25 February 2010

Christus Sacerdos

Joshua has very kindly put into the New Solemnities thread an Office of Christus Sacerdos. Perhaps someone could indicate where it comes from; I don't think it comes from a Liturgia Horarum which I possess. One wonders who composed the hymns; I invite comments on their quality.

In the Collect, I wonder if periti would like to comment on the meaning of the phrase ex eius memoriale participatione; and on whether the final phrase has a valid cursus.


Woody said...

The electronic source of the Office of Our Lord Jesus Christ High Priest is from this site:


This appears to be a very interesting web site, mostly in Spanish, with some substantial association with Opus Dei. I would recommend, for those who can read Spanish, the meditations page, with good daily meditations from a text that I had not previously been familiar with: "Una Cita con Dios" "An Appointment with God", from EUNSA (the University of Navarra press). The meditations appear to be a rather more condensed version of those given in the more-familiar "In Conversation with God" (in Spanish "Hablar con Dios") also from Opus Dei. In this form, it looks like it will be more useful to me, anyway. Hopefully an English edition will be forthcoming.

Joshua said...

I have also a copy of the Feast of Christ the Priest in English - for the use of an Australian priestly congregation, the Confraternity of Christ the Priest.

I'll dig it up.

I do have to hand the translations of the hymns that Mgr (now Bp) Peter Elliott made for this Office, which I understand are copyright, but (in the hymnal I have before me) are "used by permission" - please contact His Lordship in Melbourne if their singing be desired:

At the Office of Readings:

"Jesus our High Priest, Lord and Mediator,
Joyful we praise You, all our race acclaiming
Your intercession at the throne of mercy,
Before the Father.

"Formed by the Spirit through the Holy Virgin,
Victim most worthy, You were born to save us;
Child in a manger, with Your hands so gentle
You hold creation.

"You were anointed with the oil of gladness,
Chrism most holy, given by the Father,
Sharing His glory, majesty and honour,
Our Priest forever.

"Lord God almighty, bearing our frail nature,
Your Blood is offered, for our sins the cleansing,
Perfect oblation, price of reparation,
From death our freedom.

"Christ our Redeemer, on the Cross uplifted,
Draw us together, with Your love so tender,
That we may praise You, Paraclete and Father,*
Now and forever."

[*I do hope this threefold vocative in apposition is not taken wrongly as a statement of "Jesus only Pentecostalism"; perhaps an extra syllable - "with" - could be slotted in.]

At Lauds [not quite so felicitous a rendering]:

"Earth joins with heaven, echoing Your praises,
Christ the Redeemer of the race of Adam
Before the Father, as the Priest and Victim,
Our expiation.

"Jesus our Saviour, merciful and peaceful,
Bearing the sorrow of our mortal burden,
You died to save us, opening for lost ones
Portals of Heaven.

"Rites of the old Law by Your will completed,
Wisdom of prophets brought to human vision,
In heights of Heaven is for ever honoured
Your new agreement.

"Merciful giver of the pact eternal,
You give Your Body, food of life forever,
Your own oblation, gift of peace and mercy,
On every altar.

"Christ our Redeemer, on the Cross uplifted,
Draw us together, with Your love so tender,
That we may praise You, Paraclete and Father,
Now and forever."

At Vespers:

"O Christ, High Priest Eternal
Of covenant made new,
To You our vows are offered
With thankful praises due.
In pity for our weakness,
You left the Father's throne,
Obedient and lowly,
The Virgin's womb Your home.

"Your light of grace transforming
The weakest and the least,
The Father and the Spirit
Anoint You Prince and Priest.
O Victim, one and perfect,
You shed Your Blood in love,
That we may share for ever
Our Father's peace above.

"On every altar offered,
To save our fallen race,
Your pleading is accepted
Before the throne of grace.
To Christ the Priest give glory,
And to His Father praise,
The Lord of life and bounty
Who reigns for endless days."

Joshua said...

A quick glance in the hymn book collection reveals a number of suitable hymns in honour of Christ our High Priest:

Where high the heavenly temple stands" - attr. Michael Bruce (cf. Heb 4:14-16) [a Scottish paraphrase, no less];

"Jesus, in thee our eyes behold" - Isaac Watts;

"Victim Divine, thy grace we claim" - Charles Wesley;

"Alleluia! sing to Jesus" - William Chatterton Dix
(for the 4th verse in particular: "...robed in flesh our great High Priest; / Thou on earth both priest and victim in the Eucharistic feast");

"Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour" - George H. Bourne (for the 5th stanza, "Great High Priest of our profession") [a good Exposition hymn].

