Friday 18 December 2015

The O Antiphons

Since it is the season, I thought I would share a talk I gave earlier this Advent to the Diocese of Hallam branch of the Ascent movement on the O Antiphons.

The O Antiphons: History, Theology, Spirituality (PDF)

Hope that you find the talk interesting, and also that you are all having a blessed Advent!

Monday 23 November 2015

Interesting lectionary news from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Some interesting news from the November plenary meeting of the English and Welsh bishops:
The Bishops' Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales. [link]
IMO, a good choice of translation for the biblical readings, but not a great choice (though a predictable one) for the psalter. The authorisation, even if only for optional use, of the Coverdale Psalter - which as far as I am aware can be used in the Ordinariate Use - would be preferable (and also thoroughly ecumenical!).

However, given that the RSV2CE is in use in the Ordinariate, and the Revised Grail Psalter (with adjustments) has already been authorised for use in other countries like the USA, one would have thought that the Holy See's approval would be fairly quick in coming. Perhaps in time for publication by Advent 2017?

This resolution is particularly interesting in light of the collapse of the International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary (ICPELL), which was supposed to have produced a common lectionary for conferences where English is used in the liturgy (excluding the USA). For more on that saga, see the relevant posts on Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman's blog.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Pinpointing the Origins of the Multi-Year Lectionary: (1) Heinz Schürmann

Note: This is the first post in an occasional series, which will look at proposals and suggestions made about the lections of the Roman Missal from before the Second Vatican Council, and ultimately attempt to pinpoint the origins of the idea of a lectionary with cycles for multiple years.

It is well-known that, with regard to the reform of the lectionary, Sacrosanctum Concilium 51 stated that a "more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years [intra praestitutum annorum spatium]". The Fathers thus did not specify exactly how this desire was to be practically implemented; like most of the other reforms, this was ultimately left in the hands of the Consilium. In the case of the lectionary, Group 11 of the Consilium1 was responsible for producing what is used today in the forma ordinaria of the Roman Rite: a lectionary with a three-year Sunday cycle, and a two-year weekday cycle.2

Where did this desire for a multi-year cycle of readings for Mass come from? After all, it was not particularly controversial or much discussed at the Council itself.3 For the vast majority of the Council Fathers, it apparently seemed obvious that there should be more scripture read at Mass, and having it over more than one year was a sensible way of achieving this. Still, ideas like this do not just come from nowhere without having been previously discussed (even if only privately) by bishops, priests and liturgical scholars.

Our quest to find out more about the origins of this idea starts a decade before the Council. In 1952, the new (at that time) liturgical journal Liturgisches Jahrbuch published an article entitled "Eine Dreijährige Perikopenordnung für Sonn- und Festtage" by Fr Heinz Schürmann - who would, incidentally, later be a member of Group 11 of the Consilium. In this article, what he says about the order of readings in the Roman Missal is that it is Nachteil, a disadvantage, and suggests his own, three-year cycle.4 Below are download links to the German-language article, and my English translation of it.

Interestingly, Schürmann's proposed readings do not particularly exhibit the lectio semi-continua we see in the post-conciliar reforms, and neither is there the approach whereby each year is organised around one of the synoptic Gospels. Instead, his approach utilises Gospel pericopes with roughly similar meaning and content for each Sunday ("die Evangelienperikopen durch solche ungefähr gleichen Sinngehaltes zu ersetzen"), so there is an attempt at thematic consistency throughout each year of the cycle. The Epistle readings are, however, thematically linked to the Gospel, much like the Old Testament reading is linked to the Gospel in the Ordinary Form lectionary.

As we shall see, a number of suggestions were made about lectionary reform (and liturgical reform generally) in the 1950s. We shall look at some of these in the next post in this series, and afterwards go a little further back in time to trace the history of this particular reform.


1 The personnel of Coetus XI were as follows (cf. A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 [Liturgical Press, 1990], p. 409 fn. 12.): relator: G. Diekmann (until June 1965), C. Vagaggini (after June 1965); secretary: G. Fontaine; members: H. Schürmann, P. Jounel, P. Massi, E. Lanne, H. Kahlefeld, and J. Féder (from Nov. 1965). There were also some members added to the group, presumably in 1966 when the work really got going: A. Rose, A. Nocent, A.-M. Roguet, K. Tilmann, H. Oster, J. Gaillard, H. Marot, and L. Deiss.

2 In reality, it is a little more complicated than that (e.g. the Gospel reading on weekdays is the same in Years I and II), but this brief description will do for now!

