Sunday, June 10, 2007


I miss blogging. I've read three novels so far and I'm 70 pages into one of Greeley's and totally bored with it.

Writing has always been my way to deal with frustration, so here goes. I may not post this--well, I probably will--but hope it can exorcise the frustration in any case.

After praying all week for a place to worship God, I decided yesterday to attend Mass at a church close to home since we can't seem to get a reliable parish situation no matter how far we travel. Knowing what the local parish is like, I prayed on the way to Mass that God would just get me through it. That prayer, at least, He answered in the affirmative since part of the way through I suddenly became indifferent to what was going on around me, and that was a bit of grace.

What was going on made the Mass man-centered instead of God-centered for me. First there were the bongo drums. They have been added to the reserved section of the church where the music ministry performs. The church has a choir loft, but only the piano player resides up there. The drums sat idle, fortunately, only offering to offend by their presence, but not actually doing so.

Then there was the baptism. Haven't been around for a baptism at Mass for years. It began at the back of the church, and we were told to turn around to observe. Of course doing so meant that we turned our backs on the tabernacle, something that Sister constantly drilled into our heads we were never supposed to do. She was still talking to me in my head.

Things moved along normally through the homily which actually mentioned Jesus Christ, so long as you consider normal the passage back and forth from the music ministry section to the Gospel podium, on the opposite side of the sanctuary, of the music minister who seems to need to perform up there even though she has a perfectly good podium in the music ministry section. After the homily when the baptism took place, the inevitable applause followed...something I skipped, though I must have been the only one present who did.

When the baptism was completed the new Eucharistic ministers were commissioned, and the applause followed that as well. I guess it must have been a good show, though no standing ovation yet; but I really don't know because I kept my eyes on the tabernacle and tried to pray during the celebration. It wasn't a very successful endeavor.

The Agnus Dei was improvised, and the usual crowd of Eucharistic ministers lined the entire back of the sanctuary when it was their turn to traipse up there. I didn't even bother to count them, partly because the very tall man in front of me blocked my view, thankfully.

The music, accompanied by the piano player, was the usual drivel out of "Gather" so I skipped the singing. I also skipped communion, since I was obviously not in communion with this congregation, and high-tailed it out of there during the recessional song once the priest had left the sanctuary.

But I made it. I got all the way through it and walked out without harboring an overwhelming burden of anger. The anger came later and is still hanging around, hence this blog. I've also had my talk with God, and I wasn't very nice about it. Mass should not be penance. Inculturation should be able to accommodate those of us who are American, were raised up on the Tridentine, and would like reverence and honor for God to be a central theme of Mass. Alas, we are the forgotten minority.

My husband opted out of these festivities. He knows all too well what to expect at the local parish.

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