Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
Friday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time (First Friday)
I am sorry it’s been nearly a week since I last posted. I am sure you all have been absolutely prostrate with grief. I have been mucho busy-o with grad school stuff and other such things that have consumed my time and my energy (physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional).
I am hoping and praying that things work out that I can start grad school in the Fall. Realllllllllly hoping. All I need for my admissions file is one more recommendation form; I am waiting on my recommend-er to send it in. After that’s done, they can finally get down to sending me my rejection letter. lolz. jk.
Once that’s done, I just need to work out the finances and get my blessed license. I’ve completed my nine novenas and am now focusing devotions on the Infant of Prague, Our Lady, and Saint Therese.
God will provide. I already have an idea of what classes I want to take and I have the chance to take a Scripture class with Bishop Michael Byrnes, currently one of the auxiliary bishops of the AOD, who served his first priestly assignment at my home parish.
I just want to get my Catholic nerd on and be able to go Latin Mass.
Now, onto the title of this blessed post …
Anyone who has known me for more than fifteen minutes knows that I absolutely abhor liturgical abuse. With the passion of a thousand heretics burning on the hottest supernova in a cosmos. Srsly.
My ire of liturgical abuse began when I was at my wonderful (the academics were overall very good and prepared me well for college) all-girls Catholic high school (we had kicky plaid skirts and spiffy saddle shoes) where our monthly liturgies were borderline invalid but almost always illicit. It was like something out of the 1970s complete with slideshows of nature scenes, poetic readings instead of the official liturgical readings, social justice-laden prayers, person-centered mentality, and, of course, what horribly mangled “Mass” would be “complete” without *gag* liturgical dance?
Since I was usually something of a Master of Ceremonies for these blessed things (I did what I could to keep it within the rubrics but I was but a little high school girl), I usually got to sit next to the priest and sometimes I would hear a comment muttered under his breath or a muffled snarl. My pastor was the most amusing. He would look at my from the corner of his eye and we’d exchange knowing glances and maybe a subtle snarl.
And don’t even get me started on my time in college. Thank teh Lawrd for Saint Isidore’s down the main road from the College with its Polish traddy-ness and valid and licit Masses laden with reverence and devotion. Oh, and the Perpetual Adoration chapel. I spent a lot of time there during my four years.
Mass is the “source and summit” of the Christian life! It’s not supposed to be a penance. It’s not supposed to cause persons to physically wince.
Today’s Mass was one of those … things.
I didn’t go to the parish for morning Mass today because someone on the Italian side of the family died and we went to her funeral.
I walked into the church and I was pleased that it had not been wrecko-vated. It still had its high altar, side altars, and rail. There was even the baldacchino! There were a few nice statues and even a statue of the Infant of Prague! Yay!
And the tabernacle was still on the high altar! Double yay!
I had high hopes for this liturgy! I find that the more transcendence present in the church (you know, tasteful amounts of statuary, votive lights, and other more traddy church accoutrements), the better chances there are that the liturgies won’t be “We are Church” happy clappy fests.
Having done probably hundreds of funerals myself (not said the Masses but having assisted at them as an MC), I know what’s what. What should happen and what shouldn’t.
It started off rather strange. It was also clear that many persons in the congregation do not attend church regularly because it seemed that whenever I or someone in my immediate family would get up, they would gradually get up too.
But I got over the beginning because it did follow the basic outline so it was probably just a parochial quirk.
The prayers were for the most part pretty legit save for a few unnecessary ad-libs and re-wordings that caused me to do just a mild eye roll.
Then, when we got to the readings, the priest took the female lectors by hand and escorted them to the ambo. I just found that kinda … weird and mildly inappropriate because both women were young women and perfectly able to walk up three steps and over a bit to the ambo. Quite extraneous at the very least.
Then the Gospel. It was a reading from “The Gospel according to our friend John.” Weird and wrong.
The homily was waaaaaaay too long. You know you’re talking too long when I start to quietly page through my Missal and read the readings of the day.
General Intercessions and Offertory were fine.
Then we got to the fun part.
Let’s play “Mangle the Eucharistic Prayer et al. as much as we can while still, through the grace of God, maintain validity!”
First, before he even got to the Consecration, when he did the silent prayers over the offerings (I know, I should know the name of them but I don’t have my Missal with me) preceding the Lavabo, he lifted both the chalice and the paten and offered one prayer for both.
In case you don’t know, they each have their own prayer and are to be offered separately. You can’t “kill two birds with one stone” with the Mass. Perhaps if the good sacerdote didn’t spend so much time rambling on about himself (his homily always returned to something about himself though it was a funeral for an 87 year old lady) then he would not have to commit such an illicit act. Of course, something is telling me that he does this regardless of homily length or anything else. *facepalm*
And that wasn’t even the worst part. I wish it was.
When he actually got to the Eucharistic Prayer (he did III), he had his way with the wording that while it was still valid it was blatantly illicit.
Then I made a bet with the Infant of Prague up at the front.
“I’ll betCha that if all the schtuff preceding is indicative of anything, that he’s gonna say ‘for all’ instead of ‘for many.’ Please, dear Child Jesus, prove me wrong.”
I hate it when I am right.
And he did it on purpose. The revised Missal has been out long enough that there is NO REASON whatsoever that a priest who says Mass relatively often should be using the old verbage. The only “reason” would be to be openly disobedient to what the Church has asked her priests to recite. Never mind repeating what the Lord Himself said.
