19 April 2019

Where It All Went Wrong ... Chapter 203


You'd think that deciding that it was about time that you read Mediator Dei, instead of just reading about it, you'd end up edified and with a more complete understanding of what the sacred Liturgy is all about.

Instead, you mess up your Triduum by reading that Pius XII wrote this:
But if one desires to differentiate and describe the relationship between faith and the sacred liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say, "Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi" - let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer. 
To anybody who believes (believed?) that Lex orandi lex credendi was some sort of eternal law for the Church, this comment in Mediator Dei will cut you to the quick.  This is why and how any subsequent change could be justified; why any new belief could take precedence over any belief grounded in the Liturgy. Whatever careful point the Pope was making (and I bet I could guess who helped him draft this encyclical), the door was left open.

Here it is in its context

06 April 2019

Pre-1910 Calendar for Week Beginning 7 April


I should just add, though the 1867 Ordo doesn't, that Friday is a day of Abstinence. I wonder whether the compositor was married to somebody called Dolores?

02 February 2019

Pre-1910 Calendar for Week Beginning 3 February


NB for the first time this year the Sacristan has had to get out the green vestments for the priest. 

01 January 2019

For Liturgical Nostalgics: This Week In The Pre-1910 Calendar

This might be an occasional series or might be more frequent if there is any interest.

08 September 2018

Whatever Happened To The Ember Days?

Ember Days, the days of fasting and abstinence at the beginning of each of the seasons, are ancient in origin.  According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia: 

"The 'Liber Pontificalis' ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week - these were formerly given only at Easter. Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine."

(Rogation Days are also an ancient tradition:

"Days of prayer, and formerly also of fasting, instituted by the Church to appease God's anger at man's transgressions, to ask protection in calamities, and to obtain a good and bountiful harvest.")

Few Catholics under the age of 70 (other than those who regularly attend the EF) will know what these are, as they were done away with.  Strange to say, this was not by Bugnini and his colleagues, although they were happy to mess with them. Bugnini writes:

"The Ember Days are to be celebrated at times and on days to be determined by the episcopal conferences, provided that they are in harmony with the seasons and thus truly correspond to the purposes for which they were established."

Pope Paul told Bugnini that he would insist that any periods which replaced the then-existing Ember Days should be carefully determined by the episcopal conferences and that should also be days of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

So where are the Ember Days?

According to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales:

"Amongst these other celebrations, from the earliest times have been the rogation and ember days, days of prayer for particular need or in thanksgiving for particular blessings of the Lord. Since 1972 the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has preferred to drop all distinction between ember and rogation days, and to speak simply of Days of special prayer.

In 1972 six such days were introduced but in the years which followed the number of such days increased to such an extent that they risked intruding on the celebration of the liturgical year, and especially on the celebration of the Lord’s Day on Sundays. Subsequently the Bishops’ Conference concluded that from Advent 1996 these Days of special prayer be subsumed into and replaced by a Cycle of Prayer.

The Cycle of Prayer seeks to preserve the integrity of the Sunday liturgy, without losing sight of the importance of being united with the universal or local Church in praying and working for important intentions. It seeks to do this be encouraging the faithful to pray for the intentions set out in the Cycle in their personal prayers throughout the period specified, and not only at Mass on a particular day.

The Cycle of Prayer is based on a division of the year into six periods, three of these being the principal liturgical seasons of Advent/Christmas; Lent and Easter and the other three periods being divisions of Ordinary Time, namely Winter, Summer and Autumn."

So apart from losing their initial capital letters, the Ember and Rogation Days were merged, were stripped of their penitential character, were separated from their association with the seasons and harvests, were moved from their ancient, perhaps even apostolic, dates, and were then abolished and replaced by a "Cycle of Prayer", which was apparently instituted in 1996, and which is important enough to have a page dedicated to it by the CBCEW Liturgy Office (here), and which I, for one, have never heard of before.

This is how Nu-Church is constructed.  Take something venerable and say how important it is: so important that it needs to be specially adapted for every country and territory; and if the adaptation kills it off, well: that's how traditions evolve, isn't it. And if what replaces the venerable something ends up being neglected and ignored by everybody, it must be that the venerable something needed to have been abolished anyway.

02 September 2018


I tweeted something yesterday that I feel needs a bit of unpacking. I tweeted:

My point is that people of a wide range of different ecclesiologies can separate their views of different Popes from their iews of the rightness or wrongness of their actions, or at least some of their actions.

In the current crisis, it is possible to be critical of the actions of each of Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis for seeming to put the need to avoid public scandal above the need for justice to be seen to be done.  Was John Paul II too concerned to portray the Church as an indivisible sign of contradiction to modern times? Was Benedict XVI too meek and mild to be able to take on powerful cardinals? Is Francis too keen on cronyism? None of these criticisms necessarily affects my view of the three men as Popes. They are men: sinful, fallible men, as I am sinful and fallible.

What interest me is the papolatry of those who seem to view the world with a hermeneutic that starts with "Everything Pope Francis done is the best possible thing to do". What could impel otherwise intelligent and experienced commentators to defend an indefensible proposition.  Defending Francis as probably the last chance to implement a Church desired by many as the implementation of the spirit of Vatican II is at least a coherent point of view, but papolatry is wrong, and dangerous too.

