The Infant of Prague in the Church of Our Lady of Victories
It seems that the Czech Republic is on the verge of re-instating Good Friday as a national day off, despite 86% of its citizens proclaiming no religious affiliation. It gives hope that it is possible to reinstate some aspects of Christian tradition into societies that have become secular - including here in Britain. Certainly keeping Christian festivals as part of the ebb and flow of the year does - even for those who no longer proclaim any faith - at least keep a door open to the Faith and an opportunity to explain the message behind the "day off".
I'm particularly struck by the unity and cohesion that follows from keeping the Christian festivals having just last night celebrated Missa Cantata for the feast of Ss Peter and Paul - for the second time round, having done it on Sunday for the transferred feast. I was concerned that keeping a feast after the Sunday might feel like a damp squib but actually, we had our best turnout for these Masses we have been celebrating on actual feast days this year.
I do feel that it was a failure of nerve to transfer the holydays of Obligation. Its not so obviously peculiar for the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, but it does feel rather odd when it comes to the feasts that by their very nature are tied directly to particular dates, like the Epiphany and the Ascension.
Another good thing would be to do something with the calendar of the 1962 Missal and the new Missal for the increasing number of priests and parishes where both forms of the Roman Rite are offered. A little organic development in the old calendar could certainly help - and, of course, quite a lot of cross fertilization of the old calendar into the new!