Saturday, January 14, 2017

Josephology Appendix 3: Artistic Portrayals of the Nativity

While the figure of St. Joseph is not ubiquitous in artistic portrayals of the Nativity, he has never been entirely alien to the subject. There are various forms of Nativity-related iconography, including the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi, the Cave and the Stable, the Eucharistic Child (where the ox and the ass nibble on the Christ Child), and scenes of the Midwives. Often these forms are collapsed together in various combinations, depending on how much of the Gospel and apocryphal narratives the artist or patron wished to include.

Even though Joseph is often absent in earlier depictions, he does seem to make an appearance on this early 4th-century Roman sarcophagus at the bottom-left (most of the early Nativities on sarcophagi depict the Virgin alone):

He is present in some panels of this 6th-century cover of the Armenian Echmiadzin Gospel, though noticeably absent from the Cave and Stable panel:

This Palestinian painted box from the 6th century shows Joseph, Mary, and Christ in iconographic positions that would remain standard in the West for many centuries, and in the East until the present day. All three figures are positioned physically apart, with Joseph contemplating the scene as one not directly involved with the mystery. The Virgin appears to be pointing the Christ Child out to Joseph or to the Christian viewing the icon.

Giotto’s fresco of the Nativity in the early 14th century still has a discernible connection to the earlier iconographic tradition. Although Mary is now holding the Christ Child, St. Joseph still sits apart, with a look either contemplative or sullen.

The medieval books of hours often included an illustration of the Nativity. This book of the Use of Rome from Paris, France (late 14th or early 15th century) shows St. Joseph huddled up against the cold next to the Virgin’s bed, without even a glimpse of his face:

The late 14th-century mystical visions of St. Brigit of Sweden instigated a major change in the depiction of the Adoration of the Christ Child. This passage especially marks a change in how Joseph is imagined in the Nativity scene:
When these things therefore were accomplished, the old man entered; and prostrating on the earth, he adored him on bended knee and wept for joy. Not even at the birth was that Virgin changed in color or by infirmity. Nor was there in her any such failure of bodily strength as usually happens in other women giving birth, except that her swollen womb retracted to the prior state in which it had been before she conceived the boy. Then, however, she arose, holding the boy in her arms; and together both of them, namely, she and Joseph, put him in the manger, and on bended knee they continued to adore him with gladness and immense joy. (source)
This painting by Niccolò di Tommaso (ca. 1372) is the first known representation of St. Brigit’s vision, in this regard. For the first time Joseph and Mary are mirrored in their placement and action.

Another example from a late 15th-century book of hours from France:

There are exceptions. The 16th-century Hours of Joanna the Mad, commissioned from the Flemish Gerard Horenbout, unusually depicts a stable-based Adoration without Joseph anywhere present:

The new iconography became standardized in the West, but with eventual modifications. For instance, St. Joseph is sometimes shown standing behind the kneeling or seated Virgin, perhaps to stand on guard or to better facilitate the sudden influx of visitors to the stable. St. Brigit’s vision of the Mother and Step-Father of Christ adoring in unison was becoming less ubiquitous, but Joseph in return became a more imposing figure.

Charles Le Brun’s 17th-century painting shows the Nativity scene as it had eventually become more frequently commissioned:

Today’s more popular crèche scenes of miniature statuary are usually patterned either after the Brigitean double-adoration…

…or the later “Joseph at the Ready” version:

The subject of the Nativity has lost some of its fashion in favor of images of the Holy Family, but it remains at least a seasonally prominent subject.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Francis the White

"So you have come, Gandalf," he said to me gravely; but in his eyes there seemed to be a white light, as if a cold laughter was in his heart.

"Yes, I have come," I said. "I have come for your aid, Saruman the White." And that title seemed to anger him.

"Have you indeed, Gandalf the Grey!" he scoffed.... "For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"

I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered.

"I liked white better," I said.

"White!" he sneered. "It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."

"In which case it is no longer white," said I. "And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."...

"I have not brought you hither to be instructed by you, but to give you a choice.... We must have power, power to order all things as we will, for that good which only the Wise can see.... We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order.... There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means."

"Saruman," I said, "I have heard speeches of this kind before, but only in the mouths of emissaries sent from Mordor to deceive the ignorant. I cannot think that you brought me so far only to weary my ears."

