Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ughh, Ball Park Mass

I made a point of having a late lunchand going to EWTN to watch Mass from Washington, I am not sure I can cope with much more, so far there has been a fat priest in lounge suit waving his arms about, bastardised Missa di Angelis Gloria with chime bar accompanyment, a not very nice responsorial pslam, more appropriate to a musical on Broadway.

The first and second reader and cantor of the psalm have all been women, and they seem to have been chosen for their overacting ability, rather than any ability to communicate the Word 0f God prayerfully. There is a distinct absence of a sense of prayer and real spiritual participation here.

How blessed one is being a priest, I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy! Shameless self indulgence on behalf of someone, the worst aspects Americanism.
I can't endure more!
Words like meaningless, culturally bankrupt, saccharine, lack of intellectual conviction, trivial, decadent, debased, rootless, superficial, inauthentic, inconsequential, secular, horizantalist come to mind, none of these words come to mind when thinks of the Pope.
Is this really the image that AmChurch wants to present to itself and the world,
Badly done Archbishop Wuerl, very badly done.


The Perpetual Malcontent said...

I kept shouting at the monitor: Enough with the trumpets!

Seeing this Mass, I wonder if some self-appointed pope online will excommunicate B16 because of this atrocious liturgy. They've already done so with JPII.

The Woman of the House said...

I was feeling very badly for the Holy Father. Did you see his face? He looked like he wanted to run away too, but too kind and patient to do so!

I think that music is the outward sign of the inward rot.

Thanks for your kind comments about the suffering the laity endure. I'm sure you are suffering well enough too in other ways. At least we can vote with our feet. I can only imagine the martyrdom of holy young priests who get put in certain parishes under someone preaching an anti Gospel.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sadie Vacantist said...

I made exactly the same point about the shambolic vespers and yet I was called a "$%£^" by another blogger.

B16 doesn't understand the USA no more than his predecessor. The 20th has been the American century not a German or Polish one - AMERICAN!!!! America's own Cardinals at the Vatican council understood the dangers of the council and the German influence therein. Their views were ignored - Spelman was even rude about J23 but nobody got the message.

Instead, Frings and his mates got to dominate. You have seen the ghastly results of that dominance at Yankee stadium. This is Europe's fault not America's. The best Anglo-Saxons saw all this coming but were simply ignored.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"Anonymous" comments will be rejected

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father, for pointing us to EWTN. I had presumed that we had to have satellite to receive it and was pleased to access it this afternoon. Particularly as I had tried to get it on KTO but failed.

Yes there were disappointments - i think it was a pity that the Credo was not sung in Latin and some of the modern music I thought dreadful and jarring to the senses but i loved the South American contribution - what the commentator described as 'Amazon flavour.' TheGloria was different but isn't it different wherever one attends Mass? Except of course when it is sung according to the Missa di Angelis so rare elsewhere these days.

Placido Domingo was an unexpected treat singing Panis Angelicus which I don't think I have heard since my little brother practised it over and over again some fifty years ago as one of his set pieces when he applied for his choral scholarship. he won his scholarship with it too! a beautiful piece of music - I wonder why it is not heard today?

Although the vestments were modern they were dignified and the scarlet was quite dramatic. And of course it was good to see the six candles and crucifix on the altar - although the latter reminded me of my mother in law's treadle sewing maching! I must stop looking for things to criticise!

I am pleased to have been able to watch the celebration and hear Pope Benedict speak in English. It brought back memories of Mass in Wembley Stadium - was it over 25 years ago? - what an event that was!

Yes a strange mixture of musical styles - I suppose some would argue something for everyone there - but it was wonderful to watch the mass live in this way.

And did anyone else notice the nuns who looked like nuns!!

Volpius Leonius said...

Well I am feeling deeply depressed after that.

Sadie what on earth are you babbling on about.

Terry Nelson said...

Scathing! LOL! See what we have to put up with in the States?

Thanks for sharing your views - honestly, we Americans do not have a clue as to how others see us.

Ma Tucker said...

What can one say, AB Wurel you were not even in ball park.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Some time ago, I concluded that Novusordoism and Catholicism are two entirely different religions.

Why I hesitated so long to admit this to myself is a mystery, given a lifetime of this sort of thing.

When the Church comes back to the Catholic Faith, call me.

On the side of the angels said...

Sadie yet again you astound us with your ignorance. I'm sorry but if you're going to cast aspersions against His Holiness expect a fight.
The US is the most culpable when it comes to the state of the US Church - blaming anyone else is not only deceptively mendacious - it's insanely harmful. you will never , ever get out of the mire until you realize that you simply cannot be american first and catholic somewhere much farther down the list - even the US traditionalists which were ostensibly highly orthodox and devout after WWII were anything but when it came to the socio-political scene and in the process caused the majority of anti-clerical antagonism with their gung-ho right-wing 'my country right or wrong' , 'H-bomb blessing' neo-capitalist republicanism.
The left-wing hippiedom was a reaction against a malaise of calcified sub-'catholicism' which had lost its spirituality and social conscience. Frings and Ottaviani were both believers in the One, Holy , Catholic and Apostolic Church - it was merely procedural internal policy they argued over .
This had NOTHING , absolutely NOTHING to do with the resultant travesties, sacrileges, diabolical apostasies and heresies and sociopathic praxes which subsequently emerged in the US.
Don't you dare blame Pope Benedict for your own nation's misgivings, pragmatism, relativism, situationism and conspiracy with contraceptive sexuality and the culture of death.

The faults lie at your own door - you wanted a church in your own image and you went out of your way to make it - ignoring any other consideration [including many decrees, edicts and requests from the Vatican]. Your nation screwed up and His Holiness is there with not only an olive branch but a lifeline.
Now please cease this childishness and grasp hold of the opportunity the Successor to Peter brings with him.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

On behalf of Americans, I appologize persoally for this (ummm, would you call it Mass?)

I agree with everything that you said. Fr, sigh, today is a horrible day for the American Church...

I pray NY will be better.

Red Maria said...

Speaker of the House of Representatives and prominent abortion supporter, Nancy Pelosi has declared her intention to receive communion at a Mass to be celebrated by the Pope. Your comment, Father?

Anonymous said...

Broadway musical? I think you and I are on the same wavelength Father:

Liturgy brought to you by Andrew LLoyd Webber!

Volpius Leonius said...

There is nothing to apologise for my brothers and sisters in America this kind of thing and worse happens in Europe as well it is a global problem.

The organisers on he other hand have a great deal to apologise for, maybe they can get some tips from the White House, the treatment the Pope received their left me impressed and filled with hope for the success of his visit, that is somewhat diminished after today but we will see how it pans out.

To Hilary Jane Margaret White, your conclusion is wrong, quite simply you cannot make that conclusion but must trust in God, I'm sure your ego rebels against that, I know mine does frequently, but that is the way the Catholic Faith works Trust the Pope and stay in the barque of Peter it is the only vessel were safety can be found.

If you are looking for a Mass you can fully feel at home with I recommend the 12.15pm Mass at St Winefride's, Crowmere Rd, Monkmoor in Shrewsbury.

Please at least try this before you give in to your despair.

Sadie Vacantist said...

On the side of the angels ~ I'm British

Yours ignorantly


Anonymous said...

Curious to read Fr Z but it looks as if he's got so many wanting to read him, or put comments, his site appears to be out of action!

Ttony said...

Dear Father, thank you for your comments in respect of what it must be like to have that sort of thing week in, week out. Is there a clergy forum in which you and those like you could raise it regularly?

But do you really think that the Pope's celebration of Mass at Wembley would be so significantly different?

Let's see if Cardinal Pell can raise the bar in Sydney later this year.

Cathy said...

Thank you, Placido Domingo, not just for your amazing instrument, but for your spot-on, humble, genuine reaction to the Pope's gratitude for what you did.

Much love to you for saving the "music" of that Mass.

Volpius Leonius said...

Just to clarify the 12:15 Mass I mentioned is on Sunday's.

Anonymous said...

"I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy!"

Hold on to that thought, Father. Share it generously with other priests!

Anonymous said...

I don't think this was a display of "Americanism" at all. What happened yesterday at the meeting with the President was. And it was beautiful, and dignified. I would have loved if the Marines chanted today like they did yesterday.

