Friday, 1 July 2016

Sacra Liturgia UK and Fota IX

The summer is upon us, and I shall be attending both Sacra Liturgia UK in London and Fota IX in Cork. The papers due to be delivered at both conferences sound fascinating, and I'm really looking forward to them! I'm also looking forward to meeting in real life a few people who I have only spoken to over the internet, as well as many others who are passionate about the Catholic Church and her liturgy.

By nature I am an introvert, so I can be a little shy at times, but if you are a reader of this blog or New Liturgical Movement and are attending either Sacra Liturgia or Fota (or both!), please introduce yourself to me and we can have a nice chat about liturgy-related things, life in general, or whatever you like!

A reminder of what I look like for those who want to talk
to me about lectionaries and other liturgical topics

I will also have a few copies of my book Index Lectionum: A Comparative Table of Readings for the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite for those who are interested in looking at it in the flesh, as it were, and I might be persuaded to part with some of them at a discounted price... :-)

Thursday, 2 June 2016

New Liturgical and Historical Resources for Download

It has been a little while since the last update, and I have gathered some more useful liturgical and historical resources over the last few months. So, here they are:

1. Dom Adrian Nocent’s proposal for an optional cycle of 2nd readings for Sundays per annum (PDF): Dom Nocent was a member of Group XI of the Consilium, the group responsible for the reform of the lectionary. In 1994, he wrote a book called A Rereading of the Renewed Liturgy, in which he advocated for several more reforms in the post-Vatican II liturgy, including an additional, optional cycle of 2nd readings for tempus per annum. The aim of Nocent's proposed cycle is to thematically link the 2nd reading with the 1st reading and Gospel, as in his opinion, the current structure of the lectionary makes it "impossible to use the second reading in the homily with any coherence." The PDF file gives Nocent's proposed readings, along with a short extract from Rereading in which he explains his proposal.

2. Permissions given by the Consilium for the use of ad experimentum lectionaries, 1965-69 (PDF): This has been in the sidebar for a little while, but is worth highlighting. Between 1965 and 1969, the Consilium gave permission to many countries regarding the use of ad experimentum lectionaries for use on weekdays and various occasions (such as confirmations, funerals, weddings, etc.). This PDF document is comprised of two tables that detail all the permissions recorded in Notitiae: the first table organised by date, the second alphabetically by country.

3. Text and Tables of the Consilium’s « Lectionaria particularia », Notitiae 4 (1968), 40-88 (PDF): Again, this has been in the sidebar for a little while, and links in with the "Permissions" PDF above. Some conferences of Bishops, instead of designing their own ad experimentum lectionaries, asked for permission to use one or more parts of the Consilium's lectionaria particularia, which ended up being printed in Notitiae 4 (1968). This document is a tabulation of the Consilium's experimental lectionary, which could be used on particular occasions, e.g. Confirmations, funerals, Masses with children, Masses on camping trips, etc.

4. The Resolutions of the International Liturgical Congresses, 1951-1953: Maria Laach, Ste. Odile and Lugano (PDF): These congresses held in the early 1950s give an insight into what certain members of the cutting-edge (at that time) of the liturgical movement were hoping for in terms of a future reform of the Catholic liturgy. There are a number of striking similarities between these resolutions and the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms.

5. Bishops of England and Wales, The Manual of Prayers: Authorized by the Hierarchy of England and Wales for Congregational Use (London: Burns & Oates, 1953) (PDF): This book, originally published in 1886, is a collection of devotional prayers for use with congregations. It is an interesting insight into what the English and Welsh bishops were encouraging parish churches to use in order to foster the devotional life of the faithful before the Second Vatican Council. (In my opinion, we in England and Wales could do with reviving the use of some of these prayers in parishes, before and after Mass!)

6. Mgr Derek Worlock (ed.), English Bishops at the Council: The Third Session of Vatican II (London: Burns & Oates, 1965) (PDF): This book, edited by the man who would later become Bishop of Portsmouth and then Archbishop of Liverpool, gives English translations of the speeches made by the English bishops at the third session of Vatican II, as well as talks by Mgr Worlock and press conferences given by the Bishops and periti.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Index Lectionum: A Comparative Table of Readings for the OF and EF - Now Available!

