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, 26 April 2015

Third Sunday after Easter

Third Sunday after Easter

The Church rejoices because Christ is risen and has delivered us (Alleluia); so she sends up cries of joy (Introit), and sings the praises of God (Offertory).

"A little while and now you shall not see Me", said our Lord in the Cenacle... and you shall lament and weep" and "again a little while and you shall see Me... and your heart shall rejoice" (Gospel). When the apostles beheld our Lord again they experienced this joy which still overflows into the Easter liturgy. And just as Easter is a type of the external Pasch, so this is the same joy which will be felt by the Church when, having with sorrow begotten souls to God, she sees her Lord once more, triumphant in Heaven, at the end of time; but a short season compared with eternity. He will change our sorrow into joy which no man shall take from us (Gospel).

This holy joy begins here below, for our Lord has not left us orphans, but comes to us by the Holy Ghost, whose grace fills us with the hope of future bliss. As strangers and pilgrims journeying to heaven in the train of our risen Lord, we should not cling to the vain pleasures of the world but rather as St. Peter tells us, we should follow the precepts, positive and negative of the Gospel (Epistle), that professing ourselves Christians, we may "reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same" (Collect). So may we come to the heavenly kingdom whose joy and glory are described for us by St. John. "One of the seven angels said to me: Come and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And I saw the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Alleluia. How beautiful is she become, this bride from Lebanon" (Response).

Let us eat the Lord's Passover, that this nourishment of our souls may protect also our bodies (Postcommunion), and that subduing our worldly desires, it may make us love the things of heaven (Secret).

Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, alleluia: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, alleluia: date gloriam laudi ejus, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Dicite Deo, quam terribilia sunt opera tua, Domine. In multitudine virtutis tuae mentientur tibi inimici tui.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia: sing ye a psalm to His name, alleluia: give glory to His praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Say unto God: How terrible are Thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of Thy strength Thy enemies shall lie to Thee.
(Psalm 65:1-3 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiae, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis: da cunctis qui Christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea quae sunt apta, sectari.
O God, who dost show to them that are in error the light of Thy truth, that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant to all those who profess themselves Christians to reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father. Then some of His disciples said one to another: What is this that He saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that He saith, A little while? We know not what He speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him. And He said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.
(St. John 16:16-22)

26th April, SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs

SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs

St. Cletus is the third Pope. Born at Rome, he was converted by St. Peter and succeeded St. Linus on the pontifical throne. He received the crown of martyrdom in 91, under the Emperor Domitian and was buried near the Prince of the Apostles.

St. Marcellinus was also a Roman. He governed the Church from 293 to 304, during the terrible persecution of Diocletian who caused him to be beheaded. The name of St. Cletus is in the Canon (first list).

Their Mass is that of Martyrs in Paschaltide. It shows how faith in the virtue of the resurrection of Christ sustains souls in the midst of the sufferings they have to undergo on earth after Christ (Epistle) before sharing in His triumph in heaven (Intrcit, Epistle, Gospel, Offertory, Communion).

Let us glorify Jesus, whose members we are, by producing many fruits of patience, as did these holy martyrs (Gospel).


Sancti tui, Domine, benedicent te: gloriam regni tui dicent, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaltabo te, Deus meus Rex: et benedicam nomini tuo in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Let the saints bless Thee, O Lord; they shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, alleluia, alleluia. * I will extol Thee, O God my King: and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.
(Psalm 144:10-11,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Beatorum Martyrum, pariterque Pontificum Cleti et Marcellini nos, Domine, foveat pretiosa confessio: et pia jugiter intercessio tueatur.
May the precious confession of the blessed martyrs and bishops, Cletus and Marcellinus, be our solace, O Lord, and may their loving intercession ever be our sure defence. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

April 25 The Greater Litanies

The Greater Litanies 

Station at St Peter's

The Church celebrates to-day two solemnities which have nothing in common: The Greater Litanies, so called on account of their Roman origin, and the feast of St. Mark which is of later date.

