6 May 2009

Language problems

The quebecoise who visits S Thomas's only joins in the (Greek) Kyries. I feel there must be a message in this. Perhaps readers could spell it out. Would she be happier if I added S John Chrysostom to my personal repertoire of rites (1662; Common Worship; Tridentine Latin; Tridentine English; Novus Ordo English; Novus Ordo Latin)?

And I wonder if anyone could help with the following problem. Although a generally well-equipped church, S Thomas's does not possess any relics/reliquaries; not even, as far as I can ascertain, let into the cavities of the stone altars. I feel a bit of a fraud as I say ...quorum reliquiae hic sunt ... Can anybody help with an authentic relic or two?

Any indelicately personal remarks based on the word 'relic' will probably be deleted unless they are very very funny indeed. This is a real plea for help ...


The Religious Pícaro said...

Is it legal to hold ordinary services in Latin? I know you do it for the University, but is there a legal requirement to do things in the "language understanded of the people" for ordinary parish work?

Maybe you could brush up on your French instead...

Chris Jones said...

If I recall correctly, the Book of Common Prayer is available, and legal, in a Latin edition. So I believe that serving the liturgy in Latin is not, in itself, illegal. What is less clear is the legal status of the other rites in your "personal repertoire."

Perhaps your quebecoise visitor sings the Kyries because it is the only part of the liturgy that is familiar to her. If you are serving in English, she may not be familiar enough with the English liturgy to feel comfortable joining in; if you are serving in Latin she is probably, if anything, less familiar with it, since the Latin mass is probably quite rare in her native land. But the Kyries are often left in Greek no matter what language the liturgy is being served in, so that is probably the source of her familiarity.

"Brushing up on your French" is indeed a possibility. If I recall correctly there is a (perfectly legal) French version of the BCP for use in the Channel Islands, and there is certainly a French version of the Canadian 1962 BCP.

Unless your visitor is Orthodox (or Eastern Catholic) then I don't think adding the liturgy of S John Chrysostom would be of any use to her. The fact that she is very familiar with Kyrie eleison does not mean that she would be familiar with Ἔτι καὶ ἔτι ἐν εἰρήνῃ τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.As to your relic problem, generally relics are provided by the ordinary as part of his consecration of the altar. In the Eastern Church, the relics are sewn into the antimension, which is also signed by the bishop and serves as a concrete sign of his permission for the liturgy to be served. I don't know who your bishop is, but I should not be surprised if he had an Article 22 problem with providing you with relics. On the other hand, procuring relics from some other source might cast doubt on just whose omophorion you are under.

You could just omit ...quorum reliquiae hic sunt ..., couldn't you?

The Religious Pícaro said...

I found an online version of the CofE canons on line. Canon B42 reads,

"2. Authorized forms of service may be said or sung in Latin in the following places –
Provincial Convocations
Chapels and other public places in university colleges and halls
University churches
The colleges of Westminster, Winchester and Eton
Such other places of religious and sound learning as custom allows or the bishop or other the Ordinary may permit"

Does this cover S. Thomas'?

Anonymous said...

Dang, Father! You and old Chris Smart, just can't help being lawless renegades! God love ya!


For the officers of the peace are at variance with me, and the watchman smites me with his staff.

For I am the seed of the WELCH WOMAN and speak the truth from my heart.

For they lay wagers touching my life. -- God be gracious to the winners.

For the piety of Rizpah is imitable in the Lord -- wherefore I pray for the dead.

For the Lord is my ROCK and I am the bearer of his CROSS.

-from Jubilate Agno, Frag. B1

Father, in all seriousness, if you have trouble obtaining proper relics (Nice II, Canon VII says such an altar MUST be razed (BTW the Pope needs to read Canon VIII-he's way off the reservation on that one-oops!)) please, let me know, I most certainly can come up with two first order martyr relics for your mensa.

Jorge Sanchez said...

Although I am but a layman, I, too would love to know how one could obtain a relic or two, for private veneration

ex_fide said...

I've seen relics sold on the internet, normally they come "free" with antique reliqueries. So much for the Reformation, just goole the saint you want and you should find something.

We've got relics coming out of our ears at S. M's, which is a shame really for you. Bishops should help more.

The Religious Pícaro said...

The problem with internet relics (available from Google) are twofold: first, they may or may not come with their ecclesiastical certificates of authenticity, or whatever they are called; secondly, because they are being auctioned, the cost can quickly become prohibitive. The RCC has come out, I believe, against the practice of selling relics via the internet, and discourages people from participating; their pressure also resulted in Google officially banning the practice of dealing in first class relics, although in reality it continues.

Dean A Einerson said...

When I was in seminary in the 1990's, I was told that it was possible to purchase reliquaries which happened to contain relics in Chicago at some antique stores.

When I tried to do so, the proprietor had no idea of what I could possibly be talking about until I told him who sent me. He then pulled an empty bookshelf out of the way and behind it was a cabinet with hundreds of relics of dozens and dozens of saint.

The prices of the reliquaries were quite reasonable, but my wife kept saying things like, "How do you know that is real?" or "You are not bringing bone fragments into my house."

Fortunately, one of my predecessor arranged to have a relic of Saint Maria Goretti placed in our altar and the authenticating document hangs on the sacristy here in Rhinelander.

Pastor in Monte said...

You could always say 'quorum reliquiæ non hic sunt' instead.

Figulus said...

I am much amused by Pastor in Valle's suggestion. It would certainly call upon a much larger choir of saints than the canonical prayer, no matter which altar it was offered over.

johnf said...

Father, just to be mischievious, what makes you think the Quebecois speak french?

Admittedly to english ears it sounds like french, but if they go to Paris and open their mouths, the french (so they tell me) have to suppress their giggles. It is so archaic and odd to their ears.

An example that my french friends gave me was the word for an automobile. The quebecois for an automobile is un char; in french of course une voiture. The word char can be seen in english words such as char-a-banc or a 'charra' as we used to say in Liverpool so long ago.

However in france today un char means a tank (as in Challenger, Patton, Centurion...).

'Je suis venu de parquer mon char devant votre maison...'

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Really, Pastor: what flippant cynics you papists are. Here in the C of E we take things like relics very seriously.

Jonf: Indeed. While we were taking the veils down on Holy Saturday, a young Q tourist strolled into the church; he said that, while he could understand the 'French', they claimed not to be able to understand him. But surely, in principle, the culture of Quebec, to a traditionalist, might be more attractive than that of France because it has never been marred by Revolution or Buonapartism.

The Welsh Jacobite said...

Aren't the Quebecois mostly of Breton descent anyway, not French?

johnf said...

Father, Welsh Jacobite

Do you recall that when De Gaulle visited Quebec in the 1960's he stirred the pot by trying to champion himself as a Quebec separatist. And all the time his own countrymen couldnt understand them.. Ironic, what?