Our Lady of the Holy Rosary holy card, Maison Bouasse-Lebel, 19th century.

I am quite unable to understand the fuss made by High Church people on this matter. To begin with, what have they got to do with it? No one asks them to use our devotions, although a great many do use them, expurgated, revised, and corrected. Our friends seem to be under the impression that every Catholic is supposed to know about, to possess, and to use, every book of prayers or meditations published by any other Catholic. One might as well assert that every Anglican is bound to buy, and use, all devotional books found in Masters’ shop in Bond-street. A great many Catholics get on very comfortably without any books at all, and this for the simple and sufficient reason that they cannot read. And a great many more cannot afford to purchase such books, and are content with one Prayer Book, such as the Garden of the Soul. I myself, outside Mass and Office, am content with it, and use the copy given to me by an Italian priest at Benares in 1861. Outsiders seem ignorant of our freedom in such matters. The late Canon Oakeley, in his reply to the Eirenicon (which was published before that of Newman), pointed this out. Dr. Pusey would stipulate, said Oakeley, exemption from the obligation of adopting certain expressions of devotion towards the Blessed Virgin, but, added the Canon, “were he [Pusey] one of ourselves, he would come to know” that “no such obligation rests upon” Catholics. “I do not think,” said Oakeley, “that those who are external to us, have any just idea of the room which is allowed us for the free play of personal preferences, which do not clash either in form or spirit with the faith of the Church. . .” And, again “. . . Nothing that I know of would involve in well-grounded suspicion of disloyalty to the Church a Catholic who, while placing no restriction on the liberty of others, should as a matter of taste prefer the more measured language of our Liturgy and Offices on the subject in question, to that in which more ardent temperaments . . . might find a more congenial expression of their devotion.” And Father Lockhart reminded Pusey that the Church tolerated any amount of bad taste. How, indeed, could an Universal Church made up of all nations, peoples, and tongues, do otherwise ? When Pusey complained of a well-known book, The Glories of Mary, Newman replied that he had never read it. I have never read, and have never seen it but once in my life. Others may derive great edification from it, hut what Catholic supposes that every Catholic is obliged to acquire it, or use it ? And with regard to a foreign writer named Oswald, from whom Pusey quoted, neither Newman nor Oakeley had ever heard his name, and it turned out that the book to which Pusey objected had been for some years on the Roman Index.

Oakeley, too, pointed out that the most customary and popular of all devotions connected with our Lady are the Angelus and the Rosary, and added: “It is on this type, rather than on that of the ‘Glories of Mary’ that the ideas of our people are formed.” Pusey found great fault with some of Faber’s writings, and, for myself; I have, possibly to my great loss, never been able to read Faber, although I know that his writings have afforded, and afford, great spiritual edification to countless numbers of Catholics. Not only so, but to many non-Catholics. One Anglican vicar, an intimate friend of my own, must by this time know all Faber’s books nearly by heart. And I recollect, many years ago, lending The Creator and the Creature to a staunch Presbyterian lady who, after a time, sent me a new copy of the book, saying she should keep the old one, as she derived so much spiritual profit from its perusal.

When I lived in Kensington, I met one day in the Cromwell-road an old Oxford friend, an Anglican clergyman. I invited him to accompany me to Benediction at the Oratory, but he declined, not because he objected to Benediction, but because he disliked the Litany of Loreto. I remarked that, if he were a Catholic, he would be quite free to say any prayers he pleased during Benediction, and if he should prefer other devotions to the Litany, when sung, he could substitute such, just as we often see people telling their beads, or clergymen saying office, while the Benediction service is going on. Once, in a country house in Yorkshire, I had as fellow-guest the late Father Jerome Vaughan, and one Sunday after Benediction someone asked him if he liked the music used? To which he replied that he had not paid attention to it, as he had been engaged in asking a particular favour from St. Joseph. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and Catholics in Popular Devotions are not tied and bound to the frigid formalism of the excellent English of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Tablet, 1 January 1898, p. 9.

“I Learned It By Watching You!”

