Saturday, 19 May 2007

Quebecois liturgy II

Yesterday I had to suffer one of the worst pieces of liturgical terrorism that I have had the misfortune to witness. It was the final Mass of the meeting of Delegates for the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec. Rather than describe the scene in detail let me give it to you in bullet points:
  • The Mass was celebrated in the room where we had, a few hours previously, had a buffet. The tables which were used as serving tables during the buffet were made into a long table down the centre of the room (making it look like it was prepared for another buffet). Chairs were arranged looking in on either side.
  • Lay people were encouraged to sit where they liked - except for some of the front seat which were reserved for bishops. Priests were supposed to sit mingled with the people (in actual fact the herd mentality took over and we all sat together at one end).
  • In the 'entrance procession', some women (I think they were religious though had nothing visible to show the fact) brought flowers and candles which they placed at strategic places along the long table.
  • At the Offertory, these same women brought chalices and patens on serving trays and placed them upon the table at strategic places, and they themselves poured wine (no water) into the chalices. These were not placed on corporals at all.
  • After the Eucharistic Prayer these same women approached the table beckoning (in an evidently pre-thought out manner) the bishops towards the table to partake of the Eucharist (ugh).
  • The priests were given Holy Communion as though they were lay people.
Some liturgical terrorists had obviously taken over the planning for this Mass. All I can say is Cranmer would have been proud. What struck me most was the inconsistency of having spoken about the sacrifice of the Mass and adoration during his rather pedestrian talk earlier, Cardinal Marc Ouellet then celebrated this Mass without batting an eyelid at the way in which it had been arranged.

The agenda of the liturgorists was evident. They wanted everyone to sit side by side - priests and people - because they have no faith in the sacred nature of the priesthood, and in the difference of nature and not just of grade of the ordained priesthood from the baptismal priesthood. The way they pushed these women forward to do the deacons role, and to 'facilitate' the bishops' celebration of the Eucharist (as if they'd never been to a Mass before) was saying that they believed that women should be ordained to the priesthood.

This was, of course, done under the nose of Cardinal Josef Tomko, the President of the Pontifical Council for the International Eucharistic Congress. And, while he seemed to play along at the time, I know from speaking to his secretary in the Pontifical Council, Fr Ferdinand Pratzner, today that all has been noted, and that a meeting to speak about the liturgy has been planned for Monday. Fr Pratzner was also very critical of the hymn for the Congress which, in its French version at least, seems to suggest that the bread and wine of the Eucharist only become sacramentally the body and blood of Christ by virtue of them being shared among us (step forward again Archbishop Cranmer).

My reaction is that this Congress has been seen (at least by Cardinal Ouellet, I think) as a remedy for the apparent disastrous decadence of the Church in French Canada during the last 40 years. Well it won't be a remedy unless this liturgical playing around, so characteristic of liberal North American liturgy, is jettisoned and the presciptions of Redemptionis Sacramentum and Sacramentum Caritatis are adopted.


Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

How utterly horrendous!

Mike Rizzio said...

Fr. Julian,

My heart goes out to you. And all my prayers too.

As a two time pilgrim to the holy shrines of French Canada, I greatly lament the dis-grace of your once holy land and the chilling effect it is having on your nation's future.

Along with Michael O'Brien, one of your stalwart sons, I too hope for the day when North America comes to its senses and sees the LIGHT, for as Fr. John Corapi puts it..."the dark is very dark indeed."

My effort in the vineyard is at

I welcome your comments.

Please remember, two things as you go there:

First, that the rainbow found in Genesis and Revelation is a key sign of God's covenant relationship with mankind and now mankind has "lost it" to those elements pushing the Gay agenda through political and social engineering.

Second, that since Nature abhors a vacuum if we don't wrestle back the rainbow and the rest of our cultural symbolism and purify it in the process, we will continue to lose hearts and minds (and souls) to every counterfeit spirituality that preys upon our weakness as Catholics in defending the Truth of His Real Presence, the dignity of the human person and the Culture of Life.

It's high time for a Ypres style breakout from the trenches.


We need more "dough" boys!

You can count me among your Friends!

God bless you Father!!!

Fr Julian Green said...

Mike - you have the wrong end of the stick. I'm not Canadian, and certainly not French Canadian. I'm visiting here.

Matt Doyle said...

Oh dear. The spirit of Cranmer lives on!!!

simon said...

Faith of our Fathers,
Mary's prayers shall win our nation back to thee;
and through the TRUTH that comes from God our land shall then indeed be free!

I believe that the most most important person who lives locally to me is my Bishop - He is the presence of Christ in the Diocese - why do some Bishops make it so hard to fulfill the obligation to be obedient AND to respect them. If they won't use their croziers Our Lady will certainly be tapping her blue stilletos!