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Tema: The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.7 - The Use of Seville

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    The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.7 - The Use of Seville

    The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.7 - The Use of Seville

    Gregory DiPippo Seville is a very ancient center of Christianity on the Iberian peninsula; it had a bishop already by 303 A.D., when Ss Justa and Rufina were martyred there in the persecution of Diocletian. It is of course famous as the see of St Isidore, the great encyclopedist of the Middle Ages, and a Doctor of the Church. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in existence, and the third-largest church in the world; the old Catholic Encyclopedia states that the plan of the chapter was to build a structure “on so vast a scale that posterity should deem it the work of madmen.” It was begun in 1403, and completed in 1506, a miraculously swift achivement in the history of Europe’s great cathedrals.

    The cathedral of Seville and its massive bell-tower, La Giralda. The church occupies the site of a former mosque, which was converted into the cathedral when the city was reconquered in 1248, but later torn down to make way for the present structure. The lower part of the Giralda is the minaret of the mosque, the upper part is an additional of the later 16th-century. (image from wikipedia.)
    Unlike that of Toledo, the Missal of Seville, printed in the city itself in 1565, contains no Ritus servandus, the long rubric which describes how the Mass is said. Much of the Offertory is similar to that of Toledo, which is described in the previous article but one of this series; the most important difference is that Seville includes in its missal the ancient and widely-used Offertory prayer Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, which Toledo omits. It is not said, however, as part of the Offertory ritual itself. After the introductory prayers (the Judica me, the confession etc.) there are four Apologias; as I did with the Missal of Toledo, I will give the text of these in Latin and English in a separate post. There follow two versions of Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, one to be said “post Offerenda – after the things which will be offered”, and another version “for the dead”, which is as far as I can tell unique to Seville. No rubric is given as to when exactly these prayers are said, with what ritual (if any), or even whether they were obligatory; at Toledo, the Apologias were said “if (the priest) wishes, and time permits.”

    The first version reads very much like the longer recension found in the French Uses.
    Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offero pro me peccatore, omnium hominum miserrimo, et pro omnibus parentibus et benefactoribus meis, et omnibus fidelibus vivis et defunctis, in memoriam Annuntiationis, Incarnationis, Nativitatis, Passionis, Resurrectionis Ascensionisque Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et adventus Spiritus Sancti, et in veneratione beatae Mariae semper Virginis, et in honore omnium Sanctorum tuorum qui tibi placuerunt ab initio mundi, et eorum quorum hodie festivitas celebratur, et eorum quorum hic nomina et reliquiae hic habentur, ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem; ut illi omnes Sancti pro nobis intercedere dignentur in caelis, quorum memoriam facimus in terris. Per.
    Receive, o holy Trinity, one God, this offering, which I offer to Thee for myself a sinner, most wretched of all men, and for all my relatives and benefactors, and all the faithful, living and deceased, in memory of the Annunciation, Incarnation, Birth, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the coming of the Holy Spirit; and in veneration of the Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, and in honor of all Thy Saints who have pleased you from the beginning of the world, and of those whose feast is celebrated today, and whose names and relics are kept here; that it may profit unto their honor and our salvation; that all those Saints whose memory we keep on earth, may deign to intercede for us in Heaven.
    In accordance with the tenor of the whole Roman Rite and its manner of praying for the dead, the version said at Requiem Masses is entirely focused on the deceased then being commemorated.
    Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offero pro animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum, et omnium fidelium defunctorum, et eorum, quorum hodie memoriam agimus, ut requiem aeternam dones eis inter Sanctos et electos tuos, ut in illorum consortio vita perfruamur aeterna. Per.
    Receive, o holy Trinity, one God, this offering, which I offer to Thee for the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, and all the faithful departed, and of those whose memory we keep today; that Thou may give them eternal rest among Thy Saints and elect, that we may enjoy eternal life in their company.
    The Offertory proper begins with wine being put in the chalice, with the words of Psalm 74, “Hunc humiliat, et hunc exaltat: quia calix in manu Domini vini meri, plenus misto. – One he putteth down, and another he lifteth up: For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup of strong wine full of mixture.” When the water is put in, the use of Seville prescribes that almost exactly the same words be said as in the Use of Toledo; however, no indication is given as to the ritual that accompanies them.
    Ex latere Domini nostri Jesu Christi sanguis et aqua exivit; et ideo nos pariter commiscemus, ut misericors Deus utrumque ad medelam animarum nostrarum sanctificare dignetur. Per eundem etc. – From the side of our Lord Jesus Christ came forth blood and water; and therefore we likewise mix (them), that God in His mercy may deign to sanctify them both for the healing of our souls. Through the same Our Lord etc.
    The corporal is then spread, (the rubrics do not say by whom), with the words “In tuo conspectu, Domine, quaesumus, haec munera nostra tibi placita sint; ut nos tibi placere valeamus. Per. – In Thy sight, o Lord, we ask, may these our gifts be pleasing to Thee; that we may be able to please Thee. Through Our Lord etc.”

    The beginning of the Mass of Corpus Christi, from the 1565 Missal of Seville.
    The next three prayers, at the offering of the host, the offering of the chalice, and the covering of the chalice, are almost identical to those said at Toledo. The first reads “Acceptabilis sit majestati tuae omnipotens Deus, haec oblatio, quam tibi offerimus pro reatibus, et facinoribus nostris, et pro stabilitate sanctae Dei Ecclesiae Catholicae. Per. – May this offering be acceptable to Thy majesty, almighty God, which we offer to Thee for our sins and offenses, and for the stability of God’s holy Catholic Church. Through Our Lord etc.” The second is “Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem Christi Filii tui, humiliter deprecantes clementiam tuam, ut ante conspectum divinae majestati tuae, cum odore suavitatis ascendat. Per eundum Christum. – We offer to Thee, o Lord, the chalice of Christ, Thy Son, humbly beseeching Thy clemency, that before the sight of Thy divine majesty, it may ascend with the odor of sweetness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    Seville does not use the term “filiola – little daughter”, “hijuela” in Spanish, for the pall, as does the Missal of Toledo. The prayer said at the covering is: “Hanc oblationem, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, placatus accipe, et omnium offerentium, et eorum pro quibus offertur, peccata indulge. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. – Peaceably accept this offering, we ask, almighty God, and forgive the sins of all who offer (it), and of those for whom it is offered. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    The prayers said at the incensation of the offerings are also similar to those of Toledo. The blessing of the incense is “Ab illo sanctificeris, in cujus honore cremaberis. – May thou be sanctified (‘blessed’ is much more common) by Him in whose honor thou shalt be burned.” While the altar is incensed, the priest says “Placare, quaesumus, Domine, hoc thure, et mise-rere nostri, parcens peccatis nostris; et praesta propitius, ut bonus odor simus in vitam aeternam. Amen. – Be thou reconciled, we ask, o Lord, by this incense, and have mercy upon us, sparing our sins; and grant in Thy mercy, that we may be a good odor unto eternal life. Amen.”

    Seville then adds a second prayer for the incensation, which is also found in some medieval sacramentaries: “Omnipotens Deus, qui suscepisti munera Abel, Noe, Melchisedec, Aaron, Samuelis et omnium sanctorum tuorum, sic et de manu peccatorum suscipere digneris incensum istud in conspectu tuo, in odorem suavitatis, in remissionem omnium peccatorum nostrorum. Per. – Almighty God, who received the gifts of Abel, Noah, Melchisedec, Aaron, Samuel, and all Thy Saints; so also may Thou deign to receive this incense in Thy sight from the hand of sinners, unto the odor of sweetness, and the remission of all our sins. Through.”

    The parish of the Divine Savior in Seville (image from Spanish wikipedia.)
    At the washing of the hands, only a few words of Psalm 25 are given, “I will wash my hands among the innocent.” The priest then says a prayer “Quaeso, omnipotens Deus, da mihi ita manus lavare, ut Dominicum corpus et sanguinem pura mente possim tractare. – I ask, almighty God; grant me so to wash my hands, that I may be able to treat the Lord’s Body and Blood with a pure mind.” There follows the prayer In spiritu humilitatis, which is said bowing low: “In a spirit of humility, and in contrite heart, may we be received by Thee, o Lord; and so may my sacrifice take place in Thy sight this day, that it may be received by Thee, and please Thee, o Lord.” This differs from the Dominican Use only in changing “our” to “my”, as noted in bold. The Veni sanctificator is not said, nor any of the common variants of it.

    The priest then stands straight and blesses the bread and wine together, saying “In nomine sanctae Trinitatis, et individuae Unitatis, descendat Angelus benedictionis, et consecrationis super hoc munus – In the name of the Holy Trinity, and undivided Unity, may the angel of blessing and consecration descend upon this gift. Amen.”

    Turning to the people, he then says the Orate fratres as follows, again similar to the Use of Toledo: “Obsecro vos, fratres, ut oretis pro me peccatore ad Dominum, ut meum sacrificium, vestrumque votum sit Deo acceptum. - I beseech you, brethren, that you pray for me a sinner to the Lord, that my sacrifice and your prayer may be acceptable to God.” The response is “Suscipiat omnipotens Deus sacrificium de manibus tuis, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui, et ad tuam et nostram salutem, et omnium circumstantium populorum. – May God almighty receive the sacrifice from thy hands, for thy salvation and ours, and all the peoples here present.”

    This series will continue with some prayers from the Missal of Seville.

    New Liturgical Movement

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    Re: The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.7 - The Use of Seville

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    The Theology of the Offertory - Part 7.8 - Two Prayers from the 1565 Missal of Seville

    Gregory DiPippo
    As noted in the most recent articles of this series, the Missals of Toledo and Seville are quite unusual in having preserved so late as the mid-16th century a type of prayer called an “Apologia”, in which the priest protests his unworthiness to approach the altar and offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. At Toledo, two of them remained in the place which they originally had when they were created, as part of the Offertory, although their use was optional. In the Missal of Seville, which has four of them, they are printed between the prayers said before the altar at the beginning of Mass and the blessing before the Gospel. This missal has far fewer rubrics than that of Toledo, and gives no indication as to when these prayers were to be said. Only the last one has a rubric before it, which states that the priest says it “before the sacred things, or when he wishes.”




