Sunday, January 07, 2018

Not Epiphany!

Today, in the traditional Roman calendar, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which in the reformed Roman calendar was celebrated last Sunday, with this one being the Second Sunday After Christmas (universally), and in some places (such as all dioceses in the USA), the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

But it isn't really. And even in diocesan parishes that have both forms of the Roman Rite, the parish priest will get off easy with preparing only one homily if he resorts to this being an "External Solemnity" of the Epiphany. (Yes, they can do that, even back in the day.)

Meanwhile, the reformed Roman calendar observes either (universally) the Second Sunday After Christmas, or (in the Dioceses of the USA and elsewhere) the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

Moving a feast that has a tradition of (and a very good reason for) being associated with a fixed date, 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 to celebrate 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 priority attached to, and a meaning for, the value of sacred time. We can also assure ourselves that "our bishops must know what they're doing." But how can something be sacred if we can bend it and twist it to suit our convenience?

And that's when we beg the question, as to whether they really know what they're doing. Even worse, what if the answer is, yes, they do?

Curiouser and curiouser ...

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