[From The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Abrogation & Obedience

Upon Rorate's predictably sensationalistic report from Sandro Magister that Papa Peron will consider the "correction" of Summorum Pontificum and the 1962 liturgy, I thought immediately of a passing reference Fr. John Hunwicke made today to "Duffy's Parson Trichay" who "clung on" to older ways during the Edwardian and Elizabethian ages.

A suppression or limitation of the 1962 liturgy would cast a dubious shadow over much of the Church, at least in America, outside of parishes exclusively dedicated to the Rite of Econe. Supposedly there are 500 Pian-Johannine Masses, or Mass locations, in the United States every Sunday, the vast majority of them not under the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King; the text quotes figures for diocesan presence, so one may doubt the Fraternity of St. Pius X's considerable number of priories are included.

What would happen if Bishop Fellay signed the dotted line, Rome gave the Fraternity a personal prelature with immunity in their current locations, and Francis reconfigured Summorum back to Ecclesia Dei levels, when occasional Masses were permitted only with the expressed consent of the bishop? Surely the FSSP, FSSPX, Institute of Christ the King, and monasteries dedicated to the '62 rite would be left alone, but the majority of Masses would forcibly vanish. If a devout Catholic learned anything during the 1950s and 1960s he learned that the average cleric sees obedience to immediate, visible authority as the equivalent of right and wrong, even if the authority deems wrong what had once been right. Obedience is a means of preserving faith, not the actual faith.

Enter "Duffy's Parson Trichay," whose name was Sir Christopher Trychay (rhymes with "Dickey"). Sir Christopher—named when priests were called Sir or Mister—was ordained in 1515 and served the parish of St. George in Morebath, Devon from that year until his death in 1574. Early in priesthood, Trichay added statues and shrines to saints of popular devotion; Sir Christopher prayed frequently to St. Sidwell, a 6th century virgin martyred in the same county. The medievals sought the intercession of the saints for their common problems; their faith was casual, but that does not mean it was shallow or superficial. Townsfolk donated money at the shrines and bought candles from the St. George's to burn perpetually before the statues and icons of their favorite saints. Sir Christopher used the money from the "stores" to fund the parish's charitable functions, including the laudable participation of five men in the 1549 Prayer Book Rebellion. In 1538, amid Henry's dissolution and thievery among the English monasteries, Trychay gave his Missal, the relics of saints, holy images, and candles to various faithful so that when the authorities came to confiscate his Papist paraphernalia he could hold his hands up in innocence, all the while hoping he might one day call upon his parishioners to use the sacred objects and say the Mass again. In the mean time he used the Prayer Book and a wooden table and did not promote the veneration of saints. His patience was rewarded two years later when Mary assumed the throne and churches resumed the old ways. It was to be short lived. Mary died before the end of the decade with a considerable number of vacant episcopal sees for "Henry Tudor's bastard daughter" to fill. Sir Christopher again hid his Missal, relics, and images with the faithful and resumed the Prayer Book in hopes of another return to Catholicism. Alas, his patience protestantism would not be rewarded this time and the Mass never returned. Sir Christopher Trychay was buried under where the Catholic altar once stood.

He died obedient.

500 Mass locations is a drop in the water compared to the 18,000 (and shrinking) parishes in the United States, yet the opportunity to celebrate the odd 1962 Mass is a treat to most priests condemned to mundane parish life. Will they push back or be obedient as Sir Christopher if that day comes?

One remembers that after the introduction of the completely revamped liturgy in 1970 many priests chose retirement over the "Novus Ordo." Should their dichotomy have been "Will I say the new order or retire" or "Should I say the new order or refuse"? Many would-be opponents, like Cardinal Siri or the priests of the archdiocese of Baltimore, obeyed and left the few dissidents in a liturgical and spiritual ghetto where the FSSP and FSSPX now live. One wonders if Lefebvre would have gone as far as he did if a cardinal or archbishop somewhere not nearing retirement age had the fortitude to say "Not just no, but hell no" independently of the Gallican missionary.