11 August 2018

An Example Of What I'm Getting At

Have a look at three versions of how the next twelve days were, could extraordinarily and are ordinarily being celebrated.  I haven't included the particular arrangements for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle in 1866 caused by its celebration of the Dedication of the Pro-Cathedral.) Vespers on Sunday are included because they were a natural part of parish life in the nineteenth century. This is the Calendar as seen by a layperson in England and Wales.

The Indulgence is one of eight periods of the year in which Catholics were urged to communicate and to earn a plenary indulgence when doing so.  The conditions varied, but for this indulgence (and three others) they were:

You will note that the fourth condition requires a sort of community service: you can't be a Catholic and not be part of a community you have to serve.

Post-1962 EF
2018 OF
The Indulgence begins

12 SUNDAY. 12th after Pentecost. St Clare, Virgin, double; 2nd prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday. Second Vespers of the Feast of St Clare, commemoration of the Sunday, the Octave of St Laurence and Sts Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs. White.
12 SUNDAY. 12th after Pentecost. 2nd class. Green
12 SUNDAY. 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Green.
13 Monday. Of the Octave, semidouble; 2nd prayers of Sts Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs, 3rd prayers Concede. Red.
13 Monday. Feria 4th class. Commemoration of Sts Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs. Green.
13 Monday. Weekday in Ordinary Time (or Sts Pontian and Hippolytus, Martyrs). Green (or Red).
14 Tuesday. Vigil of the Assumption. 2nd prayers of the Octave, 3rd prayers of St Eusebius, Confessor, Violet. FAST.
14 Vigil of the Assumption, 2nd class Vigil. Commemoration of St Eusebius, Confessor. Violet.
14 Tuesday. St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest Martyr. Memorial. Red
15 Wednesday. The ASSUMPTION of the BVM, double of the 1st class with an Octave. during which commemoration of the Octave, Creed and Preface of the BVM. White. Second Vespers of the Feast, commemoration of St Hyacinth only. Plenary Indulgence.
15 Wednesday. The ASSUMPTION of the BVM, 1st class. White.
15 Wednesday. The Assumption of the BVM. Solemnity. White.
16 Thursday. St Hyacinth, Confessor, double. White.
16 Thursday. St Joachim, Father of the BVM. 2nd class. White.
16 Thursday. Weekday in Ordinary Time (or St Stephen of Hungary, King Martyr). Green (or Red).
17 Friday. The Octave of St Laurence, Martyr, double. Red. Abstinence.
17 Friday. St Hyacinth, Confessor. 3rd Class. White. Abstinence.
17 Friday. Weekday in Ordinary Time. Green.
18 Saturday. Of the Octave of the Assumption, semidouble; 2nd prayers of St Agapitus, Martyr, 3rd prayers of the Holy Ghost. White.
18 Saturday. The BVM on Saturday. 4th Class. Commemoration of St Agapitus. White.
18 Saturday. Weekday in Ordinary Time. Green.
19 SUNDAY, 13th after Pentecost. St Joachim, Father of the BVM, greater double; 2nd prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday, 3rd prayers of the Octave, Preface of the BVM. White. Second Vespers of the Feast, commemoration of St Bernard Confessor and Doctor, of the Sunday and of the Octave. 
19 SUNDAY. 13th after Pentecost. 2nd Class. Green
19 SUNDAY. 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Green.
20 Monday. St Bernard, Confessor Doctor, double. White.
20 Monday. St Bernard, Confessor Doctor. 3rd Class. White.
20 Monday. St Bernard, Abbot Doctor. Memorial. White
21 Tuesday. St Jane Frances de Chantal, Widow, double. White.
21 Tuesday. St Jane Frances de Chantal, Widow. 3rd class. White.
21 Tuesday. St Pius X, Pope. Memorial. White.
22 Wednesday. The Octave of the Assumption of the BVM, double; 2nd prayers of St Timothy and Companions, Martyrs. White.

The Indulgence ends
22 Wednesday. The Immaculate Heart of Mary. 2nd class. Commemoration of St Timothy and Companions, Martyrs. White.
22 Wednesday. The Queenship of the BVM. Memorial. White.

The main difference between the first two calendars is the sabbatarianism that precludes almost every Sunday from being a saint's day. That destroys a different relationship: that between the BVM, whose Assumption is celebrated as a Holyday of Obligation, and the next Sunday (ie the next time lay Catholics would attend Mass) on which Her father's feast was celebrated. And as Her father's feast was celebrated during the Octave of the feast of the Assumption, the preface at Mass is of the BVM, uniting St Joachim and the BVM to the action of the priest in re-presenting Christ's sacrifice on Calvary. That whole structure of relationships disappeared. St Hyacinth was shifted from the 16th to the 17th so that St Joachim could have his feast on the day after the Assumption - but few laypeople would get to Church on a weekday.

