12 February 2016

MISSALE PARISIENSE, Feria VI post cineres

Browsing the other day through this Gallican (Gallican in the French eighteenth century sense of emphasising a degree of independance from Rome; not in the pre-Carolingian sense) Missal, I was struck by how right Dom Gueranger was to campaign for the elimination of these confected late French 'rites'. But there are good things in them. At a time when new propers issued from Rome tended to be prosaic, prolix, and very obvious [O God, who dost grant us to celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of xyz ...], there's an elegant simplicity about some 'Gallican' collects.

Take this one, for the Five Wounds (Feria VI post Cineres):
Concede, quaesumus, misericors Deus; ut sacrae Unigeniti tui plagae sint nobis medela vulnerum et fontes salutis aeternae.
Good, yes? Multum in parvo; a lot of ideas in a few words.

And here's one for the Mater Dolorosa (Feria VI post Dominicam Passionis), not quite so tight but still attractive:
Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine, apud tuam clementiam, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, beata Virgo Maria mater tua, cuius animam, in hora passionis tuae, doloris gladius pertransivit.

Incidentally, 'Paris' renamed the Dedication of S Michael " S Michael and All Angels". I wonder if they got this idea from Cranmer's Calendar. There were links between the 'Gallicans' and the Anglicans; I suspect the Gallicans thought Anglicans were rather like themselves but had taken local autonomy a trifle too far, while Anglicans saw the Gallicans as Sound Chaps who might easily be persuaded to go the whole hog.

(Would anybody care to translate those collects for the Greater Good?)

PS: According to 'Paris', one covered one's head with one's amice in the winter, assuming the biretta between Easter and the Octave of S Denis. Sometimes I think people forget what life must have been like in the age of unheated churches; we were reminded of this at Lancing by the presence in the Treasury of a pomme; a silver unscrewable 'apple' in which hot water had been poured so that the celebrant had the wherewithal to unfreeze his fingers.


Marco da Vinha said...

Father, what is it that you found in the missal to agree with D. Gueranger's approach to them?
O n a tangent, I find that there's a bit of irony in the fact that he worked so hard to end the Gallican missals, yet tried to "reconstruct" a Cluniac rite for his monastery (which Rome frowned upon and denied).

Andreas Meszaros said...

"Sometimes I think people forget what life must have been like in the age of unheated churches."

Unless you lived in postwar Europe behind the Iron Curtain.

Duarte Valério said...

The Portuguese climate is fairly mild, so you can experience that here too. During summer in the southern regions you'll also have in many village churches the opportunity of submitting yourself to the feeling of a closed space scorched by the sun while crammed with people, without air conditioning.

Victor said...

"Grant, we prithee, merciful God, that Thy Only Son's Holy Wounds may redound to the healing of our gashes and become the founts of our eternal salvation."

"May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy mother, intercede with Thy clemency, now and in the hour of our death; whose soul, at the hour of Thy Passion, was pierced by a sword of dolour."

I tried to stay as close to the Latin as possible, preferring Latinate words when they are derived from the original. I am not a native English speaker though - if my translations are rubbish, please just ignore them.

Pater Raphael said...

Oh my! Unheated Churches are not known in Britain? My Goodness! Then just come to Europe. I have never experienced a heated Church in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Italy, except some of the hideous newly built Churches of the "Underground Carpark style". My own, modern, but basilika style Church is also unheated and quite often at Vigils (5 am) we have temperatures of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius during winter. Minus temperatures also occur. - One gets used to it! Now when I get sent to help out in one of those extremly rare heated Churches, I feel quite over heated if the temperature reaches anyway in the area of 10 degrees.

Matthew Hazell said...

For the Five Wounds collect, I thought I would channel my inner 1973 ICEL, just for a laugh:

your Son's death is the source of our healing.
Continue to help us towards eternal life.

Okay, now everyone else can get back to actual translations and serious commentary...!

Matthew Hazell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Sharpe said...

Merciful God, grant, we pray, that the holy wounds of your Only Begotten Son may be the cure for our wounds and the font of eternal salvation.

We pray, Lord, in your mercy, may the Blessed Virgin Mary your mother intercede for us, now and at the hour of our death, whose soul, at the hour of your passion, sorrow's sword pierced.

Anonymous said...

I am slow at the Latin, but I enjoy striving to express things clearly in English. With no criticism of other efforts, here are my attempts, the first of which tries to capture the Scriptural reference to 1 Peter 2:24 (Isaiah 53:5)

Grant, we beg , merciful God; that the holy stripes of your Only Begotten might be for us the healing of wounds and fountains of eternal life.

We beg Lord, that the Blessed Virgin Mary Your Mother, whose soul was pierced with the sword of sorrows at the hour of your passion, might plead for us before your mercy at the hour of our death.

Victor said...

@ Philipp Sharpe: I think it is important to keep the plural of "fontes" - it is not only one fountain of eternal salvation, but five of them. Also, "plagae" and "vulnerum" are two different words; the translation should mirror the difference. Otherwise, both your and Thomas' translations are quite elegant and precise.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you @Victor. Actually "appeal to your mercy for us" would make better sense in English than "plead for us before your mercy". (I was thinking of the idea of standing before the 'mercy seat' of judgement). It also sounds more maternal while still using a juridical idiom.