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and translators that words on the Dies Irae are superfluous. However, these notes may recall to clerical readers what they have read so often long ago. Of all the Latin hymns of the Church this has the widest fame, for as Daniel' has truly remarked: 'Etiam illi quibus Latini Ecclesiae hymni prorsus ignoti sunt, hunc certe norunt, et si qui inveniuntur ab humanitate jam alieni ut carminum sacrorum suavitatem nihil omnino sentiant, ad hunc certum hymnum cujus quot sunt verba, tot tonitura, animum advertunt.' Goethe's use of it in his Faust has made it known to many outside the Catholic Church. Sir Walter Scott loved this hymn above all others-in life, often repeating it; in death, murmuring it with his failing breath. The love of two such men of genius, two noble poets, is typical of the love and veneration in which it is held universally. Scores of poets, real and alleged, have essayed to translate it into every European language. Nor is it hard to account for the popularity of this hymn written by the Franciscan, Thomas of Celano, the companion and biographer of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). The metre so grandly devised, of which I remember no other example, fitted though it has here shown itself for bringing out some of the noblest powers of the Latin language the solemn effect of triple rhyme, which has been likened to blow following blow of the hammer on the anvil-the confidence of the poet in the universal interest of his theme, a confidence which has made him set. out his matter with so majestic and unadorned a plainness. as at once to be intelligible to all-these merits with many more have given the Dies Irae a foremost place among the masterpieces of sacred song.3

Those who take an interest in good poetic translation can find several good translations of the Dies Irae in Orby Shipley's Annus Sanctus. Judge O'Hagan translates Liber scriptus proferetur :

Open, then, with all recorded,

Stands the book from whence awarded,
Doom shall pass with deed accorded.

When the Judge is throned in session
All things hid shall find confession,
Unavenged be no transgression.

1 Thesaur. Hymnol., vol. ii. p. 103.
Cf. Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry, p. 302.

And Prior Aylward, O.P., renders the same verses:

And lo, the written book appears,

Which all that faithful record bears
From whence the world its sentence hears.

The Lord of judgment sits him down,

And every secret thing makes known;
No crime escapes his vengeful frown.

And the poet Crashaw (1613-1649) translates the verses:

O that Book! whose leaves so bright
Will set the World in severe light.

O that Judge! Whose hand, Whose eye
None can endure; yet none can fly.

Ah, then, poor soul, what wilt thou say?
And to what patron choose to pray ?
When stars themselves shall stagger, and
The most firm foot no more can stand.

Readers may compare and judge these efforts from the
samples given. Probably, O'Hagan's is best on all points.
The Offertory prayer, Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae
libera animas
ne cadaut in obscurum: sed sanctus
Michael representat eas in lucem sanctam. Quam olim
Abrahae promisisti' is the same for all the Requiem
Masses of the Missal. It is of great antiquity, and is in-
teresting as showing that at a very early date in the
Christian Church St. Michael and Abraham were in some
remarkable way connected in men's minds with the repose
of souls. In a work, which developed probably from some
second century writing, and which now bears the title of
the Testament of Abraham,' we read a passage having
an interesting bearing on the early origin of prayer for
the dead. This passage shows, too, the blending of the
Jewish and Christian influences and their joint testimony
to the power of St. Michael :-

And Abraham said to Michael, the chief captain, 'My Lord, the chief captain, the soul which the angel held in his hand, why was it adjudged to be set in the midst?' The chief captain said, 'Listen, righteous Abraham; because the judge found its sins and its righteousness equal, he neither committed it to judgment nor to be saved, until the judge of all shall come.' Abraham said to the chief captain, 'Come hither, chief captain, Michael, let us make prayer for this soul, and see whether God will hear us. . . . [They prayed and the soul was taken to heaven.] . . And Abraham said to the chief captain, 'I beseech thee, Archangel, hearken to my prayer, and let us yet call upon the Lord and supplicate His compassion and entreat His mercy, for the souls of sinners whom I

formerly in my anger cursed and destroyed, whom the earth destroyed and the wild beasts tore in pieces and the fire consumed through my words. Now I know I have sinned before the Lord Our God let us call upon God with tears that He may forgive my sin and grant them to me.'



They prayed, and after a long time a voice from heaven said, 'Abraham, I have hearkened to thy voice and to thy prayer and forgive thee thy sin and those whom thou thinkest that I destroyed I have called up and brought them into life by my exceeding kindness, because for a season I have requited them in judgment, and those whom I destroy living upon earth I will not requite in death.' 1

The extract shows the antiquity of this prayer, Domine Jesu Christe, and points to its origin. It was composed by some one believing in the efficacy of prayer for the dead, and recalled to the people who heard the chanted words the Jewish and Christian legends of Abraham and Michael.

