Song, a natural expression of the soul of any nation, plays an important role in popular piety The conservation of the received corpus of traditional songs must be linked with a biblical and ecclesial spirit which is open to the possibility, where necessary, of their revision or to the composition of new songs. Among some peoples, song is instinctively linked with hand-clapping, rhythmic corporeal movements and even dance.
Such are external forms of interior sentiment and are part of popular traditions, especially on occasions such as patronal feasts. Clearly, such should be genuine expressions of communal prayer and not merely theatrical spectacles. The fact of their prevalence in one area, however, should not be regarded as a reason for their promotion in other areas, especially where they would not be spontaneous. The use of sacred images is of major importance in the whole area of popular piety, since culturally and artistically they assist the faithful in encountering the mysteries of the Christian faith.
Indeed, the veneration of sacred images belongs to the very nature of Catholic piety. Such is clear from its artistic patrimony, which can be seen in many churches and sanctuaries, and to which popular devotion has often contributed. Here, the principles apply which govern the liturgical use of images of Christ, Our Lady, the Saints.
These have been traditionally asserted and defended by the Church in the knowledge that "the honour rendered to the image is directed to the person represented" So as to ensure that the iconography used in sacred places is not left to private initiatives, those with responsibility for churches and oratories should safeguard the dignity, beauty and quality of those sacred images exposed for public veneration. Likewise, they should avoid the de facto imposition on the community of pictures or statues inspired by the private devotion of individuals The Bishops, therefore, and the rectors of sanctuaries are to ensure that the sacred images produced for the use of the faithful, either in their homes or on their persons, or those borne aloft on their shoulders, are not reduced to banalities, nor risk giving rise to error.
Apart from the church , sanctuaries -which are sometimes not churches- afford important opportunities for the expression of popular piety, which are often marked by particular devotional forms and practices, among which the most significant is that of pilgrimage. Together with these sacred places, which are clearly reserved for public and private prayer, others exist which are often not less important: e. On certain occasions even the streets and squares can become places facilitating the manifestation of the faith. The rhythm associated with the change from day to night, from one month to another, or of the seasons is often associated with various forms of popular piety.
Such can also be true of particular days recalling joyous or tragic personal or community events. Above all, the "the feast days", withe their preparations for various religious manifestations, have contributed much in forging the traditions peculiar to a given community. Manifestations of popular piety are subject to the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary.
St Paul's and the Reformation
It is for him to regulate such manifestations, to encourage them as a means of assisting the faithful in living the Christian life, and to purify and evangelize them where necessary. He is also to ensure that they do not substitute for the Liturgy nor become part of the liturgical celebrations The local ordinary also approves the prayers and formulae associated with acts of public piety and devotional practices The dispositions given by a particular local Ordinary for the territory of his jurisdiction are for the particular Church entrusted to his pastoral care.
Hence, the faithful - both clerics and laity, either as groups or individuals, may not publically promote prayers, formulae or private initiatives without the permission of the ordinary. In accordance with the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus , n. The relationship between Liturgy and popular piety is ancient. It is therefore necessary to begin by surveying, even rapidly, how this relationship has been experienced down through the centuries, since it will often help to resolve contemporary difficulties. The Apostolic and post-apostolic periods are marked by a profound fusion of the cultic realities which are now called Liturgy and popular piety.
For the earliest Christian communities, Christ alone cf. Col 2,16 was the most important cultic reality, together with his life-giving word cf. John 6,63 , his commandment of reciprocal charity cf. John, 13,34 , and the ritual actions which he commanded in his memory cf. Everything else - days and months, seasons and years, feasts, new moons, food and drink Gal 4,10; Col 2, - was of secondary importance. Nevertheless, the signs of personal piety are already to be found among the first generation of Christians. Inspired by the Jewish tradition, they recommended following the example of incessant prayer of Jesus and St.
Paul cf. Luke 18,1; Rm 12,12; 1 Thes 5,17 , and of beginning and ending all things with an act of thanksgiving cf. The pious Israelite began the day praising and giving thanks to God. In the same spirit, he gave thanks for all his actions during the day. Hence, every joyful or sorrowful occasion gave rise to an expression of praise, entreaty, or repentance. The Gospels and the writings of the New Testament contain invocations of Jesus, signs of christological devotion, which were repeated spontaneously by the faithful outside of the context of Liturgy.
It must be recalled that it was a common usage of the faithful to use biblical phrases such as : "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me" ; "Lord if you wish, you can heal me" Innumerable prayers to Christ have been developed by the faithful of every generation on the basis this piety. Until the second century, expressions of popular piety, whether deriving from Jewish, Greco-Roman or other cultures, spontaneously came together in the Liturgy.
It has already been noted, for example, that the Traditio Apostolica contains elements deriving from popular sources The cult of martyrs, which was of great importance for the local Churches, preserves traces of popular usages connected with the memory of the dead Some of the earliest forms of veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary 27 also reflect popular piety, among them the Sub tuum praesidium and the Marian iconography of the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome. While always most vigilant with regard to interior conditions and the prerequisites for a dignified celebration of the sacred mysteries cf.
In this period Liturgy and popular piety, either conceptually or pastorally, did not oppose each other. Both concurred harmoniously in celebrating the one mystery of Christ, considered as a whole, and in sustaining the supernatural and moral life of the disciples of the Lord. In the fourth century, given the new politico-social situation of the Church, the question of the relationship between liturgy and popular piety begins to be raised consciously in terms of adaptation and inculturation rather than solely in terms of spontaneous convergence.
The local Churches, guided by clear pastoral and evangelizing principles, did not hesitate to absorb into the Liturgy certain purified solemn and festive cultic elements deriving from the pagan world. These were regarded as capable of moving the minds and imaginations of the people who felt drawn towards them.
Such forms, now placed at the service of the mystery of worship, were seen as neither contrary to the Gospel nor to the purity of true Christian worship. Rather, there was a realization that only in the worship of Christ, true God and true Saviour, could many cultic expressions, previously attributed to false gods and false saviours, become true cultic expressions, even though these had derived from man's deepest religious sense. In the fourth and fifth centuries, a greater sense of the sacredness of times and places begins to emerge. Many of the local Churches, in addition to their recollection of the New Testament data concerning the dies Domini , the Easter festival and fasting cf.