3 For the Latin texts of the interventions of the Fathers dealing with SC 51, 24 and 35, see my resource Lectionary Reform at the Second Vatican Council (which can also be found in this blog's sidebar).

4 Interestingly, as a member of Coetus XI, Schürmann (along with Heinrich Kahlefeld) would later go further by championing the idea of a four-year Sunday cycle of readings: cf. Bugnini, Reform, p. 417.

Sunday 2 August 2015

The Consilium and ad experimentum lectionaries, 1965-69

A couple of new lectionary resources for you all!

Between 1965 and 1969, the Consilium gave permission to many countries regarding the use of ad experimentum lectionaries for use on weekdays and on occasions such as confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc. These permissions were detailed every so often in the journal Notitiae, which I recently had the opportunity to go through. My resource Permissions given by the Consilium for the use of ad experimentum lectionaries, 1965-69 collects them into two tables: one organised by date, the other organised alphabetically by country/diocese/order. It is perhaps surprising quite how many countries asked for and were given permission to experiment with the readings at Mass (around 60 countries/areas, as well as 5 dioceses and 3 religious orders)!

The weekday lectionaries were the first experiments in this area authorised by the Consilium, but from the beginning of 1967 permissions to use experimental sets of readings for particular occasions such as marriages and funerals started to be given. This culminated in the Consilium's Lectionaria particularia, published in its entirety in Notitiae 4 (1968), and tabulated in my resource Text and Tables of the Consilium’s « Lectionaria particularia ». There are ten sets of readings in total. Conferences of Bishops could ask permission - which would readily be given - to use some or all of the sets of readings contained in it.

Finally, a reminder that for more information on the experimental weekday lectionaries, you can see the posts and resources on the German and French schemes!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

General update

It's been a little while since I've posted - sorry about that! - but there are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, Gregory DiPippo and Peter Kwasniewski of the New Liturgical Movement very kindly and generously asked me if I wanted to become an occasional contributor to the site. So, I now also write for NLM every now and then! For those who are interested, here are the links to my first few articles:

Secondly, as I was about two-thirds of the way through with the third and final part of my postcommunions study, Fr Daniel McCarthy e-mailed me with some suggestions about how I could improve it, and Dom James Leachman of St Benedict's Abbey in Ealing, London, was kind enough to let me stay for a few days and consult the abbey library in order to gather the information I needed. Both Fr McCarthy and Dom Leachman are part of the Institutum Liturgicum based at Ealing - many thanks to both for their help, suggestions, and hospitality!

All this means that I am in the process of reworking the study into a single volume, with much more detailed information about the manuscript history of each prayer. I'm pretty excited about it, though the reworking is proving to be more time-intensive than I thought it might be at first (isn't it always the way?). Look out for more news about this project during the year!

Finally, with regard to the Lectionary - because, given the title of this blog, we are perhaps overdue for some more Lectionary study aids! - I have been busy compiling a few more resources that I'll post and talk about both here and at NLM over the next few weeks. 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

PDF Download: C. Vagaggini, “The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform”

Dom Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B., was one of the more influential members of Group 10 of the Consilium, the group responsible for the revision of the Ordo Missae. This revision was to involve, among other things, the composition of three new Eucharistic Prayers to sit alongside the Roman Canon. (For more information on how new anaphoras were transplanted into the Roman Rite, see the Adoremus article From One Eucharistic Prayer to Many: How it Happened and Why by Dom Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.)

As part of this work, Dom Vagaggini published a book called Il canone della messa e la riforma liturgica in 1966, and this was translated into English the following year under the title The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform. In this book, Vagaggini went through what he saw as the ‘merits’ and ‘defects’ of the Roman Canon (perhaps unsurprisingly, the defects outnumber the merits by a ratio of more than 2:1), argued for the introduction of one or more new Eucharistic Prayers to ‘enrich’ the Roman Rite, and gave a couple of examples of what they might look like.

Vagaggini’s book is, in my opinion, one of the more important works contemporary to the post-Vatican II liturgical reform itself, and is illustrative of some of the attitudes of the reformers towards the liturgical tradition. Unfortunately it has been out of print for a good while, and, at the time of writing, second-hand copies of it are difficult to come by. So, I am happy to say that a PDF copy is now freely available by clicking the link below:

Also, since what we now know as Eucharistic Prayer III has its genesis in Vagaggini’s book above, I have also put together a side-by-side comparison of his “Canon B” (see chapter 4 in the book above) with EP III, which can be downloaded by clicking the following link:

There are more historical goodies and curiosities to come very soon, so watch this space!

