Friday, May 15, 2015
Please may we have Ascension Day back to its proper day??
I don't want - or need - to be told that I can go to an Extraordinary Form Mass or Byzantine Rite or something. WE NEED TO HAVE OUR ORDINARY CALENDAR BACK. We need to have the feast days on their proper days. We want our feast days! We want our Sundays!
ASCENSION DAY IS A MOST IMPORTANT FEAST DAY...and it just doesn't work to move it to the nearest Sunday.
Today, I went to a midday Mass at a London church. It was well attended. This was partly because several people there thought they were celebrating Ascension day. All were regular Massgoers. All were conscious that some feast days had been moved. BUT THEY ALL ASSUMED THAT ASCENSION DAY WAS...ASCENSION DAY!!! So they came to Mass.
In the evening J. and I had an invitation to the Ascension day service at the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens, with the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers. The Worshipful Company marks Ascension Day each year with this special service - members wearing robes etc.
Pattens are those high blocks that for many years women wore beneath their shoes when walking in the sloppy mud - especially on the banks of the Thames. As I hurried across London Bridge in driving rain to the City, up Pudding Lane and along Eastcheap, I was walking where thousands and thousands and thousands of Londoners have gone before me...many of them, along ago, wearing pattens...
Today the Worshipful Company keeps up the footwear link by providing, among other things, orthopedic shoes for soldiers injured in battle, and scholarshps for young people engaged in the shoe trade....
It was beautiful to be welcomed into the warm church and to sing glorious old hymns and be inspired by a superb choir. Afterwards, a drinks reception in the City Library by the Guildhall, with a feast of history: letters, seals, photographs, telling the story of the public meetings and Parliamentary debates and massive work that led to the Penny Post and a proper postal service, with lots of original letters from Sir Rowland Hill, and splendid proclamations to postmasters couched in forthright Victorian language.
It is a very satisfying thing to celebrate a feast day in style. It lends itself to all sorts of traditions, celebrations, and trimmings. If the Church of England can do it, why can't Catholics?
Posted by Joanna Bogle at 12:13 am