Reason #547786 for Summorum Pontificum, or, “Please? Just shoot me now?”

The Holy Father recently explained the “pro multis” situation to the German Bishops.

How would the Holy Father explain this?

What does this teach children about the importance of or nature of liturgical worship?

I am reminded of something I posted here a few days ago from the Holy Father’s book The Feast of Faith:

“The Council did not create new articles of faith, nor did it replace existing ones with new ones. Its only concern was to make it possible to hold the same faith under different circumstances, to revitalize it. As for the work that preceded the Council, it seems to have been more intensive in Germany than elsewhere, for Germany was the heartland of the liturgical movement, the primary source in which the documents of the Council had their origin. But many of these documents were issued too abruptly. To many of the faithful, most of them seemed to be a challenge to the creativity of the individual congregation, in which separate groups constructed their own “liturgies” from week to week with a zeal that was as commendable as it was misplaced. To me, the most serious element in all this was the breach of fundamental, liturgical consciousness. The difference between liturgy and festivity, between liturgy and social event, disappeared gradually and imperceptibly, as witness the fact that many priests, imitating the etiquette of polite society, feel that they ought not to receive Holy Communion until the congregation has received; that they should no longer venture to say “I bless you” [German euch: familiar form of plural “you”]—thus dissolving the fundamental liturgical relationship between them and their congregation. In this context belong also the often obnoxious and banal greeting which, it must be admitted, many congregations tolerate with a kind of patient forbearance. In the period before the new missal made its appearance, but after the old one had already been characterized as “old-fashioned”, people forgot that there is a “rite”, that is, a prescribed liturgical form, and that liturgy is genuinely liturgy only if it is not subject to the will of those who celebrate it.” See: The Feast of Faith, pp. 83–85.

I respond, not to make this too banal:

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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41 Responses to Reason #547786 for Summorum Pontificum, or, “Please? Just shoot me now?”

  1. Stephen Matthew says:

    For once I am glad I don’t know something, in this case: German. The visual was enough, I don’t even want to know what was said.

  2. I wonder whether there are any seminaries in the U.S. that teach young priests to profane Holy Mass (of Easter, no less) like this.

  3. TNCath says:

    While there were some people in the congregation who were faintly smiling at this spectacle, I found it interesting that most of the people in attendance stood with blank stares at the insanity. I’m sure some of the older people there figured, “Well, we have survived Nazism and World War II, I guess we can survive this too.”

  4. dspecht says:

    And there should be no state of emergency in our Holy Church?!

  5. Denis says:

    I believe that this appearance of the creepy-looking ‘osterhase’ for the prayers of the faithful took place in Graz, Austria, rather than in Germany, though the same nonsense happens in many Novus Ordo parishes in Germany, too. However, it is important to distinguish the two countries since, as our President has pointed out, in Austria they speak Austrian.

  6. templariidvm says:

    I hope that IS Austria. As a person with a majority of German heritage, I had always considered Germans to be a rather “sober” lot. Perhaps I was mistaken? Perhaps the clergy is the exception? With our Pope as the exception to that??? Maybe they are “playing” at having Mass?

  7. Father K says:

    I know a very good, orthodox and prayerful priest who would always begin Mass with the liturgical greeting [e.g. The Lord be with you] and then say, ‘Good morning eveyone.’ Without fail. Somehow it hadn’t been taught or hadn’t sunk in that the liturgical greeting is just that; he had to turn it into something more polite…[that was 20 years ago; hopefully he has moved on!]

  8. merrydelval says:

    The weirder thing is that the celebrant had a voice like the Easter Bunny and the Easter Bunny sounded like a montone PSA for the Magisterium of Nuns.

  9. Cathy says:

    This “teaches” the children that the Mass is for their entertainment and amusement. It renders the liturgical sense as childish as opposed to child-like.

  10. Clinton says:

    The parish of my youth did just this sort of nonsense. Supposedly, it was for us kids–
    to ‘make the Mass more relevant for us’. Curiously, the priests and the liturgist never checked with us kids to see if it had the intended effect. As I recall, we kids thought having
    ‘Santa Claus’ show up at Mass or songs from the muppet movie sung during our
    Confirmation (!) was just condescending. We thought things like that were stupid–
    but as far as I know, neither the priests nor the liturgist ever asked for our opinion.

    Looking back, I think that this sort of thing actually has very little to do with truly making
    Mass appealing to kids. I think it’s more about those in control of the liturgy congratulating
    themselves on their ‘pastoral sensitivity’, applauding themselves on how in touch they are
    with today’s youth. However, if they ever got honest feedback from any child over the age
    of three, I think they would be told they were just being stupid.

