Pomp or People

I am all for fine liturgy, reform of the reform, the hermeneutic of continuity, say the black do the red, save the liturgy save the world, Catholics should look Catholic and all that whole routine, but you know there is another side to the coin.

The big divide in the liturgy wars is not so much, “Which music shall we have and what should a church look like and where should the priest sit and which way shall he face and what should he wear and what chant shall we use?” The big divide is actually about what we think liturgy is all about in the first place. People have said it before. Is the liturgy vertical or horizontal? Is it about God or God’s people? Is it about communion with God or communion with his people?

Fact of the matter is that it is both. Proper worship should be vertical and horizontal. It should be focused on God but for the people. The Eucharist is certainly the holy sacrifice of the Mass, but it is also the family wedding banquet of the people of God. When one vision or version becomes the only one distortion and damage result. So, for example, what happens when the worship becomes all about the people of God? You get round churches, informal liturgies, ‘creativity’ in worship, awful trendy ‘relevant’ music and religion that is reduced to social work.

But what happens when the people are forgotten and all the emphasis is on rubrics and rules and liturgical finesse and ecclesiastical fine-ness? There is a danger that it all turns into a precious religious ceremony for the liturgical elite. I’ve heard of parishes where the music is so fine and the ceremonial so refined and the servers so meticulous and the liturgy so correct that ordinary people are repelled by it all. They are not connoisseurs of brocades and birettas, Lassus and lace; Mozart and maniples, and when the liturgy gets so high and mighty it only makes them feel low and lowly.

Oh yes, I realize that the awesome majesty of God is what we are celebrating. I accept that we must not lower the bar and cater to hoi polloi. I agree that the lowest common denominator is both low and common. Nevertheless, there must be some balance. Those who wish to reform the reform and bring in fine and reverent liturgy must also establish some balance lest they alienate and lose the very people they are trying to bring into a closer and more reverent relationship with God.

While I am shooting at my hunting buddies, I should also say that too often those of us who are interested in fine liturgy, good music and reverent worship are snobs. While it is right to criticize the Haugen Daz school of church music for being smooth and creamy and sweet, and while it is fine to slam teepee churches and polyester vestments and groovy para liturgies it is not fine to criticize the sincere and sweet people who are often doing their best and are guilty of nothing more than being victims of execrable catechesis.

Not only are we too often snobbish, but we can be insufferably self righteous. When I compare two groups of Catholics: the rad trad crowd and the vast hordes of AmChurch ordinary Catholic folks I have to ask what my impression is of them as people. As a priest I get far more negativity, criticism, sour self righteousness, suspicion and downright ugliness from the traddies than the trendies. I also get far more appreciation, respect, good humor, and open positivity from the trendies than the traddies.

So while I’m all for beauty and reverence in worship I don’t want to go to such an extreme that I actually exclude God’s people. By God’s grace I want to lift them up and take them to a higher place, but to do that I have to first go down to meet them, and if I can do that then maybe I’m also doing what Christ did, for “he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but took on the form of a servant…”

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11153355585571358736 truthfinder

    Bravo!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10806252830698843168 Deacon Josh Miller

    A brilliant post: you've hit the nail on the head, especially where it concerns self-righteousness.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12746127431922685446 JD Curtis

    Lovely article.And I can relate to it as a Presbyterian. I LOVE traditional worship services with the recital of the Westminster Confession and the singing of beautiful, traditional hymns. Contemporary worship services? Feh. I'll just sit home and watch The Coral Ridge Hour instead. But I can see your point re: As a priest I get far more negativity, criticism, sour self righteousness, suspicion and downright ugliness from the traddies than the trendies. I also get far more appreciation, respect, good humor, and open positivity from the trendies than the traddiesThis seems about right. I think it has something to do with the more reserved behavior of previous generations and more openness with emotion among the younger folks (generally speaking).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Is the liturgy vertical or horizontal?Wouldn't have a clue Father…..but since listening to your homily the other week, about how we should be walking up the church aisle to Holy Communion as a bride to meet Jesus in the Eucharist, your words have made me aware of my relationship with Jesus taking on a new aspect.I have always imagined Jesus in a strictly brotherly way, not as a bridegroom. I would have said "Yuk" to that, in the past.I think the regular saying of the Rosary has slightly prepared me to approach Him as a would be bride, (although my lamp might not have much oil at the moment).I guess that makes Mary my mother-in-law? Anyway, my point is, because I am now 'falling in love' with God,and I believe I am, I want to behave better liturgically, dress more becomingly, speak almost to impress (I suppose that means the odd bit of Latin), and I have the desire to change into a more fitting vessel.My failings bother me more now,before I was just scared I might get sent to hell (which indeed I still might) but now, I get remorse too, because they hurt Him and Our Lady.I still don't approach the Father too much.He seems like a real trad to me, God forgive me.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16936658621864993364 Steve

