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Saturday, December 4, 2010

CAN THERE BE THE SAME LEVEL OF ABUSE IN THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AS IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS?

This is an Extraordinary Form Mass in a very modern church building:

I don't think this would go over well or even fit in anywhere in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass:

The following video is an Aztec dance in honor of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. I'm not sure even if Aztec Catholics would understand this dance to be spiritual in a liturgical setting. It is occurring either after Holy Communion or at the offertory, not sure. I'm not oppose to these kinds of exuberant pious and cultural expressions, but it seems to me to be more appropriate in an outdoor procession, rather than inside the Church and during Mass. The problem with the post-Vatican II mentality concerning the Mass is that this sort of thing, while appropriate outside of Mass and outdoors as a religious expression of a particular feast, is dragged indoors and during the Mass. It's like having bag pipes during Mass! Folks, bagpipes belong outside not inside! Just my humble opinion!

In the my post on celebrating well both forms of the Mass, Marc asks the following:

It makes me wonder, and perhaps Fr. McDonald can jump in on this, whether we would see those same instances of liturgical abuse and inventiveness if we were only celebrating the EF Mass? I'm just not sure.


Most people who are of a traditional mindset would say that when the priest and the congregation put too much of themselves into the center of the liturgy, meaning that it becomes a narcissistic, self-enclosed celebration, then this is an abuse. I would agree and I think it happens more in the Ordinary Form of the Mass and very seldom if at all in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

On this level, the Ordinary Form of the Mass makes it easier to denigrate the Mass in this way. Because of the vernacular, the priest facing the congregation and sometimes the congregation facing each other, the "cult of the personality" of both the priest and the congregation overwhelms the sacred mysteries that are to be celebrated and relegates the primary purpose of the Mass to a secondary or tertiary reality.

The Ordinary Form of the Mass makes creativity and improvisation a real temptation. In fact creativity and improvisation were encouraged by the liturgists of the 1970's and onward, although not too much today. These liturgists are well into their 60's and hopefully looking at retirement and death, not to mention taxes.

It is more difficult to manipulate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass because not many people, priests or laity, can improvise with that language. With the priest joining the laity in facing the same way, the role of the personality of the priest is incarcerated in the ad orientem position. This is good for the most part. All priests, good looking ones like me and those other dastardly looking ones are all placed on the same level. It's not their personality that should make or break the Mass, but rather how well they execute what is expected of the celebration by following the rubrics, that is "saying the black and doing the red."

I guess you could have guitars and other instruments in this Mass for the vernacular hymns and accompanying some of the Latin chants. I don't think I would classify this as an abuse, but these instruments seem to impose a false informality upon this form of the Mass.

The greatest abuse of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is the priest and altar boys rushing through the prayers. I have heard that in the pre-Vatican II days, some priests could finish the Low Mass in less than 12 minutes. The only part of the Mass that wasn't rushed or slurred was the words of consecration.

I haven't tried to rush the Low Mass, but the fastest I can finish, if that is the goal, which it isn't, is in 35 minutes. This form of the Mass is longer than the Ordinary Form. I can finish a daily Mass in the Ordinary Form, singing all the parts of the Mass and preaching a two minute homily in about 20 to 25 minutes. I do not rush it either.

In short, the Ordinary Form of the Mass lends itself to more abuse than the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. But if the Ordinary form of the Mass is celebrated as it is meant to be celebrated, it is very beautiful and reverent.

What those who prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass really prefer, I think, is the built in reverence of the EF Mass. By this, I mean the reverent silences, hushed tones, more kneeling, especially for Holy Communion and the reverent "look" of the ad orientem position of the priest which includes more genuflections and profound bows in the rubrics. I think a vernacular EF Mass would still meet all the criteria of what is seen as superior when it comes to reverence compared to the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Latin might play into that, but is not the primary issue.

I think all of this could be captured in the Ordinary Form of the Mass without manipulating the rubrics too much or bringing in any Latin. I think simply kneeling for Holy Communion would bring about a tremendous change in the attitude about this Mass and instill a greater sense of belief and reverence in the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacred Species of Holy Communion and what our attitude to Christ should be during Mass, one of adoration and praise. The Ordinary Form celebrated ad orientem might help as well.

68 comments:

Robert Kumpel said...

