Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Father Z has this well-put:

Holy Church asks for full, conscious and active participation at every Holy Mass, regardless of the form, whether the Novus Ordo or the more traditional, Extraordinary Form.

However, this sort of participation has often been misunderstood. For decades the dominant view of active participation has been that for everyone to be "actively participating" everyone has to be singing every world, carrying stuff around and doing things.

Yeah - like, everyone's got to have their hands on something: a hymnal, a collection basket, a pyx, a Lectionary, someone else's hand, a few bucks of someone else's money, whatever it may be.

Or that everyone has to sing every little thing that's got music to it. I grew up in one parish where the people even joined in the chanting of the Per Ipsum (until the pastor was corrected and had to pass the correction to his people).

Now, while the good Father continues about how this is applied to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (btw, St. John Cantius is holding an Extraordinary Form workshop 8/25-29/08), the same holds true about the Ordinary Form as well. Every now and then it's good to just park your butt and open your ears and listen. So what if the choir sings a motet or an anthem at the Offertory or at Communion. Listen, just like listening to the Gospel or the Homily. Let the word of God enter through your ears and be on your minds and your hearts. That, too, is active participation.

To everything, there is a time.
A time to live, a time to die.
A time to do, sing, pray out loud,
And a time to just sit, relax, and listen,
and pray silently.



Adrienne said...

Most ordinary form Masses have me completely jangled by the time I leave.

Now that we are going to a quiet NO Mass I've had to re-learn how to pray and meditate.

Jason Pennington said...

I played a first Mass Sunday afternoon in the diocese of Baton Rouge. They were using glass chalices and held hands during the Lord's Prayer. I played a wedding in the diocese of Lafayette the day before and the priest took about 10 minutes giving a little homilette before each lesson because we were too stupid to understand the plain English the lector read off. The priest even told us that the lesson from the Epistle to the Corinthians has been used at almost every wedding he's "done". I don't know where I'd be, had I never heard that info before. I have no clue what his hominy was about. By then, I'd tuned him out altogether. Talking head. It's good being a professional sub/wedding/funeral organist. You don't have to get involved in the liturgical scirmishes and the nail biting when people want something that doesn't comply to the GIRM or such. You don't have to defend Benedict 16th in front of his own priests. You can just play along and consider the pope's words like the priests do: 100% unadulterated horse crap. You just sit back, play The Rose, and watch it all implode. Result: smiling bride, smiling priest. Abuse? What abuse? If a priest says it's ok, it's ok, isn't it? Obedience means we go along with whatever the priest tells us, even if that means abusing the liturgy and throwing tradition out the window, even if that means relinguishing our ability as humans to use reason. So, I play whatever the people choose as an obligation to them: I have a service to offer, they want that service, and I render it. Whatever that does to the liturgy isn't my problem anymore. Or should it be?



Adrienne said...

We hold hands and we have glass chalices. Our pastor does a proper Mass but some of the laity is out of control. The music is horrible. Yesterday we went to our regular parish church and had to help the Morning be Broken and the River Flow with Peace. Arrgh!

Good question. At what point should the laity consider it "their" problem? I have had to apply the Serenity Prayer. There is only so much I can do and when it starts to erode my spiritual life it is sometimes easier to just move on.

The liturgical committee is a total ridiculous waste of time. I am the only one who has read the documents (not just the GIRM). We all suggested that we have the Sprinkling Rite more than just once or twice a year and Father said we had to be cautious about “cluttering up” the liturgy. Huh??