Steps Toward Extraordinary Form-Ordinary Form Rapprochement?

Over at Crux, Dwight Longenecker attempts to remedy the imbalance in Cardinal Sarah’s call for more cross-pollination between the extraordinary and ordinary forms.

I find Longenecker’s characterization of “Old Order and “New Order” Catholics to be overdrawn. It brings to mind a paraphrase of Robert Benchley’s famous line: There are two kinds of people in the Church, those that divide the Church into two kinds of people and those that don’t. I do think there really are a far greater number of Catholics who hold some combination of the characteristics Longenecker lists.

Anyhow, Longenecker offers a list of list of propositions to help that pollination cross in both directions. Are any of his suggestions promising? Or will these be seen as a bridge too far for those who offer enthusiastic support for one form over the other?

So here are some further suggestions about the liturgy wars from a priest in the trenches.

  • To aid participation and understanding, the Scripture readings should all be in the vernacular.
  • Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony can be properly augmented with hymns in the vernacular which illuminate the readings of the day.
  • New Order Catholics could choose and learn the older hymns that are more rooted in sound theology and Scripture.
  • On a regular basis, the Novus Ordo in Latin could be celebrated by Old Order Catholics as a way to help congregations understand and accept the Novus Ordo.
  • Likewise, the Novus Ordo in Latin could be celebrated by New Order Catholics as a way to re-vitalize the great tradition and make the Extraordinary Form intelligible and acceptable.
  • New Order Catholics could make more effort to understand and integrate historical forms of architecture and art.
  • New Order priests can incorporate more time for silence and adoration into their celebration. While they may not celebrate ad orientem – they might face East in silent prayer with their people at appropriate points in the liturgy. (After the Kiss of Peace, during the Agnus Dei and fraction, and after communion.)
  • Old Order priests could face the people and interact with them at appropriate points. (At the “Lift up Your Hearts” the invitation to prayer, to confession and prayers at the altar.)
  • Both Old Order Catholics and New Order Catholics could focus more on Scripture and invest time and training in improving the quality of preaching.


  1. Meh….I don’t think any of this will help. It all seems a bit contrived. I think we need more interaction as people with one another just as people and to quit thinking in terms of “Old Order” and “New Order”. We need to all think…and act….as what we truly are: The People of God.

  2. We’ve already endured a cross-pollination between organ hymnody and piano/guitar accompanied music. It wasn’t perfect, but it accomplished some positive things. That said …

    2 & 3. I thought the post-conciliar move to hymns in the 80s was a slight step backward. We certainly had more Scripture-based songs in Glory & Praise than we had in organ hymnody that made it through the Vatican II sieve. While I respect the craft of people like Fred Kaan, Timothy Dudley-Smith, and others, I find this “generation” is more attentive to Scripture (Adam Tice, Genevieve Glen). I don’t think there’s much to mine for texts in the “theological” hymnody of the past. I actually agree with the spirit of reform2 that suggests hymnody is a possible dead-end for the celebration of Mass. We could use more antiphonal songs based on the Scriptures.

    4 & 5. I can’t see most pewfolk accepting this as a step forward. The hardcore Catholics on both sides would see it as a retreat.

    6. In the US, there wasn’t a high standard of art. There’s still little encouragement for it. Most statues were acquired from catalogues, not original artists. It’s not clear to me if the author isn’t advocating for “devotional” art. As for architecture, it’s part of the looks-like-a-church-when-I-was-a-kid thing. Not all pre-conciliar architecture was a good thing. If we still have a problem today, it rests with bishops and pastors who built the school first and made do with Mass in basements, gyms, movie theatres, etc.. That’s not a conciliar value.

    7. Priests could sit in a chair at the edge of the assembly until they were called to duty in the ambo or altar. Otherwise, they could sing, listen to readings and keep silence with the assembly.

