Thursday, September 15, 2005

If they're worried, Finn's doing something right!

Some guy just forwarded me an article that some other guy just forwarded him from the NCReporter online. The article by staff writer Dennis Coday, Too much focus on rubrics causes worry, is lamenting the fact that the bishop is insisting that we start following the rules and otherwise treating the Mass as belonging to the whole Church rather than just the liturgist in charge at one parish or another.

No time to comment on it fully this morning, but the first question that comes to mind is why in the heck do they need ELEVEN extraordinary ministers on a regular basis? I can see why he's balking at calling the ministers "extraordinary." Nothing extraordinary about it there. I've seen seen a single priest distribute Holy Communion to a full church that holds about 350 people in maybe 15 minutes (and it was in the old rite where he didn't just say "Body of Christ"; he said to each "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.") Even if this guy's church seated 800, there's no justification whatsoever nearly a dozen lay ministers (except of course the furtherance of lay clericalism).

Oh, wait a minute he does say this:
...collect the ciboria for distribution of the bread and extra hosts from the tabernacle...

I get it now. What's all the fuss over bread? Ignoring our neighbors and instead worrying about crumbs and precious metals and whether we show a wafer proper reverence? In that case, Coday's right. It IS silly to make such a fuss over bread.

His quote of Berneir (whoever that is) also makes sense if it's only bread:
Berneir wrote that the Eucharist should be a communal experience and outward looking. It should be active if not down right activist. The Eucharist should drive us out into the world and to work building the kingdom of God, he wrote. "If we do not [do this work], our liturgies are empty." He wrote: A true Eucharist is never a passive, comforting moment alone with God, something which allows us to escape the cares and concerns of our everyday life. Eucharist is where all these cares and concerns come to a focus, and where we are asked to measure them against the standard lived by Jesus when he proclaimed for all to hear that the bread that he would give would provide life for the entire world.

I guess a liturgy without Christ present in the Most Blessed Sacrament and without congregational good vibrations WOULD be truly empty. I'll have to try to find out which parish this guy is from (although it's my policy, for now, not to name individual parishes or clerics below the rank of bishop here). But if I find out more I'll take this up again.


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