27 May 2012

The English Sequence For Whitsunday

Here, in Latin and (somewhat Victorian) English, is the old Sequence for Whitsunday from the English pre-Tridentine Uses.

Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia,
Quae corda nostra sibi faciat habitacula,
Expulsis inde cunctis vitiis spiritalibus.
Spiritus alme, illustrator hominum,
Horridas nostra mentis purge tenebras.
Amator sancte sensatorum semper cogitatuum,
Infunde unctionem tuam clemens nostris sensibus.
Tu purificator omnium flagitiorum Spiritus,
Purifica nostri oculum interioris hominis,
Ut videri supremus genitor posit a nobis,
Mundi cordis quem soli cernere possum oculi.
Prophetas tu inspirasti, ut praeconia Christi praecinuissent inclyta.
Apostolos confortasti, ut tropaeum Christi per totum mundum veherent.
Quando machinam per verbum suum fecit Deus caeli, terrae, marium.
Tu super aquas, foturus eas, numen tuum expandisti, Spiritus.
Tu animabus vivificandis, aquas fecundas;
Tu, aspirando, das spiritales esse homines;
Tu divisum per linguas mundum et ritus adunasti, Domine.
Idolatras ad cultum Dei revocas, magistrorum optime.
Ergo nos supplicantes tibi exaudi propitius, Sancte Spiritus,
Sine quo preces omnes cassae creduntur, et indignae Dei auribus.
Tu, qui omnium saeculorum sanctos
Tui nominis docuisti instinctu amplectendo, Spiritus,
Ipse hodie apostolos Christi
Donans munere insolito et cunctis inaudito saeculis,
Hunc diem gloriosum fecisti.

May the Holy Spirit's grace
Be present with us now,
And for Himself our hearts
An habitation make,
And from our inmost souls cast out
All spiritual wickedness.
O gracious Spirit, Thou Who dost enlighten all,
The darkness chase away Which fills our minds with gloom.
O Thou Who ever lov'st
Thoughts holily conceiv'd,
Thy unction graciously
Infuse into our hearts.
Spirit of purity,
Who dost all evil cleanse,
Enable Thou the eyes Which light our inner man
The Father to discern
Who dwelleth in the highest,
Whom they alone can see who are the pure in heart.
Thou didst inspire the prophets to make known
Their glorious predictions of the Christ;
Thou the Apostles didst with strength endue
To bear Christ's trophy throughout all the world.
When God by His Almighty Word did frame
The fabric of the heaven and earth and seas;
Thou, Spirit, brooding o'er the waters' face,
Didst spread abroad Thy fostering Deity;
Thou, to give life to souls,
Water dost fertilize;
And breathing on them deign'st
To make men spiritual;
Thou the world, rent by variance, by tongues
And rites, O Lord, hast set at one again;
Thou, best of masters, dost recall
Idolaters to worship God;
Then, Holy Spirit, graciously
Hear us who lift our prayers to Thee,
Without Whom every prayer is counted vain,
Unworthy by God's ear to be received.
Thou, Spirit, Who the Saints of every age
In Thy embrace enfolding hast instructed
By inspiration of Thy Holy Name,
Thyself a gift unwonted pouring out
Upon the Apostolic band devout,
A gift throughout all ages yet unknown,
Hast made this day a day of high renown.

19 May 2012

The Hail Mary In The Bidding Prayers

In response to a couple of Twitter comments which suggested that according to the Catholic Herald Bishop Conry of Arundel and Brighton was about to ban the Hail Mary from the end of the Bidding Prayers because they were a liturgical abuse, I said that Cardinal Heenan had won permission from Rome for the Hail Mary's inclusion at the end of the prayers and promised to look for a source.

The bad news is that I can't find a source, at least not on line, and not in any of the muniments I have to hand (though this room is sprawling and there are dusty corners which have not been visited these several years).

But I find that Fr Leon Pereira OP (now a teacher at Oscott) certainly remembers as I do: this is taken from his catechesis on the revised translation of the Novus Ordo available at the website of his last Priory:

"The  structure  of  each  bidding  prayer  is  (a)  the  deacon  invites  us  to  pray  for  an  intention,  and  (b)  during  a  significant  pause  we  pray  for  that  intention.  There  are  two  options  for  how  we  respond  after  our  prayer.  One  option  is  by  means  of  prayerful  silence.  The  other  option  is  the  priest  (not  the  deacon  or  intercession  proposer)  prompts  us  to  respond,  in  one  of  the  following  ways.   

℣  Lord,  in  your  mercy.   ℟  Hear  our  prayer.  
℣  Lord,  we  ask  you:   ℟  Hear  our  prayer.  
℣  Lord,  hear  us.   ℟  Lord,  graciously  hear  us.  
℣  We  pray  to  the  Lord:   ℟  Lord,  hear  our  prayer.
We  must  say  our  response  sincerely.  Try  to  remember  at  least  one  of  the  petitions,  and  keep  on  praying  for  it  during  the  week.    In  England  and  Wales  it  is  common  to  seek  Our  Lady’s  intercession  at  the  end  of  the  petitions,  praying  the  ‘Hail  Mary’  (permission  for  this  was  obtained  by  the  late  Cardinal  Heenan).  Then  the  concluding  prayer  is  made  by  the  priest,  addressing  God  now,  usually  with  a  Trinitarian  formula:  to  the  Father,  through  the  Son,  in  the  Holy  Spirit."

The other thing I've found comes from Zenit, and is dated 18 October 2005.  Fr Edward McNamara, Professor of Liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University opined:

"Some other readers asked about the practice of reciting the Hail Mary during the Prayer of the Faithful.

While this custom is not universal, it seems to have its roots in English liturgical practice from even before the Second Vatican Council.

One reader suggested that a document exists impeding this practice, but I have been unable to find it. I would say that, barring some authoritative intervention, the practice could continue where it has been customary to do so.

The objections to the use of the Hail Mary are usually based on the principle that liturgical prayers are practically always directed to the Father, and on rare occasions to the Son.

However, when the Hail Mary is used in the Prayer of the Faithful she is not addressed directly but is usually invoked as a mediator to carry our prayer to the Father within the context of the communion of saints.

This invocation is certainly unnecessary from a liturgical standpoint, and it is probably better not to introduce it where it does not exist. However, I do not believe it needs to be forbidden where already well established."

It would be helpful if somebody can find a copy of the correspondence between Cardinal Heenan and the Congregation for Divine Worship in which the permission will have been given.  I have no access to a GIRM for England and Wales earlier that 2005 and I note with surprised interest that the permission to say the Hail Mary is not noted there.  Furthermore, the Liturgy Office of the CBCEW published Celebrating the Mass: A Pastoral Introduction as a practical interpretative guide to the GIRM and included this statement:

"The Roman Rite does not envisage the inclusion of devotional prayers in the Prayer of the Faithful.  As is traditional with liturgical prayer, the Prayer of the Faithful is addressed to the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit."

Now a) what we are talking about is a special permission for the Dioceses of England and Wales, not something for the whole Roman Rite (though lucky us and unlucky rest of the world) and b) Fr McNamara,  (Professor of Liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, you'll remember) dismissed the liturgical argument put forward by the CBCEW's Liturgy Office.  But you still might get the idea, if you had a suspicious mind, that something not unlike a time bomb had been buried in 2005.

Finding a copy of the permission would be really, really, helpful.