Tuesday, December 20, 2011
An Anonymous Letter
Gosh, I got a really dreadful letter today, anonymous of course, complaining about everything; basically saying I was creating a schismatic sect as a priest, and as a human being I was a monster. It was copied to various people of course.
The reason is that I put a note in the newsletter last week saying that we were going to experiment by saying Mass ad orientem, that is only at one of our weekend Masses.
I had been saying all our Masses for over the last month in this way because the new marble floor on the sanctuary was being laid, the altar had to be moved into the nave and there was no room to stand behind it.
Having experienced it, the problem is that many of our people developed a liking for it. I received several letters and emails from parishioners and various requests in person asking that we should do it, the main reason seemed to be that it made Mass more prayerful.
Admittedly last year I had encouraged people in the parish to read "Spirit of the Liturgy" and "Turning Towards the Lord" and many of them have read both.
There were lots of other complaints in the letter about vestments, candlesticks, liturgical language, everything basically, oh and my Latin pronunciation, though my Greek (Kyrie Eleison, I presume) came in for a real pounding. I showed it to one of my parishioners and she described it as "hate mail".
Certainly the letter was about ad orientem celebration but more so about enrichment of the liturgy and about those things the Pope has been encouraging in the liturgy but of course for many every word, every action of his is seen as retrogressive or even an abandonment of the Council. There is bitterness out there.
And yes, feel pretty hurt by it.
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