Open Thread 4/19/11

Pray Tell is trying out a new idea with this post. This will be an “open thread,” that is, a place where any reader can start a conversation about issues related to our blog’s topic: worship.

Sometimes tangential discussions come up on other threads. Here is a place where they can be pursued. The same rules for commenting apply with respect to civility and length. But the topics discussed may be various, rather than determined by the original post.

We have never done this before on Pray Tell. This is a test run. One of our hopes in trying this new strategy is that subjects might come to light that would suggest topics for future posts from our regular contributors. If it works well, we will offer an open thread on the blog periodically.

Thanks for giving this a try with us!


  1. The editorial in today’s NCR by Father Thomas Reese, has once again brought to mind 3 ideas I have, which I believe would immeasurably help Catholic worship:

    1. Take 1 minute — literally — during each homily/parish announcements — and explain one single “ritual” or “tradition” in the Church. (Why does a Bishop’s mitre look like that — or how did genuflection develop, etc.) Understanding these rituals help people connect emotionally with the practice of their faith.

    2. As a lifelong practicing Catholic with relatives & friends in the priesthood (& convent) — I’ve never once heard a priest openly share at Mass how his own faith was challenged before or during his priestly ministry. Why not share one’s faith journey — especially the desert experiences? It will encourage and help parishioners enormously.

    3. Why can there not be 5 minutes during the Communion meditation that includes the “public testimony” of a parishioner re how God is working in his/her own life? This, too, would encourage and help parishioners — make God “visible” — “front and center” — in the daily life of every lay person.

    Bottom line = The Mass as celebrated today is almost devoid of EMOTION — emotion from the priest and emotion from the participants. This is heartbreaking — and will only lead to more “defections” unless we Catholics figure out a way to INFUSE emotion into our liturgy.

    1. Re: point #3. Over many years, the full life of the parish (including catechesis, preached missions, devotions, social activities, sodalities, etc.) has been reduced to people coming for one hour on Sunday. Since we only “have” people for one hour per week, we can be tempted to jam all of those formative and community-building activities into the Mass where they don’t belong. Liturgy has just two purposes: the glorification of God and the sanctification of the people.

      But I’m also a pragmatist, and I face your same question in my parish ministry–how can we engage people in faith sharing and faith building? My best theory is “Mass plus.” If they’re coming for Mass, get them to stay after Mass for another hour or more over in the parish center. Guest speakers, faith sharing, bible study, etc. I think it’s far easier to keep people there longer on Sunday than to bring them back on a weeknight.

      Speaking of, I have a new pet peeve: the “coffee and doughnut Sunday.” Perhaps I’m spoiled, but the promise of cheap, weak coffee in a little styrofoam cup and a free glazed doughnut have no appeal. The Lutherans up the street have a full-service coffee bar and baked-goods setup, something comparable to Starbucks, available for retail prices. Imagine the day when I could get an Iced Carmel Macchiato and a plate of fresh fruit with a side of fellowship. (Or at least coffee that doesn’t taste like it was brewed through a dirty sock!)

    2. That article by Fr. Reese got me thinking, too. (Unfortunately, in my job as Dir. of Liturgy, Holy Week is not the best time for me to contemplate new ideas!) But I’d like to see discussion about how we can expand our worship to meet the spiritual needs people say they are missing. It can’t all be Mass. There has to be other ways and other times we can offer spiritual experiences. I haven’t figured that out yet.

      The Mass is wonderful for people who have enough knowledge of it that they can really enter into prayer there. But I know that many, if not most, who come on Sunday find it too rigidly pre-defined (and too priest-centered?) to touch them emotionally. I think parishes need help to develop different prayer experiences that will meet people’s needs today as they guide them towards the Mass. And they should be prayer experiences that don’t depend on a particularly charismatic leader or speaker to make them work.

      The other problem with this is that we obligate people to go to something that doesn’t meet their needs then make anything else “extra”. Of course people aren’t going to take extra time — a scarce commodity — when what they are required to do isn’t satisfying. I think that just makes the Sunday Mass obligation more dangerous for them.

      Spiritual needs largely are going to be met in individual prayer. When we made Mass something to participate in, we took away time of individual prayer people were, in a sense, forced into. I’m not saying that was wrong, but that many lost the only time they ever took to just be quiet. I think that’s a problem we haven’t addressed well. How can we teach people to pray when the only time we “have” them frustrates their felt need for spiritual connection?

      I love the Mass – I wouldn’t have made it my career otherwise. But even the most beautifully done Mass isn’t going to keep these people in the Church. We need more than Mass and we need to get it that “more” to more people.

