Why was the Presentation of the Lord celebrated in the evening in Rome?
  • henry
    Posts: 241
    Our diocesan liturgy office told us that, since it falls on a Saturday, any Candlemas Masses had to be celebrated before the Sunday vigil Masses began. However, watched the beautiful Mass from St. Peter's and I believe it began around 5:30pm there. Why? Also - books say that the Penitential Rite is omitted (because of the procession) and Gloria begins when priest is at his chair. St. Peter's sang Kyrie (after the procession), then the Gloria. Are they mistaken, or what?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,944
    Rome had it right. The table of precedence indicates today's propers (including 2d vespers) trump those of the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time (thus, tonight we pray the 2d vespers of the Presentation, not the 1st vespers of the 4th Sunday of OT). We can fulfill our preceptual obligation this evening, but the propers are a distinct matter.

    The USCCB used to get this wrong for many years when preparing the US calendar (based on an overinterpretation of what the liturgical day is vs how the table of precedence governs the selection of propers), but finally got it right since 2010, a year when Christmas fell on a Saturday, and the USCCB finally fixed its long-standing erroneous instructions about the the propers of that Saturday evening: the corrected answer is that Saturday evening is still Christmas, and the propers are of Christmas, not of the Holy Family. (Now, it's unusual for parishes to have Masses on Christmas evening - it's the one Saturday evening every 5-6-11 yrs where there tends to be no Mass.) The same reasoning applied to today.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,160
    Is it possible that anticipated Sunday Masses are not used in Vatican City? This would allow for the Saturday (feast) Mass to be offered late Saturday.
  • henry
    Posts: 241
    But what about the Kyrie when our liturgical books say the Penitential Rite is omitted?
  • Liam is right about the propers, although I doubt many parishes in the US would have taken the opportunity to celebrate an evening Mass of the Presentation, since people would normally expect the Saturday evening Mass to use the propers of Sunday. The Sunday obligation is fulfilled by attending any Mass celebrated on Saturday evening (in the US from 4 p.m.). As for the Kyrie, it's not usually considered to be part of the Penitential Act except, of course, when it is! For example, when the Penitential Act is omitted on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, the Kyrie may be omitted, but it may also be sung. Although it's not mentioned in the rubrics for the Candlemas procession, I don't see why the same leeway wouldn't hold sway.
  • I sent the following email to the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship:

    On Sat., 2/2/2013, Candlemas was celebrated at the evening Mass at St. Peter's in Rome. Several observers commented on the choice of celebration. Instead of the anticipated Mass of Sunday IV per annum, the Feast had precedence. This is similar to the occurrence of celebrations for Christmas 2010, on a Saturday. The newsletter of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship (CDW) noted then that any evening Masses on 12/25/2010 should use all the texts and ceremonies for Christmas, and not for the Holy Family.

    The same principle seems to have been observed at the Vatican for Candlemas, but I did not see any similar announcement by the CDW.

    Looking ahead for rest of 2013, there will be similar occurrences:

    June 29th Peter & Paul
    Sept. 14th Holy Cross
    Nov 2nd All Souls' Day
    Nov 9th Lateran Basilica

    I suggest an announcement from the CDW to remind dioceses and pastors on how the evening Mass on Saturday should be conducted for these days. I also understand that the Vatican included the Creed for the evening Mass on Candlemas. This may also need to be made explicit.

    At this point, it would be too late for the major publishers of worship aids to feature these celebrations as is usual for Sunday liturgies.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,944
    I should note that there will be folks (especially pastors) who take a legalistic approach for pragmatic reasons (that is, to reduce the weekend workload and only one set of readings - and [cough, cough, cough] homily - for the weekend) that "evening" in Roman parlance is any time after noon, and vespers theoretically could be said before 4PM Mass, yadayadayada, and so they've already completed the one day and begun the next. The problem with that legalism is an opposing legalism, in the USA, at least, the bishops have limited the liturgical time of "evening" for Saturday evenings to 4PM and thereafter, so one would not have said vespers liturgically (as opposed to privately) before 4PM.... (Of course, in any case, the ultimate law on the ground is with the guy who signs your paycheck. Perhaps the same guy who schedules Easter Vigil for 4PM (those guys seem popular in Florida, by all reports...) and Midnight Mass for 3PM on Christmas Eve....)

    I'd slice that Gordion knot with a more commonsensical observation that a 4PM or 5PM Mass occurs during the time of late afternoon/early evening classically marked by vespers, and thus properly within the day that takes precedence. I am willing to concede that the legal pragmatists are not entirely without a hint of legal ambiguity to cloak their practice, and would instead say that we should not settle this as a legal matter but instead as a matter of best practice (a decision hermeneutic - best practice instead of licitness - that would be nice to deeply cultivate in the American Catholic Church, for so many generations (long before Vatican II) in the thrall of the cult of liciety). You have 9PM Mass on Saturday night? Then perhaps we can slice, dice and julienne fry somewhat differently. But for most non-university oratories/parishes, that Saturday evening Mass occurs well before that.

