The Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem

This month the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy Land celebrated the Vigil and Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, held with great solemnity in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The feast is assigned to May 7th in this diocese, a peculiarity resulting from the calendar of the local use.

True Cross 3.jpg
The Finding of the True CrossAgnolo Gaddi, Florence, 1380

For centuries curious Christian visitors to the churches of Jerusalem, such as the fourth-century pilgrim Egeria, have found the more ancient, elaborate customs of the Holy City worthy of emulation. One thing at least hasn’t changed! The Franciscans’ commitment to solemnity and tradition has consistently impressed this pilgrim. For instance, community services in the Sepulcher are held almost entirely in Latin, with the Kyriale and the Propers sung in the ancient Gregorian melodies, communion is usually on the tongue, and in my experience, always administered by the clergy. Major feasts are celebrated with 1st Vespers and vigils at midnight. There are even odder things. For example, one of the peculiar consequences of the Status quo, a the 150-year-old agreement governing the use of the Holy Sepulchre, is that in Jerusalem the Easter Vigil is still held early on Holy Saturday morning.

Perhaps it has something to do with keeping up a tradition: the friars have been protectors of the Holy Sepulcher on and off for over 800 years. Certainly it has something to do with the daily struggle they wage with Copts, Syrians, Greeks, Arabs, and Armenians, all jostling for physical and acoustic space. In the dark and smokey interior of the Sepulcher, one is forced to breathe with both lungs.

Franciscans 3
Franciscans leading the Lenten procession in the Sepulcher, Feb. 2017 (Source)

But perhaps I shall have more to say about this later. This article is about the Feast of the Invention in particular. I apologize that I was not able to take many good pictures.

The pilgrim coming to the Sepulchre today finds these ceremonies done in much the same as they have been for several centuries. Ceremonies begin on the eve of the feast, including the stational procession I attended (find the 1925 Ordo here), followed by the Vigil at midnight.

At the commencement of the procession, the Latin Patriarch, the Franciscan friars of the Custodia, and the faithful pilgrims gather in the Chapel of the Flagellation at the north end of the basilica. They then proceed on their daily round about the basilica, visiting each of the sites associated with Christ’s Passion found within the bounds of the current basilica. Each station includes a Gregorian processional chant sung by the friars, oration, responsory, Pater, Ave, and Gloria; recto tono unless it is a feast, like today.

Franciscans 4.jpg
Franciscans vesting in the sacristy of Saint Savior Church, their headquarters in Jerusalem. These vestments were gifts of Louis XV (Source).

The stations (and their accompanying chants) are:

I ) ad altare Sanctissimi Sacramenti (Antiphon: O Sacrum Convivium)
II ) ad columnam Dominicae flagellatinis (Salve, Columna nobilis)
III ) ad carcerem (En efferata rabies)
IV ) ad altare divisionis vestimentorum Christi (Adeste, pacis Angeli)
V ) ad cryptam Inventionis S. Crucis (Crux fidelis)
VI ) ad sacellum S. Helenae (Fortem virili pectore)
VII ) ad columnam coronationis et improperiorum (Coetus piorum)
VIII) in Sacro Monte Calvario ad locum Crucifixionis D.N.I.C. (Vexilla Regis)
IX ) in sacro monte calvario ad locum ubi Christus in Cruce expiravit (Lustra sex qui iam peregit)
X ) in eodem Monte Calvario ad altare B. Mariae Virg. perdolentis (Stabat Mater)
XI ) ad lapidem unctionis (Pange lingua, vulneratum)
XII ) ad gloriosum D.N. Iesu Christi sepulchrum (Aurora caelum purpurat)
XIII) ad locum ubi Christus apparuit Mariae Magdalenae (Christus triumphum gloriae)
XIV) ad sacellum apparitionis Christi resurgentis matri suae Mariae (Iesum Christum crucifixum)

First Vespers of the feast takes place after the fifth station, in the chapel of the Invention, suitably decorated for the occasion, and with a relic of the True Cross exposed.

IMG_20180507_091700
The Chapel of the Invention, decorated for the feast this year. Photo courtesy of Shen Yichen.

One poignant peculiarity of the orations and responsories is that the word hic is added wherever appropriate to stress that this place is the physical location in which the sacred events of the Passion took place. Thus at the station of the Unction, the antiphon reads:

“Acceperunt Joseph et Nicodemus corpus Jesu, et ligaverunt illud hic linteis cum aromatibus…” (Joseph and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, and in this place wrapped it in linen clothes with spices…)

and the oration: “Domine Jesu Christe, qui tuum sacratissimum Corpus, tuorum condescendens devotioni fidelium, inungi hic ab eisdem permisisti….” (Lord Jesus Christ, who condescending to the devotion of your faithful, allowed them to anoint your Most Holy Body in this place…”

Franciscans 1
Franciscan procession down into the Chapel of St. Helena. (Source)

The solemn office of the feast itself is very moving. It begins with Lauds and Mass in the Chapel of the Invention. Then the clergy and people process with lit candles, accompanying the relic from the Chapel to the Aedicule (the tomb). This year I guess there were around a hundred people there, including the friars and faithful. We processed around the Aedicule three times with the Holy Cross, singing Fortunatus’s glorious hymn Vexilla regis. Maybe it was the place, or the solemn procession with the Holy Cross itself, but it seemed like the glorious gory verses sprang more vividly to life as we carried the bloody trophy around the Tomb.

After a final blessing with the True Cross, the relic is offered for veneration.

Franciscans 2.jpg
A Lenten procession around the Aedicule, Feb. 2017. (Source)

Curiously, the May 7th date does not correspond with the any of the traditional dates assigned for celebrations of the Holy Cross. We need to know a bit of liturgical history to understand why.

In both East and West there have traditionally been several feasts commemorating events related to the Holy Cross. The September 14th feast in the current Roman Missal actually encompasses three historical events, each of which formerly had its own feast: the Finding of the True Cross by St. Helena in 326, the 335 dedication of the Constantinian Basilica on the site of Calvary and the tomb, and the return with the Cross to Jerusalem in 629 by the hands of Heraclius, after it had been capture by the Persians in their conquest of Jerusalem. The Byzantines celebrate the same day as one of the 12 great feasts of the liturgical year, and the Armenians and Ethiopians have feasts around the same time.

