29 November 2014

First Sunday Of Advent 1862

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).

26 November 2014

Vespers And Diocesan Difference in 1863

One of the things shown up by the fact that Sunday Vespers was a commonplace of Catholic parish life in the 1860s is just how different from each other Catholic dioceses were.  I don't want to delve too deeply into the Office, partly because it is too big a subject for me, partly because I want to relate what parish life looked like to lay people, but one aspect of Sunday Vespers is worth noting.

Pre-Pius X, Sunday Vespers regularly included the Suffrages: special prayers of intercession, and these would be typically, of the Cross, the BVM, the Patron and for Peace.

You would have thought that "the Patron" was easy to identify: St George for England, St David for Wales.  But not so: as far as Hexham and Newcastle was concerned, St George was not the patron; St Cuthbert was, and the prayer to St George was not said.  In Northampton and Plymouth, their patrons-St Thomas of Canterbury and St Boniface respectively-were addressed before St George.

This is only a few years after the reestablishment of the Hierarchy: by 1890, a generation later, the diocese of Salford had established additional feasts (ie additional to those of its diocesan patrons and additional to those particular to England and Wales) as follows:

Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany: Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
13 February: St Kentigern
17 February: The Flight of OLJC into Egypt
26 March: The Good Thief
26 April: Our Lady of Good Counsel
12 May: The Humility of the BVM
15 May: Our Lady of Grace
29 June: Commemoration of all the Holy Apostles
15 July: The Division of the Apostles

Salford is the only diocese I've looked into for this purpose and 1890 is long after what I am aiming for in this series, but I'm sure other dioceses had developed their own calendars too (no doubt also celebrating some of the feasts in the Salford list) and that life in England and Wales was a mosaic of difference. 

22 November 2014

XXIV And Last Sunday After Pentecost 1862

Let's start our 1862/3 Catholic year today, with the coming week's Ordo for the dioceses of England and Wales, the last week of 1861/62.  (The Scottish hierarchy not yet having been restored, the supplements to the calendar used in the diocese of Rome are used there (as well as "in Australia and other places" as one missal puts it), and there are no particular diocesan feasts, as there are no dioceses, but simply districts administered by Vicars Apostolic.)

23 SUNDAY. 24th and last after Pentecost. St Clement, Pope Martyr, double.  2nd prayers and Last Gospel of Sunday.  3rd prayers of St Felicity, Martyr. Red. Vespers: 2nd of St Clement to the little Chapter, thence forward of tomorrow's feast of St John of the Cross (in the hymn Meruit supremos); commemoration of St Clement and of St Chyrsogonous, martyr. White.

24 Monday. St John of the Cross, Confessor, double. 2nd prayers of St Chrysogonous, Martyr. White.

25 Tuesday. St Catherine, Virgin Martyr, double. Red.

26 Wednesday. St Felix of Valois, Confessor, double. 2nd prayers of St Peter of Alexandria, Bishop, Martyr. White.

27 Thursday. St Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop, Confessor, double.  White.

28 Friday. Feria. 2nd prayers for the Dead (Fidelium). 3rd prayers A cunctis. Green. Abstinence. [In the diocese of Nottingham, St Wencelaus, Martyr, semidouble (transferred from 28 September). 2nd prayers A cunctis. 3rd prayers free choice of priest. Red.]

29 Saturday. Vigil of feast of St Andrew. 2nd prayers of St Saturninus, Martyr. 3rd prayers Concede. Violet. [In the diocese of Nottingham, add 4th prayers for the Dead (Fidelium) and 5th prayers free choice of priest.]

