31 January 2015

Septuagesima Sunday 1863

1 SUNDAY. SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY, semidouble. Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers Ad libitumViolet. First Vespers of the feast of the Purification with commemoration of the Sunday. White. [In diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Plenary Indulgence.]

2 Monday. FEAST OF DEVOTION. THE PURIFICATION OF THE BVM, double of the second class. Creed. Preface of Christmas. White. Plenary Indulgence.

After Compline, Ave Regina until Maundy Thursday exclusively.

3 Tuesday. St Peter's Chair at Rome, greater double (transferred from 18 January). Second prayers of St Paul, Apostle. Third prayers of St Blase. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. White.

4 Wednesday. St Andrew Corsini, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

5 Thursday. St Agatha, Virgin Martyr, double.  Red.

6 Friday. The Prayer of OUR LORD, greater double. Creed. Preface of the Cross. Red. Plenary Indulgence. Abstinence.

7 Saturday. St Romuald, Abbot Confessor, double. White.

At Septuagesima we begin the pre-Lenten season which lasts for the couple of weeks before Ash Wednesday.  On the three Sundays, the priest wears violet, alleluias have disappeared, and the Tract is said instead of the Gradual.  The Septuagesima season was abolished during the Bugnini reforms which led to the New Mass, along with the distinction between Passiontide and the rest of Lent.  Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday in the new rite.  The Septuagesima season was followed by Lent, which was followed by Passiontide earlier. 

The feast of the Purification is the first Feast of Devotion of the year.  It is one of the Holydays suppressed after the Reformation which are too many to be restored as Holydays of Obligations, but which the faithful are encouraged to treat as such if they can

The feast of St Peter's Chair at Rome finally appears after being displaced from 18 January, but St Ignatius is displaced by Septuagesima (a privileged Sunday), moving from 1 to 9 February, and St Titus from 6 to 11 February.  St Peter's Chair and the commemoration of St Paul means that St Blase (Saint Blaise nowadays) is simply commemorated on his feast day: the blessing of throats will still take place at the altar rails after Mass, however.

At this time, the two feasts of St Peter's Chair at Rome and St Peter's Chair at Antioch were kept as separate feasts.  I suppose it isn't a surprise that they should have been merged under Pope St Pius X: the point that it wasn't Rome where the Petrine Ministry was first exercised but (for however brief a period) Antioch has, or could have, all sorts of implications for the ultramontane Vatican I-nostalgic.  We should remember that de-emphasising historical facts to support present shibboleths isn't just something practised post-Vatican II.

On Friday we celebrate the feast of the Prayer of Our Lord.  On the Friday of each -gesima and each Lenten week, ie from now until Passiontide, we will have a feast of Our Lord which focuses us on an aspect of His Passion. These were abolished during the reforms of Pius X.  (The Friday before Good Friday is the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the BVM.)  The calendar of the next few weeks would have felt as strange to somebody in the 1950s as the 1950s calendar would feel to somebody who only knew the New Mass.

(The order of these Friday feasts varies between different hierarchies: in fact, in Rome (and therefore in Scotland, the Scottish Hierarchy not yet having been re-established) those celebrated in England and Wales on the next two Fridays are celebrated instead on the next two Tuesdays.)

The prayer which is the motive of the feast, by the way, is "Father, if this chalice may not pass me by". Let me know if you can't find the prayers and readings for these Fridays and I will include them.

Monday and Friday being feasts of the BVM and of Our Lord respectively, there is a plenary indulgence available for the souls in Purgatory.

At Crook, near Darlington, the parish of Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert, is served by the Rev Thomas W Wilkinson.  On Sundays and Holydays Mass is at 10.00, and Vespers and Benediction are at 6.00.  On all Holydays, Days of Devotion, Feasts of Patrons, and on every Thursday, Benediction is at 7.00 in winter, and 7.30 in summer.  On weekdays Mass is at 8.30, except for Saturday when it is at 8.00, and there are Devotions every evening.  On the first Sunday of every month at 3.00 pm there is a procession of the Rosary Confraternity.
Here is a charity well worth supporting. Click on the picture to see it more clearly.

30 January 2015


I had a message asking if all I was going to do this year was post a weekly parish newsletter from 1863.  Well, the answer, at the moment, is "probably" or at least it is for the next couple of months.

The 1863 weekly series is possibly a bit more important than you might think and is therefore worth doing as well as I can.  Three Popes: Pius X, Pius XII and Paul VI: changed the calendar and the Mass utterly during the twentieth century, and I think we all ought to know just how radical that change was.  It doesn't write itself, though, and spare minutes are hard to come by; and because, in each set of reforms, the victors wrote the history as they went along, tracing what was done when and the real reasons why (rather than the reasons given out at the time and subsequently), studying this stuff is more of a task than I'd imagined.

