Rorate Caeli

Calendar review: Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia

With less than three weeks until the new calendar year, and less than two weeks until Christmas Day, it is an ideal time to give 2015 wall calendars to priests, religious, family and friends.

Several beautiful products for 2015 using the 1962 liturgical calendar are available, including one by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, another by Angelus Press and another by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

As we posted in October, the 2015 wall calendar by the Monks of Norcia brings a Benedictine focus to the year, along with absolutely stunning photography.  Taken at their monastery, the photos range from one in January of their restored sanctuary, to March with the monastic schola, to June with the monks' famous beer, to the singing of the Divine Office in December.

The daily liturgical listing is very comprehensive, which makes it a distinct option for those who are looking for context and detail, complete with historical feast days that did not survive even pre-Vatican II reforms.  The primary focus is the traditional Latin Mass calendar, which is also reflected in the monks' listing of fasting and abstinence that existed in 1962.  Common with other traditional calendars, this practice is of course optional now, but one that seems to be observed by a good number of families who exclusively attend the traditional Latin Mass and, thus, couple traditional liturgy with traditional discipline, even if voluntary.  All of that is clearly and succinctly noted by the monks.

The quality of the calendar is among the finest around.  From the gloss to the paper, it is a product that one needs to see (although Rorate's photos here attempt to capture some of the pages for you).  To give an example, here is what a few days during the Pentecost octave look like:

Not everyone will necessarily appreciate the novus ordo listings (marked "new") included alongside the traditional liturgical listings (marked "trad."), and that is understandable.  The calendar is meant to be comprehensive -- and it serves a great purpose for those who are not yet exclusive to daily TLMs.  This is why the calendar can make for a terrific gift to friends who occasionally attend the TLM, or for priests who occasionally celebrate the TLM.  For one, it will likely become their most useful daily calendar.  Considering the focus of this calendar, that is a good thing.  But it may also show them how much has been lost with the post-Vatican II reforms, stirring them to perhaps attend the TLM more to experience the liturgical calendar that most of the saints would recognize.

We thank the monks (who have a development office in the U.S.) for sending us review copies, which will be given this month to priests who offer the TLM on some days and the novus ordo on others.  It is the ideal calendar for the sacristy or rectory of a parish that features such a shared liturgical arrangement.

To order the 2015 wall calendar from the Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia, click here.