Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Elsewhere on the blogosphere...

1. 06-06-06: Back to work—good day for me—all tests clear! Evening spent at my company's new office. Not seen anything unusual this day. Besides, in a hundred years, we will get 06-06-06 again!

2. Roundup on Pentecost celebrations
Reflecting on the Holy Spirit's gifts
Some crazy rainbow sashers denied communion: someone distributed the Host to them illegally.

This brings to the point of liturgical practices: I haven't been in the Church long enough to know what proper liturgies should be. My experience of being denied Communion on the tongue (the excuse being to curb the spread of Hand-Foot-Mouth disease—which doesn't happen in Singapore where no cattle grazes) was the furthest extent of my disturbance. Bad taste in music is next, but I will even say sometimes it can be tolerated with a thought to charity.

Some of the hardcore traditionalists like Gerard have either really experienced banal liturgies or are just plain cranky :) One of them suggested that in a traditional Novus Ordo mass or Tridentine Mass everyone would take the Lord reverently (while kneeling, on the tongue) no one would take the Host and break it and give it to those who protest the Church's teachings (and by definition, not in Communion).

Without going into 'liturgy' and definitions, my take on the Mass is that it should be carried out as reverently as possible. Certainly there are times when the Spirit infuse some of our parish members to express themselves more 'joyfully' than others, but Fear of the Lord should always guide liturgists. After all, they do not celebrate liturgies to showcase their 'talents' but also for their fellow parishioners. More often than not, unnecessary embellishment to the Mass (in the name of local culture) rather lessens than magnifies the solemnity given to the occasion.

Our pope BXVI, while a Cardinal, wrote ever so eloquently:

"I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us. But when the community of faith, the worldwide unity of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else then, is the Church to become visible on her spiritual essence? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless."


J.T. said...

I don't think it is a matter of being a traditionalist or progressive, but a question of respect for the authority of the Church. There are clear instructions, as issued by the Church, on liturgy. So why do masses sometimes disintegrate into some "sideshow"? Perhaps the problem lies with enforcement: a good and swift dressing down of the liturgical committees by their respective parish priests may be required.

Antonia said...

Sadly, sometimes this display of inappropriate but feel-good-community-participation is sometimes encouraged by the parish priests themselves, or at least, emboldened by their silence. I mentioned this once to a priest, and he merely said that there are many ways expressing worship to God...

I recall a juggler was performing before our Pope BXVI at the altar on Marienfeld, Cologne before the Vigil for the closing mass of the World Youth Day last year. He looked stoic but he patiently waited until it ended. At least that wasn't a mass.

J.T. said...

Yes, it is indeed sad that there are some parish priests who either actively or passively encourage these "sideshows". I cannot deny there are many different ways of worship, but the Mass is the most perfect form of worship. It's a divine institution handed to us by Christ. We can't make it any better! Personally, I feel that any deviation from the proper order and observance of the Mass as codified by the Church is sacrilegious.

It irks me that people are coming up with new types of masses: charismatic mass or healing mass. There are activities that happen before or after the Mass (charismatic praise and worship, and healing session and what have you), and there is the Mass. It only serves to confuse people by bundling them together. I was having tea with another member of my apostolate last night and he invited me to attend a "healing mass" at the Church of St. Michael. I declined and asked,"Isn't every Mass a healing Mass?" And his reply was a curt, "No."

But isn't the Body and Blood of Christ efficacious enough to heal us all?

Antonia said...

"But isn't the Body and Blood of Christ efficacious enough to heal us all?"

Were all the faithful as faithful as you! I'm just discovering Eucharistic adoration, and the longer I'm at it, the more is my sense of awe at the good God who is with us until the end, in the Eucharist.

J.T. said...

I am certain many are more faithful than I am. But perhaps their expression of faith is misdirected. It pains me to see that more people attend charismatic praise and worship and what have you, than weekday Masses.

Bravo said...

Interesting sharing. I guess these Mass came about… might be due to the needs of the community (then again I might be wrong). I kind of agree that every Mass is a healing Mass. I guess I’m ok if they do it or structure it properly when they are doing these types of Mass (charismatic, healing,…) and do not short change us on the Mass.

I look through a write up on What Happens at a Healing Mass. It seems quite similar to a normal Mass. Was also quite interesting to find out that Vatican came out with INSTRUCTION ON PRAYERS FOR HEALING to handle healing sessions.

I guess at the end of the day, it is what is in the hearts of our brothers and sisters that counts.

Anyway I’ll be singing at a wedding Mass this weekend… guess that is a Mass offered for a special intention.

J.T. said...


The type of healing mass I was referring to involves someone using his/her gift of healing to cure people of various ailments such as stiff shoulders, knee pains etc. This is then followed by the Mass. I have personally been to one such event about 3 years ago. I am sure that there are many variations of "healing mass" so please forgive me if I wasn't clearer in my previous post.

My main concern is that the whole exercise may confuse people and put undule emphasis on the role of the "healing session" over the Eucharistic celebration.