Monday 13 April 2015

ICEL and "The Problem of Exclusive Language": The 1980 Eucharistic Prayers Green Book

In 1980, ICEL issued a "Green Book" to the member and associate member Conferences of Bishops, proposing some revisions to the Eucharistic Prayers as they appeared in the Sacramentary at that time. (The term "Green Book" denotes texts that ICEL sends to Conferences for study and comment; after any comments/suggestions are incorporated into the text, ICEL re-issues it as a "Gray Book" for the Conferences to vote on it.) These revisions were described by John R. Page, then Executive Secretary of ICEL, as follows:
The proposed changes are designed to eliminate from these liturgical texts anything that has been judged to be exclusive or exclusionary, in particular, anything that may be considered discriminatory to women. (Eucharistic Prayers: For Study and Consultation, Green Book [ICEL, 1980], Foreword, p. 3)
To give some context for their work, ICEL provided a statement in the same book entitled "The Problem of Exclusive Language with Regard to Women". This statement makes for very interesting reading, and makes clear that ICEL's policy (at that time) of foisting inclusive language upon us all - a principle writ large in the rejected 1998 Missal translation - goes all the way back to the mid-1970s.

I have transcribed the foreword to the 1980 Green Book, along with the proposed emendations to the Eucharistic Prayers, and the Statement in its entirety (including the bibliography ICEL provided) - click here to download it as a PDF. Attached to the end of the PDF is an interesting 1982 letter from John Page to the Methodist theologian Geoffrey Wainwright, which happened to be in my second-hand copy of the Green Book.

As an aside regarding my last post of ICEL material, I have also updated the PDF of An Original Eucharistic Prayer: Text 1, since I have discovered that, though this original composition of ICEL was never given any sort of recognitio by Rome (and thus was never allowed for liturgical use), it was actually approved by eight Bishops' Conferences, and also made it, in a slightly edited form, into the Anglican book Common Worship as "Eucharistic Prayer G". So, I have added the Anglican text to the end of the document for the purposes of comparison.

Friday 10 April 2015

Some history behind the 1998 Missal: ICEL's work in the early 1980s

One of the numerous reasons ICEL's 1998 translation of the Roman Missal was denied recognitio by the Holy See was the proliferation of original texts. (See this copy of Cardinal Medina Estévez's letter from March 2002 for more information on that.)

However, ICEL had been working on original texts for some considerable time before (this article on Adoremus gives a lot more background detail for those of you interested). Indeed, as early as the 1973 translation, there were alternative opening prayers provided alongside those that were translated from the Latin. The relation of these original compositions to the Latin texts were described in the foreword to the Sacramentary as follows: "The alternative opening prayers are not direct or faithful translations of the corresponding Latin text. They follow its theme or are inspired by it, but they are generally more concrete and expansive." Comme le prévoit n. 43 was cited as justification for their inclusion. ICEL continued to be enthusiastic about original English compositions, and we read in its 1980-81 report to the member and associate member bishops' conferences that:

In 1981 ICEL commissioned authors to compose a set of original presidential prayers. After reviewing these prayers in June, the Advisory Committee chose a number of authors to continue the project by composing alternative opening prayers loosely related to the readings of the day for Sundays and solemnities. In addition the Advisory Committee requested the composition of twenty alternative prayers over the gifts and prayers after communion which would be divided up among the liturgical seasons and take their themes from the seasons. This project will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee in November 1982. At that time a proposal will be made to print sets of newly-composed prayers for trial use in a consultation beginning with the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (11 September 1983) and continuing through Pentecost (10th June 1984). (Report of the Episcopal Board to the Member and Associate Member Conferences, 1980-81 [ICEL: 24 June 1982], pp. 7-8)
I have been fortunate enough to come across the book of these prayers in the wild, as well as some other historical curiosities - click on the links to download PDF transcriptions!
  • Presidential Prayers for Experimental Use at Mass (ICEL: July 1983). This is the document referred to in the above quote from the 1980-81 report. In the event, the experiment ran from the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time up to the Feast of the Holy Family in 1983 (11 Sept - 30 Dec). Those of you who have access to the 1998 translation may notice that some of the original compositions in this booklet were edited slightly and included in the 1998 Missal (e.g. 1983, 4th Sun of Advent, text A = 1998, 4th Sun of Advent, alternative opening prayer for Year A);
  • Eucharistic Prayer of Saint Basil: Text for Consultation (ICEL: August 1985). Continuing the work of ICEL's Eucharistic Prayer subcommittee, this is not just a translation of the anaphora of St. Basil, but is a substantial "accommodation" of it, as a comparison with the actual text of the anaphora in use by, e.g., the Greek Orthodox, will demonstrate.
    (As a side note, the Consilium did give serious consideration to including the anaphora of St. Basil alongside the other new Eucharistic Prayers, but when it came to the vote a small majority of the members, backed by Paul VI, prevented this from happening - cf. A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 [Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990], pp. 458-462. Was ICEL attempting to stealthily introduce something its own members thought should have prevailed in the post-conciliar liturgical reforms...?)
I have a few other ICEL snippets to transcribe, so for those who are particularly interested in that sort of thing, look out for those soon!

