Sunday, 4 January 2009

(Not the) Epiphany..

One of the things which is a recurrent irritant to me is the decision by our bishops to move Major Feasts (Epiphany, Ascension) from the traditional days to the nearest Sundays.

As with so much else, the results are the opposite of the intentions. Think of Saturday evening Masses, allowing girl altar servers, extraordinary ministers of communion, communion in the hand, and under both kinds... In every case the bishops thought (presumably) they were reaching out and would include more people.

Instead, our Catholic identity is eroded, our sense of the sacred is undermined - and Mass attendance plummets further...

Perhaps it is time to strip away these modern accretions and return to the purer liturgy of earlier times: say the timeless Latin Mass.

We're off to an Extraordinary Form Mass on Tuesday to celebrate the (Real) Feast of the Epiphany.

7 comments:

Mark said...

You may find this post interesting/of benefit. It explains why today is the Holy Name and not the Epiphany, even if the Episcopal Conference has "transferred" the latter.

(operative part:
"it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days." [PCED])

Ben Trovato said...

Thanks for posting this Mark: yes I was aware of the legitimacy of celebrating the Epiphany on the Feast of the Epiphany in the traditional rite, using the traditional calendar.

Neither do I question the bishops' right to transfer the obligation (and thus effectively the feast) to the nearest Sunday. But their prudential judgement I may (and do) call into question!

Mark said...

Oh indeed, but this goes a little further! Whilst I had known for a while that Epiphany could be celebrated on January 6th, I was unaware of the response of PCED that basically the Sunday that the Epiphany is transferred to (i.e. today, the Holy Name) would not lose its character or Propers!

Ben Trovato said...

Yes - but unless I've misread it, only in the Extraordinary Form. So today at our parish we had an Epiphany Mass with no mention of the feast of the Holy Name - which to all intents and purposes has now simply been dropped from the calendar.

Mark said...

Yes, sorry, I meant the Extraordinary Form. It's not intended, but because I go only to the EF, I seem to have become something of a liturgical snob, assuming everyone else has what I have... :(

Ben Trovato said...

That I envy you. We used to go every week before we abandoned city life for rural bliss. It's the one downside: our nearest regular Latin Mass is an hour away, so we only tend to go one week in four. It's interesting bringing the kids up bi-ritual - they prefer the EF but are familiar with the NO and their EF experience does affect how they respond to the NO....

Mark said...

hrmmm... ...but a good thing, compared to many kids who don't learn any reverence for Holy things, let alone Mass.

Anyway, past my bed-time. God bless!