Monday, April 21, 2008

Some observations of the Papal Masses in the USA

I was tempted to watch the Papal Masses available via EWTN after reading many comments on the various blogs that keeps track on this apostolic journey of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States. I will concur with the general observations that Washington D.C. had the better vestments and altar arrangement, while New York had better music, the Solemn Vespers at Washington notwithstanding. That's the good part.

Now to the bad part. I'm sure most would have heard by now how ridiculous the music was at the Nationals Stadium, Washington D.C. Nothing further needs to be said about that. I'll stick to the other two Masses in New York (St Patrick's Cathedral and Yankee Stadium). Forgive me for the rant and often uncharitable comments....but here goes:
  1. What's with the ugly chasubles and mitres in New York? Didn't we hear about Msgr. Marini bringing along worthy vestments from the Vatican?
  2. Is this a pop concert? What's with the clapping and wolf-whistling inside the House of God? Probably many don't believe that anymore, rather they think a church is nothing more than a community hall where everyone gathers together to celebrate, eat, drink, and be merry. Dear Holy Father, please don't encourage the people to clap further. Just get on with the Mass. We are to orientate towards Our Lord Jesus Christ, not to ourselves, right?
  3. Cantors, cantors....stop drawing attention to yourselves by singing at a faster pace compared to the congregation. And what's with the outstretched arms? It's the organist's job to prompt the congregation to sing, not the cantor! Come to think of it, the organist(s) did a great job, but the cantors were out of sync.
  4. Please spare us this Novus Ordo monstrosity called the Responsorial Psalm. Use the Graduale instead!
  5. Dear deacons, the gospel sung would be nicer if you had sung it properly according to the right tone. A sung gospel is supposed to be smooth-flowing, not broken into bits and pieces.
  6. Horror of horrors, the sacrilege of communion in the hand continues. But I suppose this is already a 'norm' in the Novus Ordo, just like having women as lectors. So I guess you would have been 'numbed' to this outrage if you frequent the Novus Ordo. This reminds me of the frog in the pot of water being heated slowly. Hmmm....
  7. And of course, last but not least, with sadness we hear about "pro-choice" politicians (read that as PUBLIC sinners) openly defying the Pope and the Church regarding the reception of Holy Communion. Refusing to be confrontational, the bishops, priests and deacons who distributed communion to them are equally responsible for this blasphemy and horrible sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And all this happening at Papal Masses. Kyrie eleison!
It was a great opportunity lost for Pope Benedict to show by example his vision for reforming the Novus Ordo, be it through the celebration of a Latin Novus Ordo, or (wishful thinking) even a Traditional Latin Mass. Most American neo-conservatives might be gushing over the inclusion of some chant and sacred polyphony. To me however, nothing major really changed from the days of Pope John Paul II's mega Masses in stadiums. How sad.

2 comments:

Haelius...Hailey...Hai Li... said...

hmm....what else should I say about all this fuss?

who r we to judge what is wrong or right? do we have full authority to say that this chasuble is ugly or not nice etc.,etc....?it is God whom they serve and celebrate, whichever kind of chasubles they r wearing...(be it ample form or scapular form...or perhaps "ugly" form...)

well...I juz want u to know that, even during the papal mass of Blessed John XXIII, when he was in the procession before mass, all the peoples in St Peter's Basilica (yes, inside the basilica itself!), they clap and shout for the Pope. Just search for that video in Youtube.

I'm not saying that clapping n shouting for our Holy Father during Papal Mass is good, but anyway, that calls us to know and appreciate the one who becomes our Vicar of Christ...

never!!!ever insult those who are reciting the gospel. they r the chosen one of God, who was given special authority to recite the Verbum Domini. who r we to say that this kinda recitation of the gospel is precise and so on??
so u r saying that the its recitation is not nice that u couldn't understand it???can u even understand what the priest is chanting or even know if he's chanting it correctly when he's reciting the Gospel in Latin (as when u attends the traditional Latin Mass?)?

so...think before u (whoever give those comments in this entry) say something that can make u separated from the Catholic Church...(by not in agreement with the Holy Father...)!

p/s: sorry if this comment is too much, but this is just my opinion...

The Hymn Selector said...

Hi Hailey,

I will reply to your comments as below:

>who r we to judge what is wrong or right? do we have full authority to say that this chasuble is ugly or not nice etc.,etc....?it is God whom they serve and celebrate, whichever kind of chasubles they r wearing...(be it ample form or scapular form...or perhaps "ugly" form...)

My reply: Those are the same excuses made in trying to justify the introduction of music, architecture, vesture, etc that are not suitable for use in the Sacred Liturgy. Of course, taste is something subjective... but we have a mind to discern what is beautiful and what is not. Furthermore, the Holy See has given guidelines in the past, that we should only employ things which brings dignity to the Sacred Liturgy and edifies the faithful.

>well...I juz want u to know that, even during the papal mass of Blessed John XXIII, when he was in the procession before mass, all the peoples in St Peter's Basilica (yes, inside the basilica itself!), they clap and shout for the Pope. Just search for that video in Youtube.

My reply: I know that clapping is a practice in Italy for papal Masses even before Vatican II. Howevre, it was Pope St. Pius X who forbade such a practice. I'm not sure when it was re-introduced.

>I'm not saying that clapping n shouting for our Holy Father during Papal Mass is good, but anyway, that calls us to know and appreciate the one who becomes our Vicar of Christ...

My reply: Certainly we have other occasions to know and appreciate the Vicar of Christ, no?

>never!!!ever insult those who are reciting the gospel. they r the chosen one of God, who was given special authority to recite the Verbum Domini. who r we to say that this kinda recitation of the gospel is precise and so on??

My reply: There is a difference between insulting and pointing out what ought to be followed according to the rubrics.

>so u r saying that the its recitation is not nice that u couldn't understand it???can u even understand what the priest is chanting or even know if he's chanting it correctly when he's reciting the Gospel in Latin (as when u attends the traditional Latin Mass?)?

My reply: Definitely I do if it is audible of which it should. If you are using the "understanding" argument, then try justifying why in the Novus Ordo it shouldn't be chanted even better than in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), since the Novus Ordo is supposed to be using the language of the people. In the TLM, we have missals where the translations are provided. Now in that case, shouldn't the Gospel in the Novus Ordo be chanted even better since it is in the language of the people, and we don't really need to use missals?

>so...think before u (whoever give those comments in this entry) say something that can make u separated from the Catholic Church...(by not in agreement with the Holy Father...)!

My reply: Huh? Criticizing how a liturgy is done makes one separated from the Catholic Church? Hmm...interesting.

p/s: sorry if this comment is too much, but this is just my opinion...

My reply: No problem. This is not the first time I hear such arguments anyway.