PCED clarification on Pontifical “Sung” Masses

Earlier this year, this Choir sent a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei requesting clarification on the status of the so-called Pontifical Sung Mass, which from time to time has been celebrated by bishops and cardinals for communities attached to the Extraordinary Form.

Mass Schneider I
Pontifical Low Mass celebrated by His Excellency Mons. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan, in the Church of Gesù e Maria in Rome on 22 November 2009 (image from Orbis Catholicus secundus).

PCED-CGSCOX-14.06.2017We received the response (dated 14 June 2017) two weeks ago (click on the thumbnail to view). The PCED clarifies that the books to be used for the Extraordinary Form, according to Summorum Pontificum, are those in force in 1962 [1]. As of 1962, a bishop had the option to celebrate either a Pontifical Low Mass [2] or a Pontifical Solemn Mass [3]. The possibility of celebrating a Sung Mass more sacerdotali was only opened to bishops through Inter Œcumenici, issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, dated 26 September 1964 [4]. Universæ Ecclesiæ, on liturgical discipline, clarifies that “by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962” [5]. The provision of Inter Œcumenici, therefore, is deemed derogated in the Extraordinary Form.


[1] Art. 1: AAS 99 (2007) p. 779.
[2] Cæremoniale Episcoporum, lib. I, cap. xxix.
[3] Op. cit., lib. II, cap. viii.
[4] Cap. II, no. 48i: AAS 56 (1964) p. 888.
[5] Cap. III, no. 28: AAS 103 (2011) p. 419.

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Happy 10th anniversary!

La misa de San Gregorio
La misa de San Gregorio | Jerónimo Jacinto Espinosa | s. XVII

RECVRRENTE·X·ANNIVERSARIO
FAVTISSIMAE·EVVLGATIONIS
LITTERARVM·APOSTOLICARVM
QVAS·SVMMORVM·PONTIFICVM·INCHOANT
FORIS·A·BENEDICTO·SUMM·PONT·EMER·XVI
SVO·MOTV·PROPRIO·DATARVM
OMNIBVS·HVNC·SVCCESSVM·GRATVLANTIBVS
SALVTEM·DAMVS·AC·DESIDERAMVS
GRATIAS·DOMINO·DEO·NOSTRO·AGENTES
CUM·TOTO·ORBE·CATHOLICO·GAVDEMVS

Omnia instaurentur in Christo !

Litany of the Precious Blood

John XXIII, on 24 February 1960, issued the bull Inde a primis [1], approving for public use a Litany drawn up the Sacred Congregation of Rites in honour of the Precious Blood. Of the five such litanies approved for public use prior to the Second Vatican Council, the Precious Blood stands out as the only one to have not been set to chant in the Liber, or in the Graduale. As such, to our knowledge, there are no chant notation for it that can be called ‘official’.

Cristo después de la flagelación
Cristo después de la flagelaciónBartolomé Esteban Murillo | after 1665

Precious BloodIn 2011, we decided to set the Litany to chant. The result (click on the image to access the file) is on the left.

The feast of the Precious Blood started as a Spanish devotion. Saint Gaspar del Bufalo later introduced the devotion to Italy, founding the Missionaries of the Precious Blood at the request of Pius VII in 1814. In 1849, Pius IX made a vow to extend the feast to the Universal Church if he recovered the Papal States. Sure enough, on 30 June 1849, the French army reclaimed the Papal States for the Church. On 10 August that year, Pius IX issued the bull Redempti sumus [2], fulfilling his vow, fixing the feast on the first Sunday after 30 June each year, the anniversary of the victory. This Sunday, of course, is the first Sunday of July.

Continue reading “Litany of the Precious Blood”