Rorate Caeli

The centennial of the Apostolic Constitution "Divino Afflatu"

The centennial of the Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu, of Pope Saint Pius X, on the reform of the rubrics and arrangement of the Roman Breviary and on some matters related to the Roman Missal, is coming up on November 1st, All Saints', as our readers are able to notice in our commemorative header above. We plan some posts to mark this major liturgical occasion, but we are always open to contributions of all kinds on this consequential accomplishment of the Sarto pontificate.

39 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:39 PM

    I hate to be contrary, but the reform of the breviary was somewhat of a mixed bag, no? Alcuin Reid's writings on this are a real eye opener.

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  2. Um.... you're not trying to portray St Pius X's deformation of the breviary as a good thing, are you?

    He was a holy man and a great Pope, but sanctity cannot retrospectively make all of his actions and decisions good. He was still human. And very very few people think that Divino Afflatu was a good thing...

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  3. I just wanted to add the note about the Alcuin Reid's insights, concerning the Divino Afflatu. As from my own, it migh sound a kind of creapy or at least strange, but actually with this reform St. Pius 10th open the Pandora's box for the future reformatorists like Bugnini & Co. One of the principal reasons that such an implication is more than relevant (partly also based in Alcuin Reid's observations) is that his breviary reform ignored the traditional principle and scheme of the distribution of psalms in Divine Office. Eventually, this action to certain extent, laida foundation for the reform-thinking that led to full deconstruction of the traditional Roman Rite, which took place after Vatican II.

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  4. Yes, Rubricarum Instructum was horrendous. The Holy Week reforms, unacceptable. Divino Afflatu, a deformation. The Guéranger-led Roman unification, repressive. The Clementine hymns, Pagan-like. One should not be surprised to perhaps eventually read less than flattering words on the codifications of 1568 and 1570, whose Roman centralization of the liturgy led directly to Bugnini, Paul VI, the Liturgy of the Hours, Assisi I, II, and the end of times.

    NC

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  5. New Catholic @ 20:10.

    NC, you may be on to something. It's all connected!

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  6. John McFarland9:00 PM

    I don't know much about the Office, but through the good offices of my son the seminarian, I know this much. Because of the proliferation of feasts, it had become the case before St. Pius' time that the Office for the days of the week was rarely said. So grumbling about rearrangement of the Psalter is somewhat humorous, since in practice nowhere near the whole Psalter was being said in ANY order.

    Characteristically, before St. Pius' time there had been a lot of complaining, but no action. Equally characteristically, he sized up the problem and did something about it.

    As the proliferation of feasts example demonstrates, it is really impossible to stand pat on inessentials. In the case of the breviary, there were three choices; abolish a lot of feasts, accept the slow-motion change that was strangling the spirit of the Office, or get back to something much closer to the spirit by (if you'll pardon the expression) reform.

    P.S. I pass over in silence the prudence of appealing to the learning of Alcuin Reid.

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  7. Anonymous9:04 PM

    Thanks New Catholic for your commentary on liturgical history and the papacy. :)

    I think readers will find Alcuin Reid's comments on the reforms of Pope St. Pius X more nuanced than some of the comments here suggest. For example, while Reid says that ‘the abolition of ancient
    elements [in Pope Pius X's reform] of the received tradition was to the detriment of the Roman breviary’, he also points out that, ‘this break with tradition
    was not so great as to be complete: the structure of the breviary
    remained the same, the texts of the offices themselves were not
    completely recast, and the redistribution of the psalter followed traditional and not purely Gallican lines’: Reid, 'The Organic Development of the Liturgy', p. 67.

    Pope St Pius X gave many the opportunity to pray the psalter with greater regularity. Congratulations New Catholic on your initiative. Pope St. Pius X pray for us.

    Fr. A.M.

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  8. Nicholas9:10 PM

    Clementine hymns? Are they not...Urbane?

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  9. Pruning saints days is one thing, tinkering with the order of psalms is another.

    As with so many problems of course, there is 'The Hunwicke Solution'

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/hemming-and-distributed-body-of-christ.html

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/hemming-again-2.html

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/hoc-hodiernum-tempus-or-hemming-3.html

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  10. They have a complex history, Nicholas. Just as St. Pius X began and Benedict XV completed the CIC, Clement began in earnest (especially with new hymns and the commission of the Ferreri hymnal) and Urban completed (with new wording) the classicization of the hymnal of the Rite. In any event, it seems that may have made you lose the point of the comment...

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  11. Anonymous11:00 PM

    More damning than Alcuin Reid's analysis of Divinu Afflatu is the study found in Laurence Hemming's "Worship As Revelation"!

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  12. Boo, hiss! Whenever the Jesuits monkey around with the breviary its disaster.

    Switch to the Benedictine Breviary, or the old Carmelite rite of the holy sepulchre!

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  13. It seems we have hit the mother load of anti-Sarto traditionalists... Who knew there were so many?...

    I am truly embarrassed by this attitude.

    May I add, nonetheless, that we do accept contributions critical of Divino Afflatu - but you really have to send them to us for posting instead of making cheap remarks regarding the liturgical actions of this most holy Pontiff.

