Tuesday, November 22, 2011


At another blog I was reading about people who were shedding "tears" last Sunday as that would be the last time they would hear the 1970 English translation of the 1970 Mass. This sort of bleeding heart emotions is what gives progressives a bad name; and of course they bleed for all the wrong things!

How many progressive liturgists had any form of a bleeding heart for many people who grieved for the loss of the pre-Vatican II Mass around 1970? At least for a short time they found comfort in the 1970 Mass being celebrated by faithful priests who brought the hermeneutic of continuity to the manner in which they celebrated the "new" Mass and made sure the music was good too, that is until the "spirit of Vatican II" iconoclastic liturgical theologians and amateurs dismantled any semblance of traditional reverence and piety from the Mass as the 1970's progressed. No one had bleeding hearts for Catholics who couldn't stomach it and in fact found that the liturgical silliness of the 1970's along with the silliness of iconoclastic priests and religious eroded their faith altogether to the point that they saw no point to their Catholic faith or the practice of it even going to Mass twice a year at Christmas and Easter.

So let's give the 1970 English translation of the reformed Latin Mass a proper "spirit of Vatican II" Mass of the Resurrection funeral. Here are my suggestions for this "Liturgy." Of course this is tongue in cheek:

The priest vested in white to show the joy of Christian death also has a "Christian" symbol of the "smiley" face on the front and back of his chasuble.

The 1970 Sacramentary is greeted at the entrance of the Church and sprinkled with Holy Water and covered with a smiley face pall as the congregation sings "Sing to the Mountains, Sing to the Sea" as a salute to Ultramontane sentiments.

After this salute, the congregation sings the processional as the sacramentary is carried in by clowns and placed on a miniature symbolic altar in front of the main altar.

The Processional Hymn is: "And the Father will Dance as on the Day Joy."

The Liturgy Committee felt that it would be meaningful to sing the Gloria at this Mass of the Resurrection, choosing a paraphrase "Gloria" called the "Echo Gloria" in which the congregation mimics the words and gestures of the song leader.

The Responsorial Psalm was substituted with the singing of "On Eagle's Wings" as children dressed in elaborate Eagles' Wings flutter around the symbolic altar on top of which was the dead "sacramentary."

The Celtic Alleluia is sung with all its verses as vestal virgins dance the book of the Gospel to the ambo with bowls of incense encircling the congregation and the book as well as the deacon.

After the homily which extols the qualities of the 1970 Sacramentary and that surely it is the Sacramentary of Heaven now, the Offertory anthem is "Be Not Afraid"

The Sanctus is one of Bob Dufford's sung with guitar and tamborine

The Mystery of Faith is: Christ has died Alleluia! Christ is Risen, Alleluia; Christ will come again, Alleluia concluding with "The Sacramentary has died, Alleluia"; The Sacramentary is Risen, Alleluia"; "The Sacramentary will come Again! Alleluia". This was considered hopeful and meaningful.

The Great Amen is "Yes, Lord, we Sing Amen!"

The Our Father is sung to the pop tune of the Australian singer whose edition of the Lord's Prayer was one of the top ten in the pop charts in the 1970's (but I can't remember whose it was). Of course everyone crosses the aisle to hold hands and to raise them up at the "for the Kingdom.."

As everyone in the Church exchanges the sign of peace with everyone else, "Peace is Flowing Like a River" is sung to cover this action which should be encouraged to last up to ten minutes.

The Lamb of God is substituted in favor of "Here I am Lord!" as the focus of the Sign of Peace which is central to the Eucharistic Action is upon the congregation and what we can accomplish on our own. The Eucharist is about and for us and what we can accomplish when we hold hands and sing. We want the Lord to know where we are in case He doesn't know.

As loaves of French Bread that were consecrated are distributed to about 15 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to tear off large, meaningful, chunks as real bread to each communicant and the Priest Presider sits and receives his Holy Communion last in a magnanimous act of hospitality and humility, the choir and congregation sings "Kumbaya" and "Day by Day" as well as "One Bread; One Sacramentary".

The Communion Meditation will be a medley of other "Godspell" favorites.

The Song of Farewell will be "O Danny Boy" as the sentiments of this great hit will surely illicit a tear or two in the congregation.

The Recessional as the Sacramentary is carried by a vestal virgin dancing with it all the way to the crematorium is, "Joyful, Joyful We Adore You" followed by "On Top of Old Smokey."