The Gallican rites had another feast on May 3rd, known as “Roodmass” or the Feast of the Invention of the Cross, traditionally believed to have taken place on May 3rd, 326. The Invention passed thence into the Roman Rite, where it has left deep roots in traditional Catholic countries, especially Spain and Latin America, where the feast day is celebrated with great festivity in the local churches. For example, during the Philippine feasts of Flores de Mayo, the Santacruzan, a ritual pageant celebrating the Invention, is still celebrated every year at the end of May.

True Cross
The Queen of Sheba venerates the wood from which the Cross will be made. Fresco by Piero della Francesca in San Francesco, Arezzo. (SourceSource)

For obvious reasons, the Church at Jerusalem has retained the feast of the Invention, but it does not do so on May 3rd. Two events conspired to bring this about.

First, in 1955 Pius XII made May 1st the feast of Joseph the Worker, thus displacing the day of Ss. James and Philip, assigned first to 11th May, at that time the next “free day” in May. Five years later, John XXIII eliminated the May 3rd Feast of the Invention from the universal calendar as part of a general purge of “duplicated” feasts. In the Novus Ordo St. James was moved to the May 3rd date vacated by the Invention.

But it was inconceivable that the feast of the Invention would be eliminated from the local use—how could it be forgotten, in the very city where Christ was crucified? The 3rd now being taken by St. James, the 7th of May was sought as a fitting alternative, partly because the day is remembered in the Armenian calendar as the Apparition of the Holy Cross over Jerusalem in 451, an event recorded by Cyril:

“At the early morning a luminous cross appeared for hours in the sky, from Golgotha (located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher) until the Mount of Olives, so large and shining that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem witnessed it. The appearance was so radiant, that many people went to the Holy Sepulcher to praise God, and understood the cross of light was the fulfillment of the Gospel of Matthew 24: 30 : ‘And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky’.

Because of this Divine sign, a few thousand people were baptized and became Christians.”

The 1925 Ordo for the Franciscan Lenten processions in the Holy Sepulcher can be found here: Ordo Processionum quæ Hierosolymis in Basilica S. Sepulchri D. N. Jesu Christi a Fratribus Minoribus peraguntur. It could be adapted for use in other churches where there is a desire for more elaborate Friday stational processions.

 

True Cross 2
The proving of the True Cross, Jean Colombe in the Très Riches Heures (Source)

Pentecost Pruned or Restored: The Suppression of the Ancient Baptismal Vigil of Pentecost

by Fr. Jean-Pierre Herman

This article was originally published at Schola Sainte Cecile and is translated here and at New Liturgical Movement with the kind permission of the author.

The Missal of Paul VI promulgated on the 3rd of April 1969 effectively eliminated the ancient custom of assigning vigils and octaves to major feasts.

Subsequently, octaves are celebrated only for Easter and Christmas. As for vigils, all that remains of them is a “vigil Mass in the evening” for certain feasts, which usually passes unnoticed. Further, the nature of this service is different. It has become an anticipation of the feast and no longer a day of fasting and preparation for it.

The Mass for the Vigil of Pentecost is a unique case. There are now four texts to choose from for the first reading, all Old Testament readings in which the gift of the Holy Spirit is prefigured. But this is all that remains of the rich ancient liturgy of the Vigil of Pentecost.

This reduction was accomplished in two steps. The Vigil disappeared first in the reforms of the ‘50s and then the octave was abolished with the promulgation of the new missal.

The Baptismal Character of the Ancient Vigil of Pentecost

In a conference on Pius XII’s “restored” 1955 Holy Week liturgy, Msgr Léon Gromier declares:

The Vigil of Pentecost no longer contains any reference to baptism. It has become a day like any other, and makes the Missal tell a lie in the Canon. This vigil was an annoying neighbor, a fearsome rival! Scholars in the future will likely be more severe in their judgement than pastoral types are today.

The rite he is referring to was in many respects a sort of repetition of the baptismal vigil of Easter, practiced by Christians from earliest antiquity at the Vigil of Pentecost.

The first Christians celebrated the entirety of the Paschal Mystery—death, resurrection, and the gift of the Holy Spirit—during the one great night of Easter. But very soon the teaching mind of the Church focused its attention on the various aspects of this mystery, and spread out the liturgical celebrations according to the chronology of the Gospels.

Moreover, as we know, the sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—were formerly conferred on candidates during the same celebration, a practice that the Eastern Churches have retained. Cardinal Schuster points out the intimate connection between Baptism and Confirmation and their distinct characters:

Although the sacrament of Baptism is entirely distinct from that of Confirmation, yet the latter takes its name of Confirmatio from the fact that the coming down of the Holy Ghost into the soul of the neophyte completes the work of his supernatural regeneration. Through its sacramental character it confers on him a more perfect likeness to Jesus Christ, impressing on his soul the final seal or ratification of his union with the divine Redeemer.

The word Confirmatio was used in Spain to denote also the invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Mass, Confirmatio Sacramenti. Hence the existing analogy between the epiklesis—that part of the Mass which begs from the Paraclete the fullness of his gifts upon those about to receive Holy Communion—and the sacrament of Confirmation, which in olden days was administered immediately after Baptism, shows very clearly the deep theological meaning hidden in the word Confirmatio as applied to this sacrament.

As early as Tertullian, we have evidence for the celebration of baptisms not only during the great Easter Vigil but also during the Vigil of Pentecost:

Another solemn day of Baptism is Pentecost, when a sufficient amount of time has passed to dispose and instruct those who are to be baptized.

The choice is not accidental, for during baptism the bishop places his right hand on the head of the neophyte “calling the Spirit by means of a blessing.”

We also have a letter written by Pope Siricius (384–399) to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona that attests this practice. Furthermore, in a letter to the bishops of Sicily, Pope St Leo the Great (440–461) exhorts them to imitate St. Peter, who baptized three thousand people on the day of the first Pentecost.

Liturgical books of a later period give the framework for a celebration of the same type as the Easter Vigil found in all the missals that preceded the Tridentine reform, as well as in the missal of St. Pius V up to the reform of the 1950s.

We will leave it to Dom Guéranger to describe the practice:

Formerly, this Vigil was kept like that of Easter. The faithful repaired to the church in the evening, that they might assist at the solemn administration of Baptism. During the night, the Sacrament of regeneration was conferred upon such catechumens as sickness or absence from home had prevented from receiving it on Easter night. Those, also, who had then been thought insufficiently tried or instructed, and had, during the interval, satisfied the conditions required by the Church, now formed part of the group of aspirants to the new birth of the sacred font. Instead of the twelve prophecies, which were read on Easter night while the priests were performing over the catechumens the rites preparatory to Baptism, six only were now read; at least, such was the usual custom, and it would lead us to suppose that the number of those baptized at Pentecost was less than at Easter.

