalm is, therefore, the ideal psalm for Lent as a special time of warfare against the devil. Again, the eleventh verse, "He hath given His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways," recurs in Vespers like a refrain during the whole season. We find the entire psalm in the Tract, which reminds us of the old custom of singing psalms during certain parts of the Mass. Some of its verses make up the Introit with its verse, the Gradual, the Communion and the Offertory, which last was fonnerly composed, in to-day's mass, of three verses instead of one, following the order of the threefold temptation as recorded in the Gospel.

Side by side with this psalm the Epistle, certainly dating from the time of Saint Leo, sounds one of the characteristic notes of Lent. There Saint Paul borrows a text of Isaias: "In an accepted time have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee." "Behold," says the apostle, "now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation" (Epistle and first nocturn). On this Saint Leo comments: "Although there is no season of the year which is not rich in divine gifts and in which we by God's grace do not find immediate access to His mercy; nevertheless at this time when the return of the day on which we are redeemed summons us to fulfill all the duties of Christian piety, the souls of Christians must be stirred with more zeal for spiritual progress, and possessed of a very great confidence in almighty God. In this manner, with pure souls and bodies, shall we celebrate this mystery of the Lord's Passion, sublime beyond all others. True, we ought always to be in the divine presence, just as much as on the Easter feast. But because this spiritual vigour is the possession of only a few, while, on the one hand, the weakness of the flesh leads to any very severe observance being relaxed, and on the other, the varied occupations of this life share and divide our interest, it necessarily happens that the dust of the world soils the hearts even of religious themselves. This divine institution has been planned with great profit to our salvation in a manner that the exercises of these forty days may help us to regain the purity of our souls, making up, in a way, for the faults of the rest of the year, by fasting and pious deeds. However, we must be careful to give no one the least cause of complaint or scandal, so that our general behaviour may not be inconsistent with our fasting and penance.. For it is useless to reduce the nourishment of the body unless the soul departs from sin" (Second nocturn).

In this "acceptable time" and in these "days of salvation" let us purify ourselves with the Church {Collect), "in fastings, in chastity," by zeal in hearing and meditating on the word of God and by charity unfeigned (Epistle).


Invocabit me, et ego exaudiam eum: eripiam eum et glorificabo eum: longitudine dierum adimplebo eum. * Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi; in protectione Dei coeli commorabitur.
He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I will deliver him, and I will glorify him: I will fill him with length of days. * He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most high, shall abide under the protection of the God of Heaven. (Psalm 90:15-16 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam annua quadragesimali observatione purificas: praesta familiae tuae, ut quod a te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur.
O God, who purifiest thy Church by the yearly observation of Lent: grant that what thy children endeavour to obtain of thee by abstinence, they may put in execution by good works.
(Collect)

A cunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, mentis et corporis defende periculis: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis Apostolis Tuis Petro et Paulo, atque beato N., et omnibus Sanctis, salutem nobis tribue benignus et pacem, ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, Ecclesia Tua secura Tibi serviat libertate.
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body; that through the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and blessed N., and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace; that all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.
(For the intercession of the Saints)

Omnipotens sempiterna Deus, qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum, omniumque misereris quos tuos fide et opera futuros esse praenoscis: te supplices exoramus; ut, pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus, quosque vel praesens saeculum adhuc in carne retinet, vel futurum jam exutos corpore suscepit, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis tuis, pietatis tuae clementia omnium delictorum suorum veniam consequantur.
O almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all whom Thou foreknowest shall be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins.
(For the Living and the Dead)

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards hungry. And the tempter coming, said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said: It is written, “Not by bread alone doth man live, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him into the holy city, and set him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, “He hath given his Angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him: It is written again, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt! adore me. Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan, for it is written: “The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.” Then the devil left him; and behold Angels came and ministered to him.
(St Matthew 4)

Monday, 27 February 2017

27th February, St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Confessor

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Confessor.

St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows, born in 1838 at Assisi, the little Italian town made famous by St. Francis, was miraculously guided by our Blessed Lady into the Passionist Congregation, and during his short life upon earth he became a veritable apostle of her Sorrows. His spirit of penance and self-denial, his heroic humility, and his true devotion to our Lord's Sacred Passion quickly raised him to a high degree of sanctity. In 1862, only in the twenty-fourth year of his age, his heavenly patroness came to call him to eternal happiness. The many miracles that bore witness to his holiness, led to his speedy canonization by Pope Benedict XV (1920) and Pope Pius XI extended his feast to the whole Church (1932).

