Monday, May 22, 2017

Pope Francis...

and President Trump meet this week. Premier Radio's discussion programme hosted by Lisa Mainwaring looked at this among other topics...what will the Pope say to the President? Will it be a useful meeting? With either one listen to the other?

We also discussed Ascension Day...which falls this Thursday. PLEASE PLEASE, dear Bishops of England and Wales, CAN WE HAVE OUR FEAST-DAYS BACK?????  Look:  the Anglicans and other Christians in our country are marking Ascension day on Thursday, forty days after Easter as has been done for hundreds and hundreds of years, following the tradition of the Scriptures. And then it is nine days - a Novena - until the great feast of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter Why is the Catholic Church going out on a wobbly limb and saying we must mark Ascension day on next Sunday. IT ISN'T FAIR, it isn't logical...and it means that priests, this Thursday, will find people coming to church and will have to tell them "Um...sorry....we can't celebrate the great feast of the Ascension. If you want to do that, you must come back on Sunday.

PLEASE MAY WE HAVE OUR FEAST-DAYS BACK?


13 comments:

Tony Flavin said...

I have every faith in our bishops, and I am sure they moved the feasts for a good reason. But I completely agree with you. I wish they were on Thursday again.

Malcolm said...

People weren't coming. The congregation for Ascension was always smaller then for a regular Sunday, with the result that people attending for Pentecost supposedly couldn't come to communion without first going to confession (and needless to say, confessions aren't well-attended either). The bishops had to do something.
But it's admitting defeat, I agree.

John King said...

In the Church of Ireland, part of the Anglican communion we always celebrate the Ascension on the Thursday, no excuses. In my local cathedral here in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, we have a wonderful Sung Eucharist for Ascension Day at 7.30pm with the Boy Choristers singing. A truly wonderful celebration. You get the feeling the Roman Catholic Church feel that people are at work, children are at school, so moving it to the nearest Sunday would be more useful.

Joanna Bogle said...

I don't doubt that our Bishops are motivated by pastoral concerns...it was possibly a useful experiment. But it's now time to re-evaluate. Children in a Catholic school love celebrating Holy Days and their cancellation has been a blow. Lessons set aside, Mass in the school or - better - in the parish church, with some special music rehearsed by the choir, and treats to follow: perfect! And the sight of the children going together through the street tells the local community that this is a special day - as does the ringing of the church bell and the gathering of people at lunchtime and early in the morning and in the evening. Catholics at work and at home can enjoy the fact that it's an opportunity to break normal routine, meet friends at Mass, encounter a work colleague perhaps unexpectedly discovered to be Catholic, or perhaps just enjoy the sense of celebrating something important in a snatched lunch-hour. City churches are packed - even with people standing in the street outside - for Ash Wednesday. And it's not even a day of obligation! LET'S LISTEN TO WHAT {PEOPLE REALLY WANT. Please let's have our feast-days back!

Malcolm said...

The problem is they are not feast days, they are holy days of obligation. Who wants to turn up to a holy day of obligation - I mean, obviously as a faithful Catholic I will obey the rules, but no-one is putting on any feast. Ash Wednesday is meaningful, it's the start of Lent, the first day on which you give up whatever you've decided to give up for Lent. And it's not necessary to make it a holy day of obligation.

Anonymous said...

Re: President Trump and Pope Francis
I think William McGurn's column in The Wall Street Journal for May 23, "The Pontiff and the President," would be of interest to you.
Sheila A. Waters
Bronxville, NY USA

vetusta ecclesia said...

Moving Ascension to Sunday makes it just another Sunday. The practice of Sundaying feasts also drives a coach and horses through the much vaunted coherent lectionary By catechesis make people aware of the importance of the feast. Mass obligation is one of the many subjects rarely mentioned in preaching nowadays, like Friday penance, sin and other things once regarded as more important than climate change, immigration, post-Mass coffee and being nice.

Joanna Bogle said...

I have honestly never heard a mention of climate change or post-Mass coffee in a sermon. There has been occasional mention of immigration. "Being nice" has only ever been mentioned as being an inane and silly idea. Your priest needs help...put him in touch with some of the groups and movements I mention in this Blog, pray for him, and help him to rediscover his joy in the Faith, so that he can communicate Christ to others.

Pelerin said...

How I agree - I have just watched the beginning of Mass from the underground Basilica in Lourdes and the Bishop started by saying that 'with the whole Church we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension.' If only ....

Pelerin said...

I was pleased to read John King's comment on the 'wonderful Sung Eucharist' to be held today in Londonderry Cathedral. My father was a sub-organist there many years ago and it is good to know that the Anglican church still carries on with its musical heritage.

Antonia said...

Do have a read of this: https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20120521_1.htm?utm_source=Thinking+Faith&utm_campaign=87da062c06-TF_20170524&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_620a4d7197-87da062c06-87647685&mc_cid=87da062c06&mc_eid=519a407d9a

Some very interesting thoughts on celebrating the Ascension on a Sunday.

maryja said...

Dear. Joanna, I heartily second your request!

EDward McCarey McDonnell said...

Your idea is so unfair to modern families . Most women work but childcare arrangements need to be made. Not everyone has the same amount of free time especially in metropolitan areas where much time is spent commuting. No one is stopping you from doing what you want to do but I think it is very unfair to place an extra burden on families. The changes were made for pastoral reasons. Why not just accept that and move on?