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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Liturgy of the Hours and Ascension Thursday

I've decided to offer a public service announcement considering that a lot of people are confused about what prayers to use when one is in a diocese where Ascension Thursday has been transferred to the following Sunday. 

This was also my question as I am in such a diocese. 

We are called to obedience.  It doesn't matter if we believe that the Holy Day should be fully honored. For those of us who reside in a diocese where the feast has been transferred, we MUST be obedient to our Bishop, and if we are praying the Liturgy of the Hours, we pray Wednesday Vespers...not Evening Prayer I of Ascension Thursday.   We will do that on Saturday evening in the place of the Sunday Evening Prayer I.  

Those who reside in a diocese that celebrated Ascension Thursday should pray Evening Prayer I of Ascension Thursday and the corresponding compline.  

I'm late with my prayers so haven't prayed Vespers yet, but I have this to offer from the Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena, on the topic of obedience:

" one at all can reach eternal life if he be not obedient, for the door was unlocked by the key of obedience, which had been fastened by the disobedience of Adam." (p. 282)

"The whole of your faith is founded upon obedience, for by it you prove your fidelity." (p. 285)

A lot of people are going to waste time complaining about the fact the Feast has been transferred in their diocese, and they are going to pray what they WANT to pray based on what they think is right.  That means they will NOT be praying WITH the priests and religious in their own diocese and those throughout the world.  

Disobedience has consequences.  Obedience does, too.   St. Catherine made that quite clear. 


Warren said...

For some readers of the Liturgy of the Hours, the specific office to be read on that day may actually be told to you by your order. For example, I'm a Secular Franciscan, and there are changes to the calendar of Saint's feast days, particular to our order.

For most people, the easiest way to know what is prayed on a particular day is to follow the St. Joseph Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, available in Fine Catholic Book Stores Everywhere. I believe that everything in it has been checked through by the US Bishops, and is correct for all US and Canadian Catholics following the liturgy of the hours.


Hidden One said...

Fr. Z. has remarked that those who are able may wish to pray the various liturgical calendar-based things* according to the Extraordinary Rite.

*I can never keep them all straight.

Julie Olson said...

I just read what it says to do in red print in the book. ;-)

Say the the red.

And it directs those who are in places where the Feast is transferred to do the readings of Friday of this week.

Friday does the Saturday readings.

I also have the guide, but the guide only has Ascension Thursday listed, not the alternative, so you HAVE to go into the regular Thursday readings for further instructions.

Religious communities that have their own format excluded.