Mark 2, , began to reserve particular days for the celebration of Christ's salvific mysteries Epiphany, Christmas and Ascension , or to honour the memory of the martyrs on their dies natalis or to commemorate the passing of their Pastors on the anniversary of their dies depositionis , or to celebrate the sacraments, or to make a solemn undertaking in life.
With regard to the socialization of the place in which the community is called to celebrate the divine mysteries and give praise to the Lord, it must be noted that many of these had been transformed from places of pagan worship or profane use and dedicated exclusively to divine worship. They became, often simply by their architectural arrangements, a reflection of the mystery of Christ and an image of the celebrating Church. During this period, the formation of various liturgical families with their consequent differences, matured.
The more important metropolitan Churches now celebrate the one worship of the Lord with their own cultural and popular forms which developed from differences of language, theological traditions, spiritual sensibilities, and social contexts. This process gave rise to the progressive development of liturgical systems with their own proper styles of celebration and agglomeration of texts and rites.
It is not insignificant to note that even during this golden age for the formation of the liturgical rites, popular elements are also to be found in those rites. On the other hand, bishops and regional synods began to establish norms for the organization of worship. They became vigilant with regard to the doctrinal correctness of the liturgical texts and to their formal beauty, as well as with regard to the ritual sequences Such interventions established a liturgical order with fixed forms which inevitably extinguished the original liturgical creativity, which had not been completely arbitrary.
Some scholars regard these developments as one of the source of the future proliferation of texts destined for private and popular piety. Mention must be made of the pontificate of the great pastor and liturgist Pope St. Gregory VII , since it is regarded as an exemplary reference point for any fruitful relationship between the Liturgy and popular piety. Through the organization of processions, stations and rogations, Gregory the Great undertook a major liturgical reform which sought to offer the Roman people structures which resonated with popular sensibilities while, at the same time, remaining securely based on the celebration of the divine mysteries.
He gave wise directives to ensure that the conversion of new nations did not happen without regard for their own cultural traditions. Indeed, the Liturgy itself could be enriched by new legitimate cultic expressions and the noble expressions of artistic genius harmonized with more humble popular sensibilities. He established a sense of unity in Christian worship by anchoring it firmly in the celebration of Easter, even if other elements of the one mystery of Salvation Christmas, Epiphany, and Ascension were also celebrated and the memorials of the Saints expanded.
Among the main concerns of the Oriental Christian Churches, especially the Byzantine Church, of the middle ages, mention can be made of both phases of the struggles against the iconaclast heresy and which was a watershed for the Liturgy. It was also a period of classical commentaries on the Eucharistic Liturgy and on the iconography for buildings set aside for worship. In the liturgical field, there was a noticeable increase in the Church's iconographical patrimony and in her sacred rites which assumed a definitive form. The Liturgy reflected the symbolic vision of the universe and a sacral hierarchical vision of the world.
In this vision, we have the coalescence of all orders of Christian society, the ideals and structures of monasticism, popular aspirations, the intuitions of the mystics and the precepts of the ascetics. With the decree De sacris imaginibus of the Second Council of Nicea 29 and the resolution of the iconaclastic controversy in the "Triumph of Orthodoxy" , icognagraphy, having been given doctrinal legitimacy, developed and organized its definitive form. The icon, hieratic and pregnant with symbolic power, itself became part of the celebration of the Liturgy, reflecting, as it did, the mystery celebrated and retaining something of its permanent presence which was exposed for the veneration of the faithful.
In the West, the high middle ages saw the formation of new cultures, and political and civil institution deriving from the encounter of Christianity, already by the fifth century, with peoples such as the Celts, the Visigoths, the Anglosaxons, and the Francogermans. Between the seventh and the fifteenth century, a decisive differentiation between Liturgy and popular piety began to emerge which gradually became more pronounced, ending eventually in a dualism of celebration.
Parallel with the Liturgy, celebrated in Latin, a communitarian popular piety celebrated in the vernacular emerged. The following may be counted among the reasons for the development of this dualism:. The Middels ages saw the emergence and development of many spiritual movements and associations of different ecclesiastical and juridical form. Their life and activities had notable consequences for the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety. The new religious orders of evangelical and apostolic life, devoted their efforts to preaching and adopted simpler liturgical forms in comparison to those found in the monasteries.
These liturgical forms were often close to the people and to their exprssive forms. On the other hand, they also developed and promoted pious exercises that encapsulated their charism, and diffused them among the people. The emergence of the Confraternities, with their religious and charitable objectives, and of the lay corporations with their professional interests, gave rise to a certain popular liturgical activity.
These often erected chapels for their religious needs, chose Patrons and celebrated their feast days. Not infrequently, they compiled the officia parva and other prayers for the use of their members. These frequently reflected the influence of the Liturgy as well as containing elements drawn from popular piety. The various schools of spirituality that had arisen during the middle ages became an important reference point for ecclesial life.
They inspired existential attitudes and a multiplicity of ways of interpreting life in Christ and in the Holy Spirit. Such interpretations exercised considerable influence on the choice of celebration e. Civil society, constituted ideally as a societas Christiana , modelled many of its structures on ecclesiastical useage and measured itself according to the rhythms of liturgical life. An example of this is to be found in the ringing of bells in the evening which called the peasants from the fields and simultaneously signalled the Angelus. Throughout the middle ages many forms of populuar piety gradually emerged or developed.
Many of these have been handed down to our times:. These were often marginal to the rhythm of the liturgical year: sacred or profane fair days, tridua, octaves, novenas, months devoted to particular popular devotions. In the middle ages, the reationship between Liturgy and popular piety is constant and complex, but a dual movement can be detected in that same relationship: the Liturgy inspired and nourished various expressions of popular piety; and several forms of popular piety were assumed by, and integrated into the Liturgy.
This is especially true with regard to the rites of consecration of persons, the assumption of personal obligations, the dedication of places, the institution of feasts and to the various blessings. A dualism, however, prevailed between Liturgy and popular piety. Towards the end of the middles ages, both, however, went through a period of crisis.
