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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Soda and the Mass are Related...

I recently read an article about the Mass and how it relates to Catholics.  In the article, the conversation was a compare and contrast between how the Church has handled the "reforms" after Vatican Council II, liturgically and how a certain soda company tried to make a "ground-breaking" change in 1985.

Let me elaborate.

In 1985, Coca-Cola attempted to change the landscape of the so-called soda wars wherein Pepsi had been on a strong marketing campaign utilizing the stars of the day, most notably Michael Jackson.  In order to compete, Coke decided to change it's formula from the traditional formula to a new formula.  Coke did focus  groups and study panels and all sorts of research.  In the end, something like 80% of those tested said they liked the new product.  So, Coke took it to market, in 1985.  The New Coke came out and the Coke Classic was being phased out.  By October, Coke Classic was essentially gone an the New Coke was all that was left.  People were outraged!!!  The drinkers of Coke were up in arms demanding a return to the old formula.  It was really bad, as my memory serves and by early 1986, the original formula had returned and by 1990, New Coke was gone.  Those who were faithful to traditional Coke had ruled the day.

In 1969, by contrast, the Church changed the landscape of the liturgical life of the Church, wherein there had been a strong campaign started in 1948 to reform the Mass.  This campaign was headed by a group of churchmen known today as "The Consilium."  With the authority of Pope Paul VI, the Consilium decided to "reform" the Mass in order to make it new and fresh.  The Consilium did focus groups and study panels and all sorts of research.  They had some favorable responses, but they also had some very unfavorable responses as well.  But the Consilium took it to Pope Paul VI anyhow and by 1969, they had affected a change in the liturgical life of the Church.  By 1975, the old Mass was phased out (mostly) and the New Mass was all that was left.  The Consilium even went so far as to throw around the term abrogated.  We know now this was mere propaganda, as the current Pontiff has made clear.  Many in the Church were outraged, some were dispondent, some approved and many just wondered why.  There were some though that went up in arms and demanded a return to the old formula.  By 2007, the original formula had returned and the fastest growing segment of the Church is not the New, but the Old formula.  Those who are faithful to the traditional Mass are starting to rule the day.

When we compare the two pieces of history, many will say that it isn't exactly the same.  They are right, but it is close enough that the compare and contrast can be made.  The life of the Church moves more slowly than marketing in modern America, but the lesson learned by Coke can be applied, in total to the liturgical life of the Church.

In short:  If it ain't broke, don't fix it!  I'm just sayin'....

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