The Paschal Candle was again brought forward during this night of grace, in order to impress the newly baptized with respect and love for the Son of God, who became Man that He might be the light of the world. The rites already described and explained for Holy Saturday were repeated on this occasion, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, at which the neophytes assisted, began before the break of day.

As Schuster relates, in ancient times the Vigil of Pentecost, as the Vigil of Easter, was celebrated in the Lateran during the night between Saturday to Sunday. By the 12th century, it had been moved to the afternoon. Towards the end of the day, the Pope betook himself to St Peter’s for the singing of Vespers and solemn Matins.

As Baptism began to be celebrated on other days and the practice of baptizing infants quam primum meant that these ceremonies were no longer exclusively performed on the Vigil of Pentecost. This brought the day down to the level of a preparation for a feast, like any other vigil, but it remained a celebration of a manifestly baptismal character.

Pius Parsch introduces it thus:

“Today is a solemn vigil and thus a day of full penance with fasting and abstinence (in certain diocese, however, this obligation is no longer binding under pain of sin but merely recommended). A vigil is always a day of preparation. The house of the soul must be cleaned and prepared for the great feast. Two thoughts should occupy the Christian who follows the Church in these days: 1) the memory of his baptism; b) preparation for Pentecost.”

Time and Structure of the Vigil

After None, the prophecies are read without title, with candles extinguished, as on Holy Saturday.

This is the rubric found before the Pentecost Vigil in the Missal. It is celebrated at the same hour as the Paschal Vigil. Once celebrated in the night of Saturday to Sunday, it was eventually fixed to be celebrated after None, a situation ratified by the rubrics of the Tridentine liturgical books. By the end of the Middle Ages it was commonly anticipated to Saturday morning, before noon, in imitation of the Paschal Vigil, which the Tridentine books mandate be celebrated before prandium.

Its structure is comparable to that of Holy Saturday, except for the blessing of the fire and Paschal candle. Pius Parsch describes it as an abridged imitation of the Office of Holy Saturday. It begins with the reading of the prophecies, three of which are followed by a Tract, and each one by a prayer said by the celebrant.

Then there is a procession to the Baptistry for the blessing of the water, accompanied by the chant of a Tract composed of verses from Psalm 41 (Sicut cervus ad fontes aquarum). After a prayer, the celebrant says the prayer for the blessing of water, as at the Paschal Vigil. The procession returns to the altar chanting the Litany of the Saints, while the celebrants go to the sacristy to vest for Mass.

The color used in the vigil is violet. The rubrics specify that the priest wear a cope for the procession to the baptismal font. The deacon and subdeacon wear “folded chasubles.” Red, the color of Pentecost, is used for the Mass.

When the litany is finished, the candles are lit, the ministers go to the altar, and while the choir chants the Kyrie they recite the prayers at the foot of the altar. Then the priest performs the incensation and intones the Gloria, during which the bells are rung.

The Prophecies

The readings of Pentecost are taken from the readings of Easter, but in a different order.

Reading Pentecost Easter
1 Gn. 22 Sacrifice of Abraham 3
2 Ex. 14 and 15 The Passage of the Red Sea 4
3 Dt. 31 The Mosaic Testament, Respect for the Law 11
4 Is. 4 The Liberation of Jerusalem 8
5 Bar. 3 Return to the Promised Land 6
6 Ez. 37 Dry Bones 7

 

The second, third, and fourth prophecies are followed by Tracts, the same three Tracts as sung in the Paschal Vigil.

The prayers that follow the readings, however, are different. They are taken from the Gregorian Sacramentary.

They all focus, each in its own manner, on the continuity between the two Testaments, and the passage of the Israel of the Old Testament, liberated from slavery in Egypt, to the new Israel of the baptized, liberated from the bondage of sin.  We cite here only those that follow the second and fourth reading, which are remarkable:

“O God, who by the light of the New Testament hast expounded the miracles wrought in the first ages of the world, so that the Red Sea was a figure of the sacred font, and the deliverance of the people out of the bondage of Egypt did represent the Christian sacraments: grant that all nations who have now obtained the birthright of Israel by the merit of faith may be born again by the participation of thy Spirit. Through the same Lord … in unity with the same Holy Ghost.”

and

“O almighty and eternal God, who by thy only Son hast shown thyself the husbandman of thy Church, mercifully cultivating every branch which bringeth forth fruit in that same Christ, who is the true vine, that it may be more fruitful; let not the thorns of sin prevail against thy faithful, whom thou hast transplanted like a vineyard out of Egypt by the baptismal font; but protect them by thy holy Spirit, that they may be enriched by everlasting fruits. Through the same Lord … in unity with the same Holy Ghost.”

The procession to the baptismal font and the blessing of water that follow the prayer of the sixth prophecy re-use all the texts of the Paschal Vigil, with the exception of the collect that precedes the blessing of water, which speaks about the feast:

“Grant, we beseech thee, almighty God, that we who commemorate the giving of the Holy Spirit, being inflamed with heavenly desires, may thirst after the fountain of life. Through our Lord … in unity with the same Holy Ghost.”

In these texts the intimate links between Baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the Christian life are put in clear relief.

The Mass

As we have already seen, the Mass follows directly upon the Litany. As at Easter, there is no introit. It was only at a later period, when the custom of private masses became widespread, that an introit was added: “Cum sanctificatus,” taken from Wednesday of the 4th week of Lent.

This Mass is the culmination of the Vigil and its collect expresses once more, in a very concise manner, the link between Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit:

“Grant, we beseech thee, almighty God, that the splendor of thy glory may shine forth upon us, and the light of thy light may by the illumination of the Holy Ghost confirm the hearts of those who have been regenerated by thy grace. … in the unity of the same Holy Ghost.”

This link is underscored once again in the Epistle taken from the Acts of the Apostles. The subject is the encounter of Paul with the disciples of John the Baptist, who “had not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” after which Paul baptises them “in the name of Jesus Christ.”

The rest of the Mass is entirely focused on Pentecost, including the Gospel in which Jesus promises never to leave his disciples orphans, but to pray the Father to send them the Comforter.

The Secret and Postcommunion both ask God to purify the hearts of his faithful in preparation for the effusion of the Holy Spirit.

