Tuesday, January 2, 2018


This is a follow-up to my post below this one as memories of the 1970's and beyond are flooding into my mystical mind and it's all coming back to me.

Let me start in the late 1960's or very early 1970's. In my home parish of St. Joseph in Augusta, our pastor thought it would be good for our parish to experience the new trend in liturgical music proposed by Vatican II ( a lie of course) that we have folk music at Mass. Thus, two nuns with guitar sat on bar stools not at the back of the church in the choir area, but next to the altar and badgered us to sing the folk music they had select, more than likely from Godspell, little ditties like "Day by Day" which we then sang Sunday after Sunday after Sunday to include other folk ditties from secular sources like "One Tin Soldier." Did any of you here that one during the Vietnam war era?????

Fast forward to my liberal seminary days, 1976-80. Academic theologians told us that they were a part of the Magisterium no much how much Pope Paul VI and the bishops protested this developement. They suggested that as a part of the Magisterium often they had to play the role of loyal opposition to what the popes and bishops taught or promulgated, like the Church's teaching on birth control and female priests and the like.

In fact, when in 1976 beleaguered Pope Paul VI reiterated that the Church had no authority to ordain women, our academic theologians and our student body went into meltdown and vowed to challenge this non-infallible teaching! And then by the time Pope John Paul visited the USA in 1979, the Sisters of Mercy protested the pope's Magisterium on women priests by standing throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a sign of protest and the head of the sisters told the pope to his face to change!

I won't bore you about the time when I was a diocesan vocation director and religious vocation directors, both male and female orders, had their annual convention in Savannah around 1988 or so and decided they would like to take over one of our Sunday Cathedral Masses (the 11:30 AM one) with me as celebrant and all the things that I allowed them to do at this Mass, which eventually got back to Bishop Lessard! No, don't let me go into that!!!!!!!!! Use your imagination!!!!! Yes folks, in the 1980's I was a flaming liturgical liberal and not just liturgical!

But what about liturgical changes that Pope Paul VI and later Pope John Paul II tried to halt and without any real success?

By the 1970's Liturgical theologians promulgated the following in opposition to Pope Paul and Pope John Paul and the liturgical norms of the 1970 Roman Missal and eventually through their bullying and disobedience, their rebellion, got their way like Bugnini did:

Altar girls
Communion in the hand
Eucharistic Ministers as the norm rather than the exception so much so that when parishes had multiple priests who popped in to distribute Holy Communion at Communion time, liturgical theologians told them they shouldn't because Eucharistic ministers could do it and they didn't pop in but were a part of the liturgy from the beginning. Then, of course, we began to see even the priest "presider" sit during Communion and let others distribute Holy Communion.

Complete disobedience to liturgical law eventually led weakened popes and bishops to go along and let law catch up with the practice these theologians wanted and got.

Also the priest ad libbing the words of the Mass, making up their own Eucharistic prayers and allowing for outrageous experimentation following their attendance at a Catholic convention which modeled all kinds of wierd things. Think of the Los Angeles Catechtical conference each year to this day and the local bishop approving of illicit things!

What did the popes and bishops finally stamp out? Eucharistic Ministers receiving Holy Communion with the priest at the same time the priest did or, worse yet, out of a sense of false hospitality about meals, the priest and the Eucharistic ministers receiving after the laity had done so.

Self-service Holy Communion at the altar for the laity.

The use of real bread with honey or crusty French bread that opposed what was mocked as "crumb theology" of the traditionalists.

The abandonment of liturgical vestments or wearing all that was required



Victor said...

Fr McD:
A sister sitting on a stool next to the altar singing or leading with folksy songs during Mass is still an alive and healthy practice. I know from first hand experience last year. Old habits (pardon the pun) are hard to break.

Anonymous said...

I have seen the home made bread, but fortunately (?) the diocese had strict rules concerning its construction. It had more the consistency of play dough than bread. Of course making traditional hosts could have been an option?

