Sunday, 3 September 2017

Good News

It is excellent that our bishops have chosen to reinstate the Feasts of the Epiphany and the Ascension as Holy Days of Obligation, on their correct days.

Not only does this bring us into alignment with Rome (and with our separated brethren in the Anglican Communion) but also with our forefathers, which I see as equally, if not more, significant.

Joseph Shaw has written about this, (including the importance of celebrating Feasts on their correct days) here.

I was slightly puzzled at first by the decision not to restore Corpus Christi to its traditional day: the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (given that it is a celebration of some of Maundy Thursday's key events, but removed from the shadow of Good Friday).

However, it was heartening to learn (from Stephen Morgan - @trisagion on Twitter) that the reasons for this were that the bishops had noticed a growth in Corpus Christi processions on Sundays, and did not want to do anything to discourage that.

Whilst one might disagree with that judgement, the grounds on which they are acting are also very heartening. It is not that long ago that some liturgists (and some bishops) were waging war on that kind of popular expression of the Faith, so it is heartening to know that those days are behind us.

All in all, very good news for the Church in England and Wales, and their Lordships are to be heartily congratulated.

And remember to pray for them.

1 comment:

Jonathan Marshall said...

Hurrah! It was always theologically bonkers to move these two feasts anyway, given that their dates were based on specific periods of time after other events.