Friday, June 06, 2008

The Saint Boniface 'Triduum'

We're now in what I call the 'Saint Boniface Triduum,' as a result of a liturgical oddity that I find amusing, and so will any other liturgy- and canon-law geeks.

We start with the following norms:

1. The observance of a parish's patron saint is a solemnity in that parish--i.e., Saint Boniface Day for Saint Boniface Parish--but only for Saint Boniface Parish, not Saint Mary Parish, where I am also pastor (and where I reside).

2. Church law says such an occasion can be "observed" on a nearby Sunday, so long as the nearby Sunday does not outrank the occasion in the rank of liturgical occasions. In summary, this means "no" if the nearby Sunday is Pentecost, Trinity Sunday or Corpus Christi, but "yes" if a Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Then we proceed to what is unclear to me:

3. Is the occasion merely "observed" or is it transferred? If the former, does that mean it's still observed on the assigned day, and also on the Sunday? Does this not seem odd?

4. What about the Liturgy of the Hours? The letter of the law seems to be, if celebrated publicly, make the shift, but not if private. But does it not seem very odd to pray the Office for Boniface on Thursday, but to celebrate the Mass, on Sunday (and Saturday evening)?

5. I did decide to transfer the observance to the weekend, for the advantage of the faithful, and we did not observe St. Boniface Day, in Saint Boniface Parish, yesterday.

6. However, I had a Mass at the nursing home. They can't come to Sunday Mass; I decided to have the Mass, with them, for Saint Boniface, as a memorial, not a solemnity. Don't ask in which parish boundaries we were.

7. Meanwhile, parishioners organize a picnic each year on our patron's day--that happened last night. No reason to mess with their plans.

8. I prayed the regular office yesterday, as I'll be praying the Office for St. Boniface this weekend. I'll pray parts of it with the seminarians here, so it will be "with the people."

9. Technically, I am only supposed to do this when I'm in Saint Boniface Parish--but my residence is in Saint Mary Parish.

I am open to other suggestions or comments, about this not-so-weighty matter. Now I must go get a haircut and then make communion calls.


Paweł Pojawa said...

I'm afraid I don't know enough to be of any help to you about st Boniface. But maybe you could help me with st Barnabas?

It's a memorial, but with a lot of propers in the LOTH. In fact, the propers even include readings and verses for the daytime hours, as if it were a feast.

Well, my question is about those readings and verses: should I disregard them, as the indicated in the ordinary (on memorials of saints, no mention of them is made in the daytime hours)? Or, should I disregard that, and use proper readings, even though it's a memorial?

For an additional twist:

The same thing happens on the memorial of the Guardian Angels and one of the memorials of Blessed Virgin Mary (don't remember which), but neither the Angels nor Mary do exactly fit in the category of "saints", so they might not be excluded by the ordinary.

Oh the joys of hairsplitting! :-)

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