21 August 2023

My Breviary??

 So what did Fr Faber, what did Dr Newman, do after opening their breviaries each day?

Firstly, I think, they must have reached for their spectacles. Victorian breviaries were often only 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches and your spectacles in those days were less vast than today. 

So, bespectacled, you now turned to the end of the volume, where there would be a fine section headed Officia propria Sanctorum Angliae. I suspect this may have dated from after the Restoration of the Hierarchy.

But, as you leafed through the relevant quarter ... let us say, for the month of October ... what next?

Each Sunday in October had a special Mass of our Lady. Sunday 1: The Holy Rosary (that, in fact, was printed in the main body of the breviary); then Sunday 2: the Maternity of the BVM; Sunday 3: the Purity of the BVM; Sunday 4; the Patronage of the same Virgin. These three latter celebrations were simply marked by the notice omnia ut in fine brev. and you found them in the earlier appendix headed Supplementum pro aliquibus locis. I.e., they were only for the places for which they had been granted by indult. 

Clearly, they had been so granted for England.

Then you could get on with your Office. And, in October, you did not, in England, say the Sunday Office on a single one of those Sundays in October. During these last decades of the nineteenth century, after the election of Papa Pecci in 1878, you had the great age of Rosarian devotion: pretty well every year, the Pontiff issued a new Encyclical encouraging devotion during the Rosary Month of October.

So these were the great days of what I rather loosely called recently ... I think, on August 16 ...  "High Triumphalist Baroque".

I estimated its length at about 175 years.

Those were days which came to an end when Fr Adrian Fortescue's prayer "for such a pope who will give us back more of our old Roman Calendar again" was answered. Because, around the turn of the century, S Pius X did restore more of the old Roman propers (and made iffy changes to the Order of Christian Initiation: but that's another matter.)

Those changes lasted all of half a century, until they were all smashed up again in the 1960s and the old Roman propers snatched away again. Just to make sure we noticed what they were up to, the b*ggers smashed up thesanctuaries of churches at the same time asthey did the liturgical texts. 

Now, it's another half century since the 1960s, and the poor silly poppets ... the PFs and their Roches ...  wonder why the liturgical scene has grown restless again.

Liturgical fad don't last for ever. Not even if some liar has stuck a label saying "Made at Vatican II" on a title page. Anybody who thinks they do is ignorant of liturgical history.

The PFs and the Roches and their dim acolytes should try to grow up into big boys. 

They should ask Mummy to put them into long trousers.


PCS said...

Mr Waugh had the right approach.

Go back to the liturgical books of good Pope Pius IX.

Matthew F Kluk said...

The case for those books gets stronger constantly.