31 May 2009


The Pentecost Octave was preserved in the Anglican 1662 [see the rubric attached to the Preface] and Roman 1962 books. In 1662 and in the pre1955 Roman Rite the Monday and Tuesday were especially privileged; in the older Roman books they are doubles of the first class with the rest of the week at only semidouble rank, while 1662 kept the traditional lections on Monday and Tuesday but returned to the Sunday readings for the rest of the week. This Octave is suitable if Pentecost is regarded as one of the times for Christian Initiation, since the neonati appropriately wore their 'whites' until Saturday and were catechised. It had survived even the pruning of the calendar by Pius XII in 1955, who curiously evened out the week by making every day a double of the first class. Its abolition in the post-Conciliar period [by Rome and then, in mindless imitation, by Anglican revisers] finally 'forgets' the baptismal associations of Pentecost and abandons the message of Acts 2: 38-41. Is there a way in which one who uses the Liturgia Horarum and has a canonical obligation to say the Divine Office, can, without breach of liturgical law, observe the Pentecost Octave?

One could invoke the General Instruction of LH paragraph 245 and repeat the Pentecost office every day up to Saturday as a Votive Office being celebrated devotionis causa. Indeed, modern Vatican Press Ordines Recitandi say that " where the Monday after Pentecost is kept as festive, Mass can be said as yesterday, or a Votive of the Holy Spirit, with Gloria and Credo pro opportunitate; likewise Vespers or even other parts of the Office if celebrated with the people". But in six days the priest - and the people - might get a bit tired of its inflexibility. Of course, one could simply follow the permission given in Summorum Pontificum and use the old Breviary during this week. But suppose one does not wish to assume only briefly the considerable extra amount of Office to be said (let's be crude and honest; all four minor hours instead of one, and a longer Compline, would be a jolt to the system). Is there any reason why one should not continue to fulfil one's canonical obligation through the saying of the LH office, but substitute some offices from the Breviary for some from LH? The Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum (Paul VI, 1970), does envisage that permission might be given by Ordinaries to particular clergy, in their private recitation, "Breviarium Romanum, quod antea in usu erat, sive ex toto sive ex parte retinere [to retain the R Breviary ... in part]". One would argue that this is still the law, except that Summorum Pontificum has rendered the "consensus sui Ordinarii" unnecessary (and has not confined the permission, as Paul VI did, to the elderly or those with grave difficulties). So I have in mind to say Mattins, Lauds, and Vespers from the old book. What do leagle egals think?

Incidentally (1), have any such Egals heard of Ecclesia Dei authorising the use of a cut-down version (just five offices and never more than one nocturn at Mattins) of the Breviary office?

Incidentally (2), the Holy Father has now authoritatively made clear that the old Missal was never lawfully abrogated. I presume this is on the grounds that the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of 1969 contained nothing explicit about the new rite being compulsory and exclusive. But Laudis Canticum does say that, after certain dates, only the reformed office is to be used ( ... tantummodo ... adhibenda erit). Does it follow that the old Breviary was canonically abrogated until Benedict XVI resurrected it?


rev'd up said...

"I does what I likes - an' I likes what I does" I'm certainly no egal but *nothing* pre-1955 was ever abrogated. I blanch that it could be!?! After all, if it was good enough for the Church of the 13th century, it's got to be good enough for me. I've faced the wrath of more than one pitiful bishop by standing up for the Christian liberty to use rites and offices that were known to deliver vivifying grace. I see a spiritual wasteland in almost all that leaders of the Church began both to do and teach from at least Pius xii on; yeah, the 1928 US BCP and the 1930 Lambeth were cataclysms.

Go for it, Father! Offer those ancient divine praises that will spiritually invigorate you!

Pastor in Valle said...

Permission was certainly given to continue the old Breviary, to the same people Paul VI conceded permission to continue celebration of the Old Mass. While staying at the Birmingham Oratory several years ago, I read an edition of NotitiƦ from the early 70s which established that,
1)it was not necessary to labialize the office; it was merely sufficient for the eye to follow the text
2) There need never be more than one nocturn at Matins (how this might be worked out was not specified), and,
3) There need be only one little hour celebrated.
I hope this helps.

Bishop of Ebbsfleet said...

ASB had the Pentecost Octave but when we (sic) were producing the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionary, one of the objectives was to reverse the anti-Romanism of ASB and get closer to the Catholic temporale with regard to Easter. Call that 'mindless': it seemed right at the time but now I find myself wanting to celebrate the Pentecost octave. + Andrew

austin said...

What an interesting observation from Bp. Andrew. I had wondered about the ASB/CW discrepancies. Of course, crusty reactionaries among the Anglo-Catholic remnant have for years inveighed, with little impact, against imitating the innovations to which Rome succumbed in a period of Babylonian confusion. It is good to see that Octaves are again recommending themselves. May eastward-facing liturgies, Latin and Tudorbethan, maniples and birettas follow close behind.

Figulus said...

It is my sincere wish that the long hoped for 5th volume of the Liturgia Horarum will have some votive offices that may serve for the Octave (and the Ember Days!).

I suspect that it will contain at least the remarkable votive office, OFFICIUM D.N.I.C. SUMMI ET AETERNI SACERDOTIS, which can be found here: http://www.almudi.org/Portals/0/docs/Breviario/fuentes/breviario2.asp?archivo=advnav/zdnic_sacerdotis.htm

This office, or one like it, will be given some prominence, I believe, in the upcoming year of priests. Other votive offices for lost octaves, rogations, ember days, and traditional devotions would be greatly appreciated, by me at least. More trendy offices for peace, thanksgiving, and various other necessities could also be supplied.