  2. Thanks for this new feature, Rita. I’ll start.

    I see in this week’s Tablet that St. Paul Cathedral in London (Anglican) is having the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday morning. Good for them! This is the day for the Chrism Mass, and it’s when the Pope celebrates it.

    During my years of study in Austria I observed that the bishops celebrate this liturgy with their clergy and people on Wednesday evening of Holy Week, which seems like a good solution.

    But in the U.S., in my experience, we “get it out of the way” the previous week. Am I the only one who regrets this? Or is this a pastoral necessity with the heavy liturgical schedule of the Triduum, especially when priests have care of 2 or 3 or 4 parishes?



    1. In Baltimore it’s Monday night (i.e. last night).

      I think having it in the evening (and thus on some day other than Thursday) is a good idea, since it makes it possible for catechumens to attend. This gives them contact with the bishop a few days before their initiation, and they get a chance to see the chrism with which they will be anointed consecrated.

    2. Here in my diocese of Northampton (England) it is on the morning of Maundy Thursday. It is a heavy schedule for the clergy, but, to me, it is the right time to celebrate it.

    3. In the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York the Chrism Mass is celebrated on Thursday Morning! I never though it was different in other places.
      A nice feature of taking part in these conversations is learning what is going on around the world.

    4. Our celebration is early because of the size of our diocese (84,000 sq. miles). If we celebrated on Holy Thursday morning our priests wouldn’t make it back to the parish for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I do think we celebrate it a little too early. My hope is that we could at least celebrate it during Holy Week.

      1. The Diocese of Salt Lake City, a.k.a. the state of Utah. I wonder if such large dioceses should really be renamed to better reflect their geographic reality. I’m sure there’s probably a good argument that dioceses should really be split into smaller units such that a bishop would actually be able to provide pastoral care to his people (this would apply to cities too). If we’re into animal husbandry metaphors, a bishop is no longer a shepherd or even a foreman, but more like the absentee owner of a ranch.

    5. Think largely rural dioceses where many priest and deacons have to travel long distances. Think of how many laity unable to attend on Thursday morning. I just came from our Holy Tuesday chrism mass. The cathedral was packed with people, some of whom drove hours to attend. Virtually all the priests and lots of deacons. It has become a great day and time for the church of OKC!

    6. New York Episcopalians have celebrated it for years on Tuesday of Holy Week, in the morning. I had the pleasure of joining in the celebration yesterday.

      Of course, here it’s all about “Collegiality” with Chrism as an afterthought. I’m not in a position to change that, alas, but it does need to be challenged: it’s a wholly, regrettably clerical affair.

  3. FWIW, in the Diocese of Columbus it is held Tuesday evening of Holy Week (that is, tonight) because of the geographic scope of the diocese, with some parishes two and a half hours from the Cathedral.

  4. We just had it here at 11:00am in the Diocese of Charleston (S.C.). Aside for the choir master initiating the recessional hymn immediately AFTER the consecration of the Chrism, i.e. without a final blessing & formal dismissal, it went well. I was surprised to hear a priest-friend in California say that their Chrism Mass was last week. I had not heard of this happening before. We celebrate ours on Tuesday of Holy Week due to the same geographic issues raised by Mr. Drake. I think the concession to hold this Mass on a day outside of Holy Thursday still envisions the Mass being celebrated in Holy Week. It just fits in better with the Liturgical year. Having it before Passion Sunday seems odd. The fact that the Holy Father holds it on Holy Thursday is a good example, but then again I recall when I was a student in Rome that Vatican City would observe the Ascension and Corpus Christi on Thursday while the city of Rome would observe them on the following Sunday. Quando a Roma!

  5. May I ask a stupid question? Why have we gone from first edition to third edition of the LATIN Roman Missal? What has changed that requires subsequent editions? I presume new orations for newly canonized saints would necessitate new editions. Anything else?

    Are there changes in existing Latin prayers: Propers? Eucharistic prayers, etc.? Has there been any changed understanding of the wording or meaning of traditional prayers. Have scholars of euchology come up with new insights that require new editions of the missal?

    Thank you.

    1. The LAST Roman Missal issued prior to the Second Vatican Council was under Benedict XV in 1920. During the Council (’62-’65) the Dogmatic Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was issued (12/4/63).

      On 4/3/69 Paul VI issued the FIRST Roman Missal (typical edition – in Latin) since the Council.

      3/27/75 a new, revised typical edition was issued. Some saints were added (Elizabeth Seaton, John Neumann) but not many important changes.

      But the 1975 typical edition was the basis for ICEL’s many years of work leading up to the 1998 (ultimately rejected) Roman Missal.

