2 November 2010

Last Sunday evening ...

... I went, as I commonly do, to the Oratory for Vespers. Naturally, I wondered whether it would be SEcond Vespers of Christ the King; First Vespers of All Saints; or Second Vespers of All Saints.

Amusingly, it oscillated between First and Second Vespers of All Saints, just as the elegant whimsy of the Cantors took them. Clergy in choir were rolling in the aisles. (Don't bother to ...)

What should it have been? According to the admirable S Lawrence Press Ordo (rite of 1939), Vespers of All Saints with with commemorations of Christ the King and of the Sunday. According to my SSPX Ordo (2004; but the Littera Dominicalis is the same in 2010), it should have been Second Vespers of Christus Rex with a commemoration of All Saints. (I presume La Toussaint is some sort of frenchy term for All Hallows; why on earth can't SSPX do its Ordo in Latin like properly educated people?)

I should have added that the 1939 Ordo provides an Octave for All Saints. Somewhere here lies a key to the difference between the two versions of the Roman Calendar. 1939 is informed by an instinct that an older feast - and Toussaint is immeasurably older than Christus Rex - is more culturally embedded; has been around, has innumerable churches dedicated to its titularis; is part of an immemorial landscape. The Bugninified usage to which SSPX relates is based on simplistic logic: that a Feast of Christ takes precedence over a Feast of Saints.

I think the usage provided in the admirable and learned S Lawrence Press Ordo is profoundly right. We worship in a Tradition in which evolution and a respect for Old Custom is immeasurably more important than mathematical logic. That is why the dignity of All Hallows is immeasurably greater than that of Christus Rex.

The Oratorians, of course, had transferred All Hallows to the Sunday in accordance with modern English RC custom.

5 comments:

Pax Britannica said...

At the SSPX pro-cathedral here in Paris (S Nics du Chardo) it was indeed JCRoi 2nd V + commem on Sunday, with of course dedication of the human race to the SC. 2nd V of Tooss was yesterday: but alas, 1st V of AllSouls did not immediately follow. But the impressive collection of reliquaries was on display, and a mighty fine buffet of Second Empire ormolu and red velvet it was, with many prayerful devotees.

Some fine singing from the congo (?professional singers among them perhaps?) and ravishing organ improvs on both days.

"Mon Dieu, donnez-nous des prĂȘtres..."

Dev Thakur said...

Pax Britannica,

Yes, I just learned (given I am newly learning to pray the Breviary and am using 1962), that Vespers of the Dead used to immediately follow 2nd Vespers of All Saints.

In obedience, I am following the 1960 rubrics and will say those Vespers this afternoon, but look for the day when such things shall be restored.

Albertus said...

''That is why the dignity of All Hallows is immeasurably greater than that of Christus Rex.''
One can only agree with these words of deep catholic liturgical wisdom. I celebrated I Vespers of All Saints on sunday evening. IN the country in which i live, All Saints is not transferred to the Sunday. Nor do i believe that any feasts should be transferred to a Sunday, esp. merely for convenience's sake, except the external celebration of a local or national Patron Saint, which, of course, is an ancient tradition.
I too do not understand why the Ordo of the SSPX is in French, rather than in Latin. In Rome we had the ordo in Latin. I can read French, but i celebrate in Latin, not in French, and the vernacular of their Ordo is a constant annoyance.
As a last thought, I should like to see in the future the feast of Christus Rex - if not abolished - to be fixed upon 31 October, freeing the Sunday. That way too one could make a link connecting the three feasts : Christ King of the Church Militant (31 oct), of All the Saints in Heaven (1 Nov), and of All Souls in Purgation (2 nov.)
PS. I intend to offer one of my Masses today for the Catholic Victims in Irak.

Rubricarius said...

Learned Fr. H.,

Right answer for wrong reason! The age of the feast of All Saints is not the reason it takes precedence in concurrence. The reason is the higher intrinsic dignity of All Saints i.e. it is celebrated with an Octave etc.

In the 1961 Breviary concurrence is quite a rare event. When two 'first class feasts' (in the old rite Doubles of the First Class) then the Vespers of the first one is always sung with a commemoration of the following one. A load of old tosh I would call such dumbing down!

davidforster said...
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