Liturgical Abuses

I got an email from one of my readers the other day asking me what a Liturgical Abuse was. I gave a quick, but accurate, answer that it’s anything done in the Liturgy that is not according to the rubrics of the Mass.

After attending a Mass last night, I can give some concrete examples. (This was not at my usual parish.)

1. After the Gospel, the priest returned to his seat, had a few moments of silence and then went straight to the petitions.
2. This skipped the homily after the Gospel detailing the Last Supper, the Passion and the death of Our Lord. The priest couldn’t think of anything to say about that? A homily is required on Sunday Masses and strongly expected at weekday Masses.
3. This also skipped the Creed which is required on Sundays as well.
4. A guy two seats over from me routinely replaced “God’s” for “his” during the preparation of the Gifts. (“May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name for our good, and the good of all God’s Church.” rather than “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name for our good, and the good of all his Church.”) This is especially of concern since I’m not 100% sure that we’re talking about God the Father there as his phrasing assumes, we may be talking about God the Son.

Essentially anything done contrary to the Rite of the Mass is an abuse. The Church reminded us in Redemptionis Sacramentum that “The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy.”

But the thought to keep in mind is: “The worst liturgical abuse at every Mass I attend is me.” Think about the time our attention wanders, when we judge those next to us on something (their dress, changing the words of the Mass, etc.). We’re abusing the mass by not giving it out all. We need to focus on Mass when we’re at Mass. Obviously in times of emergency, helping others takes precedence. (I have no doubt God was okay with me missing the end of mass one time while taking care of a woman who had passed out just before Communion.) But we need to take responsibility for our own behavior first of all and worry about other people’s second.

National Poetry Month

John Donne: A Hymn To God The Father.

I.

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

II.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

III.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.

Wouldn’t have known it was National Poetry Month without Miriam’s reminder.

Quote-a-palooza

“It is an equally awful truth that four and four makes eight, whether you reckon the thing out in eight onions or eight angels, eight bricks or eight bishops, eight minor poets or eight pigs.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Debates rage over the redefining of what marriage is despite centuries of the norm that it constitutes the bonding of a man and a woman. Communities try to eliminate the word Christmas or Easter from the celebration of holidays that reach back hundreds of years. The killing of the unborn, decades after a Supreme Court ruling, still enrages those for whom the sanctity of life lies at the heart of their beliefs. I submit that the day this nation abandons these debates and eliminates the prohibitions that represent our common definition of moral behavior is the day this nation will truly begin to lose its hold on our own and the world’s respect. So, Americans must continue to grapple with issues of moral decline and must decry the soft decay of our mutually held values. It is a good thing we debate these things. A completely secular society is one in which ‘everything goes’ and, when that occurs, the first thing to go will be the United States of America.” —Alan Caruba

“It has been said that a child who is made to earn a toy most often takes better care of it than a child who was simply given the toy. Well, our nation has become a nation of children who have been given, not a toy, but the gifts of freedom and a Constitutional Republic with which to safeguard that freedom and we are abusing these gifts with our relentless apathy and ignorance. Because it is impossible to understand the value of something without knowing its worth, our society has become estranged from the value of freedom. We toss around the saying ‘freedom isn’t free’ but we hardly understand the price of attaining and maintaining that freedom. The majority of us have never actually fought for our liberties and we most assuredly have never lived under the tyranny of oppression, although the delusional Progressive-Left would argue otherwise. We have become soft, self-centered and egotistical and our country is a worse place for it.” —Frank Salvato

“A number of years ago a President of this country declared that we have a rendezvous with destiny. In a world where terrorism spreads and the innocent die we must fulfill our destiny. If not us, who? If not now, when?” —Ronald Reagan

“Most debates about proposed amendments concern whether the amendments are necessary or would be beneficial. Debate about the [Equal Rights Amendment] has always concerned what it might mean. For example, would it forbid treating the sexes differently in pension and insurance plans because of actuarial data about sex-related differences regarding health problems and life expectancy? Presumably, judges would, over time, tell the nation what it had ratified. All amendments generate litigation, but the ERA’s purpose is to generate litigation. It is a device to get courts to impose social policies that supporters of the policies cannot convince legislatures to enact. ERA… supporters, being politically lazy, prefer the shortcut of litigation to the patient politics necessary to pass legislation. If [Ted] Kennedy and like-minded legislators think the condition of American women needs improvements, they should try to legislate them. Instead, they prefer to hope that liberal judges will regard the ERA’s language as a license to legislate. But, then, support for the amendment testifies to the supporters’ lack of confidence in their ability to persuade people to support such policies.” —George Will

“The jump in ethanol use certainly didn’t come about because of a groundswell of popular demand; it came about, like so many bad ideas, because of a government mandate. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required that 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel (mostly ethanol) be added to the gasoline supply last year. It goes up to 4.7 billion this year and to 7.5 billion in 2012. But ethanol lowers fuel economy—according to the Department of Energy, a gallon of ethanol contains only two-thirds the energy content of a gallon of gasoline. And you’re actually paying more for less performance. It’s difficult… to transport ethanol from its Midwestern home base to far-off markets, and that adds to the price you pay at the pump. Ethanol can’t be sent in an energy-efficient way through pipelines like gasoline can, because it would be contaminated by moisture along the way. Ethanol must be shipped instead by trucks, barges and railroads. And that brings us to ethanol’s environmental impact. After all, shipping by truck, barge or rail uses… well, fossil fuels. So the more ethanol we move, the more fossil fuel we use—which, Al Gore and Company tell us repeatedly, spews the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. In addition, all that extra corn farming means more fertilizer and pesticide use, along with increased irrigation. More diesel fuel will be needed to run the tractors and the harvesters. In the end… ethanol may wind up putting about as much carbon dioxide into the air as it takes out. So, from an environmental perspective, we’ll be paying more to more or less maintain the status quo.” —Rebecca Hagelin

