"The greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the church"-Pope Benedict xvi

Monday, 23 December 2013

Bums on seats, or souls in Heaven?

Evelyn Waugh, in his letters to Cardinal Heenan asked him, "What is the least I am obliged to do without grave sin. I find the new liturgy a temptation against Faith, Hope and Charity but I shall never,pray God, apostatize."
Today I endured  went to Mass in my nearest parish . I know that to miss Mass deliberately without good reason is a sin, but I honestly can't help wondering what one should do if Mass becomes an occasion of sin.

Why has Mass become for me ,like Waugh, a temptation against Faith,Hope and Charity?

This is a parish I have attended for years and years. I was Baptised there, made my First Holy communion there and was Confirmed there.
Since attending a reverent Novus Ordo, and the odd Latin Mass  I am shocked now by the noise, the irreverence, the priest-as toast-master.
There were at least 12 altar servers. Father delighted in the fact that there were not enough albs to go around. Several of them had nothing to do-their presence was "so they wouldn't be left out". But they were distracting. Most of the Mass was distracting.
spiritually distaracting

The constant hokey-cokey of having everyone included. The ushers, the welcomers, the introduction (yes we have an introduction),the pre-Mass announcements, the pre-mass welcome, The ushering-out of the Children's liturgy (complete with jokes) the first reader, the second reader,the reader of the psalm, the reader of the Gospel (new Deacon), the sermon-lite tm all-fluff-no substance, the bidding prayers, the collection, the welcoming back-in of the children's liturgy, the offertory, complete with extra servers who stood around with nothing to do.
At this point, I should point out, that quiet prayer was impossible before Mass, as everyone was chatting not with inside voices. In between all the outside action, we stood to sing quasi-heretical hymns. Quasi-heretical hymns are usually about US. Normal hymns are about God and Jesus. And don't sound like a bad seventies pop-song.

Since the changes, we have replaced worship of a Timeless God, with worship of our fickle selves. We have become the focus of the Holy Sacrifice, and Jesus has been sidelined into nice soundbites. Fitted into our feel-good celebration of our awesomeness. If His message fits,we'll take it. If not we'll ignore it. Love is in, salvation is out. Happiness is in,self-sacrifice is not.

A full church is seen as an acheivemnet. Some of the most dire-liturgies I have attended, have been packed to the rafters. The dreadful,noisy First Communion Masses.
Full to the brim.
 People clapping as Timmy and Tilly do their first communion dance for the audience.
 I don't agree that full is good.
 If Father preaches about nothing, and we are not challenged, pretty soon Father will have a full church. People don't like to have their consciences troubled.Its aalll good. We all know what is popular is what is right don't we?
What good is a full Church? How is it different to a full stadium, or a full supermarket? If we are not challenged, if we are not continually called to conversion?
What good are bums on seats if there are not souls for Heaven?
I don't want to go to Mass, and worship me. I am an idiot, a sinner, unable to even exist without the Grace of God. Can't we have one hour a week to give to Him who gives us all?


Richard Collins said...

I cannot attend such Masses without being overcome by sinful thoughts, mainly against the Fifth Commandment.
Instead I remain at home and read through the Latin Mass.
I am hopeful that this is not a mortal sin.

Mummymayhem said...

I wake up most Sundays and groan. And yet to whom would I go?What can I do? I can't even read my prayer book.How can I run? I can only endure.

Richard Collins said...

Dear Mummymayhem, I have nominated you for a Sunshine Award. God bless.