Liturgical Texts: September 2006 Archives

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ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR
All that you have done to us, O Lord, you have done in true justice, for we have sinned against you and we have failed to obey your commandments; but give glory to your name and deal with us according to the multitude of your mercy. V. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord (Dan 3:31, 29, 30, 43, 42; Ps 118:1).

COLLECT

O God, who manifest your almighty power
most of all in showing mercy and granting pardon;
multiply your grace upon us
that we, running toward your promises,
may be made sharers in the good things of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

Blessed is the man
who meditates on the law of the Lord day and night;
he shall bring forth fruit in due season (Ps 1:2-3).

ACT OF PENITENCE

Your statutes have become our song
in the land of exile (Ps 118:54).
Kyrie, eleison.

Your promise is sweeter to our taste
than honey in the mouth (Ps 118:103).
Christe, eleison.

Your word is a lamp for our steps
and a light for our path (Ps 118:105).
Kyrie, eleison.

COLLECT

O God,
who gave your priest Saint Jerome
a sweet and living passion for Sacred Scripture,
grant that your people
may be more abundantly nourished by your word,
and find in it the wellspring of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty in strength who do his word,
hearkening to the voice of his word (Ps 102:20).

COLLECT

O God, who have constituted
in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and men:
be pleased to grant that our life here on earth
may be protected by those who stand in readiness
to serve you in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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Today’s memorial of the Filipino Saint Lorenzo Ruiz illustrates the marvelous universalization of the Church’s calendar that took place during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Saint Lorenzo’s descendants still live today in the same district outside Manila where he and his family lived in the 1600s. Saint Lorenzo was a husband and father, a professional calligrapher by trade, a saint who spoke Tagalog, Chinese, and Spanish, a martyr who gave his life for Christ in Japan, far from family and home. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II, together with other Filipino martyrs, in 1987.

Mass of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

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ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor,
and to heal the contrite of heart (cf. Lk 4:18).

COLLECT

O God, who for the salvation of the poor
and the instruction of the clergy
endowed the blessed priest Vincent with apostolic virtues,
grant, we pray,
that inflamed by that same spirit,
we may both loved what he loved
and carry out what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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In an altar retable painted in thanksgiving for the end of the plague that devastated Venice in 1510, Titian shows (lower left) Saints Cosmas and Damian, the holy physician martyrs together with (lower right) Saints Roch and Sebastian. Enthroned above them is Saint Mark the Evangelist, patron of Venice. While Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian represent the sick and wounded, Saints Cosmas and Damian represent those who minister the healing power of Christ.

COLLECT

May the venerable memory
of your saints Cosmas and Damian
magnify you, O Lord,
for in your ineffable providence,
you have bestowed upon them eternal glory
and upon us the richness of your help.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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"And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them;
and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but him who sent me'" (Mark 9:36–37).

My nephew, Michael Colin Kirby, seems to be part of the icon of Christ with the little children on the wall behind him. In today's Mass, Our Lord draws us into the way of spiritual childhood and humble service. The Mass opens with Christ Himelf singing to His Church the strong and reassuring words, "Salus populi ego sum" (Ps 77:1). "I am the salvation, the wholeness, the happiness of the people." One who takes that message to heart willingly places his life in the hands of Christ and follows Him, trusting in His merciful goodness.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR
I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. From whatever tribulations they cry out to me, I will give heed to them, and I will be their Lord forever (Cf. Ps 36: 39-40). V. Attend, O my people to my law; incline your ear to the words of my mouth (Ps 77:1).

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There is a verse in the book of Ezra that is, I think, a wonderful expression of the life and mission of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina: “The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion, sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves” (Ez 6:20). Padre Pio's life was a long and uninterrupted celebration of the Pasch of the Lord. Configured to Jesus Crucified, Priest and Victim, Padre Pio offered himself to the Father in the daily Sacrifice of the Mass. Saint Pio’s paschal immolation — his participation in the Cross of Christ — was for the sake of "the rest of the exiles," all of us who go mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. And it was for the sake of "his brethren": for all priests called to follow him in a life of paschal purity and victimhood,

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
God forbid that I should glory
except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world is crucified to me,
and I to the world (Gal 6:14).

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Today's Mass sings of the ineffable mercy of God who chose Saint Matthew to cling to Him as resolutely and doggedly as he once clung to his money. The opening phrase of he Postcommunion might better be translated as, "Ours, O Lord, is the joy of new found wholeness"! The coming of Christ the Saviour brings salvation. The coming of Christ the Healer brings health to soul and body. The Most Holy Eucharist restores the broken to wholeness in anticipation of the Kingdom where He who sits upon the throne will say, "Behold, I make all things new" (Ap 21:5).

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them,
and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,
says the Lord (Mt 28:19–20)

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Almighty and ever-living God,
who gave to Saint Gaetano, your priest,
the knowledge of your glory shining in the Face of Christ,
mercifully grant that we
who rejoice today in his memory,
may imitate his love for that same Holy Face
concealed in the Sacrament of the Altar
and in the poorest and most forsaken of your children.
Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Or:

Stir up, O Lord, in our hearts
the spirit of adoration and reparation
that filled Saint Gaetano, your priest,
that we, having our eyes fixed, like his,
on the Holy Face of Jesus,
may live in ceaseless prayer
and in the humble service of those
most in need of compassion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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Everything was taken from the Common of One Martyr apart from the Collect and the General Intercessions. We commemorated the Blessed Virgin Mary of La Salette in the General Intercessions.

COLLECT

O God,
by whose gift we venerate the memory
of your martyr, Saint Januarius,
grant that, in his company,
we may rejoice to partake of eternal blessedness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Mass of the Feria

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I am grateful to my friends over at The Rosary Workshop for this wonderful photo illustrating today's Entrance Antiphon, Da pacem, Domine.

GR
Give peace. O Lord, to them that patiently wait for you, that your prophets may be found faithful. Hear the prayers of your servant, and of your people Israel (Sir 36:18).
V. I rejoiced when it was said unto me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Ps 121:1).

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Today's Mass echoes that of September 14th when we celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The prophet Isaiah calls us to contemplate the adorable Face of the suffering Christ. The Gospel invites every disciple of Christ to participation the mystery of His Cross; the Communion Antiphon echoes the invitation of the Gospel.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR
Give peace. O Lord, to them that patiently wait for you, that your prophets may be found faithful. Hear the prayers of your servant, and of your people Israel (Sir 36:18).
V. I rejoiced when it was said unto me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Ps 121:1).

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Let us remember each other with one heart and mind. Let us pray for each other always and lighten our burdens and anxieties by our mutual love.
(Letter of Saint Cyprian to Pope Saint Cornelius)

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
In heaven do rejoice the souls of the Saints
who have followed the steps of Christ;
and because they shed their blood for the love of Christ,
therefore shall they be made glad forever with Christ.

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September 15

Pastoral Note: Whatever you do, don't omit the sequence from today's Mass! You can find it in the Lectionary. The Stabat Mater is universally recognized as one of the most tender and vivid pieces of poetry in the Roman Rite. The translation given in Maurice Zundel's book, The Splendour of the Liturgy, is exquisite.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR
Standing beside the Cross of Jesus were his mother,
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene (Jn 19:25, 26).
V. Woman, behold thy son, said Jesus:
then to the disciple, Behold thy mother.

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The aromatic herb, basil (Ocimum basilicum) has long been associated with the Holy Cross. Etymologically, it is related to basileios, the Greek word for king. According to a pious legend, the Empress Saint Helena found the location of the True Cross by digging for it under a colony of basil. Basil plants were reputed to have sprung up at the foot of the Cross where fell the Precious Blood of Christ and the tears of the Mother of Sorrows. A sprig of basil was said to have been found growing from the wood of the True Cross. Also, from the practice in some areas of strewing branches of basil before church communion rails, it came to be known as Holy Communion Plant.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God,
deign, we beseech you, to bless
your creature, this aromatic basil leaf. +
Even as it delights our senses,
may it recall for us the triumph of Christ, our Crucified King
and the power of His Precious Blood
to purify and preserve us from evil
so that, planted beneath His Cross,
we may flourish to your glory
and spread abroad the fragrance of His sacrifice.
Who is Lord forever and ever.

R. Amen.

The bouquets of basil leaf are sprinkled with Holy Water.

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Today is the patronal festival of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the abbatial church of my own Cistercian community. Santa Croce is one of the seven principal basilicas of the Eternal City. Pilgrims from the world over make their way to Santa Croce to venerate the precious relics of the Passion of the Lord: the wood of the Cross, two thorns of the Crown, one Nail, and the Titulus Crucis, the sign that was suspended over the Crucified.
Today is also the patronal festival of the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Cruz in Guadalajara, Mexico, a recent foundation of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme,
and of the Monastery of the Glorious Cross in Branford, Connecticut, where I serve as chaplain to the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR
It is for us to glory
in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
in whom is our health, life, and resurrection:
through whom we have been saved
and set free (cf. Gal 6:14).
V. May God be merciful to us and bless us;
may his face shine its light upon us,
and may he show us mercy (Ps 66:1).

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Saint John Chrysostom prepares us for the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Today's Communion Antiphon is a text of the Apostle Paul placed in the golden mouth of the glorious Archbishop of Constantinople: "We preach Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:23–224). Tomorrow the power and wisdom of God will radiate from the glorious Cross into the whole universe.

Thanks to the Cross we are no longer in a state of widowhood,
for we are reunited to the Bridegroom;
we are not afraid of the wolf,
because we have the Good Shepherd. . . .
Thanks to the Cross we dread no usurper,
since we are sitting beside the King.

(Saint John Chrysostom, Homily I on the Cross and the Thief)

Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary

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ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary
by the Lord, the Most High God,
above all other women on earth;
for God has so magnified your name,
that your praise shall never depart
from the mouth of men (Jud 13:18, 20).

