Sunday, April 21, 2013

WAS THERE NO LAY PARTICIPATION, MALE OR FEMALE, AT TODAY'S PRIESTLY ORDINATION WITH POPE FRANCIS?


As I watched the ordination of priests from Saint Peter's Basilica with Pope Francis, I noted that the only ministries of the Mass that lay people were involved with was with the choirs. No lay lectors. The lectors were candidates for the priesthood who have been installed in the formal ministry of "Lector."

So what does this say about Pope Francis allowing such a thing at a pontifical Mass? After all, didn't Vatican II say that the laity should be involved in the Liturgy of the Church?

Yes, actively so, both silently and verbally and through singing. And there was plenty of this type of actual participation at this Mass. But, yes, not lectors and certainly no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and only two lay people brought up the offerings, not a hoard of them.

So are we getting a message here? I don't think so since lay people have read at Masses with Popes Benedict and Francis. But Pope Francis has said that the worst thing to happen to a priest or lay person is clericalism. We've clericalized the laity in the last 50 years and they have knelt before us asking to be. But Pope Francis understands that the ambo (pulpit) of the laity is the world in which they live, the churchy ambo is the ordained priest's place to preach, but also with his life.

Pope Francis makes clear that the laity's primary ministry is in the world, in their homes, their marriage, in the work place and in politics and at play. That's pretty powerful stuff and their actual participation in the world by bringing their Catholic faith and morals to it is what we should have been focusing on for the past 50 years rather than all the liturgical stuff as important or unimportant it these has been! Could you imagine if we had spent as much time, energy and resources on liturgical renewal and renovations as we should have on the laity's proper formation, what a better Church we'd be today with all the generations of Vatican II and afterward actually renewed and living their faith and not just 20 to 25% of them. How awesome would that be! Let's open the windows with this new springtime with Pope Francis and stop breathing the waters of a swamp, and it had a bad smell.

11 comments:

Gene said...

Does this mean you are going to get rid of the annoying herd of EMHC's at St. Jo's? How about reducing the number of women tripping around the sanctuary? Just a thought...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

On when there are enough priests and deacons in the parish to cover all the stations that are needed, so no, they won't be dismissed. Pray for vocations to the priesthood and diaconate.

Gene said...

FR, seriously, judging from my timing Communion, it has rarely taken more than ten minutes when we had a full Church and only a couple of EMHC's. If people can't hang around in Church that long they may as well light the fires down below for 'em right now...

rcg said...

I suppose if we are doing it right we continue our participation when we go forth to glorify the Lord, take care of His Stuff and His People. We can to hope to be the good stewards that bring back profit on what we are given.

As far as participation in the Mass, I think that is what was lacking from many clergy before the Summorum Pontificum explosion. Priests were doing everything BUT leading the Mass and ensuring we were singing proper tunes, etc. Isn't it funny how much that small change had?

Carol H. said...

I think lay participation as readers, EMHC's etc may be partially responsible for the reduction of candidates for priests and religious. Think about it, if someone receives the call, instead of giving themselves totally to God in service of the Church, they can give a small portion of themselves during Mass and do whatever they want for the rest of the week.

If they can participate in both worlds as a lay person, where is the incentive to commit themselves 100%?

John Nolan said...

Actually, the girl at the ambo looks quite fetching. I guarantee I won't remember a word she says, and would be unable to approach the altar rail on account of all those lustful thoughts. Do we really need a sexual element in the Mass?

By the way, this comment is only partly tongue-in-cheek. Hair, make-up, dress; it's for a purpose, and that purpose is not liturgical.

Gene said...

John Nolan, Shame on you! Why, I would never look at that dish...er, girl...in any other than an attitude of aesthetic appreciation. Why, the very thought of lusting after her exci...er, shocks my sensibilities. Shame...

rcg said...

I am so glad I was not the only one. When I was young I was convinced that the Church had all the pretty girls. That is bad, I know. I still think that, I just think about it a lot differently.

Some day I will be Cephalus. Unfortunately, not today.

Andy Milam said...

"On when there are enough priests and deacons in the parish to cover all the stations that are needed, so no, they won't be dismissed. Pray for vocations to the priesthood and diaconate."

to

"I think lay participation as readers, EMHC's etc may be partially responsible for the reduction of candidates for priests and religious. Think about it, if someone receives the call, instead of giving themselves totally to God in service of the Church, they can give a small portion of themselves during Mass and do whatever they want for the rest of the week.

If they can participate in both worlds as a lay person, where is the incentive to commit themselves 100%?"

This. Is. Epic. It's also true. Carol, I am 100,000,000,000,000% behind you.

On another note, I think that the "restoration" of the permanent diaconate has been another major cause in priestly decline since the end of the Council.

quicumquevult said...

I agree with Carol H. on this one: EMHCs probably do decrease vocations, because I'm sure part of the drive to be a priest is the ability to administer Our Lord in Holy Communion. If anyone can do that, and it's insisted that the presence of such a random anyone is necessary all the time, vocations won't increase. Also, Father, I must ask this question: is the lack of EMHCs a problem when you celebrate the Extraordinary Form or isn't it? If not, why is it a problem elsewhere?

John Nolan brings up a good point also.

Anonymous said...

"... certainly no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and only two lay people brought up the offerings, not a hoard of them."

- Why ask for the presence of EMHC? Remember, it is "extraordinary". Is the said ordination requires an "extraordinary" minister? I guess not because there was a number of "ordinary" ministers.