Friday, 21 October 2011

Disobedient Laity

Along with the new translation, we have had the re-introduction of some gestures and the reiteration of others.

Our parish priest has reminded people several times of the obligation to make a sign of reverence before receiving; he has preached on the triple striking of the breast during the confiteor, and reminded people that they should be bowing their heads at the et incarnatus est in the Credo.

Yet, the vast majority of parishioners do none of these things.

Why is that?


Ttony said...

Because the laity have been taught for the last generation that each person is his own arbiter of what he should or shouldn't do.

"As ye sow so shall ye reap" is a sort of dynamically equivalent translation, in a regressive sort of way, for lex oransi lex credendi.

Patricius said...

I think it is a mistake to see such failures as evidence of wilful disobedience in most cases. Often people simply forget. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the new translation but find I still need all my powers of concentration in order to avoid slipping into old habits. For many years I have been puzzled at the sight of individuals who genuflect before an altar at which the Blessed Sacrament is NOT reserved and wondered if they really understood why we genuflect. As for bowing at the "et incarnatus..." I have frequently seen priests occasionally forget. The spirit may well be willing but the flesh weak. Only yesterday I was discussing the threefold "mea culpa" and how the repetition was essential as a reminder since things mentioned once only may be easily forgotten!

lms rep said...

Absence of Faith given years of DIY Catholicism.
Lousy catechesis.
Lousy dated music.
Political correctness.
Obscene amounts of credit.
Legalised destruction of life.
Political corruption.
And probably because the vast number of parishioners simply don't want to do any of these things.

Why cannot this be not so?

Ben Trovato said...

Ttony: I see what you mean, but there is also the sheep mentality of people going along with the crowd, I think. It seems as much a collective failure as an individual one, at least in my parish.

Patricius: yes, up to a point (Lord Copper). I too can easily forget to say 'And with your Spirit' (especially the one between the Alleluia and the Gospel for some reason). But it's the fact that immediately after being reminded, nobody makes any effort that troubles me. Or when the person in front (one of my kids, say) genuflects before receiving, which is a bit of a visual reminder, the next person strides up, head held high and hands outstretched... And they took to some changes - in the other direction - quickly and consistently...

LMS Rep: I tend to agree - though allowing some scope for forgetfulness in individual instances, as Patricius points out.

Ora Pro Nobis said...

"Every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6). The state of Christianity today has returned to the same condition that Israel was in during the time of the judges.

Of course this quote goes beyond church catechises, but is still relevant.

I meant to reply to this yesterday. I do think that there is too much navel gazing in the Catholic Church and not enough saving souls however, you are right to bring this up because it is beyond me that we can't seem to stand still and do as we as are told for one hour a week. (not that I am perfect - even this morning I said "and also with you" and I thought that I was concentrating.

At Peterborough and two churches in North Lincolnshire I have seen priests stop the Mass to make the congregation bow in the right place and say the communion antiphon in the right place. They put their foot down week after week until the congregations gave in. In one of these churches the altar rail was re-installed and the priest had zero tolerance refused to back down. The priests all got their own way within a month and the rest is history. There is a need for our priests to do more of this sort of thing.

I also know of two cases (pre-Mass) where a priest and an MC came out and in no uncertain terms told the congregation to stop talking in the presence of the blessed sacrament. However, you do need considerable confidence to do this sort of thing.

Anyway, I thought I would mention five separate examples that ended with successful results and prove that it is possible to get it right.

For my next point I want to mention RCIA. Some people are going to be upset by my next point.

Lay people should not be involved with teaching RCIA.

There I've said it. Of course they can't all be liberals putting a spanner in the works but, I am sure that somewhere along the line that this is not a wise option. I have one example where lay RCIA teachers run riot over the programme. In one local Catholic church I am surprised that anyone ever joins, what with one year pre-RCIA courses followed by two year full RCIA courses (all this with virtually zero input from a priest) and primarily liberals running the show.

I know it is easy to point the finger at liberals but, I think that anyone should be able to see the dangers of lay person led RCIA.

However, in the interest of balance, I finally want to say that all these conservative/liberal arguments can be dangerous as well. If the traditionalist get too much their own way then this also locks people out of the Church. There does have to be some common sense put in to play.

I am a great believer in bringing back ALL our lost Catholic traditions (not just Latin which tens to hog the debate). If we re-instate all these traditions it will go some way to bringing back the reverence to our churches. It is time that our churches started looking, smelling and feeling like Catholic churches once again.