Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Happy Candlemas! Here's a polyphonic setting of the Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuae Israel by Francisco López y Capillas. Notice that he expanded on the Gregorian chant.

A rant follows...

To my detriment, I was on another forum today where Candlemas was being discussed and someone mentioned that today's Feast is now called the Presentation of Our Lord at the Temple. The person went on to say that this was because of the de-emphasis of the purification of Mary in favor of the prophecy of Simeon.

Pardon my crabbiness, but what were they talking about? The traditional rite is steeped with Simeon and Mary, but most of all, God's mercy bathes the whole liturgy. And why do we need to de-emphasize Mary's Purification? Are we modern people squeamish about blood? She and Joseph offered two turtledoves, but the Child whom they brought was the worthiest and sublimest offering to God the Father. Why do we need to remove this emphasis? It is Him through whom we receive our purification. This Marian Feast is inherently about God's Salvation, pointing in a deeper way to the Eucharistic Offering of Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Body. Blood. Soul. Divinity.

Take a look at the Propers. You cannot get more sublime than this on this earth. I defy you to read them and then tell me exactly what needed improving.

Okay, done with my rant. I will enjoy this Feast for many reasons. One other reason is the second anniversary of the falling asleep in the Lord of our parochial vicar. He left this earthly life early in the morning and his last words were..."Now you let your servant go in peace...."


Rob said...

Well, we have to de-emphasize the purification because:
A) it's "sacrament"ish. Now we prefer neat, clean soundbites and we can make Simeon's proclamation fit into one of those more easily than something "icky" like Mary's purification, which reminds us of our bodies and that's just not gnostic enough for the modern Catholic.
B) Why should Mary have to be purified? All of us are just fine the way we are now and purification reminds us, however obliquely, of repentance and that's bad.
C) All those stories are fake anyway and the only thing that matters are those carefully tailored "statements of faith" which the early Christians put into Simeon's mouth so that modern biblical scholars could write monographs and books and get invited to dinner parties.

And you thought you could be crabby!

Argent said...


The Collect says this: Thine only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so too Thou wouldst grant us to be presented unto Thee with purified souls

Consubstantial, anyone?

The Novus Ordo says: Christ your Son became man for us and was presented in the temple. May he free our hearts from sin and bring us into your presence

I dunno, even the translation of the Old Rite from my hand missal is richer than the official N.O. fare we get week after week.

Still we get movements of people wanting to wait on the Mass translations because they offend people. How long, O Lord?