Monday, June 18, 2012

Dublin Eucharistic Congress

I have been rather busy lately consequently I haven't seen or read much about the Dublin Eucharistic Congress, I would be very interested to hear from those who attended, or those who can give links to good "catechesis".
These are some images from Google, some are more impressive than others. 
What I find a little concerning is that the "Benedictine arrangement" has not reached Dublin yet and the rather relaxed attitudes of the clergy, there seems to be a bit of a 1970s feel to it all but maybe that is just the images that come up on Google. What I found impressive were the pictures of so many elderly people out in the "soft" weather.

Bishop Juan Pedro Ju rez Mel ndez  takes a photo during the opening liturgy of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress at the RDS, Dublin.

Papal Legate Cardinal  Marc Ouellet  pictured with the Cardinals and Archbishops  during the  opening ceremony at  the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.






Physiocrat said...

I suppose it is a matter of taste but the style of worship at the London Oratory is, I think, more how these events ought to be. And probably the scale should be no more than could be accommodated in one of the larger cathedrals such as Salisbury or Durham.

Mass celebrated out of doors tends to lack dignity when people are constantly wondering whether to put their raincoats on.

And Blessed Sacraments processions don't seem right when the rain is lashing down.

MC Man said...

The servers would have looked much better in cassock and cotta instead of baggy albs without cord. The Byzantine Rite clergy seemed to be the only ones vested decently and taking things seriously,not the standard of Westminster Cathedral or The Oratorys.

Lautensack said...

I really regard it as a waste of money to produce special vestments for such occasions. Apart from the fact there are relatively few places that actually have a shortage of white chasubles, these vestments are so unattractive that they will probably never ever be used again (and I hope that they will not be donated to mission territories, that would be a real insult). Why not simply ask every priest or bishop to bring a chasuble along?

georgem said...

I do wish that priests distributing Holy Communion wouldn't touch people's heads.

Sussex Catholic said...

The appalling Star Trek feel to the liturgical spectacle, combined with the multi-cultural elements, sturdy framed adult women altar servers and the distinct lack of Benedictine liturgical components can all be ascribed to the fact that the President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses is none other than the former Papal MC Abp Piero Marini who was appointed to this role when he was sacked by the current Pope and replaced by his namesake and nemesis Guido. It is further depressing evidence of how limited is the authority which the Pope enjoys over Vatican approved liturgies which do not involve the Pope himself.

Anonymous said...

Most of the talks and homilies can be found here

Cormac said...

I am Irish but I did not attend the Congress. My fears for both opening and closing Masses sadly came true. With both being televised live by the state broadcaster, this was a splendid opportunity to showcase the beauty of Catholic liturgy. I was fully sure that since the Congress was a universal event, with some Roman influence over the liturgy, that it could not be as bad as the style of Mass we are forced to endure in Ireland. Having foreseen the music list I knew this would not be the case. I had a feeling things would end badly from the moment of the opening Mass, when a lay lady, or possibly a nun, read a welcome statement which contained reference to the history of the 'Roman Catholic Church in Ireland'. Whilst the above pictures go some length in illustrating how untruly 'Catholic' the liturgy was, for a more accurate picture you have to watch the video and listen to the music. I was only able to watch parts of it; it was truly cringe worthy- a mish mash of musical styles. On the one hand one decent music was provided by the Palestrina Choir. This was offset by horrific 'praise' music by a number of choirs, including one Gospel. I likened the whole event to an episode of Britain's Got Talent. Essentially you had a 'bit of everything' there, with no style pervading. It was shocking, and all rather 'Father Tedesque'. Sometimes I doubt if those of you in England can really appreciate how poor our liturgical culture here in Ireland really is.

I have to agree with 'Sussex Catholic' though and say how worrying it is that the Pope's teaching on the celebration of the Mass seems to have been completely ignored. This seems to be an extremely worrying trend. It doesn't seem unreasonable, does it, that even if the Pope himself was not attending the Congress, he should at the very least be consulted over the style of liturgy?

Delia said...

I couldn't even bear to look at any of the Congress on television. When I first heard that the theme was a wishy washy ecumenical one instead of a truly Eucharistic one I was not impressed. I then looked at the programme and the speakers--the first item was an opening ceremony of something like water and fire and there were various protestant speakers one being a Presbyterian woman minister. What on earth was someone who doesn't believe in the Real Presence doing speaking at a conference on the Eucharist? Would an opening Mass not have been more appropriate? Going by what Cormac has said it sounds as if my worst fears were realised. We are crying out for bread and being given stones.Our young people are not being taught the faith and older people like myself have to endure all sorts of liturgical nonsense and abuses just to fulfill at least our sunday obligation. I have done an hours Eucharistic Adoration a week in a localchurch for about 8 years.At this stage I dread it. While I love Adoration I never know what horrors await me in the church--cute bunnies and easter egg trees in front of the altar, sand pits used as "gardens", tatty bits of purple cloth and various plants etc draped on the altar steps--you get the picture. If we want to get the youth back into practising their religion we have to give them a proper Catholic liturgy and proper Catholic teaching. We might be surprised at the result.Sorry for going on so long Father but I love the Church and despair at times.

gemoftheocean said...

