3 July 2009

Last Gospels

I think it's probably the idea of "Bubbles" Stancliff, Bishop of Salisbury, a resolute enemy of our Integrity but a very High Church lover of exotic ritual novelty: the Ritualists' ritualist. The idea? "Resurrect the Last Gospel"! It's suggested in a recent semi-official book of Fancy Rituals which I won't give you the details of because I disapprove of that sort of thing and I wouldn't want anyone to go out and buy a copy (I haven't. Give me the sober dignity which characterises both traditional Roman Liturgy and the old ethos of the C of E, any day of the week.)

The idea? To bring back the last Gospel. No; not the traditional Johannine prologue. This new idea is perhaps inspired more by the (rather late) Roman Rubric providing for a variety of different Last Gospels (usually from important Masses which have been reduced to a commemoration in the Mass which one has just said).

The new "Bubbles" style Last Gospels would conclude Mass on Festivals with a brief Reading which would summarise the theme and meaning of the festival, and be ringing in the ears of the faithful as they left church.

Moving chairs on the Titanic, do I hear you say? Well, yes, but the Bubbleses of this world do not believe in icebergs.

5 comments:

Fr William said...

I hadn't realised there was precedent (of a sort) for a variable "Last Gospel". What of the even greater oddity: on certain days (Ascension, Pentecost, possibly others I haven't yet spotted) moving the key narrative reading out of the Liturgy of the Word and into the "Gathering" (Introductory Rites), before the Gloria? The only even vague parallel I can think of is the Palm Gospel, but surely taking that as a precedent would be to misunderstand the nature of the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entry and its relationship to the ensuing Mass?

Malcolm Kemp said...

Variable Last Gospels feature - notably during Lent - in the 1933 edition of the English Missal. It appears that during Lent you had Mass of the Feria with the Gopsel of an occuring feast read as the Last Gospel.

Rubricarius said...

In the old Roman rite there is a proper last Gospel in todays Mass for the feast of St. Leo II for the commemorated day within the octave of SS Peter and Paul!

Fr.Ogs said...

As to not believing in icebergs, why do they keep saying things like, 'It's not about money!'? Is it because if they say it is (about money) the people will start chipping in like mad and, of course, 'He who pays the piper, calls the tune.', so their role as management would be undercut? would they rather 'manage' the Church into extinction than cede one iota of their power?

motuproprio said...

The only variation in the Last Gospel I remember from being brought up in an English Missal parish was the Day Mass of Christmas, when the Gospel of the day is John's Prologue and so the Last Gospel for that day was that of Epiphany.