18 March 2010

1890 And All That

In an 1890 Calendar, today isn't just the feast of St Cyril of Jerusalem: we also celebrate St Gabriel as the Octave of his feast would be the Vigil of the Annunciation, Little Christmas. And a week tomorrow, on 26 March, at least in Salford, Middlesborough and Shrewsbury, we would have the feast of the Good Thief. We would commemorate the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Friday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent (we did capitals then).

Calendar reform is as fraught with difficulty as reform of any other bit of the Liturgy. However much you talk about "pruning", as though you were seeing to the roses, every time you suppress something, you put an end to it. So the replacement has to be something better, not something older, unless you can show how it was superseded by something worse.

Why did we lose the feast of the Good Thief, who exemplifies the best hope for many of us? Why did the dioceses lose so many proper feasts? Salford's (separate to those common to all of England and Wales) were (chronologically) the Finding of the Child Jesus, St Kentigern, the Flight into Egypt, The Good Thief, the Humility of the BVM, Our Lady of Grace, and All the Holy Roman Pontiffs.

The other day, Patricius posted here a schedule of Mass times for Westminster Cathedral's 1939 Holy Week. Why does it feel right, organic, whole, consonant?

1 comment:

Mike Cliffson said...

Probably the reformers had been , like me, prevatII altar boys, tho who, unlike me , had gone on to greater and higher things .. such as pruning calendars in the name of reform.

I don't know if having Italian priests indirectly in the diocese and outof it at the same time really added much - anyhow, twas the altarboy's job, at least in our parish, about 5-10 mins say b4 aiding the priest to vest 4 mass, along with cruets and candles and sichlike fun, to set up all the bits in the missals for all the readings, etc , according to a big book with small print and two smaller ones.And lotser latin.
Point: I often got it wrong to the PPs considerable irritation ,fond tho I think he was of me, and generally encouraging. (More than once even Sunday masses had different readings on the same day which I have been authoritatively told by one of these bods older than me who was born years later than me that this was not so.)
Since much can be explained (and, better, excused) by traumatic events in one's youth, there you have my theory : the refromers pruned rather than replacing with better, and homogenized, in some sort of unsconscious revenge from their altar boy days, some sort of acolytic penis envy or lack of potty training.
Wanna bet?