In the mean time, Pre-Pius XII never looked so attractive, or at least so mute a point of contention by its opponents! Buy now while you have the chance!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Contentions via the Holy Family

Joseph and his brethren, the iconic unhappy family.
A recent sermon at Tradistan was cause for some unfortunate Joseph-related debate. Speaking on the occasion of the feast of the Holy Family (instituted in 1893), the priest talked about Catholic family life from the perspective of the Household of Nazareth. The sermon was decent enough, and the lessons drawn for Catholic family life were not unreasonable, but the priest’s opinion of St. Joseph’s virginity and confirmation in grace after his marriage to the Virgin sparked some previously calm disagreement between friends into dissension.

My own opinions on St. Joseph are well known among my close friends, not only by His Traddiness and my bride. Recently it has become a point of contention in a larger group of friends, drawing a line between those with a devotion to Young St. Joseph and those who prefer Old St. Joseph. The Tradistani sermon further sparked a flurry of text messages, arguments in the parish hall, and emails to the priest, most of which I successfully avoided until later in the day. By the time I was able to catch up on this activity, the various parties had more or less sullenly retreated to their own corners, still certain of their own opinions and no longer willing to engage in debate.

Thankfully, my wife is on my side on this matter, as she is with so many things. I have no doubt we will be putting up an image of Young St. Joseph somewhere in the home, if only because it was a gift from a friend or family member. Such are the small compromises that one makes for the sake of a happy family and social life. She has suggested I compile and edit all of my original Josephology series into a book format and think about publishing it, although I cannot think of any Catholic publisher—traddy or neo-conservative—who would be interested in printing such a volume. Even the now-defunct Thomas A. Nelson publishing house would never print something so traditional. Nonetheless, while agreement on things like St. Joseph’s age and marital history might be objectively minor, such an harmony of thought can be a major step towards long-term familial happiness.

Among friends, disagreements on minor matters can be a cause for good-humored ribbing, intensely engaging debate, or miserable complaints. It’s a pity when the latter ends up being the case. Damage control is always tedious work, especially when most of the damage is self-inflicted. Those who are unwilling to put in the work to research a topic are too often the loudest at expressing their opinion, and do not know how to react to an intellectual argument except for a quick retreat paired with an unimpressive Parthian shot.

When the priest in question finally responded to my friend’s email, he admitted that he was unsure if Joseph had been married before the Annunciation, but doubted it. The casual misuse of words, like “virginity” when “chastity” is meant, can cause great problems, it would seem. Ideas have consequences, and so do intellectual mistakes. St. Jerome’s fabulation of a vowed-to-virginity St. Joseph certainly has had consequences some 1600 years later, including the occasional haze of stubbornness and hurt feelings. I remember a similar argument with a good friend that ended in him spitefully shutting it down when he thought it absurd that the perpetual virginity of Mary had anything whatsoever to do with physical integrity, in spite of the theology of the Church Fathers. The cause of his reaction was a simple-minded emotionalism about certain aspects of womanhood (especially not wishing women to feel bad about certain… incidents) and an assumption that the Patristic position was due to their sexual naïveté. That friendship survived, but in a noticeably altered form after I refused to back down.

Emotion sometimes gets the better of the intellectual life, and devotionalism often has an emotional spillage that goes to great lengths to protect the object of devotion. Such was Jerome’s zeal to protect the belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity that he created for her a celibate warrior-bodyguard from whom she need never fear any lusty rudeness. But truth can not allow its terms to be dictated by emotion, no matter how well-placed they may be. The heart must learn what is lovable from the head, or else the soul ends up like the old image of Phyllis riding on Aristotle’s back: reason subjected to desire, in a kind of inversion of the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.

Be like Joseph, instead.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Careerists: Caretakers & Undertakers

In the heart of Hartford, Connecticut is a large, red house with brown lattice woodwork and colorful windows. Inside, the years have imbued a dignity that comes with age upon this large bungalow full of Italian mementos, statuettes of cats, and books. The house belonged to Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain. Down the road is a big, ugly cement airplane hanger called St. Joseph's Cathedral.

The Archdiocese of Hartford is rarely bestowed prime quality bishops. It has been a consolation see for several prelates who were deprived of the cardinal-archbishopric of New York City after laboring in the vineyard of ecclesiastical obedience for so many years. My former home is on its third consecutive "caretaker" archbishop, someone whose job it is to curtail years of financial mismanagement and population implosion. There are very orthodox bishops and very heretical ones, very holy ones and very worldly ones; but there seem to be none who are zealous or visionary, and that has taken its toll in the archdiocese of contented caretakers.

