Why no one likes post-Vatican II renewal liturgists

Why no one likes post-Vatican II renewal liturgists

Dale Price is one of nine Grand Master-class fisking bloggers worldwide and once again shows why in his take-down of a prissy article by a Seattle priest who is a “liturgical consultant” giving his review of EWTN’s televised Mass.

How Not To Defend Liturgical Reform—Exhibit A.

Fr. Jan Larson of the Archdiocese of Seattle shows you how, in a tidy 766 words.

I was recently watching a part of the daily televised liturgy on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

You know—them. No doubt Father had a snifter of vermouth handy and had already taken the precaution of slathering himself with a topical cream to pre-empt the hives.

The liturgy there is an odd mix of English and Latin, while following the texts of the current Roman Missal.

And so Fr. Larson begins his anthropological examination of this strange relict population (“odd mix”, whatever that is). The difference being that this particular anthropologist wishes his subjects would get themselves extinct, posthaste.

The priest and ministers of the liturgy look way too somber and serious.

What—no balloons, streamers and spandex? Oh, that’s right—this band of unreconstructed Alabamans still believe in that “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” hokery.

How quaint.

[If you are wondering why the Brompton Oratory/Assumption Grotto/Saint Agnes/Irondale approach is still an isolated phenomenon seen only at a handful of stubborn enclaves, here’s your sign, as Bill Engvall would say. Note that Fr. Larson is a “liturgical consultant.” ‘Nuff said.]

This is why people tell so many “difference between a liturgist and a terrorist” jokes. Read the whole thing.

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  • In all fairness, maybe at EWTN they should offer the laity the Most Precious Blood and not read the readings in such a monotone way.  (Of course, if that’s the worst I can say…)

  • Some interesting responses to Fr. Larson at the Richmond Catholic blog. Both the orthodox and the heterodox comment on this blog so it makes for interesting reading. Fr. Larson is getting a little support from the Richmond readers. For example:

    maryanna said…

      I agree wholeheartedly with Fr. Larson’s analysis. As long as there are still liturgical consultants around like him, there is still hope.

  • I tink the term “liturgical consultant” says it all. We lived through the age of pseudo-professionals and paraexperts and sadly many are still around and in positions of influence. What they are learning however is that influence does not equal power. With the changing profile of the bishops they are becoming pevish little whiners complaining that no-one is consulting them. Shakespeare said “First lets kill all the lawyers” I say “First lets lock up all the consultants”.

  • The only thing I agree with Father Larson about the Mass on EWTN is that the celebrants are often a bit on the monotonous side at times.  I’m not saying they need to be David Lettermans or Jay Lenos, but they could at least show a little enthusiasm.  Otherwise, Father Larson is simply full of sour grapes.  I’d rather EWTN err on the side of rigidity than be broadcasting an “anything goes” Mass.

  • Years ago, when I was at Franciscan University still, I wrote and my friends produced a sitcom pilot called “Men of God.” We didn’t seriously think it would get picked up or anything, but we thought it might inspire some ideas. And the guys doing this were Communications major and such.

    My buddy sent the tape off to EWTN and got a polite reply that they don’t do fiction. Too expensive. Too bad because they’re missing a good opportunity to reach another audience. Frankly, I’m just not interested in watching talking heads.

    Now Lino Rulli and Lino-at-Large: That was a good program with potential.

  • Remember: That televised Mass on EWTN occurs at 7am Alabama time. My voice isn’t that chirpy at 7am either.

    But I don’t have a dog in this fight any longer.
    I’ve gone East. And I don’t think I’m coming back.

    The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • Don’t get me wrong, I think the choice of vestments, the use of Latin and chant, and, for the most part, the music is great.  I just think it’s the grim, monotonous style of the celebrants that make it a downer.  Father Angelus is pretty good (as are most of the visiting celebrants), but the actual monks who were trained at EWTN (both the priests who are celebrants and the brothers who serve as lectors and acolytes) could use a little enthusiasm.  Celebrating the Mass correctly doesn’t necessarily have to mean it has to be somber all the time.