Turning of the Seasons

So, the seasons are definitely changing.

School has started, activities are ramping up for the girls, the air during morning walks to school with G has become more crisp.

Football season has started. I’ve never really paid much attention to this one before but living a few streets away from a major football stadium has brought it to my attention in a whole new way and greatly complicates both errands and parking.

The program year at church is also ramping up. I’ve been asked to serve as assistant director of altar guild and there are plans in the works for some Christian Ed work as well—we’re going to start a Sunday morning spiritual formation program for adults as well as children; I’m just trying to figure a way that it doesn’t conflict with choir for those who want to do both.

Solemn High Mass season started too. We did the Solemnity of the Holy Cross as our big kick-off event on Sunday so I was in my tunicle and Lil’ G was boat-girl. Things went well, God was duly worshiped, and the congregation edified in Word and Sacrament. Expect more postings that relate to the altar guild matters as I’ve found a number of the classic manuals for cheap through Amazon and perusing those will probably spark posting topics. I’ve also broken down and ordered a copy of Fortescue; Smokey Mary’s is what I consider a Novus Ordo Anglo-Catholic place, St George’s was straight-up Ritual Notes, so I’ve never needed Fortescue. From what I’m discovering about the Bal’mer Missal tradition, it’s much more heavily Fortescue than Ritual Notes.

14 Replies to “Turning of the Seasons”

  1. Fortescue is great to have nearby for reference. It’s what our head MC uses to find the answers to tough questions like “Should the acolytes with their tapers precede or follow the crucifer when the way is narrow?” Follow, says Fortescue, so we changed this a couple of years ago. We’ve recently added two candles to the high altar (on the gradine, of course, not the table of the altar itself), one on either side of the tabernacle, and these are lighted for Solemn High Mass along with the usual “big six.” I would contend, were I qualified to contend about anything, that Fortescue really doesn’t want both the “big six” and two others up there; the two may be placed there and lighted for Low Mass, but it “is better” to remove them for High Mass and just have the six. But far be it from me to complain about more candles! Basically, Fortescue is used in our sacristy as an authoritative voice but not the final arbiter of what happens in our sanctuary (that would be the rector, who consults with the head MC about any changes before making them).

  2. The obvious difference is the rite that they’re written for: Ritual Notes is for the 1662 English BCP and Fortescue is the Roman Missal (my version will be the Reid revision since SP). As a result, both have to be adapted for the American rites whether ’28/’79 BCP or one of the Missals. My sense is that there’s more imported Roman material in our style here and less Anglican mingling as promoted in RN. So, in brief, this tradition seems more Anglo-Papalist to me than the RN uses I’ve seen.

    I’ll do a closer comparison once I’ve got it…

  3. Thanks. I thought RN was more or less a translation of Fortescue, O’Connell etc. Didn’t know it was for 1662. Sounds like a continuation of Directorium Anglicanum.

  4. It will be interesting to see what you find out about the Missal Tradition in Baltimore. I’m sure you will speak to Fr. C and maybe he can shed more light on how said parish evolved from pure Missal, complete with Last Gospel, to a missalized Rite II while retaining much of the same ceremony. I understand that another parish in our fair city used the Novus Ordo in the 1970s before returning to the Missal, while yet another currently uses the Anglican Service Book. You will have to visit to experience the accompanying ceremony, but I am vaguely remembering the Fortescue you have described.
    As for adult Sunday School, yes, please!

  5. Also, is RN trying to tridentinise BCP ceremonial like Dearmer tried to (modified) mediævalise it? If so it seems to explain classic biretta-belt practice (modifying for 1928), for which RN was a standard, yes?

  6. Derek and sibs, I know this is tangential, and might best be addressed elsewhere; but, Derek, I’d be interested in your reflections as one knowledgeable in medieval liturgics on the rituals of major football stadia. Having loved my years in marching band, I am quite conscious of the liturgies attendant to the game. I also have this conviction that a thousand years from now archaeologists will look at these major cultic sites (Neyland Stadium at my alma mater, Tennessee, will hold almost 110,000 souls!) and imagine strange and wonderful rites.

  7. Now that malls are dying out – good riddance; waste of resources – would you say football stadia are our new cathedrals? (Which would make the Super Bowl the full papal Mass.)

  8. Marshall,

    Football is the perfect and eloquent answer for all those who believe that modern Americans have no interest in or appetite for ceremonial.

  9. As a long-ago member of the Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band, I’d have to say the Football Saturday order of events had a very quasi-liturgical feel, which I found thrilling. Certain preparations were always done a certain way, and then at some precise minute (like 12:09 p.m. or something), everyone involved in making things happen at the stadium and several blocks away on the drill field proceeded like clockwork: call to attention, beginning of drumline cadence, march to the stadium (filled with layers of traditional motions and vocalizations that have built up over the years), movement into the tunnel with required noises and touching of a certain sign, call to attention, whistled signal indicating tempo, speedy and dramatic entrance to the field, identical weekly musical prelude with hymns (fight song and alma mater), standard cheers, speedy and dramatic exit from field and taking up of choir stalls (er, band seats), continuing role providing music at defined moments…all the way to the postgame ritual both on the field and back at the drill field. I believe all of this started at 12:09 p.m. for a 1 p.m. game. For major games against archrivals, the entire week before the game is also filled with required rituals and display of posters bearing messages in questionable taste.

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