December 8, 2013

Gaudens Gaudebo

I was relieved yesterday by the resolution of a liturgical dubium that had been troubling me. Everyone was acting as if today, December 8, was going to be the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception when it seemed to me that it should be the Second Sunday of Advent. After all, consulting the 'table of liturgical days' in the front of your breviary or missal clearly reveals that a Sunday of Advent enjoys precedence over almost everything, including solemnities of Our Lady.

Consulting my American Ordo (which the brothers at home have been kind enough to keep sending me) I saw things as I would have expected: the Second Sunday of Advent on December 8, como Dios manda, with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patronal feast day of the United States of America, moved to Monday, December 9 as a holy day of opportunity.

I was especially worried about this because in my work lately I have been preparing the English translations of the decrees related to the promulgation of the 'renewed' and 'enriched' Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, prepared by our General Chapter last summer and subsequently approved and confirmed by the Holy See on this past feast of St. Francis. The decrees, with wholesome Franciscan resonance, are solemnly dated December 8, 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. But, as I kept thinking as I worked on these documents, that day ought not to be the Immaculate Conception, but the Second Sunday of Advent.

For some reason, perhaps arranged by Providence to teach patience to persons like me, we had not received an Italian Ordo at the beginning of the liturgical year, so I was not able to check on this by the ordinary means.

So, as I say, I was greatly relieved when this dubium was resolved for me yesterday morning. While I was about the customary Saturday cleaning of my room, I went to the office of the General Secretary (my boss) to return some folders. (They are way into folders in Italy. If you've lived or worked here, you know what I mean.) On my way I saw a box in the mail area. On it was scribbled,

Curia generale - 40

Could that be our Ordoes*?, I thought. It was. I immediately sneaked a hand into the box for a preview, turned to December 8 and read:
By special concession of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in the Dioceses of Italy the Solemnity of the Immaculate [Conception] is celebrated in the place of the Second Sunday of Advent, according to the following manner:
- the second reading is that of the current Sunday
-mention of the liturgical time is made in the homily and in the Universal Prayer
So today is Immaculate Conception here in Italy!
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

*or Ordos, Ordines, Ordines recitandi, etc. if you prefer.


Anonymous said...

The same exception has been made, I am told, by the Bishops' Conference in Portugal.

In learning this, however, I also learned that some believe if mass is to be celebrated on Sunday in the United States, but in the Portuguese tongue, the same exception applies.

I don't think it works that way.

Brother Charles said...

I would agree. A clear violation of 'When in Rome...'