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January 02, 2007



I never have a seen an explanantion for the change. It always did seem gratuitous to me, given the number of solemnities, feasts and memorials for Mary already on the calendar.


It would be interesting to know what precisely was in the minds of the men who made the change. It would seem that the idea was to further Marian devotions, to round out the IC and the Assumption with the Divine Maternity and the Perpetual Virginity doctrines. But there does seem to be something wrong with tossing out a feast of Our Lord to do so, especially one which connects us to our Jewish roots. I understand it is still a holy day of obligation to be observed under pain of mortal sin but isn't it routine practice too for bishops to exempt their flock from the obligation as does our bishop in San Francisco?

Sr Lorraine

The book "Our Lady in the Liturgy" by JD Crichton says that actually the feast of the motherhood of Mary "is the oldest feast of St Mary in the calendar of the church of the Roman rite, appearing as it does in the 7th century Gregorian Sacramentary. Yet it was overshadowed and then obscured by the feast of the circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ which came from Gaul (France)." I'd like to check what Fr O'Donnell says about it in his excellent book on Marian feasts (it's not right at hand).

Father Elijah

I believe that if we scratched the surface a bit more of our own liturgical calendar around the Christmas Feastivals as well as those calendars in the Eastern Churches we would find far more fluidity of the names of feasts and the reason why they are celebrated.

Beyond the primary and fundamental holy day of the weekly "Lord's Day" [aka Sunday] and the yearly Pasch [aka Easter], which are of Apostolic origin, the liturgical calendars in the West and the East are very fluid with a great amount of sharing feasts and memorials [originally many of our present feasts came from the East, especially Jerusalem at the time of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem [late 300's-a contemporary of Saint Ambrose in the West and the Cappadocian Fathers we celebrate today: Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil's brother, and Saint Gregory Nazianzen his best friend] and Cyril's immediate successors.

We are only dimly aware of how and why 'we' keep time and mark time. The Feasts at this time of year are a case in point.

While not attempting to give a 'de fide' answer to why January 1 was changed from the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord to the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, it is important to note a few foundational issues here. The reform of the Latin Rite Mass and Liturgy for the other sacraments, as well as the Calendar to some extent [especially concerning the Christmas Feasts texts which come from the time period] was an attempt to bring the Liturgy back to what is known as the "Classical Roman Liturgy" of the time of Pope Saint Damasus I and his successors [400's]
[This has nothing to do with nor is the source of aberations in celebrations or celebrants 'doing their own thing'-that is something entirely different and abhorent]

The Classical Latin Rite is 'sober, rational, straight to the point'-[some aspects which some do not like at all from comments made] The Latin Rite does not share in the more 'mystical' celebrations of the Eastern Rites which were being developed at the same time period in history. Nevertheless, the Latin Rite originating in the Latin mentality [which still is the underpinning of our western thinking and ways] still was a participation, the Church's participation in the offering of the One Eternal Sacrifice of Christ, and thus united worshippers in the heavenly Liturgy described in Revelations 4-5

I mentioned Pope Saint Damasus I-He is also connected with the Basilica of Saint Mary Major which in his time-only recently-had received a bit of the wood of the manger from Bethlehem. Saint Mary Major was Bethlehem for the Church in Rome for the Christmas Feasts. While the Pope, the bishop of Rome would celebrate Christmas Mass at his Cathedral-the Church of Our Savior [now known as Saint John Lateran] another Mass was celebrated at Saint Mary Major--this solemnity then is a memory of the time when Saint Mary Major was the location of the continued celebration of the Christmas Feast.

As for the "Circumcision of the Lord" which took place on the "eighth day"-the explanation given above is beautiful. There are other dimensions as well however that need to be mentioned.

1) the Circumcision of the Lord is the day in which Jesus Himself, the Incarnate Son of God became a "son of the Covenant" [B'nai B'rith] As Saint Paul tells us [and the second reading of the Solemnity does not forget this dimension] "He was born under the Law". He came, as He tells us in Matthew's Gospel-"to fulfill the Law and the Prophets". On this day He is inititated into the Covenant of Israel, given by the Living God so that He might give us the New Covenant.

2)The day of Circumcision (for any male Israelite) is their name day. This is the day in which the Child born of Mary was given the name "Jesus", as Saint Luke tells us-this was the Name given by the angel. In the older Latin calendar January 2 was the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Now January 3 has (unfortunately) an optional day for this with the possible celebration of the Votive Mass of the Holy Name of Jesus-it should be more than optional. "Jesus", so easily comes to our lips, even profanely. "Jesus" means "Yahweh"=the Lord saves His people [and Matthew adds 'from their sins'] Every time we say-pray the Name "Jesus" we are stating that in and through Him God is saving His People, 'the many' from their sins!

3)Another important point of this 'mystery' of the Circumcision is the shedding of blood. This was mentioned in a different context in the piece above BUT the Circumcision of Jesus is the first moment-time in which Jesus shed His Blood! It is already a hint of the Cross!
It is thus a very real aspect of the Mystery of our Redemption. While the shedding of His Blood at this moment sealed the Covenant, this same Blood will be shed for the forgiveness of sins which we experience at Baptism in a way that can be best described as a 'new creation'or a 'new birth from above' and in the Sacrament of Penance as 'forgiveness and reconciliation'. This same Blood is given to us to slake our thirst in the Sacrament of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist

The world might be recovering from hang-overs from New Years Eve but we are still being spiritually inebriated by these Feasts!


It is correct the feast as we now have it is the oldest Marian feast in the church indeed even when it was changed to the Feast of the Circumcision it retained its Marian flavor through the proper and readings.The change came before the new calendar of the NO.It was first changed to the Octave Day of Christmas.Also note that at the circumcision the child received his name,so Our Lord was named Jesus at his circumcision.In the old calendar (Tridentine)the feast of the Holy Name followed that of the circumcision.The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name.

Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

Greetings and a blessed new year!

The oldest name of the feast on January 1 was (and still is, as the secondary title) the "Octave Day of Christmas." It is very old under that title, dating to the 7th century, at least, in Rome. So the oldest title seems to have been the "Octave Day". Use of the title Circumcision is Gallican and dates to the 6th century. The Dominican Rite (13th century), which represents Roman practice at that time, calls it only "Octave of Christmas." This leads me to suspect that the title "Circumcision" is probably late medieval,at least for Rome.

