Question about Votive Masses in the EF
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    I'm trying to find out if there's a possibility of offering a Votive Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 21, but am having some difficulty finding the correct answer. Looking at the ordo for that day, I see this:

    FERIA IV Cl G ‡
    No Gl No Cr Common Pr Commem of S Hilarion Ab at Low Masses
    Commem of SS Ursula and Comps VV MM at Low Masses
    Ferial Office At Lauds Commem of S Hilarion Ab
    Commem of SS Ursula and Comps VV MM

    Since this is a ferial day, may one celebrate a Votive Mass, specifically, the Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which I see here on the Windsor Latin Mass website,?

    Also, what commemorations are used?

    Many thanks for any advice!
  • This is not going to be a very helpful comment (as I don't have much time), but these are the sort of things which are spelled out in the in the section of the Missal called "Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani".

    If you have the Missale Romanum (1962) in .pdf, you should be able to find the information in there (in Latin, of course).

    I have found the corresponding rubrics for the breviary helpful (if tedious) in understanding various things I wanted to know about the office, as they are the source of whatever summaries you come across.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen mgearthman
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    This is very helpful. I couldn't figure out where to look for the answers. I think there's an English translation of the 1962 online.
  • The ordo should have a translation.

    I see no reason why a votive Mass may be restricted. The idea is that votive Masses can only be used on IV class days, or ferias. The daily Requiem Mass is also similarly restricted.

    There is nothing wrong with the specified Mass (it is up to the priest’s discretion), but in the last few centuries we have a nice tradition of Our Lady on Saturday, the Sacred Heart (also the Cross or the Five Wounds) on Friday, and and so on with other votive Masses throughout the week. In the last two centuries, I believe Wednesday is St. Joseph.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,724

    I will assume that you will be following the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal.

    In my St. Andrew Daily Missal Votive Masses for the B.V.M can include,
    Masses for Saturdays
    Immaculate Conception
    Seven Sorrows
    Immaculate Heart of Mary

    I have checked the Rubrics as found in this book
    and the above appears to be correct.

    Now the first question is Oct 21 the following in your diocese,
    Dedication of the Cathedral Church
    Titular of the Cathedral
    Patron of the Diocese
    Dedication of the Chapel / Church
    Titular of the Chapel / Church
    Patronal feast of the place
    A first or second Class Feast in your Diocese or Country.

    I will assume no,
    Second Question,
    If your Mass is of the B.V.M. on the occasion of an Extraordinary celebration, it can be a 1st Class Votive Mass Gloria, Creed, No Commemorations unless privileged, Solemn tone is used.
    If your Mass is of the B.V.M. is an External Solemnity it can be a 2nd Class Votive Mass Gloria, No Creed, only 1 commemoration, Solemn tone.
    3rd Class Votive Masses for the Immaculate Heart can only be said on Saturdays, Gloria, No Creed, Commemorations, Solemn tone.
    4th Class Votive Mass No Gloria, No Creed, Commemorations.
    The above is taken from the Rubrics book referenced above, below are the instructions from the LMS ordo,

    Votive Masses of IV Class
    A Votive Mass of IV Class may only be celebrated on a liturgical day of IV Class. The Gloria is not said, except in Masses of the Angels on any day of the week and in Masses of the BVM celebrated on a Saturday. The Creed is never said. Two commemorations are allowed. Days on which it may be celebrated are indicated thus: † or ‡, the latter indicating that Requiem Masses of IV Class may also be celebrated.
    (Gen. Rub. of Missal 387-389)

    To be on the safe side you could have A Votive Mass 4th Class,
    So No Gloria or Creed.
    Commemoration S Hilarion Ab and SS Ursula and Comps VV MM at Low Masses.
    The Propers can be found in the Missal / Graduale / L.U. on the August 22nd.

    I would be tempted to describe the Mass as a Votive Mass 2nd Class because it could be an external Solemnity and have the following,
    Gloria, No Creed, Commemoration of S Hilarion at Low Mass, Solemn tone (sung Mass)

    N.B. Wednesday Votive Masses were traditionally of St. Joseph, Peter and Paul OR Holy Apostles.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    This is so very helpful. Thanks, Matthew and Tom! We are new to EF weekday Masses, obviously, and it's a bit confusing sometimes.

