Wednesday, April 9, 2008

...or, "Much ado about nothing"

Diogenes is generalizing here, but it's true.

My guess is liturgical tomfoolery is mostly inspired by people who sit around thinking, "You know, modern Americans live a crude, ugly, uninspired life. No matter how wonderful their characters or how wild their adventures, they have to do them within the confines of ugly buildings and unflattering "practical" clothes. Perhaps we should allow them to do something poetically and expressively, the way folks did back in....[here they suppress their urge to mention the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when being a lackey at the Holy Mass was worth the bother]...the early Church."

Of course, it doesn't convince them to make beautiful churches or splendid outfits for their altar servers, but that doesn't matter. What matters is they're mostly interested in the "experience" of the Mass. Of course, most Catholics view Mass as a sort of large grace-dispensing machine, where they pay an hour of time and get various graces in return (and, if they bother to pray during the Mass, some actual spiritual growth). When these groups meet, you get the typical church: a bevy of altar servers/choir singers/performers who try to please indifferent people who are mostly just waiting for Communion. And a priest, we can't forget that.