31 October 2021

All Hallows' Eve

Fr Hunwicke with some thoughts on the abolition of the Vigil of All Saints, not by the VII 'reformers' but by Bugnini and Pius XII.

From Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment

A lovely day, the day before All Saints, in which the Roman Liturgy, with its beautiful Mass of the Eve, or Vigil, of All Saints, sets up a big marker against the heathen puerilities of "Hallow Een". And carries forward the themes of the Social Kingship of Christ. I am sure that both clergy and devout laity will enjoy the texts of this Mass.

Except that they won't. What a shame that Vatican II abolished it. Just another example of all that has been wrong since the 1960s.

Except that the Vigil of All Saints was not abolished by Vatican II.

Because, as everybody knows, it was abolished by the undoubted vandals who, in the decade after the Council, certainly did use "Vatican II" as a thoroughly dishonest excuse to ignore what the Council did actually mandate. Shockers, the lot of them.

Er ... No; wrong again. This lovely Vigil was abolished by Pius XII, hero-pope of a certain sort of Traddy!!

Pius XII it was who employed Hannibal Bugnini and began the deformation of the Roman Rite, years before Papa Roncalli had any notion whatsoever of summoning a Council. They began by interfering with the rites of Holy Week. And the Vigil of All Saints, they felt, had to go.

If, in a second-hand bookshop, you spot an old pre-1950 Missal going cheap, snaffle it up!

According to the pre-Pacelli Roman Rite, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, in a year like this one, when November 1, All Saints, comes on a Monday, you are ordered to anticipate this Vigil on Saturday October 30.

If, following the complicated current usages of the modern English Catholic Church, you observe All Saints, this year, on Sunday, it will still be mighty suitable to celebrate the Vigil on Saturday ... wo'n't it?

The only people, I imagine, who really do carefully observe this and other such traditional Vigils are Anglicans who belong to "the Prayer Book Society" (led, I believe, by dear Prince Charles and the former Mrs Parker Bowles); and those American sedevacantists who (used to???) follow the S Lawrence Press Ordo


Have members of those two last-named highly-principled organisations inherited any megatraditional dietary customs about special 'vigil' observances? A modest Lobster Thermidor, perhaps, for breakfast? A penitential Bouillabaisse for lunch? [Native British home-shucked] Oysters for those in-between snacks? I don't wish to encroach upon Fr Zed's mouthwatering culinary posts, but perhaps this is a field in which my own readers who have appropriate Traddy contacts can make a modest contribution to edifying and recatholicising the Wider Church.

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