UK: Coordination of liturgical calendars

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has responded to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales about the coordination of calendars of for the Novus Ordo and the TLM regarding feasts.

Apparently they received a response to a dubium proposed to the PCED conveying…

Following a request for information the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales submitted a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holydays of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holyday transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both Ordinary and Extraordinary celebrations of Mass.

The Liturgy Office of the Conference put this on their site:

The table below gives an outline of moveable dates and Holydays of Obligation for celebrations of the Extraordinary Form. The list of months to the right give access to the basic Calendar for the Extraordinary Form according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales offers a more detailed yearly Ordo.
Holydays of Obligation

Following a request for information the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales submitted a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holydays of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holyday transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both Ordinary and Extraordinary celebrations of Mass.

The Sunday Letter

In the first column of each month of the Calendar, against each day of the month will be found one of seven letters: A, b, c, d, e, f and g. These are known as the Sunday letters and they show which days of a particular year are Sundays. For example: the Sunday letter for the year 2011 is b; therefore each day which bears this letter will be a Sunday throughout the year 2011: 2, 9, 16 January, etc. A leap year has two Sunday letters, the first showing the Sundays as far as 24 February, the second one showing the Sundays from 25 February until the end of the year, and the Sunday letter f is used for both 24 and 25 February. (In the terminology of the old Roman Calendar both dates are called the Sixth day before the Calends of March.) For example: the Sunday letters for the 2011 are A and g. The first letters shows the Sundays up to 24 February: 1, 8, 15 January… 19 February; then the second letter, g, is used: 26 February, 4, 11 March, etc.

The Old Roman Calendar

In the second column of each month of the Calendar there will be found three fixed points, the Kalends, the Nones and Ides, with Latin numerals counting down to these, the day before each of the three foxed points being note as the Pridie or Eve. The old Roman practice was to count down to the fixed points, with the having the number I, the Eve being the second day before it, the day before the Eve being the third day before it, and so on. The Kalends was the first day of each month. Thus 1 January was called the Kalends of January. The Nones of March, May, July and October was the seventh day of these months as we reckon them; in the other months it was the fifth day. The Ides of March, May, July and October was the fifteenth day of theses months; in other months it was the thirteenth day. For example: 2 January was the fourth day before the Nones of January; 2 March the sixth day before the Nones of March; 14 February the sixteenth day before the Kalends of March; 8 March the eighth day before the Ides of March.

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81 Responses to UK: Coordination of liturgical calendars

  1. Jbrown says:

    Why can’t the PCED tell us, definitely, what Summorum Pontificum means before issuing all of these various answers, which, while they may be important to some, the fact is that the SSPX sees the resistance of entire bishops conferences to the motu proprio as reason not to ‘sign an agreement’. I think there seems to be something out of whack here.

  2. So does this mean everyone now has to celebrate Ascension Thursday on Sunday?

  3. Ottaviani says:

    Fr. I maybe wrong here but it seems that the obligation for these Holy Days is being transferred to the nearest Sunday and not the actual feast itself.

    If it means that Ascension and Corpus Christi have to be celebrated on a Sunday too in the 1962 calendar, then this certainly is a disastrous change. This can only alienate more traditionalists attached to the older form, from mainstream church and drive them to the SSPX. I suspect the FSSP and ICKSP will not take up these new rules too.

  4. fxavier says:

    R.S.,

    That’s Ascension Sunday, right?..

  5. John Polhamus says:

    The accomodation of Holy Days of obligation to the schedule of the modern world sends only this message: you need be a Roman Catholic only one out of the seven days of the week. But John, if we hold mass on a weekday, no one will come. Benedict’s answer given to the Bishops: “Catholic identity is not dependant upon statistics.” This is just unacceptable.

  6. fxavier says:

    Ascension used to be the day I used to run to the Byzantines.. until I found the Traditional Mass. Looks like I might have to run to them again.

    What’s so wrong with having Mass on Ascension Thursday for those who want it? Unfortunately, the legislation does not see this pastoral opportunity.

  7. elizabeth mckernan says:

    In France Ascension Day is still celebrated on Thursday. As it is a public holiday there would be trouble if they were to lose this day! One of my friends was surprised to learn that we in england do not celebrate this Feast on the same day. ‘But the Church is Universal’ she rightly said.
    In theory someone could go to France on Friday and return on Monday without having had the opportunity of attending an Ascension Day Mass at all. All very confusing.

  8. Fr Edward says:

    Annoying though the move of holydays may be, and the Ascension is certainly an ill-thought out move, this unifying of calendars is a very welcome step.

    In my parish we celebrate both forms of the Mass, and it can seem as if there are two Churches running quite independent of each other.

    To celebrate the same solemnities and feasts on the same day in the same church is liturgically, theologically and pastorally a VERY good move.

  9. P Verdun says:

    I don’t understand! Does that mean that Ascension Thursday (1 May 2008) will not be Ascension Thursday? And does that mean that Holy Mass will not be said at 11:00 in St James’s Church Spanish Place? (EF Holy Mass)
    Please help!

  10. RBrown says:

    Epiphany being made a moveable feast? So much for Shakespeare’s “The Twelfth Night”.

  11. Mark M says:

    I am in the same boat as P Verdun: confused!

    Honestly, is PCED really proposing that Corpus Christi and Ascension Day be transfered to Sundays in certain jurisdictions???

  12. Volpius says:

    It is not really a move though is it but rather it has the effect of removing holy days altogether, Sundays are already holy says of obligation after all.

    I don’t know about other places but in England and Wales the reason given for removing them which happened only very recently was that not enough people were going to Mass on them! Is this a good reason do you think?

    I will be going to the SSPX on Holy days despite the fact that I belief they are in schism and would rather have nothing to do with them, thank you for providing me with pastoral care Bishops of England and Wales.

  13. Volpius says:

    PCED are saying that in those places where the ordinary calendar has already moves those days to Sundays they extraordinary calendar has to do the same.

  14. Ritualist says:

    I wonder whether there is a bit of misinterpretation here? i.e. the PCED meant to indicate that the HDoO still holds true for the OF or EF (i.e. irrespective of the Mass said) but it is being interpreted in the sense that the Mass of the feast should also be moved to the Sunday. Actually, Corpus Christi could very easily be accomodated in the EF under “external solemnity”.

  15. Breier says:

    Where is the actual text from the PCED? Would you rely on the bishop’s conference for the interpretation of the Motu Proprio, or would you demand the original text itself? I don’t want to be cynical, but something as momentous as this deserves a public release of the response to the dubium.

  16. Gil Ferguson says:

    DEAR FR.Z:

    What happened to “All Souls” Day? In the 1962, and always before that, it was always celebrated 1st November? How is this celebrated with regard to the way All Saints Day is moved around in the “Table” you included?

    PAX

    Gil Ferguson

  17. Paul, South Midlands says:

    Have our bishops got any right to abrogate these feasts in the EF and will anyone take any notice of them in any case?

  18. Breier says:

    Gill,

    All Soul’s Day is traditionally celebrated November 2, not November 1. It’s the day after All Saint’s day.

