Monday, May 24, 2010

Once Again: The Octave of Pentecost

As we move beyond Pentecost Sunday, those of a particularly liturgical turn of mind will almost assuredly be turning their thoughts to an issue which is raised year after year at this time -- and I think deservedly so. Those who pray from the breviary of the Roman usus antiquior or from the monastic breviary, or are in any way observing one of the older liturgical calendars, whether through daily Mass in the usus antiquior or otherwise, will yet be marking the Feast of Pentecost both today and for the rest of this week by virtue of an octave: the ancient octave of Pentecost. As is well known however, this octave was dropped from the modern calendar during the post-conciliar liturgical reforms.

Speaking for myself, the octave of Pentecost not only provides the ability to unite in a long-standing liturgical observance, it also provides a wonderful reminder and occasion to meditate upon the third person of the Holy Trinity.

I wrote about this subject last year in, Two Reforms Associated with Pentecost: The Vigil and the Octave which I will simply draw your attention to again this year. (And as the title suggests, a second point of liturgical discussion surrounding Pentecost is the reform of the Vigil of Pentecost in the usus antiquior, which was addressed in part seven of Gregory DiPippo's study on the 1955 Holy Week reforms, The Vigil of Pentecost and the Readings from Sacred Scripture in Holy Week.)

I am very grateful that its observance continues to be actively observed in the more ancient forms, but cannot but lament its absence in the modern form. It certainly is a question that needs to be looked at in any reform of the reform process.

If the Spirit so moves you, we would be interested in hearing your thoughts:

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