The Canon contains two proper parts. In the Communicantes, mention is made of the day’s feast:

“Communicating, and keeping the most holy day of the Pentecost, whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in countless tongues; and also venerating the memory, first of the glorious Mary, ever a Virgin, Mother of the our God and Lord Jesus Christ …”

While the Hanc igitur, as at Easter, intercedes for those baptized that night:

“We therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased and accept this oblation of our service, as also of thy whole family; which we make unto thee on behalf of these also whom thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, giving them remission of all their sins; dispose our days …”

The Reform of 1955

In the missals after 1955, the Vigil of Pentecost has been reduced to the Mass alone, in the form we just described, including the introit Cum sanctificatus. The prophecies, procession, and blessing of water have simply been abolished. The baptismal character of the vigil has been erased and the liturgy is entirely focused on the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Epistle, which expresses the link between the two sacraments, has been retained. One wonders why the proper Hanc igitur, which intercedes for those who were baptized just before Mass, was retained, even though the baptism ritual it references was effaced. As in Easter, the proper Hanc igitur is said in the Vigil Mass, the Mass of the Day, and the masses throughout the octave.

This Hanc igitur had already become merely symbolic by the time of the reform, because in actual fact baptisms were practically never held during the celebration. Nevertheless, it referred back to the ceremonies performed at the baptistry before the Mass proper, and thus emphasized the baptismal character of the entire Vigil. The choice to retain the prayer here after having suppressed the ceremonies before the Mass renders it much more of a meaningless vestige.

The Missal of 1969

The Missal of 1969 contains, as we mentioned above, a “Vigil Mass in the evening.” It is an anticipatory mass of Pentecost that, apart from a prayer retained here and there, is quite different from the ancient Vigil.

The opening antiphon is no longer the ancient introit Cum sanctificatus, but a citation of Rm. 5:5: “The love of God has been poured into our hearts by his spirit living in us, alleluia,” rescued from the suppressed Mass of the Ember Saturday of Pentecost

The baptismal aspect no longer receives any explicit mention and the accent is placed on the coming of the Holy Spirit and the close of Paschal Time.

The ancient collect has been retained, but only as an alternative; another prayer, which is found in several ancient sacramentaries and was also used in the Ambrosian Rite, is set before it:

“Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days; grant that from out of the scattered nations, the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord.”

The allusion is to Babel, the division of languages, and the reading of the next day from Acts, where each one understands the apostles preaching in his own language.

The particularity of this mass, making it unique in the missal, is the option of four texts for the first reading. They are:

Genesis 11:1-9: The Tower of Babel

Exodus 19:3-20: God manifests himself in the fire in the midst of his people

Ezekiel 37:1-14: The Dry Bones

Joel 3:1-5: The Spirit will make Its dwelling in all men

The prophecy of Ezekiel was traditionally said at both the Easter and Pentecost vigils: the others are selected ex novo.

The rest of the Liturgy of the Word is fixed:

–Psalm 103:1: Lord, send forth thy Spirit to renew the face of the earth.

–Romans 8:22-27: The Spirit come to our aid in our infirmity.

The Communicantes of the Eucharistic prayer is the one found in the ancient missal:

“Communicating, and keeping the most holy day of Pentecost, whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in countless tongues”

There is of course no mention of the baptised in the Hanc igitur or its equivalent in the new Eucharistic prayers.

The prayer over the offerings and the Postcommunion make abundant references to the Spirit:

“Pour out upon these gifts the blessing of your Spirit, we pray, O Lord, so that through them your Church may be imbued with such love that the truth of your saving mystery may shine forth for the whole world. Through Christ our Lord.”

and

“May these gifts we have consumed benefit us, O Lord, that we may always be aflame with the same Spirit, whom you wondrously poured out on your Apostles. Through Christ our Lord”

The Communion antiphon, it is taken from the Gospel:

“On the last day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink, alleluia.”

One wonders why the following phrase—”but this he said of the Spirit, which they should receive who believed in him”—was not kept.

Continuity or Rupture?

“This renewal has also shown clearly that the formulas of the Roman Missal ought to be revised and enriched. The beginning of this renewal was the work of Our predecessor, this same Pius XII, in the restoration of the Paschal Vigil and of the Holy Week Rite, which formed the first stage of updating the Roman Missal for the present-day mentality.” Thus the words of Paul VI in the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum.

We return to the perennial question: have the changes made since the 1950s, during the liturgical reform, been in logical and historical continuity with the ancient Frankish-Roman rite or do they mark a rupture?

In this case of the Pentecost Vigil, an immemorial practice has simply been suppressed. As Msgr Gromier rightly said, this suppression effaced the baptismal character of this day, and all emphasis is now therefore laid on the coming of the Holy Spirit. The goal of the members of the Commission was manifestly to focus solely on Baptism at Easter and then on Confirmation at Pentecost, on account of the descent of the Holy Ghost.

Nevertheless, at least the Mass remains, without serious change, and even contains elements that hearken back to the Vigil. The least that can be said is that this is rather incoherent. The “restoration” of the 1950s did not restore anything. As a result of its vague operating criteria, it hewed with axe-strokes and didn’t bother to put finishing touches on its work. It doesn’t take any extraordinary perspicacity to see that this reform was carried out in haste, and its numerous incoherences are obvious.

With regard to the formulary of 1969, save for the two retentions mentioned above, we are dealing with a novel creation. Currently, the majority of dioceses organize a “vigil of Pentecost,” sometimes with the mass of the vigil, often with the sacrament of Confirmation, but in these cases one must  allow for a large helping of “creation” and “creativity” due to the missal’s lack of sufficient directives.

Far from an “organic development” dear to Dom Alcuin Reid, we must once more note the absence of logic and continuity in the work of the commissions. In this case, it was largely a work of suppression that left a void and ample room for improvisation. Furthermore, perhaps more so than any other day in the liturgical year, the diversity of current practice regarding the vigil of Pentecost recalls one of the optional readings for the day: the one about the tower of Babel.

Bibliography

  • SCHUSTER, I., The Sacramentary (Liber Sacramentorum): Historical and Liturgical Notes on the Roman Missal. Trans. by Arthur Levelis-Marke. Volume II. London, 1924.
  • GUERANGER P., The Liturgical Year. Trans. by Laurence Shepherd. Volume IX. London, 1910.
  • PARSCH, P., The Church’s Year of Grace, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1953.
  • REID A., The Organic Development of the Liturgy, St Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, 2004.

Farced Introits: A Prologue for Christmas Day Mass

Hodie cantandus est nobis puer, quem gignebat ineffabiliter ante tempora pater, et eundem sub tempore generavit inclita mater.

