Painting: Saint Peter Weeping in the Presence of the Sorrowful Mother by Guercino, 1647.
A reader of Vultus Christi who signs himself “Mark of the Vineyard” asked that I post something about the so-called Votive Mass for the Gift of Tears. This particular formulary is not a complete Votive Mass in the strict sense of the term in that it is composed only of a Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion. These texts would be used in conjunction with another Mass Proper as secondary orations following those of the Mass of the day.
Curiously, the orations for the Gift of Tears disappeared from the reformed Missale Romanum of 1969 (together with the orations asking for the gift of Continence, but that’s another story!) only to be reinstated in the 2002 edition of the same reformed Missale Romanum.
The orations for the Gift of Tears are extraordinarily beautiful. Blessed Abbot Marmion, noted for his teachings on the grace of compunction, alludes to them more than once in his writings.
Almighty and most gentle God,
who when Thy people thirsted
drew living water out of a rock,
draw tears of compunction from our stony hearts,
giving us grace to lament our sins
and fitting us to receive Thy merciful forgiveness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.
Look with favour, we beseech Thee, Lord, upon the offerings
we present to Thy majesty on account of our sins,
that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit,
this sacrifice from which pardon flows as from a fountain
may bestow the gift of tears for our offenses.
Through Christ Our Lord.
May the reverent reception of Thy sacrament, O Lord,
wash away the stains of our sins with sighings and tears
and, by Thy grace, obtain for us the pardon we desire.
Through Christ our Lord.