I was thinking about this the other day Father, and one of the things that really bothers me about the Ordinary Form of the Mass IS the temptation--which is all too often surrendered to--of "creativity" and "Improvisation". And YES, IT DOES OFTEN RESULT IN DEVELOPING CULTS OF PERSONALITIES AROUND THE PRIEST. I once read that a priest should offer Mass as if the congregation is not there. Now that might sound cold to the ears of Catholics weaned on the Novus Ordo, but it is faithful to a hard fact we don't want to hear: THE MASS ISN'T ABOUT US.

The problem with the deviations and creativity spawned by the Novus Ordo is that it drips of a sentiment akin to shouting, "We've arrived!" I think that's a very dangerous way for Catholics to think. I am a Catholic by the grace of God and a sinner by the fact that I was born corrupted by Original Sin. To live my Baptismal vows I must lead a life of constant repentance. The Novus Ordo mindset too often falls into the "Let's clap our hands and be joyful! (which has its place--just not at Mass) whereas, the Traditional Latin Mass makes it clear who we are, Who God Is and how badly we need Him. Just because I am Catholic doesn't make me suddenly "respectable" so that I can proclaim that I "got saved" as so many Protestant sects do. I have great hope for the salvation of my soul, but for the remainder of my time here on earth, I live with the danger of falling into mortal sin and there's nothing Satan would like better than to lure me into the comfort zone. To me, the Traditional Latin Mass leaves less room for that comfort zone.

Frajm said...

Robert, my only caution would be that the Mass is about us. It's about Christ saving us through His suffering, death and resurrection. As such it is a gift given to us, not something we manipulate and create for our own benefit in terms of fellowship and warm fuzzies. The Mass is a gift given to us by God, but through the Church and which we should receive as the means to unite us to God through His Son who offers Himself on the Cross in our place to save us from sin and death. The Father receives His Son's offering and thus receives us who are joined to Jesus in this great offering.

Robert Kumpel said...

Well put Father, and of course you are right. And it is us, all of us who need the sacrifice of the Mass. I probably should have clarified that I have a problem when it seems as if we are "celebrating" us and focusing on "us". I always remind my children that when we attend Mass we are coming to the very foot of the cross and we need to focus on Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross which saves us.

Advent Arnie said...

The mass has two essential purposes. The first is the praise and worship of God - Father, Son, and Spirit. The second is the communication of the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ to the People of God.

It is the second essential purpose that is about "us." God does not need our worship. We, on the other hand, very much need the mass.

To say that the mass "isn't about us" is a to deny the eternal truth that the mass is given to us for OUR sanctification. This is something that the traditionalists don't want to hear.

Given the two essential purposes of the mass, were a priest to offer mass "as if the congregation were not present" would be a sacriledge, denying the very purpose for which the mass is intended - the sanctification of the congregation (and the world.)

That purpose of the mass which is about us should be emphasized and, where needed, enhanced by the Church. This is largely what was intended when the Second Vatican Council called for changes in the mass that were needed to re-emphasize "communication of the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ to the People of God" that were lost or so diminished in the Tridentine Form as to become non-functional.

Frajm said...

Advent Arnie, good points, but I think you misrepresent the Tridentine Mass. The abuse of it was that the laity were not encourage to participate by way of responses, songs and the parts of the Mass. That is easily remedied and is remedied in many places today. We should be hearing the laity sing, speak and proclaim or acclaim the gloria, credo, sanctus, Amen, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei.

But as a priest, in either form apart from the homily, I shouldn't be playing to the audience!

Anonymous said...

I prefer the EF form of the mass to the vernacular because of it's reverence. I attend every time it is offered, which I feel, isn't often enough. I do have a question. Whenever I'm in Texas I attend a church that offers two latin masses every Sunday (High and Low mass). When I've gone to the English or Spanish mass at that church, I noticed that the priest will come around the altar and face away from the people for the Eucharistic Prayer. I haven't seen that anywhere else. Is this a different type of mass?

Frajm said...

No, it is the Ordinary Form of the Mass but celebrated ad orientem, meaning the priest is facing the same direction as the congregation which is the way it is celebrated in the EF. This is optional, but I guess more parishes may be adopting this.

SqueekerLamb said...

It's my observation that many people don't continue attending the EF Mass because when they go, the first impression is one of not understanding and one of being separated from what is happening at the altar.
The foreign language plus actions of the priest are hidden from the view of the congregation. If one is only accustomed to the OF in the vernacular, then the EF is a huge culture shock.