Interrogatio:
Quis est iste puer, quem tam magnis præconiis dignum vociferatis? Dicite nobis, ut collaudatores esse possimus.

Responsio:
Hic enim est, quem presagus et electus symnista Dei, ad terras uenturum preuidens, longe ante prenotavit sicque predixit:

Aña:
Puer natus est nobis…

To-day we must sing of that child, Whom His Father ineffably begot afore time, and Whom His glorious Mother bore in time.

Question:
Who is this child, whom you proclaim worthy of such great acclamations? Tell us, that we too might praise Him.

Response:
For He is Whom the soothsayer and chosen companion of God, foreseeing that He should come to earth, foreshewed and foretold:

Antiphon:
A child is born unto us…

hodie
The Hodie cantandus est verses, diastematic notation from Nevers (PA 1235), East-Frankish neumes (Minden Be 11). Click to enlarge. (Source)

Farced introits represent the largest repertory of tropes after Kyrie tropes 1, and one of the most fascinating. Like sequences, they had their origin in that hotbed of liturgical creativity that was the Abbey of St Gall in modern-day Switzerland.

The earliest account of their composition in found in the continuation of the Casus sancti Galli, a chronicle of the abbey written by Ekkehard IV. Towards the end of the ninth century, a precocious young monk (plane iuvenis acutissimus) named Tuotilo wrote introductory verses for the introit of the Mass of Christmas Day—Puer natus est—which begin Hodie cantandus est. These verses proved popular, like the sequences that Tuotilo’s confrère and close friend Notker had invented some years earlier, and Tuotilo went on to write several other tropes throughout his life. Although he was nowhere near as prolific a composer as Notker, Tuotilo’s pieces were much admired; one of those who delighted therein was Emperor Charles the Fat:

The melodies Tuotilo composed are distinctive and easily recognisable, for his music is sweeter, whether on the psaltery or the rotta, at which he excelled, as is manifest in Hodie cantandus and Omnium virtutum gemmis. Indeed, he presented these tropes to Charles to be sung at the offering the king himself would make [i.e. during the offertory of the Mass, when the king would present his offerings]. When Tuotilo had composed the offertory Viri Galilæi 2, the king even bade him to add verses, [which were,] as they say, Quoniam Dominus Jesus Christus cum esset, Omnipotens genitor, fons et origo, with the following: Gaudete et cantate, and others indeed; but we mention these, so that, if you be a musician, you might know how different his music is from that of others.3

The Hodie cantandus est trope itself is an example of the melodic peculiarity that characterises Tuotilo’s compositions: the trope is in the first mode, whereas the subsequent introit is in the seventh mode; a striking modulation in the third phrase of the trope allows it to conclude in G to match the first note of the introit. 

Howsoever idiosyncratic the melody of this trope may be, its text a classic example of exegesis one expects of a trope. Its dialogical structure, reminiscent of Psalm 23, is almost catechetical—Statement, Question, Response. The statement is a dogmatic proclamation of the mystery about to be celebrated in the Mass, and it elicits the question that allows the announcement of Christ’s birth to be tied into the words of the Prophet Isaias (presagus et symnista Dei) that form the introit antiphon. And at the same time the initial proclamation is a scholium on the words Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis: this son is born in time of the blessed Virgin, but is given to us by the Father, who begot him before all ages. 

The Hodie cantandus est trope enjoyed great popularity throughout the Middle Ages, and is found in liturgical books as late as the 15th century, well after the general decline in the popularity of tropes.

Tuotilo’s example, moreover, proved influential in the composition of introit tropes in the succeeding centuries. In particular, there arose an entire genre of chant verses to be sung before the introit which served almost as introductions to the feast commemorated in the Mass of the day, often labelled Tropi ad processionem in northern French manuscripts and Versus ad officium in English ones. Since they were part of the procession before Mass, or even sometimes of a pre-Mass ritual, some scholars have rather pedantically decided to argue they are not true tropes. Howbeit, in some instances they do seem to have acquired a life beyond that of a mere trope, taking advantage of the dramatic possibilities inherent in the dialogical structure of the Hodie cantandus est verses. Such is the case of the Quem quæritis dialogue on Easter, whereon we hope to dedicate a future post. 

cambrai trope
In this version of the Hodie cantandus est trope, from an 11th-century gradual from the Abbey of St-Vaast d’Arras (Cambrai, F-CA 75 [76]), the original verses have become part of a larger pre-introit ritual with the heading “ad processionem”. This sort of chanted dialogue would eventually develop into so-called “liturgical dramas”.

Notes

1. By way of example, in volumes I and III of the Corpus Troporum, which contain tropes for Christmastide and Eastertide respectively, one finds 1,044 introit trope verses, against 250 trope verses for offertories and 113 for communions.

2. This offertory responsory is different from the one preserved in the Tridentine missal, and can be found on pp. 4-5 here (without the added verses).

3. Que autem Tuotilo dictauerat, singularis et agnoscibilis melodie sunt, quia per psalterium seu per rotham, qua potentior ipse erat, neumata inuenta dulciora sunt, ut apparet in Hodie cantandus et Omnium uirtutum gemmis, quos quidem tropos Karolo ad offerendam quam ipse rex fecerat, obtulit canendos. Qui rex etiam Viri Galilei offerendam cum dictasset, Tuotiloni versus addere iniungit, ut aiunt: Quoniam Dominus Ihesus Christus cum esset, Omnipotens genitor, fons et origo; cum sequentibus: Gaudete et cantate, et alios quidem; sed istos proposuimus, ut quam dispar eius melodia sit ceteris, si musicus es, noris. (Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli).

Ad Mariæ Gloriam: A Trope for Our Lady

Gloria in excelsis Deo. Et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis. Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te. Glorificamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. Domine Deus, Rex cœlestis, Deus Pater omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe. Spiritus et alme orphanorum Paraclite. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris. Primogenitus Mariæ Virginis matris. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecatiónem nostram, ad Mariæ gloriam. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis. Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, Mariam sanctificans. Tu solus Dominus, Mariam gubernans. Tu solus Altissimus, Mariam coronans, Jesu Christe. Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen. Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. O Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son. O Spirit and kind comforter of orphans. O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. First-born of the Virgin Mother Mary. Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer, to the glory of Mary. Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou only are holy, sanctifying Mary. Thou only art the Lord, ruling Mary. Thou only art most high, crowning Mary, O Jesus Christ. Together with the Holy Ghost in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 16.33.18
Click here to download the sheet music for the Gloria with the Sanctus et alme trope.

