i’m not sure if i’m being snobby or not anymore when it comes to liturgy
part of me wants to shoot someone when people applaud for the choir and when the choir performs rather than worships and when the music director takes a bow after Mass
part of me wonders if i’m being too much of a martha and getting too worked up about little things because Mass is Mass is Mass and despite abuses i still received my Jesus in the Eucharist today
but i was SO bothered by Mass today because it felt like the congregation was worshiping the choir and not our Eucharistic Lord
I’ve had similar thoughts. I just do my thing and if someone asks about why I do what I do, I tell them. It took me a long time before I began to drop doing some of the typical abuses so I don’t expect people to immediately change their minds about such issues.
As someone who is regularly a member of the choir at Masses, please encourage your brothers and sisters not to clap. The choir is not there to perform — the choir is there to aid prayer and worship. The focus is supposed to be on Christ always. The right music and the right attitude can help this, but once it becomes a distraction, it is not doing its purpose any longer.
I’m a member of my school choir, and because I go to a Catholic school, we often provide music for the Sunday morning Mass. My choir director gave us a lecture before Mass once about how we do not consider this a “performance opportunity” because we are not performing — we are just helping the congregation worship in the Mass.
One of my greatest pet peeves is when priests encourage clapping after Masses for the choir. Unfortunately, most people don’t see the problem with it. They don’t understand how it takes away from the Mass itself. (And this is not meant to slam priests. I <3 priests. I think they’re heroes and often have loud, obnoxious, squealy fangirl moments regarding them. Just throwing that out there to anyone who gets confused.) I think Benedict said it very accurately: “Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment….”
Just do your best not to get so worked up about it that it ruins your Mass (I say this because sometimes when I witness inappropriate behavior at the Mass it really grinds my gears and I have a hard time looking past it in my head). But please don’t clap. If someone asks, explain to them diplomatically why we should not clap or encourage praise of the choir during the Mass itself. If you feel the choir did beautifully and aided your worship, compliment individual members later as you are walking out. Otherwise, the choir runs the risk of becoming as confused as the congregation and believing that they are performing rather than letting the Holy Spirit work through them.
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
Lk. 24: 5c-7
And Heaven’s gates are open wide!
This may be the most important thing you read today.
Humility does not mean impoverishing the riches of the Catholic heritage. Humility is personal, beauty is for God.
The article in full:
I am thinking about the infamous red shoes. I am thinking about the non-wearing of the mozzetta. I am thinking about the growing juxtaposition in some conversations of simple liturgy versus lofty liturgy.
Some people are saying, “O how wonderful it is to get rid of all the symbols of office and power and be humble like the poor.”
When I first learned to say the older form of the Mass of the Roman Rite, that is to say, when I first learned how to say Mass, because there has never been a single of day of my priesthood when I couldn’t say it, I admit that I was deeply uncomfortable with some of the gestures prescribed by the rubrics. I even resisted them. For example, the kissing of the objects to be given to the priest, and the priest and the kissing of the priest’s hands… that gave me the willies.
I resisted those solita oscula because I had fallen into the trap of thinking that they mademelook too important.
The fact is that none of those gestures were about me at all. They are about the priest insofar as he isalter Christus, not insofar as he is “John”. For “John” all of that would be ridiculous. For Father,alter Christus, saying Mass, it is barely enough.
When you see the deacon and subdeacon in the older form of Holy Mass holding, for example, the edges of the priest’s cope when they are in procession, or when you see them kissing the priest’s hand, or bowing to him, or waiting on him or deferring to him or – what in non-Catholic eyes appears to be something like adoration or emperor worship – you are actually seeing them preparing the priest for his sacrificial slaughter on the altar of Golgotha.
It is the most natural thing in the human experience to treat with loving reverence the sacrifice to be offered to God. The sacrificial lambs were pampered and given the very best care, right up to the moment when the knife sliced their necks.
The Catholic priest is simultaneously the victim offered on the altar. All the older, traditional ceremonies of the Roman Rite underscore this foundational dimension of the Mass. If we don’t see that relationship of priest, altar, and victim in every Holy Mass, then the way Mass has been celebrated has failed. If we don’t look for that relationship, then we are not really Catholic. Mass is Calvary.
The use of beautiful marble in the church building, precious fabrics and metals for vestments and vessels, music that requires true art and skill to perform, ritual gestures which to worldly eyes seem to be the stuff of bygone eras of royals and the like, all underscore the fact that step by step during Holy Mass the priest is being readied for the sacrifice, which – mysteriously – he himself performs.
Back when I resisted the liturgical kissing of my hand when being handed a chain, spoon or chalice, I had made the mistake of imagining myself to be more humble by that resistance. That was a mistake. Ironically, my resistance to those gestures turned the gestures into being about me. Submission to the gestures, on the other hand, erases the priest’s own person and helps him to be what he needs to be in that moment: priest, victim,alter Christus. The trappings, the rubrics, the gestures erase the priest’s poor person. Resisting these things runs the risk of making them all about the priest again.
In a sense, I had made the objection of Judas about the precious nard which the woman brought to the Lord. Jesus responded that the precious stuff should be kept for His Body, which was to be sacrificed. People who object that we should haveonly poor liturgy are falling into the argument of Judas. We must submit to the precious and sublime in recognition of the truth of what is going on. To pit the sublime and complex and precious and beautiful against the low, simple and humble is schizophrenic and not Catholic.
There is no real conflict of the humble and the sublime in liturgical worship.
“Last night, I had one of the most beautiful worship experiences I have had in a long time. We played at a Catholic youth festival in Louisiana, and afterwards we stayed for “adoration.”
Wasn’t quite sure what that was, but we ended up kneeling in silence in a field for like 20 minutes with thousands of young Catholics, all holding candles. It was amazing. A procession of priests came walking through the candlelit masses holding a big golden cross and then they put this other golden thingy in the altar (forgive me for my ignorance of any of the proper terms, and for my use of the word “thingy”), and we all just sat there and adored Christ together in silent reverence for a long time. Honestly, it made me want to be Catholic again.” (Click title for more….)
Very cool blog entry from a praise and worship leader who recently had the opportunity to attend Eucharistic Adoration.
Crying because Michael Gungor is flawless and he would make a wonderful wonderful Catholic.
They shouldn’t have the ability to undo everything I’ve worked so hard to go for.
I haven’t felt heartsick this whole time. I was okay when we last parted ways. Even though I wanted you to try to date me, I knew we weren’t supposed to be together, so I handled it. And then when you started dating her a few days ago, I was angry because you led me on - again - with things you did and said last time we were together. I haven’t talked to you since then, and I was okay with that.
But now I had a dream that was everything that I was thinking. And I hate it. I woke up not knowing where I was, and completely unable to fall back asleep for the longest time. I’m so angry that even though I don’t want to be with you, you still have the ability to make me feel so crushed.
So now I’m all dressed up, hoping to see the guy who I might actually have real feelings for today. Either way, I’m all dressed up to spend some time with the Lord who does have real feelings for me, who won’t lead me on, and won’t forget about me when He finds someone else.
I’m frustrated. But usually days that start bad end up being the best. Here’s to praying.