Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Green the Time of the Holy Spirit



Everyone knows the story of Pope Paul VI going into the sacristy on the Monday after Pentecost and seeing green vestments laid out for him, "Where is the red for the Octave of Pentecost? he asked. "But Holy Father you abolished it." Apparently the burst into tears.

I personally would like the restoration of the Octave.

In the Orthodox world green is the colour of Pentecost, though they are less regularity about liurgical colours, churches are filled with foliage, and occassionally green hangings.

Green signifies fecundity. Thus green time, now known as Ordinary Time, used to be known as the Time after Pentecost. It was the time when the Holy Spirit was gently at work sanctifying, healing,slowly building up the Church. This is really the season of Pentecost, we look for the fantastic or miraculous but actually the Holy Spirit in most people's lives is the silent power of sanctification, causing the branches of the Holy Vine to grow, flower and fruit.

8 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

"This is really the season of Pentecost, we look for the fantastic or miraculous but actually the Holy Spirit in most people's lives is the silent power of sanctification, causing the branches of the Holy Vine to grow, flower and fruit."

Never thought of it that way! It's amazing how many times in my life I've had trouble with X,Y, and Z and in looking at the readings for the day, either the Mass or the office, it's astonishing how often those particular readings are particularly relevant to the situation at hand.

On Sunday our pastor told a nice story at the 5:15 Mass. After Mass earlier in the day, he'd gone over to church (not in his clericals) to do a little straightening up... he admitted to bitching (internally!) about it, but then an elderly couple had come up to him and asked him if he had "any connection with the church." It seems they'd been married there 50 years ago to the day. And so he asked them if they'd like to renew their marriage vows ... and they did! He told me after Mass that he usually doesn't do straightening up on a Sunday afternoon, but it must have been the Holy Spirit which prompted him. Then after Maas in the evening another family group who was visiting came up and the daughter had been baptized there 2o some years before that week too.

Philip said...

Like Karen, I'd not thought of it like that. "Ordinary Time" sounds so flat, whereas Sundays after Pentecost, or whatever, does remind us that we are living in the "Time of the Church", instituted at Pentecost by the Holy Spirit.

Your anecdote gives yet more credence to the view, which I’ve heard expressed, that much that happened during Paul VI’s reign was not of his making. Notably, during his period of illness, he was greatly manipulated; do you think this is one such example?

pelerin said...

Philip mentions the views that Pope Paul VI's actions were not always of his own making.

There is an extraordinary theory in existance that towards the end of Pope Paul's life, his place was taken by an actor. 'Evidence' is given by comparing the ears of the pontiff on photographs early in his pontificate to those in his latter years.

I would hate to think this were true - yet on looking at the Pope's ears on photographs I can see how this 'conspiracy theory' evolved.

Philip said...

Heaven forbid that I was implying that!

Ottaviani said...

Everyone knows the story of Pope Paul VI going into the sacristy on the Monday after Pentecost and seeing green vestments laid out for him, "Where is the red for the Octave of Pentecost? he asked. "But Holy Father you abolished it." Apparently the burst into tears.

In the words of Jennifer Patterson of the famed 'Two Fat Ladies': "That naughty Paul VI! He changed the mass!"

Ttony said...

Philip: I wonder sometimes if a pious legend is being confected that will somehow remove the Holy Father from what happened after Vatican II and make everything somehow "not Rome's fault". Each of Paul VI, JPI, JPII and BXVI have a responsibility for what happened on their watch.

Philip said...

Very true, Ttony, and I don't really think any of them would shy away from that. However, what their "supporters" get up to, especially after their deaths, is uncertain.

Jackie Parkes said...

We're having a wonderful octave...would you mind updating your blog link to my new one Fr? details on old blog..