Octaves are mysterious times during which the liturgical clock stops.
We have an opportunity to rest in the mystery, reflect on it during the 8th day – an echo of God’s rest continuing after the Creation and foreshadowing of the eschatological rest we will have in the Beatific Vision.
Today is Pentecost Monday during the Octave of Pentecost. It is also called Whit Monday, a reference to the white garments of the newly baptized.
We observe the Octave in the Traditional Roman calendar. It was tragically eliminated in the post-Conciliar calendar.
The Roman Station is S. Peter in Chains.
For Mass we sing the Pentecost Sequence, and use the Preface of the Holy Spirit, as well as a proper Communicantes and also Hanc igitur, as for Easter since Pentecost was also a time of baptism.
Many years ago, as a seminarian in Rome, I was told a story by one of the papal masters of ceremony for Paul VI. This story has gotten around the web a bit, but I am the original teller in English. I included it in The Wanderer and in the original Catholic Online Forum years ago, but it is worthy offering again. The Novus Ordo – with so many changes to the liturgical calendar – went into effect with Advent in 1969. When Pentecost of 1970 rolled around, Paul VI was surprised to find green vestments laid out for his morning Mass instead of the traditional red for the Octave of Pentecost. When he asked about the unthinkable green vestments, he was told that it was now Ordinary Time. The Pope responded "This is the Octave of Pentecost." The reply came back that the Octave of Pentecost was abolished in the new calendar. “Who did that?”, asked the Pope. "You did, Your Holiness. And Paul VI wept.
You can listen to a PODCAzT for the Octave which I made last year.
As the old song says, "Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone…"
Well…. I know what we’ve lost, at least in the Novus Ordo. People will make the observation that in the modern Ordo there is a reference to options to observe something like an Octave… but…
Let’s have a look at the Collect for today’s Mass of Pentecost Monday.
Deus, qui Apostolis tuis
Sanctum dedisti Spiritum:
concede plebi tuae piae petitionis effectum;
ut, quibus dedisti fidem, largiaris et pacem.
I found this prayer in the 8th c. Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis.
I like that elegant splitting of Spiritum Sanctum with dedisti.
Our trusty Lewis & Short reminds us that effectus, us, (efficio) means basically "a doing, effecting; execution, accomplishment, performance; with reference to the result of an action, an operation, effect, tendency, purpose". Blaise & Dumas offers that effectus has to do with the "realization of a prayer".
O God, who gave the Holy Spirit to Your Apostles,
grant to Your people the realization of their dutiful petition,
that you may bestow also peace
upon those whom you have given faith.
What immediately jumps into my mind are the references to peace in the ordinary of the Mass and also in the moderm form for sacramental absolution.
Allow me to stretch to a connection, in view of the Roman Station.
Christ is our Lord and Liberator. After His Ascension he sent our Counselor and Comforter.
Together, under the eternal aegis of the Father, the Son and the Spirit bring us from bondage to freedom, anxiety to peace. We need not fear our judgment.
This is accomplished through the ministry and mediation of the Church.
As a People who are members of Christ’s Body the Church we approach God’s mercy with a sense of filial duty, petitioning both the immediate effect of Christ’s merits and also the long-term effect of heavenly peace.
In the words of the Church’s worship, Christ Himself strikes from our limbs the heavy chains of our oppression.