31 October 2015

St. Leo: Christ our Passover


Saint Leo writes:

"Christ our Passover,"  as saith the Apostle,  "Is sacrificed for us," offering Himself to the Father as a new and true sacrifice of reconciliation, that so, the mystery of the old victims ceasing, a new Sacrifice might be laid on a new Altar, and the Cross of Christ be the Altar, not of the temple, but of the world.

Christ Himself it is whose likeness Melchisidek set forth, offering to God, not Hebrew sacrifices, but the Sacrifice of that Sacrament which our Redeemer consecrated in His Body and Blood.

That the shadows might then give place to the Body, and images cease under the presence of the Truth, the old observance is taken away by the new Covenant, blood is taken away by Blood, and the legal festivity is at once changed and completed.

What sacrifice was ever more sacred than that which the true High Priest, by the immolation of His own flesh, laid upon the Altar of the Cross?


An Image of Our Lady of Walsingham


Holy Infant Christ, hear our prayer.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.


30 October 2015

St. John Paul II: The Redeemer's Embrace


Detail of the mosaic on the wall behind
The Altar in the 'Redemptor Hominis' chapel of
The National Shrine of St John Paul II in Washington DC

Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.

This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer "fully reveals man to himself". If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the Redemption man becomes newly "expressed" and, in a way, is newly created. He is newly created! "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

The man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being-he must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ.

He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must "appropriate" and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself. How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he "gained so great a Redeemer", and if God "gave his only Son "in order that man "should not perish but have eternal life"

St John Paul II, 'Redemptor Hominis', 10.


Some Prayers for Friday


O Holy Spirit, giver of light and life, impart to us thoughts better than our own thoughts, and prayers better than our own prayers, and powers better than our own powers, that we may spend and be spent in the ways of love and goodness, after the perfect image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

Eric Milner-White and G W Briggs, Daily Prayer (1941)

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray thee to set thy passion, cross, and death, between thy judgement and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living, pardon and rest to the dead, to thy holy Church peace and concord, and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

O God, the King of Saints, we praise and magnify thy Holy Name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear; for the Blessèd Virgin Mary; for the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech thee that, encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light; through the Merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 


28 October 2015

Fore Bede No. 20. For Morning or Evening



Minister       Praise ye the Lord.
                     O Lord, our Lord, 
                     how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth.

One of the following

Minister  (a) Praise waiteth for Thee, O God in Sion, 
                     and unto Thee shall the vow be performed.  
                     O Thou that hearest prayer, 
                     unto Thee shall all flesh come.

                (b) It is a good thing to give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, 
                     and to sing praises unto Thy Name, O Most High ; 
                     to shew forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning 
                     and Thy faithfulness every night.

                (c) The Lord is good to all 
                      and His tender mercies are over all His works.
                      Serve the Lord with gladness ; 
                      come before His presence with singing.

Minister        Let us pray.


Heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of truth who everywhere art present and fillest all things ; the Treasury of good and the Bestower of Life : come and abide with us ; purify us from every stain, and, by Thine indwelling, save our souls.

Come and abide with us O Saviour, according to Thy Word.

When ye pray forgive, if ye have aught against any ; that your Father in heaven also may forgive you your trespasses.

PRAYER —Extempore and/or the following :

O God of Love, who, through Thine only begotten Son hast given a new commandment that we should love one another, even as Thou hast loved us —the unworthy and the wandering— and hast given Thy Beloved for our life and salvation ; we pray Thee give us, Thy servants, in all time of our sojourning here on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a clean conscience, sincere thoughts, and a heart to love all our brethren; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Look upon us in Thy loving-kindness, O Lord.

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord ; thoughts of peace and not of evil.  And ye shall call upon me and I will harken unto you, and ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye search for Me with all your hearts.


Minister      God be in my head,
Response     And in my understanding ;
Minister      God, be in mine eyes,
Response     And in my looking ;
Minister      God be in my mouth,
Response     And in my speaking ;
Minister      God be in my heart,
Response     And in my thinking.

Most glorious Lord God ; as Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice, so, we pray Thee, make us glad this day with the tokens of Thy love ; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

The Rodborough Bede Book
London. 1943.
The Independent Press Ltd.
Memorial Hall, E.C. 4

27 October 2015

25 October 2015

Eddis: Sacramental Hymn (CathAp Hymnal)

Note:  The term "Irvingite" is almost always appended to the name of the Catholic Apostolic Church, and I have done so many times for the sake of clarity.  But the members of that Church rejected the name "Irvingite" as they insisted they were not a personality cult.
Christ the King, Gordon Square

One of my chief interests in the history of the English denomination named the Catholic Apostolic Church (CAC or CathAp) is in the two editions of its Hymnal compiled and edited by Edward Wilton Eddis, a poet who held the office of Prophet in the CAC.  He co-authored the hymnal with Apostle John Bate Cardale, the architect of Catholic Apostolic liturgical worship.

Of the liturgical worship many wrote that the hymns of the Catholic Apostolic Church had a great deal to do with its success.  Those hymns, compiled and edited by E.W. Eddis and Cardale, were printed without tunes  A separate book entitled Hymn Tunes by Edmund Hart Turpin came slightly later as well as a tune book for the singing of the Psalter to Gregorian plainsong.

Many of the remembrances of Catholic Apostolic worship are of the strong, vibrant, vigorous singing of all the members.  It was expected that all would sing, and all did sing.  The liturgy was fixed with prayers intoned, and anything marked by rubric to be sung had to be sung.  The Anglican manner of speaking things meant for singing was forbidden.  Some of the early discussion about the success of this denomination focused upon the original hymns written by members of this Church and the enthusiastic manner in which the community sang to God.

Below you will find a scan of one of E.W. Eddis' finest hymns for the Eucharist.  The second verse is not by Eddis but is consistent with his thought and the teaching of the CAC.

Following the hymn immediately a doxology was to be sung to the same tune, and the 2nd Edition of the hymnal provided the following text. 

+   +   +

Another text by E.W. Eddis worth sharing is one he wrote for Good Friday and Easter Eve.  It expresses well the theology of this Church:

            Our sins, our sorrows, Lord, were laid on Thee;
            Thy stripes have healed, Thy bonds have set us free;
            And now Thy toil is o’er, Thy grief and pain
            Have passed away; the veil is rent in twain.

            Now hast Thou laid Thee down in perfect peace
            Where all the wicked from their troubling cease,
            And tranquil Sabbath in the grave to keep;
            Thy Father giveth His Belovèd sleep.

            Yet in Thy glory, on the throne above,
            Thou wast abiding ever, Love of Love,
            Eternal, filling all created things
            With Thine own presence, Jesus, King of kings!

            E’en now our place is with Thee on the throne,
            For Thou abidest ever with Thine own;
            Yet in the tomb with Thee, we watch for day;
            O let Thine angel roll the stone away!

            O, by Thy life within us, set us free!
            Reveal the glory that is hid with Thee!
            Glory to God the Father, God the Son,
            And God the Holy Spirit, ever One.


(Irvingite) Opening Rite of the Holy Eucharist


I have been spending some time re-reading through the eucharistic liturgy and offices of the Catholic Apostolic Church [Irvingite].  The CAC may be defunct, but the vision enshrined in the Liturgy deserves far more study.  

I believe even a casual reader perusing the entire sequence of liturgies would see the clear influence this liturgical cycle had upon liturgical revision in the Anglican Communion, the Church of Scotland, and even the former German Reformed Church in the USA in the early 20th century.

