04 July 2015

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

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5 SUNDAY Sixth after Pentecost. The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, double of the second class. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Red. Second Vespers of the feast, with commemoration of the Octave of Sts Peter and Paul and of the Sunday. Plenary Indulgence.

6 Monday. The Octave of the Holy Apostles, double. Red. [In Diocese of Southwark, second prayers for the Bishop.]

7 Tuesday. The Translation of St Thomas, Bishop Martyr, greater double. Red.


8 Wednesday. St Elizabeth of Portugal, Widow, semidouble. Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. White.

9 Thursday. St Basil, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 14 June). Creed. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Willibald, Bishop Confessor, double. White. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Margaret, Widow, semidouble.  Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. White.
10 Friday. The Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs, and Sts Rufina and Secunda, Virgins Martyrs, semidouble.  Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. Red. Abstinence [In Diocese of Plymouth fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

11 Saturday. St Margaret, Widow, semidouble (transferred from 10 June). Second prayers of St Pius Pope Martyr. Third prayers  A Cunctis. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Francis Carracciolo, Confessor, double (transferred from 4 June). Second prayers of St Pius, Pope Martyr. White. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Leo II, Pope Confessor, semidouble (transferred from 28 June). Second prayers of St Pius, Pope Martyr. Third prayers  A Cunctis. White.]

The modern, post-VII idea that Corpus Christi has become the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord is worrying.  Our Lord's Body feeds us, vivifies us and prepares us for our eternal reward.  His Blood, shed seven times, redeems us through His suffering.  They do not represent the same thing at all.  I can put up with the feast being transferred to last Wednesday but the idea that the two feasts should be merged into one is as dreadful an example as there can be of the cloth-eared liturgical illiteracy of those responsible for the reformed Calendar.  The problem isn't that they weren't trying to make the Church less unacceptable to non-Catholics: the problem is that they were simply useless, culpably useless.


All Souls in Hastings and St Leonards is served by the Rev John Foy.  Low Mass on Sunday is at 8.15, with High Mass at 11.00.  Catachetical Instruction, vespers and Benediction is at 3.30.  Weekday Mass is at 8.00.  On Thursdays there is Benediction at 4.00 pm.  On Fridays in Lent, Stations of the Cross are at 4.00 pm.  The Reverend Joseph Searle is Chaplain to St Leonard's Convent ...

... and here is what the Convent does.




27 June 2015

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

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28 SUNDAY Fifth after Pentecost, semidouble. White. Vespers of Sts Peter and Paul without any commemoration.

The Indulgence begins.

29 Monday. SS PETER AND PAUL, Apostles, Double of the First Class with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave, Creed,  and Preface of the APostles.Alban, Martyr, greater double. Second prayers of St Paulinus, Bishop Confessor. Red. Second Vespers of the Feast.

30 Tuesday. The Commemoration of St Paul, Apostle, double. Second prayers of St Peter. Red.


1 Wednesday. The Octave of St John the Baptist, double. White.

2 Thursday. The Visitation of the BVM, double of the second class. In Low Mass second prayers of SS Processus and Martinian, Martyrs. Creed.  Preface of the BVM. White. Plenary Indulgence.

3 Friday. St Angela Merici, Virgin, double (transferred from 31 May). White. Abstinence. [In Diocese of Plymouth St Eleutherius, Pope Martyr, double (transferred from 29 May). Red. In Diocese of Shrewsbury, Mass of the Octave of Sts Peter and Paul, semidouble, second prayers Concede. Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. Red.]

4 Saturday. St Francis Carracciolo, Confessor, double (transferred from 4 June). White. [In Dioceses of Clifton, St David's and Newport, and Plymouth, principal Mass of the BVM, with Gloria, one Prayer and Creed. In Diocese of Northampton, third prayers for the Bishop. In Diocese of Plymouth, St Angela Merici, double (transferred from 31 May). White.]

As ever, a feast of SS Peter and Paul is answered by one of SS Paul and Peter. How rich these four days are: the feast of the two Saints, the Commemoration of St Paul, the Octave of St John the Baptist, and the Visitation.  All of those closest to Jesus are commemorated in less than a week, long after Easter, six months before Christmas: but God's work in men and women is made manifest again.

The Indulgence attached to the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul is one of the eight in the year during which most Catholics went to Holy Communion. It is unique in the conditions attaching to it.  They are: sacramental confession, reception of Holy Communion, and prayers to God "with a sincere heart, for the conversion of Infidels and Heretics, and for the free propagation of the Holy Faith".  These feel like prayers we should be saying anyway.  Note that attendance at Mass isn't one of the conditions: receiving Communion separate from Mass was quite normal until the second half of the twentieth century.

There is another plenary indulgence available on Friday, it being a feast of the BVM.


St Mary's Abbey, at East Bergholt, near Colchester, is served by the Rt Reverend William Wareing, Bishop of Retimo.  Local people can enter an extension to the chapel where they can see from the side the priest saying Mass but can't see the community..

Bishop Wareing had been a Confessor to a Convent of English Benedictine nuns who had been forced to abandon France after the Revolution, and had also taught at Oscott, where he became Vice President and Spiritual Director.  After the reorganisation of the Vicariate, he became the first Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District with the title of Bishop of Ariopolis, and, with the establishment of the Hierarchy in 1850, was the first Bishop of Northampton.  He received Frederick William Faber into the Church.  As an old man he resigned his See, was "translated" to a See in partibus, and became once again Chaplain to a Benedictine convent, where in time he died and was buried. 

On his deathbed he said: "I have no great talents; I have never done any great things; but I have always endeavoured to do my duty". I think this is an epitaph we might all strive for.

The Convent became a Friary, and the friars went in the 1970s.  Though the cemetery has been preserved, Bishop Wareing's tombstone is now pretty well illegible.  The Abbey/Friary has become a commune.  There are more pictures here, and here as well. They leave me feeling pretty depressed.



21 June 2015

Helping Out With Crisis Pregnancies In 1910

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I found this classified advertisement from 1910 most affecting. Poor Mgr Nugent and Fr Walsh, who could probably never have imagined that the slaughter of unwanted children would become industrialised.  At least they did what could, and it strikes me as like the acts of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: something beautiful for God.

SAVE THE MOTHER AND THE CHILD !

