Really picky old Mass privilege question

I had an interesting liturgical question today about an old privilege for priests in the USA to be able to say a Requiem Mass on Mondays.   I am pretty sure this is now defunct, but here is an article about it from the Catholic Encyclopedia of (1917)

The Monday Privilege

In the United States there is a faculty (“Fac. Ord.”, Form I, 20) ordinarily communicated to priests through the bishop which grants permission to celebrate a requiem Mass on Mondays non impeditis officio novem lectionem. The phrase officio novem lectionem gave rise to a doubt as to whether semi-doubles only were referred to, or if doubles also were understood. The Congregation of Rites answered (4 Sept., 1875, no. 3370, ad. 1) that this Mass was allowed on all Mondays during the year, except (a) on the vigils of Christmas and the Epiphany; (b) in Holy Week; (c) during the octaves of Christmas, the Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, and Corpus Christi; (d) holy days of obligation; (e) greater doubles and doubles of the first and second class. If the enumerated cases hinder this Mass on Monday, the privilege is transferred to Tuesday, under the same conditions, but it lapses after that day.

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  1. Bthompson says:

    Why is this a privileged? Are all Mondays reserved in the EF calendar for something else?

  2. Bthompson says:

    extraneous d, sorry about that…

  3. The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia calendar information may not be reliable, since the whole EF calendar scheme was revised in 1962. Some current statements from the 2012 FSSP ordo.

    “From November 3 to 8 inclusive [after All Souls Day] the daily Mass for the Dead is of the third class (it can be offered on any 3rd class feast).”

    “During the rest of the year, the Daily Mass for the Dead is of the fourth class and can only be offered on fourth class days.”

    “The Daily Mass for the Dead is prohibited on all ferias of Christmastide and throughout the former Octave of the Epiphany.”

    “On the fourth class days [during the Season after Epiphany] one may say the Mass of the preceding Sunday, the Mass of any of the Saints commemorated, the Mass of any feast listed in the Martyrology for the day, Mass for the Dead, or any votive Mass.

    “Fourth class votive Masses and fourth class Masses for the Dead are not allowed on ferial days during Lent.”

    And for a particular deceased: The funeral Mass is of the first class; a second class requiem Mass can be offered on the day of death, or after receiving the news of death, or on the day of the ferial burial; a third class requiem Mass can be offered on the third, seventh, or thirtieth day from the death or the funeral, on the anniversary of the death, burial, or for an annual remembrance of the deceased.

  4. Father K says:

    Yes Henry Edwards: the extraordinary form follows the Missal and calendar in use in 1962, i.e. the Missal promulgated by Bl John XXIII. Thus any previous concessions, privileges that did not fit in with the new configuration of the liturgical days [e.g. semi-doubles, greater doubles etc] would have been superseded at that point. However, some feasts were reduced to comemmorations, so there was a bit of choice of Mass a priest would be able to say. There is a section in the rubrics that deals with the daily Mass ‘pro defunctis,’ that is what would need to be followed; i.e. treated as 4th class. Often not such a good idea to go delving into antiquity looking for privileges etc as it can be very difficult to work out what has been abrogated and what has not – now the EF enjoys much wider use, I dare say more study will have to be done in this area, especially wrt the 1983 Code of Canon Law. At present, canonists are discussing seriously just what is affected and what is not.

  5. Joe in Canada says:

    I was under the impression that a new indult was granted for secular priests not to say Mass on Monday.

  6. ContraMundum says:

    Thanks, Bthompson. I was wondering the same thing.

  7. Nun2OCDS says:

    Those of us who are not priests will be at Mass regardless. Just give us the Extraordinary Form.

    It has been (and now is?) the practice in some Religious Communities to once a month pray the Office of the Dead on a feria for the Poor Souls. Just ponder the benefits to the the Poor Souls if that occurred on a day of a Requiem. Ineffable!

  8. greasemonkey says:

    I knew about this, but I am still quite confused.
    I have an old church bulletin that has the daily mass schedule in it and they are ALL Requiem High Masses. When I speak to organists and priests, they tell me, “we did black (requiem masses) every day.”
    Was this an abuse? What’s the story here?

  9. Pedro says:

    It would seem that the so-called Monday privilege was abrogated in 1960 by the Apostolic Letter (issued motu proprio) Rubricarum instructum of Blessed John XXIII, under the following norm:

    3) Item statuta, privilegia, indulta et consuetudines cuiuscumque generis, etiam saecularia et immemorabilia, immo specialissima atque individua mentione digna, quae his rubricis obstant, revocantur.

    [3) Likewise, statutes, privileges, indults, and customs of any kind whatsoever, including those that are centenary and immemorial, even if they are worthy of special and individual mention, shall be revoked if they are opposed to these rubrics.]

    His rubricis refers to the New Code of Rubrics published by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 26 July 1960 which took effect on 1 January 1961 and affected the Roman Breviary and Missal and also the Martyrology. This new code does not allow the daily Mass for the Dead (IV class) to be celebrated on any days other than IV class ferias outside the Christmas Season, effectively consigning the former Ordinary Faculty for the United States to the category of “revoked privileges” under the aforementioned norms issued by the Blessed Pope John.

  10. uptoncp says:

    Bthompson, ContraMundum – the privilege permits a Requiem on Monday even when it is a semi-double or (ordinary) double feast, when under the general rubrics the priest would be required to say the Mass of the day.

    This is for Requiems said by the priest’s choice, of course, not for funeral Requiems, which are permitted all but the greatest of feasts.

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