Folk Mass is still a trend, as is the orchestra pit next to the altar, leaving an empty choir loft. The folk singers are getting elderly and can no longer hit the high notes. I wonder what happened to Choir Directors, and the youthful choirs they used to direct? I don’t complain about the guitar, but wonder where is the Oud? Why no strings such as violin viola cello, and why no chant?

Female altar servers are still seen, as are female Eucharist Ministers. I wonder why they never ever wear their proper vestment, the mantilla. The priest is still the “presider” or “celebrant” it’s as if the mass was led by Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King!

The washing of the feet has turned into parishioners washing each other’s hands. On occasion everyone washes each other’s feet. Basins , pitchers of warm water, and big white fluffy towels fill the Church! It’s spa day !

Should I leave out the “Clown Ministry?” I am certain they will lead the stations of the cross this Lent.

Oh, almost forgot about the priest that replaced the Chalice with wine glasses, and the priest that replaced the Ciborium with a bread basket. An alb with a nice stole is often a pleasant replacement for a chasuble.

There is that great push for communion services, when the parish life director simply can’t find a priest.

Anonymous said...

"Female altar servers are still seen, as are female Eucharist Ministers. I wonder why they never ever wear their proper vestment, the mantilla."

Where does anyone get the idea that a mantilla is the "proper vestment" for a female who distributes communion?

And where did anyone get the idea that a veil is a "vestment?"

Mallen said...

I have witnessed all of these things through the years. Having been 16 years old in 1964 at the time of the first changes, I was formed by the Mass of the Ages. I watched a number of relatives drop away from the faith. I have one cousin who has said he will never come back to Mass as long as the priest is facing the people.
On Christmas Day my sister sent us a couple of video clips she took during the EF Mass celebrated by Fr Firmin at the Cathedral in Savannah. My son in law, who was raised with no religion and is a self proclaimed agnostic/non-Christian but will go to church with us on Christmas and Easter, watched the videos and said “I would very much prefer this kind of Mass”. I thought that summed it up pretty well.


Jacob said...

Diocese Knoxville Tennessee- priest loves environment. Processional cross has a plastic bass on it instead of a corpus. At the sermon(homily)he took the plastic bass off the cross and held it and talked of the need to love the fish, and we need to provide them clean water to live in, don't know what happened after that, I had to walk out.

Anonymous said...

My mother's hairdresser's son's best friend Lyle - you know Lyle, the one who never wears socks, even in the dead of winter - told me that when his dad retired from the Area 51 Civilian Investigation committee he went into the propaganda office of the newly formed CIA/MI5 collaboration that had one of its eleven headquarters in the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

It was through that fortuitous overlap of organizations that Lyle's dad first got interested in the history of the Roman Catholic "liturgy" since there had been, you know, so many Communists and pseudo-Communists who cobbled the "Novus Ordo" together in a trattoria in Trastevere, Tartaglia's.

Any way, Lyle's dad said once that he "knew" the real truth about Monsenor Bugnini and that if that "real truth" ever got out it would sure mmake a whole lotta people mad.

More to come from "Anecdote-ville"...

Anonymous said...

"Other outrageous anecdotal evidence?"


At our parish in 30327, we make widespread use of Eucharistic ministers; that allows priests to hear confessions on Sunday mornings at our parish and allows for a priest to assist at our Hispanic mission at 285 and Roswell Road. We usually have a deacon at every Mass who assists with communion as well, but it is not practical to expect enough ordained clergy at your typical parish to distribute communion in both species. That would be the ideal, but is seldom the reality in today's world.

As for communion in the hand, if I recall correctly, communion was distributed in that way at some time in the early undivided Church, according to the book THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: 455 Questions and Answers. We may debate whether that is good or bad, but not whether it was ever practiced. That is the way I receive on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

One Tin Soldier? Yep. I remember that one. I also remember, "Turn, Turn, Turn." It's so biblical, right?

As for practices, well, there's the "processional," where one of the readers walks in front of the priest with an ornate book of the Gospels held high above the head. So dramatic, in their polyester pants-suit.

