A Fast for the Feast by Anthony Esolen

Illuminations

A Fast for
the Feast

Anthony Esolen on Pope Gregory the Great's Audi, benigne Conditor

We are a Resurrection People," say the bishops of the Catholic Church in Canada, and therefore we will keep kneeling at Mass to the barest minimum. "We are a Resurrection People," said the priests and theologians in my youth, and therefore we will not have priests wear black for funerals, and we will replace the crucifix above the sanctuary with the risen Christ free-floating from the Cross behind. When I was a small boy, we were required to fast from the previous midnight before we received Communion. Now, we Catholics are required to "fast" one hour before, and since one hour is about what it takes to get in the car, drive to church, get settled there, and hear Mass before Communion, all that it means, practically, is that we aren't to be munching on cookies in the pews. I suppose that that, too, is because "We are a Resurrection People," so, although we may not be a Grammar People or a Scripture People or an Obedience People, we can indulge the body as we please. It's only the body, after all.

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Anthony Esolen is the author of over thirty books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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