I wonder why Noe does not appear, together with Abel, Abraham, and Melkizedek, in the Supra quae of the Canon Romanus. This is all the more pertinent a question since Noe does appear, with the others, in the Apostolic Constitutions and in the Liturgies of S Basil and of S James.
I don't have a cut-and-dried answer to this - perhaps correspondents will have contributions - but my suspicion is as follows. The other three have a very much stronger symbolic or typological relationship with Christ and with his Sacrifice. Abel, dikaios like Christ, was a Shepherd and offered, let us say, a Lamb. Abraham, our Father by virtue of his and our Faith, offered on Mount Moriah (which was to be the Temple mount and the place of Christ's Sacrifice) a sacrifice which was in a sense the offering of his Son but was offered per modum of a ... grown-up lamb. Melkizedek offered Bread and Wine, suggestive of the Eucharist ... and the Writer ad Hebraeos gives further reasons for linking Melkizedek typologically with Christ.
I expect there is some important factor which I have missed ...??
1 November 2019
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There is possible link to Noah. If we are to take a look at the Aramaic Targums we find that Melchizedek was thought to be Shem, the son of Noah.
This may or may not have any bearing on the canon, but there is a subtle difference between the covenant after the flood in Gen 9 and the other stages of the covenant in the OT. The covenant is made not with Noah but with the whole of creation, sealed by the rainbow; he is merely a witness.
I got this from Wikipedia: "Noah is a given name and surname most likely derived from the Biblical figure Noah (נוֹחַ) in Hebrew. It is most likely of Babylonian and Assyrian origin from the word "nukhu" meaning repose or rest, which is possible in view of the Sumerian/Babylonian source of the flood story. Another explanation says that it is derived from the Hebrew root meaning "to comfort" (nahum) with the final consonant dropped". Noe just seems to be a variation of the name Noah. It is used in French and I don't know how many other modern languages.
Because of the getting drunk?
Moses, Aaron, Samuel, David and Zechariah are also mentioned in the Liturgy of St James, which doesn't seem to mention Abraham or Melkizedek. You are right I think in saying that the three Patriarchs mentioned in the supra quae all have something specific and peculiar to say about the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the sacrifice of the Mass. My first thought on the mention of Noah in terms of typology is St Peter's explanation that the mythos of his Ark is a "type" of baptism.
Beside the Christological typology, might the Supra quæ be primarily Trinitarian? Is it that this prayer is so sweetly crafted to appeal to God the Father first by mentioning a type of His Son (for Abel is the good shepherd who, as you mention, offered a lamb, and who was murdered unresisting by his envious brother); next it references a type of the Father himself, the greatest of the Patriarchs, Abraham (our father, who led his only, beloved son (Gen 22:2) carrying the wood of his sacrifice up the very mountain where Jesus was to be crucified, and by this willingness won blessings for all the nations of the world); and then a type of the Holy Spirit, Melchisedech (mysterious, not generated (bzw. "without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God" Heb 7:7), custodian of tradition, who uniquely could turn bread & wine into a most pleasing offering). Thus the prayer appeals to God the Father by referencing the three divine Persons, the three highest Goods.
Perhaps the only figure in the Old Testament who is a closer type of Jesus than Abel is Moses, yet Abel impresses us with his innocence. One who might be a better figure for the Holy Spirit than Melchisedek is King David (though maybe not). And surely none is better than Abraham to depict God the Father?
As for Noe, awesome in 950 ways, his drunken sleep is a profound type of the crucifixion, bringing blessings upon the sons across the whole world except for those who were cursed for laughing at his nakedness. But maybe Noe has something more of the father about him than the son, as so he gives way to Abel for the latter role, but cannot compare to Abraham for the first.
But all this is just speculation. I know next to nothing about how the Canon was compiled.
St. Jerome mentions some typological relationships of Noe:
Peccat mundus et sine aquarum diluvio non purgatur, statimque columba Spiritus sancti, expulso alite teterrimo, ita ad Noe quasi ad Christum in Jordane devolat, et ramo refectionis ac luminis, pacem orbi annuntiat.
Noe inebriatus in domo sua et nudatus atque derisus a mediano filio, typum Salvatoris praebuit.
Dear chap. Its all verrry interesting. But surely you can use your brain power to something more useful. Have you not noticed that the Holy Catholic Church is under attack? It is in dire straits. The Pope is undermining the faith of millions of Catholics and all you can do with all your learning is . . rearrange the deck chairs . .
Dear Paul Hellyer one could make a case that a big reason why the Church is in dire straits is precisely because many in it ignore the teachings of the Church Fathers and act as though Catholicism was reinvented in the last 70 years. Rather than rearranging the deck chairs, perhaps a better analogy is saving the precious crown jewels in the cargo hold that some of the crew are trying to throw overboard.
"If we are to take a look at the Aramaic Targums we find that Melchizedek was thought to be Shem, the son of Noah."
This is probably an invention of people wanting to argue against the Epistle to the Hebrews, in order to claim that we DO have the "father and mother" (Noah and his wife) for Melchisedec and he was in an ancestral line to Levite priesthood.
This is probably why they changed the years in Genesis 11 in accordance with Book of Jubilees to the one seen in both Vulgate and Masoretic as it is after they did this.
Either use LXX, or, like the Roman Martyrology, LXX without the second Cainan (Roman martyrology for upcoming feast one month ahead, we are St. Catherine's Day as I write this). Note, for chronology purposes.
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