The post-Christmas period

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Southern Comfort
Posts: 1966
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

The post-Christmas period

Post by Southern Comfort »

When the celebration of the Epiphany was transferred to the nearest Sunday, some 40 years ago, one the casualties was the 2nd Sunday after Christmas. Already it had only occurred in four years out of seven; now it vanished from the calendar altogether.

When the celebration of the Epiphany was returned to 6 January last year, the reappearance of the 2nd Sunday after Christmas, with its Gospel of the Prologue to John repeated from Christmas morning, went largely unnoticed as congregational singing was not then taking place. This year, therefore, is the first one for many years when parish music planners will need to look at these readings once again.


But before we get to that point, there's the Sunday within the octave of Christmas, the feast of the Holy Family, this year occurring on the day after Christmas Day. (If there is no Sunday between December 25 and January 1, it is celebrated on December 30 with only one reading + Gospel.) Tired and jaded parish clergy and musicians will once again wrestle with the Lectionary options for this day.

In the 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae there was one set of readings for all three years, but with a choice of Gospels for Years A, B and C. The 1981 revision of the Lectionary added three optional formularies, one for each year of the cycle, with different readings (except for the Gospel). Year after year, readers do not know which readings they are supposed to be reading, musicians do not know which psalm and Gospel Acclamation they are supposed to be singing, and the priest may have prepared a homily based on one particular set of readings but may have forgotten to tell anyone which set of readings he is expecting. Fortunately for him, the Gospel remains the same, whichever set is chosen.

It may be useful to put the options in tabular form.

Original Lectionary schema:

1st Reading — Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 3:2-6. 12-14
Psalm — Ps 127(128), 1-5. R/ v. 1
2nd Reading — Colossians 3:12-21 [in the US only, there is also a Shorter Form: 3:12-17]
Gospel Acc — Colossians 3:15. 16
Gospel — Year A: Matthew 2:13-15. 19-23
Gospel — Year B: Luke 2:22-40 (Shorter Form 2:22. 39-40)
Gospel — Year C: Luke 2:41-52

Revised Lectionary schema also includes:

Ad lib readings for Year B
1st Reading — Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3
Psalm — Ps 104: 1-6. 8-9. R/ vv. 7.8 [in the US Ps 105:1-9. R/ vv. 7.8, with a different selection of lines in stanza 3]
2nd Reading — Hebrews 11:8. 11-12. 17-19
Gospel Acc — Hebrews 1:1-2
Gospel — Luke 2:22-40 (Shorter Form 2:22. 39-40) — same as in original schema

Ad lib readings for Year C
1st Reading — 1 Samuel 1:20-22.24-28
Psalm — Ps 83(84):2-3. 5-6. 9-10. R/ v. 5
2nd Reading — 1 John 3:1-2.21-24
Gospel Acc — cf. Acts 16:14
Gospel — Luke 2:41-52 — same as in original schema

So this year, with which will be Year C, there is a choice of readings. Communications between all parties will be vital!
High Peak
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:49 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Nottingham
Location: Derbyshire

Re: The post-Christmas period

Post by High Peak »

Great heads-up. Thanks.
alan29
Posts: 1199
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: The post-Christmas period

Post by alan29 »

Our PP has decided that he will keep the usual two Sunday Masses but have no music on the 26th.
For which, many thanks!
Hare
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:12 pm
Parish / Diocese: Home Counties

Re: The post-Christmas period

Post by Hare »

A sad attitude if l may say regarding a Sunday in the Christmas season.
alan29
Posts: 1199
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: The post-Christmas period

Post by alan29 »

On reflection he has changed his mind, but he expects few people on Boxing Day.
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