10 December 2023

Pio Nono, Papa Pacelli, and Liturgy

 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.]


Tom Broughton said...

Pio Nono is also a sweet pastries from Granada, Spain named after Pope Pius IX's name in Spanish, Pío Nono.javascript:void(0)

Tom Broughton said...

Pionono is also a sweet pastry from Granada, Spain named after Pope Pius IX's name in Spanish, Pío Nono.

Banshee said...

The interesting thing is that obviously Jesus _could_ have chosen to be immune from death, but chose to obey and do what He'd come to do.

So there are some Eastern sources that basically say that Mary chose to die, because she didn't want to not follow in her Son's footsteps or get privileges that He didn't get. (Even though He would have probably been okay with it.)

So the idea there would be that Mary's death was more meritorious because it was willingly taken on, as the more sacrificial of her options. And it might help heal by reparation whatever Eve suffered unwillingly in her death by the new Eve willingly dying, and so on.

(Obviously Christ's sacrifice is all-sufficient, but we all get a chance to participate through reparation and offering up stuff.)

Maybe this is the way to go? Because obviously the idea that Mary didn't have a Dormition is not supported by the evidence, and it's kinda weird to go off from the Dormition traditions of the West, in the West.

Paulus said...

As far as I know, the octave of the Immaculate Conception is the first during which a modern papal encyclical is read in second nocturns. And to me this seems rather suboptimal.