Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Pentecost - and save me from liturgical abuses!

I'm still recovering at the moment, from the liturgical horrors of my god-daughter's confirmation last night, hence the need for soothing music and a nice icon.

I suppose the fact that the confirmation was on a Saturday night should have been a clue, but this was my first real exposure to the full novus ordo schmozzle at its worst in a long time.

It started with a 'Gathering song' (played from a recording!), and continued with the classic guitar-twanging cantoress. There was an altar girl. And no penitential rite or creed.

There were lots of odd little ceremonies, involving holding candles aloft and so forth (to ensure that everyone of the twenty or so kinds being confirmed got to 'actively participate'), and ended with liturgical dancing by a group of the confirmees (although I have to admit, the liturgical dancing at least had the virtue that they wore long-sleeved, ankle-length robes for the fairly brief dance in the aisles, making this the one part of the ceremony for which most of them were actually decently clad).

I don't normally worry too much about what people wear to mass, but the weirdest thing I'd have to say was certainly what the kids were wearing - ranging from jeans to bimboesque fashion of a kind that is always inappropriate on an eleven year old, let alone in church. Two of the girls did actually wear white dresses, but one was a lacy very very mini-dress, and the other was coupled with black boots and tights!

It is the kind of mass that in most circumstances I'd just walk out of, but the kid was being confirmed with her school group, so not much one could do except pray.

The saddest thing was that no one looked especially happy about the whole thing. 'Boring' was the commentary from my god-daughter's sister, and I'd have to agree (well except for those entertaining themselves by counting how many liturgical abuses are being committed) - lifeless, turgid, going through the motions stuff.

Yet it was all very diligently done - the kids were intensely drilled and did have a good understanding of the sacrament itself. And the parents were required to attend a few catechetical sessions themselves. It is just sad really.

Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur: et renovabis faciem terrae!

And let us thank God for the increasing availability of the TLM.

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