Would somebody please slap Father?
Blogger RC of Catholic Light has some good-willed but pointed words of remonstrance for a priest who departed from the Sacramentary to crack a joke:
Father, please shut up. Mass is a ritual, so let it be one. Let Him increase and you decrease. If you break the ritual, and if you step out of character, it tells us that you don't believe in the role you're playing. And God forbid, if you make a joke out of it, you're adopting an ironic stance toward the Holiest thing that happens on earth. Reflect.
In sum, Father, it's not about you.
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Posted by: Shan2122 -
Jan. 12, 2005 11:19 PM ET USA
My Parish Priest decided to omit the Creed at Sunday Mass as he had developed a belief that it "interfered" with the "movement" from the homily to the Prayers of the Faithful. The Homily was then and is now still rarely given from the one place - there is great movement across the Sanctuary. I both spoke to him and wrote, gently in both cases, and pointed to the importance of the Creed and its place in the liturgy. To his credit, the Creed was restored to its rightful place. The other, well...
Posted by: shrink -
Jan. 11, 2005 10:42 PM ET USA
As reported, the joke was made over the ritual purification of the hands during the Offertory, and had the altar server at the butt end of the affair. We've seen this style of behavior before, making lite of sin with kids in the room--albeit in more perverse form.
Posted by: -
Jan. 11, 2005 8:40 PM ET USA
The Novus Ordo is not reformable. It is valid ocourse. My priest does improvise even during the consecration. His improvisations are well meaning, not intended to be disrespecful. He does not understand that any improvisation is per se abusive and disrespectful. The improvisations cause a scandal for some even if not for all. This potential for abuse and scandal at all Masses is what make the ritual unreformable. I love the Mass but cringe every time I go. Abuse begets more abuse.
Posted by: Trent-on -
Jan. 11, 2005 3:50 PM ET USA
Loss of the sense of ritual has put the "performer" on the spot. I've been wondering why I hear priests say they are exhausted or stressed out after saying three Masses on the weekend. I can't see why they should be so exhausted except that they've got too much pressure to be Jay Leno, David Letterman, Robert Schuler, Billy Graham, and be told "What a nice Mass you say." Stick to the ritual with reverence for what is happening, and there's a lot less stress.
Posted by: -
Jan. 11, 2005 3:15 PM ET USA
When the Church rid itself of the "priest," and the sacrificial altar, and gave us, instead, presiders at a dinner table, it turned every one of its new-age presbyters into performers, and every sanctuary into a stage. Some of these presbyters like to dance, some like to sing, and some see themselves as stand-up comics. And none, I'll bet, would let a little ritual stifle what is uniquely theirs. The show must go on…
Posted by: Abraham Tolemahcs -
Jan. 11, 2005 3:01 PM ET USA
coach-all true but sometimes a good, hard, manly slap across the back of the head of a priest like this will do wonders I bet to increase his awareness towards the ritual and his duties in persona Christi. Think of it as an act of charity. It would likely deter Fr from ever doing this again as well as preventing further scandal. If nothing else, he won't ever make a dumb joke like that again in the presence of Christ during the consecration and the person who gave him the "reminder".
Posted by: coach1 -
Jan. 11, 2005 12:32 PM ET USA
We need the holiness back in our liturgy. We need peace brought back to our churches. We need the Hierarchy to find their collective spinal columns, apologize for the mess and obey the Vatican II documents in total. Obedience to Rome is the key.