28 SUNDAY. (Vacant.) The HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs, double of the second class with an Octave, during which sixth prayers are of the Octave. Red. At Vespers, second Vespers of Christmas to the little Chapter, thence of St Thomas of Canterbury, Bishop Martyr, commemoration of Holy Innocents and Octave of Christmas only.
29 Monday. (Feast of Devotion.) St THOMAS of Canterbury, Bishop Martyr, double of the first class with an Octave, during which third prayers are of the Octave and the Creed is said. Commemoration of Christmas only today. Red. [In the dioceses of Westminster, Hexham and Newcastle, Liverpool, and Southwark, Plenary Indulgence. In the dioceses of the North, the Plenary Indulgence is available during the Octave.]
30 Tuesday. Mass of the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, semidouble, with Commemoration of the Octaves of Christmas, St Stephen, the Holy Innocents, and St Thomas. White.
31 Wednesday. St Sylvester, Bishop Confessor, double, with commemoration of the Octaves of Christmas, St Stephen, the Holy Innocents, and St Thomas. White.
1 Thursday. The CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD, double of the second class. The Creed is said today and every day until the Octave of the Epiphany. White. Second Vespers of the Feast, and with commemoration of St Stephen only. Plenary Indulgence from first Vespers until sunset.
2 Friday. Octave of St Stephen, Proto-martyr, double. Commemoration of the Octaves of St Thomas, St John and the Holy Innocents. Red. Abstinence.
3 Saturday. Octave of St John, Apostle and Evangelist, double. Commemoration of the Octaves of St Thomas and the Holy Innocents. Preface of the Apostles. White. [In the dioceses of Clifton, St David's and Newport, and of Plymouth, principal Mass of the BVM with Gloria, one prayer, and Creed. White.]
Perhaps the biggest change the twenty-first century Catholic following this series will have to get used to is the fact that Sundays do not usually take precedence over other feasts, but this Sunday and next are rarer yet! The Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day is rarely celebrated on Sunday. It is transferred to 30 December if any of 25-28 December falls on a Sunday, such as this year. (If 29 December is a Sunday, then Sunday's Mass is said and St Thomas is transferred to the thirtieth. If 30 December is a Saturday, the Mass of the Sunday is said and Mass on the Sunday is of St Sylvester with a commemoration of the Sunday (as well as all of the Octaves)).
Apart from the wandering Sunday, this week is relatively straightforward, though there are a lot of commemorations to keep up with. Of note is the fact that Thursday, New Year's Day, the feast of the Circumcision, is a Holyday of Obligation, one of seven in the year (the Epiphany, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, SS Peter and Paul, The Assumption and Christmas Day are the others).
Most dioceses honour the feast of St Thomas of Canterbury with a Plenary Indulgence, available in the North throughout his Octave. There is a plenary Indulgence on the feast of the Circumcision applicable to the Holy Souls (as there was on Christmas Day and will be on all feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady). In the diocese of Liverpool, a Plenary Indulgence is available every Sunday.
In the South West of England and in South Wales the first free Saturday of each quarter (January, April, July and October) is celebrated as Our Lady's Saturday, though if there is more than one Mass, the feast of the day will be celebrated: this week the Octave of St John.
The Pro-cathedral of the Westminster Archdiocese was St Mary's in Moorfields. It opened in 1820, and had cost £26,000 to build and furnish. It served as Pro-Cathedral until 1869, when the episcopal see moved, as the area had become denuded of parishioners. The church was demolished in 1899, the site being sold for £200,000. (Another church with the same name was built nearby and stands to this day, the only Catholic church in the City of London.)
The church was served by the Revv Daniel Gilbert DD, J L Patterson, Thomas Cahill, Leo Pycke, and James Hussey.
Mass on Sundays and Holy Days was a 7.00, 8.00, 9.00 and 10.00, with High Mass at 11.00. Catechism at 3.00 pm, accompanied on the Third Sunday of the month by Benediction. Baptisms at 3.00 pm (and on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11.00 am). Vespers, Sermon and Benediction at 7.00 pm. On weekdays, Mass at 7.30, 8.00 and 10.00. On Thursday, Rosary, Sermon and Benediction at 8.00, and on other weekdays Rosary and Night Prayers at 8.00. First Friday of each month Sermon and Benediction in honour of the Sacred Heart. Second Friday of each month the Way of the Cross. Confessions daily except Monday and Tuesday from 8.00 to 11.00 am, and on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6.00 pm. Confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacred Heart, Holy Angels for children, and Christian Doctrine. Socieities: Holy Trinity Total Abstinence Society, Benevolent Society of the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor, and the Night refuge for Homeless Women of Good Character.
The priests also served Newgate Prison; the Old Bailey; the Debtors' Prison, Lower Whitecross St; St Bartholomew's Hospital, Smithfield; Metropolitan Free Hospital, Devonshire Sq, Bishopsgate; Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Blomfield St.
The Cardinal Archbishop, the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Nicholas Wiseman, had his residence at 8 York Place, Portman Square. When in town he was at home every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 11.00 and 2.00, Tuesday being especially devoted to the clergy. The Vicar-general, the Very Rev Dr Hearn would be in attendance at Archbishop's House on Tuesdays from 12.00 to 2.00.