Monday, November 03, 2008

A liturgical curiosity

In those years in which November 2 falls on a Sunday, the Mass and office of the Sunday are celebrated, and the commemoration of All Souls is transferred to November 3.

This is because Sunday is a festival day, a day for mirth and rejoicing, not fit for mourning; whence even in Lent, fasting and penance are not appropriate to the Sundays thereof.

For the same reason, requiem Masses may not be said on Sunday, nor may funerals be conducted except in cases of grave necessity.

But in our time the conciliar church has introduced a novelty into the Roman calendar, namely observance of the commemoration of All Souls on 2 November come what may, regardless of the day of the week whereon it falls.

This year 2 November was a Sunday. Melancholicus went down to his local parish church for Mass, expecting the Mass of the 31st Sunday of that most improbably named season, ‘Ordinary Time’, but finding instead the first Mass of All Souls celebrated by a priest vested in violet.

Assuming that Father had simply made an error, or had decided on his own authority to commemorate the faithful departed even on a Sunday, Melancholicus consulted the printed ordo and discovered to his surprise that this commemoration is indeed made on a Sunday in the Novus Ordo, at least when 2 November coincides with the Lord’s day.

Such a change is anti-liturgical, since it negates the festive character of Sunday, but the conciliar church has seldom shown itself sensitive to the doctrines enshrined in the symbolism underlying the organisation of the calendar.

Furthermore, given that institution’s proclivity for moving all prominent celebrations—such as the Epiphany, Ascension Thursday, Corpus Christi, &c.—from their proper days to the nearest Sunday, how long shall it be before All Souls are commemorated not on 2 November but on the Sunday nearest that date (unless such Sunday shall have been occupied already by All Saints)?

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