In ancient Rome, on April 25th, used to be celebrated the pagan feast of Robigalia. It consisted principally of a procession which, leaving the town by the Flaminian gate, went to the Milvian bridge and ended in a suburban sanctuary situated on the Claudian Way. There a ewe was sacrificed in honour of a god or goddess of the name of Robigo [god or goddess of frost.] The Greater Litany was the substitution of a Christian for a pagan ceremony - its itinerary is known to us by a convocation of St. Gregory the Great. It is approximately the same as that of the pagan procession. All the faithful in Rome betook themselves to the church of St. Laurence in Lucina, the nearest to the Flaminian Gate. Leaving by this gate, the procession made a station at St. Valentine's, crossed the Milvian bridge and branched off to the left towards the Vatican. After halting at a cross, it entered the basilica of St. Peter for the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.

This litany is recited throughout the Church to keep away calamities, and to draw down the blessing ol God on the harvest. "Vouchsafe to grant us to preserve the fruits of the earth, we pray Thee, hear us," is sung by the procession through the countryside.

The whole Mass shows what assiduous prayer may obtain, when in the midst of our adversities (Collects, Offertory) we have recourse with confidence to our Father in heaven (Epistle, Gospel, Communion).

If the feast of St. Mark is transferred, the Litanies are not transferred, unless they fall on Easter Sunday. In which case they are transferred to the following Tuesday.


The Mass throughout points to the efficacy of the prayer of the just man when humble, sure and persistent. Elias by prayer closed and opened the heavens (Epistle), and our Lord shows us by two parables that God Kives His Holy Spirit to whosoever asks Him, because He is good (Gospel, Alleluia). In our afflictions let us place our trust in God and He will hear our prayers (Introit, Collect).

Exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam, alleluia: et clamor meus in conspectu ejus, introivit in aures ejus, alleluia, alleluia. * Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea: Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.
He heard my voice from His holy temple, alleluia; and my cry before Him came into His ears, alleluia, alleluia. * I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, my refuge and my deliverer.
(Psalm 17:7,2-3 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in afflictione nostra de tua pietate confidimus; contra adversa omnia, tua semper protectione muniamur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who in our affliction confide in Thy mercy, may be ever defended by Thy protection against all adversity.
(Collect)

25th April, St Mark, Evangelist

St Mark, Evangelist


St. Mark, the disciple of St. Peter, is one of the four Evangelists (Collect) who wrote, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, an abridgement of the life of Jesus. His narration begins by the mission of St. John the Baptist whose "voice was heard in the desert"; he is represented with a lion lying at his feet, because the lion, one of the four symbolical animals in the vision of Ezechiel (Epistle), makes the desert re-echo with its roaring.

He was one of the seventy-two disciples (Gospel). He went to Egypt where he was the first to announce Christ at Alexandria. The preaching of the Gospel, which his martyrdom confirmed, made him to enter into glory (Secret) where St. John shows him to us as one of the four symbolical animals who attend the triumph of the immolated Lamb.

His body was taken to Venice, whose patron he is since the ninth century. Rome possesses a church dedicated to St. Mark, where a Station is held on the Monday of the third week in Lent.

Let us profit by the teaching of St. Mark who wrote the Gospel of Christ and preached it, and let us have recourse to his prayers (Collect).


Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluia: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Marcum Evangelistam tuum evangelicae praedicationis gratia sublimasti: tribue, quaesumus; ejus nos semper et eruditione proficere, et oratione defendi.
O God, who by Thy grace didst raise up blessed Mark, Thy evangelist to be a preacher of the gospel; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may ever profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09672c.htm

Friday, 24 April 2015

24th April, St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr

St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr

St Fidelis was born at Sigmaringen (Suabia) in 1577. He was at first a magistrate and took so much interest in the poor that he was called "the Advocate of the poor". He entered the seraphic Order of St. Francis, intimately united to God in continual prayer and work, he asked and obtained from Him to shed his blood for the Catholic faith. He was sent to the country of the Grisons where Protestant soldiers, fearing his influence, stabbed him to death at Sevis in 1622 (Collect).