Oculus Dei respexit illum in bono, et erexit eum ab humilitate ipsius et exaltavit caput ejus; et mirati sunt in illo multi, et honoraverunt Deum. * Quam bonus Israel Deus his, qui recto sunt corde.
The eye of God hath looked  upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate, and hath exalted his head; and many have wondered at him, and have glorified God. * How good is God to Israel, to them that are of a right heart!
(Ecclesiasticus 11:13 and Psalm 72:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Gabrielem dulcissimae Matris tuae dolores assidue recolere docuisti, ac per illam sanctitatis et miraculorum gloria sublimasti: da nobis, ejus intercessione et exemplo; ita Genitricis tuae consociari fletibus, ut materna ejusdem protectione salvemur.
O God, who didst teach blessed Gabriel diligently to ponder the sorrows of Thy most sweet Mother, and who hast exalted him to the glory of sanctity and the working of miracles; grant us, through his intercession and example, so to mourn with Thy Mother, that we may be saved through her maternal care.
(Collect)

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_of_Our_Lady_of_Sorrows

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Quinquagesima Sunday

Quinquagesima Sunday

Station at St Peter's

In the same way that the first three prophecies of Holy Saturday, with their accompanying prayers, are concerned with Adam, Noah and Abraham, so during the Septuagesima season, our attention is called in Missal and Breviary to these same patriarchs, known respectively by the Church, as the father of the human race, the father of future generations and the father of those who believe.

Adam, Noah and Abraham were types of Christ in the paschal mystery, a fact which we have already shown to be true in the case of the first two, in our notes on Septuagesima and Sexagesima Sunday. That it is true of Abraham also, we shall see to-day.

In the Ambrosian Liturgy, Passion Sunday was called "Abraham's Sunday" and the "Response of Abraham" was read in the Office for that day; in the Roman Liturgy also, he is still the subject of the Gospel for Passion Sunday. "Abraham your father," says our Lord, "rejoiced that he might see my day, he saw it and was glad ... Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am." God had indeed promised Abraham that the Messias should descend from him, and he was overwhelmed with great joy, when by faith he contemplated beforehand the day of the Redeemer's coming. Again, when this was fulfilled, he still contemplated it with a fresh joy in Limbo, where he was waiting with the just men of the Old Law for Jesus to come and deliver them after His Passion. When the three weeks of the Septuagesima Season were added to Lent, Quinquagesima became the Sunday on which the liturgy is devoted to Abraham, so that in the lessons and responses for to-day the whole history of the Patriarch is described.

With the desire of forming a people who should be specially His own in the midst of the idolatrous nations of the world (Gradual and Tract), almighty God chose Abraham as its head and gave him his name which means Father of many nations. "And He took him from Ur in Chaldee, and kept him from harm in all his wanderings." By faith, St. Paul tells the Hebrews, Abraham, when the call came, "obeyed and went into a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing whither he went." It was by faith, that he obtained the land of Canaan, where he lived more than twenty-five years as a stranger; that in his old age he became the father of Isaac and did not hesitate to offer him in sacrifice at God's command, although he was his only son in whom lay all his hope that the divine promises concerning a numerous posterity for himself would be fulfilled." Accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable." Indeed, it was as a type of Christ that Isaac was chosen "to be the most glorious victim of his father," that he carried the bundle of wood on which he was about to be sacrificed, just as our Lord carried the Cross on which he merited glory by His Passion; that his place was taken by a ram caught by its horns in a thicket of brambles, just as, according to the Fathers, Jesus the Lamb of God had His sacred head entangled in the thorns of His Crown; and above all that, being miraculously delivered from death he was in some sense restored to life to proclaim that Christ having been put to death should rise again.

Thus, by his faith, Abraham, who without hesitation believed in what was to come to pass, contemplated from afar our Lord's triumph on the Cross and rejoiced in it. It was then that God confirmed the promises to him: "Because thou hast not spared the only-begotten son for my sake, I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore." It was Christ who fulfilled these promises by His Passion. As St. Paul says: "Christ hath redeemed us ... (for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree), that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus"; that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith, that is the Spirit of adoption which has been promised to us. It is for this reason that in the prayer which follows the lesson about Abraham on Holy Saturday, almighty God is addressed as "the supreme Father of all the faithful, who all over the world multipliest the children of Thy promise by diffusing the grace of Thy adoption: and by this Paschal Sacrament makest Thy servant Abraham, according to Thy oath, the father of all nations".

