Monday, November 23, 2009

Mass Casualties

A few thoughts/questions on mass.

1. When it did become acceptable to break out into applause during the service? I don't remember it ever happening in the 70's or 80's. 90's perhaps? I find it grating, to say the least. During Sunday's service there was not one, not two, but three outbursts of applause.

That is three too many.

One was after a visiting Indian priest gave his homily, which had me zoning due to his over-use of cliches and general bromides, which have nothing to do with Truth (you know, the reason we're there!). I remember thinking during the homily that people had better not start clapping when he got done. Then he finished and there was no clapping. I took the opportunity to make sure my boy was behaving himself in Sunday school and I was walking back into church I hear the clapping start.

The second was because some altar boy had just done his first mass. Whippty-doo.

The third was after the choir and congregation finished singing the song "Soon and Very Soon". For whatever reason during the song some saps decided to start some rhythmic clapping. There were maybe 30 people clapping--some on the back beat, some on the beat, others somewhere in between. It was a mess. Plus the song is Soon and Very Soon, a song about when we will die:

"Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king"

I don't know about others, but I am not necessarily looking forward to my day of reckoning with the Lord, so I wasn't happily singing along with ersatz joy.

And while I'm at it, perhaps someone could tell me when the priests decided to start singing practically the entire mass?

The Lord with you
And also with you
We lift up our hearts
We lift them up to the lord, etc.

Was something wrong with simply saying the words? And is it up to the priest if he wants to sing? What if he can't carry a tune in a bucket?

Besides the modern sappy feeling I get from hearing the singing, it also makes the mass last a lot longer.

The good news is that this H1N1 scare has put the kibosh on the ridiculous announcements at the beginning of mass like: "So that there be no strangers among us, please take a moment to greet those around you." So I was at least happy to avoid that bit of forced happy-sappy nonsense.

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