• Is there any document that specifies that the readings at Mass in the OF must be taken from the revised 3-year lectionary? GIRM makes reference to first and second readings, but without mentioning a third or Gospel at that point, and reference to SC draws attention to that document's call to expand the lectionary to a years-long cycle. Still, is it possible that the old, one-year cycle could fruitfully be applied to the Novus Ordo, in those places where a three-year cycle is reducing, not increasing familiarity to scripture? I imagine a stronger course of biblical studies in addition could aid such a change.

    In the course of researching this question, I came across this interesting Apostolic Letter from Pope Saint John Paul II:

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_04121988_vicesimus-quintus-annus.html
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    If you've not consulted it, you should also consult the General Instruction to the Lectionary:

    http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/Rites/Lectionary.pdf

    I would hope that the current OF cycles are retained.
  • I think the idea of applying the EF readings cycle to the OF is a biiig stretch, FWIW.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Just an academic exercise. I've been thinking through the ways the two forms can enrich each other.

    In a similar vein, is there anything Vatican II said that ought to be applied to the EF?
  • Felipe,

    Isn't the point of the Missal of Paul VI to be flexible? Why would it be such a stretch?

    God bless,

    Chris
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    Is there any document that specifies that the readings at Mass in the OF must be taken from the revised 3-year lectionary?

    Yes, the General Instruction of the Lectionary.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    The GIRM (para. 356-362) also has norms for the selection of readings. It says that the readings for Sundays and Solemnities "should be followed strictly."
  • Since we are speaking in absurdities, would it, um, be alright to use the readings from the three year cycle at an EF mass? After all, we are, um, speaking of mutual enrichment. Felipe is quite right. This is more than a stretch. Further, what is the point? That there is something wrong with the three year cycle?
    Thanked by 2Spriggo CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    There’s the inorganic development disrupting a cycle with roots dating to St. Gregory the Great for one. And while many disagree, I find the three year cycle excruciatingly long. I know others will disagree...it also has made it next to impossible to finish the new Antiphonale Romanum with antiphons needed for Sunday Lauds and Vespers over three years plus ferial offices over two.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    would it, um, be alright to use the readings from the three year cycle at an EF mass?

    The Ecclesia Dei commission has indicated that it could be done, but that it should not be imposed on congregations that don't want it:
    http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/DocumentContents/Index/2/SubIndex/11/DocumentIndex/412
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Read: most congregations...
  • I bring this up because I indeed have heard complaints of the three-year lectionary, for reasons stated above by MatthewRoth, among others (I was not aware of the Antiphonale Romanum issue).

    There is a tidiness to the EF cycle that is lost in the new cycle, even if it took the new cycle to discover it. That said, there is much to commend the expanded exposure to the Bible that comes from the three-year cycle that also expands the number of readings in a given Mass.

    Like I said, an academic question that popped into my head.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 879
    That said, there is much to commend the expanded exposure to the Bible that comes from the three-year cycle

    Assuming that "expanded exposure to the Bible" is the purpose (or one of the purposes) of the readings at mass.
    Thanked by 2Salieri francis
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    In a similar vein, is there anything Vatican II said that ought to be applied to the EF?


    Yes: all of it was intended to be applied to the EF. For better or for worse, it was the application of Vatican II to the EF that produced the OF.

    Isn't the point of the Missal of Paul VI to be flexible?


    No; who ever said that?

    Since we are speaking in absurdities, would it, um, be alright to use the readings from the three year cycle at an EF mass?


    Why not? The priest reads the Latin readings quietly, and then at the sermon he can read aloud and preach on anything he wants: a cookbook, the modern lectionary, etc.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Three readings are a blessing of great didactic and theological significance, particularly with the correspondence between the prophecy and the gospel. They are also more ancient. There was a time (I shant look up when, just now) when there were three, even four or five readings at mass. Then came a time when the disorganic development of which Matthew speaks happened and there were, suddenly, only two. This left us with the gradual responsory and the alleluia with its verse jammed together, an arrangement that all my life I had thought was clumsy, that something was missing. And, yes, the whole point of the lectionary is to proclaim to the people the (liturgically ordered) contents of the Bible which, with our Lord's life itself, is the basis of their faith, to which the creed is the logical response. I'm not sure what motives are involved in begrudging 'exposure to the Bible' during the Liturgy of the Word - that's what this important half of the mass is all about, is it not?

