Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Advent. Part Four.

Text taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
(Translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.)
Advent. Volume 1. St. Bonaventure Publications,
Originally published 1949.
Republished by St. Bonaventure Publications, July 2000.

Unless otherwise stated, Illustrations are taken from UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
which reproduce them, with the kind permission of ST. BONAVENTURE PRESS, from
The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, 1952 Edition.

Saint Thomas, Apostle.
Feast Day 21 December.

Double of the Second-Class.

Red Vestments.

This much is certain, that, by degrees, the custom of Fasting so far fell into disuse, that when, in 1362, Pope Urban V endeavoured to prevent the total decay of the Advent Penance, all he insisted upon was that all the Clerics of his Court should keep Abstinence during Advent, without in any way including others, either Clergy or Laity, in this Law.

Saint Charles Borromeo also strove to bring back his people of Milan to the Spirit, if not to the Letter, of Ancient Times. In his Fourth Council, he enjoins the Parish Priests to exhort the Faithful to go to Communion on the Sundays, at least, of Lent and Advent; and afterwards addressed to the Faithful themselves a Pastoral Letter, in which, after having reminded them of the dispositions wherewith they ought to spend this Holy Time, he strongly urges them to Fast on the Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at least, of each week in Advent.

Finally, Pope Benedict XIV, when Archbishop of Bologna, following these illustrious examples, wrote his eleventh Ecclesiastical Institution for the purpose of exciting in the minds of his Diocesans the exalted idea which the Christians, of former times, had of the Holy Season of Advent, and of removing an erroneous opinion which prevailed in those parts, namely, that Advent concerned Religious, only, and not the Laity.

Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist.
Feast Day 27 December.

Station at Saint Mary Major.
(Indulgence of 30 years and 30 Quarantines).

Double of the Second-Class with Simple Octave.

White Vestments.

He shows them that such an opinion, unless it be limited to the two practices of Fasting and Abstinence, is, strictly speaking, rash and scandalous, since it cannot be denied that, in the Laws and Usages of The Universal Church, there exist Special Practices, having for their end to prepare the Faithful for the Great Feast of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

The Greek Church still continues to observe the Fast of Advent, though with much less rigour than that of Lent. It consists of forty days, beginning with 14 November, the day on which this Church keeps The Feast of the Apostle, Saint Philip. During this entire period, the people abstain from flesh-meat, butter, milk, and eggs; but they are allowed, which they are not during Lent, fish and oil.

Fasting, in its strict sense, is binding only on seven out of the forty days; and the whole period goes under the name of Saint Philip's Lent. The Greeks justify these relaxations by this distinction: That the Lent before Christmas is, so they say, only an institution of the Monks, whereas the Lent before Easter is of Apostolic institution.

St Andrew Daily Missal (Traditional Mass)

Available (in U.K.) from

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