Friday, August 19, 2011

Not St. Bernard's Day

For those interested, today is not the feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  Sure, a church might decide to declare that 19 August is now Bernard's Day.  It might also decide that from now on 23 December will be Christmas, that Michaelmas will be the 28th of September, or even that St. Monica's Day is 27 August.  Nevertheless, it doesn't make it so.  Not in my book.  Literally, not in my book.  I respectfully decline to participate in every new idea that a church body decides to extricate from its hinder region.


PrHertel said...

Might you be willing to flesh out your position a little more?

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Today's so-called commemoration of Bernard (they didn't even have the courage to refer to him as Saint Bernard) in Lutheran Service Book (p. xiii) is one of many examples of consciously nontraditionalist decision-making on the part of the makers of that book. In some of these decisions, they clearly and slavishly followed the modern Roman Rite (with its misguided notion of ressourcement). In some cases, they are following Eastern Orthodox ritual precedent. One thing is clear, there is a lack of a single unified principle in the approach taken. The traditionalist approach is certainly out the window.

In the case of Saint Bernard, his traditional feast, as you probably know, is tomorrow, 20 August (the day in 1153 on which he fell asleep in Clairvaux, and was born to his heavenly reward). They moved this, not a feast of merely local or parochial importance, but a universal feast, precisely one day, so that on the traditional date they could put a commemoration of Samuel. While Samuel is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology for 20 August, he does not have his own feast in the Western tradition. It is the Byzantine tradition whence this feast is derived.

In some cases following the Synod is to walk away from our own tradition. To the degree to which that is "synod" it is synod in the most crass and superficial way. That is, it is "synod" of the present, and shows disrespect for the practice that has gone before us.

Daniel Baker said...

Your point is fair and valid, good Deacon, and one with which I agree; however, I must confess that I would be content to celebrate the lives and acts of the saints at all, let alone on the anniversary of their birth to eternal life. Mentioning the word "saint" in the context a specific forebear in the faith is negligible at best in this synod - in fact, the new translation of Holy Scripture that our 'translation committee' is endorsing removes the term entirely:

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

Dcn Latif, I have always questioned the logic of those who compiled the LSB. My first question for them is "Why were three of the great fathers of the church combined on a day that is not common to any of the three?"

The structure of my Ordo Calendar has been questioned many times. I always answer that I follow the historic calendar of the historic Western Rite.

Holy Church has developed her calendar over a span of 2000 years. Why should a calendar that has withstood the test of time suddenly need to be revised?

Liturgically, my rule-of-thumb is "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."

As for removing the title of
Saint from these new designations, the logic behind this decision boggles the mind.

Michael L. Anderson, M.D. said...

The magisterial "translation committee" of Mr. Baker's synod is only being consistent to its peculiar traditions. But remove crossing from one's catechetical rituals, and one will predictably end up with the absence of saints (or at least with an absence of saints possessing twice-daily-sealed foreheads and breasts, anyway).

As for consistency and the matter of St. Bernard, the saint can perhaps take some comfort that the LSB Lutherans do not even proclaim blessed martyr Robert Barnes as worthy of the designation (cf. July 30). And the responsible crew can't claim that this avoidance was done, in the name of consistency and a sudden loyal obeisance to the traditional observance days of the historic Western Rite.

Although given the confused dizziness, I wouldn't put it past the bunch.