June 14, 2008

Go In Crankiness to Visit and Yack at Your Neighbor!

After some Masses, where the Deacon or Priest says "Go in Peace" don't you have those times where you wonder if you can raise your hand to:

a) dispute it
b) laugh
c) ask what he means by that statement when it's so clearly not your mood?
c) beg for peace

Optional: don't hear him anyway, you are already in the parking lot

Is the Mass supposed to be peaceful? Is it? Should it be?

I'm going to leave this wide open. I already have my opinion, of course, but I'm still practicing charity and I don't want to get too cranky.

I will say that often it feels like the "Sign of Peace" is not really peace it's driving by a gas station where a sign says not $4/gallon but "Free Gas". Every person for themselves, chaos, wave at me or I'll dis you forever, bone crushing handshakes, hugs, kisses, luv ya, even though I'll see you for the coffee gathering after Mass, you better take my hand, get out of my way while I shake the hand of that mantilla lovin' babe ya old bag!!!!!!

Then, after all this hoo-dang, hee-haw, we are supposed to recompose ourselves for the penitential "Lamb of God". How often are we sucessful at that? I don't know about you, but I don't switch gears that well that fast. Is it a surprise then that in some parishes the words are changed to "I-need-to-laugh-or-I'm-going-to-cry" fare as "Wind of God" or "Breath of God" or "Vision of God" (BTW, I'm not making any of those up)

Then, there's the Dismissal, which I know I don't hear the Sanctus bell, I hear the recess bell giving everyone the permission to:

a) beat it the heck out of there
b) turn and start talking at full volume to the guy you talked with at full volume right before Mass started
c) wonder with exasperation how many verses we are going to have to sing before Father will finally take the hint and start processing out
d) check your watch and grumble that you are going to be late for the game
e) standing ovation and applause for (pick one or several): Father, servers, Deacon, musicians, organist, choral, the kids, the readers, ourselves, the Vikings

Sometimes, I don't think I could feel any further from peace than I do now.


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

be counter-cultural - you'll find peace.

June 14, 2008 2:55 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Well, as usual, Cathy of Alex, you have given me a plethora (one of my favorite words) of stuff to think about.

RE: "Go in Peace": Is there a fear that our attitude might be more "Go get 'em! or "Charge!"

RE: Multiple Verses: Most parishes I know of follow the rule that says if the Oregon Catholic Press or the GIA prints 9 verses, they would be very upset if we didn't sing them all. It makes no difference when Father leaves the altar. All verses are to be sung. In some parishes, Father is probably wolfing down the eggs and b. by the time the last verse gets sung.

June 14, 2008 3:07 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ter: I'm tryin'!

Ray: No, Father is in the porch weeping wondering why no one will come out and shake his hand!

June 14, 2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger RJW said...

As a musician, I do two verses if the chorus is short. One if it is long. I try to finish about the same time Father hits the vestibule. sometimes one or two verses are plenty for anytime. A priest once told me that he was visiting a church where they did all 9000 verses of " Whatsoever You Do". He started singing, "Do whatever you want to the least of my brothers, just don't do it to me."

June 14, 2008 6:22 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

At our Liturgical Meeting Father requested that the choir "sing him into the sacristy." If they stop when he gets to the back of the church people tend to run him down trying to get out of church. I was so shocked when I heard this I almost choked.

Where is the respect when you are knocking the crap out of the priest so you can be first in line at Denny's??

We are going to go to our "regular" parish church for Mass in a few and I know we will be rattled by the time we leave. The sign of peace drives me nutso and I just refuse to hold hands during the Our Father.

June 14, 2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger Fr. Andrew said...

Cathy of Alex:

Insightfully Cranky

Yet Charitable!

June 14, 2008 9:36 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


If you're parish is in the Twin Cities area, sign me up, no matter what the cost of gasoline. I might even sort the hymnals for you.

I'd even suffer a few Kool-Aid pitchers for fewer verses.

June 15, 2008 9:40 AM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

Ite, Missa est.

June 15, 2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adrienne: Spoken like a true crank! Maybe I should start a Cranky Catholic group on Facebook? :-)

Father Andrew: I appreciate very much that you noticed that I tried!

RJW: It's funny (well, it's not) we just butchered that song last week. "brother" was changed to "people" I refused to play nice and kept singing "brother". We did all (I think it's nine) verses too! Your priests response is hilarious! LOL!

MA! I almost put the Latin in my post but since I so rarely see the insanity in the Masses using Latin I felt it did not make my point. But I get your point! :-) I thought of you when I was writing it. I miss you. Send me an email to keep in touch with: cathyofalex@gmail.com

June 15, 2008 10:22 AM  
Blogger RJW said...

Ray: I'm at Fr Erik's parish in Utah. Probably a bit too much of a commute for 8 a.m. Mass. (By the way, one verse of "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" for recessional this morning.)

Cathy: Thanks for being you. We also did "Seek Ye First" this a.m. I noticed a footnote on the music that it didn't match the choral edition because the composer refused to let them change the word "man".

June 15, 2008 8:32 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


Since "Holy God We Praise Thy Name" is one only three hymns that I know two verses by heart (Tantum Ergo and O Salutaris Hostia are the other two), I feel cheated with only one verse. But three would be offensive.

Maybe it's just that I don't like those heavy hymnals.

June 15, 2008 9:04 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

so true...I just happen to love the Ite Missa Est..Go, you are sent.

I've come up with the solution to not shake anyone's hand during the look how good we are fest (i.e. sign of peace) and not holding hands during the Our Father, but then again, I'm usually serving at the TLM in my parish :) and only go the NO during weekdays.

June 20, 2008 2:43 AM  

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