Saturday, January 06, 2007


Last night at the clergy dinner one priest assured me that the liturgy office for England and Wales had said that in using the 1962 missal one follows the calendar so it was right to celebrate the Epiphany on the 6th as we did this morning with a Missa Cantata. I was somewhat surprised by this but even if it had been said otherwise there would be nothing to stop a votive Mass of the Epiphany this morning. I`m glad to see I was in good company: there was a 1962 Solemn High Mass of the Epiphany at the Birmingham Oratory this morning. Apparently and surprisingly, this was the first time that such a Mass had been celebrated in the Oratory church since the changes. There is an account on the lacrimarum valle blog.

We talked last night about other aspects of the calendar. The new English calendar has moved the feast of St Cuthbert, our diocesan patron, to September 4th. This is understandable because in Lent, outside of this diocese, it would not be possible to celebrate it as a memorial and so putting it on the feast of the translation of St Cuthbert, means other parts of the country can celebrate him. In this diocese it remains on its traditional day of March 20th and has the rank of a feast. However it was regretted that we here have lost the interesting feast of the translation on September 4th and the day is now a feria. Time for a votive Mass again: that`s what I did last September 4th. However following the 1962 calendar keeps the traditional days. It will be interesting to see if the new indult, when it comes, will have anything to say about the calendar.


Alnwickian said...

'The new indult when it comes'...
Should that not be 'if it comes'?
There is no sign of it yet and every promised date has produced - nothing.
Rocco Palmo, who is usally pretty well informed, refers to it as a 'fantasy'.

Hebdomadary said...

Father, Birmingham, as opposed to the London Oratory, has never really "promoted" the Tridentine mass, although they're a long chalk better than most even in the new rite. In London it can be attended daily at one altar or another, and on Sunday at 9:00am at the high altar. But Birmingham's never really made it a feature. Puzzlingly (since it's so good for vocations!).

I also rather expect that the dual calandar arrangement will continue, as the traditionalist faithful are never going to accept the shifting of Christ the King away from the answering position to "Reformation Sunday" that it was originally positioned in, nor the abandonment of so many of the feasts of the saints. It's just a non starter, although a sensible reform of the calandar is needed. Vat II wasn't it. But yes, there are two valid and concurrent calandars at present. (Kind of nifty, really!)

As to Rocco, I imagine he said the same about the chances that Weilgus would get sacked. He crows his cycicism much as many trad do their optimism (and a great many other things). The reality is, I suspect, somewhere in between.

Fr Julian Green said...

As regards the new indult... I was in Rome at the beginning of November at a meeting of a Pontifical Committee of which I am a member, and the indult was being spoken of as something which is going to come out. Now, I don't claim that anyone on that committee has any inside knowledge - though, being a Vatican committee there were 3 cardinals present - but the fact that it was being talked about as a given is significant.

As for the calendar, all I can say is poor old St Thomas of Canterbury...see my blog entry on our Friends with Christ blog for my views on that.

Fr Julian Green said...

PS As regards the parallel calendars - which inpinges on my life very little - it's just the comment of hebdom "the traditionalist faithful are never going to accept...". Not even if the Pope tells them to? Not very traditionalist or faithful then. Sorry - just being provocative.

Hebdomadary said...

Well, they haven't yet have they? In fact - and I'm fishing he memory files here - there was something...oh yes, (it's early yet...brain needs tea) Castrillon-Hoyos made some suggestion about a year ago, a mention even, of the '65 missal being option, and Una Voce contacted him immediately and said that if they tried it that would be the end of Una Voce's participation with Ecclesia Dei and the beginning of a fierce battle. The idea was dropped immediately. (I think it was initially mooted to Hoyos by Perl or Calkins to begin with.)

As I say, the calandar, especially in relation to the breviary, need some attention, but not with a hatchet, just with some common sense. Like for instance...instead of saying the Sunday Psalms on EVERY first class or Double Feast, save them for Solemnities occurring during the week, and retain the daily psalms for most weekday feasts, along with some specific proper readings for Matins. It's not rocket science.

But the Five Psalm arrngement for Lauds and Vespers stays, along with the traditional psalms usually assigned to those offices, especially on Sundays. Three psalms is insufficient, I think, for the principal offices of the day. What does it take, an extra five to ten minutes? Is that so much to ask, when an hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament are being reccommended, even by Cormac Murphy O'Conner? What better holy hour (besides mass) could there be besides Vespers and Benediction? Five Psalm Vespers and Benediction takes about forty to forty five minutes; Three psalm Vespers takes about thirty to thirty five, and seems perfunctory. Why not spend the extra ten minutes.

Hebdomadary said...

The gist was - sorry, sidetracked by the breviary issue - if the '65 missal was unacceptable, a switch to a depleted calandar would be doubly so, because it would dump three quarters of the proper masses of the missal. It wouldn't make sense. For most of the weekdays during the year, we would be having a votive mass or the Holy Spirit, or the BVM, or another - there aren't that many. New saints can come into the calandar and displace older ones, who are then commemorated in the prayers, but the Catholic calandar was meant to be full of Feasts, not bereft of then. Nature abhoars a vacuum. The new Calandar is one, he Traditional calandar is not. Why create one?

By the way, go to Fr. Gonzalez's blog, and sign the English Language Petition for Intellectuals attached to the Traditional Mass. I tried posting it on Rorate Caeli, but they took my posting off. They're mad at me because I found Acpb. Weilgus and his attendant Polish problems to be something of a distraction at a time when we needed to keep our eyes on the ball of the Traditional Mass. In fact, I thought their readers were pharisaically, naively, aggressively, and way over their level of their underwstanding, It wasn't my primary focus, and I told a couple of them so, and got blackballed. I'm all broken up about it...can you tell?

Hebdomadary said...

Fr. Green, I think you're right, I think it will come out. And as to St. Thomas of Canterbury, I love that feast. I used to always attend it when I lived in London. The priest at St. Etheldreda's in Barking says it every year.

Wolcum Yole!...
Wolcum be ye Steven and Jon,
wolcum, Innocentes everyone,
wolcum, Thomas marter one,
wolcum Yole!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Dear Fr Julian thanks for that little bit of hope from your Roman meeting. There must be a huge spanner in the works at the minute.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Hebdomadary I agree wholeheartedly with your proposals but it will be interesting to see what is said about the calendar and even, I imagine, the lectionary.