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under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman

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Explanatory Note on the Liturgical Calendar
Sunday 8th April 2012

Mgr Andrew Burnham writes about the new Liturgical Calendar of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

The Proper Liturgical Calendar of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (the Ordinariate Calendar) was approved and confirmed by the Congregation of Divine Worship on 15 February 2012.

The Ordinariate Calendar is a very slight modification of the Roman Calendar, in that certain Sunday titles, which have been a traditional part of Anglican patrimony, are retained. Thus, the Sundays per annum are called 'after Epiphany' and 'after Trinity' and the ancient description of the Sundays before Lent as Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima are also retained. There is an allusion to the old Pentecost Octave and how the themes of Pentecost may be sustained in the days between Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. Nevertheless, the shape of the General Roman Calendar, its logic and, indeed, the readings appointed for use during the year, are all preserved.

Every Particular Church – usually a diocese – has its own Calendar, and it is here that the Ordinariate Calendar is most distinctive. There are very few modifications to the General Roman Calendar or to the National Calendars of England and Wales. The one modification to the General Roman Calendar is that St Bonaventure, an obligatory memorial in the Roman Calendar, becomes an optional memorial, permitting the celebration of St Swithun's Day (15 July), where this is desirable. In the Ordinariate Calendar, two observances, which are in the National Calendar of England, are enhanced. Thus Our Lady of Walsingham becomes a titular solemnity and Blessed John Henry Newman, Patron of the Ordinariate, becomes a feast. As in various diocesan Calendars, the Ordinariate Calendar has a number of distinct observances. It is likely that all of these find a place in the appropriate diocese but, since the Ordinariate covers England and Wales, with two groups also in Scotland, the meaning of 'particular' and 'local' change. There is a reminder here, perhaps, that some dioceses in the world are as large, geographically, as the whole of the United Kingdom.

It should be stressed that the Ordinariate Calendar is subject to exactly the same canons, conventions, and regulations as the other Calendars of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Mgr Andrew Burnham

5th March 2012

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