Thursday, October 06, 2005

Work Head: Big Masses Bad

From Reuters, a noteworthy intervention at the Synod
The head of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei on Thursday criticised the holding of giant masses where many thousands of people worship together and receive communion.

Such large-scale open-air masses were one of the hallmarks of the papacy of John Paul, who died in April, and his successor Pope Benedict has already held several.

In an address to a synod of bishops meeting at the Vatican, Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez said such large-scale celebrations could sometimes be a detriment to the "sacred nature" of the mass.

According to an excerpt of his speech given out to reporters and a briefing by a spokesman, Echevarria said the Church should "re-think whether Eucharistic celebrations (masses) with an excessive number of concelebrants is opportune".

Concelebrants are priests who say the mass along with the main celebrant, usually the Pope.

Echevarria said that when there were so many priests saying it at the same time "it does not make the dignified carrying out of the mass possible".
Hmmmm... The only thing which made Marienfeld irreverent were the screaming seminarians. Everything else was beeeeautiful.

-30-

7 Comments:

Blogger Talmida said...

Am I the only one who reads this and thinks, loaves, fishes, 5000, Jesus preaching?

6/10/05 13:57  
Blogger Ben said...

Communion is not the most important thing in the Mass. I think this generation is as off balance as the generation that would have to be told to receive communion at least once a year was off balance. Trying to "pass out jesus" to thousands of people has always seemed wrong to me. There is just no reverent way to do it. I think the problem is that receiving communion is seen as the most important part of the Mass. Of course we know that it is not even necessary. The most necessary thing and the most efficacious and powerful part of the Mass is Jesus being offered as the slain Lamb of God to the Father on our account. How many people know this? How many at these huge Masses? My guess would be very very few. Back in the days they focused on this and could barely bring them selves to communion becasue of the reverence for what they had just accomplished. With the prayers "lord I am not worthy..." And "Approach with fear and faith"(byzantine), we should be able to find the humility to come forward. Having concelebrants many yards away and even the bread and wine many yards away really seems to strip the dignity away. I am not saying that large outdoor masses cannot ever be done. They just need some guidlines. Since they are relatively new for the most part I can see this happening. Matter of fact B16 has already made a few changes he thought necessary.

6/10/05 14:22  
Blogger Anthony said...

I've been to one Very Large Mass, an Episcopal Ordination in Manizales, Colombia. There were likely 4,000 or more people present, nearly all of whom received communion. While it may not have been as Purple as a Papal Mass, there were two Cardinals, about 10 archbishops, and 30-40 bishops present.

The mass seemed perfectly dignified to me, possibly excepting the photojournalists tromping all over the altar. It took a long time for the celebrants to give communion to those 4,000 people, but it was orderly and dignified the entire time.

6/10/05 16:22  
Blogger Ben said...

Anthony, it sounds like your experience was good till... What do you mean by ALTER? Do you mean Sanctuary? It is sad how we don't even know what a Santuary is anymore. Because we don't really even have them! How can photojournalists even be in there? This is a liturgical abuse. Popularity once again rises above honoring God! The Bishops could/should of kicked them out!

6/10/05 17:26  
Blogger Tony said...

Communion is not the most important thing in the Mass

Ben, was this a typo? Did you put a "not" in by mistake?

7/10/05 14:01  
Blogger Ben said...

That was no typo! I guess you made my point. Most people are unaware of the most important reason we have the Mass. It is the Sacrifice of the New Covenant! We are obligated to go AT LEAST on Sundays to Mass. We also must be there for the majority of it for it to count. We are not obligated to recieve communion but once a year. And we can receive communion if we just show up for one minute of Mass or even outside of Mass all together. If we compare the marriage we have to our spouse to that which we have with our Lord it comes clear. When we get married and repent of our past life and live solely for our spouse this corresponds to the penitential rite. As we grow in understanding of our spouse through listening this corresponds to the hearing of the Word. Now the most important part of Marriage and the Mass is the self offering. Giving ourselves completely to our spouse. In the Mass our Spouse, Jesus Christ, becomes truely present and offers Himself for us to the Father. We actually participate in the True Sacrifice of Calvary. And then lastly we have communion which corresponds to the sexual union between the spouses. The Groom comes into the Bride, which is the Church. Without down playing communion or the sex act, I hold that tit is not the most important part but the complete self offering is.

7/10/05 15:09  
Blogger Andrew Cole said...

Bishop Rodriguez's comments during the Synod about large open-air celebrations of Mass seem to be quite ironic when you consider the size of the congregations at the Beatification & Canonisation of Opus' saintly founder...

15/12/05 12:35  

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