      John Paul II issued the THIRD typical edition of the Roman Missal subsequent to the Council in 2000. The General Instruction was much changed from the previous typical editions and we had an English translation of that already in 2002. As you know the bishops worked through the green pages and the gray pages and approved a text in 2008. As has been made eminently clear, an occult parallel process under the supervision of Vox Clara resulted in the presentation text which was the subject of a celebration luncheon of VC and Benedict XVI in April of 2009.

      That’s the short version. I hope the scholars will tweak the details.

      1. I don’t have the exact statistics, but I know that almost all of MR2 is included in MR3 of 2000. Some things are added, but very little of the liturgical texts themselves is changed. It’s important to note that issuing of MR3, in and of itself, was not a reason to reject the 1998 ICEL translation based on MR2. The vast, vast majority of MR3 was already translated by ICEL’s work on MR2. Furthermore, ICEL had access to not-yet-issued MR3 Latin texts (those not in MR2 which were added in MR3) and was beginning preliminary translation of them even before the 1998 Sacramentary was rejected by Rome.

        Whatever the reasons for rejecting 1998, the issuing of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal isn’t one of them.


    2. Ed – there have been new prayers composed. There were new Eucharistic Prayers composed after the “original four” (EP I-IV). There have been new prefaces, new votive and/or ritual Masses, new saints.

      The third edition of the Roman Missal restores the “Prayer over the People” during the season of Lent.

      There are also some new insertions for the Eucharistic Prayers during Masses with the Scrutinies or a wedding.

      See here for more details.

    3. Anyone know about changes to the ritual Masses, wedding Masses, Masses for the Dead in the new translation?

  6. 11:00 a.m. this morning (Tuesday) at the Cathedral of Saint Peter – Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kansas City.

    1. Actually, it was offered in the chapel of the pastoral center located next to the archdiocesan chancery. I certainly wish we could employ our cathedral in a more prominent manner, but it has been deemed too small for such a diocesan celebration (it seats about 400, while the pastoral center chapel seats another 150-200 and its layout provides for an excellent presbyterium in the sanctuary). St. Peter’s was not originally built to be a cathedral, but was the parish church (and a beautiful one) chosen to be consecrated as such when the See was transferred from Leavenworth to Kansas City in Kansas in 1947 . Last year, in honor of the Year for Priests, we celebrated the Mass of Chrism at a suburban parish named after the Cure d’Ars. That church holds about 700, and it was packed. Today’s Mass was standing-room-only.

      1. I was thinking about what I had posted later this afternoon, Michael . . . I forgot that they have this Mass at the Pastoral Center.

        The Cathedral just rolls off the tongue so much better.

        Do you know anything about rumors of Saint Michael the Archangel becoming the Cathedral in the future?

      2. There is nothing to that rumor at all. St. Michael’s is not in Kansas City proper, but in suburban Leawood. It is a truly fine parish church altogether (and that’s an understatement), but as a cathedral it would lack a spacious-enough presbyterium and a good place to put the cathedra (given the size and shape of the sanctuary). But a fine church, indeed.

  7. Variation on Fr. Ruff’s topic – what about bishops/dioceses that celebrate and turn Holy Thursday into a re-commitment and celebration of priesthood.

    1. What do you mean? The Chrism Mass used the Preface of the Priesthood and features the priests recommitting themselves as part of the rite.

      1. Correct – is that what the Chrism Mass is about? We seem to cram two different aspects into one celebration – is the ordained ministry a key focus on Holy Week?

      2. Four easy steps to celebrating the Chrism Mass as the Chrism Mass (and not a glorified Mass of Presbyteral Collegiality or something silly like that):

        1) Bishops need to preach about the uses of oil in the life of the diocese. More Chrism is spilled for baptism and confirmation than for ordination each year; and in many places, more oil of the sick than Chrism. All too often the bishop takes this as an opportunity to address the presbytery, as if the laos theou weren’t even in the building.

        2) Do the Renewal of Commitment exactly as it is printed in the missal: don’t add a sung litany (though the responses to its internal petitions may be sung), don’t try expanding the texts. Do it, get it over with and out of the way.

        3) Make the most out of the procession with the oils and the prayers of blessing. Lights, incense, music. . . pull out all the stops.

        4) Use Eucharistic Prayer IV (or D, if you’re used to prefixing ‘Catholic’ with ‘Anglo-‘) with its proper preface and its internal reference to the first reading of the liturgy. Nicely connects liturgy of the word to the liturgy of the eucharist, while eliminating the problematic preface.

      3. Cody,

        I’m afraid #4 is not an option for the Roman Rite, at least if one is following the rubrics, since EP IV can only be used for Masses that do not have a specific proper preface appointed.