The title does not really matter that much since the Gospel of the Octave and the Circumcision, and the contemporary feast of the Mother of God are all the same: the circumcision and naming of Jesus on the 8th day after his birth. It is not quite correct to say that the Feast of the Mother of God is the oldest name of the Jan. 1 feast. It was the practice that one of the Masses that day be in honor of the Virgin (at least in the early middle ages), but the *day* was called the Octave.

I have never found a good explanation of why the modern feast was renamed "The Mother of God"--esp. since the Gospel remained unchanged. The chants in the Roman Gradual are now from the Common of Mary. They used to be those of Christmas Day, since it was the Octave. I really like that later practice better. I have always suspected, since the events commemorated are still the same, that "only the name has been changed to protect the squimish."

Brian Mershon

Amy, you are on to something big! Check out all the changes to the liturgical calendar for the Novus Ordo (authorized by Sacrosanctum Concilium? I think not!!!) throughout the year as compared to the immemorial Roman rite.

The systematic methodological living of the liturgical year in the immemorial Roman rite makes so much sense, one detects it came from... well... God!

And the disorder of the New Order liturgical caendar? It seems to have come from... well... Bugnini... the alleged Freemason.

Steve Cavanaugh

Interestingly, from another angle, the morning readings for Jan 1 in the Anglican Use of the Latin rite for Mattins are about the circumcision still; and of course the Covenant of which circumcision is the sign. In the proper calendar for the Anglican Use, Jan 3 is listed as Holy Name, the collect for which is below:

Eternal Father, who didst give to thine incarate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we beseech thee, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, even our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

I don't really have a problem with it...who is responsible for bringing up their child Jewish (or Christian, or Muslim, or whatever)? Is it not the mother? Would Jesus have been circumsized if Mary (and Joseph) was/were not good law-abiding Jew(s)? We acknowledge on this day that Mary, as Mother of God, was entrusted with the care of God in the vulnerability of His humanity.


Sigh. We are called to reject Satan and all his works, not Bugnini. (Who may be, for all we know, a saint of God.) You can dislike someone's theories and results without demonizing him, and it's just silly to blame several decades of change on one man, or declare that all the change was evil.


Amen, Maureen. As soon as I saw this post, I knew it would be the cue to hear from the 'evil NO' crowd & I wasn't disappointed.

Sandra Miesel

Liturgical scholar Heinrich Kellner says that 1 January was Octava Domini in the Gelasian and Gregorian sacramentaries and not regarded as a special feast day. He places the first Roman observance of 1 January as the Circumcision in the 9th C.

He also discusses the Church's efforts in the Dark Ages to suppress popular festivities celebrating the New Year, to the extent that the fourth council of Toledo required strict fast and abstinence on that date. Imagine trying to sell that practice today!


Also, I want to share a story I was told by a professor.
When the Council of Ephesus announced that, "Theotokos" was an appropriate title of Mary, the people (of both East and West, but in Ephesus we're talking Eastern church) were so happy to be affirmed in their faith in Mary as the Mother of God that they ran through the streets of Ephesus screaming and rejoicing, "Theotokos!"
Despite the name of the Feast, the title of Mary, Mother of God is beloved of the Eastern church.


I attend a Tridentine Mass.

Let me say a word IN FAVOR of the change and also one against.

In favor of the change: if you look at the theme of the proper prayers in the old Missal, they don't mention the Circumcision. Here is the old Collect for the Feast of the Circumcision:

O God, Who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may evermore experience the intercession in our behalf of her through whom we have been found worthy to receive the author of Life, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee...

And the old Postcommunion prayer for the day:

May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin and, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us partakers of the heavenly remedy. Through the same...

The character of the Feast was already one which focussed on the Divine Motherhood of the Virgin. The verses for the day celebrate the Divinity of Christ: Thine are the heavens and Thine is the earth: the world and the fulness thereof... , etc.

Moreover, this one time in which the revised calendar ADDS a Marian feast, rather than deleting one.

At Christmas, we get to turn specifically to Mary and remember her under her greatest title--Theotokos--from which everything else flows.

And don't we need another reminder of the Divinity of Christ, especially at Christmas?


Okay, contra:

I remember Dr. Marra saying once that the destruction of the Roman Calendar was worse than the destruction of the old Rite. Often, there is no ascertainable reason for shifting or changing the date of feasts. He pointed out, "In Europe, they still say, 'On St. Agatha's Day we will do this, on St. Cecilia's Day we'll do that...but the dates have all been moved? Why? No reason! Just BREAK WITH TRADITION!....'"

I remember too, Fr. Zuhlsdorf's story about Paul VI going into his chapel the day after Pentecost and seeing green vestments. "What are these? There should be red vestments! This is the Octave of Pentecost!" and receiving the reply, "No, Holiness, the Octave of Pentecost has been abolished. This is now Tempus per Annum" (Time throughout the Year, Ordinary Time).

The Pope said, "Who did this?" "You did, Holiness," was the reply. And Pope Paul burst into tears.

So much was changed by a small group of people and the ramifications were not thought through. I believe that many of them meant well, but they had too much power and too little oversight. And the change of the Feast of the Circumcision, while individually defensible and even laudable in many ways, was part of this destructive attitude.

Sandra Miesel

I should have mentioned above that the Feast of the Holy Name is a late medieval innovation that was first extened to the universal Church in 1721.

And well do I remember an old editorial in the CRITERION, paper of the Indianapolis archdiocese that ridiculed the Feast of the Circumcision because that was a meaningless ritual, of no interest to Catholics. (No mention of this an an initiation ritual for Jews.) The writer later became editor of the Chicago archdiocesan newspaper under Cardinal Bernadin. Snapshot of a certain mindset, at least.

Tom Ryan

I'm with Maureen, in sadness that Brian Mershon (and,ever more sadness, others) have such hatred for Archbishop Bugnini and the other reformers who served our Church.