Below, dear reader, you will find scans of the beginning of the Holy Eucharist of the Catholic Apostolic Church, 1847.  To my knowledge no community makes use of this eucharistic liturgy today, but most of its components should be familiar by kind if not by letter to most liturgical Christians:


24 October 2015

Preparing for Holy Communion


High Altar, Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church, Houston, Texas
during the pastorate of the founding priest, Fr. James T Moore, PhD

O God who hath ordained these Holy Mysteries for a commemoration of our Saviour’s wonderful love in laying down his life for us; and for the communication of the benefits of his death and passion to us; we beseech thee to dispose all those who intend to be made partakers of them, to come to Thy Holy Table with such sincere repentance of all their sins, and unfeigned resolutions of better obedience; with such an humble faith and ardent love unto Thee and to all men: That they may comfortably hope for Thy precious pardon, and for the power of the Holy Spirit, to carry them, by patience in well doing, unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Salve Regina + Pilgrim's Manual, Walsingham


Today I felt I should post this since it has been a number of years since I first pointed to it as part of the Anglican Patrimony worthy of use today.  Below is a scan of the Salve Regina translated into English as it appeared in the 1950's era Pilgrim's Manual of the Anglican Shrine of Walsingham in England.  

Click (or double click) on the image below for a slightly larger and more legible version:


23 October 2015

Vespers Hymn: Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel


Jesu, brightness of the Father!
Life and strength of all who live!
In the presence of the angels,
Glory to Thy name we give;
And Thy wondrous praise rehearse,
Singing in alternate verse.

Hail, too, ye angelic powers!
Hail, ye thrones celestial!
Hail, Physician of salvation!
Guide of life, blest Raphael
Who the foe of all mankind
Didst in links of iron bind.

Oh may Christ, by thy protection,
Shelter us from harm this day;
Keep us pure in flesh and spirit;
Save us from the enemy;
and vouchsafe us, of His grace,
In His Paradise a place.

Glory to the Almighty Father,
Sing we now in anthems sweet;
Glory to the great Redeemer,
Glory to the Paraclete;
Three in one, and one in three,
Througout all eternity. Amen

Rabanus Maurus
Fr. Edward Caswall, translator

Ronald Knox: Miracles

"And a miracle-a miracle is a very simple thing by comparison. It happens when, once and again in these long aeons of the world's existence, God expresses His will more directly, by suspending for a moment, at one tiny pin-point of space, the operation of those laws which could have no force and no validity but from Him. Just in the millionth instance God does, without the aid of secondary causes, what He is continually doing by means of secondary causes. Just in the millionth instance He multiplies bread instead of multiplying the wheat. Just in the millionth instance He will have the dew form not everywhere but just here. Is that so much of a privilege to claim for the Omnipotent? Is that impossible with God, with such a God?"

Monsignor Ronald Knox

The General Thanksgiving (Anglican)


I came across an old copy of the U.S. Episcopalian 1941 Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors.  In its 'Order for Worship' -- an abbreviated Divine Office -- I encountered with gratitude one of my very favourite Anglican prayers.  Now I joyfully share it with you, dear Reader:

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors


22 October 2015

From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (USA)


For those raised on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (USA), the following collect was said following the Kyrie at Holy Communion at every celebration of the Eucharist. It was jettisoned in the 1979 US revision, and for many it became "the lost collect".  

I suggest putting it on a little card and carrying it with you to pray daily until you have learnt it by heart and it becomes a prayer of the heart:

O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that, through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 


Saint John Paul II: No. 8 from 'Veritatis Splendor'


Saint John Paul II
Veritatis Splendor
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 6 August, Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, in the year 1993, the fifteenth of his Pontificate.

"Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?" (Mt 19:16)

8. The question which the rich young man puts to Jesus of Nazareth is one which rises from the depths of his heart. It is an essential and unavoidable question for the life of every man, for it is about the moral good which must be done, and about eternal life. 

The young man senses that there is a connection between moral good and the fulfilment of his own destiny. He is a devout Israelite, raised as it were in the shadow of the Law of the Lord. If he asks Jesus this question, we can presume that it is not because he is ignorant of the answer contained in the Law. 