The question of the Roman Canon is very intricate, and so much has been written about it that even experts are bewildered by the new discoveries and theories of other experts and liturgical scholars. About the Memento for the Dead three things may be noted: (a) the Memento for the Living and the Memento for the Dead perhaps are insertions on a pre-existing text; (b) that they originally followed each other immediately; (c) both these prayers may have been said not in the Canon in the early Church, but at the Offertory. But when the transference and the separation took place is a matter of doubt.3

Mr. E. Bishop's words are typical of much of the learning and industry employed in the study of the Canon of the Mass :

Finally, when (by the seventh century) the Roman Canon had been adopted in Franco-Gallic and Irish circles, the men composing these circles embodied the Roman Memento of the Dead as an integral part of the Canon to be said in all Masses. This process was repeated in the ninth century after the introduction of the Gregorianum by Charles as the official Mass Book, so that the Memento of the Dead became a regular part of the Canon at all Masses... and the Memento of the Dead now stands in the Missal as an integral portion of the Canon. position is that first assigned to it in their Canon by Irish and Gallic improvers in the seventh century, viz., between the prayer Supplices and the Nobis quoque peccatoribus.

1 Quoted by Father Thurston, p. 11.

See Canon in Stowe Missal.


⚫ Cf. Dr. Fortecsue, The Mass, p. 167; Father Lucas, Holy Mass, pp. 26-27; Battifol, Leçons sur la Masse, p. 224.

▲ Liturgica Historica, p. 115.

Hence Irish priests had a hand in shaping and placing a part of the Canon of the Mass, as it stands in the Roman Missal even to this day, and this part was the prayer in memory of the dead.

Now this prayer is of Roman origin, but did it from the beginning and always find a place in the Canon of the Mass as said at Rome? Mr. Bishop was of opinion that the Memento of the Dead was originally said on week-days, and not in the more solemn celebrations of Sundays and festival Masses.1 He based his opinion chiefly on two tenth-century treatises on the Mass. And his opinion is endorsed by some liturgical scholars.' However, his findings were questioned by Rev. H. Lucas, S.J. Father Lucas sums up his article thus:

My conclusion, then, is that the Memento of the Dead really does belong to the Canon of the Mass in the form which it had in the days of St. Gregory and probably in those of St. Gelasius; that in consequence of a tendency to distinctive specialization, it came to be omitted in certain Masses, and that later it was restored to its original position, or-in a few instances, as the MSS. testify-to a position not its own.

Other questions interesting to priests, discussing or considering this matter of remembrance of the dead in prayer and sacrifice, are the old foundation Masses in preTudor Ireland, the diptychs in Mass in Ireland; how many names were read from them usually; were they Latinized in the great monasteries like Clonmacnoise, were the long lists read at every Mass? Why was the recitation of the names of the dead transferred from the more public Mass of the faithful to the secret? Some of these questions deserve treatment from some skilled liturgist.


1 Liturgica Historica, pp. 97-99.

2 Cf. Battifol, Legons sur la Masse, pp. 225-226. Tablet, May 17, 1919.




The Catholic Church will benefit by the liberation of Europe. The overthrown Empires weighed heavily on her, sometimes they pretended that they wished to safeguard her; but their persistent attentions only chained her down, and their offers became threats. They would have been glad if she helped them to ratify the enslaving of others and if she agreed to her own. Having buried alive Catholic Poland they mounted guard, from generation to generation, so that no resurrection should burst asunder the stones of the sepulchre, and their diplomats frowned when they saw the Papacy weep over Poland, remembering that long ago before the tomb of Lazarus a few tears had conquered death.

SUCH is the introduction to two learned and most interesting articles by Georges Goyau, in the July number of the Revue des Deux Mondes, on L'Église Libre dans l'Europe Libre.'

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The Church has a divine commission to go and teach all nations; but when she desired, in conformity with this command, to go to the millions of Slav souls and to teach them, her path was beset with obstacles, apparent or disguised, some of which were opposed to the methods of her apostolate and others to her very mission as an apostle. To-day, the roads are open. The Church has worked slowly and patiently to shake off certain yokes which the war has succeeded in breaking, and certain vistas towards which she marched have suddenly drawn near her. A glance at the historical facts will show how the Church worked out her own destinies, and will throw some light on what still remains obscure in the approaching dawn.


Further back than Austerlitz and the ruin of the old Holy Roman Germanic Empire, the Hapsburg Empire dragged out an existence that it would have wished should remain stationary, and that disturbed and interfered with

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