29 November 2015

The Ordonist Entertains ...

Courtesy of Marc Puckett, I read at the New Liturgical Movement about Usuarium, an online database which catalogues over 800 liturgical books from the last thousand years or so which are available to download online and, more importantly are tagged and searchable by Use, by liturgical ceremony, by country of origin.  It is, simply, as complete a resource as anyone interested in liturgical history could possible need.

What were the prayers at the foot of the altar like in the Use of St Andrews?  How similar is a Roman Missal of the early sixteenth century to the post-Trent version?  Get an account, log in and all will be revealed.

26 November 2015

The CBCEW's Request To Reword The Good Friday Prayer For The Jews: Worse Than It Looks

If the Bishops' Conference has indeed petitioned the Vatican for a rewriting of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews in the Extraordinary Form, it means that all those new Bishops, who, we were told, were turning back years of Spirit of Vatican II, and were inaugurating a new period of respect for the Tradition of the Church, didn't think that a bit of Supersessionism and disrespect for Benedict XVI was problematic enough to rock the boat for. 

How much should we therefore put on them standing up for Marriage?


21 November 2015

Twenty-sixth and last Sunday after Pentecost 1863

22 SUNDAY Twenty-sixth and last after Pentecost, St Cecilia, Virgin Martyr, double. Second Prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Red.  Second Vespers of St Cecilia until the little Chapter thence of St Clement, with commemorations of St Cecilia, the Sunday, and St Felicity, Martyr.

23 Monday. St Clement, Pope Martyr, double. Second prayers of St Felicity, Martyr. Red

24 Tuesday. St John of the Cross, Confessor, double. Second prayers of St Chrysogonus, Martyr. White

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

26 Thursday. St Felix of Valois, Confessor, double. Second prayers of St Peter of Alexandria, Pope Martyr. White.

27 Friday.  St Gregory Thaumaturges, Bishop Confessor, double. White. Abstinence.

28 Saturday. Vigil. Second prayers for the Dead. Third prayers Concede. Violet. [In Diocese of Beverley, St Francis of Borgia, Confessor, semidouble (transferred from 11 October). Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Vigil. Third prayers ConcedeWhite.]

We have had two Sundays filling in with readings for Sundays after Epiphany, but this is the last Sunday of the year and so the readings are, as they always are on the last Sunday of the year, of the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost. The Collect is "Stir up, we beseech thee", which will launch goodness knows how many Christmas Puddings; in the Epistle St Paul invites us to establish within us, here, the kingdom of God, and in the Gospel Our Lord prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world.

On Saturday we celebrate the Vigil of the feast of St Andrew as a Vigil can't be celebrated on a Sunday.  I'm pleased, though, that right at the very, very end, the Diocese of Beverley should be different, catching up with a Feast it missed through celebrating the Octave of the Patronage of the BVM, its diocesan patron. In this calendar everything adds up in the end, but it adds up at the diocesan, not the national, level.  To steal a quote (and to annoy any Falangists who care) each diocese is a unit of destiny in the Universe.

Seven years after this Sunday, the first Vatican Council would define the limits of Papal authority, never imagining for a minute that, within a generation, a successor of Peter would consign nineteen centuries of tradition into a dustbin, establishing a pattern which, during the twentieth century, would lead to the demolition of the structure of worship and its replacement with something else.  The calendar, just like the rest of the Liturgy, isn't a delicate rose, to be pruned: it is (or was, and should be) a mighty sequoia standing outside, indeed dwarfing human limitations, and lifting every man's eyes upwards (and how far upwards!) towards God. Or at least I, who am not a Pope, think so.

The last parish we shall look at is that of The Immaculate Mother and St Anselm in Whitworth, which is served by the Rev John Millward.  Masses on Sunday are at 8.30 and 10.30. Baptisms are at 2.00. Instruction is at 3.30, and Vespers at 6.30. On Holydays Masses are at 5.00 and 8.00, and there is an evening service at 7.30. Weekday Mass is at 8.00. Churching is on Mondays after Mass. On Thursdays, Rosary, Instruction and Benediction is at 7.30. Confessions are on Saturday at 3.30, and for children on Friday evening. The Holy Sacrifice is offered once a week in this Church for its benefactors.