    I'll ask about the possibility of having an external Solemnity, tomjaw. We wanted to go with a Marian Votive Mass this month in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, but thanks for explaining about the Wednesday Votive Masses; I wasn't aware of the tradition of specific Votive Masses for weekdays. That's very good to know.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Thanks tomjaw, for the translation - I will find it useful.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,724

    This is what the LMS ordo says about External Solemnities, N.B. it is a simplification of the full Rubrics.
    External Solemnity
    By this term is meant the celebration of the Mass of a feast without its Office when, for the good of the faithful, it is celebrated on a Sunday or some other day.
    Normally only 2 Low Masses, or 1 Low and 1 High or Sung Mass, are allowed. An External Solemnity may not be celebrated on a 1st Class Sunday or 1st Class feast.

    If your priest agrees that this Mass is for the "Good of the Faithful" it can be celebrated as an external Solemnity.

    The following is from the St. Andrew Daily Missal 1962 ed.

    Votive Masses
    It was formerly allowed to say the following as chapter Masses in cathedrals or Conventual Masses in monasteries, but only on ordinary feral days and on fixed days of the week:
    Monday: The Mass of the Most Holy Trinity.
    Tuesday: that of the Holy Angels.
    Wednesday: that of St. Joseph, Peter and Paul OR the Holy Apostles.
    Thursday: that of the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Sacrament, or Jesus Christ the Eternal High-Priest.
    Friday: that of the Holy Cross, or of the Passion of Our Lord.
    Saturday: that of the Blessed Virgin.

    According to the revised Rubrics these Votive Masses may now be said on any day of the fourth class.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    That is excellent news. Tom. I'll relay this information to Father. I've been trying to do some research on this. Is it permissible to move the External Solemnity of Our Lady of the Rosary on Wednesday, Oct. 21, or can this External Solemnity only be moved to the First Sunday of October?

    In a past Musica Sacra forum discussion, it seems to say that Our Lady of the Rosary may be chosen as a votive Mass for Our Lady:

    In his book from 1960, The New Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal (available here), Rev. P. L. Murphy says in regard to votive Masses:

    As a votive Mass of our Lady any of the following may be chosen:

    (a) in the universal Church, the Masses of our Lady on Saturday, according to the different seasons, and also all the Masses of the feasts of our Lady which are inscribed in the universal calendar;

    (b) in a particular church, in addition to the above, all the Masses which are inscribed in the particular calendar, or specially granted.

    However, with the exception of the Immaculate Conception, Masses which refer to the mysteries of the life of our Lady may not be chosen as votive Masses (309).

    In practice, then, any of the following may be chosen as votive Masses of our Lady: Saturday Masses of our Lady, Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Heart, Queenship of Mary, Holy Name of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, our Lady of Mount Carmel, our Lady of Ransom, Apparition of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our Lady Help of Christians (for the whole of Australia and New Zealand), our Lady of Perpetual Succour and our Lady of Good Counsel (for those dioceses in which these feasts are celebrated).
    The formulary for the above Masses of our Lady will be the Mass of the feast, unless another Mass is expressly indicated (315). Any parts of the Mass of the feast that may be wanting are supplied from the Common of feasts of our Lady (309 b).
    pp. 175-6.

    However, in the same book by Fr. Murphy it says:

    358. The external solemnity belongs by law only: . . .
    (b) Our Lady of the Rosary, on the first Sunday in October;

    Bottom line: I'm more confused than ever. : (
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • If your priest agrees that this Mass is for the "Good of the Faithful" it can be celebrated as an external Solemnity.

    I think this is an overstatement; also, it does not necessarily follow from what the aforementioned ordo says.

    The rubrics of the Missal linked above state that:

    357. The external solemnity of any feast belongs to it by the law itself, or is granted by a special indult.

    358. The external solemnity belongs by law only:

    (a) The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus;

    (b) Our Lady of the Rosary, on the first Sunday of October;


    To finish this section, there is a note about what you may do if you have an indult; however, it doesn't seem as though you can just wake up one morning and decide to have an external solemnity.

