Thursday, June 6, 2013
First Thursdays

Image Source: His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke receiving first priestly blessings from the new priests whom he had ordained for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. (Florence, 2011)

The Votive Mass of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest, is often celebrated on First Thursdays.  For those of you using the Angelus Press Daily Missal, please turn to page 1552 to see the Mass propers.  By decree of December 24, 1935, all priests may offer this votive Mass on the First Thursday of each month.  Those of us familiar with Catholic tradition will realize that this is to commemorate the Institution of the Sacred Priesthood at the Last Supper.

Pope Pius XI ordered the preparation of this Votive Mass in 1935, intending that its celebration should become customary on the First Thursday of the month, in a manner analogous to the widespread Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday.  Vultus Christi Blog elaborates on why the 1962 Version of the Missal and not subsequent versions must be used.

His Holiness writes in Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium (20 December 1935):
Before concluding Our letter, to you, Venerable Brethren in the Episcopate, and through you to all Our beloved sons of both clergy, We are happy to add a solemn proof of Our gratitude for the holy cooperation by which, under your guidance and example, this Holy Year of Redemption has been made so fruitful to souls. We wish to perpetuate the memory and the glory of that Priesthood, of which Ours and yours, Venerable Brethren, and that of all priests of Christ, is but a participation and continuation. We have thought it opportune, after consulting the Sacred Congregation of Rites, to prepare a special votive Mass, for Thursdays, according to liturgical rules: De summo et aeterno Iesu Christi Sacerdotio, to honor "Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest." It is Our pleasure and consolation to publish this Mass together with this, Our Encyclical Letter.


INTROIT (Ps. 109. 4)

Juravit Dóminus, et non pœnitébit eum: Tu es sacérdos in ætérnum secúndum órdinem Melchísedech. -- Psalm. Dixit Dóminus Dómino meo: Sede a dextris meis. Glória Patri ...-- Juravit Dóminus...

The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Ps. ibid. 1. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand. Glory be to the Father ... -- The Lord ...



Deus, qui ad majestátis tuæ glóriam et géneris humáni salútem, Unigénitum tuum summum atque ætérnum constituísti Sacerdótem: præsta; ut quos minístros et mysteriórum suórum dispensatóres elégit, in accépto ministério adimpléndo fídéles inveniántur. Per eúmdem Dóminum ... Glória in excélsis...

O God, who for the glory of Thy Majesty and the salvation of the human race, didst establish Thine only begotten Son as the supreme and eternal Priest: grant that those He has chosen to dispense His mysteries may prove loyal in carrying out the ministry they have received. Through the same ...


From Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, 5. 1-11.
[The Epistle of the Mass reminds us that Christ is a Priest and the example of all Priests and Bishops.]

Fratres: Omnis Póntifex ex homínibus assúmptus, pro homínibus constituítur in iis, quæ sunt ad Deum, ut ófferat dona, et sacrifícia pro peccátis: qui condolére possit iis, qui ignórant, et errant: quóniam et ipse circúmdatus est infirmitáte: et proptérea debet, quemádmodum pro pópulo ita étiam et prosemetípso offére pro peccátis. Nec quisquam sumit sibi honórem. sed qui vocátur a Deo, tamquam Aaron. Sic et Christus non semetípsum clarificávit ut póntifex fierret, sed qui locútus est ad eum: Fílius meus es tu: ego hódie génui te. Quemádmodum et in álio loco dicit: Tu es Sacérdos in ætérnum secundum órdinem Melchísedech. Qui in diébus carnis suæ preces supplicationésque ad eum, qui possit illum salvum fácere a morte, cum clamóre válido et lácrymis ófferens, exaudítus est pro sua reveréntia. Et quidem cum esset Fílius Dei didicit ex iis, quæ passus est obediéntiam: et consummátus, factus est ómnibus obtemperántibus sibi, causa salútis ætérnæ, appellátus a Deo póntifex juxta órdinem Melchísedech. De quo nobis grandis sermo, et ininterpretábilis ad dicéndum.

