Sunday, June 22, 2014

I MISSED THE MOST PROFOUND SIGNS OF REVERENCE IN THE PHOTO BELOW EVEN WITH STANDING FOR HOLY COMMUNION

Press on photo to enlarge:

I used this photo above in the post below this one. I took it from the internet at random early this morning and really was only looking for a photo of people standing to receive Holy Communion. But I didn't really study the photo beyond that.

Now that I do meditate on it, I realize that this photo is from the mid 1960's and more than likely to show how to stand to receive Holy Communion in the "new Mass" that euphemistically as they said back then, had undergone renewal.

But please note that the priest while wearing a modern looking chasuble is still wearing the maniple!

The altar railing, more than likely still in use until a few days or weeks prior to this photo, is still there. 

This is evidently a school Mass although I doubt it since no one is wearing a uniform, but it is a children's Mass. Note how they are dressed! They are in the 1960's Sunday best and please note that each and every girl is wearing some kind of head covering!

This kind of reverence in terms of the care that these children and/or their parents took as it concerns their dress for Mass has been lost. Why did this happen? Is there a correlation between the novelty for this congregation receiving Holy Communion standing and what eventually will happen with proper dress at Mass?

I muse, you decide!

54 comments:

Joseph Johnson said...

This is exactly what I remember from my elementary school days and this is the way it was at the time of my first Communion in 1968 when I received standing and on the tongue with the paten being used just as in the picture. This is the way we dressed then and, as a result, I still wear a coat and tie to Mass on Sundays.

Why can't this still be the norm?

Joseph Johnson said...

Of course, it was around the same time as my first Communion in the late 60's that we were "blessed" with the advent of "folk" Masses which such gems as "Sons of God" (hear His Holy Word, gather 'round the table of the Lord). Even at the age or 7 or 8, I agreed with my parents that the more traditional hymns like "At that First Eucharist" and "O Lord I am not worthy" were more suitable for Mass as this is what I had been raised on up until that time.

Ever since that time, my life as a Catholic has been one of resisting and avoiding, when possible, the innovations of the late 60's-1990's period.

I am a restorationist and believe that even the OF should go through a corrective period (it has already begun with the new English translation) to return it to something more like what we had in that immediate post-Tridentine period (without the folk Masses, of course!).

Joseph Johnson said...

Of course, it was around the same time as my first Communion in the late 60's that we were "blessed" with the advent of "folk" Masses which such gems as "Sons of God" (hear His Holy Word, gather 'round the table of the Lord). Even at the age or 7 or 8, I agreed with my parents that the more traditional hymns like "At that First Eucharist" and "O Lord I am not worthy" were more suitable for Mass as this is what I had been raised on up until that time.

Ever since that time, my life as a Catholic has been one of resisting and avoiding, when possible, the innovations of the late 60's-1990's period.

I am a restorationist and believe that even the OF should go through a corrective period (it has already begun with the new English translation) to return it to something more like what we had in that immediate post-Tridentine period (without the folk Masses, of course!).

Pater Ignotus said...

NOte also the open windows - No Air Conditioning. If we're going back to the "Good Ol' Days," then shut down the AC and really go back...

JBS said...

As far as uniforms are concerned, I don't think the practice was as "uniform" at that time as some imagine. In my diocese, there was a strict dress code, but uniform dress as such was not the norm until the Seventies.

I suspect that for those raised in the more disciplined days that preceded the late Sixties, adopting the various liturgical novelties of more recent times would not have been spiritually detrimental, given the already present virtues of reverence and piety. But for those formed without spiritual discipline and denied liturgical tradition, faith too easily became a passing fad, and very difficult to pass on to future generations.

rcg said...

Yeah, a/c is nice in summer. We don't have it so we have fans and open doors. I wear tropical weight suits or even a baring under a jacket. Open collars are OK. The fans are the biggest issue for me because they establish a low frequency hum that can mess with the priests homily.

Joseph Johnson said...

Pater Ignotus,
When I was growing up, my dad wouldn't turn on the air conditioning in our house unless we had company. The rest of the time, we just dealt with it and used box fans in our windows at night. He did this primarily to save money but he also didn't want us to be too "soft." Looking back, I now appreciate the frugality and work ethic that he instilled in us.

As for me, I didn't own a vehicle with air conditioning until I bought a new "plain jane" Ford pickup in 1995. I ordered it with air conditioning but with rubber floor and crank windows. I am still driving it and just rebuilt the whole front suspension myself a couple of weeks ago.

If we could ever get used to little or no air conditioning again it surely would save a lot of electricity. I would think you would appreciate such "green" thinking!

