Here is something which has probably lurked at least in the the subconscious mind of each reader who is daily concerned to live the daily liturgy of our Latin Church.
The imminent week has a unique and glorious characteristic. It is, for those following the Gregorian Calendar, always part of Eastertide. However late Easter is (April 25?), it is never so late that the Abstinences of Lent and Passiontide can thrust their austere requirements forward into May. However early Easter is (March 22?), it is never so early that Red (or even dreader thought, Green) vestments can claw their way back into early May. Simplifying a bit (details of course in Cheney): this one week of the year is always clear of pre-Eastertide, always clear of post-Eastertide, and generally clear even of the pressures of the Easter and Pentecost Octaves.
The Week that is never unEaster!
So you might expect that the special Providence which looks after ecclesiastical calendars would have made this unique week very distinctly special.
It did! It did!
Tomorrow, for example, May 1, is in many diverse cultures special. I don't know that I believe all the stuff so beloved of anti-Christians ("old pagan festivals Christianised ... Beltane ... "), but May Day is a happy celebration of Spring (apologies to the Antipodes) and not least here in Oxford (Covid permitting). For us, it is the glorious English Festival of Ss Philip and James.
Then, at least this year, Sunday brings us the Julian Easter with its own special joy, followed by Bright Week. Christos anesti! Alethos anesti! Don't forget the Zoodochos Pege!
And Monday, May 3, is pure genius. The festival of the Finding of the Holy Cross ... a Double of the Second Class ... shows us the Cross of Salvation suffused now with the light of the Resurrection. Eng-lit enthusiasts will recall the splendid old English poem about the Glorious Rood, but for all of us, important as is the Cross of the Dolours, the Cross of Pathos, our crucial focus should be on the Cross of Triumph. Qualiter Redemptor Orbis/ immolatus vicerit! Io Triumphe!
May 4, for the English, brings another Triumph, that of our beloved English Martyrs. A 'Festum' in the Novus Ordo and the Ordinariate; in a revised Trad Calendar for England, it must surely be made at least a Greater Double ... or a Double of the Second Class.
Wednesday commemorates the great pontiff S Pius V, whose statue is so reassuringly at our Lady's side in the Brompton Oratory. Regnans in excelsis!
Thursday, May 6, S John at the Latin Gate, celebrates in our Ordinariate the beginning of the secret, underground meetings by which we responded to the gracious call to Unity of Pope Benedict XVI.
And May 8, the Apparition of S Michael, the Protector of Cornwall, calls to our minds the Cornish S Michael's Mount and the story of the Wedged Bull between the theves (see blogpost of this time last year); the old Cornish Language Mystery plays with their cheerful peasant Catholic humour; the splendour of the late Medieval Churches with their iconography of the Five Wound; and the ever-present memory of those Catholics, gentry and peasantry, who were slaughtered in the proddy genocide of 1549. Not to mention Fr Bernard Walke and Fr Sandys Wason and Athelstan Riley and all the heroes, laic and cleric, Confessores Domini, of the distant but glorious days when Truro was the most Catholic Diocese in the C of E. Sed transivit gloria istius mundi.
This is not a week to be sniffed at! Not a Week for stuffy sobriety!!
Nothing and nobody can take these glories from us!! Well, Pius XII and Bugnini tried to, but Christendom in its long memory knows, with Benedict XVI, that what has been sacred cannot be trashed for ever.
So Fathers, Mothers, Sister, Brothers ... untrash it! Grab it all! Take it back! Or, if you wish to plan ahead circumspectly, why not work out this week how you will celebrate WONDER WEEK next year!