Sunday, July 10, 2005

No Mass Today

Knowing that there would be some discomfort, we nevertheless made the journey to St Sebastian's Parish today for the baptism of a grand-nephew.

The parish pastor, a "Fr." Aiken, journeyed up the aisle with a couple of altar boys and with several couples, godparents, and babies. Not a bad start, except for the 6/8 entrance hymn accompanied by a distinctly R&B/New Orleans piano accompaniment. The pianist/stylist had either a very bad rug or about 3 coats of dye in the hair.

I concluded that the New Orleans tribute was done due to Hurricane Dennis' proximity to that city. There was no other apparent excuse for this.

Since there were a number of baptisms, the pastor busied himself with the usual questions and declarations, skipping the penitential rites to do so. He also skipped the Gloria--there's the first hint that trouble is here.

His sermon was rather bland. Rather than using the Creed, he had the congregation repeat the Baptismal vows along with all the godparents and parents.

Then the real butchery began. Evidently the Parish is unable to purchase vessels which comport with the Church's directives--so they were crystal for the wine and stone for the hosts. But they were clean--what the hey!!

Since he was running a bit long with all those Baptisms, Fr. then decided to simply make up his own Canon of the Mass (which was VERY short), and his own Consecration. Neither the Body nor the Blood was confected--there is NO formula of Consecration in the Missal identical to what he said.

Of course, at the Our Father, we simply forged directly into the "for Thine..." without the intermediary prayer, and "Father" also made up his own formula for the last Blessing.

In short, it was not a Mass, and whatever the appearances were, it was not communion.

There was no more New Orleans, but there was a lot more banality and some of it was un-singable for most people--after 40+ years of singing and extensive music education, I had to look twice, hard, at the melodies before deciding to simply sit this out.

I wouuld have slapped some sense into the "Father," except I didn't have the requisite 18 hours to spare.

It's sad--there were around 450 people in that Church today expecting Mass.

0 for 450.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! "Fr." Richard Aiken was also a front-row honoree at a Midwestern conference of rabble dedicated to the proposition that Catholic priests should be able to marry. More: he's also part of a group of priests who wish to establish a "union" here. You know, the oppressive Capitalist Bishop, yada, yada.

UPDATE/DOCUMENTATION: See Redemptionis Sacramentum:

By my reading of the document, "Fr." Aiken's abuses fall under the "grave" category. If I were to write a letter to the Archbishop, he would be required to investigate and report to Rome.


Anonymous said...

Well, your heart was in the right place. Seems to me that you had Mass even if 449 didn't.

Now, I really am trying to be constructive here, but when the Mass was entirely done in Latin, what did the plain folks receive?

Dad29 said...

All who attended fulfilled their Sunday obligation but there was no Mass.

As to your second question, please be clear. Looks as though you're asking how fast my dog ran when I had a red car.

Anonymous said...

So write a letter to the archbishop already. But he is already well aware of the silly shenanigans Catholics are forced to endure at the hands of so-called priests. They won't listen to him.

Incidentally, I have heard that his former parish, St Alphonsus, didn't even have a valid Eucharist for 10 plus years. They were using bread made of every ingredient under the sun. Only wheat flour and water may be used. The addition of other ingredients renders the bread invalid and cannot be consecrated. So no Mass was celebrated there in all that time, no First Communions, no Holy Viaticum.

St Sebastians used to be an excellent parish, from what I've heard. Over the past 15 years it deteriorated to the mess it's in now. Sad.

Dad29 said...

I've heard the rumors about St Alphonsus, as well.

And after thinking about it for three days, I did send a letter to the Archbishop. This "priest" should be told--and if he doesn't correct his problems, he should be fired.