Just In Case Anyone’s Counting

The pope’s Christmas schedule seems … light.

Our parish trimmed back the 23-25 December liturgical schedule from 13 Masses to eleven.

23 Dec 4PM Mass

24 Dec 7:30, 9:00, 10:30 (noon Mass cancelled) then two at 3:30PM, single Masses at 6PM, 8PM and midnight.

25 Dec: 9 & 11 AM (used to be three on Christmas morning).

The pastor, diocesan VG, and the associate pastor keep things balanced, taking three or four Masses each. But I wonder when the last time Pope Benedict (or any pope for that matter) celebrated more than one Mass in a single day.

Notice that Epiphany is celebrated on its traditional day in Rome–the 6th. The Baptism of the Lord is on the following day, Sunday. For us pragmatists in the US, Epiphany is observed on the Sunday after January 1st. Baptism of the Lord is the day after Epiphany this year. And by 14 January, we’re already in the second week of ordinary time.

Just in case anyone’s counting.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Just In Case Anyone’s Counting

  1. Liam says:

    I have to say I find the whole idea of a vigil Mass in the middle of the afternoon almost, well, preconciliar….

    And I lament the trend of having the weight of the Vigil eclipse the Day, liturgically speaking. (Even in my own parish, which is otherwise very fine on most (not all) liturgical matters, but then it is a university parish, and university parishes on Christmas Day are an odd thing.)

    And there is a practical side as well as a principled one: I know from my own experience and of many friends and family that being forced to leave the tree and gifts on Christmas morning for Mass had the salutary effect of (1) giving my Mom some much-needed space (she went to Mass at midday on Christmas, another bit of space for her), (2) cultivated detachment from the loot aspect of Christmas at a critical point in time on that day, and (3) forced us to have a community moment in what otherwise would be a too-narrowly focused day. I think progressive Catholics might ponder that last point fruitfully and consider how acceding to a perceived pastoral demand for more weight on Christmas Eve does a disservice. End of stunted rant.

  2. Todd says:

    I can’t disagree.

  3. Liam says:

    Oh, calendrical nomenclature trivia.

    Ever wonder how the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time is not preceded by a First Sunday of Ordinary Time, even when the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord falls on a Sunday? It isn’t, and that’s because the translation is bad.

    The weekdays after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (whether it falls on Sunday or Monday) constitute the first week of the ordinally counted time of the year in the universal calendar of the Church. This is usually rendered badly as “Ordinary Time” in English, though some use the slightly vaguer if more accurate “time of year”.

    Anyway, the following Sunday is better understood as the “Sunday of the Second Week of [the] Ordinally Counted Time [of The Year]“, rather than as the “Second Sunday of Ordinary Time”.

    PS: One calendrical reform a future Pope should make — since calendrical maintenance is one parts of the job description of the Pontifex Maximus of the city of Rome — is fixing the bizarre way ordinally counted time is counted foward towards Lent and backwards from Advent. (You may not realize this is so, but it’s the only way to explain how the numbers “scan”, as it were, in different years).

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