10 December 2008

Pro aliquibus locis

Those of us who wield Extraordinary Form missals, or even the venerable English Missal, do well to remember the sections of Masses for Certain Places and The Supplement for ... England. Tucked away in such places is the Mass of the Holy House - composed and granted for the Shrine of our Lady of Loretto, where the Holy House of Nazareth is the devotional centre of the pilgrimage. We Anglicans, of course, go to Walsingham to perform the same act of memory of the Incarnation, recalling that God Incarnate lived in a House as the Member of a Human Family: Perfect God and Perfect Man, as the Quicunque vult puts it.

The Restorer of the shrine at Walsingham, Fr Hope Patten, incorporated this Mass in the Pilgrims' Manual which went through so many editions in his lifetime and since - although, sadly, this beautiful Mass isn't in more recent editions, just as it no longer appears in the RC calendar for England and Wales. Fr HP did remove from the Collect the words eamque in sinu Ecclesiae tuae mirabiliter collocasti.

What a shame I do not have the technical competence to put pictures onto my blog. If I did, I would share with you the glorious ceiling in the Venetian church of the Discalced Carmelites, where Tiepolo has shown us our Lady transferring her Holy House through the air from Nazareth to Loretto. I seem to recall that it inspired some recent Pope to make our Lady of Loretto Patron of air travellers; perhaps more learned readers can put me right on the details of this.

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