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this formality may, we think, be dispensed with. The permission in writing should come from the Bishop himself; the permission or approval of the Vicar-General is not sufficient unless he has received special delegation for this purpose from the Bishop.1 Sede vacante a Vicar-Capitular cannot, unless in virtue of special powers granted by the Holy See, give valid permission for the erection of a Confraternity. In granting the necessary faculty for the canonical erection of the Confraternity the Bishop will nominate the Director of the proposed Confraternity, whose duty it will be to procure the requisite affiliation with the Arch-Confraternity of the same name at Rome. Through this affiliation, validly effected, the Confraternity becomes capable of obtaining the spiritual favours and indulgences granted by the Holy See. The Arch-Confraternity, or Prima Primaria, is attached to the Jesuit Church at Rome, and with the General of the Jesuits, or his representative, rests the privilege of aggregating or affiliating all similar Confraternities throughout the world. The petition for affiliation should, therefore, be addressed to the General of the Society of Jesus, or to his Secretary at Rome. In this petition it will be well to specify: (1) the class of persons composing the Confraternity-for example, whether it is of both sexes, or of men only, or women or young persons ; (2) the titular name or Feast of the Confraternity ; each Confraternity is of necessity dedicated to some mystery or title of the Blessed Virgin—it may also have a secondary Patron or Title, as of the Angels or St. Joseph ; (3) the particular church or chapel, and the parish and diocese, where it is established.
II. According to the Roman Ritual Bishops only and priests specially authorized have the right to use publicly and solemnly the formula * Benedictio Imaginum Jesu Christi D. Nostri-B. Virginis Mariae-et aliorum Sanctorum' given in the Ritual. It is well to note, however, that the Congregation of Rites declared (12th July, 1704)4 that altar crosses or processional crosses may be blessed by a simple priest 'private et non solemniter,' from which the editor of the Ephemerides Liturgicae concludes, 'Itaque benedictio imaginum non est vetita simplici sacerdoti, nisi ratione solemnitatis.' To bless pictures of the Sacred Heart with this formula and erect them in a private house is, therefore, within the competency of a simple priest and does not need episcopal permission.
We have a suspicion, however, that our correspondent would not be quite satisfied with this reply and that we should take his query in a wider sense, viz., as soliciting information regarding the ceremony which is technically known as 'The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Home, by the solemn consecration of the Family to the Divine Heart.' The Founder of this devotion is Father Mathew Crawley
1 S.C.C. November 23, 1878 ; S.C.I., August 2, 1888.
2 S.C.C. November 23, 1878 ; August 18, 1861 ; vide I. E. RECORD, Fifth Series, vol. xiv. p. 498.
8 Priests in this country who do not find it convenient to write to Rome may communicate with the Editor of the Irish Messenger, Dublin, by whom their petition will be duly executed.
4 Decree 2143.
Boevey of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, the son of an English convert father, and born in Peru. Begun in 1905, the devotion has rapidly spread throughout the world, and in April 27, 1915, the apostolate of the work was expressly blessed and encouraged by Benedict XV. In a letter of April 26, 1914, Cardinal Billot set forth the reason and aims of the Association, 'which,' he says, 'two hundred and fifty Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops have already approved throughout the world'; and in a letter dated November 10, 1916, Cardinal Logue says : 'I am sure the devotion of the Consecration of Families to the Sacred Heart, so zealously promoted by Father Mathew Crawley, would be most acceptable to our people; and hence I approve and bless every effort made to spread this devotion among them.' The ceremony consists of two parts : (1) “An image of the Sacred Heart shall be set up in the place of honour in the home ; (2) the family shall consecrate itself solemnly to the Sacred Heart.' As the devotion is a private one, and, in any case, has the express approval of the Holy Father, no episcopal permission is needed for the blessing of the picture or its erection in the place of honour in the home. The formula of blessing is that given in the Ritual and should be performed by a priest ; the formal act of consecration (given in the ceremonial of the Association ?), the installation of the picture, and the recitation of the Prayer which follows, may be performed either by the priest or, in his absence, by the head of the family. The indulgences ? attaching to the devotion are: (a) An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines to all the members of the family who, at least contrite of heart, assist at the ceremony of the enthronement; (6) a plenary indulgence to the same if, having confessed and communicated on that day, they visit a church or public oratory and there pray for the intentions of the Holy Father; (c) an indulgence of three hundred days, if, on the anniversary of the Enthronement, they renew the consecration before the picture of the Sacred Heart.
