8 April 2020

Olives, oil, and Chrism ... the end! (5)

In 1955, the Bugnini reformers eliminated the final paragraph from the Prayer to Consecrate the Chrism.

It was a paragraph which, in some early Missals, had served as the proper preface of the Mass itself. So Hannibal and chums restored it to its former use as the preface of the Mass, removing it at the same time from the Prayer to Consecrate Chrism.

If one has to fiddle, I had better admit, that was not a bad piece of fiddling to do, and it did have solid tradition behind it. An Anglican liturgist Leonard Mitchell, commenting in 1966, wrote "The preface of the missa chrismalis is of great beauty, and it has been again assigned by the Roman Catholic Church to the chrismal mass in the 'restored' Holy Week rites of 1955".

Well, after the Council, the next group of Clevers to start bodging clumsily all over Holy Week decided they could, after all, write a yet better Preface. Richer and Cleverer. They needed to allude to the "renewal of the vows of priestly servic" and all that sort of thing. And (such was the way of things in the 1960s) because they could, they did. The policy of the rapist all down the ages.

But the passage to which I referred in my first two paraphs was shoved back into one of the alternative Prayers for Consecrating Chrism, so I suppose I should not complain too much.

So I offer you in my own wooden and literal translation this passage "of great beauty":

" ... that, for those who are to be made new by the Baptism of spiritual washing, thou mightest strengthen the creature of Chrism to be a sacrament of perfect salvation and of life; that, the sanctification of anointing being poured forth, the corruption of their first birth being taken away [literally, swallowed, absorpta] the holy Temple [i.e. body] of each one of them may be redolent with the perfume of the innocence of an acceptable life; that, according to the sacrament of thine institution [secundum constitutionis tuae sacramentum], being drenched [perfusi] with kingly and priestly and and prophetic honour, they may be clad in the garment of thine incorrupt gift [vestimento incorrupti muneris induantur]."

1 comment:

armyarty said...

In some of the Italian parishes of the USA, I have seen olive branches mixed in with the palms. I was told that they do this in Italy. It is very attractive.