Saturday, 10 March 2012

Before Mass

I've been digging around in the Sarum books again, and have found this wonderful admonition attributed (sadly, doubtless inaccurately) to St Augustine. It is part of the preparation before Mass, a series of useful bits of advice to the pastor. Note particularly the verse beginning Estote breviloqui: excellent advice for those who tend to preach far too long.

And I wonder if St Augustine had the tune of Good King Wenceslaus going around in his head when he wrote this?


Incipit Dictamen beati Augustini de regimine sacerdotum

Viri venerabiles, sacerdotes Dei,
præcones altissimi, lucernæ fidei, 
caritatis radio fulgentes et spei, 
auribus percipite verba oris mei.

Vos in sanctuario Dei deservitis; 
vos vocavit palmites Christus vera vitis;
cavete ne steriles aut inanes sitis, 
si cum vero stipite vivere cupitis.

Vos estis catholicæ legis protectores, 
sal terræ, lux hominum, ovium pastores, 
muri domus Israel, morum correctores, 
judices Ecclesiæ, gentium doctores. 

Si cadat protectio legis, lex labetur; 
si sal evanuerit, in quo salietur? 
nisi lux appareat, via nescietur: 
nisi pastor vigilet, ovile frangetur. 

Vos existis vineam Dei propagare, 
quam doctrinæ rivulis debetis rigare, 
spinas atque tribulos procul extirpare, 
ut radices fidei possint germinare. 

Vos estis in area boves triturantes, 
prudenter a palea grana separantes. 
Vos habent in speculo legem ignorantes 
laici qui fragiles sunt et inconstantes. 

Quicquid vident laici vobis displicere 
sibi procul dubio dicunt non licere. 
Quicquid vos in opere vident adimplere 
credunt esse licitum et culpa carere.

Cum pastores ovium sitis constituti 
non estote desides sicut canes muti, 
vobis non deficiant latratus veriti
lupus rapax invidet ovium saluti. 

Grex fidelis duplici cibo sustinetur; 
corpore Dominico, quo salus augetur, 
sermonis compendio, quod discrete detur,
mundano cibario ne periclitetur. 

Ovibus tenemini vestris prædicare, 
sed quid, quibus, qualiter, ubi, quando, quare,
debetis sollicite præconsiderare; 
ne quis in officio dicat vos errare. 

Spectat ad officium vestræ dignitatis, 
gratiæ petentibus dona dare gratis, 
nec cuiquam fidei munera vendatis, 
incursuros gregibus lepra vos fiatis.

Gratis eucharistiam plebi ministrate, 
gratis confitemini, gratis baptizate; 
ut gratis accepistis, sic et gratis date; 
solum id quod fuerit vestrum conservate.

Vestra conversatio sit religiosa, 
munda conscientia, virtus virtuosa, 
regularis habitus a sit honorosa,
nulla vos coinquinet labes criminosa. 

Nullus fastus intima premat vestræ mentis,
gravis sit intuitus, habitus sit testis, 
nihil vos illaqueet curis inhonestis, 
quibus claves traditæ sunt regni cælestis.

Estote breviloqui, ne vos ad reatum 
protrahat loquacitas, nutrix vanitatum; 
verbum quod proponitis sit abbreviatum, 
nam in multiloquio non deest peccatum.

Estote benevoli, sobrii, prudentes, 
justi, casti, simplices et compatientes, 
hospitales, humiles, subditos docentes, 
consulentes miseros, pravos corrigentes.

Utinam sic gerere curam pastoralem 
possitis, et ducere vitam spiritalem, 
ut cum exueritis chlamydem carnalem 
induat vos Dominus stolam æternalem.
Amen.

10 comments:

Fr William said...

Described as "Verba Willielmi Lindewode ad Clerum", according to this (from 1811).

But then there's this from a 1681 work of Henry-Marie Boudon - clearly the same thing, but presented as the words of Christ to his priests.

What's the date of the materials you're working from?

(Tune: Trochaic 7676D isn't a very common metre, but "St John Damascene" - "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain" - will also fit, and has less inappropriate associations!)

Fr William said...

The first link, I should have made clear, is itself referring to a manuscript addition (of presumably uncertain date) to a volume of 1555.

Pastor in Valle said...

Fr William; it would appear to be present in all the printed Sarum Missals (though not the MS versions), and so predates William Lindewode's 1535 work considerably.
Dickinson records it without comment (and he invariably notes textual variants between editions); it does not appear in Frere.

Fr William said...

