Sunday, December 06, 2009

Pious chaos
Two vignettes illustrating Arturo’s point that those who think our holy mother the church is over-regimented don’t really know her
  • 1950s grace factory. Samer quotes Fr Serge in this long article on what the legitimate liturgical movement was trying to fix: Recounting how he once visited a parish in which a Mass was in progress at the main altar, a second priest was addressing the congregation from the pulpit throughout the Mass, a third priest was distributing Holy Communion continuously at the altar rail, a marriage was taking place in one side chapel, and devotions were being held audibly in another side chapel, whilst in the midst of all this “pious chaos” several other priests attempted to hear confessions... He also notes that the Blessed Sacrament was enthroned in a monstrance on the main altar, even though the rubrics disapproved of the celebration of Mass in the presence of the enthroned Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Serge wryly observes that had anyone tried to point this out the parish priest, he would have been told to go elsewhere.
  • Therese Z remembers: “Garlicky superstition!” You have no idea what a clear sense memory that calls forth of the wonderful/creepy recent-immigrant Italian piety of my childhood parish. The hunched old nonnas, all in black, lighting candles, the plaster saints rolling their eyes up at you from every corner of the church, the “connected” (ahem) families’ commemorative windows bigger and more beautiful than the others, the kiss-the-crossed-thumb-and-finger at the end of the Sign of the Cross, the medals and hornos on the same gold chain under the wife-beaters, the Saint Joseph feasts... Sigh.

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