I may have given a bad recommendation January 10, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Art and Architecture, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, priests, sadness, scandals, silliness.
Several months ago, after a trip to the Hill Country, I gave a recommendation for a parish in Bandera, TX – St. Stanislaus. It wasn’t a full-hearted recommendation, but given the locale (San Antonio Archdiocese), and given how bad the Liturgy is in the vast majority of parishes there, I thought it was a pretty good place.
But like a restaurant that can occasionally be good but is most often not, that may be the case with St. Stanislaus parish. When I went there before, the priest and a layman distributed the Blessed Sacrament under one kind only, the music was traditional with some chant, and there was the Benedictine altar arrangement. The priest also wore a Roman chasuble. Prior to the formal conclusion of Mass, however, there was an awards ceremony for graduating high school seniors that involved much applause and was a huge distraction.
Well, I’m afraid what appeared to be a deviation at that particular Mass (the applause) may actually be more representative of the norm. For, when I assisted at Mass on the great Feast of the Epiphany, the music was lousy (I am the Bread of Life, one more folk standard I can’t recall because I did all I could to tune it out), there was an altar girl (albeit in cassock), and the priest did not distribute the Blessed Sacrament at all. EMHCs abounded. Blech. Since the priest didn’t distribute, I didn’t receive, because I refuse to support the abusive use of EMHCs, even though I know it’s still the Body and Blood of our Lord. And it hurts not to receive. But I can’t do it. The “Benedictine” altar arrangement remained, and the priest wore some kind of modified Roman chasuble.
It was a big letdown. But, I have to say, it’s still better than almost every other parish in the San Antonio Archdiocese, save for Our Lady of the Atonement and the TLM at St. Pius X parish on Sundays. I wouldn’t go out of my way seeking it out, though. Not after this past Sunday.
Adding a few trappings from the traditional Mass like vestments and a chant on rare occasions does not fundamentally alter the nature of the Mass. Yes, it’s better than not doing so, but I don’t think attempting to solemnize the Novus Ordo by adopting some practices from the TLM is going to result in souls having a much richer experience of the Mass, and I don’t think it’s going to do anything to improve the collapse in belief in the Mass as Sacrifice or the Real Presence that has occured over the past 50 years.
There was another Mass over the weekend down there, a wedding Mass at St. Louis in Castroville. I’ve blogged about St. Louis, as well.
What can I say? It was a full-up San Antonio Novus Ordo, with the choir area intruding into the Sanctuary and a table alter placed a good 25 feet in front of the traditional altar they did not, thank God, rip out during the wreckovation of the 70s.
It’s still a pretty church, but it’s much less so than it used to be. One particular aspect that just grates me to death and I think beats down to the point of exhaustion everyone who has to take part in it, is the “Heil Hitler” blessing.
This one was particularly egregious, as the prayer went on and on and on……..the old priest was tired and couldn’t see and was just really struggling with this prayer over a period of about 3 or 4 minutes. The pained expressions on people’s faces, the desultory half-raising of arms – does anyone enjoy doing this?! I suspect just about everyone is embarrassed by the silliness of this exercise. Is this “full, active participation?” If it is, it appears that phrase means very little. I shouldn’t have to point out how much this “involvement” apes American evangelical protestantism. I find it profoundly silly, and I think most everyone else finds it very uncomfortable, at the least.