Bretheren: Every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that He might be made a high priest: but He that said unto Him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee. As He saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, accordingto the order of Melchisedech. Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to Him that was able to save Him from death, was heard for His reverence. And whereas indeed He was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered: and being consummated, He became, to all that obey Him, the cause of eternal salvation. Called by God a high priest according to the order of Melchisedech. Of whom we have to say, and hard to be intelligibly uttered.


GRADUAL (Luke 4. 18)

Spiritus Dómini super me, propter quod unxit me: Evangelizáre paupéribus misit me, sanáre contrítos corde.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, wherefore He hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the contrite of heart.


TRACT (Ps. 9. 34-36)

Exsurge, Dómine Deus, exaltétur manus tua: ne obliviscáris páuperum. Vide quóniam tu labórem et dolórem consíderas: Tibi derelíctus est pauper: órphano tu eris adjutor.

Arise, O Lord God, let Thy hand be exalted: forget not the poor. See, for Thou considerest labour and sorrow: To Thee is the poor man left: Thou wilt be a helper to the orphan.


Continuation of holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 22. 14-20.

In illo témpore: Discúbuit Jesus, et duódecim Apóstoli cum eo. Et ait illis: Desidério desiderávi hoc Pascha manducáre vobíscum, ántequam pátiar. Dico enim vobis, quia ex hoc non manducábo illud, donec impleátur in regno Dei. Et accépto cálice, grátias egit, et dixit: Accípite, et divídite inter vos. Dico enim vobis, quod non bibam de generatióne vitis, donec regnum Dei véniat. Et accépto pane, grátias egit, et fregit,et dedit eis, dicens: Hoc est Corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur, hoc fácite in meam commemmoratiónem. Simíliter et cálicem, postquam cœnávit, dicens: Hic est calix novum testaméntum in sánguine meo, qui pro vobis fundétur.

At that time: Jesus sat down, and the twelve Apostles with Him. And He said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer. For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice, He gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you: for I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, He gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for commemmoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my Blood, which shall be shed for you.


OFFERTORY (Hebr. 10. 12-14)

Christus unam pro peccátis ófferens hóstiam, in sempitérnum sedet in déxtera Dei: una enim oblatióne consummávit in ætérnum sanctificátos.

Christ offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God: For by one oblation He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.



Hæc múnera, Dómine, mediátor noster Jesus Christus Tibi reddat accépta: et nos, una secum, hóstias tibi gratas exhíbeat: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti...

O Lord, may our Mediator Jesus Christ make these offerings agreeable to Thee: and along with Himself may He offer us to Thee as a thank-offering: Who liveth and reigneth...


Common Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutáre, nos tibi semper et ubíque grátias agere: Dómine sancte, Pater omnípotens, ætérne Deus: per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Per quem majestátem tuam laudant Angeli, adórant Dominatiónes, tremunt Potestátes. Coeli coelorúmque Virtútes ac beáta Séraphim sócia exsultatióne concélebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecámur, súpplici confessione dicéntes:

It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:


COMMUNION (1 Cor. 11. 24-25)

Hoc Corpus, quod pro vobis tradétur: hic calix novi testaménti est in meo sánguine, dicit Dóminus: hoc fácite, quotiescúmque súmitis, in meam commemoratiónem.

This Body which shall be delivered for you; this chalice is the new testament in my blood saith the Lord: this do for the commemoration of me.



Vivificet nos, quæsumus Dómine, divína quam obtúlimus et súmpsimus hóstia: ut perpétua Tibi caritáte conjúncti, fructum, qui semper máneat, afferámus. Pér Dóminum nostrum...

We beseech Thee, O Lord, may the divine host which we have offered up and received, quicken us; that, bound to Thee by an eternal love, we may bear fruit that will abide forever. Through our Lord...

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