What's with the exceedingly yutzy chasubles? The look like they were designed by someone who thought 'kumbaya' was the height of taste in music.

Arturo said...

What's with the oval table in the last pic?
This really is the pits, what is being communicated? It isn't Catholic, it will if anything destroy faith not build it.

Physiocrat said...

I am not seriously suggesting this but it would do less harm if the Pope issued an instruction that 12 months hence, only the EF will be considered as a licit celebration.

There is too much of this kind of thing all over the place and the bishops go along with it.

Physiocrat said...

Is a the use of a camera by a vested member of the clergy provided for in the General Instruction for the Roman Missal?

Evagrius said...

I thought it looked like rather a marked improvement over the usual sort of rubbish put up at this sort of event. Certainly, the sanctuary is one up on the one at Cofton Park.

"I am not seriously suggesting this but it would do less harm if the Pope issued an instruction that 12 months hence, only the EF will be considered as a licit celebration."

Well, yes. I, for one, would walk.

Omphalomancer said...

I watched the coverage of the Eucharistic Conference curtesy of EWTN. There was a decideky nostalgic feel about the liturgy and this I mean in the literal sense of a pain associated with recalling past events. Who would have thought that in the diversity of humanity pale, grey haired and unsmiling could describe so many people. I remember "people of a certain age" singing Taize Chants and the effect is no better now that it was.
For a Eucharistic Congress there seemed to be more talk of other Sacraments: the celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick was as ever touching to see so many sick people being anointed when perhaps much of their illness would be better treated by confession and absolution.
At the Station Orbis it was truly heartwarming to see the fruits of a week of Eucharistic contemplation: talking during the Eucharistic Prayer, walking away with the Blessed Sacrament at Communion and the extensive use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist while numerous priests queued to receive communion!
However, this was put in context by the erudite, focussed and multidimensional allocution of the Holy Father. To paraphrase, saying sorry on a stone brings no benefit; saying sorry through productive and truly loving actions is the way ahead and that should be the focus of all but especially the Church in Ireland.

Omphalomancer said...

The comment comparing Cofton Park and Croke Park genuinely makes me question what goes on in the fluffy innards of heads around mine. While no means perfect, Cofton Park was definitely better than the papier mâché altar at Croke Park and the poly tunnel annexes at the Royal Dublin Society (oh how my engalish heart laughed at that) with the quarte hourly buses and hickory dickory dock clock.

. said...

Nice to meet you, too, Omphalomancer. As to what goes on in the fluffy recesses of my mind in this instance, evidently more clear thinking - and a sharper recollection - than in others.

Judging by the images supplied by Fr. Blake above, the altar is solid, appears to have candles on rather than around it, and is approached by steps. Perhaps more importantly, it is not upstaged by then having a throne placed far higher up behind it.

Behind and on each side of the altar is what appears to be iconography of Christ Pantokrator, surrounded by the saints, with large paintings of the Virgin and another figure I cannot identify from the picture on either side.

Compared to the plywood-n-stained-perspex table, with candles beside it, with a gigantic throne upstaging it behind it that was at Cofton Park, the swirl of fake stained glass and rather ugly portrait of John Henry Newman looking constipated that was used as a sanctuary, and an architectural arrangement which was suggestive of the Millibands' space-lander, yes, the altar shown here from the Eucharistic Congress is a vast improvement, given that it is both set up more in line with liturgical tradition, and is surrounded with artwork which if of dubious quality is at least unambiguous in making clear that this is a sacred space.

The same cannot be said for the MDF crab that was built for the Papal visit to the UK.

epsilon said...

It's about time we all got off our high horses and stopped carping on about this piece of cloth or that prop! What are we doing in our own parishes to encourage the priests to bravely remind people of the Ten Commandments and the specifics of how we can follow them in our time? What are we doing to encourage our fellow pilgrims to join us at catechetical programmes in our parish? How many of us spend time bringing the pro-life message onto the streets?

I managed to get to Dublin for the tail-end of Dom Mark Daniel Kirby's conference at St Kevin's, Harrington Street (bus number 16 from the airport to the door for under 3 Euros - takes about an hour). I'll have to listen to it when it's up on his blog. It was a blessing just to be in this holy priest's presence.

You people have no idea of the hostility towards anything Catholic in Ireland.

