Monday, November 21, 2005

In Presentatione Dominæ Nostræ

Today is the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the temple in both the Pauline Rite and the Roman Rite. The old Carmelite Liturgy had a special collect for the feast:

Beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis tribue nos, Domine, supplicantione tueri : ut, cuius venerabilem Præsentationem celebramus obsequiis, eius intercessionibus et meritis commendemur. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Grant us, O Lord, to be protected by the prayers of blessed Mary ever Virgin, that as we celebrate her venerable Presentation with humility we may be commended to Thee through her merits and prayers : through our Lord. Amen.

And yesterday, as I didn't get a chance to mention, was Stir Up Sunday: Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates. . .or as the Prayer Book hath it: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by Thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. A suitable liturgical reminder on this, the Sunday next before Advent, to stir up the fruits that have been quietly fermenting and get cracking with those Christmas cakes.

In the traditional Roman Rite the propers for the day are doom-laden to a fair thee well. Our greatly-missed Fr Johnson used to call it "the scary Gospel" (Matthew XXIV: 15-35) as one Sunday a woman came up to him after Mass and told him never to read that Gospel again: it was too scary. And so it is. "When you see that which the prophet Daniel called the abomination of desolation, set up in the holy place (let him who reads this, recognize what it means), then those who are in Judæa must take refuge in the mountains. . . ."

Perhaps Fr Johnson's quondam parishioner had some influence with the late Archbishop Bugnini. I'm told this portion of St Matthew does not appear in the Pauline liturgy (although I've never looked it up). The end-time passages from the other Evangelists do but not St Matthew. Maybe tax collecting gives one an unduly gloomy outlook. Or perhaps the good Archbishop is hoping that if it isn't read it won't happen.

If the world doesn't end in the next two months, Recta Ratio (who knows about Stir Up Sunday and actually mentioned it in time) has some mouth-watering recipes on for you here and here. They're even in time for Thanksgiving.