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Si Quid Est

Promulgation of reformed and codified Missale Romanum (Roman Missal)

Papal Bull of Pope Urban VIII
September 2, 1634


For An Everlasting Memory

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If there is anything Divine among man's possessions which might excite the envy of the citizens of Heaven (could they ever be swayed by such a passion), this is undoubtedly the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by means of which men, having before their eyes and taking into their hands the very Creator of Heaven and earth, experience, while still on earth, a certain anticipation of Heaven.


How keenly then, must mortals strive to preserve and protect this inestimable privilege with all due worship and reverence and be ever on their guard lest their negligence offend the angels who vie with them in eager adoration!


In view of this consideration, following in the footsteps of the Supreme Pontiffs, Our Predecessors, Pius V and Clement VIII, who undertook to review and restore most diligently the rite and prayers pertaining to the celebration of this sacred Mystery, We have ordered that these be again examined and that if by chance anything, as often happens, has been corrupted in the course of time, it shall be restored to its former standard.


Wherefore, just as We have recently achieved the reform of the Breviary for the greater splendor of the Divine Office, so also, following this example, We have ordered that the Missal be corrected with a view to bestowing greater beauty and luster upon the Divine Sacrifice.


And since it is highly becoming that the wings, as it were, of the liturgy which the priest, like the cherubim of the old Mystical Tabernacle, daily spreads over the true Mercy seat of the world, should be twofold and fashioned exactly in the same shape and form, We have entrusted this task to learned and pious men who have carried it out so carefully as to leave nothing to be desired.


The rubrics which had been allowed to gradually degenerate from the old usage and rite, have been restored to their former pattern; those which did not seem to be easily intelligible to the readers, have been more clearly stated; and moreover, having compared the pertinent texts with the Vulgate edition of Holy Writ, the differences which had crept into the Missal have been emended according to this standard and norm.


The competence of the revisers, however, is likely to bear little fruit, unless the skill and diligence of proficient printers measure up to it. We have, therefore, ordered Our dear son Andrew Brugiotto, director of Our printing establishment, to publish the Missal thus emended, and We allow it to be printed in the future outside the City, but only according to the standard now edited by Our printing establishment and after the printers have requested and obtained in writing the permission of Our most dear sons, the Inquisitors against heretical depravity, in those places where they are established and of the Ordinaries where there are no Inquisitors. Otherwise, if henceforth without this permission they dare to print the above-mentioned Missal or the booksellers dare to sell it, the printers and the booksellers established outside Our Ecclesiastical State shall incur excommunication latae sententiae from which, save on the point of death, they may not be absolved except by the Roman Pontiff. The printers and booksellers established in the City and in other parts of the Ecclesiastical State shall incur the fine of five hundred gold ducats of the Treasury and forfeit unpardonably without any further declaration all their books and types which are to be devolved on the said Treasury. And nevertheless We forbid and prohibit for all places and peoples under the same penalties the use of such Missals as might be printed and sold without the necessary permission.


Before granting this permission, the Inquisitors or the Ordinaries must very diligently compare the Missals to be printed, both before and after they have been printed, with the standard text revised by Our authority, and they must not allow anything to be added to, or removed from, it. In granting the original license, they must attest in their own handwriting that, having made the collation, the Missals are found to agree perfectly with the standard edition. This document must be printed always at the beginning or at the end of every Missal.


If they behave otherwise, the Inquisitors shall incur, on that account, the penalty of being deprived of their office and of being debarred from obtaining it back and acquiring other offices in the future; the Ordinaries shall incur the penalty of suspension a divinis and of interdiction from entering the Church; and their Vicars shall be similarly deprived of their offices and benefices, they shall be debarred from obtaining these and other offices and benefices in the future and they shall incur excommunication, without any further declaration.


Wishing in Our Apostolic benignity to secure and protect from any loss all poor churches, clerics and ecclesiastics, printers and booksellers, We allow them to keep, use and sell respectively the Missals hitherto printed which they possess. Notwithstanding whatsoever license, indults, and privileges granted to the printers by Us or by the Roman Pontiffs, Our Predecessors, to print the Missal, which by these presents We expressly revoke and which We wish to be revoked, as well as the constitutions, Apostolic ordinances, general and special, granted in whatever manner, contrary to the above prescriptions, confirmed and approved.


From all these ordinances, for this time only, We specially and expressly derogate, although particular, specific and express mention is to be made of them and of their whole tenor considering their tenor as expressed in these presents.


We wish that the same authority attaching to these presents, if exhibited and shown, be attributed to their copies, even printed ones, bearing the signature of a Notary Public and vouched for by the seal of a Church dignitary.


Given in Rome at St. Mary Major's under the ring of the Fisher man, on the 2nd day of September, 1634, twelfth year of Our Pontificate.


M. A. Maraldus[1]


J. Savenier[2]



[1] The Latinized name (Marcus Aurelius) for Marco Aurelio Maraldi. Under Paul V he had served in the office of Datary (Dataria), which as its name suggests, dated, registered, and dispatched papal bulls, as well as examined and reported petitions received, and even granted dispensations in some circumstances. Under Urban VIII he held the title of Secretary of Briefs, which had charge of composing papal documents in Latin.

[2] This is the signature of Joannis (Jean) Savenier, who was a Protonotary Apostolic and Apostolic Secretary to the pope. There is a marble bust of him by Alessandro Algardi in the church of Santa Maria dell'Anima at Rome [see the sidebar pic] that includes a dedication testifying to his fidelity and zeal for the Faith.

Explanatory extract from J.B. O'Connell

The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal (Bruce, 1964)


The Missal of Urban VIII

11. Again, only thirty years later, came another revision of the Missal under Urban VIII (1623-44). This time the changes were not extensive, and were chiefly concerned with making the rubrics simpler and clearer.[27] The revised edition was published by the Brief Si quid est in 1634. In 1884 and in 1900 editions of the Missal were issued by Leo XIII (1878-1903). Some corrections in the texts of Pius V and in the rubrics (to bring them into conformity with decisions of the S.R.C. made since the time of Urban VIII) were made, and the number of feasts were reduced, simplifying the calendar.


[27] Cf. Urban’s Brief.

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