Take care, Tutivillus may be about.

Who knows – who cares… Where can you find the proper texts for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Divine Office?

Tutivillus recording gossip. A medieval carving in Ely Cathedral.

This tantalising question was asked by one of the priests on the coach during our recent pilgrimage to Ladyewell. Well, we have to admit it wouldn’t have been a question taxing the minds of many that day. It’s a question which would cause our protestant gremlin, which we believe to sometimes try and keep us in order at St Chrysostom’s church, to have a fit.  Nevertheless it occupied the priests on the coach for a few moments! The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but the texts for the feast don’t follow the Sacred Heart texts in the breviary. What a puzzle!

What do we think of this?

First of all, in a world with it’s problems, and priesthood can have many stresses, a not very serious approach to liturgical technicalities (without obsessiveness) can bring a smile, and a twinkle to the eye and  lead to light hearted diversion. So let’s take things lightly!

Secondly, don’t forget Tutivillus.

For those who don’t know him here is a helpful definition:

In the Middle Ages in popular and theological belief alike, demons were everywhere – ready to pounce upon the souls and bodies of the unwary, to deceive and trick even the most saintly. Indeed, the least deviation from the “right path,” or even from faithful thoughts, cleared the way for their crafty attacks.

About 1220 Cardinal de Vitry, whom Pope Gregory XI admired, described a holy man who saw a devil (Tutivillus) weighed down with a full sack. “When, the holy man commanded the demon to tell what he carried, the evil one said: “These are the syllables and syncopated words and verses of the psalms, mistakes of the clergy made in the saying of the public prayers …  you can be sure I am keeping these diligently for their accusation.””

Oh my! It’s important to get things right lest Tutivillus’ sack gets bigger and bigger.

And finally; The proper texts for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are found in the section of  texts for saints’ days, after the Feast of the Visitation of Mary, at the very end of May.

Now what’s the next tantalising question to answer to address before Tutivillus can get his sack out?


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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