    To borrow from the Angelic Doctor's hymn, Adoro te devote, it is the very 'taste, touch, and vision' which fail to discern our Lord in the anaphora, the anamnesis, which follows the Liturgy of the Word; it is 'faith that comes by hearing' the word that pierces through the veil. The more we hear the better off we are.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Dr. Mahrt says that there is evidence against the view that there were regularly 3 or more readings...

    The office at any rate is where we need to be didactically exposed (as a first or second principle: at Mass the readings seem to be didactic at the tertiary level).
  • I do not begrudge the expanded exposure of the new cycle.

    I do find an inordinate focus on the readings, to the detriment of everything else (part of the reason Propers are ignored). And the priest is expected to preach on only them, especially since nobody pays attention to the prayers or, when there, Propers. Then, when people assess the quality of a Mass, the priest's "sermon" is the first (and sometimes only) element considered.

    I guess I wonder if a reduced lectionary would bring focus to the Mass allowing more of it to open up to the faithful.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    If I were POPE OF THE LECTIONARY I would decree that we have the current three-reading schema in context of a one-year cycle.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • What about the two-year weekday lectionary, Adam?
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Oh, I forgot to add:
    I am not POPE OF THE LECTIONARY.
    So I don't really spend any energy thinking about how the lectionary should be fixed.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    What about the two-year weekday lectionary, Adam?

    I would delegate this decision to the CARDINAL ARCH DEACON OF THE LECTIONARY.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,668
    Do you and he travel through time? Because if so, you could check out various time periods and see who was happiest/most upright because of their lectionary.
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    The calendar, readings or prefaces of the 1970 Missale Romanum may not be substituted for those of the 1962 Missale Romanum in Masses in the Extraordinary Form.

    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2010/02/important-clarifications-from-ecclesia.html
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Continuing from above, here are a few gleanings from St Augustine's Lectionary, by G.G. Willis (Alcuin Club, no. XLIV) -

    >St Basil speaks of lessons on a given day as Isa. 1.16, Ps. 33.6, Acts 2.38, Matt. 11.28
    >Justin Martyr, in his Apology, refers to lessons from epistles and the prophets, in addition, presumably, to the gospels.
    >St Ambrose attests that first the prophets, then the apostles, then the gospels were read.
    >At Milan, during the time of Ambrose, a lesson from the prophets was read, and to this day the Milanese rite retains three lessons for the most ancient celebrations.
    >The Mozarabic and Gallican churches retained a lesson from the prophets until late, up into Carolingian times. These were likely dropped in the rush to copy Roman practice during Charlemagne's time.
    >At Rome the prophecy was 'in process of extinction' as early as the fourth century. Only on very ancient feasts does the Roman rite retain lessons from the prophecy.
    >According to L. Duchense (Christian Worship), the prophecy was retained at Rome for masses of the vigil and night of Christmas down to the time of Charlemagne.
    >In Africa, during Augustine's time, the third reading was commonplace but on its way out.
    >There is more.

    Jungman probably has more, but this will do for now.

    Apparently decorum at mass in these early times was, by our standards, quite raucous. People talked loudly during the readings, some reclined as if on a couch at home, and there was anything but the air of devoted reverence which we have cultivated in more modern times. The purpose of the (loudly proclaimed) greeting, 'the Lord be with you', was nothing more than a repeated and insistent effort to get people to stop their noise whilst the scriptures were read.

    And, this will seem strange to us: in these early times people had to be exhorted to stay for the anaphora instead of leaving after the readings. Today the unfortunate custom of many is to stay for the elevation or for their communion, then 'eat and run'. One reluctantly is left pondering if the theological concept of 'the People of God' assembled for liturgia as a complete communal act from beginning to end is of recent vintage. Of course, it really is quite primitive (and even has pre-Jewish Semitic antecedents), but getting 'the people' on board seems an on-going project - one not altogether aided by the extreme clericalism of some.
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    There is no dispute that other rites had more than two readings but there's scant evidence that Rome did. Justin Martyr's Apologia is the one Roman reference to an Old Testament reading but he lumps it together with the epistles as if to say that they were interchangeable, not that there were always one of each.