One idea may be to host EF teaching masses for the entire cogregation on a regular basis, such as emi-annualy. Of course to gain good attendance, one would have to talk it up in advance and talk up the benefits of being familiar wiht both forms of the mass.
Indeed it is fun to be Catholic!

Robert Kumpel said...

Father, your remark about "playing to the audience" was exactly the point of the piece I read about how Mass should be offered. It was in no way meant to denigrate the congregation, but to emphasize that the real priest at Mass is Jesus Christ and the priest offering Mass should keep his personality out of the rite, lest it become a performance.

However, I am not sure everyone realizes that a congregation does not have to be present for a priest to offer Mass. For some reason, this makes me recall a Mass I once attended at the Newman Center in college where I was the only congregant present. I don't know any other way to describe it other than an incredible feeling of privilege. I've never forgotten that experience.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, shoehorning Aztec dance into a Mass seems more condescending than inclusive. It turns the Mass into a refrigerator with all sorts of childish accomplishments tasked to it. Additionally, do we know that this is dance composed to meet Church doctrine in some manner and not simply a pagan dance performed to a Marty Haugan tune?

I am, however, slightly offended at the excommunication of the pipes. I suppose the banjo will be next.

rcg

pinanv525 said...

All the Aztec, Indian, and other dance is a lot of multi-cultural nonsense attempting to turn the Mass into a social work event. Why not a tank of dolphins, a snow seal, and a Giant Sequoia to keep the tree huggers and Greenpeace happy? We could sing hymns to clean energy and chant the Coca Cola song.

Maria del Rosario said...

Your collective ignorance of the place the "Aztec Dance" holds in the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is troubling, but not surprising.

Your suggestion, pinanv525, that is is equivalent to a tank of dolphins or a tree is particularly insulting the tens of millions of Mexican Catholics who would never think of demeaning your cultural piety with such hurtful words.

Prayer: "Lord help me not to fear what I do not understand."

Robert Kumpel said...

What keeps coming back to me is the idea that the Aztecs had a religion of violent bloodshed. The conquest of Mexico by Cortes failed to conquer the hearts of the Aztecs and converts were few UNTIL the miraculous apparitions and image of Our Lady of Guadalupe took place. It was her image, as an Aztec princess, standing in front of the son that they worshipped that sparked the mass conversion of the Aztecs. So why are they "celebrating" the Aztec culture at Holy Mass? Maybe I'm missing something--perhaps this is a post-conversion Aztec dance to honor Our Lady???? To me, it sends too much of a mixed message, which is ultimately confusing. And don't even get me started on the whole issue of liturgical dance.

Frajm said...

Maria del Rosario, in light of your post and the others and my own opinion that these types of cultural expressions are wonderful, but not necessarily during Mass, but in a outdoor procession or para liturgy, what would you own thoughts be on that? For example, I love praying the Holy Rosary, but would that be an appropriate public devotion after Holy Communion? What would be the difference between "dragging" the Holy Rosary into Mass as an expression of acknowledgment of my Italian heritage and this particular dance?

pinanv525 said...

Maria, I understand it very well...there should be no kind of dance at Mass...period. As Fr. said, such dance may have a place outside the Mass in some other setting...IF it is done sincerely with a desire to please God and honor Christ through some type of unique cultural expression. Unfortunately, most of this kind of stuff is incorporated into the Liturgy by those who know damned well what they are doing...attempting to introduce a cultural/religious "equivalence" into Christian theology and,
particularly, Catholic worship because even with the abuses we have seen, it has been the most difficult barrier for the de-constructionists and relativizers to penetrate. This kind of thing should be rejected out of hand and limited to quasi-religious festivals, such as Nancy Pelosi's birthday party.

Anonymous said...

Maria:

Please. This whole "You're not my ethnicity, so you don't understand" thing is getting a bit tedious. We can't criticize the president if we are white and now we can't criticize a culture of human sacrifice because we aren't Hispanic? If you honestly find the mild criticisms here of illicit liturgical dance demeaning and hurtful, one can only conclude that you are seeking out a reason to feel hurt. This has nothing to do with race. The criticisms are based on the fact that 1) liturgical dance is completely inappropriate for Mass 2) Catholics are growing weary of having a politically correct multicultural agenda shoved down our throats when we hunger for reverent liturgies and 3) The Aztecs were bloodthirsty killers. That is not anti-Hispanic or anti-Mexican or anti-Indian. If you've read history deeply enough, you would know that it was the other Indians who had been hurt by the Aztecs who helped Cortez conquer them. They wanted the Conquistadores to overthrow the Aztec empire. I don't have to be a Hispanic, Latino, Chicano or whatever to say that. If you really want to take this in the direction of race, you could conclude that only Mexicans can celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, even though she is the Patroness of the Americas. You can't take her away from me because I am not descended from Mestizos.