On the title change, nothing I have read from Amy would lead me to think that she objects to this name change in the blanket fashion of Mershon et al. It does seem a bit odd that this change was made; but the recollection of the circumcision event is always on the day, given the gospel assigned.

On the obligation aspect, the comment from San Francisco should not be passed over in silence. It is not the local archbishop dispensing from obligation. In 1991, our nation's bishops (wrongly, I think) decided to omit obligation from some (not all) holydays when they fall on Saturday or Monday. The resulting confusion is worth a discussion on its own some time.

I am happy that Fathers Elijah and Thompson have taken the time to give some background on the name change.

The official commentary issued with the calendar changes of 1969 explicates several aspects of this change:

1. ecumenism -- "all of the churches recall her (Mary's) memory under this title (God-bearer / Theotokos) in their daily eucharistic prayers and especially in the annual celebration of Christmas." ..."The Mother of God is celebrated on December 26 in the Byzantine and Syrian rites, and on January 16 in the Coptic rite."

2. western tradition -- the Roman tradition for this day is cited (as in above comments), as are the varied texts that were part of our received tradition on this very day, honoring theotokos.

3. double name -- the "octave of Christmas" desgnation was still kept along with the re-introduced "Mother of God".

It is also worth mentioning that the "Holy Name of Jesus" memorial day, at various dates in the epochs of our calendar, has been restored a few years ago to January 3.

Several aspects of the incarnation celebration are woven into the season, explicated one way or another through the dozens of calendar reforms undertaken by our holy Mother, the Church. It was and is not "circumcision on Jan 1 before 1969, no circumcision after 1969".

Tom Ryan

Ed the Roman

I continue to be amazed at the disconnect between what the Fathers of VII wrote and what they and their subordinates actually did. It sometimes seems as though nobody actually read the instructions, including the authors.

Brian Mershon

Maureen, Tom Ryan and other "hate" monitors:

I never said anything about HATING anyone. However, if you want to dabble in the politically correct language of the pro-Sodomite left, be my guess.

Second, Archbishop Bugninis IS/WAS the mastermind behind the destruction of the Roman rite and Roman calendar. He outlines in a large tome (book) called his Memoirs everything he did and why.

He was later banished to the hinterlinds due to his suspected Freemasonic connections.

The story of the elimination of the "Octaves" authorized by Pope Paul VI (I guess I believe he is EVIL too and that I HATE him) is a classic that should give many pause to wonder.

And according to Sandra Meisel, we have lots of these "late medieval" additions.

Pope Pius XII, of Happy Memory, (Do I HATE him too?) condemned such views of the historical development of the liturgy as being "antiquarian" in Mediator Dei. He condemned "antiquarianism" in this encyclical right before the wreckovators had their way, with permission from Pope Paul VI.

Address the substance of the posts and let's avoid this "hate" and "evil" demonization through ad hominem attacks. I would expect more than that from the intelligent people who frequent this blog.


The 1914 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia has an interesting short article on the subject.


Tim Ferguson

I don't know that I have ever read someone calling for an end of "demonization through ad hominem attacks" mere paragraphs after he refers to those selfsame attackers linking arms with the "pro-Sodomite left." It would seem that demonizing ad hominems come in many different flavors...

As to the substance of the post, I always thought that changing the name of the feast was a poor choice. Emphasizing Christ's circumcision is a way of proudly proclaiming to the world the Jewish roots of our faith, not least in the humanity of Our Savior. The circumcision also marks that first shedding of blood of the Lord, cuius una stilla/ salvum facere/ totum mundum quit/ ob omni scelere (Thomas Aquinas' "Adoro te devote": "one drop of which would have been sufficient to save the whole world from sin")

Yet, the comment from nab above is a good one too - since the Blessed Virgin had great influence on the Jewish upbringing of the Lord. Still, I for one, would be happy to return to celebrating the Circumcision.


It's worth noting in support of Mr. Mershon that the Artist Formerly Known as Cardinal Ratzinger himself strongly criticized many aspects of the reformed liturgy, suggesting that it was in many ways a horrible mistake.

I think we've reached a point where we have to take strong criticism of the liturgical books we now have as within the bounds of faithful, loyal Catholic discussion. I would insist, too, that the Trad side should respect the right of Catholics to disagree and to be attached to many or all of the reforms.


Wow, jumping the shark so soon in the New Year. Gotta love it.

Returning to the reality-based community, I think Tom Ryan's comment provides the necessary answer to Amy's query. There was a commentary about the then-new calendar. I am not thrilled with every change that calendar undertook (Christmastide in fact being the major focus of my lack of thrills), but there was much to be commended by it as well.

As for underlings, it should be remembered that the conciliar documents were not instruction manual and were not self-executing liturgical legislation. Many American Catholics (of various persuasions, mind you) seem prone to read those documents as if they were analogous to our federal constitution in the scheme of liturgical law. And that is a mistake.

Brian Mershon


"Latin is to be retained in the Latin liturgy."

"Gregorian chant is to be given pride of place in the sacred liturgy."

Seems pretty specific and self explanatory to me. Oh yes, and the classic...

"Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing."

"Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them;

"Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them;

Ed the Roman

Liam, the documents permitted the use of the vernacular. What happened almost everywhere in the world was the prohibition of the use of Latin. The documents said that the faithful could choose the penance they undertook for Fridays outside Lent. What happened was that almost everybody ceased to observe Friday as penitential at all. And again, the execution of these documents was locally overseen by the Council Fathers when they changed out of choir dress and went home.

Maybe you can interpret this as something other than hostility to these, and other, traditions on the part of a lot of ordinaries and chancelleries. I look forward to your take.