Wednesday 25 March 2015

The Synod on the family, and the Council that could have been...

Though the Second Vatican Council opened in 1962, there had already been plenty of work going on behind the scenes since 1959, the year Pope St John XXIII announced that there would be a council. Ten commissions and two secretariats were set up [1], along with a central commission headed by the Pope to follow and coordinate all the work. These commissions were responsible for putting together draft documents (known as schemas) that were to be the basis for discussion at the Council. Nine schemas were ready by the beginning of the first session (11th Oct – 8th Dec 1962).

One of the first schemas to be discussed was De fontibus revelationis (On the sources of revelation) and, after much heated debate, it was rejected by the Fathers on the 20th November by 1,368 votes to 822 (with 19 null votes). [2] Between the first and second sessions, this and the other schemas were radically redrafted and reworked into the conciliar documents as we know them today. But why were they rejected by a majority of the Council Fathers, and how do they compare to the final conciliar documents?

Fr Joseph Komonchak has provided English translations of five of the nine draft schemas (they can be found here and here), which gives non-Latin speakers an accessible insight into ‘the Council that could have been’. The links, with a little commentary, can also be found on the Unam Sanctam Catholicam blog.

To encourage people to read the draft schemas for themselves, I have provided some extracts from the schema “On chastity, marriage, family and virginity” that, with all the furore over the synod on the family, seem relevant. It is perhaps worth asking this question: if more of this draft schema had made it into, for example, Gaudium et spes, would this year’s synod be as concerning?

Extracts from the draft dogmatic constitution De castitate, matrimonio, familia, virginitate (On chastity, marriage, family and virginity)

6. [...] In addition, with supreme loathing, this Sacred Synod knows how many and how great are today’s detestable attacks against chastity, by which in countless manifestations of today’s culture, even if under the pretext of play, recreation, science, art or laudable beauty, souls redeemed by the blood of Christ are, in fact, constantly and almost everywhere, even within the family, being incited to evil—indeed, drawn into it. Therefore it urges all to arm themselves against such dangers by prayer, fasting, the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. They should also flee what are called ‘near occasions’. For how can they honestly pray “Lead us not into temptation” (Mt. 6:13) if they freely seek temptations? Mindful of the Lord’s words against those who scandalise, the Church has the right and the duty to oppose those who give scandal and especially the public corruption of sexual morality. [...]

14. This Sacred Synod knows how much the salvation of the mystical Body of Christ depends on a proper recognition of the divine order with regard to marriage. To defend it, in the first place it knows that it is its duty to condemn all the radical errors of those who maintain that marriage in its origin and constitution is some merely social phenomenon in constant evolution, without any natural or supernatural value; that it does not come from God and from Christ and is not subject to the power of the Church in the new economy of salvation. Likewise, it condemns those errors by which it is held that the marriage of Christians is either not a sacrament, or that the sacrament itself is secondary to or separate from the contract itself... It severely rejects the errors and theories by which the immutable divine order with regard to the properties and purposes of marriage is denied. And it refutes by name as a supreme calumny the assertion that the indissolubility of marriage does not come from God, but is a cruel invention of the Church, no less cruelly retained. Finally, it rejects the theories by which, in an inversion of the right order of values, the primary purpose of marriage is esteemed less than biological and personal values and conjugal love, in the objective order itself, is proclaimed to be the primary purpose.

