30 March 2014

Vatican II banned them

Whatever Vatican II did or did not initiate, daily sackloads of suggestio falsi and suppressio veri, deftly interwoven, must certainly be on the list of its legacy. "The Council mandated the exclusive use of the vernacular" .... "The Council prescribed Mass facing the People" ... you know what I mean. Let's not go into all that yet again ... it could only be divisive. I would simply like to point out some additions, with the same semantic, historical, and logical substructures, which we could, very fairly, ask to be added to this already long list of pseudo-semi-quarter-truths.

"Vatican II forbade Mothering Sunday".

"Vatican II forbade S Valentine's Day".

'Mothering Sunday' is intimately bound up with the Vetus Ordo liturgical propers for Lent IV, when the Roman Pontiff went to the Basilica of S Crucis in Jerusalem, built upon cartloads of soil from Jerusalem, designed to be 'Jerusalem-in-Rome'; and the texts were about Jerusalem, the True Jerusalem, the Jerusalem quae sursum est, quae est mater nostra. Wonderful texts; wonderful Biblical exegesis bound up in them. Upon this grew the easy, pleasant social customs of Mothering Sunday. This is a superb example of the combination, within our Christian culture, of high theology, high liturgy, graciously incarnated into popular customs so attractive that they even have the power to survive the demise of the culture which gave birth to them. 'Inculturation', and with a vengeance! But none of this had any weight with those who after the Council, ruthlessly, unreflectively, demolished the liturgical foundations upon which this entire superstructure rested.

And, of course, similar points could be made about the Festival of S Valentine. And here I have our beloved Holy Father Pope Francis with me. He had a ginormous gathering of engaged couples organised on that day, and he preached to them about ... er ... Ss Cyril and Methodius? ... the importance of the Cyrillic Alphabet?the necessity of using papal authority to discipline (as S Methodius did) the German bishops?

I think it would be very useful to help the Catholic laity to understand that, when they hanker after Mothering Sunday and S Valentine's Day, they are in fact manifesting their instinctive, praiseworthy, preference for that liturgical culture which constitutes the 'bad', 'regressive', Traditional Latin Mass. It is noteworthy that, in the half-century since the Council, the post-Conciliar liturgical texts have not themselves had any apparent power to inculturate themselves into our society and to generate anything similar to what the classical texts had produced. Those who most vigorously promote the new texts seem, in practice, much more determined to ignore the texts they sponsor and to create a parallel calendar of 'Missions Sunday', Thingummy-gig Sunday ... and all the rest. There so often seems to be something which it is so very much more important to preach about than the lections which the 1960s proudly bestowed upon us when they stole Mothering Sunday away from us.

Perhaps a solution, which is not without precedent, would be for the Celebrant to read silently the prescribed Novus Ordo readings, while somebody else, aloud, read the Mothering Sunday readings.


Jacobi said...

Yes. Mothering Sunday - and Laetare Sunday

IanW said...

I just thought I'd pop by, Fr., to make a wholly respectful, loyal and non-divisive comment (I hope it is of help).

ps thanks for the regular posts.