A reader writes that she agrees…

A reader writes that she agrees…

…regarding your post today entitled “Doing ceremonial things unceremoniously.” 

I refer to Masses where the priest does such things as the “Father So-and-So Show.”  It absolutely infuriates me.  We’ve had two priests at our parish that insist upon singing everything—and I mean EVERYTHING.  The reason this infuriates me is because I do not see it so much as piety and reverence, but that they are being a performer and the altar is their stage.  Fortunately our parish publishes the next week’s schedule of Masses in the bulletin and I will make a point from now on of avoiding the current offender’s Mass. 

She gets it exactly right. A priest can chant or sing the Mass reverently. But there’s a habit in a generation or two of priests (and bishops) of giving performances at Mass, of playing to the crowd. That’s one aspect of what Lewis is saying about the inability to forget oneself in the rite. Perhaps it is caused by priests now facing the congregation instead of the tabernacle and cross.

We live in an informal age

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Domenico Bettinelli

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