  19. The text of the dubium and the text of the response by Ecclesia Dei (and I don’t mean someone’s translation of the text) need to be published without delay.

    Meanwhile, this question arises :
    Since Summorum Pontificum, the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal enjoy parity.
    Why, therefore, should one Missal give way to the other ?
    Where is the “mutual enrichment” in that ? I’ve looked long and hard, but I can’t see it.

  20. Gil Ferguson says:

    All Soul’s Day is traditionally celebrated November 2, not November 1. It’s the day after All Saint’s day.
    Comment by Breier

    True, I goofed, but the table shows All Saints day 2 November?

    Gil Ferguson

  21. elizabeth mckernan says:

    If as Volpius states the reason for moving the feast days to a Sunday was because the faithful no longer attended Mass on these days, why didn’t the Bishops just state that these days were no longer Holy Days of Obligation. But were still Feast days on which people could attend Mass if they wished?

    I see the Anglican church still has Ascension Thursday so the move was not done for ecumenical reasons!

  22. schoolman says:

    Fr. Edward makes a great point. We need to consider “common good” of everyone involved — and not only our own personal opinions and preferences. Perhaps the Holy See sees a common calendar as a way to better integrate the EF into the life of the Church.

    I think we need to be aware of the bigger picture and have a willingness to suffer minor irritations for the good of the Church.

  23. PAT says:

    Email just arrived to announce the following:

    This Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 pm, there will be a Solemn High Mass (1962 Missal) at St. Rita’s in Alexandria. The Mass will be for Ascension Thursday, following the traditional calendar.

    St Rita’s Catholic Church
    3815 Russell Road
    Alexandria, VA 22305
    703-836-1640
    For map and directions: http://www.strita-parish.org/about/whereis.htm

    The Catholic Herald notes there will be a guest preacher, Fr. Basil Cole, OP. Chant for the Mass will be provided by the parish schola.

    It is noted also that Ascension Thursday is not a Holy Day of Obligation in our region.

  24. Michael C. says:

    These are not “minor irritations.” With every change to the new missal, I become more convinced that the MP is being used as an oppurtunity to bring the EF closer to the OF and not the other way around. There’s no way of telling just how many EF Masses have been celebrated since September 14, but I think it’s clear there aren’t enough to make up for all the changes to the missal and calendar we’ve seen so far and all the changes we will see.

  25. Simon Platt says:

    Yes, let’s have a common calendar. Let’s pray that the bishops of England and Wales reverse their recent decision to translate feasts of the Lord to the nearest Sunday.

  26. Jeff Pinyan says:

    That web page has a few typos:

    For example: the Sunday letters for the 2011 are A and g. The first letters shows the Sundays up to 24 February: 1, 8, 15 January… 19 February; then the second letter, g, is used: 26 February, 4, 11 March, etc.

    No, 2011 is not a leap year, 2012 is. Plus, leap year does not affect dates BEFORE February 29th, so 26 February will still be ‘A’, not ‘g’.

    And what is the “Sunday after Pentecost” number?

  27. Schoolman in his comment is of course quite right. Fr. Edward did make a great point.
    But a call for harmony between the two calendars can equally be read the other way round.

    This was an opportunity for the new calendar to conform to the old, and for the recent controversial moving of Holidays to the nearest Sunday to be scrapped in favour of a return to the time honoured feast days.

    It seems, however, Ecclesia Dei didn’t see it that way.
    They should publish the text of their response forthwith.

    The fact is that people these days want to know exactly what was said, by whom it was said, and why they said it.

  28. Mark says:

    See the thread from last week. It seems that Br. Pearson OP made some relevant comments:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/04/quaeritur-how-to-fulfill-holy-day-obligation/

  29. Jordanes says:

    Well, most of those who prefer the Extraordinary Use are understandably going to be upset about this — and the practice of transferring holy days to the nearest Sunday should be abandoned, condemned with a thousand anathemas. Still, it stands to reason that there be a coordinated calendar for the entire Roman Rite.

    However, as others have commented, a matter like this is a great important and affects the entire Latin Church, not just Britain. Therefore this decision shouldn’t be issued as a private, unpublished dubium to a few bishops in Britain — it must be issued through proper channels and published for all to see on the Vatican website. Until that happens, I will remain skeptical, because we have no way to know if the British bishops have correctly interpreted what they were told, let alone what they were told (assuming they were told anything at all).

  30. Lindsay says:

    This is just England, right, because they moved Ascension Thursday for the OF? If we live in a diocese that hasn’t moved the feast, it hasn’t changed? Just making sure since it is next week.

    Does this set the precedent Church-wide that the 1962 HDO masses are to be moved in the instances that the OF are moved in that particular diocese, or, was this response specifically to address the English bishops and their desires/inquiries?

  31. I figure we’re ripe for an Old Calendarist movement in the Catholic Church – you know, folks who don’t believe the Church has the right to move things around because, you know, the liturgy on earth corresponds directly to some calendar in heaven.

    Look where that position has got the east? Their polemics helped me decide to become a Roman Catholic, back when I was starting to work seriously on conversion.

  32. Jordanes says:

    Lindsay said: If we live in a diocese that hasn’t moved the feast, it hasn’t changed?

    Correct. In my diocese, in our ecclesiastical province, Ascension Day has been abolished and the Ascension Day propers have been moved to the 7th Sunday of Easter (which means the 7th Sunday of Easter has been abolished too). If that website is correct, then that means any priest in our province who celebrates the Extraordinary Use will have to stop celebrating Ascension Day and the Sunday After the Ascension, and instead celebrate using the Ascension Day propers on the Sunday After the Ascension.

    However, since it is only the holy day of obligation that has been abolished, I wonder what that would do to the Vigil of the Ascension, which is supposed to be Wednesday, the day before Ascension Day. Is the Vigil Mass still supposed to be Wednesday, four days before the Ascension Day propers are used?

  33. Michael C. says:

    Michael Tinkler,

    Your sarcastic remarks about the calendar corresponding to a celestial calendar aren’t that far off the mark. Ascension Thursday occurs 40 days after Easter, which according to the New Testment, is when Christ ascended into Heaven, while saint’s feast celebrate the day they died and began their eternal lives. This has nothing to do with the Old Calendarist movement. As it has made so clear over the past 40 years, the Church has the “right” to do just about anything it wants with the liturgy. But the point is that the calendar shouldn’t be in a constant state of flux. Feast days should be the same from generation to generation, and the calendar shouldn’t accomodate itself to the demands of the secular world, which has no place for Holy Days of Obligation, or God for that matter. There is a “better” date for celebrating the Ascension, and that’s the day Christ actually ascended into Heaven, not the next bank holiday after.

  34. jacobus says:

    @ Mr. Tinkler: “I figure we’re ripe for an Old Calendarist movement in the Catholic Church – you know, folks who don’t believe the Church has the right to move things around because, you know, the liturgy on earth corresponds directly to some calendar in heaven.”