Matthew Hazell & Peter Kwasniewski (foreword)

Index Lectionum: A Comparative Table of Readings
for the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite
(Lectionary Study Aids, vol. 1)

Lectionary Study Press, 2016. xxxviii + 232 pp.

Available from Amazon: USA $16.95; UK £11.99;
GermanyFranceSpainItaly €15,49 (+ tax)

The reason things have been a little quiet on the blog so far this year is because I have been busy finishing off work on the above book, the Index Lectionum. I am happy to announce that the book is in print and now available to purchase from Amazon!

What is the Index Lectionum? It is a new tool that aims to make the comparison of the lectionaries of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms easier than it has been up until now. All the readings at Mass in both forms of the Roman Rite have been arranged side-by-side in biblical order, with their use in each form documented. This book thus makes it possible to look up a biblical reference and quickly find out if it is used on the same day or celebration in the OF and EF, or where a reading in the EF has been transferred to in the OF, and so on.
Sample page from Matthew's Gospel
(click to enlarge)

Dr Peter Kwasniewski, professor of theology at Wyoming Catholic College and one of my colleagues over at New Liturgical Movement, has very generously contributed the foreword to the Index. He writes that:
[T]his Index also facilitates, in fact for the first time, fruitful scholarly comparisons between the old and new lectionaries... We have waited close to half a century for the opportunity to hold in our hands a single resource that indicates, with painstaking detail, just what the reformers added and, perhaps of far greater interest, what they chose to omit that had once been present in the Church’s worship. Thus equipped, we are at last in an optimal position to carry further the kind of comparative studies on the lectionary that Dr. Lauren Pristas has perfected in regard to the collects of the Mass. (p. vii)
The Index Lectionum is the first volume in the "Lectionary Study Aids" series of books: subsequent volumes will take up the use of the Psalms in the two Missals, as well as comparing the psalms and readings of the two forms of the Roman Office.

Sample page from Jeremiah
(click to enlarge)

For all those who love the Church's liturgy, the Index Lectionum is a vital comparative tool for further study of and research into the lectionaries of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms: their relationship to one another, their similarities and differences, and their respective pastoral advantages and disadvantages.

Contents of the Index Lectionum

Foreword: "Not Just More Scripture, but Different Scripture" (Peter Kwasniewski) (vii)
The Index Lectionum: An Introduction and User's Guide (Matthew Hazell) (xxxi)

Index Lectionum (1)

Appendix 1: Comparison of Sundays in the Proper of Time (181)
Appendix 2: Comparison of Proper of Time for Weekdays in Lent (191)
Appendix 3: Comparison of Saints' Days (195)
Appendix 4: Readings of the Commons of MR 1962 (218)
Appendix 5: Comparison of the OF and EF Commons (223)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sacra Liturgia UK 2016

Registrations are now open for this year's Sacra Liturgia UK conference! Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the CDWDS, will be giving the inaugural address, entitled "Towards an Authentic Implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium", and many others, including Bishop Alan Hopes, Mgr Andrew Burnham, Dom Alcuin Reid, and Fr Uwe Michael Lang will also be speaking on various topics.

The conference runs from the 5th-8th July at Imperial College, South Kensington, London, with the liturgical celebrations being held at the London Oratory and Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory (the central church of the Ordinariate).

The cost is £100 for ordinary registrations, £65 for students (not including accommodation or meals). Great value for what is bound to be four days of immensely interesting lectures, and joyful, solemn liturgical celebrations!

Lots more information can be found at

I have booked my place, so if people want to have some lectionary-based conversations over a beer in London in early July, you now know where to come! :-)

Friday, 18 December 2015

The O Antiphons

Since it is the season, I thought I would share a talk I gave earlier this Advent to the Diocese of Hallam branch of the Ascent movement on the O Antiphons.

The O Antiphons: History, Theology, Spirituality (PDF)

Hope that you find the talk interesting, and also that you are all having a blessed Advent!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Interesting lectionary news from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Some interesting news from the November plenary meeting of the English and Welsh bishops:
The Bishops' Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales. [link]
IMO, a good choice of translation for the biblical readings, but not a great choice (though a predictable one) for the psalter. The authorisation, even if only for optional use, of the Coverdale Psalter - which as far as I am aware can be used in the Ordinariate Use - would be preferable (and also thoroughly ecumenical!).

