October 1, 2009

Proper Prefaces of St. Francis

Since I enjoyed doing this for our holy mother St. Clare, I didn't want to miss the chance to do the same for St. Francis. I know it's a couple of days early, but I'll have more Francis stuff to post for the feast day itself this weekend. Here are the proper prefaces of St. Francis as they appear in the Franciscan editions of the Missal of the Roman rite:

As the preface appears in the 1962 Missale Romano-Seraphicum:

Per ómnia saécula saeculórum.
R. Amen.
V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spíritu tuo.
V. Sursum 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 venerándum Confessórem
fámulam tuam beátum Francíscum,
tua, Deus, altíssima bonitáte et cleméntia,
Sanctórum tuórum méritis et virtútibus sublimásti;
mentémque ipsíus, Sancti Spíritus operatióne,
amor ille seráphicus ardentíssime incéndit intérius:
cuiúsque corpus sacris Stigmátibus insignívit extérius,
signo crucifíxi Iesu Christi Dómini nostri.

Per quem maiestátem tuam laudant Angeli,
adórant Dominatiónes, tremunt Potestátes.
Caeli caelorúmque Virtútes, ac beáta Séraphim,
sócia exsultatióne concélebrant. Cum quibus
et nostras voces, ut admití iúbeas, deprecámur,
súpplici confessióne 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 ev'rywhere to give you thanks.

You exalted your servant Francis
through sublime poverty and humility
to the heights of evangelical perfection.
You inflamed him with seraphic love
to exult with unspeakable joy
over all the works of your creation.
Branding him with the sacred stigmata,
you gave us the image of the crucified
Jesus Christ our Lord.

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:

Don't ask me about the "ev'rywhere." I have no idea. It's not musically necessary either.

The progression, again, is interesting. Some elements are lost in between, such as the Franciscan sense of the Holy Spirit and His holy "operation," (see the Rule, chapter X) and the juxtaposition of the Francis's burning, interior seraphic love with his exterior stigmata.

On the other hand, the 1974 preface adds some praiseworthy Franciscan elements, such as the adjective "evangelical," ("This is the life of the Friars Minor, to observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ..," Rule, chapter I), and the sense of Franciscan joy over creation.


ben in denver said...

Alas, because it falls on a Sunday, most of us will not celebrate St. Francis at mass this year.

I will be hearing the mass of the 18th Sunday after Pentecost.

Hidden One said...

I think that "ev'rywhere" sounds less clumsy.

Warren said...

We have a permanent profession to the Secular Franciscans happening this year, so we have a retreat on saturday, then Transitus saturday evening, and on the feast day itself, the SFO profession ritual which is part of the celebration of the Mass, on the feast day of St. Francis.

It is a veritable Bonanza Weekend for our secular franciscan fraternity.

I am at some state of less than perfect peace however as I have to lead part of our retreat on Saturday, and I'm feeling rather lost about it.

I've read the earlier and latter rule of the first order, and a variety of the authentic writings of St. Francis, and the SFO rule, including that powerful letter from St. Francis, "Concerning those who do penance andthose who do not do penance".

Are there any Secular Franciscan Fraternities attached to any parishes in your area? How big or active are they?


Brother Charles said...

I bet you're going to be good, with the Holy Spirit's help.

I am spiritual assistant for the SFO here at the parish where I work. Unfortunately, they haven't managed to reproduce in about two generations, and are mostly elderly.