Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WHY I STARTED THIS SITE

43 comments:

Judy said...

This is just painful.

Fr. Cory Sticha said...

The only image that I would disagree with, other than the smiley priest (yes, priests can smile while distributing communion), is the camouflage chasuble on the jeep hood. That has a very long tradition, dating back to WWII. The rest of the images are just horrible.

Nickie Goomba said...

There have been times when I prayed for a Mime Mass.

peregrinaje said...

This video upset me --- not because of the pictures but because of the commentator's refusal to see the incarnational aspect of the liturgy, contextualized for every nation, tribe, and tongue.

When I watch this video I see women, children, and youth empowered to serve God in a way promised at Pentecost. It saddens me that those gifts are mocked and women-priests, especially, are assumed to be a liturgical abuse, without regard for the theological differences in the denominations that sponsor them.

Jen P said...

I couldn't finish watching this. While I believe that Jesus did not intend for women to be ordained...and I find myself uncomfortable with female priests in ecumenical settings, I find the "Mr. and Mrs. Priest" label on images offensive. There is nothing in current Anglican practice that renders a male and female priest, consecrating together, disrespectful or laughable. To mock it (and many of these other things) seems to me to make it harder to have a real discussion about theological differences, valid and invalid practice, and where we can come together (and where we can't!). Instead, it strikes me as "Oh noez! Look at the girlz!"

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, some weird stuff went on in days gone by. Some things that I was witness to. A few things that I perpetrated that I have since repented of.

However, I believe that there is a photo of Karol Wojtyla saying mass on an overturned canoe. There is a long tradition of taking the elements of where you are and making them sacred or using them for the liturgy. (As the commentator about the mass on the jeep noted. Lots of pictures like that from WWII.)

There is a balance between bad taste and something that incorporates and ministers to the community. There is a balance between mockery and something that brings all of life, even humor, into our liturgy and preaching.

Reverence can be found in the most casual of circumstances. Irreverence can be found in the most formal.

If we are looking for good taste and for reverence, we're not going to find it at a Halloween mass (fails on both accounts), but we might find it on an overturned canoe in the woods. (And not just because a priest who became Pope said it.)

Steve Martin said...

I had a problem with much of what I saw.

Some things did not bother me so much.

Anonymous said...

Really?!! Wow just wow. Mass is Mass. Anytime, any place. Jesus was not surrounded by a beautiful building.
I did not watch more than a minute of this, as it seems your trying to offend.

Henry said...

To Jen P.
The problem here is these photos are photos of a Roman Catholic Mass in the Netherlands. This woman is not a woman Priest but a "liturgical assistant" dressed up lie a Priest...
Pax+

Anonymous said...

@Peregrinaje:

I appreciate your sensitivity to others in their attempts to serve, but I would say the following: God does not incarnate himself in a proper sense in everything, everyone, everywhere; God became incarnate in a particular man, Jesus of Nazareth, at a particular time and place. In the same way, the authentic spirit of the liturgy cannot simply be incarnated into every culture, for Christian faith and its liturgy are their own culture and judge (to a greater or lesser extent) all human cultures. Ultimately the liturgy itself has a tradition, which starts in Eden (the first temple, for God is present there), runs through the tabernacle and the two temples (Solomon's and Herod's), and through the synagogue. The liturgy of the Word comes out of temple and synagogue prayer and proclomation practices, while Jesus' last supper forms the foundation of the liturgy of the Eucharist as a replacement for temple sacrifice ("This is my blood...shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," Matt 26:28). Going forward in history, then, the Christian liturgy in its twofold form develops in ways appropriate to itself, always faithful to its particular heritage rooted in Eden.

Certainly there are multifold variations on the liturgy in Christian history (the Latin Rite is not the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, for instance) and certain aspects of various liturgies as practiced that reflect particular cultures. But one cannot and should not use the "incarnational principle" to justify the appropriation of anything and everything in human culture into the liturgy.

--Irenaeus

Catholic Tide said...

I found 99% of these images to be extremely offensive.

However, I'm with Anonymous on the subject of masses in the wilderness. I think it is amazing when a priest takes a youth group camping and celebrates mass outdoors, as JP2 did.

However that is an entirely different situation from having masses at a crowded beach, etc...

Also I think it can be appropriate to incorporate cultural elements into the design of vestments but they should never be a distraction.

Really, how hard is it to apply reverence and common sense into decisions about liturgy? But it seems that some people are just determined to cross every boundary of decency.

Anonymous said...

While most of the images were disturbing, some seemed to miss the context. I attended Catholic High School and the 'lounging about in the gym' mass was a weekly reality - it was the only place we could fit the entire student body.

I find the 'wilderness' masses similarly unremarkable - clearly it was some kind of a group on pilgrimage or retreat, it's not like they drug the log or canoe into the Sanctuary.

Seems to me there should be different standards of acceptable variations for what goes on in a school gym, on a retreat/pilgrimmage, and what occurs in the sanctuary of a parish church in the course of the regular cycle of services.

Pastor Peters said...

