28 May 2011

Rogate this week

and so Easter is fast waning.  This Thursday is the Feast of the Ascension (7:15 p.m. at St. Paul's - you all come now, you hear?).  Unique to have the day (Rogate) named from the Gospel reading rather than the Introit - "Ask already, will ya?" might be a rough paraphrase.  This is the Sunday when the Church focuses on the joy of prayer in the name of Jesus.  Tonight and tomorrow we'll sing all nine stanzas of Luther's Vater Unser.  Don't worry - the cantor relieves the congregation a bit with doing the even stanzas.  And so the Easter season wends to its closing.  On Thursday we'll move the Paschal Candle stand from sentry duty at the Altar back to the Baptismal font.  Then one more week of Easter joy till its fulfillment in the Day of Pentecost, which closes out the "Semester Domini." That means "plain old" DS 3 comes back - and how we'll welcome it!  The Kyrie and Gloria and Alleluia - all back to "normal."  Easter was overwhelmingly joyous, but we know that it is but a foretaste.  The 50 days are a bit of heaven on earth, but we're not in the Parousia yet, no matter how joyously we anticipate it.  Back to kneeling to receive our Lord's body and blood; back to the regular liturgy; back to pilgrim church.


Terry Maher said...

What? No Vigil of Pentecost? Why it's a mini Easter Vigil all over again! Not to mention, Paschaltide traditionally extends to the Saturday after Pentecost, including the Ember days after Pentecost, ending with Trinity Sunday!

And we gotta remember to distinguish the the Major Rogations from the Minor Rogations. Not to mention you gotta "beat the bounds" to make sure nobody messed with your boundaries.

Think I'm about to bash Vatican II? Hell no, everything started to unravel when Pius XII abolished the Octave of the Ascension, and now, even Rome leaves all this stuff to the local bishops' conferences, so we're right in lock step like we seem to want to be these days.

Actually, hard core liturgical purists will militate for the resumption of Robigalia, the original Major Rogation from whence all rogationinity cometh, established by Numa Pompilius himself, second king of Rome right after Romulus, who was the first having killed his brother and co-founder of Rome Remus, who is still ticked about it and has to be appeased once a year, the ancestor of our Halloween.

Not only did Remus thereby miss being the first king of Rome to Romulus, he lost naming rights to the city too, hence we have the city Roma rather than Rema.

But this is Robigalia and you gotta rogate Robigus because he can cause a bad year for crops. However, Robigalia like most of these things involved dog sacrifice, solidly opposed by a certain Christina in early Rome, reputed to be an ancestor of die Christine though I have not been able to trace the connexion on ancestry.com.

Too late for this year though. Robigalia is 25 April, not coincidentally the date of the Major Rogation of Rogation and also the feast of St Mark. Tertullian may have bashed Robigus as a false god, but Robigalia got morphed into a Christian observance by "pope" Gregory the "great", so this calendar screwing around has been going on for a long, long time.

The minor Rogations around Ascension are derivative observances and originate with "bishop" Mamertus of Vienne (Gaul, not Vienna, which God calls Wien) in the 470s, and are called minor to distinguish them from 25 April.

I'd give more detail but Godfrey isn't around to ask. He was there though and remembered everything. Numa too. Or so you'd think if you're there with a guy at a Rembrandt exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art but pass by an Etruscan collection and he gives you a crash course on Etruscan history right on the spot.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

No kneeling during Paschaltide?

William Weedon said...

Yup - we stand during the Great 50 days to receive the Eucharist. It's 50 days of actually HEEDING the Nicene Canon... :)

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

I have no criticism of your parish, to be sure. Kneeling or standing is a matter of freedom.

My own sense of the importance of the Nicene canon to which you refer, however, is that it didn't establish the practice, but rather acknowledged it as widespread and worthy of the Church making it uniform as much as possible. Its analogy today would be if the LCMS were to say, in synod convention, that all LCMS altars should have this practice for the sake of churchly uniformity, since many parishes have the practice already. (Such an argument, however, would stand only if it were the case that our churches are also kneeling the rest of the year, and that when they stand for the eucharist they do so for symbolic reasons associated with the resurrection, and that our churches care about liturgical uniformity.)

The Nicene pronouncement, of its own right, would hold for us today if the practice would have remained prevalant in the intervening sixteen hundred year liturgical tradition of the our Church.

These are among the reasons I myself am comfortable kneeling for the eucharist wherever and whenever I receive It.

William Weedon said...

Right on, and like the Levites who stood to praise the Lord and the Levites who knelt, even during Easter our own parish practice is not entirely uniform - and no one gives a hoot. Most stand, some still kneel, and no one feels pressured one way or the other, for the focus of the Eucharist finally isn't on our piety, but upon the awesome and life-imparting gifts bestowed on us there.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Indeed even the ante-nicene Church was far less than uniform on this point, as we see, eg., in Saint Paul's practice in Acts 20.

William Weedon said...

Acts 20 is my proof text for when folks get too hung up on it!

Terry Maher said...

So, doing any weddings between now and Trinity?