Oh, and the "readers." Most desirable was to have 3 different lay people as readers (whether they were articulate or not): one to read the first reading and the "responsorial psalm", another to read the second reading, and a third to read the "Prayers of the Faithful." Because we need to have as many lay people involved as possible.

And oh yes, those "Prayers of the Faithful." What can be said about those memorable and politicized "Prayers of the Faithful?" "That we may learn to respect the environment, and work to bring about clean air and water for everyone." We all love those.

And how about the "stand-up" style, come-into-the-center-aisle-and-rove-around-the-front-of-the-church homily, whose topic often was some variation of "God loves you."

But most memorable of all is the "handshake of peace" which often devolves into a ruckus of cheerful how-dee-do's, more appropriate for the church hall "Coffee and..." than Mass, and the priest coming down off the altar to shake hands with people in the first couple of pews.

It broke my heart to see the older people who had sacrificed so much in their lives to stay faithful to the strict teachings of the Church, observing Holy Days, fasts and abstinences, scrimping to send their kids to Catholic schools, be labeled as "cranks" and "trouble-makers" when they questioned some of these goings-on. As such they were often ostracized by the priest and "pastoral staff."

Then, when they were dying, good luck trying to get the priest to come by to administer the Last Rites to a them. At most, if the priest showed up at all, the person got a few prayers, but no anointing of the senses, Apostolic Blessing or Viaticum. And the funeral? The priest may have said the Mass, but he didn't come out to the cemetery if he could help it. It's still like this.

White martyrdom by many of the faithful laity. A real shame.

God bless.

Victor said...

If you prefer the ancient manner of receiving communion in the hand, I hope all the women use the domenica, the cloth that covered their hands to prevent touching the sacred species, because women were prohibited from such touching in those days; otherwise your liturgical theology is a fake. Clearly, the liturgy had been evolving organically for around 1900 years to become better and better, until Vatican II came along, and was hijacked by the Modernists who wanted to destroy that evolution because it was too Catholic and so too demanding of the priests.

The Egyptian said...

As for communion in the hand, if I recall correctly, communion was distributed in that way at some time in the early undivided Church,

did a lot of reading on that years ago, yes they did, HOWEVER, the communicants had to show their RIGHT hand to the priest to see if it was clean enough, the communicant then licked the host off the hand and then licked their hand clean to make sure that NO precious particles were left to be profaned, all in the presence of the priest, far cry form grab and walk in left hand pick up with right and then dust off the crumbs

I suggest this video, shows the black glove test the guys voice grates me but he makes good points and reads the relevant canon laws

communion kneeling and on the tongue with the servers holding a paten makes so much more sense, used to amaze me how carefully the priest used to clean the paten after communion

The Egyptian said...

Houseling cloth, the linen that was flipped over the railing before communion, you put your folded hands under it so that NO ONE touched the host if it fell

When I started served mass WAAAAAY back when, it was a matter of pride to be able to coordinate flipping the cloth over with a server on each end, two cloths to flip, one on each side of the center opening, got ribbed if it caught and had to be smoothed out, then one of us had to use the paten with a handle to put under each ones chin when they received. That rat-bastard Benny used to chop you in the adams apple if he could get away with it

Then suddenly it was gone and the rail 3 years later when we got a new priest

The Egyptian said...

about he guitar masses as we called the, We were "blessed" with a group of women, guitar and flute, and 2 vocals, snidely refereed to as the scalded cat quartet by many of us,
New priest wanted to get rid of then, told he couldn't as they were volunteers, so he hired then as music coordinators and the fired then 1 month later

Yes he was underhanded but it got the job done.

Honestly I hated then with a passion and avoided their performances if at all possible especially since we spent $250,000 rebuilding our pipe organ and we had at time a professional organist that could make the thing rattle the windows and shake you to your core, turn around and play so sweetly and softly as to put a baby to sleep, he was a virtuoso, totally in heaven on that organ