3 July 2010

S Irenaeus

S Irenaeus, God bless him, neatly divides the calendars of the Roman Rite. Those excellent people who follow the 1962 books, whether in the mainstream or in the SSPX, keep S Irenaeus today, July 3. Novus enthusiasts kept it on June 28. But there is a third group; eccentrics like myself, who use the St Lawrence ORDO. In this ORDO, often commended on my blog, the calendar employed is the Roman Calendar as it was before the Pontificate of Pius XII, in 1939. And that calendar has S Irenaeus on ... the Novus Ordo date, of June 28 (where you can say Mass of the Vigil of Ss Peter and Paul with commemoration of S Irenaeus, or of of S Irenaeus with commemoration of the Vigil, and Last Gospel of the Vigil; happily, the Octave of S John Baptist also gets a look in).

Because the 1962 date of S Irenaeus is a very ephemeral phenomenon, designed to get him off the Vigil of the Apostles. Earlier usage had no problem with combining celebrations; but in the early 1960s we were already going down the path of the Enlightenment/Bugnini rigidities, which disallow any sort of combinations and austerely insist that one Mass has one theme - and no more. So Saint and Vigil had to be disentangled. But when the whole old system of vigils was itself abolished, the mandarins in charge of the calendar after the Council had nothing to prevent them from cheerfully bunging S Irenaeus back onto his original date.

So S Irenaeus was on July 3 for less than a decade.

I suspect you discern the direction I am going. The 1962 calendar is neither unchangeable nor, in fact, ideal. Would it be disastrous to revise it gently, so that, at least, where the Novus Ordo calendar is in line with an earlier form of the Roman Calendar, 1962 came into line with the pair of them?

There is, I think, an increasing tendency to realise that 1962 is a problem; rather betwixt and between as a liturgical dispensation. There is greater interest in forms of the post-Tridentine Rite which were unmarked by the fashions of the mid-twentieth century. A year or two ago, speaking at Brompton, Mgr Schmidt cautiously expressed some thoughts like these. Books have been written ... and I know of one very distinguished 'traditionalist' liturgical writer who himself uses a 1620s Breviary. The English Latin Mass Society is - have you noticed? - itself very craftily careful in how it defines the vintage of the liturgy which it supports ... check it out!


Fr LR said...

I have been for two weeks now - a really, really long time - using the "Missal of John XXIII" and the problems you mention in addition to other things about it have been driving me mad. My intent is to acclimate myself to the "discipline" of the 1962 because that is what is considered "legal" and I want to be a good boy. I have also been reading the St. Lawrence Press Blog and noting the differences between the old and new versions, but it is only in the actual using of 1962 that I have realized how different it is from the 1950 Missale I had been using.

Is 1962 absolutely the only choice for those wishing to be absolutely obedient to Roman law? And what should an Anglican priest hoping for ordination into an Ordinariate do in this regard: bite the 1962 bullet, or rage against the dying of the pre-Bugnini light?

Patricius said...

Excellent post, although I wouldn't personally describe users of the 1962 books as ''excellent.''

The liturgical books of 1962 are in fact considerably less traditional than their younger cousins, the modern books. What irritates me most about the '62 books is that they look superficially like the Old Rite, and this is often the excuse Trads come up with when called to answer for their use of them. Whereas the Novus Ordo was an attempt to make traditional Liturgy itself more traditional (how ironic!), with the restoration of a sacramental concelebration, Communion under both species, the permanent Diaconate etc, the 1962 books just represent a last, exhausted and fudged state in the Roman Rite, which is truly pathetic. As the compiler of the St Lawrence Press Ordo himself once told me - the 1962 books represent the Nadir in the Roman Rite.

1962 should be shunned like leprosy...

The Raven (C. Corax) said...

Fr Raven (no relation) as a good post a propos the point that Patricius makes: http://tinyurl.com/32cmd7y

Ryan Ellis said...

@Fr LR: you only have two choices within the Roman Rite if you want to follow the officially-prescribed books: the Ordinary Form, and the books in force in 1962. That's it.

Thankfully, I'm a layman and can free-form my calendar and books as I see fit.

