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The pope resigned:
now what do I say during the Te igitur?

Louis J. Tofari

Today Benedict XVI's resignation as Pope took effect. But even in previous days, the question was being asked, what is said in place of the Supreme Pontiff's name during the Canon - at the Te igitur?

The answer can be found in the Missale Romanum in the Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae, title VIII: Of the Canon of the Mass until the Consecration, §2. Here is a translation of the clause in question:

When he says: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N., he mentions the name of the pope: but if the See is vacant the aforesaid words are omitted.[1]

Thus the Te igitur will read like this until the famous "Habemus Papam" announcement of the next pope's election:[2]

 
TE IGITUR, clementíssime Pater, per Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, Dóminum nostrum, súpplices rogámus, ac pétimus, osculatur altare et, iunctis manibus ante pectus, dicit: uti accépta hábeas et benedícas, signat ter super hostiam et calicem simul, dicens: hæc + dona, hæc + múnera, hæc + sancta sacrifícia illibáta, extensis manibus prosequitur: in primis, quæ tibi offérimus pro Ecclésia tua sancta cathólica: quam pacificáre, custodíre, adunáre et régere dignéris toto orbe terrarum: et Antístite nostro N. et ómnibus orthodóxis, atque cathólicæ et apostólicæ fídei cultóribus.
 
The text above has been formatted so that it can printed, trimmed and put into one's missal (altar or lay) if so desired during the interim (or interregnum, if you like). [if this will not print for correctly via the webpage, click here for another version]

Continuing with section VIII, §2 the instruction for what is said at the clause et Antistite nostro N. is also given:

When he says: et Antistite nostro N., he mentions the name of the patriarch, archbishop, or local bishop in his own diocese, and not another superior, even if the  celebrant is entirely exempt, or under the jurisdiction of another bishop.[3]

Or if the celebrant if the local bishop is deceased[4] - or if Mass is being offered in Rome (where the pope is the local ordinary):

But if the local ordinary of that place in which Mass is celebrated is deceased, the aforesaid words are omitted, which are also omitted by those who celebrate in Rome.

Thus in these cases both clauses una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. and et Antistite nostro N. would be omitted rendering the text as:

TE IGITUR, clementíssime Pater, per Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, Dóminum nostrum, súpplices rogámus, ac pétimus, osculatur altare et, iunctis manibus ante pectus, dicit: uti accépta hábeas et benedícas, signat ter super hostiam et calicem simul, dicens: hæc + dona, hæc + múnera, hæc + sancta sacrifícia illibáta, extensis manibus prosequitur: in primis, quæ tibi offérimus pro Ecclésia tua sancta cathólica: quam pacificáre, custodíre, adunáre et régere dignéris toto orbe terrarum: et ómnibus orthodóxis, atque cathólicæ et apostólicæ fídei cultóribus.
[if the text above will not print for correctly via the webpage, click here for another version]

The rubric (VIII, §2) goes on to give the text of what a prelate says in his own diocese:

If the celebrant is the bishop, archbishop, or patriarch, the aforesaid words are omitted and in their place he says: et me indigno servo tuo.

Finally, the rubric even explains what the pope says when celebrating Mass:

And when the Sovereign Pontiff celebrates these words are omitted: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N., and he says instead: una cum me indigno famulo tuo, quem gregi tuo præesse voluisti. Then he continue as follows: et omnibus orthodoxis, etc.

A question that arises occasionally is "what do I say if I forgot the name - or to inquire before Mass - of the local ordinary?" J.B. O'Connell provides the answer:

If the celebrant does not know or forgets the name of the bishop, he says nothing after Antistite nostro, but forms the intention of praying for the bishop of the diocese.[5]

Here it is also appropriate to mention the fascinating subject of the former prayer for the Holy Roman Emperor or the king. To quote Dom Prosper Gueranger from his book, The Holy Mass:

In former times, at this place in the Canon, the name of the king was mentioned after that of the bishop: et Rege nostro N. …but since St. Pius V issued his missal for general use, this has been omitted.

