George Weigel offers a suggestion to liturgically narcissistic priests for Lent

At the site of First Things, there is a piece by George Weigel which includes a rather spiffy idea.

He relates a recent experience of a priest screwing around with the texts of Mass and then continues:

Bad habits built up over decades are as hard to break in liturgy as they are in any other facet of life. So it will take awhile for the nobility of the new Mass texts to elicit a similar nobility of manner from celebrants who have acquired bad habits over the years. But as Lent is an appropriate time for addressing bad habits, here’s a suggestion for all priest-celebrants: make a Lenten resolution—This Lent, I will do the red and read the black. Period.


What a great idea!

Perhaps Mr. Weigel could send that priest one of these?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I literally just forwarded that to 15 priest friends. No joke.

    I wonder if they will listen? Maybe, if they pull the planks from their ears, they might….LOL!!!!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    How I would love to send a copy of this article to my pastor!

  3. Austin says:

    At Ash Wednesday mass this morning (the usual depressing mess of careless ceremonial and bad music), there was a telling moment.

    The celebrant was preaching from the lectern (the pulpit has been demolished). He was talking about “turning to God” and how far people have turned their backs on him. As he spoke, he demonstrated “facing God” by turning to look at the tabernacle on the old high altar. As soon as he did so, the congregation sat up and paid attention, not only because his voice was fainter but also because he had changed his relationship with them.

    When a celebrant leads the people to God, they instinctively follow. When he lectures to, or performs for, an audience, they mostly slump into passive resistance.

    “Doing the red” should include adopting the ad orientem posture implicit in the novus ordo rubrics.

  4. HyacinthClare says:

    I haven’t been to a OF service in years, but I went to an “ash service” this morning at a local OF parish because I wanted to “fly the flag” and wear my ashes all day. There wasn’t a priest in sight. A deacon blessed the ashes and gave a little sermon about figuring out what lenten observances will “mean the most to you” and “make a difference in your lives.” Not a thought anywhere that God is the offended party and He might have better ideas of what kind of lenten observances might clean up my soul! I received ashes; AND I received something else… a hard stomach ache that happened EVERY TIME I started stewing about how bad it was, and how much better OURS would have been. It lasted about an hour, until I realized the connection. I think I got more ashes than I counted on, blessed be God forever.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Andy Milam, are they all in Iowa–lol?

  6. Andy Milam says:

    @ Supertradmum….

    90 percent of them. LOL!!!!

  7. oakdiocesegirl says:

    I love “STB/DTR” & your idea. It inspired me to visit your swag store, where I found, alas, the slogan is only available on beverage containers, which would be inappropriate to hold up in Mass. Now if you put “SayTheRed,DoTheBlack” on SHIRTS….imagine a priest facing rows of his congregation wearing such Tshirts, polos, hoodies….I’d wear mine to Mass until it happened!

  8. irishgirl says:

    @oakdiocesegirl: I’m sure you meant to say, ‘Say The Black, Do The Red’…..but the shirts idea sounds really cool….not to mention, ‘visible’!
    Makes me think of fans at sporting events like hockey and basketball when they all wear the same color!

  9. jonvilas says:

    If I am not mistaken, reading the black and doing the red even the MR2002 version would require to celebrate the Mass ad orientem (since there are clear rubrics when to turn to the people). Did George Weigel had also this in mind? I wonder, :)

  10. jesusthroughmary says:

    So T-shirts and hoodies are acceptable to wear to Mass now?

  11. tripudians says:

    not only priests unfortunately, some bishops need this too :(

  12. Peggy R says:

    Don’t these men know what happened when some know-it-alls messed with Coke?

  13. Mom2301 says:

    Andy Milam– There are a handful of Iowa priests I know could use this suggestion! Hope your message gets through.

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