    Well, maybe the bishops should reconsider their obsession with moving these feasts. Does the good of moving the feasts (is there any?) outweigh the bad done by schism?

  35. Gabriel says:

    It would seem that if you try to get to the Extraordinary Form Calendar using the menu on the web site it comes up with an error, as the link is wrong:

    http://www.liturgy.org.uk/Resources/Extraordinary/Calendar/January.html

    instead of

    http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/Extraordinary/Calendar/January.html

    a suspicious mind would think that someone did not want people reading it, but that surely cannot be right, can it?

  36. Gabriel says:

    Sorry that was ment to be Index.html at the end of both, not January.html

  37. Fr Edward says:

    I’m praying for Christ the King to be on the same date

  38. Patrick says:

    Hypocrisy!!! Let me let you into a little secret. In the Vatican City Ascension Thursday is celebrated on…Thursday, although in the rest of Rome the feast is transferred to the following Sunday. And likewise Corpus Christi. So there’s no problem having a feast celebrated on two different days in the one city, in the same form. Surely there is no problem having a feast celebrated on two different days in the one country when two different liturgical forms are in question? Is the logic of my position not sound?

  39. Peter says:

    The (apparent) answer to this dubium is very disturbing.

    However the fact that the Bishops of England & Wales (no less!!) proposed such a dubium is even more disturbing (‘utter bast****’ springs to mind). And surely PCED wouldn’t have engaged in ‘respecting of persons’ in crafting their response?

    As a number of other commenters have expressed the view that it would be good to have some resolution of the differences between the calendars of the 2 forms of the Roman rite.

    I agree, but surely this piecemeal approach, and starting with days where the LOCAL observance is NOT in keeping with the UNIVERSAL Roman calendar for CANONICAL HOLY DAYS (see the code), is a very poor one. If this was the genuine motivation for the dubium, then there are other aspects of the calendar they could have started with, such as accommodation of new saints made after 1962.

    The PCED answer was perhaps predictable in light of the answer they gave on the transfer of St Joseph and St Patrick.

    However I am cycnical enough to think that this question was designed precisely to further marginalise, even hide, the OF by removing points where its celebration stood out, such as on the days in question. After all, it is on these days that those promoting the OF might be expected to publicise such celebrations to their OF coreligionists so they won’t hindered by perceived obligations to attend their own OF celebration (I do!).

    From a number of things that have happened over the last year or so, it does seem to me that the standard approach by PCED IS piecemeal. Perhaps this has something to do with the nature of the commission – that they haven’t been delegated the necessary (any?) authority to do more than provide interpretations of the decree Ecclesia Dei adflicta and of Summorum Pontificum and assist with the implementation of their provisions (only).

    Fr Z, I am surprised that you haven’t given some analysis of what you think the (apparent) response means. Perhaps you could give a view?

    Australia has the same weak approach to Holy Days – in these difficult modern times in first world countries where people couldn’t possibly be expected to attend Mass on any other day than Sunday. In fact our bishops, presumably adopting the laconic ‘she’ll be right mate’ approach Australians are so famous for, have imposed only 2 days of obligation: Christmas and the Assumption.

    Peter

  40. Br Gregory Pearson, OP says:

    Peter Wright makes a very good point that we need to see the text of the dubium and the response. If this is reported accurately, then what I wrote previously (http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/04/quaeritur-how-to-fulfill-holy-day-obligation/) has been superceded. However, the wording of the Liturgy Commission’s announcement leaves room for doubt, since it could be interpreted that only the first part of the message was the response to the dubium (i.e. that holydays of obligation are common to both rites, which I took for granted in my previous comment mentioned above).

  41. Peter says:

    I wrote: “those promoting the OF might be expected to publicise such celebrations to their OF coreligionists”

    I should have written: “those promoting the EF might be expected to publicise such celebrations to their OF coreligionists”

    Peter

  42. FrWithFaculties says:

    The EF already has a system in place for the problem of people only showing up on Sundays: External Solemnities allow for the option of the mass of some big feasts to be celebrated again on the following Sunday and some other days, this mass is a votive mass and only two are allowed on the Sunday. The priest, however, says the office for the Sunday and does not repeat the office of the feast. Today, in most parishes this would mean that the OF mass would be the transfered feast and the EF mass could be the regular Sunday mass. Unless PCED has mandated otherwise, priests should have no quams about doing the regular EF mass for the Sunday. Before Divine Mercy was put on the Universal Calendar, did not priests use to celebrate a Divine Mercy Votive mass in the OF? Was this allowed or an abuse?

    The differences in the calendars between the OF and the EF creates situations that are not out of the ordinary even before OF came along. Namely a priest said different masses and office on the same day. I think the EF calendar should not be changed until a conference of traditional bishops is formed, bishops who are intimately involved day to day in the life of the EF. Then they can propose changes to EF to Rome which could exercise a veto, not a legislative role. Presently, bishops and cardinals who are not involved in the day to day life of the EF of the liturgy are trying to make changes to the EF. I pray that the Pope will put a stop to this. For those of us who are completely immersed in the EF as our spirituality we ask everyone else’s help and patience to perserve the EF until real organic changes can be made, because presently no organic changes are really possible.

  43. C.M. says:

    Holy days of obligation are canonical Commandments of the Church legislated by the Church for the whole Roman Rite. It makes sense for a Mass on a holy day to be the Mass of the feast celebrated by that holy day.

    The problem is that the calendar derived from the 1962 rubrics doesn’t really know how to handle the modern transfers, so the unity and clarity of the EF liturgical year is (at least temporarily) impoverished by this change, even if it would otherwise be considered meritorious. Hardest hit will be religious communities which celebrate the traditional form exclusively.

    FrWithFaculties: I pray that the Pope will put a stop to this. For those of us who are completely immersed in the EF as our spirituality we ask everyone else’s help and patience to perserve the EF until real organic changes can be made, because presently no organic changes are really possible.

    Agreed, and prayers offered.

  44. Matt Q says:

    Peter H. Wright wrote:

    “The text of the dubium and the text of the response by Ecclesia Dei (and I don’t mean someone’s translation of the text) need to be published without delay.

    Meanwhile, this question arises : Since Summorum Pontificum, the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal enjoy parity. Why, therefore, should one Missal give way to the other? Where is the “mutual enrichment” in that? I’ve looked long and hard, but I can’t see it.”

    )(

    That brings up a very interesting point. “The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holy days of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holy day transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both Ordinary and Extraordinary celebrations of Mass.”

    With the above statement, then if the Tridentine Rite is being celebrated the Novus Ordo is obligated to follow it as well. Where does it say the Tridentine Rite must subordinate itself to the Novus Ordo? Nowhere.

    ==========

    Schooman wrote:

    “I think we need to be aware of the bigger picture and have a willingness to suffer minor irritations for the good of the Church.”

    )(

    “Minor irritations?” Don’t anyone see there is already the attempt to take apart the Tridentine Rite? Slowly but surely it is being dismantled. This sounds like those who are willing to give up minor details of rights and freedoms as the Govt takes them away because of the all-encompassing “national security” banner, eventually leaving one with nothing but a police state.