    ---

    Note: it is telling that the most sympathetic comment here was made by a Priest. Because they, the priests, the busy Priests around the world, who were not supposed to view the Breviary as a mere object of scholarship or as a matter of curiosity of the laity, but as one of their main instruments of personal sanctification, were those whom Pope Saint Pius X, always the Parish Priest himself, ever interested in the restoration of all things (including the Office) in Christ, wished to benefit with this reform. We will have more to say on that.

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  14. Anonymous9:05 AM

    There is an interesting article in the journal Usus Antiquior that describes the pre-1911 and post-1911 editions of the Roman Breviary.

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  15. "Anti-Sarto traditonalists"? Is not such a beast a contradiction in terms? I am too ignorant to comment on his liturgical changes. He was a very open man, and in the glory of the beatific vision he serenely prays for a restauration in Christ of the Sacred Liturgy. This grateful Parish Priest holds him as a great hero.
    Saint Pius X, pray for us, pray for Pope Benedict, pray for the SSPX who bear your name.
    Fr. Paul J. McDonald

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  16. The contradiction that keeps manifesting itself is that of thinking that SPX was a traditionalist in the main. He accelerated a very modern movement of hyper-centralization in the Papacy on many fronts, liturgical and canonical, and helped pave the way as a result for the mess of the Novus Ordo.

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  17. Anonymous2:48 PM

    If cheap remarks criticizing the liturgical actions of Popes were banned here, the comments sections would be very sparse!

    I have come to the conclusion that Quo Primum was the end of truly organic liturigical development--from then on it was mostly confined to offices in Rome.

    That being said, I am also of the opinion that organic developments can be either good or bad and so can bureaucratic changes--each change should just be evaluated on its own merits.

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  18. Dear NC, actually, pope St. Pius V did not break that strong with the traditions of the past. As we all know, it is enough to compare the Missal of Roman Curia of the alter 15th century with the Roman Missale of 1570 in order to see that little changes have beed made. As for the breviary, the system and scheme of the Divine Office was also left intact. The number of additional readings and such augmentions of the chants as tropes and near all the sequences (for the Mass) were abolished, yet not the edifice itself. As for Divino Afflatu, the change was really a radical one. And as dr. Alcuin Reid has noticed, it was sort of ultra-montanist invention. Of course, now we have situation that we have. However, it is very highly possible that this reform (despite its all noble intentions) open the gate for the most radical changes of lex orandi, that have been accomplished in 1970.

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  19. Anonymous4:17 PM

    NC, (I am the first anonymous from 10.17, 18:39): with all respect, you seem to be taking this personally. I think it's pretty clear from the research that Pius X's revision was not totally successful and was also not done with the utmost concern for tradition. I don't think that adds up to an uncharitable response. In addition, I am probably rather progressive by the standards of Rorate, working for a NO parish an all! I'm just pointing out (without trying to sense a conspiracy...that was a real leap on your part!) that if you are going to pick one of Pius X's great accomplishments, this ain't it! I am not anti-Sarto or anti-St. Pius X by any means. This is just a model instance of how a pope (and saint) can make a somewhat imprudent decision...something to keep in mind when we consider a pope of more recent memory...

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  20. Jonvilas, there was some facetiousness in my comment.

    Yes, the "instauratio" of Divino Afflatu was considerable. It was made by a perpetual Parish Priests to make the sanctifying power of the Office available to all priests in their busy lives. And it succeeded.

    NC

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  21. Of course I take it personally - my friends are my people, and anything that is said criticizing them bothers me personally. And, of course, saints are my friends, and favorite saints my favorite friends...

    By the way, we do not "pick" certain Sarto accomplishments to celebrate them, we celebrate practically all of them, just look at our archives.

    Thanks!

    NC

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  22. Dear NC, I know the intentions of St. Pius X pretty well. However, he could do this without destroying the traditional system. This was my point. But it was done as it is. Although, we have to admit, that still certain traditional elements of the Roman Divine Office at least in the dominical and festal cycles and distribution of psalms were preserved practically intact.

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  23. It doesn't make sense to me how someone criticize the Novus Ordo and the LOTH, and yet praise Divino Afflatu. Please clarify?

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  24. Still with that, Juventutem London? I stand by all my comments here. They are as clear as can be.

    Answering your question in four words: Annibale Bugnini - Giuseppe Sarto.

    NC

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  25. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Juventutum London,

    Are you expressing merely a private opinion, or the official standpoint of your organization ?

    And to you reject also the encyclical 'Mediator Dei' of Pope Pius XII, the 'Magna Carta' of the liturgical movement ? Incidently, whatever your views on the liturgy and Archbishop Lefebvre, he did choose Pope St. Pius X as patron of his society. So perhaps one might have criticisms (respectfully made) about NO and think that good resulted from Divino Afflatu, even if one does have reservations about several aspects. We should celebrate it, and the gift of the Breviarium Romanum, that Pope Benedict XVI has made more widely available across the Church.
    A Religious

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  26. Patricius, I had to let your comment through (it is possible that one of our other moderators will delete it nonetheless) because, even though its content is despicable and highly disrespectful of the Holy Roman Church and dear saintly Pope Sarto, you do reach in some points the logical consequence of a specific kind of attitude - that coherence is to be appreciated, even though it is displayed in a most disturbing fashion.

