Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dignum Et Justum Est

The Inlatio for the feast of St. James the Great followed by the Sanctus, sung by Ensemble Organum from from Chant Mozarabe: Cathédrale de Tolède (XVe siècle). (Video by yours truly)

The Mozarabic Inlatio, or Illatio, corresponds to the Roman Preface; as Dom Fernand Cabrol says of them (in his The Mass of the Western Rites): "hardly a Mass but has its own; some of them comprise many columns of text, and if they were sung, these must have lasted at least half an hour. We will attempt presently to discover their authors. But we may say at once that they form a dogmatic collection which is priceless for the study of theological history in Spain during the Middle Ages, and a collection which, it must be confessed, has as yet been but little studied. It contains pages which do honor to the learning, the depth, and the culture of Spanish theologians from the fifth-ninth centuries." Here is an excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia's article on the Mozarabic Rite:

"The Illatio or Inlatio. This is called Praefatio in the Roman and Contestatio or Immolatio in the Gallican. With the Post-Sanctus it forms St. Isidore's fifth prayer. There are proper Illationes to every Mass. The form is similar to the Roman Preface, but generally longer and more diffuse, as in the Gallican. It is preceded by a longer dialogue than the usual one [...] The Illatio ends in all manner of ways, but always leading by way of the angels to the Sanctus."
This particular Inlatio (from the Omnium Offerentium) curiously has a reference to a medieval tradition, recorded in the Golden Legend, that St. James cured a paralytic on his way to execution, which caused one of the executioners, a scribe named Josiah, to convert at the spot and be martyred along with him: 'per Jesum Christum Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum: in cujus nomine electus Jacobus, cum ad passionem traheretur, paraliticum ad se clamentem curavit, atque hoc miraculo cor illudentis sibi ita compulsit, ut cum sacramentis instinctum fidei faceret ad gloriam pervenire martyrii' ("through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, in whose name the elect James, when he was being dragged to his passion, cured a paralytic who called out to him, and by this miracle so softened the heart of him who mocked him, as to cause him now imbued with the sacraments of faith to arrive at the glory of martyrdom.")

A Random Nit to Pick: Novus 'Ordo Missae' or 'Novus Ordo' Missae?

Just a short one for today, folks.
As many readers may know, the Mass of Pope Paul VI (aka the Ordinary Form/Forma Ordinaria, et al.) is known in some circles as the 'Novus Ordo Mass'. A stroll through the awl-mightee internetz reveals that this bilingual term is actually quite well-known and used. Some folks even use the term in a pejorative manner, even drawing connections between it and Novus Ordo Seclorum of the US' Great Seal, and from there, the Freemasons or the Illuminati or Jewish bankers or whatnot (take your pick) or even Hitler and his Neuordnung - as good conspiracy theories often tend to do.

There is, however, something wrong about the usage of this term that I find hard NOT to nitpick. Many of the people who use the phrase parse it incorrectly. The original Latin term from which 'Novus Ordo Mass' comes from is novus Ordo Missae. Pope Paul VI himself used the phrase once in a speech for the Consistory for the creation of twenty new Cardinals in May of 1976:

Peculiari autem modo id eo gravius censendum est, quod illuc divisio inducitur, ubi congregavit nos in unum Christi amor, scilicet in Liturgiam atque in Eucharisticum Sacrificium, cum denegetur obsequium normis de re liturgica statutis. At vero, nomine ipsius Traditionis Nos ab omnibus filiis Nostris atque ab omnibus catholicis communitatibus postulamus, ut cum dignitate pietatisque fervore renovatae Liturgiae ritus celebrentur. Usus novi Ordinis Missae minime quidem sacerdotum vel christifidelium arbitrio permittitur. Instructione autem edita die quarto decimo mensis Iunii anno millesimo nongentesimo septuagesimo primo provisum est, ut Missae celebratio antiquo ritu sineretur, facultate data ab Ordinario, tantummodo sacerdotibus aetate provectis vel infirmis, qui Divinum Sacrificium sine populo offerrent. Novus Ordo promulgatus est, ut in locum veteris substitueretur post maturam deliberationem, atque ad exsequendas normas quae a Concilio Vaticano II impertitae sunt. Haud dissimili ratione, Decessor Noster S. Pius V post Concilium Tridentinum Missale auctoritate sua recognitum adhiberi iusserat.
That being said, because of Pope Paul's use of wording here in the Latin, many thus have the misconception that 'Novus Ordo' is somehow the actual title of the OF Mass, sometimes even ascribing spookily vague and threatening qualities to it. Newsflash; It isn't. Folks often parse novus Ordo Missae as Novus Ordo / Missae (which gives us 'Novus Ordo Mass', but the correct way to do it is novus / Ordo Missae, the "new Order of Mass". As everyone may know, the form of the Ordinary (i.e. the regular, unvarying parts) of the Mass, be it the 1570 or the 1970 Missal, has no official title: it is simply called the Ordo Missae, "Order of Mass". Names like 'Tridentine' or 'Pian' or 'Extra/Ordinary Form' or 'Pauline' or 'Latin Mass' are simply unofficial titles. In context Novus Ordo is thus not meant to be a title in the sense of the 'Mass of the New Order': it's just a (rather bland if you ask me) designator - the 'new Ordo Missae'.
Hence, I'm not too fond of calling the 'Ordinary Form' Novus Ordo Mass: it's a misuse of the Latin and gives off the wrong connotations in the wrong hands, in my humble opinion (seriously, 'New Order' (of the Ages?) Mass??). I'd rather people have it called in full English as "the new Mass Order" or suchlike. Or why not use Latin - novus Ordo Missae? ;)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Our Lord God the Pope"...not: A Tiny Acknowledgement

Just a tiny announcement:
A Youtube user under the name of BeingBob has just referenced my two articles! (Yes, the video's less than a year old now, but you gotta give credit...)

Thanks once again, BeingBob!