However, given that the RSV2CE is in use in the Ordinariate, and the Revised Grail Psalter (with adjustments) has already been authorised for use in other countries like the USA, one would have thought that the Holy See's approval would be fairly quick in coming. Perhaps in time for publication by Advent 2017?

This resolution is particularly interesting in light of the collapse of the International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary (ICPELL), which was supposed to have produced a common lectionary for conferences where English is used in the liturgy (excluding the USA). For more on that saga, see the relevant posts on Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman's blog.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Pinpointing the Origins of the Multi-Year Lectionary: (1) Heinz Schürmann

Note: This is the first post in an occasional series, which will look at proposals and suggestions made about the lections of the Roman Missal from before the Second Vatican Council, and ultimately attempt to pinpoint the origins of the idea of a lectionary with cycles for multiple years.

It is well-known that, with regard to the reform of the lectionary, Sacrosanctum Concilium 51 stated that a "more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years [intra praestitutum annorum spatium]". The Fathers thus did not specify exactly how this desire was to be practically implemented; like most of the other reforms, this was ultimately left in the hands of the Consilium. In the case of the lectionary, Group 11 of the Consilium1 was responsible for producing what is used today in the forma ordinaria of the Roman Rite: a lectionary with a three-year Sunday cycle, and a two-year weekday cycle.2

Where did this desire for a multi-year cycle of readings for Mass come from? After all, it was not particularly controversial or much discussed at the Council itself.3 For the vast majority of the Council Fathers, it apparently seemed obvious that there should be more scripture read at Mass, and having it over more than one year was a sensible way of achieving this. Still, ideas like this do not just come from nowhere without having been previously discussed (even if only privately) by bishops, priests and liturgical scholars.

Our quest to find out more about the origins of this idea starts a decade before the Council. In 1952, the new (at that time) liturgical journal Liturgisches Jahrbuch published an article entitled "Eine Dreijährige Perikopenordnung für Sonn- und Festtage" by Fr Heinz Schürmann - who would, incidentally, later be a member of Group 11 of the Consilium. In this article, what he says about the order of readings in the Roman Missal is that it is Nachteil, a disadvantage, and suggests his own, three-year cycle.4 Below are download links to the German-language article, and my English translation of it.

Interestingly, Schürmann's proposed readings do not particularly exhibit the lectio semi-continua we see in the post-conciliar reforms, and neither is there the approach whereby each year is organised around one of the synoptic Gospels. Instead, his approach utilises Gospel pericopes with roughly similar meaning and content for each Sunday ("die Evangelienperikopen durch solche ungefähr gleichen Sinngehaltes zu ersetzen"), so there is an attempt at thematic consistency throughout each year of the cycle. The Epistle readings are, however, thematically linked to the Gospel, much like the Old Testament reading is linked to the Gospel in the Ordinary Form lectionary.

As we shall see, a number of suggestions were made about lectionary reform (and liturgical reform generally) in the 1950s. We shall look at some of these in the next post in this series, and afterwards go a little further back in time to trace the history of this particular reform.


1 The personnel of Coetus XI were as follows (cf. A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 [Liturgical Press, 1990], p. 409 fn. 12.): relator: G. Diekmann (until June 1965), C. Vagaggini (after June 1965); secretary: G. Fontaine; members: H. Schürmann, P. Jounel, P. Massi, E. Lanne, H. Kahlefeld, and J. Féder (from Nov. 1965). There were also some members added to the group, presumably in 1966 when the work really got going: A. Rose, A. Nocent, A.-M. Roguet, K. Tilmann, H. Oster, J. Gaillard, H. Marot, and L. Deiss.

2 In reality, it is a little more complicated than that (e.g. the Gospel reading on weekdays is the same in Years I and II), but this brief description will do for now!

3 For the Latin texts of the interventions of the Fathers dealing with SC 51, 24 and 35, see my resource Lectionary Reform at the Second Vatican Council (which can also be found in this blog's sidebar).

4 Interestingly, as a member of Coetus XI, Schürmann (along with Heinrich Kahlefeld) would later go further by championing the idea of a four-year Sunday cycle of readings: cf. Bugnini, Reform, p. 417.