16 November 2023

I wonder ...

 I wonder, annually, about the Mass proper for S Josaphat, whom we 'kept' quite recently.

The Collect begins "Excita ..." The Introit began "Gaudeamus ...".

These are both first millennium formulae common in the Roman Rite. It is almost as if the nineteenth century popes or functionaries who were responsible for this Mass wanted to say "The Unia which existed in the first Millennium between East and West, for which S Josaphat was martyred, makes it suitable that, when we Latins celebrate this Saint, we should do so with formulae redolent of our own liturgical Tradition during that First Millennium". 

He was beatified in 1643 by Urban VIII (1623-1644). The ODCC says that he was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be formally canonised after process in the Congregation of Rites, in 1867, that is, during the pontificate of Pius IX. Later, Leo XIII made his observance universal. But he had been beatified in 1643, and the usual process was for a candidate to be beatified and then assigned propers printed in the Appendix pro aliquibus locis. If that candidate was subsequently canonised, and if a future Roman Pontiff desired to make his cultus universal in the Latin Churches, the liturgical provision already available in the the Appendix would often be yanked out and made the liturgical provision of the whole (Latin) Church.

Incidentally, collects beginning Excita can be found in earlier Latin Sacramentaries: the Verona Sacramentary has such a collect for S Lawrence in August; 'Gelasianum' one in Holy Week.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

Dear Fr Hunwicke,

I note that the Collect reads Excita, quæsumus, Dómine, in Ecclésia tua Spíritum, quo replétus beátus Jósaphat Martyr et Póntifex tuus ánimam suam pro óvibus pósuit: ut, eo intercedénte, nos quoque eódem Spíritu moti ac roboráti, ánimam nostram pro frátribus pónere non vereámur and the Missal therefore prescribes that it end Per... in unitate ejusdem, for, having mentioned the Spirit twice, the conclusion must therefore be "in the unity of the same Holy Ghost".

However, the Postcommunion, despite reading Spíritum, Dómine, fortitúdinis hæc nobis tríbuat mensa cæléstis: quæ sancti Jósaphat Mártyris tui atque Pontíficis vitam pro Ecclésiæ honóre júgiter áluit ad victóriam nonetheless simply ends Per..., with no ejusdem - yet surely the Holy Ghost is indeed the Spirit of fortitude and courage that impelled St Josaphat to offer his life, which would seem to demand ejusdem, just as in the Collect.

I haven't had the leisure to check if anyone ever sent a dubium about this to the Sacred Congregation of Rites; given that, at the moment, Roma loquitur, confusio augetur, to quote the late Cardinal Pell, would it be possible for a priest to insert ejusdem in the Postcommunion of this Mass if in his judgement it were warranted, without of course causing scandal to the simple faithful, let alone committing a sin by acting ultra vires?

Yours in Christ,