A couple of weeks ago I posted a short note (click here to read it) regarding the letter to the USSCB regarding the use of the word "Yahweh" during mass. I had no idea that it would end up being my own parish that went against the rules....and so quickly!! I have read the letter that was sent to the Bishops from the Congregation For Divine Worship. It seems pretty clear to me. Today, after mass, some other parishioners and I were talking about it and it seems they either heard or were told that the reason this came about was so as to not offend our Jewish brothers and sisters. Hmmm. It's funny, the letter doesn't mention this at all. In case you're interested, here is the document. You read it and see for yourself...go ahead....I'll wait.
Inspite of this...we sang "Yahweh, I Know You Are Near" today. I'm not really sure what to make of this. I consider our pastor very orthodox. I mean, liturgically speaking, I think we follow the rules pretty well. I can't tell if this is just an honest mistake...as in "oops, I forgot" or if this is a purposeful, in your face "I don't like this rule so I'm not going to follow it" kind of thing. I know our pastor pretty well and I am also very fond of him. Likewise, our choir director is a wonderful man who just recently came into the Church. Since we (actually "I") are on the subject of liturgical abuses....let me mention a few others that really bug me.
1. As if singing "You Are Near" was not enough...we also applauded today during mass. We applauded all of the catechetical ministers (teachers). Apparently, we were recognizing all of the people in our parish who participate in teaching our children. Now, don't get me wrong...I appreciate them VERY much, but, I don't think the middle of mass was the appropriate time to do this. After or before mass would have been much better...that is....in my humble opinion. I'm sure that there are very valid arguments in favor and/or opposing this practice. It just bugs me.
2. I am totally speechless with how people are dressing for church these days. I know we live in Florida...but, geez. It isn't just the teenagers either. I have seen adult women in halter tops and shirts so low cut that I was scared something might fall out. I wonder how some of these parents can let their children out the door like this. Is it laziness? Is it a blatant disregard for the Holiness of God? Do these people not realize that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist? Daisy Duke shorts are not appropriate...sleeveless shirts are not appropriate....flip-flops are not appropriate. Why doesn't anybody say anything? It needs to come from the pulpit! When Dan and I visited St. Peter's in Rome...there were signs all over the place (with pictures for those who can't read) showing what is NOT APPROPRIATE to wear inside of a church!! Even here in Jackonville there is at least one church I know of where there is a sign, upon entering, asking everyone to dress appropriately. I could not envision myself going up to communion to take Our Lord into my mouth....half naked! It's just not right.
3. Sitting in the cry room sometimes gives you a vantage point that you would never get otherwise. What you would see...would amaze you! For one thing...about half the church leaves before the priest. I can't get over it. People make the decision and effort to come to mass, but don't have the courtesy to wait until the priest has exited the church. I guess they are in a great hurry...to what? To turn the tv on for the football game? To get something to eat? To be the first one out of the parking lot? What is it that makes spending even one extra minute in church so devastatingly horrible that they can't wait for the priest to leave first?
4. I am part of a ministry at our church called the Altar Rosary Society. We are a group of women that take turns on a weekly basis to make sure the church and the sanctuary are cleaned and taken care of. As far as I'm concerned, it is a blessing and privilege to be able to do this. When we clean the pews...we find some of the most disgusting things......crushed and sticky cheerios....fake fingernails.....hair.....and not long ago....we found a Consecrated Host with a bite taken out of it! What is wrong with people???!!!!
Ok...so my complaining is not really getting us anywhere. I guess it's kind of like dealing with children....you pick your battles and go from there.