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March 18, 2004

Notes on letter 899

In letter 899, we find this passage:

I would like the Collect, to be added at the Mass, to be the one found at the end of the Missal along with all the other Collect: "pro petitione lacrymarum."(1) Also, after Vesper prayers, we would like to add the Litany of Loreto, and one Our Father in honor of St. Xavier, our protector. This has been our practice in other communities too. Following the manner that you judge to be best, you should direct the closing of all taverns during the time of the preaching so that everyone will be led to a contemplation of God. More when we see each other in person.

(1) For the request of tears

I find it somewhat affirming that St. Gaspar chose that particular Collect for the opening of a mission. In the new sacramentary there is apparently a new Mass called "For the Gift of Tears." The Bishops used that for their meeting in June of 2002. When I saw the approved translation, I copied it out and put it in my mission file. I found it quite useful for the first two nights when the topic is reconciliation.

Last night one of the seminarians joked that I would be long retired by the time we got a new sacramentary.

Opening Prayer
Almighty and most gentle God, who from a rock made flow
a fountain of living water
for your thirsting people,
draw now from the hardness of our hearts
tears of sorrow
that we may weep for our sins
and, by your continued mercy,
be made ready to accept their pardon.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christů

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at March 18, 2004 10:52 AM

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There is a constraint in the contemporary Roman Rite, one that may not have held in Gaspar's time -- one opening prayer (collect in the old Missal) only. (The reason I think that Gaspar probably wasn't bound by it is that our Anglican cousins are not.)

Father Jeff, if you wish to use the opening prayer from Mass for the Gift of Tears on a Sunday, the suggestion for saints' memorials in Lent might work -- close the General Intercessions with it.

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at March 18, 2004 12:28 PM

Beautiful prayer. Thank you for all the postings today. It was like a banquet of many courses. You are in our prayers for your Mission and all those attending also. And, yes, we are a little envious (in a good way)--it is impossible to believe that 12 years have flown by since we first met you doing the Mission at Our Lady of the Rosary.

Posted by: Dave & Maria Elena at March 19, 2004 1:41 AM