6 August 2023

The Transfiguration

A bit odd. The LMS ORDO indicates that, today, Feast of the Transfiguration, the Preface is of the Most Holy Trinity. I've never really understood "the 1962 Missal". I think I'll just use the Incarnation Preface, as one always has in the past. In fact ... come to think of it ... perhaps that's what our beloved Holy Father was really getting at in Traditionis custodes ... "Now look here, chaps, I don't care which Editio Typica you follow, just as long as it's not 1962." He expressed himself rather strangely, but then, I'm only a poor convert and I don't really understand all this curial stuff, not like proper cradle Catholics such as Mr Ivereigh.

I have a soft spot for today's Festival, because it is, of course, the Titular of Oxford Cathedral. Happy memories of ordination there to the Diaconate and Sacred Priesthood ... my own, and, of course, those of Saint John Henry Newman, blessed Edward Pusey, and so many others. I sometimes wonder if the old English dioceses still exist in some sort of semi-Platonic heaven. It's easily checked: in the legislation which erected the Westminster hierarchy, did Blessed Pio Nono explicitly suppress the medieval dioceses, or did he just leave them ... as it were ... hanging on the peg unused?

This year, perhaps some edge is taken off our joy today by the damage done to the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguation in Odessa. God bless the clergy and people as, yet again, they face the labours of reconstruction.

[Another query. We are supposed to observe the Dedication Festivals of our Cathedrals. I have looked everywhere I can think of to find the date of the Consecration of our splendid Warwick Street church, but without success. Was it ever consecrated? Somebody must know!]


Rubricarius said...

I am, obviously, biased but much better to follow a traditional Ordo than a modern one.

Joshua said...

The EF Mass that I attend is held in a former convent chapel that is still in Catholic hands. But, despite inquiries, no one, not even the few remaining elderly sisters who once worshipped therein each day, knows what the dedication of the chapel is, or if it ever was dedicated to anyone!

Surely a requirement even for a private chapel would that it be given the patronage of some saint, or title of Our Lady, or that its titular be some mystery of Our Lord, or the Holy Ghost, or the Triune God. No wonder that soon after the Reformation most such dedications of Anglican parish churches were totally forgotten, despite being hallowed by centuries of devotion.

motuproprio said...

I understand that the church was originally a Diplomatic Chapel, first Portuguese and then Bavarian. When after the Gordon Riots it eventually ceased to be a Diplomatic Chapel the site was obtained on a 900 or 800 year lease. My understanding is that only freehold properties can be consecrated.

Grant Milburn said...

My 1951 Small Roman Missal stipulates that the Preface of Christmas is to be used for the Feast of the Transfiguration. "Christmas?" I wondered at first, but after reading the preface I said "I can see the sense in that. "

However, at our diocesan '62 TLM the Preface used was… the Common Preface. "Annibale," I said, momentarily distracted from my devotions, "is this you again? Dumbing down the ancient rites for Modern Man who is too stoopid to appreciate the beautiful, subtle and poetic?"

When I got home, I opened the YouTube app on my TV and made a virtual visit to a TLM parish whose live streams I sometimes watch on those Sundays when there is no TLM available in my locality. They usually follow the pre-55 rites. Sure enough, the Preface used was that of Christmas. "Yes!" I said. "Someone gets it right!"

Albertus said...

The LMS must be mistaken. Here today we used the Praefatio de Nativitate st all Masses, as indicated by all the editions of Missale Romanum which we own and regulsrly use.

John F H H said...


gives the date of opening of the new church as 12 March 1790, the feast of St. Gregory the Great, to whom it was dedicated. It gives the source as
Rev. R. C. Fuller, Warwick Street Church, 1956, pp.14-16

a few copies of the last seem to be available at abebooks

I suppose one could borrow from very early Anglican patrimony
The Feast* of Dedication was originally celebrated on the very day of dedication as it annually occurred, and was afterwards transferred to some other day, especially Sunday. By an Act of Convocation passed in the reign of Henry VIII., a.d. 1536, the feast of the dedication of every church is ordered to be kept on one and the selfsame day, viz., the first Sunday in October Lee's Directorium Anglicanum
to be continued
From Wilkins Concilia

John F H H said...

