CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM
on the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Following the inscription of the
Obligatory Memorial of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church into the Roman Calendar, which must already be
celebrated by everyone this year on the Monday after Pentecost, it seemed
opportune to offer the following directions.
The rubric found in the Roman Missal after the formularies for the
Mass of Pentecost, “Where the Monday or Tuesday after Pentecost are days on
which the faithful are obliged or accustomed to attend Mass, the Mass of
Pentecost Sunday may be repeated, or a Mass of the Holy Spirit, may be said” (Missale
Romanum, p. 448), is still valid because it does not derogate precedence
between liturgical days whose celebration are solely regulated by the Table
of Liturgical Days (cf. Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the
Calendar, n. 59). Likewise, precedence is regulated by the norms on Votive
Masses: “Votive Masses are in principle forbidden on the days on which there
occurs an Obligatory Memorial, on a weekday of Advent up to and including 16
December, on a weekday of Christmas Time from 2 January, or on a weekday of
Easter Time after the Octave of Easter. However, for pastoral reasons, as
determined by the rector of the church or the Priest Celebrant himself, an
appropriately corresponding Votive Mass may be used in a celebration of Mass
with the people” (Missale Romanum, p.1156; cf.
General Instruction of
the Roman Missal, n. 376).
Nevertheless, all else being equal, the Obligatory Memorial of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is to be preferred. The texts of the
Memorial were attached to the Decree along with indications for the readings,
which are to be held as proper because they illuminate the mystery of Spiritual
Motherhood. In a future edition of the Ordo lectionum Missæ the rubric
at n. 572 bis will expressly indicate that the readings are proper and, even
though it is a Memorial, are to be adopted in place of the readings of the day,
(cf. Lectionary, General Introduction, n. 83).
In the case where this Memorial coincides with another Memorial the
principles of the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and Calendar are to be
followed (cf. Table of Liturgical Days, n. 60). Given that the Memorial
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is linked to Pentecost, as the
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary is similarly linked
to the celebration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, then, in the case where it
coincides with another Memorial of a Saint or Blessed, and following the
liturgical tradition of pre-eminence amongst persons, the Memorial of the
Blessed Virgin Mary is to prevail.
From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments, 24 March 2018.
Robert Card. Sarah
+ Arthur Roche