15 August 2011

An uhappy feast for some

A happy feast of the Assumption. Sad to say, today is an unhappy feast for some.

It has been too long since the Pimpernel visited Patricius-of-liturgical-private-jugement-run-riot. But for sure, he has another gem for the feast of the Assumption.

Was this form of the biretta traditionally
worn with the medieval surplice?
Or is this another example of
cafteteria traditionalism?
Just asking.
"In 1950 Pius XII replaced the ancient proper prayers of the Mass and significantly changed the Office for the feast of the Assumption, to adorn it with a new dogma instead. Those traditionalists out there who confess the doctrine of the Assumption and yet use the Pacelli propers for the celebration of Mass are not orthodox, they are Ultramontane. The entire impetus to believe the doctrine was removed by Pius XII and replaced with Papal authority. To put it simply: Gaudeamus and the traditional Office have the witness of centuries of Tradition. Munificentissimus Deus and Signum Magnum undermine the very orthodoxy of the Assumption since they have nothing to do with St Mary."


To the Pimpernel it seems a bit presumptious for Patricius to be hurling accusations of unorthodoxy about when these days he participates liturgically in Anglican worship (second photo down, carrying the cross) and, if comments on this occasion are to be believed, with his friend Rubycarius (third photo down, holding the book). It might even be interesting to know just what, if any, ecclesiastical communion his Triduum ceremonies this year were part of?  

Have a happy feast and spare a prayer for those who insist on being sad on such a day.


  1. I have never understood why Catholics would play at Anglicans playing at being Catholics; it seems rather over-recursive.

    Can one have doubts about the orders of Catholic priests ordained since the reforms of Paul VI, doubts strong enough to oblige one in conscience to abstain from Roman Catholic Masses, while rejecting the adverse judgement of Leo XIII about Anglican orders, and attending a careful re-production of a Tridentinesque liturgy offered by persons in communion with the Church of England, a body which purports to ordain women?

    Would it not be more logical, if that word could be used, to go all Eastern Orthodox if unchanged and unchangeable worship and dogma is the sine qua non of the Church? For I believe the C. of E. displays a history of change in both that makes the much-maligned Roman modifications seem far less profound.

    Do they do their loving re-creation of the traditional Roman service at St Magnus in Latin? - and if not, why not? It would be perverse indeed to glory in pre-1950 immemorial liturgy, if it is all done in English (be it oh so Cranmeresque).

    Not in anger but in sorrow.

  2. Liturgical Pimpernel, I expect you knew full-well that the Roman biretta was not used in Mediaeval England ere you even asked the question, but then sarcasm is like a second language to me so I'm right there with you. I do not own a Canterbury cap and the Triduum services were all in the Roman Rite as it was celebrated immediately before the reforms of Pius X. It was not, therefore, a pathetic medley as you'd find in most Roman churches, and we did our best as resources would allow. At any rate the Surplice is just a part of the modern Roman tradition (what's left of it) as the cotta and the cassock-alb.

  3. Concerning the Assumption of the B.V.M., and the rather strange liturgical practices (with Anglicans ! I am surprised about rubricarius), I would not give these chaps space on your blog. They are too wacky to be taken seriously.It is very sweet of you pimpernel, but really don't bother.


  4. Joshua, while going East would seem logical, it is not quite so easy if you have been born and bred a Roman. One cannot forego one's entire liturgical patrimony and formation without great spiritual rupture and turmoil.

    While perhaps the Lit. Pimp., may not agree with the approach of Patricius, his points about the Roman Gaudeamus and the Pacellian Signum magnum are apt and we have all known the fruits of an Ultramontane approach to the liturgy (the Sarto Office and Montini Missals being perhaps more devastating examples than Signum magnum). They do not appear to be good fruits as you yourself have presciently demonstrated. Now, clearly there is need for proper authority and obedience in the Church, but how does one achieve that when those to whom obedience is due ask you to renounce your own heritage--something very impactful, probably immoral, and possibly sinful?

  5. The biretta doesn't really fit in with an English surplice. Now a Canterbury cap.....

  6. So Patricious "immediately before the reforms of Pius X" the surplice and biretta were tradtional Catholic choir dress? And who is "we"? The "Continuing Church of 1910"?

  7. My argument per impossibile about going east is an example of reductio ad absurdum (with all due deference to our Orthodox brethren). As I pointed out, to desert Catholic communion on grounds of egregious wickedness as evidenced by liturgical reforms, and then to go to an outré church, itself part of an ecclesial body whose doctrines and liturgies have gone through far more change than the Roman Church has endured, seems to me to be an example of straining at gnats whilst swallowing down camels.

    So, are the services at St Magnus in Latin?

  8. "It might even be interesting to know just what, if any, ecclesiastical communion his Triduum ceremonies this year were part of?"


  9. while going East would seem logical, it is not quite so easy if you have been born and bred a Roman. One cannot forego one's entire liturgical patrimony and formation without great spiritual rupture and turmoil.
    Nonsense Ben. Anglicans and Roman Catholics can be found by the thousands in Orthodox churches representing a rich diversity of cultures in the UK and here in the USA. Sure, some Orthodox parishes are seats of super homogeneity and highly nationalistic and most unfriendly to ANY outsiders, but with all these Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and evangelicals pouring through the doors, this narrow Orthodox tribalistic element is being watered down and pretty quickly too.

  10. Thanks anonymous 22.05. So Patricius plays church with the "Old Roman Catholic Mission South East UK" as well as with the Anglicans. Perhaps rubricarius joined him in this as well?

  11. ..."plays church"... such witticisms from those in communion with Archbishops blessed by Bhuddists, Bishops with no appreciation of Catholic history or taste in liturgical vestments who permit a plethora of liturgical abuses and Rites all claiming to be the "same" thing differently expressed... Who's "playing at church"?

    As for "Cafeteria traditionalism" an interesting way to describe the present Pope's penchant for traditional vestments and mix n'match rubrics whilst celebrating the modern Rite... Who's "playing at church"?

    How many churches/chapels/oratories/basilicas/cathedrals in communion with the Holy See, in the UK, publicly offer the Traditional Latin Mass everyday? Who's "playing at church"?

    Rather, who's "playing at Traditionalism"?!