Creativity meets the Crucifixion…with startling results

One of the younger curates came into the office disturbed — as he is from time to time. His work includes scanning the various dispatches from diocese and national church, poor boy. It seems that I am called on to remind us all that indeed, in the fourteen days between the Sunday of the Passion and the Second Sunday of Easter, nothing displaces the Days of Holy Week, The Triduum, Easter Day or the Days of Easter Week. Even major feasts of our Lord — for example, the Annunciation, when Easter comes early, are put off until after Quasimodo Sunday. There seems to be some confusion about this and a good deal of loose talk about Earth Day and Good Friday — in an article on Episcopal News Service. The article quotes an “economic and environmental affairs officer” who seems to have forgotten the basic rubrics of the Prayer Book and its central focus on the Paschal Mystery, and it seems he has forgotten the profound joy of celebrating the bountiful creation on Rogation Sunday (maybe if we still beat choirboys to remind them of the parish bounds as we made the procession the writer’s memory might have been more clear?).

And, in perhaps letting honest concern about the environment run away with him, the officer equates the earth with God’s body (“another part of God’s body experiences yet another sort of crucifixion”). And of course, if he remembered the Feast of the Annunciation when the Eternal Son of God did take on a mortal body to redeem the whole creation, he would have been more careful in his language. Our High School Confirmation Class just finished a couple of sessions on the Nicene Creed. Perhaps a letter from some of them might be helpful in clarifying the relationship between Creator and Creation and the nature of the Incarnation of the Word

I thought this could be laid at the feet of a confused writer at the Episcopal News Service. And then, much to my dismay, another of my curates brought me the service leaflet from a nearby Episcopal congregation. Apparently, the vicar there read one too many pieces from 815, and decided to make some “improvements” to the Good Friday liturgy. Why clergy think they should be allowed to modify the prayer book is beyond me. Unless, of course, they are restoring beautiful, ancient Catholic traditions.

How did I get this service leaflet? No, it was not my intelligence-gathering curate (every Cardinal Parish needs one). Rather, there was a deanery meeting in our Guild Hall, and the nearby vicar used our copier, since theirs was on the fritz. (Funny, how the “creative” parishes never seem to be able to afford a service contract.) Anyway, the vicar left the original in the machine, and my curate dutifully brought me the leaflet. Just as soon as the parish administrator finishes typing it for me, I will post it here.

Now, back to inspecting the stational locations in our Palm Sunday Procession, at which our Junior High Group has built platforms for the altar party to be seen and heard above the massive throngs…

Yours in the Lord,


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Dear Father,

I have only once had the chance to participate in a Rogation Day procession. While the parish is not as grand as yours, someone other than me did put an account of that service on the web.

Since that time, I have had an interest in brining this tradition to where I might be worshiping. There was a rector of mine that seemed to take an interest, but soon other things drew him away and then he retired. (Maybe I should have mentioned the quality of the sherry after the procession in which I participated?)

As a person who believes that the Earth is filled with the goodness of the Lord and wishes to celebrate it outdoors in fine Tradition, could you please post from your Customary how your parish undertakes a Rogation Procession?

Thank you very much.

Robert R. Chapman, Jr.

Comment by Bob Chapman on April 16, 2011 6:38 pm

Amen and again I say Amen. Oh dear what are we coming to?

Comment by Robert Edwin Deming + on April 17, 2011 9:05 am

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