The abolition of the Octave of the Assumption made a temporary home for the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which had been celebrated on the third Sunday after Pentecost (unsurprisingly the Sunday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) but which had effectively disappeared from the Calendar. The Queenship of Mary is a modern feast, instituted by Pius XII. Whichever form you choose, however, you are celebrating the abolition of the Octave of the BVM.  Octaves are special weeks: some feasts are sufficiently important to have Vigils on which we fast so that we can better celebrate the feast itself, and the feast shapes the character of its Octave.  At the start of this week our 1866 ancestors are in the Octave of St Laurence; our modern EF brethren get the Vigil (do they still fast?), but not the Octave.  In the OF the feast on a Friday is probably an excuse to avoid abstinence.

I could labour this, but I won't The fact remains that a structure of lex orandi lex vivendi lex credendi was broken and recast, and the new version didn't - couldn't - work as well as what came before it.

10 August 2018

The Calendar, 1910 Versus 1962: Trad Liturgiology Redux; (The Usual)

There are two triggers for this post: the first was a disagreement on Twitter about whether a parishioner used to the pre-1910 Mass would even notice that Mass said according to the 1962 Missal was different. The other was a discussion with Rita in the combox of her blog about weaknesses which accompany the practice of the EF in England and Wales.  I wondered whether the experience of some of the new EF-only parishes might be providing green shoots which isolated EF Masses in resolutely OF parishes can't provide.  She answered:

"To me it is the whole sacramental life that is so terribly important, more so than simply the Mass, I have no attachment to the 1962; it is confession, veneration of relics, fasting, feasting, pilgrimages, blessing of food and other material objects, beating the bounds, family prayers/grace before meals, Vespers and psalmody in general, guilds, preaching outside of the Mass, parish retreats and conferences, 40 hours, churching, death as part of family life and not a clinical thing, prayers for the dead, remembrances of the dead, patron saints' days, angelus, litanies....

The Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant are overlooked too much..."

I wrote three years ago about the regular schedule of the parish of St John the Evangelist in Islington in 1863:

"The Missionary Rector of the Parish of St John the Evangelist on Duncan-terrace in Islington is the Very Rev Canon Oakeley, and he is assisted by the Revv William Ignatius Dolan, Andrew Mooney and Jean Baptiste Laborie Rey.  Masses on Sundays are at 7.00, 8.00, 9.00 and 10.00, with High Mass at 11.00.  Catechism and Benediction is at 3.00 pm, and Vespers and Benediction are at 7.00.  Weekday Masses are at 7.00 and 9.30.  On Holydays, Masses are at 5.00, 7.00, 9.00 and 10.00, with High Mass at 11.00, and Vespers and Benediction at 7.30.  On Days of Devotion, there is High Mass at 7.00, and Low Masses at 9.00 and 10.00. Vespers and Benediction are at 7.30. Every Thursday, and on all feasts of Our Lord, the BVM and St Francis of Assisi, there is Benediction with Instruction at 8.00 pm.  Sermon and Devotions in French are on Fridays at 8.00 pm. Every other evening there is Rosary or other Devotions at 8.00. Instruction and Devotions for the Confraternity of the Holy and Immaculate Heart are on Wednesday at 8.00 pm, with Benediction on the first Wednesday of the month. Compline is said at 7.30 on Thursdays in Lent except for Holy Thursday or during the Forty Hours Devotion.  Devotions every evening in May for the month of Mary, and every evening in November for the souls in Purgatory.

There are in this Church chapels of the Blessed Sacrament, our Our Blessed Lady, and of St Francis of Assisi, to the last of which the great Indulgence of Portiuncula is attached, and may be gained at each visit made between 6.00 pm on 1 August and sunset on the next evening.  Confraternities of the Most Holy Sacrament od of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary; also of the Scapular of Mount Carmel and of the Seven Dolours.  By Rescripts of His present Holiness, a Plenary Indulgence can be gained once a year by visiting the Church any day on the usual conditions; also on the feast of St Francis of Assisi, and of the Stigmata, and on the first Sunday of every month.

The Church is open every day from 6.30 am to 4.30 pm, and from 6.00 to 9.00 pm.  Confessions are on Wednesday and Friday until 11.00, and every other day till 12.00 noon; also on Wednesday and Friday at 7.00 pm, and on Saturday at 6.00 pm.  Baptism and Churching on Sundays at 2.00 pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30 am.

Pretty well exactly the sort of parish life Rita described.

I think the parishioner from 1863 catapulted into any modern parish and attending a 1962 Mass on a Sunday would notice an almost immediate difference: that Masses after Pentecost would be celebrated by priests in green; would be struck after a few days by the number of times the Last Gospel was In Principio instead of a second Proper Gospel; and more slowly would come to realise that the prayer life of parishes has changed dramatically. The rhythm of the parish as it existed in 1863 and for which Rita yearns (as do so many of us) has gone. The Divino Affatu reforms of Pius X inevitably opened the way to the subsequent reforms of the twentieth century just as the early Henrician reforms - the 10 Articles, say - were a precursor to Anglicanism. The difference is that where Henry VIII was being manipulated by protestant moles, Pius X believed, or was led to believe, that his reform would tidy up the calendar and relieve priests of some of the pressure the Office as it stood placed on them.

The Pian change was a gross piece of clericalism: it put the perceived interests of the clergy before other considerations, changing the calendar and the immemorial link between the Church's year and the year lived by parishioners in it, instead of relieving the onerous obligations of parish clergy by other means (for example, reducing the amount of the Office they were obliged to say). A sledgehammer cracked the nut, and destroyed not just the shell, but the seed inside as well.