Re: Archbishop Bugnini-
As an indult trad let me say this - the rumours about Archbishop Bugnini being a Freemason strike me as being dubious and I do not think critics should repeat them (especially as the question of the appropriateness or otherwise of the changes is in no way dependent on the reformers' bona fides: if it were proven tomorrow that Bugnini never was a Freemason, would Brian then embrace the Novus Ordo?). However, what little I know of Bugnini suggests that he displayed extraordinary arrogance and intolerance in his implementation of the reforms. Consider the exchange between Bugnini and a liturgist who favoured reform but criticised the scale of the changes, excerpted in Fr. Thomas Kocik's book THE REFORM OF THE REFORM; A LITURGICAL DEBATE. Bugnini's response to the critic was simply to declare that these criticisms were irrelevant in view of "the millions, who, through the new rite, are receiving their first authentic experience of the liturgy" (I quote from memory but the gist is correct). In other words, Bugnini is not just saying that the reforms are good; he is saying that there cannot possibly be any disadvantages or down-side which needs to be taken into account, and comes very close to saying that the old version of the liturgy was completely incapable of producing or stimulating authentic spiritual experience. THe 60s liturgical reformers eem to me to have resembled the RObert Moses style of urban planning. (See the Wikipedia articles on Moses and Jane Jacobs - and to get the full point of the comparison it should be borne in mind that some of Moses' urban schemes were beneficial, just as I would agree that the 15-minute rushed Tridentine celebration and the oversues of extra-liturgical devotions helped to produce the reaction that landed us with Bugnini and his brainchildren.)

Sr Lorraine

I checked Fr Christopher O'Donnell's book "At Worship with Mary" and he too said that originally Jan. 1 was a Marian feast in Rome. It was more ancient than the later feast of the circumcision which started out in France.
The change was made to go back to the more ancient feast.
I think it's a good idea to have this feast, because Mary's divine maternity is the basis for her other unique graces (Imm. Conc. and Assumption.) And since we have feasts for those, it would be lacking if the liturgy did not have a solemnity dedicated to Mary as Mother of God.


So, as an Orthodox lurker, I have a question - we celebrate the Synaxis of the Theotokos (Mary) on the 26th of December, is that not an RCC feast?

And, how recent are we talking about the shift? It is odd to not commemorate the Circumcision, as it has to do with Christ fulfilling the old Covenant while being the New Covenant.


Brian Mershon

Pope Benedict XVI from Salt of the Earth:

“A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?”

Sr Lorraine

The Presentation of the Lord is celebrated on Feb 2, and that could certainly be considered the feast of the circumcision, I would think.



No. 12/26 is our feast of St Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr. Synaxis is not a Roman calendrical concept. The use of the octave in the Roman calendar is the closest device to synaxis, but only crudely so.

St Lorraine

The Presentation of the Lord was a different ritual than the Circumcision.


You missed my point. The conciliar statements on the liturgy are not legislative in and of themselves as we Americans would think of it. They needed legislation to enact, and the Pope retained power to legislate differently. Much of the way the reform was legislated and then implemented can be in part attributed to a high theory of authority of popes, bishops and pastors.


I would suggest that hostility was not to the substance of things represented by those practices, but to a kind of legalistic or reductionist rigorism that many eagerly wanted to see the end of because they often found it deadening. It's not for nothing that clerics and religious of the preconciliar period could be found to joke about the graveness of the obligation to pray the daily office at the expense of other duties, for example. That world is now so foreign to us (due to excessive reaction to it) that we forget about it. Conspiracy theories, as usual, tend to say more about the theorizers than the objects of their theories.

Bill Cork

Loraine--The Presentation of the Lord is otherwise known as the Purification of Mary, the sacrifice she had to offer after 40 days for her purification and to redeem a first male child opening her womb. This is quite distinct from the Circumcision, which took place on the 8th day.

Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.


Thanks for those collects. They are very interesting. I wonder how old they actually are. I have done a quick translation of the 13th-century collects of the Dominican Rite. I would have to check a medieval Roman source like the Gelesian sacramentary, but I suspect that the Dominican prayers are older than the Tridentine. They refer neither to the Virgin nor to the Circumcision, but to the oldest strata, the Octave (and Christmas itself).

O God, who has granted that we celebrate today the octave day of the Savior's birth, make us, we beg you, perpetual sharers in his divinity by whose taking of the flesh we have been redeemed. Who reigns with you.

Secret (Offertory Prayer)
Grant, Lord, we ask you, that, through these offerings which we present for the mystery of the Our Lord Jesus Christ's hidden birth, we might receive clear understanding and purity of mind. Through the same Jesus Christ.

Grant, Lord, we ask you, that what we have received on this second festival of Our Savior, may bestow on us the medicine of eternal redemption. Through the same Christ.

Sr. Lorraine. There is no evidence that I have ever seen showing that there was an ancient feast of Mary on Jan. 1. The story that Jan. 1 was the oldest feast of Mary is often repeated but there is no ancient or medieval evidence for it. Can anyone cite me an early medieval ordo that uses that title? If so, I would be happy to acknowledge it. The Gelasian Sacramentary (oldest Roman use extant) has the Octave Day, not Mary, and not the Circumcision.

By the way, according to the current Roman Calendar (as revised under John Paul II), tomorrow, Jan. 3, is the Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

All praise be to His Name.

Ed the Roman

First, I don't think there was a conspiracy. I'm just dumbfounded at what the "big blue arrow" guidance was versus the implementation. I don't see how we got here from there with that map.

Second, you can be hostile to legalistic and reductionist rigorism in Latin, like the conciliar documents themselves were. Nonetheless, I still think that people ban Latin because they are hostile to Latin. Could French be banned by a non-lunatic out of hostility to Existentialism? The Office is an interesting example, even though I believe it is still required, but what did that have to do with the Mass, or abstinence, or any number of things that were changed with a great deal of legalistic rigor. Basically, I remember the Church being given a "column left, MARCH!" and am struck by the lack of any rationale then offered other than reference to conciliar documents which in no way make plain the necessity of the changes, and do not always make plain that they were even permissible.

I am not a rad-trad sedevacantist, btw: I have been to exactly one Tridentine mass since the new missal was issued, and that was in 2003. I'm just saying I have no idea how some of the changes are required.


"What happened almost everywhere in the world was the prohibition of the use of Latin."

Hardly. What happened is that every bishop in the world pretty much embraced the widespread use of the vernacular.

Given the lack of interest from traditionalist-leaning clergy to celebrate the 1970 Missal in Latin, using the 1962/1570 Missal as a rallying banner for ecclesiastical politics, it's not so surprising that mainstream Catholicism would be somewhat antagonistic to the hermeneutic of obstruction.

I'm with Liam on two notions: losing the original feast, but especially on the shark bit. That nailed it.

