Pentecost Saturday: a reflection

Pentecost Saturday

Today the Season of Easter comes to an end.  The cycle that started with pre-Lent Sunday’s is over.

Being an Ember Saturday, there would be a vigil in the night in preparation for ordinations to the priesthood at St. Peter’s. Tomorrow, as a matter of fact, is the liturgical, if not calendrical, anniversary of my ordination at St. Peter’s, Trinity Sunday.

There are five readings before the Gospel in the Mass today, in the forma longior, the longer form. There is an option for a shorter Mass with two readings, but still with all the Pentecost Octave features, such as the Sequence and proper Communicantes and Hanc igitur. It is peculiar that at the end of the Sequence there is no Alleluia before the Gospel reading. There are various Alleluia verses amongst the lessons.

The progression of the Collects and lessons is overwhelming if read in light of the moment (Octave of Pentecost) and ordinations.

I very much like the reading from Joel 2:

Thus says the Lord God: I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; even upon the servants and the handmaids, in those days, I will pour out My Spirit. And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke; the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, at the coming of the Day of the Lord, the great and terrible day. Then everyone shall be rescued who calls on the name of the Lord.

Then the Collect.

May the Holy Spirit, we beseech You, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which our Lord Jesus Christ cast upon the earth and desired that it be fanned into flame.

I’m not going to go through all of them, but I’ll suggest the themes.

The account in Leviticus about Shavuot and the wave-offering of the first fruits.

The account in Deuteronomy about the first-fruits of the land of milk and honey.

The description in Daniel of the stoking of the furnace and the 49 cubits high flames that burned the enemy but not the stokers as they sang in praise of God.

Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus rebukes and casts out an afflicting fever from Peter’s mother-in-law and then healed and exorcised, commanding the demons to be silent.

The work of the priest against the enemy, the prince of this world.

How shocking it is to me that even bishops can be embarrassed by such things today.

How I long to see bishops to set examples of solemn worship and blatantly priestly action in public: processions, exorcisms, lying prostrate on the steps of their cathedrals in reparation for the sinful votes of Catholic politicians. How I long to see them be unabashedly, unapologetically Catholic, with every possible visual, material aid at their disposal, including glorious vestments, banners and big gaudy rings. But, no. They talk talk talk in their bourgeois black suits and apologetic chains connected to the Cross that they’ve hidden in their pockets.

Perhaps it’s time to get medieval. What’s going on now sure isn’t working. Big hats, raised voices, and interdicts.

Let your priests out of their chains and then BACK THEM UP when they take hits for being Catholic. Stand in front of them when they are attacked!

Enough of this, “I’m with you, win or tie!” stuff.

The Postcommunion today:

Pr?beant nobis, Dómine, divínum tua sancta fervórem: quo eórum páriter et actu delectémur et fructu.

My your Holy Sacraments supply use with divine raging passion: by which may exalt in both their celebration and in their results.

We Are Our Rites.

Everything starts with proper worship, the fulfillment of the virtue of Religion. As a Church we’ve lost a great deal of the sense of who we are because of the loss of the riches of worship. If we don’t know who we are, can we tell someone else? Why should anyone pay attention to us if we don’t know ourselves?

Everything we do much start in worship and then be brought back to worship. This is the staring point for renewal and the goal in an dynamic that will end in earthly terms at the Parousia described by Joel and will continue in heaven in eternity.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kent Wendler says:

    “Perhaps it’s time to get medieval.”

    You mean, like this?
    Excommunication Scene from Becket

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    People are yearning for sanity. A young relative told me the suicide hotlines are blowing up. People are in despair over our lost world. People are killing themselves in big numbers, poor people who have no reason to hope, so they just give up. The Catholic Church has within her grasp the fullness of truth, to provide to the people who are breathing and crying hopeless tears today, but who will be dead tomorrow. But she won’t give it to them. They church today would send those people to a barbecue or a picnic, but not to the Confessional where they can reconcile themselves to God and begin anew.

    The church has the pearl of greatest value, the knowledge of how to properly worship the Triune, Immortal God and still live in this frankly horrible, material world. But right now, she won’t do it. The treasure has been folded up like a scroll and put away in a bin. Too old-fashioned, too out of style, but this is not from without, but from within. Mostly geriatric or at least older men who are in the later stages of life are openly rejecting what the younger people have shown they do want and are demanding they want something that was fashionable decades ago, with a very dated time-stamp on it that everyone else can see even if they can’t because it happens to be from their heyday. The people hungry for timeless truth and real consolation in a fallen world will not be given a reason for hope. They will be told they are fine and that God loves them just the way they are. Sin boldly!

    The men of the church have traded in a resplendent artwork for a bubble gum card. Many of them realize this, but what can they do. They understand the rules.
    Others do not even realize the reality. They think the bubble gum card is the resplendent artwork. Which is sadder. Either way, it’s the poor soul’s loss, the church’s loss, and the flock’s loss, and history’s loss, and the culture’s loss, and the world’s loss. This must be why God said, if salt loses it’s savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men.
    These men are not thinking of the poor souls today who need, not thinking of eternal destinies, not thinking of the future of the church, not even thinking of God. They are thinking over the next 30 years and where they will spend it. It needs to be in comfort, which they have grown accustomed to. These men get up every day to throw open the windows and stick their heads out to see which way the wind is blowing out of Rome. They’ve proven they’ll go in absolutely any direction that is.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh, excuse me, I meant to add yes, please, the processions, the adorations, the exorcisms, the lying protrate, the smells, the bells, the prayers in Latin, the lace!
    Yes to all of it! This is what the people WANT. Why can the people not have what they want when what they want is authentic CATHOLICISM. The Church existed in this form for 2000 years, good enough for ancestors, and suddenly modern man of the church decides it is no longer in fashion, when every numerical indicator is it is, he is incorrect, and his substitute is the sink-hole. Yes, but this is nothing about logic or reason.

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