Yet, from letters which some of you have sent, and from many other sources, We learn that discordant practices have been introduced into the sacred liturgy by your communities or provinces (We speak of those only that belong to the Latin Rite). For while some are very faithful to the Latin language, others wish to use the vernacular within the choral office. Others, in various places, wish to exchange that chant which is called “Gregorian,” for newly-minted melodies. Indeed, some even insist that Latin should be wholly suppressed.

We must acknowledge that We have been somewhat disturbed and saddened by these requests. One may well wonder what the origin is of this new way of thinking and this sudden dislike for the past; one may well wonder why these things have been fostered.

Apostolic Letter, Sacrificium Laudis, of Pope Paul VI, 15 August 1966.

First Vespers of St. Ninian in Aberdeen Breviary

In Festo Sancti Patris nostri Niniani Episcopi et Confessoris.
Breviarium Aberdonense, pars. aestiv., fol. CVII.

I. In primis Vesperis.

Antiph. Ovans agat hæc concia | Niniani solemnia.
Trinæ vocis tripudio | laudum sonat obsequia,
Ut mens, lingua, et actio | pari concordent gloria;
Placebit sic laudatio | Deo, reddenti præmia.

Ps. Laudate pueri.

Ant. Ille Pictorum tenebras | fugat, dans vitæ monita,
Mundi contemnens blanditias, | dux plebis ad cœlestia.

Ps. Laudate Dominum omnes gentes.

Ant. Vita præcessit populum | sic sanctitate prævia:
Nunc haurit in te poculum | dux cum ductis in patria.

Ps. Lauda anima.

Ant. Tanto patrono plaudere | jure debes, Albania,
Secura salva sistere | dum vitas vitæ devia.

Ps. Laudate Dominum quoniam bonus.

Ant. Ad cœlos migrans hodie | locandus in deliciis,
Ad mores fac quotidie | migrare nos a vitiis.

Ps. Lauda Hierusalem.

Capitulum Unius Confes.

Respm. Quod cambuca vir Dei circueat,
Taurus custos armentum vigilat,
Qui latronis dum ventrem perforat,
Infelicem ultor exanimat;
Mox cadaver sanctus vivificat,
Saulum sternens Paulum resuscitat.

Versus. Insigne geritur signum certaminis:
Pes saxo jungitur bovis et hominis.
Mox. Gloria.


Christe, qui rex es gloriæ,
Caput sanctorum omnium,
Tu Niniano gratiæ
Tuæ dedisti præmium.
Ortus regali semine,
Clare puer est indolis;
Vir veritatis lumine
Dat vitam pastor incolis,
Pictis junctis Britonibus,
Turmis duarum gentium.
Mercatur in cœlestibus
Regionem viventium.
Regem percussit ultio;
Vir Belial qui fuerat,
Sanatur, et devotio
Pia mitem reddiderat.
A mortis solvit vinculo
Quem taurus perforaverat;
A mortis et periculo
Vir undis raptum liberat.
Ægris se reddit habilem,
Multos curans miraculis,
Deum sibi placabilem
Beatis videns oculis.
Præsta Christe victoriam
Nobis, devictis hostibus,
Niniani memoriam
Vitam confer agentibus. Amen.

Versus. Amavit eum.

Ant. Stirps regalis quæ vita floruit,
Prolem profert, regem quem decuit;
Patrum pater patronum genuit
Ninianum, quo mundus claruit;
Hic ut sidus signis emicuit,
Dum Britannos fidem perdocuit.

Ps. Magnificat.

Oratio. Deus qui hodiernam diem beati Niniani confessoris tui atque pontificis festivitate honorabilem nobis dedicasti, concede propitius, ut, cujus eruditione veritatis tuæ luce perfundimur, ejus intercessione cœlestis vitæ gaudia consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum.

Memoria de oc. nativit. b. Mariæ solemniter, et de martyribus Eufemia cum sociis suis privatim.

Oratio. Præsta quæsimus Domine precibus nostris cum exultatione proventum, ut, quorum diem passionis annua devotione recolimus, etiam fidei constantia subsequamur. Per Dominum nostrum.

In Vigilia Nativitatis Domini

Octavo Kalendas Ianuarii Luna quinta decima Anno 2015 Domini.

Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit caelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono;

a diluvio autem, anno bis millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo;

a nativitate Abrahae, anno bis millesimo quintodecimo;

a Moyse et egressu populi Israel de Aegypto, anno millesimo quingentesimo decimo;

ab unctione David in Regem, anno millesimo trigesimo secundo;

Hebdomada sexagesima quinta, juxta Danielis prophetiam;

Olympiade centesima nonagesima quarta;

ab urbe Roma condita, anno septingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo;

anno Imperii Octaviani Augusti quadragesimo secundo,

toto Orbe in pace composito, sexta mundi aetate,

Jesus Christus, aeternus Deus aeternique Patris Filius, mundum volens adventu suo piissimo consecrare, de Spiritu Sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus

(Hic vox elevatur, et omnes genua flectunt)

in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus Homo.

Hic autem in priori voce dicitur, et in tono passionis:

Nativitas Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem.

Of Columcille and Pope Gregory

The Holy Ghost, depicted as a dove (columba), inspiring Pope St. Gregory the Great's dictation of the Gregorian Chant, Antiphonary of Hartker of the monastery of Saint Gall (Cod. Sang. 390, p. 13).
The Holy Ghost, depicted as a dove (columba), inspiring Pope St. Gregory the Great’s dictation of the Gregorian Chant, Antiphonary of Hartker of the monastery of Saint Gall (Cod. Sang. 390, p. 13).

Brandubh was killed on the morrow, and demons carried off his soul into the air. And Maedhog [abbot of Ferns] heard the wail of his soul as it was undergoing pain, while he was with the reapers. And he went into the air, and began to battle with the demons. And they passed over Hy; and Columkille heard them while he was writing; and he stuck the style [graib, graphium] into his cloak, and went to the battle to the aid of Maedhog, in defence of Brandubh’s soul. And the battle passed over Rome, and the style fell out of Columkille s cloak, and dropped in front of Gregory, who took it up in his hand. Columkille followed the soul of Brandubh to heaven. When he reached it, the congregation of heaven were at Celebration, namely, Te decet hymnus, and Benedic anima mea, and Laudate pueri Dominum; and this is the beginning of the Celebration of heaven. Columbkille did the same as the people of heaven. And they brought Brandubh’s soul back to his body again. Columbkille tarried with Gregory; and brought away Gregory’s brooch [dealc] with him, and it is the hereditary brooch [delg aidechta, literally testamentary brooch, being an heirloom in Hy, as the clog an eadhachta, or testamentary boll, was in Armagh] of the coarb of Columkille to this day. And he left his style with Gregory. ”

Lib. Lecan, fol. 183 a., quoted in Reeves’ Life of St. Columba, 1874.

The legend is transferred from the Irish original in Manus O’Donnell’s Life:

By reason of that curse and of the promise that Columcille had made them that whoever misprized them, he would cut off his life, it befell that Brandubh came not further into Leth Cuinn, and in that same hosting was slain, and devils bare his soul up into the air with them, and they were tormenting it there.

And in that time Maedhog was with the reapers that were cutting corn for him. And he heard the cry of the soul in torment, and by the power of God he went up into the air after the demons. And he was battling with them for the soul of Brandubh.

And they came above Iona of Columcille in Alba. Columcille was writing at that time, and an angel of God revealed the thing to him. And he grieved for the soul in torment, albeit he it was himself that had obtained from God that the life of Brandubh should be cut off because he had not taken the counsel of the holy men of his household forementioned touching the making of peace with Leth Cuinn. And he fastened his cloak with his brooch, and leaped into the air to aid Maedhog to save the soul of Brandubh from the demons. And they were struggling thus until they came above Rome. The brooch of Columcille fell out of his mantle, and dropped to the ground before Pope Gregory. Gregory lifted it and recognized it. Soon the devils rose passing high into the air, fleeing before Columcille. Columcille followed them and went higher above into the ether, so that he heard the singing of the heavenly household. And these were the first words of the psalms they were singing in praise of the Lord: “Te decet u.,” and “Benedic a. m.,” and “Laudate pueri.

