VNO 40: For Charity

Number 40 in the Roman Missal, Third Edition is “For Charity.” It’s a new Mass. There are no readings given. The Communion antiphon below reminds me of the theme Masses from my middle school days–each class got to choose a “theme.” And while some of the more liturgical geeks among us might cringe, be mindful that the whole idea of a Mass for a various need or occasion is indeed a theme. As are votive Masses for the dead, for the Blessed Mother, and for various sacramental situations.

Let’s look at some musical texts for this liturgy:

Entrance Antiphon Ezekiel 36:26-28

Thus says the Lord: I will take from your bodies your stony hearts and give you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

Communion Antiphon 1 Corinthians 13:13

So faith, hope and charity remain, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Caritas. Amor. Sometimes paired. (“Where charity and love are …”) Sometime considered synonyms for each other, as above. If the Missal compilers didn’t seem so squeamish about making this Mass for love, I’d say 1 John 4:7ff with verse 19, “We love because he first loved us,” would be another good text for this liturgy. I would pair it with John 15:9-17 as a Gospel reading.

Some years ago, we blogged on Masses And Prayers For Various Needs And Occasions. 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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