Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Triumph of the (Cultic) Will

A humble request to you, my gentle snowflakes: If I ever get involved in a liturgical discussion which gets so heated that it turns into a public fracas, shoot me. Because it would mean that I have no life.

In that vein, Clayton in Mahonyville is getting all whipped up because a friend of his got into a post-messam catfight with a priest about the proper use of the corporal. It wasn't just catty, it was mejor catty, and who the bigger cat was is anyone's guess. I guess these two decided to re-enact that memorable early evening in the PCL for the benefit of those of us who didn't get to see it.

Again, if I ever descended into something of this kind, shoot me. Because it would mean that I have no life.

So Clayton -- who "doesn't want to engage in detraction" -- lets his friend's accounts stand unchallenged without asking the priests involved for their take. Some balance that is.

You know, I once -- twice, actually -- got enflamed at people for "violating" liturgical law and custom. The only difference from this situation? I was 12 years old at the time and my sole resource was EWTN. As I got older, I realized that: 1. EWTN is insane, 2. it wasn't the end of the world and 3. regardless of age, liturgy police are petulant children.

Ah, the benefits of hindsight....



Blogger Matthew Lickona said...

Um, 1 and 3 are just name-calling, which isn't exactly adult argument. And 2 is pretty broad - wouldn't you agree that it depended on the violation? Wouldn't you agree that liturgy matters, and that "liturgical law and custom" gives shape to liturgy?

9/8/05 17:30  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

EWTN's online liturgical judgment isn't so bad. It's its other online experts that tend towards the ultra obscurantist.

9/8/05 19:02  
Blogger CDE said...

Hi Rocco,

Am I supposed to insinuate that I ought to be shot?

I admit that it would have been a good idea to contact Fr. Albert about his side of the story. I don't know why it didn't occur to me. Anyway, I just found his e-mail address and sent him a note apologizing for the oversight and giving him a chance to present his point of view on my site.

Speaking of balance, why did you decide it was okay to question my good will before inquiring or sending me a personal e-mail?

9/8/05 19:40  
Blogger Vonshui said...


Gyrovagus: Brilliant.

10/8/05 03:37  
Blogger Banshee said...

And I hate to point this out, but there are a good many countries with their own way of pronouncing Church Latin. The Italian way is not the only way, as Pope Benedict tends to demonstrate. There are certain countries where the "th" has traditionally been pronounced, and folks in Alabama are allowed to speak that way if they like. Personally, I think we should all go back to Classical Latin pronunciation, because it's much prettier. But nobody asked me to stick my nose into that particular business.

Furthermore, while I agree that the rubrics should be followed by everybody but that certain rubrics are a bit trivial... Well, living as a community, as we are told we are supposed to be doing, does in fact mean that the little old ladies are reading the newspaper and sending in grammar and spelling corrections to the editor. That was part of why the small town newspaper editor was darned careful about said grammar, much less fact-checking.

Do you really think the folks at the Council were totally unaware that this would happen? No! Most of us didn't grow up in actual neighborhoods, but they did! They knew exactly what they were putting themselves in for!

So if the Church encourages mindfulness and lay participation, the Church is setting up the priests to be observed more closely and to receive more comments. And not just from the progressive wing or the lay liturgist, either. They should take this as a gift, however uncomfortable, and work towards honoring Christ more and more. And if that attention isn't fair, then the priest can always write a comment in the bulletin or hold a class on the GIRM.

This ain't rocket science, either; it's the same thing our company's senior staff does whenever they need to do rumor or busybody control. If people feel their comments are being heard, valued, and addressed -- even if the answer is "No" -- they "feel ownership" in the company, and they don't spend all their time bitching instead of working. (Though our shares help, too.)

Now, granted, we can't give out stock shares in the parish. But the priest can in fact communicate with the people and teach them. That's part of his job.

Sorta like, oh, I don't know... visibly showing respect for the Real Presence of his God and King? Which would, by the way, not only be a teaching aid as well as an end in itself, but create trust in the parishioners that any small violation of the rubrics is done mistakenly. Which would probably keep complaints in that quarter to a minimum, or at least allow the priest to face them with a clean conscience.

It might also be nice to pray together with complainants for God's help addressing the problem. In our parish, the pastor makes all the parish committees come to Vespers before their meetings. This reduces wrangling, because everyone is ashamed to fight right after spending time with God. (And we're not at all a trad parish, as it happens.)

10/8/05 06:57  
Blogger Tom said...

For example, the inclination of the head at the mention of Mary during the Mass is not in the rubrics, but the Pope seems to do this.

The inclination of the head at the mention of Mary during the Mass is in the rubrics.

"A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated." GIRM 275 a.

Okay, so I can quote the GIRM on this. So I have a hobby.

10/8/05 09:32  
Blogger CDE said...

Fr. Albert must have received my e-mail informing him about the story published on my blog.

On August 16, he sent a note to John expressing his sadness that John's version of the conversation had been published on the Internet.

But I have heard nothing from Fr. Albert myself.

19/8/05 07:59  

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