HOUSE OF PROVIDENCE

West Dingle, Liverpool

UNDER THE CARE OF SISTERS OF THE SACRED HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY

This Institution was founded in 1897 by the late Rt Rev Mgr Nugent, its chief object being to provide a safe refuge for young unwedded mothers and their infants. and thereby to prevent the prevalent destruction of child life. Infanticide under some of its worst forms has become so widespread that an asylum of this character had long been an urgent necessity. Each week sets forth gruesome accounts of the finding of dead bodies of infants, often horribly mutilated. How many unfortunate unmarried mothers have fallen through circumstances rather than choice or wilfulness? Ruined and then cruelly deserted, they seek to hide their shame by resorting to acts from which they would otherwise naturally shrink in horror.

The knowledge gained by Father Nugent during twenty-two years' chaplaincy in the Liverpool Prison induced him to endeavour by these means to remedy in some degree, this growing evil. No infant is admitted unless the mother enters with it, and remains at least twelve months to nurse and work for her child. the natural maternal tie is thus fostered and maintained, with the satisfactory results as shown by the working of the Institution and the very gratifying successes already achieved. Help is now much needed to support and develop this merciful and beneficent agency for the saving of both mother and child.

A few words as to how the mother and child are saved may not be out of place. Whilst in the Institution at West Dingle, the mother is reformed and thoroughly confirmed in a life of virtue. She tends her own babe as one of her many daily duties. Then when she goes forth once more into the world, the devoted Sisters always see that she has a safe and respectable livelihood, which enables her to bring up her little one in security and adequate comfort.

Donations and subscriptions to be sent to the Rev Edmund Walsh, St Thomas, Waterloo, Liverpool, or the Rev Mother, West Dingle, Liverpool.





20 June 2015

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

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21 SUNDAY Fourth after Pentecost. St Aloysius Gonzaga, double of the second class. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Third prayers for the Pope (Anniversary of the Coronation of His Holiness). White. First Vespers of St Alban, with Commemoration of St Aloysius, the Sunday, and of St Paulinus, Bishop Confessor. Red.  [In Diocese of Birmingham, fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

22 Monday. St Alban, Martyr, greater double. Second prayers of St Paulinus, Bishop Confessor. Red. [In Dioceses of Salford, Shrewsbury, and Southwark , third prayers for the Bishop.]

23 Tuesday. Vigil. St Gregory VII, Pope Confessor, double (transferred from 28 May). Commemoration and Last Gospel of Vigil. White. [In Diocese of Northampton St Ethelreda, Virgin, double. Commemoration and Last Gospel of Vigil. White. In Diocese of Plymouth St Philip Neri, Confessor, double (transferred from 27 May). Commemoration and Last Gospel of Vigil. White.  In Diocese of Shrewsbury, St Eleutherius, Pope Martyr, double (transferred from 29 May).  Commemoration and Last Gospel of Vigil. Red.]


24 Wednesday. (Feast of Devotion) THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, double of the First Class with an Octave during which Commemoration of the Feast. White. {In Diocese of Liverpool Plenary Indulgence.]

25 Thursday. St William, Abbot Confessor, double. White.

26 Friday. SS John and Paul, Martyrs, double. Red. Abstinence.

27 Saturday. Vigil. St Eleutherius, Pope Martyr, double. Second prayers of the Octave. Third prayers and Last Gospel of the Vigil. Red. FAST. [In Diocese of Plymouth St Gregory VII, Pope Confessor, double (transferred from 28 May). Second prayers of the Octave. Third prayers and Last Gospel of the Vigil. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Basil, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 14 June). Second prayers of the Octave. Third prayers and Last Gospel of the Vigil. Creed. White.]

Not a lot to comment on this week.  The Sanctoral moves forward, and there is no Green.

I remember jumping over the fire (or, as wicked observers with an agenda probably said: shuffling alongside the fire with a bit of an upward motion if anybody was looking) several times on St John's Eve, la noche de San Juan (in fact la nueche de San Xuan), in Spain. There is something wrong when the secular world keeps feasts the Church doesn't want to celebrate any more.

Will St Alban be celebrated in England this week? How many children attending Catholic schools will be told about our protomartyr?

Our Lady Star of the Sea in Greenwich is served by the Rev Joseph E North, the Missionary Rector and Dean of the deanery of St Augustine, assisted by the Rev Michael O'Halloran. Masses on Sunday are at 7.00, 9.00 and 11.00. Catechism is at 3.00. Vespers are at 6.30 with a Discourse and Benediction. On Holydays Mass is at 7.00, 8.00 and 10.00, with Vespers at 7.30. On weekdays Mass is at 8.00 and 9.00. On Wednesday evening, there is a Discourse followed by Benediction at 7.30, and on Fridays either Stations or other Devotions at 7.30 pm. On the first Thursday of the month there is Mass at 8.00 am, and Benediction at 7.30 pm for the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament established here. The Blessed Sacarament is exposed from High Mass to th Vespers in the feast of the Holy Name, and on the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, being the two Festivals of the Confraternity.  The Forty Hours Exposition ends on Passion Sunday.  The parish serves the Greenwich Workhouse; Greenwich Hospital; Lewisham Workhouse; and the Hospital-ship Dreadnought.


Here is a list of the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in 1863.  Scotland has no Hierarchy, so has Vicars Apostolic instead: Bishops of Sees in partibus infidelium, rather than with territorial juriosdiction of their own, exactly as England and Wales were until 1850.  this also means that the Scots have no calendar of their own but follow the calendar of the Diocese of Rome.  Coadjutors are Auxiliary Bishops who have the right of succession to the See when the Ordinary dies or resigns.How many of the residences are still in Church hands?

13 June 2015

Third Sunday After Pentecost 1863

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14 SUNDAY Third after Pentecost. The Most Sacred Heart of OUR LORD, double of the second class. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Preface of the Cross. White. Second Vespers of the Feast, with Commemoration of Our Lady, Help of Christians, the Sunday, and of Sts Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs. Plenary Indulgence. Collection for the Poor School Committee, the benefactors of which can obtain another Plenary Indulgence during the week.  [In Dioceses of Plymouth and Shrewsbury, the Commemoration at Vespers for the following day is respectively, St John a St Facundo and St Barnabas.]

15 Monday. Our Lady, Help of Christians, greater double (transferred from 24 May), Second prayers of Sts Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs. Creed. Preface of the BVM. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St John a St Facundo, Confessor, double (transferred from 12 June.  Second prayers of the Martyrs. White. In Diocese of Shrewsbury, St Barnabas, Apostle, greater double (transferred from 11 June). Second prayers of the Martyrs. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. ]

16 Tuesday. St Barnabas, Apostle, greater double (transferred from 11 June). Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. [In Diocese of Nottingham St Peter Coelestine, Priest Confessor, double (transferred from 21 May). White. In Dioceses of Plymouth and Shrewsbury Our Lady, Help of Christians, greater double (transferred from 24 May). Creed. Preface of the BVM. White.]


