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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Para-Liturgical Reform

I was just reading a post on Fr Schofield's Blog which remained me of a minor para-liturgical reform I 've had in mind for a while. I few years ago I was watching a small firework display in my Auntie's back garden when Berenike rang me on my mobile. 'What are you doing?' she demanded in her familiarly imperious tone. 'I'm watching my Auntie's fireworks' I replied. 'Isn't that a rather Protestant thing to do?' she demanded. 'Not at all, I am celebrating the fact that we used to show as much commitment as the Muslims'. At this point my Auntie glowered at me as I was standing right next to a good family friend who is a protestant from Northern Ireland (and a thoroughly nice chap) for whom Catholic terrorists are not an amusing seventeenth century phenomenon. Actually, I don't think it would be wise, prudent or moral to try and redeem Bonfire Night by turning it into a celebration of Guy Faulks. It would be much better for Catholics to move Bonfire Night to 21st March, the day Thomas Cranmer was burnt at the stake. No there is something worth celebrating. We could burn him in effigy instead. As a wise man put it...
"Thomas Cranmer, a name which deserves to be held in everlasting execration; a name which we could not pronounce without almost doubting of the justice of God, were it not for our knowledge of the fact, that the cold- blooded, most perfidious, most impious, most blasphemous caitiff expired, at last, amidst those flames which he himself had been the chief cause of kindling."
I had a similar idea for Halloween. On the Eve of All Hallows Catholic children could dress up as military saints like, Martin, George, Joan of Arc etc. and ambush pagan children in the street confiscating their ill gotten earnings and donating the money to the poor. A pilot scheme could be launched in Glasgow where there would be the largest number of enthusiastic volunteers. But then 31st October is 'Reformation Day' the day Luther nailed his theses to the Church door in Wittenberg so it is strangely fitting that this is commemorated by people dressing up as evil spirits and restless ghosts.