Thursday, September 25, 2008

Save the Liturgy!

I've been wanting to put that image on my blog for a while now, and there's nothing like attending a horrendous liturgy to inspire you. I attended Mass (if indeed it was a valid Mass, I'm still not entirely sure) in my sister's new hometown last Sunday, and it was quite the experience. It would take too long to detail all the ways in which the Mass was illicit and in poor taste, so I'll just share what stands out the most at the moment. After the Agnus Dei, the copious EMEs swarmed the altar and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the priest (who was wearing an alb that only reached his knees, khakis, brown shoes, a stole, and no chasuble). Instead of elevating the Host to proclaim "This is the Lamb of God", he opted to leave Jesus lying on the altar with his hands resting on either side. Then he handed out the (glass) bowls and chalices to the EMEs and they all headed off to distribute communion. None of them, including the priest, had received yet. After receiving, I watched them closely, because I had not been able to locate the tabernacle upon entering the church, and I thought that surely they would have to approach it at some point and clue me into its location. Nope, after everyone else had received communion, they returned to the altar and unceremoniously finished off what was left. After Mass, I asked the mother of the only other family who had bothered to kneel at any point in the Mass just where on earth the tabernacle was. She didn't know what a tabernacle was. After I explained, she said, "Oh, yeah, I think I've seen those, I think I know what you're talking about. I don't think I've ever seen one here."

At least we were there last week, and not the next, because this coming Sunday the parishoners have been invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets - and animals!!! - for an outdoor Mass where their pets will be blessed! Of course, then we at least would have known immediately to run for the hills. Although, in retrospect, when Samuel leaned over and said, "Mama, that lady is plugging in her guitar," maybe I should have taken the hint.


Kate said...

That Mass sounds like a bad dream!

A really, reeeeeeally bad dream!

Tracy said...

Yes, that's how it felt. I'd always heard about terrible Masses like that, but never thought I'd be in one. As my sister put it, the only thing that Mass was "lacking" was liturgical dance. (Which I have also seen up close and personal in recent months when we were visiting a different parish.) I am sooooo thankful for our parish's wonderful priest right now!

Leonie said...

Makes us appreciate what we get in our more conservative parishes!

Jennifer said...

Wow Tracy... I know our Masses have a ways to go but goodness... that doesn't even sound like a ligit mass? I wonder what Samuel thought about it all?

Tracy said...

I don't think that Samuel noticed a lot of the specific problems, but he definitely noticed that the "feel" of the Mass was different. He does not like electric guitars at Mass!

While we have a wonderful priest at our own parish, the music still often leaves something to be desired. A few weeks ago, the priest made the music director play an actual hymn, "Lift High the Cross", at the end, and Samuel got SO excited. "Cathedral music!!!" LOL (It is our bishop's favorite hymn, so we always hear it when we go there!)