Saturday, 26 January 2013
This morning was a case in point. I wasn't completely on the ball, and discovered that the Senior MC had set up green vestments, tabernacle veil and antependium for Mass (Third Sunday after Epiphany - no idea why!) when I had been expecting red for St. Polycarp. Zephyrinus was ready to remove the antependium and swap the tabernacle veil to white after Mass as it was due to be followed by Exposition and Benediction. He was then all set to change everything to purple for Septuagesima... only there isn't any such thing as Septuagesima in the Novus Ordo, so it was actually back to green for this evening and 9am tomorrow morning... and then we'll have purple at the 10:30am Mass and green at the 6pm.
I really don't understand why it was necessary to drop Septuagesima in the Novus Ordo calendar. Human nature being what it is, we need the different seasons of the Church's year to be marked out. There is a difference in emphasis between the Sundays after Epiphany and the Sundays after Pentecost. It helps no-one to simply lump them together as "Sundays in Ordinary Time."
And then there is Lent. It is rapidly approaching. I was quite surprised to realise that it's only three weeks away! But without the reminder that tomorrow is Septuagesima Sunday, I wouldn't have made the connection.
Septuagesima is like the warm-up before the race. Lent needs preparation: forty days of prayer, penance and almsgiving doesn't just happen overnight. Now there are three weeks in which to limber up, to work out what to do, and to make those resolutions.
After all, there's nothing worse than making the decision, on Shrove Tuesday, to give up chocolate for Lent, only to find those three bars of Galaxy in the cupboard on Ash Wednesday...