Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Corde natus ex parentis

The Marylebone Ordinariate Group began this new year of grace by attending Solemn Mass celebrated this lunchtime at St. James' Spanish Place in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  Needless to say the liturgy was executed with precision and elegance, supplemented sublimely by wonderful music from the choir. We find it difficult to imagine a better way of welcoming in the new secular year than Mozart's Coronation Mass, Palestrina's O Magnum Mysterium, and a rousing offering of Widor's Toccata from his Fifth Organ Symphony.

Introibo ad altare Dei

Fr Irwin (like us, and like the other clergy at St James's, a former Anglican) celebrated the Mass with the usual stately dignity, and can be seen below incensing the altar during the offertory.

We are privileged as Catholics to have a great treasure trove of grace stored up in the Church dispensed by the Pope as wielder of the Keys of the Kingdom. One example of such an indulgence may be attained today by participating in the public recitation of the Veni Creator Spiritus. Naturally, this devotion began today's liturgy.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face...

The Recessional Hymn at the conclusion of Mass, Of the Father's Heart Begotten, is a favourite of ours, and indeed sings of a great outpouring of joy and praise at the birth of the Lord so appropriate this Octave Day of His Nativity. We include below the translation found in the English Hymnal so worthy of meditation in their own right.

Of the Father’s heart begotten
Ere the world from chaos rose,
He is Alpha: from that Fountain,
All that is and hath been flows;
He is Omega, of all things
Yet to come the mystic Close,
Evermore and evermore.

By his word was all created;
He commanded and ’twas done;
Earth and sky and boundless ocean,
Universe of three in one,
All that sees the moon’s soft radiance,
All that breathes beneath the sun,
Evermore and evermore.

He assumed this mortal body,
Frail and feeble, doomed to die,
That the race from dust created
Might not perish utterly,
Which the dreadful Law had sentenced
In the depths of hell to lie,
Evermore and evermore.

O how blest that wondrous birthday,
When the Maid the curse retrieved,
Brought to birth mankind’s salvation,
By the Holy Ghost conceived,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
In her loving arms received,
Evermore and evermore.

This is he, whom seer and sybil
Sang in ages long gone by;
This is he of old revealed
In the page of prophecy;
Lo! he comes, the promised Saviour;
Let the world his praises cry!
Evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heaven, his praises;
Angels and Archangels, sing!
Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
Let your joyous anthems ring,
Every tongue his name confessing,
Countless voices answering,
Evermore and evermore.

Hail! thou Judge of souls departed;
Hail! of all the living King!
On the Father's right hand throned,
Through his courts thy praises ring,
Till at lest for all offences
Righteous judgement thou shalt bring,
Evermore and evermore.

Now let old and young uniting
Chant to thee harmonious lays
Maid and matron hymn thy glory,
Infant lips their anthem raise,
Boys and girls together singing
With pure heart their song of praise,
Evermore and evermore.

Let the storm and summer sunshine,
Gliding stream and sounding shore,
Sea and forest, frost and zephyr,
Day and night their Lord alone;
Let creation join to laud thee
Through the ages evermore,
Evermore and evermore. Amen.

Ite, missa est

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