Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Adapting the Novus Ordo Calendar

As a thought experiment, I decided to a bit of a private “reform of the reform” and imagine

what the current General Roman Calendar would look like if it were converted back towards the Divinu Afflatu (DA) era rubrics. The entirety of the current calendar is included with four major concessions to the DA calendar: (1) inclusion of some octaves which are no longer included in the new calendar, (2) inclusion of vigils which are no longer included in the new calendar, (3) inclusion of Ember Days and Rogation Days, and (4) the retention of the season of Septuagesima.


For the inclusion of octaves, I did not want to include every octave from the DA calendar, but I didn’t want to be limited to just two octaves. It was difficult to decide which octaves to include and which to cut. After some suggestions, I decided to use the following two criteria: (1) the feast must have had an octave on the DA calendar and (2) must be mentioned as a holy day of obligation in Canon 1246 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. It was also necessary for me to then simplify and modify some of the rubrics concerning octaves. The full list of octaves and their ranks is shown below.


i.                    Feasts ranked Solemnity, Feast, and Memorial are counted as Double, Semidouble, and Simple respectively.

a.       Doubles and Semidoubles use festal psalms and antiphons.

b.      Simples use ferial psalms and antiphons.

ii.                  All Optional Memorials are counted as Simples and are not optional.

iii.                If more than one Optional Memorial set for the same day, then either may be celebrated as a Simple and the other(s) commemorated.

iv.                Sundays are ranked Semidouble and outrank any other Semidouble except for those feasts of Our Lord.

v.                  Suffrages (and preces in the Monastic Office) are not said on feasts ranked Semidouble and higher or within octaves.

vi.                All feasts with a Vigil in the traditional calendar keep their Vigil if the feast is ranked Semidouble on the new Calendar.

a.       If a Vigil occurs with a Simple, the Vigil is commemorated.

vii.              There are three ranks of octaves: Double Octave, Semidouble Octave, and Simple Octave.

a.       Every day within a Double Octave, including its octave day, is ranked Double.

b.      Every day within a Semidouble Octave is ranked Semidouble and its octave day is ranked Double.

c.       Every day within a Simple Octave is ranked Simple and its octave day is ranked Semidouble.

viii.            Days within octaves are outranked by any feast of the same rank.

ix.                The following feasts have octaves:

a.       Double Octave

                                                              i.      Easter

                                                            ii.      Pentecost

b.      Semidouble Octave

                                                              i.      Christmas

                                                            ii.      Epiphany

                                                          iii.      Corpus Christi

c.       Simple Octave

                                                              i.      Immaculate Conception

                                                            ii.      St. Joseph

                                                          iii.      Ascension

                                                          iv.      Ss. Peter & Paul

                                                            v.      Assumption

                                                          vi.      All Saints


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