It’s parody time!

In advance of the usual hijinx in some place on Holy Thursday, I want to revive a couple parody songs from a post last year:

The official WDTPRS parodohymnologist, Tim Ferguson, penned this:

A Holy Thursday Reflection on “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” by Lew Brown, Sam Stept and Charles Tobias.
(Imagine Ray Eberle and the Modernaires singing this…)

Don’t go washing those women’s feet; the Latin is plain to me:
“selecti” should be “viri.” The rubrics are clear you see. No, no, no,
Don’t go washing those women’s feet at Thursday night’s liturgy,
Thus says the Pope of Rome.

Don’t go altering rubrics now, no matter who you may be,
Or where you got your degree in Scripture and Liturgy. No, no, no,
Don’t go altering rubrics now, this calls for humility:
You’re not the Pope of Rome. 

I just got word that Ranjith has heard,
‘n put the Vicar in a jam,
Seems some priest here, washing feet last year,
Scrubbed a nylon-covered gam.
So, don’t go washing those women’s feet at Thursday night’s liturgy,
Or feel the wrath of Rome.

There… isn’t that better?

Has anyone else noticed that it seems only serious, traditionally minded Catholics tend to have a good sense of humor?  I guess this comes from the fact that when you are right you can’t be wrong.  That gives us the security to be funny.

But, getting back to business… I am feeling that old anger rise up inside again, …. and I need an outlet.

And what better outlet than …. another song!

From the Musical: Fiddler on the Apse
(a parody of Matchmaker, Matchmaker, from Fiddler on the Roof)

Yenta: Modernist Liturgist,
Please wash my feet,
I’m not wearing sox,
And I’ll be discrete,
Inculturate the American Way,
And please wash my feet Thursday….

Fr. Lovebeads: I am the Liturgist,
Take off your shoes!
Women and men,
There’s no need to choose!
“Viri selecti,” is just not too clear,
I’ll wash all your feet this year…

Fr. Lovebeads: For me now,
It signals inclusion!

Yenta: For me now,
It’s my chance to shine! 

Congregation: For us, well,
It doesn’t matter,
As long as we’re leaving for home by nine! 

Congregaton: Modernist Liturgist,
Give us a break!
Follow the red words
For pity’s sake.
Mass after Mass we feel under attack,
Please, just say the words in black!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Timbot says:

    Shouldn’t it rather be “discreet” as in “unobtrusive” or “secretive” and not as in “constituting a separate entity or part”? [I look forward to your own well-written parodies! o{]:¬) ]

  2. Meredith says:

    Wow! That reminds me of these parodies I wrote in high school… (They’re a bit embarrassing because they show that, while I was crazy about Les Mis, I didn’t know how to pronounce French.)

  3. Joshua says:

    It’s hard to believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes: in a former parish of mine, the parish priest washed the feet of various persons… and then the female pastoral* associate washed his feet – had she never heard of the sinful woman who did the same for Our Lord? ROTFL!

    (* While I suppose she was charitable to somebody sometime, her way of pretending to say nice things through gritted teeth when talking to me and to various others she rightly suspected of orthodoxy – such as religious seminarians when present – was pretty offputting, given her hostile hatchetlike facial expression. I believe she was an ex-nun, mirabile dictu.)

  4. John Enright says:

    ROFL! Great, Father! You’ve become my favorite website, and that says much since I have my own!

  5. Joan says:

    Joshua, there’s something about those ex-nuns. We have one (and I’m not saying she’s not a good person, she’s devout and goes to frequent Mass), every conversation you have with her is,

    “I was a nun for 10 years and therefore I’m really an expert on the liturgy” (as she promotes liturgical dance), or “I was a nun for 10 years and therefore I know more than anyone here about appropriate liturgical music” (as she promotes singing “On Eagles Wings” for Good Friday or some such.

    One day I finally got tired of this and as she began, “As you know, I was a nun for 10 years and…”

    “And,” I interrupted, “people who have failed at their religious vocations usually do not advertise the fact at every opportunity, much less use it as justification for their outre liturgical opinions.”

  6. John Enright says:

    Good for you, Joan! I had a similar experience with an “ex” priest.

  7. rcesq says:

    Reading these parodies I was inspired — though that may be the wrong word.
    (To The Farmer in the Dell)(This actually happens in my parish.)

