Amy Welborn publishes an apology by the pastor of Christ the King parish in the Orange County diocese – the celebrant of the Halloween Mass in their bulletin. She comments on his apology.
It’s a start. Really, it is. Of course, the basic point is still not addressed, which is…and a Halloween Mass with anyone dressed up in costumes is consistent with the Christian liturgical tradition, even as diverse as it might be….how?
But. It’s a start. Things are moving in a different direction than they were in say, 1975, and we can pray, in good faith and hope and generosity, that they’ll just keep moving…
I agree with her critique since the pastor apologized for how the costumes some of the EMHMs were wearing and not whether they should be wearing costumes of any sort. I also wonder about his saying that many parishioners requested being able to wear costumes along with their children since the video of the even really shows only EMHMs and those in the choir wearing them. It certainly didn’t appear that this was a practice adopted by many of the parishioners themselves. Also not mentioned was their practice of decorating the sanctuary with pumpkins. Regardless his apology is a good first step.
Yes, the apology is a start. I think the priest should be commended for his courage to apologize. No, really; I’m not being sarcastic. I think people should be praised for doing the right thing in addition to being berated for doing the wrong thing.
But just the same, I’m saddened at the state of catechesis and formation in today’s parishes. It’s good that the priest took responsibility for not explaining to the EMs what costumes should be appropriate for the mass (that is, if costumes could be appropriate for the mass). But for an EM who should have been trained in his ministry, or, for that matter, any Catholic who knows what the Eucharist is, the inappropriateness of wearing a devil costume while distributing communion is a no-brainer.
Also, there is a time and place for everything. There is a time for Halloween parties and a time for solemnity.
I also believe children can should be taught to appreciate the seriousness of the mass as early as possible. Parish priests should not underestimate the average layman’s capacity to appreciate sublimity.
Nothing wrong with pumpkins, per se. I believe a lot of folks decorate churches at harvest time with the “first fruits”.
Just no jack-o-lanterns. Unless you line them up in rows and put little votives in ’em. 🙂
What more could you ask for? He closed the letter by asking the Bishop for help in making amends. Now if the Bishop asks him to cease holding the Halloween Mass then yeah, we have a problem, but in his words he seems ready to take whatever step is necessary.