Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Feasts dependant on the Exaltation

It was interesting for me to read how the Exaltation has been treated like a mini Good Friday to place feasts that would otherwise fall in Lent. The most obvious of course, is Our Lady of Sorrows, which formerly fell on the Third Sunday of September (and thus after the Holy Cross) until St. Pius X fixed it for September 15.

But another interesting feast that depends on the Holy Cross is the Transfiguration on August 6. 40 days before the Holy Cross as, according to tradition, the Transfiguration took place 40 days before Good Friday - but that would place it in Lent. Unlike the later mediaevel and Renaissance eras, people then were finicky about including feasts in Lent - it was the custom of the Fathers that it be solely for penitence. So they decided to have it forty days before the Holy Cross. You'll also note that a number of martyrs are placed around this feast and that the Stigmata of St. Francis occurs in close proximity to it.

This tradition is also why the Gospel of the Second Sunday of Lent is that of the Transfiguration.

Published in September, 2007


Anonymous said...

This is just the kind of insight that I really treasure. I love the way that the Church has provided us with so much depth in every aspect of her liturgy. The Transfiguration makes a great deal of sense in the context of Lent and it makes even more sense now that I can associate it with a little Lent between August and the Feast of the Holy Cross. Thanks and God bless you! Jane F.

Anonymous said...

On second thoughts, don't we also have a feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Passion Week before Holy Week when the emphasis is on the Holy Cross and we use the preface of the Holy Cross? This is a really interesting insight. God bless you all! JF

Anonymous said...

Well done. I like this a lot.

Donnelly's Hollow said...

The cross of Jesus is the one hope of Man. We need to recover our special devotion to the Holy Cross like the Latin Mass every year in Holy Cross Abbey. This article is a very important one for everyone who wants to deepen their love of the cross of Jesus.