What’s in a name, you say? Tomorrow is called by all of the names that appear in the title of this post.
Dominica in Albis (White Sunday) is used because traditionally, on this day, the newly baptized neophytes would lay aside their white baptismal garments. Which pretty much sums up the next–
Low Sunday, as in last Sunday was the highest Sunday in the Calendar, so this one seems low by comparison. In it, the deacon chants the Gospel which chronicles the events on–
St. Thomas’ Sunday, where the great Apostle, who misses out on the Lord’s first appearance to the group, expresses doubts about the Resurrection using language he probably wishes he didn’t. This reminds us that “like”, or–
“Quasimodo” geniti infantes (newborn babes), we should long for pure spiritual milk which will lead us to salvation, because like Thomas we have tasted that the Lord is good. In fact, St. Thomas is glad that the Lord indeed showed him–
Divine Mercy, as He has shown us all.
Truly the Church keeps lovingly all of the Tradition, and the little traditions, handed down by our forefathers and revealed to us over time by God. I love to come across those little “touches” throughout the liturgical calendar, all year long.
As you may know, but if you forgot here is your reminder, the faithful may gain a plenary indulgence tomorrow by receiving Holy Communion on Sunday, and also going to confession and reciting prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Finally, tomorrow begins the great Marian month of May, and the annual May crowning will take place at 10 am Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Information about this, and the Divine Mercy indulgence, can be read in this excerpt from the latest Oratory newsletter:
MAY CROWNING ON SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY
The night before His death for our salvation, Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, and at that very moment also instituted the priesthood of the New Testament by which the Sacrament of His Body and Blood would be consecrated and given to men. The Sunday which closes the octave of Easter, traditionally known as Low Sunday, Quasimodo Sunday or Dominica in albis, commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, that Sacrament by which those separated from our Eucharistic Lord by sin may be brought back to the state of grace. No wonder, then, that, in these dark days of ours, Divine Providence should have chosen this Sunday as the day on which the mercy of God should receive special praise from men, a mercy which was made known in the fullness of time by the Incarnation of His Divine Son. It is the very message of mercy first received by Our Lady of the Annunciation, then by the shepherds in Bethlehem, and countless times throughout history, especially in the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary.
Those who go to Confession (within a week’s time) and receive Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday receive a plenary indulgence, the remission of all sin and punishment. It is a day on which we should implore the grace of perfect contrition for our sins and desire to be enflamed with charity toward all poor sinners, confiding them all to the infinite mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ, who reigns from the sweet wood on which He hung for our redemption.
This Sunday, May 1, we will witness again the crowning of the statue of the Blessed Virgin in our church. During the 10 AM High Mass, the crown, emblem of the reign of the Mother of God over all saints and angels in heaven, will become again the visible sign of Mary’s queenship. She who was elevated over all creatures to become the mother of our savior, is now also the Ianua Caeli, the Gate of Heaven: The Chaplet of Divine Mercy allows us to ask for God’s forgiveness through the “sorrowful passion” of Jesus (‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world’.), the Rosary of the Blessed Mother lets us ask for the intercession of the heavenly queen: “… pray for us now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
In his 1954 encyclical proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Ad caeli reginam, Pope Pius XII summed up numerous historical references to this Marian title from ancient tradition, and from the sacred liturgy, which serves as a faithful reflection of the truths taught by the Church. The Holy Father wrote:
… she is a Queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of His conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things. So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation.
In this holy season of Easter, we especially recall that, by His words to the Apostle John from the Cross, “Behold thy Mother,” Our Saviour gave to us His mother Mary to be our own. Mary’s divine motherhood and her glorious queenship are inexorably entwined. By instituting the liturgical celebration of the Queenship of Mary, Pope Pius XII wished “to exhort Our children in Christ to a strong and tender love, as becomes children, for Our most gracious and exalted Mother.”
Throughout the ages of the Church, her children have looked upon the Blessed Mother and Queen of Heaven for help when we are in times of crisis. And in the Spring time, when we are surrounded with the fragrance and beauty of a blossoming creation, it is fitting that we look to our royal mother with love and tenderness, as we crown her Queen of Heaven, with the simple devotion of children.