Because of the collapse of cultic unity, secondary elements in the Liturgy acquired an excessive relevance to the detriment of its central elements. In popular piety, because of the lack of adequate catechesis, deviations and exaggerations threatened the correct expressions of Christian worship. At the dawn of the modern period, a balanced relationship between Liturgy and popular piety did not seem any more likely.
The devotio moderna of the late fifteenth century was popular with many great spiritual masters and was widespread among clerics and cultivated laymen. It promoted the development of meditative and affective pious exercises based principally on the humanity of Christ - the myteries of his infancy, his hidden life, his Passion and death. However, the primacy accorded to contemplation, the importance attributed to subjectivity and a certain ascetical pragmatism exalting human endeavour ensured that Liturgy no longer appeared as the primary source of the Christian life in the eyes of men and women advanced in the spiritual life.
The De Imitatione Christi is regarded as a tyical expression of the devotio moderna. It has exercised an extraordinary and beneficial influence on many of the Lord's disciples in their quest for Christian perfection. The De Imitatione Christi orients the faithful towards a certain type of individual piety which accentuates detachment from the world and the invitation to hear the Master's voice interiorly. Less attention is devoted to the communitarian and ecclesial aspects of prayer and to liturgical spirituality. Many excellent pious exercises are to be found among those who cultivated the devotio moderna , as well as cultic expressions deriving from sincerely devout persons.
A full appreciation of the celebration of the Liturgy is not, however, always to be found in such circles. From the end of the fifteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century, the discovery of Africa, America and the Far East caused the question of the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety to be posed in new terms. While the work of evangelizing and catechising countries distant from the cultural and cultic centre of the Roman Rite was certainly accomplished through preaching the Word and celebrating the sacraments cf. Mt 28, 19 , it also came about through the pious exercises popularized by the missionaries.
Pious exercises became a means of transmitting the Gospel message and, following conversion, of preserving the Christian faith. By virtue of the norms designed to preserve the Roman Rite, there were few reciprocal influences bewteen the Liturgy and the autochthonous cultures.
The Burial of the Dead
In Paraguay, the Reductiones are a rare example of this. The encounter with these cultures, however, was easily facilitated in the field of popular piety. Among those most concerned for the reform of the Church at beginning of the sixteenth century, mention must be of two Camoldelesi monks, Paolo Giustiniani and Pietro Querini, authors of the famous Libellus ad Leonem X 30 which set out important principles for the revitalization of the Liturgy so as to open its treasures to the entire People of God.
They advocated biblical instruction for the clergy and religious, the adoption of the vernacular in the celebration of the divine mysteries and the reform of the liturgical books. They also advocated the elimination of spurious elements deriving from erroneous popular piety, and the promotion of catechesis so as to make the faithful aware of the importance of the Liturgy. Shortly after the close of the fifth Lateran Council 6 March , which had made provisions for the instruction of youth in the Liturgy 31 , the crisis leading to the rise of protestantism arose.
Its supporters raised many objections to the Catholic doctrine on the sacraments, to the Church's worship, and to popular piety. The Council of Trent , convoked to resolve the situation facing the People of God as a result of the spread of protestantism, addressed questions relating to the Liturgy and popular piety from the doctrinal and cultic perspective 32 , at all three of its phases. Becasue of the historical context and the doctrinal nature of the matters dealt with by the Council, the liturgical and sacramental questions placed before the Council were answered predominantly from a doctrinal perspective.
Errors were denounced and abuses condemned. The Church's faith and liturgical tradition were defended. The decree De reformatione generali 33 proposed a pastoral programme, whose activation was entrusted to the Holy See and to the Bishops, which demonstrated concern for the problems arising form the liturgical instruction of the people.
In conformity with the dispositions of the Council, synods were held in many of the ecclesiatical provinces. These often demonstarted a concern to bring the faithful to an active participation in the celebration of the divine mysteries. Simultaneously, the Roman Pontiffs began a vast programme of liturgical reform. The Roman Calendar and the liturgical books. In the Sacred Congregation of Rites was established to promote and correctly order the liturgical celebrations of the Roman Church The Catechismus ad Parochos fulfilled the provision of pastoral and liturgical formation.
The reform of the Council of Trent brought many advantages for the Liturgy. There was a return to the "ancient norm of the Fathers" 36 in many of the Church's rites, notwithstanding the relatively limited scientific knowledge of the period then available. Elements and impositions extraneous to the Liturgy or excessively connected with popular sensibilities were eliminated.
The doctrinal content of the liturgical texts was subjected to examination to ensure that they reflected the faith in its purity. The Roman Liturgy acquired a notable ritual unity, dignity and beauty. The reform, however, had a number of indirect negative consequences: the Liturgy seemed to acquire a certain fixed state which derived from the rubrics regulating it rather from its nature. In its active subject, it seemed to become almost exclusively hierarchical which reinforced the existing dualism between Liturgy and popular piety. The Catholic reform, with its positive concern to promote a doctrinal, moral and institutional reform of the Church and to counteract the spread of protestantism, in a certain sense endorsed the complex cultural phenomenon of the Baroque.
This, in turn, exercised a considerable influence on the literary, artistic and musical expressions of Catholic piety. In the post Triedntine period, the relationship bewteen Liturgy and popular piety acquires some new aspects: the Liturgy entered a static period of substantial uniformity while popular piety entered a period of extraordinary development.
While careful to establish certain limits, determined by the need for vigilance with regard to the exuberant or the fantastic, the Catholic reform promoted the creation and diffusion of pious exercises which were seen as an important means of defending the Catholic faith and of nourishing the piety of the faithful. The rise of Confraternities devoted to the mysteries of the Passion of Our Lord, as well as those of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints are good examples. These usually had the triple purpose of penance, formation of the laity and works of charity.
Many beautiful images, full of sentiment, draw their origins from this form of popular piety and still continue to nourish the faith and religious experience of the faithful. The "polular missions" emerged at this time and contributed greatly to the spread of the pious exercises.
Liturgy and popular piety coexist in these exercises, even if somewhat imbalanced at times.
The parochial missions set out to encourage the faithful to approach the Sacrament of Penance and to receive Holy Communion. They regarded pious exercises as a means of inducing conversion and of assuring popular participation in an act of worship. Pious exercises were frequently collected and organized into prayer manuals.
