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: