22 October 2012

Yesterday at Mass

For his homily, the priest (not the parish priest) began explaining the Year of Faith, which he connected to the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.  He explained that there were several documents released by the council, and he encouraged us to read them for ourselves, and then he went on to say a few things that told me that us reading them may not be such a good idea for him, as we would learn, quickly, that he was mistaken,

I sat listening to the priest with my daughters.

Him:  Thanks to Vatican Two, we now use these new altars, and we face the people as one community.

Me, to the kids:  Ignore that bit.

Him:  And we don't say the Mass in Latin anymore, but in a language the people can understand,

Me: That bit too.*

He went on with a few other points, and me saying to the kids: Wrong.  Wrong again.  At least he didn't say it encouraged us to bring in guitars and tambourines, which I have heard other people say.  I wonder why he would encourage us to read it, when he appears to not have read them himself.  I imagine he, like me, may have been told by others what the documents said, and has taken them at their word.  I, on the other hand, found myself in for a very nasty surprise when I did get around to reading council documents.  If any members of the congregation take him up on his suggestion, they will find themselves in for one too.

* For those who wonder what I am talking about, the council said nothing- zilch, zip, nada, about church architecture and layout. Any change to sanctuaries and altars and such done in the wake of Vatican Two is not justified by council documents.  Furthermore, the current GIRM to this day assumes that the priest is facing away from the people, for there are several instances when the instructions tell the priest to "turn to the people and say..." which only makes sense if he was not facing the people to begin with.  Finally, Vatican Two did not banish Latin, it actually encouraged the continuation of Latin, but permitted vernacular languages to be used, particularly in the example of mission churches, until such time as the faithful could be taught their prayers in the language of the Church.

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