There’s an old chestnut about how you can rate as “successful” the Masses of various religious orders. For example, the Mass of Benedictines is successful if more than half of the notes were sung properly. Its successful for the the Dominicans if more than half are still there at the end. Success is claimed by Jesuits if more than half show up in the first place. Franciscans are successful if fewer than half are injured during the course. Mind you, that bit of sport originates from at least 30 years ago, and surely from diocesan priests. I hope my religious friends and readers out there will forgive the jocularity at their expense. Things are, in some groups at least, much better than that now. Really.
Then there’s the one about how the different religious groups adored the Baby Jesus in the manger….
Thus today’s offering from the often amusing Eye Of The Tiber, originally from 2013, but recently made visible to me again… mysteriously.
Speaking of 2013… and success…
Pastor of St. Genesius Catholic Church Fr. Edmond Harrington confirmed this afternoon that at one point during his first ever Clown Mass, he looked down at his oversized checkered shoes as he was praying and thought to himself, “Edmond, what in the world are you doing?”
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel a shred of guilt about it or anything,” Harrington told EOTT as he brushed away a lock of bright red hair from his painted face. “But I mean…who could deny how freaking weird the whole thing was. As a kid I never imagined myself saying a Mass. I also never imagined myself exerting so much time and effort trying to pick up a host off an altar with oversized white gloves. Definitely harder than it looks.”
Harrington went on to say that there was another point during the Mass, just moments after he had said the words of consecration and raised the host, when he just paused there a minute, gazing, “not in adoration, but in absolute disbelief” of what in the damn hell he was doing.
One deacon said that he knew the Mass was going to be a touch unusual after Harrington handed him a rubber chicken, and asked him to slap him in the face with it some time during the homily.
Harrington also told EOTT that he had gotten frustrated during the dismissal, after having spent a good minute or so trying to maneuver his plastic red nose so that he could kiss the altar. “It was humiliating,” he said, before smacking himself in the face with a pie.
We have to start treating our sacred liturgical worship as the most important thing we do.
No reform or initiative in the Church will succeed until we revitalize our liturgical worship of God.
There are a few things we can do right away to start the process.
- Begin programs of sound liturgical catechesis.
- Eliminate Communion in the hand.
- Celebrate Holy Mass ad orientem.
After that we must get our priests into shape to start celebrating also the older, traditional form of Holy Mass. We must recover communal observance of devotions, such as the singing of the liturgical hour of Vespers on Sundays and Feasts, Forty Hours, Exposition, Novenas, etc., with opportunities for confession.
And, friends, it’s ad orientem…. not tum or tim or tom.