      4. Fritz,

        D’oh! You’re right, of course — though I got the idea from a Roman diocese! (Same place used the Reconciliation Prayers as well).

        This would, it seems, rule out the use of Prayer IV on most major feasts as well. . . sigh. Such a lovely prayer, and sooo appropriate for the occasion.

      5. Tonight I preached on the text, “he loved them to the end.” EP IV would have been a nice connection but for, alas, the rubrics.

    2. What about dioceses that have started to include a renewal of promises by everyone who attends? I am a little uncomfortable with this invention. Thoughts?

      1. We used to do this under Cardinal Keeler, but the current Archbishop stopped it. I’m just as glad, since it made the Chrism Mass loooooooong. We now renew our promises at the Deacons’ annual convocation, which is held around the feast of St. Francis.

    3. Just to provide the curial perspective, from Paschale Solemnitatis:

      35. The Chrism Mass which the bishop concelebrates with his presbyterium and at which the holy chrism is consecrated and the oils blessed, manifests the communion of the priests with their bishop in the same priesthood and ministry of Christ. {Vatican II, Pres. Ord. 7} The priests who concelebrate with the bishop should come to this Mass from different parts of the diocese, thus showing in the consecration of the chrism to be his witnesses and cooperators, just as in their daily ministry they are his helpers and counselors. The faithful are also to be encouraged to participate in this Mass, and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist.

      Traditionally the Chrism Mass is celebrated on the Thursday of Holy Week. If, however, it should prove to be difficult for the clergy and people to gather with the bishop, this rite can be transferred to another day, but one always close to Easter. {Caer. Epis. 275} The chrism and the oil of catechumens are to be used in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation on Easter night.

      36. There should be only one celebration of the Chrism Mass given its significance in the life of the diocese, and it should take place in the cathedral or, for pastoral reasons, in another church {Caer. Epis. 276} which has a special significance.

      The holy oils can be brought to the individual parishes before the celebration of the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper or at some other suitable time. This can be a means of catechizing the faithful about the use and effects of the holy oils and chrism in Christian life.

      And from Ecclesia de Mysterio: associating “the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday [with] other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as [EMHCs]” is a practice to be avoided.

  8. In our diocese the balsam for the Sacred Chrism is harvested in the are of the Diocesan Mission in Central America. It is so fragrant and powerful that during the consecration the aroma fills the entire Cathedral. Beautiful!

    1. Charles, last night my pastor told me about a parish in our diocese that hosted an Easter egg hunt on Palm Sunday. It’s a mad world.

      1. Hahahah, a parish in the suburbs has a pancake breakfast on Palm Sunday and the Easter Bunny make a “character visit” at each table!

  9. Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Fr. Jim Blue :

    In our diocese the balsam for the Sacred Chrism is harvested in the are of the Diocesan Mission in Central America. It is so fragrant and powerful that during the consecration the aroma fills the entire Cathedral. Beautiful!

    Is there a website from where you can order it? Holy Rood Guild of Spencer, MA seems to be the only place you can order balsam in the USA; and it’s expensive! Does anyone know of other places to order from?

  10. Thanks for this thread where we can ask questions and discuss stuff. I have a question … is the idea of atonement the doctrine of the church? I’m really uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus was sent by God to die for my sins, and as Good Friday approaches, I get more uncomfortable. I’ve read an article by Ken Overberg SJ that seems to say atonement is not the only way to look at this – The Incarnation: Why God Wanted to Become Human. Thanks.

    1. Crystal,

      It depends on what one means by “atonement.”

      Does one have to believe that God sent Jesus to proclaim God’s kingdom in full knowledge that this would lead him to the cross? I would say “yes.”

      Does one have to believe that on the cross Christ offered back to God on our behalf what our sin had taken away, namely our love and obedience, and thereby reconciled (i.e. at-oned) us with God ? Again, I would say “yes.”

      Does one have to believe that, because sin requires punishment in order to satisfy divine justice, God therefore punished Jesus with an agonizing death so as to make it possible for our sins to be forgiven? I don’t think so.

  11. Anthony Ruff, OSB :
    I don’t have the exact statistics, but I know that almost all of MR2 is included in MR3 of 2000. Some things are added, but very little of the liturgical texts themselves is changed. It’s important to note that issuing of MR3, in and of itself, was not a reason to reject the 1998 ICEL translation based on MR2. The vast, vast majority of MR3 was already translated by ICEL’s work on MR2. Furthermore, ICEL had access to not-yet-issued MR3 Latin texts (those not in MR2 which were added in MR3) and was beginning preliminary translation of them even before the 1998 Sacramentary was rejected by Rome.
    Whatever the reasons for rejecting 1998, the issuing of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal isn’t one of them.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    awr, THANK YOU, that was very informative!