May this parish stand as a type of all the parishes we have looked at during the last year.  Its priest will fast from midnight on Saturday until nearly 12.00 on Sunday because he says Masses for his parishioners. He offers them Vespers on Sunday so that they can join in at least part of the Office beyond Mass.  He instructs potential converts; he baptises the children of parishioners, and churches their mothers. He offers non-liturgical services, and, perhaps most importantly of all, he makes arrangements to hear their confessions, with particular emphasis on the confessions of children, and remembers the benefactors who make all of this possible by offering Mass for them every week.  Here is the outward extension of the local Church which is the Diocese, far from Rome in distance, but teaching and confirming the faithful in their religion, exactly the same religion as was taken from their forefathers four hundred years previously, and using, with a small number of variations, the calendar which had governed the life of that Church throughout the period of the great persecutions of those four centuries. God Bless all good priests, as they are blessed by those whose faith they confirm, and God Bless them for increasing the number of those who have such faith!

I will leave this series with two thoughts: first, the old calendar, the old concept of the calendar, in which the rampant sabbatarianism of the worship of Sundays in the abstract is totally missing, is a better integrated, more human, less didactic, unclericalised, popular way of linking the Church's year to the seasons and to the lives of the faithful.

The second is how much the life of the Church depends on priests in parishes, and on those in religious life who support them, rather than on Bishops, Cardinals, or Popes.  If we pray a lot, have lots of children, bring them up in the Faith, and are prepared to give them all to God if they have a call from Him that they will answer positively, we will be able to recreate a Church in England and Wales as holy and fruitful as it was in 1863.

14 November 2015

Twenty-fifth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

15 SUNDAY Twenty-fifth after Pentecost, St Gertrude, Virgin, double. Second Prayers and Last Gospel of the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. White.  Second Vespers of St Gertrude until the little Chapter thence of St Edmund, with commemorations of St Gertrude, and the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany.

16 Monday. St Edmund, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

17 Tuesday. St Hugh, Bishop Confessor, double. White. [In Diocese of Nottingham, greater double.]

18 Wednesday.  The Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts Peter and Paul, double. Creed. White.

19 Thursday. St Elizabeth, Widow, double. Second prayers of St Pontian, Pope Martyr. White.

20 Friday.  St Edmund, King Martyr, greater double. Red. Abstinence.

21 Saturday. The Presentation of the BVM, greater double. Creed. White. Preface of the BVM. Plenary Indulgence.

The Calendar is very different this week, even from the post-Pius X pre-Pius XII one.  (By the way, it's good news that the 2016 Ordo provided by Rubricarius, and which gives a flavour of the way the Church would worship if we still followed the way things were done around 1939, will be available soon.) The reason is that St Gertrude was moved in the 20th Century, as was St Albert the Great, but also because this week there are three feasts specific to England and Wales which displace their Roman date-sharers: Bishop St Edmund, St Hugh and King St Edmund.  In Portsmouth the Mass for Bishop St Edmund is different from that in the rest of England and Wales, with its Introit adapted from that of St Josaphat, the Gradual of an Abbot, its own Epistle, and a Secret and Communion from a different Mass for a Bishop and Confessor from the rest of England and Wales. It seems to have gone west during the reign of Pius XII. But how was that for localism!

King St Edmund has been kicked off the national Calendar in England and Wales in modern times, but the two Bishops stay optionally on. (In the same 2015 calendar, St Elizabeth of Hungary is described as a "married woman" rather than as a widow: what point are they trying to make? Why?)

The parish of St Mary, Beaufort House in Ham, is served by the Very Reverend James Canon Holdstock, Dean of St Thomas of Canterbury Deanery in the Diocese of Southwark. Mass on Sundays and Holydays is at 11.00 preceded by English prayers at 10.30. Vespers and Benediction are at 4.00.  Evening Devotions, Catechism and Benediction are at 7.00. On weekdays Mass is at 8.00. On Thursday, Rosary and Benediction is at 7.30 pm. Exposition on the second Sunday of Lent (40 Hours), Corpus Christi (for the day, the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM.

This was a mission church and no longer exists: its story is told briefly here: the parish of St Thomas Aquinas is now responsible for Catholics in the area. It is a reminder of how fluid the period of Catholic expansion was. It is also the only example I have noted of pre-Mass prayers in English.

