Monday, 16 May 2016

Octave of Pentecost

Veni Sancti Spiritus. The ethereal chant of the Sequence for Pentecost Sunday which is proper to the Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite as well as the Extraordinary Form. In the Extraordinary Form (EF), all kneel whilst it is sung or recited in a Read Mass.

Was this sung in your parish in the Ordinary Form (OF); even in English as you can find at the link above? 

Was it even just read after the Second Reading and before the Alleluia? 

In the EF there is an Octave of Pentecost that was unfortunately lost in the Ordinary Form (OF). An "Octave" is the eight day period following a major feast, a prolongation of that feast. In the EF there are three, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost and of course in the OF, only Christmas and Easter. Prior to 1962 there were more in the EF; Epiphany, which I argue should be returned as well as Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, Sts. Peter and Paul and more. Many of these "Spring" octaves as in 2011 even overlapped creating multiple Collects and Postcommunions. In my view, the Octave of Pentecost should be returned to the OF and the Octave of Epiphany returned to both. 

So, what is the point of this little liturgical history lesson?

Well, there is this little story from Father Z.  It seems that he was told this story by an elderly, retired Papal Ceremoniere or a Master of Ceremonies who (according to him) was present at the event about to be recounted.

The Monday after Pentecost in 1970 His Holiness Pope Paul VI rose bright and early and went to the chapel for Holy Mass. Instead of the red he expected, there were green vestments laid out for him. 

He queried the MC assigned that day, "What on earth are these for?  This is the Octave of Pentecost!  Where are the red vestments?"

"Santità," quoth the MC, "this is now Tempus ‘per annum’.  It is green, now. The Octave of Pentecost is abolished."

"Green? That cannot be!", said the Pope, "Who did that?" 

"Holiness, you did."

And Paul VI wept.

And the rest of us have been weeping ever since.

(And don't even get me going about the Vigil!)


1 comment:

Young Canadian RC Male said...

Hello Vox. Glad to say that at my new Novus Ordo parish at the saturday vigil mass yesterday, presided by the pastor, a lector read the sequence aloud and we were asked to say it as well. Thank God I am making my new home there.

The two priests there are more traditionally minded and there are many more families there, unlike my prior parish with a pastorally/social welfare-minded pastor who lacked care for the spiritual welfare of all of us and rarely ever preached a spiritually nourishing homily (or at least hard hitting ones,) and the proof is in the huge lack of families and anyone over the age of 15 there, unless they were being taken by their families out of forced attendance.