Communication and Violence
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I marvel at the chronic tendency to have an uncooperative, antagonistic spirit between any of the following: priest, organist, music director. We sang the propers at two Masses today, both celebrated by priests we don't usually sing for. Guess what might be a good idea? Yes! Having an organizational phone call or email with the priest a few days before to sort out any details! Guess what never happens?

    So it goes more like this: during the reading the master of ceremonies comes down to whisper something to the schola director about the priest wanting to change something; the director begins fuming and says "no, we'll do it the normal way, we aren't changing anything!" I was never clear on what it was about, but the director is then cranky and fuming for a good long while after, we are clearly going to annoy the priest by disobeying whatever impulsive directive he'd just sent down to us, and I spend the next several minutes wondering which aspect of whose behavior in all this counts as a sin, and if so, mortal or venial, eventually giving up the ponder to get on with the Alleluias and Sequence...

    Then, just as we are lining up for Communion there is an explosion of gunfire in front of the church. The two non-athletic men who do caretaker/superintendent sorts of things and are always lounging around looking bored and unmotivated suddenly leap into admirable action, sprinting to the front and slamming and barring the heavy old wooden doors (it's a very old church), to prevent anyone coming in, the two dangers being that stray bullets might come in, or that one of the bandits might come in and take someone hostage, especially if the shootout is with the police, which is likely. Indeed afterwards the one caretaker said the police were in a shootout with some men in a vehicle. Later in the news I saw that the men had run a police checkpoint, been pursued, had the shootout, and died a few blocks later. I don't know if people here are numb to this (they pretend to be, perhaps) but I always cry for everyone who's killing and dying. Whatever the condition of their lives and souls, God made them, and they matter to Him. It seems unlikely that the dead died in a state of grace, given the circumstances. Lord, have mercy. In any case, at the moment we simply carried on, everyone acting as if nothing had happened, except for a few glances towards the doors.

    We sang the Mass again at another church, where again there was lack of communication about various details, and we didn't sing as well as at the first one, being too tired, really, to sing two times (three if you count having rehearsed everything the hour before the first Mass). But thankfully no violence accompanied the second Mass.

    In all this confusion there was one utter joy: a young man I have known for several years was accepted to a traditional seminary in Europe. I'm so very, very happy for him. He wanted that so much, and I wasn't sure he could adapt easily to life abroad, but after a three month visit they approved him to start this fall. May he become a holy priest, if God so wills.
  • I've never experienced a priest or MC who had the blind self-centred and narcissistic pride to deliver to me changes in a liturgy during the liturgy. I'm thinking that if this happened I would continue with what had been planned and rehearsed - I might, though, 'cave in', depending on the priest and the circumstances. For a priest to pull a thoughtless and insouciant stunt like this is literally an unholy act of self-serving tyranny. The time for ironing out any differences or orders in a given mass is in a meeting the week before.
  • Improvised liturgy,!

    Jumbo shrimp

    feel free to add your own oxymorons.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I do think that in the case of 'spontaneous improvisations' here the acts are indeed thoughtless, but done with a kind of naive thoughtlessness, not any malicious intent. As if the arising of a spontaneous idea should simply be followed, rather than cast aside as an idiotic idea. I'd be even more sympathetic to the fuming director except he himself is prone to suddenly changing things up in the middle of the liturgy, too, which drives me nuts. There's probably a special circle of hell for people who make stuff up spur of the moment (I'm reading Dante).

    We're only singing the propers in the EF, so there's a very limited amount of spontaneous improvisation available, but somehow they manage!!!
    Thanked by 2Carol cesarfranck
  • Chonak,

    "Offending the military " is no longer there.
    Thanked by 1chonak