Tuesday, May 7, 2013
THE LITURGY IS GIVEN TO US, WHY DO WE PLAN IT?
One of the unfortunate legacies of the last 40 years or so is this idea that the laity should plan liturgies. This means planning decorations, coming up with creative things that can be done in the Mass and what hymns will be sung and what won't be sung.
In the 1970's, planners of the Mass sometimes introduced into the Liturgy of the Word, children's fables, if a children's Mass instead of one of the Scripture readings. A hoard of children would make up prayers of the faithful and then read them, sometimes two people would read one reading or poem. The offertory procession became a liturgy in itself with a hoard of people bringing up all kinds of gifts that had nothing to do with the Mass and everything to do with them.
Music choices were wild, from pop music of the day to hymns.
Today, the greatest problems with allowing people to plan their Mass is with funerals and weddings. Sentimentality reigns supreme and whatever the family wants goes. It is hard to argue with a grieving family member who wants this, that and the other and understands nothing about the Mass or a Bride and her mother who want the same.
But the Mass is given. What is the point of asking people to "plan" their Mass, especially the music? Sure there are options for Scripture readings and some legitimate choices there, but are family members who seldom come to Mass or understand little about the liturgy be the ones choosing or the pastor who knows the situation and could choose readings that speak to the needs of the people?
Do we need hymns at any Masses? No, not really, these are not disallowed but they are superfluous.
Every Mass, including funeral and Nuptial Masses have their proper "Propers" and Entrance Chant from Sacred Scripture, and an Offertory and Communion Antiphon also from Sacred Scripture. Just as we put a stop very early in the 1980's from substituting secular readings and poems at Mass, in place of the Scriptures, why in the name of God and all that is holy are we still allowing songs and hymns to substitute the official Propers of the Mass, the Scriptural Entrance chant and the two other Scriptural antiphons at the Offertory and Communion.
This is a very good interview. Share it widely because how many clergy and laity really understand the content of this interview?