Fun with the new Compendium

The new book is quite informative and, I must say it, amusing.

For example, I have learned more about "eyes".  We all know that when moving about during Mass priests ought to keep their eyes cast down piously.  However, on. p. 377 I learned that when it comes time to read a text from a book, our eyes should, well, look at the book.

There is more too this… O Lord here it come, than meets the eye, especially for those clerics who like to make up their own prayers or who think they know the words.  I think this fits nicely with the old adage

Say The Black
Do The Red

On p. 405 I have been affirmed in my own practice, having been taught well from the beginning.  "At the consecration of the wine one must take care not to bring the mouth or the nose too close to the cup of the chalice.  At the two elevations it is necessary to see to it that the Host and the chalice are over the corporal and perpendicular to it."

Hmmm… see anything wrong with the picture on the front of the book?  (FYI…. it’s on the right.)

The book instructs us how to stand up and sit down.   If you think that is nothing special, watch what priests do these days.

There is a good section on what I have coined "birettiqette" (pp. 379-382) and  how to put on your clothes.

The über-picky stuff is in the business about calculating time and dates and in the order of precedence various get to claim from (or concede to) each other.  Whew!  Still, I learned a long time ago about the super-flowery curial style of letters I used of have to write, stuff like, "We are pleased to communicate the receipt of Your Most Reverend and Most Eminent Lord’s highly esteem page under date of …. blah blah blah…. opportune…. blub blurb… "  This style of letter allows people who don’t like each other to do business together and not leave ugly tracks.   So too with things like precedence: when there are rules, things stay smooth.  And the pickier the better.

I learned a few interesting principles about what constitutes desecration of an altar.  Everyone knows that if the table is broken, it is desecrated.  However, the little stone covering the relics in the "tomb" inset in the altar’s table might come loose over time and that doesn’t desecrate the altar.  A priest can cement it in again.  If it is purposely removed by anyone but the bishop or his delegate for the purpose of inspection of the relics, even if the relics are left in the little "tomb", the altar is desecrated.  Also, if a the table of a fixed altar is detached from its stand, even for an instant, even if it is not removed, it is desecrated.  The editor here inserts a comment in brackets that this is the case of many altars which were detached from walls and moved forward.  They were never reconsecrated.  That means, according to the editor, that one should not say Mass on them until they are reconsecrated.  The whole altar, table firmly attached to the stand, can be moved without being desecrated.  So, the principal is that the mensa and its stand constitute one piece and if they are separated, they lose their consecration.  Another principal is the intention with which the integrity of the "tomb" is violated.  Desecration of a church doesn’t result in desecration of the altar.

I’m not sure about the newer legislation on this.  My books are in the USA.  However, that is the way it was back in the day.

The saga continues.

 

 

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26 Responses to Fun with the new Compendium

  1. David says:

    But Father, but Father!

    Isn’t it “say the black, do the red“?

    Then again, a local abbot was infamous for reversing the principle in the way you describe. It made for some … interesting … liturgies.

  2. Jacob S says:

    Is this book going to be available in an English format?

  3. Fr. Enrico says:

    What is wrong with the picture? Priest is wearing his watch on the right?

  4. Fr. Enrico says:

    I see it now! The deacon is also wearing his watch on his right hand, and he is shooting bullets with it into the priest’s right knee. Must be a secret Bugnini agent…Right?

  5. Jeff says:

    What “Compendium” is this?

  6. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    I owuld venture that the problem is with the gaze of the deacon who is focusing his eyes on the altar rather than the chalice.

  7. Mac McLernon says:

    Umm… at a guess, the chalice isn’t exactly over the corporal… and not quite perpendicular?

  8. Cerimoniere says:

    I’m not especially comfortable discussing in public the minor foibles of priest friends of mine, concerning the way they handle the Holy Eucharist.

    But yes, it would appear from this photograph that the chalice isn’t quite perpendicular, and it might have come a little too far forward as well. I might add that it seems to be slightly higher than the celebrant’s eyes as well, which most authors consider to be a fault. I’m sure when someone brings this to his attention, he will be most edified by the correction…

  9. Stephen Morgan says:

    I’m just delighted that the Mass is being offered in the photograph is in the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth where, as Fr Z knows, I am to be ordained to the diaconate four weeks today. Prayers please.

  10. Interesting on the height of the elevation of the chalice. In the Dominican Rite the chalice base was not to be raised above the eyes of the celebrant. Both elevations were both to be “brief” without being “prolonged.” It seems that theatrical jestures were to be discouraged. Not a bad idea, I think.

    May Our Lord grant all his Spirit and a blessed Pentecost.

  11. Mac McLernon says:

    Or maybe deacons don’t wear maniples?

  12. Mac: Deacons do wear maniples.

  13. Mac McLernon says:

    …just testing!

    ;-)

    (ok, I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to Trad stuff. I’ll keep quiet from now on!)

  14. Mac McLernon says:

    Ooooh, is the change of word verification a hint?? (4 June?)

  15. RBrown says:

    Both elevations were both to be “brief” without being “prolonged.”
    Comment by Fr Augustine

    From what I’ve been heard, it would seem that Fr Garrigou was dispensed from that rubric.

    It seems that theatrical jestures were to be discouraged. Not a bad idea, I think.

    Interesting, that–especially considering the present state of affairs. The simplification of rubrics combined with versus populum vernacular liturgy has meant that priests often make up their own. When a priest here says “from the East to the West” (EP III), his arms sway from one side to the another in the manner of 3rd graders imitating a tree in the wind. At least he does get the directions right. And another gestures during the Offertory with his free hand when he says “may we (sweeping motion indicating all you out there) come to share . . . ” (finally pointing to the host and chalice).

