From a reader…
Dear Father Z: You may have written about this before, but if so I’m not able to find your discussion of it. Where we say “His name” and “His Holy Church,” I have heard people, particularly women, and most particularly women religious, say “God’s name” and “God’s Holy Church.” Have others heard this, and if so, what is your take on it?
If people want to be silly and avoid using masculine pronouns when talking about God in ordinary discourse, that’s one thing. “God loves all God’s people and the many ways God created them to reflect God’s glory in and through God’s holy Church.” Blah blah.
If people take it upon themselves to change the words of the Mass and they replace pronouns in their responses, that’s an entirely different pot of beans.
What is merely silly in ordinary discourse becomes disobedience in liturgical settings.
The words of our liturgical rites are not their words to change. They are words that the Church speaks. The Church gets to determine what those words are.
We who are privileged to participate in the Church’s worship of God be aware that we walk on sacred ground. We speak sacred language.
The words the Church gives us to pray are not arbitrary or personal. We do not have the right to alter them.
I had hoped that most of this silliness had died off. I guess not.