Friday, June 10, 2011


Things you may or may not see over the next two weekends at Mass:

The Church has symbolic options to perform over these next two weekends to help us move along with the liturgical calendar. This Sunday marks 50 days since Easter – Pentecost; the descent of the Holy Spirit, the last day of the Easter Season. After evening prayer on Sunday we begin ordinary time.

In the extraordinary form of the Mass the Paschal Candle (or Christ Candle or Easter Candle) would have been extinguished after the homily on Ascension Thursday. Symbolically this is terribly practical. Since the candle represents Christ and He ascends into heaven symbolically during the Gospel on that day, it makes sense that it be extinguished.

This does not happen in the ordinary form of the Mass. Instead it remains lit during the entire Easter season. An option (which I use if we have a strong altar server) is that the Paschal Candle is borne out of the sanctuary after each Mass on Pentecost at the end of the procession. This marks the end of the Easter season.

Failing this, when you come to Mass the following weekend you should see the following: The Paschal candle is no longer next to the pulpit/ambo but has been moved to the baptismal font. White altar clothes and vestments have been exchanged for green ones during the week (there are a couple of feasts on following Sundays not directly connected to the Easter season on which white will still be worn.) If there was a font set up for Easter, it should now be removed, and the flowers should change. There may still be flowers because of the feasts, but they should be less reminiscent of Easter and move on to more summery varieties.


W.C. Hoag said...

The green approaches.

I just completed reading Laurence Hemming's "Liturgy as a Revelation" (Burns & Oats, 2011) in which he argues rather convincingly that a true liturigcal renewal in the Church would require a restoratiion not of the 62 liturgical books which are the fruit of 60 years of reform, but rather to restore the 1882 "unreformed" books. In these the feast days will usually trump the Sunday in Time After Pentecost so that White and Red would be seen far more frequently than green.

W.C. Hoag said...

There is a story, possibly apocryphal or possibly factual, that Paul VI went on Pentecost Monday 1970 to vest for his private Mass and was astounded to see green vestments laid out. He indicated to the sacristan that the wrong colour was out; but the sacristan replied that were correct, that the Octave of Pentecost no longer existed. The Holy Father asked who had authorized such a thing. The sacristan responded: "You, Holy Father." Montini was supposedly amazed and saddened.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Paul VI was oblivious to all the harm that he and his disciples had wrought.