19 August 2010

Old Missals

When I was at an EF Mass at Milton Manor, a Recusant house not far from here, somebody told me that they use Bishop Challoner's Missal. Splendid!! And ... that therefore, when they say a requiem, they use the Common Preface (you will recall that the Preface for the Dead is a recent addition to the Missal).

Not long ago, I was speaking to a FSSP priest about the naming of S Joseph in the Canon. He said that when celebrating with a book that contained it, he named the Saint; when the volume on the Altar lacked S Joseph, he omitted him. [As for the related question of whether S Joseph is canonically in the 1962 Editio Typica, see comments of Fr Michael Brown and of Rubricarius attached to my post of 13 November 2009. This is not what I am discussing today.]

Is this an accepted praxis - to use the book in front of one even if it has been superseded by more recent legislation? Or is it the celebrant's duty to check in advance and to gum/write things in so as to be up-to-date?

(When Urban VIII changed the Breviary Hymns, his decree explicitly accepted the former possibility; he even allowed booksellers to continue to move stock which they had already printed, and purchasers to use the old texts therein. On the other hand, when Pius X changed the Psalter, he insisted on immediate compliance. Is this relevant?)

The question affects me. The more recent of the two Altar Missals I use was printed just after the publication of the new Assumption propers in 1951. It contains them ...on August 15. But, presumably by a printer's oversight, throughout the Octave Famulorum is given for the commemoration.

(Yes, I know Bugnini, cuius animae propitietur Deus, abolished our Lady's Octave in 1955. Don't remind me of that but address the question I pose! It's an important one! It could vastly enhance the market value of old Missals!)

23 comments:

Christian said...

I am sorry to say that I have never heard that the later practice (the one advocated by the FSSP priest) is licit. Almost all the Old Altar Missals I have seen which were in regular use till the Novis Ordo came in have the new bits pasted in.

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

I also do not think this convention is acceptable. I would cite two reasons:
1.Bl.John XXIII added the name of St. Joseph 'motu proprio', therefore this should be observed at all Masses celebrated since 1962.
2.'Summorum Pontificum' obliges the use of the 1962 Missal.

To omit St Joseph is therefore at best an act of historical reconstruction and at worst disobedience to the express mandate of two popes.

Rubricarius said...

The 'typical' edition of the 1962 MR was promulgated by a private decree of SRC 23 June 1962 (never appearing in AAS).

St. Joseph's name was added to the Canon from December 8th 1962.

Clearly, by simple logic, the typical edition of the 1962 MR cannot contain St. Joseph's name - unless its printers were psychic.


The wider issue raises the influence of printing and the speed of modern communication on liturgical celebration. Even a 150 years ago new texts would have spread relatively slowly - now change is instant.

none said...

I wonder if it should matter that the documents found at the front of the 1962 books expressly note the temporary nature of the rubrics contained therein. I for one was also always bemused at Bl. John XXIII's wish that clerics should have the texts of the Fathers at hand and be immersed in them, even as he chopped out 2/3 of them from the Office. Did His Holiness really expect priests to have Migne at hand, ready for a daily dollop, rather than the far more convenient and practical use of the Office?

A small piece of liturgical trivia. The Franciscans at least understood some of the gross illogic of the 1962 Office (where sometimes the Sunday Matins homily poses a question that is never answered because two of three lessons were chopped without regard to content). The 1962 Brev. Romano-Seraph. retained 9 lessons for Sunday Matins.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Steve Cavanaugh said...

One bit of Anglican "patrimony" which I would have thought we would want to avoid is the way Cranmer and the regency council did their best to bankrupt parishes with their frequent updates of liturgical books: the new Litany, the Communion service, BCP 1549, BCP 1549/Merbecke, BCP 1552, BCP 1559, etc.

When the phrase "history repeats itself" is itself repeated, I often think of how similar life in the parish was in England in the 1550s-1560s compared to parish life in the Latin Church in the 1950s-1960s.

Patricius said...

The rather modern rise of devotion to St Joseph in the West is a rather curious matter from a liturgical perspective, Joe the Worker, his name being inserted into the Canon etc. I would like to know where the Church draws the line vis the influence of devotion on the Sacred Liturgy. I mean, to what purpose is the inclusion of St Joseph's name in the Canon in 1962?

Walter said...

Dic nigrum, rubrum fac.

But there's more in your post than that, isn't there !

(Old Missals: I ordered one a few years ago from
England without reading the details. I thought it was a hand-missal. It turned out to be an old 1920s Altar Missal which weighed a ton. I was delighted to examine it with all the pasted-in updates that arrived from Rome, properly placed in with great care !
To me, it is priceless! I treat it like a first-class relic thinking what saintly hands 'soiled' its pages.)

