29 April 2022

A Week of liturgical goodies (1)

Goodies ... but, sometimes, competing and confusing goodies. We shall see this next week.

Take S Joseph. The Cultus of Saints in earlier days had a lot to do wth the possession of Relics and ... a little later ... the Dedications of Churches. S Joseph lost out there. The later fashion for a Universal Calendar based upon rational principles was to serve him rather better.

By the tenth century, he was observed in some places in the East on March 19. As such things do, this feast moved West and was accepted in Rome in 1479 ... and extended to the Universal (Latin) Church in 1621. My own unproved suspicion is that the medieval enthusiasm for S John Baptist had proved a bit of a blocker to S Joseph. Certainly, since the growth of the cultus of S Joseph, that of my own Patron the Baptist has tended to suffer something of an eclipse. 

In 1870, that inventive pontiff Pio Nono introduced a feast of S Joseph in Eastertide; newly declared to be Patron of the Universal Church, his (double of the First Class) Festival was fixed for the Wednesday in the second week after the Octave of Easter. The propers are biblical and attractive and 'typological'.

If Blessed Pius IX was inventive, Venerable Pius XII was ... let us say no more! in 1955, at the height of the Cold War, he had the brilliantly clever idea of stealing May Day from the lefties by restyling it as S Joseph the Worker. Like many brilliant ideas, it never made good. Right from the beginning, it was undermined by the American Bishops nagging for the right to observe it, instead, on their 'Labor Day'. It was such a flop that after the Council the coetus revising the calendar reduced it to an optional memoria. In other words, on May Day you could now find yourself in green vestments just celebrating the feria!

Now back a bit. In order to clear the way for S Joseph the Worker, Pius XII had to shift SS Philip and James off May 1 (observed in Rome after the Dedication in 570 of the Basilica of the XII Apostles).  They slipped down to May 11 before clawing their way after the Council back to May 3.

It seems to me perfectly clear what we need to do in order to follow Tradition and Auctoritas is to put SS Philip and James back onto May 1. 

I do not favour a fetichising of the Missal of 1962; and we have here a good example of why such fetichising is misguided. How can a Feast which was prescribed with high rank for May 1 but only existed thus for some fifteen years, be regarded as more sacrosanct than a Feast a millennium and a half old? 

I am not opposed to organic evolution. So I also favour going back to observing Pio Nono's Feast on Wednesday next. But ...

Yes; there is a knock-on-effect problem. To be continued.


Rubricarius said...

Green vestments in Paschaltide! Now that would be a novelty.

Paul said...

Actually, the Patronage of St. Joseph, made a Double 2cl., was first fixed on the Third Sunday after Easter, then in the reform of St. Pius X, it was moved to the Wednesday after the Second Sunday of Easter, and upgraded to Double 1cl. and given an octave.

Grant Milburn said...

I'm in two minds about this. On the wall of my work-from-home study is a calendar I downloaded from the internet which advertises itself as a pre-1950 traditional Roman Catholic calendar. For this Sunday it has: 2nd Sunday after Easter, Saints Philip and James. On the wall of my bedroom is that newfangled '62 calendar, courtesy of those trendy progressives at the SSPX. This announces: Saint Joseph the Worker.

Actually May Day became a public holiday here in Indonesia in 2014 (as Labour Day.) This is probably NOT socialist influence: the Communist Party of Indonesia was the third-largest in the world in the early sixties, but was ruthlessly excised from political life in 1965 and 1966.

At any rate I'm glad we have a Catholic festival to accompany the civil holiday, so the holiday can also be a holy day.

I'm now too old to gain admittance to my parish church post-covid. This means I am dispensed from the obligation to attend the Usus Deterior at my local church, and instead, virtually attend the Usus Superior every Sunday via YouTube. I look forward to seeing what colour the celebrant will be wearing this Sunday. (But I fear that only priests on sede channels will be in red. Still you never know.)

Paul said...

Actually, the Patronage of St. Joseph, made a Double 2cl., was first fixed on the Third Sunday after Easter. In the reform of St. Pius X, it was moved to the Wednesday after the Second Sunday of Easter, upgraded to Double 1cl., and given an octave.

Anonymous said...

These days out of all the types of pure silk sarees modern silk sarees are very much in trend due to being made of soft silk sarees and lightweight silk.

Kieran Wilson said...

Surely, Father, it is never possible in the kalendar of the Latin Rite to find oneself in green vestments on May Day, whether one keeps it as a feria or not, as the day in question is always in Eastertide?

Matthew said...

Green vestments on what would always be an Eastertide feria? I doubt it.

PM said...

Meanwhile in the Novus Ordo, today (30 April) is the memorial of Pius V of happy memory - whose Missal, PF assure us, is utterly inadequate.

Yesterday in the NO and today in the Usus Antiquior, by a wonderful coincidence, is the feast of St Catherine of Siena, who had no hesitation in giving the Pope a stern talking to when she was trying to persuade him to return to Rome.

armyarty said...

The 1962 Missal has a lot of critics, and most of their criticisms are very sensible.

Ironically, I think the reason that we ended up stuck with 1962, is because Abp Lefebvre chose to use it, since it was the last legally authorized version of the old mass, and he was not looking to be disobedient for its own sake. Had he not done so, the Vatican might have reached back just a little further, to, say 1957.