Friday, November 13, 2015

your really do learn something new every day ...

I noticed what I thought was a mistake on the site of the local Latin Mass Society. They were listing next Sunday as  the 'Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Resumed).' 

'Hello,' I thought. 'Now there's a major error if I ever saw one. We're almost into Advent; and Epiphany comes not long after Advent, just after Christmas. So how could we have Epiphany just before Advent? And what's this 'resumed' business anyway? They must have posted something they're planning for later in the year!'

However, even though I was sure a mistake was made, not being a man to rush to judgement, I thought that a quick google was in order, the Latin Mass not being something I have a great deal of familiarity with. And guess what? I found a nice little page (here) laying out what was going on ... and odd though it may sound, no mistake had been made. Here's how they explain it:

If there are 27 Sundays after Pentecost (when Easter falls between March the 27th and April the 2nd), on the 24th Sunday are said the Prayers, the Epistle, and the Gospel of the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany; on the 25th Sunday the same parts of the 5th Sunday after the Epiphany are said, and on the 26th Sunday those parts of the 6th Sunday after the Epiphany are said.

Basically, if I have this right, when Easter falls early, rather than adding extra readings, etc, to the Missal to make up the difference, it simply goes back to the ones that got excluded because of the early start of Lent. Quite interesting, I think. I mean, I still find it a little odd to resume Epiphany in the run up to Advent, but it does mean the bits that got left out earlier in the year are brought back in. And, even if it caused me to raise an eyebrow at first, I have to bear in mind that that's the way it was done for centuries ... and those folk from the past would probably find what we're doing a bit weird! 

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