Reinforced by due ecclesiastical approval, such became true and proper aids to worship for the various times of the day, month and year, as well as for innumerable circumstances that might arise in life. The relationship between Liturgy and popular piety during the period of the Catholic Reform cannot be seen simply in contrasting terms of stability and development. Anomalies also existed: pious exercises sometimes took place within the liturgical actions and were superimposed on those same actions.
In pastoral practice, they were sometimes more important than the Liturgy. These situations accentuated a detachment from Sacred Scripture and lacked a sufficient emphasis on the centrality of the Paschal mystery of Christ, foundation and summit of all Christian worship, and its priviliged expression in Sunday.
The age of enlightenment further delineated the separation of "the religion of the learned" which was potentially close to the Liturgy, and the "religion of the simple people" which, of its very nature, was closer to popular piety. Both the "learned" and the "simple people", however, shared the same religious practices. The "learned" promoted a religious practice based on knowledge and the enlightenment of the intelligence and eschewed popular piety which they regaded as superstitious and fanatical.
The arisocratic sense which permeated many aspects of culture had its influence on the Liturgy. The encyclopaedic character of knowledge, coupled with a critical sense and an interest in research, led to the publication of many of the liturgical sources. The ascetical concerns of some movements, often influenced by Jansenism, fuelled a call for a return to the purity of the Liturgy of antiquity.
While certainly redolent of the cultural climate, the renewal of interest in the Liturgy was fuelled by a pastoral concern for the clergy and laity, especially from the seventeenth century in France. In many areas of its pastoral concern, the Church devoted its attention to popular piety. There was an intensification of that form of apostolic activity which tended to integrate, to some degree, the Liturgy and popular piety. Hence, preaching was encouraged at significant liturgical times, such as Advent and on Sundays when adult catechesis was provided.
Such preaching aimed at the conversion of the hearts and morals of the faithful, and encouraged them to approach the Sacrament of Penance, attend Sunday Mass regularly, and to demonstrate the importance of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticaum. Popular piety, which had been effective in stemming the negative influences of protestantism, now became an effective antidote to the corrosiveness of rationalism and to the baleful consequences of Jansenism within the Church. It emerged strengthened and enriched from this task and from the extensive development of the parish missions.
Popular piety emphasized certain aspects of the Christian mystery in a new way, for example, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and new "days", such as the "first Friday of the month", gained importance in the piety of the faithful. With regard to the eighteenth century, mention must be made of the work of Ludivico Antonio Muratori who combined erudition with notable pastoral activity.
In his famous work, Della regolata devozione dei cristiani , he advocated a form of religosity based on the Liturgy and the Scriptures that eschewed all attachment to superstition and magic. The work of Benedict XIV Prospero Lambertini was also significant, especially his authorization of the use of the Bible in the vernacular. The Catholic Reform strengthened the structure and unity of the Roman Rite. Given the notable missionary expansion of the eighteenth century, the Reform spread its proper Liturgy and organizational structure among the peoples to whom the Gospel message was preached.
In the missionary territories of the eighteenth century, the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety was framed in terms similar to, but more accentuated than, those already seen in the sixteenth and seventeenth ceturies:. The question of inculturation was practically never raised, partly because of the fear of negative consequence for the faith. In this respect, however, mention must be made of the efforts of Matteo Rici in relation to the question of the Chinese rites, and those of Roberto de' Nobili on the question of the Indian rites; popular piety, on the one hand, was subject to the danger of religious syncretism, especially where evangelization was not deeply rooted; while on the other, it became more autonomous and mature: it was not limited to reproducing the pious practices promoted by the missionaries, rather it created other forms of pious exercises that reflected the character of the local culture.
The Contemporary Period. Following the French revolution with its objective of eradicating the Christian faith and its overt hostility to Christian worship, the nineteenth century witnessed a important liturgical revival. This was preceeded by the development of a vigorous ecclesiology which saw the Church not only in terms of a hierarchical society but also as the People of God and as a worshipping community. As the gentleman and his body-servant were passing the house where Amanthis lay beautifully asleep in the hammock, something happened — the body fell off the car.
My only apology for stating this so suddenly is that it happened very suddenly indeed. When the noise had died down and the dust had drifted away master and man arose and inspected the two halves. They glanced up at the Victorian house. On all sides faintly irregular fields stretched away to a faintly irregular unpopulated horizon.
At the exact moment when they reached the porch Amanthis awoke, sat up suddenly and looked them over. The gentleman was young, perhaps twenty-four, and his name was Jim Powell. There were supernumerary buttons upon the coat-sleeves also and Amanthis could not resist a glance to determine whether or not more buttons ran up the side of his trouser leg. But the trouser bottoms were distinguished only by their shape, which was that of a bell. His vest was cut low, barely restraining an amazing necktie from fluttering in the wind.
He bowed formally, dusting his knees with a thatched straw hat. Simultaneously he smiled, half shutting his faded blue eyes and displaying white and beautifully symmetrical teeth. Amanthis laughed. For a moment she laughed uncontrollably. Jim Powell laughed, politely and appreciatively, with her. His body-servant, deep in the throes of colored adolescence, alone preserved a dignified gravity. At this reference to the finer customs of his native soil the boy Hugo put his hands behind his back and looked darkly and superciliously down the lawn.
The tourist waved his hand with a careless gesture as if to indicate the Adirondacks, the Thousand Islands, Newport — but he said:. But I been to Atlanta lots of times. Powell by a circular motion of his finger sped Hugo on the designated mission. Then he seated himself gingerly in a rocking-chair and began revolving his thatched straw hat rapidly in his hands. I got some money because my aunt she was using it to keep her in a sanitarium and she died. When the sandwiches arrived Mr. Powell stood up. He was unaccustomed to white servants and obviously expected an introduction.
She shook her head. Powell noted with embarrassed enthusiasm the particular yellowness of her yellow hair. Color — one hundred percent spontaneous — in the daytime anyhow. To be a New York society girl you have to have a long nose and projecting teeth and dress like the actresses did three years ago. Jim began to tap his foot rhythmically on the porch and in a moment Amanthis discovered that she was unconsciously doing the same thing. This intense discussion was now interrupted by Hugo who appeared on the steps bearing a hammer and a handful of nails.
