11 June 2023

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus! (3)

Continues ...
The Prayer Book forms of Ordination, unlike those in the Pontifical, provide Proper Collects and Epistles and Gospels. For the highly  'Romanising' form of the Anglican Rite which we are examining, it was necessary to supply what the Prayer Book lacked: such as an Introit, a Gradual, and an Alleluia (in English and in plainchant). Couratin [if my identification of the hand at work here is correct] secured them from a very interesting source. The Introit Hic accipiet benedictionem is from Psalm 23/24; Hic ... Jacob; Domini est terra; Gloria; Hic. It comes from a form disused in the Catholic Church herself since the Conciliar ruptures, the Rite De Clerico faciendo or Tonsure. It is what the Choir sings immediately after the Pontiff has cut the hair of the candidates. In other words, Couratin begins the service by supplying what would have been experienced by the ordinands if they had been taken through the Tonsure and Minor Orders as prescribed in the Pontifical.

The Gradual and Alleluia are from Psalm 14/15 and 15/16 and represent the following: Domine, quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo, aut quis requiescit in monte sancto tuo? V Qui ingreditur sine macula et operatur justitiam; qui loquitur veritatem in corde suo. Alleluia. Alleluia. V Dominus pars haereditatis meae et calicis mei: tu es qui restitues haereditatem meam mihi. Alleluia. This Alleluia incorporates the words which the ordinand was required to say while the Bishop was actually cutting his hair. Pope Benedict XVI took it to heart and remembered it all his life, quoting it in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia in 2007. "This is marvellously expressed in a verse of a  priestly Psalm that we - the older generation - spoke during our admittance to the clerical state: 'The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup, you hold my lot'. The priest praying in this psalm interprets his life on the basis of the distribution of territory as established in Deuteronomy. After taking possession of the land, every tribe obtained by drawing of lots its portion of the Holy Land and, with this, took part in the gift promised to the people of God. The tribe of Levi alone received no land: its land was God himself. This affirmation certainly had an entirely practical significamce. Priests did not live like the other tribes by cultivating the earth, but on offerings. However, the affirmation goes deeper. The true foundation of the priestly life, the ground of his existence, the ground of his life, is God himself. The Church in this Old Testament interpretation of the priestly life has rightly seen ... the following of the Apostles in communion with Jesus  himself, as the explanation of what the priestly mission means. The priest can and must say today with the Levite Dominus pars haereditatis meae et calicis mei. God himself is my portion of land, the external and internal foundation of my existence. ..."
To be continued.


El Codo said...
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Thomas said...

@ El Codo: a very churlish comment, surely? Vatican II teaches that many elements of grace and truth can be found in ecclesial bodies outside the full communion of the Catholic Church. It cannot be wrong of Fr. H to highlight how much continuity there has been between certain historic figures and movements within the C of E and those who have now come into corporate communion, while still retaining their legitimate cultural identity and traditions. Would you be so waspish with Uniate Ukrainians, for example, who are not Roman in liturgy, spirituality or canon law, but are impeccably and completely Catholic and of one communion with the Latin church and the See of Peter? I'm sure Fr. would say that he 'became a Catholic' in doctrinal conviction and praxis many years ago while still separated from Rome . He and others of like mind are now incorporated into that communion, which admits of a great deal of legitimate diversity in non-essentials. "Romanitas" means so much more than blind and rigid obedience, and I would venture to say the Fr.H us more steeped in real Romanitas than many who claim that adjective. More to the point, I do not know of any matter in which he can be accused of disobedience. Being rationally critical of authority and speaking truth to power even, perhaps especially, within the Church, when error is being promulgated. Many if the saints gave done the same. Obedience does not mean staying silent and uncritical when authority is being abused or misguided. You may not agree with all Fr. H's opinions (I sometimes do not), but to speak with boldness, even to the highest human authority, is a Christian duty emphasised by our current Holy Father. Your version of Romanitas does seems terribly pre-Conciliar!

Joshua said...

May the Good Lord deliver us from idiotic and false notions of a somehow-thought-virtuous "obedience".
I applaud, however, the invention of the term "echochamberites", which really deserves a gold medal. Fr H., what would be the equivalent in Greek and in Latin?