A particular Congregation for determining certain matters concerning the Sacred Visitation of the parochial Churches in Rome was held by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XIII. on December 4, 1724.
The visible signs of religion and piety are rites and ceremonies by which the faithful are drawn to the contemplation of spiritual things.
His Holiness in the Congregation confirmed a Decree ordering this Memoriale to be printed and to be observed by Rectors, in order that uniformity and exactness may be secured in the smaller parochial churches in Rome, and at the same time to guard against omissions, by reason of the fewness of the clergy or insufficient knowledge of ceremonies - those ceremonies by which our Holy Mother the Church brings to our remembrance the most noteworthy of the mysteries of the Passion.
The Memoriale combines exactness of rites with a very small number of servers. Generally three are sufficient, four being seldom necessary. It is the duty of the parish Priest to give timely instruction to those servers, in order that they may act quickly, but with attention, and so prevent aimless wandering to and fro.
He will teach them also those Psalms, Antiphons and Hymns which are to be recited or chanted in procession, endeavouring to obtain vocal uniformity; hence for greater convenience these Antiphons, etc., are inserted in this Memoriale, each in its proper place, so that one and the same book contains directions as to what is to be done and also those Hymns, etc., which are to be recited.
Six functions which occur in the course of each year are here
set out (see Contents). From these it will not be difficult to deduce a
method for carrying out similar functions, so that in all things and at all
times due regard for the sacred ceremonies may always be apparent.
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