And Columcille caused his holy men and monks to recite them at the beginning of their office and singing from that time on. And Columcille obtained from God that the soul of Brandubh, that was all that time in torment from the demons, should be restored to his body again, and that he should repent of his crime, and be a good servant to God and to Columcille thenceforth, and should receive the sacrament from the hands of Maedhog Ferna in the hour of his death as he had promised him.

Columcille went to Gregory for his brooch. But the Pope kept it for himself and left his own brooch to Columcille afterward. And right marvelous were to Gregory the height of gifts, and the wealth of graces, and the multitude of miracles that God granted Columcille to do in that time. And afterward Columcille went back to Iona, and there he left that brooch of Pope Gregory’s to his successor in Iona in witness and in sign of these great miracles.

— Betha Colaim Chille, 219.

The Three Marys of Great Reknown

The Three Marys at the Tomb (1396) by Lorenzo Monaco; illumination on vellum; 46 x 48 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris.
The Three Marys at the Tomb (1396) by Lorenzo Monaco; illumination on vellum; 46 x 48 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Respóndens autem Angelus, dixit muliéribus: Nolíte timére: scio enim quod Iesum quǽritis, allelúia. Antiphon from Vespers during the Octave of Easter

And when the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome had bought spices, to come and anoint Jesus. So they came to the tomb very early on the day after the sabbath, at sunrise. And they began to question among themselves, Who is to roll the stone away for us from the door of the tomb? Then they looked up, and saw that the stone, great as it was, had been rolled away already. And they went into the tomb, and saw there, on the right, a young man seated, wearing a white robe; and they were dismayed. But he said to them, No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; he has risen again, he is not here. Here is the place where they laid him. Go and tell Peter and the rest of his disciples that he is going before you into Galilee. There you shall have sight of him, as he promised you.

— St. Mark xvi. 1-7.

A Pheadair, a Aspail,
An bhfaca tú mo ghrá geal?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Chonaic mé ar ball é,
Gá chéasadh ag an ngarda.
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Peter, Apostle,
Have you seen my bright love?
Alas, and alas-o!
I saw not long ago
Surrounded by his enemies.
Alas, and alas-o!
Cé hé an fear breá sin
Ar Chrann na Páise?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
An é n-aithníonn tú do Mhac,
A Mháthrín?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Who is that good man
Upon the Passion Tree?
Alas, and alas-o!
It is your son, Mother,
Don’t you recognise me?
Alas, and alas-o!
An é sin an Maicín
A hoileadh in ucht Mháire?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
An é sin an Maicín
A rugadh insan stábla?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Is that the wee son
That was nourished at Mary’s breast?
Alas, and alas-o!
Is that the son
That was born to me in the stable?
Alas, and alas-o!
An é sin an Maicín
A d’iompair mé trí ráithe?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
A Mhicín mhúirneach,
Tá do bhéal ‘s do shróinín gearrtha,
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Is that the son
I carried for three quarters?
Alas, and alas-o!
Darling little son,
Your mouth and your nose are cut,
Alas, and alas-o!
Cuireadh tairní maola
trína chosa ‘s trína lámha,
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Cuireadh an tsleá
Trína bhrollach álainn.
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Blunt nails were pushed through
His feet and his hands.
Alas, and alas-o!
And a spear pierced
Through his beautiful chest.
Alas, and alas-o!
Alas, and alas-o!

— Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (Lament of the Three Marys)

Nativitas Est Hodie Sanctæ Mariæ Virginis

Domenico Ghirlandaio, The Birth of Mary, Tornabuoni Chapel (1485-90).

Nativitátem hodiérnam perpétuæ Vírginis Genetrícis Dei Maríæ solémniter celebrémus, qua celsitúdo throni procéssit, allelúia. Ant. ad Ben. from the Office of the Nativity of the BVM.

The Nard of Bernard’s Sanctity

The Lactation of Saint Bernard, c. 1480, oil on panel, 15.4 × 10.2 inches, Curtius Museum, Liège, Belgium.
The Lactation of Saint Bernard, c. 1480, oil on panel, 15.4 × 10.2 inches, Curtius Museum, Liège, Belgium.


