Never retiring incense…
volkswagen versus a rolls royceSpeaking of low church.Last night I was compelled to go to a Novus Ordo Mass at a parish near me. The parish has a fairly vibrant school, but that would appear to be where the vitality ends.This was a 5:00 pm Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The priest welcomed us to "The Table of the Lord" my first sign this was going to be painfully banal. Well I was not disappointed in that regard. Curiously the first two readings were from the Mass for the Immaculate Conception, but the Gospel, read by the married deacon was for the Second Sunday of Lent which I found unusual, but hey, it's the OF and there may be "special" rules I am not familiar with. He then proceeded to give a sermon on the sexual crisis in the clergy and the lack of vocations (well in the Archdiocese of Chicago that is true, but in Orthodox Dioceses like Madison, that is not true). The kicker was when the deacon asked any religious present to stand up. None did of course. And he chimed "well there you have it!" I was perplexed by his rhetorical stunt, because in my experience women religious and men, generally attend Mass at their religious house, or early in the morning, not Saturday at 5pm.The icing on the banality cake was the 4 hymn sandwich of whiny, 1980s songs, which very few in the congregation of several hundred chose to sing. None of them were Marian hymns (songs people might know and actually like).The most striking thing I observed, which saddened me, was the age of the congregation:mid fifties on up. If this trend is not reversed this parish will join the ranks of closed parishes in an area where nominally there are scads of "catholics." Next week, I will attend the EF, where children abound.
The saga continues.This morning I went to another Novus Ordo parish in the same town (my territorial parish) and was exposed to the Pastor wearing a grey chasuble with a multi-color stole over the chasuble which consisted of blue, purple, pink colors drizzled throughout. He proceeded to say Mass with many of the translations which are reprobated and then some other prayers he just made up. I noticed that the worship aid did not publish the new translation of the Nicene Creed. This parish also has a large grade school, but the Church was only about 35-40% full, mostly grey hairs like me. 20 years ago there was standing room only at this Mass. It was a depressing. Once I recover fully from my surgery it's back to the EF Mass 20 minutes away.
"The most striking thing I observed, which saddened me, was the age of the congregation:mid fifties on up."Due to circumstances including inclement weather Saturday morning, I attended a nearby OF Mass of the Immaculate Conception, my first Novus Ordo in quite a while.I saw the future there. In a good-sized crowd, a single family with 2 children. Otherwise, no one in their teens, 20s, or 30s. Not many in their 40s. Some in their 50s and 60s, more in their 70s and 80s. A single 70ish adult altar server. Missing entirely were the generations needed to fill their seats when these oldsters move on. Whereas at a typical TLM there are invariably enough children--families with babies and 4 to 8 children--as well as single youth and millennials (usually about 10 altar boys)--to lower the median age to around 30 or less, auguring a steadily increasing TLM population for the foreseeable future.Almost enough to credit the seemingly implausible statistical projections that within a few decades the EF will be the dominant form of the Roman rite in this country.I should mention that, at a parish regarded as among the most liberal in our diocese, the priest did well--used the Roman Canon, sang the parts he should including the Preface, elevated the Host and Chalice as high as he could reach and held them there for 3 rings of the bells. The music was inoffensive--familiar Marian songs--though supported by piano rather than organ. I was surprised to note an apparent majority receiving on the tongue, perhaps because no EMHCs (only priest and deacon) were distributing Hosts.
"He proceeded to say Mass with many of the translations which are reprobated and then some other prayers he just made up."I continue to be shocked and amazed by reports like this. The most liturgically challenged Novus Ordo priests I ever see, at least "say the black" to the letter, even if they don't measure up to all the red.I recall noticing that the priest Saturday proclaimed the rather Latinate translations of the collect and other orations with a sensitivity that made me wonder whether he's practiced them aforehand.
Henry,I live in the Archdiocese of Chicago which is headed by a SJW for whom Liturgy is not a priority. I wrote to the Archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship this morning but at the end said I did not expect any action given the Cardinal's "priorities." I will post here if I do get a response other than the perfunctory cluck clucking. I am tempted to write to Rome. Henry I view what the priest did as an egregious form of Clericalism.
TJM:Your stories go to the very heart of the Vatican II liturgical revolution. Imagine a Mass fabricated by committees and shoved down the throats of millions of faithful telling them this is what they need because what has been doing for the past 1600 years was all wrong. Worse still, it was the product of one man, Bugnini, in the sense that it too often did not even matter what the ivory tower committees wanted, but how Bugnini managed to get his own personal ideas to shape this fabrication. So we have a fabricated Mass vs. a Mass that has grown with the people throughout the ages guided by the Holy Spirit. As a fabrication, it was an exercise of pure pride with the assumption that they knew better than those before them. It should have been a no-brainer to have foreseen the sad results, and yet Paul VI irrationally refused to do so (a point Yves Chiron makes in his book on Bugnini). The saga continues with the Vatican obstinately defending what was done. The blasphemous idea of "active participation" that was the keystone of the liturgical revolution still lives strongly today, blasphemous because it places people before God at the heart of the liturgy, stressing the Me and the We first rather than honouring the glory of God the way He deserves. It is not surprising that the latest surveys of the beliefs of young people who still attend Novus Ordo Masses are not encouraging for the survival of the Faith in the West: lex orandis, lex credendi.* I hope and pray that you fully recover from your surgery soon so you can go back to the EF, the Rolls-Royce of Western liturgy, as you mention. Not that the VW is invalid, but the RR is way way better.* https://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/06/12/analysis-rise-in-young-catholics-attending-mass-survey-suggests/
TJM and HenryI trust that your attendance at abusive 'liturgies' was for the purpose of research, in the same way that the saintly Lord Longford watched pornography in the 1970s.Otherwise it smacks of masochism or at the very least a misplaced sense of 'obligation'.
John Nolan,Out of desperation, I assure you. When I complained to the Pastor he said this in writing:"I share the perspective of those bishops who expect pastoral adaptations, provided that they are pastorally justifiable and consistent with sacramental theology. I believe that a parish must regularly review its celebration of the liturgy to ensure that any variations from the General Instructions are appropriate, both pastorally and liturgically."I responded to him thus:"There are no pastoral reasons to change any of the texts on your own authority. You are doing so to satisfy your ego/ ideology"I suspect I will not hear back from him at this point. I did forward my correspondence and his responses to the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Divine Worship, but I do not expect to hear anything from them. Cheers!
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