MODERN MASS FETISHES THAT NEED JETTISONING AFTER EXAMINING?
FR. MICHAEL J. KAVANAUGH: My point is that, when something pointless becomes fetishized, liturgically speaking, it should be carefully examined and, if necessary, jettisoned. I would suggest that hem-lifting is one we could-and should-do without.
Just who decides when something liturgical becomes pointless? The pope? The bishops? God forbid, liturgical theologians?
Obviously, Pope Francis believes that more than 1,600 years of a particular order of the Mass, the TLM, has been fetishized and he examined it and in contradiction to previous popes, to include Paul VI, he is jettisoning it.
But let’s look at the once and for all, definitive for all time to come, the reformed Mass of Vatican II.
What has become fetishized? For some, it is the alb under the chasuble or dalmatic.
For others, there is a good case to jettison the offertory procession which has become fetishized, enhancing it with liturgical movement (dance) and prolonging the Mass. Today, very few actually bring the monetary offerings to the altar, because most send their offertory via mail or electronic means. And we have to protect the money from being stolen, so it is placed in a vault rather than in front of the altar.
It is time to jettison the Offertory Procession because, quite frankly, it is pointless.
The Kiss of Peace needs jettisoning too! Who really understands the kiss of peace anyway? There is a theology that is good, but in practice it has become something altogether different. The stylized version of it in the TLM’s Solemn Sung Mass is hierarchical and highly stylized.
The washing of the feet, speaking about fetishes—jettison it, please, please, please, especially kissing the foot after washing it—that’s a fetish gone way too far! Yuck!
And standing for Holy Communion is pointless and fetishized. The theological reason for recovering this posture (talk about going backwards!) has to do with the early Church practice that in the Latin Rite shifted to kneeling. Why stand? The fetishized reason is that it is a sign or symbol of being raised up in Christ, that standing, get this, is a symbol of the resurrection, as though simply being alive isn’t enough of a symbol of the resurrection, whether you are sitting, kneeling, standing, laying down or sleeping! Standing for Holy Communion need to be jettisoned!
Certainly Mass facing the congregation is a fetish and needs jettisoning. Anything else?