12 June 2021

Jesuits or Jansenists?

I was born too early to have been part of the Drug Culture which you, dear readers, enjoyed so much, but I do know just a bit about addiction. 

There is a ... particular passion ... I try to resist it ... which can only be indulged by those who possess a number of old Missals.

It is an addiction to the section of Missals headed Appendix pro aliquibus locis.

This Appendix is at the back of the book. It contains Masses authorised but only for use in particular dioceses or orders. 

I have never encountered two missals which have identical versions of the Appendix. The fascination lies in the view you get of the gradual evolution of particular devotions among particular groups. You meet versions of Masses which existed locally before a particular Festival was "extended to the Universal Church". These Mass formulae are not always identical to what later became authorised. Before you know what's happening, you're making notes about changes, similarities, oddities, influences ... hooked, in fact. Just like people high on Thingummy and Whatsit.

I don't recommend getting hooked on the Appendix pro aliquibus locis. As with all addictions, the results are horrible. The addict could find him/herself sweating in bed as the leering, diabolical face of Hannibal Bugnini looms over the fevered couch. Behind him, the waving trunks of mountaineering elephants. The horrible menacing sound of massed Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers, on heat and endlessly crooning Eat this bread, drink this wine ...

Don't risk it. Instead, I will tell you about my own experiences this morning.

The Appendix I was browsing through dated from before the liturgical observance of the Sacred Heart had became part of the universal worship of the Latin Church. The Mass formula for the places where it had been allowed by indult  began with an Introit in which the psalmus was the verse Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo. That was natural: time was, when Masses of the Lord's Passion (nearly?) always began thus. In Sarum and the Ordinariate Missal, the Mass of the Five Wounds still begins thus. (I remember a heureka moment in Devon when I realised that the inscription on a carved bench end from the 1490s, which nobody had been able to decipher, began MIASDNI ... misericordias domini in abbrevation.)

But the 1962 Missal gives a different Mass for the Sacred Heart

I wonder why Rome changed the original Mass of the Sacred Heart. Could it be something to do with Jesuits versus Jansenists? Somebody out there will know all about this.

Then I turned the page ... and discovered that the Jesuits were observing, on the Sunday (Pentecost III) after the Sacred Heart, the Feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. I believe Rome resisted a number of requests for that Feast in the nineteenth century.

You can see the logic of bringing these two celebrations close together ... the same logic, of course, led the Novus Ordo people in the 1960s to move the Immaculate Heart from August to the Saturday after the Sacred Heart. Conceptual coherence, and all that.

But ... I think it's a good idea. Liturgical dates fixed in the 1940s and 50s by Pius XII do not, in my view, have the same call on our respect as traditional dates ... like Ss Philip and James on May 1.

And when it comes to Jesuits versus Jansenists, I'm a Jesuit!


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. For those who pine for the glory days of the Jansenists, they simply have to go to the Novus Ordo Liturgy which is, essentially, the apotheosis of their spirituality

frjustin said...

In an article dating from 1910, there is a short history of the feast (as distinct from the devotion). It states:

In 1799 Pius VI, then in captivity at Florence, granted the Bishop of Palermo the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for some of the churches in his diocese. In 1805 Pius VII made a new concession, thanks to which the feast was soon widely observed. Such was the existing condition when a twofold movement, started in Paris, gave fresh impetus to the devotion. The two factors of this movement were first of all the revelation of the "miraculous medal" in 1830 and all the prodigies that followed, and then the establishment at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires of the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, which spread rapidly throughout the world and was the source of numberless graces. On 21 July, 1855, the Congregation of Rites finally approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary without, however, imposing them upon the Universal Church.

Now [i.e. as of 1910] there are at least three feasts of the Heart of Mary, all with different Offices:

- that of Rome, observed in many places on the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption and in others on the third Sunday after Pentecost or in the beginning of July;

- that of Pere Eudes celebrated among the Eudists and in a number of communities on 8 February; and

- that of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, solemnized a little before Lent.


Society of St. Bede said...

Yes the old Mass of the Sacred Heart INT. Miserebitur secundum... Ps. Misericordias.

In certain diocese a Third Sacred Heart Mass was used INT. Egredimini et videte... Ps. Eructavit.

Stan Metheny said...

Given your addiction, Father, it would probably be best for you to avoid browsing the PAL section of the Antiphonale Romanum (1912). One can be lost in there for hours, if rumours are to be believed. And in that same AR, the earlier antiphons for the Sacred Heart show their connection to the various passion Offices, especially that of the Five Wounds, more clearly than the 1929 formulary ordered by Pius XI.