5 May 2016

Extraordinary Form Local Calendars

I have great admiration for the LMS ORDO (LO hereafter) and often look at it. I have never found a misprint or any sort of mistake; I am myself the compiler of an ORDO and find the LMS accuracy well nigh miraculous!

So I am not criticising it; and most certainly not by snide implication. I am simply hoping to open up to the learned among my readers a question which is logically diverting but also has practical implications.

(a) LO thinks it is right to give the local calendars "as they were or should have been" on January 1 1961. I am unsure about this. Local Calendars have always tended to evolve and mutate organically. This continued to happen after 1961 just as it had before, probably by the old means of a Bishop seeking and receiving a particular grant from the SCR, until the publication of the Novus Ordo calendar in 1970, at which point, of course, the whole game-plan changed radically. Should we not incorporate such changes that appear to have happened 1961-1969? As examples, I would take the following: an ORDO of 1969 which I have (i) gives certain directions for the Christian Unity Octave in January. These mainly involve the use of the admirable Mass for the Removal of Schism. (ii) on March 17, S Patrick is shown as a Class ii feast throughout England and Wales.

Yes, I know Summorum Pontificum privileged the rite of 1962, but it did not address the inherently messy business of Local Calendars. It didn't say "local Calendars are to be held frozen at the point of evolution they had reached by 1961". After all, "1962" Missals are published nowadays which include S Joseph in the Canon, despite the fact he was added after the editio typica had been authorised and published.

(b) As LO says, a problem arises with regard to dioceses which did not exist in 1961. (i) So, e.g., Arundel and Brighton, taken out of the diocese of Southwark, is assigned by LO the Calendar of that diocese. My problem here is that the calendar concerned was not designed for Sussex. It was designed for an area including Canterbury in Kent, and so it includes (for just one example) a number of canonised Archbishops of Canterbury. These are of minimal local concern in Sussex. It also follows, of course, that the Southwark calendar, now that Sussex has left that diocese, should no longer show specifically Sussex Saints. (ii) Hallam was made up of territory taken both from Leeds and from Nottingham; and LO only allows it Feasts "which are common to both". Logically, this could be disastrous, because ... well, just suppose there were some Saint who really did belong specifically to the area included in the present diocese of Hallam ... someone who lived his Christian life there or witnessed to Christ by his death there. I don't know whether there is!! But there could be. In this case, he/she would not appear in LO as to be celebrated in Hallam unless he/she had been on the Calendars of both Leeds and Nottingham. And he/she would almost certainly not have been on both! So Hallam would lose a genuinely indigenous Saint; who would continue to be observed in another diocese which no longer embraced the area of his/her relevance!

(c) I rather wonder about those English Martyrs canonised October 25 1970 or beatified 22 November 1987. It seems a shame ... er ... I do realise that this raises questions of a different order from those in (a) and (b); particularly that of the update of the old calendar in general.

Since it is unlikely that Ecclesia Dei has the manpower or archives to sort out such problems as (a) and (b) for however many dioceses worldwide the Catholic Church has, it is, I feel, arguable that knowledgeable people should use the methodology sensibly laid out in Canon 19 and do it themselves ad interim (it could be a long interim).

I would be interested to hear of readers who happen to have English diocesan ORDOs from the years 1961,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.


Lee said...

Messy indeed! I have several early 1960s breviaries from the UK; US; France that have propers bound in that reflect everything from temporary changes in accord with the 1961 rubrics, to full blown 1961 propers that explicitly say they are in accord with the "new" changes. A good American example: S. Frances Xavier Cabrini went on a trip from 22 December to 3 January (her new date if you read the rubrics carefully), to 13 November...all between 1960 and 1963.

So for the 1962 purist, one might need to ask if that excludes the propers that were set after 1962, but in accord with the 1962 rubrics...in the US, those propers were set in 1963...and are sold with the FSSP breviaries, for example.

For the breviary, at any rate, nothing important happened in 1962.

UnanimousConsent said...

I honestly think we should let Universae Ecclessiae be our guide on this. While the HOly Father seems definitely open to adding saints, etc, he notes that the guidelines would be forthcoming. We are still waiting for that.

EXTRACT Universae Ecclesiae

Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Discipline

24. The liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria are to be used as they are. All those who wish to celebrate according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite must know the pertinent rubrics and are obliged to follow them correctly.

25. New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal[9], according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently.

26. As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular.

27. With regard to the disciplinary norms connected to celebration, the ecclesiastical discipline contained in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 applies.

28. Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962.

The Footnote 9 menioned above references Benedict's letter to Bishops, which states, in part:

"For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. "

Honestly, knowing the sensitivities of touching the rite, I would leave it alone until Rome says otherwise. And, I am not against changes in this regard, just that we have a potential SSPX reconciliation to deal with at the same time....

Claudio Salvucci said...

Cabrini on January 3? We have St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on January 4 and St. John Neumann on the 5th. That'd give us a triduum of American saints to close out the 12 days of Christmas.

Cause for a splendid little festival.

Kevin Jones said...


This is a very complex issue and one on which I have conversed with the LO's Compiler on a few occasions concerning Saints celebrated in the original Dioecesis Menevensis and 1987 created Dioecesis Gurecsamiensis.

This is compounded by a lack of available Menevian Ordo's for the years 61-69 and variations in E&W hand missals supplements. But it is a fascinating subject - I carried out some limited research that would tend to contradict the LO on certain days, the feast of martyr Blessed (since made Saint) Richard Gywn on the 17th October being one of many examples.

I think that the LO Compiler has to draw a line somewhere, but as I think you may be suggesting, the line perhaps should be drawn closer to 1969 than 1961.