17 Wednesday. St Peter Coelestine, Priest Confessor, double (transferred from 21 May). Second prayers for the Pope (Anniversary of the election of His Holiness). White. [In Dioceses of Nottingham and Shrewsbury, St Aldhelm, Bishop Confessor, double (transferred from 25 May). Second prayers for the Pope. White.  In Diocese of Plymouth
St Barnabas, Apostle, greater double (transferred from 11 June). Second prayers for the Pope. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. ]

18 Thursday. St Aldhelm, Bishop Confessor, double (transferred from 25 May). Second prayers of Sts Mark and Marcellian, Martyrs. White. [In Diocese of Nottingham The Octave of St Barnabas, Apostle, double. Second prayer of the Martyrs. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. In Diocese of Plymouth St Peter Coelestine, Priest Confessor, double (transferred from 21 May). Second prayers of the Martyrs. White.In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Philip Neri Confessor, double (transferred from 27 May). Second prayers of the Martyrs. White.]
19 Friday. St Julia Falconieri, Virgin, double. White. Second prayers of Sts Gervase and Protase. Abstinence.


20 Saturday. St Philip Neri, Confessor, double (transferred from 27 May). Second prayers of St Silverius, Priest Martyr. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth St Aldhelm, Bishop Confessor, double (transferred from 25 May). Second prayers of the Martyrs. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Gregory VII, Pope Confessor, double (transferred from 28 May). Second prayers of the Martyrs. White.]

Of course at this time the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was celebrated on a Sunday (it was moved by Pope Pius X) and had no Octave (which was added by Pope Pius XI and removed by Pope Pius XII)a brief liturgical history of the twentieth centuryso this week is simply busy with Saints, and with catching up with missed feasts, made complex by the fact that diocesan celebrations mean that different feasts are caught up with in different ways, depending on where you live.  The Calendar expects a world in which things happen at the speed of man and beast, not at the speed of machines.

Note the second prayers for the Pope on the anniversary of his election.  There is no need to offer special votive Masses for His Holiness (though these might be said): adding prayers to the Mass adds to the Mass's richness, and doesn't take away from it. ("Both and", not "either or".)

St Mary's Agricultural Colony and Reformatory at Whitwick in Leicestershire is managed by the Rev Joseph Martin from St Bernard's Abbey (now Mount St Bernard); the Rev Austin Collins is the Chaplain. Mass on Sunday is at 7.00, with solemn Mass and Sermon at 10.00. Catachesis is at 4.00 pm. Prayers, Sermon and Benediction are at 6.00. Strangers who are not in Holy Orders are not admitted on Sundays.
 
I was told I was a bit too keen on posting the prices of wines and spirits. Well, here are some prices for tea and sugar for Temperance folk. And raisins and currants: but don't let them soak in water for too long and leave them ...



08 June 2015

Bishop Milner

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John Milner, Titular Bishop of Castabala and Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District from 1803-1826, had one of the strongest personalities of any of the English Bishops.  He was very devout, making his seminary at Oscott the first English centre of devotion to the Sacred Heart, and had a keen concern that his priests should be properly educated and orthodox: he was very keen that the Cisalpine tendencies which had grown since the French Revolution and which he detected in any body, lay or clerical, which opposed him, should be defeated.

He was one of the four Bishops who governed the Church in England and Wales as Vicars Apostolic, and usually found himself in a minority of one on any issue on which he and his brethren needed to agree.  He became the Parliamentary Agent for the Bishops of Ireland after the 1801 Act of Union, representing their (well, his) anti-Cisalpine views trenchantly, against those of the English Bishops, the representatives of the English laity and, as it happened, the Pope and the Roman Curia. Catholic Emancipation was achieved in 1829 but might have been in 1813, were it not for Milner's exertions. Yet it can be argued that it was because of Bishop Milner that the Bishops took over the leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales from the Catholic gentry who had kept it going throughout the penal period.

As Mgr Ward wrote, Milner had grievances against everyone, from the Holy Father downwards, with the inevitable result that he fell out one time or another with everyone with whom he came into contact. He denounced one of his fellow Vicars Apostolic to Rome for dishonestly keeping to himself monies from Rome which were due to Milner: in fact the accusation was baseless and the Roman authorities were exasperated by his behaviour. 

Famously, in 1813, after the defeat of Grattan's Emancipation Bill, the Catholic Board, which represented the interests of the Catholic Laity, voted to dismiss him from the "Select Committee" which it had set up to enable the Board to attend more expeditiously to public business.  Milner read to the Board a long paper of protest and, finishing, walked to the door, turned and said "You may expel me from this Board, but I thank God, Gentlemen, that you cannot expel me from the Kingdom of Heaven". These words were widely quoted among Catholics in the nineteenth century.

Less often quoted were the words of Mr Robert Clifford, one of the leading lay Catholics of the day, who refused to allow any resolution of the Board hostile to or critical of Bishop Milner to pass without a formal vote.  He wrote "I must in justice, however, say that I did it out of the respect which I bore for the character of a Vicar Apostolic, and not for the person of Dr Milner, as I should be unwilling to transact business with him without a witness".

Sources: Mgr Ward, Frs Schofield and Skinner, John Bossy


06 June 2015

Sunday In The Octave Of Corpus Christi And Second After Pentecost 1963

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7 SUNDAY within the Octave of Corpus Christi and Second after Pentecost, semidouble. White. First Vespers of St William with commemoration of the Sunday and the Octave. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

8 Monday. St William, Bishop Confessor, double. White. [In Diocese of Westminster third prayers for the Archbishop.]

9 Tuesday. Mass of the Octave of Corpus Christi, semidouble. Second prayers of Sts Primus and Felician, Martyrs. Third prayers ConcedeWhite. [In Diocese of  Shrewsbury Our Lady Help of Christians, Patron of the Diocese, double of the First Class (transferred from 24 May). Creed. Preface of the BVM. White.]

10 Wednesday. Mass of the Octave of Corpus Christi, semidouble. Second prayers Concede. Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

11 Thursday. The Octave of Corpus Christi, double . White. [In Diocese of Nottingham St Barnabas, Apostle, Titular of the Cathedral, double of the First Class, with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave, Creed, and Preface of the Apostles. Second prayers of the Octave of Corpus Christi. Red.]

