30 April 2014

Frozen solid in pack ice

This week provides a good example of how the Calendar of the Vetus Ordo is starting to to groan a bit because it has been unchanged since 1962 (I bet that's never happened in liturgical history before; and this sort of unresponsiveness to natural, gradual, evolution is itself, in fact, Untraditional).
(1) May 1. I'll be fair: I can see why Pius XII had the S Joseph idea in 1956. But it never caught on, and little more than a decade later the Novus Ordo reduced it to it an optional memorial, leaving the poor old Vetus Ordo lumbered with this enormous, innovatory and untraditional, whale, marooned and decaying just above the tideline. It would be absurd to do anything other than to clean up the beach and to return pipnjim to May 1 in both Calendars. (Keen Josephites might enjoy the restoration of the Patronage of S Joseph on the Wednesday of the second week after the Octave of Easter. The propers for that feast played quite nice typological games with S Joseph and his OT namesake.)
(2) S Catherine being a Patron of Europe, it is weird to have her on different dates in the two Calendars. A choice should be made.
(3) Since S Catherine is a Patron of Europe, presumably her rank in the Vetus Ordo Calendar should be II class. (Or should there now be a bit of a cull of Patrons of Europe?)

But my bet would be that these and all the similar problems will still be unresolved in 2062.

Bad news, by the way, that pipnjim didn't make it home from exile in the Ordinariate Calendar. Not very Patrimony. I wonder what went wrong there? Is there anybody who still loves the Opifex? But in the Novus Ordo, there is nothing to stop a clerk from saying a votive Mass and votive Office of pipnjim on May 1.


John R said...

In addition to the Ss. Philip & James & Joseph the Worker shuffle, the coming first week of May has no fewer than three ancient feasts which disappeared in the 1960/1961 reforms. 3 May - Finding of the True Cross, 6 May - S. John before the Latin Gate, 8 May - Apparition of S. Michael the Archangel - all recast as Feriae in the Office and relegated to optional Votive Masses in the 1962 Kalendar. This coming is Exhibit A as to the paucity (to put in nicely) of the 1962 books.

I say reset the (singular) Roman Kalendar to 1954 (better yet 1570) and organically (re-)develop it from there. Certainly, Ss. Philip & James on 1 May and the other three feasts mentioned above would carry forward from already being well established as of 1570.

One point about S. Joseph the Worker, the Gregorian melodies for the antiphons at Lauds/Vespers and some of the Propers of the Mass are quite strange. It has been said that these compositions were hastily thrown together and not until a few years after the feast was instituted.

David Chislett said...

For those who don't have a copy of Dix's "The Shape of the Liturgy", a pdf of the whole book can be downloaded from:

John Vasc said...

St Catherine of Siena is of course (with St Francis) one of the two patrons of Italy: so one would think she must have her hands pretty full already.
However, as a patroness of Europe (proclaimed in 1999) and by extension of the EU, she certainly has a useful track-record for the task - preaching against heresy and administrative abuse, tirelessly demanding reform, and persuading the French to relinquish their hold on the Top Jobs and the seat of supranational government.
Her concealed stigmata is a salutary warning of the human cost of such efforts...

Rubricarius said...

I understand from a clergy friend that Newman wrote a commentary on some feasts. My friend told me how a passage relating to the first week of May was once read in the refectory. The stark contrast between the calendar of both, modern, forms of the Roman rite and the vetus ordo Newman would have been so familiar with were striking.

William said...

John R: S. John ante Portam Latinam made it into the Calendar of the Ordinariate (in England & Wales, anyway), under the title "S. John the Apostle in Eastertide". Having been in the Calendar of the Book of Common Prayer, it qualifies, I would think, as "Patrimony". (The same could also be said of the Invention of the Cross, which however didn't make it into the Ordinariate Calendar.)

Eques said...

I must confess to a certain devotion to the Opifex, but not the mass propers composed for his feast, nor the date on which it was placed. In the U.S. I have had the thought that St. Joseph the Worker might usefully be celebrated on the First Monday in September, our "Labor Day" where it might encourage folks to go to mass on that day, and not just stay home to grill hot dogs and burger.