COLLECT

Grant, we beseech you, almighty God,
that to all who are celebrating her glorious name,
the Blessed Virgin Mary herself
may dispense the benefits of your mercy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

A Requiem Mass

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Ellen M. Donovan, the sister of Sister Mary Xavier of the Monastery of the Glorious Cross, died on September 7th. Today I offered Holy Mass for the repose of her soul. Every time I sing the sublime First Preface of the Dead, I thrill to the words: Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur. There is in the Church's Requiem Mass a gentle realism in the face of death and a consolation found nowhere else.

The life of those who are faithful to you, Lord,
is but changed, not ended;
and when their earthly dwelling-place decays,
an eternal home is made ready in heaven.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR and GS
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let the radiance of your light shine forever upon them (cf. 2 Es 2:35).
V. To you our praise is due in Zion, O God.
To you we pay our vows, you who hear our prayer;
to you all flesh will come (Ps 64:2-3).

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Illumina faciem tuam super sanctuarium tuum:
et propitius intende populum istum,
super quem invocatum est nomen tuum, Deus.

Let your Face shine upon your sanctuary,
and graciously look down upon this people
over whom your name is invoked, O God.
(Dan 9:4, 17–19, Today's Offertory Antiphon)

The Fourth Mode melody that clothes the prophet Daniel's prayer in today's Offertory Antiphon reaches its musical and theological summit over the words, Illumina faciem tuam super sanctuarium tuum, "Let your Face shine upon your sanctuary" (Dan 9:17). The light of the Eucharistic Face of Christ, the "Lord of Glory" (Jas 2:1) illumines the sanctuary during the Holy Mysteries. "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18).

Mass of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

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COLLECT

O God, who made blessed Peter the slave of slaves,
strengthening him with marvelous charity and patience,
at his intercession, grant that all of us,
in seeking those things that belong to Jesus Christ,
may love our neighbour truly and in deed.
Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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COLLECT

Bestow upon your servants,
we beseech you, O Lord,
the gift of your heavenly grace:
so that we for whom the beginning of salvation dawned
with the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin,
may receive an increase of peace
on this festival of her Nativity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

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Already in the mystical invasion of 17th century France, Catherine de Bar (Mère Mechthilde du Saint–Sacrement, 1614–1698), foundress of the Benedictines of the Most Holy Sacrament, initiated a weekly rememoration of both Maundy Thursday and the festival of Corpus Christi. Whenever the rubrics allowed, Thursdays were marked by a Votive Mass and Office of the Most Holy Eucharist and by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance, a rare privilege at the time. The Cistercians too marked Thursdays in the same way; Cistercian liturgical books contain a Votive Office of the Blessed Sacrament.
During the Year of the Eucharist, I proposed a weekly Votive Mass of the Most Holy Eucharist whenever a free Thursday occurred in the calendar. It is a practice that I am continuing now that the Year of the Eucharist has come and gone, a way of recalling the Gift and Mystery of the Cenacle, and of stirring up that eucharistic amazement that Pope John Paul II so desired to revive in the Church.

Mass of the Feria

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Wednesday of the Twenty–Second Week of the Year II

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have called out to you all the day, for you, O Lord, are sweet and gentle, and plenteous in mercy to all who call upon you (Ps 85:3-4).

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On May 18, 1874, the Carmelite Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (1846–1878) beheld a chalice streaming with light and a dove. From the light she heard a voice saying, I ardently desire that priests say a Mass each month in honour of the Holy Spirit. Whoever will say it or hear it will be honoured by the Holy Spirit Himself. He will have light, he will have peace. He will cure the sick. He will awaken those who are asleep.
In June 1877, through the intermediary of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, she sent a message to Blessed Pope Pius IX, saying: The world and religious communities are seeking novelties in devotions, and they are neglecting true devotion to the Paraclete. That is why there is error and disunion, and why there is no peace or light. They do not invoke the light as it should be invoked, and it is this light that gives knowledge of truth. It is neglected even in seminaries. . . .
Every person in the world that will invoke the Holy Spirit and have devotion to Him will not die in error. Every priest that preaches this devotion will receive light while he is speaking of it to others.
I was told that each priest in the whole world should be required to say one Mass of the Holy Spirit each month, and all those who assist at it will receive very special grace and light.

I have tried, since my own ordination, to celebrate a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit on the first available ferial day of each month. The Roman Missal contains a wealth of texts for the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

This Labor Day: A Mass for Peace

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The Catholic version of Labor Day is the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1956 and celebrated on May 1st. For Monday, September 4th, I chose the texts provided in the Roman Missal for times of war or insurrection. The readings will be those of the feria. Violet vestments are suitable: a sign of penitence in the face of violence.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

MR
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have called out to you all the day,
for you, O Lord, are sweet and gentle,
and plenteous in mercy to all who call upon you (Ps 85:3-4).

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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