We celebrate Christmas in the old fashion--Christmas starts late on Christmas eve (OK, right after Mass at Vatican concluded which was about 5pm our time) and will continue until the feast of the Epiphany.
Today is the 2nd Day of Christmas. We'll spend it visiting with some family that we couldn't see yesterday, and relaxing (yesterday was a LONG day...).
There are those who believe that the lyrics to the familiar song "The 12 Days of Christmas" were a pneumonic device to help Catholic children learn their faith during that time in English history when Catholicism was outlawed. The jury's still out on the veracity of the claim, but it's still a good thing to remember when you're singing the carol:
On the first day...the partridge in the pear tree stands for JESUS.
On the second day...the two turtle doves stand for the OLD and NEW TESTAMENTS.
How are you going to celebrate the 2nd day of Christmas?
Yesterday the Catholic Church began using the newest translation of the most commonly-celebrated form of the Mass, that being the so-called ordinary form introduced by Pope Paul VI. I didn't really expect to experience it because DH and I generally attend the so-called extraordinary form (more commonly referred to as the traditional Latin Mass) but life happened and we ended up at a different Mass yesterday.
Reading through the new translations in my Magnificat was interesting. I like the formality (surprise, surprise) and several of the prayers are almost line-for-line what's in my 1962 missal. I do think that my 1962 missal has an better version of the Confiteor. As for some of the other changes, like the change from 'and also with you' to 'and with your spirit'--that's the wording I find in my first post-Vatican II missal. Ditto the change in the Nicene Creed.
In fact, my first 'post-Vatican II' missal is almost identical to my 1962 missal. The Confiteor was gone, the only penitential rite was the Kyrie. I'm sure I would find a few other changes if I take the time to go through the two missals page-by-page. But the biggest change is the change from Latin to English.
For those who don't know, or don't remember: The first change in the Mass after Vatican II was simply to say the Mass in the vernacular. The priest still faced the tabernacle, communion was still received on the tongue while kneeling. I remember this oh-so-brief period quite vividly because this is the Mass that was in place when I made my First Holy Communion and when I was Confirmed.
It wasn't until 1970 that everything changed so dramatically, and the Mass was suddenly and dramatically different.
I think the new missal is a good start to restoring what's been lost in the Catholic liturgy. Now, can we get the priest to turn around again?
Well, it's not really a new devotion, it's just new to me. It all started with this book, which my sister-in-law gave to me for Christmas 2009:
I started reading it this week, and finished it today. It is a wonderful, easy-to-read, inspiring account of the appearances of the Blessed Mother in Africa just prior to the Rwandan massacre. I recommend it to you without any reservations at all!
The book mentions that the Blessed Mother asked that the Seven Sorrows Rosary be prayed--not as a replacement for the traditional (Dominican) rosary, but as an addition. I decided that I wanted to begin adding this devotion to my prayer life, and started searching for a set of the proper rosary beads. After seeing a photo of the rosary, I realized that I already owned a Servite Rosary (or Seven Sorrows Rosary). It came in the mail 10 or 12 years ago with a letter from the Servants of Mary (the Servites) and a fundraising appeal--before I had even heard of Rwanda, and years before the massacre--so after searching through a few drawers that hold various religious articles I found it.
So on Tuesdays and Fridays (the days Our Lady especially asked that the Servite Rosary be prayed) I'll be adding this to my prayers. Would you like to join me?
(Immaculee will be in Lafayette, LA for a woman's retreat in April--I'm hoping to be able to attend. Please say a prayer that I can clear my schedule and attend the retreat. Thank you!)