We went through yesterday thinking we wouldn't be able to get to an Ascension Mass. It's funny, but the hierarchy don't seem to have learned from past mistakes. Most would acknowledge that after the introduction of the New Rite of Mass in the 1960's there were a few problems caused amongst the laity - it was all very sudden and people were totally unprepared for what was to hit them. It caused a lot of devastation. We used to hear a lot about "collaborative ministry" in our last parish. We were frequently told "this is the age of the laity". How come then, the laity were never informed as to why little additions were creeping into the Mass - such as the priest waving a giant host around BEFORE the consecration. I realised how ridiculous this had become when at one weekday Mass, since there were no altar servers, one of the elderly ladies, Kitty (RIP), who used to ring the bell at the consecration, started vigorous ringing BEFORE the host was consecrated. It wasn't because she was old and doddery, and didn't know what she was doing, it was because she had not been informed of the novelty of Father wafting the unconsecrated host around, so she thought, as she was bound to do, that he must have got on to the consecration early! I don't remember the laity being asked whether they wanted their Feast Days moved. I know a lot of devout Catholics who attend both rites who are, frankly, cheesed off with this removal. This is because they try to live their lives in union with the liturgical seasons, and they are trying to educate their children in the richness of the Church's liturgical life. It makes sense to children, that if Jesus ascended 40 days after his Resurrection, the feast day should be on that Thursday, forty days on. It makes sense to children, that if the first novena to the Holy Ghost/Spirit, (call Him what you will) was NINE days after the Ascension, it won't fit in after Ascension Sunday!!!!
Anyway, we were EXTREMELY blessed last night because the school Parent's Evening, that my husband had had to attend, didn't go on too long, and he was able to get to the friend's house where my son and I were visiting (which is much closer to Birmingham than where we live) in time to pick us up, and get us to the Oratory for Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form - and it truly was Extraordinary, and the music was sublime, and raised our hearts and minds to the Ascended Lord. Even the traffic queue from the one accident that could have held us up (a bashed car at some traffic lights - don't think it was too serious, please God) was beginning to clear, and we got to the church with a minute to spare. After Mass was finished (although it was so wonderful, it seemed to stay in my soul) it was late, and we had to stop for something to eat (poor hubby had had nothing after his long day at school) so we stopped at a drive through place and they had burgers. (Dear son had had food earlier, but is a growing lad, so needed more!).
I wondered why my son came down to breakfast with his pyjamas inside out this morning - he'd been so tired last night that he hadn't even put the light on to see what he was doing before getting in to bed!
So now we can celebrate the transferred Feast of Saint Joseph the worker today too!
Praying for Saint Joseph's intercession, that all those who are out of work, especially husbands and fathers, will be able to find employment and be able to support their families. Also for all those people who are in difficult work situations, and would like to find other employment.
Here's a lovely prayer for all of us :-
Glorious St. Joseph,model of all who pass their life in labour,obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honour to use and develop by my labour the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties. Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my watchword in life and in death.