Saturday, May 23, 2015


It would be wrong to call these stupid liturgical gimmicks as many are offended by the word stupid but not by the stupid gimmicks.
In the 1970's I was taught that gimmicks during the liturgy were good because these were creative and made the Mass more interesting and engaging. It has worked really well hasn't it! Before the gimmick season we only had about 10% of Catholics not attending Mass and today after the gimmick season with have about 88% not attending Mass. This is success you can really measure!

But I digress.

Since Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, I got nostalgic for Pentecosts past and the things I had hope to do gimmick-wise but failed to do for whatever reason, maybe by the power of the Pentecostal Holy Spirit?

One gimmick was to get all the ethnic groups in the parish to wear their native costumes to Mass. Never did that for some reason.

Another gimmick, which I actually like but forgot to promote this year, but I am sure many will do it anyway, is for the laity to wear red to Mass. I like that actually. Oh, I already said that--the redundant spirit in me.

Another gimmick was to get all the different language groups in the parish to offer a petition in their own native tongue during the Universal Prayers. I just couldn't get organized on that.

Another gimmick I never instituted but heard other parishes did which made me pentecostal red with jealousy was to encourage the congregation to say the Our Father together but in their own native tongues. I think this was to reenact the babel of the Old Testament or was it to show that the different languages if they were saying more or less the same thing could become one through the babel and thus overcome it?

And of course, what Pentecost Mass would be complete without a gimmicky pentecostal liturgical dance somewhere during the course of the festivities?

Here is a Protestant version of a Pentecostal Liturgical dance. I like the gimmick of the red paper cut-outs hanging from the ceiling as a representation of the tongues of flames. But I thought protestants were opposed to dancing????? But I really, really am touched by the canned liturgical dancing music for the Holy Spirit to accompany this liturgical dance gimmick. Although the congregation is ad orientem, that is with their back to us (but not the choir) we can see the great joy and exquisite drunkenness of the Holy Spirit on their faces as they experience this glorious gimmick:

Here is a Catholic version of a Pentecostal Dance at Mass. I think this gimmick speaks for itself. I see the Church is truly packed with Catholics dying for this kind of liturgical gimmick to get their Pentecost Sunday going!


Julian Barkin said...

I am not going to a gimmick parish this Sunday but one in Misssissauga next area over to me, St Joseph the Worker in Ontario, is asking people to come in wearing red. Ugh! Then again that priest makes up for it with a vibrant youth ministry, he's not afraid to preach on the big stuff in homilies and does not fear whiny parents, posts said homilies on YouTube, and has one of the most successful parishes in our diocese with nearly full Masses and a huge bus load of kids who go to steubieville every year.

rcg said...

St Joseph the Worker? Wearing Red? Seems like a perfect match!!! Good for the priest, in any case.

Jusadbellum said...

liturgically and culturally, dance is only sacred in Africa and some Meso-american cultures. But note that in both places the dancers come up in procession as part of the introit or conclusion and as a body of dancers processing in. Not as individuals calling attention to themselves as solo artists.

Mike said...

How about a rap sermon from a deacon? It was a hit with the audience; they gave him a long round of applause. As for me, my hands were in my lap as I was in shock.

Scelata said...

It is not uncommon in parishes I have attended regularly to invite everyone to say the Lord's Prayer in thier "native language" or "comfortable language."
I think it's especially effective at Pentecost when we create our own Tower of Babel.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)