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Friday, March 25, 2011

Lady Day

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation.

For obvious reasons, it falls just nine months before the Feast of the Nativity. It is a reminder of the Incarnation, of God's willingness to to take on human flesh, in order to buy it back from sin, death and Hell. Ancient Christians also identified March 25 as the date of the Creation and of the Crucifixion -- tying up much of God's work in a single package.

We all celebrate in our own ways. Zuhlsdorf has posted the old and new Collects of the Roman Rite, which are well worth a read. If not leading a public service, one might celebrate by saying the Angelus. And of course, as a feast, it is arguably an opportunity to relax one's Lenten discipline.

The editors of Lutheran formularies, for their part, have historically chosen to celebrate by providing a collect (used after comunion in the Gelasian sacramentary) which fails to mention the Virgin Mary. To whom, we hasten to point out, the Incarnation was actually announced. For pity's sake.


Mark C. Christianson said...

On the collect for the day... It would appear that the choice of a collect that doesn't mention Mary simply follows the choice of the original version of the Book of Common Prayer four and a half centuries ago. Still a strange choice, but perhaps more understandable in the context of mid-16th-century Protestant England.

Father Anonymous said...

I was going to mention that the Anglicans use the same collect -- and that, although I have debated the precise degree here once or twice before, there is no real question that the Joint Committee on the Common Service were a bunch of copycats.

Still, the bottom line is this: we should change the collect. Someday, when the successor volume to ELW is prepared -- and with any luck, that will be next week -- I propose that we all demand a Lady Day collect that mentions the Lady.

Anonymous said...

How terribly catholic of you, father.

mark said...

I always get it mixed up with Billie Holiday but then "God Bless the Child" ain't in the ELW (which already has several successors anyway) either.