Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Assumptiontide: Veneranda (POST 1,000!)

For eight days, the Dominican Missal presents us with one of its more memorable orations:
"Veneranda nobis, Domine, huius diei festivitatis opem conferat salutarem: in qua sancta Dei Genetrix mortem subiit temporalem; nec tamen mortis nexibus deprimi potuit, quae filium tuum, Dominum nostrum, de se genuit incarnatum: Qui tecum."
This prayer has generated some discussion at NLM because of its more explicit reiteration of Our Lady's temporal death, a contrast to the confusion some "immortalists" created in recent centuries. The prayer first appears in the 10th century Gregorian Sacramentary, a Gallican redaction of the Roman liturgy given over a century early and likely after some period of development. The slightly older Gelasian Sacramentary, also a mixture of Roman and Gallican elements, contains two collects for the "Assumption of Saint Mary", one of which resembles a common Roman Marian prayer and another which the Rad Trad is unfamiliar. Henry Austin Wilson notes that in one manuscript, the penmanship for the vigil and feast of the Assumption differs from that before and after, which a curious reader might reasonably take to mean either the Assumption was a relatively new feast to France and Germany in 800AD or that the liturgical formularies were not as concrete, outside of Sundays and long-established feasts, as they would be by the high Middle Ages. Regardless, Veneranda post-dates these formularies, seemingly.

Yet Veneranda illustrates the proliferation of liturgy after the export of a few Roman books to the Frankish kingdom. This non-Roman prayer is to be found in the Sarum Missal used in southern England, as well as in a few other descendants of the Norman liturgical family. The Missale Ordinis Praedicatorum contained it until the Dominicans adopted the Roman books after Vatican II. Also, in Iberia, the Bragan rite offers this prayer. And yet Braga, Léon, and Salisbury are closer to the monastery of Fulda than Fulda is to Rome. It is a fitting reminder that the post-Gallican rites are indeed usages, "dialects" (cf. Fortescue), of the Roman rite from which they sprang, comprehensible to those who know the original, but still different and enriching.

....And speaking of enriching.... This marks post 1,000 on this blog. I would like to thank those who read now, those who have read from the beginning, Fr Capreolus and J, and all who pray for us. We appreciate your dedicated readership, astute comments, and your prayers. May the next thousand be as enriching as the first.


  1. A very fitting topic for a 1000th post. It is properly radically traditionalistic :)

    Mnogaja ljeta!