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Thursday, July 28, 2011

What happened to the Leonine Prayers?

What ever happened to the reciting of the Leonine Prayers after Mass?

To give you some background on the Leonine Prayers:  Back in the days where the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (a.k.a. Tridentine Mass) was the only form of the Roman Rite, Pope Leo XIII asked that the Leonine Prayers be said after every low Mass. When the Novus Ordo came out, the imposition (in other words, forcing) of reciting the Leonine Prayers was suppressed, according to Inter Oecumenici, a document put out by the Consilium of Sacred Congregation of Rites. This means that the Leonine Prayers were not required to be said after Mass.

However, there is spiritual benefit from reciting these prayers. Certainly, with Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, this tradition has come back for low Masses in the Extraordinary Form. Believe it or not, these prayers can still be said after what would be the equivalent of a low Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (a.k.a. Novus Ordo). I would certainly say that those prayers SHOULD be said after the equivalent of a low Mass in the Ordinary Form. Those prayers contain some big spiritual gems.

If you don't know what the Leonine Prayers actually consists of (I give the Latin, with the English in parentheses): the sequence of prayers consists of 3 Ave Marias (Hail Marys), 1 Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen), 1 Saint Michael Exorcism Prayer (short form) (a.k.a. Prayer to Saint Michael), and 1 Cor Jesu. If you want the full text of these prayer (either to get started or as a guide), I have the full text of all the prayers uploaded, with Latin on the left side and English on the right side.

Leonine Prayers download:

I've started the tradition of saying these prayers at my parish after daily Mass (since daily Mass is the closest thing to a low Mass). The amount of people I get varies, but there's always 1-3 people that always say it with me every time without fail. Another thing: If the Latin version of the prayers is an impediment for (full) participation for many people, do the Leonine Prayers in the vernacular. We should be doing anything and everything to make it easier for EVERYONE to participate, so if the vernacular is what gets the most people to do it, use the vernacular instead of the Latin. If the people aren't comfortable with the Latin and you are using the vernacular, you should probably wait AT LEAST a few months before engaging the people to make the suggestion to recite the prayers in Latin.

With all that is going on in the world, we certainly need extra prayers, and this is one way to get them. The St. Michael prayer is exceptionally good because with Satan and his many temptations these days, we really need God's help through the intercession of Saint Michael.

So, with that, do you already recite the Leonine Prayers in your parish after every low Mass-equivalent? Are you interested in getting this started at your parish? Do you have any other thoughts on this? Please let them be known via the comment box below. You can also follow me on Twitter (username is @rctechgeek) or e-mail me (e-mail address is

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