20. Spouses are seriously prohibited from seeking so-called civil divorce as a proper dissolution, as if a valid bond before God could be dissolved by civil authority; indeed, neither is it licit for others directly and formally to cooperate in such a civil divorce. In no case and for no reason, even if it is not rarely serious and painful, is it licit for the faithful, while the sacred bond lasts, to dismiss a wife in order to take another, as the Lord himself clearly teaches (Mk. 10:11), though sometimes civil authority invalidly allows this. Occasionally, however, “civil divorce” while the bond endures and without contradiction of ecclesiastical authority, can be sought. So-called simple separation is not to be done lightly, without just, grave, and proportionate cause.

22. This Sacred Synod must severely condemn so-called “temporary”, “experimental” or “companionate” marriages. It also rejects as unworthy of a man, and especially of a Christian, those instructions by which through various methods a real hedonism in sacred and holy marriage is propagated. Rejected are theories by which a violation of marital fidelity is considered licit for spouses, either when the mutual love between the couple has failed or when the sexual impulse is falsely thought to be impossible to keep within the limits of monogamous marriage. It is also erroneous to state that civil authority itself never has the power to punish adulterers, with an equal penalty for both men and women. It also rebukes those who say—under the pretext of benefitting the Church no less—that mixed marriages are generally and in themselves to be fostered rather than tolerated. Also erroneous is the position that holds that a marriage can be declared invalid or dissolved solely because of a failure of love. Finally, this Sacred Synod most severely condemns so-called “free love”, by which, under a false pretext of constructing among men a new fraternity and society, sin is committed against the divine order and a deadly wound is inflicted not only on marriage but also on the family and society.


[1] The commissions were as follows: Commission on Bishops and the Governance of Dioceses, Commission for the Discipline of the Clergy and the Christian People, Commission for Religious, Commission for the Discipline of the Sacraments, Commission for Studies and Seminaries, Commission on Missions, Commission on the Apostolate of the Laity, Commission for the Oriental Churches, Liturgy Commission, and the Theological Commission. The two secretariats were the Secretariat for Communications Media and the Secretariat for Christian Unity. Cf. John XXIII, Apostolic Letter Superno Dei, 5th June 1960: AAS 52 (1960), pp. 433-437.

[2] Cf. Acta Synodalia I/3, pp. 254-255.

Saturday 14 March 2015

The Postcommunion Prayers of the Missale Romanum (1970/2002): Volume 2

I am happy to announce that Volume 2 of The Postcommunion Prayers of the Missale Romanum (1970/2002): Translations and Sources is complete!

Please click here to view and download it!

Volume 2 covers the Proper of Saints and the Commons (i.e. Dedication of a Church, B.V.M., Pastors, etc.). For more information on this project, please see the previous blog post on Volume 1.

I'm going to take a couple of weeks off from this particular project - it's surprising how much energy and concentration this sort of thing can take, and my university days of Coke-fueled, all-night essay writing are long behind me! - so work on Volume 3 will begin in earnest after Easter. Volume 3 will cover the remaining sections of the Missal: ritual Masses, Masses ad diversa, votive Masses and Masses for the Dead.

I hope that Volume 2 is as well received as the first, and that this continues to be an interesting and useful resource for those who want to begin/continue their own examinations of the orations of the post-conciliar Missal. It is clear that, at least in the Proper of Saints and the Commons, there are some common threads to the edits made to the source material (e.g. the elimination of intercedente pro nobis and similar phrases), and I hope in the future to provide a easy-to-read commentary on some of what appear to have been the Consilium's editing "policies" with regard to the postcommunion prayers as a whole. I have to finish Volume 3 first, though, so that's a little while off yet!

As always, you can comment on this post, or contact me by e-mail, if you have any comments, corrections, questions or suggestions regarding this project, or any of the Lectionary-based ones.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Lectionary Reform at Vatican II - the Council Fathers' Interventions

Over the last few weeks, I have gone through the Acta Synodalia to see exactly what the Council Fathers had to say about the section of Sacrosanctum Concililum that talks about lectionary reform:
The treasures of the bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God's word. In this way a more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years. (SC 51)
I have compiled their spoken and written interventions regarding SC 51, as well as paragraphs 24 and 35, in one PDF document.

Click here to download it!

The interventions are, unsurprisingly, all in Latin. I plan on providing a parallel English translation later this year, but that will take a bit of time to put together. In the meantime, for those of you whose Latin is good enough (or who are willing to muddle through) you can read for yourself the interesting (and not-so-interesting!) things the Fathers of Vatican II had to say about the lectionary!