@Patricius, et al: a prediction I made a year ago is starting to come true--having consolidated their (our) victory in re: the Extraordinary Form, the (we) Traddies are starting to look wistfully at 1954.

No doubt, some sort of ICKSP indult will be given at some point for the 1954 books (sacred then, sacred now).

Then the gaze will turn to that beknighted era before the modernism of Pope St. Pius X.

And, of course, Trent was just an ultramontanist centralization of the medieval liturgical rites. That's where the organic development faced its first rupture.

You can see where I'm going with this--antiquarianism. A key issue for traddies is going to be managing the tension between "sacred then/sacred now" and antiquarianism. It doesn't help that we're smart and like to explore.

Fr LR said...

snip - "1962 should be shunned like leprosy..."

snip - "the officially-prescribed books: the Ordinary Form, and the books in force in 1962. That's it."

I sympathize with both of you; but if use of the 1962 is like leprosy then what of the NO?

snip - "indult will be given at some point for the 1954 books"

May any priest then use the older books (ala The Institute – I understand they currently use pre-1955 books (ought they to be punished?)) with an eye to the day when they will be, I too hope “no doubt”, approved?

Is Church law (which canon?) absolutely clear that the pre-1955 books cannot be used if one wishes to be in accord with the mind of S. Peter or is it a matter of nuanced interpretation? In other words, could a good canon lawyer successfully argue for the use of the pre-1955 books today, without the issuance of special indult? Is it not now the prevailing opinion that the “Tridentine” Mass was never abrogated despite the fact that in the 70’s and 80’s good priests were excommunicated for saying it?

Are we to suppose that place would have been made for use of the 1962 books if they had gone into complete disuse; or was it the fact that priests bucking their bishops still used the old books?

I can’t see that room will be made for use of the pre-1955 books if the impetus is merely academic – our universe doesn’t work that way; but if priests are using it, it will be given its place. This seems to me a true type of organic development and completely opposed to archeologism/antiquarianism. If in the end, SP is the law of the land regarding which books are legal then there is an open door for use of the pre-1955 books. SP read with a legal eye opens the door upon the “Missal of Pope S. Pius V”. If however, SP is not the law of the land, what is: “Quo primum”?

Fr LR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rubricarius said...

I'm biased so shouldn't really comment.

Fr. LR do we really have to use what is essentially liturgical rubbish to be good boys?

It seems perverse, to me at least, not to offer the very best of liturgical praxis in the worship of the Almighty.

'Traddies' used to argue Pius V's missal had not been abrogated, not John XXIII's, and that its use, not that of John XXIII, was sanctioned by immemorial custom - not that they used it of course but the argument of custom is rather strong, although since 2007 neglected.

I fear modern developments rejecting the above in favour of legal positivism will in turn bite the users of more modern editions before too long.

Fr LR said...

Thank you, Rubricarius, bias is what I'm looking for - one side or the other. I've heard that priests aren't supposed to have a bias...but I confess that I've got a strong one and it is in communion with yours Fr. H's and the other commenter’s. But I freely admit to being fallible, so I always investigate. I truly am not interested in being a good boy if it means missing Heaven; as you point out God requires our best, second best is the purview of Cain. I appreciate your and the other's comments – I’m still interested in more.

Liturgy is a mine-field of do's and don'ts and some answers are not at all absolute. In particular I have in mind whether or not the pre-1955 books are lawful. Folks say "no" but I have yet to hear a reasonable justification for this. It only took me two weeks to become thoroughly disgusted with the 1962 missal - and during such a rich two weeks of octaves and commemorations, I missed it all and my congregation and I are the poorer for it.

I'm going back to my 1950 for good unless someone can show me that I'll go to hell for it. It seems as simple as that; but is it?

S. Novius said...

Regarding the ICRSP, I think you'll find that they no longer use the older books, at least not to the same extent that they formerly did. Compare Palm Sunday 2003 with that from this year. The picture galleries from the other Holy Week liturgies show the same change.

I hesitate to guess but the change seems to have occurred around the same time that they were raised (?) to pontifical right.

Mark said...

I suspect even the saint himself is confused by all the date juggling.