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, 28 December 2012

New Link - Romanitas Press

Click to return Home

The website, Romanitas Press, in addition to offering many useful liturgical books, also features the serialization of the witty classic, Peregrinus Gasolinus: Wandering Notes on the Liturgy, various articles and free altar serving and training notes.

Peregrinus Gasolinus: Wandering Notes on the Liturgy

Newly-published chapters of Fr. Chapman's witty book:

Comb-bound reproductionsSome important rubrical reference works for parish and pontifical ceremonies are now available. Here are few from the entire collection presently available:

Pontifical Ceremonies: A Study of the Episcopal Ceremonies(Ahearne-Lane) An excellent resource on how to execute the various pontifical ceremonies, from Confirmations to Pontifical Mass at the Throne (or Faldstool)

Custom of Prelates of the Catholic Church: According to Roman Etiquette
(John Nainfa) The most comprehensive guide on the dress of prelates, the clergy and religious orders available in English.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Sunday, 2 September 2012

14th Sunday after Pentecost - DRAFT

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The lessons of this Sunday's office are often taken from Ecclesiasticus or Job, according as the Sunday falls in August (4th or 5th Sunday) or September (1st or 2nd Sunday).

Commenting on the former, St. Gregory says: "There are men all athirst for passing joys who are ignorant or indifferent where eternal blessings are concerned. Poor wretches! They congratulate themselves on possessing the good things of this life without regretting those of the world above, which they have lost. Fashioned for light and truth, they never lift up the eyes of the soul; never betray the smallest desire or longing for the contemplation of their eternal home. Giving themselves over to the pleasures among which they are thrown, they bestow their affection upon a dreary place of exile as if it were their fatherland; and surrounded by darkness, they are full of rejoicing as if they were illumined by a brilliant light. On the other hand the elect, in whose eyes fleeting goods are of no value, seek after those for which their souls were made. Kept in this world by the bonds of the flesh, each, none the less, is carried in spirit beyond it while making the wholesome resolve to despise the passing things of time and to desire the things which endure for eternity."

As for Job, he is set before us in Holy Scripture as the very type of a man detached from the goods of this world. " If," said he, "we have received good things at the hands of God, why should we not receive evil?... The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ... Blessed be the name of the Lord."

The proper of to-day's Mass is inspired by the same thoughts The Holy Ghost, whom the Church received at Pentecost, has formed a new man in us who resists the outward manifestations of the old man, namely covetousness and the search for riches, in order to satisfy it. The Spirit of God is a spirit of liberty, who by making us children of God, our Father, and brethren of Jesus our Lord, frees us from the slavery of sin and the tyranny of concupiscence. " They that are Christ's, " says St. Paul, " have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences." " Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh : for the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another" (Epistle). And our Lord says: "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon."

St. Augustine, in expounding this passage, says: "Whoever is the slave of riches (and we know that only too often they are the source of pride, avarice, injustice and lust)1 is subject to a hard and wicked master. Entirely at the mercy of his passions, he is under the tyranny of the devil. Certainly he does not love him, for who can love the devil? But all the same he endures him. On the other hand he does not hate God, for this, no man's conscience will let him do, but he despises Him, that is, he does not fear Him, as if he were sure of His goodness.

"The Holy Ghost puts us on our guard against this negligence and pernicious sense of security, when He says by the Prophet: 'Say not: The mercy of the Lord is great.' (Ecclesiasticus, 5:6), but know that 'the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance' (Romans 2:4). For who is more merciful than He who pardons the sins of all who turn to Him, and who gives the fertility of the olive to the wild branch? And who is more severe than He who has not spared the natural branches but because of their infidelity has cut them off? If anyone wishes to love God and to contrive never to offend Him, let him not think that he can serve two masters; let him have a single intention free from duplicity. Thus must you think about the Lord's goodness, and seek Him in simplicity of heart. Therefore," he goes on, "I tell you not to have any superfluous anxiety as to what you will eat and what you will put on, lest perhaps, without seeking superfluities, the heart may become double, and in pursuing what is necessary, your intention may be turned aside to seek your own interests rather than the advantage of your neighbour." (3rd Nocturn).

Before all, then, let us seek the kingdom of God, and His justice and glory (Gospel, Communion); let us put all our hope in the Lord for He is our protector (Introit); it is He who sends His angels to deliver those who serve Him (Offertory), and who upholds our weak human nature, for without this divine assistance it would surely fail (Gospel). It is the Eucharist which wins for us the favour of Almighty God (Secret) which by strengthening us makes our salvation sure (Postcommunion).

