Septuagesima Sunday

So, what is this funny word? Septuagesima literally translates to 70, as in 70 days before Easter and is actually the ninth Sunday before Easter. The purpose behind Septuagesima is for the faithful to begin thinking about Lent and what your penance for Lent might be. Septuagesima is not a time of fasting and penance, it is a time of preparation. Lent starts in two and a half weeks, on Ash Wednesday.

So why do we fast during Lent? The Season of Lent, forty days, represents the forty days Jesus spent in fasting and prayer in the desert before entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. For Lent, we offer up something, and it does not have to be huge - but it should be something you would normally do or partake in every day. By offering up something you do all the time - it provides you an opportunity to think of WHY you are offering it up. You offer it up in union with Christ's sufferings, not only in remembrance of his forty days of fasting but also of His Passion and death on the Cross. So, if you give up chocolate, or coffee, or sodas, or desserts, or whatever you choose - so long as it is something you would participate in regularly and will give you that moment of meditation on Christ's suffering which was FOR YOU.

Why is Septuagesima not in the Ordinary Rite of the Catholic Church?  

We'll answer that in the next posting!

Cell Phones in Church

How many times have you been in church and during the sermon or during consecration or, well anytime during Mass and you hear someone's cell phone go off? It can probably be well asserted that most of the time a cell phone in church is wholly unnecessary. Most times because there can be incidents that require individuals to have their cell phones on them. As an example, a doctor who is on-call. Another example could be support personnel for a medical facility or someone awaiting emergency information from or about a loved one. That said, there is no reason the phones cannot be in silent mode. For anyone else, leave your cell phone at home or at least in your vehicle.

Now, if someone forgets to leave their phone outside or forgets to put it into silent mode and it goes off, one can sense the frustration in others. Is it really any more distracting than a child crying? Is it something we could just accept and not take offense to? It seems that some are overly annoyed by cell phones. We can all agree that any methods to avoid distracting others at church should be observed, but can we also make it our responsibility to refocus our attention as necessary when someone messed up and forgot to silence their phone? Consider the feelings of that person too - who now has the focus of many in their pews now on them - they are likely quite embarrassed and well aware of the distraction.

Another valid possibility of cell phones in church is the use of a smartphone app that contains the readings or even a full missal with rubrics to follow the Mass. Some will still frown upon someone using a "screen" in church, but in reality, what is the real difference between an electronic missal and a traditional book or booklet form? Still, if one wishes to use a smartphone app in church, they should do their best not to be distractive to others.

It Is STILL Christmastide!

Just a reminder! Christmastide BEGAN on Christmas Day in celebration of the Christ Mass and continues even after Epiphany through February 2nd - Candlemas Day!

Keep at least SOME of your Christmas decorations up!


Epiphany, the celebration of the arrival of the "Three Wise Men" from the East. They came bearing gifts for the Christchild. In many Catholic traditions, gifts are given on this day instead of (or on top of) December 25th. It is also a time of reflecting not only on the Infant Jesus, but also upon the baptism of Jesus - when He is revealed by God - and the Trinity is physically present as the Father announces His Son, and the Holy Ghost descends upon Him as a dove. 

The letters C, M, B have two meanings:
• They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
• They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus Mansionem Benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.”

The “+” signs represent the cross and 2021 is the year.

After the chalking of your front door, a blessing should be said. Here is a suggestion from the Carmelites website:

All make the Sign of the Cross.

In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

12th Day of Christmas - January 5

 On this, the Twelfth Day of Christmas, as we complete the song and the explanation behind each "gift" as well as the fact that the alleged catechetical code behind the song is likely an invention of the 1990s and the Internet - let us not be looking so hard to find a negative.

Image credit:

The alleged catechetical meaning behind the 12th Drummers drumming is the 12 Articles of Faith in the Apostles Creed. These 12 articles are not exclusive to the Catholic Faith, in fact, they are widely held by most Christians throughout the Christian world.

Now, rather than draw attention to the likely fact that this myth was born in the 1990s on the Internet, and rather than find fault in the alleged logic put forth in the 1990s that this song was born out of persecution - why not just accept that there can be a deeper Christian message behind the 12 gifts? Clearly the song marks the (largely Catholic) celebration of the 12 days between the birth of Jesus Christ to the celebration of the coming of the Magi on Epiphany, January 6th - so love the song for its Christian roots!

Another song, similar in nature and from about the same time is the "New Dial Song" (c. 1625 AD). Perhaps some of the musings from this other ancient song have had some influence on the 1990s legend of the 12 Days of Christmas? Here are the words to the "New Dial Song:"

What are they that are but one?

We have one God alone

In heaven above sits on His throne.What are they which are but two?