We may be kin to each other, you see, and us Powells ought to stick together. They were now almost at the gate and the tourist pointed to the two depressing sectors of his automobile. Jim looked at her uncertainly. Such a pretty girl should certainly control the habit of shaking all over upon no provocation at all.
Amanthis watched while they placed the upper half of the car upon the lower half and nailed it severely into place. Then Mr. Powell took the wheel and his body-servant climbed in beside him. Convey my respects to your father. Then with a groan and a rattle Mr. Powell of southern Georgia with his own car and his own body-servant and his own ambitions and his own private cloud of dust continued on north for the summer. She thought she would never see him again. She lay in her hammock, slim and beautiful, opened her left eye slightly to see June come in and then closed it and retired contentedly back into her dreams.
But one day when the midsummer vines had climbed the precarious sides of the red swing in the lawn, Mr. Jim Powell of Tarleton, Georgia, came vibrating back into her life. They sat on the wide porch as before. But before we got there she made me stop and she got out. Mighty proud lot of people they got up in New York. I got an idea. Further than this he would say nothing. Shall I let in a little more excitement, mamm?
Three days later a young man wearing a straw hat that might have been cut from the thatched roof of an English cottage rang the doorbell of the enormous and astounding Madison Harlan house at Southampton. He asked the butler if there were any people in the house between the ages of sixteen and twenty. He was informed that Miss Genevieve Harlan and Mr. Ronald Harlan answered that description and thereupon he handed in a most peculiar card and requested in fetching Georgian that it be brought to their attention.
As a result he was closeted for almost an hour with Mr. It happened to be that of the Clifton Garneaus. Here, as if by magic, the same audience was granted him. He went on — it was a hot day, and men who could not afford to do so were carrying their coats on the public highway, but Jim, a native of southernmost Georgia, was as fresh and cool at the last house as at the first. He visited ten houses that day. Anyone following him in his course might have taken him to be some curiously gifted book-agent with a much sought-after volume as his stock in trade.
There was something in his unexpected demand for the adolescent members of the family which made hardened butlers lose their critical acumen. As he left each house a close observer might have seen that fascinated eyes followed him to the door and excited voices whispered something which hinted at a future meeting. The second day he visited twelve houses.
Southampton has grown enormously — he might have kept on his round for a week and never seen the same butler twice — but it was only the palatial, the amazing houses which intrigued him. On the third day he did a thing that many people have been told to do and few have done — he hired a hall. Perhaps the sixteen-to-twenty-year-old people in the enormous houses had told him to. It was now abandoned — Mr. Snorkey had given up and gone away and died. We will now skip three weeks during which time we may assume that the project which had to do with hiring a hall and visiting the two dozen largest houses in Southampton got under way.
The day to which we will skip was the July day on which Mr. James Powell sent a wire to Miss Amanthis Powell saying that if she still aspired to the gaiety of the highest society she should set out for Southampton by the earliest possible train. He himself would meet her at the station. Jim was no longer a man of leisure, so when she failed to arrive at the time her wire had promised he grew restless.
He supposed she was coming on a later train, turned to go back to his — his project — and met her entering the station from the street side. She was quite different from the indolent Amanthis of the porch hammock, he thought.
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Yes, she would do very well. He was one of my fares. He forgot her, I guess. And he was right worried. What does she do? In my course no lady would be taught to raise a guitar against anybody. My grandfather was a dice. I protect pocketbook as well as person.
I teach lots of things. Why, there was one girl she came to me and said she wanted to learn to snap her fingers. She said she never could snap her fingers since she was little. I gave her two lessons and now Wham! I got it fixed up that you come from very high-tone people down in New Jersey.
They were now at the south end of the village and Amanthis saw a row of cars parked in front of a two-story building. The cars were all low, long, rakish and of a brilliant hue. Then Amanthis was ascending a narrow stairs to the second story. Here, painted on a door from which came the sounds of music and laughter were the words:. Amanthis found herself in a long, bright room, populated with girls and men of about her own age. The scene presented itself to her at first as a sort of animated afternoon tea but after a moment she began to see, here and there, a motive and a pattern to the proceedings.
The students were scattered into groups, sitting, kneeling, standing, but all rapaciously intent on the subjects which engrossed them. From six young ladies gathered in a ring around some indistinguishable objects came a medley of cries and exclamations — plaintive, pleading, supplicating, exhorting, imploring and lamenting — their voices serving as tenor to an undertone of mysterious clatters.
Next to this group, four young men were surrounding an adolescent black, who proved to be none other than Mr. The young men were roaring at Hugo apparently unrelated phrases, expressing a wide gamut of emotion. Now their voices rose to a sort of clamor, now they spoke softly and gently, with mellow implication. Every little while Hugo would answer them with words of approbation, correction or disapproval. They walked around among the groups.
So I can give you only such details as were later reported to me by one of his admiring pupils. During all the discussion of it afterwards no one ever denied that it was an enormous success, and no pupil ever regretted having received its degree — Bachelor of Jazz. The parents innocently assumed that it was a sort of musical and dancing academy, but its real curriculum was transmitted from Santa Barbara to Biddeford Pool by that underground associated press which links up the so-called younger generation. Invitations to visit Southampton were at a premium — and Southampton generally is almost as dull for young people as Newport.
He was making money. His charges were not exorbitant — as a rule his pupils were not particularly flush — but he moved from his boarding-house to the Casino Hotel where he took a suite and had Hugo serve him his breakfast in bed. Within a week she was known to everyone in the school by her first name. Miss Genevieve Harlan took such a fancy to her that she was invited to a sub-deb dance at the Harlan house — and evidently acquitted herself with tact, for thereafter she was invited to almost every such entertainment in Southampton. Jim saw less of her than he would have liked. Not that her manner toward him changed — she walked with him often in the mornings, she was always willing to listen to his plans — but after she was taken up by the fashionable her evenings seemed to be monopolized.
Several times Jim arrived at her boarding-house to find her out of breath, as if she had just come in at a run, presumably from some festivity in which he had no share. So as the summer waned he found that one thing was lacking to complete the triumph of his enterprise.
