26 May 2021


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 some time next week?

There is a real problem here which could have a solution, involving a development in Tradition.

Until Pius XII and his henchman Bugnini started galumphing 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 Anglican 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 so 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 mere commemorations (not of Festivals; the really important days had to be transferred out of the Octave so as to get a full liturgical expression).

I think both Tradition and Pastoral Utility urge 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 within the Octave, 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 determination of S George to pop up in the Octave of Easter. The Scouts, or some other organisation, seemed to want a service in Church. 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. This is not what the Pre-Pacelli rules prescribed, but ...

... we should not be entirely deaf to lay instincts!

No? ... I suppose you're right ...


Richard said...

Wednesday of the Octave of Pentecost ... St Philip Neri ... Ember Day - my poor head is spinning at this embarras de richesses.

Percy said...

Keep the Easter Octave intact as such, as a proper mirror to Holy Week, which also does not admit of mixing, as it were.

Colin Spinks said...

As regards transferring George from the Easter Octave, I was once indignantly asked when I tried to explain why this particular 23 April was not the Feast of St George, "What's it got to do with the Church?"!

Paulus said...

Surely, the translation of some Feast (especially one that has an octave of its own) out of the Octave of Pentecost is a win-win situation.