29 May 2018

The English Martyrs and a local EF Calendar (2)

It seems to me that the later, 1987, Ordinary Form Arundel and Brighton Calendar is a great deal more welcoming to our  English Reformation Martyrs than the earlier, rather stingy, Extraordinary Form Calendar.

In using the Extraordinary Form in our present context, what is one to do? Need one simply stick to the stingy 1949 Calendar authorised for Souhwark? I think not. The principles of law embodied in Canon 19 seem to me to suggest the question: "If the SCR had still be supervising EF diocesan Calendars in 1987, what would it have done?"

It is surely reasonable ad interim to utilise cautiously the 1987 Novus Ordo diocesan supplement, not as being an authoritative intervention in the Old Calendar, which it is not, but as being a strong indication of what the SCR would have authorised had it addressed the question of dealing with (a) a brand new diocese, and (b) a new batch of beati. Of course, dates might need to be adjusted if they are already occupied on the older Calendar: again, this is simply in accordance with long-standing precedent.

The Group commemoration of "The Blessed Martyrs of Sussex" is a completely reasonable disposition, based upon the much older "The Blessed Martyrs of England and Wales". The point is that Beati are, historically, supposed to enjoy a much more limited cultus than that of Sancti. So it is reasonable to group them together rather than assigning to each of them a separate feast day throughout an entire diocese.

But there is every reason why each of them should have an individual observance in places with which they are closely connected, if the EF rubrics can admit them on that day.

To be continued after a few days.

1 comment:

Pastor in Monte said...

Father, as a priest of Arundel and Brighton who celebrates the EF when I can (at least weekly) that is exactly my policy. As you will know, I formerly had charge of a parish which included its own St Cuthman of Steyning who, though not a martyr, was not formally recognised by the pre-1965 Diocese of Southwark from which A&B was hewn. It would have been ludicrous not to observe him in his own home town. I should add that he is not in any form of the Martyrology, though the Bollandists take him seriously (attributing him to Normandy, curiously, 'Stennygae in Normannia', is I think, how they put it on Feb 8th: Fécamp Abbey had the presentation, and eventually snaffled the relics). He is, of course, present in the current A&B calendar.