If a priest carries the sweet yoke of
Christ, whatever he does at Mass is acceptable.

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

It would be very interesting to pose this dubium to the Ecclesia Dei Commission: is a priest at liberty to omit the name of St Joseph in the Canon? My guess is that the answer would be no. Perhaps someone will accept the challenge?

Fr LR said...

Summorum Pontificum is blandly silent regarding the use of missals prior to the issuance of the "typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962" which, SP declares, to have never been "abrogated" (Rubricarius points out that the typical edition was promulgated 23 June 1962 sine S. Joseph - touché). Wherein are we to conclude that previous typical editions of the Roman Missal have been abrogated? It is true that Bl. John XXIII, while Pope, made use of the pre-1955 Holy Week. How then are we to interpret this fact except there be a liberality in interpretation?

If it’s good enough for Blessed John XXIII, it’s good enough for me. I’ll take it on trade; give me the pre-‘55 Holy Week and I’ll invoke S. Joseph all day long.

GOR said...

Dates and ‘strength’ of pronouncements aside, I would say that St. Joseph should always be included in the Roman Canon. Why did it take almost two millennia to include him? Don’t know, but I suspect it was an acknowledgement of the ‘forgotten’ member of the Holy Family – much as the Holy Spirit is considered the ‘forgotten’ member of the Trinity. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Scripture says relatively little about either – though the Holy Spirit does get a little more ‘press’…

Maybe the answer lies in liturgy being informed by popular devotion – or in this case papal devotion. Somewhat akin to Pope John Paul II adding the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary - which, while not liturgical per se - was roundly criticized by some and warmly welcomed by others...

Fr Michael Brown said...

Rubricarius, it is good to agree with you on something! My altar missal which was published in 1962 does not have St Joseph in the canon. As there is no public decree for a 1962 missal then I suppose the `Decembrists` can claim they have permission to include him. However as you have discovered that there is no official declaration of typical editions in AAS between 1920 and the 1965 Ordo Missae, it seems that promulgation of editiones typicae must fall under the category mention in canon 9 of the 1917 code that says that laws are to be found in the AAS unless another way of promulgating them is prescribed. All rather confusing and I imagine as Mgr Wadsworth says that if someone asked Ecclesia Dei we would be told he is to be included. Except that ED has no legislative power.

Rubricarius said...

Fr. Brown,

I am sure we agree on a lot of things!

This just rather highlights that the drafting of legal documentation isn't necessarily done by those knowing that much about their own liturigcal history. If PCED says St. Joseph must be named in the Canon then that is a post 1962MR editio typica praxis. If that is authorised why not authorise other post 1962 praxis? After all there was a considerable amount of liturgical legislation between 1962 and 1969. As you know I am certainly not in favour of that but I find the glib 'Alice in Wonderland' approach - not exhibited by you or our esteemed blog host I hasten to say - disturbing.

I also agree with you that a definition of promulgation has to be more than something appearing in AAS - hence the arguments about the NOM not being validly promulgated don't stand up to analysis.

none said...

During the dark liturgical days of Pius XII, Rome herself did not know what was going on.

Proof: I possess a copy of the totum 1956 Breviarium Romanum editio typica, Vatican Press. While it contains the novel office of S. Ioseph Opificis, it also retains all the "abolished" octaves, the rank of semidouble, etc....in other words, the features allegedly cut in the preceding year. There is no indication whatsoever of the existence of the changes.

Desclee published breviaries in the same period that retained the "abolished" texts of the Office, only bracketing them and using smaller type.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Dale said...

If one were to simply use the use given in older missals, there could be theological issues at stake as well. If one were to offer Mass for the Immaculate Conception from a pre-1854 missal it would be the "Conception of the BVM" with propers pertaining to the older feast and not the newer.

davidforster said...

I have in fact served a Requiem mass at Milton Manor, where the Missal of the Venerable Bishop Challoner was used, and all innovations subsequent to that Missal were omitted. This included using the ordinary preface, rather than the preface for the dead.

I won't reveal the name of the celebrant; I wouldn't want him to be hauled off to the dungeons of the Bishops Conference, or some other undesirable spot, to be tortured by having to listen to readings from the Jerusalem "bible".

I suspect that the Ecclesia Dei commission is well aware of the diversity of practice in celebrating the old rite, and the strong opinions it provokes. If they have wisdom - and I sincerely hope that they have - then they will leave well alone. Issuing instructions that will inevitably be ignored - "disobeyed" if you like - is not wise policy.

Joshua said...

To play devil's advocate:

If a priest were to have to hand only an editio princeps of the Roman Missal (1474), would it be reasonable to use that?

