Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Proposed Sanctorale: August

The month of August is quite full, even after St. Pius V cleaned up the Calendar in 1568/1570. The ferial Office makes a rare appearance only on four days this month (two are Vigils), and the Dominical Office is diminished by the relative abundance of Double feasts, of all grades. Hence, the balance this month will be more akin to the 1910 extreme, but a strong Ferial cycle returns again in September.

The question of how to treat the Octave of St. Lawrence was under consideration. Pius X made it Simple rank, including the Octave Day itself; however, the latter was previously a Double, while the days within the Octave were Semidouble (i.e. each day's Mattins was festal and had nine lessons). We choose to use the Pius X system here for the days within the Octave (but with commemorations each day when the Office is not Simple) while retaining the Double rank for the Octave Day itself, if only for the sake of expanding the ferial psalms' frequency in this very festal month.

1 August: St. Peter in Chains; Double Major, Red; Commemoration of the Holy Maccabees
2 August: St. Alphonsus, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor; Semidouble, White; Commemoration of St. Stephen, Pope & Martyr
3 August: Finding of St. Stephen, Protomartyr; Semidouble, Red
4 August: St. Dominic, Confessor; Double Major, White
5 August: Our Lady of the Snows (Dedication of St. Mary Major); Double Major, White
6 August: Transfiguration of Our Lord; Double II Class, White; Commemoration of Sts. Pope Sixtus II, Felicissimus, & Agapitus, Martyrs
7 August: St. Donatus, Bishop & Martyr; Simple, Red
8 August: Sts. Cyriacus, Largus, & Smaragdus, Martyrs; Semidouble, Red
9 August: St. John Mary Vianney, Confessor; Semidouble, White; Commemorations of the Vigil of St. Lawrence and St. Romanus
10 August: St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr; Double II Class, Red w/ Simple Octave
11 August: Sts. Tiburtius & Susanna, Martyrs; Simple, Red; Commemoration of the Octave
12 August: Of the Octave; Simple, Red
13 August: Sts. Hippolytus & Cassian, Martyrs; Simple, Red; Commemoration of the Octave
14 August: Vigil of the Assumption; Simple, Violet; Commemorations of the Octave & St. Eusebius
15 August: Assumption of the B.V.M.; Double I Class, White w/ Common Octave
16 August: St. Joachim, Father of the B.V.M.; Semidouble, White; Commemorations of Octaves
17 August: Octave Day of St. Lawrence; Double, Red; Commemoration of Octave of Assumption
18 August: Of the Octave (Assumption); Semidouble, White; Commemoration of St. Agapitus, Martyr
19 August: Of the Octave; Semidouble, White
20 August: St. Bernard, Confessor & Doctor; Double, White; Commemoration of the Octave
21 August: Of the Octakh/ e; Semidouble, White
22 August: Octave Day of the Assumption; Double Major, White
23 August: Vigil of St. Bartholomew; Simple, Violet
24 August: Bartholomew, Apostle & Martyr; Double II Class, Red
25 August: St. Louis IX, King & Confessor; Simple, White
26 August: St. Zephyrinus, Pope & Martyr; Simple, Red
27 August: Feria
28 August: St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor; Double, White
29 August: Beheading of St. John the Baptist; Double Major, Red
30 August: Sts. Felix & Adauctus, Martyrs; Simple, Red
31 August: Feria

Feasts added since 1570:
1. St. Alphonsus as a Semidouble, founder of the Redemptorist order and has some universal following
2. St. John Mary Vianney as a Semidouble, has a universal following
3. St. Joachim, previously excised from the Calendar by St. Pius V, restored now for the same reason St. Anne is restored, but with the lower rank of Semidouble. This feast is a Double II Class in the 1911-1960 Calendars.

Feasts on the 1954 and/or 1962 Calendars which are not included above but would be more properly observed in particular places and congregations:
1.St. Cajetan (Aug 7)
2. St. Clare (Aug 12)
3. St. Hyacinth (Aug 17)
4. St. John Eudes (Aug 19) - supposedly was against laymen praying the Breviary!
5. St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal (Aug 21)
6. Immaculate Heart of Mary (Aug 22)
7. St. Philip Benizi (Aug 23)
8. St. Joseph Calasanctius (Aug 27)
9. St. Rose of Lima (Aug 30)
10. St. Raymund Nonnatus (Aug 31)


  1. Another outstanding month of work! You may feel August to be crowded, but I think it would have been in the eighth century, too. Looking at the month, even with the simples and ferias between the double and semi-double days, vespers would have been festal most every day because of first and second vespers.

    I again like the feasts (if you can even call a III class day a feast!). Perhaps Rad Trad is a bad Trad, but I cannot immediately recall what most of them did!

  2. Octaves and Simple Octaves

    I would echo the words of encouragement entered elsewhere by Fr Capreolus. I want to congratulate you on your work, it is important. I also want to make some contribution or perhaps just plain criticisms in two small areas.

    Pius X helped in a way, I believe, in categorizing, the Octaves, especially the Privileged Octaves of feasts of the Lord, contrasting with Common Octaves of First Class Feasts of everyone else.

    As Rubricarius, at the S Lawrence Press, has reminded us, before SPX, (and he publishes and blogs on the post 1911-13 changes), Octaves was just Octaves. They worked out in different ways – you just had to read the liturgical texts to see how – but they were not defined differently.
    All days within them, not separate feasts in their own right, took on the colour of the Octave. That included Sundays.
    As I came away from two Novus Ordo masses this Sunday, celebrated as External Solemnities of the Apostles, in red, (best I could do when the nearest traditional mass is an hour and a half away) I felt this was right for the Sunday in the Octave. Because, since the entire Mass is commemorated by saying the complete set of proper Prayers – collect, Secret and Postcommunion – it is as if the mass of the Apostles is being said. That is probably theologically wrong on so many levels, but I mean to convey that the point that ‘the commemoration’ has its own importance.
    The main and most visible celebration is that of the Sunday, and those texts are heard most clearly. The use of the colour of the Octave reminds us that, (as in this case) the Apostles are being celebrated in the same mass.

    The principal and most noticeable changes were putting the Sundays within common Octaves into the colour of the Sunday rather than the Octave
    gutting the days ii – vii out of ‘Simple Octaves’.

    As with so many other twentieth century ‘reforms’ I fear SPX just had not fully and accurately considered what he was messing about with.
    In the latter case I fear he was thinking of the Second Feast of S Agnes, eight days after the first feast. Trouble was, no one else had ever thought about octaves like that before. The second feast of S. Agnes is unique and commemorates a specific spiritual event and theme (whether or not you might happen to think it somewhat peculiar). The Octaves of Doubles of the second class always had days in them ; that is what octaves means. There is a tendency to have a more major celebration of the Octave Day than some preceding days, with a Greater Double tag rather than semi-double – but in this that means rite much more than rank.
    I think that really just means finishing the Octave period with a bit of a bang instead of a trailing off.

  3. This is in some ways best seen as analogous with the Byzantine practice of so many days of After feast followed by the last one, ‘the Leave-taking’. Yes, it is a thing, but not a new thing, and it is continuing to go away from something. [Again, an appallingly theologically poor description, and the language is going the same way. Sorry. It’s late.
    Remember also, the three major Octaves of Easter, Whitsun and Christmass end with different feasts and the characteristics of the Octave did not apply to Low Sunday until 1969. More than half the time, Low Sunday vespers are I Vespers of the Annunciation transferred.]

    Rather than a sort of ‘It’s our eight days anniversary’ thing being observed on the last day, I think we ought to see the concept of an Octave as sanctifying, for want of a better word, the whole period, but more nearly, the days in that period nearest the feast first and foremost. The best I can point to here is that the ‘Easter Triduum’ (not the Triduum Sacrum) comprises the double rite days of the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the Easter Octave, after which the rite changes to semidouble from the Wednesday onwards; and the same thing again at Pentecost.

    I would therefore recommend the (entirely heterodox and personal)
    alteration of the Octaves of second class feasts in this / following way : they be redesignated under the novel term of ‘Common Octaves of the 2nd order’, to avoid confusion with the Pian term ‘Simple’, and resume their full eight days.

    The majority of the readings provided for the celebration of a complete Octave of S Lawrence, clearly translated in the Bute version, do not strike me as especially helpful in some circumstances, but the fact that they are not to my taste, and were perhaps not to PXP’s either, does not alter what was the original tradition.
    I don’t know why S Lawrence has an Octave when most of the Apostles do not – well, I presume it was because he was invoked in public prayer over the whole period – but he has and that is what we have received. If there can be alleged to be something lacking in what SPX,P did, (and we are discussing this because we assume it can), then I seek to find a way of holding on to more of the authentic tradition while trying both to simplify the kalendar and rationalize the rules.

    We might signify a difference between the ‘two sorts’ of common octaves by allowing the celebration of more, or ALL occurring feasts to take precedence, and perhaps shoe-horning ALL of the occurring Scripture into longer lessons. Er, somehow. It’s not easy.

    This does create more work and a decrease ferial days, but it holds to the oldest tradition of what an Octave really is.

    In fact, on reading your post of 29 June, I think you may have done just this: you have reduced all the days to Simples and so allowed feasts. How much of the proper and occurring Scripture will be used?

  4. Last part (3/3) :
    Although I would miss the feast of the Precious Blood today (or yesterday if you are reading this). Whether it should be fixed to the 1st of the month or to the I Sunday is a question I can’t answer.
    Arguably, the Sunday makes more sense, because it does not sit happily on the Octave Day of S John.
    But SPXP had a point in trying to unencumber the Sundays, so is there a way of doing that without encumbering the Octave? I can’t see one.

    The only other contribution I have in this general area is a mention of my personal dislike of the ‘Feast of Christ the King’, duplicating as it does, the themes of the Ascension, among others. The idea of attaching it to the last Sunday of the year has me reaching for a deleting pencil, if not pages to tear out. I had better make myself clear now; it was wrong of the modern rite to attempt to introduce a ‘culmination’ to the liturgical year when it is clear from the old masses for November that it is meant to be a continuum that begins to look again towards the Incarnation.
    I dislike it enough on the ‘Sunday before All SS.’

    My solution was to make it a votive office only, possibly of obligation on a Sunday, like the Little Office, with its Mass that may be added at a second mass on the October date and if necessary commemorated like a feast that cannot be celebrated. I mean, I like to say the office of X the K in October just to make it clear that its place is definitely not in November.

    But where would that leave the Precious Blood, which I happen to like?
    I would not go to the stake to insist that things could not be ordered to take place in different years, but even the modern rite does not quite do that.

    On the related subject of which SS should be in and which should have a more restricted notice, I want to make a plea for the addition of the 1935 canonizations of the famous Martyrs SS John Fisher and Thomas More. I mean to the Universal Kalendar, in which they are not present. Their fame goes far beyond England.
    Say what you like about the Martyrs among the mission priests, (some have said odd things, I say they were six hundred martyrs), but S John and S Thomas represent the true Christian response to the sudden introduction of heresy ‘in your face’ as it were, to a nation and Church that were settled in their Catholicism. They have general application as examples as they were famous across Christendom at the time. Henry VIII – or, ‘the killer’ as some of us are now calling him – was a moral degenerate, schismatic, excommunicate heretic and despoiler of the Church, and a borderline socio-/psychopath, and still the obscene monster gets a good press in this country. He is a comic or graphic text book stereotype of what the Church stands against.

    I agree completely that the main job that needs to be done with the old rite is the pruning of the observances in the kalendar.

    I have felt some frustration, shall we say in coming across entries
    in the breviary that inform me that some ‘confessor’ was ‘of noble birth’ (‘Oooh!’), went to university and actually paid attention to his classes (‘Ah!’).

    Out with the Jesuits, I say. And, yes, you can take that any way you like.

    My apologies for the length!

  5. Not at all sure about deleting the separate days of popes' martyrdoms - simplify if you like - and that could be getting like the MArtyrology that just says so-and-so was there - but keep the dates. I cannot see the point of one feast of popes fits all.
    So many of our Fathers in the Faith have given their lives in martyrdom, I could envisage a situation where each day of the year featured several commemorations. This would be getting VERY like the MArtyrology. [The full text of that appears to be on the website of the Confraternity of SS Peter and PAul - which uses the 1911/3 - 39 kalendar prepared by Rubricarius of the S Lawrence Press. Otherwise it is unfortunately not in breviaries, except in the Bute translation conveniently located in each place it is required, and that is online, thanks be.]
    But an Antiphon, V and R and Collect in commemoration would be very welcome.
    You are quite right to abolish semi-double feasts. I have a personal theory that they are a sort of mistake - the semi-double rite is the rite of a Sunday specifically.

    1. PseudonymousposterJohn (I'm going to refer to you as Pseudo for short henceforth, if you don't mind) - I'm not sure where or when I was deleting popes' martyrdoms/feasts from the Calendar, or where I had indicated that I would be abolishing semidouble feasts. Neither of these ideas have been proposed here. In fact, I have been adding a small handful of semidouble feasts, rather than Doubles, on top of those already in the 1570 Calendar (e.g. today for Sts. Cyril & Methodius); on the other hand, per Leo XIII, I also proposed ending the practice of transferring semidoubles when they occur on Sunday, so the saints today are simply commemorated in the Dominical Office. Lastly, concerning the "perpetual" commemoration of saints per Martyrology entries, I have to agree with Rad Trad about keeping the Ferial Office prominent (but not overbearing like 1962 or worse 1970) and likewise shying away from the "Commemoration" rank (another ubiquitous 1962ism) which is what this practice would do; either the saint in question merits a Simple rank or the Ferial Office ensues unencumbered, and the only time a saint's feast would be de facto a commemoration is when a higher Office has precedence (e.g. Sundays, Greater Feriae)

      The points you raise about Octaves are well taken, and I will write a separate post soon to continue the discussion.