30 April 2022

A Week of Liturgical Goodies (2)

(Continues) The problem is that the day fixed for S Joseph Patron of the Universal Church moves about because it is tied to the date of Easter. Such Feasts do tend to behave like rabid icebergs, galumphing around and crashing into festivals which were humbly prepared to stick to Days of Months.

Thus, this year, and just in England and Wales, S Joseph collides with the May 4 festival of the English Martyrs. This is fixed on May 4 because that was the day during the Tudor Regime when the primitiae of our English Martyrs were offered up in 1535 on the gallows at Tyburn. Does anyone know the date when this festival was granted? I have a feeling, based on the Collect of the Mass, that it might have been after the Beatification in 1886 of SS John Fisher and Thomas More and sixty one other Martyrs.

The festival has survived the carnage of the post-Conciliar years and even, in a slightly different form, features in the current Anglican calendar. 

All this gives it what I think of as auctoritas for us English Catholics. So, this year, I do rather think that I will keep this Festival rather than that of S Joseph. Whimsical? Unprincipled of me? I cannot deny the charge.

(May 2) S Athanasius. Perhaps a good day to remember the conclusions of S John Henry's study of the Arian heresy, which S Athanasius combatted by whizzing round the world irritating the Great and the Good through being orthodox. (In the words of Corporal Jones, they don't like it ...) I did a thing on Newman's 'Suspense', dealing with this subject, on March 16.

(May 3) Perhaps the most upsetting loss which the Pacelli/Bugnini alliance inflicted upon the Roman Calendar. The Festival of the Invention [Finding] of the Holy Cross is so valuable, not, principally, because of a particular episode in the history of the Relics of the True Cross, but because it is a festival of the Lord's Passion in Eastertide. We see His glorious Sufferings and Triumphant Wounds in the light of His glorious Resurrection. It is true that, in Holy Week and on the September Festival of the Exaltation of the Cross, we are indeed fully aware of the fact that He Who suffered is the One Who rose again. But the perspective is different on May 3. In this day's Easter celebration we look upon the Cross from an unambiguously joyous and (Yes! Yes!) triumphalist viewpoint. An important Festival to celebrate!

(May 5) S Pius V ... think Lepanto (and read G K Chesterto's poem) ... think 'Tridentine' Rite ... Don't forget that there is a magnificent statue of this great pontiff in the Brompton Oratory, just to the right of the Lady Altar. Is this the only one in England? Shame on us!

 (May 6) S John before the Latin Gate ... this festival, like the Invention of the Holy Cross, is still on the Calendar of the statutory Church of England Rite! As I have explained before (on this blog, May 5, 2021), we keep it in the Ordinariate because it marked the beginning of the secret plotting and scheming which led to the formation of the English Ordinariate. A most jolly celebration of the magnificent ecumenical initiative of the Unity Pope, Benedict XVI!

(May 8) On May 8 2020, I did a post which I was able interestingly to update and correct with the help of learned friends. The Apparition of S Michael at Gargano, unhappily, is not popular with post-Vatican II 'liturgists'; a shame, I think. All those hill-tops all over Latin Europe with their risk of lightning and their association with the military prowess of the great Archangel! The elimination of this festival is yet another example of a perverse determination to rupture the narrative continuities of Christerndom. 

This year, the Festival is superseded by a Sunday. 

I wonder if S Michael was as active on Byzantine hill-tops as he was in Western Europe?


Unknown said...

In Greece virtually EVERY mountain has a small monastery dedicated to the Holy Archangel Michael (Taxiarchis). One of the most famous monasteries in the Islands is that of Panorma, on Symi, as well as the monastery of St Michael at Tharri on the Island of Rhodes. Both or on mountains.



Oliver Nicholson said...

Your final question is answered at least in part by the Assumptionist Fr. R. Janin in his article "Les sanctuaires byzantins de saint Michel (Constantinople et banlieue)",
Revue des études byzantines Année 1934 173 pp. 28-52
S. Michael was much in evidence up and down the Bosporus, notably as Sosthenion (ancient Lasthenes, modern Istiniye).