Friday, January 08, 2010

The Talk Show Mass
Another example of why we need the Traditional Latin Mass

My goomba, LarryD over at Acts of the Apostacy has a very interesting post that I'd like to pass on. No emphasis or comments on my part;
The Talk-Show Mass

I had kinda hoped this wasn't going to come up so soon in the new year, but alas, it has.

Today's Mass was as close to a talk-show as I had ever experienced. The liturgy was processing fine until after the Gospel. Then Father Limelight asked for the children to come to the altar and gather near the nativity scene (the Three Wise Men were conspicuously absent...perhaps they knew what was going to happen and skedaddled outta there?). After repeating several times "Come on up, kids. All the children, come to the nativity scene!", only five victims children came forward, and then he led them in a verse of "O Come All Ye Faithful", accompanied by some of the congregants. Then he blessed them, sent them back to the pews and said "Let's give them a hand!" Some polite clapping ensued.

Then Fr Limelight returned to the pulpit and said "I'd like someone, anyone, to come up and say a few words about what Christmas hope means to them - speak a bit about how they celebrated Christmas, and I'm just going to sit down. Anyone? No one? Come on, children, take your father or mother by the hand and lead them here. Anyone? Just one person...anybody?" Finally, a man seated near the front rose and stepped up to the podium, while Father sat down. The guy gave a one-to-two minute description of how he celebrated Christmas with his family. When he went back to his seat, Father jumped back up and started a round of applause.

"Beautiful, beautiful," he said. "And now we need one of the ladies to come up. C'mon, I can't stand up here and speak for any of the women here. Any mom or grandma want to come up and talk about their Christmas dreams and wishes? Anybody? Any kid want to bring their mom up here? I can't go on with the Mass until one of you ladies comes up. Any of you? Anyone?"

After Father Limelight subjected us to a full minute of excruciating begging, an elderly woman stood up, came to the pulpit and gave her two minute spiel. Another round of applause led by Father.

Then he started his homily. By now Mass had become an occasion of sin for me as my anger was reaching the tipping point. My sons noticed - I have a habit of clenching my jaw and bouncing one leg when I'm suppressing anger - and Younger Son was pressing down on my leg to make it stop. He even whispered to me: "Dad - it's like he's a talk-show host!"

I had briefly considered standing up when Father first asked for volunteers to go up and make a fool of themselves - but I would have taken my opportunity to tell Father that it's his business to deliver the homily and not ours, and that we have the right to expect the Mass to be done according to the rubrics. But I didn't - he was embarrassing himself enough, at least in my mind he was, and adding to it would not have accomplished anything positive.

Fast forward to the end of Mass. Before the final blessing, Father went back to the pulpit.

"Well, Happy New Year to all of you - and hey, let's congratulate the kids to came up to the nativity scene." *clap clap* "Oh, and the music group did great today too. *clap clap clap* "And since this is Christmas time, I'm going to do what I do every year and sing you my favorite carol."


"Too bad I don't have my guitar with me, but I can probably manage at the piano."


So Father Limelight walks over to the music group, excuses the pianist and begins playing some obscure Christmas carol that has to with Mary and Joseph and Bethlehem and such, singing as he plays (his playing was fine, but the singing was less than to be desired) for about FIVE MINUTES and when he finishes, guess what? More stinkin' applause!! Heck, this wasn't a talk-show but a Variety Hour! Six times of applause during the Mass.

So he finishes, gives the final blessing, and then the recessional begins. As he walks down the main aisle, he stops and shakes hands with every person sitting at the end of the pew, on both sides.

Father Limelight is a visiting priest at the church where we attended Mass today - in fact, we go there quite often and the Mass is normally holy and intentionally accurate - but today's exhibition was beyond the pale. It's nearly gotten to the point where my options for Mass are drying up - for example, at my home parish, the pastor allowed the Pastoral Associate to give the homily during the early morning Mass last Sunday. When you no longer know what to expect at any given Mass, and attendance descends into an occasion of sin, it's time to make a change.

I just didn't think it was going to happen so early in 2010.


Blogger LarryD said...

Thanks for the link, Vir. I've posted the letter I'll be emailing to the pastor regarding this Mass. The Extraordinary Form is becoming more and more the only option left.

And I've never been anyone's goomba before. That's a good thing, right? :-)

11:26 AM  
Blogger William said...

I endured some bad priests when I was in rural Tenn, but that is beyond. That is dangerously bad. And I mean that in the religious sense.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

If it wasn't for this being such a respectable Lair ... I'd think you were making this story up!!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Sounds like Lent during the Christmas season. More suffering. ;-((

1:51 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Larry's post turned my stomach. I won't tolerate this carp anymore.

And Larry - a goomba is a good thing.

P.S. Am I your goombette???

8:06 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Larry D,
You should send a copy of your post to your bishop. If this ass is a visiting priest, the bishop needs to know in advance before he spreads his virus on others.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Smiley said...

yech. I have a hard time going for mass to a church where the priest thinks he is chief performer. it makes my stomach turn. i know im not a saint and more sinful on a dialy basis, but heck this is the mass can we please realize that Jesus is here and he is the main focus. not the choir, not the preist and no one else

6:33 PM  
Blogger JLS said...

How do they know the guy was actually a priest?

11:46 PM  

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