Friday, July 01, 2022

A Calendar Comparison for the Month of July: Byzantine, Tridentine, Montinian

On November 16, 2020, I published a piece at NLM entitled “The Sanctoral Killing Fields: On the Removal of Saints from the General Roman Calendar.” I noted, inter alia, the tremendous and often ruthless purging of saints from the calendar in the 1960s, including many saints who have been on it for as long as we have any records and saints universally beloved.

Toward the end of last July, I happened to notice a few parallels between the Roman Martyrology and the Byzantine liturgical calendar, and this prompted me to look more closely at the month of July as a whole. I then brought in the Novus Ordo calender, to see how it compared to both of these. The findings were interesting, confirming what most of us already know from experience.

The Byzantine calendar features 135 named saints or dominical feasts, and all are mandatory. The traditional Latin Mass calendar features 60 named saints or dominical feasts, and all are mandatory (unless a saint happens to fall on a Sunday; a sad legacy that should be undone, at least by way of a simple commemoration after the Sunday orations). The Novus Ordo calendar features 22 named saints, of which only 10 are mandatory.

I am certainly aware of the important differences between how the presence of a saint affects the Byzantine liturgy and how it affects the Western rites; in the former case it has little enough effect, in the latter a dramatic effect. For more on this topic, see my article "In Defense of Cluttered Calendars."

The details may be found in the two images below.

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