The last week of the year is relatively straightforward. The feast of St Clement outranks the last Sunday after Pentecost and the feast of St Felicity, so takes priority, though the prayers proper to all three are, of course, said.  Sunday Vespers, a normal part of life in most parishes, starts off as Vespers of the feast of St Clement but changes half way through to ensure that Monday's feast of St John of the Cross is suitably honoured, though St Clement, and Monday's secondary feast are also commemorated. The week progresses quietly except that on Friday, the diocese of Nottingham finally has a free day to celebrate St Wenceslaus, which should have been celebrated on 28 September. In fact 28 September fell on a Sunday and was the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the BVM, so St Wenceslaus had to be transferred to 7 October in most dioceses, but Nottingham celebrated the feast of the Finding of St Stephen Protomartyr, which had been transferred from 2 September, on which date in Nottingham the feast of St Aidan was celebrated, itself transferred from 31 August, and which was marked in Nottingham as the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral, a double of the first class with an Octave.

Friday being a feria, priests were at liberty to offer any votive Mass they might choose, but the second and third prayers (ie each of the Collect, Secret and Postcommunion) were to be taken from "Prayers of the Time": here we find A cunctis, to pray for the Church and the Pope, Fidelium, to pray for the dead.  At some point during the year we will explore the plan for their use. (Two of these are hidden in my post-Summorum Pontificum Baronius 1962 hand missal between the 24th Sunday after Pentecost and the Gallican Prefaces, while the rest are nowhere. Equally surprising (to me) is that the propers for Vespers for every Sunday is included.)

The prayers of free choice would be taken from the section of the Missal called "Various Prayers" which range from begging the prayers of the Saints, through prayers in time of famine, of earthquake or of storm, to prayers for our enemies, amongst many more (there are 30 in my 1895 missal, and 33 in 1939: we might at some point do an interesting compare and contrast on what 19th and 20th century missalists thought the intention associated with these prayers was).  Friday is also a day of abstinence from meat (and this includes eggs: meat's way of making more meat).

At St Mary Magdalene in Brighton, the Rev George Oldham said Low Mass at 8.30 on Sundays, and had High Mass at 11.  There was Catechism and Benediction at 3.00 pm, and Devotions, Sermon and Benediction at 7.00.  Mass was said at 8.00 am on weekdays, and there was Benediction at 7.00 pm on Thursdays.  Confessions were on Wednesdays from 12.00 to 1.00, and Thursdays and Saturdays from 7.00 to 9.00 pm.

(Please let me know if there is a parish whose schedule you would be interested in, though bear in mind that the amount of detail will be that which the contemporary PP could be bothered to supply to Messrs Burns and Lambert.)

12 November 2014

The Catholic Parish In 1863

So what was parish life like, a hundred and fifty years ago?  Closer, I guess, to the experience of the pre-Reformation parish than to today's.  Was it Professor Scarisbrick who reviewed The Stripping of the Altars in The Spectator when it first came out, and, in a rave review, decided that the religion of early modern Catholics was a long way away from ours, with their emphasis on the four last things, the sufferings of those in Purgatory, and the inevitability for many of us of Hell?

Whoever it was, it shows how Catholicism changed in the twentieth century more than demonstrating that the reigns of Henry VII and VIII as some sort of heterodox.  Certainly as we begin to get into the rhythm of parish life, we will see that the awareness of sin and the need for Confession; the need for education and evangelisation; and the place of devotion: are three pillars of the way we all should live.

Let's look at the parish of The Sacred Heart and St Helen in Brentwood.  there are two priests: the Rev John Kyne is the Missionary Rector, and he is supported by the Rev Remigius Debbaudt.  (I wonder sometimes whether J K Rowling had access to a list of priests.)  You will have noted that the priests are Reverend, rather than Father: this is part of the faultline I described last time between the way that English Catholicism had evolved before emancipation and the bold, expressive, Italianate, self-confidence which was beginning to displace it..

They had two Masses each Sunday morning, and had Vespers and Benediction (with a sermon) on Sunday afternoon.  Sunday Vespers is very commonplace in parishes in England and Wales, just as Evensong was for the Anglicans, but only on Sundays.  On Holydays, there would only be a Benediction service in the evening, as there also would be each Thursday evening (preceded in Lent and Advent by Stations of the Cross).  There could be no Mass in the evening, so Vespers and Benediction allowed for further Eucharistic adoration.

In Brentwood, there aren't any of the Confraternities (which have the same role in the parish as the pre-reformation Guilds) which we shall see in other parishes around the country but there are devotions of the Sacred Heart and Benediction after morning Mass on the first Friday, devotions of the Bona Mors on the first Thursday in the afternoon, and devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners on the third Thursday.

Most importantly, there is Confession.  In Brentwood it is "only" available for an hour and a half each morning and for three hours on Saturday evening: we will see other parishes in which far more hours are devoted to this sacrament.

Although education was not yet compulsory in England and Wales, the vast majority - more than 90% - of children attended some form of schooling, and the imperative need for Catholic children to receive this schooling in a Catholic education system and not from the CofE was paramount in the mind of the Church. (I muse on what the result of a comparative study of a CofE RE syllabus in 1863 and a Catholic RE syllabus in 2014 might be, but somebody else can do that.)  Anywhere where there were enough Catholic children, schools were to be built and maintained, and teachers paid.  We will see special collection days instituted in each diocese for this noble purpose, and the upper- and middle-classes were expected to pay out serious contributions for this purpose.  In particular, parishes which contained non-Catholic residential institutions - workhouses, orphanages, prisons - were expected to look particularly after the religious lives of those who were inmates.

As important was the construction of new churches for the rising number of Catholics.  Perhaps the simple need to build was more important than the need to build well, or build tastefully; perhaps it was not an age in which taste was given much priority against the need to provide somewhere for Catholics to worship, but this was not a period of great architectural merit.

We will regularly see Sunday afternoon services including a lecture or discourse.  Education and evangelisation were not limited to schoolchildren, or to those who weren't churchgoers.  These are listed separately from Sermons, while some form of homily could be expected at Sunday Mass at least.

Finally, the calendar: the year had its own rhythm and Catholics continued to follow it.  Many of the mediaeval feasts which had been abolished during the Reformation were still marked as Days of Devotion, which those Catholics who could would treat as though they were still Holydays.  Fasting and abstinence were taken seriously at their due time, and national and diocesan feasts were marked by the people in whose territory the feasts were celebrated.  Some have disappeared without trace: this Friday, every parish in England and Wales should be celebrating the feast of the Translation of St Erconwald, a great English Bishop and Confessor who seems to have been completely set aside after the reforms of Pope St Pius X (I will be very happy to be corrected).

The parish wasn't yet a place in which Catholicism could be displayed totemically, and was far from being a place for like-minded people to congregate on a Sunday to enjoy each other's company in a warm haze of good intentions: it was a workshop in which priests toiled to make available to poor sinners the opportunities they needed to conform their lives to God's will.  The comparison doesn't necessarily flatter the typical way of things today.

09 November 2014

Translating Poetry

It may well come from the way in which we were taught Latin, and if memory serves, C S Lewis, on being sent to a tutor had a similar experience in being taught Greek, but both Ben Trovato and I are particularly comfortable with a method which starts teaching the student ab initio by immersing him (or her) into complex texts in the target language and using exegesis to allow her (or him) to draw out the meaning of serious writing immediately, instead of wasting time on "my aunt's pen" or "my postilion has been struck by lightning".

(As an aside, imagine how much easier it would have been to achieve a decent translation of the mass for use in the OF if this method had been chosen to educate the translators, who would never have needed to bother with "dynamic equivalence".)

He and I had both learned French through the medium of the standard text Mots d'Heures, Gousses, Rames and he was excited to learn some time ago that I had come across a German equivalent.  I'm afraid that I forgot completely his entreaty for some examples until he reminded me earlier.

Here then are three, from Mörder Guss Reims.  The only requirement for the learner is to read them aloud with an exaggerated German accent.  You will be amazed at how quickly you begin to pick up the deeper meanings hidden within the verses.  I have nevertheless included the basic critical apparatus normally available only to the teacher.

