We Lutherans -- "we" being the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, insofar as the name has not been removed or hidden so people don't think we're some kind of frozen chosen, maintenance rather than missional mentality, or wannabe Catholics stuck in a Eurocentric liturgical straight-jacket for worship rather than ablaze to bring you to a critical event and get you all on fire with our praise band -- are about to celebrate the Feast of St Monica on 27 August.
Thing is, the Feast of St Monica is 4 May. Has been since there's been such a feast, the Lutheran Reformation didn't have an issue with it until Vatican II did and moved it, so of course we follow suit as if Vatican II were held in St Louis.
Huh? Who cares? What difference does that make? And
who is and why bother about this Monica anyway? The last Monica anyone
heard about was Lewinsky! Besides, it's all adiaphora, right, why
trample on my Christian Freedom with all this dead weight from the
OK, Monica was the mother of St Augustine. Geez,
whozzat? Well, arguably the most influential Christian theologian
ever. We'll leave whether that was for better or worse, as well as
biographies of Augustine or Monica, aside here. You can check that out at Section
VIII of Eastern Church/Empire, Western Church/Empire, 2012, on this
Except for this: Augustine was quite non-Christian, anti-Christian
really, held the most prestigious professorship in his time, and his
conversion was brought about in part by the example and prayers of his
Christian mother, Monica, which is why the church honours her.
When the church sets up a day in honour of someone,
the traditional practice is to choose the day on which the person
died, if known, since that is the day they were born into eternity. St
Augustine's date of death, his heavenly birthday, is 28 August 430,
so 28 August is his feast.
St Monica's feast day was not a part of the overall
observance of the Western Church for about three-fourths of its elapsed
history to date, until about the time of the Council of Trent in the
Sixteenth Century. However, it was long observed by the Augustinian
Order. Geez, whazzat?
The "Augustinian Order" is a rather motley
assortment of religious associations rather than a clear cut single
entity, all of them tracing their origin to St Augustine and his rule
of life, or regula in Latin. That's what it literally is to be regular
-- you live under a regula, or rule. Readers here may have heard of
one such Augustinian. Guy named Martin Luther. Anyway, in the
Augustinian Order but not the church as a whole there was, besides the
observance of the feast of St Augustine on 28 August, another one
whose focus was his conversion to Christianity, which conversion in
turn influenced the entire church.
This Augustinian feast, the Feast of the Conversion
of St Augustine, was/is celebrated on 5 May. So they celebrated the
single biggest human factor in bringing about that conversion, the
example and prayers of his mother, St Monica, the day before, 4 May.
The Conversion feast never did make it into the overall Roman
Calendar, and when St Monica's did, since her date of death is not
known, the traditional Augustinian date was retained, 4 May. Simple.
And retained in the Lutheran Reformation for centuries. Until the Revolution. Er, Vatican II.
One of the stated aims of the "liturgical reform" at
Vatican II was to pare down the historical hodgepodge of stuff into
something more straightforward and accessible. So they effectively
banned the old order and came up with an entirely new order (novus
ordo), sporting four "Eucharistic Prayers", several new options for
other key parts of the Mass, a new lectionary of readings spread out
over three years, and a new calendar -- a new hodgepodge crafted from
an even wider spread of historical sources than the old hodgepodge that was supposed to be pared down! Oh well, it was the 1960s
after all. I guess you gotta make allowances for that.
One small item in this was relocating the Feast of
St Monica to 27 August, the day before the feast of her son. There's a
logic to that. And as far as the institution of Christ and fidelity
to Scripture goes, you can celebrate the Feast of St Monica on 4 May,
27 August, any other day, or not at all.
However, it's not the 1960s any more. You don't have
to be a rocket scientist to learn or be taught that we honour St
Monica not because of her physical motherhood of St Augustine but
because of her example in the conversion of her pagan son, who went on
to be one of the church's greatest saints, and that we do so on 4 May
because in the religious order that looks to her son as their patron
saint they had long celebrated Monica on 4 May, the day before they
celebrated the conversion of their patron on 5 May. And then to stay
connected to and become a part of that ongoing history by leaving it
there rather than turning one's back on all that and relocating it.
Sorry, Roman dudes. There already was a liturgical
reform. It was to pare down all right, but in view of what contradicts
Scripture, not our ideas of what makes something more "accessible",
and to zealously guard and defend the worship of the church's existing
order, not invent a new one. It's called the Lutheran Reformation.
You're a few centuries late to the party. If the Roman hierarchy and
associated academics are going to busy themselves with something other
than preaching Christ and him crucified, and along the way explain the
history of this movement, let them put off the period clothes, get
married and raise a family and learn something of real benefit to their
fellow man, like heating and air conditioning repair.
Yet, we and other Christian bodies now fall in line
with them as if there had been no Reformation! The 1960s Roman novus
ordo, with emendations and adaptations, is now the common property of
pretty much all other heterodox Christian denominations with
liturgical aspirations, rather than the traditional order of the
And "our beloved synod" falls into line too, even
those parts of it trying to remain true to our Confessions in the Book
of Concord. We moan and groan why other parts of our beloved synod
seem to be heading off on all sorts of tangents, or rather, variations
on the tangent of chasing after the success in attracting numbers of
the American suburban "evangelical" megachurches.
We wonder how our people could be taken in by these
false hopes and promises. Yet, why should our people not wonder why
these are not also valid options that we can Lutheranise, when we set Lutheranised "options" modelled after
1960s Rome before them as confessional, side by side with our common catholic history -- this
historical mass and that Vatican II For Lutherans mass, this historical
lectionary and that Vatican II For Lutherans lectionary, this
historical calendar and that Vatican II For Lutherans calendar. Why not
listen to Willow Creek and Saddleback and Lakewood too with their
false hopes and promises when we adopt and adapt the stinking filth of
the Whore of Babylon as it toys with our catholic heritage? Why should
they not think it's all about options, personal preference, all OK?
We let something in through the back door then wonder why it comes
knocking at the front!
Even in a small matter like when a saint's day is
observed the whole rotten Roman mess in the church is revealed, and
its adoption/adaptation by other church bodies!
St Monica gave St Augustine physical birth, but her
greatness for which we honour her is not that but in her role in his
spiritual birth, his conversion, in this life. Therefore she is better
honoured by leaving her day where it is for the reason it is there,
or better yet finally inserting the Conversion into the Calendar,
rather than moving her feast day from a day which does have inherent
reference to her to the day before her son's feast, which does not.
Jacking around with the feast of St Monica is a small
example but typical of a big issue. Once again, the calendar,
lectionary and ordo of Vatican II all miss the mark, even of its own
intended reform. They are the products not of the Christian church,
but one denomination, and that headed by an office bearing the marks
of Anti-Christ -- regardless of its current occupancy by a nice and
learned German guy -- and now are the common property of all heterodox
liturgical churches in the West, utterly irrelevant to Christ's Church
and therefore should be utterly irrelevant to Lutherans.
Right along with Saddleback, Willow Creek and
Lakewood, Rome no less than they offers "contemporary worship" whose
forms derive from and express a content that is not ours and rejects
ours, derived from an agenda that is not ours and rejects ours, and
therefore into which our content does not fit nor should we try to
make it fit, and when we do, we abandon that part of our mission which
is to zealously guard and defend the mass, for the most part
retaining the ceremonies previously in use.
+ The Holy Prophet Ezekiel + - 21 July, Old Testament [image: Ezekiel] Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, was a priest, called by God to be a prophet to the exiles during the Babylonian captivity...
3 minutes ago