3 October 2001
According to "Dictionary
of the Liturgy", by Reverend Jovian Lang (Catholic Book
Publising Company, 1989):
Formerly the Martyrology
was read during the Divine Office at the Hour of Prime, which
has been abrogated with the advent of the new Liturgy of the
This was in accordinance
with Vatican II's first document Sacrosanctum Concilium (4
89 d. The hour of prime
is to be suppressed.
92 c. The accounts of the
martyrdom or lives of the saints are to be made to accord with
the historical facts.
7 November 2001
This morning I received
an email from Father Murray Watson, a Canadian priest studying
in Rome. He wrote:
I thought you and your readers would be interested to know
that the new Martyrology is FINALLY (after 3 weeks!) available
for purchase at the Vatican Bookstore here in Rome (I just bought
a copy this morning). It is almost 800 pages long, and costs
Hope this information is helpful---if any of your readers need
immediate information, or want to check any dates, please let
me know via e-mail, and I'll be happy to check.
His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
11 November 2001
I wrote to Father Watson asking about whether it had a General
Instruction about how it is to be used in the liturgy. His reply
Yes, there is an Introduction/Praenotanda to the new
Martyrology. The fourth section "On the Uses of the Martyrology"
contains a very brief overview of its liturgical use, saying
that the public reading of the lectionary "is laudably done
in choir, but it may be carried out even apart from choir."
It offers an "Order for Reading the Martyrology Within the
Liturgy of the Hours," and another for its reading apart
from the Liturgy of the Hours. In both cases, the rubrics
provide a basic liturgical structure, with introductions, and
there are a variety of short Biblical passages and concluding
prayers which can be included to "fill out" the Martyrology
texts, making for a proper liturgical celebration.
4 January 2002
Here is some further light on how the Martyrology changes
the Roman Rite. According to the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops, Committee on the Liturgy, in their Newsletter
for October/November 2001:
What role does the Martyrology play in the choice
of texts for the Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours?
In this regard, readers may find paragraph 33 of the Congregations'
"Notification on Proper Calendars and Proper Liturgical
Texts" to be helpful. The BCL's unofficial translation of
this September 20, 1997 document, reads:
"It is good to remember, in addition, the possibilities
offered by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (nn.
316b, 316c) to the priest celebrating on the weekdays of Ordinary
Time, or those of Advent before December 17th, or of the Christmas
season from January 2nd onwards, or on those of the Easter season.
In such periods, even when there is an optional Memorial,
the priest can celebrate either the Mass of the weekday or that
of any Saint inscribed that day in the Roman Martyrology.
The same holds, analogously, for the celebration of the Liturgy
of the Hours (cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of
the Hours, n. 244).
It is perfectly legitimate, therefore, in such circumstances,
to celebrate in honor of a Saint found in neither the General
Calendar nor in a proper calendar. Obviously, such cases call
for the exercise of pastoral good sense on the part of the celebrant."
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 2 October 2001. Last updated 4