Maundy Thursday: Link to (7PM EST) LIVE Mass -In Cena Domini Feria V Missa ‘Nos Autem’

13 April 2017

HolyThursday-sm-trip

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Complete Missal online to follow the Mass
Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose and the
Stripping of the Altar


Ordo Missae for Holy Thursday from Sancta Missa.org.
Feria V In Cena Domini begins on page 180.

In Cena Domini Gregorian Chants for the Vesperal Mass of Maundy Thursday from F.S.S.P. North American District (Complete audio to accompany text)


Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Extraordinary Form Videos & Online Missal

13 April 2017


Complete Missal online to follow the Mass
Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose and the
Stripping of the Altar


Ordo Missae for Holy Thursday from Sancta Missa.org.
Feria V In Cena Domini begins on page 180.

In Cena Domini Gregorian Chants for the Vesperal Mass of Maundy Thursday from F.S.S.P. North American District (Complete audio to accompany text)


Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Holy Thursday

13 April 2017

“Maundy Thursday”
13 April 2017 Anno Domini

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas

Maundy Thursday

The Last Supper

It was most fitting that the sacrament of the body of the Lord should have been instituted at the Last Supper.

1. Because of what that sacrament contains. For that which is contained in it is Christ Himself. When Christ in His natural appearance was about to depart from His disciples, He left Himself to them in a sacramental appearance, just as in the absence of the emperor there is exhibited the emperor’s image. Whence St. Eusebius says, “Since the body He had assumed was about to be taken away from their bodily sight, and was about to be carried to the stars, it was necessary that, on the day of His last supper, He should consecrate for us the sacrament of His body and blood, so that what, as a price, was offered once should, through a mystery, be worshipped unceasingly.”

2. Because without faith in the Passion there can never be salvation. Therefore it is necessary that there should be, for ever, among men something that would represent the Lord’s Passion and the chief of such representative things in the Old Testament was the Paschal Lamb. To this there succeeded in the New Testament the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is commemorative of the past Passion of the Lord as the Paschal Lamb was a foreshadowing of the Passion to come.

And therefore was it most fitting that, on the very eve of the Passion, the old sacrament of the Paschal Lamb having been celebrated, Our Lord should institute the new sacrament.

3. Because the last words of departing friends remain longest in the memory, our love being at such moments most tenderly alert. Nothing can be greater in the realm of sacrifice than that of the body and blood of Christ, no offering can be more effective. And hence, in order that the sacrament might be held in all the more veneration, it was in His last leave-taking of the Apostles that Our Lord instituted it.

Hence St. Augustine says, “Our Saviour, to bring before our minds with all His power the heights and the depths of this sacrament, willed, ere He left the disciples to go forth to His Passion, to fix it in their hearts and their memories as His last act.”

Let us note that this sacrament has a threefold meaning :

(i) In regard to the past, it is commemorative of the Lord’s Passion, which was a true sacrifice, and because of this the sacrament is called a sacrifice.

(ii) In regard to a fact of our own time, that is, to the unity of the church and that through this sacrament mankind should be gathered together. Because of this the sacrament is called communion.

St. John Damascene says the sacrament is called communion because by means of it we communicate with Christ, and this because we hereby share in His body and in His divinity, and because by it we are communicated to and united with one another.

(iii) In regard to the future, the sacrament foreshadows that enjoyment of God which shall be ours in our fatherland. On this account the sacrament is called viaticum, since it provides us with the means of journeying to that fatherland.


Maundy Thursday by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870

13 April 2017

Holy Thursday popup

THE MORNING.

This is the first day of the Azymes, or Feast of the Unleavened Bread. At sunset, the Jews must eat the Pasch in Jerusalem. Jesus is still in Bethania; but He will return to the City before the hour for the Paschal supper. The Law commands this; and, until He has abrogated the Law by the shedding of His Blood, He wishes to observe its ordinances. He therefore sends two of His Disciples to get everything ready for the Pasch, without, however, telling them the great Mystery, wherewith it is to terminate. We who know it, and that it was at this Last Supper that was instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we can understand why He sends Peter and John, in preference to any of the other Disciples, to prepare what is needed (St. Luke, xxii. 8.). Peter, who was the first to confess the Divinity of Jesus, represents Faith: and John, who leaned upon the breast of the Man-God, represents Love. The mystery, which is to be instituted at tonight’s Supper, is revealed to Love by Faith. It is this that Jesus would have us learn from His choice of the two Apostles; but they themselves see not the intention of their Master.

Jesus, Who knew all things, tells them by what sign they are to know the house, which He intends to honour with His presence: they have but to follow a man, whom they will see carrying a pitcher of water. The house to which this man is going, belongs to a rich Jew, who recognises Jesus as the Messias. The two Apostles apprise him of their Master’s wishes; and immediately he puts at their disposal a large and richly furnished room. It was fitting, that the place, where the most august Mystery was to be instituted, should be something above common. This Room, where the reality was to be substituted for all the ancient figures, was far superior to the Temple of Jerusalem. In it was to be erected the first Altar for the offering up of the clean oblation, foretold by the Prophet (Malach. i. 11): in it was to commence the Christian Priesthood: in it, finally, fifty days later on, the Church of Christ, collected together and visited by the Holy Ghost, was to make herself known to the world, and promulgate the new and universal Covenant of God with men. This favoured sanctuary of our Faith, is still venerated on Mount Sion. The Infidels have profaned it by their false worship, for even they look on it as a sacred place; but as though Divine Providence, which has mercifully preserved unto us so many traces of our Redeemer, would give us an earnest of better days to come, this venerable sanctuary has been recently thrown open to several Priests of the Church, and they have even been permitted to offer up the Holy Sacrifice in the very place where the Eucharist was instituted.

During the course of the day, Jesus has entered Jerusalem, with the rest of his Disciples: He has found all things prepared.

The Paschal Lamb, after being first presented in the Temple, has been brought to the house, where Jesus is to celebrate the Supper: it is prepared, together with the wild lettuce and the unleavened bread. In a few hours, the Divine Master and His Disciples will be standing round the table, their loins girt, and staves in their hands; and, for the last time, they will observe the solemn rite prescribed by God to his people, when they first went forth from Egypt.

But let us wait for the hour of Mass, before going further into the details of this Last Supper. Meanwhile, let us seek edification and instruction in two holy functions, which belong to this great day. The first is the Reconciliation of Penitents, which, although not now in use, needs to be described, in order that our readers may have a proper idea of the Lenten Liturgy. The second is the Consecration of the Holy Oils, which is a ceremony confined to Cathedral Churches, but so interesting to the Faithful, that we should have scrupled to have excluded it from our volume. After having briefly described these, we will return to the history of the Institution of the Blessed Sacrament, and assist at Mass. Then we shall have to speak of the preparation for the Mass of the Presanctified for tomorrow’s service, of the Stripping the Altars, and of the Mandatum, or Washing of the Feet. We proceed, therefore, to explain these several ceremonies, which make Maundy Thursday to be one of the most sacred days of the Liturgical Year.

THE RECONCILIATION OF PENITENTS.

Three solemn Masses were anciently celebrated on this day; and the first was preceded by the absolution of the public Penitents, and their re-admission into the Church. The following was the order of the service for the Reconciliation of Penitents. They presented themselves at the Church-door, clad in penitential garb, and bare-footed. The hair of both head and beard had been allowed to grow from Ash Wednesday, the day on which they had received their penance. The Bishop recited, in the sanctuary, the seven Psalms, in which David expresses his sorrow for having offended God. These were followed by the Litany of the Saints.

During these prayers, the Penitents were prostrate in the porch, for entrance into the Church was forbidden them. Thrice during the Litany, the Bishop deputed some of the clergy to go and visit them, in his name, and bear them words of hope and consolation. The first time, two Sub-Deacons went to them and said: As I live, saith the Lord, I will not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live. The second time, two other Sub-Deacons were sent, with this message: Thus saith the Lord: Do penance; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Finally, a Deacon was coinmissioned to go to them, and say: Lift up your heads; lo! your redemption is nigh.

After these announcements of approaching pardon, the Bishop left the Sanctuary and went towards the Penitents, as far as half way down the centre nave, where was prepared a seat, turned towards the door which led into the porch, where the Penitents were still lying prostrate. The Pontiff being seated the Archdeacon addressed him in these words:

Venerable Pontiff! The acceptable time has come, the day of God’s mercy and of man’s salvation, when death was destroyed, and eternal life began. This is the time, when, in the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth, new plants are to be set, and the detestableness of the old growth is to be pruned away. For though there be no period of time, which is not rich in the goodness and mercy of God, yet now indulgence produces a more abundant remission of sins, and grace yields a more plentiful number of the regenerated. Those that are regenerated add to our ranks; those that return, increase our numbers. There is a laver of water; there is a laver of tears. From the one, there is joy because of the admittance of them that are called; from the other, there is gladness because of them that repent. Therefore it is, that these thy suppliant servants, after having fallen into sundry kinds of sins, by the neglect of the divine commandments, and the transgression of the moral law, humbled and prostrate, cry out to the Lord in these words of the Prophet: We have sinned: we have done unjustly; we have committed iniquity: have mercy on us, O Lord! It has not been in vain, that they have heard the words of the Gospel: Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. As it is written, they have eaten the bread of sorrow; they have watered their couch with tears; they have afflicted their hearts with mourning, and their bodies with fasting, that thus they might recover the health of soul, which they had lost. The grace of penance, therefore, is one; but it profits each one that receives it, and gives help to all in common.

The Bishop then rose, and advanced towards the Penitents. He spoke to them concerning the mercy of God, and how they should live for the time to come. After this exhortation, he thus addressed them: Come, come, come, my children! I will teach you the fear of the Lord. The Choir then sang this Antiphon, taken from the 33rd Psalm: Come ye to him, and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be confounded. Hereupon, the Penitents got up, and, coming to the Bishop, threw themselves at his feet. The Archpriest then pleaded for them in these words:

Make good in them, O Apostolic Pontiff, all that has been corrupted in them by the temptation of the devil! By the merit of thy prayers and intercession, and by the grace of the divine reconciliation, bring these men nigh unto God. Thus, they who, heretofore, suffered by the sins they committed, may now be happy in the hope, that, having overcome the author of their death, they may please the Lord, in the land of the living.

The Bishop answered: Knowest thou, if they be worthy of reconciliation? The Archpriest replied: I know, and bear witness, that they are worthy. A Deacon then ordered the Penitents to rise. This done, the Bishop took one of them by the hand, who did the same to his neighbour; and thus all, hand in hand, followed the Bishop to the place prepared in the centre of the nave. Meanwhile, the Choir sang the following Antiphons: I say unto you, there is joy to the Angels of God over one sinner doing penance. It behoveth thee, my son, to rejoice; for thy brother was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and is found. The Bishop then offered up to God this prayer, which he sang to the solemn tone of the Preface.

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Almighty Father, Eternal God, through Christ our Lord: Whom thou, O Almighty Father, didst will should be born among us by an ineffable Birth, that so He might pay to thee, his Eternal Father, the debt contracted by Adam, and put our death to death by His own, and bear our wounds in His own flesh, and cleanse away our stains by his Blood; hereby enabling us, who had fallen by the envy of the old enemy, to rise again by his mercy. Through him, O Lord, we suppliantly beseech and pray thee that Thou mayest graciously hear us making intercession for the sins of others, who are not worthy to plead for our own. Do thou, O most merciful Lord, recall to Thyself, with Thy wonted goodness, these Thy servants, who have separated themselves from Thee by their sins. For neither didst Thou reject the most wicked Achab when he humbled himself before Thee, but didst avert from him the punishment he had deserved. So, likewise, didst thou graciously hear Peter, when he wept, and didst afterwards give to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and Thou didst promise the reward of that same kingdom to the Thief when he trusted in thee. Therefore, O most merciful Lord! mercifully welcome back these for whom we offer to Thee our prayers, and restore them to the bosom of the Church, that the enemy may not triumph over them, but that they may be reconciled unto Thee by thy co-equal Son, and by Him be cleansed from their guilt, and graciously admitted by Him to the banquet of Thy most Holy Supper. May He in such wise refresh them by His Flesh and Blood, as to lead them, after this life’s course is run, to the kingdom of heaven.

After this Prayer, all, both clergy and laity, prostrated themselves, together with the Penitents, before the Divine Majesty, and recited the three Psalms which begin with the word Miserere, (that is, the 50th, the 55th, and the 56th). The Bishop then stood up, and said over the Penitents, (who remained prostrate, as did also all the assistants,) six Prayers, from which we select the following sentences.

Give ear, O Lord, to our supplications, and mercifully hear me, though I myself need mercy above all others. Thou hast chosen me to be the minister of this work, not from any merits thou didst see in me, but by the pure gift of Thy grace. Grant me courage to fulfil my office, and do Thou work, by my ministry, the effects of Thine own mercy. It is Thou that didst bring back, on Thy shoulders, the lost sheep to the fold, and that didst mercifully hear the prayers of the Publican: do Thou, also, restore to life these Thy servants, whom Thou wouldst not have die unto Thee. O thou, Who abandonest not them that are gone astray, receive these who have returned to Thee. We beseech Thee, O Lord, let the tearful sighs of these Thy servants move Thee to clemency: heal their wounds: stretch out Thy saving hand to them, and raise them up. Permit not Thy Church to be injured in any of her members: let not Thy flock suffer loss; let not the enemy exult over the destruction of any of Thy family, nor the second death lay hold of them that have been regenerated in the layer of salvation. Pardon, O Lord, these that confess their sins to Thee: let them not fall into the punishments of the future judgment to come; let them never know the horrors of darkness, or the torments of the flames of hell. They have returned from the way of error to the path of justice; let them not be again wounded, but maintain ever within themselves both what Thy grace hath conferred upon them, and what Thy mercy hath reformed within them.

Having said these Prayers, the Bishop stretched forth his hands over the Penitents, and pronounced the Reconciliation, in this solemn formula:

May our Lord Jesus Christ, Who vouchsafed to take away the sins of the whole world by delivering Himself up for us, and shedding His spotless Blood; Who, also, said unto His Disciples: whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven: and Who hath numbered me, though unworthy, among these His ministers: may he deign, by the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, of the blessed Archangel Michael, of holy Peter the Apostle, (to whom he gave the power of binding and loosing,) and of all the Saints, to absolve you, by the merits of His Blood shed for the remission of sins, from all whatsoever you have negligently committed in thought, or word, or action; and, having loosed you from the bonds of sin, may He graciously lead you to the kingdom of heaven. Who, with God the Father, and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen

The Bishop then advanced towards the Penitents, who were still lying prostrate: he sprinkled them with holy water, and thurified them. Finally, he addressed them in these words of the Apostle: Arise, ye that sleep! arise from the dead, and Christ shall enlighten you! The Penitents stood up; and, in order to express the joy they felt at being reconciled with their God, they immediately went and changed their penitential garb for one more in accordance with gladness, and with the Holy Communion they were now to receive together with the rest of the Faithful.

THE MASS OF MAUNDY THURSDAY.

The Church intends, on this day, to renew, in a most solemn manner, the mystery of the Last Supper: for our Lord Himself, on this occasion of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, said to His Apostles: Do this for a Commemoration of Me (St. Luke, xxii. 15). Let us, therefore, resume the Gospel narrative.

Jesus is in the Supper chamber, where the Paschal Lamb is to be eaten. All the Apostles are with Him; Judas is there, also, but His crime is not known to the rest. Jesus approaches the table, on which the Lamb is served. His Disciples stand around him. The ceremonies prescribed by God to Moses are religiously observed. At the beginning of the repast, Jesus speaks these words to His Apostles: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you, before I suffer (St. Luke, xxii. 15). In saying this, He does not imply that the Pasch of this year is intrinsically better than those that have preceded it; but, that it is dearer to Him, inasmuch as it is to give rise to the institution of the new Pasch, which He has prepared for mankind, and which He is now going to give them as his last gift: for as St. John says, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end (St. John, xiii. 1).

During the repast, Jesus, Who reads the hearts of all men, utters these words, which cause great consternation among the Disciples: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray Me: he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me (St. Matth. xxvi 21, 23.). The sadness, with which He speaks, is enough to soften any heart; and Judas, who knows his Master’s goodness, feels that they imply a merciful pardon, if he will but ask it. But no: the passion of avarice has enslaved his soul, and he, like the rest of the Apostles, says to Jesus: Is it I, Rabbi? Jesus answers him in a whisper, in order not to compromise him before his brethren: Thou hast said it! But Judas yields not. He intends to remain with Jesus, until the hour comes for betraying Him. Thus, the august mystery, which is on the point of being celebrated, is to be insulted by His presence!

The legal repast is over. It is followed by a feast, which again brings the Disciples around their Divine Master. It was the custom in the East, that guests should repose two and two on couches round the table; these have been provided by the disciple, who has placed his house at Jesus’ service. John is on the same couch as Jesus, so that it is easy for him to lean his head upon his Master’s breast. Peter is on the next couch, on the other side of Jesus, Who is thus between the two Disciples, whom he had sent, in the morning, to prepare the Pasch, and Who, as we have already observed, represent Faith and Love. This second repast is a sorrowful one, in consequence of Jesus having told the guests, that one of them is a traitor. The innocent and affectionate John is overwhelmed with grief, and seeks consolation on the Heart of this dear Lord, Whom some one is about to deliver to His enemies.

But the Apostles little expect a third Supper. Jesus has not told them of His intention; but He had made a promise, and He would fulfill it before His Passion. Speaking, one day, to the people, He had said: I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever, and the Bread that I will give, is my Flesh for the life of the world. * * * My Flesh is meat indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him (St. John, vi . 51, 52, 54, 56, 57.). The time has come for the fulfilment of this His loving promise. But as it was both His Flesh and His Blood that He promised us, He waited till the time of His sacrifice. His Passion has begun; He is sold to His enemies; His life is already in their hands; he may at once, therefore, offer Himself in sacrifice, and give to His Disciples the very Flesh and Blood of the Victim.

As soon as the second repast was over, Jesus suddenly rises, and, to the astonishment of His Apostles, takes off his upper garment, girds himself, as a servant, with a towel, pours water into a basin, and prepares to wash the feet of the guests. It was the custom, in the East, to wash one’s feet, before taking part in a feast; it was considered as the very extreme of hospitality, when the master of the house himself did this service to his guest. Jesus is about to regale His Apostles with a Divine Banquet; He wishes to treat them with every possible mark of welcome and attention. But in this, as in every other action of His, there is a fund of instruction: He would teach us, by what He is now doing, how great is the purity, wherewith we should approach the Holy Table. He that is washed, says he, needeth not but to wash his feet (Idem, xiii. 10.); as though he would say: “The holiness of this Table is such, that they who come to it, should not only be free from grievous sins, but they should, moreover, strive to cleanse their souls from those lesser faults, which come from contact with the world, and are like the dust that covers the feet of one that walks on the highway.” We will explain further on, the other teachings conveyed by this action of our Lord.

It is with Peter, the future Head of his Church, that Jesus begins. The Apostle protests; he declares that he will never permit his Master to humble Himself so low as this: but he is obliged to yield. The other Apostles, (who, as Peter himself, are reclining upon their couches,) receive the same mark of love: Jesus comes to each of them in turn, and washes their feet. Judas is not excepted: he has just received a second warning from his merciful Master; for Jesus, addressing himself to all the Apostles, said to them: You are clean; but not all (St. John, xiii. 10): but the reproach produced no effect upon this hardened heart. Having finished washing the feet of the Twelve, Jesus resumes His place, side by side with John.

Then taking a piece of the unleavened bread, that had remained over from the feast, He raises His eyes to heaven, blesses the bread, breaks it, and distributes it to his Disciples, saying to them: Take ye, and eat; this is my Body (St. Matth. xxvi. 26.). The Apostles take the bread, which is now changed into the Body of their Divine Master; they eat; and Jesus is, now, not only with them, but in them. But, as this sacred mystery is not only the most holy of the Sacraments, but, moreover, a true Sacrifice; and as a Sacrifice requires the shedding of blood; our Jesus takes the cup, and changing the wine into His own Blood, He passes it round to His Disciples, saying to them: Drink ye, all, of this; for this is My Blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many, unto remission of sins (St. Matth. xxvi. 27, 28). The Apostles drink from the sacred chalice thus proffered them; when it comes to Judas, he too, partakes of it, but he drinks his own damnation, as he ate his own judgment, when he received the Bread of Life (I. Cor. xi. 29). Jesus, however, mercifully offers the traitor another grace, by saying, as He gives the Cup to His Disciples: The hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table (St. Luke, xxii. 21).

Peter is struck by Jesus thus frequently alluding to the crime, which is to be committed by one of the Twelve. He is determined to find out who the traitor is. Not daring himself to ask Jesus, at whose right hand he is sitting, he makes a sign to John, who is on the other side, and begs him to put the question. John leans on Jesus’ breast, and says to Him in a whisper: Lord, who is it? Jesus answers him in an equally suppressed tone: He to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And having taken one of the pieces of bread that remained over from the repast, He dipped it, and gave it to Judas. It was one more grace offered and refused, for the Evangelist adds: And after the morsel, Satan entered into him (St. John, xiii. 27.). Jesus again addresses him, saying: That which thou dost, do quickly (Id. ibid.). The wretch then leaves the room, and sets about the perpetration of his crime.

Such is the history of the Last Supper, of which we celebrate the anniversary on this day. But there is one circumstance of the deepest interest to us, and to which we have, so far, only made an indirect allusion. The institution of the Holy Eucharist, both as a Sacrament and Sacrifice, is followed by another, the institution of a new Priesthood. How could our Saviour have said: Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, you shall not have life in you (St. John, vi . 64.), unless He had resolved to establish a ministry upon earth, whereby He would renew, even to the end of time, the great Mystery He thus commands us to receive? He begins it today, in the Cenacle. The twelve Apostles are the first to partake of it: but observe what He says to them: Do this for a commemoration of me (St. Luke, xxii. 19.). By these words, He gives them power to change bread into his Body, and wine into his Blood; and this sublime power shall be perpetuated in the Church, by holy Ordination, even to the end of the world. Jesus will continue to operate, by the ministry of mortal and sinful men, the Mystery of the Last Supper. By thus enriching His Church with the one and perpetual Sacrifice, He also gives us the means of abiding in Him, for He gives us, as He promised, the Bread of heaven. Today, then, we keep the anniversary, not only of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, but, also, of the equally wonderful Institution of the Christian Priesthood.

To offer the Faithful an outward expression of the greatness and the unity of this Supper, which our Saviour gave to his Disciples, and, through them, to us, the Church forbids her Priests to say private Masses on this day, except in cases of necessity. She would have but one Sacrifice to be offered in each church, at which the other Priests are to assist, and receive Holy Communion from the hands of the Celebrant. When approaching the Altar, they put on the Stole, the emblem of their Priesthood.

The Mass of Maundy Thursday is one of the most solemn of the Year; and although the Feast of Corpus Christi is the day for the solemn honouring the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, still, the Church would have the anniversary of the Last Supper to be celebrated with all possible splendour. The colour of the vestments is white, as it is for Chrismas Day and Easter Sunday; the decorations of the Altar and Sanctuary all bespeak joy: and yet, there are several ceremonies during this Mass, which show that the holy Spouse of Christ has not forgotten the Passion of her Jesus, and that this joy is but transient. The Priest entones the Angelic Hymn, Glory be to God in the highest! and the Bells ring forth a joyous peal, which continues during the whole singing of the heavenly Canticle: but, from that moment, they remain silent, and their long silence produces, in every heart, a sentiment of holy mournfulness. But why does the Church deprive us, for so many hours, of the grand melody of these sweet bells, whose voices cheer us during the rest of the year? It is to show us, that this world lost all its melody and joy when its Saviour suffered and was crucified. Moreover, she would hereby remind us, how the Apostles, (who were the heralds of Christ, and are figured by the Bells, whose ringing summons the Faithful to the House of God,) fled from their Divine Master and left him a prey to His enemies.

The Holy Sacrifice continues as usual; but at the solemn moment of the Elevation of the Holy Host and the Chalice of Salvation, the Bell is silent, and, outside the Church, there is not given to the neighbourhood the usual signal of the descent of Jesus upon the Altar. When the time of the Holy Communion is near, the Priest does not give the Kiss of Peace to the Deacon, who, according to the Apostolic tradition, should transmit it, by the Subdeacon, to those that are about to communicate. Our thoughts turn to the traitor Judas, who, on this very day, profaned the sign of friendship by making it an instrument of death. It is out of detestation for this crime, that the Church omits, today, the sign of fraternal charity, it would too painfully remind us of sacrilegious hypocrisy.

Another rite, peculiar to today, is the Priest’s consecrating two Hosts during the Mass. One of these he receives in Communion; the other he reserves, and reverently places it in a Chalice, which he covers with a veil. The reason of this is, that, tomorrow, the Church suspends the daily Sacrifice. Such is the impression produced by the anniversary of our Saviour’s Death, that the Church dares not to renew, upon her Altars, the immolation which was then offered on Calvary: or rather, her renewal of it will be by the fixing all her thoughts on the terrible scene of that Friday Noon. The Host reserved from today’s Mass, will be her morrow’s participation. This rite is called the Mass of the Presanctified, because, in it, the Priest does not consecrate, but only receives the Host consecrated on the previous day. Formerly, as we shall explain more fully further on, the holy Sacrifice was not offered up on Holy Saturday, and yet the Mass of the Presanctified was not celebrated, as it was on the Friday.

But, although the Church suspends, for a few short hours, the oblation of the perpetual Sacrifice, she would not that her Divine Spouse should lose aught of the homage, that is due to Him in the Sacrament of his Love. Catholic piety has found a means of changing these trying hours into a tribute of devotion to the Holy Eucharist. In every Church is prepared a richly ornamented side-chapel or pavilion, where, after today’s Mass, the Church places the Body of her Divine Lord. Though veiled from their view, the Faithful will visit him in this His holy resting place, pay Him their most humble adorations, and present Him their most fervent supplications. Wheresoever the Body shall be, there shall the eagles be gathered together (St. Matth. xxiv. 28). In every part of the Catholic world, a concert of prayer, more loving and earnest than at any other period of the Year, will be offered to our Jesus, in reparation for the outrages he underwent, during these very hours, from the Jews. Around this anticipated Tomb will be united both His long tried and fervent servants, and those who are newly converted, or are preparing for their reconciliation.

THE EVENING.

Judas has left the Cenacle, and, profiting of the darkness, has reached the place where the enemies of his Saviour are assembled. Jesus then turns to his faithful Apostles, and says to them: Now is the Son of Man glorified (St. John, xiii. 31). Yes, His Passion is to be followed by triumph and glory; and the Passion has already begun, for Judas has commenced his work of betraying him. Meanwhile, the Apostles, forgetting the trouble, into which they had been thrown by Jesus’ telling them, that one of the Twelve was about to betray him, begin to dispute among themselves, which of them should seem to be greater (St. Luke, xxii. 24.)? They have not forgotten the words spoken by Jesus to Peter, when He made Him the Rock, on which He would build His Church; and here, at the Supper, they have seen their Divine Master wash the feet of Peter first. On the other hand, John’s affectionate familiarity with Jesus, during this same Supper, has made some of them argue, that he who was most loved, would be most honoured.

Jesus puts an end to this dispute, by giving to these future Pastors of His Church a lesson of humility. There shall, it is true, be a Head among them; but, says our Redeemer, let him that is the greater among you, become as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. He bids them look at Him: He is their Master, and yet, says He, I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth (St. Luke, xxii. 26, 27.). Then turning towards Peter, He thus addresses him: Simon, Simon! behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy Brethren (Ibid., 31, 32.). This last interview is, as it were, our Saviour’s Testament; He provides for His Church, before leaving her. The Apostles are to be Peter’s Brethren, but Peter is to be their Head. This sublime dignity is to be enhanced by the humility of him that enjoys it: he shall be “The Servant of the Servants of God.” The Apostolic College is to be exposed to the fury of hell; but Peter alone is to confirm his Brethren in the faith. His teaching shall ever be conformable to Divine Truth; it shall be ever Infallible: Jesus has prayed that it may be so. Such a prayer is all-powerful; and thereby, the Church, ever docile to the voice of Peter, shall for ever maintain the doctrine of Christ. Jesus, after having provided for the future of His Church by the words He addressed to Peter, thus speaks affectionately to all the eleven: Little children! yet a little while I am with you. Love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one for another. Peter says to Him: Lord! whither goest thou? Whither I go, answers Jesus, thou canst not now follow me; but thou shalt follow hereafter. Why cannot I follow Thee now? again asks Peter: I will lay down my life for Thee. Wilt thou, replies Jesus, lay down thy life for Me? Amen, amen, I say to thee: the cock shall not crow, till thou deny Me thrice (St. John, xiii. 33-38.). Peter’s love for Jesus had too much of the human about it, for it was not based on humility. Presumption comes from pride: it almost always results in a fall. In order to prepare Peter for his future ministry of pardon, as also to give us a useful lesson, God permits that he, who was soon to be made Prince of the Apostles, should fall into a most grievous and humiliating sin.

But let us return to the instructions contained in the last words spoken by our Jesus before He leaves His disciples. I am, says He, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you love Me, keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father. I will not now speak many things with you, for the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given Me commandment, so do I, arise, let us go hence (St. John, xiv.). Deeply impressed by these words, the Disciples arise, and, after the hymn of thanksgiving has been said, they accompany Jesus to Mount Olivet.

He continues His instructions as they go along. He takes occasion from their passing by a Vine to speak of the effect produced by divine grace in the soul of man. I am the true vine, He says, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me, that beareth not fruit, He will take away, and every one that beareth fruit, He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine; so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. If any one abideth not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you, and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit, and your fruit should remain (St. John, xv.).

He next speaks to them of the persecutions that await them, and of the hatred the world will have of them. He renews the promise he had made them of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, and tells them that it is to their advantage that He Himself should leave them. He assures them, that they shall obtain whatever they ask of the Father in His name. The Father, He adds, loveth you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and Am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father. The Disciples say to him: Now we know that Thou knowest all things, and Thou needest not that any man should ask Thee. By this we believe that Thou comest forth from God. Do you now believe? answered Jesus: behold! the hour cometh, and it is now come, that you shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone (St. John, xvi). All you shall be scandalised in Me this night: for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed.” But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee (St. Matth. xxvi. 31, 32.).

Peter again protests that he will be faithful to his Master; the rest may abandon Him, if they will, but he will keep with Him to the last! It should, indeed, be so, for he has received so much more from Jesus than the others have: but he is again humbled by being told of his coming speedy fall. Jesus then calmly raising up His eyes to heaven, says: Father! the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may glorify Thee. I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; I have manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou hast given Me. They have known that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them; I pray not for the world. And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father! keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We also are. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name. Those whom Thou gavest Me, have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture may be fulfilled. I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from evil. Not for them only do I pray, but for them also who, through their word, shall believe in Me: that they all may be one, as Thou, Father! in Me, and I in Thee: that they also may be one in Us: that the world may know, that Thou hast sent Me. Father! I will, that where I am, they also, Whom thou hast given Me, may be with Me; that they may see the glory which Thou hast given Me, because thou hast loved Me before the creation of the world. Just Father! the world hath not known Me; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have made known Thy name to them, and will make it known, that the love, wherewith Thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them (St. John, xvii.).

Such are the out-pourings of the loving Heart of our Jesus, as He crosses the Brook Cedron, and ascends, with His Disciples, the Mount of Olives. Having come as far as Gethsemani, He goes into a garden, whither He had often led His Apostles and rested there with them. Suddenly, His Soul is overpowered with grief; His Human Nature experiences, as it were, a suspension of that beatitude, which results from its union with the Divinity. This His Humanity will be interiorly supported, even to the very last moment of His Passion; but it must bear everything that it is possible for it to bear. Jesus feels such intense sadness, that the very presence of His Disciples is insupportable; He leaves them, taking with Him only Peter, James, and John, who, a short time before, had been witnesses of His glorious Transfiguration: will they show greater courage than the rest, when they see their Divine Master in the hands of His enemies? His words show them what a sudden change has come over Him. He whose language was, a few moments before, so calm, His look so serene, and His tone of voice so sweet, now says to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with Me (St. Matth. xxvi. 38.).

He leaves them, and goes to a grotto, which is about a stone’s throw distant. Even to this day it exists, perpetuating the memory of the terrible event. There does our Jesus prostrate Himself, and prays, saying: Father! all things are possible to Thee. Remove this chalice from Me: but, not what I will, but what Thou wilt (St. Mark, xiv. 36.). Whilst thus praying, a sweat of Blood flows from his body and bathes the ground. It is not merely a swooning, it is an Agony, that He suffers. God sends help to His sinking frame, and it is an Angel that is intrusted with the office. Jesus is treated as man; His Humanity, exhausted as it is, is to receive no other sensible aid than that which is now brought Him by an Angel, (whom tradition affirms to have been Gabriel.) Hereupon He rises, and again accepts the Chalice prepared for Him. But what a Chalice! every pain that body and soul can suffer; the sins of the whole world taken upon Himself, and crying out vengeance against Him; the ingratitude of men, many of whom will make His Sacrifice useless. Jesus has to accept all this, and at the very time, when He seems to be left to His Human Nature. The power of the Divinity, which is in Him, supports Him; but it does not prevent Him from feeling every suffering, just as though He had been mere Man. He begins his Prayer by asking, that the Chalice may be taken from Him; He ends it by saying to His Father: Not My will, but Thine be done (St. Luke, xxii. 42.)!

Jesus then rises, leaving the earth covered with the Blood of His Agony: it is the first Bloodshedding of His Passion. He goes to His three Disciples, and, finding them asleep, says to them: What! could you not watch one hour with Me (St. Matth. xxvi. 40)? This was the beginning of that feature of His sufferings, which consists in His being abandoned. He twice returns to the grotto, and repeats His sorrowful, but submissive, prayer; twice He returns to His Disciples, whom He had asked to watch near Him, but, at each time, finds them asleep. At length, He speaks to them, saying: Sleep ye now, and take your rest! Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Then resuming the energy of His divine courage, He adds: Rise! let us go! Behold, he is at hand that will betray Me (Id. ibid. 46)!

Whilst speaking these last few words, a numerous body of armed men enter the Garden with torches in their hands. Judas is at their head. The betrayal is made by a profanation of the sign of friendship. Judas! dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss (St. Luke, xxii. 48)? These piercing words should have made the traitor throw himself at his Master’s feet, and ask pardon; but it was too late: he feared the soldiers. But the servants of the High Priest cannot lay hands on Jesus, unless He, their Victim, permit them to do so. With one single word, He casts them prostrate on the ground. Then permitting them to rise, He says to them, with all the majesty of a King: If you seek Me, let these go their way. You are come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs. When I was daily with you in the Temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then turning to Peter, who had drawn and used his sword, He says to him: Thinkest thou, that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give me presently twelve legions of Angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled (St. John, xviii. 8.; St. Luke, xxii. 52, 53.; St . Matth. xxvi. 53.)?

And now, Jesus permits Himself to be led. Whereupon, His Apostles run away in fear. Peter and another disciple follow Him, but as far off as they can. The soldiers lead Jesus by the same road, along which He had passed on the previous Sunday, when the people met Him, with palm and olive branches in their hands. They cross the brook Cedron; and there is a tradition of the Church of Jerusalem, that the soldiers as they passed the bridge, threw Jesus into the water. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of David: He shall drink of the torrent in the way (Ps. cix. 7.).

They reach the City walls. The gate is opened, and the Divine Prisoner enters. It is night, and the inhabitants know not the crime that has been committed. It is only on the morrow, that they will learn, that Jesus of Nazareth, the great Prophet, has fallen into the hands of the Chief Priests and Pharisees. The night is far advanced; but many hours must elapse before the dawn of day. The enemies of Jesus have arranged to take Him, in the morning, to Pontius Pilate, and accuse Him as being a disturber of the peace: but in the meanwhile, they intend to condemn Him as guilty in matters of religion! Their tribunal has authority to judge in cases of this nature, only they cannot pass sentence of death upon a culprit, how guilty soever they may prove Him. They, consequently, hurry Jesus to Annas, the father-in-law of the High Priest Caiphas. Here is to take place the first examination. These blood-thirsty men have spent these hours in sleepless anxiety. They have counted the very minutes since the departure of their minions for Mount Olivet. They are not without some doubt as to whether their plot will succeed. At last, their Victim is brought before them, and He shall not escape their vengeance!

Here let us interrupt our History of the Passion, till the morrow shall bring us to the solemn hour, when the great Mystery of our instruction and salvation was accomplished. What a day is this that we have been spending! How full of Jesus’ love! He has given us his Body and Blood to be our Food; He has instituted the Priesthood of the New Testament; He has poured out upon the world the sublimest instructions of His loving Heart. We have seen Him struggling with the feelings of human weakness, as He beheld the Chalice of the Passion that was prepared for Him; but He triumphed over all, in order to save us. We have seen Him betrayed, fettered, and led captive into the holy City, there to consummate His Sacrifice. Let us adore and love this Jesus, Who might have saved us by one and the least of all these humiliations; but whose love for us was not satisfied unless He drank, to the very dregs, the Chalice He had accepted from His Father.

http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/

Spy Wednesday of Holy Week – Tenebrae

12 April 2017

Tenebrae Service
St. John Cantius Choir, Chicago, Illinois


Part I

Part II

Part III

On the evening of Spy Wednesday, Wednesday in Holy Week, Matins and Lauds is sung in a special form known as Tenebrae.

During the late afternoon of Spy Wednesday (following the practice in Rome), or in the early evening, the service of Tenebrae is sung. Tenebrae is Matins and Lauds, as usual anticipated, of the following liturgical day but the Office of the Triduum shows signs of antiquity and has developed a ceremonial extinguishing of candles that mimetically represent the desertion of the LORD by his disciples and the days of darkness – hence the name.

The altar is vested in violet antependia and the Blessed Sacrament removed if It is present on the choir altar. The altar cross is veiled in violet and the candlesticks, the plainest set used on Good Friday, bearing six lighted candles of unbleached wax.

In Rome Tenebrae in the Papal Chapel was celebrated very early so the rays of the setting sun would pass through a window of the Sistine Chapel. The Caeremoniale Episcoporum mentions Tenebrae starting progressively later each day of the Triduum. In practice the service ‘works best’ if it at least ends in near darkness.

In the sanctuary in about the place where the Epistle is sung is placed the Tenebrae hearse. The hearse, for the Roman rite, bears fifteen lighted candles of unbleached wax. The choir enters, seniores ante inferiores, take their places and kneels to say Aperi, Domine. When the choir rises the sign of the Cross is made as the cantors intone the first antiphon of Matins, Zelus domus tuae. This is sung in full and then the first psalm Salvum me fac, Deus intoned. At the end of the psalm (there is no Gloria Patri during the Triduum) the lowest candle on the Gospel side of the hearse is extinguished. Before the 1911-13 reform the chant books had a special cadence at the end of each psalm, a drop of a fourth, which presumably was an audible indication for the acolyte to extinguish a candle. Then the next antiphon is sung with its psalm etc. After the first three psalms there is a versicle and response and then all stand for a silent Pater noster. During the Triduum there are no absolutions and blessings at Mattins. The psalms of Mattins for Tenebrae on Mandy Thursday are really the first nine of the twelve ferial psalms from the pre-Pius X Breviary for Mattins. In the reformed Breviary they appear ‘proper’ but are in fact the ancient practice. They are: I nocturn, 68, 69, 70; II nocturn, 71, 72, 73; III nocturn, 74, 75, 76.

The follows the Lamentations of Jeremy the Prophet as first nocturn lessons. These are from the OT book and have verses based on a Hebrew acrostic. The first verse thus begins with ‘Aleph’. The verses have several special tones in plainsong and have been set to polyphony by various composers. The lessons are sung from a lectern medio chori. A responsory follows the first lessons as usual at Mattins. After the third responsory the second nocturn begins and has lessons from St. Augustine on the psalms. The third nocturn has lessons from St. Paul to the Corinthians on the foundation of the Holy Eucharist. At Tenebrae the Hebodomadarius does not chant the ninth lesson. At the end of Mattins the Tenebrae Hearse has five candles exstinguished on the Gospel side and four on the Epistle side with six remaining lit candles.

Lauds follow immediately. The psalms sung at Lauds are Pss. 50, 89, 35, Cantemus Domino, 146. After each psalm of Lauds a further candle is extinguished so that after the last psalm only the candle on the summit of the hearse is still alight. After the last antiphon is repeated a versicle and response follow. Then the antiphon on the Benedictus is intoned, for Maundy Thursday this is Traditor autem dedit eis signum, dicens: Quem osculatus fuero, ispe est, tenete eum. The concept of the betrayal of Judas is key to the day. The plainsong for the Benedictus is the haunting tone 1g. During the last six verses each of the altar candles is exstinguished beginning with the outside candle on the Gospel side. All other lamps in the church are now also extinguished. During the repetition of the antiphon the MC takes the candle from the hearse and places it on the mensa at the Epistle corner of the altar. All kneel and the choir now sings Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem. During this antiphon the MC hides the lit candle behind the altar. A Pater noster is now said in a low voice by all and then psalm 50, the Miserere is chanted in a subdued voice. This has been adapted by many composers into polyphonic masterpieces, perhaps the most famous being by Allegri. The Miserere was part of the ferial preces of Vespers until 1911-13. After the Miserere the collect Respice is chanted by the Hebdomadarius, still kneeling. Then a strepitus or noise is made traditionally by banging books against the stalls.

After the strepitus [the noise that symbolizes the earthquake that took place at Christ’s death, which is made by banging books on the choir stalls. While this symbolism maintains, it is also as if, with the strepitus, we’re begging Christ to come out of the tomb, especially on Holy Saturday. While the strepitus is still going on, the Christ candle–the Light which the darkness cannot overcome–is brought back out and replaced in the hearse, and all depart in silence.source: Michael E, Lawrence, NLM.org] the MC brings forth the candle and returns this symbol of the light of Christ to the top of the hearse. It either remains there or is taken by the MC ahead the procession as the choir processes out of the sanctuary.

In the ‘liturgical books of 1962’ following the ‘Restored’ order of Holy Week dalmatic and tunicle are worn by the deacon and subdeacon rather than folded chasubles. No commemorations are allowed and there is no second collect in the Masses. Any text read by a lector, subdeacon or deacon is not read by the celebrant (extended throughout the year in the 1962 books). OHSI of 1955 orders the Orate fratres to be said in an audible voice and all present to respond. Ferial preces are sung only on Wednesdays at Lauds and Vespers only. The Passion according to St. Mark on Tuesday is shortened: Mark 14: 32-72; 15: 1-46 as is the Passion according to St. Luke on Wednesday: Luke 22: 39-71; 23: 1-53.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to ethicalgop’s You Tube channel for the St. John Cantius videos.
In addition, thank you to The Saint Lawrence Press Ltd for the information above for the Tenebrae on spy Wednesday evening.

Image Credit: A Catholic Life: Luke 22:1-71; 23:1-53 tlm-md.blogspot.com

From the blog of Father John Zuhlsdorf,

What Does The Prayer Really Say?

The term “Spy” Wednesday probably is an allusion to Christ’s betrayal by Judas.

COLLECT
Deus, qui pro nobis Filium tuum
crucis patibulum subire voluisti,
ut inimici a nobis expelleres potestatem,
concede nobis famulis tuis,
ut resurrectionis gratiam consequamur.

This prayer was the Collect for this same day in the 1962 Missale Romanum. It was also in the ancient Gregorian Sacramentary in both the Hadrianum and Paduense manuscripts.

The impressive and informative Lewis & Short Dictionary informs us that patibulum (deriving from pateo) is “a fork-shaped yoke, placed on the necks of criminals, and to which their hands were tied; also, a fork-shaped gibbet”. In turn, English “gibbet” means “an upright post with a projecting arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning”.

The verb subeo in its basic meaning is “to come or go under any thing” and by logical extension “to subject one’s self to, take upon one’s self an evil; to undergo, submit to, sustain, endure, suffer”. The L&S explains that “The figure taken from stooping under a load, under blows, etc.)” There are other shades of meaning, including “to come on secretly, to advance or approach stealthily, to steal upon, steal into”. Keep this one in mind.

Consequor is very interesting. It signifies “to follow, follow up, press upon, go after, attend, accompany, pursue any person or thing” and then it extends to concepts like “to follow a model, copy, an authority, example, opinion, etc.; to imitate, adopt, obey, etc.” and “to reach, overtake, obtain”. Going beyond even these definitions, there is this: “to become like or equal to a person or thing in any property or quality, to attain, come up to, to equal (cf. adsequor).” I know, I know – mentio non fit expositio. Still it is interesting to make connections in the words, which often have subtle overlaps. Remember that interesting meaning of subeo, above? There is a shade of “pursuit” and “imitation” in the prayer’s vocabulary.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL RENDERING
O God, who willed Your Son to undergo
on our behalf the gibbet of the Cross
so that You might drive away from us the power of the enemy,
grant to us Your servants,
that we may obtain the grace of the resurrection.

This is an austere prayer, razor like, cutting to the heart of the matter. By our sins we are in the clutches of the enemy, who mercilessly attacks us. Christ freed us from dire consequences of slavery to sin by His Passion.

LAME-DUCK ICEL VERSION
Father,
in your plan of salvation
your Son Jesus Christ accepted the cross
and freed us from the power of the enemy.
May we come to share in the glory of his resurrection.

The ancient Romans would have their conquered foes pass under a yoke (iugum), to show that they were now subjugated. Their juridical status changed. Christ went under the Cross in its carrying and then underwent the Cross in its hideous torments. In his liberating act of salvation, we passed from the servitude of the enemy to the service of the Lord, not as slaves, but as members of a family.

We are not merely household servants (famuli), we are according the status of children of the master of the house, able to inherit what He already has.

A Blessed Holy Week to all!.


14 Day Lenten Series: Part 14: Does Satan Exist?

11 April 2017

Does Satan Exist

by Fr. Michael Muller, 1881 A.D.

There are many who absurdly enough deny the personal existence of Satan. They assert, with an air of profound wisdom, that the word “devil,” “Satan,” is simply the imaginary personification of all the evil influences to which we are subject in this life. But what can be more absurd than to deny what all nations, without exception, have always believed, and still believe–the personal existence of the devil. What can be more impious than to deny what we find asserted in plain words, on almost every page of Holy Writ–the personal existence of the devil.

Holy Scripture tells us that Satan, in the form of a serpent, seduced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit; it declares that all the gods’ of the Gentiles are devils; it tells us that the devil is the prince of this world; that he goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; it bids us resist the devil, and he will flee from us. St. Paul speaks of the prince and the powers of the air that besiege us, and against whom we must put on the whole armor of God, and do valiant battle.

Moreover, Holy Scripture speaks of demoniacs, or persons possessed with devils; and among the marvellous works ascribed to Jesus Christ, is that of expelling demons, or casting out devils.

The Catholic Church plainly and unequivocally recognizes the existence of Satan, as may be gathered from the prayers and ceremonies of Baptism, as well as from the significance of the Sacrament itself; and not only his existence, but his power over the natural man, and even material objects. The Catholic Church has also her exorcists, and her precise forms and prayers for exorcising evil spirits.

Besides, every Christian knows that the Son of God became man and died upon the cross for no other purpose than to destroy the works of the devil, and to redeem mankind from his power.

Now, to assert that there is no devil is to assert that Jesus Christ suffered so much from no motive, that His mission had no object; it is to deny the work of Redemption. What can be more blasphemous than such an assertion?

Again, what can be more contrary to sound reason than to deny the existence of the devil? They who deny the personal existence of the devil must either deny the existence of evil altogether, which is absurd, or they must admit the existence of an unbeginning–eternal principle of evil–which is a palpable blasphemy.

God alone has existed from all eternity. By His word He has created heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible. God, in His infinite wisdom, created beings gifted with intelligence and free will, and consequently, capable of acting wrong as well as right. All the works of God, when they came forth from His hands were good, very good. It was, then, by the abuse of their intelligence and free-will, it was by refusing to observe the just laws of God, that His creatures became wicked, and that evil was introduced into the world.

Satan and his hosts were created by God as bright and beautiful angels; but of their own free will, they rebelled against God. “Behold they that serve God are not steadfast, and in His angels he found wickedness.” (Job, iv., 18.) Considered in their nature the angels could sin just as well as man, for the gift of impeccability is not a gift of nature, but of grace alone.

It was natural for all the angels to love and glorify God, the only source of their eternal glory; but, in the rebel angels, soon after their creation, that divine love was extinguished by an abuse of free-will. They sinned in wishing through pride and envy, their own particular good, in opposition to the will of their Sovereign Creator. By these two sins, the chief of the rebel angels seduced vast multitudes of angels. “From pride all perdition took its beginning.” (Tob. iv., 14.) “Pride is the source of all sins.” (Ecclus. x., 15.) “Satan is the king of all the children of pride.” (Job. xli., 25.) “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer? Thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will be like the Most High.” (Isai. xiv., 12, 13.)

What the bad angels wished to obtain by their rebellion was to be like unto God; they wished to be equal to Him in splendor and glory, but not in power, for they knew it was impossible for any created being to be equal to God in His infinite power. Their transgression consisted in wishing to be like unto God without merit or supernatural grace. Their pride and envy confounded them, and God abandoned them in that state of perversity.

They also aspired after pre-eminence and domination over all in the new creation, which was an additional crime to their blasphemous culpability, by which they forfeited eternal glory. “Thou (Lucifer) wast the seal of resemblance, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. * * * Thou wast in all the delight of God’s Paradise ; thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day of thy creation, until iniquity was found in thee. Thou hast defiled the sanctuaries of heaven by the multitude of thy iniquities; thou hast lost thy wisdom in thy beauty. Therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee to devour thee. * * *” (Ezech. xxviii.)

The prevarication of the highest angel in the celestial hierarchy was the cause of the defection of all the rest. The pride of Lucifer, prince of the cherubim, and chief of the rebel angels, was the first provocation to the disobedience of all the others. It cannot be supposed that he constrained them, but seduced them to rebel; for it is said in the Gospel: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt, xxv., 41.) “And the dragon’s tail drew away the third part of the stars of heaven.” (Apoc. xii.,4.)

Now, the order of divine justice requires that whoever commits a crime at the instigation of another, must undergo the same penalty as the author. St. Peter says: “Man becomes the slave of him by whom he is overcome.”

The rebel angels were not long in deliberating as to whether they should follow Lucifer, nor was a long discourse necessary to excite them to rebellion. Angels are as quick as lightning in all their operations. They instantaneously, though freely, consented to the sentiments which were manifested in their spiritual language by their powerful chief. The moment they rebelled, they were changed into hideous demons, and cast out of heaven. They are so obstinate in perversity that they can never be free from their diabolical propensities. Their crime has fixed them for ever in wickedness, as death fixes man irrevocably either in glory or in damnation.

An angel conceives all things instantaneously, by means of his spiritual faculties, as man does conceive the first principles of right and wrong by means of his intellectual faculties. Man is changeable and inconstant in his choice; but the angel fixes his choice irrevocably by the first act of his will. That act, in the choice of divine love and obedience, was the cause of eternal beatitude for the faithful angels, and that instantaneous free act of the rebel angels, was the cause of their everlasting punishment and damnation. As the glorification of the good angels increases more and more in heaven, so the torments of the wicked angels increase proportionately in hell. “And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the Dragon and his angels; and that great dragon, that old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world, was cast out of heaven with all his angels. And they were thrown down with the beast and false prophets, into a pool of fire and brimstone, where they shall be tormented day and night during ages and ages.” (Apoc. xii.)

The rebel angels have two places of torture: hell, where they shall remain eternally, to undergo the punishment of their crime; and the dark, gloomy air, where they shall be till the day of general judgment.

As God makes use of the good angels to inspire us with acts of virtue and keep us from vice, so he permits the devil to lay snares for us and entice us to sin. St. Paul tells us that numbers of those wicked spirits surround us on all sides. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness, and the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Eph. vi., 12.) Hence it is that they are called the Princes of darkness, of the air, and of the world. They differ in order; for though they never enjoyed the order of heavenly glory, and forfeited, by their disobedience, the order of grace and the supernatural gifts with which they were endowed at their creation, yet they have preserved the order of their nature, so that those whose natural intellectual faculties were greater are higher in rank and greater in power. Hence they form a kind of hierarchy. Their prince and chief is sometimes called Lucifer, who was the prince of the cherubim; sometimes Belial (that is, the Rebel), also Satan (i. e., the Enemy), or Beelzebub, from the chief idol of the Accaronites.

The rage, malice, and envy of the devils against man, and their enmity to all good, are implacable. Satan, the chief of the fallen spirits, makes his attacks upon men by putting on all shapes: sometimes by craft, or by snares and stratagems, as the old serpent; sometimes by disguises, transforming himself into an angel of light, and assuming the air of piety; sometimes by open assaults and violence, as the roaring lion.

He studies and observes every one’s character, natural dispositions, inclinations, virtues and vices, to find out, and make his attacks on every one’s weak points.

The natural subtlety and strength of Satan are exceedingly great, as appears from the perfection of his being, which is purely spiritual, and from examples, when God has suffered him to exert his power in a more remarkable manner. Holy Scripture tells us that the devils hurried the swine into the lake; that they killed the first seven husbands of Sara; that they have slain armies in one night; have often disturbed nature, and stirred up tempests, which struck whole provinces with terror, and ravaged the whole world.

What did Satan not do against holy Job? He killed his cattle and his children. He covered Job himself with ulcers from head to foot. And, in our own day, what did he not do against the saintly Cure of Ars, in France, for the space of thirty years?

Moreover, by clear proofs, it is also manifest that Satan can, by divine permission, enter our bodies, compel, as it were, the human being to stand aside, and use our organs himself, and do whatever he pleases with them. But he cannot annihilate the human being, or take from the soul its free-will. It is always in the power of the possessed to resist, morally and effectually, the evil intentions of the devil. The possessed person retains his own consciousness, his own intellectual and moral faculties unimpaired, and he never confounds himself with the spirit that possesses him. He always retains the power of internal protest and struggle. Whenever this power is exercised, and there is clearly a struggle, there is no reason to believe that he is responsible for the crimes which the body, through the possession of the devil, is made to commit. But unfortunately it very often happens that this power to protest is not exercised, and the possessed person yields his moral assent to the crimes committed by the demon that possesses him.

Such diabolical possessions have been more or less frequent in different times and places. This is confirmed by the testimony and experience of all ages, and of all nations, even to the remotest Indies. Such facts both the Old and New Testaments evince.

However, with regard to the effects of magic and possession of devils, the Catholic Church says, in her Ritual, that such extraordinary effects are not to be easily supposed. That superstition, credulity, and imposture are to be guarded against, and that natural distempers, such as certain species of madness, extraordinary palsies, epilepsies, or the like, are not to be construed into effects of enchantments or possessions, which are not to be presumed upon ridiculous compacts and signs, nor upon vulgar prejudices and notions of the manner in which such things are done, but must be made apparent by circumstances.

The criteria of demoniac invasion or possession, as laid down by the Catholic Church for the guidance of exorcists, are the following:–

1. Understanding of unknown languages.
2. Power of speaking unknown or foreign languages.
3. Knowledge of things passing in distant places.
4. Exhibition of superior physical strength.
5. Suspension of the body in the air during a considerable time.

Although Satan, with implacable envy and malice, studies to disturb our temporal happiness and to compass our eternal ruin both by stratagems and open assaults, yet it is certain that he can tempt and assail us only to a certain degree; he can go only the length of his chain, that is, as far as God permits him. This is evident from the history of Job. Before Satan was bound, or his power curbed by the triumph of Christ over him, and the spreading of the happy light and influence of the Gospel throughout the world, the empire which Satan exercised on earth was much greater than since that time. However, there can be no doubt that, in our own days, the power and influence of Satan over an immense number of men is great, very great;, and it will increase in proportion as they approach heathenism and infidelity, and leave the true, the Catholic religion.

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


14 Day Lenten Series: Part 13 A Short Explanation on the Rite of Exorcisms

10 April 2017

What is an Exorcism?

Imprimatur: Michael Augustine,
Archbishop of New York, 1893

An exorcism is the exercise of the power left by Christ to His Church to drive out evil spirits and to break their influence over men.

Means of Grace ExorcismIt is certain that the devil has power over men. True, Christ destroyed his dominion, so that he cannot any longer be a hindrance to their happiness. Yet He permits the devil to tempt men, as He Himself was tempted by him, in order to try men and to give them an opportunity to imitate His example, and to drive him away as Christ drove him away from Himself in the desert. But then God permits the evil spirit to afflict man in his body, either to punish him for his sins, or to try him. This we learn from the history of Job and of the possessed man in the gospel. Our Saviour says, “I saw Satan falling from heaven.” By this Our Saviour wished to say that Satan indeed had been hurled by the power of the Blessed Trinity from heaven into hell, yet not that he was totally deprived of his power: else He would not have given to His disciples the power to drive out devils. We read that St. Paul actually did expel evil spirits (Acts xix. 12), and he himself says: “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood: but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness” (Eph. v. 12). St. James the apostle says: “Resist the devil, and he will fly from you” (James iv. 7). St. Peter writes: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith” (I. Pet. v. 9).

In these struggles the Church comes to our assistance, and in her exorcisms supplies us with a weapon against the devil. A Christian may command the devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, to desist from evil. He need but sign himself with the sign of the cross and sprinkle holy water.

From the Fathers

“The so-called demons or evil spirits seek nothing more than to decoy men from God, the Creator of all things, and from Christ, His only begotten Son. Such persons as are not capable of lifting themselves above the earth are held fast to earthly things, and to things made by the hands of men, by these evil spirits. Such as are competent of rising to the contemplation of heavenly things, if they are not strong in mind, and if they do not live pure and free from passion, these the evil spirits will seek to make godless” (St. Justin Martyr). “Many Christians in the whole world, as well as in your city, were relieved from evil spirits by exorcisms in the name of Jesus Christ Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, though they had failed to find relief from other helpers, potions, and diabolical conjurations. They are cured by having the devils that possess them driven out and rendered powerless ” (The Same). ” The demons which assail men destroy their ill-disposed souls by many false pretences, in order that they may not be able to regain their way to heaven. Sometimes, too, by the tempest of their malice, they agitate our bodies, but by the power of the word of God they are weakened, and the afflicted person is restored to health ” (Tatian). “It is known to most of you that the demons confess themselves whenever, by the power of the word and the fervor of prayer, they are driven out of their victims’ bodies. As soon as they are conjured in the name of the one living God, they tremble involuntarily, and in the consciousness of suffering they either spring forth from the bodies at once or they vanish gradually, according as the faith of the victim or the grace of the exorcist has power and effect ” (Minucius Felix). “Many Christians drive devils out of possessed persons by ordinary prayers and simple means, just as any simple person can” (Origen). “Will the Christian hold vigils before the temples of the idols that he has renounced, or participate in eating where it was so displeasing to the Apostle? And will he take under his protection at night those whom he has exorcised during the day?” (Tertullian.)

EXAMPLES:

A Devil Asserts His Right.

The church historian Tertullian relates a remarkable case of a woman possessed by the devil, which we will repeat in his own words, and without any comment, leaving the reader to make the moral application. Tertullian says: “We have an instance of a woman who went to an improper public spectacle and came back possessed by a devil. When the unclean spirit was forced by exorcisms to explain how he dared to attack a believer, he answered, ‘I acted with authority and right, for I found her in a place that belongs to me.'”

The Confession of a Devil.

In the Life of St. Bernard we read: “A man brought his possessed wife to the saint. The devil continued to speak in a tone of mockery through the woman: ‘ This vegetarian and root-eater cannot drive me from my slut,’ as he termed the woman. He uttered also other derisive language in order to insult the man of God and degrade him before the people. But the saint knew the wily ways of the devil, and mocked the mocker. He ordered the evil spirit to bring the possessed woman into the church at Pavia, dedicated to Syrus, in order to give the glory of her restoration to that martyr. The saint said to the evil one, ‘Neither St. Syrus nor St. Bernard will expel you, but the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Then he began to pray, and besought God for help to overcome the devil. The evil spirit cried out, changing his tone and language: “Oh, how gladly would I flee from this slut! How gladly I would escape the pains I am suffering on account of these prayers! But I cannot! ‘When questioned why he could not get away, he replied, ‘Because it is not pleasing to the most high God.’ When St. Bernard inquired who this most high God might be, the spirit answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ St. Bernard continued: ‘Then you know the Lord Jesus? Where have you seen Him?’ The devil answered, ‘I have seen Him in His glory.’ ‘Then you were in glory?’ said the saint. ‘How did you come to leave it?’ The evil spirit said, ‘Many of us fell with Lucifer.’ These words he uttered in a doleful, lachrymose tone through the mouth of the woman, in the hearing of all who were present. ‘Would you be willing to return to that glory?’ inquired St. Bernard. To this question the devil replied, in an unusually loud tone of voice, ‘It is too late.’ These were his last words, and he would not answer any further questions. Then St. Bernard prayed once more, the evil spirit fled away, and the woman returned home perfectly restored.”

Obsession as a Punishment for Despising the Advice of a Bishop

Dancing-parties were always looked upon as leading to the commission of sin. About the year 600 the holy Bishop Eligius, like every other true pastor of souls, preached vehemently against this abuse. But his wise words were neglected, just as the advice of preachers and confessors today is often ignored by thoughtless Christians. One day, such a dancing festival being held near his own house, the holy man went out and besought the dancers to stop the scandal. But they laughed and went on with their amusement. Punishment soon came, for some thirty of their number became possessed of the devil, and acted so violently that they had to be put in irons. Their obsession had lasted a year when the holy bishop had them led into the church, and then, throwing himself on his knees before God, he begged that the afflicted sinners might be relieved. His prayers were heard, and the possessed persons went away entirely cured. Do not many persons in our day return from dancing-parties fully possessed by the devil, if not in body, at least in soul?

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


Palm Sunday Sermon – by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870 A.D.

9 April 2017

Entry Into Jerusalem by Pedro Orrente c. 1620
And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.–St. Matt 21: 9

Palm Sunday popup Title
(by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870)

Today, if ye shall hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

Early in the morning of this day, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, leaving Mary His Mother, and the two sisters Martha and Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus, at Bethania. The Mother of sorrows trembles at seeing her Son thus expose Himself to danger, for His enemies are bent upon His destruction; but it is not death, it is triumph, that Jesus is to receive today in Jerusalem. The Messias, before being nailed to the cross, is to be proclaimed King by the people of the great city; the little children are to make her streets echo with their Hosannas to the Son of David; and this in presence of the soldiers of Rome’s emperor, and of the high priests and pharisees: the first standing under the banner of their eagles; the second, dumb with rage.

The prophet Zachary had foretold this triumph which the Son of Man was to receive a few days before His Passion, and which had been prepared for Him from all eternity. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King will come to thee; the Just and the Saviour. He is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.’ [Zach. ix. 9]. Jesus, knowing that the hour has come for the fulfilment of this prophecy, singles out two from the rest of His disciples, and bids them lead to Him an ass and her colt, which they would find not far off. He has reached Bethphage, on Mount Olivet. The two disciples lose no time in executing the order given them by their divine Master; and the ass and the colt are soon brought to the place where He stands.

The holy fathers have explained to us the mystery of these two animals. The ass represents the Jewish people, which had been long under the yoke of the Law; the colt, upon which, as the evangelist says, no man yet hath sat [St. Mark xi. 2], is a figure of the Gentile world, which no one had ever yet brought into subjection. The future of these two peoples is to be decided a few days hence: the Jews will be rejected, for having refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias; the Gentiles will take their place, to be adopted as God’s people, and become docile and faithful.

The disciples spread their garments upon the colt; and our Saviour, that the prophetic figure might be fulfilled, sits upon him [Ibid. 7, and St. Luke xix. 35.], and advances towards Jerusalem. As soon as it is known that Jesus is near the city, the holy Spirit works in the hearts of those Jews, who have come from all parts to celebrate the feast of the Passover. They go out to meet our Lord, holding palm branches in their hands, and loudly proclaiming Him to be King [St. Luke xix. 38]. They that have accompanied Jesus from Bethania, join the enthusiastic crowd. Whilst some spread their garments on the way, others cut down boughs from the palm-trees, and strew them along the road. Hosanna is the triumphant cry, proclaiming to the whole city that Jesus, the Son of David, has made His entrance as her King.

Thus did God, in His power over men’s hearts, procure a triumph for His Son, and in the very city which, a few days later, was to clamour for His Blood. This day was one of glory to our Jesus, and the holy Church would have us renew, each year, the memory of this triumph of the Man-God. Shortly after the birth of our Emmanuel, we saw the Magi coming from the extreme east, and looking in Jerusalem for the King of the Jews, to whom they intended offering their gifts and their adorations: but it is Jerusalem herself that now goes forth to meet this King. Each of these events is an acknowledgment of the kingship of Jesus; the first, from the Gentiles; the second, from the Jews. Both were to pay Him this regal homage, before He suffered His Passion. The inscription to be put upon the cross, by Pilate’s order, will express the kingly character of the Crucified: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Pilate, the Roman governor, the pagan, the base coward, has been unwittingly the fulfiller of a prophecy; and when the enemies of Jesus insist on the inscription being altered, Pilate will not deign to give them any answer but this: ‘What I have written, I have written.’ Today, it is the Jews themselves that proclaim Jesus to be their King: they will soon be dispersed, in punishment for their revolt against the Son of David; but Jesus is King, and will be so for ever. Thus were literally verified the words spoken by the Archangel to Mary, when he announced to her the glories of the Child that was to be born of her: ‘The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David, His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.’ [St. Luke i. 32]. Jesus begins His reign upon the earth this very day; and though the first Israel is soon to disclaim His rule, a new Israel, formed from the faithful few of the old, shall rise up in every nation of the earth, and become the kingdom of Christ, a kingdom such as no mere earthly monarch ever coveted in his wildest fancies of ambition.

This is the glorious mystery which ushers in the great week, the week of dolours. Holy Church would have us give this momentary consolation to our heart, and hail our Jesus as our King. She has so arranged the service of today, that it should express both joy and sorrow; joy, by uniting herself with the loyal hosannas of the city of David; and sorrow, by compassionating the Passion of her divine Spouse. The whole function is divided into three parts, which we will now proceed to explain.

The first is the blessing of the palms; and we may have an idea of its importance from the solemnity used by the Church in this sacred rite. One would suppose that the holy Sacrifice has begun, and is going to be offered up in honour of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Introit, Collect, Epistle, Gradual, Gospel, even a Preface, are said, as though we were, as usual, preparing for the immolation of the spotless Lamb; but, after the triple Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus! the Church suspends these sacrificial formulas, and turns to the blessing of the palms. The prayers she uses for this blessing are eloquent and full of instruction; and, together with the sprinkling with holy water and the incensation, impart a virtue to these branches, which elevates them to the supernatural order, and makes them means for the sanctification of our souls and the protection of our persons and dwellings. The faithful should hold these palms in their hands during the procession, and during the reading of the Passion at Mass, and keep them in their homes as an outward expression of their faith, and as a pledge of God’s watchful love.

It is scarcely necessary to tell our reader that the palms or olive branches, thus blessed, are carried in memory of those wherewith the people of Jerusalem strewed the road, as our Saviour made His triumphant entry; but a word on the antiquity of our ceremony will not be superfluous. It began very early in the east. It is probable that, as far as Jerusalem itself is concerned, the custom was established immediately after the ages of persecution. St. Cyril, who was bishop of that city in the fourth century, tells us that the palm-tree, from which the people cut the branches when they went out to meet our Saviour, was still to be seen in the vale of Cedron [Cateches. x. versus fin.] Such a circumstance would naturally suggest an annual commemoration of the great event. In the following century, we find this ceremony established, not only in the churches of the east, but also in the monasteries of Egypt and Syria. At the beginning of Lent, many of the holy monks obtained permission from their abbots to retire into the desert, that they might spend the sacred season in strict seclusion; but they were obliged to return to their monasteries for Palm Sunday, as we learn from the life of Saint Euthymius, written by his disciple Cyril [Act. SS. Jan. 2O]. In the west, the introduction of this ceremony was more gradual; the first trace we find of it is in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, that is, at the end of the sixth, or the beginning of the seventh, century. When the faith had penetrated into the north, it was not possible to have palms or olive branches; they were supplied by branches from other trees. The beautiful prayers used in the blessing, and based on the mysteries expressed by the palm and olive trees, are still employed in the blessing of our willow, box, or other branches; and rightly, for these represent the symbolical ones which nature has denied us.

The second of today’s ceremonies is the procession, which comes immediately after the blessing of the palms. It represents our Saviour’s journey to Jerusalem, and His entry into the city. To make it the more expressive, the branches that have just been blessed are held in the hand during it. With the Jews, to hold a branch in one’s hand was a sign of joy. The divine law had sanctioned this practice, as we read in the following passage from Leviticus, where God commands His people to keep the feast of tabernacles: And you shall take to you, on the first day, the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God [Lev. xxiii. 4O]. It was, therefore, to testify their delight at seeing Jesus enter within their walls, that the inhabitants, even the little children, of Jerusalem, went forth to meet Him with palms in their hands. Let us, also, go before our King, singing our hosannas to Him as the conqueror of death, and the liberator of His people.

During the middle ages, it was the custom, in many churches, to carry the book of the holy Gospels in this procession. The Gospel contains the words of Jesus Christ, and was considered to represent Him. The procession halted at an appointed place, or station: the deacon then opened the sacred volume, and sang from it the passage which describes our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. This done, the cross which, up to this moment, was veiled, was uncovered; each of the clergy advanced towards it, venerated it, and placed at its foot a small portion of the palm he held in his hand. The procession then returned, preceded by the cross, which was left unveiled until all had re-entered the church. In England and Normandy, as far back as the eleventh century, there was practised a holy ceremony which represented, even more vividly than the one we have just been describing, the scene that was witnessed on this day at Jerusalem: the blessed Sacrament was carried in procession. The heresy of Berengarius, against the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, had been broached about that time; and the tribute of triumphant joy here shown to the sacred Host was a distant preparation for the feast and procession which were to be instituted at a later period.

A touching ceremony was also practised in Jerusalem during today’s procession, and, like those just mentioned, was intended to commemorate the event related by the Gospel. The whole community of the Franciscans (to whose keeping the holy places are entrusted) went in the morning to Bethphage. There, the father guardian of the holy Land, being vested in pontifical robes, mounted upon an ass, on which garments were laid. Accompanied by the friars and the Catholics of Jerusalem, all holding palms in their hands, he entered the city, and alighted at the church of the holy sepulchre where Mass was celebrated with all possible solemnity.

This beautiful ceremony, which dated from the period of the Latin kingdom in Jerusalem, has been forbidden, for now almost two hundred years, by the Turkish authorities of the city.

We have mentioned these different usages, as we have done others on similar occasions, in order to aid the faithful to the better understanding of the several mysteries of the liturgy. In the present instance, they will learn that, in today’s procession, the Church wishes us to honour Jesus Christ as though He were really among us, and were receiving the humble tribute of our loyalty. Let us lovingly go forth to meet this our King, our Saviour, who comes to visit the daughter of Sion, as the prophet has just told us. He is in our midst; it is to Him that we pay honour with our palms: let us give Him our hearts too. He comes that He may be our King; let us welcome Him as such, and fervently cry out to Him: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

At the close of the procession a ceremony takes place, which is full of the sublimest symbolism. On returning to the church, the doors are found to be shut. The triumphant procession is stopped; but the songs of joy are continued. A hymn in honour of Christ our King is sung with its joyous chorus; and at length the subdeacon strikes the door with the staff of the cross; the door opens, and the people, preceded by the clergy, enter the church, proclaiming the praise of Him, who is our resurrection and our life.

This ceremony is intended to represent the entry of Jesus into that Jerusalem of which the earthly one was but the figure – the Jerusalem of heaven, which has been opened for us by our Saviour. The sin of our first parents had shut it against us; but Jesus, the King of glory, opened its gates by His cross, to which every resistance yields. Let us, then, continue to follow in the footsteps of the Son of David, for He is also the Son of God, and He invites us to share His kingdom with Him. Thus, by the procession, which is commemorative of what happened on this day, the Church raises up our thoughts to the glorious mystery of the Ascension, whereby heaven was made the close of Jesus’ mission on earth. Alas! the interval between these two triumphs of our Redeemer are not all days of joy; and no sooner is our procession over, than the Church, who had laid aside for a moment the weight of her grief, falls back into sorrow and mourning.

The third part of today’s service is the offering of the holy Sacrifice. The portions that are sung by the choir are expressive of the deepest desolation; and the history of our Lord’s Passion, which is now to be read by anticipation, gives to the rest of the day that character of sacred gloom, which we all know so well. For the last five or six centuries, the Church has adopted a special chant for this narrative of the holy Gospel. The historian, or the evangelist, relates the events in a tone that is at once grave and pathetic; the words of our Saviour are sung to a solemn yet sweet melody, which strikingly contrasts with the high dominant of the several other interlocutors and the Jewish populace. During the singing of the Passion, the faithful should hold their palms in their hands, and, by this emblem of triumph, protest against the insults offered to Jesus by His enemies. As we listen to each humiliation and suffering, all of which were endured out of love for us, let us offer Him our palm as to our dearest Lord and King. When should we be more adoring, than when He is most suffering?

These are the leading features of this great day. According to our usual plan, we will add to the prayers and lessons any instructions that seem to be needed.

This Sunday, besides its liturgical and popular appellation of Palm Sunday, has had several other names. Thus it was called Hosanna Sunday, in allusion to the acclamation wherewith the Jews greeted Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem. Our forefathers used also to call it Pascha Floridum, because the feast of the Pasch (or Easter), which is but eight days off, is today in bud, so to speak, and the faithful could begin from this Sunday to fulfil the precept of Easter Communion. It was in allusion to this name, that the Spaniards, having on the Palm Sunday of 1513, discovered the peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, called it Florida. We also find the name of Capililavium given to this Sunday, because, during those times when it was the custom to defer till Holy Saturday the baptism of infants born during the preceding months (where such a delay entailed no danger), the parents used, on this day, to wash the heads of these children, out of respect to the holy chrism wherewith they were to be anointed. Later on, this Sunday was, at least in some churches, called the Pasch of the competents, that is, of the catechumens, who were admitted to Baptism; they assembled today in the church, and received a special instruction on the symbol, which had been given to them in the previous scrutiny. In the Gothic Church of Spain, the symbol was not given till today. The Greeks call this Sunday Baphoros, that is, Palm-bearing.

Let us pray:

O almighty and eternal God, who wouldst have our Saviour become man, and suffer on a cross, to give mankind an example of humility; mercifully grant that we may improve by the example of his patience, and partake of his resurrection. Through the same, &c.

Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: ‘If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.’ [St. Luke xix. 42-44].

A few days ago, we were reading in the holy Gospel how Jesus wept over the tomb of Lazarus; today He sheds tears over Jerusalem. At Bethania His weeping was caused by the sight of bodily death, the consequence and punishment of sin; but this death is not irremediable: Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and he that believeth in Him shall live [St. John xi. 25]. Whereas, the state of the unfaithful Jerusalem is a figure of the death of the soul, and from this there is no resurrection, unless the soul, while time is given to her, return to the Author of life. Hence it is, that the tears shed by Jesus over Jerusalem are so bitter. Amidst the acclamations which greet His entry into the city of David, His heart is sad; for He sees that many of her inhabitants will not profit of the time of her visitation. Let us console the Heart of our Jesus, and be to Him a faithful Jerusalem.

The sacred historian tells us that Jesus, immediately upon His entrance into the city, went to the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought there [St. Matt. xxi. 12]. This was the second time that He had shown His authority in His Father’s house, and no one had dared to resist Him. The chief priests and pharisees found fault with Him, and accused Him to His face, of causing confusion by His entry into the city; but our Lord confounded them by the reply He made. It is thus that in after ages, when it has pleased God to glorify His Son and the Church of His Son, the enemies of both have given vent to their rage; they protested against the triumph, but they could not stop it. But when God, in the unsearchable ways of His wisdom, allowed persecution and trial to follow these periods of triumph, then did these bitter enemies redouble their efforts to induce the very people, that had cried Hosanna to the Son of David, to clamour for His being delivered up and crucified. They succeeded in fomenting persecution, but not in destroying the kingdom of Christ and His Church. The kingdom seemed, at times, to be interrupted in its progress; but the time for another triumph came. Thus will it be to the end; and then, after all these changes from glory to humiliation, and from humiliation to glory, the kingdom of Jesus and of His bride will gain the last and eternal triumph over this world, which would not know the time of its visitation.

We learn from St. Matthew [St. Matt. xxi. 17] that our Saviour spent the remainder of this day at Bethania. His blessed Mother and the house of Lazarus were comforted by His return. There was not a single offer of hospitality made to Him in Jerusalem, at least there is no mention in the Gospel of any such offer. We cannot help making the reflection, as we meditate upon this event of our Lord’s life:- an enthusiastic reception is given to Him in the morning, He is proclaimed by the people as their King; but when the evening of that day comes on, there is not one of all those thousands to offer Him food or lodging. In the Carmelite monasteries of St. Teresa’s reform, there is a custom, which has been suggested by this thought, and is intended as a reparation for this ingratitude shown to our Redeemer. A table is placed in the middle of the refectory; and after the community have finished their dinner, the food which was placed upon that table is distributed among the poor, and Jesus is honoured in them.

HYMN: (In Dominica Palmarum)

Lo! the God that sitteth, in the highest heavens, upon the Cherubim, and looketh down on lowly things, cometh in glory and power, all creatures are full of His divine praise. Peace upon Israel, and salvation to the Gentiles!

The souls of the just cried out with joy: Now is prepared a new Covenant for the world, and mankind is renewed by the sprinkling of the divine Blood!

The people fell upon their knees, and, rejoicing with the disciples, sang, with palms in their hands: Hosanna to the Son of David! Praiseworthy and blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

The simple-hearted people, yea, and little children, (the fittest to adore God) praised Him as King of Israel and of the angels: Praiseworthy and blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

O Sion! there came to thee Christ, thy King. seated on a young colt: for He came that he might loose mankind from the senseless error of idolatry, and tame the wild passions of all nations; that thus they might praise Thee, singing: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all for ever!

Christ thy Lord hath reigned for ever. He, as it is written, the meek one, the Saviour, our just Redeemer, came riding on an ass’s colt, that He might destroy the pride of His enemies, who would not sing these words: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all for ever!

The unjust and obstinate Sanhedrim, the usurpers of the holy temple, are put to flight; for they had made God’s house of prayer a den of thieves, and shut their hearts against the Redeemer, to whom we cry: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all forever!

God is our Lord, he hath appeared unto us. Appoint a solemn feast, and come, let us rejoice and magnify the Christ, praising Him, with palms and branches in our hands: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour!

Why, O ye Gentiles, have ye raged? Why, O ye scribes and priests, have ye devised vain things. saying: Who is this, unto whom children, with palms and branches in their hands, cry aloud this praise: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour?

Why, O ye perverse of heart, have ye thrown stumbling-blocks in the way? Your feet are swift to shed the Blood of the Lord. But He will rise again, that He may save all that cry to Him: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour!

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


#PalmSunday – Missa ‘Domine Ne Longe’ – Link to EF Mass & Propers

9 April 2017

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The Propers follow the link below for the Extraordinary Form Mass offered online by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

LIVE Link to the Palm Sunday Mass at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Sarasota, Florida: Please click HERE

“The LIVE Mass that streams to LIveMass.net is actively taking place in Sarasota, Florida. At all times the screen will remain blank until ten minutes before the scheduled Mass. Mass times are Sunday (Low Mass) at 8:30 a.m. EST. The High Mass is at 10:30 a.m. EST. All other times the screen will remain blank. The Daily Mass schedule is Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. EST and Tuesday and Friday evening an additional daily Mass at 6:30 p.m. EST. The Recollection of the Confraternity of Saint Peter takes place also on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6:30 P.M. EST.” from the website of livemass.net

REPLAY OF Todays Mass available CLICK “Sunday Mass”

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Palm_Sunday_003

Second Sunday of Passiontide

(Palm Sunday)

[Station at St. John Lateran]
Red/Purple

1stClass

Extract from the General Decree restoring the liturgy of Holy Week: “Let the faithful be invited to take part in the Procession of Palms in greater numbers, thus rendering Christ the King public witness of their love and gratitude.”

The Second Sunday in Passiontide would be in any case a great and holy day, as it commemorates the last triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and opens Holy Week. On this day, the Church celebrates the triumphant entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem; when the multitude, going before and following after Him, cut off branches from the trees and strewed them in His way, shouting: “Hosanna [glory and praise] to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.” It is in commemoration of this triumph that palms are blessed and borne in solemn procession.

In fact, this Palm Sunday triumph of Our Lord only led to His death. But we know that this death was not a failure. It was through His Passion and Death that He conquered the world and entered into His kingdom. “I, if I be lifted up . . . will draw all things to myself.” (John 12. 32). So the Church asks the faithful to join in the triumphal procession today as an act of homage and gratitude to Christ our King. This triumphal beginning to Holy Week is full of meaning. Although the purple Mass vestments and Gospel of the Passion remind us that the Cross lies ahead, we already know this is the means of victory. So the Church asks us to begin Holy Week by joyfully and publicly acknowledging Christ the King.

The principal ceremonies of the day are the blessing of the palms, the procession, the Mass with the reading of the Passion. The blessing of the palms follows a ritual similar to that of the Mass, — having an Epistle, a Gospel, a Preface, and a Sanctus. The Epistle refers to the murmuring of the Israelites in the desert, and their sighing for the flesh-pots of Egypt. The Gospel describes the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The prayers which follow the Sanctus ask God to “bless the branches of palm . . . that whoever receives them may find protection of soul and body . . . that into whatever place they shall be brough, the inhabitants may obtain His blessing; that the devout faithful may understand the mystical meaning of the ceremony, that is, that the palms represent the triumph over the prince of death . . . and therefore, the use thereof declares both the greatness of the victory, and the riches of God’s mercy.”

These ceremonies are the remainder of the earthly custom of having two Masses on this day: one for the blessing of the palms, the other after the procession. The prayers of the blessing, the Antiphon of the procession and the hymn Gloria, laus make this one of the most impressive ceremonies of the Liturgical Year.

The Blessing of the Palms

The priest in red cope, with his ministers also vested in red, proceeds to the blessing of palms, or of branches of olive or other trees which are placed in front or on the epistle side of the altar.

ANTIPHON ¤ Matth. 21. 9.

Hosanna Filio David: benedictus qui venit in Nomini Domini. O Rex Israel: Hosanna in excelsis. Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest!

Then the priest, standing on the epistle side, his hands joined, turning towards the faithful, sings:

 

V. Dominus tecum. V. The Lord be with you.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. — Bene † dic, quaesumus, Domine, hos palmarum (seu olivarum seu aliarum arborum) ramos: et praesta; ut, quod populus tuus in tui venerationem hodierno die corporaliter agit, hoc spiritualiter summa devotione perficiat, de hoste victoriam reportando et opus misericordiae summopere diligendo. Per Christum Dominum nostrum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Let us pray. — Bless, † we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm (or olive or other trees): and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R. Amen. R. Amen.

Here the celebrant puts incense into the thurible and sprinkles the palms thrice with holy water, then he incenses them thrice.:

In churches where the faithful hold palms in their hands from the beginning of the ceremony, these palms are sprinkled and incensed after those in the sanctuary.

The celebrant then distributes the palms, first to the clergy, and afterward to the laity, who all genuflect and kiss both the palm and the hand of the celebrant. Meanwhile, the choir sings the following Antiphons and Psalms.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 23. 1-2, 7-10

Vulgate Psalter

Domini est terra, et plenitudo eius, * orbis terrarum et universi qui habitant in eo.

Quia ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina praeparavit eum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.

Quis est iste rex gloriae? † Dominus fortis et potens: * Dominus potens in praelio

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus virtutum ipse est rex gloriae.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

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

Domini est terra et quae replent eam, * orbis terrarum et qui habitant in eo.

Nam ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina firmavit eum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus fortis et potens, Dominus potens in praelio.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus exercituum: ipse est rex gloriae.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world and all they that dwell therein.

For He hath founded it upon the seas: and hath prepared it upon the rivers.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 46

Vulgate Psalter

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus, * iubilate Deo in voce exsultationis.

Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis, * rex magnus super omnem terram.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Subiecit populos nobis: * et gentes sub pedibus nostris.

Elegit nobis hereditatem suam: * speciem Iacob, quam dilexit.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Ascendit Deus in iubilo: * et Dominus in voce tubae.

Psallite Deo nostro, psallite: * psallite regi nostro, psallite.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Quoniam rex omnes terrae Deus: * psallite sapienter.

Regnabit Deus super gentes: * Deus sedet super sedem sanctam suam.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Principes populorum congregati sunt cum Deo Abraham: * quoniam dii fortes terrae vehementer elevati sunt.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

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

Omnes populi, plaudite manibus, * exsultate Deo voce laetitiae.

Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis, * rex magnus super omnem terram.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Subicit populos nobis: * et nationes pedibus nostris.

Elegit nobis hereditatem nostram, * gloriam Iacob, quem diligit.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Ascendit Deus cum exsultatione, * Dominus cum voce tubae.

Psallite Deo, psallite; * psallite regi nostro, psallite.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Quoniam rex omnis terrae et Deus, * psallite hymnum.

Deus regnat super nationes, * Deus sedet super solium sanctum suum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Principes populorum congregati sunt * cum populo Dei Abraham.

Nam Dei sunt proceres terrae: * excelsus est valde.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy.

For the Lord is high, terrible: a great king over all the earth.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

He hath subdued the people under us: and the nations under our feet.

He hath chosen for us His inheritance: the beauty of Jacob which He hath loved.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

God is ascended with jubilee: and the Lord with the sound of trumpet.

Sing praises to our God, sing ye: sing praises to our king, sing ye.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

For God is the king of all the earth: sing ye wisely.

God shall reign over the nations: God sitteth on His holy throne.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

The princes of the people are gathered together: with the God of Abraham.

For the strong gods of the earth: are exceedingly exalted.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

When the palms have been distributed the deacon puts the gospel book on the altar and the priest puts incense into the thurible. The prayer Munda Cor is said as usual, and the Gospel is sung by the deacon with all the ceremonies usual at High Mass.

GOSPEL ¤ Matthew 21. 1-9.

† Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.

[Triumphant entry of Our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.]

In illo tempore: Cum appropinquassent Ierosolymis, et venissent Bethphage ad montem Oliveti: tunc Iesus misit duos discipulos, dicens eis: Ite in castellum, quod contra vos est, et statim invenietis asinam alligatam, et pullum cum ea: solvite, et adducite mihi: et si quis vobis aliquid dixerit, dicite quia Dominus his opus habet: et confestim dimittet eos. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimpleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicentem: Dicite filiae Sion: Ecce rex tuus venit tibi mansuetus, sedens super asinam, et pullum filium subiugalis. Euntes autem discipuli fecerunt sicut praecepit illis Iesus. Et adduxerunt asinam, et pullum: et imposuerunt super eos vestimenta sua, et eum desuper sedere fecerunt. Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via: alii autem caedebant ramos de arboribus, et sternebant in via: turbae autem, quae praecedebant, et quae sequebantur, clamabant, dicentes: Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini. At that time, when Jesus drew nigh to Jerusalem, and was come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then He sent two disciples, saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to Me. And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy King cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

The Procession of Palms

 

The procession now takes place. When the priest places incense in the thurible, the deacon, turning toward the people, sings, the choir responding:

V. Procedamus in pace.

R. In nomine Christi. Amen. V. Let us go forth in peace.

R. In the name of Christ. Amen.

The thurifer precedes with the smoking censer, followed by the subdeacon, bearing the processional cross between two acolytes carrying lighted candles. Then follow the clergy in order of rank, then the celebrant with the deacon on his left. Where it is custom for the people to join the procession, they follow the celebrant. All carry palms, and all or some of them sing the following anthems, hymns, and Psalms, during the whole time the procession lasts.

Occurrent turbae cum floribus et palmis Redemptori obviam: et victori triumphanti digna dant obsequia: Filium Dei ore gentes praedicant: et in laudem Christi voces tonant per nubila: Hosanna in excelsis. The multitude goeth forth to meet our Redeemer with flowers and palms, and payeth the homage due to a triumphant Conqueror: the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

Cum Angelis et pueris fideles inveniamur, triumphatori mortis clamantis: Hosanna in excelsis. Let the faithful join with the Angels and children singing to the Conqueror of death: Hosanna in the higest!

Turba multa, quae convenerat ad diem festum, clamabat Domino: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. A great multitude that was met together at the festival cried out to the Lord: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!

Coeperunt omnes turbae descendentium gaudentes laudare Deum voce magna, super omnibus quas viderant virtutibus, dicentes: Benedictus qui venit Rex in nomine Domini: pax in terra, et gloria in excelsis. Near the descent the whole multitude began with joy to praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: Blessed be the King who cometh in the name of the Lord; peace on earth and glory on high.

HYMN TO CHRIST THE KING

Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Israel es tu Rex, Davidis et inclyta proles:

Nomine qui in Domini, Rex benedicte, venis.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Coetus in excelsis te laudat coelicus omnis.

Et mortalis homo, et cuncta creata simul.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis obvia venit:

Cum prece, voto, hymnis, adsumus ecce tibi.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Hi tibi passuro solvebant munia laudis:

Nos tibi regnanti pangimus ecce melos.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Hi placuere tibi, placeat devotio nostra:

Rex bone, Rex clemens, qui bona cuncta placent.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Hail, King of Israel! David’s Son of royal fame!

Who comest in the Name of the Lord, O blessed King.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

The Angel host laud Thee on high,

On earth mankind, with all created things.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

With palms the Jews went forth to meet Thee.

We greet Thee now with prayers and hymns.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

On Thy way to die, they crowned Thee with praise.

We raise our song to Thee, now King on high.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Their poor homage pleased Thee, O gracious King!

O clement King, accept too ours, the best we can bring.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. All praise Thy name highly and say: Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 147

Vulgate Psalter

Lauda, Ierusalem, Dominum: * lauda Deum tuum, Sion.

Quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum: * benedixit filiis tuis in te.

Qui posuit fines tuos pacem: * et adipe frumenti satiat te.

Qui emittit eloquium suum terrae: * velociter currit sermo eius.

Qui dat nivem sicut lanam: * nebulam sicut cinerem spargit.

Mittit crystallum suam sicut buccellas: * ante faciem frigoris eius quis sustinebit?

Emittet verbum suum, et liquefaciat ea: * flabit spiritus eius, et fluent aquae.

Qui annuntiat verbum suum Iacob: * iustitias et iudicia sua Israel.

Non fecit taliter omni nationi: * et iudicia sua non manifestavit eis.

Gloria Patri et Filio * et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Cardinal Bea Psalter

Lauda, Ierusalem, Dominum, * lauda Deum tuum Sion,

Quod firmavit seras portarum tuarum, * benedixit filiis tuis in te.

Composuit fines tuos in pace, * medulla tritici satiat te.

Emittit eloquium suum in terram, * velociter currit verbum eius.

Dat nivem sicut lanam, * pruinam sicut cinerem spargit.

Proicit glaciem suam ut frustula panis; * coram frigore eius aquae rigescunt.

Emittit verbum suum et liquefacit eas; * flare iubet ventum suum et fluunt aquae.

Annuntiavit verbum suum Iacob, * statuta et praecepta sua Israel.

Non fecit ita ulli nationi: * praecepta sua non manifestavit eis.

Gloria Patri et Filio * et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion.

Because He hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates: He hath blessed thy children within thee.

Who hath placed peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.

Who sendeth forth His speech to the earth: His word runneth swiftly.

Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes.

He sendeth His crystal like morsels: Who shall stand before the face of His cold?

He shall send out His Word and shall melt them: His wind shall blow and the waters shall run.

Who declareth His word to Jacob: His justice and His judgements to Israel.

He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and His judgements He hath not made manifest to them.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. All praise Thy name highly and say: Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Fulgentibus palmis prosternimur advenienti Domino: huic omnes occurramus cum hymnis et canticis, glorificantes et dicentes: Benedictus Dominus. We are strewn with the shining palms before the Lord as He approacheth; let us all run to meet Him with hymns and songs, glorify Him and say: Blessed be the Lord!

Ave, Rex noster, Fili David, Redemptor mundi, quem prophetae praedixerunt Salvatorem domui Israel esse venturum. Te enim ad salutarem victimam Pater misit in mundum, quem exspectabant omnes sancti ab origine mundi, et nunc: Hosanna Filio David, Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis. Hail, our King, O Son of David, O world’s Redeemer, whom prophets did foretell as the Saviour to come of the house of Israel. For the Father sent Thee into the world as victim for salvation; from the beginning of the world all the saints awaited Thee: Hosanna now to the Son of David! Belssed be He who cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

If the procession has gone outside, it may be custom in some places for the subdeacon to knock thrice on the door of the church with the shaft of the processional cross. The door is opened, and the procession enters the church, singing:

RESPONSORY

Ingrediente Domino in sanctam civitatem, Hebraeorum pueri resurrectionem vitae pronuntiantes, * Cum ramis palmarum: Hosanna, clamabunt, in excelsis. V.: Cum audisset populus, quod Iesus veniret Ierosolymam, exierunt obviam ei. * Cum ramis palmarum: Hosanna, clamabunt, in excelsis. As our Lord entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, declaring the resurrection of life, * With palm branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest. V.: When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet Him: With palm branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest.

The celebrant reaches the altar, turns to the people, and sings:

V. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. — Domine Iesu Christe, Rex ac Redemptor noster, in cuius honorem, hoc ramos gestantes, solemnes laudes decantavimus: concede propitius ut, quocumque hi rami deportati fuerint, ibi tuae benedictionis gratia descendat, et, quavis daemonum iniquitate vel illusione profligata, dextera tua protegat, quos redemit. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen. Let us pray. — O Lord Jesus Christ, our King and Redeemer, in whose honor we have borne these palms and gone on praising Thee with song and solemnity: mercifully grant that whithersoever these palms are taken, there the grace of Thy blessing may descend; may every wickedness and trick of the demons be frustrated; and may Thy right hand protect those it hath redeemed. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. R. Amen.

The sacred Ministers now change from red to purple vestments for the Mass.

 

The Mass

There are no prayers at the foot of the altar; instead, the celebrant ascends the altar and begins the Introit at once. The Gloria Patri is not said.

INTROIT ¤ Ps. 21. 20, 22.

Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam aspice: libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. — Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? Longe a salute mea, verba delictorum meorum. — Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam aspice: libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me; look to my defense; deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. — (Ps. 21. 2.) O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. –O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me; look to my defense; deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.

COLLECT

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui humano generi, ad imitandum humilitatis exemplum, Salvatorem nostrum carnem sumere, et crucem subire fecisti: concede propitius: ut et patientiae ipsius habere documenta, et resurrectionis consortia mereamur. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. O almighty and everlasting God, who didst cause our Saviour to take upon Him our flesh, and to undergo the cross, for an example of humility to be imitated by mankind: mercifully grant that we may deserve to possess not only the lessons of His patience, but also the fellowship of His Resurrection. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

 

EPISTLE ¤ Philip. 2. 5-11.

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Philippenses.

[The triumph of the Redeemer of the world, Our Lord Jesus Christ, must be preceded by “His humiliation unto death, even the death of the cross.”]

Fratres: Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Iesu: qui cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem Deo: sed semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo. Humiliavit semetipsum factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et donavit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen: (hic genuflectitur) ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum, et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Iesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. Brethren: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a Name which is above all names: (here all genuflect) 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.

GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 72. 24, 1-3.

Tenuisti manum dexteram meam: et in voluntate tua deduxisti me: et cum gloria assumpsisti me. V.: Quam bonus Israel Deus rectis corde! mei autem pene moti sunt pedes: pene effusi sunt gressus mei: quia zelavi in peccatoribus, pacem peccatorum videns. Thou hast held me by my right hand; and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me, and with Thy glory Thou hast received me. V.: How good is God to Israel, to those of an upright heart! but my feet were almost moved, my steps had well-nigh slipped, because I was jealous of sinners, seeing the prosperity of sinners.

 

TRACT ¤ Ps. 21. 2-9, 18, 19, 22, 24, 32.

Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? V.: Longe a salute mea verba derelictorum meorum. V.: Deus meus, clamabo per diem, nec exaudies: in nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi. V.: Tu autem in sancto habitas, laus Israel. V.: In te speraverunt patres nostri: speraverunt, et liberasti eos. V.: At te clamaverunt, et salvi facti sunt: in te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi. V.: Ego autem sum vermis, et non homo: opprobrium hominum, et abiectio plebes. V.: Omnes qui videbant me, aspernabantur me: locuti sunt labiis, et moverunt caput. V.: Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: salvum faciat eum quoniam vult eum. V.: Ipsi vero consideraverunt, et conspexerunt me: diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. V.: Libera me de ore leonis: et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. V.: Qui timetis Dominum, laudate eum: universum semen Iacob, magnificate eum. V.: Annuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura: et annuntiabunt coeli iustitiam eius. V.: Populo, qui nascetur, quem fecit Dominus. O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? V.: Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. V.: O my God, I shall cry by day, and Thou wilt not hear; and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me. V.: But Thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel. V.: In Thee have our fathers hoped; they have hoped, and Thou hast delivered them. V.: They cried to Thee, and they were saved; they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded. V.: But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men and the outcast of the people. V.: All they that saw Me have laughed Me to scorn; they have spoken with the lips and wagged the head. V.: He hoped in the Lord, let Him deliver Him; let Him save Him, seeing He delighteth in Him. V.: But they have looked and stared upon Me; they parted My garments amongst them, and upon My vesture they cast lots. V.: Deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. V.: Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him. V.: There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come; and the heavens shall show forth His justice. V.: To a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

The Munda Cor is not said, neither is the book signed, but the Passion of Our Lord is sung without lights or incense. The deacon does not ask the blessing of the priest, and does not say Dominus vobiscum, nor is Gloria tibi, Domine sung after the title. — C. means Chronicler (Chronista), S. means Synagogue, the people, the Apostles, etc., † means Christ.

PASSION ¤ Matthew 26. 36-75 and 27. 1-60.

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew.

Passio Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Matthaeum.

In illo tempore: Venit Iesus cum discipulis suis in villam, quae dicitur Gethsemani, et dixit discipulis suis: † Sedete hic donec vadam illuc, et orem. C. Et assumpto Petro, et duobus filiis Zebedaei, coepit contristrari, et moestus esse. Tunc ait illis: † Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum. C. Et progressus pusillum, procidit in faciem suam, orans, et dicens: † Pater mi, si possibile est, transeat a me calix iste. Verumtamen non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu. C. Et venit ad discipulos suos, et invenit eos dormientes: et dixit Petro † Sic non potuistis una hora vigilare mecum? Vigilate, et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem. Spiritus quidem promptus est, caro autem infirma. C. Iterum secundo abiit, et oravit, dicens: † Pater mi, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum, fiat voluntas tua. C. Et venit iterum, et invenit eos dormientes: erant enim oculi eorum gravati. Et relictis illis, iterum abiit, et oravit tertio, eumdem sermonem dicens. Tunc venit ad discipulos suos, et dicit illis: † Dormite iam, et requiescite: ecce appropinquavit hora, et Filius hominis tradetur in manus peccatorum. Surgite, eamus: ecce appropinquavit qui me tradet.

C. Adhuc eo loquente, ecce Iudas unus de duodecim, et cum eo turba multa cum gladiis, et fustibus, missi a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus populi. Qui autem tradidit eum, didit illis signum dicens: S. Quemcumque osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum. C. Et confestim accedens ad Iesum, dixit: S. Ave, Rabbi. C. Et osculatus est eum. Dixitque illi Iesus: † Amice, ad quid venisti? C. Tunc accesserunt, et manus iniecerunt in Iesum, et tenuerunt eum. Et ecce unus ex his, qui erant cum Iesu, extendens manum, exemit gladium suum, et percutiens servum principis sacerdotum, amputavit auriculam eius. Tunc ait illi Iesus: † Converte gladium tuum in locum suum. Omnes enim, qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt. An putas, quia non possum rogare Patrem meum, et exhibebit mihi modo plus quam duodecim legiones Angelorum? Quomodo ergo implebuntur Scripturae, quia sic oportet fieri? C. In illa hora dixit Iesus turbis: † Tamquam ad latronem existis cum gladiis, et fustibus comprehendere me: quotidie apud vos sedebam docens in templo, et non me tenuistis. C. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimplerentur Scripturae prophetarum. Tunc discipuli omnes, relicto eo, fugerunt.

At illi tenentes ad Caipham principem sacerdotum, ubi scribae, et seniores convenerant. Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, usque in atrium principis sacerdotum. Et ingressus intro, sedebat cum ministris ut videret finem. Principes autem sacerdotum, et omne concilium, quaerebant falsum testimonium contra Iesum, ut eum morti traderent: et non invenerunt, cum multi falsi testes accessissent. Novissime autem venerunt duo falsi testes, et dixerunt: S. Hic dicit: Possum destruere templum Dei, et post triduum reaedificare illud. C. Et surgens princeps sacerdotum ait illi: S. Nihil respondes ad ea, quae isti adversum te testificantur? C. Iesus autem tacebat. Et princeps sacerdotum ait illi: S. Adiuro te per Deum vivum, ut dicas nobis, si tu es Christus Filius Dei. C. Dicit illi Iesus: † Tu dixisti. Verumtamen dico vobis, amodo videbitis Filium hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis Dei, et venientem in nubilibus caeli. C. Tunc princeps sacerdotum scidit vestimenta sua dicens: S. Blasphemavit: quid adhuc egemus testibus? Ecce nunc audistis blasphemiam: quid vobis videtur? C. At illi respondentes, dixerunt: S. Reus est mortis. C. Tunc exspuerunt in faciem eius, et colaphis eum ceciderunt, alii autem palmas in faciem eius dederunt, dicentes: S. Propetiza nobis, Christe, quis est qui te percussit?

C. Petrus vero sedebat foris in atrio: et accessit ad eum una ancilla, dicens: S. Et tu cum Iesu Galilaeo eras. C. At ille negavit coram omnibus, dicens: S. Nescio quid dicis. C. Exeunte autem illo ianuam, vidit eum alia ancila, et ait his, qui erant ibi: S. Et hic erat cum Iesu Nazareno. C. Et iterum negavit cum iuramento: Qui non novi hominem. Et post pusillum accesserunt qui stabant, et dixerunt Petro: S. Vere et tu ex illis es: nom et loquela tua manifestum te facit. C. Tunc coepit detestari, et iurare quia non novisset hominem. Et continuo gallus cantavit. Et recordatus est Petrus verbi Iesu, quod dixerat: Priusquam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. Et egressus foras, flevit amare. Mane autem facto, consilium inierunt omnes principes sacerdotum, et seniores populi adversus Iesum, ut eum morti traderent. Et vinctum adduxerunt eum, et tradiderunt Pontio Pilato praesidi.

Tunc videns Iudas, qui eum tradidit, quod damnatus esset, paenitentia ductus, retulit triginta argenteos principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus, dicens: S. Peccavi, tradens sanguinem iustum. C. At illi dixerunt: S. Quid ad nos? Tu videris. C. Et proiectis argenteis in templo, recessit: et abiens, laqueo se suspendit. Principes autem sacerdotum, acceptis argenteis, dixerunt: S. Non licit eos mittere in corbonam: quia pretium sanguinis est. C. Consilio autem inito, emerunt ex illis agrum figuli, in sepulturam peregrinorum. Propter hoc vocatus est ager ille, Haceldama, hoc est, ager sanguinis, usque in hodiernum diem. Tunc impletum, quod dictum est per Ieremiam prophetam, dicentem: Et acceperunt trigenta argenteos pretium appretiati, quem appretiaverunt a filiis Israel: et dederunt eos in agrum figuli, sicut constituit mihi Dominus.

Iesus autem stetit ante praesidem: et interrogavit praeses, dicens: S. Tu es Rex Iudaeorum? C. Dicit illi Iesus: † Tu dicis. C. Et cum accusaretur a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus, nihil respondit. Tunc dicit illi Pilatus: S. Non audis quanta adversum te dicunt testimonia? C. Et non respondit ei ad ullum verbum, ita ut miraretur praeses vehementer. Per diem autem solemnem consueverat praeses populo dimittere unum vinctum, quem voluissent. Habebat autem tunc vinctum insignem, qui dicebatur Barabbas. Congregatis ergo illis, dixit Pilatus: S. Quem vultis dimittam vobis: Barabbam, an Iesum, qui dicitur Christus? C. Sciebat enim quod per invidiam tradidissent eum. Sedente autem illo pro tribunali, misit ad eum uxor eius, dicens: S. Nihil tibi, et iusto illi: multa enim passa sum hodie per visum propter eum. C. Principes autem sacerdotum, et seniores persuaserunt populis ut peterent Barabbam, Iesum vero perderent. Respondens autem praeses, ait illis: S. Quem vultis vobis de duobus dimitti? C. At illi dixerunt: S. Barabbam. C. Dixit illis Pilatus: S. Quid igitur faciam de Iesu, qui dicitur Christus? C. Dicunt omnes: S. Crucifigatur. C. Ait illis praeses: S. Quid enim mali fecit? C. At illi magis clamabant, dicentes: S. Crucifigatur. C. Videns autem Pilatus quia nihil proficeret, sed magis tumultus fieret: accepta aqua, lavit manus coram populo, dicens: S. Innocens ego sum a sanguine iusti huius: vos videritis. C. Et respondens universus populus dixit: S. Sanguis eius super nos, et super filios nostros. C. Tunc dimisit illis Barabbam: Iesum autem flagellatum tradidit eis, ut crucifigeretur. Tunc milites praesidis suscipientes Iesum in praetorium, congregaverunt ad eum universam cohortem: et exuentes eum, chlamydem coccineam circumdederunt ei: et plectentes coronam de spinis posuerunt super caput eius et arundinem in dextera eius. Et genu flexo ante eum, illudebant ei, dicentes: S. Ave, Rex Iudaeorum. C. Et exspuentes in eum, acceperunt arundinem, et percutiebant caput eius. Et postquam illuserunt ei, exuerunt eum chlamyde, et induerunt eum vestimentis eius, et duxerunt eum ut crucifigerunt.

Exeuntes autem, invenerunt hominem Cyrenaeum, nomine Simonem: hunc angariaverunt ut tolleret crucem eius. Et venerunt in locum, qui dicitur Golgotha, quod est Calvariae locus. Et dederunt ei vinum bibere cum felle mixtum. Et cum gustasset, noluit bibere. Postquam autem crucifixerunt eum, diviserunt vestimenta eius, sortem mittentes: ut impleretur quod dictum est per Prophetam, dicentem: Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et sedentes, servabant eum. Et imposuerunt super caput eius causam ipsius scriptam: Hic est Iesus Rex Iudaeorum. Tunc crucifixi sunt cum eo duo latrones: unus a dextris, et unus a sinistris. Praetereuntes autem blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua, et dicentes: S. Vah, qui destruis templum Dei, et in triduo illud reaedificas: salva temetipsum. Si Filius Dei es, descende de cruce. C. Similiter et principes sacerdotum illudentes cum scribis et senioribus dicebant: S. Alios salvus fecit, seipsum non potest salvum facere: si Rex Israel est, descendat nunc de cruce, et credimus ei: confidit in eo: liberet nunc, si vult eum; dixit enim: Quia Filius Dei sum. C. Idipsum autem et latrones, qui crucifixi erant cum eo, improperabant ei. A sexta autem hora tenebrae facta sunt super universam terram usque ad horam nonam.

Et circa horam nonam clamavit Iesus voce magna, dicens: † Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? C. Hoc est: † Deus meus, Deus meus, ut qquid dereliquisti me? C. Quidam autem illic stantes, et audientes, dicebant: S. Eliam vocat iste. C. Et continuo currens unus ex eis, acceptam spongiam implevit aceto, et imposuit arundini, et dabat ei bibere. Ceteri vero dicebant: S. Sine, videamus an veniat Elias liberans eum. C. Iesus autem iterum clamans voce magna, emisit spiritum. At that time Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and He said to His disciples: † Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. C. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then He saith to them: † My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here and watch with Me. C. And going a little further, He fell upon His face, praying and saying: † My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt. C. And He cometh to His disciples, and findeth them asleep. And He saith to Peter: † What! Could you not watch one hour with Me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. C. Again the second time, He went and prayed, saying: † My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done. C. And He cometh again, and findeth them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, He went again and He prayed the third time, saying the self-same word. Then He cometh to His disciples, and saith to them: † Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go; behold, he is at hand that will betray Me.

C. As He yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying: S. Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is He; hold Him fast. C. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: S. Hail, Rabbi. C. And he kissed Him. And Jesus said to him: † Friend, whereto art thou come? C. Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus, and held Him. And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword, and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him: † Put up again thy sword into its place; for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give Me presently more than twelve legions of Angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done? C. In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: † You are come out, as it were to a robber, with swords and clubs to apprehend Me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on Me. C. Now all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples, all leaving Him, fled.

But they holding Jesus led Him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled. And Peter followed Him afar off, even to the court of the high priest. And going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end. And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death. And they found none, whereas many false witnesses had come in. And last of all there came two false witnesses; and they said: This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and after three days to rebuild it. And the high priest, rising up, said to Him: S. Answerest Thou nothing to the things which these witness against Thee? C. But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest said to Him: S. I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us if Thou be the Christ the Son of God. C. Jesus saith to him: † Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. C. Then the high priest rent his garments, saying: S. He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? C. But they answering, said: S. He is guilty of death. C. Then they did spit in His face and buffeted Him; and other struck his face with the palms of their hands, saying: S. Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck Thee?

C. But Peter sat without in the court, and there came to him a servant maid, saying: S. Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. C. But he denied it before them all, saying: S. I know not what thou sayest. C. And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: S. This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. C. And again he denied it with an oath: S. I know not the man. C. And after a little while, they came that stood by and said to Peter: S. Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech doth discover thee. C. Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man; and immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which He had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny Me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly. And when morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people took counsel against Jesus, that they might put Him to death. And they brought Him bound, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

Then Judas, who betrayed Him, seeing that He was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying: S. I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. C. But they said: S. What is that to us? Look thou to it. C. And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed, and went and hanged himself with a halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said: S. It is not lawful to put them into the corbona, because it is the price of blood. C. And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, to be a burying-place for strangers. For this cause that field was called Haceldama, that is, the field of blood, even to this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was prized, whom they prized of the children of Israel: and they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.

And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked Him, saying: S. Art Thou the king of the Jews? C. Jesus saith to Him: † Thou sayest it. C. And when He was accused by the chief priests and ancients, He answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to Him: S. Dost not Thou hear how great testimonies they allege against Thee? C. And He answered to him never a word, so that the governor wondered exceedingly. Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would. And he had then a notorious prisoner that was called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: S. Whom will you that I release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ? C. For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment his wife sent to him, saying: S. Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him. C. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away. And the governor answering, said to them: S. Whither will you of the two to be released unto you? C. But they said: S. Barabbas. C. Pilate saith to them: S. What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? C. They all call: S. Let Him be crucified. C. The governor sad to them: S. Why, what evil hath He done? C. But they cried out the more, saying: S. Let Him be crucified. C. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: S. I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it. C. And the whole people answering, said: S. His blood be upon us and upon our children. C. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him unto them to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band; and stripping Him they put a scarlet cloak about Him. And platting a crown of thorns they put it upon His head and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying: S. Hail, King of the Jews. C. And spitting upon Him, they took the reed and struck His head. And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him, and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him.

And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon; him they forced to take up His cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is, the place of Calvary. And they gave Him wine to drink mingled with gall; and when He had tasted He would not drink. And after they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which is spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture they cast lots. And they sat and watched Him. And they put over His head His cause written: This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Then were crucified with Him two thieves; one on the right hand and one on the left. And they that passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads, and saying: S. Vah, Thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days dost rebuild it, save Thine own self. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. C. In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said: S. He saved others, Himself He cannot save; if He be the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him; He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him if He will have Him; for He said: I am the Son of God. C. And the self-same thing the thieves also that were crucified with Him reproached Him with. Now from the sixth hour there was a darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying:† Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? C. That is: † My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? C. And some that stood there and heard said: S. This man calleth Elias. C. And immediately one of them running took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and and gave Him to drink. And the others said: S. Let be; let us see whether Elias will come to deliver Him. C. And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Here all kneel and pause a few moments.

Et ecce velum templi scissum est in dua partes a summo usque deorsum: et terra mota est, et petrae scissae sunt, et monumenta aperta sunt: et multa corpora sanctorum, qui dormierant, surrexerunt. Et exeuntes de monumentis post resurrectionem eius, venerunt in sanctam civitatem, et apparuerunt multis. Centurio autem, et qui cum eo erant, custodientes Iesum, viso terraemotu, et his quae fiebant, timuerunt valde, dicentes: S. Vere Filius Dei erat iste. C. Erant autem ibi mulieres multae a longe, quae secutae erant Iesum a Galilaea, ministrantes ei: inter quas erat Maria Magdalene, et Maria Iacobi, et Ioseph mater, et mater filiorum Zebedaei.

Cum autem sero factum esset, venit quidam homo dives ab Arimathaea, nomine Ioseph, qui et ipse discipulus erat Iesu. Hic accessit ad Pilatum, et petiit corpus Iesu. Tunc Pilatus iussit reddi corpus. Et accepto corpore, Ioseph involvit illud in monumento suo novo, quod exciderat in petra. Et advolvit saxum magnum ad ostium monumenti, et abiit. And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from top even to the bottom; and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent; and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: S. Indeed this was the Son of God. C. And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body wrapt it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument and went his way.

The Creed is said.

 

OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 68. 21, 22.

Improperium exspectavit cor meum, et miseriam: et sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit: consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni: et dederunt in escam meam fel, et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto. My heart hath expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, but there was none: I sought for one that would comfort Me, and I found none: and they gave Me gall for My food, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.

 

SECRET

Concede, quaesumus, Domine: ut oculis tuae maiestatis munus oblatum, et gratiam nobis devotionis obtineat, et effectum beatae perennitatis acquirat. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the gifts offered in the sight of Thy majesty, may procure us the grace of devotion and obtain for us the fruit of a blessed eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

 

PREFACE

Preface of the Holy Cross

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui salutem humani generis in ligno crucis constituisti: ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret: et qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur, per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti iubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross; that whence death came, thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: Through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

 

COMMUNION ¤ Matth. 26. 42.

Pater, si non potest hic calix transire nisi bibam illum, fiat voluntas tua. Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done.

 

POSTCOMMUNION

Per huius, Domine, operationem mysterii: et vitia nostra purgentur, et iusta desideria compleantur. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. By the operation of this Mystery, O Lord, may our vices be cleansed, and our just desires fulfilled. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

The Last Gospel is omitted unless Mass is celebrated without the Blessing of the Palms, in which case the Gospel At that time of the Blessing of the Palms is said as the Last Gospel.

 

Thank you to the “Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland” for all the hard work throughout the Liturgical Year posting complete Latin Mass sources.

Source for Audio from ChristusRex.org

14 Day Lenten Series: Part 12: Resisting the Enemies of Our Salvation

9 April 2017

Michael4

by Fr. Johann Evangelist Zollner, 1883

On several Sundays during the year the Church gives us selections from the epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians; she does so again today, for the last time in the Ecclesiastical Year. In the second part of his epistle, the Apostle gave his converts at Ephesus instructions as to how they were to lead a pious life; he then exhorted married people, parents and children, servants and masters, to fulfil their duties conscientiously. At the conclusion of it he addresses all the Ephesians and exhorts them courageously to fight against the enemies of their salvation, and to use in this struggle weapons that would ensure victory. The Apostle treats in this epistle

I. Of the enemies against whom we must struggle;
II. Of the weapons which we must use in the struggle against them.

PART I.

1. Brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of His power. The enemies of our salvation are strong; in order to be able to battle against them, we also must be strong. But if left to ourselves and to our own strength, we are weak, so weak that we cannot even think a good, salutary thought.–II. Cor. 3: 5. Yet, in the Lord and in the might of his power, i. e., when God supports us by His grace, we become strong, so strong that, full of confidence, we can say with the Apostle: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”–Phil. 4: 13. St. Francis of Sales suffered great temptations for a long time. He writes with regard to them: “I am attacked so violently that it seems to me as if all power of resistance were wanting to me, and that I should fall if an opportunity offered itself. But the weaker I feel, the more my confidence in God grows; for I am confident that God, even in the presence of the objects of a sinful desire, would impart to me so great strength that I could destroy my enemies as young lambs.” In spite of all our weakness, we need not fear the struggle with our enemies, for God assists us and strengthens us so that we can overcome every temptation, even the strongest. “If God be for us, who is against us?” Rom. 8: 31.

2. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. The Apostle compares Christians to soldiers who go to war, amply provided with the necessary arms. The enemy with whom they must struggle is the devil, the author of all evil, the father of lies, the seducer from the beginning of the world, who goes about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.–1 Pet. 5: 8. This arch-enemy of our salvation is not only strong, but also full of cunning; he comes when he is least expected and attacks the unguarded senses, causing the most violent temptations; he does not attack openly, in front, but artfully, sideways, and therefore does not represent the sins to which he wishes to seduce us in their real form, but under the appearance of an indifferent thing, or even a virtue. Thus he calls pride, noble self esteem; avarice, wise economy; impurity, human weakness or natural pleasure; injustices and impositions, good financiering. He studies the weakness of every one, and therefore tempts each man to that sin to which he is most inclined.

3. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers ; against the rulers of the world of this darkness; against the spirits of wickedness in high places. In these words the Apostle gives the reason why we must be well armed, for we are obliged to withstand supernatural, not natural powers; and in this struggle it is a question not only of our body and our life, but of our soul and our salvation. By flesh and blood we are to understand men. These also cause us many hard struggles and endanger our salvation by their bad example and scandals, their flatteries and threats, their artifices and violence; far more severe, however, are the struggles, and far greater the danger to our salvation, prepared for us by the evil spirits, because they far surpass men in power, cunning and malice. When the Apostle speaks of principalities and powers, he intimates that there is a hierarchy among evil spirits as well as among good spirits, for, as St. Jerome observes, after the fall they retained the same distinctions of rank as in heaven. The evil spirits, therefore, differ from one another in power and influence; some command, others obey. The Apostle calls them rulers of the world of this darkness. They rule the world, not absolutely, but only so far as God permits them; therefore, without the permission of God, they can injure no one in person or property; as the history of Job teaches us, their power goes only so far as God wills and permits. Concerning salvation, they can injure no one against his will; they resemble, as St. Augustine says, a chained dog that can bark, but can bite only those who go near him. Hence the Scripture says: “Resist the devil and he will fly from you.”–James 4: 7. The addition, of this darkness, means that the evil spirits have power over those men only who lie buried in the darkness of unbelief, error and sin.

Lastly, the Apostle designates the evil spirits as spirits of wickedness in high places. According to the unanimous doctrine of the Fathers of the Church and theologians, all evil spirits are not imprisoned in hell, but can leave it from time to time and visit the earth, in order there to tempt men and do mischief so far as God permits them. I must, however, remark, that wherever they may be, they carry hell, as it were, with them and suffer its torments, and that on the Day of Judgment they will be cast into it for ever. As St. Jerome remarks, it is the unanimous doctrine of the Fathers, that the air it is full of evil spirits who inflict various evils on men. In order to protect the faithful from their injuries, the Church applies sacramentals, especially exorcisms. Make use of those means of the Church, such as the sign of the cross, the invocation of the name of Jesus, and holy water, with devotion and confidence, in order to experience their salutary effects against the power of darkness.

4. Therefore, take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect. As the Apostle says, we have so many and such powerful enemies, that we must take unto ourselves the armor of God, that is, we must have in readiness the necessary means for overcoming all temptations and removing all that is dangerous to salvation, for only in this way shall we be able to resist in the evil day, that is, to stand immovable in the time of temptation, and to persevere in the grace of God. This is the lot of all; we must fight against the enemies of our salvation so long as we live; for “the life of man upon earth is a warfare.” Job 7: 1. We must labor in order to be admitted into heaven, for “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence; and the violent bear it away” (Matt. 1 1 : 12); we must fight and conquer, for no one is crowned unless he has legitimately gained the victory.

But what are the arms that we must use in the combat, in order to win the victory?

PART II.

The Apostle mentions these arms by bringing the complete armor of a Roman soldier before our eyes. A Roman soldier had a helmet on his head, a sword in his right hand, a shield on his left arm, and a coat of mail on his breast, around the loins a broad belt bound with thin iron, and on his feet short, boots provided with sharp points.

1. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice.

(a.) The enemies of our soul endeavor to blind and seduce us by various misrepresentations and lies, as formerly the infernal serpent seduced Eve. They say this or that is not a sin, at least not a mortal sin; that we shall become perfectly happy by committing it; that God is infinitely merciful and indulgent with the weakness of men. We must protect ourselves against these lying suggestions of the devil with the girdle of truth; to his persuasions we must oppose the truths of our holy faith, and reply to him: “What you suggest to me is untrue; for my infallible faith tells me the very opposite, and to that faith I will cling.” If Eve had girded herself about with truth, the devil could not have persuaded her to sin; and if we gird ourselves about with truth in every temptation, we shall be safe against every fall.

(b.) We must have on the breastplate of justice. Justice means here the perfect fulfilment of the divine law, true holiness; the breastplate of justice, therefore, is, as St. Chrysostom observes, a life adorned with every virtue. As the breastplate defends the breast of the soldier against the missiles of the enemy, so justice is a protection against the assaults of Satan. When Satan tempts the just man to pride, he is overcome by humility; when he tempts him to impurity, he is overcome by chastity; when he tempts him to anger and revenge, he is overcome by meekness; in short, when he tempts him to any sin, he is invariably over come by the virtue opposed to that sin. The just man who loves God with his whole heart, and hates and detests sin as the greatest evil, employs the means necessary for the overcoming of the temptation, and for this reason he cannot be overcome by the enemies of his salvation.

(c.) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The Roman soldiers wore shoes which covered the feet and ankles, and enabled them to walk safely on all kinds of roads, and prevented injury by bushes and thorns. With such shoes we also must be provided; they consist in a true zeal for virtue, in a continual aspiration to perfection. This zeal is necessary, because walking in the path of virtue has many difficulties in its train. He who falls away from his first fervor and becomes tepid, will soon grow weary in well-doing. The Apostle says that our feet must be shod, that is, we must have great zeal for the gospel of peace; and he thereby indicates that walking in the way of virtue leads us to peace with God. For if we fervently serve God, we already here below enjoy the peace of a good conscience, and the everlasting peace of the children of God awaits us in the next world. When the worldling does so much for the acquisition of temporal comforts and conveniences, which are vain and fleeting, why should we not readily and willingly make any and every sacrifice in order to acquire for ourselves the unspeakable blessing of heavenly peace?

2. In all things taking the shield of faith wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. The Apostle calls faith a shield, for as a shield protects the soldier against the darts, so faith protects the Christian against the sins into which in moments of temptation he is liable to fall. For faith tells us how miserable we make ourselves when we yield to temptation and sin that we forfeit the love and grace of God, all acquired merit, as well as heaven, and expose ourselves to the danger of everlasting perdition; again, faith tells us what a great reward awaits us if we overcome the temptation and remain faithful to God that we acquire the love and approbation of God, and eternal salvation. Who that ponders well on these truths of the faith, could consent to a temptation, and fall into sin? The fiery darts of the most wicked one are especially the temptations to impurity, with which the devil assaults people; also in general all temptations that frequently assail them with great vehemence and allure them to sin. Against these the shield of faith protects us, for its serious truths, when we meditate upon them, place us in a holy frame of mind, inspire us with a detestation of all evil, and urge us to have recourse to God by fervent prayer, whereby we gain strength sufficient to come forth victorious from the most severe struggles.

3. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

(a.) By helmet of salvation we are to understand the hope of eternal salvation. For as the helmet protects the head against all the blows of the enemy, so the hope of eternal salvation protects us against all the attacks of Satan. Witnesses, the holy martyrs. They were promised honors and dignities, riches and pleasures of every description, if they would renounce their faith, but they resisted the temptation and remembered the words of Christ: “What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?–Matt. 16: 26. They were threatened with the confiscation of their property, with prison and death, and these threats were executed with unheard-of cruelty; but they remained faithful to Jesus and to the holy faith, and said with the Apostle: “That which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.”–II. Cor. 4: 17. It was also in the hope of heaven that so many Christians of both sexes renounced the world, with all its pleasures and enjoyments, and passed their whole lives in seclusion, in mortification, and in works of Christian charity; they said with St. Paul: “I count all things to be but loss, for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ.”–Phil. 3: 8. In all your temptations think of heaven and its unspeakable joys; then it will become plain to you how vain and fleeting is what the world and Satan offer, and so you will turn away from them with contempt and disgust.

(b.) The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The Apostle calls the word of God a sword, which is one of the most effectual weapons to put the evil spirit to flight. But the word of God comprises edifying discourses and hymns, ejaculatory prayers, sermons, catechetical instructions, wholesome admonitions, the Sacred Scriptures, spiritual books, and the lives of the saints. Christ resisted and overcame the devil with the word of God. –Matt. 4: 3-10.

PERORATION

You now know the weapons with which you must fight against Satan. Make use of them, and struggle with courage and determination, with bravery and perseverance. Short is the time of warfare, for it extends itself only over our fleeting earthly life, but the fruits of the victory will endure when time is no more. Blessed are we, if in the days of our earthly life we struggle manfully with the enemies of our salvation and conquer; at the close of our earthly career we can confidently look forward to eternity, and say with the Apostle: “I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day.”–II. Tim. 4: 7, 8. Amen.

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


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