T Polyphilus (paradoxosalpha) wrote,
T Polyphilus

"canon missae"

In the Roman Rite of traditional Christianity, the Latin phrase canon missae drifted over time from its original meaning of simply the "rule of the Mass," or a ritual standard for the Mass. It featured as a heading over the fixed speeches and rubrics for the Eucharist set within texts for the "Mass of the Faithful," and thus it eventually came to denote that component liturgy focused on the consecration of the Eucharistic bread and wine. In this sense, it corresponds roughly to Section VI "Of the Consecration of the Elements" in Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass.

However, the Gnostic Mass ritual text Liber XV also has for its full title O.T.O. Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae. In this case, the Latin phrase canon missae clearly carries its original meaning, and not the acquired sense that is common in Roman Catholic usage. Liber XV provides the rule or standard for an entire Mass, and not a "canon" component within one.

It is interesting to note, however, that other Thelemic Gnostic verbiage has already begun to undergo a degeneration comparable to the one by which "canon" acquired its more specific meaning in Roman Catholicism. Gnostic Mass participants can sometimes be heard or observed referring to "Liber Fifteen" as a thing done, an event or activity, which is properly speaking The Gnostic Mass, rather than as a document as the word Liber ("book") plainly indicates. Just so, Roman Catholic liturgists often refer to the "canon" as a performative component of their mass, rather than simply a section within their missal.
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