Two Office Hymns for Tomorrow’s Feast

Apostolorum Passio

Blest day by suff’ring sanctified:
Christ’s chosen high apostles died.
Today St. Peter wins renown.
Today St. Paul accepts the crown.

Together, equally, they bled:
Together: the victorious dead.
They followed God and sacrificed
And now their faith is crowned by Christ.

St. Peter holds the highest place,
Yet Paul is not the less by grace.
An equal faith was giv’n to Paul:
The chosen vessel of God’s call.

St. Peter, downward crucified—
To honor God in how he died—
Securely tied, he sees unfold
The death his Shepherd once foretold.

On such foundations Rome may claim
The highest service of God’s name.
His noble blood has dignified
The city where this prophet died.

Let all the world, then, run to Rome.
Let families of nations come!
The head of nations teaches there
Beside the nations’ teacher’s chair.

O Lord, we ask that we may be
In their exalted company,
And with our princes sing Your praise
Forever, to unending days.

 Aurea luce
Sts. Peter and Paul
1st Vespers

O light of dawn, O rosy glow,
O Light from Light, all ages show
Your beauty, and the martyrs fame,
That gain us pardon from our blame.

The heavens’ porter, and earth’s sage,
The world’s bright lights who judge the age.
One wins by cross, and one by sword,
And life on high is their reward.

These are your princes, happy Rome!
Their precious blood clothes you, their home.
We praise not you, but praise their worth,
Beyond all beauty of the earth.

One love, one faith, twin olive trees,
One great strong hope filled both of these.
Full fonts, in your matched charity,
Pray that we may in heaven be.

Give glory to the Trinity
And honor to the Unity,
And joy and pow’r, for their reign stays
Today and through all endless days.

Cardinal Ranjith on Liturgical Priorities

People have misconceptions about evangelization as if it is something we ourselves, with human effort, can achieve. This is a basic misunderstanding. What the Lord wanted us to do was to join him and his mission. The mission is His mission. If we think we are the ones to be finding grandiose plans to achieve that, we are on the wrong track. The missionary life of the Church is the realization of our union with Him, and this union is achieved in the most tangible way through the liturgy. Therefore, the more the Church is united with the Lord in the celebration of the liturgy, the more fruitful the mission of the Church will become. That is why this is very important.

A very rich interview here. 

English: the World Vernacular

One reason it is so important to get English-language liturgical materials right is because English has become, for better or worse, the world’s vernacular language. It’s not just about us, important as our English-language liturgies are in themselves.

This global reality hit home this morning when the Vatican issued this following official notice having to do with technological improvements, no doubt at the instigation of Jeffrey Tucker:


The announcement was made in Italian; however, the thing itself, the Master Control Room, has an English name. The sign is in Italian; the signified in English. The sacramentum is in the language of the place; the res in the language of the world.

“She must arouse the voice of the cosmos”

A Church which only makes use of “utility” music has fallen for what is, in fact, useless. . . . For her mission is a far higher one. As the Old Testament speaks of the Temple, the Church is to be the place of “glory,” and as such, too, the place where mankind’s cry of distress is brought to the ear of God. The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable at the parish level, she must arouse the voice of the cosmos and, by glorifying the Creator, elicit the glory of the cosmos itself, making it also glorious, beautiful, habitable, and beloved.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “On the Theological Basis of Church Music,” in The Feast of Faith, pp. 113–126 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), p. 124.

Antra deserti: Hymn for the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Antra deserti 
June 24th, Office of Readings
You sought the solitude of caves,
The desert, from an early age.
You fled your kin, and disavowed
The risks of life among the crowd.
Rough clothing made of camel hair
Was all your sacred limbs would wear.
And water, and wild honey sweet,
And locusts were your only meat.
The prophets sang, in mystic sight,
The coming of the future light,
But you their last, could point to Him:
The Lamb who takes away our sin.
Of woman born, through all the earth,
Was never known a holier birth.
You washed with water Him who cleans
The world from all its world of sins.
The citizens of heaven sing
Your praise, O One and Triune King.
And we pray too, that we may live:
Lord, those You have redeemed, forgive.

The Purpose of the Liturgy: The Worship of God and the Sanctification of the Faithful

Today’s Colloquium Plenary Address by Archbishop Sample was profoundly encouraging on every level.

The Archbishop linked liturgical renewal with both the new evangelization and with care for the poor. He offered a theological explanation of appropriately vast scope to explain the timelessness on the one Sacrifice of the cross of Jesus Christ, re-presented at every celebration of the Mass. He explained the mystery of the unity of the earthly and heavenly liturgies in a way that made this mystical reality altogether accessible.

Throughout Archbishop Sample’s talk, I experienced a sense of relief. I realized that in a remarkable way, possible only in our unusual post-conciliar times, the torch has passed from groups like the CMAA. The job of carrying the banner is in some very real sense no longer ours. This responsibility is now being carried by its rightful stewards, the bishops of the Church.

(Photo: Charles Cole)