Recently, Frater S.C.F.V. asked me about an English translation for the Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost, by reasons of its use for consecrating tools in grimoire magic (link to his article about consecration by Mass). Fortunately this is available most hand missals printed before Vatican II, and I obliged. He asked for permission to share it to his blog, and I asked for 48 hours to write a blog post about it first.
Here is the blog post in question, even though those words were exchanged a week and a half ago as of this writing. First because I wanted to confirm a few things, and then because real life got in the way (I’ve been doing some much-needed work on the home and vehicles, and helping some family members with theirs; lately this has occupied the bulk of my time).
Consecration and Conjuration by Mass
As can be seen from Adam’s article linked above, several of the Grimoires call for the magicians’s tools to be consecrated by way of having them on or near the altar during the Mass; if the magician does not possess the Presbyterate, then the next best thing is to commission a Mass from a sympathetic priest, or to sneak the items into the sanctuary.
Typically the Mass prescribed by the Grimoires is the Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost, ranked among the votive Masses that can be said on any Thursday when the rubrics permit (actually votive Masses can be said on any day the rubrics permit, though the Missal tends to associate certain Masses with certain days of the week).
Yet it gets more interesting. While the Grimoires connect this Mass to the consecration of objects, the Manuals tacitly connect this Mass to the conjuration of spirits. We see this most explicitly in CLM 23325, where the Mass Salus Autem is prescribed (just like it is in CLM 10085), yet the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion for the Mass of the Holy Ghost are included either as options or as commemorations (depending on whether one is using pre- or post-1962 rubrics).
The idea here does not originate with the Manuals. In his De Civitate Dei, Augustine talks about the Mass as an exorcistic formula in Book XXII, chapter 8 (emphasis mine):
Hesperius, of a tribunitian family, and a neighbor of our own, has a farm called Zubedi in the Fussalian district; and, finding that his family, his cattle, and his servants were suffering from the malice of evil spirits, he asked our presbyters, during my absence, that one of them would go with him and banish the spirits by his prayers. One went, offered there the sacrifice of the body of Christ, praying with all his might that that vexation might cease. It did cease forthwith, through God’s mercy.
This connection survives in the Rituale Romanum, where the first rubric in the Ritus Exorcizandi directs the Exorcist to “celebrate Mass, if it can conviently be done.” The Ritual does not specify the exact Mass to be celebrated, and one can safely presume either the Mass of the Day or any Votive Mass permitted by the rubrics.
“Permitted by the Rubrics”
You’re going to see that expression “permitted by the rubrics” a lot in this article, so it may be a good idea to explain what I mean.
In the Roman Missal and all liturgies derived from it (such as the Seraphic Missal, for example), the Mass that can be said on a given day is determined by precedence, which is to say that each Mass in the Missal is assigned a rank. Now, when the Missal prescribes two or more Masses for any given day of the year – for example this year the Fest of the Assumption will coincide with the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – the Mass with the highest rank is the “winner,” i.e. the Mass to be said on that day.
In the pre-1962 Liturgy, the ranking was arranged according to Doubles and Simples, with the Doubles further divided into Doubles of the First Class, Greater Doubles, and Doubles, while the Simples were divided into Semidoubles and Simples. After this are Ferias or “weekdays” for which no special Mass happens to be assigned. As an over-simplification, a Votive Mass according to pre-1962 rubrics may be said on any Feria, and generally also on any simple or semidouble that’s not a Sunday (a much fuller explanation can be found in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on Votive Masses).
In the 1962 Missal, Pope John XXIII simplified the rankings into Masses of I, II, III, and IV Class, with Votive Masses generally occupying the IV Class. They may be said on Ferias and on any other day not taken by a Mass of higher rank.
One last comment about the rubrics is that a Votive Mass may not be said on the day of the Feast it replicates. For our purposes, this means a Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost may not be said on Pentecost Sunday, for reasons that should be obvious. The Mass of Pentecost, on which this Votive is based, would be said in its stead.
Magical Uses of Mass Formulae
I expect your understanding (and could care less if you don’t), because the magical properties of the Mass are the one subject where I prefer to say as little as possible. Not only because the Mass is central to our religion, but because its magical properties can be very dangerous when applied when the priest approaches this with full knowledge and understanding of what he is doing. Putting it out into the public effectively guarantees the information will make it into the wrong hands, so I am only willing to discuss in full in-person, with a faithful Roman Catholic who possesses the Presbyterate (emphasis on Faithful, Roman, and Presbyterate, and even then I can only think of one person I would actually trust to tell).
What I can say is this. When the Mass is used magically, it is possible to “step into” the intention and navigate it somewhat, even rearrange the reality around the situation for which the Mass is being said. This is an ex opere operantis kind of deal (only Transubstantiation is ex opere operato), and can be limited by the concrete circumstances on the ground as well as the celebrant’s ability to navigate and/or manage spiritual power.
