The Ecclesiastical Calendar

A Monograph by Craig Toth

The Ecclesiastical Calendar

Foreword by Father Hall

For those with an insatiable appetite for uncovering even the most complex and esoteric elements of the Church's liturgy, we are delighted to present the following monograph by Mr. Craig Toth entitled The Ecclesiastical Calendar.  While most people are content to find the date of Easter, for example, by just checking their desk calendar or googling for an appropriate website, Mr. Toth presents here an in-depth look into the manner of calculating the paschal festival for any given year, as well as explaining, among other things, the meaning of epacts, dominical letters, golden numbers, and the Indictio Romana.  This thorough examination is not for the timid, but if you have a desire to truly get to grips with the workings of the Church's calendar, I doubt that you will find a more comprehensive yet comprehensible treatment of the subject.  As in all things, search deep, and you will continue to find yet another aspect of divine perfection.  For there in the tiniest blades of grass is the lesson for all of us, that God is in the details.

We include on this page only the Introduction to The Ecclesiastical Calendar, followed by a link to a PDF file containing the remainder of the monograph.  When you click on the link, be sure to give the file time to download.

Introduction

The traditional ordo for a.d. 2001 bears the following caption beneath the header on the first page:
Littera Martyrologii: e, Littera Dominicalis: g, Epactæ: v, Aureus numerus: 7, Indictio Romana: 9
Sadly, owing to the crisis in the Catholic Church many laymen, seminarians and even priests do not know, or know very imperfectly, what these words, letters, and numbers mean.  They are, of course, essential to the calendar for the Roman liturgy, and behind them lies significant intellectual and ecclesiastical history.  This monograph represents an outline of the history, mathematics, and operation of the ecclesiastical calendar.  Its chief aim is to enable the traditional Catholic to understand and use all the columns of the Kalendarium in the Roman Missal and the Roman Breviary as well as to understand the Luna of the Roman Martyrology.  To be sure, this monograph contains a great deal more information than is necessary in order to use the Church calendar. However, the objective is to offer a solid introductory grounding in the history and mechanics of the ecclesiastical calendar. Therefore, the reader should be guided by the advice of the Book of Proverbs (iv: 7) et in omni possessione tua, acquire prudentiam.

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