Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ordinary Time....sigh! Oh, and Two Weddings.

We are back in Ordinary Time and here is a poem that sums it up for me.  The green vestments of "After Trinity" makes more sense to me than the baldness of "Ordinary Time".  It's an English Anglican Poem but it resonates with me.

After Trinity, John Meade Falkner (1858-1932):

We have done with dogma and divinity,
Easter and Whitsun past,
The long, long Sundays after Trinity
Are with us at last;
The passionless Sundays after Trinity,
Neither feast-day nor fast.

Christmas comes with plenty,
Lent spreads out its pall,
But these are five and twenty,
The longest Sundays of all;
The placid Sundays after Trinity,
Wheat-harvest, fruit-harvest, Fall.

Spring with its burst is over,
Summer has had its day,
The scented grasses and clover
Are cut, and dried into hay;
The singing-birds are silent,
And the swallows flown away.

Post pugnam pausa fiet;
Lord, we have made our choice;
In the stillness of autumn quiet,
We have heard the still, small voice.
We have sung Oh where shall Wisdom?
Thick paper, folio, Boyce.

Let it not all be sadness,
Not omnia vanitas,
Stir up a little gladness
To lighten the Tibi cras;
Send us that little summer,
That comes with Martinmas.

When still the cloudlet dapples
The windless cobalt blue,
And the scent of gathered apples
Fills all the store-rooms through,
The gossamer silvers the bramble,
The lawns are gemmed with dew.

An end of tombstone Latinity,
Stir up sober mirth,
Twenty-fifth after Trinity,
Kneel with the listening earth,
Behind the Advent trumpets
They are singing Emmanuel’s birth.

The Princely Marriage in Monaco and the Royal Marriage in Westminster Abbey made me think as I watched both of them.  Both were State occasions and also religious occasions but they were very different in emphasis.

The Prince William & Catherine Middleton wedding was quintessentially Anglican and very English with beautifully choreographed ceremonial and all the grandeur of British Royalty.  It was wonderful to watch but it didn't have the spiritual impact of the Prince Albert & Charleen Wittstock wedding.

It wasn't just that a Nuptial Mass was the main part of the service, it was the way that everyone responded to it.  Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco, supported by French Bishops and all the clergy of Monaco, hit just the right note in his homily.  Prince Albert maybe a well-known philanderer but he knows the Mass off by heart and the Church is for sinners both public and private otherwise it wouldn't exist.  I am sure that both he and his bride would have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation before the wedding.  Both of them received Holy Communion so Princess Charleinne has obviously been received into the Church even though it maybe on the "Paris is worth a Mass" principle.  The Kiss of Peace was exchanged by everyone present and so many people received Communion that all the bishops had to take a segment of the congregation for distribution.

Finally the wedding bouquet was laid on the altar of the Saint Devote Church as an offering to the Patron Saint of Monaco.  So the wedding was much more of a communal religious occasion

Incidentally, Saint Devote was a 4th century martyr from Corsica whose body was being taken to Africa for burial so that it would not be burned by the Roman authorities.  There was a storm and the ship ran aground in Monaco on the site of the present church where her body was interred

We wish both couples well and our prayers.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree, the Monaco wedding was lovely and spiritual. Charleen is beautiful, charming and elegant.