Electric Prayer

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

Archive for the ‘Calendars’ Category

The hiccup in Ordinary Time

Posted by universalis on 17 May 2013

Someone has asked me why, after the four-week psalm cycle got to week I on Shrove Tuesday before it was interrupted by Lent and Eastertide, it now continues directly to week III. I thought that other people might have the question but not be asking it, so here is the answer.

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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.

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The American Christmas bug

Posted by universalis on 5 January 2013

The last post, The Christmas Calendars, described how the transition is made between the season of Christmas, which reckons time in days after Christmas, and Ordinary Time, which reckons it in weeks starting on a Sunday.

There are two options at this time: the religious and the commercial. The religious calendar celebrates the Epiphany on 6 January, so the transition from Christmas to weeks happens after the Epiphany season. The commercial calendar celebrates the Epiphany on the Sunday between 2 and 8 January, so the transition from Christmas to weeks happens before the Epiphany season. The last post had a couple of elegant tables to show how it all works.

With adjustments to calendars come adjustments to liturgies. 6 January (when not the Epiphany) and 7 January (before the Epiphany) are days that are not part of the religious calendar, and yet they need to have a liturgy. The last post described how these liturgies were put together.

That is how things work in the whole world, both in the original Latin and in English translation. However, the American translation is different, and wrong.

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The Christmas calendars

Posted by universalis on 4 January 2013

At some point the Christmas season has to end and we have to get back to normal life. Liturgically this means that we have to finish the twelve days of Christmas, celebrate the Epiphany, and get back to normal life. Since “normal life” means starting the week on a Sunday, and since Christmas Day is on different days of the week in different years, this inevitably means an awkward splice.

This post describes how it all works in the context of the Liturgy of the Hours.

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The Annunciation in 2012

Posted by universalis on 15 April 2011

25 March 2012 falls on a Sunday. The Solemnity of the Annunciation is consequently celebrated on the following day, 26 March, just as it was in 2007. This is in accordance with the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, ยง5:

Because of its special importance, the Sunday celebration gives way only to solemnities or feasts of the Lord. The Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, however, take precedence over all solemnities and feasts of the Lord. Solemnities occurring on these Sundays are transferred to the following Monday except in the case of their occurrence on Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) or on Easter Sunday.

You will find a number of web sites that move the Annunciation to 24 March instead. This is because the Norms were revised relatively recently, and the earlier version of the Norms moved the Annunciation to the previous Saturday instead of the following Monday. Many liturgical books date from before then, and many web sites, including some diocesan ones, reproduce the text of the Norms in their earlier version.

For those who want the Latin text (as included in the Third Edition edition of the Roman Missal, published in 2002), here it is:

Propter suum peculiare momentum, dominica suam cedit celebrationem solummodo sollemnitatibus necnon festis Domini; dominicae vero Adventus, Quadragesimae et Paschae super omnia festa Domini et super omnes sollemnitates praecedentiam habent. Sollemnitates autem in his dominicis occurrentes ad feriam secundam sequentem transferuntur, nisi agatur de occurrentia in Dominica in Palmis aut in Dominica Resurrectionis Domini.

The only exception to these rules is in the case of the Solemnity of St Joseph. The first edition of the Norms moves it to the day before; the second edition moves it to the day after except that if it is not a holy day of obligation, the bishops may move it anywhere outside Lent; the third edition moves it to the day after unless it falls on Palm Sunday itself, in which case it is moved to the day before, but if it is not a holy day of obligation, the bishops may move it anywhere outside Lent.

Posted in Calendars, Liturgy | 7 Comments »

St Joseph in 2008

Posted by universalis on 31 January 2008

When Easter is early, the feasts of St Joseph and the Annunciation may fall in Holy Week or Easter Week. The rules say that in that case they should be celebrated on the next free day, which is the Monday after Easter week; or on the Monday and the Tuesday if both feasts have to be moved, as they do this year.

This “traffic jam” of feasts has been felt to be inconvenient and so the rules have been changed from 2008 onwards, so that St Joseph is moved backwards to the Saturday before Holy Week.

The calendar on the Universalis site now implements the new rules and the downloadable programs will do so soon.

There is a further complication in Ireland and other places where St Patrick is celebrated as a solemnity. In these places, when there is an earlier Easter, St Patrick is moved earlier to avoid Holy Week, and St Joseph is moved one day earlier still, to the Friday before Holy Week. If you have the appropriate local calendar selected, Universalis will do this also.

Posted in Calendars, The Universalis site | 4 Comments »

The Calendar at Christmas

Posted by universalis on 4 January 2007

(My embarrassed thanks to Father Julian Green, who gave me the idea for a revised explanation that is far simpler than the one I originally gave).

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the way that the psalm weeks work over Christmas, so I thought it would be worth summarising the rules.

What I’m saying will apply only to days that do not have their own particular psalms. Since quite a lot of days at this time of year do have their own psalms, the weekly pattern is only visible through the gaps. Moreover, the Evening Prayer psalms for the entire week after Christmas are a simple repetition of those of Christmas Day.

  • Week 1 of Advent starts on the Sunday that falls between 27 November and 3 December. It is psalm week I.
  • Week 2 of Advent starts on the Sunday that falls between 4 and 10 December. It is psalm week II.
  • Week 3 of Advent starts on the Sunday that falls between 11 and 17 December. It is psalm week III.
  • Week 4 of Advent starts on the Sunday that falls between 18 and 24 December. It is psalm week IV.
  • Week 1 of the year starts on the Sunday that falls between 7 January and 13 January. Weeks of the year are easy: week 1 is psalm week I, week 2 is psalm week II, 3=III, 4=IV, 5=I, 6=II, and so on.

So that leaves us with the days between 25 December and the start of week 1 of the year. The underlying pattern is very simple:

  • Week I starts on the Sunday that falls between 25 and 31 December. (Before that, the psalm week is IV, left over from the tail-end of Advent).
  • Week II starts on the Sunday that falls between 1 and 7 January. (Except that if the Sunday actually falls on 7 January, it marks the start of Week 1 of the year, so Week II never gets a chance to happen at all).

Here is how it all works out for 2007:

Religious calendar

Sunday 31 December – feast of the Holy Family.
Monday 1 January – solemnity of the Mother of God.
Tuesday 2 January – Week I.
Wednesday 3 January – Week I.
Thursday 4 January – Week I.
Friday 5 January – Week I.
Saturday 6 January – solemnity of the Epiphany.
Sunday 7 January – feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Monday 8 January – Monday of Week 1 of the year, Week I.
Tuesday 9 January – Tuesday of Week 1 of the year, Week I.

Commercial calendar

Sunday 31 December – feast of the Holy Family.
Monday 1 January – solemnity of the Mother of God.
Tuesday 2 January – Week I.
Wednesday 3 January – Week I.
Thursday 4 January – Week I.
Friday 5 January – Week I.
Saturday 6 January – Week I.
Sunday 7 January – solemnity of the Epiphany.
Monday 8 January – feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Tuesday 9 January – Tuesday of Week 1 of the year, Week I.

The pattern is a little hard to discern in 2007 because the Epiphany falling on a Saturday means that the days after the Epiphany have been squashed out of existence (a pity: they have some phenomenal prayers). This won’t happen again until 2018.

Posted in Calendars, The Universalis site | 6 Comments »