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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sitientes Saturday, Skipping the Judica Mea and all that

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but so far I've been having an interesting Lent.

1) I haven't blown it yet on the Friday abstinence...but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I make it all the way through, because it seems like 2 out of 3 Lents I blow it somewhere.

2) I've been going to daily Mass more. I go to my own parish for Sunday Mass, but I've found the times very convenient at the new EF St. Anne's parish for some weekday Masses. I don't make it every day by far, but I've been going anywhere between 2-4 additional weekday Masses.

3) I never knew before there was a "Sitientes Saturday." It's the Saturday after the 4th Sunday (Laetare) in Lent. I knew there was a "Gaudete Sunday" and "Laetare Sunday," but never realized there were other days that had a special name taken from the 1st word of the Introit. "Sitientes" means "thirsty [ones]" -- the ubiquitous "they" translate it as "you who thirst." The English translation of the verse begins "You that thirst come to the waters, saith the Lord: and you that have no money, come and drink with joy." Sitientes Saturday was traditionally a day on which ordinations are done ... which finally solved the mystery to me of why so many of our Irish priests have February and March ordination dates. Here I always assumed it was because they were more likely to be on trimesters rather than semesters in their seminaries.

4) Autopilot. Yeah, as I suspected, one of the drawbacks with Latin is I think sometimes because a 2nd language isn't your own native tongue, unless you are really bilingual, there is always a delayed reaction in understanding. In the TLM, unless it is a requiem Mass or Passiontide (like it is from the start of before vespers Saturday) the priest and server(s) alternate Psalm 42 at the beginning right after the 1st priest/server exchange. Yesterday morning, father messed it up...launched into the "Judica me...." then after a back and forth or so, caught himself and skipped to where he should have gone.

This morning, determined to get it right, he firmly said "Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini." [Our help is in the name of the Lord...] But the servers, NOT LISTENING, did the 2nd response they'd have normally given, i.e. "Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea: quare me repulisti, et quare tristis incedo, dum affligit me inimicus?" ["For Thou, O God, art my strength, why hast thou forsaken me? And why do I go about in sadness, while the enemy afflicts me?" (You're probably in sadness because of all these purple draped figures around you, dude.) According to my Jungmann's Rite of the Roman ritual it's likely skipped because these very words are incongruous given the Passiontide. In other words "yeah, dude, well, duh!!! no need to wonder why you're so sad, given what we're going to commemorate very soon now."] I heard Father *sigh* just a bit, knowing that was 2 days in a row it was blown. Rather than correct, he acted like they hadn't answered incorrectly and carried on the whole way through the 42nd psalm.

Given that the priests who do the Latin Mass don't give the girls the "golden hand shake" keeping all the interesting stuff for the boys, I wonder if they don't first do the run throughs IN ENGLISH to make sure the servers know what they are saying. Because even in English most Catholics would know that the response to "Our help is in the name of the Lord" should be "who made heaven and earth."

Whatever. Lapse. But then in English people also go into brain freeze, so I wouldn't guarantee by a long shot necessarily much better, though I would have thought they'd self-correct sooner.

4. The missals are nice, but it's somewhat of a pain to use three. I have a small Sunday Missal. Excellent small pictures to the side to enable one to "self-check" during the silent canon if you're in the same ballpark spot as the priest. Nice big type that even my occasionally smeared contact lenses can see through come hell or high water. All the crosses the priests makes are clearly marked, which helps. Well, that's a good missal good for the common parts of the mass, but not the changeable parts. Need a daily missal for that. Smaller type font, and though the English and Latin is given for SOME of the short prayers like the introit and post communion, it doesn't have the Latin for the Epistle and Gospel. Geek that I am, I like to follow the Latin. But the Daily Missal is also good for making sure I've understood the readings in English first, to fill in the words I don't know in Latin. PLUS there is a nice section for Latin/English prefaces side-by-side, which isn't contained in the Sunday Missal OR my missal #3. A small, compact, entirely in Latin hand missal with very small type font and no illustrations. I use a plastic see through bookmark that also acts as a magnifying glass with this. The priest was curious to see it, as he hadn't seen one from the 1920s like I have. "A seminarian's missal" he called it. Big plus to this one is, all the changeable parts, save the preface are pretty much confined to two pages, and I don't have to do a lot of flipping around, I just turn at most (usually) one page.