Quote-a-palooza

“It is an equally awful truth that four and four makes eight, whether you reckon the thing out in eight onions or eight angels, eight bricks or eight bishops, eight minor poets or eight pigs.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Debates rage over the redefining of what marriage is despite centuries of the norm that it constitutes the bonding of a man and a woman. Communities try to eliminate the word Christmas or Easter from the celebration of holidays that reach back hundreds of years. The killing of the unborn, decades after a Supreme Court ruling, still enrages those for whom the sanctity of life lies at the heart of their beliefs. I submit that the day this nation abandons these debates and eliminates the prohibitions that represent our common definition of moral behavior is the day this nation will truly begin to lose its hold on our own and the world’s respect. So, Americans must continue to grapple with issues of moral decline and must decry the soft decay of our mutually held values. It is a good thing we debate these things. A completely secular society is one in which ‘everything goes’ and, when that occurs, the first thing to go will be the United States of America.” —Alan Caruba

“It has been said that a child who is made to earn a toy most often takes better care of it than a child who was simply given the toy. Well, our nation has become a nation of children who have been given, not a toy, but the gifts of freedom and a Constitutional Republic with which to safeguard that freedom and we are abusing these gifts with our relentless apathy and ignorance. Because it is impossible to understand the value of something without knowing its worth, our society has become estranged from the value of freedom. We toss around the saying ‘freedom isn’t free’ but we hardly understand the price of attaining and maintaining that freedom. The majority of us have never actually fought for our liberties and we most assuredly have never lived under the tyranny of oppression, although the delusional Progressive-Left would argue otherwise. We have become soft, self-centered and egotistical and our country is a worse place for it.” —Frank Salvato

“A number of years ago a President of this country declared that we have a rendezvous with destiny. In a world where terrorism spreads and the innocent die we must fulfill our destiny. If not us, who? If not now, when?” —Ronald Reagan

“Most debates about proposed amendments concern whether the amendments are necessary or would be beneficial. Debate about the [Equal Rights Amendment] has always concerned what it might mean. For example, would it forbid treating the sexes differently in pension and insurance plans because of actuarial data about sex-related differences regarding health problems and life expectancy? Presumably, judges would, over time, tell the nation what it had ratified. All amendments generate litigation, but the ERA’s purpose is to generate litigation. It is a device to get courts to impose social policies that supporters of the policies cannot convince legislatures to enact. ERA… supporters, being politically lazy, prefer the shortcut of litigation to the patient politics necessary to pass legislation. If [Ted] Kennedy and like-minded legislators think the condition of American women needs improvements, they should try to legislate them. Instead, they prefer to hope that liberal judges will regard the ERA’s language as a license to legislate. But, then, support for the amendment testifies to the supporters’ lack of confidence in their ability to persuade people to support such policies.” —George Will

“The jump in ethanol use certainly didn’t come about because of a groundswell of popular demand; it came about, like so many bad ideas, because of a government mandate. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required that 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel (mostly ethanol) be added to the gasoline supply last year. It goes up to 4.7 billion this year and to 7.5 billion in 2012. But ethanol lowers fuel economy—according to the Department of Energy, a gallon of ethanol contains only two-thirds the energy content of a gallon of gasoline. And you’re actually paying more for less performance. It’s difficult… to transport ethanol from its Midwestern home base to far-off markets, and that adds to the price you pay at the pump. Ethanol can’t be sent in an energy-efficient way through pipelines like gasoline can, because it would be contaminated by moisture along the way. Ethanol must be shipped instead by trucks, barges and railroads. And that brings us to ethanol’s environmental impact. After all, shipping by truck, barge or rail uses… well, fossil fuels. So the more ethanol we move, the more fossil fuel we use—which, Al Gore and Company tell us repeatedly, spews the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. In addition, all that extra corn farming means more fertilizer and pesticide use, along with increased irrigation. More diesel fuel will be needed to run the tractors and the harvesters. In the end… ethanol may wind up putting about as much carbon dioxide into the air as it takes out. So, from an environmental perspective, we’ll be paying more to more or less maintain the status quo.” —Rebecca Hagelin

Quote of the Day

“Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue.”

— John Witherspoon (The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, 1776)

Reference: The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon, Miller ed. (140-1)

Quote of the Day

“Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue.”

— John Witherspoon (The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, 1776)

Reference: The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon, Miller ed. (140-1)

Ther two sweetest words in the English Language: “Play Ball!”

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don’t say “it ain’t so”, you know the time is now.

Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Yeah! I got it, I got it!

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all – a moment in the sun;
(pop) It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!

Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Yeah!
— “Centerfield” by John Fogerty

When I’m absolute dictator, Opening Day will be a national holiday.