Tom Ryan

Brain Mershon, and others who name Archbishop Bugnini the mastermind of the destruction of Romans rite and calnedar...

No, you didn't explicitly mention "hating" his Excellency, but you do seem to have a way to get pretty emotional and "ad hominem" on little basis. Indeed, I take personally your insult that I "dabble in the politically correct language of the pro-Sodomite left".

Anyway, Archnishop Bugnini was relieved of his post-conciliar liturgical post, but his assignment as ambassador to Iran (just in time to see him celebrating Christmas Mass with the USA hostages) hardly proves masonic ties.

And why point only to that archbishop?

No role in the "destruction" allowed for my friend, Msgr. Fred Mc Manus of Boston?

For Pius XII, who put Bugnini in charge of Easter Vigil reform?

For the thousands of Council Fathers who applauded when Cardinal Alfrink pulled Cardinal Ottaviani's mike on October 30, 1962(the latter running past time-limit, but clearly not yet through asking if the fathers were planning a revolution)?

These ecclesial leaders neither wanted nor did they accomplish the destruction of the Roman Rite. There are plenty of clergy abd laity who make mistakes, but the sum total is NOT that the sacraments and calendar were destroyed.

Aside from my own mixed feelings about things like the "circumcision" change, the benefits of the 1969 reform far, far outweigh the drawbacks.

Many Catholics do indeed thank GOd for the ministry of Bugnini, McManus, Pius XII, et al.
Holy week and the entire liturgical year are better now than they were 100 years ago.

Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan

Fr. Augustine Thompson, Re. textual evidence on Jan. 1 as ancient (maybe first) western day in honor of Mary, the classic research and such texts are provided by b. Botte in "la premiere fete mariale de la liturgie romaine", Ephemerides Liturgicae 47 (1933), 425 - 430. I'm stuck here 90 miles from the nearest bound volumes of EL...maybe, Father Thompson, you're closer and can see if Botte satisfies.

Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

Dear Mr. Ryan,

Thanks so much for that reference. One of the privileges of being a professor at Mr. Jefferson's University is that I can send an email over to the library and they will get any article I want (even if interlibrary loan is necesary) and deliver me a copy. I am going to do this now. I should have a copy by the time I get back from the American Historical Association meeting in Atlanta. I am very interested in seeing what evidence there is for this common claim. If you want a precis, contact me by the email found on the URL website.

Again, thanks.


Synaxis is not a Roman calendrical concept. The use of the octave in the Roman calendar is the closest device to synaxis, but only crudely so.

Thanks, Liam, that helps to clarify.

However, how recent is the shift? In the last 20 - 50 - 100 - 500 years? Just curious.


Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

Dear Mr. Ryan,

I wrote too quickly. I knew that I had some notes on the dating of the earliest Marian feasts at Rome, and I should have checked them first. They deal with Bernard Botte’s work and he is wrong (as is a lot of other work following the same ideas).

The most comprehensive refutation of his assertion that Jan. 1 is an early Marian feast at Rome is Jacques-Marie Guilmard, “Une antique fete mariale au 1er juvier dans le ville de Rome,” _Ecclesia Oriens_, 11 (1994): 425-30. One should also see the magistrial work of Antoine Chavasse, in _Le Sacramentaire gelasienne_ (Strassourg, 1958), esp. pp. 375-402--which I was relying on. And finally, see Georges Frenaud, “Le culte de Notre Dame dans le ancienne liturgie latine,” _Maria: Etudes sur le sainte Vierge_, ed. Hubert de Manoir (Patis, 1946), 6:157-211, which is older but very comprehensive. Sorry about the missing accents.

The consensus of the modern scholarship is that the Marian emphasis in the feast of January 1 was 8th Frankish and only made its way to Rome much later.



What "shift" are you referring to?

Tom Ryan

Fr. Thompson, I look forward to a review of Botte, and those who hold otherwise -- Guilmard, Chavasse, Frenaud et al. Jounel, Martimort, Gy, et al. quoting Botte are usually neither sloppy with historical data nor naively trusting of "old masters", so it will be fun to dive into those sources.

I suspect that the recourse to those scholars and their sources will take longer than this exchange on open book will last.

Your colleague, Gerry Austin OP...(prof. at CUA for liturgical sources for so many years)...I wonder if he has an opinion on this?

Rats, I hate being so far from serious stacks in theological libraries. All of you who live in cities with theology schools should regularly thank God for this privilege.

Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

Indeed I do.

And I don't know Fr. Austin as he is not of my province (that of the Holy Name).

--AT op

Father Elijah

Hi Mimi,

I am so glad you join us on the blog!

The 'change' this particular dialogue is on are the Liturgical reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council which came into existence in 1970 (thirty-seven year ago)and with the reforms came some changes in the Liturgical Calendar-Those changes in the Calendar and in particular the various traditions over the centuries of the celebration of the Octave of Christmas Day (January 1) that are being 'debated' on the blog today. Changes such as these have taken place periodically in both the Catholic as well as Orthodox Churches. The big issue is it has never happened before in our life-time

All the Feasts connected with Christmas-Epiphany do not date back to the Apostles-thus there are discrepancies due to many things. For example few Catholics anyway realize that Epiphany was the primary feast celebrated in the East [which celebrated Our Savior's Birth of the ever Virgin Mary-Theokos/Mother of God, the manifestation of Christ to the shepherds [representing Israel], the manifestation of Christ to the Magi [representing the Gentiles], the Lord's baptism in the Jordan AND the Marriage Feast of Cana] This was celebrated on January 6th-

In the West Christmas (birth of Christ, manifestation to the shepherds) came to be the primary feast celebrated on December 25. What then happened was a 'cross-fertilization' of the Feasts-both being celebrated along with other accompanying feasts.

Now the problem later came when East and West encountered each other and wondered why the other didn't celebrate the Feast of ________ and then thought something was wrong with the other. Is this making sense?


I just have to say it. What ban on Latin? It is perfectly permissible to say the entire N.O. in Latin. No indult is needed, and as far as I know it does not even require permission from the local Ordinary.
Oh let's quote Sacrosanctum Concilium;

"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy."