The Indulgence ends

12 Friday. St John a S Facundo, Confessor, double. Second prayers of SS Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius Martyrs. White Abstinence. [In Diocese of Plymouth, the Octave of St Boniface, Bishop Martyr, double. Red.]

13 Saturday. St Anthony of Padua, Confessor, double. White.

Last Thursday's feast of Corpus Christi still governs the week, with only one feast reducing it to a commemoration, except in Shrewsbury and Nottingham where there are two: each diocese is its own Church.

Saint William, whose feast falls on Monday, is the St William who was Archbishop of York, the nephew of King Stephen, and who governed the Archdiocese from 1141 to 1154. He was canonised in 1227. Is his feast celebrated anywhere this year?

For the first time, let us compare pre-1910 with post-1970.

7 SUNDAY Corpus Christi (transferred). White.

8 Monday. Feria. Green.

9 Tuesday. St Ephrem, Deacon Doctor (White) or St Columba Abbot (White) or feria (Green).

10 Wednesday. Feria. Green.

11 Thursday. St Barnabas, Apostle. Red.

12 Friday. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. White.

13 Saturday. St Anthony of Padua, (White) or the Immaculate Heart Of Mary (White).

Apart from Green,  what strikes me is the word "or". Why "or" when you can have "and"?  And this is a busy week in the new calendar! The declaration of St Ephrem as a Doctor of the Church in 1920 could have made him a particular bridge to the East, but the change of date and the reduction of his feast (the feast of a Doctor of the Church!) to an option, equal to St Columba or, if the priest can't be bothered, to a feria leaves me bemused, to say the least.

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was transferred from the Third Sunday after Pentecost to the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi by Pope Pius X.  It provides the last ghostly echo of that Octave, which was abolished by Pius XII, in the new calendar.

A strong word, but I really think that the modern calendar is the old calendar emasculated. The old calendar was directing, ordered and hierarchical; the modern calendar, except for Sundays (most of which are "Ordinary" anyway), is (more strong words) wimpishly laissez faire.

St Patrick's, Livesey-street, Collyhurst, in Manchester, is served by the Very Rev Edmund Canon Cantwell as its Missionary Rector, and the Revv Pierce Griffith, Richard Liptrott and James Conway.  Masses on Sunday are at 8.00, 9.00, and 10.00, with High Mass at 11.00.  Mass on Holydays is at 8.00, 9.00 and 10.00.  Evening Service on Sundays at 6.30, and on Thursdays and Holydays at 8.00. Baptisms are on Sundays at 4.00 pm. 


The appeal below is for what would probably be called a Priests' Retirement Fund today. It is shaming to think that it took the Church in England and Wales so many years to make sure that there was provision for secular priests in their old age and retirement: that it took up to the dawn of the 21st Century to sort out.  Yet by the time the Spirit of of Vatican II took hold, the notion that those priests who would benefit, or who were benefiting from the scheme, would offer Mass four times a year for living and dead benefactors, was condemned as untheological by some of their successors in the secular clergy, as we have seen. (Though it seems to me that those of the modern era seemed keener on losing the obligation to say the quarterly Mass than on renouncing the benefit of a pension from the fund.)




30 May 2015

Trinity Sunday 1863

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31 TRINITY SUNDAY and First Sunday after Pentecost. double of the second class. Commemoration and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Third prayers in Low Mass only of St Petronilla, Virgin. Preface of the Trinity, as also on subsequent Sundays.  White. First Vespers of St Augustine (in hymn Meruit Supremos) with commemoration of the Sunday only. [In Diocese of Westminster collection for Church-building Fund. In Diocese of Shrewsbury Second Vespers of Trinity Sunday with Commemoration of St Angela Merici and of the Sunday.]

1 Monday. St Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop Confessor, Apostle of England, double of the First Class with an Octave (transferred from 26 May). White. [In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Angela Merici, Virgin, double. White.]

2 Tuesday. Mass of the Octave of St Augustine, double. Second prayers of Sts Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, Martyrs.  White. [In Diocese of  Shrewsbury St Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop Confessor, Apostle of England, double of the First Class with an Octave. White.]

3 Wednesday. St Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, Virgin. Double. White.

4 Thursday. CORPUS CHRISTI, double of the First Class, with an Octave during which Commemoration of the Octave, Creed, and Preface of Christmas. White. Second Vespers of the feast, with Commemoration of St Boniface. Plenary Indulgence.

5 Friday. St Boniface, Bishop Martyr, double. Red. Abstinence. [In Diocese of Plymouth patron of the Diocese, double of the First Class with an Octave, during which Commemoration of the Octave and Creed. Plenary Indulgence throughout the Octave for some work of mercy.]

6 Saturday. St Norbert, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

The word you will look for in June and never find, in this series at least, is Green. Regular, weekly, daily Green is so twentieth century!

Competing Octaves: the whole of England celebrates an Octave for the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury, the English Apostle (even if Shrewsbury, for reasons I cannot work out (she isn't a diocesan patron) ranks St Angela Merici higher).  But this Octave is inferior to the Octave of Corpus Christi, and so this year, at least, St Augustine's Octave will end up mainly overtaken, not least in the diocese of Plymouth where St Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, originally from Crediton, is the local boy done good, and consequently the principle Patron of the Diocese: his Octave will be observed, along with the major Octave, celebrated throughout the Church, of Corpus Christi, which falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

The Octaves compete because the Ordo has to take into account the Universal calendar, the National calendar for England and Wales, and the diocesan particulars: the diocesan shares the same priority as the universal, while the national gives way.  You can see why, purely from a calendar point of view, it's lucky that there were no national Bishops' Conferences in 1863, trying to impose national standardisation across the dioceses.

Even though the Indulgence of Pentecost runs through to the Octave of Corpus Christi (this is one of the eight indulgences which invite Catholics to Communion), there is an Indulgence available on Corpus Christi itself (it is a feast of the Lord) as well as one in Plymouth for St Boniface, available on each day of his Octave.  NB the rules for these two Indulgences, have an extra element to those in force today: as well as sacramental Confession, Communion, and prayers for the Pope's intentions, there is a requirement for a work of mercy as well. For the Pentecost Indulgence (like that of the first week of Lent, or that of All Saints), the conditions are Confession, reception of Holy Communion, almsgiving on the eve or day of Holy Communion (for those who can afford to give alms), and on the day of Holy Communion, that the recipient offer prayers to God for the state of the Catholic Church in the world, for bringing back straying souls to the fold of Christ, for the general peace of Christendom, and for the blessing of God upon England and Wales.

