I often celebrate today's great feast by reminding you of the Reconciliation of England by Cardinal Pole in 1554 and the restoration of Catholicism at Durham by the Northern Rebels temp Bloody Bess Tudor, which both happened on this day. And I like dwelling upon the popularity of S Andrew in old English Church dedications, which is probably due to the influence of the Gregorian (and hence andreaphile) liturgical texts brought to England by the Augustinian Mission (whereabouts in Rome did that little band of monks come from?). Happy the City of Hexham: its great Abbey founded by S Wilfrid meant that, on the Kalendar of the English Catholic Church before the 1950s, S Andrew, Titular of the Church, is observed within the City as a Double of the First Class with an Octave (which, on December 7, had no qualms about superseding as a Greater Double the Vigil of our Lady and the celebration of S Ambrose).
And I lament the fact that modern Novus Ordo arrangements seem specifically designed to eliminate totally, always and everywhere, any celebration of a Sunday External Solemnity of the Apostle even in places ... or countries!! ... where he is Patron.
Yes; no wonder Louis Bouyer referred to les trois maniaques who galumphed around during the 'reform' of the Calendar in the 1960s.
Yesterday, I recorded the Existence of a Vigil for S Andrew before Bugnini and Papa Pacelli abolished it. In Sarum S Andrew also had an Octave. And (also in Sarum) on an adjacent Sunday, the 'Andrean' Gospel now preserved only in the Book of Common Prayer (John 6:5sqq) survived. S Andrew really did have quite a 'season'! (Compare the 'Petrine' Gospel, Luke 5:1sqq, which occupied a Sunday near S Peter's Day, on Trinity 5 and on Pentecost 4.)
Why did the post-Conciliar nasties have such a prejudice against the Protoclete?
But this year, on his Feast, I offer you a purely Anglican oddity.
The old Roman Collect for today, a most elegant composition, prayed that S Andrew might be "a perpetual intercessor for us in thy sight". Cranmer had by 1549 moved beyond talk of saintly intercession; so he replaced this collect with
Almightie God, which hast geuen such grace to thy Apostle saynct Andrew, that he counted the sharp and painful death of the crosse to be an high honour, and a great glory; Graunt us to take and esteme all troubles and adversities which shal come unto us for thy sake, as things proffytable for us toward the obtaining of euerlasting life.
Just a couple of years later, he replaced this with the current Anglican collect which is based upon the ready obedience of S Andrew in following the Lord's call.
Here is my take on this. When the entire structure of our thinking radically develops ... when conceptually we make a big jump ... just as when an ill-advised pope decides to inflict a 'paradigm shift' ... not every part of our previously held set of assumptions changes instantly and automatically. Some areas and some assumptions lag behind and need subsequently to catch up and to be made consistent with the new structure.
In 1549, Cranmer had put behind him the idea of asking God for a share in the intercessions of the Saints; OK. So that idea went.
But the full narrowness of the Protestant preoccupation with sola scriptura was dawdling behind a little in his mind. He had spent his life assuming that S Andrew was martyred upon a cross ... as most of England's churches demonstrated in their iconography. And so the traditional account of S Andrew's martyrdom was still part of the furniture of his mind; and it became the basis of the 1549 collect.
He knew better by 1552.
More: could there also be just a weeny hint of Merit in the second half of that 1549 collect? A suggestion that the 'work' of accepting 'troubles and adversities' might be 'proffytable' for 'the obtaining of euerlasting life?
Would the fraterculus Martinus have raised a bit of an eyebrow?