Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Falling On Ones Ars Celebrandi

Some wildly divergent opinions of the episcopal ordination this afternoon at the National Shrine, television viewers and/or internet viewers far more critical than those in attendance.

I must say, the music for the most part struck me as a great deal better than it did the OP. I shared the distaste for how I heard the cantor, but I know that how television picks up mic'ed voices often bears almost no resemblance to what those in situ are hearing. (She had a splendid voice, although using too much vibrato for chanting and leading congregational song. -- in my opinion)

And I can't particularly blame the various clerics and ministers for not being 100% certain at every moment in a long, complex, one-off Liturgy -- that's what programs and MCs are for.

No, my problem with what I saw ( haven't watched the entire thing yet,) is two-fold --

1) people, PIPs and bishops alike, NOT SINGING, not even looking at their programs and making a stab at, say, the Veni Creator.

and (what I have come to think is perhaps the greatest stumbling block in the quest to improve the celebration of the Liturgy, today)

2) people in a #$!%^&!%!*!(!$!#!!! hurry!

What's the rush, yer excellency, ya got a date?

I thought one one the finest things about Cdl George's presidency over the Mass at the CMAA Colloquium was the care, the time he took about every bit of the ritual-- the pauses and silences, the stateliness.

Where did this insane notion that we gotta keep the Mass peppy, gotta move it along, gotta pick up our cues come from?

PK, maybe I'm over-reacting, but what set me off was watching one bishop turn around and start putting his mitre back on during the final verse of the Veni Creator -- what, you couldn't wait 6 seconds and finish the hymn to the Holy Spirit? the bus would leave without you?

Finish one part of the Mass before you move on to the next!

I know a priest who never quite finishes the Credo, because while everyone else is reciting the last phrase or two he's turning around to drop his missallette in the presider's chair, and look around for the loose-leaf notebook with the General Intercession and that pesky server.

I suppose they are in deadly fear lest they bore people who will then -- oh horrors! -- leave early.

What they don't realize is that they are essentially teaching everyone, by example, that it doesn't really matter whether we finish anything, none of it is really worth taking time with anyway.

Thus encouraging people to leave early.

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