I may be wrong but it always seemed to me easier to participate in something if I actually have a working knowledge of the language it is being conducted in.

"Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop."

So it seems that the authority to make changes and decide if they are licit or not resides in the Pope.

"It is to be stressed that whenever rites, according to their specific nature, make provision for communal celebration involving the presence and active participation of the faithful, this way of celebrating them is to be preferred, so far as possible, to a celebration that is individual and quasi-private."

So it seems that sitting at the back of the Mass, ignoring the celebration and your fellow worshipers to spend some one-on-one time with God is not considered optimal.

"The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people's powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation."

One again I point out that comprehension comes with understanding and understanding is much easier if translation is not necessary.

"In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and it is to be more varied and suitable."

There is simply no way around it. Each N.O. Mass contains more scriptural readings, and over the cycle more total scripture is proclaimed at Mass,

"But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended."

Gee, the authors of Sacrosanctum Concilium seem to believe that the "use of the mother tongue" is of great use too.

"These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See."

And it appears that this greater use of the Vernacular had to approve by both the local Ordinaries and Rome before it could be carried out.

Gee you're right we really ought to be quoting Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Ed the Roman

SC stated that Latin was to be preserved. How many people in this thread have been to a Latin 1970 mass in the US? I have yet to speak with someone who mentioned knowing where there was one.

Frankly, even at the age of 9 or so, I could read a side-by-side missal well enough to follow the action.

Let me clarify: when I said Latin, I meant Latin, and I was not referring to specifically to Missale Romanum 1962 versus Missale Romanum 1970. I could refer to some very odd things about the translation, like passages that are identical in the two Editiae Typicae but are different in the English, and moving things around in the Gloria, but that's not what I was talking about either.

Brian Mershon

"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy."

participatio actuoso does not PRIMARILY mean DOING SOMETHING in the sense that Americans understand it to mean. The Latin would be better translated to "actual participation," which includes SILENCE, CONTEMPLATION and MEDITATION.

So when was the last time you heard ANY SILENCE at any point of ANY Novus Ordo Mass? Certainly NOT before nor after.

The fact that there are more scripture readings is diametrically opposed to sound pedagogy. Priests RARELY can put together a common theme with three different passages, and for the majority of people, their memory from listening to the spoken word MIGHT keep the essence of ONE of the readings in their minds 5 minutes after Mass. Also, by having MORE and DIFFERENT readings instead of the traditional ONE means that more Catholics understand LESS about Catholic doctrine since most priests are imbued with the modern day historical-critical deconstructionist Scripture "scholarship" and really have no idea how to tie the readings together with Catholic doctrine. MORE does not mean BETTER.

Brian Mershon

"Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them;"

Look back at the last 37 years and read "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators" by Kenneth Jones, which documents the destruction of Catholic schools, seminaries, religious orders, no. of baptisms, no. of converts, etc. etc. over the past 41 years.

This SHARP and DRASTIC decline began IMMEDIATELY after the end of the Second Vatican SACROSANCT Council. If "the good of the Church genuinely required" all these changes to the Sacred Liturgy, how come so many people voted with their feet and are no longer practicing Catholics. WHY is the Faith in eclipse in Europe AND in the United States?

The emperor has no clothes, but of course, no one believed the little boy either.

Sandra Miesel

To answer questions in order: yes I have been to Latin NO Masses, twice as a matter of fact. Like Ed, I could manage a dual language Missal at a tender age. The good old Father Lasance pocket Sunday missal was a great book for that.

Yoo-hoo,Brian. We had two readings in the Tridentine Mass, an Epistle and a Gospel. Each was read in English as well as Latin on Sundays. Now we've added an OT reading and a chunk of a Psalm instead of a Gradual. But these are on a three year cycle instead of a one year. Priests are not required to cover all three readings in their homilies, although ideally the reading will have a common theme. In ye olde days, the sermon was not necessarily tied to any of the Scripture readings. American bishops often required a certain program of sermon subjects (the Ten Commandments or whatever)to provide instruction for the faithful. This had even been done to a small extent in medieval England.


"The Latin would be better translated to "actual participation," which includes SILENCE, CONTEMPLATION and MEDITATION."

Actually, Brian, that would be incorrect. Sacrosanctum Concilium actually mentions participation on at least 14 separate occasions, defining it in the process.
SC 30, for example, states:

30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.

Vatican II aimed higher than the 1570 Missal. It urged greater lay participation on all levels, including, naturally, the interior. SC 30, emphasized not only the vocal, but participation of the body as well as silence. Since you're not a parishioner of mine, perhaps you've not experienced silence at Mass. It is a demanding discipline, especially to quiet oneself interiorly, but it is a worthwhile one to cultivate.

Tom Ryan

And, Sandra, while correcting Brian, we might remind him of the ember days. Example: 7 readings plus psalms on ember Saturday of Lent, 3 on ember Wednesday. An example of the Tridentine Mass being diametrically oppossed to sound pedagogy?

Of course, I would not want to embrace Brian's presumption that we should use pedagogy as a main yardstick for measuring liturgies of the Word, or any sacramental celebration.



It sound LIKE you are referring to Humanae Vitae rather THAN the Council as the inferred cause.

Brian Mershon

"And, Sandra, while correcting Brian, we might remind him of the ember days. Example: 7 readings plus psalms on ember Saturday of Lent, 3 on ember Wednesday."

The exception NEVER proves the rule. These Saturday ember days were often ear-marked as dates for ordaining priests--thus, the seven readings. Of course, PEDAGOGY is not the primary purpose of worshipping God in Holy Mass. Worshipping God is. However, repetitio est mater studiorum. Catholics do not know the Faith better today due to the numerous readings IN THE VERNACULAR, they understand it less well.

When there were only "the cream of the crop" readings read EVERY YEAR, then the Catholic doctrine was more clearly explicated and learned. One need not read nor understand Sacred Scripture to be a good Catholic. Priests with their historical-critical deconstructionist scripture training (just enough to make them dangerous) thanks to Ray Brown and others, are not better "homilists" than priests of those "horrid" pre-Conciliar days. Besides, I don't live then. I live now. I attend the TLM as regularly as I can and NONE of the traditional Latin Mass communities today fit the stereotype you like to "remember" for us from the 1940s and '50s.

