31 March 2017

Gallican Rite: The Offertory [OCF]


The Gallican Liturgy had many beautiful elements that make the heart wish they had not been swept aside by Roman fiat. Some of you may recall the occasion of joy when Bl. Pope John XXIII returned most of the Gallican prefaces to the 1962 Missal. Sadly, the gorgeous Maundy Thursday preface – with its profound language of Christ as the only true priest who was without sin – was not among those restored.

There have been several attempts to recreate the Gallican Liturgy in toto, and I will not take time to judge the merits of each, but rather I would like to look at the Offertory Rite as reconstructed by some devout and sincere believers in France.  

I only have a small hand-printed leaflet of the text as used by the Orthodox Church of France and another by a different French community.  Putting the Offertoy into English I have leaned on several translations of the same rite (including one by ROCOR). I make no claims  but simply acknowledge the genius within the rite that follows even if one were to debate the particulars of dynamic or literal translation.

Here is an offertory deeply rooted in the Humility of Christ whose very mind we should seek to have.  The simplicity of this rite with this emblem of humility is one we could use in our day, and I hope what I present below may be thought of in the present tense rather than simply as a historical artifact:


Belovèd brothers and sisters, call upon the Holy Ghost with me, that the LORD may impart to me his ineffable power and that I, an unworthy priest, may dare to offer the one Holy Oblation of our Lord Jesus Christ, because in truth it is He who offers and is offered, He who receives and who distributes, He who is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit throughout all ages. [sæcula sæculorum]

Amen. May the Holy Spirit descend upon you, and the power of the Most High overshadow you.

Forgive me, my sisters and brothers. 

Forgive us, father, and pray for us. 

The celebrant blesses the faithful and himself, saying

May God+forgive you, and may God+forgive us all.

If during the day the Offertory continues with the singing of "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" otherwise "Phos hilaron" is sung at vesper-light.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and stand in fearful trembling. Ponder nothing worldly-minded for the King of kings and Lord of lords draws nigh to be sacrificed giving himself as nourishment to the faithful. 

Anglican Patrimony: Propers for the Sacred Heart [Anglican Missal]

From the Propers for the Sacred Heart from the Anglican Missal 
A Manual of Catholic Devotion, pp. 346-348.

O GOD, who hast suffered the Heart of thy Son to be wounded by our sins and in that very Heart hast bestowed on us the abundant riches of thy love: grant that the devout homage of our hearts which we render unto him may of thy mercy be deemed a recompense acceptable in thy sight.  Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THY rebuke hath broken my heart, I am full of heaviness:  I looked for some to have pity upon me, but there was no man : neither found I any to comfort me.

ONE of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

O LORD Jesus Christ, who hast given unto us to taste of the sweetness of thy gracious Heart: kindle in us by these holy mysteries the fire of thy divine charity, that we may learn to despise the joys of earth and to set our affections on things above: Who livest and reignest.

+O Lord, save the World.

J.M. Neale: Ex more docti mystico

The sainted John Mason Neale's marvellous translation of Ex more docti mystico by Saint Gregory the Great is one we should all sing at least once during the great and holy season of Lent.  

 The text and mode ii melody may be found in The English Hymnal, No. 65, if memory serves.

The fast, as taught by holy lore,
we keep in solemn course once more:
the fast to all men known, and bound
in forty days of yearly round.

The law and seers that were of old
in divers ways this Lent foretold,
which Christ, all seasons' King and Guide,
in after ages sanctified.

More sparing therefore let us make
the words we speak, the food we take,
our sleep and mirth, -- and closer barred
be every sense in holy guard:

Avoid the evil thoughts that roll
like waters o'er the heedless soul;
nor let the foe occasion find
our souls in slavery to bind.

In prayer together let us fall,
and cry for mercy, one and all,
and weep before the Judge's feet,
and His avenging wrath entreat.

Thy grace have we offended sore,
by sins, O God, which we deplore;
but pour upon us from on high,
O pardoning One, Thy clemency.

Remember Thou, though frail we be,
that yet Thine handiwork are we;
nor let the honor of Thy Name
be by another put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought;
increase the good that we have sought:
that we at length, our wanderings o'er,
may please Thee here and evermore.