Two testaments, the old and new,

We do acknowledge to be true.What are they which are but three?

Three persons in the Trinity

Which make one God in unity.What are they which are but four

Four sweet Evangelists there are,

Christ’s birth, life, death which do declare.What are they which are but five?

Five senses, like five kings, maintain

In every man a several reign. What are they which are but six?

Six days to labor is not wrong,

For God himself did work so long.

What are they which are but seven?

Seven liberal arts hath God sent down

With divine skill man’s soul to crown. What are they which are but eight?

Eight Beatitudes are there given

Use them right and go to heaven. What are they which are but nine?

Nine Muses, like the heaven’s nine spheres,

With sacred tunes entice our ears. What are they which are but ten?

Ten statutes God to Moses gave

Which, kept or broke, do spill or save. What are they which are but eleven?

Eleven thousand virgins did partake

And suffered death for Jesus’ sake. What are they which are but twelve?

Twelve are attending on God’s son;

Twelve make our creed. The Dial’s done.

I will close this posting on the Twelfth Day of Christmas with the reminder, it is STILL CHRISTMAS! Christmastide lasts through most of the Season of Epiphany, and ends on February 2nd - Candlemas - which is the last time in the liturgical year that the nativity is mentioned in the readings of the lectionary. So, keep your decorations up a bit longer, at least some of them, as a reminder that we are still celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

11th Day of Christmas

 The 11th Day of Christmas - January 4th

From the song, we have the 11 Pipers piping...

A couple meanings could be behind this according to legend. During the 16th through 19th centuries, it was illegal for Catholics to practice their faith in England - so the story goes (may not be true) that the faithful Catholics developed coded meaning in the song, the Twelve Days of Christmas, to publicly sing of their faith without drawing attention to it. One possible meaning is the 11 represents 11,000 - or a lot - of martyrs for the Catholic Faith in England. Another and more popular belief is that the 11 represents the 11 Apostles who remained faithful to Christ through the Crucifixion and Resurrection. 

I say "legend" because there is no real hard evidence prior to the 1990s where this "legend" seems to have begun. Certainly, the song is from the 16th-17th century, but that there are coded meaings behind each verse - well, again, there is just no evidence for this prior to several email chains from the 1990s. That said, I see nothing wrong with attributing these meanings to the verses, but we should be clear about the origins of these meanings.
Catholic Saints for January 4th:

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. (Phil. 2:10).

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus which is kept on the First Sunday in the year; but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7 the feast is kept on January 2. The reason for not having the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus on these days is due to other feasts already being on those days and since the day for the Holy Name of Jesus moves each year, rather than conflict with non-moving feasts the movable feast moves to January 2 (Circumcision, Jan 1, Epiphany, Jan 6, and Orthodoxy celebrates Christmas on Jan 7). 

“There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (*Epistle). The origin of this feast goes back to the 16th century, when it was already observed by the Franciscan Order. In 1721, during the pontificate of Innocent XIII, its observance was extended to the whole Church. If we wish to see our names written in heaven under the glorious name of Jesus (*Postcommunion), that name must be often on our lips here below. [*Extraordinary Rite].

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, R: have mercy on us.

God the Son, redeemer of the world,

God the Holy Ghost,

Holy Trinity, one God,

Jesus, Son of the living God,

Jesus, brightness of eternal light,

Jesus, king of glory,

Jesus, son of justice,

Jesus, Son of the virgin Mary,

Jesus, most amiable,

Jesus, most admirable,

Jesus, the mighty God,

Jesus, father of the world to come,

Jesus, angel of great counsel,

Jesus, most powerful,

Jesus, most patient,

Jesus, most obedient,

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,

Jesus, lover of chastity,

Jesus, lover of us,

Jesus, God of peace,

Jesus, author of life,

Jesus, example of virtues,

Jesus, zealous lover of souls,

Jesus, our God,

Jesus, our refuge,

Jesus, father of the poor,

Jesus, treasure of the faithful,

Jesus, good Shepherd,

Jesus, true light,

Jesus, eternal wisdom,

Jesus, infinite goodness,

Jesus, our way and our life,

Jesus, joy of angels,

Jesus, king of Patriarchs,

Jesus, master of the Apostles,

Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists,

Jesus, strength of martyrs,

Jesus, light of Confessors,

Jesus, purity of virgins,

Jesus, crown of all saints, R: have mercy on us.

Be merciful, R: spare us, O Jesus.

Be merciful, R: graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil, R: deliver us, O Jesus.

