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Prayers at the Foot of the Altar

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 20, 2006

From the Missale Nonoxynolense (Redondo Beach: 2009), translated from the demotic Californian by Sr. Marie-Eugénie de l'Assomption, SL.

I come to the coffee-table of the Lord
   To God who gives joy to my youth.
Plows are tacky, but I love a beaten sword;
   So strum the harp, and pour the sweet Vermouth!

Let us rise, uproot our oaken pews,
   And cast them in the Lake of Innisfree:
Then build (in def'rence to a younger Muse)
   Unstructured space for worship/ministry.

O hang the walls with bead-work from Malaya,
   Beneath my feet a lilac carpet lay.
Lava a romanitate mea
   Et a machismo meo munda me!


Put a watch before my lips, O Lord,
   A Rolex by the gatehouse of my mouth,
That we might hymn (in liberal accord)
   The macro-economics of the South.

Incline thy ear to this my tongue's oblation;
   Spurn not inclusive liturgy resoúrces;
For I sing a song of human maturation
   In words our campus Worship Team endorses.

A polyester ephod weave for me
   To grace thy courts on ferials and festals.
And might we laud thy Domesticity
   With earthen-ware, and more-than-earthen Vestals.

Deliver us from Krakows and from Galways --
   Benighted ghettos blind to their mistake;
Enlightened minds cry, "Give us this bread, always --
   And let the peasants starve, for pita's sake!"

Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J., presides (L.A. Catholic Worker photo

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Show 22 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: NonSumDignus - Feb. 26, 2006 10:25 AM ET USA

    There is nothing in the "Novus Ordo" which would result in whatever it is that is being done in this photograph. Please don't blame the liturgical reforms of Vatican II for this and similar abuses. This sort of thing is much more the result of poor formation and lack of sufficient theological education on the part of this priest and others like him who somehow are permitted to continue in the erroneous opinion that their "creativity" and desire to make the Mass "relevant" is primary. How sad.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2006 6:50 PM ET USA

    Um. Is that the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the table? And the all-seeing eyes of God on the "altar cloth"? Just wondering.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 22, 2006 7:17 AM ET USA

    fisherman, I am afraid that this kind of thing happens much too often. By the way, I couldn't see the grape juice on the "alter"! This is just what the SSPX find so abominable about the "new Mass", and I agree! That these are allowed are a shame in and of itself! I'd rather have 100,000 faithful Catholics than 1,000,000,000 "in name only". I fear that,once my children leave to go out on their own, they will be fooled by these charlatins! Maranatha! Come now, and put a stop to this nonsense!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2006 1:30 PM ET USA

    Kumbaya mylord, Kumbayaaaaaaaa,,, Afterwards group hug, followed by the rubric of inhaling the sacred weed...

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2006 10:32 AM ET USA

    Dude's got on geisha flip flops. Geisha flip flops.

  • Posted by: parochus - Feb. 21, 2006 2:45 AM ET USA

    Whether it's the 70's or the New Millenium - the only thing that's left unchanged in this "liturgy" are the bread and wine.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 20, 2006 11:22 PM ET USA

    Onkel Di, your excellent line "et a machismo meo munda me" reminds me of a poem by "Brother Antoninus", quondam beat poet of the sixties. Title of poem: Annul in Me my Manhood. Brother Antoninus later famously pulled off his religious habit in front of a microphone while reading his poetry. Leaving both habit and vows on the stage, he told the audience he couldn't keep the vow of chastity. And left. Not real classy, but better than some.

  • Posted by: Gino - Feb. 20, 2006 8:19 PM ET USA

    The Jesuits are truly getting more and more irrelevant and ridiculous by the day. Saint Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier have a lot of praying to do, in order to save the Society of Jesus.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 20, 2006 8:05 PM ET USA

    I believe that with the initial vowel of "ear" the proper pronoun would be "thine," rather than "thy." Of course, the familiar and formal form is forbidden in the post-Liturgical Conference era.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Feb. 20, 2006 7:41 PM ET USA

    Pete, no one here is making fun of the liturgy. Rather, they are using satire to point out the folly of the unauthorized and blasphemous mutations of the liturgy. In fact, I think it can be argued, by examining the picture, that no authentic liturgy occurred, since the bread appears to be invalid matter.

  • Posted by: Pete133 - Feb. 20, 2006 7:18 PM ET USA

    I certainly do not condone the nonsense purported to be liturgical celebrations, but I'm also finding it difficult to view these photos and read the remarks. Perhaps I've lost my sense of humor, but my pre-Vatican II religion classes taught me that it was sacrilegious to make fun of sacred things--ceremonies, sacraments, etc. I would respectfully suggest we drop this subject and confine it to the appropriate diocesan departments, where, unfortunately, it will probably be ignored.

  • Posted by: fisherman129 - Feb. 20, 2006 6:50 PM ET USA

    Don't worry folks... I would think this doesn't happen too often in our church. This is obviously an extreme example of a statistically insignificant number of such so called Masses - if it is a Mass, and not some kind of bread service of sharing and not a Mass. Don't get too worked up.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Feb. 20, 2006 4:51 PM ET USA

    "Don't the rubrics call for a swag lamp to honor the Symbolic Presence of the Lord?" No, that would be a Lava Lamp.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Feb. 20, 2006 2:02 PM ET USA

    This is outrageous! No traditionalist could ever support this. I thought short round wooden altars were strictly forbidden!???? The problem with this guy is that he believes the Mass is all about him and them, not Christ and His Father.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 20, 2006 1:38 PM ET USA

    Oh Lord, shades of the sixties again! I assume that is Mother Superior off to the right looking tanned and fit in her 'Summer Habit'...?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 20, 2006 12:49 PM ET USA

    RELAX RELAX RELAX - Let not your heart be troubled...I will report Fr. Kelly to the liturgical authorities here in Los Angeles and they will deal with him swiftly and surely - I know they will be as shocked as I am by his lack of liturgical dancers and that there is no peanut butter or jelly for the sourdough loaves. Rogerworld Headquarters will be grateful to nip this liturgical aberration in the bud.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 20, 2006 10:43 AM ET USA

    According to the LA Worker website, an earthquake destroyed their former premises in 1987. At least God has a sense of humour!

  • Posted by: Linus682 - Feb. 20, 2006 9:26 AM ET USA

    I want to vomit...

  • Posted by: major - Feb. 20, 2006 9:20 AM ET USA

    Why isn't tis picture/story sent to the CDF and this 'priest' defrocked?

  • Posted by: Neri - Feb. 20, 2006 9:01 AM ET USA

    Another reason not to trust the Jesuits AT or WITH the sacred liturgy. Where is Pope Clement the XIV when you need him?

  • Posted by: www.inquisition.ca - Feb. 20, 2006 8:22 AM ET USA

    Uncle Di, I have to try to translate this into French, it's priceless! But poetry... argh, a translator's nightmare! Plus, you'll need to provide at least three pages of footnotes to explain all the inside jokes. What can I say? I'm willing to bet that poem (and the wild picture!) will be more effective than "Redemptionis Sacramentum"! :-)

  • Posted by: - Feb. 20, 2006 8:16 AM ET USA

    Don't the rubrics call for a swag lamp to honor the Symbolic Presence of the Lord? It would fit right in with the particleboard motel furniture and parti-colored heart on pedestal (sacred to memory of faithful departed AIDS victims). What about the calix sanguinis domini? No longer required in Jesuit liturgies so l long as the Presider's stole comports with current regulations!

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