The week of Christmas the Archdiocese announced a plan to close or cluster 100 of its 212 parishes throughout the three Connecticut counties it encompasses. As the article states, Mass attendance has dropped 70% among self-identified Catholics from 1965 and the number of Catholics has dropped a quarter, although the state population, while stagnant, is 40% higher than it was when Vatican II ended. The number of priests is down 65% in that same period and 22% will be 75 within five years. While the state of Connecticut remains uninspiring, the archdiocese of Hartford is resolutely mediocre.

St. Aedan's
My father was baptized in 1941, just after his birth, at St. Aedan's in New Haven. In 1950 he was confirmed by Msgr. Henry J. O'Brien, the last archbishop of Hartford born in Connecticut. That same year St. Aedan's opened a school, the apogee of every pre-Vatican II American parish. In 2012 my father and I heard a Saturday night Mass there: the priest neglected the chasuble, omitted a reading, read the pseudo-Hippolytan anaphora, and gave a sermon about sharing to a congregation of 40 white headed persons.

While Archbishop O'Brien should not be singularly credited with the growth of the archdiocese after World War II—an era in which the Polish, Italian, and Irish communities were becoming more perfectly Americanized and protestants were converting in noticeable numbers—he does deserve his due as a native who knew his own flock and managed to meet their needs without saddling parishes and schools in debt. His replacements, Whealon, Cronin, Mansell, and now Blair, cannot seem to be interested in anything other than a well managed declined.

Are these churchmen conservative by instinct because they are caught in their childhood vision of the Church? A four hymn sandwich Mass, a communitarian schedule run by people in black suits, schools, and a sodality or two? Or could it be the familiar career progression, almost a treadmill? Daniel Cronin served in the Vatican Secretariat of State and made monsignor within ten years of ordination; despite gaining the episcopacy six years later he never went much further. Henry Mansell was a priest of the archdiocese of New York, a monsignor, and vice-Chancellor of New York. Msgr. Blair held administrative positions in Detroit, a professorship at a seminary, and served as a secretary to a cardinal who ran a Roman dicastery. All went to a Roman seminary. All met a minimal need to display orthodoxy without upsetting the established order too severely. Cronin mildly rebuked Ted Kennedy for his weak opposition to abortion and Blair did the same to the "nuns of the bus" and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What of pastoral experience?

In the past priests perceived to be worthy of violet cloth were given a few stitches early on as a test run and as a reward for good behavior, at least in America. "Monsignor" ("My lord") originated as an Italian address for higher clergy and clergy of noble heritage. The honor continued to be used in such a manner in Europe. In America it became a way of playing favorites. Today priests make a salary of around $40,000 a year; fifty years ago they kept the Christmas collection as their salary. Monsignori with "plumb parishes" and congregants in the thousands generously willing to pay their Nativity tithe did much better than those priests in backwater towns and a hundred poor Micks who knew what the bishop thought about them.

Ecclesiastical vocations tend to attract the intelligent believer, the unintelligent believer, and the unintelligent disbeliever in our time with a strong preference for the second and third of these. Our current age of renewal and consolidating ("synergies", as we call them in corporate finance) can be read in the spirit of orthodoxy or novelty, but it cannot be read in the spirit of non-contradiction with the past, a fact most stubborn to career churchmen. After years of lay "ministries" churchmen are getting what they wished for only to find laymen are incapable of confecting the Eucharist or giving Absolution.

There are alternatives to the slow bleed more forward minded bishops could embrace. There is the Lincoln solution of radical modern orthodoxy which allows priests to do as they will in the most conservative way, replete with pro-life ministries and Latin Masses. There is also the Oratorian solution advocated here, here, and here, which this author believes the most feasible way of both reinvigorating parish life and meeting Catholics where they are, uninitiated with Latin, in questionable marriages, and poorly taught. And then there is the solution of monasticism, of bringing the liturgical heart of the Church back into rural and cathedral life. New traditional monasteries open constantly in France and fill up immediately; while hardly a solution to parish problems, monasticism does revive the pulse of the Church and provide a spiritual heart beat.