    Father,I second the comments above!However, here in our Diocese (north Texas), traditional Catholicism has been (and is still) treated like an ugly stepchild. It's no wonder there are so many traddies with such a disgruntled attitude. Granted, the rad-trads REALLY need to seriously tone their rhetoric and attitude down to a level of being charitable. But, perhaps you can "see through" their acrimonious comments and attitudes and guide them along in that direction? I realize that you'll need to don your "thick skin" suit to handle the vitriol they sometimes spew, but you're one of the few in a position to get them to listen….You're 100% on-target that Catholicism is not an "either/or" faith – it is a "both/and" faith. Both traddies and trendies need to come to grips with that. That is what I believe Pope Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity" is all about. To that end, why don't more Bishops abide by the spirit AND the letter of Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio of 2007? Those of us who pine for more traditional elements in the Liturgy (both EF and OF) need to have easier access to them in our Parishes (the "tendies" already get WAY more than their fair share!); FAR too many Bishops have a disdain and near-hostility towards pre-conciliar Catholic tradition.The "negativity, criticism, sour self righteousness, suspicion and downright ugliness" exhibited by the traddies shows that they don't REALLY understand either what a reverent and beautiful Liturgy is all about, just like the trendies don't. Arcane Liturgies for the "trendies" just leave them there; so, MUCH more is needed than just "meeting them where they are".As I see it, SOLID catechesis is the key (not more of the "feel good about yourself" stuff I was fed after Vatican II). More Priests like you, Fr. Z, and Fr. Finigan, who DO so clearly understand the fundamental issues plaguing the Church today, NEED to better catechize both the traddies and the trendies, both from the pulpit AND in ongoing adult education classes. The Bishops world-wide NEED to develop a plan for doing that, and the SOONER they implement it, the better off the Church will become….Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,Steve BPlano, TX

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10606385448003416857 KT

    Thank you thank you thank you!I once attended a Latin liturgy at the Brompton Oratory in London. Pageantry, ceremony, beauty, choir in spades. Hats on/hats off in perfect unison. 1/2 hour sermon (diatribe) about the liturgical 'winter' since Vatican II. Didn't touch the Gospel. Zero for 'full conscious and active participation.' I couldn't wait for it to be over, no desire to go back. Advice to people who want this to be meaningful to people (Worship in spirit and truth): preach the Gospel. Keep the beautiful choir, but make it accessible to people, by choosing things they can actually sing too; or do something that involves a cantor and some responses. Mass is not a concert. If you are going to use Latin, at least use the version in the handouts, and do it slowly enough that people following along in English can keep up. Thanks for reading my pastoral-liturgical epistle.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04446241126728692642 Paul Stilwell

    Father, please write about the charismatic renewal.I know Pope Benedict has supported it in the past, albeit cautiously.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00466358101255792250 Robert Sheehan

    Thank you Father for this article. I believe it is very important to keep this balance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14313101159848740722 GOR

