MEMORIALE RITUUM

A REMINDER OF THE RITES FOR CARRYING OUT IN SMALL PAROCHIAL CHURCHES SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL FUNCTIONS OF THE YEAR
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF POPE BENEDICT XIII


PART II - THE BLESSING OF THE ASHES AT THE BEGINNING OF LENT

 

CHAPTER I  - THE THINGS TO BE GOT READY FOR THE BLESSING AND MASS

On a Table or the Credence of the High Altar.

1. The chalice, with purple veil and burse, prepared for Mass.
2. The purple maniple and chasuble.
3. Thurible and incense boat.
4. Holy water and aspersory.
5. A dish with a piece of bread, and vessels for washing hands after the distribution of ashes.
6. Towel.
7. Lavabo dish, cruets with wine and water, and small towel for wiping the fingers. 

On the Altar.

1. Purple frontal or antependium, cross and candlesticks, with candles, but no vases of flowers.
2. Missal on a purple cushion, or a Missal-stand at the Epistle side of the Altar. 
3. A vessel of silver or other becoming material, with ashes well screened and dried, made from the palms of the preceding Palm Sunday, covered with the usual covering of the vessel or a purple veil, and placed between the Missal and the Epistle corner of the Altar.

In the Sacristy.

1. Three surplices for the servers.
2. Amice, alb, girdle, and purple stole and cope.
3. Vessel with lighted charcoal and a pair of tongs.

 

CHAPTER II - THE SACRED CEREMONIES TO BE GONE THROUGH ON ASH WEDNESDAY

 

1.  THE BLESSING OF THE ASHES

1. Everything being prepared as above by the servers vested in surplices, the people are summoned to Church by the usual ringing of the bells at a convenient hour. 
2. In the Sacristy, after having washed his hands, the Celebrant, assisted by the second and third servers, vests over his cotta with the amice, alb, girdle, and purple stole and cope.
3. The first server lights the Altar candles, and then returns to the Sacristy.
4. A bow being made to the cross or statue in the Sacristy, all go to the High Altar.
5. The first server leads the procession, the Celebrant, with hands joined and wearing his biretta, follows, walking between the second and third servers. 
6. The Celebrant, on arriving at the Altar, hands his biretta to the first server, and then makes a reverence to the Altar.
7. He goes up to the Altar accompanied by the the second and third server, and kisses the Altar in the middle.
8. In the meantime the first server, having put aside the biretta, uncovers the ashes.
9. Celebrant goes to the Epistle side, and with  his servers recites from the Missal the Antiphon Exaudi, etc.

Antiphona.

Exaudi nos, Domine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua: secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice nos, Domine.

Psalmus lxviii.

Salvum me fac, Deus: quoniam intraverunt aquae usque ad animam meam.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et  nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.  Amen.

Antiphona.

Exaudi nos, Domine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua: secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice nos, Domine.

10. Meanwhile the first server prepares the thurible with charcoal. 
11. The Antiphon Exaudi having been repeated, the Celebrant, standing in the same place, and not turning towards the people, with hands joined, says in the ferial tone, Dominus vobiscum, and adds the four prayers.
12. While the fourth prayer is being said the third server genuflects to the Altar, and, taking the vessel of holy water, approaches the Celebrant with the first server, who is acting as thurifer.
13. The Celebrant, assisted by the second server, puts incense in the thurible, and then sprinkles the ashes, and afterwards incenses them in the usual manner.
14.  The blessing completed, the dish with ashes is place in the middle of the Altar. 
15. The Celebrant, sitting on the predella, gives a discourse on the blessing and imposition of ashes on this day. 

 

2.  THE IMPOSITION OF THE ASHES

1. If the Celebrant is the only Priest present, he makes a reverence to the Altar, and then kneels in the middle of the predella. 
2. While kneeling, he sprinkles ashes in silence in the form of the the cross on his own head.
[If another Priest is present, he goes to the Altar wihout a stole, and sprinkles ashes in the form of the cross on the head of the Celebrant, who stands with bowed head facing the people.  While imposing the ashes he says: Memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.]
3. TheCelebrant, having received the ashes, goes to the Missal at the Epistle side, and with his servers recites the Antiphon Immutemur up to the end.

Antiphona.

Immutemur habitu, in cinere, et cilicio: jejunemus, et ploremus ante Dominum.
Quia multum misericors est, dimittere peccata nostra, Deus noster.

Alia Antiphona.

Inter vestibulum et altare plorabunt sacerdotes ministri Domini, et dicent:
Parce Domine, parce populo tuo: et ne claudas ora canentium te, Domine.

R. Emendemus in melius, quae ignoranter peccavimus: ne subito praeoccupati die mortis, quaeramus spatium poenitentiae, et invenire non possimus.

Attende Domine, et miserere: quia peccavimus tibi.

Psalmus lxxviii

V. Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster: et propter honorem nominis tui, Domine, libera nos.

Attende Domine, et miserere: quia peccavimus tibi.

V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Attende Domine, et miserere: quia peccavimus tibi.

4. He then imposes the ashes on all the clerics and servers arranged on the top step of the Altar, the seniors being nearest the Epistle side.  At each imposition of ashes says, Memento homo, etc.
5. The Celebrant, having made a reverence to the Altar, and accompanied by the second and third servers, goes to the Altar rails, and, starting at the Epistle side, imposes the ashes - first on the men, then on the women.
6. The imposition being concluded, the Celebrant returns to the Epistle side in plano, and there, using water, bread, and towel, cleanses and dries his hands.
7. He then goes to the Altar per longiorem, and, having made a reverence in the middle, goes the Epistle side (to the Missal).
8. Facing the Altar with joined hands, he says, Dominus vobiscum, and the prayer Concede nobis Domine, and then, making a reverence, leaves the Altar, and goes in plano on the Epistle side. 

 

3.  THE MASS

1. The Celebrant, standing near the Minister's bench on the Epistle side, lays aside the cope, and with the assistance of his servers, puts on the maniple and chasuble.  He then sits for a short time.
2. In the meantime the first server carries the chalice to the Altar, and, unfolding the corporal, arranges the chalice for Mass.
3. The Celebrant proceeds to celebrate Mass, in which everything is as in the Missal.
4. While the Communion is being said the first server removes the chalice from the Altar to the credence table. 
5. At the end of Mass the Celebrant, with joined hands, and accompanied by his servers, returns to the Sacristy, where, having unvested, he makes his thanksgiving. 
6. The servers carry the things used to the Sacristy, and put them away.

 


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