I think the reason that Summorum Pontificum has not produced much traction since 2007 is that the 1962 Mass by itself is not an answer to any of the problems facing the Church, however much it might nourish the faith and practice of individuals within it.  The Mass needs to be thought of as part of the Office, and the Mass and the Office need to be thought of as parochial actions, and not just things done by the priest.

We can't go back to 1910 (though we could return to pre-1955 fairly straightforwardly).  But before we do anything, we should be looking at Preston and Birkenhead, at Reading and Warrington, to see if an exclusively EF environment will be able to re-evangelise Catholic England and Wales, if not the whole of England and Wales.

03 June 2018


Rereading, as one does, Thurston's Lent And Holy Week (1904), I was particularly taken by something he writes about Tenebrae, about the strepitus and the final candle, both of which were abolished during the 1955 "Reform".

"With regard to the noise made at the end before the candle is brought from behind the altar, I am afraid that the explanation usually found in the Holy Week books cannot be historically justified. It is made, they remark, to represent the confusion of nature at the death of its Author, or, as the old Liber Festivalis, which I quoted not long since, tells us, 'The strokes that the priest giveth on the book betokeneth the claps of thunder, when Christ brake hell gates, and despoiled them, and set out Adam and Eve and all that He had bought with His bitter Passion'. I fear, however, that historically speaking a much more prosaic account must be given of this noise. When the public recitation of office was concluded, the abbot or presiding prelate always gave the signal for the monks to move out of the choir by knocking the bench, or by one of those wooden clappers which may still be seen abroad used for this purpose. There is little doubt that the noise at the end of  Tenebrae has no other origin than this. The pious imaginations of the medieval liturgists sought for mystical meanings everywhere and found them, but let me repeat that there is no disrespect to our sacred ceremonies involved in attributing to them in many cases a quite matter-of-fact origin. The symbolism of any rite depends not upon the fact that it was designed with a mystical intention by its first inventors, but only upon this, that under the providence of God and with the tacit approval of Holy Church, a certain meaning has become attached to it in the minds of the faithful. The word clock, it has been said in an earlier chapter, was originally used to designate a clacking thing which made a noise - and so a bell; but it would he the height of absurdity for any one to insist that it must mean a bell now and not a timepiece. Thus many of our most beautiful pieces of symbolism are certainly after-thoughts which never entered into the mind of the framers of the ceremony (we shall see an admirable instance later in the incense grains for the paschal candle); but some even of the most fanciful interpretations can plead a venerable antiquity, and the symbolism is true and deserves respect the moment it is generally accepted by the faithful at large."

This is why 1962 and 1955 won't do.  You can't simply change things on an archaeological whim. And if you do, you have to accept responsibility: you gave the reformers an inch, and they took a mile.

02 April 2018

More Bugnini


I'm occasionally asked why I bang on about the pre-1911 order of things in the Church.  It's because the liturgical archaeologism which guided liturgical reform in the second half of the twentieth century didn't restore the Liturgy to some pristine, authentic, original: instead it took it further and further away from its origins until it became a creation of people with an agenda which can most charitably be described as "untraditional".

Let me offer two citations:

Prior to its modernisation in the reforms of 1970 the Easter Vigil Mass presented a number of very ancient features.  As well as the absence of any Introit, there was no Creed, no Offertory verse, no kiss of peace, no Agnus Dei and no Communion verse. Incense was carried as normal at the Gospel but no lights. The mediaeval commentators supplied allegorical interpretations for these omissions; Durandus, for example, tells us that the absence of lights at the Gospel signifies that Christ has not yet risen but lies in the tomb, and the omission of the Creed indicates the uncertainty of weak minds. The real reason is once again the operation of Baumstark's Law.  Almost all the features which were omitted in the Easter Vigil Mass had been adopted into the Roman Mass from outside sources in the period between the late fourth century and the twelfth century.  What survived in the Easter Vigil liturgy prior to 1970, therefore, represented, at least externally, the form of Mass as it was celebrated in Rome around the middle of the fourth century, modified only by a few later additions, such as the prayers said silently by the celebrant at the Offertory and before his communion, and, until 1955, the Last Gospel.
 Festa Paschalia Philip J Goddard

(The General Intercessions (Orationes Sollemnes) of Good Friday can also be dated from the late fourth century.) 
In the ecumenical climate of Vatican II, some expressions in the orations sollemnes of the Good Friday service had a bad ring to them. There were urgent requests to tone down some of the wording. It is always unpleasant to have to alter venerable texts that for centuries have effectively nourished Christian devotion and have about them the spiritual fragrance of the heroic age of the church's beginnings. Above all, it is difficult to revise literary masterpieces that are unsurpassed for their pithy form. It was nevertheless thought necessary to face up to the task, lest anyone find reason for spiritual discomfort in the prayer of the Church.
 The revisions, limited to what was absolutely necessary, were prepared by study group 18bis. In Intercession I: "For the Church", the phrase "subiciens ei principatus et potestates" ("subjecting principalities and powers to it [the Church]") was omitted, even though this was inspired by what St. Paul says about the "angelic powers” (Col 2:15), it could be misinterpreted as referring to a temporal role which the church did indeed have in other periods of history but which is anachronistic today. Intercession VII was given a new title: "For Unity Among Christians" (instead of "For the Unity of the Church"). The text was changed so that it no longer referred to "heretics" and "schismatics", but to "all our brothers and sisters who share our faith in Christ.” Intercession VIII: "For the Jewish People", (instead of "For the Conversion of the Jews") was completely rewritten. Intercession IX: "For Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ" (instead of: "For the Conversion of Unbelievers") was likewise completely rewritten.
 The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 Anibale Bugnini

30 December 2017

Maradiaga: Some Questions.