And before anyone starts the tired rant that “for many” is just the Church’s myopic, backwards, and heartlessness coming out. “Christ would never have said that!”, they (the progressive modernist crowd) say.
Ha. And they say the Church doesn’t know her Scripture.
“And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them and saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”
(St. Matthew 26:27-28 RSV-CE)
“And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, ‘This is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.‘”
(St. Mark 14: 23-24 RSV-CE)
There it is, signore e signori, straight from the mouth of Our Lord and written down by two of the Evangelists, the very words that some deny that He would say.
The Lord knew in His omniscience that no matter what He did or what He said that there would be those who would be obstinate in their rejection of Him and His love. And since the Lord does not force Himself on His beloved children, He permits them to reject Him though it will mean that they will be separated from Him.
Sounds not-very-Christ-like? Well, He’s consistent. If He were going to dictate everything we would say, do, and think, then I strongly doubt that He would have given us free will to begin with. He didn’t want to force us to love Him. He wants us to choose to love Him as much as He loves us. Could it be true love if He forced us to love Him? Love is a choice.
Back to the Mass.
Well, it kinda went down from there though nothing nearly as blatantly bad as his volitional use of a phrase that has been superseded by a much more more theologically, textually, and Scripturally accurate/faithful phrase.
It is not a matter of the Church being a party-pooper. It’s a matter of the Church being faithful to her Spouse and His words.
And they wonder why Catholics don’t go to Mass regularly if at all?
We can be our own worst enemy.
I have to say that while I was sitting in the church, I was quite distracted by all the abuses to the point that it was hard for me to focus on what was going on.
I wished I was at a Latin Mass. Of course, that’s nothing new. I always want to go to Latin Mass.
I wonder what would have happened if I worked up the cajones and moxie to don my mantilla. She was in my purse, tempting me with her blessed ivory beautiful-ness. I always have her in my purse. You never know.
Even the fact that it takes moxie and cajones to wear a mantilla outside a TLM or a trad-leaning parish is sad.
I could go on ad nauseam about this whole schtick. Really. I could.
Catholics have a right to attend Mass and to not have to worry about whether it’s licit and valid. Licit-ness is important. Validity is important. While the latter is a bit more important because if a Mass is invalid, then no sacrament is confected, namely the Blessed Sacrament, licit-ness is also important. The Church would not have the rules she has about what is licit and what is not if she did not see it as something of importance to the spiritual life of her children.
I think that’s the thing that upsets me the most. Catholics are having their rights stomped upon by other Catholics who think that their way of “doing liturgy” is better than what the Church herself has stated to be what is required.
It’s beyond rights. It puts the well-being and salvation of souls at stake.
Another thing that annoys me is when it becomes apparent that the priest likes to call attention to himself while offering Mass.
Blech. That happened today.
That’s one of the many things I love about the TLM: the priest is facing the same direction as the people (toward God, btw) and thus, the personality of the priest is gone. So often at the Novus Ordo, the priest can become the center of attention, the host of the liturgy to put it one way. Whereas at the TLM, the priest’s being an alter Christus is much more apparent, at least to me.
When I worked at the parish and would be at the phones, I would be saddened by people who would call (usually on Friday afternoon) and ask who had what Mass or “Does Father So-and-so have ten o’clock Mass?” I would think upon hanging up the phone, “Dang, last time I checked, a Mass is a Mass.”
“Oh, but Allie, Father Kumbaya is so much more in touch with the people than Father Fiddleback and his Masses are so much more meaningful.”
Sorry about that.
Since when does the priest own the Mass so much that it is his Mass?!?!?! What?!?!?!? I thought the Mass was the highest and most powerful prayer that the Church can offer because it is a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. When we are at Holy Mass, we are standing at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady, the Marys, and John.
HOW CAN ONE MASS BE MORE “MEANINGFUL” THAN OTHERS?!?!
What? Does the Kumbaya priest mangle the rubrics under the banner of the cliche “Spirit of Vatican II” and basically fill his homily with filler and absolutely nothing of real spiritual value? While, on the other hand, Father Fiddleback reverently offers Holy Mass according to the rubrics and presents solid homilies on subjects that may not be happy-clappy and comfortable (you know, like the objective sinfulness of abortion, birth control, and homosexual activity/”marriage”).
That is one thing that has seeped into the minds of so many Catholics today: that the Mass has to be tailored to them and their feelings. Never mind the fact that the Mass really isn’t about the people: it’s about Christ and what He does for and offers to us: His love, mercy, and salvation by means of His Passion and Death.
And they wonder why happy-clappy parishes are aging/dwindling/dying while other more trad parishes are growing, attracting young people, and producing solid vocations up the Catholicky wazoo?!?
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because faithful Catholics are sick of this …
and this …
and are flocking to parishes that have this …
and this …
I don’t know. Just a hunch. Maybe because people thirst for intimacy with the transcendent. They are sick of the immanent rut of the ho-hum that so many parishes have fallen into. They want to be united with their Lord and Savior.
I just realized how long this thing has gotten. See? I am quite passionate and very tangential when it comes to liturgy. The Mass and liturgiology are two of my great loves. The Mass roots, orients, and is a major source of grace and strength for me. The study of the Mass helps me to come to better understanding of the great gift from God that is the Mass and the Church’s liturgical tradition.
With all of that in mind, how could we want to offer anything less than the most prayerful, reverent, and faithful Masses we can?
Thanks for enduring my loooooooong rant and tangents. Consider it part of your Friday penance. ;)
Have a nice evening!