    Father, your post touched a nerve in me. I grew up with the TLM and served at thousands of them in the 1950s and 60s. I sang in choirs that did Gregorian Chant and Polyphonic Masses. I participated in all roles from the lowliest acolyte to celebrant at High Mass. The rubrics were observed as faithfully as possible (it was unthinkable to do anything else) and where we faltered it was by omission rather than by commission.Like many others, I welcomed the Mass in the Vernacular in the late 60s. While I was not always comfortable with the ‘variety of choices’ for various parts and not gifted at ‘off the cuff’ prayers or remarks during the Liturgy, Mass was still very much ‘by the rules’. The abuses – and personality cult aspect – that would evolve later had not yet taken hold. Once they had, I longed for the order, propriety and yes – quiet – of the Old Rite.I am happy that the TLM is being celebrated more widely again and thank the Holy Father for his initiatives in this. However, I get the sense from many adherents of the TLM that the only ‘proper’ TLM is a Solemn High Mass with all the trappings and anything less is but a pale imitation.I take issue with that credo. While this may be the highest form or most solemn version of Mass, it was not the norm in pre-Vat II days. The norm was ‘Low Mass’ – not just on weekdays but also on Sundays. That may have been augmented on Sundays by a Sung Mass or two – the Missa Cantata. We had six Sunday Masses at the Irish parish of my youth! They couldn’t all be – and never were – High Masses or even Sung Masses.In his book The Heresy of Formlessness, Martin Mosebach relates how a cathedral dean, annoyed, asked him why he wanted to go to a TLM when they had very elaborate orchestral Masses at the cathedral. He notes: “I simply could not make him see that a low Mass in the old rite, read silently in a garage, is more solemn than the biggest church concert with spiritual trimmings.”Finally, while I have always held that Masses – whether OF or EF – should be celebrated according to the rubrics, there is a danger of making a fetish of this. That is the impression I get from some trad people – constantly watching for the slightest deviation or rubrical slip for an aha! moment.That misses the point of why we are at Mass and was never the attitude in former times. Mosebach touched on this also when he said: “We have started to evaluate liturgy – a monstrous act! We sit in the pews and ask ourselves, was that Holy Mass, or wasn’t it? I go to church to see God and come away as a theater critic.”We have to get away from extremes where the Mass is concerned. Whether gloriously celebrated in St. Peter’s with all the trimmings or on a makeshift altar set on a dusty jeep in a battlefield, it is always the re-presentation of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary where there was no organ or choir – except the choirs of angels. And they could not be heard by human ears.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13388899986377479033 torculus

    Yes, balance, but importantly truth, beauty and goodness. Or, to put it another way, sacred, beautiful and universal is what the Mass must be. Our heritage is and identity has been marred by a rupture from the past.I can understand the pressure coming from and criticism made by the traditional crowd. A goodly amount of righteous indignation is warranted these days. Clergy and laity alike suffer from an identity crisis and instead of learning and living the Faith, they would rather coerce and conform others to a foreign identity. A lot of people think they know who and what the Church is and what Liturgy is about, but the fact is – most Catholics are under catechized and willfully ignorant.Now, if you're thinking that I am a traddy, think again. I agree with Fr. Longenecker's post and Steve B's corollary. There is another category, if you will, that should put a halt to unnecessary dichotomies, and that is "Catholic", an appellation which transcends mere politicizations of the faithful. If we adopt the polarized view of the church foisted upon us by the secular media and pseudo-catholics, we will never overcome the left/right and conservative/liberal labels that are simply inadequate to describe Catholics, real Catholics. Catholics are neither left nor right, conservative nor liberal. We are christians, disciples not conformed to the world but to Christ and His Church. The Liturgy is really the encounter between Christ and His Bride, the descent of the heavenly liturgy to earth, the one Sacrifice of Calvary made present at the hands of Christ's priest, Christ really present among His people in the Eucharist, the Word and in the Priest.With the above in mind, our (liturgical) response should be a fitting one: dignified, not dumbed down; reverent, not raucous; jubilant, not a joke; apostolic, not asinine; beautiful and not bland.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14524051055544962510 Ben

    Father, this post is pretty remarkably uncharitable. It falls into the "Good Muslim/Bad Christian" style of polemic, wherein the best attributes of one side are pitted against the worst of the other. "I also get far more appreciation, respect, good humor, and open positivity from the trendies than the traddies."That might be because "trendies" haven't been castigated and shunned for four decades. Even now "traddies" are very lucky to even be heard, much less be listened to. What DON'T "trendies" have to smile about? The whole US Church is exactly as they dreamed it in '68. "Maybe the Pope is kinda trad, but who listens to him anyway?"Don't you think that it's harsh to be criticizing the frustration and anger of people who are just trying to see realized what the Church has actually asked us to do? Especially when they are still very much a tiny minority in the Church and when the great and overwhelming majority of Masses said on any given Sunday are so abusive and out of touch with anything that happened less than 40 years ago?If you want to make the recommendation to trads to remember anger's pitfalls, fine, but why the unwarranted comparisons with these supposedly warm and lovable trendies? Why kick a man when he's down?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    Ben, I'm not kicking anybody. I'm simply reflecting on the fact that I am actually regarded as somewhat of a traditionalist myself, but it is the trendies who treat me sweetly and kindly while it is those on whose side I mostly am who are more inclined to be critical, nit picky, snide and snobbish. The AmChurch people are pleasant and easily pleased. Many of the traddies I've met are unpleasant and never pleased. Sorry, but that has been my experience, and of course I am not putting all traddies in that hole. Many of them too are good and sincere and balanced and holy people.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Seriously, I am going to pray in faith for a great love between traddies and trendies to develop for each other, I am already beginning to desire this myself, thanks to the beautiful Holy Spirit.Then we can all join in, in singing that popular Phil Collins number…….."Wouldn't you agree?…Brother you and me, gotta groovy kind of love…groovy kind of love…." therefore fulfilling scripture, 1 John 3:14.Loving each other is a natural/supernatural expression of who we are. Also a witness to the rest of the world, as to the truth of Christ Jesus.We'll have to love each other in Heaven, so we may as well start practicing down 'ere!The rest will spring from that practice, proper adherence at Mass, etc. That's what I am finding anyway.It's all looking good, from where I'm standing…. Mind you best to pray to be given a martyr's spirit too, in this day and age, 'cos the world ain't too keen on trads or trendies……They'd burn us all on the same pile!

  • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ romishgraffiti

    We should always be inviting. I recall a young RCIA catechumen who just came from a stint in the clink for home invasion. When I asked him why the Catholic Church, he said because he was welcomed with hugs and everywhere else they looked at him like a criminal.Also, when a parish is doctrinal sound, there is room for tolerance liturgy-wise. But there's the rub–where there is smoke there is fire. And where there is liturgical abuse, usually doctrinal abuse is not far behind.In the case where it is a fine parish that has simply accumulated fluffy, therapeutic junk over time, don't write chip-on-the-shoulder letters to the pastor and bishop with highlighted copies of the GIRM. Instead, get on the liturgy committees, form schola groups, eucharistic adoration, etc. Above all, BE PLEASANT! because a). you should be that anyway b). you won't marginalize yourself and c). you might need it if those pleasant trendies suddely turn nasty if they think you are stepping on their turf.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05949810648656544072 Pastor in Valle

    Amen, amen, Fr L.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08832697439971721093 Mickey Addison

    Father,I agree with what you've written, but I'd like to add a footnote if you'll permit me (which you graciously have, since the combox is open).I suppose I'm a "trad" although I don't know if I'm "rad". I prefer the TLM/EF to the 2002 Roman Missal because I have seen so much bad liturgy I'm sick to death of it. However, I have seen Holy Mass celebrated with the current Missal reverently and wonderfully, so I don't recoil in horror at the current missal…my earliest memories of serving at Holy Mass were with a marvelous monsignor who understood the new missal was all about continuity rather than rupture.Truth be told, though, I do get easily angered by horrid liturgy. Its a flaw of mine, and I confess it often; perhaps God-willing I'll conquer it. I should be able to go to Holy Mass somewhere else besides Hanceville Alabama or Rome and not feel violated. You see, I can't help but feel something precious was stolen from me. Christ intended us to enter Heaven for an hour or so during Holy Mass…and Fr Aren't-I-Cool acts as if we're there to see him.When I survey the wreckage in the Church and society because Catholics don't know their own faith…when I walk into a parish (I'm military and see many because we travel) and get the impression I'm attending a very nice Evangelical Free Church prayer meeting instead of approaching Cross and Throne…I can't help but be angry at what men have done, not just to me, but to all the other good people I share the pews with. Many of them have no idea what's been taken from them. How many Catholics are in public life and "support abortion rights" then casually approach the altar for Holy Communion?A close relative who is old enough to know better even described the Precious Blood of Christ as "taking the blessed wine." Dear Lord, how we have fallen.I know, I get that men are flawed sinners…of whom I am chief…but can I not have a mere one hour's peace? Can I not, please, just be in the presence of Our Lord and not be assaulted by someone's pet political agenda? Can I worship in a church that looks like a church instead of an auditorium?You don't know how many times I've left Holy Mass lonely because I went there to touch Jesus, but people wouldn't get out of the way.Ordinary, Extraordinary…whatever Rome approves is good enough for me…but since we apparently cannot be faithful to the "red and black", in fact we have trouble with the definition of the word "faithful," then can we at least have some rigor…and above all, peace?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01562944653624224107 Adrienne

    I attended an SSPX chapel for about 8 years and will have to agree with Father L. Traddies of the hard-core type are insufferable.The pastor at the new FSSP chapel, Father Chad Ripperger, makes no bones about reminding the "rad-trads" (his word – not mine) of this fact. Hats off to him!Now we attend both OF and EF.

  • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ romishgraffiti

    Thanks for your testimony Mickey, I know what you mean. It takes an effort to concentrate on the Sacrament when one has to tune out the siliness. For instance, I was largely successful in doing it today. The snow forced me to walk to the parish noted for its fluffiness. The "Gloria" was some piece of music intended to emulate a black baptist choir, the priest said, "This is the Lamb of God" and then added a trendy locution, "who expands our vision", plus a few other cheesy things. But there was good news. Most important of course was a valid sacrament. Also, during the black, baptist Gloria there were only two people swaying to it. One of them was a woman holding a baby. Everyone else was croaking along as best they could and seemed to be implying with their voices, "O Lord how long?" The man at the piano and the women strumming along on the guitar with capo were visibly aged. In other words, this is a movement living on borrowed time. So, I recommend praying for the grace to overlook such things, focus on Our Lord in the Sacrament as best you can, offer up the suffering, and if all else fails, just think: tick-tock. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses." C S Lewis. The Weight of Glory.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15156188133580902769 Andrew Preslar

    Father L. can correct me if I am wrong, but my guess is that by "trendies" he is not referring to people who self-consciously seek to undermine (or even eradicate) the vertical dimension of the liturgy. Rather he seems to be referring to the great majority of Church-going Catholics, those who just go with the flow, and the flow right now is, in the majority of parishes, still rather in the direction of egalitarianism, both casual and contemporary, with atheological, self-affirming praise songs, lots of lay people moving in and out of and around the sanctuary (not vested, often in very casual attire) and a lot of meet and greet in nave, before, during and after Mass. This is the way things are. In my experience (I attend the NO regularly, at several different parishes), the regular church-goers, who accept all of this and are quite happy with it (i.e, the trendies), are exactly as Father describes them, decent, well-meaning people, kind and optimistic. They are not really thinking about the liturgy, they just accept it, and yes, this usually entails that they are not particularly keen on changes, whether the introduction of the TLM or the new translations soon to be implemented.And of course people who are not comfortable with this sort of liturgical (or quasi-liturgical) environment tend to be much more self-conscious and uncomfortable in such a context. A fair comparison of the low-church trendies and the high-church traddies would involve looking at how the latter behave in their own preferred environment, e.g., a FSSP parish or a parish (if such exists) where the NO is celebrated within the pale of diachronic Roman Catholic Tradition, including the extensive use of Latin, celebrant facing East, and Gregorian Chant. My guess is that people who attend these parishes (if any such exist) and have become acclimated thereto (as the low-church Catholics have become acclimated to trendy liturgy), are on the whole every bit as pleasant and optimistic as the kindest, fattest fish swimming happily in the familiar waters of your typical RC parish. Final thought: I agree that the Liturgy should "breath." Starched lace and military marches through the sanctuary are not my thing. Those looking for a happy balance between a liturgy of Glory and a liturgy for the people, in which they can live and breath, need only look as far as the Byzantine Rite. After all, "the people" are a kingdom of priests, and have by their baptism been objectively fitted to live and breath in the heavenly sphere, wherein Our Rise Lord reigns to the glory of God the Father with the Theotokos and all the saints. Where do you think the Mass takes place, after all?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10293352295721267234 Ed Fisher

    I must say there is truth to what you say. I myself prefer the TLM and have encountered many a liturgical snob in my day. But that goes both ways… I have been snickered at by "trendies" for kneeling when receiving the Blessed Sacrament… And when our choir sings the Pater Noster at a Missa Cantata (TLM) gotten stared at from the "radtraddies".As far as the "pomp" goes there is just as much pomp in the modern liturgy as there is in the TLM it just depends on what the occasion is etc.When talking to people new to the TLM I make it a point to speak positively of the TLM and not negatively of the New Mass.I agree with the above statements of "Ben", "Mickey Addision" & "GOR"I'll prefer a Low Mass with no pomp any day to the all the pomp in any average "trendy" parish New Mass.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07272003035464034763 tubbs

    excellent and insightful blog-post,followed by some excellent and insightful comments!here's mine (tho I should be humbled into silence by the intelligence of these other contributors):I always liked going to the Trad/Latin mass, but couldn't stand the pompous, priggish, affected little Twits that made up the congregation…OOPS!! (I was looking in a mirror)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06354592772973677609 The young fogey

