05 November 2009

Rant time...


...ok folks, so when did it become de rigueur to talk before Mass? Anyone else sometimes get the incredible urge to stand up and yell at people to shut the -I mean, ask them to be quiet please? I'm not talking about please-excuse-me-do-you-mind-if-I-sit-here, or keeping the babies appropriately entertained, I'm talking about full on conversations between adults that last til the bell rings. Even an EF isn't always immune.

So, an interesting anthropological question: at what point did reverence become optional?

11 comments:

'Laura' said...

LOL!! I've nearly done that so many times! It's particularly bad at one church here which doesn't have a porch at the back. I go there for confession and have to try and compose myself with a background of noisy chatter from the people getting ready for the following Mass. Needless to say, I always have a few more sins concerning lack of charity to confess by the time I get in there!

Gerontius said...

That’s why I try to get to weekday OF Masses in my parish about 2 minutes before Mass begins. Sundays – well I suffer! There are many reasons why it happens but, I think, all point back to a single source for the loss of respect:

From the time Tabernacles were hidden away and He concealed became He ignored or unknown

From the time a meal table replaced the Altar of Sacrifice

From the time of introduction of Communion in the hand which makes ordinary the Real Presence

From the introduction of a quick bow (at best) in the general direction of the Altar rather than a genuflection to the Tabernacle

From the time good ladies, the backbone of a parish, stopped covering their crowning glory in the presence of the Greatest Glory (OK, I’m not sure about this one – maybe it’s just an indicator of the general problem)

All this seems to have evolved from the spirit of misinterpretation of Vat II (not the Council itself)

The solution, initially at least, must lie with Priests and instruction of the people. And perhaps some of us should stand up and demand silence. What would St John Vianney have done?

Annie said...

I dunno if those are sins against charity or justifiable righteous indignation myself, 'Laura'!

G: What would St Jean Vianney do? I quake to think, actually. But I think you're right, it must have something to do with lamentable catechesis, and misunderstanding of the Real Presence. I'd love to have the nerve to stand up and say something when folk are rabbiting, but I don't for a minute think I have the clout to achieve the desired result so I'll just sit and continue fume!

I also don't think a 'please be quiet' notice in the porch is adequate or means a damned thing to most of the people for whom it is aimed at.

Anyone else find the chitchat even worse after Mass, when you might need a quiet reflective five minutes thanksgiving/further petitioning on your knees?

Gerontius said...

Once doubt arose, man chose, rather, to offer the sanctuary of his heart to the multitude of creatures. And the temple of God was now filled with the din of idols.

Is it not a fact that our souls are invaded by the money changers and by the lowing of oxen, the bleating of sheep and the cooing of pigeons?

And if it was with wrathful love that JESUS made a whip of cords and drove the intruders from His temple, it is with a love overflowing with mercy and compassion that He purifies our hearts.

And a great silence filled the temple.

A silence vast as God.

Taken from “In the Silence of the Word” (Carthusian CD) – well, that’s how it should be!

Annie, if I see you at OLOC on Sunday, will lend you the disc.

Annie said...

Yes please, will be there :)

Shepherd said...

It is because they have lost belief in transubstantiation. Anyone who believes that the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Christ during Holy Mass could not possibly talk as if they were in the local market of gutting fish!

Annie said...

I think that is a huge part of it, Shepherd. Perhaps it is because Jesus is considered more of a mate or a best bud now than Lord and God, although I don't think these two aspects are mutually exclusive by any means.

Michael said...

My explanation is, as I keep saying, 'we've all had forty years to forget' and how effectively those forty years have done their work. (Yes, nasty conspiracy theory there somewhere.) Talking in church; I read somewhere recently that one should arrive at Mass 15 or 20 minutes early, to prepare oneself properly for the great mystery of the sacrifice. That preparation cannot, by definition, consist of idle, stage-whispered chatter. We've had forty years to forget or ignore that and many of the other seemingly small 'courtesies' of Mass-going. I refer to the customary genuflection before taking or leaving your seat. Yes, I know tabernacles have been moved etc, but just do it. And don't get all smart-alec and say 'we don't have to do that now', because you DO! Holy scripture says so - '...at the holy name of Jesus, every knee shall bow...' I know it says 'bow', but it also says 'knees' and knees are for genuflecting with. (Check out the Latin derivation if you want). I mind the time when, during a sermon, if the priest mentioned the holy name, the entire congregation would bow their heads, while he himself would 'uncover' (i.e., remove and replace his biretta). That was when people entering and leaving the church made the sign of the cross PROPERLY, aware no doubt that it is a reminder of your baptism. There is even an indulgence (yes, they ARE still on the statute book) for crossing yourself PROPERLY. I read that someone was once converted because of the impression made by the sight of a Catholic making the sign of the cross PROPERLY. And please, at Holy Communion, make way for people who have already received - they are (temporarily) Christ-bearers. So what do we about all this? Priests - please teach us these things all over again - yes, just as though learning we were learning them for the first time, like little children. But (fellow-)children, remember that Father is very busy, so how about doing a little bit of homework, to find out things for ourselves. Such as reading through the prayers of the Mass you are about to attend? Surely it's the least you could do. After all, it fills the time before Mass - and saves the gossip for tea afterwards 'cos I want to hear it as well!

michael said...

Me again. My last grumble must have been a real stun-grenade of a posting, since nobody else seems to have had the 'courage' to follow through! Well, it was rather a blast of righteous indignation, so instead, let there now be a warm , gentle breeze of charity.
Until I remember something else that gets my dander up!
Any more biscuits?
Seriously how about the year for priests. On their website there is a beautiful prayer for the FSSP. We could say it daily, as they ask; at least during Advent/Christmas/New Year.

Annie said...

Sorry for taking so long to post this, I've not been near the blog for the last week or so!

Keep those blasts of indignation coming, I rather like them! Keep posting please.

I'll post the link to the FSSP prayer, and put up a couple more posts today if I get the time.

Annie said...

What a lot of 'posts' in that last post...