Career clergymen are rarely visionaries or even pastorally adept. In their eagerness to check off their boxes on their way to the elusive red hat they neglected their duties, assuming the churches are as enduring as the marble they were once built with. Without care, marble cracks and fades.

One wonders if rather than caretakers, these gentlemen would have been better off picking careers as undertakers?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Epiphany and Esotericism

“Clouds and darkness are round about him.” (Ps. 96)
Little is known about the three Magi who visited the Christ Child in Bethlehem. The Western tradition names them Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar. Some traditions hold that St. Thomas the Apostle baptized the Magi in his oriental journeys, and that they were made bishops of the Catholic Faith. Western iconography eventually began to depict the Magi as being of three different races (European, Asian, and African) to symbolize the three continents, and of three ages (young, middle aged, and elderly) to symbolize the fullness of man’s life; in this respect, the Magi are a synecdoche of man in his natural, pre-Christian state.

The Magi were likely priests of, or otherwise heavily involved in, the religion of Zarathustra, although in spite of their name they may not have been practitioners of magic or sorcery. Certainly they were astrologers in the sense of astronomical philosophers and speculators. The use of the lights of heavens as signs goes all the way back to the Hebrew creation account (Gen. 1.14), pagans though they were. The details of the ancient Chaldean religions are vague and perhaps tainted by the research of much later speculative philosophers, but it bears superficial similarities to many later heresies like Manichæism.

John Senior describes the aspects of Chaldean astrology in The Way Down and Out: “The cosmology of the sacerdotal schools fits the theological order exactly [That is, of the universe as an emanation of the Divine rather than a creation. –J.], the world in fact being a replica of heaven so that everything which happens in the one is reflected in the other. This accounts for the efficacy of astrology and allied forms of divination and of magic” (11). This doctrine of correspondence between Heaven and Earth, and of Man as an image of the universe, is the popular basis of belief in Man as Divine.

“The heavens declared his justice: and all people saw his glory.” (Ps. 96)
The religions of Babylon and Egypt would eventually be sprinkled with Hindoo doctrines and find a nesting place in Greece (through the Orphic mysteries) and later in Rome (in the rites of Mithras), but would also influence various Neoplatonist movements. In a sense, the world has never been rid of Chaldean errors. The theological dualism of Zarathustra provides a theodicy for the emotional insecure and simple-minded. The implied divinity of Man excuses all manner of vices, especially vainglory and lust, for it makes sexual union into a quasi-divine and magical act.

Still, the stink of Babylon lingers, and likely will until the end of time. Its practitioners call theirs the “esoteric” religion, mocking the public, Catholic religion as “exoteric.” The hidden (“occult”) religion is meant for the enlightened few, the public religion for the simple masses. This pride has diminished over time. Senior notes that the esoteric religion exists in the modern day, but not as the fruits of an unbroken tradition:
Because in the West there has been no “tradition” since the Renaissance, the symbolist doctrine has been in the hands of individuals rather than schools, amateurs rather than professionals; and this has led to a kind of esoteric protestantism, to the formation of individual sects, some wise, many foolish. (xiv)
The conversion of the Magi was not a deathblow to what Dr. Senior would later call the “Perennial Heresy,” but it did open an alternative to the temptation of vain curiosity. What the Magi sought were wisdom and enlightenment, and they were true lovers of wisdom (philo-sophia) in ways that those with itching ears are not. The doctrine of correspondence between Heaven and Earth, of Man holding within himself the Divine, came true in the humble city of Bethlehem of Judea. It came true in a way that the Magi could never have predicted, in a way that they would certainly spend their entire lives attempting to understand.

The esoteric had become exoteric—“the light shineth in darkness.” Lovers of obscurity hate the light and “do not comprehend it,” preferring the darkness of the occult. At best they are alchemists intent on improving their own souls; at worst they are sorcerers and worshippers of angels. The esoteric religion remains to be discovered by men restless and intelligent, like a chunk of arctic ice housing a deadly bacteria long thought to be extinct.

Jesus spoke in parables to darken the eyes and block the ears of grievously sinful men, not to prevent the humble and unlearned from entering in to the Kingdom. Some remain blind and deaf, in spite of the epiphaneia of the Gospel. Some wish to remain unenlightened.

