18 April 2018

S Joseph

(1) His Feast on March 19 got under way in the 15th century and gradually spread. It celebrated S Joseph, Spouse of the Theotokos.
(2) Then his Feast as Guardian of the Universal Church was added (universal in the Latin Church from 1847), fixed on the Second Sunday (EF) after Easter (='Third Sunday of Eastertide' in the OF).
(3) Then, when S Pius X liberated Sundays from perpetually occurring Feasts, this feast moved to the subsequent Wednesday. But for some decades clergy were allowed to celebrate External Solemnities of S Joseph on the Sunday, where their people had become attached to the custom.
(4) During the Cold War, Pius XII had the rather clever idea (1955) of making the Workers' Day, May 1, the Feast of S Joseph the Worker.
(5) For a variety of reasons, it never caught on and is now, in the OF, merely an optional memoria. (In the EF it is still in situ)

(6) But S Joseph the Guardian had been abolished in order to make space for this new substantial Josephine celebration within Eastertide. His title of Guardian of the Universal Church had been amalgamated with his March 19 festival.
(7) But the old Mass texts of S Joseph the Guardian survived and survive still as the Votive of S Joseph in the Weekday Votives of the pre-Conciliar Missal.
(8) S Joseph's Guardianship of the Universal Church is a theme just waiting for revival.
(9) Episcopal Conferences have the faculty (in the OF) of moving S Joseph out of Lent.

Make what you will of all that. I will just say that this morning I (legitimately) said that Votive Mass, originally the Mass of S Joseph the Guardian of the Universal Church. I could not, however, see how it could be legitimate to say the Divine Office of the old Feast. A shame, because it is very beautiful and has a lot of suggestive  and relevant typology in it.

I think Ecclesia Dei should relegate S Joseph the Workman to Pro aliquibus locis (or among the Votives) and restore SS Pip and Jim to May 1. And resurrect the Guardianship of S Joseph.

Quite apart from anything else, it would be nice again to see the churches and the Sacred Ministers garbed in deepest red on Mayday.


Anita Moore said...

In my little corner of the world, at least, the guardianship of St. Joseph over the Church Universal has been revived. Ever since the beginning of the current pontificate, I have added the Litany of St. Joseph to my Sunday pre-Mass Rosary for the intention of the Church.

Jim in Seattle said...

Thank you for this explanation of the history of the Solemnity of S Joseph, Spouse of the B. V. M. and Patron of the universal Church. I have a 1948 missal and a 1934 Breviary and they both contain it. Now I know the history. I do appreciate the antiphons and readings; part of the richness of our liturgical bounty.

Unknown said...

Thanks for unintentionally answering a question I had.

I frequently pray the Divino Afflatu version of the Office (I'm a Benedictine Oblate) on divinumofficium.com. Yesterday, I was baffled by encountering Patrocinii St. Joseph Confessoris Sponsi B.M.V. Confessoris. I googled around, trying to discover why St. Joseph popped up in the middle of April. My search was fruitless, but having a devotion to the Holy Foster Father, and given the beauty of the Office, I prayed it.

Pulex said...

"I think Ecclesia Dei should relegate S Joseph the Workman to Pro aliquibus locis (or among the Votives) and restore SS Pip and Jim to May 1. And resurrect the Guardianship of S Joseph."
Yes! From your keyboard into God's ear, father.