Even Homer Nods....

For a long time now I have been attracted to Benedictine spirituality. About a year ago I got myself a copy of the Rule with commentary (Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary by Terrence G. Kardong, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1996) and have been having a good time working my way through it (for you Latin wonks: this is not a new text--it uses the text established by Dom Jean Neufville in Sources Chr├ętiennes). My attraction to the Benedictine way of doing things is only strengthened by the long and very salutary tradition of liturgical excellence among Benedictines. So you can imagine my horror when I saw this photograph from the Easter preparations of St. Benedict's Parish in Baltimore, MD. In the third photograph down, those are baskets of plastic easter eggs sitting in little niches in the Communion Rail. As the photo caption makes rather excruciatingly explicit, this was not merely the doing of some over-zealous but simple-minded parishioner.

Well, sure, you must be thinking, no right-thinking Christian would use anything less than real eggs to conjure up images of the easter bunny among the folks coming forward to receive Holy Communion. It should be pointed out, however, that in this secular day and age, any symbol of pagan fertility rites will do, just so long as folks are not sleeping at the switch when they make their reception of Our Lord at Easter. To prove how hard the parish is working on this, check out this photo set, where you can see that they have managed to get past that rather old-fashioned "Mary, Mother of God" nonsense and have updated the name of the Feast to "New Year's Day". I think "Celebration" means that it's still counted as a Sollemnity--especially when it falls on a Sunday--but I can't tell whether it's still one of the HDO or not.

Oh well...there's remains one remnant of hope...

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