07 November 2015

Twenty-fouth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

8 SUNDAY Twenty-fourth after Pentecost, the Octave of All Saints, double. Second Prayers and Last Gospel of the fifth Sunday after Epiphany. Third prayers of the IV Holy Crowned Martyrs. White.  Second Vespers of the Octave Day until the little Chapter thence of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Saviour, with commemorations of the Octave Day, the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany and of St Theodore, Martyr. [In Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

Monday. The Dedication of the Basilica of St Saviour, double. Second prayers of St Theodore Martyr. CreedWhite.

10 Tuesday. St Andrew Avellino, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers of St Trypho and Companions, Martyrs. Third prayers A CunctisWhite. [In Diocese of Beverley, fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

11 Wednesday.  St Martin, Bishop Confessor, double. Second prayers of St Mennas, Martyr. White.

12 Thursday. St Martin, Pope Martyr, semidouble. Second prayers A cunctis. Third prayers free. Red.

13 Friday.  St Didacus, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers A cunctis. Third prayers free. White. Abstinence.

14 Saturday. The Translation of St Erconwald, Bishop Confessor double. White.

Only two more Sundays left.  As I said last week, the Catholic Directory is on line and if you want to have a go yourselves after my series has been completed, Advent 1863 begins on this page, and January 1864 here. Easter 2016 is on the same day as Easter 1864 as are all the other moveable feasts, so you can do what I've done for 1863/2015.

We are into the phase of balancing Epiphany Sundays against Pentecost Sundays to make sure we get all of the year's readings in, so Sunday needs a bit of work with the ribbons for the keen chap with the Missal, not that he would be a common sight at Mass in 1863.  My contemporary layman's hand missal would be useful as a preparation for Mass, but would be difficult to use during Mass itself, if you wanted to follow the bizarrely mid-twentieth century idea that you should be reading the words the priest was saying, rather than praying the Mass. And if you attended High Mass, a major feature of Catholic life which would disappear from most parish churches by the end of the century, or Sunday Vespers, which clung on a little longer than High Mass, then your Missal would be next to no use at all.  The age of literacy has been used by the Devil to tempt us into trying to understand Mass on our own terms, instead of praying it on God's.

St Erconwald was, of course, a major Bishop of London in the early Modern period.  His shrine was despoiled at the Reformation but he was honoured throughout Catholic England and Wales after the Restoration of the Hierarchy, but such cultus as he may have had had disappeared before the Second World War.

I bet Bugnini hated having the feasts of two different Martins on successive days: Pope St Martin no longer appears in the Calendar.

Even on the Sunday which marks the Octave of all Saints, the Sunday itself, and the Four Crowned Martyrs, the brothers Sts Severus, Severinus, Carpophorus and Victorinus, are remembered.  As I have mentioned before, I don't have a problem with new saints being brought in to reflect the age we live in (though I find the Roman martyrs still remembered in 1863 surprisingly relevant to the 21st Century), but wouldn't it be wonderful to have a calendar which listed them all, reducing to the simplest of feasts those which didn't speak as loudly today as in the past, but not banishing them?  That might be the way to bring all of John Paul II's creations in as well.  Go back to the original feast dates, put a sensible limit on commemorations - five should be enough, I think - and all of a sudden we can celebrate the richness of the Calendar again.

This is my sort of parish:

The Priory of the Annunciation at Woodchester, near Stroud in Gloucestershire is served by the Dominicans.  The Very Rev Fr H L Gonin is Prior; the Rev Fr Vincent Henry Ferreri is Sub-Prior and Lector; the Rev Fr Vincent King BD is Lector; and the community is completed by the Rev Frs Joseph Henry Bartlett, Raymund Palmer and Austin Mary Rooke.  Masses on Sundays and Holydays at 6.30 and 8.00. High Mass at 10.30. Catechism, Vespers and Benediction at 3.00. Compline and Rosary at 6.00. Evening Prayers, Sermon and Benediction at 7.00 (except the first Sunday of the month). Mass daily at 6.30 and 8.00. Compline with Salve and Rosary every evening at 6.00. On Thursdays, Benediction. On Fridays, Stations of the Cross. On Saturdays, Litany of the BVM. Procession of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary on the first Sunday of every month with Sermon at 3.00. Procession of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament on the third Sunday of every month after High Mass.  There is a cemetery attached to this church.  The friars serve Woodchester Park, the Franciscan Convent of the Immaculate Conception, and the Catholic Orphanage attached to the Convent.