We pray thee, Holy Trinity,
One God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence. Amen.

Anglican Patrimony: Translation of "Dies Irae"

Day of Wrath, O Day of Mourning
Thomas of Celano:  Dies Irae, Dies Illa
William Irons, translator

Day of wrath, O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophet’s warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning.
Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth
When from Heav’n the Judge descendeth
On Whose sentence all dependeth!

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
Through earth’s sepulchres it ringeth,
All before the throne it bringeth.
Death is struck and nature quaking;
All creation is awaking,
To its Judge an answer making.

Lo, the book, exactly worded,
Wherein all hath been recorded;
Thence shall judgment be awarded.
When the Judge His seat attaineth
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unavenged remaineth.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding
When the just are mercy needing?
King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us.

Think, good Jesus, my salvation
Caused Thy wondrous incarnation;
Leave me not to reprobation!
Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
On the cross of suffering bought me;
Shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution
Ere that day of retribution!
Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning:
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning!

From that sinful woman shriven,
From the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
Worthless are my prayers and sighing;
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.

With Thy favoured sheep, oh, place me!
Nor among the goats abase me,
But to Thy right hand upraise me.
While the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me, with Thy saints surrounded.

Low I kneel with heart submission,
See, like ashes, my contrition;
Help me in my last condition!
Day of sorrow, day of weeping,
When, in dust no longer sleeping,
Man awakes in Thy dread keeping!

This additional verse may be used with tunes of a different metre:

To the rest Thou didst prepare me
On Thy cross; O Christ, upbear me!
Spare, O God, in mercy spare me!


Father Faber: "Hail, Jesus, Hail"


HAIL, Jesus, hail! who for my sake
Sweet blood from Mary's veins didst take
And shed it all for me:
Oh, blessèd be my Saviour's blood,
My light, my life, my only good,
To all eternity.

To endless ages let us praise
The precious blood, whose price could raise
The world from wrath and sin:
Whose streams our inward thirst appease
And heal the sinner's worst disease,
If he but bathe therein.

Oh, sweetest blood, that can implore 
Pardon of God, and heaven restore,
The heaven which sin had lost;
While Abel's blood for vengeance pleads,
What Jesus shed still intercedes
For those who wrong him most.

Oh, to be sprinkled from the wells
Of Christ's own sacred blood, excels
Earth's best and highest bliss;
The ministers of wrath divine
Hurt not the happy hearts that shine
With those red drops of his.

Ah, there is joy amid the saints,
And hell's despairing courage faints
When this sweet song we raise:
Oh, louder then, and louder still,
Earth with one mighty chorus fill,
The precious blood to praise. 

[18TH CENT.  TR. F.W. FABER, 1814-62]



30 March 2017

Catholic Prayers for Syria - Aid to the Church in Need


The following prayers come from Aid to the Church in Need:


My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.

Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy.

Our Lady asked for the Rosary to be prayed daily for world peace. During Lent we can renew our efforts to pray the rosary each day. This week we may want to offer our rosaries, prayers and penances for Sister Annie and her team, the safe return of Rima and Youhanna (kidnapped by Daesh) and all priests and others who remain missing at this time.

Litany for Syria

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Syria, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Syria, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Syria, pray for us.
St Joseph, patron and protector of the Universal Church, pray for Syria, pray for us.
Martyrs of Syria and the Middle East, pray for Syria, pray for us.
Saints of Syria and the Middle East, pray for Syria, pray for us.
St Charbel, pray for Syria, pray for us. 

from the Benedictional of St Ethelwold


WE beseech thee, O Lord, open to us thy heavens, and open our eyes to thee; that from thence thy gifts may descend to us and from hence our hearts look back to thee. 

May thy treasuries be laid open to us, while we receive the benefits which we implore; may our minds be laid open to thee, while we offer thee the service which is enjoined to us. 

Look down from heaven, O Lord, behold and visit this vine which thy right hand hath planted. Strengthen the weak, relieve the contrite, confirm the strong. Build them up in love, cleanse them with purity, enlighten them with wisdom, keep them with mercy. 

Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd, who didst lay down thy life for the sheep, defend the purchase of thy Blood. 

Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, seek the lost, convert the wandering, bind up that which is broken. 

Put forth thine own hand from heaven, and touch the head of each one here. May they feel the touch of thy hand, and receive the joy of the Holy Spirit, and abide in thy peace for evermore. Amen.

from The Benedictional of St Ethelwold

Eucharistic Prayers from the Ancient Liturgies
Chosen and Arranged
Evelyn Underhill
Longmans, Green and Co.

29 March 2017

Austin Farrer: Of Heaven and Resurrection [Anglican Patrimony]


The following is an excerpt from Austin Farrer's classic Saving Belief :

1. To hope for heaven has nothing particularly selfish about it.  No one ever thought he could keep heaven to himself.

2. Heaven is not a cash payment for walking with God; it's where the road goes.

3. Heaven isn't an optional extra; our belief is nonsense without it.

4. Our reason for believing it isn't that nature points to it, but that it leads us to itself.

I should like to develop the last point a bit.  Heaven is nothing that created nature produces; it is a new creation.  Two consequences follow from this.  The first is, that we have no interest in trying to isolate a piece of us called 'soul', which tends to outlive the body's collapse.  Our immortality is the new gift of God, not the survival of our old nature, whether in whole or in part.  It was pagan Greeks who talked about immortal soul; and with reason; for (to put it shortly) they thought the human spirit was a piece of godhead, able to guarantee immortal being to itself.  The religion of the Bible teaches no such doctrine.  God alone can give us a future.  It is better, then, to talk about the resurrection of man than about the immortality of 'soul'.  Belief in resurrection is belief not in ourselves, but in God who raises us.  It is in fact the acid test, whether we believe in God or not.  A God who raises the dead is a real power; he is not just a fanciful name for the order of nature, whether physical or moral.  A God so identified with the natural order that he adds nothing to it is difficult to distinguish from the world he rules, or from the laws which govern it.

Old Indian thought evaded the issue by making the cycle of the soul's rebirths a part of nature, like the seasons and the tides.  And as the lazy mind need not distinguish the God of the tides from the tides, neither need it distinguish the cycles of rebirth from the God of the cycles.  But when we realise that man's person, the living image of God, is bound to be sucked down in the whirlpool of decay, unless God rescues it; then faith in God begins to mean something.  It alters the whole picture.

Austin Farrer
Austin Farrer
Saving Belief .
pp. 120-121
Library of Anglican Spirituality, Susan Howatch, ed.

“Born in 1904, the son of a Baptist minister, Austin Farrer was ordained an Anglican priest and served in Oxford as chaplain and fellow of both St Edmund’s Hall and Trinity College before becoming Warden of Keble College, a post he held until his death in 1968. Austin Farrer was a renowned preacher, philosopher and biblical scholar as well as being regarded for his humour, originality, eloquence and deep spirituality. His life was rooted in prayer. He wrote, ‘Prayer and dogma are inseparable. They alone can explain each other’.” — from The Diocese of Oxford, Church of England.

King's Chapel, Boston: "O Lord and heavenly Father"


King's Chapel (est. 1686) in Boston, Massachusetts is a most unique congregation.  The Church is Unitarian Christian theologically, Congregational in polity, and its style of worship is self-described as Anglican. The congregation publishes an extremely handsome edition of their prayer book i.e., The Book of Common Prayer 1986 According to the Use in King's Chapel, Boston. And one would be very hard pressed to characterise their prayer book as anything outside of the Anglican norms for liturgy of course excepting the unitarian christian theological position. After being out of print for a number of years, the book is now in print again and is available via the King's Chapel website  for US$52.50. 

The following prayer is taken from the First Order for Holy Communion on Page 79 of the King's Chapel Book of Common Prayer 1986:

O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, beseeching thee to grant that looking unto Christ and entering into the fellowship of his suffering, we may be changed into his likeness and with him pass from death into life. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice, humbly beseeching thee, that all we who are partakers of this holy communion may be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, according to thine abundant mercies in Christ Jesus our Lord; through whom all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father almighty, world without end. Amen.


