6 July 2016

Sundays after Trinity

In a decree (1759), Clement XIII ordered the Trinity Preface to used on Green Sundays. This supports a strong case for the naming of these Sundays per annum in the old English way as Sundays after Trinity. Most happily, the ORDINARIATE MISSAL restores this custom to use within the Catholic Church.

I draw attention to several points.

Is the modern emphasis on Sunday as a weekly minipascha true but too narrow? As Clement XIII's document points out, Sunday is also the day of the Creation of Light; indeed, of the beginning of creation. And also of the Resurrection; and also of the Pentecostal gift of the Spirit. And thus of the Holy Trinity.

The same Magisterial document refers to the traditional use on these Sundays of the Quicunque vult. I believe, and have written before on this blog, that the disuse of this Canticle (since the corruption of the Roman Rite really got under way under Pius XII) is one reason why even some clergy don't really seem to have any sense of the Trinity, as defined by Mother Church, any longer - they are, it sometiomes appears, at best, modalists.

It also reminds us of the antiphon which usually came towards the end of Mattins: "Two Seraphim cried one to the other *Holy Holy HolyLord God of Hosts, *All the earth is full of his glory. V Three there are who bear witness in heaven, Father, Word, and Holy Spirit: And these three are one. Holy ... Glory be ... All ...". This lovely text, of course, draws upon the verse in the Vulgate and the Authorised Version (Patrimony Patrimony) in I John; commonly omitted in modern Bibles including the Neovulgate because of its extremely weak attestation in Greek mss..

Perhaps we should be more robust in embracing the Scriptures as the Church has handed them down to us rather than making an idol of the methodology (with its underlying philosophy) of Westcott and Hort. But even in WH terms, I think one could make a case for this verse having been omitted so widely because of parablepsis due to homoeoteleuton.

We need a reacceptance of a more holistic sense of Tradition ... and a recommitment to the great crusade of rolling back the 'Enlightenment'.

And finally: Clement XIII, in the actual words of the Decree itself, refers to the use of the Trinity preface on Green Sundays and says "inde a [not 'in'] vetustissimis temporibus in usu fuisse dignoscitur". (I continue to wonder what he is referring to: were there places where the medieval use of this preface in this way had survived the Pius V pruning of the dialects of the Roman Rite?)  

In other words, he does not say: I've had a perfectly spiffing idea; let's do so-and-so. He bases what he decrees on Ancient Tradition and Precedent. That is very significant. It is the immemorial Roman instinct for preservation and continuity. We need more of it. Especially in Rome.

2 comments:

dcs said...

Or "Sundays after Pentecost," as they are named in the Roman Missal, since all Sundays after Pentecost use the same Preface.

Pulex said...

"the Pius V pruning of the dialects of the Roman Rite"

Can anybody name a dialect of the Roman Rite that has been 'pruned' by St. Pius V? It seems that the '200-year clause' in Quo primum has allowed to survive everything noteworthy. By the way, the Gutenberg's invention was more powerful than any Pope in effecting such pruning.

Fr. Hunwicke's question is relevant, though: have there been any medieval uses of the Roman rite that had the Trinity Preface assigned to Sundays? Otherwise one had to think that a magisterial document contains a lie, or at least a factual error due to ignorance.