From a reader:
According to a good friend of mine at Notre Dame, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be celebrating Easter Mass two weeks before Easter, so that it can be taped and broadcast on NBC on Easter day…
"All the prayers and so forth will be the Easter prayers, and of course there will be an Alleluia (and maybe the sequence). There will be a choir singing easter music, and several residence halls from the university are invited to attend (because it would look pretty stupid on TV without a packed church for easter) and, I assume, receive communion. Everyone will be pretending it is easter, so it looks good."
Isn’t this an abuse? Or is there some dispensation for celebrating a real Easter Mass when it’s not Easter?
I really don’t think it would be right to do that. At all.
In centuries past terrible battles took place in the Church over the date of Easter. Even today, the West and some Eastern Churches remain divided on the date of Easter.
You can argue that the fact of the Resurrection is more important than the actual calendar date. But calendars exist for a reason and Easter is central to our Catholic Christian identity.
I think this would be wrong.
I suppose the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments would have to rule on whether EASTER can be anticipated and celebrated during Lent.
That just doesn’t seem right to me at all.