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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.
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.
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?