  11. GordonB says:

    I like the Holy Father’s analogy between this sort of stuff and the Golden Calf.

  12. Gordon B: Yes, I cite that section about the Golden Calf in my talk on “Modernism 2.0″. Good insight. The Jews knew the Calf wasn’t a god, they just wanted something that was very demanding. This is what happens in our liturgical worship. Bad liturgy (focused on ourselves) is a Golden Calf around which we dance.

  13. Laura98 says:

    The priest and the.. er.. “Oesterhase” both sounded German to me (not Austrian, as I have a hard time understanding that dialect). This was probably in Bavaria or southen Baden-Wuerttemberg by the looks of the church.

    The first thing I thought of, was that for once you have a full church in Germany… and they see THIS??? Arrgghh!!!! Golden Oesterhase indeed!!

  14. jhayes says:

    “I know a very good, orthodox and prayerful priest who would always begin Mass with the liturgical greeting [e.g. The Lord be with you] and then say, ‘Good morning eveyone.’ ”

    Fr. K, the retired priest who presides at the evening Mass here always says some variation of “Good evening to all of you”, to which people reply “Good evening father.” He then continues “Let us begin our Mass, as we always do, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…..”

    I think he has found a licit way to do it – by putting his personal greeting before the actual beginning of the Mass.

  15. APX says:

    @Laura98
    The first thing I thought of, was that for once you have a full church in Germany

    I thought that too at first, unit then I remembered this was Easter.

  16. APX says:

    Perhaps this is another good reason for the liturgical beretta. Rabbit stew anyone?

  17. melanie says:

    Meanwhile, at St John Fisher West Heath, we are planning our second annual Mass in the Extraordinary Form for our primary school children. Deo gratias!

  18. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “Lift up thy hands against their pride unto the end; see what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. And they that hate thee have made their boasts, in the midst of thy solemnity…They have set fire to thy sanctuary: they have defiled the dwelling place of thy name on the earth…O God, the heathens are come into thy inheritance, they have defiled thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.”

    Osterhase-themed liturgical fruit of the “spirit of V2″.

    So sick of this trash. Moments like these that I am reminded how the biological solution is insufficient. That relatively young priest is a sold-out pandering ninny. Lord have mercy.

  19. Nicole says:

    Well…at least der Osterhasen has a manly voice…right? haha!

  20. I suppose the dismissal verse was”Nah Nah thats all folks! Alleluia Alleluia

  21. John Nolan says:

    The parish is Hartberg in Austria. They’ve put a lot of their Holy Week liturgy on YouTube including their main Easter Sunday Mass which has – wait for it – the parish choir and orhestra with a Haydn Mass and Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring at the Communion. There is a clip of the same young priest singing the long Exsultet in near-perfect Gregorian Chant, using the German translation which seems to be pretty faithful to the Latin (bees included). For Good Friday there was a version of the St John Passion for soloists and choir composed by their director of music.

    I think they probably regret uploading the Osterhase; they’ve closed the combox for that particular clip. It would seem that the liturgy is typical for German and Austrian parishes; plenty of (to me) irritating NuChurch elements, redeemed by decent music and a translation which until recently was far more dignified than ours.

  22. The video is from Pfarre Hartberg in Austria. One can watch more videos from them at http://www.pfarre.hartberg.at . That was Kaplan Monschein in this video. The accent he is speaking with a fairly common in that part of Austria, so is the Easter Rabbit’s.

  23. A.D. says:

    THIS rabbit is NOT Thumper, Father. Permission given to kill him, cook him, and eat him!
    Amen.

    A.D.

  24. frjim4321 says:

    … a guy in the diocese here dressed up in some kind of movie character for the Christmas Children’s Mass … I don’t quite understand the thought process for doing so … this is pretty much in the same neighborhood as “props” for the homily, the problem is people remember the props and not the theme of the homily … similarly with costumes; “it was so cute, father dressed up like Luke Skywalker…,” they remember the dress up but not the costume …

  25. robtbrown says:

    jhayes says:

    Fr. K, the retired priest who presides at the evening Mass here always says some variation of “Good evening to all of you”, to which people reply “Good evening father.” He then continues “Let us begin our Mass, as we always do, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…..”

    I think he has found a licit way to do it – by putting his personal greeting before the actual beginning of the Mass.

    Why have a personal greeting at all?

    The normal on the street greeting in Austria is usually Grüß Gott, which means God bless you. So in the past the mass influenced colloquial speech. Now colloquial speech is found in the mass.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Should be:

    jhayes says:

    Fr. K, the retired priest who presides at the evening Mass here always says some variation of “Good evening to all of you”, to which people reply “Good evening father.” He then continues “Let us begin our Mass, as we always do, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…..”

