14 March 2021

Did Vatican II ban Mothering Sunday?

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 ...   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 mendacities.

"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. S Paul at his grandest. Upon this basis 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.

Similar points could be made about the Festival of S Valentine (although here we should blame Pius XII ... vide infra). And here I have PF on my side. A few years ago, he had a ginormous gathering of engaged couples organised on that day, and he preached to them about ... er ... Wojjer think? 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 ... pretty topical, that, yes? No he didn't. Instead of boring the pants off all those ardent lovers, he entirely forgot about the post-Vatican II calendar ... and dished out to them S Valentine! (Don't, by the way, blame the Council for the squidging of S Valentine; the regime of Pius XII led the way in this matter, as in so many of the things which people blame "the Council" for).

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 which Bergoglianita so loves to rubbish. It is noteworthy that, in the six decades since the Council, the post-Conciliar liturgical texts have not themselves had any apparent power ... whatsoever!! ... to inculturate themselves into our society; to put down roots and to generate anything similar to what the classical texts had produced. 

Those who most vigorously promote Novus Ordo 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 ... World Something-or-other Day ... and all the rest. There so often seems to be something  which it is very much more important to preach about than the Novus Ordo lections. 

Yet the 1960s were so proud when they bestowed upon us their grand three-year cycle of readings, "a richer Table of Holy Scripture", at the moment when (with the other hand) they stole Mothering Sunday away from us. In reality, the Trendies seem to be just as unenthusiastic about the post-Concilar Calendar as the Traddies are, when it actually comes to deciding what to do in church next Sunday. How often does the Parish Liturgy Group study prayerfully next Sunday's Readings and evolve something exciting based upon them?

As far as eliciting the collective response of a worshipping community is concerned, the 1970 Book of Readings is as dead as a Dodo, and a lot more moth-eaten than the reconstructed Dodo in the University Museum. 

But, year after year, Mothering Sunday (and S Valentine) survive every attempt to drown them in the bucket.

As I've asked before, is there anybody out there who really likes the Novus Ordo? If so, s/he should be stuffed and mounted and given a central place in the University Museum for the amusement of posterity.


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father; It was during the revolutionary 1960s that the dignity of man came into full flower but it was a secularised dignity nearly devoid of the understanding of who it was who raised man to such dignity.

As Father Jean Gaum taught (Catechism of Perseverance) about Jesus, He substitutes another for Himself; He selects a vicar on whom He will confer the plenitude of power which He had received from his Father, and to whom He will confide the the care of perpetuating and extending the great work which He Himself has come to begin. Never will man be elevated to a higher dignity; never will a more formidable responsibility be laid upon the shoulders of a mortal.

But of what understanding of dignity is it that possesses a person to slough off the duties of such an exalted and dignified office yet continue to routinely speak of dignity?

The long time editor of The American Ecclesiastical Review and V2 Peritus ("The Council is a circus run by clowns"), the great Father Joseph Clifford Fenton observed what a great privilege it was for him to stand before others and to speak about Jesus.

Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial...

Pope Leo XIII, Custodi di quella fede, n. 15.

Our Pope and Our Cross is devoid of dignity and he does not want to discharge his duties as the Vicar of Christ and his praxis is that condemned by Pope Leo XIII and so one must pray that he will retire a.s.a.p. and enter a monastery where he can pray and undergo a metanoia.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Well, first stuffed exhibit - your nice friend "Maureen Lash". Hours of pleasant and amusing anthropological study there. The old ones are always the best.

Claudio Salvucci said...

But, year after year, Mothering Sunday (and S Valentine) survive every attempt to drown them in the bucket.

Indeed! When its mother the Roman Church turned against it, St. Valentine's Day was kept alive by the greasy gas station and the lowly corner drugstore.

All they wanted was to make a buck...but they had the sense to know what they had.

Greyman 82 said...

Do I really like the Novus Ordo? No, but provided the Roman Canon (EP1) is used it can be OK, but no better than OK, in either Latin or English.

I do, however, really like the Ordinariate Use of the Roman Rite, which is of course in English, some of it dating back to Tudor times. But the Ordinariate Use isn't technically the Novus Ordo, I believe. As I understand it, it's an Ordo all of its own. I prefer the Ordinariate Use to the Extraordinary Form, but am quite happy with the latter.

PM said...

Among the many things that Vatican II was supposed to have banned but didn't, could I add a mention of Gregorian chant which is supposed (Sacrosanctum Concilium #54) to have first place in liturgical music, manifested by the congregation being able to chant the Mass Ordinary in Latin! What happened in the late 60s was truly bizarre.