Fr Ray wrote:
"I really do feel for people who have to put up with this type of nonsense week after week. The rubrics, the Liturgical Law is to protect people's faith. I really do wonder if my faith would be strong enough to endure onslaughts of this kind of abuse week after week after week."
We are in a state of liturgical flux at the moment; the new PP having changed Mass times and introduced the Rite of Purification of Sacred Vessels by Lay Females Only, my local church is not really the place for me. We were travelling about a bit at the weekend and decided to attend Mass at a mediaeval church generously lent by the Anglican Parish Council to its Catholic brethren for the celebration of Mass. I thought that Mass on the feast of Christ the King in a "proper" Church might restore some concept of the dignity of what we believe in to a bewildered non-Catholic wife and to a 14 year old daughter who has started asking if she has to go to Mass if Fr X is saying it.
A priest who can't sing in tune, and who has no sense of time, shouldn't be allowed to wear a portable microphone; a visitor who hears him say at the start of the entrance hymn "We'll sing 'Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise' because that's the sort of thing a King does" should know what he's in for. And we were in for it.
We had a sermon in which the Queen's family were told off for setting a bad example, something Christ the King wouldn't do, after which point the priest told us that the Jews in Israel are at least as bad the Nazis in their genocidal treatment of Palestinians, and Christ the King wouldn't behave like that.
He apologised for the long sermon (it was 45 minutes after the start of Mass when he finished the sermon, according to the Westminster chimes of the bell in the clock tower) but he promised Eucharistic Prayer II to "save time at the end of Mass". He had a Host the size of a side plate (made, I would guess from the taste, from some sort of Muesli) and he spent the time after the Agnus Dei breaking it into chunks, one of which he held up in his left hand for the first five words of the Domine Non Sum Dignus. It wasn't enough, but luckily, there was a ciborium in the (Anglican Church's) tabernacle which had white hosts for the last few communicants. He let his Extraordinary Ministers purify not just the chalice, but the paten he'd been using. That way, he didn't need to wash his fingers.
This happened at the weekend, at the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King, and I was there, escaping the bad for the worse. There isn't a parish within a half hour's drive at which you can guarantee that at any Mass the rubrics will be respected (never mind observed).
Am I bitter? Yes, I am.
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