In response to the following announcement:
Bishop Tod Brown unexpectedly celebrated the Saturday evening vigil Mass at St. Mary’s by the Sea parish in Huntington Beach, California, on Saturday, June 3, 2006.
Mary Tripoli, a member of Restore the Sacred (who was dismissed from the parish council and invited to leave the parish and the diocese for kneeling and handing out fliers after Mass) approached the bishop after the Mass and asked him for a meeting at St. Mary’s so that he could come and talk with parishioners there in order to heal the rupture within the parish.
Bishop Brown seemed hesitant, but did, in fact, agree to a meeting. However, nothing definite was set, and it is generally difficult for ordinary Catholics within the diocese to get in touch with Bishop Brown, so scheduling this meeting may be difficult, but perhaps Fr. Tran can arrange it, since he speaks with Bishop Brown on a regular basis.
Amy Welborn has a balanced perspective on the whole kneeling kerfluffle.
…Once again, the aggrieved have made their own missteps. But if there were problems at St. Mary’s of one sort or another, wiping out the Traditionalist liturgy was not a good way to solve them, and was incredibly boneheaded. But at the same time, smoothing the edges of what had evolved at the place doesn’t seem to have been the goal of the clerics involved – wiping it out in that frantic "Omygoodnessit’sPREVATICANII" hysteria so many are infected with does.
We always here about pastoral sensitivity, but when it comes to people with a love for the Tridentine rite it doesn’t happen very often. Parishes that are virtually schismatic will get another priest who won’t make waves, but parishes that have the Tridentine rite often do not get the same treatment when a pastor leaves.
Sandra Miesel left a very interesting comment on Amy’s post.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Standing is being commanded to break down reverence for the Eucharist. Our bishop has actually forbidden prayer after reception until everyone has received. Sorry, he’s not going to control when I think what. In my more cynical moments I speculate that the office of bishop was established to torment rather than lead us.
When I first read the comment I thought it was a little overstated and over-the-top, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was spot on. Over and over it is reverence for the the Eucharist that seems to get directly attacked. Moving the Tabernacle to a side altar or an out of the way room does not increase reverence for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Constantly droning about the presence of Jesus in the gathering of people and putting it on par with the Eucharist also does not increase reverence. Talking up the aspects of the Eucharist as a sacred shared meal over the sacrificial aspects again does not increase respect and love of our Lord in the Eucharist. Over and over again systematically reverence for the Eucharist has been broken down. Are we to believe that wine consecrated in Kool Aid pitchers and then poured into chalices shows respect for the Precious Blood? Big deal if the Precious Blood is easily spilled or droplets go astray as it is poured into the chalices is what this action says louder than words. When no respect is paid the the body and blood of our Lord we should not be surprised that subsequently Eucharistic devotion fell on hard times and the chatter of people talking increased. The source and summit of our faith is deemphasized so instead of a summit we have plummet. When public sinners who promote the culture of death are given a pass and Communion does this increase reverence? When Rainbow Sashers who obstinately stand against Church teaching and receive Communion does this again increase reverence? Just what actions in this diocese can be seen as promoting the hardest of sayings in John 6? Jesus did not worry about people walking away when he announced the truth of the Eucharist, yet now the same truth is not even announced and we are given felt banners instead. How often do you see someone genuflect as they come into a church even when the tabernacle is in the sanctuary? More and more people just shuffle in and out, though most will sign themselves with Holy Water. Sacramentals get more attention than the most sublime of all sacraments.
There are many good signs of increased devotion to the Eucharist with more and more churches having adoration in some form in even perpetually. Though it seems to me from what I have read and seen that this movement isn’t being led from the diocese level, but mainly by the laity. There are of course notable exceptions and on the whole these exceptions are also increasing. Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament has been in decline but it is not something that can stay that way. I just can’t understand the mind set of those who have undermined this sacrament instead of shouting it from the mountain tops; other than that this is just a symptom of a loss of faith. It is easy to forget that faith is a gift as is faith in the Eucharist. This is of course a reminder to pray for our bishops and those in our diocese that the truth and beauty of the Eucharist will be proclaimed and that each and every one of use that we first of all show reverence internally and externally to our Lord in teh Blessed Sacrament. Part of the conversion of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was her seeing the devotion of those receiving Communion when she was visiting Catholic parishes. Is the same atmosphere available today among the din and hubbub of most parishes before and after Mass?
When I first read the comment I thought it was a little overstated and over-the-top, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was spot on. Over and over it is reverence for the the Eucharist that seems to get directly attacked. Moving the Tabernacle to a side altar or an out of the way room does not increase reverence for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Those who are devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, will visit Jesus wherever He is reserved. But those who wish to ignore Him will find it much easier to do so when He is kept in a side chapel.
We had Him moved during our million dollar wrecktovation 10 years ago. Jesus was placed in a side “chapel”. Having been badly catechized in the past, for years, I would genuflect to the front. I didn’t know exactly why I was doing it, but that I was supposed. When we got our new pastor (praise God!), I began to genuflect to the side chapel to the confused looks of much of the congregation. If I was asked (which happened rarely), I would explain that our Lord and Savior was all alone in that dark little closet (except for the 15 seconds when an EME would process very solemly to the chapel to retrieve the hosts for weekend Mass).
Our pastor recently moved the tabernacle front and center. We placed a statue of the Blessed Virgin in the chapel, and on my recommendation purchased a votive candle rack. People are now visiting the side chapel to light a candle and say a prayer.
Our pastor was asked for his comments by a parishioner and he said: “It’s wonderful that people are lighting candles and praying. When you see the candles lit, each one represents a prayer, and seeing all those prayers together is uplifting. But it’s a bittersweet joy. Nobody ever used that chapel when our Savior was in it.”
Things are changing in our church.
I don’t know, this sounds a bit too conspiratorial. We all stand for the Gospel out of respect and the Gospel and the Eucharist are similar in being manifestations of the Word. In the Eastern church (Byzantine Rite) they stand during and after Communion for the same reason – the pastor said that you wouldn’t put the chalice with the precious Blood on the ground and nor should we be on the ground. You hold the chalice up not because the vessel is holy but because what it contains is holy.
In “The Bad Catholic’s Guide To Good Living,” the author proposes a test: for the next thirty years, have movie theater tickets given out only by a robed celibate, while movie-goers must kneel in order to get their tickets and take them only in their teeth, not daring touch them with their hands. Never say anything to the up-coming generation about why you’re doing this, but see what kind of conclusions they draw about movie tickets.
Next, take the Eucharistic hosts and treat them like movie tickets, and…. Oh, wait. That’s what we’ve been doing.
It’s terribly sad.
TSO, I don’t doubt that the Eastern tradition of standing is to show respect. However, in the west, dispensing with kneeling seems to go hand with a total lack of respect. That is certainly the case now in the diocese of Orange. I’d give you a several dozen examples, but it’s late here, and I don’t have the heart.
While looking at the Christian East for the lessons is commendable (I myself much more prefer to go to the Melkite parish than to the most of the DC area Latin churches), the situation is enough grave in the Latin Church to stop fooling around. I can see how such things like married clergy or standing prayer posture (in place of kneeling) only further the cause of liberal heterodoxy. Those practices are not bad per se, quite an opposite, one might even rightfully consider their (re-)introduction. It is just that we are _right now_ in such a mess due to having lost a proper liturgical attitude, that it only provides new ideas for a sandbox play for litnicks. Look what they did by the introduction of the Prayer of the Faithful – it’s an utter caricature of Byzantine ektenias!
First we have to fix the liturgical life on our own grounds.