Templar said...

just want to chime in and say that Father's suggestion that ad orientem and kneeling for communion in the OF would really help make that mass reverent is spot on. they are clearly numbers 1 and 2 on the most desired list. number 3 on that list is latin for the unchanging parts such as the angus dei, pater, and credo etc. Latin isnt bettter than English but it is unique to us and reverence is tied to identity,

Anonymous said...

#4 is elimination of Communion in the hand.

Marc said...

Thank you for answering my question, Father. I assume that liturgists are not concerned about liturgical abuse to the extent that they are willing to support a return to the EF Mass? It seems odd to me that the focus and concern is more on what the laity will "enjoy" and less on what is pleasing to God the Father. (Yes, I'm being a bit hyperbolic here, but not much.)

You speak a lot on your blog about the EF Mass and the OF Mass, but here's another question that you may not be able to answer (I think you mentioned that a former associate priest of your's was bi-ritual, so perhaps you have some insight)... What about the Eastern Rites? How have those Rites dealt with similar issues, i.e. the use of vernacular and "modernizing" (in the non-heretical sense) their Divine Liturgies? Is the Latin Rite borrowing from their experiences; are they borrowing from our experiences?

I don't know much about the Eastern Rites, but I would love to go to a Divine Liturgy as I have read on the internet that it is beautiful. Being a supporter of the Tridentine Rite, I am curious about the Divine Liturgy, as well.

Anonymous said...

Question: What, if any, place is there for 'Liturgical Dancers'? Heard about them this this Sunday during the homily. Seems we have a squad of them in our parish.

rcg

pinanv525 said...

RCG, At a hootchie-cootchie show?

Robert Kumpel said...

No, no, no, no, no. Everyone knows there are no "hootchie koochie" shows anymore. Instead we have "gentleman's clubs" (talk about a misnomer). The perfect place for liturgical dance is on telethons and the local PBS affiliates when they are doing their never-ending fundraising drives. That way, everyone is satisfied: The liturgical dancers get to feel important by appearing on TV and the schmucks on public tv get to misrepresent the Catholic Church yet one more time. Not the best of circumstances, perhaps, but I'm for anything that keeps them out of the sanctuary!

pinanv525 said...

Well, then, Robert...if I attend a "Gentlemen's Club" instead of a hootchie-cootchie show does this mean I don't have to go to Confession?

Anonymous said...

I thought Our Lady of Guadalupe was about converting the Aztecs, not about having them invade the churches!

Robert Kumpel said...

pinanv 525:

I think you would have a better understanding of which sins you need to confess than I. Of course, we could just rename the church, "St. Joseph A-Go-Go".

pinanv525 said...

If Fr. ever should decide to introduce dance into the Liturgy, maybe he could get Celtic Woman or River Dance to come to St. Jo's.

M. del Rosario said...

Anon - I did not bring race/ethnicity into the conversation, you did.

Pinanv525, while claiming to know the theological background of the Aztec dancers, equates them to dolfins and trees. That is insulting to those who understand that the Aztec dancers represent the people of Mexico who accepted the Christian faith through the intercession and action of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Aztec dancers are not "invaders" but representatives of those who have been given the True Faith. Recall that it was the Pharisees who rejected the converted prostitute while Jesus accepted her.

Italian Fascists, not to mention Roman Emperors, were as bloodthirsty as any Aztec, but that does not exclude things Italian from being worthy elements of the liturgy.

M. del Rosario said...

And remember that today 60 per cent of American Catholics are Hispanic. In 15 (or less) years we will be more than 50%. Gracias, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe!

pinanv525 said...

Maria, You are deliberately misunderstanding me so that you can whine more. I did not equate Aztec dancers to dolphins and trees. Dolphins are far more beautiful and graceful, and trees have a natural grace and beauty unequaled by human rhythms. The point was a reductio ad absurdum of the whole idea of dance in the liturgy. Are you comparing the Aztec dancers to prostitutes with your example of the woman Jesus forgave?

What is particularly or exclusively Italian about the Liturgy? What you say does not make much sense.

pinanv525 said...

Maria, How many of that 60% do you suppose are legal?

M. del Rosario said...

100% of the Hispanics are legal Catholics. Their national citizenship doesn't matter to the Church! Otra vez, Gracis Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe!

SqueekerLamb said...

Maria,
Many of the statements posted here did insult the Aztecs.
Yet, in your defense of the Aztecs you did not give your view of Liturgical Dancing during Mass. What is your view???

The Catholic church defends the rights of nations to secure their geographical boundaries. The Church isn't going to call the authorities on those who arrived here illegaly, encourages us to give aid to those in need who did arrive in the US illegally, but doesn't condone lying through one's actions to violate laws either.

I'm sorry the others are so hateful in print, but that doesn't excuse you from evading the issue and twisting their words either. Plus, you totally ignored Father's explanation.

Will you address the issue of Aztecs or anyone dancing in Mass? and the issue of introducing non-liturgy into the Mass?

y, si, Gracias Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe!

M. del Rosario said...

My position on liturgical dance is that of the Church, to wit:

"Among some peoples, singing is instinctively accompanied by handclapping, rhythmic swaying and dance mocements on the part of the participants. Such forms of external expression can have a place in the liturgical actions of these peoples on condition that they are always the expression of true communcal prayer of adoration, praise, offering and supplication, and not simply a performance." Instruction "Varietates legitimae" (1994)

The "Aztec Dance" portion of the celebrations of Our Lady of Guadalupe are most certainly not "performances," but expressions of praise from the people of Mexico to God for the gift of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

pinanv525 said...

"These peoples" are not the people who attend Mass in the US. The Church, in her missionary zeal, has made allowances for the various primitive or savage cultures in order that they mey be reached through a means of expression familiar to them. This, of course, pending better instruction and catechesis. Unfortunately, the "better instruction" and catechesis was not always forthcoming, often due to said missionary Priests being killed or eaten by those they sought to convert. The fact that the Church reaches out to non-Christian cultures through such means is not a recommendation for those of us in the Christian and civilized world to incorporate those more primitive expressions into our Liturgy and worship. Common sense should tell you this. If there should ever appear an "Our Lady of Harlan, Kentucky," does this mean we should bring Bluegrass music and buck dancing into the Church? I think not.

SqueekerLamb said...

pin,
your last post is well said, other than your choice of words that describe other cultures as primitive and savage. You come across like the arrogant English of old. They once regrded us colonists, not to mention the people that were here first, and peope of India, as primitive and savage.
Nothing I have ever read states that the Church regards any human or culture as primitive or savage.
However, you are absolutely right if you were inferring that the Liturgy should not be altered for the purose of the sentiments of a local culture. I understand that local expressions of faith can be a bit included when the Liturgy itself is not affected.

Isn't there a word for this? A word for the what is to be avioded..it begins with an 'S' (learned it at a homily of this blog's author...well, I obviously almost learned it)

pinanv525 said...

Lamb, there is nothing arrogant about telling the truth. There are cultures that are more primitive and savage than others. The people that were here first were primitive and savage. If you read first person accounts, diaries, and ship's logs, you will find that even 16th century Europeans were appalled at the savagery visited upon one another by these tribes. The same is true of the African and South American peoples.
The slaves that, even today, we continue to beat our breasts about and whine and moan over, were sold to the Europeans by their own people. People need to open their eyes and ditch the cultural equivalence rubbish and look around. The "Third World" is primitive and savage. Muslims are primitive and savage. There are tribes and languages in New Guinea that have not even been discovered yet. Many of them eat each other (we have found the bones).

Rousseau's "noble savage" never went away...the idea that primitives somehow represent or embody a "natural purity and innocent morality" unsullied by "modern" intrusion. Right. Today's "noble savages" are the mythic (meaning they have assumed a mythic status in the secular religion of humanism) poor, as well as undeveloped nations everywhere. Never mind they murder each other regularly,are responsible for most of the wars today, drain the developed (read "civilized") nations of the world of resources while giving nothing back, and all want to come here and bring their primitive "law" and religion with them. The best response to Rousseau's never-dying illusion was Voltaire's: When asked what he thought after he had read Rousseau's book, he replied, "It really makes one want to go down on all fours."

