Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 12 September 2016

Censoring the Gospel

I rant regularly about the Lectionary.
Poor Himself, who really doesn't care, has to put up with it, and much of my bluster is no doubt uninformed.
I think the Three Year Cycle is an unmitigated disaster.
I find the suggestion that it is a boon to homilists, who would otherwise have difficulty coming up with material over the years less than compelling - what has put it in their heads that the Gospel text must be the main, or even in the minds of some, only source for their ruminations?
Not only are there three other scriptural texts, (don't forget the psalm or canticle!) every Sunday, and the prescribed Introit and Communion antiphon if they're doing it right, and occult Offertory, (it's still there, albeit veiled from our eyes and banned from our books,) there is the Ordinary.
Why, you could preach on the First Eucharistic Prayer every Sunday for the rest of your days and not exhaust the topic!
(I must interject at this point, one of the finest homilies I ever heard was on the Pax dialogue, delivered by the great Msgr Andrew Wadsworth on Saint Irenaeus' memorial.)
Yesterday for the first time, I noticed that the portion of the prescribed Gospel dealing with the Prodigal is bracketed! It may be left out!
I was unfair in my opinion of a bright and attentive high school student, Catholic schools all the way, who told me she'd never heard that story except in Godspell.
Well, came to learn her parish, with a strong RCIA program, never used the Lenten cycle of readings in which the parable is contained, because they always defaulted to the Year A,
Because ... scrutinies.
And now I realize if she never heard it in late summer, it would have been because, at the (at most 4 times,) it might have come up since she was old enough to understand, (with three years passing in between hearings, mind you,) I know for near certainty that none of those parish priests ever read the long form of anything, especially not in warm weather.

Now this past week I heard something that took me aback, and frankly, with all the licit options made available to celebrants and associates, and sanctioned shortcuts, I've no doubt the man in question thought he was doing anything wrong.
But the deacon simply stopped short after the Beatitudes and left out the... what shall we call them? the "Woes"? the "Damnabilities"?
But woe to you who are rich,for you have received your consolation.

But woe to you who are filled now,for you will be hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now,for you will grieve and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you,for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
Yeah, who wants to hear that...


Doug said...

Amen. I'm fortunate to reside in a parish that Always uses the long form of any optional readings, Always uses the Roman Canon, and utilizes the Lenten cycle of readings. The Prodigal Son is my favorite parable, and it reinforces my hope every time I hear it!

Scelata said...

Thank you for stopping by. Might I inquire what diocese?
(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Doug said...

Sure, it's in the archdiocese of Cincinnati. Northern part. We are a diocesan parish, not one with a religious congregation. We have a weekly Latin Mass one morning, and one on first Fridays as well. We practice the adoration of our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration all day once a week. Come on by for a visit, we'd love to have you!