Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Well, At Least There Was No Rainbow Thong

January 11th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen
Sometimes I wonder why priests, who hitherto have been solid and liturgically noble, stray into the grey waters of progressive “community worship.” Now, like always, I should like to point out that we are not “attacking the character of a priest.” No, that would be sinful. What we are doing is exposing liturgical improprieties that make one doubt the efficacy of contemporary worship.

While perusing the photo galleries of various parishes who are known bastions of heterodoxy, I decided that I should seek out a parish which has always been sitting on the side lines, quietly refraining from “picking a side.” I have visited this parish from time to time, and find it quite charming. Which parish is this?

St. Margaret Mary in Irondequoit.

I decided to examine the photos from their folder entitled: “Special Visitor at 9:30am Mass.” I thought to myself, “Oh, maybe the bishop came to say Mass, or maybe some retired priest of note visited.” Well, the fellow who visited was most certainly not a priest. He was, however, a bishop of great renown- St. Nicholas aka “Santa Claus.” The following photos are from the SMM website:

When I saw these, I tried to defend the pastor of this parish, Fr. Timothy Horan. Scenarios I concocted included: maybe it was after the final blessing, and he asked everyone to sit down, maybe this man was an uninvited guest, maybe I’m just delusional, and this didn’t really happen.

I tend to doubt very much these notions. I would like to mention, though, that (sans the Santa suit) this would be an ideal (?) dialogue homily. Let’s not get into the debate about its validity or place in the Mass. (I think we all feel the same way.) There are many children present, the priest is visibly in charge, and there is no doubt that the lay homilist (dressed-up priest?) is eminently qualified to talk to the people and ring the sleigh bells he is holding in his hand.
So, still shaking from this unwelcome discovery, I decided to click on their Midnight Mass photo gallery. “How can you mess up a Midnight Mass?”

By having a woman in a red, satin-esque robe prancing up the aisle leading the procession:
Let’s have a chat about liturgical dancers, shall we?
From Cardinal Arinze, via YouTube:



4 Responses to “Well, At Least There Was No Rainbow Thong”

  1. Bernie says:

    Cardinal Arinze is a terrific educator. He is clear and to the point. He is a very effective communicator. Thanks for posting this video.

    There is much silliness in our Western society today partly or mostly due to the shallowness of the 60's environment in the United States. From body piercings to liturgical dance we imported the surface practices of non-Western/European cultures. Two things here: First, we have insulted those cultures by failing to appreciate and respect the cultural underpinnings of their practices –in short, we don't live that culture. It's not ours. It can't be; it would take a lifetime –generations– for it to be. As a result, the transplanted practices are phony. Secondly, we have been intellectually lazy by failing to mine our own cultural history to rediscover and reinvigorate our own traditional practices; Western history is one of the weakest subjects taught in our schools. It's been, of course, also the result of self-loathing; Westerners have come to hate their inheritance. Multi-culturalism (also called diversity) as it is normally interpreted in the West is actually self-loathing. Any non-Western culture is better than ours!

    The problem, of course, is that most people in the pews don't have a clue. The liturgical coordinators, and priests who kowtow to them, foist this stuff on unwitting congregations. For the most part it comes from liturgy workshops conducted by well intentioned folks who have read a book by someone who has read a book written by someone who has dabbled.

    There is a lay administrator in Henrietta who insists on dinging a bell or tuning fork or some such after communion as a signal for everyone to meditate quietly (for just exactly 60 seconds,however). Funny,we never needed such a signal before to remind us to meditate after receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord in Communion. It's probably some silly practice she brought home from a liturgy weekend workshop. Goofy stuff helps us avoid deeper thinking and respect for our own tradition. It's rampant in our diocese. It's all so superficial.

  2. Nerina says:

    I will note that at least this church is using the appropriate liturgical color for its vestments and altar cloths during Advent. Plus, this church also has a very large crucifix (my church only recently starting using purple vestments/altar cloths and continues to display the risen Christ behind our Altar).

    As for the liturgical dancer, apparently my church also had one at the "midnight Mass" (which actually takes place at 10:30PM). I wonder if anyone gives any thought, whatsoever, to how uncomfortable people feel as they are forced to participate in this "innovation"? We have had to suffer through dancing at a few Masses now and each time I write a letter to the liturgy director stating how uncomfortable it made me and others feel.

    Further, as Bernie implies, dancing in our culture is often profane. Why would we want to introduce that into the Mass? Finally, the liturgy belongs to the Church. We, as individuals have no right to modify it to our personal wants or desires.

    And while I think most innovations are done by well-intention folk, I am not convinced that other agendas don't exist.

    Bernie, last year during the Good Friday liturgy, our choir used a big crystal bowl and a big tuning fork during the reception of the Eucharist. It was distracting, annoying and unnerving. Most people thought that the sound system was on the fritz.

  3. Kelly says:

    Ugh. Break out the Lysol.

  4. She was really going full out! hehee.

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