    1. Yes, Father Anthony, thank you for details! It answers the line put forward at a recent gathering in Dublin to prepare for the new translation, that the 1998 translation was out of date almost as soon as it appeared because of the new edition of the missale Romanum.

  12. Has anyone noticed that the blog client often repeats “Only comments with a full name will be approved” in posts?

    1. It’s a software problem.
      If you use the quote button, the quotation does not write over the standing note in the reply space.
      You can go to the top of the reply and manually delete it.
      If you are fighting to get a few more characters in, you can also delete some spaces in the HTML instructions or part of the quote so long as you don’t delete anything within arrow brackets.

  13. Our altar copy of the Latin, Novus Ordo sacramentary — big book with all the eucharistic prayers, prefaces, notated in chant — is falling apart.

    And it’s an old one, 1975 I think — MR2?

    Does anyone know where we can get a new one, MR3, Latin, Ordinary Form, with chant, big enough to use on the altar, nice large type?

    I don’t even know where to order these.

    1. The official liturgical book retailer is Paxbook, the Vatican Publishing House’s retail outlet. This is the standard altar edition of MR 2002. There is also a lusso version, but I’ve never seen one in person. In my opinion, the standard issue altar missal is nicely printed and bound.

      Another wonderful source is AbeBooks, an online secondhand book market. Often AbeBooks will list bookshops with gently used missals and liturgical books. I must warn you and other readers that this website might be hazardous to the health of your wallet if you are a biblio-addict like me 🙂

    2. The Midwest Theological forum has the Latin Missal on sale currently for $500. They also have a cloth bound “study edition”, which despite the name is suitable for use on the altar (with gilt page edges, ribbon markers and tabs you have to put in yourself), for only $120.

    3. Thanks to you both. Would either of you know whether these editions have the chants for the fixed parts of the Mass, e.g. the eucharistic prayers?

      I found an edition in “Pelle Piena” whose dimensions are 40 by 25.50cm; I am hoping the type is larger on this one.

      This would be for frequent parish use so readability and an attractive but very durable binding are more important than cost.

  14. In the Diocese of Parramatta (in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia), the Chrism Mass is Wednesday evening, that is, in just under two hours’ time.

  15. ‘But a senior bishop insisted yesterday that there had been consultations during 10 years of preparing the new missal. It was prepared for use in 11 English-speaking countries, in consultation with the Vatican.’
    Quote from today’s Irish Independent Newspaper (Ireland).
    The same bishop was on radio yesterday making the same claim. Was I asleep the past ten years? Of course being a lowly member of the church I probably don’t matter and am not worthy to be consulted by their ‘Lordships’.
    They also have an explanation for the response ‘and with your spirit’. It seems this is ‘the part of us closest to God’. A sad Holy Week when this dualistic nonsense is the message of the Irish Bishops.

  16. Are there any traditional Jewish Passover foods that would be appropriate as well for an Easter menu or for goodies along with the Easter eggs?

  17. Preface for the Chrism Mass II
    an original text from the proposed ICEL translation of 1998
    as an alternative to the one that focuses primarily (only) on priesthood

    It is truly right and just,
    our duty and our salvation,
    always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise,
    Father most holy,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    You anointed Jesus with the oil of gladness
    to proclaim to all generations the gospel of salvation.
    He is the divine physician who bears our infirmities
    and heals within us the wounds of sin and death.
    Christ is the new Adam from whose side
    flow the life-giving waters in which we are reborn.
    He is the exalted Lord who pours out upon the Church
    the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.
    By the power of the Spirit,
    who fills the oils we bless and consecrate,
    you continue this saving work within the Church
    until Christ comes again in glory.

    Through him the choirs of angels and all the powers of heaven
    worship in awe before your presence.
    May our voices blend with theirs
    as they sing with joy the hymn of your glory:

    Preface for Ministry
    another original text from 1998 as an alternative to the priesthood preface

    It is truly right and just,
    our duty and our salvation,
    always and everywhere to give you thanks,
    holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
    through your servant Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Revealed at his baptism as your beloved Son,
    he came among us as one who serves,
    and taught that they are greatest in the kingdom
    who make themselves least and the servants of all.
    Though Teacher and Lord,
    he washed the feet of his disciples,
    commanding us to do the same.
    You bestow upon your people
    a rich variety of gifts and ministries,
    that we may serve the world your Son redeemed
    and build up his body, the Church,
    to the greater glory of your name.

