Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holy Day(s) of No Obligation

By Patrick Archbold

Fr. Tim Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity discusses the touchy subject of movement of the Holy Day observances and removal of obligation in the Gregorian Rite. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos spoke to this question this past weekend.
The Cardinal: I am aware that the response of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” with regard to the observance of Holy Days of obligation has caused a certain amount of disturbance in some circles. It should be noted that the dates of these Holy Days remain the same in both the Missal of 1962 and the Missal of 1970. When the Holy See has given the Episcopal Conference of a given country permission to move certain Holy Days to the following Sunday, this should be observed by all Catholics in that country...

Fr. Finigan: That's fine. I certainly made sure to tell the people that our Ascension Thursday Mass was not of obligation. We did indeed celebrate the Ascension on the following Sunday in our three Masses in the Ordinary Form. The Cardinal's mention of "sacrifice" seems to indicate that he is saying that the one Mass celebrated in the extraordinary form should also be the Mass of the Ascension. That's certainly a sacrifice we can make. The integrity of the Liturgy, rather than a desire to avoid sacrifice, prompts me to suggest that the re-introduction of the Octaves for the relevant feasts would be an opportune solution.
The question I have is this. Besides Fr. Finigan, how many people are interested in solutions? I think Fr. is right, of course. We can make this "sacrifice" I also agree that we should prefer solutions to the soapbox as we work these issues out. I hope that we are not too small a club.


William Young said...

Here in Barking, we celebrated the feasts on the day as well as on the Sunday. Commonsense really. The Anglicans and even the BBC know that Ascension is on the 40th day. Why should Catholics look stupid?
William Young

Anonymous said...

I don't agree that it's good to sacrifice that which is beneficial to the soul. Should we sacrifice Lenten penances for the sake of unity with adherents of the New Mass? After all, they've given them up.

What has been transferred is only the obligation to assist at Mass, not the proper Mass itself. We can have the Ascension Mass on Ascension Thursday and then the Mass after the Ascension on the Sunday following. It doesn't matter to us that the obligation has been transferred, since we shall attend Mass on both days anyway.

If they force the Ascension Day Mass on us on the Sunday, we are perfectly at liberty to read the propers for the Mass after the Ascension while the priest intones those of the Ascension Day Mass. Who's to stop us?