Monday, February 09, 2015

Amy Welborn: why they shouldn't have dropped Septuagesima, as even a 7th grader would have known!

... with good links to Lauren Pristas, of whom I am a big fan: Amy Welborn, "Septuagisima" (Charlotte was Both, February 1, 2015), begins:
This is one of those (many, perhaps) aspects of the post-Vatican II liturgical changes that really, really makes you go, “Huh?”

It’s bizarre for many reasons having to do with the normal reasons of upending tradition via committee work, but also because it’s such an unecumenical move, and, on paper at least, Vatican II was, we hear, informed by ecumenical concerns....

So..... what happened?

As usual, it was determined that all this was too hard for us.

A good summary is offered by Dr. Lauren Pristas here (it’s a pdf file)

In short, the committees appointed to reform everything about the liturgical life of the Church after the Council decided to ditch it. I’ll quote a bit here, but do check out the rest – it’s not long, although her specifics regarding the Collect prayers (her specialization) may not be of as much interest to you. The options developed by the committee were:
  1. Either the names of the Sundays or the prayers are preserved, but the penetential aspect abolished
  2. Or the season itself is abolished, but the prayers used at another place in the Church year
  3. Or the season is abolished and the prayers used in the last three Sundays before Lent.
As Pristas points out, the two options that are not there are either making no change at all or abolishing everything, names, prayers, season – which is, of course, what happened.
My underpaid correspondent, Mr. Noir, writes this about it:
In my mental rolodex under Amy there are tabs for Amy Grant, Amy Tan, Amy Irving, Amy Adams, Amy Winehouse. and ...

Amy Welborn .... a very good writer, and I'd say a Catholic with reliable instincts (not that she needs me imprimatur). I used to love reading her blog when I was trying to make heads or tails of Vatican II and Catholic Biblical scholarship. Like me, she seemed to want to be contemporary, but also sensed that many things were just not quite right. Her comments were always intelligent, insightful, literary, and gracious. When she wrote of her husband dying suddenly of a heart attack, I felt like it had happened to my neighbor. Things subsequently changed, and she moved off to the shoulder of the Catholic blogosphere, retreating into motherhood, homeschooling, and a less intense Catholic presence. (Far fewer shoutouts from Mark Shea and Fr. Z -- such was her broad fan base). A friend jokingly said to me at the time, "OK... I get grief and wanting a change of scenery and all , but packing up a suitcase and heading off with the kids for 6 months to Sicily....Might not be a good sign." LOL. Whatever the case, she blogs much less frequently, but remains a voice that says things worth hearing.


Amy Welborn said...

Tell Guy thanks. Appreciate the kind words. But although I don't know how I come across on the Internets, I would say that I "wanted to be contemporary" at all. I'm just interested in understanding the present moment as well as the past. I was a history major, for heaven's sake!

And...I went to Sicily for 2 weeks.....not 6 months...

And my retreat from constant blogging was due to a lot of things. Among them an unwillingness to expend energy and spending hours of my life immersed in narratives spun for the sake of getting blog hits by often pretty ignorant and at the very least blinder-bound people. Earlier today I read a blogger who introduced his blog post on the issue du jour by saying, "I spent all Saturday afternoon arguing online about this matter..." And I And to admit it!

Anonymous said...


Misrepresentations noted with apology. I remain nothing but a fan.
And the friend's comment about six months was doubtless due to *my* miscuing her, not vice versa, and with no barb intended -- but again, sorry for any slight.

As for internet time wasting... I don't quite get your meaning, LOL. Although I am usually off-kilter enough to have less interest in the issue du jour than my own preoccupations.

I look forward to enjoying your ongoing wordsmithery at CWB.