Wednesday, February 3, 2016


When I listened to Bishop Steven J. Lopes pray the Roman Canon using the exquisite Elizabethan translation, even though he was facing the congregation, it was clear that this was no ordinary speak, it was prayer directed to the Majesty of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was stunningly beautiful hearing it. One had a sense of the sacred and the reverence demanded by so great a Prayer!

I can lament that our reformed Ordinary Form Mass let us down. If the Ordinariate's Missal had been the Post Vatican II reformed Missal and every Church took great care in praying it; I wonder if we wouldn't be in a better place today. We'll only know in eternity which has parallel time I presume. We need something to watch up there! We could spend a whole lifetime in parallel time of the "if only."

The Exquisite Roman Canon with Elizabethan English:

Therefore, most merciful Father, we humbly pray thee, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,

He may kiss the altar. Making then the Sign of the Cross over the bread and chalice together he says:

and we ask, that thou accept and bless these + gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices. 

With hands extended, he continues: 

We offer them unto thee, first, for thy holy Catholic Church: that thou vouchsafe to keep her in peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world; together with thy servant N. our Pope, N., our bishop (or N, our Ordinary), and all the faithful guardians of the catholic and apostolic faith. 

Commemoration of the Living

Remember, O Lord, thy servants and handmaid (N. and N.) 

The Priest joins his hands and prays briefly for those for whom he intends to pray; then with hands extended, he continues: 

and all who here around us stand, whose faith is known unto thee and their steadfastness manifest, on whose behalf we offer unto thee, or who themselves offer unto thee this sacrifice of praise; for themselves, and for all who are theirs; for the redemption of their souls, for the hope of their health and well-being; and who offer their prayers unto thee, the eternal God, the living and the true. 

Within the Action

 United in one communion, we venerate the memory, first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ; of Blessed Joseph her spouse; as also of thy blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonos, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and all they Saints, grant that by their merits and prayers we may in all things be defended with the help of thy protection. (My comment: Please note the use of the name "Thaddeus" instead of Jude and also that it is not permissible to eliminate some of the names as is possible in the Ordinary Form of the same prayer!)

He joins his hands. 

(Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.)

With hands extended, he continues:

We beseech thee then, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation from us thy servants, and from they whole family; order thou our days in they peace, and bid us to be delivered from eternal damnation, and to be numbered in the fold of thine elect. 

Holding his hands extended over the offerings, he says:

Vouchsafe, O God, we beseech thee, in all tings to make this oblation blessed, approved, and accepted, a perfect and worthy offering; that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. 

He joins his hands.

In the formulas that follow, the words of the Lord should be pronounced clearly and distinctly, as the nature of these words requires.
He takes the bread and, holding it slight raised above the altar, continues: 

Who the day before he suffered, took bread into his holy and venerable hands,

He raises his eyes.

and with eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee, he blessed, broke and gave it to his disciples, saying:

He bows slightly,


He genuflects, shows the consecrated Host to the People, places it on the paten, and again genuflects in adoration. Then he continues: 

Likewise, after supper,

He takes the chalice, and, raising it a little above the altar, continues:

taking also this goodly chalice into his holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to thee, he blessed, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

He bows slightly.


He genuflects, shows the Chalice to the People, places it on the corporal, and again genuflects in adoration.

The mystery of faith:

And the People, or Choir, continue, acclaiming:

 We proclaim they Death, O Lord,
and profess thy Resurrection
until thou come again.

or this:

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, 
we proclaim thy Death, O Lord,
until thou come again.

or this:

O Saviour of the world,
who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us:
save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.  

Then, with hands extended, the Priest says:

Wherefore, O Lord, we thy servants, and thy holy people also, remembering the blessed Passion of the same Christ thy Son our Lord, as also his Resurrection from the dead, and his glorious Ascension into heaven; do offer unto thine excellent majesty of thine own gifts and bounty, the pure victim, the holy victim, the immaculate victim, the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.
Vouchsafe to look upon them with a merciful and pleasant countenance; and to accept them, even as thou didst vouchsafe to accept the gifts of thy servant Abel the righteous, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham; and the holy sacrifice, the immaculate victim, which they high priest Melschisedech offered unto thee.  

Bowing, with hands joined, he continues:

We humbly beseech thee, Almighty God, command these offerings to be brought by the hands of thy holy Angel to thine altar on high, in sight of thy divine majesty; that all we who at this partaking of the altar shall receive the most sacred Body and Blood of they Son,

He stands upright again and signs himself with the Sign of the Cross, saying:
may be fulfilled iwth all heavenly benediction and grace.