    9. Amen.

    1. @Todd Flowerday:
      Regarding number 6: Perhaps it is a generational thing, but I’ve noticed in some Catholic circles there is still a very outdated attitude towards 19th and early 20th Century art and architecture. Many secular and domestic buildings from the same time period are now lauded for their inventive use of catalogue materials (plaster appliqués, woodwork, faux finishes, statuary, etc). Regardless of whether or not the materials were hand-crafted, it still takes a degree of skill and artistic ability to create an aesthetically pleasing space. The general attitude towards turn-of-the-century architecture has been largely positive since at least the late 1970s. It’s shocking how behind the times Catholics are in this regard. Also, the idea that it was mostly cheap, poorly made art that was tossed out after the council is easily disproven. Many examples of high quality hand-crafted liturgical art were destroyed.

      I do agree about building schools first and using gyms for Mass being a pre-concilliar problem. However, I would actually rank the gym church we attended when I was a teenager as being one of the prettiest parishes we ever belonged to. They intended on building a new church right away (it never happened) and saw no need to buy a new altar or stations of the cross for the temporary space – they simply salvaged the old Victorian ones from the original church. Victorian Gothic high altars look surprising good when paired with knotty pine panelling.

      As for “it’s part of the looks-like-a-church-when-I-was-a-kid thing” – I would disagree. When I was kid, pretty much every Catholic church my family belonged to was a semi-round modern structure devoid of devotional art. I have no desire to return to such an ideal, and many of the people I know who grew up with it tend to feel the same way. Many of the people clamoring for “churchy churches” are looking to replace the modern spaces they have worshipped in their whole lives. Most practicing Catholics I know have “traditional style” devotional art in their own homes, so many of these modern spaces from the 60s-90s simply don’t reflect how they live their faith in their day-to-day lives.

  3. I usually find Dwight Longenecker’s pieces at Crux rather wanting. They could find someone else from the “right” more grounded and present a better argument. This is yet another example of a weak piece. As Reyanna notes, it’s all sort of contrived.

    As a “Pray Tell Community” (if that exists?) I think we’ve torn apart various arguments about trying to marry the OF and EF in the past. Someone else can link to them.

    Let me comment on just one of his suggestions:
    “•New Order Catholics could choose and learn the older hymns that are more rooted in sound theology and Scripture.”
    Oh come on! I think of all of the older hymns that I grew up singing, none of which had any scriptural foundation. From Marian hymns, to lots of piety hymns and the like. I think one of the riches of music written since Vatican II which draw on the scriptures, especially the psalms.

    And the call “integrate historical forms of Art & Architecture” is also historically selective. Not to mention geographically and culturally selective.

    1. @Chuck Middendorf:

      Especially the part about hymns and scripture. As a church, we did precious little scripture at Mass before VII, let alone in hymns. The hymns I know that use scriptural themes have mainly been written since 1973.

      1. @Charles Day:
        Yes. Father Lucien Deiss titled his book “Biblical Hymns and Psalms” precisely to make a point. Before Vatican II, hymns based on biblical texts were not common.

  4. Since the primary devotees of the EF are a minority, I don’t think that is where the main effort should lie. Tribalism is a problem among attendees of the Ordinary Form.

    Possible solutions include a national hymnal gathering progressive and traditional hymns. Some of the hymns could be tweaked (copyright holders permitting) to address potential criticisms. For example, All Are Welcome may alter a line to focus on purification and include a new line addressed directly to God .

    Perhaps Prayers of the Faithful could be composed for nation wide use during the privileged seasons that used the Compendium of Social Doctrine of Church to cover a wide range of petitions from the environment, marriage, abortion, labor, immigration, etc that individual congregations wouldn’t have the opportunity (or desire) to pray about.

    Instead of ad orientem, the presider’s chair could be situated to face the altar while being perpendicular to the congregation. Even if he turns to face the people at all times when speaking, his orientation would be to the altar and a away from the congregation while sitting.

