Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

How the selection switches work for Mass

Posted by universalis on 15 April 2013

In Universalis you will see selection switches at the top of the Mass readings for certain days. What these switches look like depend on where you are looking at Universalis: typically, on the downloaded versions, there will be a pale blue arrow at the top right of the page, which pops up a menu if you touch it or click on it.

These selection switches have subtly different meanings at different times.

On days with optional memorials

Some celebrations are optional. For instance, on 13 April Pope St Martin I may be celebrated or ignored (which means, in 2013, that Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide is celebrated). Or again, on 24 April there is a choice between Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Saint Adalbert of Prague, or (in 2013) Wednesday of the 4th week of Eastertide.

On days like these, the selection switch lets you choose which celebration to use.

  • On 13 April 2013, if you choose Pope St Martin I, you get the prayers, antiphons and readings for Pope St Martin I.
  • On 13 April 2013, if you choose Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide, you get the prayers, antiphons and readings for Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide.

On days with non-optional memorials

Some days are memorials, so there, and you have no choice about it. For instance, 11 April is St Stanislaus and is always St Stanislaus unless a Sunday or something like that occurs to squash him.

However, you still have a choice. Prayers and antiphons are provided for St Stanislaus and they must be used. Readings are provided for St Stanislaus and they should not be used unless there is a special reason for using them: “unless a pastoral reason truly suggests it”, as the General Instruction of the Roman Missal puts it at §357.

On days like these, the selection switch lets you choose which readings to use.

  • On 11 April 2013, if you choose St Stanislaus, you get the prayers and antiphons for St Stanislaus and the readings for St Stanislaus.
  • On 11 April 2013, if you choose Thursday of the 2nd week of Eastertide, you get the prayers and antiphons  for St Stanislaus and the readings for Thursday of the 2nd week of Eastertide.

An important exception

If, on the day of the memorial of a saint, the reading is explicitly by or about the saint, it is always used: there is no choice about it. For instance, on the memorial of St Martha, the Gospel is about St Martha, and whatever the Gospel of the day would otherwise have been is ignored. Priests often forget this exception because it doesn’t happen often. On such a day, whatever choice you make with the selection switch in Universalis, the compulsory reading always appears.

On solemnities which have several Masses

Some days have more than one Mass assigned to them. Many of the summer solemnities have a Vigil Mass and a Mass of the day, including, Ascension, Pentecost, and Saints Peter and Paul. Christmas has four Masses: the vigil Mass of the evening before, Midnight Mass, Mass at dawn, and Mass during the day.

On such days the downloads provide a selection switch to let you choose which Mass you want to see. The Web pages may take the opposite approach, giving you absolutely every thing on a very long page, with notes to tell you which readings are which.

 

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4 Responses to “How the selection switches work for Mass”

  1. cathyf said

    This is not totally off-topic because it is about options, but regards options in the Liturgy of the Hours not the Mass. When reciting the introductory psalm, it used to be that there was a note, in italics, “If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.” Then at some point there was a software upgrade, and the parenthetical comment was replaced with the text of the antiphon, and the parenthetical comment was at the beginning and end. Then, lately, it changed back to having the description of the choice at the bottom, “(repeat antiphon*)” in italics between the verses of the psalm, and the text of the antiphon only occurs once at the top.

    When using the iPhone/iPad, the screen is so small that the antiphon is off the top when you get about halfway down the psalm, and you have to scroll up and down (or page back and forth if you are paging) to go between the antiphon and your place in the psalm. Perhaps I’m just more stupid first thing in the morning (ok, I’m surely most stupid first thing in the morning…) but I can’t actually navigate up and down without losing my place. Which means I don’t really have a choice — I can’t repeat the antiphon.

    It’s not a huge big deal, but would it be reasonable in some future upgrade to have a little blue triangle thingy to select whether you want the antiphon interleaved with the verses or not?

  2. efpastoremeritus said

    What about those of us who have downloaded onto a Kindle\\\\\? I have paid the fee but only sem to get no blue arrow!

    • If you print out a Universalis page onto a sheet of paper and try tapping or clicking the paper, nothing happens. A Kindle is just paper inside an electronic box. It is not a programmable device, so it is not possible to provide blue arrows that work.

      When you use the Universalis program on your computer to create an e-book for the Kindle, the program uses whatever selection settings you have previously made within the Universalis program. If you chose the readings for the memorial on a particular day, those are the readings which will appear in the Kindle e-book.

      The Kindle Fire (modern versions) and the Kindle Fire HD are not Kindles: Amazon only give them that name to confuse you. They are programmable devices and you can buy the Universalis app from them, blue buttons and all: see .

  3. efpastoremeritus said

    Some typographiacla errors in lmy last post. I meant to type I d not get a blue arrow!

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