Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christ-Mass: Day 9 (Not Epiphany)

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine ladies dancing ...”

Today, the traditional Roman calendar observes the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus*, while the contemporary calendar observes either (universally) the Second Sunday After Christmas, or (in the Dioceses of the USA and elsewhere) the Solemnity of the Epiphany. Why the latter, you ask? This is a judgment by a competent territorial body of bishops. In this instance, the term "competent" is used guardedly. You see, they think you are entirely too lazy for celebrating anything on a weekday. So they make it convenient for you. They would probably provide drive-thru confessions, and probably had to ignore the advice of an army of lawyers and "risk assessment specialists" to pass on the idea. Perhaps once we succeed in converting the culture for Christ, they'll move Christmas to a Sunday as well, to coordinate our schedules with the department stores. Almost seems worth it, right?

We can say all we want about "the reason for the season" and "keeping Christ in Christmas" and all that. But such festivity presumes a value, a meaning, of sacred time. We can assure ourselves "our bishops know what they're doing." But how can something be sacred if they can bend it and twist it to suit one's convenience?

And that's when you gotta ask, do they really know what they're doing?

Here at Chez Alexandre, we have celebrated Epiphany on the traditional day, even before -- shall we say? -- we crossed over to the Dark Side. Still, there is a great temptation to take down the lights already, to put the decorations back in storage until the season returns, and to send the dying tree to its final resting place. Yet there are presents yet to wrap for the "little Christmas" this Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

But before that happens, I go back to work on Monday. And life slowly returns to normal.

* At one time combined with the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1, before the 1913 calendar reforms of Pope Pius X, thus the revisionist conspiracy is even worse than many are led to believe.

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