  5. In terms of art and architecture, the writer seems to infer that every Catholic has the same vision of what a church looks like. You know…. it has a steeple or tower (maybe even two), a quite small vestibule, a long nave, vaulted ceilings, some columns perhaps, a grand altar and ambo in the distance, an altar rail where people can kneel for communion, and, of course, a magnificent golden tabernacle located right behind the high altar. He seems unaware that the kind of “traditional” architecture he has in mind was based on an understanding of ecclesiology and liturgy that has been significantly developed over the last decades. I’ve been in many cathedrals and basilicas in Rome and elsewhere and certainly can appreciate their beauty. But I’ve been in many churches built in the last 50 years which are not only beautiful but have been designed specifically for a Divine Liturgy that reflects how we presently understand the Eucharist and the other sacraments. The seating area is often semi-circular so that the priestly people are not too distant from the altar and ambo. These more contemporary temples incorporate additional spaces for adoration, penance, and baptism. The beauty of a place of worship cannot be restricted to a “traditional” notion of what it should look like. The new church in NC certainly looks beautiful but it was built to hold 2000 people (placing many of them far away from the altar) because of the shortage of priests. Fewer priests, fewer masses….better make them huge and costly.

  6. If I were to propose a minor change to bring the two forms closer together, I would recommend allowing the OF Calendar to drop Ordinary Time and replace it with the “Sundays After Epiphany/Pentecost.” Aside for the “gesima” Sundays, this would allow both groups to call almost all the Sundays of the year by the same name (last Sunday would have been the 8th Sunday After Pentecost for everyone). It is also a change that would likely receive popular support from the laity, as the older names and numberings seem more meaningful/easy to understand. I would also choose one date for Christ the King Sunday for both forms (I actually see good reasons for either date), as it was the only feast I ever had a problem with back when I bounced back and fourth between the OF and EF – you either celebrate it twice or completely miss it.

  7. Good grief! They still celebrate Christ the King on Reformation Sunday?

    +1 to changing Christ the King to the modern practice of the last Sunday in November instead of the 1920’s precept of the last Sunday in October!

    At the end of the liturgical year, it better expresses our hope for the return of Christ as King at the end of time.

    1. @Jim McKay:
      I missed this comment before, but wanted to say I more or less agree. Christ the King Sunday works well as an “end of year” Feast Day. I know some writers at traditional blogs generally defend the old location of the feast, but it strikes me as the sort of change few people today would dispute had it occurred in 1950 instead of when it did.

      In terms of making a common calendar, I think it is more important for the Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation to line up between the two, and far less important for all the weekdays and even lectionaries to line up – at least practically speaking for the laity. I would use the new date for Christ the King for both, but use the old names for the Sundays (as I previously went on about), and restore some of the octaves. Otherwise I would just make it optional for the EF to use some of the new dates for special occasion Masses in cases where an EF Mass is celebrated in an otherwise OF parish.

  8. Re Jack Wayne’s post:

    Can you say exactly what it is that makes Sundays after Epiphany or Pentecost designations superior to Sundays in Ordinary Time. BTW, I refer to the latter as Sundays in Kingdom Time since most of the gospels explicate in one way or the other what it means to live in and for God’s Kingdom. Also, Jack, in days of old only the relatively few users of hand missals would have known anything about the designations for those Sundays. Sunday was Sunday.

    1. @Fr. Jack Feehily:
      “Sundays After Epiphany/Pentecost” relates those times of year to feast days/events, and treats them as separate seasons. That keeps the liturgical year going if we are to think of it as being a cycle that roughly mirrors the history of Christ’s life and the Church rather than a series of “important” seasons floating around in an unimportant season known as “Ordinary Time.”

      As for people not being keenly aware of the old designations for Sunday I would reply “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Aside for sometimes being called the “green Sundays,” I don’t recall anyone ever paying any mind to “Ordinary Time.” I imagine the only reason people ever think about it is because it is so common nowadays for an announcer to tell the congregation what Sunday it is. You must not care much for “Ordinary Time” yourself since you choose to call them “Kingdom Time.”

  9. “Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive character, thirty-three or thirty-four weeks remain in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially on the Sundays, they are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. This period is known as Ordinary Time” (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, 43).

    A few thoughts here: first, we’re dealing with weeks here, not just Sundays. Each (ferial) weekday is marked by the “week of the year” it falls in, and has its own assigned readings. “Wednesday after the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost” might work I suppose, but would it be a marked improvement? And the weekdays aren’t marked in similar fashion in the EF calendar, so we’re really looking at two different approaches to the calendar altogether, aren’t we?

