Monday, May 28, 2012

Octave of Pentecost

Because I was sick at home I was disappointed not to be able to join in the parish celebration of the Ascension and in daily Mass as we prepared for Pentecost (although I'm grateful that at least part of the time I was able to unite my prayer with that of the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours.) I'm much better now (thank you to all of the kind people who asked after me) and I plunged into Pentecost (serving at Confirmations at Vigil of Pentecost, at the Cathedral, Mass on Sunday morning and at Confirmation Sunday evening at St. Paul's.

For me, because of my own personal circumstances, Pentecost came and went at what seems like the speed of light. But Pentecost has for a long time seemed, to me, to come to a much too abrupt end in our liturgical calendar. It seems to me that this solemnity needs more time and space to unfold. Not simply on the preparation side, but after the feast as well. Pentecost needs an octave, like Christmas and Easter.

It used to have one -- prior to the Second Vatican Council. While I'm supporter of the renewed Roman liturgy post Vatican II, I found myself wondering this morning at prayer why those responsible made the decision to do away with the Octave of Pentecost. That one has me scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the birth of the Church seems to me to cry out for an octave like Christmas and Easter, if only to afford the opportunity to meditate further on the readings for the Vigil of Pentecost and the day of Pentecost itself.

I'm sure that the architects of the renewed liturgy had compelling reasons, pastoral and otherwise, for suppressing the octave. Regardless, I'm observing the octave this week (at least in my little oratory here in Douglas) in the hope of deepening my appreciation of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, our anointing with the Spirit in the sacraments and how the Spirit animates the Church and the life of discipleship.

PS. The mother of Pam McAndrews, one of the catechists at St.Paul's sent leis from Hawaii for the Confirmation celebration last evening. The lei I was given I put around the icon of Christ (above) when I got home. Thank you Pam!

No comments:

Post a Comment