What too many forget and not enough remember is that when we trivialize the mass, we trivialize the Christ who comes to us where His Word proclaims... in the bread which is His body and the cup of His blood. Why do we work so hard to make cheap what is so beyond price?

Fr. Nico said...

@ 0:45 is the Dutch TV mass

Pastor Anderson said...

There is no such things as a contextualized Mass, just like there is no such as contextualized Scripture. The Scripture provides its own context. The Mass provides its own context. It is what it is and layers of silliness do not need to be added to it to make it "relevant". I hope the Holy Catholic Church rediscovers this in my lifetime.

WeepingCross said...

I can see things here which do make sense in terms of occasion, and legitimate inculturation; and it seems historically rather daft to claim that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is somehow devoid of inculturation itself. The problem is the loss of the centre of gravity, and of the sense that God is beyond you and whatever you happen to be doing liturgically. Remember that, and determine to keep your centre of gravity, and the occasional excursion into the wacky isn't as serious.

Pamela said...

I agree with several others -- some of these are really horrifying, but I think others are making the best of the situation at hand. When a priest knows he's going to be celebrating Mass, and has to bring along bread and wine anyway, there's no excuse for his not bringing along his alb, stole and chasuble as well, instead of wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

But, Mass in a gym, for a large Catholic school, that may not be anywhere near a proper church building? Would you rather Catholic schools not have Mass at all?

Mass in the wilderness -- when kids are going to summer camp, sometimes those camps start or end on a Sunday, or last more than a week. Thank God for those priests willing to celebrate Mass for those kids (and camp staff).

But, I have seen some pretty crazy things done on retreats that really did not need doing. When the retreat is being held in the educational wing of the Catholic Church to start with, there is no reason for a separate adoration chapel to be make-shifted in an office, or for Mass to be celebrated anywhere but in the sanctuary. Nor do the retreat participators need to make their own bread for Mass. Ever.

Tancred said...

Wow, there are some people commenting here who don't get it. Aesthetic insensitivity leads to moral insensitivity.

Is it any wonder that the worst Liturgical tinkerers were also moral degenerates?

Cunjo said...

Mass in wilderness....there is always a better and more reverent way for priest to say Mass in wilderness...

Anonymous said...

This video shows that the RCC are poor at contemporary worship -- as are many protestant churches. What is broken in the RCC church is not its liturgy, it is the public trust. Clown suits do little to restore the public trust.

Denita said...

This makes me glad I go to a Latin Mass (FSSP)

Mark said...

Thank you for the video, I need to constantly remind myself why I need to be grateful that I go to a Latin mass. Great blog by the way, some of your vestments had me splits.

Anonymous said...

I made the 'context' comment above. Don't get my wrong - I'm Orthodox so as a general principle I consider 'gospel' style hymns, any instruments from organ to electric guitar, and the priest commenting on the theme at any point other than the sermon to be an abomination.

That being said, if you are analyzing the services of a faith which has decided to allow some variation within their liturgy then it is appropriate to consider the context or occasion of that liturgy before shouting abuse!. There are enough egregious examples out there that the author of this video could have made their point without including either Episcopalians (who don't belong in a slide show about alledged Catholic liturical abuses) or events that clearly appear to be retreat/pilgrimmage/high school auditorium related and the circumstances which led to the picture might be quite unexceptional an understandable were they known.

ALLtoJesus said...

A little descant is good for the soul.

Donna said...

You are right. Everyone knows that Jesus was a stoic German and liked medieval architecture. For anyone to worship the Triune God in any way different than the Stoic German and European High Church manner is evil. It even warrants the use of words like "pagan" and "naked native" being used against fellow Christians. They can call us racist, xenophobic, and petty, but we know the truth! We KNOW that God only likes our culture's traditions, doesn't want us interacting with others, and feels that liturgical styles is an issue that needs to be made a priority over the Great Commandment and Great Commission! That isn't racist, xenophobic, or petty! (also- pretty sure I read on a White Supremest site that Jesus was Western European anyway.)

mwilson523 said...

Please, can we all just pretend Vatican II never happened? Sometimes I feel like I should be confessing that I haven't been to Mass, even tho I've attended!

Anonymous said...

If God has created so many different kinds of people, what gives us to believe that there's only ONE correct way to worship Him?

Anonymous said...

This video and all the comments are the most offensive thing I've seen in awhile.

But I'll chalk it up to being protestant and move on.

Billb said...

As a few others have pointed out, the Mass being done in a military field setting is not a problem in my view. Nor are some of the summer camp ones. And a priest smiling while distributing the Communion seemed to be a very bad one to put in this; we should be sad that Christ died for us?

I realize this is RCC; however it is applicable to most liturgical churches.

William said...

Other than the one's labelled as "episcopal," assuming Episcopal Church USA, rather than "epsicopal" meaning a Mass led by a bishop are the rest Catholic or LibProts that use vestments like Lutherans? It could be somewhat misleading.

Don't get me wrong, it's hoffifying bilge, but are these specifically a "Catholic" problem?

Mike said...