    I think he has found a licit way to do it – by putting his personal greeting before the actual beginning of the Mass.

    Why have a personal greeting at all?

    The normal on the street greeting in Austria is usually Grüß Gott, which means God bless you. So in the past the mass influenced colloquial speech. Now colloquial speech is found in the mass.

  27. Mrs. O says:

    They should have used the rabbit from Wallace and Grommit’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. At least then, sensible people, will know that an urge NOT to be the bunny existed instead of giving into the shear goofiness of it all. There are some great lines from the movie including “The bungee’s gone from his cord”. Clearly they didn’t ask the parishioner’s their opinion of this.

  28. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Laura98 and others,

    the language was unmistakably (e. g. the sound of “Verantwortlichen” etc.) Austrian Standard German.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Incidents like the above raise an important point known by everyone who has ever taught: Playing to the audience (i.e., congregation, class . . . ) never really works. It might produce an immediate reaction, but that is fool’s gold. Just because someone laughs at a joke in homily or a child smiles at a someone in a rabbit costume doesn’t mean that anything worthwhile is being accomplished.

    That doesn’t mean that children should be treated as adults nor that the laity should be treated as clerics.

    Clericalism is double sided: It can produce clerics talking down to the laity either dictating or playing to the cheap seats (incl not only the Liturgy Bunny but also the likes of Bp Trautman’s the-laity-won’t-understand-ineffable-approach), but it can also be clerics trying to act like the laity.

  30. pinoytraddie says:

    This Travesty made me Laugh with Rage,this following quotation sums up my feelings:

    “You’re not going crazy, Author, you’re going sane in a crazy world” — The Tick (Ben Edlund)

    My Jesus,Mercy.

  31. robtbrown says:

    One last comment: Does anyone really think that when someone decides to become a priest or a religious or thinks that marriage vows actually have meaning, the Liturgy Bunny would in any way have encouraged it? “I thought of leaving my wife, but when I thought back to that Liturgy Bunny of my childhood, I realized how important my marriage was.”

  32. iPadre says:

    And what color is that chasuble supposed to be? Maybe yellow with a touch of red? Are they behind us and the 70′s only hitting them now?

  33. John Nolan says:

    If the priest thinks it is cool to follow the liturgical greeting by saying “Good morning, everybody” do what I do; sit near the front and preempt the congregation’s unison “Good morning , Father” with a loud , and preferably sung “Et cum spiritu tuo”.

  34. jflare says:

    Given the procession out at the end of the clip, I assume this happened during the final announcements. Unfortunately, given the nature of the state of the wider culture, it’s moderately understandable, even if not acceptable or recommendable.
    I could offer any number of anecdotes much alike with what others have said, but rather than bore you with those, I’ll simply say this:
    Something like this DOES make me wonder whether people TRUTHFULLY know about–or care about–how big a deal Christ’s Resurrection TRULY is. I’m ultimately reminded of the video Fr posted the other day, the four-minute clip by the FSSP priest who commented that many of our younger generation–and some of mine too, really–have begun seeking the older discipline of the Church.

    I think his comments make sense in a way we don’t normally think about:
    In many ways, Vatican II attempted to challenge us to loosen the strict rules A LITTLE, not a lot, the better for us each to more thoroughly understand the Mass and the faith in a much more personal fashion.
    Regrettably, the folks who..created..the Novus Ordo assumed a little too much discretion on the part of priests and liturgists. If we have the traditional Mass declaring that you MUST do this in THIS fashion, whether you understand it or not, the Novus Ordo can be taken to imply that if something is not EXPLICITLY forbidden, then it can be done.

    I think it likely that Pope Benedict offered us Summorum Pontificum in no small part to correct this problem. Too much leniency creates as many problems as too much discipline.

  35. APX says:

    It’s such a beautiful church. It’s less painful if you focus on the high altar and imagine it’s an EF Mass.

  36. Mrs. Bear says:

    Fr. Z,
    I noticed this on The Deacon’s Bench:
    It is a Catholic Church in Austria, in Hartberg, a city in Styria, Austria.
    So sad as this is a beautiful church!
    This links to the church and to a few other youtube pages.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/04/a-liturgy-that-left-me-speechless/

  37. MPSchneiderLC says:

    Extraordinary form isn’t the only way to avoid this. I know dozens of priests who rarely or never celebrate it but would be as offended as you by this ridiculousness.

  38. Centristian says:

    Here comes Peter Cottonfail, hoppin’ down der dumbkopf trail, hippity hoppity, vas ist los? Oy vey.

    This would be sad if it were an American priest in an American church. Something about hearing it in German, however, just makes it hysterical.