23 May 2015

Whit Sunday 1863

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

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:


10 May 2015

Consecration Of England And Wales To Our Lady And St Peter

From a Directory published in 1909:


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   


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)


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.


09 May 2015

Fifth Sunday After Easter 1863

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

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

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.)

20 April 2015

Liverpool: No, Something Different This Time

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

18 April 2015

Second Sunday After Easter 1863

19 SUNDAY. Second after Easter, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM Concede. Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. White. In Vespers of the Sunday commemoration of the Cross only.

20 Monday. Feria. White.

21 Tuesday. St Anselm, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. Creed. White.

22 Wednesday. SS Soter and Caius, Popes Martyrs, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM Concede. Third prayers for the Church or the Pope. Red.

23 Thursday. (Feast of Devotion) St GEORGE, Martyr, Patron of England, double of the first class with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave (as prefixed to the Calendar), and Creed. Red. Plenary Indulgence through the Octave for the Benefit of the Poor School Committee. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

24 Friday. St Fidelis a Sigmaringa, Martyr, double. Red. Abstention.

25 Saturday. St Mark, Evangelist, double of the second class. Preface of the Apostles. Red. LITANIES. Violet.

Wednesday will see something really odd: pre-Pius X agreeing with post-Pius XII.  In the 1863 Missal, as in the 1962 Missal, Wednesday is the feast of Popes Saints Soter and Caius, whereas in Pius X's Missal, it is the feast of St Joseph.  That's because next Sunday will be St Joseph's feast in the 1863 Calendar, and in 1962 his feast is moved to May Day, deplacing SS Philip and James as part of a weird Pian plan to defeat communism or something.

As I hinted recently when talking about the Suffrages at Vespers, the feast of St George on Thursday used to be a big deal, and as he is our national patron, why not?  A double of the first class with its own Octave and, at High Masses, as befit such Holydays, prayers for the monarch.  As I said, not something I ever have experienced, or ever expect to experience.  It's interesting to note in the Tablet Archive that even in 1939 there were people writing letters to say that there wasn't a cultus of St George in England when it was a Catholic country. (The link is here. Actually, if you google cultus george site:archive.thetablet.co.uk you see that this is a subject of perennial interest to Catholics in England.)

And on Saturday, coincident with but separate from the feast of St Mark the Evangelist, comes the first of the Rogation Days - indeed the Major Rogation Day - during which parishioners would beat the bounds of the parish, blessing every landmark, while chanting the Litany of the Saints.  Bugnini's account of the Reform is a bit shifty when he covers this, referring to the revision of the Litany itself as used on the Rogation Days, but not actually spelling out that in practice they were abolished, as were the Ember Days in order to allow Bishops' Conferences to mandate a Family Fast Day instead to the greater glory of CAFOD.  The sad thing is that they won't even do that on Saturday.

 At the parish of St Anthony of Padua in Walker, the Rev James Foran is in charge. Masses on Sunday are at 8.00 and 10.30, and on weekdays at 8.30.  On Sundays, there is Catechism at 2.00, followed at 4.00 by Baptisms and Churchings.  The Sunday evening service is at 6.30. On Thursdays there is Benediction at 7.30 pm, and on Friday evenings at 7.30 there are Stations of the Cross. Confessions are on Fridays at 6.00 pm, and on Saturdays at 1.00 and at 5.00 pm. There are Confraternities of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of the Living Rosary, and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Want a high class funeral?

11 April 2015

Low Sunday 1863

12 LOW SUNDAY. Double. White. Vespers of the Sunday with commemoration of St Hermenegildus. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

The time for fulfilling the obligation of PASCHAL COMMUNION ends.

The indulgence ends.

13 Monday. St Hermenegildus, Martyr, semidouble. Second prayers Concede. Third Prayers for the Church or the Pope. Red.

14 Tuesday. St Francis of Paula, Confessor, double (transferred from 2 April). Second prayers of SS Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus. White.

15 Wednesday. St Richard, Bishop Confessor, double (transferred from 3 April)White.

16 Thursday. St Isidore, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 4 April).  Creed. White.

17 Friday. St Vincent Ferrer, Confessor, double (transferred from 5 April). Second prayers of St Anicetus, Pope Martyr. White. Abstention.

18 Saturday. St Leo the Great, Pope Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 11 April). Creed. White. [In Dioceses of Clifton, St David's and Newport, and Plymouth, principal Mass of the BVM, with Gloria, Creed and one prayer. White.]

Easter has come to a close and now is the time to start catching up on the feast days which were missed during Holy Week and Easter Week: in fact we will catch up quite easily.  If you were expecting to find St Justin Martyr's feast on 14 April, bear in mind that the feast was instituted as late as 1882, and was moved to 1 June in 1969.

The "Prayers of the Time" have changed too: Second prayers of the BVM are Concede, and will be so until after Whit.

What will eventually become Our Lady's Saturday is beginning to become noticeable: in three dioceses the main Mass will be of Our Lady rather than of the transferred feast of Pope St Leo.

At Wootton Hall in Henley-in-Arden, the Carington family maintains a priest, the Rev Peter Jos. Hewitt, for the district.  Mass on Sunday is at 10.30. Catechism, Devotions and Benediction are at 3.00 pm. On Holydays, Mass is at 9.00, and a Lecture is followed by Devotions and Benediction at 3,00. Weekday Mass is at 8.30. There is Benediction after Mass on the first Friday each month.

You can send your five year old sons to a boarding school.

10 April 2015

Fasting And Abstinence In England In The 1780s


Quite a feature in the lives of English Catholics of those days was the strictness with which they kept the laws of fasting and abstinence. In this respect Dr. Talbot's sympathies were in accordance with his family traditions. Yet curiously enough, it was during the years when he was vicar apostolic that important relaxations had to be made in the ecclesiastical laws.

Up to this time a custom had existed of keeping every Friday of the year (except during Paschal time) a fast day as an act of intercession for the conversion of England. This was beginning to be felt as a serious hardship' and one of Dr Talbot’s first acts on becoming vicar apostolic was to petition for the abrogation of the law. His petition was successful, and from 1781 Friday became a day of abstinence only, as in other countries.  (At that date Saturday was also a day of abstinence, in England and in other countries.) With respect to Lent, however, he made a great effort to preserve the strict discipline. The law still held good prohibiting meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter. A dispensation had been granted for several years, allowing it three times a week except in Passiontide; but in 1782 Bishop Talbot made an effort to prevent this from becoming a fixed and regular arrangement, by withholding the dispensation. He explained his reasons in his Lenten Pastoral in a few words:

“As after mature deliberation " (he wrote) " we can see no special reason this year for a general dispensation, for eating flesh meat on certain days, and lest the too frequent repetition of such dispensations should enervate the discipline of the Church in this regard, we think ourselves obliged to confine them to the following articles'"

He proceeded to give a dispensation for eggs and cheese, except on Ash Wednesday and the last four days of Holy Week.

UPDATE: This was done in a hurry yesterday and was unattributed, as Martin pointed out in the comments. 

It is taken from Bernard Ward's The Dawn of the Catholic Revival in England  (Longmans, Green and Co, First Edition,1909), Vol1, page 32.

06 April 2015

Towards Deeper Waters ...

Rita started this off, here. She made a point I can't remember having seen made anywhere else: that Pope Benedict, in liberalising access to the 1962 Rite in Summorum Pontificum, called for mutual enrichment between the Extraordinary and Ordinary forms of the Mass.  Everything I have heard or read since SP has been about the tridentinisation of Pope Paul's Mass, rather than any movement the other way round.  Rita mentions three or four ways in which the EF could be changed to cater more for people formed in the OF, and there are more it is easy to think of: more dialogue; the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar in English; the people saying at Low Mass what they might sing at High Mass; the Mass of the Catachumens versus populum; the response "Amen" at Holy Communion. Hold on to these thoughts for a moment, though, because they lead me on to something else.

If you have been following my 1863 series, you will have realised that the 1962 Missal is very, very, different from what had gone before.  In fact Bugnini and the reformers who would go on to change the Liturgy utterly after Vatican II had set to work during the Pontificate of Pius XII.  If you read Rubricarius's posts on what Holy Week was like before the 1950s, or John R on the way in which the Holy Week changes and the introduction of evening Mass destroyed a balance in the whole of the Liturgy (the Mass and the other offices), you may, if you are like me, get a sense of the desertification of the liturgical landscape, and the impoverishment of our worship.  Imagine anybody setting out to rob the Exsultet of symbolism and meaning by making it a simple recitation instead of something wrapped around some of the activities of Holy Saturday!

Now, and this is where I come over all tentative, can we really imagine that somebody with the liturgical sensitivity of Pope Benedict could believe that the product of the reform of the 1962 Missal was banal, but that the product of the reform of the pre-1950 Missal wasn't? If we can't, and that's the direction in which I think I'm heading, what was Summorum Pontificum about, and what did the call for mutual enrichment mean? Come to that, what is all this business about two "forms" of the Roman Rite, instead of talking about "Uses"?

Going back to another of Rita's themes, it is clear that the liberalisation of the use of the 1962 Mass hasn't made a significant difference, in this country at least: the faithful aren't flocking to it in great numbers. My guess is that the reason is that it is totally alien to what most Catholics think Mass should be like: Mass should be noisy and participative with everybody joining in; it should celebrate community; it should make those present think of Holy Thursday rather than Good Friday; the priest "only" presides, and lay men and women should do everything possible except for the liturgical action.

Might the 1962 EF Mass and mutual enrichment have been a way to try to slow down (and eventually halt) the decay in the form of worship in the Roman Rite? The EF might help re-situate the way mass-goers experience the Mass and reverse some of the effects of the disastrously poor liturgical formation of the faithful in the last 50 years but it only will if the faithful start attending it, and they only will if it at least begins to approximate to the thing they normally experience when they go to Mass.  The idea of any (never mind all) of the changes I have listed above fill me with horror, but maybe I'm not the target audience.

If I'm right, the 1962 EF rite becomes the first station on the return journey or perhaps something which will necessarily have to be changed out of all existence if a future Summorum Pontificum is to restore to a receptive audience a form of the Liturgy which is worthy of what it was established to convey.

Or maybe it's just the effects of alcohol after a six and a half week break.

04 April 2015

Easter Sunday 1863

5 EASTER SUNDAY. Double of the first class. with an Octave during which Creed. White. Vespers of the feast. Plenary Indulgence.

6 EASTER Monday. (Feast of Devotion) Double of the first class. White.

7 EASTER Tuesday. (Feast of Devotion) Double of the first class. White.

8 Wednesday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Feria. Second Prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

9 Thursday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Feria. Second Prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

10 Friday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Feria. Second Prayers for the Church or the Pope. White. Abstention.

11 Saturday. Of the Octave, semidouble. Feria. Second Prayers for the Church or the Pope. White.

Of all Octaves. Easter's is the simplest, but it is the simplicity of pure white light, not of starkness.  The readings all recall the days when the neophytes who had been baptised at Easter would be at Mass each day in their white garments. They are focused as follows:

Sunday: Jesus is risen: He is truly God.
Monday: Emmaus: the Resurrection of Our Lord is the pledge of all graces.
Tuesday: Our moral gratitude of soul, fruit of the Resurrection.
Wednesday: The Resurrection is the pledge of our eternal happiness.
Thursday: The victory of Jesus over sin and death.
Friday: The victory of Jesus over death and hell.
Saturday: The Resurrection has brought true happiness into the world.

All week the Easter Sequence (Victimae paschali) is sung before the Gospel, as though it were still Easter Sunday and throughout the week there are no commemorations: St Vincent Ferrer and Pope St Leo I will simply be transferred to later in the month. Easter glory fills the sky and continues to do so all week, even if the intensity is slightly relaxed from Wednesday onwards, when in ordinary parish churches, low Masses replace the High Masses said on Monday and Tuesday.

There are six Catholic Churches in Preston. All bar St Mary's are licensed for marriages. St Augustine Apostle of England is a Missionary Rectory, and has at least one Holy Guild attached to it. Four of the churches are served by Jesuits.

I mentioned the Society of St Anselm on mid-Lent Sunday, and said that its aim seemed to be the publication of reputable books.  In fact, it is a lot more thorough than that. (For those interested, the London Joint Stock Bank became part of the Midland Bank in 1917.)