QUAERITUR: transferring Epiphany for the TLM to Sunday

From a reader:

Dear Fr. Z,

Here we go again… The PCED [Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei] affirmed that it was OK with them (or at least with Msgr. Perl) for a Novus Ordo parish to have the TLM said on SUNDAY for Nov. 2 rather than transferring it to Monday as was ALWAYS done since it is a commemoration–black vestments, requiem Mass and all–despite Sundays being Feast days.

At our Novus Ordo parish, where the TLM is featured at 11 a.m. every Sunday, it appears we will have Epiphany on Sunday (two days early) along with the Novus Ordo calendar again. This means we do not get to have the feast appointed for that Sunday, which is The Most Holy Name of Jesus–needed more than ever in our blasphemous society.

I have heard the arguments that this is a primarily Novus Ordo parish, so we should be thankful for having the TLM every Sunday, but at the expense of losing the entire patrimony of the traditional liturgical year–sacrificed to the gods of the Novus Ordo calendar–with no rhyme nor reason behind it.

Perhaps you know something you can share with us regarding the PCED on these issues? What is going on with other readers at their parishes on Jan. 4?

I feel your pain.

I don’t like the transferring of major feasts like Epiphany or Ascension.  I think it is just WRONG.  

We all know the thinking: by putting on Sunday, more people are exposed to the mystery celebrated in that feast.   But moving Epiphany – fixed in relationship to a fixed date, Christmas, and the Ascension, fixed in relation to the moving dates of Easter and Pentecost, destroys the integrity of the calender.

But the real issue here is the whether there should be any coordination of the two calendars.

I am of a mixed mind on that.

It is really a shame that we have two different calendars for the Roman Rite.  It is a shame that so much tinkeritis afflicted the experts who rearranged everything after the Council… for no truly good reason I can discern.

Another point in this mess is that while Summorum Pontificum states that there are two "uses" of the one Roman Rite, it made a juridical determination, rather than a historical or theological determination. 

It seems to me that having two calendars implicitly admits that the Novus Ordo and the older, traditional use really are two different Roman Rites.

Somewhere along the way, the calendars should be coordinated.  I would rather see the newer calendar adapted to the older, especially – or at least – in regard to these major feasts like Epiphany.  I would like to see a return of the pre-Lent Sundays.

But I suspect that is not going to happen.  Instead, we will probably see the older calendar brought into line with the newer.

The issue of, for example, moving the TLM observance of All Souls to Sunday rather than bumping it a day to Monday is less problematic in my mind, but it does raise questions.

Perhaps you readers can describe what will be happening at your parishes or chapels where the TLM is celebrated

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Philothea says:

    Aaah…if only we had this problem in my neck of the woods! Here even the tiniest inkling
    of a TLM appears to be eons away.

  2. Jon says:

    In Harrisburg, where we have an FSSP apostolate, our chaplain, Father Frank Parrinello, will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. He’s also going to avail himself of the occasion to enroll members of our newly established Holy Name Society.

    This will happen right after Mass, before the entire parish.

    I’m honored to be one of the enrollees.

  3. Fr Steven Fisher says:

    Here in Ramsgate we will be trying to harmonise the two calendars thus: Saturday evening Sung EF Mass of the (external solemnity of the) Epiphany in the presence of the Abbot of Ramsgate; then said OF Mass of Epiphany. On Sunday the EF Mass will be of the Holy Name and the OF Mass of Epiphany. Then on Tuesday the EF Mass will be the epiphany and the OF Mass will be … a votive Mass of the Epiphany of the Lord with the school children participating.

    Not an ideal solution by any means, but we do what we can.

    Oh yes, our first Missa Cantata in living memory for the feast of the Immaculate Conception was such a success that we are doing one for the Epiphany (3pm Saturday 3rd January). Mass setting will be Victoria’s O magnum mysterium. Mass will be sung in the presence of the Abbot of Ramsgate.

    Fr Steven Fisher
    Ss Ethelbert & Gertrude
    Ramsgate, Kent, UK

  4. EJ says:

    The TLM parish I normally attend will also apparently celebrate the Feast of the Epihany two days earlier, on Sunday, this year..BUT the local Ruthenian Catholic parish (Byzantine-rite) will offer a Divine Liturgy for the Theophany of the Lord on January 6, which I plan to attend. If your area or city has a Byzantine Catholic Church nearby, I encourage all to do the same – it is a wonderful experience and every Eastern-rite community that I’ve been to has been extremely welcoming. If we can’t celebrate Epiphany on its traditional date in our own rite, then I couldn’t think of a better alternative.

  5. Fr. Dennis Duvelius says:

    Actually, this is permitted by the rubrics of the 1962 missal. It has nothing to do with the Novus Ordo calendar or recent decisions of the PCED. According to the 1962 rubrics, any feast of the first or second class can be observed by way of external solemnity on a day (even Sunday) which does not outrank it, provided the local Ordinary consents. Mind you, I personally think it would be better to maintain the integrity of the calendar in this case and celebrate Holy Name this Sunday, which is what I plan to do. But I’m afraid we can’t blame the Novus Ordo or the PCED this time.

  6. JimR says:

    I was checking the EWTN website for the time of the Holy Father’s Epiphany mass. According to them and the Vatican website, he will be celebrating mass for the Epiphany on Tuesday, April 6 which is the date in the old calendar. If this is correct, it works both ways.

  7. Fr. José says:

    I plan to offer the Mass for the Holy Name this Sunday and to offer the Mass of the Epiphany on the 6th. I also plan to bless Epiphany water and perhaps, Epiphany chalk. I don’t know too much about Epiphany chalk–just found the blessing in the Roman Ritual. Is anyone else out there blessing Epiphany water and Epiphany chalk?

    As the pastor of a parish which offers 5 OF Masses and 1 EF Mass each Sunday (there are 3 priests), I find not having one calendar to be a big pain, especially the altar frontal during Septuagesima. (I lchange it to white during Septuagesima until Ash Wednesday when we can change it to purple for both forms).

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not coming from a rubrical standpoint…sometimes I think that when you move a feast day to the Sunday it makes it seem that it’s not worth taking the time to go to Mass on the day it is traditionally celebrated on; that Epiphany, Ascension, etc. are not important enough to get their own day, and their just like every other Sunday…not that Sundays are less. The switch may have been allowed in the 1962 missal, but it wasn’t done very frequently. If there are changes to the calendar, I will be praying that it will bring the NO into sync with the EF.

  9. Fr Gregoire Fluet says:

    Father Duvelius offers the precision needed here. I will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name on January 2 as our regular parish Mass in the Extraordinary Rite. Fr Gregoire Fluet

  10. JDH says:

    The Latin Mass community in my diocese (Lexington) will be celebrating the Most Holy Name of Jesus on Sunday. It is an FSSP apostolate.

  11. Fr Gregoire Fluet says:

    And yes, I will bless Epiphany chalk. Fr Fluet

  12. Our TLM community has only Sunday Masses in the extraordinary form, so we will celebrate the Epiphany as an external solemnity on January 4. Although I deplore all transferals of holy days and solemnities, I am glad that our community will thereby able to celebrate the Epiphany liturgically.

  13. Brian Mershon says:

    We will NEVER build Christ’s kingdom, even in our own localities in a small way, if we cannot take time out to celebrate Feasts on their proper days.

    If we plan to influence the society in which we live (which we apparently do not), then we take time out to assist at Mass and carry on special feasts and occasions on Jan. 6 and on the true Ascension Thursday, etc. etc.

    If people are too busy for that in the Latin rite Church, then my family will go celebrate the true Epiphany with our Eastern Christian brethren (no Catholics where we live, so we’ll go to the Orthodox church).

  14. Berthold says:

    I have a rubrical question. The Collects of both Epiphany and Ascension Day speak of ‘hodierna die’ – ‘today’. However, if the Mass is celebrated on the Sunday before or after it is not ‘today’. According to the 1962 calendar it is allowed in England to celebrate the external solemnity of Our Lady of the Rosary on a Sunday, but then the propers have to be changed in order to make clear that it is not the feast day (in this case the Introit with ‘diem festum celebrantes’ must be replaced by another one).

    So I wonder if it is allowed to use the Mass of Epiphany on a Sunday without any alterations. I am not sure if Ecclesia Dei has thought about this problem – maybe one should submit a Dubium to them. (Corpus Christi makes no problem because the the votive Mass is virtually identical to the mass of the feast)

    This moving-around of feasts is really bizarre – I felt quite embarrassed last year when my – nomially Anglican – Cambridge College celebrated Corpus Christi Day as its patronal feast on the date set by the popes and kept by the Catholic Martyrs of England, whereas the Catholic churches in the city did not celebrate it (there were no regular Masses in the Extraordinary Form in Cambridge by then).

  15. Mitch says:

    My anti-spam word is continuity..Seems like transferring traditional celebrations and moving around the calandar breaks the continuity which has been for centuries…Moving the Epiphany from the 6th, I agree is Wrong..

  16. DD Dunn says:

    Here in Spain, Epiphany is a big deal. No way would the feast be moved to a Sunday — it’s a bank holiday, anyhow, so even the trade unions support it :-)

    In Spain, Epiphany is a family event, because the Magi (los Reyes Magos) are the ones who bring presents to the children, just as they did to the Christ Child. Like so many others, my kids leave out their shoes, along with a tray holding water and carrots for the camels, a glass of sherry and cookies for the Kings, and all that sort of thing.

  17. Joe says:

    In Davenport, IA we will celebrate as follows (this is at St. Anthony’s Church, 417 N. Main St., for those in the area):

    Jan 1 – Octave Day of Christmas; High Mass (12pm)
    Jan 4 – Most Holy Name of Jesus; High Mass (1:30pm)
    Jan 6 – Epiphany of the Lord (7pm)
    Jan 11 – Holy Family (1:30pm)

    Joe Hebert, Una Voce Quad Cities

  18. I began celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass less than a year ago. With regard to the solemnities which fall near a Sunday and are transferred in the Ordinary Rite, my Bishop (confirmed by the Holy See) requested that any Latin Mass celebrated on that Sunday should also be of the Solemnity. I am happy to comply with this. At this time I see no point in sticking to the pre-Vatican 11 calendar in these cases because the vast majority of people in our parishes will not understand, and those who come to the Latin Mass want to celebrate the Epiphany. It would be wrong, in my opinion, to deprive them of this. However if I was celebrating the LMS later on, on the 6th, I would celebrate the Epiphany again.
    I quite understand the point about the Holy Name, as I understand the wish to remain faithful to the old calendar. It is an unsatisfactory situation and needs to be rectified. I think we have to be patient and just be grateful for what is happening in front of our eyes – more people becoming interested in the LMS. This is something I never thought to see in my lifetime.

  19. Dr. LMF says:

    A rather curmudgeonly old priest I knew, no traditionalist he, once observed that “only people who have absolutely no liturgical sense or soul whatsoever” would celebrate Epiphany on January 2nd. He had something of a point, I think…

  20. Maynardus says:

    At Holy Name of Jesus in Providence the eminently sensible Fr. Santos established the custom a few years ago of observing the patronal feast of the parish (The Holy Name) with a sung TLM no matter when it occurred; also we were able to convince the previous pastor of the importance of celebrating the Epiphany on the 6th (at least for the traddies) so we typically have both on their proper days.

    As Fr. Z. and Mr. Mershon have alluded to, the stability of the calendar is indeed quite important to Catholic life but it has unfortunately received short shrift in the post-Conciliar debacle. It has been much noted in these pages that an key component of Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” is the re-establishment of a Catholic “identity” and the retention/restoration of Catholicism in our culture; surely he is cognizant of the role of the calendar and has it on his “radar”.

    If I may be permitted a quick anecdote: when I was trying to convince our previous pastor to celebrate the Mass of The Epiphany on its rightful day I was getting nowehere until I asked him how my children would trust anything the Church did or said once they realized that there were no longer “Twelve Days of Christmas” but instead some number that varied annually due to the whims of the ecclesial bureaucrats. This simple example sufficed, and he never again quibbled when we asked for a “traditional” holy day.

  21. Father Z: Instead, we will probably see the older calendar brought into line with the newer.

    Which would require a thorough revision of the traditional Missale Romanum–one of the crowning glories of our civilization (to put it in second-nocturnesque terms)–especially regarding the Proper of the Saints. Because both the propers and the readings for saints’ days are so tightly (and exquisitely) integrated.

    Whereas the majority of the propers of saints’ days in the ordinary rite are fairly generic, and the readings following the two-year cycles are entirely disjoint with the saints being celebrated.

    I follow the new calendar with care and determination, both in daily ordinary-form Mass and in praying in Latin the Liturgia Horarum (in which I have a huge investment in both time and treasure), and am devoted to making the best of it, but nevertheless must admit that the new calendar was not carefully constructed and in many ways is liturgically chaotic.

  22. Berthold says:

    Dear Fr John,
    I certainly have no idea about your parish, but my experience is that most of the people who come to an Old-Rite Mass know their missal and their calendar very well, so I’d assume that they would expect Epiphany on Epiphany and Holy Name on Holy Name. I hope that there won’t be any controversies after Mass.

    In England the Bishops’ Conference drew massive criticism when transferring some Holy Days to Sundays some years ago, and as a result the Old-Rite Masses in places like the Brompton Oratory were packed. Alas, the Bishops regarded this not as a sign that they had made a mistake, but decided to fight against observations of the traditional Catholic Holidays in order to assert their authority (that is at least the only explanation I have for their actions).

    There have been several dubia in this matter submitted to Ecclesia Dei. I believe that they clarified that the Feast Day remains the Feast Day, but that a Votive Mass as ‘External Solemnity’ may be celebrated on the next Sunday. However, I doubt that Ecclesia Dei allowed the bishops to make this mandatory, I believe that they regarded it only possible to suggest such a transfer for pastoral reasons. If this is true, I hope that most places with a regular Old-Rite Mass will ignore this suggestion, which seems to come rather from politicking than from liturgial or pastoral reasons (and, the Anglicans only laugh about us in this matter, and I cannot blame them for that).

  23. Rellis says:

    Can we avoid the term “novus ordo parish”? It sounds like something a schismatic might say. There are simply Catholic parishes. We want to have both forms of the Roman Rite done well at all Catholic parishes. Keep your eye on the ball.

  24. Fr Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    Here in Barcelona, in our chapel, Nuestra Señora de la Merced (known by everybody as “Calle Laforja”), consecrated since ever to what we now called the EO, we will celebrate as the old calendar disposes: Sunday 4, the Holy Name of Jesus; Tuesday 6, the Epiphany of the Lord. January the 6th. is not a working day in Spain, luckyly not yet!

  25. At my parish, St. Thérèse, it will be the Holy Name of Jesus on Jan 4th

  26. Lcb says:

    Why aren’t we being consistant and moving Christmas too? Move all or move none.

  27. Brian Mershon says:

    Rellis said: “Can we avoid the term ‘novus ordo parish’? It sounds like something a schismatic might say.

    Brian said: Really? News to me. First of all I said “Novus Ordo parish.” Your decapitalization of Novus Ordo sounds like something a schismatic might do.

    Seriously, Rellis, please…

    Get a life!

  28. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. John Abberton:

    Fair enough. So those of us who want to teach our children there are REALLY 12 days of Christams and that Ascension Thursday falls on Thursday should just be happy we have the TLM at all?

    I know that is not what you intended, but that is what I heard.

    As I mentioned before, just as my family prayed Vespers and Compline on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 at a n Orthodox church, we will be resigned to celebrate Epiphany (January 6, by the way), with the Orthodox also.

    I guess this is the unintended ecumenism that wasn’t foreseen by the Council Fathers.

    Also, one more reason to garner as much support as possible for Traditional parishes exclusively dedicated to Tradition, not just an occasional crumb here and there.

    We will not restore Christ the King to his rightful place by ignoring mid-week holy days and dates of Christian antiquity.

  29. Deena Azaroff says:

    It is very sad indeed to see the comments made by Fr. Abberton. It is even sadder to see the moving of dates established by the church for convenience.

    Fr. Abberton, you seem to find no reason for keeping the Traditional calendar, if you would please be patient and read, perhaps, one or more reasons may come to mind. For years, the church has had a calendar with Holy Days and Feast Days that fulfilled both the old and new testament, Celebrated the gifts of grace and gave good example in her saints and Martyrs, honored the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Jesus in many ways. The calendar gave the church Mass, Celebrations, Devotions, and Social events following Mass which enabled many families, both rich and poor connected with God, family, and the church community. This can be greatly demonstrated during wars and oppression. My father’s family lived in Russia/Soviet Union, Russian Orthodox. Oppressed were the people, but the church and keeping Tradition kept them sane. During WWII, his family was packed into a train car with many others and placed in an internment camp in Germany. The Calendar and Traditions were kept as possible, and even in the midst of loosing family members to disease in the camp and prison. Eventually, the war ended and they were able come to the United States and begin their lives a new, keeping tradition and the calendar. My father met my mother, converted to Catholicism. (It was not that difficult… the Roman Catholics had Tradition.) But then something happened… sweeping change in the church, the Calendar was changed. The Mass seeming disappeared. Many devotions, feasts, and celebrations seemed to vanish along with the sense of community. My father along with many, many others declared the church had abandoned God and left the church. Although he is now deceased, he left behind children who where taught the importance of the Traditional Latin Mass or Extraordinary Form, the feasts, and traditions as what binds us and gives us the framework of how to live as Roman Catholics. Please consider the possibility that many, many, others were as hurt and damaged as my father. It will take many prayers, time, patience, and returning to the 1962 Mass, complete with calendar, devotions, and celebrations which they knew from years ago in order for them to learn to trust again, and return to the church and the Mass they loved. Dear Father, these options and changes will do nothing but keep these souls which have been greatly hurt, away. They will continue to remain scandalized. The parishioners who are learning and discovering the true treasures of the church, especially the Gregorian Rite, will become confused as these options continue to be exercised. Isn’t there enough lack of clarity within the church already? A good and wise priest once told me that just because we have permission to do something, doesn’t mean we should. Shouldn’t this apply here? There are many other reasons to keep the Traditional calendar Father. Should Fr. Z request opinions regarding that specifically, I will comment further.

    That said, unfortunately, the Epiphany will be celebrated on Sunday, January 4th at 10:30a at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Pensacola, FL.

    Note: The example I used regarding my family is not for discussion unless Fr. Z deems so, but believe an actual example may serve you best.

  30. Jim says:

    At our FSSP Parish of North American Martyrs (Seattle Archdiocese) we will have following: Jan 1, Octave Day of Christmas; Jan 4, Holy Name of Jesus; Jan 6, Epiphany of Our Lord.

  31. John Polhamus says:

    “…as a result the Old-Rite Masses in places like the Brompton Oratory were packed.”

    Delightful, isn’t it, the sight of the Brompton Oratory packed to the rafters with Catholics determined to practice their religion in logical and regular fashion, OF or EF. They reap the benefit of the lukewarm diocesan approach of “convenience.”

  32. My understanding of the notion of “external”solemnity is that when a feast is observed “externally” on the sunday before or after,the feast itself is obseved on the traditional day.So if you celebrate the Epiphany “externally”on January 4 you are also to observe it on January 6.The whole idea of observing ‘externally’ was an indult granted to the American bishops by Leo XIII,the indult was made universalized by John XXIII.

  33. Berthold says:

    I feel a bit sorry that my criticism of Fr John Abberton’s post caused so much echo. Although I do believe that the new calendar should be as little followed as legally possible I think that one has to congratulate and support a parish priest for starting regular masses in the Extraordinary Form.

    I do acknowledge that it is pastorally difficult to celebrate the same feast on two days, but I think that keeping this for a (hopefully short) period until the Novus Ordo calendar is restored, than to give in to the currently fashionable minimalism.

  34. Berthold says:

    to Fr McAffee:
    As far as I am aware, there is no doubt that Epiphany in the Extraordinary Form is everywhere on January 6, and can be celebrated then. The only question is if it also has to be celebrated on the Sunday before – but for January 6 there is no other provision at all (this is different from Novus Ordo, where Epiphany can be transferred so that there is provision for a feria on that day).

  35. Ann says:

    This is fascinating to me, I was born after Vatican II, but have attended some TLM’s, and of course read Fr. Z and appropriate good periodicals to try to learn. It seems to me when I was a child Jan. 1 was always the “Feast of Circumcision” which we later started calling the “Presentation in the Temple” and then somewhere got changed to “Holy Family” and now is the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God” (certainly a worthy item to celebrate but isn’t that fairly new?) Am I not remembering correctly, and were these feasts based on the “old missal” or were they invented after Vatican II and keep getting changed because….well, just because? I’m particularly confused about the evolution of January 1, can anybody explain? THANKS!

  36. Carl H. Horst says:

    Only one word needs to be added to Fr. Z’s comments and that is, “AMEN!”

  37. Brian Mershon says:

    Deena said: “A good and wise priest once told me that just because we have permission to do something, doesn’t mean we should. Shouldn’t this apply here?”

    Amen. Amen. Amen. I think another good and wise angelic doctor the Church once said something very similar about changing even the smallest of devotions and liturgical nuances.

    Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change.

    Not so good to do from an ecumenical viewpoint with the Orthodox either…

  38. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In my diocese, I have made damn sure that there is absolutely no co-ordination between the two totally separate Rites of Mass, the Traditional Rite of Mass and the New Rite of Mass, which are not, pace Benedict XVI, forms of one Rite but different rites.

    Like it or not, we have two different calendars and, in response to the Bishops of England and Wales, the P.C.E.D. has now *confirmed* at least that they can be treated separately, even if they need not be. Moreover, Rome is trying to convince the S.S.P.X to ‘come on board’, and it will never accept the N.O. calendar, and rightly so. And Rome knows this. In most places, celebrants will do the easiest thing, which is to follow the respective ordos. So, even if there be exceptions here and there, the tendency will be to preserve the T.L.M. calendar, thank God.

    Since we are stuck with two different de facto Rites (and Rites in every sense, including juridical, in my view), we might as well accept this. If, in the words of Paul VI in M.R., 1970, the Words of Consecration must be the same in all the Eucharistic Prayers of the N.O. as a sign of unity, well, that unity has now been broken by Benedict XVI, since he is calling the T.L.M. merely a form of one Roman Rite. Should the T.L.M. also have to adopt the N.O. Consecration Formula as a sign of unity? After all, that’s the reason some are calling for a single calendar? If a single calendar for unity, why not a single Consecration Formula for Unity?

    Interesting that Rome has officially called the Ambrosian Rite a separate Rite (not a Use, like the Braga Use), and yet the Ambrosian Rite is closer to the T.L.M. than the T.L.M. is to the N.O.!

    In my Diocese, last year, I made sure that we had All Saints’ Day on the Saturday, then a Sunday Mass, and then All Souls’ Day on the Monday. Next Sunday is Holy Name Day. And so forth. Should be lose Septuagesima and the entire time of pre-Lententide? Should we lose Shrovetide? We must preserve the integrity of our Rite. Any fusion of the two Rites will undermine both of them. Suppose that a Byzantine Ukrainian Divine Liturgy and a Roman Mass were said at different times in one place. They would maintain their differing calendars with no hard feelings on the part of anyone. All this sudden ‘need’ for unity is merely yet another attempt by the liberals to get into our Mass and tinker with it. Their real purpose is to cause pain to traditionalists and that’s because most liberals are nasty people, despite their sweet exteriors. They are like whited sepulchres.

    We need a period of fifty years with zero tinkering. We are living in the aftermath of a revolution and now is not the best time to experiment. No, liturgy is not a permanent workshop.


  39. Chris says:

    If we are ever forced to adopt the new calendar, or even a slight hybrid, my family and I will be off to the SSPX-affiliated chapel in Vienna, Va.

    I will and have put up with much shenanagans over the years in the Archdiocese of Washington. This, however, is non-negotiable.

    We have struggled with many difficulties over the years and have always stuck with the Archdiocese. If this were to happen, no less than having women priests or marrying homosexuals, I will sleep easy taking my family to an independent chapel to spare them this scandal.

  40. Brian Mershon says:

    Peter Karl said: “We need a period of fifty years with zero tinkering. We are living in the aftermath of a revolution and now is not the best time to experiment. No, liturgy is not a permanent workshop.”

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    However, first it might include the need for some traditional liturgists (Dom Alcuin Reid, or instance) to somehow get into the PCED so that answers to questions of this sort do not continue to drift the way of the Novus Ordo.

    Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change.

    Despite some of their faults, the SSPX continues to hold firm, Deo Gratias!

    They and the FSSP and the ICR and the Institute of the Good Shepherd, but esp. the SSPX, will not stand for this nonsense. It as if the PCED were oblivious to the effect their continuing “harmonizing” does to relations with the SSPX.

    But Fr. Duvelius’s comments on the Epiphany external solemnity are understood that the PCED was not responsible for this current innovation.

    However, is there any reason that those who offer the TLM as an external solemnity will not then again celebrate it on Jan. 6?

    Yes. Novus Ordo parishes (those who use the Novus Ordo calendar and have but only a smattering few TLM’s during the week or month outside of Sunday)who have few priests will celevrate the Novus Ordo on Jan. 6. Frankly, I don’t know if Epiphany is celebrated on Jan. 6 in the NOvus Ordo and I haven’t been paying any attention to that calendar for some time.

    Novus Ordo priests who celebrate their daily Mass on Jan. 6 will certainly not offer the TLM also on that same day–in most cases–thus the need for a traditional parish provided for and outlined in Summorum Pontificum.

  41. Chris says:

    Brian: Novus Ordo priests who celebrate their daily Mass on Jan. 6 will certainly not offer the TLM also on that same day—in most cases—thus the need for a traditional parish provided for and outlined in Summorum Pontificum.

    This is EXACTLY right.

    There are folks at our church who have fought for the traditional Faith and Liturgy for decades. Now, it’s great that the TLM is coming to novus ordo parishes, but it’s not great that those new to the fight for tradition are so eager to tweak it and go hybrid. Frankly, it’s an insult to those who have fought so long for restoration.

    Why not just bring the FSSP or Institute into each and every diocese and have fully traditional parishes for true traditionals? Why do traditionals always have to worry about having their spiritual needs met when there is so much variety for the novus ordo whose parishes are mostly empty? Or are packed only because they closed every parish around them?

    For Pete’s sake, give Catholics who just want to be truly Catholic what we need! Stop messing with our Mass, with our calendar, with our sacraments. Just let us be!

    I’m fine fighting a government, terrorists, etc. for the right to practice my Faith. I’m sick of fighting my Church for the right to practice my Faith.

  42. Berthold: The only question is if it also has to be celebrated on the Sunday before

    Actually, I\’m not aware that this question has come up anywhere. That is, I\’ve not heard of anywhere that traditional Catholics have been told by authorities that they must celebrate the Epiphany not on Jan. 6 but on the the preceding Sunday Jan. 4. Though some of the more half-cocked responses in this column sound as though based on that assumption.

    Whereas Epiphany in the ordinary form may have been \”transferred\” lock-stock-and-barrel from Jan. 6 to Jan. 4 this year, nowhere (to my knowledge) has anybody attempted this for the extraordinary form, where the Epiphany is Jan. 6 is Jan. 6 is Jan. 6, this year and every year, everywhere.

    Instead, what I have heard of is various traditional communities availing themselves of the long-standing traditional privilege of an external solemnity to celebrate the holy and beautiful Mass of the Epiphany — but not the feast itself — on Sunday Jan. 4 because it is not available to them on January 6. In those cases I am familiar with, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Epiphany has been transferred this year to Jan. 4 in the Novus Ordo world. Instead, it results from the fact that (for whatever reason) those communities have the EF Mass only on Sunday.

