A look at an early 16th century Bragan nuptial rite

Today’s post will be a bit different than usual. We will be looking at the Bragan nuptial rite as found in an early 16th century rituale. The current post will limit itself to describing the rite and prayers contained therein; commentary on it may come in a future post.


The Nuptial rite, according to the Rituale Romanum, as it currently exists, is very stark in comparison to its non-Roman counterparts (might one be inclined to qualify its starkness as “noble simplicity”?). Yet we know that this was not always so. In a 9th century letter from Pope Nicholas I to Boris I of Bulgaria, in which the latter had inquired of the Pope on several subjects, we find that there were more elements to the nuptial rite [emphasis mine]:

“We shall strive, while avoiding a wordy style, to show you that the custom, which you say the Greeks maintain in their marital unions, recalls in small ways the custom which the Roman Church received in antiquity and still maintains in unions of this sort. Now then, our men and women do not wear upon their heads a band of gold, silver, or some other metal when they contract a marriage pact. Instead, after the betrothal is celebrated — which is the promised pact of future marriage made with the consent of both those who contract the pact and those under whose power they are — the betrothed man joins the bride to himself with vows through the finger marked by him with the ring of faith and the betrothed man hands over to her a dowry (dos) pleasing to both people along with a document containing this agreement in the presence of those invited by both parties. Then, either soon after or at an appropriate time, namely in order that no such thing be presumed to be done before the time defined by law, both are brought to the wedding. First, they are stationed by the hand of the priest in the church of the Lord along with offerings which they should offer to God and so at last they receive the blessing and the celestial veil, on the model, namely, of the Lord who, after placing the first people in paradise, said to them: Increase and multiply, etc. [Gen.1:38] Tobias, before he had come together with his wife, is also described as having prayed to God with this same prayer.[cf.Tobit 8:4] The person who passes into a second marriage, however, does not receive this veil. When they leave the church after this, they wear crowns on their heads, which are always kept by custom in the church. And so, after the wedding is celebrated, they are directed to lead their own life with God disposing over the rest. These are the wedding vows, these are the solemn agreements of married people, as well as those which at present do not come to mind. But we do not claim that it is a sin if all of these things do not occur in a marriage agreement, as you say the Greeks told you, especially since so great a lack of wealth usually oppresses people that it offers them no help in preparing these things. And for this reason, according to the laws, the consent alone of those whose union is at issue, is enough [to make a marriage]. Yet if this consent alone is perchance lacking in the wedding, all the rest, even if it is consummated with intercourse itself, is in vain, as the great teacher John Chrysostom attests, who says: Not intercourse but will makes marriage.”

Chapter III, The Responses of Pope Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars A.D. 866

In this letter we see five elements: ring; dowry; blessing; veil; crowns. Currently, only the ring and the blessing survives in the Roman rite.

The medieval Latin church was one of liturgical pluralism (even if at times there was a fraught relationship between rites/uses), with each primatial see having their own use/rite, not to mention religious orders. This liturgical plurality continued to exist well after the issue of the bull Quod Primum, though certain uses began to die out for reasons that do not concern us here. Of the elements mentioned in Pope Nicholas’ letter we find at least four of them in a number of medieval uses, particularly those of Salisbury, Braga, and some French dioceses; Spain maintained them as well, via influence from the Mozarabic rite. Continue reading

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Update

The page “Kalendar” has been removed; in its place is “Missale”. It is on this page where readers will be able to find the missal scans. At the moment we have made available the Papal Bull recognizing the reform of the use of Braga in the 1920s as well as the Kalendar.

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The use of Braga and Summorum Pontificum

It has come to our attention recently that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) considers the use of Braga to be within the purview of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. This September past a member of the Polish clergy submitted a number of questions to the PCED. Of interest to the readers of this blog, we call to you attention question number 13:

Are non-roman rites (mozarabe and ambrosian) and roman territorial rites (diocese of Lyon and Braga) regultaed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum? Instruction Universae Ecclesiae only mentions the books of 1962 of religious communities (No. 34).

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In answer to this, the PCED replied:

13. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum applies to the Roman Rite and its uses (either local or proper to religious orders).

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A full scan of the letter and the reply can be seen here.

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Update – upcoming project

We are happy to announce that we have begun the long process of digitalising the Bragan missal. If all goes well, the last edition of the Bragan missal will finally be available in its entirety online for the first time ever at the end of the current year.

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Missae de sancta Maria

I

From Advent to the Nativity of the Lord

Introit: V./ Et justitia oriatur simul: Ego Dominus creavi eum.
Alleluia: gloss on Is 7:14 Ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet Filium, Jesum Christum.

II

From the Nativity of the Lord to the Feast of the Purification

Gradual: Ps 44:3.5

Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis: propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum. V./ Propter veritatem, et mansuetudinem, et justitiam: et deducet te mirabiliter dextera tua.

Secret: that of Septuagesima Sunday, but with the following insertion

[..] mysteriis, et, intercedente beata Virgine Dei Genetrice Maria, clementer […]

Preface: of the Nativity

III

From the Feast of the Purification to the Saturday before Passion Sunday, and from the Feast of the Holy Trinity to Advent

Introit: V./ Virgo Dei Genetrix, quem totus non capit orbis: in tua clausit viscera factus homo.
Offertory: gloss on Jer 18:20

Eccl precatio ex Jer Pecordare, Virgo Mater, dum steteris in conspectu Dei: ut loquaris pro nobis bonum: et, ut avertat indignationem suam ab hac familia, tu propitia, Mater eximia, pelle vitia, fer remedia reis in via, dans in patria vitae gaudia, pro quibus dolcia tu praeconia laudes cum gratia suscipe, pia Virgo Maria a nobis. Amen.

Communion:

Eccl. laus Ave, Regina caelorum, Mater Regis Angelorum: o Maria, flos virginum, velut rosa vel lilium: funde preces ad Filium pro salute fidelium.

IV

In Paschaltide

Introit: as Mass III
Collect: from the feast Gaudiorum B. Mariae Virginis
Epistle: Ez 44:1-3
Alleluia: Mt 28:2.9; from Friday after the Asccension until the Vigil of Pentecost: Ps 46:6; Cant 6:9
Offertory: Mt 28:2.5-6
Secret: from the feast Gaudiorum B. Mariae Virginis
Communion: Offertory from RM
Post-communion: from the feast Gaudiorum B. Mariae Virginis


The rubrics for these votive Masses require the following commemorations:

Collects

2a de Spiritu Sancto

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Dominum… in unitate Spiritus Sancti.

O God, Who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that, by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

3a contra persecutores Ecclesiae

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte : ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Dominum.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy Church : that, all adversity and error being destroyed, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

vel 3a pro Papa

Deus omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere; ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, mercifully look upon Thy servant, N., whom Thou hast chosen as the chief Shepherd to reside over Thy Church; grant him, we beseech Thee, so to edify, both by word and example, those over whom he hath charge, that he may attain unto everlasting life, together with the flock committed unto him. Through Christ our Lord.

Secrets

2a de Spiritu Sancto

Munera, quaesumus, Domine, oblata sanctifica: et corda nostra Sancti Spiritus illustratione emunda. Per Dominum … in unitate eiusdem.

Hallow, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts we offer up to Thee, and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Ghost. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

3a contra persecutores Ecclesiae

Protege nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhaerentes, et corpore tibi famulemur, et mente. Per Dominum.

Protect us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that holding fast to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and soul.

vel 3a pro Papa

Oblatis, quaesumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.

Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by our peace-offerings, and by Thy constant protection, guide Thy servant N., whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint as shepherd over Thy Church.

Post-communions

2a de Spiritu Sancto

Sancti Spiritus, Domine, corda nostra mundet infusio: et sui roris intima aspersione foecundet. Per Dominum… in unitate ejusdem.

May the outpouring of the Holy Ghost cleanse our hearts, O Lord, and render them fruitful by the inward speaking of His heavenly dew. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

3a contra persecutores Ecclesiae

Quaesumus, Domine Deus noster: ut, quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere; humanis non sinas subjacere periculis.

We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not allow to be exposed to human perils, those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of these divine mysteries.

vel 3a pro Papa

Haec nos quaesumus, Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ preesse voluisti; una cum commisso sibi grege, salvet semper, et muniat.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the reception of this divine sacrament, may protect us and always save and defend Thy servant N., whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint as shepherd over Thy Church, together with the flock entrusted to him.

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Sabbato

The following Masses are not found among the Roman Votive Masses

Missa de Planctu Virginis Mariae

Introit:

Eccl. vox Ecce vidi Filium meum, non habentem speciem neque decorem: aspectus ejus in eo non est: hic peccata peccatorum portavit: et pro eis dolens, vulneratus est propter iniquitates illorum: cujus livore sanati sumus. Mt. 26:24 Filius quidem meus vadit, sicut scriptum est de illo: vae autem homini illi, per quem tradetur.

Gloria, quando Sabbato celebratur.
Collect*:

Interveniat pro nobis, Domine Jesu Christe, apud tuam clementiam, nunc et in hora mortis, gloriosa Virgo Maria, mater tua, cujus animam, in hora passionis tuae, doloris gladius pertransivit. Qui vivis.

Epistle: Cant. 3:2;5:8-10.16-17; 7:8
Gradual: gloss on Jer. Thren 1:12.17

Expandit Virgo dolorosissima manus suas

Alleluia: Jer Thren 2:13; (TP) Jer Thren 1:2

[..] non est qui consoletur eam, ex omnibus caris ejus.
V./ Quiescat, Virgo dolorosissima, vox tua a planctu, et oculi tui a lacrimis: quia surrexit Filius tuus, sicut dixit.

Tract: gloss on Ps 21:2-4

Longe a salute mea verba lamentationum mearum.

Gospel: Jo 19:25-27
Offertory:

Caligaverunt oculi mei a fletu meo, quia elongatus est a me qui consolabatur me: videte, omnes populi, si est dolor sicut dolor meus.