    In my experience, external solemnities are only for certain major feasts, e.g. in the United States, the external solemnity of Corpus Christi is celebrated on the following Sunday; or this year our community observed an external solemnity of St. Lawrence, as he is the saint after whom our church is named.

    That sort of thing.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    it doesn't seem as though you can just wake up one morning and decide to have an external solemnity.

    LOL! This whole discussion is way above my pay grade, but it can't be helped. There aren't too many people I can ask for help with researching this question. We so much appreciate the information and expertise, and it will all be relayed to the proper authorities. I'm not making the decisions, thankfully. I'm just helping out with the research.
    Thanked by 2JonathanKK tomjaw
  • My opinion:

    I don't think that any of the options for higher ranking votive Masses are going to apply in your case. The reason they have a more or less high ranking assigned to them is to ensure that they may take appropriate precedence over the regular Masses of the Proper of the Time and of the Saints. Thus the Mass of Dedication, in the rite of the consecration of a church, will take precedence over almost everything (because it needs to), whereas Mass of the Sacred Heart on a first Friday will yield to a second class feast, as is probably fitting. These privileges are given to these votive Masses by the church as an endorsement of their respective values, it would seem.

    There is indeed a loophole for a priest to choose to say practically any Mass he wants; however, the catch is that such votive Masses are of the lowest rank (IV class), and can only be said on IV class ferias.

    Reading the rubrics for such, I trace out that:
    387. A votive Mass IV class is one which may be celebrated only on liturgical days IV class.

    388. For a votive Mass IV class any Mass may be used which the rubrics allow to be said as a votive Mass. However, a just cause is required, such as the necessity, benefit or devotion of the priest celebrant or the faithful.

    (There then follow some instructions, calling for the omission of the Gloria [in your case] and use of the ferial tone; however, there are no strings attached about getting permission of the ordinary or what - in this case it really is true that all that is required is the benefit, etc. of the priest or faithful.)

    Side note: Regarding whether a commemoration should be added, I would think not, based on no. 108, which says that "ordinary commemorations are made only at lauds, in conventual Masses and in all low Masses" (the regular sort of commemorations given for Oct. 21 do not appear in the list of "privileged commemorations" given in no. 109; also, no. 285 defines "conventual Mass", which is for people bound to choir duty, as is not your case).

    309. The following may be celebrated as votive Masses of our Lady:

    (a) in the universal Church, Masses for our Lady on Saturday which are arranged in the Missal for the different seasons of the year, and also all Masses of feasts of our Lady which are inscribed in the universal calendar. (my emphasis)

    For which reason, I think you are good to go with having a votive Mass IV class of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
    Thanked by 2JulieColl tomjaw

  • LOL! This whole discussion is way above my pay grade.

    I second this strongly, and am glad to hear the reassurance that the decision remains with the priest. (Deo gratias. I was starting to get worried, if you could tell...)

    Vale in Domino,


    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    One does what one can to help facilitate the celebration of the Latin Mass, I guess. I don't think anyone can expect overworked young diocesan priests to know all the ins and outs of arcane preconciliar rubrics, and I'm happy to ferret things out if that will help Father. This has been a very helpful discussion, and I'm esp. grateful for tomjaw's link to Fr. Murphy's English translation of the rubrics which I can pass along to the proper authorities. Thanks so much for all your help and expertise! I know Father is very grateful.

    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,724
    As I wrote above the easy option is to have a 4th class Votive Mass of the B.V.M,
    No Gloria (Because it is not Saturday), No Creed, Commemorations at low Mass, BUT NO Commemorations at Sung Mass (Because you are using 1962 Rubrics!)

    As the Rubrics posted above you can use Propers other than from the Common of the B.V.M. So you can have the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I saw the suggestion of having a Mass of the Holy Rosary, this is fine and is listed above as one of the possible Masses.

    But we do have other options if we choose to use them...

    Now a 4th Class Votive Mass is all very good... but if you are having a sung Mass, and this is a special occasion, The Rubrics allow you the option to upgrade your 4th Class Votive Mass to either a 2nd (so you can sing the Gloria etc.) or 1st Class (you can sing the Gloria and Creed.) I will give explanations of how this works below.