Iam Regína discúbuit,
Sedens post Unigénitum:
Nardus odórem tríbuit,
Bernárdus, tradens spíritum.
The Queen of Heaven reclines,
Seated after the Only-Begotten Son.
Bernard, yielding up his spirit,
Proffers her the perfume of spikenard.
Dulcis Regínæ gústui
Fructus sui suávitas:
Dulcis eius olfáctui
Nardi Bernárdi sánctitas.
Sweet to the Queen’s taste
Is the fruit of her delight.
Sweet to her nostrils
Is the nard of Bernard’s sanctity.
Venit Sponsa de Líbano
Coronánda divínitus,
Ut Bernárdus de clíbano
Veníret Sancti Spíritus.
She, the spouse, comes from Lebanon
to be divinely crowned,
So that Bernard may come forth
From the furnace of the Holy Spirit.
Quæ est ista progrédiens
Velut auróra rútilans?
Quis est iste transíliens
Colles, sanctis coniúbilans?
Who is she who goes forth,
Dazzling as the dawn?
Who is he who comes leaping upon the hills,
Exulting with the saints?
Hæc glória terríbilis
Sicut castrórum ácies:
Hic grátia mirábilis
Ut Assuéri fácies.
Terrible is her glory
As an army in battle array.
Wonderful is his grace
As the face of Assuerus.
Ora pro nobis Dóminum,
Prædúlcis fumi vírgula:
Inclína Patrem lúminum,
Pastor ardens ut fácula.
Pray for us to the Lord,
Thou pillar of aromatic smoke.
Incline to us the Father of Lights,
Thou shepherd, glowing like a flaming torch.
Sit Trinitáti glória,
Per quam triúmphus Vírginis
Et Bernárdi felícitas
Manent in cæli cúria.  Amen.
Glory be to the Trinity,
Through Whom the triumph of the Virgin
And the joy of Bernard remain forever
in the sacred courts of Heaven.  Amen.

— Vespers Hymn in Alternative Office of St. Bernard as given in the Monastic Diurnal (1963);
evidently from the Cistercian Breviary.


As an Army Set in Array

Fra Angelico. Reliquary Tabernacle [with Dormition in the bottom register and the Assumption above]. c. 1430. Tempera and gold on panel, 62 x 39 cm. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.
Fra Angelico. Reliquary Tabernacle [with Dormition in the bottom register and the Assumption above]. c. 1430. Tempera and gold on panel, 62 x 39 cm. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Quae est ista, quae ascendit sicut aurora consurgens, pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata?

Ant. ad Ben. from the Office of the Assumption of the BVM (Cant. vi. 9.).

Vocavit Columbam de Foraminibus Petre

St Columba window, St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle.
St Columba window, St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh Castle.

Jesus, wishing to relieve sighing in favour of
a song, called forth Columba from the
holes of the rock, from the hollows of timber.
This dove returned to the ark,
bearing, moreover, the sign of God’s mercy
in his mouth.

— Responsory Volens Jesus from the Office of St.Columba;
Inchcolm Antiphoner.

Customary Collect for St. Columba

The very first item I checked in the new Customary was the Office for St. Columba, my patron. The Collect from that office follows.

ALMIGHTY God, who didst fill the heart of Columba with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and with deep love for those in his care: grant to thy pilgrim people grace to follow him, strong in faith, sustained by hope, and made one in the love that binds us to thee; Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

I can’t say that I’m too fond of the composition. It’s hardly an improvement on the Collect from the 1929 Scottish Book of Common Prayer. I would have wished a prayer that invoked St. Columba’s intercession.

Customary of OLW

Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham: Daily Prayer for the Ordinariate.

My copy of the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham just arrived. I look forward to inspecting it in great detail in the coming days. As I understand it, the book, though it bears the Imprimatur of Msgr. Keith Newton, the Ordinary, is a private work, not permitted for public worship, nor was it compiled in concert with Anglicanae Traditiones, the commission charged with developing the official liturgical texts for the Ordinariates. Even so, being (wholly?) the product of Msgr. Andrew Burnham, it should prove quite enlightening and edifying.