The Epistle: now begins the instruction. The priest moves to the right and reads the Collect and Epistle. We follow along in our missal, or listen to the sweet sound of Latin.
Gazing upon the icon of Christ Ascending into Heaven, adored by Mary and John the Baptist, with Our Lady protector of the Veil on top. It is easy to get lost in an icon, there’s something incomprehensible about them, guiding us to the mystery of God.
In the old calendar, before Vatican II, the Mass readings repeated often. There was only one year of readings for Sundays and for during the week, if there is no feast day, the Sunday readings are read again, and if there is a feast day, the Saint’s readings are determined by their life: all confessor bishops who are not martyrs have one set of readings, all Virgin martyrs have a set of readings, and so forth. Some have special readings separate from the standard, but many simply share readings.
At first I was very off put by this lack of the Bible. I loved delving into whole books over the course of a week in the Novus Ordo.
But one person, I don’t remember where I read it, but I’ll never forget, made the assertion that with so many different readings you don’t learn the readings. Or to put it the other way, by repeating the readings over and over they become so familiar in our hearts that they are like old friends.
And in that way your heart is transformed by the Word.
In the past couple months of going to Latin daily, I’ve started to love the repetition of the readings. Not only are they becoming familiar like the author above said, but each feast day FEELS like the feast day of the Saint.
It’s one thing to name the Saint in the collect and canon of the Mass in the Novus Ordo and quite another to read the readings for a Martyr not a Bishop for the third time that month because these Saints’ lives revolved around these readings and the message within.
Or to read that while he is a Bishop Confessor, the Gospel should be about moving mountains because St. Gregory actually told a mountain to move to make room for a church to be built and it did.
It makes the feasts of the Church feel alive.
The church in this painting is the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago, IL US. Painted as an illustration for Kimberly Fries’ book: Traditional Latin Mass: A Missal for Children found here: https://amzn.to/3FnasK0
(For the Latin Mass loving Catholics checking for Churches to go to, this is a Benedictine Monastery. They celebrate the Novus Ordo but in Latin and very reverently with beautiful chant. They also allow the laity to join them in the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin throughout the day. 100% worth the visit.)
Want me to paint your church? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote. I paint from photo references and can add priests/servers if needed.