You want to know my lasting memories of it all:

Only one Catholic flag visible on the Clonliffe Road leading on to the side roads for Croke Park and that was from 1932 and inside the window of a house. Not one Catholic picture or flag on the side road I walked along with old Irish cottages on either side. An Irish flag (for the football) in a former convent up the road from Croke Park.

Big green signs up at Communion saying not to dip the Host into the Chalice because it would make it unsafe for celiacs.

A few people coming back after receiving Communion drinking cups of takeaway tea/coffee.

Virtually empty churches in Dublin centre during the Congress.

epsilon said...

The above was meant to be a reality check not more negativity. But all is not doom and gloom:

Great young fellas from the Legion of Mary in Ireland are helping the Benedictine monastic mission to Ireland, to make it a holy island again

Rome wasn't built in a day!

Omphalomancer said...

Rome was not built in a day but the throne of St Peter in the Basilica dedicated to his patronage is if I recall considerably higher than the altar!
As to the Croke Park appointments if the altar was indeed solid stone as it was decorated to suggest then the foundations of the sanctuary must have been truly substantial and I suspect that they were not. Maybe there is more than metaphor and sniping in the liturgy. Oh then again may be the Eucharistic Liturgy is the sources and summit of our faith and the appearance of "the Liturgical Space" does matter.
The Holy Pictureson the Sanctuary curtains, copies of art elsewhere were at the Royal Dublin Society whereas Croke Park relied on yellowish drapes which picked up the shading of the vestments in a manner that suggested the wearers wanted not to stand out.
However, the most compelling aspect of Cofton Park was the welcome extended to the Holy Father which was so petulantly denied by Irish Civic Society as if it had been anyone other than Irish citizens who had so brutally molested and betrayed the children.

Anonymous said...

Clear thinking, Evagrius?

NOT something you'll ever be guilty of.

+ Wolsey

Evagrius said...

Well at least I bother to argue my points, Wolsey, rather than resorting to bitchy little asides.

Evagrius said...

Omphalomancer: I'm sorry, I assumed the pictures posted by Fr. Blake showed what you referred to. Pictures from Croke Park suggest you are right and that is indeed a step back even from Crofton Park - though not a particularly large one, I'd say.

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

I never comment but one thing that underlines 1, how the Latin Rite has been mercilessly targeted and subverted as to subvert Christianity in general by divorcing liturgical truth from the traditional and sacramental truths of The Holy Mother Church thus distorting the minds of believers and heathen and some heretics. 2, is how this is manifested in the dire and absolutely hideous vestments Latin clerics don in their 'modernism' whilst their Eastern brothers, left alone by the supposed 'reinvigoration' and 'new ways' of expression, are in vestments proper and upstanding not only to their tradition, but Christianity in general. When will some of these spineless bishops and higher just at least start wearing proper ROMAN vestments, devoid of the modernist mess they bedeck themselves in ! Just really gets to me and makes me feel as if sometimes we, as Latin Catholics are onto a losing battle !

Lynda said...

The number and gravity of the intentional abuses at the Congress would break one's heart. Most of the committed and knowledgeable Catholics stayed away from the main event. There was orthodox Catholicism available at Eucharistic events in some City churches - at the fringe festival. Fitting, I thought, as the those who adhere to the Faith and morals of the Church are treated as being on the fringes by a Dublin Diocese (also true of most dioceses in Ireland) that panders to the secularist Politics and Media and refuses to defend the Faith and the Natural Law in the public square.

Catholicus said...

Dog bites man, Pope is a Catholic and the usual traddy types complain about Mass in the Ordinary Form. I was there on Sunday. The Mass was beautiful. Altar girls are allowed in the Archdiocese of Dublin - if you don't like it go to a different Church. And the so called "Benedictine arrangement" is just that, his arrangement. It's not required by the GIRM so get over it.

GOR said...

I am not in favor of large outdoor Masses unless there is no alternative – as in times of war or natural disasters. I cringed at the many JP-II ‘rock-concert’ celebrations. There is too much of the ‘spectacle’ aspect to them – to see and be seen – and scant attention to the essence of what is taking place. The images of clerics in vestments snapping pictures makes one wonder why they were there and what example is being shown.

I didn’t see all of the Mass and I gather there was some kind of ‘liturgical dance’ with bowls of incense (shades of Los Angeles and Cdl. Mahony!). But what really struck me was the distribution of Holy Communion. When you have hundreds of clerics from Cardinals to deacons in attendance, why were EMHCs employed for this?

maryruth said...

I attended for 4 days including Sunday. I am an ordinary catholic and I do not have any special qualifications to speak but I found the 3 days a the RDS were a wonderful experience of grace. I attended really excellent talks on the Eucharist from some holy priests. There was so much to choose from. The talks I attended were very uplifting and renewed my faith. The comments here are very negative. The Pharisees too were looking down their noses at the rabble following Jesus. I guess I am one of the rabble because I found it as did anyone I met there a grace filled event.