Some of these hymnographers in their brands of divinity might be stretching the definition of the Patrimony a bit I suppose!

Joshua said...

And who could forget the saintly George Herbert's poem "Aaron", which so brilliantly speaks of Christ the Priest, in Whom all priesthood finds its sure hope:

Holinesse on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To leade them unto life and rest.
Thus are true Aarons drest.

Profanenesse in my head,
Defects and darknesse in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest.
Poore priest thus am I drest.

Onely another head
I have, another heart and breast,
Another musick, making live not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest:
In him I am well drest.

Christ is my onely head,
My alone onely heart and breast,
My onely musick, striking me ev’n dead;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in him new drest.

So holy in my head,
Perfect and light in my deare breast,
My doctrine tun’d by Christ, (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest)
Come people; Aaron’s drest.

Joshua said...

Over at Vultus Christi, it is noted that the EF collect of the Votive Mass of Christ the Priest seems perhaps more apposite for this Year of the Priest, in comparison to the OF collect; I suppose the modern version - reworking the first portion, but replacing the second with a more general petition for all Christians - was supposed to make it more "paschal" and relevant to all persons, clerical or lay.

Joshua said...

I seem to have gone on a bit. Fools rush in and all that!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Thanx for your help, Joshua. Best wishes.

Joshua said...

My pleasure entirely - your notes are my daily reading, and much enjoyed.

John F H H said...

For a hymn I can think of nothing better than this, used as an office hymn by the GSS and now not often heard to either the plainsong or the tune I used at my silver jubilee:
Haste dum victo triumphans
1. WHEN the Patriarch was returning
Crown'd with triumph from the fray,
Him the peaceful king of Salem
Came to meet upon his way;
Meekly bearing Bread and Wine,
Holy Priesthood's awful sign !

2. On the truth thus dimly shadow'd,
Later days a lustre shed ;
When the great High-Priest eternal,
Under forms of Wine and Bread,
For the world's immortal food,
Gave His Flesh and gave His Blood.

3. Wond'rous gift ! — The Word who moulded
All things by His might divine,
Bread into His Body changes,
Into His own Blood the wine ; —
What though sense no change perceives,
Faith admires, adores, believes !

4. He who once to die a Victim
On the Cross, did not refuse,
Day by day, upon our altars,
That same Sacrifice renews ;
Through His holy Priesthood's hands,
Faithful to His last commands !

5. While, the people all uniting
In the Sacrifice sublime,
Offer Christ to His high Father,
Offer up themselves with Him;
Then together with the Priest
On the living Victim feast !
Tune: All Saints: from Geistreiches Gesangbuch [Darmstadt,1698], adapt. W.H.Monk (1823-1889)

John U.K.

Joshua said...

Oh I do love that hymn!

We used to sing it at Sacred Heart, New Town (Tasmania) during the years when Fr Geoffrey Jarrett (now Bp of Lismore, N.S.W.) was the parish priest.

Isn't it funny how ex-Anglicans make the best Catholic priests? And they know good music too.

Chris said...

A wonderful hymn indeed. The GSS supply Neale's 87.87.87 doxology, but this one will fit the same modern tunes as Caswall's translation:

Praise the Universal Maker,
Father of the world of men;
Praise the Son, whose life-blood flowing
Bought our captive souls again;
Gracious Breath of Life Divine -
Praise, O Triune God, be Thine ! Amen.

And for your reference, the Latin original:

Hoste dum victo triumphans
Abraham revertitur,
obvius fit magnus illi
rex Salem Melchisedech,
vina qui tanquam sacerdos
atque panem protulit:

quam vetus signabat umbra,
clara lucet veritas;
pontifex novus secundum
ordinem Melchisedech,
pane, sub vinoque corpus
dat suum cum sanguine.

quo creata cuncta verbo
mira fit mutatio:
panis in carnem, merumque
in cruorem vertitur
deficit senus, sed alta
roborat mentem fides.

qui semel Patri cruentam
obtulit se victimam;
singulis idem diebus,
per ministrorum manus,
rite nostris incruentus
se sub aris immolat.

ipsa quin astans sacratis
sancta plebs altaribus,
maximo Christum Parenti
seque cum Christo litat
carne posthac quam litavit
et cruore pascitur.

summa laus Deo Parenti
qui creavit omnia;
summa sit Nato, redemit
qui suo nos sanguine;
Flamini par, cujus almo
confovemur halitu. Amen.

from The French Diocesan Hymns and their Melodies, Cyril E. Pocknee, Faith Press 1954. Take care, the book has a corrigenda slip which is extensive but not exhaustive, and I'm no Latinist