Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dobszay on the Liturgy v. The Local Guy

One of the most useful critiques of the Catholic liturgical landscape is "The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform" by Prof. Laszlo Dobszay (RIP).  While it is impossible to condense the entire work into a blog-post--for it covers not only the Mass, but also the rest of the liturgy, i.e., the Hours--one paragraph caught my attention.

"The most harmful consequence of the Novus Ordo [OF] was that the thinking of many priests (and their followers) about the liturgy has been radically changed.  The liturgy in the practice of many priests is not a holy, divine action, an actio praecellenter sacra, performed by the priest as the servant of the Church according to the order given by the Church, not something which enlivens, preserves and transmits certain objective values...No, it is rather an event organized by the priest (often by a specific group from the congregation), and its value can be measured by its effect on the given members of the congregation...."

Why did this passage strike a chord with me?

Last week, at my exurban parish, the former pastor celebrated one of the Masses.  Since there was some reference to marriage in last week's readings (OF), he then took it upon himself during the sermon to ask all married couples to stand--with their spouses--and recite their marriage vows again.  Cute.

Far more serious, he then switched out the Preface for the Sunday Mass for the Preface of the Nuptial Mass.  And, as is his usual wont, he inserted a rambling blather-ette before the Our Father.

In a civil context, this would amount to felonious assault and battery against the Mass.

The good news?  He's in retirement.  The bad news?  He shows up regularly with this dog-and-pony routine.  Ironically, he is a moral theologian by training.


Saint Revoution said...

/no words
/roll eyes

Funny how this pseudo-cleric requests of others to renew their vows when he is doing everything BUT keeping his.

GOR said...

Sounds familiar, Dad.

Our retired pastor also turns the Mass into the Tonight Show – monologue before Mass, monologue before each Reading, monologue during the Bidding Prayers and after Holy Communion. Not to mention various asides, calls for applause and changing the words of the Proper of the Mass.

Though his name is John, Johnny Carson he’s not! And the Mass is not a ‘performance’. Narcissism!

Dad29 said...

Oh, yah, the "now applaud!!" stuff is disgustingly familiar, too, as are the extra-flap-jawing.

That name, "John" is familiar, too.