VNO 9: For Vocations To Holy Orders

One of the Masses for Various Needs is for vocations for priests and deacons. As with the seventh VNO Mass for a priest on his anniversary, the collect for vocations seeks “ardent yet gentle heralds” of the Gospel.

I found it interesting that the prayer also invokes God to “pour out in your Church a spirit of piety and fortitude.” Piety is a classic virtue for priests in recent generations. Both piety and fortitude are related, according to Thomas Aquinas to the development of the will. (As opposed to other spiritual virtues that are related to the human mind.) I’m not sure exactly where that points, but it strikes me as wise on the part of those who composed this prayer.

Entrance Antiphon Mt 9:38

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest, says Jesus to his disciples.

The St Louis Jesuit song “Come With Me Into The Fields,” a favorite of one of the tenors in one of my first choirs comes to mind. That line, “You arms may grow weary; your shoes will wear thin,” rather address the human will–the inevitable wearing down that comes with long service.

I’m not suggesting Dan Schutte’s derivation of Gospel passages here. I think the use of Psalm 40 could be justified as an addition for verses. Psalm 62 or 63 for intimacy with God, emphasizing the quality of piety. Perhaps even the text of the Magnificat or the Benedictus.

Communion Antiphon 1 Jn 3:16

By this we came to know the love of God: that Christ laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

1 John 4:7ff is laid out on this page as a canticle(number 68). I think it would be a fitting match for this given antiphon. The Beatitudes, perhaps. If you pressed me for an Old Testament text, one of the first two suffering servant songs might work well (Cf. Isaiah 42:1ff or Isaiah 49:1ff). From the Psalms, the 16th or the 118th.

When and where would such a Mass be convened? A gathering for those discerning ministry. A gathering of diocesan clergy, certainly. I would think the bishop would be the likeliest presider for such a liturgy. It would seem to make some sense for clergy themselves to pray this Mass in union with their bishop.

Some years ago, we blogged on these liturgies. In the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on their use. You can check our brief comments here and here and here. The USCCB’s unannotated text on the matter is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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