7 SUNDAY, Second of Advent, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM. Third prayers for the Church or Pope. Violet. First Vespers of the Immaculate Conception with commemoration of the second Sunday of Advent. White. [In diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.] [In dioceses of Liverpool and Salford collection for Church-building Fund.]
8 Monday, (Festival of devotion) THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BVM Patron of the Diocese, double of the first class (except in Beverley, Plymouth, Salford and Shrewsbury where not the Patron so double of the second class) with an Octave, during which commemoration of the Octave, Creed, and Preface of the BVM. White. Plenary Indulgence [and in dioceses of Liverpool, St David's and Newport, and Southwark, throughout the Octave].
9 Tuesday, St Ambrose, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 7 December). White.
10 Wednesday, Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayer of the feria, third prayer of St Melchiades, Pope Martyr. White. FAST.
11 Thursday, St Damasus, Bishop Confessor, semidouble. White.
12 Friday, Of the Octave, semidouble. Second prayer of the feria, third prayer of the Holy Ghost. White. FAST.
13 Saturday, St Lucy, Virgin Martyr. double. Red.
The second week of Advent begins in a straightforward enough way. There are collections in Liverpool and Salford for new churches, and in Hexham and Newcastle there is a plenary indulgence.
(We will look at plenary indulgences in a separate posting soon: it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that, as so often, things aren't as simple as they are today.)
Monday's feast of the Immaculate Conception begins at Sunday Vespers. It is a feast of devotion, so Catholics are encouraged to treat it as though it were a Holyday, as it had been in England from the thirteenth century until the Reformation. This is a major feast with an Octave throughout England and Wales and there is a plenary indulgence available everywhere today (and, in three of the dioceses who have the BVM as a patron, throughout the Octave). In fact, there are only four dioceses of which Our Lady is not Patron, but it would be hard to tell the difference between observance of today's feast in those dioceses and elsewhere.
On Tuesday, St Ambrose is celebrated. He has been displaced by the fact that Sunday was privileged (Sundays in Advent and Lent must be celebrated as Sundays), and as 8 December is the Immaculate Conception, he had to move to the next available day, luckily a feria, so he isn't displacing any other saint. Both the Advent prayers from Sunday and the prayers of the Octave will be said today: the same goes for Thursday's feast of St Damasus, and Saturday's of St Lucy: we will celebrate the feast, and we will celebrate the Octave, all the time remembering that this is Advent.
Even on the two ferias, both of which are fast days, we celebrate the Octave and keep Advent.
This week's parish is St Augustine in Ramsgate. It is served by the Revv FF Wilfrid Alcock, Cuthbert Downey, Bede Whiteside, Suithbert Palmer and Isidore Pattlé. On Sundays and Holydays, Mass is celebrated at 8.00 and 10.30. Vespers, with Catechism and Benediction, is at 3.00. Weekday Masses are at 7.15, 8.00 and 8.30. Benediction is at 4.00 on Thursdays.
Ramsgate also serves the church of Ss Augustine and Gregory in Margate where there is no resident priest. There is only one Mass on Sundays at 11.00 for most of the year, with an additional Mass at 8.00 in the summer. At 4.00 pm on Sundays and Holydays, there is Catechism and Benediction. Mass on weekdays is at 8.00.