From Wilkins Concilia

- A copy of the act made for the abrogation of certain holydays, according to the tranſumpt lately ſent by the king's highneſs to all biſhoops, with his grace's ſtrait commandment to ſignify his farther pleaſure to all colleges, religious houſes, and curates within their dioceſe, for the publication, and alſo effectual and univerſal obfervaiion of the same. A. D. M. D. XXXVI.
FORASMOCH as the nombre of holydays is ſo exceſſively grown, and yet dayly more and more by mens devocyon, yea rather fuperſticyon, was like further to encreaſe, that the ſame the ſame was and ſholde be not onely prejudiciall to the common weale, by reaſon that it and is occaſion as well of moche ſloth and ydleneſs, the nouriſhe of theves, vacaboundes, and of dyvers other unthriftyneſſe and inconvenyences, as of decaye of good myſteryes and artes, utyle, and neceſſary for the common welthe, and loſſe of mans fode many tymnes, beynge clene deſtroyed through the fuperſticious obſervance of the ſaid holydayes, in not taking th’oportunitie of good and ſerene wheather, offered upon the ſame in time of harveſt, but alſo pernicyous to the foules many men, whiche beyng entyſed by lycencyous vacacyon and lybertye of thoſe holydayes, do upon commonly uſe and practiſe more exceſſe, ryote, and fuperfluitie than upon any other dayes ; and fich the Sabboth day was ordeyned for mans uſe, and there fore ought to gyve place to the neceſſitie behove of the fame, whanſoever that ſhall occurre, mouch rather any other holyday inſtitute by man; it is therefore by the kyngs hyghnes auctority, as fupreme head in earth of the church of Englande, with the common aſſent and conſent of the prelates and clergy of this his realme in convocacyon laufully aſſembled and congregate, among other thyngs decreed, ordeyned, and eſtabliſhed
Fyrſt, that the feeſt of dedicacyon of the church ſhall in all places throughout this realm of the be celebrated and kepte on the fyrſt Sonday of of the moneth of Octobre forever, and upon none other day.

Item, that the feest of the patrone of every church within this realme, called commonly the church holyday, shall not from henceforth be kepte or observed as a holyday, as heretofore hath been used ; but that it shall be lauful to all and singular persons resydent or dwelliynge within this realme to go to their work, occupacyon, or mystery, and the same truely fayne to exercyse and occupy upon the said feest, as upon any other workeyday, excepte the faid feest of the church holyday be such, as must be ells universally observed as a holyday by this ordynance following.

Protasius said...

Maybe the dedication happened on St Gregory's feast; the website of the church on Warwick Street says "Building began in the spring of 1789 to a design by architect Joseph Bonomi, and the new church was opened on 12 March 1790, the feast of St. Gregory the Great, to whom it was dedicated." But should this not be noted in an ordinariate Calendar?

Moritz Gruber said...

The logic behind the preface of the Trinity is the twofold following:
1. We cut the "devotional use" of the preface of the Nativity, i. e. wherever it's not actually about the Nativity (with Candlemas, being an ending of "one of the", as it were, Christmas cycles, being the exception: the use was too enshrined there I guess to substitute the preface of the BVM with insertion "et te in Purificatione"...) Result for the Transfiguration is the Common Preface.
2. By long precedent, the Sundays with the Common preface get the Trinity preface.


As I am also sometimes one of those with those fancy clever ideas you so suspect, I fully realize that "praefatio de Nativitate" is the traditional thing. But I could imagine a dwarf excavating those Glittering Caves of Liturgy Aglarond by saying: "but adding 'sed si festum incidat in Dominicam, praefatio de Ascensione'" would add some further nice touch.

Moritz Gruber said...

Interesting that the King of Bavaria would some three centuries later order the exact same thing for the exact same reason as far as Dedication is concerned... though it is the Third Sunday in October here. Called in the Church books officially the "Dedication Day for Churches that do not know their Dedication Day"... but also celebrated by those that do. Except Cathedrals.

It did not help so much, though. The previous practice was apparently to have them on the Sunday after their patronal feast, and the habit to have a celebration in that area, and perhaps not only to go to ones own parish for that, did stick. As did the greater folksy festivals sometimes attached to it. At my hometown, there is a "Friars' Dedication Fair" as it was originally called ("Bruderkirchweihdult"). It is suspected, and logical, that this celebrates the Dedication of the local Dominican Church, but nobody knows for sure (as nobody knows either why this Church is not dedicated to St. Dominic; I guess the time of its real titular, St. Blase, was too wintery for a big festival). It's called "Spring Fair" now.

Amare Nesciri said...

Cardinal Newman was ordained in Rome, not Oxford