Perhaps not many readers of this blog are using, today, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. But ... any who are ... are using very ancient and venerable formulae which are missing elsewhere. They would have every right to quote the words of Benedict XVI about "what has been sacred ...".
The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels of all the Sundays after Trinity in the BCP were taken ... with only one or two tiny fiddlings ... from the propers used in the Sarum Use (and other medieval English 'rites'). And while these readings represent the same Epistles and Gospels as the Missal of S Pius V, they are shuffled around rather. And these BCP readings are not some proddy Reformation confection; they represent the Lectionary system used all over large parts of Northern Catholic Europe before the Reformation and the subsequent widespread adoption of the Pian Missal. In effect, they are are a variant but authentic form of the Roman Rite; and stretch back to the Seventh Century.
Those wise people who make use of Matthew Hazell's fine comparison between the Missal of S Pius V and the Novus Ordo, will be familiar with the following fact: the Novus Ordo omits scriptural readings which Modern Man of the 1960s regarded as objectionable (this applies not least to the Corpus Christi Epistle). Bad!!!
But today gives us an example of S Pius V, to superficial appearances, doing the same thing!!
Today's Gospel, repeated from yesterday, offers the parable from Luke 16, of the Rich Man and the Beggar Lazarus. And this is absent from the Sunday Lections of the S Pius V Missal.
I wonder why. This is a genuine question!! I don't know!
This pericope does appear on a weekday in the S Pius V Missal: on the Thursday in the Second Week of Lent. But, as the sharp among you will be aware, Thursday used once to be an aliturgical day in the Roman Rite. It appears to have been Gregory II (715-731) who established the Thursday liturgies, and put together propers for them. And it is on one of these Thursdays that the parable of Lazarus makes its only appearance in the Authentic Roman Rite.
I wonder if there is a connection.
This parable is, perhaps, one of the neatest and sharpest and most damning of the Lord's parables. Just think about its concluding observation: If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not listen even if one should rise from the dead ... well, one did rise from the dead ... and they didn't ... still haven't ... believed. And, as the Lord observed, all those who fail to believe will end up in that Place of Torment.
I'm not suggesting that a deliberate policy of bowdlerisation has been at work, as it was in the 1960s committee rooms where the Novus Ordo Lectionary was misbegotten.
I am genuinely wondering if there might be something interesting and illuminating happening here.
Or is it just a coincidenc?