So here's the drill: I get to Mass 15 minutes early. Grab the Daily [English] Missal, and mark the preface and read all the readings in English. Then I grab the Latin missal, find the Mass there (and this I keep book marked with a yellow sticky as the ribbon died long ago) and keep it on the edge of the page (and believe me it can be a bitch to find if you lose the place.) Then I read the readings in Latin and go back to the English if-I-am-really-not-getting-it until I do get it so as to be able to get both meaning and words more or less simultaneously. Then I lay those two books sideways next to me. The Latin Missal open to the right propers and the Daily Missal open to the right preface. (Believe me, you have to practically go on a Ranger Search and Rescue mission to find that.) Father walks in and I grab the Sunday missal to follow the common parts. When we hit the changeable parts, I lay the Latin missal (already open) right smack on top of the Sunday missal, and use that until after the gospel, then put it aside for the offertory. The Secret can STAY the secret, usually, as far as I'm concerned, because it's always short AFAIK, and it's too much of a hassle to lean over grab the magnifying bookmark and read it at the right time for that short passage - and I already read it privately earlier. But I do lean over for the preface, because the prefaces are AWESOME. Too cool for words. Soaring Latin prose...maybe not as good as the "six winged many eyed" angels in the Eastern rite, but close. Darn close. Then I can turn my attention to following that silent canon in the Sunday missal. I smile if I pace it so I hit that "nobis quoque peccatoribus" thing right on. Thank-you-subdeacons-who-aren't-there-anymore-waiting-for-the-signal-to-grab-the-Communion-bags-which-no-longer-exist. Then I eventually have fun changing the "Domine, non sum dignus" to "Domine, non sum digna" just to tick off Fr. Sean's friend, should he happen to be there and sitting next to me which hasn't happened but I hope will because I have never seen a cow, or a bull for that matter, give birth in church. I love to see men have hissy fits. [Google Z's blog for "Domine non sum digna" if you don't know what I'm talking about.] Then I get to stand during Communion, my eastern rite heritage way of saying "hey, I am standing aright and in awe, and my right knee, in particular, is blown, baby." Then at the end I use the Sunday missal and plop on the Latin Missal when need be.

5. IMO, Father reads the last Gospel way-too-fast-like-he's-in-a-race-but-then-maybe-all-the-cool-90-year-old-priests-he-may-have-learned-from-said-it-that-way-because-they-were-in-a-hurry-to-get-to-the-breakfast-bacon-before-some-other-guy-got-it-because-there-were-10-guys-in-the-rectory-back-then-and-it's-no-fun-sucking-hind-teat-at-breakfast.

6. The church is in an "interesting[?]" neighborhood/barrio/whatever. Let me just say if you lived in that school district you'd probably try and have your kids bussed somewhere else. BUT, on the plus side, I have seen some interesting phenomenon. One Saturday morning, about a block from the church, there were ROOSTERS, and only roosters, hanging all around one particular house. Haven't seen them out and about before or since, though I did hear one of them this morning. [Sometimes the "silent canon" is accompanied by some nearby barking dogs. The roosters are too far away.] Oh, and yesterday, I was running late, else I would have stopped and fished out the camera, there was a house, ENTIRELY painted with a Charger logo and in team colors. Insane and bizarre, but somehow refreshing because you KNOW that condo association people would die of apoplexy over something like that. I think I'd prefer overall, the occasional neighbor having a house painted as only a fanatical Charger fan would - or have someone who kept fowl to dealing with neo-nazi condo association people who never got over being treasurer of their sophomore class. Unless, of course the Charger house was right next to mine, or the mafia was involved in the cock fights. [How do you know the mafia was involved in a cock fight? They bring a duck. The duck wins.] I think I'll do pics of the Charger house and the city slicker roosters on Fri. or Sat. after I've had time to take a pic of the former - it's been a while since I did any San Diego Travelogue posts - and I've got another one of those besides that in the works.

I suppose I could just be there at Mass and say the rosary, but what fun would that be?


Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

From personal experience, autopilot is way more likely to happen in English. At least for me, Latin forces me to pay closer attention.

gemoftheocean said...

You'd think it would!

The servers are normally very competent - but for whatever reason they really blew it yesterday. I guess Father didn't want to call attention to the fact they blew it two days in a row!

gemoftheocean said...

Plus, I don't know how well they really know latin. If they knew it inside out and understood as they were saying it (as I think the priest does) they'd have thought "hey, this doesn't make sense!"

Dymphna said...

Don't photograph the roosters. The guys who run the cockfighting ring might not like it.

gemoftheocean said...

dymphna, already done. S'okay, I'm not going to place a bet. But DANG there was a BOATLOAD of them. All of a sudden I turned a corner and we were in TJ!!!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Forgetting once or twice happens, the servers MUST pay attention, Ps 42 is not prayed during Passiontide, you'd think they'd know the rubrics (I hate to be so harsh on them, but I serve at the TLM, so I am, haha)

But better that than glass pitchers, people in the sanctuary during the offertory, etc.

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