Saturday, January 9, 2016


This is the altar wine we will use for the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord this weekend:
 The lectionary that we use for Sunday (a three-volume large red book) has written under "The Baptism of the Lord" the following: The First Sunday of Ordinary Time. 

So that should settle it, no? The Baptism of the Lord is the first Sunday Solemnity of Ordinary Time and each year, because next Sunday will be the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time.

But then, something so simple gets so complicated. The Ordo for our Diocese and many others states the following:

*After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Ordinary Time begins. 

Really?!?! Who am I to believe?????

--Ordinarily confused in Macon, Georgia

What a conundrum! 
PS: This Sunday in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is the Feast of the Holy Family and clearly a part of Christmastide, no doubt or questions or conundrums about it!  Baptism of the Lord is always on January 13th or usually. And then next Sunday is the "Season after Epiphany" beginning with the Second Sunday after Epiphany.

The new and glorious "Divine Worship, the Missal" has the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday as we do in the Ordinary Form but next Sunday they begin the glorious Season after Epiphany too, just like in the Extraordinary Form! For them the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time is the Second Sunday after Epiphany!!!!! Oh how glorious; what rapture!  


Rood Screen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rood Screen said...

Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar 33: "Christmas Time runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after January 6".

John Nolan said...

Traditionally there were twelve days of Christmas ending on 6 Jan. It could be regarded as extending to the Feast of the Purification of the BVM (2 Feb.) although this year it would be between Sexagesima and Quinquagesima. There are not a few variations, but the Novus Ordo calendar is the least authoritative, except for clergy who are duty bound to follow it.

Victor said...

Yes, so much for the Twelve Days of Christmas and my True Love. The destruction of Christian culture continues with the Novus Ordo.

Anonymous said...

"Lent ends with the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday."

Fr Martin Fox said...

I am for restoring Epiphanytide and, while we're at it, Septuagesima.

And celebrate Epiphany on January 6.

gob said...

And while we're "restoring" the Church, let's restore outhouses and whale-oil lamps.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But first we will have to restore your common sense!

Rood Screen said...


Why should we do those things? I've never heard any sensible person suggest doing so.

Andrew said...

The traditional calendar I think is much more in synch with a fuller understanding of the human person, created body and soul in the image of God to adore his creator. Most people don't like abrupt changes.

I wonder if anyone who actually stopped to think about it really likes Christmas screeching to a halt with the feast of the Baptism instead of the gentle continuation of the Sundays of Epiphany with the gospel readings each Sunday speaking to Christ revealing himself as God, which connects to the 40 days after Christmas feast the Presentation of the Lord which itself beautifully combines the true light of the nations from his creche to the cross in the temple where we encounter his mysterious beauty and divine light each Sunday.
Or who really likes Ash Wednesday bombing out of the air without Septuagesima to prepare for unless we've happened to check the secular calendar to see when it is. Lastly who really likes Pentecost since we are supposed to be all about mission these days being relegated to a Sunday instead of the full Octave an important day would seem to call for. No wonder people don't think it is important. You can only do so much in one day before you have to get back to ordinary time, which I guess is supposed to be important on its own... but maybe we would be better able to live it if we took proper time to live God's mysteries and the reason we have ordinary time.
That being said thanks to the bishops saying it was too hard for everyone to get to Mass except for Sundays and thereby moving all the obligation days to the closest Sunday who thinks Sunday Mass itself is even important anymore? Instead of fewer people committing sin (which they wouldn't be if they legitimately couldn't make it anyway) we have more people committing sin it would seem... at least in my area in Canada it seems that since New Years and Christmas were so close to Sunday people skipped their Sunday obligation in favor of the only two holy days of obligation we have all year!!
It is just bad psychology. People aren't dumb and they hear the message you send. Days of Obligation are not important so stay home or go shop or whatever... therefore Sunday isn't that important either after awhile.
Abrupt changes aren't how we actually want to live our life because they are stressful and therefore the Church year is stressful and one more thing to jettison, along with all the mystery and beauty in it. A psychology rooted in a better understanding of the human person would have advised bishops in the danger of all of this nonsense.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Andrew - The Bishops never said that it was too hard for people to get to mass on Holy Days.