Despite the hospitality shown to Amanthis, the doors of Southampton were closed to him. Polite to, or rather, fascinated by him as his pupils were from three to five, after that hour they moved in another world. His was the position of a golf professional who, though he may fraternize, and even command, on the links, loses his privileges with the sun-down. He may look in the club window but he cannot dance. And, likewise, it was not given to Jim to see his teachings put into effect. He could hear the gossip of the morning after — that was all.
Perhaps, he thought, there was some real gap which separated him from the rest. It worried him. Van Vleck was twenty-one, a tutoring-school product who still hoped to enter Yale. Jim had passed these over. He knew that Van Vleck was attending the school chiefly to monopolize the time of little Martha Katzby, who was just sixteen and too young to have attention of a boy of twenty-one — especially the attention of Van Vleck, who was so spiritually exhausted by his educational failures that he drew on the rather exhaustible innocence of sixteen.
It was late in September, two days before the Harlan dance which was to be the last and biggest of the season for this younger crowd. Jim, as usual, was not invited. He had hoped that he would be. The two young Harlans, Ronald and Genevieve, had been his first patrons when he arrived at Southampton — and it was Genevieve who had taken such a fancy to Amanthis. To have been at their dance — the most magnificent dance of all — would have crowned and justified the success of the waning summer. Hugo, standing beside Jim, chuckled suddenly and remarked:.
Jim turned and stared at Van Vleck, who had linked arms with little Martha Katzby and was saying something to her in a low voice. Jim saw her try to draw away. Flatfoots this way! There was an unaccustomed sharpness in his voice and the exercises began with a mutter of facetious protest. With his smoldering grievance directing itself toward Van Vleck, Jim was walking here and there among the groups when Hugo tapped him suddenly on the arm. He looked around. Two participants had withdrawn from the mouth organ institute — one of them was Van Vleck and he was giving a drink out of his flask to fifteen-year-old Ronald Harlan.
The music died slowly away and there was a sudden drifting over in the direction of the trouble. Somebody snickered. An atmosphere of anticipation formed instantly. Despite the fact that they all liked Jim their sympathies were divided — Van Vleck was one of them. Ask him if he wants you to tell him what he can do!
Van Vleck did not move. Reaching out suddenly, Jim caught his wrist and jerking it behind his back forced his arm upward until Van Vleck bent forward in agony. Jim leaned and picked the flask from the floor with his free hand. They stirred uneasily. Orchestra —! But no one felt exactly like going on. The spontaneity of the proceedings had been violently disturbed. Someone made a run or two on the sliding guitar and several of the girls began whamming at the leer on the punching bags, but Ronald Harlan, followed by two other boys, got their hats and went silently out the door.
Jim and Hugo moved among the groups as usual until a certain measure of routine activity was restored but the enthusiasm was unrecapturable and Jim, shaken and discouraged, considered discontinuing school for the day. But he dared not. If they went home in this mood they might not come back. The whole thing depended on a mood. He must recreate it, he thought frantically — now, at once! But try as he might, there was little response.
He himself was not happy — he could communicate no gaiety to them. They watched his efforts listlessly and, he thought, a little contemptuously. Then the tension snapped when the door burst suddenly open, precipitating a brace of middle-aged and excited women into the room. No person over twenty-one had ever entered the Academy before — but Van Vleck had gone direct to headquarters. The women were Mrs. Clifton Garneau and Mrs. Poindexter Katzby, two of the most fashionable and, at present, two of the most flurried women in Southampton. They were in search of their daughters as, in these days, so many women continually are.
You ghastly, horrible, unspeakable man! I can smell morphin fumes! You have colored girls hidden! Jim was not a little touched when several of them — including even little Martha Katzby, before she was snatched fiercely away by her mother — came up and shook hands with him. But they were all going, haughtily, regretfully or with shame-faced mutters of apology. And, after all, they were not sorry to go. Outside, the sound of their starting motors, the triumphant put-put of their cut-outs cutting the warm September air, was a jubilant sound — a sound of youth and hopes high as the sun.
Down to the ocean, to roll in the waves and forget — forget him and their discomfort at his humiliation. They were gone — he was alone with Hugo in the room. He sat down suddenly with his face in his hands. Autumn had come early. Jim Powell woke next morning to find his room cool, and the phenomenon of frosted breath in September absorbed him for a moment to the exclusion of the day before.
Then the lines of his face drooped with unhappiness as he remembered the humiliation which had washed the cheery glitter from the summer. There was nothing left for him except to go back where he was known, where under no provocation were such things said to white people as had been said to him here. After breakfast a measure of his customary light-heartedness returned. He was a child of the South — brooding was alien to his nature. He could conjure up an injury only a certain number of times before it faded into the great vacancy of the past.
Usually a few words from Jim were enough to raise him to an inarticulate ecstasy, but this morning there were no words to utter. For two months Hugo had lived on a pinnacle of which he had never dreamed. He had enjoyed his work simply and passionately, arriving before school hours and lingering long after Mr. The day dragged toward a not-too-promising night. Amanthis did not appear and Jim wondered forlornly if she had not changed her mind about dining with him that night. Perhaps it would be better if she were not seen with them. Jim had lived in state, and he realized that financially he would have nothing to show for the summer after all.
When he had finished he took his new dress-suit out of its box and inspected it, running his hand over the satin of the lapels and lining. This, at least, he owned and perhaps in Tarleton somebody would ask him to a party where he could wear it. Some of those boys round the garage down home could of beat it all hollow. He surveyed his purchase with some pride. He knew that no girl at the Harlan dance would wear anything lovelier than these exotic blossoms that leaned languorously backward against green ferns.
She came down wearing a rose-colored evening dress into which the orchids melted like colors into a sunset. At their table, looking out over the dark ocean, his mood became a contended sadness. They did not dance, and he was glad — it would have reminded him of that other brighter and more radiant dance to which they could not go.
After dinner they took a taxi and followed the sandy roads for an hour, glimpsing the now starry ocean through the casual trees. She gave the chauffeur a direction and a few minutes later they stopped in front of the heavy Georgian beauty of the Madison Harlan house whence the windows cast their gaiety in bright patches on the lawn. There was laughter inside and the plaintive wind of fashionable horns, and now and again the slow, mysterious shuffle of dancing feet.