    Second, from the Church’s own definition above, the meaning of this period of time is made clear. There’s nothing unimportant at all about the mystery of Christ “in all its aspects”, whether focused upon the beginning of his earthly ministry or upon its later period.

    Third, the implementation of the 2011 Roman Missal gave us all sorts of terms to understand, to re-understand, and to better understand. And a few new ones to boot. Surely the faithful can handle getting the point of Ordinary Time with just a little decent catechesis. That’s of course what we told folks (and were told ourselves) about the new and changed terms and phrases in MR 2011.

    Finally, it could be asserted that if every time is a season, then nothing really is a season (given the hierarchical nature of the liturgical calendar in the first place). And there has been plenty of understanding, then and now, that the “Sundays after” are not proper seasons in and of themselves.

    1. Even if Ordinary Time isn’t a season in the same sense that, say, Lent is, the two periods of Ordinary Time are still distinct from each other by virtue of taking place in different times of the liturgical year in relation to different feasts/seasons.

      I would agree that Ordinary Time isn’t intended by the Church to be “unimportant,” but the name certainly doesn’t help. Ordinary Time would seem to need more explanation than “X Sunday After Epiphany,” but with little benefit being gained from being better informed about the term “Ordinary Time.” Perhaps a good question to ask is: Why is the old naming system unacceptable? “Time After Pentecost” would seem to accomplish the same thing as the term “Ordinary Time,” but with the bonus feature of being a small step towards OF-EF unity – particularly for parishes that celebrate both forms. Of course it doesn’t solve other issues in terms of there being two calendars, but I think it would be a step in the right direction.

      Also, I would not assert that if every time were a season, then nothing really is a season. That would only be true if all the seasons were more or less the same with no distinctive features or themes.

  10. I hear you, Jack, but I guess I’d then have to ask similarly why the old naming system is to be preferred? While it could be posited that the gospel readings following Epiphany concern themselves with those moments which more immediately followed the Theophany and the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, what relationship do the gospel readings for the Sundays following Pentecost have to do with Pentecost? Again, it has been recognized that the naming of Sundays after the two great feasts of Epiphany and Pentecost were largely a way of numbering Sundays in between and outside of the proper seasons. Never were these periods considered proper seasons, were they?

    And I simply can’t agree that one system would be more easily explained than the other. It seems merely to be an assertion based on one’s particular preference or fondness. Neither are particularly self-explanatory, so where then lies the advantage of reverting?

    And here’s a take: since we now have the feast of the Lord’s Baptism, which truly inaugurated everything Jesus did from that point forward, why not “X Sunday after the Baptism”? If we were to move Epiphany back to always being commemorated on January 6 (which I would find preferable), then we’d always have the Baptism of the Lord the following Sunday. Something to consider?

    Of course, if the old system of numbering and naming these Sundays were to be accompanied by a unified lectionary and calendar (for both Sundays and weekdays) between the EF and OF,–a matter of far greater substance and unity than naming rights–then I’d say call them whatever you like.

    I guess my hope would be more substantial unity between the two forms of the Roman Rite as opposed to stylistic concerns, meaningful though they might be. Rome might do well to attend to her Rite and the inherent challenges faced by having two forms of the same.

    (Maybe this is at least partly why I’m among those quirky ones who would’ve been satisfied with the 1964 “form” along with the renewed calendar and lectionaries…)

    1. @Michael Podrebarac:
      I think I answered why the old system is better in my opinion: the names are related to the seasons around them (Epiphany particularly, as you pointed out) and has the benefit of being a small step towards unity. Neither of those reasons are grounded only in “fondness.” I will concede that it isn’t a perfect naming system in regards to Time After Pentecost – simply better than “Ordinary Time,” with another advantage of it being in continuity with our own liturgical tradition (which I think should have a small degree of preference over new ideas that are not demonstrably better). I disagree that it isn’t more self-explanatory, so I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. When talking about “Ordinary Time,” one must at least use the numbers of the Sundays to know what section of it you are talking about, while it is obvious what time of the year you are talking about when you say “After Epiphany.”