Brian Mershon

"Vatican II aimed higher than the 1570 Missal."

The same bishops who were the Council Fathers came back and crash and burned. They might have thought they were aiming higher. The results show otherwise.

As for "actual contemplative" participation, it is not either-or, but both-and. The vast and overwhelming majority of Novus Ordo parishes allow ANY TIME WHATSOEVER for silent meditation or contemplation--especially prior to, and after, Mass.

As for "actual contemplative" contemplation, you will have to take it up with Dom Alcuin Reid, who wrote "On the Organic Development of the Liturgy" with a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. I'll stick with the Pope rather than my own personal exegesis on Sacrosanctum Concilium.



>>>SC stated that Latin was to be preserved. How many people in this thread have been to a Latin 1970 mass in the US? I have yet to speak with someone who mentioned knowing where there was one.

I attended one about seven years ago.

>>>So when was the last time you heard ANY SILENCE at any point of ANY Novus Ordo Mass? Certainly NOT before nor after.

I have - before, after and even during. Maybe I'm just lucky, though....

>>>The fact that there are more scripture readings is diametrically opposed to sound pedagogy. Priests RARELY can put together a common theme with three different passages,

Actually, I've seen some priests do a good job at it.

>>>Look back at the last 37 years and read "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators" by Kenneth Jones, which documents the destruction of Catholic schools, seminaries, religious orders, no. of baptisms, no. of converts, etc. etc. over the past 41 years.
>>>This SHARP and DRASTIC decline began IMMEDIATELY after the end of the Second Vatican SACROSANCT Council.

I recently came across an interesting statement from Pope Pius XII in one of his encyclicals from 1954:

"Nevertheless We do not deny that this Our joy is overshadowed by a certain sorrow since We learn that in not a few countries the number of vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life is constantly decreasing. We have already given the principal reasons which account for this fact and there is no reason why We should return to them now. Rather do We trust that those educators of youth who have succumbed to errors in this matter, will repudiate them as soon as they are detected, and will consequently seriously resolve both to correct them and to do what they can to provide every help for the youth entrusted to their care who feel themselves called by divine grace to aspire to the priesthood or to embrace the religious life, in order that they may be able to reach so noble a goal. May God grant that new and larger ranks of priests, religious men and women, equal in number and virtue to the current necessities of the Church, may soon go forth to cultivate the vineyard of the Lord." - Pius XII, SACRA VIRGINITAS, 68, MARCH 25, 1954

You mean the number of Catholic vocations was "constantly decreasing" in some countries back in 1954 - *before* the Second Vatican Council? How could that be? I thought bad stuff like that only happened *after* the Council, not before it.

In Jesu et Maria

Ed the Roman

So far two people have reported being to three Latin masses between them. Posters here are probably FAR more interested in this sort of thing than most. I stand by my statement that Latin has been practically banned: the only regularly scheduled 1970 Latin Mass that I know of is more than 1000 miles from me (St. Matthew's in Washington DC).



Corpus Christi Church in Ahwatukee (southeastern Phoenix) celebrates Mass in Latin from the 1970 Missal at 3pm every Sunday afternoon.


Mass according to the 1962 Missal is celebrated at three other (different) parishes in the diocese.

Brian Mershon

"Corpus Christi Church in Ahwatukee (southeastern Phoenix) celebrates Mass in Latin from the 1970 Missal at 3pm every Sunday afternoon."

WOW! What a convenient time for most people. Whatever you do, don't put it at 10 or 11 a.m. on Sunday morning or you may cause a riot.

Rosemarie, Give it a rest. The exceptions you mention or notable exceptions.

I too have attended a few nearly all Latin Novus Ordos offered "privately."

Of course there are SOME exceptiont to everything I stated, but the norm is certainly not indicative of a flowering or a new springtime occurring throughout the Church.

Kenneth Jones' documented statistical decline of Catholicism in the U.S. is instructive and indisputable evidence that the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath (as our current Pope has accurately pegged in Salt of the Earth) has definitely NOT been a favorable time period for the Church.

Yes. Rosemarie, there are some very, very few exceptions to the rule. All the ones I have seen are the NORM at traditional Latin Mass centers.

David L Alexander

"Up to the revision of the calendar, 1/1 was celebrated as the Circumcision of the Lord. Which it still is in the East, both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches."

If I remember correctly, January 1 has been and is celebrated in the East, as the Feast of St Basil the Great. The Greeks use the occasion for gift-giving, by the way.

Tom Ryan

Too much time, seems to me, is spent defending 20th century reforms in response to those who paint Vatican II as dark or destructive.

Of course few Catholics have been to an all-Latin Mass (1962, N.O., Ambrosian, Mozarabic....). Why even ask? -- since you know the frequencuy is low and 1,000 miles away...

Why don't we just come out and say it: the vast majority of our Church -- bishops, priests, deacons, baptized faithful, catechumens -- really do prefer vernacular as they come into the awe-filled presence of Christ in Word, assembly, minister, eucharist, and the other sacraments, and in the liturgy of the hours. When the subjuect comes up, most are in fact quite ready to see this as a work of the Holy Spirit.

Now, some Latin and Greek can and should be used (especially to provide universal church with common expression; and somewhat like Taize uses Latin refrains as unifier). But this does not mean that the Latin Rite or the other western rites need to be defensive in joyfully embracing the Lord via their own vernacular languages.

Brian Mershon

"Why don't we just come out and say it: the vast majority of our Church -- bishops, priests, deacons, baptized faithful, catechumens -- really do prefer vernacular as they come into the awe-filled presence of Christ in Word, assembly, minister, eucharist, and the other sacraments, and in the liturgy of the hours. When the subjuect comes up, most are in fact quite ready to see this as a work of the Holy Spirit."

I didn't know that it was the "preference" of the vox populi and priests and bishops that determined a work of the Holy Ghost. I thought it was determined by the evident flowering of graces. Apparently, the catastrophic PLUNGE in numbers of Catholics attending Mass regularly, leaving to join Protestant denominations or merely just staying at home, the drastic drop in vocations to the priesthood, religious life, numbers of Catholic schools, converts, baptisms, marriages, etc. were all caused by this same Holy Ghost, huh? You will know a tree by its fruits.

