Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Tridentine Calendar

Tridentine Community News (November 6, 2011):
There has been some confusion of late brought about by the St. Josaphat parish bulletin. Various articles offer reflections on “the readings” of the day, yet those commentaries do not match the readings employed at the Tridentine Mass. This is because there are two sets of readings used in the Latin Rite of Holy Mass, and only one set is currently being commented upon in the parish bulletin, those for the Ordinary Form. The name of the Feast Day as well as the readings often differ between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms: For example, while today is the 21st Sunday After Pentecost in the Tridentine calendar, it is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Novus Ordo.

The Extraordinary Form employs a one year calendar of Feasts and Readings. The Ordinary Form uses a one year calendar for Feasts, a two year calendar for weekday Readings, and a three year calendar for Sunday Readings. The Ordinary Form seeks to expose the faithful to more Sacred Scripture via an expanded Lectionary over these years, while the Extraordinary Form achieves the same goal by incorporating Scriptural Proper Antiphons and Graduals at each Mass.

Terminology also differs: First Class, Second Class, Third Class, and Fourth Class Feast Days in the Extraordinary Form are referred to as Solemnities, Feasts, Obligatory Memorials, and Optional Memorials in the Ordinary Form. Older Tridentine missals employ additional terms such as Doubles and Semidoubles, but that nomenclature was superseded in the currently-in-force 1962 Missal.

The Bishops of England and Wales once again take the lead in matters liturgical: Unlike the U.S. and Canadian Conferences of Catholic Bishops, whose web sites only provide the Ordinary Form Calendar, the U.K. Bishops offer both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Form calendars on their web site. They give due credit to The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales – the U.K.’s remarkably effective and omnipresent Tridentine Mass advocacy group – for providing the calendar information to the bishops’ conference. Perhaps the EF Calendar could be given higher profile in North America if a similar advocacy group offered to assist our own national conferences. In other words, don’t complain, volunteer to solve the problem!

To provide a clear indication of the Extraordinary Form Sunday Feast of the week, we will henceforth print the name of the current Sunday’s Feast at the top of the page, adjacent to the date.

This is an appropriate time to mention that we are once again taking orders for 2012 Tridentine Wall Calendars. As in previous years, we will be providing the Fraternity of St. Peter’s calendar at cost, which has not yet been set as of the date of this writing. If you attend the Tridentine Mass, you will want these calendars instead of, or in addition to, the wall calendars for the Ordinary Form that many parishes give out. You may sign up for a calendar on the sheets at the missal table at the entrance to Assumption and St. Josaphat Churches. Payment in advance is requested so that we order only as many calendars as are actually desired.

Book Review: The Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook

In recent years many wonderful Catholic books have been reprinted. In September, 2009 this column mentioned Blessed Be God, a comprehensive collection of prayers. Today we are pleased to bring to your attention an even better resource, Fr. F.X. Lasance’s Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook, recently reprinted by Loreto Publications (

Both books are similar, in that they strive to present a complete set of devotional prayers for the entire liturgical year. The Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook, however, excels. It uses a smaller type font and has less white space on the pages, compressing more content onto its pages. Many of the prayers are provided in both Latin and English. It is one of very few books to include the Little Office of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, two of the rarely printed, currently indulgenced Little Offices.

The Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook employs florid and traditional language with hierarchical pronouns. The rich language of prayer that one sees in Extraordinary Form hand missals is mirrored in this book. The extensive collection of Morning Prayers is unparalleled. Here is one of them, representative of the content in the rest of the book:
“I adore Thee, O my God – one God in three Persons; I annihilate myself before Thy majesty. Thou alone art being, life, truth, beauty, and goodness. I glorify Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, and I love Thee, all incapable and unworthy as I am, in union with Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our Father, in the mercifulness of His Heart and through His infinite merits. I wish to serve Thee, to please Thee, to obey Thee, and to love Thee always, in union with Mary immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, loving also and serving my neighbor for Thy sake. Therefore, give me Thy Holy Spirit to enlighten, correct, and guide me in the way of Thy commandments, and in all perfection, until we come to the happiness of heaven, where we shall glorify Thee for ever. Amen.”
One caution to readers: Because the book is a literal reprint, and not an updated version, the citations concerning Indulgences no longer apply. The rules for Indulgences were revised after the Second Vatican Council, thus none of the references are still in effect. Nevertheless, the book remains a marvelous resource for private prayer, for Holy Hours, and for quick visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 11/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria – Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass)

Tue. 11/08 7:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Daily Mass for the Dead – High Requiem Mass with Absolution at the Catafalque)

Wed. 11/09 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Holy Savior [St. John Lateran])
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for November 6, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

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