What they said was that it was important that the faithful should celebrate these mysteries. In order to facilitate that celebration for the majority of Catholics in the Unites States, the feasts were transferred to Sundays.

The suppression of the obligation when Holy Days occur on Saturdays or Mondays was designed to help clergy. Many serve multiple parishes and/or missions. It was thought better not to have a full Holy Day schedule on top of a full Sunday schedule.

gob said...

JBS, you are a piece of work....(Have you heard about coming in out of the rain?)

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh,

The English bishops came up with the same argument when they transferred Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Xi in 2006. Already HDOs falling on Saturday or Monday were being transferred. They also argued that these were feasts of 'the Lord' and it was appropriate that they should be celebrated on 'the Lord's Day' (so Assumption, P&P and All Saints were not transferred unless they fell on a Saturday or Monday).

The Scottish bishops adopted a different tack; they didn't transfer any feasts but cut the number of HDOs to three - which don't include Xmas Day.

In the 1950s working Catholics would have found it difficult to fulfil the obligation unless the day was also a public holiday (evening Masses did not arrive until late in the decade).

It would have made more sense to keep to the correct days, minus the obligation, and allow them to be celebrated as an External Solemnity on the nearest Sunday, as happens if the EF is used. Which is the only good thing to come out of all this - those who want to attend Mass on the correct day will probably be doing so in the EF (unless there is a nearby monastery which uses the Novus Ordo but sticks to the Benedictine calendar).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As Fr. Kavanaugh is completely ignorant concerning the 1962 Missal having never, ever celebrated the Tradition Order of the Mass with its liberalities, he would not know about "External Solemnities on the nearest Sunday" as most of us who are well informed about our Catholic Rites are having celebrated them well.

But the EF's solution is perfect. Remove the Obligation is it is just too hard to keep. (Instead of a blanket removal of the obligation, though, why in the name of God and all that is holy didn't they just gave a dispensation for those who needed it, as was the case with the pre-Vatican II fast during Lent. Pregnant women, those who do hard labor, etc were dispensed from the daily fast during Lent!)

Rood Screen said...


Thank you. And, yes, I have.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John Nolan - As I have said here previously, I agree that Holy Days of Obligation should be celebrated on their proper days, but with the obligation (pain of mortal sin) removed. I don't know whether P&P was every a HDO in the United States - does anyone recall one way or another?

Good Father - Maybe we should return to the "traditional" multi-class feast schedule of the early 1950's...? We could regain the "glory" of feast days rated as Doubles 1st Class, Doubles 2nd Class, Greater Doubles, Doubles, Semidoubles...?

Oh, there were also Greater Sundays and Lesser Sundays. All this is made clear: Before the reform of Pope St Pius X in 1911, ordinary Doubles took precedence over most of the Semidouble Sundays, resulting in many of the Sunday Masses rarely being said. While retaining the Semidouble rite for Sundays, the reform permitted only the most important feast days, Doubles of the I or II class, to be celebrated on Sunday. When a feast of the rank of double of the I or II class fell on a Sunday, the Mass would be that of the feast, with a commemoration of the occurring Sunday; the Gospel of the omitted Sunday Mass would be read at the end of Mass instead of the usual Gospel "In principio erat Verbum" of St. John. When a feast of a rank lower than that occurred with a Sunday, the feast would be commemorated in the Sunday Mass by including a commemoration of the feast, and its Gospel would be read at the end of Mass, provided it was a "proper" Gospel, i.e. one not taken from the Common. [Additiones et Variationes in Rubricis Missalis, IX, 3.]\

But, of course, no reform was really needed......

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Why should we even consider returning to that system? Reform was certainly needed, as Father McDonald frequently acknowledges. Indeed, he adamantly promotes liturgical reform.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - See that "Maybe" at the beginning of my question to Good Father McDonald? It connotes something...

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

My St Andrew Daily Missal (1945) gives the HDOs for The USA as Circumcision, Ascension, Assumption, All Saints, Immaculate Conception and Xmas Day. Canada added Epiphany but dropped Assumption. GB and Ireland included Corpus Xi, Assumption and P&P but not Immaculate Conception except that Scotland also observed St Joseph and Immaculate Conception and Ireland included St Patrick but not St Joseph.

The idea that the difference between salvation and eternal damnation should be dependent on national boundaries or the bureaucratic decisions of episcopal conferences does not make sense to me. Keep Sundays by all means, but if the obligation on other days meant anything there would have been no rationale for transferring any Holy Days.

As for desisting from 'servile works' this would have meant a lot to medieval serfs and villeins. Until Henry VIII abolished them there were about 50 Holy Days in England which were known as 'Church ales'. Nowadays labour is not compulsory and we work for our own economic benefit rather than at the behest of a feudal lord.

Unknown said...

Nowadays labour is not compulsory and we work for our own economic benefit rather than at the behest of a feudal lord.

Lol... you sure about that?


Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Yes, I have a lifelong familiarity with the word. I wish to take your comments seriously, but you seem not only disdainful of other comments posted here, but also of efforts to engage yours with any sort of respect. It's not clear why you take this approach.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - The comment with which you seem to have such difficulty was directed to Good Father McDonald, not to you. He and I serve in the same city, in the same diocese. We have known each other now as brother priests for 30+ years. He went to the "premier" seminary in Maryland, Saint Mary's, aka "The Park." I went to Mt St Mary's seminary, aka the "Cradle of American Bishops."

So when you read a comment that is not intended for you as if it were, and when you lack the long-term relationship that Fr. McDonald and I have, and when you pretend to take the high moral road, as if you would NEVER make a disdainful comment, well, then, you're going to struggle with your understanding.

I think it's pretty obvious which of my comments are serious (look for the ones with citations to magisterial documents, for example), and which are meant to be sarcasm. MAYBE you can figure it out.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... I don't know whether P&P was ever a HDO in the United States - does anyone recall one way or another?

Yes, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S., and it is always celebrated on June 29. We never transfer feasts. (Note: Ruthenian parish).

Theophany (Epiphany) is also a Holy Day of Obligation, and it is always on January 6.

DJR said...

John Nolan said... The idea that the difference between salvation and eternal damnation should be dependent on national boundaries or the bureaucratic decisions of episcopal conferences does not make sense to me.

Then add to the mix the fact that here in the U.S. we have many different rites, and you get quite an overlap of obligations among Catholic neighbors and sometimes even within families, e.g., where there has been a marriage between persons of differing rites, something that is endemic among Byzantine Catholics.

Holy days of obligation for those of my parish (but not all, because we have people from seven different rites that attend there):

Nativity, Theophany, Ascension, Saints Peter and Paul, Dormition.

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Posting a public comment on the internet is very different from having a private conversation with a neighbor. That's the whole point of these weblogs.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - Look again at the comment in question. It addressed to Fr. McDonald, not you. Yes, you are welcome to read and comment on what's posted here. Bit you're not free to assume, wrongly in this case, that the comment is intended for you. MAYBE you could consider this...

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Why did you suggest to Father McDonald--to be clear, to Father McDonald, not to me--that maybe--again, to be clear, "maybe", not "certainly"-- we--and by "we" you could mean Father McDonald and you, but presumably you mean the Latin Church--should return to the "traditional"--again, to be clear, that's "traditional" in quotation marks, not "traditional" in the broader sense of the word as usually employed by the Church--multi-class feast schedule of the early 1950's?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - If you have been reading my posts for some time - and you have been reading - and if from reading them you glean that I am not enamored with various "old style" elements of liturgy and things relating to the liturgy - and you have so gleaned - then it is the proverbial "no brainer" to conclude from my posts that it was meant to be sarcastic. MAYBE you can get this now.