29 October 2021

All Hallows' Eve

A lovely day, the day before All Saints, in which the Roman Liturgy, with its beautiful Mass of the Eve, or Vigil, of All Saints, sets up a big marker against the heathen puerilities of "Hallow Een". And carries forward the themes of the Social Kingship of Christ. I am sure that both clergy and devout laity will enjoy the texts of this Mass.

Except that they wo'n't. What a shame that Vatican II abolished it. Just another example of all that has been wrong since the 1960s.

Except that the Vigil of All Saints was not abolished by Vatican II.

Because, as everybody knows, it was abolished by the undoubted vandals who, in the decade after the Council, certainly did use "Vatican II" as a thoroughly dishonest excuse to ignore what the Council did actually mandate. Shockers, the lot of them.

Er ... No; wrong again. This lovely Vigil was abolished by Pius XII, hero-pope of a certain sort of Traddy!!

Pius XII it was who employed Hannibal Bugnini and began the deformation of the Roman Rite, years before Papa Roncalli had any notion whatsoever of summoning a Council. They began by interfering with the rites of Holy Week. And the Vigil of All Saints, they felt, had to go.

If, in a second-hand bookshop, you spot an old pre-1950 Missal going cheap, snaffle it up!

According to the pre-Pacelli Roman Rite, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, in a year like this one, when November 1, All Saints, comes on a Monday, you are ordered to anticipate this Vigil on Saturday October 30.

If, following the complicated current usages of the modern English Catholic Church, you observe All Saints, this year, on Sunday, it will still be mighty suitable to celebrate the Vigil on Saturday ... wo'n't it?

The only people, I imagine, who really do carefully observe this and other such traditional Vigils are Anglicans who belong to "the Prayer Book Society" (led, I believe, by dear Prince Charles and the former Mrs Parker Bowles); and those American sedevacantists who (used to???) follow the S Lawrence Press Ordo


Have members of those two last-named highly-principled organisations inherited any megatraditional dietary customs about special 'vigil' observances? A modest Lobster Thermidor, perhaps, for breakfast? A penitential Bouillabaisse for lunch? [Native British home-shucked] Oysters for those in-between snacks? I don't wish to encroach upon Fr Zed's mouthwatering culinary posts, but perhaps this is a field in which my own readers who have appropriate Traddy contacts can make a modest contribution to edifying and recatholicising the Wider Church.


motuproprio said...

I would avoid the sewage-fed Native Oysters at present!

John Patrick said...

"If, in a second-hand bookshop, you spot an old pre-1950 Missal going cheap, snaffle it up!"

You are lucky on your side of the Pond to still have such entities. Here in the Natted States we are lucky to find first hand book stores yet alone second hand.

When I lived in Lewiston Maine there was a wonderful second hand bookstore in neighboring Auburn, complete with resident un-fierce guard dog at the entrance who Cerberus like could be mollified by a treat. Sadly the owner retired and it has been replaced by a Cannabis dispensary. How emblematic of our age.

Rubricarius said...

With respect to particular local legislation - none of which I am aware - after the 1917 Code of Canon Law surely anticipated Vigils lost the obligation of fast and abstinence, C. 1252, 4?

But in the spirit of things what a good excuse to get some good, clean, Irish fish and drink a decent French white with it.

Albertus said...

Truly donot understand, Father, why you write that the Mass for All Hallows eve has been abolished. At our (Roman Catholic) church it is celebrated, as the mass in vigilia omnium sanctorum is found in all our Latin altar missals, one of which i use. They are all older than 1962, but not much older. I never knew of this vigil having been abolished!

Ryan Carey said...

There are plenty of traddies (even of the non-sedevacantist sort) who are going to be observing the Vigil of All Saints on October 30th this year. Many with Masses in violet.

Shaun Davies said...

John Patrick - there are (or seem to be) very few second hand bookshops now in England. At one time most English towns had one. I think that there is a greater possibility of finding an Old Rite Missal in a Charity shop or Charity Bookshop. I think that, compared to the 1980s, there are fewer Missals around and maybe people have started to realise that now they can sell them for more than the standard £2.99.

Claudio Salvucci said...

Here in the States, the Lasance Missal is widely known and beloved by trads: copyright '45, so the vigil and octave are still there. And Lasance is still in print--on and off.