Pater Ignotus said...

JJ - I'll give up indoor plumbing before I give up the AC !

Oh, and where are the Black Catholics? If yer goin' back to the "Good Ol' Days"......

rcg said...

PI, that last comment was gratuitous and dissembling. So if "Black Catholics" had been in suitable abundance you would forsake air-conditioning?

Joseph Johnson said...

Pater Ignotus,
Don't be so quick to rush to judgment--perhaps the photo was taken in a part of the country where there were no African-American Catholics.

In my parish, we had (and still have) a few black Catholics all through my life--in fact, I can show you a photo of a black young man receiving his first Communion in 1946 at St. Joseph in Waycross (he was probably about twelve at the time) at a Tridentine Mass. I knew this man as I grew up as he had two children who attended St. Joseph Academy with me.

As to living without indoor plumbing all I can say is this:

We used to go to the Johnson family reunion at Wayfare Baptist Church below Stockton, Georgia (Lanier County, where both of my parents were raised--my dad's mother was an O'Brien and our Catholicism comes from her family) and, when I was a child, it had outhouses with square holes upon which to sit. My father used to warn us about the small scorpions and black widow spiders which were known to inhabit the undersides of those square-holed privies . . .

There is a story about the late governor of Georgia, Eugene Talmadge travelling down to Moultrie and stopping to relieve himself while enroute (and, by so doing, hopefully gaining a vote from the "fortunate" farmer/privy owner). It seems ol' Gene got bit in an unmentionable place by a black widow spider while on the privy and had a bad experience attempting to deliver a speech in Moultrie with the typical summer late afternoon south Georgia thurderstorm to literally add insult to injury.

Pater Ignotus said...

rcg - I think all people, of any race, should be air conditioned and have the opportunity to install the latest indoor plumbing in their homes. Don't you?

Joseph Johnson - The photo was offered as an idealized image of how wonderful things were in the Church in the "Good Ol' Days." All children were well-behaved, priests wore maniples, altar rails were in place, under-chin patens were employed by well-choreographed altar boys (boys, not girls), and all was right with the world!

The problem with idealizing the past is that it ignores the reality of the past.

rcg said...

LOL! PI, I agree totally.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Interesting how delusional PI is! The Civil Rights movement developed amongst Catholics in the Pre-Vatican II period when Catolics formed in the Liturgy and ecclesiology of the Church of this glorious period took seriously the Church's moral authority especially that of bishops, priests and religious!

And in the early post-Vatican II period it was lay Catholics formed in the discipline of the pre-Vatican II Church who moved the Church forward with integration!

This period prior to Vatican II had strong Catholic families where divorce was uncommon; Catholics for the most part were virgins until their wedding night, Catholics did not practice artificial birth control or have abortions and no Catholics died of aides or criminal activity! This was such a tainted period? It is to laugh!

Joseph Johnson said...

Pater Ignotus,

"The problem with idealizing the past is that it ignores the reality of the past."

True enough, but what is so wrong-headed about preserving or resurrecting the good things from the past while incorporating some good things which have occurred along the way? In other words, as to that picture, why can't we strive to make the present reality like that picture but with air conditioning and racial integration (that is, assuming that the picture was all white because of segregation laws and not because it was taken in a place like Fargo, North Dakota).

I think the problem is that you and I probably disagree about what or how much of the good things of the past should be preserved or reintroduced (for instance, I think the better church dress habits of the past as well as chin patens and altar rails are good and desirable things which need to be reintroduced and made normative again).


JBS said...

By suggesting a historic link between piety and racism, Pater Ignotus is trivializing the oppression of racial minorities in an effort to show his disdain for the Roman liturgical tradition. His comment even hints at the possibility that Fr. McDonald would be open to the revival of oppression. Shame on Pater Ignotus.

This is why a solid foundation in logic and rhetoric are so essential to civil dialogue.

Pater Ignotus said...

JBS - I am suggesting no link between piety and racism.

LOOK AT THE PICTURE. If you see a person of color there, please point him/her out. I simply commented on the PICTURE.

Idealized portraits of the past are just that - idealized. No, the "Good Ol' Days" weren't so good for large segments of the population.

We look at pretty pictures of the past and say "Awwww, isn't that so sweet? Can't we just go back to those "Good Ol' Days?" Sure, but remember, pictures like this don't tell the whole story.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Hey! Of that little girl in yellow with the very stylish white hate next to the priest isn't African American I'll eat my Birreta!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Should read "if that..."

Joseph Johnson said...

Fr. McDonald,
I thought you didn't own a biretta!

Seriously, though, if you will give me your hat size I will be happy to see that you get one ... (priests' birettas, another one of those good things from the past that should still be in use).

Joseph Johnson said...

Fr. McDonald,
While we're speaking of hats, I think you also meant to say "with the very stylish white hat" (not hate).

quicumquevult said...

Back to the initial topic, I find it interesting how the reverence was lost by degrees. This photo is just another example of that. In my own parish, they started out (in '65) by putting a freestanding altar directly in front of the High Altar, behind the still intact altar rail. Then slowly, things happened—cassocks and surplices were ditched for the alb, Holy Communion in the hands and under both kinds began, there were folk Masses, and by the '70s, the entire church was reconfigured so that the freestanding altar was brought down from the old sanctuary and into the crossing, with rows of pews looking toward it on either side. The altar rail was disassembled in the middle (though still there at the sides).

As for dress, that is a sad thing. I'm a young guy, but I'm the only young person who wears a suit or a coat and tie to Mass every Sunday at my church (several of the older men do). I have been able to convince some friends, not from my parish, to dress nicer for Mass (they learned how to tie ties and all that), but for the most part, the young people at my own church wear clothes that they would wear any time during the week.

Anonymous said...

Liberals tend to assume that the present is ipso facto morally superior to the past...at least with respect to sexism, racism, etc. (although it's interesting that they preserve a cult to "Camelot" of JFK fame).

But on every measurable level women and minorities are WORSE off now than they were in the 'bad old days'. But now we're told 24/7 by all the means of communication that things are just fantastic for women and minorities.... but are they?

Divorce and hookup culture is way up: chief victims are women and children.

STDs and domestic violence are way up: chief victims are women and children.

Rapes and assaults on women and children...way up, chief victims are women and children.

Homicides, gang violence...way up in minority ghettos.

Marriage rates way down among minorities.

Unemployment is way up among minorities, home and business ownership is way down...

Sure there's no "ceiling" to women and minorities and 4-5% are at the top socio-politically. But the bottom 60% are worse off than they were in 1970.

So has it all been worth it?

Could we have not achieved 4% reaching the zenith of wealth and influence without all the negatives?

Who has been in charge of schools, police, infrastructure investment, politics etc. of our major urban centers...who's been in charge of our cultural means of communication of values? Not mean-spirited 'conservatives' idolizing the 1950s.

Liberals love to claim they're "progressive" when in every measurable area we're regressing as a society. They love to claim they love the poor, women, and minorities...and yet being in control of them...they run them into the ground.

rcg said...

Maybe they weren't looking for colour.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that efforts by the Catholic Church to convert African Americans have been a dismal failure. In my large parish there are a very small number (my guess...less than 20) of people of African heritage. Probably a majority of those are African born, not American born. The few African American students who attend Catholic schools are mostly non Catholic, from families with enough money to pay the usually high tuition. Generally they seem to be more interested in having their children get a "better education" and avoiding the chaos in so many public schools than in the religious aspect.

Now we seem to be frantically playing catch-up wooing the Hispanic population, before they are drawn in to the evangelical protestant churches. They are our hope...to keep our numbers up...to make up for the growth of what I have heard is the second largest denomination....Former Catholics.

And bringing back more ancient European liturgy with Latin and facing east or west or what kinds of costumes are worn...these are of little or no interest to Africans or Asians or Hispanics or any of the non white non European people who may already be the majority in many places formerly dominated by white guys.

If you think that receiving Communion kneeling can turn it all around.....good luck.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

At least in our diocese we were more successful with African American ministry in the pre-Vatican II Times with the Latin Liturgy and vibrant all black parishes that usually included a school. Since VII we've closed each High School in an effort to integrate and closed all black parishes to force integration. Then we made the music of the African American parishes Gospel oriented and like the Protestant experience of worship that black Catholics in preVatican II times left for Catholicism and the Latin Liturgy! Most blacks who want Gospel Music and a more Black Protestant experience of Church and worship find the Protestant experience more authentic than the Catholic experience trying to be Protestant. We fail miserably when we try to protestantize Catholicism. When we are true to our Catholic roots and liturgy and fear not and all black parish we might move forward!

Joseph Johnson said...

Anonymous,
Obviously kneeling for Communion, chin patens and ad orientem are far more important than the "costumes" (I take it you mean biretta and maniples, etc.). The former have to do with a greater focus on the Reality of the Blessed Sacrament and on the Sacrificial nature of the Mass offered to God the Father by Jesus Christ through his priests.

Anonymous said...