    It was a custom in some places in the Middle Ages for the priest to say prayers silently when he was seated and the choir was singing. The prayer Summe sacerdos et vere Pontifex, a common prayer of preparation for Mass, is preceded in some editions of the Sarum Missal by a rubric which says that it is “to be said during the Mass (‘in missa’) while the Office (the Sarum term for the Introit), Kyrie, Gloria and Creed are sung.” (It continues by saying “or the whole prayer is said before the Mass, which is better.”) That such a custom should have arisen is not surprising, given the extreme length of many polyphonic works of the 15th and 16th centuries.




    The retable of the high altar of Seville Cathedral, showing various episodes from the Life of Christ. The project was begun by a Flemish artist, Pierre Dancart, in 1482, who continued worked on it for ten years. It was continued by others after his death and completed in 1564. (Image from wikipedia by Shawn Lipowski.)

    The position in which the Apologias are printed in the Missal of Seville indicates that they were used in the same way, as optional prayers to say if the singing was very long. The first prayer is labelled as “A Prayer of St. Ambrose”, as was commonly done in the Middle Ages. It comes from the 9th-century manuscript known as the Sacramentary of St. Gatien of Tours in France, and is also found in the Missal of Sarum inter alia.

    Deus, qui de indignis dignos, de peccatoribus justos, de immundis facis mundos; munda cor meum et corpus meum ab omni sorde et cogitatione peccati: et fac me dignum atque strenuum sanctis altaribus ministrum: et praesta, ut in hoc altari ad quod indignus accedere praesumo, acceptabiles tibi hostias offeram pro peccatis et offensionibus, et innumeris quotidianis meis excessibus, et pro peccatis omnium viventium, et defunctorum fidelium, et eorum qui se meis commendaverunt orationibus: et per eum tibi meum sit acceptabile votum: qui se tibi Deo Patri pro nobis obtulit in sacrificium: qui est omnium opifex et solus sine peccati macula Pontifex, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster. Qui tecum etc.

    O God, who makest worthy men of the unworthy, just men of sinners, and clean of the unclean: cleanse my heart and my body from all filth and thought of sin: and make me a fitting and vigorous minister for Thy Holy Altars: and grant that upon this altar, which I, though unworthy, dare to approach, I may offer Thee acceptable sacrifices for my sins and offenses, and my daily and innumerable excesses, and for the sins of all the living, and of the faithful departed, and of those that have commended themselves to my prayers, and may my prayer be acceptable to Thee, through Him who for us offered Himself in sacrifice to Thee, God the Father, who is the maker of all things, and the only High Priest without the stain of sin: Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Who lives etc.

    This is followed by a brief prayer of a different type, and then another Apologia.

    Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, immensam clementiam tuam humili devotione deposco, ne irascaris mihi indigno famulo tuo, pro eo quod immundus mente et corpore domum tuam sanctam intrare, et ad corpus sanguinemque tuum sumendum accedere praesumo indignus, et multis flagitiis obrutus. Sed reconciliare mihi, Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, qui mulierem fluxum sanguinis patientem a tactu gloriosissimae fimbriae vestimenti tui non prohibuisti. Illam quoque peccatricem ac paenitentem a sanctorum pedum tuorum osculo non sprevisti. Ita nec me, Domine, pro innumerabilibus sceleribus meis a communione tanti mysterii velut immundum repellas, sed paenitentiam mihi dignam agere, fontemque lacrimarum habere concedas; ut pura mente et casto corpore, non jam ad judicium, sed ad remissionem omnium peccatorum meorum te miserante illud percipere merear, Salvator mundi. Qui cum Patre etc.

    Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, with humble devotion I ask Thy boundless clemency; that Thou be not wroth with me, Thy unworthy servant, that unclean in mind and body, I presume to enter Thy holy house, and come to receive Thy body and blood, though unworthy and overwhelmed by many shameful deeds. But be Thou reconciled to me, Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, who kept not the woman that suffered the issue of blood from the touch of the most glorious hem of Thy garment. Thou also didst not spurn the sinful and penitent woman from the kiss of Thy holy feet. So also drive me not away, o Lord, as one unclean because of my innumerable crimes from partaking in so great a mystery, but grant me to do worthy penance, and have a fount of tears; that with pure mind and chaste body, I may merit to receive it no longer unto judgment, but unto the remission of all my sins, in Thy mercy, o Savior of the world. Who with the Father etc.

    After this comes the Apologia prayer Si tantum Domine, which I have already given in Latin and English à propos of the Missal of Toledo. Unlike that of Toledo, the Missal of Seville does include Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, the medieval Offertory prayer par excellence, and in fact has a second version of it, which I believe is unique to that Use, which is to be said at Requiem Masses. Seville is also unique in placing both versions among the Apologias, and not in the Offertory; they are given in Latin and English in the previous article of this series. This group of prayers concludes with another Apologia, Deus, qui non mortem, which has also been given previously in Latin and English from the Missal of Toledo.

    New Liturgical Movement

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