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June 05, 2006



For Eastern Christians, Pentecost is not just about the Third Person of the Trinity: it is the primary feast of the Trinity (the other being Theophany -- in the Eastern calendar, both the Incarnation and Paschal cycles end with feasts of the Trinity). Hence why they have not need of to celebrate Trinity Sunday a week later....

David Kubiak

As suggested here, the Feast used to have (and still does for communities who have an indult) a most interesting Vigil liturgically, where a blessing of water was done as at Holy Saturday. And it had an Octave.

Another example of what a sham the claim is that the modern reforms (which began under Pius XII) would return the liturgy to its primitive condition.

Maureen O'Brien

History is always understood through the lens of one's own time and one's own opinions. It's not surprising from a human nature standpoint, either, that good intentions sometimes produce the opposite of the desired end.

The more I find out about the actual VII documents and intentions versus what happened on the ground, the more I see that overeagerness and pet theories were responsible for a lot of problems. Miscomprehension of historical customs is not quite so damaging in, say, a medieval reenactment group -- just really annoying. (Especially if you find out you've messed up yourself.) It's a lot harder to take things back and spread correct memes to conquer incorrect ones, because often the incorrect meme was thought up in the first place because it suits a certain modern aesthetic.

But I think things will get better as they go along. Sooner or later, things do shake down. The bad things will go away for the most part, and good things will take their place. We're all part of that process right now, and I think the Pope and Cardinal Arinze have their parts well in hand.

Don't worry. It's a lot easier to institute or re-institute feasts and holidays than to take them away. The greeting card and party industry would be happy to tell you that.


Our parish had a baptism during the 10:30 mass!!! And the music seemed to follow a kind of chronological thread for living parish members in celebration of the birthday of the Church: from "Come Holy Ghost Creator Blest" for the well-worn ("Ghost"? "Thy"? Great!) to "Prayer of St. Francis" for the not-quite-so well-worn ("Going My Way"-type melody but at least the words are "to God") to . . . "They'll Know We Are Christians" (for the not-so-fresh forever young-ish singing to each other(!) I wonder if this was all coincidence.

fr richard

Thanks for your post, Liam, and, of course, you're correct.

Catholics who use the Byzantine rite (and Orthodox) still have a week long celebration, and at today's Liturgy (2nd day of Pentecost) there is also a procession around the outside of the church building with a Gospel reading on each of the four sides of the church:
Mt.12: 30-36 (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit)

Mark 13:9-13 (when brought before judges under persecution, the Spirit will prompt you)

Luke 11:9-13 (if you know how to give your children what is good, so the Father will give the Spirit to those who ask)

John 16:2-14 (the Father will send the Spirit in Jesus' name and teach all things)

The Sunday after Pentecost is always the "Feast of All Saints", a logical outcome of the sanctification given by the Holy Spirit.

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