Monday, 9 November 2009
Confiteor Deo...et omnibus Sanctis
(Pendant reliquaries in Rubricarius' collection of Relics)
Rubricarius is feeling very contrite and ashamed of himself.
A few days ago I made a comment in response to a reader about the antiquity of the Vigil of All Saints and I said that it was fourteenth century. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa and may I be forgiven for this perncious error. Often when looking quickly for historical information on feasts I consult one of the Supplements produced by the 1948 Commission for General Liturgical Reform: Memoria sulla riforma liturgica: Supplemento III Materiale Storico, Agiografico, Liturgico per la Riforma del Calendario. This was published in 1951 in Rome.
On page 140 there is the entry (below) stating that the Vigil appeared during the fourteenth century, which I stupidly took at face value when I replied to 'Gem of the Ocean'.
At the weekend I spent twenty minutes taking a cursory glance at some of the volumes from the Henry Bradshaw Society publications in my library and noted the following:
Vol CIX, 'The Winchcombe Sacramentary', 10th century, p. 197 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol CVII, 'The Durham Collectar', 10th century, p. 194 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol CI, 'Fulda Sacramentary', 10th century, p. 159 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol CXVI, 'Sacramentary of Ratoldus', 10th century, p.360 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol CX, 'Sacramentary of Echternach', 10th century, p. 309 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol CXIV, 'The Leofric Missal', 10/11th century, p. 200 - Vigil of All Saints
Vols I, V & XII, 'The Westminster Missal', which is 14th century(!), col. 986 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol XI, 'The Missal of Robert of Jumieges', 10/11th century, p.221 - Vigil of All Saints
Vol XCIV, 'The Bec Missal', 13th century, p. 209 - Vigil of All Saints
Clearly, the Vigil was established by at least the tenth century. So we can draw the conclusion that a secret papal Commission established to plot out a reform of the liturgy either couldn't afford a subscribtion to the HBS and didn't have access to the manuscript rooms of the world's libraries (despite sitting on top of one), or, to say the very least, that a little cheating, or more than a little, went on to justify the implementation of their reforms.
I really should go through the Commission's published works in some detail with a critical eye. Indeed several years ago my late friend Gregory Woolfenden at a lunch was perusing these documents of Pius XII's Commission and coming out with remarks such as "Bloody Hell - Domincae per annum! When was this written?" between copious imbibing, as was his style. "You need to get off your ar*e, stop wasting time on the Internet, and publish some of your researches."
I should really take that, very good, advice on board as a penance for insulting, through laziness, the Vigil of All Saints.