Saturday, March 17, 2012
WHY DO SOME PROGRESSIVE CATHOLICS HATE LAETARE SUNDAY?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laetare Sunday (play /liːˈtɛərɪ/ or /laɪˈtɑrɪ/ as in ecclesiastical Latin), so called from the incipit of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" ("O be joyful, Jerusalem"), is a name often used to denote the fourth Sunday of the season of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar. This Sunday is also known as Mothering Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carême), and Rose Sunday (because the golden rose sent by the popes to Catholic sovereigns used to be blessed at this time). The term "Laetare Sunday" is used predominantly, though not exclusively, by Roman Catholics and Anglicans. The word translates from the Latin laetare, singular imperative of laetari to rejoice.
This Sunday was also once known as "the Sunday of the Five Loaves," from the traditional Gospel reading for the day. Prior to the adoption of the modern "common" lectionaries, the Gospel reading for this Sunday in the Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Western-rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches was the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
In the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and some Protestant traditions, there may be flowers on the high altar, and priests are given the option to wear rose-coloured vestments at Mass held on this day, in place of the violet vestments normally worn during Lent. The day is a day of relaxation from normal lenten rigors; a day of hope with Easter being at last within sight. Traditionally, even weddings (otherwise banned during Lent) could be performed on this day.
Laetare Sunday can fall on any date between March 1 and April 4.
MY COMMENTS: The names of the two Sundays of rejoicing in Advent and Lent are Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday. Both Gaudete and Laetare are Latin words for the English word "rejoice" and both come from the official Introit of the Catholic Mass for both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass.
The only problem is that in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, the Introit can be substituted by another hymn or chant. So for the vast majority of Catholics since Vatican II, they never hear the official Entrance Chant of any Mass, let alone Guadete and Laetare Sunday Masses, thus they are totally mystified as to the reason why these Sundays are called the names they are.
I would ask Latin scholars out there though to tell us what the difference in meaning that Gaudete and Laetare have in Latin as both words are translated into "rejoice" in English. I suspect there is a slight nuanced difference, but I don't know what it is.
But getting back to my lament, I hope the Holy Father makes the chanting of the Official Entrance Chant along with the Offertory and Communion chants mandatory for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It always has been and still is for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.
On another blog there were some commenters who so enamored with the theology of rupture they believe Vatican II brought about in the Church and her liturgy that they absolutely can't stand calling the 4th Sunday of Lent,Laetare Sunday or the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. In addition they despise the option of using the Liturgical color of rose which is a liturgical color only used as an option on these two Sundays. In addition to their aversion to rose vestments they have an even stronger aversion to lace albs and sumptuous brocade vestments.
Their aversion goes beyond mere taste, though. They think it decorates the priest in a too fussy and regal fashion. Therein lies the rub, it betrays their post-Vatican II lack of proper catechesis about the role of the ordained priest not to point to himself but to Christ the High Priest, crucified and risen and now robed in majesty as the Sovereign King of heaven and earth. But their experience of the priesthood in the poorly implemented directives of the Post Vatican II Mass makes the person of the priest and his personality the exaggerated star of the Mass in many places. Who needs sumptuous brocade and lace when one's personality replaces that sort of kingly fussiness.
I suspect their antipathy to anything that points to the Kingship of Christ and His kingdom is also based upon an aversion to monarchy. While human monarchs tries to preserve their heritage in a democratic age that despises them and their family of monarchy, Jesus Christ the King gives us a redeemed image of monarchy just as he gives a redeemed image of the Jewish priesthood that came only from a priestly class of families, similar to monarchs.
The so-called Catholic monarchy of the pope and bishops is born not from a priestly family caste or monarchy caste but rather from a divine calling. Pope John XXIII came from the peasant caste of Italy. Is the Catholic monarchy of the Church to be despised because its "king" or should I say the "Vicar of the King" comes not from a royal caste family but from the peasants? Think about the origins of Jesus Christ the King.
This weekend I will be wearing Rose but not lace and I hope to have pictures of our Laetare Sunday 12:10 PM Mass where about 150 dignitaries (including federal, state and local politicians) will be present for our Mass which will also be the Opening Religious Service of the Cherry Blossom Festival of Macon, GA. Most of them will be wearing the Cherry Blossom Festival's official color, ROSE. I've been given a Rose Blazer to wear in the parade that follows the Mass in downtown Macon. I'll be in a convertible giving the Cherry Blossom Wave to my adoring subjects! It's good to be the king!
No, these are not Fr. Dawid and me in the parade, but close!