20 August 2009

The sacrosanctity of 1962?

Both SSPX and Summorum Pontificum are based upon the normativeness of the 1962 books of the Roman Rite. I feel some nuancing of this position needs to happen.

It is accepted that - for example - 1962 prefaces might be added to the EF. If Pius XI could add prefaces for the Sacred Heart and Christ the King to the Missal, it is not easy to see why Benedict XVI should not add prefaces for the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception. But I feel revision of details in the EF Order of Mass should not stop there. For example, the Rite of Communion should be gently tidied up to envisage a situation in which many masses include a communion of the people. And the the punctuation of the Preface should be corrected to "Domine, Sancte Pater, ...". But this morning I look at the Calendar and at festivals of our Lady.

Pius XII replaced the Octave Day of the Assumption with the Immaculate Heart, and put the Queenship of Mary onto the last day of the Mary Month of May, a day on which the Feast of our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces had previously been spreading, by indult, to more and more places. Paul VI put the Queenship onto the old Assumption Octave Day: in my view, a good move. The Queenship in Heaven of Mary is exactly what the Octave Day of the Assumption is about. But when Paul VI put the Visitation onto May 31, he made a big mistake. The original idea was that this festival should have as one of its themes the Mediation of our Lady - and one of the hymns provided by Lentini was worded to express this. But the idea never beddded down.

What we need is a calendar on which May 31 is the BVM Mefdiatrix of All Graces; August 22 is our Lady, Queen; and the Visitation goes back to July 2, an old dating with ecumenical implications about which I have posted before. The Immaculate Heart could well go onto the Bugnini date following the Sacred Heart; this fits in with instinct of Christian people for First Saturday Masses of this devotion.

That would be an 'organic' resolution of the present confusions.


4 comments:

John F H H said...

It is accepted that - for example - 1962 prefaces might be added to the EF.

What fun to suggest what the Holy Father might or might not do in furtherance of his desire for the the OF and the EF to be mutually enriching!

Why not simply allow the Ambrosian prefaces as a gift to the whole Roman rite?

John UK

John F H H said...

P.S. wholeheartedly agree that a standard, universal calendar is sorely needed across both forms.

John U.K.

LTRBTB said...

What about the idea that placing the Visitation on May 31st had two advantages: first, that it adds a Marian feastday to Mary's month. Second, it puts it before the Nativity of John the Baptist in the calendar.

Fr William said...

I agree with LTRBTB about the Visitation - its new date seems altogether more satisfactory, even though I now understand (as I didn't before Fr H's recent post on the subject) the logic behind the old date, which (allowing for the intervening Octave) makes the feast akin to an Orthodox Synaxis.

And speaking of the Orthodox, I'm sure we all know the joke:
—How do you make a pan-Orthodox gathering break up in chaos?
—Shout the word "Calendar!"
It's astounding what passions such matters can arouse, and I'm sure the same is true in many Western circles. Me, I couldn't care one way or the other whether, for example, I observe St Matthias in February or May (though I'm sure there are plenty of people who would be keen to tell me why I should care, and which is the "real" date); but from everything I read I get the impression that any attempt to produce a single calendar for both EF and OF is doomed from the outset.