Elizabeth or Red/White/Blue?

The Vox Nova commentariat is “predictably” vigorous in discussing tomorrow’s optional memorial or votive Mass for Us independence. The Catholic Peace Fellowship is solidly in Elizabeth’s court. I can’t buck that decision.

I knew one priest who absolutely insisted on observing the woman rather than the nation on the 4th.

What do you think?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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11 Responses to Elizabeth or Red/White/Blue?

  1. Liam says:

    Well, Michael I’s attitude strikes me as as prissy, priggish and self-righteously superior as the American-As-Chosen-Nation crowd. Both are unattractive and unCatholic, but use Christianity for material ends. A priest elevating his sense of relationship to country (hijacking the Church in the process) over that of his congregation is certainly no prettier and even less justified than a priest pounding his congregation for its moral failings – how some feel to see the similarity here amazes me.

    If you have a Lusophone community with a devotion to St Isabel/Elizabeth, be sure to observe the optional memorial. After all, isn’t the progressive inclination to hew to cults of saints from the ground up? Insisting on a top-down approach uniquely here to require a memorial where liturgical law doesn’t require it strikes me as anti-progressive (but another great example of how seeming to do something progressive rather undermines other progressive principles).

    Outside of that, I’d probably recommend the USCCB’s approved votive approach. Expressing love of, and prayer for, country in the overall context of gratitude to God is a perfectly Catholic Christian thing to do. The Church does not approve an antiseptic approach to dividing church and state because to do so would be to try to antiseptically compartmentalize people, who cannot be objectified that way.

  2. Both are unattractive and unCatholic, but use Christianity for material ends.

    I assure you, I am not “using” Christianity for anything. My beliefs about the celebration of u.s. civil holidays such as July 4th flow from my faith, not the other way around. In fact, I one held very different views than I do now. It was my faith that changed my politics.

    If you have a Lusophone community with a devotion to St Isabel/Elizabeth, be sure to observe the optional memorial.

    St Elizabeth’s feast day is not the optional memorial as if the celebration of July 4th is the default. July 4th is an american holiday, and we are a global Church. Independence Day is an optional celebration. The default, this year, is Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time.

  3. Liam says:

    Michael

    Your self-righteous self-superior tone about those who might rightly remember the national day with the approved votive mass for the day smells not from Christianity but of this world as an inversion of the America-Is-A-Chosen-Nation mentality.

    The Missal and its instructions do not elevate an optional memorial above a votive mass for various needs. The celebrant is free to choose.

    Your point would be better made if it did not imply that there was something wrong with celebrants exercising their licit choice in this mass with regard to the choice of mass. You went far over what you needed to do to make your point, and thereby obscured meritorious cautions in your point. I call liturgical conservatives out when they do this, and, as Todd knows, I feel honor bound to call out liturgical progressives likewise, however noble the intention.

    It’s very easy for the “sides” to imitate each other in ideological zeal. Ideological zeal is not Christian zeal, for it elevates ideas over people.

  4. Ideas can be deadly, Liam, and they have proven so in the case of the american project.

    If you think my tone “smells not from Christianity,” try reading some Tertullian.

    Cheers,
    m

  5. Liam says:

    Michael

    If Tertullian discussed the celebrant’s choice of optional memorials vs votive masses, I would be surprised. Please provide the citation to his discussion.

    Trying to hijack a celebrant’s choice of licit liturgical options into a ideological death match is quite the trick, though. Reminds me of the development of the American national security state. As I said, ideological reactions tend to merely invert the ideology. That’s not Christian, but ideological.

  6. I used the Mass for Independence Day, and prayed the office for Elizabeth.

    Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart was an option, for first Friday.

    And I thought of a Votive Mass of the Blessed Mother, since she is patroness of our country. That would be perfect next year, when the day falls on Saturday.

  7. If Tertullian discussed the celebrant’s choice of optional memorials vs votive masses, I would be surprised. Please provide the citation to his discussion.

    I was referring to your remark about my “tone.” Of course Tertullian didn’t write about this issue, since the situation itself would have been absurd in his day. Which is precisely my point.

    Trying to hijack a celebrant’s choice of licit liturgical options into a ideological death match is quite the trick, though.

    Hijacking? No one’s hijacking anything. I find your unwillingness to critically reflect on our ecclesial practices dangerous.

  8. Liam says:

    Wow. Dangerous. Another hijacking. Everything is turned into DEFCON 1. Very ideological.

    Instead of decrying the celebrant’s licit choice of the votive mass in a self-superior tone (it smacks of a latter day version of Luke 18:11-12: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of American Catholics–nationalist, violent, unChristian, unreflective and dim-witted–or even like those who celebrate a votive Mass for Independence Day. I know that the Church really wants everyone to celebrate the optional memorial for Elizabeth of Portugal.”), how about simply cautioning celebrants not to turn the votive into something it’s not? Aping Tertullian on this matter is mightily grandiose – and, yes, ideological rather than Christian.

    I have very decided views about the America-as-Chosen-Nation heresy. You might find out that I actually agree with you a lot. But I find your aping of Tertullian precisely the gambit most likely to make a mockery of what you supposedly champion.

  9. Liam says:

    I should add that Elizabeth of Portugal, while a patroness of peacemakers, is an ironic choice for your particular cause here. She was the grandaughter of an emperor, and daughter/wife/mother of kings. She was devoted to the poor and led the classic life of self-denial of pious medieval royalty, but her peacemaking was in the service of the royal dynasty and government, not in overthrowing them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that from my Seinfeldian perspective here, but it seems a bit at odds with your philosophy.

  10. Rob F. says:

    The votive mass for the needs of the country is there in the missal to be used. In the US, I can’t think of a better day to use that mass than July 4.

    For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been saying a votive office to Our Lady of the Immmaculate Conception on Independence Day (observed), because she is the patroness of our country. It has been a rewarding practive, and I recommend it to others.

  11. Liam says:

    And actually the propers of the votive mass are directly about peace, unlike the propers for the optional memorial.

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