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).

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Ordinary Form Parish. A Lamentation.

An admission avoided... until now.

Liturgical abuse is intrinsic to the Ordinary Form of the Mass

Observing the last minute catechesis of children supposedly being readied for Confirmation and First Communion by ill-prepared catechists—e.g., teachers too timid or careless to impart a respectful way to receive Holy Communion and how to properly behave in the presence of the reserved Blessed Sacrament—has confirmed for this blogger that the typical Ordinary Form parish is a harbour of sacrilege inflicted upon our dear Lord and Saviour every time the Ordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated.

Can the Ordinary Form be rescued from socialists masquerading as catechists? Not in my/our lifetime. Most Ordinary Form parishes have become cesspools of liturgical abuse, and no one in those parishes seems to notice. No one seems to care. The Ordinary Form Mass encourages abuse. Even though the rubrics state otherwise, there is little or no will to observe the rubrics because the rubrics for the Ordinary Form have been excised from the category of liturgical norm and placed among mere options. Is there any wonder that where so little respect is paid toward norms which enable orthodox liturgy that little respect is shown toward God and His teachings? The typical Ordinary Form parish in our diocese is populated by Catholics who couldn't care less about observing the Ten Commandments.

Can the Ordinary Form of the Mass be delivered from its exile among pagans? Again, there aren't enough years left in this writer's life to even imagine that the Ordinary Form Mass can be commonly celebrated with dignity and beauty.

As long as aged hippies imagine they are doing something necessary in the Church by strumming cheap devotional crap on out-of-tune guitars and crooning—yes, crooning, as in very flat and strained—heterodox texts to saccharine melodies, the Ordinary Form is to be avoided. That is the admission spoken of in the first paragraph of this post.
Poorly formed adults—catechists, parents, grandparents—are ill-equipped to communicate to others a deep relationship with the Lord because they are, frankly, spiritually illiterate. A passing gesture barely conveying awe for the Sacrament is tossed at a child. A mumbled phrase that merely leaves a child perplexed is all that the typical catechist can muster. The catechists-in-charge are not prepared to communicate the profundity of a life grace, a life confidently and habitually surrendered to the Person of Jesus Christ. They have no love of the beautiful gestures which Catholics exchange because, iconoclasts that they are, they have no grammar of relationship, and that means they cannot impart the joy of the richness of the Catholic Faith. They are, in a word, religious puritans, and barely religious at that.
Their trust in God can barely withstand exposure in a conversation with a non-believer at the shopping mall. Limp, timid, cavalier, irreverent, plain—this is the "faith" they project and the direction in which they lead their Catholic school students. With preparation of the sort witnessed this past weekend, the faith of these children stands little chance of survival in a public square characterized by open hostility towards Catholics.

Sterility is as sterility does.

The Ordinary Form, created in the midst of the anarchic 1960s and 1970s, permits the worst kind of abuses against the Lord and His Church. It is a thing gone and going horrifyingly wrong. If the Confirmation Mass was any indication of a view of the wider demographic in our diocese, then priests and parishes are not successful in convincing their parishioners that they could be living lives of fruitful joy. With one or perhaps two families of four or more kids being the exception, the majority of families present was comprised of no more than two children per family. Do those 'two children' families confirm the obvious? I.e., that these Catholic families are no different than the societal norm? Is it a fair conclusion, then, that artificial contraception is the near norm among Ordinary Form Catholics? It would seem that the damnable Winnipeg Statement issued by Canadian bishops so many years ago is still exerting a profound effect in our diocese.

Exceptions to the Rude


There are, thanks be to God, exceptions to the overwhelming number of underwhelming celebrations of the OF Mass. One need only recall those bastions of beauty to regain a small measure of hope. The London Oratory and Saint John Cantius in Chicago, to name but two of a relative few (in a polluted ocean) that worthily celebrate the Ordinary Form. That said, there are no such oases in our area.

Thanks be to God for the Ordinariate!—where orthodox preaching, chanted biblical texts, love of the Liturgy, sacred polyphony and worshipping God in the beauty of holiness (Ps 29:2) rule the day!

Divine Worship, the Mass as it is known in the Ordinariate, is the Ordinary Form Mass as it should be if the liturgical iconoclasts of the 1970s never got their grubby hands all over the Sacred Liturgy. The Lord in His wisdom did an end-run around the tragic assault on the Mass called the Ordinary Form by using Pope Benedict XVI to set liturgical renewal back on track.

I am reminded that, having the opportunity to be present at/in Divine Worship, there is an obligation to not merely enjoy the refuge of the Ordinariate, nor to revel in schadenfreude, but to use the opportunity afforded by that refuge to humble oneself and to offer prayers and fasts in reparation for the countless liturgical abuses imposed on the Church by narcissistic priests, arrogant liturgists and ignorant laity treating the Mass as a religious social club and little more.

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