From a reader:
My family always prays after the Novus Ordo Mass at our little country church (fits about 150) the prayers commonly recited after the Low Mass. Unfortunately, once the last note fades from the recessional, all other parishioners jump up and begin the loud and raucous chatter. We’ve spoken to our pastor about this and suggested that our parish needs some teaching on the constant respect for the Blessed Sacrament (even after Mass). [not to mention other people!] I even made the comment that he had a great opportunity during these weeks of St. John’s Gospel (Ch 6) to remind us of the gift we have and that we should always be cognizant of His presence and act accordingly.
Well….you’d think I’d just kicked him in the shin! He not only told me that he wouldn’t do anything (his excuse is that this is "their time to visit" despite the presence of a post-Mass donut/coffee klatch in the basement), that I had no right to dictate what he says in his homily ( I didn’t), he accused me of being a "Milleniarist", and in a "dangerous" area. I only asked him to hush folks so many of us could concentrate on prayer, not change the order of the Mass or the rubrics.
I’m upset by his reaction and saddened by his lack of concern.
Is it proper to move to another parish? Do we stick it out? We pray for him daily (and for all priests). We are really torn by this but don’t know what the Church teaches.
Can you shed light on what a milleniarist is?
First, stick it out. Pray for the priest and do not give up on this.
Second, you might want to put your concerns in writing and send them to him. Very very respectfully voicing your concern.
Third, that comment about "millenarist", is rather … well… offensive. The concept is pretty complicated, so it is rather hard to know just what the priest thought he meant be it. However, there is no question that it wasn’t nice, at all.
Fourth, the time after Mass really should be a quiet time in the church. People should be able to pray. However, in many places people are so used to being noisy, the liturgy has been so unrecollected and irreverent, that people don’t any longer understand what a church is or what Mass is for. They need to be moved very slowly to a new understanding.
In general millenarianism has a millennial history – pardon the pun – in the Church and in various sects associated with Christianity. The general idea is that a time is coming when everything will be put to right because everything is so very bad now. More theologically, however, m. has to do with the end times, an eschatological hope – or dread – that the Second Coming is up us. This crops up every once in a while… for example in the year AD 1000 – thus the name of the notion. However, the Church has condemned the strain of millenarianism which erroneously thinks that the perfection of the Lord’s rule over the world can take place in this time. That would be a deception of the Anti-Christ.
I am guessing that the priest meant that he thinks you are of the view that he and what is going on is evil and should be swept away in the view of a more perfect way of things, that you have the correct view and that – God forbid – you are in danger of slipping into the clutches of the devil.
At the same time… I should observe in justice that yours is just one side of the story. I can easily picture a priest getting his back up should someone stride up and in front of others start criticising the way things are.
Every suggestion made in a parish must be done with great care. When it comes to a liturgical abuse especially, it really helps to get something down on paper.
Anyway… my first advice stands. Pray for the priest.