7 June 2014

The Paschal Burden

Our devout laity do not always realise the strain that Bugnini's reformers placed upon us clergy by the post-conciliar 'reform' - see my Easter Monday post - which extended the festa paschalia from one week (Easter Sunday until the following Saturday inclusive ... like the Byzantine Bright Week) to seven. Indeed, it is possible to eat and drink oneself silly for seven days if one really takes the obligation seriously, as we clergy, required to set our flocks a good example, struggle to do. But fifty days ... and not even any provision in Canon Law that one can seek a dispensation from the bishop from the ceaseless gluttony and insobriety imposed on us by the Spirit of Vatican II. And the Rogation Days, which might have given us a brief and welcome respite from the fleshpots and the bottle, were taken from us by the same people. One notices the increasing frequency with which the cords in chasubles aren't long enough to meet together in the front. I commented before how this revolution was summed up by the transference of the Collect of Low Sunday, with its reference (peregimus) to Pascha now having been completely finished, to the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday.

The Easter Prefaces of the New Rite are constructed in accordance with the same relentless liturgical dogmatism. The reformers took the conclusion of the Pentecost Preface ("Wherefore with joy outpoured the whole round world exulteth ...") and made it the invariable conclusion of all the prefaces of their unified fifty-day Pascha. So this paragraph concludes the prefaces used from Easter Night until Pentecost, as well as those of Pentecost itself. But, to ram their point home, they added the word 'Paschalibus' (so that it now reads "Wherefore with Easter joys outpoured"). While the Fathers referred to these seven joyous weeks as "The Fifty Days" or just "Pentecost", the word 'Paschal' now has to be forced daily down our throats with the same Stalinist ruthlessness as the daily haunch of venison and the endless Pol Roger for breakfast. (If you're Common Worship Anglicans, things are even worse. You have the double Alleluias at the end of Mass and Office for the whole fifty days.)

My own suspicion is that this paragraph about the whole round world exulting with joy is not particularly suitable for the job now given to it of operating on each of the fifty days. By my reading, its point is: it is because the Risen Christ poured his charismata upon children of adoption from every race on Pentecost Day, that Christian joy is overflowing throughout the whole world.

Back to the bottle, then. Another couple of days before the Vatican II Church allows me to drink just a plain, gorgeous, exquisite, glass of tap-water.

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