22 June 2019

S Alban

So what is the correct day to celebrate the Protomartyr of this Island?

The Book of Common Prayer made a curious mistake. When its Calendar was revised in 1662, S Alban, previously omitted, was included, but on June 17. This is an error probably due (sic Procter and Frere) to a misreading of xxii as xvii. The error was corrected in 1928.

So the original and correct date for S Alban is June 22, today. Thus it remains in the Church of England, in Common Worship. And, happily, the Traditional Calendars for the RC dioceses of England continue to give the correct date. So this morning I said the Mass of S Alban.

So far, so good. Admirably ecumenical.

However, complications were ultimately to arise from the canonisation of S Thomas More and S John Fisher. More was martyred on July 6; but this was the Octave Day of SS Peter and Paul. So the combined commemoration of these two great Saints was settled onto July 9.

So far, still so good!

But the Novus Ordo Universal Calendar, crudely ignoring our Protomartyr, stuck SS John and Thomas onto June 22, the anniversary of the martyrdom of S John Fisher. 

And English Catholics were arrogantly forced to adhere to the Universal Calendar. So they had to find a different date for S Alban. Thus, in the Novus Ordo Calendar for England, S Alban got manhandled back to June 20. (Unhappily, the Ordinariate Calendar does the same.)

I know what conclusions I draw from all this ...


Fr PJM said...

But isn't it a wonderful arrangement of Providence that the martyr and bishop Fisher should die on the feast of the proto-martyr?

Pete said...

Nicely inbetween the 17th and 22nd!