III. For valid membership of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary the one essential condition is to have one's name inscribed in the register of a canonically erected Confraternity, but in order to share in the indulgences and privileges attaching to membership it is, of course, necessary to fulfil the prescribed conditions for gaining them. Unlike other confraternities, however, to have a canonically erected Confraternity of the Rosary in a parish the mere written permission of the Bishop does not suffice. The Confraternity of the Rosary belongs so exclusively to the Order of St. Dominic that no one but the General of the Order, or a person delegated by
1 The Headquarters of the Association in England are at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Carlton Road, Weymouth. Any further information or litera. ture connected with the Association may be obtained from the Rev. Mother Superior. At the present moment Father Crawley is in England and will shortly be in Ireland pursuing the commission given him by Benedict XV—make of each home a sanctuary of the Heart of Jesus. Address yourself to each family individually, so that the throne of the King of Love may be erected there.'
2 Letter of Benedict XV, April 27, 1915.
him, is empowered to erect such a Confraternity. The petition, with a copy of the Bishop's letter sanctioning the erection of the Confraternity, may be sent either directly to Rome or preferably to some house of the Dominicans in the province, who will see that it reaches its proper destination. In his reply the Father-General, in authorizing the erection of the Confraternity, will forward to the Director the necessary faculties to enrol members and to bless beads, together with a summary of the indulgences attaching to the Confraternity. The diploma of erection, with the summary of indulgences thus obtained, is again forwarded to the Bishop, whose approval is awaited before the indulgences are promulgated. In the case of a Confraternity thus formally established the enrolment of the members in the register of the Confraternity suffices, and there need be no further communication with a house of the Dominicans.
But in parishes where for any reason it is impossible or inconvenient to establish a Confraternity of the Rosary, priests sometimes obtain faculties from the General of the Order enabling them to enrol the faithful into the Confraternity, to bless beads and to give to the members a plenary indulgence at the hour of death. Priests who have received and who exercise these powers should, from time to time, forward the names of the members they have admitted, to be inscribed in the register of the Confraternity kept in some house of the Dominicans or to some secular Church in which the Confraternity has been canonically erected.
CASE OF THE EXSEQUIAL SERVICE IMPEDED BY THE RUBRICS.
THE INDULGENCES OF THE WAY OF THE CROSS. RE PAINTING OF THE CROSSES IN A CONSECRATED CHURCH. LICEITY OF MASS IN A HOSPITAL WARD Rev. DEAR SIR,–Kindly give your opinion on the following questions in the coming number of the I. E. RECORD :
I. A priest died on Holy Thursday and was buried on Holy Saturday afternoon. The funeral Office was held on Monday at 11 o'clock and after its recitation the celebrant of the Mass, in white vestments, said the Mass of the octave exactly as prescribed in the Ordo of that date, the choir being silent throughout. After the conclusion of the Mass, the chanters proceeded with the singing of the Libera, the celebrant, in black cope, giving the Absolution and finishing the function in the ordinary way. It was considered that the corpse was interred 'ultra biduum' (Ordo, xii. 2°), and, not being morally present, that it would be unlawful to have a Requiem Mass on the occasion. Was the service, as described, in accordance with the rubrics ?
II. Is there any authority for the statement I heard recently that the indulgences of the Way of the Cross could be gained only when a person performed the devotion before Stations that, together with their crosses, were embedded in the walls of the edifice in which they were canonically erected ?
III. In a consecrated church may the crosses on the walls be repainted from time to time ? IV. At a certain hospital there is a custom of celebrating Mass in the
1 Vid. Beringer, vol. ii. p. 183. VOL XV-35
wards, now in one ward, now in another, to give invalids an opportunity of being present at the Holy Sacrifice. Is this custom against Canon 822, § 4. which torbids celebration in cubiculo'?
C.C. I. The query is a practical one, and we have no doubt the solution of it in the circumstances gave rise to an animated discussion. The case is interesting from the rubrical point of view, and calculated to suggest difficulties not easily surmountable, and it may be some satisfaction to our correspondent to know that until the publication of the new Missal even authoritative liturgists were not quite agreed on the proper solution. With the appearance of the new Missal, however,ambiguities disappear, and there is no longer room for discussion as to the rubrical mode of procedure in these and similar circumstances. According to the new Missae Defunctorum' (Tit. III. $ 4), whenever the exsequial Mass for the day of death or burial is impeded by the rubrics, it may be transferred to the nearest day not similarly impeded. In the old and the new legislation Easter Monday allows an exsequial Mass in die obitus, and as in this particular case it was the first available day, the Office, Requiem Mass and Absolution might have taken place in strict accordance with the rubrics. But apart from the rubrics of the new Missal—with which, we presume our correspondent, through no fault of his, was not at the time acquainted—a) what would have been a strictly rubrical course in the circumstances and (b) what verdict must be passed on the solution actually adopted ? Before offering an opinion on either question we shall submit a few replies of the Congregation of Rites which are pertinent to the points at issue.
