Intermittently, the 1854 propers for December 8, the Immaculate Conception, have worried me.
You see, dumping a whole structured day of liturgical propers is so Pacellian, Moniniian, Bugninian; so anti-traditional.
And one has to admit that this, precisely, is what Pius IX did do.
But ... the propers for her Conception were so similar to those for her Nativity that all we need to do is to recover those First Vespers for her Nativity (of course, they were lost during the slashburnandslaughter liturgical policy of the mid-twentieth century).
And, perhaps, there are arguments for retaining what was put in place during the 1850s. These formulae responded to a liturgical culture which had grown up over more than half a millennium of piety, prayer, and art, both private and public. Everybody knows about Duns Scotus and his campaign for the Immaculate Conception; I am quietly confident that everybody knows the poem by Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins about the Duns Scotus "Who fired France for Mary without spot". All readers of this blog will remember the piece I published last October 10, about how Edmund Lacey (Bishop of Exeter 1420-1458) provocatively preached a sermon to a Dominican Chapter (he subsequently transcribed it into his episcopal Register) in which, with no hestation or indecision, he required those who besmirch her Conception to Shut Up.
[Things are, of course, rather different with regard to the formulae put in place after the Definition of 1950. Hitherto, the teaching of the Assumption was that the Heavenly Woman should be the great Intercessor. Under Papa Pacelli, this was replaced by a determination to demonstrate that her Immaculate Conception logically required her immunity from death.]