Rabinowitz said...

"Muslims are primitive and savage."

This will come as news to the Muslim doctors who staff our hospitals and treat our illnesses in private practices across our diocese and in every part of our country.

I am troubled, Fr. McDonald, that you find it fitting to publish such comments on your blog.

Frajm said...

I try not to censor everything and others like you can take exception and correct any malicious characterization of God's people. Again I remind everyone that charity, meaning love, should be used in describing others, even those groups of people who are dysfunctional from our point of view.

pinanv525 said...

Muslims have a completely different view of the value of life than we do. Their treatment of women, their violence against each other, their entire presence on the world stage is evidence of their primitive and savage nature. Many have managed to come over here and become doctors (many do so through residency programs and not med school), but I do not consider this a positive development. I have worked with some of them in hospital settings and was not impressed. Rabinowitz, check out Muslim feelings and actions toward Israel lately. Where you been? Don't like what I post...don't read it.

pinanv525 said...

BTW, Rabinowitz, why do you suppose Muslims must come here for medical training? Why do they come here for higher education? Hey,for that matter, why do they come here for commercial airline flying lessons?....2...3...BECAUSE THEIR OWN COUNTRIES DO NOT HAVE THOSE FACILITIES...they are too backward, poor, and, in a word, primitive.

M. del Rosario said...

The Institute for International Medical Education lists dozens of accredited medical schools in Muslim countries around the world.

The claim that "their own countries do not have these facilities" is false.

pinanv525 said...

The Institute for International Medical Education...offering the best in offshore medical instruction. Please.

pinanv525 said...

Maria, It is a question of quality. Accreditation doesn't mean much...any school can get accredited as long as they aren't practicing vivisection or voodoo. People know that the US has the best medical education and the best medical system in the world. They want to derive its benefits while hating the system that producwed those benefits and that quality. Having physicians in my family and several close friends who are physicians, as well as working in hospitals for many years, I am very aware of American doctors' views on foreign physicians, especially those from the Middle East. Let's not go there.

So, Maria, you still have not answered many of our questions. You have not told me what is particularly Italian about the Liturgy, and you have not answered several other people's questions, either. So far we know that you think Aztec dance is fine and dandy at Mass and that you leap to the defense of Muslims. Tell us more about yourself.

M. del Rosario said...

pianav525 - Regarding dance at mass, see my comment of December 8, 3:42 p.m.

I have not defended Muslims. I have corrected your false statement regarding medical schools in Muslim countries.

pinanv525 said...

Maria, your comment was vague and said nothing. You merely quoted something and then continued to advocate for Aztec dance. Your other posts imply that you favor its inclusion in Liturgy. Perhaps I did not read them correctly.

M. del Rosario said...

My comment was "My position is that of the Church" regarding dance at mass. This cannot be more clear. If the Church allows its inclusion - and she does - then who are you to oppose it?

If it is not your "cup of tea" that's one thing. But in condemning what the Church allows you are arrogating to yourself an authority you nor Fr. McDonald nor any priest can claim by any right.

Frajm said...

A pastor doesn't have to allow something like this even if it is permitted.
My question remains, why drag this type of legitimate devotion into the Mass? Leave it outside the Mass and as a devotion or pious practice. What about praying the Stations of the Cross at Mass, or the Rosary or some novena?

pinanv525 said...

Maria, ..."among some people's" implies that this is to be allowed as a concession to "peoples" from cultures that are...*ahem*...shall we say,not well-churched. I do not read it as either a recommendation, or even permission, for including it in the regular Mass in Catholic/Christian countries within the long standing liturgical practice of the Church. Common sense, Maria, common sense.

M. del Rosario said...

So, if a pastor does not "have to" allow what is permitted, then you are saying he may ban novenas (which are permitted), ban adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (which is permitted), etc.

A pastor MAY choose those permitted devotions and pious practices which he believes are for the benefit of his congregation.

If a pastor chooses to allow the Aztec dancers in his church as part of the celebrations surrounding the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and he does so because it is for the spiritual benefit of his congregation, who are you to say he has done wrong?

Fr. McDonald when you allow your preferences to become the determining factor for the Church's liturgy, you achieve exactly what you so often accuse the "liberals" of doing.

When pastors make decisions based on their own preferences, then they are participating in the "personality cult" you so often decry.

Frajm said...