Let us love, above all things, to pray in the courts of the Lord (verse of the Introit), and to go there to sing the praises of God our Saviour (Alleluia). Then let us look after our temporal affairs but without being unduly anxious about them. Such solicitude would be an outrage to our heavenly Father who loves His children, and who lets them want for nothing provided they seek His glory before all else.

1. "Do not," asks St. John Chrysostom, " these daily feasts, these orgies, these theatres, these riches, bear witness to the insatiable greed of your evil passions?" (2nd Nocturn of the fifth Sunday of August, which sometimes coincides with this Sunday).

2. These words are taken from the 1st Nocturn of the fifth Sunday of August: "Say not: The mercy of the Lord is great; He will have mercy on the multitude of my sins, for mercy and wrath quickly come from Him: and His wrath looketh upon sinners. Delay not to be converted to the Lord: and defer it not from day to day. For His wrath shall come on a sudden: and in the time of vengeance He will destroy thee. Be not anxious for goods unjustly gotten: for they shall not profit thee in the day of calamity and revenge." (See 2nd Nocturn.)

Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et respice in faciem Christi tui: quia melior est dies una in atriis tuis super millia. * Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum! concupiscit et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.
Behold, O God, our protector, and look on the face of Thy Christ: for better is one day in Thy courts above thousands. * How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.
(Psalm 83:1-3, from the Introit of Mass)

Custodi, Domine, quaesumus, Ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua: et quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas; tuis semper auxlliis et abstrahatur a noxiis, et ad salutaria dirigatur.
Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with perpetual peace; and because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Nemo potest duobus dominis servire: aut enim unum odio habebit, et alterum diliget: aut unum sustinebit, et alterum contemnet. Non potestis Deo servire, et mammonae. Ideo dico vobis, ne solliciti sitis animae vestrae quid manducetis, neque corpori vestro quid induamini. Nonne anima plus est quam esca: et corpus plus quam vestimentum? Respicite volatilia caeli, quoniam non serunt, neque metunt, neque congregant in horrea: et Pater vester caelestis pascit illa. Nonne vos magis pluris estis illis? Quis autem vestrum cogitans potest adjicere ad staturam suam cubitum unum? Et de vestimento quid solliciti estis? Considerate lilia agri quomodo crescunt: non laborant, neque nent. Dico autem vobis, quoniam nec Salomon in omni gloria sua coopertus est sicut unum ex istis. Si autem foenum agri, quod hodie est, et eras in clibanum mittitur, Deus sic vestit: quanto magis vos modicae fidei? Nolite ergo solliciti esse, dicentes: Quid manducabimus aut quid bibemus, aut quo operiemur? Haec enim omnia gentes inquirunt. Scit enim Pater vester, quia his omnibus indigetis. Quaerite ergo primum regnum Dei, et justitiam ejus: et haec omnia adjicientur vobis.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air; for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not of much more value than they? And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labour not, neither do they spin; but I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is to-day, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more you, O ye of little faith! Be not solicitous therefore saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed, for after all these things do the heathens seek, For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God, and His justice; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(St Matthew 6:24-33)

Quaerite primum regnum Dei, et justitiam ejus, et haec omnia adjicientur vobis, alleluia.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you, alleluia.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat: Matt. 6)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fr Hugh Thwaites SJ, RIP

I see from Fr Finigan's blog that the well-known Jesuit priest Fr Thwaites has gone to his eternal reward:

Having failed to find a photo of Fr Thwaites - who seems to have evaded the camera with consummate skill - I put instead a picture of St Ignatius Loyola.

Fr Thwaites was a loyal Jesuit. He was loyal to his vows, and to his undertakings that he made in the Order. I doubt he would want any other memorial. Except, possibly, to tell us to go often to communion, and to confession, to say the Rosary, and to guard as precious the gift of the Catholic faith.

"Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help
him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.
From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end,
and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.
For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is
allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want
not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long
rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive
for us to the end for which we are created."
(The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola)

Friday, 17 August 2012

Prayers before and After Communion

These few prayers are taken from the Roman Missal. As the official prayers of the Church, they are to be preferred to any private devotions. They are all enriched with indulgences.

Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas before Communion

Almighty and eternal God, behold, I approach the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I approach as one who is sick to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of eternal brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I beseech Thee, of Thine infinite goodness, to heal my sickness, to wash away my filth, to enlighten my blindness, to enrich my poverty, and to clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords with such reverence and humility, with such contrition and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention, as may conduce to the salvation of my soul. Grant, I beseech Thee, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, but also the fruit and virtue of this Sacrament. O most indulgent God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took of the Virgin Mary, that I may be found worthy to be incorporated with His mystical body and numbered among His members. O most loving Father, grant that I may one day contemplate for ever, face to face. Thy beloved Son, whom now on my pilgrimage I am about to receive under the sacramental veils; who liveth and reigneth with Thee God, world without end. Amen.

Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas after Communion

I give Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God,  who hast vouchsafed, not for any merits of mine, but only out of the condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me a sinner, Thine unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion be not to me a condemnation unto punishment, but a saving plea unto forgiveness. May it be unto me the armour of faith and the shield of good will. May it be the emptying out of my vices, the extinction of all concupiscence and lust, the increase of charity and patience, humility and obedience, and of all virtues; a strong defence against the snares of all enemies, visible and invisible; the quieting of all my evil impulses, both fleshly ghostly; a firm cleaving unto Thee, the one true God; and a pledge of a blessed destiny. And I beseech Thee, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, a sinner, to that ineffable banquet, where Thou, with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true light, fulness of content, eternal joy, gladness without alloy and perfect bliss. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anima Christi.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesu, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come unto Thee.
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.
For ever and ever. Amen.

Obsecro Te

I beseech Thee, most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, grant that Thy Passion may be to me a power by which I may be strengthened, protected and defended. May Thy wounds be to me food and drink, by which I may be nourished, inebriated and overjoyed. May the sprinkling of Thy Blood be to me an ablution for all my sins. May Thy death prove to me life everlasting, and Thy cross be to me an eternal glory. In these be my refreshment, my joy, my preservation and sweetness of heart. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Prayer before a Crucifix

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul, I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on Thy lips concerning Thee: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones” (Ps. 21:17-18).

Translation is from the St Andrew's Daily Missal. Buy your copy now from Bonaventure Publications:

Tuesday, 19 June 2012




O Lord Jesus Christ, King of everlasting glory, behold I desire to come to Thee this day, and to receive Thy Body and Blood in this heavenly Sacrament, for Thy honour and glory, and the good of my soul. I desire to receive Thee, because it is Thy desire, and Thou hast so ordained: blessed be Thy Name for ever. I desire to come to Thee like Magdalen, that I may be delivered from all my evils, and embrace Thee, my only good. I desire to come to Thee, that I may be happily united to Thee, that I may henceforth abide in Thee, and Thou in me; and that nothing in life or death may ever separate me from Thee.

Commemorate the Passion of Christ

 desire, in these holy mysteries, to commemorate, as Thou hast commanded, all Thy sufferings : Thy agony and bloody sweat; Thy being betrayed and apprehended; all the reproaches and calumnies, all the scoffs and affronts, all the blows and buffets, Thou hast endured for me; Thy being scourged, crowned with thorns, and loaded with a heavy cross for my sins, and for those of the whole world; Thy Crucifixion and Death, together with Thy glorious Resurrection and triumphant Ascension. I adore Thee, and give Thee thanks for all that Thou hast done and suffered for us; and for giving us, in the most blessed Sacrament, this pledge of our redemption, this victim of our ransom, this Body and Blood which was offered for us.

Make an Act of Faith

I most firmly believe, O Jesus, that in this holy Sacrament Thou art present verily and indeed ; that here are Thy Body and Blood, Thy soul and Thy divinity. I believe that Thou, my Saviour, true God and true Man, art really here, with all Thy treasures; that here Thou communicatest Thyself to us, makest us partakers qf the fruit of Thy Passion, and givest us a pledge of eternal life. I believe there cannot be a greater happiness than to receive Thee worthily, nor a greater misery than to receive Thee unworthily. All this I most steadfastly believe, because it is what Thou hast taught us by Thy Church.