Jahn1 Kid Dudel kämmte tauen
Reih' Ding' ohne Bohni.2
Stuka Vetter inne satt3
Und Kohl Titt' mager roh nie.4


1 Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852) better known as ''Turnvater" Jahn, the Grand Old Man of German gymnastics.
2 "By combing the goatskin on his bagpipes, he thawed out a row of things without an attic."
3”His cousin was inwardly tired of dive-bornbers."  c.f. Tennyson's ”Locksley Hall " :
“Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue.”
4 “And he never likes cabbage nipple raw.”


Myriade Lied - Alarm!
Itzt fliess' was weit1 Asen2 oh!
An Hefe-Revier dort mehre wend?
Alarm Warschauer3  …Tuck oh!4

1 In the middle of a song festival the alarm is sounded because something is flowing far away.
2 The collective name of the old German gods. Their leader was Odin, alias Wodan, Wotan or Wuotan, the god of the wind, the dead and of war, and the leader of the hunt, all of which must have kept him fairly busy.
3 The reference to the Warschauer Bridge locates this incident in Berlin. Perhaps the River Spree had flooded at this spot.
4 "Oh., what a spiteful trick!"

Der Wasserkrug, Erdmann, an die Winterkrug Erdmeil'1
Hie von der Krug hat sie-Gespenster, Ginsterkrug Erdsteil.2
Hieb Ortekrug, Erdkart’ — wisch Kotterkrug, Erdmaus;
Hansa Olaf tu' Gitter in ein Literkrug Erdhaus! 3

1 An earth-man is told to move the water jug one land-mile (1,609 metres, in contrast to one sea-mile or 1,852 metres) to the winter jug.
2 This part of the earth was given over to jugs filled with gorse.
3 Meanwhile a Norwegian from the Hanseatic League is urged to erect some bars in a litre jug, which the poet calls an earth-house. It is not clear whether the bars are meant to keep the earth-mouse in or out.

03 November 2014

Mass In 1863

An average 1962-rite Mass attender would see little different at an 1863 Mass if he attended one without a Missal.  He might note rather more collects, secrets and postcommunions; he might wonder at the Last Gospel often not being that of the beginning of St John's Gospel; he wouldn't actually hear St Joseph not being mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.  If he attended at Holy Week, he would see a radically different celebration to that offered by his 1962-rite parish, but between Paschaltides, there would be few clues to suggest that the difference was, in fact, massive.  Two things might surprise him: Holy Communion would not be routinely received by the faithful during Mass, and the beginning of Mass would not be earlier than an hour before first light (by the sun, not by an arbitrary rule) or later than 1.00 pm.  (If Mass is a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Jesus, then the modern insistence on receiving hosts consecrated at the Mass one attends begins to look a bit odd.)

In fact, the thing that makes the Mass so different is the calendar, and the ranking of feasts in the calendar; the fact that Sundays do not necessarily take precedence over other feasts; and the fact that each diocese has its own version of the Roman Calendar.

Though what follows may seem complicated, it isn't: any - in fact every - literate Catholic was expected to be able to work out the correct readings for any day if he had a Missal.  There was no TV in those days, so there was plenty of time to work out the week's celebrations, and, anyway, ecclesiastical almanacs were cheap to buy.

Every day either had a feast or hadn't: a feast would be a Double, a Semi-double, or a simple; if there was no feast the day would be a feria.  There were five sorts of Doubles, in order: Doubles of the first class, Doubles of the second class, greater Doubles, Doubles and semi-Doubles.  Simples were, simply, simples. 

Sundays followed a different system: they might be privileged of the first class, or of the second class, which governed which Mass might be said on them.  In any case, however, the prayers (the collective term for the proper collect, secret and postcommunion) for the Sunday would be said, as would its Gospel.  If the Sunday's precedence was less than that of a feast which fell on Sunday, then the Gospel of the Sunday would be said as the Last Gospel.

The rules of precedence meant that some feasts would have to be transferred from their normal day to the next available, as All Souls this year has been transferred to 3 November because the Sunday in the Octave of All Saints has a higher precedence than All Souls. Over the year, this can mean significant movement of feasts, some being celebrated (at least in some dioceses) up to a couple of months after their due date.

