Rorate Caeli

* Traditional Mass Can be Celebrated on Traditional Feast Days, Says Rome

Important news from our friends at The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales:
10 November 2008
Transferred Holydays of Obligation: an Important Clarification From the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
In April 2008, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales sought a ruling from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei aimed at harmonising the celebration of certain Holy Days of Obligation in the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. The bishops had, in the case of the Epiphany, the Ascension and Corpus Christi, transferred these to specific Sundays and in the case of all other Holy Days of Obligation that are kept in England and Wales, with the exception of Christmas, transferred them also to specific Sundays, whenever they fall on a Saturday or a Monday. They wished to ensure that these Holy Days were also kept on Sundays by those attached to the Extraordinary Form.
Consequently, the Bishops’ Conference submitted a dubium to Rome but declined to release the full text or of Ecclesia Dei’s reply. The LMS therefore submitted its own dubium to Rome in July and a reply, dated 20 October, has now been received.
The reply from the Ecclesia Dei Commission confirms that the Mass and Office of Holy Days can continue to be said on the days prescribed in the calendar for the Extraordinary Form and that the right to use this calendar is intrinsic to the right to use the Extraordinary Form.
The LMS’s letter requested confirmation that:
I. the legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 decreed by the Sovereign Pontiff in Summorum Pontificum includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.
II. That, whilst in accordance with Canon 1246 the Episcopal Conference with the approbation of the Holy See legitimately transfers Holydays of Obligation or suppresses the obligation of Holydays, it is legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.
III. That, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae generales Missalis romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.
Ecclesia Dei’s reply stated:
“1. The legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.
2. While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.
3. Thus, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference, as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.”
Ecclesia Dei’s reply is signed by its Vice-President, Mgr Camille Perl.
As a consequence of the Ecclesia Dei ruling, the Latin Mass Society will continue to organise Masses on the days prescribed in the 1962 calendar for Holy Days but will also, where appropriate, organise feast day Masses as External Solemnities on the Sundays prescribed by the English and Welsh bishops so that obedience and communion are maintained whilst respecting the sensibilities of those who wish to celebrate the feasts on the traditional days.
Mr Julian Chadwick, Chairman of the LMS, said: ‘This ruling is very important. It confirms that the calendar for the Extraordinary Form is integral to the rite and cannot be suppressed or altered by bishops’ conferences. It also confirms the right of those attached to the Extraordinary Form to continue to celebrate the traditional feast days. Of course, when we organise Masses on the Sundays prescribed by the bishops to celebrate transferred Holy Days we will organise external solemnities of the Holy Days to fulfill the bishops’ requirement that feast days in both Forms of the Roman Rite be celebrated in common’.
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Documents:

Letter to the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei from the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society
HE Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos,
President, Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei,
Palazzo del Sant’ Uffizio 11,
00120 Vatican City State.
3 July 2008
Your Eminence,

Holydays of Obligation


The recent announcement by the Bishops of England and Wales that your dicastery has clarified to them “that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holydays of Obligation are held in common” has given rise to a good deal of confusion and some disquiet amongst our membership.
Whilst we most certainly wish to maintain and to manifest hierarchical communion with our bishops and through them our unity of faith with our brothers and sisters in the faith, there are a number of pastoral reasons - not the least the hope of reconciliation with those not in a regular relationship with the Church - that suggest that this question not be interpreted with a rigour that confuses or scandalises our weaker brethren.
It also seems that the statement of the Bishops of England and Wales does not sufficiently take into account the liturgical laws intrinsic to the liturgical books in use in 1962. Therefore, for the good of souls and the preservation of charity, on behalf of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, I request your authoritative clarification on the following points:
I. That the legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 decreed by the Sovereign Pontiff in Summorum Pontificum includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.
II. That, whilst in accordance with Canon 1246 the Episcopal Conference with the approbation of the Holy See legitimately transfers Holydays of Obligation or suppresses the obligation of Holydays, it is legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.
III. That, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae generales Missalis romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.

As the task of compiling the Ordo for 2009 is upon us, I would be most grateful for Your Eminence’s clarification of these questions as soon as is possible.
Your servant in Christ,
Julian Chadwick
Chairman
Latin Mass Society
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Letter from the Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society
PONTIFICIA COMMISSIO « ECCLESIA DEI »
N. 107/97
Rome, 20 October 2008
Dear Mr. Chadwick,
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 3 July 2008 in which you raise certain questions pertaining to Holydays of obligation.
In the first instance I wish to point out that the question of the liturgical calendar to be followed for the use of the liturgical books of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is one that will continue to be studied by this Pontifical Commission. Hence present responses should be understood without prejudice to any subsequent clarifications which may be eventually made by this Pontifical Commission.
With regard to your queries we may state that:
1. The legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.
2. While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.
3. Thus, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference, as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.
With prayerful best wishes I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr Camille Perl

Vice President

2 comments:

Athelstane said...

The "Magic Circle" of E&W bishops can't be happy this morning.

I am grateful for this long overdue clarification.

William Young said...

Since 2006, when the English bishops moved these feastdays, we have continued to celebrate them on their proper days in the newer use. The transferred celebration on the Sunday can be regarded as the external solemnity in the new calendar too.