  • To clear that one up, Liam, #61 on the Universal Norms on the Calendar:

    Should on the other hand, Vespers of the current day's Office and First Vespers of the following day be assigned for celebration on the same day, then Vespers of the celebration with the higher rank in the Table of Liturgical Days takes precedence; in cases of equal rank, Vespers of the current day takes precedence.

    This actually separates the norms of Vespers from those of Mass. For example, on a Saturday, November 1, the evening Mass is that of All Souls (I know, crazy) because it is the anticipatory Mass for Sunday, at least by what I've always been told. However, because All Saints and All Souls have the same rank on the Table of Liturgical Days (I.3), you would say Vespers of All Saints.
  • I thought All Souls would be transferred to Monday if falling on a Sunday.
  • I would have thought so, too, but the table of liturgical days puts it on par with Solemnities, even though it does not have that rank.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,944
    For Mass, All Souls is transferred in the EF, IIRC, but not the OF. There is no first vespers for All Souls.

    FWIW, All Souls is on a second line of 1.3, not with All Saints in the first line. If they were equal, then they would have merely added "and Commemoration of All Souls" to the first line.

    And, traditionally, the choice of Mass propers follows that of the Office. Of course, for centuries there was no regular celebration of Mass in the evening, so the issue of matching propers and vespers is more notional as a traditional matter in that regard, but the broader tradition is to understand the Mass as a very special part, shall we say, of the overall Office, the daily prayer of the Church.
  • All Souls is on a second line of 1.3, not with All Saints in the first line. If they were equal, then they would have merely added "and Commemoration of All Souls" to the first line.

    I think if they wanted to put it lower than All Saints, they would have put it in a different section. I'm not so sure the feasts are ranked within their respective ranks. Not that it matters since we know how it falls.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    Great discussion, all. I'm tempted to send this to my boss, who is liturgically very good and a canon lawyer...but I'm afraid his head might explode!
  • For what it's worth, the Ordo for our Diocese (actually the entire state of Ohio) made no mention of the Feast vs Sunday issue and actually stated that EP I of Sunday should be celebrated on Saturday evening.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,151
    Why? ... Because.
    Because why? ... Just because.

    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    I'm not so sure the feasts are ranked within their respective ranks.

    Well, remember the principle of ordering of preference with "alius cantus aptus." By following this principle, items in one of these lists would be ordered (and in this case, to my sense at least, judging by the content do seem to be ordered) in rank.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Check out this link from Fr. Dylan Schrader's page of Notitiae responses. It seems to deal with this issue. Although he hasn't translated it yet, perhaps someone else could. I believe the relevant material begins on p. 222 (second page of the PDF).


    From a quick perusal (through beginner's Latin), it appears that the final point here does indeed give leeway to the individual diocese or bishops' conferences in these matters.
    Thanked by 1Chris Hebard
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    The GIRM treats the penitential act and the Kyrie as separate elements. It says of the Kyrie: "After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act." The "always" of this rubric raises the question of when and why the Kyrie would ever be omitted.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,151
    Precisely, Prof. Mahrt.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,934
    "The weather is warm and partly sunny." R: "Lord, have mercy!" etc.

    That's when the Kyrie is omitted. When we have a priest who doesn't do the confiteor, we can't sing it.
  • Fr. Dan Merz replied to my Feb. 3rd email posted supra:

    Thank you for your email. We have regularly included clarifying information regarding major feasts and solemnities when they fall on a Saturday or Sunday for the benefit of our Newsletter readership. The January 2013 issue has one such peace regarding All Souls' Day. At this time, we don't judge it necessary to do a similar piece for the feasts you mention below. The Vatican practice you describe pertains to the practice and ordo within the Vatican (which differs even from that of the rest of the Diocese of Rome). In the United States, it is the long custom for the faithful to go to an anticipated Mass on Saturday evening and this has to be taken into account and accommodated when scheduling parish Masses.

    The Jan. newsletter excerpt.

    The reply doesn't directly address why the 2010 Christmas occurrence was handled differently.

    The 1974 Notitiae posted by SkirpR allows the Ordinary to choose one or the other Mass for pastoral reasons, and adjust the diocesan calendar accordingly.
  • Well, remember the principle of ordering of preference with "alius cantus aptus." By following this principle, items in one of these lists would be ordered (and in this case, to my sense at least, judging by the content do seem to be ordered) in rank.

    Not exactly. The ranks of feasts in the calendar are clearly stipulated. I am skeptical that the noted feasts are further ranked within the number assigned to them.

    The "rankings" of preferred music, for example, the Entrance Chant, are enumerated and not ranked within their given number, either. If your logic stated above were to hold, then the Missal antiphons are preferred to the ones in the Gradual, since:

    (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum as set to music there or in another setting.

    The ranks are clear. The idea that the days are further ranked within the numbers is speculation.