But another reason is thinking about what my subject matter would be if it wasn't this.  I stopped reading Mundabor because of the dreary article by article attack on everything the Pope was saying, and on everything that people were saying in the Pope's name.  When you get to the point of realising that it's the style that's objectionable (and how!), and that on some, maybe just some, maybe quite a few, questions of substance he might have a point, it's time to take sides. 

And I'm taking the side of those who choose not to get publicly involved.

So expect a lot about 1863 from me, but not much more at present.

24 January 2015

Third Sunday After Epiphany 1863

25 SUNDAY. Third after Epiphany. The Conversion of St Paul, Apostle, greater double. Second prayers of St Peter, Apostle. Third prayer and Last Gospel of Sunday. Preface of Apostles. White. [In diocese of Liverpool, fourth prayers for the Bishop.] Second Vespers of the feast with commemorations of St Peter, St Polycarp, and of the Sunday.

26 Monday. St Polycarp, Bishop Martyr, double. Red.

27 Tuesday. St John Chrysostom Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. White.

28 Wednesday. St Raymond of Pennafort, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers of St Agnes, third prayers of the BVM. White.

29 Thursday. St Francis of Sales, Bishop Confessor, double.  White. [In diocese of Clifton second prayers for the Bishop.]

30 Friday. St Martina Virgin Martyr, double. Red. Abstinence.

31 Saturday. St Peter Nolasco, Confessor, double. Second prayers and last Gospel of the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. Red.

The third Sunday after the Epiphany is outranked this year by the feast of the Conversion of St Paul.  As on any feast of St Paul, the second prayers are of St Peter (as vice versa on any feast of St Peter), it means that the prayers proper to the Sunday are said as third prayers, and its Gospel as the Last Gospel. 

Bishop Goss succeeded to the See of Liverpool on 25 January 1856 so fourth prayers are said for him in his diocese (as well as an ad libitum fifth prayer: the number of prayers is always odd).  On Thursday, the diocese of Clifton celebrates Bishop Clifford, though not on the anniversary of his consecration, which will also earn him extra prayers in February: His Lordship the Honourable Doctor William Clifford had been brought up in Rome, the grandson of Cardinal Weld, and would vote against the definition of Papal Infallibility at the Vatican Council, not because of the doctrine, but because of what he saw as the clumsy, Protestant-provoking, drafting of the Decree.

On Saturday, the feast of St Peter Nolasco, the prayers proper to the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany and its Last Gospel are said as second prayers after those of the feast.  There is a fixed number of Sundays in the Missal, and those not used after the Epiphany before Septuagesima are said after the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost until the last Sunday before Advent.  This year, there are only two Sundays fitting that bill, so the fifth and sixth after the Epiphany will be said.  But the prayers and Gospel of the fourth Sunday must be said, so they are recited the day before Septuagesima. 

(After the reforms of St Pius X things become even more complicated, and the Saturday is treated as an anticipated Sunday, I imagine as a result of Pope Pius X's "sanctification" of Sundays but that is the territory of a real expert, The Saint Lawrence Press, not mine. I've no idea what happens in the 1962 Ordo and I can't tell from the online published Ordines, but I bet it's much simpler and tidier than either of the earlier options.)

St Patrick's in Leeds is served by the Revv M O'Donnell and Martin Kelly.  On Sunday, Mass is at 7.00, 8.30, and 10.45, in summer, and at 8.00, 9.00 and 11.00 in winter.  On Holydays, mass is at 8.30 and 10.00. On weekdays Mass is at 8.30.  There is an Exhortation at the first two Sunday Masses, and a Sermon at the third.  Vespers, with a Discourse, is celebrated at 6.30 on Sundays, and at 7.30 on Holydays.  Benediction is on the first Sunday of the month and on all principal festivals.  Confessions are from 6.00 to 10.00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and on the eves of festivals.

Another building appeal: this time from Chester. Click on the image to see it in more detail.

20 January 2015

Novena To One's Guardian Angel

A group of us will be saying this Novena to our guardian angel, starting tomorrow (Wednesday 21 January).  I will be posting a reminder on Twitter every evening so if you want to join in and want a reminder, let me know @themunimentroom.

O holy angel, whom God, through His goodness and His tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my needs and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favours, I give you profound thanks, and I ask you earnestly, O most amiable protector, to continue your charitable care and defence of me against the malicious attacks of all my enemies.

Keep me away from all occasions of sin.  Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to your holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice.  In particular, I implore you to obtain for me the favour which I now ask for. (Here mention your petition.)

Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life, but more especially at the hour of my death; and do not leave me until you have conducted me into the presence of my Creator in the mansions of everlasting happiness. AMEN.