In the Parish of St John the Evangelist, Prince George-street Portsea, (what will eventually be the Cathedral Church of the yet-to-be-formed Diocese of Portsmouth) the Rev Henry S Philips is the Missionary Rector.  On Sundays, Mass for civilians is at 8.00, with Mass exclusively for the military at 9.00.  High Mass is at 11.00.  Rosary and Catechism is at 4.00 pm.  Vespers and Benediction are at 7.00.   On Holydays Mass is at 8.00 and High Mass at 9.30. Mass on weekdays is at 8.30.  The Royal Naval Chaplain is the Rev W L Woollett.  He celebrates Mass on Sundays at 10.00 on board HMF Thalia (a fifth rate frigate). The Military Chaplain is the Rev D Donovan.  The Rev B Doran ministers to the Convict Prison, Portsmouth.

Not all Convents run schools:



23 May 2015

Whit Sunday 1863

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24 WHIT SUNDAY or PENTECOST. Double of the First Class with an Octave. Red. Vespers of the Feast.

25 Whitsun-Monday. Double of the First Class. Creed during the week. Red.

26 Whitsun-Tuesday. Double of the First Class. Red. [In Dioceses of  Westminster, Hexham and Newcastle, Liverpool and Southwark Plenary Indulgence for St Augustine.]

27 Ember-Wednesday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers of St John, Pope Martyr. Red. FAST.

28 Thursday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers for the Church or the Pope. Red.

29 Ember-Friday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers for the Church or the Pope. Red. FAST

30 Ember-Saturday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers of St Felix, Pope Martyr. Red. FAST.


Here ends the Paschal Time

Just as happens in Easter Week, Pentecost obliterates the week. Every day is Pentecost Sunday: there are a couple of commemorations in the week, and the fasts of the Ember Days are upon us, but it is Pentecost, and the Holy Ghost has descended upon the apostles who have gone out to make disciples of all the nations: Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappodocia, Pontus and Asia, Phyrgia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians: and the English and Welsh too.  (Personal digression: was it this reading that stirred up the wanderlust which has been part of me ever since I can remember?)  Pentecost is an explosion of joy, just as Easter is and is celebrated by a serious Octave.

Except it isn't any more.  Probably the most dishonest of all of the things done by Bugnini and his crew was to abolish the Octave of Pentecost.  They said that it was too modern - only a thousand years old - and therefore not something which belonged to the Primitive Church.  They said that it was merely an Octave itself, eight Sundays after Easter.  They were desperate to get rid of this Octave because it spoke only to Catholics: there was no ecumenical expression of the feast of Pentecost to which an Octave could be attached, or at least explained away, so the Octave had to go. 

To me at least, the removal of this Octave sums up everything that is wrong about the post-Vatican II Calendar.  Something that neither Pius X or Pius XII had changed is being done away with, and without any sensible reason: it would be mere archaeologism to say that a thousand years of tradition wasn't long enough to establish a tradition, but the real problem is deeper.  The "experts" charged with renewing the Liturgy didn't understand where Pentecost had come from, or what it meant in the East, and they had the authority and used it.  It is a cliche to talk about the idiots being in charge of the asylum, but most cliches are cliches because they tell a truth in a stale and outmoded manner, not because they aren't true.  

Poor Pope Paul! who finding green vestments put out for him on Whit Monday asked why they weren't red for the Octave, and, on being told that it was because he had abolished the Octave, wept.  If only he had imitated Pope John, faced with a similar situation, and had demanded red instead of green; if only he had trusted his heart instead of his intellect; if only he had listened to (almost) anybody instead of to Bugnini.

The irony, of course, is that the Holy Ghost (anglice novo the Holy Spirit) ended up becoming a "Spirit of Vatican II" shibboleth, and an Octave of Pentecost could have become a weapon for greater change.  This really is one of the small mercies for which we genuinely ought to thank God.

As far as I can tell, there was no Parish of the Holy Ghost in England and Wales 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 a6t 6.00 pm.  Baptism and Churching on Sundays at 2.00 pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30 am.

The parish serves the Islington Workhouse, Felix-street, Barnsbury and the Fever Hospital, Liverpool-road.

Its current state is described here

The prospect of St Elizabeth's Institute must have been welcome in 1863, however much some of its conditions might seem horrific today.  For "poor and unprotected" girls, this was potentially the only lifeline they would ever have, and being taught anything, even "only to the extent of the requirements of a servant", was still the step up from the absolute depths it is hard even to imagine today, but in which so many of the urban poor lived.



16 May 2015

Sunday In The Octave Of The Ascension 1863

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17 SUNDAY. Sunday within the Octave. St Paschal Baylon, Confessor, double. Second prayers and Last Gospel of Sunday. Third prayers of the Octave. White. Second Vespers of the Feast until the little Chapter, thence of St Venantius with commemoration of St John Nepomucene, the Sunday, and the Octave. Red[In Diocese of Liverpool, collection for the Episcopal Administration Fund.]

18 Monday. St Venantius, Martyr, double. Red.

19 Tuesday. St Dunstan, Bishop Confessor, double. Second prayers of the Octave.  Third prayers of St Pudentiana, Virgin. White.

20 Wednesday. St Bernadine of Sienna, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers of the Octave. Third prayers Concede. White.

21 Thursday. The Octave of the Ascension, double, White.

22 Friday. St Ubaldus, Bishop Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers of the feria. Third prayers Concede. Preface of the Ascension. White. Abstinence.

23 Saturday. Whitsun-Eve, semidouble. Preface of Pentecost and during the following week. Red. FAST.


The Indulgence begins

The Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension is particularly rich in commemorations, looking backwards as well as forwards, particularly in the Vespers celebrated in parishes up and down the land on Sunday evening. Our participation in the services of the Church anchors us not only to the Church throughout the world, but to the Church throughout history.  Yes, this is one of the things the Mass is about, but it is also what the Calendar is about, and the Calendar is something we can celebrate outside Church, by ourselves, anywhere.

It is a quiet week, though the Octave of the Ascension means that St Peter Celestine is going to be put back until 17 June.  

On Friday, second prayers are "of the feria".  On the Friday after the Octave of the Ascension, if there is no feast, the Mass of the Sunday within the Octave of Pentecost is said.  Because of St Ubaldus, the prayers from Sunday's Mass will be said as second prayers.  This keeps alive the connection between the Ascension and Pentecost on the day before the Vigil of Pentecost. After the Vigil service, the Indulgence begins, one of the eight periods of the year in which those communicating and fulfilling the conditions set could obtain a plenary indulgence, traditionally marking the eight times a year many Catholics would communicate in the era before frequent communion became more common.

