While it may seem like no time in 2020 is ordinary, at least in the liturgical calendar we are back in Ordinary Time. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to look forward to in the coming weeks. Just during the month of June there are a whole host of feast days and solemnities that Catholics will be celebrating.
Father Rocky, Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio®, stopped by Morning Air® this week to discuss the great feasts that are coming up this month, and how we celebrate them during the Holy Mass.
He told Morning Air host Glen Lewerenz, “At the end of the Easter season, we just had this glorious celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord, we had 50 days reading about the Acts of the Apostles, which is also known as a gospel of Holy Spirit. We’ve had these magnificent testimonies of witness to Christ, the growth of the Church, these spectacular miracles, and all that. And you come to the end of it and people say, ‘Well, is it over? Now we’re just back to Ordinary Time. Can’t we have a little bit extra?'”
“And in fact, I think of the Church’s wisdom in the liturgical calendar. The Easter season is immediately followed by three great feast days, three great liturgical feast days.”
The first great feast after Easter was celebrated last Sunday, Pentecost Sunday. And whether you were able to be at Mass in person or were live streaming the Mass from home, you likely noticed something special about the Pentecost Sunday liturgy.
Fr. Rocky explained, “We celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit … with a magnificent poem before the Gospel, known as a Sequence. And there’s only four times of the year that there is a poem before the Gospel. The originals are in Latin, they’ve been translated in English. And usually the musical accompaniment to it, Gregorian Chant, is nothing short of sublime.”
But it doesn’t end with Pentecost. Though we are entering into Ordinary Time, there are a number of great feasts you can look forward to celebrating.
“This Sunday is Trinity Sunday,” Fr. Rocky pointed out. “Trinity Sunday, in which we proclaim, we honor, and we venerate the most sublime revelation God has made of himself to us. And that is: there is one God and three persons … and the readings will be about that.”
The Trinity is a foundational Christian belief, but Fr. Rocky joked that it is not easy to compound centuries worth of deep theological revelation into a short homily on Trinity Sunday. He commented, “It gives us preachers a challenge, because how do you preach to the people about a mystery?”
Two weeks of great feasts in a row is a wonderful blessing, but it’s not over yet! The Sunday after Trinity Sunday, June 14th, is the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ) which is often celebrated with Eucharistic processions. Though the pandemic may affect the events that typically surround Corpus Christi, Fr. Rocky pointed out something to look for in the liturgy.
“On Corpus Christi we will have, I think, one of the most spectacular liturgical hymns ever composed,” he said. “Composed by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, it’s called the Lauda Sion. And it adds so much to the liturgy.”
These glorious feasts punctuate the month of June, which is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast we celebrate on June 19. And that’s not to mention the saints whose feasts we celebrate throughout the month – St. Thomas More, St. Charles Lwanga, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and more!
“It’s just a very, very rich time of year,” Fr. Rocky pointed out. “And for me also, June always has a special relevance because at the end of the month is the feast of Saint Josemaria Escriva. June 26th is the feast of the founder of Opus Dei.”
May you and yours be richly blessed during this special month. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Listen to the conversation with Fr. Rocky below: