QUAERITUR: Feast of the Precious Blood

From a reader:

As you know, July 1st is the Feast of the Precious Blood in the pre-1969 calendar.  Unfortunately, this is one of the "idea feasts" which didn’t make the "expert" cut in 1969 (and the highest-ranking victim of tinkeritis [good word] – I think it was a second-class feastday).

Happily, July 1st is a feria in the modern calendar, with only an optional memorial for Blessed Junipero Serra otherwise obligating the day.  Thus, priests are free to use the votive mass of the Precious Blood which is found in the 2002 M.R. (not that I’ve ever really seen this done).

My question is the following: for those laity (or even obligated religious and clergy) who use the LOTH for daily prayer, is there a way to celebrate the Precious Blood?  I notice in the Liturgia Horarum that there is an office for "Christ, Our Eternal High Priest."  Would that be appropriate to use?  It has many references to the Precious Blood of Our Lord.  This "votive office" is also a good one to keep in mind for the Year for Priests, even if it’s only in the Latin editio typica.

The alternative, of course, is simply to pray the July 1st office in the extraordinary form.

Non-obliged lay people can do as they please, since they have no obligation to say the Office at all and they do so from devotion.

As for those who are obliged, I like the idea of "Christ the Eternal Priest", especially during this Year.

The feast of the Precious Blood is a fairly new feast for the Roman Calendar.  It was observed in Spain in the 16th centur, brought to Rome by the great St. Gaspar del Bufalo and them placed on the universal calendar in 1849 by Pius IX. 

I don’t see why one could not, on a feria, use another office. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ASK FATHER Question Box. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Fr. Charles says:

    Great idea for Mass! I have two parish Masses this Wednesday, and I will offer the votive Mass of the Precious Blood in honor of the former feast.

  2. CDN_Canonist says:

    I don’t agree that lay people can “do as they please” when praying the Liturgy of the Hours. The LOTH is never a devotion; it always remains the Church’s official liturgy – even when it is prayed alone by a lay person. [People who are not bound by law to recite the office at all cannot be bound to say any particular office.]

  3. Ken says:

    If a priest or layman is so concerned with observing the traditional liturgical day, shouldn’t he just say/hear the traditional Latin Mass and Divine Office?

    Two years after the motu proprio, I still don’t see why traditional-minded folks are putting lipstick on a pig instead of just doing it right. [And I am not sure why I should not ban your IP address. o{]:¬) I don’t open entries on this blog so that people can freely run down the new form of the Church’s prayer in this manner. Have a nice day!]

  4. Fr. Charles says:

    Point taken, Ken.

    However, not every priest enjoys the benefit of living and working in a setting that is accepting of the values held up in Summorum pontificum. When, perhaps, you are a very junior priest in a setting that is dismissive of–if not hostile to–the EF, you do what you can.

  5. Josiah Ross says:

    One could also use this votive office of the Precious Blood, formulated for the modern Roman breviary: http://papist-nonsense.blogspot.com/2008/07/weird-things-you-dont-need-to-know.html
    It’s only in Latin though.

  6. CBM says:

    I have recently purchased the Brevarium Romanum (15 dollar reprint from Lula; it seems very well done!)
    I also have an ordo for EF
    I am a priest
    I CANNOT figure it out. I’m so sorry, I thought I was reasonable intelligent. I have prayed the Office for the last 20 years but don’t know how to use this breviary.
    Is there an online tutorial for the 1962 Roman Breviary?

  7. CDN_Canonist says:

    While it is true that lay people have no obligation to pray the LOTH (or any particular office), when they choose to do so they are to observe the liturgical calendar and corresponding rubrics. If they opt for some alternative arrangement, these people are not celebrating the LOTH, but merely using the breviary as an occasion for devotional/personal prayer. There is nothing wrong with this, but let’s not confuse it with liturgical prayer.

    Seminarians are not obliged by law to pray the LOTH, although they are encouraged to do so (c. 246, 2). Would you suggest that seminarians are free to observe their own arrangement of the LOTH?

  8. Fr. Charles says:

    CBM: Do not fear! It’s not easy. Fr. Hausmann’s ,Learning the New Breviary was a big help when I wanted to explore the 1962 breviary. Follow this link for a pdf, complete with library stamp from our old novitiate: http://www.churchlatin.com/downloads.aspx (Unless the Jesuits have renewed their copyright, which I doubt, this is in public domain.)

  9. Damien says:

    Here in Ireland, the day is not a feria but a feast day, that of St. Oliver Plunkett, Bishop and Martyr. So those in Ireland my not do that suggested above.

  10. Emilio III says:

    CBM: In addition to Fr Charles’ suggestion, http://www.breviary.net is one of the current online breviaries (http://lzkiss.net/cgi-bin/horas/brevi.pl and http://www.officiumdivinum.org/ are a couple of others). Their bookstore at http://www.confraternitybooks.com/ has a couple of instruction books for praying the breviary. But what I thought most interesting is that they have a “rubrics-free” Breviary Mobile version at http://www.breviary.mobi which you can read straight through, since all the prayers and readings have already been arranged according to the rubrics of the day. Unfortunately this is a subscription service ($2.50 a month or $24 a year) but I think that it would be useful as a cheat-sheet for a month or two while learning it on your own. (Or by itself for smart-phone junkies. :-)

  11. John says:

    Those who have access to EWTN: on July 1 8AM (EST) there is a Gregorian (TLM) Mass scheduled. Does watching that Mass count the same as attending Mass in person?

  12. Greg Smisek says:

    Although this is an usus antiquior news item, I thought it might be usefully included here. EWTN will again broadcast a solemn high Mass for the feast of the Precious Blood from its Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, July 1, at 8:00 a.m. ET and rebroadcast at 8:00 p.m. ET. This year it will be a Pontifical High Mass, celebrated by the Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

  13. Henry says:

    Though 8 pm would be more convenient for many viewers, it appears from the following EWTN announcement that the only rebroadcast is at midnight EDT Wednesday night.

    From the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama, Pontifical Tridentine High Mass of the Extraordinary Form on the Solemnity of the Most Precious Blood.
    Wed 7/01/09 8:00 AM ET / 5 AM PT
    Thu 7/02/09 12:00 AM ET / (Wed) 9 PM PT

    This first global TV broadcast of an solemn pontifical Mass–in the now-regular EF Mass telecasts from the shrine–seems a significant step. Another in the near future will be a telecast from the Shrine of a solemn high EF Mass presented by the familiar EWTN friars who are now EF ready.

    The Canons of St. John Cantius (Chicago) who are in Alabama for this EF Mass Wednesday, will also provide Gregorian chant for OF Masses to be telecast at 8 am EDT on Thursday and Friday of this week. Details at


  14. Alex says:

    Fr Z:

    Are seminiarians part of the group bound to pray the Office of the Day (of whatever rank)?

  15. SARK says:

    Dear Father,

    Thanks for posting this. July 1st is my daughter’s birthday. Since that day our family has had a great devotion to the Precious Blood. We will attend the feast day Mass as we always do. Its an integral part of our celebrations – that and a wonderful meal out afterwards or course.


  16. Liam says:

    Just in case there is any confusion: The former feast of the Precious Blood is now joined to what is popularly known as Corpus Christi.

  17. Trevor says:

    “Those who have access to EWTN: on July 1 8AM (EST) there is a Gregorian (TLM) Mass scheduled. Does watching that Mass count the same as attending Mass in person?”-Comment by John

    No, watching Mass on television is not the same as attending it in person. We’re not actually in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, much like we wouldn’t be in the Presence if we looked at a photo of a monstrance. However, you can certainly make a spiritual communion, and watching the Mass may have other spiritual benefits.