I'll save my thoughts about the intellectual dishonesty of arguments for it of the people who got rid of the Octave of Pentecost for next week, but will simply point out that this week builds up to a Saturday which is a shorter version of the Holy Saturday Vigil.  There aren't as many prophecies, and there is no Paschal fire: but it is still richer and fuller of symbolism than the modern Holy Saturday.  (The Vigil takes place, of course, in the morning.) On the Vigil Catholics will fast in preparation because Pentecost is one of the great feasts.  

Anachronistically, please pray for the Catholic pilgrims we know from the blogosphere who will begin this week to march towards Chartres, before we next explore 1863: they are physically proclaiming and celebrating continuity with our tradition.

The parish of St Thomas of Canterbury at Newport in the Isle of Wight is served by the Rev Thomas W Fryer, the Missionary Rector.  On Sundays there is a Mass for the military at 9.00, and High Mass at 10.45.  Catechism with English prayers is at 2.30.  Vespers, with Night Prayers, Instruction and Benediction, is at 6.30.  On Holydays, High Mass is at 10.00, and Vespers and Bendiction are at 6.30.  Weekday Mass is at 9.00 in winter, and at 7.30 in the rest of the year.  Compline is celebrated on Wednesday evenings in Lent and Advent at 6.30.  Benediction is at 7.00 each Thursday.  Every Friday in lent, on on the first Friday of every month Stations of the Cross are at 7.00 pm.  On feasts of the BVM and on Days of Devotion, thre is Rosary and Benediction at 7.00 pm.  On the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, there is Exposition from the end of High Mass until Vespers.

This is St Thomas', opened in 1791:




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10 May 2015

Consecration Of England And Wales To Our Lady And St Peter

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From a Directory published in 1909:

CONSECRATION TO OUR BLESSED LADY AND ST PETER

On June 29, 1893, in obedience to the earnest wish and exhortation of Pope Leo XIII, England and Wales were solemnly dedicated and conscrated, by the Cardinal Archbishop and the Bishops, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and to St Peter, Prince of the Apostles; and this dedication and consecration is to be renewed yearly in every public church - to Our Blessed Lady on Rosary Sunday, to St Peter on the Sunday within the octave of June 29.

The respective entries in the Ordo say:

In omnibus Eccl renovatur Dedicatio S PetroAp   

and


In omnibus Eccl fit renovatio Dedicationis BMV, et apud ejus imaginem offeruntur flores 

From The Tablet 24 June 1893: (I've saved you from many of the verses)

MARY'S DOWRY AND PETER'S THRONE.

For Mary's love and Peter's name, 
Let thankful voices raise 
Glad songs that still unquenched proclaim 
The faith of olden days !

...
   See where they pass, those pilgrim lines 
Along the well-worn way, 
At Walsingham and Willesden shrines 
Their vows of love to pay !

...
 For Mary's love and Peter's name, 
This gladsome song we raise, 
And still with loyal hearts proclaim 
The faith of olden days !

—W. H. KENT, O.S.C.
Written for the Consecration of England to Our Blessed Lady and St. Peter, June 29, 1893.

If I ever knew about this, I have most surely forgotten it; but I think this is the first time I've ever heard of the Consecration, or its annual renewal.  It's definitely the first time I've heard of England (and Wales) referred to as St Peter's Throne.

Sunday 1 July, and Sunday 4 October would have been the relevant dates for this year, though there is no Octave of SS Peter and Paul any more, and the First Sunday of October is no longer the Feast of the Rosary of the BVM (though the Ordo of the Saint Lawrence Press points out that even after the reforms of Pope St Pius X and until the New Mass and Calendar of Pope Paul VI, the Mass of Our Lady's Rosary could replace all Masses on this Sunday except the Conventual).

Whatever the degree of my personal ignorance, however,  it feels to me that this is a practice that could bring nothing but good to this country, and it seems to me that it would be open to us to do it ourselves, assuming that we couldn't persuade the Hierarchy, or individual priests, to reinstitute the practice.  We might bring flowers for Our Lady's statue as well.

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09 May 2015

Fifth Sunday After Easter 1863

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10 SUNDAY. Fifth after Easter. St Antoninus, Bishop Confessor, double. Second prayers and Last Gospel of Sunday. Third prayers of SS Gordius and Epimachus, Martyrs. White. Second Vespers of the Feast until the little Chapter, thence of St Pius V, Pope Confessor (in hymn Meruit supremos) with commemoration of SS Gordius and Epimachus and of the Sunday.  [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Plenary Indulgence.]

11 Rogation-Monday. St Pius V, Pope Confessor, double. Second prayers and last Gospel of Rogation-day. White. LITANIES. Violet.

12 Rogation-Tuesday. SS Nereus, Achilleus, and Companions, Martyrs, semidouble. Second prayers of Rogation-day.  Third prayer Concede. Red. LITANIES. Violet.

13 Rogation-Wednesday. Vigil of the Ascension. White. LITANIES. Violet. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Walburga, Virgin, double. Second prayers of the Vigil. Third prayers of Rogation-day. White.]

14 Thursday. ASCENSION-DAY, double of the first class with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave, Creed and Preface of the Ascension. White. Plenary Indulgence. [In Pro-Cathedral of Northampton at High Mass, second prayers for the Bishop.]

15 Friday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayers Concede. Third prayers for the Church or Pope. Creed. White. Abstention.

16 Saturday. St John Nepomucene, Martyr, double. White.

This is a small example of the shape of things to come between now and Advent.  Even on Ascension Thursday, a double of the first class, one of the dioceses will do things its own way.  Sunday will be overtaken by the precedence of the Saint on whose feast it falls.  And the Rogation Days will mean processions and litanies.  Pope St Pius V is at his original feast day, and SS Robert Bellarmine and John Baptist de la Salle haven't been canonised yet.

At the core of this series is a question: I want to ask you to think about what the week would be like for the average Catholic who went to church on Sundays and Holydays, and maybe turned up for confraternities or such like, or at odd times during the week if he or she wasn't engaged in normal business.  How different would your ordinary engagement with your parish have been then, compared with now? Please think a bit about this, as I would like to open up a discussion later this year.

The parish of All Souls in Hastings and St Leonard's is served by the Rev John Foy. Mass on Sunday is at 8.15, with High Mass at 11.00. Catechism, Instruction, vespers and Benediction is at 3.30 pm.  On weekdays Mass is at 8.00. On Thursdays Benediction is at 4.00 pm. Stations of the Cross during Lent on Fridays at 4.00 pm.