17 January 2015

Second Sunday After Epiphany 18 January 1863

18 SUNDAY. Second after Epiphany THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS, double of the second class. Second prayers and last Gospel of the Sunday, third prayers (in Low Mass only) of St Prisca, Virgin and Martyr. Preface of Christmas. White. Second Vespers of the feast with commemoration of St Wolstan, the Sunday, and SS Marius and Companions, Martyrs. Plenary indulgence.

19 Monday. St Wolstan, Bishop Confessor, double. Commemoration of SS Marius, Martha, Audifax and Abacus, Martyrs. White.

20 Tuesday. SS Fabian and Sebastian, Martyrs, double. Red.

21 Wednesday. St Agnes, Virgin Martyr, double. Red.

22 Thursday. SS Vincent and Anastasius, Martyrs, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). Red.

23 Friday. The Espousals of the BVM, greater double. Second prayers of St Erementiara Virgin Martyr. Creed. Preface of the BVM. White. Abstinence. Plenary indulgence.

24 Saturday. St Timothy, Bishop Martyr, double. Red.

Where is the Feast of St Peter's Chair in Rome? Why are we not celebrating it on 18 January? Well, because the feast is a greater double, it has to be celebrated, but as it falls on a feast which is a double of the second class, it has to move to the first available day not already marked as a double or semidouble.  So we won't actually celebrate the feast until 3 February.  There will be a lot of this sort of thing as the year progresses.  (I won't copy out the rules of precedence yet, but if you are really, really, keen, I will at the end of the year.)

I wonder if St Wolstan will be celebrated in Worcester (never mind anywhere else)?  Will the Catholic schools have a celebratory morning and a half holiday?  Will the Archbishop of Birmingham turn up to reverence a great local Saint?

You will remember from last week's notes, that as Thursday's feast is only a semidouble, the options for second and third prayers are prescribed by the rubrics.

Otherwise, this is another quiet week until Friday, when we celebrate the feast of the Espousals of the BVM. This feast disappeared under Pius X and St Raymond of Pennafort was moved into the slot from his original feast day of 28 January.  I suppose there were people who thought that the feast of the Holy Family fits the same bill, but they were wrong.  In the same way as the Circumcision and the Baptism of Our Lord stress His willingness to undergo the same rituals as His people, however unnecessary they were for Him, this feast stresses His being born into a family which has been conformed to God's Law. The Epistle is Proverbs 8:22-35 as on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the Gospel is Matthew 1:18-21 as on the Vigil of the Nativity.

St Peter's in Gloucester is served by its Missionary Rector, the Very Rev Leonard, Canon Calderbeck. On Sundays, Mass is at 8.30 and 10.30, and on Holydays at 8.00 and 9.15.  Mass on weekdays is at 8.15.  On Sunday evenings at 6.30, there are Night Prayers, a Lecture, and Benediction.  Catechism is at 3.00 pm on Sundays.  On Holydays, there is Rosary and Benediction at 7.30 pm.  A portion of the general cemetery is set apart for Catholic burials.  There is a convent of the Dames of the German Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 3 Newland-villas on London-road.

All Saints Chapel on New-road in Stourbridge has the Rev Walter Keen as Missionary Rector. Please offer a prayer for the repose of the soul of this holy priest when you read his appeal.

10 January 2015

Sunday in the Octave of the Epiphany 1863

11 SUNDAY. Within the Octave of and first after Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the Octave, third prayers of St Hyginus, Pope and Martyr. White. Vespers of the Sunday with commemoration of the Octave. [Plenary indulgence in diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.]

12 Monday. Of the Octave of the Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). White.

13 Tuesday. Octave of the Epiphany, double. White.

14 Wednesday. St Hilary, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. Second prayers of St Felix martyr. White.

15 Thursday. St Paul the first Hermit, double. Second prayers of St Maur, Abbot. White.

16 Friday. St Marcellus Pope Martyr, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). Red. Abstinence.

17 Saturday. St Anthony, Abbot, double. White.

Before Pius X's reforms, this Sunday was simply the Sunday in the Octave of the Epiphany.  Pius X moved the feast of the Holy Name from next Sunday to last Sunday, and subsequently the Sunday within the Octave was rededicated as the feast of the Holy Family. 

Tuesday's Octave of the Epiphany has also been rededicated as the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, though with no change to the readings, which commemorated His Baptism already.  There is a nice symmetry in the Octave of Christ's birth being marked by his circumcision and the Octave of his Epiphany being marked by his baptism, that has been completely lost by the designation of 1 January as the new date for the feast of the Motherhood of Mary and the abolition of the Octave of the Epiphany, but, as I'm sure the reformers thought, what use is symmetry?

(In a few years time, the diocese of Salford would begin to celebrate as a feast the Finding of the Boy Jesus in the Temple on this Sunday, adding something further to the sequence of Jesus's early life, but that is yet to come.)

The second and third prayers we have seen during the Octave will still be said after the Octave until Candlemas on all days except those whose feasts are doubles: the first is on Friday.

Otherwise, this is a quiet week.

St David's in Swansea has the Rev Peter Lewis as its Missionary Rector and the Rev Edmund Madden is his curate.  Mass on Sundays at 8.30 and 11.00. Evening service at 6.30 with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Mass on weekdays is at 8.00 and 8.30.  There are some 3,000 Catholics in the parish.

In Dowlais, St Iltutus (St Illtyd) is served by the Rev Patrick Millea.  Mass on Sundays is at 9.00 and 11.00. Catechism is at 2.00 pm. Vespers with instruction at 6.00 pm. On Holydays Mass is at 9.00 and Evening Prayers at 7.00. On weekdays Mass is at 8.00. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is on the first Sunday of the month. Rosary on Tuesday and Thursday at 7.00 pm. On Friday Stations of the Cross at 7.00 pm. There are some 1,900 Catholics in the parish.

03 January 2015

Week of the Sunday before the Epiphany 1863

4 SUNDAY. (Vacant.) The Octave of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, double, commemoration of Octave of St Thomas.  Red. At Vespers, second Vespers of the Octave Day to the little Chapter, thence of the first Vespers of St Thomas, with commemoration of the Holy Innocents, the Vigil of the Epiphany and of St Telesphorus Bishop and Martyr (antiphon Qui odit, versicle Justus).  [Plenary indulgence in diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, and as on all Sundays (so I won't mention it specifically again) in the diocese of Liverpool.]

5 Monday. Vigil. Octave of St Thomas of Canterbury, Bishop Martyr, double. Commemoration of Vigil of the Epiphany and of St Telesphorus. Last Gospel of the Vigil.

6 Tuesday. (Holyday of Obligation) EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD, double of the first class with an Octave during which Preface of the Epiphany is said. White. Second Vespers of the Feast. Plenary Indulgence.

The Indulgence ends

7 Wednesday. Of the Octave of the Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). White.

8 Thursday. Of the Octave of the Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). White.

9 Friday. Of the Octave of the Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). White. Abstinence.

10 Saturday. Of the Octave of the Epiphany, semidouble. Second prayers of the BVM (Deus qui salutis), third prayers for the Church (Ecclesiae) or for the Pope (Deus omnium). White.

I said last week that last Sunday and this were different: well, here's how.  The Sunday after the Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity and the feast of the Epiphany is simply vacant.  Not moveable, or temporarily superseded, but vacant.

As it happens, this Sunday is busy enough anyway: it is the Octave of the Holy Innocents, and by Vespers, a commemoration is made of Monday's Vigil of the Epiphany. The Epiphany is celebrated on Tuesday and its Octave, like those of Easter and Whit, imposes its character the weekdays following it, though as the Epiphany's date is fixed, it doesn't displace any feasts (as there are no important feasts during the period). On each day Mass is the same (though the priest can choose whether to say the third prayers for the Pope or for the Church).

The Christmas Indulgence comes to an end after the second Vespers of the Epiphany.

The parish of St Chad on Cheetham-road (not Cheetham Hill Road yet) in Manchester has as its Missionary Rector the Rev William J Sheehan, and the Revv Seth Henry Clarkson and Thomas Hayes also serve the parish.  (A Missionary Rector serves a parish which has no endowments: "A Burden, not a Benefice", as the priests are dependent either on private means or the generosity of others.) On Sundays, Mass is at 8.00, 9.00, 10.00, with High Mass and a sermon at 11.00. Baptisms are at 4.00 pm.  Vespers, Sermon and Benediction are at 6.30.  Mass is said in the Workhouse at 9.00.  On Holydays, Mass is at 7.00, 8.30 and 10.00, and there is a sermon and Benediction at 7.30 pm.  Weekday Masses are at 7.30, and 8.15.  catechetical instruction and Benediction are on Thursday evenings at 7.30.  Confessions on Mondays and Fridays from 4.30 pm to 11.00, on Saturdays from 3.30 pm to 11.00, and on the eve of Holydays from 4.00 pm to 11.00. Churching of women is on Mondays at 8.30 am. On Friday evenings in Advent and Lent there are Stations of the Cross.  There are Confraternities of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Living Rosary, as well as a Purgatorian Society, a branch of the Society of St Vincent of Paul, and a Young Men's Society.  Within the parish there are also two large schools conducted by the Nuns of Notre Dame and the Xaverian Brothers.

I hadn't realised that there was an English College in Bruges.