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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Wednesday 2 January 2019

2nd January, Octave of St Stephen, First Martyr

Octave of St Stephen, First Martyr

Sederunt principes, et adversum me loquebantur: et iniqui persecuti sunt me: adjuva me, Domine Deus meus, quia servus tuus exercebatur in tuis justificationibus. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me: help me, O Lord my God, for Thy servant was employed in Thy justifications.* Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.  (Psalm 118:23,86, 23, 1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui primitias Martyrum in beati Levitae Stephani sanguine dedicasti: tribue, quaesumus; ut pro nobis intecessor exsistat, qui pro suis etiam persecutoribus exoravit Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
O almighty and everlasting God, who didst consecrate the first-fruits of the martyrs in the blood of the blessed Levite Stephen: grant, we beseech Thee, that he may intercede for us, who entreated even for his persecutors, our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son.

From a Sermon of the Bishop Saint Augustine.
Christ, the Chief of Martyrs, also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.  And the steps of the Passion of this same Chief of Martyrs did blessed Stephen follow close, in that he was stoned by the Jews for his confession of Christ, and thereby gained the crown which pertained to him in virtue of his name.  For in the Greek language the word Stephen doth signify a crown.  Thus already bore the name Crown, whereby was foretold the palm of martyrdom; which same he was to gain when he was stoned to death.  Yet notwithstanding, he sought not to draw down vengeance on his persecutors, but contrariwise prayed God to forgive them.
(Sermo 2 de S. Stephano)

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Stephen:

Reference for the sermon from St Augustine:

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
(Sunday between 1st and 6th January, or otherwise 2nd January)

The Church, having made known to us the Incarnation of the divine Son, now unfolds to us the glories of His Name.

Among the Jews a child received his name at the rite of Circumcision. For this feast the Church uses the same Gospel as that of the Circumcision, emphasising the latter part which records that His Name was called Jesus (Gospel) as God did bid that His Name be called Jesus. (Collect) The name means Saviour and we read There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Epistle) The origin of this feast goes back to the 16th century, when it was already observed by the Franciscan Order. In 1721, during the pontificate of Innocent XIII, its observance was extended to the whole Church. If we wish to see our names written in heaven under the glorious name of Jesus (Postcommunion), that name must be often on our lips here below.

An indulgence of twenty days may be gained by all who bow the head with reverence when speaking or hearing the names of Jesus and Mary, while Pope St Pius X granted 300 days to those who piously invoke them with the lips, or at least in the heart.

In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. * Domine Dominus noster: quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra!
In the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. * O Lord our Lord: how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth!
(Philip. 2:10-11 and Psalm 8:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum constituisti humani generis Salvatorem, et Jesum vocari jussisti: concede propitius, ut cujus sanctum Nomen veneramur in terris, ejus quoque aspectu perfruamur in coelis.
O God, Who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son the Saviour of Mankind, and didst bid Him to be called Jesus: mercifully grant, that we who venerate His holy Name on earth, may fully enjoy also the vision of Him in heaven.

Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
In those days, Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the people and ancients, hear: if we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man by what means he hath been made whole, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel: that by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom your crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by Him this man standeth here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner: neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.
(Acts 4:8-12)

From Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year:

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Holy Name of Jesus:

Tuesday 1 January 2019

1st January, The Circumcision of Our Lord and Octave of the Nativity

The Circumcision of Our Lord and Octave of the Nativity

In the Liturgy of to-day three feasts are really included. The first, that which was known in the ancient sacramentaries as "On the octave-day of our Lord". So the Mass is largely borrowed from those of Christmas.

By the second feast we are reminded that it is to Mary, after almighty God, that we owe our Lord Himself. For this reason, formerly a second Mass was celebrated in the basilica of St. Mary Major, in honour of the Mother of God. Some traces of this Mass remain in the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion which are the same as in the votive mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The psalms at Vespers are also the same as on the feasts of our Lady.

The third feast is the Circumcision which has been kept since the sixth century. Moses commanded that all the young Israelites should undergo this rite on the eighth day after birth (Gospel). It is a type of Baptism by which a man is spiritually circumcised. "See," says St. Ambrose, "how the whole sequence of the Old Law foreshadowed that which was to come; for circumcision signifies the blotting out of sins. He who is spiritually circumcised by the rooting up of his vices is judged worthy of the Lord's favour." While speaking of the first drops of His sacred Blood that our Redeemer shed for the cleansing of our souls, the Church emphasises the thought of the cutting out of all that is evil in us. "Jesus Christ ... gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and cleanse us" (Epistle). "O Lord ... cleanse us by these heavenly mysteries" (Secret). "May this communion, O Lord, purify us from sin" (Postcommunion).

Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis, cujus imperium super humerum ejus: et vocabitur nomen ejus, magni consilii Angelus. * Cantate Domino canticum novum: quia mirabilia fecit.
A child is born to us, and a Son is given to us, whose government is upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called the Angel of great counsel. * Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle : because He hath done wonderful things.
(Isaias 9:6 and Psalm 92:10 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui salutis aeternae, beatae Mariae virginitate fecunda, humano generi praemia praestitisti: tribue, quaesumus: ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
O God, who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary hast bestowed upon the human race the rewards of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the author of life, Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord.

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
Et postquam consummati sunt dies octo ut circumcideretur vocatum est nomen eius Jesus quod vocatum est ab angelo priusquam in utero conciperetur.
And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
(St Luke 2:21)

Magnum hereditatis mysterium: templum Dei factus est uterus nescientis virum: non est pollutus ex ea carnem assumens: omnes gentes venient, dicentes: Gloria tibi, Domine.
O mighty mystery of generation: the womb of her who knew not man is become the temple of God: He who takes flesh from her is not defiled: all nations shall come, and say: Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
(Magnificat Antiphon at Vespers)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Feast of the Circumcision: