Daily Archives: 26 March 2006

Benedict XVI in Rosacea Vestments on Laetare

On 26 March 2006 His Holiness made a pastoral visit to a Roman parish in thge suburbs called God Our Merciful Father.  It was Laetare Sunday and the Pope wore rose vestments.  I don’t remember having seen His Holiness Pope … Continue reading

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Benedict on Catholics suffering persecution

During today’s Angelus address the Holy Father made what I think are pretty clear references to the situation of Catholics persecuted in the People’s Republic of China and other places in the world when Catholics suffer religious persecution despite the … Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare): SUPER OBLATA (2)

EXCERPT:
For our sins we truly deserve damnation. God’s eternal remedy to the damnation we deserve causes us simultaneously to bend ourselves over as humble supplicants and, to raise our hands and hearts heavenward as we rejoice in our good fortune and God’s mercy. Our grateful humility prompts us to beg the Lord to continue His gracious work in us, to make us capable of venerating the gifts properly, and also to make them known to others. We wish others to share in the salvation He has so kindly made possible so that our joy may be increased.

Now put yourself in church at Holy Mass. For weeks now the sanctuary has been bare, stripped in Lenten mortification. Purple has been our visual theme. The liturgy is “dying” until it rises at Easter. Today some bright flowers bedeck the high altar, the only altar, around which the well-trained boys serve in cassock and surplice. The organ was played, sparingly, but well. Father’s sermon was solemnly amusing, spiritually insightful and comprehensively brief, but in a moving way. The echo of the Gregorian chant chased the fragrant incense tendrils aloft into the vaults. You helped to make sure the collection was generous. On the altar’s mensa glittering gold vessels now stand holding your gifts, the hosts and the wine with its water drops. The priest, all draped in rose over white linen, has turned around to face you. For your sake and that of Holy Church he calls upon you to unite your sacrifices to his. Hundreds of voices together with yours rise from the packed nave upward to God in pursuit of the chant and the incense. The priest turns back to face the liturgical East. Silence falls. He opens his hands and sings.

SUPER OBLATA (2002MR):
Remedii sempiterni munera, Domine, laetantes offerimus,
suppliciter exorantes,
ut eadem nos et fideliter venerari,
et pro salute mundi congruenter exhibere perficias. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare): COLLECT (2)

EXCERPT:
Each of us has a state in life, a God-given vocation we are duty bound to follow. We must be devoted to that state in life, and the duties that come with it, as they are in the here and now. That “here and now” is important. We must not focus on the state we had once upon a time, or wish we had, or should have had, or might have someday: those are unreal and misleading fantasies that distract us from reality and God’s will. If we are truly devoted and devout (in the sense of the active virtue) to fulfilling the duties of our state as it truly is here and now, then God will give us every actual grace we need to fulfill our vocation. Why can we boldly depend on God to help us? If we are fulfilling the duties of our state of life, then we are also fulfilling our proper roles in His great plan, His design from before the creation of the universe. God is therefore sure to help us. And if we are devoted to our state as it truly is, then God can also guide us to a new vocation when and if that is His will for us. Faithful in what we must do here and now, we will be open to something God wants us to do later. This attachment to reality and sense of dutiful obedience through the active virtue devotio is a necessary part of religion in keeping with the biblical principle in 1 John 2:3-5:

“And by this we may be sure that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says ‘I know Him’ but disobeys His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in Him: he who says he bides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare): SUPER OBLATA (1)

EXCERPT:
The Latin version identifies some important things. First and foremost in the prayer is our total reliance on God. It is He who gives us the “gifts of the eternal remedy”. Implicit in the need for a remedy, a concept entirely abandoned in the ICEL version, is the illness of sin. Our gratitude for the eternal remedy to the damnation we deserve for sins causes us at the same time to bend ourselves over as humble supplicants at the same time as we rejoice in our good fortune and the goodness of such a merciful God. Our gratitude and humility in turn prompt us to ask that same God to continue His gracious work in us an make us capable of venerating the gifts properly and also making them known (exhibere) to others, whom we also wish to share in the salvation He has so kindly made possible. Whereas in the ICEL prayer there is a petition “bring salvation to the world” in the Latin prayer we recognize that we, entirely dependent on God, are the ones who are to make that salvation know. With the reception of the gift comes a responsibility. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare): COLLECT (1)

EXCERPT:
Some ink can be given to rose vestments. This custom is tied to the station churches in Rome. For centuries in Rome there have been celebrations of Mass during the great seasons of Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas at “station” churches. The station Mass for Laetare Sunday is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome, where the relics of Cross and Passion are kept. It was the custom on Laetare for the Pope to bless roses made of gold that were then sent to Catholic kings and queens. Thus Laetare was also called Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose. Rose vestments developed naturally from this occasion. So, rose came to be used on Laetare Sunday in the Basilica of the Holy Cross when the Pope came for the station Mass. The use of rose (the technical term for the color is rosacea) spread to the rest of the City on this day. As a Roman custom it became part and parcel of the Roman Missal promulgated through the world by Pius V. The custom is, thanks be to God, coming back into vogue again. Continue reading

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