From all sin,

From Thy wrath,

From the snares of the devil,

From the spirit of fornication,

From everlasting death,

From the neglect of Thine inspirations,

By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,

By Thy nativity,

By Thine infancy,

By Thy most divine life,

By Thy labors,

By Thine agony and passion,

By Thy cross and dereliction,

By Thy sufferings,

By Thy death and burial,

By Thy resurrection,

By Thine ascension,

By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist,

By Thy joys,

By Thy glory, R: deliver us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, R: spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, R: hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, R: have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, R: hear us.

Jesus, R: graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast said: ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love; who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

10th Day of Christmas

 10th Day of Christmas - January 3

10 Lords A-Leaping
Traditional / Catechetical Remembrance*: 
The Ten Commandments

Saints for January 3:

* The "Catechetical remembrance" is likely a myth - it was said that the 12 Days of Christmas song was to help children remember their catechism - but the "gifts" do not really have any memorable link to what they are supposed to represent. Another story is that while Catholics were being persecuted in England, they would sing this song at Christmastide to help remember the tenets of their faith - but again, such a "code" makes little sense. 

9th Day of Christmas - January 2nd

 On the Ninth Day of Christmas - January 2nd

Nine Ladies Dancing

Traditional / Catechetical Remembrance: 

The Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost

Again, we must point out that while modern folklore, from the 1990s, states there is a Catholic catechetical meaning behind the song of the 12 Days of Christmas, there really exists no hard evidence to that end. The Snopes website does a fairly good job of explaining the likelihood of the folly of this Catholic or Christian explanation of the song, in fact, One argument is the song refers to Catholics who were persecuted by Protestants in England and another side posits that the song refers to Christians in general were persecuted and the song was a coded message for Christianity to not reveal the Christian faith to others. The chief argument against the latter is that each verse of the song refers to the Christian celebration of Christmas - one is hardly hiding Christianity in this song! I found only one error on their site. 
The only error I found on the Snopes site is a reference regarding the five gold rings to "the five obligatory sacraments of the Church." Well, there are seven obligatory sacraments of the Church, not five.

8th Day of Christmas!

On the 8th Day of Christmas - January 1

From the song: Maids A-Milking

Traditional / Catechetical Remembrance: 
The Eight Beatitudes

Solemnity of Mary - Mother of God

While in the modern calendar January 1 is recognized for the Blessed Virgin Mary, traditionally - and still recognized in the Extraordinary Rite (Traditional Latin Rite) - it has always been the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord which took place on the 8th Day from His birth.

I was going through postings for the 12 Days of Christmas, and though I was pretty sure I posted a full set, I am not finding one on the Qui Locutus blog!  While many of the 12 Days are posted throughout the years, never a full set - and find that I am missing days 7, 9, and 10! So, for 2020-2021 - allow me to remedy this! Below is an index (and the 9th, 10th, and 11th are scheduled to post as those days come up, so check back if you're here before those dates!).

12 Days of Christmas

Day of


Eating Meat on a Friday?

Are you eating meat today? Well, YOU CAN! We are still within the Octave of Christmas, and each day is treated as a feast day - and speaking of feast days - today is also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (or by the traditional calendar, the Circumcision of Christ) so either way, there is no fasting or penance. For more info - click here!

So, today is another, as I like to refer to it as, "Cheeseburger Friday!"

Abstinence from Meat on Every Friday Throughout the Year

On my pulpit again...  While it doesn't HAVE to be meat that we abstain from on ALL Fridays, it still HAS to be something equivalent. For some cultures fish is more of a staple than other forms of meat, so to give up meat for them is no real penance - and while fish is an acceptable alternative, for such a culture - there is no penance at all in eating fish over beef (or pork, or chicken, etc.). Now, while our penance does not HAVE to be from meat anymore, I say WHY NOT MEAT?! Meatless Fridays have LONG been a badge of honor for Catholics - and pretty much something only Catholics did or do, so unless you have a good reason to abstain from something else, then it should still be abstinence from meat that we observe - EVERY FRIDAY... well again, not THIS Friday, due to the solemnity.

1983 Code of Canon Law (currently in force)

Can 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Is It a Mortal Sin to NOT Do Penance on ALL Fridays (except when there is a solemnity on Friday)?

The answer here is quite simple - YES!  It is a mortal sin!  Now before you read this article you might be able to claim ignorance, and for it to be a mortal sin you have to first KNOW it is a sin and second, do it anyway. To knowingly and willfully reject a precept of Canon Law IS a mortal sin. Well, now that you have read this article - there's no way around this - so for the sake of your own soul, if you have not been observing the Friday penance EVERY Friday, it's not too late to start - and start with meat - but again, not THIS Friday.  Enjoy a cheeseburger, or steak, or pork chops, etc. this week, but NEXT week, be sure to observe that which is REQUIRED of ALL Catholics (those over 14 and under 60).

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...