Thursday, May 25, 2006

An Ascension Day gripe

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the division in the U.S. over the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord is stupid. In the provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. -- in other words, most of the northeastern seaboard -- and Omaha, the bishops have decided to retain this solemnity where it belongs, on the 40th day after Easter, which always falls on a Thursday. In all the rest of the country, the feast has been transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

Those bishops who have retained its usual day appear to believe that their flocks are capable of making it to Mass on a Thursday (since this is a holy day of obligation) despite their normal tendencies not to do so. Or they at least appear to have decided that this is something that should be left in place as the norm.

The rest of the bishops, however, appear to believe that it is better to indulge their flocks' laziness and they have, therefore, moved the celebration to the following Sunday. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that they have imposed laziness upon us. We have not even got the option to go to Mass for the feast day when it actually occurs, unless we happen to be living on the border of some diocese that marks it properly.

This is a gripe, a legitimate gripe. Making Mass more convenient for people means lowering the standards to which we are to be held. It also means that people are not going to be able to show their love for the Lord on this important feast. But the bishops seem to be acting more like indulgent parents than good shepherds taking care of their wayward sheep.


iClaudius said...

In DC, it has also been moved to Sunday.

Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz said...

Thanks for the clarification, Claudius.