Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

18 June 2013

Joseph: the Name Above Every Other Name, Save Two

Fr. Z the Greater has informed his readership that, by decree of the Roman Pontiff, the name of Saint Joseph is to be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, as Pope John XXIII had added it to the Roman Canon (EP I).

There should be a Catholic version of so that we can know this for sure and act upon it with due promptness.  If this is a leak or a tale, it would seem prudent not to Josephize any Eucharistic Prayers until we hear ex ore equi.  I don't see anything on the Holy See's website, nor on Whispers in the Loggia (granted, the latter is a rumor mill, albeit an accurate one).

I am not accusing Fr. Z of imprudence or inaccuracy, but this just seems strange. I didn't mention Joseph today, nor will I until I hear a diocesan liturgical directive.

But I love the idea. I lerve the idea. I lo-ove the idea. I luff it.

Most would consider devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary a Catholic/Orthodox thing, just like the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and the Apostolic Succession. Devotion to Saint Josepha fortiori, is by no means the property of, but certainly the great treasure and heritage of, the Catholic Church (and of our Orthodox brethren, although the OCA website downplays the "Worker" aspect that Catholicism has highlighted (and I, who am less than nothing, think rightly) in the 20th century.

Pace the OCA, I don't think the fact that St. Joseph was a carpenter (as opposed to, say, a coal miner, an accountant, or a lion tamer) is what Catholics extol on 1 May; rather, that by his labors he participated in the creative process and provided for his sacred charges--as all caregiving laborers do. Our agreement with the subordination of Joseph's workmanship to his Marian Matrimony is patently evident by their respective liturgical ranks: Optional Memorial and Solemnity. You can't get much more disparate ranks than those!

Regarding this alleged inclusion: What about the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses of Reconciliation and for Various Needs and Occasions? I use them fairly often, and Joseph's absence from them would be an inconsistency. But we're no stranger to that (cf. the Lectionary and the Divine Office)!

We will wait and see. Meanwhile, because of the report of Joseph's inclusion in the Anaphora, this Reverend Blogger has taken the occasion to honor him, and thereby glorify His beloved Spouse, and above all, the Holy Trinity.

In an article from the Catholic News service ( a Vatican official says that priests may begin inserting Joseph's name now. We do not have to wait for any national or diocesan directives.

Or must we wait for further updates? The jury is still out. And I'm going out, too--for visits to the sick.

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