04 December 2009

St. Barbara

As well as being the feast day of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church, today is also the feast of the very popular St. Barbara. At least, that is, on the traditional calendar of the Roman Church. She, alas, with many other popular favorites (e.g. St. Christopher, St. Valentine), fell under the axe of the liturgical deformers. I've mentioned before, I think, that the overhaul of the calendar of saints is, in my opinion, one of the most grievous aspects of the post-VII liturgical deform. I say this because it reached not only into the public liturgy of the Church, but also into the private "liturgy" of the domestic church. The various customs which prevailed throughout much of the Church, by which the people marked the days and seasons, were suddenly felt to be on only a thin foundation. How does one still cut branches from an apple tree, to put in a vase and to water until Christmas, waiting for them to blossom with the coming of the Messiah, if St. Barbara has no more feast day?

Ostensibly acting in the name of the people, for the sake of the people, the liturgical "experts" proceeded to alter almost everything within their reach (it was only an intervention of the pope which prevented the liturgical commission from obliterating even the Roman Canon, the beating heart of the Church's spiritual life) according to their intellectualist notions of how things should be, and in doing so, ripped the rug right out from under the feet of the people whom they claimed to represent.

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