August 15, 2013 by lucieromarin
There are a few Feasts left in the calendar which make me feel that I know how Christmas felt to the early Church. They have the same lightness and beauty and slight party-feeling of Christmas, but none of the burdens – no tinny music in shops for three months beforehand, no consumerism, no horrible abbreviations, no exhausting liturgical marathon, and no dreary obligations to distant relatives.
All Saints is one such feast. For All Saints, our chaplain puts his entire collection (for want of a better word) of relics on the side altar, and, as he has over three hundred of them, the place glitters like Aladdin’s Cave. And what’s not to love about the Litany of the Saints? It’s like an electrical charge running from heaven to earth and all around the earth. The names aren’t just points in our history; they’re like the stops on the organ; as you press each button, each lights up, and the sound grows richer and fuller; each is a switch, flicked to ‘On’, releasing a part of that charge.
Today, the Assumption, is another such Feast. Assumption means (given the right combination of enthusiastic schola-members) a little spectacular mid-week choral music. It means a bit of dressing up, and the pleasure of “Happy Feast!’ greetings, seeing real smiles and holiday-lightness in other people’s eyes. It means seeing seeing life spring up around Our Lady’s statue in the form of flowers and fruit and herbs, her corner of the chapel suddenly coloured and scented with all the variety of grown things. And, when I see children running about after Mass, happily chomping into the apples and oranges they’d normally resent in the presence of cake, I feel like I know how this fruit tasted – oranges especially – in the ages when they were rare. On Assumption day, children don’t hate fruit. It tastes to them as God intended it to taste. Miraculous!