Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Passion Mime Cancelled, Due to Lack of Interest

March 30th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

Many will remember the controversy in Lents past regarding the Passion Mime performed at St. Ambrose. Many will also recall the vehemence with which it was defended by certain individuals. While I don’t want to open old wounds, we simply can’t ignore this development, as announced in the Peace of Christ bulletin (see Romish Graffiti’s post here).

As Scott points out, the most interesting part of the announcement (lament?) in the bulletin is that “enough students didn’t sign up.” Now, doesn’t it seem strange to you that an event that some heralded as a great way to catechize our youth, a popular alternative to traditional methods, should wither away this year because, in an entire school, there were not enough kids willing to participate? Could it be, just maybe, that the kids realize how inappropriate it is to parade into a sanctuary to the rockin’ tunes of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” while wearing face-paint and performing Our Lord’s Passion via pantomime? To mime the Passion of Christ is like sculpting the Pieta out of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!,” or performing Mozart’s Requiem with a kazoo ensemble. It’s tasteless and nauseating.

Children know when they’re being pandered to, when their superiors appeal to them through condescension rather than through rationality. Kids, as much as some may deny it, yearn to be treated like adults. Insinuating that they can only really grasp the significance of the Passion by putting on a performance which seems to reflect more of Red Skelton than St. John would fall into the “condescending” category. How can we expect our youth to embrace the Faith when they’re presented with triviality? Short answer: we can’t. It won’t happen, so long as they think that it’s okay to play around (maybe with good intentions) in the sanctuary. Granted, I’m sure the Passion Mime is more reverent than many Masses offered in our Diocese. It’s not done maliciously, either. That doesn’t mean it’s okay, though.

So, kudos to the kids of Siena, who have spoken with their feet . . . presumably because mimes don’t use words . . .


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4 Responses to “Passion Mime Cancelled, Due to Lack of Interest”

  1. Dr. K says:

    Amen to that.

  2. Scott W. says:

    or performing Mozart’s Requiem with a kazoo ensemble. It’s tasteless and nauseating.

    Actually I might like a parody of classical music on kazoos in an appropriate setting such as a comedy variety show or a recording. (See Spike Jones for instance)I doubt a kazoo band would pick the requiem because in addition to being arguably an inappropriate selection, it doesn’t seem like it would lend itself well to comedic parody effect, but what do I know? The whole point is that there is nothing wrong with mime and/or pantomime, but both the subject and the setting must be appropriate. And it’s NOT. IN. THE. SANCTUARY. It doesn’t matter if the altar is not being used as a prop. It doesn’t matter if the Host is not present. It’s still sacred space; and just as you wouldn’t roll in barcoloungers, set up a flat screen and watch football games and drink beer in there, so you don’t put on shows in the sanctuary that belong in the theater.

  3. Abaccio says:

    As someone who is involved with the youth of the Diocese, I cannot tell you how many times kids have complained, “Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we’re idiots. Don’t talk to us like we’re five years old!” when asked about youth masses, parish events, etc. Young people (especially boys) want to be challenged, with reachable yet meaningful goals (rather than easily-achieved meaninglessness or impossible propositions). Understanding and perhaps reverently presenting, say, living stations (not my cup of tea, but, reasonable nonetheless) would be something that, in my opinion, would appeal to these young people in a far more meaningful way. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Alison LeChase wants reverently presented living stations or something similar. It’d be awfully interesting to see which of the two drew more interest from the kids, wouldn’t it?

  4. Eliza10 says:

    “Children know when they’re being pandered to, when their superiors appeal to them through condescension rather than through rationality. ”

    This is so true!

    And also its true what Richard Thomas says above, ” many priests in the DOR treat their parishoners as “idiots”. They come across as parents talking to dysfunctional people. And they act like people have poor self esteem so they talk doen to them.. Very maddening.”

    Exactly true! This is so common in the DoR!

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