Friday 29 February 2008

Dom Gerard RIP

I am so sorry to read of the death of Dom Gerard Calvet, the wonderful founder of the Abbey of Le Barroux. May he rest in peace.

Thursday 28 February 2008

The Legal Status of the Sarum Mass

Following my postings of the Sarum celebration, quite a number of questions have been posed, mostly on other blogs, concerning the legality of celebration according to Sarum: not in a negative way; rather asking 'can we all do it'? I haven't seen a negative comment about the rite itself; all seem to be in agreement that it is a splendid and beautiful way to honour God, but its propriety is something that one or two seem to be curious about. I'm not any sort of a canon lawyer, so I'll try and take a historical approach.
The Sarum Use was the form that Mass was celebrated in throughout the British Isles from the high middle ages (or even earlier) until the Reformation. There were some local variants, such as at Hereford, York, Aberdeen, Bangor, and slight tweaks at Lincoln and Westminster Abbey. Once he seized control of the Church in England, Henry VIII made the Sarum Use standard throughout the kingdom. We presume that Mary simply continued this policy—at least the only missal to be reprinted during her reign was the Sarum one, in 1555. Thus when Mary died, Sarum was the Catholic standard in England and Wales, only Aberdeen in Scotland holding out until 1566 when the Mass was abolished tout court. There would have been other rites and uses in some of the religious orders; the Franciscans used the Roman Use, for instance; the Dominicans, the Dominican &c.
On the eve of Pentecost 1559, presumably the whole Sarum thing would have been celebrated much as you have seen it in these clips plus the blessing of the font &c—and then the following morning the minister would have got into the pulpit and said 'Dearly beloved brethren &c'. It is hard to imagine what must have been the distress of many who had already gone through this before in the reign of Edward VI.
Not all priests conformed, of course. Many fled to the continent. William Allen of Oxford University got seminaries going in France and Rome, and was made Cardinal. Others carried on in their parishes, celebrating the official Book of Common Prayer in the church, and Mass in the vicarage, sometimes distributing consecrated Hosts at the Communion Service in the church to those of Catholic sympathies.
At any rate, these priests may be presumed with reasonable certainty to have used the Sarum Mass (how might they have come by Roman Missals when even the Sarum ones were contraband?), and so in 1570 the practice could not reasonably be said to have died out.
This was the year that Pope St Pius V approved the 'Tridentine' Missal, where Quo Primum states that all liturgies with more than 200 years' continuous usage might continue to be used.
There is little doubt that after this time the Sarum Mass dwindled; there was never a conscious effort to wipe it out, I think; it is just that printing the missal would have been difficult; the seminaries, run by Jesuits, used the Roman Mass—the Church had bigger problems to contend with than keeping Sarum running. So, there was never any act of abrogation of the Use. It continued as the native Use, though everyone used the Roman, by privilege of Quo Primum, which said they might.
Now we spool forwards to the nineteenth century. There was a certain enthusiasm for the revival of the Sarum Rite. It began when Canon Daniel Rock wrote his ground-breaking liturgical studies of the early English period The Church of our Fathers and Hierurgia, being spurred on by Pugin and the Gothic Revival. I read somewhere recently that St Chad's, Birmingham was specifically designed for the Sarum liturgy. However, this was also the period of Ultramontanism. France was still stamping out her local rites (their enthusiam benefitted also from the fact that many of these uses were tinged—or more than tinged—with Jansenism) and the atmosphere of the restoration of the English and Welsh Hierarchy in 1850 made links with Rome all the more desireable.
I have often heard (as have many others) that there was a serious proposal to use the Sarum Use in St Edmund's Ware, and Westminster Cathedral. Never have I seen any watertight evidence for either of these assumptions. The person best placed to make such an investigation (hint, hint) would be Fr Nicholas Schofield, he of the Roman Miscellany, and himself an admirer of the Sarum Use. He is the Westminster Diocesan Archivist, and if there is any evidence to be had, it will be in his hands already. But it might be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
In the Church of England, the early twentieth century saw the turning of the tide away from a Roman liturgical direction towards the Sarum. The 'Ornaments Rubric', stating that churches should look like they did before the reformers really got their hands on them was used to justify the re-re-re-reordering of parish churches in the style we have come to associate with the dear old CofE—which is to say, Sarum-ish. And groups like the Alcuin Club produced book after book demonstrating how one could take the Book of Common Prayer Communion Service and make it look quite like a Sarum Mass (as long as you stuck your fingers in your ears).
In the Catholic Church during the early years of the twentieth century, the centralizing force of the liturgy began to recede. Certain of the religious orders, such as the Cistercians and Carmelites, with Rome's encouragement, began to edit and purify their own liturgies, reinforcing their practice. And Braga, in Portugal, which used a variant form of the Sarum liturgy, completely revived its own rite, quoting, I understand, Quo Primum as its justification for doing so. Rome agreed that it had the right to do so.
I don't know whether any celebrations of the Sarum Rite took place in England before the Second Vatican Council. The first I heard of was in Englefield Green, Surrey, where in the mid-1980s the inappropriately baroque Catholic parish church was the setting for a Mass as part of the celebrations commemorating Runnymede, the nearby setting for the signing of Magna Carta in 1215. Deacon and Subdeacon wore fancy baroque dalmatics stiff with gold braid, while the celebrant wore a 70s striped Slabbinck creation with a high collar and overlay stole. And yet it was still beautiful.
The next celebration that I am aware of was in Merton College Oxford, 11th February 1996, the feast of the Translation of St Frideswide. This was the initiative of the undergraduate Newman Society who worked very hard with the celebrant to get it as right as possible. Well beforehand, the Archbishop, the late Maurice Couve de Murville, was consulted, with reasons for belief that there need be no scruples about celebrating; he concurred, and the celebration went ahead, being repeated enthusiastically a year later for the feast of Candlemas—the video has been posted here.
And here the Sarum Use ran into its first official roadblock in all its long history. Somebody, let us call him X, wrote to Cardinal Hume, to Fr Allen Morris, the chair of the Liturgical Commission of England and Wales and to the Congregation of Rites in Rome, informing them of the celebration and enquiring into its legality, implying that the celebration had taken place without the knowledge of the Archbishop. Cardinal Hume and Fr Morris wrote back in measured words, saying that they didn't really know the situation, but thought that really the decision was Rome's. They didn't seem particularly worried by it either way. The Congregation, though, replied in a letter by a junior official to the Archbishop and to X in the most shocked maiden-auntly terms. It makes me wonder whether the bishops of those who celebrate clown Masses in the US get such dressings-down. I think I know the answer.
I do not think that the official in the Congregation even reached for his code of Canon Law; still less did he make any attempt to find out why and how the celebration took place—he was not even aware whether it had been celebrated in Latin or English. Alcuin Reid, one of the more eminent of the up-and-coming liturgists has said that he is sure that we were on firm ground, and even written about this very matter in his book The Organic Development of the Liturgy (St Michael's Abbey Press 2004, pp118-9). Mgr Schmitz, US superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has in a private conversation said the same.
What is sad is that I have not felt able to continue celebrating the Sarum Use. I am a Catholic, after all, and though I think that the Roman decision was badly made—I must quote one line from it: 'in fact the Roman Missal promulgated by the late Pope Paul VI is of superior quality to previous editions from all points of view'—nonetheless if we are not obedient, if we do not cleave to the rock, then the Church would disintegrate. It will not suffer for the loss of the Sarum Liturgy—I would not say the same for the Traditional Rite generally.
What is sad is that I have heard subsequently that X wrote these letters deliberately in order to make trouble. Let us hope that this is not true; he is supposed to have been of the opinion that one should celebrate Mass traditionally despite official discouragement or even forbidding, and, having seen our enthusiasm for the Sarum, he sought to force us onto his side. If this is true, he miscalculated, and something moving and beautiful has been allowed to fall away as a consequence. I am told, again, that subsequently he joined some Old Catholic sect and received minor orders; later on, he migrated to the Church of England. I repeat that this is hearsay.
Back to Sarum. It was not the end. The then Bishop of Aberdeen, Mario Conti, celebrated a Sarum Mass in 2000 in Aberdeen for the University. Quite apart from the fact that the Sarum Mass was never celebrated in Aberdeen before this (as I mentioned above, it had its own rite before the Reformation), it was an interesting thing to do. Alcuin Reid quotes a letter from now-Archbishop Conti in the book mentioned above, thus:
Permission of the Holy See was not sought, and I judged that it was not needed, since the Mass is substantially that of the so-called Tridentine Rite, the central eucharistic prayer, or canon, being almost word for word that of the Roman canon still in use throughout the Latin rite.

Reid adds:
In the author's opinion, in the light of the principles operative in the reinvigoration of the traditional rite of Braga, both the Archbishop of Birmingham [in our case] and the Bishop of Aberdeen acted within their competence, in harmony with liturgical Tradition, and in accordance with the precedent of the Holy See by allowing, and in the case of the latter, by personally celebrating Mass according to the Sarum rite.

Since then, I have heard rumours of Archbishop Peter Smith allowing a celebration in the Cardiff Diocese last year, but nothing very definite.

So there we have it. I am of the opinion that the Sarum Use is morally available to clergy of the British Isles, though it is now subject to a legal dubium which really needs clearing up. It needs somebody with more leisure than I have to pursue it.

A long post—if you've struggled through, congratulations.

St Osmund, pray for us.

Sarum Candlemas 15 - End of Mass

At the end, you can see the Blessed Sacrament being carried away. Then the purification takes place. The arrangements for this are a little baroque: instead of a purificator, the chalice, rinsed with wine and water, then wine alone, ministered by the Subdeacon, is first held to the Celebrant's mouth by the Deacon (this celebrant did it himself) and then set on its side to drain onto the paten. We used a purificator. The three main sacred ministers bow low to the altar cross as the priest says Adoremus crucis signaculum per quod salutis sumpsimus sacramentum (Let us adore the banner of the cross by which we have received the sacrament of salvation).What happens then isn't specified, except the Deacon clears away, athe celebrant washes his hands at the piscina, and the humeral-veiled Acolyte removes the chalice and paten to the credence. The ministers all say the communion antiphon; the postcommunion prayer is sung and the Ite Missa est, oddly farced to match the Kyrie, thus:
Ite - Deus Creator - missa est.
Deo - Deus Creator - gratias.
The priest says the placeat as in the Roman use, but there is no blessing (except at a pontifical Mass, when it happens in the middle of the Communion rite). Instead all simply makes the sign of the cross and depart.

Sarum Candlemas 14 - Communion

This was one part of the ceremony where we really had to wing it. We had gleaned that the confiteor was said before Communion, because there is a record of one king of England saying it on his own before his coronation. So we gave the Sarum Confiteor to the Deacon to recite, as in the Roman Use. There was a lot of agonizing about whether we should have Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus, but we could find no evidence for either (which is not the same as it never existing) so in the end, though we printed it in the booklets, we omitted it in the ceremony, probably correctly, I think. The formula for Communion we had, from the order for the visitation of the sick: Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat corpus tuum et animam tuam in vitam æternam, it goes. We knew that there was the custom of the 'houselling cloth' —the long cloth you can see being used — in many places, and that unconsecrated wine was given after the host to cleanse the mouth. We had no formula for administering that, so the acolyte simply presented a chalice with the wine, saying nothing.
The final question was whether we should have lay communion at all. The Missal makes little or no mention of it. It was never common to have this at High Mass, and in pre-Reformation England, annual Communions (on Easter Sunday) were commonly the norm. And even then, it is not known whether Communion was administered at Mass — if anyone knows better, I'd be delighted to hear from them.
In the end we consoled ourselves that we were not attempting a 'liturgical reconstruction'.
This was a real Mass, celebrated in 1997, according to the Sarum Missal; therefore things like cuts of vestments and even styles of music did not greatly worry us. In 1997, Catholics were accustomed to receiving Communion at Mass, and we did not see any valid reason not to give them the opportunity on this occasion.
Purists will have to forgive us.

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Sarum Candlemas 13 - Pater Noster to Agnus Dei

The Celebrant sings the Pater alone, the tone differing only slightly from the Roman. After, the paten is brought to him, and the Deacon elevates it over his head for a while before giving it to the Celebrant, who touches it to his eyes and makes the sign of the cross with it over his head before sliding it under the Host.
The Priest's prayers of preparation for Communion are particularly beautiful, and I have given them below.

Dómine sancte, Pater omnípotens, ætérne Deus: da mihi hoc sacrosánctum Corpus et Sánguinem Fílii tui Dómini nostri Iesu Chrísti ita digne súmere: ut mérear per hoc remissiónem ómnium peccatórum meórum accípere, et tuo Sancto Spíritu repléri: et pacem tuam habére, quia tu es Deus solus, et præter te non est álius, cuius regnum et impérium gloriósum sine fine pérmanet in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
V. Pax tibi et Ecclésiæ Dei.
R. Et cum spíritu tuo.
O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, grant me so worthily to receive this most holy Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ that I may thereby receive forgiveness of all my sins, and be filled with Thy Holy Spirit and have Thy peace; for Thou only art God, and there is no other beside Thee, whose kingdom and glorious reign lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
V. Peace to thee and to the Church of God.
R. And with thy spirit.

Deus Pater, fons et orígo totíus bonitátis: qui ductus misericórdia unigénitum tuum pro nobis ad infíma mundi descéndere, et carnem súmere voluísti: quam ego indígnus hic in mánibus meis téneo, te adóro: te glorífico, te tota cordis intentióne laudo, et precor: ut nos fámulos tuos non déseras, sed peccáta nostra dimíttas: quaténus tibi soli vivo ac vero Deo puro corde et casto córpore servíre valeámus, per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.
O God the Father, fount and source of all goodness, Who, moved by Thy loving kindness didst will Thine only-begotten to descend for us to this base world and to take flesh, which I, unworthy one, hold here in my hands: I worship Thee, I glorify Thee, I praise Thee with the whole purpose of my mind and heart, and beseech Thee not to forsake us Thy servants, but forgive us our sins, that se we may be enabled to serve Thee, the only living and true God with a clean heart and a chaste body. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dómine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, qui ex voluntáte Patris, cooperánte Spíritu Sancto, per mortem tuam mundum vivificásti: libera me, quæso, per hoc sacrosánctum Corpus et hunc Sánguinem tuum a cunctis iniquitátibus meis et ab univérsis malis: et fac me tuis semper obedíre mandátis: et a te nunquam in perpétuum separári permíttas, Salvátor mundi, qui cum Deo Patre et eódem Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Ghost hast by Thy death given life to the world; free me, I beseech, by this Thy most holy Body and Blood, from all my iniquities and from every evil. Make me ever obedient to Thy commandments, and suffer me not to be forever separated from Thee, O Saviour of the world. Who with God the Father and the same Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

Córporis et Sánguinis tui Dómine Iesu Christe hoc Sacraméntum quod licet indígnus accípio: non sit mihi iudício et condemnatióni: sed tua prosit pietáte córporis mei et ánimæ salúti. Amen.
Let not the Sacrament of Thy Body and Blood, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I albeit unworthy receive, be to me for judgement and condemnation, but by Thy goodness be profitable to the health of my body and soul. Amen,

Ave in ætérnum, sanctíssima Caro Christi; mihi ante ómnia et super ómnia summa dulcédo, Corpus Dómini nostri Iesu Christi sit mihi peccatóri via et vita. Amen. In nó ≠ mine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.
Hail for evermore, most holy Flesh of Christ, to me before all and above all the highest source of joy. The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ be unto me a sinner the way and the Life, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Ave in ætérnum, cœléstis potus; mihi ante ómnia et super ómnia summa dulcédo. Corpus et Sánguis Dómini nostri Iesu Christi prosint mihi peccatóri ad remédium sempitérnum in vitam ætérnam. Amen.
In nó + mine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.
Hail for evermore, Heavenly Drink, to me before all and above all the highest source of joy. The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be unto me a perpetual healing unto everlasting life, Amen. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Sarum Candlemas 12 - The Canon

The choir begin the great Sanctus by Tallis; the first part of the Canon which the Celebrant begins silently while the choir is singing resembles the Roman Use closely — the text is identical throughout, differing only in rubrics. For instance, the Priest is given a list of people to pray for at the memento of the living (e.g. his parents, his godparents, his parishioners, his friends),a nd instead of spreading his hands over the gifts, he is directed to look at them with great devotion.
The Deacon and Subdeacon are given lit candles to hold. This custom we derived not from the written rubrics, but from countless illustrations. The priest blesses the host and then touches it at 'fregit'. He bows before elevating, but not after. He is directed to elevate the chalice either as high as his breast or else over his head.
After the Consecration, the choir commence the Benedictus. You will see the celebrant extending his arms in modo crucis—this gesture, a sign of the crucifixion mystically re-presented in the Mass, is common to many Western Uses at this point. He keeps his thumbs and forefingers joined. At the Supplices, the Priest bows with his arms folded across his chest. The Deacon and Subdeacon go to wash their hands at the (original!) piscina.
The rubrics at the Per Ipsum are different; the celebrant makes three signs of the cross of decreasing dimensions over the chalice, then two between the chalice and himself.
He concludes aloud: per omnia sæcula sæculorum.

Sarum Candlemas 11 - Secret & Preface

The Preface: there isn’t very much to note, except that the chant differs from the Roman a little, and that it is the Acolyte rather than the Subdeacon who takes the paten in the humeral veil.
The couple who left in the middle of the preface weren’t actually leaving; the young man told me afterwards that they were sitting beside someone who really stank, and they couldn’t bear it any more. So, they simply went to the back to sit in the narthex for the rest of the Mass. No doubt the person concerned was simply trying to give the occasion a truly mediæval savour.

Sarum Candlemas 10 - Offertory

The celebrant crosses himself, turns to the people and sings Dominus Vobiscum. The rulers and singers begin the offertory antiphon, Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis. The acolyte brings the chalice and paten (already containing the host and watered wine) in the humeral veil, passing it to the Subdeacon, who passes it to the Deacon, who passes it to the Priest. It is offered with one prayer (a variant on the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas of the Roman Use). The priest then covers the chalice with a folded and starched corporal (a forerunner of the pall)—in some places it was lifted up tentwise from behind the chalice.
The altar is censed, then the Priest (who is given the text to kiss) followed by the rulers and the priests in choir (one at a time). Then the servers and people. The priest has washed his hands.
The Subdeacon places the Text at the right side of the altar, where it too is censed by the Deacon.
Interestingly, there is no specific invocation of the Holy Spirit at this point, such as one finds in the Roman Use, but a blessing.
The Celebrant turns to say the Orate Fratres in a different form (see below).
The wonderful music the choir are singing is Gaude, gaude Virgo Maria by John Sheppard.
This clip (in a slightly shorter form) has already been uploaded to Youtube, so you may have seen it before.

Súscipe, sancta Trínitas, hanc oblatiónem, quam ego indígnus peccátor óffero in honóre tuo : beátæ Maríæ, pro peccátis et offensiónibus meis, pro salúte vivórum et réquiæ ómnium fidélium defunctórum. In nómine Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti accéptum sit omnipoténti Deo hoc sacrifícium novum.
Receive, holy Trinity, this offering which I, thine unworthy servant offer in your honour and that of Blessed Mary, for my sins and offences, for the salvation of the living and the rest of the faithful departed. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, may this new sacrifice be acceptable to almighty God.��

He washes his hands.
Munda me, Dómine, ab omni iniquinaménto cordis et córporis mei, ut possim mundus implére opus sanctum Dómini.
Cleanse me, O Lord, from all uncleanness of my mind and body, that I may fulfil the holy work of the Lord in purity.��

The priest bows:
In spíritu humilitátis, et in ánimo contríto suscipiámur, Dómine, a te: et sic fiat sacrifícium nostrum in conspéctu tuo, ut a te suscipiátur hódie, et pláceat tibi, Dómine Deus.
In the spirit of humility and with a contrite heart may we be acceptable, Lord, to Thee, and may this sacrifice find favour in Thy sight that it may be received by you today, and please you, Lord God.��

He blesses the gifts:
In nomine Patris, et Fílii, + et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.��

He turns and says:
Oráte, fratres et soróres pro me: ut meum paritérque vestrum accéptum sit Dómino Deo nostro sacrifícium.
Pray for me, brothers and sisters, that this sacrifice which is equally mine and yours be acceptable to the Lord our God.��

Spíritus sancti gratia, illuminet cor tuum et labia tua: et accípiat Dóminus digne hoc sacrifícium laudis de manibus tuis pro peccátis et offensiónibus nostris.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten your heart and lips, and may the Lord accept this sacrifice of praise from your hands for our sins and offences.��

There is an entirely different form of the Orate Fratres for Requiems.


And now we must pause in these postings while I go and look for the second disc—it seems to have wandered away. I don't know how long it'll take to turn up, though. In the meantime, here's a gem I spotted on the Ship of Fools site:
An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus".

Sarum Candlemas 09 - Credo

The music for this is basically Credo 1 from the Liber, with a few tripping-up differences here and there. The last phrase, however, is taken from Tallis' Missa Puer Natus est Nobis—it isn't known whether he only set this last phrase, or whether the rest has been lost. You'll notice
that there are several bows during the course of the Credo.
The homily, on this occasion by Fr Jerome Bertram of the Oratory, follows the Credo.

Sarum Candlemas 08 - Sequence and Gospel

Almost every feast in the Sarum calendar has a sequence. This is no exception.
Hæc clara die turma festiva dat præconia
Mariam concrepando symphonia nectarea.
On this bright day the festive band gives praise / And in sweet concert calls on Mary's name.
And here you can see the incense put into the thurible, again by the Deacon, the Deacon's blessing (facing south), the censing of the Text on the altar, the procession, the announcement of the Gospel (all clergy turning to the altar for Gloria tibi Domine), and the singing of the Gospel.
You'll note that the Deacon does not sing from the Text, but the Subdeacon stands holding it open anyway to his left. At the end he kisses both books.
The celebrant immediately intones the Credo.
The procession returns to the altar and the Celebrant is censed—there was a complicated bit of detective and deductive liturgical work we had to do here. I'll post the whole Credo on the next clip, so you don't get annoyed at having it cut off.

Sarum Candlemas 07 - Epistle and Gradual

Professor Dobszay comments that the 'Tridentine Rite' is in fact a cut-down version (for the use of the Roman Curia) of the true Roman Rite which existed throughout the West in various forms. This clip will show you what he means.
But first, the 'Epistle' (Malachi 3:1-4). Records show that the Epistle was sung from all sorts of places, including from lecterns at the footpace of the altar. Some texts decree that it is to be sung from the Rood Screen, and hence many commentators have commanded their subdeacons (and deacons for the Gospel) to clamber up to the rood loft to do so. A simple look at almost all existing rood screens will tell you that this is ridiculous. Access is almost always by a tiny door and spiral staircase, and the idea of ascending this in vestments, still less with taperers and crucifers and thurifers is absurd. Maybe in Salisbury Cathedral it was possible, but since Wyatt removed the screen in the 18th Century to 'restore' the Cathedral, we can no longer tell. More likely, it could have been read from the door in the screen, assuming people to have been sitting in the nave. But this, too, is unlikely, since I am pretty certain that people did not generally, and certainly in large numbers, occupy the Nave of great churches for High Mass as they would today, (though parish churches might be another matter). Consequently, Epistle and Gospel could be and were read almost anywhere (the Gospel always facing north, of course). We used the lectern, which conveniently could be turned to face north when required for the Gospel. You'll see the rulers doing this at the end when they intone the Sequence. I strongly suspect that this is what was done in the 16th Century in Merton Chapel.
The Subdeacon, then, sings the passage from Malachi: the chant is identical to that in the Roman Use. At the end, the taperers return accompanying the Acolyte, who is carrying the corporal, chalice and empty paten wrapped in a humeral veil. The subdeacon follows on, carrying the Epistolary on his arm. The Acolyte takes the chalice to the credence, and the humeral veil is removed. He then takes the corporal to the altar, where he leaves it, kissing the altar as he goes. Meanwhile the Celebrant, Deacon and Subdeacon read the Gradual at the sedilia. The Deacon then goes to the altar and spreads the corporal. The Subdeacon goes to the credence, and pours in wine, then carries the water to the Priest to be blessed, then pouring a drop into the chalice. He then veils the chalice and returns to his seat.
Which is why Graduals are so long in the Roman rite; they were intended to cover all this (or similar) action which had been dropped out of the Roman Use by the 16th Century.

Sarum Candlemas 06 - Gloria & Collect

Gloria: The rulers collect their note from the precentor (who has it played to him on the organ), and they go and preintone it to the celebrant, who then finally does the definitive intonation. The singers then take up the Gloria, in Tallis' wonderful setting Puer Natus est nobis, appropriate for Candlemas, we felt. Legend has it that it was written for the wedding of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain in Winchester Cathedral, where the Spanish and English chapels Royal sung together for the first and last time. The Gloria in the Sarum rite has interpolations in honour of our Lady which may be used, but this Gloria is 'straight'.
The rulers get to sit on their stools, and the sacred ministers in the original sedilia in Merton chapel.
They return for the collect. As you can see, the Dominus vobiscum is sung from the Epistle side. The Priest raises his joined hands for it, the Deacon stands aside, and the Subdeacon kneels—the rubric directs that, kneeling, he is to busy himself with the priest's chasuble. We couldn't make head or tail of that, so here he simply kneels. The collect is sung as normal, though you will see a procession forming up (well, this is Sarum, and the English have always loved processions) of the Acolyte with the Taperers on either side of him going to the back of the church to pick up the chalice and (empty) paten. The Subdeacon follows, carrying the book of Epistles on his arm.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Sarum Candlemas 05: Mass begins

The celebrant approaches the altar and changes into his chasuble. He is directed to say the hymn Veni Creator (in a slight variant version) while vesting. Only the biggest churches had sacristies, and normally vestments were kept in chests near the altars.
You'll notice (how could you not?) that the celebrant's alb is horribly short. By a sort of cruel coincidence, I was given exactly the same alb for the same occasion the year before. Still, humiliation is supposed to be good for one.
The rulers collect their note from the precentor and begin the Officium (Introit), Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam in templo sancti tui. In the singing, the antiphon is repeated after the psalm and after the Gloria Patri, making three times.
Meanwhile, the sacred ministers, at the foot of the altar say the 'collect for purity', Deus qui omne cor patet, Psalm 42 (Judica me), a very short Confiteor, with a longer Misereatur and Indulgentiam; then he exchanges the sign of peace with Deacon and Subdeacon (the rubrics say he is to kiss them. Ahem.) and they ascend the altar.
All the servers then go to their places; the taperers set down their candles on the altar step.
The altar is kissed and the sacred ministers make three signs of the cross.
Incense is put in by the Deacon and blessed by the Priest, and the altar is censed. There are no very clear directions for the precise way to cense an altar, so we did it more Romano.
You may have noticed the taperers departing and then returning: they are bringing in the bread and wine for the Mass and taking them to the credence.
A Sarum altar normally has two candles (there were exceptions), but others might stand around. It should also be equipped with curtains at each end; these were not present in Merton College in 1997.
After the censation, the priest is censed and the Gospel book ('Text') is brought for him to kiss. This is a ceremonial book of the Gospels, and many examples still are extant; the Canterbury Gospels, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and even the Book of Kells are of this type; probably not really meant to be read from, but used ceremonially. The Text is replaced at the Gospel side of the altar.
The Kyrie is preintoned and sung. This Kyrie is a good example of a 'farced' Kyrie, with devotional texts included between the words Kyrie and eleison (and even one or other of these omitted). This one is Deus Creator omnium, tu Theos ymon nostri pie eleison —gloriously macaronic in Latin and Greek.

Prayers at the foot of the altar:
Deus, cui omne cor patet et omnis volúntas loquitur: et quem nullum latet secrétum: purífica per infusiónem Sancti Spíritus cogitatiónes cordis nostri: ut perfécte te dilígere et digne laudáre mereámur, per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Introíbo ad altáre Dei. / Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam.
Júdica me, Deus, &c
Introíbo ad altáre Dei. / Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam.
Kyrie eléison Christe eléison, Kyrie eléison
Pater noster…
Ave María…
…et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem. / Sed líbera nos a malo.
Confitémini Dómino quóniam bonus.
Quóniam in sæculum misericórdia eius.
Confíteor Deo beátæ Maríæ et ómnibus Sanctis, et vobis, peccávi nimis cogitatióne, locutióne et ópere: mea culpa. Precor sanctam Maríam, omnes Sanctos Dei, et vos oráre pro me.
Misereátur tui, omnípotens Deus, et, dimíttat ómnia peccáta tua, líberet te ab omni malo: consérvet et confírmet in bono: et ad vitam perdúcat ætérnam Amen.
Confíteor Deo, … oráre pro me.
Misereátur …
Absolutiónem + et remissiónem ómnium peccatórum vestrórum: spátium veræ pœniténtiæ et emendatiónem vitæ, grátiam et consolatiónem Sancti Spíritus tríbuat vobis omnípotens et miséricors Dóminus. Amen.
V.Adjutórium nostrum in nómine Dómini.
R. Qui fecit cælum et terram.
V.Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum.
R. Ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.
Orémus. Habete osculum pacis et dilectionis, ut apti sitis sacrosancto altari ad perficiendum officia divina.
Orémus. Aufer a nobis, Domine, cunctas iniquítates nostras, ut ad sancta sanctórum puris méntibus mereámur introíre. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. (ascends altar)
In nomine Patris + et Filii + et Spiritus + Sancti. Amen.

Sarum Candlemas 04: The Statio

On Sundays and feasts, the Sarum use preceded High Mass with a procession round the church, usually visiting all the side altars and censing them. It concluded at the great Rood suspended over the entrance to the chancel, where there was usually also a screen. Here there would be a versicle and collect, sometimes a sung antiphon, and, in parish churches, the 'Bidding Prayers' in English.
You can hear the end of the chants on this clip followed by the Responsory Videte Miraculum in Thomas Tallis' incomparable setting. For all I know, this is the first time since the Reformation that this has been sung in its proper context.
The camera seems to be intently studying the Rulers' haircuts for quite a while—enjoy the glorious music. Then it pans round the congregation; eagle-eyed viewers might spot the eminent Greek-Rite scholar and priest Serge Kelleher; Fr Uwe Michael Lang (not at this stage, I think, even a Catholic); the conductor and musicologist Andrew Carwood in the narthex and, later to appear, the philosopher Professor Michael Dummett.
The versicle and collect sung, the procession reforms and makes its way to the altar for Mass.

R. Videte miraculum matris Domini, concepit virgo, virilis ignara consortii. Stans onerata nobili onere alia et matrem se lætam cognoscit, quæ se nescit uxorem. V. Hæc speciosum forma præ filiis hominum castis concepit visceribus, et benedicta in æternum nobis Deum protulit et hominem. R. Stans onerata…
Behold the miracle of the mother of God, a virgin conceived, though she knew no man. She stands burdened with a noble burden, and she knew herself to be a joyful mother, who did not know herself a wife. V. This form, beautiful above all the sons of men, she conceived in her chaste womb, and this blessed woman bore for us the one who is both God and man forever. She stands burdened…

Sarum Candlemas 03: The Procession

The choir sing the traditional antiphons, the rulers having intoned them. I think the texts, Ave, gratia plena, Dei genetrix, Virgo; Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion; Responsum accepit Simeon, are the same as in the Liber, the chant being in a rather more ancient form.
In Sarum, the Deacon puts in incense, and the priest blesses it. The procession moves off: it would have been nice if the people followed, or at least the singers, but they seem to have had better things to do. I suppose it would have been a bit of a squeeze.
Coincidentally, you can see at least three bloggers in the ceremony. The MC is Fr Nick 'Roman Miscellany' Schofield (then an undergraduate); among the choir clergy you might spot Fr Michael 'Mildew' Clifton, and the celebrant is yours truly, with more hair. The deacon, Fr Guy Nichols, is a frequent appearer on Catholic Mom's blog. Among the servers, about five went on to become priests, and very fine ones, too.
This clip takes us up to the rood screen, where there is a pause for some prayers and an antiphon (see next clip).

Sarum Candlemas 02

Here you can see the blessing of the people's candles, the sprinkling with holy water and the giving of the candles to the clergy.
You can get a good look at the rulers of the choir in this clip, owing to the fact that they moved too soon and have to hang around awkwardly until they are needed. They were actually three real-time monks—one from Ampleforth, one from Ealing and one from Downside. You can see how they approach the precentor (well, okay, conductor) for their preintonation before going to the lectern to sing.
The conductor was the eminent Claude Crozet who brought together a volunteer choir of about thirty really good singers, as you will hear when they break into polyphony later on.
The lectern in the middle of the choir is original, dating from the early sixteenth century.
As candles are sprinkled and distributed, the chant Lumen ad revelationem gentium is sung with the Nunc Dimittis—this differs hardly at all from the the Roman use.

Sarum Candlemas 01

For a while I worked as a priest in Oxford, and there became involved in a couple of celebrations of the Use of Sarum. Both were videod, in an amateurish way, and I thought it worth posting at least some of this to YouTube, where you can still see those posts of the Coronation of Pope John XXIII that I posted last year. A clip from the offertory of the second Sarum Mass (Candlemas 1997) was posted to YouTube a while ago, and much appreciated; now it seems time to put up some more.
The Sarum Use is the mediæval English rite of most mediæval English dioceses, and by the close of Catholic England at the death of Queen Mary was the Use for the whole country (Henry VIII had made it compulsory for everyone, and I don't suppose Hereford, Bangor &c did much to revive their own Uses, unless anyone out there knows different).
The Sarum Use is notable for great sumptuosness, being far more elaborate than, say a Tridentine Mass. On greater occasions, such as Candlemas, it has four vested sacred ministers (Priest, Deacon, Subdeacon and Acolyte—candle bearers are known as Taperers).
In the entrance procession you can see here a Beadle with gown and rod, three processional crosses (the central one carried by the Acolyte), two thuribles, acolytes, banners, assisting clergy, three cantors in copes (the 'rulers of the choir'), MC (probably not authentic, but necessary in view of the fact that we hadn't done this regularly) sacristan carrying the to-be-blessed paschal candle, Subdeacon, Deacon and Priest behind each other despite the fact that the celebrant wears a cope. Vestments are white throughout (whereas the custom at Rome until 1962 was to do the blessing and procession in purple).
First, the church's candles are blessed with a lot of rapid Latin prayers at the Epistle side (the Sarum 'South Horn'). These differ from the Roman use, and include a preface-style prayer sung to the Sarum simple tone. The ordinary chants of the Mass do differ a bit.
The ritual is very clearly laid out in extant books, even with Fortuescue-type diagrams to show where everyone should stand. Therefore, I am confident that the ceremony you will see in these clips is at least 85%-90% authentically 'as it would have been.' Most of the things we couldn't get right were to do with the shape of some of the vestments, for instance—those are firmly Roman copes that the Rulers of the Choir are wearing) and occasions where the rubrics aren't clear and we had to make an educated guess.
There are no genuflections in the Sarum Use—or at least none are mentioned in the books. It is possible that by 1558 they would have been introduced. But we stuck by the book.
The clip ends just as the celebrant turns to bless the people's candles, which they hold in their hands—only the clergy receive them directly from the priest.

Monday 25 February 2008

By hook or by crook

Nice to see this picture of Archbishop De Magistris ordaining some members of the Good Shepherd Institute in the traditional place for Roman ordinations—the Cathedral of Rome, St John Lateran.
But what doesn't look very traditional to me is that the Archbishop is carrying a crozier. I was told that, until the 1960s, nobody carried a crozier in Rome, not even the Holy Father (though I believe an exception might have been made for the consecration of a bishop when the consecrand was presented with a crozier as part of the rite). Perhaps the Arch is just taking advantage of the modern custom.
n.b. Zadok the Roman has kindly written a comment which explains.

Saturday 23 February 2008

Something in Sompting

I am very fortunate in my parish to have a number of mediæval churches within the bounds. Because this part of the world was quite important until the middle ages, when it seems to have declined rather, many of these churches are Saxon or Norman, and sometimes (as at Steyning) quite impressive. This church is the parish church of Sompting, actually just outside my parish, and its tower is one of the oldest in the country, dating from Saxon times. It gives me pleasure to think that bells have rung for Mass maybe for even longer than they have rung for the Reformed services—this tower was already ancient at the Reformation.
I was visiting Sompting the other day with some friends, and came across this, standing by the organ. I suppose it had to happen some day. I'd heard of Action Men with vestments, but now it seems we have Rev. Barbie.

And yes, the vicar is also a woman.

Friday 22 February 2008

Bishop of Lancaster

People tell me that the new coadjutor Bishop of Lancaster, Fr Michael Cambell, an Augustinian, is a good thing. He is well respected among Lancastrians who Think Rightly. Hurrah. I also gather that Bishop O'Donohue has been doing (massive financial losses aside, which mightn't have been his fault) a pretty good job in office, as evidenced by the wonderful schools document (pdf here) which we have all been drooling over and wondering, rather hopelessly, how it could possibly be made to apply to schools in our area.

Comments welcome.

On the value of petitions

I was speaking last night to a good friend who has retired early from being a fairly senior civil servant. I asked him frankly whether these e-petitions (such as the one a couple of posts ago) really have any influence at all. He thought not. 'Ministers are going to do what they want to do' he said. It would take a very serious petition, a couple of million signatures strong, to make them take any notice.
What does work, he said, is individual letters to MPs. They say that one letter on a subject represents ten who think the same way but haven't written. An MP always has an eye to his re-election, and if there is a substantial body in his constituency holding one point of view, he has to take notice, particularly in the current climate of low turn-out for elections. A couple of hundred votes one way or the other could very well make the difference.
My friend also commented that letters directly to ministers are simply passed on to a subordinate to answer, and are thus effectively ignored. However, a letter to your MP requesting that he take a matter up with the minister concerned is the best of all, since the minister must personally reply to the MP, and this reply will normally be forwarded to you.
Finally, as to those postcards which SPUC distribute to be filled in: these are simply ignored as an obvious pressure campaign requiring little commitment on the part of the sender, my friend commented. If you want genuinely to make a difference, write your own letter to your MP.

Tuesday 19 February 2008

I know nothing

On his site (link to the left) On the Side of the Angels, in a very kind welcome, asks for some goss on Bishop Terence Drainey. As Manuel said in Fawlty Towers, 'I know nothing' except what I learnt from Fr Ray's blog a few months ago.
However, one piece of goss which I do have concerns the course that the then Fr Drainey operated at Ushaw for re-programming foreign clergy who are coming to work in the UK.
St John's Seminary, Wonersh, are going to begin a similar course. I have spoken to the director, and he tells me that the plan is going to be far more respectful of what these fidei donum priests may bring to us. They will simply be filled in as to the way things work in the UK, and, amongst other things, taken to some of our historical Catholic sites. Very encouraging, I think. The basic idea is a good one: there are a lot of practical matters which are done differently in other countries; the most obvious one is the arrangement &c of marriages. Were I landing on these or other shores, a basic orientation course could be seriously useful.

Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow free votes on the embryology and fathers components of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill when considered by the House of Commons.
The danger is that if the Government decides to treat this as a political issue (being under pressure from strong pro-choice lobbies) and apply the whip, MPs will be put under enormous pressure to vote maybe against their consciences and against the cause of Life.
If you are a UK citizen (or, if you prefer, a subject of Her Britannic Majesty), please do sign the petition by clicking on this link and following the directions.

Santi subito

New procedures for canonizing saints have been put in place. You can read about it here, where you will also read that Pope Benedict has already canonized and beatified at a prodigious rate, just like his predecessor. In fairness, though, these new saints will all have been hang-overs from Pope John Paul's time. Perhaps we may see the flood ebbing somewhat over the next couple of years.
As for Pope John Paul himself, the article asks Cardinal Martins whether Pope Benedict is about to declare him a saint without any further messing around.
"No," Martins told reporters with a grin. "I think that is not very probable"

Good Friday and the Jews

I'm a little at a loss to know what to think about the change in the prayer for the Jews in the traditional Good Friday service.
Part of me resents any change to the 1962 Missal; there are many among the more hard-line traditionalists who allege that the whole purpose of changing the Missal in 1969 was precisely to change doctrine. This fuels their argument, and will certainly lead to their distrusting the efforts of Pope Benedict to reconcile them. What will be changed next? they might legitimately ask.
And yet, it is perfectly easy also to understand why the Jews are upset. Speaking of veils of blindness &c is hardly going to mollify them. For perfectly understandable reasons, the Jews are hypersensitive to signs of disapprobation in other quarters, and though we may honestly think their reaction can be over the top at times, the reason for it is plain to see. We do at least owe them the duty and courtesy of acting sensitively. The way our forebears behaved towards them is still a fresh and raw wound in their psyche.
The point at issue is—particularly for American Jews, it would appear—whether or not the old covenant was abrogated when our Lord initiated the new in his blood. Paragraph 4 of the Decree Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council has been often cited by Jewish and (more liberal) Catholic commentators as the source for saying that the earlier covenant with Moses still endures. Well, look for yourself. I'm not sure that the text can be made to say that. It seems to be talking of the love that God has for the Jewish people because of his 'special relationship' with them throughout salvation history, and saying that this love still endures. So it does, of course. But it doesn't say that the former covenant endures.
An earnest desire that the Jewish people come to faith in our Lord seems to me to be a good thing. Before he ascended into heaven, our Lord commanded us to take the Gospel to all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He did not say 'all people except the Jews'. A desire that the Jews be converted may come across as patronizing or even repugnant when viewed from the Jewish side, but it is important to stress that our enthusiasm is not based on any antipathy to them, but rather the reverse. It is the very importance of the Jewish people in the history of Salvation that makes us keen that they, too, share fully in all the benefits of Christ. The acceptance of Christ by the Jews is one of the signs of the Kingdom. It seems to me that the point of Nostra Aetate is a firm setting aside of any racist or anti-Semitic relics that may remain: Vatican II ended a mere 20 years after the end of World War II, after all. The Church proclaims firmly that the Jews are loved by God with a special love, and that we should respect that, and them.
But I cannot see that there is evidence in scripture, tradition, or the solemn Magisterium of the Church that the Mosaic covenant is still to be upheld by the Christian Church as still valid and itself a means of salvation, as has been asserted on some sites I have visited in the last weeks. For a Christian, Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. We trust that God may save many others who behave well according to their lights, and above all, we pray, the Jews, but that is a different thing from saying that Judaism and Christianity are sort-of parallel ways of salvation.
The Jews, of course, will not see it this way. For them, the Mosaic covenant is their way to heaven. And if they follow it with all their hearts and seek God, and do justly, we may have confidence that Almighty God will save them for the sake of His Son, who died for them.
I'm not confident of my own stand enough, really. There seem to be so many conflicting opinions on this subject flying round the net at the moment. What do you think?

Monday 18 February 2008

The Sacrament of Penance

The Owl of the Remove has a very interesting post about confessions. He suggests that part of what is wrong is that Saturday is just not a good time to hear them. Here in the Adur Valley, I do half an hour on Saturday morning in Shoreham, half an hour on Saturday evening in Upper Beeding, and half an hour on Thursday morning in Steyning. The response is not encouraging, really. I suppose about a third of the Sunday Mass attendance come to the Advent and Lent Penitential Services (which have individual confessions and absolution as part of it), but this means that two thirds of the parish probably hardly ever come. As those of you who are parishioners know, I do preach about it and I do encourage it, but it doesn't seem to have much effect.
I would like really to make it available during Sunday Mass sometimes. I used to do that occasionally when I was a University Chaplain. Yes, yes, I know; perhaps it isn't liturgically ideal, but I think that probably it is more important to get people back to the sacrament. But one needs another priest who also thinks it's a good idea.
Now we celebrate the Extraordinary Use on Saturdays, the numbers who come to confession on a Saturday morning have improved a little.
But I must say I like the Washington idea as told by Fr Owl; that every priest should be in his confessional throughout the diocese one evening a week during Lent. That's very creative and might well catch people's imaginations.
And would people find an evening slot, perhaps with Eucharistic Adoration, more acceptable?

Salve Adurne

Well, here we are again! I'm not quite sure in what direction this blog is going to go yet, nor what time I'm going to be able to devote to it, but for better or worse, I'm going to at least make the attempt once more.
Thanks to the many of you who have encouraged me to do so: I hope I will make it worth your while.