Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Immaculate Conception, Octave, Advent, and Loreto

Yesterday was the feast of the Immaculate Conception (IC), and today we find ourselves in the second day of this feast's Octave. Our friend, RadTrad wrote a bit about Pius IX's new Office for the IC following his defining the dogma in 1854, and in the course of his post posed an interesting point which we here at the CTO had not considered hitherto. We speak of the place allocated to the Second Sunday of Advent and its week whilst the IC's Octave covers Sunday-Sunday this year.

Perusing an 1854 (entirely coincidental that it's the same year as the dogma) in our possession, the Office for 8 December is Conceptio B.M.V., designated as a Double II Class with an Octave. Yes, there is an Octave for the IC (or simply C before 1854) which predates the dogma. As to the age of this Octave, we are not entirely sure and limited for time to research this history. Under the table of occurrence then in effect, the IC, being but a Double II Class, would have yielded place to the Second Sunday of Advent and been transferred to today with commemoration of the Feria; Vespers last evening would have been I Vespers of the IC with commemoration of the Sunday.

Upon its rise to Double I Class rank and continuing into the Divino Afflatu era (also reprised in 1962ville) the IC outranks the Sunday. Likewise, the days within the Octave outrank the Advent Feriae, which brings us to the dilemma - there is no day on which the integral Mass and Office of the Second Sunday may be said this year. While the Sunday's third nocturne at Mattins, its orations and Gospel from the Mass, and the daily Magnificat/Benedictus antiphons are commemorated, the five Lauds/Hours/Vespers antiphons proper to the Sunday are skipped over entirely. The CTO sees only two valid solutions which would give these five antiphons exposure:

1. Eliminate the Octave.
2. Establish a privileged Feria on 9 December in which the Sunday antiphons would be assigned with the ferial psalms at Lauds and the Hours. The Chapters would also be taken from the Sunday rather than the Ferial Common of Advent.

Speaking of Octaves - during the entirety of Lent, they are forbidden, yet only forbidden for the last seven days of Advent. This whilst the Suffrages are suppressed during the entirety of Advent, but only suppressed during Passiontide. Perhaps a consistency needs to be applied for both penitential seasons; therefore, a justification whose name is not Pius XII/Bugnini exists to eliminate the Octave of the IC. If the Annunciation (a greater feast) has no Octave, why the IC? What say ye? The CTO is not yet committed to proposing any change to the observance of the IC Octave pending further discussion.

Assuming the retaining of the Octave this week, a 1958 Breviary on hand has the feast of the "Holy House of Loreto" in the appendix given for 10 December as a Double Major in all dioceses of Italy and the adjacent islands. Similarly, in the US and Mexico is Our Lady of Guadalupe on 12 December, observed in varying ranks in varying dioceses. Both particular feasts are Marian, and would, therefore, not conflict with but extend the general Marian theme for the week. Likewise, since the Ferial Office is already hidden this week, these two feasts take nothing further away from Advent, but simply replace one festal Office for another. What are the readers' opinions concerning these feasts as both celebrate miraculous events not popular with modern rationalist thinking?

1 comment:

  1. I think I now lean toward the elimination of the octave entirely. Aside from the Mass it obstructs the weekday Office, which is the real treasure of Advent. Also, Advent being a penitential season and a short one at that, taking up a quarter of it with a feast seems inappropriate. Lastly, with Loreto and Our Lady of Guadalupe, many Catholics will be getting their Marian fill regardless!