Low Sunday

The Strife is O’er
Entrance Processional, Easter 2021

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Holy Week is concluded, and Low Sunday usually merits its title. The solemnities are accomplished, the lilies are going quickly in the heat, our many guests and visitors are gone. “Now and again” parishioners have had their ticket punched. Sweet memories fade, but the graces are solid if we but hang on to them, as is the growth at St. Gertrude the Great, if our new members hang on to that holy “Faith which has overcome the world.” Again this year our Holy Week attendance broke records. For awhile in the 80s, when we were the only “Latin Mass” in town, we had 450 or so for Easter, but Holy Week itself never drew the full church with which Almighty God was honored these days. Thanks be to God.

On that same historical note, St. Gertrude was not left long in undisturbed possession of the True Mass. Soon enough the Archdiocese sponsored one for those who would accept Vatican II, only ignore it. Pius X returned to town eventually for those who wanted Fr. Cekada’s Cardboard Pope, and one foot in the New Church. Divisions and splits came in time, thorns with which we were crowned as well, signs of God’s approval. But how curious that it took Covid, the Scamdemic, to push the solid growth of this last year. God’s ways are not surely man’s ways.

Every Easter Octave I contemplate with wonder what happened exactly one week before. The final preparations Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday’s first Tenebrae, with its so moving Miserere, the haunting finale each night of “the wake of Jesus Christ.” The exquisite Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet which conclude the First Nocturn have that same quality of sorrow turned into sublime beauty.

Holy Thursday’s Pontifical began with glorious organ and the solemn vesting of the bishop, and ended by bits, confusedly, after Our Lord’s Burial in the Sepulchre. The murmured Vespers and slow stripping of the altars proceeded as some began their visits to the Repository. Others checked on lunch. Soon we were set up for the Maundy, the Foot Washing. It’s hard to get the feet just right to render them kissable. Humble work.

I had some questions about the Tre Ore, so I hope to do an explanation later. What a fine Easter Vigil, and only four and a half hours! What an elegant and abundant Easter luncheon. Our ladies outdid themselves in content and presentation. I’m sure the Easter Egg Hunt was as cute and charming as ever. I got talking to one of our guests, a visiting professor from Urbana, Illinois, and missed it.

Easter Sunday was, well…Easter. A parishioner stopped me to say that the High Mass was the most magnificent she had ever attended. I concur. Deo gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The only thing missing were the eggs this Easter. We had some nice devilled ones (odd title!) but nary a one of the dyed Easter eggs in my line of vision. Covid shortages? Still, it was a wondrous Easter.

Fr. McGuire, after all his exertions, had the energy to get out Holy Saturday afternoon (Fr. McKenna was in the confessional) and buy some green beans and sweet potatoes to complement our unusually tender gift of ham for our Easter dinner, and we all had the energy to eat it, and some Italian cake, before collapsing. Vespers concluded our day. Freddy came by to help sing, visiting Mr. Thomas Ojeka played a bit on the organ, and two faithful women represented the rest at the now glorious sepulchre. Many, many confessions all week long.

Meanwhile, occultists masquerading as Traditional Catholics are active even within Sedevacantist circles. Acknowledging the Modernist Novus Ordo hierarchy for the wolves in sheep’s clothing that they are isn’t enough, there are other deceivers in disguise who are just as, if not even more, dangerous. Some of these occultists in Catholic garb are more obvious to us, yet most of these Neognostics who walk amongst us are exceedingly clever and insidious…and not so easy to spot. True Restoration has recently published two articles (and a supplementary translation) that explain the essential nature of these occultist-gnostics, how to recognize them, and most importantly how to best guard against their evil influence. I highly recommend “Observations on the Influence of the Occult in Traditional Catholic Discourse – Simplified overview” for a general introduction; and for an issue more pertinent to the Sedevacantist scene that further explains their modus operandi, “What is Perennialism and Why we Should Know About it?” is a must-read.

I hope you had a blessed Easter, and all the Fathers thank you for all you did and gave, including lovely cards and, of course, the food! Easter is nice because we get to show our Faith by eating.

– Bishop Dolan