Maria, you didn't answer the question and you imputed things to what a pastor can and can't do erroneously. A pastor should not drag devotions into the Mass, pure and simple, such as the rosary, the stations of the cross, Benediction and Aztec dances; all of these are devotions and the faithful have a right to them if these are beneficial to their spirituality,devotional life and culture. These should be banned from the Mass.

M. del Rosario said...

Fr. McDonald, does the Church ban these things from the mass? Given the Instruction I cited, it seems clear that dance is not banned.

You say, "A pastor should not drag devotions into the mass." I say, "If the Church allows these pious practices in the mass, no pastor has the right to ban them, if they are for the spiritual benefit of the people of that parish."

If they are not beneficial to your congregation, and therefore you do not have them in your church, that is fine. But you cannot - you are not canonically or theologically competent - to say they should be banned universally, inasmuch as the Church has said otherwise.

pinanv525 said...

Maria doesn't get it. Should we keep casting pearls...

Rabinowitz said...

pinanv525 - That you resort to name-calling is a telling commentary on how you have yet to be transformed by the mass, EF or OF.

That Fr. McDonald posts such un-Christian behavior on his blog, indicating approval, indicates a lack of sound judgment.

pinanv525 said...

Rabinowitz, it is kind of snivelling on your part to attempt to blame Fr. MacDonald for my opinions and statements. Instead of engaging me or addressing the issue at hand, you try to shame him into taking your part in some kind of censuring of me. I get a little weary of you castrato males (mostly liberals, interestingly)having hissy fits because you think someone has been "mean" or might have hurt sonmeone's feelings. Life's tough...man up.

pinanv525 said...

BTW, Fr. sees me at Mass most every Sunday and at Church activities during some weeks. I have every confidence that, if he thinks I am out of line, he would have absolutely no qualms about telling me so. I am also certain that he knows I would take no offense at his doing so and that I would follow his direction.

PS What does a guy named Rabinowitz understand about the transformations effected by Christ in the Mass... EF or OF...
hmmmmm...

SqueekerLamb said...

It seems to me that at the heart of this discussion is the issue of horizontal or vertical.
This whole concept of converting the Mass to a creation by the parish lowers it to a protestant-like form, i.e. "Make ME feel good" The horizontal.

Am I getting it?

pin, I gotta hand it to you. It takes some gumption to be so forward with your opinions knowing that others here know you. I don't know your true identity, but it's clear that while you're opinionated, and sometimes uncharitable, you know your stuff. I would guess you're male, over 50 and well educated in Church matters, doctrine, etc.. And go to confession practically weekly for some of the unkindly and condescending ways you type. Am I right?

rcg knows his/her stuff too, and he/she is very skilled at writing without cutting others down.
As for me, I'm learning from you guys, and grateful for each and every Mass, although I avoid the watered down type when possible and seek out the EF as much as I can.
I haven't donned the mantilla yet. Can't find one I like. I look like a clown with the flowery lace all over my head. Vanity?

pinanv525 said...

Lamb, You more than get it. I have appreciated your posts and your own honesty and devotion. Now, heh, heh, RCG a girl...Oh, am I gonna' have fun with that one! Perhaps he writes in a somewhat androgynous manner...or, perhaps his over-sensitive nature (right...sudden nausea)gives him away. Seriously, RCG "gets it" more than most of us.

Lamb, I don't bite and I am in your parish. Get Fr. to point me out sometime. I am tall with thinning grey hair and gold rimmed glasses. I usually sit in the middle section toward the back. I wear a navy or brown suit. I'll be at 5 pm today. If you click the little blank square (I was about the second or third member of the Blog), it gives you some personal stuff about me. You are mostly correct. I don't confess weekly, but neither do I receive unless I have. I joined under my real name, but the Blog used my email name, anyway. I am not ashamed of my opinions and will say anything to someone's face I have written here. I would like to meet you and Templar, Kumpel and others.

When we are dealing with those who wish to de-construct the Mass or weaken Catholic identity generally, I feel no need to walk on eggs. These people come on with a veneer of reason and decorum but, underneath, they are far more angry and hostile (passive-aggressive)than those of us who appear so through our bluntness and sharp comments. It is unfortunate that many people see us who are outspoken and direct as "mean" or uncharitable. The Church has many enemies. They are determined and relentless. They take many forms on this Blog...neurotic angry Priests, querulous Jews, whiny Muslim zealots,snotty liberals, and devout but misguided Catholics who have swallowed the post-Vat II line. I believe we should be unyielding in dealing with them...if I use ridicule and polemic in dealing with them, then this is one way of pinching the devil's tail, as it were. Some flies you do not catch with honey...

