22 March 2020
DOMINICA IN LATRUNCULIS
Forget "Mothering Sunday" ... the compilers of the Naughty Ordo abolished "Mothering Sunday" when they proscribed today's ancient Epistle reading from Galatians ... S Paul at his coruscating best.
Almost unbelievable, isn't it? An ancient observance thoroughly, profoundly 'inculturated' into modern life ... and despite that, they just went and ...
Bandits, latrunculi, that's what they were.
That Galatians reading owes its selection to the fact that today's statio is at the Roman titular Church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, built and endowed by S Helen (Patron Saint of my own proud ancestral Colonia Claudia Victricensis) on top of loads of soil carted back from Jerusalem-in-Palestine. In and for the Church of Rome, this is Jerusalem-upon-Tiber. And the ancient Epistle reading is the passage from Galatians 4 about the Jerusalem from above which is our true heavenly home; our Mother.
It is true that this is a long passage which needs careful explanation from a well-informed homilist. That is presumably why, in the abortive Anglican Prayer Book of 1928, an optional alternative was offered. But that was itself a paragraph from Hebrews on the same theme. Don't blame the Anglicans for this!
And today's Gospel, in the lectionary once used throughout Northern Europe, is repeated on the last Sunday before Advent (see blog 24 November 2019); with its eschatological teaching about the Inclusion of Israel. I wonder if, conceivably, we are to see the point here as, according to Abbot Rupert, the point is there: the five loaves are the five books of the Pentateuch which the Lord will break open for Israel. (So Sarum Use worshippers got this passage twice a year; Naughty Ordo worshippers get it once every three years.)
In the Naughty Ordo, the passage from Galatians is shoved off onto a Monday in alternate years. Even so, the Bandits decided it was Hottish Stuff, so they omitted some verses (Galatians chapter 4 verse 25 and verses 28-30). I was going to lay this out neatly for you, when I remembered that in Index Lectionum by the admirable Matthew Hazell (anybody who wants to take any interest in the perversion of the Biblical Lectionary which dates from the late 1960s ABSOLUTELY needs this book) the work on the Mothering Sunday Epistle is already done for you in his Introduction by Professor Peter he-always-gets-it-right Kwasniewski (another reason why you need this volume).
So: suffice it to summarise: the Naughty omissions blunt the teaching that the Believing-Jews+Believing-Gentiles-Community (meaning us, the Catholic Church) has displaced in the divine dispensation the Unbelieving Jews as well as the Unbelieving Gentiles.