22 August 2020

Mostly for Christian Latinists

Before the Solemnity of the Assumption, I wrote a couple of posts about a Vigil service of the Assumption, modelled on some elements of the Easter Vigil.

The (lit) Easter Candle was brought to a congregation outside the Church; a presbyteral 'Greeting' introduced the rite; the people lit their own candles; and the procession moved to the Church (Canticle: Revelation 19: 1-7). Upon arrival, the Candle was placed next to an Icon of the Dormition or Assumption. Candle and icon were censed, and then a Lucernarium was chanted.

I had publishd the text of the Lucernarium the previous day and asked readers where it came from; I received very kind and helpful answers, which are on the thread attached to this. I particularly enjoyed the Comment which gave analogies from popular Byzantine culture. That sort of contribution makes blog-writing somehow seem worth it!

At the end of the Lucernarium, the faithful extinguished their candles. A liturgy of the Word followed, with the Gospel (Luke 10: 38 sqq + 11: 27-28) which was anciently used in the West and is still used by Byzantines. The Magnificat was sung (Antiphon: Regina caeli laetare) as incense was used and flowers offered to our Lady. The service ended with a prayer.

(1) I liked the use of the Paschal Candle with elements in the Lucernarium linking it with the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil.
(2) I liked the reference to our Lady as Mediatrix of Graces; a theme emphasised in earlier Latin euchology of Assumptionday.
(3) I approved of the recovery of the pre-Bugnini and first-millennium Assumptionday Gospel.
(4) The offering of flowers, alluding to the traditional accounts of Mary's empty tomb, seemed to me a thoroughly nice idea.

In a moment, I will republish as an update that English text of an Assumption Lucernarium, together with my quick version in Latin. I composed this simply as a literary exercise, so there is no need for any fierce Traddy to make an attack on me for trying to promote Modernism ... In doing so, I was naturally hungry for echoes of the Easter Exsultet. I have not checked it through ... for example, I have not researched my use of the verb triumphare with a direct object in the accusative. It just sounds right to me in terms of Christian Latin. And the gender of dies ...

I would be interested in any comments on this entire text, in the original English or my own Latin.


Joshua said...

Here you will find the passage quoted, without the errata and sundry variants, on the first page:


It is briefly cited as:

From Celebrations for the Millennium, 1999.

And this same newsletter indicates in more detail on page 5 that it comes from:

Celebrations for the Millennium. (1997: [Christ]; 1998: "Come, Holy Spirit"; 1999: God the Father.[)] Totwa, New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1997-99.

"These three volumes are offered by the Central Organizing Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. For each of the years, materials for liturgy and prayer services are provided to underline the themes of the preparation period for the mille[n]nium, as outlined in On the Coming Third Millennium. The structure of each book is similar: formularies for Masses (many newly composed); texts for the General Intercession; prayer before the Blessed Sacrament; texts for prayer vigils and the celebration of the Word; penitential celebrations; litanies; Marian devotions. Some of the material can be found elsewhere (e.g., the Sacramentary, the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary); but much of the material, especially for the prayer services and devotions, is newly composed or taken from sources not readily available."

Andrew Malton said...

Google suggests a source is "Celebrations of the Millenium", vol. 3, Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1999.

However Google hasn't scanned that so it's hard to check if they merely reprinted it.

Fr Herman said...

Father, if your question is for someone to identify the source of the text, it seems the above commenters have done so. If your question is to identify the source of the idea, well, I would suggest that perhaps someone was familiar with the similar parallel between Holy Saturday and Dormition that exists in some local traditions of the Byzantine Rite. Like the example given here, it's not found in any official liturgical book (the Menaion in this case), but is found in various publications to be used ad libitum. So the parallel is quite precise. It involves a burial shroud of the Mother of God, before which are sung many hymns of the same form and to the same melodies as those used on Holy Saturday. Later on, hymns about Our Lady's resurrection and translation are sung that mirror the Sunday Eulogitaria used each Lord's Day in honor of Our Lord's resurrection.