Rabinowitz said...

pinanv525 - I did not blame Fr. McDonald for your comments. I did question his judgment is POSTING your comments.

Name calling is not "manning up." It is childish and rude and should not be posted on a Catholic blog.

I have been a Catholic all my life. How long have you been Catholic?

pinanv525 said...

Rabinowitz, I owe you an apology for my presumption. The name threw me. I do not remember any name calling. You must be using the term loosely. I refer you to my above post regarding dealing with the innovators, relativists, and cultural equivalence crowd.

I am from a family that is half Irish Catholic and half Calvinist...I have lived (devoutly) in both worlds. We can agree to disagree, or you can keep on complaining. Doesn't matter to me.

Anonymous said...

One thing that seems at issue here is how one can 'lose himself' in the Mass to God. The Church clearly allows for cultural artifacts in the celebration, but they should be remnants of the culture, not the conduit of the liturgy. Why else would translations be so important?

As far as the issues of Aztec or Muslim culture: The use of the Aztec dance is the same mistake made by the conquistadors of trying to usurp the Church's moral authority to justify their jingoism. It is a facade on what is plainly a racist objective. The Hispanic heritage does not need this sort of justification for its contribution to human civilisation and to the Church. Such 'inclusion' comes across, frankly, as condescension form the well meaning North American clergy. The Muslims also have the same problems but without the saving grace of Truth.

For what it's worth the European cultures have had the same problems, whether it was a Mafia connection, IRA, etc. This is a human/God interface issue where we are reluctant to leave behind those things precious to us. There is even a parable about that. As much as it pains me, I will not get to play the banjo or bagpipes in Mass. But wouldn't it be a load of fun to hang around AFTER the service and play inspired music in the parish hall? That would a good place for a ceilidh and an Aztec dance.

The subject of my gender came up this morning in this thread. It is a sort of compliment that gender is not all that discernible from my posts. I hope that means the idea is forefront. I try to have a balanced attack on my object, what was originally based on the concept of Yin and Yang but has evolved consciously into the use of Saints Mary and Michael as models. Unfortunately I still tend, toward the Michaeline side, but am working on it.

rcg

pinanv525 said...

Unless, of course, Rabinowitz is not your real name...just a Blog persona. You don't find many Catholic "Rabinowitzes."

pinanv525 said...

Well, RCG, when I imagined you as a female, I tried to think of girl names for your initials. All I could come up with were "Rocinante," "Carmen," and "Gigi." I guess I got stuck "On Broadway" (no music, please). Perhaps each of these names represents one of your character traits. St. Mary and St. Michael, indeed....

Anonymous said...

Well, "Rocinante" may not be too far off as my great aunt and uncle were 'Cervantes'. I would not give my real name in the blog since my surname may provoke some.

rcg

Rabinowitz said...

Pinanv525 - "should we keep casting pearls..." before swine.
We all know how the quote ends, and in using it you referred to Ms. del Roasrio as swine.

This is unmanly and unChristian. It is shameful behaviour.

pinanv525 said...

I have decided that Rabinowitz is not whoever's real name. It is most likely Ignotus, or certainly one of his ilk. I rather imagine Ignotus has been here under several different names; he would think that sort of thing cute. Perhaps, due to his many and varying appearances, we should call him "Our Dude of the Blog."

Anyway, there are some folks who don't really follow this blog who pop up occasionally to whine or complain. Since they are anonymous non-member types and never really contribute anything (other than wringing their hands or complaining about mean people), it is difficult to take them seriously. They live in a faux community of cyber space where genuine emotion, personal integrity, and meaningful dialogue do not exist.

BTW, where is little Maria del Rosario? Fr. posted a nice article on Our Lady of Guadaloupe, a subject about which Maria expostulated passionately. Why has she not added her thoughts to the discussion? Perhaps she lost track of the time at the Aztec dance...

SqueekerLamb said...

pin,
Is that you in the All Soul's Day photos?

pinanv525 said...

Yep, Lamb, that's me...you can't miss the halo...

Anonymous said...

It looks like the sign of the Pentecost. How appropriate, tongues of fire from your head....

;-)

rcg