16 July 2009

Commemorations

In the liturgical tradition that many of us grew up in, there were, at Mass and in the Office, quite often 'commemorations'. After the collect of the day's main celebration, the collect [plus, in the Office, antiphon, versicle, response] of a lesser celebration was said. The same happened at Mass with the Secret and the Postcommunio. The 'reforms' associated with the aftermath of Vatican II enforced a rigid discipline of one celebration only on one day. Laurence Hemming in Worship as a Revelation, Chapter 11, reminds us that this had first been proposed at the Jamsenist Synod of Pistoia; he gives good reasons for revisiting this question.

I feel that the problem of 'NO commemorations' hits particularly hard on two days: S Valentine and S Swithun. Each of these days still has a standing in English popular culture; yet each is unobservable in the liturgy of those who adhere to the modern 'reforms' because there is, on the same day, a compulsory celebration on the Universal Calendar of another Saint or Saints. (Problems also arise with regard to SS Philip Neri, S Augustine, and S Bede; and with SS Hugh and Hilda.) The best one could do would be to mention the other Saint somehow in the Intercession.

Yesterday morning, saying a New Rite Mass of S Bonaventura (actually, I had done him the previous day in my EF Mass, but that's yet another problem), I suddenly, without premeditation, added a commem of S Swithun.This, like all such impulsive actions, caused a minor problem: the people were aleady sitting for the Reading. So, when I got to the Prayer over the Oblations, I resorted to another exstinct custom of yesteryear: I said the 'commemoration' under one conclusion with the collect of the day. Yes, I know that this is licentious individualism run riot.

The Orthodox do not have a problem with combining celebrations; I believe Old Calendarists still observe the complicated rules for combining Easter Day with the Annunciation. Our Tractarian forefathers rather enjoyed the opportunity to preach on our Lady of Sorrows when the Annunciation fell on Good Friday. Why should one only be allowed one theme on one day? What is wrong with the appetite for synchronic and diachronic fellowship involved in 'commemorating' a Saint whose main celebration was in an earlier century or is now in another place?

11 comments:

Little Black Sambo said...

Rather than being licentious individualism, is this not exactly the kind of evolution that ought to be allowed to creep in, or even encouraged, enriching the new with the old? And is it what the Pope had in mind?
(Judging by the kind of people it seems to annoy, it is probably the right direction to follow.)

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Father - I say the EF everyday but follow the present General Calendar... this sometimes requires moving the ribbons about in the Missal to have the Propers, but its easy enough to find the "old" date of a Feast and find it in the Missal.

Situations such as you describe, I tend to say the Proper Collect of the day with it's own ending and then the Commemoration Collect (if a Saint or Feast given for the day in the EF Kalendar but not in the NO Calendar at all) combining a third collect (if ad libitum) under one ending. I believe this is the '62 rubric according to Reid (Fortesque etc revised) re combing the Second and Third Collects.

(Didn't it used to be Dominical Greeting; Oremus & First Collect; Oremus & Second Collect and Dominical Greeting, Oremus and Third Collect...?!)

Fr. Bobby Stomack said...

Well if you were a Disconintuing Anglican (like Our Lord), then you could choose to do anything you want, as you'd likely be a bishop.

http://anglicandiscontinuum.blogspot.com

Fr. Bobby Stomack

rev'd up said...

July 15, Mass was for S Swithun, commemoration of S Henry and the 3rd collect was "A cunctis nos..." ad poscenda suffragia Sanctorum. It was just the right thing to do (silent Canon and all). My conscience is clean.

--------------------

The old formula for collects is:

At center - "Dominus...Et..."

1st collect:

At book(inclinatus etc. ad crucem)

"Oremus...Per Dominum(inclinatus ad crucem) (or Qui tecum (inclinatus ad missale))..."

2nd & 3rd collects:

(inclinatus etc. ad crucem)
"Oremus...(2nd collect c/ no ending strait into 3rd) Per Dominum..."

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

revd'up - thanks for the confirmation, exactly as Reid says and I do! I think the other "memory" I describe though was in Ritual Notes?

rev'd up said...

Thank you Canon! It's great to hear of others who follow the book!

Rubricarius said...

Of course on a day that is of simple rite a private Mass may have five or seven collects. The celebrant is free to choose to add to the required three a fourth and fifth and even a sixth and seventh but may not choose to have two, four or six (c.f. RG IX, 12).

Lots of opportunities to add collects for various needs, hence the Orationes diversae at the back of the missal or out of devotion to the Saints.

It would be good to hear Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus...Elisabetha regina nostra..

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

rev'd up

Is there any other way?! I have always, as far as is known, "said the Black and did the Red". I am not an innovator... though I do not have an anxiety attack if situations present themselves that it is not possible to do as the Red says!

Whether EF or OF (occasionally) I will always follow the Rubrics (such as they are for the NO, and where it doesn't say otherwise, follow the previous custom).

Uniformity in liturgy - my motto in this regard has always been "lex orandi, lex credendi' and I think it sensible for any "Catholic" cleric! I try as far as possible to always follow what rubric or custom dictate - I don't "improvise"?!

That said, I do have this funny quirk of using the LOH and present General Calendar, despite offering the EF - but only to be in tune with the vast majority of the Western Catholic Church in the course of honoring the Saints and keeping the Feasts. Where a Saint in the EF is not kept in the new Calendar, I keep him... if the new Calendar will allow me to do so e.g. a feria or lesser class. I try not to repeat Saints days tho' I always keep the major solemnities on the traditional day e.g. Corpus Christi etc and observe the Octave Sunday and if possible the Octave Day or at least commemorate it.

rev'd up said...

How appropriate for today(17th) to celebrate in honor of S Osmundii who strove against the Norman heretics and innovators while fortifying the orthodoxy of Sarum. And after all, who is S Alexius...

I have heard that the older Missale Romanum printed for the British Isles (pre-'62) possessed a kalendar recognizing important British Saints: is this true? I would love to get a copy of it (the kalendar) if it exists.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

I use a '55 Altar Missal which has appendices for Saints of the British Isles and according to Diocesan usage. I fear however that the binding of said book would not last after a photocopying exercise...

Michael said...

While I realise that I am coming to this some months late, I have just been pointed to this post from elsewhere and would like to make a clarification for future readers.

It is with regard to the note about Orthodox practice. It is very seldom that observances are transferred. Instead, it is usual for them to be combined in the same liturgical celebration. However, the following of the traditional rules surrounding Annunciation and Pascha is in no way limited to Old Calendarists but is the custom of the majority of the Orthodox Church, which still follows the Julian Calendar. I only say this to correct the impression that was given - I am sure inadvertently - that the custom is limited to those Orthodox churches that are in schism.