ASK FATHER: When does Paschaltide end?

Liturgical calendar WheelFrom a reader…


You have posted before that the rubrics after the Ember Saturday Mass in the octave of Pentecost read “Post Missam exspirat tempus Paschale.” However, in the breviary, it reads “Post nonam, terminatur Officium proprium de octava, et explicit tempus paschale…” So when does Easter time really end?

Since you mention the Octave of Pentecost – appallingly obliterated for the Novus Ordo – I’ll stick to the traditional Roman calendar

Insofar as Holy Mass is concerned, the last Paschaltide Mass would be that Saturday morning.  We assume that Mass is said in the morning.

However, the liturgy is more than the Mass.

By the way, it really gripes me when people refer to Holy Mass simply as “liturgy”. But I digress.  “Hello, Eyebrow of Jesus Catholic Community, how may I direct your call?  … What time is Sunday… Mass?  Well, we have liturgy at 9 and 11 if that’s what you mean.”

As far as the whole of the Roman liturgy is concerned, which includes the Office, Paschaltide ends after the recitation of Nones on Saturday. Thus, the Time after Pentecost begins with 1st Vespers of Trinity Sunday, which properly recited Saturday in the afternoon sometime.  You just don’t see the green yet, for 1st vespers or for Mass, because Trinity Sunday white trumps the green.   But I assure you, the green is really there.  It’s just spiritual, invisible green.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Geoffrey says:

    In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of the Hours says “Explicit tempus paschale” after Second Vespers of Pentecost Sunday, which has always led me to ask if that meant that Compline of Pentecost Sunday was technically Ordinary Time after Pentecost?!

  2. frjim4321 says:

    I’ve found that liturgists can be a bit fundamentalistic when it comes to the “change of seaons.”

    God forbid that a poinsettia remain in the church after the Baptism of the Lord.

    I love how the inaugural gospels being OT, it’s almost as if Christmastide is blending into OT, as opposed to coming to a crashing end.

    Same with Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. It is again like a subtle blending of Eastertide into OT2.

  3. DcnJohnSaturus says:

    Was there not, at one time, a Vigil Mass of Pentecost somewhat parallel to the Easter Vigil during the night of Holy Saturday? What’s the scoop on that?

  4. Gregory DiPippo says:

    The more traditional form of that rubric is “Post Nonam celebrata Missa terminatur Tempus Paschale. – After None, once Mass has been celebrated, Eastertide ends.” Since the Saturday of the Pentecost Octave is an Ember Day, the Mass is supposed to be celebrated after None, as is generally the case on fast-days.

  5. The Masked Chicken says:

    “In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of the Hours says “Explicit tempus paschale” after Second Vespers of Pentecost Sunday, which has always led me to ask if that meant that Compline of Pentecost Sunday was technically Ordinary Time after Pentecost?!”

    Yes, it is, but it is, still, a Sunday, so Night Prayer I or II is still used, in either case, so it doesn’t, really, matter, insofar as the Office that is said.

    The chicken

  6. Afaik the feria VI mass in forma extraordinaria is a Vigil like the Easter Vigil thus to be celebrated at night. The mass has 5 lectiones, Epistola, Sequentia and Evangelium very similar to the Easter Vigil. I enjoy the tradition of spending the ordinations during the nightwatch as each ordination is a step to be vigilantly as the wise virgins.

    To my knowledge it was an “abusive” developement that the vigils were celebrated more and more earlier, because after vigil mass said the fast ended. The earlier mass started, the earlier it ended, the earlier the refectorium table could bend under feast food.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    It matters as far as whether to pray the extra paschal alleluias and that kind of thing and whether to say the Regina Caeli as the Marian Antiphon after Compline on Pentecost evening. I prayed it as Ordinary Time but it feels weird.

  8. Gerard Plourde says:

    Looking at the graphic of the liturgial year according to the calendar of the Mass of Pius V (identical to the one in the St. Joseph Daily Missal that I received for my birthday fom my godfather in 1962) I’m struck by the continuity rather than the differences. Trinity Sunday and the Feast of Corpus Christi are firmly anchored in the time after Pentecost (represented in green to mirror the vesture) which is now titled Ordinary, i.e. “Counted”, Time (another instance where translation betrays us, or as the saying goes, “Traduttore tradittore”).

  9. Legisperitus says:

    It’s raining spiritually and we’re too sinful to see it.

  10. JonM says:

    This is a very relevant question for those who pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin.

    The four Marian antiphons follow their own cycle apart from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ‘offices,’ which are tied to Advent, Christmas Day, and Candlemas. Sometimes things sync up, but not always. In addition, during Lauds and Vespers, there is a special antiphon for Pascal Season.

    My understanding has been that with None (the 9th hour), we close the Pascal Season. Traditionally speaking, at Vespers we then enter the Time after Pentecost.

    So, from that point on (inclusively), we sing the Salve Regina as the antiphon (and no longer use the special Pascal antiphon during Vespers, or Lauds for that matter.)

    In case anyone less liturgically minded reads this and rolls eyes, consider a thought from this convert: We have a (good) natural inclination to align and fit in with a given season or circumstance. Culturally speaking, there are all kinds of fashions for a place and time.

    Therefore, if we really believe that our prayer is intended to bridge the divide between us, fallen creatures, and the Divine Creator, then we should commit some degree of effort to match the season. Of course, we shouldn’t look down on people who get fine points wrong (in fact, we all make mistakes all the time.) To the degree we can strive to be more perfect in worship of God, we should!

  11. Imrahil says:

    In fact, dear JonM, let me sum up what you said (nothing you did not say, but it’s a refreshing feeling to, for once, find a nice, pithy conclusion…) as:

    Neither should we look down on people who try, and perhaps achieve, to get the fine points right.

Comments are closed.