Saturday, June 7, 2014

Post-Pentecost breviary explained, plus Q&A

We haven't done a Q&A post on a long time. So here is one. Ask any question at all in the comments and an answer will be forthcoming.

Here is a revised form of my annual post-Pentecost post, wherein I explain how to figure out where you are in the breviary.  If this is still too confusing, just use a breviary app or website until July 6th.

Wishing you all a blessed Pentecost.

Once the grand finale of the Easter season, namely Pentecost, has passed us by this weekend, one might tend to think that things go "back to normal" in the liturgy. After all, we do call it "Ordinary Time", right?

But no, not exactly. For one thing, the term "ordinary" in  "Ordinary Time"  does not quite correspond to the,um ordinary definition: routine, normal, business-as-usual. It mostly refers to the fact that the Sundays and weeks are numbered, or "ordered". (Although we certainly can feel the contrast between the solemn events of the previous holy seasons as compared to ordinary time, so we're not entirely wrong to feel that Ordinary time is somewhat ordinary in the popular English sense of the word.)
For another thing, for those who use mostly  hard copy breviaries, rather than rely on breviary websites to do their work for them, the next week or so can be among the most confusing of the entire year. Although we enter Ordinary time as of Monday, there are no Sundays of Ordinary Time until July!  All this makes for plenty of head scratching as we flip here and there trying to figure things out.
So just keep an eye on your parish calendar if you forget what week we're in. Or print  this post and keep it in your book.

Monday starts the 10th week of ordinary time, using week II of the Psalter. But there is no 10th Sunday because of Pentecost.
Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. (with its own special liturgy in the proper of Seasons. DON'T use the 11th Sunday. Do continue on Monday with the 11th week (Psalter week III) on Monday.
The Sunday after (6/22) that is Corpus Christi (with its own special liturgy), so DON"T use the 12th Sunday of Ordinary time. Continue on Monday with the 12th week and week IV of the Psalter.
The next Sunday, June 29th, happens to be the Solemnity of St. Peter&Paul, one of those rare saint's days whose liturgy supersedes that of Sunday.  Use week I of the Psalter the following week (13th in Ordinary Time)
Then we shall be back to nothing but Sundays in Ordinary time starting on July 6th, clear through until Christ the King in November.
Hope this is helpful.

PS. There was a great little bit in the Office of Readings today where a sixth century anonymous African answers the question, "Why don't Christians still have the gift of tongues nowadays is the Holy Spirit is still  with them?" I won't spoil it for you. Look it up in your book, or on ibreviary.