ST PAUL EXHORTS US:
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold on to the traditions which you have learned."
2 Thessalonians 2:14
"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ"
"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ" according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider: 1. Mass versus populum. 2. Communion in the hand. 3. The Novus Ordo Offertory prayers. 4. Disappearance of Latin in the Ordinary Form. 5. Liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women and ministers in lay clothing.
The name "Septuagesima" Septuagesima Sunday and its Vigil (roughly 70 days before Easter) is one of those words that conjures up mystery and being a part of something beyond the 20th century. It seemed to me in childhood part of that mysteriousness that we as Catholics had always shared along with other things that had fallen into disuse (meatless fridays, women's head coverings, processions etc) I remember as a young boy first seeing the name (along with all the "gesimas") in old missals and prayerbooks in those dismal years following the introduction of the new kalendar. I didn't know its' meaning as a child and as it was part of the "old pre vatican II church" it didn't seem proper to ask about it though of course I longed to know about it and a whole myriad of other things. I wished more than anything to be a part of the Church of the ages and to share in those things that had organically developed over time. I read about the saints and their spiritual lives and wondering how on earth what I saw on a weekly basis in my parish church (liturgically speaking) was one and the same with what the saints of old experienced in ages past. There was a sense of disconnection with them. I couldn't put my finger on it but I just seemed to know that there was a rupture with our past.
A few years back I remember how surprised I was to find that "the gesimas" had been preserved in varying degrees among the Lutherans and Anglicans (at least on their respective calendars). They are marked in their liturgies with the omission of the Gloria. I remember they also knelt at communion time at the railing to receive in their churches. How odd I thought that they should preserve such traditional practices when we had done away with them. The difference seemed that practiced such traditions not out of some allegiance to tradition or apostolic practice but simply because they preferred it that way. I did find it telling though that they seemed to be aware & humble enough to know that they should kneel at such times. It seemed prudent on their part that they kept "the gesimas" at least on their calendars if for no other reason than as a preparation time for Lent. I've always disliked the word, "ordinary time". There is no "ordinary time" in the life of a Catholic. Surely they could have come up with a better term than this! I hope and pray that this will begin a time of reflection for us all as we prepare to make a good and holy lent.