December 17, 2008

Feed The Starving Children!

Mac, our sister across the pond, has a post about how 'children's' liturgy should be done. Very nice. The priests involved get a deep curtsy from me.

It occurs to me as dumb downed as we've made the liturgy for ADULTS, what exactly is the point of having children or teen liturgies? So we can raise them to think they are as incapable of "getting it" as we, adults, are? So, we can enfold them in with us in the ritual of mundanity?

Friends, even the animals in Scripture recognized beings sent from God when they saw it. But, at what point did someone decide we were as incapable of understanding or following along as the 'dumbest' animal and decided we were lower than the 'dumbest' animal?

Seriously, when someone intimates that you are too dumb to "get it", don't you get MAD? Where's the righteous anger?

So, here, instead of teaching our youth the reverence and solemnity of the worship of the Lord we teach them that silence and beauty are unattainable to them. Silence and reverence are to be feared. Quiet prayer and reflection-oh, no, not that!

We add musical dissonence to our ear drums with Life Teen Masses and awkwardly uncomfortable Children's Masses. Both of them continue to perpetuate the always popular, and still erroneous, belief that actively participating in Mass only means physical and outward action. We teach our youth nothing about the REALLY difficult participation in Holy Mass: the interior action, the mental and spiritual union with the Divine. Running around is easy, making noise is easy, talking is easy. Even singing and reading are easy (reflecting at the same time on what you are singing and reading is harder).

Silence and meditation are hard. Uniting yourself with the Sacrifice is truly challenging. But why make them seem like they are impossible? Why are we feeding our kids junk food rather than manna?

Honestly, after 40 some years, aren't we ALL, regardless of age, starving? Starving for reverence, starving for truth. We are all God's children and we are all hungry. It was not God who witheld the nourishment from us, it was US, WE who replaced substance with fluff. We have grown fat on ignorance.

I know you Spirit of VII types all think that the worship of the last 40 some years is filling enough. Is it? Why did so many leave the Church? Do you ever stop to think that replacing worship of God with worship of the community may have had something to do with people leaving? If "doing church", if "being church" is all about your fellow man, why bother to go to Church? I can be with my friends at the bowling alley, at the bar, at Grandma's house, at the football game, on the street, just as easily as in a church! Why bother to get up early every Sunday to see PEOPLE?

We are hungry for God! Let us feed each other. Let us be fed by Him as He intended. Let us, all of us, with quiet reverence, approach His Holy altar and worship Him.


Blogger Laura The Crazy Mama said...

OOOOOO, good one!!!

December 17, 2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Yep - no one did anything different for us when I was growing up. We attended, learned, and understood the Mass just fine and dandy - thank you very much.

"Children's Masses are ridiculous and LifeTeen is gag worthy (and let's not forget it's founder!)

At our parish there is a "family" Christmas Mass and the kids all bring bells to ring (at what part I'm not sure as I have never attended), but Father has said that it is pure cacaphony. So what exactly is the point??

December 17, 2008 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 17, 2008 9:05 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

So! You'll be happy to know we can't be redneck tomorrow. We have to shovel several hundred feet of driveway.... Arrrrgh!

December 18, 2008 1:09 AM  
Blogger Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Thankfully the Liturgy at the Oratory is wonderful..

December 18, 2008 2:16 AM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

This quote sums up what I think of the LifeTeen Mass, and any attempt to releventize the Liturgy: "The Life Teen Mass is effectively saying "We know teenagers are immature and stupid, and they do not have the intellectual capacity to comprehend, pay attention to, or get anything out of a normal Mass. They don't even have the ability to care about their Faith or spirituality on a personal level. Therefore we have to dumb down what Mass truly is and make it seem 'cool' and 'fun' enough to get them to come, since they won't respond to actual Catholicism." MacKenzie Swigart

December 18, 2008 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, Cathy, excellent point about the accounts of animals being able to comprehend, and be reverent--so why expect less of human children?

People have known...since Adam...that if you expect more from a child he is more likely to meet those expectations than if you expect less. It just makes ya scratch your head and wonder why we think we have to reinvent everything every other generation or so, doesn't it?

December 18, 2008 11:26 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Thank You!!!!! I saw a T-shirt once that said: "I'm not being fed", it was about the liturgy.

In my last parish--a dissenting kinda place--we suffered, and murmered, through the liturgies that the trendoids inflicted on us.

We need to be saying this out loud, to priests and to bishops. and especially to "Lay Ministers" who think that it's time to turn protestant.

You just earned yourself another e-beer, on me!

December 20, 2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks, Redneck, I'll take it! *gulp*

December 21, 2008 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Spent 20 yrs. "running around" as an organist -- no heart for it any more. Just want to be "'quiet" and reverent for the foreseeable future. Escaping from a parish where the priest encourages "rounds of applause" for everyone from visitors in the congregation to the servers. At CHristmas midnight Mass, there was even a round of applause for Jesus, because it's His Birthday ... sigh ... I grew up pre-VII, but after yrs. of crappy liturgy/music, I too am starving, and looking for a place to be fed.

December 26, 2008 10:46 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Anon: WHAT? No singing of "Happy Birthday" to Jesus?! :-)

I know. The applause in church makes me cranky too. My take: If people who volunteer for ministry feel like they need applause then they are serving for the wrong reasons. Likewise, if we feel we need to offer applause for their ministry we need to rethink our expressions of gratitude. Prayers of thanksgiving seem to be more in order.

December 26, 2008 11:37 AM  

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