From a reader…
I’m on vacation visiting my sister in Orlando. I try a new parish every time I come because they all seem to be lacking in reverence.
(After Mass, I attended a Lutheran service with my sister’s family and it was more reverent without Jesus’s actual presence!)
Lots of abuses at Mass that I question but in particular I’d like to ask about the patens. They were glass, along with the chalices. After the Eucharist was distributed, an EMHC poured all the unused Eucharist into what looked like a large glass fruit bowl and carried it down the hall. I thought that glass was not to be used because of its fragility. Is that a regional thing?
I have no idea what that’s about. It could be that there is a separate chapel where they reserve the Blessed Sacrament. That would suggest that the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved in the church… which is dreadful.
What strikes me in this is your observation that the Lutheran service was more reverent than the Mass you went to.
Sweet Jesus, how long? Frankly, its amazing that anyone goes to church at all in some places. That’s going to change, of course, with a massive demographic cliff we are about to go over.
Under the last pontificate we made real progress with our liturgical ars celebrandi. Younger priests, lacking the drunkenness of those halcyon days of the 60s and 70s, are doing their best to bring the ship back to course. However, there are still a lot of priests on deck who were pickled in the briny “spirit” of those times and they still hold positions of power. And there are a goodly percentage of really decent younger priests who just don’t know any better. They, alas, were raised up in an era of horrid education and worse catechesis. In their seminaries – some seminaries at least – they were taught a combination of very little and very goofy. They didn’t buy it all, of course, and sensed that something else was out there to be claimed as their patrimony, but they didn’t know how to find it. Then they were flung into parishes run by the pickled pastors still teetering on the fumes of Vatican II’s “spirit” and Rahner and Notre Dame liturgy workshops. Many were hammered by whining complaints of lay-libs, even more inebriated on the lib-grog measured out to them in regular doses by their pickled pastors. Nolens volens, the liturgical and pastoral style of most priests will always bear something of the stamp of the first pastor to whom they were assigned. The rest is history.
Right now I’m picking up notes of regress. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. But it will get better. Demographics are going to change things dramatically. I suspect that, before too long, the only ones left will be those who have a strong desire for tradition or at least a great interest and openness that can be fostered by kind, prudent, patient laypeople who are involved in all levels of the parishes life.