As we mentioned in our introductory post on tropes, these were never explicitly banned by any decision taken by the Council of Trent or appearing in the liturgical books produced in its wake, with one exception: the 1570 Roman Missal includes a rubric insisting that the Gloria in excelsis must always be said as written in the Missal, even in Masses of Our Lady. This was a reaction to one of the most enduringly popular of all liturgical farcings, viz. the Spiritus et alme trope, which adorns the Gloria with sundry acclamations praising the marvels God has wrought in Our Lady.

Our exploration of the rich world of tropes has been heretofore confined to tropes on the Kyrie and, as we have seen, these are almost always melogene tropes: i.e. additional text has been added to the preëxisting melody. The melismatic character of the Kyrie obviously favours this sort of farcing, but tropes on most other parts of the Mass are generally logogene: new verses—comprising both text and melody—have been interspersed between the phrases of the original chant, a practice that makes the nature of tropes as sung commentaries especially manifest.

This is the case for tropes on the Gloria in excelsis. The earliest recorded Gloria tropes date back to the 9th century, and through the course of the following centuries over a hundred examples thereof have been catalogued; it constitutes one of the largest trope repertoires after the Kyrie and Introit tropes. They were, howbeit, obsolescent by the 13th century, with one notable exception: the Spiritus et alme trope.

This set of verses grafted onto the Angelic Hymn is a relatively late composition, being first attested in Rouen MS. 1386 (U. 158), from Jumièges in Normandy, which dates to around 1100. These verses were associated with the melody of Gloria IX in the Vatican edition from the very beginning; indeed, this melody rarely appears in the earliest sources without the trope, which might indicate that it was originally composed for the Gloria thus farced. Indeed, this would explain why this particular melody has always been associated with Our Lady. Most Gloria trope verses were prone to melodic promiscuity, withal, and there are a few instances of the Spiritus et alme verses attached to other melodies, including Gloria IV, XIV, and XV.

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 16.57.07
Part of the Spiritus et alme trope in the Codex Sangallensis 546 (f. 15r).

From its birthplace in northern France, the Spiritus et alme trope spread to Aquitaine, England, and Italy, where it is attested in 12th century sources. In the following century, even as other Gloria tropes were falling into general disfavour, the Spiritus et alme verses continued to propagate relentlessly throughout Christendom, showing up in manuscripts from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Bohemia, Scandinavia, and Yugoslavia, where it even entered into the Old Slavonic use. The trope also appears in the liturgical books of various religious orders, including, fascinatingly enough, in ten Cistercian sources. The Order of Cîteaux’s approach to liturgy, as in other matters, was marked by an austere simplicity—one might even say by a certain Puritanism—wholly noxious to the flights of exuberant fancy that gave rise to tropes. Nevertheless, as Joaquim Bragança notes in his study of one of these sources, mediæval devotion to Our Lady—what Henry Adams called the “highest creative energy ever known to man”—was so powerful it could even vanquish the dour Cistercian hostility towards liturgical ornamentation.

tornacensis-gloria
Missale Tornacense (Tournai), 1498

salzburg-gloria
Missale Salisburgense (Salzburg), 1507.

vienne-gloria
Missale Viennense (Vienne), 1519.

The Gloria farced with the Spiritus et alme verses was the subject of polyphonic settings as well, including one for three voices with the Gloria IX melody as a tenor in the 12th-century Las Huelgas Codex (another Cistercian source, despite attempts by the Order to prohibit polyphony in its monasteries), two by Johannes Ciconia, and one by Guillaume Dufay. The composers of these works delighted in musically highlighting the Marian tropes, to the greater exaltation of Our Lady.

By the 15th century, then, the Spiritus et alme trope had become an established part of the Gloria in Masses on feasts and Saturdays of Our Lady nearly everywhere in Europe, featuring also in the pre-Tridentine printed editions of the Missale Romanum.

roman-gloria
Missale Romanum, 1543

Alas, however, the Spiritus et alme trope fell afoul of the reforming humanist spirit that arose during this age, with its “tendency towards rationalism and desire for sobriety in Catholic worship” [1], and this would lead to its outright prohibition. On 20 July 1562, during the 22nd Session of the Council of Trent, a commission of seven prelates was appointed to examine the question of liturgical abuses. Among the Postulata nonnullorum patrum circa varios abusus in missis subinductos (Petitions by certain Fathers about various abuses introduced into Mass), one finds the following: “Let those additions Mariam gubernans, Mariam coronans be removed from the hymn Gloria in excelsis; they seem an unbefitting insertion” [2]. The members of the commission agreed that farcing the Gloria to extol Our Lady was unbefitting, and the memoir they presented to the papal legate Hercules Cardinal Gonzaga on 8 August 1562, under the heading Abusus, qui circa venerandum Missæ sacrificium evenire solent, partim a Patribus deputatis animadversi; partim ex multorum Prælatorum dictis, et scriptis excerpti (Abuses, which often occur during the venerable sacrifice of the Mass, in part noted by the delegated Fathers, in part taken from the sayings and writings of many Prelates), lists the “added words about the Blessed Virgin” as one of the abuses that had crept into the celebration of the Mass [3]. The commission called for the production of reformed missals purged of such putatively abusive accretions [4].

As a result, the Missale Romanum promulgated by Pope St Pius V in 1570 included a rubric forbidding the farcing of the Gloria, even in Masses of Our Lady [5]. The Spiritus et alme trope was therefore abandoned in all dioceses that adopted the Tridentine missal, and, having been smirched as an abuse, it also soon disappeared in those dioceses that kept their local uses as they reformed their books following the Tridentine model. The Parisian Missal ad formam Sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini emendatum, for example, expunged the farced Marian Gloria and added the rubric Sic semper dicitur Gloria in excelsis.