This holy martyr who, in the Paschal Cycle, takes his place among the attendants of the risen Lord, shares with Him the felicity of the sons of God (Epistle).

The Gospel of the Martyr's Mass in Paschaltide is, like the Gospels after Easter, a passage from the last discourse pronounced by the Master on the eve of His death. On the symbolical vine, which is Jesus, there ure two sorts of branches which receive different treatment. Those without fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire. Those that bear fruit are on the contrary "carefully pruned in order that they may produce still more." That is why St. Fidelis was persecuted and put to death.

Let us obtain by the merits of this saint to be, like him, "so confirmed in faith and charity that we may be faithful in God's service unto death" (Collect).

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Fidelem, seraphico spiritus ardore succensum, in verae fidei propagation martyrii palma et gloriosis miraculis decorare dignatus es: ejus, quaesumus, meritis et intercessione, ita nos per gratiam tuam in fide et caritate confirma; ut in servitio tuo fideles usque ad mortem inveniri mereamur.
O God, who didst enkindle in the heart of blessed Fidelis a seraphic love, bestowing upon him the palm of martyrdom and the grace of working miracles in spreading the true faith; we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, to strengthen us by Thy grace, in faith and charity, that we may deserve to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. 
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06069a.htm

Thursday, 23 April 2015

23rd April, St George, Martyr

St George, Martyr


St. George, born of an illustrious family in Cappadocia, was promoted by Diocletian to the first ranks in the army.

When the Emperor had published at Nicomedia his first edict against the Christians, St. George reproached him for his cruelty. Immediately cast into prison, he was subjected to such atrocious torments that the Eastern Church calls him the Great Martyr. He was beheaded in 303.

This patron of armies is venerated by Greeks and Latins. Rome possesses a sanctuary erected in his honour where the Station is held on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. England chose him for her patron in the XIIIth century. Therefore in this country his feast is a double of first class with an octave. He is one of the 14 Auxiliary Saints.


Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)


Deus, qui nos beati Georgii Martyris tui meritis et intercessione laetificas: concede propitius: ut, qui tua per eum beneficia poscimus dono tuae gratiae consequamur.
O God who dost gladden us by the merits and intercession of blessed George, Thy martyr; mercifully grant that we who beseech Thy blessings through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06453a.htm

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

22nd April, SS Soter and Caius, Popes and Martyrs

SS. Soter and Caius, Popes and Martyrs

Soter succeeded Pope Anicetus in 161 and was martyred ten years later under Marcus Aurelius. Caius, whose relics are kept in the sanctuary of St. Sylvester at Rome, governed the Church a century later and was put to death in 296.

Like all the Sovereign Pontiffs of the first centuries they united their sacrifice to that of Christ and "in Him bore much fruit " (Epistle). "God then avenged the blood of His servants and invited them to the marriage feast of the Lamb" (Epistle), to associate them in His triumph and happiness (Gospel, Offertory, Communion).

Let us honour the blessed martyrs Soter and Caius in order that in heaven their powerful intercession may obtain for us divine protection (Collect).

Sancti tui, Domine, benedicent te: gloriam regni tui dicent, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaltabo te, Deus meus Rex: et benedicam nomini tuo in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Let the saints bless Thee, O Lord; they shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, alleluia, alleluia. * I will extol Thee, O God my King: and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.
(Psalm 144:10-11,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Beatorum Martyrum pariterque Pontificum Soteris et Caii nos, quaesumus, Domine, festa tueantur: et eorum commendet oratio veneranda.
May the festival of the blessed martyrs and bishops Soter and Caius, be a safeguard unto us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and may their venerable prayer commend us to Thee.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03144c.htm