Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Posts Tagged ‘ordinary form of the roman rite’

Leap Day

Posted by james0235 on February 29, 2012

In the Byzantine Catholic Church, as well as the Orthodox Churches, February 29th, leap day, is the Feast of St. John Cassian. As this only occurs every four years the Feast is often moved in other years, typically to February 28th. And in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite we celebrate this Feast on July 23rd.

And for reasons still not quite clear to me in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite whenever February has 29 days the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle is moved from the 24th to the 25th and the Feast of St. Gabriel of the Most Sorrowful Virgin is moved from the 27th to the 28th.

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Octave of Pentecost

Posted by james0235 on May 24, 2010

“After Easter, the Solemnity of Pentecost is the second most important day in the Church year.”

Bishop Peter J. Elliott, Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year 325

If Pentecost outranks Christmas on the Liturgical Calendar (or,  I know it might be argued, is equal to it) then why is it that Christmas has an Octave but Pentecost does not? It appears that even the pope who approved the elimination of the Octave of Pentecost had no idea what was going on. Fr. Z explains what a Liturgical Octave is and tells the story of the Octave of Pentecost in a podcast found here.

On the older Liturgical Calendar the Octave Day of Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. This is always a great time of year to re-familiarize yourself with what the Catholic faith teaches us about the Holy Trinity:

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 234


The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God”. To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 237


and it is a great time to recite the Athanasian Creed.

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Asperges Me

Posted by james0235 on May 23, 2010

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite the priest sprinkles holy water on the people before the principal Mass on Sundays. Beginning on Pentecost the Antiphon that is sung at this time changes from the Vidi Aquam to the Asperges Me.  These Antiphons can be used as part of the Rite of Sprinkling before Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. When the Rite of Sprinkling is used it replaces the Penitential Rite in that Mass.

On Sundays, especially in the Season of Easter, in place of the customary Act of Penitence, from time to time the blessing and sprinkling of water to recall Baptism may take place.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal 51

Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

You will sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
You will wash me, and I shall be whitewashed more than snow is.
Pity me, O God, according to Your great mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be in ages of ages. Amen.


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Purification, Presentation, and the Churching of Women

Posted by james0235 on February 2, 2010

Today, the 40th day after Christmas, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This Feast has a very solid biblical foundation:

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

(Luke 2:22-24)

On the 40th day after giving birth the Blessed Virgin Mary visited the temple to offer a sacrifice in accordance with the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:1-8). She didn’t offer this sacrifice because she was actually made unclean by the birth of Christ but rather it was in order to fulfill “the prescriptions of the law of the Lord” (Luke 2:39). In imitation of this event in the 4th century the Church instituted the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be celebrated on the 40th day after Christamas, February 2nd, every year.

This Feast had 3 emphases:

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin (Leviticus 12:7),

The Presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22),

and the recognition of Christ as the light to the Gentiles by the prophet Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)

In the revisions to the liturgy following the 2nd Vatican Council this feast was renamed the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the recognition of Christ as the light to the Gentiles (represented by the  blessing of candles which are then carried in procession before the Mass) seem to have been de-emphasized slighltly while the Presentation of Christ in the Temple has been emphasized. But, all of these aspects of the Feast are still quite evident in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.

In addition to the Mass we see these aspects of the Feast also displayed in the devotions of the Church. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. Simeon’s proclamation of Christ as the light to the Gentiles (Luke 2:29-32), known as the Nunc Dimittis or the Canticle of Simeon, – is prayed every night in the Liturgy of the Hours in the Office of Compline (Night Prayer). And the idea of a ritual purification after childbirth can still be seen, albeit quite rarely, in a very beautiful ceremony known as the Churching of Women.

The Churching of Women is performed soon after childbirth. Ideally it was given as soon as a woman was able to return to Church for the first time – which does not necessarily mean the following Sunday. Remember that the care of infants does excuse one from the obligation to attend Mass (CCC 2181). The Churching, also called the Blessing of a Mother after Childbirth in the Roman Ritualone of the Liturgical books of the Roman Rite, was both a blessing given to a new mother and it was an opportunity for the new mother to give thanks to God for the birth of her child. While it is not actually a ritual purification – the Church does not teach that childbirth makes a woman ritually unclean – it is inspired by the purification rituals that the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord commemorates.

The beautiful prayers of the Churching of Women can be found here.

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Countdown to the Incarnation

Posted by james0235 on December 17, 2009

Advent has been described as a countdown to the Incarnation and this is very evident, even if not well known, in the Liturgy of the Roman Rite. The first example of a countdown can be seen in the O Antiphons. These Antiphons are prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours at Vespers in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite beginning on December 17th. And with the release of the 1970 Roman Missal they are prayed in the Mass of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I have previously written quite a bit about this here.

A lesser known countdown to the Incarnation can be found in the Gospel readings for the Sundays of Advent in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite – the 1962 Roman Missal.

The Gospel readings follow a reverse chronological order. We begin on the 1st Sunday of Advent with Luke 21:25-33 where Jesus tells his disciples about his second coming. On the 2nd Sunday of Advent we move back in time to Matthew 11:2-10 where the disciple of John the Baptist ask Jesus if he is the Messiah they have been waiting for. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent we go even further back to John 1:19-28 where John announces that he is not the promised Messiah but rather the precursor. And finally on the 4th Sunday of Advent we have Luke 3:1-6 where John’s mission as the precursor of the Messiah is shown as being foretold by the prophets. (This Gospel is used in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on the 2nd Sunday of Advent Year C.)

And when we finally reach the Incarnation we cease our countdown and begin to move forward. The Gospel for the Vigil Mass of the Nativity, Matthew 1:18-21, shows us the angel Gabriel announcing to Joseph that his wife has conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Midnight Mass, Luke 2:1-14, details the birth of Christ. The Gospel of the Mass at Dawn, Luke 2:15-20, gives us the story of the shepherds journeying to see Christ in the manger. And finally the Gospel reading of the Mass during the Daytime, John 1:1-14 is that famous passage that tells us that “the word (who) was in the beginning with God…was made flesh.”  This “last Gospel” also is read at the end of almost every Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Now, how cool is that?

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The Use of Scripture in the Mass

Posted by james0235 on August 7, 2008

Have you ever wondered when a particular passage of the Bible is read at Mass?

Well, wonder no longer. I have compiled all of the Scripture verses used in the Propers of the Mass – the Entrance Antiphon, 1st Reading, Responsorial Psalm, 2nd Reading (if any), Alleluia Verse (called the Verse before the Gospel during Lent), the Gospel, and the the Communion Antiphon – for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Use of Scripture in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite

Scripture used in the Ordinary (unchanging parts) of the Mass is already available on a number of sites including this one. I will most likely add something similar eventually.

It is still not quite complete (I still have to add the Votive Masses) but it is almost done.

Coming Soon: The Use of Scripture in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

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The Feast of the Most Precious Blood

Posted by james0235 on July 1, 2008

Sanguis Christi, inebria me! Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
(from the Anima Christi)

In the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite July 1st is the Feast of the the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (This Feast exists in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the form of a Votive Mass.) It commemorates all of the times Our Lord shed his most precious blood: the Circumcision, the Agony in the garden, the Scourging at the pillar, the Crowning with thorns, and in the Crucifixion.

You may recall that the Circumcision is specifically commemorated in the Mass on the Octave Day of Christmas. But, today’s Feast calls to mind all of the occasions Our Lord shed his Blood. And this same Blood is offered daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on altars the world over.

I read something interesting today online in the June 29th bulletin of Assumption Grotto in Detroit. The pastor writes:


I have often noted the practice of wine connoisseurs–those more adept than myself (if it were possible) in the art of drinking wine–who studiously oscillate their glass and ceremoniously sniff their beverage before consigning it to the quaff. Real wine lovers, you see, must first inform their olfactories before their tongues concerning the quality of the wine. Smell is among the senses that both informs and gives pleasure or displeasure, as the case may be.

