Proper Preface for St. Clare of Assisi

A Franciscan reader, who has his own blog, called A Minor Friar, has posted an interesting note about a proper preface for the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi.  Of course today, in the post-Conciliar calendar, is the Feast of St. Clare while in the traditional Roman calendar her feast is tomorrow.

Here is the comment Brother Charles posted on his blog (which you should visit and SPIKE those stats sky high!).  I found it interesting especially because I do not have any of the Missals of religious orders.

Prefaces of St. Clare
One of the treasures of the Franciscan liturgical calendar is having proper prefaces for Francis and Clare. Here is the preface for Clare’s Mass in the 1962 Missale Romano-Seraphicum:

Per ómnia saécula saeculórum.
R. Amen.
V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spíritu tuo.
V. Surusm corda.
R. Habémus ad Dóminum.
V. Grátias agámus Dómino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et iustum est.

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutáre,
nos tibi simper et ubíque grátias ágere:
Dómine, sancte Pater, omnípotens aetérne Deus:

Qui fámulam tuam Claram,
per beátum Francíscum,
studio vitae sublimióris incénsam,
ad sanctae Maríae Virginis
aram Fílio tuo mýstice desponsásti;
eámque, ad seráphicae perfectiónis culmen evéctam,
matrem plurimárum virginum delegísti.

Et ídeo cum Angelis et Archángelis, cum Thronis et
Dominatiónibus, cumque omni milítia caeléstis exércitus,
hymnum glóriae tuae cánimus, sine fine dicéntes:

And here is the version as it appears in the 1974 Roman-Franciscan Sacramentary:

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And also with you.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You wondrously inflamed your servant Clare
to follow like Francis in the footsteps of your Son.

To him you espoused her mystically
through perpetual fidelity and love.
Raising her to the summit of seraphic perfection
through the highest poverty.
You made her the mother of countless virgins.

Through him the choirs of angels and all the powers of heaven
praise and worship your glory. May our voices blend with theirs
as we join in their unending hymn of praise:

The progression is interesting. In the newer preface, the Marian element is eliminated, but some specifically Franciscan vocabulary is added, such as "highest poverty" and the idea of following in the "footsteps" of Christ. Amen. Pray for us, holy mother Clare.

 

Since this blog is called What Does The Prayer Really Say? why don’t some of you WDTPRSers out there work on a good translation of the older, 1962 Latin Preface?

And if any of you have the Latin Preface for the post-Conciliar Franciscan Missal, that would be interesting as well.

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5 Responses to Proper Preface for St. Clare of Assisi

  1. dmwallace says:

    Truly it is meet and just, right and salvific, always and everywhere, that we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, All-Powerful Eternal God;

    Thou who didst mystically betroth thy servant Clare, burning with zeal for the consecrated life by blessed Francis, to Thy Son at the altar of the Holy Virgin Mary;

    Thou who didst elect her as the mother of many virgins, having carried her aloft to the heights of seraphic perfection.

    And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the assembled celestial army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, saying without end: [Sanctus, etc.]

  2. dmwallace says:

    Oops. This is better:

    Truly it is meet and just, right and salvific, always and everywhere, that we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, All-Powerful Eternal God;

    Thou who didst mystically betroth thy servant Clare, having been already inflamed with zeal for the consecrated life by blessed Francis, to Thy Son at the altar of the Holy Virgin Mary;

    Thou who didst elect her as the mother of many virgins, having carried her aloft to the heights of seraphic perfection.

    And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the assembled celestial army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, saying without end:

  3. dmwallace says:

    Fr. Z, sorry about the HTML tags…

    Truly it is meet and just, right and salvific, always and everywhere, that we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, All-Powerful Eternal God; Thou who didst mystically betroth thy servant Clare, having been already inflamed with zeal for the consecrated life by blessed Francis, to Thy Son at the altar of the Holy Virgin Mary; Thou who didst elect her as the mother of many virgins, having carried her aloft to the heights of seraphic perfection. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the assembled celestial army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, saying without end…

  4. Immaculatae says:

    Happy Feast Day!

  5. Greg Smisek says:

    The subordinate clauses would be more (slavishly) literally rendered thus:

    “Who didst mystically betroth…”
    and
    “and didst elect…”

    The “and” renders the “-que” of “eamque”. Since “qui” is not repeated in the second clause of the Latin text, I removed it from the translation (I also think it flows better), but this would also necessitate removing the semicolon, for proper English syntax.