Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nitpickery *(with update)

Well, you've got yourself a crabby, headachy, preggo woman here. Be warned. Do not read any further if you are easily offended or not in the mood for a fight.

You still here? Glutton for punishment are you? FINE.

Things that bug the bejeevers out of me:

1. Clapping at Mass.

2. labelling a Mass (i.e. "healing Mass", "teen Mass", "polka Mass")
Mass is Mass. High Mass. Low Mass. Mass.

3. Laity who think they are the priest and actually say the priests words during Mass and/or copy the PRIEST'S gestures (you know what I'm talking about, "The Lord be with you ((offers hands forward))"..."and also with YOU" says the congregation shoving their hands forward too as if the priest is watching them or doesn't believe that we wish him peace unless we are flailing our hands around... Oh yeah, and don't forget, "WE LIFT THEM UP TO THE LORD!" be sure to extend your hands as high as possible so everyone catches on that this is what we're supposed to do now even though we haven't really done that for hundreds of years up until about 10 years ago or so.).

4. People who start a sentence with, "The Lord told me..." and really wish me to believe that God actually spoke to them the other day when they were having tea or whatever. It mostly bugs me because if I question it (and you KNOW I do!) they just dismiss me as a non-believer or a non-faithful person. PUH-LEASE! This ain't my first rodeo and I've come to find that the more you question things...ummmm...the more you find out the TRUTH! Is that a bad thing? ("is that a bad thing" phrase borrowed from people who defend the charismatic nonsense trying to illustrate why that stuff is good by the virtue of it "bringing people to the faith". Okay, well, I argue that sometimes a horrible accident or a life-threatening disease brings a person to the faith-does that make the cause an objective "good thing"? Does that mean we should do nothing to prevent horrible accidents or life-threatening diseases because "hey! they bring people closer to God!"?) I know way too many people that go for that kind of thing, hook, line, and sinker. I don't fault anyone for falling for some of the false visionaries, but I DO fault the false visionaries and their taking advantage of people who are grasping for hope in any place they can find it.

5. Leaving Mass right after communion. Why don't people know that this is wrong. They write bulletin notices about every thing these days, why not some little something on mass etiquette every week to remind people? I have enough faith in people to believe that most of us WANT to know what the proper thing to do is. Hey, I wonder what would happen if Father did a little experiment where one week, he doesn't say anything and the ushers count how many people rush out of church after communion ("rush" is probably not the right word, they are mostly ambling and NOT in a hurry) and count the NEXT week at the same Mass after making a quick, little comment during the homily? Hmmmmm.

6. Extraordinary ministers who don't know how to administer communion to people on the tongue and touch my tongue with their fingers. Sheesh! I'm pretty sure THEY don't like it all that much either! I make SURE to stick it waaaayyyy out there and tip my head back (sorry to be so crude), and wait a second so He doesn't fall to the floor...but every time, it seems, someone's fingers end up in my mouth. I don't know how this could be resolved. Practice? I don't know. Sometimes the priest does it too, but almost always it's not the priest. Also, don't get offended if I go to the priest to receive. For goodness sake! It's his job first and he's done it a LOT more times than you! Chances are his hands are nice and holy and so if they DO end up in my mouth, it's not quite as gross. Plus, I KNOW he's washed right before distribution. I saw him do it.

*7. Chimes. Do. Not. Belong. In Church. (neither do drums, but that almost goes without saying) I'm talking about that musical instrument that is supposed to sound "ethereal" or something, but just ends up scaring me and giving me a headache. Maybe some of you like the chimes (and drums) and that's just fine. I had a bad experience with them one time, and ever since they sound like fingernails on the chalkboard for me.

*8. I haven't encountered this one for a while but still should have made the original list:
Props. Pleeeeeeeease spare me of the props to illustrate things in your homily!!!! Unless it's a special ceremony for really, little kids (outside of Mass), I really don't need cheesy visuals to get the point.

Okay, I'm done for now. Don't cross me this week. Butch is going out of town for the second week in a row and I don't know how many screaming kid fits I will be able to take before I blow a gasket for real.