In reality it is by baptism with water, which was formerly administered at Easter, and of the Holy Ghost suggesting Pentecost, that having been made children of Abraham we enter upon the inheritance promised to us, that is the Church, the Heavenly Jerusalem, of which the Holy Land was a type. The Church prays on Holy Saturday: "Grant that all the nations of the world may become the children of Abraham, and by holy adoption, multiply the sons of the promise." We can see from this why to-day's station is made at St. Peter's, since the prince of the apostles was chosen by Christ to be the Head of the Church in a still more excellent sense than Abraham, "the father of all them that believe."

Faith in Christ, dead and risen again, is the subject of the Gospel, that faith by which Abraham merited to become the Father of all nations and which enables us to become his children. We read how Christ foretold His Passion and His victory and how He restored the sight of a blind man, and told him: "Thy faith hath saved thee." On this St. Gregory comments: "This blind man recovered his sight under the very eyes of the apostles so that to have seen deeds wrought by the divine power might strengthen the faith of those who could not yet grasp the message that a heavenly mystery was revealed to the world. Indeed it was necessary, that when later they should see our Lord die in the very way foretold by Him, they should have no doubt at all that He must also rise from the dead."

In the epistle, in its turn, Abraham's faith is set forth in all its merit, and we are told what our own faith should be like. "So faith also," writes St. James, "if it hath not works, is dead in itself. Wilt thou know that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did cooperate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?"

A man is not saved by being a son of Abraham according to the flesh but by being Abraham's son by means of a faith like his. So St. Paul writes: "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision (to be a Jew) availeth anything, nor uncircumcision (to be a Gentile), but a new creature." "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness ."

If the custom of allowing ourselves a little relaxation of spirit, before undertaking the Lenten penance which binds us all, is of liturgical origin, let us not forget that the Church condemns all excess. To atone therefore, for those sins, that are committed, let us make a solemn adpration of the Blessed Sacrament, beside saying this prayer of reconciliation known as the Forty Hours' prayer , which was instituted either by S. Anthony-Mary Zaccaria (+ 1539); or by the Capuchin Father Joseph a Ferno (about 1636), a prayer richly indulgenced by Pope Clement XIII (1765). [This devotion orginated from the 40 hours Jesus passed in the tomb. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was included but at a later date, and regulated by Clement XI in 1705.]

Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias : quoniam firmamentum meum, et refugium meum es tu: et propter nomen tuum dux mihi eris, et enutries me. * In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum : in justitia tua libera me, et eripe me.
Be Thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of refuge, to save me : for Thou art my strength and my refuge : and for Thy Name's sake Thou wilt lead me, and nourish me. * In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded : deliver me in Thy justice, and save me.
(Psalm 30:3-4,2 from the Introit)

Preces nostras, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi: atque a peccatorum vinculis absolutos, ab omni nos adversitate custodi.
Do Thou, we beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully hear our prayers, that we being loosed from the bonds of our sins, may by Thee be defended against all adversity.
(Collect)

A cunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, mentis et corporis defende periculis: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semperque Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, atque beato N., et omnibus Sanctis, salutem nobis tribue benignus et pacem: ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, Ecclesia tua secura tibi serviat libertate.
Preserve us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers of soul and body: and by the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary, the ever Virgin-Mother of God, of the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, of Blessed N. and of all the Saints, grant us, in thy mercy, health and peace; that all adversities and errors being removed, thy Church may serve thee with undisturbed liberty.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
At that time, Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem. and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man. For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon and after they have scourged him, they will put him to death, and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things. And this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. Now it came to pass, that when he drew nigh to Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way-side, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him, saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see. And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people when they saw it, gave praise to God.
(St Luke chapter 18:31-43)

Friday, 24 February 2017

24th February, St Matthias, Apostle

St Matthias, Apostle

St. Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles (Epistle), says that the prophet had Judas in view when he declares "that his episcopate would pass into other hands." It is the Lord Himself who showed the one He had chosen to be associated with the eleven apostles (Epistle).

It is to St. Matthias that He confided the secrets made known to Him in the bosom of His Father (Gospel). Wherefore this holy apostle shares the glory " of the princes whom God has established over souls" (Offertory) and " He shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel " (Communion). Since their infidelity, indeed, "their house has become deserted " (Epistle) and the kingdom of heaven is transferred to the Gentiles who do penance. His name figures in the Canon of the Mass (second list).

Let us ask "God, who has included blessed Matthias in the college of the apostles, to grant us through his intercession" (Collect) that we may "atone for our sins" (Secret), so as to obtain "peace and pardon" (Postcommunion).

Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.
(Psalm 138:17,1-2 from the Introit of Mass).

Deus, qui beatum Matthiam Apostolorum tuorum collegio sociasti: tribue, quaesumus; ut ejus interventione, tuae circa nos pietatis semper viscera sentiamus.
O God, who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of Thine apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.
(Collect)

Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
In those days, Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about hundred and twenty): Men and brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus; who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity; and, being hanged, burst asunder in the midst; and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the same field was called in their tongue Haceldama, that is to say, the field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying they said : Thou Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen, to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
(Acts of the Apostles 1:15-26)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10066a.htm

Thursday, 23 February 2017

23rd February, St Peter Damian, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

St Peter Damian, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

St. Peter Damian showed remarkable piety from his childhood. Having, by chance, picked up a coin, he gave it to a priest requesting him to offer up the divine sacrifice for the soul of his father. He added to his name that of Damian his brother out of gratitude, because it was by his brother's generosity that he was able to pursue his studies. "Despising earthly riches" (Collect), he entered a monastery of Camaldolese of the Benedictine observance and soon became its abbot (Communion).

"As a light of souls, he was to be placed on the candlestick" (Gospel), and became bishop of Ostia and cardinal. He rendered immense services to the Sovereign Pontiffs by his learning, his commissions as legate and many other works. Taking his share in the apostolic life of Jesus, he combated the heresy of the Simonists and died at Faenza in 1072. Leo XII gave him the title of Doctor of the Church.

Let us imitate in his ardour for penance, St. Peter Damian, who contributed so much by his example and counsel, to spread the penitential practice of the discipline as an atonement for sin.

In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Concede nos, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: beati Petri, Confessoris tui atque Pontificis monita et exempla sectari; ut per terrestrium rerum contemptum aeterna gaudia consequamur.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, to follow the admonitions and examples of blessed Peter, Thy confessor and bishop; that by despising earthly things we may obtain eternal joys.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11764a.htm

23rd February, Vigil of St Matthias

Vigil of St Matthias

The Church attaches great importance to the feasts of the Apostles, which are preceded by a Vigil (Collect).

St. Matthias, elected by the will of God (Gospel), received Judas' share in the inheritance of the Church which was figured by the Promised Land divided into twelve tribes (Epistle). Called "to give his life" (Gospel), like Jesus, to crown his apostolic career, he suffered martyrdom and was "clothed by God in resplendent glory" (Communion).

Let us ask God to prepare us to celebrate piously the feast of His apostle, St. Matthias.

Ego autem sicut oliva fructifera in domo Domini, speravi in misericordia Dei mei: et exspectabo nomen tuum, quoniam bonum est ante conspectum sanctorum tuorum. * Quid gloriaris in malitia: qui potens es in iniquitate?
But I, as a fruitful olive-tree in the house of the Lord, have hoped in the mercy of my God: and I will wait on Thy name, for it is good in the sight of Thy saints. * Why dost thou glory in malice, thou that art mighty in iniquity?
(Psalm 51:10-11,3 from the Introit of Mass)

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the solemn feast of Thine apostle Matthias, which we anticipate, may both increase our devotion and advance our salvation.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10066a.htm

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

22nd February, The Chair of St Peter at Antioch

The Chair of St Peter at Antioch

To honour the dignity of the "prince" (Introit) to whom Jesus has committed the power of the keys (Collect), the Church instituted the feast of the "Chair of St Peter," which is found in the Roman calendar at this date since the year 354.

As it often falls in Lent, certain churches celebrated it at an earlier date, in January. Hence the two feasts of the Chair of St Peter, which the Church distinguished by connecting the more ancient one [Rome, until the sixteenth century, only celebrated this date], on February 22nd, with the Chair at Antioch, and the one on January 18th with the Chair of Peter at Rome. St Peter indeed resided for some time at Antioch about the years 51-52.

It is to St Peter, who proclaimed that Jesus was was "the Christ, Son of the living God" (Gospel) when all Palestine rejected Him that the Master commits the power to bind Satan by closing the gates of hell, to open for us the gates of heaven (Gospel). And the Head of the Church teaches us in his first Epistle that it is "by faith in the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ that the Holy Ghost sanctifies us and reconciles us to the Father."

The commemoration of St. Paul immediately follows the Collect of the feast, for the liturgy does not separate those who have so justly been called the two pillars of the Church.

Let us to-day honour the Head of the Church who continues here below the redeeming work of Jesus.

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.
(Collect)

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: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03551e.htm