3 July 2018

S Irenaeus

S Irenaeus, God bless him, neatly divides the calendars of the Roman Rite. Those excellent people who follow the 1962 books, whether in the mainstream or in the SSPX, keep S Irenaeus today, July 3. Novus enthusiasts kept it on June 28. But there is a third group; principled eccentrics who use the St Lawrence ORDO. In this ORDO, often commended on my blog, the calendar employed is the Roman Calendar as it was before the Pontificate of Pius XII, in 1939. And that calendar has S Irenaeus on ... the Novus Ordo date, of June 28 (where you can say Mass of the Vigil of Ss Peter and Paul with commemoration of S Irenaeus, or of of S Irenaeus with commemoration of the Vigil, and Last Gospel of the Vigil; happily, the Octave of S John Baptist also gets a look in).

Because the 1962 date of S Irenaeus is a very ephemeral phenomenon, designed to get him off the Vigil of the Apostles. Earlier usage had no problem with combining celebrations; but in the early 1960s we were already going down the path of the Enlightenment/Bugnini rigidities, which disallow any sort of combinations and austerely insist that one Mass has one theme - and no more. So Saint and Vigil had to be disentangled. But when the whole old system of vigils was itself abolished, the mandarins in charge of the calendar after the Council had nothing to prevent them from cheerfully bunging S Irenaeus back onto his original date.

So S Irenaeus was on July 3 for less than a decade.

I suspect you discern the direction I am going. The 1962 calendar is neither unchangeable nor, in fact, ideal. Would it be disastrous to revise it gently, so that, at least, where the Novus Ordo calendar is in line with an earlier form of the Roman Calendar, 1962 came into line with the pair of them?

There is, I think, an increasing tendency to realise that 1962 is a problem; rather betwixt and between as a liturgical dispensation. There is an increasing interest in forms of the post-Tridentine Rite which were unmarked by the fashions of the mid-twentieth century. I do not share the detestation of '1962' which some of my friends have; not least, because once a priest has taught himself the use of the 1962 Ordo Missae, he has got over the major hurdle in the way of the appropriation of the pre-Pius XII rite. This just  has to be a big step in the right direction. But I am sure that it is a good thing for a priest to have a broader and more balanced understanding of the history of the Roman Rite in the twentieth century, rather than simply thinking of '1962' as "the Old Rite".


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

I was thinking there just might be a glitch even in St Jerome's chronology (Dec 25, Martyrology) ... Pope Michael gave neither yea nor nay so far ...

If Exodus was 1510 BC, according to III Kings at least Vulgate reading, 1032 should be King Solomon's Temple, not anointing of King David.

On the other hand, creation in 5199 BC seems to have been confirmed by private revelations.

Donna Bethell said...

"But I am sure that it is a good thing for a priest to have a broader and more balanced understanding of the history of the Roman Rite in the twentieth century, rather than simply thinking of '1962' as 'the Old Rite.'"

And I am sure it is a good thing for us lay folk as well. Thank you for illuminating these dark corners for us. I am very grateful to have daily access to the 1962 Missal, but I would love a return to 1939. I don't expect that to happen anytime soon and, in fact, I would tremble at any proposal now to change the directives of Summorum Pontificum lest something worse befall us. Perhaps some day....

Belfry Bat said...

let us not forget that St Irenaeus, student of Polycarp student of Evangelist Apostle St John (quem dilexit Dominus), proclaims Apostolic Succession and Tradition and the office of Bishops and the Petrine Primacy... just how would he be unfit as a lamp for the Vigil of Peter and Paul?