On my desk lie several ORDOs; I have just looked at the admirable S Laurence Press ORDO and the less admirable SSPX product*. On Sunday after Christmas ... back in those happy days before the Holy Family had migrated from Epiphany I to Christmas I ... SLP, reflecting the pre-Pius XII usage, gives S Stephen. SSPX, following the Bugnini dislike of Saints on Sundays, gives the Sunday (which SLP transfers to the free feria of Thursday; I wonder what the antiquity of this usage is and what readers think of it). SSPX does at least, unlike post-conciliar calendars, allow S Stephen a commemoration. Common Worship continues an Anglican tradition of allowing Saints to supersede Sundays except on Sundays in Advent, Easter and Lent ... or to be superseded and transferred ad lib to a free weekday. In fact, the earlier Anglican custom, dating from the 1928 Prayer Book Calendar (when full provision first began to be made for occurences and concurrences) and in use de facto until the reforms of 1967-1980, followed the pre-Bugnini Roman practice of favouring the Saint. There has been thus a consistent bias in the Anglican Patrimony of being more relaxed about Saints on Sundays than Roman tinkerers are.
Bishop Andrew Burnham's book commends this Anglican instinct. It has practical and didactic advantages: under the modern Roman system, Sunday worshippers never get exposed to all those Saints' days. Theologically, it might be pointed out that each time martyr sheds his blood in witness, this is an entering into, and expression of, the Pascha of the Lord's Suffering and of his Entrance into Glory; and is thus by no means unsuitable to be commemorated on a Sunday.
*I would be very happy to have look at the American SSPX ORDO, which is at least in Latin rather than in some degenerate Gallic Romance dialect. But Angelus press tell me that the packaging would make it prohibitively expensive for them to send me a review copy.
28 December 2010
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The Christmass Octave becomes positively splattered with blood with St. Stephen, the Innocents and St. Thomas.
On Sunday last our church here followed the Ordo pubished by St. Pius X , french edition, and celebrated the Dominica infra Octavam Nativitatis Domini cum commemoratione Sancti Stephani Protomartyris.
I am for keeping the Saints , especially the Apostles, Evangelists and Martyrs, on Sundays, except in Advetn and Lent. This is the older practice, of course, and one that is still kept, e.g., by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands (which is remarkable, considering their previous jansenist connexions.)
In my parish we kept St Stephen, commemorated the Octave etc but the choice of vestments left a lot to be desired...
Of course, the Prayer Book rationale works so well precisely because there are relatively few feasts that qualify to dislodge a Sunday -- and (in the "classical" BCP schemes) they hardly interrupt the psalmody at all and only lightly affect the lectionary.
I've often thought that the BCP treatment of saints would easily accommodate the early Roman practice of double offices (offices of the saint and of the Sunday/feria celebrated in tandem). Indeed, Christmas itself originally was not allowed to dislodge the ferial office, but was superadded to it. See Raymond Le Roux, "Aux origines de l'office festif: les antiennes et les psaumes aux matines de noël et de la circoncision", Études grégoriennes 4 (1961), 65-170, which shows how the chants of Christmas and its octave were originally part of a double office of Christmas day.
At any rate, the reformers achieved their goal of casting into outer darkness the intimation of the Introit "Dum medium silentium" from the Sunday within the 8va of Christmass. They forbid that anyone should get the literal notion that God comes “While all things were in quiet silence” during the Canon - nothing starts a fist-fight among moderns quite like the dreaded silent Canon.
Far easier to take the Sarum option, where there is no provision for any Sunday between Christmass and Epiphany, merely the series of feasts and octave days, with the one feria. Unless your Titular (not being in the general kalendar) or Dedication falls within the 12 days, no conflict arises.
I personally like the Mass, "Dum Medium" but not if St. Stephen, St. John or Holy Innocents falls on the Sunday. Then let Dum Medium be transferrred.
In my parish we kept St.Stephen.
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