    “Are seminiarians part of the group bound to pray the Office of the Day (of whatever rank)?”-Comment by Alex

    Only those who’ve taken a promise/vow of prayer are obligated to pray the Office. Thus, this includes clerics (traditionally this was subdeacons on up, but with the VII reforms, the clerical state begins with the diaconate), religious brothers/sisters, and third orders. Seminarians do not take a promise of prayer until diaconate ordinations, thus there is no obligation that binds under pain of sin. However, we obviously should pray it, since it builds devotion and it will help build a good habit of daily prayer (especially if we were to make it to ordination).

  18. Trevor says:

    P.S. I wanted to add that the episcopal conference can delegate how much of the Office permanent deacons are bound to pray (per Canon 276 in the 1983 Code). In the US, permanent deacons are bound to pray Morning and Evening prayer. I believe priests and transitional deacons are bound to say all the hours.

  19. Geoffrey says:

    Even though not bound by the rubrics, I think the laity who appreciate proper liturgy try to follow the rubrics as closely as possible when praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I know I do.

    I don’t know why the “Christ, Our Eternal High Priest” votive office hasn’t been translated by ICEL for use in a supplemental publication. There are also dozens of new saints with proper offices that have yet to be translated. They are promptly translated for Mass, but not the Divine Office. Most vexing…

    And why is Blessed Junipero Serra almost being ignored?! ;-) Optional memorial, yes, but a very important blessed for this country, especially for the state of California. Blessed Junipero Serra, Apostle of California, pray for us!

  20. Maureen says:

    Here’s translations of the hymns from the old Office:

    “Festivis resonent”

    “Ira justa Conditoris”

    “Salvete Christi vulnera”

  21. AN says:


    Are you trying to say that priests associated with traditional orders and others that follow the traditional Breviary are merely acting out of personal devotion?

  22. CDN_Canonist says:


    No. I’m not suggesting that at all. The 1961 breviary can be used by clerics in accordance with Summorum Pontificum. If one uses this breviary, one is to observe the corresponing rubrics and follow the appropriate liturgical calendar (this was promulgated by John XXIII in 1960). If they do this, they fulfil their obligation to pray the divine office.

  23. The Masked Chicken says:


    I assume there are copies of the Divine Office, 1962, that are in the public domain. If this is true (I haven’t followed the copyright status of older liturgical books), couldn’t someone simply copy the Office for the feast to a website? Since anyone not restricted from using the 1962 Divine Office can say it, it might be helpful for those who wish to say it but do not have the book. I am waiting for the new edition by Baronius Press, myself, but many good copies are available, The New Liturgical movement recently had an article on the laity saying the Office.

    The Chicken

  24. Carlos Palad says:

    I would like to note that http://www.breviary.net uses the pre-1955 form of the
    Divine Office, which is very different and quite longer than the 1961 edition.

  25. R says:

    Is there a votive Office in the Liturgia Horarum itself? I thought the votive Office online at the Opus Dei site (almundi? or some name like that) of OLJC Eternal Priest was derived from the one approved for Spain.
    The Passionists observe the Precious Blood on the 1st, and have a Proper office for that

  26. Josiah Ross says:

    Look a few posts up- I posted a votive office of the precious blood that I typed out last year. It was from a supplement for a religious order.

  27. I have a related question… Is a cleric bound to the Office of the Roman Rite or the Office in any rite. Thus, if a Roman Rite priest attended Melkite rite vespers, would he fulfill his obligation? Or is obliged to the Roman breviary (in either ordinary or extraordinary form)?

  28. supertradmom says:

    Pope Benedict’s Mass in the Extraordinary Form on this feast tomorrow (today alfready) is a fantastic blessing. We do not have a television, but I hoped it is televised.

  29. R says:

    Thank you Josiah, I should have been more explicit….I was referring to the statement that there was a votive Office in the Liturgia Horarum of OLJC the Eternal Priest.

Comments are closed.