Readers of Pray Tell may remember that I posted a note of appreciation for the beautiful texts appearing in the National Proper approved for the dioceses of Ireland. Fr. Pádraig (Patrick) McCarthy of the Dublin diocese kindly provided me with more information on these texts that I would like to share with Pray Tell‘s readership. Fr. McCarthy writes that explanatory notes had been attached to earlier editions of these propers that had not been reprinted in the final edition:
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The note for Saint Ita is as follows:
The opening prayer refers to Saint Ita’s nurturing of the young and her great success in leading many to holiness, as well as her deserved reputation for kindness to the indigent. The second half of the prayer is an echo of the ninth century poem which is placed on the lips of Saint Ita, and which reflects the tradition of her deep trinitarian prayer-life.
The Prayer over the Gifts follows closely the present English version of the Prayer over the Gifts from the Common of Pastors, 9. For the Founders of Churches: lines 4-5 reflect the spirituality of Saint Ita and coincidentally echo a saying attributed to her.
The Prayer after Communion continues the theme of nurturing, introduced in the Opening Prayer, with reference to the eucharist and to our growth in Christ.
The note for St Brigid:
Brigid’s hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick provide a strong theme in all of these prayers, as do also her foundation of the double monastery in Kildare and her role in the building up of the Church there. The association of her feast with the beginning of Spring suggests the further -partly related -theme of sowing and planting.
The Preface and the Solemn Blessing draw on the traditional designation of Brigid as “Mary of the Gael”. The lines in the Solemn Blessing “The heart and mind of Brigid were a throne of rest for the Holy Spirit” are taken from her Vita in the Book of Lismore.
There is no note (at least in the copy I have) for St Columba (“Colum Cille” = “Dove of the Church” in the Irish language.)