28 March 2017

Eric Milner-White: Lord, bless to me this Lent


Laetare Sunday is now done and dusted, the Simnel Cake consumed, and the rose-coloured vestments tucked away till next Advent. Yet for some it feels as if this Lent is not quite what it should be. A friend wrote, "I feel somehow I got off on the wrong foot this Lent."

It is never too late to consecrate anew your Lenten journey at this very moment for what is left of the Season. To that end I share a well-known prayer of Eric Milner-White (1884-1963) that appeared in the 1967 edition of My God, My Glory:

LORD, bless to me this Lent.

Lord, let me fast most truly and profitably,
by feeding in prayer on thy Spirit:
reveal me to myself
in the light of thy holiness.

Suffer me never to think
that I have knowledge enough to need no teaching,
wisdom enough to need no correction,
talents enough to need no grace,
goodness enough to need no progress,
humility enough to need no repentance,
devotion enough to need no quickening,
strength sufficient without thy Spirit;
lest, standing still, I fall back for evermore.

Shew me the desires that should be disciplined,
and sloths to be slain.
Shew me the omissions to be made up
and the habits to be mended.
And behind these, weaken, humble, and annihilate in me
self-will, self-righteousness, self-satisfaction,
self-sufficiency, self-assertion, vainglory.

May my whole effort be to return to thee;
O make it serious and sincere
persevering and fruitful in result,
by the help of thy Holy Spirit
and to thy glory,
my Lord and my GOD.

The Very Reverend Dr  Eric Milner-White 
My God, My Glory
SPCK: London

Karl Adam: 'So Completely Does Jesus Disclose Himself'


Karl Adam writes:

Sacred Heart Chapel
Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio
For so completely does Jesus disclose Himself to His disciples, so profound is the action of His grace, that He gives Himself to them and enters into them as a personal source of grace. 

Jesus shares with His disciples His most intimate possession, the most precious thing that He has, His own self, His personality as the God-man. We eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. 

So greatly does Jesus love His community, that He permeates it, not merely with His blessing and His might, but with his real Self, God and Man; He enters into a real union of flesh and blood with it, and binds it to His being even as the branch is bound to the vine. We are not left orphans in this world. 

Under the forms of bread and wine the Master lives amid His disciples, the Bridegroom with His bride, the Lord in the midst of His community, until that day when He shall return in visible majesty on the clouds of heaven. 

The Sacrament of the Altar is the strongest, profoundest, most intimate memorial of the Lord, until He come again. And therefore we can never forget Jesus, though centuries and millennia pass, and though nations and civilizations are ever perishing and rising anew. 

And therefore there is no heart in the world, not even the heart of father or mother, that is so loved by millions and millions, so truly and loyally, so practically and devotedly, as is the Heart of Jesus.

Karl Adam
The Spirit of Catholicism

Confession from a trial order for Compline (Anglican Church of North America)


The following is a new form of Confession found in the new Compline liturgy of the Anglican Church of North America (which has nothing to do with the Anglican Church of Canada or the Episcopal Church USA). As I understand it the new liturgies of ACNA are provisional in nature and are part of their groundwork for a new edition of The Book of Common Prayer for their own communities and parishes.

     Almighty God and Father, we confess to you,
     to one another, and to the whole company of heaven,
     that we have sinned, through our own fault,
     in thought, and word, and deed,
     and in what we have left undone.
     For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
     have mercy upon us, forgive us all our sins,
     and by the power of your Holy Spirit
     raise us up to serve you in newness of life,
     to the glory of your Name. Amen.


Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows [Anglican Patrimony]

An Anglo-Catholic litany

Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, sorrowing in thine agony and sharing in thy bitter cup, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful O Lord, to us sinners and at the pleading of thy mother, suffering in thy sufferings and bruised with thy stripes, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, who saw thee crowned with thorns and robed with shame, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, whose love unvanquished trod thy way of sorrows, O Jesus mercy;
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, whose soul was pierced beneath thy Cross, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Eric Milner-White

"Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy on me."
Saint Margaret Clitherow

A Pleading of the Passion [Anglican Patrimony]

The following Litany is an example of the extraordinary treasury of Anglican litanies and prayers that are almost entirely forgotten or unused.  I hope, dear Reader, that you may find this a worthy devotion to use ...especially on Fridays and weekdays in Lent... in order to draw nearer to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

ORD, have mercy upon us.
...........Christ, have mercy upon us.
........................LORD, have mercy upon us.