    Granted, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,802
    There is no need for a three-year cycle of Sunday Readings, with a simultaneous two-year cycle of Ferial Readings, and a simultaneous and oft-ignored one-year cycle of Sanctoral Readings. Not to mention the possible readings for votive Masses. The year is the longest natural cycle that we measure time by, the liturgical calendar is one year, and having a three+two+one-year lectionary cycle is unnatural and unnecessary. And it is arguable as to whether or not the revised lectionary is even doing what it intends to do. Most Catholics only come to Mass on Sunday, so most aren't even exposed to the lectio continuo of the ferial lections.

    Not to mention, that the idea of a certain Mass formulary being made up of Proper texts which include Antiphons, Responsories, Lessons, and Orations, is missing. There should be, among people who pay attention, an almost immediate recognition of what is going to happen as soon as one hears the Introit. After a few years of exposure to High Mass one should hear 'Dum clamarem' and immediately know what the lessons, orations, etc. are, presuming that the cycle is one-year. With a three-year cycle this is unattainable, since the lections only recur once every three years.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    The idea is not missing, it's composed differently. As for the rest, the value of such approach is not self-evident, either.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 208
    @MatthewRoth: "it also has made it next to impossible to finish the new Antiphonale Romanum with antiphons needed for Sunday Lauds and Vespers over three years plus ferial offices over two. "

    Not so. The 3-year cycle of Gospel canticle antiphons has been developed thoroughly since the appearance of the Antiphonale Monasticum I of 2005, and also the one-year and two-year cycles of biblical antiphons for the Magnificat of First Vespers (which corresponds to the reading at the Office of Readings/Vigils depending on whether the 1-year or 2-year lectionary is used). These antiphons are in fact in the new Antiphonale Romanum II (Vespers of Sundays, Feasts and Solemnities throughout the year), straight from the work done on the Monastic antiphonale. Presumably the Lauds series from AM I will also be used with the Lauds volume of the AR is complete. ARII does seem to use the First Vespers antiphons corresponding to the 1-year lectionary only for the Office of Readings, while the AM I gives both cycles as options depending on which lectionary the monastery uses.

    The issue with the Antiphonale Romanum is not the Gospel canticle antiphons (which are tied to the lectionary) but the new divisions of psalms which requires some antiphons to be composed, plus the New Testament canticles at Vespers. The Vatican catch 22 was that all antiphons had to come from traditional sources, but there were no traditional antiphons for the new divisions. Solesmes finally broke through that by simply making new compositions and adding them to the Ordo Cantus Officii.

    Prior to AM I being released in 2005, the 1934 Monastic Antiphonary was used for the Gospel canticle antiphons. Solesmes put out a book called "Documenta" that ensured that the antiphon selected from the old AM corresponded to the Gospel reading of that specific Sunday in the OF Mass; the biggest challenge of course being Year B (the year where the Gospel of Mark is featured).

    For the ferial offices, as well as Sundays throughout the year, the source of the antiphons from the psalmody including the Gospel canticles has long been established except for the issues with the psalm divisions noted above. Typically these antiphons are not related to the Biblical readings, but are taken from a verse of the psalm or canticle itself (they may seem different because the antiphons use the Vulgate text as opposed to the Neo Vulgate of the current psalms).

    Exceptions would be the last week of Advent and Holy Week, and the proper antiphons of Sundays of Advent and Lent. Again, these have been well established in the Monastic Antiphonary which is the basis for the Roman Antiphonary, since the lectionaries are the same in both cases save a few saints proper to monastic orders.

    Ora
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    Most Catholics only come to Mass on Sunday, so most aren't even exposed to the lectio continuo of the ferial lections.


    So cater to the lowest common denominator? Weekday readings is a reform of the EF suggested by Pope Benedict XVI. If mutual enrichment is to mean anything, this is it.