Interestingly enough, America doesn't strongly associate any meat dishes with Halloween. Fish either, come to think of it. Pumpkin everything is king, apple dishes take second, and the rest is marshmallows and various sweets. Popcorn perhaps. Anglophiles may throw in a soul cake recipe or two.

So the vigil fast is eminently achievable even with Halloween/All Saints parties like we're having at our FSSP parish tonight.

I'm intrigued by the comments above...where are there Masses in violet for the vigil?

Grant Milburn said...

My two hand missals are from the 1950's and neither contains the Vigil of All Saints. (Admittedly the one from 1952-given to me free in a Salvation Army Shop- is the Small Roman Missal- I don't know whether the full Missal at this time still contained the Vigil.) Fortunately there are any number of missals available online. (This page for example has links to about 160 Roman Missals from 1075 to 2002.)


I noted that the 1920 post-communion prayer for the Vigil had the expression optatae celebritatis whereas the 1574 missal had optata celebritate. That led to me skimming the propers of the Vigil through the centuries trying to pinpoint the exact date of the change. Hmmm, all those traddy commentators are right...the Roman Missal exhibits a wonderful continuity, just a slight change here and there, say, ablative to genitive- until you get to you-know-when.

By the way Traditionis Custodes says:

Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.

Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.

What about priests who wish to celebrate according to the Missal of 1920, or 1574 or 1075 or...? Have I found a loophole?

Sue Sims said...

John Patrick and Shaun Davies: The number of second-hand bookshops in England is certainly a fraction of what it used to be. We live in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England: when I first visited the town, back in 1972, there were around ten; by 2018, there were none. (There's one now, opened shortly before Covid struck.) Fr Hunwicke, based in Oxford, will certainly be able to say the same thing about that city - do you remember Thornton's, Father? Business rates, insurance premiums and, of course, the internet, have destroyed most of them, at least as actual shops: many continue online, but it really isn't the same thing.

However, they do still exist: even apart from the ubiquitous Oxfam bookshops*, the further north one goes, the more likely one is to find them, as property prices are cheaper on average, and business rates are based on rental values. There's a very useful website that lists second-hand bookshops all over the UK, and is kept up to date: https://www.thebookguide.info/

*For non-UK readers: Oxfam is a major British charity that runs shops (the equivalent of thrift stores and op-shops). In many towns, they separate books from other donations, and run separate shops to sell them.

Banshee said...

And it's the day St. Terence (Toirdhealbhach) Albert O'Brien, was martyred, but only after telling off General Ireton!

Re: pre-1950 missals, wouldn't it be easier to just go online and download a copy? I mean, I'm sure some physical copies are still kicking around, and can be bought from booksellers, but you'll probably have to go online for that, as well.

Shaun Davies said...

The St Andrew Daily Missal (1945 edition) has been re-printed and although expensive at least it CAN be bought.
Thornton's in Oxford...............it was wonderful. I bought, for very little, in about 1985 a number of books belonging to the Rev'd Dr T.M.Parker with his fine High Church bookplate - wasn't a St Augustine scholar ?

Ryan Carey said...

As Father pointed out the vigil was "abolished" in 1955 with the calendar "reform" of Pius xii. You have to search to find them. A pure-62 chapel won't have it, but the IBP will and perhaps the ICKSP might. And certainly some diocesan and religious order will do it. Here are two from last year.



Rubricarius said...

Further to Ryan Carey's comment above the vast majority of sedevacantists would not observe the feast of All Saints with either a Vigil or Octave. They would accept the abolition of both by their 'last true pope'.

It is only the much smaller number who have either been through the Econe system, or influenced by those who have, who would reject Cum nostra.

Voice from the roof top said...

Pius XII suppressed most octaves and vigils, reduced Communion Fast to three hours and paved the way for what followed under John XXIII and Paul VI.

carl said...

John Patrick,

It's about an hour from Lewiston, but earlier this year I came across a charming and extensive used book store in Wells (Douglas Harding Rare Books). Not having enough room in suitcases to return home with all I'd like, I left there a couple volumes of Bl. Newman's correspondence. Nice hardcover editions from, I believe, the 1960s. I hope they'll find a good home.