The calendar for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the novus ordo, is replete with mediocrity, but at least twice a year this mediocrity is brought to a crescendo: at the feasts of the Ascension of Our Blessed Lord and the Epiphany. Lost from the mentality and spiritual life of the average mainstream, novus ordo Catholic is the notion that Christmastide is a twelve day affair.
The lost notion of the twelve days of Christmas only helps to displace the whole season. The Protestants, along with the pagan secular world, feigning Christian symbolism and heritage, have already moved the celebration of Christmas to the time before December 25th. Most novus ordo Catholics are as ready as the pagans and Protestants to jettison the whole notion of Advent as a penitential season, and have already tossed their spent Christmas trees to the curb to be picked up by the garbage men. The denuding of the Christmas season by moving Epiphany to the Sunday nearest January 6th has done nothing but help facilitate this process among Catholics. Rushing the season away for some "pastoral" effort to make things easy has utterly failed to fix the Church's new liturgical calendar into the lives and daily habits of the faithful. Mainstream Catholics have no connection to a calendar, even the woefully inadequate novus ordo calendar, and thus have been denied that very fruitful and uniquely Catholic structure of a deeply spiritual life. The resulting banality is only too apparent.
I attend Mass at a mission apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which means we share our parish with the novus ordo establishment. The bigger share, currently, belongs to this novus ordo establishment, thus we are often met each Sunday by the mundane, banal imagery of that iniquitous shadow of Catholicism on the cover of the parish bulletin. The cover for this Sunday's parish bulletin was the usual hodgepodge of amateurish impressionism, complete with stick figure wise men, and a background that strangely resembles something from an Aztec ziggurat.
The pastoral imprudence of making things easier translates into an immature spirituality that is reflected by this childish imagery that possesses only a marketing appeal devoid of any real effort or depth of thought. It's a commercial for the Epiphany, rather than something meant to inspire and raise the mind beyond the mundane. Forgotten is the rich heritage of Western Catholic art. The mindset of the modern mainstream, novus ordo establishment simply can not grasp an aesthetic principle that goes beyond sloganeering commercialism with subtle hints of ancient paganism.
This reality is corroding what is left of the Catholic foundations of the novus ordo edifice. Once the the last tethers of authentic Catholicism is corroded beyond repair, the novus ordo establishment will careen into the oblivion of Protestantism and secularism. It isn't a matter of "if", but "when". This is bad news for Western society that rests on the shoulders of the Church that built it.
However, in the wake of the novus ordo establishment are the ever growing Traditional Latin Mass communities. These communities are already working as the last lifelines for a Western world on the brink of slipping into complete cultural senility. However, these Traditional Latin Mass communities must constantly strive to incorporate the traditional calendar into the daily lives of the faithful. Let us pray that it is not too late.