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Friday, 7 March 2008

Let's smash this old chestnut once and for all

The old chestnut I am referring to is the unbelievably silly interpretation of the rubric of the new Missal (older version) which said that, by tradition, the Church does not "celebrate the sacraments" on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Anyone with an ounce of sense and not infected with the daftest kind of positivism regarding liturgical law simply presumed that this did not intend to prohibit the longstanding custom of hearing confessions on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. If any support were needed, the press pictures of the Pope of Rome sitting in the confessional on Good Friday every year might just count for something?

Just to make things absolutely clear, the 2000 edition of the Missal adds in the clause "except for penance and the anointing of the sick." Fr Z also has the reference to a clarification from Rome on the matter as long ago as 1977. (See: Just to be clear, Confessions on Good Friday are NOT forbidden…. duh!)

31 years after that clarification and 8 years after the publication of the newer new Missal with the shiny new idiot-proof rubric, Fr Z reports that some priests, liturgical experts and even diocesan liturgy offices still believe that the rubrics of the Missal forbid confessions on Good Friday.
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