    As far as suffering minor irritations, I want the Novus Ordo crowd to suffer equally also.

    As Michael C wrote, “These are not ‘minor irritations.’ With every change to the new missal, I become more convinced that the MP is being used as an opportunity to bring the EF closer to the OF and not the other way around. There’s no way of telling just how many EF Masses have been celebrated since September 14, but I think it’s clear there aren’t enough to make up for all the changes to the missal and calendar we’ve seen so far and all the changes we will see.”

    As JBrown asked, “Why can’t the PCED tell us, definitely, what Summorum Pontificum means before issuing all of these various answers, which, while they may be important to some, the fact is that the SSPX sees the resistance of entire bishops conferences to the motu proprio as reason not to ‘sign an agreement.’ I think there seems to be something out of whack here.”

    Yes, where is the Clarifications document so excitedly babbled about as being on the near horizon? If Father Z and his connections can’t find out when the Clarifications are due, one has to wonder whether they were written at all. So far all of the “clarifications” Ecclesia Dei has issued are those which deconstruct the Tridentine Rite, not affirm it, not enforce its equality under Canon Law… Nothing has been issued on the obligations of generosity of the bishops and priests to allow this Mass to be said. Even if they themselves are unable to say it, what is the objection to bringing in a priest who can? This is scary, folks. Very scary.

  45. Jbrown says:

    So, how long do we all think it will take to get the final, definitive interpretation of Summorum Pontificum? Perhaps a year after its publication date? With all respect where due, how hard can this be? Surely the Pope could at least tell PCED what he meant by “stable group” and the like. This continues to give the impression that tinkering with the 1962 Missal and Calendar for reasons that are unclear will continue, while bishops and ‘entire bishops conferences’ resist the motu proprio with no consequence whatsoever. It must be presumed that for ‘the sake of unity’ we will see additional changes to the calendar and Missal, which probably should give everyone cause to wonder why they were made in the first place. And, of course, why so many Catholics, priests and laity, chose to use the old Calendar and Missal after 1969 up until this day, the people to whom we should be thankful we even are discussing this at all. If all Catholics had been silent in word and deed in 1969 and afterwards, there would be no Extraordinary Form as far as I can tell-there would be no ‘interior reconciliation’ needed, and no wounds to unity to be healed, let alone a liturgy to be ‘mutually enriched’. I TRULY hope this is not what the Holy Father had in mind with that phrase. This would be impoverishing spiritually and otherwise-it is not a Holy Day when moved to a Sunday, as already noted, because Sunday is already so designated. It is merely a high feast which happens to occur on a Sunday, the concept of Holy Day being entirely eliminated from the calendar when such days are so moved. Considering Europe has Mass attendance (on Sundays, let alone Holy Days) of something like 20% or less, I really don’t see the ‘pastoral need’.

  46. Matt Q says:

    Peter wrote:

    “The PCED answer was perhaps predictable in light of the answer they gave on the transfer of St Joseph and St Patrick.”

    )(

    To be fair, Peter, the PCED’s transference of the two feast days were due to the fact Easter was so early this year.

  47. Peter says:

    Matt Q wrote: “To be fair, Peter, the PCED’s transference of the two feast days were due to the fact Easter was so early this year.”

    (Respectfully) No. This occurence is anticipated and provided for in the calendar of the EF, and IMHO in a way more in keeping with the spirit of the season – rather than anticipate these joyous celebrations, thereby dislodging lenten, nay passiontide, ferias as Lent comes to its climax it transfers(ed) them to after the octave of Easter when our rejoicing is full.

    And the PCED advice/determination/private communciation on those transfers (take your pick) does fly in the face of longstanding practice in institutes/places/communities attached exclusively (or close to) the EF over MANY YEARS. That PCED advice may be described as imposing the OF mode of calculation of transfer on the EF and did NOT uphold the 1962 calculation.

    I also commented in my posts on that issue, that the PCED seems to have little regard to a sensible way of communicating its determinations (beyond those who write to them directly). One must presume this is to do with resources. At least I hope so.

    As I said in my post, these issues of difference b/w the calendars is a real one, but if the ‘solution’ is a series of stand alone ‘decisions’ then it won’t be a unified solution at all, simply a polyglot mess.

    I came to the EF from the OF and one of the things that added to the attraction was the unity of the whole – ars celebrandi, calendar, texts, music, antiquity. Every one of these little tinkerings, arguably less than significant in themselves, causes a RUPTURE to that whole.

    While I had/have great hope for the effects of Summorum Pontificum, it does seem (to me at least) that this document is being used to submerge the apparent differences b/w the EF and OF, and for that reason only: sameness (lowest common denominator if you like, and the enemy of the best is the good enough). There won’t be an ‘elephant in the room’ (the EF) if you make the elephant look like all the monkeys.

    And while I normally say ‘choose cockup before conspiracy’ I can just hear the SSPX and their ilk opining (again) that the function of PCED is to ensure that ‘the last one out turns off the lights’.

    Peter

  48. Transferring the Ascension to Sunday is common in many dioceses. If you buy the annual “St. Joseph Guide” for the Liturgy of the Hours, it includes both versions of the Sixth Week of Easter: the version with Ascension Thursday, and the version where the Ascension is celebrated on the seventh Sunday of Easter.

    I think that the Ascension is on Sunday in the western United States, but not in the East. It is also on Sunday in Mexico and England, I believe.

    Moreover, many U.S. dioceses lift the obligation for January 1, August 15, and December 8 if they fall on Saturday or Monday. (In all dioceses of California, the obligation on January 1 has been permanently lifted, unless it’s a Sunday of course.) I didn’t know that this was also being done with November 1.

    However, I have never before heard of actually moving these feasts to Sunday if the date falls on a Saturday or Monday! That is certainly not done in California or Washington State.

  49. Paul wrote:

    Have our bishops got any right to abrogate these feasts in the EF and will anyone take any notice of them in any case?

    Interesting question. I think the answer is that Catholics will take notice of them, in every case. Non-Catholics will continue to take no notice of the bishops in communion with Benedict XVI.

    “If any is joined to the Chair of Peter, he is mine!” – St. Jerome.

    More generally, even if the EF and OF remain on different calendars, how can they possibly have different days of obligation?

    August 15, 2009, will be on a Saturday. As a resident of California, that means that my bishop will lift my obligation to attend Mass that day. Some of the commenters seem to be suggesting that this can’t affect my obligation to attend the Extraordinary Form. How would this work? Is the EF obligation binding on those Catholics who attend the EF more than 50% of the time? If so, can they satisfy their obligation to attend the Extraordinary Form by attending the Ordinary Form on the same day?

    The question of whether the lifting of the obligation is tied to the actual moving of the feast is separate, of course. In that case I think we all agree it makes no sense to move the feast, especially since most bishops, when lifting an obligation, do not actually alter the calendar of the OF.

  50. Peter says:

    I think there are some distinctions that need to be borne in mind.