What if he had only a mediæval manuscript Missal available? - say, the Missale Aboense as once used in Finland (if he were off in such nowadays-Lutheran parts on holiday)?

Isn't there a certain reductio ad absurdum here?

The detestable principle of private interpretation, a wandering down the liturgical garden path, picking pretty flowers here and there, is manifesting itself.

What's to stop a priest leafing daily through his liturgical library to find the very nicest Mass to say?

There seems something narcissistic about this at base.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

"If one were to simply use the use given in older missals, there could be theological issues at stake as well. If one were to offer Mass for the Immaculate Conception from a pre-1854 missal it would be the "Conception of the BVM" with propers pertaining to the older feast and not the newer."

Mmmm... except Pio Nonno's promulgation of the doctrine was based upon the "lex orandi lex credendi" of the preceding centuries, no? So the "Conception of the BVM" Propers should not pose any significant problem doctrinally? [Leaving aside the bizarre way the dogma was promulgated.]

Little Black Sambo said...

"Why did it take almost two millennia to include him?" [i.e. St Joseph in Canon].
It surely happened much more quickly than that.

Rubricarius said...

Dr. Fratantuono's observation is actually quite easy to explain. In the introduction to the decree, Cum nostra, of 23rd March 1955 'simplifying' the rubrics (I would call it butchering them but de gustibus) publishers of the liturgical books were told not to make any changes:
Caveant interim Pontificii librorum liturgicorum Editores, ut in novis editionibus Breviarii et Missalis romani forte disponendis, ne quid prorsus innovetur.
Mgr. Bugnini, and others, explain in their commentaries this is because the changes are but a step towards a full 'restoration' of the liturgical books and they did not want existing books to become unusable before the full restoration was complete.

As to Canon Jerome's point my late, and much missed, friend Fr. Ronald Silk said exactly the same thing. The Church cannot create new doctrines and on the basis of lex orandi, lex credendi (which of course Pius XII reversed in Mediator Dei - see Kavanagh's illuminating criticism of that) the formularies in the liturgical books for the 8th December and 15th August must have sufficiently expressed the necessary doctrines.

The Moderate Jacobite said...

The whole purpose of having a Missal (or other liturgical book) is that the celebrant does not have to memorise the entire liturgy; adapting (from whatever motives) is a recipe for mistakes. I recently attended a Mass with a visiting celebrant; following the Leonine Prayers he intoned the Salve Regina, which the congregation sang with gusto but then he made three attempts to sing the collect following but his memory failed him...I do not impute blame to the Priest, but it is hardly an edifying spectacle. Obviously this is not a point about using the 'wrong' book, but does show what can easily happen when clergy do not use what is clearly printed in front of them - whether adding in particular prayers or using different forms of text.

The use of the book in front of one is a entirely different point from selecting a Missal according to personal preference.

As for the case of a Priest who was stuck with only a centuries old Missal, I would encourage him to use the book available. I don't see it as reductio ad absurdam, not least because the circumstances are somewhat strained hypotheticals and 1474 doesn't strike me as particularly absurd.

none said...

I would hope that the rabid 1962ers (the ones who see the vilest disobedience wherever they see the slightest divergence from the canonized rubrics of (I presume) December 31 of that year, would recognize that a principal reason they can use such rubrics is the wholesale rejection by many in the Church of the rubrics of 1970-1975. The traditionalist movement should be correcting the frankly historical accident by which 1962 has become encased in amber. It is ironic that the 1962 rubrics have enjoyed greater longevity in recent years than they did on original publication. It does well to remember that with the exception of the the addition of three feasts and one name in the canon, essentially the development of the liturgy from 1956 to 1962 consisted of chopping stuff out of it...and the biggest thing to be chopped were the writings of the Fathers.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Vincent said...

Concerning S Joseph

It struck me some time last year that the growth in post-war interest in S Joseph (bearing in mind that most movements for change began in the ’fifties) might be due to a pastoral concern for the increased number of step-families after the war, or even the simple acknowledgement of broken homes with step-parents, although this is hardly a tested hypothesis. I think that is nice, but may or may not be liturgically permissible. He was not recorded as being a Martyr. Inclusion in the divine praises was probably sufficient.

Fr Daniel Lloyd said...

Given that priests who suffered permanently or temporarily from blindness, or who could read only very large type, could be given a dispensation to say masses of Our Lady and of the Dead, surely any priest would have memorized the entirety of such masses (just in case), meaning that 'missing bits' in older missals should easily be supplied from memory? So, one needn't leave bits out that should be there just because they aren't in the missal in front of one (and that would go for the preface of the dead as well, wouldn't it?).