Anonymous said...

Just make sure everyone knows this is a joke. My parish is actually planning something similar. I am working out "Lord of the Dance" on my RB-45.


Robert Kumpel said...

Wow Father! Well said. One of the reasons I scuttled my blog was that there were so many other blogs saying the same things and doing so with more eloquence. You've just proved my point!

Anonymous said...


The Our Father you mentioned was the one by Sister Janet Mead. I remember it well. Every song you mentioned were among those sung by our parish folk group from 1975 until it dissolved in 1982-83. I still like to listen to "Day by Day," but it is not appropriate for mass.

Of course, they sang a few others - My Sweet Lord and Here Comes the Sun with "christianized" lyrics, Cat Steven's Morning has Broken, Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds, Let It Be, and our infamous one time occasion for Yellow Submarine as the communion hymn -- Old Father Romanowski put an end to that one right after mass!

James Ignatius McAuley

Ave Verum said...

Fr.: "How many progressive liturgists had any form of a bleeding heart for many people who grieved for the loss of the pre-Vatican II Mass around 1970?"

Indeed, Father!

...not to mention those THEOLOGIANS who popped up everywhere teaching gross un-truth!!

Anonymous said...

Fr. McD,

I certainly agree with you that it makes a difference whose ox is gored. The most authoritarian people in American history are those who came out of the '60s revolution. The not only became what they beheld--they became something far worse. The vid of Sarah on Larry's set really does capture the essence of trying to discuss things rationally with these revolutionaries.

But you need to find another word for these people than "Progressives." That's a fundamentally American term that implicitly accepts the idea that progress is always good and that change is always progress. What's happened to the liturgy and the Church in the past 40 years hasn't been progress but devastation.

The term "liberal" doesn't work either. Apart from all the baggage that the term has collected, the word itself suggests that it's a good thing for us to liberate ourselves from the current state of things--and that that current state of things is by definition bad. The Groovy Generation of dissenters are currently, liturgically speaking, conservatives, not liberals--they wish to conserve the faulty and arguably heretical translation of the NO.

I suggest, for lack of a better term, simply calling them dissenters, since $1 gets you $1000 that all of the people who are protesting the new translation and mourning the passing of the old also dissent from the truths of Catholic teaching.

ghp95134 said...

Anonymous @ 11:09 am:

Then why not just call them "progressive liberal dissenters" -- a mouthfull, to be sure, but all the more accurate.


Rood Screen said...

"Progressives" is a polite word for "Modernists". Maybe the best word, one that captures both the revolutionary and the stagnate natures of the bunch, is simply "Hippies", defined within the Church as a sincere group of the faithful attached to the liturgical and other novelties of the late 1960's and early '70's.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I tend to agree that neither liberal or progressive, traditional or conservative are good to describe the manner in which Catholics embrace the faith or don't. I think Orthodox and unorthodox might be better. I do think that "anarchist" might be good for some too both on the ultra-orthodox and ultra-unorthodox spectrum though.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thanks for reminding me it was Janet Mead. I liked her version of it and I thought it was wonderful that it was a "pop" hit although it doesn't belong in the Liturgy anymore than the very beautiful "Protestant" version which I truly love, but has no place in the Mass. All the songs you mentioned I've heard too at one time or another in the late 60's to the 80's! I think there is a correlation between the banal translation of the Latin Mass we've had and this sort of stuff!

Unknown said...

But Father, to what dismal liturgy will I now compare the glorious Divine Liturgy born of Byzantium?:)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I keep thinking, Unknown, of my former parochial vicar at Most Holy Trinity in Augusta, Father Dan Munn (whose Byzantine honor of a title I cannot now remember, but similar to monsignor)God rest his married, Episcopal/Byzantine/Latin Rite soul, who often lamented the banality of the reformed Latin Rite and the equivalency method of translating the original Latin into street English rather than a sacred English. Hopefully, from the Liturgy of Heaven which has to be Byzantine, he's glad about the progress we poor Latin Rite people have made in a short 41 years!

Bill said...

I'm sure the DRE and all her staff at my parish are in mourning. I thought of sending her links to the videos you recently posted, but IF she had watched, it would only have stirred up a hornet's nest.

For my part, I wish I could live to my (fractional) Irish heritage by dancing a jig.

Mr. C said...