    Now I will give some explanations, and historical notes that will help you to understand the Rubrics posted above,

    External Solemnities,
    These are mainly used to celebrate feasts on a Sunday, when normally you would have the Sunday Mass from the Temporal cycle. N.B. These can NOT be celebrated on 1st Class Feasts, privileged Sundays etc. Rubric on Number of Masses (and instructions for the Divine Office) can be found in posts above, .

    Before the 1911/14 reforms certain Feasts were permanently celebrated on Sunday,
    2nd Sunday after Epiphany, Feast of the Holy Name (this had different Propers to the modern Feast)
    3rd Sunday after Easter, Feast of St. Joseph
    1st Sunday in July, Precious Blood
    Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption, St. Joachim
    Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the B.V.M, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
    3rd Sunday of September, Feast of the seven Sorrows of the B.V.M.
    1st Sunday of October, Feast of the Holy Rosary

    In many places the Feast of Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Sacred Heart, and The Feast of St. Peter and Paul were celebrated as an External Solemnity on the following Sunday.

    The Local calendars and those for religious orders give even more examples (If you would like a list ask!)

    After the reforms the feasts formerly fixed on a Sunday were transferred to a date / or number of days after the Sunday. BUT for the good of the faithful the Mass could be celebrated on its former day. So Rosary Sunday can still be celebrated with a Mass of the Holy Rosary.

    Other Local Feasts would also be celebrated as External Solemnities and would include,
    Dedication of the Cathedral Church.
    Titular of the Cathedral.
    Patron of the Diocese.
    Dedication of the Chapel / Church.
    Titular of the Chapel / Church.
    Patronal feast of the place.
    A first or second Class Feast in your Diocese or Country.

    While it is unusual for External Solemnities to be celebrated on a day other than a Sunday the Rubrics allow this. So your Soldality of the Five Holy Wounds can celebrate the feast on its original date on the Friday after the 3rd Sunday of Lent. So the pious group of the faithful meeting on a Wednesday night in October could have an External Solemnity of their patron etc.
    External Solemnities can also be celebrated for altars / shrines in a Church dedicated to particular Saints.
    So in short if the Celebrant accepts that this celebration is for the good of the faithful, have an External Solemnity.

    Notes on Votive Masses,
    2nd Class Votive Masses can be celebrated in various circumstances mainly to allow you to celebrate your important Feasts on convenient days.
    The easiest way of upgrading a 4th class Votive Mass is via the External Solemnity route.

    With 1st class Votive Masses it is more difficult, as usually you would have to ask the bishop. But in this day and age, asking the bishop about an obscure Rubric he has never heard of... a question he does not understand, and a question that depending how you phrase it will effect the answer... is a waste of everybodies time. Our Archbishop is on record as say he does not care what we do... So we work out the answer.
    So my rule is "Don't ask the bishop a question he will not understand" Answer it yourself.
    My colleague who produces the L.M.S. Ordo has a similar one, "Don't ask a question that you already know the answer".

    So if you want to sing the Creed at your Mass, ask the bishop or work out his answer for him! and have your 1st Class Votive Mass.

    I hope this helps, I am happy to answer further practical questions on the Rubrics, as it is not above my pay grade.

    Oh, One final rule it is always up to the celebrant what Mass is celebrated... but how you explain things may effect his final decision!
    Thanked by 2JulieColl CHGiffen
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Tom, I wish there was a bigger and brighter 'Thanks' option! The light is beginning to dawn on the rationale behind the feria and Votive Masses. I couldn't make any sense out of it before. It was like a secret code, but you and Jonathan have unlocked much of the mystery.

    God bless and many thanks!
    Thanked by 2tomjaw JonathanKK
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    A postscript to this discussion: While I was looking for the propers for the Votive Mass for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I found this pdf of a Mass booklet on the website which contains all the readings and prayers as well as the notation for all the propers and the Ordinary (Missa cum jubilo) which is a very helpful resource.

    They also have practice videos of the propers for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary here. A sample: