Here in England, it is becoming clearer that if there was an attempt to prevent traditionalists from celebrating the feasts on their traditional days, it seems to be failing. Mark Greaves has written an article for this week's Catholic Herald (Bishops insist on uniformity for Masses on Holy Days) in which he quotes "an official" from Ecclesia Dei who dutifully says of traditionalists "They're obliged to keep to the Holy Days that have been agreed upon" but then goes on to say that there is "no problem" with them also celebrating them during the week. This seems perfectly in accord with the text that is now available of the relevant portion of the letter of Cardinal Hoyos:
With regard to the question of Holydays of Obligation, you state that your understanding is that "the Holydays of Obligation established by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and confirmed by the Apostolic See under Canon 1246 are to be observed by the whole Church in England and Wales in celebrations of both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary form of Mass." I understand that in England and Wales the Feasts of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and the Body and Blood of the Lord have been transferred to the nearest Sunday with the approval of the Holy See. Since these Holydays are to be observed by all of the faithful, priests who celebrate according to the 1962 Roman Missal for the benefit of the faithful "attached to the Latin liturgical tradition" should also celebrate these Holydays on the prescribed Sundays.Nothing there to indicate any prohibition of celebrating Ascension Thursday on the Thursday. (We may all wonder what else was in the letter and did not make it to the website of the Bishops Conference.)
Also in the Herald is an excellent article by Alcuin Reid: ‘Another obstacle in path of unity’. He summarises the plethora of problems that this latest decision has thrown up:
What Mass will the priest say on the Thursday before Ascension "Sunday," as in the more ancient use a "votive" Mass of the Ascension is simply not possible? It would in any case be ludicrous to extinguish the paschal candle after the Gospel on Thursday symbolising the departure of our Lord's resurrected body only to do so again on Sunday! Are we to have two Epiphanies? Are the feasts of All Saints, Sts Peter and Paul and the Assumption to be repeated on a Sunday or a Monday after their observance the previous day? And what of their proper vigil days that are integral to the older use? What offices are to be celebrated? Then there is the issue of the occlusion of the liturgical texts of the Sundays that the transferred feasts will displace. Alas this "clarification" serves to deprive the faithful of some of the very liturgical heritage Pope Benedict sought to protect.Meanwhile, Damien Thompson has posted the Latin Mass Society's list of Masses for Ascension Thursday (Happy Ascension Day, bishops!). It is worth noting that this is only a selective list: they could not include all of the Masses in the space of their advert. Such places as Our Lady of the Rosary Blackfen were not included. We had a good attendance this evening for our Missa Cantata.