A translation of a Spanish blog post. The original is here.

There is only one solution to the present problem of Maradiaga and the Pope: a clear rebuttal of the accusations. “I love you very much, I trust you very much, how I suffer when I see what you suffer ...” is a waste of everybody’s time. Things have to be cleared up once and for all, whoever ends up being blamed. Does Maradiaga receive very significant monthly payments? Yes or no? Receiving lots of dollars isn’t bad in itself: it can be good if the dollars are used well. Are they spent well? Can an organisation in a very poor country use these dollars to fund activities outside that organisation in spite of its own obligations? Are the activities relevant to the organisation or not? Does the Cardinal have an assistant who needs to be kept out of sight? Is everything a gross slander? What about Bishop Zanchetta, with health so poor he had to resign his Argentine diocese yet nevertheless was found suitable for a high position in the Roman Curia? Is there a skeleton in some cupboard or other? All these things, and others, affect the credibility of the Pope who, at the very least, will be thought of as covering up some odd things. And what has happened to some people who might be thought, rightly or wrongly, to have been involved in some of the covering up?

A Pope will always be the object of slander from enemies of the Church. Some allegations are so implausible that they do not merit a denial. If someone accused Bergoglio of being behind Kennedy's assassination, it would be absurd for him to deny it. Leave mad people to worry about mad things. But there are facts that implicate him one way or another. To give a minor yet scandalous example, Bertone's flat. Bertone is still there and right in the Pope’s sight. There may be papalotrists who will affirm that the Vicars of Christ do not have eyes. Well, they’re wrong. It may be a matter of little importance but it does have some. And it becomes more important when there is a person who looks with a magnifying glass at other defects, imagined or real, and wastes no time in denouncing them.

04 December 2017


So if I get this right, it doesn't matter exactly what the Pope has said or done, because you can always work out a way of interpreting it that means that he hasn't contradicted, in any hard and fast sense, what the Catholic Church has always meant.  And if other people: Cardinals, Bishops, people like that: choose to interpret what the Pope said heretically, well, we all know that they're wrong, or at least badly advised: hey! somebody should do something.

If you care, look at what happened to the Centre Party in Germany after the 1933 elections. It's what happens to Catholics when they keep compromising with the world till they have nothing left; it's what happens to them when they do nothing instead of thinking about fighting for what they believe in.

02 December 2017

The End Of The Year

At the end of my 1863 calendar series I wrote the following:

May this parish stand as a type of all the parishes we have looked at during the last year.  Its priest will fast from midnight on Saturday until nearly 12.00 on Sunday because he says Masses for his parishioners. He offers them Vespers on Sunday so that they can join in at least part of the Office beyond Mass.  He instructs potential converts; he baptises the children of parishioners, and churches their mothers. He offers non-liturgical services, and, perhaps most importantly of all, he makes arrangements to hear their confessions, with particular emphasis on the confessions of children, and remembers the benefactors who make all of this possible by offering Mass for them every week.  Here is the outward extension of the local Church which is the Diocese, far from Rome in distance, but teaching and confirming the faithful in their religion, exactly the same religion as was taken from their forefathers four hundred years previously, and using, with a small number of variations, the calendar which had governed the life of that Church throughout the period of the great persecutions of those four centuries. God Bless all good priests, as they are blessed by those whose faith they confirm, and God Bless them for increasing the number of those who have such faith!

I will leave this series with two thoughts: first, the old calendar, the old concept of the calendar, in which the rampant sabbatarianism of the worship of Sundays in the abstract is totally missing, is a better integrated, more human, less didactic, unclericalised, popular way of linking the Church's year to the seasons and to the lives of the faithful.

The second is how much the life of the Church depends on priests in parishes, and on those in religious life who support them, rather than on Bishops, Cardinals, or Popes.  If we pray a lot, have lots of children, bring them up in the Faith, and are prepared to give them all to God if they have a call from Him that they will answer positively, we will be able to recreate a Church in England and Wales as holy and fruitful as it was in 1863.

I want to make an additional point today, though I stand by my comments of two years ago: that with the exception of Vespers and Instruction, which had both largely disappeared before the calamitous changes of 1911, most parishes, in most of the country, are managing to do pretty well as well as their predecessors 160 years ago, in terms of keeping their Catholic flock supplied with what they need, under God, to be saved.  There has been an awful reduction in Confession, which reflects something larger than parish praxis but I am particularly pleased that my last three parishes were Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit respectively, and the three orders are as faithful today to their mission to the faithful as they were in 1865.

