Quod confitetur lingua, teneat affectus

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Sant'Ambrogio scrivendo.jpg

I rejoice to celebrate the Votive Office and Mass of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Thursday whenever the rubrics permit it. At Matins I read Saint Ambrose (De Sacramentis 4:4); he is astonishing in his simplicity and clarity. How I love this text!

And yes, dear readers, that is a beehive resting on the book next to Saint Ambrose! So gifted was he at extracting spiritual honey from the Scriptures, and so sweet was his preaching to the palate of souls, that, in his iconography, he came to be depicted with bees and beehives.

The same symbolism is associated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the Doctor Mellifluus (Honey-flowing Doctor) and "the last of the Fathers."

"Ergo non otiose, cum accipis,
tu dicis: Amen;
jam in spiritu confitens,
quod accipias corpus Christi.
Dicit tibi sacerdos: Corpus Christi:
et tu dicis: Amen.
Hoc est, verum.
Quod confitetur lingua,
teneat affectus."

"Therefore it is not idly that,
when thou art a-receiving, thou sayest: "Amen";
testifying in thine heart that
That which thou art taking is the Body of Christ.
The priest saith unto thee: "The Body of Christ!" and thou answerest: "Amen"
That is to say: "It is true." What then thy tongue confesseth, let thine heart hold to."

3 Comments

Father,

How do votive offices work? I know how votive Masses work, but I wasn't aware of votive offices... are they in the "old" Breviary?

Hope your Antiphonale arrived?

I didn't know there were Votive Offices in the new Office?!

I've just found the answer to my own question on a bulletin board (and yours, Brendano):

Leo XIII introduced some votive offices to match those masses, but they were removed relatively quickly in the changes of Pius X, as unlike ferial masses (which just repeat Sunday's), the Office each day is proper, and so something would be missed by replacing it.

In the new Liturgia Horarum one could for example do a votive office of St. Joseph just as a priest could do a votive mass of St. Joseph. However,this could only be done when the calendar permits it (one could not do a votive office during Lent for example):-

"For a public cause or out of devotion, except on solemnities, the Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, the octave of Easter, and 2 November, a votive office may be celebrated, in whole or in part: for example, on the occasion of a pilgrimage, a local feast, or the external solemnity of a saint." [GILOH 2145]

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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