    With joyful hearts we echo on earth
    the song of the angels in heaven
    and join their unending chorus of praise:

  18. Holy Thursday Pange lingua (Aquinas) translated by the same person (I think) who did the Chrism Mass “O Redemptor” on the other thread

    1. Sing, my tongue, in exaltation
    Of the body sacrificed
    And in glad commemoration
    Of the blood so highly priced,
    Shed to ransom all creation
    By our King and Saviour, Christ.

    2. Word incarnate to restore us
    Of the Virgin full of grace,
    Born to us and given for us
    At a certain time and place,
    He had sown the word before us,
    Dwelling with us face to face.

    3. Then, the night before his passion,
    Christ, his work on earth complete,
    Ate the Pasch in Hebrew fashion,
    Washed the twelve disciples’ feet,
    And in perfect consummation
    Gave himself to take and eat.

    4. Senses merely see the token;
    Faith can grasp the truth instead:
    By the word the Word has spoken
    Elements of wine and bread
    Are the body to be broken
    And the blood that Christ would shed.

    5. Secret past imagination,
    Dazzling and compelling awe:
    Sacrament and celebration
    Richer than the ancient law;
    Faith can see by revelation
    More than senses ever saw.

    6. Wisdom, power, and adoration
    To the blessed Trinity
    For redemption and salvation
    Through the paschal mystery,
    Now, in every generation,
    And for all eternity. Amen.

    1. Holy Thursday
      Alternative Opening Prayer (Collect)
      1998 Sacramentary

      O God,
      in the fullness of time you revealed your love
      in Jesus the Lord.
      On the eve of his death,
      as a sign of your covenant,
      he washed the feet of his disciples
      and gave himself as food and drink.

      Give us life at this sacred banquet
      and joy in humble service,
      that, bound to Christ in all things,
      we may pass over from this world to your kingdom,
      where he lives with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
      God for ever and ever.

      Eucharistic Prayer III Holy Thursday Interpolation
      1998 Sacramentary (adapted for current text)

      . . . at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.

      On this night,
      the night he was handed over to death,
      Jesus washed the feet of his disciples
      and gave us a new commandment:
      to love one another as he has loved us.

      He took bread and gave you thanks and praise;
      he broke the bread,
      gave it to his disciples, and said . . .


    Opening Prayers (Collects)
    1998 Sacramentary

    Translated Collect 1:

    Remember, Lord, your tender mercies,
    which you showed in ages past;
    watch over and sanctify your servants,
    for whom Christ your Son, by shedding his blood,
    has established the paschal mystery.
    Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

    Alternative Translated Collect 2:

    Lord God,
    by the suffering and death of your Son
    you dissolved the legacy of darkness and death
    that had fallen to the lot of every generation.
    We were shaped in the likeness of Adam
    and must bear the image of his earthly nature.
    Reshape us in the likeness of Christ,
    that we may bear the stamp of his heavenly glory
    through the sanctifying power of your grace.
    We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Alternative Original Collect:

    From the throne of grace, O God of mercy,
    at the hour your Son gave himself to death,
    hear the devout prayer of your people.
    As he is lifted high upon the cross,
    draw into his exalted life
    all who are reborn
    in the blood and water flowing from his opened side.
    We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1. Crux Fidelis and Passion Pange lingua (Fortunatus)
      Same translator (I think) as on Holy Thursday and kept (I think) by the 2010 Missal


      1. Holy Cross that saints rely on,
      Noble tree beyond compare!
      Never was there such a scion,
      Never leaf or flower so rare.
      Lovely timber, lovely iron,
      Lovely burden that they bear!

      2. Sing, my tongue, in exultation
      Of our banner and device!
      Make a solemn proclamation
      Of a triumph and its price:
      How the Saviour of creation
      Conquered by his sacrifice!

      3. For, when Adam first offended,
      Eating that forbidden fruit,
      Not all hopes of glory ended
      With the serpent at the root:
      Broken nature would be mended
      By a second tree and shoot.

      4. Thus the tempter was outwitted
      By a wisdom deeper still:
      Remedy and ailment fitted,
      Means to cure and means to kill.
      That the world might be acquitted,
      Christ would do his Father’s will.

      5. So he came, the long-expected,
      Not in glory, not to reign;
      Only born to be rejected,
      Choosing hunger, toil, and pain,
      Till the gallows was erected
      And the Paschal Lamb was slain.

      6. No disgrace was too abhorrent:
      Nailed and mocked and parched he died;
      Blood and water, double warrant,
      Issue from his wounded side,
      Washing in a mighty torrent
      Earth and stars and ocean-tide.

