Rorate Caeli

Will the Real Lex Orandi of the Roman Rite Please Stand Up? A Comparison of the Old and New Feasts of St. Louis

Today is the feast of the greatest of Christian kings, St. Louis IX (1214-1270). In light of the attempt of some to declare the Novus Ordo the sole lex orandi of the Roman Rite, it seems worthwhile to do a simple comparison between the traditional Propers for this feastday and those of its modern replacement in 1969. Pay close attention, as usual, to the shifts in political theology, in the concept of merit, the primacy of the supernatural, the relation between nature and grace, and the recognition of the existence of enemies. Not to mention whether the Propers "fit" the saint or not...

Collect (MR 1962)
God, Who didst transfer Thy blessed Confessor, Louis, from an earthly throne to the glory of the heavenly kingdom, grant, we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, that Thou wouldst make us associates [consortes] of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth...

Collect (MR 1969/2002)
O God, who brought Saint Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glory of a heavenly realm, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, by fulfilling our duties on earth, we may seek out your eternal Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns...

Lesson (MR 1962)
The Lord conducted the just through the right ways, and showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things: made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours. In the deceit of them that overreached him He stood by him, and made him honourable. He kept him safe from his enemies, and He defended him from seducers and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome and know that widsom is mightier than all. She forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: She went down with him to the pit, and in bands she left him not, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him; and showed them to be liars that had accused him: and the Lord our God gave him everlasting glory.

Reading (MR 1969/2002)
(Whatever the daily reading happens to be, which will usually have almost nothing to do with the saint.)

Old Alleluia (MR 1962)
Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life. Alleluia.

Alleluia (MR 1969/2002)
(If the optional alleluia is used, its verse will usually have nothing to do with the saint.)
Gospel (MR 1962)
At that time Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds; and said to them: Trade till I come. But his citizens hated him; and they sent an embassage after him, saying: We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass that he returned, having received the kingdom; and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. And the first came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds: and he said to him: Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities. And the second came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds: and he said to him: Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying: Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin; for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man; thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow. He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knowest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down, and reaping that which I did not sow: and why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have exacted it with usury? And he said to them that stood by: Take the pound away from him, and give it to him that hath the ten pounds. And they said to Him: Lord, he hath ten pounds. But I say to you, that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound; and from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him.

Gospel (MR 1969/2002)
(Whatever the daily reading happens to be, which will usually have almost nothing to do with the saint.)

Secret (MR 1962)
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that as blessed Louis, Thy Confessor, disdaining the pleasures of the world, strove only to please Christ, his King, so his prayer may render us acceptable to Thee. Through the same Lord...

Prayer over the Offerings (MR 1969/2002)
(Nothing proper; taken from a Common with multiple options that are all about the same as this:)
Through the present oblation, O Lord, which we offer in commemoration of blessed N., bestow on your faithful, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace. Through Christ our Lord.

Postcommunion (MR 1962)
O God, Who didst give Thy blessed Confessor Louis renown on earth and glory in Heaven, constitute him, we beseech Thee, the defender of Thy Church. Through our Lord...

Prayer after Communion (MR 1969/2002) 
(Nothing proper; taken from a Common:)
May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord, in commemoration of blessed N., sanctify our minds and hearts, that we may merit to be made sharers in the divine nature. Through Christ our Lord.

Now which, pray tell, is the virile, distinguished, noble, articulate, eloquent, robust, and authentic lex orandi of the Church of Rome? To ask the question is to answer it.

Like attempts made to stifle the face and voice of the authentic lex orandi...