    The washing of the feet
    The washing of the feet
    Hey Ho the washing-oh
    The washing of the feet

    The pastor takes a towel
    The pastor takes a bowl
    Hey ho of water-oh
    The pastor’s on a roll

    He washes the men’s feet
    He washes women’s feet
    Hey ho he washes-oh
    He washes all their feet

    The deacon takes his turn
    The deacon needs to learn
    Hey ho the washing-oh
    Of everybody’s feet

    Now we all must take a towel
    And we all pick up a bowl
    Hey ho active participation-oh
    We all wash each other’s feet

    This Holy Thursday Mass
    Is becoming such a mess
    Hey ho Novus Ord-oh
    Please follow the T.L.M.S.*
    *Traditional Latin Mass Society.

  8. Corleone says:

    Well, not a parody, so much as a lymrick in honour of the impending St Patrick’s day (or more commonly known as “St Who’s Day?” here in Italy).

    There once was a lady named Joan
    A wannabe priestess well known
    She demanded a seat during the washing of feet
    A Birkenstocks liberal clone.

  9. Christian says:

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of liturgical reform,
    It is to the modern era that we now must all conform,
    It is with inclusive liturgy the Church we will transform.
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

    Glory, glory to the Council,
    Glory, glory to the Council,
    Glory, glory to the Council,
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

    We have stripped out every altar and we’ve taken down the rail,
    For now all elaborate ritual we must try to curtail,
    And then ‘noble simplicity’ will finally prevail.
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

    All errors of the Old Church, with our changes, we have solved,
    For now at the new communion we are all to be involved,
    And by general absolution, we will have our sins absolved.
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

    Now some illiberals claim that we are emptying the pews,
    But the only ones to leave us are the ones we want to lose,
    We will fill all empty places with Mohammedans and Jews,
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

    We have entered into dialogue with every kind of sect,
    Since for all of their beliefs we have the greatest of respect,
    It’s this inter-faith discussion that the new Mass should reflect.
    Paul the Sixth is marching on!

  10. ustalumnus says:

    “Someone today referred to “intellectual fascists”, another compared people who don’t want to see the rubrics violated on Holy Thursday to Satan.

    I don’t need that sort of garbage.

    I want to be edified today, not annoyed. Really. Not kidding.”

    – Fr. Z on 2/27/2009

    Nothing like stirring things up again, eh Father? I guess you do not want to be edified today. [I guess someone left his sense of humor at the door today. Feel free to go back out and look for it! o{];¬) ]

  11. Bob says:

    What actually irritates me more on Holy Thursday than the washing of women’s and children’s feet is the ridiculous song my parish’s folk group always sings during it – “Jesus Took a Towel.” The whole thing drags on for a good five or six minutes, and it leaves me wanting to scream and pull my hair out. I probably won’t be going this year.

    A couple months ago, at out Liturgy Committee meeting, I mentioned the foot-washing issue and tried to explain that the book means what it says about men. That was news to everyone. Most of the committee members just laughed about how silly and old-fashioned the Church is, but the woman who was in charge of getting volunteers to have their feet washed said, “Well, if that’s what we’re doing, then I’m not going to have any part in this.” She later brought it up with the pastor, who replied that, “It is common pastoral practice in the United States to wash women’s feet” and therefore it will continue. I think the battle is lost on this matter.

    I would try and write a parody, but how can you make “Jesus Took a Towel” any sillier than it already is?

  12. Matt says:

    I kind of love the irony of a whole post about the Holy Father’s letter calling us to unity and to understand the mercy of his actions towards Bp. Williamson, which I think had an eloquent and well thought our reaction by Fr. Z.

    Then….we get this…couched in “look at us, don’t we have a fun sense of humor”. This website has such an odd hypercritical and hypocritical vibe to it most days. [The door is that way… over there…. At any time you may seek a site more suited to your sensibilities.]

  13. Corleone says:

    Bob – I think everyone here who has attended a NO mass has their own personal horror to share. But…”Jesus took a towel” is one that I can truly thank God almighty for having been spared.


  14. John P says:

    Father, those two parodies are absolutely hilarious, but they are almost not funny simply because they are so true! Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. All the parodies in the comments are really funny as well, I was literally rolling on the floor with laughter. Everyone in my family thought I was sick or something!

    John P.

  15. avecrux says:

    ustalumnus and Matt –

    Regarding Father’s parodies – humor diffuses anger. People get justifiably angered by liturgical abuse – and sometimes taking a moment to relax through humor is exactly what helps people stay sane.

