Sunday, July 16, 2017
MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS THE ORDINARY FORMS INTRINSIC LOSS OF THE SENSE OF THE SACRED--OR IT IS PRIESTS WHO INTENTIONALLY REMOVED WHAT REVERENCE THERE WAS
I attended Mass today as I am on vacation in a beach island resort community. The 8 AM Mass was in a church that must seat up to 1,500 people or more. Most in attendance were vacationers.
The deacon, who preached, was very positive about vacationing Catholics attending Mass is such huge numbers. He was very cognizant of the young people there with their parents. His homily was brief after a bit of a gimmicky start, but not over the top. But the gimmick was disconnected from the homily which I think he could have tied into the homily, but alas.
Attending Mass, I commit the venial sin of being too critical. I did not plan to be critical and did not give it forethought or planning, thus the venial category of sin rather than mortal.
The church building is a 1980's in the half round concoction with the altar in a sort of mini-pit with the sloping floor. In fact I was toward the back of the church in a side transcept and was higher than the altar, but in an almost full church when people were standing I could not see the altar.
Of course we are in a beach side facility with vacationing Catholics, but the sense of the sacred prior to and sadly during Mass was lacking not just because of the location of the church.
People got up during the consecration to take care of crying babies, go the bathroom and the like. One young father with his baby walked directly in front of me and I knelt during the elevation of the Sacred Host.
But apart from that, the church was full, so we don't want to be overcritical.
But now, let me critique the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
1. It has too many Scripture readings for the Liturgy of the Word. The EF Mass has the right number. I would recommend the EF Lectionary format with the Gradual and Tract, using it as Year A and creating a Year B and C modeled after its format to include a year of the Old Testaement as the First reading (except of course during Eastertide). Thus more Scripture would be lavished upon the Church as asked by Sacrosanctum Concilium.
2. The useless repititon of the refrain of the Responsorial psalm now drives me to distraction. The Gradual would solve that, but simply singing the refrain at the beginning and the end with the Psalm sung straight through would help.
3. The cantor intoning the Alleluia with the congregation acting like a parrot should be eliminated, no need to repeat and the congregation can join in singing automatically when this is established.
4. The Universal Prayer needs to go, meaning eliminated. The exclusive use of the Roman Canon would, should and does include all the intercessions that are necessary for the Mass and are general, not specific or preachy as are homemade intercessions that are banal, poorly formulated and often inane.
(As an aside, just to show you the less of the sense of the sacred even during a prayer, the deacon prayed the Intercession for the pastor who is celebrating his priestly ordination anniversary to which to the congregation applauded!).
5. Get rid of the presentation of the offerings. It is stupid to do so and adding a theology that these come from the laity is just dumb because they come from the clergy too.
6. Move toward a low voice Roman Canon, audible but low.
7. Ad Orientem is a no-brainer, apart from the elevation, which should be seen, and is ad orientem or facing the people, there isn't anything to see and makes seeing a show rather than a prayer for many, to include the priest who plays to his captive audience.
8. Kneeling for Holy Communion would go a long way to restoring reverence during Communion time.
9. There need not be an Offertory hymn as there was this morning as the collection was being taken by passing the basket and two sets at the same time for a second collection. No one can open a hymnboook and give their gift at the same time.
10. I did not join in signing the Offertory hymn as it was stupid to ask us to sing at the point and I hate that I was asked, yes asked, to join in singing the Commmunon song. I think there should be no congregational singing at Communion. Get rid of it, although a choir, cantor or organ only could be done if it is Eucharist and meditative.
Just my two cents from a venial sin committing priest attending Mass as though a layman.