Monday, August 25, 2008

Latin: Prayers of August 22, Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen

The title of my parish is Queenship of Mary. As such, the Church regulations concerning the liturgical calendar permit us to transfer the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen (Beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae) to the nearest Sunday (effectively making it a solemnity and a holyday of obligation). August 22nd is the celebration of our parish's namesake as well as a celebration of our diocese's patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, our pastor can transfer it to the nearest Sunday (since this is Ordinary Time), as per the General Norms for the Liturgy Year and Calendar n. 58: "For the pastoral advantage of the people, it is permissible to observe on the Sundays in Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and have special appeal to the devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations take precedence over these Sundays in the Table of Liturgical Days."

How does this work? (Long answer, which is also the source of the following quote.)
[E]very parish in the world can, and should, celebrate its own specific "holy" days. The following are all celebrated as solemnities in a parish:
  1. the patron of the place (if there be one)
  2. the title of the church [see above]
  3. the anniversary of the dedication of the church building
As the table of precedence shows, the Solemnity of a patron or a titular saint (Mary is both in this case) outranks a Sunday in Ordinary Time; the former is a "proper" solemnity, meaning a local one (just like the propers of a Mass are those "local" to a particular day). A proper solemnity is of the "First Class", whereas Sundays in Ordinary Time are of the "Second Class". Furthermore, this Solemnity (which falls on a Friday this year) can be transferred to the nearest Sunday in Ordinary Time (per n. 58 above).

Thus, my pastor has determined that this coming Sunday shall we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. And in our Lady's honor, I would like to try my hand at translating the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, and Post-Communion prayers of that day. The Latin text comes from the 2002 Missale Romanum. This post has been inspired by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does the Prayer Really Say? (WDTPRS).

Deus, qui Fílii tui Genetrícem nostram constituísti Matrem atque Regínam, concéde propítius, ut, ipsíus intercessióne suffúlti, tuórum in regno caelésti consequámur glóriam filiórum.

The Collect's purpose is to "collect" the intentions and prayers of the Mass -- reflecting the celebration's "theme" if you will -- and present them before the Father. The juxtaposition of Genetricem with Matrem is interesting, because the same word is not used both times, although the general meaning is the same ("mother"). Filii tui Genetricem evokes the image of Mary as Theotokos, the God-bearer, or in this case, God-birther. "She who gave birth to Your Son" is a drawn-out way of translating it, I suppose.

"O God, Who established the Mother of Your Son as our Mother and Queen, graciously grant that we, supported by her intercession, may attain to the glory of Your children in Your heavenly kingdom."

Super oblata
Memóriam recoléntes beátae Vírginis Maríae, tibi, Dómine, múnera nostra offérimus, deprecántes, ut eius nobis succúrrat humánitas, qui tibi oblatiónem seípsum in cruce óbtulit immaculátam.

In this prayer, the offerings we present (munera nostra offerimus), which we ask God to sanctify and change into the Body and Blood of His Son, are linked to the perfect offering of Jesus on the cross (oblationem seipsum in cruce obtulit immaculatam). In a mystical way, Mary was offering Jesus to the Father as well. Consider the words of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi, n. 110: "It was [Mary], the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included in the holocaust." Consider also the words of Pope Leo XII in Iucunda Semper Expectatione, n. 3: "[T]here stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow."

There are a fair share of writings on Mary's presence on Calvary, that she filled a priestly role in the sacrifice of Christ; one element considered is that she was standing (as the priest does in the Mass while the rest of the faithful kneel). While some people interpret these writings making Mary out to be the priest (or priestess) of the sacrifice of Jesus (the victim) on the cross (the altar), it is the Catholic perspective to see Jesus himself as priest and victim, and Mary as representing the Church and all Her faithful who offer the sacrifice with the priest. She united her suffering with that of her Son, and she offered Him -- even as He offered Himself -- to the Father. That is how the faithful share in the offering of the Eucharist: we join ourselves to Christ and we join our prayers to those of the priest. This is our priestly office, which was inaugurated by Mary, the first to assist, at the Mass of Calvary.

"Reflecting on the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we present our offerings to you, Lord, entreating You that we may be aided by the compassion of Christ, who offered Himself to You as an immaculate sacrifice on the cross."

Post communionem
Sumptis, Dómine, sacraméntis caeléstibus, te súpplices deprecámur, ut, qui beátae Vírginis Maríae memóriam venerándo recólimus, aetérni convívii mereámur esse partícipes.

In the Offertory, gifts of bread and wine -- which come to us from God -- are offered to Him that He might find them worthy to transform them into the Eucharist. After they are transformed, they are then offered to Him (the Eucharist, properly), because they are the Body and Blood of His Son, the perfect sacrifice. Then these gifts are consumed by the priest (ratifying or consummating the sacrifice), and then those who are worthy to partake of these gifts received them: Holy Communion. The prayer after Communion relates the gift received in Holy Communion to the celebration of the day, and includes an eschatological reference; generally speaking, the sacrament of Holy Communion is seen as a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

In this prayer, language from the Super oblata is reused; we are reminded that the sacrifice offered today in the Eucharist and the sacrifice offered on Calvary, with Mary standing at the foot of the Cross, are one and the same. The sacrament we have received is heavenly (caelestibus); the banquet we aspire to is eternal (aeterni).

"Having received, O Lord, this heavenly sacrament, humbly we beseech You that we, who reflect on the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary by veneration, may merit to be partakers of the eternal banquet."

My commentary on these prayers is that only one, the Collect, mentions her Queenship (and her intercession for us); the other two prayers seem generic enough to be used on any Marian occasion. The prayers from the 1962 Missal are a bit more specific in this regard.

Prayers of the 1962 Missal for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen (May 31):

Concede nobis, quaesumus, Domine: ut, qui solemnitatem beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae nostrae celebramus; eius muniti praesidio, pacem in praesenti et gloriam in futuro consequi mereamur.

"Grant to us, Lord, we beseech You: that we, who celebrate the solemnity of our Queen, Blessed Virgin Mary; kept safe by her protection, may obtain peace in the present and glory in the future."

Accipe, quaesumus, Domine, munera laetantis Ecclesiae, et, beate Virginis Mariae Reginae suffragantibus meritis, ad nostrae salutis auxilium provenire concede.

"Lord, we entreat you: accept the offerings of Your rejoicing Church and, as we call upon the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen, grant to come to the aid of our salvation."

Celebratis solemniis, Domine, quae pro sanctae Mariae Reginae nostrae festivitate peregimus: eius, quaesumus, nobis intercessione fiant salutaria; in cuius honore sunt exsultanter impleta.

"Having celebrated these solemnities, carried out for the feast of our Holy Queen Mary, we beseech you, Lord, that they may be salutary for us by the intercession of her, in whose honor they have been joyfully fulfilled." (I needed some help from my St. Joseph's Daily Missal for this one!)

1 comment:

preacherman said...

Interesting post yet again, Japhy.
Thanks for all you do.
I hope you have a great weekend!