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We recently had a thread here about where priests say their private Masses, and another about tonsures, which in combination have put me in mind of the following question:

What are the differences in the daily obligations of a priest (parish or otherwise) pre- and post-V2, if any?

So, for example, in the tonsure-related thread we discussed the historical use of the tonsure as a mark of the priesthood.  My understanding is that this no longer applies.

Is each priest required to say at least one Mass daily, either public or private?  Did this change from before V2?

Likewise with praying the breviary.....still required or just "recommended"?

What other differences, if any?  Cassocks?  The custom that the priest should leave the rectory or church grounds seldom?
(07-03-2010, 08:01 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]We recently had a thread here about where priests say their private Masses, and another about tonsures, which in combination have put me in mind of the following question:

What are the differences in the daily obligations of a priest (parish or otherwise) pre- and post-V2, if any?

So, for example, in the tonsure-related thread we discussed the historical use of the tonsure as a mark of the priesthood.  My understanding is that this no longer applies.

Is each priest required to say at least one Mass daily, either public or private?  Did this change from before V2?

Likewise with praying the breviary.....still required or just "recommended"?

What other differences, if any?  Cassocks?  The custom that the priest should leave the rectory or church grounds seldom?

To my knowledge, there has never been a requirement to say Mass daily.  However, considering Holy Mass is the life-blood of the priest's ministry, I'd say most would want to say it daily (unless there were serious obstacles to their ability to do so).  Priests have always been obligated to say the Breviary.  Before Vatican II, there were eight "hours" (i.e. Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline) a priest was required to pray.  After Vatican II, the Breviary was revised, so that the hour of Prime was dropped and in many regions priests are only obligated to say one of the little hours each day (i.e. Matins, Lauds, Terce/Sext/None, Vespers, Compline).  Although changes to the Breviary are not uncommon.  Before the Council of Trent, priests were also obligated to pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, but I believe Pius V abolished this obligation because it was too time consuming.  Likewise, I think the Council's decision to reform the Breviary was for similar reasons.

Aside from the general obligations of praying the office, celibacy, and obedience, the priest's obligations would vary based on his ministry.  A parish priest has different obligations than an academic, and those are all based on the needs of the faithful.  If your main question is: Did priests before Vatican II work harder than those after the Council, then I'd say it really depends on the priest.  There have always been priests who worked really hard, and there have always been priests who haven't.  Even before the Council, you had lazy priests.
(07-03-2010, 08:01 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]So, for example, in the tonsure-related thread we discussed the historical use of the tonsure as a mark of the priesthood.  My understanding is that this no longer applies.

No, but there were customary exceptions to this before too, particularly in English-speaking countries.

Quote:Is each priest required to say at least one Mass daily, either public or private?  Did this change from before V2?

No, priests are not required to say Mass daily, nor were they required before Vatican II.  They were and still are, however, highly encouraged to do so.

Quote:Likewise with praying the breviary.....still required or just "recommended"?

Priests are still required to pray the Divine Office every day.

Quote:What other differences, if any?  Cassocks?  The custom that the priest should leave the rectory or church grounds seldom?

The use of the cassock as daily dress varied by country even before Vatican II.  You do seem to see less of them, now, however (depending on where you are).  I am not aware of a the custom of a priest leaving the rectory of church grounds seldom, however.
There never was a requirement for a priest of say Mass before the Council, not even on Sundays. The obligation of the Divine Office remains. Like so much, pre-/post-Vatican II differences are more imagined than reality.
(07-03-2010, 08:30 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:What other differences, if any?  Cassocks?  The custom that the priest should leave the rectory or church grounds seldom?

The use of the cassock as daily dress varied by country even before Vatican II.  You do seem to see less of them, now, however (depending on where you are).  I am not aware of a the custom of a priest leaving the rectory of church grounds seldom, however.

I forgot to mention this point.  You're correct that clerical dress has always varied based on the region.  When we see pictures of Saint John Vianney, you'll notice he's not wearing a Roman collar.  I suppose the Roman-style cassock only became popular worldwide in the twentieth century.  In the United States, the Plenary Councils of Baltimore regulated clerical dress.  Priests were obliged to wear cassocks in the rectory and sanctuary, but were encouraged to wear a black shirt, long coat, and collar when going "about".  They are also permitted to wear black "regular" clothes when working or relaxing.  Since VII, the regulations have decreased a bit.  Clerical wear is required when "on the job".  A cassock is optional, and typically only worn in the sanctuary or for the most formal occasions.  In the rectory, clerical dress is usually not worn.  I live with two priests who both are not slouches when it comes to clerical dress and appearance.  However, at the end of the day, its good to get out of hot clothes.
(07-03-2010, 08:30 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ] I am not aware of a the custom of a priest leaving the rectory of church grounds seldom, however.

