From a reader:
My wife and I attended the Easter vigil last night and while it was
well done for a NO Mass, I still rankled at few bits. Today, Sunday
morning, I was not able to attend at our usual parish, but instead
went to Saint M______. It is a fairly small, rural, New Jersey parish in the dioceses of Trenton.
I was greeted by a 6′+ tall nun, dressed like a Roman priest, complete with stole. When I entered the church, the din was so loud that it reminded me of a sporting event. No one was paying the slightest attention to the altar, statues, or the like.
Finally, a lay person greeted everyone, told us to hug our neighbors and introduce ourselves, and then led the congregation in a round of applause for being in church. The processional hymn was a very lively number that was accompanied by piano, trumpet, and tambourine. The musicians were actually quite good and under other circumstance, would have been enjoyable; just odd to hear them in church.
I had trouble following the Mass, as it seemed pretty well “adjusted” by the priest. Not sure where some of the readings and responses came from. The homily focused on God’s love and how everyone would be saved, regardless of belief. Even the consecration was also to a large extent ad libbed and no one knelt at any point. In fact, the folding chairs were placed such that sort of pushing my neighbors out of the way, it was not possible to do so.
The Mass ended with Father calling for and receiving round after round of applause for various people and groups.
Since I’ve only been a Catholic for a year this Easter, my exposure to things like this has been limited. It certainly gave me a new
appreciation for my parish, warts and all. It may not be perfect or even close to traditional, but it is far more “orthodox” in practice than this.
Like Joni Mitchell said, you have greater appreciation for what you have lost, even if it wasn’t perfect, after you don’t have it anymore.