Vestment Prayers – A Modern Update

Tonight in Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of the same Madison, will celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Throne in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The Mass will begin at 7 PM at the Chapel of the Bishop O’Connor Center. (BTW… there is no Cathedral in Madison at the moment, for, sadly, it burned down some time ago).

Tonight His Excellency will use a new set of pontifical vestments I recently obtained. HERE

His Excellency will have to put on an array of vestments, each of which have their particular significance and prayers. The bishop, before saying Mass, symbolically puts on the full armor of God.

For example, when the Bishop puts on his gloves, he says:

Circumda, Domine, manus meas munditia novi hominis, qui de caelo descendit; ut, quemadmodum Jacob dilectus tuus pelliculis hoedorum opertis manibus, paternam benedictionem, oblato patri cibo potuque gratissimo, impetravit; sic et oblata per manus nostras salutaris hostia, gratiae tuae benedictionem mereatur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui in similitudinem carnis peccati pro nobis obtulit semetipsum.

Place upon my hands, Lord, the cleanliness of the new man, that came down from heaven; that, just as Jacob Thy beloved, covering his hands with the skins of goats, and offering to his father most pleasing food and drink, obtained his father’s blessing, so also may the saving victim offered by our hands, merit the blessing of Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who in the likeness of sinful flesh offered Himself for us.

The biblical references are Genesis 27 and Romans 8.

He has prayers for his cross and the shoes he wears, etc., all beautiful and packed with meaning.

However, in these modern times, we have a new vestment that bishops, and priests for that matter, put on: the wireless microphone.

I can’t stand these things, by the way. But I digress.

We came up with a prayer for the Vesting of the Microphone:

Concede, Domine, virtutem labiis meis et prudentiam ad Tuam proclamandam veritatem, ut per indigni servi Tui vocem, vox Tui tonitrui in rota contremat terram.

I will let you, dear readers, render this into your own perfect, yet smooth, English version.  Extra credit for identifying the allusion.

BTW… the prayer in its original version, composed by another, was offered first to His Excellency Archbishop Sample of Portland. I tweaked it for style and a couple points of syntax.

Finally…  His Excellency Bp. Morlino hasn’t used the mic for the last several Pontifical Masses and I have no reason to think he will this time.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. FrG says:

    The allusion is to St. Albert the Great’s “prophecy” concerning St. Thomas Aquinas, the so-called dumb ox whose bellowing would one day fill the world.

  2. acardnal says:

    “However, in these modern times, we have a new vestment that bishops, and priests for that matter, put on: the wireless microphone.”

    Why not follow the practice of the Popes and instead of wearing a wireless microphone, designate an acolyte or server to be the microphone bearer at a Pontifical Mass.

  3. Papabile says:

    Honestly, the microphone is one of the things I think we should be trying to eliminate. It would force changes in how things are preached, and would also have the salutary result of diminishing the screaching cantor.

  4. “Give strength and wisdom to my lips, O Lord, in proclaiming your truth, so that through the voice of your unworthy servant, the sound of your thunder in the whirlwind might cause the earth to shake.”

    The allusion seems to be to Psalm 77 (Vulgate 76:19) which reads: vox tonitrui tui in rota… commota est et contremuit terra. Though, of course, there are countless references in the OT that refer to the thunder of God’s voice.

  5. CradleRevert says:

    If we’d go back to designing churches with acoustics in mind, and restrain ourselves from throwing down carpet everywhere, the need for microphones are largely diminished.

  6. amenamen says:

    Of course Ps 78 (77).

    But it also calls to mind the Ps 29 (28)
    The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the LORD, over the mighty waters.
    The voice of the LORD is power;
    the voice of the LORD is splendor

    And Revelation 10:3
    “And then he cried out in a loud voice as a lion roars. When he cried out, the seven thunders raised their voices, too”

  7. amenamen says:

    edit: Ps 77 (76), not Ps 78 (77)

  8. Dr Guinness says:

    I’ve seen those vestments in the thumbnail before. (In fact, I’ve worn those vestments.)

    +1 for Australia!

  9. Ed the Roman says:

    Tapeta delenda est.

  10. Tom in NY says:

    “Grant, Lord, good judgment in proclaiming your truth, and strength to my lips, so that through the voice of your unworthy servant, the voice will shake the earth in the wheel of your thunder.”
    Cf. Ezekiel 1:16 ff.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  11. Bea says:

    Grant to me, Oh Lord
    Virtue upon my lips
    And Prudence in proclaiming Your Truth
    Unworthy, as I am, in being Your Voice
    May Your Voice thunder
    Over all the Earth

    Psalm 76:19

    It also brings to mind the burning coal on the lips of Isaiah(6:6-7) to cleanse his unclean lips.
    Lets hope the “Mike” doesn’t develop a “short” and burn the lips of the priest offering the sermon.

  12. Joe in Canada says:

    I guess the microphone is useful (for the celebrant) for the homily, and the introduction and conclusion to the intercessory prayers, but apart from that, does God need a microphone to hear what is addressed to Him?

  13. La Mamma says:

    Am I the only one to be bothered by the idea that when Jacob tied his goat skins on, he was trying to deceive his father? Surely not something to emulate?

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