It is more likely that the attractiveness of the person of Jesus had prompted within him new questions about moral good. He feels the need to draw near to the One who had begun his preaching with this new and decisive proclamation: "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel" (Mk 1:15).

People today need to turn to Christ once again in order to receive from him the answer to their questions about what is good and what is evil. Christ is the Teacher, the Risen One who has life in himself and who is always present in his Church and in the world. It is he who opens up to the faithful the book of the Scriptures and, by fully revealing the Father's will, teaches the truth about moral action. At the source and summit of the economy of salvation, as the Alpha and the Omega of human history (cf. Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13), Christ sheds light on man's condition and his integral vocation. 

Consequently, "the man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly — and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being — must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. 

He must, so to speak, enter him with all his own self; he must 'appropriate' and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deeper wonder at himself".

If we therefore wish to go to the heart of the Gospel's moral teaching and grasp its profound and unchanging content, we must carefully inquire into the meaning of the question asked by the rich young man in the Gospel and, even more, the meaning of Jesus' reply, allowing ourselves to be guided by him. Jesus, as a patient and sensitive teacher, answers the young man by taking him, as it were, by the hand, and leading him step by step to the full truth.
Saint John Paul II
6 August A.D. 1993
Transfiguration of the Lord


In the Temple of the eternal High Priest


From An Instruction of St Columbanus, Abbott

Perpetual light in the temple of the eternal High Priest

How blest, how very blest are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes! How blest it is to be wakeful and watching for God, who created all things, who fills them with being and exceeds all of them in greatness!

I am a lowly creature but I am still his servant, and I hope that he will choose to wake me from slumber. I hope that he will set me on fire with the flame of his divine love, the flame that burns above the stars, so that I am filled with desire for his love and his fire burns always within me!

I hope that I may deserve this, that my little lamp should burn all night in the temple of the Lord and shine on all who enter the house of God! Lord, I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my God, give me a love that cannot stumble so that my lamp can be lit but can never go out: let it burn in me and give light to others.

And you, Christ, our gentle saviour, in your kindness light our lamps so that they shine for ever in your temple and lighten our darkness and dispel the shadows of the world.

I beg you, my Jesus, fill my lamp with your light. By its light let me see the holiest of holy places, your own temple where you enter as the eternal High Priest of the eternal mysteries. Let me see you, watch you, desire you. Let me love you as I see you, and before you let my lamp always shine, always burn.

Beloved Saviour, show yourself to us who beg a glimpse of you. Let us know you, let us love you, let us love only you, let us desire you alone, let us spend our days and nights meditating on you alone, let us always be thinking of you.

Fill us with love of you, let us love you with all the love that is your right as our God. Let that love fill us and possess us, let it overwhelm our senses until we can love nothing but you, for you are eternal. 

Give us that love that all the waters of the sea, the earth, the sky cannot extinguish: as it is written, love that no flood can quench, no torrents drown. What is said in the Song of Songs can become true in us (at least in part) if you, our Lord Jesus Christ, give us that grace. To you be glory for ever and for ever. Amen.

Not My Will But Thine Be Done


O LORD JESUS CHRIST, who didst die for me and give Thyself for me, grant me the light of Thy Holy Spirit that I may know what Thou wouldst have me to do. I offer myself entirely to Thee to do what seemeth good in Thy sight: not my will but Thine be done. Correct whatsoever Thou seest amiss in me, strengthen my weak resolutions, restrain my wayward desires, remove all hindrances to the fulfilment of Thy will, and give me grace so to follow the leadings of Thy Providence, that my life may be spent to Thy honour and glory, in whatsoever way it pleases Thee, who livest and reignest, God for ever and ever. Amen.

A Manual of Devotion
The Rt. Rev. Thos. F. Gailor
Episcopalian Bishop of Tennessee, USA


21 October 2015

Swords and Staves


Let us remember all of the New Martyrs — the children, the women, the men —who have died for the Name of Jesus Christ at the hand of merciless Muslims.  Let us pray for grace to have a like resolve to that of these New Martyrs of the Holy Faith so that in the evil day, having done all to stand, we shall stand with Jesus Christ the Righteous in His sorrowful passion, in His holy death, and in His mighty Resurrection.

            O GOD, who didst allow the swords and staves
            of armed men to oppose the pure majesty
            of the Prince of peace: Grant us his disciples
            to fear no threatenings of force nor assaults
            of evil, but to stand immovable in the might
            of thy Spirit and the testimony of faith;
            through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

                                                            Eric Milner-White


20 October 2015

Catholic Apostolic (Irvingite): Evening Intercession


The former Catholic Apostolic Church in Edinburgh, Scotland
The former High Altar of this church (not pictured) is now
the High Altar of St. Mary Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh

ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, who hast given unto Thy Son Jesus Christ power over all flesh, that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him ; and hast raised Him to Thy right hand to be High Priest over the House of God, and the Angel and Mediator of the New Covenant, ever present with Thy people ; In His Name we come before Thy holy Altar, and make intercession unto Thee.

Hear, O Most Holy Lord God, the supplications and prayers of Thy people which have been made to Thee this day in Thy holy Church. Let our prayers come up before Thee as incense, and the lifting up of our hands be as the evening sacrifice.

Holy Father, keep, through Thine own Name, those whom Thou hast chosen in Christ Jesus ; preserve them from the evil that is in the world ; sanctify them through Thy truth ; let Thy love be manifested in them ; fill them with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may be one in Thee, O Father, and in Jesus Christ Thy Son ; perfect them in the hope of His Coming; Give unto them a full entrance into His eternal kingdom, and make them partakers of His glory.

Come, O Lord Jesu, be Thou exalted among all nations. Let all kings fall down before Thee, let all nations serve Thee. In every place let incense and a pure offering be offered unto Thy Name, and let the whole earth be filled with Thy glory.

These things we ask, O Heavenly Father, in patient confidence and joyful hope, being assured that we ask them according to Thy will ; that the voice of Thy Church is heard by Thee, that the intercessions of the Holy Ghost are known unto Thee, and that the mediation of Thy well-beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour, doth prevail with Thee.

Wherefore we glorify Thy Name, we fall down before Thy throne, we worship and adore Thy glorious Majesty ; evermore praising Thee and saying, 

 "Salvation be unto our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever.”

"Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever." 

Evening Prayer
The Litugy and Other Divine Offices
of the Catholic Apostolic Church 
Geo. Barclay, Castle Street, Leicester Square
London, 1847

Bishop Ken: Meditation on the Holy Child Jesus


The following is an Anglican meditation written by the sainted Bishop Thomas Ken as part of several simple guides to Christian prayer and life for a younger person, a young scholar at school. I meant to post this on the Feast of el Divino Niño, but I gather for whatever reason now is the right time. May the Child Jesus bless you in the reading of it, and may Thomas Ken pray for us.

This, good Phil. is the lowest degree of duty, and it should be your dayly endeavour, to improve in your devotion, as well as in your learning, and the more effectually to move you to so happy an improvement, I advise you on Sundays and Holy-days, attentively to read over this following Meditation, and to propose to your self, the Holy Child Jesus, for your example.

A Meditation on the Holy Child Jesus.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thou wert twelve years old, didst go up to Jerusalem with Thy Parents, after the custom of the Feast, to eat the Passover, and to worship Thy Heavenly Father.

El Divino Niño, Hanceville, Alabama
        O blessèd Saviour, give me grace like Thee, to make Religion my first, and chiefest care, and devoutly to observe, all solemn times, and all holy Rites, which relate to Thy worship.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thy Parents returned home, didst stay behind in Jerusalem, and after three days, wast found of them in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the Doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

        blessèd Saviour, who in Thy very Childhood, didst triumph over all the vain delights of youth; and wouldst choose no place, but the Temple to reside in, Mortifie in me, all inordinate love of sensual pleasure, which may pervert me from my duty; raise in me an awful reverence of Thy House, an early devotion in my Prayers, and a delight in Thy Praises.