      Also, while it is largely a stylistic change, it makes me wonder how any sort of substantial compromise might be achieved if we can’t even accept relatively easy stylistic changes. “Cross-polinization” implies that there will be a degree of adopting aspects from one form to another, and to an extent stylistic changes are some of the easiest and least emotionally difficult ways for either side to begin that.

      I also find it interesting that many Protestant groups that have otherwise adopted most of the post Vatican II Catholic liturgical reform have pretty much retained the old names (though many use “Time After Trinity” rather than Pentecost). I actually would have little issue with being ecumenical in this regard and having “Sundays After Trinity” for both forms of the Roman Rite rather than “Sundays After Pentecost” – so that seems like another reason to drop “Ordinary Time.”

      I’m actually in the same boat as you in regards to the 1964 Missal. Many older traditionalists I know didn’t have major problems with the liturgical reform until the Ordinary of the Mass was itself completely replaced by the “Novus Ordo.” Also, I do thank you for explaining how those Sundays are not really a season in either form – something I didn’t really know before. While not much mind was given to the Green Sundays when I was growing up, they were always more or less presented as being a “season.” I think people tend to want to define time as being broken up into “seasons,” as that is the way it works in nature.

  11. Why not just Sunday 1A etc for the green Sundays?
    Certainly I would be happy to get rid of a system that implies that any Sunday is ordinary.
    An added bonus is that both tribes would be equally affected.

  12. A few things …

    1. Some liturgists use the term “ordinal” instead of “ordinary.” It’s just another way to say “counted,” which is what the old system did anyway.

    2. Lacking a fixed date for Easter and given the 3-year cycle for readings, tacking on a notion of “seasons” into green time is a random proposition.

    3. The closest thing we have to any independent notion of season in green time would be the final weeks before Advent, or cycle A’s exploration of the Sermon on the Mount, or cycle B’s Bread of Life Sundays.

    A fixed date of Easter might make for a winning proposition if certain stretches of green time were assigned annual meaning as lensed through the proclamation of the synoptic gospels. I suppose a case might be made for a winter season reminding us of the call to discipleship, summer Sundays exploring the proclamation of the Reign of God, late Fall examining eschatology, and the like. But then you’re talking a serious renovation of the Roman Missal, not just the title headings on the pages.

    1. @Todd Flowerday:
      And a fixed date for Easter is less likely than many other less fabulous things, as it would in practice require all of the Eastern and Oriental Churches to assent and, well, the Russian Orthodox Church ain’t doin’ that. About the only change in Easter date that is feasible is Rome (after consulting with Protestant churches) moving back from the Gregorian calendar for Easter.

      1. I’ve been informed by an Egyptian friend here in Chester that the Coptic and other Oriental (Ethiopian, Syrian) Churches are now following the calendar of the Latin Church as regards the date of Easter – not that you can tell, this year, with the Greeks and Russians keeping the same date.

  13. The 3 year cycle of readings sets the “season” in ordinary time. It goes from the beginning to the end of each gospel, wih the middle events in the middle, as each evangelist sets them. Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount covers many weeks because it is important to Matthew’s gospel. The Bread of Life material otoh is from John, whose gospel we do not read otherwise. But mostly, year one is the season of Matthew, etc.

    There are a few quirks that could become problematic. Ordinary time counts forward after epiphany, but backward from the end of the liturgical year. This allows the readings to
    1) always make it to the end of the gospel;
    2) return at the same time of year every 3 years, almost a fixed date.
    I dont know how important those are, but they should not be insurmountable, though there may be other problems about.

    Any system will have some quirks. My favorite in our current system is that the first Sunday in ordinary time is designated “The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.” There is no First Sunday in Ordinary Time! (I am pretty sure the original Latin is “Sunday of the Second week in Ordinary Time”)

  14. At the risk of repeating what may have been said on this forum before:

    (1) According to the Lectionary, the First Sunday in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
    (Exception: now that transferral has modified the calendar, if the transferred solemnity of the Epiphany occurs on January 7 or 8, the Baptism of the Lord is transferred to the following Monday, and therefore cannot be a Sunday in Ordinary Time in these years — cf. the Roman Missal.)

