On Thursday, May 17,
2012 at St. Joseph's Church (416 3rd Street, Troy, New York) Father Romaeus Cooney O. Carm. used
the historic Missale Carmelitarum for
the the Feast of the Ascension. This was a Missa Cantata according to the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre; the rite of mass proper to the Order of Carmelites. This form
of the liturgy was not been celebrated publicly by any priest in the Order of Carmelites since adopting the Roman Liturgy
The Carmelite Rite
From the very beginning of its existence Carmelite liturgy has been connected
with the Rite of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. For centuries, in all the official documents, the Liturgy
of the Carmelites was described as the "Rite of the brothers of our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel according to the custom of
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem". The Holy Sepulchre is important for Carmelites not because it was the site
of burial for Jesus but because it was the place of the Resurrection. The Rite itself comes from France as it was brought
to the Holy Land by French crusaders. There is also influence from the Augustinian tradition as the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre
followed the Rule of St. Augustine. It was this liturgy that the Carmelites took as the source of their inspiration.
Different Carmelites who have studied our liturgy suggest that the Carmelites from the earliest times on Mount Carmel celebrated
the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre. The first written proof of this is in our Constitutions of 1281 from the London General Chapter.
These Constitutions are important for a number of reasons since they are the earliest Constitutions to survive. It is suggested
that the Carmelites of that time formally adopted what was already their custom since the days on Mount Carmel. -Francis Kemsley O.Carm.
We celebrate this form of the Carmelite liturgy as part of the living tradition
of the Church and the Order of Carmelites, in accordance with the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and the instruction Universae Ecclesiae (Ref, art.34). It
is our hope that this treasure of the Carmelite Order, and this historic liturgy of the Church will continue to nourish the
lives of the faithful.
“The Lord God lives. In His presence I stand."
St. Elijah Lay Catholic Community