Dear Father,
As only one of a few clerics whose wavelength elicits the most sympathetic vibrations with mine, and who also deins to venture into the dragon's lair called PTB to call a spade a spade, I wonder...
was this victory lap really necessary?
Should anyone with resolute convictions about the very nature of our automatically flawed attempts at worship of Almighty God, tread upon the yet not filled gravesite of a collection of prayers and invocations, however insufficient some of us found them, with satire and smug satisfaction?'
We should all thank God daily for the growth of awareness of His love which He commanded we transfer to one another, no exceptions.
Sorry, but I didn't feel better for having read your satire.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Charles thank you for calling a spade a spade. Yes I got carried away and had too much fun with my satire! But the point I was making, which Pope Benedict has taught more felicitously is that we should celebrate the Liturgy of the Church as the Church gives it to us. Somehow this truth was lost in the 1970's and 80's where we were teaching our congregations through our Liturgy committees, our children who planned school liturgies, our mourners who planned funeral liturgies, our brides who planned wedding liturgies that we had to reinvent the liturgy each time we planned it to keep it interesting, that somehow the liturgy as it is given isn't good enough.
So in my satire I used gimmicks that people actually used in the 1970's era and that in fact I used and encouraged as a young priest schooled in the Liturgy of doing it yourself and "inculturating" the culture of whomever it was who was planning it.
Clowns, dancers, substituting texts of the liturgy for other songs or paraphrases and even using secular music in place of the sacred were all too common and I have to shout a loud "through my most grievous fault!" You should have seen some of the children Masses I celebrated as a newly ordained, or things I allowed for weddings, including secular songs and actually interviewing Santa Claus and having a birthday cake of Jesus as the Children's Christmas Eve Mass after they had acted out the nativity!
My stomach is churning now even as I recall some of the music which our folk choirs sang and the manner in which they entertained the audience with some of their antics. God save us.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But the point that I wanted to make Charles in my rant above is, there must have been something about the banality of the 1970 missal's English translation that caused us back then not to take the Mass very seriously if the Vatican didn't by allowing such a translation in the first place. The Vatican set the template in approving the 1970 translation of equivalency to open the door to all kinds of creativity with our language and style of celebrating the Mass and making it up as we go and dragging the profane into it. That was the point of my satire which I hope the more "elevated" language of the new translation will help stop. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Charles, I understand your sting. I play the banjo (I can tell you are impressed). If I make a mistake or play inappropriately and someone tells me, it stings a little, or even a lot, but if I can lose myself and acknowledge that I was out of line in that part, I can grow. The other players are better for it, too.

Father was waist deep in the (now) old translation. I was too. But when it became clear that it was at best misguided and at worst misguiding, people began to seek better. It's just a growth point.

For example, I love contact sports. There are films of me getting completely upended and 'handed my own backside'. I have to laugh at it. Not only because everyone else is laughing, but because it is funny how foolish that man in the film was to even THINK that was the right thing to do. I can now show my students the idiotic moves and the eventual, if not immediate, results. We lear, we grow, and we do it faster without vanity. There are loads of examples of this kind.

So don't feel bad, man. We all mess up. Those who learn from it, grow, and literally are better men for it.

Now if you really want a laugh, I have a video to show you.....


Mr. C said...

Fr. Allan and RCG,
Hey, no problems guys. I think we're all waist deep in the big Piaget Curve, including the existential version, and we're not afraid to acknowledge that and resist being "taught new tricks." I do wonder why it seems that some, if not many or most, of our boomer generation, still cling to their notion of "I determine what's appropriate" as if it's Linus' Blanket! (Bada boom!) I mean, don't these people ever get tired of themselves? This self-absorbed legacy lives on at PTB and in the tents of OCCUPY THIS!
When will "we" get over ourselves and realize that none of us is Charlie, Lucy, Schroeder or Snoopy no mo'. We are now, to our juniors, are now that "Wah wah wah, blah blah blah" sound loop of the Peanut's "teacher."
We could be Chestertons or Charles Schulz's. But we've chosen to be, at best, Hunter S. Thompsons or Jesse Jacksons; mere dilettantes by comparison even to Orson Welles' Man who came to dinner. We cannot even hold a respectful conversation in this era of Bill Ayres and Joseph Campbell, gurus at large.
We're good guys. Still wish I could work in Macon.

Gene said...

Charles, You are dating yourself...LOL! And, Father, quit apologizing!!!!

Anonymous said...

The moaning and wailing over at PTB is getting bad as the hours count down to 24...