5 March 2010

The Mass of the Five wounds

The reason why I have a niggling doubt about the account of what S Raphael said to Pope S Boniface is that the Mass found in the Sarum Missal for the Five Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be more or less the same as the Mass de Passione Domini preserved from earlier in the Tridentine Roman Missal. Phrases have been added: in the Collect, after 'descendisti' the words 'et in ligno Crucis quinque plagas sustinuisti'; and in the Postcommunion, after 'deprecamur ut', the words 'per tuae passionis et vulnerum tuorum merita'. And there are areas of the Sarum Gradual and Sequence which are clearly textually corrupt. Therefore, obviously, Sarum's is an adapted, secondary version of this Mass. Don't you agree?

No? What? You want to know whether I have checked how far back the Passion Mass goes and whether I have considered the possibility that the version in the current EF Missal might be a pruned and secondary version of the Five Wounds Mass? Well ... er ... um ... no, ... er ... I ... um ... er ..., as my students used to say when, having listened to their miserable essays, I began savaging them. It is possible. The Counter-Reformation was a rather puritanical period. The Calendar in the original Missal of S Pius V is a tree even more savagely trimmed in some respects than Dr Bugnini's. The lovely Raffael pictire of La Madonna di Foligno, a copy of which is part of the baroque superstructure of the High Altar at S Thomas's, was ejected from the Church of Sancta Maria in Ara Coeli on the Capitoline Hilland and a dusty old medieval ikon reinstated in its place. So somebody certainly could have taken scissors to the florid old English medieval Mass. We must not assume that earlier versions are always shorter and that time brings accretion: that is one of the most egregiously erroneous assumptions of twentieth century NT textual criticism, as my old and beloved mentor, the greatest of all textual critics, George 'Eclectic' Kilpatrick, formerly Dean Ireland's Professor in this University, used to love demonstrating.

So, no rash assumptions. If anybody likes to do the necessary research, I'm very willing to eat my biretta and concede that the Archangel Raphael did indeed give all those mathematically precise instructions to Pope S Boniface ... oh, and you might as well, while you're about it, suss out which Boniface that was.

But while you're busy with that, I'll start drafting the next post on the history of this Mass and devotion.


GOR said...

"...suss out which Boniface that was."

Hmm. As only two of the Bonifaces (Bonifaci…?) were both Popes and Saints - I and IV respectively - the options would appear to be reduced. As Boniface I was feliciter regnans (or perhaps not so feliciter…) in the 5th Century and as this is an English blog, and Father is English, one assumes that a Boniface with some English connections perhaps, might be the answer?

Enter Boniface IV who had some connections to England (Mellitus of London, Lawrence of Canterbury and, questionably, King Ethelbert himself…).

So (flips coin) I’m for Boniface IV.

QED – or not, as Father will no doubt enlighten us!

Walter said...

Hi Father,
I can't find any medieval votive Mass of the 5 Wounds--at least not in J W Legg's Sarum Missal which is where I look'd.
Rome had been publishing Proper Offices for the Mysteries of the Passion since the 17th century and they were fully observed up to the end of the 50s. I have a copy in Latin only, and my Canadian French Missals all had them up to the horrible 60s neatly published.

What Rome did throughout the medieval to early post-Tridentine times is totally unknown to us non-liturgy students.

The 5 Wounds Introit begins 'Humiliavit' from the 16th century on, and not 'Misericordias'. You must have access to MSS or books with this that we certainly don't know about.

BTW, I loved your 'story telling' on this subject. I wish you'd tell us why England used the term 'Office' for the Introitus.

Perhaps someone else could fill us North Americans in on this. The 'Church of England in Canada' never used the term, for example.

Thank you.