        blessèd Jesu, who didst choose before all others, the company of the Doctors, and didst both hear them, and ask them Questions; give me grace to abhor all lewd company, and all filthy communication, give me grace to love wise, and sober, and profitable, and religious conversation, and to be diligent, and inquisitive after learning, and whatsoever is good.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thy Father, and Mother had sought Thee, sorrowing, didst reply to them, How is it that ye sought me, wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?

        blessèd Jesu, who from Thy infancie didst make it Thy whole imployment, to do Thy Fathers will, kindle in me a forward zeal for Thy Glory, that I may consecrate my youth to Thy service, and make it the great business of my life, to know and fear, to love and obey, my Heavenly Father.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who didst at last return home with Thy Parents, and wert subject to them!

        blessèd Jesu, give me grace to honour my Parents, and Governours, and readily to obey all their lawful commands!

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who in those tender years, wert blessed with such Heavenly wisdom, that all that heard Thee, were astonished at Thy understanding and answers, who didst dayly increase in this Heavenly wisdom, and in favour with God and Man!

        O Lord Jesu, bless me with all abilities of mind and body, that may make me dayly increase in my Learning; but above all, bless me with Wisdom from above, and give me Thy Holy Spirit to assist, and enlighten me, that as I grow in Age, I may dayly grow in Grace, and in the knowledge of Thee, and in favour with God and Man; and every day more and more conformable to Thy Unsinning and Divine example.

Amen, Lord Jesus, Amen.

O Jesus, Roi d’Amour, 
j’ai confiance en ta Miséricordieuse Bonté.
Mère Yvonne-Aimée, priez pour nous.

18 October 2015

A Preparation for the Eucharistic Mystery

V.  I said, Lord, be merciful unto me;
R.  Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last;
And be gracious unto thy servants.

Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us.
Like as we do put our trust in thee.

Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness;
And thy saints sing with joyfulness.

Cleanse thou me from my secret faults;
Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins.

Lord, hear my prayer;
And let my cry come unto thee.

The Lord be with you;
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

MOST gracious God, incline thy merciful ears to our prayers, and enlighten our hearts by the grace of thy Holy Spirit; that we may worthily approach thy holy Mysteries, and love thee with an everlasting love.

     O Lord, we beseech thee, may the Comforter who proceedeth from thee illuminate our minds, and lead us, as thy Son hath promised, into all truth.

     O Lord, we beseech thee, may the power of the Holy Ghost be with us, and both mercifully cleanse and purge our hearts, and defend us from all adversities.

     Cleanse our consciences, we beseech thee, O Lord, by thy visitation; that thy Son our LORD JESUS Christ, when he cometh, may find in us a dwelling-place prepared for himself; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, behold we approach the Sacrament of thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  As sick, we come to the Physician of life: as unclean, to the Fountain of mercy: as blind, to the Light of eternal splendour: as needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth: as naked, to the King of glory.

     We pray thee, therefore, of the abundance of thine infinite majesty, that thou wouldest vouchsafe to heal our sickness, to wash our foulness, to lighten our darkness, to enrich our poverty, to clothe our nakedness; that we may receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and fear, such contrition and love, such faith and purity, such devotion and humility, as is expedient for the welfare of our souls. 

     Grant, we beseech thee, that we may receive not only the outward sign of the Lord's Body and Blood, but also the very gift and virtue of the same.  O most merciful God, grant us so to receive the Body of thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, which he took of the Virgin Mary, that we may be incorporated into his mystical Body, and ever reckoned among his members.  And, O most loving Father, grant that whom we now purpose to receive under a veil we may at length behold with open face, even thy beloved Son, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.

JOY with peace, amendment of life, time for true repentance, the grace and comfort of thy Holy Spirit, perseverance in good works, grant us, O almighty and merciful Lord. Amen.

The Lord be with you;
And with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord;
Thanks be to God.

