This coming Sunday is known as “Low Sunday”. One of the origins of this is thought to be the day when the newly baptised stopped wearing their white robes of baptism from Easter Day, marking the end of the octave (first 8 days of Easter). You need to get into the liturgies of St Augustine and St Ambrose.
The phrase Dominica in albis depositis: the day the white albs (clothes) were put away marked a contrast with the High Day of Easter.
St Ambrose, or one of his admirers, also hanging out in the 4th century refers to it as Ad cœnam Agni providi in an ancient hymn.
Then, there is the introit hymn for Easter 2:
Quasi modo geniti infantes, Halleluja, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite
As if new born infants, Hallelujah, reasoning, wanting for the spiritual new milk (rough translation!)
This was no doubt an inspiration for Victor Hugo:
Archdeacon Claude Frollo, Quasimodo’s adoptive father baptized his adopted child and called him Quasimodo; whether it was that he chose thereby to commemorate the day when he had found him, or that he meant to mark by that name how incomplete and imperfectly molded the poor little creature was. Indeed, Quasimodo, one-eyed, hunchbacked, and bow-legged, could hardly be considered as anything more than an almost.
With that in mind, we could treat the day as Pope John Paul II called it, Divine Mercy Sunday, remembering all the ‘almost’ of the world with love and compassion.
It is a day we hear the words of Thomas, the human voice of the fourth Gospel who asks the necessary questions that require a Divine answer. Fair enough, he gets a bit of bad press for his questions-shooting the messenger is not a new thing, but look at the answers Thomas gets!
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No-one comes to the Father, except through me.”
He had earlier suggested of following Jesus to his death.
Thomas certainly did: legend has it was after his successful mission to India. We thank God today for the Marr Thoma congregations across the world.
So, Low, Doubting, Quasi Modo, people without their Easter finest clothes, or Mercy Sunday:
come, one and all!
He is Risen!
Sunday at 10 a.m.