The trope survived for a while in the extremely conservative Lyonese use, until its missal was reformed by Archbishop de Rochebonne in 1737 to bring it closer to the Tridentine model. It also remained in the use of Braga. In 1779, Archbishop Gaspar de Bragança, seeking to bring the Bragan use closer to the Roman, proposed, inter alia, the suppression of the Gloria de Domina, but was rebuffed by the chapter. The canons did deign to discuss the elimination of the Marian Gloria on 7 April 1780, but they finally decided to inform the subcantor and master of ceremonies that the Gloria was to be sung “according to the use of Braga”, thus preserving the trope. But finally, in 1924, a new edition of the Bragan Missal, approved by Pius XI, was promulgated which no longer included the farced Gloria, and thus disappeared its last vestige.

lyons-gloria
Missale Lugdunense (Lyons), 1620

The Spiritus et alme trope represents a fascinating instance where the use of a trope was so popular and universal it nearly became an established part of the Roman rite. It raises intriguing questions about what ought to be considered a legitimate and organic development of the liturgy, and what constitutes an illegitimate accretion and abuse. Whatever the terse declarations of the Tridentine liturgical commission, it is hardly obvious that the Marian Gloria is a case of the latter, and one might be excused for considering its disappearance a matter for regret.

Notes

[1] Chadwick, Anthony J. “The Roman Missal of the Council of Trent” in T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy, ed. Alcuin Reid, 2016, p. 107.

[2] Ab hymno: Gloria in excelsis, tollantur illa additamenta: Mariam gubernans, Mariam coronans: quæ videntur inepte inculcari. 

[3] Item forte essent animadvertenda in hymno Angelorum verba illa addita de Beata Virgine, Mariam gubernans, Mariam coronans ec.; videntur enim illa omnia inepte inculcari. 

[4] Missalia secundum usum et veteram consuetudinem S. R. E. reformentur, omnibus iis, quæ clanculum irrepserunt, repurgatis, ut omni ex parte eadem pura, nitida et integra proponantur.

[5] Sic dicitur Gloria in excelsis etiam in missis beatę Marię. This rubric was dropped in the editio typica of the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

The History of the Folded Chasuble (Part 2)

We continue with the second part of Henri de Villiers’s article “Les chasubles pliés: Histoire et liturgie”, originally published in French on the website of the Schola Sainte Cécile. This translation is also being published simultaneously on New Liturgical Movement, with our thanks to Henri once again for his generous permission to reproduce his work.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FOLDED CHASUBLES? The generalized practice of cutting off the front part of the folded chasuble, which is certainly convenient, must have contributed to it being perceived as a vestment distinct from the celebrant’s chasuble, which was certainly not so in the beginning. Paradoxically, this might have contributed to disaffection with its use. In 1914, the Jesuit Braun [14] deplored the disappearance of folded chasubles throughout Germany. France was hardly better off at this time; although the published ceremonials continue to describe the use of folded chasubles, it is quite rare to find examples or even photographs of them in the 20th century). Their use seems to have endured more in Italy, in the Iberian Peninsula, and in the British Isles.

Already suppressed for the Paschal Vigil in the new experimental liturgies of 1951 and 1952, folded chasubles were entirely banished from Holy Week with the 1955 reforms, and violet and black dalmatics and tunicles put in their place; folded chasubles were still to be used during the rest of Lent and other penitential seasons. This anomaly ceased with the publication of the new code of rubrics in 1960, which stated at the end of the general rubrics that “folded chasubles and broad stoles are no longer used” [15].

Msgr Léon Gromier, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, remarked during his famous conference on the reforms of Holy Week:

Folded chasubles are one of the oldest characteristics of the Roman Rite; they go back to the time when all the clergy wore chasubles, and were retained for a most austere penance. Abandoning them makes a lie of the paintings in the catacombs. It is an immense loss, an outrage to history. They wrongly give this explanation to justify their misdeed: that folded chasubles are difficult to find. But the exact contrary is the case: one finds violet chasubles everywhere that can be folded, whereas violet dalmatics are much less widespread [16]. Besides, one always has the option of ministering in an alb.

We may add that it was a curious move to suppress folded chasubles at the same moment when a return to the ancient, more ample form of the chasuble was being promoted everywhere.

On the other hand, the usage of folded chasubles was never interrupted among the Anglo-Catholics (and perhaps its usage will be gradually restored by the various new ordinariates erected to receive these communities into the bosom of the Catholic Church). In addition, amidst the renaissance of liturgical studies among traditional Catholic communities one observes a growing number of people who are restoring the ancient use.

IN THE OTHER WESTERN RITES. The use of the folded chasuble is not limited to the Roman Rite. It is found, with variations, in the following liturgies:

1) The Ambrosian Rite: Folded chasubles are used during Advent, Lent, and the Major and Minor Litanies (i.e. Rogation Days, which take place on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after the Ascension in this rite, and during which ashes are imposed) and other fasting days throughout the year. As in the Roman rite, the subdeacon takes off his folded chasuble to chant the Epistle. The deacon rolls his up crosswise in the Roman way from the Gospel to the end of Communion. During Sundays of Lent, the deacon chants the very ancient litanies after the Ingressa at the beginning of the Mass; to do this, since it pertains to his proper ministry, he also rolls his chasuble crosswise. The liturgical colours differ from the Roman custom: dark violet during Advent and the Sundays of Lent, but the ferias of Lent are in black. The Major Litanies are in dark violet and the Minor are in black. During an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on a day of penance, folded chasubles are obligatory, even in small churches. One notable difference with the Roman use is that during all of Holy Week (which begins on the eve of Palm Sunday, in Traditione Symboli) is celebrated in red and the dalmatic and tunicle are employed.

2) The Rite of Braga: The use is identical to the Roman rite, except for the procession of Palms when the dalmatic and tunicle are used.

3) The Rite of Lyon: very interestingly, folded chasubles are not used until after the first Sunday of Lent, a relic of the time prior to St Gregory the Great when the first day of the Lenten Fast was the Monday following this Sunday. The deacon takes off his chasuble before chanting the Gospel but does not roll it over his shoulders (so he does the same as the subdeacon at the Epistle). Folded chasubles are not used on Good Friday.

4) The Rite of Paris: Chasubles are not folded but rolled over the shoulders (the ceremonials speak of transversed chasubles: planetis tranversis super humeros). They are not used during Sundays of Advent (which are celebrated in white in Paris); rather the dalmatic and tunicle are used instead. Folded chasubles are nonetheless used during ferial Masses of Advent in bigger churches with many clerics; smaller churches are dispensed. Transversed chasubles are used for the first time on Ash Wednesday, then on Sundays of Lent, and on Good Friday; the vestments are black each time. On ferias of Lent, on the other hand, the deacon and subdeacon serve only in alb, stole, and maniple, without chasubles, even in the cathedral. Ember Days in September are celebrated with red transversed chasubles since these days belong to the Time after Pentecost, which is red in Paris.

5) The Premonstratensians: This rite has the interesting peculiarity that the use of folded chasubles begins on Septuagesima.

6) The Cistercians, Dominicans, and Carmelites: These three rites shares similar uses; during penitential seasons, the deacon and subdeacon serve in alb, stole, and maniple, as in smaller churches in the Roman rite. Note that in the Dominican rite, the dalmatic and tunicle are not used during ferial Masses throughout the year.

7) The Carthusians: This rite is very pared down and does not employ the dalmatic and tunicle at all during the year. During Mass, the deacon only puts on the stole to sing the Gospel. Folded chasubles are therefore not used at all.

AND IN THE EAST?– Based on the evidence from ancient artistic representations, the Byzantine East used the chasuble since at least the 5th century; and it is called φαιλόνιον in Greek (phelonion, similar to the Latin pælonia).

Théophile d'Alexandrie - miniature sur papyrus du Vème siècle.
Theophilus of Alexandria. Miniature on papyrus, 5th century.

By an interesting development similar to the one that happened in the West, the front part of the phelonion is cut in such a way as to facilitate the gestures of the celebrant.

Icône représentant saint Jean de Novgorod - le phélonion est tenu replié sur les bras.
Icon representing St John of Novgorod: the phelonion is held folded over the arms.
Prêtre byzantin portant le phélonion. La partie avant du vêtement est désormais coupée pour faciliter les gestes liturgiques.
A Byzantine priest wearing the phelonion. The front part of the vestment is cut to facilitate liturgical gestures.

Certain Spanish folded chasubles have a shape very similar to that of modern-day Byzantine phelonia cut in the front.

Chasubles pliées d'origine espagnole, assez proche de l'actuelle coupe byzantine.
Spanish-style folded chasubles, very similar to the current Byzantine cut.

We nevertheless do not find any evidence that deacons and subdeacons ever wore chasubles in the East; both used dalmatics [17]. Yet, in the Russian use, during the ordination of a cantor or lector, the bishop puts a short phelonion over his shoulders, which is likely the Eastern equivalent of the Western folded chasuble.

Ordination d'un lecteur dans l'usage russe.
Ordination of a lector in the Russian use.

The short phelonion is then taken off once the lector has chanted an Epistle.

Le lecteur byzantin nouvellement ordonné & revêtu du petit phélonion chante l'épître
A newly-ordained Byzantine lector wearing the short phelonion sings the Epistle.

During the ordination of a non-monastic subdeacon, the candidate presents himself before the bishop wearing a short phelonion. This vestment is not used outside these two ordinations [18], but it might well be the remnant of a more ancient custom where the chasuble was worn by the minor clergy.

Phélonion et petit phélonion russes.
Russian phelonion and short phelonion.

The other Eastern rites do not, in general, use the chasuble, even for the celebrant, who usually dons a cope. The Armenians, however, do have an equivalent of the Russian short phelonion [19], a short cape that covers the shoulders of minor clerics in this rite and which is most often attached to the alb in our days:

Messe dans le rit arménien - cathédrale arménienne catholique Sainte-Croix de Paris.
Mass in the Armenian Rite (Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Sainte-Croix in Paris).
Ordinations de diacres arméniens.
Ordination of Armenian deacons.

CONCLUSION. Mons. Bugnini’s enthusiastic efforts to suppress folded chasubles (he notes with disdain that no one will miss them) [20] gives rise to a larger question that naturally emerges when one studies the liturgical reforms of 1951-1969. These reforms were presented to the faithful at that time as a welcome return to the liturgy of ancient Christianity, finally purified from the dross of the High Middle Ages and the Baroque era. But if that is the case, how are we to explain the contemptuous suppression of this truly ancient element of the Roman Rite, the folded chasuble, a precious custom that unites us to the prayer and practice of our forefathers in the faith going back to the first centuries? Alas, this particular example is far from unique, and it only highlights the abandonment of numerous ancient elements of the liturgy in favor of the purely imaginative constructs that took place during these reforms. More globally, one might ask about the nature of the liturgical reform of 1951-1969: does it constitute a continuous organic development of the liturgy of the Church or a radical rupture with the centuries-long praxis of the Roman Rite?

It is interesting to consider how in different parts of the world, traditional communities are starting to take up the use of folded chasubles. We are certain that these communities perceive that they form a part of the symbolic richness that the tradition has bequeathed to us and of which we have been unjustly deprived.

Chasuble pliée - Rome.
Folded chasuble, Rome.
Mercredi des Cendres.
Ash Wednesday.
Londres.
Good Friday, London.
Stolon noir du Vendredi Saint. Londres.
Black broad stole on Good Friday, London.
Passion selon saint Matthieu - messe pontificale des Rameaux - Rome.
The Passion according to St Matthew. Pontifical Mass on Palm Sunday, Rome.
Second dimanche de Carême 2016 - collégiale Saint-Just de Lyon.
Second Sunday of Lent 2016, collegiate church of Saint-Just in Lyon.
Second dimanche de Carême 2016 - collégiale Saint-Just de Lyon.
Second Sunday of Lent 2016, collegiate church of Saint-Just in Lyon.
A l'aspersion - second dimanche de Carême 2016 - Société Saint-Hugues de Cluny - Connecticut.
The Asperges, Second Sunday of Lent, Society of St Hugh of Cluny, Connecticut.
Notez la chasuble transversale roulée - second dimanche de Carême 2016 - Société Saint-Hugues de Cluny - Connecticut.
Note the transversed chasuble that is actually rolled, Second Sunday of Lent, Society of St Hugh of Cluny, Connecticut.
Distribution des cierges de la Chandeleur 2016 - Institut du Christ-Roi - Gricigliano.
Distribution of candles in Candlemas 2016, Institute of Christ the King, Gricigliano.

Notes

14. G. Braun, Die liturgischen Paramente, 1914, p. 98.
15. Rubrica generales XIX, n. 137: Planetae plicatae et stola latior amplius non adhibentur.
16. Indeed, strictly speaking violet dalmatics and tunicles are only used on the three Sundays of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima.
17. Which very often retains structures much more ancient than the Greek usage.
18. The lector-cantor ordinarily uses a type of tunic for his office, the sticharion—στιχάριον. Certain parishes have tried to restore a more frequent use of the short phelonion.
19. According to R. Pilkington, I riti orientali, Turin, L.I.C.E. —Berruti, p. 31.
20. Cf. A. Bugnini—C. Braga, Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae instauratus commentarium. Bibliotheca Ephemerides Liturgicae Sectio Historica 25, Roma, Edizioni Liturgiche, 1956, p. 56, n. 28.