    There is nothing "natural" about a one-year cycle. The lectionary isn't a product of nature. Without a hand-missal, few, if any, Catholics who attend the OF or EF would notice if the readings changed from year to year. The propers apart from the readings are on a one-year cycle.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    I wasn't under the impression that we could pick and choose the lectionary that suits us.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    And it is arguable as to whether or not the revised lectionary is even doing what it intends to do. Most Catholics only come to Mass on Sunday, so most aren't even exposed to the lectio continuo of the ferial lections.
    This is the case irrespective of whether one is using the one-year or three-year cycle.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    I wasn't under the impression that we could pick and choose the lectionary that suits us.


    Only if you are the POPE OF THE LECTIONARY (or his sidekick, the CARDINAL ARCHDEACON OF THE LECTIONARY).
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    Only if you are the POPE OF THE LECTIONARY (or his sidekick, the CARDINAL ARCHDEACON OF THE LECTIONARY).


    I have some cardinal red socks, does that count? ;-)
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 879
    There is nothing "natural" about a one-year cycle. The lectionary isn't a product of nature. Without a hand-missal, few, if any, Catholics who attend the OF or EF would notice if the readings changed from year to year.

    How do you know all this?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    There should be, among people who pay attention, an almost immediate recognition of what is going to happen as soon as one hears the Introit.
    Maybe there should be, but I doubt it and it certainly doesn't seem to be true, even amongst people who "pay attention" (whatever that means).
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,802
    This isn't hard and fast proof, but it is anecdotal evidence I find quite compelling.

    I am friends with a man who was a Benedictine monk, he's actually my precentor; he's told me on several occasions of conversations he had with his older confreres who were in the monastery before and after the liturgical changes. They told him that before the council they actually knew what the readings would be at the Mass simply by hearing the introit, since they lived the liturgy with it's annually recurring cycle, with the added benefit that the ferial Masses were the Sunday Mass repeated.

    After the council these same monks could no longer make the connections: Those readings no longer went with that Introit or Offertory, and when it did, it only occurred once every three years on Sundays, and never during the week, since the Sunday readings are never read on Ferias. In their eyes there was a unity, a cohesiveness, in the Traditional liturgy that allowed the Propers (antiphons, responsories, lections, orations) to really sink-in that they found missing in the new rite.

    I have to say, that I am not bothered by more scripture in the Mass, I'm all for three readings on Sundays and Solemnities, and while we're at it, we should bring back the Ember and Rogations Days, which have Seven, but rather I'm bothered by the lack of repetition. The way things get passed down, traditionally, is by repetition. That's the way the Chant got passed down, the way epic poetry got passed down; it's the way most people learned anything until the modern age. I think we over-estimate our ability to comprehend things today. Yes, there is more information available to us now, but, conversely, most people can't be bothered to read anything longer than four pages, and couple that with our culture's almost pathological fear of repeating ourselves (everything has to be NEW or IMPROVED, a constant novelty), and you have a good recipe for an un-educated people.

    I think people would benefit more from liturgical repetition/recapitulation than by (near-)continuous change.

    Just my .o2; do with it what you will.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    I think you also overestimate how representative the experience of those monks was.

    Having lived with the postconciliar lectionary for a few decades, its rhythms have worn a path in my psyche as well, though not of the links-in-the-chain rote kind. Where I archdeacon of the Lectionary, I'd consult far and wide about making adjustments, but overall, the triennial Sunday cycle gets better each pass through for me. (And I am old enough to remember the old lections cycle for about 5 years.) Advent and Paschaltide (Lent-Eastertide) are particularly fine, but likewise the Matthew-Mark/John-Luke cycles of Ordinary Time.

    For example, this year, Year B. The year opens with a revolutionary verse in the history of Scriptures: Mark 1:1. A literary form is invented, echoing what victorious leaders used to do to advertize their "good news" - except, in this case, the Good News is of Christ's definitive victory over sin and death in the Paschal Mystery. Keep that theme always in mind for each Marcan pericope, and it will bring you deeper into that Gospel through the year. There's a specific energy to St Mark's gospel that spending regular time with in the context of the Mass (not just scripture study) underscores. The pause in Year B to spend time with St John's Bread of Life Discourse always comes at the time of the grain harvest, and I much look forward to that, but also love that it's not every year. And I love how the readings from the Old Testament (and, very usually, but not 100% of the time, the responsorial psalm) provide resonance for the Gospel pericope. Each of the Gospels narrates a journey, and it's wonderful to experience that journey in this context.

