19 November 2020

Little Liturgical Notes

In the statement by Arcbishops Nichols and McMahon (Wednesday 4 November), the two gentlemen called for a day of Prayer for the ending of the pandemic on "the Vigil of Christ the King (21st November)".

(1) How jolly. I had thought that Vigils, except as Saturday evening celebrations of the Sunday Mass (called a vigil mass), had been abolished in the course of the post-Conciliar disorders. It is always jolly to see the Bishops moving back behind Bugnini.

(2) In fact, November 21 is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lady in the Temple, not to be confused with February 2, the Feast once called the Purification of the BVM but renamed by Bugnini the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. This November 21 festival has a rather low rank on Western Calendars, but is one of the Great Feasts in the Byzantine Rite. It celebrates the presentation of the three-year-old Mary to the Temple, where she stayed until puberty, being fed with paradisal food by angels. As befitted her unfallen state. Indeed, it has always seemed to me that there are conceptual links between this festival and that of the Immaculate Conception.

Yes, you did read my words aright.  At a time when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is strictly proscribed in our churches, we shall be celebrating ... the Entry into, and lengthy sojourn within, the Temple at Jerusalem, by our blessed Lady.

There must be a joke somewhere here. Can somebody help?

I wonder if some sweet little sharp-eyed labourer in the Liturgy Office of the CBCEW advised their Lordships against referring to November 21 by the title of our Lady's festival. 

We wouldn't want the Lower Clergy, would we, to have a laugh at the bishops' expense!


ptr140774 said...

Dear Father,
Usually you are so correct, so precise. At present the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not proscribed. Mass is still being celebrated throughout the country. Admittedly parishioners might face a problem in joining their priest, such as a closed door, but they can still be present virtually and virtuously - in many cases thanks to live steaming. Canon Paschal Ryan

vetusta ecclesia said...

Strictly speaking and thank God for it, the Mass is not proscribed in our churches. But the faithful are prevented from attending.

pj said...

The joke: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."

E sapelion said...

There are Vigils in the OF currently, at least there are special Vigil Masses, on several days of the year. In order of occurence they are: Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, St John the Baptist, Ss Peter and Paul, Assumption.
The UNIVERSAL NORMS ON THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND THE CALENDAR says at no.11:- "Solemnities are counted among the most important days, whose celebration begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) on the preceding day. Some Solemnities are also endowed with their own Vigil Mass, which is to be used on the evening of the preceding day, if an evening Mass is celebrated."
They differ from the EF in not being of a penitential character. Both Easter, of course, and Pentecost have several OT readings.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr E

What I wrote is accurate. The Novus Ordo does NOT provide Vigils whch extend their character over the the entire space of the preceding day. The Novus Ordo only envisages a Vigil Mass on the evening of the preceding day. As I thought I had said quite clearly. The NO Vigil Masses should only be celebrated after the First Vespers.

So, on the day before a Solemnity, Office of readings, Lauds, and the Middle Hour are, according to the NO, of that day itself without reference to the Festivity of the following Day. I suggest you compare the NO Mass for December 24 with the Vigil Mass of Christmas Day. The former, of course, is in in the purple vestments of Advent.

I do try to write accurately. It can be frustrating when people do not bother to read what I actually write, but instruct mne as if I am an ignoramus.

E sapelion said...

My apologies Father for any annoyance I my have caused you. I agree that the OF does not have a penitential day preceding the great feasts (apart from Christmas and Easter).But it does have on a few occasions a bit more than an anticipated Mass of the feast, particularly at Pentecost, and it was that which I wished to point out. Not that it cannot be used in fulfillment of the obligation, but that for the greatest feasts it is not the texts ‘of the day’.
I wish I could cause annoyance to those who ignore the feeble residue of Vigils which we still have. And in particular the Liverpool diocesan authorities who have instructed their clergy not to use these texts (apart from Easter and Christmas, for which no other text is to be used).
Apologies in advance for my temerity in pointing out that these texts are to be used “either before or after First Vespers” according to my missal, which is quite strange because it seems to conflict with 1/ the evident intention that these ‘vigils’ are not of the previous day, while 2/ Solemnities “begin with First Vespers”.
So, yes it is feeble, and a mess, but for those of us without access to alternatives it would be a bit better than nothing.

rich said...

You cannot be "present" virtually, and televised Masses have no spiritual benefit, otherwise the Church would approve them going forward as a way to fulfil the Sunday obligation. They are a cop out, pushed by Bishops who are afraid of the authorities and ensure church doors are locked and the Sacraments denied to the faithful. I wonder what St John Fisher thinks of their acquiescence. S. John Fisher, ora pro nobis.