St. Pius the V’s decision on this point was owing to the difference of religion found amongst princes, since the introduction of Protestantism. Rome alone can give particular permission to name any king in the Canon.

Spain petitioned for this favor in the reign of Philip II, and it was granted. In France the Parliament of Toulouse and that of Paris, taking umbrage at the omission of the king’s name in the Missal of St. Pius V when it first appeared, prohibited the printing of the said missal.

Roman Canon with Rege Nostro clause

In 1855 Napolean III asked and obtained of the pope authorization for his name to be mentioned in this part of the Mass.[6]

The 1908 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia featuring Dr. Adrian Fortescue's treatise on the Canon of the Mass further mentions (along with many other interesting points):

In the case of Catholic princes a privilege is given by which they are put in. In Austria the clause "et pro Imperatore nostro Francisco Josepho" is always added by the celebrant, and in Hungary it becomes of course "pro rege nostro".

Of course this rubric no longer applies.

But returning to the cause of this short treatise, let us not forget to pray for the forthcoming papal conclave, that God in His Providence will grant us a good and holy pontiff to lead His Catholic Church.


Footnotes

1 The rubrical text of the Ritus servandus simply states that the entire clause una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N is omitted: "Ubi dicit: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N., exprimit nomen Papæ. Sede autem vacante verba prædicta omittuntur." No other direction on this matter is expressed.

J.B. O'Connell confirms this interpretation in The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal (p 258, §3): "If the Holy See be vacant he omits the words una, etc."), as does Adrian Fortescue in The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described on p 66: "If the Holy See be vacant at the time, he omits this clause ["una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro"] altogether" (the wording is identical in both the 1934 and 1962 editions).

However a different opinion was given in the 1956 edition of Matters Liturgical (p 421; 233, c):

If the Holy See is vacant, the words una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N are omitted; instead of et Antistite nostro N, the celebrant shall then say una cum Antistite nostro N.

Only two references were given to support this view:

  • the aforementioned Ritus Servandi section of the missal (VIII, §2) - whose wording is identical in both the pre-1960 and 1962 editions
  • J.F. Van der Stappen's Sacre Liturgia (Dessain, 1900); III; 229, 1.

However in view of J.B. O'Connell's and Fortescue's confirmation (which is also of a latter date than what Matters Liturgical is reliant), it appears certain that the missal's rubrical text is clearly stating that the "una cum" should be omitted.

Concerning any grammatical objections, if one ignores the presence of the ":" after the word "terrarum", the text does make sense (even if a bit choppy) as the modified clause begins with "et...", thus joining it and what follows to the previous-stated intention.

2 J.B. O'Connell, The Celebration of Mass, p 258, ff 14: SRC 3761, 25.

3 Ibid, p 259: The name of an apostolic administrator not appointed permanently, or of a vicar or prefect, even though a bishop by consecration, is not, apart from apostolic indult, to be mentioned in the Canon [18] for missionary territories are immediately subject to the Holy See); nor may Religious mention the name of their superior-general.

  • FF 18: S.R.C. 2274, 5; 3047, 4; 4288, 2; and March 8, 1919. But the name of an apostolic administrator who is permanently constituted, or of a bishop who is translated to another see but for the moment retains the administration of his first see, is to be mentioned in the Canon. (Cf. C.J.C., 315.)
  • (if the diocesan see is vacant); FF 19: A coadjutor bishop with right of succession becomes Ordinary of the diocese the moment the bishop dies, provided he had already shown the apostolic letters to the Cathedral Chapter (C.J.C. 355). Hence his name is at once mentioned in the Canon.
4 Ibid: "If the diocesan see is vacant... [ff 19]."
  • FF 19: A coadjutor bishop with right of succession becomes Ordinary of the diocese the moment the bishop dies, provided he had already shown the apostolic letters to the Cathedral Chapter (C.J.C. 355). Hence his name is at once mentioned in the Canon.

5 Ibid, p 259.

6 P 107; The Holy Mass was first printed in English in 1885 and reprinted by Baronius Press, 2005.

 

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