Saturday, April 26, 2008

Vatican clarifies Holydays of Obligation for Extraordinary Form

Those of you looking at the lack lustre website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales trying to find news of the Low Week meeting might have seen this:

Following a request for information, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales submitted a dubium (a query) to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holydays of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holyday transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both Ordinary and Extraordinary celebrations of Mass.
A page with this information together with further details about the Calendar for celebrations using the Extraordinary Form has been added to the Liturgy Office website:
Download PDF version of this page

more likely though they would have seen this:

The page you have tried to access no longer exists or has been moved.
Please use the menu on the left of this page to continue.

It is on the welcome page, I think it has been there for weeks, what is it Damian Thompson says about this site?
Anyhow, one of my reasons for wanting to learn the EF was so I could celebrate the Ascension forty days after Easter and a novena before Pentecost, as scripture tells us it should be. Eheu, stymied again! Except of course that in my diocese despite the Bishop's Conference transfer of Holy Days to the Sunday Corpus Christi is still celebrated with as much Pontifical splendour as possible on the proper day; Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Sauce, goose and gander comes to mind!


Et Expecto said...

The statement from the Bishops' Conference seems a little vague to me. I would have expected, in a matter as important as this, that the precise words of the response from Ecclesia Dei would have been quoted.

This is especially so as the statement appears to be a break with what has been said up to now. That is that when the Extraordinary Form is used, it should be used in accordance with the callendar in use in 1962.

I do wonder whether Ecclesoa Dei is talking about the obligation to attend Mass rather than the celebration of the feast.

Is it possible to have sight of the actual wording from Ecclesia Dei?

Physiocrat said...

What does Canon Law say on the subject? Would it be a serious breach of this to celebrate Ascension Day on Ascension Day? And what would the penalty be?

You can still have an Ascension Day liturgy on the sunday, it being within the Octave, so nobody can reasonably complain, if they really want to celebrate on the Sunday there are alternatives.

PeterHWright said...

Many thanks to Father for this informative post.

I rather suspected something was afoot about Holidays in England & Wales.

The "old" calendar seemed to have escaped the controversial moving of Holidays. I know this did not suit the bishops.

Moving Holidays from their rightful place in the calendar to the nearest Sunday is deplorable, whether authorised by the bishops conference, or anyone else.

It is also, mark my words, the thin end of the wedge.

The next target for "harmonisation" between the two calendars will be Sundays. Sundays of the Year will inevitably replace Sundays after Pentecost. You don't think so ? Wait and see !

Already Canon Law allows girl altar servers, or rather it does not exclude them. Extraordinary Ministers (men and women) ? Peferctly lawful. Communion in the hand ? Of course. Laymen and laywomen walking into the sanctuary to read the Epistle ? Certainly. A clarification from Ecclesia Dei will soon take care of that.

Pastoral insensitivity ? Don't be silly.

An unlikely scenario ? No, it is called mutual enrichment.

Of course, all this will be accepted without a murmur by a docile laity.

Incidentally, I've always wanted to see a pig flying.

Volpius Leonius said...

Well I guess I'm going to have to find myself an SSPX Mass to go to on those days and worship with the Schimatics.

Anonymous said...

If this is true (and, like others, I'd like to see the official texts of both the dubium and the response), it just goes to show to what depths are so-called shepherds (or their highly paid minions) will stoop in order to ensure the complete liturgical abolition of our treasured holydays on their proper day.

My inclination, however, is to think that this is so out of step with the MP that we need to wait for the long-promised clarification to see how things really stand. I shall still attend the Holy Sacrifice in the EF on the traditional days.

Send us good bishops, dear Lord.

Fr Ray Blake said...

As Et Expecto says without "the words" I don't know if it is the obligation to attend Mass, that is moved or the actual celebration.

Joe said...

If the ordinary and extraordinary forms are forms of the same Rite, that they should be celebrated using the same calendar seems to me only right. A single calendar would be a sign of the unity of the Rite to which the two forms belong. That they can currently be celebrated following different calendars is a tension that I feel needs to be resolved.

Adulio said...

Ecclesia Dei is not concerned with preserving the traditional liturgical forms but merely paying lip-service to traditional Catholics, while selling out to the bishops.

The old rite has been freely available for a year and already they have started mucking it up. What a great way to confirm the SSPX suspicions of what intentions Rome has.

If the ordinary and extraordinary forms are forms of the same Rite, that they should be celebrated using the same calendar seems to me only right.

Joe, there has always been variations or usages of the Roman rite; with their own calendars for hundreds of years. The church was in total harmony before the obsession, born out of Vatican II, to meddle with everything and change for change's sake.

Volpius Leonius said...

The problem is Joe that Our Lord's Feast days which had been around for as long as anyone in my family who is still alive can remember have effectively been cancelled, Sundays are already days of obligation and so the feasts become just another Sunday rather than the special days they were previously.

Also this change only happened very, very recently and the reason given was basicly that not enough people were bothering to go to church on those days so the Bishops decided to just scrap them because of lack of demand.

Following this logic they should just all get new jobs because the majority of people don't want to be lead by them either.

They were scrapped for no good reason, it is simply another case of the Bishops giving into the world without a fight, they probably did it to free up some of their own time to do other things like go and tell the protestants how they don't need to be Catholic the just need to help the poor or some other such bunkum and then patting each other on the backs and congratulating each other on how great they all are.

Volpius Leonius said...

I nearly left the Church over this when it was first done, I cannot fathom how it can be justified to Our Lord or how it helps us to better fulfil the purpose for which God created us.

What is the worse the Bishops never did give a good reason why they felt it was necessary.

Volpius Leonius said...

Another thought, it devalues all other holy days if they can just be scrapped seemingly on a whim by the Bishops.

Fr Michael Brown said...

There is nothing to stop a priest saying a Votive Mass of the Ascension this Thursday.

PeterHWright said...

Yes, Ottaviani is quite right.

This is a great way to confirm the SSPX in its suspicions of what Rome is up to.

Clearly, the 1962 calendar is to be subordinated to the 1970 calendar.

From this one could infer the 1962 Missal is subordinate to the 1970 Missal.

But that's not what the Pope says in Summorum Pontificum.

The two Missals enjoy parity (all dubia to, and responses from, Ecclesia Dei to the contrary notwithstanding).

Anonymous said...

From last years' experience, it was apparent that many priests are ignoring this direction to abolish those 3 Holy Days, and so therefore, it should be quite possible to find the Masses celebrated on the correct days if you scout around a bit. Just involves a bit more planning.

I know, Fr , why don`t you invite people to post where Ascension Thursday Mass will be celebrated this year ?

Carpe Diem

Anonymous said...

Please, Father Ray, don't give up learning the EF if one of your reasons has now gone. I hope you have many other reasons for wanting to persevere with celebrating the Mass of Ages.

Physiocrat said...

I think just go ahead, put it in the newsletter and in the unlikely event of anyone doing anything you can always claim forgetfulness or that it wasn't clear or Health and Safety or all the other stupid things people hide behind when they are arguing in favour of doing something stupid. And who is going to complain anyway? And if they do, I am sure you can frighten the living daylights out of them.

Anonymous said...

Can't the LMS ask the Bishops (or Ecclesia Dei) for the full texts of dubium and response?

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