(a) Q. In duplicibus in quibus non permittitur Missa privata de Requiem licitumne erit canere Nocturnum pro defunctis et postea Missam de die celebrare ?
R. “In casu posse.'
(6) Q. Moris fuit in dicta ecclesia ... Missas de Requiem cum Nocturno defunctorum celebrare pro adimplenda voluntate testatorum vel fundatorum. Sed quoniam praedictae Missae prohibitae sunt tam ex Rubricis quam ex Summorum Pontificum et S.R.C. decretis ; asserunt aliqui debere cantari Missam de Festo et nocturnum defunctorum, nam dictum Nocturnum non intelligitur prohibitum sed Missae defunctorum dumtaxat.
R. “ Praedicta nullo modo licere et ab Ordinario prohibenda.''
(c) Q. Utrum absolutio pro defunctis finita Missa fieri possit tantummodo quando dicta fuit Missa de Requiem vel fieri etiam possit in paramentis tamen nigris post Missam de festo duplici cujus fructus defunctis applicatur ?
R. Affirmative ad primam partem ; negative ad Secundam !.
1. Quoties autem a Rubricis, ut spra hae: Missa imnelitur, transferre potest in pronimiorem sequentem diem similiter non impeditam.'
2 Decr. 2981 ad 5.
causa, cadaver in ecclesia praesens esse nequeat, imo etsi jam terrae mandatum fuerit, praefata Missa celebrari quoque poterit in altero ex immediate sequentibus duobus ab obitu diebus, eodem prorsus modo ac si cadaver esset praesens ? '
A cursory glance at these decrees will at once indicate that the service as described by our correspondent was not strictly rubrical. The reasons are: (1) The Absolution, with the singing of the Libera, after the Mass of the day, is condemned by the decree (c) quoted, and by several other decrees of the Sacred Congregation. (2) The chanting of the Requiem Office in the case, though, as we see in (a) it is tolerated before a low Mass (de Festo) and prohibited in (b) before a High Mass (de Festo), was a liturgical anomaly which, though it might be justified in law, we should not like to commend in practice. If, however, the Office and Mass were separated by such an interval, that, morally speaking, they could not be regarded as forming one liturgical junction, our misgivings on this head would disappear.
The other question, viz., without a knowledge of the new Rubrics, what would have been the strictly liturgical course in the circumstances, is not so easily answered. Did the privilege of the ‘ ultra biduum' apply to such a case, and, if so, was there anything in the circumstances to prevent the availing of it? The original decree, 2 dated February 18, 1892, undoubtedly restricted the application of the privilege to cases of exsequial services impeded ‘ob civile vetitum vel morbum contagiosum,' but the subsequent decree (quoted above), dated December 2, 1891, contained the additional clause--aut alia gravi causa '—which was sufficiently vague to call forth different interpretations. Some understood the clause as extending the privilege to cases of exsequial services impeded by the rubrics, others were strongly of opinion that cases of liturgical impediment were not contemplated in this portion 3 of the decree. Van der Stappen, who inclines to the latter view, cites the interesting anomaly arising from the opposite contention, that a man who dies on Good Friday would thereby be entitled to the full exsequial service on Easter Monday, whereas the man who died on Spy Wednesday would not be entitled to it until the following Wednesday. The friends of the latter would, he says, certainly have grounds for complaint against the Church. We think, however, that the advocates of the former opinion were sufficiently authoritative to make it safe in practice, and a confirmation of their view is the unambiguous statement of the new Rubrics. In the particular case Easter Monday was one of the two days
1 Decr. 3755. Vid. etiam Decr 3767 ad xxvi.
They maintain that such cases are provided for in the following section of the same decree, which, however, excludes their cclebration on doubles of the 1st and 2nd class. (See Decr. 3755 and 3.)
4 Tom. ii. p. 329. Cf. Ephemerides Liturgicae, xiv. 1900.
6 The • dies obitus’ is ordinarily interpretard as including the whole tiine between the death and burial, and the opinions of those who hold that in this instance it should be ta'sen strictly as the day of death' may be ignored. (See Van der Stappen, tom. ii. p. 325.)