Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Ensure You Are Sitting Down. Get A Large Glass Of Something Bubbly. Make Yourself Comfortable. And Begin To Read . . .

English: Roman Breviary. Summer. Paris.
Latin: BREVIARIUM ROMANUM, Pars Aestivalis Parisiis.
Date: 1647.
Author: Un frontispice par C. Errard gravé par G. Rousselet répété quatre fois.
(Wikimedia Commons)

This Article is taken from NEW LITURGICAL MOVEMENT
By Gregory Dipippo.

One of the changes made to The Breviary, in the Revision of 1960, regards the arrangement of the months from August to November. One of the oddest effects of the new system will take place this year in regard to The Readings in November.

On the first Sunday of each of these months, The Church begins a new set of Scriptural Books at Matins, with their accompanying Antiphons and Responsories; their arrangement is part of a system which goes back to the 6th-Century A.D. In August; The Books of Wisdom are read; in September, Job, Tobias, Judith and Esther; in October, The Books of The Macchabees; in November, Ezechiel, Daniel, and The Twelve Minor Prophets. (September is actually divided into two sets of Readings, Job having a different set of Responsories from the other three Books.)

The “First Sunday” of each of these months is Traditionally that which occurs closest to the first Calendar Day of the month, even if that day occurs within the end of the previous month. This year, for example, The First Sunday “of August” was actually 31 July, the closest Sunday to the first day of August.

English: Roman Breviary made of Brown Calf Leather.
Nederlands: Inhoud: Brevarium Romanum.
Date: 1557-1563.
Made in Paris, France.
Source/Photographer: Source page at the
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the 1960 Revision, however, The First Sunday of the months from August to November is always that which occurs first within The Calendar Month. Therefore, The First Sunday of August was
7 August. This change also accounts for one of the peculiarities of The 1960 Breviary, the fact that November has four weeks, which are called The First, Third, Fourth and Fifth. [Editor: Therefore, NO Second week.]

According to the Traditional calculation, November has five weeks when The Fifth Week of the month falls on a Sunday; otherwise, it has four. In those years when it has four (most of them), The Second Week is omitted. Ezechiel is read on The First Week, and The Second Week, if there is one; Daniel, on The Third Week, and The Twelve Prophets on The Fourth Week. The system is designed to maintain the Tradition that at least a bit of each of The Prophets would always be read in The Breviary.

According to the newer calculation, November may have three or four weeks, but never five; The Second Week was removed from The Breviary, since it is never used. However, the older nomenclature was retained; it is hard to imagine why this was thought either necessary or useful, since a great many other terms were changed, such as the entire system of classification of Liturgical Days. Therefore, the four weeks are called First, Third, Fourth and Fifth.

English: Breviary of Saint Michael's Abbey, Chiusa, Italy
(see image of the Abbey, below).
Italiano: Breviario di San Michele della Chiusa
Date: 8 April 2015 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from it.wikipedia to Commons.
(Wikimedia Commons)

English: Saint Michael's Abbey, Chiusa, Italy.
(see image of Breviary from the Abbey, above).
The Sacra di San Michele, sometimes known as Saint Michael's Abbey, is an
complex built on top of Mount Pirchiriano in Piedmont, Northern Italy.
Founded between 
the Late-10th-Century and Early-11th-Century, the Abbey is located
along The Pilgrimage 
route that joins Monte Sant'Angelo, in Southern Italy, to
Mont Saint-Michel, in Northern France.
Italiano: La sacra di San Michele è un complesso architettonico collocato sul
monte Pirchiriano 
in Val di Susa,Piemonte. Fondata tra la fine del X e l'inizio
dell'XI secolo, l'abbazia si trova 
lungo la via di pellegrinaggio che unisce
nel nord della Francia.
Photo: 18 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Elio Pallard.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution
(Wikimedia Commons)

states that this is the Inspiration for the Benedictine Abbey and
Aedificium in Umberto Eco’s great novel "The Name of The Rose".

In the older system, November would have four weeks this year, The First Sunday “of November” being 30 October, since it is closer to the first day of that month. In the new system, The First Sunday “of November” will be the first Sunday within The Calendar Month, 6 November.

However, the last Sunday of November, the 27th, is The First Sunday of Advent, this year, and so November only has three weeks. Therefore, this year, Ezechiel is dropped entirely; The Readings from Daniel begin on 6 November, Hosea on 13 November, and Micah on 20 November.

Things are slightly complicated by the fact that, in 1960, a Sunday is completely omitted when it is "Impeded" by a Feast of The Lord. (Previously, Sundays were always Commemorated if they were Impeded.) Thus, all of The Liturgical Texts assigned to Sunday, 30 October, are dropped this year in favour of The Feast of Christ the King.

English: Breviary for the Diocese of Strängnäs, Sweden.
Svenska: Breviarium för Strängnäs stift.
Date: Book from 2008. Document from Late-15th-Century.
Source: Kari Tarkiainen: Sveriges Österland, p. 77.
Author: Uppsala universitetsbibliotek.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The calculation of The Sundays after Pentecost also calls for a note, here. (The discrepancies between The Missals of Pope Saint Pius V and Pope Saint John XXIII are very slight in this regard, and have no bearing on the end of this year.)

The number of Sundays “after Pentecost” assigned to The Missal is twenty-four, but the actual number varies between twenty-three and twenty-eight. The “Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost” is always Celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent. If there are more than twenty-four Sundays, the gap, between The Twenty-Third Sunday and Twenty-Fourth Sunday, is filled with The Sundays after Epiphany that had no place at the beginning of the year. The Prayers and Readings of those Sundays are inserted into The Mass of The Twenty-Third Sunday (i.e., the set of Gregorian "Propers".) The Breviary Sermon on The Sunday Gospel and the concomitant Antiphons of The Benedictus and Magnificat also carry over in The Divine Office.

The remaining Sundays of The Year are, therefore as follows, in 1960:

23 October.    Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost (Fourth Week of October in The Breviary);
30 October.    Christ the King (Fifth Week of October in The Breviary);
6 November.   Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Third Week of November);
13 November. Sixth Sunday after Epiphany (Fourth Week of November);
20 November. Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Fifth Week of November);
27 November. First Sunday of Advent.

In The Breviary and Missal of Pope Saint Pius V, they are as follows (with the addition of Christ the King):

23 October.   Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost (Fourth Week of October in The Breviary);
30 October.    Christ the King (First Week of November in The Breviary. Commemoration of The                                   Fourth Sunday after Epiphany);
6 November.   Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Third Week of November);
13 November  Sixth Sunday after Epiphany (Fourth Week of November);
20 November. Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Fifth Week of November);
27 November.  First Sunday of Advent.

A page from The Psalter of The Aberdeen Breviary of 1509.
From the Copy in The National Library of Scotland.
Date: 26 February 2008.
Source: National Library of Scotland.
Author: Andrew Myllar, Walter Chepman.
(Wikimedia Commons)

If this all seems a little complicated, bear in mind that the oldest arrangement of The Mass Lectionary, that we know of, was even more so. The oldest Lectionary of The Roman Rite, a Manuscript now in Wurzburg, Germany, dates to circa 750 A.D., and represents the system used at Rome about one hundred years earlier.

It has a very disorganised and incomplete set of Readings for the period after Pentecost; the Sundays are counted as two after Pentecost, seven after Saints Peter and Paul, five after Saint Laurence, and six after Saint Cyprian, a total of only twenty. There are also ten Sundays after Epiphany, even though Septuagesima is also noted in the Manuscript, and the largest number of Sundays that can occur between Epiphany and Septuagesima is only six.

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