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Full Version: Interesting stuff regarding the reform of the Roman Breviary 1960
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Gutting and cut and paste reforms, like the meteor that signal what was to come.
This NLM series is amazing.  Highly recommend...
I don't have time to research this thoroughly, but it seems that some of these changes are quite good (and I'm inferring that the author has a negative opinion of them).  Here's my thoughts:

The fact that Sunday has priority over the feasts of the saints (except those days that would be called "Solemnities" after the Council), was a change very much in keeping with the authentic spirit of the liturgy.  In addition, the priority of the days of Lent over the feasts of saints is more in keeping with the penitential nature of the season. 

As for the disappearance of some feasts like Thomas Aquinas, I'll admit that it was regrettable.  Ideally, the a Saint's feast should be celebrated on their natale-their birthday into Heaven.  But, if the liturgical year takes precedence over the feasts of Saints, then I can understand why Aquinas's feast was moved in the new calendar. 

The one Feast of the Chair at Rome was most likely removed because it was a duplication.  While their could be multiple reasons for why a feast was duplicated, it probably happened because it was celebrated on one date in region A and another date in region B, and then parts of region A's calendar were incorporated into region B.  So in reality, you're celebrating the same feast twice (despite the title of the feast).

The Finding of the Cross on May 3 is connected to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  Egeria says that in Jerusalem, they celebrated the finding on May 3, and had a procession on May 4.  This was considered one feast over two days.  However, after the Cross was stolen by the Persians in 614, and subsequently re-capatured by the Emperor Heraclitus in 628, the main procession was transfered to the date of the reclamation-September 14th.  So again, you have a duplication.

Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel.  I think this was removed because of its obscurity, and its virtually a local Italian feast that was subsequently imposed on the whole Church.  The reforms of the 1950s and 1960s attempted to give the feasts of Saints a more universal character, and not so-Italian centered.  I don't think this was done to decrease devotion to St. Michael.  Other examples of "Italian bias" in the old calendar would be feasts of Peter Nolasco, Gregory Barbagio, Juliana of Falconieri, etc.  At the end of the day, the reason these feasts were placed in the General Calendar was not because there was universal devotion to them, but simply because the Pope at the time was devoted to them.  Now, other Italian saints like Charles Borromeo (its his feast day btw), had more widespread appeal and certainly earned their place in the reformed General calendar.

The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary on the Friday of Passion week reduced to commemoration.  READ: FRIDAY OF PASSION WEEK!  Unless I'm mistaken, that's Good Friday.  So a priest can choose to celebrate the Seven Dolors instead?  Again, I think we need to have our priorities straight.  In addition, the feast was a duplication (the September 28th feast was the main one an its been maintained in the calendar since).

My point is that you can read the changes through a narrow lens, and see destruction.  However, if you read a lot of material about the reform, you'll see where they were coming from (and in my mind, pushed many good principles).
One should also remember that Saint Pius V also took the axe to Patrick and many other famous saints; even Saint Anthony of Padua. That would be horrific by even modern Novus Ordo standards.

I agree with MeaMaximaCulpa that giving primacy to Sundays and the like is a good idea. I thought Saint Pius X had already done that, though.

I'm still surprised at the sheer number of Italian saints we have to use even in the U.S. I mean, no offense to Italians, but since we're all English-speaking, how about more English saints? I have a sneaking suspicion that if I mentioned Saint Augustine of Canterbury, even a lot of trads would conjure a blank stare.