    So I myself will have the privilege of assisting at the Mass of the Epiphany on Jan. 4, but the actual feast of the Epiphany remains on Jan. 6 when, for instance, I can say the office of the Epiphany and revisit the propers of the Mass of the Epiphany.

    Perhaps there are some skin-deep self-proclaimed traditional Catholics who cannot distinguish between going to a Mass and observing a calendar feast. I have no such problem, because in the long dark period from which, Deo gratias, we now are finally emerging, I recall several multi-year periods in which I was not able to attend a single TLM, but observed almost every day the traditional calendar, reading the propers of that day\’s TLM and saying some of the hours of its office.

  43. Chris says:

    So, Henry, if I’m reading your words right, those of us who actually want to go to a traditional Mass on the traditional feast day are “skin-deep traditionals”?

    I guess I’m some extremist who doesn’t want to stay home trying to read prayers and telling my kids why we don’t have a Mass while, at the same time, trying to show them how important the day is.

    “Daddy, if today is so important, why don’t we go to Mass?”

    Give me a break.

    Again, just give us fully traditional parishes, and others who want it both ways can have a field day.

  44. Dr. LMF says:

    This is actually one issue where I would venture to say I’m a radical. If holy days and feasts actual mean something to the people, to the Christian faithful who have the sensus fidei, then they should fight for them, defend them, celebrate them, cherish them.

    That means fighting for Epiphany on 6 January, Ascension on the Thursday, Corpus Christi on the Thursday, etc., etc.

    The Christmas season is already among the briefest of seasons. Why some want to shorten it even more and massacre its harmony by forcing Epiphany to 2 January (as happens in some years) is beyond me.

    I suspect these are the same people who expect a Saturday Vigil Mass for the Holy Family on the night of Saturday, 25 December to “count” for the next day’s obligation.

    Nothing good has come from moving these days around like so many liturgical chess pieces.

  45. Brian Mershon says:

    Henry: I am with you and that is exactly what I do and have done for years.


    Chris: You must have been reading my mind. I am trying to celebrate the Divine Office as best as I can (my 12-year-old daughter and I sing Compline on some nights) and am trying to learn Vespers too, but once the feast is “celebrated” according to its “external solemnity,” it might as well be “out the window” for trying to enact it again on the actual day without the Church hacing Mass, Vespers, Compline or SOMETHING to distinguish the day from any other day.

    Well, in Greenville, SC, it looks like my family will have the choice to be truly ecuemnicala and choose from among three Eastern Orthodox Churches who will be celebrating January 6 as a truly sacred day publicly and together–despite what the secular society–and the Novus Ordo Church–says.

  46. Dr. LMF says:

    Be thankful for secular society…if it weren’t for secular society, I’m sure the Novus Ordo Calendarium would have made Christmas a moveable feast by now…

  47. Chris: So, Henry, if I’m reading your words right, those of us who actually want to go to a traditional Mass on the traditional feast day are “skin-deep traditionals”?

    No, you’re skin-deep if you cannot understand and read plain English. I cannot imagine that you or anyone else wants to “go to a traditional Mass on the traditional feast day” more than I do. I’ve certainly wanted to longer than most of those here, likely having been devoted to the TLM before many or most of the commenters in this thread were born. I simply don’t have that opportunity this Epiphany, not without traveling an impractical distance (over 200 miles each way).

    So, short of that, I thank God for the privilege of assisting instead at an external solemnity of the Epiphany. A wonderful privilege that I have not enjoyed most of the past 40 years.

    Again, just give us fully traditional parishes, and others who want it both ways can have a field day.

    I pray for nothing more fervently than a traditional parish where I can enjoy not only a beautiful high Mass every Sunday and solemnity, but during the week the quiet low Masses that, in some ways, I’d treasure even more, and all the sacraments in traditional form.

    But to suggest that anyone really wants to “have it both ways” — if that means some kind of old-new hybrid mishmash — would really be more dim-witted than I assume anyone here is.

  48. Chris says:

    Henry, I would never suggest anyone is “dim-witted”

    But if you don’t think there are those here who have the supreme motive of making a novus ordo/TLM hybrid their highest priority, then I think you just aren’t willing to see it.

  49. Seriously, Brian, I don’t see many here at WDTPRS whose aim appears to be some kind of old/new rite hybrid, though sometimes I worry that there may be some very high in the Church who entertain precisely this goal. Admittedly, “dim-witted” may not be the most accurate description of these types, but I do think think that some of these perhaps very bright ecclesiastics have failed to learn some lessons of recent decades that seem quite obvious to me.

  50. Lay says:

    I don’t get it. Is this feast-date-hopping a special thing in english speaking countries? I have never heard of such absurd ideas as of “transferring” a feast as e. g. Epiphany to any other day than 6th January – and since I am from Germany, I have heard many quite queer things by our bishops. This whole discussion – even to think of transferring a feast to next sunday, when it is originally to be celebrated on another day, appears to me simply ludicrous. (Don’t want to affront anyone, I simply can’t express with how much incredulity I am following the discussion and the idea of transferring a feast.)

  51. Mark says:

    Unfortunately, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, ND the priests have been following the OF calendar, as regards to feasts, for our 2:00 PM TLM, since October 1. It started with All Souls on Sunday, Christ the King on the last Sunday before Advent, and Holy Family rather than the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas. It has been stated that Rome has ordered this. Yet the other three TLM locations in or diocese are faithfully following the 1962 calendar and its rubrics. All the priests that are providing these Masses are very sincere and holy men so I’m sure some misinformation and/or legitimate confusion are involved. From what I have been able to determine thus far this problem stems from the Catholic Conference of England and Wales controversy. Frankly, I have found this suppression of the 1962 calendar very disturbing. It is as thought it is 1966 again, so let us tinker with Liturgy. I would appreciate any thoughts and advise concerning this situation.

  52. Dom Bede says:

    At the Oratory of Ss Gregory & Augustine (in West County St. Louis) we will celebrate the External Solemnity on Sunday as well as the actual feast on the 6th. It is sad that the “punch” is taken out of the actual feast by its anticipation and it means Holy Name will be celebrated in the Divine Office, but not the Mass, which is confusing to say the least!

  53. Mark: The England-Wales letter from PCED did not mandate that the extraordinary form follow the ordinary form calendar. To the contrary, it stated plainly that the EF could follow its own calendar, according to the following two paragraphs quoted from the letter:

    “1. The legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.

    2. While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.”

    Thus it permits transfers according to the OF calendar, while explicitly stating that they are not required. See

    Brian and Chris: My apologies to you both. My preceding reply addressed to Brian was meant for Chris.

  54. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    How about when Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Friday? Then we turn around and celebrate the Epiphany the very next day (for an Ordinary Form Vigil Mass). There’s a feeling of “let’s get this over with.” It’s very sad.

    In a related note, my wife and I watched the Holy Father offer Mass on Christmas Eve, and John Cardinal Foley provided voice-over. He explained the significance of the congregation kneeling during the Incarnatus est on Christmas and Annunciation. It made sense, I guess, in terms of the Ordinary Form, but I prefer it when we always drop to our knees whenever the Creed is prayed.