    (2) Similarly, the Roman Missal states, at the beginning of Ordinary Time: “The Sunday on which the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord occurs takes the place of the First Sunday in Ordinary Time” and also “On the first Sunday in Ordinary Time there occurs the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord”.

    (3) Ordinary Time (weekdays) begins on the Monday following the Baptism of the Lord (Missal and Lectionary). If the latter is transferred to the Monday following Epiphany, Ordinary Time begins on the Tuesday.

    (4) The term “Ordinary Time” is itself a mistranslation. The Latin for “Sunday in Ordinary Time” is Dominica per Annum, or “Sunday of the Year”. The first UK Lectionaries (1969/70) used this designation, since they appeared ahead of any ICEL translations, but changed to Ordinary Time in the 1981 editions. At this point in time, there is still debate as to whether it should be “Sunday in Ordinary Time” or “Sunday of Ordinary Time”, the latter by analogy with the Sundays of Advent, of Lent and of Easter.

    1. @Paul Inwood:

      Are you trying to take my fun away?

      Most years in Rcia sessions, I have to explain why their prepared texts start at the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. I generally quote the texts you offered, that affirm that the Baptism of the Lord “takes the place of the First Sunday…” I use that to reinforce that inexplicable things sometimes have mundane explanations. Sometimes they are signs of greater mystery and we shouldn’t confuse which is which.

      The Baptism of the Lord falls on the Sunday of the first week in Ordinary Time, but it is not the First Sunday in Ordinary Time.

      1. @Jim McKay:

        I think we will have to agree to disagree on this. There has, alas, been ambiguity right from the start.

        For example, the 1969 General Norms for the Liturgical Year (para 33) state that Christmas Time runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after January 6.

        At the same time, however, the original 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae contains the headings

        First Sunday in Ordinary Time

        with the clear implication that this feast is the 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time. The 1970 UK Lectionaries followed this interpretation.

        Today, Missals state that the Baptism of the Lord “takes the place of” or “occurs on” the 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time. These Missals, including the 1970 Missale Romanum, were all published subsequent to the OLM, whose original headings are still to be found in the current UK 1981 Lectionary (Vol. 1, p. 639).

        For completeness, I should add that the current UK Lectionary now includes the Baptism of the Lord in two places (hedging one’s bets!): one (just referred to, Vol 1, p. 639) is at the beginning of Ordinary Time; the second (Vol 1, p. 179) is at the end of the Christmas season, where the headings this time say

        Sunday after 6 January

        The UK Lectionary nowhere states or implies that the feast replaces the Sunday (those rubrics are only to be found in Missals), because it still follows the OLM whose compilers evidently thought that the feast was the Sunday.

  15. Disagree? I thought we were agreeing.

    The ambiguity is lingering for a reason. Epiphany was at one time “Twelfth Night,” the last of the 12 days of Christmas. It recalled the appearance of the Magi, the baptism of the Lord, and the wedding at Cana. In doing this, it encompassed the beginnings of Matthew, Mark and John. (Christmas day had Luke and John 1)

    These celebrations were spread out to different days, Epiphany for the Magi, the Baptism of the Lord for itself, and the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time for a reading from John 1 or 2. Epiphany, a day in Christmas, stretched out to a day in Christmas, a day in Ordinary time, and the Baptism inbetween. I think the Christmas season is right for the Baptism, even though Jesus was not the infant he was on Christmas. But all three remain as the beginning of the Gospel at the beginning of the year/Ordinary time, so Ordinary Time would be fine with me as well.

    As long as the Gospel is proclaimed, I am fine with whatever season claims the Baptism.

    With the calendar revisions, these three events

  16. There is no “ambiguity.” The Christmas season in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite ends with the Baptism on the Sunday or Monday after January 6. The so-called Tempus per annum commences the following day, either Monday or Tuesday.