    1. the canonical Holy Days of obligation for the Roman rite (apart from all Sundays), as set out in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. There are actually 10: Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, Corpus Christi, Mary Mother of God (Jan 1), Assumption, Immaculate Conception, St Joseph, Sts Peter & Paul, All Saints.

    2. the obligation to attend Mass on a canonical Holy Day as required by the competent authority in a diocese or region (eg set by the episcopal conference).

    3. the practice of transferring particular feasts in the calender, including holy days, to the nearest Sunday (for whatever reason).

    4. the observance of the external solemnity of a feast on the nearest Sunday

    In the case of 1, there is NO DIFFERENCE for dates for the ‘holy days’ in the calendar of 1962 (EF) and the OF (as per CJC, except that in the EF Jan 1 was celebrated as the Circumcision of the Lord).

    However there are obviously local divergences wrt the date of celebration and whether obligation is attached. These are set according to the prudential judgement of those authorities. This judgement is not infallible.

    In places where the EF will (has) celebrate(d) the Ascension, for example, on its traditional (scriptural) day (ie 9 days b/f Pentecost) but the local authority does not oblige attendance on that day, there is of course no obligation. There may be (or at least used to be) pious observance of the actual day of the Ascension and all of the liturgical richness that brings.

    It is the operation of 3 that brings about the practical difference b/w the EF and OF for the celebration of Holy Days.

    It is true that even in the ‘old days’ there is plenty of precedent for the operation of 2, 3 & 4 and all 10 were not ‘levied’ as days of obligation in most places (eg I don’t think the Immaculate Conception was ever a day of obligation in Australia). In those days of course, Mass could not be celebrated in the evening so there were real practical considerations about ‘levying’ obligation, especially in non-Catholic countries. Similarly the external solemnity of some feasts was observed on a Sunday (eg I understand this to have been the case for Corpus Christi in Australia for a long time).

    One might have hoped that Summorum Pontificum would lead to a gravitational pull towards the ‘traditional’ observance of these days, for a return to continuity rather than rupture, to recapture the beauty and wholeness of the liturgical year. Rather things still seem to be dictated by what one might term the liturgical equivalent of 2nd class accountants – those who know (?) the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    Even if I were not attending the EF, I would still think the logic (?) that has led local conferences to virtually expunge days of obligation apart from Sundays has been short-sighted and very damaging to Catholic identity and inimical to a true liturgical spirit. (I expect that if they tried it with Christmas they would suffer the modern-day equivalent of being flung in the Tiber!)

    Peter (here endeth the lecture! :-o )

  51. M. says:

    As far as I can see there is nothing to prevent the celebration of Votive Masses of the Ascension on Thursday and I am sure any priest or parish could say there was a pastoral need or even a request from a ” stable group” for such a votive Mass.

  52. Berthold says:

    I shall better not comment on the ‘political’ implications of moving these feasts to Sundays (only so much: it will not at all impress the Anglicans, who keep these feasts on their proper place, as sign of our commitment to the Church). However, transferring Ascension Day with all its office to another date necessitates serious changes in Missal and Breviary. It is one of the few feasts in the 1962 calendar that has a vigil and an octave (with different versicles for each day) – how should they be moved? What should the readings in the Mattins for the newly-invented feria of the Thursday after the 5th Sunday after Easter be? Shall the Sunday after Ascension be commemorated liturgically if Ascension is falling on it? What about the link between Ascension and the Minor Rogations beforehand? On a devotional level one could also ask about what should happen to novenas, as they refer to the days between Ascension and Pentecost. As long as there is no special Breviary for England that takes all these changes (and similar changes for the other feasts) into account, the only liturgically feasible interpretation of this direction (although, probably not the one envisaged by the English hierarchy) would seem to me to keep the feast on the day (without obligation) but to repeat its mass on the Sunday, as has been (I think) traditionally done for patronal feasts occurring during the week and is quite common in Germany for Corpus Christi.
    In any case, I shall follow the rules of my (Protestant) University and dine on Ascension Thursday in my festal gown.

  53. M. says:

    I notice the Birmingham,( UK) Oratory have covered themselves very well in their newsletter, ” A reminder that Ascension Day is now kept on the 7th Sunday in Eastertide, the Sunday before Pentecost or Whitsunday, ie. next Sunday. Nevertheless for those who wish to observe the scriptural anniversary of the Ascension, forty days after Easter, there will be a Solemn High Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal) on Ascension Thursday, May 1st, at 8.pm”. With all that the Uk bishops have to worry about you really have to wonder that they felt strongly enough to submit a dubium. I guess they may feel that those who keep the older feast days are somehow disobedient of spread disunity.

  54. ALL: I think that the word “abrogate” is out of place in this discussion. Abrogate is a technical term. It doesn’t apply to the transferring of the liturgical celebration of a feast from one day to another.

  55. I’m sorry – I see no reason whatsoever to merge the two Kalendars. I have been working with both Kalendars, side by side, as have my Music Director and Pator, for over 5 years now – without the slightest problem.
    To be honest about “pastoral reasons”, many contemporary OF church goers are at least mildly oblivious to what the day’s Readins and Prayers are. Even those who do pay attention are hard pressed to related to anyone else right after Mass what they heard. And many at the EF Mass read right along in the red missalette (published here in the USA), cover to cover, even though the worship aid CLEARLY states the the Readings and Prayers FOR TODAY are IN THIS AID.
    I am not being critical of these people. They come to Mass, and they do participate, and they do gain Graces. Let these people take the responsibility to learn and understand their daily rituals more deeply. And let Bishops deal with much more important matters.

  56. Sam Schmitt says:

    Stephen Collins:

    I am a member of a parish with both the OF and EF, in a diocese which has adopted the rule to move certain HDoO to Sundays, and there has never been an issue, as far as I can tell.

    I think that problem comes when you have (say) a parish with both forms in a diocese where the feast of the Ascension has been moved to Sunday – there may be a question about whether or not the feast celebrated on Thursday is a HDoO.

    If it is, for whom? Are those who do not go to the EF in that parish not obliged, but those who do are?

    And if it is not, it’s possible that I never go to a mass celebrating the feast, if I skip Thursday (since I’m not obliged) and go the EF on Sunday, which would not be the Ascension. Ditto for all those HDoO which are “moveable” to the Sunday. Seems like this confusion should be cleared up, somehow.

  57. Mark says:

    I am still confused:

    1. Are these clarifications binding on everyone when they are sent to a specific group of bishops (is there some place we are supposed to get this information in an official manner?)?

    2. For those who pray that older breviary, what offices do we say from the Wednesday before “Ascension Sunday” through that day???

  58. It was very clearly stated that Thursday of this coming week is NOT a HDO. There is a special donation envelope in everyone’s annual packet – and that could be more of the confusion. It was also clearly stated that next Sunday would be celebrated as the Feast of the Ascension, but that there would be an EF Mass (TLM) on Thursday for those who wished to “observe” Ascension Thursday. the Pastor also told me that he had been given permission from our bishop the very first year that Ascension was “transferred” to offer the Indult Mass on the 40th day after Easter.

    I’m pretty OK with special Feasts, even HDOs, being observed on the next Sunday. It is a great convenience for people who cannot get away for working multiple jobs, and ferrying multiple kids, on weekdays. I am tired of being universally forced NOT to EVER observe these days on their prescribed Kalendar days. It’s just another sign of heavy-handedness from our bishops.

  59. … and there is plenty of latitude in the OF Mass. Some priests like to observe optional memorials, others ignore them. Some USA Ordos mention on which days ANY saint from the Martyology may be observed as an optional Memorial, but not all editions of the Ordo. And some priests simply ignore all but the regular weekday in order to keepthings simple for Masses with time restraints. All these options are handled differently from the OF to the EF, but it’s not “rocket science” to pick up on them – they’re actually pretty logical.

  60. Mary Angela says:

    Berthold’s post goes right to the heart of the matter. I follow the breviary
    whenever possible, and would be very interested indeed to receive an authoritative comment/reply to the points he raises.

  61. Mark:

    1. Canon law (and civil law as well) always says that a rule cannot be binding on those to whom it was not promulgated. In fact, Thomas’ definition of law is “an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by him who has the care of the community.”

    I don’t know if the Ecclesia Dei commission’s responsum has the authority of law to the bishops of the United Kingdom, but it certainly has no authority of law over anyone outside the U.K. By putting this responsum on their site, the bishops of the U.K. have issued a law that is probably binding on their dioceses. (Or, in this case, the law is loosing, not binding; despite all of our panic the actual website that Fr. Z linked to is unclear about whether it is suggesting that the EF feasts be moved, and it’s very unclear whether it is requiring that the EF feasts be moved; the only thing truly clear is that it says the days of obligation for the EF and OF must be the same.)

    If you are not in the United Kingdom, and your local bishop reads the U.K. bishops’ website, he may choose to issue the same legislation as them. Until that happens, this cannot bind you at all. (Nonetheless, I still think it’s true that there are not two separate sets of obligatory days, as I argued above.)

    2. Unless you are in a religious order that binds you under obedience to pray the Breviary in a specific manner, you are free to pray the Breviary as you like. Of course, as Paul writes, just because all is lawful does not mean all is good…. if you discern that you should pray it a certain way, you should pray it that way.

    2.

  62. Tom says:

    Folks,

    Welcome to 1965! We now have the PCED issuing instructions that change the Calendar of the 1962 Missal, change the exclusively Latin language of the 1962 Missal. Face facts, the Good Friday Prayer was our ‘De Solemni Vigilia Paschali Instauranda’ if not our ‘Psalterium Pianum’. The day will come when those of us who love the 1962 Missal will look back and weep for Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.

  63. Tom says:

    Patrick wrote: \”In the Vatican City Ascension Thursday is celebrated on…Thursday, although in the rest of Rome the feast is transferred to the following Sunday. And likewise Corpus Christi. So there’s no problem having a feast celebrated on two different days in the one city, in the same form. Surely there is no problem having a feast celebrated on two different days in the one country when two different liturgical forms are in question? Is the logic of my position not sound?

    Help me out Father, but doesn\’t it get better? In fact, while Rome and the Italian Bishops celebrate Corpus Christi on Sunday and the Vatican celebrates on a Thursday, the Vatican celebrates on a Thursday through the streets of Rome with the massive public Procession. It\’s as if the EF adherants held a rally outside the local Cathedral on just-another-Thursday.

    Hey, maybe that\’s not such a bad idea. \”Dear Bishop, the Pope made me do it…\”

  64. Carolina Geo says:

    The smoke of Satan might have entered the Church 40 years ago, but it’s as thick as ever.

    This just goes to show that despite the motu proprio, those of us who adhere to the 1962 missal are, at best, considered second-class Catholics.

  65. Matt Q says:

    Lawrence wrote:

    “Unless you are in a religious order that binds you under obedience to pray the Breviary in a specific manner, you are free to pray the Breviary as you like. Of course, as Paul writes, just because all is lawful does not mean all is good…. if you discern that you should pray it a certain way, you should pray it that way.”

    )(

    I think the same can be said for the Mass in the Tridentine Form. Other than the Jewish part of the GF prayers being altered, there is nothing which obligates the celebrant to say Mass with the changes PCED says is allowed. It didn’t give a mandate, as usual with the Church, so in this case it works for us. Just stick with the Missal a la 1962. Also, come Ascension **Thursday**, celebrate it on Thursday. If anyone complains, the reply should be, “Oh, really? It didn’t say that in the memo.” Oh, well!

    Tom wrote:

    “Folks,

    Welcome to 1965! We now have the PCED issuing instructions that change the Calendar of the 1962 Missal, change the exclusively Latin language of the 1962 Missal. Face facts, the Good Friday Prayer was our ‘De Solemni Vigilia Paschali Instauranda’ if not our ‘Psalterium Pianum’. The day will come when those of us who love the 1962 Missal will look back and weep for Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.”

    )(

    One has to wonder what is really going on. First, the Mass was freed up but no onus on the bishops or pastors to allowed it to be said even though the document says otherwise. It hasn’t even been a year yet and already the very entity which was supposed to ensure the ability for the Tridentine Mass to be said is itself issuing **deconstructing** changes.

    As I wrote, doesn’t anyone see there is already the attempt to take apart the Tridentine Rite? Slowly but surely it is being dismantled.
    One has to discern whether Summorum Pontificum was just carrot-and-stick leading us to another liturgical cliff. Notice how there has been absolutely no changes, no permissives, no hint of possible coming changes ( other than the English rewrites on the way, and we just have to take a look at that–with dread ) regarding the Novus Ordo? Yes, the Holy Father has been showing us pretty altars with that classical look. Yes, the Holy Father has faced ad orientem on occasion. In the end, these just token gestures because there is nothing behind them to instruct and commend the rest of the Church to follow suit.

    We pray for the Holy Father.

  66. Neil Mulholland says:

    Does anyone else get the impression that every decision published by PCED since Summorum Pontificum has had the effect of weakening or undermining traditional practice?

    I, for one, will not be “baby-stepped” into accepting the 1965 Missal. I will never under any circumstances willingly tolerate any introduction of post-1962 practices, prayers or ceremonies into the Ordinary of the TLM. If I find myself at a Mass where the Priest omits the readings in Latin, or uses Altar girls, or gives communion in the hand, I will immediately leave and never return.
    I HAVE HAD ENOUGH BS!
    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  67. Ken says:

    Honestly, this response was so full of holes it should be completely ignored. For instance, what Mass would be said instead of the one transfered on a given day? What about when there are multiple transfers, like this week’s Saint Joseph the Worker?

    It sounds like someone in the Vatican is working overtimes to ensure the SSPX never has full communion with modern-day Rome. With each of these “organic developments,” all of which are simply forcing the 1962 missal to accept 1965/1970/2008 changes, I am slowly regretting the motu proprio even coming out.

  68. Patrick says:

    Neil,

    Great (protestant) attitude!

    Organic development is traditional.

