To start off this blog, it would only be appropriate to talk about maniples, and for those who aren't acquainted with the term, don't worry, you will know more about the maniple than you will ever want to know by the end! This beautiful liturgical vestment worn by bishops, priests, and deacons for well over one and a half thousand years has been carelessly thrown aside, thought of as too "clerical", and all for false pretenses. The instruction of Tres Abhinc Annos of 1967 never abolished maniples as modernists in the liturgy would assume or say! It merely made the wearing of the maniple not an obligation. This decision I think is irresponsible, for through said allowances, modernists have been able to adapt their own liturgical theology within the Mass!
Here is exactly what the document has to say about the maniple:
"The maniple is no longer required" (Sacred Congregation of Rites, Tres Abhinc Annos, no. 25)
I'm sure this was much more eloquently stated in Latin to somehow mean that the maniple was ABOLISHED...oh wait, only the English language can somehow incorrectly translate Latin - HELLO...original English translation of the Mass of Paul VI, anyone?!
So what does this mean for all of us closeted or non-closeted traditional liturgists (this, of course, can include priests, deacons, bishops, etc. :D) This means that if anyone states that maniples were somehow abolished, suppressed, or in any other term, "gotten rid of", you can, with ease and delight in your heart, point them in this direction. You can, in perfect conformity to the Second Vatican Council, purchase vestments that have maniples included in them for your priests (and you deacons, priests, and bishops, you can WEAR them) without worrying about "Church of the Nice" down the street telling you that you aren't allowed to. Always do so with charity!
Now why all this fuss about maniples? It's just a piece of fabric as liberal liturgists might think it were! For the priest with obsession compulsion disorder who like things balanced and equal, I'm sorry, but you can't have one on both arms!
Here's an official article from the Vatican website talking about the liturgical vestments. You will see over time me going over a few of the lesser used vestments. It may seem redundant, but not everyone likes reading the official Vatican website. It might make their hair curl... (maniples are in section 5)
Here's an excerpt from the website that has the vesting prayers:
""Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris; ut cum exsultatione recipiam mercedem laboris" (May I deserve, O Lord, to bear the maniple of weeping and sorrow in order that I may joyfully reap the reward of my labors).
As we see, in the first part the prayer references the weeping and sorrow that accompany the priestly ministry, but in the second part the fruit of the work is noted. It would not be out of place to recall the passage of a Psalm that may have inspired the latter symbolism of the maniple.
The Vulgate renders Psalm 125:5-6 thus: "Qui seminant in lacrimis in exultatione metent; euntes ibant et flebant portantes semina sua, venientes autem venient in exultatione portantes manipulos suos" (They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Going they went and wept, casting their seeds, but coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their maniples)." (End)
Need I say more? The prayers are rooted in Sacred Scripture and the history and tradition of the Church has upheld this liturgical vestment since it's creation. The mentality that the priesthood is NOT a call to sacrifice (or shall I rephrase it to participating in the one true sacrifice on Calvary through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the re-presentation of Calvary itself), to labor for the Lord whilst weeping, is ridiculous and has gratefully gone "out of fashion". Priests are once again realizing that the totality of their call as a priest to not be a leader of "happy-fun-time worship" at "Church of the Nice", but a true call to joyfully sacrifice for the people of God!
In order to make Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church be a foundation by which people live their lives, we must not break from the prayers and traditions that millions of deacons, priests, and bishops from across the centuries used on a daily basis! All of the liturgical prayers and traditions (though the congregation might not see you physically praying! Apparently, liturgical prayer is suppose to always be in front of the people. Can't let them think you're doing something that'll separate you from them!) of the Church, whether spoken formally to the people or to God, are the culmination of what the Church believes and teaches! Why leave something out for the sake of convince?
Here's some liturgical "eye candy" to gaze upon while you reflect:
At the Consecration, where Our Blessed Lord transformed mere bread into His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity (priest is wearing a maniple)
(priest is wearing a maniple)