Page 5, 1st January 1982

1st January 1982
Page 5
Page 5, 1st January 1982 — A veritable feast of days

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Organisations: US High School
Locations: Oxford, Rome


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A veritable feast of days

"HOLY TRINITY wipes out Sacred Heart" is as familiar as a type of headline in US High School football circles as would be "Jesus bumped by Queens" in Eights Week at Oxford.

It all depends what you are talking about.

Take today's feast day and its chequered history.

On this day many years ago an East Anglian priest, now a Bishop, greeted a young parishioner by saying "Happ■ New Year". She replied, rather primly, "Happy Circumcision Father, and many of them."

Yes, that was the name of the feast at that time before the day became dedicated to the Holy Family. Now, of course, it is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

No wonder the Anglicans can't keep up with Rome's liturgical changes. For them it is still the Circumcision, more often referred to as the Naming of Jesus.

This is far from being the only difference between the Anglican and Catholic calendars.

Mowbrays have just published an interesting little Pocket Calendar of Saints and People to Remember. Its compiler, Brother Kenneth, CGA, points out that the "tidying up" of the calendar by Vatican II has largely been followed by the admirable but much maligned Alternative Service Book. Nevertheless, he adds, many discrepencies remain.

May Day for Anglicans is still the feast of "Pip and Jim" but in the new Roman Calendar, SS Philip and James have been ousted by St Joseph the Worker.

The Anglican Calendar has fewer feasts in honour of Our Lady but also fewer in honour of women in general.

It also, moreover, commemorates quite a lot of noncanonised persons who were nevertheless saints in most people's eyes.

The most notable is King Charles the Martyr (January 30) and included of course are the great Anglican martyrs of the Niarian age.

Why on earth do we not honour the latter as well, whether or not our Anglican friends were to reciprocate by including some Catholic English martyrs in any subsequent revision of their calendar?

As it is they are already more ecumenical than we are.

On May .12 they commemorate two lots of Uganda martyrs, in both cases Catholic as well as Protestant, who suffered in 1886 and again in 1977.

Why do we not make a point of praying with them — in their churches — on such days as well as perhaps, on such almost forgotten (in Catholic circles) occasions as Ember Days, for self-sacrifice, and Rogation Days when prayers are offered in early summer for God's blessing on the fruits of the earth and the labours of men?

Once it became normal and free of any embarrassment for Anglicans and Catholics freely to visit each others' churches for worship — prescinding for the time being from the question of "inter-Communion" — surely other walls would fall?

An idea for a New Year's Resolution?

* * * The Daily Express (December 18) quotes Urbanus as the "authoritative" voice on the finer points of next year's Papal visit. Fame is spreading.

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