At your Palm Sunday Mass or Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion, was the Passion acted out? This is a Baptist Church's Good Friday Service on a horrible, rainy Good Friday in Macon. Baptists don't have a true liturgical tradition so they often resort to drama instead of liturgy and try to make it prayer. Some Catholics have turned away from the true spirit of our 2000 year old liturgical tradition and have become like these Baptists at worship, liturgical literalists or fundamentalists, not only with the Passion but also with the Foot Washing at Holy Thursday and the manner in which the Eucharistic Prayer is proclaimed to the Assembly by the priest-dramatist.
One of the devastating effects on the liturgy's reform of the 1960's is what I would like to call a creeping or creepy literalism or fundamentalism. In the Mass it manifested and continues to manifest itself in the following ways:
1. The celebrant as an actor and master of ceremonies where it all hinges on his ability to draw people in, entertain them and make them feel at home as though the congregation is an audience visiting the priest's house. Priest and people together form the Body of Christ in their own home but this is not often communicated either by priests or official greeters who make it seem like everyone else are guests. Do you have an official greeter at your home to greet your family members when they arrive home?
2. In many places and in still some today, Palm Sunday and Good Friday's passion are acted out instead of the Gospel being chanted or even spoken. Usually youth groups do this and take it very seriously--however it is entertainment and not liturgy and is best kept for devotional purposes apart from the liturgy.
3. While the Foot Washing option of Holy Thursday's Mass has created much controversy over the years in terms of who is invited to have their feet washed and this has accelerated since Pope Francis has chosen not only to wash the feet of women but also of non-Catholics, a more serious liturgical abuse is having everyone wash everyone's feet, a very clear literalism or fundamentalism that goes against what the Mass is and the actions of the Mass which are liturgical, sober and often very highly stylized, not drama, literalism or fundamentalism.
4. Turning the Liturgy of the Eucharist, especially the Eucharistic Prayer, the Canon, into a literal event as though Jesus is still at the Last Supper the night before He died and the congregation is the apostles. This manifests itself with the priest, when facing the congregation for the Eucharistic Prayer, or any prayer for that matter, gestures toward them with the bread and then the wine when consecrating both as though everyone is at the Last Supper, as though it is a literal enactment of the Last Supper rather than the means by which the Church after the Resurrection will in prayer recall what Jesus did the night before He died as a memorial of His entire Paschal Mystery, His incarnation, life, passion, death, burial, resurrection, giving of the Holy Spirit and the anticipated return of our crucified and Risen Lord at the Last Judgement.
5.The Kiss of Peace which is meant to be a highly sober, symbolic longing for the complete reconciliation of the world in the heavenly life is turned into a time of greeting and highfiving everyone as people go everywhere to greet someone else. In the 1970's the Sign of Peace often eclipsed the reception of Holy Communion as a central act of the Rite of Holy Communion in the same way that washing everyone's feet at the Holy Thursday's Liturgy puts that act way out of proportion to the rest of the Mass and in a fundamentalistic way.
The Roman Liturgy, both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of it, is meant to be highly stylized, symbolic in many aspects and completely sober and to the point.
The Good Friday Liturgy is the epitome of sobriety when done according to the Liturgical Books. It is a stark liturgy, quiet and quite stirring when done appropriately. All liturgies of the Church can be this way when done according to the books and without drama, fundamentalism, literalism and the like.
Do your parishes celebrate the Mass as described above as Protestant Fundamentalists or literalists might or often do?