Friday, April 2, 2010

When not in Rome


OK, consider my Lenten penance done. Last night I went with my mom to Mass at my old church. This is the church I grew up in, Christ the King. That is it up above! It is a beautiful church that dates to something like 1910 or 1920.

I am realizing I cannot handle an ordinary English language Mass.

Altar girls.


That is just a picture I ripped off the Internet. Those are not the actual altar girls at CTK.

Women in the sanctuary.

People bringing up the gifts.

People bringing up the gifts wearing sweatpants.

"The Servant Song," even though I used to do a mean version of it back at St. Gerard's, I have to admit that. I would step right up to the microphone and sing "The Servant Song"! Hahahahaaa.

Cruddy English-language Gloria accompanied by piano and synthesizer. You wait all through Lent to be able to sing the Gloria and then you get it like this. The Pope is asking that we put parts of the Mass into Latin and everywhere else in the world they are doing that but our luck, it will be decades before these reforms reach Buffalo.

The Sign of Peace.

Communion in the hand.

Eucharistic ministers. Again, this is a stock photo.


Plus. Right in the middle of Mass this woman in the sanctuary gets up and says to the congregation, "Excuse me, I ask you to join me in a blessing for Father. I ask everyone to raise your right hand and repeat after me..."

I am sitting there thinking, uh, honey? You are not supposed to interrupt the Mass, you know? You are not allowed just to interject prayers of your own just because you feel like it. You know what, I was at another English-language Mass when they did this, too, this "raise your right hand" business. It must be some kind of fad I am missing.

Ha, ha! I am like a refugee from the 11th century.


One more thing, they did the Washing of the Feet and naturally half of the people getting their feet washed are women. At that point I actually regretted going. I just should not be here, I thought. Holy Thursday is not a Holy Day of Obligation and I would have been better off staying home.

Wow, I am enjoying writing this.

I love to crab!!

I told Leonard Pennario once, "Leonard, you are a good complainer.You're good. But you are not great. I am great."

Here it is Good Friday and I am carping. Well, that is what they say in Latin, carpe diem. It means "Carp daily."

It is funny, I grew up with all this stuff, and I know most of it is within the rules, the Mass is valid, these are good people, yadda yadda yadda. I am just saying it is alien to me now.

On the plus side of the ledger, after Communion they did give us Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus." And they did it well! This does seem to happen a lot whenever I find myself stuck at an English language Mass. It is as if Latin goes with me wherever I go. They also sang the "Tantum Ergo" which my mother sang competently from memory. Zut alors, I do not know the words!

Also my heart softened, I have to say, because nobody had to be here, and still the church was crowded and the people sang, too. They started out the Mass with "Where Charity and Love Prevail." This drab turkey of a hymn, and yet people enthusiastically sang verse after verse after verse. That is impressive. They were even helping each other find their places in the hymnals so they could follow the thing.

After Mass it was fun to see people I had known since childhood and we called casual greetings to each other.

"Hey, Mary."

"Hey, Mary."

In my childhood everyone was named Mary.

Here is what I would like. I wish that if you liked the English language Mass you could find one and if you liked the Latin Mass you could find one just as easily instead of it being ghettoized in one or two churches if you are lucky. I would like them to be on equal footing.

No, wait, I would like the Latin to be the default. You could find a Mass in the vernacular but you might have to go just a little out of your way.

And enough with those altar girls and sweatpants and extraneous blessings, you know?

Here I go again.

Carpe diem!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have to do that dopey sign of peace at Latin Masses? When I'm at a funeral, for example, I leave just before that and go back in afterward. It's too stupid. More heart than brains, these theologians have.

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Anonymous, no, there is no Sign of Peace at Latin Mass. It is the greatest, being able to skip that. Join us anytime!

Bingles said...

I had to work so I couldn't attend the Mass yesterday. I stopped in to visit the Blessed Sacrament on my way home.

I understand your feelings. It's just too much for me.. people do their own thing.. not dressing to honor our Lord, and the focus being the self or the "community", not the sacrifice of Christ.

Oh.. and the rubrics still read that only MEN can have their feet washed. The Vatican just clarified this.. as they do EVERY year. Since the 12 apostles whose feet Christ washed.. were.. well.. MEN.

I enjoyed crabbing with you! :) See you Sunday!!!

Larry said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful music.

Adrienne said...

After 33 years as a church musician both gee-tars and organist, I feel your pain. great to see you at latin Mass on Sundays! I also love to attend The Ukrainian Catholic & once in a while The Maronite Churches in our area. A Blessed and Holy Easter to you and your husband.

I could write a book ; but it wouldn't sell. It's just every day in novus ordoland... (sigh) ...so we pray for love and mercy for us all.

Ward said...

Mary -- thanks for reminding me why I fled shortly after Vat-II.

Buffalo Bill said...

This was the perfect reminder for why we left CTK a few years ago for St. Anthony's and the Tridentine Mass. Great post!

Prof. G said...

I'm so amused by the "shopping around" churchgoing. I'm old enough to remember that you went to church in your parish, took what was given -or dished out- there, and did as you were told. You only went to another church if you had a serious scheduling conflict. Looking around for what appeals to you or questioning how things were done was the "sin of PRIDE" - one of dem 7 deadlies! Ask Padre or your mom.

Prof. G said...

I'm so amused by the "shopping around" churchgoing. I'm old enough to remember that you went to church in your parish, took what was given -or dished out- there, and did as you were told. You only went to another church if you had a serious scheduling conflict. Looking around for what appeals to you or questioning how things were done was the "sin of PRIDE" - one of dem 7 deadlies! Ask Padre or your mom.

Prof. G said...

Sorry for the double entry - the process misbehaved.

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Prof. G, the stuff dished out back then was not the stuff dished out now! Also all the church closings have forced people to "shop around." It worked out well for me!

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Bill, thanks for the nice words and the sympathy! It's a pity about the schlock at CTK... I was thinking Thursday, it would be such a pretty church for the Latin Mass.

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Adrienne, I love the phrase "novus ordoland." A happy and blessed Easter to you too!

Prof. G said...

Non agitato, my dear. I am well aware that where I've been and where I am will insure that (to steal a line from my late father) when I die, I will go to Creep - which is five miles below Hell. At this point, the only church I would respect would be the one that would bar my entrance. But, they do let me walk in, and some give me their money for playing the organ...