I seem to have managed to put in the wrong link to the Boudon - it should have been this.

Not that it's very relevant, if you've got it predating even Lindewode. (Though it's curious how many different attributions it appears to have.)

Marc said...

But I don't know St John Damascene or Come, ye faithful, raise the strain....

Pastor in Valle said...

Marc: Nor do I, I have to say. But I can easily remember Good King Wenceslaus.

Fr William said...

No, it's not in either of the Catholic hymnbooks on my shelves. (Shame - it's a typically fine translation by John Mason "Patrimony" Neale [h/t to Fr Hunwicke] of St John of Damascus' Αἴσωμεν πάντες λαοί – but that won't help if you don't know the tune!)

Back on the text: this link shows it (with yet more textual variations, plus a lot of scanning errors) attributed to "WALTER DE MAPES, Archdeacon of Oxford, A.D. 1210". Plausible?

Aidan said...

Here’s the English version from Pearson’s Sarum Missal:

THE SONG OF S. AUGUSTINE ON THE CHARGE OF THE PRIESTHOOD.

O venerable brothers, ye priests of God above,
I pray ye hear the message I speak to you in love;
Ye heralds of the Highest, ye shining lights of day.
Who beam with hope enduring, and charity's pure ray.

Ye do to God your service in His own holy shrine;
And Christ hath called you branches, Who is Himself the Vine;
O see ye be not barren, nor bitter fruit ye give,
If with the Root that bears you ye would for ever live.

The Catholic religion yours is it to uphold.
The world’s true light and ransom, the shepherds of the fold;
The walls of Jacob’s dwelling, the art of Life who teach;
Who judge the Church in meekness, who to the nations preach.

The Catholic religion is lost if ye betray;
The salt that lacks its savour serves but to cast away;
The path of life is doubtful unless the light shine clear;
Except the Shepherd watcheth, the robber draweth near.

The care of God's own Vineyard is given unto you.
That with the streams of doctrine its soil ye should bedew ;
The thorns and choking thistles should root from out the ground.
That so the faith of Jesus may flourish and abound.

Ye are the patient oxen who tread the threshing-floor,
The wheat and chaff with caution to part for evermore :
The laymen frail and simple, and all inconstant still,
Have you for an ensample to shew them good or ill.

Whatever they shall notice is grievous unto you,
That doubtless they will argue they must with care eschew;
Whatever they shall see you by holy deeds proclaim,
That they will reckon lawful, and free from sin or shame.

Since ye have been appointed the shepherds of the sheep,
Oh, see ye be not slothful, nor silent watch ye keep;
Be loud and plain the warnings ye raise when harm is nigh—
The wolf sees folds in safety with jealous rav’ning eye.

A threefold food the faithful have need of day by day—
The Body of the Saviour, to keep their life for aye;
The Word of due instruction, the which discreetly give;
The earthly meats that perish, whereby their bodies live.

Aidan said...

The honour of your office unclouded let it be,
And give to those that seek them the gifts of grace all free;
For should vou ever venture the rights of faith to sell,
Ye seek Gehazi's sentence, with lepers doomed to dwell.

Baptize the people freely, and freely them confess;
The Eucharist give freely, to save them and to bless;
As Christ's Apostles taught ye, ye are all things to try.
The good alone that proveth that are ye to hold by.

Be all your conversation in holiness maintained;
Your conscience clear and quiet, your lives in virtue trained;
Your manners framed to order, your hearts devoid of guile,
Let no corrupt indulgence your saintliness defile.

Let no disdainful temper your noble souls depress;
Be dignified in manner, and meetly grave in dress;
No thoughts of filthy lucre permit your hearts to seize.
Ye to whose care are given the heavenly Kingdom's keys.

Be brief in speech, lest haply to evil ye be led.
By over-freely talking man’s vanity is fed;
The words which ye shall utter must be concise and few,
For ever on much speaking ain waiteth to ensue.

Be patient, full of kindness, and sober, pious, wise;
Be upright, single-minded, let pureness light your eyes;
Be hospitable, humble, see that the simple learn;
Oh, comfort all in sorrow, from sin the sinner turn.

I pray ye so be able the Shepherd’s charge to keep,
And living in the Spirit, to feed the Saviour’s sheep,
That when your fleshly garment at length ye lay aside,
The Lord a robe eternal of glory may provide.

Robert said...

How does the Sarum Use Mass differ from the pre-V2 Dominican Rite Mass?. Is it more similar than the EF-Mass?.