Make an Act of Contrition

O Lord, I detest, with my whole heart, all the sins by which I have offended Thy Divine Majesty, from the first moment that I was capable of sinning to this very hour; I desire to lay them all at Thy feet, to be cancelled by Thy precious Blood. Hear me, O Lord, by that infinite love by which Thou hast shed Thy Blood for me. O let not that Blood be shed in vain! I detest my sins, because they have offended Thy infinite goodness. By Thy grace I will never commit them any more. I am sorry for them, and will be sorry for them as long as I live, and, according to the best of my power, will do penance for them. Forgive me, dear Lord, for Thy mercy's sake; pardon me all that is past; and be Thou my keeper for the time to come, that I may never more offend Thee.

When the time comes to receive Holy Communion, join with the clerk in saying the Confiteor, and with the Priest when he says the Domine, non sum dignus. Approach the altar rails quietly and devoutly. At the moment you receive say: May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.


After Communion, always spend at least a quarter of an hour in thanksgiving.

Acts of Devotion, Praise, and Thanksgiving

O Lord Jesus Christ, my Creator and my Redeemer, my God and my All, whence is this to me, that my Lord, and so great a Lord, whom heaven and earth cannot contain, should come into this poor dwelling, this house of clay of my earthly habitation. Bow down thyself, with all thy powers, O my soul, to adore the Sovereign Majesty which hath vouchsafed to come to visit thee ; pay Him the best homage thou art able, as to thy first beginning and thy last end; pour thyself forth in His presence in praises and thanksgiving, and invite all heaven and earth to join with thee in magnifying their Lord and thine for His mercy and bounty to thee.

What return shall I make to Thee, O Lord, for all Thou hast done for me? Behold, when I had no being at all, Thou didst create me; and when I was gone astray, and lost in my sins, Thou didst redeem me by dying for me. All that I have, all that I am, is Thy gift; and now, after all Thy other favours, Thou hast given me Thyself. Blessed be Thy name for ever. Thou art great, O Lord, and exceedingly to be praised : great are Thy works, and of Thy wisdom there is no end; but Thy tender mercies, Thy bounty and goodness to me, are above all Thy works. These I desire to confess and extol for ever.

Bless then, thy Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee praise and magnify His Name. Bless thy Lord, O my soul, and see thou never forget all that He hath done for thee. O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and glorify Him for ever. O all ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and glorify His holy Name. Bless the Lord, all ye Saints, and let the whole Church of heaven and earth join in praising and giving Him thanks for all His mercies and graces to me, and so, in some measure, supply what is due from me. But as all this still falls short of what I owe Thee for Thy infinite love, I offer to Thee, O Eternal Father, the same Son of Thine whom Thou hast given me, and His Thanksgiving, which is infinite in value. Look not, then, upon my insensibility and ingratitude, but upon the face of Thy Christ, and with Him, and through Him, receive this offering of my poor self, which I desire to make to Thee.

Petitions after Communion

O most merciful Saviour, behold I have presumed to receive Thee this day into my house, relying on Thy infinite goodness and mercy, and hoping, like Zaccheus, to obtain Thy benediction. But, alas! with how little preparation, with how little devotion! From my heart I beg pardon for my great unworthiness, and for my innumerable sins, which I detest for the love of Thee. Thou seest, O Searcher of hearts, all my maladies, and all the wounds of my soul. Thou knowest how prone I am to evil, and how backward  and sluggish to good. Who can heal all these my evils but Thou, the true Physician of my soul, who givest me Thy Body and Blood in this blessed Sacrament, as a sovereign medicine for all my infirmities? Dispel the darkness of ignorance from my understanding by Thy heavenly light; drive away the corruption and malice of my will by the fire of Divine love and charity; strengthen my weakness with heavenly fortitude; subdue in me all evil passions, particularly that which is most deeply rooted in me; stand by me henceforward in all my temptations, that I may never more be overcome; and grant me that I may rather die a thousand deaths than live to offend Thee mortally.

O my Jesus, Thou art infinitely rich, and all the treasures of Divine grace are locked up in Thee! These treasures Thou bringest with Thee when Thou dost visit us in this blessed Sacrament, and Thou takest an infinite pleasure in opening them to us to enrich our poverty. This it is that gives me confidence to present Thee now with my petitions, and to beg of Thee those graces and virtues which I stand so much in need of. Oh, increase and strengthen my belief of Thy heavenly truths, and grant that henceforward I may ever live by faith, and be guided by the maxims of Thy Gospel. Teach me to be poor in spirit, and take off my heart from the love of these transitory things, and fix it upon eternity: teach me, by Thy Divine example, and by Thy most efficacious grace, to be meek and humble of heart, and in my patience to possess my soul. Grant that I may ever keep my body and soul chaste and pure; that I may ever bewail my past sins, and by a daily mortification, restrain all irregular inclinations and passions for the future. Teach me to love Thee, to be ever recollected in Thee, and to walk always in Thy presence; teach me to love my friends in Thee, and my enemies for Thee; grant me grace to persevere to the end in this love, and so to come one day to that blessed place where I may love and enjoy Thee for ever.

