26 May 2018

PASCHAL AND PENTECOSTAL OCTAVES

Today is, of course, the Feast of S Philip Neri, and so of great consequence to clergy and laity throughout the world who love the old gentleman and have been influenced, as I have, by the marvellous charism of his Sons. They are so potent in spreading Catholicism within the Church!

But stay. What about the Octave of Pentecost? Should S Philip be made to tranfer from today to Monday ... even, perhaps, to fight out with S Augustine who gets Monday ...

There is a real problem here which has an easy solution, hinted at by Tradition.

Until Pius XII and his henchman Bugnini started galumphing heavily around all over the Roman Rite, the days in the Octaves of Easter and of Pentecost were not uniform in status throughout the week. As in the Book of Common Prayer, Monday and Tuesday had a very special status, and excluded any other feast or commemoration that tried to elbow its way in. But the same was not true of the Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays within those Octaves. As your St Lawrence Press Ordo makes clear, those days were susceptible to the intrusion of commemorations (not of Festivals).

I think both Tradition and Pastoral Utility could suggest a return to something a bit like the pre-Pius XII system.

So, where S Philip (or anybody else who is a Double of the First Class qua Patron) finds himself ... e.g. ... on the Saturday, he might be allowed to intrude, and be observed on his proper Day..

When a Curate in the 1960s, I seemed often to be troubled by the appearance of S George in the Octave of Easter. Ordinary Christians found it hard to understand why the Church seemed so anxious to prevent him from being observed on his proper day.

My Modest Proposition: Where a Patron, a First Class Festival, occurs on the Wednesday etc. of the Pentecost Octave, (s)he should be allowed in. We should not be entirely deaf to lay instincts.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

I should be very grateful to learn when the practice of transferring concurrent sanctoral feasts began in the West. It is, of course, unknown in the East, where creative combinations of proper texts can allow even Easter Day to acknowledge the solar calendar.

My research tends to keep me in sources from earlier than 1100, and I don't think I've ever seen evidence for transferring feasts in that period.

The Book of Common Prayer (1549-1662) likewise makes no provision for transferring feasts. In this, the reformers seem, knowingly or not, to have been restoring the practice of the first millennium. (More recent revisions of the Prayer Book have "romanized" in this respect.) Charles Wheatly's Rational Illustration (1710) gave guidance on how to handle various concurrences (e.g. mixing proper lessons).

Ben of the Bayou said...

Three cheers for San Filippo! And three cheers for this bully suggestion of Father H.!

Paul Goings said...

I am sympathetic to permission being granted for a Solemn Votive Mass (and Vespers) of the Patron on such occasions, but I would still preserve the integrity of the Easter/Pentecost Octave. I believe that this would satisfy the needs and desires of the faithful without conceding the liturgical principle.