No, sorry Tom, not buying it. In reality people like you and some others are not really interested in obeying the Church. The Church, and specifically Sacrosanctum Concilium, repeatedly and unequivocally said "Latin is to be retained in the Latin rites." "Gregorian chant is to be given PRIDE OF PLACE in the Sacred Liturgy." Aside for some efforts currently underway, the vast majority of laymen have never heard the "propers" for the Masses they attend because they were replaced with "other hymns" and never put to chant notation in the vernacular. This means the Gregorian chant should be sung in Latin for the Ordinaries (as SC recommends) and also for the Propers since no suitable music has been put to the vernacular in 36 years! Most Catholics don't even know what the Propers are.

Obedience to the Council might have produced works of the Holy Ghost. Then again, the same Council Fathers who approved the documents came home and implemented them, so those who say Vatican II was not implemented correctly have no one but the Council Fathers to blame for this. Were they schizophrenic, or perhaps, insincere? or perhaps incompetent? or a combination of the above.

The fact a group of people "prefer" something is not an indication of the work of the Holy Ghost. In fact, most of us do not like to suffer, but to suffer willingly and offer it to Christ IS INDEED a work of the Holy Ghost.

Ed the Roman

"Most Catholics don't even know what the Propers are."

I know. I was at a very small Mass once (Father and me) and he was pleased and surprised that I thought to read the Communion. It's not as if normal people ever sing it anymore.

Tom Ryan

"In reality people like you and some others are not really interested in obeying the Church."

Dear Brian, You who above (48 hours ago) wrote that Maureeen and I were linked to "the pro-Sodomite left", you who scolded a bunch of us that we were getting "ad hominem" and not addressing the meat of the matters...how dare you say that I am not really interested in obeying the Church?

A discussion of the ability to experience God in vernaculars, a debate about sources for discernment of the Spirit, an argument (unanswerable in full this side of eschaton) re. the role of the Lord in the shifts of church participation are all possible without hurling charges that a correspondent is not really interested in obeying the Church.

I sincerely request that you withdraw such charges about me.

Brian Mershon

I never said you were linked to. I said your arguments sounded like. There is a vast difference.

If you want to obey the Church and attempt to do so, then fine. Your exegesis of Church documents is different than mine, esp. Sacrosanctum Concilium, and I guess that is in reality the whole entire problem with the Second Vatican Council documents, isn't it?

I withdraw the "charges" as you call them about the obedience measure. Calling things "hate" and etc. etc. is the way to close down dialogue and discussion with those whom you disagree. These ARE the tactics of the pro-sodomite left, but not exclusively so, of course.

The fact is, and the current Pope has acknowledged this in numerous books and articles, the Church is in serious decline in the West, the post-Conciliar period has not been "a new springtime" despite his predecessor's prognostications to the contrary, and the Novus Ordo liturgy, as repeated recently in numerous talks and interviews with Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Ranjith, is "banal." Those are the facts, along with the FACT that in more than 99 percent of all Catholic parishes in the U.S., Gregorian chant is NOT given pride of place in the liturgy and Latin has not been retained in the Latin rite.

Those are facts. Why hasn't this been done? Because bishops, priests and popes have been deliberately DISOBEDIENT to the documents of the Council. That is why.

You will know a tree by its fruits, and Kenneth Jones' book will definitely provide deep reflection and insight into those "fruits" and their contents.

Tom Ryan

thank you, Brian.

Brian Mershon

You are welcome. So are you really the author of the "Liturgy Training Manual" published by Liturgical Publications, with connections and roots to the Archdiocese of Chicago?

If so, did you ever work for, under, or in conjunction with the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and/or his staff?

Just wondering... Being a former Chicagoan, this peaks my curiosity.

Tom Ryan

Brian, it may be down to the 2 of us reading this 2-day-plus old series...

It has been my privilege to edit or author many hundreds of essays, articles, books over the past 40 years (from the USA edition of the "Saint Andrew Bible Missal" to preparing texts for various publishers and bishops).

Yet I sense that your question could take this discussion into an "ad hominem" ad His Eminence, LTP folks, et al. Let's not go there; rather better to discuss substance of the posts.

Ed the Roman

"Brian, it may be down to the 2 of us reading this 2-day-plus old series..."

Nope. :-)

Nick Frankovich

In seeking to make peace with Wittenberg and Geneva and Canterbury, the Council reformers burned a few bridges between Rome and Jerusalem. Those bridges had seen too few travelers in recent centuries, but no sooner were they burned than Catholics and Jews all of a sudden began to show more interest in making that trip.

The echoes between the Tridentine Mass and the Orthodox Jewish liturgy are there for those who have ears to hear them. By itself, the simple fact of their being said in what has become the sacred language of the faith counts for much, as does the choreography, as it were -- the congregation facing in the same direction as does the priest or rabbi. Some of the more subtle echoes (e.g., Sanctus) may have been retained in the Novus Ordo and some may have been lost. I don't know but only hope that someone expert in the history of the Mass and in the Jewish Orthodox liturgy will someday paint a clearer picture of all this.

In the Eastern rite, some Catholic churches are dedicated to Saint Elijah. As far as I can tell, he and David and several other men (and perhaps women) from the Old Testament still have a day in the Roman calendar. I pray to Elijah and David sometimes. Why is their sainthood so muted in the Catholic Church? Or does their being given a day in the Roman calendar not necessarily entail sainthood?

Jesus is a Jewish man. I use the present tense. In his glorified body, after his resurrection from the dead, he remains a Jewish man. Praised be his name.

James Kabala

Rightly or wrongly, Old Testament holy persons have never had regular feasts on the Roman Calendar. They may have been listed in the Roman Martyrology, but that is not quite the same thing.
In view of how they frequently reacted to the Edith Stein canonization, I think present-day Jews would be more likely to be offended than pleased by adding Old Testament saints to the calendar.

Nick Frankovich

The memorial of Elias (Elijah) in the Roman calendar is July 20. One source for this is the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The memorial of David, king of Israel, in the Roman calendar is December 29. One source for this is Wikipedia.

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