Of course I bless Holy Water every Sunday, and I use exorcised and blessed salt. What I mean by “salt” in this context, are the other elements which belong with The Clerical Thing, in the good sense. I have had a sense that, when at times I’ve been less than diligent in a preparation before Mass, or thanksgiving after – even if it has to removed from either the beginning or conclusion by some minutes – I’ve been letting The Team down a little, not doing my share of the heavy lifting.
Save The Liturgy – Save The World … right?
I write this, because I hope that other priests will review their own practices.
My conviction is that people pick up from priests whether or not they are really into it. They draw something out from the priest’s ars celebrandi. Avoiding even the slightest notion of the Donatist errors about holiness or wickedness transferring physically from the priest (yes, they really thought that), it is similar to how the woman touched the hem of the Lord’s cloak and power went out from Him. Of course, that’s an analogy for the knock on effect people receive from how the priest says Mass, how he preaches, even how he prepares and concludes. I believe it is all tied together.
The priest needs to get ready to provide this opportunity, to be Christ’s cloak hem. The priest needs to give thanks after providing that opportunity.
So, brothers, I know that sacristies are sometimes busy, and people pull at you, but pray before Mass. Say your vesting prayers. All of them.
Of course that might mean changing how you vest.
Consider the content of the prayer for putting on the amice like a warfighter’s helmet: “Place, O Lord, on my head the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil.” If you don’t use an amice, how do you say this? Do you? Would it occur?
Consider the cincture and its meaning: “Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may remain in me. ”
I know that in the directives of the Novus Ordo it is written that, if you have an alb that is fitted, you don’t have to have a cincture or an amice (provided your collar is covered).
Fathers, do you wear one of those modernist moo moos? Without an amice or cincture?
Think about that. The amice prayer begs God to protect you from the attacks of the Enemy during Mass. The cincture speaks to purity. And what are the things that have gotten the Church in massive trouble and even bankruptcy? Demon-fed impurity.
If you aren’t wearing these vestments, you may not be assimilating or reinforcing in yourself, for the sake of others, what they symbolize. I’m not saying that you are bad as a result. I am hoping that, by using them also, you will be even more amazing than you are right now.
And you bishops out there. You don’t get a pass, gentlemen. What about your special vestments?
Your Excellencies, do you pray when you put on that pectoral cross: “Deign Thou, Lord Jesus Christ, to guard me, from all the snares of every enemy, by the sign of Thy most holy Cross: and deign Thou to grant to me, Thy unworthy servant, that as I hold before my breast this Cross with the relics of Thy Saints within it, so may I ever keep in mind the memory of the Passion, and the victories of the Holy Martyrs.”
Do you have a pectoral cross with a relic within? Or is it some twisted post-modern, deconstructing nightmare of faux sophistication? Nothing says love and gratitude, nothing inspires faith in others quite like a brutalist pretention upon the chest of a successor of the Apostles.
Talk to an exorcist about the effects of the relics of saints on the demons they have to constrain and cast out. And then put one of those upon your breast instead of something that looks like it was scraped off the floor of a garage.
You could be shortchanging yourselves and others. It’s not just the aesthetics, its the aptum, the pulchrum, the meaning and the message they convey, the… spécies.
If you bishops were praying these prayers for the pontifical vestments, I wonder if you would be stronger now in resisting the temptation to knuckle under to leftist civil mandarins who target our religious freedoms.
For the mitre: “Place upon my head, Lord, the mitre and helmet of salvation; that I may go forth unhindered against the snares of the ancient foe, and of all my enemies.”
Just wondering about that.
These prayers tell us who we are and they help us to be who we are. Clothes, they say, make the man. There is a reason why habits are called habits.
Priests stopped praying these prayers and what have we seen happen with priesthood?
We are our rites!
Look them up, Fathers, and use them.
Here endeth the rant.