Rorate Caeli

The Eternal Roman Missal - Epiphany

Is there something more sublime in this earthly pilgrimage than when those introductory words of the most venerable of all anaphoras, the glorious Canon of Rome, are pronounced? The Canon is a permanent reminder to us all of the awesome perenity of the Roman Mass. It is terrifying to see 1000-year-old, and older, pieces of paper which guided generations of priests in the celebration of the most elevated of Mysteries. Dignum et Iustum est... the preface is about to be said and, after (or during) the Sanctus and Benedictus the deepest of all silences will begin.

As the silence which preceded the first Fiat of the Creation and the silence which preceded the Fiat of the Incarnation, the silence of the Canon prepares the soul of the faithful to the most awe-inspiring event. The House of God is truly a place which terrifies us with its incomprehensible dignity and justice. Terribilis est locus iste. As in Bethel, angels go up to lift our prayers, and angels come down to worship Him who made them.

Today's special picture of "The Eternal Roman Missal" series is from a Missal made for the chapter of the Cathedral of Orléans, France, circa 1392 (nearly 200 years before Trent or the so-called "Missal of St. Pius V"). It is believed the artwork was made in Provence. The beautiful illumination of the Adoration of the Magi forms the letter E, the first letter of the Introit of the Mass of the Epiphany of the Lord, as it is until today in the traditional Missal:

Ecce advenit dominator Dominus: et regnum in manu ejus, et potestas, et imperium. -[the fragment ends here]-Ps.: Deus, judicium tuum regi da: et justitiam tuam Filio regis. V.: Gloria Patri [Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and the Kingdom is in His Hand, and power, and dominion. -- (Ps.71. 2). Give to the king Thy judgment, O God: and to the king's Son Thy justice. V.: Glory be to the Father].

See the first post of "The Eternal Roman Missal" and the purpose of the series here.