  55. Chris says:

    This is just as absurd as fulfilling our Sunday obligation on a Saturday.

    The liberals allowed us to do this so we didn’t have to wake up on Sundays, all under the guise of workers who couldn’t go Sunday morning. Then, JP2 and his neocons were all baffled as to why no one went to Mass on Sunday or did anything besides watch sports.

    Gee, I wonder why.

    Now, ask 99 percent of Catholics what season Ascension Thursday is in, let alone the month or day, and I’d bet anything they don’t know. Because it’s just another Sunday that they may or may not make it to Mass.

  56. Dr. LMF says:

    There’s been no successful liturgical reform. Not when the average parish is still loaded with faithful who wonder why there’s no 4 or 5pm anticipated Mass on Holy Saturday afternoon/evening.

  57. David says:

    Our TLM chaplain is an FSSP priest who will offer the Masses according to the Traditional calendar because he doesn’t have a choice in the matter, thankfully. Unfortunately, he will probably not be in South Bend in to offer the Mass on the 6th.

    This is the only way to go. I think it’s great that more and more diocesan priests are learning and offering the TLM, but they will always be hampered by being chained to the novus ordo calendar. Work to get an FSSP (or Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest) chaplaincy or personal parish.

  58. Gravitas says:

    “There’s been no successful liturgical reform. Not when the average parish is still loaded with faithful who wonder why there’s no 4 or 5pm anticipated Mass on Holy Saturday afternoon/evening.”

    My parents novus ordo parish has had a 4 p.m. “anticipated Mass” every Saturday for the past 30 years.

  59. Hugh says:

    “On the 11th day of Christmas my true love said to me…

    ‘You don’t get any pipers or drummers this year because in the OF they’re anticipating Epiphany.’ “

  60. David says:

    Dr. LMF’s point is, well, proven.

  61. Matt Q says:

    This is all tokenism. I’m certain everyone else can see this. Although we have the affirmation of the Pope to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, there has been no remonstration of the bishops–and priests–who disallow it, who continue to obfuscate the meaning and determination of Summorum Pontificum. Now we see the ED Commission giving its approval of moving feasts contrary to the Tridentine calendar. What is this telling us? What?

    Obviously we see there is no serious effort on the part of the Church to foster the further use of the Tridentine Mass because wherever we see an obstacle, nothing is ever done to remove that obstacle. Bishops and priests have made ridiculous statements on the Motu Proprio and the Church never pitches a correction. Don’t anyone say perhaps She may have because proof is in the behavior, and the behavior remains the same, the denial of the Tridentine Mass continues.

    The Holy Father himself has suggested the two calendars are to remain separate but his Commission countermands him. Oh well. It’s a fact many saints and events have been added to the Church’s calendar since 1962, and the Tridentine calendar needs to acknowledge these additions. This does NOT MEAN, however, the Tridentine calendar should be adulterated to observe actual feasts on the incorrect days, or dismiss them altogether.

    As stated above, any intention of the Church to create a hybrid Mass out of the Tridentine and Novus Ordo Masses will not make some new glorious form of Mass but will in fact create a second non-hermeneutic morass and a second renewed effort to kill Tradition altogether.

  62. Michael says:

    Two calenders doesn’t necessarily mean two Roman Rites – for example, the Byzantine Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have one Liturgical Rite yet two calendars: Julian and Gregorian.

  63. Bemused priest says:

    Sometimes the precious caterwauling that goes on on this site — to which I have some significant sympathies overall — gets to be a bit much. Return of the gesimas? That bore no correspondence to the actual date of Easter? Really. Do we really want a return to the overdone octaves with all the repetition and rubrical complexities they caused? (Except of course for the Pentecost novena — a serious omission of the calendar revision). And the endless cluttering caused by saints’ feasts? And the pointless doubling of antiphons? Oh, and how about the ridiculous business of bunching up leftover Sundays after Pentecost? Not to mention the general obscuring of Sunday in a very flawed approach to concurrence. I wish some of you people would just grow up.

  64. Ottaviani says:

    Peter Karl: “We need a period of fifty years with zero tinkering. We are living in the aftermath of a revolution and now is not the best time to experiment. No, liturgy is not a permanent workshop.”

    I would say probably 100 years would be better. Just to make sure that every Bugnini-afficiando and all other liturgical vandals (in the Vatican or not) are dead and gone to their eternal reward…

  65. I. X. Nika says:

    Bemused priest, if we still had Octaves and if there was an Octave of St. John, we could have spent all this week meditating on the famous words of that Apostle that “He who loves God, loves also his brother.”

  66. Rubricarius says:

    Bemused priest:

    You lament the loss of the Pentecost Octave in OF yet complain of ‘overdone octaves’. The 1962 rite only has one more octave than the OF, that of Pentecost.

  67. Mr. Mershon, if you’re able to go to an Eastern Orthodox church on January 6th (Gregorian Calendar) you are hanging around with Orthodox Modernists. Old Calendarists still function on the Julian Calendar and dismiss new calendarists as fluffy-minded ecumenicalists and Masons.

    Sound like a familiar rhetorical trope?

  68. Rubricarius says:


    Old Calendarists are not the only Orthodox who use the Julian Calendar. The term really refers to certain groups of Greeks. The majority of Orthodox use the Julian Calendar – the Russian Church – along with seversl other Patriarchates. Many Eastern Rite Catholics also of course still follow the Julian Calendar too.

  69. Gravitas says:

    Bemused priest:

    YOU are the perfect example of why I will never again subject myself or my family to the scandal of entering the doors of a novus ordo “community” church.

  70. Brian Mershon says:

    Bemused: “Sometimes the precious caterwauling that goes on on this site—to which I have some significant sympathies overall—gets to be a bit much.”

    BCM: In your opinion–not really more significant than anyone else’s here, right?

    Bemused: “Really. Do we really want a return to the overdone octaves with all the repetition and rubrical complexities they caused? (Except of course for the Pentecost novena—a serious omission of the calendar revision).”

    BCM: “overdone octaves”? Again, that is your opinion. As someone already mentioned, the 1962 calendar has only one more octave, the one you bemoan losing, than the Novus Ordo calendar. Personally, I use a pre-1962 missal at Mass and for my personal prayer devotions becasue there were very good formational reasons for having the octaves. One is called “repititio est mater studiorum.” The two 39 week Ignatian spiritual exercises I have been through emphasized this repetition rather than reading long Old Testament passages to “get in more Scripture” as is done in the Novus Ordo, with rarely a priest to preach adequately and accurately on the connection, if there is any, between the OT readings and the Gospel.

    Bemused: “And the endless cluttering caused by saints’ feasts?”
    BCM: Again, an assertion without evidence. Your mere opinion.

    Bemused: “And the pointless doubling of antiphons?”

    BCM: I doubt very much it was pointless. There are very good spiritual and theological reasons for this. Have you explored them?

    Bemused: “Oh, and how about the ridiculous business of bunching up leftover Sundays after Pentecost?”

    BCM: Now you really have no idea what you are talking about.