Have mercy also on my parents, friends, and benefactors, and on all those for whom I am bound to pray, that we may all love Thee and faithfully serve Thee. Have mercy on Thy whole Church, especially on the clergy and religious men and women, that all may live up to their callings and sanctify Thy Name. Give Thy grace and blessing to all princes and magistrates, and to all Christian people; convert all unbelievers and sinners, and bring all strayed sheep back to Thy fold; particularly have mercy on N. and N. etc.

O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my God and Saviour, recommend all these my petitions to your Son. O all ye Angels and Saints, citizens of heaven, unite your prayers with mine; you ever stand before the throne, and see Him face to face whom I here receive hidden under the sacramental veil; be ever mindful of me, and obtain from Him, and through Him, that with you I may bless Him and love Him for ever. Amen.


To which Pope Pius IX has annexed a plenary Indulgence, applicable to the souls in purgatory, which all the faithful may obtain, who, after having confessed their sins with contrition, and received the Holy Communion, and prayed for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff, shall devoutly recite it before an image or representation of Christ crucified.

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm desire of amendment, whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself, and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious wounds ; having before my eyes that which David spake in prophecy: "They pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Monday, 2 April 2012


From Rorate Coeli.

I believe that the Traditional Rites of East and West contain within themselves so many elements of Apostolic origin that it is impossible to separate these from the elements added by post-Apostolic ecclesiastical tradition.

I believe no man here on earth (Pastor Aeternus, IV, 6) can rightfully determine the complete abrogation, full substitution, or substantial derogation of any received Traditional Rite, of East and West, which contains inextricable Apostolic elements.

I believe Ecclesiastical History continuously proves that the rights of the liturgical rites "established by long and immemorial prescription" have always been respected by the Holy Roman Church, even in ages of great liturgical crises and heresies (Quo Primum; Quod a Nobis).

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Our Lady on Saturday

Mass of Our Lady on Saturday, from the Purification until Easter

At this season, consecrated to the great work of our Redemption, the Mass of the Blessed Virgin shows us Mary as Mother of our Saviour. She was predestined from all eternity for the role of co-redemptrix (Epistle), for as Eve was the intermediary chosen by the Angel of darkness to bring about the fall of Adam, so is Mary the intermediary to whom the Angel Gabriel (tract) delivered the message of salvation from heaven. She is also blessed, since she heard the word of God and obeyed it (Gospel).

The beautiful introit used for the common masses of Our Lady - Salve Sancta Parens - is two lines taken from the "Carmen Paschale" (liber secundus, lines 63-64) by the great fifth century Christian poet Sedulius. When sung, the Gregorian chant used is the same beautiful melody as for the Epiphany.

Salve, sancta Parens, eníxa puérpera Regem: qui coelum terrámque regit in saecula saeculórum. * Eructávit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego ópera mea Regi.
Hail, holy Mother, thou who didst bring forth the King who ruleth heaven and earth for ever and ever. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Sedulius and Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of Mass).

Concéde nos fámulos tuos, quaesumus, Dómine Deus, perpetua mentis et córporis sanitáte gaudére: et, gloriósa beátae Maríae semper Vírginis intercessióne, a praesénti liberári tristítia et aeterna pérfrui laetítia.
Grant us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, to be delivered from present sorrows and to enjoy everlasting gladness.

Gaude, María Virgo, cunctas haereses sola interemísti.
V. Quae Gabriélis Archángeli dictis credidísti.
V. Dum Virgo Deum et hóminem genuísti: et post partum, Virgo, invioláta permansísti.
V. Dei Génetrix, intercéde pro nobis.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all heresies.
V. Who didst believe the words of the archangel Gabriel.
V. Whilst a virgin thou didst bring forth God and man: and after childbirth thou didst remain a virgin.
V. O Mother of God, intercede for us.

