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Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Much for Parochialism

After considerable debate I have decided I can no longer attend mass (except in a pinch to fulfill my obligation) at my local parish church. The liturgy and music are so dreadful that despite my best efforts to concentrate on what is (it goes without saying) the most important aspect of the mass, the Eucharist, I find that concentration continually upended by priests who apparently see it their duty to give the dubious Novus Ordo mass their own personal stamp. Attempts by other parishioners (far younger than myself, I might add) and myself to rein in some of the more egregious liturgical abuses have proved unavailing, met with indifference at best from the pastor on down. I have thrown in the towel.

I regret having have to make this decision. Not only will I will miss the five-minute walk to church but I also feel strongly the need for the strong parochial presence of Holy Church in urban and suburban neighborhoods; in many ways it is the glue that holds them together. Nonetheless, owing to favorable circumstances, I have a car these days (a rare and lovely luxury in New York City) and thus can easily get myself to the Church of the Holy Innocents in mid-town Manhattan, where the mass in the Extraordinary Form is now celebrated seven days a week, with Missae Cantatae offered on Sundays and major feasts days, along with a superb choir performing chant and Renaissance polyphony.

I doubt there are more than a handful of Catholic churches in the whole country with such a generous offering of traditional masses and it seems to me that not only should I avail myself of them, it behooves me to, for Holy Innocents could use more souls in the pews (although the numbers are steadily and gratifyingly rising), it being smack in the middle of the garment district, which is not exactly residential (I also hope my relatively modest offering in the pledge envelope will not go unappreciated). I have passed the point where I believe it merely desirable that traditional liturgy be restored to the Holy Church; I now believe it is absolutely essential for her survival, lest she follow the mainstream protestant denominations into the morass and oblivion of our wretched contemporary culture.

Beginning this evening I will begin to experience, for the first time, the entire Triduum the way it should be done: using the Tridentine Rite with music worthy for use in the praise of our Lord. I am very much looking forward to it. A joyous Easter to you all.


Steve T. said...

Welcome aboard! Join our newly reinstated KofC council, #523, Regina Caeli!

Sara said...

I can sympathize. My own local parish is also a five-minute walk from my apartment -- but when they played "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" during communion (this was the Sunday closest to St Patrick's day), I shook the dust from my feet and moved on.

I now attend the Cathedral parish, which is Novus Ordo, but Novus Ordo done right. The say the black, do the red, and the music is glorious.

The Bovina Bloviator said...

When done right Novus Ordo is more than tolerable. Fr. Rutler, at the Church of Our Saviour, does it to the letter (both black and red) but he and other priests that do so are in the minority. There is something about Novus Ordo (perhaps its insipid language) that seems to encourage too many priests to monkey around with it. The Tridentine Rite, with its strict rubrics, makes that far more difficult.

Inigo_Hicks said...

I know the feeling. Alas, the options are fewer in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Ditto for me. My "official" parish is walking distance, but for the same reasons, my wife and I go to one in the next town; which by happenstance is also a different Diocese. Go figure.

The young fogey said...

I hear you. Glad you've got someplace to go to.

Gideon Fountain said...

Well, let's remember that there's a fine tradition of "church shopping" in our family, passed down to us by our Sainted Mum.

Bernard Brandt said...

Dear BB:

My sympathies and agreement are with you as regards your decision to leave a church where you are not spiritually fed, and to enter one where you are.

I agree with most of those commenting that the problem is not so much with the Novus Ordo per se, as it is with a so-called priesthood which either does not know how to do its job, or does not care to make the effort to do the job correctly.

Of course, whether through ignorance or with the intent to do so, they are violating the rights of the faithful under Canon 214, which states in relevant part, The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church.

Twenty-four or so years ago, I had to make a similar decision to yours. Alas, there was then as now, an utter lack of parishes in my area (i.e., L.A.) which offered what is now called the Extraordinary Rite. Fortunately for me, there was and is a good Russian Catholic church nearby. Five years ago, I petitioned to change my rite from Roman to Eastern Catholic. I have not looked back for quite some time.

I wish you the best of fortune with your new parish.