From Fr. Hunwicke of Mutual Enrichment comes this brilliantly blistering entry. I am glad he’s on our side. And I am especially glad to have another defender of the pre-Lent Sundays. They were 86’d in the time of Paul VI. What a senseless tragedy. My emphases:
What a bore clergy find the ‘Hymn to Love’ in I Corinthians 13 (the EF/BCP Epistle in Sunday’s Mass), as yet another engaged couple want Uncle Bob to read it at their wedding. Read, however, in the context of the blistering attack S Paul is making on the failings of the Corinthian Christians, its cutting irony, verging on sarcasm, is rather fun. Whenever S Paul says “Love is not X”, he is mightily suggesting that the Corinthians are X. But it isn’t irony Kevin and Sharon think they’re getting … I blame the late Thos Cranmer for the start of this vulgarisation. He abolished the fitting pre-Lent Collect for Quinquagesima and replaced it by a composition of his own, highlighting Charity. Since then, it has all been downhill. [See what happens when you don’t adequately respect Quinquagesima? Tinker tinker tinker… what good comes of that.]
If you look carefully at Quinquagesima’s BCP/EF Epistle and Gospel (Luke 18:31-43), you may notice that the link between them is the idea of being made able to See. Then, if you turn to the Homily by S Gregory which provides an extract for the third nocturn in the Old Breviary, you will discover that this is exactly what the saint leads us to expect. [NB: Many people use the word “liturgy” when they mean “Mass”. But Mass is not “the liturgy”. The Office is also “the liturgy”. In the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite, there was far more cohesion between the two. Read together, they present a far fuller view of the day.] (Migne, 76, columns 1081 and following; incidentally, as on the preceding two Sundays, the manuscripts tell us that this was preached to the people in the Stational Church – S Peter in Vaticano – on the Sunday we are examining. I will endeavour to amuse you by translating some of S Gregory’s little Latin ‘fillers’ by means of our popular modern ‘fillers’.)
Go over there to find the rest. It’s worthy of your time.