Today is the First Class Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord. Praised be God! This feast commemorates the awe-inspiring shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ – from His Circumcision to His Agony in the Garden to His Scourging and Crowning with Thorns to His Crucifixion. In particular I like to meditate on the Lancing His lifeless Body received at the hands of a Roman soldier. Each and every Drop was shed for you and for me. In fact, the first Drop spilled from His circumcision would have been enough to save the entire world but He continued on to show the depths of His love for us. Simply beautiful.
This, of course, is not at all celebrated in Novie land. There I go again. Forgive what sounds like a slur. In the current General Roman Calendar – the one that senselessly saw the feasts of dozens of saints removed as merely legend and fable and others like St. Benedict moved from March to July – today is the Memorial of Fr. Serra. Don’t get me wrong. Junipero Serra was a great man. I’ve visited his missions in California. That being said, the whole thing points to a bigger issue.
I was chatting with some fellow parishioners this morning and, as always seems to be the case in a trad parish, the conversation turned its way to, “Can we eat meat today?” Trying to reason the whole thing out in my mind yet not taking a side, I joined in with, “Well in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, solemnities are not days of fasting when they fall on a Friday.” I then asked out of genuine curiosity whether a first class feast is equivalent to a solemnity. There does not appear to be a clear answer. Remember that trad parishes are kind of the bastard orphan-child afterthought of Vatican II and now it seems Bergoglio would like to see them and their members returned to the steps of the foundlings home.
I consulted with a friend who gave it his best shot and told me that in the new calendar the Precious Blood feast was abolished, melded into Corpus Christi which is technically called (now) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and BLOOD of the Lord. OK, so why was that done? Who the hell knows. Innovation or something. No one can explain it. But my friend further explained that since this feast doesn’t really exist (in the contemporary calendar) and since trads don’t use the language of “solemnity”, one could celebrate with a steak dinner but might want to pray an extra rosary. I appreciated his effort.
Or, as one of the women in my conversation said while throwing her hands up, “I guess it all depends on how hard you want to trad.”
Two forms and one rite, right? Actually, don’t we have at least three forms in that one rite what with the Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy and all? I mean, they’re still Roman. But wait… ever since Traditiones Custodes, they say that the Missal of 1970 is the sole expression of the Roman Rite or possibly its two later revisions.
It has been theorized by not a few people that Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum used the language of “ordinary” and “extraordinary” forms so as to avoid priests of the Roman Rite needing additional faculties – faculties that might never be granted them by a vengeful bishop. Remember also that Benedict expressed hope that the two “forms” would provide “mutual enrichment” for one another. So how has that been working out? A single chanted Kyrie in a Novus Ordo mass during Lent?
Yet here we are. Figuring out a simple calendar of saints is more confusing than the menu at Cheesecake Factory and the Ordo about twice as long.
Do we really have one Roman Rite?
You know the answer.
And for that matter, doesn’t the confusion caused in the violent upheaval of the public worship of the church overnight signal that something is awry?
Oh I get it! We were all supposed to just follow blindly and never question anything! Unfortunately some things can’t be unseen nor unlearned. I mean think about it. We are literally being told by a man not canonically elected to anything that the venerable worship of the Church is kaput and we’re being naughty for clinging to things like a feast day to celebrate our redemption? I’ll never forget as a child learning that my older brother had taken the name of a saint – Christopher – for confirmation only to find out he “wasn’t a saint anymore” from one of his teachers. My father dusted off the bullshit flag and ran that one up the pole real fast. My brother lives happily under the patronage of the patron of travelers to this day.
Think about it.
I’m going to throw a little bomb here and then walk away. But it seems many women in trad communities are vehemently opposed to their infant sons being circumcised. That may be some overlap between the trad circle and the granola circle honestly. It’s an unusual Venn diagram. Just an observation.
Also, a reader emailed me with some excellent information on men wearing hats! Specifically , he listed some shops and gave general ideas to help get you started. Remember, gentlemen, the protocol for a gentleman (never a “guy” or *shudder* a “lad”) is to cover one’s head when outdoors. Remove the cover when indoors except in crowded lobbies and elevators. And ALWAYS remove the hat when the Holy Name of Jesus is mentioned in your presence. If that Name is used in blasphemy, you should also 1) correct the offender and 2) say a quick prayer of reparation. “My Jesus, Mercy!” works just fine. I will post more on the hat advice later.
Finally, my Sacred Heart “Adveniat Regnum Tuum” flag arrived! I am so excited to display this that I’ll be erecting a 20’ flagpole out front for the occasion. Email me for instructions on how to order one. No, I am not the seller.
Here’s to a wonderful weekend and I hope you all had a blessed Feast of the Precious Blood!
Mother of Sorrows, pray for us!
St. Christopher, pray for us!