Sunday, 6 January 2013
Rubricarius of the St Lawrence Press has recommended a very decent book which I too recommend. The Lord Marquess of Bute compiled a comparative ''Blessing of the Waters on the Eve of the Epiphany'' in 1901; very informative. One thing I'm not sure about, though. Does the modern Roman blessing differ in any way from the simple blessing of holy water given in the Ritus Servandus for use before high Mass on Sunday? If so, to what purpose would the modern blessing on Epiphany even be?
Once again the popes have excelled themselves in their careful guardianship of Liturgy! Where aforetime, in the Roman Rite, the solemn blessing was a reflection of the Baptism of the Lord, which encompassed all the seasonal mysteries of the Lord's manifestation to the world according to the flesh (not just the adoration of the Magi, as in the liturgy of the Mass), the new form was shorn of all that meaning. I suppose you could call it tragic, but if most Roman Catholics aren't even aware of the existence of this blessing, to what extent can it be even seen as tragic? I expect that quite a lot of liturgical customs of this sort were let by the wayside in the history of the Church and were soon forgotten by all but the most astute of liturgical historians. It calls to mind what I said a while ago about memory and tradition - that Tradition, being the waking memory of the Church, serves to quicken the Christian people in the mysteries of Salvation by the simple continuation of that which has been passed down from generation to generation, unaltered. When this tradition is interrupted or stopped by authority, then the Church looses something important, and that particular aspect of Christ's Incarnate life becomes obsolete, a dry idea with little meaning or application. In this case, how many Roman Catholics understand the blessing of lustral water in the light of Christ's Baptism, indeed our own Baptism into Christ? But no, Rome abolishes ancientry and replaces it with brown scapulars and ladies of Fatima.