Better spend time praying for the Pope and the clergy rather than continual negativity.

Omphalomancer said...

I apologise if my comments have been too robust. I have looked at your blog, Evagrie, and you are clearly a thorough, systematic and thoughtful individual deserving more respect than I and apparently others afford you. It is wrong to dwell on the external aspect of liturgy if in so doing we miss it's purpose which is to communicate something beyond words whatever language they are spoken in. How the great mystery of faith is constantly expressed will always be a challenge in this world as it is a mystery.
Celebrating Mass at Cofton Park was a magnificent experience because it was a celebration with Peter. All masses are exceptional experiences but sometimes the essence of the mystery is more tangible than at others.
I was very moved by the Holy Father's remarks but also disappointed at the ongoing failure to address the fundamental truth of the Irish Child Abuse Scandal: whatever deceit the media peddle and however awful clerical abuse is, epidemiologically it constitutes only a very small part of the abuse visited on children. In population terms the most significant abusers are members of the child's family and then friends of the child's family. The true horror is that a parent could abuse their own child and this for whatever reason does not seem to be addressed. The failure from the outset of civic society to challenge the abuse is scandalous and enquiries to date seem to have left unconsidered the failure of police and politicians to address the situation. How much easier it is to blame someone else.

Catholicus said...

Before the Mass there was a concert of religious music - that's the context for some of the photographs including of a bishop taking a photograph; he wasn't photographing during the Mass. The yellowy backdrop was lowered just before Mass started to hide the choir and orchestra. There was no liturgical dance. The incense was carried in bowls through the congregation while the altar was incensed. It was lovlely that the smell of the incense was able to permeate such a large stadium. And "big Masses" have always been part of festivals and pilgrimages. There were a million at the Extraordinary Form Mass in Phoenix Park in 1932.

epsilon said...

Here's something to endear you all to Cardinal Brady who according to this Catholic professional from Australia, was so moved by the sacred clowning at an opening ritual in Armagh last year... check 2:20 for a few seconds:(
"Monica Brown from Sydney, Australia, director of Emmaus Productions International and acclaimed Christian composer and workshop/retreat facilitator"

Anonymous said...

These priests at the congress, with the exception of the Eastern Catholic ones, really don't seem to get the Pope's message do they. They love to ignore anything that has to do with his messages on the liturgy. Rebels!!.

johnh said...

A CLOWN ? Sacred clowning ? I too am deeply moved .

Omphalomancer said...

The context of the bishop taking the photograph was that of a concert before mass? Clearly it must have been a concert of very religious music because some of the bishops are wearing their mitres.
Sadly, once again, the Powers that be appear to have been surprised at the response of ordinary Catholics, just as they were surprised at the Papal Visit to UK and surprised at the reaction to the visit of the relics of St Theresa and I hope surprise will also affect them following the visit of the heart of St John Vianney. What little confidence the great and the good have. People do respond to authentic events. Those who have attended courses and achieved the academic distinction of diplomas and certificates have not yet managed to gather us into their broad tent and seem disinclined to acknowledge the sentiment that draws the faithful to authenticity.
No doubt the Apostles at Pentecost were surprised at the response of the people so perhaps amazement is the default setting of the learned and the clever when the rest of us grasp something as important while they a still discussing who will take the minutes of the meeting to discuss there response to the position papers submitted on the subject and addressing the international ramifications of which tea is served in the interval and whether the appropriate paperwork has been completed to fulfil health and safety demands and whether an environmental impact assessment of sugar cultivation has been or needs to be completed before the sugar can be passed! Of course the sugar cannot be passed as the sugar sub-committee is still stuck with wether or not the sugar should be brown of White, caster, granulated or lumps!!!

Thomas Fisher said...

I was lucky enough to attend some of the ceremomnies at St Kevin's, Harrington Street; I steered well clear of all the main events; I felt that the empahsis on dubious ecuminism and the fact that there seemed to be as many protestant speakers as Catholic (an absolutely baffling thought). At a Eucharistic conference? Truly unblievable.

However, at St Kevins there was Ponitifical High Mass, many Solemn High Masses, conferences on the Real presence and transubstantiation, music by the Lassus Scholas, many priests and seminarians from the Fraternity of St Peter (very impressive) to support an already impressive group of dedicated priests. The ceremonies were incredibly well attended and beautiful. Here-in lies one of the most phenomenal gifts of the Latin Mass, the emphasis on the eucharist, the emphasis on the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

There were no protestant speakers, no 'liturgy of word and water', no Taize chanting, no conferences on the 'ecology' of the eucharistic prayers (seriously!?).

Its also worth noting that St Kevins appears to be one of the healthiest and thriving parishes in Dublin.

Let is pray for the priests at St Kevins, and for the Latin Mass in Ireland.

I am afraid that the main congress was a great opportunity missed.

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