  16. Maureen says:

    To the tune of: “Rubber Ducky”

    Jesus took a towel to scrub
    Twelve Apostles’ feet in tubs
    Kindly notice, it wasn’t the Seventy —
    Not even His mother.

    Didn’t ask nobody else
    To the table but the Twelve.
    Kindly notice, it wasn’t the Seventy!

    When Jesus took a towel to scrub
    Rub-a-dub in the tubby,
    He instituted priesthood, and
    Not a footbath for Bubbe,
    As His sign of love-y.

    Jesus took a towel to scrub
    Twelve Apostles’ feet in tubs.
    Their night out meant much less work for Marth’ and Mary!

    Alternate ending for women’s chorus:

    Don’t touch _my_ feet, or tell me that I’m a vir!
    Don’t touch _my_ feet, or tell me that I’m a vir!
    Don’t touch _my_ feet, or I’m prob’ly gonna kick you!

  17. Maureen says:

    Instead “their night out….Mary”, please insert,

    “Their night out lets you put your feet up now, Mary!”

  18. Lee says:

    Nevertheless, I would like to send off a letter to my bishop and to my pastor and to the liturgy commission for the archdiocese expressing the simple wish that this year we will follow the liturgical law of the Church on Holy Thursday.

    For that reason, it would be really helpful if you would point me to, or quote, the Church’s law concerning the washing of the feet, keeping in mind that my personal library does not include any liturgical books.


  19. ustalumnus says:

    Your words, not mine Father. Forgive me if it touched a nerve with you. [Hardly. You just need to lighten up a bit.]

  20. irishgirl says:

    Oh, man…the parodies are funny! Wish I were that creative!

    Tell you the truth, I had my feet washed at a couple of Holy Thursday Masses. But I wasn’t doing it to score some stupid ‘inclusivity’ point…..I simply volunteered!

    Now i know better-I go to the TLM.

  21. Gloria says:

    apologies to SOUND OF MUSIC

    Women in blue jeans or short skirts and tank tops,
    Altar girls shucking their comfy old flip-flops,
    Sit down and turn up their toesies with glee,
    Not knowing “viri selecti” are he-s.

    How did it happen, this gradual turning
    From Christ-given liturgy? My stomach’s churning.
    I hope from this nonsense we soon find relief.
    This is just one of my favorite beefs.

    While I cringe at mis-guided practice,
    As a praying Trad,
    I know that brick by brick Benedict builds
    And then I don’t feel so bad.

  22. Fr. Z, how about a podcast of you singing these?

  23. John Enright says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul said “Fr. Z, how about a podcast of you singing these?” I’ve heard Fr. Z. sing over his radio station. You really don’t want to experience that, Father! LOL! Sorry, Fr. Z. [Charming.]

  24. Fr. Marie-Paul: I suppose something might be done with karaoke background tracks, but that sounds like a lot of work.

  25. John Enright says:

    You sing ’em Father, and I’ll be glad to help you with the background stuff. Let me know.

  26. Nathaniel says:

    Fr. Z says, “Has anyone else noticed that it seems only serious, traditionally minded Catholics tend to have a good sense of humor?”

    I know I will be told to lighten up, but this idea has been floated in Fr. Z’s blog before and it always strikes me as wrong. I don’t think that either traditional Catholics or those more progressive have any more claim to a sense of humor than the other side. Probably it is the inclusion the word “only” that sets me off. One side or the other is not necessarily more intelligent, taller, better looking, faster, better birders, more technologically proficient or any number of other traits. What I think happens is that each side may laugh at different things which the other may not see as funny at all, but this doesn’t mean the others do not have a sense of humor. I think everyone sees themselves as having a sense of humor or at least wanting one. To claim one side has the exclusive claim to a sense of humor seems a bit elitist [DING! Ah.. the magic word.] to me.

  27. Matt says:

    I don’t want to find a website more suited to my ‘sensibilities’…I’m a perfectly sensible person…I don’t surf this site to be ticked off or anything. I actually find I learn a thing or two around here. I just find some of it to be somewhat (as I said before) hypocritical.

  28. ustalumnus says:

    Father Z wrote: “[Hardly. You just need to lighten up a bit.]”

    So much for debate and sharing diverse opinion. I am not the one showing readers you do not agree with “to the door”. The internet does not work that way.

    I will modify a very old church saying slightly, and respond by saying

    “This whole site is like a second nocturne.” [I’ll just have to bear up, I suppose.]

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