It has been interesting of late to read on various blogs [Patricius, Rubricarius, Fr Hunwicke], the questions pertaining to Kalendar and Tradition. A great many “pro-tradition” believe the old (pre’62) Roman General Kalendar is supremely preferably to the present (1969/71). Yet a question perplexing me is, how is the traditional liturgy to develop organically if the Kalendar is to be staid?
Not that I think this a perfect solution at all, but for almost a year now in the ORCCE we have been experimenting with using the current General Kalendar yet maintaining the traditional liturgy. We retained the observance of Solemnities on their traditional dates and observed the cherished Octaves (e.g. Pentecost), Gesima and the pre’55 Holy Week. We observed the “new” dates for Saints Days and retained observance of those Saints not in the current General Kalendar (not easy but I don’t think we’ve repeated anyone yet).
We did this as a deliberate attempt to express a visible spiritual communion with the Holy Father – who for us, despite his disavowal of the title – remains our “Patriarch” and indeed the universal Pope; it seems only right (and traditional) to offer the same “Office of the Day” (Hours & Mass) as him?!
We considered that the Missal and/or Kalendar does not itself make the Mass i.e. that the Rite of Mass is not the Missal but the Ordo contained in the centre. That said, we did not subsitute the new Propers for the traditional, rather we continued using the prayers and Scripture of our forefathers, all we did was change the dates and for those later Saints use the traditional Common Propers appropriate to their designation i.e. Martyr, Confessor etc where there was not a “traditional” option already proffered.
Re the Office, we have a mix of some Clergy using the traditional Breviary and some the Liturgy of the Hours. Surprisingly, a sense of harmony can still be maintained, most easily for the Breviary of course (to the traditional Propers) but even in the new Office, the main themes have not been lost. Having a mixture of Clergy, some of whom retain secular employment to sustain themselves and their ministry, the LOH has proved the easier Office for them, naturally. That said, those used to the traditional Breviary have found no change.
We are soon coming to the end of our experiment and must needs soon decide how to proceed for the approaching new liturgical year. Whilst it would be wholly easier to follow one Rite and one Kalendar, and just pick an “editio” we wonder how that would express communion with the Church past and present?