They walked toward the house, keeping in the shadow of the great trees. They moved closer till they could see first pompadours, then slicked male heads, and high coiffures and finally even bobbed hair pressed under black ties. They could distinguish chatter below the ceaseless laughter.
Two figures appeared on the porch, gulped something quickly from flasks and returned inside. But the music had bewitched Jim Powell. His eyes were fixed and he moved his feet like a blind man. Pressed in close behind some dark bushes they listened. The number ended. A breeze from the ocean blew over them and Jim shivered slightly. Then, in a wistful whisper:. Just once. He held out his arm to her but instead of taking it she stepped suddenly out of the bushes and into a bright patch of light. She seized his arm and though he drew back in a sort of stupefied horror at her boldness she urged him persistently toward the great front door.
The great doors swung open and a gentleman stepped out on the porch. In horror Jim recognized Mr. Madison Harlan. He made a movement as though to break away and run. But the man walked down the steps holding out both hands to Amanthis. New Jersey was warm, all except the part that was under water, and that mattered only to the fishes. All the tourists who rode through the long green miles stopped their cars in front of a spreading old-fashioned country house and looked at the red swing on the lawn and the wide, shady porch, and sighed and drove on — swerving a little to avoid a jet-black body-servant in the road.
A girl with yellow hair and a warm color to her face was lying in the hammock looking as though she could fall asleep any moment. Near her sat a gentleman in an extraordinarily tight suit.
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They had come down together the day before from the fashionable resort at Southampton. Harlan had tried to present him with a check. They reached the automobile just as Hugo drove in his last nail. Jim opened a pocket of the door and took from it an unlabeled bottle containing a whitish-yellow liquid. He looked for a moment at her yellow hair and her blue eyes misty with sleep and tears.
Then he got into his car and as his foot found the clutch his whole manner underwent a change. The gesture of his straw hat indicated Palm Beach, St. Augustine, Miami. His body-servant spun the crank, gained his seat and became part of the intense vibration into which the automobile was thrown. It was almost a lullaby, as he said it. Then they were gone down the road in quite a preposterous cloud of dust. Just before they reached the first bend Amanthis saw them come to a full stop, dismount and shove the top part of the car on to the bottom pan.
They took their seats again without looking around. Then the bend — and they were out of sight, leaving only a faint brown mist to show that they had passed. The sidewalks were scratched with brittle leaves, and the bad little boy next door froze his tongue to the iron mail-box. Snow before night, sure. Autumn was over. Then he let himself hurriedly into the house, and shut the subject out into the cold twilight.
Roger turned on the hall-light and walked into the living-room and turned on the red silk lamp. He put his bulging portfolio on the table, and sitting down rested his intense young face in his hand for a few minutes, shading his eyes carefully from the light. Then he lit a cigarette, squashed it out, and going to the foot of the stairs called for his wife. He had trouble every day at this hour in adapting his voice from the urgent key of the city to the proper casualness for a model home. But tonight he was deliberately impatient.
They kissed — lingered over it some moments. They had been married three years, and they were much more in love than that implies. It was seldom that they hated each other with that violent hate of which only young couples are capable, for Roger was still actively sensitive to her beauty. His wife, a bright-coloured, Titian-haired girl, vivid as a French rag doll, followed him into the living room. Her hand, palm upward, was extended towards him. In his impatience it seemed incredible that she should ask for matches, but he fumbled automatically in his pocket.
After all, she had done no more than light a cigarette; but when he was in this mood her slightest positive action irritated him beyond measure. She was a Southern girl, and any question that had to do with getting ahead in the world always tended to give her a headache. He smiled airily as if it were a new game they were going to play. Then, as Gretchen was silent, his smile faded, and he looked at her uncertainly. You do enough work as it is. Somewhat to his annoyance the conversation abruptly ended. Gretchen jumped up and kissed him sketchily and rushed into the kitchen to light the hot water for a bath.
With a sigh he carefully deposited his portfolio behind the bookcase — it contained only sketches and layouts for display advertising, but it seemed to him the first thing a burglar would look for. They had no automobile, so George Tompkins called for them at 6. Tompkins was a successful interior decorator, a broad, rosy man with a handsome moustache and a strong odour of jasmine. He and Roger had once roomed side by side in a boarding-house in New York, but they had met only intermittently in the past five years. Roger stared moodily around the stiff, plain room, wondering if they could have blundered into the kitchen by mistake.
I think the movies are atrocious. My opinions on life are drawn from my own observations. I believe in a balanced life. Would that seem horribly egotistic? Do you take a daily cold bath? A horrified silence fell. Tompkins and Gretchen exchanged a glance as if something obscene had been said.
Then a good snappy game of bridge until dinner. Dinner is liable to have something to do with business, but in a pleasant way. Or maybe I sit down with a good book of poetry and spend the evening alone. At any rate, I do something every night to get me out of myself. Let me tell you, every private hospital in New York is full of cases like yours. You just strain the human nervous system a little too far, and bang! The saddest thing about women is that, after all, their best trick is to sit down and fold their hands.
When Tompkins dropped them in front of their house at eleven Roger and Gretchen stood for a moment on the sidewalk looking at the winter moon. There was a fine, damp, dusty snow in the air, and Roger drew a long breath of it and put his arm around Gretchen exultantly. If I could only sleep for forty days.
Then he turned around defiantly. From eight until 5. Then a half-hour on the commuting train, where he scrawled notes on the backs of envelopes under the dull yellow light. At twelve there was always an argument as to whether he would come to bed. He would agree to come after he had cleared up everything; but as he was invariably sidetracked by half a dozen new ideas, he usually found Gretchen sound asleep when he tiptoed upstairs. Christmas came and went and he scarcely noticed that it was gone. But the world outside his business became a chaotic dream. He was aware that on two cool December Sundays George Tompkins had taken Gretchen horseback riding, and that another time she had gone out with him in his automobile to spend the afternoon skiing on the country-club hill.
