Here is this week's calendar
30 SUNDAY. First Sunday of Advent. 2nd prayers of the BVM. 3rd prayers for the Church or Pope. Violet. Vespers: first of the feast of St Andrew with commemoration of the Sunday. Red. After Vespers Alma Redemptoris. [In dioceses of North of England, Collection.]
1 FEAST OF DEVOTION Monday. St ANDREW, Apostle, double of 2nd class (yesterday). Creed, Preface of the Apostles. Red.
2 Tuesday. St Bibiana, Virgin Martyr, semidouble. 3rd prayers of the BVM. Red.
3 Wednesday. St Francis Xavier, Confessor, double. White. FAST.
4 Thursday. St Peter Chrysologus, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. Creed. White.
5 Friday. St Birinus, Bishop Confessor, double. 3rd prayers of St Sabbas, Apostle. White. Fast.
6 Saturday. St Nicholas, Bishop Confessor, double. White.
The Sundays of Advent, like the Sundays of Lent, govern the season and give it its character. They are privileged Sundays, and no other feast is commemorated on them: St Andrew is transferred to Monday. The first prayers are proper to the first Sunday, but the second and third will be the second and third said on each of the Sundays of Advent: Deus qui, the second prayer is of the BVM; Ecclesiae tuae, the third, is said for the Pope or the universal Church. (The second postcommunion is familiar to all of us: "Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection." Everything is connected.)
There is a collection today in dioceses of the North of England, the object of which will be announced by each Bishop. We will see this announcement at various points during the year, corresponding to today's second collections, though there are far fewer of them (at least fewer than in my parish).
On ferias in Advent, the Mass of the preceding Sunday is said, and the second prayers will be of the BVM on feasts which do not have their own propers. Advent is no longer a season in which Our Lady features particularly in the Church's devotional life, but 150 years ago she was a constant presence: we journeyed with her towards Bethlehem.
Vespers on Sunday is the first Vespers of the feast of St Andrew. He has been separated from his Vigil by the Sunday, but his feast begins after dark on Sunday and continues through Monday. This is a Feast of Devotion: one which would have been a Holyday if the unpleasantness of the sixteenth century hadn't irrevocably changed England and Wales. The faithful are enjoined to celebrate it as though it were a Holyday if they can.
On Tuesday, we celebrate St Bibiana: the first prayer will be hers, the second, that of Sunday, the third, that of the BVM.
On Wednesday, apart from celebrating St Francis Xavier, we fast; we fast on all Wednesdays and Fridays of Advent: this means only one meal, and no more than two collations, the sum of which should not be as great as the one meal. We abstain, of course, on Friday, as well.
On Thursday, apart from St Peter Chrysologus, as well as the BVM, we commemorate the feast of St Barbara.
On Friday, St Birinus has no propers of his own, so the second prayers will be of the BVM, with St Sabbas still being commemorated in third prayers. (Am I remembering correctly that a few years ago we decided that St Birinus might be a good fit as patron for anybody called Brian?) By the end of the 1930s, St Birinus had been reduced to a commemoration (and only in the dioceses of Birmingham and Portsmouth where he still clings on).
Salford Cathedral can be the first Cathedral whose schedule we shall look at. Apart from the Right Rev the Lord Bishop, the Very Rev Peter Canon Benoit, and the Revv Richard Brindle, Charles J Gadd and Henry Beswick serve the Cathedral and its parish. Mass on Sundays is at 8.00, 9.00 and 10.00, with High Mass at 11.00. Devotions of the Scapular are at 3.00. Baptisms are at 4.00. Vespers, with a sermon and Benediction are at 6.30. On Holydays, Mass is at 5.00, 7.30 and 8.30, with High Mass at 10.00. (My guess is that 5.00 is probably as early as it is licit to say Mass in England and Wales.) Vespers and Benediction are at 7.30. On weekdays Mass is at 7.30 and 8.30.
On Thursday evening at 7.45 there is Rosary, Benediction and Catechism. On the morning of the first Wednesday Tierce and High Mass are sung by the Chapter at 10.30. On the first Friday each month, and on every Friday in Lent, Stations of the Cross and Benediction are at 8.00 pm. Confessions are daily from 7.30 to 9.00 in the morning, on Mondays from 5.00 pm, on Thursdays from 7.00 pm, and on Saturdays from 3.30pm until 10.00. During the Indulgences (set periods during the year when plenary indulgences are available) Confessions take place each evening (except Tuesday and Friday) from 5.00 until 10.00 (this is, of course, in addition to normal morning confessions).