Thursday May 17th
ACROSS AMERICA, AND MUCH OF EUROPE, IT'S ASCENSION DAY TODAY
Weekday Mass at 10 am in our parish is always well attended anyway,so anyone attending specially because it's Ascension Day will feel perfectly comfortable.
One of the arguments that has been used to defend the idea of moving Ascension Day to a Sunday is that people find it hard to get to Mass on a weekday. They don't. It's easier than ever. If you are elderly and live in a country village with limited transport, then getting to Mass might be difficult - but for most Catholics in Britain, in suburban churches with morning and plenty of evening Masses, in busy city churches with plenty of lunchtimes Masses, getting to Mass on a feast-day has never been easier. City-centre churches are always packed for several Masses on Holy Days, often with people in the porch or round the door as every space inside has been taken...and, of course, figures for Mass attendance in Britain have been rising (all those Poles? Well, for whatever reason, numbers are up) so why not ride on the crest of that wave and enjoy the rising morale and sense of hope?
Another thing: unity. By accident or design, our Bishops have emphasised by their actions that of course one can still mark Ascension Day by attending a Tridentine Rite Mass, and presumably a number of people will. But should the Bishops be deliberately fostering the idea that some thus celebrate a feast on one day, and some on another? Until now, this has not been an issue - why create one? It runs absolutely contrary to the need to live out a "hermeneutic of continuity".And this at a time when, with the new Motu-thingummy from the Holy Father, the T. Rite is - or I thought this was the plan - going to become a normal option and part of Catholic parish life.
One of the best things about the Church is that normal, muddly,look-we-are-just-Catholic-and-go-to-Mass families are part of the same Church as the seriously-devout-I-know-how-to-find-a-special-Mass types. Why drive a wedge between them?