Friday, May 9, 2014
THE PRESENTATION OF THE OFFERINGS AT MASS
Often we make a bigger deal out insignificant liturgical things than need to be. One of the things that I have come to question is the necessity of the presentation of the offerings at Mass and exaggerating its importance.
Of course it is completely optional. We don't do it at daily Mass, although we do at every Sunday Mass although we have a hard time getting people (a more diverse group of people) to do it. Usually it seems to be just a few who do it and when we ask others, they say "no" either politely or not.
In terms of its exaggerated exaltation, we had in the seminary a former Dominican priest , properly laicized, and had married, who taught us in the 1970's that bringing up of the gifts was more important to him that the bells at the consecration, which by that time were being eliminated in many places because progressive liturgists didn't like them.
I was fascinated to watch Pope Francis' inaugural Mass and to see at that Mass that no one presented the offerings to them. These were simply brought to the altar from the credence table. Since that time, he does allow it, but with only a few people. Under Pope Benedict, the presentation of the offerings was more elaborate.
I was shocked to find out that a prominent Benedictine liturgist of the 1960's at Collegeville, MN also thought the presentation of the offerings was superfluous and completely unnecessary and overblown.
Of course I get it that the bread and wine and monetary gifts for the church and poor come from the people in the congregation and thus the symbolism of a representation of the laity bringing the offerings to the altar.
Is this something that is still necessary or should it go the way of the bells in terms of the 1960's? Of course, the bells in many places rose from the dead by the 1990's.