August 11, 2009

Prefaces of St. Clare

One of the treasures of the Franciscan liturgical calendar is having proper prefaces for Francis and Clare. Here is the preface for Clare's Mass in the 1962 Missale Romano-Seraphicum:

Per ómnia saécula saeculórum.
R. Amen.
V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spíritu tuo.
V. Surusm corda.
R. Habémus ad Dóminum.
V. Grátias agámus Dómino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et iustum est.

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutáre,
nos tibi simper et ubíque grátias ágere:
Dómine, sancte Pater, omnípotens aetérne Deus:

Qui fámulam tuam Claram,
per beátum Francíscum,
studio vitae sublimióris incénsam,
ad sanctae Maríae Virginis
aram Fílio tuo mýstice desponsásti;
eámque, ad seráphicae perfectiónis culmen evéctam,
matrem plurimárum virginum delegísti.

Et ídeo cum Angelis et Archángelis, cum Thronis et
Dominatiónibus, cumque omni milítia caeléstis exércitus,
hymnum glóriae tuae cánimus, sine fine dicéntes:

And here is the version as it appears in the 1974 Roman-Franciscan Sacramentary:

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And also with you.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You wondrously inflamed your servant Clare
to follow like Francis in the footsteps of your Son.

To him you espoused her mystically
through perpetual fidelity and love.
Raising her to the summit of seraphic perfection
through the highest poverty.
You made her the mother of countless virgins.

Through him the choirs of angels and all the powers of heaven
praise and worship your glory. May our voices blend with theirs
as we join in their unending hymn of praise:

The progression is interesting. In the newer preface, the Marian element is eliminated, but some specifically Franciscan vocabulary is added, such as "highest poverty" and the idea of following in the "footsteps" of Christ. Amen. Pray for us, holy mother Clare.

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