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Turning green again…

Turning green again…

On Sunday, we’ll celebrate the fantastic Solemnity of Pentecost… and on Monday, we’ll arrive in Ordinary Time once more, which can be a bit like finding yourself in a 30 zone all of a sudden, without an intermediary 40 zone.

Through the post the other day came a 1936 Daily Missal.  It contains, among many, many other things, a list of Privileged Octaves.  It appears that in the ‘olden days’ there were two Privileged Octaves of the First Order.  One was Easter, which we still keep, and the other was Pentecost, which we don’t.  Reflecting upon this, I wondered if the Octave of Pentecost was treated like that 40 zone buffer, but I doubt it.  We have to climb down from the holy mountain at some point and we’ll have been there for 50 days, after all.  If anything, I should think a Pentecost octave would make the return to liturgical green harder, having formally basked in the Holy Spirit that much longer.

There’s another dimension though, and this one not so abstemious:  there’s nothing ‘ordinary’ about Ordinary Time.  Without a specific octave of Pentecost, we can view the rest of the year as one great ‘octave’ of the Holy Spirit; and the workings of the Holy Spirit are never ‘ordinary’.  Perhaps what we need to do – as the Easter season draws to a close and liturgical green approaches once more – is to gather together the fruits of our journey through Lent, the graces of Easter and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and make a determined effort to apply all of that to living out Ordinary Time extraordinarily well, always being aware of the Holy Spirit working through and with us.

Also contained within the gilt-edged pages of my ancient volume is the Sequence for Pentecost, Veni, Sancte Spiritus.  The sequence illuminates the Gospel and serves to expand for us the prayer on our lips and in our hearts during the days of this novena.  Below is sequence in translation (by Sr. Irene Nowell, OSB) for your own reflection.

Come, Holy Spirit,
And send out from heaven
Your radiant light.

Come, father of the poor,
Come, giver of gifts,
Come, light of our hearts.

Best consoler,
Sweet guest of the soul,
Sweetness of cool refreshment.

Rest in labor,
Relief in heat,
Consolation in weeping.

O most blessed light,
Fill the center of the hearts
Of your faithful.

Without your divine power,
There is nothing in humans,
Nothing is innocent.

Wash what is soiled,
Water what is dry,
Heal what is wounded.

Bend what is rigid,
Warm what is chilled,
Guide what is astray.

Give to your faithful,
Who trust in you,
The seven sacred gifts.

Give the reward of virtue,
Give the goal of salvation,
Give eternal joy.

Amen. Alleluia.

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