Monday, May 28, 2007

Back to Ordinary Time (8th Week)

But not so in the old days, as Father Mark points out, in an excellent post on the "suppression" of the "Octave of Pentecost" (similar to the Octave of Christmas and Easter) that was celebrated up unto 1969, He includes this anectdote:

The story goes that on the Monday after Pentecost in 1970 His Holiness Pope Paul VI rose early and went to his chapel for Holy Mass. Instead of the red vestments he expected, green ones were laid out for him. He asked the Master of Ceremonies, "What on earth are these for? This is the Octave of Pentecost! Where are the red vestments?" "Your Holiness," replied the Master of Ceremonies, "this is now The Time Throughout the Year. It is green, now. The Octave of Pentecost is abolished." "Green? That cannot be," said the Pope, "Who did that?" "Your Holiness, you did." And Paul VI wept.

Paul VI did not weep alone. Many wept with him. It was reported that Catherine de Hueck Doherty of Madonna House was inconsolable. Faithful the world over were speechless at the brutal removal of one of the Church Year’s most cherished moments. In some countries the hierarchy were frightfully embarrassed: the civil calendar had retained the Monday and Tuesday after Pentecost as holidays, while the Church had erased them from hers. Little by little, the voices of those seeking the restoration of the Pentecost came to be heard in high places.

1 comment:

  1. For those unattached to aspects of life and death, the land, its work and sweat that is attached to it, and are instead attached to ideas and books, and less "corporal" things, the thought that "ordinary" time is indeed ordinary and uninteresting. This is the problem.

    There is nothing ordinary about the work of the land, the summer work of the fields, the living, and dying we all do in the routine time of our lives. Ordinary time for me is the week at the Jersey shore with my family. Very ordinary but very special. The need to have a feast everyday is the cleric's concern. To eat every day is my concern.

    Even the "old" way of saying the rosary-the Sundays of ordinary time were the "joyful" mysteries-still mysteries and very joyful. The work of living. Usually joyful (sometimes sorrwoful), in anticipation of glorious.

    The excesses of constant celebration can be intoxicating and a means of avoiding the routine. Back to my smaller volume of the liturgy of Hours, back to routine fasting for a better day. Back to regular prayers and routine saints days and the occasional feast.

    Feast too often and the feasts mean less.

    Dan Conway


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