Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bridezilla and the Organist

I am fortunate since I've not had to deal with any bridezillas at my current parish. However, in the past, that's another story. One bride from the past at a consultation said, "We want 'Every Breath You Take' by The Police." Uh, no. Have you actually listened to the words?! Followed by the tirade of "My family has worshiped here for generations...blah, blah, blah...."

I have had similar experiences as this hapless organist with funeral music. Even with a funeral liturgy planning booklet where the choices are clearly spelled out (no deviations), there is the inevitable, "Why can't we sing 'On Eagle's Wings'?" Or "Be Not Afraid" Or "Danny Boy" Or "Let There be Peace on Earth". Then throw in the usual "We've worshiped here for # years....."

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm thankful that our hymnal doesn't have any of those songs.

Younger Catholics More Devout

~from NBC Chicago
The Rev. Andrew Greeley, a prolific priest, sociologist and author is releasing a study based on a 2007 poll of more than 500 Catholics in Cook and Lake counties which says their faith is still burning brightly, reports the Chicago Tribune.

In “Chicago Catholics and the Struggles Within Their Church” Greely reports that 78 percent of respondents said Catholicism is either “extremely important” or “very important” in their lives.

The study found that parishioners gave a higher approval rating for their local priests than Cardinal Francis George, or even the Pope; and in many respects 20 and 30-somethings are more devout than older generations.

Greeley wrote that the survey found “two separate Catholic identities— an imaginative, story-telling identity and a rules identity,” reports the Tribune.

The study also discusses “Cafeteria Catholics,” those who still revere the sacraments, but don’t blindly follow the church's teachings on moral, religious and political issues.

Ah, so the Cafeteria Catholics revere the Sacraments but don't blindly follow the church's teachings. Eh, hem. These are the Thinking Catholics, those who won't let church's teachings interfere with their own interpretation of the Truth. The ones who decry Papal Authority but cling to their interpretation of Truth. In effect, they are their own pope.

Meanwhile, the other implication is that those of us who follow the Church's teachings are blind in our adherence. No chance that those who follow actually allowed two brain cells to be fired, or that any exercise of reason could have been employed to come to the conclusion that the Church's teachings are reasonable and therefore demands a response of docility and humility. Nah, freedom means autonomy from patriarchal and hierarchical Church structure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pontifical Solemn High Mass DVD now available

The Pontifical Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa on April 24, 2010. The Mass was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC in celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Pope Benedict's inauguration as Holy Father of the Pilgrim Church on Earth. My family and some close family friends made the pilgrimage. Imagine my delight to see that my family and I are in this video! Order your copy via The Paulus Institute who sponsored this Mass. It was an extraordinary occasion.

Restoring the Sacred

Here is an inspirational video of the restoration of the parish church St. John Cantius in Chicago.

On Assignment Episode 1 - Saint John Cantius: Restoring the Sacred from StoryTel Foundation on Vimeo.

Fr. Philips here talks about how following the rubrics shows humility. By not imposing individual whims upon the liturgy, liturgy becomes transformative, transcendent.

Monday Merriment

Over at Chris Johnson's Bad Vestments blog, there is this post that I missed. H/T to Fr. Finigan at the Hermeneutic blog for posting it.

This is supposed to be a cope. One of the Eucharistic Prayers in the Episcopalian Liturgy goes like this:
At your command all things came to be:
the vast expanse of interstellar space,
galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
and this fragile earth, our island home.
There is this complementary hymn "Earth and all stars, loud crashing planets, sing to the Lord a new song." The hymn goes on to mention test tubes and other sundry things to give praise to God. It was a favorite of the youth at my former Episcopalian parish which was known for its innovative liturgies while maintaining the highest standard for liturgical music. Yes, Gregorian chant and polyphony alongside giant kites and origami bird hanging sculptures.

When liturgy becomes about us, it opens the door to a whole host of silliness. And no denomination is immune.

As Fr. Z urges: Say the Black, Do the Red.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Project Truth

~via The Crescat on Facebook

This pro-life advert was previously banned by the Irish government who said it was too 'political' for the airwaves. Now Project Truth, first produced by Youth Defence in 1996, has been set to some amazing footage of the unborn child in the womb. It's challenging, thought-provoking, beautiful and sad. Show it to your friends. Spread the message.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Marquis Messages

The Universalist "Church" just a few blocks from my parish where I work has had some interesting discussions and events in the last few weeks. I don't know much about Universalist beliefs or lack of beliefs. Perhaps reading the marquis tells me enough.

A month ago, the marquis advertised "Water Ceremony" and Potluck. So, it's not baptism, but a ceremony. Are there words spoken whilst conducting the ceremony? What exactly is the water ceremony for. I suppose it has the washing action, like washing hands.

Two weeks ago, the marquis displayed "The Creedless Church". Ah, so they don't believe in anything. Why even bother to call the community a church?

But remember, this was the church that earlier this year had "Responsible Eating" and "Faith and Global Warming".

The Baptist Chapel a mile down the road this past week asked: "Is your bag full of holes".

I ought to write a book on the Theology of Marquis Signs.