I uploaded this picture on Election night. I simply cannot imagine what it was like to live in a country with no welfare state beyond the workhouse, which was a prison for the indigent.


02 May 2015

Fourth Sunday After Easter 1863

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3 SUNDAY. Fourth after Easter. The INVENTION of the HOLY CROSS, double of the second class. Second prayers and Last Gospel of Sunday. Third prayers (in Low Mass only) of SS Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus, Martyrs, and Juvenal, Bishop Confessor. Preface of the Cross. Red. Second Vespers of the Feast with commemoration of St Monica and of the Sunday.  [In Dioceses of Hexham and Newcastle, and Liverpool Plenary Indulgence.]

4 Monday. St Monica, Widow, double. White.

5 Tuesday. St Catharine of Sienna, Virgin, double. White.

6 Wednesday. St John before the Latin Gate, greater double. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red.

7 Thursday. St Stanislaus, Bishop Martyr, double. Red.

8 Friday. The Apparition of St Michael the Archangel, greater double. Creed. White. Abstention.

9 Saturday. St Gregory of Nazianzum, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. Creed. White.

St Catharine of Siena was shifted a week earlier when Pope St Pius V took her feast day and has been moved subsequently: ironically, her feast day in the modern calendar is on the anniversary of her death.  That date previously was taken by St Peter the Martyr (these are all Dominicans: was the Order of Preachers consulted?) but he seems to have been moved to the previous day.  

The feast of St John before the Latin Gate commemorates St John the Evangelist's being thrown into a pot of boiling oil while on a visit to Rome during the reign of Domitian but being preserved unharmed. It was removed from the Calendar in Pius XII's time.

Each of the three Archangels the Roman Church recognises by name: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: had separate feasts in 1863, and the Apparition of St Michael in Siponte (in Apulia) to the local Bishop had its own feast as well. It was removed from the Calendar in Pius XII's time. I wonder if the reformers thought that the whole business of St Michael as warrior against Satan was a bit superstitious: did they think that there's nothing modern about saying the prayer to St Michael every time you go to Mass?

That said, the Universal Calendar does have to be pruned back every now and then (I mean once a century or so) as the immediate relevance of the heroic virtues of some saints does change.  It doesn't mean getting rid of saints, or having to pretend like Bugnini and the boys that certain saints were pious legends.  It does mean understanding what the calendar is for.  I think that the balance of the 1962 calendar is pretty good: what might have felt fifty years ago like rather a lot of saints of the Counter Reformation era feels, in the world of 2015 where the Church faces enemies within as well as without, like a lot of good examples of confessors and martyrs who faced a world which is more similar to ours than is the world of the Roman Empire. And, don't forget, the Masses of Saints no longer included on the Universal Calendar can still be said. (This discussion is, of course, completely different from one on the ranking of feasts, or on the precedence of Sundays.)

(By the way, archangelology looks like an interesting rabbit hole to burrow down one day.  Start with Wikipedia here and then start following links.)

The parish of St Mary on the Quay in Bristol is served by Jesuits, the Revv William Johnson, Henry James, Frederick Smyth and Antonito Caradonna SJ.  On Sundays there is Mass at 8.30 and a Sermon at 11.00.  Vespers, another Sermon and Benediction are at 6.30.  Weekday Masses are at 8.00 and 9.00.  Confessions are on Wednesdays from 6.00 to 9.00 pm, on Saturdays from 2.00 to 4.00 pm, then from 6.00 to 9.00 pm; they are also heard before the 8.30 Mass on Sundays and before each weekday Mass.  The Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Mary is established in this Mission in union with that of Notre Dame des Victoires in Paris.

This dates from a few years after 1863 but shows how much altar wine cost in the period. It's as strong as vermouth and costs 50p a gallon. I wonder what sort of martini it would make.


25 April 2015

Third Sunday After Easter 1863

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26 SUNDAY. Third after Easter. The Patronage of St JOSEPH, Spouse of the BVM, double of the second class. Commemoration of Sunday only. Last Gospel of Sunday. White. Second Vespers of the Feast with commemoration of the Sunday and of SS Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes, Martyrs.  [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

27 Monday. SS Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes, Martyrs (transferred from 26 April). Third prayers Concede. Red.

28 Tuesday. Of the Octave of St George, semidouble. Second prayers of St Vitalis, Martyr.  Third prayers Concede. Red.

29 Wednesday. St Peter, Martyr, double. Red.

30 Thursday. The Octave of St George, double. Red.
 
1 Friday. (Feast of Devotion) SS PHILIP and JAMES, Apostles, double of the second class. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. Abstention.

2 Saturday. St Athanasius, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. White.

For those who are joining us late (in the liturgical year, that is): before the changes introduced by Pius X, Sundays did not take precedence over other feasts: indeed some Sundays were marked out for other feasts, as we find this week.  Pope Pius X changed this. It would probably be a bit much to accuse him of Sabbatarianism, but the dreary procession of green Sundays he introduced in the time after Pentecost will be contrasted vividly here in a few weeks' time.  As it is, St Joseph's feast is today, Sunday, the third after Easter: not last week, as it would become early in the 20th Century; not on 1 May as it would become later in the 20th Century; but on the third Sunday after Easter, and the third Sunday's Gospel becomes the second Gospel of the Mass.  

This means that 1 May is the feast of SS Philip and James, as it always used to be.  Note that it is a Feast of Devotion: the Church marks this out as a day which should be a Holyday of Obligation, and should be marked as such by those who can, while recognising that in non-Catholic countries this is a big ask.

I have little doubt that many readers of this blog will join me in celebrating the feast of St Athanasius on Saturday: maybe we should start a tradition of our own, of punching ... no, this is becoming a liturgiological version of Fantasy Football.

The parish of St Ann and St Mary Magdalene on the Island of Alderney is served by the Revs P H Van de Voorde and l'Abbé Jean Dénis.  Mass on Sunday is at 8.30 and 10.00.  catechism is at 2.00, followed by Vespers, Instruction, and Benediction at 3.00.  At 6.00 there is a special service of Rosary, Instruction and Benediction for the troops of the garrison. Every evening at 6.00  the Devotions of the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular are held.  Stations of the Cross are every Friday at 7.00 pm. In Advent and Lent there is a special session of Instruction on Thursday, In May, there is Rosary, Instruction and Benediction every evening at 7.00 pm. There are two further Confraternities: of the Immaculate Heart of the BVM for the Conversion of Sinners, and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Even in the period before Catholic Emancipation, English Catholics had enjoyed music at Mass. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, some High Masses in London were more like concerts, attracting non-Catholics to listen to fashionable singers.  But music was available even for modest choirs and later in the nineteenth century, Mass settings were available to suit all available resources, no matter how modest.  Sometimes, it only took three men ...