      7. Lofty timber, smooth your roughness,
      Flex your boughs for blossoming;
      Let your fibres lose their toughness,
      Gently let your tendrils cling;
      Lay aside your native gruffness,
      Clasp the body of your King!

      8. Only tree to be anointed,
      With the blood of Christ embossed,
      You alone have been appointed
      Balance-beam to weigh the cost
      Of a universe disjointed,
      Pilot for the tempest-tossed.

      9. Wisdom, power, and adoration
      To the blessed Trinity
      For redemption and salvation
      Through the paschal mystery,
      Now, in every generation,
      And for all eternity. Amen

  20. Alternative Text for the Exsultet
    with acclamations by the people
    1998 Sacramentary (composed, I think, by Nathan Mitchell)

    The minister begins:

    Exult and sing, O shining angel choirs!
    Exult and dance, bright stars and blazing suns!
    The firstborn of creation, Jesus Christ,
    is ris’n in radiant splendour from the dead!

    Rejoice, O awesome night of our rebirth!
    Rejoice, O mother moon, that marks the months!
    For from your fullness comes, at last, the Day
    when sin is robbed of pow’r and death is slain!

    Awaken, earth! Awaken, air and fire!
    O children born of clay and water, come!
    The One who made you rises like the sun
    to scatter night and wipe your tears away.

    Arise then, sleepers, Christ enlightens you!
    Arise from doubt and sadness, sin and death.
    With joyful hearts and spirits set afire
    draw near to sing this Easter candle’s praise!

    A minister who is a deacon or priest says:
    The Lord be with you.

    The people answer:
    And also with you.

    Lift up your hearts.

    The people answer:
    We lift them up to the Lord.

    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

    The people answer:
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

    We praise you, God, for all your works of light!
    We bless you for that burst of fire and flame
    through which you first created all that is:
    a living universe of soaring stars,
    of space and spinning planets, surging seas
    that cradle earth and rock against her breast.

    The people take up the acclamation:
    We praise you, God of everlasting light!

    We praise you for light’s beauty, motion, speed:
    for eastern light that paints the morning sky;
    for western light that slants upon our doors,
    inviting us to praise you ev’ry night.

    The people take up the acclamation:
    We praise you, God of everlasting light!

    1. Minister:
      We bless you for the light invisible:
      the fire of faith, the Spirit’s grace and truth,
      the light that bonds the atom, stirs the heart,
      and shines for ever on the face of Christ!

      The people take up the acclamation:
      We praise you, God of everlasting light!

      Creator, in the joy of Easter eve,
      accept our off’ring of this candle’s light:
      may all who see its glow and feel its warmth
      be led to know your nature and your Name.

      The people take up the acclamation:
      We praise you, God of everlasting light!

      For, Father, it was your own light and love
      that led your people Israel dry-shod
      through foaming seas and brought them safe at last
      to lands of milk and honey. In your love
      you led them as a shining cloud by day
      and as a flaming shaft of fire by night.

      This is the night, most blessed of all nights,
      when first you rescued people from the sea:
      a sign of that new birth which was to come
      in blood and water flowing from Christ’s side!

      The people take up the acclamation:
      Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

      This is the night, most blessed of all nights,
      when your creating Spirit stirred again
      to turn back chaos and renew the world,
      redeeming it from hatred, sin, and strife!

      The people take up the acclamation:
      Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

      This is the night, most blessed of all nights,
      when all the powers of heaven and earth were wed
      and every hungry human heart was fed
      by Christ our Lamb’s own precious flesh and blood!

      The people take up the acclamation:
      Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

      O night, more holy than all other nights,
      your watchful eyes beheld, in wondrous awe,
      the triumph of our Saviour over sin,
      the rising of the Deathless One from death!

      The people take up the acclamation:
      Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

      1. Minister:
        O night that gave us back what we had lost!
        O night that made our sin a happy fault!
        Beyond our deepest dreams this night, O God,
        your hand reached out to raise us up in Christ.

        The people take up the acclamation:
        Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

        O night of endless wonder, night of bliss,
        when every living creature held its breath
        as Christ robbed death and harrowed hopeless hell,
        restoring life to all those in the tomb!

        The people take up the acclamation:
        Now is Christ risen! We are raised with him!

        And so, our God, Creator of all life,
        with open hearts and hands we come to you:
        anointed with the Spirit’s pow’r, we bear
        these precious, glowing gifts of fire and flame.

        We pray that when our night of watching ends,
        the Morning Star who dawns and never sets,
        our Saviour Jesus Christ, may find us all
        united in one faith, one hope, one Lord.

