Blessed be God.
Robin Drake wrote:
> > One
> > of the things that drives me crazy about liturgical scholars is that they
> > all think that we live in a 4th century rural Greek village which
> > collectively celebrates the church year. The restored rites for Holy Week
> > are magnificent, but what working person can observe them with any real
> > concentration or reflection? People have to work on Good friday and
> > Easter
> > Day>
> I'm all in favor of the availability of anticipated/Saturday evening services,
> as well as Sunday evening, to accomodate our varied schedules. As a
> college student, I remember many dates which ended up at a midnight Mass,
> and I have also gone to non-Sunday morning services to have the
> opportunity for corporate worship and still keep a personal schedule
> (either work or social).
I've been following this thread with eyes half shut, so I apologize if
this is inapposite, but it strikes me that the anticipation of services
is maybe not such a problem, as the reduction of the entire cycle to one
service only-- the mass-- and the replacement of all other services by
this one. Perhaps we need to get more serious about the village, with
its cycle of life!
Whatever happened to the rest of that liturgical cycle? Traditionally,
if you couldn't make it on a Sunday morning, you could at least attend
(and should attend in any case, come to think of it) vespers and matins.
But now not only do we not have the richness of the whole cycle, but the
anticipated and transferred services have only slender connection with
clock and calendar. But I suppose since there's no communion at vespers,
it would be unthinkable any more to have "just" vespers on saturday
evening! Why, that might be perceived as an example of the church
demanding that we take part in two services per weekend!
Sure, there are people who have difficult schedules. But part of our
response to the world has to be, No look, the worship of God is
important, it's not negotiable, this is what I do when the time for it
comes around. And woe to those for whom "corporate worship" has to be a
convenience, or they can't "fit it in" to their busy work or social
schedules! No, at some point the church itself has to take itself
seriously enough to say, This is what we do on Sunday morning because
Sunday, the Eighth Day, is the Lord's day, and not ours!
My feeling is that that person is rare who absolutely cannot take the
paschal triduum off work (and if this happens more than once, maybe it
really is time to take a long look at values and priorities). But you
kinda hafta *want* to be there at least enough to expend a vacation day
or two if you need to. Is that asking too much for the central event of
the Christian life?