Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Feast Day Grumblings

It inordinately annoys me that driving up "church row" (the street on which our church is situated has a Presbyterian church, a Bible church, an Episcopal church, and our Catholic church) I saw the Episcopalians advertising on their sign board an Epiphany service which is actually on Epiphany. Whereas we, of course, have Epiphany today, on the tenth day of Christmas so as to celebrate it on the nearest Sunday.


I understand the bishops' desire to have people actually at mass to hear about feast days, and thus to move them to nearby Sundays, but treating a feast day like a bank holiday to be rounded off to the nearest convenient day (especially a feast day which has always been celebrated specifically on the twelfth day after Christmas) seems to take away rather from the importance of the feast as well.

So if you can forgive my reactionary tendencies, I shall be wishing everyone a joyous epiphany on the sixth.


Barb said...

I couldn't agree more. I also loathe that they moved the Feast of the Ascension to a Sunday here...drives me crazy..

Anonymous said...

Have you mentioned this to your priest &/or bishop? :) Perhaps you could invite them to comment on this post. (chuckle,chuckle,guffaw)

Of course, nothing is stopping us from Mass on Wednesday, or at least stopping in to the adoration chapel.

I have to say, yes, it is rather galling to have the "competition" one-upping us. :)

Did you have a good Christmas? When do we get to see pics of Jack & his sisters? I imagine Mrs. Darwin is tired after all the drama pageantry, food, presents, company, etc... oh, & #5. :) She might like to go out for a quiet dinner... (hint, hint)

Oh, btw - you are being too charitably generous in attributing the bishops' motive to having the faithful hear about feast days. I've always figured it had to do with $$$, or was just too much trouble. Naughty me. I should have known better.

Sorry, this is way too long, I got carried away. Gonna post it anyhow. :)

Rebekka said...

I agree, too. And not just for Epiphany, but for all the other feasts that get "rounded".

Margaret Mary said...

I agree also! I hate that a Faith worth dying for is reduced to something too inconvenient to celebrate on a weekday. Ugh! Does anyone know if this is an American thing?

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Yes, I think it's an American thing.

What I hate even more is the American's bishops' decision to release the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on The Motherhood of Mary (Jan. 1), the Assumption (Aug. 15), and All Saints (Nov. 1) whenever they fall on a Saturday or Monday. I could never figure out why they did this since the obligation remains if they fall on other days of the week. Did they think that going to Mass two days in a row was just too hard for the laity? Talk about low expectations!

And what's happened in almost every parish I've been in is that they cut down the number of Masses available on those days because they don't expect anyone to come when the obligation is abrogated. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Besides, I think it just confuses people since the obligation changes from year to year.

But on Jan. 1 our current parish had two vigil Masses, as well as two English Masses and a Latin Mass on the day itself. Yay!

Rebekka said...

No, unfortunately, it is not just an American thing. I don't know how widespread it is, but the Diocese of Copenhagen (which is all of Denmark plus the Faroe Islands and Greenland) has 8 feasts that are "rounded up" to the nearest Sunday (these are going to be wonky translations because I'm not going to look up what they're called in English: Epiphany, the feast of St. Ansgar, the Presentation in the Temple, the Feast of the Body and Blood, Peter and Paul, the Virgin Mary's Assumption, the consecration of the Lateran Church, and All Saints Day).

Plus, besides all Sundays, the only free-floating days of obligation in this diocese are Christmas Day and the Ascension.

I think, but am not certain, that it may have to do with a priest shortage, since the parish priest is of course required to read the Mass on all Sundays and days of obligation. I know that some of the more outlying parishes already don't have a priest and on some Sundays just gather to read the readings and sing.

The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

I second the call to reinstate Epiphany; but I would pair it with making Jan. 1 no longer a day of obligation. As it is, Catholics have been obliged to go to Mass every few days for the last two weeks, and we all know that not a lot of people are going to make sure to get to Mass with that frequency, especially during the vacation season.

I'm not arguing for laxity, just for realism.

Jamie said...

I prefer to celebrate the feast days on their actual day as well. I can understand the logistical standpoint, but on the other hand, it is a privlege to attend mass and an wonderful gift to receive the Eucharist. I wish teaching those lessons was more valuable than making it convenient.

Maggie said...

This drives my crazy, especially where Holy Days are concerned (when a Holy Day on a Saturday or Monday) is "moved" to the Sunday... apparently so people don't have to be "bothered" to go to Mass two days in a row (the horror!)