Friday 30 January 2015

Two more article scans (this time related to the Missal)

A couple more interesting articles, both from 1971, this time relating to the post-conciliar reform of the Missal rather than the Lectionary:

Please click on the article titles above to download them!

Note: If you're interested in doing your own comparison of the 1970 Missal texts with the source texts, there are a few invaluable places on the web to help you out:
  1. The Italian-language website, specifically the section in the left-hand sidebar entitled "Fontes liturgici".
  2. PDF copies of the Gelesian and Veronense Sacramentaries can be downloaded from Scribd thanks to a user called officiumdivinum (you may have to register with Scribd to do this).
  3. has a few more Sacramentaries available for free download - search for "sacramentary" or "sacramentarium". (There are plenty of other fantastic Catholic books on if you're willing to search for them!)

Sunday 25 January 2015

Interesting journal article (in French) from 1965 regarding the lectionary

I have scanned in an article from a liturgical studies journal called Ephemerides Liturgicae (some of you may have heard of it) entitled "Choix de lectures pour la liturgie dominicale". According to Bugnini* one of the authors of this article, José Féder, S.J., was from November 1965 a member of Group 11 of the Consilium, which was responsible for the post-conciliar reform of the lectionary. The article was published in Eph. Lit. 79.4-5 (1965), pp. 249-316, but p. 252 gives a date of September 1964 for the completion of the article.

Please click here to view the article - bearing in mind that it is in French! At first glance, it makes for interesting reading: partly because it gives an example of a three-year cycle not built around the idea of one year for each synoptic Gospel (as we ended up with), partly because it gives some of the liturgical sources for its selection of pericopes, and partly because one of its co-authors was drafted into Group 11 of the Consilium.

I hope to get round to translating the article into English and tabulating the order of readings this year, though since my French language skills are not great, that will depend on when I can get some help from a couple of my friends.

* Cf. A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990), p. 409 fn. 12.

Saturday 3 January 2015

Happy New Year - and plans for 2015!

A very Happy New Year to all! I pray that the Lord will bless you all in this coming year, and that your faith in Him will grow and deepen.

Plans are afoot for this blog, some quite ambitious - so we'll see how it goes this year! :-)

I started work towards the middle of December on Volume 2 of the Postcommunion comparisons of translations and sources. The second volume will comprise the Proper of Saints and the Commons. There's still a bit more work to do before that's finished, but hopefully by the end of the winter (i.e. end of February) it'll be done and then I can get started on Volume 3. Once all the volumes are finished, I'll wrap them up into one large PDF (which will probably be around 600 pages or so) for those of you who don't like fiddling around with multiple files. It's my aim to get the Postcommunions project finished by the end of this year. If I finish earlier, then I may get a similar project started on either the Collects or the Prayers over the Offerings.

Another project that I am aiming to make a good start on this year has come about rather fortuitously:

Volume 1, Part 1 of the Acta Synodalia

The Acta Synodalia occupying a significant space on my bookshelves!
Over Christmas, I managed to acquire (for a pretty good price) a complete set of the Acta Synodalia of the Second Vatican Council - the complete record of every speech made by the Council Fathers at all of the 168 General Congregations and the 10 Public Sessions held over the four sessions of the Council. Quite the interesting find!

As a beginning project, I thought it would be interesting to chart the progress of the Council's liturgy constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium. I'm currently typing up the first draft/schema, which was first discussed at the 4th General Congregation (22 Oct 1962), and then I'll type the others out and arrange them with the final document ratified by the Pope and the Council. I may attempt to provide some sort of commentary and analysis on the changes made to SC during the 1st and 2nd session of Vatican II, but that will probably be a several-year long project because it crosses over with another more personal aim for 2015 - to learn ecclesiastical Latin properly!

I'd also love to get a few book reviews done, if there is time...

Finally, there are a few lectionary projects in the pipeline: well, this blog is called Lectionary Study Aids, after all! One thing I hope to be able to do is compile the relevant parts of the Council Fathers speeches that refer to the proposed lectionary reform, partly to see if any of them had particular things in mind when they signed off on SC.

Finishing off the Christmas port before work begins in earnest!
So, a busy 2015 is ahead for me, it seems! I hope everyone reading this blog has something they're especially looking forward to!

Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions for books or resources that I might be interested in (hint: I'm interested in pretty much everything liturgical and Catholic!), or if there's a resource that anyone would like to see on this blog, e-mail me at mrmphazell-AT-gmail-DOT-com or leave a comment, and I'll see what I can do.