    Of course it’s all a bit odd, mostly because Epiphany itself is the feast of the Baptism. When Epiphany was fixed on 6 January, it had an octave, and the octave day liturgy was more focused on the baptism than the other manifestations commemorated by the feast. When the octave was abolished, the octave day was named the “Commemoration” of the Baptism precisely because the Epiphany is itself the feast of the Baptism. Somewhat amusingly, despite the 1969 calendar’s determination to avoid all hint of duplication, the decision was made to call the Baptism the feast thereof, so that technically there are two Baptism feasts in the 1969 calendar.

    But all that set aside…in the ordinary form, the Baptism is firmly in the Christmas season, not Ordinary Time.

    1. @Lee Fratantuono:
      But all that set aside…in the ordinary form, the Baptism is firmly in the Christmas season, not Ordinary Time.

      Not in the UK Lectionary (which reproduces OLM) it isn’t. Read my post #25 again, please. When you see a Lectionary formulary headed by these lines:

      First Sunday in Ordinary Time

      it is far from clear that what follows is firmly in the Christmas season. Quite the contrary, in fact, especially when the preceding half-title page contains the single section heading


      The ambiguity persists.

      1. @Paul Inwood:

        No “ambiguity persists.” The Sunday after 6 January is part of the Christmas season, as the most recent edition of the Missale Romanum (2002; text unchanged in the 2008 corrected reprint) makes abundantly clear (“De Tempore Nativitatis IV.33”). VI.44 of the same Missale defines when the Tempus Per Annum starts.

      2. @Lee Fratantuono:

        We will agree to differ.

        The Missal says the Sunday after 6 January is part of the Christmas season, following GNLY 1969. The UK Lectionary, as already stated, places the feast both at the beginning of Ordinary Time, within the Ordinary Time section (as in the 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae), and at the end of the Christmas season. If that’s not ambiguous, I don’t know what is.

  17. If there were, arguendo, a harmonization of the calendars with respect the to Green Sundays, with the basic conciliar lection structure kept intact, then there would need to be an additional ordinal numbering of proper readings that would assume a variable relationship to Sundays after [N] from year to year. Since proper orations already largely float free of direct connection to the readings, there would not be as heavy an effect on altar Missals, more on the organizing of the Lectionary itself and on hand/pew Missals (which would put a thumb on the scale in favor of missalette publishers).

    It’s far from impossible.

  18. @Paul Inwood (n. 33): The UK Lectionary, as already stated, places the feast both at the beginning of Ordinary Time, within the Ordinary Time section (as in the 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae), and at the end of the Christmas season. If that’s not ambiguous, I don’t know what is.

    It’s not ambiguous; p. 639 of vol. 1 of the current UK Lectionary is just wrong. The General Introduction to the Lectionary in the same volume reads (my emphases):

    Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the Sunday following 6 January… Further, some Sundays either belong to another season (the Sunday on which the feast of the Baptism of the Lord falls and Pentecost) or else are impeded by a solemnity that coincides with Sunday (for example, Holy Trinity or Christ the King)… The Sunday on which the feast of the Baptism of the Lord falls replaces the first Sunday in Ordinary Time. (GIL 103, 104)

    The heading on p. 639 has been misread from p. 45 of OLM 1981 (at the beginning of the Sundays per annum section), where it reads Dominica Prima fit festum Baptismatis Domini, and refers the reader back to n. 21 (pp. 15-16) where the readings for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord can be found. Instead of pointing back to Christmastide, however, the current UK edition prints the readings in the tempus per annum section seemingly for the sake of convenience.

    Hopefully, this mistake will be corrected in the upcoming translation of the Lectionary for England & Wales.

    1. Just on a point of info, Matthew, the current UK Lectionary was not compiled using OLM 1981 as a reference point (I have never seen a copy of this — does it actually exist?) but was based on the multi-volume Lectionarium 1981.

      1. Yes, Paul, the Ordo Lectionum Missae 1981 does exist. According to OCLC, 58 copies are in academic libraries (35 in the U.S.), though I don’t see any listed for Great Britain. That’s odd.

        Structurally it is much like the OLM 1969 that you described in your April 15, 2015, post on this blog.

  19. Daily Prayer from the Divine Office, the one-volume breviary published in 1974 and approved for use in Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zeland, Scotland has the following rubric after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord:
    “The end of Christmastide.”

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