And He appeared to Simon

In places in the world where the custom of the encuentro is kept, mostly in the Spanish ambit, pious tradition holds that the resurrected Christ first appeared to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Whereas, in Holy Writ, which is silent about when the risen Lord appeared to His Mother, we read the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection. The encuentro in the Philippines follows a basic structure: At dawn, two processions leave the parish church, one with the risen Christ, another with the Virgin; each of these processions must be accompanied by a priest with thurifer, cerofers, and crucifer. The two processions meet at a designated place, where the Virgin, her veil of mourning lifted, salutes her resurrected Son, and the Choir then sings the Regina coeli, laetare. Meanwhile, the more senior in rank of the two priests incenses the images. One procession then returns to church, and the first Mass of Easter Sunday is then celebrated.

However, in Rome, instead of the Virgin or Mary Magdalene, in the morning of Easter Sunday, before the procession from the Basilica of Saint Laurence to sing Mass in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Easter announcement pronounced by the Pope mentioned Saint Peter himself.

Raffaelo - Consegna delle chiavi
Consegna delle chiavi | Raffaello Sanzio | 1515

Below is the description of the papal Easter announcement by Cardinal Cencio Savelli, the future Pope Honorius III, in the Liber Censuum, otherwise known as the Ordo Romanus XI:

On Easter Sunday, in the morning after Prime, vested in white cope, the Roman Pontiff, with vested cardinal-deacons, with cardinal-subdeacons and other minor orders vested in dalmatics,  mitres, and tunicles, and his chaplains, go to the Basilica of Saint Laurence. Cardinal-priests vest in chasubles, cardinal-bishops in copes, in the place that is called the Basilica of Saint Gregory: where, after the collect, he vests up to the dalmatic; and rising enters to adore the Saviour. He opens the image, kisses the feet of the Saviour, saying three times in a loud voice, Surrexit Dominus de sepulcro; and all respond: Qui pro nobis pependit in ligno, alleluia. Then, the cardinal-acolytes place the Cross on the Altar of the Chapel, and the Pope adores it. After the osculation of the Saviour, he then returns with all others to the see, and gives the kiss of peace to the archdeacon returning from kissing the feet of the Image, saying, Surrexit Dominus vere; and [the archdeacon] responds, Et apparuit Simoni. The second cardinal-deacon likewise, having kissed the feet of the Saviour, approaches [to receive] the peace of the Supreme Pontiff and of the archdeacon, and occupies his place in rank; and the other cardinal-deacons do the same. Then the chapelmaster, with the cantors, in the same way approaches [to receive] the peace, and directs himself to his place in rank. The prior of the basilica, likewise do the same; afterwards, the regionary cardinal-subdeacons with the cardinal-acolytes and the chaplains, and the other palatine orders, make kiss of peace in the same way. Meanwhile, the schola sings Crucifixum in carne, and Ego sum alpha et omega.

In die Paschae mane post Primam indutus albo pluviali Romanus Pontifex, cum diaconis cardinalibus indutis, cum subdiaconis ceterisque minoribus ordinibus, dalmaticis, et mitris, et tunicis indutis, et cappellanis suis, vadit ad basilicam sancti Laurentii. Presbyteri cardinales induunt se planetis, episcopi pluvialibus in loco, qui dicitur basilica sancti Gregorii : ubi post orationem induitur usque ad dalmatica ; et exsurgens ingreditur ad adorandum Salvatorem. Aperit imaginem, osculatur pedes Salvatoris, dicens alta voce tribus vicibus, Surrexit Dominus de sepulcro ; et omnes ei respondent : Qui pro nobis pependit in ligno, alleluia. Tunc acolythi ponunt crucem cappellae super altare, et dominus Papa adorat eam. Post osculationem Salvatoris, cum omnibus aliis deinde redit ad sedem, et dat pacem archidiacono redeunti ab osculo pedum eius imaginis, dicens, Surrexit Dominus vere ; et ille respondet, Et apparuit Simoni. Secundus quoque diaconus osculatis pedibus Salvatoris, accedit ad pacem Summi Pontificis et archidiaconi, et ponit se in filo ; ceteri vero diaconi cardinales similiter faciunt. Deinde primicerius cum cantoribus eo modo ad pacem vadit, et in filo se dirigit. Prior quoque basilicae cum diaconis similiter ; postmodum subdiaconi regionarii cum acolythis et cappellanis, et aliis palatinis ordinibus, eodem modo pacem faciunt. Interim schola canit, Crucifixum in carne, et Ego sum alpha et omega.

Processio in Dominica Resurrectionis D. N. I. C.The versicles in the above description found its way into local customs. They are, in fact, included in the 1780 Processionale ac Rituale Romano-Seraphicum published in Lisbon. The procession (click the thumbnail to open the file) foresees a rite of exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament before matins. The choir and the cantors alternate in singing the versicles as though they were the invitatory at matins, after which, the procession begins. The ceremony ends with the usual benediction.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.


REFERENCE: Cencius Camerarius, Liber Censuum (Ordo Romanus XI) cap. XIV (num. 32).

Incense and Eucharistic Processions

This is not a matter of Sacred Music, but something which some Traditional communities grapple with, or conveniently ignore: how to incense the Blessed Sacrament during a Eucharistic Procession.

La fanfare de Fleurieu-sur-Saône à la procession de la Fête-Dieu
La fanfare de Fleurieu-sur-Saône à la procession de la Fête-Dieu | Nicolas Sicard | 1885

There are three easy steps:

  1. Walk forward, ahead of the Blessed Sacrament.
  2. Look backward, towards the Blessed Sacrament.
  3. Swing the censer sideways.

These are not our own fabrication. Please, our Lord deserves more than the mere designs of mere mortals. These, rather, come from a decree issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 15 September 1742. Read them at your leisure from the link indicated towards the end of this post.

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