Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good Friday and the Annunciation . . . and the End of the World

Good Friday this year is one of those rare times that it falls on March 25th, which is normally the Feast of the Annunciation.  The last time this happened, in 2005, was in the midst of a very notable Triduum for me, my first one as a confirmed Anglican for one thing.

A bit longer ago, before 1000 A.D., there were those who thought the correspondence of the two Holy Days would be even more notable.

With the end of the First Millennium approaching, there was much speculation about the end of the world.  Most of it displeased learned clerics.  As noted in The Apocalyptic Year 1000 (Oxford U Press 2003), Abbo of Fleury was particularly perturbed that Lotharingian computists calculated that The End would occur when Good Friday and Annunciation fell on the same day.  And that indeed was about to happen in 992.  Abbo complained that word of this had “almost filled the whole world.”

I do not know if said Lotharingian computists are ancestors of Harold Camping.  And who knows if they were just 1024 years premature.

Whether the world ends or not, may you have a solemn and blessed Good Friday.

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