Now, what in heavens has this to do with the Mass? Well, in the celebrating of the Tridentine Mass, there is a coincidence of word and gesture in the priest’s offering of the wine during the Offertory rite. He, while moving the chalice over the altar in the form of the cross says, “may this chalice ascend in the sight of Your divine majesty with a sweet odor…

That God should take delight in smells may be a surprising idea, but it does have biblical precedent. After the flood, Noah offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord for his delivery and God who “smelled the pleasing odor” then promised never again to destroy all living creatures. In other places of the Old Testament there is ample reference to the fragrant incense offered to God.

At Mass, when I make that sign of the cross with the chalice, I too get a brief sniff of odoriferous wine and think that this is symbolic of the agreeableness of the sacrifice that is soon to be offered to God, namely, the sacrifice of Christ. You will note, by contrast, that this Offertory prayer is not said in the ‘ordinary form’ (new rite) of the Mass and that there is no gesture made with the chalice except for its slight elevation during the priest’s words of ‘blessing.’ I know that this is only a little thing, but it is one of those many subtle and meaningful touches that arrest my attention in the Tridentine Mass and which help to raise the mind to God.

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Quicumque Vult

Posted by james0235 on May 17, 2008

“Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem”

The Athanasian Creed, attributed to but most likely not composed by St. Athanasius, is one of the most profound statements on the Holy Trinity that the Church has ever produced.

Liturgically it is used in the Divine Office of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite where it is said during the office of Prime on Trinity Sunday. I do not believe that the Athanasian Creed is currently used at all in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. And it is not used by the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Unfortunately its extremely limited use means that very few Catholics ever hear it. I’m trying to get in the habit of reciting it at least once a year on Trinity Sunday.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

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The Use of Scripture in the Roman Rite of the Mass

Posted by james0235 on May 13, 2008

(UPDATED)

I have been working on a project lately that may be of some use to others. I am compiling all of the various Scripture verses used in the Mass. You can look up a particular verse and determine when and where it is used at Mass.

The Use of Scripture in the Roman Rite of the Mass

The site includes the Entrance Antiphon (most priests seem to replace this with a hymn), 1st Reading, Responsorial Psalm, 2nd Reading (if any), Alleluia Verse (called the Verse before the Gospel during Lent), the Gospel, the Communion Antiphon (again, usually replaced with a hymn), and other things such as the addtional Readings of the Easter Vigil.

Right now it covers all of the Sundays and weekdays of the Liturgical Year as well as the Common Masses (Common of Martyrs, Common of Pastors, etc.). Still to be added are the Ritual Masses (Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, etc.), the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, the Votive Masses, and then finally the Feast Days.

I will then go through the Psalms and verify the chapter and verse. I believe that some use the Hebrew numbering and some use the Greek. I will make sure they all use the Hebrew numbering with the Greek following in parenthesis (if different).

When all of that is completed I will begin adding a 3rd column on the right side covering the use of Scripture in the Mass of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (also known as the Tridentine Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass).

There have been multiple times that I have wished for something like this. But, I have been unable to find anything complete. So, I decided to put it together myself. I would be very interested in comments, suggestions, and criticisms.

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Ascension Thursday Sunday?

Posted by james0235 on May 1, 2008

In most of the world today is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. However, in much of the U.S. the Ascension will not be celebrated today. Each Ecclesiastical Province has been given the option of celebrating the Ascension today – 40 days after Easter – or transferring it to this coming Sunday – the 7th Sunday of Easter. Most Provinces have transfered it. Only the dioceses located within the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Omaha have opted to celebrate the Feast on its traditional day.

Even though the diocese of Columbus (located within the Province of Cincinnati) has transferred the Feast to this coming Sunday and therefore today is not considered to be a Holy Day of Obligation, I will be attending a Mass for the Feast of the Ascension according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in just a couple of hours. And then this Saturday evening I will be attending a Mass for the Feast of the Ascension according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

You just can’t beat celebrating Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven twice in one week!

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