  16. RBrown says:

    Hmmm… see anything wrong with the picture on the front of the book? (FYI…. it’s on the right.)

    No problem–it’s easy.

    There is no felt banner saying “We Are Church”. Everyone knows that Catholic churches today have to have felt banners.

  17. Cerimoniere says:

    Interesting on the height of the elevation of the chalice. In the Dominican Rite the chalice base was not to be raised above the eyes of the celebrant.

    That’s what I’ve always understand Roman authors to mean when they say “not above the level of his eyes.” If it were the top of the chalice that couldn’t be above that level, then none of it would be visible to the people!

    In the Dominican Rite the chalice base was not to be raised above the eyes of the celebrant. Both elevations were both to be “brief” without being “prolonged.” It seems that theatrical jestures were to be discouraged. Not a bad idea, I think.

    Indeed, Father! There have always been abuses connected with this. In the mediaeval period, certainly in England, priests took stipends for extra-long Elevations. Pious, certainly, but not liturgical.

  18. Jeff says:

    Do deacons wear maniples if they are not also subdeacons?

  19. dcs says:

    Jeff asks:
    Do deacons wear maniples if they are not also subdeacons?

    Both deacon and subdeacon wear the maniple. A “straw subdeacon” (a cleric in minor orders or a man who has been instituted an acolyte acting as subdeacon) does not wear the maniple.

  20. Geri says:

    This is off topic, but all this talk of “eyes” got to me — when and where was “making eye contact” made an inviolable rubric?
    The priest must scan the entire assembly while pronouncing the words of institution, cantors and lay readers are constantly reminded to make eye contact with their “audience,” EMHC seem to have all been taught to try to catch the gaze of communicants…
    It strikes me as odd, but I’ll get with the program if I should.
    Should I?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  21. Cerimoniere says:

    All deacons are subdeacons. If they hadn’t received the order prior to the diaconate, they received it with the diaconate, since the greater order includes the lesser.

  22. Maureen says:

    Eye contact attracts attention to _you_ and establishes a relationship between you and the person you’re looking at. That’s good for _performance_, but not for _worship_.

    If you’re being a lector, doing a good job with the actual reading is the important part. Eye contact’s okay, but it’s probably better to look at your book or just over people’s heads. (Unless you really need somebody to shut up, in which case, fix them with a glittering eye.) You’ll get all the benefits of eye contact without actually distracting people.

    Do not turn your head away from the microphone _for any reason_. You can back away from the microphone, but don’t swivel your head around to look at people and make the microphone lose the signal. The words you’re proclaiming have to be audible and understandable, or there’s not much point. It’s God’s personal message to us, so let us know what it is!

    While singing _as worship_, you definitely want to avoid eye contact. (Unless you’ve got a picture of Jesus to make eye contact with!) Sometimes it helps a lot to sing with your hands clasped (as long as you don’t go into death grip mode and tense up, or make it so everybody can see). Basically, keep reminding yourself that you are praying, and thus you are singing to and for God and not to the congregation. They will understand and also direct themselves to God.

    In general, if you stand still, do what you’re doing with conviction, and keep going at a steady pace, you will get people’s attention without having to use gimmicks like making eye contact or waving your hands around.

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    The priest must scan the entire assembly while pronouncing the words of institution, cantors and lay readers are constantly reminded to make eye contact with their “audience,” EMHC seem to have all been taught to try to catch the gaze of communicants…

    People (whether lay or clerical) who do these things are part of the current problem. Those who teach people to do these things are part of the cause of the problem.

  24. Janet says:

    Geri and Henry,
    I’m not sure who in authority has ever said the priest should look out at the congregation during the words of consecration, but I’ve never seen that done even once. Every priest I’ve ever seen, leans over and stares intently at the host and the chalice as he speaks Christ’s words. And in raising the consecrated host and chalice, again the priest’s eyes are on Jesus now present in his hands.

    At Communion, I’m not sure about others but I rarely (and really only accidentally) meet the priest’s eyes as I receive the host. Aren’t we supposed to be looking at What/Who we are saying “amen” to at that moment? For the chalice, however, I have often noticed that the lay servers seem to want to make eye contact with me. Again, my eyes are on the chalice for the most part, because to do otherwise just seems ‘wrong’.

    Is my parish really so different from all others?

  25. jaykay says:

    Janet says: “Every priest I’ve ever seen, leans over and stares intently at the host and the chalice as he speaks Christ’s words”.

    If only. An increasingly “popular” rubric seems to have been instituted over this side of the pond whereby the priest takes the host and (memorising the words of consecration) actually looks at everyone while practically *waving* the host from left to right and enunciating the words one after the other in an almost staccato fashion: “take… this… all… of … YOU (huge emphasis and eye contact here)… and…eat… it. THIS… IS… MY… BODY (practically shouted). The same thing happens with the chalice. Just so’s we all get what’s going on, y’see. . ‘Cos, after 30+ years, we mightn’t have got the basic idea. And it’s so *meaningful*.

  26. dcs says:

    The editor here inserts a comment in brackets that this is the case of many altars which were detached from walls and moved forward. They were never reconsecrated. That means, according to the editor, that one should not say Mass on them until they are reconsecrated. The whole altar, table firmly attached to the stand, can be moved without being desecrated. So, the principal is that the mensa and its stand constitute one piece and if they are separated, they lose their consecration.

    Is the editor making a reference to altars that were “split” to allow celebration versus populum? I know of a few such (at least three in my immediate area).