Sunday, 23 April 2017

It's Quasimodo Sunday!

Traditionally the Sunday after Easter is known as Low Sunday - generally assumed to be the feeling of anticlimax - coming back to the mundane, after the glorious heights of the Easter Resurrection Celebrations. For those Christians who had been dressed in white robes and baptised on Easter Sunday, it marked the end of a week of wearing white and being 'special' and becoming just 'ordinary' Christians. Here's St Augustine, all dressed up for his baptism, at the Easter Vigil AD387.
Or possibly it is a corruption of Laudes [one of the prayers begins Laudes Dominum - thank the Lord] 
But Low Sunday is the most commonly used name. It is also the feast day of St Thomas [a much maligned apostle, imho, I never did feel 'doubting Thomas' was an appropriate nickname]
It was believed to be Thomas who travelled eastwards as a missionary, to found the Christian Church in India.
But while I was researching the 'Low Sunday' origins, I discovered something else - that the other name is Quasimodo Sunday. 
How cool is that?
"Is it because preachers get the hump, because they are so tired after Easter?" muttered Bob when I bounced in and shared this discovery with him, just as he was having a snooze.
No it isn't - it is from the Latin phrase "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite" - 1 Peter 2:2, "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word". This is the sung introit for the day - and those first two words give the name...
And in Victor Hugo's novel, Archdeacon Frollo finds the abandoned hunchbacked baby on the Sunday after Easter, and that is why he is given the name Quasimodo. I rather like that explanation. And it is an encouragement to people not to be low as the Easter Holiday ends, but rather to seek to grow in their understanding of the Bible.

One final note - it does seem that there really was a Hunchback of Notre Dame who may have inspired Hugo's story. Check it out here.


  1. I LOVE Ang Answers-what I call it when you explain the origin of something! HOW fascinating about Quasimodo Sunday!!!
    Also, you've also inadvertently answered something I've been puzzled about since 2002! When I lived in Bali, sending text messages home to the UK on my Nokia phone was very expensive and so I used to try and shorten words and use numbers to replace letter strings (e.g. 4get2do it!) I always wrote 'going to' as 'goin2' . EVERYTIME I wrote it, it (predictive texting) never gave 'goin' as 'imho' which I never understood as I wondered why it was giving a non-word as the first option. BUT, reading your writing today, I've suddenly realised it is a short version of 'in my honest opinion'. DUH!! HOw had it taken me 15 years to realise that??????????

  2. I do that sort of thing too, and wonder why it has taken me years to realise the obvious!


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