I'm sure stuff like this goes on in Europe too, just a slightly diff't kind of pap, maybe Techno instead of negro spirituals. Look at the events in Cologne a few years ago. There were some "cringe-inducing" moments then.

BTY: I know it's become hip over in the Old World, but let's stop bashing the U.S.. Our supposed lack of culture and all. Oh My. The Holy Father complimented us on our "Religiousity", could he say the same about any country in Europe?(not counting your many zealous Muslim neighbors of course).

Fr Ray Blake said...

I do not think you would find this type of pap in Europe, not the trivialisation of multi-culturalism, nor the attempt to please all, that ends in the trivialisation of everything. In Europe we would destroy the liturgy in quite a different way, unless it were done by a graduate of an American school of course.

As for Americanism
" order to more easily [sic] attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them.

Leo XIII named this heresy Americanism, after the country that had spawned it."

That liturgy seemed perfectly to express these ideas, it was aimed at the lowest possible denominator.

Anonymous said...

Frightful. Abominable. I did not think it possible to orchestrate such a vulgar display of ignorance and poor taste. What was Archbishop Wuerl thinking?

Anonymous said...

Father, you said "spawned" it, let it be said it is all over the Church now. I believe the English did the same thing,it was called Anglicanism. The French: Gallicanism. The Germans: Febronianism. It is the whole Church doing this now, have you never seen the CathCon blog, everything you see there is in Europe. It is not now particular to us. We're all American now, whether you like it or not.

Also, it is the clergy who foisted this thing upon us, the common folk never asked for the aftermath of VatII (same thing happened in Europe).

Ma Tucker said...

Fr Ray I sat through this Mass and the meeting with the Bishops. It appears to me from what is said that certain element of the US Bishops have set out to mark their patch. The rather inane "history" of the Catholic Church in America presented by AB Wurel was the greatest load of tripe I've ever heard. They desire to present themselves as a homegrown centre of a new universal religion as far as I can see. I have to say, that Mass was really sad. My nine year old asked me "Mum are they Catholic?" I could only answer "God knows". He begged me to turn down the sound and stuck his fingers in his ears. At other times he just burst out laughing. Out of the mouths of children.

It is so sad. The Pope came with a message of hope and has been figuratively (certainly liturgically) spat at as far as I can see. My prayers are with him and all faithful american Catholics. These wolves are a real scourge. I can only hope that this will be a defining moment of conversion for some of them.

JARay said...

I had to laugh at Sadie Vacantist's comment that some one called her a "$%^"
But when I read her saying " B16 doesn't understand the USA no more than his predecessor " I'm not surprised at all at her completely missing the point.
She was not called "$%^" at all but I suggested that she change her name to Facies Vacantist.
For her information, the Latin word "Facies" does NOT mean "faeces", which she clearly thinks it does.
It means "FACE"
She had said, in her post, that the FACES of the Bishops were VACANT and I suggested that she change her name to VACANT FACE!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I watched all the way through but felt only enbarrassment for the Pope. His toes must have been curling. I kept thinking it might get better. Even the token Catholic music was done badly. But then ,I wondered, if he had been, say, at the Millennium Stadium on a UK Papal visit Mass, would we have done any better ? I bet the trendies would have got their hands on it and wrecked it big-time.

Sadie Vacantist said...

JARay ~ I apologise for my lack of Latin but your pun was so humorless I assumed you were being abusive. If it amuses you however that is fine by me dude.

The point I am making is that at the Second Vatican Council the American Bishops had already eradicated "Americanism" from the American Catholic Church. What Rahner and his mates did (including Ratzinger) was to facilitate its reemergence.

Ratzinger and his predecessor never saw this coming but primarily Anglo-Saxon intellectuals did, notably Bishop Griffiths of New York.

The American Catholic Church was in a magnificent state in the 1950s, what was imposed upon it were catastrophic models of which Ratzinger was one of the architects. In fact, England's Evelyn Waugh thought it hilarious that German theologians were dominating the council.

One of those theologians reaped the benefit of that at Yankee stadium yesterday.

As a footnote. When true Americans finally get bored with playing the role of the World's policeman and pull out of Europe then Europe can return to eating faeces as it was in 1917 and 1941. Hopefully you'll get to finish the meal on your own this time.

Anonymous said...

Hilary said in an earlier post: Some time ago, I concluded that Novusordoism and Catholicism are two entirely different religions.
When the Church comes back to the Catholic Faith, call me.

I must admit that I felt the same way but thankfully found the London and Birmingham Oratories only just in time.

As for my local church, no way. It's hardly identifiable as a Catholic Church and last year, when I was in Devon on holiday, I went to church to fulfil my Sunday obligation.

From the start, with a grinning guitarist bawling some kind of religious dittie, I quickly lost the desire to be there. The priest found it amusing to toss the hand towel onto the head of a girl server after washing his hands to the delight of the congregation. The tabernacle was largely ignored and the whole Mass was more akin to a talent contest with everyone doing their bit.

Spain? Even worse, if at all possible. Don't get me started!

So from now on, it's a dignified service at an Oratory or one of the very few other parish churches where our Lord is worshipped with respect, or nothing I'm sorry to say. Why come out of a church with more frustration than when entering?

Thanks for some very wise words on your blog, Father. They give hope to so many of that all is not lost.

Anonymous said...

"How blessed one is being a priest, I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy!"

Thank you for saying that openly, Father.

The trouble is, most of us already have.

Volpius Leonius said...

Why are schismatics always rude, is it because they have not grace in them do you think? Or is it their bad character that leads them into schism in the first place?

Anonymous said...

How blessed one is being a priest, I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy!

There have been times I have thought this myself. When going to Mass where I don't know the priest I sometimes have pre-Mass jitters in anticipation. It probably has something to do with witnessing a horrible act of desecration when a very right-on priest tried to decant the Precious Blood after the Consecration and ended up spilling it over the altar and the floor - with no attempt to clean it up. It felt like a slap on the face of Christ.

I have never gone back to a Mass with that priest as I am sure that if I had done I would have rapidly lost any supernatural faith in the Real Presence.

Lord, how long must your Body, the Holy Catholic Church, suffer in this way?

Cathy said...

Dear Father,

Fr Anthony Brankin, of whom I am very fond, gave a talk at Catholic Citizens of Illinois last year called "Americanism: Our Own Little Heresy."

I thought it interesting, and you and your readers might as well. I am particularly interested in European insight to this article.

Here is the link:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

To Hilary Jane Margaret White, your conclusion is wrong, quite simply you cannot make that conclusion but must trust in God, I'm sure your ego rebels against that, I know mine does frequently, but that is the way the Catholic Faith works Trust the Pope and stay in the barque of Peter it is the only vessel were safety can be found.

...and you are again?

Have we been introduced?

Anonymous said...

I have just listened to the Responsorial Psalm. Wow! It really is quite truely um, original..? Perhaps we can do a version accompanied by parishioners playing on a selection of glass bottles.

Volpius Leonius said...

I am your brother who is concerned for your happiness and salvation.

Sorry for caring.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

Has this Mass been a learning experience for the Pope? I hope so.

For all future papal visits abroad, Guido Marini needs to fly on ahead and find out exactly what liturgical horrors are in store, and brief the Holy Father. Then the Pope can decide whether or not to attend, or what changes to insist on.

Such a policy would impose the necessary element of pontifical control over these sorts of events and ensure the level of liturgical dignity and quality required for a papal Mass.

One final thought: if John Paul II was still alive and had made this trip to the US, I have a feeling that the same sort of liturgy would have been used and -- because Wojtyla was not averse to multi-culti Masses -- we wouldn't be having this debate now. But Ratzinger is Pope, and that changes everything!

Anonymous said...

The 'Holy Smoke' blog for the 18th April refers to the Washington Mass but makes no reference surprisingly to the music. Damian Thompson is quite rightly more interested in the Pope's comments on child abuse.

The resulting comments from the public have little to do with this subject but are an eye opener into the hatred that still exists today for Roman Catholicism. I found myself agreeing with their now famous 'resident atheist' who referred to one of the frequent commenters as 'plainly bonkers!'
Brave attempts have been made by others to try and defend the Church's beliefs but these two gentlemen remain blind to any kind of logical argument. I'm surprised that mr Thompson did not pull them back to the subject of his article but he probably realised how entertaining they have become!

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