    Bemused: “Not to mention the general obscuring of Sunday in a very flawed approach to concurrence.

    BCM: You mean like moving a commemoration like the Feast of All Souls to a Sunday and celebrating it with black or violet vestments like happened this past year. But wait, that didn’t happen before these calendar changes with the Traditional Mass, did it?

    Bemused: “I wish some of you people would just grow up.”

    BCM: Wow! How scholarly. Ad hominem. Problem Father is… that we have grown up. Much of it with priests who take our legitimate concerns about as seriously as you did in your post.

  71. Brian Mershon says:

    Michael Tinker: But dearest Michael, as I already pointed out in all seriousness, part of my reason for going in order to properly celebrate the Feast that the Catholic Church apparently does not find significant any more to celebrate on the actual date, is to partake in some true ecumenism with the Orthodox.

  72. While I am emotionally antipathetic to the USCCB’s predisposition to move almost every important holy day to the nearest Sunday, I do believe the howling here about transferring feasts on the traditional calendar is a bit over the top.

    Neither the PCED nor anybody else of consequence (to me) has suggested moving the Epiphany on the traditional calendar from January 6 to January 4 or any other day, this year or any other year.

    Without mentioning the Epiphany explicitly, their previous comment is merely that such the celebration of its Mass — rather than transfer of the feast itself — on a Sunday might be “appropriate”. (I’ll stick with my previous “skin-deep” description of those who appear not to understand the difference between celebration of a Mass and calendar observance of a feast.)

    However, aside from not requiring it, they did not even allow it, because it is already allowed by the 1962 rubrics. Indeed, the Mass of the Epiphany can be celebrated on most days of the year, since the Epiphany outranks most other calendar days.

    As for me, I lament the loss of the former Octave of the Epiphany. I would be therefore be ecstatic if some suggested that the Mass of the Epiphany be celebrated near enough for me, daily for 8 days, for instance, from Jan. 4 through Jan. 11.

    But I wonder how many folks thought somewhat believable the recent rumor of an item on the agenda of a USCCB meeting proposing that the observance of Holy Thursday be moved to the immediately following Sunday.

  73. For the record, on EWTN:

    Mass of the Epiphany with Pope Benedict XVI from St. Peter’s Basilica.
    Tue 01/06/09 4:00 AM ET & 1 AM PT
    Tue 01/06/09 12:00 PM ET & 9 AM PT
    Tue 01/06/09 6:30 PM ET & 3:30 PM PT

    Hmm … Does this mean he’s a trad at heart? (Seriously, I read somewhere that he’ll be wearing a traditional Roman chasuble for the Epiphany Mass.)

  74. DM says:

    But I wonder how many folks thought somewhat believable the recent rumor of an item on the agenda of a USCCB meeting proposing that the observance of Holy Thursday be moved to the immediately following Sunday.

    You jest, but back before I was a committed traditionalist and still trying to maintain the “Vatican II and the postconciliar popes are wonderful, they have just been ignored and/or misinterpreted” line, I remember reading in Austin Flannery’s compilation a document from John XXII stating he and his collected bishops had no opposition, on principle, to fixing the date of Easter on a specific calendar date from year to year.

    That, I think, was the point at which defending the Council became a lost cause to me. To a reformer, nothing is sacred. Not even Easter.

  75. DM says:

    Yeah, here it is.


    The Second Ecumenical Sacred Council of the Vatican, recognizing the importance of the wishes expressed by many concerning the assignment of the feast of Easter to a fixed Sunday and concerning an unchanging calendar, having carefully considered the effects which could result from the introduction of a new calendar, declares as follows:

    The Sacred Council would not object if the feast of Easter were assigned to a particular Sunday of the Gregorian Calendar, provided that those whom it may concern, especially the brethren who are not in communion with the Apostolic See, give their assent.

    So according to Vatican II, there is no reason whatsoever not to discard entirely the ancient and traditional computus – except that Protestants might not like it. How utterly disgraceful.

  76. Emilio III says:

    DM, I have always understood “the brethren who are not in communion with the Apostolic See” to refer to the Orthodox churches, not to any Protestant ecclesial community.

  77. Banjo pickin' girl says:

    Emilio III you are correct. Protestants do not have an fixed Easter. The reference to the Gregorian calendar is another tip-off that this passage refers to Orthodox churches.

  78. DM says:


    Nobody has a fixed Easter. The point remains that the fathers of Vatican II thought it just a swell idea and go ahead with such a complete novelty, and considered the only argument against it to be the ruffling of oecumentical feathers. How utterly clueless.

  79. Matt Q says:

    Re “Bemused Priest:”

    This just shows us priests are people too and just as lazy and banal thereof.

    Should we come unto our Heavenly Father as little children as Christ Himself admonished, or should we be all grown up like the Bemused Priest? The richness of the Faith is found in Church prior to the Vatican II reformation. One knew what was what. Today, sadly not.

    This is also an interesting statistic. All the Saints and Blesseds the Church has elevated to the Altar since Vatican II have been pre-Conciliar–when the Faith was taught with strength, vigor and clarity. In the forty years since Vatican II, how many have been raised to the Altar who came totally after the Council? As Judge Marilyn Millian would say, “ZERO!”

  80. Banjo pickin' girl says:

    I know that nobody has a fixed Easter. The Orthodox churches do have some problems with the Latin rite church but they are definitely not Protestant and the overtures toward the Orthodox churches of VII was long overdue.

  81. Speaking for my own private devotions, I use only the pre-Vatican II calendar that is found in my Breviarium Monasticum (1930). Otherwise, I do as the Romans do when it comes to attending Mass (NO or EF).

    I believe that the EF parish in town will celebrate the feast of the Epiphany early this year, but I am not absolutely sure.

    As far as calendar coordination, I believe that it would be a a wise decision to put the entirety of Holy Mother Church on one calendar and that it should be stuck with. The post-Council calendar, which I loathe , i very empty when it comes to saints. Of course, certain saints were taken off because they were legendary (St. Philomena comes to mind), while others had their feast days transferred to the day of their death (St. John BAptist de La Salle, for instance). It seems to me that by shifting the calendar around the Council eliminated a great deal of the Sanctoral Cycle that amkes the liturgical year so precious to conservative, trad Catholics usch as myself.

    God bless,

    Brother Juniper

  82. In America the Epiphany has never been a great deal. How many of you ever went (if you were living before vatican II)? Since in the TLM we have the availability of celebrating two feats in one by adding “commemorations” why not just do bth on Sunday and Epiphany on Tuesday for the few that can attend then? That’s what I will be doing here in Pensacola at St. Stephen where we have the Gregorian (Trdentine) Rite at least twice a week: 10:30 AM Sundays and ususally 6PM Thursday followed by benediction. Tomorrw we will have it, too, at 10:30 Am. When I was asked by our Bishop about 8 years ago to do the TLM I did it only on the condition, that I would have it at a time when everyone could attend (within reason). And so it is.
    Anyway, getting back ot the calendar there will eventually have to be some adjustments, at the very least to all the new Saints that have been canonized since 1962. I hope the Sundays will be left alone but I would not be against using the new Lectionary (if tht were also reformed to be more in line with the Old). The Holy Father has actually started this process, I am told, but it will take many years before we see anything. But did he not mention that he wanted both Rites to influence and affect each other for the better? A lot of thinking and praying we need to do…

  83. John Polhamus says:

    “…my wife and I watched the Holy Father offer Mass on Christmas Eve, and John Cardinal Foley…”

    I have a question regarding this: I heard from my father who watched that Achp. Foley also said at the end of the broadcast that those who had watched were dispensed from physical mass attendance on Christmas. Can this be true?