I neeeeeeed to go to confession for all of this pent up frustration and anger (oh yeah, there's even more of it than I let loose in this post!). Maybe my next post will be a happy, sunshiney post...with no mention of how much of a waste I think it is to have a huge team of young adults here doing (what?) stuff for a year and everyone being told how "lucky" we are to have them? Teens are a little too saavy to fall for the "on fire for the Lord", fakey smile, let me tell you MY life story and put on a skit because it's sooooo interesting and even though it's filled with scandal and stuff, I'm all good now and want to "give back" (doing what again?) by dedicating a year to God etc. etc.. Oh yeah, I'm THAT crabby about it. Sorry, no one will convince me that this is a great idea. Maybe that's my sin (obstinacy?), but I was that age too, once, and worked with NET people before. Forgive my pessimism about them, but it's based on experience, not based on any knowledge of these, particular individuals who could all be perfectly pie-in-the-sky, wonderful people.

Still glad you stayed? Happy now?

Can't say I didn't warn you!

I gotta go clean the bus, it looks like I had a whole NET team sleeping in it for a week or something.


Serviam! said...

As a concerned individual, I want to suggest that in your condition you not hold any feelings in. You should lay it out and work through your feelings. ;-)

1. Still the best take clapping at Mass is Cardinal Ratzinger’s in the book “Spirit of the Liturgy” :

"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

2. I've been fine with the labels 5:00, 8:30, 10:30, and 6:00.

3. No doubt their hearts are in the right place, now if we could just get their hands there…

4. I don’t run into this very often anymore, but maybe after each thing they tell you God told them, you could just respond with an, "I know, He told me last week He was going to tell you that." Come on, what are they going to say?

5. There was a saint once (for the life of me I can't remember who) who had the servers follow a man who left church (either early or without a thanksgiving prayer) with lit candles and ringing a bell for 15 minutes to remind him of Who he carried inside. Now if Fr. B did that juuuust once, bet you'd see an improvement.

6. Yeah, I hear you on this one – the administering of Holy Communion should not trigger the gag reflex. But I have to admit, as an EMHC, it does take a little practice.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Oh my gosh. I am no longer in a bad mood. (You had me at "I want to suggest that in your condition you not hold any feelings in." eeeeeeheeeheeeheeee!) I just laughed until I actually...let's just say that I have to go change into my jammy pants. Not many people can induce this kind of quick clothing change in me. You are a talented individual. My next post is really going to be a happy one now!

OH! And I forgot to mention one more thing (before that happy post). You reminded me at the end about practice for an EMHC. Part of the practice session should include NOT blessing every child, baby, stuffed animal, or extra appendage that comes through the communion line? Maybe that one is picky but, seriously, if we didn't do all of that extraneous "blessing" (when I am holding a child, I am trying to make the sign of the cross and I bonk the person's arm while they are desperately trying to cross my child's forehead as my child is glaring at them and batting their hand away! What a mess! Plus, you have that "touching many more people before I have to serve someone on the tongue" thingy again) maybe we could actually take the time to make sure that Our Lord gets "distributed" properly (the whole reason for the extraordinary ministers in the first place!). I saw a bulletin announcement at St. Albert's that said something about that about a year ago or so. It said something along the lines of "Father only will bless the children, everyone else will distribute Holy Communion". I liked that idea.
I totally love your number four suggestion. I plan on using it the very next time!

swissmiss said...

IMHO, it has nothing to do with your being pregnant. I have those same feelings and, as far as I know, am NOT pregnant. I think many men feels this way too, and science really hasn't perfected a way for them to be pregnant...yet.

Applause during Mass? I thought I was at some "religious entertainment" services, but haven't witnessed any clapping.

EMHC: I do EXACTLY the same thing as you and often times the Host barely lands on my tongue. I'm trying to be helpful with the head back, tongue out stance, but doesn't seem to work a lot of the time.

Rant on there, sister!

Holy Water said...

1) Last Tuesday, at the end of the 7 PM Mass, Father M.B. asked the Parish Council, to stand up.The congregation then prayed over them.
Father M.B. the requested the congregation to show our appreciation for the commitment these people make. We all clapped.
I clapped because I appreciate the job these people do for our Parish.

Last Sunday, at the 8:30 Mass, Father M.B. welcomed the choir back from the summer.
The congregation clapped. I clapped because of the commitment these folks make, and I believe they have improved the last 2 years.

2) I attended the Polka Mass on Sept 8 at the Historic Church.
I hope they announce the next Polka Mass, so I know
What Mass TO AVOID.

3) I try not to make assumptions about the intentions of fellow parishioners
That only God knows.

4) This subject has recently taken me on a whole new outlook, when
One of my direct descendants started talking this way, concerning something
Occurring, in His life. As I did when He was a young fellow, I let Him know that I love Him and offer my support.

5) When I was in High School, I had a job in which I worked Sundays in the
Summer. One Sunday, I slept passed the early Mass. I had to leave after
Communion at the Mass I attended. The very next Sunday, I overslept again,
And went to the latter Mass. The Pastor started His Sermon by saying “Someone
Left this Mass last week, early”. He then proceeded into a tirade.
To this day some decades latter, I feel this enormace guilt,if the thought
Of leaving early enters my mind.

6) I am an extraordinary minister. I am one of those who can’t administer on
A person’s tongue. If you have dentures, best not go to me. I may knock them out.

fertlmertl said...

Had it not been for the drums, many childhood funny moments would have been totally lost. You see, my dad had a rant of his own (probably where crazymama gets it from) and it involved the song, (start strummin' and drummin' to the tune) with the lyrics, "Let the thunder roll, let the lightning crash, let the da-ancing begin..." but dad inserted based on what he believed to be the ridiculousness of the song, "let the horns go beep beep beep" "beep beep--beep beep". He did it every time. He always made us giggle. Then he'd keep singing it when we got home--"beep beep" "beep beep" modulating his voice up and down with each set of beeps. It stays in your head. He still does it.

We didn't even know then how hideous those songs were but we did know that the drums and tambourines shed a whole new light on the mass. Did I say mass? Oh right, that is why we were there in the first place...

PS To the clergy and fellow parishioners, please excuse my family if the above-mentioned song is played in the future and do not fault us for our weakness (laughing/giggling/sniggering), but really, c'mon is it our fault we laugh? Blame it on the tambourines. I KNOW crazymama meant to include the tambourines.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Hey! I posted about that last year on my townhall blog (that I just destroyed). Here was the post:

Ok, so it seems I'm on a mission to save my church from the horrible sound they call "music" that punishes our ears every Sunday night (this was back in the early days of the 6pm Mass). Last night I was looking up "liturgical music" and found out a bunch of stuff. I will write a post about it in a bit for those of us who just listen and sing along without giving it much thought, but, for now lets go back to the the old St. Michael Church where every Sunday our family would sit in the VERY BACK because my mom had this strange notion that we were easier to handle if we were in the back of church. I always felt somehow that we were socially "lesser" because we always sat in the back. I think that children do much better REALLY CLOSE UP because they can SEE! Anyway, I think one of the reasons we always sat in the back was so Dad could sing his own version of the words to all of the songs and not attract anyone else's attention but us kids, who would start snorting, and giggling, and smacking dad, and loudly whispering, "DAD...SHHHHH, don't DO that, you're embarrassing us!". Example: "Let the thunder roll, let the cymbals crash, let the dan-cing begin. Let every thing that breathes proclaim, "Jesus our life!"..." would become: "Let the thunder roll, let the lightning crash, let the horns go 'beep,beep,beep'". Or, he would sing in a wavering falsetto in order to copy the unfortunately vocally challenged volunteer cantor for the day. Dad never cared for the kumbaya music in church, to say the least. I'm pretty sure that at least some small part of my exasperation toward this music comes from his attitude towards it while we were growing up.

(I don't think any of our lyrics were correct for that song. But it is funny every time I hear it! I will always hear it with the altered lyrics and totally miss the message of the song which is to praise God. Although, it suggests that all of creation should praise God...which sounds weird. How can the worms praise God? That was an example...I'm just sayin'.)