The two comments at the end of last week's post are particularly relevant - at least I think so.  Why isn't the calendar something traditionalists discuss and argue about? Why have they allowed 1962 to become a defining norm?

And what about the stoic Catholicism Mike Cliffson describes? What was it like to live for generations with little if any recourse to the Sacraments? These are deep waters few of us ever explore.

More soonish, however, about the dreadful consequences of the Reformation and the French Revolution which are part of this whole sorry tale about the attack on the calendar.

25 November 2017

Twenty-fifth Sunday After Pentecost 1865

26 SUNDAY, twenty-fifth after Pentecost. St Felix of Valois, Confessor, double. Second prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday, third prayers of St Peter of Alexandria, Bishop Martyr. White. Second Vespers of the Feast to the Little Chapter, thence of St Gregory (Meruit Supremos), commemoration of the preceding and of the Sunday.

27 Monday St Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

28 Tuesday St Martin, Pope Martyr, semidouble (transferred from 12 November). Second prayers A cunctis, third prayers free. Red.

29 Wednesday Vigil. Second prayers of St Saturninus, Martyr. Third prayers Concede. Fourth prayers for the Departed, fifth prayers free. Violet.

30 Thursday (FEASTDAY OF DEVOTION) St ANDREW Apostle, double of the second class. Creed, Preface of the Apostles. Red.

1 Friday Feria. Second prayers for the Departed, third prayers free. Abstinence.

2 Saturday St Bibiana, Virgin Martyr, semidouble. Second prayers A Cunctis, third prayers free. Red.

The Rev Fr Peter Gallwey SJ is the Rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm-street Berkeley-square, supported by the Rev Frs Charles Locke, William Eyre, Albany Christie, William Maher, Henry Segrave, and William Cardwell SJ. On Sundays and Holyday Mass at 7.00, 7.30, 8.30, and 9.00. High Mass at 11.00. On Weekdays Mass at 7.00, 7.30, 8.30, and 10.00. Vespers on Sundays and Holydays at 3.30, with instruction and Benediction. On the first Sunday of the month Devotions of the Bona Mors at 3.30, instead of Vespers. On Wednesday Devotion of the Stations of the Cross and Benediction at 8.00 pm. On Fridays Devotions of the Sacred Heart, with Meditation and Benediction, at 4.00 (in winter at 3.30). Confessions every morning from 7.00 till 9.30, and on Wednesday and Saturday and eves of Feasts from 3.00 to 6.00, and from 7.00 to 10.00. Confraternities of the Bona Mors, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In 2017 the Parish Priest is Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, supported by the Rev Frs Anthony Nye, Christopher Pedley and Dominic Robinson SJ.  Anticipated Mass on Saturday at 6.00, and on Sunday at 8.00, 9.30 (Family Mass), 11.00 (Sung Latin), 12.30 and 5.30 pm. On third Sunday Mass for Japanese Community at 114 Mount St. Mass on Holydays and weekdays at 8.00, 1.05 pm and 6.00 pm.  Mass on Saturday at 8.00 am. On first Wednesday Novena Prayers or Novena Mass to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour for the Filipino Community. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Monday to Friday 12.30 to 1.05 pm, and first Friday 5.00 to 6.00 pm. Rosary daily after 1.05 Mass. Prayer group led by the Brazilian community on Wednesday at 6.45 pm. Confessions: Monday to Saturday before each Mass and on request in the church, or mornings on call at 114 Mount St; and on Sundays for ten minutes before each Mass.

This is the last post in this series as this is the last Sunday in the Church's year.  I hope it has been of use or interest to somebody other than me.

18 November 2017

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost 1865

19 SUNDAY twenty-fourth after Pentecost. St Elizabeth, Widow, double. Second prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday, 3d prayers of St Pontian, Pope Martyr. White. First Vespers of St Edmund, commemoration of St Elizabeth and of the Sunday. Red.

20 Monday St Edmund, King Martyr, greater double. Red.

21 Tuesday The Presentation of the BVM, greater double. Creed, Preface of the BVM. White. Plenary Indulgence.

22 Wednesday St Cecilia, Virgin Martyr, double. Red.

23 Thursday St Clement, Pope Martyr, double. Second prayers of St Felicity, Martyr. Red.

24 Friday St John of the Cross, Confessor, double. Second prayers of St Chrysogonus, Martyr. White. Abstinence.

25 Saturday St Catherine, Virgin Martyr, double. Red.

At Holy Cross Priory in Leicester, the Very Rev Fr William T Nickolds OP is Prior and Provincial; the Rev Frs Philip M Limerick OP and Alphonsus Cavanagh OP also serve at the Priory.  Mass on Sundays at 9.00 and 11.00. Rosary and Catechism at 3.00. Vespers, Sermon and Benediction at 6.30. On Holydays Mass at 7.00 and 9.00. Evening Devotions and Benediction at 8.00. On other days Mass at 7.00 and 8.30; Evening Devotions at 8.00.

