Vespers: Feast of the Holy Family

Today is the feast of the Holy Family. Here is the Immaculate Heart of Mary Schola joined by a few of the monks of Papa Stronsay singing Vespers of this feast day in 2019. You can follow with this booklet. The hymn at 18.02 is particularly beautiful.

The collect of the feast is a mission statement for every family:

COLLECT O Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified home life with untold virtues by being subject to Mary and Joseph. May they assist us to imitate the example of Your Holy Family, so that we may share with them their eternal happiness; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Learn about the Three Hearts Devotion Here

Heart of Jesus I adore thee,

Heart of Mary I implore thee,

Heart of Joseph pure and just,

In these Three Hearts I place my trust.

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Happy feast of the Holy Name of Jesus!

For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father Phillipians 2:9-11

The Latin original is by St Bernard of Clairvaux and the translation below is by Fr Edward Caswell, a convert from Anglicanism and collaborator of Saint John Henry Newman. There isn’t a suitable recording of this hymn online to share but nonetheless, the English provides material for hours of meditation.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast! Yet sweeter far Thy face to see And in Thy Presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame, Nor can the memory find, A sweeter sound than Jesus’ Name, The Saviour of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart! O joy of all the meek! To those who fall, how kind Thou art! How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this Nor tongue nor pen can show The love of Jesus, what it is, None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou, As Thou our prize shalt be; In Thee be all our glory now,And through eternity. Amen.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, the origin of the Hail Mary

During Advent, the Sacred Liturgy is replete with references to the Blessed Virgin Mary who bore the Word Made Flesh in Her womb. From prophesies about the tender shoot that came from the root of Jesse to chant motifs appearing in the propers, Our Lady is evoked and invoked continually.

Today, I was astounded to learn that the origin of the Hail Mary that we pray so regularly finds its origin in the offertory chant of today’s Mass. I was aware that the ‘Holy Mary Mother of God’ part of the prayer was added later but according to the liturgical scholar Fr Lasance, the first time that the angelic salutation (Hail Mary) and the greeting of St Elizabeth (Blessed art thou among women) were placed together was in the offertory chant of today’s Mass.

This chant dates back to the Gregorian Antiphonary (compiled by Pope Gregory the Great, 6th century) used in the early Roman basilicas which was widely considered to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore untouchable- and we sang it this morning!

Requiem Sequence: Dies Irae

The sequence of the Requiem Mass is both an exquisite piece of poetry and a striking meditation on the four last things. It is quite astounding that this prose was supressed in the new Mass of Paul VI and even the tract is replaced with the Alleluia! This is key to understanding the principle ‘lex Orlando, lex credendi’ because this change in the prayer of the church signifies a significant change in belief.

The Dies Irae provides a sobering meditation to us and excites a keen desire to pray for the Holy Souls. May we all redouble our efforts to assist them by our prayer, fasting, almsgiving, indulgences and Masses.

In a lighter note, here is a presentation about the influence that the chant of the Dies Irae has had on popular culture.

Feast of All Saints: O Quam Gloriosum

Happy feast of All Saints.

Here is a motet by the Spanish Priest composer, Fr Thomas Luis de Victoria- O Quam Gloriosum, complete with beautiful footage from the BBC.

O quam gloriosum est regnum,
in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti!
Amicti stolis albis,
sequuntur Agnum, quocumque ierit.

O how glorious is the kingdom
in which all the saints rejoice with Christ,
clad in robes of white
they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

And Fr Victoria’s Mass on the same theme.

Vespers Hymn: The Feast of Christ the King

1. Te saeculorum Principem, Te, Christe, Regem Gentium,
Te mentium, Te cordium Unum fatemur arbitrum.

2. Scelesta turba clamitat: Regnare Christum nolumus:
Te nos ovantes omnium Regem supremum dicimus.

3. O Christe, Princeps Pacifer, Mentes rebelles subiice:
Tuoqu(e) amore devios, Ovil(e) in unum congrega.

4. Ad hoc cruent(a) ab arbore, Pendes apertis brachiis:
Diraque fossum cuspide Cor igne flagrans exhibes.

5. Ad hoc in aris abderis Vini dapisqu(e) imagine,
Fundens salutem filiis Transverberato pectore.

6. Te nationum Praesides Honore tollant publico,
Colant magistri, iudices, Leges et artes exprimant.

7. Submissa regum fulgeant Tibi dicat(a) insignia:
Mitique sceptro patriam Domosque subde civium.

8. Iesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui sceptra mundi temperas,
Cum Patr(e) et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. Amen.

V. Multiplicabitur eius imperium.
R. Et pacis non erit finis.

1. Thou, Prince of all ages, Thou, O Christ, the King of the nations,
we acknowledge Thee the one Judge of all hearts and minds.

2. The wicked mob screams out. “We don’t want Christ as king,”
While we, with shouts of joy, hail Thee as the world’s supreme King.

3. O Christ, peace-bringing Prince, subjugate the rebellious minds:
And in Thy love, bring together in one flock those going astray.

4. For this, with arms outstretched, Thou hung, bleeding, on the Cross,
and the cruel spear that pierced Thee, showed man a Heart burning with love.

5. For this, Thou art hidden on our altars under the form of bread and wine,
and pour out on Thy children from Thy pierced side the grace of salvation.

6. May the rulers of the world publicly honour and extol Thee; May teachers and judges reverence Thee;
May the laws express Thine order and the arts reflect Thy beauty.

7. May kings find renown in their submission and dedication to Thee.
Bring under Thy gentle rule our country and our homes.

8. Glory be to Thee, O Jesus, supreme over all secular authorities;
And glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit through endless ages.

V. His empire shall be multiplied.
R. And there shall be no end of peace

A Plenary Indulgence is available today. Click here for details.

For more information on this feast, see the below encyclical in which Pope Pius XI instituted it.

QUAS PRIMAS

ON THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING

Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on December 11, 1925.