 
 
 
(Apologies that this week's offering is a bit truncated: I type these words 4000 miles away from the Muniment Room and will rely on Blogger's scheduler to get it out at the usual time.)
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20 April 2015

Liverpool: No, Something Different This Time

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What a wonderful resource The Tablet's on-line archive is proving to be. There is no better guide to what educated, middle class, Catholics in England were interested in, what they thought, and what they believed.

It is interesting at all periods, but is particularly useful to those like me who want to measure the way the mood changed from the 1950s on.

I have been absolutely thrown, though, by a manifesto in the 18 April 1970 edition signed by 18 parish priests in the Liverpool Archdiocese.  I copy it below, along with the Tablet's introduction. There were three follow-up letters (that I have found) criticising the bizarre collection of points.

A note from The Tablet some weeks afterwards explains that the manifesto was prepared by a layman (as though, as you will see, that makes any difference).

I was surprised that priests ordained before the 1960s in what is described as a conservative diocese, could have put their names to something so foreign to the way they had been formed. It suggests that the changes already had deeper roots in England and Wales than I would have guessed.

(It isn't all ridiculous, just mainly so.)

Despite some official public statements to the contrary, there is unrest amongst the English priesthood and a growing demand for some radical changes in disciplinary matters. Many of these will be discussed at a national meeting of secular priests to be held at Wood Hall, Wetherby, Yorkshire, from 1 to 6 June. (For the agenda see The Tablet, 28 March.) Priests in every diocese were invited to send in suggestions for discussion and to elect delegates in four age groups. The conference is an original, courageous and constructive enterprise which should be allowed to follow its course and set its own precedents without interference from pressure groups at this stage.
 
Fears that it may not come to grips with real problems are suggested, however, by the publication this week of a manifesto ,signed by 18 parish, priests from the Liverpool archdiocese who wish to remain anonymous until the conference opens. A shortened version of this manifesto was published on the front page. of the Guardian on 13 April. The full text is given below. We understand that many of the demands were not in fact included in the majority of submissions made to the conference secretariat. There are 465 priests working in the Liverpool archdiocese, so the 18 signatories represent about 4 per cent of the whole, a not insignificant minority in a reputedly "conservative" diocese. It is reported that most of the Liverpool priests have more than twelve years' experience in the ministry, and many are aged over forty.
 
CONSCIOUS of the urgent need for more open communication between all sections of the Catholic community in this country, we propose that the conference recommend that the hierarchy of England and Wales, this year, establish :
1. A national Council of Clergy.
2. A Pastoral Council of clergy and laity. We further propose :
3. That a national referendum based on the propositions submitted to the Wood Hall Conference be sent to all priests in the form of a questionnaire.
4. That celibacy be optional for all secular clergy.
5. That those who have left the priesthood and married should, in special circumstances and under certain conditions, be allowed to resume the full priestly ministry.
6. That religious priests, who wish to marry, be given the opportunity of joining the secular clergy.
7. That a man need not commit himself to the priesthood "for ever according to the order of Melchisedech ": that is, that the priesthood need not be a lifelong commitment-e.g., a man may offer five or ten years' service to the missions.
8. That the early Christian ideal of priesthood was one of service to people rather than sacrifice at the altar-and that we rediscover this emphasis.
9. That the traditional disqualification of women from the priesthood be removed as having no theological basis.
 
TRAINING FOR THE PRIESTHOOD
 
10. That every clerical student receive a fully-recognised vocational training e.g., as teacher, social worker, etc.
11. That the divinity training of the priest follow a course recognised by the education authorities (at training college or university level).
12. That all junior seminaries be closed. The buildings to be sold or used as training colleges, schools, hospitals, old people's homes, etc.
 
APPOINTMENTS
 
13. That all appointments to positions of pastoral care be subject to renewal every five years-e.g., parochial priests and bishops.
14. That when a parish becomes vacant the clergy be notified. Any priest to be able to apply for the position of parish priest.
15. That the above should apply in the case of any diocesan or national clerical post.
16. That parish priests be urged to set up parish councils according to Vatican II.
17. That a consultative body or board of clergy and laity (at parochial, diocesan or national level) should consider the application and make recommendations to an appointments board.
18. That an appointments board, representative of clergy and laity, make the actual appointments.
19. That those priests should not be left in pastoral care who are no longer able adequately to discharge their functions by reason of age, infirmity, or a record of unhappy personal relationships.
 
SALARIES, LIVING CONDITIONS
 
20. That assistant priests be appointed to a parish under a proper contract of service dealing with salary structure, rights of accomodation, co-responsibility and function.
21. That experimentation regarding clerical dress be recognised as personal and permissible.
22. That in the planning of new areas the traditional presbytery be no longer built.
23. That existing large .presbyteries be fully utilised-e.g., as rooms for students, homes for the old-aged, etc.
24. That all diocesan priests, working within the diocese, should have a fixed and equal salary as long as present structures exist.
25. That Mass-stipends and stole-fees be abolished eventually.
26. To ensure equality of incomes within a diocese, all other revenues from hospitals, convents, cemeteries, etc., be paid (into a central fund.
27. That a priest should never be forced to appear to condone what he conscientiously condemns, e.g., excessive fund-raising by bingo and beer.
 
MASS, SACRAMENTS AND PRAYER
 
28. That all sanctions attached to the Sunday Mass obligation be removed.
29. That the parochial priest be no longer obliged to provide a daily Mass unless numbers and pastoral need so dictate.
30. That all pact Masses from clergy benefit funds--e.g., of the Lancashire Infirm Secular Clergy Fund-be discontinued with as untheological.
31. That priests, recognise that it is possible to administer the sacraments even to those legally disqualified (cf. Clergy Review, February 1970).
32. That all sanctions attached to the saying of the Office be removed.
 
CO-RESPONSIBILITY AND ECUMENISM
 
33. That a method be devised now for consulting all the clergy of the diocese for the choosing of diocesan bishops.
34. That a method be 'devised now for consulting all the laity of the diocese for the choosing of diocesan bishops.
35. That more thought be given to the planning of multi-purpose buildings.
36. That more thought be given to the sharing of existing churches and the building of multi-denominational churches in new areas.
37. That priests should begin to give more lip service to the priority of the parental role in the education of children.
38. That individual dioceses permit initiative in those matters where agreement is lacking at national or international level.
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