A picture of Tompkins, in an expensive frame, had appeared one morning on their bedroom wall. And one night he was shocked into a startled protest when Gretchen went to the theatre with Tompkins in town. But his work was almost done. Daily now his layouts arrived from the printers until seven of them were piled and docketed in his office safe.
He knew how good they were. December tumbled like a dead leaf from the calendar. There was an agonizing week when he had to give up coffee because it made his heart pound so. On Thursday afternoon H. Garrod was to arrive in New York. On Wednesday evening Roger came home at seven to find Gretchen poring over the December bills with a strange expression in her eyes. I love you, Gretchen. Say you love me — quick! The quarrel was averted, but there was an unnatural tenseness all through dinner. It came to a climax afterwards when he began to spread his working materials on the table.
Roger groaned. It occurred to him to send them both to the movies, but somehow the suggestion stuck on his lips. He did not want her at the movies; he wanted her here, where he could look up and know she was by his side. We can stand so much, and then — bang! When Roger had spread out his materials on the bed upstairs he found that he could still hear the rumble and murmur of their voices through the thin floor. He began wondering what they found to talk about. As he plunged deeper into his work his mind had a tendency to revert sharply to his question, and several times he arose and paced nervously up and down the room.
The bed was ill adapted to his work. Several times the paper slipped from the board on which it rested, and the pencil punched through. Everything was wrong tonight. Letters and figures blurred before his eyes, and as an accompaniment to the beating of his temples came those persistent murmuring voices. At ten he realized that he had done nothing for more than an hour, and with a sudden exclamation he gathered together his papers, replaced them in his portfolio, and went downstairs. They were sitting together on the sofa when he came in. Please go! She got up from the sofa, and very deliberately looked at her flushed, tear-stained face in the mirror.
Then she ran upstairs and slammed herself into the bedroom. Automatically Roger spread out his work on the living-room table. The bright colours of the designs, the vivid ladies — Gretchen had posed for one of them — holding orange ginger ale or glistening silk hosiery, dazzled his mind into a sort of coma. His restless crayon moved here and there over the pictures, shifting a block of letters half an inch to the right, trying a dozen blues for a cool blue, and eliminating the word that made a phrase anaemic and pale. Half an hour passed — he was deep in the work now; there was no sound in the room but the velvety scratch of the crayon over the glossy board.
After a long while he looked at his watch — it was after three. The wind had come up outside and was rushing by the house corners in loud, alarming swoops, like a heavy body falling through space. He stopped his work and listened. He put his hands to his head and felt it all over. It seemed to him that on his temple the veins were knotty and brittle around an old scar.
Suddenly he began to be afraid.
A hundred warnings he had heard swept into his mind. People did wreck themselves with overwork, and his body and brain were of the same vulnerable and perishable stuff. He arose and began pacing the room in a panic. He rubbed his hand over his eyes, and returned to the table to put up his work, but his fingers were shaking so that he could scarcely grasp the board. The sway of a bare branch against the window made him start and cry out. Proper respect for the dead is shown not in the cost of the funeral but rather in the faith and respect which family, friends and others bring to the funeral.
All too often people say, "Funerals are for the living, not the dead. Rather, a Catholic funeral affords an opportunity to praise and thank God for the love and mercy He has shown the deceased person. The funeral is a time to pray for the repose of the soul of the departed, and to offer consolation to family and friends.
The Scripture readings remind those present of the promise of life eternal to those who are faithful and believe. The celebration of the Eucharist is the heart of the funeral. The funeral Mass, which concludes with the promise of hope in Jesus Christ and belief in the resurrection of the dead, is appropriately followed by proper Christian burial. In the absence of a priest, a deacon may be asked to preside at the funeral. The long standing practice of reverently burying the body of the deceased in a grave or placing it in a mausoleum, in imitation of the burial of Jesus' body, continues to be encouraged by the Church.
Burial of the body is the preferred way of honoring the dead. Some families have abandoned the practice of having a Catholic Funeral Rite for the deceased. It is very unfortunate and improper when the body of the dead person is disposed of without prayer for their immortal souls. This approach indicates an erosion in our belief about the hope of eternal life, about death, respect for the human person. Cremation, once not permitted for Catholics, is now allowed provided that the remains will be reverently buried or placed in a mausoleum. The practice of cremation is being chosen by a significant number of families for a variety of reasons including economy and practicality.
It is recommended that cremation take place after the funeral liturgy so that the body can be present for the full course of funeral rites. This can be done in a manner that does not require excessive cost. The Church recently approved allowing the cremated remains to be brought into the church to be present for the vigil, the funeral and the rite of committal, and has prepared appropriate prayer texts to be used in these instances.
When a funeral Mass is said with the body present, the coffin is covered with a pall. When cremated remains are present, the instructions for the liturgy indicate that the remains are to be contained 'in a worthy vessel" and put on a table or stand in the place normally occupied by the coffin. The vessel is not to be covered with a pall.
The vessel containing the cremated remains may be carried to its place in the entrance procession or may be placed on a table or stand sometime before the liturgy begins. The Easter candle may be situated alongside the cremated remains, as it would be alongside the body. If the cremated remains are not treated with proper dignity, cremation can allow opportunity for disrespect of the human body. The practice of scattering cremated remains over the mountains, or keeping them at home, is not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. There have been instances of dividing the ashes between family members or of incorporating them into pottery.
Such, or similar, actions cheapen the respect for human life and show a lack of proper respect and dignity for the dead. Scattering the ashes also deprives loved ones and descendants of the opportunity to visit the remains at the cemetery or mausoleum where they can pray and reflect upon the life and memory of the deceased. Some may question whether the Church has taught clearly enough about this matter. Perhaps not, but I want to make it clear now that the improper disposition and scattering of ashes is contrary to Church teaching and therefore not permitted. As men and women of faith, let us reflect upon the mystery of death and the honor that we give to our deceased loved ones.
Let us remember the words of Jesus, "I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me though he should die will come to life, and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die. Trusting in the power of Jesus to overcome our shortcomings, we are confident that God wants all of us to enjoy eternal happiness. Each of us must do our part to achieve our eternal goal, and to encourage others to do the same.
We honor the dead and pray for them that they will have everlasting life. What do priests do? Who is the Church Looking For? How do I discern? I messed up before, what if it happens again?