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.

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