    I was going to say what Mr Preslar did about the difference between trendies, who are just as insufferable as rad trads (being a kind of trad myself), only they're more patronising in a politically correct way (like Todd Unctuous?), and the big muddled middle, neither trad nor trendy and including a lot of Bad Catholics, who go along with secular culture on Big Issues but unlike the trendies and like the trads know the church is what it is and it's wrong and pointless to try to change it.The trendies are mainline-Protestant wannabes who don't convert to Anglicanism because they don't like high church and the English persecuted their Irish immigrant ancestors.The muddled middle are wrong on much but still in the fold.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01786370386909499672 Matthew Bellisario

    Hi Father,I had a few thoughts about your current post. Sine this is a public blog, I thought I would respectfully share a point of disagreement here. If I am misunderstanding you in any way, I apologize. If we look at the crucifix, it is higher vertically than it is wide horizontally. The liturgy first goes vertical because we stand in awe of Almighty God on the altar, and so in my opinion, there is no such thing as a liturgy being "too perfect." I must respectfully disagree with some of the points of this article. The liturgy should reflect everything that we can do to make it perfect, because God is perfect. When we worship God as well as we can, the horizontal part comes as a result of the vertical. Father, you wrote, "I've heard of parishes where the music is so fine and the ceremonial so refined and the servers so meticulous and the liturgy so correct that ordinary people are repelled by it all." I must say that if someone is repelled by a liturgy being celebrated with as much reverence as possible, with beautiful liturgical music, and the priest and servers following the rubrics as they are written, and yet people are repelled by it, there is something seriously wrong with the people, not the priest and the servers. This seems to imply that following the rubrics exactly as they are written is not that important, and I respectfully disagree with that. The liturgy is first and foremost about giving God the worship he deserves, because He is God. When we do that with the proper reverence as is written exactly as the rubrics call for, and use the exact form of music the Church prescribes for liturgical worship, and we take our own creativity out of the Mass, then only will we get the true horizontal aspect of liturgy. I do not see a middle road here. You either follow the rubrics exactly as they are written, or you are not following them at all. How can a liturgy be too perfect?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07914134151171413096 merrywidow

    Fr. L., I love it when someone says so well what I have so long thought. I work for a radtrad organization and often have observed the behavior you describe, I am sorry to say. At the Novus Ordo parishes I've attended I can't help but notice kindly smiles and acceptance. We are a priestly people; we have a great deal to do with how the liturgy is offered–it's not all up to the priest. Offering Mass among charitable and open-hearted folks gives this woman-in-the-pew a more prayerful attitude, which translates to a greater ability to open my own heart to Love.I have recently joined an Anglican Usage parish, where I find sound doctrine unapologetically taught and lived, generous-minded congregants, beautiful liturgy in noble English, and wonderful, fitting music. I feel as if I have come home, and in a way, I have. This liturgy, born in the Catholic Church, formed in Protestantism, and now brought full circle back to its roots, offers everything that is needful to worship with joy and generosity–and we get to meet Christ in the sacraments, too! God be thanked for the riches the new Apostolic Constitution is bringing to the Church.

  • http://exlaodicea.wordpress.com/ berenike

    what you said. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00534730218402742905 Hestor

    The only reason why the so-called "trendies" (a loose definition in itself) tend to be more laid back, is that they have been running the show for the last 40 years. They are ones who give the USA people like Pelosi, Kerry and Cardinal Mahoney. The trads that Fr. Longenecker seems to loath (this isn't the first post he has written about them) are again sidelined and picked upon, because it's easy to get away. The trads are recieving no support from parish priests in most cases and they are treated like lepers, by most of the bishops. Is it any wonder why most of them are bitter.

  • http://bwt1.wordpress.com/ bwt1

    Fr.L,I am here in Berlin where ome 100 Jesuits were involved in molesting boys over a 15 year period.( I was educated in Jesuit schools at an incredible expense and sacrifice by my family in Phx. and LA and escaped such horrors.)After abandoing the church, wisely at the time as it was rife with pedarasts, I found spiritual succor in the ashrams and meditation centers of the East. A few years ago, I wandered into a Latin mass and have abandoned the eastern path. I have found there a respect, dignity and warmth sadly missing in the parishes I once knew. What's more, I can compare the experience with aspects of the eastern path inits depth and awe, albeit the mass possesses the Truth, i.e. Christ, and is not merely an immersion in self.I'm afraid the lukewarm worship of the last half century of the NO will fade away as Catholics rediscover, may I use the word, the Glory of the traditional mass.Once again home in the new-old Church, i remain faithfully yours in our Redeemer,Brian Thoma


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