Secret:

Deus, cui in Crucis ara Dominus noster Jesus Christus seipsum pro nobis hostiam immolavit, et piissimam matrem suam, prae doloribus deficientem, dilecto discipulo sua commendavit: concede nobis; ita utriusque dolores devota mente recolere, ut gaudiorum quoque mereamur esse participes. Per Dominum.

Preface: of the BVM with Et te in Planctu
Communion**:

Jerusalem, luge et exuere vestibus jucunditatis, induere cinere et cilicio: quia in te occisus est Filius meus, Salvator Israel.

Postcommunion:

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine Jesu Christe: ut, qui amarissimas maestissimae matris tuae angustias de tua horribili morte meditamur; ejus quoque solatiis de triumphanti resurrectione et aeterna gloria tua perfruamur: Qui vivis.

Missa de Pietate Dominae nostrae

Introit: Jo 19:26; V./ Jo 19:25
Gloria quando Sabbato celebratur
Collect:

Interveniat pro nobis, Domine Jesu Christe, apud tuam santctam clementiam, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, piisima Virgo Maria, mater tua, cujus sacratissimam animam, in hora benedictae passionis tuae, doloris gladius pertransivit, et in gloriosissima resurrectione tua ingens gaudium laetificavit: Qui vivis.

Epistle: Jer Thren 1:20-22
Gradual: Ps 55:9; V./ Ps 6:10
Alleluia:

Eccl. precatio Ante thronum Trinitatis, miserorum miserata, pia mater Pietatis, sis pro nobis advocata: causam nostrae puperitatis coram Deo sustine, et veniam de peccatis servis tuis obtine.

(TP) Dulcis Mater dulci Nato dulcia ferens pondera: quae sola fuisti digna sustinere Regem caelorum et Dominum. […]

Tract:

Eccl. vox et precatio Stabat mater dolorosa juxta Crucem lacrimósa, dum pendebat Filius. Cujus animam gementem, contristatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius. Vidit suum dulcem natum, morientem desolatum, cum emisit spiritum. V./ Fac nos, Virgo, custodiri, cruce Christi, praemuniri, confoveri gratia. Quando corpus morietur, dac ut animae donetur paradisi gloria.

Gospel: Lk 2:33-35
Offertory: Ps 38:18
Secret:

Domine Jesu Christe, qui, pendens in cruce, de custode Matri providisti mitissimae, ex qua humanam sumpsistinaturam: praesta, quaesumus; ut, interveniente merito cruciatus animi ejusdem Virginis Matris, ipsa humanitas tua, sub sacramento intellecta, sit contra quaecumque mala nobis praesidium, in augmentum gratiae et vitae aeternae praemium: Qui vivis.

Preface: of the BVM with Et te in Pietate
Communion: Ps 58:17-18
Postcommunion:

Domine Jesu Christe, fons pietatis, qui, moriens in Cruce, acerrimo dolori cordis tuae mitissimae Genetricis multo plus fuisti compassus quam sororibus flentibus, quarum dilectione motus fudisti lacrimas: exaudi propitius preces nostras, et praesta; ut, qui ejusdem Matris tuae piisimae tristem cruciatum recolimus, meritis illus valeamus perpetua mentis et corprois salute gaudere, ab omnique dolore et tristitia liberari: Qui vivis.

 


*similar to collect found in the Little Office of the BVM
** similar to Responsory II of the Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday (“luge” possibly a typo?)

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Feria VI

Missa de quinque Plagis Christi

This Mass is the same as the Roman Missa de Passione Domini except for:
Tract: Phil 2:7-9
Alleluia*:

Eccl. vox – Ave Rex noster: tu solus nostros es miseratus errores: Patri obediens, ductus es ad Crucem, mansuetus ut agnus ad occisionem: tibi gloria, hosanna; tibi triumphus et victoria: tibi summae laudis et honoris corona. Alleluia.

(TP) Eccl. vox – Christus surrexit a mortuis: redemit nos sanguine suo, adoremus eum in gloria. […]

Secret:

Ipsi tibi, quaesumus, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, sacrificium nostrum reddiat acceptum, qui pro nobis peccatoribus super lignum sanctae crucis in suo pretiosissimo corpore quinque vulnera pati dignatus est, Jesus Christus Dominus noster. Qui tecum.

Missa de Passione Domini

Introit: Gal 6:14; V./ Ps 66:2
Collect: that of Palm Sunday
Epistle: Phil 2:5-11
Gradual: Ps 139:3-5
Alleluia**:

Eccl. vox Ave, Rex noster, tu solus nostros es miseratus errores: Patri obdediens, ductus es ad crucem masuetus, ut agnus ad occisionem:[…]

(TP) Eccl. vox Christus surrexit a mortuis: redemit nos Sanguine suo, adoremus eum in gloria. […]

Tract: Phil 2:6-9
Offertory, Secret, Communion, Post-communion: that of Palm Sunday


* practically identical in wording to that in the RM
** varies a bit from Roman Alleluia for TP

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