Sunday, November 01, 2020

The Feast of All Saints 2020

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the beginning of the sermon for the fourth day in the Octave of All Saints.

Most beloved brethren, it is well known that this day’s most solemn festivity of All the Saints was established for this reason, namely, that Pope Boniface, wisely changing unto the worship of God and the reverence of the Saints those things which were formerly instituted in impiety for the rite of idols and the worship of demons, on this day dedicated a church for the common veneration of the Mother of God, and all of Christ’s martyrs. We truly believe this was done by God’s dispensation, that Christ, the wisdom of God, who had cast out the prince of the world, should vindicate unto Himself even those place and temples given over to his (i.e. the devil’s) worship. And so he that in his arrogance had presumed to seize hold of the likeness of the Most High, might grieve that the places set up for his wicked worship are converted to the glory and honor of the Saints. Let us worthily venerate them upon the earth, that we may be defended by their protection in heaven.

The Pantheon, also known as the church of Saint Mary of the Martyrs. When this engraving was made in 1877, the building still had the famous (or infamous) bell towers added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, nicknamed the “Donkey’s Ears”, as well as the gates in the porch, all of which have subsequently been removed.
The pre-Tridentine Roman Breviary has a different sermon for Matins of each day of the Octave of All Saints, but each of these sermons is structured the same way. The first lesson refers to the feast’s institution as part of the dedication of the Pantheon in Rome as a church, the second is about God, the third about the Virgin Mary and the other holy virgins, and so on through the hierarchy of the Saints: Angels, Patriarchs and Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs and Confessors. The final lesson is part of Saint Augustine’s homily on the Gospel of the feast, the Sermon on the Mount. This year, we will follow the lessons for the fourth day in the octave.
Relics of the Saints set out for today’s solemnity at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky. (Courtesy of Fr Jordan Hainsey)

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