So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The liturgical lie.

Benefit of the doubt? Most priests who fail to serve and honour the Liturgy do so because of a failure to inform themselves after their improper and/or incomplete seminary formation. Yes, there are those priests who seem to have an ax to grind, and they intentionally grind away at the Sacred Liturgy. Most others due harm out of ignorance more than willful disobedience. The problem is, a culture of disobedience has formed within the Church, i.e., in most dioceses, and good priests and the faithful must contend with peers who are not the least bit interested in the canonical realization of the Mass.

Lack of Care

Priests who lack the will to care for the Liturgy may claim they that serve the Liturgy in spirit and in truth but in fact they only care about the low-bar celebration of the Mass which permits them to manipulate various aspects of the Mass to serve partisan wants. They are, to borrow and repurpose a phrase, low-church. Which is to say, they favour a low-brow church. Low-brow, as in, a man-made institution, not the God-made Church.

Lack of Attention

Priests who lack a sense of nuance because they think a concern for detail equates to a phariseeism that robs people of freedom or squelches the action of the Spirit are merely attempting to excuse their lack of respect for the rites which have been shaped by the Holy Spirit Himself. The travesty of liturgical abuse has been playing itself out since the introduction of the Pauline Missal in the 1970s.

The Mass, has fallen on hard times due the malicious actions of men who care not for celebrating the Faith with dignity, duty and detail. Or, to put it another way, the Mass has suffered at the hands of priests and lay folk who know not beauty, truth and goodness. Heathens have appropriated the Mass and liturgical disciples of Christ have been marginalized. If Catholics in western societies are routinely mocked for their faith, the responsibility for enabling that mockery rests on the shoulders of (c)atholics who rid parishes of authentic Catholic piety and identity thus leaving faithful Catholics prone to assault because they have had their spiritual weapons taken from them. The same lukewarm, conniving charlatans, unwilling to strive for holiness in Jesus Christ, don't want anyone else to approach the throne of grace.

No longer believing a lie.

There is no easy way to say what needs to be said. Which is, far too many priests are liars and spineless stewards of the liturgy. They lie to themselves about what the Mass is and they, spineless pushovers they be, permit a lie about the Mass (Ordinary Form) to persist which reduces worship to man's initiative rather than understanding that God initiates and man responds to His invitation to communion. The initiative or work of God has become the plaything of man. Thus we see in the Mass unsanctioned innovations and improvisations, heterodox songs, goofball attempts to entertain congregations hosted in unbelievably crude buildings masquerading as temples of God.

The rejection of the true orientation of the Mass, the rejection of ad orientem worship, is—if people's attitudes toward Church teaching and their lives are any indication—a form of rejection of God. If our prayer posture is not turned toward God, a posture Catholics have practiced since the time of the Apostles until liars robbed us of our heritage, we are turned toward to something else, something less than God. People's behaviours confirm that many have lost their sense of dignity, which is to say they have lost their identity. And what is the source of that dignity and identity, the source and summit to which we fix our hearts and minds and bodies? The Eucharist.

Ad orientem worship is the worship orientation sustained by the Second Vatican Council and retained in the current Missal. Anyone who says different is misinformed or a liar. The rubrics of the Missal assume ad orientem worship!

Shall we fully honour Tradition and the lex orandi and practice ad orientem worship, or shall we pretend that we can invent whatever form of liturgical worship that we want? Every Catholic should know the correct answer to that question and leap to the defense of ad orientem worship.

Priest or East?

We have become accustomed to a status quo which has no foundation in the Latin Church. With the exception of the past few decades, Catholics for most of the Church's history have faced toward the liturgical East with their priest facing in the same direction to worship God and to offer prayers on our behalf.

The priest facing the congregation for the duration of the consecration is not Catholic worship. If you want to witness Catholic worship, visit an Ordinariate parish where the celebrant faces in the same direction as the congregation, i.e., toward the liturgical East. The liturgical East is signified by the altar crucifix or a crucifix in the apse.

Ordinary Form Catholics are routinely subjected to mutilated liturgies by: priests who have no idea how to pray the Missal prayers; servers who forget to bow when crossing in front of or behind the altar; lay people who forget or refuse to genuflect before entering a pew and who seem oblivious to the Real Presence reserved in the tabernacle. Granted, it can be difficult to discern what is going on in people's minds and hearts. However, most people's behaviour at Mass is so obviously transparent that it doesn't take a psychic to realize where someone's mind and heart are at or are not at.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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