    Anecdotes work in many ways. Mine no less - or more - than the monk's.
  • G
    Posts: 1,391
    I do find an inordinate focus on the readings, to the detriment of everything else
    This.
    And the priest is expected to preach on only them
    Not so.
    If I were POPE OF THE LECTIONARY I would decree that we have the current three-reading schema in context of a one-year cycle.
    When this comes to pass, you will have female cardinals, and I offer my services as Cardinal Archdeacon of the Lectionary.
    three-reading schema in context of a one-year cycle.

    So let it be written, so let it be done.
    I have heard priests complaining about coming up with material for the homily praise the 3 year cycle for this very reason, so that they "need" not preach the same sermon every year. They seem unaware that there are options other than the Gospel or NT reading on which to preach.
    If only I had been consulted on this... (MY consilium would have fabricated a 1 year Sunday and Solemnity lectionary, a 4 year weekday, and default to readings in the sanctoral cycle.)
    I am not bothered by more scripture in the Mass, I'm all for three readings on Sundays and Solemnities, and while we're at it, we should bring back the Ember and Rogations Days, which have Seven, but rather I'm bothered by the lack of repetition. The way things get passed down, traditionally, is by repetition.

    Amen. You can name me Cardinal, too, if you like.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    OraetLabora... Wow. That is worse than only having to come up with new antiphons.

    I agree the one year cycle is what we can remember...
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    I have some cardinal red socks, does that count?


    Many people are surprised to learn that, ever since the 13th century reforms, CARDINAL DEACON OF FOOTWEAR is largely a ceremonial appointment.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,802
    I have some cardinal red socks, does that count?

    From St. Louis?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    You know I don't even like the NL in the bigs, grew up Yankees, moved into A's, storied franchises each in their own way. But if I have to endure one more St. Louis fan posting anything about the Cards.....well, the SF Giants are still the reigning champs, last I checked.
    Carry on with the "If I were King of the Forest" dialogues.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    Yankees are one of the greatest teams of all time. Besides, I used to watch them with my Dad. Wish I still could. I have also watched Cardinals and Giants. I just love baseball no matter who plays.
    Thanked by 1G
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,802
    Don't worry, Melo, I'm from MA, so I'm a Red Sox fan by birth. After that, Baltimore. So no NL team is even on the radar . . .
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 987
    Well, I'm an Astros fan, so I used to be NL.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    Born and reared in southern Illinois - Cardinals country - Stan "The Man" Musial, Red Schoendienst, Enos "Country" Slaughter, Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell, Dizzy and Daffy Dean.
    During my years in Virginia, added allegiance to the Orioles, but still remained a Cardinals fan.
    Moved to Western Wisconsin - Twins territory - love and cheer for the Twins, but always and forever a Cardinals fan.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Arggghhh, Chuck, what a beat down. I schrei "Onkel, Onkel!"
    And Dizzy was a Yankee announcer as well, niener, niener, niener!
    Oh, btw, where's Bob Gibson in your pantheon?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    Bob Gibson was the same age as my sister and, as such, was pretty much a generation later than the redbirds I grew up with. I should have added Joe Garagiola, Solly Hemus, though and probably a few others. I didn't go with people of my generation and later, such as Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Ken Boyer, Curt Flood, Lou Brock, Harvey Haddix, Wally Moon, Bill White, Joe Cunningham, Jim Edwards, and (of course) Albert Pujols.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Okay, that's three beat downs in one day, Chuck!
    Don't make me drive up there! I'll bring Meloche wid me fo' muscle.

    Oh, and you forgot McGwire.....
  • Chris_McAvoyChris_McAvoy
    Posts: 382
    I have a complete abhorrence for the three year lectionary. I share with those monks the same feeling that it has been destructive of catholic liturgical identity. It has been an exercise in rationalism and pseudo protestantism.

    I have no strong feeling one way or the other on an old testament reading in the mass. I was told by someone that supposedly there it does exist in some old manuscript. If so, fine, one way or the other, it does not bother me if its there or not there - but the three year lectionary has brought nothing of merit to the faith, nothing at all. only destruction.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    the three year lectionary has brought nothing of merit to the faith, nothing at all. only destruction.

    Feeling dramatic today, are we?