Rorate Caeli

A question for our readers: the Miserere during Asperges

According to Sancta Missa, the former requirement for a priest to quietly say the Miserere (or the Confitemini during the Easter season) while sprinkling the people during the Asperges / Vidi Aquam was abolished in 1961. However, just as some rubrics that were effaced between 1955 and 1962 continue to be widely observed in celebrations of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, I've been wondering to what extent this particular custom continues to be observed in Traditional Latin Mass communities. I would like to ask our readers if they are aware if this continues to be practiced in the Masses according to the 1962 Missal that they attend.

19 comments:

Pascal said...

(Comments that condemn or disparage the character of priests who may or may not say the Miserere during the Asperges will not be allowed to stand.)

Liturgy Enthusiast said...

The servers at Sunday Masses at Asperges would know as well.

Perhaps priests who have been instructed in EF training seminars can say if their tutors, presumably priests who say the EF exclusively, have taught them this.

Johnny Domer said...

I've served at a lot of Masses with priests doing the Asperges over the course of the past 9 years, and I don't think I've ever seen this done. This is the first I've ever heard of the custom.

Liturgy Enthusiast said...

Johnny:

Prior to 1961, it was no mere custom, but liturgical law.

DefensorFidei said...

I've seen a lot of lists of the changes made (by Bugnini?) between 1955 and 1962 to the Roman Rite, but it's only now that I've read about the removal of Miserere from the Asperges (and the removal of Holy Saturday ordinations, and the abolition of vigils before the Sepulcher on Good Friday and Holy Saturday...)

Bugnini wrecked a lot. Really.

Jack said...

In the Byzantine Divine Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom, the Deacon says Ps 50/51 quietly as he censes around the Church.

Maybe this is a parallel custom in the West?

**and the abolition of vigils before the Sepulcher on Good Friday and Holy Saturday...**

I've never seen this ordered in the Liturgical books of any Western use. However, many Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics have such a vigil before the Tomb, usually beginning at the end of Vespers on Good Friday and continuing until the Vesperal Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday.

I've read how churches in Vienna would have tombs constructed--some of them rather elaborate--on Good Friday, and the Emperor and his retinue would visit many of them.

Maybe this is a pious custom from Austria, but was never universal?

In a similar vein, I have read many dioceses and provinces in central Europe had official books of para-liturgical vernacular Holy Week services held in the evening that were better attended than the official rites.

Richard said...

From the "Celebration of Mass" by Rev. J.B. O'Connell, page 395:

"23. During the sprinkling the celebrant no longer recites the psalm Miserere with the sacred ministers.* Should there be no choir, the celebrant says the antiphon in full, the first verse of Miserere (or Confitemini), Gloria Patri, and repeats the antiphon."

*Missal and Rituale Romanum.

It appears that the instruction for ther priest not to recite the Miserere is only limited to Sung Masses with a choir, as far as O'Connell is concerned.

Anonymous said...

I've been serving the TLM for several years now, and this is the first I've heard of it. But as has been mentioned, this is not the liturgical law according to the '62 Missal, so that's probably why.

Stéphane said...

Defensor Fidei, why focus on Bugnini? There is some sort of mania about that guy. Of course he was no friend of the Roman liturgical tradition but let's focus not on persons but on facts, please. Especially as Bugnini was just one member of the Commissio Piana, not even its Secretary (as became the case with the Consilium, after the Council).
There is no evidence to suggest that Bugnini yielded any more influence than his colleagues on the Commissio Piana, so there is no basis to claim that "Bugnini wrecked a lot" before 1962. You may say that a lot was wrecked under Pius XII and John XXIII but it would take specific evidence to claim that Bugnini wrecked a lot during those years.

Pastor in Valle said...

I've always said the Miserere while sprinkling, because I wasn't aware that it had been abolished.

Pascal said...

"It appears that the instruction for ther priest not to recite the Miserere is only limited to Sung Masses with a choir, as far as O'Connell is concerned."

The citation from O'Connell that you produced doesn't say that. (Keep in mind we are talking about the recitation of the entire Miserere or Confitemini here.)

Let us revisit what O'Connell says:

"23. During the sprinkling the celebrant no longer recites the psalm Miserere with the sacred ministers.* Should there be no choir, the celebrant says the antiphon in full, the first verse of Miserere (or Confitemini), Gloria Patri, and repeats the antiphon."

O'Connell is merely stating the obvious here, which is that if the Asperges is to be carried out but there is no choir, then the priest will be the one to say the antiphon "Asperges" and its accompanying verse (which happens to be "Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam" -- the first verse of the Miserere) and doxology.

Rubricarius said...

Stéphane - Fr. Bugnini was appointed Secretary to the 1948 Commission by Pius XII.

I wonder how many clergy follow the '1962' change of adding short conclusions in the rite of blessing lustral water or whether they continue to use the form found in the older books?

David L Alexander said...

Bugnini was removed from his position by John XXIII, only to be rehabilitated under Paul VI. Whatever "damage" he could have done before his removal (and there is enough to suggest that the bulk of his influence was only after the Council), would have been in the face of many others already well-respected in the liturgical movement by the 1950s, thus with far more influence, not to mention a pope with both a mind of his own, and the fortitude to have stood up to the Nazis a few years earlier.

Or course, this isn't even about Bugnini, but whether a requirement that was removed when he wasn't around is still being used anywhere. Personally, I haven't heard it, but it wouldn't bother me in the least if it were.

Bill Standley said...

At our FSSP parish, the miserere is not done quietly. The sprinkling procession halts, the male choir members chant the words, after which the sprinkling resumes.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

If it is the right thing to do, Archbishop Marcel Lafebvre continued it in the Society he founded.

I don't even have to check my facts on this issue.

If it is Catholic, the Trads are doing it.

God bless Archbishop Lefebvre.

*

LeonG said...

Watch the celebrants lips! I do.

Una Voce of GA said...

off topic but related-did the 1962 rubrics say for servers NOT to kiss cruetts? If so I think everybody doesn't follow that rubric and follows the older one of kissing the cruetts

Anonymous said...

My question is, for parishes (be it diocesan, ICRSS, FSSP, SSPX, etc) that have incorporated the TLM into the Mass schedule (1962 Missal and related liturgical books, specifically)are the rubrics of the '62 books kept without exception? It would seem that this isn't the case, even from personal experience. I serve Mass at the local FSSP parish in the diocese, and it would seem the '62 rubrics are "broken" in one way or another (eg. the pre-55 Passion for Palm Sunday, the Second Confiteor for Solemn High Masses, etc). From my amateur research, it seems like the '62 liturgical rubrics and the revised Holy Week ceremonies were rushed, hence many communities adopting a "hybrid" if you will.

LeonG said...

One Istitut priest I know will only say the Latin Mass as it was in Pope St Pius X day: anything else he says is not the norm.