  84. Christa says:

    I am a late convert, who joined the Church at age 57.

    I would like to point out that one of the benefits of celebrating the Feast Days (or Solemnities) on their actual days it that it serves as a witness to the rest of the world.

    Moving Epiphany to January 4th seems to me like what Congress did in making Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday into one “President’s Day” on a convenient Monday: an excuse for a three-day holiday. Moving Epiphany or other days is also a convenient excuse…to make things EASY.

    I am not one who is involved in the controversy between Novus Ordo and EF. I just like to observe TRADITION in my everyday Catholic life.

  85. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Fr. Pérez’s comments:

    Hello, Father! Good to see you posting here. In Canada, the Epiphany was a holyday of obligation in 1962, whereas the Assumption of our Lady on 15th August was not. That was the one difference between the holydays of Canada and the U.S.A., and it is one main reason I wanted to ensure that, here in Victoria, Canada, we are having the Epiphany on Tuesday, 6th January. Another is that, in the Traditional calendar, there is no such thing as ‘Ordinary time’ (a term I have always despised) but we have the Season of Ephiphanytide until Pre-Lententide begins on Septuagesima Sunday. So the Epiphany begins a whole new season.

    Anyway, our priest here has agreed to celebrate the Epiphany for us on 6th January. In the old days, Canadians had five of their six holydays bunched between 1st November and 6th January. Only Ascnsnion Thursday was outside this period. You Americans probably had a better system overall by putting one in August.

    I always keep my Christmas tree up at least until the Ephiphany too and greet people with a ‘Merry Christmas’ as late as Little Christmas, on 5th January. Some people keep the tree up to the Octave of the Epiphany but I find that it is dry enough to be a fire hazard by then!


    Peter Karl T. Perkins

  86. Roland de Chanson says:

    Fr. Z: It seems to me that having two calendars implicitly admits that the Novus Ordo and the older, traditional use really are two different Roman Rites.

    I agree. Rem acu tetigisti acutissimo. This quasi Old Calendarist / New Calendarist pandemonium attests to the fact that there are de facto two Roman rites, not merely the terminological euphemisms of “Ordinary Form” and “Extraordinary Form”. The Ambrosian or Mozarabic rites are more akin to the Traditional Roman Rite than the Roman is to the Novus Ordo. The NO is in point of fact the ritus extra ordinem. Ritus Bugninianus, ritus itaque massonicus.

    I suspect that the accomplished Latinist in the Holy Father was well aware of the oxymoronic connotations of the Latin “extraordinaria”.

    Omnibus has litteras legentibus atque clarissimo et magni aestimando huiusce blogi auctori beatissum felicissimumque novum annum exopto. Sit ei annus proximus prosperrimus. [Happy New Year to all readers of this blog and to its most esteemed author. May he have another very successful year.]

    BTW, the Christmas season ends on Candlemas Day, the Purification of the BVM, 2nd Feb! But the tree has about withered by then!

  87. Dominican says:

    While I think moving Epiphany to any day other than the 6th is crazy it WAS done before the reform of the calendar. Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity made Profession on the Sunday, the feast of the Epiphany, January 11, 1903.

    The fact that we have 2 calendars is really something that must be changed but will people accept it? Having the TLM doesn’t mean the Church standing still. We have many new wonderful saints on the calendar and they should be celebrated.

  88. Matt says:


    despite what the secular society—and the Novus Ordo Church—says.

    It may be reasonable to use the term Novus Ordo parish, or even perhaps Novus Ordo priest, however, it is entirely unacceptable to refer to a “Novus Ordo Church”. There is one Church, Christ is it’s head, and the Holy Father Benedict XVI is His Vicar. If you agree with that you ought not use such schismatic language.

    Moving immovable feasts is just wrong. Why don’t priests who offer the Extraordinary Form, just offer it on the proper feast day in place of one of the Ordinary Form masses? It’s not a particularly important date in that calendar since the feast is transferred. The Holy Father’s Motu Proprio certainly leaves that in the authority of the priest, not the bishop.

    God Bless,


  89. Athelstan says:

    I am so tired of the endless experimentation with the liturgy, and the liturgical civil wars taking place in the Church, I’ve decided to convert to the Orthodox Church.

    I do so, if for no other reason, than to keep some semblance of sanity and to
    renew my devotion to the Heavenly Liturgy about which Pope Benedict 16 has written at great length. Unfortunately, under his reign it becomes harder to achieve a universal appreciation and practice of that ideal within the Roman Church today.

    Waiting for Pope Benedict to “reform the reform” is comparable to waiting for Gadot. If anything, his recent motu proprio
    is more detrimental than helpful. It is good for some Catholics, but not for others. Is he playing one group against the other? His motu proprio has led to exacerbating a condition in the church which has been building for the past 40 years plus. Furthermore, restoring the TLM has failed decidedly in meeting his primary objective: to heal the schism with the sede vacantists and SSPX.

    There numbers are growing since “Summorum Pontificum” was issued. It is little wonder!

  90. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    There is so much that is problematic, to be sure, yet I think there is something happening underneath the problems, too. Father Z., I think your statement above makes great sense, of exposing people to the Mystery being celebrated. Certainly it is sound to affirm that the Mystery being celebrated is far greater than the day it is assigned to, and cannot be confined to a single day. The Mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption are alive all the time, every second of the day, and give us life, every second of the day, and I believe this is worth noting.

    Still, I believe it’s worth noting that endless tinkering with the Sacred Liturgy, horrific experiences of confusion among the faithful, and a lack of continuity, stability, and, often, of orthodoxy, have severely damaged the faith lives of many in the Church.

    Perhaps the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms can be collaborative and complementary, and that’s going to take time. With due respect to both the Holy Father and to the Missal of 1962, I think there is considerable merit in the pre-1955 rites. Take the Missal of St. Andrew, for Example, put out by Bonaventure Publications. Now THERE’S a missal – not that subsequent missals are not, but the St. Andrew’s Missal I think makes a statement about integrity and stability, and continuity.

    I believe there has been far too much of trying to make things “relevant,” and of “simplifying” things. In doing so, we have tossed chunks of our faith out the window. And for what? I believe it’s far better to teach the truth with humility, kindness, and charity, than to water down the truth for fear of being sued.

  91. John says:

    Whilst I am pleased to see that the Mass is being offered in Ramsgate once again – although Abp Steptoe has never stopped doing so in Margate – I am not convinced that the Abbot’s attendance signals anything more than an entry on his CV.

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