Another interesting thing is that what happens on the altar can reflect what happens in the wider world. The flames of the altar candles can tell a story (much like with Candle Magic), but more importantly the Host can tell a story too. I first noticed this in 2003 when I was at my first assignment (a Franciscan Friary on the south side of Columbus), when one of the brothers requested a Mass to help his stepfather with heart surgery. The Mass went off without a hitch until the Consecration. I lifed up the Host, placed it back on the corporal, and consecrated the Chalice. As soon as I said the words “Hæc quotiescumque,” the Host – sitting on the corporal with no one touching It – split in half. The surgery was unsuccessful and his stepfather died that evening.
The second time I saw a Host break of Its own accord was in 2007. In this case I was saying the regular Sunday Mass, but took advantage of a certain part of the Canon to help a problem employee at my work find a better-paying job (so she’d no longer be our problem!). The Host broke, this time during the Unde et Memores, and she stayed on until finding something better six months later. I’ve since managed to fine-tune how to read the signals which include things like a usually-competent altar server tripping all over himself, to certain mental “feelings” that occur at the moment of consecration, to the behavior of the altar candles, to whether I have problems pronouncing the Latin and the point at Mass when any issues start occurring. The interpretation is not specifically any one thing but reading how these elements all come together.
This is a primer on the magical dynamics of the Mass, or at least how to navigate and read the Mass when magical purposes are involved. I leave it to experienced priests who can extrapolate the data to figure out what else they are able, while warning the arrogant, uninformed, and inexperienced against the tendency to misunderstand the material to their detriment.
The Mass of the Holy Ghost
I now present the Missa Votiva de Spiritu Sancto in English, having seen a number of magic-oriented websites give only the Latin. As per the rubrics, it is associated with Thursdays, but may be said on any Feria or day of IV Class, Simple, or Semidouble that is not a Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost or during its Octave, the Vigil of a Major Feastday, and so forth as the rubrics dictate.
As the Mass is only intended to be offered by a priest, and a priest can reasonably be expected to be liturgically literate, I produce the text as it would be found in an Altar Missal. The one exception would be spelling out abbreviations such as “P.T.” (“Paschaltide” or “Easter Time”). Because the question has come up in the past, I link to this article about whether laypeople can offer Mass for the benefit of those interested in more information.
The Mass itself is strongly based on the Mass of Pentecost, the differences being the Epistle and Gradual, and the Sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus is not sung. As a Votive Mass can be said at other times during the year, an alternative Tract and Alleluia are given for use after Septuagesima and during Paschaltide, respectively.
Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost
Introit Wisdom 1:7
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, (Eastertime: alleluia); and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. (Eastertime: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 67:2. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. ℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, (Eastertime: alleluia); and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. (Eastertime: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.)
The Gloria is not said.
O God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: grant unto us, by the same Holy Ghost, to be wise in what is right, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. ℟. Amen.
Epistle Acts 8:14-17
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
In those days, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Gradual Ps. 32:12,6
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom He hath chosen for His inheritance. ℣. By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of His mouth.
Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. (Here all kneel.) Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Alleluia.
After Septuagesima the Alleluia and the verse Come, Holy Ghost, etc. are omitted and the following is said:
Tract Ps. 103:30
Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. ℣. O Lord, how good and sweet is Thy Holy Ghost within us! ℣. (Here kneel.) Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
During Eastertide the Gradual is omitted and the following is said:
Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Ps. 103:30. ℣. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Alleluia. ℣. (Here all kneel.) Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Gospel John 14:23-31
☩ Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and We will make Our abode in him: he that loveth Me not, keepeth not My words. And the word which you have heard is not Mine: but the Father’s who sent Me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not any thing. But that the world may know that I love the Father, as the Father hath given Me commandment so do I.
The Creed is not said.
Offertory Ps. 67:29, 30
Confirm, O God, what Thou hast wrought in us; from Thy temple, which is in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to Thee. (Eastertime: Alleluia.)
Sanctify, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the gifts offered 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. ℟. Amen.
Preface of the Holy Ghost, omitting the words on this day, As below:
It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee: O Lord, holy Father, almighty eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Who ascending above the heavens and sitting at Thy right hand, poured out on this day the promised Holy Ghost upon the children of adoption. Wherefore the whole world doth rejoice with overflowing joy; and the heavenly hosts also and the angelic powers sing together the hymn of Thy glory, without end saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, etc.
Communion (Acts 2:2, 4)
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming where they were sitting, (Eastertime: alleluia): and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking the wonderful works of God. (Eastertime: Alleluia, alleluia.)
May the infusion of the Holy Ghost, O Lord, cleanse our hearts and render them fruitful by the inward sprinkling of His dew. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. ℟. Amen.