“Light is risen to the just, and joy to the right of heart.” (Ps. 96)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

For Auld Lang Syne: Ordo 2017

I recently began re-reading JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which I last pursued in 2003 as a freshman in high school amid the film installments that brought nerds interested in Elvish minutiae out of the woodwork. To this author Tolkien's work is, at least in part, a take on other epic adventure stories and hearkens back to a different social structure when entertainment took place in the form of stories and songs. When I read Lord of the Rings I make up melodies for the [gratuitous] songs in my mind (Bilbo really needs to stop). Christmas may well be the only time of the year when the general populace can be counted on to know a traditional song, something that does not have a studio original that charted in the last ten years; even at that, most can only muster the first verse of Hark! The Herald Angels. At a charming New Year's Eve gathering last night I attempted to start Auld Lang Syne after the clock struck midnight. Most knew the tune, but absolutely no one knew the words. Not one.

Auld Lang Syne is something out of auld lang syne, that is, days long ago. Should its acquaintance be forgot? Certainly not, nor should many older and venerable things from days gone by which are as ingrained in our senses as ever, even if they are scrubbed out of our active consciences. Take the Roman liturgy for example. There is an enduring simplicity and power in its words not latent in the elaborate ceremonies of the Greeks, the communitarian rites of the Reformers, or reduced forms of Summorum Pontificum. But we do not live in auld lang syne; we live in the now but are burdened with the past, for we possess nothing certain if not experience.

For those devotees, clerics, laymen, students, and plain Catholics looking to preserve the auld lang rite for the present, I recommend they buy the St. Lawrence Press's Ordo Recitandi Offici Divini Sacrique Peragendi here. As the name betrays, it is an ordo recitandi for the daily Office and Mass in the Roman rite before Pius XII and his epigoni (Bugnini, Bea, and others with Italian names) laid their hands on the liturgy and gradual evolved into the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Novus Ordo (the Paul VI and 1962 rites respectively). The Ordo contains information on every imaginable rubric that should put the uninitiated at ease and provide detail for full liturgical service options throughout the year, including:

  • public and private, said and sung votive Masses, including those of Nuptial and Requiem
  • commemorations
  • Forty Hours devotions
  • external solemnities
  • proper Last Gospels
  • colors and prefaces within octaves
  • movable feasts
  • the patronal feast of a church
  • doxologies at the end of hymns
What's that? The 1962 police are after you? I assure you they are not! We do not live under auld lang syne and the halcyon days of Benedict XVI, but under the light yoke of Papa Peron Bergoglio, who is aggressively disinterested in liturgical form. Why not sentire cum Papa and just do the real thing? Why not celebrate St. Joseph's patronage of the Universal Church, or Pip'n'Jim on May 1, or the octave days of the comites Christi this week? The Roman rite reflects centuries of prayer, reform, preservation, and crystallization in the liturgy. Would it not be preferable to do the pre-Pius XII rite not because we can construe a legal argument for it, but simply because it is the right rite thing to do for "sake of auld lang syne"?

If you are a priest and do not exercise your ministry in an environment conducive to doing the old old rite, then the Ordo 2017 is still useful to you. You can add the suffrage of Saints and preces to your Office on days that the old liturgy prescribes them, append commemorations (like Fidelium on the first Monday of the month) to the collects as they would have been, use the preface of the Nativity during the octave of Corpus Christi, dismiss the faithful with Benedicamus Domino when the Gloria is not sung, or say a votive Office of the Dead on the first free day of each week during Lent and Advent.

Are you a priest who celebrates the Mass of Paul VI on a daily basis? With a little imagination you may be in considerably better position to use the Ordo than those in 1962 communities. No one will stop you from using the old Office and the new Mass is surprisingly malleable in certain parts: unlike the saint-laden 1962 kalendar, the Ordinary form of the Novus Ordo has a number of ferial days comparable to the Tridentine kalendar, meaning one could use votive Masses to resurrect the octaves a certain Italian nobleman sent to the chopping block in 1955. The rubrics for Holy Week are also not as strict as in the extraordinary form of the Novus Ordo, so why not have a double-genuflection during the veneration of the cross on Good Friday? 

So, venerable Fathers, it is 2017: buy an Ordo, reserve a set of folded chasubles at Gammarelli, find an old breviary, and start incorporating the traditional Roman liturgy into your church for "sake of auld lang syne."