Saturday, May 31, 2008

Celebration of the Conversion of St. Paul in 2009

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a decree regarding the celebration of the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle, in 2009. Next year, the feast occurs with the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Under the rubrics of the Ordinary Form this would mean that the celebration is entirely ommitted. Since the Holy Father has declared the year from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009 to be a special Pauline Year for the bimillennium celebrations of the birth of the Apostle Paul, a special solution has been determined. This is the NLM translation of the provisions contained in the decree:

Therefore, in virtue of the faculties attributed to this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, it is being granted, having considered the extraordinary nature of the occasion, that on the coming 25th day of January 2009, which occurs on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, in each church one Mass only according to the formularium of The Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle, as it is found in the Roman Missal, can be celebrated. In this case, the second reading of the Mass is taken from the Roman Lectionary for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, and the creed or profession of faith is said.

This grace, by special mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, shall only be in force in the year 2009.

Since I believe that the same rubrics apply to the Extraordinary Form (the sunday being II classis and the feast III classis, preventing even a commemoration, see n. 111 lit. b of the Rubricæ generales), and considering that when the Solemnity of St. Joseph was transferred to 15 March this year because of Holy Week by the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei said that this applied to the Extraordinary Form, too, it may reasonably be expected that the present decree on the celebration of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle, in 2009 will also be held to apply - mutatis mutandis - to the Extraordinary Form.

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