Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Liturgical referree - 10 yards for bad mass

I have had many a discussion with my Catholic friends on fine points of theology and structure of the mass, often whether it was performed correctly since these days you find a lot of "creativity" in church. I am a radical centrist, too liberal is bad but so is too conservative (conservative and liberal serve in the absence of better labels). You could say I know too much, but I do enjoy the intellectual side of the church.

The new Liturgical Referee described by the Curt Jester (I assume it is a joke) is a position right up my alley. This person could jump out during the mass to stop liturgical abuses and generally bad masses, such as when the priest adds their own words to the liturgy or just skips steps, or when they ring the bell at the elevation or slip back into Latin in the middle of the mass. Sometimes they could stop parishioners from adding their own craziness to the mix. Two signals that are my favorites are:

Liturgical Dance detected

The "What the heck am my hearing" signal is one of the most common signals and indicates syrupy banal liturgical music or the inappropriate use of secular music such as show tunes and popular music (especially from the seventies).

As an example, These would both be violated in the Polka Mass that we heard about in Munising, but did not go to when we were on vacation in Michigan. It is a mass where the music is polka with the lyrics replaced by the part of the mass. These are apparently still popular in the northern midwest, as you might guess, but may not be strictly appropriate or correct. Try - "Strike up the band the mass has begun, clap, clap, clap, clap, the Crucifixion Polka" or - "Roll out the wine barrel, we'll have a Holy Communion".

The "rulebook" for the mass is the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (abbreviated GIRM and said like germ, which is a cool acronym in its own right). I happen to own a copy of the GIRM and some ancillary documents. I guess I am a nerd about things both sacred and profane.

(via Neatorama)

1 comment:

The Virtual Ranger said...

Very fine! Is there one for 'layman wearing a hat in church'? Oh, hang on, that would throw the Referee into a feedback loop! :)