" closed all black parishes to force integration. Then we made the music of the African American parishes gospel...." Help me out. You don't mean that the closed parishes got gospel music. I don't understand.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My bad , parishes that were all black not all black parishes. The only predominantly mostly black parishes in our diocese remain in Savannah. Augusta and Macon integrated and lost something on the process and blacks became a minority in their own parishes.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean your former parish in Augusta, the old St. Patrick's? I have been there quite a few times. It did not seem predominantly black any of the times I was there.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Correct, the all black Immaculate Conception parish was closed on Laney Walker Blvd. and the all white Sacred Heart was closed and the two merged into St. Patrick which reverted to its historic original name, Most Holy a Trinity. I was there 14 years asked for a Gospel Choir for the 12:30 Mass. Parish went from 600 families with about 250 black to 1,360 families but very few new blacks and more whites at the Gospel Mass than black !

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was at MHT from 1991 to 2004.

Gene said...

This liberal, obligatory obsession with blacks is absurd. Who cares if there are blacks or not. If they come, fine, if not fine. Most people, including myself, would prefer to associate with their own kind. Macon has a black parish of its own and it is because this is what blacks wanted. We have a few blacks at St. Jo's, but not that many. I don't really feel guilty about that at all.

Pater Ignotus said...

"“Nostalgia: When you find the present tense and past perfect.”

It is not possible to recreate the past by resurrecting the accoutrements of the past. Going to dances where everyone wears poodle skirts and penny loafers doesn't return us to the societal structures of teenagers of the 1950's.

Putting little girls in white straw hats and boys in short sleeve shirts with skinny ties, moms in gloves and dads in dressy hats isn't going to resurrect the reverence of decades gone by. Not in Churches, not in baseball stadiums, not in courtrooms - it won't happen.

This may be my most basic critique of the so-called Traditional Latin Mass thing. I see in it and attempt to bring back or resurrect that which cannot be brought back simply by making things look and sound as they did 60 or 600 years ago.

The changes we have undergone as a Catholic society/culture in the last 60 or so years originated not in what language was used at mass or whether the priest faced the tabernacle of faced the people or wore a maniple. They come largely from outside, epochal shifts that had, I suggest, little or nothing to do with whether we say "Et cum spiritu tuo," or "And also with you," or "And with your spirit," or "Et avec vous."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Lot of pontificating here without an iota of sociological evidence! To say the loss of Catholic identity in worship and cathecesis not to mention morality and popular devotions contibutes to what has happened internally. The Chirch is not a victim of circumstances here but in fact a willing participant toward anomie!

Joe Potillor said...

I must say, reading this discussion....

I think a lot of the problem is the self segregation (while not due to the vernacular, it certainly didn't help) that people naturally tend to do for particular things. Those that are like ourselves, we tend to want to be around. On this point I agree with Gene.

I've never been one to use race to define me, my Catholicism comes before anything...the above said, I find particularly offensive when there's an attempt to cater to "black Catholics" with Gospel music, spirituals, protestantization of the Liturgy, insert liberal social justice cause here, etc. I find it absolutely abysmal that the Truth, Order and Beauty aren't used to their greatest potential. These qualities transcend culture, and we should not deprive anyone of beauty, order and the Truth.

I absolutely will not sing Gospel music, spirituals, these are not my "heritage" I am Catholic, give me our tradition, the chants, the incense, etc. And any attempt to treat race as some kind of political movement within the Church should be condemned.

Really though, the reason why "black evangelization" has failed is precisely because the Church is trying to protestantize itself, and why leave where one already is if one's going to encounter the same thing. Kneeling, Communion on the Tongue, Adoration, a sense of reverence these are things that transcend culture as well. I know of a perdominiantly Hispanic parish where the pastor has re installed the altar rail, uses the altar rail, and the parish is growing...Why not the same strategy for "black Catholics" Sorry for a bit of a rant.

Anonymous said...

"Most people, including myself, (It's OK to say "me" Gene)would prefer to associate with their own kind." I don't suppose I'll get it, but I'd love to hear your description of what your "kind" is.

You and I are the same gender and race. I'm sure, however, that we're miles from being the same kind. Peace be with you my brother.

Joseph Johnson said...

Joe,
I couldn't agree more. Chant, altar rails, ad orientem and Communion on the tongue are not the same as outside cultural things like 1950's poodle skirts, straw boater hats and nineteenth century frock ooats.

I wasn't part of the cultural upheaval of the 1960's as I was too young to know what was going on. All I know is that things and ways that my parents had already taught me in the first decade of my life were, in many cases, being thrown aside for things less worthwhile. No one will ever convince me that there aren't some things from the past (both in the Catholic sphere and in the outside cultural sphere) that are, indeed, superior to the things which replaced them.

Some change is good--but not all of it!

JBS said...

Joe Potillor,

Thank you for your rant. We should remember than the first non-Jewish Christian was African, that the first pope to use Latin was African, that the first Africans in North America (St. Augustine, La Florida) were Catholic, etc.

Gene said...

Anonymous, My "kind" is Caucasian American, preferably southern. Many of my kind are not of the same mind set, but that is not always essential. In your case, however, it is a factor…I would not want to spend the entire encounter watching you wipe your snotty nose while you smear verbal feces like a two year old….sorry.

Joseph Johnson said...

nineteenth century frock COATS, I meant to type . .

Anonymous said...

Eugene....You are truly a classy guy.

Gene said...

Ignotus, the theology and worship of the Church is not predicated upon cultural changes or social fads. Some things are timeless and should remain so…as a reminder of God's constancy and immutability.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to argue that things are better today than in the fifties, for instance. One only has to read the paper or watch the news for a very few minutes to be convinced that the world is batsh*t crazy and pretty much any outrage or abomination is just fine with people. I mean, would you rather young girls dress like Sandra Dee or Miley Cyrus (Smiley Virus).

Gene said...

Joseph Johnson, Re: Frock coats mistyping….it could have been worse…LOL!

Katalina said...

Once again like I said in an earlier post, this practice of CIH while standing instead of kneeling is a serious LITURGICAL ABUSE that started in Holland. Pope Paul was NOT in favor of it but he put out guidelines that only where this was already in force could it be allowed. That did not apply the US. It was forced on us in June 1977 by Bernadine who Lied to Pope Paul.

John Nolan said...

Interesting picture. The maniple would suggest a date before mid-1967 when that vestment was made optional, and I don't remember standing for Communion before the mid-1970s (except in parts of Europe, e.g. Germany). The rubrics for the NOM did not presume standing or CITH and Paul VI in 1969 mandated the traditional manner of reception (and then, typically, left a loophole large enough for progressive bishops to drive a coach-and-four through).

Standing Communion became the norm because a) progressive liturgists wanted to push the idea of the people 'gathered round the table of the Lord' and altar rails were seen as a symbolic barrier between clergy and laity; b) the offering of the chalice to the laity, originally envisaged as an occasional practice, became more-or-less universal (at least in England and north America - it's less widespread in continental Europe); c) EMs were introduced so that laity (particularly female laity) could have a visible liturgical role. This was another loophole that was seized upon and gleefully exploited and indeed abused - many parishes still refer to them as 'Eucharistic Ministers' (Redemptionis Sacramentum notwithstanding) and use them as a matter of routine. The E&W bishops are against intinction because it makes EMs redundant.

Regarding the racial issue, I would like to make two observations. A few years back I was at a Pentecost Mass during which Confirmation was given by the then Apostolic Nuncio. The black children (whether of West Indian or African origin) and the Asians, plus their families, were beautifully turned out whereas many of the English kids thought jeans and trainers were good enough. My second point is this. If in 2005 Cardinal Arinze had been elected pope the liberals would have been in a real quandary. He is every bit as orthodox as Joseph Ratzinger but would they have dared to be so vitriolic about a black man?

Gene said...

LOL! A black traditional/conservative Pope with a spine has got to be the liberals/progressives worst nightmare. Can you imagine the hand wringing and running in little circles? LOL!

JBS said...

Katalina,

While I sympathize with your concerns, the fact is that the Vatican later expanded permission for this novel practice, so that each episcopal conference can now allow it, without the previous restrictions.

Anonymous said...

Just one small error Eugene...the traditional/conservatives are generally the ones who have the nightmares about black men....popes, presidents...all of them.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Have you any evidence for this, or are you simply casting stones?

Gene said...

Anonymous, on what evidence do you base your assumption? No redneck out of Whoshotya, Ga. is more racist than the Democratic Party.

Marc said...

Anonymous is just doing his or her part to ensure the FARCE continues.

Anonymous said...

Preacher...you do mean the Democratic Party who elected President Barack Hussein Obama, right?

The former southern redneck Democrats all became first Dixiecrats, then redneck Republicans when the civil rights legislation came in your favorite decade, the sixties.

George said...

Father McDonald
". Since VII we've closed each High School in an effort to integrate and closed all black parishes to force integration."

Somewhat different story (shifting population):
I was not long ago checking up on the Church and school I attended in the first and second grade. There were no black students at that time I attended there. Now it looks like it has turned into a predominately African-American Latino parish.

Marc said...

Anonymous is using racial slurs. That's against the blog rules.

The FARCE continues.