    NC

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  27. Reading my comments I don't think many views have been expressed at all. I have simply asked questions and cited other opinions. I said that a particular opinion held by others didn't make sense to me and asked for clarification, and asked for clarification on top of that.

    As for rejection, and for other things I may have 'also' rejected - I have not rejected anything in any of my posts, least of all Divino Afflatu. I am afraid you are reading attitudes and opinions into my comments for which you have no real basis or justification.

    As for my opinions on the other matters you mention - buy me a beer and we can talk about them over that!

    Needless to say (and thank you for asking), I am writing in a personal capacity, not as Juventutem London, let alone the international federation. That said, I don't think I have said anything here that could be fairly used to bring Juventutem or FIJ into disrepute. I am a faithful Catholic in good standing and do not intend to jeopardise that.

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  28. Ok actually I did call what happened a deformation - which, I think, is a fair opinion in a topic that is open to be discussed. Vatican II is not the only pastoral prudential action of the Church that can be legitimately discussed by Catholics in good standing and of good will.

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  29. The comment of Patricius displays so vile a root of bitterness. As you indicate that you would accede to the deletion of his comment, NC, I'll go ahead and delete it.

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  30. Anonymous3:10 AM

    For the sake of novices here in liturgical history and assuming one doesn't need a graduate degree, can any of the posters here suggest learning materials for others less knowledgeable? It seems that people have implied good and bad things about Alcuin Reid and Dom Gueranger. I've read good things about Fortescue and O'Connell on this site. It looks like the FSSP bookstore, for example, has some good materials on the traditional Mass. As one who has grown up in the post-Vatican II era and spent more time studying philosophy and theology, I'm a little lost in the liturgical arena and would appreciate a jumpstart, which might save time and resources.

    Thanks,
    Sobieski

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  31. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Could someone explain why three of the five antiphons for Sunday Vespers changed with Divino afflatu although the psalms remained the same?

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  32. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Anon 07.32

    Don't know actually, but the newer antiphons are certainly an enrichment. I can see the sense of the retention of the Sunday Vespers' psalms. I wonder how often the Ordinary (per annum) Sunday Vespers was prayed, when, pre-Pius X, they were prayed outside duplex feasts and above ? Thankfully the entire psalter is now prayed with greater regularity. Whatever one might think about other elements of the pian reforms, the praying of the entire psalter was certainly an improvement 'within liturgical tradition', and the general sensitivity in which this was done.

    Fr. A.M.

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  33. Dear Sobieski,

    Dom P. Guéranger is one of my dearest figures not elevated to the altars in History: I was just trying to make a point about the exaggerations of some.

    On books and writings, the options are numerous: it depends on many things, including the languages you have access to and, in particular, the period in which we are interested - the post-Conciliar rupture was just so great that many books on Sacred Liturgy deal with this momentous transformation almost exclusively. If you wish for a history of the organic development of the Roman rite (excluding the "ordinary form"), then the options are also different. In any event, you are welcome to follow our new series of Don Pietro Leone's "The Roman Rite", filled with book references which you may also check.

    NC

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  34. Brian2:23 PM

    What I don't understand is why, if the problem was festal psalms being said on most days, a rubric could have been inserted saying the ferial psalms were to be used on all days that were not doubles of the first or second class?

    Would not that have solved the problem without having to re-arrange the distribution of the psalms and necessitate new breviaries?

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  35. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Brian, and Juventutem (spelled correctly this time, sorry),

    Supplements, with the revised psalter, were provided for the clergy so that they could continue with their old breviaries. I have several of these. Also, have you ever seen the length of the pre-Pius X ferial office ? It was hardly used, for centuries, and conflating it with the sanctoral (with nine lessons etc.)would have produced an extraordinarily long office. Pope St. Pius X was correct to take into account the needs of the clergy, while providing them with a recitation of the entire psalter each week which was workable, while not undermining the veneration of the saints. He did not produce a new breviary like the Liturgia Horarum. Fr. A.M.

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  36. I believe Fr. A.M. is the only actual priest here, right?

    I rest my case.

    NC

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  37. Anonymous1:24 AM

    Thanks, NC. I read "The Roman Rite" entry after posting, and it indeed does look like it will be an interesting and helpful series. Thanks for publishing it. I might also start by looking into some of Dom Gueranger's works. That has been my plan, but I haven't purchased anything yet. I'm thinking about making a donation to the FSSP bookstore.

    Sobieski

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  38. Keenan1:33 PM

    12th century scholars already know that the problem of liturgical engineering dates to the 1100s, when the Cisterians spent many years totally re-ordering the office, imbued with that age's confidence in reason to rationalize the recieved liturgical inheritance into something that seemed more sensible.

    Trent and Bugnini follow naturally on such an attitude, evidently.

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