Octaves in all but name

Sometimes I’ve seen “traditionalist” bemoan the elimination of all but two Octaves on the OF calendar. It occurs to me that we still have certain octaves in all but name. For example, there is no longer a formal octave of the Epiphany…yet isn’t that basically what we’ve observed this past week? Whether Epiphany was celebrated last Sunday or this past Monday, the entire week has continued the “spirit” of Epiphany, and tomorrow is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a mystery traditionally associated with the Epiphany. Tonight when I prayed Evening Prayer I, the rubrics instructed me to pray the Psalms for the Epiphany…bringing home for me this notion that today is, in all but name, an Octave of the Epiphany.

Another example would be the Assumption. There’s no longer a formal octave of the Assumption, yet a week after we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady’s Queenship…again, seems to me an octave in all but name.

Just a thought.

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This year was special when it comes to the solid week between the Epiphany and the Baptism. I also felt that it like an Octave. However, the Traditionalist issue is that if that Sunday after the Octave of Christmas was the 7th or the 8th, then that week long effective Octave wouldn’t have happened. It would been Ordinary Time by Tuesday.

I personally don’t mind the reduction of the Octaves (because there were a lot and sometimes the overlapped), but I do mind that Pentecost lost its Octave. Christmas and Easter both have them. It would make sense for the Grand Celebration of the Holy Spirit to have one, too.

At least the proper Vigil of Pentecost was restored with the Third Edition of the OF Missal.

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I wonder if you are, like most CAF, members in the USA. I want to ask a side question. Does the American personal ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter have the octave of Pentecost? The personal ordinariate [of Our Lady of Walsingham] here in Great Britain has revived the octave of Pentecost in its liturgical calendar.

Why is Traditionalist in quotes?

So why don’t they just bring back the name then? Why don’t they just call it what it is?

I am in the US. And yes, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter does have the Octave of Pentecost. It also has Ember Days and uses a calendar that has phrases like “Xth Week after Epiphany,” etc. I think to myself as a moderate, being able to enjoy both the OF and EF masses, but it really bothers me that the ordinariate made to help Anglicans (and Methodists) come home is more traditional than majority Roman Catholicism. When I saw the ordinariate calendar I immediately wished the Roman Catholic majority would adjust their calendar to so their would be unity between the ordinariate, the Traditionally minded, and the majority.


Yes, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has ember days and numbers the Sundays after Epiphany ‘nth Sunday after Epiphany’. They number the Sundays per annum after the Easter Season ‘nth Sunday after Trinity’. I understand this is an Anglican tradition. The Catholic one was to number them after Pentecost. I don’t think all the traditions they have are absent from the OF, e.g. ember days. They are simply optional and are, of course, hard to find being observed any more. We keep meaning to go to an ordinariate parish but never seem to get round to it.

Similarly in the Byzantine tradition there are post festive periods, which can be one day or longer. The following are at least 6 days nominally.

Elevation of the Holy Cross (September 14)—after-feast: 7 days (leave-taking: September 21)
Nativity of Christ (December 25)—after-feast: 6 days (leave-taking: December 31)
Theophany (January 6)—after-feast: 8 days (leave-taking: January 14)
Presentation of Christ (February 2)—after-feast: 7 days (sometimes less due to Lenten start date)
Pentecost—after-feast: 6 days (leave-taking: following Saturday
Pascha—after-feast: 38 days (leave-taking: Wednesday before Ascension)
Ascension—after-feast: 8 days (leave-taking: Friday before Pentecost)
Transfiguration (August 6)—after-feast: 7 days (leave-taking: August 13)
Dormition (August 15)—after-feast: 8 days (leave-taking: August 23)

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I grew up and am still primarily involved in OF parishes. The first time I heard about Ember Days was looking at a 1962 Hand Missal as an adult and actually said, “What is an ember day?” They are so optional on the OF calendar that they aren’t even mentioned at any time. At least in any parish I have been in.

I could shorten my entire reply to ‘ditto’. Vatican II had ended when I was born. By the time I was old enough to know what was happening the OF was the only option. I, too, only learned of ember days later in adult life. Also, I have never seen them observed ever at an OF Mass.

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I’m pretty sure that’s because there isn’t a Mass for them in the OF.

Oh, I do wish you hadn’t said that. You’ve created work for me now as I’ll have to look into that. :grinning:

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