Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Maniple
Originally the maniple was a piece of linen which clerics used to wipe their faces and hands akin to a handkerchief. It appears to have been used in the Roman liturgy since at least the 6th century. It has been symbolically linked to the rope by which our Lord was led and the chains which bound his hands. It has also become known as an emblem of the tears of penance, the burden of sin, and the fatigue of the priestly office. This understanding is reflected in the vesting prayers said while putting on the maniple before Holy Mass:
As he places the maniple over his left arm the priest prays:

Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris: ut cum exultatione recipiam mercedem laboris.

Lord, may I worthily bear the maniple of tears and sorrow so as to receive the reward of my labour with rejoicing.

Every priest should rejoice at such a prayer!

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