Source Translation: A Mass Against Barbarian Persecution

…look, I just finished running a conference. My exhaustion is currently winning a battle against my  ongoing adrenaline-rush on-edge activity. I translated this a couple months ago with the idea it might be useful at some point; I have nothing much to say about it, but have fun:

[edit: this mass was composed at Saint-Martin of Tours, probably in the mid-ninth century.]

A Mass Against the Threat of Barbarian Persecution

O God eternal and almighty, Thou Who spared Nineveh for three days of repentance and rescued the three boys unharmed from the fiery furnace,  and as well freed Daniel from the lions’ den, preserve us and through Thine ineffable mercy save us from the terrible madness of the encroaching barbarians, in order that we who have been thus freed, with the gratitude owed for such an act and in the service due to thee,  may continue in constant devotion. Per.

Alternatively. Grant us, we beseech thee O God Almighty, through the merits and intercession of the blessed N., that we who are rightfully afflicted due to our iniquity might be swiftly rescued from barbarian savagery by the gift of Thy goodness through Thine only-begotten son. Per.

Prayer over the offerings. We beseech thee, O Lord, look favourably on these present sacraments and kindly accept this which is offered to thee in great faith, on account of our suffering, so that we might speedily earn liberation from the current Northman disaster and thereafter by Thy mercy continue to obey Thy commands with the greatest devotion. Per.

After mass. O God eternal and almighty, we beseech Thee through Thine only-begotten son, give us the help of Thy salvation, that we, having been gained security from the barbarian cruelty which now threatens us, may deserve to serve Thee freely and unconditionally hereafter. Per eundem.

Ad complendum. We beseech Thee, O Lord, help Us Thy servants, appressed by the miseries of so many disasters, and be pleased to guard us with the right hand of Thy majesty, and after the cruel barbarian terror has been removed, kindly and speedily grant us the joy of comfort everlasting. Per.

4 thoughts on “Source Translation: A Mass Against Barbarian Persecution

  1. Ah, sorry. It’s from a late ninth-century sacramentary from Saint-Martin in Tours. There’s something on it in ‘Domum immundam a perversis violata mundavit. Viking Defilement in Early Medieval Francia’, M. Bley, Discourses of Purity in Transcultural Perspective (300–1600), pp 201-239.


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