1 October 2016

Vesting Prayers

Is it customary for Deacon and Subdeacon to say Vesting Prayers? A correspondent points me to Ceremonies of High Mass (Dublin 1843) which advises that each minister "may use the prayers to be said by a bishop".

Indeed, why not? the prayers for the Dalmatic and Tunicle are already provided among the prayers to be said by a bishop when vesting, and I suspect they are of some antiquity because they express the first-millennium idea that these vestments are signs of joy (which is why during penitential seasons they are replaced by folded chasubles - find my treatment of that via the Archive facility). Oh yes ... and can I ask ... am I the only person who puts the Maniple on after the Dalmatic for fear that otherwise my left arm will get helplessly entangled? Is that one reason why the book referred to above advises that "The deacon is to kiss the maniple in due order of vestments but he does not take the maniple until the celebrant is entirely vested".

Come to think of it, the Maniple Prayer doesn't go particularly well with the Dalmatic Prayer.

At the request of a colleague at Lancing, I once composed a rather nice Latin prayer to be said while putting on the radio microphone. Sadly, I can't now find a copy ...

While we're on Vesting Prayers ... I've always envied pontiffs the prayer said while taking off the Cappa: Undress me, O Lord, of the Old Man with his morals and activities ... There ought to be another prayer (I hope someone would like to compose one in Latin) for the pontiff to say, after Mass, as he again puts back on the Old Adam and goes back to his ordinary everyday life of murdering, fornicating, and embezzling.


vetusta ecclesia said...

But he doesn't resume the cappa after Mass (though presumably he does at some point resume the old man so as to be able to put it off again when next celebrating!)

Pax--Tecum said...

Seeing that most of the vesting prayers are based on Biblical texts, perhaps something like this could work:

Domine, qui dixisti Vestivi te discoloribus et calciavi te ianthino et cinxi te bysso et indui te subtilibus:* praesta, ut vestimenta mea portare sic valeam, ut nomen tuum egredat in gentes propter speciem meam.** Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English translation
O Lord, who hast said I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk:* grant, that I may so wear my clothes, that thy renown may go forth among the heathen for my beauty.** Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

* Ezekiel 16:10
** Ezekiel 16:14

It seems the Fathers based many of these prayers on the texts that they encountered on a daily basis, in the Psalter. Then a prayer could look like this:

Memor esto verbi tui servo tuo,* Domine: ut non in viis gentium ambulam, nec secundum scelera earum faciam;** et ut in verbis, exemplis et habitu divulgam Evangelium tuum. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English translation
O think upon thy servant, as concerning thy word,* O Lord: that I walk not after the ways of the gentiles, nor do after their abominations;** and that in word, deed and dress I may spread thy Gospel. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

*Psalm 119:49
**Ezekiel 16:47, but similar themes are also found in the Epistles of S Paul (Eph 4:17, 5:7)

Richard Duncan said...

It is at the Oratory, Fr, as you will see next weekend. I think I'm going to be your deacon!

Donna Bethell said...

I know, dear Father, that you are not doing comments for the time being, but I could not let this pass: "his ordinary everyday life of murdering, fornicating, and embezzling." Your tongue was firmly planted in your cheek, no doubt, but some of our recent experiences, at least on this side of the pond, make it not so funny.

Matthew Roth said...

Yes, and it is customary to put on the maniple last after assisting the celebrant to vest.

Chris said...

I have never seen a Deacon and Subdeacon NOT say the vesting prayers. They have always been framed and on the wall at my parish, to include the prayer for cassock, surplice and vimpa.