Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Concern Over Division

In meeting with some of my fellow parishioners after Mass this past Sunday, I was given pause to think for a moment. I attend a Pauline Mass and basically always have. I've attended maybe 10 traditional Catholic liturgies in my lifetime. That's Traditonal Latin Masses and Eastern Catholic liturgies combined. I would attend one on a regular basis if it was offered.

That being said, I am still somewhat of an outcast in my own parish where I was baptized, received First Communion, was confirmed, and was married, simply because of my desire to attend a liturgy that is not a "banal fabrication" to use then-Cardinal Ratzinger's words.

I do understand, then, the concerns of many over how the liberation of the Extraordinary Form could result in "divisions" within a parish. For those who might not know what I'm talking about, check these articles out. I've been divided out of mine just for inquiring about it. For example, one of the above-mentioned parishioners was kind enough to inform several other members of our small church that promotion of the Traditional Mass was contrary to the wishes of the Pope and essentially rebellion.

Why don't we see these kinds of concerns when the Mass is explicitly divisive? Not even just divisive either, but purposefully so. How many parishes have a "Youth Mass" where the general norms of sacred music are scrapped in favor of Hair-Band Hymns? Such things are often encouraged and made the focal point of the ministry. Yet they are liturgies that are deliberately constructed (fabricated) for the tastes of some and the disregard of others. Somehow, this is ok. Even if we ignore the fact that it is a Mass catering to just a minority of individuals, is there no accounting for bad taste and irreverence? It seems not.

What a strange world where something as venerable and holy as the Traditional Latin Mass is feared and despised to the point where mere inquiries can get you labeled as a schismatic. Meanwhile, your run-of-the-mill Disco Liturgy is not just ok, but the most hailed event on the parish calendar.



Roisin said...

Couldn't agree more. Growing up, my father drove us nearly 20 minutes out of the way to another parish because the one closest to us had, what he liked to call, the "Cha-Cha" mass.

Chants a Lot said...

The reason that you are considered schismatic, Throwback, is that you understand that the purposes for attending Mass are to participate in the offering of the Sacrifice of Christ to the Father, to receive Christ's gift of Himself to you, and to unite your own living sacrifice with that of Christ. You do not go to be entertained or to get some kind of emotional high. Ask the parishioners who favor the "disco" liturgy whether they "get more out of" a Mass with rock music than one in which Gregorian Chant is accorded the pride of place the Church desires it to have. I bet they will say they do get more out of a rock Mass, and very enthusiastically so. So there is the division - between those who understand what the Mass is about and those who don't.

Throwback said...

Thank you very much for the comments. I really do appreciate feedback on these sorts of things.

Roisin- At some point, I'll have to post about the Mass that my wife found so offensive that she beat me to the declaration that we'd never go back. And she was a Protestant then with no inclination of converting.

CaL- On the particular points you raised, I recall a very recent conversation sparked by our priest's being out of town. An Indian priest filled in. The aftermath of Mass was generally a lot of discussion about how "we just couldn't understand a word he said."

Yeah, I know that we celebrated the celestial liturgy with the entire court of heaven and Jesus showed up and all for the purpose of giving HImself to us, but that accent really threw me off.