A Pentecost Monday lesson: “And Paul VI wept.”

A Pentecost Monday lesson: “And Paul VI wept.”

[Nonetheless, he sought to impose the Novus Ordo liturgy on the laity (in the vernacular and ad populum – as pictured below) as well as on the clergy and religious (although he asked the contemplative religious to continue to use Latin, which most of them instead quickly abandoned) to the detriment of the traditional Latin liturgy (Missal and Office), which he prohibited the public use of both (although allowing priests or religious – “for old age or other reason” – to use the traditional Latin missal and breviary but only in private; thus ending any public liturgical ministry on their part – unless they conformed to the “New Order”), although he did backtrack slightly with what became known as the “Agatha Christie indult” allowing use of the traditional Latin Mass in England on special occasions (such as funerals)  – AQ Tom] 

Image result for pope paul VI saying mass

Posted on 21 May 2018 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf


Years ago I told this Pentecost Monday tale and it has made the rounds.  It has made the rounds everywhere, but I am the origin of the anecdote, which I published years ago in the pages of The Wanderer and also on the now defunct Catholic Online Forum in its Compuserve days.  (Remember Compuserve? I’ve been at this since 1992.) Lots of people have picked it up.

It bears repetition.

This stands as a lesson for what happens when we lose sight of continuity.

Take this for what it may be worth.

Some years ago … gosh, it was decades now… I was told this story by a retired Papal Ceremoniere (Master of Ceremonies) who, according to him, was present at the event about to be recounted.

You probably know that in the traditional Roman liturgical calendar the mighty feast of Pentecost had its own Octave.  Pentecost was/is a grand affair indeed, liturgically speaking.  It has a proper Communicantes and Hanc igitur, an Octave, a Sequence, etc. In some places in the world such as Germany and Austria Pentecost Monday, Whit Monday as the English call it, was a reason to have a civil holiday, as well as a religious observance.

The Novus Ordo went into force with Advent in 1969.

The Monday after Pentecost in 1970, His Holiness Pope Paul VI went to the chapel for Holy Mass. Instead of the red vestments, for the Octave everyone knows follows Pentecost, there were laid out for him vestments of green.

Paul queried the MC assigned for that day, “What on earth are these for?  This is the Octave of Pentecost!  Where are the red vestments?”

Santità,” quoth the MC, “this is now Tempus ‘per annum’.  It is green, now. The Octave of Pentecost was abolished.”

“Green? That cannot be!”, said the Pope, “Who did that?”

“Holiness, you did.”

And Paul VI wept.

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3 comments on “A Pentecost Monday lesson: “And Paul VI wept.”

  1. “I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
    “I deeply sympathize.”
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes.

    “O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
    “You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
    But answer came there none–
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.

  2. P6 may not have been so fouled up as to warrant an entire psychiatric textbook to define his liberal pathologies, but useful addenda to the original edition of “Catholicism for Dummies” would be in order.

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