8 January 2008

Church Attics and the EF

Last Sunday Father once again showed his fondness for rummaging through the attic of the Church by wearing an old fiddleback chasuble. It was a gold brocade beauty. There's a black one he sometimes wears (usually on All Soul's and Good Friday) that's really nice too. There are also a few copes that he trots out for the appropriate times.

After Mass my wife and I spoke to him for a few minutes. Puff asked him about the Extraordinary Form, and if it would be possible at St. C's. His answer was a simple no, not at the moment, because he is not formed in that rite. This was a fair answer. Most priests his age have no formation in the Extraordinary Form. But he went on to say that he was curious about the rite, and hinted he may seek formation. This was a bit of a surprise, though not as much if, say, he hadn't been wearing the chasuble. The fact that he is so fond of looking in the attic and opening up old chests, the care he has taken in preserving the building for future generations tells me he is a man to whom the past speaks with a strong voice. That he would be curious about the ancient rite is an extension of that principle.

I tried to encourage him in his curiosity. "You should go for it," I said. "Fiddlebacks are so you!" He laughed.

I don't know what, if anything, will come of this. I don't know if he'll ever get the formation. He is a busy, busy man, taking care of two parishes. For the moment, that doesn't really matter to me. He is not hostile, as are some priests I know. He is at least willing to discuss the matter, and that's something.

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