Catholic Encyclopaedia on Sedulius:
The Carmen Paschale is available at The Latin Library:

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

In the Gospels for the preceding Sundays after Epiphany, our Lord's divinity was shown forth by His miracles. Today it is affirmed through His doctrine, which filled the Jews of Nazareth with wonder (Communion).

Christ is our King (Introit, Alleluia), for He welcomes not only Jews but also Gentiles into His Kingdom. Called through pure mercy to share in teh mystical body of Christ, we must then in our turn, show mercy to our neighbour since we are made one with him in Christ Jesus (Epistle). In doing this we shall have need of patience, since in God's kingdom here on earth there are both good and bad, and it is only when our Lord comes to judge men, as described in the last Sunday of the temporal cycle, that He will separate the one from the other for all Eternity.

Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion, et exsultaverunt filiae Judas. * Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the Daughters of Juda rejoiced. * The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad.
(Psalm 96:7-8,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Familíam tuam, quaesumus Dómine, contínua pietáte custódi: ut quae in sola spe grátiae coeléstis in innítitur, tua semper protectióne muniátur.
Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thine household in Thine unceasing goodness that, as it leans only upon the hope of Thy heavenly grace, so it may be always defended by Thy protection.
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: The kingdom of Heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way.And when the blade was sprung up and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming, said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then has it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? and he said: No, lest perhaps, gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.
(St Matthew 13:24-30)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The Gospel is taken from the same chapter of St. Matthew as that for the Third Sunday after Epiphany and gives an account of a further miracle. Our Lord shows His divinity by commanding the angry sea and raging wind,powerful and intractable forces in creation. The wonderful character of the miracle is brought out clearly by the sacred writer in the contrast which he draws, between the fierce turmoil of the waves and the "great calm" that followed (Gospel). Since it is in the Church that the kingship of Christ is most fully carried out, the Fathers saw in the howling wind of the storm a type of the devils whose pride stirs up persecutions against God's people, and in the troubled sea the passions and malice of men, the great source of disobedience to authority and fraternal strife.

On the other hand, in the Church the great law of charity prevails, for while in the first three commandments the duty of loving God is laid upon us, by the remaining seven, as a natural result, we are bound to the love of our neighbour (Epistle). Indeed God Himself is in our neighbour since in a sense, we each form a fresh human nature for our Blessed Lord. Herein is the whole mystery of the Epiphany. Our Lord manifests Himself as the Son of God, and all those who acknowledge Him as such, and accept Him as their Leader and Head, become members of His mystical body. Being one in Christ, all Christians should love one another.

"This ship," says St. Augustine, "was a type of the Church," which through the centuries shows forth the divinity of our Lord. To His all powerful protection indeed, she owes the fact, that in spite of her frailty (Collect, Secret) she has not been swallowed up by the dangers which threaten her (Collect). St. Chrysostom remarks, "Our Lord seems to sleep that He may oblige us to have recourse to Him, nor does He ever fail to save those who call upon Him."

Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiae Judae. * Dominus regnavit; exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. * The Lord hath reigned let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad.
(Psalm 96:7-8,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis ut ea quae pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante, vincamus.
O God, who knowest that through human frailty, we are not able to subsist amidst such great dangers, grant us health of soul and body, that whatsoever things we suffer because of our sins, we may overcome them by thine assistance.

O God, who, by the fruitful Virginity of the Blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience Her intercession, by whom we received the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.
(Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church, that all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure and undisturbed devotion.
(Against the persecutors of the Church)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat his disciples followed him; and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awakened him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him?
(St Matthew 8:23-27)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Per Ipsum - Daily Traditional Readings by email

Somehow I've been unaware 'till this morning of the website "Per Ipsum" where one can subscribe to get the daily mass readings sent by email, in either French or English, according to the 1962 calendar.

This provides a similar service to the Novus Ordo based "Daily Gospel Online". Also worth being aware of is which provides links not only to Per Ipsum and DGO, but to similar services for the Byzantine and other rites of the Church.

The traditional missal only uses a fairly small selection of readings from the Holy Scriptures, unlike the Novus Ordo which tries to do everything (except the parts which are expurgated). So it makes sense for those of us who are Traditionalist to familiarize ourselves, thoroughly, with at least those parts of the Bible that have been selected for the Missal. Having them delivered daily to our inbox is one way of helping with this.

It would be nice to have also a daily Patristic reading, relevant to the feast, perhaps picked from the Breviary. The Breviary readings can be found at or