In 2017 Fr David Rocks is Prior and Parish Priest. Frs Isidore Clarke OP, Tony Rattigan OP (Bursar), Robert Gay CC OP (Subprior), and Matthew Jarvis OP also serve at the Priory. Anticipated Mass on Saturday at 6.10 pm. Mass on Sunday at 8.00, 10.30, 12.30 (Dominican Rite), and 7.00 pm. Lauds at 9.00. Exposition, Rosary, Compline and Benediction at 6.00 pm.  Anticipated Mass of Holydays at 6.10 pm. Holyday Mass at 8.00 (Dominican Rite), 12.30 and 6.10. Lauds at 7.30. Vespers after evening Mass. Monday-Friday schedule: 7.30 Lauds, 8.00 Mass (Dominican Rite), 11.00 Devotions and Exposition (Wednesday only), 12.00 Rosary, 12.15 Benediction (Wednesday only), 12.30 Mass, 6.10 Mass, 6.45 Vespers. Saturday schedule: 8.00 Mass (Dominican Rite), 9.00 Lauds, 10.00 Mass, 10.30 Devotions and Exposition, 10.30-11.30 Confessions, 12.00 Rosary, 12.30 Mass, 5.00-6.00 Confessions, 5.45 Vespers.

11 November 2017

Twenty-third Sunday After Pentecost 1865

12 SUNDAY, twenty-third after Pentecost, semidouble. Second prayers A cunctis, third prayers free. Green. Vespers of the Sunday, commemoration of St Didacus, suffrages. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Plenary Indulgence.]

13 Monday St Didacus, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers A cunctis, third prayers free. White.

14 Tuesday The Translation of St Erconwald, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

15 Wednesday St Gertrude, Virgin, double. White.

16 Thursday St Edmund, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

17 Friday St Hugh, Bishop Confessor, double. White. Abstinence. [In Diocese of Nottingham, greater double.]

18 Saturday The Dedication of the Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul, double. Creed. White.

In 1865 the Guardian of St David’s Church and Monastery at Holywell, Pantasaph, is the V Rev Fr Seraphim. The Rev Frs Beneventus, Eugene and Bonaventure also belong to the Monastery.  Mass on Sundays and Holydays 8.00. Solemn Mass with sermon at 10.30. Catechism at 2.30. Compline, instruction and Benediction at 3.30. On Wednesdays Conventual Mass at 6.30, fixed Mass at 8.00. Rosary and Litany of the BVM daily at 6.00 pm.

In 2017 the parish is served by the Rev Frs Francis Maple and Paschal Burlinson.  Anticipated Mass is at 4.00 pm on Saturday, and on Sunday Mass is at 10.00. Mass on Holydays at 10.00  and 7.30 pm. Padre Pio Mass each third Thursday at 6.00 pm. Weekday Mass at 8.00 and at 9.00 at Bryn Mair Convent. Morning Prayer with Mass at the church and the convent. Confessions 11.30-12.00 on Saturday and on call.  Rosary and Evening Prayer at 6.30 daily except Thursday. Eucharistic Adoration Tuesday 10.00 to 6.30. Days of prayer and Veneration of the Relic on enquiry.

04 November 2017

Twenty-second Sunday After Pentecost 1865

5 SUNDAY Twenty-second after Pentecost, semidouble. Second prayers of the Octave. White. Vespers of the Sunday, commemoration of the Octave. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Plenary Indulgence.]

6 Monday Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers of the Holy Ghost, Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

7 Tuesday Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers of the Holy Ghost, Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

8 Wedn. The Octave of All Saints, double. Second prayers of the Four Holy Crowned Martyrs. White.

The Indulgence ends

9 Thursday The Dedication of the Basilica of St Saviour, double. Second prayers of St Theodore, Martyr. Creed. White.

10 Friday St Andrew Avellino, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers of Sts Trypho and Companions, Martyrs.  Third prayers A cunctis. White. Abstinence. [In Diocese of Beverley. Fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

11 Saturday St Martin, Bishop Confessor, double. Second prayers of St Mennas, Martyr. White.

The Rev John Charles Kemp serves the parish of St Pancras in Ipswich.  High Mass and Sermon on Sunday at 11.00, Catechism and Instruction at 3.00. Vespers with sermon and Benediction at 6.30.  On Holydays High Mass and Sermon at 11.00. Vespers and Benediction at 7.30. On weekdays Mass at 8.00. On Thursday night prayers, sermon and Benediction at 7.30.

Fr Francis Leeder is Parish Priest in 2017.  Anticipated Mass is at 6.30 on Saturday. Mass on Sunday at 9.30 and 11.00.  Weekday Mass at 7.30 am (Monday), 9.30 am (Tuesday), 7.00 am (Wedneesday), 12.15 pm (Thursday), 7.00 am (Friday), 10.45 am (Saturday). Confessions: Tuesday after Mass; Saturday 11.00 to 11.30 and after the 6.30 Mass.

28 October 2017

Twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost 1865

The Indulgence begins

29 SUNDAY Twenty-first after Pentecost. Venerable Bede, Confessor, greater double. Second prayers and last Gospel of Sunday. White. Second Vespers of the Feast (Meruit supremos), commemoration of the Sunday. [In Diocese of Beverley, the Octave of the BVM, double. Second prayers and last Gospel of Sunday, Preface of the BVM. White. First Vespers of St Bede (Meruit supremos), commemoration of the Octave and of the Sunday.]