He joins his hands.
(Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Commemoration of the Dead

With hands extended, the Priest says:

Remember, also, o Lord, thy servants and handmaids, (N and N.), who have gone before us sealed with the seal of faith, and who sleep in the sleep of peace.

He joins his hands and prays briefly in silence for those who have died and for whom he intends to pray. Then, with hands extended, he continues:

To them, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, we beseech thee to grant the abode of refreshing, of light, and of peace.

He joins his hands.
 (Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.)

He strikes his breast with his right hand, saying:

To us sinner also, thy servants,

And with hands extended, he continues:

who hope in the multitude of thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with thy holy Apostles and Martyrs; with John, Stephen, Matthias,  Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia and with all thy Saints: within whose fellowship, we beseech thee, admit us, not weighting our merit, but granting us forgiveness;

He joins his hands and continues:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom, O Lord, thou dost ever create all these good things; dost sanctify, quicken, bless, and bestow them upon us. 

He takes the Host and Chalice, and raising both, he says:

By whom and with whom, and in whom, to thee, O father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spriit, be all honour and glory throughout all ages, world without end.

The people respond: Amen

The People stand.

The Priest genuflects, rises, and continues with the Lord's Prayer.  

(My comment: Oddly enough, we in the Ordinary Form have maintained the exact Elizabethan English for the Lord's Prayer as is in the Ordinariate missal--HOW ODD IS THAT!!!!! Fortunately too, the Ordinariate's Lord's Prayer does not add immediately "for thine is the Kingdom" as the Anglicans or Episcopalians do.

They have though the embolism after it but vastly improved over ours:)

Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of god, with thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and with Andrew, and all the Saints, favourable grant peace in our days, that by the help of thine availing mercy we may ever both be free from sin and safe from all distress.

The Priest joins his hands. The People respond:

 For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 



Православный физик said...

It would be better if they said for thine is the kingdom power and glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

Three observations:

1. It's strange to me that the saints can't be omitted, but the "Through Christ our Lord. Amen" conclusions on the Communicantes, Hanc Igitur, Supplices Te Rogamus, and second Memento can be. And in fact, most of the priests I've heard use the Canon in the OF omit those conclusions. Are they just awkward to say or something?

2. They're not listed here, but at least one Ordinariate Mass I watched had the priest making three signs of the cross at "This pure Victim, this holy Victim, this spotless Victim." Are those present as an option / custom, or not present at all?

3. The OF itself would greatly benefit from having the Canon mandated as the main prayer for Sundays throughout the year, and for solemnities.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I looked at the specific general instruction for the Ordinariate about the additional signs of the cross and could not find it. However there is the instruction that at the Lord I am not worthy it can be said once or thrice.

Most priests don't use the additional "Through Christ our Lord. Amen" because we were taught that it detracts from the Great Amen which in the reform is given greater attention and the additional amens fragment one prayer into many. In the EF the Amen at the end is no greater than any other in the Canon.

It is mandated that the Roman Canon be used on Sundays and Solemnities and that our Eucharistic Prayer II with Elizabethan English be used for daily Mass and Mass with children or in case of need on a Sunday.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I was never taught that the multiple "Through Christ our Lord"'s detract from anything.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Well, that would be obvious, given how retrograde your seminary, Mt. St. Mary's was when you went there. Those of us in progressive, liberal seminaries like mine, the country's oldest, St. Mary's in Baltimore certainly forbade us to say the extra "through Christ our Lord. Amens" because it fragmented the Canon, when is was used but certainly only rarely it should be as we were taught. The Great Amen was the apex of the Eucharistic Prayer which should not be watered down by the multiple amens (same with multiple signs of the cross of course, the same ideology) and there were those who wanted the genuflection or bow to be only in one place during it and that is after the Great Amen, not after the consecrations.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to me that they would teach seminarians not to add those conclusions cause they detract from the "Great Amen" (what ever happened to the "minor elevation" title?)... and yet, most of those same clergy probably never even used the Canon once the other EPs were available. ;)

John Nolan said...

The 'Great Amen' at the end of the doxology of the Canon is a post-Novus Ordo conceit (it's not in the GIRM), as is the transformation of the minor elevation into the major elevation. The fabricators of the new Mass disliked the Roman Canon and wanted it replaced (an early 20th century conceit); when Paul VI ordered it to be retained they still altered it by putting some of it in brackets and insisting on the new consecration formula and the 'acclamations'.

The Dominican Rite, the only example of a pre-Tridentine Use that most people are likely to come across, has the signs of the Cross at the Per Ipsum but no minor elevation. From what we know nowadays about liturgical history and tradition, if a reform of the liturgy were to take place now rather than in the 1960s and at a less hurried pace, the result would be markedly different.