BLESSED be God, who blesseth and sanctifieth us through our partaking of his holy and precious and heavenly Mysteries, now and for ever and world without end. Amen.

The Cuddesdon College Office Book
London: Oxford University Press, 1961


17 October 2015

Underhill: “The Liturgy leads us out towards Eternity”

from The Mystery of Sacrifice

      The Liturgy leads us out towards Eternity, by way of the acts in which men express their need of God and relation to God. It commits every worshipper to the adventure of holiness, and has no meaning apart from this. In it the Church shows forth again and again her great objective; the hallowing of the whole created order and the restoration of all things in Christ.  

      The Liturgy recapitulates all the essentials in this life of sanctification — to repent, to pray, to listen, to learn; and then to offer upon the altar of God, to intercede, to be transformed to the purposes of God, to be fed and maintained by the very life of God. And though it is the voice of the Church, none the less in it is to be recognised the voice of each separate soul, and the care of the Praying Church for each separate soul “Holy things for the Holy!” cries the celebrant in the earliest liturgies, as he lifts up the consecrated gifts. Not “Good Things for the Good”; but supernatural things for those imperfect creatures, who have been baptised into the Supernatural, translated to another order—those looking towards God the Perfect and beginning to conceive of life as a response to God the Perfect; but unable without the “rich bread of Christ” to actualise the state to which they are called.

I will go up to the Altar of God;
Of God, who giveth joy to my youth!

      The spirit of adventure, courage, vitality, zest are among the qualities of the good communicant. He is there because he has accepted his mysterious vocation; is prepared to embrace his great opportunity, respond to the awful invitation of God, whatever it may involve for him, with reverence, courage and delight. 

       “Blessed be the Kingdom of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!” exclaims the Orthodox priest at the beginning of the rite. It is to this Kingdom and its interests that the worshipper looks. Each of these specks of consciousness is pressed from within, drawn from without, to the altar at which it is offered for the purposes of Love.

Evelyn Underhill
      All the great petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are here to be carried through into action. The Liturgy declares and expresses the filial dependence of man upon God the Transcendent; it could not exist save in virtue of that link with the Transcendent. It is, from first to last, a hallowing of the Name of God. It calls man, the head of creation, to join with angels and archangels in adoring God. It opens the doors of the natural world to the coming of His consecrating and saving power. In it, the creature offers itself under tokens and without reserve for the purposes of His Will, is fed with heavenly food, reconciled and established in the Kingdom of Love, and subdued to the guidance and fostering care of the Unseen. Step by step, conduct, feeling, will and thought are quieted and transformed to this great purpose. By serial acts of penitence, self-offering, adoration and communion, the transition is made from the ever-changing world of use and wont to the world that is insusceptible of change.

      As the life of Jesus proceeds at many levels, from that of perfect man to that of perfect God— “Ye are my brethren: I and the Father are one” —so does the life of the Liturgy proceed at many levels, whilst yet indivisibly one. And as souls at different stages of their growth enter more and more deeply into the significance of the Gospel, and learn to recognize the power and primacy of the Supernatural in and through the earthly acts and words of Christ; so with the Liturgy. Here too, the visible acts and symbols of the expressed religion—the offering, blessing and sharing of the Bread and Wine— stand in close relation to the necessities and simplicities of our Common Life; but they point beyond themselves and are increasingly realized as holy and significant, for they rest upon and manifest the deep union of the Church with God. 

      Since the movement of the Eucharist is thus the movement of the Church’s life, and represents under symbols the very movement and meaning of all life, the individual soul can move with freedom within its majestic rhythms and figures. Its ritual actions provide, as it were, an impersonal frame in which the most secret responses of the spirit to God can find shelter and support. So, without ever losing though with the homely accidents of our physical existence —and indeed by acts and tokens deliberately drawn from that physical existence— the soul is led into the very recesses of the Godhead, and “by love made visible is snatched up to the Invisible Love.”

from The Mystery of Sacrifice
by Evelyn Underhill