Monday, December 31, 2012
CHRISTMAS NIGHTMARES AND LITURGICAL ABNORMALITIES
On Christmas Day, I flew through Charlotte, and was eating breakfast when I heard over the intercom that there was a Catholic Mass located in the upper atrium of the hub between terminals at 8:30am. I figured I could still go, I just wouldn't receive Communion. So I got up there after it already started, and the priest waved me in. There were about 20 people there, about half employees and half travelers. So we had the homily, and went right into preparing the gifts with a deacon assisting him. The priest seemed a little sick, so he coughed through most of the preface and Eucharistic Prayer, and I remember a few "Ummms and Uhhhs" during the Consecration. After the Agnus Dei, the priest broke the bread, but did so in a way that little pieces went on to the floor and table. Then we went right into Communion, with no "Lord, I am not worthy." I went up to receive a blessing, but I don't think the Deacon understood, as he kept trying to give me the Body of Christ. I leaned back and crossed my arms higher and he still tried to give me Communion. Finally, I just stepped to the side and walked back. After that, I caught my flight. I was glad to see they had a Mass though, but it probably was more for employees, since travelers wouldn't have been aware unless they heard the announcement.
Then the next two days in Jersey, I went to St. Gabriel's, which was a really nice parish. It was a consolidation of four parishes in South Jersey, which might be because of dwindling numbers? I remember you talked about a survey from there on your blog a few months back, but they'll use the old buildings for one Mass over the weekend.
Back in the good ol' Diocese of Richmond, I went to daily Mass at St. Stephen Marytr, which was another no kneeler parish. This is the parish with the pastor that has a dog, but he didn't receive Communion like I thought he was going to, so we're good there! :-)
On Sunday morning, I went to St. Mark's. Again, no kneelers, and I also didn't see the tabernacle. I sat down and prayed, while trying to avoid the distraction of everyone talking. Mass started like usual, and the priest introduced himself as a retired priest filling in for the pastor who was in Haiti. During the homily, the priest started talking about how Jesus died for all of us, and not just many of us which we now say. I recognized he was talking about the words used during the Consecration, but thought nothing else of it. During the Eucharistic Prayer, he then said "all" in place of "many", and it was emphasized. He correctly said all of the other changes though. After we held hands for the Our Father, the 16 Eucharistic Ministers (not exaggerated) came forward. After Mass, everyone continued talking loudly, and left.
I don't know why, but most of the parishes I have been to while at home (7 by my count) don't have kneelers, and they also don't have a tabernacle in the sanctuary. And these parishes also talk about New Evangelization on their website...is there some sort of connection there?