Hm. I guess I am asking in reference to an observation made in Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism.  At one point (and I am going from memory here), Fr. McGivney appears at the late 19th century version of family court to vouch for a truant youth of his parish.....the author adds as an observation how particularly unusual this was since priests were expected, other than pastoral visits, to stay close to home, so to speak.  Might be just a bit of literary license.

As for the rest, thanks to all for the info.
A Pastor, before the council, was required to say Mass for the intention of his faithful on Sundays, Holy Days and days that were formerly Holy Days throughout the year. He did not have to offer a public Mass, but he did have to offer Mass for the intentions of the faithful. Aside from this he has no absolute requirement to say Mass on any day.

A priest who is not a Pastor is not obliged to say Mass at all, and it was customary when priests made a 30 day Ignatian retreat, for them to not say Mass during the first week in order to help break them of the "routine" in order to help build fervor for saying Mass. On these days they would attend Mass, and receive, but not say their own private Mass.

Under present Law, I believe that a Pastor must still say Mass for the intentions of his faithful on Sundays and Holy Days.

Regarding the Breviary, formerly those ordained to major orders were under grave obligation to recite the whole office each day. They could be dispensed with some of this by the Ordinary on occasion, but generally not permanently unless there was some malady that made daily recitation impossible. Until 1963, those who were obliged to recite the office had to do so in Latin only. Recitation of a vernacular translation did not satisfy the obligation.

According to a priest who recently came to train with the SSPX, under the New Law, the priest is obliged to say Lauds and Vespers or Compline plus one other little hours (Terce, Sext, None, Compline if Vespers was said).
(07-03-2010, 08:01 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]What are the differences in the daily obligations of a priest (parish or otherwise) pre- and post-V2, if any?

The Liturgy of hours is significantly shorter than the Breviary (even for the 1960 version about half of it) otherwise there is no difference in obligations.

Daily mass was no obligation, only venerable custom, although bishops usually required the pastors to provide at least one daily mass for their parishioners. .

Priest usually hold the tonsure for about a week after receiving it, after that the hair was not cut again.

The cassock was custom, w/o obligation for diocesan priests. Afaik religious (priest or brothers) were required to wear habit according to their rules.

The presence of the pastor in his parish was and is required by the law
Growing up in a small parish pre VII, if there was a funeral, the morning daily Mass would have to either be cancled, or generally the priest would get a dispensation from the Bishop to say an additonal Mass.

It was common also in some parishes for Requiem Masses to always occur at the regular daily Mass (usually 8:00 or 8:30 AM), the only difference maybe that an organist and choir might be arranged for, so it could be a High Mass, and more altar servers were called in.

(07-04-2010, 11:16 AM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-03-2010, 08:30 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]  I am not aware of a the custom of a priest leaving the rectory of church grounds seldom, however.

Hm. I guess I am asking in reference to an observation made in Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism.  At one point (and I am going from memory here), Fr. McGivney appears at the late 19th century version of family court to vouch for a truant youth of his parish.....the author adds as an observation how particularly unusual this was since priests were expected, other than pastoral visits, to stay close to home, so to speak.  Might be just a bit of literary license.

As for the rest, thanks to all for the info.

I was about to cite the very example of Fr. McGivney, when I saw that you had.  It is a great book, I'm going to reread soon.  In this case I don't think the example was "literary license", but common for that particular time and place (New England, 1877-1890).  There was a virulent anti-Catholicism in many parts of the nation, and Catholics tended to (and were expected to) stay on their turf.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that in some areas a priest may have "stayed in" (except for pastoral calls) as a matter of personal safety.  My paternal grandmother, after graduating from Holy Names Normal (teachers) School in Spokane, arrived at the small farming town of Almira to teach in a school that had trouble attracting candidates because of its isolation.  She was promptly fired, because the locals wern't going to have any "mick-papist" teach their kids.  Fortunately for my existence, she met my grandfather in the process.

I have a recollection that there may have been a thread awhile ago about a time when priests were expected to not leave the church grounds for frivilious reasons.

By the 1950's, in the US, priests generally seemed to have a normal existence, as it were.  One would see them out and about, walking around town, etc., always in a black suite with a Roman collar.