30 Monday Feria. [In Diocese of Beverley, Venerable Bede, Confessor, greater double. White.]

31 Tuesday All-Hallows Eve. Second prayers of the Holy Ghost. Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. Violet.

1 Wednesday. ALL SAINTS, double of the First Class with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave and Creed. White. Second Vespers of the Feast. White. After Benedicamus Domino), Vespers of the Dead. Black.

2 Thursday All Souls. Black.

3 Friday St Winifred, Virgin Martyr, double. Red. Abstinence. [In Diocese of Shrewsbury double of the First Class. Plenary Indulgence.]

4 Saturday St Charles, Bishop Confessor, double. Third prayers of Sts Vitalis and Agricola, Martyrs. White.

In 1865 the parish of St Francis of Assisi, Portland-road, Notting-Hill is served by the Rev Henry Augustus Rawes of the Oblates of St Charles. Mass on Sunday at 8.00, 9.00 and 11.00; on Holydays at 8.00 and 11.00; on weekdays at 8.00 (from 5 November to 30 April at 9.00). Benediction with sermon on Sunday at 7.00 and on Thursday at 8.00. Confraternity of the Cord of St. Francis.

In 2017 the Parish Priest is Fr Gerard Skinner.  Anticipated Mass on Saturday at 6.00, and Sunday Mass at 10.00, 11.30 and 6.00 pm. Mass on Holydays at 9.30 and 7.00 pm. Weekday Mass at 9.30 except Wednesday when there is no Mass. Confessions on Saturday 10.00 to 10.30. Adoration of t Blessed Sacrament Monday, Thursday and Friday after Mass until 10:30. Rosary after Tuesday and Saturday morning Mass. The Church is open for private prayer from 9.00 to 12.00 noon daily.

21 October 2017

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost 1865

22 SUNDAY, Twentieth after Pentecost. The Patronage of the BVM, greater double. Second prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday, Preface of the BVM. White. First Vespers of Our Most Holy Redeemer, commemoration of the Patronage of the BVM and the Sunday. [In Diocese of Beverley, Patron of the Diocese, double of the First Class. Second Vespers of the Feast, with commemoration of the Most Holy Redeemer and of the Sunday.]

23 Monday Our Most Holy REDEEMER, greater double. Creed. White.

24 Tuesday St Raphael, Archangel, greater double. Creed. White.

25 Wednesday The Translation of St John of Beverley, double. Second prayers of Sts Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs. White. [In Diocese of Beverley greater double.]

26 Thursday St Theresa. Virgin, double (transferred from 15 October). Second prayers of St Evaristus, Pope Martyr. White.

27 Friday Vigil. St John Cantius, Confessor, double (transferred from 22 October). Second prayers and last Gospel of Vigil. White. Abstinence.

28 Sat. (Feast of Devotion) STS SIMON AND JUDE, Apostles, double of the second class. Creed, Preface of the Apostles. Red. [In Diocese of St David'sand Newport second prayers for the Bishop.]

The parish of St Marie in Sheffield is served by the Very Rev Canon William Fisher as Missionary Rector, and he is supported by the Revv Martin Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, Joseph Hurst and James Atkins. Masses on Sunday are at 7.30, 9.00, and High Mass at 10.30 (with Sermon). Catechism, Instruction, and Devotions for children are at 3.00. Vespers, Sermon and Benediction at 6.30 pm. On Holydays, Masses are at 7.00 and 9.00, with High Mass and Sermon at 10.30. Devotions for children, Discourse and Benediction at 3.00, and Vespers, Sermon and Benediction at 8.00 pm. On weekdays, Masses are at 8.00 and 8.30. On Days of Devotion and on every Thursday evening at 8.00 there are Prayers, Devotions and Benediction. Every Friday from Septuagesima to Palm Sunday and on the first Friday of every month there are Stations of the Cross. On other Fridays, the Bona Mors Devotions are said in the Mortuary Chapel at 8.00. Every Saturday evening at 8.00 Prayers, Rosary, Litany etc of the BVM are sung. In May, for the month of Mary, there are Devotions and a Discourse every evening. There are Devotions, a Discourse and Benediction every evening in the Octave of Corpus Christi. Every evening in the Octave of All Souls there are Devotions in the Mortuary Chapel. There are Confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament, the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners, the Scapular, the Rosary, and of Christian Doctrine. Marriages are on Sunday at 9.00, and other days at 10.00. Baptisms on Sunday at 2.00 pm and Wednesday at 10.00 am. Churchings on Monday mornings at 9.00.

In 2017 St Marie’s is the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Hallam.  The Cathedral Parish Priest is Fr Christopher Mark Posluszny, supported by Fr Santosh Vazhappally and Fr Luciano Falcao. Anticipated Mass on Saturday at 5.30, and on Sunday at 8.30 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, and 6.30 pm. Weekday Mass: Monday-Friday 8.00 am, 12.45 pm and 5.30 pm; Saturday at 12.30 pm. Divine Office: Monday-Friday: Morning Prayer 7.45 am, Midday Prayer 12.30 pm, Evening Prayer 5.15 pm.

Holy Hour: Monday- Friday 11.30 am-12.30 pm. Confessions Monday - Friday 12.00-12.30pm; Saturday 11.00 am-12.15 pm, 4.45-5.15 pm.