Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Feast of St. Ann

Another thing about me that is most important is that I am a Catholic, raised before Vatican II, who still loves the traditions, liturgy and Gregorian chant that I knew in my childhood. The rosary is not merely a pretty string of beads, but a comforting prayer. The saints are not just dead people who lived a long time ago, but my friends whom I speak to frequently. Angels play a role in my life. Candles and incense have a place in my devotions and novenas are a comfortable way to mark days of intercession for family and friends as well as for my own needs.

Most of all I love the resonant Latin of my childhood, the beauty and mystery of Mass, Vespers and Benediction. One of the most important experiences in my life was singing in a Gregorian Chant Choir during the foundational early years of my adulthood. We were interested in monasticism and how the Divine Office could be incorporated into the life of lay people. On Sundays, in addition to singing Mass, we also sang Vespers, ate dinner together and finished the evening with Compline. That experience led to my decision to study at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, a momentous experience in my life.

So today I share that I am Catholic and that this is the feast of St. Ann, one of my favorite days of the year. From the Introit to the Communion the chant is beautiful and the Epistle reading is about the role of the good woman from Proverbs.

Technically now it is the Feast of St Ann and St Joachim and that is all right with me. After all a child raised by two parents is more blessed than one with only one parent. Since St Ann has been known colloquially as the "Grandmother of God", I wonder does this new tradition make St Joachim, the "Grandfather of God"? I hope so; I like the idea since grandfathers as well as grandmothers are important figures in our lives. It is appropriate to honor the fathers as well as the mothers in our lives.

For more of my thoughts about St. Ann, please see my Squidoo lens
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