Tuesday 24 February 2009


Fr Hunwicke has an interesting post on what he calls utraquism—nothing to do with eucharistic theology, but rather trying to hold together in one parish the usage of both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the liturgy. He's right: it isn't easy. I celebrate the Divine Office in the extraordinary form, and offer Mass in that form once a week, on a Saturday. The other rites I celebrate are according to the ordinary form. Because of calendar changes, this means that if I observe the calendar proper to each form, I will celebrate some saints twice and others not at all. And I would often find myself celebrating the office of one saint and saying the Mass of another. I have reached an uneasy compromise, which I hope is one the Church would not frown upon. Copying the practice I noted at Fontgombault Abbey, I simply observe the new calendar, even when celebrating the traditional Mass or Breviary, taking texts from the commons on the feasts of saints canonized since 1962, or from the 2002 missal, supplying offertory antiphons from the common. For the breviary, I have put together a sort of sanctoral that follows the new calendar but uses traditional forms. If I could not find a genuine liturgical text for any particular saint (and I've come up with an awful lot), then the commons come in useful again. The only real lack is third readings for Matins of third class feasts (=memoria) for the celebrations of newer saints. In this case I have supplied the second reading from the Office of Readings in the Liturgia Horarum, comforting myself that, since it is longer than an average third lesson, this might be held to suffice.
Seasons like Septuagesima I observe in the office but not at Mass. And I have to keep feasts like Corpus Christi and Ascension on their original day, or I would really be in trouble. Here and there one has to fudge: I really cannot work out what to do on the Second Sunday after Christmas, though the last Sunday of October can be patched back together again using older breviaries.
No doubt some of you would find my practice rather unconventional, but really it is not easy to harmonize one's liturgical life, and the blessings of using the more traditional breviary are considerable. Having been granted their use by Summorum Pontificum, I'm not really prepared to forgo them.


gemoftheocean said...

I was tempted to observe Great Monday yesterday, but supressed the thought - not really being up to TWO fasts this week. If you want to get really technical about it, I'm eastern rite, but have mostly gone to the Roman rite most of my life.

But this lenten season I may go to the eastern rite Church for Fridays - they really do it up.


gemoftheocean said...

BTW, is there a Sarum Rite office?


Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, Father. If you have time at some point, I'd love to discuss this further.

Pastor in Monte said...

Gem: yes there is a Sarum office. I once saw the four volumes for £50, (Victorian recensions, probably Bradshaw) but I was an impecunious curate then, and did not buy them. One of the regrets of my life.

Mark: do get in touch if you like. You can leave a real email address in a comment that I won't publish.

Kate Edwards said...

This seems a very sensible, pragmatic solution to me, and it is one used by a few other of the trad monasteries as well. The Office is meant to link up to the Mass after all.

Rubricarius said...


Surely Clean Monday is next week not this one just gone. I thought 'Great Monday' was Monday in Holy or Great Week?)

The Second Sunday after Christmas is not too difficult to work out. In the old Roman rite the Octave Days of the Comites Christi feasts displaced the Sunday (until 1911 rules) and those Sunday texts (with the collect Omnipotens) became the 'Vigil' of the Epiphany. So the Sunday texts are what was called the 'Vigil'. In Sarum and other pre-Reformation uses (and some others e.g. the Dominican rite) there was a distinct Vigil (with the collect Corda nostra) and texts for the Second Sunday. The 2002 edition of MR has the real Vigil restored.

Anonymous said...

How do you manage with the hymns of the "1962" office? Or is it your lenten penance to offer them up?

Pastor in Monte said...

Fr Wm: I put up with the hymns really, though Nova et Vetera do supply a supplement containing the ancient versions of the hymns, and I ordered one with their breviary. It's just a bit too much hassle, I feel.

gemoftheocean said...

Rub, yes of course, serves me right for not proofing... Clean Monday for the start, Great Monday for Holy Week, and Bright Monday for the day after Easter.

(Valle: 50 pounds, I bet you kick yourself on a regular basis now.... We've all done that at some time or other -- "I'll get that copy later" then it can't be had for love or money, or at least not a LOT of more money than had you bought it right away.]