In general, though, unless the feast is a very important one a number of prayers will be said to draw in all of the relevant commemorations due on the day.  And, if the feast isn't too important, the priest can add other prayers, from those listed in the Missal for special intentions.  There must be no more than five; well, there must be no more than seven.  If there are more than three, there must be either five or seven, unless there are four.  Yes, it's complicated, but remember those long winter evenings.

I will do all this for you for this year (except add the priest's own extras), but what looks like a mess is in fact a natural growth over the preceding centuries.  The modern idea of "St Sunday" - Sunday taking precedence over almost any calendar feast - is totally alien to the way the liturgy was celebrated for at least ten centuries before the twentieth.  The liturgical year has a rhythm which marks Sunday as the weekly day of precept, not as a sort of Sabbatarian dictator.

What I hope you will see is variety, a three dimensional calendar which marks how things are rather than how things should be according to some arbitrary rule. 

Next article: parish life.

02 November 2014

Catholic England And Wales In 1863: An Introduction

I intend to publish a weekly Calendar from the First Sunday of Advent showing what the ecclesiastical year would have looked like for Catholics in England and Wales in 1862/3.  I hope to illustrate my belief that although Abp Bugnini is often blamed for the current state of the Liturgy, because of the major changes he coordinated in the reigns of Pope Pius XII and Paul VI, in fact the changes to the calendar introduced by Pope Pius X had already severely weakened links to the immemorial calendar of the Roman Church.  I hope to show, week by week, what worship in a normal English parish would have looked like (and, I repeat, am looking from the layman's point of view, rather than, as the St Lawrence Press does, from that of priests and religious).  I will offer a couple of introductory articles first, however, to set the weekly calendar in context.

The Church had, of course, a very different look about it in 1863, only 13 years after the reestablishment of the Hierarchy.  The Province of Westminster covered the whole of England and Wales and there were thirteen dioceses: Westminster, Menevia and Newport, Birmingham, Hexham and Newcastle, Southwark, Salford, Shrewsbury, Nottingham, Liverpool, Plymouth, Clifton, Northampton and Beverley.  Bishops were appointed for life, and were supported by a Chapter.  The Canons in the Chapter were, in Canon Law, the Bishop's Senate.  They were beneficed to allow them financial independence and the ability to resist undue pressures, allowing, for example, the Westminster Chapter to rebel against Cardinal Wiseman in the 1850s.  There was, of course, no national Bishops Conference: each Bishop was Head of his local Church.  Nevertheless, Provincial Synods were held as necessary where it made sense to take a national view, for example on seminaries, education, or on the extent to which parts of England and Wales should be considered mission territory.  Three had been held since the Hierarchy's reestablishment, in 1852, 1855 and 1859.

Passions could be high: a dispute between Cardinal Wiseman and his Coadjutor Bishop, Thomas Errington, had ended up in Rome with the Coadjutor deprived of his office and stripped of his right to succeed the Archbishop.  At issue was a major fault line in the Church in England and Wales: should it keep the same low profile and unostentatiousness it had displayed since 1745, or, emancipated and with a re-established Hierarchy, should it display an Italianate exuberance in its life?

There were 22 Catholic Peers, and 32 Catholic MPs.  The latter all represented Irish constituencies, while only one of the peerages dated from after Catholic Emancipation.  The noble families since emancipation had built and endowed churches, chapels and chantries: these were days in which it was still possible for the person endowing a benefice to retain the right of presentation of a priest to it.

A higher proportion than today of parishes were in the hands of regular clergy rather than secular diocesan priests, and at the parish level this would have affected life as the orders had their own feasts.  But what is most different in the calendar from today is the autonomy of each diocese, each having its own feasts with its own Octaves, able to transfer feasts of the universal Church which clash with diocesan patrons, and where even St George, as Patron of England might be considered as inferior, for example in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, to St Cuthbert.

Next time: how different was the Mass from the 1962 Mass which is today thought of as "traditional"?