O Saviour of the world, who by the Cross and Precious Blood hast redeemed us ;
Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

JESUS, who to thine awed disciples didst foreshow thy body broken, and thy blood shed ;
Have mercy upon us.

JESUS, who in an agony of prayer, didst take the cup of pain ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, betrayed by a kiss ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, forsaken by thy friends ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, denied by Peter ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, who bound before Caiaphas,
didst confess thyself the Son of God ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, blindfolded, struck, and spat upon ;
Have mercy upon us.

who while thine enemies were instant
with loud voices before the governor,
wast silent ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, whom Herod mocked and arrayed in a gorgeous robe ;
Have mercy upon us

Jesus, crowned with thorns ;
Have mercy upon us

Jesus, brought forth that all might behold their king ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, acclaimed by the people, "Crucify him crucify" ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, rejected for Barabbas ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, condemned to death ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, scourged ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, who wast led forth in shame along the way of sorrow ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, falling beneath the Cross ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, who amid uproar and weeping didst come to Calvary ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, stripped naked before men ;
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, laid on the cross ;
Have mercy upon us.

By the nails through hands and feet ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy parched lips ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy ears filled with ribaldry and scorn ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the forgiveness of thy foes ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy promise to the penitenet ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy love to thy beloved ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy broken heart ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy soul all desolate ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy spirit rendered to the Father ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy death ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart; from pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From fornication, and all other deadly sin; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all dread of thy service, and distrust of thy love; from enmity to thy cross and scorn of thy passion ;
Good Lord, deliver us.

Let us confess our sins, saying together :

We confess to God Almighty, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
before the whole company of heaven, 
that we have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, 
through our fault, our own fault, our own most grievous fault; 
wherefore we pray God to have mercy upon us. 
May God Almighty have mercy upon us, 
forgive us our sins, 
and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy upon you, and forgive you all your sins, deliver you from all evil, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen.

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon, absolution, and remission of all your sins, time for true repentance, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Now unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood and hath made us kings, and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Cambridge Offices and Orisons
E. Milner-White, B.T.D. Smith

Prayers from The Saint Ambrose Prayer Book [Western Rite Orthodox]

GOD, who resistest the proud, and givest grace to the humble: grant us the virtue of true humility, whereof Thine Only-begotten showed in Himself a pattern for Thy faithful; that we may never by our pride provoke Thine anger, but rather by our meekness receive the riches of Thy grace. Amen.

O GOD, who rejectest none that come unto Thee, but in loving-kindness art appeased even with the greatest sinners who repent: mercifully regard our prayers in our humiliation, and enlighten our hearts that we may be able to fulfil Thy commandments.   

O GOD, who justifiest the ungodly, and willest not the death of a sinner: we humbly entreat Thy Majesty to protect Thy servants, who trust in Thy mercy, with Thy heavenly assistance, and preserve them by Thy continual protection; that they may constantly serve Thee, and by no temptation be separated from Thee. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and most Merciful God, who didst cause a fount of living water to spring out of a rock for Thy people in their thirst: draw forth tears of compunction from our stony hearts; that we may weep over our sins, and by Thy mercy deserve to obtain pardon for the same. Amen.

SAINT Joseph, defender and father of Virgins, unto whose faithful guardianship were committed Christ Jesus, very Innocence, and Mary, Virgin of virgins: I pray and beseech thee by Jesus and Mary, thy dearly beloved charge, that thou wouldst preserve me from all uncleanness; and make me with undefiled mind, and in purity of heart and boy, ever to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity. Amen.

from The Saint Ambrose Prayer Book

The Very Revd Father John G. Winfrey, editor
First Edition, 2008