Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Liturgy Tour

Did a little driving; some quick reports.

Prestigious west-suburban parish retains PGL* rating. 'Say the black, do the red' is in force except when the pastor decides to ignore the text of the Creed to assuage the feministas of his parish, most of which live in a nearby convent jammed with priest-wannabees. Music is marginally acceptable, still "4-hymn-sandwich," cantor-ette does not sing in tune, which is extremely irritating. Style of music is Barbra Streisand-esque; GIA books in pews. Pastor's sermons are the low point: not germane to anything, sentimentalist, low-to-zero doctrinal content. Limited congregational "Look!! I'm Praying!!" stuff at Our Father, subdued and brief "Greet-Your-Peace" routine.

Further west, another suburban parish earns ML** rating. This place has had a reputation for liturgical aberrations, none of which are abominable, all of which are grating. Music is competently performed with excellent cantor-ettes and decent keyboards guy. 4-hymn-sandwich with sour-milk "extra" words added to Ordinary and responses. Music generally awful; today we got cowboy-music recessional and utterly impossible-to-sing Psalm (although the cantor-ette handled it with ease); most of what I've heard is also Streisand-genre: abominable treacly OCP stuff. Congregation holds hands or does "Look, I'm Praying!!" hands-up at Our Father, fairly large production-number "greet your Peace" routine. Sermon today was......meh.

More to follow. Am curious about the rapidly-losing-members parish to the SE of here. Reports are that the pastor is ......ahhhhhh.........overly fond of Broadway. So much so that he chirps and burbles tunes as sermon material. Have to work up to that one, folks...

*PGL = Pretty good liturgy =5 points/10 point scale
**ML = Mediocre liturgy = 2-3 points/10 point scale

Scale: 10 points = Excellent across the board. Said black did red, music A-OK, maybe even Latin in there! (St. Anthony's/Milwaukee earns this.)
0 points = You did not attend Mass. Find a later offering or go to Confession.


Scelata said...

Just out of curiosity, is the use of the "-ette" suffix to indicate that you find female cantors somehow more objectionable than male ones?

It is true that one gets more lousy singing from female cantors, but I think that is for the same reason one gets more wool from white sheep than from black-- there're just more of them.

But I have read somewhere that male auditors have more trouble matching pitches with a female cantor (in effect transposing everything they hear down an octave,) than women do with male song leaders.

My major objection to seeing cantors is, well... seeing them.

Other than perhaps at the ambo for the psalm, I think they should be out of sight.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Dan said...

You would be totally disappointed in the Churches here in Vegas. That is one reason I have not been in a Catholic Church in about 1 year.
The first church I went to was in a rich area of town. We had the "hip" priests but the church members were really stuck up. Their catechism program for the kids was top notched.
So, through a divorce, i moved and tried other churches. I went to on Church in a lower to middle income area. The priest was a flaming liberal who preached politics during the homily. I can live with that. However, we never felt welcomed. No one came up to say hi when we were new. We went to a St. Patricks dinner when we were fairly new and no one even tried to talk to us, even though we tried to make conversation. The people were more stuck up than the church in the rich area of town.
Tried a third church and it just sucked- music was terrible, homily was boring, mostly talked about money and more stuck up people.
It's also not like there are a lot of Catholic churches to choose from. There are more churches in Wood and Adams county than in Vegas and Wood County has more Catholic schools than the entire Vegas valley.
Eventually I will find a Church I am comfortable with but in the meantime....

Dad29 said...

Dan, I don't go to Mass to be comfortable; I go because it is the right thing to do.

Please don't let the twits keep you from Mass.

Dad29 said...

Scelata: it is to distinguish between male and female. No other reason.

Have to remain anonymous said...

Dad29 is much further to the right of my liturgical taste but, having said that, I find that I am often more swayed by the sincerity of the presider and congregation than anything else.

I am not all that fond of "drop in" churches where they open the door a half hour before mass and lock down 15 minutes after with a superficial show in between (regardless of whether it's a conservative or liberal church).

Flip side. There's a small church I visit in Canada a few times a year. They struggle to keep a pastor (the current one is from Poland). The furnishings are fairly spartan. The homilies are often laborious to understand. But it's clear the pastor is a man of faith and so is the congregation. They are welcoming and I have been invited to homes of parishioners, community dinners, etc., just as a visitor. Much more than I see even at my own parish.