April 3, 2009

The Mysteries of the Way of the Cross

A recent email alerted me to a proper Franciscan observance I had not noticed before, the feast Mysteriorum viae dolorosae Domini Nostri Jesu Christi. I only have the 1942 Missale Romano-Seraphicum before me right now, which places the day on the first Friday of March. I have a feeling it might be a different day in the 1962 Missal.

Because of our connection with the ministry of the places in the Holy Land, Franciscans have always been associated with promoting the devotion to the mysteries of the Way of the Cross.

This feast day is not in our current Franciscan calendar. Perhaps since the blessing of Stations of the Cross is no longer reserved to Franciscans, we no longer get to celebrate their mysteries as a proper liturgical observance.

Since I took the time to transcribe the sequence for someone, I'll reproduce it here:

Christi mortem, Christianae,
Sero plangas atque mane,
Et in planctu gaudeas.

Diligentem pone mentem
Super Christum patientem,
Ut sibi condoleas.

Quam despectus, quam dejectus
Rex caelorum est effectus,
Ut salvaret saeculum!

Esurivit et sitivit,
Pauper et egenus ivit
Ad usque patibulum.

Cum deductus est Immensus,
Et in Cruce tunc suspensus,
Fugerunt discipuli.

Manus, pedes perfoderunt,
Et aceto potaverunt
Summum Regem saeculi.

Cujus oculi beati
Sunt in Cruce obtenebrati,
Et vultus expalluit.

Suo corpori tunc nudo
Non remansit pulchritudo,
Decor omnis abfuit.

Propter hominem peccata,
Sua caro cruciata
Fuit inter verbera.

Membra sua sunt distenta,
Propter aspera tormenta
Et illata vulnera.

Inter magnos cruciatus
Est in Cruce lacrimatus,
Et emisit spiritum.

Suspiremus et fleamus,
Toto corde doleamus
Super Unigenitum.

Hinc nostrorum peccatorum
Gloriosus Rex caelorum
Nobis donet veniam.

Atque secum perferentes
Crucem, ducat gestientes
Ad aeternam gloriam. Amen.

8 comments:

Barb, sfo said...

Please remind us of this next year...my SFO fraternity has a deep dedication to the stations of the Cross.

And unless I am mistaken, the sequence you included can be sung to the tune of "Stabat Mater."

michele said...

Brother Charles, I just came across your 2009 blog about the "Christi mortem, Christiane" sequence used on the old feast of Mysteriorum Viae Dolorosae Domini Nostri Jesu Christi. I have had a copy of the Gregorian notation sitting here, but did not know what it was sung for. Thanks for solving the riddle! Any idea as to who the author is? Saint Bonaventure? I would dearly love to find a copy of the English translation!

Brother Charles said...

Dear michele,

I don't know an origin for the sequence, but I would like to know too!

michele said...

Thank you for your instantaneous response. Marvels of technology! If you should ever discover the authorship and/or an English translation, is it possible that you could email it to me? God be praised!

Gerry Davila said...

Is there an Office to go with this feast?

Brother Charles said...

I'm sure there is, but I don't have any of my pre-reform breviaries with me to check.

Gerry Davila said...

Thank you. Also, is this feast related at all to the Ordo Processionem quae Hierosolymis? I'm doing research on the Way of the Cross fora project and stumbled on the Graduale Romano-Seraphicum and the Ordo Processionem pdf's. Would the Antiphons have music or be chanted recto tono?

Brother Charles said...

First question, not sure.

Second question, it might depend on the branch of the Order or the use of the province, but both are surely possible. I have a canutale Romano-Seraphicum at home but it might be old enough for this feast.