Tuesday, September 19, 2023


(posted by frenchie)

Sometimes I easily forget that I am part of the last generation of Catholics who was taught Latin and Greek as a matter of regular education, starting in middle school. 

As an Altar boy, serving the traditional Latin Mass I really did not think twice about the phrases and formulas of the Latin Vulgate, we were living with on a daily basis. 

This was part of our natural environment. You can imagine that I have witnessed during my lifetime a sea change in our liturgy, some for the better good, others with grave concerns, about the direction of our Church during this period of post modernity and relativity.

While I am personally attached to the "extraordinary"form of the Roman Rite. I do not fail to realize that most of our Church has not had the opportunity to experience the beauty and sacredness of the rite.
Yet, despite this reality, our liturgy is still peppered with wonderful formulas, which in a few words reveal to us the theology of our Church, and unveil its whole history.

Lets review some of these often overlooked expressions and phrases.

Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit

The Glory to the Father is a doxology, which means a prayer of adoration, celebrating the Glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

During the Liturgy of the hours, the "Glory to the Father" ends the Psalms. It is also recited or sung during the Rosary, at the end of each decades of said Rosary. A beautiful way to glorify the Holy Trinity.

Pax Vobiscum
Peace be with you

These are the words of Christ resurrected, as mentioned in the Gospels according to Luke and to John,
when he returns among his disciples after his death: "Peace be with you, as the father has sent me, I am sending you" (john 20,21)

This is appearing several times in the liturgy.  After the Prayer for the Eucharist, the faithful are invited, in the charity of Christ, to give each other a sign of peace. The same Peace of the Lord, that the priest invites us to share with the world, at the end of the Mass. "Go in the Peace of Christ"

Salve Regina
Hail Holy Queen

The Salve Regina prayer, is probably the most famous addressed to the Virgin Mary. It is supposed to have been penned by Adhemar de Monteil, Bishop of the Puy en Valais in the XI Century. St Bernard of Clairvaux added in the XII Century the last three incantations: "O Clemens, O Pia, O Dulcis Virgo Maria!" which used to be marked by three genuflection's.

The Virgin is depicted as a Queen, but also as a misericordious Mother, whose Heart and Eyes are turned towards Humanity.

This specific prayer is marking the liturgical period between the Feast of the Holy Trinity and the Advent.
It is often sung, to end a celebration.

I hope this help our fellow faithful to get closer to our History and our Liturgy. I am planning to add a few more expressions from time to time.

Pax Vobiscum

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