16 January 2021

Extraordinary Form ORDO, and Ordinariate directions, for the Chair of Unity Octave

The Chair of Unity Octave ("Unity Week") starts on Monday January 18 and ends on Monday January 25.

This observance was begun by Anglo-papalists in the early twentieth century specifically to pray for the Unity of all Christians in communuion with the See of S Peter and S Paul. It was encouraged by a succession of Roman Pontiffs and endowed with indulgences (see below).

                                              EXTRAORDINARY FORM

Before the 1960s, January 18 was the Feast of the Chair of S Peter at Rome (while February  22 celebrated his Chair, that is to say, his episcopate, in Antioch). The Feast of the Conversion of S Paul on January 25 still survives, even in the Novus Ordo.

In the Good Old Days, the Wantage Sisters ... who now comprise our Ordinariate Sisters in Birmingham ... the praying heart of the Ordinariate, as our Ordinary puts it ... used to publish an annual ORDO  "in strict accordance with the Use of the Western Church". This was widely used both in Anglo-Papalist churches and in Anglo-Catholic churches generally. The latest one was probably that of 1969. Before January 18, the following information is printed:

                                               CHURCH UNITY OCTAVE BEGINS

Ad lib, during the Octave: one 2cl Vot M For the Unity of the Church. Cr (on Sunday only), Common Pref (pref Trin on Sunday). P[urple]

This will undoubtedly have been lifted from what was authorised for Roman Catholics in England, Scotland, and Wales on the very eve of the liturgical alterations of the late 1960s. What it means is that it is lawful to say daily one Mass of the Votive for Christian Unity (Ad tollendum Schisma if your Missal, like mine, is pre-1962; but the texts are the same in the 1962 Missal) on the Sunday within the Octave (even if it be Septuagesima); and also on each of the weekdays, because they are all (even the Conversion of S Paul) days occupied by III class feasts and so admit Second Class Votives. No Gloria, of course. Only one Collect; Secret; Postcommunion; is said ... in other words, no commemorations.

My own practice is to start the Octave with a (perfectly legal) Votive Mass of the Chair of S Peter on January 18 (Mass as on February 22 except that the Alleluia is said; the colour is white) and to conclude with the Mass for S Paul on January 25. It was the idea of linking up the two Apostles which gave rise to the Octave.

Alleluia for the Chair of S Peter: Alleluia, alleluia. Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam. Alleluia.

I have thought it worth while providing this information because I do not think it is in the available Extraordinary Form ORDOs in Latin, English or French.


In the current Encheiridion: Plenary under the usual conditions for a Catholic who shall have taken part in any functions in the week; and shall have been present at the conclusion of this week (i.e. on 25 January). Partial for whosoever shall have devoutly recited an approved prayer for Unity.

                                                       ORDINARIATE MISSAL

The same Mass for Unity, of course, is provided for use in Liturgical English in the Ordinariates. The rubrics make clear that it can be said on any day except Solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, All Souls, Ash Wednesday, Ember Days, Rogation Days, weekdays of Holy Week and of the Easter and Pentecost Octaves. Such votives ARE allowed BUT ONLY FOR "a real necessity or pastoral advantage" on Obligatory Memorials and the weekdays of Advent, Christmastide, Lent, and Eastertide. Pretty permissive, eh?

I have reproduced an old thread.


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Praying for Church unity is a sad commentary on where we are intellectually, morally, theologically, philosophically and spiritually as a Church.

The Church has always possessed unity as we profess in our Creed One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church...

The "one" refers to unity; unicity is even better.

The Catholic Church has unity and there are no other churches, including the so-called orthodox church for it is not part of the Catholic Church, the one true Church Jesus established.

ABS is happy to pray for the conversion of non-Catholics but it makes no sense to pray for what Jesus Blessed His church with - unity.

A few days ago ABS posted the prayer to Mary for conversions - from the old Raccolta - and it does a body well to look at the traditional theology behind the words of that magnificent prayer and compare and contrast it with the new theology behind the words of the new prayer to awaken a soul to the empty slogan of continuity.

There is no continuity between the two prayers.

Father Stephen Schumacher said...

Amateur Brain Surgeon,

Would it be a reasonable amendment, as you see it, to call it prayer "for the unity of Christians" (rather than "for the unity of the Church")? It seems to me that there is, of course, only the one Catholic Church with Christ as her Head and Founder. But it is also clear that those Protestants and Orthodox who have received valid baptism are indeed Christians. Perhaps this is a better title for what we are praying for this week.

Stephen said...

So glad the collect of the Feast allows us to understand the catholic notion - and not the protestant or some other innovation - of the meaning of "Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam".
"Grant, we pray, almighty God, that no tempests may disturb us, for you have set us fast on the rock of the Apostle Peter's confession of faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever."

Any other notion, concept, or extension would have no - as in zero, nada, nichts - basis in what is prayed. And if it is not prayed, should it be believed?

Ansgerus said...

Inimicos fac amicos
Et benignos invicem
Ut non gravem,
Sed suavem
Sentiamus judicem.

Pro Judaeis
licet reis
Tuum roga Filium
Ut agnoscant
hunc et poscant
Ejus adjutorium.

Aufer bella
et flagella,
Famen, pestem, gladium,
Impende solatium

Ut in sorte
Et cohorte
Supernorum civium
Et laetemur
In terra viventium.

Anselm of Canterbury, Mariale