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Sunday Penance

  /   Sunday June 15, 2003  

Many of my generation have grown up with a poor understanding of the Catholic faith. So much of our catechesis was bland psychology. I don’t even want to mention what the campus ministry was like (ok, I will mention the first campus minister who couldn’t just use the pronoun “he” to describe God). Then, somewhere on the line, we have discovered the authentic faith, or at least some part of it. We are fascinated with the beauty of it.

However, with that fascination comes some anger. I’ve felt that way, and I’ve heard someone else say that before. We are angry that those responsible for passing on the faith gave us a cheap substitute at best and a downright falsification of the faith at the worst. I know that felt that I had wasted much of my life.

I am writing because I am beginning to feel the same way about Sunday Mass. I’ve studied a bit on the Mass, and I’m not done. I’ve have become increasingly dissatisfied with the way it is celebrated. It seems that we are presented with something that has been cheapened somewhat. The Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy says that Mass is where the work of our redemtion is accomplished and that it is the greatest act of the Church. Why don’t we act like it?

Let me just name some problems I have recently experienced. I won’t name the parish(es):

1. When I arrive in Church, there are often people talking. In fact, the last time I came to Mass early to pray, I realized that I was in the last place that I would be able to pray.

2. Marty Haugen’s “We Remember” was used as the memorial acclamation. Where in the book is that?

3. The Mass was set to Marty Haugen’s “Mass of Creation.” I don’t remember when the last time was that I went to a Mass where something else was used. This happens at my parish, but I noticed that some of the worst parts of that music setting are not used. For example, “Lamb of God” is the only title my parish will use for Jesus in the Agnus Dei.

4. There is some soprano soloist singing during Communion in such a loud, high-pitched voice with incomprehensible diction that one can just forget about praying.

5. The text is altered for “inclusive language.”

6. The first reading for Pentecost was read in French. Hello, that reading is about people having heard the Gospel in their own languages. We don’t have a large French-speaking group in our parish.

7. Some of the things that people wear to church are things that I would not let my daughter out of the house with if I had one.

8. Fluff homilies. Do I need to say anymore?

9. Various lyrics sung to the tune of “Alleluia Sing to Jesus.” Can we please just sing “Alleluia Sing to Jesus?” It’s a great song.

10. Just about anything else that distracts prayer.

I really would like to see a Mass that promotes a sense of the sacred and a sense of the transcendant. While I know that the Mass is not private prayer, this simply means that everyone should be praying.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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