Wednesday, April 11, 2018


This is neither punctilious or ostentatious or is it?

Fr. Z muses:

A “punctilious” concern for the Church’s liturgy?  What to make of that?
Let’s use the text and context itself to interpret this passage.
I’m going to go with “punctilious”, even though after looking at the same paragraph in other languages it is pretty clear that “punctilious” is not quite the correct English word choice.
French: l’ostentation dans le soin de la liturgie
Italian: l’ostentazione nella cura della liturgia
Spanish: la ostentación en el cuidado de la liturgia
Portuguese: a ostentação no cuidado da liturgia
German: dem Zurschaustellen [sic… Zurschaustellung?] der Sorge für die 
I think a concern for ostentation in liturgy is a good concern. Attention to detail and the rubrics of the Mass is a good thing too. 
What do you think? Do you think those who translated the pope's word into English used the wrong word?  


ByzRC said...

showing great attention to detail or correct behavior.
"he was punctilious in providing every amenity for his guests"
synonyms: meticulous, conscientious, diligent, scrupulous, careful, painstaking, rigorous, perfectionist, methodical, particular, strict; More

Probably another dig at those 'rigid' types.

TJM said...

I guess Santita wants us to be slobs and not give our best to the Lord.

ByzRC, isn't the pope's statement offensive to Eastern Rite Catholics?

ByzRC said...


I can see why you would think that but, no, I don't believe this is offensive to Eastern Catholics simply because I do not believe that it is being directed at us. Cross the street from West to East and you might feel as though you are watching a show of which you are not always part. Honestly, it's a blessing at times as, anymore, I read and still comment here about frustrations with the Roman liturgy that have no effect on the Eastern Churches (at least, not the Byzantine Churches). VII began the process of separating our liturgies allowing for the removal of Latinizations that, over time, had crept in. We are heading back toward our roots and it's a happy journey indeed.

RSC+ said...

What is ostentation?

Is it ostentatious to wear and to use well-made vestments and holy hardware, or is it ostentatious to preen as one wears what looks like a giant dinner napkin or cheaply made implements? Is it ostentatious to face the altar along with the congregation and move slowly and deliberately, or is it ostentatious to make eye contact with parishioners, grin at them, and place chairs so that they face the nave instead of inward toward the altar? Is it ostentatious to chant and play the organ off to one side, or is it ostentatious to have a would-be James Taylor front and center on his guitar and a cantor prod the congregation along with arm gestures when they are to make the responses? Is it ostentatious to follow the rubrics and no more, or is it ostentatious to meddle and fabricate collects and Eucharistic prayers extemporaneously? Is it ostentatious to stand at the pulpit, or is it ostentatious to wander around with a microphone? At the risk of being too on the nose, is it ostentatious to do what has come before and wear what has been worn before, or is it ostentatious to draw attention to oneself as one pointedly refuses to do so?

One longs for the linguistic precision Benedict XVI or the bold directness of John Paul II.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

When I read or listen to Pope Francis, I scratch my head. Sometimes the problem is the translation, or reading what was spoken. But I agree with your description of ostentatious. When on vacation and I attend Mas, I have to close my eyes and pretend it is ad orientem for the reasons you describe.

And don't get me started on contemporary music which is the very description of ostentatious with its loud multi instrument 🎸 music, Curley cues and the like. Gregoria's Chant is not ostentatious! Have you heard music for ordinations for any of the three degrees? Talk about ostentatious triumphalism which Gregoria's Chant would neutralize!

John Nolan said...

Is Gregoria a cantrix who stands in front of the congregation, waves her arms around and croons into a microphone? In which case her chant is certainly ostentatious.

Perhaps, Fr Allan, she is the one who performs this function in your church. She is in a photograph you posted, bare arms and all.

Jubilation T. Cornpone said...

John Nolan, the Limey alien, obviously does not know that in 'Murica we, cantrices included, have a dad-blame RIGHT to bare arms.

Case closed.

TJM said...

Jubilation T. Compone aka Kavanaugh,

Congrats, you've become increasingly slimy, referring to John Nolan, who is far more gifted and talented than you are by a slur which just aptly demonstrates the new lows to which the Abortion Party, formerly the Democratic Party, has sunk.

John Nolan said...


The pseudonymous commentator was cocking a snook at rednecks who are always banging on about the Second Amendment. It was a clever and amusing play on words. I didn't notice a slur on me. Am I missing something?