I guess I'm glad I'm Orthodox. And several posters have it exactly backwards: Cultures ultimately need to make themselves relevant to Christ, which is another way of saying the Church is to convert the world and not the world convert the Church. Clowns and mimes and nonsense are entertaining but are not the Divine Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, thank God!

peggy38 said...

This stuff seems like it should be comical. But it is just too sad. I almost couldn't get through the whole thing. It was making me sick and I wanted to just cry by the end.

But I get it. This is the kind of thing that should be mercilessly mocked and driven wholesale from Catholic Christian worship. You are doing good work.

Anonymous said...

I don't find any problem with most of these images. People are finding ways to get people of every age, gender, and nationality interested in the Lord. That should be applauded, not condemned.

rusmeister said...

What Mike said. I'm glad I'm Orthodox. But I still feel the indignation that other non-Orthodox Christians feel as well. So many comments are so right. I would stress that we be careful to condemn the loss of awe and sense of holiness in approaching the Eucharist while not sitting in judgement of other people and looking down on them from some 'holy place'.

I would say to the last anonymous comment that there is a world of difference between getting people interested in Christ and treating the Body and Blood of Christ (if we truly believe it to be so) in a profane manner. Let us indeed call people to Christ. But let us take off our clown faces and prostrate ourselves in the presence of our Lord. As Mike said, we must conform ourselves to the Church, not conform the Church to us.

I hope that the Catholic Church (which I have a great deal of respect for, despite the division between us) does restore the sense of holiness that is being completely lost from our culture.

Katie said...

We do historical re-enacting, and at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, Mass is celebrated for participants on an overturned canoe (which has been properly prepared, of course). Most of these are awful, though.

Presbyterian said...

I couldn't watch the whole thing, either. It's too pathetic. It also made me thankful that my (Protestant) church takes the Bible seriously. In my denomination, Jesus' choice of twelve men to be His disciples (He could have chosen women, but He did not) is taken to mean that men are the appropriate human vessel for being pastors.

Our worship is sometimes "minimalist," but it never lacks the dignity befitting the holy word and presence.

How awful for the church that such ridiculous vestments are worn and accepted. The sooner such irreverent clothes are discarded, the better.

Molly said...

I would be interested to hear the opinions of people who attended these services and found them to be meaningful and profound. I'm sure there were a few.

Anonymous said...

the only consolation I have in this is that God can use anything for His good. Aside from that, this might be THE most disturbing thing I've ever seen!
GOD becomes our food and drink -- is that not impressive enough for people??
Seriously, could not have made most of this stuff up.

Stu said...

Yes, Molly, there probably were a few.

Annaker said...

This is precisely why I left the Episcopal Church and joined the ACC (Anglican Catholic Church; there is no chance of any of these happening.

However, there isn't anything about the Wiccan services here - does anyone have a photo of that?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure most of these pictures are taken out of context. You could make better use of your time serving the Lord than being so judgemental.

Fr. John Stopa said...

I read somewhere once, "Judge Thou not, lest Thou be judged." As an Anglican, I would never assume to make a comment about the worship of the Holy Eucharist in a Roman Church; I would ask the same respect - indeed, expect it from a fellow catholic Christian - for the Divine Liturgy as expressed in my Church. In other instances, such as using a canoe for the celebration of the Holy Mass, one need only look to the historicity of this practice among the Coureurs de bois in Canada... and in my proud Polish heritage, I have also seen pictures of Karol Cardinal Wojtyla using a canoe in similar circumstances when enjoying the outdoors in a trek with a group of young people.
Ultimately, Liturgy (a Greek work) means the work of the PEOPLE. It is what we offer to God. What happens at the Celebration of Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, the Lord's Supper or whatever you wish to call it, is for us an offering of thanksgiving to GOD - and GOD is the audience. (God who desires justice and not sacrifice; God, of whom "a penitent and broken heart you will not despise") That said, despite what we lament or revel - our ultimate is GOD, made known to us in Jesus: The Word Incarnate, whose Body and Blood we share.

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason I left organized religion is that I could not stand the kumbayaisation any longer. Certainly, Jesus forgave sins. Certainly, He preached to the masses. But even Jesus recognized sins and sinners. Even He was following Mosaic law while reforming it.

The top-down hierarchy that so long maintained that sense of propriety in some churches is now imposing chaos. I'm sad for all the beautiful old buildings and older parishioners who expected to one day be a senior part of something ancient and wonderful, and discovered instead that they were going to be herded into modern hippie services complete with prayer circles, hand-holding, and vestments that put tie-dying to shame.

"Out of context?" "White Supremacist?" You people slay me--you make a mockery of religion and religious liturgy. Then you have the gall to call out those who do the same in getting back at you, overdoing it to remove what they see as the violating elements, as somehow wrong? As if you weren't doing exactly the same thing, working to purge all tradition from the service with your Carey Landry-esque crapurgy.

Now, I've left religion behind for various reasons, and certainly, may burn for my myriad sins if there is a God who really does judge upon these. But if there is a God, and there is a Hell, I am certain one thing will also be true: there is a special place reserved there in that Hell, for the people who destroy great things merely to serve their own hatred of convention.