  69. Michael says:

    “Organic development is traditional”

    Sort of, but this really does not give the complete picture does it? While it is true that all traditional changes have been organic, it is certainly NOT true that all organic changes are traditional.

    Are you seriously suggesting that every whim of the laity by definition is organic and must be wholly accepted or else risk being accused of protestantism?

  70. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I refuse to accept the idea that we must have the Ascension Day T.L.M. on the Sunday after the Ascension, thereby losing our sacred liturgy proper to the Sunday after the Ascension. This year, at my local T.L.M., there will be no Mass on Ascension Thursday anyway, so I will repair to the Ascension Thursday Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church–which is being held on ASCENSION THURSDAY at 7.00 p.m. and NOT the Sunday following. Keep in mind that this cannot affect the Eastern Catholic churches.

    On the Sunday after the Ascension, I will simply read in liturgical English the lections and all the propers for the Sunday after the Ascension, regardless of what the priest is reading in Latin at the Altar. I resolve simply to ignore these miscreants from the P.C.E.D. and, if necessary, to ignore what lections the priest is reading in Latin.

    I note the following for bloggers here:

    (1) Nobody can stop us in law from attending Mass on Ascension Thursday. If there is a T.L.M. or an Eastern Divine Liturgy on that day, we are free to attend it;

    (2) Nobody can force us to read any particular lections during a Mass we attend on Ascension Thursday or the Sunday after the Ascension. Regardless of what the priest is reading, we are free in law to read our traditional lections in accordance with the calendar of our T.L.M.

    (3) In the rare case that this may affect sung parts at a sung Mass, any one of us is free in law to refuse to sing on that particular day.

    My advice to all those who adhere to the Traditional Latin Mass is simply to ignore this ruling of the P.C.E.D. Frankly, most priests celebrating our Mass outside the U.K. won’t be aware of it anyway.

    Lastly, this ruling once again demonstrates why we need our own international diocese. Since the T.L.M. is the normative RITE (not form: it’s a separate Rite) for the Campos jurisdiction, this ruling presumably will not affect the Campos at all. I rather expect that most Campos priests would return to separation if they were forced to celebrate the Ascension Day Mass on the Sunday following.

    P.K.T.P.

  71. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Ottaviani’s comments:

    You know, a very careful reading of the P.C.E.D.’s answer makes it look ambiguous. One entirely possible interpreation is that only the obligation to assist at Mass is being transferred (in some countries). Since Sundays are holydays of obligation anyway, this might not change a thing.

    We are always free to attend Mass on days which used to be holydays of obligation, just as we are free to observe the previous Eucharistic Fast. In fact, I follow the pre-1950 Eucharist fast and will not even swallow water from the midnight before receiving Communion. I am perfectly at liberty to behave as if nothing has changed EXCEPT WHEN the new rules are more restrictive than were the old rules (and don’t make me laugh on that).

    ON Mr. Bieir’s comment:

    Yes, I’d like to see the actual text of the P.C.E.D.

    At any rate, whatever the priest may decide to read in Latin at the Altar, I advise all traditionalists simply to read the text of Sunday after the Ascension on that day. It is perfectly legal for us to IGNORE these people.

    P.K.T.P.

  72. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    What is so organic about this development? Do you know what the term ‘organic’ means in liturgiology? It means that a new form grows out of existing forms, or that a widespread practice which has been tolerated becomes a norm.

    Organic development means that the Church gradually approves and legislates on changes that have developed ‘on the ground’, by the mere allowance of local authorities. Had there been a gradual shift to celebrate Ascension Thursday on the following Sunday, then it would be ‘organic development’ to make this transference binding in law. But there has been no such development in observance of the T.L.M. Therefore, there is no organic development.

    Organic development does not mean that, suddenly, Msgr. Perl wants something to happen, so it happens. Some bloggers are confusing organic development with something else: tyranny.

    P.K.T.P.

  73. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I am wondering this: if this transference of a holyday of obligation is a transference not only of the obligation to attend Mass but also a transference of the liturgical propers, then why should this transference of the propers not occur when there is no transfer of the obligation to attend?

    Could this mean that our Feast of Christ the King will also be transferred?

    I wonder if Fr. Z. could find the original text of the P.C.E.D. decision. I don’t believe a single thing a bishops’ conference writes.

    P.K.T.P.

  74. C.M. says:

    We really need to petition Rome again.

    These clarifications are serving to create visible disunity of worship between regular and irregular Tridentine Masses. After all the effort that has been made over the past several hundred years to agree on a common date for Easter with the East, or a common Lectionary with the Protestants, you’d think this particular commission would take a longer time to think before introducing similar discrepancies between Christians.

    Yes, yes, this is all part of a broader Marshall Plan to bail out the whole Church, a plan that is shaping up to look a bit like:

    Phase I. Summorum Pontificum – Yay!
    Phase II. Throw those attached to a stable traditional liturgy under bus
    Phase III. ?
    Phase IV. Bail out whole Church

    One of the strongest points in favor of Lefebvrism and sedevacantism has always been the Liturgical Argument: “the Church has ceased to practice her former glorious liturgy”. To counter that, the Church has proposed Generous Liturgical Permission. Like other forms of charity, we need to be doers of the word and not hearers only in order for it to have true evangelical or apologetic effect.

  75. Jbrown says:

    There does seem to be a serious disconnect going on between the intention of the motu proprio, at least as described by Cardinal Hoyos, and what is actually going on with PCED. As far as I know, PCED has issued not one single statement since last July in SUPPORT of either a strong interpretation of the motu proprio, or retaining traditional practice and observance in general. Instead, we have considerable reductions, ambiguities and otherwise confusion being created, and no ‘clarification’ of the motu proprio. I suspect it will be July or later before we actually know what the Pope meant in his own document, something which I find appalling to be honest. I know personally of bishops who have issued edicts in their dioceses which openly contradict the clear letter of Summorum Pontificum, some of whom are in England, and yet we dance around the vestiges of the niceties of liturgical calendars. Keep in mind, it was also Msgr. Perl not 2 weeks before the GF prayer for Jews was changed who said ‘I’m not aware of any change nor do I expect one’-quite funny considering he is charged with making the 1962 Missal both and available and properly observed throughout the Church!

  76. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Let me guess. Next, someone on this blog will tell us that losing our distinctive Mass of the Sunday after the Ascension was necessary in order to make our liturgy a ‘living liturgy’.

    Thank you Holy Father?

    P.K.T.P.

