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Monday, December 19, 2011

Odds/Ends and Clearing Some Thoughts...

First things first, I guess....Mother had her hip replaced on Thursday.  The surgery went well, but she didn't respond quite like the docs would have liked, so she ended up having a blood transfusion to lift her platelets.  She also had a tough time absorbing and voiding all of the medications, so she stayed a little more sedated than expected....all of this wrapped in with the fact that she has a new hip and an extra day is probably warranted.  I, for one, know first hand that staying an extra day is a good thing most of the time and with someone undergoing the procedure she did, at her age, I feel better about her taking the extra day.

Please if you would, say a prayer for Mother.  I would appreciate it.

Moving on...some of you know that I've been in contact with the Bishop of Sioux City regarding some liturgical seems that while the bishop is on my side, the pastor is not.  I have corresponded with the pastor as well, and nothing has changed.  For those of you who think that the "liturgical changes" are going to make things better liturgically, well, you'd be wrong.  It can.  But for the most part, all it has amounted to is changing 1 book.  Sad.  In my humble estimation, there needed to be two things that SHOULD HAVE happened to help the liturgical life of the Church...

1.  Giving the rubrics force of law and restoring the singularity of action.  The rubrics now, are simply norms and there are too many options.  A priest is given the ability to take that which is perfectly objective and make it subjective.  It doesn't work.  The restoration wouldn't be difficult, but there would need to be several things to take place:

a) Remove the options during the introductory...make the Confiteor mandatory, as well as the Kyrie.  Make the introit mandatory as well.
b) Put the Liturgy of the Word in the hands of the priest.  It shouldn't be celebrated by the faithful.  It simply isn't their role.  There is nothing wrong with the priest proclaiming the readings (or deacons if applicable), but the idea that the priest merely presides undermines the whole of the theological significance of the Liturgy of the Word.
c) Remove the options for the "Eucharistic Prayers."  There is no basis in Tradition for them.  The Roman Canon should be restored as the singular Canon.  Look up the definition of Canon and you'll see why.

2. Restore the musical patrimony of the Church.  These new settings are crazy!!!!  I literally heard Stephen Curtis' new setting at Mass yesterday and I could only think of one thing....he stole the music from RENT, the broadway


See what I mean...don't think of the lyrics...think of the music...what on God's (formerly) Green Earth has the liturgical life come to?  Don't get me wrong....I like this kind of music.  I don't have a problem with it...ON BROADWAY!!!!  How about something like this for Mass:

I can tell you a couple of things...first, the chant is easier to sing.  It is in unison and it can be taught simply and with modern notation.  Stephen's music is very hard to sing...especially from a congregational point of view.  Which leads me to my next clearing of my head...

If these "renewers" of the Church are constantly preaching diversity and inculturation and tolerance, yadda, yadda, yadda....why don't they listen to all the Catholics who come to them?  Could it be that they aren't really all that open?  Could it be that they have an agenda that they want to pass, rather than simply doing what is asked and expected?  I think so.

What would happen if, take me for example....started improvising at work.  What if I decided that it was better to do task A by improvising and not following the plan as boss would be on my six faster than you can shake a stick!  Yet these priests and liturgists just do what they want....and with no repercussion.  As I said before, I have been in contact with the bishop and I have been in contact with the pastor.  Yet here's what happened yesterday at Holy Mass....

1.  Father wore red and not violet.  Don't ask me why, I have no idea.  Father has been a priest for more than 50 years, so the whole...I forgot excuse won't cut it.
2.  The homily was on literally nothing.  He stood at the ambo and literally blathered for 15 minutes...he told a couple of corny jokes....made some comment about a doctor who recently passed away and told his kids that they could go to college anyplace and if they went to Creighton in Omaha, he'd pay....yucka, yucka.  Then he said something about not liking commercials and how he muted the tv when they came on...then this happened...
3.  When he sat down for the imposed silence between the Creed and the homily, one of the Knights of Columbus came from the church hall, to the presidential chair (we don't have a sedilia anymore) and offered Father a plate of pancakes and sausage!!!!  No lie!  I was mortified.  The Mass is NOT an advertisement for the  KofC's it's the Mass!!!

This is a true story and this is a perfect example of what I have been banging on this blog....The Mass has ceased to be a sacrifice and it has become an assembly of believers who commune together.  Have we lost sight of the meaning of the Mass?  You decide....I know my answer....I buried my head in my hand missal and tried to forget the sacrilege....yes, that is exactly what it was....sacrilege.

(For my Protestant readers, this is not how the Mass should go.  The Mass, for Catholics is two is the unbloody sacrifice of calvary represented for our Salvation, by the command of Christ  and it is the public worship of the Church, in which we participate by uniting our minds, hearts and souls to the sacrifical action of the priest...while this may sound and feel foreign, it is the reality of the Catholic Church's form of worship.  I understand you have your own forms, but this is what Catholics are to believe at their base.  It isn't a discussion, it is a statement.)

OMG!!!!! smh....When will enough be enough?  Cute and Schmaltzy have no place in Catholic worship.  It is offensive and it is sacrilegious.  And most of all, it is sad.  Sad, because the priest allowed for the sacrilege to take place and reduced the amount of grace the faithful were able to attain.

My final bit of ranting is this...we have a new translation for the English.  ENGLISH!!!!  The priest has a book, the faithful have either missalettes or they have cards to help.  I was under the impression that the whole point of having Mass in the vernacular was so that it would be more intelligible.  As it is, the language is great!  The meaning is clearer, but the priest and the faithful NEED TO READ!!!!  If participation in the Mass is through our responses and our doing stuff (as is always used as a rebuttal to participatio actuosa), then why are priests and the faithful having such a hard time transitioning.  It isn't like learning a new language, right?  Right.  I don't buy the whole....we knew it from rote memory, crud.  That goes nowhere with me.  I give the faithful enough credit to be able to say that they can read and they can respond.  Priests have a Masters degree, but they are tripping over words?  Nope, don't buy it.  If there is so much trouble with the ENGLISH (!!!) then perhaps we should just bag the whole thing and go back to Latin.  If not, then START READING WHAT IS ON THE PAGE!!!!!  I vote for Latin.

The biggest problem with all of this is that there is no continuity.  There is only rupture.  All of the things which I just described are examples of the departure from authenticity...and they all happened in the span of one hour on Sunday....The Novus Ordo is a failure.  It is designed to do just what I described.  While the validity of the Novus Ordo isn't in question, the practical application of it is so broken, that the amount of time it would take to fix it is unjustifiable.  This is not what was envisioned by Vatican Council II.  This is not what was in the mind of the Council Fathers at large.  This is the logical end for something which by design is objective, but has been cobbled to be subjective.

The Mass won't be fixed until the rubrics are fixed.  Bottom line.

And finally...on a personal note...away from Sunday....I had a really good weekend.  I hung out with some pretty good people, who I've known most of my life....and I also spent the weekend connecting with times gone by, and you know was good!  Really good!  I hope that continues!!!  I'll keep that to myself for awhile, I just want to take the time to enjoy it.


  1. Consider prayers for your mother done. Regarding pancakes and sausages at Mass, I have never seen open heresy in the Sioux City Diocese. The (Arch)diocese of Dubuque is another story. Your only hope is to outlast all of the old hippies. Regarding the recent reformation of the liturgy in English, unless the music is improved it is much like bathing and then putting one's dirty clothes back on. JMO

  2. I don't think that it's heresy. I think that it's sacrilege. And it happens all the time. Shoot me your email address and I'll send you a copy of the letter I sent to Father pastor. You won't believe what I had to address....

    You're right, my only hope is to outlast the nutty ones. At least Bishop Nickless is a good and solid bishop.

    We are in complete agreement, btw. Thanks for the prayers, she can use them.