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a cool little book

I went to the PCL (i.e. the main library) on campus today and found a Pontificale Romanum from 1895. It is the liturgical book that contains all the different rites and celemonies usually reserved for the Bishop. The edition in the library, and online here, was promulgated by Popes Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.
It is completely in Latin so I only understand bits and pieces of it. In either case, it has been very interesting to see it in print so far. For a good number of the ceremonies, there are very highly-detailed illustrations picturing the ceremony. Also unlike the online version, it has the psalm tones.
There is one graphic that makes me laugh. On page 263, under “De Patenae et Calicis Consecratione”, illustrates the Bishop blessing the Paten and Chalice. All looks fine and dandy, then you notice one of the servers is looking over his shoulder looking very bored. It also has the Degredation rituals that Fr. Jim Tucker translated and posted awhile ago. (First Tonsure, Exorcists and Lectors, Acolytes, Subdeacons, Deacons, Priests and Bishops).
It just has really cool stuff in it. Like the Ordo ad Reconciliandum Apostatam, Schismaticum Vel Haereticum. As you may have guessed, that’s the Order of Reconciliation with Schismatics, Heretics, etc. Most of it, while I can’t translate word-for-word, I can pick up the meaning of. Like the following:

Pontifex apostatam,
schismaticum, vel haereticum reconciliare volens, paratus amictu,
stola, pluviali albo, et mitra simplici, sedet super faldistorium
ante foras Ecclesiae sibi paratum, coram quo genuflectit
reconciliandus, quem interrogat Pontifex de fide, dicens:

Credis duodecim Articulos Fidei?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, creatorem coeli et terrae?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis et in Jesum Christum Filium ejus unicum Dominum nostrum?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis quod conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis quod passus est sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis quod descendit ad inferos?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis quod tertia die resurrexit a mortuis?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis, quod ascendit ad coelos, et sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis?
Ille respondet: Credo
Pontifex interrogat: Credis quod venturus est judicare vivos, et mortuos?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis in Spiritum Sanctus?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam, Sanctorum communionem?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis remissionem omnium peccatorum?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Pontifex interrogat: Credis carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam?
Ille respondet: Credo.
Deinde Pontifex surgit cum mitra, et super illum genuflexum dicit absolute, incipiens:
Exorcizo te, immunde spiritus, per Deum Patrem omnipotentem, et per Jesum Christum Filium ejus, et per Spiritum Sanctum, ut recedas ab hoc famulo Dei, quem Deus et Dominus noster ab erroribus et perceptionis tuis liberare, et ad sanctam matrem Ecclesiam Catholicam atque Apostolicam revocare dignatur. Ipse tibi imperet, maledicte ac damnate, qui pro salute hominum passus, mortuus, et sepultus est, te atque omnes vires tuas superavit, ac resurgens coelos ascendit, inde venturus judicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem.

The bulk of this, as is pretty obvious, is the Bishop questioning the person to be brought back into the Church. The form is pretty usual where the Bishop asks “Do you believe in XYZ?” with the person responding with “I believe.” The end, well, I don’t know what it says. It sounds like the person is genuflecting before the Bishop, with mitre, when the Bishop casts out any unclean spirits by means of the Almighty Father, by means of Jesus Christ and by means of the Holy Sprit. He further commands, either the person or the spirits- this is where my lack of Latin education fails me- to obey the Lord our God. You get the idea though. My goal is to some day be able to read it.
Anyhow, it is a really cool little book. I picked up a copy of The Rites and The Rites II that contains the modern version of many of the ceremonies. Perhaps I’ll compare a few of them before giving the books back.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

2 replies on “a cool little book

Hey Brandon:
Good blog entry today. I haven’t updated mine. To the point, from my understanding, I think the bishop is going through the creed (either the Nicene or the Apostles) while asking if one believes the main points. I think the priest does something of a similar nature during the Easter Vigil and the congregation responds “I Do.” With the New Roman Missal, we may really go back to our roots and say more than “I Do” but rather, “I Believe!” darn it!

Hung: You’re correct. As part of the Rite of Baptism, the priest asks of the parents and Godparents (or the person to be baptized himself if he is of the age of reason) similar questions. The Rite for Baptism of One Child can be found online at the Catholic Liturgy Library. I’m not at home at the moment so I’m without my reference materials, but I want to say that the questioning form of the creed is allowed many other times- possibly at every Mass? The questioning form of the creed is said, I believe, whenever we, the people, undergo a “Renewal of Baptismal Promises”; usually done on Easter Sunday in my experience.
The questioning form, overall, is pretty common in the Roman rite (perhaps others as well). For example, during the “Rite of Marriage During Mass”, there is a Questions (Interrogationes ante consensum) section. The priest then questions them about their freedom of choice, faithfulness to each other, and the acceptance and upbringing of children:
N. and N., have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?
Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest your lives?
Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?
That line of questioning is for the couple stating their intent to enter into the marriage. They then declare their consent, which I argue is the actual moment of the sacrament.
As I mentioned in the Rite of Baptism, the parents/Godparents are questioned multiple times:What name do you give your child?
What do you ask of God’s Church of N?
…Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?
[to the Godparents] Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?
Do you reject Satan?
And all his works?
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That is followed by one last question: “Is it your will that N. should be baptized in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you?” Then, the celebrant baptizes the child.
In that form, you notice first that the celebrant intends to ensure that the parents/Godparents believe in the Faith that they wish the child to enter. After confirming the orthodoxy, he asks again for the intention of the parents and why they are bringing this child now before God. After confirming the intent, the orthodoxy, and the intent in the context of orthodoxy, the child recieves the sacrament.
The Rite of Confirmation has a time for questions as well, in this case using the “Renewal of Baptismal Promises” mentioned above:
Do you reject Satan and all his empty promises?
Do you believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who came upon the apostles at Pentecost and today is given to you sacramentally in confirmation?
Do you believe in the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?
This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Looks familiar eh? There is a difference between the questioning done here and the one at baptism. The bishop, after questioning, lays his hands on the to-be-confirmed, then he anoints them with Chrism. The only time that the will of candidates is mentioned is at the very beginning of the Rite with the “Presentation of the Candidates.” A minister, according to local custom, calls out the names of those to be confirmed and each acknowledges that.
There are questioning sections of ordinations, the Chrism Mass (Renewal of Priestly Promises), and probably a good number of other rituals. It would be interesting to find a revised copy of the Pontificale.
Anyhow, it’s an interesting point. I’ll probably post something about either the questioning form, the use of the Creed or both.

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