        For you, O Lord, are God, living and true:
        all glory, praise and pow’r belong to you
        with Jesus Christ, the One who conquered death,
        and with the Spirit blest for evermore.

        The people answer:

  21. On a slightly different topic … What are the Ten Thousand?

    For some time many folks have referred to the estimated 10,000 changes made by Vox Clara to the document submitted by the USCCB and its counterparts in ICEL.

    Who has this list?

    It would be valuable to learn if these changes were to the core doctrinal teachings of the Church, essential elements of the liturgy, re-re-retranslations of the Latin, cosmetic, or such minor editorial changes as number of spaces after a period.

  22. Continuing reflections on combining the possibility that
    – the problem of “under nourished” Catholics going to Protestantism and
    – the problem of “under catechized” Catholics being protected from theology

    both stem from poor preaching which deals in re-phrasing readings and re-stating general truths and

    that these problems are linked to clerical reliance on
    -speaking from authority [jurisdiction]
    -rather than speaking with authority [expertise].


    Did the US bishops’ letters on war and the economy so badly stir up the wealthiest donors with access to bishops that the hierarchy got the message to stick to condemning sex and abortion and keep religion out of the real world?

    Are parish priests so worried about similar reaction that they would rather give null content sermons than preach about living like Jesus did?

    Is it a lot easier to wrangle over definitions than to deal with how voters consider the poor or whether seeking security has turned into seeking dominance?
    Have we liturgists missed something very important that should be part of our business by not working diligently to improve preaching? Have we over promised and under delivered on what full, conscious, and active participation can do without better presiding and preaching? How could we possibly create an effective ministry to priests which will not feel to them as if they are being criticized for WHAT they are doing but being assisted/coached on HOW they can do better what they want to do?

    1. Nah Tom, they only leave because they miss the Latin and because they miss the cappa magnas.

      Bring back that stuff, and the churches will again be full to overflowing with the Faithful people.

      It’s such a simple solution, even Pope Benedict, Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Burke and Mother Angelica could have thought of it.

  23. Balthazar della Chiesa :

    Is there a website from where you can order it? Holy Rood Guild of Spencer, MA seems to be the only place you can order balsam in the USA; and it’s expensive! Does anyone know of other places to order from?

    One of my friends in the Society for Creative Anachronism [Medieval re-creationists] has offered this.

    Essential oils are very powerful and only a small amount is needed. There are about a gazillion sellers of essential oils on the internet, some sell in serious bulk. I checked with the Catholic encyclopedia and it said that for that kind of thing to use Balm of Gilead, copaiva balsam, or balsam of Peru and Tolu. (Important to note as there are other kinds of balsam out there.)

    Now this won’t help for this year, but maybe for next year a simple internet search and comparison will yield great results. I found several sellers selling those on eBay alone, not even going to stores that specialize with on line sales of essential oils.

  24. A new theme if you all don’t mind….In Worship III, Gabe Huck beautifully wrote that “Lent ends quietly on Holy Thursday afternoon”. Quietly, yes, but I certainly have collected up my favorite discs for the many trips back and forth to church this weekend. “Love Bade Me Welcome” from RVW’s Five Mystical Songs has long been my preferred piece for this evening’s drive. Easter morning is the Bach E major violin concerto.


  25. Colin Mawby, “Ave verum corpus,” Westminster Cathedral Choir – always listen to it before going to sleep on Holy Thursday.

  26. Here is a topic that I do not remember seeing in this blog (during my time floating in and out). Given the changing population in the United States, there seems to be a dearth in Spanish-language Sacred Music.

    Of particular concern to me, as I am from South Texas, is the lack of correct Spanish-language parts of the Mass. For example, the Gloria that is commonly used down here truncates the prayer and paraphrases it. Composers have taken it upon themselves to add “Christ has died…” as a Memorial Acclamation, although none exists in the approved Spanish-language text (we use the one approved for Mexico). Sadly, these compositions come from OCP, with one exception, Missa Luna, which comes from WLP.

    As for as hymns are concern, these are also lacking. One priest asked that we not use a song called “Hombres (now renamed Pueblos) Nuevos” due to the fact that it is tinged with aspects of liberation theology (the song is an OCP composition). Many of the Psalms in OCP’s Responde Y Aclama are set to sound more like production pieces of secular music than the traditional metered form.

    Do any of you know of resources for Spanish-language sacred music other than OCP?

  27. Michelle – scroll to April 23rd – Easter Greetings from the Collegeville Composer’s Group – click on the final underlined resource in the comment. You will see all new compositions in both english and spanish.

    Paul Ford or Paul Inwood probably know many other very good bilingual or spanish musical resources?


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