  77. Gordon says:

    Can we have less of the “UK” stuff please? I have been following this debate with keen interest, but trying to avoid participation, seeing I can go off on a tangent, & get rebuked. Some of us all got a Fr.Z rebuke not so long ago!! But here goes…As far as I know Ascension Day is Thursday here in Scotland, & a Holyday of Obligation. One of the few left I must sadly add. This is a thing to do with the English & Welsh Bishops. However, Corpus Christi has been moved to the Sunday here. Once a long ponatime ago….we had all 10 of the Universal Days of Obligation. The 1st to go was Jan 1. I was still in infant school then. I was appalled at the time, & still am. Then it was March 19 & Dec 8. Then Epiphany got transferred to the Sunday. All we have now is Ascension Day, Dec 25, and the other days Tuesday to Friday only. Now why is this an issue some may ask? Well, folks have been told for centuries they must observe these days. Do this, do that. Then all of a sudden, it no longer matters. It has done untold damage to souls. If these things are no longer important..what of other things they have told us ( i.e moral questions come to mind). I know many priests were quite against doing away with the Holidays. It was the bishops who imposed it upon the clergy & faithful. More money was actually taken by parishes at collections on these days than on Sundays. Many ppl did go to church on Saturdays or Mondays on, say June29 or Aug 15. Many ppl stopped going to church because of these changes. The hierarchy seem not to know or care about this. I know folks who did stop going to mass because of these changes, so it has a direct impact on our spiritual welfare, not merely a debate for the liturgical minded only. Also, with the downgrading of the importance of Epiphany, One is lead to wonder, do some in authority really believe in the event actually happening at all. I have met a seminarian who dismissed it out of hand. The message gone out to many Faithful is that the bishops don’t believe in these things, they in turn stop believing, then question other aspects of Church disciplines & teachings. I remember some 20 years ago a priest no less wrote in THE UNIVERSE, a Catholic publication in GB “We dont really mean Our Lady went bodily into heaven” that was what he said. I remember discussing it with my friend at the time trying to figure what the cleric was meaning. So, it is not an “Old Calendarist” movement because we want no change. I think the one real feast day transfere that was a stroke of pure (divinely inspired) genius was the Maternity of Our Lady, from October 11 to January 1. Under the title of Mary, Mother of GOD. It gave this feast day a promince it could never attain in the middle of an October weekday. As for feasts like Ascension, Corpus Christi,etc, these all had octaves, the Sundays within the octaves having the entire Offices celebrated as on the Day itself as also Epiphany in the monastic rite. This explains the Corpus Christi processions on the Sundays in many places tho the feast itself was on Thursday. There is no good reason why we cannot go back to that practice. Certainly the octaves of Epiphany & Corpus Christi should be restored in full when Lauds & Vespers were of the feast the whole octave as also the Octave of Pentecost. I truly believe this would have a good effect on the clergy bound to the Offices bring these feasts to them a whole 8 days and give spiritual nourishment to them and their faithful. As it is, it comes & goes in a flash. So. yes it does have a spiritual dimension. One is not against change as I have noted above, but One is against change that is not based on true spritual good. It has been so obvious to many a lot of the calender changes have had little to commend them from that perspective. Sorry for being a bit long. Hope its been useful.

  78. Mark says:

    As a Catholic in England, affected by this instruction I have two questions: 1. If the Feasts in both forms have to match, why not put e.g the Ascension back onto the Thursday? 2. If feasts in both forms have to match, does this mean the calendar in the Extraordinary form has to be completely re-written to bring it into line with that of the Ordinary form?

    Each form has to be seen as a unified whole – missal, breviary, etc., together. The 1962 Calendar makes no provision for this kind of transfer. For example, the 1962 Breviary takes it for granted the Epiphany will be on 6 January, and the Office for 7, 8, and so forth of January assume the Epiphany was on the 6. To transfer the Epiphany to the following Sunday leaves, in principle, a distortion of the liturgy for the following days.

    As far as I know, the only time a Mass of a Feast on a weekday could be observed on a Sunday was on the ocasion of the Sacred Heart or the Feast of Our Ladt of the Most Holy Rosary. On these days a “Votive Mass for an External Solemnity” could be celebrated on the following Sunday AS WELL AS the feast, not ijnstead of it.

  79. Gordon says:

    Mark,
    I never really touched on the letter to the English bishops in my longish post above. But I do not see how it is possible to transere these days because of the points you raise. I know also, priests who maintained the old breviary, (for some refuse to use the new one and they are allowed to do this, while say the new mass) followed the old calendar to a certain extent. I guess they would simply follow things like Ascension Day, etc on the given days, but not say the mass of the feast. There seems no other way around it.
    Regards masses of Feasts on Sundays, as I mentioned above, Ascensiontime is a seperate part of paschaltide. The mass on the Sunday was of that Sunday, but until 1962 the office was entirely of Ascension Day, (now its just of the general Easter office) as it was the case with Corpus Christi, Epiphany, Sacred Heart.The 4th Sunday after Pentecost was the 1st “green” vestment mass of the season post Pentecost for that reason. The Sunday masses in the octaves of those feasts were indeed of The time after Pentecost, but celebrated with greater solemnity. They were not actually the mass of, say Corpus Christi or Scared Heart, (tho the offices were) but had certain parts from the feasts inserted into them. Weekday masses were of the feasts however. Perhaps that is were you thought Sacred Heart was celebrated on a Sunday.
    In the old Calendar a 2nd class feast could replace a Sunday mass through the year, but not in certain seasons. Only in Advent could one feast take precedence of a Sunday & that was December 8, Immaculate Conception. Any other had to be transferred, like St.Andrews Day in Scotland could not be said on 1st Sunday of Advent. No feast whatever could replace any Sunday in Lent. These 2 rules still stand. Now, only 1st Class feasts (Solemnities) can replace a Sunday thru the year if they fall on it. Or a 2nd Class (Feast) of Our Lord, such as August 6th – Transfiguration, or Sept 14th – Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This rule came in 1962 before Vatican 2 ended. One does get the impression the bishops are trying to make life tough for the Faithful who wish to follow the old mass & the calender that goes with it. I just can’t see the Fssp clergy in England following this. Indeed they don’t have to, but could create difficulties for diocesean priests, as far as the day the mass is celebrated if not the office. But it is the day of the mass that will affect the Faithful. Our debates on offices etc mean little to most

  80. Mark says:

    Gordon,

    Thanks for your comments. Just as a point of interest (I’m not saying this to be contentious), my comments regarding the Masses of the Feasts of the Sacred Heart and Rosary Sunday were taken from the official Ordo of the UK’s Latin Mass Society, which in turn refers to the General Rubrics of the Roman Missal (1962, paragraphs 356 – 61). The Ordo says:

    “Two Votive Masses of 2nd class may be celebrated for the external solemnity of the following feasts:

    ” The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on 3rd Sunday after Pentecost. Gloria, Creed, Preface of the Sacred Heart, no commemoration of the Sunday. This Mass may not be celebrated on days of the 1st class.

    “BVM of the Rosary on 1st Sunday of October. Gloria, Creed, Preface of the BVM (et te in Veneratione)commemoration of the SUnday. The Introit Gaudeamus is replaced by Salve from the Common of Feasts of the BVM. This Mass may not be celebrated on days of the 1st class.

    To be honest, Gordon, I hadn’t read your post before I posted mine, so it wasn’t any kind of “dig”, as this one isn’t either. I know a lot of people may regard this as a UK – only affair. As I was trying to indicate in my original post, it sets a precedent that the Extraordinary form can be significantly changed to bring it into line with the ordinary form. This would affect more than the UK, and a lor of people who like or prefer the Extraordinary form would be unhappy about it.